Friday, March 07, 2008

NYS Assembly's O'Donnell Advances
To Key Education Post

Openly gay New York State Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell (D-NYC) has been named to the Standing Committee On Education. O'Donnell was the prime sponsor of the Dignity For All Students Act, the anti-bullying and discrimination in public schools legislation which passed in the Assembly last week. O'Donnell: "I believe this advocacy to be the most important aspect of this appointment."

The Dignity For All Students Act remains unapproved by the state Senate, but with the recent special election of a Democrat, the Senate is now within one vote of Democratic control. Congrats and our gratitude to O'Donnell for continuing the good fight.

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We're Listening

From the Victory Fund, an audio clip of an Oklahoma state representative saying what she really feels about gays.

The Victory Fund doesn't want to name the legislator lest she become a "cause célèbre" for the right wing.

UPDATE: OK, now that Sally Kerns' identity is known, here's her mug. Wanna contact her?

Capitol Address: 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd. Room 332 Oklahoma City, OK 73105 (405) 557-7348.

District Address:
2713 Sterling Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73127.


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Domestic Abuse Protection For NYC Gays

If your significant other is getting abusive, you may soon have redress in New York City.
Legislation will be introduced next week in New York City council to make it easier for same-sex partners in abusive relationships to seek help. The measure is sponsored by Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. It would allow anyone who is living, or has lived, with their attacker the right to seek an order of protection.

Under current New York law, victims can only take civil action against someone they've been married to or have children with. It means that a partner in a same-sex relationship must file a criminal complaint with police. Unless the partner has been physically attacked there is little police can do.

"Domestic violence manifests itself in lesbian and gay relationships at the same rate it does in heterosexual relationships," Quinn in announcing the bill. "Passing a bill like this will also send a message to people who may be in LGBT or other relationships that they now have a new avenue."
I'll confess that I would have thought that this issue had long ago been addressed in NYC.

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RIAA Accused Of Investigative Abuses

File sharers take note, a woman mistakenly sued for illegal downloading may be about to force the RIAA to disclose their investigative techniques.
Things will get very ugly over the next few months for the RIAA, if one disgruntled file sharing lawsuit victim gets her way.

Tanya Andersen, the single mother who filed a countersuit against the RIAA after the organization mistakenly sued her for sharing music online, is attempting to hold it responsible for all sorts of heavy infractions ("RICO violations, fraud, invasion of privacy, abuse of process, electronic trespass, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, negligent misrepresentation, the tort of 'outrage,' and deceptive business practices").

According to Mike Ratoza, a copyright lawyer with Bullivant, Houser and Bailey who teaches at the University of Oregon, Andersen is close to forcing the RIAA into the discovery phase of her countersuit. During that discovery phase, the RIAA could be forced to release potentially incriminating details about its techniques for investigating alleged file sharers.

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Blue In The Lead....For Now

Aggregating 100 separate polls, Survey USA comes to the conclusion that both Clinton and Obama would (at the present) beat John McCain in electoral votes. Some are questioning the sample sizes of the polls, however.
(Via - Andrew Sullivan)

The Reincarnation Of Elmer Gantry

Provided by People For The American Way, here's a delightful sampling of the homophobic spewing by Rev. Rod Parsely, John McCain's new "spiritual guide." Step back, you don't want to get spittle on you.

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Morning View - Hello Deli

Around the corner from the Ed Sullivan Theater on Broadway, home to the David Letterman Show, is the Hello Deli, site of many Letterman skits. Owner Rupert G wasn't around when I took this shot. I think Letterman must keep Rupert in business, there never seems to be a customer inside.


Daily Grumble

Yesterday I walked down the long line of cabs in the taxi stand outside of a midtown hotel and not one would take me because I didn't have suitcases and therefore was clearly not going to be a high-revenue airport passenger. I'm pretty sure that's illegal, isn't it? There were no hotel patrons waiting for a cab. Grrr.


Broadway Friday

- After three weeks of previews, the all-black revival of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof officially opens today at the Broadhurst Theater. Stars: Phylicia Rashad, James Earl Jones, Giancarlo Esposito, and Terrence Howard.

- Tony nominee Euan Morton (Taboo) is currently playing a solo show titled Here and Now at the Algonquin Hotel's Oak Room. I saw Morton in both Taboo and in Measure For Pleasure at the Public Theater. Amazing.

- A movie of the musical version of The Color Purple will star American Idol finalist Fantasia, who joined the Broadway cast of the now-closed show late in its run. Will there be a Jennifer Hudson-style repeat come Oscar time?

- Mario Lopez joins the cast of A Chorus Line on April 15th in the non-singing role of Zach, who teaches the cast their dance moves. Dancing With The Stars pays off.

- Rodgers and Hart's Pal Joey, whose original 1940 cast included Gene Kelly, will see a Broadway revival this December. The 1957 movie version starred Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth, and Kim Novak. Casting for the revival has not been announced. Joe Mantello will direct.

- Sunday's ABC Daytime Salutes Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit at Town Hall raised $300,000. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has distributed over $110M to PWA's since its inception in 1988.

- The original Broadway cast album of The Little Mermaid will be released on February 28th. How can all that bloat fit on one CD?

- Desperate Housewives, the Broadway musical? Oh, dear.

Broadway Openings Recap:
Mar 6 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Mar 9 In the Heights
Mar 27 Gypsy
Apr 3 South Pacific
Apr 8 Macbeth
Apr 17 A Catered Affair
Apr 24 Cry-Baby
Apr 27 The Country Girl
Apr 30 Thurgood
May 1 Les Liaisons Dangereuses

- There will always be glitches during previews, but usually they don't include a 30-inch steel portion of the ventilation system crashing into the audience, as happened moments before Patti Lupone's big number in Gypsy on Tuesday night. One young woman was injured and treated by EMTs, but the show, of course, went on. Ms. Lupone always brings down the house, yuk yuk.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

American Family Association: Keep Your Kids At Home On Day Of Silence

From the American Family Association:
If your child's school observes the homosexual sponsored "Day of Silence," keep your child at home April 25.

Friday, April 25, several thousand schools across the nation will be observing "Day of Silence (DOS)." DOS is a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools.

AFA is joining other family-oriented groups in urging parents to keep their children at home that day if their local school is participating in the DOS project. By remaining silent, the intent of the pro-homosexual students is to disrupt the classes while promoting the homosexual lifestyle.

DOS is sponsored by an activist homosexual group, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). DOS leads the students to believe that every person who identifies as a homosexual, bisexual or cross-dresser is a victim of ongoing, unrelenting harassment and hate. Students are taught that homosexuality is a worthy lifestyle, homosexuality has few or no risks, and individuals are born homosexual and cannot change. Those who oppose such teaching are characterized as ignorant and hateful bigots.
The list of schools observing the Day Of Silence is mighty, awe-inspiring, and particularly satisfying to see unfurling for page after page on the wingnuts own site.

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Disco Legend Paul Parker Returns

Out gay disco hottie Paul Parker is back! You may remember Parker from his big hits in the 80's and 90's, (Right On Target was my favorite). His new single Don't Stop (What You're Doing To Me) is now available on iTunes and Amazon. Here's the audio-only YouTube clip of the new track.

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Five Random One-Liners

Cellphone conversations overheard while walking down St. Marks Place in East Village last night....

1. "OK, but in that case I'll need to get a new wig."

2. "You just can't argue that bitches is meaner."

3. "Just put it by the super's door. If it's still there in the morning, it's definitely dead."

4. "Wait, are you talking about Gay David or Super Gay David?"

5. "No, you don't pee on it. It tells you the answer without pee."

And this was found in the Phoenix's mens room.

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Hillary Endorses McCain Over Obama?

This clip is appearing everywhere over the last couple days with many interpreting it as Hillary saying (over and over) that John McCain would make a better president than Barack Obama.

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Hate In 2008: A Call To Action

Florida's Fight Out Loud has compiled a sobering video accounting of the violence against LGBT people in 2008, which is already shaping up to be the worst year in recent memory.

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$1 Bus Trips From NYC - DC

As new mega-cheap bus service is about to launch between NYC and DC.
BoltBus will begin running eight trips a day from Washington, D.C. to New York, beginning March 27, as Jaunted reported yesterday. A division of Greyhound/Peter Pan bus line, the company boasts buses that are bedecked with Wi-Fi, with leather seats on select coaches, expansive legroom and those much-coveted power plugs.

BoltBus will offer at least one seat per trip for $1—a move that emulates the marketing plan of Chicago-based MegaBus and budget airline Skybus.

As is expected, the closer the departure date approaches, the more the fare increases. Jaunted checked some dates near the end of March and found a roundtrip for $2.50.

Probably one of the best programs the company implemented is the frequent-rider program; if you take eight trips, the ninth is free. And, listen up, airlines: There are no restrictions or blackout dates.
Hmm, I just checked the site and there still seems to be a lot of $1 seats left for the end of March when the service launches. The Wi-Fi alone would sell it for me at prices comparable to the other lines, much less $1. Neat!

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LUSTRE at P.S. 122

Last night Little David and I attended Lustre: A Midwinter Trans-Fest at P.S. 122, starring Tony nominee Justin Bond. I wasn't sure what to expect, having seen Bond in many strangely diverse venues (on Broadway, at The Cock, etc). The show turned out to be an interesting melange of spoken word, performance art, dance, and cabaret as Bond and a cast of gender-variants took us on a trans-journey that included references to Joan Didion (really), Jean Genet, Kate Bornstein, and Ethyl Eichelberger. I particularly enjoyed the performance of pianist Our Lady J, who read with me at a recent show at Rapture.

Debbie Harry was seated a few feet away from us and at the end of the show I think I showed remarkable restraint by merely nodding politely as she exited past us. Out on the sidewalk, I waited for a cab a few feet away from Ms. Harry and her party and wondered if she could hear Feel The Spin, which I'd hastily cued up on my iPod.

Lustre continues through this weekend. Get tickets here. If you've never seen Justin Bond perform, you are denying yourself something quite magical.

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Times Square Recruiting Station Bombed

From the NY Times:
New York City police officers and firefighters cordoned off much of Times Square for more than two hours after a small explosion — apparently set off by a manmade device — damaged the front of the Armed Forces Career Center on the traffic island bounded by 43rd and 44th Streets, Seventh Avenue and Broadway around 4 a.m., officials said. No one was injured, and after a temporary interruption, subway service was restored.
You know, it's more than a little remarkable that stuff like this doesn't happen more regularly. I always wonder what gets thwarted that we all just never hear about.

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Could Florida Gov. Charlie Crist
Become Our First Gay VP?

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has long been considered a strong contender to be McCain's choice for running mate. Now that McCain has secured the nomination, the old gay rumors about Crist (which I've covered here for years) are becoming louder. From Miami's New Times:
The rumors about Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and the Green Iguana just wouldn't go away.

The story goes that the Florida governor frequented the Green Iguana, a bar in Tampa, back in the early 1990s when he was just starting his political career. He was less careful back then, people say, and during his partying at the Green Iguana, he was openly gay.

When I got Rick Calderoni, the bar's well-known owner, on the phone, I expected him to stonewall me about it. He didn't. Calderoni, who is gay, confirmed that Crist came into his bar quite often and that the two of them became friends. Getting to the point, I asked him if he knew Crist to be gay. "Yes," he answered bluntly. "I just wish he would come out and admit it. That would be a great thing if he did."

I asked Calderoni if he was certain that Crist is gay. He told me that Crist socialized with a gay clique of friends but conceded that he'd never actually seen Crist become intimate with another man. So how can he be sure Crist is gay? "The way he acted," Calderoni said. How did he act? Calderoni laughed and said, "Very feminine."

The Green Iguana owner then told me that he knew someone who could provide me more information and that he would have him call me. The call never came. It wasn't proof. Just more circumstantial evidence that Florida's Republican governor is gay, a prevalent rumor in Tallahassee for years.

The topic may soon, however, get some national play. After helping to deliver Florida in the GOP primary, Crist is widely believed to be on the short list to become John McCain's nominee for vice president. If he were to be chosen, imagine how interesting this presidential election would be. Not only would the American people be asked to vote for the first black president or female commander in chief, but, at least in terms of subtext, also the first gay vice president.

Are they ready for it? Do they even care?

Most voters will tell you they don't, that they couldn't care less about anyone's sexuality. Of course, they aren't telling the truth. Human nature demands that they at least be curious. But, absent a Jim McGreevy-/Mark Foley-/Larry Craig-type scandal, I don't think the issue would change an election. If anything, the buzz would only bring more intrigue to the candidate and possibly add to his support. Being boring is a lot bigger political sin than having sexual secrets in your closet. Americans knew full well that Bill Clinton was a poonhound before they elected him, didn't they?

Most Floridians had probably at least heard the rumors about Crist before they elected him governor. During the election, I reported about two male GOP staffers' boasts of having had affairs with Crist when he was running for governor in 2006. The stories burned across the internet and got a bit of play in the mainstream press. Crist won in a landslide anyway. Republicans homophobic? Not in Florida.

If McCain chooses Crist, it would be interesting to see how the voracious national press (as opposed to cautious Florida newspapers) would handle the issue. Would the New York Times put a small team of reporters on the story in an effort to dig up the truth?
Crist has opposed gay adoption and gay marriage in Florida, but has in general soft-peddled his opposition, saying at one point that the Republican Party had better things to do with its money. He has, however, said, "Marriage is a sacred relationship. Like I had, before I got divorced."

Dubya Offers McCain His Pretty Face

George W. Bush endorsed John McCain yesterday, saying, "I got a lot to do, but I'm going to find ample time to help. I can help raise him money, and if he wants my pretty face standing by his side at one of these rallies, I'd be glad to show up."

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Open Thread Thursday

Have you ever done drag?


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Where Things Stand

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Naugle Gets Booted From
Fort Lauderdale's City Magazine

After he once again ranted about gay sex in city's parks, this time in a column in the city's official monthly magazine, the Fort Lauderdale City Commission has voted to delete Mayor Jim Naugle's regular column. Instead, a group column from the entire commission will appear.
City Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson brought up the column at Tuesday's city meeting, and her colleagues agreed that the mayor's missives should not be carried in the taxpayer funded magazine.

Hutchinson reminded Mayor Jim Naugle of a resolution the group passed last September embracing diversity in the city. That resolution was intended as a public salve during a cultural controversy created by the mayor's comments that public bathrooms are hookup sites for gay men, and that he uses the term "homosexual'' rather than "gay'' because many gays are not happy.

In his latest column in the city's Focus on Fort Lauderdale magazine, he talked about finding a tourism Web site advertising a city park for men to meet for sex. He encouraged citizens to call if they witness illegal activities like that in public places.

"I just want all this nonsense to stop," said Hutchinson. "I don't want to talk about the bathroom thing again." Hutchinson is running for Naugle's open seat in 2009, and her campaign manager attended Tuesday's meeting.
You have feel sorry for the city and county commissioners who have to deal with Naugle's bullshit while trying to maintain the place as a top tourist destination. Naugle will be term-limited out of office next year, after which he has threatened to run for state office. Judging by his enthusiastic supporters found in the comments of the above-linked story, I'll bet he succeeds.

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The "Rapist-In-A-Dress Meme" Continues

In Montgomery County, Maryland, the right-wing is using their usual scare tactics to fight the new local ordinance that protects transgenders. From a "prison fellowship" blog, of all places:

Mary Ann Andree was drying her hair in the Rio Sport and Health Club in Gaithersburg, Maryland, last month when the door to the women’s locker room suddenly opened. In came a man, wearing a blue ruffled skirt and make-up.

As Andree later told reporters, “I was very upset. There is a lot he could have seen.” Andree is far from alone. A lot of other women in Montgomery County, Maryland, are upset over a new law that demands co-ed locker rooms and bathrooms in all public accommodations.

Montgomery County, adjacent to Washington, D.C., passed the law last November to accommodate “transgendered people”—that is, men who perceive themselves to be women, and women who perceive themselves to be men. The law adds gender identity to the list of protected classes to the Montgomery County Code banning discrimination.

And what is to stop non-transgendered men from entering the ladies’ room? Nothing. A child molester or rapist could put on a dress and go right in. So could pornographists. It is an appalling, shocking law. And get this: There is no exemption for religious schools, book stores, churches, and daycares. As Turner notes, “The act will use the force of law to make these organizations accept transgenders, transvestites, and cross-dressers as employees."
In effect, transgendered persons are demanding that Montgomery County erase the distinctions between males and females. Make no mistake: This is not about the need for co-ed bathrooms. This law is simply being used to normalize gender identity disorder—much in the same way the gay lobby uses laws to normalize homosexuality.

Montgomery County officials passed this law despite the fact that citizens opposed it by an eight-to-one margin. The good news is that concerned citizens have gathered enough signatures to put the issue on the November ballot.

But Montgomery County is not the only jurisdiction passing laws like these. Check out what your own local leaders are doing to protect your privacy rights. And parents, make sure your kids know the difference between the Christian view of sexuality and that being propagated by those who think they ought to be allowed to choose their gender and their bathroom.
Sigh. The scary rapist-in-a-dress trope in really getting tiresome. In the entire history of the transgender movement, has anybody ever pretended to be transgendered just get a look at a naked female?

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Winter Party 2008 Slideshow

Father Tony has created a cute little video slideshow of our weekend at the Winter Party, in which I only look slightly hammered most of the time. Good editing. There's some bare butts in this thing, so it's possibly NSFW. Featured are our visits to Surfcomber's pool party, the Aussiebum fashion show on Lincoln Road, the leather dance at Fort Lauderdale's Steel, and of course the main event.

The music is How Would You Feel by David Morales featuring Lea Lorien, a song I re-fell in love with this weekend after I came across it on one of the mixers gifted to me at the Ramrod by their most excellent DJ Herbie James.

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Haters Fail In Iowa

Yesterday the appropriately named Iowa House Minority Leader Christopher Rants failed in his attempt to force the state legislature to vote on a proposed amendment banning same-sex marriage.
Rants tried a procedural vote that would have moved the measure, House Joint Resolution 8, out of committee and before the full House for a possible debate. Rants' maneuver failed on a 46-49 vote, with majority Democrats defeating it.

Rants said he was disappointed some Democrats, seven by his count, who have supported a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in the past did not vote along with him this time. "If those seven had voted with us, it would have passed, but I guess they will have to explain to their constituents why they flip-flopped on this issue," Rants said.

Because the vote was a procedural vote, no debate was allowed, although the rhetoric surrounding the gay marriage issue has grown more heated in recent weeks at the Statehouse.
The marriage equality issue is currently before the Iowa Supreme Court. As for the picture of Rants, um....PING.

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Flickr's Song Chart Meme

I meant to mention this one a few weeks ago, but check out Flickr's song chart meme, where members are using pie graphs, spreadsheets, and other dizzy data methods to chart out the meanings of pop songs.

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Second Annual True Colors Tour

Just in via press release:
The True Colors Tour will hit the road again this summer with an exciting new line-up of legendary and up and coming artists including headliners Cyndi Lauper, The B-52s, Rosie O’Donnell with host Carson Kressley and many more. After receiving rave reviews and a successful debut in 2007, the True Colors Tour is expanding to meet demand in many more cities. The tour will kick off Gay & Lesbian Pride Month on May 31st at Boston’s Bank of America Pavilion.

Produced by True Colors Concerts in partnership once again with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the 24 city North American tour is presented by Logo in support of the newly created True Colors Fund of Stonewall Community Foundation. The concerts feature nearly five hours of nonstop music with exciting special guests appearing on select dates throughout the tour including Wanda Sykes, Tegan and Sara, Regina Spektor, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Joan Armatrading, Indigo Girls, Nona Hendryx, Deborah Cox and The Cliks.

This year’s tour will highlight the need for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and their straight allies to get out and make their votes count this fall. HRC and this year’s other non-profit partners – CenterLink (the nation’s LGBT community centers) and Parents, Families, Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) National - are joining with the True Colors Tour to bring together Americans across the country to voice their solidarity for LGBT equality and raise public awareness about the issues that face the LGBT community.
Who's going this year? I'm still kicking myself for missing it last year, especially after Cyndi Lauper recorded a special invite to JMG readers.

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Airborne Crashes

The class action suit against cold remedy fraudsters Airborne has been settled for $23m, after its makers admitted that the "science" behind their "preventive" was a study conducted by non-professionals.

Customers of the fizzy snake oil can turn in their receipts and be reimbursed for the cost of up to six boxes. As part of the settlement, Airborne must take out full page ads in national publications advising on how to get refunds. The makers have also been forced to create a website about the case. However, they claim no wrong-doing in their settlement agreement.

Since sales of Airborne have exceeded $100M, the makers are still going to walk away extremely wealthy. And where's the lawsuit against Emergen-C? I suppose like many things, if you believe it works, it probably does.

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McGreevey: Marriage Was Not A Fraud

Oh brother.
Whether or not Dina Matos McGreevey knew her husband, former Gov. James E. McGreevey, was gay should not matter because there was a marriage that produced a child, and thus no fraud was perpetrated, McGreevey alleged in divorce papers released today.

But Matos McGreevey contends there was fraud, and wants to be paid $605,999 in damages based on the lifestyle she should have enjoyed during the 13 1/2 months she did not live at Drumthwacket, the governor's mansion in Princeton, according to court documents submitted by McGreevey's lawyers.

McGreevey resigned in disgrace in August 2004 - a year before his term was to end - because of an admitted gay affair with an aide. McGreevey's lawyers want to squelch Matos McGreevey's report from an accountant that also estimated that the former governor turned seminarian should be making $1,465,000 a year - not the estimated $50,000 for 2008.

In the papers filed in Superior Court in Union County a week ago, one of McGreevey's lawyers, Michael Ascher, wrote that neither the misrepresentation nor the concealment of sexual preference showed any fraud.
Man, I'm sick of hearing about both these turkeys.

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Idol Producers Give OK To Gay Stripper

The producers of American Idol say they have no problem with David Hernandez.
American Idol executive producer Ken Warwick told TV Guide they've had many erotic dancers on their show, and Hernandez's past is his business. "We've had strippers on the show before. We're never judgmental about people who do things like that," Warwick said. "If it were some sort of heavy porn, then maybe we'd have to take action. But certainly not on this."

The 24-year-old Hernandez performed in the nude and gave lap dances to the male clientele, according to club manager Gordy Bryan, who told his story to the AP on Monday. Bryan said Hernandez had worked at the club for three years, until September 30, 2007. That's nearly two months after his July audition for American Idol. His reason for leaving? He didn't renew his licensing with the state, Bryan said.
So Frenchie Davis can't appear topless online, but David Hernandez can give nude lap dances? What did I miss?

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CA Supes Seem Split On Gay Marriage,
Loss For Gay Side Predicted

With anti and pro-gay demonstrators outside, in yesterday's arguments the California Supreme Court seemed to be split in their opinions on marriage equality, with some legal experts predicting a loss for our side.

Dale Carpenter, a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, issued this opinion:
[T]the most likely result is that the gay-marriage litigants will lose 4-3 or possibly 5-2. I defer to those more expert about that court, but based on the oral argument I would count Associate Justices Baxter, Chin, Corrigan, and Werdegar as likely votes against the petitioners. These justices were much more hostile to the petitioners' arguments than to the state's. I would count Chief Justice George and Associate Justice Kennard as likely votes for the petitioners. They were more hostile to the state's arguments and often intervened in helpful ways for the petitioners. I'm uncertain about Associate Justice Moreno, though he seemed slightly more skeptical toward the petitioners.

This prediction assumes both that (1) the dominant tone and substance of the comments from an individual justice actually reflect his or her views about the case and that (2) the justice will not change his or her mind post-argument.

From the SF Chronicle:
Attorneys for the conservative groups argued that the court should not have a role in defining marriage. They pointed to Proposition 22, passed by voters in 2000, which barred the state from recognizing same-sex marriages performed outside California.

Glen Lavy, an attorney for the Prop. 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund, called the initiative process the "ultimate expression of democracy."

"One of the things the petitioners seem to assume is that when someone argues there should be a change in the law, the people have no power to say no," Lavy said. "The people are the ultimate arbiters of public policy."

He said marriage is by definition an opposite-sex relationship, and argued that therefore, the law doesn't stop gays and lesbians from marrying - just from marrying someone of the same sex.
You can watch a replay of the nearly four-hour long hearing on Rex Wockner described it as "riveting." I'd agree.

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Clinton Still In The Game

It was good night for Hillary Clinton:
Sen. Hillary Clinton got her campaign back on track with projected wins in the Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island primaries. Delegate-rich Texas and Ohio were considered must-wins for her campaign. In Ohio, Clinton received 54 percent of the vote compared to 44 percent for Clinton's Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama.

In the Texas primary, she won with 51 pecent of the vote compared to 48 percent for Obama. Those figures were based on 99 percent of the precincts reporting in both states.

Obama, who claimed victory in Vermont, had won 12 straight contests since Super Tuesday on February 5. Texas also held Democratic caucuses Tuesday, but it was too close to declare a winner.
We're taking this thing to the convention, y'all.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Exit Stage Far-Right: Huckabee Quits

Huckabee: "We stayed in until the race was over. We kept the faith, that for me has been the most important goal of all. I'd rather lose the election than lose the principles that got me into politics in the first place." Tomorrow John McCain visits Bush at the White House where Dubya will show him where he keeps his dunce cap.

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Americans Just Don't Get It

It looks like Americans get less sex that just about anybody.
Americans are not getting enough action. The United States is one of the world's most undersexed countries, according to a new study released Monday. Just 53% of Americans having regular, weekly sex according to results from the Durex Sexual Wellbeing Global Survey of 26,000 people in 26 countries, tying the USA with Nigeria for the second worst spot on the list.

Only Japan - the Land of the Rising Sun - where little else rises, apparently - fared worse, with 34% of those surveyed getting regular action. Greeks apparently have the hottest standard of living, topping the survey with 87% of respondants getting regular sex at least once a week.

It's carnivale all year round in Brazil, which finished second with 82% of responders getting lucky. Russians apparently found something to do when it's cold outside, finishing third in the survey with 80%. No surprise how China became the most populous country on Earth: It finished fourth with 78%.

No matter how much whoopie they're making, the survey showed that only 44% of people are fully satisfied with their sex lives. Surprisingly only 60% of us say that "sex is fun, enjoyable, and a vital part of life," according to the survey.
Personally, I wouldn't complain if I were one of the once-a-week people.

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Over on his Village Voice blog, Michael Musto has posted this bizarre old Debbie Reynolds clip in which she destroys folk hero Pete Seeger's If I Had A Hammer. Delightfully freaky and camp beyond words.

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Potential HIV Vaccine Breakthrough (Again)

Via Canada's Globe And Mail:
Researchers in Canada and the United States have made a breakthrough discovery in the fight against HIV infection: a protein that can limit the viral attack.

The study, published in the online edition of Nature Medicine, found that the protein FOX03a not only can limit the deterioration of certain disease-fighting immune cells, but could help with the development of an HIV vaccine. HIV is characterized by the deterioration of T-cells, or central memory cells that orchestrate the body's ability to fight the disease. HIV attacks these cells.

Researchers from the University of Montreal, McGill University Health Centre and BD BioSciences of San Diego, Calif., combined forces to look at ways to limit the deterioration of memory T-cells.

They studied three groups of men. One group was HIV-negative, the second was HIV-positive with the infection controlled through therapy, and the third group had HIV but did not show any symptoms. This third group, called elite controllers, were key. Researchers hoped that by solving the mystery of how these individuals could co-exist with this virus without damage to their immune system could potentially form the basis of a vaccine.

The researchers found the elite controllers were able to ward off the symptoms of infection without medication because their immune systems maintained their resilient immune memory through the control of the FOX03a protein.
According to the story, this breakthrough has wider implications in the fight against cancer as well. I've been reporting on various HIV "breakthoughs" for years, so who knows where this one will go. We can only continue to hope.

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The Pope Can't Wait To Meet You

Pope Evilictus Valdemort is looking forward to his April visit to the United States, where Jeebus' people are fighting the good fight against queers.
"The American people's historic appreciation of the role of religion in shaping public discourse and in shedding light on the inherent moral dimension of social issues is reflected in the efforts of so many of your fellow-citizens and government leaders to ensure legal protection for God's gift of life from conception to natural death, and the safeguarding of the institution of marriage, acknowledged as a stable union between a man and a woman, and that of the family."
The U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican promises him, "You will be among friends." We'll see about that. I'm betting this Pope will see more protests here than he's ready for.

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Idol Contestant Revealed As Gay Stripper

From Vote For The Worst:
And... we were right! Check out the story in the Associated Press today that confirms what we've been saying for a while now. David Hernandez stripped at a gay club called Dick's Cabaret up until September of last year, meaning he was still stripping when he tried out for American Idol. We have no problem with David stripping of course, we just think he shouldn't lie about it and pretend that he's straight. If you're a gay stripper, embrace it! Will this affect his time on the show? Who knows. He won't be kicked off, but he might lose votes. And as always, remember that VFTW is the best news source that tells you these things first.
Well, this will certainly make tonight's show interesting.

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Junior Magazine

There's a short interview with me in this month's Junior Magazine in a feature titled "Blogger Power." While I don't speak Portuguese, Junior seems like a Brazilian mash-up of Out and Instinct. There sure is a lot of eye candy there in between the stories.

Besides JMG, the story mentions Queerty, Made In Brazil, Andrew Sullivan, Towleroad, Ooh, La La Paris, and Tottyland. I think they were nice to me.

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Hillary On Daily Show, Parts 1 & 2

Hillary Clinton appeared on The Daily Show last night in what may turn out to be her last such occasion as a presidential candidate. It's all up to Texas and Ohio today.

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CA Supes Hear Gay Marriage Case Today

The California Supreme Court will hear the long-awaited gay marriage case today. Locals can watch live on the California Channel from 9am - 12pm Pacific. For the rest of us, there will be a live webcast.
In briefs submitted to the court, same-sex marriage supporters argue that California's Constitution leaves no room for denying gay men and lesbians the right to wed. While the state is one of a handful where gay couples are entitled to most of the same legal rights as married spouses, the institution of marriage is too important to allow for alternatives that are by definition inferior, they say.

The state and same-sex marriage opponents maintain, however, that limiting marriage to members of the opposite sex is reasonable—not only to uphold tradition but because California voters approved a ballot initiative eight years ago bolstering the gay marriage ban that was in place at the time. To overturn that law would abrogate the rights of all Californians, they argue.
The Court will have 90 days after today's hearing to issue their decision.

UPDATE: The above link appears to be overwhelmed by traffic. USE THIS LINK INSTEAD. Click on cable channel 26.

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World's First Gay President?

Mayoral incumbent Betrand Delanoe will easily win relection in Paris next week and now his party appears to be grooming him to run for president of France.
Since becoming mayor Delanoe has been hugely popular, particularly with the poor and middle classes. Public opinion polls put him well ahead of the opposition going into the municipal elections on March 9 and 16. But his popularity also is high outside Paris and some in the Socialist Party see him as their strongest hope for defeating President Nicolas Sarkozy in the next election - scheduled for 2012.

Leading party members say Delanoe could unite the party after divisions allowed Sakozy to sweep to victory last May. Since then his approval ratings have plummeted and Socialites see an opening. A landslide in the city election "would give him a tremendous amount of credibility," said Frederic Daby, director of public opinion surveys at pollsters Ifop. "He would appear as the only Socialist leader with momentum."
The linked news story says that Delanoe would be the "first openly gay head of a major country." What minor country had an openly gay leader?

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Second-hand Stroke

Worst advertising ever? Or just shrewdly shocky? In any case, this ad from ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) is causing conniptions around teh intrawebs. Some comments on Wonkette:

-"So if I enter Flavor Country, the terrorists win?"
-"wait. i thought we were smoking over there so we don't have to smoke over here."
-"I see Dick Cheney's face in the smoke."
-"Does this mean that US America must invade Maine to stop Kentucky from producing tobaccy?"


Yaz Tour Dates For U.S.

Six U.S. dates have been announced for the Yaz reunion tour I mentioned here last month.

Jul 07 - Oakland, CA Paramount Theatre
Jul 10 - Los Angeles, CA Orpheum Theatre
Jul 11 - Los Angeles, CA Orpheum Theatre
Jul 14 - Chicago, IL Chicago Theatre
Jul 16 - New York, NY Terminal 5
Jul 17 - New York, NY Terminal 5

Ticketmaster starts selling the U.S. dates on Friday. I'm told that tickets for the NYC shows will be $65, a bit pricey in my opinion, but it's not like I'm gonna wait another 25 years for the next tour.

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More Bad News From PlanetOut

PlanetOut has released their 2007 figures and the news is pretty bad:.
Gay and lesbian focused web media company PlanetOut Inc. reported a loss of $51.2 million for 2007. In 2006, the San Francisco company (NASDAQ: LGBT) lost $3.7 million. Sales fell to $53 million for 2007, down slightly from 2006 sales of $58.8 million.

PlanetOut, which owns,, and other web sites, as well as a book publisher, Alyson Publications, recorded a $25.9 million charge for impairment of goodwill and intangible assets in 2007, which contributed to its loss.

In January, PlanetOut hired Allen & Co. to help it with its strategy, including a possible sale of the company. PlanetOut agreed to pay Allen & Co. "in the event of a successful transaction" and also gave it 10-year warrants for up to 75,000 shares of its stock at $6.20 a share.

PlanetOut also agreed to cash payments for its interim chief financial officer and its chief technology officer if they don't leave the company before the end of 2008. Daniel Steimle, the interim CFO, would be paid $100,000 and CTO Bill Bain $50,000 under the deal.
PlanetOut stock fell another 8% on today's news. It almost seems impossible for the company to survive.

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Lawrence V. Texas Lawyer Hoisted
On His Own Cheating, Racist Petard

In Lawrence Vs. Texas, the landmark 2003 case that overturned sodomy laws nationwide, Houston District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal argued that gays have no right to privacy to "engage in extramarital sexual relations."

Last month Rosenthal resigned in disgrace after emails he'd attempted to delete showed that he is an adulterer and a racist. Rosenthal is being sued for "official misconduct" by Lloyd Kelley, his last election opponent. Kelley's suit led to the uncovering of the emails.
Rosenthal's attempt to purge emails that may have been related to the suits from his government email account before turning his hard drive over to federal investigators. Even though he'd dragged much of the offending correspondence – "thousands of emails," by one report – to the trash and emptied the trash, government technicians are currently busy reconstructing the documents, which had been the subject of a subpoena in Kelley's suit before Rosenthal attempted to destroy them.

But at the moment, what's more interesting is the stuff Rosenthal didn't destroy. Besides a cartoon depicting an African-American suffering from a "fatal overdose" of watermelon and fried chicken, Rosenthal had also retained sexually-explicit video clips and love notes to his secretary (who'd been his mistress during his previous marriage) in his "saved" mail. One interchange with the secretary had Rosenthal writing, "I love you so much" and "I want to kiss you behind your right ear," to which she replied, "Go spend time with your family."

The NY Times notes the irony: "Mr. Rosenthal has sought to keep the e-mail messages sealed, citing 'zones of privacy' carved out by the United States Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 ruling overturning the state’s ban on sodomy — although Mr. Rosenthal had argued the case for Texas and the legality of the anti-sodomy laws."

(Via - Towleroad.)

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Brokeback Mount

Barack Obama told a crowd of supporters yesterday that his support for gay civil unions is based on the Bible's "Sermon On The Mount."
"I don't think it [a same-sex union] should be called marriage, but I think that it is a legal right that they should have that is recognized by the state," said Obama. "If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans." St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans condemns homosexual acts as unnatural and sinful.

Obama's mention of the Sermon on the Mount in justifying legal recognition of same-sex unions may have been a reference to the Golden Rule: "Do to others what you would have them do to you." Or it may have been a reference to another famous line: "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."
Obama went on to again describe himself as a devout Christian who "prays to Jesus every night."

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Soap Fans Want Their Gays To Kiss

A letter writing protest campaign is underway by viewers of As The World Turns who are angry that the young gay couple on the show have not shared a kiss since their groundbreaking lip-lock on the show over six months ago.
Fans of the fictional romance between Luke Snyder and Noah Mayer are baffled about why the two characters haven't kissed on-screen since September, wondering whether it's a sign of squeamishness by CBS or show sponsors Procter & Gamble Co.

The fans have started a letter-writing campaign, posted an online petition and even have a Web site that counts the days, hours, minutes and seconds since Luke and Noah last locked lips.

"We totally support this show and applaud the show for doing this story line," said Roger Newcomb, a computer worker from New York's northern suburbs and the man behind the campaign. "We just don't understand why they have to be censored or treated differently."

"There are some people who want to see sex between Luke and Noah," said 34-year-old Theresa Webber, who lives north of Boston. "I've been watching soaps long enough to know that they're a teenage couple, so it's not going to happen anyway. But for them to not kiss at all, it's a little extreme."

The soap is owned, produced and written by Procter & Gamble Productions Inc., a subsidiary of the consumer giant that makes Bounty, Crest, Pampers, Mr. Clean and Ivory soap. CBS executives consult on the series, but the creative direction is set by P&G.

Of course, Focus On The Family is calling for a boycott of Proctor & Gamble over the gay teens story line on As The World Turns and for other positive portrayals of gays on shows that P&G sponsors.

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Jack And Hill

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Morning View - Floridian Diner

I stopped by the Floridian Diner on Fort Lauderdale's Las Olas Boulevard, site of last week's brutal gay-bashing. Despite the $5000 reward offered by the Floridian's owner, police still have no suspects.

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Winter Party 2008

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Under One Sun

Yesterday we attended the pool party at the Surfcomber, the Winter Party's host hotel, where at the welcome center my gift bag was handed to me by a genial Colton Ford. Even the porn stars volunteer for Winter Party.

DJ Alyson Calagna (second photo down) did a wonderful job spinning out the happy vocals and Father Tony and I lounged with our feet in the pool and generally took it easy in the shade. It was 13 years ago this week that I left South Florida, so most of the friends that I ran into were from New York or San Francisco, with the exception of fellow blogger Gary Williams, the South Beach Bum himself (below), whom I hadn't seen in many, many years. Just a wonderful, perfect day.It was funny to find Task Force head Matt Foreman directing traffic at the port-a-potties, surely the least favorite assignment for any volunteer. Father Tony (below), the one-time Vatican event manager, noted with admiration that Matt knew not to overlook the important details.

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