By Richard J. Rosendall | May 8
Jason Collins is not the first active professional athlete to come out. Tennis star Martina Navratilova came out in 1981. Her courageous act, however, was no threat to male heterosexual dominance. Few people even know that baseball player Glenn Burke came out in the late 1970s, because sports writers at the time responded with a wall of silence.
By Richard J. Rosendall | Apr 25
On April 19, after the arrest of bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (hereinafter "Johar"), residents of Boston's Watertown neighborhood applauded the police and chanted, "USA! USA!" Some American Muslims watching on TV had mixed emotions, taking the celebration as a xenophobic display. I took it as an expression of relief and gratitude.
By Richard J. Rosendall | Apr 10
Clarence Mitchell, the civil rights activist and longtime chief lobbyist for the NAACP, used to tell of something then-Senate Democratic leader Lyndon Johnson often said to him in the 1950s: "Clarence, you can get anything you want if you've got the votes."
By Richard J. Rosendall | Mar 27
"These are the days of miracle and wonder," sings the American, backed by African rhythms as a vast crowd dances. Paul Simon was not talking about the quest for marriage equality; few did in the 1980s. I recall that line from the Graceland album as the anti-gay Family Research Council makes a harsh, desperate, and inadvertently comical plea for a miracle of its own.
By Richard J. Rosendall | Mar 13
Gay opinions on Bill Clinton were always mixed. On election night in 1992, Washington's Shoreham Hotel -- where gay activists had zapped the American Psychiatric Association 21 years earlier -- saw Urvashi Vaid at the LGBT victory party crying "We did it! We did it!" while Michael Petrelis of ACT UP roamed the halls wearing an "Impeach Clinton" button.
By Richard J. Rosendall | Feb 27
The new media were ablaze on the evening of February 22 after U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli filed a brief inUnited States v. Windsor asking the Supreme Court to overturn Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). He performed a quietly brutal takedown of Paul Clement's brief for the House Republicans, whose Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) has intervened to defend DOMA.
By Richard J. Rosendall | Feb 13
Valentine's Day traditionally brings several pages in newspaper classified sections featuring tiny black hearts followed by romantic messages. Perhaps it's a blessing that print editions are dying -- there's something creepy about all those black hearts, as if they bear a curse.
By Richard J. Rosendall | Jan 30
President Obama's second inaugural address charted a confident mainstream agenda for his second term.
By Richard J. Rosendall | Jan 16
If you want to be effective as an activist, you learn that everything is not about you. For example, you don't have to be religious to respect other people's religion, or to employ religious themes usefully. If your purpose is to poke people in the eye, insulting their faith may be fine; but if you want their support, you will restrain the impulse. Thus diplomacy is part of the activist toolkit.
By Richard J. Rosendall | Jan 2
The fight to expand the definition of family to encompass the diversity of actual families continues in 2013. Legislators in Illinois, Minnesota, and Rhode Island are preparing marriage equality bills.