Marriage, Coming Out

Compiled by Howard Israel

S/he Said

"I know there will be some who argue that this is not the time, that there's already too much at stake in this year's election. To them, I would answer with this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr., 'There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.' I believe that time has come for Democrats. We can't afford to ignore our conscience on the issue of true equality for our families, our friends, and our neighbors. Dr. King taught us that the arc of history is long - now, it's up to us to decide if we will help bend it towards justice. I certainly hope we do."

-Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California, in his column titled "It's About Time: Democratic Party Should Adopt Marriage Equality in Platform," http://www.huffingtonpost.com, Apr. 05. In 2004, as mayor of San Francisco, Newsom granted marriage licenses to about 4000 same-sex couples, an act of civil disobedience that made him a national celebrity.

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"Many who call themselves Bible believers are simply, congenitally conservative - meaning change-resistant. It is not the Bible they worship so much as the status quo, which they justify by invoking ancient texts. Gay marriage will come, as will reproductive rights, and these Bible believers will adapt to the change as they have others: reluctantly, slowly and with angry protests, but in the end accepting it, and perhaps even insisting that it was God's will all along."

-Valerie Tarico, in her column titled "Captive Virgins, Polygamy, Sex Slaves: What Marriage Would Look Like if We Actually Followed the Bible," about what

"Bible believers" say they know about the Bible and what the Bible really has to say about marriage, http://www.alternet.org, Mar. 27

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"I was inspired to do something to encourage greater understanding and acceptance of lesbians after a friend died. The woman's female partner met resistance from the family when she tried to get clothes and other items from the home the couple had shared. That galvanized my resolve to go ahead and address my own identity as a lesbian. This is really my coming out story."

-Carolyn Sherer, professional photographer, about the exhibition of her photographs titled "Living in Limbo: Lesbian Families in the Deep South," at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham, Alabama, featuring 40 photographs of lesbian couples and families living in the Deep South, http://www.washingtonpost.com, Mar. 29. The powerful, large-format images challenge viewers to consider their own perceptions and biases about how they define family, equality, and community.

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"Individuals who identify as straight but in psychological tests show a strong attraction to the same sex may be threatened by gays and lesbians because homosexuals remind them of similar tendencies within themselves. In many cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward. In a predominately heterosexual society, 'know thyself' can be a challenge for many gay individuals. In controlling and homophobic homes, embracing a minority sexual orientation can be terrifying. These individuals risk losing the love and approval of their parents if they admit to same sex attractions, so many people deny or repress that part of themselves "

-Netta Weinstein, University of Essex. U.K. and Richard Ryan, University of Rochester co- authors, in a press release titled " Is Some Homophobia Self-phobia? Anti-gay Bias Linked to Lack of Awareness of One's Sexual Orientation and Authoritarian Parenting," about their research study that is the first to document the role that both parenting and sexual orientation play in the formation of intense and visceral fear of homosexuals, http://www.rochester.edu, Apr. 05.

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