Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thousands Rally Against Hate Crimes In London's Trafalgar Square
JMG reader Zefrog took the above photo of last night's anti-hate crimes rally in London's Trafalgar Square. Check out his Flickr gallery here. Via BBC News:
A vigil for victims of hate crime has taken place in Trafalgar Square just yards away from the scene of an assault which resulted in a gay man's death. Family and friends and thousands of gay, lesbian and transgender people turned out to mourn Ian Baynham, 62. Tributes were also paid to trainee Pc James Parkes, who suffered skull fractures after an attack in Liverpool. Rows of candles spelt out "No To Hate" and speeches took place before a two-minutes silence at 2100. Like millions of people before him, Ian Baynham walked through the square on 25 September, looking forward to a night out. A little over a month later, thousands gathered beneath Nelson's Column to mourn his murder. Police believe Mr Baynham, from Beckenham in Kent, was beaten by a group of total strangers because he was gay. He suffered head injuries and died in hospital two weeks later. From where the candles flickered, mourners could see the spot, just a few yards away, where he became another victim.Below, after a two minute period of silence as bells toll and ambulances wail in the far distance, a reading of the names of Britain's hate crimes victims over the last ten years.
Maddow Vs. Liz Cheney
Friday, October 30, 2009
Gavin Newsom Quits CA Governor Race
Citing brutal political fallout for his Joe Jervis Day proclamation earlier this month, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has dropped out of the race for California governor. I kid, I kid, nobody wants him.
Newsom is withdrawing from the Democratic primary amid lackluster poll numbers and meager fund-raising receipts. His withdrawal leaves state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, who is expected to run even though he has not officially entered the race, with little opposition in the Democratic primary. “It is with great regret I announce today that I am withdrawing from the race for governor of California,” Newsom said in a statement. “With a young family and responsibilities at City Hall, I have found it impossible to commit the time required to complete this effort the way it needs to — and should be — done. This is not an easy decision. But it is one made with the best intentions for my wife, my daughter, the residents of the city and county of San Francisco, and California Democrats.” Although Newsom had been effectively running for more than a year, his campaign never gained much traction. Even in his hometown, which Newsom touted as a model of cutting-edge policies, his candidacy was widely derided among civic insiders.I guess that endorsement from Bill Clinton didn't help much.
Our Solo-Centric Island
New information from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that just over half of Manhattan's residences are home to just one person, the highest such level in the nation.
More than half of all Manhattan residents are living alone -- and the number of singles in the city is continuing to rise to historic levels, new Census Bureau data show. That means you've got a 50-50 shot that the cute neighbor down the hall is looking for love. The borough now resembles some kind of "Sex and the City" fantasyland with a majority of households, 50.3 percent, with just one resident -- no roommate, no spouse, no family, no kids. When the other four boroughs are factored in, the single household rate drops to 33.5 percent -- a little closer to the national average of 27.5 percent, according the Census Bureau's American Community Survey.I don't think the first paragraph in the above-quoted NY Post story has the numbers quite right. While 376,916 solo residences may be 50.3% of the total number of homes, with Manhattan's population at 1.6M that means that only about 25% of the island lives alone, not half.
New York first passed the 50 percent mark in 2007 in what sociologists called an inevitable trend. There are numerous forces turning Manhattan into an isle of singletons, explained William Helmreich, deputy chairman of City College's sociology department. The factors include high-paying jobs, the expense of raising a family, longer-living widows and widowers, and, of course, a celebrated culture of singledom. "Singles attract more singles," he said. "They participate in a lifestyle that is mutually reinforcing. The more single people engage in that lifestyle, the more acceptable it is, and the more acceptable it is, the more people are going to do it."
I've lived alone for the (almost) six years I've been on the Upper East Side. The last time I lived alone before then was 1979, my sophomore year in college. After almost 25 years of living with a roommate, or a boyfriend (or more often - a boyfriend and a roommate), it was initially quite a luxury to be alone, if occasionally lonely. But pretty soon you've got your house keys on a dozen out-of-towners' key rings and have you have to start a calendar to track incoming visitors. I imagine lots of the above-cited "Manhattan loners" do the same.
Obama Administration Defends Against Massachusetts DOMA Repeal Suit
Aaaand here we go again.
States that allow gay marriage can't force the federal government to provide benefits to those couples, the Obama administration argued Friday in court papers in a lawsuit by Massachusetts. The Justice Department is at odds with Massachusetts — the first state to allow gay marriage — over a 1996 federal law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Massachusetts sued in July, saying that law is discriminatory and deprives gay couples in the state of some federal spousal benefits.The suit was filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who is running for Ted Kennedy's seat in the U.S. Senate.
The Obama administration agrees the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, is discriminatory and wants it repealed, but says it has an obligation to defend laws enacted by Congress while they are on the books and can be reasonably defended. The law "does not prohibit gay and lesbian couples from marrying, nor does it prohibit the states from acknowledging same-sex marriages," according to the court filing by Assistant Attorney General Tony West. Massachusetts, the filing continues, is trying to claim individuals have a right to federal benefits based on marital status. "There is, however, no fundamental right to marriage-based federal benefits," according to the 36-page filing.
The 2010 Gotham Knights Rugby Calendar
Obama Signs Ryan White HIV/AIDS Act And Lifts HIV Travel Ban
Maine Family Policy Council: Gays Are Coming To Kill You In Your Sleep
The Maine Family Policy Council's Pastor Dallas Henry says that gays are coming to kill Christians. In their sleep.
The enemy comes in and becomes "one of us" unless we are discerning. For example, the Homosexual activists have been very clever in appearing as normal families while hiding the diabolical acts they engage in on a regular basis. They have infiltrated some churches becoming leaders and even clergy. God calls it an abomination and so should we. The message was told ten times over "they are coming to kill you while you sleep, when you least expect it."I'm reminded of Jerry Falwell's infamous quote: "Gay folks would just as soon kill you as look at you."
Maine's Catholic Church Boots Lay Minister For Supporting Marriage Equality
Pamela Beliveau performs storytelling at children's events across Maine and New England where she has established award-winning child literacy programs. She used to be a lector and Eucharistic Minister for her hometown Catholic Church in Maine, but just got fired by her pastor after he read her letter in support of marriage equality in a local newspaper.
Beliveau explained her position to the National Catholic Reporter: "At every juncture of this debate, we have to remind ourselves that we are dealing with heart, soul, and flesh human beings who are in love called and wired for relationship, including intimate relationships. When anyone finds that other person in [his or her] life," Beliveau explained, "then we aspire to marriage, a noble and honorable way to live our lives." Heterosexually married for 20 years, the mother of two daughters, and graduate student at Boston College's School of Ministry of Theology, Beliveau added, "To deny any couple [marriage] breaks my heart."Fired for her position on gay marriage? Isn't that exactly what NOM and Stand For Marriage are always screaming and warning about? The hypocrisy is not surprising.
Perhaps most important, "People in same-sex marriage do not diminish my marriage or family." Rather, she said, "Anyone promoting committed, monogamous relationships enhance my life and that of my family." After her guest column, "A Committed Marriage is a worthy Aspiration," Oct. 18, she received a letter from her pastor. He wrote: "The Lewiston Sun Journal published a guest editorial by you which expressed views contrary to the Roman Catholic Church's teaching on the nature of marriage. ... In view of this publicly stated position of yours, I regret that you will not be eligible to exercise a public ministry in Prince of Peace Parish. More specifically, that means that I have decided that you are not to serve as a reader or minister of Holy Communion effective today."
LAPD To Cut Ties To Boy Scout Group
The Los Angeles Police Department wants to end its relationship with the group that runs its youth Explorer program because its Boy Scouts parent organization denies access to gays.
The organization, Learning for Life, was spun off from Boy Scouts of America. A department official told the Police Commission Tuesday that the Boy Scouts policy is "inconsistent" with the city's policy of non-discrimination. He suggested that the department manages the Explorer program itself. Learning for Life officials say the organization does not discriminate and does not take funds from the Boy Scouts.Autumn Sandeen of Pam's House Blend reacts: "It's more than just gay youth effected by discrimination policies of the Boy Scouts, but also lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth and parents & guardians and Boy Scout leaders -- as well as non-theist and atheist parents & guardians and Boy Scout leaders."
November 9th: NYC Anti-Violence Project's 13th Annual Courage Awards
With the horrendous spate of brutal hate crimes seen recently in New York City, the important work of the NYC Anti-Violence Project has never been more vital. Please consider supporting them by attending Nov. 9th's 13th Annual Courage Awards fundraiser.
I am delighted and humbled to be one of the LGBT bloggers honored at this year's event. Andy Towle, Bil Browning, and I have elected Pam Spaulding to make our collective acceptance speech, during which I'll likely be fidgeting nervously nearby. Here's the mission statement for the Anti-Violence Project:
The New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) will hold its 13th Annual Courage Awards on Monday, November 9, 2009 at the W New York Ballroom at 541 Lexington Avenue, New York. The evening includes cocktails and a chefs' tasting and a program featuring the award presentation.
At this year’s event, AVP has the privilege of honoring Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tony Kushner, author of Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes and The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures, for his truthful and cutting edge political writing and analysis; Weblog creators Bil Browning (The Bilerico Project), Joe Jervis (Joe.My.God.), Pam Spaulding (Pam's House Blend) and Andy Towle (Towleroad), in recognition of the impact of LGBTQH weblogs have made in the fight for civil rights and against violence in our communities; and Clifford Chance US LLP, for their commitment to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and HIV-affected (LGBTQH) rights and extensive work on behalf of the communities AVP serves.
AVP provides free and confidential assistance to thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected (LGBTQH) people each year from all five boroughs of New York City. The organization maintains a 24- hour, Spanish/English bilingual hotline staffed by professional counselors and trained volunteers providing professional and peer support counseling, as well as advocacy with police, courts, and social service agencies.Purchase your 2009 Courage Awards tickets here.
AVP works with the larger community through efforts to educate the public about violence within and against our communities and to reform government policies and practices affecting LGBTQH and other survivors of violence. AVP works to educate law enforcement, health care professionals, school-based staff, and social service agency personnel on violence issues impacting our communities. By calling attention to discriminatory and re-victimizing responses, AVP works to hold law enforcement and social service agencies accountable to their obligation for fair and just treatment of LGBTQH people.
Additionally, AVP tracks and documents anti-LGBTQH incidents and domestic violence and uses this information to educate our own communities about safe dating, safe cruising, recognizing the signs of abuse, and much more. AVP works to change public attitudes that encourage and condone hate-motivated violence, and to promote public policies designed to deter such violence.
London: Thousands Expected At Anti-Bashing Rally In Trafalgar Square
Thousands are expected to attended tonight's anti-gay bashing rally in London's Trafalgar Square in a vigil for murder victim Ian Baynham.
Up to 10,000 people are expected to take part in a silent candle-lit vigil against Hate-Crime this evening in Trafalgar Square. The event, organised by the facebook group 17-24-30, is being held to commemorate the homophobic murder of Ian Baynham. Organiser Mark Healey told Pinknews.co.uk: "We have been inundated with support from people all around the world. This is the first ever international day of remembrance for the victims of hate crime." There will also be vigils this evening in Brighton and San Francisco. A number of high profile speakers will speak at the vigil, which has received support from Stuart Milk, nephew of prominent gay rights campainger Harvey Milk who was murdered in a homophobic attack. "After the two minutes silence there will be a roll call of all the victims of homphobic hate crime from the last 10 years," Healey told Pinknews.co.uk. "We are asking everyone to come straight to Trafalgar Square for the Vigil, please do not bring banners and placards – we want to see a sea of candles and faces.The Facebook page for the event is here.
PhoboQuotable - Ken Cuccinelli
"Homosexual acts are intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law-based country it's appropriate to have policies that reflect that. They don't comport with natural law. I happen to think that it represents (to put it politely; I need my thesaurus to be polite) behavior that is not healthy to an individual and in aggregate is not healthy to society." - Virginia GOP state Senator and Attorney General candidate Ken Cuccinelli, who was called out as a bigot today in a strongly-worded editorial by the Washington Post.
Putting aside what Mr. Cuccinelli has to say about homosexuals when he's not trying so hard to be polite, let's call his comments what they are: bigotry. Bigotry is as pernicious today, applied to homosexuals, as it was a century ago or less, when immigrants and minorities were its main victims. And it is just as familiar. Appeals to "natural law" and "intrinsic" rights and wrongs were the usual cliches deployed to justify the old-time religion of hatred then directed at African Americans, Jews, Italians, Irish and other immigrants.
It is especially alarming that this ugly nonsense is coming from Mr. Cuccinelli, who, if he becomes the attorney general of Virginia -- a job that combines aspects of chief government lawyer and top cop -- would be in a position to act on it. He says he would not ask job applicants to the 166-lawyer office about their sexuality, and his spokesman says openly gay employees would not be "rooted out" and fired. But, since he would be empowered to issue opinions on such questions, how would he regard such firings generally in state government, in which a 110,000-strong workforce undoubtedly includes thousands of homosexuals?
The Yes On 1 Song
The Children Of The Corn Singers perform a gospel-tinged (of course) song of support for bigotry in Maine. Nice harmony, terrible ending.
(Via - Good As You)
UPDATE: JMG reader Avery notes that the Yes, Lord, Yes song was actually popularized by an out gay gospel singer. Irony!
Hmm. I see some product called Orizon has popped up in my far right ad column* this morning, claiming it "inhibits HIV-virus activity." Anybody know anything about that? I don't want any quack treatments promoted on this here website thingy. I'm not saying Orizon is such a product, yet, but maybe somebody out there knows the deal.
*Normally I have to approve items for that column, unlike the other ad spaces which rotate in based on your zip code - meaning you and I don't always see the same images. For some reason, Orizon popped up on its own.
UPDATE: I've marked the ad as "deferred." It should disappear shortly. Thanks for all your input.
-Open lesbian and GLEE star Jane Lynch will appear at the NYC LGBT Center on November 9th.
Stage and screen star Jane Lynch will appear at the first installment of Newsmakers at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (208 West 13th Street) on November 9 at 7pm. The conversation series celebrates important figures in the arts and politics.-Angela Lansbury will be honored by the Drama League on Feb. 8th at a black tie event at the Pierre Hotel titled A Musical Celebration Of Broadway.
-Openly gay Broadway stars Nick Adams, Titus Burgess and B.D. Wong have joined the cast of A Very MARY Holiday, a Broadway Speaks OUT benefit for the Ali Forney Center to be held on November 30th. Tickets $25-$50.
-"The 21st Annual Gypsy of the Year Competition, the talent show that is the culmination of the fall fundraising effort of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, will take place at the Palace Theatre on Broadway Dec. 7-8. The variety-show performances by New York City casts will be 4:30 PM Dec. 7 and 2 PM Dec. 8. Tickets range from $20-$350 and are on sale now."
-Amazing! Bea Arthur left $300,000 to the Ali Forney Center, NYC's shelter for homeless LGBT youth. AFC executive director Carl Siciliano says he wept when the check arrived via FedEx. "For months, I've been really sweating to make each payroll, and we're usually a month or two behind on our rent, and there have been times when I was afraid that I wasn't going to hold it together," he said. "That kind of terror of [trying to] keep this thing going has come to an end for now with this extraordinary generosity."
Today: President Obama To Announce End To HIV Travel Ban
The Advocate's Kerry Eleveld reports that President Obama is expected to announce the final end to the HIV travel ban during a signing ceremony today for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act.
The new regulation eliminates any travel and immigration restrictions that are tied to a person's HIV status. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) put the wheels of change in motion in late June by publishing the proposed regulation to the federal register, which triggered a 45-day public comment period. HHS has now sent the final change to the Office of Management and Budget for approval, but the source said HHS would not be able to fully implement the new regulation for another 60 days following the president's announcement.
In the intervening months, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has directed its officers to place holds on any decisions regarding green card applications that are based solely on an individual's HIV status pending full implementation of the new rule. Rachel B. Tiven, executive director of the LGBT lobby group Immigration Equality, welcomed the announcement. “At long last, people living with HIV will no longer be pointlessly barred from this country,” Tiven said. "Every day, Immigration Equality hears from individuals and families who have been separated because of the ban, with no benefit to the public health. Now, those families can be reunited."
Pat Robertson Lies About Hate Crimes Act
Pat Robertson flat out lies to his audience on The 700 Club. Again. Via Crooks & Liars:
His basis for opposing the law, however, is completely detached from reality. For instance, Robertson argues:
Robertson: You know, there’s a law – what about a law that says it’s a federal crime to attack somebody because of his religious beliefs? Not a chance!
Robertson seems completely unaware that in fact religious bias is one of the categories of bias crime covered by hate-crime laws -- and it has been from the very start, since these laws were first enacted on the state level in the early 1980s!
Hint to Pat: Religion was covered as a bias category from the start because Jews have long been some of the most common victims of bias crimes. For instance, in the FBI's hate-crime statistics for 2007, some 1,400 of the nation's 7,600 or so reported bias crimes were of the "anti-religion" category; of those, some 118 were varieties of anti-Christian bias.
Indeed, he needs only read the text of the the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act to see that religion is one of the categories of bias it covers:
“(1) OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN.—Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person—
It's not even surprising anymore, is it?
Maddow On Maine Marriage Battle
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Another South Carolina GOP Pol Busted
If you're the South Carolina Assistant Attorney General, naturally you flee from the police when they find you in a cemetery with an 18-year old stripper, a bag of sex toys, and a pocketful of Viagra. Filed under: You Can't Make This Up.
Key West Cops Rock
On Key West's bustling Duval Street, drag queens and go-go boys can be found standing in front of gay bars handing out fliers and posing for photos, more often that not with highly amused straight tourists. It's a hectic, high-energy scene on those sidewalks, where gays and straights move comfortably among each other. Gay boys cat-call straight boys, straight couples cat-call drag queens - it's all rather other-worldly.
It's therefore rather worth mentioning one small incident we witnessed in which two very intoxicated men yelled something derogatory at a couple of drag performers we were chatting with outside of one of the clubs. I didn't hear the actual words, just their tone, so I've got no idea if the insult was anti-gay, anti-drag, or even anti-fat, as the two queens were of the larger variety. The above-pictured cop, who was just a few feet away undergoing a photo op of his own, immediately barked a command to his horse, who took several sideways steps and trapped the two jerks against the wall of the building next door. It was the coolest trick ever, prompting a passing woman to exclaim, "Wow! Is that horse from the circus?" The crowd loved it. And what would have been the only bit of ugliness we saw during the entire trip was instead turned into something of a highlight.
RELATED: One-third of Key West's police force is openly gay, including the above cop and their chief of police.
UNRELATED: Special shout-out to JMG reader and Key West cop Joe, whom we met at the airport as we departed.
Anti-Gay Christians To Encircle Maine's Places Of Government
This Sunday in Maine, Pastor Bill Clarke is staging anti-gay prayer events around various places of government where Christianists will hold hands to "encircle all physical representations of the civil magistrate."
As you know, in Romans we are told that the civil magistrate is a minister of God and is to be a minister of justice and a terror to evildoers. We have allowed the election of leaders who have instead passed laws which fly in the face of God’s Law and supports evildoers. But this judgment is a judgment on his people. On this Lord’s day, we plan to claim God’s promise that if his people who are called by his name humble themselves and pray and seek his face he will heal their land. In many ways our land in the state of Maine is broken, sick and diseased. We will humbly seek God’s face, repent of our sins, and ask God to heal our land. Christians across the State are asked to come together and pray for the state of Maine. This is a statewide prayer meeting that will take place during the final hour of daylight on this Lord’s day, Sunday, November 1, 2009. We will pray from 3:31 PM to 4:31 PM.Among the locations are the Bangor Civic Center and the State Capitol Building.
(Via - Good As You)
More Hysteria From Stand For Marriage
New From Maine's No On 1
Protect Maine Equality has issued this last-minute push to get voters out to the polls.
Don't forget that YOU can help from anywhere in the nation by calling Maine voters from your home, office or cell phone.
It won't cost you anything. The software calls you. Your phone number won't be revealed. Caller ID will show the NO on 1 office number. "Call for Equality is critical to our plan to reach all the voters in Maine we need to reach," Roland told me in an interview. "We literally need to make hundreds of thousands of dials through that program -- and in order to do that, we know we need several hundred more people to sign up. You can sign up and get trained now, and start calling now, and then you'll be all set to call on election day."(Via - Rex Wockner)
"We're calling people who we believe support marriage equality," Roland said. "That is a no vote on Question 1. We are confirming that they support marriage equality -- and the vast majority of them do -- and we are urging them to vote early if they support marriage equality -- to vote no on 1 early. Voting early is the best thing that our supporters in Maine can do to help us right now because it lets us take them off our list for election day. We have to literally make over half a million calls in the last week of this campaign, but if you vote today, you just take one of those calls off of our list."
Anti-Abortionist Randall Terry Parades Bloody Nancy Pelosi And Harry Reid Imposters Around Capitol Hill
Via Think Progress:
This week, radical anti-choice activist and Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry launched a contest encouraging people to make videos burning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in effigy. Today, he and his followers are on Capitol Hill “with signs and costumes, talking to House Staffers as they enter work,” and they plan to visit Pelosi “and discuss with her child-killing in healthcare and ‘the wrath to come.’” ThinkProgress’ Matt Duss caught Terry preparing for this charade this morning, telling one of his followers, “Okay, you stand here and she’s gonna whip you with this whip.”Terry plans to parade his bloody imposters around Capitol Hill for the next two weeks in his crusade to "defeat health care."
HomoQuotable - Sir Ian McKellan
"It's never crossed my mind that it'd ever be possible for me. That's the scar that I and so many others bear—we believed ourselves to be second-rate citizens for so long, the idea of being able to say 'This is my husband, these are my children' was not an option. I remember Tom Stoppard saying to me when I came out, 'I feel so sorry for you, because you'll never have children.' These days I would say, 'Well, why not, Tom?' But 20 years ago I accepted his judgment." - Sir Ian McKellan, telling Details Magazine why he never considered marrying a man.
Porno Pete LaBarbera Too Hateful Even For Maine's Anti-Gay Haters
Peter LaBarbera held a press conference yesterday in Maine's state house yesterday, which was not only virtually unattended except by the press, but was denounced by Stand For Marriage themselves.
Opponents of same-sex marriage on Wednesday warned that “radical homosexual” groups concealing their true agendas were behind efforts to keep Maine’s gay marriage law on the books. Those charges were denounced as “hate-filled speech” by the campaign defending gay marriage in Maine, however. And leaders from Stand for Marriage Maine, the organization behind the Nov. 3 ballot initiative to overturn Maine’s same-sex marriage law, quickly distanced themselves from the event. “We disavow anything said today as being in any way connected to the Stand for Marriage Maine campaign,” said spokesman Scott Fish. “Whatever was said today was simply the words of the people speaking at the press conference.”Congratulations, Petey - you're the new Fred Phelps! Even your fellow Christianists won't be seen in the same room with you. In the brief clip below, LaBarbera call homosexuality "the elephant in the room."
GLAAD Board Member Spencer Yu Dies On Atlantis Cruise
GLAAD board of directors member Spencer Yu, 46, died of cardiac arrest while on board an all-gay Atlantis Cruise to the Mexican Riviera.
According to sources on board, Spencer Yu, a Los Angeles attorney, suffered cardiac arrest October 21 while on the Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas, which was chartered by Atlantis for a seven-day trip along the Mexican Riviera. A medical team attempted to resuscitate Yu for 45 minutes before he was taken to a Puerto Vallarta hospital, where he showed no brain activity. Yu was later taken off of life support. Rich Campbell, president and CEO of Atlantis Events and a friend of Yu's, said he was only aware of Yu’s “serious medical condition” when he was taken by the medical team off the ship. Royal Caribbean “doesn’t give us access to personal medical information as the charter of the ship,” Campbell said. “We’re simply not given that information. It’s a private matter.”
Maine: NOM Loses, Must Disclose Funding
Good news from Maine:
A federal judge has turned down a request by the National Organization for Marriage to suspend Maine's campaign reporting requirements for ballot initiatives. But the judge's decision on Wednesday will have no immediate impact on the biggest contributor to the group that's trying to overturn Maine's gay marriage law. The ethics commission voted Oct. 1 to examine contributions by the National Organization for Marriage after it was accused of not reporting the names of many donors. But the commission's investigation won't be completed until long after Election Day.NOM says they will continue their lawsuit and that Maine's disclosure requirement violates their First Amendment rights.
The Death Of Jolt Cola
Jolt Cola, the 24 year-old product credited/blamed for creating the multi-billion dollar energy drink market, is going out of business.
Pittsford-based Jolt Co. Inc. now seems likely to close, according to an attorney for the company, after a contentious attempt at reorganizing fell apart earlier this week. "The name will show up someplace else, but just that," said William I. Kohn, with the Cleveland firm of Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff. "I don't see anybody buying the entire package." Jolt filed for bankruptcy in late September in Rochester. In the Chapter 11 filing, CEO Robert Clamp indicated that the company's woes revolved around a decline in the energy drink market coupled with a fight with Rexam Beverage Can Co. of Chicago over an agreement to buy 90 million high-end resealable cans.I find all energy drinks foul tasting, but will admit buying quite a lot of Jolt the first summer it came out.
Limbaugh: AIDS Is Hyped In Africa
Open Thread Thursday
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Obama Signs Hate Crimes Act
Time To Re-Review Matt Barber's Book
Last week I suggested checking out anti-gay activist Matt Barber's new book, The Right Hook, and offering up your reviews on Amazon. Many of you did, to hilarious effect, although most of your reviews were later removed after Barber and his male lover Peter LaBarbera stamped their delicate stilettos on wingnut radio shows and websites.
Reviewers are being highly critical of a book on the culture war -- a book they couldn't possibly have read yet. The book entitled The Right Hook - From the Ring to the Culture War is authored by Matt Barber, who is well known for his analysis of the homosexual agenda. Although the book is on Amazon.com, it will not be available until November. Even so, activists are already ripping it in the comments section. Matt Barber "The homosexual activist blog has turned people loose doing fraudulent reviews, negative one-star reviews of my book, ostensibly to try to discourage people from buying the book and reading it," reports Barber. According to the author, this is taking place even though the book is one they could not have read in advance. Considering this, Barber says, "This just illustrates that the left, liberals, secular leftists, socialists, and homosexual activists...don't want to argue the debate because they know they lose on the merits -- so they have to employ these Orwellian propaganda tactics to keep the message from getting out."Oh, but hang on a minute, Miss Barberella! A quick check of Amazon today reveals there are now 25 five-star reviews of your book which you claim is not available until early November. Why, it's as if Godly homo-hating Christians are posting reviews of a book they have not read! How "fraudulent"! How "Orwellian"!
RightWingWatch reports that Matt Barber's book is entirely comprised of previously published columns, there is literally "nothing new" there. Go here for a complete chapter-by-chapter linkfarm to every word in Matt Barber's The Right Hook. Read them and resubmit your knowledgable review to Amazon.
Christopher Hitchens Vs. Christian Pastor
NFL Star Suspended For Gay Slurs
Kansas City Chiefs star running back Larry Johnson has apologized for calling reporters "faggots" earlier in the week, but yesterday the team suspended him anyway.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson issued an apology Tuesday and was told to stay away from the team while the NFL and the Chiefs complete their investigation into his use of a gay slur. As Johnson was releasing his apology, a national gay rights advocacy organization called on the league and the team to take disciplinary action against the two-time Pro Bowl player. The episode began Sunday night, when Johnson questioned Coach Todd Haley's football credentials on his Twitter account. He used the slur during an exchange with one of his Twitter followers. A day later, he used it again as he brushed off reporters and told them he would not comment, according to the Kansas City Star, which recorded the comment.Johnson's apology:
"I regret my actions. The words were used by me in frustration, and they were not appropriate. I did not intend to offend anyone, but that is no excuse for what I said." The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has welcomed the apology. In a statement, GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios said: "Larry Johnson's apology sends an important message that there is no excuse for using anti-gay epithets.
Tony Perkins: Why Spend Money On LGBT Seniors? Gays Don't Live That Long Anyway
A few days ago it was announced that the Department of Health & Human Services has authorized a $250K grant to establish the National Resource Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders. That's a meager amount by federal standards, to be sure, but an important and unprecedented recognition of LGBT seniors.
But staying true to evil form, the vile Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council says it's a waste of money because homos don't live long enough to become senior citizens.
Apparently, our nation is never too broke to advance a radical social agenda. The agency released a statement on the Center last week, saying its purpose would be to "help community-based organizations understand the unique needs... of older LGBT individuals and assist them in implementing programs for local service providers..." In the release, HHS regurgitates the Left's propaganda to justify the waste, claiming that "1.5 to 4 million" LGBTs are age 60 and older. In reality, HHS has no idea how many LGBT seniors exist. No one does! The movement is only a few decades old, and people who are 80- or 90-years-old didn't grow up in a culture where it was acceptable to identify with this lifestyle. Of course, the real tragedy here--apart from the unnecessary spending--is that, given the risks of homosexual conduct, these people are less likely to live long enough to become senior citizens! Yet once again, the Obama administration is rushing to reward a lifestyle that poses one of the greatest public health risks in America. If this is how HHS prioritizes, imagine what it could do with a trillion dollar health care overhaul!Repulsive.
Key West Day Five, Part II
Last night we attended the Key West Headdress Ball 2009, where (mostly) locals competed for prizes based on their attire from the neck up. Silliness and burlesque prevailed. Those costumed from the neck down were not judged, except by some catty NYC-based writers. The event was held under a giant tent down by the southernmost point of the continental U.S., the place seen in today's Morning View.
Key West Day Five
Yesterday Father Tony and I overslept and missed the 7:15am boarding call for the high-speed ferry to the Dry Tortugas. Dammit all to hell. Those who went are calling it one of the highlights of the week. Dammit all to hell. So instead of a 70-mile voyage into the Gulf of Mexico, we made up for it with a trip to the Hemingway Home where I photographed the six-toed cats and Tony lusted after the gardener.
After that we climbed the Key West Lighthouse, which didn't seem that high until you were halfway up the ancient metal spiral staircase suspended from the middle. Oy. Then we visited the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservancy, where you enter what feels like a giant terrarium and walk around the lush grounds as thousands of brilliantly colored butterflies swirl around and occassionally land on you. Father Tony loved it, I found it a little unnerving - it felt like the beginning of a horror movie before everybody realizes too late that the pretty bugs are eating people. I calmed myself with a couple of hours of poolside blogging and frozen drinks back at the Island House. Lots of photos of the guesthouse and our room are included in the slideshow below. (BTW, too many cats in these slideshows? Suck it.)
Joe The Plumber Still Thinks All Gays Are Pedophiles
PhoboQuotable - Gary L. Cass
"In other nations, like Canada, where hate crime laws have been enacted, it is Christians, specifically conservative Christians who hold to the historic Christian faith and it's values, that become the object of institutionalized, governmental hate. "Christians who dare to tell the truth about the social, moral, spiritual and health consequences of illicit homosexual acts are accused of hate speech and intimidated into silence with threats of fines or jail."
"The fact the hate bill had to be passed in such an unscrupulous and cynical manner (attaching it to the Defense Authorization Act) reveals the depth of President Obama's commitment to a radical, anti-Christian agenda. He will stop at nothing to undermine the will of the majority of Americans to pay back militant homosexual activists who raised millions of dollars for his campaign and worked to get him elected. To sign the bill in the Rose Garden is another slap in the face and shows the level of contempt President Obama has for the majority of Americans who oppose the "homosexualization" of marriage and public education."
"The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission will soon be announcing its plans, along with other leading pro-family groups, to defy, counter and challenge this unconstitutional attack on our religious liberty." - Dr. Gary Cass, announcing plans to challenge the Matthew Shepard Act.
Maine Needs You!
Rex Wockner reports that Maine's No On 1 campaign desperately needs phone volunteers to help get out the vote to preserve marriage equality. You can do your part from your home or office on your cell phone or landline.
Basically, Karin [of Protect Maine Equality] needs you to get trained fast, then make lots of phone calls to Maine from wherever you are. It won't cost you anything. The software calls you. Your phone number won't be revealed. Caller ID will show the NO on 1 office number.More information on how to help can be found on Wockner's blog. This is important. And not hard to do.
"Call for Equality is critical to our plan to reach all the voters in Maine we need to reach," Roland told me in an interview. "We literally need to make hundreds of thousands of dials through that program -- and in order to do that, we know we need several hundred more people to sign up. You can sign up and get trained now, and start calling now, and then you'll be all set to call on election day."
Maddow Vs. Joe Lieberman
Morning View - Southernmost Point
It's probably some kind of local law that every tourist in Key West must pose for this photo, judging by the line we had to wait in line just to get the brief opportunity for this shot. Father Tony had his eyes closed, but we figured "good enough" rather than wait again.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Stand For Marriage Maine "Wants To Be Tolerant" (But Still Hates You)
The Devil Has Showed Up Here TODAY
PhoboQuotable - Anthony Apuron
"The culture of homosexuality is a culture of self-absorption because it does not value self-sacrifice. It is a glaring example of what John Paul II has called the culture of death. Islamic fundamentalists clearly understand the damage that homosexual behavior inflicts on a culture. That is why they repress such behavior by death. Their culture is anything but one of self-absorption. It may be brutal at times, but any culture that is able to produce wave after wave of suicide bombers (women as well as men) is a culture that at least knows how to value self-sacrifice.
"Terrorism as a way to oppose the degeneration of the culture is to be rejected completely since such violence is itself another form of degeneracy. One, however, does not have to agree with the gruesome ways that the fundamentalists use to curb the forces that undermine their culture to admit that the Islamic fundamentalist charge that Western Civilization in general and the U.S.A, in particular is the 'Great Satan' is not without an element of truth. It makes no sense for the U. S. Government to send our boys to fight Al Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan, while at the same time it embraces the social policies embodied in Bill 185 (as President Obama has done). Such policies only furnish further arguments for the fundamentalists in their efforts to gain more recruits for the war against the 'Great Satan."" - Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron, saying that suicide bombers are better than gay people. The local Catholic Archdiocese is vigorously opposing Guam's proposed Bill 185, which would allow gays to enter domestic partnerships.
(Tipped by JMG reader Larry Mac)
Key West Day Four
Yesterday Father Tony and I began the day with moped jaunt around the island, stopping first at the Key West AIDS Memorial, which is a simple and serene series of black granite tablets laid into the sidewalk and engraved with the names of some of the more than 1000 locals lost to the disease, an enormous number for a town of 25,000. Then we visited the island's rather unobtrusive cruise ship port to watch the hanging of a massive rainbow flag in advance of the debarkation of 1200 lesbians on a 12-hour stopover from their Olivia cruise. See Father Tony's video interview with some the passengers.
After an afternoon spent poolside at the Island House, our party of junketeers set off on a tour of popular guesthouses where we were served yet more cocktails and nibbly bits. First stop, the historic and antiques-filled Curry Mansion, where 90 year-old proprietor Edith Amsterdam charmed our boys with self-deprecating stories and her history of AIDS fundraising (although some were more impressed with her collection of vintage Chanel suits.) Then we dropped in at Cypress House, a formerly "all-male resort" turned "all are welcome" guesthouse. And finally we lounged poolside at the still all-gay Alexander's Guesthouse, where a British couple was holding a long-distance worry vigil for the ailing Morrissey. OK then. The junket portion of the evening concluded at the Eden Hotel's Azur restaurant, where the food came along rather haphazardly, but the abrupt torrential downpour outside caused us to linger without complaint.
Upon return to the Island House, Father Tony ordered me out on a scouting mission to determine the state of a Halloween-themed "Dungeons & Dragons Leather Fetish Party" being held at 801 Saloon. Minutes later I phoned him to report that not only was the club packed, there was significant line at 1am. However, he declined to join me when I revealed that the patrons were mostly non-homosexual swinger types and rubber catsuited faux dominatrixes leading drunk faux slaves around on leashes. The depraved perversions of militant heterosexuals know no bounds.
You've Got To Be Carefully Taught
Sen. Lindsey Graham Promises That Public Option Will Die In Senate
World Net Daily Blocked By McAfee
The nation's most widely read right wing site, World Net Daily, is being blocked by McAfee for its "controversial opinions." One WND reader bleats:
"I am an avid reader of your site. I frequent it at least 2-3 times a day and read many of your commentaries on the site. I love Molotov Mitchell! He is my favorite," wrote the teacher, whose identity was being withheld. He found WND.com blocked. "I then checked www.moveon.org. Of course, it was unblocked and running just fine. Another fine example of shutting down any information resource that doesn't agree with our current political administration," he said. "I already requested our technology director to unblock it and he did. The problem is what other sites are they choosing to block? I told him I think blocking 'controversial opinions' is a form of thought control. If they were going to block that, we wouldn't be able to get to global warming, abortion, or anything debatable," he wrote. "Keep doing what you are doing for the 60 percent of America that reads your site. The other 40 percent is just a bunch of robots falling in step with the new socialistic agenda," he said.McAfee has promised to issue a fix. As they should.
Christine Quinn Endorses Bill Thompson For NYC Mayor
In a bit of a shocker, openly gay New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, long seen as Michael Bloomberg's right-hand gal, has endorsed Comptroller Bill Thompson for mayor.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn off-handedly endorsed city Controller William Thompson for mayor on Monday, despite being a longstanding ally of Mayor Bloomberg. By doing so, Quinn (D-Manhattan) bowed to the demands of Council Democrats, who said she needed to back their candidate if she wants to be reelected speaker next year. "I believe Bill Thompson has been a good controller, I think he would be a good mayor, and I think it's very important that the Democrats are united," Quinn told reporters after an unrelated event. Thompson said he was happy with the endorsement and was working out details with her staff for a joint appearance.Didn't see that coming.
Teabagger Family Fight!
Tomorrow: President Obama To Sign Hate Crimes Bill
On Wednesday, President Obama will sign the hate crimes bill into law in a White House ceremony as Matthew Shepard's family looks on. I should have a link to the live stream of the event available here early in the day.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Key West Day Three
Yesterday our merry band of revelers returned to the all-gay Blu Q catamaran, this time for a daytime snorkling trip out to Man Key Reef, a shallow coral reef where the crystal-clear water provided great views. Then came lunch and kayaking off a unpopulated island, where Captain Steve pointed out the wreckage of a shabby craft recently abandoned by Cuban refugees who were captured and repatriated as the wet foot, dry foot policy of the U.S. government doesn't apply to that island, somehow. Back at the dock, we watched a local hand-feed feed raw chicken to a puppy-like nurse shark and some rather massive tarpon.
And then the drinking commenced yet again, starting with tea dance at La Ti Da, followed shortly by a visit to Jazz At The Gardens Hotel, which has some of the lovliest grounds on the island. Key West Business Guild guru Steve Smith then ushered our tottering group into a gay-owned limo for the ride to a fancy dinner at Square One. And then Father Tony and I took a quick spin through some of the gay bars on Duval Street, hitting the Bourbon Street Pub, 801 Bourbon Bar and a couple of others places whose names elude me at the moment. Somehow we still had the stamina for a couple of nightcaps back at the pool bar at Island House. My day three slideshow is below, but the photos are somewhat out of order, something I can't attend to at the moment bcause we're late for our cocktail reception tour of several guesthouses. Life is hard in Key West. NOTE: Some photos may be NSFW, thanks to some rather confident Italians.
Anti-Gay Bigots Rally Against DC Marriage
HomoQuotable - Matt Foreman
"All of the focus on television ads, both in Maine and California, misses a huge point, namely, that advertising rarely moves more than a tiny fraction of people to change their minds on any candidate, subject or product that people feel they know well. And if there's one issue that everyone thinks they know about, it's marriage. Yet, somehow, people expect one or two ads to be the magic bullets that make broad swaths of people on either side of the issue jump up and say, "Damn it! I've been wrong about marriage and gay people all along!" Please.
"That's precisely why, when it comes to marriage, ads cannot do it - they must be matched with face-to-face conversations with voters. That ultimately was our downfall in California - our side just didn't have the capacity to do this because the scale was too large and our infrastructure too small. In Maine, the scale is more manageable: 275,000 votes to win as compared to over 5.5 million in California.
"That is exactly what No on 1 campaign is doing, under the leadership of Jesse Connolly, one of only a tiny handful of people that have ever defeated an anti-gay statewide ballot initiative. They are mounting the most aggressive and at-scale field effort our side has ever put together. They are focused on turning our side out to vote, not satisfying armchair quarterbacks. We have a real shot to win in Maine. Let's let our folks do their jobs. " - Former National Gay & Lesbian Task Force executive director Matt Foreman, writing for the Bilerico Project.
Paterson Calls Special Session For Nov. 10th - Senate Marriage Vote Possible
Although he originally promised that it would occur this week, NY Gov. David Paterson has called the state legislature back for a special "unfinished business" session to be held on November 10th, during which same-sex marriage may finally be voted upon by the state Senate.
Paterson wants what is technically called an extraordinary session on Nov. 10 that would address the deficit and take on unfinished business. The regular session ended in June. The special session is expected to include a possible vote by the Senate to give final legislative approval to a same-sex marriage bill. Paterson has predicted the bill will be passed and signed into law in coming weeks. Paterson also is asking legislative leaders to call a rare joint session of the Legislature on Nov. 9, where he plans to address the Senate and Assembly on the need to act on the deficit and reduce spending.It remains doubtful that marriage equality could pass this Senate, even with a slim Democratic majority, however as Empire State Pride Agenda head Alan Van Capelle told the audience at last week's annual dinner, it's far, far past time that we know where each senator truly stands - and can then move to support or oppose them.
More Scare Tactics From Stand For Marriage Maine
King & King
JMG reader Sean Chapin writes: "The Leffew Family and I have teamed up with our friends to produce a video re-enactment of the children's book 'King & King' that has recently been vilified in two TV ads from the Maine 'Yes on 1' Campaign (as well as the Yes on Prop 8 Campaign last year). The purpose of this video is to present this book in a positive light as it was intended and to educate the public as to what this book is really about in contrast to the negative attention this book has recently received."
College Of William & Mary Elects Trans Homecoming Queen
The students of the College of William and Mary have elected their first ever transgender homecoming queen.
Jessee Vasold [left] took the field Saturday at halftime of the Williamsburg school's football game against James Madison. The junior and other members of the homecoming court were introduced to the crowd and posed for pictures. Vasold identifies as "genderqueer," a term for those who don't adhere to either strictly male or strictly female gender roles. Students nominated and elected Vasold, who will represent the Class of 2011. An e-mail message left for Vasold on Saturday wasn't immediately returned.
Judge To Prop 8 Backers: Turn Over The Paperwork NOW
On Friday a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that the backers of Proposition 8 must immediately turn over their internal documents.
The sponsors had sought to keep the documents while challenging the order to turn them over in an appeals court. But in a ruling late Friday, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco said backers of Proposition 8 had failed to show that disclosing internal memos and e-mails would violate their freedom of speech or subject them to harassment. He said they had refused to identify any documents that needed special protection and noted that he could order their opponents to keep any sensitive material confidential. "It simply does not appear likely that (Prop. 8's) proponents will prevail on the merits of their appeal," Walker said. He said he doubts that a federal appeals court even has jurisdiction to consider the dispute at this early stage of the case.Those behind the push to overturn Prop 8 say the campaign was based on anti-gay bias, not the need to protect "traditional marriage." Prop 8 proponents say their motives are irrelevant.
Morning View - Big Cocks
There are hens and roosters running loose everywhere in Key West. We've been told they are all from from a single colony that was set free when cockfighting was made illegal. The roosters begin crowing at sun-up and continue to do so roughly every 7.5 minutes for the rest of the day, sort of like a poultry snooze alarm. The tourists find it charming, the locals - not so much.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Key West Day Two
Yesterday we did a sunset booze cruise on the all-gay Blu Q, a 42-foot catamaran. Gorgeous weather and fun company from around the world. Captain Steve and his occasionally naked crew were lots of fun. Afterwards we had a fancy dinner at Mangoes, after which I went back to Island House and collapsed for the evening while the more adventurous amongst us (i.e. Father Tony) continued their adventure into the early hours. I've met a few JMG readers - hello to Allessandro and Mauricio from Florence, Dave and Marco from Dallas, and Fabrique from Nice!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Key West Day One
Not quite 24 hours on the island and as Divine said in Lust In The Dust, my ass is on its last legs. Steve Smith, our host from the Key West Business Guild picked up our group (myself, Father Tony, EDGE's Michael K. Lavers, freelance journalist Rod McCullom, LOGO's Mike Diamond, SiriusXM's Frank DeCaro, and filmmakers Josh Koll and Josh Helmin) at the airport. Less than an hour after arrival we were whisked off to an absolutely riotous street party and Coronation Ball for the King and Queen of Fantasy Fest. The winners earned their crowns by raising the most money for AIDS Help.
Then came a fancy dinner, then Steve gave Father Tony and me a private tour of some packed and shenanigans-laden bars on Duval Street (more about that later.) At 2am, we finally crawled back to our guesthouse, Island House. (More about that later.) Up with the rooster's call (literally), we breakfasted this morning at Big Ruby's Guesthouse, then took the LGBT Historic Trolley Tour, then had lunch poolside at Casa Marina Resort. I've got just enough downtime to get this post up, then we're off to a sunset dinner cruise. I'm wiped! I'll get a slideshow of the first day up as soon as I get photo approvals from our fussy colleagues. And watch out Key West, we are now on mopeds.
UPDATE: Here's the slidehow for Day One. Some photos possibly NSFW, mostly due to one young entrepreneur who was working the sidewalk outside a Duval Street gay bar.
UPDATE II: Father Tony's first post is up, where he titled the below photo "Curmudgeon By The Sea."