Monday, May 31, 2010
Lt. Dan Choi & Capt. James Pietrangelo's DADT Hunger Strike Now In Fifth Day
Disabled Trans Man Wins IML 2010
PhoboQuotable - Eugene Delagaudio
"Our children...They’ve been the Radical Homosexuals’ target all along. Now they’re finally going after what they’ve always wanted. Just a few weeks ago, radicals in Congress led by openly homosexual Representative Jared Polis introduced H.R. 4530. It is a bill to turn America’s schools into indoctrination centers, its classrooms into social laboratories, its playgrounds into homosexual breeding grounds.
"Of course, they’ve disguised the bill’s wicked nature behind the innocent name 'The Student Non-Discrimination Act.' Sound harmless, right? Well, that’s key to their scheme. Honestly, I can hardly imagine a law more harmful. More appropriately, this bill should be called 'The Homosexual Classrooms Act.' This battle is sure to move quickly, so I’ll get right to the point. I’m counting on your signature on our petition and for an emergency contribution of $100, $50, $25 or at least $10 right away.
"You see, The Homosexual Classrooms Act was introduced quietly, and some insiders say Nancy Pelosi wants to 'fast-track' it before there is a public outcry. There’s even talk of burying it inside the must-pass Elementary and Secondary Education Act, commonly known as “No Child Left Behind” Reauthorization. If they succeed, they’ll only ensure that No Child is Left Uncorrupted by the poisonous influence of the Homosexual Agenda."- Eugene Delgaudio, head of the Christian extremist group Public Advocate Of The U.S.
Mary Cheney, Quisling
Gay Politics reports that Mary Cheney is part of a group that is working to elect anti-gay Bill McCollum as governor of Florida.
Mary Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is a board member of Alliance for America’s Future, a shadowy group now producing and airing commercials attacking one of McCollum’s rivals for the GOP nomination. Strict rules limit the advertising campaign’s ability to openly support McCollum, but this Tampa Tribune report indicates the group has close ties to the McCollum gubernatorial campaign.McCollum, should you just be coming out a month-long coma, paid Dr. George Rekers over $120,000 to testify against gay families in a lawsuit intended to overturn Florida's ban on gay adoption. And Mary Cheney, who has a gay family of her own, wants him to be governor.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
HomoQuotable - John Waters
"I don't even think there is bad taste anymore. American humor is bad taste — that's what we import, that's what television is about, reality television is based on that. I think it kind of ruined bad taste, because you're asked to feel superior to the subject matter, which I don't think I ever do. I think I always look up to my subjects, which is maybe what good taste is. Extreme taste is more interesting to me now than good or bad."- Director John Waters, lamenting that reality TV has destroyed the kitsch value of his work.
DCFUK!T Releases Sex Ed Spoof
Washington DC-based safer sex advocates DCFUK!T have created an instructional film that spoofs 1950's sex education films. The below edited version is possibly office-safe. (Depending on where you work!) The unedited and very NSFW version is here. The clip features porn stars Matthew Rush and Brent Corrigan, the latter of which has recently taken part in several safer sex campaigns to make amends for his starring role in barebacking films.
No Bareback Porn On Sale At IML
The International Mr. Leather convention has followed through on their vow to ban the selling of barebacking porn at their vendor mart. Via Chicagoist:
“For many years, our organization has always preached the importance of safe- sex,” explains [IML coordinator RJ] Chaffin. “It has been on the lips of many people, [the fact that] we speak out on safe-sex, but allow vendors to promote bareback videos. The time has come for us to take a stand on the issue. It affected about three of our vendors and in fact, most vendors were pleased to see us take action on this matter. I would say for every negative e-mail we’ve received, we’ve received 15 supportive emails and letters,” says Chaffin, who has received calls and emails from organizers of similar events to gauge the reaction of attendees to the new policy. “We need younger people to realize that barebacking is not cool and very dangerous.”The event continues through tomorrow.
Afternoon View - Second Avenue
Defense Secretary Robert Gates Tells Troops Not To Worry About DADT Repeal
In a videotaped Memorial Day message to the nation's soldiers, Defense Secretary Robert Gates urges his audience not to to "become distracted" over the possible repeal of DADT. Gates then asks that active duty soldiers participate in the repeal study so that "changes can be done right."
Tube Socks: $7
PhoboQuotable - Quinton Jackson
"Acting is kind of gay. It makes you soft. You got all these people combing your hair and putting a coat over your shoulders when you're cold. I don't want a coat over my shoulders! I'm a tough-ass [individual]! Vancouver strikes me as a San Francisco-kind of place. And I don't want [individuals] getting ideas about me. I feel in my heart I'm the toughest [individual] on the planet. And I don't want nothing changing my train of thought. If you don't believe that when we step inside the octagon, it shows." - UFC fighter Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, who is playing the role created by Mr. T. in the movie remake of The A Team. The movie was filmed in Vancouver.
BRITAIN: Treasury Minister Resigns Over Financial Scandal Regarding Partner
British Treasury Minister David Laws has resigned after it was revealed that he had funneled government money to his partner.
He was one of the stars of the coalition's first weeks - but now, in just 18 days, he's become its first major casualty. The former City-high flyer was charged with getting a grip on public spending and implementing savage cuts. He clearly relished the task ahead and, as George Osborne's Liberal Democrat right-hand man at the Treasury, David Laws confidently grasped a job that others would have been wary of taking on. Two weeks in and he'd already found £6bn to trim. An emergency budget in a matter of weeks and a summer spending review lay ahead. But the £40,000 Mr Laws claimed in expenses for a room he rented from his partner of the past nine years, James Lundie, brought his very brief cabinet career to an untimely end. Mr Laws said he could not now escape the conclusion that what he'd done was in some way wrong, even though he didn't gain financially from keeping his relationship private. Cabinet and Liberal Democrat colleagues have been quick to describe him as an "honourable man", pointing out that he's a self-made millionaire who didn't go into politics for financial gain. But, given that, it raises the question why did he claim it at all?Prime Minister David Cameron has already replaced Laws.
UPDATE: I've corrected the above headline and text. Laws was NOT out until the scandal broke. My apologies.
Avenue Q's Gary Coleman To Live On
The Gary Coleman character in the long-running hit musical Avenue Q will stay in the show, despite the death of the real life Coleman.
Sitting alone at the rear of the house at New World Stages on Friday night, Jeff Whitty wept after the performance of “Avenue Q.” Mr. Whitty, the book writer for that Tony-winning puppet musical, was not crying at his own handiwork. He shed his tears in mourning for the actor Gary Coleman, who had died earlier in the day, and in relief that “Avenue Q,” which includes a satirical character based on Mr. Coleman, the star of the television series “Diff’rent Strokes,” had been well received by the audience after some surgical changes to the show. Despite some very serious consideration that “Avenue Q” would require significant revision or have to drop the role altogether, Mr. Whitty said that Gary Coleman, the character, would live on in the musical. “After watching it tonight, I would miss him too much,” Mr. Whitty said. “Personally, I would miss him terribly.”
Germany Wins Eurovision 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Eurovision Finals Live Stream
MOSCOW: Activists Defy Police, Stage Two Small "Flash" Pride Parades
Although the mayor of Moscow has banned gay pride parades for the last five years, today activists defied riot police and staged two small "flash" parades without incident. Strategic planning by the activists managed to keep the events below the radar of anti-gay nationalists and neo-nazis. For once.
Two Gay Pride parades were held without arrests in Moscow on Saturday, the first time the notoriously intolerant Russian authorities have not intervened since the inaugural attempt to hold the event in the capital in 2006. The activists' spokesman claimed that the absence of harrasment, beatings and detentions was due to their "military planning" rather than any kind of warming toward non-traditional orientation among officials. Moscow riot police typically disperse such gatherings with brute force, emboldened by declarations from city Mayor Yury Luzhkov equating homosexuals with the devil. The activists also blame Russia's resurgent Orthodox Church, which publicly and sternly denounces gay culture, for fomenting homophobia. About 25 activists held a short demonstration on The Arbat, a pedestrian street lined with shops and cafes that is one of Moscow's main tourist draws. They marched for about 10 minutes, holding banners and shouting slogans such as "No discrimination on the grounds of orientation." Some observers waved and laughed, and there were no signs of hostility. Police did not try to disperse the march, but when the demonstrators saw a line of uniformed officers blocking the street ahead of them, they scattered.British activist Peter Tatchell took part in one of the parades. Tatchell sustained permanent brain damage when he was beaten by Moscow police at a Pride demonstration in 2007.
Dennis Hopper Dead At 74
Famed actor and director Dennis Hopper died at his Los Angeles home today of prostate cancer at the age of 74. Hopper had been ill with the disease since last September.
In a wildly varied career spanning more than 50 years, Hopper appeared alongside his mentor James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Giant" in the 1950s and played maniacs in such films as "Apocalypse Now," "Blue Velvet" and "Speed." He received two Oscar nominations -- for writing "Easy Rider" (with co-star Peter Fonda and Terry Southern), and for a rare heartwarming turn as an alcoholic high-school basketball coach in the 1986 drama "Hoosiers." "Easy Rider," regarded is one of the greatest films of American cinema, helped usher in a new era in which the old Hollywood guard was forced to cede power to young filmmakers such as Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese.Below, my favorite Dennis Hopper scene.
Hundreds Protest BP In New York City
BREAKING: Malawi President Pardons Imprisoned Gay Couple
Fantastic news. President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi has pardoned the gay couple sentenced last week to 14 years in prison at hard labor for the "grossly indecent and unnatural act" of holding a commitment ceremony.
Mr Mutharika, speaking as UN chief Ban Ki-moon visited Lilongwe, said he had ordered their immediate release. Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, were given 14-year jail terms after being convicted of gross indecency and unnatural acts. The case has sparked international condemnation and a debate about homosexuality in the country. Mr Ban said he welcomed the president's decision. Correspondents say Malawi is a deeply conservative society where religious leaders equate same-sex liaisons with Satanism. Mr Mutharika, who has in the past dismissed homosexuality as alien, said he had set them free on humanitarian grounds. "These boys committed a crime against our culture, our religion and our laws," he said after meeting Mr Ban. "However, as the head of state I hereby pardon them and therefore ask for their immediate release with no conditions."We can consider this welcome news as evidence that even the most virulently anti-gay government can indeed by swayed by international pressure. I imagine that today's planned protest at the Malawi consulate in NYC will not take place.
UPDATE: The protest in NYC is still going to happen. From the organizer:
WE DID IT! BUT THE WORK IS STILL NOT DONE! TODAY WE STILL PROTEST, FOR ALL THE STEVENS AND TIWONJES IN AFRICA, WHO DO NOT HAVE A VOICE. AND FOR A REMOVAL OF ALL THE ANTI GAY LAWS, NOT ONLY IN MALAWI, NOT ONLY IN AFRICA, BUT IN THE WORLD! THE PROTEST IN NYC, IS STILL ON! I'M SO PROUD OF YOU! I HAVEN'T CRIED SUCH HAPPY TEARS IN A LONG TIME!UPDATE II: The White House has issued a statement.
The White House is pleased to learn of President Bingu wa Mutharika's pardon of Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza. These individuals were not criminals and their struggle is not unique. We must all recommit ourselves to ending the persecution and criminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity. We hope that President Mutharika's pardon marks the beginning of a new dialogue which reflects the country's history of tolerance and a new day for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights in Malawi and around the globe.
Today In Frivolous Lawsuits
A Michigan woman is suing United Airlines for false imprisonment, negligence, emotional distress and breach of contract because she fell asleep on a one hour flight and when she woke up the plane had been at the gate for three hours. And she was locked in! For FIFTEEN minutes. With a working cell phone. That she didn't think to use.
Ginger McGuire, 36, boarded a Trans States shuttle Monday night at Dulles International. During the one-hour journey she fell asleep. The aircraft landed about 12:30 a.m. at Philadelphia International But McGuire said the flight crew didn't bother to rouse her. She said she awoke at 4 a.m. to find herself alone on the 50-seat plane with all the doors locked. "Waking up to an empty airplane and not begin able to get out was very horrifying," McGuire told WDIV-TV in Detroit. McGuire, who works for a Michigan radio station, told the Detroit News that she walked up and down the aisle for 15 minutes. Though she had used her phone to check the time, she said didn't think of calling for help. Minutes later, the plane's door opened. She was greeted by a TSA officer and two Philadelphia police who demanded she produce ID and questioned her for about 10 minutes.McGuire will surely need therapy after enduring such a nightmare.
Tomorrow night at 8:17pm is Manhattanhenge, the twice a year event in which the setting sun lines up perfectly with Manhattan's street grid.
On Sunday, May 30, the entire solar sphere will be visible just above the horizon at 8:17 p.m. EDT. The second opportunity comes later in the summer, with another half-sphere sunset on Monday, July 12, at 8:25 p.m. EDT and a whole-sphere viewing on Sunday, July 11, at 8:25 p.m. EDT. These times are calculated every year by the astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York, who coined the term "Manhattanhenge." The "henge" comes of course from Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument in the Salisbury plains of England. The large structure of stones and earthen mounds is thought to be a burial ground that was oriented to face the midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset.Viewing parties are scheduled at the east ends of 34th and 42nd streets.
Quote Of The Day - Ron Paul
"I have received several calls and visits from constituents who, in spite of the heavy investment in their training, have been forced out of the military simply because they were discovered to be homosexual," Paul said Friday. "To me, this seems like an awful waste. Personal behavior that is disruptive should be subject to military discipline regardless of whether the individual is heterosexual or homosexual. But to discharge an otherwise well-trained, professional, and highly skilled member of the military for these reasons is unfortunate and makes no financial sense." - Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), one of five GOP House reps to vote in favor of repealing DADT. Stopped clock and all that.
Obama Issues Pride Month Proclamation
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
May 28, 2010
LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2010
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
As Americans, it is our birthright that all people are created equal and deserve the same rights, privileges, and opportunities. Since our earliest days of independence, our Nation has striven to fulfill that promise. An important chapter in our great, unfinished story is the movement for fairness and equality on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. This month, as we recognize the immeasurable contributions of LGBT Americans, we renew our commitment to the struggle for equal rights for LGBT Americans and to ending prejudice and injustice wherever it exists.
LGBT Americans have enriched and strengthened the fabric of our national life. From business leaders and professors to athletes and first responders, LGBT individuals have achieved success and prominence in every discipline. They are our mothers and fathers, our sons and daughters, and our friends and neighbors. Across my Administration, openly LGBT employees are serving at every level. Thanks to those who came before us -- the brave men and women who marched, stood up to injustice, and brought change through acts of compassion or defiance -- we have made enormous progress and continue to strive for a more perfect union.
My Administration has advanced our journey by signing into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which strengthens Federal protections against crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation. We renewed the Ryan White CARE Act, which provides life-saving medical services and support to Americans living with HIV/AIDS, and finally eliminated the HIV entry ban. I also signed a Presidential Memorandum directing hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds to give LGBT patients the compassion and security they deserve in their time of need, including the ability to choose someone other than an immediate family member to visit them and make medical decisions.
In other areas, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a series of proposals to ensure core housing programs are open to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. HUD also announced the first-ever national study of discrimination against members of the LGBT community in the rental and sale of housing. Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services has created a National Resource Center for LGBT Elders.
Much work remains to fulfill our Nation's promise of equal justice under law for LGBT Americans. That is why we must give committed gay couples the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple, and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. We must protect the rights of LGBT families by securing their adoption rights, ending employment discrimination against LGBT Americans, and ensuring Federal employees receive equal benefits. We must create safer schools so all our children may learn in a supportive environment. I am also committed to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" so patriotic LGBT Americans can serve openly in our military, and I am working with the Congress and our military leadership to accomplish that goal.
As we honor the LGBT Americans who have given so much to our Nation, let us remember that if one of us is unable to realize full equality, we all fall short of our founding principles. Our Nation draws its strength from our diversity, with each of us contributing to the greater whole. By affirming these rights and values, each American benefits from the further advancement of liberty and justice for all.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2010 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month by fighting prejudice and discrimination in their own lives and everywhere it exists.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.
Weekend Mix - DJ Jeff Jackson And
DJ Disco Connie
Roll into your holiday weekend with this flashback '70s disco classic mix from the tag-team duo of DJ Jeff Jackson and DJ Disco Connie. Setlist. Website. Facebook.
RESIDENCY: Double Headed Disco @ Nowhere Bar, New York City. "Double Headed Disco is a small collaborative of DJs who have turned their monthly disco party into an East Village institution on the last Saturday of every month." The next party is tonight!
PREVIOUSLY ON JMG: DJ Phillip Kimball. DJ Paul Ferrer. DJ Shane Stiel. DJ Paul Goodyear. DJ Susan Morabito. DJ Seymour Butz. DJ RuBot. DJ Rotten Robbie. DJ Ted Eiel. DJ Herbie James. DJ David Knapp. DJ Dave Huge. DJ Corey Craig.
Friday, May 28, 2010
House Passes Full Defense Spending Bill With DADT Repeal Attached
Last night the House of Representatives voted in favor of attaching the compromise DADT repeal to its massive Defense spending bill. Although some GOP reps attempted to derail the full bill today, it has just passed by a similar partisan vote. Now the fight returns to the Senate. The Dallas Voice reports:
The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network has issued the below statement.
The Senate Armed Services Committee voted last night to approve the same amendment to their version of the defense bill, but Republicans in the Senate have vowed to keep fighting the amendment when it comes to the Senate floor for a vote. They have said they will filibuster the whole defense bill to try and kill DADT repeal. Even if the amendment passes in the Senate, too, the policy will not be immediately repealed, thanks to a compromise requiring implementation of the repeal to wait until the Pentagon completes a study on its impact — expected in December. Then the president, the defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would have to certify that the repeal wouldn’t hurt military readiness. THEN, when all those hoops are jumped through, there would be a 60 day waiting period before the policy is actually repealed.
With today's successful final passage vote on the defense budget bill, the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' continues to move forward. We now look to the full senate to pass DADT repeal by mid-summer and bring the defense bill to the President's desk by October 1. While the votes in the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee are historic, it is important for all gay and lesbian, active-duty service members, including those in the reserves and the national guard, to know they're at risk. They must continue to serve in silence under the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law that remains on the books. Congress and the Pentagon need to stay on track to get repeal finalized, hopefully no later than first quarter 2011. We thank House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Patrick Murphy for their leadership and working to make sure we had a solid vote in the face of tough opposition.But the president says that he'll VETO the Defense bill unless Congress fixes issues he has with the planned purchase of fighter planes.
"As the Congress continues its work on funding bills for the Department of Defense, I want to reiterate my strong support for the reforms Secretary Gates is advancing at the Pentagon. He has kept me fully apprised of his efforts to reform how our military operates and bring needed efficiencies to the Department of Defense. I stand squarely behind Secretary Gates' position on the JSF second engine and C-17 programs. As the Statement of Administration Policy made clear, our military does not want or need these programs being pushed by the Congress, and should Congress ignore this fact, I will veto any such legislation so that it can be returned to me without those provisions."And on and on we go....
Straight Couple Ditches New York To Hold Wedding In Gay-Friendlier Connecticut
New Yorkers Matt Borden and Rachel Henes say they are ditching the Empire State to hold their wedding in Connecticut, a move they are making as a show of solidarity to LGBT New Yorkers who cannot legal wed in their own state. Borden is chief of staff to Assemblymember Deborah Glick, New York's first openly gay state legislator.
They’re hoping to spark a trend, to get more straight couples to marry in the Nutmeg State, or in any other state that affords equal marriage rights to gay couples. “When we were thinking about getting married it was hard not to look around and realize that it was a real privilege that we could,” Borden, 30, said. “It’s an opportunity to get people to think about the issue,” he said. The couple, who live in Clinton Hill, are writing letters to the governors of New York and Connecticut, as well as to key New York assemblymembers, to inform them of their decision, and to point out exactly how much money their marriage will bring to Connecticut, and how much New York will lose. If lots of other straight couples take up the cause, as Borden and Henes hope they will, it could represent a significant drain of dollars from the Empire State. The letter will be signed by the couple, as well as by wedding guests, “like a petition,” said Henes, 32. “Money is not the primary motivation,” Borden said, “nor do I think in the end it’s going to be what sways people, but it’s an important consideration.”Borden added: "If every straight person decided they were not going to get married in a state where same-sex marriage was illegal, I think there would be a huge shift. We really hope that it catches on."
You Know One When You See One
Dutch scientists say that an experiment using geometric shapes showed that homosexuals were more adept at identifying smaller shapes within larger ones, leading to the curious conclusion that there really is such a thing as gaydar.
A total of 42 men and women were shown pictures of outlines of large squares and rectangles, each of which was packed with smaller shapes. Our brains are wired to take in the bigger picture, meaning that if we are shown a square filled with rectangles and asked what is inside, we can easily be fooled into saying 'squares'. When the men and women were asked similar questions, the heterosexuals replied more quickly but were less accurate, the journal Frontiers in Cognition reports. The homosexuals took longer but got more answers right, particularly when asked about the smaller shapes, suggesting they were able to see the small details as well as the bigger picture. Or they were able to see the trees as well as the wood.My "perceptual skill" tells me this study is crap.
In everyday life, this attention to detail could help them work out people's sexuality. Researcher Dr Lorenza Colzato, of Leiden University in the Netherlands, said: 'This is the first time that scientific proof has been found for the existence of a gaydar mechanism amongst homosexuals. ‘This perceptual skill allows homosexuals to recognise other gay people faster and we think it's because they are much more analytic than heterosexuals.' Adopting such a perceptual style presumably increases the likelihood of detecting perceptual clues indicative of homosexual orientation, which facilitates finding like-minded social peers and potential friends and sex mates.
Gary Coleman Dead At 42
Troubled former child star Gary Coleman, best known as the smart-mouthed Arnold on the hit '80s sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, has died at the age of 42 after a fall at his Utah home.
Coleman's pudgy cheeks and flawless comic timing made him the break-out star of the popular series, which ran from 1978-86. His signature line, "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" became a national catchphrase. But Coleman's bright beginnings were overshadowed by domestic disputes, legal troubles and health issues. Coleman was born with a congenital kidney disease that resulted in his small stature. He had two kidney transplants and required frequent dialysis. At the height of Diff'rent Strokes' popularity, Coleman reportedly received up to $100,000 an episode. Beginning in 1980, he won four consecutive People's Choice Awards as Favorite Young TV Performer. He parlayed his prime-time success into steady work in TV guest spots, made-for-TV movies and feature films, including On the Right Track and The Kid with the Broken Halo. The latter inspired the animated TV series The Gary Coleman Show. But in the years after Diff'rent Strokes, Coleman was in the headlines more often for his off-screen troubles than for his acting.Coleman had been arrested several times in recent years for physical altercations with fans and his ex-wife.
HomoQuotable - CA Sen. Roy Ashburn
"My practice in my entire political career when it came to gay issues was to prevent any kind of spotlight from being shined my way, because I was in hiding. So casting any kind of vote might, could in some way, lead to my secret being revealed. That was terrifying to me. It was paralyzing. So I cast some votes that have denied gay people of their basic, equal treatment under the law, and I'm not proud of it. I'm not going to do that again." - California state Sen. Roy Ashburn, admitting what we know to be true of any anti-gay politician. Welcome to the light, Roy. We look forward to you making amends.
VIDEO: NBC Los Angeles talks to Ashburn about his transformation.
Choi & Pietrangelo Begin Hunger Strike
Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. James Pietrangelo have begun their hunger strike in response to the compromise plan to repeal DADT.
At 10:30pm Thursday night, at a private home in Northwest Washington D.C., Lt. Daniel Choi and Captain Jim Pietrangelo began what could potentially be a lengthy hunger strike. In another part of the house, the TV was tuned to C-SPAN, but the two were not watching as the House approved an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill that would overturn the 17 year law banning gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. It was clear to many, earlier in the day, that it would pass. Choi, a West Point graduate, fluent Arabist and Iraq veteran, said that he and Pietrangelo have three demands for President Obama. “Stop firing people, stop the study that insults everything America is by considering the question of whether or not discrimination is American, and replace the current military discriminatory policy with comprehensive non-discrimination policies,” he told Newsweek.Dan Choi: "I hope that people will remember in future generations that somebody did stand up uncompromisingly in 2010."
PhoboQuotable - Tony Perkins
"The hard left of the Democratic Party, led by President Obama and Speaker Pelosi, have chosen to put a political constituency with a radical agenda - the homosexual lobby - ahead of the well-being of our men and women in uniform. Tonight Speaker Pelosi and the House Majority ignored the pleas of the military, including all four service heads -- those who lead the men and women who actually understand what it means to selflessly serve. Speaker Pelosi also denied the request of the majority of military associations who asked that she show respect for our military commanders by holding off debate until the review process is completed.
"Unfortunately, for our brave servicemen and women, the liberal majority chose to advance the social agenda of a radical special interest group without giving an opportunity for the military to finish its own study of the issue. Concern, not for the troops but for their own political hides, is moving the Democrats to act with such expediency." - Family Research Council head Tony Perkins.
Photo Of The Day
Anti-gay preachers Brother Jed and Sister Cindy were at the University of Arizona screaming that homosexuals are going to hell, so the school's Secular Students Alliance had some fun. Hit the link for other clever counter-messages.
(Via - The Friendly Atheist)
TONIGHT: BP Protest In NYC
Environmental activists and the usual clingers-on to any social movement will gather near the BP station on Houston Street in downtown Manhattan tonight to protest the oil giant's culpability in the Gulf oil spill. Code Pink is involved. Ooh, and those always gentle folks from Critical Mass. I predict mayhem. Here's the action's fact sheet, via Gothamist.
The response to this event has been overwhelming and we are doing our best to make sure that everything goes smoothly. We need your help! Please read and follow these directions precisely, and SHARE them with your fellow protesters, many of whom will not see them. Word of mouth made this event huge, and word of mouth will make it beautiful. There will also be a dozen marshals with large MARSHAL BP badges who will be directing the group on site. Thank you!!There are only a handful of gas stations in Manhattan, so it's just BP's bad luck that they are one of them. Some folks will surely spend Memorial Day weekend in the Tombs.
DO converge at 6 pm sharp at the BP station on Houston between Broadway and Lafayette.
DO NOT be early or late.
DO NOT demonstrate ANY violence, verbal or physical, to the police, to your fellows, or to property. If you are detained DO NOT resist. If you or another are detained or harassed CALL OR TEXT (917) 544-5604.
DO wear either a costume of your choice or white clothes (that you
don’t mind getting sludgy).
DO bring a water bottle full of dirty (with dirt, molasses, food coloring or water-based paint) to pour on yourself. At 6:15 EXACTLY you may walk onto the station’s property and pour this “oil” on yourself or your (willing) neighbor to demonstrate what the people and wildlife in the Gulf are suffering. At this point when we are asked to leave we will be trespassing, so we advise you to leave when requested to do so.
Texas Radio Host: Bomb The Proposed Mosque At Ground Zero
MTA Issues New NYC Subway Map
NYC's MTA has issued an updated version of it iconic subway map. The new map continues to distort the actual shapes and sizes of the boroughs, especially Staten Island, which is shrunk to a fraction of its real size, otherwise it wouldn't fit on the map. And below you can see the real shape of Manhattan versus what the MTA tells tourists.The shape issues don't bother to much as the fact that they always orient the map so that it seems like Manhattan points due north. If due north was the 12 on a clock, Manhattan isn't at 6:00, it's more like 3:50. I have no idea why this annoys me.
Bill Clinton Offered Rep. Joe Sestak A Job On Obama's Behalf
The Huffington Post reports that Bill Clinton acted as the president's intermediary to offer Pennsylvania Senate candidate Rep. Joe Sestak an administration job in return for dropping out of his primary battle with Sen. Arlen Specter. The GOP is contending that the offer was illegal.
Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Penn.) was offered a prominent but uncompensated, advisory position -- in the national security/foreign policy area -- if he would drop out of the Pennsylvania Senate primary race, a source with knowledge of the exchange said during a briefing on Friday morning. The offer was made by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel through a prominent intermediary -- former President Bill Clinton -- during the months of June and July of 2009. The White House initiated the conversation, which occurred over phone. It would have allowed Sestak to remain in the House of Representatives while advising the president. The source said it would not be surprising if more than one conversation took place, though there were no other intermediaries involved. Sestak ultimately rejected the overture and went on to defeat incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Penn) in the Democratic primary election earlier this month.The White House has issued a memo confirming the offer.
SATC Ladies Talk Gay Marriage
The cast of Sex And The City 2 sat down with Towleroad's Josh Helmin to talk gay marriage. In the first interview with Sarah Jessica Parker, she gets rather pensive remembering her first gay friend's death from AIDS and worries that today's young gays don't take proper precautions.
Feds Claim Gulf Oil Spill Has Stopped
Federal officials are saying that it appears that the "top kill" attempt to plug the spewing oil will in the Gulf may have indeed worked.
The flow of oil from the broken well in the Gulf of Mexico has stopped, the U.S. incident commander Admiral Thad Allen claimed Friday, but BP warned it would be a further 48 hours before it was known whether the "top kill" procedure had been successful. The next 12 to 18 hours would be "very critical" in the effort to stop the gusher which has caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history, Allen said on ABC's Good Morning America show. BP's CEO Tony Hayward told NBC's TODAY show that the top kill attempt, which involves shooting heavy drilling mud into the blown-out well 5,000 feet underwater, was "proceeding pretty well according to plan."President Obama is in Louisiana today to inspect the damage already done to the wetlands.
Keith Olbermann & Dan Savage On The Anti-Gay DADT Crazies
Last night Olbermann and Savage talked about all those Hitler loving, soldier-raping, AIDS-carrying gays that the AFA and FRC have been warning you about. And then they get into John McCain's announced plan to filibuster the Senate vote and bring the entire repeal effort crashing down.
Who Were The House Dems Who Said No To The DADT Repeal Compromise Bill?
Here they are:
Bright (AL), Berry (AR), Ross (AR), Bishop (GA), Lipinski (IL), Donelly (IN), Peterson (MN) Childers (MS), Taylor (MS), Skelton (MO), Etheridge (NC), McIntyre (NC), Shuler (NC), Pomeroy (ND), Carney(PA), Critz (PA), Spratt (SC), Davis (TN), Tanner(TN), Edwards (TX), Gene (TX), Ortiz (TX), Boucher (VA), Rahall (WV).
90+ Story Apartment Building Planned For Manhattan Near Central Park
The ugly Trump World Tower will be deposed as New York City's tallest residential building after a planned 1005 foot apartment building is completed in Manhattan's near the southern end of Central Park.
The tower, designed by the French architect Christian de Portzamparc, will rise 1,005 feet above 57th Street east of Seventh Avenue, feature striking views of Central Park and house what Mr. Barnett hopes will be 136 of the most expensive and luxurious apartments in the city. A 210-room Park Hyatt hotel is to occupy the first 20 floors, hotel analysts say. “We’re going vertical in the next three weeks,” said Mr. Barnett, chief executive of Extell Development. Sounding a little like the developer he is one-upping, he said, “We think it’ll be the nicest project ever built in New York.” The project is the first major construction start in New York since the fall of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, and it is an ambitious, even risky undertaking. Unemployment still hovers at 10 percent in the city, which has only just begun to gain back some of the 150,000 jobs lost during the recession. Not so long ago, the real estate industry was right behind Wall Street and the nation’s automakers in crying for a federal bailout.The building is being partially financed by a bank owned by the Abu Dhabi government, of course. It's slated for completion in 2013. It looks like yet another bland glass box, at least to judge by the renderings released so far.
Activists Released In Zimbabwe, Say They Were Tortured In Jail
The two gay activists arrested in Zimbabwe earlier this week have been released on bail. The men were arrested for "undermining" the regime of dictator Robert Mugabe after an anti-Mugabe letter from former SF Mayor Willie Brown was found posted in their office. The men say they were tortured in jail.
Their employer, Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (Galz), said the two were assaulted by police while in custody. They were also made to bend their knees into a sitting position with their arms outstretched for long periods and struck with bottles when they weakened and fell, according to their defence attorney, David Hofisi. Nelson Chamisa, a government minister and spokesman for the Movement for Democratic Change, condemned the alleged abuse: "Ill treatment or inhumane handling of any human being for any reason goes against our philosophy. We do not believe harassment is the best way of doing business. It flies in the face of the democratic order."Next month they go on trial on charges of possessing pornography and insulting Mugabe.
Maddow On "Top Kill" Oil Spill Attempt
What Disney Teaches Girls
Quote Of The Day - Rush Limbaugh
"I know I am a target and I know I will be destroyed eventually. I fear that all I have accomplished and all the wealth I have accumulated will be taken from me, to the cheers of the crowd. I know I am hated and despised by the American Left." - Rush Limbaugh, from an email written the day after comedian Wanda Sykes blasted him during the White House Press Correspondents Dinner.
According to an upcoming book about Limbaugh, he regards homosexuality as "probably biologically determined" and has no objection to gays getting civil unioned, but considers same-sex marriage to be "culturally subversive."
Around The World
Thursday, May 27, 2010
DADT House Debate Highlights
House Passes DADT Repeal 234-194
The House of Representatives has passed the compromise repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" after long and rancorous debate. I'll post highlight clips from the debate shortly and will update this post with the vote's roll call. Ten reps did not vote, 26 Democrats voted "NO" and only five Republicans voted "YES."
UPDATE: The five GOP "Yes" votes: Charles Djou (Hawaii), Joseph Cao (Louisiana), Judy Biggert (Illinois), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Florida), Ron Paul (Texas).
Senator Senior Name
I just got an email from the DNC's Organizing For America asking if I would send a thank you letter to Senator Senior Name for standing up to Wall Street. It concludes, "Please show Sen. Name that support for reform isn't going unnoticed." I'll wait to see how Sen. Name votes on DADT.
DADT Compromise Repeal Bill Passes In Senate Armed Services Committee
The vote was 16-12 and now moves to the full Senate. And it wasn't televised, despite the demand made by John McCain earlier today.
The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday voted to let the Pentagon repeal the ban on gay men, lesbians and bisexual people from serving openly in the military, a big step toward dismantling the Clinton-era policy widely known as “don’t ask, don’t tell” as part of the annual defense authorization bill. The House has included a provision for repealing the ban in its version of the defense authorization bill, and a vote on the legislation was possible late Thursday. The Senate Armed Services Committee voted in a closed session, after about an hour of heated debate. The tally was 16 to 12. Senator Susan Collins of Maine said she was the only Republican to vote in favor of a repeal. She called the debate “vigorous.” Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan and chairman of the committee, said he believed the full Senate would support the repeal.The debate is continuing at a glacial pace on the House floor at this writing. Here's how the committee voted:
Yes: Carl Levin (Michigan), Robert C. Byrd (West Virginia), Joseph I. Lieberman (Connecticut), Jack Reed (Rhode Island), Daniel K. Akaka (Hawaii), Bill Nelson (Florida), Ben Nelson (Nebraska), Evan Bayh (Indiana), Claire McCaskill (Missouri), Mark Udall (Colorado), Kay R. Hagan (North Carolina), Mark Begich (Alaska), Roland W. Burris (Illinois), Jeff Bingaman (New Mexico), Edward E. Kaufman (Delaware), Susan M. Collins (Maine) - only Republican
No: Jim Webb (Virginia) - only Democrat, John McCain (Arizona), James M. Inhofe (Oklahoma), Jeff Sessions (Alabama), Saxby Chambliss (Georgia), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), John Thune (South Dakota), Roger F. Wicker (Mississippi), George S. LeMieux (Florida), Scott Brown (Massachusetts) Richard Burr (North Carolina) David Vitter (Louisiana)
The House vote may come at any minute. Watch live here.
Family Suing School After Bus Driver Tells Student To Stop Saying Gays Go To Hell
The wingnut-o-sphere is positively quivering with outrage today over a report that an Indiana school bus driver berated a girl for continuing to preach against gays and Obama to fellow students. The driver was recorded admonishing the student over the bus PA system. Keep in mind that the below news story and video are from a Fox News affiliate. The incident occurred in late 2008, but is in the news today because the parents are suing the school.
Video of the incident shows the bus driver calling the student "a stupid little bigot" after the two disagreed on abortion and gay marriage. It happened one day after President Barack Obama was elected. Parents of the student want the driver fired. Betty Campbell reportedly made the comment after a middle school girl told other students on the bus they were going to hell if they believed in gay marriage. Her parents say their little girl never said that. "She's been affected by this in a negative way at a core level that we're trying to get her back from, and we haven't been able to do it," said the girl's father, Ed Zimmer.
According to the surveillance video, the bus driver told the girl: "I don't want to hear one more word about anyone going to hell if they're gay or if they're Buddhist or whatever cause it's none of your damn business." "I'm not trying to be mean but you can't talk like that to people. I have heard you darling. It's not like I have never heard you," Campbell said in the video. However, Zimmer said during a deposition, and while she was under oath, Campbell admitted she had never heard the girl talk about gays going to hell. "Their reaction to this one is I think honestly, 'let's not do what's right. Let's protect ourselves against a lawsuit and we can strong arm the Zimmers,'" said Zimmer.
Republican House Members Rail Against DADT Repeal
Newly Out CA Sen. Roy Ashburn May Be Leaving The Dark Side
CA state Sen. Roy Ashburn (R), who was outed earlier this year after being arrested for DUI leaving a Sacramento gay bar, may slowly be seeing the light. Yesterday he voted for one of the two LGBT rights bills put before him and talked about being gay while doing so.
Two months after announcing he was gay, state Sen. Roy Ashburn of Bakersfield discussed his sexuality on the Senate floor and cast votes on two separate gay-rights bills. Ashburn was the only Republican senator to vote in support of allowing openly gay people to serve in the military, but he also voted against a bill that could remove a political obstacle to proposals to legalize same-sex marriage. Ashburn then took the unusual step of publicly explaining his votes on the Senate floor. "I would not have been speaking on a measure dealing with sexual orientation ever prior to the events that have transpired in my life over the last three months,’’ Ashburn told his colleagues. "However, I am no longer willing or able to remain silent on issues that affect sexual orientation and the rights of individuals. And so I am doing something that is quite different and foreign to me, and it’s highly emotional.’’The resolution supporting the repeal of DADT passed easily. Ashburn's LGBT rights track record was previously a big fat gay goose egg. He will be term-limited out of office this year.
Quote Of The Day - Charlie Crist
"Ultimately, as in all military matters I defer to the Pentagon and to the Generals and what the Senate is doing today is giving them the ultimate authority to do what is best for our military. So, I would be inclined to support the Senate's action on this." - Florida Gov. Charlie "Closet Case" Crist, reversing his previous position on DADT. Crist is running for the Senate as an independent.
OBAMA: I Take Responsibility For Not Moving Faster On Gulf Oil Spill
Vowing that BP will have to "pay dearly" for the Gulf oil spill, the president also acknowledged that the federal government did not move quickly enough at first.
“We are relying on every resource and every idea, every expert and every bit of technology to work to stop it,” the president said. “We will take ideas from anywhere but we are going to stop it. I know that doesn’t lessen the enormous sense of anger and frustration felt by people on the Gulf and so many Americans.” Fielding questions from reporters, Mr. Obama acknowledged that he should have moved more aggressively before the oil spill to clean up what he called a cozy and corrupt relationship between regulators and the oil industry. “Absolutely, I take responsibility for that,” he said. “There wasn’t a sufficient urgency.” Although the regulators were in some instances constrained by law from being more thoroughgoing, he added, “We should have busted through those constraints.”
Obama Promises Answers On Sestak
Today the president promised that the White House would "very shortly" address GOP claims that he illegally offered a job to Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nominee Joe Seestak if he would drop his challenge to Arlen Specter.
UNRELATED: I always want to write "Sestak" as "sleestak." Too much Land Of The Lost as a kid!
Fake Pediatricians Group Dumps Rekers
You've really got to be a scumbag when other scumbags won't be seen with you. After being disavowed by the Family Research Council (which he co-founded) and by NARTH, for whom he wrote extensively and sat on their board of directors, Dr. George Rekers has now been dumped by that fake pediatricians group fronted by NARTH members. Wayne Besen reports at Truth Wins Out:
The American College of Pediatricians (ACP) has dumped George “rent boy” Rekers from its “Pediatric Psychosocial Development Committee”. Until now, the organization was one of the few anti-gay groups to stick by the disgraced charlatan. This is an important development because The American College of Pediatricians recently launched an anti-gay website, Facts About Youth, that was bereft of basic truth and objective reality. The ACP also sent letters promoting their propaganda to more than 10,000 school superintendents across America.Man overboard!
LIVE VIDEO: U.S. House DADT Debate
Family Research Council: Gay Soldiers Will Rape You If DADT Is Repealed
Echoing what his boss Tony Perkins said in January, today Family Research Council spokestwat Peter Sprigg held a press conference to announce that if DADT were to be repealed, gay soldiers will go on a raping spree.
Here's how the Family Research Council envisions things going if Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed: first, more straight soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines will be fellated in their sleep against their will. Then, commanders afraid of being labeled homophobes will refuse to do anything about it. Eventually, the straight service members will quit out of fear. On a conference call with reporters today, FRC Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg delivered the results of what he said was the first-ever study of "homosexual assault" in the military. Joined by several former military officers opposed to allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces, he warned Congress that the DADT repeal language currently under discussion with the agreement of the White House will turn the U.S. military into a terrifying free-rape zone where no heterosexual is safe.According to Sprigg, straight soldiers will be too afraid of being accused of "asking for it" to report sexual assaults. He claims that gays in the military already commit three times the number of sexual assaults as heterosexuals, a figure he arrives at by dividing the percentage of same-sex assaults recorded by the military by his (invented) percentage of gay men in the general population, 2.8%. The truth, of course, is that gay men probably constitute far more than 2.8% of the general population and an even higher percentage of the military.
RELATED: Sprigg made no mention of his organization's co-founder, Dr. George Rekers.
Vodka Eyeballing, SRSLY?
Stand aside beer pong, because according to the British tabloid Daily Mail, drinking vodka through your eyeballs is some kind of fad in the UK.
Even as drunken student antics go, it was, by any stretch of the imagination, a disturbing scene. Surrounded by cheering rugby players, applauded by fellow members of the university netball team, 19-year-old Melissa Fontaine tipped back her head and giggled as fellow drinkers in the Students' Union bar pulled apart her eyelids and allowed them to pour a shot of vodka into her left eye. 'Vodka eyeballing', as it is known in student circles, is the latest drinking craze to sweep through Britain's universities. Those who do it claim that it induces feelings of drunkenness at break-neck speeds, providing an instant high.At 40% ethanol, vodka's corrosive effect on the cornea can be immediate and permanent. According to the above-linked story, this idiocy has already surfaced in America, where barmaids have done it for extra tips. Kids today.
But the devastating long-term damage it causes is becoming a major concern among doctors and university authorities who already worry that Britain's student drinking culture is out of control. Melissa, who left university last summer and is now 22, believes they are right to be worried. Her constantly watering left eye has been left permanently scarred by her antics. More worryingly still, she has been warned that her eyesight may deteriorate further as she gets older. 'I'm in constant pain because of what I did,' she says. 'And I'm terrified that it will get worse. I wish I could turn the clock back and change things. But I can't.'
(Via - Gothamist)
Summer's Here And The Gay Boys Are Lip-Dubbing Their Way To Fire Island
Towleroad tips us to the latest from the same boys whose Party In The FIP was an internet sensation last summer, winning almost 4 million YouTube views to date. This time they lip-dub Don't Rain On My Parade (the Glee version) as they rush around Manhattan getting ready for Fire Island.
Tweet Of The Day - BP Global PR
PhoboQuotable - Bryan Fischer
"Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews. Gays in the military is an experiment that has been tried and found disastrously and tragically wanting. Maybe it's time for Congress to learn a lesson from history.
"The leftwing blogosphere has gone berzerko over comments I made on my radio program this week regarding Adolph Hitler's homosexuality and the savage homosexuality of his Storm Troopers. At this point, an excerpt of my remarks is now on YouTube and has been referred to by the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and the Guardian in the U.K. I have been accused of sinking to new lows and excoriated for rank homophobia. The problem for my critics, however, is that I'm right." - American Family Association radio host Bryan Fischer, writing on his AFA blog.
Fischer goes on to quote lengthily from Scott Lively's The Pink Swastika. Lively, as you may know, is the American evangelical behind the Christianist attempt to install the death penalty for LGBT people across Africa.