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June 24, 2015

Feds Order Federal Employee Health Plans To Cover Transgender Health Services

Our friend Dana Beyer writes on Facebook:

Good story by Geidner on the continuing progress towards trans equality in the administration. We're now at the stage where muscle needs to enforce the words as they're being clarified.

June 28 - Sir Derek and Sirina are NYC Pride grand marshals

That these two are among the most distinguished actors working in our language makes this almost surreal, in the happiest possible way. Kiss kiss.

June 23, 2015

Obama: Gay rights is one of the 'big hits' of my presidency

Kameny inducted into Labor Hall of Honor

On Tuesday I joined hundreds of other LGBT activists and federal employees at the U.S. Department of Labor for the induction of our late colleague and gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny into the Labor Hall of Honor. It was very gratifying to witness this well-earned recognition. Frank's fellow Mattachine Society of Washington veteran Paul Kuntzler, a co-founder of GLAA, was in attendance and received a standing ovation from the capacity crowd. Thanks to the staff at DOL for the gracious ceremony, including Labor Secretary Tom Perez, as well as Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton.

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(Photo of Rick Rosendall by Michael Beer)

#EqualDreams

From Esurance.

Gays set America on fire!

Right Wing Watch shares this video featuring Mike Huckabee. Put down those matches!

A look at calls to remove confederate symbols across the South

McAuliffe orders Confederate flag off Virginia license plates

June 22, 2015

@deray responds to his critics

DeRay Mckesson is, in my opinion, one of the most gifted young activists in our country. I began to follow him last summer when his voice emerged during the street protests in Ferguson, Missouri. Here he puts his trolls (whose attacks on him are a backhanded tribute to him) in their place.

Justice Kagan's Spider-Man opinion

A Donald Trump Piñata

I couldn't resist that headline.

Meanwhile, near Red Square

Feel free to send us your Wilde-style quips.

Dear Kennedy Center, take down those treasonous banners!

Hey, folks, why not ask the Kennedy Center to remove all treasonous banners from its Hall of States?

I'm just trying to start some trouble.

Get the smelling salts! President Obama said the n-word!

The president's remarks were entirely appropriate, as far as I am concerned. I do wonder if @POTUS and @Pontifex (AKA Pope Francis) are in a competition over who can stir up more controversy just by speaking truth.

"Meet the Press" under fire for racist video

I have avoided watching MTP since Chuck Todd was given the spot. I haven't felt the absence.

A humane way to end life

WaPo makes the case for D.C. Council member Mary Cheh's Death with Dignity Act of 2015, Bill 21-38, which GLAA endorses.

Strange pew mates

Activist DeRay Mckesson found himself sitting next to former senator Rick Santorum on Sunday in Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston at the first service since the massacre of nine people at last Wednesday's Bible Study. Speaking of which, here's a tweet from DeRay:

And this:

White supremacist cited in Dylann Roof manifesto gave to GOP candidates

June 21, 2015

Hillary Clinton at her best

I have heard Mrs. Clinton speak this well once before, when she went to Geneva as our Secretary of State to announce an LGBT global initiative. Here she is in San Francisco talking to the 2015 U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Clementa C. Pinckney, 1973 - 2015

The Senator from Jasper spoke recently about the murder of Walter Scott, of Doubting Thomases, and of the need for body cameras on police. The pleasure of listening to this gifted speaker is now mixed with sorrow, compounded on this Father's Day by the thought of his widow Jennifer and his daughters Malana and Eliana. His chair at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church was draped in black today. Yet still he speaks. Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

June 19, 2015

Android: And Proud

Another commercial for Pride Month.

Tylenol commercial celebrates gay families

My, how times have changed.

'Relentlessly gay' yard owner gets $34K from strangers

Jeffrey Tambor HATES Frozen Bananas

Please stop sending Jeffrey Tambor frozen bananas.

An awesome display of faith amid grief

It was awesome and humbling today to hear the families of the murdered church folk in Charleston expressing forgiveness at Dylann Roof's bond hearing. There is no better display of a community's unconquerable strength than these people, in their grief, reaching into the heart of their faith as they spoke to a young mass killer twisted by evil and made it clear that despite their bottomless sorrow, he could not defeat them.

June 18, 2015

Rev. Clementa Pinckney talks about black political participation

It is bracing and heartbreaking to see this beautiful, great-spirited man and hear him speak on how essential it is for black people to participate in the political system. Now martyred, he speaks more loudly than before.

Ta-Nehisi Coates: Take down the Confederate Flag. Now.

Ta-Nehisi is right.

Clarence Thomas upholds Texas's right to bar Confederate flag on license plates

Every once in a while, Justice Thomas rediscovers his soul and does the right thing.

Federal GLOBE founder Len Hirsch dies at 59

This is very sad news of our colleague and friend. Former GLAA president Craig Howell writes, "A real loss, coming so close on the heels of the death of his partner Kristian Fouchald." May Len and Kristian both rest in peace.

9 people including pastor killed by white gunman in historic Charleston church

R.I.P. Rev. Clementa Pinckney of historic Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston and the other eight victims of this act of domestic terrorism. ‪#‎StopHate‬

June 16, 2015

RBG says 'the climate of the era' favors gay rights

At 51:00 in this interview, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg discusses how "the climate of the era" affects Supreme Court rulings, and cites gay rights as one example. Any day now we can stop looking for hints and read the court's decision for ourselves.

New Ways addresses pope’s message of ‘complementarity’

O-POPE-FRANCIS-facebook
(Photo by Associated Press)

Francis DeBernardo at New Ways Ministry writes:

Pope Francis supported heterosexual complementarity in a speech on Sunday given to 25,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square for a pastoral conference for the Diocese of Rome.

Though he did not mention lesbian and gay couples, the timing of the speech seemed significant to some since it came a day after tens of thousands of people marched through the streets of the Eternal City to celebrate LGBT Pride and to call for marriage equality in Italy....

It has become part of Francis’ rhetorical style not to criticize lesbian and gay couples directly, but to indirectly cast judgement on them by effusively praising heterosexual complementarity. Yet, his remarks cast aspersions on more than lesbian and gay couples. In praising heterosexual complementarity as the preferred norm for marriage and child-rearing, he is also sending harmful messages to those in heterosexual marriages where abuse occurs, as well as to single-parent families.

Francis’ remark that gender differences are “an integral part of being human” ignores the fact that decades of scientific and social scientific research has shown that what people consider “natural” gender differences are actually the result of cultural biases and stereotypes.

As GayChristian101 points out, the idea of complementarity comes from Plato, who included same-sex couples.

Vatican indicts ex-ambassador for sex abuse

It's about time.

A reading on torture with Helen Mirren

King John and Magna Carta

This reminds me of a scene from The Lion in Winter:

John: My God, if I went up in flames, there’s not a living soul who’d pee on me to put the fire out.

Richard: Let’s strike a flint and see.

A fun night at Chef's Best

Savada-Stevenson table Chefs Best 2015

The 25th anniversary Chef's Best was held Monday evening at the Marriott Marquis. I was a guest of my friends Alan Savada and Will Stevenson. Here's a picture of our table. The whole thing was a bit chaotic, but was a lot of fun and we had some wonderful food. One highlight was a small plate of cookies from pastry chef Peter Brett. Also the lobster mac and cheese, but I forget who that was from. And there was a tasty shrimp and corn salad, and the most incredible deviled eggs, and....

The event was a fundraiser for Food & Friends, which is expanding to serve people with diabetes.

Michael Sam left the Montreal Alouettes because 'he wanted to go home'

This is sad and makes no sense.

Guam Archbishop: Marriage Equality the 'Road to a Totalitarian System'

For a Roman Catholic archbishop to stoke fears of totalitarianism is pretty rich, the idiocy of the remark aside.

June 15, 2015

We have a winner!

AllYourFault

We've done the drawing from the entries submitted at GLAA's booth at the Capital Pride Festival, and the prize winner is local activist Joseph Martin of Petworth, who serves on Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4C. He will receive the Bruce Weber art photography book, The Chop Suey Club, which was donated anonymously. Joe's "apology" was for "bad make-up and not coming out before 6 years old."

Check out the "apology" ideas we provided at our booth.

For more on our theme for this year's pride booth, see this GLAA Forum post. I also wrote about the right wing's habit of blaming LGBT folk for all manner of ills in a Blade column last month titled, "Backlash, Bullies, and Victory Blindness."

Thanks to all who participated. We may post some of the other "apologies" once we've had a chance to go through them all. Thanks also to those who volunteered at our booth.

On a more serious note, check out our Pride Update 2015, titled "The To-Do List." And enjoy the rest of Pride Month.

Magna Carta at 800

Sarah Lyall at NYT discusses the enduring legacy of the great British document.