President Biden Signs Respect for Marriage Act on December 13, 2022President Biden Signs Respect for Marriage Act on December 13, 2022

The prospects for gay, lesbian, and transgender folks are better than last year, but they still are limited. The Respect for Marriage Act was signed by the President in December. It strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, even though that was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Basically, the law says that states must reciprocate in recognizing the laws of other states. If a same-sex marriage in legal in one state, then another state must recognize that. It does not have to recognize same-sex marriages within that state if no law has been passed in that state. It recognizes religious organizations the right to refuse services or programs to same-sex couples if that is against the religious beliefs of that organization.

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Pride Eagle 2014

The pandemic almost shut down most LGBTQ+ groups except for Zoom meetings. Things are opening up again. There are several groups on Meet-up, but not all of them have web sites for further information.

The LGBT Center of Raleigh has two locations: an office on Hargett St., and a meeting space on N. Blount St. It sponsors numerous programs, events, resources, and groups. If you get on their mailing list, you will receive a monthly calendar of events.

There is a similar facility in Durham: the LGBTQ Center of Durham. It has a directory of LGBT businesses and allies. It is located in downtown Durham. Among the various programs, are the annual Pride Parade and Festival each September. For a listing of events, see the online calendar on their web site.

Although it has no facilities, it is perhaps the largest and most active group: Triangle LGBTQ Group. It has connected circles on Meet-up, Outreach through support groups, workshops, and more; and Volunteer Services. Join on MeetUp where you will find a list of events and activities. Sometimes you will need to register for a specific event in addition to RVSP on Meet-up.

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Book Burning

Photos of groups burning books or banning LGBT books from libraries is frightfully like incidents in Nazi Germany. The radical right was not satisfied with attacking school curriculum, now they want to close school and public libraries. The backlash against gays and lesbians promoted by the Republican Party has descended to a new low. They are not content with physically attacking transgender folks or supporting conversion therapy, they want to eradicate any public discourse about LGBTQ+ issues. The most extreme individuals are calling to kill queers, and some are responding to their calls.

After decades of expanding civil rights to the LGBTQ+ community, we are being attacked more openly and violently than we have been in a generation. The religious right continues talking about the “sin” of homosexuality. We’re seeing the growth of militarism and violence against all minorities. We’ve been thrown in with immigrants as people who should be hated, killed, or extradited. While Europe, South America, and even some countries in Africa are moderating their views about LGBTQ+ folks, the pendulum is swinging the other direction in the United States.

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