Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for February, 2010

WV Couple Denied Apartment

Jim Burroway

February 23rd, 2010

Rayetta Darby and Erika Johnson, a lesbian couple in the Huntington, WV area, were denied an apartment by their prospective landlord because they are gay. The reporters investigating this story discover that West Virginia and 29 other states don’t have any laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination, and neither does the federal Fair Housing Act.

“It’s terrible. It’s terrible we even need such a law,” said Bill Dotson, executive director of Huntington Housing Authority. You can only prevent people from renting if they have a bad payment history or if they they’re bad neighbors or don’t take care of their property,” Dotson said. “If a landlord refuses to rent to them for any reason other than those, it’s heavily frowned upon.” But, the fact that there’s no law preventing such behavior in West Virginia is deeply disturbing to Darby.

Happy Thanksgiving / Musings From My Neck Of The Woods

Jim Burroway

November 22nd, 2007

Near as I can tell, Dave Muskera is living very near to where I grew up: on the Ohio River close to where Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia meet. And like me, he’s confused by what everyone means when they talk about “the gay lifestyle”:

Let me tell you what I think is a “lifestyle.” A friend of mind centers his life on football. His home is full of football memorabilia, he watches as many games in season as he can and it’s just about all he can talk about. He could surly be said to be leading a “football lifestyle”…

Let me close this by describing to you a gay man’s lifestyle. Are you ready for this?

I don’t think it’s unique. I know too many others like me (us) for that to be the case. We have a house, three bedrooms and two baths, two dogs and two cats. Occasionally we run the vac and dust a few of the things cluttering up the place. We cook meals, shop for groceries, pay bills, visit with neighbors and family, buy a new car occasionally, go to movies, rent DVDs, attend concerts, take vacations and shorter trips and rake leaves in the fall. In December we put up a tree and decorations. We make love or have sex – depending on the amount of energy left over after a week or so of work. We talk on the phone, use the computer and the Internet, go shopping, write long winded articles for the American Chronicle and sleep as needed. Is this the gay lifestyle? Well, for us, it is. Not exciting, but fulfilling.

It must be something in the Ohio River water. This “lifestyle” is something I’m thankful for. And believe it or not, I’m also thankful for having grown up where I did, difficulties and all.

What about you? What are you thankful for this year?