HAHAT 2014 blog and giveaway—Celebrate, but stay for the long haul, because *this is beautiful*

HAHAT 2014

Another year has gone by, and equal marriage rights have been popping up all over the USA.

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is a yearly event on May 17th, and the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia is one way some of us bloggers participate. (Click that link for a list of all participating blogs!) Since last May, the US Supreme Court has made a landmark decision, believe it or not, helping to prevent California state law from undermining marriage rights for people who love another of their own gender. And several states have found their conscience and passed laws equalizing marriage rights. And some state courts have overturned bans. Even the IRS has joined in to treat people in same-sex marriages equally with their heterosexual counterparts. The list of accomplishments goes on—there’s a lot to celebrate. In that spirit

I’m giving away $15.00 in money for (what else) books from Dreamspinner Press.

All you have to do to enter is comment below, naming the one event since May 2013, personal or public, that most spurred your hope for equality. You don’t have to use a lot of words, a few will do and they don’t have to be fancy. I just want to cheer when I read your comment. 🙂

But I’m no believer in blind optimism. I think there are many good reasons to hope and envision a day when who a person loves is not hung from the town hall for public judgment. We’re not there yet, though. I recently was asked why I write homophobic events into my stories. Well, my characters are gay. I’m bisexual. Homophobic stuff happens. Hate crimes happen. Bullying and abuse of LGBTQ spectrum teens continues to happen, be tolerated by some who should know better, and to cause despair to the point of suicide. And as for marriage equality, here is a map of the US. After you’ve looked at the map,

consider this: Only the solid dark blue states have fully legalized same-sex marriage. I count sixteen.

For a greater eye opener, look at the full legend, here.
US states by same sex marraige status

Honey, we have a long way to go, just for the legal stuff! Changing minds and hearts, stopping homophobia and transphobia, is another layer—a thicker, crustier, more corrosive one, and it moves glacially slow. I remind myself of this so that I

don’t lose heart, and do dig in for the long haul

.

Why does it matter?

Because this is beautiful:


logo web (smaller) jpg

58 Comments

Filed under Contests, HAHAT 2014, homophobia, Marriage equality

58 Responses to HAHAT 2014 blog and giveaway—Celebrate, but stay for the long haul, because *this is beautiful*

  1. Pingback: HAHAT 2014 blog and giveaway—Celebrate, but stay for the long haul, because *this is beautiful* | Worlds Well Written

  2. My favorite moment is when an Arkansas judge overruled the gay marriage ban. =}

    • Trish, yes! That was a wonderful moment. I was stopped at a red light when I heard and let out a whoop… forgetting that my window was down. Startled a pedestrian! Thanks! (You’re in the running.)
      Lou

  3. Ray

    Loved the pictures that you posted, especially the one holding hands and the one with the ring (indicating engagement probably). I liked the way you tried to show same sex love at its emotional peak.

    • Thank you, Lee! One of the things I realized I left out of my post unintentionally is a bit about the international picture. Some good, some not so good at all. I’m happy to hear about the hopeful parts of the picture!
      (I’ve got your name in for the drawing.)
      Lou

  4. This is very moving for me. Just lost my sister who was a lesbian. I miss her so much. She and her partner of 14 years couldn’t get married in our state so it was heartbreaking not to see that dream of hers come true. I hate our stupid laws, love is love plain and simple. No matter what people said to her about being with someone of the same sex she proudly held her head up. She was a great inspiration to all of us. This is a wonderful blog post and hop <3
    kittyissweet@gmail.com

    • Kathryn thank you for that comment. I’m so sorry you lost someone so dear, but I’ll join you in celebrating her courage and love. (You’re in the drawing hat, though that’s less important than what you shared.)
      Best,
      Lou

  5. JenCW

    All the recent overturned laws in states has made me so happy. I think that the Arkansas decision and go ahead for same sex marriage made the most impact to me of late. Thank you for the beautiful pictures and the informative map. We still have a ways to go, but progress is being made faster than ever.

  6. I’m gonna do a truly recent incident. I loved the kiss between Michael Sam and his partner when he was drafted. It was totally spontaneous and truly beautiful.

  7. Rod B

    Going to my first Gay Pride parade in NYC last year.
    rockybatt@gmail.com

    • Rod, nice to hear from you! That must have been a fabulous time! Pride Parades are an excellent marker for progress, I think, and even better when its a personal first! Thanks for the comment. (And you’re name is in the hat!)
      Lou

  8. great post for a great cause very eyeopening and I too was thrilled abou tthe Ark ovverturning( i live very near there) cathybrockmanromance@gmail.com

  9. Joy Walker Hall

    I think seeing the South finally beginning to join the 21st century, even if it is done kicking and screaming, has shone that there is hope. I’ve lived in Arkansas a long time, though I grew up in Chicago, and we are finally issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples (until they stayed it temporarily). But I do feel that all the states will finally have to do the right thing, even Arkansas…ha.

    • Totally a victory for marriage rights in the south, with Arkansas moving ahead, Joy. Thank you for reading and commenting! (I’ve added you to the drawing pool.)

      Lou

  10. I think Tj’s proposal to Eric was my highlight moment…..it wasn’t a “gay ” thing it was a “2 people in love” thing. I have hope for true equality soon.

  11. Penumbra

    I don’t think it’s one thing I can think of, but how the overturns have been happening more and more often, and faster and faster. That is inspiring.

    penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

  12. C.C. Williams

    The speedy spread of marriage equality is certainly noteworthy, but I have been most taken recently with Michael Sam and the support shown him by his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano.

    Thanks for hopping along, Lou!

  13. Trix

    As a hockey fan, I was thrilled when the National Hockey League officially aligned itself with the You Can Play Project last year (which works to eliminate homophobia in team sports). I was even happier when it was revealed that individual players from all 30 teams had spoken out or done work on its behalf. (I especially appreciate the guys who helped to establish the organization early on, including Tommy Wingels of my beloved San Jose Sharks and Andy Miele of the Phoenix Coyotes…they had gotten involved long before their NHL careers got going or before anyone knew how getting aligned with pro-LGBT causes would affect their careers, so it was definitely a risk for them at the time.)

    vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

    • Trix! Nice to see your comment here. I have to admit I really wasn’t aware of the extent to which the NHL had come along. Thank you! (And you’re name is in the hat.)

  14. Lisa

    There have been several events…section 3 of DOMA being overturned by the US Supreme Court, Michael Sam being drafted and then celebrating with his boyfriend, and most recently when the judge overruled the gay marriage ban in Arkansas. I live in Texas so that gives me hope that maybe the same thing can happen here. 🙂

    Thanks for the giveaway! I love your Vasquez and James series and I spend lots of money each month at Dreamspinner…lol. 🙂

  15. Pingback: Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia | ScuttlebuttReviews

  16. Cornelia

    I think the kiss between Michael and Vito for all the world to see this beautiful moment.

  17. i am so glad i live in canada and our military was way more open than the US. our military actually tries to recrut at gay pride here in toronto

  18. Rissa

    Great Post! I think seeing those states turn blue just a little bit fast than the one before it. 🙂
    raynman1979(at)yahoo(dot)com

    • Yes, Rissa. I agree. I guess I’m impatient because it still doesn’t seem fast enough, but it is speeding up, and with all the court cases being won–even just this week—things are looking up! Thanks! (And I’ve added you in for the drawing.)

  19. Since May 2013? Hm. For me personally, it’s been finding F/F authors and readers who like my books (and me) exactly as they are, not as a second-best substitute for M/F. It’s small, but to me it’s huge.

    • Anastasia, thanks for reading and commenting. I’m in complete agreement! I remember years ago lesbian fiction was much more limited! (I read it anyway, and thank heaven for pioneers). It’s nice to have more choice, and less hush-hush. Only thing I disagree with is that it’s small. It’s meaningful! (I’ve added you to the pot for the drawing, too.)

  20. I live in MN and supported the marriage equality goal. What excitement when it passed! Two gay friends of mine married that fall. Cool. Now they both have health insurance, too. 🙂 caddyauthor(at)gmail(dot)com

    • Yes, Caddy! That’s what equality is really all about. Not only being able to stand up in public and pledge love, but to have all the supports, like medical insurance for spouses, that heterosexual married couples have enjoyed exclusively for so long! Thank you, and of course I’ve added you for the drawing. 🙂

  21. michelle

    My state’s Supreme Court struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. We’re working on getting it legalized. Small stepsbut Closer and closer.

    MHupp20032003(at)yahoo(dot)com

  22. Shirley Ann Speakman

    Great post I’m from England and the one instant that stands out is the Government past The Marriage Act this year now everyone can get married to whomever they want.
    ShirleyAnn(at)speakman40(dot)freeserve(dot)co(dot)uk

    • Yes! A wonderful thing–and of course in England the whole country gets the new law, whereas in the States we have to go State by State. Crazy! But things are moving all over the world. Thanks for commenting, Shirley. And you are also, incidentally, in the drawing.

  23. stella

    a beautiful post Lou!!!
    I choose Conchita Wurst the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014!!!!!

  24. I guess when I posted about being a gay methosist on facebook and got lots of support from Church members.

    rojoroaors@yahoo.com

    • That is a wonderful occasion! Thank you for sharing it. I happened to be in my car listening to public radio and heard part of an interview with a Methodist minister who had been defrocked for preforming a marriage ceremony for his son and his son’s groom. He was a wonderful example to show that faith does not have to blind to be brilliant. 🙂 (And I’ve entered you in my drawing.)

  25. Juliana

    I live in Florida and there has been basically no real progress here but seeing Arkansas strike down gay marriage ban gave me hope for Florida! Thank you for posting!
    OceanAkers @ aol.com

    • Thanks, Juliana! So true, if Arkansas can see the light, surely other seemingly conservative states can, too. We hope it won’t be long! Thank you for commenting and entering the contest!

  26. We may not be there yet, Lou, but I firmly believe one day we will be. Thanks for joining us. 🙂

  27. Thanks for stopping in to comment, Andrew! I agree, at least that things will be a far cry better, and as others have said it seems to be rolling along at a faster pace. It was less than 20 years ago I was afraid to walk in Seattle holding hands with the woman I loved. I think it can still be dangerous at times, but not like it was then, in most places. When you look at it that way, we’re well on our way!

  28. My wish is that my daughter will be able to marry who she loves, regardless of their sex. Same goes for my son. Without having to go to another state. We are working hard in Florida to make that change.

  29. sherry1969

    I think it will be a long battle before my state will legalize gay marriage. It’s such a slow ass state. I enjoyed your post. Thanks for being part of the hop.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

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