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10/22/2009

The odd calm of awesome wins

by Jeremy Hooper

It's always interesting when a much-needed, much sought after LGBT right or protection passes. We expend so much energy and so many words on a particular fight, refuting the lies and misrepresentations put out. We debate until we're blue in the face. But then the chambers of congress cast their votes, and it can almost seem like a non-event. The opposition turns a blind eye, while the principled victor shows unexpected restraint. If you're not careful, the victory can seem a million times less newsworthy than they years of overwrought wrangling.

Yea, well -- we're not willing to let that happen this time. Today, this finally happened -- and it's HUGE:

After nearly 12 years, a strong hate crimes bill is finally on its way to the President’s desk and he’s promised to make it law. Upon his signature, the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act will be the first major federal civil rights law protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Congress Takes FINAL Vote on Hate Crimes Bill; On to President’s Desk [HRC Back Story]

All of the "pedophilia" nonsense. All of the attempts to besmirch Matt Shepard's memory. All of the anti-intellectual claims that gays want "special rights." All of the money that our opposition wasted on propagating the aforementioned talking points. That has ALL been dealt a crushing blow. And with one mighty pen stroke from the President of the United States, this victory will at long last be ours.

Not gonna lie: It feels great! Now let's get it signed. And let's make this a beginning of the end for the tired "culture war" mentality that's stuck in the 20th century, not an end to the exciting new idealism that could and should define our refreshed, more peaceful era.

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Your thoughts

Heard about this on the news, just about cheered very very happy news. Don't let us down Obama

Posted by: Jake | Oct 22, 2009 11:52:01 PM

Off to the whitehouse.gov to dash off an email saying I support the bill being signed!

Posted by: Em | Oct 23, 2009 1:39:46 AM

It does feel good! And, it's change that I can believe in. When the bill is signed, it will be a major milestone that we'll celebrate as long as we live. And maybe more of us will live (literally) as a result, and certainly live with an enhanced measure of confidence about our security.

But, if the bill had been irrevocably stalled or defeated, our opponents would be celebrating. They would not be celebrating the fact that they had achieved anything, because they've celebrated every time that they have defeated the bill in the past, and each of those times they gained nothing. They would have been celebrating because they had again effectively denied protections to a group of their fellow citizens that they love to hate. And, that is truly sad.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Oct 23, 2009 3:23:25 AM

it's a shame that something like this could not stand on its own instead of being attached to an unrelated bill.

Oh well, it is for the greater good.

Posted by: Chris R | Oct 23, 2009 1:01:58 PM

And this is just the begginning.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | Oct 23, 2009 2:48:50 PM

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