The opposite of death by 1,000 cutsEditorial, Top Highlights Thursday, October 4th, 2012
The funny thing about the LGBT civil rights movement is its unpredictability. Sometimes our community makes unbelievable strides, like the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and sometimes it is a smaller advance, like hospital visitation, which is enacted and goes practically unnoticed by our community.
While the big things like marriage and employment non-discrimination are important, small advances often add up to really big things in the LGBT equality movement. It’s like achieving freedom through a thousand stitches.
Each stitch heals a cut that has been inflicted upon us in our current state of inequality. Over the last several months, several additional stitches have been added to help heal our community.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill outlawing reparative therapy in California. In essence, LGBT kids cannot be exposed to psychological therapy to try to make them straight. While the law is not perfect because a religious exemption exists, it does eliminate all psychologists and psychiatrists from performing reparative therapy.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano confirmed that her department will issue guidance to immigration officials that “long-term, same-sex partners” should be considered families, which could stop the potential deportation of LGBT undocumented immigrants.
The LGBT community was included in the 2012 National Suicide Prevention Strategy issued by the U.S. surgeon general. While it seems like such a small thing, inclusion in strategies means those in power are thinking about our community.
The District of Columbia recently launched a publicly-funded advertising campaign to prevent transgender discrimination it its city. The campaign encourages transgender residents to contact local authorities if they experience discrimination. A small step, but an advance nonetheless.
There were more than 530 LGBT participants at the Democratic National Convention this year. This speaks volumes about how far our community has come in the political arena. There were even “two dozen” LGBT participants at the Republican National Convention.
At the White House, more LGBT functions have been held than in any other administration ever. President Obama has brought the LGBT community into the national family like no other president.
All of these things are small advances in that they affect the broader community’s opinion about us and advance our acceptance as a part of the American fabric.
As you approach the election this November, please remember there is a clear choice. You can choose Obama who has proven that he is stitching the cuts of inequality that affect the LGBT community every day. Alternatively, you can choose Romney who has promised to inflict more pain on our community by inflicting 1,000 more cuts.
I choose Obama.
San Diego LGBT Weekly
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