2138 posts categorized "News"

November 25, 2015

President Obama Awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Sondheim, Spielberg, Streisand were among this year's honorees. It was good to see William Ruckelshaus honored; he resigned as Deputy Attorney General rather than obey President Nixon's order to fire the Watergate Special Prosecutor, on Saturday, October 20, 1973. Attorney General Elliot Richardson had resigned before him. That was called the Saturday Night Massacre, and was the beginning of the end for Nixon. Among many other posts, Ruckelshaus also helmed the Environmental Protection Agency. Yesterday's honor was a reminder of a time when public servants could put their country before their party.

White House honors LGBT artists as 'Champions of Change'

KKK targets LGBT ordinance in Florida

Nigerian police arrest 21 men on sex charges

Hundreds march in Minneapolis, 3 held in 4th Precinct protest shooting

Chicagoans protest police murder of Laquan McDonald

Chicago police officer charged with murder in killing of teen

The dashcam video of the police killing of Chicago teenager Laquan McDonald was released yesterday after more than a year. The reporter who forced the release of the video was barred from Mayor Emanuel's news conference. The officer charged with first degree murder in the case, Jason Van Dyke, is shown shooting McDonald 16 times, including after the 17-year-old was on the ground. The teen, who according to a toxicology report had traces of PCP in his system, was walking in the street with a 3-inch knife in his hand, but was moving away from the officers and police cars when he was shot. Police had claimed that Van Dyke was in fear for his life when he emptied his gun into McDonald, but the video shows that was not true. Other officers did not see a need for deadly force. After shooting McDonald 16 times, Van Dyke was reloading his gun when another officer told him to hold his fire.

November 20, 2015

Rep. Polis defends vote to block Syrian refugees

Rep. Jared Polis defends his disgraceful vote to block Syrian refugees.

The President's statement on 2015 Transgender Day of Remembrance

Hostages rescued from Mali hotel

Hillary Clinton addresses national security at Council on Foreign Relations

Solid presentation by the former Secretary of State on the need for America to choose resolve over fear.

November 19, 2015

Battle Hymn of the Blowhards


My Blade column this week responds to the right wing's disgraceful exploitation of the terrorist attacks in Paris. Here's a portion:

As many Americans sang "La Marseillaise" and expressed solidarity with the French after the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, Republicans rushed to seize political advantage.

Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee threatened savage bombing campaigns. Cruz, possibly inspired by Herod the Great, promised he would not worry about slaughtering innocents. These holy warriors will say anything to win cheers from the xenophobic, Christianist GOP base, ignoring the spectacular failure of reflexive, ill-targeted militarism in the past. Meanwhile, President Obama's Pentagon quietly took out ISIS leaders in Syria and Libya.

Instead of showing strength amid tragedy, conservatives turned cowardly and demanded that Syrian refugees be turned away lest a jihadist be lurking among them. Never mind the major role America played in creating chaos in Syria, where civilian deaths dwarf those in Paris. On the night of the attacks, ordinary Parisians took stranded strangers into their homes. They displayed more courage than is being asked of Americans. Despite more than half of America's governors absurdly announcing their own harsh immigration policies, refugees face extensive screening procedures.

Muslims across the world have denounced the attacks. Ignoring this hampers the relationships we need to defeat the extremists. Appropriately, many Western leaders have begun using the Arabic acronym for ISIS, "Daesh," which has a mocking connotation. Declaring yourself a caliphate does not make you one.

We must respond to the attacks intelligently and in cooperation with our allies. We cannot simply bomb our way to safety. We cannot wall ourselves off from a world in which we are deeply engaged commercially and culturally, and in which we extensively project ourselves militarily. We cannot prevail unilaterally or by holding ourselves above the rest of the world. We cannot paper over legitimate grievances resulting from our past actions.

Read the whole thing here.

November 18, 2015

Bobby Jindal drops out of the 2016 race

Our friend Ernest Hopkins summed it up on Facebook:

Thank you Governor Bobby Jindal for dropping out of the Presidential Primaries. As a high profile, person of color, and the son of immigrants, you embarrassed yourself and made a mockery of your understanding of the U.S. Constitution, and demonstrated disregard for the wellbeing of the citizens of Louisiana. You wrecked the state, safety net, healthcare system and promised to bring your brand of governance to the rest of us. No thanks. Take a seat.


Obama: GOP's refugee talk 'needs to stop,' is 'recruitment tool' for ISIS

PrEP Demo Project: Truvada effective in preventing HIV

Trans Needs Assessment report reveals 'state of emergency'

What it's like to be a gay Muslim on Grindr after the Paris Attacks

1830 Mormons In Salt Lake City Quit LDS Church Over New Anti-Gay Policies

US Bishops Are Rewriting Voter Guide To Include Same-Sex Marriage As 'Intrinsic Evil'

There is definitely evil here; the bishops should look in the mirror. They have strayed so far from Christ that it should make any decent person want to throw up.

Congressional forum focuses on anti-trans violence

House lawmakers launch bipartisan transgender task force

November 16, 2015

Ted Cruz’s hypocritical view of Syrian refugee crisis

Chris Johnson weighs in on the noxious Ted Cruz.

Barbra Streisand, Stephen Sondheim to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Congrats to them and all the other recipients.

Baby-stealing judge takes himself off case

Good riddance.

November 14, 2015

On Veterans Day, LGBT troops honor two of their own

From the Air Force Times.

Paris attack: how the world reacted

Obama on Paris attacks

November 10, 2015

New details surface in 1992 murder of gay sailor

Thanks to Michael Petrelis for his faithful work on this 23-year-old case in pursuit of justice. He just called me from San Francisco to thank GLAA for our moral and financial support of his early efforts back then. I remember he traveled to where the murder occurred in Japan. (Note: the second paragraph includes a link to the 900-page Naval investigative report.)

November 09, 2015

GOP candidates cozy up to 'death penalty for gays' pastor

From our friend Alvin McEwen.

Univ. of Missouri president resigns over handling of campus racism

If you don't think protest works, check this out.

Sen. Hatch joins attack on church-state separation

Another conservative joins the attack on one of the pillars of American freedom.

November 06, 2015

D.C. Council backs domestic partner termination bill

One of our last bits of cleanup. Thanks to the DC Council members, in particular Judiciary chairman McDuffie and the other committee members. And thanks to GLAA Secretary Saul Cruz for his work on this bill.

No, we are not dropping the T

A transgender friend alerted me last night to the Change.org petition. Here is my short comment:

No. Over thousands of LGBT activists' dead bodies will this exclusion ever happen. For us to buy the "male predators in dresses" slander, or allow it to stand, would be like the turkey inviting the cook to lunch. As Ben Franklin said, "Let us hang together, for surely we will hang separately."

Regarding Stonewall, I recommend the book Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter.

November 05, 2015

DC Voucher program discussed on Capitol Hill

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton's testimony on the Opportunity Scholarship program can be found here.

LGBT victories in Utah and Indiana but gay-baiting tactics in SC and NY

Our old friend Lisa Keen surveys Tuesday's election results.

Top Colombia court rules same-sex couples can adopt children

November 04, 2015

Houston loses out on three bids to host college football title games

A silver lining.

Scary Scrum of Candidates

My Blade column this week (written before Tuesday's election) is now up. While it may be tempting, please do not take my humble musings as a cue to go crashing out of bedroom windows. I only recommend that for deranged candidates who are eager to defeat Satan.

Signorile: Prop 8 redux as LGBT rights are put on the ballot

Signorile is spot on. Prop 8 redux, indeed. So many of our allies with deep pockets have a fear of flying, to use a 70s phrase. The bathroom panic lie deserved a powerful, hair-singeing response. I can imagine someone suggesting it at a meeting of overpaid "experts" and being shot down.

We know what Tony Perkins is going to say. What is more scandalous at this point is how our community's and its allies' money is squandered by people afraid of pressing the fight. It's like people still sending money to the Red Cross after $500 million in Haitian relief donations translated to a total of six houses being built. These incompetent people, these wet noodle warriors should be run out of town on a rail, not rewarded. Instead, we'll get more hand-wringing appeals from them saying, "We're not done, send your faith offering now and we'll send you this lovely rosewood crucifix." Sorry, I'm confusing them with religious hucksters.

We need to put our armor on and get ready to fight! No, our rights should not be subject to a popular vote. That's part of it. But when a fight is on, we've got to bring everything we've got to it.

Kim Davis In New Court Brief Blasts 'Impotent Kentucky Governor'

Kim Davis refuses to go away. And soon she will have a right-wing governor backing her up.