Blog of Rights

Paul
Cates

Arkansas Passes Ban on Same-Sex Couples Adopting Children

By Paul Cates, LGBT Project at 1:28am
Tonight voters in Arkansas approved an initiative that bans anyone who lives with a partner he or she is not married to from fostering or adopting children in the state. While the proponents of the initiative made no bones about the fact that this initiative was targeted at lesbian and gay couples, it is the many children in the state’s foster care system who will be hurt the most by this initiative. At any given time, there are 450 - 500 Arkansas children who need adoptive homes. This initiative only serves to limit the already limited pool of parents willing to foster and adopt. Initiated Act 1 affects both straight and gay families and offers no exceptions whatsoever — it doesn’t matter whether the prospective parent is a blood relative, is the person the child’s biological parents want to raise their child, or is best-qualified to handle a special-needs child.

High School Matadors Y Matadoras

By Paul Cates, LGBT Project at 3:49pm

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a classroom discussion on bullying at the University of Puerto Rico High School in San Juan. Our Puerto Rico chapter is working with a number of students at the school who have developed a very effective…

Celebrate Freedom to Marry Week

By Paul Cates, LGBT Project at 6:04pm

Today kicks off the 12th annual Freedom to Marry Week. This year, the week is focused on encouraging people across the country to have seven conversations in seven days to move people to support marriage for lesbian and gay couples. Readers of this…

We Have Options

By Paul Cates, LGBT Project at 5:12pm

On July 31, 2008, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill repealing a 1913 law that kept many out-of-state lesbian and gay couples from marrying in Massachusetts. The law said you couldn't marry in Massachusetts if you couldn't marry…

Beyond the Bathroom Jokes: A Serious Civil Liberties Issue

By Paul Cates, LGBT Project at 2:07pm
With allegations of toe tapping and under-the-stall hand motions, the recent arrest of Senator Larry Craig was a gold mine for comedians on late night TV. But beneath the laughter lies a serious civil liberties concern. Larry Craig was arrested under…

Summer for Marriage

By Paul Cates, LGBT Project at 10:53am

Earlier in the season, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) declared this the "Summer for Marriage," and launched a cross-country bus tour to persuade the public that allowing same-sex couples to marry would be really bad. According…

Constance McMillen Wants You to Urge Congress to Pass the Student Non-Discrimination Act

By Paul Cates, LGBT Project at 4:08pm

ACLU client Constance McMillen made headlines this spring when her Mississippi high school took the extraordinary step of canceling the school prom rather than allow her to go with her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo. But as humiliating as that experience…

Shouldn’t This Be the Christmas When Someone Gets Told?

By Paul Cates, LGBT Project at 3:46pm

As you get ready to celebrate the holidays, we hope you will consider giving the gift of LGBT equality by having three conversations with friends and family members about what it means to be LGBT. Opinion research shows that people are much more likely…

Fresno Hospital Takes Steps to End Discrimination Against Same-Sex Couples

By Paul Cates, LGBT Project at 4:13pm

Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, California, has agreed to make policy changes and conduct staff trainings to ensure that the rights of its LGBT patients and family members are properly respected. The changes are being made in response…

New York Senators Reject Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

By Paul Cates, LGBT Project at 5:13pm

Yesterday the New York Senate rejected a bill that would have given same-sex couples the ability to marry. Needless to say, we are deeply disappointed in the outcome. We’ve been fighting for marriage for same-sex couples in New York for years…

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