Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Protect Marriage's R-71 Ad
Protect Marriage Washington's ad against Referendum 71 is one of the most bombastic we've seen yet, and that's saying something. Over on Pam's House Blend, commenter Abraxas Bear notes:
The intro pic of Adam and Eve is a painting by Lowell Bruce Bennett, and the painting happens to be the intellectual property of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. See the copyright notice here, on their official website (especially note if you click the picture to enlarge, you get a separate copyright attached to the image itself). It so happens that the LDS/Mormon church is vociferous about protecting its intellectual property, so if this ad doesn't get promptly pulled, you can count on it having been used by LDS church permission!
American Family Association Claims 500K Are Boycotting Pepsi Over Gay Support
The American Family Association is claiming that 500,000 of its members have signed a pledge to boycott PepsiCo because of the company's support of the "homosexual culture war."
American Family Association asked PepsiCo to be neutral in the culture war and not support the homosexual agenda. PepsiCo refused. The company continues to give financial support to homosexual organizations. PepsiCo gave $500,000 to Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and another $500,000 to the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). The total of $1,000,000 was used to help promote homosexuality in the workplace. HRC and PFLAG were major supporters of efforts to defeat Proposition 8 in California, which defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. HRC gave $2.3 million to the effort to defeat Prop 8.Via Raw Story:
The Pepsi boycott seems to be having some effect within the Christian conservative community. Last month, the Westboro Baptist Church, of "God hates fags" fame, protested in downtown Atlanta with signs that read "God hates Diet Pepsi." Last month, Bell Shoals Baptist, a mega-church in Brandon, Florida, removed its Pepsi vending machines and replaced them with Coke machines. "We fight this battle one skirmish at a time," said Terry Kemple, the Bell Shoals member who organized the vending machine change, in an interview with the Brandon News & Tribune. "Our forefathers came here for religious liberty, not sexual liberty." But the church's switch from Pepsi to Coke -- which other Florida churches joined -- may have been a strategic mistake. As Bridgette LaVictoire reported on the LezGetReal blog, "Coca Cola has consistently scored higher on the Human Rights Campaign’s list of LGBT friendly businesses" than Pepsi. "The AFA [is] furious with PepsiCo over their diversity training, which is actually not quite as good as Coca Cola’s, and their work place support of LGBT individuals, which is not quite the same level of support as seen in Coca Cola Corp.," she wrote.
Hate Crimes Bill On Verge Of Passage
Last night the House of Representatives voted down a GOP motion to strip the hate crimes act from the defense authorization bill to which it's attached. The vote was 234-178, virtually exactly along party lines. Tomorrow the House will see a final conference vote on the bill, after which the Senate will see a conference vote before the bill lands on Obama's desk. That may not happen until next week, but there appears to be a chance that President Obama may have something very nice in his pocket when he appears at the HRC dinner on Saturday. Below, Barney Frank defends attaching the hate crimes act to the DOD authorization.
Pat Benatar, Love Is A Battlefield, 1983. Written by Holly Knight and producer Mike Chapman (both of whom also co-wrote Tina Turner's Better Be Good To Me), this was Benatar's biggest and most enduring hit, reaching #5 on the pop chart, a height she later tied with the less memorable We Belong. The track earned Benatar a Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal, but it was accompanying dance video that broke the single, as girls and gay boys nationwide copied the Defiant Hooker Shimmy. (My buddy Ken loves to tell the story about meeting one of the clip's dancers, who told him she was credited as "Disgruntled Whore #3.") Benatar was such a famously bad dancer, it reportedly took many, many takes to get her steps right. Love Is A Battlefield has been covered numerous times by artists such as Cher, Mary J. Blige, White Doves, and Queen Latifiah (who recorded a rap version). Via Durban Bud, here's the literal version.
Westboro To Picket NEM & HRC Dinner
Westboro Baptist Church has posted a list of pickets planned for this weekend in Washington DC. Among their targets are a local synagogue, the HRC-Obama dinner, and the National Equality March. If you are attending any of these events, take care not to engage the Westboro nutters. They would love the national attention of any tiny incident and will sue anybody that interferes with them in any manner.
Interestingly, the next item on their picket list is NYC's massive Columbus Day Parade, where they intend to scream at a couple of million Italian-American New Yorkers. Not to paint with too broad a brush, but I suspect they just miiiiiight see a little bit of trouble for that. Just a little.
No Golf For Obama
The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that President Obama definitely will not attend the Presidents Cup golf tournament this Sunday. I was thinking it would be hard for him to make it after speaking at the HRC's dinner in DC the night before. What are the chances of a surprise appearance at the March? The president will be in SF next week for a Democratic fundraiser on the 15th.
Friendly Voices - Scott Fujita
"A year ago or two years ago, I remember reading about an initiative that was proposed in the state of Arkansas. It was some kind of measure that was aimed at preventing adoptions by single parents. Now, the way I read that and the way that I translated that language was that only heterosexual, married couples could adopt children. As an adopted child that really bothered me. I asked myself, what that is really saying is that the concern with one's sexual orientation or one's sexual preference outweighs what's really important, and that's finding safe homes for children, for our children.
"It's also saying that we'd rather have kids bounce around from foster home to foster home throughout the course of their childhood, than end up in a permanent home, where the parent, whether that person's single or not, gay or straight. Either way, it doesn't matter. It's a home that's going to be provided for a kid who desperately needs a home. As an adopted child, that measure really bothered me. It just boggles my mind because good, loving homes for any child are the most important thing." - New Orleans Saints star linebacker Scott Fujita, in a Huffington Post interview titled Why I Support The National Equality March.
Jon Stewart On DADT
The Swine Flu Snap
Drag Queen: 2, Street Punks: 0
I watched this about ten times last night on Live Leak, where the comments are great.
Two thugs who attacked what they thought were a pair of transvestites picked on the wrong men - when their intended victims turned out to be cage fighters on a night out in fancy dress. Dean Gardener, 19, and Jason Fender, 22, singled out the two men walking along a street in wigs, short skirts and high heels. Bare-chested Gardener was caught on CCTV confronting one of the men in a pink wig, black skirt and boob tube - then seen swinging a punch, a court heard. But the other cage fighter, wearing a sparkling black dress and matching long wig, sprang to his friend's help, delivering two lightning-quick punches to the two stunned yobs. The cage fighters were then seen teetering away in their high heels, stopping only to pick up a clutch bag they dropped during the melee. Gardener and Fender were left dazed and seen staggering to their feet after their failed attack. CCTV cameras followed the pair as they weaved along The Kingsway in Swansea, South Wales, before being arrested by police.After trying to fight just about anybody passing by, the two pick on the drag queens at the 1:00 mark.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX): Hate Crimes Act Is Holding Soldiers Hostage
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) vehemently opposes the Matthew Shepard Act and says attaching it to a defense appropriations act is "holding soldiers hostage." He then go on to spout the usual lies that preachers will be dragged from the pulpits and charged with hate crimes for preaching against homosexuality.
UK Conservatives Go Gay: Tories Throw Giant Gay Club Night
The party of Margaret Thatcher wooed LGBT support yesterday by throwing a massive gay club night in Manchester, where the Tories are holding their annual party conference. "Party with your fellow conservatives" read the poster.
Skin-tight T-shirts, posters of semi-naked men and buckets of condoms on the tables. This was not a typical fringe event at the Conservative party conference. Last night, though, the Tories glammed up for “Conference Pride”, the party’s first official gay club night. Protesters gathered outside with placards reading “Queers against Tories”, outraged that the party had crashed Manchester’s gay scene. Inside, hundreds packed two dancefloors and a roof terrace. They drank cocktails created for the occasion: the “Cameron PM” (double vodka, blue Curacao and lime juice) and the “Tory Martini” (vodka, gin, Midori melon liqueur and lime juice). Both were selling well. In defiance of a ban on party triumphalism there were also four different types of champagne on offer, including Laurent-Perrier at £57 a bottle.But it wasn't an entirely happy gay time on Canal Street, as noted above. Not only were there queer anti-Tory protesters outside their own event, the newly-minted LGBTory group is pissed that the nearby club Poptastic simultaneously hosted a night called "Tory Shame," which featured a Thatcher lookalike drag queen.
Matthew Sephton, chairman of LGBTory commented: “It is a shame that Poptastic has chosen to hold this event which appears to aim only to stir up negativity and political division in the LGBT movement, at a time when we need to be as united as possible.” He went on: “Conference Pride is an official part of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester and has attracted lots of interest from those both within and outside the party. It is the first time an official event has been organised on this scale and it is a clear signal to the LGBT community that we are valued and have a valid part to play in the future of our country and the Conservative Party.Meanwhile, Ben Summerskill, the executive director of the LGBT charity Stonewall, has pulled out of his scheduled speech at the conference over the Tories' alignment with homophobic parties in the European Parliament.
The party has invited Polish Law and Justice Party MP Michal Kaminski, to speak at its conference this week. Mr Kaminski was filmed calling gay people "fags" in an interview in 2000. He is now the president of the Tories' new bloc in Europe, the European Conservatives and Reformists Group. Pulling out of the event, Mr Summerskill told Channel 4 News: "There is no doubt the progress that has been made in the last couple of years has genuinely been historic. "It would churlish of anyone not to welcome the apology a couple of months ago over Section 28." "But the event tonight has been overshadowed by the presence, not just at conference but on the same platform as some senior members of the party, of people of such extreme and offensive views."JMG readers from the UK and elsewhere have commented that comparing the Conservative Party to the GOP is unfair in light of their recent improvements in LGBT policies. The mere existence of Tory-run gay club night might be considered evidence as such. But from this distance, inviting speakers to your national conference such as the above-noted extremist Polish representative makes it hard to see that big of a difference, gay disco nights and their Section 28 apology notwithstanding. Window dressing, as local gay cynics have said.
It can't be overlooked that the overall state of LGBT rights in the UK is far, far ahead of what we have here in America. Gays serve openly in the military, England and Wales have a version of ENDA, gay adoption is allowed, and civil partnerships have been legal since 2005. (Hate crimes legislation is proving thornier.) What needs to happen now is for the Tories to help duplicate those successes by using their influence across the European Union, not prop up violently anti-gay movements. Disco parties may buy a few local votes, but the biggest fight for LGBT rights, now, is elsewhere.
Subway Announcement Of The Week
Prop 8 Backers Seek To Boot CA Attorney General From Their Side
California Attorney General Jerry Brown is refusing to defend Proposition 8 from a lawsuit contending that it is unconstitutional. Because he agrees. Therefore Protect Marriage now wants him listed as a plaintiff in the suit, rather than a defendant.
In court papers filed late Friday, Proposition 8 backers argue that allowing Brown to remain as a named defendant in the case "unfairly advances" the challenge to the same-sex marriage ban because, like the plaintiffs, the attorney general maintains California's law against same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. "As matters now stand, plaintiffs have a party on the other side of this dispute who shares their ultimate goal of invalidating Proposition 8," lawyers wrote in court documents. "Plaintiffs might well turn the old adage on its head and ask: With enemies such as these, who needs friends?" Scott Gerber, Brown's spokesman, said the office's lawyers are reviewing the motion and had no further comment. In numerous legal briefs, Brown has sided with the plaintiffs' central legal argument that Proposition 8 violates the equal protection rights of same-sex couples seeking the right to marry. It is a rare example of the state's top lawyer declining to defend a California law in the courts.A federal district court has scheduled the case for trial in January, which some expect may eventually offer SCOTUS an opportunity to finally hear the issue.
GA High School Ejects Cross-Dressing Boy
Before he enrolled, school officials at a Kennesaw, Georgia high school assured Jonathan Escobar, 16, that he would be allowed to cross-dress as he pleased. But after a fight erupted between one of Jonathan's supporters and one of his tormentors, the school told him that he was in violation of their "no disruptive clothing" policy. He dropped out after four days rather than comply.
Survey: R-71 With Slight Lead
A new SurveyUSA poll shows Referendum 71 with a slim 3-point lead in Washington state.
Voters are divided on Referendum 71, which would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of registered domestic partners and their families. The referendum asks voters to approve or reject a state law, signed by Governor Christine Gregoire in May 2009, which expanded the state's domestic partnership laws. Today, 45% of likely voters say they are certain to vote to approve Referendum 71; 42% are certain to reject; 13% are not certain. Among men, the measure is rejected by a 4-point margin; among women, it is approved by 12 points -- a 16-point gender gap. 72% of Republicans say they will vote to reject; 72% of Democrats say they will vote to approve; independents reject by a 13-point margin. In Metro Seattle, the measure is approved by 18 points; in Eastern Washington, it is rejected by 18 points. Western Washington voters outside of Metro Seattle are more divided, with an 8-point margin voting against the referendum.Remember, to KEEP domestic partners legislation you must vote to APPROVE R-71.
Rachel Maddow Takes On Astroturf Kingpin Rick Berman
Morning View - E/V At E.53rd
I don't often connect to the E from my home line of the 6 because of the two-block underground connection and the super-deep level of the E at that point. That can be hell when it's hot, especially when the E's escalators are broken, which seems to be a 50-50 shot on any given day. (When built, they were the longest escalators in the world.) Climbing eight stories in 100+ degree heat makes one not so fresh for the rest of the day.
TRIVIA: Built in 1911 at 180 feet deep (about 18 stories), the 191st Street station for the 1 train is the deepest in NYC's system.
Once A Quitter....
Just as he resigned from the U.S. House in 2006 because he didn't see himself winning re-election, last night Tom DeLay resigned from Dancing With The Stars because he didn't see himself winning. No, wait, scratch that, he has a "stress fracture." Come to think of it, "stress fracture" is a pretty good description of what happened in 2006, too.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Mary Cheney Pregnant Again
Mary Cheney, spawn of Satan and sister of a birther, is pregnant with her second child.
Mary Cheney, the former vice president’s daughter, and her long-time partner, Heather Poe, are expecting their second child, a source close to the family told True/Slant. [Ed. Note: Since publishing this piece, Cheney has confirmed that she and Poe are expecting their second child in mid- to late November.] Cheney has worked as a principal at Navigators Global, a bi-partisan communications firm, but recently announced that she would be leaving the company for maternity leave and to begin a new consulting firm with her sister, Liz. Close friends were informed that she was expecting a second child about four months ago and she is now visibly showing her pregnancy, the source says.Cheney was last in the news in August when she donated $1000 to the Senate campaign of former Rep. Bob Portman, who has consistently voted against LGBT rights.
Sparks Fly During CNN's DADT Debate
Paris: Amateur Gay Soccer Team Snubbed By Muslim Competitors
Paris Foot Gay, an amateur gay soccer team has been told by a team comprised of Muslim players that their scheduled game cannot take place due to "religious principles."
The Paris Foot Gay team says Tuesday it received an e-mail from the Creteil Bebel club canceling a match scheduled for last Sunday. "Because of the principles of our team, which is a team of devout Muslims, we can't play against you," the e-mail said, according to Paris Foot Gay. The e-mail received Saturday said, "Our convictions are much more important than a simple football match." Paris Foot Gay said in a statement that it asked the amateur league to sanction Creteil Bebel.A spokesman for Creteil Bebel says he's sorry if "anybody feels upset or hurt."
Lady Gaga Wants To Meet You At The National Equality March
David Bowie, Loving The Alien, 1985. A vivid depiction of Bowie's famous dislike for organized religion, Loving The Alien was the second single off 1984's Tonight. Unlike the first single, Blue Jean, it was not a hit, failing to chart everywhere but the UK, where it reached #19. Bowie's label had resisted it releasing as a single at all, probably due to its subject matter, but he insisted after reading a review calling it an overdue return to form after 1983's Nile Rodgers-produced dance-heavy smash album Let's Dance. In 2002 an excellent remix by Scumfrog finally landed Loving The Alien on American charts when it reached #9 on dance.
DC Marriage Bill Introduced
Openly gay DC City Council member David Catania today introduced his marriage equality bill, which will considered for a vote later this month. Catania's bill would eliminate the city's domestic partners registration effective January 2011.
(Via - MetroWeekly)
Donut Burger Comes To New England
This 1500-calorie Krispy Kreme + cheeseburger item was a huge hit this weekend at a state fair in Massachusetts. Popularized by celebrity chef Paula Deen, the Craz-E-Burger is also known as The Luther, for the late Luther Vandross, who some credit with inventing it. Krispy Kremes and cheeseburgers are two of my favorite things in the world, but even I would hesistate. For a minute.
Palimony-Type Suit For Navratilova May Set Florida Precedent For Gays
Tennis legend Martina Navratilova's ex-partner can't get access to half of her assets as Florida doesn't recognize same-sex relationships. So Toni Layton is trying a novel approach, contending that their partnership was akin to a business relationship, therefore all monies earned in that joint business must be split.
Experts say the lawsuit could set a precedent for same-sex couples. "The case could have very broad implications," said Bruce Carolan, a visiting professor with the Stetson University College of Law and an expert in business partnership law. Rafool said Florida's "archaic laws" regarding same-sex couples forced him to be creative. "In the law, that's what you have to do in Florida in order to receive fair compensation," said Rafool, a Coral Gables attorney who has represented high-profile divorce clients, including Linda Bollea, former wife of professional wrestler Terry "Hulk Hogan" Bollea. Navratilova is not commenting on the case. She sold her residence on Casey Key last year and no longer lives in Sarasota County, according to her publicist. "We're taking the position this is a private matter and we're not going to be making any statements," said Navratilova's lawyer, Barry Greenberg. But according to legal documents filed by Greenberg, the case is a "thinly disguised action for palimony" and baseless because "neither gay marriage nor a cause of action for palimony is recognized by the State of Florida."Navratilova settled a palimony suit brought by her previous partner in 1991.
GOProud Attacks Obama-HRC Dinner
Picket Planned for Obama-HRC Dinner
Activist Andy Thayer of the Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network has announced a picket of President Obama's speech before the Human Right's Campaign's annual dinner, which takes place the night before the National Equality March.
In reaction to the announcement yesterday that President Obama will address a black tie fundraising gala of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) on Saturday, October 10th, organizers of a pro-LGBT picket originally scheduled for that night at the White House have instead moved the picket to the site of the HRC gala. The picket will begin at 6 PM in front of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, on the northeast corner of Mt Vernon Place NW and 9th Street NW, Washington, DC.A Facebook group for the picket is here.
While the picket organizers will be participating in the Sunday, Oct. 11th Equality March, they charge that the march organizers have been going easy on the Obama administration and the Democratic Party in general. Barack Obama was long on pro-gay promises during the campaign, they say, yet short on delivering on them once he took power in late January. “The time for talking is over,” said Andy Thayer of the Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network (www.GayLiberation.net), one of the two organizations sponsoring the picket. “This President promised to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), he promised to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, he promised to pass the pro-LGBT Employment Non-Discrimination Act and a whole host of other things. Instead, he’s delivered on nothing while embracing anti-gay bigots Rick Warren and Donnie McClurkin. The last thing we need is more flowery rhetoric in front of rich, self-effacing gays and lesbians dressed up like penguins.”
(Via - LGBT POV)
More Scare Tactics From Yes On 1
A Place At The Table
Last night my pal Chris accompanied me to the Ali Forney Center's gala fundraiser, A Place At The Table, held at the Chelsea Art Museum where Manhattan's gay glitterati nibbled fancy bits from top chefs, took part in silent and live auctions, and were entertained by Tony-nominee Justin Bond and famed singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright - all in the name of raising money for NYC's LGBT homeless youth. Boldface names in attendance included Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, community leader John Weis, Lt. Dan Choi, actress Sandra Bernhard, furniture mogul Mitchell Gold, activist Corey Johnson, and Poz Magazine founder Sean Strub.
Chris and I began the evening with a guided tour of the Ali Forney Center's daytime drop-in center, where homeless LGBT youth are provided with a myriad of services including medical attention, mental health and drug counseling, and HIV tests. AFC executive director Carl Siciliano spoke passionately about the good work his organization does, remembering the AFC's beginnings with six cots in a basement. Times are tough again for the AFC as corporate and individual giving have been dramatically pinched by the economy. Please consider making a donation. I'll have a video clip of Rufus Wainwright's performance later today.
Jesus Wrote The Constitution
Christianist artist John McNaughton is selling prints of his painting One Nation Under God, which depicts Jesus proudly holding the U.S. Constitution as a crowd of historical figures and representatives of right-wing targets look on. On this interactive version of the painting, an effete man with crossed arms called Mr. Hollywood "represents the entertainment business in America. He looks with disdain upon the judge and the pregnant woman." An Asian man representing "the immigrant" has a "look of shock on his face as he realizes where America's source of greatness comes from as he see Christ holding the Constitution." The Supreme Court justice is "hiding his head in shame as he realizes the damage his court has done to this country." Click over for more scroll-over nonsense. One Nation Under God is available for $139, unframed.
Courtesy of the Tectonic Theater Project, today's Swag Tuesday prize is two tickets to the October 12th performance of The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later at NYC's Lincoln Center.
The groundbreaking epilogue to the Laramie Project, titled THE LARAMIE PROJECT: 10 YEARS LATER, will be performed in New York at Lincoln Center and over 150 other theaters across the country on October 12, 2009. The Lincoln Center premiere will feature a pre-show that will be webcast live to the other productions and include guest host Glenn Close, welcoming remarks by Judy Shepard and a post-production Q and A moderated by National Public Radio Arts and Culture correspondent Neda Ulabay.Tickets to the event at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall are a very reasonable $100. Get tickets here. Enter to win two tickets by commenting on this post. Only enter once and please remember to leave your email address in the text of your comment. If you cannot be in NYC on October 12th, your winning entry is transferable to another party. Entries close at midnight Wednesday, west coast time. Publicists: If you'd like to take part in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.
“We now have over 150 theaters participating in this historic event and are thrilled to be joined by Judy Shepard, Glenn Close and our other special guests at the NY premiere” said Greg Reiner, Executive Director of the Tectonic Theater Project. “The interest and enthusiasm that the epilogue is receiving is very exciting and demonstrates to us the power the Shepard story still holds for people, as part of our collective history and as a lesson to all about homophobia, what is means to be gay in a small town and how stories must be re-told to ensure that the legacy of these kinds of incidents is correct,” continued Reiner. “The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later will engage the audience as did the original, and we expect there will be many who are surprised to learn what Laramie is like a decade after Matt’s murder,” concluded Reiner. The writers of this play are Tectonic Theater Project members Moisés Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris, and Stephen Belber.
Anti-Gay Christian Action Network Told They Can't Raise Funds In Maine
After they sent out a fundraising letter called "inflammatory" and "anti-Muslim," the state of Maine has told the virulently anti-gay Christian Action Network that they can no longer raise funds there. The group is suing the state in response.
The organization claims the state violated its right to free speech under the First and Fourteenth Amendments when it denied the Christian Action Network a charitable license to solicit funds in Maine and proposed the group pay $4,000 in sanctions. Assistant Attorney General Thomas Knowlton said he was aware the lawsuit had been filed, but his office had not been served with the complaint as of 4 p.m. Monday. The AG’s office has 20 days to reply to the lawsuit after it receives it. “We believe the state did not violate the group’s constitutional rights when it denied the Christian Action Network a license to solicit as a charitable organization in Maine,” Knowlton said.The letter complained the public schools were teaching about Islam.
The letter, according to the complaint filed last week in U.S. District Court in Bangor, was “an informational and educational packet … alerting citizens to the remarkable privileges afforded the religion of Islam in American public schools and universities, including the provision of a ‘prayer room,’ foot baths, instruction in the Five Pillars of Islam, discussion of key passages of the Koran, and even an exercise in which seventh grade students were told that they ‘will become Muslim.’” A copy of the letter was filed with the complaint. It does not cite any schools or universities in Maine where the tenets of Islam are being taught or where accommodations for Muslim students have been made. The letter states that public schools in California, Texas, Minnesota, Michigan and South Carolina either teach or offer information about Islam and-or have made accommodations for prayer for Muslim students.According to Maine law, fundraising efforts may not use an individual's name without their permission. Christian Action Network used the name of Maine Gov. John Baldacci.
Letterman Apologizes To Wife And Staff
Last night David Letterman apologized to his wife and staff for having humiliated them.
The host of "Late Show with David Letterman" said in the taping of his Monday show that he will try to patch things up with Regina, whom he married in March after dating for more than 20 years. The two have a 5-year-old son, Harry. "She has been horribly hurt by my behavior, and when something happens like that, if you hurt a person and it's your responsibility, you try to fix it," Letterman told audiences, according to a statement from his company, Worldwide Pants. "And at that point, there's only two things that can happen: either you're going to make some progress and get it fixed, or you're going to fall short and perhaps not get it fixed, so let me tell you folks, I got my work cut out for me." He said he was "terribly sorry that I put the staff in that position. Inadvertently, I just wasn't thinking ahead ... my thanks to the staff for, once again, putting up with something stupid I've gotten myself involved in."
New Referendum 71 Ad
From the Equal Rights Washington Education Fund comes Am I Protected, a new clip and website urging the approval of Referendum 71.
Charlene Strong lost her partner Kate Fleming after a tragic flooding incident in Seattle in late 2006, and was nearly barred from seeing Fleming in her last moments of life. Strongs heart-wrenching testimony about the hospital ordeal helped prompt Washington State to pass domestic partnership protections for same-sex couples. The award-winning feature documentary "for my wife" chronicles Strongs journey through tragedy to activism.
Ex-Husband Of Little Britain Star Commits Suicide
The ex-husband of Little Britain star Matt Lucas, committed suicide in Edinburgh yesterday.
Kevin McGee, 32, who divorced the Little Britain star ten months ago at the High Court, was found at his home after writing a suicide note on the social networking site Facebook. McGee, a TV producer, posted the message: 'Kevin McGee thinks that death is much better than life.' He is thought to have become deeply depressed over the past few months after breaking up with the comedian, and friends reported that his drug-taking had spiralled out of control. The couple had been together for nearly six years when they announced their split in June 2008. Police broke into McGee's flat in the Bruntsfield district of Edinburgh at 8am yesterday and he was found hanged. The ominous message had been posted less than four hours earlier, at 4.26am - after which a fearful friend alerted the police.Lucas has withdrawn from the play in which he's appearing.
Maddow On "Americans For Prosperity"
Microsoft Donates $100K To Approve R-71 Effort In Washington State
According to a report filed (PDF) with Washington state's Public Disclosure Commission, Microsoft has donated $100,000 to the Approve Referendum 71 campaign. Dominic Holden at Slog:
This took guts. Microsoft's brazen role in R-71 will outrage the Ken Hutchersons of the world, who pressured Microsoft for years to back off from supporting gay-rights legislation. And it could also summon conservative interests—e.g., the Mormon Church—to dump money in on the other side. After October 12, state rules block any person or group from donating more than $5,000 to the campaign. Microsoft's donation is larger than all the contributions combined for the campaign to reject R-71, called Protect Marriage Washington, run by a handful of Christian extremists who have reported only $55,217 in contributions. Right on, Microsoft!
Morning View - 10th & 23rd
Monday, October 05, 2009
Donna Sachet Makes Drag History
San Francisco drag legend Donna Sachet made history last week when she became the first drag performer to sing the national anthem at a major league baseball game. The home team Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-4. I think this is the first time I've seen Donna without her trademark red dress.
Limahl, NeverEnding Story, 1984. The theme song to the movie of the same name, this one-off collaboration between openly gay former Kajagoogoo frontman Limahl and my all-time favorite producer Giorgio Moroder resulted in one of the most lovely dance tracks of its day. Moroder wrote the music and his frequent partner Keith Forsey wrote the lyrics. (Forsey won an Oscar for writing the Moroder-produced Flashdance.) NeverEnding Story was a global hit, reaching #1 in eight countries, #4 in the UK, #17 in the U.S. Trivia: The uncredited female vocalist providing the gorgeous harmonies is American composer Beth Anderson. (That's not her in the video.)
If They Were Gay
Prank: Sen. Max Baucus' Vote For Public Option For Sale On eBay
HomoQuotable - James Hartline
"The game plan of the international homosexual movement and Mayor Daley was to create the physical appearance in Chicago through the Gay Games that would result in selling the international Olympic Committee on the idea that Chicago was ready for a bigger event: the 2016 Olympics. At the time of the Gay Games, former homosexual James Hartline was flown into Chicago with several other prominent Christian activists like nationally-recognized Christian attorney Matt Barber and Dr. John Riggs to make a stand for truth and righteousness in the heart of Chicago's homosexual community during the Gay Games. [snip]
"Because former homosexual James Hartline and the other Christians were willing to risk their lives for the Gospel while the world was glorifying homosexuality in Chicago, the Spirit of the Lord was released upon Chicago's demonic gay agenda in 2006. The Spirit of the Lord began contending with the anti-christ spirit inside the City of Chicago from that day forward. Thus, when President Barack Obama, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and their armies of gay activist supporters in Boys Town attempt to square the reasons for their failure to garner an Olympic Bid for the Windy City, they had better recount the day that the Wind of the Holy Spirit was emparted into Chicago in 2006." - San Diego-based "ex-gay" activist James Hartline, taking credit for Chicago not getting the 2016 Olympics.
RELATED: In 2007 Hartline announced that God was burning San Diego with wildfires because of Mayor Jerry Sanders' support for same-sex marriage. He fails to note that God has apparently decided to bestow the 2016 Olympics on the city with largest gay Pride parade in the world.
UNRELATED: Ever notice how so many of these "ex-gays" are stunningly, unfuckably ugly? Hartline says he stopped taking it up the ass after becoming a homeless, meth-addicted, ex-con with multiple stretches in prison. Happy and successful people don't become "ex-gay", only losers trying shift the blame do.
Levi Johnston Goes Nuts
Obama To Speak At HRC Dinner On Eve Of National Equality March
President Obama will speak at the HRC's annual dinner in Washington DC the night before the National Equality March.
Mr. Obama’s appearance on Saturday at the annual dinner for the Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay rights advocacy group, represents a significant show of support for gay rights at a time when many prominent gay and lesbian activists have been questioning the president’s commitment to their issues. Many gay rights activists have become increasingly vocal about their frustration over what they see as tepid support from Mr. Obama. While the president has professed support for overturning the ban on gays in the military and called the law that precludes federal recognition of same-sex marriages discriminatory, he has not engaged on gay rights issues as actively as some had hoped.Will the president appear at the March itself, an event partially driven by his own lack of progress on LGBT rights? And what about that golf tournament in San Francisco?
RELATED: Only one other sitting president has spoken before the HRC, Bill Clinton in 1997.
Trials Begins For Alabama Judge Accused Of Trading Sex With Inmates For Leniency
Fifteen current and former prison inmates are scheduled to testify in the trial of former Alabama circuit court judge Herman Thomas, who is accused of trading leniency for sexual acts performed in his chambers.
Some inmates in those cases described being checked out of the jail for meetings with Thomas in his car or in his private office in the county courthouse. First, there were reports of inmates having to pull down their underwear for spankings with a wooden paddle. Then came allegations of oral and anal sex, according to court records. Retired Mobile County Circuit Judge Braxton Kittrell said people thought Thomas' personal interest in the defendants was a positive. "Everyone thought he had a lot of concern for people who got into criminal difficulty. All of this was a surprise to everyone," he said. Defense attorney Robert "Cowboy Bob" Clark calls the accusers "lying felons" who are trying to wreck the career of "a prestigious member of the Bar for over 20 years." The NAACP has defended Thomas and claims race is behind his prosecution. But Patterson disputes that, noting that each of the victims is black, and says that jail checkout records back up inmates' claims about trips to Thomas' private office, and other inmates spotted marks after paddlings. There also is other evidence, according to court records, including one inmate's seminal fluid on the office carpet. The inmates also were able to describe in detail Thomas' unmarked windowless office.Thomas is married with two teenage daughters.
Conde Nast To Close Gourmet
The print death spiral continues. Today Conde Nast will announce the shuttering of its venerable Gourmet Magazine and three other titles.
The magazine has suffered a severe decline in ad pages, but the cut still comes as a shock. There was speculation that Conde Nast would close one of its food titles — Gourmet or Bon Appétit — but most bets were on the latter. Gourmet has a richer history than Bon Appétit, and its editor Ruth Reichl is powerful in the food world. In addition to Gourmet, Condé Nast plans to announce this morning it will also close Cookie, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride. Cookie is a relatively new introduction, started in 2005, while the bridal magazines were seen as offshoots of the bigger Brides magazine, which Condé Nast also owns.Gourmet has been published for 69 years.
Schumer And Gillibrand Endorse Bill Thompson For NYC Mayor
Today both of New York's senators will endorse NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson in his mayoral bid against Michael Bloomberg. But few expect them to actually speak against the billionaire in City Hall.
Mr. Schumer, in particular, has been effusive praising the work of the man Mr. Thompson is trying to unseat, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Indeed, Mr. Schumer’s wife, Iris Weinshall, worked for several years as Mr. Bloomberg’s transportation commissioner. Mr. Bloomberg also employs a number of former Schumer aides on his campaign, or in City Hall, including Bradley Tusk, his campaign manager; Howard Wolfson, a campaign spokesman; Josh Isay, a political consultant; and Stu Loeser, his chief spokesman in the mayor’s office. So you should expect Mr. Schumer to do what other Democrats who have good relationships with Mr. Bloomberg (like Gov. David A. Paterson and former Mayor David N. Dinkins) have done while endorsing Mr. Thompson: not say anything untoward about the mayor. The same, perhaps, might be expected of Ms. Gillibrand, if only because she is still so new to her post, and must be careful to avoid incurring the political wrath of Mr. Bloomberg as she faces an election in 2010.Thompson remains about ten points behind Bloomberg in the latest poll.
Fight Over Football Scripture Continues
Since being told they could no longer use scripture-laden banners on the field, the cheerleaders at Lakeview-Fort Olglethorpe High School in northern Georgia have become local martyrs. Via Christianist site OneNewsNow:
Community members have showed their overwhelming support for the cheerleaders who have since become media celebrities. A local youth pastor, Brad Scott, started a facebook page in their support and organized a rally at a local Chick-fil-a. That rally had to be moved when more than 1,100 supporters showed up. Now in another overwhelming show of support, members of the community showed up to Friday nights football game to cheer the cheerleaders. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe highs school says they have sold the most tickets ever to Friday night's game. All throughout the bleachers people sported homemade signs with scripture verses and t-shirts emblazened with the school logo and the words "Warriors for Christ." A few enthusiatic male students even painted their shirtless torsos with the school's colors and a scripture verse. Jay Spokes brought his entire family out for the event and all were waving homemade cardboard signs that read, "I love Jesus," "Warriors for Christ," and "I am not ashamed of the gospel."School employees and the football coaches wore the scripture t-shirts to the game as well. A rally against the ban will be staged at a school board meeting tomorrow.
Approve Referendum 71 Ad
Manhunt Buys DList
Via their PR agency, Manhunt lets us know that they've purchased DList.
Jonathan Crutchley, Chairman at Online Buddies Inc., the parent company of Manhunt, announced today that the company has acquired a majority stake in the leading social networking site for gay men under age 30, DList.com. As part of the deal, Online Buddies will take over all marketing efforts for Dlist.com. Online Buddies CEO, Adam Segel, and CFO, Richard Scott, will be appointed to DList.com in their respective roles. DList.com founder Todd Sowers, recently named Chief Marketing Officer at Online Buddies, retains a minority partnership in DList.com and will be appointed Chief Operations Officer of DList.com where he will continue to oversee the daily operations of the site.Remember last year when Crutchley made a big deal out of "resigning" from Manhunt's board of directors after it was revealed that he'd contributed to John McCain's election fund? As we all said at the time, that was meaningless damage control. He's still the same conservative Republican calling the shots at the nation's largest gay internet hook-up service.
Coral Ridge Congregants: You're Not Anti-Gay Enough, We're Outta Here
Ever since the viciously anti-gay Dr. D. James Kennedy died and was replaced by the not-as-bad-so-far Rev. Tullian Tchividjian, some congregants at the Fort Lauderdale-based Coral Ridge Ministries mega-church have been chafing in their pews. Tchividjian, you see, wants to ease Coral Ridge out of political issues such as homosexuality and focus on worship. After Tchividjian, who is Billy Graham's grandson, survived a vote calling for his firing, 25% of Coral Ridge's membership have left to start their own church. No word yet on what they'll call it.
Iowa Goes Gay (Disney)
Representatives from three Iowa visitors bureaus set up a booth at Gay Days at Disneyland Resort this weekend, encouraging gays to come live and marry in their state.
At the booth set up inside Disney’s Grand Californian hotel, gay and lesbian couples sampled wedding cake and posed for photos inside a frame that read, “Just Married … In Iowa City!” The Iowa representatives took the free photos and supplied the tuxedo jackets and bridal veils. They also handed out brochures touting Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and Coralville, among other cities. “We want people to know that if the California Legislature is unwilling to take the step to give gay couples the right to marry, then please consider coming to Iowa where we will gladly welcome you with open arms,” said Joe Jennison, executive director of the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance. Jennison, who is gay, is originally from Iowa and lived in California – including Orange County – for 13 years before moving back to his home state in 2003. “Even I thought I might be greeted as a gay man by bigots and closed-minded people,” he said. “But it turned out nothing could have been further from the truth. Iowa is a very progressive state.”Reader comments on the above-linked Orange County Register story are what you might expect.
Obama National Security Adviser: DADT Repeal Will Come "At The Right Time"
Obama administration national security adviser James Jones said yesterday that the repeal of DADT will come "at the right time."
"I don't think it's going to be — it's not years, but I think it will be teed up appropriately," James Jones said. Jones said Obama "has an awful lot on his desk. I know this is an issue that he intends to take on at the appropriate time. And he has already signaled that to the Defense Department. The Defense Department is doing the things it has to do to prepare, but at the right time, I'm sure the president will take it on." As a candidate, Obama signaled support for repealing the law. To the disappointment of gay-rights supporters, he has yet to made a move since taking office in January. The White House has said it will not stop the military from dismissing gays and lesbians who acknowledge their sexuality. Last year, 634 members of the military were discharged for being gay, or .045 percent of the active-duty U.S. force, according to an Aug. 14 congressional report.At the right time. Whenever that is.
James Carville: Glenn Beck Is Nuts And A Blatant Hypocrite
Morning View - 1 Prospect Park
Richard Meier's trademark all-glass luxury condo building has been ready for occupants for months in Park Slope, Brooklyn, a place more noted for classic brownstones than for Miami Beach-style see-thru boxes. Unsurprisingly, only 25% of the units have sold. I wonder if the building will leak like crazy like the three eyesore Meier towers in the West Village.
This Week In Holy Crimes
Over the last seven days...
California: Pastor Jose Campoverde charged with molesting four girls living in church housing for needy families.
England: Father David Pearce confesses to sexually assaulting five underage boys.
Ohio: Pastor Joshua O'Bannion accused of molestation by two girls who came forward after O'Bannion was arrested in Arizona on the same charge.
Alabama: Pastor Curtis Willis shot and killed by police after he axed off the hand of a deputy who'd arrived to serve an order of protection for Curtis' wife. The deputy's hand was successfully reattached.
New York: Iman Ahmad Wais Afzali charged with lying to FBI during terrorism inquiry.
England: Church of England under fire for not revealing that Vicar Dominick Stone had been arrested for possession of "indecent photographs."
Louisiana: Rev. James Ford accused of "inappropriately touching" three girls whose parents were arrested for allowing Ford to molest them.
Maryland: Father Michael Barnes arrested for molesting a boy from '77-'82.
Virginia: Father Rodney L. Rodis appealing his conviction for embezzling more than $600K-$1M from his churches.
This Week's Winner-
Italy: Vatican official Father Cesare Burgazzi was arrested after leading police on a 20-minute high-speed chase after being found "driving slowly" through a red light district known for transsexual prostitutes. Two wrecked police cars and three injured officers later, Burgazzi was taken into custody screaming, "You have no idea who I am. You don't know who you are messing with!" This, after attempting to run the officers down with his car. Burgazzi works at the Vatican State Department and is Master of Ceremonies at St. Peter's Basilica. He claims he thought the police were robbers and denies that they found the front seats of his car in the reclined position. His lawyer said, "My client is not a user of prostitutes or transsexuals - he did not have condoms in his car."
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Today's Lie From Fox News
The Oldest Story In The World
By now you've likely heard that the world's most famous anti-Semite, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had Jewish parents.
A photograph of the Iranian president holding up his identity card during elections in March 2008 clearly shows his family has Jewish roots. A close-up of the document reveals he was previously known as Sabourjian – a Jewish name meaning cloth weaver. The short note scrawled on the card suggests his family changed its name to Ahmadinejad when they converted to embrace Islam after his birth. The Sabourjians traditionally hail from Aradan, Mr Ahmadinejad's birthplace, and the name derives from "weaver of the Sabour", the name for the Jewish Tallit shawl in Persia. The name is even on the list of reserved names for Iranian Jews compiled by Iran's Ministry of the Interior. Experts last night suggested Mr Ahmadinejad's track record for hate-filled attacks on Jews could be an overcompensation to hide his past."An overcompensation to hide his past." Now where have we seen that kind of behavior? Answer: In the actions, lies, and insults of virtually every hate-filled homophobe in the history of the world. The rest of the planet may be shocked to learn of Ahmadinejad's Jewish heritage. But for us on this here website thingy, it's just a slightly different version of the same old story.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) Endorses National Equality March
Equality Across America has received a letter from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) endorsing the National Equality March. On Friday Reid announced that the Senate would remain in session through Columbus Day weekend in order to finish work on the health care reform bill. Will Reid speak at the March?
(Via - Pam's House Blend)
PhoboQuotable - James Bowman
"If reason were to be readmitted to the debate, we might find something in the history of military honor to justify the principle now enshrined in the law decreeing that "homosexuality is incompatible with military service." We know that soldiering--I mean not training or support or peacekeeping or any of the myriad other things soldiers do, but facing enemy bullets--is inextricably bound up with ideas of masculinity. We also know that most heterosexual males' ideas of masculinity are inextricably bound up with what we now call sexual orientation. In other words, "being a man" typically does mean for soldiers both being brave, stoic, etc.--and being heterosexual. Another way to put this is to say that honor, which is by the testimony of soldiers throughout the ages of the essence of military service, includes the honor of being known for heterosexuality, and that, for most heterosexual males, shame attends a reputation as much for homosexuality as for weakness or cowardice." - James Bowman, in his pro-DADT essay in the Weekly Standard.
The High Cost Of Being A Gay Couple
Today's New York Times features a fascinating breakdown of the added costs that gay couples bear as incomplete and unrecognized members of society. The authors created a hypothetical gay couple and enlisted tax, insurance, and financial planning experts to run many scenarios on how much more it costs to be a gay couple in the United States.
Our goal was to create a hypothetical gay couple whose situation would be similar to a heterosexual couple’s. So we gave the couple two children and assumed that one partner would stay home for five years to take care of them. We also considered the taxes in the three states that have the highest estimated gay populations — New York, California and Florida. We gave our couple an income of $140,000, which is about the average income in those three states for unmarried same-sex partners who are college-educated, 30 to 40 years old and raising children under the age of 18.The article includes an interactive graph (not embeddable) which helps demonstrate the authors' points.
Here is what we came up with. In our worst case, the couple’s lifetime cost of being gay was $467,562. But the number fell to $41,196 in the best case for a couple with significantly better health insurance, plus lower taxes and other costs. These numbers will vary, depending on a couple’s income and circumstance. Gay couples earning, say, $80,000, could have health insurance costs similar to our hypothetical higher-earning couple, but they might well owe more in income taxes than their heterosexual counterparts. For wealthy couples with a lot of assets, on the other hand, the cost of being gay could easily spiral into the millions. Nearly all the extra costs that gay couples face would be erased if the federal government legalized same-sex marriage. One exception is the cost of having biological children, but we felt it was appropriate to include this given our goal of outlining every cost gay couples incur that heterosexual couples may not.
Limbaugh: Obama Should Have Lobbied For Kenya To Get 2016 Olympics
Continuing the right-wing's exultations over Chicago losing its bid for the 2016 Olympics, Rush Limbaugh says that President Obama should have lobbied for Kenya to win, if he were to be "true to form." Like the rest, Limbaugh overlooks the fact that Chicago's Olympic bid began years before Obama took office.
Our $100 Million Mayor
With a month yet to go in the campaign, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has spent $65M on his bid for a third term. That's sixteen times what his opponent Bill Thompson has spent so far. Bloomberg's outlay is expected to reach $100M by election day. The New York Times puts it in context:
To market Bounty paper towels last year, Procter & Gamble spent about $63 million. To advertise Yoplait Light yogurt, General Mills spent about $62 million. William C. Thompson Jr., Mr. Bloomberg's Democratic rival who is still scrambling to raise money from donors. But these corporate giants have nothing on Michael. R. Bloomberg. To hold on to his job as mayor this year, he has spent $65 million of his own money, according to his latest financial disclosure report, released on Friday. Even for a man whose vast financial advantages have redefined New York City elections — and smothered his lesser-financed opponents — the amount of spending is, by any measure, staggering. Mr. Bloomberg has spent about 40 percent more than he had at the same point in his 2005 campaign, and twice what he had spent by this point in his first run for office in 2001. Each of those races was, at the time, the most expensive municipal campaign in United States history. The mayor has spent 16 times as much as his Democratic rival, William C. Thompson Jr., who is still scrambling to raise money from donors. And at his current pace, Mr. Bloomberg is on track to easily spend more than $100 million by Election Day on Nov. 3.As I've mentioned here many times, other than a few very notable missteps, I've been generally satisfied with Bloomberg. For the last few years he's been a terrific advocate of same-sex marriage and LGBT rights. But the way he conspired with the City Council to make an end run around term limits was really disappointing. It's telling that even with his astronomical spending on this campaign, he's only ten points ahead of Bill Thompson. He's gonna win, of course, but as the NYT notes, he's having to spend $100M to do it.
Friday, October 02, 2009
NJ Governor Candidate Chris Christie Speaks Against Same-Sex Marriage
Sen. Harry Reid: Senate Will Stay In Session Through Columbus Day
It looks like at least part of Congress will be in session during the National Equality March after all.
Democrats at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue are gripped with a renewed sense of urgency in their effort to pass healthcare reform. As the Finance Committee continued into the second week of marking up its bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) surprised colleagues on Wednesday by canceling a weeklong Columbus Day recess. Reid’s move came after White House officials publicly called on lawmakers to pass a final bill by Thanksgiving. This ambitious timetable is more than a month before the goal set by congressional leaders, which is to pass a bill by the end of the year.Interesting development, eh?