MARK MY WORDS: Of Iran, gay Pride and Rick Santorum

by Mark Segal

From Philadelphia Gay News: June will soon be upon us and when many of us think of June, we think of gay Pride.

Most places in the nation celebrate gay Pride, many in mid- to late June with the largest celebrations in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. But guess what is waiting in the wings for us to celebrate this Pride season? The Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court of the United States will rule on marriage equality sometime between mid- to late June. Most legal scholars believe the court will make marriage equality the law of the land, but me, I've watched as Chief Justice John Roberts has put a few glitches in his rulings, so while I'd agree with those scholars, look for some kind of a surprise.

And with a hint of history will come mass celebration - and what better time to celebrate but at gay Pride? But if the justices rule late in the month, they run across another deadline that might give us reason to understand our struggle.

June 30 is to be the day the Iranian nuclear talks should result in an agreement. Aside from pushing marriage equality off the front pages of our newspapers and broad/podcasts, the situation in Iran should make all of us in the LGBT community realize the work we still have to do. Since, if there is an agreement, and I am one who hopes there is, we will be signing a document with a nation that still to this date kills LGBT people. And, for a message to those in the United States who support discrimination against the LGBT community on the basis of their religious beliefs - Iran kills LGBT people for their religious beliefs.

Which brings us back to the United States, where we still have to contend with phrases such as "God Hates Fags," made famous by the Westboro Baptist Church. Former Sen. Rick Santorum has now started using the term to explain religious freedom, in reference to the ongoing debate centered on Indiana. Ricky, that you feel free to use the phrase tells us all we need to know about you.

And, elsewhere in the United States, while you might have thought we won Indiana, the reality is that what Gov. Pence signed was legislation stating that you can't be discriminated against on religious grounds for being LGBT. But, Indianans, you can still be discriminated against for being plain-old LGBT.

Mark Segal, PGN publisher, is the nation's most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. You can follow him on Facebook at or Twitter at

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