Can a Rainbow Flag Change My Small Town?

The Opening of a Community Center for People Like Me Made Merced Feel Like Home Again

Growing up in Merced, I did not feel that the town was accepting of gay people, or of me in particular. People around my public high school would carelessly throw out homophobic slurs and make fun of openly queer individuals. This made it hard to accept who I was as a teenager, much less express myself. Even though Merced is home to a great new University of California campus, I resolved to leave as soon as I could. And I did.

So did my friends, who set out for the Bay …

Are Californians Big Losers?

From the Gold Rush to Marriage Equality, This State’s Success Stories Have Always Followed Spectacular Failures

How do you win in California? Lose big first.

That’s a very old bit of wisdom in a state founded by people who abandoned their homes and families to move here …

Why Does India’s Supreme Court Want Me Back in the Closet?

After Four Years of Sexual Freedom, It’s Once Again a Crime to Be Gay in India

Last Tuesday, India’s Supreme Court reinstated a law that has turned me, along with millions of other Indians, into a sexual criminal.

Four years ago, a lower court decision struck down …

What’s in the Closet of the U.S. Government?

The ‘Lavender Scare,’ a 40-Year Purge of Government Workers Suspected of Being Gay or Lesbian

Bruce Forbes couldn’t believe his good luck. He had spent nearly 10 years as a Foreign Service officer with assignments from Palermo to Prague, but when he was appointed vice …

Wait, So What’s the Law On Same-Sex Marriage Exactly?

The Supreme Court Resolved Some Big Issues. It Also Triggered About a Thousand Follow-Up Questions.

Recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court have settled some questions: Federal discrimination against same-sex marriages is now unconstitutional. California must now reopen marriage to same-sex couples. But the decisions …

The Next Big Question For Marriage

After the U.S. Supreme Court's Recent Rulings, Challenges Remain for States, Same-Sex Couples, and the Federal Government

The U.S. Supreme Court decisions on marriage rights—striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, and clearing the way for same-sex marriage to resume in California—felt like the culmination …