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This week in LGBT history: March 14th-20th

"Do not follow where the path may lead.  Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail."  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

 I am grateful that the story of Constance McMillen, who is fighting for the right to go to her Senior Prom with her girlfriend, is receiving so much attention by mainstream media outlets outside the queer press and the queer blogophere.

However, the plight of the Itawamba County Agricultural High School student reminds us that, as much as things have changed over the past several decades, much progress is left to be made before true equality is enjoyed by all Americans.

Today there are thousands of young LGBT young people like Constance at hundreds of schools like Itawamba. As they struggle to make their own mark on LGBT history, what are we as a community doing to help them? Are you playing your part in the battle for equality? Am I? When future generations study our contribution to the struggle for civil rights, what will they think about how we used our time on earth?

Sunday, March 14th: On this day in 1848, Virginia lawmakers lowered the penalty for sodomy to 1-5 years, but kept the death penalty for slaves.

Monday, March 15th: On this day in 1948, Transgender Activist Kate Bornstein wass born. Among Bornstein's many influential publications is Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us.

Tuedsay, March 16th: On this day in 1649, the colony of New Hampshire outlawed sex between men only and established a penalty of death

Wednesday, March 17th: On this day in 1910, African-American civil rights leader Bayard Rustin was born. Rustin's contributions to the civil rights movement have historically been obscured by embarrassment over his sexual orientation and ties to the Communist Party.

Thursday, March 18th: On this day in 1928, transgender writer and museum founder Charlotte von Mahlsdorf was born.

Friday, March 19th: On this day in 1973, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that sodomy laws could not be enforced against married couples.

Saturday, March 20th: On this day in 1979, a North Carolina appeals court held that the state's ban on sodomy applied to heterosexual couples.


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Chris Geidner: In Iowa, judges are ousted.

Via Chris Geidner's Poliglot blog at Metro Weekly:


In Iowa, which declared Iowa's marriage ban unconstitutional under the state's constitution in 2009, the National Organization for Marriage got one of its first electoral victories this year. The judicial retention elections appear to have resulted in the replacement of all three justices up for a vote this year.

Here, as of 3:35 a.m. and with 1767 out of 1774 precincts reporting, are the Iowa Secretary of State's election results:

Supreme Court Justice David L. Baker
Yes 443437 45.75%
No 525865 54.25%

Supreme Court Justice Michael J. Streit
Yes 442459 45.6%
No 527921 54.4%

Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus
Yes 437118 44.99%
No 534486 55.01%

The court was unanimous in its 2009 ruling that Iowa's constitution required marriage equality."

Can we trust Rasmussen anymore?


Happy Hour Roundup will be coming late today. Fortunately, there is lots of news to report on! Unfortunately, there will be no time for me to collect it and send it. Expect it between 5pm and 6pm!