Monthly Archives: June 2015

The history of the LGBT movement in America 

Joaquin Tenedora-Forte
        On Friday June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States that said that the ban of gay marriage in America is unconstitutional. In a five to four decision the high court ruled in favor of James Obergefell sighting the fourteenth amendment; to the equal protection under the law. Today Let us reflect on the history of the wonderful and beautiful LGBT movement in the United States.

       In 1957, a 33 year old Frank Kemeny who was from fired as an astronomer because he was gay, he protest near the White House saying equal rights for homosexuals. (In the 1950’s it is illegal to be gay in America,) setting the tone for the modern Gay Rights movement. 

        In the 1960s there have been a rise of activism in the U.S. for black Americans. But in June 1969 there have been a raid at a bar in New York’s The unrest at the Stonewall inn happen this month 46 years ago, sends a signal to America that the gays are people too and you can’t do that to them.

         The 1970’s saw a lot of activism, gay activism, Specially in the San Francisco Bay Area. By 1977 a 40 year old openly gay man named Harvey Milk ran for office, and won. But by November of the next year Milk was assassinated by Dan White a former city supervisor. The out cry of the gay community in San Fransisco was vast, the anger they felt was huge. 


harvy milk

        In the 1980’s fueled by the death of Harvey Milk the activism continues for the LGBT community. But by the mid 1980’s there have been massive deaths in the community. It was cause by unprotected sex, it was AIDS. It meant that people are dying and vulnerable, partners, aren’t allowed by the families to be in their partners bedside during their dying hours. 

       By 1989 27 year old journalist and gay activists from England Andrew Sullivan argue for same sex marriage. He got laughs from the gay community, the idea is too new to the community. Sullivan is diagnosed with HIV two years later.

       A new administration came in 1993 the democratic president Bill Clinton gives a new hope, a new hope for LGBT Americans but aside from the medications for AIDS. President Clinton is hostile to the idea of Same Sex Marriage, and letting gay people to serve openly in the military, so he sign the Defense of Marriage Act the will not recognize gay marriages at the federal level. And the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell which prevents gay people from serving in the military openly.


      The new millennium came and just one state with civil unions, Vermont, in 1998 a men is arrested for sodomy, John Lawrence. Lawrence and his partner are making out, when a neighbor saw them, he called 9-1-1, the two guys were arrested accused of sodomy. In Texas sodomy is a crime so they put the two men in jail. But the two men fought. And in 2003 it reaches the Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision the court said that all sodomy laws are unconstitutional, basically reversing Boweers vs hardwick in 1986.

        Since sodomy is declared unconstitutional in 2003. The next year, in 2004 Massachusetts became the first state to have same sex marriage. That same year President Bush ran in anti gay campaign. Gay marriage is in the standstill. In 2009 gay marriage became legal in two different states Iowa and Vermont. (California is different because in 2008 they legalize but due to prop 8, it was stopped. the Supreme Court in 2013 decided it was unconstitutional.)      

Personal stories

            Edith and her partner Thea Spyre were married in Toronto Canada on 2007 on their fourteenth year together They were residents of New York so live there. but by 2009 Thea died. Because they are not married under the federal government, they are strangers. Edie needed to pay more than three hundred thousand dollars in estate taxes. So she fought for the right to marriage, it went to the federal court then the Supreme Court Which in 5 to 4 decision she won.

     James Obergefell and John Arthur were married in the airport of Maryland in 2013. John Arthur was diagnosed with ALS two years earlier, and died in their home state of Ohio. The problem becomes because Ohio don’t recognize gay marriages they can’t put Jim on John’s death certificate. Jim fought and it was a hard fight and in the 5-4 decision marriage was given in 50 states of the Union.
       50 years since Frank Kemeny was first fired from his job. 46 years since stonewall, 35 years since Harvey Milk ran for office. 27 years since AIDS first break out. 19 years since president Clinton sign DOMA. 12 years since Lawrence vs Texas. 11 years since Massachusetts. 5 years since Thea Spyre died. 2 years since DOMA was replied We are here. on June 26 2015 the Supreme Court said that love and liberty wins.





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Filed under LGBT, Love wins, Marriage equality, The United States

The impact of immigration in the economy of the Philippines

By Joaquin Tenedora- Forte

            Migration according to the United Nations is a human right. But How can you console a country that is reeling from brain drain, from a luck of job opportunities and a luck of a better salary. I am obviously talking about our own country the Philippines. Where in ten million people are abroad. That’s eleven percent of the total population of the country.

      In this article, I will be focusing on Filipinos in America, because they are the largest concentration of Filipinos in the world. Also because of our tight history.  

       There are 4 million Filipinos in the United States, why are they moving. For reasons like they wanted a better life that they don’t have in the Philippines. I don’t blame the nurses, doctors and engineers who wanted to make a better lives for being there. The salary of a nurse in America is $68,000 Annually compared to the salary of a nurse in the Philippines $8570. The Philippine economy isn’t ready to pay the price that cost.

      The impact of migration economically is good, the Philippines had received billions of dollars of remittances each year. That’s why when in 2008 the Great Recession hit we weren’t hit that hard. But there are some draw backs, the biggest draw back is the brain drain that is occurring until today people who study in the brightest universities in the country is always itching to get out of the country and go abroad to where the money is.

        The biggest impact of migration is seen in the family. The Filipinos are like the Italians of Asia, we have close extended family since one in every ten Filipinos are abroad, the Filipino family is essentially broken. The children of OFW’s are reeling from luck of parental guidance. Most children lose affection for their parents, Even if sometimes people consider them as well to do, they are virtual orphans. 

       One of the biggest secrets of the Filipino migrant community all across the world is the hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrant workers, the TNTs short for Tago ng Tago in English hiding and hiding. In America there are an estimated 300 thousand undocumented Filipinos, they often work under the table jobs and like their documented counter parts, the undocumented people wants a better life for their families here in the Philippines.

       In the country of 100 million, where in people suffers, the government had a responsibility to get people jobs here in the country. In the economy that they say is booming, where are the jobs. The minimum wage is not just a living wage is almost a slave wage. You are paying them too little. It’s because of corruption that plague the country for decades, it’s also the wrong course, people are not getting jobs because of the wrong degrees.

    While I want to thank people for the country’s economy. I almost feel bad, bad because they need to go in great lengths to feel economically stable to come back. I feel so bad that many of my countrymen need to go to heights just to have the money to buy homes, to pay for the children’s fees at school. I can’t believe That this is happening in a supposedly booming economy.


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Filed under Immigration, Migrant workers, OFWs, Philippine American relationship, The United States

What is like being a liberal in a conservative part of the world

Joaquin Tenedora-Forte
        What you don’t know about me is I am big liberal. It is really hard for me to see Conservatives as good people I see them as bad people. I need to remind my see that I am living in the Philippines (one of the most conservative places in the world) it sometimes hard. 

       I am a big secular humanist, so I often believe in human rights. As a person who is in the part of the neurodiverse community and who is sometimes look down upon. You need a lot of empathy. The game of “what If” is being played every time and it’s been likewise very rewarding. 

         I really believe that gay people have a right to get married, Undocumented people in America and all around the world shouldn’t be called illegal aliens, I hate the term because its very inaccurate and wrong and woman had a right to there bodies until a curtain point. But what I still believe in a limited government involvement. 

    It sometimes feels like I am so out of place in my own country. I love the Philippines but I still can’t believe that the country has gotten to far in terms of its social operation of minority gropes, in a poll done by Rapper News 68% of Filipinos thinks that homosexuality is immoral. What the heck. You can help being gay or transgender and it’s not a choice that they had made from them selves. It’s hard wired in them, as if they choose, one day OMG I want guys, or I am a guy OMG I am a girl instead no that’s not how it goes.

     One thing that saddens me everyday is how society thinks of divorce, divorce is one touchy subject in this country as If it prevents people from separating duh you are just preventing some one from getting married duh. People are in the wrong side of history in this country. I know that we should value conservatism but valuing conservatism doesn’t mean that we should infringe on other people’s lives. 

   Lastly, I know that Filipinos are so religious, please don’t use the bible as a way to hate use it as a why to understand why other people think or act the why that the they do. Putting your foot on other people’s shoes. And be Christ like. Jesus Christ understands, loves, cares. 

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Filed under The Philipines