Monday, December 07, 2009
Victory In New Jersey! Marriage Vote In Full Senate Slated For Thursday
Equality activists scored a preliminary victory in New Jersey tonight!
The New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee has narrowly voted to pass a marriage equality bill to the full state Senate. The final tally was 7-6. Whew! That voted is scheduled for Thursday. It is not yet known when, or if, the state Assembly will vote on the issue.
The debate was long and typically rancorous and included testimony from the public, LGBT activists, and rightwing groups like NOM. Visit the New Civil Rights Movement for a breakdown of the evening. Blue Jersey has a great liveblog of the hearings.
I'll post highlights of the testimonies as they become available.
The Definition Of Assholism
"Two adults who are consenting and who are like-minded and within their mental capacities should be allowed to be with each other. I think it's an outrage." - Anti-marriage equality NY Sen. Hiram Monserrate, clearly oblivious to the meaning of hypocrisy, complaining that a court order prevents him from seeing the woman whose face he slashed with a broken glass.
Monserrate escaped felony charges when his girlfriend recanted her statements to police, but still received three months probation, 250 hours of community service, and one year of anger management classes. He maintains that he will retain his seat in the NY Senate. His complaint about the order of protection comes halfway through the below clip.
(Tipped by JMG reader Lisa)
Fox News Goes There
JMG reader Scott sends us this amusing way to send holiday greetings.
To My Democratic Friends:
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2010, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wish.To My Republican and Independent Friends:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ 2010.
Happy Holidays, President Obama
A coalition of LGBT rights groups including PFLAG, COLAGE, the Equality Federation, and the Family Equality Council has joined forces on a campaign to send pro-LGBT holiday cards to the White House. The group will collect the cards and send them in a giant package for maximum impact.
Today national and regional lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) family rights groups from around the country launched the “From Our Family to Yours Campaign,” designed to introduce President Obama to thousands of LGBT families. In addition to spreading holiday cheer, the campaign will increase visibility and awareness for the need for federal protections for the LGBT community. In this season of peace and generosity, let’s introduce the First Family to ours. Because to succeed in getting federal protections for our families, we must put real names and faces to the people in our community.To participate in the campaign, we encourage families to send holiday cards to the First Family, and share their photos and this message:
“Season’s Greetings, from our family to yours. May the next year bring peace and equality for all.”
Please send your holiday cards and photos to:
Family Equality Council
Attn: First Family
P.O. Box 206
Boston, MA 02133
Or send a digital version to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 1, 2010. We encourage you to send your holiday cards as soon as possible so that we can compile all of the images into a holiday package to be delivered to the First Family.
Russian Soldier Strip Tease
Pro-Gay Christians Launch The Affirmation Declaration
In response to the anti-gay Manhattan Declaration, a document calling for the disobedience of LGBT rights laws and co-signed by hundreds of religious leaders, comes The Affirmation Declaration, which calls for pro-LGBT people of faith to sign on as supporters of civil equality. An excerpt from the just-posted document:
We assert that the pain brought upon our GLBTI brethren in the name of God is not an expression of love. It is not love to bring shame and self-loathing upon people. It is not love to tell parents not to accept their gay children because their affirmation will supposedly make their children not want to change. It certainly is not love to teach the damnable heresy that GLBTI people cannot be saved or go to Heaven until they have been delivered from their natural orientation.Read the entire document. If you are a person of faith, consider signing on.
We also call attention to the horrible spiritual effect that antigay theology has had on the secular world. We are deeply troubled by the number of people who have been made to despise Christianity because of the oppressive and tyrannical acts of our Christian brethren. However well intentioned they may believe themselves to be, they continue to short-circuit the gospel of Jesus Christ by imposing their religious beliefs upon the general population. Whether homosexuality is sinful or not, opposing same-sex marriage is not only counterproductive to evangelistic ministry, but it is diametrically opposed to the concept of religious freedom—something that the proponents of the Manhattan Declaration claim to cherish. It appears that what they, instead, champion is their freedom to impose their religious beliefs on others. We reject this hypocritical opposition to same-sex marriage, and stand for true religious liberty in the United States of America and the world.
These ever present sins against the GLBTI community are not faithful expressions of God’s love, as is so often claimed. The attestation to the contrary expressed in the Manhattan Declaration only demonstrates the blind religious fervor that so many of our brethren are lost in. Like the Pharisees of old, they continue to believe that such cruelties actually serve the God who is love. But, this is not the type of love that Scripture defines for us.
Today In Wingnuttery
JMG reader John points us to this bit of asshattery. HOME is a crackpot group created by Wayne Lela, who claims (among other things) that the Freemasons are a homosexual front group that routinely hosts "homosexual orgies." If only! Lela, in addition to staging anti-gay protests at college campuses, and once running for U.S. president, has the backing of NARTH, the wildy discredited group whose "research" is often cited by anti-gay groups. Lela has been active in the anti-gay movement for some time, but I think this Freemasons/homo-orgy thing is the first I'm hearing about him.
HomoQuotable - George Michael
"People want to see me as tragic with all the [casual sex] and drug-taking... those things are not what most people aspire to, and I think it removes people's envy to see your weaknesses. I don't even see them as weaknesses any more. It's just who I am. Elton will not be happy until I bang on his door in the middle of the night saying, 'Please, please, help me, Elton. Take me to rehab.' It's not going to happen.
"The handful of times a year it's bloody warm enough, I'll do it [go cruising]. I'll do it on a nice summer evening. Quite often there are campfires up there. It's a much nicer place to get some quick and honest sex than standing in a bar; E'd off your tits shouting at somebody and hoping they want the same thing as you do in bed." - George Michael, telling the UK Guardian about his drug and cruising habits.
Blogger Beauty Pageant 2.0
Air America has rebooted their contest to choose your favorite progressive blogger, discarding all the votes submitted in the first two days and instituting a new system requiring the submission of an email address. Only the votes made from yesterday and onward will be counted. Shortly before the earlier system was ditched, I was behind Media Matters' Karl Frisch by about six percentage points. Thanks very much for your earlier votes. I believe the new system tracks both your email address and your IP, meaning if you are a two-JMG reader household, you may get only one vote. Anyway, it goes on for ten more days and Air America says they'll issue a new standings report shortly. Voting link here. Please don't attempt to defeat the new system. Your email will not be added to any mailing list.
Bollywood's First Gay Kiss
Bollywood may see its first gay love scene, if the film gets past censors.
An upcoming Bollywood film will feature what is thought to be the industry's first gay love scene. I Am Omar, one of four short stories which make up the film I Am, focuses on male sex workers and homophobic police officers. In one scene, actors Rahul Bose and Arjun Mathur are seen embracing in a public place. They are seen by a police officer who begins to harass them. The film is set in the context of Section 377, the colonial-era law which banned gay sex. Bose has previously acted in a film which involved a gay gang rape scene. Director Onir told the Mumbai Mirror that he hoped the scene would get past India's film censors. He said: "Luckily none of my actors had any inhibitions. Rahul and Arjun did the scene which goes much beyond anything seen in Indian cinema. They behaved like thorough professionals.”The first screening of the movie will take place at a Rotterdam film festival.
Pepsi Sponsors Uganda Concert By Murder Music Artist Beenie Man
Box Turtle Bulletin reports that Pepsi sponsored Uganda concerts by murder music reggae singer Beenie Man. BTB notes the following story in a Uganda newspaper.
The King of Dancehall stuck a sword of words into gay people through singing and talking. “In my family, we don’t have any gay person but if you’re gay, my brother that’s not my fault,” he said as he performed his song Mi Nah Wallah, in which he says he would like to cut the throats of all gay men. George Bush and Bin Laden were also at the receiving end of the Jamaican’s wrath calling on the audience to say “murderer” as he sang about the pair’s warfare. The show was sponsored by Pepsi and it doubled as the Crown Beverages’ Chamuka Keys Finale with three RAV4 winners presented on stage to join 17 previous winners in receiving their car log books.This promotion was likely organized by a local Pepsi bottler without the knowledge of Pepsi's home office. Over on Change.org, a form has been created to complain to Pepsi headquarters and demand that their affiliates do not sponsor musical acts that call for the murder of gay men. As you may know, Uganda is considering a bill that may impose the death penalty for some homosexual acts. At best, the bill will call for life imprisonment.
UPDATE: Pepsi disavows knowledge of the performer's anti-gay stance and promises it won't happen again.
Thanks for contacting us today and giving us a chance to respond. We just wanted you to know that, much like you, we are appalled by the performer’s lyrics and find them repugnant. We are not associated with him in any way. Our bottling partner in Uganda was not aware of the performer's views and never would have sponsored the concert with this knowledge. Moving forward, we will work closely with our bottling partners to be more vigilant about the events associated with our brands. Thanks again for reaching out.(Update via Father Tony)
PepsiCo Media Bureau
Marriage Vote Fallout: LGBT Activists Warn Of "Bloodbath" In New York Senate
Quoting an unnamed gay activist, today the NY Daily News says that pro-equality forces are planning an 2010 "bloodbath" for Democratic state senators who voted against same-sex marriage.
Gay advocates are on the warpath after the state Senate killed same-sex marriage last week, and few Democratic senators who voted against the bill are safe from their wrath. After spending more than $1 million to help the Democrats retake the chamber for the first time in decades, powerful gay activists and donors say they'll support challengers against anti-gay-marriage senators in 2010. "It's going to be a bloodbath," one gay operative predicted. "We're going to use every single weapon in our quiver to take these people out. We either need to replace them or scare the hell out of them so they do the right thing." Gay activists are considered some of the most effective fund-raisers in state Democratic political circles. "The community is apoplectic ... and the commitment to building the Democratic majority is over," the operative added. "We won't make the same mistake twice."According to the story, Queens Democrat Joseph Addabo (above) is the number one target. Some of the more powerful and wealthy among the eight traitorous Democrats are considered beyond the reach of equality activists. That would include Sen. Ruben Diaz (Bronx) and Sen. Carl Kruger (Brooklyn).
NOM Issues Action Alert On New Jersey
Today NOM sent out an "Urgent Action Needed!" alert to their mailing list, asking that their fellow haters contact the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee and urge that marriage equality not be passed to the full state Senate for a vote. Let's use NOM's own list.
Sen. Paul Sarlo (Chair): (201) 804-8118
Sen. John Girgenti (Vice-Chair): (973) 427-1229
Sen. Bill Baroni: (609) 631-9988
Sen. Christopher Bateman: (908) 526-3600
Sen. Jennifer Beck: (732) 933-1591
Sen. Gerard Cardinale: (201) 567-2324
Sen. Nia Gill: (973) 509-0388
Sen. Joseph Kyrillos: (732) 671-3206
Sen. Raymond Lesnick: (908) 624-0880
Sen. Nicholas Scutari: (908) 587-0404
Sen. Bob Smith: (732) 752-0770
Sen. Brian Stack: (201) 861-5091
Sen. Loretta Weinberg: (201) 928-0100
Call now, the vote is scheduled for this afternoon.
Virgin Mobile's New Gay Ad Campaign
Virgin Mobile has launched an ad campaign in Canada featuring two male models in a kiss. The tagline: "Hook up fearlessly." The ad has already appeared on bus shelters.
Agency of record Juniper Park created the new work to extend the "Fearless" positioning introduced in September. New brand-focused television, print and out-of-home ads encourage consumers to "hook up fearlessly" with secret lovers during the holidays–including one execution of two men kissing which Virgin says will run nationally. Out-of-home executions show people kissing in elevators and boardrooms, a concept that emerged from research the company conducted that showed 62% of those surveyed want to have a secret love affair with a work colleague. A billboard in Toronto's Dundas Square shows a short-skirted model dressed as an angel enticing passersby to call a toll-free number.Stand by for wingnut calls to boycott Virgin Mobile.
UNRELATED: Early next year Virgin Mobile will begin selling a no-contract iPhone in Canada.
"A Perverse Accomplishment"
In an editorial about their October court victory in forcing the Catholic Church to turn over secret documents about the child molestation cover-up scandal, yesterday the New York Times noted the starkly differing reactions to such abuses by former New York Archbishop Edward Egan (pictured) and Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.
Referring to the Rev. Raymond Pcolka, whom 12 former parishioners accused of abuses involving oral and anal sex and beatings, Bishop Egan said: “I am not aware of those things. I am aware of the claims of those things, the allegations of those things. I am aware that there are a number of people who know one another, some are related to one another, have the same lawyers and so forth.”(Via - Father Tony)
Absent in those pages is a sense of understanding of the true scope of the tragedy. Compare Bishop Egan’s words with those of the archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, who, after the release of a recent report detailing years of abuse and cover-ups in Ireland, said: “The sexual abuse of a child is and always was a crime in civil law; it is and always was a crime in canon law; it is and always was grievously sinful. One of the most heartbreaking aspects of the report is that while church leaders — bishops and religious superiors — failed, almost every parent who came to the diocese to report abuse clearly understood the awfulness of what was involved.”
Bishop Egan, with institutional pride, looks at the relatively low rate of proven abuse cases as a sort of perverse accomplishment. “It’s marvelous,” he said, “when you think of the hundreds and hundreds of priests and how very few have even been accused, and how very few have even come close to having anyone prove anything.”
Italy: Vatican Bank Being Investigated For Money Laundering
An Italian newsweekly is reporting that the Vatican Bank is being investigated for a $300M money laundering scheme involving one of Italy's largest banks.
Panorama reports that officials from the Bank of Italy’s Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) have identified transactions worth up to €180 million (£160 million) that allegedly violated anti-money-laundering regulations in accounts held at a UniCredit branch in Via della Conciliazione, next to St Peter’s Basilica. Prosecutors in Rome, led by Nello Rossi and Stefano Rocco Fava, are reported to be working with a special unit of the Guardia di Finanza, the Italian tax police, to investigate the bank — which is formally known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR).According to the above-linked story, the Vatican Bank may argue that they are outside the jurisdiction of Italian courts.
The investigation relates to alleged breaches of financial regulations and disclosure obligations at the branch, but it is possible that the investigation may be broadened to include accounts held at other Italian banks. Investigators are examining every transaction in accounts held by the IOR from 2006 to 2008, the magazine reported. In that period, it said that more than €180 million in cheques and transfers moved through the accounts. The magazine named a manager at the branch who it claimed had a close relationship with Lelio Scaletti, a former director of the IOR, who left the Vatican Bank in October 2007. This is the most serious investigation of the Vatican Bank since the 1982 collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, in which it was the major shareholder. Ambrosiano collapsed with the Vatican held partly responsible for $1.3 billion in bad debts. If the latest allegations are proved to be correct, they would be a blow for the new directors of the IOR, appointed two months ago by Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State.
(Tipped by JMG reader Jimmy)
On The Word "Teabagger"
Rachel Maddow defends her use of the word "teabagger" which has hurt the witty-bitty feelings of the wingnuts. Maddow points out that the teabaggers themselves first used the word, and says that the expression first came into the pop culture via John Waters' 1998 movie Pecker. I don't know about that, I dimly recall first seeing the word in the title of a straight porn movie owned by a roommate of mine more than 20 years ago. In any case, teabagging is certainly more the province of straight porn (NSFW), and is not an exclusively gay (and therefore perverted) act as the wounded delicate kittens on the right are claiming.
Photo Of The Day
Apple Buys Lala, Streaming iTunes Next?
Apple has agreed to purchase the streaming music venture Lala, bringing speculation that iTunes may add its own streaming function.
LaLa fills a big hole in Apple’s digital music strategy and could bring streaming down music from the cloud into iTunes-ready devices everywhere. Integrating Lala’s ad-free music service — which stores music collections online and sells streaming songs at a deep discount — would mark the first major step forward for iTunes since its music download store launched in 2003. Lala recently announced a deal to play free songs on Google, but Apple is reportedly particularly interested in the engineers who built Lala’s “payment and fulfillment system[, which] could save Apple millions of dollars a year,” according to a CNET source. Lala sells music fans pre-paid chunks of music credits, rather than individual songs — an approach could help iTunes cut down on its credit card transaction costs and sell songs as streams and as downloads.Apple reports that the average iTunes customer has purchased only 22 songs. By contrast, the average Lala customer has spent $67. Unlimited iTunes music streamed to the iPod Touch and iPhone for a monthly fee is would render moot the race to increase storage capacity on the devices.
Grammy Nom For Murder Music Singer Buju Banton Sparks Growing Outrage
Jamaican reggae singer Buju Banton, whose songs have openly called for the murder of gay men, received a Grammy nomination last week, much to the growing outrage and condemnation of the LGBT community.
Los Angeles LGBT Center:
Throughout his career, Banton has performed music that promotes a culture of violence against lesbian and gay people; he sings in “Boom, Bye Bye” that “faggots get up and run” when he comes, that “they have to die,” and that he will shoot them in the head or “burn them up bad.” Banton is completely unrepentant, refuses to stop performing the song, and recently said, “There is no end to the war between me and faggots." “It’s an affront to LGBT people, and to all fair-minded people around the world, that Buju Banton was nominated,” says Center Chief Public Affairs Officer Jim Key. “We certainly hope the members of the Recording Academy will not bestow the prestigious honor of a Grammy on someone whose music promotes murder.”GLAAD:
Earlier this year, a series of Buju Banton concerts in the U.S. were canceled after protests from the LGBT community. Despite meeting with LGBT leaders in San Francisco in October, Banton later claimed that “there is no end to the war between me and f****t.” While we are disappointed that the Recording Academy has chosen to honor Banton’s album, “Rasta Got Soul,” with a nomination the highest honor in music, we are hopeful that the Grammy voters will chose to bestow the Grammy for Best Reggae Album on one of the other nominees who manage to record reggae that does not condone hate.The other nominees for Best Reggae Album are Gregory Issacs, Sean Paul, Julian Marley, and Stephen Marley.
Military Lifts Ban...
...on recruits with tattoos on their saluting arm. A ban that only lived for one week.
Military chiefs have scrapped a ban on tattoos decorating the saluting arm of recruits joining the US air force, following a backlash among heavily inked young Americans signing up for duty. The air force recruiting service instituted a policy on 25 November prohibiting tattoos below the elbow on the right arm of recruits, citing "military image". The service did not want tattoos to be visible when its airmen salute. Within a week, the rule meant that 26 recruits were turned away from basic training, causing confusion among 17,000 people due to join the service under a delayed entry program, which allows for a hiatus of up to 12 months between signing up and reporting for duty. By the end of last week, military bosses had relented. In a statement to the in-house Air Force Times, the recruiting service's commander, Brigadier General Alfred Stewart, said that "regrettably", recruits had been caught in the middle of the change. He said: "At this time, recruiting service is revising guidance recently sent to the field."All branches of the armed services are seeing a surge in enlistments that has been attributed to the rising unemployment rate.
Florida McDonald's To Transgender Applicant: We Don't Hire Faggots
The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund has filed an employment discrimination suit against an Orlando McDonald's after learning that a manager had left a voicemail for a transgender applicant stating, "We don't hire faggots." Zikerria Bellamy, 17, had applied online for a job with the restaurant. The TLDEF notes:
Zikerria’s story is all too common. Transgender people face tremendous discrimination in the workplace. According to a recent survey by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality, 47% of transgender people report being fired, or denied a job or promotion, just because of who they are. Few protections exist for transgender people who experience employment discrimination. In 38 states, there is no law protecting transgender people from being fired because of who they are. Federal law similarly offers no job protection for transgender people. In Florida, while no law explicitly addresses discrimination based on gender identity, administrative agencies in Florida have ruled that transgender people are protected by the Florida Human Rights Act’s prohibitions on sex and disability discrimination. The Competitive Workforce Bill, which would add gender identity and sexual orientation to the Florida Civil Rights Act, was introduced in the Florida legislature on November 20.In late November, openly lesbian Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehand proposed adding transgender protections to the city's ordinances. Mayor Buddy Dyer has strongly endorsed the proposed legislation. Fifteen Florida cities have such protections, including Tampa, which passed a transgender anti-discrimination bill last month after an ugly public debate.
Here is the voicemail left by the McDonald's manager.
This Week In Holy Crimes
Over the last seven days...
North Carolina: Pastor Robert Adams arrested in camouflage gear after weeks on the lam from authorities after sexually assaulting a five year old child. Adams' wife has also been arrested for convincing the child to have sex with her husband.
England: Rabbi Baruch Chalomish convicted of cocaine possession. Chalmoish, a multimillionaire, was acquitted on other charges including cocaine distribution for offering the drug to prostitutes in return for sex.
New York: Rev. Dr. Phillip Charles Joubert arrested for rape of underage relative.
Florida: Prominent Southern Baptist Pastor Russell Lewis arrested on ten counts of lewd and lascivious child molestation.
New Jersey: Pastor Curtis Franklin arrested for rape of female minor.
Virginia: Father Charles Smith arrested for assaulting fellow priest Father Paul Eversole. "Eversole and Smith, both 45, had lived together in the rectory for three years." Hmm.
South Africa: Unnamed priest arrested for rape of male congregant.
Texas: Father Matthew Bagert sentenced to four years in prison for possession of child pornography.
South Dakota: Rabbi Sholom Rubashkin found guilty of 91 felony counts of fraud for a multi-million dollar scam involving the sale of livestock from a kosher slaughterhouse. He faces 91 addition felony charges involving immigration fraud and underage employees.
Florida: Pastor Gary Souffrant convicted of $7M mortgage fraud and drug money laundering scheme. Souffrant and wife used the money to buy multiple luxury vehicles and mansions.
This Week's Winner-
Wisconsin: The Catholic cover-up scandal spreads. Former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland shredded reports of sexual abuse by priests every week during his tenure. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has turned over a 1993 deposition detailing the shredding admission as part of the discovery portion of more than a dozen civil lawsuits against the Archdiocese.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Third runner-up social network Friendster relaunched this weekend. Via Techcrunch:
Friendster outlines some of the changes in a video (embedded below), in which it calls out other social networks (*cough* Facebook and *cough* MySpace) for being plain and boring. My absolute favorite part of the video: “I mean, if everyone’s there, woop de doo”. Friendster in the clip says the redesign aims to place more emphasis on 3 pillars: Simple, Fun and Personal. The company also features glimpses of the new website lay-out, which looks a whole lot like Facebook in my opinion, but seemingly mixed with the customization capabilities of MySpace (e.g. it looks like you can change the background color of pages with a single click).And here I just finally figured out how to delete my account last week. I'm already missing those sexxay emails from Tiffany, Amber, and Summer.
The Nostalgia Train Starts Today
NYC's Nostalgia Train program begins today. Via Gothamist:
The Nostalgia Shoppers' Special is made up of subway cars in service from the 1930s to the 1970s, running along the lettered lines from the Grand Concourse to Coney Island. Ceiling fans, padded seats and incandescent light bulbs were state-of-the-art when these cars were first placed in service. The cars were removed from service 30 years ago and replaced by the stainless steel, climate-controlled trains that our customers have become accustomed to. Many subway riders have never experienced the charm of wicker seats and ceiling fans, but they are back for four Sundays of service, beginning Sunday, December 6. The holiday "Nostalgia Shoppers' Special" will operate on Sundays only, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., on December 6, 13, 20 and 27.RELATED: The Transit Museum Annex in Grand Central Terminal is running their holiday model train exhibit all month. It's pretty cool, I stop by every year.
Undercover With The "Ex-Gays"
You may recall Ted Cox, the straight, formerly Mormon, reporter who went undercover at an "ex-gay" conversion therapy retreats in two states. Cox was unable to tell his story because his publisher feared legal reprisals if Cox were to break the confidentiality agreement the "ex-gays" made him sign. This week Cox has broken the agreement in an interview with Alternet. An excerpt:
It starts out with these odd exercises meant to confront how you feel about men. For one exercise, you're standing just inches away from another man and you're staring him in the eyes, and someone in the background is telling you to think about what emotions come up. You do this with every man at the camp. It is very uncomfortable. At first, I was very confused and then I became amused. But as the weekend wore on, I became really angry and sad. I was angry because I feel these men are being lied to; they're being charged $650 for a system that, I think, does not work. I feel [these men] are victims of religious abuse and being told that there is something wrong about their fundamental identity, that they are committing a grievous sin if a man acts on what comes naturally to him. That made me angry.Read the entire interview.
I saw one man distraught that he was damaging his own sons, that they would end up gay because he was not enough of a man. And I wanted to just hug him, and tell him, "It's OK, it's alright. So what if your kids turn out gay? And you can't turn them gay." I became sad because I saw men reenact traumatic events from their childhood. The paperwork tells you [camp staff members] are not acting as professionals so you have no idea how ethical this is, how safe—psychologically—any of these programs are. I felt sad that their pain was being used to exploit them to make them feel like that was the reason they were gay.
Flogging Gay Pakistanis
Andy Towle points us to this LiveLeak video which purports to show gay Pakistanis being flogged in the street. Clip description: "Homosexuals Pakistanis recieving their punishment. You can see two lovers kiss at 0:15 before their flogging." Andy notes that the comments on LiveLeak are sickening.
From the enigmatic designer Walther van Beirendonck, here's what he thinks fashion-forward bears should be wearing in the spring season. The line is called Wonderfu. Not wonderful. The name Beirendonck always sounds like the title of a German fetish film to me.
(Via JMG reader Justin)
After The Fire, Der Kommissar, 1983. One year after Falco took his (mostly) German-language version of Der Kommissar to #1 in most of Europe (but only #72 in the U.S.), British prog-rockers After The Fire recorded a (mostly) English translation, taking it to #5 U.S., #47 UK. Falco's hit came during an unprecedented (and unrepeated) string of U.S. hits by German artists, when English and German versions of songs by Nena, Trio, and Peter Schilling garnered heavy American radio play and rotation on MTV. I loved the "Neue Deutsche Welle" (new German wave) while it lasted and was properly annoyed when After The Fire's tepid cover far outsold Falco's innovative original. (And don't even get me started on Laura Branigan's version.) But I do have a fond memory of meeting four guys from Kent State who'd decided they needed a "song of the trip" for their 14-hour spring break drive from Ohio to Fort Lauderdale and only played After The Fire's Der Kommissar for the entire time. I met them poolside at the Marlin Beach and after about three plays of the song on our way to dinner that day, I boldly ejected the cassette. "Nooooooo!" Anyway, a group called "After The Fire" seems appropriate for today's 80's Flashback selection.
Quote Of The Day - Russell Wisemen
"Ok, so, this is total crap, we sit the kids down to watch 'The Charlie Brown Christmas Special' and our muslim president is there, what a load.....try to convince me that wasn't done on purpose. Ask the man if he believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and he will give you a 10 minute disertation (sic) about it....when the answer should simply be 'yes'....[Y]ou obama people need to move to a muslim country...oh wait, that's America....pitiful. You know, our forefathers had it written in the original Constitution that ONLY property owners could vote, if that has stayed in there, things would be different." - Arlington, Tennessee mayor Russell Wisemen, complaining on Facebook that the President Obama deliberately timed his speech about Afghanistan so it would preempt The Charlie Brown Christmas Special. Because he's a Muslim.
Facebook pages denouncing and supporting Wiseman have sprung up since his post made national news. A poll at the Tennesse Commerical Appeal shows that 43% of the paper's readers agree with him.
A silly story in the Wall Street Journal announces that baring one's chest hair with a plunging neckline, a phenomenon mostly associated with the gold-chain laden disco era, is apparently back. The paper calls the fad "heavage." SRSLY.
Vik Mohindra, a 27-year-old graduate student from Toronto, confesses that his guy friends sometimes tease him about his heavage. "I would not recommend it to someone who isn't confident with their body and overall sense of style," says Mr. Mohindra, who says he works out three to four days a week and has a "defined" chest. Male cleavage, particularly on the silver screen, has long played a prominent role in popular culture. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. had his chest on display throughout the 1920s in films like 1924's "The Thief of Bagdad" and "The Iron Mask" in 1929. A dashing Errol Flynn showed man cleavage in the 1930s, most memorably in 1938's "The Adventures of Robin Hood." These actors made skin-flashing practically de rigueur for certain swashbuckling roles. The aesthetic continued well into the 1950s and the 1960s, says menswear historian Robert Bryan, author of the new book "American Fashion Menswear." Among those celebrated for their heavage were Marlon Brando (in the 1951 film version of "A Streetcar Named Desire") and Sean Connery as James Bond in the 1960s. The last time man cleavage was so prevalent in the U.S. was in the 1970s -- "the golden age of male chest hair," says Mr. Bryan. Epitomized by John Travolta in 1977's "Saturday Night Fever," the convention back then was to skip enough shirt buttons to show off a thick forest of hair, perhaps topped with a gold medallion as a sign of virility.When gay men want to show off their chest, they just take their shirt off. Unless I'm missing out on some big gay heavage scene.
Correction Of The Day
Saturday, December 05, 2009
DC's Lambda Rising Booking To Close
Sigh. Yet another LGBT bookstore bites the dust.
Lambda Rising, a bookstore serving the LGBT community in the nation’s capital for 35 years, is closing its D.C. store in Dupont Circle and its remaining out-of-town store in Rehoboth Beach, Del., in January. The closings, announced Friday, mark the end of the city’s only exclusively LGBT bookstore and becomes another in a series of gay bookstores that have closed in recent years in other cities, including New York and Baltimore. Deacon Maccubbin, 66, the store’s founder and co-owner, told D.C. Agenda in an exclusive interview that he plans to retire soon and that he and co-owner Jim Bennett, his domestic partner of 32 years, decided they would rather close the stores than sell them to a new owner who might change their focus and mission.Where you do buy your gay-related books?
(Via - DC Agenda)
Air America: New Voting Link
Air America has updated their voting system to require an email address in order to prevent folks from voting more than once. I had thought an IP tracker would prevent that, but I guess they don't want people voting from both from their work and home computers. Last time I looked, I was a few points behind Media Matters' Karl Frisch. If you haven't voted yet, here's the link.
Afternoon View - My Building On Fire
So I came home from moderating a panel at the LGBT Center today and found my block jammed with fire engines, ladder trucks, and couple of ambulances. My building. On fire. Just as I got near the front of my building, Dr. Jeff came sprinting up from his place two blocks away. Jerry, my houseguest, had just called him to say that smoke was pouring under my apartment door and that he'd called 911. Oh, and would he mind dropping by to tell the fire department where he was?
The fire had started in the laundry service in the basement and all the floors were thick with smoke. I gave the firemen my apartment number and they went up and got Jerry, who was about to climb onto the fire escape with my cat, the dear man. All the other tenants were either already outside in the cold rain, or not at home. The fire was contained in the rear of the basement and after a long cold time, we were allowed inside. The lower floors are a bit sooty and my floor reeks of smoke, but other than a couple of doors smashed in by firemen looking for residents, things seem to be OK, thanks to 50 or so guys from the FDNY. I was a bit surprised by the massive response (at least two companies), but I guess when all the buildings abut each other, the FDNY doesn't mess around.
The Sphinx Of The Upper East Side
Friday, December 04, 2009
Slideshow: A Very MARY Holiday
Earlier this week, I attended the first annual Very MARY Holiday fundraiser put on by Broadway Speaks OUT to benefit the Ali Forney Center, NYC's shelter for homeless LGBT youth. It was a fun night, very "Hey, kids! Let's put on a show!" Host Marti Gould Cummings was a riot as loads of Broadway stars performed, including Tony winner B.D. Wong, Nick Adams, Titus Burgess, Sean Bradford, Megan Reinking, and more. Also appearing was YouTube sensation Michael Buckley, who is known to gossip fans as Buck Hollywood. My loyal companion Aaron, who is on holiday hiatus from his exile to Portland, attended with his friend Russell. And Dr. Jeff worked the red carpet with his big boy camera - all photos below are by him. GREAT night!
DC Hate Crimes Rise In Wards Repped By Anti-Marriage Council Members
Washington DC has seen 36 hate crimes so far in 2009, about the same as in each of the last two years. All but one of those hate crimes has been about sexual orientation. But check out this bit of damning news:
Numbers can be debated. But one number can not: the rise in sexual orientation hate crimes in Wards 7 and 8 [police districts 6 and 7]. In 2008, 13 percent of sexual orientation hate crimes took place in these wards. So far in 2009, the number jumped to 32 percent. On a side note, only two councilmembers---Yvette Alexander and Marion Barry---voted against the gay marriage bill. Who do they represent? Wards 7 and 8.Says it all, doesn't it? People do follow their leaders.
(Tipped by JMG reader Jimbo in DC)
Full-Page Ad Against "Ex-Gay" Preacher Donnie McClurkin Runs In NYC
The Black Gay Men's Network today published a full-page ad in the NYC daily newspaper Metro in reaction to attacks on the LGBT community by black clergy and in response to "ex-gay" preacher Donnie McClurkin's recent outrageous and hateful rantings, which were posted to YouTube. It reads in part:
Pastor Donnie McClurkin -We love you brother and in ways the traditional church cannot because we understand your pain. You are not a man who loves men because of being molested as a child. That grave and despicable tragedy broke your spirit and damaged your mind; however it did not have the capacity to change your DNA. There is so much love in our community for you. We want to see you healed and whole. Whenever you are ready, come home and we'll love you until it doesn't hurt anymore. That's how we do!Read the entire ad at the above link.
(Tipped by JMG reader Jeff)
Was NY Marriage Killed By The Alphabet?
An interesting theory from the New York Times.
Some have cited Mr. Addabbo, whose name falls second in the roll call when Senate votes are taken, as a major factor in setting the tone for the losing vote. He was widely known as a possible yes vote. And by his voting no, some supporters of the bill have said that he encouraged undecided senators to vote no as well. Mr. Addabbo disputed that. “I don’t think there was any domino effect at all,” he said. “Even before I said no, these votes were determined.”Even the alphabet is anti-gay!
UPDATE: Addabbo explains his vote for the cameras.
No Jail For NY Sen. Hiram Monserratte
Local NYC news just announced that Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D-Queens) will only get three years probation for the "accidental" slashing of his girlfriend's face, an attack that resulted in 40 "accidental" stitches. He also has to perform community service and attend anger management classes.
Last month Monseratte narrowly escaped felony charges for the assault after his girlfriend recanted her emergency room statements to police. Prosecutors had requested a three month prison sentence for today's misdemeanor ruling. On Tuesday Monserrate earned the eternal enmity of the NY's progressives when he joined seven other traitorous Democrats in voting against marriage equality. NOW we have to put the pressure on the NY Senate leadership to eject Monserrate from their broken-down clown car.
Here's the surveillance video prosecutors used against him.
Charlie Crist Gives Out Sex Line Number
Florida Gov. Charlie "Closet Case" Christ accidentally gave out the number to a phone sex line while making a recording for an insurance hotline.
It was supposed to be the number for a program to help parents get health insurance for kids, but, instead, this is what people heard when they called the number: "Hey there sexy guy. Welcome to an exciting new way to go live, one-on-one." It happened when the state hotline had a recorded message from Governor Crist with a number to call Florida Kid Care. The governor's office says the wrong number was on the script that the governor was reading from. The problem has been corrected.Garsh, kids! Why do you think ole Charlie had that particular number in his head??? I am SO not buying the incorrect script cover story. BWA HA HA.
(Tipped by JMG reader Thomas in Orlando)
Harry Jackson: There Will Be Blood
Stinging over his defeat in the DC marriage battle, "Bishop" Harry Jackson vows that there will be a "bloodletting" when city council members come up for re-election.
In future races, religious people are going to start going after people's political careers. In D.C., some very vulnerable black councilmen went along with the city council, and some of these guys will not be sitting in those chairs in 2010 elections. Many in our coalition are wising up, looking for candidates. Political action committees are going to be formed. You're going to see a bloodletting that is going to mark a new style of engagement for people who are against same-sex marriage.DC's final vote on marriage comes next week. It is not expected that Congress will attempt to intervene.
NOM Booted From Chase Contest
Chase Bank has decided that NOM is ineligible for its $5M holiday charity contest, due to the organization's blatant anti-gay bigotry.
A Chase spokesman asserted late Thursday that the antigay group headed by Maggie Gallagher is not eligible for charitable funds — even if it garnered sufficient votes — because it violates the contest's nondiscrimination rules. The database of groups was generated by GuideStar, a third-party firm that provides research on nonprofit groups. “Organizations that receive votes from the guidestar database will be reviewed to make sure that they’re in the compliance with all of our guidelines,” Joe Evangelisti, head of media relations for JP Morgan Chase, told The Advocate.Credit goes to Queerty, who first raised the issue, and of course to all of you folks who wrote Chase to complain. Well done, all.
Singalong: Santa Claus Is Coming Out
Traitor NY Sen. Joseph Addabo Explains Why He Voted "No" On Marriage
Queens Democrat Joseph Addado, who was elected with the help of LGBT groups like the Gill Action Fund, says he had to vote "no' on marriage equality because so many calls from constituents told him to. Via Julie Bolcer at the Advocate:
In 2008, state campaign finance records indicate that Addaboo received $9,500, the maximum allowable contribution, from gay philanthropist Tim Gill, the backer of the Gill Action Fund. The contribution was part of the wave of support, ultimately totaling close to $1 million, that helped flipped the senate to Democratic control and install candidates who pledged to uphold pro-LGBT positions, including support for marriage equality.Addabo was elected with very slim majority. He's definitely one of the ones we can oust in 2010.
On Friday, Addabbo defended himself by saying that he had never promised to vote “yes” on the bill, and that he wanted to keep his options open in order to gauge the sentiments of his constituents. “At no point did I ever say ‘yes,’” said Addabbo. “I proposed I would keep an open mind.” “It was my intention to keep an open mind and by doing so, I felt that I would get a clear indication of where my district stands on this issue,” said Addabbo, who said that he received more than 400 communications from constituents, 74% of whom opposed marriage equality. Pressed on whether he would also allow 74% of constituents to influence a vote on something absurd, such as a hypothetical proposal to deport all the Hispanics in the district, Addabbo said, “It’s apples and oranges.”
Jesus Christ Was Disruptive
Pam Spaulding dug up this gem about a woman who changed her name to "Jesus Christ." I frickin' love the last line.
Jesus Christ was called for jury duty this week in Jefferson County. Court officials were skeptical at first when on Monday a potential juror submitted a name change form with "Jesus Christ" on it. But the 59-year-old Birmingham woman, who previously went by Dorothy Lola Killingworth, assured the presiding judge that was her name. "It raised eyebrows, so I asked her if that were truly her name," Circuit Court Judge Scott Vowell said. "She assured me that it was. She had her name changed in the Probate Court, and she presented her driver's license." Christ was sent to Judge Clyde Jones's courtroom for a criminal case. She was excused because she was disruptive, court officials said. Instead of answering questions, she was asking them, a court employee in Jones's office said. Efforts to reach Christ today were unsuccessful.According to a commenter on the story, who says he was in court that day, the judge's clerk first tried to call Jesus to the jury box by saying, "Heyzoos Crist?"
Blogger Beauty Pageant: Top Five!
Squee! Pam Spaulding and I made the Top Five in the Air America thingy. Thanks y'all! Final voting is now open via their insta-results widget. The contest ends Dec. 17th. I can't tell if you get to vote every day, like in some of these things. Anyone?
1. Digby, Hullabaloo
2. Mike Lux, Open Left
3. Karl Frisch, Media Matters
4. Joe Jervis, Joe.My.God
5. Pam Spaulding, Pam's House Blend
UPDATE: I was waaay ahead, but the Media Matters guy is zooming!
Rick Warren: I'm In An Arranged Marriage
In a Christian Post article about an upcoming biography of Saddleback megachurch Pastor Rick Warren, we learn that Warren freely admits that when he married his wife, he didn't love her, was not attracted to her, and had "no feelings" for her at all. But he married her anyway because the marriage had been arranged. By God.
Perhaps one of the most interesting parts of the biography, however, is the section about Warren’s marriage. By all appearance and comments from people who know the couple, Rick and Kay Warren have a happy and satisfying marriage. However, this was far from the truth in the beginning of the relationship. Through interviews with Sheler, Rick and Kay Warren disclosed that they were not attracted to each other nor had feelings for each other when they agreed to be married. Instead, they believed that God had spoken to each of them saying this is the person they should marry.Rick Warren gets to marry someone he doesn't love, doesn't even particularly care for - because God says that's what he should do. But he's got no problem at all interfering with the relationships of other people who are madly in love with the person they want to marry. I can't even begin to wrap my head around how fucked up that is.
Rick recalled the day when he was invited to speak at the church where Kay’s father was a pastor. As he ascended the steps to the stage to speak he looked over and recognized Kay, who was then dating his best friend, playing the piano. He said he heard God clearly tell him that this is who he will marry. At the time he had a hard time believing that because he didn’t love Kay and she was madly in love with his best friend. But still he kept the revelation in mind. After his best friend broke up with Kay, Rick asked her on a date. On their second date, Rick asked Kay to marry him. At the time, Kay didn’t love Rick but felt that God was leading her to say yes. She recalled hearing God say, “I’ll bring the feelings.”
Study On Men Who've Never Watched Porn Fails When No Subjects Can Be Found
An attempt by Canadian researchers to compare the sex lives of men who watch porn with men who never have was called off because they couldn't find any subjects for the latter group.
Scientists at the University of Montreal had to change the focus of their project after failing to find a single male aged in his 20s who hadn't been exposed to adult videos and images. "We started our research seeking men in their 20s who had never consumed pornography," the Telegraph reported Professor Simon Louis Lajeunesse as saying. "[But] we couldn't find any." Surprised researchers decided to instead explore the men's porn watching habits, finding the average age of first exposure was about 10 years old. And while being in a relationship may not to completely remove porn from a man's life, it does appear to cut their habit in half. Single men watched adult content about three times a week for an average of 40 minutes, while those with partners watched it 1.7 times a week in about 20-minute blocks, the study said.Forty minutes? What do they do for the other 35?
Cause And Effect
As he does on everything, Porno Pete LaBarbera gets it all wrong about Meredith Baxter's coming out.
Every homosexual “coming out” is a tragedy. Baxter became a lesbian, and is now in a seven-year sexually immoral relationship with another woman, following three failed marriages to men that produced five children. (Is her lesbianism a pitiable retreat after failed relationships with men?) The wrongness of her homosexual relationship (from a biblical, truthful perspective) is not mitigated by the current politically-correct zeitgeist that would extend respect and “civil rights” to deviant behavior condemned by God. Moreover, Baxter is living proof that people can change from heterosexuals to homosexuals, so how can “gay” fanatics like Wayne Besen continue to deny that the reverse can occur?Aside from the obvious chance that she may have been a bisexual all her life and just now happens to be in a public relationship with a woman, Porno Pete deliberately ignores the more likely truth: Meredith Baxter didn't "become" a lesbian because she failed with men. She failed with men because she's a lesbian.
Tea Party, The Movie
GLAAD Excuses ABC Over Adam Lambert
After talking to them about a possible anti-gay double standard, GLAAD has issued a statement excusing ABC for canceling several scheduled appearances by Adam Lambert after his performance on the American Music Awards.
After these discussions ABC issued the following statement to GLAAD: "Given the live nature of the American Music Awards, Adam Lambert’s performance, which differed greatly from his rehearsal, caught many, including the network, off guard. This is not a question of Lambert’s sexual orientation. As is evidenced by GLAAD’s media report card, ABC is at the forefront of positive gay and lesbian portrayal on television. We welcome openly gay performers and look forward to continuing our great work within the LGBT community."GLAAD's statement immediately caused a furor on social networking sites, after which they issued this update.
“It would appear that the kiss between Adam Lambert and his keyboardist did not factor into ABC’s decision,” said Jarrett Barrios, President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). “ABC has a history of positive gay and transgender inclusion that includes featuring kisses between gay and lesbian couples on-air.” “We applaud the visibility of openly gay performers and congratulate Adam Lambert for sharing his story on the Ellen DeGeneres Show this week as well as his upcoming appearance on The Jay Leno Show,” Barrios said.
Since his American Music Awards performance occurred GLAAD has consistently advocated that Adam Lambert and openly gay artists not be held to a double standard. As we have expressed publicly, it is disappointing that ABC will not give Lambert a chance to perform at this time. GLAAD’s discussions with ABC focused on confirming that his sexual orientation was not a factor in their decisions. ABC confirmed this is not about a same-sex kiss or his sexual orientation but about being “caught off guard.” GLAAD asked ABC and calls on them for clarification on “caught off guard” so that the community knows why Lambert is being denied the opportunity to perform on the network.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Massive Union Square Rally Promises 2010 Retribution On New York Senate
A crowd of over one thousand attended tonight's rally in NYC's Union Square, where Marriage Equality NY provided a roster of the state and city's top political leaders and activists, all of whom vowed revenge upon the 38 state senators that voted against equality.
Among the speakers: Gov. David Paterson, activist Corey Johnson, NY Sen. Tom Duane, NY Sen. Liz Krueger (my rep), NY Asssemblyman Micah Kellner (my rep AND a JMG reader), and Marriage Equality NY head Cathy Marino-Thomas. Among those attending: uber-blogger Andy Towle (whose coverage is here), Gay City News staff Paul Schindler, Duncan Osbourne, and Andy Humm, and rainbow flag creator Gilbert Baker.
Throughout the crowd and from the stage, threats of retribution rained down on the "Hate 38," the Senators that voted against equality. Particular scorn was heaped upon the eight traitorous Democrats, whose faces adorn many placards and who were named and shamed from the microphone. Hearty cheers went up whenever our new heroes like Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson were mentioned. The crowd was instructed about the coming 2010 elections and the NYC seats now in everyone's crosshairs. The evening was definitely not another useless venting of rage, as these things are often characterized.
NJ Senate Marriage Vote Next Week
After a month of dithering, it appears that the full NJ Senate will vote on marriage equality next week. The announcement came to the cheers of hundreds of LGBT activists gathered at the state house in Trenton.
The New Jersey gay marriage proposal will be considered Monday by a Senate committee and could be posted for a full senate vote later in the week, state Sen. Ray Lesniak said today. "On Monday in the Judiciary Committee, we're going to vote on marriage equality," Lesniak (D-Union) said, while making the announcement to a crowd of gay marriage supporters on the Statehouse steps today. "On Thursday the full Senate is going to vote on marriage equality," said Lesniak, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee." And God be willing, we'll have 21 votes." Democratic officials previously said they would not put the legislation to a vote unless they had the support needed to pass it. Senate President Richard Codey later confirmed that the full Senate will vote on the measure on Thursday. About 650 people came here today in support of the bill's passage. At least a dozen same-sex marriage opponents, mainly a group of Orthodox Jews from Lakewood, held a counter protest at the Statehouse.It remains unclear on when the issue will be brought before the state Assembly. Outgoing Gov. Jon Corzine has just over a month left in his term. Jersey peeps: Contact your state reps NOW via this easy-to-use contact sheet at Garden State Equality.
GLSEN: Santa Claus Is Coming OUT!
Haters: Stop Mocking Our Mythical Icons!
The Gay & Lesbian Straight Education Network will be hosting a fundraiser in NYC on Dec. 8th. And of course the haters of gay children are screaming. Hang on for delirious ranting from Focus On the Family.
Yet more evidence revealing the dark side of GLSEN–the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network—has surfaced. (GLSEN is the group founded by President Obama’s “safe school’s czar,” Kevin Jennings.) At issue this time is a GLSEN fundraiser featuring a theatrical play called Santa Claus is Coming Out! GLSEN’s fundraiser invitation says the play depicts “Santa in his heartfelt struggle to reconcile his romantic relationship with Italian toy maker Giovanni Geppetto.” Pictures on a Web site promoting the production depict Santa in not-so-subtle sexually suggestive situations. The play also mocks those who support traditional values. It’s sad that GLSEN, which claims that it wants to protect kids, has chosen to use a fundraising tool that perverts the innocence of Christmas and sexualizes the longtime, child-revered icon of Santa Claus.Yeeeah. Focus On The Family is worried about a play about a mythical person, all while promoting the real life daily tauntings, beatings, and murders of gay youth by vigorously interfering in anti-bullying efforts all over the nation.
Buy tickets to Santa Claus Is Coming Out here.
Because They Really Aren't
At last night's marriage rally in Times Square, a family of tourists passed by the protesters' pen with the mother shaking her head in disapproval at the activists. That prompted a trio of protesting women to alter their chant.
"Leggings on are not pants! Leggings are not pants!"
I love my people.
Rep. Alcee Hastings: Let Gay Soldiers Testify On DADT With Immunity
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) has submitted a novel bill that would allow gay soldiers to testify before Congress about DADT with immunity from dismissal from the military.
Gay service members who reveal their sexual orientations during congressional testimony would be immune from forced discharges under a bill introduced Wednesday, as lawmakers prepare to consider repealing the ban on gays serving openly in the U.S. military. The legislation's author, U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., said the bill is needed to ensure that Congress has reliable and relevant witnesses at its disposal if the House holds hearings next year on the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The bill also would protect from retaliatory personnel actions any members of the military who testify for or against lifting the 16-year ban. "How can there be anything more important than a gay member of the service having the right to testify before the Armed Services Committee of the Congress that he is under the aegis of," Hastings told The Associated Press. "But if they come and testify, that testimony could be used against them under 'don't ask, don't tell.' In my judgment, it's just a question of fairness."Hastings already has 27 co-sponsors for his bill, but gay veterans group Servicemembers United opposes it, saying even immunity from government reprisals won't protect gay soldiers from becoming "pariahs in their own units." The pro-gay Palm Center think tank, however, thinks Hastings' bill could become the first real dent in the DADT wall.