I’m sure we’ve all been agog this week watching the drama in Indiana unfold. Governor Mike Pence signed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) on March 26th, and immediately the internet erupted.
My patience is wearing thin. I am done with the “reasonable” debate about the rights I “deserve,” if falling in love somehow makes me “less” than other people, if I’m safe to be around children. I’m done debating if my landlord has the right to evict me, if my boss has the right to fire me, if I have the right to be upset about people debating my rights. Continue reading →
I’ll start with something personal, The Dead Past is a Rainbow Award finalist! At only $0.99, why not check it out for yourself?
From the honorable mentions: “I was immediately hooked by the old-style English but perfect writing style of this first book of probably a series which I am going to definitely follow,” and “The author drew me completely into the setting to the point I felt like I was there.”
Then there’s the national news… SCOTUS denying cert. to all seven same-sex marriage cases. It had been mooted as a possibility, but I never thought they’d take it. And finally, PA just voted to add LGBT and gender identity protections to their hate crime laws. Today I am mostly flailing around like a giddy fool. The tears of the haters taste delicious.
Stay tuned for release dates for my new trilogy, Free Men. The first two books are coming later this month! Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to get all the latest news (I promise: no spam, not ever) and some exclusive swag — coming soon!
So marriage equality is sweeping the west. Slowly but surely, state by state and country by country, we are winning, and we are doing so on a platform which says, in effect, “We’re just like you.” Gay couples want to settle down, raise children, say ‘I do’ before their friends and family. They want the white picket fence and 2.4 kids, to work 9-5 at a respectable, responsible job, pay the mortgage, walk the dogs in the park at the weekend, and enjoy lazy Sundays spending quality family time together. It’s a dream many of us, even in my generation, grew up never believing we’d see come true. Continue reading →
At the beginning of June, opponents of Houston’s recently passed Equal Rights Ordinance submitted a petition containing 50,000 signatures demanding a repeal of the bill. The ordinance bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as sex, race, color, ethnicity, nationality, age, religion, disability, pregnancy and genetic information, as well as family, marital or military status. It applies to businesses that serve the public, private employers, housing, city employment and city contracting, but religious institutions are exempt. Apparently, there are 50,000 people in the Houston area (assuming all the signatures are valid) who think that not being allowed to discriminate is a bad thing.
What the hell is wrong with them?
It’s a question I see a lot. Sometimes it’s bandied about as a badge of honour. In any group dedicated to the reading or writing of queer fiction, there’s a thread somewhere asking who’s ‘out’ and who’s ‘closeted’ about what they do. Most people don’t seem to think it’s a big deal, but I do and here’s why.
I’m bored of hearing about the ‘homosexual agenda’. It seems we can’t turn on the TV anymore without hearing someone from the right wing spluttering about agendas and liberalism and the sheer unfairness of it all.
…the backlash is coming.
I’m talking about the battle for LGBT equality, which has picked up dramatically in recent years. Throughout the UK, Europe, and America, it seems there’s legislation and lawsuits being debated all over, and we’ve made incredible leaps and bounds. But sometimes it’s ‘two steps forward, one step back’. There are only the barest handful of US states who haven’t already legislated LGBT equality (same-sex marriage; anti-discrimination laws) or who haven’t got such legislation being tabled right now. There are many reasons for us to celebrate, but it isn’t all plain sailing.
So, just before Christmas a federal judge in Utah ruled the state’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. It was a bit of a shocker to most people, but couples from all over rushed to take advantage, resulting in startling scenes of queues dozens deep lining up to get married; clerk offices staying open around the clock to deal with the sudden influx of people desperate to get married; and even the Boy Scouts delivering pizza so nobody had to leave their desk while the madness unfurled.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of the increasingly hostile situation faced by gay men and women in Russia at the moment. It’s never been a good time to be an LGBT Russian, but since the recent passing of an anti-gay propaganda law things have only got worse. Stories of foreign nationals being arrested have already surfaced; and entrapment, torture and even murder are becoming commonplace. Those who do attempt to fight back are attacked in the street and the Russian police does nothing to intercede – often arresting the protesters, rather than their attackers.
Yet Russia is due to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, and corporate sponsors are meeting public outrage with a wall of stony silence. Reading such stories, I think we all feel helpless. We can’t even donate money to Russian LGBT organisations, because they’ll get fined for receiving it. So what can we do?