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April 05, 2014

Carole King surprises Beautiful cast at curtain call

Joe Jervis writes:

Beautiful, the Broadway musical that tells Carole King's life story through her songs, has been running for months to record crowds and rave reviews. King had famously declined to see the show, telling Playbill in December after walking out of a reading, "I can't watch my life played out before me." She changed her mind on Thursday, choosing to attend the show during the week that Broadway casts issue curtain call pleas for donations to Equity Fights AIDS.

Lovely. Especially nice for those of us who were in our teens during her peak years.

Fox's Starnes denounces treatment of ex-Mozilla CEO

Fox News reporter Todd Starnes writes at Townhall.com to defend now-former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich:

Why not demand that those who oppose gay marriage relinquish the right to own property? Why not take away their right to vote? Why not take away their children? Why not just throw them in jail? Why not force them to work in chain gangs? Why not call for public floggings? Or better yet, let’s just strap them down on gurneys, stick a needle in their arm and rid the world of these intolerant anti-gay bigots once and for all.

I want to assure Mr. Starnes that I oppose those traditional conservative measures.

April 04, 2014

Signorile refutes Sullivan on forced resignation of Mozilla CEO

Michelangelo Signorile wrote a detailed response to blogger Andrew Sullivan's criticism of "left-liberal intolerance" for the downfall of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich this week.

I agree with Signorile. Eich was totally out of synch with his company's employees, for one thing. This was a case of the market working. The First Amendment's free speech provision prevents the government from silencing you. It does not prevent a company from firing you when they decide that your actions will do the company harm.

'Safe Bathrooms DC' Aims to Increase Gender-Neutral Bathrooms

The D.C. Office of Human Rights announced on April 3:

D.C. Office of Human Rights

“Safe Bathrooms DC” Aims to Increase Gender-Neutral Bathrooms

Innovative reporting method uses Twitter (#safebathroomsDC) to accept complaints

Thursday, April 3, 2014

CONTACT: Elliot Imse, Director of Policy & Communications – 202.481.3773; [email protected]

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Public bathrooms can present many challenges: inevitably long lines, empty paper towel holders, and faucets that manage to spray more water onto your clothes than into your hands. Yet these challenges are trivial when compared to those some transgender and gender non-conforming people face when using gender-specific public bathrooms. Fear of harassment or violence can create a stressful experience, and many people report scouring the neighborhood until they can locate a gender-neutral bathroom. Now, the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) is asking community members to help make it a bit easier for the transgender and gender non-conforming community, with today’s launch of its Safe Bathrooms DC campaign.

Aimed at rapidly increasing the number of single-occupancy gender-neutral public bathrooms in the District, the campaign features photos of common bathroom challenges, and aims to encourage people to report non-compliant bathrooms using Twitter or the OHR website. The District is one of the few jurisdictions in the nation that requires all single-occupancy bathrooms at restaurants, businesses or other public places to be gender-neutral, without labels such as “male” or “female.” While in the past non-compliant bathrooms could be reported to OHR through the traditional complaint submission method, now community members can quickly alert OHR by tweeting the business name and location using the hashtag #safebathroomsDC, or by submitting a short five question form on the OHR website.

Continue reading "'Safe Bathrooms DC' Aims to Increase Gender-Neutral Bathrooms" »

Musings on a grim anniversary

Martin-Luther-King-Assassination

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered 46 years ago today. On the fortieth anniversary, I wrote about the legacy of that awful event for Washington and for the country. Those thoughts still hold today.

Coming Unglued
by Richard J. Rosendall
Metro Weekly
April 10, 2008


Walking along U Street Northwest on the anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination, there is little sign that the neighborhood was on fire forty years ago. Ben's Chili Bowl, one of the few establishments that survived the riots, has been joined in the past decade by a host of new restaurants and upscale apartments. The boom has brought gentrification and its attendant displacement of longstanding residents, though the area remains ethnically diverse.

My father attended nearby Cardozo High School in the 1930s when it was the all-white Central High. Central became Cardozo in 1950 when it was transferred to the Colored School District to relieve overcrowding as the city's white population shrank and the black population grew. I have heard unscrupulous realtors blamed for the "white flight" that took with it development capital in the postwar years, but the prejudice was there to be exploited.

Thoughts of decay and renewal, and the sad King anniversary, bring to mind Langston Hughes' musing on a dream deferred: "Maybe it just sags / like a heavy load. / Or does it explode?" The dream exploded in Los Angeles in 1992 when a jury acquitted four police officers videotaped beating Rodney King. It exploded in San Francisco in 1979 when Dan White, who killed Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, was convicted only of manslaughter.

Continue reading "Musings on a grim anniversary" »

ACA meets its signup quota

Charles Gaba at ACAsignups.net provides an informed response to anti-healthcare trolls who, being committed to declaring the Affordable Care Act an utter failure no matter what, have taken to saying, "But how many of them have PAID???" By this they are suggesting to dispute the figure of 7 million enrollees is inflated. Click on the above link to Gaba's blog entry for a thorough refutation of that right-wing talking point.

(Hat tip: Markos Moulitsas on Mark Thompson's "Make It Plain" show on Sirius/XM Radio, yesterday evening.)

Judge to end Ohio ban on recognizing gay marriage

AP reports:

A federal judge said Friday that he will strike down Ohio's voter-approved ban on gay marriage, a move that stops short of forcing Ohio to perform same-sex weddings but will make the state recognize gay couples legally wed elsewhere.

Judge Timothy Black announced his intentions in federal court in Cincinnati following final arguments in a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the marriage ban.

"I intend to issue a declaration that Ohio's recognition bans, that have been relied upon to deny legal recognition to same-sex couples validly entered in other states where legal, violates the rights secured by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution," Black said. "(They're) denied their fundamental right to marry a person of their choosing and the right to remain married."

Brick by brick, as Lorraine Hansberry once put it.

Honey Maid: Love

Honey Maid responds to hate letters with one of the best commercials ever. As plenty of people have already commented, let's make s'mores!

April 03, 2014

GLAA renews call to repeal 'Prostitution Free Zones'

Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance
Fighting for equal rights since 1971
P.O. Box 75265, Washington, DC 20013
(202) 667-5139 • [email protected]

April 3, 2014

To:Councilmembers Tommy Wells, Mary Cheh, Jack Evans, Anita Bonds, Muriel Bowser
Cc:Councilmember David Grosso, Council Chair Phil Mendelson
Subject:Please repeal Prostitution Free Zones

Dear Members of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety:

It has come to our attention that Councilmember David Grosso is preparing to introduce a bill to repeal so-called Prostitution Free Zones. It will likely be referred to your committee.

We strongly support repeal of PFZs, as we have previously testified.

The use of Prostitution Free Zones (or PFZs) facilitates discriminatory police profiling of transgender people.[1] It is also a constitutionally questionable practice. As our colleagues from the DC Trans Coalition note:

  1. The Attorney General has determined that PFZs can't be defended in court and are likely unconstitutional.
  2. MPD has suspended PFZ implementation and is working to rescind its PFZ general order.
  3. Eliminating PFZs is a step toward reducing violence against sex workers.
  4. PFZ repeal makes sense from a public health perspective.

We agree with the 2005 testimony of Stephen M. Block, then legislative counsel for ACLU of the Nation's Capital, concerning the bill authorizing temporary PFZs that was then under consideration. I will summarize some of his citations.

Continue reading "GLAA renews call to repeal 'Prostitution Free Zones'" »

Capehart tribute to house music producer/remixer Frankie Knuckles

Frankie-knuckles-01

Jonathan Capehart pays tribute to house music legend Frankie Knuckles, who died on Monday at age 59:

The National Public Radio obituary noted that “By the mid-1990s, house music was so mainstream that a song by Frankie Knuckles was played in a commercial for Lipton Iced Tea.” The New York Times remembrance highlighted the Grammy he won in 1998 for nonclassical remixer of the year. And the Chicago Tribune obit pointed out that Knuckles would build “dynamic ebb-and-flow sets that would keep his dancefloor filled from midnight to noon on weekends.”

World Vision Board Member Resigns Over Gay Uproar

AP reports:

A World Vision board member has resigned in protest after the Christian aid group quickly reversed its decision to hire employees in same-sex marriages.

Jacquelline Fuller, director of corporate giving for Google Inc., said in an email Wednesday to The Associated Press that she remains a "huge fan" of the group's work on behalf of the poor, but she resigned Friday "as I disagreed with the decision to exclude gay employees who marry." ...

Last week, World Vision U.S. was at the center of an uproar after confirming it would hire employees in gay marriages. The charity, based in Federal Way, was started by evangelicals and grew to become a nearly $1 billion international relief agency.

Some prominent evangelical leaders condemned the decision, and several thousand donors canceled their child sponsorships over the new policy. Within two days, the charity backtracked, causing a separate backlash, this time from evangelicals and others who supported recognition for married gay employees. Washington is among the states that recognize same-sex marriage.

D.C. primary election post-mortems

Phil_Pannell_at_Ready_for_Hillary_kick-off_event_insert_c_Washington_Blade_by_Michael_Key
(Washington Blade photo of Philip Pannell by Michael Key)

Tuesday's D.C. primary election results included the defeat of Mayor Vincent Gray by Ward Four Councilmember Muriel Bowser, and the defeat of Ward One Councilmember Jim Graham by challenger Brianne Nadeau. Here are several related news stories:

I'm sure we'll have commentary here on the election results and their implications; for the moment, I offer these news links. You can find competing commentaries by Peter Rosenstein and Mark Lee in the Blade. I almost got whiplash from Rosenstein's speed in getting behind Bowser after her defeat of Gray. But as the story on Independent mayoral candidate David Catania above reminds us, the race isn't over.

Mississippi governor to sign anti-gay 'religious freedom' bill into law

Reuters reports on the latest salvo in the far right's campaign to package their anti-gay fanaticism in the garb of religious freedom.

Breitbart contributor calls for 'slaughtering Muslims in the streets'

Joe Jervis reports on the latest example of the barbarism to which the radical right is trying to push the nation. Here the culprit is Breitbart contributor Patrick Dollard. Very scary.

Anti-Gay Activists: Day Of Silence Is 'Medical Malpractice,' 'Silences Conservatives'

Right Wing Watch reports:

Conservative groups including the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America and Liberty Counsel are urging parents to keep their children at home on April 11, the annual anti-bullying Day of Silence, in order to avoid exposing them to protests against anti-LGBT bullying.

As usual, the homo-haters act like they are the true victims of bullying, claiming that they are being silenced. If someone is silencing them, how are they still talking?

Scott Lively Denies Calling Obama The Antichrist, Admits He Did When Confronted With Audio Of His Comments

Scott_Lively
(Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA)

Brian Tashman at Right Wing Watch reports:

During Scott Lively’s interview with Michelangelo Signorile last week, the anti-gay pastor denied ever having said that President Obama is the Antichrist … until Signorile played audio captured by Right Wing Watch of Lively saying exactly that.

Good for Signorile and RWW. Lively is a right-wing evangelical who helped push Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act, and is now running for governor of Massachusetts. He recently called President Obama "a radical homosexualist" and suggested that the President may even be homosexual. He just can't stop making crap up.

March 31, 2014

Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury

I emailed the following this morning. You may wish to send your own message.

From:Richard Rosendall
Date:Monday, March 31, 2014
To:Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, [email protected]
Subject:Please denounce rally statements by Archbishop Ntagali

Dear Archbishop Welby:

I have been reading the Twitter feed from Ugandan gay rights leader Frank Mugisha on the rally held today in that country celebrating the Anti-Homosexuality Act:
https://twitter.com/FrankMugisha

One of the speakers at the rally is Anglican Archbishop Stanley Ntagali. He celebrated the Ugandan church's having cut ties ten years ago with the Episcopal church in America over homosexuality. His statements, as reported by Mugisha, include "Homosexuality is the devil's agenda in Uganda," and "We have to be focused, without fear to fight the battles facing us, battles facing our families."

Ntagali is effectively endorsing persecution and murder. He should be expelled from the Anglican Communion. Your predecessor was so afraid of schism that he allowed the African bishops to behave disgracefully with no consequences, and even pandered to their threats over the participation of Americans at the Lambeth conference. But a problem like the aggressive bigotry and inhumanity of the African bishops cannot be dealt with by avoidance. What is the point of keeping someone at the table who is poisoning the food?

I appreciate that you have publicly argued with Ntagali over the treatment of gay people by the church. You have stated that some gay couples have loving, stable, and monogamous relationships, and that we deserve the "best pastoral care and friendship," but you still support the Church of England's opposition to active homosexuality (that last phrase is according to the BBC). I am sorry, but this will not do. To be merely tolerated and told we must embrace lifelong celibacy is not acceptance and is not humane. Our love and its expression are as good as anybody else's. We are a threat to no one. We are entitled to equal protection as citizens.

I urge you at a minimum to denounce the participation and remarks by Archbishop Ntagali at the anti-gay rally in Uganda, and not to put a facade of unity before the rights of LGBT people whom some Anglican leaders are persecuting.

I have been in contact in recent days and weeks with persecuted and hunted Ugandan friends. I am grateful to hear from them at all, as it means they are still alive. Asylum efforts are not enough, because most LGBT Ugandans will remain in their country, whose leaders avoid addressing real problems in favor of scapegoating a minority. Words fail in expressing my admiration and respect for Frank Mugisha, who holds his head up and speaks out despite being in grave danger. Please add your respected voice for decency in the face of this mounting horror.


Yours sincerely,

Richard J. Rosendall
Washington, D.C.

Ugandan archbishop speaks at rally celebrating anti-gay law in Uganda

Stanley_ntagali-church-of-uganda

I am reading Frank Mugisha's Twitter feed. One of the speakers at the rally in Uganda celebrating the Anti-Homosexuality Act is Anglican Archbishop Stanley Ntagali. Indeed, he is delivering the "message of the day." He celebrates the Ugandan church's having cut ties ten years ago with the Episcopal church in America over homosexuality. Here are some of Mugisha's tweets and retweets.

Continue reading "Ugandan archbishop speaks at rally celebrating anti-gay law in Uganda" »

March 30, 2014

Mendelson responds to attacks by FOP

Phil_Mendelson_insert_cMichael_Key
(Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

You may have seen a recent mailer or ads from the Fraternal Order of Police attacking D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.

Phil's campaign responds here.

My own thoughts: What FOP is doing is particularly scurrilous and disgraceful. One good thing about it is that they are squandering their money on a cause doomed to fail. The only alternative to Mendelson in Tuesday's primary is Calvin Gurley, whose late questionnaire response earned a GLAA rating of +1 compared to Phil's +10. As for FOP, their habitual boorishness, which I have witnessed at Council hearings, has mainly had the effect of making the police chiefs they were attacking look better by comparison. If they represented me, I would demand my dues back.

Former GLAA president Bob Summersgill writes:

We've never had an advocate on the Council as strong as Phil Mendelson.

GLAA member Jeri Hughes, a transgender rights activist, writes:

After reviewing the negative allegations, I performed some fact checks. The representations made by the FOP are factually incorrect, misleading, or outright vicious. Under Mendelson's tenure, there has been an increase in the number of officers serving in the MPD. He defended and championed District gun laws. He has consistently served as a champion of LGBT rights, and a fierce proponent for Public Safety. This Campaign to Hold Phil Mendelson Accountable is nothing more than an egregious Campaign to Smear and Malign. They should be ashamed of themselves. I know several rank and file officers...none of them feel that Phil Mendelson deserves this abuse. None. I personally know that he deserves nothing but praise from the LGBT community. This "campaign" brings into question what the leadership of the MPD FOP is trying to accomplish, as well as their motivation. They aren't representing the members. Just who are they representing? And why? Something here is very wrong...

Phil is a longtime ally and champion for the LGBT community in Washington. Here is our citation for the Distinguished Service Award that GLAA presented him in 2006.

I voted early, and I voted enthusiastically for Phil. *

* GLAA does not make endorsements in partisan races. This is GLAA Forum, where we express our personal views, and I am speaking for myself here.

March 28, 2014

Eure picked as IG for NYPD

Phil_Eure

NYT reports that Philip K. Eure, the founding director of the D.C. Office of Police Complaints, has been chosen to head the new office of Inspector General for the New York Police Department.

Phil has done a fine job at OPC, and has been great to work with. We will certainly miss him here in D.C., but we congratulate him on his new appointment and wish him all the best. It will be a challenge finding someone to fill his shoes.

(Hat tip: Jason Terry. Photo of Philip Eure via Linkedin)

Happy 100th birthday, Ed Muskie!

Senator Angus King (I-Maine) paid tribute on the Senate floor yesterday to the late Sen. Edmund Muskie (D-Maine), whose 100th birthday would have been today.

(Hat tip: Gregory King)

Transgender rights bill passes Maryland House

Metro Weekly reports:

The Maryland House of Delegates passed a bill to prohibit discrimination against transgender people in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations by a vote of 82-57 on Thursday, setting it up to to be signed into law by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).

The bill, SB 212, takes protections for transgender people that already exist on a local level in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, and Montgomery County and extends them to the state's remaining 20 counties. The measure previously passed the state Senate earlier this month on a 32-15 vote.

Congrats to our Maryland colleagues on this landmark victory.

Gov. Snyder: Michigan Won’t Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder refuses to recognize 300 legal same-sex marriages conducted in the state after Judge Friedman's March 21 ruling and before a stay was issued pending appeal. Gov. Snyder's action is illegal. A legal marriage is a legal marriage. But the desperate, last-ditch obstruction by the radical right will continue until SCOTUS finishes the work of recognizing our families nationwide.

Robertson On Stoning Gays; Satan Leads Gay Rights Movement

Right Wing Watch shares the latest nuttiness from Pat Robertson.

Is a racist caricature okay as long as it's satirical? (No)

A controversy has arisen over Stephen Colbert's use of an offensive Asian stereotype to mock Dan Snyder's "charm offensive" over the racist name of the Washington football team. (The embed wasn't working, so click on the above link if you want to see the clip.) The question is, does Colbert's satirical purpose make it any more ok for him to do an Asian caricature than, say, a Stepin Fetchit impression? I agree with @suey_park that the answer is no. But she was barraged on Twitter by over-the-top threats and insults.

Really, people? The speed with which some resort to the most extreme language in online forums is scary, and does raise questions about the willful obtuseness of privilege by some and pandering to it by others. Okay, so you're being meta. The racist stuff is still offensive. Please knock it off.

March 21, 2014

Michigan marriage ruling: 'Loving has profound implications for this litigation'

Another victory in federal court, this time in Michigan. Senior U.S. District Judge Bernard A. Friedman, citing Loving v. Virginia and U.S. v. Windsor, ruled in that state's gay marriage case, DeBoer v. Snyder:

IT IS HEREBY DECLARED that Article I, § 25 of the Michigan Constitution and its implementing statutes are unconstitutional because they violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Here is Judge Friedman's conclusion:

In attempting to define this case as a challenge to “the will of the people,” Tr. 2/25/14 p. 40, state defendants lost sight of what this case is truly about: people. No court record of this proceeding could ever fully convey the personal sacrifice of these two plaintiffs who seek to ensure that the state may no longer impair the rights of their children and the thousands of others now being raised by same-sex couples. It is the Court’s fervent hope that these children will grow up “to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives.” Windsor, 133 S. Ct. at 2694. Today’s decision is a step in that direction, and affirms the enduring principle that regardless of whoever finds favor in the eyes of the most recent majority, the guarantee of equal protection must prevail.

Read the court's ruling here.

Congrats and thanks to all who worked to make this ruling possible. A luta continua.

March 20, 2014

GLAA primary ratings ad

Primaryratingsadmw

Here's GLAA's ratings ad for the April 1 D.C. primary election. It appears in today's issue of Metro Weekly. (Note: if we could afford it, we'd run it in the Blade also. Advertising is relatively expensive.)

Visit our main website to see the full news release on our candidate ratings.

On the Demise of Rev. Phelps

Fred-phelps-sr-ap0603190293
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

On the Demise of Rev. Phelps

A caustic cleric called us names,
Consigned us to eternal flames,
And taught his offspring, raised as loons,
To flaunt their faith in vile cartoons.

As spring arrives, we learn his fate,
But do not answer hate with hate;
'Tis best that we, by living well,
Defeat his pornographic hell.

We may yet mourn, with wry laments,
His absence from our next events.
He gave intolerance a face,
And, though unwitting, taught us grace.

-- Rick Rosendall, President
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance
Washington, DC, March 20, 2014

April 30 - Join us for GLAA's 43rd anniversary awards reception

Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance
Fighting for equal rights since 1971
P.O. Box 75265, Washington, DC 20013
(202) 667-5139 - [email protected]


March 20, 2014


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change
the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." – Margaret Mead

Dear Friend of GLAA:

A bird just landed on my windowsill and sang a spring greeting. Next month, GLAA will turn 43 years old. No LGBT rights group in America has been active longer. Yet one of our founders, Paul Kuntzler, will be at our awards reception on April 30 at Policy Restaurant and Lounge to give the champagne toast.

Some people ask what there is left to do. The answers are in our policy brief, Building on Victory, the fruit of extensive consultation with activists from across the local community. Building coalitions, developing expertise, and engaging those who make and execute public policy are the best ways to defend LGBT interests—and to ward off interference by Congress, which often treats the District like a plaything.

GLAA’s independent voice continues to be heard through the political tumult. With our 2014 Election Project we have obtained answers from D.C. candidates on a range of LGBT issues. With our allies we won transgender healthcare coverage and worked to improve relations with police. We even shared lessons from our marriage equality victory with local students (for example, my oral history for students at Cesar Chavez Public Charter High School).

In truth, our “seat at the table” is about much more than having an LGBT person in an elected post; our community won and secured that seat in a figurative sense over many decades—not just with advocacy by GLAA and our allies but civic involvement by people like you in neighborhoods all over town.

GLAA’s volunteer approach gives a great return on your activist dollars. Maintaining the policy chops and political savvy to get policies enacted and implemented requires sustained commitment more than money—though we do need support for our expenses. The human element is key; we are eager to reinvigorate it to meet new challenges.

On April 30 at Policy (1904 14th Street NW), please join us for drinks and hors d’oeuvres as we renew our commitment to keeping the flame of LGBT equality and justice alive. We will present Distinguished Service Awards to Jerry Clark, Earl D. Fowlkes, Jr., and Alison Gill. Please RSVP using our anniversary flyer or make your ticket donation via PayPal at http://glaa.org/anniversary/. As Walt Whitman said,


“To Thee, Old Cause!”

Rick Rosendall
President

March 19, 2014

Fischer: government exercises authority delegated by God

AFA's Bryan Fischer is at it again with this loopy explanation of civil authority being derived from God.

Rafael Cruz: 'Sexual orientation is a choice, it’s not a civil right'

The senator's wacky dad has an odd way of showing his love for gay people.

Setting aside the fact that sexual orientation is not a choice (just ask homophobes when they chose to be straight), the notion that something chosen cannot be a civil right is awfully strange coming from people who make a lot of noise about their chosen religion.

Honey Maid 'Wholesome' commercial sets righties quivering

Right Wing Watch reports:

Conservative talk show host Janet Mefferd said yesterday that she will no longer buy Honey Maid’s Graham Crackers because one of their advertisements features a same-sex couple with their child.

Discussing a Huffington Post article on the new ad, Mefferd took issue with Honey Maid’s use of the world “wholesome” to describe same-sex couples.

You can listen to Mefferd's scorn-filled voice below. Or just make a batch of S'mores with the kids and sing campfire songs.

195 Democratic lawmakers urge Obama to sign LGBT executive order

Metro Weekly reports:

Nearly every Democratic member of the Senate and 148 Democratic members of the House of Representatives urged President Barack Obama to sign an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from LGBT workplace discrimination in a letter sent Tuesday.

With the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) having hit a wall in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives after passage in the Senate last year, members of the House and Senate called on Obama “to act now to prevent irrational, taxpayer-funded workplace discrimination against LGBT Americans.”

Please do it, Mr. President.

Ward 1 race heats up

The Blade reports on the race between incumbent Jim Graham and challenger Brianne Nadeau for the Democratic nomination for Ward 1 D.C. Council. By all signs, after four terms Jim is in the fight of his life.

March 18, 2014

Scott Lively, candidate for governor of Massachusetts

I don't think so.

March 16, 2014

Phelps near death

250px-Phelps_vert-4f9c607f59f4c2901340f508a0c75c330210ae1e-s6-c30

Fred Phelps reportedly is on the verge of discovering how wrong he has been. May God show him more mercy than Phelps himself has shown toward God's gay children.

Pardon my bluntness

Graham: 'Importance of openly gay elected officials'

Jim_Graham_insert_c_Washington_Blade_by_Jeff_Surprenant
(Washington Blade file photo by Jeff Surprenant)

Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham has an op-ed in the current issue of the Blade explaining why it's crucial that we keep electing him because he's gay. Or something.

Graham is right that he has not run in the past solely as a gay candidate. That is why I find it peculiar that he is placing such emphasis on the “seat at the table” argument (in this case meaning keeping him in the seat) now that a combination of longevity in office and ethical problems have made him vulnerable. Here he mischaracterizes Mark Lee’s argument in the referenced column, which is something he does a lot. At the Stein Club endorsement forum a few weeks ago, he falsely claimed that GLAA had given him no credit for his long record of service, when in fact we had given him every available record-related point. He also gave the impression that his entire disagreement with GLAA was over ABC reform, a ploy also used by Muriel Bowser at the subsequent Stein mayoral forum. The ploy did not work for either candidate.

Jim does deserve props for his long service. Indeed, GLAA awarded him our hard-to-get championship point for steering to passage the LGBT youth homelessness bill, for which we also gave him a shout-out in our policy brief. But the LGBT community’s seat at the table is about much more than having one of us on the DC Council. It is about hard-earned clout won over decades of smart and sustained advocacy, productive relationships with policy makers, and involvement in our communities all across town. Anti-gay campaigning has been a loser in DC for more than three decades. In race after race here, multiple pro-LGBT candidates are battling for our support, which increasingly hinges on other issues. One such issue in the Ward One race was raised by someone who pointed out that 16 years ago, in his successful first run for the Council, Jim said that incumbent Frank Smith had been in office for 16 years, and that was an awfully long time. Jim is now in his 16th year on the Council. Let him make his best case against his challenger; surely that best case is not that he is gay.

As a voter I care not about who you sleep with, but what you will do on my issues–and Jim disagrees with GLAA on some of our issues. That is his right, but he can hardly blame people for noticing. I note that Brianne Nadeau has a thinner record on LGBT issues, which is reflected in her rating from GLAA being lower than Jim’s. The voters in their wisdom will sort all this out.

March 14, 2014

Primary challenger calls Lindsey Graham 'ambiguously gay'

TPM reports. Personally, I don't see a lot of ambiguity in a guy who started his own rumor about dating Ricky Martin.

Fischer: gay activists have brainwashed people into saying 'yes' to gay marriage

AFA's Bryan Fischer says the truth is always in fashion. And there he sits in his studio, proudly unfashionable.