Tag Archives: gay rights

LGBT Monday: Harvey Milk and the hope he is still bringing up to today   

Joaquin Tenedora-Forte

October 26, 2015
There are some people who’s legacy will not be recognize, until years or even decades after they died. This is definitely true for Harvey Milk, Harvey Milk is the first openly gay public elected official. I think he is more relevant today than back then. He gave a lot of hope to people that till this day is felt. 

I was 16, when I first watched the movie Milk, by Daniel Lance Black, staring Sean Penn as Harvey Milk. And I am not going to lie, I did not like the movie, I suppose I am too young to watch a gay theme film. But after almost 4 years at the age of 20 I watch the film again, and I absolutely love it, because I absolutely got the theme of the film, and the film is about hope.

Even after Milk was gun down, he is giving people hope as the first elected state supervisor just by being out. He is the first person who has given people an idea that being gay is not a crime or a sin. He’s death has more meaning now than ever before, after The US Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, Milk’s legacy of equality, came to life.

The hope that Harvey Milk gave to a lot of people back then that are in the shadows about being gay, holds true until today, with the organization the It Gets Better project. The founders spouses Dan Savage and Terry Miller, in the wake of the 2010 crisis of teens committing suicide, that the campaign is aim on giving hope to teenagers, that they can live happy lives. 

Lastly, I hope that Harvey Milk story of courage in the midst of everything that happen to him in his life, will be on every history book not just in liberal states, so that every LGBT kid can have the courage to live their lives as authentic as possible. Finally, I want to give you my favorite quote from Harvey Milk, “if a bullet should enter my brain let it shutter every closet door.”

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LGBT Monday: Gay Convertion Therapy 

Joaquin Tenedora Forte

October 19, 2015


Recently, after an Ohio transgender teen committed suicide after she was force in to reparative therapy. The president, president Obama said that reparative therapy is bad and wrong, also is very harmful especially to young people. 

Gay conversion therapy or reparative therapy is a practice that claims to change gay people in to straight by using a mixture of psychological and spiritual methods. This is bad and dangerous though because people can not change a persons sexual orientation. 

Until recently, because homosexuality is put under the mental health disorders list. They say that is should be cured. It lead to a rise of this gay conversion centers like Exodus international, which made such claims. There is this one study in particular (on this kid, the kid came out as gay at 16 and after 20 years he committed suicide.) that people in the movement had claimed but it was already been debunked. 

The risk of this kind of therapy is devastating to people, the person will feel very ashamed of themselves. Like there is something wrong about them, the person will feel depressed and anxious. They will feel broken and wrong about themselves.

People are gay as they are straight. Being gay is a variation of normalcy. People who say that homosexuality is a choice is a bad person. Who chooses to be gay in the first place. People think it is a fun lifestyle. The fact the matter is, it is not very fun being gay, four times more likely to commit suicide. That is no fun.

Lastly, who in their right mind chooses to be gay, with all of that thing, that can happen to you. They only chooses to come out. Coming out is a great feeling, because they owning who they are. People who come out so are brave, because they can put up with the worlds prejudices. Finally, I want to repeat what I said earlier, being gay is a variation of normalcy and normal never can change

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The opposition of the Catholic Church to gay marriage

Joaquin Tenedora-Forte       

 It’s a common knowledge that the Catholic Church is not fond of the idea of gay people marrying. But in a poll by Pew Research, that said that 60 percent of American Catholics are in favor of marriage equality. And the pope, pope Francis said ‘who am I to judge’ gay people’. But why is the catholic doctrine opposed to the idea of gay marriage.
Of course, we all know that the bible is against gay marriage or gay sex in that manner. But Catholics take a more moderate position in the issue of gayness, specially American Catholics, look at the survey at the beginning of this piece. For most catholic folks, people don’t choose to be gay. 
According to Catholic doctrine, sex is a reserve ritual that two people who are married do, to pro create. In short sex is only for having babies. But we all know, that having sex is not only for two people to have children. Sex is also for the bond and intimacy. 
In the logic of the Catholic Church gay people can’t get married because they cannot have kids of their own. In the mind of people who are opposed to gay marriage It is okey to be gay but you need to practice celibacy.

There are a lot of problems with that argument, for example women who for what ever reason cannot be pregnant. And people, older people, post menopause women cannot have children. The Catholic Church has no problem officiating weddings for women who are post menopause and for women who cannot get pregnant. They have a big problem officiating weddings with gay men and lesbians.

 marriage is not only about having sex. It is also the bond that two people hold. There are certain rights and responsibilities under the law that are attach to marriage. Finally, the Catholic Church should respect the decision of a country to have gay marriages. 

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Windsor vs United States 

Joaquin Tenedora Forte
   An unjust law is no law at ALL, dr Martin Luther King Jr said in his letter to the clergymen of Birmingham quoting the catholic monk St. Augustine. Thru out American history there have been laws on the books that is unjust and one of those laws is the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA: specially section 3 which deals with taxes and immigration. In this article I want to talk about the first major marriage equality case in the Supreme Court: Windsor vs United States.

    Edith Windsor and her spouse Thea Spyre were both professionals. Edith was a computer programmer and Thea was a psychologist. They met in New York’s Greenwich village. Back then they were in hiding because they were no protection for the LGBT community. And if found out you can be in prison just for being a homosexual. In 1967 they were engage to be married.

      In the late 1970s Thea was diagnose with Multiple Sclerosis a progressive disease where in the person will have a luck of movement in the limbs. Progressing slowly, the couple did not even thought about making their engagement real but by 2007 Thea’s condition worsened. the doctors gave her one year to live. Also in 2007 is there 40 years of being engaged. Because New York has not yet allowed gay marriage, they went to Canada to get married

         In 2009 Thea Spyre died due to the complications of Multiple sclerosis. She left her estate to her spouse Edith. But there is a big problem according to the Defense of Marriage Act the two were just friends under the law. The forty years together is nothing. Edith needed to pay 300 thousand dollars in taxes, that she will not pay if her spouse is a man. So she sued the federal government in the grounds of equal protection. The case reaches the Supreme Court in a 5 to 4 decision federal right of marriage is granted.

    The case change my position in marriage equality. Because growing up i didn’t supported the idea of gay marriage but today I fully support gay marriage because of this case. Marriage is a human rights issue. There are plenty of rights that marriage holds. Sorry, religious folks to young people marriage is just a piece of paper that two people sign on to make their love real.

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An unjust law is no law at all: I will fight for civil rights

Joachim Tenedora- Forte

        ‘Injustice everywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’ Martin Luther King jr. once said. I really admire Dr. King, I want to be a lawyer not only for my self but most importantly for the legacy of Dr. King. When I say legacy I don’t think speeches but the person behind. I think of how Dr King and how he won against atrocities thru out his life.

         Since I was very little, I have a really good sense of fairness and justice. I remember a guy is in jail for 15 years, killed a girl. And he was pardon by our president, I remembered my social studies teacher said that the president got it wrong. I said to my self it’s not right. I know that this man was guilty. But I really feel like he needed a second chance, and I believe that people don’t think that way for him. So I did not say anything.

      In 2009, I knew my first gay person, American idol finalists Adam Lambert, I supported the gay community in my country. But didn’t supported marriage equality. I suppose I’m too young to even understand what marriage meant.
       2013 I understood the Windsor case. Where in a lesbian couple one of the woman died, the other one was ordered to pay 300 thousand in taxes that if her wife was a man the widow will not pay that much in property taxes. I realized that gay marriage is and should be a right.

     if I were born during the 60s I would probably be a supporter of the black community. I would probably be in the crowds in the March on Washington. It’s just that I was in the gay rights era, so supported gay rights. I want to become a lawyer to fight for people’s rights like one of my heroes Evan Wolfson.

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The dumbest arguments against marriage equality and the myths about gender and sexuality

Joaquin Tenedora-Forte
      On Friday June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States said that marriage is a fundamental human right. Since this country is uber conservative, people were offended. The Catholic Church, the government and its people said that the will never allow gay marriage here in this country. So I want to let people understand and debunk myths on the “gay lifestyle”. 

   1. Gay marriages will lead to pedophilia 

     Fact: Gay marriage will not lead to pedophilia, because pedophiles are criminals and bad people. A young child can’t consent to an older person. And people who do child porn are sick, they should be in prison. And if they legalize pedophilia, I will be the first person to opposed it. It’s rape, it’s a crime.   

 2. Being Gay is a choice 

      Fact: You do not choose to be gay, it’s innate. And people who are gay are born that way so as straight people do, (to whom are you attracted to.) Scientists had already found what could cause homosexuality. It’s a genetic mutation that cause people to be gay. They don’t choose to be gay they choose to come out. 
3. Marriage should be for one man, one woman and If you do that you will ruin the sanctity of marriage.

    No, because history and the bible says otherwise. In the bible the traditional marriage is polygamy from Abraham to David, in the New Testament it started to change. We got Mary, Joseph and Jesus. In America until recently, you can give out your daughter for money to live with other man, girls aren’t ever allowed to work and woman should stay at home.

4. God created Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve

  Fact: The stupidest argument against gay marriage ever, first of all I believe in evolution. So for me It was really dumb because creationism I think is stupid. But here is my counter argument, gay people are in the bosom of straight people. What I mean is that gay people are living and breathing with straight people, since the Stone Age.
5. Myth: God only created two genders: a man and a woman

Fact: The most frustrating argument, because I really believe in science and the scientist says otherwise, there are three types of a persons identity. 
   1. Gender is in your head: what you feel in your head.

   2. Sexuality is what is in your heart: meaning who are you attracted to.

   3. Sex is who are you biologically and your anatomy.

People are born biologically male and act like a man. People are born female and act female. People can be gay or transgender. Gender is a spectrum, that its perfectly normal to be gay     

     Lastly, I want to leave you with justice Anthony Kennedy’s argument for the legalization of gay marriage in America. This is something to think about:

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.” 

US Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy June 26. 2015: Obergefell vs Hughes  







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