Noting progress and acceptance

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The Jewish Exponent, the newspaper of the region’s Jewish community, recently changed its position on marriage announcements. Its board voted unanimously to reverse a more-than-decade-old rule against publishing same-sex engagement and marriage announcements in its pages.

This is big news for numerous reasons. First, it became a cause for the man behind the campaign, Lee Rosenfield. His effort, which culminated in the last few weeks, was as professional of a campaign as we have seen in the LGBT community. Statewide organizations can learn from his effort.

He drew support from our allies in the Jewish community, from conservative rabbis to former heads of Jewish teaching institutions and former members of the board. It was overwhelming and could not be ignored.

Bart Blatstein, former board president, told me, “It was just time and the board understood that.”

Since this newspaper represents and speaks to the Jewish community, this change will cause waves. And the staff at The Exponent is ready for the challenge.

Objections lead to education and that is what brings equality. Our real enemy is ignorance. …

Each year, the National Constitution Center holds an essay contest among high-school students nationwide, organized by Scholastic publications. You might remember them from the weekly newspaper you received in school.

The contest selects one person in the U.S. to be inducted into our nation’s family tree at the center. This is a major honor, as there are only 100 individuals on the tree and it’s the signature exhibit at the center.

This year’s contest was won by high-school senior Sammi Massey, of Bethesda, Md. She nominated Harvey Milk. Her essay was eloquent and spoke of his fight to bring equality to San Francisco in 1978. The NCC asked me to serve as keynote speaker for the ceremony, and I’m happy they did. It was a goose-bump moment.

As I spoke and viewed the tree, my pride soared, knowing the up-and-coming generation is not only benefiting from our struggle for equality, beginning to notice and support it in vast numbers. Milk now joins Harry Hay as a representative of the LGBT community on the nation’s family tree.

Mark Segal is PGN publisher. He can be reached at [email protected] .