Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

LGBTQ HISTORY MONTH My Notorious RBG moment
by Mark Segal
2020-10-01

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


In the 1990s, the U.S. Senate was attempting in every possible way to censor this new thing called the internet.

The senators soon came up with an idea to stop information that might be objectionable to a particular community, an idea which would have allowed a district attorney in, say, Alabama, to prosecute any web site it found objectionable. The penalty was six months in jail and a $50,000 fine per incident. To further make it palatable to their base, the Senate said the legislation was designed to protect children. They titled it the Children's Online Protection Act, COPA for short.

For example, if the district attorney in Alabama objected to PGN publishing news on HIV/AIDS, it could prosecute under this new law, even though PGN is not an Alabama newspaper.

This was an infringement on first amendment rights, and for us in the LGBT community it was a danger to our very lives. Not only did LGBT media use our web sites to spread information about HIV/AIDS to places where it was not available due to those community standards, but we covered myriad other topics about LGBT health and education that benefited our community. LGBT media literally was in a fight to save lives through the articles and information we printed or put online. The U.S. Senate labeled that pornography, and COPA was enacted into law.

The ACLU sued the Department of Justice and the President of the United States to overturn that law, and PGN was the only LGBT media that joined the case.

After much interrogation and various court hearings, we finally found our way to the Supreme Court. As the publisher of PGN, one of the five plaintiffs in the case, I was required to be there for the Supreme Court hearing which would decide if we'd be heading to jail or if the first amendment still existed in the United States.

I remember a few big things from that day. I remembered how solemn it was to walk into the Supreme Court, take our front row seats as plaintiffs, and stand as the justices came in. I remembered when Justice Clarence Thomas just seemed to fall asleep. I remember when our attorney was called. During questioning, very few questions were asked, with the exception of a new member of the court.

That new justice's question was, and I paraphrase: if this law stands, that would mean that publications like Philadelphia Gay News would not be allowed to publish medical and educational information about HIV/AIDS. That question was from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

As we walked out, our attorney was elated that Justice Ginsberg had indeed read PGN's HIV/AIDS articles that the ACLU had included in their briefs before the court.

When I heard of her passing last Friday that memory came back so vividly, and like many Americans, my sorrow was on how that one ruling, like others throughout her tenure on the bench, touched each and every one of us. Thank you, Justice Ginsberg, for being The Notorious RBG.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

LETTER Thank you, Pope Francis
2020-10-22
...


Gay News

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Nomination of Amy Coney Barrett
2020-10-22
...


Gay News

Inclusive curriculum tools offered to schools during LGBTQ History Month
2020-10-20
--From a press release - ...


Gay News

LGBT HISTORY: Surviving the Silence, The Unexpected Story of Col. Pat Thompson
2020-10-17
...


Gay News

LGBT HISTORY: QAnon's 'SaveOurChildren' slogan has long anti-LGBT history
2020-10-17
by Christiana Lilly - ...


Gay News

LGBT HISTORY MONTH: SF supe vows to landmark Lyon-Martin house
2020-10-17
...


Gay News

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Lambda Legal responds to nomination of Judge Barrett
2020-10-13
--From a press release - ...


Gay News

Legacy Walk inducts singers Mercury and Sylvester
2020-10-13
...


Gay News

History initiative pairs NYC and LA LGBTQ groups
2020-10-05
--From a press release - ...


Gay News

LETTER Vote
2020-10-03
...


Gay News

LGBTQ HISTORY MONTH: United States Naval Academy evolves with LGBTQ acceptance
2020-10-01
By Jeremy Rodriguez - ...


Gay News

LGBTQ HISTORY MONTH: Nizah Morris case a seventeen-year saga for transparency
2020-10-01
...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT As a gay bipolar man, I've learned to live with suicidal thoughts
2020-10-01
...


Gay News

Windy City Times: Quite the ride
2020-09-30
...


Gay News

30 Under 30 Awards 2000-2019
2020-09-30
...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs     
Privacy Policy      Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.