Sunday, May 24, 2015
Fintan O'Toole, Irish Times
We’ve made it clear to the world that there is a new normal — that “ordinary” is a big, capacious word that embraces and rejoices in the natural diversity of humanity.
LGBT people are now a fully acknowledged part of the wonderful ordinariness of Irish life.
It looks like a victory for tolerance. But it’s actually an end to mere toleration. Tolerance is what “we” extend, in our gracious goodness, to “them”. It’s about saying “You do your own thing over there and we won’t bother you so long as you don’t bother us”.
The resounding Yes is a statement that Ireland has left tolerance far behind. It’s saying that there’s no “them” anymore. LGBT people are us — our sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, neighbours and friends. We were given the chance to say that.
We were asked to replace tolerance with the equality of citizenship. And we took it in both arms and hugged it close.
Friday, May 22, 2015
‘No Gays Allowed’ Law Set To Pass In Virginia
The state of Virginia is set to pass a law which would allow anti-LGBT business owners to bar gay people, purely on the basis of their sexuality.
The Virginia Bill states that anyone seeking or holding a business license from the state of Virginia in the state can refuse service or entry to gay people, on the grounds it “would violate the religious or moral convictions of such person with respect to same-sex “marriage” or homosexual behavior.”
This would make it lawful for LGBT people to be barred from hotels, restaurants, schools, hospitals, and any other premise where a good or service is exchanged by someone who dislikes their sexual orientation:
Want to buy a bed? Prove you’re not sharing it with a member of the same sex.
Want to buy diapers but show up with your same-sex partner? No diapers for you, and don’t darken the door of this store again.
We aren’t going to enroll your kid in our school district because she has two moms. All these scenarios would be entirely legal under the new law.
The toxic bill has been spearheaded by Virginia’s virulently anti-gay lawmaker Bob Marshall. You might remember him for his fruitless effort to exclude gay people from the state’s National Guard, or his 2012 attempt to block the appointment of a judge on the grounds that the nominee was gay, saying that “sodomy is not a civil right.”