Saturday, November 07, 2009
Pressure Builds In New Jersey
With the election of the anti-gay Chris Christie, activists are stepping up the pressure on New Jersey's legislature to approve marriage equality before Gov. Jon Corzine leaves office.
Corzine, a Democrat unseated in Tuesday's election, said he would sign such a bill. His successor, Republican Chris Christie, opposes same-sex marriages. "New Jersey is at the very top of our list, and it's going to happen in the next few weeks if it happens at all," said Maggie Gallagher, the president of the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriages. "They're doing it in a lame duck, because it's as far away from an election as possible." Gay marriage advocates have resisted "civil union" licenses, saying the separate term is demeaning and the status isn't honored by many employers. Some gay-rights advocates said, their priorities have shifted away from the ballot box and toward nonmarital issues.Go the Wall Street Journal article for an interactive map displaying the status of legally recognized same-sex relationships in each state.
Thursday, a U.S. Senate committee held a hearing on a bill that would prevent businesses from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or "gender-related" mannerisms. Thomas Perez, an assistant attorney general, called the bill, known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, "a top legislative priority for the Obama administration." "That's really an essential protection that we need on the national level," said Leslie Gabel-Brett, the director of education and public affairs for Lambda Legal, a gay-rights group. About 20 states currently grant such protection to gays.
Maggie Gallagher On Maine
Friday, November 06, 2009
No Ladyfingers For NJ's Haters
I'm not saying it was all your phone calls yesterday (and I saw how many times you folks hit that link), but Carrie Prejean will not be appearing at tonight's New Jersey Family Policy Council's hate soiree. You'll get a giggle out of TMZ's headline: "Family Does Not Always Come First." Snork. What a shame, now they'll only have the Bush/Clinton impersonators.
UPDATE: Well, well. Still no word about Miss California Diddle Digits USA from her champion, Peter LaBarbera, who praised her moral Godly purity here, here, here, and here. He must be fingering out what to say.
Roni Griffith, (The Best Part Of) Breakin' Up, 1982. OK, so it's summer of '82 and I'm at T-dance at Backstreet, Fort Lauderdale, watching the fabulous Sharon Redd. At the end of her set, DJ Bob Miro booms out in his unmistakable game show host voice, "Neeeeeeext Sunday! Rrrrrrroni Griffith will be here with her coconuts!" And the following weekend I drove down from Orlando by myself and stayed at the miserable Berlin Bear (next door to the Marlin Beach), just to hear Griffith perform this insanely silly cover of an old Phil Spector hit for the Ronettes.
As I recall, Griffith did only two numbers, (The Best Part Of) Breakin' Up (which hit #2 on Billboard dance), and her other hit with producer Bobby Orlando, Desire. (Which like much of his famously plagiaristic work sounds exactly like at least three of his other records See: Passion, The Flirts. But hey, he also gave us Pet Shop Boys, so he gets dispensation.) Anyway, the point, I think, is that I miss the me that wouldn't think twice about an eight-hour round trip drive to see a two(ish)-hit wonder perform a ridiculous cover song. The me of today says, "Is it farther than midtown? Will there be chairs?" Heavy sigh. Cue the coconuts.
RELATED: We never heard from Roni Griffith again because shortly after this song became a smash in the gay clubs, and a perilously short 24 hours before she was to perform at the evil Studio 54, she got a phone call from a missionary and was reborn in the spirit of the Lord. Praise!
GLAAD Pissed At South Park
After this week's South Park episode in which the characters decided to change the meaning of the word "fag," using the epithet an unbleeped hundred or so times, GLAAD has issued a condemnation of the show, saying that its creators' well-intended humor went over the heads of America's dummies.
The creators of “South Park” are right on one important point: more and more people are using the F-word as an all-purpose insult. However, it is irresponsible and wrong to suggest that it is a benign insult or that promoting its use has no consequences for those who are the targets of anti-gay bullying and violence. This is a slur whose meaning remains rooted in homophobia. And while many “South Park” viewers will understand the sophisticated satire and critique in last night’s episode, others won’t – and if even a small number of those take from this a message that using the “F-word” is OK, it worsens the hostile climate that many in our community continue to face.South Park routinely mocks homophobes and is generally considered one of the most gay-friendly shows on the air. Still, a reader at the above-linked NYT articles asks, "If they had used the “n” word instead of the “f” word, what would the response have been?"
Inclusive ENDA Hearings Begin
Yesterday the first ever transgender-inclusive ENDA hearings began before the U.S. Senate.
Restrooms and religion arose as the only objections today during the U.S. Senate’s first hearing on the inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). And the testimony from the Obama administration struck an unusually ironic note just two days after Maine voters rejected an equal marriage law there. The 2009 version of ENDA is different from a 2002 version that also received a Senate hearing in that it includes a prohibition based on both sexual orientation and gender identity. The only one of seven witnesses to speak against the bill was Craig Parshall, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the National Religious Broadcasters Association. He raised the concern about religious exemptions, as he did in September when the House held a hearing on the bill.Only three (all Democrats) of the 23 members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions bothered to show up for the hearing: Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), and the bill's sponsor, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), whose opening statements are below.
AGAIN: At Least 8 Shot, 2 Dead In Orlando Office Tower Shooting
For the second day in a row, a mass shooting in the United States. This time it's an apparently lone gunman who went on a rampage at a office tower in downtown Orlando. The gunman was fired two years ago from an architectural company in the tower and is at large.
At least eight people were injured in a mass shooting inside a downtown Orlando high-rise just before noon Friday, according to the Orlando Fire Department. Firefighters were called to Gateway Center at 1000 Legion Place around 11:30 a.m. The building is near Lake Ivanhoe. Many employees said they barricaded themselves inside their offices during the incident. All patients have been taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center. At least four of the eight patients are serious trauma cases. The ORMC ER is closed to patients due to the shootings. According to Orlando Fire Department District Chief Michael Droege, an unknown number of people are still in the building and could be injured. He said the SWAT team is still trying to pull people out of the building.The shooting took place at the Gateway Center tower near Lake Ivanhoe. That's about five minutes from the Parliament House, for those that only know Orlando that way.
Christian Clergy To Attempt To Incite Hate Crimes To Prove Religious Discrimination
World Net Daily reports that a group of Christian clergymen lead by Christian Anti-Defamation Commission head Gary Cass are planning a November 16th demonstration at the U.S. Capitol during which they intend to use inciting language in the hopes of being arrested for hate crimes, thereby proving the anti-Christian bias of the just-passed Matthew Shepard Act.
"We're basically going to defy the law, and challenge it," Cass told WND. "We're going to declare the whole counsel of God, including those parts that some may consider 'inciting a hate crime' to see if the attorney general is going to come down and arrest a group of peaceful clergy exercising their First Amendment rights." The law, long sought by homosexual activists who claim they are targeted by so-called "hate crimes," was signed last week by Obama, who then followed with a White House celebration of the event. Cass said the practical application of such laws already has been seen in several other countries, including the United Kingdom, where just in recent days the Christian Institute highlighted reports of a senior citizen being accused of "hate crimes" for writing a letter objecting to a pro-homosexual festival.Cass is completely full of knowing lies and outright bullshit, as always. There will be no arrests at his grandstanding event. Maybe one, if the Wig Police happen to see him.
NYC Councilman Charles Baron Will Attempt To Unseat Speaker Quinn
NYC Councilman Charles Baron is gunning to unseat Speaker Christine Quinn, saying it's long overdue for the city to have a person of color in the job, perhaps overlooking that the openly lesbian Quinn is also a minority.
"I would be an excellent speaker," Charles Barron, the Democratic councilman from Brooklyn said today, and if another person of color doesn't run against Christine Quinn in January, he will. "We need someone to be a check on the Mayor, not a deputy mayor," he said over the phone Thursday afternoon, pointing out that the speaker and the chairs of the two most powerful committees, land use and finance, have been "exclusively white."After Tuesday's election, whites are now a 27-24 minority in the 51-member City Council, a first for NYC. According to Baron, if the black city council members "band together," Quinn's ouster is assured. Four council members, including Quinn, are openly gay -the most ever.
Teabaggers Hold Ceremonial Funeral For Health Care Reform
It was a cavalcade of crazy on the steps on the U.S. Capitol yesterday as Rep. Michelle Bachmann led her fellow mental patients through the usual storm of "patriotic" talking points, including a botched reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance and a reference to the Preamble to the Constitution - which does not contain the quoted words, "We hold these truths to be self evident." Whoopsie.
Boston: Fired Brookstone Manager Claims Religious Discrimination Over His Anti-Gay Workplace Comments
Anti-gay hate group MassResistance is championing the case of a Boston airport Brookstone manager who was fired for telling a lesbian co-worker to stop discussing her upcoming marriage while at work. Brookstone's termination letter to Peter Vadala told him his actions constituted harassment. Below, Vadala pleads his case, which has been picked up by Free Republic, World Net Daily, and Peter LaBarbera - none of whom have made a peep about the Catholic lay minister fired in Maine last week for writing a letter in support of marriage equality to her local newspaper. Wingnut organizations are now calling for a boycott of Brookstone.
RELATED: Over on YouTube, MassResistance is warning that any commentary not in support of Vadala will be deleted and the user blocked. Typical. Note that the comment "All fags must die" has been allowed to remain for six days.
An interesting TV bit on today's "tickertape" parade for the New York Yankees mentioned that the total tonnage of confetti dumped in the "Canyon Of Heroes" is down by about 75% since the 1930's. Because so few of downtown's buildings have windows that can be opened. I know they're energy efficient and all that, but I feel like a hamster in those places.
The (Sort Of) End Of The Advocate
After a week of internet rumors and quasi-denials, Here Media CEO Paul Colichman has confirmed that The Advocate will now be shipped only in combination with sister publication Out Magazine, ending after 40+ years the stand-alone status of the nation's most highly regarded LGBT news source. From Colichman's letter published at Advocate.com yesterday:
The recent closures of Gourmet, Portfolio, Genre, and other magazines have shown the weaknesses of the print publication model. The rising costs of paper, printing, and postage have become a major problem. Therefore, we plan to greatly reduce these costs by jointly marketing The Advocate and Out magazines. We will fulfill Advocate subscriptions via joint delivery with Out. Advocate subscribers will continue to receive their monthly magazine along with a copy of Out at no extra charge. This move will also allow us to continue to offer Out at affordable subscription prices, either as a stand-alone title or with the choice to receive The Advocate as well. The strategy preserves our ability to deliver the same high-quality print magazines while allocating additional resources to editorial content.Here Media recently acquired Gay.com and PlanetOut.com, the final two properties of PlanetOut, the now defunct company that formerly published Out and Advocate.
The Butch Factor
A documentary examining masculinity and gay men titled The Butch Factor is scheduled to be released on DVD in December after having toured gay film festivals in recent months. One review from the film's site:
The 87-minute feature explores gay men's complicated relationship with masculinity. The core segments of the film, and the freshest material here, are profiles of several gay men who play traditionally masculine roles: rugby player, construction worker, rodeo bull rider, and so on. Candid interviews about real people's lives often make for the best documentary material, and that's certainly true in The Butch Factor. We learn about the confusion these men felt while growing up and their sometimes painful experiences with living in the closet, as well as the camaraderie they feel just from hanging out with the guys. Hines is a pro, and to paint a complete picture, he includes a few gay men with different approaches to masculinity. Along the way, the movie makes the point that sometimes the effeminate gay men are the toughest because they had to become that way. The movie was exhaustively researched, with interviews of a wide variety of men all over the U.S. The subjects are likable and there's enough humor in the movie to at least lighten up the expansive subject matter.
(Tipped by JMG reader Jim S)
"God Made Me Hate Gay People"
Two men returning from a Halloween event were assaulted by three men in Long Island's Nassau County early Sunday morning in what police are calling a hate crime. According to Newsday, the one man captured told police, "God made me hate gay people."
Shouting an anti-gay slur, three assailants beat a man and his cross-dressing friend before stealing $7 from one of them, Nassau County police said Thursday. One of the assailants has been charged with hate crimes, police said. Robert Bellamy Jr., 23, was charged with robbery and assault. At his arraignment at First District Court in Hempstead Thursday, Judge Robert A. Bruno ordered the Lakeview man jailed on $100,000 bond or $50,000 cash bail. The attack occurred in Lakeview in the early hours of Sunday and police said it was possible the man in drag was dressed in women's clothes for Halloween. Bellamy told police, "God made me hate gay people," court records show. He was represented in court by Legal Aid Society lawyer Taryn Shechter, who said Bellamy attends a trade school in Wyandanch and lives with his mother. Bellamy's accomplices are still at large, Nassau Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey, said at a news conference at the department's Mineola headquarters. County Executive Thomas Suozzi, who stood with Mulvey, called combating hate crime a "priority of our administration." "If you commit a hate crime in Nassau County, we're going to do everything we can to arrest you, put you in jail and make your life miserable," Suozzi said.The two victims were treated for facial injuries and released from a local hospital. The one captured assailant has been charged with robbery as a hate crime and two counts of assault as a hate crime.
Tuesday: NY State Senate Marriage Vote?
NY Gov. David Paterson is calling the state Senate back to Albany on Tuesday for a special session during which he will demand a vote on marriage equality. The Empire State Pride Agenda asks all New Yorkers to immediately contact their senators and demand their support.
We now need to make sure that the State Senate takes action on the marriage equality bill when they return on Tuesday. It is time for the State Senate to give the marriage bill the respectful debate and vote that New Yorkers have been asking for since the Assembly passed the bill in May. We’ve waited long enough. Now more than ever it is important that you call your State Senator and tell them that you expect a vote on marriage equality when they return to Albany. Let your Senator know that you’re done waiting. The time is now for all families in New York to be treated equally.Use this form to contact your New York state Senator. Do it now.
RELATED: This Sunday, November 8th, Western Queens for Marriage Equality will have a rally and candlelight vigil outside the office of state Sen. George Onorato at 5PM. Facebook page here. Call Onorato's office during business hours to demand his support: 518-455-3486.
Joy Behar On Carrie Prejean's Sex Tape
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Washington: Referendum 71 APPROVED
Washington state's battle to preserve their new domestic partnerships law has been won.
The tally Thursday afternoon saw the vote to approve R-71 widening its lead 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent. That lead now appears insurmountable. The Secretary of State's Office estimates another 500,000 to 600,000 ballots statewide are still outstanding, with about half expected from King County, where the measure is being approved by slightly more than 2 to 1. "Voters across the state listened to the personal stories of lesbian and gay families and the challenges they faced and sent a strong message that we want to see all families treated equally under the law in our state," said Anne Levinson, chairwoman of Washington Families Standing Together, which worked for the measure's approval.Protect Marriage Washington is refusing to concede, saying it's still possible that enough votes will come in to make up their deficit. However news outlets and the Associated Press are all calling the race over.
Congratulations to Washington Families Standing Together for a well-run, truthful campaign.
Over $9M Spent On Maine's Question 1
The National Institute on Money in State Politics has sent us the above breakdown of the groups and amounts funding both sides of Maine's Question 1. The losing No On 1 side outspent the bigots by 68%, but to no avail.
ProponentsWe still don't know where that $1.6M from NOM came from (an number that neatly matches the entire donation amount from their home state of New Jersey) because they have refused to comply with Maine's financial disclosure law.
The committees that supported Question 1 got their funding almost entirely from churches and conservative Christian organizations and their employees, who gave $3 million, which is 89 percent of the proponents' total. Almost half of proponents' contributions came from the National Organization for Marriage, a conservative Christian group based in New Jersey, which gave $1.6 million. Focus on the Family gave $179,500. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, another large donor, gave $285,988—all to its own ballot committee. In total, dioceses and churches provided $578,904. Out-of-state churches sent in $269,650. Out-of state donors from 45 other states gave $2.1 million to support the measure. New Jersey topped the list at $1.6 million. In a distant second place, Colorado donors gave $143,070, and those from the District of Columbia gave $75,275.
The committees that opposed Question 1 relied less on the support of a few major organizations. Opponents of the measure raised money from over 10,000 donors—12 times more than proponents reported. Gay-rights groups and their employees gave $1.8 million, or 31 percent of the total raised by opponents. The Human Rights Campaign topped the list, giving $367,067. The Gill Foundation contributed $275,000. Freedom to Marry gave $200,000 and another $30,000 came from the Vermont affiliate. The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force gave $159,056, and EqualityMaine gave $152,151. Out-of-state donors contributed $3.3 million to oppose to the measure. Donations came from all 50 states; the top locations were New York ($761,498), Massachusetts ($653,889), and the District of Columbia ($619,566).
Texas: Soldier Goes On Rampage At Fort Hood, 12 Dead, 31 Wounded
U.S. Army base Fort Hood, which houses 40,000 troops just north of Austin, Texas, is today the site of a bloody massacre in which 12 soldiers and civilians are dead and 31 are wounded. One of the dead is the suspected shooter. He is identified as Major Malik Nadal Hassan, 39. The Freepers are going nuts already. UPDATE: Two additional shooters, both soldiers, are now in custody.
PhoboQuotable - Mike Heath
"We need to choose life over sex. Sex is for life ... it creates life. Sex and life must be connected in our thinking. We come together sexually in the context of marriage to celebrate creation, the creation of a unique individual human life. It is perilous to disconnect sex from creation. It is even more perilous to pretend that pleasureable sex should be associated with acts unspeakable.
"In the interest of protecting and affirming all of Maine's people, especially our children and grandchildren, we must repeal domestic partnership laws that provide benefits on the basis of homosexuality, we must defund the so-called "civil rights teams" and remove "sexual orientation and gender identity" from the Maine Human Rights Act and the Maine Civil Rights Act. It would also be prudent to reinstate Maine's anti-sodomy law that was quietly removed from our criminal code in the late 1970s." - Christian Civic League of Maine executive doucherectum Mike Heath, saying that the repeal of same-sex marriage doesn't go far enough, all LGBT civil rights must be revoked, and homosexuality must be recriminalized. Give him a call at 207-622-7634 if you feel differently.
Buoyed By Maine, Marriage Repealers Set Eyes On New Hampshire
And now the forces of darkness turn their hate-filled piggy little eyes to New Hampshire.
Two proposals are being drafted in the N.H. House: One would repeal the law Gov. John Lynch signed in June and re-establish civil unions; the other is a constitutional amendment that would charge voters with deciding if "the state shall only recognize the union of one man and one woman as marriage." Supporters of same-sex marriage are strategizing and gearing up for a fight, said Rep. Jim Splaine, D-Portsmouth, who sponsored the gay marriage law. He said momentum doesn't rest with gay-marriage foes. "The momentum is on our side and those of us who support equality and love over hate," he said Wednesday. Even so, "we have a fight cut out for us in January" when the Legislature reconvenes, he said. "But I think virtually everyone in the House and Senate who voted for marriage equality will stick with us and I'm hoping we'll pick up some others."Legislators say the repeal effort faces an "uphill battle" as the makeup of both New Hampshire chambers has not changed since same-sex marriage was approved. But remember - that was a fairly tight battle when it happened.
Others see the Maine results propelling similar action across state lines. Kevin Smith, executive director of the Cornerstone Policy Research in Manchester, said the Maine election can't be chalked up to conservatives coming out of the woodwork because a proposal that would have lowered taxes was defeated and expanding the use of medical marijuana passed in the same election. "This has crossover appeal," said Smith, whose organization lobbied against gay marriage in the Granite State. "And if anything else it points out just how out of touch the Legislature and Gov. Lynch are."
Dan Savage On Maine Vote
Archdiocese of Portland employee and Stand For Marriage spokesdouche Marc Mutty says the vote in Maine "had nothing to do with hate." Dan Savage: "It definitely had everything to do with hate. The Yes On One campaign trafficked in vicious anti-gay stereotypes throughout the entire campaign. Their whole campaign was premised upon the notion that allowing same-sex couples to legally marry meant teaching gay sex to children in schools at some sort of mandatory anal sex assemblies for third graders." He adds that Obama was "AWOL" in the battle and that the president "is a fierce advocate on gay rights the same way I'm a ladies man."
Friendly Voices - Hendrik Gideonse
"During the campaign I made a practice of stopping at homes where Yes on 1 signs were posted and performed a small act of ‘bearing witness.’ I would ring the doorbell, excuse the interruption, and make the point that I wanted to see what a voter in contemporary America looked like who would publicly announce that they thought neither my son nor my god-daughter was equal to them in civil terms. The responses were as telling as the nastiness and smugness of so many of the comments posted here. Some people were simply stunned that I would perform such an act of conscience on their doorstep. Some cited Romans I to me. Others smiled their broad, born-again smiles seemingly treating me like a little child who didn’t know any better and could therefore be forgiven, or facilely informed me that God loved the sinner but not the sin.
"Given the work of the Catholic (oxymoron!) Church and all the other so-called christians in Maine and elsewhere who would seek to impose their personal religious views on members of my immediate family by denying them civil rights most of the rest of us enjoy, I take this first opportunity to renounce my Calvinist baptism. It won’t stop me from working to achieve the end of equality for all, but I can continue to do it without a designation that has, in recent years, become deeply objectionable to me because of the decidedly un-christian attitudes and acts of those similarly designated." - Hendrik Gideonse, in a comment left on the Bangor Daily News. Gideonse is the father of JMG reader and fellow blogger Ted Gideonse.
The Diaries Of Benjamin Britten
My loyal companion Aaron writes from his exile in Oregon to suggest that opera fans here on JMG would enjoy Journeying Boy: The Diaries of the Young Benjamin Britten, which comes out today. A review in the Guardian UK headlined Boys, Bitching, Brilliance notes:
Benjamin Britten's early years are often ignored, overshadowed by the spectacular success of his opera Peter Grimes in 1945, when he was 31. But now, the diaries the composer kept for a decade from the age of 14 are to be published and they reveal a lonely but driven schoolboy; a young man exposed to a glamorous world of metropolitan homosexuality; and an artist of stupendous talent, with uncompromising opinions of fellow musicians. The later parts of the diaries reveal Britten trying to navigate his sexuality, often with the help of older gay friends. He becomes close to the tenor Peter Pears – "one of the nicest people I know" – but it was only later, during the second world war, that the two fell in love. He finds himself the object of the desires of composer Lennox Berkeley, who would later become the father of composer Michael Berkeley. According to the diaries' editor, John Evans, Berkeley was "besotted" with Britten, despite being kept at arm's length. "He is a dear & I am very, very fond of him; nevertheless, it is a comfort that we can arrange sexual matters at least to my satisfaction," wrote Britten.According to the review, Britten's diaries also catalog his relationship with Christopher Isherwood and his experiences in London's bathhouses of the 1930's.
Carrie Prejean Caught Pink-Handed
TMZ is slowly teasing out the details of Carrie Prejean's meeting with Miss USA lawyers, today telling us that when confronted with a playing of her sex tape, she initially hotly denied the quivering fingers on the screen were hers. And then the camera panned up to show her face.....
We have more info on Carrie Prejean's abrupt about-face during the settlement negotiations with Miss California USA lawyers -- when they showed her the X-Rated version of Home Alone ... starring Carrie herself. When the video started playing, Carrie's first reaction was "that's disgusting" ... and Carrie denied it was her. Then, the camera angle changed ... and panned up to her face. She was caught red-handed ... so to speak. Carrie was rendered speechless and immediately began talking with her lawyer. We're told it took about 15 seconds for Carrie to drop her $1 million dollar demand.Meanwhile, not a peep from Carrie's cadre of Godly supporters, who are doubtlessly furiously taking her name off all their materials. Don't expect Miss Busy Fingers to speak at next year's Values Voters Summit. Over on Free Republic, some readers are saying the tape doesn't exist and that this is all payback from "filthy disease-ridden queers." Ho hum. But then there's this from the conservative site Idiocratic:
So – my fellow conservatives – Was defending Carrie Prejean worth it or did we prop her up on a pedestal a little too soon? Was it really a good idea to see her as our poster girl just because we salivated over a few sentences that she uttered at a beauty pageant? We should have known better using a beauty queen to try to get our message across. What were we thinking? And yes, I am sure that we can thank our good friends on the left for digging up these uncomplimentary images and video about Prejean. That’s what they do best. But if the allegations are true, then Prejean is a hypocrite and we all look like idiots. The point is, we can’t just go embracing every Tom, Dick, and Harry out there that says they are opposed to gay marriage. Maybe we should do a little of our own digging next time? Geez…UPDATE: Tomorrow's "Defenders Of The Family" soiree in New Jersey should be quite the giggle-fest. Let's see if Miss Ladyfingers USA dares to show up. Maybe I'll call the below number and ask if they'll be screening Carrie's movie!
Gilbert Baker: "Where's The ANGER?"
At last night's Maine response rally in NYC's Union Square, rainbow flag creator Gilbert Baker said to me, "Where's the ANGER? Where are the pitchforks?" as he surveyed the glum crowd. I told him his opinion reflected much of what you folks here were saying yesterday. From the bullhorn came the usual speechifying to the usual audience of activist regulars. NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn urged the crowd to continue to pressure NY's state senators, as did Marriage Equality NY head Cathy Marino-Thomas.
Here's a report from the rally by Our Scene TV reporter Blake Hayes.
Gallup: 700M In World Would Like To Live In A Different Country, USA Top Choice
According to a two year survey of 135 countries, Gallup estimates that 700 million adults in the world (16% of the adult population) would like to live in a different country, with about 25% naming the United States as their dream home. Canada is the second-most popular choice.
In general, Asians, South Asians, and Australians are most content where they are. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Sub-Saharan Africans are the most desirous to leave their home countries.
The rest of the top desired destination countries (those where an estimated 25 million or more adults would like to go) are predominantly European. Forty-five million adults who would like to move name the United Kingdom or France as their desired destination, while 35 million would like to go to Spain and 25 million would like to relocate to Germany. Thirty million name Saudi Arabia and 25 million name Australia.
Roughly 210 million adults around the world would like to move to a country in the European Union, which is similar to the estimated number who would like to move to Northern America. However, about half of the estimated 80 million adults who live in the EU and would like to move permanently to another country would like to move to another country within the EU -- the highest desired intra-regional migration rate in the world.
Maggie Gallagher Crashes DC Rally
Democrats Not Sure DADT Repeal Will Be On Their Agenda In 2010
Worried about the coming midterm elections, Democrats are running scared from any controversial legislation and say they aren't sure that a repeal of DADT will even be on their agenda in 2010.
Vulnerable House and Senate Democrats want their leaders to skip the party’s controversial legislative agenda for next year to help save their seats in Congress. In the run-up to the 2010 midterm elections, they don’t want to be forced to vote on climate change, immigration reform and gays in the military, which they say should be set aside so Congress can focus on jobs and the economy. “It’s hard; the most important issue in front of us is the economy right now, and that’s where most of us really want to stay focused, the economy and jobs, that’s what our constituency is concerned about,” said Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D), who is facing a tough race next year in Arkansas. [snip] enate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he was not certain whether repealing “Don’t ask, don’t tell” would be on next year’s agenda. It looks increasingly likely that healthcare reform will spill into next year, and Democrats have made it a high priority to overhaul the nation’s financial regulatory laws before next November. One Democratic senator facing reelection in a Republican-leaning state said he does not want to see the issue of gays in the military, immigration reform or even climate change on next year’s agenda.
NOM's Brian Brown Vs. Openly Gay DC Councilman David Catania
Via MetroWeekly's YouTube channel:
Brown argues that heterosexual marriage is a rare ''human good'' while gay and lesbian unions are not the same, and that heterosexuals are best for children. Then he insinuates that he and others with such hetero-is-best beliefs are victims of unfair ''bigot' labeling. Later, after extensive review of his organization's funding and the questionable behavior of its board members, Brown insinuates that he is then the victim of ''religious bigotry.''Catania FTW.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Rejects Challege To Domestic Partners Law
A Christian family group in Wisconsin has lost its bid to skip the lowest court trial process and take their objection about the state's domestic partners law directly to the state supreme court.
The court offered no explanation in an order issued Tuesday. The registry offers gay couples legal benefits. More than 900 couples have signed up since it went into effect in August. Wisconsin Family Action, a conservative group, filed a lawsuit in July claiming the registry violates the state constitution's ban on gay marriage and civil unions. The group asked the state Supreme Court to take it up directly without going through trial or appeals courts because of the issue's statewide significance.Lawyers for Wisconsin Family Action say they'll start over at the bottom. Like everybody else has to.
Bishop Harry Jackson Celebrates Maine
NYC Cabbie: I Was Afraid Those Homos Were Gonna Do It In My Taxi
The NYC cab driver who made national news yesterday for kicking two hugging gay men out of his cab now says he did so because he was afraid they were about to have sex.
"I wanted to pay attention to getting them to their destination instead of worrying if they were going to have sex or not," said Medhat Mohamed, who could face a slew of penalties, including license revocation and a fine of up to $1,000. Mohamed insisted he told Paul Bruno and his companion they could stay on board if they simply pulled themselves off each other and stopped distracting him. "I told them, 'OK, guys, if you want to stay away from each other, I'm going to be very welcome to have you here and drive you to your destination,' " Mohamed said.This driver is done for. Yesterday I heard that Christine Quinn is furious about this.
"They kept hugging and kissing. He was almost sitting on his lap. And I said, 'OK, guys, come on, I'm driving.' " The driver insisted he would have acted the same if the fare was a heterosexual couple, saying, "It doesn't matter to me if it's two guys or a girl and a guy." But the owner of his taxi medallion said Mohamed is Muslim and "in our religion, we can't handle that stuff." Mahmoud Elnefnawy, who runs Astoria Express Management, added, "There's no kissing allowed in the cab. A man has to be a man." Bruno insisted that Mohamed didn't offer them the option to separate. "That never happened," he said. "He never expressed an interest in our safety or the cab's safety at all."
Tony Perkins Vs. Evan Wolfson
Family Research Council executive doucherectum Tony Perkins went up against Freedom To Marry's Evan Wolfson on CNN last night, where Perkins claimed that Maine's result will cause other states such as New Jersey to back off any plans for marriage equality. Evan Wolfson is as well-spoken as always, calling out Perkins' lies.
Open Thread Thursday
What's delicious? Foodies and cooks, tell us about your latest favorites.
Labels: Open Thread Thursday
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Yankees Win World Series
In 1923, their first season at the "House That Ruth Built," the New York Yankees won the World Series. In 2009, their first season at the "House That Bloomberg Built With Over One Billion Dollars In Tax-Exempt Bonds," the Yankees won the World Series.
Carrie Prejean Sex Tape!!!
This will totally make your day and almost make up for Maine. TMZ is reporting that Carrie Prejean has suddenly withdrawn her million-dollar lawsuit against Miss California USA after the pageant's lawyers showed her a clip from her own XXX sex tape.
The video the lawyer showed Carrie is extremely graphic and has never been released publicly. We know that, because TMZ obtained the video months ago but decided not to post it because it was so racy. Let's just say, Carrie has a promising solo career. We're told it took about 15 seconds for Carrie to jettison her demand and essentially walk away with nothing. As we first reported, the Pageant is paying around $100,000 to her lawyers and publicist -- a fraction of her bills. She pockets nothing in the settlement.Hey Maggie Gallagher! Did I just hear your tires squealing? Since, as you say, God was speaking directly to Carrie during her anti-gay pageant answer, what was he saying during her double-penetration scene? I kid, I kid. I only HOPE there's a double-penetration scene!
WARNING: Do NOT click on ANY outgoing links left in the comments of this post. Spammers are pouring in with malware and virus-laden links to their porn sites.
Yazz, Stand Up For Your Love Rights, 1988. This #2 UK pop smash from Yasmin Evans, which became something of an LGBT rights anthem, seems very appropriate for today. (Oh, the confused records store clerks of the 80's, when faced with Yazz, Yaz, Yazoo.) You may be more familiar with Evans' earlier hit from 1988, The Only Way Is Up, which was credited as Yazz & The Plastic Population and became the UK's number one selling single of the year. Evans hit the UK Top 30 and the American dance charts a total of seven times by 1993, but subsequent releases were not as successful and today she records and performs in a Christian rock band based out of Spain. Attendees of the 1993 March On Washington may fondly recall Stand Up For Your Love Rights, as it seemed to be heard everywhere that weekend.
5:30PM: Marriage Rallies In DC & NYC
Approve 71 Leading By 2 Points
Final results have not yet been certified, but things continue to look good, if very close, for the Approve R-71 side in Washington state. In fact, the other side has all but conceded. As tends to go with these things, the green, more urban counties above are where the support for domestic partnerships is in the majority. Don't exhale yet, though - there are still uncounted ballots in the mail.
Christian Television Ties Maine Vote To Health Care Reform
The Christian Broadcast Network devoted the first ten minutes of this morning's show to yesterday's LGBT rights battles in Maine and Washington state, with one George Costanza lookalike warning that the vote in Maine should serve as notice to legislators that other silly liberal ideas such as health care reform will not be tolerated.
(Via - Good As You)
David Mixner Is Sick Of "Gay Apartheid"
Calling it "gay apartheid," activist David Mixner is mighty pissed at the Democratic National Committee and the Obama administration for sitting on their hands during the Maine and Washington state battles. An excerpt from today's column (which bears reading in full):
President Obama standing on the sidelines in Maine and Washington was appalling. The failure of our national organizations and leaders to demand his involvement was equally appalling. The outrageous act of the Democratic National Committee sending an email into Maine asking Maine Democrats to call into "NEW JERSEY" instead of to support the fight against bigotry was unbelievable. No one gets to sit on the sidelines in an epic battle against apartheid and no one gets a free pass. If you want our support, you have to earn it. We are way beyond where we will accept a little bit in 2009, some in 2010 and maybe more in the second term. Does anyone think after yesterday election results and the upcoming 2010 election, Obama has the ability to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and "DOMA" next year? Does anyone really believe we haven't already missed a historic opportunity in the first 10 months of this year? Only a courageous fighting President and Congress can now help turn us this around and that we have not seen so far. Enough."If you want our support, you have to earn it." Motherfucking emphasis, mine.
Finally, yes, as a community we have every reason to be proud. We raised the money, we made the calls, we came not in anger and we made the case. My hats off to the brave people, gay and straight, of Maine and Washington who fought in the trenches. We all are so proud of you and to be part of your community. You have no idea how much we love you for your work, dignity and honor. However, it is no longer acceptable to be viewed as brave, patient warriors in defeat.
I don't want to be a brave warrior, I want to be a free one. Enough!
Quote Of The Day - Jesse Ventura
"You can't put a civil rights issue on the ballot and let the people decide. You have to have elected officials to who have courage to make the right decision. If you left it up to the people, we'd have slavery, depending on how you worded it." - Former Minnesota governor and pro wrestler Jesse Ventura, responding to Maine's vote on CNN last night.
Aiden James - On The Run
New Jersey Pushing Forward With Marriage Plan Despite Corzine Loss
Garden State Equality is pushing forward with their marriage equality plan despite yesterday's loss by their champion, Gov. Jon Corzine. Should the NJ legislature pass same-sex marriage during the remainder of Corzine's lame duck term, he has said he will sign it. Incoming anti-gay governor Chris Christie has said that if that happens, one of his first acts will be to launch a campaign to repeal the law with a constitutional amendment. Here's a just-released clip from Garden State Equality.
Photo Of The Day - "God Did This For Us"
ABOVE: Yes On 1 supporters explode in joy and thank Jeebus for protecting them from the blood-thirsty homosexuals. They should also thank NOM for its illegal refusal to comply with Maine's financial disclosure laws. And they should thank Stand For Marriage for consistently lying about "teaching gay marriage." And they should thank the Archbishop of Maine for passing the collection plate during Ma$$. Yes, thank the bloody Jeebus for enabling lying, law breaking, deception, and hatred. Praise His Name!
No PDA: Gay Couple Booted From NYC Taxi For Hugging
A gay NYC couple was abruptly booted from their taxi Monday night by their driver, who told them they were not allowed to hug in his cab.
Paul Bruno and his partner hailed the yellow cab Monday night at 13th Street and First Avenue and sat close, Bruno told The Post. But the driver, identified by Bruno and city records as Medhat Mohamed, was apparently appalled by their shows of affection -- and pulled the cab over two blocks into the trip. "You guys have to get out of the taxi! Hugging is not allowed in here!" the driver said, according to Bruno. Stunned, the lovebirds exited and watched the taxi peel away. Dissed passenger Paul Bruno called the incident in this Manhattan taxi “discrimination against homosexuals.” "I was shocked," said Bruno, 27, who called the act "discrimination against homosexuals."The Taxi & Limousine Commission is investigating. The driver faces discipline ranging from fines in the hundreds of dollars to revocation of his hack license. And before anybody launches into a rant against NYC's Muslim cab drivers, we should note that incidents like this are relatively rare in NYC, where cabbies line up outside gay clubs every night.
The encounter took place at 10:20 p.m. after the couple attended a birthday dinner and hailed a ride to East Harlem. "To pull over after two blocks and be so blatantly intolerant is outrageous," Bruno said. "He needs to exercise the rules in which he was employed a little more closely." Both men said they hoped other cabbies didn't share the same views on an innocent act. "I don't know if it was a personal or religious thing. But it's never OK to deny anyone a ride, especially when it's such blatant and direct discrimination," added Bruno, a lifelong city resident. The driver could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Friendly Voices - Jesse Connolly
"Tonight, hundreds of thousands of Maine voters stood for equality, but in the end, it wasn't enough. I am proud of the thousands of Mainers who knocked on doors, made phone calls and talked to their family, friends and neighbors about the basic premise of treating all Maine families equally. And I'm proud of this campaign because the stories we told and the images we shared were of real Mainers -- parents who stood up for their children, and couples who simply wanted to marry the person they love."
"We're in this for the long haul. For next week, and next month, and next year -- until all Maine families are treated equally. Because in the end, this has always been about love and family and that will always be something worth fighting for." - No On 1/Protect Maine Equality head Jesse Connolly, as reported by Rex Wockner.
As I said last night, Connolly and his team were simply outstanding, putting out the best equality campaign we've ever seen. They put actual LGBT people in their ads. They knocked on doors from one end of Maine to the other, engaging voters face to face. And their phonebanking effort ran around the clock until the very last minute. But in the end, it simply was no match for the outrageous and consistent lies and scare tactics of NOM, Stand For Marriage, and the Catholic Church. Unlike what we saw with Prop 8, this time we really cannot fault our side. We all owe Connolly and his team of volunteers our gratitude for a valiant effort.
(Photo by Rex Wockner)
Chapel Hill's New Gay Mayor
Among last night's good news, and there was a lot folks, really, was the election of Chapel Hill, North Carolina's openly gay mayor, Mark Kleinschmidt. Here's a great recounting of the final moments from Indy Week.
Supporters erupted. His mother burst into tears. His sister shouted. Mark Kleinschmidt just smiled contently, arms crossed but giving the kind of ear-to-ear grin you could feel across the room, satisfaction and disbelief merging together on his face. The campaign had just received word that rival Matt Czajkowski had made his concession speech at the Franklin Hotel.Yes, Chapel Hill is a "liberal college town" - but we're still talking about North Carolina here. I'm proud of my birth state this morning.
The progressive bloc had won. They’d just escaped a new, moderate business-centered group gaining traction and council seats. Not so fast. Word came back that one precinct, Patterson, was yet to report. Kleinschmidt was up a scant 168 votes. The jubilation turned to shocked concern. It was too close to call. “I don’t want a ‘Dewey defeats Truman’ headline,” Kleinschmidt warned reporters at his R&R Grill party. The pack of local politicos returned to the laptop, clicking refresh again and again. Moments later, the candidate’s ever-buzzing cell phone went off once more. It was Mayor Kevin Foy calling to congratulate him. Kleinschmidt cautioned him, but thanked him for his support. Then the results flashed on the TV screens.
It was final — Kleinschmidt had won. “Oh, that’s it. We won it,” he said calmly to Foy. The crowd, already snakebitten, didn’t know what to do for a moment. Then it erupted again. “There’s a lot of people with cameras here, and I’m going to talk to them,” Kleinschmidt told his sudden predecessor. The swarm of reporters surged forward, someone handed the new mayor a microphone. With the other Triangle races not as contested, media came to Chapel Hill in search of a story. Lights flashed. Kleinschmidt’s back looked like a Christmas tree with microphones from four different TV stations hooked up to him, wires interwoven. “How does this affect my silhoutte,” he asked jokingly. “That’s the issue that the gay mayor is concerned about.”
Kalamazoo By A Mile
The final result of last night's vote in Kalamazoo is in. It was 62-38.
Kalamazoo city voters decisively adopted an ordinance Tuesday that extends anti-discrimination protections to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender individuals. The ordinance passed 7,671 to 4,731, making Kalamazoo the 16th city in Michigan to adopt such a gay-rights ordinance that grants the protections in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations.
ordinance.jpgAllison Downey, center, and John Austin, right, both of Portage, erupt in cheers at the Metro Night Club, 411 N. Westnedge Ave., after the announcement that the anti-discrimination ordinance passed Tuesday evening. "This is for our friends because we love them," said Downey. Both Downey and Austin volunteered for the One Kalamazoo campaign, which supported the ordinance. The ordinance was approved in all but three of the city’s voting places. It also passed among heavy absentee ballot voting. “There’s a lot of people who will wake up and breathe easier tomorrow knowing they won’t be fired or kicked out of their homes for being gay, lesbian or transgender,” said Jon Hoadley, campaign manager One Kalamazoo, the pro-ordinance campaign committee. “It was astounding the overwhelming support that we had. Kalamazoo said this is what it wants.” Kalamazoo resident Larissa Dugas said she cast her ballot for the ordinance, which she called largely symbolic. “It is symbolic to have people stand up and say that we won’t stand for intolerance,” Dugas said. “It’s important for this to be an inclusive community.”
Chris Matthews On NY-23
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Election Day Live Blog
Thanks to everybody who dropped in and who stayed with me for the past seven hours. Despite Maine, it was in general a fantastic night for LGBT politics, with great results seen in Kalamazoo, Chapel Hill, Detroit, Houston, and in Washington state, where Approve 71 continues to lead, with a final result possibly not coming for a few days. Let's focus on the wins, offer heartfelt thanks to Protect Maine Equality, and remain positive for the continuing fight to complete civil equality for all Americans.
1:06AM - New York Times declares Yes On 1 the winner. With 86% of votes in, bigots in Maine are ahead by 30,000 votes, a 5.4% margin. Regardless of this defeat, we owe a huge thank you to Jesse Connolly and his team at Protect Maine Equality, who by all accounts, ran the best marriage equality campaign we've seen.
12:55AM - Well, everybody is UNcalling a win on R-71, for now, thanks to confusion over the "official" WA elections site, which operates under its own rules. Things still look good, at least.
12:50AM - Democrat Bill Owens declared winner of NY-23. Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Glenn Beck can SUCK IT.
12:37AM - Via Rex Wockner: No On 1 is not conceding, citing uncounted absentee ballots and unreporting precincts.
12:24AM - Commenters at Seattle's Slog are conflicted over the blue "winner" check mark at the official WA elections site - which is how EVERYBODY announces the winner on these things. Can somebody PLEASE advise??
11:50PM - Openly lesbian Houston comptroller Anise Parker takes first place in mayoral race, headed for runoff election.
11:45PM - Approve 71 bounces back to 3 point lead.
11:30PM - Yes On 1 widens lead to 11,000 votes, 3.2 points. Pours fourth fucking drink.
11:22PM - First report from Washington state shows Approve 71 losing by wide margin. That's only 6% of votes counted with several days of counting mailed ballots likely to follow.
11:16PM - Yes On 1 stretches lead to 2 points, 6000+ votes. 55% of districts reporting.
11:10PM - Yes On 1 now leading by 2200 votes, almost 1%. 49% of districts reporting.
11:03PM - Democrat Bill Owens leads by 4 pts in NY-23 House district. Suck it, Sarah Palin.
10:50PM - Exactly 50.0 - 50.0 in Maine. We lead by 32 votes. Pours third drink.
10:45PM - NY1 calls it for Bloomberg. $100M for a 3-pt margin. What's that come out to per vote?
10:32PM - Christine Quinn retains NYC council seat by 4-1 margin.
10:15PM - NBC News calls New Jersey for Chris Christie. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
10:14PM - No On 1 reports via Twitter that their lead is now less than 1% with 22% of precints reporting.
10:06PM - New Jersey: 70% of votes counted, anti-gay GOP candidate Chris Christie leads by 5 points. Bad, bad news.
10:03PM - It's official, finally. Kalamazoo's new LGBT rights law is UPHELD. Wah and HOO!
10:00PM - MSNBC reports Bloomberg's win forecast "called back" as later results have narrowed his lead to less than 2%.
9:50PM - The New York Times election results site appears to be more stable than the other one. Going by that one for now. Presently shows us winning by 3.6 pts.
9:40PM - $100M will buy you several lovely Mediterranean islands or one illicit third term as NYC mayor.
9:27PM - D'oh! Bangor Daily News live results feed crashes. "Server taking too long to respond thanks to too many anxious homos!"
9:18PM - Hold that celebration, Michigan. Contradictory posts from Kalamazoo HQ.
9:11PM - Kalamazoomians represent! Unconfirmed results show new LGBT rights upheld 65-35. Woo! First win of the night! Probably.
9:02PM - Flippity flop, we back on top. By NINE. Pours second drink.
8:40PM - 7% of Maine votes counted. Huge jump for Yes On 1. We're now down by 9 pts. I don't think I can stand to look again for at least 30 minutes.
8:32PM - Listen to election results live on national LGBT radio, SiriusOutQ.
8:26PM - 2% of votes counted, No On 1 has 3-1 margin.
8:25PM - Live results from Kalamazoo, Michigan are being posted here.
8:10PM - UGH. It gets worse. Arch homophobe Ken Cuccinelli has just been called as Virginia's new Attorney General.
8:01PM - NBC News just called Virginia for the anti-gay Bob McDonnell. Ouch.
8:00PM - Veteran gay reporter Rex Wockner is live-posting from the No On 1 headquarters.
7:55PM - Follow No On 1 live on their Twitter account.
7:50PM - New Jersey's gubernatorial race election results will be posted live here. Things don't look promising for Democrat Jon Corzine.
7:45PM - The Bangor Daily News' live results tally has just gone live. Only 51 votes are on the board at this moment, marriage equality ahead 46-5. Enjoy that while it lasts.
7:40PM - Not yet received absentee ballots in Maine and ballots mailed today in Washington state may mean we don't get final results in either location tonight.
7:30PM - Weaselinas: Both of Maine's GOP Senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, refuse to say how they voted on marriage equality.
The polls have closed in Virgina and will close at 8pm in New Jersey and Maine, 9pm in New York. I'll be adding early results and exit polls to this post until the results are called. So far all they're saying is that it's too close to call in Virginia's governor race.
Courtesy of Fly Life Inc, today's Swag Tuesday booty is a two-fer - All In One, the new CD from bossa nova chanteuse Bebel Gilberto, and Normal As Blueberry Pie: A Tribute To Doris Day, the new CD from Nellie McKay. Both releases are available today nationwide.
Bebel Gilberto - All In One:
Known worldwide for her ability to connect modern sounds with the heart and soul of Brazilian music, the New York-born Gilberto focuses on the rhythms of her native country, devising a cosmopolitan yet classic sound with the help of a diverse group of collaborators, including Carlinhos Brown (Caetano Veloso), Didi Gutman (Brazilian Girls), Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse), Daniel Jobim (grandson of Antonio Carlos Jobim) and John King (the Dust Brothers). All In One perfectly expresses Gilberto's interest in making music that feels romantic and fluid. In particular, Most of the record is sung in Portuguese, Bebel's native language, and was conceived, developed and recorded in her home studio.Nellie McKay - Normal As Blueberry Pie: A Tribute To Doris Day
Producing, arranging and performing this album is for McKay the natural outcome of years of enraptured listening to Ms. Day's music. "She was - and still is - ahead of her time". Nellie handpicked these songs from over 600 recordings. McKay has a very special connection to this cultural icon - the # 1 female box office star of all time and one of the most prolific recording artists in history - Nellie received the Doris Day Music Award in 2005 and is one of the few people in the last 30 years to be granted an interview with Ms. Day. Nellie's Verve debut is a sophisticated but accessible recording with spare and tasteful arrangements that clearly put the focus on the songs and McKay's exquisite vocal stylings. McKay's fresh take on this music is smartly delivered with a curtsy to Doris, a nod to convention, and a unique twist all her own.Enter to win both CDs by commenting on this post. We have five copies of each to give away. Only comment once and please remember to leave your email address in the text of your comment. Entries close at midnight Thursday, west coast time. Publicists: If you'd like to take part in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.
Cue The Theme From Jaws....
Instinct Magazine's Leading Men Of 2009
Lt. Dan Choi and Col. Victor Fehrenbach take the cover of Instinct Magazine's Leading Men Of 2009 issue. Here's their online teaser for the story.
Most know the basics of Dan’s story: A West Point graduate with a degree in Arabic who served an extended tour in Iraq from 2006-2007, Dan spent 10 years in the military before he was discharged. But Dan is trying to be more than Mr. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He envisions gay rights activism—and he takes pains to note that being labeled an “activist” is something he’s only recently become comfortable with—as an “in-the-streets, egalitarian affair. Out of the cocktail parties and knocking on anti-gay congressmen’s doors!” he asserts.To get the full story, you'll have to pick up the magazine. Somehow your truly is also one of this year's "leading men" - there's no link to my bit available - but below are a couple of paragraphs from the the article. Hopefully I don't sound like too much of a tool.
Lieutenant Colonel Victor Fehrenbach is still a member of the United States Air Force, and he would like things to stay that way. But after 18 years of service as a decorated pilot (he’s won nine Air Medals, including one for heroism), Victor’s future in the military is uncertain at best. In May 2009, Victor faced a dilemma. He was being kicked out of the military for admitting to civilian investigators a year earlier that he had had sex with a man. At first he decided to go along with the discharge, but then he had a change of heart. “The military was taking everything away from me, but the one thing I realized they couldn’t take from me is my sense of right and wrong,” he says. So he decided not only to fight the discharge but to go public with his case on The Rachel Maddow Show. With the exception of the few officers handling his case, no one else on his base knew he was being separated from the military for being gay until he was on MSNBC. Chuckling, he says, “It certainly created quite a stir.” A “stir” might be an understatement. At 40, Victor has become one of the most visible faces of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, while still fighting to retain his career and pension—courage and conviction that make a leading man.
So Joe turned to his passion for gay activism—a passion that was ignited by the 1993 March on Washington. “I was a 33-year-old disco bunny who went because there were going to be circuit parties,” he says. “It was something to come up that escalator in the Dupont Circle Metro station and see hundreds and hundreds of our brothers and sisters clapping and applauding our arrival. I was crying. It was the most unexpected and transformative moment of my life.” But it is his attention to the facts, with his own brand of humor and commentary thrown into the mix, that has made Joe a reliable and popular source for gay news. “I was reading the New York Daily News the other day and got to page 8 before there was any real news,” he says. “The rest was gossip. I thought that’s pretty parallel to how traffic runs in the blogosphere. The thing with blogging is that you’re not so much a writer as you are a gatekeeper,” he adds. “You look at 300 stories in a day and think, ‘Okay, which 10 are pertinent to the movement? And of those, which ones will the readers find interesting?’”