Gay cam­paign is­sues agenda

The Washington Times Weekly - - Culture, Etc. -

right to eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity free from dis­crim­i­na­tion in em­ploy­ment, pub­lic hous­ing, ac­com­mo­da­tion, pub­lic fa­cil­i­ties, credit and fed­er­ally funded pro­grams and ac­tiv­i­ties.”

“Ed­u­ca­tion: Ev­ery LGBT child and youth has the right to an ed­u­ca­tion that is af­firm­ing, in­clu­sive and free from bul­ly­ing.”

“Na­tional se­cu­rity: Ev­ery LGBT per­son should have the op­por­tu­nity to serve our coun­try openly and equally in our mil­i­tary and for­eign ser­vice.”

“Crime: Ev­ery LGBT per­son should en­joy life pro­tected against bias crimes.”

“Health care: Ev­ery per­son should have ac­cess to af­ford­ing high qual­ity and cul­tur­ally com­pe­tent health care without dis­crim­i­na­tion.”

I reprint th­ese prin­ci­ples be-


cause they are the dis­til­la­tion of an agenda 40 years in the mak­ing. June 28 marks the an­niver­sary of the 1969 Stonewall ri­ots, in which gay men and women fought off a New York City po­lice raid and launched the gay rights move­ment.

The Dal­las Prin­ci­ples are a di­rect chal­lenge to Capi­tol Hill.

“Pres­i­dent Obama and Congress pledged to lead Amer­ica in a new di­rec­tion that in­cluded civil rights” for LGBT Ameri- cans, they say. “We face a his­toric op­por­tu­nity to ob­tain our full civil rights; this is the mo­ment for change.”

The May 26 Cal­i­for­nia Supreme Court rul­ing up­hold­ing Propo­si­tion 8 — and mar- riage be­tween one man and one woman — is a gal­va­niz­ing event, said Charles Mer­rill, a Dal­las Prin­ci­ples au­thor.

“We must now turn our grief and frus­tra­tions and anger” to action, said Mr. Mer­rill, a mem- ber of the Mer­rill Lynch fam­ily who legally mar­ried a man last year.

I am hop­ing the Dal­las Prin­ci­ples spark pub­lic dis­cus­sion. I es­pe­cially wel­come dis­course about the ideas that re­li­gious be­liefs have noth­ing to do with civil rights and “le­gal bar­ri­ers” to mar­riage and chil­dren should be abol­ished.

How­ever, I ques­tion the Dal­las Prin­ci­ples’ de­mand that the me­dia present LGBT lives “in fair, ac­cu­rate and ob­jec­tive ways that nei­ther in­clude nor give cre­dence to un­sub­stan­ti­ated, dis­crim­i­na­tory claims and opin­ions.” That, I’m afraid, runs afoul of the First Amend­ment right to a free press. Too of­ten, one man’s “truth” is an­other man’s “un­sub­stan­ti­ated, dis­crim­i­na­tory” claim.

Case in point: You might think sup­port­ers of Love Makes a Fam­ily and Love Won Out share the same views. But one is a gay rights group and the other is a min­istry for peo­ple who strug­gle with — or have left — the gay life­style. Both have sto­ries to tell and the press must be left free to tell them.

Ch­eryl Wetzstein can be reached at cwet­zstein@wash­ing­ton­

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