Monthly Archives: April 2015

A Movement Decades in the Making

Executive director of long-time Community Works member, GLAD, discusses his experience watching Mary Bonauto defend the freedom to marry in front of the Supreme Court.

Originally posted by Janson Wu in the GLAD Blog.

A Movement Decades in the Making

Today I had the honor of watching Mary Bonauto make the case for the freedom to marry to the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices.

Janson Wu and Mary Bonauto

The anticipation right before argument was palpable, and the room was packed with a veritable ‘who’s who’ of our long movement for equality.

I was incredibly moved by the significance of this moment and by Mary’s remarkable expertise. I could not be more proud, both as GLAD’s Executive Director and as a member of the LGBT community, that she was the one to stand up and represent April and Jayne, Tim and Larry, and Dominique and Maurice – and all of us.

Mary’s arguments reminded me why we all do this work:

“The times can blind. It takes time to see the common humanity of people who have once been ignored and excluded.”

Mary and the two other advocates in support of marriage equality, U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli and Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, argued passionately for nearly an hour and a half, and handled the rapid-fire questions they were asked with finesse and eloquence.

This was an historic day in a movement that has been decades in the making. We won’t likely know what the justices decide before the end of June. From now until then we’ll keep you updated with any news about these cases and other important work for LGBT equality.

Mary’s closing words hit home and went right to the core of why this issue matters.

“The choice is not between the Court and the State, but instead whether the individual can decide who to marry, or whether the government will decide for him.”

Thank you for standing with us today, and every day. Together we have told the truth of our lives, and our love – and our quest for respect and dignity for our families cannot be denied.

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Baltimore to Boston

“When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse. When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con. And none of this can mean that rioting or violence is “correct” or “wise,” any more than a forest fire can be “correct” or “wise.” Wisdom isn’t the point tonight. Disrespect is. In this case, disrespect for the hollow law and failed order that so regularly disrespects the community.”

– Ta-Nehisi Coates, Baltimore native, in The Atlantic

Recent events in Baltimore have many social justice advocates fighting to defend protesters from accusations and misrepresentation in the media. In the video below, 19-year-old Sarah O’Neal expressed her frustration with having to defend these forest fires:

It is crucial to consider how widespread these issues are. Let us not forget the key points from the recent ACLU report investigating racially biased policing in Boston:

The deaths of Freddie Gray and Mike Brown are not isolated incidents. We must continue the struggle for justice in our communities and throughout the U.S by fighting to end structural violence and poverty.

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