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Rah, Rah, Cheers, Queers

"I feel dizzy, exalted: recognized." Terry Castle begins to make peace with her mother and finds joy in the experience of being married in a country where it is finally legal:

"But I’m nearly sixty and there’s something to be said for advancing senescence. Maybe things don’t hurt quite as much? (Blakey just came in the room and asked: How’s your piece going about being married to your mother? You know: gay marriage. One musters a feeble and aggrieved look.)

"Still, the fact remains – the US Supreme Court ruling has simply underscored it for me – that many things once burning-pincer-like in their effects seem of late to have lost their capacity to wound. They only sting for a second or two – if that."
PUBLISHED: Aug. 23, 2013
LENGTH: 18 minutes (4517 words)

Chris Kluwe Takes a Stand

[GLAAD's 2013 "Outstanding Newspaper Article" Winner] How Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe became "football's most aggressive straight ally to the gay rights movement":

"Kluwe says he doesn't see the issue of gay marriage as political. His philosophy on the subject goes back to the Golden Rule, and he believes an amendment that would constitutionally criminalize same-sex marriage amounts to institutionalized segregation.

"'You see all these arguments against gay marriage, and they all kind of logically boil down to: "It makes me feel icky,"' says Kluwe. 'That's not a valid logical argument! Like, tell me that gay people getting married is going to cause someone to steal your garage door opener, or it's going to cause your dog to poop in your front yard. I can argue against that!'"
SOURCE:City Pages
PUBLISHED: Oct. 24, 2012
LENGTH: 15 minutes (3954 words)

Wanna Be Veep? Okay, but This is Going to Hurt

A writer goes through "the most invasive process in politics"—being vetted as a running mate by the same person who vetted Sarah Palin in 2008:

"It starts unobtrusively enough. 'So you're the vice president, and the president is visiting Seoul,' Frank begins, unspooling an elaborate scenario in which the president's hotel gets decimated by a car bomb, 200,000 North Korean troops cross the DMZ, and the Joint Chiefs urge me to take out Pyongyang with a tactical nuclear weapon. 'Do you authorize the strike?' he asks, trying to get a sense of my political judgment (as much a part of the vet now as excavating secrets). I wonder if the question is also a reaction to Frank's Palin experience, recalling the scene in Game Change in which Palin reveals that she doesn't even know that there are two Koreas. But I push those thoughts aside and dodge the question by asking for more military options, trying to cover my fecklessness by name-dropping Seal Team Six. Next, Frank hits me with an easier hypothetical, about a deadlocked Senate and a Supreme Court nominee who appears to be against gay marriage. 'Do you support the president and cast the tiebreaker in favor of the president's nominee?' he asks. Of course I do, I respond. I'm a team player. The president can always count on me."
PUBLISHED: July 17, 2012
LENGTH: 19 minutes (4870 words)

Here We Are Becoming Champs

On boxer Manny Pacquiao and gay marriage:

"It’s here at this church that Manny Pacquiao comes to pray after his fights. He kneels down and gives thanks. In that same way we knelt with a rosary all day when my kuya died of AIDS. All day for seven days, with lots of food, and lots of prayers, on your knees everyday. It’s what we do when someone dies. I heard that a woman had a pin in one of her knees and couldn’t kneel and I pictured a sewing needle stuck there and I silently wished to get pricked by that same needle— because I couldn’t see how what I was doing there in that church was helping any of us out there on the dirt—in the land, on the fields with the farmers, and the trash heaps, and the kids with the little blue-brown faces left by the chapel, or the boys, with their bloodied underpants and soiled shorts, and all the musk from all the work, and the distant gaze from all the glue. How was this rosary tending to this life?"
SOURCE:The Rumpus
PUBLISHED: June 11, 2012
LENGTH: 7 minutes (1951 words)

Notes From a Unicorn

What it's like to be a bisexual man in a world that wants you to choose between being either gay or straight:

"Recently, on OKCupid, a woman messaged me: 'Are you truly into ladies, and if so, what type? Finding a truly bi man is like finding a unicorn.'

"If I’m a unicorn where I live now, in L.A., then I was a unicorn rocky mountain oyster when I moved to the old rustbelt city of Syracuse, New York to go to grad school and live for the first time as a fully out bi man. There was one other mythical bi man in the entire city, but try as I might, I never found him. At the gay bar, I sometimes got called a 'half-breeder.' Straight people treated me just as shittily as they treat gay people. Three times, gay men hit me in the back of the head when they saw my head turn for a women. For the most part, straight women wouldn’t date me because, as one said, 'You’re just gonna leave me to go suck a dick.' For the first time in my life, frat boys called me fag. My professor said, 'The world just isn’t ready for gay marriage.' I emailed him 'Letter from a Birmingham Jail.'"
SOURCE:The Rumpus
PUBLISHED: Feb. 24, 2012
LENGTH: 15 minutes (3945 words)

The Making of Gay Marriage's Top Foe

How an unplanned pregnancy during college changed the life and worldview of Maggie Gallagher, now one of the leading voices against gay marriage:

"On a mild November day, Gallagher and I are upstairs at City Bakery, near Union Square in Manhattan, where after months of requests she has agreed to meet me. As Gallagher tells it, she and the baby’s father were close; they had been together 'on the order of one year,' she says, so he might have been expected to stand by her. 'My son’s father was my boyfriend at Yale,' is how she describes their relationship. But when she told him she was pregnant, right before spring break in 1982, he vanished on her. 'I was in his room and he had to go do something, and I was going to fly out in a couple of hours, had to get to the airport. And the last thing he said to me was, "I’ll be back in 30 minutes." And then he wasn’t.'

"He just left her sitting in his room. And that was the end of them. When summer came, Gallagher moved home to Oregon and took some classes to finish her degree. In the fall, she gave birth to a baby boy, Patrick."
PUBLISHED: Feb. 8, 2012
LENGTH: 33 minutes (8308 words)

Maybe I Do And Maybe I Don't

Steven Thrasher has been named the 2012 National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association journalist of the year. After gay marriage was legalized in New York last year, he followed two same-sex couples who finally earned the right to consider whether or not they wanted to get married:

"'We never did this saying, "We're going to go out and marry right away," ' Howard says. 'We won the right. Now, we have the choice.'

"Besides: 'I was waiting for Kevin to bring it up.'

"Kevin hears this and replies, 'Really? That's interesting,' without adding more.

"It turns out that although same-sex couples now have 1,324 new legal benefits in New York State, there are actually some big economic incentives for Kevin and Howard not to wed. Kevin receives state insurance for his disabilities, and marrying Howard would end that. While it would allow Kevin to go onto Howard's insurance plan, the co-payments for the drugs and procedures he needs could be prohibitive.

"This is exactly the kind of conundrum cohabitating straight couples of certain means have had to face from time to time."
PUBLISHED: Aug. 10, 2011
LENGTH: 18 minutes (4542 words)

No Objections: What History Tells Us About Gay Marriage

Many features of marriage that were once considered essential have been remade, often in the face of strong resistance, by courts and legislatures. Economic and social changes have led to increasing legal equality for the marriage partners, gender-neutrality of spousal roles, and control of marital role-definition by spouses themselves rather than by state prescription. Yet marriage itself has lasted, despite these dramatic changes. Not only that: it retains vast appeal.
PUBLISHED: Jan. 11, 2011
LENGTH: 14 minutes (3704 words)

A Risky Proposal

Is it too soon to petition the Supreme Court on gay marriage?
PUBLISHED: Jan. 18, 2010
LENGTH: 44 minutes (11162 words)