The Blend has been a virtual coffeehouse where vigorous (but polite) political expression was encouraged on myriad topics including LGBT issues, race relations, the religious right, and gender issues. This outlet for commentary and original reporting had a great run that has been gratifying to produce and hopefully enlightening for readers. As we close the doors today, thanks for the love, the barbs, the critics, the good (and energizing, but tiring) times.
Just imagine how I feel right now after the last week — SCOTUS left me in a helluva lurch, let me tell you. The landmark rulings on DOMA and Prop 8 and the Voting Rights Act show just how much more activism and work is left to do.
That this court could essentially say that race isn’t not much of an issue in the states covered by the VRA in this day and age is preposterous. Bouncing the responsibility to this Congress to address is laughable. I will say that, given what we’ve seen over the last couple of election cycles and the attempts to suppress the vote, it is time to expand that pre-clearance map, actually.
And on LGBT rights, while people rightfully celebrate the strikedown of a portion of DOMA covering federal benefits and the return of marriage rights for same-sex couples in California, the high court issued the most restrictive ruling possible for the win — it dodged the issue of the constitutional right of gay and lesbian couples to marry. That means those of us in states with marriage amendments will have to deal with denial of many critical rights and legal uncertainties until a boatload of challenges inevitably bounce it back to SCOTUS to resolve.
Today also happens to be my ninth wedding anniversary. Kate and I were married in Vancouver, B.C. Canada in 2004. So we sit here in a state without employment discrimination protections, in a marriage unrecognized by the state.
Gee, what a time to stop blogging, you say? There is so much more left to say and do. But it’s time; someone else, sadly, has to take the baton from me. As I said in my announcement post, sometimes real life — in my case, serious health matters — have rendered me left to focus on the more pressing task of holding down the full-time job that puts a roof over my head and health insurance to keep me going for as long as I can.
A new channel debuted on FDL, Justice For All, that takes on many of the same issues covered by PHB. My PHB co-bloggers Laurel Ramseyer, Alvin McEwen and Autumn Sandeen helm that blog.
She’s not dead (yet), Jim
While the need to actually get sleep means I no longer have the time or energy to write long-form pieces or to go out to do original reporting, I will still be active on social media (Facebook, Twitter, G+). Blogging/citizen journalism, unfortunately, was not an avenue that I could carve out a space to make a living, though others from that initial class of new media bloggers did get absorbed into traditional media. Many, like myself, nevertheless, found our work ballooning into a full-time second job involving online and offline activism. For us it was unpaid or marginally supported (through ads) labor of love. In my case, it went on for nine years, and PHB made a dent in the political world of LGBT politics as new media challenged not only foes and the establishment, but our own advocacy organizations.
Some PHB history below the fold. I hope you enjoy the ride back in the time machine.