Equality's march continues.
Equality's march continues.
A crowd of irrational xenophobes blocks buses in which federal authorities were transferring undocumented immigrants who had been detained. Reuters reports:
As the buses neared their destination, some 150 protesters waiving American flags and shouting "Go home - we don't want you here," filled a street leading to the access road for the Border Patrol station, blocking the buses from reaching the facility.
The demonstrators disregarded orders from police to disperse, but officers did not attempt to intervene physically to break up the demonstration.
After about 25 minutes, the buses backed up, turned around and left. A board member of the union representing border patrol agents, Chris Harris, said the buses would likely be rerouted to one of six other Border Patrol stations in the San Diego sector.
John Oliver gave an excellent take on the Hobby Lobby ruling the day before it was issued.
The fact that court observers saw this one coming is no comfort. Building on the corporations-are-people ruling in Citizens United, SCOTUS on Monday effectively ruled that a closely held corporation has more rights of personhood than a woman does. The notion that a company's religious views (what an absurd phrase) trump the religious rights of its employees is not only topsy-turvy, it threatens to turn every shop into a law unto itself.
Here is an excerpt of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg's scathing dissent:
Religious organizations exist to foster the interests of persons subscribing to the same religious faith. Not so of for-profit corporations. … The distinction between a community made up of believers in the same religion and one embracing persons of diverse beliefs, clear as it is, constantly escapes the Court’s attention. One can only wonder why the Court shuts this key difference from sight.
Our friend Jonathan Rauch has an interesting take on Hobby Lobby's religious liberty claims:
Religious folks are pushing the envelope really far when they say it’s a major intrusion on their religious conscience to have to buy an insurance policy that covers choices that other people make. To me that’s kind of picking a fight. And I am very sympathetic to religious liberty claims.
I agree with the dissenting opinions in the Hobby Lobby ruling, which say, “If you find your religion being burdened by something so indirect then when does it end?” If religious folks try to withdraw too much from practices of ordinary society—if they push too hard for the right not to participate—it will backfire. It sends a bad message about their inclusivity and their willingness to engage with society.
The British sitcom starring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi as a long-time gay couple is coming to PBS, NYT reports. Good for them, but from the YouTube clips I've seen, Jacobi's over-the-top stereotypical queen is too much. Such a pair of world-class actors deserves better material. I have seen both of them in theaters give extraordinary, nuanced performances. Don't expect that here.
Another gem from Miranda Blue at RWW.
Miranda Blue of RWW reports.
Imagine what a highly intelligent, 8-ton predator could do to a lone kayaker if it wanted. But this beautiful orca was just playfully checking him out. What an awesome moment.
IndyStar reports on the latest step in the march toward marriage equality.
Above is a photo of Craig Bowen and Jake Miller, the first same-sex couple granted a marriage license in Indianapolis. Marion County Clerk Beth White, with the most matter-of-fact statement, says it all (and sorry, but embedding is disabled for the video): "We're ready for people to come and exercise these rights that they now have."
On Friday, June 27 at noon in the D.C. Council chamber, GLAA and others will testify on Bill 20-501, to prohibit so-called conversion therapy for minors. The above video from National Center for Lesbian Rights, with whom GLAA is in coalition, is from their #BornPerfect campaign against this dangerous and discredited junk medicine.
Independent D.C. mayoral candidate David Catania is interviewed on MSNBC.
ABC News reports:
A Democratic candidate who reluctantly made public his homosexuality last year found himself serving as the grand marshal of Maine's biggest gay pride parade and festival Saturday and urged activists to continue fighting to eliminate discrimination and promote equality.
Mike Michaud, who would become the nation's first openly gay person to be elected governor if he unseats Republican Paul LePage in November, said it would be powerful for the gay community to have a seat at the table in discussions with governors across the country on equality issues.
"Maine has come a long ways and our nation has come a long ways, but there's still a long way to go," he said in an interview before he marched alongside a white convertible down the roughly milelong route in downtown Portland.
Meanwhile, the National Journal reports that Rep. Michaud leads Gov. Paul LePage in a new poll.
Brian Tashman of Right Wing Watch reported from Friday's "Road to Majority" summit. In this clip, Gary Bauer offers an astonishing catalog of lies about our 44th president, from he destroyed America's military to he declared war on the Little Sisters of the Poor. One wonders how many wars the (in my view) more-than-sufficiently hawkish Obama would have to start in order to avoid the former charge. As to the latter charge, it appears to be based on the nuns having to fill out a form concerning their religious exemption to the contraception mandate in ACA, because they don't just want to avoid providing such converge to their employees--they want to prevent their employees from getting it from anyone.
In short: as usual with the radical religious right, if they are prevented from imposing their intolerant doctrines on others, they claim their own freedom has been infringed. And the commandment against bearing false witness is once again trampled by the ones most loudly announcing their righteousness. As the saying goes, God help us.
From WorldPride, now going on in Toronto.
This guy says he doesn't want to be misunderstood as being anti-gay. He just wants to preserve dangerous quackery as an option.
As the above report from NTV Uganda indicates, the White House has announced further steps in response to the anti-LGBT persecution represented by Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act. The new U.S. actions include:
(Hat tip for video to Frank Mugisha)
Tim Huelskamp, the chief sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment, had a message for “every man in America” at today today’s March for Marriage: “Your woman, your wife, she needs you, it’s time you become a real man and stand up.”
Possibly under the impression that the legalization of same-sex marriage will break up opposite-sex unions, the Kansas Republican congressman emphasized that he loves his wife and believes that men who love their wives must join the fight to stop marriage equality.
The level of incoherence here can hardly be overstated. Perhaps President Obama should send a few drones to knock out the idiot factory, once we locate it.
As to the march: as usual with NOM's events, the crowd was paltry and its significance nil. I celebrated Juneteenth by staying home.
Get the popcorn! Megyn Kelly on Fox News confronts Dick and Liz Cheney on their shameless blaming of President Obama for the Bush-Cheney debacle in Iraq. As a general principle, the arsonist should not criticize the firefighter.
More intolerance and slanders wrapped in language of loving concern from San Francisco Archbishop Cordileone, who is to speak this Thursday at NOM's "March for Marriage."
AFER's Matt Baume is on the road, and reports this week from Nevada.
A "go slow" protest in Trafalgar Square by taxi drivers against competition from Uber could prompt more people to use the Uber app. I can't believe that's what the protesters intended.
On this day in 1967, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Loving v Virginia that state anti- miscegenation laws were unconstitutional. Responding decades later to discrimination against gay couples, Mildred Loving expressed support for marriage equality. Here's to the memory of her and her husband, and those who helped them fight for equality.
I'm told Mayor Vincent Gray just tried putting beads on Westboro Baptist Church protesters at DC Pride pic.twitter.com/xGiNgqajYe— Justin Snow (@JustinCSnow) June 7, 2014
Mayor Vince Gray confronted Westboro Baptist protesters from Topeka, KS during today's Capital Pride Parade. I was not standing near the Westboro nut bags, but Mayor Gray was very warmly received by the crowds along 17th Street.
When the US military color guard started the DC Pride Parade. First time ever pic.twitter.com/7R048N4ja6— Joe Sudbay (@JoeSudbay) June 7, 2014
A color guard provided by the United States Military District of Washington marched in the Capital Pride Parade today. I saw them as they turned from 17th Street NW onto P Street. They were right behind Dykes on Bikes, who were behind a couple of police cars. Happy Pride!
When a federal judge struck down Wisconsin's gay marriage ban, pastor Andrew Warner was among those who headed to the courthouse to get a license so he could legally wed his longtime partner.
Then he turned to perform a wedding for two members of his Milwaukee church.
"I always felt like we were second-class citizens in not being able to get married," Warner said after marrying Jay Edmundson on Friday evening, despite confusion over the effect of a federal judge's ruling that declared Wisconsin's gay marriage ban unconstitutional. "And now I feel good about my state in a way I haven't before."
Clerks in Madison and Milwaukee began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples shortly after 5 p.m. Friday, a little over an hour after the judge released her ruling. More marriage licenses could be issued over the weekend, even though Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said the ruling did not clear the way for weddings to begin. Van Hollen has sought an emergency order in federal court to stop more marriage licenses from being issued.
This haunting blend of current and historic photos says more than I can after watching ceremonies at Omaha Beach yesterday marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing in Normandy. In the video of the ceremonies below, my favorite part is near the end, when President Obama interacts with the old soldiers, now in their 90s, who were there 70 years ago. In his remarks he mentioned that his maternal grandfather was in Patton's army that followed the invasion to liberate Europe from the Nazis. These moments are important as more than just ceremonies; they are a reminder of the cost of war. By June 6, 1944, my father had been a prisoner of war for nearly 16 months, having been captured in Tunisia at Kasserine Pass in February 1943. This year he would have turned 96.
Alec, babe, you should watch this. Thank you, Jonah.
Media Matters reports:
Fox News contributor Richard Grenell and his public relations firm have been coordinating interviews for soldiers criticizing the actions of recently-released Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.
Those critics have said that Bergdahl, who had been imprisoned by the Taliban since 2009, risked the lives of soldiers who tried to find him after he reportedly walked off his Afghanistan base.
Several media outlets have reported on these soldiers and their concerns, including Fox News, The New York Times, Time, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Mail, and The Daily Beast. According to a report in Buzzfeed, Fox News contributor Richard Grenell and his firm Capitol Media have "played a key role in publicizing" these critics.
Grenell served as a spokesman for former U.N. ambassador (and current Fox News contributor) John Bolton in the George W. Bush administration, and also worked for a short time on the Romney 2012 campaign.
Ah, Richard Grenell. Here is my piece on him from 2012.
My latest article is based on a handout I wrote for GLAA's booth at Capital Pride. Here's a portion:
My late friend Lawrence Guyot, a veteran of Freedom Summer, testified at the D.C. Council's marriage equality hearings in 2009 that when he went to work with Fannie Lou Hamer in the Mississippi Delta in 1964, the right to vote on other people's rights was not their purpose. He believed equality was for everyone.
Today, the voting rights he helped win face a renewed onslaught. Gerrymandering and vote suppression aim to preserve the power of the few over the many who sustain and enrich our country. Christian theocrats insist that religious freedom belongs only to them. Women's reproductive choice is threatened at every turn. As our rights are under assault, science is attacked by Know-Nothings. The political alliance between plutocrats and the radical social right has metastasized into a backlash of resentment and intolerance that hamstrings our ability to solve problems and innovate for our future.
We must stand together to prevent our republic from sliding towards oligarchy and feudalism. We cannot remain in separate silos, divided by race, religion, gender, class, immigration status, and sexual orientation. Our lives and bonds cross multiple categories. We must cooperate and learn from one another to secure equality and opportunity for all. And we must vote.
To continue reading, visit my new page at Daily Kos.
I will discuss this on Thursday, June 5 at 7 pm with Mark Thompson on SiriusXM Progress, Channel 127.
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman joins with Michelle Obama and a few of his teammates to make a video as part of her Let's Move! campaign to promote healthy cooking, and spoofs himself in the process.
I downloaded this book, Picture Perfect? by Kordale Lewis, to my Kindle app today and just finished it. A powerful and beautiful testimony of a young black gay man's journey through great obstacles to find happiness. Many have worked for decades to make this moment for our society possible. To see it materializing before us in flesh and blood, as exemplified in this family, is joyous beyond words.HuffPost interviews the author.
New York Daily News reports on a documentary that actor Robert De Niro has made about his gay father, who was an artist and died 20 years ago from cancer:
The award-winning actor took a seat behind the scenes to produce a documentary about his late father, who was openly gay, called "Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro Sr."
"I felt I had to. I felt obligated. It was my responsibility to make a documentary about him," he said in an interview with Out magazine about the film, which includes archival footage from the '70s, and was edited by Thelma Schoonmaker, a longtime editor for Martin Scorsese.
Jeremy Hooper at Good As You reports:
The Coalition of African-American Pastors is intimately aligned with the National Organization For Marriage (CAAP head William Owens is listed as NOM's religious liaison) and is one of the co-sponsors of NOM's upcoming March For Marriage. Now look on as this organization helps NOM in its stated goal to "drive a wedge between gays and blacks" with a video that promotes the upcoming NOM march by directly comparing "the same-sex marriage agenda" with the KKK, segregation, slavery, racism, and the destruction of the black family. It is beyond disturbing and should disgust many.
A great spirit has left us. And yet, of course, she hasn't. Keep rising, Maya Angelou.
Our friend Ernest Hopkins writes on Facebook:
Hard, very sad day. It is impossible to measure of the depth and import of her contributions to our culture. Her impact is broad and rolling like the sea. The Gods are smiling with her return. Rest in Peace Sister Angelou. Job well done.
Right Wing Watch shares the latest from Bishop Harry "Daddy Bear" Jackson *, the carpetbagging minister from
P-Town Maryland who led the fight against marriage equality in DC:
In this video, Harry Jackson urges the pastors at the Family Research Council's Watchmen on the Wall to fight the "radical homosexual agenda" and teach lay leaders why "God didn't make anyone that way."
* I am just teasing with my reference to bears and P-Town. When I stand close to Bishop Jackson, his ministerial charisma momentarily envelops me in the healing grace of Jesus.
A belated happy 75th birthday to the magnificent Sir Ian McKellen, born on May 25, 1939. In this clip, matched with Peter Jackson's flawless composition and special effects, he falls through fire into the abyss battling the Federal Marriage Amendment in the form of a balrog: "You shall not pass!" And indeed it did not. All hail our brother Sirina, whose career certainly was not harmed by coming out.
On the occasion of Black Pride weekend in DC, there are many heroes and sheroes to celebrate. Here is one, Derrick Gordon of UMass, who carried a lot of people with him when he stepped out.
Right Wing Watch describes this clip:
Franklin Graham tells the Watchmen on the Walls conference that pastors must be willing to to oppose gay rights even if it means losing their heads.
RWW's Kyle Mantyla writes:
Graham went on to assert that he loves gays "enough to care to warn them that if they want to continue living like this, it's the flames of hell for you" and he will continue to do so because he will one day have to answer to God and does not want to be found to have been a coward who refused to preach God's laws.
For Graham and his ilk, there is no Constitution and no secular laws that they need pay any respect. There is but one "rule book," as he says in the above video clip, and it's written by God. I am sorry, Reverend, but your God has no authority over me. As to getting your head chopped off, you are the one attacking people. Those of us fighting for LGBT equality are winning in courts of law and in public opinion. If you resort to violence in an effort to impose your crabbed, ignorant, and vicious version of Christianity on everyone else, don't put it on us.