Commentary: Each New Year holds the promise of hope and excitement but 2019 will also bring us cause to reflect. It was 50 years ago, that police raided a small obscure gay bar in Greenwich Village that would launch one of the most successful civil rights movements in history.
Yes, 2019 promises to bring great celebrations of the uprising at the Stonewall Inn in June of 1969, where patrons rioted against police harassment.
But lest we forget, the battle for equality is not over and is still being fought. It is still legal in most places to be fired for being gay, to be denied a job for being gay and to be denied housing for being gay.
So as we commemorate our accomplishments, we must also stay vigilant against those who would turn back the clock on our gains.
Here are some of the news stories we’ve been following on the Houston Rainbow Herald Facebook page.
This was our most viewed post of the past two weeks: Who knew drag queens reading to children could be so threatening? The lawsuit against “Drag Queen Storytime” at the Houston Public Library, facing legal challenges since October, has been dismissed by a judge, reports KHOU.com.
Opponents claimed the story hour violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, forbidding the government from establishing an official religion and prohibits it from favoring one religion over another. Plaintiffs said the program promotes “secular humanism, a philosophy, in a nutshell, that humans are capable of morality without God.”
Houston police are searching for three armed men wanted for a robbery that turned violent in Midtown. The victim is 28-year-old Jesus Alvarez, who was hospitalized after being shot in the chest, reports Click2Houston.com.
In home surveillance video, Alvarez is seen standing in a room of his townhome in the 4700 block of Crawford Street, when two men walk into his place, later followed by a third person. The armed men pointed at gun at his face while demanding money.
“They kept on saying, ‘Give me your money. Give it, give us your money.’ And my nephew was saying, ‘I don’t have nothing. I have nothing,’ and they started fighting and then started hitting him,” Marylou Lopez said. During the ensuing struggle, shots were fired. Anyone with information is urged to contact HPD.
It was perhaps the performance of the year. Adam Lambert wowed Cher and everyone else who saw his performance of “Believe” during the televised Kennedy Center Honors on the day after Christmas. The 41st annual ceremony took place on December 2 in Washington, D.C. Among the honorees was Cher.
Lambert sang an emotion filled ballad version of “Believe”, moving many in the audience to tears as well as the guest of honor herself. The video from the television special has been viewed nearly 5 million times on YouTube.
Lambert performs with Queen at Toyota Center on July 24.
January 1 saw same sex couples in another western country able to marry. Austria became the latest European country to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples, reports WashingtonBlade.com.
Nicole Kopaunik and Daniela Paier became the first same-sex couple to legally marry in the country of 9 million inhabitants.
“Austria’s Constitutional Court in 2017 issued a ruling paved the way for marriage rights for same-sex couples in the predominantly Roman Catholic country. Gays and lesbians since 2010 have been able to legally register their partnerships in Austria,” reads the article.
The new make-up of Congress promises to hold President Donald Trump accountable and many of those newbies come from the LGBTQ community.
“A historic number of openly gay and bisexual lawmakers on Thursday were sworn in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate at the start of the 116th Congress,” reports WashingtonBlade.com.
A record ten LGBTQ people were sworn in on January 3; eight will serve in the House and two will serve in the Senate. Vice President Mike Pence in his role as president of the Senate swore in the two Senators, Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).
Modern technology is a wonderful thing but sometimes it needs to remove its filters. It seems a few Comcast subscribers searching for The Dick Van Dyke Show were redirected to not use profanity, reports HollywoodReporter.com.
Comcast’s Xfinity X1 Voice Remote allows subscribers to speak relatively complex commands to the cable box. It can be asked to fast-forward, pause and rewind, and even answer tough questions like “What’s that song on the soundtrack?”
But don’t ask it to find the 1960s sitcom or you’ll be told, “Sorry, I cannot handle commands with that type of language.” Comcast reports it has fixed the glitch.