gay rights

  Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II serves as President of the North Carolina NAACP and convener of the Forward Together Moral Movement, an alliance of more than 200 progressive organizations in North Carolina.

The Forward Together Moral Movement, better known as “Moral Monday,” is a multi-racial, multi-generational movement to battle immoral, extreme policies adopted by the governor and state legislature.

The North Carolina NAACP and the Forward Together Moral Movement are now engaged in litigation to reverse the worst voter suppression laws in the country. Barber is the author of the book The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics and the Rise of a New Justice Movement.

He will be speaking as part of The Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King Lecture Series on Nonviolent Social Change at Siena College Wednesday 3/30 at 7PM. His talk is titled: “Moral Dissenters are a Necessity for the Destiny, Choosing the Path to Higher Ground.”

On the evening of June 24th 1973 a fire tore through a bar in New Orleans’ French quarter where a group of gay men were meeting for a religious service, 32 died in the blaze.  Though it was the largest massacre of gay people in American history no one called it a tragedy, and no one tried to understand the purpose of the meeting-it was a religious service. The men were part of a growing religious movement that developed in the 1970s that has since been forgotten and overshadowed by the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s.

In his new book Stand By Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation, historian Jim Downs uses the story of that fateful night as a jumping off point for a wide ranging narrative revealing that gay life in America in the 1970s was far richer and more varied than has been remembered. In short, gay life in that decade was about far more than just sex. He shows us gay people standing together as friends, fellow believers and colleagues to create a sense of community among  people who felt alienated from mainstream American life. Jim Downs is an Associate Professor of History at Connecticut College and an Andrew W. Mellon New Directions Fellow at Harvard University.

The fight for gay, lesbian, and trans civil rights, the years of outrageous injustice, the early battles, the defeats, and the victories beyond the dreams of the gay rights pioneers is a powerful civil rights issue of the present day.

In her new book, The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle, scholar Lillian Faderman provides an account for the fight for LGBTQ rights. Lillian Faderman is an internationally respected scholar of lesbian history and literature. She is the author of several award winning books on LGBT history including, Surpassing the Love of Men and Odd Girls.

Push For Gay Judge On New York Bench

Aug 24, 2015

New York’s first openly gay state legislator says it’s time to appoint an LGBT person to the state’s highest court.

A national gay rights organization gives Massachusetts high marks on a report card grading states on legislation affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign puts Massachusetts in its "Solidifying Equality" category. That's second-highest on a four-step index measuring states on their legislative success in stamping out workplace discrimination and other anti-LGBT bias.

Seven states and the District of Columbia are in the highest category, "Working Toward Innovative Equality."

Report Studied School Harassment Among LGBT Students

Nov 17, 2014

High school can be a tough time for many young people, but especially so for students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. A new survey indicates those students can still face harassment, both verbal and physical, in the halls of the nation's high schools. Wayne Bowmanchester is a board member of the Capital Region chapter of GLSEN, the gay, lesbian, straight education network. He says student attitudes were recently surveyed as part of a national effort.

  Yes, there has been a seismic shift in attitudes about gays in American politics and culture. Our reigning national story is that a new era of rainbow acceptance is at hand. But dig a bit deeper, and this seemingly brave new gay world is disappointing.

In The Tolerance Trap, Suzanna Walters takes on received wisdom about gay identities and gay rights, arguing that we are not “almost there,” but on the contrary have settled for a watered-down goal of tolerance and acceptance rather than a robust claim to full civil rights.

Suzanna Danuta Walters has written and lectured extensively on sexuality, popular culture, and feminism and is currently the Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Professor of Sociology at Northeastern University.

    A critical reader of the history of marriage understands that it is an institution that has always been in flux. It is also a decidedly complicated one, existing simultaneously in the realms of religion, law, and emotion. And yet recent years have seen dramatic and heavily waged battles over the proposition of including same sex couples in marriage. Just what is at stake in these battles?

License to Wed: What Legal Marriage Means to Same-Sex Couples by Kimberly D. Richman examines the meanings of marriage for couples in the two first states to extend that right to same sex couples: California and Massachusetts.

2/24/14 Panel

Feb 24, 2014


  Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, University at Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao and political consultant Libby Post.

Topics include:
Ukraine Update
Olympics Close
Arizona Anti-Gay Bill
Captured Drug Lord


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A New England gay rights organization is praising Connecticut's Department of Insurance for informing insurers they must pay "covered expenses" for treatment related to a patient's gender transition.

    Joe Donahue speaks with Chris Kluwe (author, gamer, nerd - and football player) about his book, Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities.


Gay Pride Week is being observed with a series of events in Springfield Massachusetts.  It started on Thursday when more than 100 people gathered in the sweltering midday sun to observe the raising of the rainbow flag outside city hall.  WAMC’s  Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief  Paul Tuthill spoke with Amaad Rivera, the president and founder of Springfield Pride.

WAMC / Dave Lucas

A day after veteran NBA player Jason Collins made national headlines by becoming the first active male athlete in the four major sports to come out as gay, state lawmakers, gay rights advocates and labor and law enforcement officials participated in Empire State Pride Agenda's annual lobby day in Albany.

Although New Yorkers are becoming more accepting following the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2011, activists and advocates want to ensure that gay rights and gay pride stay in the media spotlight.

    In his book, Eminent Outlaws: The Gay Writers Who Changed America, novelist Christopher Bram chronicles the rise of gay consciousness in American writing. Beginning with a first wave of major gay literary figures -Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, Allen Ginsberg, and James Baldwin - he shows how they set the stage for new generations of gay writers to build on what they had begun.

Flickr / Paul Lowry

IRVING, Texas (AP) — The Boy Scouts of America's national executive board has delayed a decision on whether to lift its longstanding ban on gay scouts and leaders.

BSA said Wednesday the organization will take action on the resolution at its national meeting in May.

The organization said last week it was considering a shift of its policy, which has led officials to remove gay leaders and scouts. That announcement pushed years of debate over the policy to an even higher level.

Flickr / Paul Lowry

The Boy Scouts of America appear poised to lift a longstanding ban on gay scouts and scout leaders as soon as their national executive board meeting, scheduled for next week.