Make your vote count... FOR THE NEXT 30 YEARS

If you identify with or support U.S. citizens who don’t fall into the “straight, cisgender” category, you have an opportunity that is not likely to come again in your lifetime. And the rest of your lifetime is about how long the outcome of this opportunity will matter.

With the death of Antonin Scalia, one of the least LGBT-friendly voices on the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) for the past thirty years is silenced. The question is what the next voice will say.

Devilish details keep minority groups isolated

Different in a threatening way. Disturbingly different; alien. To perceive a person or people as alien to oneself. Each of these phrases defines “other.” I confess that I hadn’t known the word could be used as a verb, but it exemplifies perfectly the way far too many of us treat “others” of us whom we don’t understand.

As the author of books and stories about gay teens, I tend to notice situations in which LGBTQ individuals are othered. Examples are all around us, from the notorious Kim Davis to state-based Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs, introduced because “the advance of LGBT rights has encroached upon religious liberty”) to fanatics like the Westborough Baptist Church to most of the current candidates vying for the GOP nomination to the wanton murders of trans individuals (more last year than ever before).

Ben Carson: Delusional canary

Dr. Ben Carson seems to be in the process of disappearing from that stage on which the GOP presidential wannabes gather every so often. But even if his campaign is running out of steam, some of the things he has said—specifically about LGBTQ people—represent fallacies that he points to as reasons to decry marriage equality and transgender rights. In a sense, he’s like the canary in the coal mine, except that he only thinks he’s dying.

Who wants to be tolerated now? Bigots?

With the stated intent to preserve the religious freedom of government officials (and, presumably, to avoid legal hot water regarding the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling), Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has issued an executive order that a new marriage license be created for that state, one that does not mention the name of the clerk executing the document. The question arises: Is this a good way to cast a little oil upon the roiling waters set to boiling by Kim Davis and give everyone a little breathing space, or is this a way for cultural and religious dinosaurs to drag their feet and at least slow the progress of LGBT rights?

God, or Mammon? Kim Davis must choose.

If Kim Davis and her knight in shining armor Mike Huckabee are to be believed, Davis has suffered “immediate and irreparable injury" because she was expected to perform the duties for which she was hired: that of Kentucky's Rowan County clerk.

Davis's attorney is saying that Davis “is facing immediate and substantial harm and consequences for exercising her individual constitutional and statutory rights.” And what right does she want to exercise? Her religion condemns homosexual activity, so she doesn't want to be required to issue legal marriage licenses to gay couples. She wants to perform only the parts of her job that don't, in her mind, conflict with her religious beliefs. Should she be allowed to do that?

"See y'all in church!"

You've all heard so much about the shenanigans of Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk who did her very best to prevent her government office from issuing marriage licenses, now that the law requires her to issue them to all citizens, and not just the ones whose marriages she approves of.

So I'm not going to talk about Kim Davis. But I think we need to talk about what's underneath her actions. We need to talk about bubbles.

Earlier this year, there was a kerfuffle that began in Indiana (remember Memories Pizza?) around religious freedom. The issue at hand then is the same one we're hearing about now. And it's a smoke screen for people who might not even be aware that they're living in a bubble.