Despite the progress that has been made in the struggle for the equality of LGBT Americans, these past couple of weeks provide a stunning reality check:
- A Senate defense authorization bill is filibustered by Republicans because it included the provision that would have overturned the U.S. military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. Republicans choose to indulge in their bigotry (either for its own sake or for some sense of political advantage) rather than fund the very troops they claim to be so supportive of.
- A gay blogger gets a not-so-veiled death threat posted in his comments; a little investigation reveals that the threat comes from the office of one of the Senators who championed the filibuster that blocked the passage of that Senate bill.
- A 13-year-old self-identified gay boy in Texas commits suicide by shooting himself in the head after seemingly endless bullying by his classmates at school.
- A talented young violinist leaps from the George Washington Bridge to his death after the public humiliation he faced after his college roommate broadcasts the man’s private gay sexual encounter on the internet.
- A 15-year-old boy in Indiana hangs himself after merciless anti-gay taunting by fellow students.
- A 13-year-old boy in California dies after an extended period on life support following hanging himself. He had been subjected to bullying and teasing about his sexual orientation.
- An Ohio boy has his arm broken by the football players on the team for which has become a cheerleader. The football players continue to threaten him because he has reported the injury to authorities.
- An Assistant Attorney General in Michigan escalates his bizarre campaign against the openly gay student body president, picketing outside the young man’s home, blogging obsessively about his activities, and appearing on national TV, apparently to extend the scope of his insanity. Michigan’s Attorney General (so far) defends the Assistant AG’s actions and refuses to terminate his employment.
- Another ardent right-wing homophobe, Bishop Eddie Long, is accused of taking sexual advantage of his young male parishioners under the guise of mentorship and pastoral counseling. (While all the facts on this have not yet come out, there are now four young men who have come forward with similar highly plausible stories.)
We might still have some work to do. I’m just sayin’.