2677 posts categorized "Media"

March 26, 2015

Quick backlash to reckless Indiana 'religious freedom' law enactment

Advocate reports on the quick and harsh reactions to Indiana Governor Pence signing what is in fact a religious supremacy bill, not a religious freedom bill--unless you mean the freedom to discriminate and split apart our diverse society.

My God is not a bully. I will not worship a god who is a bully. I will not obey a bullying god. I will not attend a bullying church. I will not respect bullying clergy. I will not remain silent as religious bullies seek to impose their beliefs on others in the guise of "religious freedom" bills. I live in a religiously and culturally diverse society, where faith-based discrimination in the public square undermines the civic order and social cohesion. I will fight the bullies. I will demand that editors and reporters call religious supremacy what it is, and not let them swallow the right-wing spin about religious freedom. Please join me in this recognition and this fight to uphold secular American values.

Go to a revolution and cure your writer's block

Salman Rushdie delightfully recounts how he cured his writer's block in 1986 by going to a revolution. The punchline is great even though you can see it coming a mile off.

March 24, 2015

Ghosts in the Courtroom

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(Frank Kameny; Washington Blade archive photo by Doug Hinckle)

My column this week examines the Mattachine Society of Washington's amicus brief in the marriage cases before SCOTUS--featuring newly unearthed original documents that show decades of anti-gay animus in the federal government--animus dismissed in 2013 by Chief Justice Roberts in his dissent in Windsor as "snippets of legislative history."

Cropping up again and again is Frank Kameny, original MSW founder, whose fearlessness, brilliance, and doggedness was a continued thorn in the side of those persecuting us. Bravo to Charles Francis and Pate Felts for their sleuthing, and to McDermott Will & Emery as counsel of record.

Here is the lede:

The late gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny's exhortations ring in my ears as I anticipate arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to license same-sex marriages.

Read the whole thing here.

The questionable ethics of #Corizon

GLAA's concerns about Corizon are stated here.

Trump brings 'birther' charge against Cruz

Ilya Shapiro at Cato Institute explains why Cruz is eligible to run. It has to do with the Nationality Act of 1940.

March 23, 2015

Media flap over Aaron Schock

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Blade editor Kevin Naff has an excellent takedown of the absurd attack on gay media by WaPo's Steven Petrow over the fall of Rep. Aaron Schock. Naff writes:

The LGBT media outlets speculating about Schock are doing so because we’ve seen this movie before and we know how it ends. Ask David Dreier, Mark Foley or Larry Craig, to name a few. Schock invites this speculation with the obnoxious, preening persona that he’s cultivated via Instagram, Twitter and Men’s Fitness photo shoots. He has spent more time developing a social media following than on crafting legislation in Congress.

Naff has much more, all of it spot-on. If Aaron Schock is a victim, I am a power forward for the Blue Devils. For some reason, the Post has become a throwback to an earlier time when "gay" meant "icky" and the Establishment wagons were circled as in 1942 with Sen. David Walsh. 73 years later, some things haven't changed.

A Cruz I'd rather look at

Starbucks ends #RaceTogether initiative

Hardly shocking news, given the mockery Starbucks brought upon itself with this ill-thought-out initiative.

One further thought: The racial oppression in the history of the coffee trade is hardly redeemed by Starbucks hiring lots of black baristas.

Indiana House passes bill to grant faith-based exemption to laws

This new trend in statehouses is as radical as it is popular. It is not about religious freedom, but about religious supremacy. It is an assault on the secular sphere where citizens of many backgrounds and faiths encounter one another. Such laws would undermine any civil society in which everyone is not the same. What other reckless measures will the far right think up?

Jon Stewart on Schock, Netanyahu, and Hart

In case you missed it.

Marriage News Watch: Texas

Pope Francis Dines With LGBT Inmates In An Italian Prison

I remain skeptical of his intentions regarding policy, and I am a policy man; but this pope's pastoral instincts are flawless. Thank you, @Pontifex.

Last Week Tonight on ALEC

Imagine Ted Cruz winning

'Religious Freedom' Bills Fail, As More People See What They’re Really About

Interesting read from The Daily Beast on the backlash to the anti-gay backlash.

(Hat tip: Robert Naylor, Jr.)

Gay Iraq war vet: from homeless to activist

Puerto Rico drops defense of same-sex marriage ban

States propose wave of anti-LGBT bills

Many of us have been saying that increasingly, the fight for LGBT equality will be in the states. Well here it is.

Random comment on Ted Cruz campaign launch at Liberty University

Norton Gearing Up for Defense in the House of D.C.’s Anti-Bias Bills

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Contact: Benjamin Fritsch – o: 202-225-8050, c: 202-225-8143
March 23, 2015

Norton Gearing Up for Defense in the House of D.C.’s Anti-Bias Bills

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Following what appear to be new threats against two anti-discrimination bills recently passed by the District of Columbia Council, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today said that she will oppose any effort to overturn the bills in the U.S. House of Representatives as strongly as she indicated last week she would oppose the disapproval resolutions introduced in the Senate. In an interview with Roll Call, Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has jurisdiction over D.C., said about the D.C. bills, “we want to take some action in the House too” and that “we’re still working on that.” The two bills are the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act, which prohibits employers in D.C. from discriminating against employees based on their personal reproductive health decisions, and the Human Rights Amendment Act, which protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students from discrimination by educational institutions in the District.

“I still hope that Chairman Chaffetz will respect D.C. home rule as he said he would when he took the chairmanship of the Committee,” Norton said. “I was not surprised that Senator Ted Cruz would leap at the opportunity to introduce two disapproval resolutions last week, perhaps in anticipation of announcing his bid for presidency at Liberty University, where reproductive choice and sexual orientation are hot-button issues. I recognize that the District’s protection of employees who do not want to answer to their employers on their reproductive choices as well as its protection of LGBT students who are singled out for discrimination at their own universities may not be the policies of other jurisdictions. We who live in the nation’s capital are American citizens and demand the same respect that is given to citizens in other jurisdictions whose local governments pass similar legislation. I appreciate the more than 50 organizations that have stepped up to oppose these disapproval resolutions. The broad coalition fully recognizes that D.C. residents not only deserve their support, but also that attempts to curtail rights here can easily spread to other parts of the country.”

Under the Home Rule Act of 1973, all D.C. bills must be transmitted to Congress for a review period before they can take effect. The anti-discrimination bills were transmitted for a 30-legislative-day review period on March 6, 2015. A bill takes effect at the expiration of the review period unless a resolution of disapproval is enacted into law during that period. Norton has prevented a disapproval resolution from being enacted into law since 1991.

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Catholic bishops, including Cardinals Wuerl and O'Malley, urge congressional overturn of D.C. anti-discrimination bills

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(Wuerl at left, O'Malley at right. Photo credit: Ed Pfueller, Catholic University of America)

More lies from Catholic Church leaders urging Congress to interfere with DC anti-discrimination legislation related to LGBT students and reproductive health. These clerics do not want religious freedom, they want religious supremacy. (Reported by Roll Call)

March 19, 2015

UVA student Martese Johnson: My head is 'bloodied but unbowed.'

UVA honor student Martese Johnson faces the press as his lawyer speaks for him. This brought tears to my eyes. Our young men deserve better than this.

Michael Sam cha-chas his way to glory

"Dancing With the Stars" describes this clip from its Season 20 premiere: "Michael Sam & Peta Murgatroyd dance the Cha Cha to 'Uptown Funk' by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars." Looks fine to me. And if Vito is okay with it, then as His Holiness says, who am I to judge?

Fact-checking Obama's critics on the economy

Those who cannot bring themselves to give President Obama credit for anything ever have to work overtime making up excuses for setting aside all the positive news.

The multi-talented Michael Sam

It occurs to me that, while I once used "zombies" in a headline, I have never used "bootylicious."

CA: gay death penalty ballot measure will likely proceed to signature gathering stage

Because Jesus, or something.

Ted Cruz, champion of local control

In related news, our fab Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton stirs the pot:

Starbucks #RaceTogether conversation starters

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My friend Lateefah on Facebook asked, "Ok, out of sheer curiosity, I have to ask. Have any of you been engaged in a conversation about race while in Starbucks?"

I replied:

I thought of ordering a "Malcolm Xpresso and please don't weaken it with cream," but I didn't want to start trouble, and I don't like Starbucks coffee, so I skipped it. But now I keep thinking of things to say to start a dialog in the coffee line:

  • "Tom Robinson should have been more gangsta and told that cracker freak Boo Radley to mind his own business."
  • "Who stole my black crayon?"
  • "So I told that white b*tch Shirley Temple to take her hands off Bojangles and get over her Mandingo complex."
  • "I would have voted for him, but he wasn't black enough."
  • "Is it racist if I order a pound of Blonde Veranda Blend?"
  • "You know, these 15-second seminars on race are how I am doing my part for reparations."
  • "I know how to pronounce Ta-Nehisi properly. What more do you people want from me?!!"

I'm just trying to help.

(Ducking now)

UVA honors student Martese Johnson arrested, bloodied by cops

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This latest disgusting example of excessive force by police is causing outrage at UVA and across the country. If you want people to respect the system, the system must respect them.

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D&G, call your marketing office

Can you say hypocrisy?

Russian man jailed for torturing gay teens faces new charges

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Gay Star News reports:

A Russian man who was jailed after torturing gay teens and driving them to suicide is facing new charges.

Maxim Martsinkevich, the leader of the anti-LGBTI group Occupy Pedophilia, is being charged with robbery, hooliganism and causing property damage.

In addition the investigators have also charged the homophobic leader, also known as 'Machete', with 'inciting hatred'.

CBS News reports on #transgender man dismissed by Navy

The struggle for equal service continues.

Santorum seriously answers batty questioner on 'Communist dictator' Obama

You cannot be too crazy to be taken seriously by a politician like Rick Santorum.

March 18, 2015

Maddow on Schock: It's not the years, it's the mileage

Northern lights

Associated Press explains: "Dramatic footage emerged online on Wednesday of beautiful lights in the sky filmed during a severe solar storm which hit Earth on Tuesday."

Respectability politics and the race debate

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(Photo credit: MSNBC/Reuters/Jonathan Ernst/Eric Thayer)

Brittney Cooper at Salon has an excellent response to a recent piece by WaPo's Jonathan Capehart on the lessons from Michael Brown, Darren Wilson, and Ferguson. Here's an excerpt:

Moderate Black people – Barack Obama included – continue to believe that the way to bring white people into the anti-racist fold is by conceding some ground in order to gain more ground. It’s an old debate tactic, but it only works if everyone plays fair. There are two problems with this. First, those with racial privilege generally don’t play fair in racial discussions. More than that, they play downright dirty, denying the persistence of racism, trotting out erroneous statistics, blaming Black behavior for white racism. The Ferguson Police Department, for example, has conceded nothing even after being found guilty of decades of egregious, consistent and systematic violations of the rights of Ferguson’s Black citizens. Second, Capehart implicitly concedes that it is Black people who must prove that incidents are racially inflected, rather than white people who must prove that they are not. Since we now know for a fact that Darren Wilson policed in a racially hostile city and police department, and since Ferguson residents – Michael Brown included – knew that long before a Justice Department report merely affirmed their experience, it is perfectly reasonable for Black folks to view Ferguson police and police around the country with suspicion.

Starbucks #RaceTogether moment: "I’m actually black, but you assumed otherwise"

Joanna Rothkopf at Salon writes:

On Tuesday evening’s edition of MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” host Chris Hayes spoke with “CBS Sunday Morning’s” Nancy Giles and video blogger, writer and DJ Jay Smooth about Starbucks’ bizarre attempt at rectifying hundreds of years of systemic racism in the United States.

Score one for Jay Smooth.

Victory lap

The sad decline of Walter Fauntroy

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(Walter Fauntroy testifies against marriage equality in 2009; photo by Metro Weekly)

WUSA9 News reports:

A bench warrant is on file in Prince George's County for D.C. icon Walter Fauntroy. The pastor and former civil rights leader is believed to be in Africa. His passport has been revoked by the U.S. State Department.

Fauntroy's disappearance has been discussed quietly around town since he apparently came close to being killed around the time of Qadafi's fall in 2011. Prior to that, I heard him give a number of delusional, self-aggrandizing speeches. He was part of the ineffectual group of ministers that opposed marriage equality in DC, and like others in that group appears to be an overcompensating closet case.

Twelve years ago I spoke to Fauntroy in the fellowship hall at Israel Baptist Church, and tried respectfully to convince him that the backers of the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment with whom he allied himself were the same people Dr. King criticized in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, and that he was dishonoring his old associate Bayard Rustin in the process. I might as well have chatted up the food on the buffet table.

For years Fauntroy was a fixture at ineffectual rallies for DC Statehood. Because of his background in the civil rights movement, few criticized him publicly. His homophobia was as out of date as his boasting of his closeness to Qadafi. He lived in the past for a long time, and had many enablers. Now his mental state is in question. He has become a sad footnote in the post-Benjamin Jealous era of cooperation between the civil rights and LGBT rights movements, in which many ministers are on the side of equality, as Dr. King's widow was.

Netanyahu's new policy of apartheid--how will Americans respond?

The two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long enjoyed bipartisan consensus in America until now. Netanyahu appears headed to another term as PM after reversing his previous stated support for a Palestinian state and stoking racist panic to turn out the far-right base. The American far right is already in bed with him and will surely back his reckless position. Will liberals and responsible conservatives stand up to this madness, or be intimidated by charges that they are anti-Israel? Netanyahu is harming Israel's long-term interests by embracing a policy of apartheid west of the Jordan River. If we do not say that loudly and clearly, we might as well dig her grave, and the world's with it. ‪#‎SupportJStreet‬