Sunday, June 28, 2015


Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Equality

What’s at stake: 


Contents, LGBTQ Newsletter June 26, 2015
Danielle Allen, Equality Affirmed by Declaration of
June 26, 2015, At Last, Victory for Marriage Equality
The New York Times, US Supreme Court Affirms Marriage
      Equality June 26
June 27 Reporting of GAY PRIDE March in Fayetteville, AR
Film of Richard Blanco’s “Until We Could”

Struggle Against Homophobia
Dick, Gustavus Myers and US Progress Against Homophobia
Margaret Cruikshank, The Gay and Lesbian Liberation
Joseph Jones, Unnormalizing Education, Homophobia in Our
Carlos Ball, The Right to Be Parents
Richard Mohr, The Long Arc of Justice
Arkansas: Stone Wall Democrats Honor Representative Greg
John Marsh, In Walt We Trust, Walt Whitman Shows Us Ways to
      a Better USA

Two Organizations Working in Uganda
   Center for Constitutional Rights CCR
   Political Research Associates PRA

National Constitution Center
Jul 1, 2014 - ... political philosopher Danielle Allen examined the value and promise of political equality articulated by the Declaration of Independence.


Friday, June 26, 2015 10:04 AM EDT
In a long-sought victory for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the Constitution guarantees a nationwide right to same-sex marriage.
The decision, the culmination of decades of litigation and activism, came against the backdrop of fast-moving changes in public opinion, with polls indicating that most Americans now approve of same-sex marriage.

Front page coverage, banner headline:  “NWA Celebrates Ruling,” with large photo in center (and for more: , and an article on each side: “Pride Parade Turnout a Record” and “U.S. Decision on Marriage Settles States’ Challenges.”  “On the Inside” lists four related articles, and “On the Web” directs readers to “Gay Marriage in the U.S., Arkansas,”, and “U.S. Supreme Court,”

Film of Richard Blanco’s “Until We Could.”
James --
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Freedom to Marry, we asked U.S. Presidential Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco to create an original poem celebrating love and the freedom to marry. He created a powerful piece called “Until We Could.”

After reading the poem, Sundance filmmakers and award winners David Lowery and Yen Tan were inspired to create a short film adaptation of the poem. The film is narrated by actors Ben Foster (Lone Survivor) and Robin Wright (House of Cards).

Watch the beautiful film of Richard Blanco’s poem “Until We Could,” and then share it with your friends and family today.

This film – from some of our country’s most talented artists – vividly shows the meaning of marriage, and reminds us why our fight for the freedom to marry for all loving couples is so important.
These stories, these voices, these truths – they are the reasons we must stand together until our work is finished.
Watch and share “Until We Could”:

Thank you,
Marc Solomon
National Campaign Director, Freedom to Marry


Gustavus Myers’ History of Bigotry in the United States
We can track the post-WWII decline of bigotry against gays in several ways.  Personally, anecdotally, my home town has abandoned much of its silence, evasion, secrecy, suppression, and occasional violence against gays.  And social scientists have increasingly recognized and refuted the national intolerance.  Gustavus Myers History of Bigotry in the United States, published in 1943, says nothing about gays.  But in 1996 the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry in the United States recognized 16 outstanding books protesting bigotry against gays.  For these advances in toleration we can celebrate our country, even while we do not yet see an end to the tunnels of intolerance.  Dick

Margaret Cruikshank, The Gay and Lesbian Liberation Movement.  Routledge, 1992.
From Library Journal
This book, the fourth in a new series whose major theme is the radical quest for revolutionary change, explores the politics and roots of the gay and lesbian liberation movement in the United States. Cruikshank, a lesbian and gay liberation activist, focuses on the practices, theory, successes, interconnectedness, and failures of gay liberation activism. She theorizes that there are three new variables beyond homophobia in attitudes toward gay society. The factors of heterosexism, heterocentrism, and compulsory heterosexuality all have a major impact on the development of self and the creation of a political movement within the gay community. Cruikshank's primary objective is to make gay liberation understandable to the lay reader and to encourage further research. A worthy addition to gay studies collections in larger public and academic institutions.
- Michael A. Lutes, Univ. of Notre Dame Lib., Ind.

The Right to Be Parents
LGBT Families and the Transformation of Parenthood by Carlos A. BallMay, 2012.     Table of Contents      Introduction
Carlos A. Ball is Professor of Law and Judge Frederick Lacey Scholar at Rutgers University, Newark. His previous books include From the Closet to the Courtroom and The Morality of Gay Rights.
All books by Carlos A. Ball
The Right to be Parents is the first book to provide a detailed history of how LGBT parents have turned to the courts to protect and defend their relationships with their children. Carlos A. Ball chronicles the stories of LGBT parents who, in seeking to gain legal recognition of and protection for their relationships with their children, have fundamentally changed how American law defines and regulates parenthood. To this day, some courts are still not able to look beyond sexual orientation and gender identity in cases involving LGBT parents and their children. Yet on the whole, Ball’s stories are of progress and transformation: as a result of these pioneering LGBT parent litigants, the law is increasingly recognizing the wide diversity in American familial structures.
Ball trains his keen, compassionate and judicious legal mind on heart-tugging, often precedent-setting cases that sought to divest parental custody, visitation and adoption decisions of centuries of gender and sexual bias in US family jurisprudence. This beautiful, wise book documents and helps to guide this momentous legal transformation in contemporary definitions of parenthood. An invaluable, engaging and eloquent contribution to family studies, legal thought, and public knowledge."
—Judith Stacey, author of Unhitched: Love, Marriage and Family Values from West Hollywood to Western China
·         “If the adage is true that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, then Carlos Ball’s book will be a tremendous antidote to a hard and painful history. Uninformed and bigoted assumptions about sexual orientation had devastating consequences for many families. No one who reads this important work will fail to appreciate that the gains we have made in greater protection and security for our families came at a very high price for those parents and children who paved the way."
—Kate Kendell, Esq., Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights
·         "Unique and essential, Professor Ball’s book recounts compelling tales of lesbian and gay parents fighting in the courts for rights that most Americans take for granted. The narratives make little-known histories available even to readers with no legal training, and they also provide clear explanations of legal issues that have been at stake. A wonderful contribution, this volume should be of special interest to lesbian and gay parents and their children as well as to all those who care about them."
—Charlotte J. Patterson, University of Virginia
·         "Ball provides a solid reference for both those arguing in favor of LGBTQ parental rights and those seeking to understand the legal arguments advanced by those advocating for them."
—Reba Kennedy, Library Journal

Richard Mohr.  The Long Arc of Justice: Lesbian and Gay Marriage, Equality, and Rights  Columbia UP, 2007.
Engaging the whole spectrum of public-policy issues affecting gays and lesbians from a humanistic and philosophical approach, Richard Mohr uses the tools of his trade to assess the logic and ethics of gay rights. Focusing on ideas and values, Mohr's nuanced case for legal and social acceptance applies widely held ethical principles to various issues, including same-sex marriage, AIDS, and gays in the military. By drawing on cultural-, legal-, and ethical-based arguments, Mohr moves away from tired political rhetoric and reveals the important ways in which the struggle for gay rights and acceptance relates to mainstream American society, history, and political life. Mohr forcefully counters moralistic and religious arguments regularly invoked to keep gay men and women from achieving the same rights as heterosexuals. He examines the nature of prejudices and other cultural forces that work against lesbian and gay causes and considers the role that sexuality plays in the national rituals by which Americans define themselves. In his support of same-sex marriage, Mohr defines matrimony as the development and maintenance of intimacy through the means by which people meet their basic needs and carry out their everyday living. Mohr contends that this definition, in both its legal and moral sense, applies equally to homosexual and heterosexual couples. Mohr also considers gays and lesbians as community members as he explores the prospect for greater legal and social inclusion. He concludes by suggesting that recent progress in addressing civil rights for gays and lesbians and the nation's symbolic use of gay issues on both sides of the political spectrum calls for a culturally focused gay politics.
Richard D. Mohr is professor of philosophy at the University of Illinois-Urbana. He is the author of The Platonic CosmologyGays/Justice: A Study of Ethics, Society, and LawGay Ideas: Outing and Other ControversiesA More Perfect Union: Why Straight America Must Stand Up for Gay Rights; and Pottery, Politics, Art: George Ohr and the Brothers Kirkpatrick. A public intellectual, he has also written for The NationThe Advocate, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Boston Globe, and the Chic

[In 2014] Rep. Greg Leding filed HB 1959, which adds four words to the state civil rights law to prohibit discrimination in employment, public accommodations, property transactions, credit or the political process on grounds of "sexual orientation, gender identity."  The law already protects in cases of race, religion, national origin or disabilities.

Call the roll.

The Stonewall Democrats issued a statement.

 The Arkansas Stonewall Democratic Caucus is proud that a brave legislator, Representative Greg Leding, has responded to ours and the community's call to present HB 1950 to amend the Arkansas Civil Rights Act to add five simple words: sexual orientation and gender identity.

After the introduction of SB 202 which passed and HB 1228, the Stonewall Democratic Caucus rallied to host a town meeting made up of a panel of legislators to discuss and educate the public on the two discriminatory bills. Two hundred people showed up on a Sunday afternoon in extremely rainy and cold weather to participate in the discussion. We also launched our new logo with the 5 simple words on it to achieve added awareness.

Arkansas is experiencing a time where the LGBT community continues to face discriminatory bills being introduced and passed. A time where only one city in Arkansas has a non- discrimination ordinance which will be moot after Act 137 goes into effect. Basically a time where LGBT Arkansans feel not only disenfranchised and unequal but also targeted by legislation that ensures no legal recourse when discriminated against. In the rest of the country, thirty seven states have legalized gay marriage, over 300 Republican leaders have endorsed gay marriage, and polls continue to show that a majority of Americans believe that gay marriage should be legal. Many successful cities such as Orlando, Shreveport, Starkville, Atlanta and Dallas have passed non-discrimination ordinances that have helped their city's businesses grow and be successful. The vast majority of Fortune 500 companies have also joined the fight for equality by adopting LGBT non-discrimination policies including Apple and Walmart who have also spoken out against discriminatory bills such as SB 202. Poll after poll shows America's support of not just gay marriage but of gay rights, yet in Arkansas the LGBT community is under attack.

The South must not go through another time of discrimination. We were soberly reminded Saturday of another struggle as many walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama to commemorate the "Bloody Sunday" march of 1965. It is our hope that Arkansas continues to progress into a state that is welcoming and accepting of all people regardless of "race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability......."

Thank you, Representative Greg Leding for bravely stepping forward and giving us the hope of a better day where not only will all Arkansans be viewed as equal but will also be treated equally in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Unnormalizing Education
Addressing Homophobia in Higher Education and K-12 Schools
By Joseph R .Jones, Mercer University.  Information Age Publishing, 2014.
Recently, with the number of students from higher education and K-12 settings committing suicide, it is apparent that homophobia and homophobic bullying are tremendous problems in our schools and universities. However, educators are unclear about an appropriate process for addressing these challenges. In this book, Jones postulates that we must begin exploring the culture of educational environments as they relate to sexual difference, in order to begin conceptualizing ways in which we may begin to address homophobia and heteronormativity. To that end, this book addresses how educators (at all levels) must begin examining how their concepts about different sexual identities are "normalized" through socializing processes and schooling. In doing so, this book examines how individuals construct meanings about homophobia and hate language through "contextual oppositions, " how educational environments maintain a ''false tolerance" when claiming to be tolerant of different sexual identities, how a hierarchy of hate language exists in educational environments, among other issues related to creating safe places for all students. In essence, the book attempts to "un"normalize society's constructions of sexual identity by deconstructing the social norms.
Preface: Understanding Unnormalizing. (Un)derstanding the Problem. (Un) masking our True Tolerance. (Un) Raveling Masculinities and Perceptions. (Un)doing the Hierarchy of Hate Language. (Un) Contextualizing Language and Behaviors. (Un)derstanding the Role of Multicultural Education. in Addressing Homophobia in Schools. (Un) Doing Unsupportive Schools. (Un)dertaking a Personal Journey.lohow
Information Age Publishing | P.O. Box 79049 | Charlotte, NC 28271-7047
T: 704.752.9125 | F: 704.752.9113 | E:

MILITARY GLBTQ, to those who have served and will continue to serve in silence, a selection of books from the ‘90s.
Margarethe Cammermeyer, Serving in Silence
Craig Rimmerman, ed.  Gay Rights, Military
Marc Wolinsky and Kenneth Sherrill, eds.
     Gays and the Military: Joseph Steffan
     versus the United States.

How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America from Itself
248 pages
Cloth ISBN: 978-1-58367-475-8 
February 2015
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
Life in the United States today is shot through with uncertainty: about our jobs, our mortgaged houses, our retirement accounts, our health, our marriages, and the future that awaits our children. For many, our lives, public and private, have come to feel like the discomfort and unease you experience the day or two before you get really sick. Our life is a scratchy throat. John Marsh offers an unlikely remedy for this widespread malaise: the poetry of Walt Whitman. Mired in personal and political depression, Marsh turned to Whitman—and it saved his life. In Walt We Trust: How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America from Itself is a book about how Walt Whitman can save America’s life, too.
Marsh identifies four sources for our contemporary malaise (death, money, sex, democracy) and then looks to a particular Whitman poem for relief from it. He makes plain what, exactly, Whitman wrote and what he believed by showing how they emerged from Whitman’s life and times, and by recreating the places and incidents (crossing Brooklyn ferry, visiting wounded soldiers in hospitals) that inspired Whitman to write the poems. Whitman, Marsh argues, can show us how to die, how to accept and even celebrate our (relatively speaking) imminent death. Just as important, though, he can show us how to live: how to have better sex, what to do about money, and, best of all, how to survive our fetid democracy without coming away stinking ourselves. The result is a mix of biography, literary criticism, manifesto, and a kind of self-help you’re unlikely to encounter anywhere else.
Table of Contents
A Note on Editions of Whitman’s Poems
Introduction: Walt Whitman—A Poetic Comfort
1. Congratulations! You’re Dead!
2. Walt Whitman’s Credit Report Looks Even Worse than Yours
Interlude I: Was Walt Whitman Socialist?
3. With Walt Whitman, Making It Rain
Interlude II: Was Walt Whitman Gay?
4. Affection Shall Solve the Problems of Freedom
Conclusion: At Whitman’s Tomb
Percy Bysshe Shelley taught us that “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” True enough. But Walt Whitman has always been more than an unacknowledged legislator. He has been and remains our unacknowledged founder. Born as Thomas Jefferson was fretting that the revolutionary “Spirit of 76″ was being lost, Whitman grabbed the twin standards of enlightenment and possibility and carried them across the bridge from the days of Tom Paine to the present. His radical journey is our radical journey, and John Marsh captures the very essence of Whitman, and America, in this brilliant book.
—John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation
Marsh shares his affection for Walt Whitman in this gentle, thoughtful consideration of the poet’s relevance to 21st-century America. Beset by moral malaise in his 30s, the author ‘suffered from fully-grown doubts, not just growing doubts, about the meaning of life and the purpose of our country.’ Whitman’s insights on death, money, sex and democracy buoyed his spirits…. Marsh confesses his love for the legendary poet, and by the end of this insightful homage, readers are likely to feel the same.
Kirkus Reviews
Marsh rises to the challenge of surveying the broad banks of Whitman’s work…. Prophetic, timely, and not nearly as impractical as he may sometimes seem (though just as flighty), Whitman is to Marsh just as much a poet for his time as for ours—though we have the benefit of hindsight to adopt the wisdom of his foresight.
Boston Globe
In Walt We Trust is one of the most engaged and engaging books on Whitman that I’ve read in many years. Marsh offers us a kind of autobiography of his years of reading Whitman, revealing at every turn just why it is that Whitman matters—why, in fact, reading him is a matter of life and death. Marsh takes us on a cultural journey from Jimmy Carter’s ‘malaise’ speech to the Occupy movement to a trip across the East River on the recently reopened Brooklyn ferry to a strip club in Pennsylvania to a drive through beleaguered Camden, New Jersey, and at each stop we are brought back to Whitman’s poetry in surprising, moving, and revelatory ways. Once every generation or so, we need a book like this one to remind us why, in the twenty-first century, it is still so essential to keep Whitman close at hand.
—Ed Folsom, Professor of English, The University of Iowa; editor, Walt Whitman Quarterly Review; co-director, Walt Whitman Archive
A beautiful, moving, and original book about our nation’s greatest poet.
—Mark Edmundson, University Professor, University of Virginia; author, Why Teach?
As soon as I read John Marsh’s claim early in this fine new book of popular criticism, that in reading Whitman he learned how to die, I became his appreciative audience. Marsh does not buy into the mushy transcendental side of Whitman’s notion that death avails not, but looks to the poet’s views on ownership and property to understand the transience of life and the meaning of coming face to face with death. Along with his treatment of shame and shamelessness in Whitman’s poetry of the body, the connection of the greed for property and the fear of death is one of several original touches in this personal and engaging book based mainly on close reading of Whitman’s poems and prose works placed alongside reflections on the state of contemporary America. Even if you do not buy into Marsh’s big idea that Whitman can save us all, you will find much to admire in this charming and intelligent book of essays on America’s foremost poet.
—Jimmie Killingsworth, Professor of English, Texas A&M University; author,Whitman’s Poetry of the Body and Walt Whitman and the Earth
John Marsh is associate professor of English at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of two previous books: Class Dismissed: Why We Cannot Teach or Learn Our Way out of Inequality and Hog Butchers, Beggars, and Busboys: Poverty, Labor, and the Making of Modern American Poetry. Marsh is also the editor of You Work Tomorrow: An Anthology of American Labor Poetry, 1929-1941. He lives in State College, Pennsylvania, with his wife and daughter.


March with CCR at LGBTQI Pride June 28, 2015
CCR Newsletter June 1, 2015
. . .We will be joined by our friends and clients from Sexual Minorities Uganda, supporters and staff. If you’re in the NYC area, you are heartily invited to join us! The Pride March is an opportunity to commemorate the Stonewall Riots that ushered in the modern queer rights movement, celebrate LGBTQI communities and rededicate ourselves to the unfinished struggle for full equality. An exact march lineup time and location will not be announced until a few days before the march on Sunday, June 28; please register to march with CCR and we will send you the details when they are available.

Throughout the 1990s, CCR fought for the rights of gays and lesbians to serve in the Peace Corps, march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, receive funding from the National Endowment of the Arts, and promote safe sex and AIDS awareness, among other efforts. In recent years, we have also successfully fought on behalf of people who were forced to register as sex offenders as a result of convictions under homophobic sodomy laws. Our commitment to LGBTQI rights has taken us beyond our borders as well. The growing exportation of homophobic agendas by U.S. conservatives to other parts of the world has propelled efforts to criminalize LGBTQI people's very existence, along with all advocacy on their behalf, in countries like
Uganda and Russia. CCR is suing anti-gay extremist Scott Lively, one of the key figures behind the persecution of LGBTQI Ugandans, on behalf of SMUG, and we are working with LGBTQI organizations and allies in multiple countries where LGBTQI people are under attack as a result of interference by U.S.-based extremists. Read more about our work on LGBTQI issues.rom the Ark Times Blog  3-9-15

New Documentary "Exporting Hate"
focuses on the man behind the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda and features PRA expertise

In 2009, the Ugandan Parliament proposed an anti-homosexuality bill that would impose the death penalty on serial offenders of homosexual acts. Inciting fear and sanctioning homophobia, the bill has caused LGBT Ugandans to be hunted in their communities and forced into exile. 

Political Research Associates showed that for years American conservatives have been enlisting African clerics in the U.S. culture wars, and these clerics carried the Right's homophobic political agenda back to Africa. Our groundbreaking report Globalizing the Culture Wars exposed the story to U.S. and international audiences.

Now, In The Life Media has produced Exporting Hate, a documentary that focuses on the man behind the bill and his supporters, and exposes the political and financial influence used by powerful conservatives in the U.S. to export their anti-gay agenda. PRA Project Director Rev. Kapya Kaoma is a featured expert in the documentary who gives commentary on the influence of the Right on anti-homsexuality laws in Uganda. . . .

About Political Research Associates
Political Research Associates (PRA) is an independent, nonprofit, progressive research center for activists defending democracy, building equality, and challenging bigotry and oppression promoted by sectors of the Political Right.

Note:  OMNI’s Library possesses about two dozen books on glbtq.  Contact Dick.


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