1856 posts categorized "News"

May 24, 2015

Cleveland judge clears cop of all charges despite #49shots at unarmed pair

Saturday's acquittal of a Cleveland police officer who jumped onto the hood of a car and fired 49 shots through the windshield at an unarmed couple demonstrated the near-impossibility of getting justice against out-of-control police even after the most outrageously excessive use of deadly force.

Below are some illustrative tweets from yesterday regarding the bench-trial verdict and the protests that followed. I note that nonviolent protests were met with phalanxes of riot-geared officers who seemed determined to thwart constitutional speech and provoke unrest in order to justify their habitual brutality. Meanwhile, officials called for citizens not to be violent, when the clear problem was police violence. Wake up, America.

May 22, 2015

Michael Sam will play in the #CFL this season, signs with Montreal Alouettes

Congrats, Michael. Make lots of sacks.

9 times Josh Duggar lectured people on family values before admitting he was a child molester

Time and again over the past few decades, the loudest anti-gay defenders of "family values" have turned out to be adulterers and sexual predators themselves. A big chunk of the blame must be shouldered by the media who have given them a platform. One example, as our friend Joe Sudbay notes below, is the TLC Network.

Ireland votes in marriage referendum today

Boy Scouts president calls for end to ban on adult gay leaders

Gates talks about letting local chapters determine their own policy, a nod to the fact that churches with anti-gay doctrines run many chapters. So this would not be a uniform change across the country, but it would allow chapters who want to allow gay leaders to do so. It is a big step forward.

May 20, 2015

Historic pro-gay numbers from Gallup

Some very encouraging numbers from Gallup. It should be noted that the GOP presidential candidates will not be running in a national primary, and the primary voters they do face will be subsets of the voters in one party. But the national poll numbers are encouraging for supporters of equality, though we still must work for it.

ISIS, erasing antiquity

Dear ISIS, you dishonor your faith, your inheritance, and the human race. May you be swallowed by quicksand.

Oregon bans conversion therapy

Athlete of the Year

May 19, 2015

Federal judge shoots down provision of DC concealed carry law

Priests Defy Bishops To Support Marriage Equality In Ireland

Rep. Ted Lieu presses nationwide conversion therapy ban


May 17, 2015

Deadly gang shooting in Waco

Derrick Gordon signs with Seton Hall

Congrats to Derrick Gordon and Seton Hall. This young athlete's character and spirit are a joy to behold. Good luck to him in the coming year.

May 16, 2015

U.S. Special Forces Kill Senior ISIS Commander

President Obama seems to be going after ISIS pretty aggressively, considering the far right's claim that he wants the terrorists to win. Below, 19-year-old college student Ivy Ziedrich confronts Jeb Bush on the campaign trail, saying, "Your brother created ISIS." You will perhaps not be shocked that a college student appears far better informed on recent Middle Eastern history than the scion of a distinguished political family who wants to be our next president.

Church of Scotland allows ministers in same-sex relationships

Excellent news from Scotland.

Casa Ruby house for homeless LGBT youth set to open

May 15, 2015

Stephanopoulos Apologizes to His Viewers on Clinton Donations

The well-established practice of hiring political operatives to pose as journalists gives the bosses at ABC News no plausible deniability about this blatant case of a conflict of interest on the part of Bill Clinton's former chief of staff. So he apologizes. Good. He should lose his job. But Steph is not an aberration. The establishment sneers at criticisms of this sort of thing, because they take it so completely for granted.

The lecturing of social media activist DeRay Mckesson by Wolf Blitzer a couple of weeks ago over the unrest in Baltimore over police violence showed the same establishment blinders. Until they take off the blinders, an occasional sacrificial lamb will make no difference.

The media bosses are not interested in doing real journalism because their fake journalism is more profitable. I'm not sure how to overcome that, except to make the most of alternative media.

Defying U.S., Colombia Halts Aerial Spraying of Crops Used to Make Cocaine

Good. The war on drugs is a colossal failure. But America is exceptional, so how can we be wrong? This is just pathetic.

Marriage discrimination bill fails in Texas

Congrats to our colleagues in Equality Texas and all who contributed to this victory.

Jeb says you don't need Obamacare, just get an Apple Watch

May 14, 2015

The latest in scapegoating: Amtrak engineer was gay

(Photo via LinkedIn)

The latest thing to make you shake your head. Really: our opponents are this desperate, this unscrupulous, this hateful, this unhinged. Take your pick.

D.C. organizations write to Congress opposing school vouchers

GLAA is proud to be part of a diverse coalition of DC-based organizations that wrote on Wednesday to the chairman and ranking member of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee opposing congressional imposition of private school vouchers on the District of Columbia.

The letter begins:

Dear Chairman Chaffetz and Ranking Member Cummings:

As organizations that represent residents of the District of Columbia, we write to express our opposition to the DC private school voucher program, which was implemented by Congress as part of the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act.

Our organizations represent a diverse cross section of the residents of Washington, DC, with a wide variety of interests and concerns. We are united, however, in opposing this voucher program, which was imposed upon us by a Congress in which we have no voting representation. Some of the undersigned groups oppose the DC voucher because the program is ineffective and lacks accountability; others because the program offends the notion of home rule; and still others because the program allows private schools to receive federal funds and educate our students while they maintain exemptions from federal and District of Columbia civil rights protections.

Organizations signing the letter are ACLU of the Nation's Capital; Anti-Defamation League, Washington, DC Region; DC Vote; Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C.; Jews United for Justice; National Organization for Women, DC Chapter; and Washington Teachers' Union.

Read the full letter here.

OK AG to SCOTUS: Oops!

BuzzFeed reports:

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office admits that it had provided inaccurate information to the Supreme Court in a death penalty case before the justices.

May 13, 2015

Why Tim Cook Should Threaten to Shut Down Apple Campus Amid Texas Anti-Gay Crusade

Loose Lips: Bowser Retreats on FOIA exemption for police body cams

Thank you, Mayor Bowser.

Rosendall speaks at launch of Communities Against Law Enforcement Misconduct

Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance
Press Conference Statement
Communities Against Law Enforcement Misconduct
National Press Club
May 12, 2015

Good afternoon. I am Rick Rosendall, president of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, which has worked for LGBT equality in D.C. since 1971. Thanks to Jody Westby for launching Communities Against Law Enforcement Misconduct, and to those who have helped her.

When thousands held a vigil in Meridian Hill Park last August 14 in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, Missouri, a few Metropolitan Police Department officers were on hand to ensure order. There was none of the belligerence we have seen in other cities. D.C. has come a long way since the 1991 riot by police against revelers at the High Heel Race on 17th Street Northwest.

Police reforms in D.C. since then have included creation of special liaison units such as the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, which promote trust and cooperation between community members and police. With allies including the NAACP and ACLU of the Nation's Capital, GLAA helped push for creation of the independent Office of Police Complaints in the late 1990s.

After the unlawful mass arrest in Pershing Park in September 2002, our then mayor and police chief refused to acknowledge problems until a federal judge ordered the release of an internal report. Then-D.C. councilmember Kathy Patterson, with assistance from ACLU and support from GLAA, won passage of the First Amendment Rights and Police Standards Act of 2004.

Vigilance, persistent engagement, and data are essential to reform. ACLU-NCA reported in 2013 on a dramatic racial disparity in marijuana arrests in the District. Given the roughly equal rates of self-reported marijuana use by white and black citizens, the disparity was scandalous. A partial remedy came with Initiative 71, the Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014, which is now law. This was not the first time intervention was required. In 1998, we needed legislation to stop the arrest of people for drinking on their own front porches.

Continue reading "Rosendall speaks at launch of Communities Against Law Enforcement Misconduct" »

May 10, 2015

Onziema episode of Last Week Tonight wins GLAAD Media Award

Congrats to our friend Pepe-Julian Onziema for his win at the GLAAD Media Awards last night.

May 06, 2015

Hillary's favorability up in new poll

Won't this annoy those on the right who have gone to so much trouble to trash the former secretary of state.

America's Motels Keep Exploding Because of Meth

I really don't think this is the best travel promotion campaign I've ever seen.

Denmark, still protecting an SS doctor

This is kind of amazing. I thought they would all have been dead by now.

Gay British couple win high court battle over baby girl

Happy news from the United Kingdom.

Hillary calls for 'path to full and equal citizenship' as part of immigration reform

California AG seeks to block gender reassignment for trans inmate


DNC names director of LGBT engagement

May 05, 2015

SCOTUS affirms New Jersey's conversion therapy ban

Good news from the U.S. Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court has refused to grant certiorare to a case that challenged a 2013 New Jersey law banning the use of so-called "conversion therapy" on minors.

This is good news for D.C.'s Conversion Therapy for Minors Prohibition Amendment Act of 2014, which became law on March 11. Read GLAA's testimony on that legislation.

AP: raw footage of migrant rescue in Mediterranean

This is hard to watch. So many desperate people are perishing at sea.

May 01, 2015

Mosby is on the case

Maryland State Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who comes from a family of police officers, has had to deal with a lot of dishonesty and diversion coming from the Baltimore Police Department. This is one example.

Man detained with Freddie Gray disputes police narrative

I am just wondering how many cameras are the police prepared to smash, and how many witnesses are they going to intimidate, if they are unwilling to stop their contempt and their occupation-force mentality regarding communities of color. The indictments announced this morning are one sign that the game is up. We must press on for vital reforms. Bravo to the people in those communities who have led efforts, and put themselves in harm's way, to demand justice and to protect their youth.

MD State Attorney Marilyn Mosby charges 6 police officers in death of Freddie Gray

Thank goodness.