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GLAA is pleased to offer an online site for discussion of affairs that affect the quality of life of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities of the District of Columbia. Through this social networking media GLAA aspires to connect to new generations of LGBT advocates and straight allies and to strengthen our organization's abilities to communicate and broadcast to a broad and diverse population.

We warmly invite you to join us at our regularly scheduled membership meetings, held the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month. Please visit www.glaa.org for a list of meeting dates and locations and other important information regarding our group's mission and projects.

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GLAA is an all volunteer organisation. Our expenses are paid by our yearly Awards Banquet and by membership dues and contributions. If you would like to join GLAA this can be done through PayPal or through our membership form.

March 05, 2015

Focus on the Family: We are a Christian Nation

CitizenLink, founded by Focus on the Family, offers this video purporting to prove that America's founders viewed this as a Christian nation. Never mind the First Amendment's opening words, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." They provide quotes from several Founders, the first of which is lexicographer Noah Webster, who was all of 17 on July 4, 1776. Setting that goof aside, they treat any positive reference to God by our forebears as proving that this is a Christian nation, which is not at all the case. And the Founders were by no means fundamentalists. Today's religious bullies would hardly recognize Deists as Christians at all.

Ben Carson blames the media

Ben Carson tells Sean Hannity that his anti-gay comments were somehow the media's fault, and said he's not going to talk about gay rights any more. Sure.

March 04, 2015

Cal Thomas: gay marriage is a sign of the End Times

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(Photo credit: Liberty University)

Michelangelo Signorile went on the prowl at CPAC last weekend, and got some fun revelations from right-wing columnist Cal Thomas. I hadn't checked in with Cal in a while, but he seems even crazier than he was thirty years ago. Here's a sample:

“If you read the Scriptures, as I do, in both testaments all of these things are forecast in prophesies, in the book of Daniel and what Jesus and Paul said, so I'm not worried about it,” Thomas continued, describing his surprising reaction to the Supreme Court possibly ruling in favor of marriage equality. “I say everything is right on schedule. I’m trying to shore up my own family first and, hopefully, that will be an example to other people… If you look at not only what Jesus said, but Paul the Apostle, about what things would be like in the end times, people will be lovers of lies rather than the truth. They will elevate things that are called abomination in scripture to normality… All of the prophesies up to the final ones have come true. And that’s why I say that everything is right on schedule.”

House of Bricks

From Sesame Street, the three little pigs take on Frank Underwolf. Frankly, I liked this better than what I binge-watched on Netflix last weekend.

Pat Robertson tells how to cast out your own demons

A demon tricked me into blogging this.

Demonic raisins, I rebuke thee!

For another approach, see Georgina and Esther below.

SCOTUSblog reports on oral arguments in ACA case

Meanwhile, lots of people mistakenly think the blog is part of the Court.

Trans woman named head of MPD Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit

Congrats to Sgt. Jessica Hawkins.

David Koch supports marriage equality

The incongruities in the political alliance between the social right and plutocrats are illustrated in this report from Politico.

Holder discusses DOJ Ferguson investigation findings

The U.S. Department of Justice has released its investigation of the Ferguson Police Department. The report contains some terribly disturbing material.

At the same time, DOJ announced it is not charging Officer Darren Wilson for violating Michael Brown's civil rights. So a damning report, but a killer goes scot-free. We shake our heads. The long struggle for justice continues.

March 03, 2015

Alabama Supreme Court tries to countermand federal court ruling

This attempt at nullification will not last long. For more, check out @ChrisGeidner on Twitter.

March 02, 2015

David Benham's baseball cure (for the thing that makes Jesus puke)

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(Photo of David Benham - screenshot from The Blaze)

Anti-gay crusader David Benham testifies:

We had so many people from the gay community reaching out to us and one man in particular from the city of Chicago reached out -- and he said things to me that made me lose my appetite. But I simply responded in love.

After a little conversation back and forth, I found out he loved baseball... and I got him tickets to a Cubs game. He shot me a Facebook post and said, 'I was not expecting that -- and I've been thinking a lot about this. I've chosen to walk away from my lifestyle'... What God needs most is a simple voice for truth.

OMG, I am sorely beset by homosexual demons. Quick, someone send me season tickets to the Nats to drive them out! I promise not to stare at the players' butts!

(Hat tip: John M. Becker at Bilerico)

HRC: maps of state laws and policies

As nationwide marriage equality nears, the focus increasingly turns to the state of LGBT-related laws and policies in the states. DC is in the top rank, with most of the boxes checked. There is much more work to be done in many states.

Marriage equality wins in Nebraska

Carly Fiorina as the GOP answer to Hillary Clinton? Please.

Carly_Fiorina

Just saw this absurd month-old piece touting Carly Fiorina as the GOP answer to Hillary Clinton. This is the sneering fraud who ran Hewlett-Packard into the ground before exiting with a golden parachute ten years ago, and five years ago ran for Senate with the notoriously idiotic "demon sheep" ad. Republican voters have done a lot worse, the article says. This fails the laugh test.

March 01, 2015

They met on Grindr at CPAC

Ah, the homocons and their privileged play in the gardens of the oppressor.

She'll Be Back: deleted Sondheim song for Streep in Into the Woods

Above, a song that Stephen Sondheim wrote for Meryl Streep's witch for the film version of Into the Woods, and which was filmed before the creative team ultimately decided the movie worked better without it.

Nowadays, these bits from the cutting room floor can be preserved as Extras on DVDs of movies. In the past, such deleted material was usually lost. Thus we will never see the gay kiss between James Dean and Sal Mineo in the 1955 Rebel Without a Cause, nor the portion of To Kill a Mockingbird involving Jem and Mrs. DuBose.

Thanks to Craig Howell for sharing this. As he notes, "It sounds very Sondheim."

February 27, 2015

Rights groups thank Reid, Pelosi for opposing use of religion to discriminate

Today, 77 rights organizations sent a letter to Democratic Leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to thank them for opposing the use of religion to discriminate. GLAA is proud to be among them. The letter was coordinated by the Inter-Coalition Religious Refusals Working Group of the National Women’s Law Center. The text is as follows:

Dear Minority Leader Pelosi and Minority Leader Reid:

The undersigned organizations have come together to thank you for your strong stand protecting people from those who would misuse religion to harm others. Your continued leadership is critical to stopping any new legislative initiatives in this area in the 114th Congress. In fact, Congress has begun to consider these issues already, with a House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee for the Constitution and Civil Justice Hearing on “Oversight of the Religious Freedom Restoration Action and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act” on February 13, 2015.

The groups that have signed onto this letter include those working on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities; women; communities of color; youth; reproductive health; individuals facing issues around aging and end of life concerns; health care; people of faith and religious communities; secular beliefs; religious liberty; civil rights; labor; those affected by domestic violence; those living with HIV/AIDS; and a variety of other issues. Together, we represent many millions of Americans across this country.

Our nation’s laws have long protected the freedom of religion and belief – but not the right to impose those beliefs on others. The American people agree; 83 percent of adults believe that “people are entitled to their religious beliefs, but this does not give them the right to harm other people.”

The 77 organizations that have signed this letter, despite our different missions, hold in common the core principle that religion should not be used to discriminate. We thank you for doing the same. We, and the many millions of people we represent, stand with you in opposing any efforts to pass legislation that would allow religion to be misused in this way.

Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015

Actor Leonard Nimoy has died at age 83. Above is a collection of clips from his banter with the late actor DeForest Kelley on the original Star Trek series. May he rest in peace.

February 26, 2015

Hate pastor James David Manning protests too much

Harlem-based anti-gay loon James David Manning, who claims to be a Christian pastor but displays not the slightest comprehension of the teachings of Christ, is even more unhinged than usual in the above clip.

Manning's obsession with homosexuality may be explained by the video below from the David Pakman Show. At about 12:20, Manning says that in his twenties in prison he was tempted to have sexual intercourse with a sodomite. This is right after he insists that Starbucks puts gay semen in its coffee. (I'm not kidding.)

This, I submit to you, is another example of Rosendall's Law, which states:

Whenever any person displays vehement and obsessive hostility toward gay rights, it shall be a rebuttable presumption that he or she has unresolved personal issues such as repressed homosexuality, an estranged gay spouse, or a gay child.

Stand with Mayor Bowser to defend #i71 - now the law in D.C.

NBC Washington reports:

Possessing small amounts of marijuana is now legal in the nation's capital, even after some members of Congress threatened prison time for D.C. Council members.

February 25, 2015

April 23 - GLAA to present Distinguished Service Awards at 44th anniversary reception

Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC
P.O. Box 75265
Washington, D.C. 20013

For Release:
Friday, February 20, 2015

Contact: Rick Rosendall
(202) 328-6278

GLAA Announces 2015 Distinguished Service Awards

The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C., is pleased to announce its 2015 Distinguished Service Award recipients. GLAA presents awards to local individuals and organizations that have served the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in the national capital area. The awards will be presented at GLAA’s 44th Anniversary Reception on Thursday, April 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Policy Restaurant and Lounge at 1904 14th Street, NW (at T Street). Tickets are $55 and can be purchased at http://www.glaa.org/anniversary/ or calling (202) 667-5139; a range of donor levels is also available.

GLAA’s 2015 Distinguished Service Award recipients are:

  • Chuck Hicks
  • Alexandra Andrea Beninda
  • Anne Phelps

Continue reading "April 23 - GLAA to present Distinguished Service Awards at 44th anniversary reception" »

February 24, 2015

Trigger Warnings and Twitter Wars

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My column this week looks at clashes over gender politics that are testing the civil rights community. Here is an excerpt:

For years, some radical feminists have vociferously opposed transgender people. An example is Janice Raymond, a lesbian ex-nun who wrote in her 1979 book, The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male, that trans women, whom she regarded as male predators, were the "avant garde of the patriarchy invading women's spaces." As a liberal feminist and a supporter of trans equality, I very much disagree with Dr. Raymond. Dana Beyer, executive director of Gender Rights Maryland, explains, "[G]ender identity (the sex of one's brain) drives trans persons to transition, regardless of genital anatomy."

For the LGBT advocates with whom I work in Washington, D.C., that ship has sailed. We do not sit around discussing gender theory. We take it as a given that trans people are citizens entitled to equal protection. We work in coalition to ensure that the "T" is included in legislation, data gathering, and public services (and D.C. is among the top states in the Human Rights Campaign's State Equality Index). Science is on our side: the American Psychiatric Association declassified transgender identity as a disorder in 2012, as it did homosexuality in 1973.

For some, this is not enough. There is a movement to "no-platform" trans-excluding radical feminists (TERFs), that is to bar them from campuses and deny them a platform for their views. This is part of a broader and distinctly illiberal trend whereby universities are seen not as centers for the robust exchange of ideas, but as frightening places full of triggers and micro aggressions....

Read the whole thing here.

National Review executive editor Reihan Salam signs marriage equality statement

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(Photo by Kris Krug)

Reihan Salam, executive editor at the conservative National Review, has signed a statement drafted by David Blankenhorn that makes the conservative case for marriage equality.

I first encountered Salam when he worked for Andrew Sullivan's blog, so I sent Andrew a congratulatory note. He replies, "Reihan was my first intern. love the guy."

The ground has certainly shifted. Hooray for us.

Not OK: bill to protect parents' right to torture gay children advances in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern's bill to prohibit the state from regulating dangerous and discredited "ex-gay" therapy was approved by an Oklahoma House committee.

GLAA's testimony against conversion therapy is here.

Discriminatory Washington state florist chooses martyrdom over $2001 settlement

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(Photo: Alliance Defending Freedom)

The Blaze reports.

If the discriminators are the victims here, then erase my life.

'Glory' sales surge after Oscar win

Billboard reports:

Common and John Legend's "Glory" is basking in the glow of its Academy Award win for best original song on Feb. 22, and is on course for big sales gains in the wake of the Oscars.

A small comfort for a film unjustly snubbed.

February 23, 2015

Anti-gay #SB202 becomes law in Arkansas

Michael Sam signs with Dancing with the Stars

Recently Sam said he would continue to pursue his dreams of playing with the NFL. Someone asked if this latest news means a change to that. Don't know. We'll have to see.

Lady Gaga shows her musical chops

Lady Gaga's performance of a medley from The Sound of Music in tribute to Julie Andrews at the Oscars on Sunday night was the introduction for a lot of people to her musical talent. Behind the meat dress, the bubble dress, and assorted other theatrics, she is an accomplished musician. Then the surprise entrance by Julie Andrews herself put icing on the cake. (BTW, Gaga transposed into a lower key during "Climb Every Mountain. The pipes Andrews had cannot be replicated in most mortals.)

SecDef Carter supports openly trans servicemembers

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(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Michael K. Lavers at the Blade reports. President Obama has endorsed Secretary Carter's statement.

U.S. names new LGBT rights envoy

D.C. drag community mourns Mame Dennis

Pier9-dc-donnculver-mamedennis
(Mame Dennis and Donn Culver at Pier 9. Photo by Rob Moore/Discomusic.com)

One of the longtime mainstays of Washington's drag community has died. Rest in peace.

Labor secretary announces same-sex couples will have access to FMLA

Labor Secretary Tom Perez announces a rule making to ensure access to the Family And Medical Leave Act for same-sex couples.

Murder of lawyer in D.C. hotel prompts concern among LGBT activists

Lou Chibbaro of the Blade reports on the David Messerschmitt murder at the Donovan Hotel.

February 22, 2015

Celebrities defend gay rights in Ghana

February 20, 2015

Texas Supreme Court: no more gay weddings

Travis County Clerk Dana Debeauvoir stated:

The Texas Supreme Court order on the Motion for Temporary Relief has stayed further proceedings in the trial court, and is not directed at the County Clerk. I have every reason to believe that the actions I took this morning were legally correct based on the trial court's order, and that the license my office issued was then and is now valid. There is no further action for me to take at this time.

Matt Baume explains the bakery wars

AFER's Matt Baume explains it all for you.

February 19, 2015

BAR: U.S. Protection of LGBT Iraqis Questioned

Dead gay iraqis crowd
(Bodies of dead gay Iraqis lie in a Baghdad street. AP Photo)

Our friend Michael Petrelis blogs about a Bay Area Reporter story on the plight of gay Iraqis and the responses of the United Kingdom and the United States.

Mike includes links to the referenced British and American government files obtained through FOIA requests. Thanks, Mike.

GLAA criticizes police sex work sting

The above tweet quotes from and links to a Blade story by Lou Chibbaro Jr. on a recent sting operation by the Metropolitan Police Department. Here is something I also said to Lou which was not quoted in the article:

Several local officials have privately agreed with us, but this law that only causes harm is considered politically untouchable. Incidentally, for the benefit of the hysterics at Family Research Council (who misrepresented our views), we are talking about consenting adults, not the victims of sex trafficking. Indeed, any resources in the area of sex crimes should go to keeping the former safe and rescuing the latter, not entrapping consenting adults. In these belt-tightening times, that public funds are expended on sting operations for victimless crimes should be considered scandalous. But the greater responsibility lies with the D.C. Council, which allows the laws that MPD uses for such operations to remain on the books.

These related GLAA documents may be of interest:

The blood ban and the celibacy challenge

A message from Alan Cumming. Second option: sign the petition to pressure the FDA to screen donors based on their exposure to risk, not on their sexual orientation.