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For American media, Pakistan only exists in the context of security concerns: the Taliban, terrorism, fundamentalist Islam, and the war in Afghanistan. Outside of this context, there is no Pakistan.

By comparison, consider how the U.S. media reported on related developments in India. When the Delhi High Court threw out an Indian law banning gay sex, American newspapers trumpeted the news. As the New York Times reported, “In a landmark ruling Thursday that could usher in an era of greater freedom for gay men and lesbians in India, New Delhi’s highest court decriminalized homosexuality. ” Plenty of other U.S. media outlets sounded off too.

But the heavy U.S. coverage of the Indian Supreme Court’s decision also fits into a pre-existing Western narrative of India. As the story goes, India is a growing democracy and a rising economic power. In that context, the story of the expansion of Indian equality easily resonates in the American mind. Not only is the U.S. simultaneously addressing similar challenges faced by gay and lesbian Americans, but there is a strong underlying belief that democracies perfect themselves over time through an expansion of liberty across society.

Unfortunately, Pakistan’s story of expanding equality for transgendered citizens doesn’t quite fit the pre-written American narrative. After all, Pakistan was supposed to be on the verge of becoming a “failed Islamic state.” How can the same country possibly have a Supreme Court that bars discrimination against a sexual minority?

You can imagine the cognitive fit that such a news story might induce in the mainstream U.S. media. How can an Islamic jurist advocate for transgender communities? Why weren’t there Pakistani riots when the decision came down?

None of this, of course, fits within the dominant U.S. narrative on Pakistan. First of all, transgender equality in Pakistan isn’t a security issue. Second, Muslim jurists and courts aren’t expected to advocate for the rights of sexual minorities. Third, it carries the subtle implication that U.S. support for Musharraf actually delayed the pursuit of equality for an aggrieved community.

No wonder the mainstream U.S. media couldn’t find space for this story. It just doesn’t fit.

Sanjeev Berry

Best part? This happened in 2009 but obviously it didn’t cater to the standard American comprehension of scary, evil Pakistan. Most of you are probably reading about this for the first time.

(via mehreenkasana)



I’m disappointed that this year, I will be unable to participate in the parade. As mayor of the city of Boston, I have to do my best to ensure that all Bostonians are free to participate fully in the civic life of our city. Unfortunately, this year, the parties were not able to come to an understanding that would have made that possible.
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh in a statement released Sunday morning announcing that he will not be attending the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade because of organizers’ ban on the participation of LGBTQ groups.



Texas’ current marriage laws deny homosexual couples the right to marry, and in doing so, demean their dignity for no legitimate reason.
A Texas federal judge ruled state’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional on Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia issued a stay on his decision until expected appeals against his ruling have been heard by higher courts.



After the Arizona House passed legislation allowing religious-based discrimination on Thursday which opponents are calling "state-sanctioned discrimination towards the LGBT community," one Arizona restaurant posted this sign. (via Vote Latino)

After the Arizona House passed legislation allowing religious-based discrimination on Thursday which opponents are calling "state-sanctioned discrimination towards the LGBT community," one Arizona restaurant posted this sign. (via Vote Latino)






Texas Sportscaster Gives Best Response to Michael Sam’s Coming Out Ever

I REALLY like that he said he’s not always comfortable when a man tells him he’s gay. Because he’s like “Yeah, this is something that’s tough for me to understand, but that doesn’t mean people deserve lesser treatment.” And that is great.





I took four days off. I had to leave my home state and make a little wedge of time to marry the woman I love. They can get over it. You don’t commit 23 years of your life to someone to make a political statement.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker in response to criticism over her decision to marry long-time partner, Kathy Hubbard, in California. (via @elisefoley)



The White House announced Tuesday that President Obama, Vice President Biden and the first lady will not attend the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February, a pointed snub by an administration that is feuding with Russian leaders on a range of foreign policy and human rights issues. The U.S. delegation will be led by a former Cabinet secretary and a deputy secretary of state, and it will include two openly gay athletes — tennis legend Billie Jean King and ice hockey player Caitlin Cahow — in an apparent bid to highlight opposition to Russia’s anti-gay laws. … In keeping top officials away from Sochi, the United States joins France and Germany among the nations whose senior government leaders will not attend.



New Mexico’s highest court ruled on Thursday that the state must allow same-sex couples to marry. “We conclude that the purpose of New Mexico marriage laws is to bring stability and order to the legal relationship of committed couples by defining their rights and responsibilities as to one another, their children if they choose to raise children together, and their property,” the court’s ruling read. “Prohibiting same-gender marriages is not substantially related to the government interests advanced by the parties opposing same-gender marriage or to the purposes we have identified.” The New Mexico Supreme Court’s ruling was a decision without dissent. The ruling makes New Mexico the 17th state in the country to allow same sex-marriage.



Liz - this isn’t just an issue on which we disagree, you’re just wrong - and on the wrong side of history.

Mary Cheney, to her sister Liz Cheneya candidate for the U.S. Senate in Wyoming. They disagreed on the issue of same-sex marriage, the New York Times reports.

Keep in mind, their father, Dick Cheney, tried to get an amendment to the Constitution to stop his own lesbian daughter from enjoying marriage equality.

Treating your own daughter as a second class citizen is Conservative “High Score”.

Mary’s wife Heather Poe's comments were more personal:

"Liz has been a guest in our home, has spent time and shared holidays with our children, and when Mary and I got married in 2012 - she didn’t hesitate to tell us how happy she was for us. To have her say she doesn’t support our right to marry is offensive to say the least."

(via liberalsarecool)



One party in one house of Congress should not stand in the way of millions of Americans who want to go to work each day and simply be judged by the job they do.
President Obama