If you only watch one video all day, make it this celebration of same-sex love entitled Until We Could


Take 5 minutes out of your day to watch and listen to this beautifully portrayed message of pride and love. If you only watch one thing today, this should be it.

Until We Could is a video poem by Richard Blanco and posted to the Freedom to Marry YouTube channel. The film is narrated by Golden Globe winning actress Robin Wright and actor Ben Foster.

For more info on the campaign to win marriage nationwide, visit www.freedomtomarry.org.

A state judge just ruled the Louisiana same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional


Only weeks after a district judge upheld Louisiana’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, a Louisiana state judge just ruled the law is unconstitutional.

Judge Edward Rubin ruled the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and in violation of the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the full faith and credit clause.

Since the Supreme Court struck down DOMA in 2013, we witnessed 21 sequential rulings against same-marriage bans that was abruptly, and erroneously, broken by District Judge Martin Feldman.

This latest ruling is good news, my friends…although I would wager it will be appealed.

U.S. appeals court upholds New Jersey’s gay-to-straight conversion therapy ban


In Trenton, NJ today, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court’s ruling and New Jersey’s ban on gay-to-straight conversion therapy for minors.

The law prevents a licensed therapist, psychologist, social worker or counselor from using sexual orientation change efforts on children younger than 18.

According to the three-judge panel, the law does not violate freedom of speech or religion and the state has substantial interest in regulating the speech of professionals dealing with mental health to protect the public.

Days after Governor Chris Christie signed the ban into law, opponents filed suit. They claimed the law violated their responsibility to their clients who wanted the treatment (you know, the minors that were unable to consent and typically forced into therapy by their parents).

Supporters, on the other hand, cited scientific reports by the American Psychological Association and other professional organizations that question the efficacy of the treatment and criticize the practice as emotionally demoralizing and damaging.

Supporting our youth – Your Holiday Mom


The holiday season is upon us, but you would never know it watching the evening news. The holidays are a time to rejoice, to celebrate love and life…but recent tragedies and the worst of humanity has been on display recently. Amidst all the negativity and turmoil, I wanted to share something joyful, uplifting and full of the true spirit of the holidays.

A group of 40 moms (and a few dads) banned together under the common goal of sharing their love for LGBT youth in need of it this holiday season called Your Holiday Mom. The moms are mostly straight, some with children of their own and some without. Some have several children and from large extended families and others are single moms with no extended family. Some have LGBT children, some do not. Many of the 40 moms have not met the founder or each other, they simply came together to offer a message of love and to be a stand-in mom for an LGBT youth that may have been rejected by their own family.

Each of the 40 volunteers have recorded a video and written an open letter in which their offer to be a surrogate mom to a lonely LGBT child this season. Youth can sign up to receive emails each day from Thanksgiving until New Years, or they can read the letters online if they wish to remain anonymous.

In case you were unaware, LGBT children are often rejected or become estranged from their families as young teens and many are the victims of religious intolerance. LGBT teens are all too often told to leave their homes or are subjected to emotional abuse until they run away, even as psychologists contend that the greatest indicator of how successful a gay teen will be as an adult is the acceptance and support they receive from their family when they come out. Organization such as Your Holiday Mom or the It Gets Better project are working to offer love and support to these teens yearning desperately to know they someone is out there and someone cares.

And I will leave you with one final thought. Maybe the term LGBT youth is misleading or causes many to fixate on the LGBT rather than the most important part, the youth. The average age of a homeless LGBT youth is 14 years. Thus, thousands of children out there are 11, 12 and 13 years old and living on the streets, homeless. Imagine an 11- or 12-year-old being tossed from his/her home and forced to live on the street. This statistic shocks me, and should shock the public conscience as much as any recent news story. This is neglect, and these children need a voice…you may not be able to do everything, but you can do something…just as the 40 moms of Your Holiday Mom have done. Make your voice heard, give rejected LGBT youth a voice.

 

A long overdue return!


First, let me start by saying thank you. Thank you to all of the followers of Second Class Citizens and to all of the gay rights advocates, supporters and allies. You are all incredible for what you do for the community and your interest and concern regarding gay rights is immensely important and appreciated. You are the reason I began this blog, and you are the reason I hope to restart and rebuild this place where you and other supporters of equality can come to share news and stories, and where LGBT youth can come to read about others like themselves and know they are not alone.

I recently was contacted by a young man in high school that reads the blog and he wanted to share his story of finding himself and his fear of coming out to his friends and family for fear of what they may do to him. His story is like many other across this country that look to the Internet, to blogs and social media and other outlets to find that they re not alone, that others share similar experiences and care about them for who they are. It is the many stories like this that inspire me to take the time to post for Second Class Citizens.

It’s been more than 18 months since my last post and I deeply regret allowing myself to become too busy and preoccupied with other matters in life to keep up with such an important thing that I had worked to create. I apologize to you, my readers, for the absence and hope you will continue to support me as you have in the past.

With that said, I plan to post much more regularly and am asking for your support in this endeavor. If you would like to assist with the blog, whether it be writing posts or sharing your story or just sharing interesting and relevant news or articles, please reach out on Twitter, Facebook or send an email to concernedsecondclasscitizen@gmail.com. I would be more than happy to hear from you!

Thank you for your continued support and welcome back to Second Class Citizens blog by A Concerned Citizen!