Robert Dennen starts off the parade by sounding some notes on his bugle. Believe he was sounding "Attention" that's usually done on a Boatswain's Mates whistle. He's wearing a Veterans For Peace t-shirt, but has also been a member of Delaware Valley Veterans For America. Whatevuh. We were all once servicepeople, but now all seek peaceful means of resolving conflicts. The Philadelphia Gay Pride Parade of 2014 had 173 separate groups marching in it this year. The Vets For Peace group was number 26 and my church group, FUMCOG, was around 50 or so.
So, how much progress has there been on LGBT issues since last years Gay Pride March? Well, quite a bit, actually. Michigan tried to ban all gay marriages a decade ago. One of the premises was that gays are unfit to raise children. The judge didn't buy that. The judge found that argument so unpersuasive that he put his order into effect immediately.
Not only did Pennsylvania overturn a gay marriage ban, the Governor is in such political trouble, he didn't even challenge the decision. Governor Corbett's future as PAs Governor is looking might unlikely at this point. We think it's highly likely he'll be a one-termer. Very interestingly, Rick Santorum has made it very, very clear hat's he's opposed to gays and gay marriage and his response to marriage equality in PA was...silence.
Why is marriage equality such a compelling issue? Why are conservatives having such a hard time standing in the way of it?
“All of the plaintiffs share in the characteristics that we would normally look to when we describe the ideals of marriage and family,” McShane wrote. “They present in the record as loving and committed couples.” Jones described how “the plaintiff couples have shared in life’s joys,” and how “with each of these joys there has been concomitant hardship resulting from the Marriage Laws.” It was as though they were talking about neighbors whom they were proud to help out. These were federal judges, a little outraged on behalf of gay and lesbian couples who couldn’t get married.
Also: Pictures of happy same-sex couples in Wisconsin tying the knot. It's really hard to look at scenes like these and then declare with a straight face that those happy people are wrong.
The Presbyterian Church is prepared to vote on marriage equality. The Methodist Church is so split on the issue, Methodist pastors are recommending that each congregation just go its own way.
...full equality is considered a foregone conclusion to many Americans.
But others said the proposal reflects a hope that the country’s second-largest Protestant denomination won’t let itself fall into multimillion-dollar litigation over church properties the way other faith groups, including the Episcopal Church, have on this issue.
In a piece warning that the Supreme Court was in no hurry to make marriage equality the law of the land, we get this:
National public opinion is rapidly shifting toward marriage equality. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have legalized it. It remains elusive at the ballot box in socially conservative states like Utah. Proponents of same-sex marriage are as optimistic about eventually winning the battle as opponents are fatalistic about losing it. The question is how long it takes -- and whether the courts or the voters go first.
Back during the Bush Administration, marriage equality was an easy “No!” vote for a Senator or Congressperson to make. Today? Not so much.
Yet eight years later, in a testament to the rapid advance of LGBT rights, just a tiny fraction of this year’s GOP Senate candidates are explicitly calling for a constitutional amendment. In fact, there are nearly as many Republican contenders touting their opposition to federal action as there are ones calling for it.
Non-dominant cultural groups have to speak to dominant groups. The more compelling the story they tell, the greater the chance that significant political progress can be made. By telling a story that the dominant culture can identify with and understand, by clearly showing how the non-dominant group both shares a common humanity with the other and shows how the two cultures are different from each other, art can serve politics and the groups can emotionally move closer to one another.