Alan Colmes presses AFA spokesbigot Bryan Fischer to give an example of his own destructive sexual impulses, since he's so concerned about others'. Very funny.
If God is intervening in human affairs, why hasn't he done something about this vulgar nitwit? Keep those prayers coming, folks.
A lovely video from Freedom to Marry on Audrey Smaltz and her wife, former Olympian Gail Marquis.
Oprah Winfrey's interview with Jason Collins and his family will air on Sunday, May 5 at 7:30/6:30c on OWN. In this clip, Oprah asks Jason's twin brother Jarron about the day last summer when Jason told him he was gay. The easy humor of these brothers just shines.
Jason Collins is interviewed by Bill Simmons at grantland.com. Jason's voice is smooth. It's like a cat purring; it comes right over and snuggles up next to you. With it he conveys maturity, seasoning, thoughtfulness, self-assuredness, and a winning sense of humor. I bet a lot of listeners forget to put up their defenses and are more receptive than they might be otherwise. When his NBA career is over (which I hope is not yet), he can make a fortune with that voice and the character that it helps convey. This guy is solid. This extended interview makes that evident.
Atlanta Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel objects to Jason Collins coming out as a gay man:
Straight people are not announcing they’re straight, so why does everybody have to announce their sexuality or whatever? You know, what they prefer…So that’s just how I see it. That’s my opinion on things. All respect you know, I have nothing but respect for the people whoever decisions they make and whatever, but you know, you don’t have to show it and flaunt it like that. You know what I’m saying, we have kids out here, too.
Yeah, it's been a veritable flood. "Everybody" is doing it. Somehow, anything but complete invisibility constitutes shoving "it" in people's faces. Of course, Jason Collins did not discuss sex. That is Mr. Samuel's hangup. Our opponents persistently try to reduce us and our love lives to sex in a way they would never dream of doing to themselves. It is not a mere disagreement, it is a lie. And Jason Collins has made a large contribution toward discrediting it.
As this interview progresses, watching these veteran players kid each other is pretty damn wonderful. There is real respect here.
Saeed Jones writes on BuzzFeed that "black gay kids need heroes too."
Tim Murphy of Mother Jones discusses "what happens when six former members of Congress stop being polite about UFO disclosure—and start getting real." Love the photo.
I am quoted in this Time Magazine article by Sean Gregory on why sports is important in combatting homophobia.
The Jason Collins story is the third news item in this clip. Very funny.
Footage of one of the explosions today at the Boston Marathon. I believe this is on Boylston Street.
In the initial chaos, there have been false reports and conflicting accounts. We know a few things: The Boston Marathon is a major international event that has a history of more than a century. Today is Patriot's Day in Massachusetts in addition to Tax Day. We don't yet know who set off the bombs or why. One report says that a wounded suspect is under observation in a Boston hospital. Another report says the police commissioner says no one is yet in custody. An explosion at the JFK library reportedly turned out to be from a boiler and not to be related. This confusion is to be expected.
President Obama is starting to speak as I type this. I am sure he is going to call for people to remain calm and let law enforcement personnel do their jobs. One conservative writer and Fox News contributor already tweeted an outrageous call for reprisals. We cannot allow our own communities to turn into irrational mobs, provoked by unscrupulous and hateful persons exploiting the fog of breaking news. The President just said we must not jump to conclusions. He is right.
If you are a praying person, now would be a good time to pray for the victims of the bombings, and for the first responders and caregivers.
New Ways Ministry blogs:
Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, retired auxiliary bishop of Detroit, has told Catholics to ignore Archbishop Allen Vigneron’s recent statement discouraging pro-marriage equality Catholics from receiving communion.
“If you look at it from a pastoral point of view where you’re trying to reach out to people, trying to draw them in, then the last thing you want to do is impose a penalty or make them feel like they have to impose a penalty upon themselves.
Ann Coulter thinks it's funny to suggest that the killing of politicians' children should begin with Meghan McCain.
It has long been clear that Coulter will say anything to get attention, including saying in 2006, "We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' crème brûlée." The question is whether there is any line she can cross that will make her persona non grata with the American right. Given the openly celebrated viciousness that we saw during Republican presidential primary debates last year, I rather doubt it.
My latest column looks at how online hit jobs against marriage equality risk a progressive schism. Here's a portion:
Clarence Mitchell, the civil-rights activist and longtime chief lobbyist for the NAACP, used to tell of something then-Senate Democratic leader Lyndon Johnson often said to him in the 1950s: "Clarence, you can get anything you want if you've got the votes. How many votes have you got?" Effective activism requires building coalitions that bridge a community's cultural, racial, religious and other forms of diversity. A good coalition practices the politics of addition.
Some advocates of change, perversely, prefer the politics of subtraction. On March 27, as Edith Windsor's challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act was being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, Keli Goff of The Root was trying to drive a racial wedge: "Yet again, wealthy white males are driving the agenda, and everyone else is expected to follow, including the media and the president."
This might come as news to the National Black Justice Coalition, whose film Black Love tells the stories of black gay and lesbian couples "who have courageously stood on the front lines of the fight for marriage equality." It might also surprise NAACP President Ben Jealous and Maryland Pastor Delman Coates, who played significant roles in Maryland's marriage-equality victory in the 2012 election. But it would not surprise the National Organization for Marriage, whose strategic goal "to drive a wedge between gays and blacks" was exposed a year ago.
Read the whole thing here.
WaPo's Jonathan Capehart posted an item on Thursday titled, "Obama was right about Kamala Harris":
President Obama prides himself on telling the truth. And when he reportedly said that California Attorney General Kamala Harris is “by far, the best looking attorney general,” he spoke the God’s honest truth. But that wasn’t the only thing he said about the talented attorney with a national future. In fact, it was the last part of what he said.
“She’s brilliant and she’s dedicated, she’s tough,” Obama said at a fundraiser this morning in Atherton, Calif. “She also happens to be, by far, the best looking attorney general.” The president’s compliment was greeted with laughter as he added, “It’s true! C’mon.” Yep, all true.
What’s also true is that Obama and Harris are longtime friends.
I hate to disagree with Jonathan, but the feminists who called out President Obama for his objectifying (though politely worded and not crude) comment about CA AG Kamala Harris's looks have a point. They acknowledged his pro-women policies. They were not calling him the enemy. But it's just the case that men are not commonly objectified in a similar fashion. In Ft. Worth in his last public speech, JFK noted good-naturedly the attention his wife Jackie was getting, and quipped, "Nobody wonders what Lyndon and I wear."
Can't we acknowledge the double standards at play in these situations without being accused of setting the place on fire? Hillary Clinton has had to put up with endless discussions of her hair and clothes in a way that her male counterparts do not. Come on, folks. It won't kill us to reflect on this.
Now that that's taken care of, when is Hillary going to get her pre-campaign makeover? Will she do Botox? What about those frumpy jackets? And that hair-- what was she thinking?
BTW, I loved the response to this controversy by my friend Walter: "The President overlooked Beau Biden."
Also: in addition to having a Pulitzer Prize to his credit, Jonathan Capehart is completely adorable and is always immaculately dressed. And Chris Christie should apply for his own zip code. And ....
Pam Spaulding tweets:
Three Cheers For Feminist Bloggers Who Called Out Obama’s Objectifying Comment About Female Politician | Mediaite http://bit.ly/XuXV10
According to Bryan Fischer, Ben Carson, who thinks the world is six thousand years old, was totall blown away by the "demonic hatred" that homosexuals have for Judeo Christian traditions. Never mind that many gay people are themselves Jews and Christians.
The message "Marriage Equality Now" was projected last night on the front of the Supreme Court of the United States.
(Photo credit: @rachnyctalk)
The rally for marriage equality at the Supreme Court is set for 8:30 am on Tuesday, March 26 at First and East Capitol Streets. Click here to sign up.
The Contributor reports:
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will have some family cheering him on during Tuesday's landmark Supreme Court case on gay marriage. Jean Podrasky, a lesbian and Roberts' first cousin, will sit in a section of the courtroom reserved for relatives along with her partner as Roberts and his court examine the legality of California's Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage in the state.
“I feel confident that John is wise enough to see that society is becoming more accepting of the humanity of same-sex couples and the simple truth that we deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, and equality under the law,” Podrasky wrote in a column for the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Good news from the governor of New Jersey.
President Obama wins applause from an Israeli audience as he points out a two-state solution is essential to Israel's future as a Jewish democracy. And he urges Israelis to organize a grassroots peace movement.
And bravo to the President for brokering today's reconciliation between Israel and Turkey, including a Netanyahu apology for the fatal ship raid in 2010.
One of the world's most successful entrepreneurs succinctly explains why the Boy Scouts should end its ban against gay scouts and scoutmasters. (I'd show my appreciation by apologizing for having switched to Apple products a year and a half ago, but I put up with Microsoft operating systems for three decades, and I'm sorry, but that's long enough.)
Frank Bruni's latest column in NYT looks at one of the challenges Pope Francis faces:
It’s time for the church to stop talking so much about sex. It’s the perfect time, in fact.
It’s on matters of sexual morality that the church has lost much of its authority. And it’s on matters of sexual morality that it largely wastes its breath. By insisting on mandatory celibacy for a priesthood winnowed and sometimes warped by that, by opposing the use of contraceptives for birth control, by casting judgment on homosexuals and by decrying divorce while running something of an annulment mill, the church’s leaders have enraged and alienated Catholics whose common sense and whose experience of the real world tell them that none of that is wise, kind or necessary.
The church’s leaders have also set themselves up to be dismissed as hypocrites, unable to uphold the very virtues they promulgate.
Dan Treadway at HuffPost Gay Voices writes about what is unsatisfactory in Sen. Rob Portman's (R-OH) turn in support of marriage equality two years after his gay son came out to him.
After reading a lot of angry comments on Facebook, I posted the following:
We don't need to give Portman a "free pass" in order to give him due credit for moving in the right direction. If we jump down this guy's throat because he still has a distance to travel, we discourage others from taking their first step. Let's treat this as a good first step and encourage more steps in the right direction, not shut the conversation down with name-calling. Come on, folks--activism is not therapy.
Rachel Maddow shares new information reported by the Hartford Courant on Newtown, CT mass murderer Adam Lanza before tearing into Texas Senator Ted Cruz for his patronizing treatment of California Senator Dianne Feinstein. I confess I have trouble watching Rachel's show because she persists in repeating every important point three times, and it drives me up the wall; but here she shines.
Scott Keyes and Zack Beauchamp at ThinkProgress report:
A panel at the Conservative Political Action Committee on Republican minority outreach exploded into controversy on Friday afternoon, after an audience member defended slavery as good for African-Americans.
The exchange occurred after an audience member from North Carolina, 30-year-old Scott Terry, asked whether Republicans could endorse races remaining separate but equal. After the presenter, K. Carl Smith of Frederick Douglass Republicans, answered by referencing a letter by Frederick Douglass forgiving his former master, the audience member said “For what? For feeding him and housing him?” Several people in the audience cheered and applauded Terry’s outburst.
Memo to Republicans: You might want to think twice before challenging Sen. Feinstein on the subject of guns. She will be happy to tell you about November 28, 1978, when she knelt over the body of Supervisor Harvey Milk, and, feeling for a pulse, found bullet holes.
After the white smoke went up in Vatican City and the announcement was made that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was the new pope and had taken the name Francis, the lack of objectivity in much of American media was illustrated when an MSNBC anchor gushed to general agreement, "This is a moment of absolute celebration." A journalist friend asked me, "So when do we suppose the media will get over the euphoria over the election of this new pope long enough to actually examine his record?" I replied, "Some won't. I mean, critical inquiry would offend the faithful and provoke the wrath of Bill Donahue of the Catholic League."
More sober reporters dug up the following 2010 statement made by Bergoglio during his outspoken fight against Argentina's push for marriage equality:
Let's not be naive: This is not a simple political fight; it is a destructive proposal to God's plan. This is not a mere legislative proposal (that's just it's form), but a move by the father of lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God ... Let's look to St. Joseph, Mary, and the Child to ask fervently that they defend the Argentine family in this moment ... May they support, defend, and accompany us in this war of God.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Church owns a gay sauna, yards from a certain cardinal's front door. I know, he thought it was a chapel.
An excellent guest commentary in NYT by Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic. Here's an excerpt:
New York is a city, like most in America, that bears the scars of redlining, blockbusting and urban renewal. The ghost of those policies haunts us in a wealth gap between blacks and whites that has actually gotten worse over the past 20 years.
But much worse, it haunts black people with a kind of invisible violence that is given tell only when the victim happens to be an Oscar winner. The promise of America is that those who play by the rules, who observe the norms of the “middle class,” will be treated as such. But this injunction is only half-enforced when it comes to black people, in large part because we were never meant to be part of the American story. Forest Whitaker fits that bill, and he was addressed as such.
I am trying to imagine a white president forced to show his papers at a national news conference, and coming up blank. I am trying to a imagine a prominent white Harvard professor arrested for breaking into his own home, and coming up with nothing. I am trying to see Sean Penn or Nicolas Cage being frisked at an upscale deli, and I find myself laughing in the dark. It is worth considering the messaging here. It says to black kids: “Don’t leave home. They don’t want you around.” It is messaging propagated by moral people.
(Photo of Ta-Nehisi Coates by Liz Lynch)
The man who twice attempted a citizen's arrest of Robert Mugabe takes on Prime Minister Cameron's austerity policies and invokes the dreaded name of John Maynard Keynes. Peter Tatchell proposes his own alternatives to cutting the British welfare state and says, "The poor in our society are bearing the brunt of an economic crisis that they did not create." Listening to his engaging presentation makes me sorry he isn't in the House of Commons. (Note: Peter's voices comes through much more clearly than the introducer's.)