Friday, October 10, 2014
Contact: Rick Rosendall
The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance has considered new information provided by several D.C. Council candidates in the November 4 general election, and adjusted the rating of each, as shown below. GLAA has a longstanding policy of reserving the right to re-rate candidates based on new information received during the campaign. GLAA ratings are on a scale of -10 to +10. GLAA does not make endorsements in partisan races.
Anita Bonds (Democratic At-Large incumbent, original rating +6, revised rating +7.5) added substance to her questionnaire and provided additional record information. Her recent LGBT-related record includes supporting Council member Cheh's successful effort to obtain nearly $1 million in additional funding for homeless LGBT youth; working with the Dept. of Corrections to institute a program offering voluntary HIV/AIDS/STD testing upon release from DC Jail; supporting legislation that expands the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana; working with Health Committee Chair Alexander to give authority to the Dept. of Health to administer $1.5 million in grants for HIV prevention and intervention programs in FY15; and supporting repeal of Prostitution Free Zones in the Judiciary Committee.
Kishan Putta (Independent At-Large candidate, original rating 0, revised rating +6) agrees with GLAA on nearly all the issues, and offered some substance. His record includes working in planning and executing DC Health Link outreach and enrollment; working to lift the outdated liquor license moratorium on 17th Street, NW; and testifying for the Repeal of Prostitution Free Zones Amendment Act.
Reaching across gulfs of age, gender, faith, nationality and even international celebrity, the Norwegian Nobel Committee on Friday awarded the 2014 peace prize to Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India, joining a teenage Pakistani known around the world with an Indian veteran of campaigns on behalf of children.
At age 17, Ms. Yousafzai is the youngest recipient of the $1.1 million prize since it was created in 1901. Mr. Satyarthi is 60.
A fine bit of news.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a temporary stay Wednesday to the Ninth Circuit's ruling that same-sex marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada are unconstitutional. Later in the day, he lifted the stay on Nevada.
Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed discusses it.
My main reaction is: Hey thanks, Justice Kennedy, for jerking us around. By all means, take your sweet fucking time while thousands of families' lives are up in the air. Would you like more coffee? I just put a fresh pot on. Have another scone.
Update: And now this:
Introducing Law & Order: Civil Forfeiture Unit, starring Jeff Goldblum. This is funny, but the problem is real, and it is appallingly arbitrary and unjust. Police departments are enriching themselves simply by seizing people's cash during stops and keeping the money without charging the people with a crime, based on arbitrary and evidence-free claims like, "No one carries that much cash for an honest purpose."
My Blade column this week looks at the right wing's political exploitation of Ebola. Here's a portion:
Obama Derangement Syndrome spiked again last week over Ebola, after a man from Liberia was diagnosed with the viral disease in Dallas, Texas.
Radio talk show host Laura Ingraham asked, "Why did Obama let the Ebola virus into the U.S.?" Another radio demagogue, Michael Savage, said Obama "wants to infect the nation with Ebola" as part of a war on white people. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said that the American troops being sent to West Africa to help fight the Ebola outbreak are really being sent "to go catch Ebola and die." Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) managed to connect the Dallas Ebola case with ISIS, the IRS, and Benghazi. Fox News host Steve Doocy asked Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Tim Frieden, "Why should we believe you when you're telling us this stuff?" since Frieden works for Obama.
It is difficult enough to confront resurgent diseases without an explosion of unhinged conspiracy mongering.
Update: I note with sorrow that the Dallas patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, has died. May he rest in peace.
Geoffrey Holder, the dancer, choreographer, actor, composer, designer and painter who used his manifold talents to infuse the arts with the flavor of his native West Indies and to put a singular stamp on the American cultural scene, not least with his outsize personality, died on Sunday in Manhattan. He was 84.
Charles M. Mirotznik, a spokesman for the family, said the cause was complications of pneumonia.
Few cultural figures of the last half of the 20th century were as multifaceted as Mr. Holder, and few had a public presence as unmistakable as his, with his gleaming pate atop a 6-foot-6 frame, full-bodied laugh and bassoon of a voice laced with the lilting cadences of the Caribbean.
In the clip above, Holder dances with the original Scarecrow as he receives his Tony for directing The Wiz. Below, a glimpse of his work for Alvin Ailey. May this great artist rest in peace.
The Supreme Court of the United States today declined to hear appeals in marriage equality cases from Oklahoma, Utah, Indiana, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Chris Johnson of the Blade reports.
Gay marriages began in Virginia this afternoon. Today's high court ruling will also mean equality in six other states, which are in the same federal appeals circuit courts as the five directly affected. This will bring the U.S. marriage equality roster to 30 states and the District of Columbia, representing 60 percent of America's population.
We will not be done until all fifty states enjoy equality, but this is an enormous step forward. Justice Ginsburg recently indicated that there was no need for SCOTUS to weigh when all the appellate rulings so far have been for marriage equality. If one of the remaining circuits upholds a state ban on same-sex marriage, that would set up a conflict that SCOTUS needs to resolve.
This is not the end, but it is a very good day. Congrats to everyone in the new marriage equality states.
As Mark Joseph Stern at Slate writes, this Cheerios commercial for Canada, featuring Quebecois parents André and Jonathan and their daughter Raphaëlle, "hits all the right notes." For a major commercial brand to embrace gay families as part of its diverse customer base, in such contrast to Chick-fil-A, is a big deal, as Stern suggests.
(Hat tip: Bob Witeck)
It just doesn't quit. The hate, I mean.
(Hat tip: Right Wing Watch)
From Alabama, an illustration of the grim fact that the struggle for equality for gay families is not over: Defendant-Intervenor Pat Fancher's Motion for Summary Judgment against the husband of her dead son.
If I believed in God, I would pray for her to get boils or something. But I don't, so have a nice day.
As with all Christianist bullies, Mike Huckabee thinks that his religious freedom is being infringed if he cannot impose his beliefs on his fellow citizens.
American drones are not frightening only if you are not living under them. John Oliver of HBO's Last Week Tonight makes it real.
GLAA, while not rating candidates in the race for D.C. Attorney General, invited candidates to submit statements on LGBT issues. The first to respond is Lorie Masters.
We will post statements by the other AG candidates, both here and at GLAA's main website at glaa.org, as we receive them.
The D.C. Council Judiciary Committee today heard testimony on a few bills, including Bill 20-803, "Human Rights Amendment Act of 2014," and Bill 20-321, "Human Rights Act Notice Requirement Amendment Act of 2013." Read our testimony here:
Rick Rosendall's testimony (on Bills 20-803 and 20-321)
Bob Summersgill's testimony (on Bill 20-803 only)
The hearing became much more interesting that it might have been because an attorney for Catholic University testified against Bill 20-803's repeal of the Armstrong Amendment, which was imposed by Congress on the District 25 years ago and permits religiously-affiliated educational institutions to discriminate against gay people. Mónica Palacio, Director of the D.C. Office of Human Rights, testified in support of the legislation.
Julia Robey Christian, communications director for Judiciary Chairman Tommy Wells, tweeted praise for my comments during the question-and-answer session:
Debate brilliantly framed by @RickRosendall: "I will not tolerate my own rights if they infringe on those of my neighbor"— Julia RobeyChristian (@capitolhilldc) September 29, 2014
BBC News reports from Hong Kong:
The BBC's Carrie Gracie reports from the heart of the protest. Hong Kong police have used tear gas to disperse thousands of pro-democracy protesters near the government complex, after a week of escalating tensions. Dozens of demonstrators were arrested, with hundreds remaining in the city centre late on Sunday.
Above, AFER's Matt Baume discusses the marriage equality issue that was on the agenda for this morning's meeting of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices. NYT reports:
The endgame started Monday morning. At their first private conference of the term, the justices were scheduled to consider, among many other things, seven petitions urging them to hear appeals from decisions striking down bans on same-sex marriage.
In an unusual move, the same-sex couples on the winning side of those cases joined their adversaries in asking the Supreme Court to settle the question, nationally and once and for all.
The justices face complicated choices about which case to accept, and when. They could announce their choices as soon as this week and hear arguments as soon as January.
Or they could sort and sift and wait for other courts to rule. The last time the court heard cases on same-sex marriage, in 2013, they were argued in March. The last argument session of the term is in April.
Lambda Legal blogged before the SCOTUS conference here.
A friend on Facebook posted this story from a conservative blog and commented, "What you don't want to know, but need to..." Follow the link if you want to see the photo, as I will not.
Speaking of what we don't want to hear but need to know, shall we keep track of the number of Christian babies crushed by ISIS as well as the number of babies and children of all faiths killed by American bombs? There are many horrors in the world. Are we obligated to go to war over each one? The fact is American warfare has made the Mideast less stable, not more. We must not allow ourselves to be stampeded. That is not just my opinion; it is what every damn one of you knows to be true. The neocons refuse to learn any lessons from the past decade. For God's sake, let us not emulate them.
Media Matters shares this. Here's the transcript:
BOLLING: A personal comment before we go to break. Earlier this week I made a comment that was wholly inappropriate, and I apologize for it. The comment became during K. G.'s One More Thing honoring UAE bomber pilot Major Miriam al-Mansouri, who bombed ISIS. My remark was not intended to be disparaging of her, but that's how it was taken. I should have known better and used better judgment.
Yesterday I made an apology on this show, but it was inadequate. Fox News has received letters from viewers including from women in the military, and I have taken them to heart. Therefore, let me speak clearly and sincerely. I'm sorry for what I said, I believe that Major al-Mansouri is a hero, she's courageous, brave, and she deserves our praise, not inappropriate jokes. I appreciate that she is fighting the extreme radicals that threaten all of us. She has my admiration and my very, very sincere gratitude.
He didn't mean to offend. Pardon me, but fuck you, Mr. Bolling. Some men will die before they honestly confront their male privilege and disrespect of women.
President Obama, in demolishing a Fox News reporter's loaded question on his allegedly weak foreign policy, shows that he agrees with me on the unwisdom of launching another ground war in the Middle East. As he notes, his critics say they don't want a ground war either. So what DO they want? Other than wanting him to fail, that is.
(Hat tip: Ronald King)
When Sarah Palin spoke Friday afternoon at the Values Voter Summit, she referred to the address of the White House as 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue. I suppose she could have been referring to the Commerce Department, which is on that block, though its address is 1401 Constitution Avenue. On the other hand, there is plenty of space there, and I am sure special arrangements can be made if she is determined to move to 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Of course, there is also 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, just steps from the Metro, as the realtors say. And she can see the Capitol from the roof.
Will Sommer at City Paper gives GLAA our props (see article) as he looks at the dilemma faced by the 57 percent of voters who are undecided in the upcoming election for D.C. Attorney General:
After nearly a year of legal and legislative wrangling, residents will get what they asked for in a 2010 ballot measure—they’ll vote for the District’s first elected attorney general in November. Next up: figuring out what the District’s first elected attorney general will actually do.
Our friend Ernest Hopkins, San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s director of legislative affairs, writes (on FB):
Participating in the first ever White House sponsored Summit on HIV/AIDS in Gay and Bisexual Men. It's hard to believe that such a meeting has never occurred but I am pleased to be representing the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the National Black Gay Men's Advocacy Coalition (NBGMAC) in a solution oriented day of action that hopefully will reintegrate HIV into the policy agenda of the LGBT advocacy community. HIV/AIDS continues to take a disastrous toll on the well being of the LGBT community, especially the low income who face a myriad of social determinants that drive poor health outcomes and among young Black gay men. If HIV advocates and public health officials are truly going to drive rates of new HIV infections towards zero, our public and private health and social justice institutions must focus on the health and well being of gay and bisexual men. I look forward to a day of tough talk that leads to actions that can be achieved during the Obama Administration.
Derek Jeter wins the game with a walk-off single in his final at-bat in Yankee Stadium. As he hugged his teammates, several past greats waited to greet him: Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez and former manager Joe Torre. Below, Derek walks off the field for the last time. (Meanwhile, the New York Giants beat the Washington Football team.)
Hunted: The War Against Gays in Russia premieres Monday, October 6 at 9PM, only on HBO.
A compilation by Media Matters for America.
Joel Baden and Candida Moss at Slate report.
Here are several reports, blogs, and tweets about Thursday's big news from Washington.
Talking Points Memo:
Libertarian Think Tank Removes Piece Comparing Eric Holder To George Wallace
Blue Nation Review:
Eric Holder’s Greatest Achievements
AG Eric Holder, LGBT Rights Hero, To Resign:
And from Steve Clemons of The Atlantic:
Yet another example of (1) the boneheaded recklessness of some cops, and (2) the value of dash cams. The ghost of Oscar Grant, on the platform at Fruitvale Station, is in the room.
NFL Player Devon Still gives his daughter a pep talk before her cancer surgery. Watching this did my heart a lot of good. (Follow link for video.)
Update: "After a 5hr 50min surgery the surgeon was able to remove ALL of her tumor and all of her lymph nodes and her right adrenal gland where it all started from."
Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed has the story.
It's baseball playoff season, and what could be cuter than an armful of bats?
Former Providence mayor Buddy Cianci is in the Rhode Island state Supreme Court over his having ordered a couple of firefighters years ago to drive a firetruck in a gay pride parade. Call out the waaambulance for these guys.
Missed this a few days ago. Ishaan Tharoor of WaPo reports from Cape Town.
From September 16, the Washington Nationals clinching the 2014 NL East division title. Go Nats!