In response to the past twelve years of discriminatory legislation targeting lesbians and gays, culminating in four more states denying or rescinding Q-marriage last month, the LGBT community has mobilized several actions nationwide to ramp up the Civil Rights Movement of the 21st Century. Yet, Bill Clinton still defends the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as a political strategy that protects lesbians and gays from harassment by discriminating against them, in the MTVU video embedded below.
Day without a Gay: Strike, Boycott, Volunteer
Join The Impact is calling on the Q community and its allies for an economic and workforce boycott on Wednesday, December 10th – the 60th anniversary of International Human Rights Day. Day without a Gay encourages folks to spend the day volunteering – for a soup line, a retirement center, or getting marriage equality petition signatures in California.
DWAG organizer Sean Hetherington told OpEdNews, "We read about the national boycott of the US economy and the workforce, and support it, but wanted to add a service element to it so that efforts were still going back into the non-profit economy. Every time someone holds up a soup ladle at a homeless shelter on Dec. 10, we hope a camera catches it for the news, and we hope that those images help change the hearts and minds of people on the fence about the LGBT community.
"What if, just for one day, those who could take off work, did; and instead of staying home feeling hopeless, they went out and did good things for their own LGBT community and/or the greater world to show America that we are compassionate loving people?"
Every successful cause has a logo, and one coordinated effort is to wear a white knot in solidarity. "The White Knot is the symbol for marriage equality," writes WhiteKnot.org. "It takes two traditional symbols of marriage -- white and tying the knot -- and combines them in a simple way to show support for the right of gays and lesbians to marry. All loving couples deserve the same legal rights, benefits, and respect that civil marriage bestows." Adherents are also asked to wrap their holiday gifts in a white ribbon.
Impact Florida will be holding a Spoken Word Celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in St. Petersburg on the 10th. Several groups have joined forces with the Courage Campaign to gather 1 Million Signatures to repeal Prop 8 in California. Efforts for equality also include legal challenges, like the ones the California Supreme Court has accepted.
On the evening of December 20th, thousands are expected to Light Up the Night for Equality at commercial centers across the nation. On January 10th, a national DOMA protest will be held in state capitals. LGBTQ Civil Rights Front encourages folks to buy a hometown postcard for Obama's Presidential Transition Office, asking him to repeal DOMA.
Former president Bill Clinton wooed the LGBT vote back in 1992 and then signed DOMA in 1996, stating, "I have long opposed governmental recognition of same-gender marriages and this legislation is consistent with that position. The Act confirms the right of each state to determine its own policy with respect to same gender marriage and clarifies for purposes of federal law the operative meaning of the terms 'marriage' and 'spouse'."
In March 2008, Clinton told MTVU that DOMA served to protect lesbians and gays from harassment: "There was, at the time, a serious effort to argue that the Congress ought to present to the states a constitutional amendment – a national constitutional amendment on gay marriage. So the idea behind the Defense of Marriage Act was not to ban gay marriage but just simply to say, if a marriage was – just because Massachusetts recognized the gay marriage that [other states didn't have to honor it]. Hillary and I at the time defended their right to do, that marriage had always been a matter of state law and religious practice...
"The Defense of Marriage Act did nothing to change that. All it said was that Idaho did not have to recognize a marriage sanctified in Massachusetts. And that seemed to be a reasonable compromise in the environment of the time." He goes on about his gay-friendly employment practices, which sounds suspiciously similar to, "Some of my best friends are [gay]."
When Lily Lamboy of the Smith Sophian asked his position now, Clinton replied, "Well, the important thing is, what's Hillary's position? Hillary's position is that she doesn't support it and if we have the votes to repeal it, she'll be happy to repeal it. But, let me ask you this, do you believe that there will be more or fewer efforts to ban gay marriage constitutionally around the country if Massachusetts marriage has to be sanctified in Utah?"