Saturday, January 22, 2005

Two Steps Forwards. . . Three Steps Back?

I ran across two stories showing some forward progress for gay and lesbian rights, and I was eager to report them. Then I went and checked out a news service and there's some rough news otherwise. Still, it is hopeful, in some ways, that an election the Right Wing Christian Clerics claim was a referendum on homosexuality isn't wiping out all gains and forward progress.

There's a movement in Spokane, of all places, to set up a gay district in the city as part of a larger city revitalizing mission. They are following the theories of Richard Florida, who has a theory of urban rebirth that posits a vital role for gays and lesbian acceptance.

In Illionois the Governor signed gays and lesbians onto the State's anti-discrimination statutes:

"What we're doing today is as old as the Scripture: Love thy neighbor," said Blagojevich, who also acknowledged his lesbian sister-in-law Deborah Mell's lobbying effort. "It's what Jesus said when he gave his sermon on the mount: do unto others what you would have others do unto you."

Proponents of the measure, which adds sexual orientation to race, color, religion, sex, ancestry and several other categories already covered by the quarter-century-old Illinois Human Rights Act, won approval from state lawmakers earlier this month after more than two decades of coming up short.

I'm particularly pleased that "several suburban Republicans joined enough Democrats to send the measure to Blagojevich." But, alas, it is still too early to declare that there is hope for the Republican Party on this issue. Governor Blagojevich has a lesbian sister, which surely swayed him, and there are hundreds more Americans every day who find that they have gays and lesbians in their lives, and that they are just people, and sometimes play valuable roles in their lives. It is only a matter of time.

On the flip side, a veteran is claiming bias concerning his property tax break. Seems he's not in a traditional marriage. I guess that service in Korea doesn't amount to a hill of beans. Idaho is preparing its gay marriage ban, claiming to have a "reasonable interest in how children are reared and families comprised." Then why don't they do something about the fucking divorce rate! Or something about the nutcases up in the hills putting their children's lives in danger?

That's all for today. Must go give away money to a family newly saddled with four little boys aged 7 and younger. Seems their parents, traditionally married, were much more interested in drugs and alcohol, to the extent that little Joshua's twin brother's was doomed to abuse and death. But some relatives have stepped in, and we're giving them money to help renovate their basement so the boys can comfortably be raised in a loving home. I'll be glad to update with an article come Tuesday. (Hopefully Home Depot can be made to see the light and pony up a bit more. . . )