Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

They Give a Damn. Do You?

Fun little PSA from Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund, reminding all of us to give a damn.

It’s common sense, of course–marrying the person you love, serving your country openly, not being kicked out of your house as a teenager just because of who you are–but it’s worth repeating and reminding and remembering. We forget that equality, in 2010, is not enjoyed by everyone.

It’s nice to hear these familiar faces promoting a cause for the common good.

Filed under: gay rights, , , ,

Why a Marriage Means More than a Civil Union

Dickensen and Sugg, partners for 30 years, were denied spousal benefits from AT&T. (Photo from the Dallas Voice)

Someone recently asked me, “Why isn’t a civil union good enough?”

Besides the fact that legal precedent has thrown out the notion of “separate but equal” decades ago (and despite that fact that racism, prejudice and xenophobia persist–but in more subtle, institutionalized forms), a quick comparison of the concrete rights granted by marriage are extensive. It’s not a religious issue or fodder for the culture wars–it’s about basic human rights like tax breaks, adoption rights, and access to medical decisions for the one that you love.

In the case of Bryan Dickenson and Bill Suggs, partnered but unmarried men in Dallas, the marriage rights afforded to a heterosexual spouse were denied by Dickenson’s employer, AT&T. Under the provisions of the Family Medical Leave Act, Dickenson requested vacation time to care for his ailing partner of 30 years. Suggs suffered from a stroke last fall.

Let’s hope that AT&T, recently listed as one of the most gay-friendly companies by the Human Rights Campaign, does the right thing.

Filed under: gay rights, , , , ,

WWII Vet on Marriage Equality: “What do you think I fought for?”

A moving video of Philip Spooner, an 86 year-old WWII veteran, who testified for gay marriage in Maine. “A woman at my polling place asked me, ‘Do you believe in equality for gay and lesbian people?’ I was pretty surprised to be asked a question like that. It made no sense to me.”

Spooner continues, with candor and compassion: “Finally, I asked her, ‘What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?”

As election day nears, polls show that Maine voters are split on marriage equality: 48% in favor; 48% against. Critics worry about a repeat of the Prop 8 fiasco in California. Now, more than ever, we need to voice our support for marriage equality as clearly as Philip Spooner.

Filed under: gay rights, , , , , , ,

Cleve Jones: “Reject second-class citizenship”

Prominent gay rights activist Cleve Jones talks with Bil Browning of The Bilerico Project about the National Equality March scheduled for October 10-11 2009 in Washington, DC. Jones addresses criticisms of the march–its apparent lack of focus–and encourages a change in strategy from the state level to the national stage. 

Jones, of course, was one of the prominent activists who helped to elect Harvey Milk and collaborated with Dustin Lance Black on the Oscar-winning screenplay of Milk. Seems that he’s fully behind the National Equality March coming up over Columbus Day weekend. With anti-gay sentiment in the Obama administration’s support of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (not to mention DOMA), it’s critical to make the road trip to D.C. to show our numbers to Congress and the nation about the need for LGBT equality. 

“I want our people to stop accepting second-class citizenship,” Jones says. “To reject incrementalism, to reject compromise, to reject delay.”

Filed under: gay rights, , , , ,

New Marriages Feted with New Name

hubbyhubby-pintOh, Ben and Jerry. The infamous (and infamously liberal) ice cream company celebrates the legalization of same-sex marriage in their home state of Vermont by renaming their popular “Chubby Hubby” flavor to “Hubby Hubby”. This has been my favorite ice cream flavor–the pretzels and peanut butter perfectly mixed with vanilla ice cream–even before its spanking new name.

In April, Jon Stewart joked about Ben & Jerry’s renaming the flavor in a monologue. Instead of “Chubby Hubby” it would be called “Chubby Hubbies”. Apparently, the B & J folks didn’t go for that one.

Filed under: gay rights, , , , , ,

Publications

BIOGRAPHY

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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