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September 28, 2014

Obama defends his foreign policy

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)

September 26, 2014

Palin: truth an endangered species #At1400Pennsylvania

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.

Loose Lips: What does the DC AG do?

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.

Summit on HIV/AIDS in Gay and Bisexual Men

ErnestHopkins

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.

Storybook ending

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.)

September 25, 2014

HBO trailer: The War Against Gays in Russia

Hunted: The War Against Gays in Russia premieres Monday, October 6 at 9PM, only on HBO.

The Worst Right-Wing Smears About Eric Holder

A compilation by Media Matters for America.

Krauthammer: 'Let me just say as a layman … Obama is clearly a narcissist.'

Colbert skewers Charles Krauthammer.

The Catholic Church makes life impossible for infertile women

Joel Baden and Candida Moss at Slate report.

AG Eric Holder resigns

Here are several reports, blogs, and tweets about Thursday's big news from Washington.

From NYT:
Eric Holder Resigns, Setting Up Fight Over Successor

Talking Points Memo:
Libertarian Think Tank Removes Piece Comparing Eric Holder To George Wallace

Blue Nation Review:
Eric Holder’s Greatest Achievements

Bilerico:
AG Eric Holder, LGBT Rights Hero, To Resign:

And from Steve Clemons of The Atlantic:

"Why did you shoot me?"

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.

Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still's daughter has tumor removed

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."

The Lesbian Who Could Be The Next U.S. Attorney General

Jenny_Durkan
(U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan of Seattle. Photo: AP/Ted S. Warren)

Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed has the story.

Jimmy Carter on gay rights

September 24, 2014

Why people use aliases on Facebook

MyNameIs

Change your uninformed policy, Facebook. #MyNameIs

(Hat tip: David da Silva Cornell)

Cute little baby bats

It's baseball playoff season, and what could be cuter than an armful of bats?

RI Supreme Court hears case on firefighters objecting to parade duty

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.

A gay-friendly mosque opens in South Africa

Missed this a few days ago. Ishaan Tharoor of WaPo reports from Cape Town.

While we're on baseball

From September 16, the Washington Nationals clinching the 2014 NL East division title. Go Nats!

Made in New York

Gatorade and Derek Jeter make a classic.

HRC: 10 things you might not have known about FRC

A report from the Human Rights Campaign about the Family Research Council.

Crazy Eyes: "Phyllis Schlafly Is My Heroine"

I find that after about 20 seconds, I can filter out Michele Bachmann and just listen to Pachelbel.

Seriously, this is what the right wing media is obsessed about

I guess the one below was better.

Bush_dog_salute

Who says there's no good news?

I am delighted to hear this news of a sequel. On the other hand, what could possibly outdo this reading by Samuel L. Jackson?

Trust me on this one

Very funny.

(Hat tip: Joel Lawson)

A tale of two rallies

Climate Progress

From Climate Progress.

(Hat tip: Rand Hoch)

Sims: PA Doesn't Protect LGBT Citizens

Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims rages at his colleagues over the state's failure to protect its LGBT citizens from discrimination.

Also, BuzzFeed reports that State Sen. Jim Ferlo came out at the same rally.

Debunking The Top Five Myths About LGBT Non-Discrimination Laws

Carlos Maza at Media Matters debunks myths about anti-discrimination laws.

Michigan nuns to re-examine policy that led to gay teacher firing

Lancing State Journal reports:

The congregation of Catholic nuns that operates Marian High School have signaled they will re-examine policies that led to the controversial firing of a gay teacher who said she was let go because of her nontraditional pregnancy.

Well that's a start.

Leo at the UN: the urgency of addressing global climate change

Leonardo DiCaprio's opening remarks at the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit in New York City.

September 23, 2014

Scaring up another war

Armed_forces_in_Iraq_-_January_2008

My first column in my new perch at the Washington Blade is on America's latest Mideast war: How often do we have to respond to distant problems by charging in and making things worse before we bloody well stop doing it?

Also, Blade editor Kevin Naff graciously welcomes me to the Blade's list of opinion writers. As I start this new professional relationship, I want to thank Metro Weekly and editor Randy Shulman for giving my work a home for so many years.

D.C. concealed carry bill opposed by California pro-gun group

DCist reports.

Artie Raslich, whale photographer

Whale in NY waters

Ian Frazier in the Sep. 29 issue of The New Yorker writes about photographer Artie Raslich of East Rockaway, who took the wonderful photo above.

Philadelphia police wrapping up investigation into attack on gay couple

Aubrey Whelan and Mike Newall at The Philadelphia Inquirer report:

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said Monday that the department has concluded its investigation into a Center City assault that left a gay couple seriously injured - and that the District Attorney's Office is now reviewing the case.

"We feel that there is sufficient evidence to have charges placed against some of the individuals there," Ramsey said in an interview.

As prosecutors review differing accounts of the Sept. 11 incident, the case has spurred calls for changes to the state's hate-crime statute, which does not cover crimes motivated by sexual orientation.

On Monday, Ramsey also said he supports modifying the state law, which he said "needs to change, and change very quickly."

Ramsay is D.C.'s former police chief. He received GLAA's Distinguished Service Award from Frank Kameny in 2007.

Tel Aviv party organizers slammed for ISIS spoof

Ynet News reports:

Drek – one of Tel Aviv's most popular gay party organizers – has inspired a massive wave of criticism and anger online after using imagery inspired by the Islamic State group's executions on a number of posters promoting the club's parties.

Here are a couple of the offending images.

Drek poster 1

Drek poster 2

It does seem in dreadful taste. But dark humor generally is. As I do not live in the Middle East, I am not inclined to judge the Drek promoters too harshly.

Klayman proposes nuking ISIS

Larry Klayman at right-wing site World Net Daily thinks nuclear weapons are the best way to deal with ISIS. Because sanity sometimes gets in the way of fun.

Chad considers criminalizing homosexuality

Pink News reports.

Catholics: Antigay Leaders Get Boot, a Progressive Becomes American Archbishop

The Advocate has some good news from Pope Francis.

A small flap over GLAA's ratings

GLAA issued its ratings last week for candidates in the Nov. 4 general election for D.C. mayor and several council seats. The Blade and City Paper reported.

Kris Hammond, Republican candidate for D.C. Council Chairman, posted comments below both stories. Here's his comment to City Paper:

In fairness to the many candidates who "didn't return the questionnaires at all," most of us never received the questionnaire. Many of the independent candidates and all of the major party candidates who were appointed after the April 1 primary never had an opportunity. My understanding is that GLAA is giving such candidates an opportunity to contribute after the fact, but this news cycle will be past.

As an aside, Democrat Phil Mendelson and I agree on LGBTQ issues-- I wish this bipartisan consensus existed at the national level.

Here is my reply:

Kris Hammond is incorrect in saying that “many of the independent candidates” never received a GLAA questionnaire. We sent questionnaires to all independent candidates listed by the Board of Elections. Most responded to us. In our ratings meeting for the general election cycle, we focused on independent candidates, having dealt with the major party candidates (Democratic, Libertarian, Statehood-Green, Republican) in the primary. Muriel Bowser, as the Democratic nominee for Mayor, chose to submit a new response, so we evaluated that as well.

The fact that some party candidates were recruited after the primary was something we initially overlooked. We have since reached out to everyone on the ballot that we haven’t heard from for whatever reason and invited them to respond. As to the news cycle being over, there are plenty more news cycles. We will announce our new ratings to the same member list and the same press list, as well as post the ratings on our website and include them in our planned ratings ad (which is still a month away). The handful of candidates being rated late have a better chance of receiving bloggers’ attention than had they gotten lost in the crowd of the first story. And I will tweet a link to each new questionnaire as we receive it. Surely this is more than fair on the part of volunteer activists.

Regarding At-Large Republican candidate Marc Morgan, I tried more than once to reach him during the primary season, and sent him the same email I sent other primary candidates. He recently told me that he intentionally waited for the general election. We await his submission. As for Independent At-Large candidates Khalid Pitts and Kishan Putta, we sent them the same invitation we sent other independent candidates. We have since received a response from Pitts, which we are evaluating. We would welcome a response from Putta as well, which we have communicated by (another) email.

GLAA is non-partisan and does not make endorsements in partisan races. We rate candidates based on their records and answers on our issues. Our questions are drawn from our policy brief, which was published in two formats on our website at glaa dot org on January 3, and which was provided to candidates along with the questionnaire–thus making the questionnaire an open-book test. We go through this process for the purpose of educating both candidates and the public, as well as being a resource for reporters, legislative staff, opinion makers, and other activists on LGBT issues. We appreciate the interest.

Louisiana judge rules in favor of the freedom to marry, 40th victory since June ‘13

Adam Polaski has the story at Freedom to Marry.

Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed follows up: