Romney's gay spokesperson resigns
Only about a month after he joined the campaign and amid tons of backlash, Richard Grenell, the openly gay man recently hired to serve as Mitt Romney’s campaign spokesperson on foreign policy, resigned from the position.
Conservatives completely destroyed Romney for the decision, claiming that Grenell would jump ship if President Obama ever announced his support for marriage equality, accusing Romney of giving in to the “homosexual lobby,” and making other outrageous claims. What’s funny is that Grenell was certainly not the first gay person ever to work for Romney, but in this particular election season it became a hot topic.
“My ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues has been greatly diminished by the hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes comes from a presidential campaign,” Grenell said in a statement issued today to The Washington Post. “I want to thank Governor Romney for his belief in me and my abilities and his clear message to me that being openly gay was a non-issue for him and his team.”
That was certainly short-lived. It’s really troubling that our country is still so sharply divided that things like this have to happen.
This man felt that his ability to do his job was affected by the prejudice and actions of haters. And that’s a huge issue.
8:32 pm • 2 May 2012 • 44 notes
Gay alum can't speak at Catholic graduation
A gay alumnus of a Catholic high school in Michigan learned this week that he’s no longer invited to speak at his alma mater’s graduation because school administrators found out he’s gay.
Dominic Sheahan-Stahl graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in 1998 and, now an actor, was invited and then un-invited to speak for this year’s graduating class, of which his younger brother is a member. He made a video about the incident, which you can see at the link above.
Principal Denny Starnes announced Friday that he supports the actor, but must abide by the Catholic diocese’s decision to bar Sheahan-Stahl from speaking at the commencement ceremony. William said that the student body expressed support toward his brother, as well. Sheahan-Stahl said he plans to still attend the graduation to support his brother, and he told the Saginaw News that he will give his address at Central Michigan University on May 20 after the graduation ceremony.
7:08 pm • 1 May 2012 • 50 notes
Senate passes LGBT-inclusive Violence Against Women Act
Yesterday the U.S. Senate passed the first version of the Violence Against Women Act to include specific protections for LGBT survivors of domestic violence.
The law was first enacted in 1994 but has never included language that specifically aided LGBT communities. The law will give more resources to programs for investigating and prosecuting in cases of domestic violence and support victim service programs as well. The law passed in the Senate 68-31, and the House will likely vote in May.
According to Sharon Stapel of the Anti-Violence Project, 25%-35% of same-sex relationships are marked by domestic violence and abuse, which is about the same rate as other relationships. However, LGBT domestic violence victims have fewer supportive services, and they often face discrimination when seeking help. This latest reauthorization ensures that all people are able to access services regardless of his or her actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
“To be the target of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence or stalking is terrifying and traumatic,” National Gay and Lesbian Task Force executive director Rea Carey said in a statement issued shortly after the vote. “Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are not immune from this violence, and their distress should not be further heightened by a lack of proper response from service providers or law enforcement. Imagine being assaulted, scared and in pain — and then being turned away from receiving basic services and care. No one should ever be subjected to such inhumane treatment.”
There’s been a lot of buzz around this bill in general, but it’s really important to acknowledge how it goes somewhere totally new for LGBT communities. We will certainly see how this unfolds - hopefully for the better.
5:49 pm • 27 April 2012 • 74 notes