Monday, April 07, 2008

Daily Grumble

Are plain white button-down cotton shirts simply not made anymore? Yesterday I hit up every store on the Upper East Side - Bloomingdales, Gap, Banana Republic, and on and on - and found bupkis. Either the shirts were over-fancy with ridiculous buttons or they were of some open weave that would be suitable for tending bar in a poolside tiki hutch. I even hit up all 87 designer boutiques within Bloomies and couldn't find just a plain white cotton button-down. Banana Republic came closest, except for the giant blue flowers over the pocket. See, this is why I hate shopping. I wait until I need one specific item, then I try and go get that item and can't find it. With my weird size requirements, I've never trusted buying clothing online. But I guess I'll have to find a site that sells cotton button-downs for short, wide-shouldered, thick-necked guys with short arms. I should have asked around at the Dugout.

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Threats Against Pro-Gay Massachusetts School Superintendent Paul Ash

As contrast to the North Carolina school board post earlier today, Lexington, Massachusetts school superintendent Paul Ash (left) is being threatened with physical violence by New Jersey radio host and white supremacist Hal Turner for advocating for LGBT youth. Turner posted Ash's home address and phone number on his site. Police in Massachusetts are investigating.
Lexington superintendent Paul Ash of Newton has been threatened by a New Jersey radio host urging listeners to “use threats and violence” against Ash for the school district's new diversity curriculum. The radio host says “I advocate parents using FORCE AND VIOLENCE against Superintendent Paul B. Ash as a method of defending the health and safety of school children presently being endangered through his politically-correct indoctrination into deadly, disease-ridden sodomite lifestyles.” The site lists Ash’s last known addresses, a phone number, and a birth date.

Ash is in meetings this afternoon and could not be immediately reached for comment. Lexington police refused comment on an ongoing investigation. Ash lives in Newton, and the police department there is handling the case. That department also refused comment on the investigation.

Ash gave a presentation on the curriculum last month, and it will be implemented next school year. The curriculum comes from a committee of parents, teachers and administrators in Lexington who were charged to develop a set of teaching that fostered “a safe and welcoming place for all children.”

The goal of the curriculum was to “serve students from different racial, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds,” and to “serve students from [gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered] families.”
The full quote from Turner's site: "I would laugh if some concerned father(s) donned ski masks and gloves, took a ride over to this arrogant prick's house and knocked the living shit out of him. I advocate parents using FORCE AND VIOLENCE against Superintendent Paul B. Ash as a method of defending the health and safety of school children presently being endangered through his politically-correct indoctrination into deadly, disease-ridden sodomite lifestyles."

Read his comments. There's no direct link to the post, so hold your nose and scroll down past some nightmarish racist shit to get to the Ash commentary. Turner has made death threats against public figures in the past and unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2000 as a Republican.

Virulently anti-gay group Mass Resistance makes note of Turner's threats, but rather than disavow them, they complain that a gay blogger once joked that somebody should drop a piano on a Massachusetts man who is suing the schools over "homosexual curriculum."

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Blowoff Photo Recap

Let's just say that this weekend's Blowoff was out of control, off the hook, off the chain, or whatever the kids are saying these days. The venue was behind schedule in turning the room over to Mould & Morel, so by midnight the line stretched from Western Beef all the way back to Ninth Avenue. But once everybody was inside, the place just erupted into the kind of wildness I haven't seen in a gay club in ages. And that was just MY friends. Most of my photos reveal too much sloshy sloppiness to be used here. For you Levenophiles, that's Eric in the middle. The next NYC Blowoff is Pride Saturday. Watch out. EDIT: By request, I've replaced the wildest shot of the evening with a couple of more reserved photos of handsome hairy men. You'll live. The top two pics are by Dr. Jeff.

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NC School Board To Excuse Haters

Oh, brother. Remember how the Jeesbus-folk are up in arms and plan to keep their kids home on the coming Day Of Silence in public schools? The Day Of Silence is organized by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GSLEN) and is meant to bring attention to bullying and violence against LGBT students.

Well, now a member of the Charlotte, North Carolina school board wants to give an "excused absence" to students that refuse at attend that day.
School board member Kaye McGarry says she'll ask her colleagues to approve excused absences for Charlotte-Mecklenburg students who stay home on the April 25 "National Day of Silence," held to protest harassment of homosexuals. McGarry said she's been getting calls all year from parents who don't want their children exposed to the event. That accelerated during last month's high-profile debate over a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools anti-bullying policy.

Students told the school board that participants in previous silence days have been shoved and called names. The board approved the anti-bullying policy over the protest of some board and community members who said it could lead to schools promoting homosexuality and squelching the views of some Christians who believe it's a sin. Afterward, an e-mail from the American Family Association circulated, urging parents to keep their kids home if their school participates.

"By remaining silent, the intent of the pro-homosexual students is to disrupt the classes while promoting the homosexual lifestyle," says the e-mail, which provides a link listing five Charlotte-Mecklenburg high schools and one in Cabarrus County as participants.

An authorized Day Of Hate, courtesy of the state of my birth. I renounce my Tarheel-ness. (Unless, the school board doesn't listen to McGarry.) The Day Of Silence is April 28th.

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Diana's Death Ruled Unlawful Killing

The London jury mulling the inquest into the death of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed has ruled that the accident was an "unlawful killing", saying that her death was the result of negligent driving by her chauffeur and the pursuing paparazzi vehicles. (And the world says, "Duh.")

The inquest found no evidence of a government plot to kill Diana, despite such claims from Fayed's father and others. The jury's only task was to rule on the cause of death, not to place blame. It remains unclear whether charges might be brought against the involved paparazzi.

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Absolut Bigotry

Our nation of wingnuts is severely pantie-twisted over the latest ad from vodka giant Absolut, which is now running in the Mexican press. The ad shows a map of the United States before Mexico "ceded" most of the western half of the country to us at the end of the Mexican-American war in 1848.

The ad was created by a Mexico City-based ad agency and according to Absolut was "was based upon historical perspectives and was created with a Mexican sensibility." Certifiable nutcase Michelle Malkin bleats, "The company [Absolut] advocates overturning borders that get in the way of imagining new maps of North America that help Mexico create a larger share of the continent." Uh, what?

Terrified by the growing boycott movement (seriously), Absolut has quickly offered a "genuine and sincere apology" for the ad. But it might be too late as already some bars around the country as removing Absolut from their shelves. They do this because of an ad that ran in a foreign country that accurately depicts our borders over 150 years ago. Oh, and so they can express anti-immigrant/anti-Mexican bigotry.

RELATED: I still fondly recall the banners carried by Mexican activists at California's sesquicentennial celebration in Sacramento in 2000: "We didn't cross the border, the border crossed US." Texas, for example, has been part the United States for 163 years, but for the previous 300+, it belonged to Mexico/New Spain, not to mention their brief period as a sovereign nation. I guess Absolut better not use any old maps of Texas, either.

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HomoQuotable - Andrew Sullivan

"The latest revelations on the torture front show the memo from John Yoo...means that Don Rumsfeld, David Addington and John Yoo should not leave the United States any time soon. They will be, at some point, indicted for war crimes." - Andrew Sullivan, on yesterday's Chris Matthews Show.

The recently declassified 81-page memo from John Yoo was "used as the rationale for authorizing the torture of government detainees" according to Huffington Post blogger Jason Linkins, who decries the lack of coverage the memo has garnered in the MSM. Some believe the memo will provide the basis for foreign governments to indict U.S. officials for war crimes.

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Charlton Heston, 83

By now you've surely heard that Charleton Heston died this weekend at age 83. Probably like most of you, I was a huge fan of Heston's acting work (particularly Planet Of The Apes and Omega Man), but loathed some of the man's politics. Heston marched on DC with MLK in 1963, but was occasionally less charitable towards gays.

Here's a choice quote from a 1997 speech in which Heston pledges tolerance for gays one minute, then goes off the rails the next: "I find my blood pressure rising when Clinton's cultural shock troops participate in homosexual-rights fund-raisers but boycott gun-rights fund-raisers, and then claim it's time to place homosexual men in tents with Boy Scouts, and suggest that sperm donor babies born into lesbian relationships are somehow better served and more loved."

By the way, all the "gun finally wrestled from Heston's cold dead hands" jokes have already been made.

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An Oopsie For Out Magazine

Matthew over at Boy Culture found an amusing mistake in the new issue of Out Magazine, in which they list "Pastor" Donnie Davies' Love God's Way as "favorite website of the month". I guess the folks at Out don't know that Donnie was outed as a hoax here on JMG in January 2007. Matt notes:
The most embarrassing thing I've seen in a national gay magazine in a while is on page 25—the editors of "The List" don't realize that LoveGodsWay.org, starring ex-gay Donnie Davies, was exposed as a hoax last year. This was such a huge deal on the 'Net that I find it hard to believe no one at Out knew about it. It's tempting to turn this into a new vs. old media argument.
The theme of this month's Out is "The 50 Most Powerful Gays And Lesbians In America."

The top 10:

10. Peter Thiel
9. Marc Jacobs
8. Joe Solmonese
7. Jann Wenner
6. Andrew Tobias
5. Tim Gill
4. David Geffen
3. Anderson Cooper
2. Barney Frank
1. Ellen DeGeneres

Go to Towleroad for the complete list.

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Top Clinton Strategist Booted

Hillary Clinton has fired her top campaign strategist.
Mark Penn, the pollster and senior strategist for Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential bid, left the campaign Sunday after it was disclosed he met with representatives of the Colombian government to help promote a free trade agreement Clinton opposes. "After the events of the last few days, Mark Penn has asked to give up his role as chief strategist of the Clinton Campaign," campaign manager Maggie Williams said in a statement released Sunday. "Mark, and Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates, Inc. will continue to provide polling and advice to the campaign."

Communications director Howard Wolfson and pollster Geoff Garin will direct the campaign's message and strategic efforts for the campaign going forward, Williams said. Penn's departure comes as Clinton, considered the front-runner for the Democratic nomination last year, trails Barack Obama in delegates and the popular vote with a must-win primary in Pennsylvania April 22 and nine other contests remaining. Clinton almost certainly will end the primary season narrowly behind Obama in the popular vote and pledged delegates unless the nullified primaries in Florida and Michigan are counted - a scenario that seems remote. Her challenge will be to convince some 800 superdelegates to back her despite the numbers.
This the second major Clinton aide to leave the campaign in several weeks. In February, Clinton's campaign manager Patti Doyle resigned.

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Morning View - Warhol House

This weekend I read that Andy Warhol's Upper East Side townhouse (bought in 1974 for $310K) was on sale for $38M so I walked over a few blocks to grab a photo. (Oh, what a difference a few blocks make on the UES.) The little red plaque to the left of the door reads: "Andy Warhol: 1928-1987. The artist most famous for his silkscreens of Jacqueline Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Chairman Mao and Campbell soup cans lived here from 1974 to 1987. The founder of Interview Magazine and producer of underground films such as Chelsea Girls (1966) and Trash (1970) predicted that 'everybody will be world-famous for fifteen minutes.'" Cute little house for a mere $38 mil, eh? Four bedrooms.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Peter Tatchell Disrupts London's
Olympic Torch Relay

As part of a large protest against Chinese human rights abuses, activist Peter Tatchell was detained by London police today after he attempted to interrupt the relay of the Olympic torch through the streets of London.
As the torch continued westwards through London, pro-Tibet supporters waved banners and placards calling for Gordon Brown to boycott the opening ceremony, for an end to killing in Tibet and for China to have talks with the Dalai Lama. Hundreds lined Bayswater Road, many wearing Tibetan flags and carrying signs which read "Stop the killing in Tibet", "No Olympic torch in Tibet" and "China talk to Dalai Lama".

Helping to lead the chants was Buddhist monk Ngawang Khyentse, who said: "We can't just remain silent. We have no other choice than to protest because there is no other voice for Tibetans inside Tibet, so we have to speak out for human rights. "At the very least the British government has to speak out and condemn the crackdown in Tibet. They must not keep silent."

When the bus travelled along Oxford Street, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell stopped it in its tracks by jumping into the road holding a sign saying "Free Tibet, Free Hu Jia". "The arrest last week of human rights activist Hu Jia shows that China is not fulfilling its human rights commitments which were part of the deal for them to get the Olympics," Mr Tatchell said. "At the very least, world leaders should boycott the opening ceremony and athletes should wear Tibetan flags when they go on the podium to receive their medals." Mr Tatchell said he was detained by police but released with a warning.
Tatchell has made many similar high-profile protests, perhaps most famously in 1999 and 2001 when he attempted to make a citizen's arrest of Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe for crimes against homosexuals. The 2001 arrest attempt in Brussels resulted in Tatchell being beaten unconscious by Mugabe's bodyguards, leaving him with permanent damage to his right eye.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Lesbian "Super Bowl" Hits Tampa

The NCAA Women's Final Four basketball tournament is playing out in Tampa and the lady-loving-ladies are pouring into town.
The Final Four games Sunday and Tuesday will showcase the nation's best women's basketball match-ups. But the tournament will also usher in what is widely believed to be the largest lesbian gathering in the history of the Tampa Bay area. Other than the Dinah Shore golf weekend in Palm Springs, Calif., the women's tournament is seen as the next biggest lesbian gathering in the nation.

The tournament is expected to bring thousands of women to the Bay area, with events and parties planned from Ybor City to Gulfport. For many lesbians coming for the games, the event is an annual pilgrimage — regardless of the final teams — that is as much about camaraderie and unity as it is about cheering for the nation's finest college athletes.

Hosting the women's Final Four, jokingly referred to as the lesbian Super Bowl, stirs mixed feelings among those in the local lesbian community. Some would rather de-emphasize the tournament's historically strong ties to the lesbian community. Others wonder whether Tampa is worthy of hosting the event, and reaping the financial windfall, after the Hillsborough County Commission voted in 2005 to ban the acknowledgement of gay pride events in county buildings.
Here's a list of what Tampa Bay party promoters have put together for lesbian basketball fans. Um, make that "lesbian fans of basketball." Is there a difference? I kid, I kid.

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Lien Placed On Westboro Church, Offices

A federal judge has placed a lien on the church and law offices of the Westboro Baptist Church, as a result of the recent multi-million dollar lawsuit won by the father of an American soldier whose funeral Westboro picketed.
If the case presided over by U.S. District Court Judge Richard D. Bennett is upheld by an appeals court, the church, at 3701 S.W. 12th, and the office building, at 1414 S.W. Topeka Blvd., could be obtained by the court and sold, with the proceeds being applied toward $5 million in damages Bennett imposed on church members for picketing a military funeral.

A lien is a legal hold on property, making it collateral against money owed to a person or entity. It can keep the owner from selling the property or transferring title to the property. The $5 million penalty is the result of a lawsuit filed against three of the church's principals by Albert Snyder, the father of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder, whose funeral was picketed by church members. The senior Snyder contended the picketing caused emotional distress and invasion of privacy. Westboro Baptist members regularly picket funerals of members of the U.S. armed forces, contending the deaths are God's punishment for the country's support of homosexuals.
As Pam Spaulding notes, the chances of the properties actually being seized are slim, as Westboro will likely prevail in their freedom of speech appeal on the $5M judgment.

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If You Don't Love Me, I Will Know

I've been on an early '90s kick for the last few days, so here's a great track from England's Prefab Sprout, If You Don't Love Me, which hit #3 on the Billboard dance chart in 1992. I have a beautiful (if slightly foggy) memory of hearing this song at some giant circuit party around then (maybe in Atlanta), where the DJ (maybe Susan Morabito) worked the bridge of the song over and over again on two turntables, finally allowing the song to climax as thousands of men roared in approval. Some guy standing at the balcony rail with me leaned over and said, "Wow! Who has more fun than us?" Indeed.

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Mike Gravel : Made Of The Awesome

Say what you will about Democratic-cum-Libertarian presidential candidate Mike Gravel, but the dude is NOT boring. Dig his trippy take on the Beatles' Helter Skelter. It's funny and sobering. Cannot. Stop. Watching. Play LOUD.

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Blowoff NYC Tomorrow

Rich Morel and Bob Mould bring their hairy beary beat-filled carnival back to Manhattan tomorrow night for another installment of Blowoff at the Highline Ballroom in Chelsea. Doors don't open until 11:30pm this time, so expect the place to fill to capacity at once. Advance tickets are recommended as I think they stopped selling before 1am last time and some folks got turned away. Who's down? I need to unleash all the pent-up dancing I didn't get at Black Party. Here's the set list from last month's Blowoff in DC.

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Broadway Friday

- Meta-musical [title of show] begins previews at the Lyceum on July 5th, with the opening set for July 17th. The entire original Off Broadway cast will appear.

- Off Broadway: Experimental art group 3 Legged Dog will present the world premiere of Charles Mee's Fire Island at the 3LD Art & Technology Center in the West Village beginning April 10th. "Characters include drag queens, 6-foot tall little girls, freak clowns, Japanese bondage junkies, old folks and 50 other more typical island inhabitants, all dealing with various stages of their relationships." The show consists of "an extremely wide format HD video work, a large scale panoramic multimedia installation/performance with 3-dimensional video and spatial sound as well as an ongoing interactive web component. A giant rear projection screen will show multiple perspectives, collaged into one giant array of imagery." I will definitely will check this out and report back.

- Richard Thomas, the composer and co-writer of Jerry Springer: The Opera, is working on a similar treatment of Anna Nicole Smith. The show will debut at London's Royal Opera House with a 90-piece orchestra.

- Tony winner Mandy Patinkin will perform Mandy Patinkin on Broadway on Monday, May 19 at 8pm at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre as a benefit for Classic Stage Company.

- Due to rave reviews, Lincoln Center Theatre's production of South Pacific has been granted open-run status with tickets now on sale through January 2009. The Rodgers and Hammerstein classic stars Kelli O'Hara as Nellie Forbush, Paulo Szot as Emile deBecque, Loretta Ables Sayre as Bloody Mary, Matthew Morrison as Lieutenant Joe Cable, and Danny Burstein as Luther Billis.

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Forty Years

One of my two most vivid childhood memories is standing in my grandmother's living room in Newark, at age four, pondering all the adults' horrified reactions to the assassination of JFK. I didn't understand what had happened, why the women in my family were sobbing as the men spoke quietly with grim, fear-filled faces.

The other memory comes from when I was eight, when I heard my father call his parents from our home in North Carolina, warning them to stay off the streets, because "this King thing is going to tear the goddamn city apart again." The previous year, Newark had suffered some of the worst civil unrest in American history, with the dozens of deaths and hundreds of burned buildings prompting my mother's parents to sell their house at a loss and follow most of the other white residents out of town.

The ugly fact that racism and urban rioting had scattered my family weighed heavily on my mind last year when I sought out my grandparent's former Newark home for first time in 40 years. I was surprised and happy to see that the house still stood (and actually looked pretty good), but I was also depressed to see that the neighborhood I'd remembered as bright, full of shops and kids on bikes, was now bleak, wary, and as full of iron-barred windows as any penitentiary.

I guess the point of this post is to wonder how much has really changed since Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated 40 years ago today. Much lip service has been paid to civil rights, tremendous advances have been made in the law, and the rise of a black middle class is encouraging. But to walk some of the streets of Newark today, optimism might be the last thing that comes to mind.

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Smiley Boys

Last night I stopped by for a few drinks in the swank Chelsea pad of Sirius FM host Michelangelo Signorile (left) with cub cutie Corey Johnson (center) and über-blogger Andy Towle (right). We gossiped about other bloggers (of course!), gay politics, and the merits of Fire Island versus P-Town. (I remain agnostic on the issue.) Hard to believe that I'd never met Andy, what with both of us blogging from NYC all these years. Fun night!

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Caption This

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Superdelegate Jimmy Carter Goes Obama

Speaking to a Nigerian newspaper, former President Jimmy Carter made it clear how he's casting his vote as a superdelegate, saying, "My children and their spouses are pro-Obama. My grandchildren are also pro-Obama. As a superdelegate, I would not disclose who I am rooting for, but I leave you to make that guess."

If you include Carter's coy statement, Obama leads 8-3 among Georgia's 13 superdelegates, with two others yet to disclose their preference.

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Thomas Beatie On Oprah

Here's a bit of Thomas Beatie's interview with Oprah, including the ultrasound test.

UPDATE: Oprah message board lights up with hate.

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Court Rules Websites Cannot Ask Your Sexual Orientation

In a case involving Roommates.com, the U.S. Court Of Appeals has ruled in an 8-3 vote that internet businesses cannot ask the sexual orientation of clients, saying that it was no different than asking someone in person or by phone if they are Jewish or black.
"If such screening is prohibited when practiced in person or by telephone, we see no reason why Congress would have wanted to make it lawful to profit from it online," 9th Circuit chief judge Alex Kozinski wrote. "Not only does Roommate ask these questions, Roommate makes answering the discriminatory questions a condition of doing business." Roommates.com says it offers more than 100,000 rental listings on its site across the United States and is owned by Roommate.com LLC. The court contrasted such requests for information with online search engines such as Google, which could allow people to search for terms such as "white roommate."
One of the dissenting judges wrote: "The majority's unprecedented expansion of liability for Internet service providers threatens to chill the robust development of the Internet that Congress envisioned." Roommates.com will be allow to continue to offer an optional comments section where clients may reveal any personal information they care to.

Interesting ruling. Personally, I'd like to know whether a roommate applicant were gay or not before I pursued contacting them. But obviously, internet businesses (or any others) shouldn't be allowed preclude gay people as clients. Tough call.

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Hillary Speaks To Philly Gay News

The Philadelphia Gay News published a long interview with Hillary Clinton yesterday. Some highlights:
PGN: I assume that you and President Clinton have gay friends. Can you give me your impression of one of those couples that you socialize with, without giving any names?
Hillary Clinton: Oh my gosh. There are so many of them. I know that Mark [Walsh, Clinton’s national director of LGBT outreach] is on the phone. Let me say this, we don’t get to socialize a lot. But when we do, it’s usually at a big event where we get to see people and spend time with them. This is something I want to do more of as soon as I finish this presidential campaign. It’s sort of hard to pick out people. We go to some events in Washington and New York. I’ve got friends, literally, around the country that I’m close to. It’s part of my life.

PGN: How would you respond to those friends if they asked you why they can’t get married?
HC: What I say is that marriage is in the province of the state, which has actually turned out to be lucky for us, because we didn’t have to get beaten on the Federal Marriage Amendment because we could make, among other arguments, that it was such a stretch for the federal government and it was wrong to enshrine discrimination in the Constitution. And that states are really beginning seriously to deal with the whole range of options, including marriage, both under their own state constitutions and under the legislative approach. I anticipate that there will be a very concerted amount of effort in the next couple of years that will move this important issue forward and different states will take different approaches as they did with marriage over many years and you will see an evolution over time.

PGN: What will you do to improve the immigration policy for same-sex couples?
HC: I think that that’s one of the biggest problems that we’ve got to contend with. Even states that have civil unions, domestic partnerships or even marriage laws are running into roadblocks with the federal government when it comes to federal benefits and privileges. Of course, immigration is a federal responsibility and I am going to do everything I can to eliminate any disparities in any benefits or rights under our law at the federal level so that all people will have available to them every right as an American citizen that they should, and that would include immigration law.

PGN:
In states like New Jersey and Massachusetts and others that have passed domestic-partner bills or civil-union bills, one of the major roadblocks they find is the federal tax codes or joint filings for IRS returns. What could we do about that?
HC: That’s one of the laws we have to change. I will have a comprehensive review, and I think a lot of that work has already been done, to look at everything that is discriminatory in the tax code or in any other aspect of federal law. And we will try to eliminate all of that discrimination. I think we will have a good argument, ironically, because I think we can say, look, the states are making determinations about extending rights to same-sex couples in various forms and the federal government should recognize that and should extend the same access to federal benefits across the board. I will very much work to achieve that.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Oprah Winfrey: Pregnant Man Is A New Definition Of Diversity

In a collaboration with People Magazine, today Oprah Winfrey hosted Thomas Beatie, the world-famous "pregnant man", showing her audience ultrasound video of the fetus growing inside him.
"It's not a male or female desire to have a child. It's a human desire," a thinly bearded Thomas Beatie said. "I have a very stable male identity," he added, saying that pregnancy neither defines him nor makes him feel feminine. Beatie, 34, who lives in Oregon, was born a woman but decided to become a man 10 years ago. He began taking testosterone treatments and had breast surgery to remove glands and flatten his chest.

"I opted not to do anything with my reproductive organs because I wanted to have a child one day," he told the talk show host. Beatie's wife Nancy said she inseminated him with a syringe using sperm purchased from a bank. Now, he said, his size 32 jeans are getting a bit tight and his shirts are a bit stretched.

Nancy, to whom he has been married for five years and who has two grown daughters by a previous marriage, also appeared on the show, saying the couple's roles will not change once the baby is born. "He's going to be the father and I'm going to be the mother," she said. Their marriage is legal and he is recognized under state law as a man.
The doctor conducting the ultrasound pronounced the baby healthy and said Beatie's was what he would call a "normal pregnancy." Beatie stopped taking testosterone treatments about two years ago. Oprah called Beatie's pregnancy "a new definition of what diversity means for everybody."

Hopefully I'll have a video clip by tomorrow.

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Gay And Dead. Oh, April Fool's!!!

Some asshole ran a fake memorium for his best friend in the Washington Post on April 1st, using a famous line from Brokeback Mountain to imply that they'd been lovers. And he's shocked, SHOCKED, that people didn't find it funny.
An "in memoriam" ad about a former U.S. ambassador that was placed as an April Fools' Day joke backfired yesterday. A photo of Edward M. Gabriel, a very much alive international business consultant who was the U.S. ambassador to Morocco from 1997 to 2001, topped an ad on Page B8 in yesterday's Washington Post.

In language reminiscent of the movie "Brokeback Mountain," the $322.20 ad said, "Though I no longer have you as my partner, this day will always be OUR anniversary. . . . I could never quit you." The ad was taken out by J. Peter Segall, a public relations executive and lawyer. Segall is paying for a retraction in today's Post. Segall said last night that he is a mature man who made an immature mistake.

"As I said in a correction that I hope is published [today], I engaged in a very stupid and ultimately cruel April Fools' joke against a man that has been my best friend for 30 years, and I deeply, deeply regret it," Segall said. (The retraction appears on Page B7.) Gabriel said he fielded calls all day from friends who thought he had died. One woman told him she spent two hours crying after seeing the ad.

"He's an old friend who plays jokes on me every year, and some are hilarious, but they've been private," Gabriel said. "He's a good friend who went a little too far. He's apologized profusely, and I've accepted it, but not without being a little hurt. I think -- I know -- he had no ill intent."

It's the first time in 20 years that a spoof ad is known to have run in The Post, said a company spokesman. There is no formal process for checking the truth of the ads, he said. Unlike death notices or news obituaries, which are fact-checked, families often take out "in memoriam" ads to remember a deceased relative months or years after the person's death.
Next year he should call the family from the hospital and say there'd been an accident. That'd be a riot!

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Jeebus Fails Again

Remember, healing comes from Jeebus. Except, you know, when it doesn't.
The three siblings of a girl who died of diabetes that went untreated as her parents prayed instead of taking her to a doctor have been removed from the home during an investigation, police said Friday. The parents and social services experts agreed the move would be best for everyone, Everest Metro Police Chief Dan Vergin said. The children are staying with other relatives, though they were not in danger, he said.

"There is no physical evidence of abuse or neglect," he said. Madeline Neumann, 11, died Sunday the Weston home of an undiagnosed but treatable form of diabetes as her parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, prayed for her to get better. Her mother said she never expected her daughter, whom she called Kara, to die.

The family believes in the Bible, which says healing comes from God, Leilani Neumann said. The children removed from the home range in age from 13 to 16 and are expected to return to their parents once an investigation of the girl's death wraps up, Vergin said.
Doesn't it seem like there have a been a lot of these stories in the news lately? Unbelievably, there will probably be no charges filed against the parents.

(Via - Pam's House Blend)

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Daily Grumble

My house guest left yesterday after an eight day visit. It was great having him here, but while I'm glad to have the place back to myself and am no longer tripping over his suitcases, the apartment feels empty and quiet and I'm reminded of why I'd always enjoyed having roommates. I've lived alone for four years now. Aside from a short period from '78-'79, I had roommates my entire life, even when I had live-in boyfriends. Weird to suddenly have this "alone" feeling again. Anyway, Shelley is getting extra hugs today.

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NYC Speaker Quinn In Financial Scandal

The New York Post says the office of New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has been funneling money into sham organizations in order to later use the funds to reward those faithful to her.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's office hid millions of taxpayer dollars by allocating grants to phantom organizations as a way of holding the funds to dole out political favors later - bogus bookkeeping that is the subject of city and federal probes, The Post has learned.

Among the dozens of fabricated groups that were slated to receive funds were the "Immigration Improvement Project of New York" ($300,000), the "Coalition for a Strong Special Education" ($400,000) and the "American Association of Concerned Veterans" ($422,763).

The total amount set aside in 2007 and 2008 for the fake organizations - which are each listed by name in the city budget after being inserted at the council's request - was $4.7 million. In the two years, 30 phantom groups were listed, council aides confirmed.

The money, in effect, became a slush fund for the speaker and was later used at Quinn's discretion to reward groups that were loyal to her and to fund favored council members' pet projects, sources told The Post. The scheme gave "the speaker a stash of cash with which to thank or pay off politically important allies or cooperative council members," a source said.
Quinn says she blew the whistle herself when she learned of the slush fund and had demanded that staffers end the practice. Quinn: "I was kind of sick over the fact that there were things listed in the budget that were not accurate and that my instructions to the staff were disregarded." Two of Quinn's top finance aides have been forced out over the issue. Quinn, who is openly lesbian, plans to run for mayor of NYC after Bloomberg is term-limited out of office in 2009.

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Ouch!

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Delayed Reaction: Bill Clinton Blows Top Over Richardson's Endorsement Of Obama

Whoa! Another meltdown from Bill Clinton.
Bill Clinton unleashed one of his famous red-faced, finger-wagging tantrums when he was asked during a private meeting last weekend about New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's endorsement of Barack Obama.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the angry outburst to California superdelegates occurred just before the former President took the stage at the Democrats' state convention and calmly urged delegates to "chill out" when questioned about the deadlocked contest between his wife, Hillary, and Obama. "It was very, very intense," said one anonymous attendee of the backstage hissy fit. "Not at all like the Bill of earlier campaigns."

The meltdown apparently began when Rachel Binah, a former Richardson delegate who now supports Clinton, told the former President how "sorry" she was to have heard ex-Bill Clinton campaign manager James Carville call Richardson a "Judas" for backing Obama.

It was as if someone pulled the pin from a grenade, the paper reported. "Five times to my face, [Richardson] said that he would never do that!" a furious, finger-pointing Clinton retorted.

Clinton's tirade meandered from there to the media's treatment of his wife, to the unfairness of the votes in caucus states. It ended with him asking delegates to ponder the reaction if Obama were trailing by just 1% and people were telling him to drop out.

When contacted by the Daily News yesterday, Binah declined to comment on the meeting. "I really don't want to talk about it," she said. Asked if there's a reason why she wouldn't talk, she replied, "Yeah, there is a reason why. We have two magnificent candidates in this race. And, um, that's all I have to say."

Bob Mulholland, an adviser to the California Democratic Party, said only, "I thought it was a great meeting."

"It was informative, personal and we talked shop," he added. "It was great." Richardson, meanwhile, had his say yesterday in a Washington Post column in which he wrote that he never told the Clintons, or anyone, that he would refrain from endorsing Obama. "Those who say I did are misinformed or worse," wrote Richardson, who served as ambassador to the United Nations during the Clinton administration and later as energy secretary.
It does seem a bit back-stabby that Richardson would endorse Obama after being in Bill Clinton's cabinet. And after supposedly promising Bill five times that he wouldn't.

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It's 3AM. Again.

Another ringing phone ad from Hillary.

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And Next, They'll Fix It So The Door To Your House Won't Open

Here's a sign of the times. A California company is selling car dealers a device that disables your car when your payment is late.
A Riverside County company is cashing in on the subprime credit crunch. Murrieta-based, Sekurus, sells a device that will disable a driver's car if a payment is missed.

The so-called 'On-Time' device is actually a little box mounted underneath the dashboard that forces high risk car-buyers to make their payments on time. A light on the plastic box flashes when a payment is due. If the payment isn't made the vehicle won't start. The next step is a visit from the repo man. Sekurus has sold 250,000 devices at up to $250 each. Most are purchased by finance companies or dealers who cater to car buyers with troubled credit histories.
How long before this strategy is applied to new home buyers?

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Besen On O'Reilly

Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out was on the Bill O'Reilly show last night to take about Jay Leno and homophobic jokes. O'Reilly claims that he would "never" make jokes about a minority group for fear of being branded a homophobe or racist. Truth Wins Out is an "ex-gay" watchdog group, so I'm not sure why Besen is tackling this topic, but good for him.

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HomoQuotable - Peter Tatchell

"All forms of oppression depend on two factors for their continued maintenance. First, on specific economic, political and ideological structures. Second, on a significant proportion of the population being socialised into the acceptance of harsh masculine values which involve the legitimisation of aggression and the suppression of gentleness and emotion.

"The embracing of these culturally-conditioned macho values is what makes millions of people - mostly straight men, but some women and gay men too - able to participate in repressive regimes. This interaction between social structures, ideology and individual psychology was a thesis which the communist psychologist, Wilhelm Reich, was attempting to articulate six decades ago in his book, The Mass Psychology of Fascism.

"In the case of German fascism, what Nazism did was merely awake and excite the latent brutality that is intrinsic to the forms of heterosexual masculinity that are usually characteristic of patriarchal class societies. It then systematically manipulated and organised this machismo into a fascist regime of terror and torture which culminated in the holocaust.

"Since it is the internalisation of the masculine cult of toughness and domination which makes people psychologically suited and willing to be part of oppressive relations of exploitation and subjection, repressive states invariably glorify masculine "warrior" ideals, and persecute those men - mainly queers - who fail to conform to them.

"The embrace of masculine aggression by sizable chunks of the male population is a prerequisite for injustice and tyranny. Love and tenderness between men therefore ceases to be a purely private matter or simply a question of personal lifestyle. Instead, it objectively becomes an act of sexual and cultural subversion that undermines the psychological foundations of oppression.

"Hence the Nazi vilification of gay men as "sexual subversives" and "sexual saboteurs" who, in the words of Heinrich Himmler, had to be"exterminated root and branch." The ending of tyranny, injustice and exploitation therefore requires us to change both the social structures and the individual personality." - Peter Tatchell, excerpted from a long speech to the European Feminist Summit in London.

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Open Thread Thursday

What's going right in your life? Good news only.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Katreese Barnes, Mystery Black Party Singer

I've updated my Black Party 2008 review to add that promoters have informed me that the unannounced 7:30am performer was Katreese Barnes, the musical director of Saturday Night Live, who sang her new single Alright, Alright to general acclaim from party attendees. And that's a tough crowd right there, people.

Barnes is the co-writer of SNL's smash viral video Dick In A Box, for which she shared a songwriting Emmy with Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg. Barnes' songs have been recorded by Diana Ross, Roberta Flack, Chaka Khan, Luther Vandross and many others.

Alright, Alright was produced by Black Party headliner DJ Jonathan Peters and is available for streaming and download on Masterbeat.com, where it is currently #1 on their chart, thanks, no doubt, to Black Party attendees more in the musical know that I am.

A murky clip of Barnes' performance has already surfaced on YouTube, but like the dozen or so other clips from this year's Black Party, it's almost unwatchable. As distracted as I was by friends at the moment, I wasn't digging Alright, Alright so much at the party, but after a few listens on Masterbeat, I had to download it. There's always one tune that I hear for the first time at Black Party that comes to represent the event for me in years to come. This one is it.

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Homophobes Rally For Sally

More than 1000 homophobes packed Oklahoma's Capitol today to rally in support of their Hater In Chief, Sally Kern. From a blog called Destiny Christian:
The event was tastefully and lovingly approached with Sally and her husband offering forgiveness to all who have been so cruel. A former homosexual shared his testimony and thanked everybody for their assistance in helping others to leave this very damaging and dangerous lifestyle.
And then everybody lovingly put on their tasteful white hoods and went back to Klan headquarters. (And here we thought Sally had a breakthrough with PFLAG.) On the Tulsa World site, the usual pro-Sally/hate-Sally bickering is going on. She is now being touted as the next governor of Oklahoma.

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Letterman's Top Ten Messages Left On The Pregnant Man's Answering Machine

Sorry for two Letterman clips in one day, but I missed last night's Top 10 and it was just pointed out to me that his writers call Thomas Beatie, the now world famous pregnant transsexual man, "an androgynous freak show." Let's see what GLAAD does with this.

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Arizona To Grant Health Benefits To Partners Of State Workers

Arizona is set to approve health benefits for the partners of state employees.
The domestic partners of state employees, gay or straight, will be eligible for health coverage and other benefits under a plan approved Tuesday by a state oversight panel. The Governor's Regulatory Review Council, with three members missing or abstaining, voted 4-0 to approve the benefits expansion. It was proposed late last year with backing by Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano.

Supporters termed Tuesday's decision a breakthrough for the state in terms of its treatment of employees and competitiveness in luring and retaining a workforce. Meanwhile, critics likened the administrative rule change to a sidestep of the Legislature and hinted at a possible legal challenge in the months ahead.
Arizona will join 15 other states and Washington, DC in granting such coverage.

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Rent-A-Dildo?

No, really. Apparently the business has been around for awhile, but I just learned about Rent-A-Dildo.com from an ad in this week's HX Magazine. Described by some as a "Netflix for sex toys", the site promises:
We've developed a patent-pending process for thoroughly cleaning each toy before it is sent out to a customer. Our extensive research and testing indicate that this will allow us to provide safe, hygienic sex toys without the fear of transmission of disease. Customers who are still concerned about safety can simply use a condom or other latex barrier with each toy.
The fee for the service starts at $19/month. OK, then.

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McCain On Letterman


Watching him lob zingers at David Letterman last night, it was a little distressing to see how charming John McCain can be. Also distressing: McCain's warm reception from Letterman's normally leftish audience. Note that for McCain's entrance music, the band plays the Shirelles' Soldier Boy.

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Greece Considers Civil Unions

Greece is considering a law that will allow gay couples to solemnize their relationships in a civil ceremony, causing outrage within the Greek Orthodox Church. Bishop Anthimos of Thessaloniki charged that the new law would erode human dignity and "make them equal to animals." Gays in Greece are banned from military service and only 16% of the nation says they support gay marriage.

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Ted Kennedy Brings ENDA To Senate

As he promised last year, Sen. Ted Kennedy will introduce the trans-exclusive version of ENDA to the Senate. Despite an uproar that ripped the gay activism community apart, the weakened version of the bill passed in the House last year.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy is jumping into the middle of an uproar within the gay community whose causes he has long championed. The Massachusetts Democrat is leading a push in the Senate for a federal ban on job bias against gays, lesbians and bisexuals — but not transsexuals, cross-dressers and others whose outward appearance doesn't match their gender at birth.

"We will strongly oppose it," said Roberta Sklar of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "Leaving transgender people out makes that a flawed movement." The House in November approved the bill, written by openly gay Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., despite strong protests from many gay rights advocates that it didn't cover transgender workers.

"It was made very clear in the fall that most LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) organizations, the vast majority of LGBT organizations, do not want Congress to shove a civil rights bill down our throat that we don't want," said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Some gay rights groups, including the Human Rights Campaign, supported Frank's bill and the decision not to risk its rejection by Congress by insisting on immediate transgender protections as well. "We will continue this work until all members of our community no longer fear being fired for who they are," said Brad Luna, Human Rights Campaign communications director.

Kennedy said Senate approval of the bill could pave the way for extending protections to transgender workers next year, when he hopes Democrats will increase their numbers in Congress and a Democratic president supporting gay rights will be in the White House.

"The fact is that the House of Representatives has taken action," Kennedy said in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press. "The best opportunity for progress is ... to follow along on the action of the House of Representatives, and then look down the road to a new day after we have a good Democratic Congress and a Democratic president."

Kennedy expects an "uphill fight" in the narrowly divided Senate, where 60 votes rather than a simple majority would be needed to overcome expected GOP stalling tactics.

Bush is expected to veto the bill if it passes the Senate.

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Gay Marriage Ban May Make CA Ballot

The petition drive to get an anti-gay marriage amendment on California's November ballot is getting close to the number of signatures needed to succeed.
The organization collecting signatures for a proposed amendment banning same-sex marriage in California says it is close to meeting the requirement. Protect Marriage says it has collected 881,000 of the 1.1 million signatures needed. The deadline for turning in the petitions to county registrars is April 21.

Registrars are then required to take a random sample of signatures to verify. If that sampling shows at least 10 percent more valid signatures than required the petitions will be certified and the measure will be placed on the November ballot. "The numbers are good, solid," Ron Prentice, a spokesperson for Protect Marriage told The Christian Examiner, a conservative Christian publication.
If the amendment makes the ballot and is approved by voters, it will override any decision by the California Supreme Court and prohibit the state legislature from further action on marriage equality, effectively ending the fight in California. Same-sex marriage was approved by the California legislature in 2005 and 2007 but was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger each time.

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Hillary's April Fool's


As an April Fool's joke, yesterday Hillary challenged Barack Obama to a "bowl-off", making fun of the 37 score Obama received while bowling the day before at a Pennsylvania campaign stop. Warning: lame puns.

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McCain To Toe GOP's Anti-Gay Line

John McCain will not retreat from his party's strong anti-gay marriage and anti-abortion platform.
Advisers to Sen. John McCain's presidential bid say he will not try to "soften" the Republican party's platform on abortion and same-sex marriage to appeal to more voters. McCain associates told The Washington Times that his operatives are not going to work behind the scenes to eliminate the party's calls for constitutional bans on abortion and homosexual marriage before the GOP convention in September. Previous Republican nominees, such as former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole, have sought to alter the party's positions, which are honed and released in the platform immediately before the nominating convention.
According to a plank in the GOP's 2004 platform: "The well-being of children is best accomplished in the environment of the home, nurtured by their mother and father anchored by the bonds of marriage."

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Ecuador Gets Gay Friendlier

"Let's be clear that the profoundly humanistic position of this government is to respect the intrinsic dignity of everyone, of every human being, independently of their creed, race, sexual preference. We will give certain guarantees to stable gay couples but matrimony will continue being reserved for a man, a woman and the family. Every person has dignity, that's to say, one must respect a person independently of their sexual preference. Be careful not to deny employment to someone because of their sexual preference. That is discrimination, that is unconstitutional." - Ecuador President Rafael Correa.

(Via - Rex Wockner)

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Jay Leno Apologies

After his interview with actor Ryan Phillipe caused outrage from gay activists and spawned a entire website populated by people flipping Tonight Show host Jay Leno their middle fingers, GLAAD is reporting that the comedian has apologized.
"In talking about Ryan's first role, I realize that what I said came out wrong," the host said in a statement. "I certainly didn't mean any malice. I agree it was a dumb thing to say, and I apologize."
GLAAD goes on to congratulate Phillipe for not playing along with Leno's homophobic jokes, saying, "We are proud of Ryan for refusing to participate in Leno's thoughtless attempt at humor."

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April 7th: National Gay & Lesbian Task Force's New York Leadership Awards

On Monday, April 7th, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force presents the 2008 New York Leadership Awards at the New York Times Center. Hosted by comedian Sabrina Matthews and a featuring special performances by Debbie Harry and Miss Guy, this year's awards will honor filmmaker John Waters, New York Governor David Paterson, and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Sponsorships and tables are available at a variety of levels with individual tickets running from $150 - $500. Get tickets here.

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Another Bush Crony Resigns In Disgrace

Alphonso Jackson, Bush's secretary of Housing and Urban Development has resigned amid allegations he funneled housing contracts to Republican insiders.
HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, his tenure tarnished by allegations of political favoritism and a criminal investigation, announced his resignation amid the wreckage of the national housing crisis. He leaves behind a trail of unanswered questions about whether he tilted the Department of Housing and Urban Development toward Republican contractors and cronies.

The move comes at a shaky time for the economy, with soaring mortgage foreclosures imperiling the nation's credit markets. In announcing that his last day at HUD will be April 18, Jackson said only, "There comes a time when one must attend more diligently to personal and family matters."
Last year Jackson famously blamed gays in part for the mortgage crisis, saying the meltdown was caused by "yuppies, buppies and guppies" who bought $400,000 homes with little or no money down. "Guppies" means gay upwardly-mobile professionals.

Bye-bye Alphonso. And yeah, let's "Caption This" photo.

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Daily Grumble

On Friday my super finally fixed my front door so it doesn't slam shut when you let it go, after three years of my occasionally annoying the neighbors by letting it slip. Last night I noticed that my house guest had left it slightly open when he left to go out bar hopping. I "tsk tsked" him in my head and thought nothing further. But a couple of hours later when I went to bed I noticed that Shelley didn't immediately jump in with me, as is her habit.

I should have looked for her right when I found the door open, but she's always been a little afraid of the door and wouldn't go near it, thanks its former rapid-slam feature. I ran into the hallway and heard her crying immediately. I found her up on the fifth floor, sitting on the sill of an open window in the stairwell. Just a slight mishap, but it was the most panicked ten minutes I've had in years. Kept me awake for an hour.

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How Border Agents Treat People With HIV

As Congress considers repealing the ban on foreign travelers with HIV from entering the United States, a Canadian man reports an encounter with border agents last November.
The U.S. Senate is expected to vote next month on a bill proposed by Massachusetts Senator John Kerry that would lift what he calls a Draconian travel ban that has caused thousands of Canadians and other foreigners to be refused entry to the United States because they have the virus that causes AIDS. Martin Rooney is among them.

The Surrey, B.C., man was on his way to Bellingham, Wash., for the Remembrance Day long weekend last November to shop, with the Canadian dollar trading at about $1.07 against the greenback. After lining up for four hours to reach the U.S. customs booth, he was asked where he worked. "I said I was on disability. He said what's my disability. I said I have HIV," said the 47-year-old, who was diagnosed in 1989.

The customs officer told him he needed a special visa waiver to enter the country, even though Canadians do not require a visa to travel to the United States. "He hauled me into a backroom. ... He put on a set of rubber gloves to hold each of my fingers. Nobody else wore rubber gloves. Then he fingerprinted me, photographed me, ran me through the FBI's most-wanted list and told me to go back to Canada and not return until I came back with a waiver," Mr. Rooney said. "I felt like I was being treated like a terrorist."

He went public with his story soon after, winning the support of several B.C. members of Parliament, including Hedy Fry, Penny Priddy and Bill Siksay. The United States is one of 13 nations, including China, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Sudan, that still ban HIV-positive visitors and immigrants.
Just outrageous.

(Via - Globe And Mail)

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Pelosi Intervenes So Tammy Baldwin's Partner Can Fly

The Pentagon is having problems dealing with the travel rules for the partners of gay members of Congress.
Prior to the Easter recess, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was forced to intervene with Defense Secretary Robert Gates in order to get Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin’s domestic partner on a military flight for a congressional fact-finding trip to Europe.

The speaker succeeded, but the issue continues to simmer for both sides. The Pentagon appears to be self-conscious about transporting gay domestic partners at a time when it continues to enforce a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in its own ranks. The speaker is sensitive to the gay rights issue but doesn’t want to be drawn into a situation where it appears she is dictating policy for the use of military planes.

Under House guidelines, members of Congress may take their spouses with them on military flights if there is room for them and when it is “necessary for protocol purposes.” Although Baldwin, the only openly gay woman elected to Congress, exchanged wedding vows with Lauren Azar in 1998, her home state of Wisconsin does not officially recognize same-sex marriages, and military officials were apparently unwilling to consider Azar a “spouse” within the meaning of the House guidelines.

In appealing to Gates, Pelosi aides said their boss was simply asking the defense secretary to follow a precedent established by her predecessor, former Republican Rep. Dennis Hastert of Illinois. Pelosi told Gates that Hastert had allowed Baldwin to take Azar on a previous trip abroad.

[snip]

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), another openly gay lawmaker, believes the military’s initial refusal to let Azar fly with Baldwin has more to do with the Bush administration’s opposition to same-sex marriage than with the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. “I think the military was following orders,” Frank said. “I think the administration disapproves of same-sex marriage.”
(Via - Politico)

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Orlando: Nipple Free Zone

Orlando city officials asked the WWE to make sure their billboards weren't "too provocative" and the company that makes the signs responded by airbrushing the nipples off the men. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer mistakenly told reporters that showing men's nipples was against the law, which it isn't. The same artwork appears on city buses with nipples included.

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Hillary: Obama Wants To Stop People
From Voting

The latest salvo from Hillary:
Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton accused rival Sen. Barack Obama and his allies of trying to stop people from voting as some of his backers have called on her to drop out of the presidential race. The Obama campaign rejected the charge, dismissing Clinton's criticism as "completely laughable."

In a series of television interviews in states holding upcoming contests, Clinton vowed to press on with her campaign and suggested Obama and his supporters wanted to keep those states from playing a role in selecting the party's presidential nominee.

"My take on it is a lot of Senator Obama's supporters want to end this race because they don't want people to keep voting," she told CBS affiliate KTVQ in Billings, Mont. "That's just the opposite of what I believe. We want people to vote. I want the people of Montana to vote, don't you?"
According to the latest delegate count: Obama:1,631 delegates, Clinton: 1501.

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Swag Tuesday

Courtesy of her management, this week's Swag Tuesday prize is a front row table for four to see Joan Rivers on April 9th, her opening night in Manhattan's Cutting Room. Joan's weekly show open next Wednesday and continues through June 4th. JMG readers are offered discounted tickets for $25.
Legendary comedian Joan Rivers returns to her weekly live comedy shows at The Cutting Room in Chelsea. The outrageous workshop performances feature new material, as Joan tries out her newest jokes in an intimate Chelsea club. Performances begin Wednesday, April 9, at 8:00 PM, and take place most Wednesdays at The Cutting Room, 19 West 24th Street (between Broadway and Sixth Avenue). Tickets are $30, and may be ordered online now or by calling 212-352-3101.

Joan will play Wednesdays April 9-June 4 at 8:00 PM. (There are no shows April 23 or May 14). Doors open one hour before showtime, and you can enjoy live music by pianist Lance Cruce from 7:00-8:00 PM. The Cutting Room has a full dinner menu available.
I saw Joan Rivers at the Cutting Room last year with several friends and we had a wonderful time. Enter to win your tickets by commenting on this post. Only comment once and please remember to leave your email address. Publicists: if you'd like to participate in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.

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Pregnant Husband To Go On Oprah

Thomas Beatie will appear on the Oprah Winfrey show this Thursday. The Oregon transman made headlines around the world last week when he announced his pregnancy. Here's a teaser from the Oprah website:
A happily married couple, living in a normal neighborhood in America, is expecting their first child. But there's a big twist ... the husband is the one who's pregnant! How is this possible? Thomas and his wife are here in their first television interview. The couple reveals the details of their pasts, their relationship and their incredible pregnancy. Then, watch as our cameras capture the ultrasound and get an inside look at the couple's plans for the nursery.
According to Beatie, he will also appear in the upcoming issue of People.

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