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149 posts from January 2012

January 31, 2012

#LGBTFacts, homosexual males have larger penises

Researching the topic of twitter hasttags I came across #LGBTFacts, Hijacked Twitter Hashtag, Pokes Fun At Anti-Gay User With Parody Tweets.

A Twitter user dedicated to "spreading the truth about the abhorrent homosexual lifestyle" can't be too thrilled by the recent pro-gay "hijacking" of the #lgbtfacts hashtag for more humorous purposes.

Though its legitimacy is, of course, questionable, @LGBTFacts has offered up some incredibly offensive statements on Twitter about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and allies.

Read the article to see more about this including example of the LGBT "facts" and how it has been parodied.  I read the "fact" about penis length long ago.  A research measured the lenght of gay and staight men's penises and found that when it comes to your junk gay men have a small advantage.  Let's say they are a silly millimeter longer.  Other research seems to back the finding.  (With a large enough sample you can make make statistically valid statements for very small changes.)  Gay men also sexually mature at a slightly younger age according to researchers.

Gay Men's Chorus of Washington does Gaga

Along with winter themed music.  Unfortunately the sound is a bit messed up at first

(via Towleroad)

January 30, 2012

Santorum's Gifts from God

Ladies, don't worry you purdy little heads about nuthin.

Marriage News Watch - January 30, 2012


January 29, 2012

The hell I won't!

Okay, I admit it — I thought of this scene from the 1963 movie McLintock! because I was disgusted by the disrespect that has been shown toward the President, and I was thinking that he oughta forget about Jackie Robinson and belt someone in the mouth. Not gonna happen, but watching this made me feel so much better.

January 28, 2012

Ron Paul was deeply involved in production of newsletters, associates say

Surprise, surprise. The congressman is just lying.

HUD's Donovan announces final housing nondiscrimination rule at Creating Change

(HUD Sec. Shaun Donovan at Creating Change. Photo by Chris Geidner.)

Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly reports from the Creating Change conference in Baltimore:

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today told those LGBT advocates gathered for the Creating Change conference taking place in Baltimore, Md., "HUD has been a leader in the fight ... for equality." As part of that, he announced that the federal housing program anti-discrimination regulation announced in January 2011 has been finalized and will be published in the Federal Register on this coming week and go into effect 30 days later.

"Today, I am proud to announce a new equal access to housing rule that says clearly and unequivocally that LGBT indivduals and couples have the right to live where they choose," he told the audience, which rose to its feet with applause.

Donovan detailed that the rule, saying that it includes a new equal access provision that prohibits discrimination in HUD-backed housing programs. It also, he said, guarantees that LGBT individuals are eligible for HUD's public housing programs and states that discrimination is prohibited on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in all Fair Housing Administration-backed loans -- which Donovan said constituted 40 percent of all loans for Americans who bought a home last year.

Waiting for the right to show their true colors by screaming bloody murder. Also waiting for the all-or-nothing gay left to dismiss this as "crumbs."

ANC2F: Occupy D.C., Let Us Have Our Park Back

(Photo by Jonathan Wilson / WAMU)

Jonathan Wilson at WAMU reports that the National Park Service has ordered Occupy DC protesters to vacate McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza by Monday. He quotes one protester as refusing to leave. Those who refuse to remove their camping and cooking materials from the parks face arrest.

Nick Barron of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2F, which includes McPherson Square, politely asks the protesters to comply with the NPS order. As he observes, they have delivered their message, their neighbors have been either supportive or quietly tolerant of the months-long occupation, and it is time to move on to the next phase of their effort, one that does not involve monopolizing a public park. Indeed Mayor Gray and other D.C. officials have been supportive of the Occupiers. But the public's patience runs out eventually. Barron notes that McPherson Square had been refurbished in the fall before the occupation began, and the then-new grass has been destroyed by the encampment.

It is clear that many of the Occupy DC folks have nothing else in their game plan other than staying in these public parks. That's all they've got. That is embarrassing to the cause of reform. Someone needs to explain to them the concept of political organizing. I understand that the Occupy movement has garnered a lot of attention for the problem of income inequality in this country, including policies that result in the upward redistribution of wealth. But that point has been made. They can forget about any serious reform happening if the Republican champions of the wealthiest few win the election in November.

Many of the occupiers scorn the electoral process; all that means is that they have decided to replace the actually existing political process with magical thinking: if they occupy these public spaces long enough, somehow vulture capitalism will be defeated. They need to get real. And who do they think will be helped by a mass arrest? But such arrests are liberating, at least in the minds of some. Fine. Liberate them, and liberate the parks. Those people who are politically serious recognize what is at stake in the coming election, and will become involved accordingly. Do those who just want to continue the Occupation indefinitely prefer battles with the police? That worked so well for progressives in 1968.

(Hat tip: Joel Lawson)

January 27, 2012

NOM polling techniques

The National Organization for Marriage has announced Washington Survey Shows Strong Opposition to Same Sex Marriage; Voters Want the Right to Decide Marriage Issue.  They don't provide a link to the actual poll results, but you can find them here (via SLOG).  Here is the wording of thier question.

As you probably know, since 2010 Washington has had a civil union law which gives gay couples all the legal rights of married couples. Now some people want to pass a new law, which changes the definition of marriage, so that it is no longer between a man and a woman, but between any two people. Do you feel it is necessary or not necessary to pass now a new law which changes the definition of marriage in this way?

Many polls show that a majority of voters support marriage equality.  So NOM pollers need go to great lengths to get favorable results.  The main value of polling is to show trends, and recently they have been toward marriage equality.  What isn't surprising is that QEV Analytics is the polling firm.  They are quite expert a delivering result that satisfy their client.  There are othere things odd with these results, such as 60% of the interviewees having a college degree or higher.

Gingrich needs to update his mailing list

Newt_Approved_HeadshotLoose Lips reports that Newt Gingrich sent ANC 3F07 Commissioner and past GLAA president Bob Summersgill a fundraising message beginning "Dear Conservative":

For the record, Summersgill, who was one of the leading proponents of the District's marriage equality law and is active in the city's Democratic establishment, says he's unmoved by Gingrich's plea and doesn't plan to vote for him. "Gingrich said gay people shouldn't support him," emails Summersgill, likely referring to this exchange. "He said we should vote for Obama."

Yes. I am aware that exit polls from prior elections suggest that roughly one-fourth of self-identified gay voters will vote for Newt anyway (in the unlikely event that he gets the Republican nomination). At the same time, all-or-nothing gay leftists will stay home or vote for a third-party candidate because the most productive president on gay issues in history did not magically give them everything they wanted. You can make your best arguments, but in the end you cannot control other people's choices. That is all right. Be responsible for yourself. Stand up and be counted.

Booker: "We should not be putting civil rights issues to a popular vote"

Newark Mayor Cory Booker responds to NJ Gov. Chris Christie's proposal to put marriage equality on the ballot. Thank you, Mayor Booker.

January 26, 2012

Stray thought from the Republican presidential debate

Newt and Mitt should work together to ensure that when Fidel leaves the planet he doesn't go to the lunar colony. He'd only stir up trouble.

Also: Ron Paul says when he started in medicine there was no Medicare or Medicaid, & things worked fine. Once again he channels Scarlett O'Hara. Someone send him a copy of The Wind Done Gone to provide an alternate perspective of those halcyon days of yore.

Newt channels Dave Chappelle

Could Newt Gingrich have gotten his plan for a new space race from this old bit by Dave Chappelle?)

(Hat tip: Daily Kos)

Gov. Christie thinks civil rights in 1960s should have been handled by referenda


The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the incredible historical ignorance of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who thinks that gay people's marriage rights should be decided by referendum, just as black people's civil rights should have been back in the 1960s.

Keep talking, troglodytes.

Barney Frank to marry Jim Ready


Metro Weekly and the Blade report. Congrats to Jim and Barney.

What did Newt say?

I'm sorry, did Newt Gingrich say he wants to fund NASA or Massa?

An act of disrespect that will backfire

Jan_brewer_fingerYou are probably aware of this story about yesterday's exchange on the tarmac between Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and President Obama, who dared to point out the inaccuracy of her description (in her book, Scorpions for Breakfast) of a meeting in the Oval Office.

This year's election is an excellent opportunity for all of us to say to the likes of Jan Brewer, in the unmistakable language of an electoral landslide, "Lady, get your goddamn finger out of my brother's face." Yes, he has the Secret Service, but in this matter millions of us need to have his back.

Arizona's disgraceful anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, which Brewer so enthusiastically pushed, and which the President challenged in court, has harmed the state's economy, and rightfully so. The bigotry and injured sense of entitlement of Brewer and her nativist and racist allies, embodied in their cry, "We want our country back," targets blacks, Latinos, Muslims, and gays — not to mention women. So let's keep our eyes on the prize and not take this election for granted just because of the GOP's current circular firing squad. Then at noon next Jan. 20, Obama can hand Chief Justice Roberts a printed copy of the presidential oath of office to help him out.

Let the People Vote

Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker has announced his opposition to putting marriage equality to a popluar vote.

"I shudder to think what would have happened if the civil rights gains, heroically established by courageous lawmakers in the 1960s, were instead conveniently left up to popular votes in our 50 states," Booker said in a statement.

Voters have regularly held back various civil rights movement.  A New Jersey legislator noted that the last successful referendum in the state was in 1915 when voters repealed a bill allowing women the vote.  And laws forbidding discrimination in housing were revoked by voters in both California and Maryland as well as in many smaller municipalities.  The DC councilmembers disallowed referenda on groups covered by the Human Rights Act were well aware of this.

American democracy doesn't allow that government take away rights even if the majority favors it.  The Bill of Rights was added onto the Constitution to limit the reach of democracy.  Even if an overwhelming majority of citizens want Christianity declared our official religion itthey cannot.  Even if a majority of DC voters want guns outlawed they cannot do that either.  And in instances this has failed, such as when the Supreme Court upheld a law allowing for the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, it is held as a stain on our national honor.

Update:  Gov. Chris Christie has brought up the civil rights connectiion himself.  He has said:

"The fact of the matter is, I think people would have been happy to have a referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets in the South."

This has sparked outrage.

(via JoeMyGod)

January 25, 2012

Gov. O'Malley announces marriage equality bill in Maryland

The State of Maryland has issued this video with the following description:

Governor O'Malley joined by advocates from a broad coalition of supporters discusses the Civil Marriage Protection Act of 2012. Marylanders of all walks of life want their children to live in a loving, stable, committed home -- protected under the law. The marriage equality bill balances equal protection of the law for every individual with free exercise of religion without government interference.

Metro Weekly reports here. the Blade reports here.

Ron Paul's blind spot on race

Chauncey DeVega has a smart take on Rep. Ron Paul and race. Here's a small sampling:

Ron Paul's desire to frame the Civil War as a tragedy for the South at the hands of a villainous North, a federal force that only wanted to take away the liberties of white people, is an ideal-typical example of libertarianism's failings on matters of race and justice. Ron Paul does not seem to identify slavery--the owning of black people by white people in perpetuity--as a de facto state of war and tyranny. If libertarians were to find a historic freedom struggle to claim as their own, one would think that abolition, accomplished by any means necessary, would be at the top of their list.

Tahrir Square, Jan. 25, 2012

Alex Nicholson writes:

A great set of video cuts from our day today. This is not stock footage... Jonathan [Smith] actually shot this footage while I dragged him around trying not to draw too much attention to the [only] two blue-eyed white guys around.

Rep. Giffords makes her farewell to Congress

Speaker Boehner for once has a good reason to cry. Get better quick, Gabby.

NJ Senate Democrats respond to Gov. Christie on marriage equality

Here is the description accompanying this YouTube video from New Jersey Democrats:

In this video, New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, and Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, the prime sponsors of S-1, legislation to guarantee marriage equality for all couples, respond to Governor Chris Christie's suggestion that marriage equality should be decided at the ballot box, not by the Legislature.

National Gay-Straight Alliance Day message from Secretary Arne Duncan

Mara Keisling of the National Center for Transgender Equality comments, "Wow. The Obama Administration speaking up for us again."

Capitol moment


President Obama, on his way to the podium of the House Chamber to deliver the 2012 State of the Union address, hugs Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). Giffords steps down this week to continue her recovery from the brain injury she suffered when a crazed gunman shot her on January 8, 2011.

(Photo courtesy Progress Florida via Beth Corbin)

January 24, 2012

Prostitution Tuesday

ChavousBLoose Lips reports that today, on the same day that the D.C. Council Judiciary Committee was holding a hearing on Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander's Prostitution Free Zone Amendment bill (the witnesses were three to one against it, btw), her challenger Kevin B. Chavous copped a plea in his own case:

Forces beyond LL's comprehension have conspired to make today prostitution Tuesday in D.C. politics.

First off, Ward 7 council candidate Kevin B. Chavous has cut a deal with prosecutors on the charge that he allegedly tried to pay an undercover cop $20 for a blow job a few weeks ago, court records show.

The solicitation charge will go away after four months if Chavous performs 32 hours of community service, doesn't break any District laws, and stays away from the block on K Street NE where his alleged encounter occurred. The Post reports that Chavous' attorney said prosecutors approached Chavous with the deferred prosecution deal.

The deal comes after a very tight-lipped Team Chavous indicated they would fight the charge. "I am innocent of the charges against me and look forward to clearing my name!" Chavous tweeted after his arrest, in what LL is pretty sure has been his only comment about the whole affair.

Meanwhile, at the hearing, Ms. Alexander took great offense at the suggestion that any sex workers live in her ward. Only respectable people live in Ward 7, she declared indignantly. Yvette's grandstanding was equalled only by her obtuseness. Witness after witness did our best to reach halfway — expressing sympathy for her constituents' frustration with the effects the street-based sex trade is having on their neighborhoods, and suggesting that we all get together to craft solutions that actually work without violating the Constitution — but she just stood her irrational ground, not even making coherent (as distinct from merely disagreeable) arguments.

Update: WAMU reports on Tuesday's PFZ hearing. I am quoted in the story.

Gov. Christie: Let the people vote (on your rights)

I guess NJ Gov. Chris Christie just couldn't nominate an openly gay man to the state supreme court without balancing it out with something anti-gay. Now he's calling for a referendum on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, and says he'll veto a marriage equality bill if it reaches his desk.

Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution guarantees a republican (representative) form of government. It says nothing about the right to hold a plebiscite whenever people don't like what their elected legislators do. Marriage is a fundamental human right. Rights are not proper subjects for referenda. Shame on you, Governor.

They're just white Christians saving poor black children through Jesus

As Chef on South Park would say, check out these wonderful crackers.

(Hat tip: Joe Jervis)

Gov. Christie nominates black gay man, Asian to NJ Supreme Court

NYT reports:

Gov. Chris Christie moved to diversify the state's all-white Supreme Court on Monday with two firsts: the nominations of an openly gay black man and a Korean-born prosecutor to fill two vacancies.

If confirmed, Bruce A. Harris would become New Jersey's first openly gay justice, and Phillip H. Kwon would become its first Asian representative and the first justice born outside the United States.

Christie, a Republican, said he had "extreme confidence" in the records and intellects of his nominees, neither of whom has been a judge.

The Blade reports here. Metro Weekly reports here.

GLAA testifies Tuesday against Prostitution Free Zone Amendment Act

GLAA will testify against Bill 19-567, the Prostitution Free Zone Amendment Act of 2011, at a hearing today, January 24, before the D.C. Council Judiciary Committee. Our testimony is here. The text of the bill, introduced by Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander, is here. The hearing notice is here. Also testifying against the bill will be the local ACLU, DC Trans Coalition, The Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance, Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive, Best Practices Policy Project, and Human Rights Watch. Thanks to my colleagues who reviewed GLAA's testimony, especially GLAA President Miguel Tuason who helped with the research.

Sign our petition against PFZs here.

Trans Mafia: Savage Glitterbombed Again

Dan-savageBil Browning writes at Bilerico:

Dan Savage was glitterbombed again by trans activists. If you think that Dan Savage is the worst enemy of the trans community, you're sadly mistaken. If you think that throwing heavy objects at someone's head will make them a closer friend, you're an idiot. And if you think that you're garnering support for your cause by attacking someone over things said years ago when most of us have had to make adjustments to our thinking as we've come along the transgender road to acceptance, you didn't study the LGB history lessons at all.

Yes. It's bad enough to do it to our enemies, like Santorum. Doing it to Dan Savage is just amazingly stupid and counterproductive. The people doing it need an intervention where they are sternly told to grow up and get a clue. What they do not need is to be pandered to by soft-headed people saying how "empowering" their dumbass stunts are.

(Photo of Dan Savage)

MD Gov. O'Malley to roll out marriage equality bill on Tuesday

WaPo reports that Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley will tout his marriage equality bill on Tuesday, January 24 after hosting a breakfast with same-sex couples.

In related news, Maryland Delegate Heather Mizeur, with her wife in the gallery, tells opponents of the bill, "You can't stop us."

January 23, 2012

Hutcherson to WA legislators: "You think you know better than God"

Over in the other Washington, anti-gay pastor Ken Hutcherson rants rather incoherently against marriage equality. Basically, he expects the civil government to act as an extension of his church. Other than introducing him to the First Amendment, I want to tell him: Dear Ken, please get over it. There's a spot waiting for you over at Silver Daddies.

Please sign petition opposing Prostitution Free Zones


As you may know, the D.C. Council's Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing tomorrow (Tuesday, Jan. 24) on Yvette Alexander's Bill 19-567 to allow the police chief to make so-called Prostitution Free Zones permanent. As I will testify on behalf of GLAA, those zones violate the U.S. Constitution and in any case do not solve problems associated with street prostitution, because such police tactics merely chase the activity to other streetcorners. And giving criminal records to people who are engaged in commercial sex in order to survive only makes it harder for them to escape the streets.

Our discussion of this issue in GLAA's "Agenda: 2012" is here. We will post our testimony for the Jan. 24 hearing on GLAA's website on that morning.

Our friends Darby Hickey and Sonya Mendoza have placed a petition on change.org and tumblr.com about PFZs. Please use one of these links to add your voice to ours.




Rick Rosendall
Vice President for Political Affairs
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance

Rep. Giffords hugs Daniel Hernandez, the former intern who saved her life

Giffords_and_HernandezRep. Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) tweeted a link to this photo of her hugging Daniel Hernandez, the openly gay former intern who saved her life after the shooting in Tucson a year ago. Hernandez recently won election to a Tucson-area school board.

Rushdie says Indian police invented death threat


Agence France-Presse reports:

British author Salman Rushdie on Sunday accused Indian police of making up an underworld plot to assassinate him that forced him to pull out of a literary festival this weekend.

Rushdie withdrew from the event in Jaipur, the state capital of Rajasthan, after being warned by Indian officials that paid gunmen were heading to the city to kill him for his writing that is alleged to insult Muslims.

But Rushdie said that he now believed the supposed plot — apparently undertaken by Mumbai criminal gangs — had been invented to keep him away from the festival and to avoid controversy.

“I’ve investigated, & believe that I was indeed lied to. I am outraged and very angry,” Rushdie said on Twitter after newspaper reports that Rajasthan police had concocted the death threat.

Rushdie’s 1988 novel “The Satanic Verses”, which remains banned in India, is seen by many Muslims worldwide as a blasphemous work that insults their religion....

Writers Hari Kunzru and Amitava Kumar read out passages of “The Satanic Verses” from the stage in protest on Friday, angering some local Muslim groups who had welcomed Rushdie’s withdrawal from the programme.

The festival in Jaipur is a high-profile event, with the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Richard Dawkins in attendance. Bravo to those who protested the threats against Rushdie, and to the authors who read from his work there.

As disturbing as those who respond to disagreeable literature by threatening to kill the author are those who sympathize with them or say things like, "You don't have the right to offend other people's religion." Yes we damn well do. And I am not just talking about the United States, whose First Amendment protects freedom of speech and of the press in addition to the free exercise of religion. One of Europe's most renowned writers is Günter Grass, whose most famous novel, The Tin Drum has some astonishing blasphemous passages (which I, who was raised a Catholic, loved). In that case, the blasphemy related to Christianity. In 1989, during the furor over The Satanic Verses (which I have read and enjoyed, btw), I heard Islamic scholars insist that the West would never tolerate anti-Christian blasphemy. That claim was demonstrably, laughably false. Grass, incidentally, was one of the authors who guaranteed publication of the German translation of Rushdie's book.

As it happens, Rushdie is one of my favorite authors. I have had countless hours of enjoyment reading his imaginative, perceptive, vivid and witty work. My favorites among his books include The Moor's Last Sigh, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Shalimar the Clown, and The Enchantress of Florence — all of which, incidentally, were written after Ayatollah Khoumeini issued the fatwa against him. Possibly his greatest work is Midnight's Children, which won Britain's Booker Prize and the Booker of Bookers. I do think that having read his work makes me more qualified to speak about it than people who condemn him without having bothered to read him. But those who oppose him, whether they are informed or not, are free to avoid reading him. They are also free to write books or articles or blogs criticizing him. They are not free, or should not be free, to suppress his work or to call for his death.

Incidentally, while it is not pertinent to the issue of defending his freedom as an author, Mr. Rushdie is a longtime pro-gay liberal. Besides the Ayatollah, one of the other real-life characters whom he lampooned in The Satanic Verses was Margaret Thatcher, whom he dubbed Maggie Torture. In contrast to the Ayatollah's reaction to the book, Mrs. Thatcher's government placed Rushdie, a British subject, under her government's protection. That nicely illustrates the difference between a free country and a theocracy.

From deployed military in Bagram: It Gets Better

Bravo to these American servicemembers deployed in Bagram, Afghanistan for making this video. They are: SSGT Steven Procter, SSGT Shelise Harmon, AT2 Erin Jones, SPC James Velazquez, SPC Curtis Robinson.

Chris Rock from The Black List

Jane Lincoln writes, "This exhibit and these short films are still at the National Portrait Gallery at Gallery Place. MUST GO SEE. It was awesome."

Chris Rock's comments are highly insightful. The following is from the description accompanying the YouTube video.

As a new chapter begins in this country, The Black List offers a dynamic and never-before-heard perspective from achievers of color. This series of inspired—and inspiring—observations on African-American life in the 21st century forms a roll call of some of the most compelling politicians, writers, thinkers and performers ever to tackle their fields of endeavor. Watch the interview-portraits and get a sharper snapshot of where this country has been and where its headed. Directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Interviews by Elvis Mitchell. Stars Collin Powell, Toni Morrison, Sean P Diddy Combs, Slash, Chris Rock, Susan Rice, Lou Gossett Jr., Russell Simmons and many more.

Stop the Glitter-bombing

If I really have to assure you of my lack of sympathy for Rick Santorum at this point, then you're an ignoramus so go ahead and believe what you like. But really, that is not the point here. Glitter-bombing homophobic politicians or ministers, or hitting them with cream pies or what have you, is NOT helpful to our cause. It is a self-indulgence. It makes us look like children or thugs. Even if you are not (and would never dream of) mixing something harmful or corrosive in with the glitter or cream, what you are doing is still an assault. It has no place in our political discourse.

Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann and Maggie Gallagher are extreme. They are hateful — even when, as with Maggie, she is overtly polite in her delivery of her poisonous words. Of course we have to fight back. But we must not do so physically. When protesters resort to throwing things at those who defame and demonize us, we play into their hands. They love to pose as victims; why on earth would we want to help them get away with it?

Stop the goddamn glittering. It is juvenile and harmful to our cause. I am well aware that there is approximately zero chance that the fools in question will heed my words, which they're unlikely to read anyway. But we need to be clear that people who engage in such boorish tactics are not our allies, any more than the person who threw a Communion wafer on the floor in New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral a couple of decades ago during an ACT UP protest. They are not our allies when they do such things, and they do not speak for us.

Neither should we let our opponents get away with portraying our movement as a bunch of thugs based upon a handful of kids acting up. The reality is grotesquely asymmetric, with our opponents not merely tossing glitter at us but relentlessly seeking to exclude us from the protections of the Constitution and leave our families with no legal recourse. We are far more sinned against than sinning, as King Lear would say. But the "queers" who persist in this idiotic behavior deserve our loud rebuke.

Cynthia Nixon says she chose to be gay. Dear Cynthia: Can you say bisexual?

Actress Cynthia Nixon, interviewed in The New York Times, voices a very strong opinion:

“I gave a speech recently, an empowerment speech to a gay audience, and it included the line ‘I’ve been straight and I’ve been gay, and gay is better.’ And they tried to get me to change it, because they said it implies that homosexuality can be a choice. And for me, it is a choice. I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice, and you don’t get to define my gayness for me. A certain section of our community is very concerned that it not be seen as a choice, because if it’s a choice, then we could opt out. I say it doesn’t matter if we flew here or we swam here, it matters that we are here and we are one group and let us stop trying to make a litmus test for who is considered gay and who is not.”

Ms. Nixon, if you were straight and then you were gay, what that really means is that you were bisexual all the time. Research shows that women's sexuality is more fluid. But you don't actually get to set aside the science by your choice of words. You can define words however you like, but that doesn't change the common usage and it doesn't change the science. Go ahead and get as angry as you like.

I agree with Nixon on one point: Our rights as gay people should have nothing to do with whether or not our orientation is a choice, any more than our religious freedom. It doesn't matter how we got here, as she says. We are here. This is the way we are and we have a right to equal protection of the law.