The Right Side of History
I attended my first State Democratic Party Convention on Saturday, March 10. I could see I was the only one carrying a GLBT Flag—this was my first step in the political realm of party politics. I walked into a room full of familiar faces, many I met while trying to get domestic partnership and anti-bullying laws passed. I am a GLBT activist oftentimes calling out Republicans or churches for their negative stance on the GLBT community. I have traveled to small cities in New Mexico like Las Vegas, Clovis, Gallup and others to bring a message of love, hope and acceptance. I’m not always the most popular, and to be completely honest, at times I fear for my own life.
Former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez invited the GLBT community to stand with him. Without hesitation I said YES. After all, he was one of the first lawmakers in New Mexico to give an executive order for sexual orientation anti-discrimination rights. As a Rio Grande High School student his policies made it easier for me as a teen to be gay. He attended Pride parades, donated to the New Mexico AIDS Walk and enacted a hate crimes ordinance that included sexual orientation language. When it comes to equality issues, what I can say is that Marty has always been on the right side of history. When he spoke I raised my rainbow flag behind him and would do so for any champion of GLBT rights. Now don’t get me wrong: I am not a single issue voter. Marty brought jobs to New Mexico, created a better Downtown, focused on the needs of the citizens and saw a bright future for the state.
After I stood, holding my rainbow flag behind Marty, I looked around the room and realized the Democratic Party has to embrace the GLBT community much more. For example, Democrat state Sen. Bernadette Sanchez will not support marriage equality, much less a domestic partnership bill. Unfortunately for her, she is on the wrong side of history. If the GLBT community could get legally married in New Mexico the economy would receive a boost. Why? We would pay for marriage licenses, flowers, cakes, dresses, tuxedos, caterers, photography studios, convention halls, limos, print, and the list literally goes on.
The gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community has a strong voice. Its time we hold all of our elected officials accountable, including our own. I am a Democrat, but now the time has come to ask my fellow Democrats: Are you on the right side of history? Or when history looks at your vote, will it be the wrong side?
Jesse A. Lopez
President emeritus, Albuquerque Pride Inc.
Member, GetEQUAL New Mexico
Resource scarcity necessitates contraception, family planning and population stabilization. Earth is now home to more than 7 billion people (2011), with current projections reaching 8 billion in the 2020s.
America's population breached the 300 million mark in 2006, with projections of 100 million more by 2050, and some end of the century estimates encroaching upon 1 billion!
For the past 60 years, America has added 2 million to 3 million persons each year to its ranks, and today holds the undesirable distinction as one of the world's fastest growing populations among industrialized nations. The United States is the world's third most-populous nation, trailing only China and India. With 5 percent of the world's population, America uses nearly 25 percent of global energy reserves.
This matters because America (and the world) is running out of conventional sources of energy, fresh water, clean air, raw materials, uncongested freeways and healthy agricultural land.
The list goes on, but the picture is clear. Essentially, we are in the age of "peak everything," in which most of the resources we use in our daily lives are either at or near peak production, and will wane as the years progress. This all translates to fewer resources (necessities and luxuries) spread among continually more people, leaving less for future generations. Certainly efficiency, conservation and recycling are paramount to slowing resource depletion, but increases in population will offset and ultimately, overwhelm these efforts.
Providing contraception will help put the brakes on population growth—growth that is no longer sustainable—both within our own borders, and globally. Contraception provides for protection against unplanned pregnancies, many of which lead to abortions; it thus allows for planning for and having smaller families.
Efforts to stabilize America's population will likely have to include reduced immigration as well, as it accounts for roughly one-third of domestic population growth.
“Economic growth,” as the term is traditionally used, cannot continue indefinitely, because resources are not indefinite. Breeding ourselves into "prosperity" cannot be the answer. Economic growth, even in times of a difficult economy, will need to be replaced with "personal growth," and a realignment of "happiness" that coincides with the realities of resource scarcity and high prices that will undoubtedly be exacerbated should "business as usual" population growth and mass consumerism continue.
Dear Alibi ,
I would not argue the validity of what John Bear is saying in his article about fleeing Facebook [Opinion, “Facebook Never Got Me Laid,” March 1-7]. Much of it is vapid and rather pointless. However, as an Englishwoman living far from family and many of my friends, Facebook has been a good thing.
I am blessed with a great many friends who are politically informed and active. The links they post are always welcome. Yes, I am not too interested in what people are having for breakfast, but I do care about what's happening in the world and Facebook does give immediacy.
When the Iran uprising happened in 2007, Facebook was the gateway to the outside world. Libyan and Syrian activists also used the site as a main point of contact. At a recent march in Moscow one of the banners included Facebook—obviously opponents of Putin use it to express views and give updates.
For me, Facebook has brought me back in touch with many people I care about. Hearing from friends in London who were right in the thick of the London riots gave much more detail than newscasts or periodical articles. Friends all over America help clarify issues that are local for them and friends in Europe give other valuable perspectives as to how the world works. Even the extreme right wing views that I come across help me understand those who think in vastly opposing ways.
I still of course have a face-to-face social life and Facebook in no way serves as a substitution. I don't play the games, I avoid picking up people that have no connections with those I already have onsite, and I am now reasonably careful with what information I share. Facebook has also helped improve my writing, expanded my musical and literary tastes, and has allowed me to see real humor and goodness in a great many people. So, in my opinion, Facebook is really not all bad and definitely good for some things.
[Re: Blog, “Lynette’s Albuquerque with a famous person guest appearance,” March 6] I moved to Melbourne, Australia, last month, but I am an Albuquerque native—John Adams Middle School, Valley High School, the whole bit. I introduced "Lynette" to my Aussie house mate and now we walk around the house saying "eeeee" and, "Sandraaaa, scary clown it!!!" (P.S. she does a pretty good moch!) We love you, Lynette!
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