A Gay Rights Life

conversations_160Matt Coles, director of the ACLU LGBT Project, talks to Joel Engardio about his life working in gay rights, coming out, surviving the AIDS crisis and fighting for LGBT equality. Matt's conversation is divided into three chapters, each four minutes long:

"Closets and Amendments"
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Matt and the staff at the ACLU's LGBT Project recently joined with a coalition to launch the "Tell 3" campaign, which encourages gays and lesbians to tell three people they're close to about what it's like to be gay. Straight people are also talking about their gay loved ones. The idea is that when enough people know and understand someone who is gay, they'll stop casting votes that discriminate against gay people. We hope Matt's episode of "ACLU Conversations" will help prompt the kind of personal conversations that will get us there.

Look for more conversations on a variety of issues in this new video series from the American Civil Liberties Union.

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Harry Cox

One more thing: to marsh:

You know if you type fag three times, you become a fag...oh no....and if it's in all CAPS, you become a big fag!! Get fucking real you fucking fucktard!!! (Sorry had to get that out of my system),


I am gay, I'm not in the closet, but at the same time, I don't throw it in anyones face either, for that very reason.
I may be in a small minority, but I am *not* a proponent of gay marriage for one main reason; What if I wind up in a very abusive relationship. Frankly, I'd want to run like hell, and in a marriage, I would not be able to do that, there are other reasons as well, but that one there is a big one.
I don't agree with Harry that civil unions hurt marriage. I know of at least one marriage in which the wife didn't take the husbands name as he had been through numerous marriages. I think in cases like that, where a person or couple has had nothing but bad luck with marriage, this could serve as an option.


What some of you straight people don't realize there is a significant difference between sexuality and sexual orientation. Because you are so hetrocentric, you think that your own identity definition is in terms of what activities you do sexually with members (presumably) of the opposite sex. Now, wouldn't this be a limiting and inaccurate way of defining who you are? Similarly, gay and lesbian people are not defined by who they have sex with; but rather it is their ORINTATION which describes who they are - now who and what they do sexually. Just as a black person is not defined by his/her activities to make him/her black; They are defined as African American because they are black. This is a sort of orientation. Likewise, gay and lesbian people are who they are because of this orientation, which defines - to the core - the basic essence of the individual. So many of you straight people cannot get beyond the sex part (you are far too busy fantasizing what things you think we do in our privacy, which are largely inaccurate exaggerations, but thank you for finding us so tabooo...); But any way, we are not what we do , but rather we are who we are because of who we are.


What it boils down to is capitolism. Some straight people are terrified that once you combine the powers of two strong gay men or lesbian women in legal unions - there is nothing we cannot achieve! You are afraid that we will gain equality and have what you have and then maybe even more than what you have. You cannot oppress good honest hardworking people for long - History will catch up with you. C'mon, this is America...Get a grip already!


Marriage is not a Gay Rights Issue and I will tell you why.

If marriage is not clearly defined as a joining of a man and a woman then marriage could well be thrown into chaos. This will open a Pandora’s Box that we will not be able to close

If a man can marry another man why not marry his brother, his sister, his mother, or his father.

If a woman can marry another woman why not her mother, sister, brother, or father.

Do you see where this is going? It is not denying anyone one of their constitutional rights it is simply defining what constitutes Marriage.

California Law now recognizes unions between men and between women and defines them as Domestic Partnerships. That now covers a multitude of people and protects the rights of all. It technically puts them under the same protections reserved for married couples thus this is no longer a civil rights issue but a simple desire to have the relationships recognized as a marriage. As I have already stated, that would bring forth a chaotic condition that could and most likely would bring this nation down to its knees.

What would happen if a man wanted to marry a goat, a horse, a dog, or his cat? Where do rights take precedent over everything else, like common sense?

The right to marry is clear but marriage undefined opens up peril. Proposition Eight defined Marriage clearly. Going beyond that is wrong and dangerous.


Under California state law, domestic partnerships afford all of the same rights, privileges, and benefits as marriages do.

Prop 8 is NOT about rights. It's about a definition. Just because some people don't want to change that definition does not mean they hate gays or are bigots. The ACLU and everyone calling people haters simply because they voted in favor of prop 8 seriously need to open their eyes.

John in Maine

Are we humans strange animals or not...since when do we have to agree with people to defend them from injustice? ( Lillian Hellman)


What if i want to marry a goat. Would you support it and give me health and other benefits?

I dont see how everything has to revolve around gay rights, there are much more pressing things to worry about.


Really, a goat???
Your comparing a Human Being with a fucking goat.
People like you shouldn't get married and have kids.


You can't marry a goat Kyle.They have much better taste than that.


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