One of the first pieces of legislation the newly minted Senate plans to take up is the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which previously failed to pass the last Congress because of Republican opposition in the House.
The law, originally passed in 1994 as part of a larger crime bill, has been reauthorized twice but since its expiration in September 2011, there’s been a gap in legal protections and services for women from abusive domestic partners, stalkers and sexual. It easily passed the Senate last year with the support of 15 Republicans but never made it through the Republican-led House.
Proponents introduced a new version of the bill this week that aims to ease Republican concerns. The authors of the new bill included expanded protections for immigrants, members of the LGBT community and Native Americans, but dropped one of the GOP‘s most pressing concerns: an expansion of the U visa program. The visa would give legal protection to illegal immigrants who are victims of domestic violence and sexual crimes. Last year, a Republican alternative that stripped the U visa provision, as well as the LGBT and Native American provisions, passed the House before stalling in the Senate.
GOP opponents said they did not have an issue with the program but pointed to a procedural problem as the reason for their dismay. They noted that the expanded visa program would raise revenue, and all bills that raise money must originate in the House. FULL ARTICLE
The title caught me off guard too, I admit. This is a blog from UK news site The Guardian that somewhat jokingly discusses whether or not there are markers of gay culture that unify the LGBT community.
The author starts by talking about how an acquaintance of his wanted to “revoke his gay card” when he tweeted that he didn’t like a Kylie Minogue song. That ticked him off, and so he explains that, as we all know, you don’t have to like Kylie Minogue to be gay, just like you don’t have to watch Glee or worship Cher or any of those other stereotypes.
But then he suggests – again, partially jokingly – that there are key experiences that bring gays together. (Disclaimer: he seems to be mostly listing experiences relevant to gay men.) Some of them are somewhat meaningful, like paying tribute to Stonewall or honoring the people we lost to the AIDS epidemic, but others buy into the very stereotypes he seems to be against, like diva worship or knowing how to cruise. Here’s the full list (explanations at the link above):
- Have a diva
- Dress in drag
- Know about poppers
- Go to Pride
- Develop a Gaydar
- Appreciate camp
- Visit the AIDS quilt
- Come out
What do you think of this piece? Are there certain things every gay person should do, like go to Pride and come out? Or is the author discrediting the wide variety of ways a person can be gay?
THE HUFFINGTON POST
Editor-at-large, HuffPost Gay Voices; SiriusXM radio host
If the answer to that question is no, then they’d better start speaking up loudly and clearly. Because over the past few weeks, evangelical pastors have made headlines urging parents to beat boys who seem gay, calling for gays and lesbians and “queers” to be put inside an electrified pen and left to die, and urging the government to begin killing gays.
These declarations have been backed up by these pastors’ followers, who’ve organized protests to support them and who’ve gone on national televisionto defend them (as have the pastors themselves), a proud hate movement going public. They’re being whipped into a frenzy against President Obama’s coming out for marriage equality and they’re emboldened by the passage of Amendment One in North Carolina. They’ve been met withoutrage and protest from LGBT people and pro-gay supporters, and from the many mostly non-evangelical Christian leaders who support LGBT rights.
CIVIL RIGHTS FOR
YOUR BROTHER, YOUR SISTER…
YOUR UNCLE JACK;AUNT JANE
Whatever you do in bed, supports it.