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71 posts from June 2012

June 28, 2012

Supreme Court upholds Affordable Care Act

President Obama explains the impact of today's Supreme Court ruling, penned by Chief Justice John Roberts, upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

Here's a funny take from Gary Younge by way of Pam Spaulding:

BREAKING NEWS: Fox News reports that Kenyan-born Supreme Court Justice John Roberts has converted to Islam.

I am very happy today. Politically speaking, the President won on a big roll of the dice. But celebrations aside, a big issue moving forward is the right wing's long-term assault on the interstate commerce clause, advanced by the Chief Justice today when he ruled for the majority that the law's individual mandate is not constitutional under the commerce clause but passes muster under the taxing authority. That underscores the stakes in the coming election. If Romney is elected and the GOP takes the Senate, you can expect them to repeal a lot more than Obamacare — Grover Norquist and his allies will be pushing to repeal much of the past 80 years of federal regulations.

One amusing spectacle today was the sight of Mitt Romney denouncing Obama's virtual carbon copy of his own Massachusetts health care law, considering that the architect of RomneyCare, MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, said last November, "They're the same f@*%ing bill."

Meanwhile, Sen. Rand Paul (R-water based lubricant) reacted to the ruling:

Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional.

Thank you for sharing!

June 27, 2012

Obama campaign ad: Equality for LGBT Americans

This ad was released by the Obama campaign.

How about we send Gen. Boykin to Beirut?

Right Wing Watch shares this video, explaining:

Jerry Boykin says Muslims are instituting Sharia in America and if you walk down the streets of Dearborn, MI "you would think you were in Beirut or Damascus."

Now, General, tell us about the liberal war against religious freedom. After that, how about working the zombie apocalypse into this?

Christianists fighting for victory in all 66 states

Count the stars on the flag at the start of this video. Later, six imaginary states mysteriously vanish (could it be, oh, I don't know, Satan?!), leaving only 60. They're headed for a glorious victory for Jesus on Planet Fundie.

(Hat tip: Jeff Jervis)

June 29 - Vigil for lesbian teen couple shot in Texas

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

HuffPo reports:

Details remain vague in a violent double shooting at a Texas park that left one lesbian teen dead and another hospitalized in serious condition.

As The Corpus Christi Caller originally reported, Mollie Judith Olgin, 19, and Mary Christine Chapa, 18, were found in knee-deep grass in Violet Andrews Park in Portland, Texas on Saturday.

Olgin was pronounced dead at the scene, while Chapa was rushed to a nearby hospital where she had surgery. She remained in the hospital on Monday, Portland Police Chief Randy Wright confirmed to MSNBC.

Wright could not confirm the nature of the girls' relationship, but friends say they had been a couple for about five months.

A vigil will be held at Dupont Circle at 6 pm on Friday, June 29.

Stonewall at 43

The Stonewall uprising that transformed the gay rights movement began 43 years ago tonight. The aging of the Stonewall generation makes it appropriate to share this video from AARP. Frank Kameny and David Carter (who wrote the book Stonewall and is working on Frank's biography) are included, as is our friend Sabrina Sojourner.

As an indication of how far we've come, below is a video of the Pentagon's first LGBT Pride celebration.

Much has been made by silly people over the fact that Judy Garland's funeral was held on June 27, 1969, the day before the uprising began. In other historic news, several tornadoes were reported in central Kansas on June 22, 1969, the day Judy died.

Nora Ephron, 1941-2012

Writer and filmmaker Nora Ephron, who wrote films from Silkwood to Sleepless in Seattle and Julie and Julia (and directed the latter), has died at 71. Above is a famous scene from When Harry Met Sally..., in which Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm in the middle of Katz's Delicatessen. The line at the end, one of the greatest movie lines ever, is delivered by the director's mother, Estelle Reiner.

Ephron's deft writing and witty takes on life will be missed. May she rest in peace.

June 26, 2012

Cookies for equality

Oreo

This just posted on the Oreo Facebook fan page.  Of course, this immediately leads to speculation that One Million Moms (actually more like 47,820, the number of likes they have on their Facebook page) will call for a boycott of the tasty treat.  Except they are already boycotting the product (they didn't like the mom saying "Shut the front door" in a TV commercial).  And of course this leads to a petition that Oreo to start making this a real product

Now at HuffPo: Longing for the Bad Old Days

Good morning, folks. My latest blog entry at Huffington Post is now up. It is featured on their Gay Voices page, and linked from the HuffPo main page. Here's a link.

It considers the difference between gay politics and gay culture, and what gay folk have lost in moving from the ghetto toward the mainstream. One of my cases in point is Nationals ballpark, site of last week's Nite Out at the Nationals and once the site of the District's vanished gay club zone.

Feel free to post comments below the article. At HuffPo they encourage and notice that sort of thing.

June 25, 2012

President Obama Speaks at the NALEO Annual Conference

President Obama spoke to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials on immigration policy at their annual conference last Friday. He refers to Mitt Romney at 20:18 in this video. But watching the whole thing gives a reminder of his rhetorical and political skill. It is going to be a long, rough slog of a campaign, and he is going to need all of his skills to defeat the well-funded, cynical shape-shifter who has clinched the GOP nomination.

GLAA, btw, is a non-partisan local advocacy group and does not have a position on this race; but I do, and a blog is for airing views. I think the nativist fanaticism the fuels anti-immigrant sentiment is of a piece with the misogyny, Islamophobia, and homophobia that have also been exploited for partisan gain by Republicans. That is why I discuss it here on a gay blog. If you disagree, post a response; but please keep it civil. Cursing and other nastiness will be deleted.

Reactions to Supreme Court ruling on Arizona immigration law

The Supreme Court of the United States this morning overturned three of four provisions of the Arizona immigration law, but upholding its "papers please" provision that encourages racial profiling. Above is a report and discussion led by Martin Bashir on MSNBC.

I was going to embed the video of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer reacting to today's ruling, but to be honest I can't stand looking at her. But follow the link if you like, and see how many lies you can count.

Below is a tape of remarks by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL).

Last gay Jewish Holocaust survivor dies

Gad_BeckGad Beck, the last gay Jewish survivor of the Holocaust conducted by Nazi Germany during World War II, died on Sunday in Berlin. The Jerusalem Post reports:

Perhaps the single most important experience that shaped his life was the wartime effort to rescue his boyfriend. Beck donned a Hitler Youth uniform and entered a deportation center to free his Jewish lover Manfred Lewin, who had declined to separate himself from his family.

The Nazis would later deport the entire Lewin family to Auschwitz, where they were murdered.

Speaking about his life as a gay Jew, Beck invoked a line frequently cited about homosexuality: “God doesn’t punish for a life of love.”

May he rest in peace. Beck is one of the survivors featured in the documentary Paragraph 175, trailer below.

Blankenhorn switches sides, supports marriage equality

This news is a few days old, but is worth noting as the latest sign that we have passed a turning point in the struggle for marriage equality in America. David Blankenhorn, who was the most civil and reasonable of opponents of marriage equality, has changed his mind — partly because so many other opponents disturbed him by their lack of civility.

Blankenhorn explains himself in NYT:

I had hoped that the gay marriage debate would be mostly about marriage’s relationship to parenthood. But it hasn’t been. Or perhaps it’s fairer to say that I and others have made that argument, and that we have largely failed to persuade. In the mind of today’s public, gay marriage is almost entirely about accepting lesbians and gay men as equal citizens. And to my deep regret, much of the opposition to gay marriage seems to stem, at least in part, from an underlying anti-gay animus. To me, a Southerner by birth whose formative moral experience was the civil rights movement, this fact is profoundly disturbing.

I had also hoped that debating gay marriage might help to lead heterosexual America to a broader and more positive recommitment to marriage as an institution. But it hasn’t happened.... [I]f fighting gay marriage was going to help marriage over all, I think we’d have seen some signs of it by now.

So my intention is to try something new. Instead of fighting gay marriage, I’d like to help build new coalitions bringing together gays who want to strengthen marriage with straight people who want to do the same.

Dale Carpenter comments. Andrew Sullivan comments. Blankenhorn's reasons for his earlier position still do not persuade me; but his change, based on how the debate and political battle have played out, is rooted in decency and is most welcome.

Gaffney: "Ground Zero Mosque" evidence of America's ultimate submission to Islam

Notice Frank Gaffney's smug certainty in this video concerning the consequences of religious tolerance. The plain language of the First Amendment ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof") could not matter less to him — yet somehow it is somebody else who is threatening America. And he treats the nonviolence of American Muslims as somehow being evidence of their ultimate violent intent, just like the National Rifle Association treating President Obama's lack of any action to limit gun ownership as somehow being evidence for an intent to do so.

As has been pointed out before, the proposed Islamic Center in lower Manhattan is neither a mosque nor is it at Ground Zero, nor is the presence of mosques in that neighborhood a new thing. Some of the victims and first responders on that awful day in 2001 were Muslims, as are some of the surviving families. When Gaffney says "us" he is already lying by making Muslims "the other." I wrote on this subject here.

June 24, 2012

Putting on her colors

Empire_State_Bldg_pride_colorsSunday was Gay Pride Day in the city that never sleeps, and the most beautiful building in the world put on her colors for the occasion. May all who pass under them be as perfectly proportioned.

Tonight (June 24) is also the first anniversary of the New York state senate's passage of the marriage equality bill, and of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature making it law. The fight for justice and equality is never done, but we have much in which to take pride forty-three years after Stonewall.

Another classic beauty, the Chrysler Building, lurks in the background of this photo.

A rare victory for sweet reason

This morning GLAA received the following email from someone named Mickey:

You know one of the major reasons main stream people find you disgusting? Because you act like it in publc. You have no standards or morals or decency or respect.

I have gays in my family that would never act like your spoiled 2 year old acting activists. They are professionals living their lives with or without partners.

They are not demeaning to others who don't share their ideology. They would never go to the "People's House" and give vulgar signs about one of the most outstanding American Presidents.

They would never condone an art exhibit in the Smithsonian that displays homosexual sex s going on where families come to view. They consider sex an adult subject discussed among adults, not children.

They would never demand homosexual methods be discussed in elementary schools, invade Churches with their bizarre and outlandish displays, or any of that sht.

You can take your Dan Savages, and the other slime that represents you in the country and put them back in the sewer where they came from.

They are disgusting and ludicrous.

Well, he told us! I sent Mickey the following reply:

Continue reading "A rare victory for sweet reason" »

Fielding an inquiry on vulgarity at the White House

On Saturday, GLAA received the following inquiry from Todd Beamon of the conservative site Newsmax:

June 23, 2012

Dear GLAA:

My name is Todd Beamon and I am a writer for Newsmax.com. We are doing a wrap-up weekend story on the visit by several gay and lesbian activists to the White House earlier this week who made various gestures in front of pictures of former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

We are interested in a brief interview with a GLAA representative -- say, about 10 minutes or so -- for Newsmax regarding the story.

If you know of any other individuals worth talking to, please let me know.

Newsmax.com is a conservative website that has been around for five years. Here is a link to the site:

http://www.newsmax.com/

As for me, I have been a journalist for three decades, having served The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Philadelphia Daily News and the Baltimoresun.com website.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration. I am on deadline -- I have to have the story done by 4 p.m. today -- so if you can get back to me ASAP, I would greatly appreciate it.

Have a great day. I hope to hear from you soon.

Cordially,
Todd Beamon
Newsmax.com

Mr. Beamon was referring to this incident. I responded as follows:

Continue reading "Fielding an inquiry on vulgarity at the White House" »

June 23, 2012

Getting from Hay to Blankfein

NYT looks at a new book on the rise of the gay rights movement. In the following passage, the reviewer talks about gay life that the flamboyant Harry Hay found in Los Angeles in 1936.

These men, and others like them across America, had no core ideology, no political groups to join, no leaders. Hay changed that. In 1950, he helped create the Mattachine Society, the country’s first gay rights organization, and demanded that the people it represented “be respected for our differences, not for our sameness to heterosexuals.”

This year, the Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest advocacy and lobbying organization for gay, bisexual and transgender rights, appointed Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, as the first national corporate spokesman for its same-sex marriage campaign. “Ameri­ca’s corporations learned long ago that equality is just good business and is the right thing to do,” Blankfein says in a Web video. The organization also bestowed on Goldman Sachs its 2012 “corporate equality award.”

How does a movement get from there to here — from Hay to Blankfein? Linda Hirshman’s “Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution” sets out to explain, tracing the history of gay rights from the early 20th century to the present.

The movement got to Blankfein, but Hay did not. Hay was kicked out of Mattachine in 1953 because of his radicalism. I should note that the Mattachine Society of Washington, which was founded by Frank Kameny in 1961 and preceded the Gay Activists Alliance by a decade, was completely independent from the Mattachine that Hay had founded in 1950.

Breaking the Code — "My love of my country"

More on the great Alan Turing on his 100th birthday. In the above scene from Breaking the Code, Derek Jacobi as Turing defends himself from a British bureaucrat (who is taking away his security clearance for being gay) by describing the day he figured out how to break the Nazi Enigma code. Jacobi's performance, which I saw live many years ago at the Kennedy Center, is quite moving. The courage required for such a ferocious self-defense in such an era, when such a person had no one to back him up, is almost beyond imagining. It brings to mind Frank Kameny's similar encounters with American bureaucrats five decades ago. Here's to our pioneers.

"It's not breaking the code that matters. It's where you go from there."

Update: NYT reports on renewed efforts to win a pardon for Turing.

Update 2: Here's a link to documentary footage on the death of Turing.

Happy 100th birthday, Alan Turing

Alan-turingToday would have been the 100th birthday of British mathematician Alan Turing, the pioneer of modern computing who helped the Allies win World War II by breaking the Nazi Enigma code — and who was repaid by being driven to an early death for being homosexual. Winston Churchill said he should have received a peerage.

The above clip from the movie Breaking the Code shows Derek Jacobi as Turing explaining the Turing Machine, a conceptual precursor to digital computing. I hasten to point out that Jacobi's stutter is entirely put-on for his performance, since Turing stuttered. This was not the first stutterer played by Jacobi, whose twitching, stammering Roman emperor in the title role of I, Claudius 35 years ago made him a star. Some people thought that Jacobi himself had a stutter. A fan once approached him and told him how wonderful she thought it was that someone with his disability was able to find employment as an actor.

Back to Turing. In celebration of his centenary, Google changed its logo today to a puzzle inspired by Turing:

349656-turing-doodle

The following video shows how to solve Alan Turing's Google Doodle.

June 22, 2012

Anti-bullying bill signed

As Will O'Bryan reports for Metro Weekly, and Michael Lavers reports for the Blade, Mayor Vincent Gray on Friday morning signed the Youth Bullying Prevention Act:

"I am proud to say that today we're taking yet another bold and concrete step toward eradicating bullying in our city," the mayor told the crowded audience of about 70 people. "The Youth Bullying Prevention Act of 2012 immediately authorizes a task force to develop a citywide anti-bullying model policy that will cover the places where youth are often the targets of bullying. In our schools, parks, libraries, in our public spaces."

The signing occurred in a stifling, crowded ceremonial room at the northeast corner of the fifth floor of the John A. Wilson Building. One of the speakers was new HRC President Chad Griffin, whose staffer Sarah Warbelow was a member of the broad-based coalition that has worked on the bill for two years. Other speakers included Council Chairman Pro Tempore Michael A. Brown, who introduced a precursor bill; Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, whose committee marked up the bill; Director of the Office of Human Rights Gustavo Velasquez; DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson; and one of the city's youth mayors.

The bill, which is now Act 19-384, now goes to Capitol Hill for thirty legislative days (not calendar days) of congressional review. The clock won't run during the summer recess, so it won't become law until some time in the fall. But preparatory work can be done in the meantime. This is not a controversial bill and there will be no congressional interference with it.

Thanks once again to all who worked to get this bill done. Once it is law, it will only mark the beginning of the effort to give it effect for the protection of our city's youth.

Rumors of the death of gay culture are highly exaggerated

Dancer_from_the_danceThere's a good commentary by David Halperin in NYT about the endurance of gay culture despite people heralding its demise for the past several decades. I think the disconnect on this lies in people confusing gay culture with gay politics. As a political activist, I am a total assimilationist — that is, I want equality under the law and that's that. But culturally, people are free to do whatever they want. Some of those in the LGBT community who have reacted coolly toward marriage-equality activists seemed to think that if we were free to marry, we would be forced to marry. In fact, civil marriage equality simply increases our options.

On the other hand, I can sympathize with inveterate counterculturists who feel that something has been lost. Back when gay life existed in a parallel world divorced from our jobs and birth families, a certain freedom reigned to let loose and create and experiment. Years ago, gay science fiction writer Samuel "Chip" Delaney wrote an elegiac piece about the sleazy old Times Square neighborhood that coexisted with New York's theater district before Rudy Giuliani chased out the porn shops and made room for Disney. He argued that we need that kind of space. But my sympathy only extends so far, given the other-side-of-the-tracks reality underlying that underworld freedom. Going to the club in the old days often meant paying some young thug not to slash your tires or smash your windows when you went partying in a blighted warehouse district. D.C.'s old gay club zone, where that sort of thing used to happen, is now the site of our ballpark.

A similar nostalgia can be found among some black separatist types regarding the old days of segregation and the Chitlin Circuit in which black culture thrived in its parallel world. I heard the notorious Rev. Willie Wilson talk along these lines fifteen years ago at a memorial gathering at Howard University for Betty Shabazz (the widow of Malcolm X), in which he talked about the terrible things that the Supreme Court's landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 did to education in the black community. It is no surprise, of course, that Rev. Wilson is no champion of integration. This sort of talk causes some people's jaws to drop, but you can find a good deal of it if you look for it.

To be sure, landmark court decisions and historic legislative milestones like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 have not solved all problems. Public school desegregation met with stiff resistance, which led to white flight from cities and the creation of communities like Pearl, Mississippi in which private Christian academies were created whose racial discrimination was protected by the First Amendment. So, to the extent that Brown v. Board did not solve the educational discrimination issue, it is largely because integration has not really been tried. Former Mississippi Governor Kirk Fordice, for example, won the cooperation of the state legislature in underfunding public schools. The failure of public schools is then used to justify public funding for private school vouchers. This is similar to the Republican Congress doing its best to sabotage President Obama, then blaming him for the failures that they worked so hard to ensure.

So we should be under no illusion that political and policy victories will remove the hatred from everyone's hearts, any more than they will erase gay people's desire to create our own celebrations. We will always find or create new spaces in which to express ourselves. But on the political side of things, we assimilationists were right, and we have mostly won. No, equality isn't everything. So there's no need to thank us. But you're welcome anyway.

(Photo: cover of the 1978 novel Dancer from the Dance by Andrew Holleran, set in 1970s New York and Fire Island.)

June 21, 2012

Death of a gay porn star

NYT tells the sad story of the death of 30-year-old gay porn star Erik Rhodes in Manhattan June 14.

Frank Gaffney says non-violent Islamists are really "pre-violent"

Right Wing Watch reports:

Frank Gaffney explains that the Muslim Brotherhood is waging "pre-violent" jihad against America by infiltrating our churches, courts, and economy in order to destroy us from within.

So if a group eschews violence in favor of advancing their interests peacefully within the political system and exercising their freedom of speech, that's not non-violent at all — it's pre-violent! Mister Gaffney, I vomit in your general direction.

A Child Shall Lead

Kameron-SladeMy column this week contrasts us squabbling grownups with fifth grader Kameron Slade, who simply by standing up for his beliefs has shown us the face of the future and the power of the President's bully pulpit. Read the whole thing here.

June 19, 2012

Rosenberg & Robertson: God Removing Hand of Protection over Legal Abortion

I am wondering: how many times can God remove his protection from America due to our wickedness? Didn't Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson agree back in 2001 that God had removed his protection, and that was the cause of the 9/11 terrorist attacks? Are these guys accusing the Almighty of backsliding?

(Hat tip: Right Wing Watch)

June 18, 2012

Tel Aviv Gay Pride 2012

Videos like this one marking LGBT Pride celebrations in Israel are cited by many progressives in the West as examples of "Pinkwashing", which CUNY professor Sarah Schulman in NYT last November called "a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians’ human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life." That's a clever way for the left to dismiss any and all good things about Israel because of its failure to accept that it is solely responsible for all problems and injustices in the Middle East. The fact that Israel has been relentlessly targeted for destruction by its neighbors throughout its existence, yet has tried multiple times to make peace with them (successfully in the case of Egypt), does not matter to these comfortable Westerners whose own countries' existence has not been under threat during their lifetimes.

I myself believe Israel's West Bank settlements are not only wrong but a long-term threat to its own viability; but the Israel haters, as I have learned by years of talking with them, do not just oppose Israel's occupation of the West Bank — they consider the entire country of Israel illegitimate from jump. Those who dispute Israel's right to exist should stop pretending to advocate peace, unless they explicitly acknowledge that by peace they mean the peace of the grave for Israel.

Jim Garlow: 'If Necessary, Here We Die' To Fight Gay Marriage

Overlooking the high divorce rate among evangelicals, San Diego pastor and Prop 8 supporter Jim Garlow says he and his righteous comrades are ready to die to exclude gay and lesbian couples from marriage.

June 17, 2012

Watergate break-in, 40 years ago today

Deep_ThroatToday is the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in, which led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon 26 months later.

A year or so ago I was chatting with a young man who lives in a halfway house across the alley from the apartment building where Bob Woodward of The Washington Post lived at the time, and told him of the historical significance of one of the nearby balconies in the downfall of Richard Nixon. He of course had no idea what I was talking about. It was like my parents in the 1960s telling me about the Great Depression — only the Depression was more recent for me than Watergate was for my young neighbor.

It seems like only yesterday when I sat with my father watching Nixon's resignation speech in August 1974, with my father cursing the man he had despised for 20 years. (I remember him reviewing his accomplishments, including his efforts for peace in the Middle East to ensure that "the birthplace of civilization not become its grave.") We were watching CBS, and news anchor Walter Cronkite had reporters Roger Mudd and Dan Rather on hand. Rather was caught up in the moment and reacted with sympathy despite Nixon having tried to get him fired. Mudd, on the other hand, was having none of it, pointing out that Nixon was only leaving because Barry Goldwater had told him he had lost the support of Republicans in the Senate and would be convicted in an impeachment trial. It was a great day for America.

(Photo: Former FBI official W. Mark Felt in 2005 after being revealed as the Watergate confidential source that WaPo reporters Woodward and Bernstein had identified only as "Deep Throat." Courtesy Getty Images.)

Rodney King dead at 47

Rodney_King_1992_AP
(Rodney King on May 1, 1992. AP Photo/David Longstreath)

Rodney King, whose brutal, videotaped beating by police led to the Los Angles riots twenty years ago after the trial for the officers involved led to three acquittals and a mistrial, has died at the age of 47. He was found at the bottom of his pool. Very sad. A spokesperson for the local police where he lived had only nice things to say about him. I'll never forget his anguished plea for peace during the riots twenty years ago, which brought mockery from many. May he rest in peace.

June 16, 2012

Help Gay Charlotte send Pastor Worley a message

Gay_charlotteFriends, if you want to help Joan Crawford deliver a slap to anti-gay religious bullies in North Carolina, please read this message from the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte:

Help us send Pastor Worley a message.

On Mother's Day, after NC passed an anti-gay marriage amendment, NC Pastor Charles Worley preached that gays and lesbians should be put in concentration camps surrounded by a tall, electrified fence to prevent their escape.

Said Worley, "in a few years they'll die out."

Want to give Pastor Worley a piece of your mind?

By making a tax-free donation of $10 or more to the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte, you can send Pastor Worley a message that his sermon was unacceptable.

Just include in the "dedication" section:

"Pastor Worley"

And the LGBT Community Center will send Worley and his congregation a thank-you card for inspiring the donation.

You will receive a tax-dedication letter nothing the amount of your donation and the thanks of our community.

Please visit our website to learn more about our organization. We hope that you will make a donation and help us to send Pastor Worley a message that the LGBT community will not be fenced in, nor will remain silent when faced with intolerance, and also help support our organization.

Thank you!

The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte

Gaycharlotte.com

PO Box 33535
Charlotte, NC 28233
(704) 3330144

Father's Day

This Father's Day will be the first for Tracy Martin since the death of his son Trayvon. In this video he appeals to other fathers:

Last year, thirty thousand fathers lost a son or a daughter from senseless gun violence. Dads, we have to come together to protect our children. I'm asking you to consider sharing this message with the governor of your state that has a similar 'Stand Your Ground' law.

To sign the petition against "Shoot First" laws, go to www.SecondChanceCampaign.org.

Our friend Mark Thompson of Sirius/XM Radio writes on a similar theme at Uptown Magazine:

Continue reading "Father's Day" »

June 15, 2012

Vagina: Can't say it? Don't legislate it.

Vagina_aclu

Thanks to ACLU of Michigan for this poster, inspired by state Rep. Lisa Brown, who offended the men who run the state House of Representatives by using the word "vagina" during a speech against an omnibus anti-abortion bill, so that they barred her from speaking in the follow day's session.

June 22 - Invisible Lives

Invisible Lives

. Download Invisible Lives Flyer

Obama issues "DREAM Act Lite" executive order on youth deportation

Casa_ruby_at_WHChris Geidner of Metro Weekly reports on this welcome news for undocumented immigrants who were brought to America as children by their parents. He quotes Rachel Tiven of Immigration Equality, who praises the President's action but adds:

[N]o person should face forcible separation from their families, regardless of their age. That is why the White House should follow today’s announcement with a proposal to extend that same relief to immigrants with U.S.-citizen partners and spouses across the board. Keeping families together is good policy, and all families, including those that are LGBT, should have the support of the President in the form of a similar policy.

The accompanying photo shows a group from DC's Casa Ruby Latina transgender drop-in center (where, as it happens, I attended a meeting just this morning) celebrating the President's action by displaying their banner outside the White House. Ruby explains, "Because many of those who will benefit from this landmark decision are also Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Latinos."

Obama's Rose Garden speech was heckled by Neil Munro of right-wing site Daily Caller.

Mother Jones calls Obama's action a game changer.

Incidentally, the President's LGBT Pride Month reception was also held today.

King of Queens

Kameron Slade, a fifth grader at PS 195 in Queens, New York, chose to do a speech on marriage equality for a school competition, but his principal barred him from presenting it because she declared the subject inappropriate. Ironically, his speech addresses that very issue. This video was taken by an NY1 news crew, who had the good sense to invite Kameron to read his speech to them.

God bless this wonderful child. The speech and the brave boy who gave it illustrate why we are going to win.

We don't think so: VO says "I'm the best!"

The Kojo Nnamdi Show has prepared this video from Wednesday's D.C. Council meeting in which Vincent Orange, having lost his bid for Council Chair to Phil Mendelson, also lost his bid for Chairman Pro Tempore to Michael Brown. Here's the description:

The Politics Hour (June 15, 2012): First there was #Sulaimania / "Sunglasses at Night." Now, #Kojosjukebox is proud to present Vinny Citrus, featuring Marion Barry, Mary Cheh and Joe Esposito.

June 14, 2012

Made for you by descendants of the Twelve Seamsters

MSs-Mens-Cotton-Bottom--5_largeNow you can purchase authentic Mormon temple garments from Mormon's Secret, whose founders are descended from members of the original Quorum of the Twelve Seamsters. Authentic Masonic symbols are sown into each garment according to tradition, which I did not know about until just now. Apparently they really are considered magic underwear. I thought that was just Joe Jervis joking.

Shown at right: a men's Magical Mormon Cotton Bottom. (Hey, wasn't Cotton Bottom the name of the boat in Show Boat? Actually, no. Never mind.)

NYT: 5 Reasons Gay Marriage Losing Streak May Be Over

The New York Times reports on reasons for optimism about some of the ballot measures on marriage equality coming this fall.

June 13, 2012

North Dakota voters uphold church-state separation

Wall of Separation reports:

North Dakota is the kind of state that often doesn’t get a lot of attention. But yesterday, voters there did something great, and they should take a minute to pat themselves on the back. The rest of America should thank them, too.

Voters faced a sweeping “religious freedom” amendment on the primary ballot. Americans United had concerns that this dangerous amendment might pass in a conservative, largely rural state. We joined forces with other groups in the state to educate voters, but we braced for the worst.

Turns out we needn’t have worried. The amendment lost – big time.

This amendment wasn’t really about religious freedom. In fact, it was a power grab by influential religious special interests in the state. The so-called “Religious Liberty Restoration Act” (Amendment 3), was engineered by the state’s Catholic hierarchy and its Religious Right allies.

Here's to the voters of North Dakota. The religious bullies are not fighting for religious freedom except for themselves. They cannot stand this country's religious diversity. Well that's too damn bad.

(Hat tip: Craig Howell)