Guest Column: Ghosts in the courtroom

By : Richard Rosendall
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Richard Rosendall

Richard Rosendall

The late gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny’s exhortations ring in my ears as I anticipate arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to license same-sex marriages.

Chief Justice John Roberts, in his dissent in the 2013 Windsor case, dismissed as “snippets of legislative history” the evidence for decades of anti-gay animus by the U.S. government. This erasure of our struggle is not unique to judges. Tom Brokaw’s 2007 book, Boom! Voices of the Sixties, prompted a letter from Kameny charging, “Your book simply deletes the momentous events of that decade which led to the vastly altered and improved status of gays in our culture today.”

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Guest column: Diversity requires mutual respect, not jealous ranking of oppressions

By : Richard Rosendall
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Richard Rosendall

Richard Rosendall

Sierra Mannie, a University of Mississippi senior, wrote a commentary picked up by Time eirlier this month titled, “Dear White Gays: Stop Stealing Black Female Culture.” Here’s a portion:

“I need some of you to cut it the hell out. … I don’t care … how cute you think it is to call yourself a strong black woman, who taught you to twerk, how funny you think it is to call yourself Quita or Keisha or for which black male you’ve been bottoming — you are not a black woman, and you do not get to claim either blackness or womanhood.”
Someone was looking for a throw-down. She talked about Beyoncé, white privilege and the legacies of racism and sexism. She made some valid points. She also said that black women “cannot hide their blackness and womanhood to protect themselves the way that you can hide your homosexuality.”

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Guest Column: When Rights Collide

By : Richard Rosendall
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Richard Rosendall

Richard Rosendall

Call this the year of clashing rights.

On April 7, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) declined to hear the Elane Photography case, in which an Albuquerque studio refused to take commitment ceremony photos of Vanessa Willock and her same-sex partner, Misti Collinsworth. This left in place the New Mexico Supreme Court ruling that Elane Photography’s claimed free speech right “directly conflicts with Willock’s right … to obtain goods and services from a public accommodation.”

If you think this pleased all gay rights advocates, you are wrong. An amicus brief supporting the photographer was filed on behalf of the Cato Institute, Eugene Volokh, and Dale Carpenter, all marriage equality supporters. Volokh explained that “wedding photographers … have a First Amendment right to choose what expression they create, including by choosing not to photograph same-sex commitment ceremonies.”

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Guest column: Ding-a-lings of Spring

By : Richard Rosendall
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Richard Rosendall

Richard Rosendall

The rain of ridiculous ravings from America’s political right continued unabated as spring took hold. Let’s look at a few examples.

Last week, Chelsea Clinton announced that she and hubby Marc Mezvinsky are expecting a child. Conspiracy mongers in the right-wing media went crazy. Steve Malzberg of Newsmax suggested, based on a thick file of nothing, that the pregnancy was deliberately timed to help Grandma Hillary’s expected presidential campaign. Oh, sorry, he did have one bit of evidence: Chelsea had mentioned in an interview that her mom was constantly asking about grandchildren.

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Guest Columnist : The universe in us

By : Richard Rosendall
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Richard Rosendall

Richard Rosendall

Carl Sagan, host of the original 1980 Cosmos series, said we are made of star stuff, because our atoms were created billions of years ago inside a star.

Sagan’s words are echoed by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of New York’s Hayden Planetarium who hosts the new Cosmos, which airs on FOX and several National Geographic-affiliated networks each week.

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Guest column: The Right to Be Wrong

By : Richard Rosendall
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Richard Rosendall

Richard Rosendall

I have been fighting the Catholic Church since I first argued with a nun at St. Catherine Labouré Elementary School in Wheaton, Maryland in 1962. I don’t recall being smacked with a ruler, but Sister Mary Margaret gave intimidating glares.

I remembered her, and the scorn of the parish’s Monsignor W. Joyce Russell toward liberal priests during 1968’s uproar over the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae, when I helped win D.C. marriage equality over objections by the Archdiocese of Washington several decades later. The Archdiocese wanted various exemptions enabling them, for example, to receive government contracts for adoption services while turning away gay couples. They lost. They then withdrew from public adoption services and were replaced by another contractor.

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