Gabriel Arana is a senior editor at The American Prospect. His articles on gay rights, immigration, and media have appeared in publications including The Nation, Salon, The Advocate, and The Daily Beast. To contact him, visit his website.
Anti-gay marriage activists' opposition to live broadcasting the federal challenge to Prop. 8 has little to do with the propriety of cameras in the courtroom and everything to do with setting the agenda.
Judge Vaughn Walker's decision to allow video cameras in his courtroom for the federal challenge to California's Proposition 8 has been temporarily suspended pending a decision by the Supreme Court midweek. Proceedings from the trial, which began Monday, were to be broadcast on YouTube as part of an experimental program in the Ninth Circuit to allow cameras in non-jury civil trials. Prop. 8 proponents have claimed broadcasting the proceedings will lead to harassment of "Yes on 8" campaign staffers.
The proposed bill in the Ugandan Assembly prescribing the death penalty for homosexuality, which was broadly condemned in a Times editorial yesterday, has highlighted the link between American evangelical Christianity and anti-gay extremism in Africa.
The irony of having an ex-gay conference at a popular gay vacation destination was lost on few in West Palm Beach, Florida, where the National Association for the Research & Therapy of Homosexuality held its annual get-together in November. There was another twist: In a hotel less than a mile from the NARTH reunion, a handful of gay-rights organizations -- -Soulforce, Box Turtle Bulletin, the National Black Justice Coalition -- put together the first Anti-Heterosexism Conference, populated mostly by ex-ex gays -- those who had been in therapy but "relapsed."
This slipped under my radar, but David Kaufman at HuffPo has a stinging diatribe against Andrew Sullivan for suggesting that the fight for marriage rights is equivalent to the Civil Rights Movement. Part of me agrees that it's somewhat problematic that the "separate but equal" analogy has become a gay-rights orthodoxy. I have argued vigorously that the marriage issue does not compare in scale to segregation, where blacks were barred from attending certain schools, restaurants, etc. -- not just the institution of marriage.