Gay marriage, adoption, and other related sociopolitical issues have recently been pushed to the forefront of the public consciousness ever since the controversial passage of Proposition 8 in California. The GLBT – short for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (and lately, intersexed and asexual individuals have become included as well– community has swelled to become a voice for the marginalized masses. Their devotion to the cause sheds a light on a form of discrimination still practiced in America today, and their activism hopes to educate supporters and detractors alike in what they feel and what they stand for.
- 1. Gay Rights Watch : Dedicated to relaying news and events on current issues of civil rights for the GLBT community, Portland-based Gay Rights Watch also serves as the leading independent resource on the subject in Oregon. In addition to their sociopolitical discussions, which comprise the bulk of the content, they also offer sections supporting the arts, crafts, and home economics with GLBT themes. Not surprisingly, many of the articles and commentary relate to community efforts in Oregon. However, most of GRW’s attention is still devoted to national issues for participants in and supporters of the gay rights movement living in other states.
2. Gay Rights at Change.org : Change.org focuses in on a number of social issues such as homelessness, women’s rights, and human trafficking. Their gay rights blog focuses mostly on issues regarding gay marriage in America, although they take on international movements as well. Repealing the Defense of Marriage Act stands as their highest concern at the moment, and most of their articles deal with the dizzying swirl of legislation and overturned legislation on both state and federal levels. They also focus on social issues as well, discussing ways in which the mainstream community reinforces homophobia and promotes tolerance.
3. A Christian Voice for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights : The battles between conservative Christianity and the gay rights movement flare up with raging intensity, most especially when legislation is up for vote or review. As to be expected, many members of the GLBT community feel marginalized and misunderstood by Catholicism and Protestantism alike – many of them struggle with finding a place within the church they grew up in after discovering their sexuality. This blog seeks to bridge the divide between discriminatory institutions and the individuals they push aside for emotions and desires that they absolutely cannot help. They ask Christians to accept gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and the transgendered as equals; in turn, they ask that the GLBT community understands that not all Christians believe that any sexual preference beyond the heterosexuality is a choice and an abomination. It promotes understanding and an abolition of myths between two needlessly warring parties.
4. Beyond (Straight and GayMarriage : Run by blogger Nancy Polikoff – a Washington, D.C. law professor who specializes in gay and lesbian family issues – Beyond (Straight and GayMarriage looks at GLBT civil rights from a legal perspective. It looks not only at marriage, but related issues such as domestic partnerships, hospital visitation, parentage laws, employee benefits, child custody, adoption, and many others. Polikoff’s entries take a no-nonsense stance that offers up compellingly researched arguments based on her 30+ years of experience in the field.
5. AMERICAblog Gay : Tackling issues both national and international – though generally more focused on the United States – AMERICAblog Gay offers up more than just news on where the movement is headed. It also hosts a dizzying array of articles, commentary, opinions, videos, and other resources relating to GLBT culture and sociopolitical issues. Although the celebrity gossip links list seems extremely out of place for a site that focuses on real issues and real journalism. Few sites go into as much detail as this blog, though, and it remains an intelligent and provocative source for those seeking to learn as much as possible about the GLBT civil rights movement.
6. Joe. My. God. : This award-winning blog delves into politics, but supplements its commentary with short stories and opinions regarding gay culture as well. It allows those who desire to learn more about the GLBT movement the necessary social and cultural background to really delve into the whos, whats, and whys of issues such as gay marriage and equality. Joe. My. God. offers up an exhaustive amount of research so that readers may fully grasp all of the nuances and opinions that comprise GLBT civil rights.
7. Towleroad : Another impassioned, heavily detailed blog with news on politics and gay culture from around the United States, Towleroad also delves into issues of discrimination. Policies in the military and high schools are particularly delicate topics when it comes to gay rights and acceptance, and editor Andy Towle is not afraid to post articles which confront these controversies.
8. Pam’s House Blend : Pam’s House Blend takes an unapologetic, irreverent stance on discrimination and anti-gay activists. Those who disagree with her statements must thicken their skin before entering, while those who do appreciate her bluntness, candor, and painstaking research. Editor Pam Spaulding provides readers with a plethora of well-informed sources, giving them a useful and reliable resource when it comes to understanding all the ins and outs of the GLBT civil rights movement.
9. Rod 2.0 : Writer, produce, and all-around media Renaissance man Rod McCullom offers insight on GLBT politics and social issues. He occasionally delves into commentary on gay culture and racial issues as well. Many of his articles also address discrimination and incidents of intolerance in popular culture, most especially the anti-gay sentiment that sometimes expresses itself in professional sports.
10. Good As You : Touting that “[their] tone is light, but [their] message is firm,” Good As You follows through on their statements by providing readers with provocative, intelligent, and confrontational articles on discrimination and intolerance in the media. They stand as a nonviolent and incredibly vocal advocate for tolerance and equality in portrayals of the GLBT community. In addition, they also offer the media outlets that have been called out an opportunity to exercise their First Amendment rights and discuss their side of the debate. Good As You strives to remain as positive and progressive in their discussions as possible.
11. Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters : Alvin McEwen published a book titled Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters in 2007, which dissected the arguments made by the anti-gay movement. Through his blog, he continues to update and share his research to readers. McEwen looks into many of holes present in his opposition’s debates, pointing out instances where they rely on questionable research. At times, he even points out hypocrisies – especially in the myriad cases of anti-gay activists finding themselves caught in homosexual affairs and situations.
12. Blog at the Washington Blade : Though based in Washington, D.C., the blog for independent GLBT news source Washington Blade takes on a fully national scope. It covers news stories on social and political issues relevant to the gay community, including advice on how to handle opponents of marriage and equality legislation and discussions on whether or not civil unions constitute “accepting crumbs.” They do post international stories every once in a while.
13. Wockner : Prolific gay rights journalist Rex Wockner brings his 25+ years of experience to the internet. He covers events across the country live, tracking in real time the legislative decisions which concern the GLBT community. He also talks about the individuals who help to drive the movement forward, posting pictures and generously providing personalized comments and compliments. Wockner provides an intriguing first-person glimpse into how gay rights campaigns form and operate.
14. California Ripple Effect : Launched during the Proposition 8 controversy, Equality California tracks how the passing of the legislation banning gay marriage in The Sunshine State swelled to influence bills in other states. While it does emphasize the activism taking place within California over other areas of the country, the blog still turns its attentions to states where gay marriage has become pushed to the forefront of politics.
15. The Agenda : Although based out of New York, The Agenda does cover news stories from around the United States when momentous legislation crops up. Most of their articles cover politics over culture, but they do post regular “sweeps” which offer up relevant news and stories of interest from all over the internet. For those wanting information on the GLBT movement but suffer from a time crunch, these little clips give summaries of essential reading for the day.
16. Gay News Watch : Acting as a veritable Digg for the GLBT community, users generate content by submitting news stories and blog posts relevant to gay civil rights. From there, other visitors to the site can rate and comment on the articles, bringing the most popular to the forefront and downplaying the least. However, for those preferring other formats, it is possible to view listings by region, category, latest, and blogs or opinion articles as well. If none of the aforementioned choices appeal to users, then a customizable option is also available.
17. PageOneQ : This tireless news source combines timely articles from across the web into one digestible package. While it does not invite readers to rank their collection, they nevertheless offer an easy-to-navigate interface to make browsing for stories of interest quick and painless. Most external links only include a headline, though the bigger stories and reader picks come accompanied with introductory paragraphs.
18. BlogActive : Direct from D.C., this no-nonsense blog focuses on politics and politicians integral to gay civil rights. Editor Michael Rogers sheds light on how many elected officials who stringently deny equality for the GLBT community yet find themselves caught dallying in homosexual affairs. He urges all of those in leadership positions to embrace who they are and be honest with their constituents – and, more importantly, themselves – about their identity, sexual or otherwise.
19. J.A.T.G.A.B. Jewish Author Tough Gay Activist Bear : Writer Bill Schoell opens up about gay activism, culture, and events with an irreverent, tough, and keen eye. He draws quite a bit from his own personal experiences in the GLBT community, bringing up a couple of overlooked issues. However, Schoell’s best articles come on his analysis of gays in the media – both real and fictional. This busy, dedicated blogger interviews authors, reviews books and movies, and discusses imagery depicting the GLBT community in mainstream newspapers, magazines, and other outlets. Many of his articles provide incredibly insightful commentary on misguided mainstream perceptions of homosexuality and bisexuality.
20. Queers United : Queers United stands as one of the few blogs which actively seeks out relating to intersexual and asexual issues in addition to the usual GLBT news. They promote the importance of activism and education as the best routes towards obtaining equality for the community, citing Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and other nonviolent civil rights leaders as their main influences. Content encompasses issues, developments, and movements from around the United States, and readers can handily pick what subjects they would like to learn more about from a tab at the top of the menu.
21. 365gay.com : 365gay.com posts a very dizzying array of news stories and blog posts, all related to GLBT issues. Beyond the blog, they host a number of videos, advice from experts on a number of different fields, and opinions and editorials. It stands as one of the most detailed and exhaustive resources on current events in the GLBT community.
22. QueerToday.com : Multiple voices chime in regarding activism on QueerToday.com. It intends to construct a broad, vocal community that stokes awareness and education regarding gay civil rights. Participants organize nonviolent protests and rallies to garner to attention of media outlets, hoping to spread their message of equality to as many ears as possible. In addition, they also try to reach out to other marginalized and overlooked groups, such as the intersexed and the asexual.
23. Straight, Not Narrow : Straight, Not Narrow seeks to knock down the boundaries between Christianity, the GLBT community, and their heterosexual allies. Though outspokenly evangelical, this blog applies its religious leanings towards promoting a message of acceptance and tolerance between both parties. It apologies for and seeks to heal the pain that religious leaders have thrust upon the GLBT civil rights movement.
24. Inside, Looking Out : Focusing on marriage, hate crimes, and other equality issues, this blog posts news and opinions on current events concerning GLBT civil rights. It plans to open up a store soon for those who would like to support their messages, and occasional posts peek into interesting new media as well.
25. The New Civil Rights Movement : The New Civil Rights Movement makes for a lovingly detailed, comprehensive, and indispensable resource when it comes to learning about the GLBT movement and its goals. It covers an extremely broad spectrum of issues, ranging from marriage to economics and health care. All members of the gay community, their heterosexual allies, and even detractors of the GLBT civil rights movement must read the amazingly powerful, compelling essay “I Do Not Deserve Your Tolerance.”
All of these blogs stand in the front lines of the civil rights movement that fights for GLBT equality in American society. Without their tireless, unwavering efforts, the community would face even more marginalization and stigmatization. However, their fight stands up for more than marriage equality – by devoting time, money, energy, and resources into the GLBT cause, they give voice to all of those who have felt the pain of discrimination. Whether gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersexed, asexual, heterosexual, or something entirely different, no responsible person deserves to be pushed aside just for being different from mainstream perceptions of normalcy. That conviction sits at the heart of the GLBT and other civil rights movements more than anything else, and that remains their true motivation for forging ahead.