Gay campaign issues agenda
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.