Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Gay Visibility Takes the Stage at the Democratic National Convention

     I don't know about you, but when it comes to politics (especially at this time of year), I have a fair amount of cognitive dissonance. I care deeply about the issues, but sometimes the competitive nature between the parties and the extreme views of many Americans can lead to my own personal voter burnout. It is rare that an election does not bring with it lots of frustration and even animosity. However, this year I am pleased to note a tremendous increase in the prominence of equal rights, specifically for LGBTQA individuals.  These issues have always been important to folks in the community and allies, but we are finally reaching beyond our circle to take a place at the center of attention.
     This has been most notable at the recent Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.  In the past, gay issues have been addressed in obscure corner of the convention, and attendee Craig McCartney of Dallas notes that this time around "we are more out of the closet politically." A number of openly gay speakers have taken the stage at the convention, and issues such as marriage equality have been brought up in nearly every speech. The Human Rights Campaign set up a booth to sell supportive t-shirts, and was barely able to keep up with the tremendous demand.
     On the flip side, normally anti-gay groups seem to be lightening up in their position. Obviously they are far from joining queer activists, but simply the fact that open and active hatred is less evident this year is significant. The protesters outside the Democratic National Convention focused their points on issues of abortion instead of marriage equality. While gay rights were prominent in all Democratic speeches, they hardly came up at all at the Republican National Convention. In the past, stances clearly against gay rights have been taken at the RNC, so I would consider a lack of attention and attacks a good thing.
     Attendees of the Democratic National Convention looked upon these changes positively, excited about the distinct progress in acceptability of gay rights. I hope this trend continues until equality is established.

     For more information, visit the original article in The New York Times.

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