2001 posts categorized "Current Affairs"

January 23, 2016

Protesters disrupt reception with Israeli activists at LGBT conference

UN lodges protest over Malawi political party spokesman's 'kill the gays' remarks

Chinese couple will have first hearing regarding marriage January 28

January 21, 2016

Biden speaks about LGBT rights at World Economic Forum

#TN Lawmakers Kill Bill That Would Void Same-Sex Marriage, Cost $8.5 Billion

Or how about #snobama?

That's one solution: surrender in advance and shut Metro down all weekend. Remember, DC was designed by a Frenchman. ‪#‎snOMG‬ ‪#‎snohedidnt‬ #snowvwade

January 20, 2016

Task Force reverses decision to cancel the ‘Beyond the Bridge’ reception

I am glad to see this development. ADL responds below.

January 19, 2016

LGBT contingent marches in D.C.’s MLK parade

GLAA VP for Political Affairs Charles Butler is quoted in this story.

Russia's Duma rejects bill banning gays from coming out

LGBT group cancels conference reception with Israeli activists

Allowing diverse voices to be heard and challenged is essential to advancing equality and dignity for all. Enforcement of some folks' view of ideological purity is no better coming from the left than from the right. I say as a strong critic of Netanyahu's policies and war crimes that the Task Force's action in this case was pernicious and lamentable.

Our colleague Craig Howell writes, "Illustrating why I haven’t been a Task Force member for years." Our friend Dana Beyer wrote a bracing response.

January 17, 2016

Trump slams Cruz for taking money from 'people who espouse gay marriage'

15-year-old girl arrested in Metro attack on gay couple

A disturbing story.

GOP Lawmaker's Anti-Gay Marriage Campaign Backfiring in Tennessee

Taiwan's newly elected first female president supports same-sex marriage

January 16, 2016

Reporter Jason Rezaian, three others released by Iran in prisoner swap with U.S.

CNN reports on the months-long diplomatic effort that led to today's release of WaPo reporter Jason Rezaian and three other Iranian Americans who were held by Iran. This is another diplomatic success for the Obama administration, though the president's detractors will never admit this.

But as inevitably as the night follows the day, Sen. Marco Rubio and Donald Trump quickly condemned the deal. They could not even wait until the released prisoners had cleared Iranian airspace before politicizing it.

The thing is, a lot of folks on the right are less interested in resolving conflicts than in having conflicts. They want to swagger and talk big and send other people's children into battle and see if they can make the sand glow in the dark. they do not care how much harm they do. We need to understand that everyone does not share the same values and goals. Everyone certainly does not agree about what America stands for or ought to stand for. If they did, don't you think they would agree that voting should be made easier, not harder?

As a group of young Iranians jubilantly chanted in Tehran last summer after the nuclear deal was announced, "Death to no one!"

January 14, 2016

Anglican Church Suspends Its US Affiliate Over Same-Sex Marriage

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, delivers his Christmas Day sermon (Chris Ratcliffe / Getty Images)

BuzzFeed reports:

Leaders of the 80-million-member Anglican Communion decided Thursday to suspend its U.S. affiliate, the Episcopal Church, for a three-year period in response to a decision last year allowing priests to marry same-sex couples.

There can be no true communion with people if you have to abandon your conscience to preserve it. There is a de facto schism already. Our friend Bob Witeck writes:

America's Episcopal leaders are listening to their "better angels." They understand that people of faith alleviate pain, rather than add more to the world.

LGBT police liaison unit ends midnight shift

They won't fill vacancies, they have canceled an entire shift, but hey, they've changed the name of the unit to be more inclusive! Whoopie! A store with half-empty shelves has a snazzy new display window!

Mayor Bowser, Verizon announce support for LGBT homeless youth

Nearly half of D.C.'s homeless youth are LGBT

#OscarsSoWhite, but here are 7 great 2015 performances by black actors

#OscarsSoWhite - there's more diversity at tonight's #GOPDebate

‪#‎OscarsSoWhite 2016: Black actors and directors snubbed

Once again, ‪#‎OscarsSoWhite‬. Here is a list of actors whose Oscar-caliber performances were overlooked: Michael B. Jordan, Samuel L. Jackson, Idris Elba, and Will Smith. Among directors: F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) and Ryan Coogler (Creed). Stallone's Supporting Actor nomination for Creed, as he himself would acknowledge, is primarily thanks to the masterful writing and direction of Coogler, and also to the chemistry between himself and the charismatic Jordan. So once again top-rank filmmakers and actors who are black are treated like the help. As with last year, I will find something else to do that night.

Blade: LGBT groups cautious over decriminalizing sex work

D.C. Council member David Grosso said he was reconsidering introducing legislation to decriminalize prostitution in D.C. because he’s unsure it would pass. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Lou Chibbaro reports for the Blade on the push to decriminalize sex work, or at least to de-prioritize enforcement of anti-prostitution laws, an effort which many LGBT groups including GLAA have supported because so many already marginalized LGBT youth and trans women end up in the criminal justice system due to their having to rely on survival sex. Here is an excerpt that mentions GLAA and quotes me:

In D.C., the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance has been calling for decriminalization of sex work since 2008. D.C. Council member David Grosso (I-At-Large), a longtime supporter of LGBT rights, said at the time of the Amnesty International declaration last August that he was considering introducing legislation to decriminalize prostitution in D.C.

But Grosso has since said he’s uncertain about whether such a bill would have any chance of passing at this time and he was reconsidering his plans for the legislation.

At a news conference on Monday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and an official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced plans for a cooperative D.C.-federal government effort to crack down on human trafficking, including trafficking of sex workers. When asked by a Blade reporter what they thought about calls by some LGBT organizations to decriminalize prostitution, Bowser and Maria Odom, the head of a Department of Homeland Security project to combat trafficking stopped short of backing decriminalization.

Continue reading "Blade: LGBT groups cautious over decriminalizing sex work" »

January 13, 2016

Who's Doing the Planting


My Blade column this week looks at the struggle to connect amid turmoil. Here's an excerpt:

Public discussions these days seem to dredge up the nastiest extrusions of our national psyche in a destructive competition. Withdrawing from the melee would only make matters worse by conceding the field to mischief-makers. So how do we gracefully stand our ground in a contentious environment?

We cannot spend all our time with the like-minded. At some point we have to leave our echo chambers and uphold our positions. There is no perfectly safe way to be true to ourselves.

Twitter is a place of fluid boundaries, so I was not surprised that one source of light on gun control is actor Jeffrey Wright (Angels in America, Boardwalk Empire, The Hunger Games). He posted a meme on January 7 quoting former Chief Justice Warren Burger: "The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies - the militia - would be maintained for the defense of the state. The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires."

One of Wright's trolls replied, "Fuck you, Buckwheat, & this clueless, liberal judge legislating from the bench!" Wright calmly noted that he was quoting a Republican appointee, and added, "I associate more with Stymie," another black Little Rascals character. With wit and poise, he kept the upper hand. It might have been time-wasting had it been a private message, but he shared the exchange with his 80,000 followers. There is a point of diminishing returns, of course, for which the "block" button is handy.

Each of us strikes a different balance between comfort from comrades and abuse from adversaries. Some of us enjoy arguing more than others. The key consideration for the reality-based is persuasion. Mere insults appeal only to those already persuaded.

Read the whole thing here.

Lesbian murdered, mutilated in South Africa

Another awful reminder that the struggle for LGBT equality and dignity is not done, even where it has seen great advances.

CBS Entertainment prez mentions he's gay

Tory cabinet minister David Mundell comes out as gay

Obama: the adult in the room

The president soared last night, a fact that was all the more clear as Republicans, trapped in their refusal to give him credit or respect for anything ever, sat on their hands. He outclassed his detractors by so far it was embarrassing, and showed he was the grownup in the room. Here are excerpts.

"Will we respond to the changes of our time with fear, turning inward as a nation, and turning against each other as a people? Or will we face the future with confidence in who we are, what we stand for, and the incredible things we can do together?"

"Some of the only people in America who are going to work the same job, in the same place, with a health and retirement package, for 30 years, are sitting in this chamber."

"Food Stamp recipients didn’t cause the financial crisis; recklessness on Wall Street did."

"Sixty years ago, when the Russians beat us into space, we didn’t deny Sputnik was up there. We didn’t argue about the science, or shrink our research and development budget. We built a space program almost overnight, and twelve years later, we were walking on the moon."

Continue reading "Obama: the adult in the room" »

January 11, 2016

Openly gay acting Army Secretary forced to step aside for now

Disgusting treatment of a highly qualified man by means of a block by a senator.

White Supremacists Launch Iowa Robocall Campaign To Elect Trump

The Donald must be mighty proud.

Space Oddity: Rest in peace, Starman

This was first published on May 12, 2013. Commander Hadfield wrote:

A revised version of David Bowie's Space Oddity, recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station.

He now appends, "Rest in peace, Starman." He says more here.

About that "El Chapo" interview

The whole story of Sean Penn interviewing a drug cartel boss who was on the lam is a big WTF moment.

Oregon Domestic Terrorists 'Alarmed' After New Armed 'Militia' Group Shows Up

More inadvertent insurrectionist comedy from Oregon.

Roy Moore's last stand

He can't go soon enough to suit me. A disgrace to his profession.

LaBarbera: Biggest danger facing U.S. is 'gayria law'

Another pathetic, obsessive homophobe cannot face reality.

Anglican church could split over gay issue this week

If the alternative is more pandering to homophobia by Lambeth Palace, then it ought to split. What in heaven or earth is the point in pretending to a unity that is not there?

January 04, 2016

I for one welcome our new Moroccan overlords

With all due respect to Mr. Trump (none), I am not concerned about people flooding across the U.S.-Morocco border. It is instructive that his people could not find a suitably dramatic video of Mexicans rushing across our border in large numbers (since it isn't happening). Naturally, Trump's campaign staff isn't even embarrassed at this. The more of this recklessness Trump indulges, the more he advertises the limits of his appeal.

January 03, 2016

Korea's first-ever openly gay student council president speaks out

Nation that executed 47 people in one day sits on U.N. Human Rights Council

Blade guide to DC-area LGBT events in 2016