Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The difference between homosexuality...and murder

by Gregory Allen

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has been traveling to promote sales of his new book, but has drawn more attention toward his antiquated attitude toward homosexuality. Scalia's most divisive comments were given in a speech made at Princeton University, "If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?"

According to Geoff Mulvihill of The Huffington Post, "Scalia said he is not equating sodomy with murder but drawing a parallel between the bans on both." Despite the attempt to disguise his intolerance as philosophical pondering, Scalia is drawing connections between consensual homosexuality and non-consensual attacks against other persons.

The "slippery slope" argument being used by Scalia to defend his obstinate and degrading views on homosexuals is without reasonable justification. There are distinct motivations to be opposed to murder, which is harmful and against the will of everyone who suffers it.

Homosexuality, as Christopher Hitchens noted in an interview with the New York Times, "Homosexuality is a form of love and not just sex." Homosexuality, as Hitchens points out, is not simply an act, but a form of affection, and should be easily distinguishable from the malice demonstrated by murderers, especially to a Supreme Court justice.

Homosexuality is not a caustic injustice that threatens the foundations of society, as bigots would suggest when comparing it to moral evils like murder. Homosexuality is only one aspect of many people's identity, and few of them present the danger many homophobes fear and can't seem to stop thinking about.

Monday, December 3, 2012

An Optimistic Year for Women's Sports in America

by Gregory Allen

Despite losing the WPS, an elite league for women's soccer, one of the few professional sports leagues for women in the United States, the year has been filled with bright spots and landmark events for female athletes.

The 2012 London Summer Olympics had female athletes compete in every event for the first time in its history. The United States also sent more female athletes than male to the competition for the first time.

Rhonda Rousey, the first American woman to win a medal in Olympic Judo, became the first female fighter to sign with the UFC.

ESPN writer Josh Gross explains, "The UFC had long balked at the prospect of adding women into its fold because of the perception that there wasn't enough depth to create meaningful weight classes. Rousey's rising stardom had a significant impact on the way White viewed the potential for female fighters in the UFC."

Skier Lindsey Vonn is attempting to enter a men's skiing event in Canada to find stronger competition to develop her skills against. Vonn told the associated press, "I am just trying to push myself and push my skiing forward to where the men are."

Vonn isn't the only female athlete challenging men in traditionally male-dominated sports, internet sensation Samantha Gordon has also gained significant attention for her phenomenal football athletics and has drawn many to consider the future women have in the contact sport.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Republicans Lose 2012 War on Women

by Gregory Allen

Republicans spent 2012 trying endlessly to defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides health services like cancer screenings to women in need. The GOP’s efforts were also focused on finding ways to evade laws which prevented employers from denying insurance coverage for birth control based on a belief that women’s reproductive rights are choice only men could possibly understand.

In 2011 and early 2012, the Republican primary debates appeared across the country the country as a traveling circus of candidates featuring a homophobe (Rick Santorum) who believes states have the right to outlaw birth control, an ironic misogynist (Michelle Bachmann) and cowboy (Rick Perry) who hope to ban abortions in all circumstances including rape and incest.

Surprisingly, Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate who failed to remove himself from this train wreck of sexism, homophobia, and intolerance toward minorities, lost the presidential election and the vote among these mentioned interests which proved well sufficient to send Barack Obama to a second term.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Upcoming Miss Representation Screenings and Events

by Gregory Allen

On November 13th at 5:00 PM in the Woodland Commons, the Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality will be hosting a screening of Miss Representation, a 90 minute documentary about how women are presented in the media to mainstream culture and how this affects women’s role in society.

According to www.missrepresentation.org, the official website of the documentary, “While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, women hold only 3% of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65% of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.”


As of 2012, Women hold only 16.8% of the seats in the American Congress, and only 23% of positions in State Legislatures, according to the Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, at Rutgers University.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

LGBT Civil and Spiritual Rights to Marriage

By Gregory Allen


The popular opinion on marriage equality is shifting and becoming more tolerant, with the Supreme Court expected to weigh in on the issue and more potential states looking toward legally recognizing same-sex marriages. Opponents, however, still provide obstacles for those wishing to practice a cultural tradition in their private and public life.

The most vocal opposition to marriage equality recently has been from organizations citing religious faith and practice as their motivation for denying the rights of others. Brian S. Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has appeared on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC.

Despite many public media appearances, the group does not represent every member of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or any other organized religion; nor does NOM speak for a majority of the American population, religious or secular.

However, their justification for why marriage should be limited from certain parties and available to others is drawn from religious tradition and supported by passages in religious texts.

It is important to note this, because religious justification and defenses of marriage directly imply the LGBT community is not experiencing religion correctly, or by sharing a same-sex lifestyle, incapable of practicing certain religions genuinely.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Common myths and misunderstandings about contraception

By Gregory Allen


An undercover study, “Pharmacy Communication to Adolescents and Their Physicians Regarding Access to Emergency Contraception”, published by the journal Pediatrics found that 19% of American pharmacies are illegally preventing young women from obtaining the morning-after pill. The pill is legally available without a prescription to women 17 and older.

The study, conducted by Dr. Tracey Wilkinson and other doctors from Boston University, found that women received incorrect information from 19% of pharmacies and were denied access to Plan B. Doctors seeking permission for their patients, however, were given the correct information from the same pharmacies 97% of the time.

When false information is intentionally spread regarding contraception, it’s done so to deter people from using legal contraception some parties feel should be outlawed or made unavailable because of private personal beliefs. Obstacles like misinformation and denying access are designed to make the time-sensitive medication irrelevant.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Representation and the Importance of Voting

By Gregory Allen


Elections in the United States, such as the presidential election in November, are designed to appoint representatives that will reflect the opinion held by those who voted; essentially legislating and acting on behalf of the majority or prevailing perspective.

However, when candidates win a popular election (or via Electoral College) having been selected by the minority perspective, the design of fair representation is undermined. Unfortunately, the loudest voice that might appear in voting ballots this November may not represent the majority or be seeking steps toward tolerance when they cast their vote.

Stephen Colbert shared a survey on his Comedy Central television show The Colbert Report that identified the growing progression of tolerant and secular beliefs among young voters. The survey found that 63% of millennials (persons born 1981 or later), also known as Generation Y, favored same-sex marriage.