2012 was a watershed year that historians — and all Americans — will look to as the moment reborn Democratic politics won the nation, and liberals and progressives became enshrined as the voice of America’s new moral majority. The re-election of Barack Obama was another significant nail in the Tea Party and Republican Party coffins. Crazed GOP politicians advocating against women’s rights, misogynistic conservatives claiming there are different kinds rape — as if some rapes aren’t really rapes — and their compatriots promoting vaginal probes as a “necessary” prerequisite to abortion, really sunk the level of humanity in America. And forced common sense progressives, Democrats, and independents into action.
Then, there was the man without a plan, Mr. Etch-A-Sketch himself, the man who “didn’t know [gay] people had families,” Mitt Romney. What America learned about Mitt and LGBT families, women, and minorities alone could fill “binders” – not that anyone would care at this point to read them.
Five years from now, we’ll all have to squeeze our brains hard to even remember his name. But Mitt Romney did change the landscape, and the nation, into a more progressive electorate, so, perhaps we should thank him?
Well, okay, no.
Of course there’s always Rick Santorum; we’ll be seeing lots more of Santorum over the next few years since he’s already declared his hope of running in 2016.
Bryan Fischer, the public face of the certified anti-gay hate group, American Family Association, next to Barack Obama, perhaps was our most-reported person, yet didn’t make any of our top 100 stories this year, which — despite Fischer’s growing popularity among the radical religious right — is indicative of how the radical religious right’s importance itself is fading quickly.
So, how did we get here? How did we create this year in review?
We looked at our top 100 stories ranked by total readership, mixed in some non-quantifiable points for actual importance, looked at related stories, put it all in context, and now we are happy to share with you The New Civil Rights Movement’s year in review of the top ten most important issues for 2012.
Congratulations on a battle well-fought, and won, and Happy New Year!
2012 In Review: The New Civil Rights Movement’s Top Ten Issues
1. The “Obama Realignment,” America’s New Reality:
“When you do it once, it’s just a victory. When you do it twice, it’s a realignment,” wrote New York Times’ conservative writer and occasional NCRM target of ire, Ross Douthat, at 3:28 AM on November 7 — just hours after the election was called in favor of President Obama:
The coalition that Barack Obama put together to win the presidency handily in 2008 looked a lot like the emerging Democratic majority that optimistic liberals had been discerning on the political horizon since the 1990s. It was the late George McGovern’s losing coalition from 1972 finally come of age: Young voters, the unmarried, African-Americans, Hispanics, the liberal professional class – and then more than enough of the party’s old blue collar base to hold the Rust Belt for the Democrats.
Of course, Douthat, a Roman Catholic, “forgot” the LGBT community, whom some, like Mr. Douthat’s own paper, credit as “decisive” in swaying the election towards the President.
2. Todd Akin & Co.: Legitimate Rape, Forcible Rape, Rape Rape, And GOP Lawmakers Who Have No Clue How Women’s Bodies Work:
Sunday, August, 19 was the moment Republican Congressman Todd Akin rallied the troops for one of the greatest battles in the War On Women. Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments were so utterly offensive, ignorant, and frightening, that progressives, liberals, Democrats, and even Republicans denounced them — and him. The War on Women, 2012 Edition, strategically launched in January by President Obama’s team, when Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced the President’s plan to ensure contraception services are available to all women, and that insurers must pay the cost, culminating in Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a “slut,” and, months later, Todd Akin’s atrocious comments, but along the battlefield state Republicans did all they could, often unconstitutionally, to eliminate abortion.
Sadly, women (and men) who are victims of rape were forced to relive those experiences over and over and over again, each time a new lawmaker displayed inhuman “understanding” of how women’s bodies work.
3. Mitt Romney, Gay People, and LGBT Families:
Mitt Romney’s foray into LGBT equality, while trying to unseat U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy in the 1990′s, was the exact opposite of whom Mitt Romney actually proved himself to be. A high school gay-bashing bully turned Massachusetts Governor who looked LGBT parents in the eyes and proclaimed, “I didn’t know you had families,” Romney’s presidential surrogate in 2012 proclaimed the Governor not only does not believe in same-sex marriage (a given,) but that he would deny same-sex partners the right to visit their loved ones int he hospital.
4. Uganda’s “Kill The Gays” Bill:
Since 2009, Uganda‘s now-infamous “Kill The Gays” bill has been trotted out in an attempt to not only marginalize LGBT people, but to advance political careers of greedy Ugandan politicians. Of course, the bill does call for the death penalty for the “crime” of being gay — despite regular, annual pronouncements from the BBC and CNN that the death penalty has been “removed,” a sheer legislative impossibility, according to the U.S. State Department.
When Chick-Fil-A‘s Dan Cathy told a reporter he was “guilty as charged” for believing and supporting “traditional marriage,” the LGBT community and our supporters went ballistic, but the real story was not Cathy’s beliefs — who care what a chicken maven thinks? — but rater, that Dan Cathy and his family’s fortunes have been paying for millions of dollars of anti-LGBT hate. Yes, Cathy and his family, and their “charitable” foundation, have spent over $5 million in just the past few years, fighting same-sex marriage and supporting anti-gay groups, and even one infamous anti-gay hate group, the Family Research Council.
This was never a “free speech” issue, this is an issue about people actively supporting anti-gay hate.
Sadly, the mainstream media almost always got every single detail wrong.
6. Coming Out Is Still Important:
Astronaut Sally Ride came out, literally posthumously, as a lesbian. Anderson Cooper came out via an email to a conservative blogger. Sam Champion, another news veteran, came out at the (same-sex) wedding of Thomas Roberts, yet another popular name in journalism. Boxer Orlando Cruz secured his nme in history books for coming out in a brutal sport not know for tolerance. Kevin McClatchy, Pittsburgh’s son and, yes, owner of a news company, also came out.
Then, of course, there was Lee Thompson, better known as “Uncle Poodle” on TLC’s oddly-famous reality show, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.”
It was a year of journalists, celebrities, and sports figures taking the plunge, but marked by an extreme casualness about the coming out “announcement.” Now, for those in the spotlight, making a big deal of coming out is extreme, and reactions are pretty much always supportive.
But this must not stop America’s icons of making it known. Children and teens still need role models, and knowing your favorite chef/sportscaster/astronaut/journalist, or even boy/girl next door is LGBT, can make all the difference.
(For an excellent look at the top 50 LGBT people who came out in 2012, visit Towleroad’s report.)
7. The Radical Religious Right:
2012 will become known as the year the radical religious grew louder, because their voices becoming increasingly ignored. People like Bryan Fischer, Tony Perkins, and even Rick Warren, are now almost irrelevant in the national conversation. Almost.
Rick Santorum sealed his fate this year, first by becoming one of America’s most anti-gay politicians, and second, by aligning himself with the Tea Party and the radical religious right, but then later, joining World Net Daily, home to racism, homophobia, anti-Islamic extremism, birther kings, and the “Obama is gay” clans.
Overall, the radical religious right took up the lion’s share of our attention, when we weren’t focused on the election. It’s time to put them in the dustbowl of history.
8. GOP Voter Suppression:
The Republican Party, the TeaParty, and ALEC created legislation to “fight voter fraud,” which turned out to be voter ID bills that they later admitted were designed to suppress the vote and ensure GOP victories. Then, in the face of no real voter fraud, it turned out actual Republicans were found to be the only ones who actually were engaging in voter fraud — on a huge scale, paid for, knowingly or not, by the RNC and Mitt Romney.
9. LGBTs At The London 2012 Olympics:
This summer’s Olympics in London were marked by a tremendous number of out LGBT athletes, and The New Civil Rights Movement is proud to have profiled every out LGBT athlete at the Olympics. In total, we published over 40 articles on LGBT athletes.
And a sampling:
10. Mark Regnerus:
Mark Regnerus will go down in history as the 21st century’s Paul Cameron. A researcher who put money and ideology before valid practices, and came up with a fatally flawed anti-gay parenting “study,” Regnerus has become somewhat of a joke — except to those on the right. The anti-gay hate groups, anti-equality organizations, and radical religious conservatives point to Regnerus’ “study” as proof that LGBT parents are bad parents, that the children we raise — despite all valid evidence to the contrary — aren’t as good as those raised by heterosexual parents.
Of course, what Regnerus actually did was use adults who as children had parents in broken relationships, parents who were divorced, in the process of getting divorced, or hanging out in failed marriages, found some who would claim one of their parents had had a same-sex “relationship,” and then call them gay or lesbian parents — wholly untruthful.
Scott Rose has written dozens, if not almost one hundred articles, debunking Regnerus and his so-called “study.” Sadly the damage has been done, and Regnerus’ work is now included in amicus briefs attacking same-sex marriage. Fortunately, much of the world knows the study is bunk.
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