Thursday, November 27, 2014

Guest Post: Carl Siciliano

"We won't have a faggot in our house."

Those are the words M heard after his mother died of cancer. He was 16. His mom had loved and accepted him. But not his aunt and uncle. They took in his little brother, but left M to fend for himself in the streets.

M lived in a town in Florida that had no youth shelter. He and about 20 other homeless kids slept on the floor of an unlocked building in the town park. He used his knapsack with his school books and his toothbrush and deodorant inside as his pillow. Those were the good nights. The bad nights were when the police chased them out. On those nights he tried to sleep in an abandoned lot, hidden in the weeds. Those nights his allergies tormented him; his eyes and throat swelled, and he struggled to breath.

No matter what kind of night he had, M went to school every day. He did it to honor the memory of his mom, who said she would kick his butt in the afterlife if he didn't get an education. Despite the soul-shattering hardships he endured, he graduated at 18.

"As soon as I get the chance, I'm going to kill you, you fucking faggot."

Those are the words one of M's friends heard when he walked through the courtyard into the youth shelter where most of the beds for New York City's homeless youths are located. Despite local and federal regulations that mandate that youth shelters be in homelike environments with no more than 20 beds, NYC has crowded hundreds of kids into that shelter. Many LGBT kids report being bashed and harassed by the numerous gang members who stay there. M came to New York City after he graduated from high school, and tried to stay at there. But after being attacked too many times he ended up sleeping in the subways.

I met M the day he moved into one of the Ali Forney Center's homelike shelters after sleeping in the subways for six months. That was a really good day for M. He has had some wonderful days since; like the day he was accepted into college, and the day he got hired for his job counseling other teens. Those were good days for the Ali Forney Center as well, as have the been the joyful days in recent months when over 40 of our youths in our new job training program have been hired.

But we have had some really bad days. Since the federal sequestration and it's vast cuts we have lost about $1 Million in government funding. I have been struggling to pay our rents and our food bills, and keep our programs going. I don't sleep in a vacant lot, but I have had more than my share of sleepless nights worrying about the future of the Ali Forney Center.

But in the end I trust we will go forward. Our work of housing and protecting homeless LGBT youths must survive and grow. Too many of the LGBT kids we care for have endured cruelty, violence and contempt in their homes and in other shelters. Over 1,300 kids a year from across our country rely on the Ali Forney Center to provide a home where they are protected and accepted for who they are. I trust that our work will go on, because I trust in the goodness of our community. I was very frightened after Hurricane Sandy destroyed our drop-in center, and yet so many in our community showed me that they would stand by our us in our devastation. The sequestration is a different kind of storm, a storm made by cruel politics, not weather. But no less devastating, especially for the poorest, most vulnerable youths of our community.

I thank Joe, and all of the members of the JoeMyGod community for standing by us with kindness and generosity for many years. Once again, I ask that you stand by us and our youths in a difficult time. Happy Thanksgiving!

NOTE FROM JOE: I'd like to echo Carl's thanks to the JMG community. Carl gives a lovely shout-out to you folks every year at the Ali Forney Center's annual fundraiser, as so many of you have been so very generous over all these years. It's a wonderfully proud moment for me. If you are considering make a donation this year, you can do that here. You can also make donations on PayPal by using this email: mramos@aliforneycenter.org.

In addition, there's an AFC's campaign at IndieGoGo, where "perks" are awarded at various donation levels. The top donation level gets you lunch with famed Brat Pack actress Ally Sheedy, one of Ali Forney's most ardent supporters. Again, thanks so VERY much to all you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, whether you celebrate with your biological family, or as Armistead Maupin famously calls it, your logical one.

RELATED: The Ali Forney Center's financial records are viewable here.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Kelly Clarkson - Wrapped In Red

Strangely enough, this new clip is from last year's Christmas album by Clarkson. Lovely track, nevertheless.

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Garth Brooks Cancels Gig Over Ferguson

Brooks was scheduled to perform on the Tonight Show.

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Mississippi Asks Fifth Circuit To Extend Marriage Stay: Don't Turn Us Into Utah

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and state Attorney General Jim Hood this afternoon filed a motion with the Fifth Circuit Court which demands an indefinite stay extension on yesterday's ruling by a federal district court. That court's stay is scheduled to expire in two weeks and according to today's filing, unless an emergency extension is granted, there will be another "debacle" as was seen in Utah.
Absent the immediate entry of an emergency stay, at the opening of business on Wednesday, December 10, 2014, Mississippi circuit clerks will be forced to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, inderogation of Mississippi’s strong public policy favoring traditional marriages, as reflected in state statutory and constitutional provisions. The State Defendants, Governor Phil Bryant and Attorney General Jim Hood, filed a contingent motion for stay pending appeal in the district court in the event that court entered a preliminary injunction. Last night, the district court granted the Plaintiff-Appellees’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction, but entered only a 14 day temporary stay, necessitating this request for emergency relief.

The preliminary injunction drastically alters the status quo and disrupts the social fabric and traditions of the State. If same-sex marriages are permitted to proceed, even for a very short time, if the validity of Mississippi’s traditional marriage laws is upheld on appeal, the State would be presented with the extremely unfortunate and thorny issue of having to legally unwind any marital or other family relationships which were created or altered pursuant to “in the interim” same-sex marriage licenses. The recent debacle in the State of Utah that resulted from the courts’ “on-again, off-again” treatment of same-sex marriage is illustrative, and this Court should take action to prevent Mississippi from having to endure the same experience.
Read the full filing at Equality Case Files.

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Canada Joins Twitter

I wonder how much they paid the person who's been sitting that handle all this time. Twitter officially bans the sale of its handles, but some are known to have gone for upwards of six figures.

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FLORIDA: Lawmakers Introduce Sweeping LGBT Anti-Discrimination Bill

Via Equality Florida:
Earlier today, Representative Holly Raschein (R- Key Largo) and Democratic Whip Senator Joseph Abruzzo (D- Boynton Beach) filed legislation in the Florida House and Senate respectively that would prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) in employment, housing and public accommodations. Known as the Florida Competitive Workforce Act (FCWA), the legislation would amend Chapter 760 of the Florida State Statutes that currently prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap or marital status to include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The bill would add protections for more than 536,000 LGBT adults living in Florida. Despite overwhelming public support and the passage of local equal rights ordinances throughout the state, there is no statewide law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Florida,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida.
The map above shows the states that presently provide employment and housing protections. The darker-shaded states include gender identity as well as sexual orientation. For a slightly different map that depicts public accommodation protections, click here.

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Pat Robertson: Gay Rights Are Destroying Everything The Pilgrims Worked For

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Have Yourself A Merry Little Mythmas

"Keep the yuletide gay. If your son is, keep him locked away."

(Tipped by JMG reader Doug)

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This Week's New Yorker

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Local Haters Have The Arkansas Sadz

"This is another example of judicial tyranny. Arkansans voted overwhelmingly to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Their elected officials voted for that definition when they passed Arkansas’ Defense of Marriage Act. By issuing this ruling, one federal judge is saying seventy-five percent of Arkansas voters and lawmakers do not matter. If that isn’t tyranny, I don’t know what is. What Judge Baker effectively did was erase Arkansas’ definition of marriage. It opens the door for marriage to become anything. We have already seen polygamists in Utah and elsewhere try to ride the coat tails of same-sex marriage activists in court. Rulings like this one only fuel those efforts. If Americans are not free to decide how they will define something as basic as marriage, then what are they free to decide?” - Arkansas Family Council head Jerry Cox, via press release.

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The American Family Association Has The Mississippi And Arkansas Super Sadz

"The federal judiciary has mutated into a gargantuan beast, looming over liberty, freedom and the Constitution itself, and imposing its own benighted and twisted version of morality on the entire country with no legal, statutory, constitutional or moral authority. But it has no police force it can order to arrest or detain anyone. If its unconstitutional rulings are ignored, what will the Supreme Court do? It can issue an arrest order, I suppose, but if a governor will not allow it to be executed, what can the Court do? The answer is nothing. For a governor to stand up and refuse to cower to a federal court would not be civil disobedience at all. It would be constitutional obedience -- obedience to the Constitution and its provisions in the ninth and 10th amendments, obedience to his own state constitution, and obedience to the oath he took before Almighty God. Governors do not take an oath of allegiance to the Supreme Court. They take an oath of allegiance to the Constitution. It’s time they started acting like it." - Hate group spokesdouche Bryan Fischer, expanding on last night's delicious Twitter meltdown. The AFA is headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi.

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Erasure - Reason

This is the second single from The Violet Flame, which is now available. Their current tour concludes in Manhattan on December 30th and 31st at Terminal 5.  Erasure first entered the US charts 29 years ago with Who Needs Love Like That, which peaked at #8. The first single from the new album, Elevation,  peaked last month at #3.

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MISSISSIPPI: State Files Notice Of Appeal

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and state Attorney General Jim Hood today filed notice that they will appeal yesterday's marriage ban ruling to the Fifth Circuit Court, whose jurisdiction includes that state, Louisiana, and Texas. The Fifth Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the Texas and Louisiana cases on January 5th and it seems likely that Mississippi will be added to that day's roster. See today's filing at Equality Case Files.

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Most-Googled Thanksgiving Recipes

Frog eye salad. Dirt pudding. Pretzel salad. Never heard of 'em. Embiggen or go here for details.

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Emergency Heart Surgery For RBG

Via the New York Daily News:
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has had a heart stent implanted to address artery blockage. The 81-year-old justice underwent the procedure Wednesday morning at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in D.C., the court revealed. "The coronary blockage was discovered after Justice Ginsburg experienced discomfort during routine exercise last night and was taken to the hospital," the court said in a statement. "She is resting comfortably and is expected to be discharged in the next 48 hours." Ginsburg has downplayed rumors that she would soon retire, amid reports of her declining health. “All I can say is that I’m still here and likely to remain for a while,” she told Katie Couric this summer.

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Todd Starnes, Literary Bad Boy

"I called the public library and had a very nice chat with the librarian. She confirmed that my book had indeed been turned away. She said there were not enough 'professional reviews.' The librarian also said they had limited space for books. 'We have a really small library,' she said. 'Real estate on our shelves is very valuable.' That’s understandable. I’m just glad the Cordova Public Library has ample room on their shelves for the works of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore and President Obama. No wonder they don’t have room for the bad boy of the literary world. I can’t say I’m all that surprised that the public library refused to accept my book. A few years ago Amazon banned my second book, 'Dispatches From Bitter America.' They said it contained offensive material. But that’s how the tolerance and diversity crowd operates. They don’t burn books – they just ban them." - Todd Starnes, very upset that a small Alaska town library rejected his book.

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Viral Video Of The Day

Via Raw Story:
In the video embedded below, fundamentalist Christian home-school mom and conservative cultural critic Megan Fox — no relation to “Transformers” actress Megyn Fox — visits the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and purports to “audit” the museum for its “liberal bias.” In the description of the 30 minute video she uploaded to YouTube to document the visit, Fox wrote, “In November 2014, Megan Fox toured the Field Museum’s ‘Evolving Earth’ exhibit to audit it for bias. She found many examples of inconsistencies and the Field Museum’s insistence that people support opinion as fact without proof. The Field Museum pushes certain theories as if they are absolute proven law when that is not how the scientific method works.” Dangerous Minds wrote, “(S)he’s an idiot, she homeschools her kids and she’s a fucking dingbat with her own YouTube channel so she can inflict her low IQ buffoonery on everyone else.”
I've actually watched the entire hilarious thing. At the 18-minute mark, Fox unmasks the liberal plot to hide the historical fact that dragons existed.

UPDATE: Readers remind us that Fox is the blogging sidekick of demented homocon horcux Kevin DuJan, the douchebag responsible for Teabagistan's favorite rumor: Obama goes to bathhouses. DuJan has largely dropped out of sight after regaining the national spotlight with his campaign to skew the online voting for Dancing With The Stars in favor of Bristol Palin.

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TEXAS: State Claims To Be Surprised By Request To Lift Marriage Stay

Via the Houston Chronicle:
Texas officials want a federal judge to uphold the state's same-sex marriage ban, calling a request by gay couples to be allowed to immediately marry "untimely" and "out of order." "The plaintiffs offer no explanation for why they waited so long to file their motion,"Attorney General Greg Abbott wrote in a court document filed Tuesday. "They should not be rewarded for lying behind the log and springing this challenge on the Court and the State at the eleventh hour, demanding immediate relief." U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia of San Antonio in February ruled Texas' gay marriage ban unconstitutional, but issued a stay on allowing gay couples to immediately wed during the appeals process. Abbott has appealed the ruling to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. On Monday, the two same-sex couples challenging the ban filed a motion asking Garcia to lift the stay. Abbott, the governor-elect, however, said the plaintiffs should be forced to wait until the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hears the Texas and Louisiana cases on Jan. 9: "Modifying the preliminary-injunction order to remove the stay would interfere with the Fifth Circuit's appellate jurisdiction."
Lying behind the log? Read the full filing. (Tipped by JMG reader Rob)

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BRITAIN: Christian Group Battles For The Right To Discriminate Against Gays

Britain's Coalition For Marriage (C4M) is continuing their battle for a "conscience clause" which would allow Christian-owned businesses to refuse to serve gay people. You might recall that during Britain's campaign for marriage equality, C4M posted dozens of anti-gay clips in the style of the infamous Minnesota Marriage Minute series, in which a dour-faced woman contended that civilization would come crumbling down once them there gays got their way. The latest push by C4M stars Hazelmary Bull, the bed-and-breakfast owner who lost multiple court cases in her battle for the right to turn away same-sex couples.

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Tweet Of The Day - Ben Shapiro

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Mississippi Goddam!

"They try to say it's a communist plot, all I want is equality for my sister, my brother, my people and me. You don't have to live next to me, just give my equality."

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