Brandon K. Thorp posts on Towleroad, about President Obama proclaming Gay Pride Month: “At some point, I’m sure the novelty of seeing presidents speak this way about LGBT folk will wear off. For this writer, it hasn’t yet.” To get the same sense of satisfaction, check out both the text of the proclamation here, and the video here.
In other news this week, the Illinois Attorney General has announced that she will join the suits being brought by the Lambda Legal and by the ACLU against Illinois civil unions laws on the ground that they do not meet the state constitution’s guarantees of equal protection. First, Obama’s Department of Justice declines to exercise its traditional responsibilities to defend all the laws of the government when it declined to defend DOMA, and now we have the same thing happening on a state level. We make progress.
On the other side of the coin, Lila Shapiro, writing in Huffington Post, brings notice of a report from the National Coalition of Anti-Gay Violence Programs. More anti-gay murders were committed in 2011 than in any of other year since 1998. Chai Jindasurat, one of the authors of the report, said. “I think we’re really just getting the tip of the iceberg here.”
One of the difficulties with determining how much anti-gay violence is going on has always been the fact that many of the people most vulnerable to that violence would have to out themselves in order to report the violence.
Despite how dark the new data is, Jindasurat points to a possible positive aspect of the on-going tragedy: “We feel that it’s not an actual increase in violence but that there are reasons this kind of violence is being recognized for what it is,” Jindasurat said. “One big reason is that now it’s more acceptable to talk about LGBTQ communities in general.”
That’s a positive point. And we can take away this idea: If it is more acceptable to talk about LGBTQ communities, and if that helps LGBTQ people most vulnerable to that violence, then the more we talk, the more publicly we talk, the more likely our talk will increase the ability of those vulnerable LGBTQ folks to seek help for themselves.
And finally, a book. Linda Hirshman has written a book entitled Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution, which will be published on June 5, 2012. I have read two reviews of this book, and both state what they think is the theme of the book, then they argue with that theme, and then they come around to saying, She’s right, of course, in many ways. That’s an interesting response. I have ordered the ebook version. I’ll let you know whether it leads me to say, She’s right, of course, or There has been no victory. There can be no victory, despite Presidential proclamations and Attorneys Generals, while so many Americans are being murdered every year for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer.