Read the latest commentary from The Advocate, the leading source for LGBT news and politics. Discover what public figures and pundits have to say about LGBT issues and topics that touch the lives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and its allies. Find op-eds from columnists like HIV activist Tyler Curry or editors Neal Broverman and Jase Peeples. When the experts weigh in on the latest developments in the LGBT rights movement, they do so at The Advocate.

Over the last few weeks, the Republican race for president has been watched apathetically by many Americans, but Rick Santorum continues to shake things up with unexpected wins, courting “very conservative” Republican voters as his core strategy. While his rise may provide for interesting punditry across the media and rile up conservative Christians, it has also caused considerable anxiety and concern among moderate voters and many within the Christian community. That’s because Santorum stakes his candidacy on an old ideological framework that stereotypically pits people of faith against their LGBT neighbors. This rhetoric is not only damaging to many families and children, but it grossly misrepresents America’s religious community.

The Public Religion Research Institute recently showed that majorities of religious groups in the U.S. are actually supportive of the LGBT community, including their right to marry. The faith-LGBT dynamic in our culture is shifting, and as the research institute’s CEO, Robby Jones, notes, “assumptions about battle lines between secular proponents and religious foes no longer hold.”

While there is still much work to be done, many of us within the Progressive Christian community see this reality every day. Christians across the country are coming out in support of LGBT people and working to reflect this within their church communities. On the national level, we recently watched the Presbyterian Church celebrate the first lesbian approved for ordination in the its history, as a result of the church now allowing for the ordination of LGBT clergy. On the local level, hundreds of churches are declaring their welcome each year, including within the United Church of Christ, which celebrated its 1,000th open and affirming congregation this February.

As more Americans and religious people continue to openly engage with their LGBT friends, coworkers, and neighbors, those who are thought to have historically been in opposition to equal rights can change their hearts and minds. If he weren’t politically motivated, so could Rick Santorum.

He has repeatedly called LGBT rights a “threat” to our country, turning LGBT families, children and their allies into political footballs. If he or Mitt Romney were to be elected president of the United States today, Americans would watch the lives of millions of children and families be thrust into an even deeper discriminatory status quo. Historic gains around marriage equality and spousal benefits would be threatened. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” could once again become the law of our land. It’s no secret that such policies and antigay rhetoric are destructive and harmful to our country — especially our LGBT children.

Rhetoric that promotes an antigay culture has been identified in the media as the cause of many LGBT youth suicides. That’s because it fuels a dangerous culture war that tells kids they are “less than” their straight classmates. While many gay and transgender kids do find support and welcome within their communities, there are thousands of others who are painfully slapped into isolation.


March 21 2012 2:43 AM

One of the toughest things about fighting Amendment One — my state’s May 8 ballot referendum that’s so overreaching it could threaten protections for all unmarried couples in the state, including the gay and lesbian ones it targets — is getting the word out to as many folks as possible about just how many families and children this discriminatory measure could hurt.

March 19 2012 10:55 AM

Although there were moments when they bonded emotionally during an HIV-positive cruise retreat, Tom Donohue can’t stop thinking about all the time he got to let loose and forget about being HIV-positive.

March 19 2012 4:00 AM

One hundred years ago this Saturday, an unsung hero of the civil rights movement was born. Bayard Rustin’s contributions to the world far outweighed his credits – and his 100th birthday is an opportunity to appreciate how his lifelong fights for equality live on today.

Rustin was the key strategist in every campaign waged by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the architect of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and a passionate advocate for pacifism, workers’ rights, and freedom for marginalized peoples around the world. There is not one American movement for social change that his leadership did not touch.

Rights to vote, to join a union, or to marry the person one loves are today at the forefront of the struggle to build an America that reflects its ideals.  And Rustin was reliably positioned at the vanguard of these battles from the 1930s until his passing in 1987. So it’s only appropriate that we take this opportunity to pause and reflect on where our movements have traveled over 100 years and to look ahead to our future.

Today we work to stop the rollback of voting rights happening across the country – rights Rustin helped to secure through indefatigable organizing in the civil rights movement and his mentorship of Dr. King.

Today we work to end discrimination and advance marriage equality for gays and lesbians – and we do so in Rustin’s footsteps as one of the first openly gay activists.

Today we advance global and domestic human rights alongside civil rights – because Rustin broadened the conversation to speak out against South Africa apartheid, anti-Semitic Soviet power, and British colonial power in India.

March 17 2012 4:00 AM

 "Mom, I like girls ... ."

That's what I wrote five years ago in my coming out letter to my mom. I was 11 at the time I wrote the letter, and I didn't know that my mom would become my fiercest supporter, giving me the courage and strength to walk through the halls of my schools as a proud, out lesbian.

It's that same courage and strength that made me hopeful that the day would come when I'd no longer face physical attacks or name calling by other students at my school in Minnesota's Anoka-Hennepin School District.

That day finally came last week.

March 15 2012 4:00 AM

Question: I don’t know about you, but it drives me crazy that people in our community don’t dress for the theater anymore. They’re just as likely to jump on a plane in their shorts and a T-shirt. What gives with that? What really irks me are those tricky invitations with wording such as “business casual,” “casual attire,” “festive attire,” and even “black tie.” I am completely lost and don’t want to embarrass myself. Help, please!

March 12 2012 4:00 AM

For the last year, the Wilfahrt family has taken charge of their son’s memory, refusing to assume spectatorship in a society that regards his memory as that of second-class citizen.

March 09 2012 4:00 AM


March 07 2012 4:00 AM


The political correctness word police are winning their
battle to restrict not just what we say, but how Americans think. The dictionary is no longer the arbiter
of what is a legitimate word. Now
political correctness is so run amok that careers and lives are ruined by the
mere utterance of an unsanctioned word. Speak some un-PC language on TV these days, and you have to check into

March 06 2012 4:00 AM