Sarah Rasher is, among other things, a freelance writer based in Chicago. She also writes for Graphic Policy and The Rainbow Hub, as well as her personal blog, Sarah Explains the Finer Sports. You can follow her on Twitter at @pas_dechat.
The Istanbul police’s violent response to the local gay pride parade last Sunday is a chilling reminder that the victory for marriage equality in the United States does not necessarily improve the lives of LGBT people around the world. In the short term, it might even make it worse for some. Marchers and onlookers at the parade, which began in historic Taksim Square, dodged rubber bullets and water cannons shooting streams laced with tear gas. When revelers moved the parade to nearby streets, police troops in riot gear followed them, sometimes grabbing marchers and hurling them to the curb, as this CNN video shows. Read more
Even if you don’t enjoy watching cars race around in circles, you’ve got to be a little bit of a NASCAR fan this week. Brian France, NASCAR’s chairman, announced on Saturday that they would ban the Confederate flag not only from official use at events but from any use on racetrack property. Read more
Same-sex marriage is now legal in all fifty states, which you all know because of the rainbow images all over your Facebook feed. But U.S. territories saw their laws change on Friday, too, and the cultural and political effects of the decision in those sometimes far-flung parts of America has been tremendous. Judging from news reports, most of the 3.5 million Americans in Puerto Rico — more U.S. citizens than in Mississippi or Utah — are ecstatic that same-sex couples can now be legally married there. Read more
Most American churches seem to fall into one of two categories when it comes to LGBT rights: conservative churches that dig in their heels to defend their bigotry and welcoming ones that build progressive politics into their core beliefs. But what happens when a Southern church finds itself stuck between these two stereotypes, embracing equality while clinging to its evangelical roots? As part of its Pride Week coverage, the Nashville Scene’s Kim Green spotlights the struggles of a church facing this identity crisis. Read more