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80 posts from May 2012

May 31, 2012

Right-wing derangement update: 'moral chaos' destroying America

Right Wing Watch shares this video featuring our more out-there opponents, including Bishop Harry Jackson, who seems to get nuttier by the week. No, Bishop, the government is not going to march into your churches and tell you what to preach. What you're really unhappy about is that the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom protects the rest of us and not only people who agree with you.

Another federal court rules DOMA provision unconstitutional

HuffPo reports:

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston said the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, discriminates against gay couples....

The appeals court agreed with a lower court judge who ruled in 2010 that the law is unconstitutional because it interferes with the right of a state to define marriage and denies married gay couples federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including the ability to file joint tax returns.

A lot more battles lie ahead, but this is cheering news.

May 30, 2012

June 7, 2012 - One City Pride Reception: An Evening with Mayor Vincent C. Gray

Mayor Vincent Gray will participate in a second annual Pride Town Hall event on Thursday, June 7. The mayor will be interviewed by Blade reporter Lou Chibbaro Jr. at an event open to the public; there will be an opportunity for the public to ask questions as well.

“One City Pride Reception: An Evening with Mayor Vincent C. Gray” will be held at the Charles Sumner School Museum & Archives, 1201 17th St., N.W. A reception will start at 6 p.m. followed by the live interview with Gray at 7 p.m. From 7:45-8:30 p.m. several area gay elected officials will speak on a panel about being LGBT in politics. That panel will be moderated by Blade reporter Chris Johnson.

The evening concludes with a dessert reception from 8:30-9 p.m.

The event is jointly sponsored by the Blade and Capital Pride.

(via Washington Blade)

"Marry Us" - performed by Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus

If you asked me what single song from my eighteen years of singing with the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, D.C. (1981-1999) was my favorite, this would be it. Here it is performed by the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus under the direction of the man who commissioned the song cycle NakedMan, of which it is a part. Music by Robert Seeley, lyrics by Philip Littel. TCGMC writes:

Originally commissioned in 1995 by Dr. Stan Hill for the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus and written by Robert Seeley, the song "Marry Us" has taken on a new life with the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus (under the direction of Dr. Stan Hill) nearly 17 years later. The song's straightforward demand for equality is summed up in its closing line: "Marry us today!"

This video was recorded during our spring concert, "Re:Generations," on March 30, 2012. We now perform "Marry Us" at each concert during our 2011-2012 season as our part in taking a stand against the marriage amendment. On November 6, 2012, Minnesota voters will be asked to amend the MN constitution to ban marriage for same-sex couples. The Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus is actively reaching out to the community and is performing throughout Minnesota in order to raise awareness of the issue and educating voters to VOTE NO.

During the song, we ask all couples - regardless of sexual orientation - to stand and allow all of us in the audience to recognize their relationships in an open and welcoming environment. We ask partners of chorus members to join their significant other on stage. It is an affirming moment of celebration for all of us.

Minneapolis photographer Brent Dundore (BD Portraits) has joined forces with the TCGMC to create the "MARRY US Campaign." The MARRY US Campaign is a partnership between the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus & BD Portraits to raise awareness and promote marriage equality for all! As TCGMC Artistic Director, Dr. Stan Hill, says, "love is just too precious to legislate."

The combination of the TCGMC's musical message and Brent's photographs create powerful images of love, friendship, community, and inclusion. It is the sincere hope of the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus and BD Portraits that these photographs inspire voters in Minnesota (and beyond) to vote for what is right: Marriage Equality for ALL!

For more information: www.marryuscampaign.com

The Spitzer Study of Ex-Gays: Flaws and Abuse

(Hat tip: Box Turtle Bulletin)

ILove Marriage in Illinois: It's Just Time

HuffPo reports:

More than two dozen gay and lesbian couples filed lawsuits Wednesday arguing that it's unconstitutional for Illinois to deny them the right to marry, a move advocates hope will lead to legalized same-sex marriage in the state.

The two lawsuits – backed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and the New York-based gay advocacy group Lambda Legal – include couples from the Chicago area, Bloomington and Marion. Both challenge a state law that defines marriage as between a man and woman, arguing that the Illinois Constitution guarantees the right for same-sex couples to marry under due process and equality clauses.

Legislation to eliminate the law's language that prohibits gay marriage is pending, but a vote isn't expected before the legislative session is scheduled to end this week. And although Illinois enacted same-sex civil unions last year, couples in the lawsuits said the limited rights and protections make them feel like second-class citizens.

The pointlessness of heckling a pro

This clip shows someone heckling former Prime Minister Tony Blair (and if you ask which country he served as prime minister I shall send you right off to bed without your supper) during an inquiry on media ethics, and Mr. Blair's response. This heckler fared no better than gay activist Lane Hudson a few years ago at a Netroots Nation conference when he heckled former president Bill Clinton. (Starts at 2:24 in the video below.) Mr. Clinton is even better than Mr. Blair at handling such situations. He wagged his finger at Mr. Hudson and said "You didn't get me support in the Congress" and said that DADT passed by veto-proof majorities. What Clinton does not mention is that he quickly retreated in the face of an anti-gay onslaught that he should have anticipated, and that if he had made a principled stand he might have won enough congressional votes to sustain a veto. But his self-serving account aside, he was right that collectively we were not ready for that fight.

In any case, since Clinton had the microphone, he was at a tactical advantage. The result was that the former president looked magnanimous for interrupting his speech to answer a heckler, and looked on top of his game for being able to discuss events of sixteen years earlier off the top of his head. Hudson, meanwhile, reveled in the notoriety his heckling briefly won him. Advantage: Clinton. Hudson subsequently expressed surprise that the audience members around him were hostile toward him; it apparently did not occur to him that they were progressives who had come to listen to the first Democratic president to win election to a second term since FDR in 1936, and that they liked Clinton. If you want to indulge an impulse to act up, fine; but don't confuse it for effective activism.

SF Gay Men's Chorus Celebrates Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary

SFGMC writes:

Performing "Love Can Build A Bridge", the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. Video produced by Sean Chapin

May 29, 2012

Marriage News Watch - May 28, 2012 #afer


Loss of exclusivity is not oppression


It's amazing how resolutely some people refuse to get this. Ah, how to defend exclusivity while masking it as egalitarianism?

(Hat tip: Alan Sharpe)

Romney campaign: Obama 'has never managed anything.' Really?

(Photo by Larry Downing/Reuters)

Daily Kos reports on the Romney campaign's resurrection of the line from the 2008 campaign about Barack Obama having never managed anything.

Not only has President Obama managed the United States government for more than three years (which saw 25 consecutive months of job growth, the rescue of the American automobile industry, and the killing of OBL), before that he ran a campaign that defeated the Clinton political machine. But the Republicans appear determined to compare Mitt's record as of 2012 with Obama's record as of 2007. Can you say desperate?

(Hat tip: Mark Thompson)

Changing the subject


(Hat tip: Nicholas Apostol)

May 28, 2012

Will calls Trump a 'bloviating ignoramus'

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

I seldom agree with George Will, who says everything in the same pompous, know-it-all tone; but I agree with him this time.

Jake Tapper reports.



The famous photo on the left, taken in NYC at the end of World War II, reportedly involved not the reunion of a long-separated couple but a servicemember simply grabbing the nearest nurse and being caught in the act by an enterprising photographer. So, ironically enough, of the three couples shown here, the heterosexual couple is the only one where consent is not involved.

(Hat tip: Cathy Renna)

Spot the difference


So many people worked so long to make this simple moment of joy no big deal. Here is what equality looks like.

(Hat tip: David Mariner)

Honoring all who served


This photo of a pair of Korean War veterans is a reminder of the long struggle by multiple generations that got us to this moment. On this day for many years beginning in 1980, World War II veteran Frank Kameny led a wreath-laying ceremony by the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. Today we honor him and all who served our country, including gay men and lesbians.

(Hat tip: Paul Crist)

Love Not Hate Protest in Newton NC

Reuters reports:

More than 1,000 people on Sunday protested a small-town North Carolina Baptist minister's sermon calling for gays and lesbians to be locked up behind an electric fence, a fire-and-brimstone speech viewed hundreds of thousands of times on the Internet since given two weeks ago.

Another Moscow gay pride march violently suppressed

You don't need to speak Russian to understand these images of Russian gay rights advocates being assaulted and arrested. Gay Star News reports.

May 27, 2012

A Bright Idea


(via Reddit)

May 25, 2012

Federal Judge Rules DOMA, Tax Code Force Unconstitutional Treatment For Same-Sex Couples

Chris Geidner at Metro Weekly reports.

State Dept. issues annual report on human rights abuses

Will O'Bryan at Metro Weekly reports.

The State Department report for 2011 is here.

Our Left Coast friend Michael Petrelis comments:

I glanced at several country's reports last night and was very pleased to see much fresh info included on LGBT/HIV issues in 2011. In previous years' reports, a lot of the info shared was historical or not current. My sense is that the State Department in the reports that I read both expanded the details and citations and they were quite up to date.

GLAA issues Manifesto Against Religious Bullies


The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C. has just published our "Manifesto Against Religious Bullies" to distribute at our table at DC's upcoming Black Lesbian & Gay Pride and Capital Pride festivals.

Here is a link:

We hope you like it and pass it along to others. And thanks to the many LGBT-affirming clergy who have provided such a welcome contrast to the bullies. As Frank Kameny often said, the tide of history is with us.

Have a great holiday weekend. If you're in the DC area, stop by GLAA's table at DC Black Pride on Sunday and say hi. Here's a link to their schedule:

An electrified fence

This horrifying video has the following description on Youtube:

Pastor Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church -- located at 3283 Providence Mill Rd, Maiden, NC 28650 -- is seen here from a service posted to the church's website dated May 13, 2012 calling for the concentration and ultimate death of "queers and homosexuals."

For more information on this campaign, visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/CatawbaValleyAgainstHate or email us at catawbavalleyagainsthate@gmail.com

As Max von Sydow said in Hannah and Her Sisters, "If Jesus came back and saw what was going on in his name, he would never stop throwing up."

Plebes and lard

(Photo courtesy Getty Images / Mark Wilson)

It was hard choosing just one photo from Buzzfeed's treasure trove of pics from the annual ritual of the plebes at the Naval Academy in Annapolis involving a greased phallic monument. Click on the link for many, many more, including one that should be captioned, "Watch where you're putting that thumb."

(Hat tip: Craig Howell)

May 24, 2012

Maryland supports marriage equality

Marylanders for Marriage Equality (MME) report on a dramatic shift in support for marriage equality in the state.  Public Policy Polling has released the results from a recent poll commissioned by MME that shows the measure will likely pass by a much wider margin.  Some key findings from the report:

  • 57% of Maryland voters say they’re likely to vote for the new marriage law this fall, compared to only 37% who are opposed. That 20 point margin of passage represents a 12 point shift from an identical PPP survey in early March, which found it ahead by a closer 52/44 margin.
  • The movement over the last two months can be explained almost entirely by a major shift in opinion about same-sex marriage among black voters. Previously 56% said they would vote against the new law with only 39% planning to uphold it. Those numbers have now almost completely flipped, with 55% of African Americans planning to vote for the law and only 36% now opposed.
  • The big shift in attitudes toward same-sex marriage among black voters in Maryland is reflective of what’s happening nationally right now.  A new ABC/Washington Post poll finds 59% of African Americans across the country supportive of same-sex marriage.  A PPP poll in the critical swing state of Pennsylvania last weekend found a shift of 19 points in favor of same-sex marriage among black voters.

Many conservative commentators have been saying that President Obama's shift on the issue was all politics.  Perhaps so, but opposition to it by Republicans has long been based on politics as well.  Key figures in the Maryland fight such as Harry Jackson and Robert Broadus are vocal supporters of the Republican party working for the President's defeat.  Perhaps the African American pastors who the National Organization for Marriage has been targeting will finally get the log out of their eye on this issue.

(via Joe My God)

What a true Bible-based marriage law would look like

Sam Smith at Progressive Review shares these words of wisdom:

In defense of biblical marriage PROTESTANTS FOR THE COMMON GOOD, 2004 -- The Presidential Prayer Team is currently urging us to: "Pray for the President as he seeks wisdom on how to legally codify the definition of marriage. Pray that it will be according to Biblical principles. With any forces insisting on variant definitions of marriage, pray that God's Word and His standards will be honored by our government." This is true.

Any good religious person believes prayer should be balanced by action. So here, in support of the Prayer Team's admirable goals, is a proposed Constitutional Amendment codifying marriage entirely on biblical principles:

A. Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women. (Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5)

B. Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines, in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21)

C. A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut 22:13-21)

D. Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden. (Gen 24:3; Num 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30)

E. Since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9)

F. If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother's widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe, and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. (Gen. 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10)

G. In lieu of marriage, if there are no acceptable men in your town, it is required that you get your dad drunk and have sex with him (even if he had previously offered you up as a sex toy to men young and old), tag-teaming with any sisters you may have. Of course, this rule applies only if you are female. (Gen 19:31-36)

DC Vote protests Rep. Trent Franks office


Politico reports on DC Vote's action in which D.C. residents went to the congressional office of Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) to bring their constituent complaints to him, since he's acting as if he is D.C.'s own congressman and trying to impose abortion restrictions on the District.

To get a clear view of the relentlessness of the anti-choice right, check out the comments below the article. The Constitution's grant of power over the District to Congress does not require Congress to micromanage the District four decades after establishing home rule. To invoke the Constitution while entirely disregarding the bedrock American value of self-determination is rather amazing, but it is quite persistent and will not easily be defeated. OTOH, the best way of beating back insults like the one delivered by Trent Franks is to return the House of Representatives to Democratic control.

DCist reports here.

NAACP Gets to Yes

(NAACP President Ben Jealous has an emotional moment during news conference on marriage equality)

My column this week celebrates the NAACP's historic embrace of marriage equality. Here's a portion:

The NAACP decision gives a boost to the liberal coalition at a time when the radical right is making ever more blatant appeals to bigotry and fear. For example, after last week's report that non-white births went over the 50 percent mark in 2011 for the first time in American history, the Eagle Forum decried the news as an attack on the American family, and unleashed an ugly caricature of immigrants. We must respond that America is stronger for celebrating and protecting all of its diverse families.

Many NAACP leaders have supported equality, from former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond to current NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous, who have worked with LGBT advocates like the National Black Justice Coalition. Prejudice dies hard, but equality has eloquent ministerial allies from Otis Moss III in Chicago to Delman Coates in Clinton, Md. We deserve this moment of joy. Let it energize us for the battles ahead.

Read the whole thing here.

May 23, 2012

NFL player talks about a gay high school teammate

WaPo reports.

Poll: People of Color More Likely to Support Gay Marriage Than Whites

Colorlines reports.

(Hat tip: National Black Justice Coalition)

Colin Powell: "no problem" with gay marriage

Two decades after he helped give us "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Colin Powell says he has no problem with marriage equality. I'd like something more explicitly affirmative, but this is one more sign of the historic shift that President Obama has helped set off.

The Swimsuit Issue: Behind the Scenes at the Metro Weekly Photo Shoot

Metro Weekly writes:

If it's summer, it's swimsuits, and for this week's issue, Metro Weekly tapped Universal Gear for all the hottest new swimsuit fashions and made its way to VIDA Fitness's stunning, new Penthouse Pool Club. Let the splashing begin! And be sure to watch for the issue -- featuring the 2012 Official Black Pride Guide -- in the DC metro area on Thursday, May 24! And online at www.metroweekly.com

The Obama effect: Marriage equality gains ground

Jonathan Capehart discusses the impact of President Obama's endorsement of marriage equality.

Bob Summersgill comments on FB, "The shift in opinion since the President's announcement is truly remarkable. He may have also given numerous people cover to come-out about their own evolutions. We may be at a tipping point, thanks to the President. Expect an acceleration in marriage equality acceptance in coming polls."

President Obama and the Fight for LGBT Rights

A campaign video narrated by Jane Lynch.

I am somebody

This YouTube video is accompanied by the explanation, "Selinah July a 4 year old child reciting a poem she learnt in playschool at Jerusalem Ministries Human Diginity Centre."

AFA Action Alert! Target Supports Gay Families!


I happen to be on the email list of the right-wing American Family Association, which this morning sent me this dire alert:

Target donating its sales in support of gay marriage laws

May 23, 2012

Dear Richard,

Target has pledged $120,000 in cash to promote the legalization of homosexual marriage.

Target's website says it will donate 100% of T-shirt sales from customers during the month of June to Family Equality Council.

You can see Target's promise to homosexuals here (Target's actual webpage here).

Target is joining President Obama in ramming same-sex marriage down the throats of the American people.


Send an email to Target Chairman Gregg Steinhafel. Let him know that a majority of Americans oppose same-sex marriage and are able to use their pocketbooks to voice their opposition to companies that support it.

You can also call Target's corporate office and share your personal thoughts. The number is 612-304-6073, option 6.

I just called and registered my appreciation for Target's support for the Family Equality Council. You may wish to do the same.

Incidentally, AFA's phrasing about ramming things down people's throats strikes me as being a tad over the top. I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say that we strongly believe in getting permission before doing any such thing, even with our spouses. I expect that AFA's alert writer is merely projecting, or is watching too much gay porn.

May 22, 2012

NAACP President Ben Jealous talks about marriage equality

Same-sex couples and their families have a powerful ally in NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous, as this video from MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show demonstrates.

Marriage News Watch - May 21, 2012 #afer


May 19, 2012

Eagle Forum decries the coming non-white majority

A brazen display of racism by an organization that thinks white heterosexuals have a monopoly on family values.

NAACP endorses marriage equality

The NAACP announced today:

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People today released a resolution supporting marriage equality. At a meeting of the 103-year old civil rights group’s board of directors, the organization voted to support marriage equality as a continuation of its historic commitment to equal protection under the law.

“The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure the political, social and economic equality of all people,” said Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NAACP. “We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law.”

“Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people” said Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP.

The NAACP has addressed civil rights with regard to marriage since Loving v. Virginia declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional in 1967. In recent years the NAACP has taken public positions against state and federal efforts to ban the rights and privileges for LGBT citizens, including strong opposition to Proposition 8 in California, the Defense of Marriage Act, and most recently, North Carolina’s Amendment 1, which changed the state constitution’s to prohibit same sex marriage.

I never thought I would cry over marriage equality twice in ten days. First it was the President, now the NAACP. This was presaged, of course, by a number of NAACP leaders and chapters, and the National Black Justice Coalition has worked with NAACP President Ben Jealous on LGBT issues. This is a fruition of those long efforts by many people. It is a very big deal and fills me with joy. Wind, fill our sails; we've got some winning to do.