Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Big Gay Moments of 2009

For my final post of 2009, I thought I'd put together a collection of some of the gayest moments of the year. There were so many highs and lows this year, I'm sure I've left a lot of them out, but these are some of the standouts that deserve special recognition.  For all the ups and downs, successes and failures, 2009 was definitely a big year for the LGBT community. It was the year that we refused to be ignored, marched on Washington and demanded that our new president make good on his promises.

2009 started out with a bang on New Year's Eve last year when Kathy Griffin shared hosting duties with CNN closet-boy Anderson Cooper in Times Square. Kathy claims she thought her mic was off as they went into a break when she went off on a heckler. Yeah, right. That's why we love you Kathy. I'm hoping she tops herself this year, or maybe she'll get a room and top Andy instead.

On January 20, 2009 history was made with the inauguration of our first African-American president. The best moment of that day for me will always be Aretha's hat.

April brought us the dimwitted proponent of "opposite marriage", Miss California, USA, Carrie Prejean who rose to notoriety for speaking her mind (which explains the short answer) and taking the debate on gay marriage to new heights by sinking to the lowest depths of bigotry. It should not have surprised anyone that the latest right-wing poster child for all things pure and patriotic had made a few solo sex tapes that became pubic public. It turns out we didn't have to give her the finger after all. She was doing a nice job of it all by herself.

In May, the California supreme court ruled that denying sane-sex couples the right to marry was unconstitutional. The national Organization for Marriage, lead by bulldog in drag, Maggie Gallagher and funded heavily by the Mormons, launched Proposition 8, a voter initiative that put civil rights up to a popular voter. Though we fought hard and long, we were out-financed by the enemies of freedom and lost at the polls. In the months between victory and defeat, 18,000 gays and lesbians, including Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DiRossi, were legally married in California. The courts decided to let those marriages stand. The legal challenges to the ruling and a new voter intitiative to overturn Prop 8 are in the works.

The crushing defeat of marriage equality in the nation's most liberal state was a call to action for the LGBT community. Activist Cleve Jones, who marched with Harvey Milk in the streets of San Francisco in the 70's and in the 80's founded the Names Project/AIDS Memorial Quilt, took up the challenge issued by activist and political consultant David Mixner and The National Equality March was born. Despite harsh criticism from old guard veterans like Barney Frank, with only five months' preparation, over 200,000 LGBT Americans converged on Washington DC on October 10, 2009 and demanded that the president that we helped elect, who promised to overturn "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the "Defense of Marriage Act", live up to his promises. We're still waiting.

Although we lost in California, we gained domestic partnership in Washington state and full marriage rights in Iowa, New Hampshire and Washington DC. 2009 was a banner year for LGBT rights. As we usher in 2010, we must dig down deep to continue the fight and keep up the pressure on Washington and our statehouses. Our time is now.
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Marriage Equality in New Hampshire Starts Jan. 1st

Flag United States New HampshireImage by erjkprunczyk via Flickr
Starting at midnight tonight, same-sex couples in New Hampshire can ring in the new year by exchanging rings and becoming legally married. reports:
Starting Friday, any same-sex couple that resides in New Hampshire and has a civil union will be able to obtain a marriage license. If they so choose, they can have a new ceremony, or they can simply convert their civil union into marriage without going through another ceremony.

Same-sex couples who already have civil unions will have their unions automatically converted to marriages in 2011. Conservative anti-gay groups such as NOM and the Catholic church are seeking to repeal the law, holding to the claim that same-sex marriages will somehow lead to the end of heterosexuals wanting to marry or reproduce children.

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This Queer Little Planet: Gay Malawi Couple Arrested

Anillos de Matrimonio, Aros de MatrimonioImage via Wikipedia
Malawi is the latest ant-gay African nation to make headlines in recent week with the arrest of a gay couple who applied for a marriage license. The two men, Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza face 14 years in prison on charges of gross indecency.

From the BBC: The BBC's Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre says large crowds of onlookers went to see the couple in court. He says some people congratulated them but other shouted insults.

Prosecutors say they will send the pair to hospital to prove they have had sex together. They face three charges of unnatural practices between males and gross indecency.

Mr Monjeza, 26, hinted that he may consider calling off the proposed wedding, as he was sent back to prison.

"I am sad I am going back to Chichiri Prison," he said. "The condition are terrible there. People are exaggerating this thing. I may just as well dissolve this marriage."

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Sorry for the late posts today...

Had an early appointment with the eye doctor today, which cut into my time for my usual posts. Pupils are fully dilated, which makes it hard to see well with all the snow still on the ground everywhere. The new specs are on order and should arrive within 7-10 days.Will try to get up things updated throughout the day. Hopefully the eye drops will wear off quickly and my vision will return to its usual crappiness instead of the extremely bright crappiness I have now.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ex-Lesbian Mom on the Run with Daughter

More embarrassing news from the comedy-wealth of Virginia. It seems a lesbian couple, Lisa Miller and Janet Jenkins, who got civilly unionized in Vermont in 2000, went through an extremely uncivil divorce in '03, when Miller found Jesus and decided she wasn't gay any more. The wrinkle here is that Miller got pregnant via artificial insemination after the union was formalized, resulting in a daughter who is now at the center of a bitter custody battle.

In 2003, after the couple broke up, Miller fled from blue Vermont to redneck Virginia in order to avoid the shared custody ordered by the Rutland County, Vermont court. Miller now considers rug munching sinful and doesn't want her daughter raised by a sister of Sappho. The court found that Jenkins should be awarded primary custody in light of Miller's refusal to allow visitation by her former spouse.

In a surprising twist, when the legal battle spilled over into Virginia, the courts here repeatedly found in the favor of honoring the Vermont court's decision. The child was to be turned over to Ms. Jenkins on January 1st.

Rather than submit to the custody order, the born again ex-lesbian decided it was better to go into hiding with the child and is now on the lam. Miller has not made contact her her attorneys for over a month. Her whereabouts remain unknown.

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New Wave Wednesday: Human League, "(Keep Feeling) Fascination" (Music Video)

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Gay Indiana University Prof. Found Stabbed to Death at Home

The Chicago Tribune is reporting via the Associated Press that author Don Belton, assistant professor of English at Indiana University, was found stabbed to death in his home on Monday, by a friend who stopped by. 25-year old student Michael J.Griffin is being held without bond on charges of murder. Police where tipped off to Griffin's possible involvement by his girlfriend.

Griffin, a former marine who served in Iraq, says he went to Belton's home to confront him over a sexual encounter that took place on Christmas day. According to AP, an argument and scuffle ensued. Griffin told police he stabbed Belton with a 10-inch military style knife after Belton failed to "show or express any type of feeling that what had taken place was a mistake."

Police, who reported no signs of forced entry at the scene,  say Belton kept a detailed journal and had recently written about how happy he was that Griffin had come into his life.

My mother always said "You don't shit where you eat."
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"Never a Year Like '09" The Year in Review from Jib Jab (video)

JibJab Media Inc.Image via Wikipedia
It's that time of year again. Everyone and his dog is compiling a list of highlights of the year's big events and most important stories. I've been working on my list as well. This video from Jib Jab sums it up pretty nicely, although there is not a single LGBT-related news item mentioned.

So if you weren't paying attention (and who could blame you), this is what the heteros were up to in 2009.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Music from Janet Jackson: "Make Me" (Music Video)

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Lesbian Appointed as U.S. Marshall

Via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
Minnesota’s next U.S. Marshal will be Minneapolis’ openly gay Assistant Police Chief Sharon Lubinski. Her confirmation by the U.S. Senate was announced Monday morning by Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar, who recommended her.
Lubinski was formally nominated for the post in October by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in a flurry of pre-holiday legislative activity last week.
U.S. Marshals oversee federal courthouse security, protect witnesses, transport prisoners, and catch federal fugitives.
Already one of the nation's highest-ranked female law-enforcement officers, Lubinski now becomes the state's first female U.S. marshal and one of only two women in the nation currently serving in the post.
Lubinski has risen through the Minneapolis police ranks since joining the force in 1987. She was a finalist for the Minneapolis police chief job in 2004.
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Argentine Gay Couple Marries in Tierra del Fuego

In an historic first, Alex Freyre and Jose Marie di Bello became Latin America's first same-sex married couple on Monday. The couple had hoped to marry in Buenos Aires on December 1st, World AIDS day, under the recently expanded civil unions statute, but the ceremony had been blocked by a court order. Both men are HIV positive.

The couple wed in a civil ceremony in the seaside resort town of Ushuaia in the Tierra del Fuego province because Governor Fabiana Rios, an advocate for same-sex marriage, over-ruled the court order that blocked the couple's previous attempt to marry in Buenos Aires.

Freyre said in a statement to Todos Noticias, "It is a dream come true for us. We are completely moved, and so happy for what this means for all gays and lesbians in Argentina."
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Viking Zombie Boyfriend, by Jeremy Rizza 12-29-09

Occasionally, Jeremy will provide some commentary or explanation about the characters appearing in the strip. When available, I'll include them here.

"It’s Kagami! Hooray! Kagami started out as a one-joke character, but I always liked her positivity.  That’s probably because I’m a reformed pessimist, and I see a lot of myself in her.  I think she has a lot of potential, and so I’ll be developing her quite a bit this year.  Her upbeat nature makes her a good foil for my grumpy daddy-bear, Rorik.  This strip also serves as my official attempt at rehabilitating Cinnamon.  Formerly a joke character who appeared as the punchline of the 11/17/08 strip, Cinnamon’s resemblance to Dill now has a darned good excuse: she’s family! She’s not dating Kagami anymore, but she can still show up in the strip now and then.  The bar is inspired by one I’ve been going to with my kick-ass boyfriend, Chris.  We went there on our first date, last July 4th! Although semi-officially a lesbian bar, there are usually a handful of gay dudes there as well.  It’s laid-back and a lot of fun! (“Cookie”, you know who you are.)" -- Jeremy Rizza

Vistit for more.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

British Drama Features Controversial Gay "Pioneer" Quentin Crisp

Quentin Crisp
The UK television network ITV will be airing the drama, "An Englishman in New York", starring John Hurt, Cynthia Nixon and Swoosie Kurtz tonight, based on the life of the late Quentin Crisp, author of the semi-auotbiographical, book "The Naked Civil Servant", much to the consternation of  British LGBT rights activists.

In the decades before and early years following Stonewall and the modern gay rights movement, there were few, if any, positive depictions of gays and lesbians in the media. "The Naked Civil Servant" was later made into a film, starring John Hurt in his first portrayal of Crisp in 1975, making Crisp an international celebrity.

During the 60's and 70's the only openly gay man any of us had as a role model was Quentin Crisp, who was a frequent guest on TV talk shows like the "Dick Cavett Show" and "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson". It was a mixed blessing. While Crisp was defiantly out in a very public way, he was very old school in his self-loathing as a gay man. His flamboyant style, which included wearing makeup and nail polish as a boy, made him the frequent target of abuse in school, which would shape his self-perception for the rest of his 90-year life.

British LGBT rights activist Peter Tatchell of OutRage! accuses the ITV bio-drama of sanitizing Crisps controversial life in tonight's airing of "An Englishman in New York". In a press release sent out Monday morning, Tatchell says, "Quentin Crisp was a contradictory, infuriating figure. Although astonishingly brave and defiant as an out gay man in the 1930s and 40s, he was later defiantly self-obsessed, homophobic and reactionary. Quentin denounced the gay rights movement and slammed homosexuality as 'a terrible disease'; adding that 'the world would be better without homosexuals."

Tatchell's press release goes on to say:

"This is a good film, with another stunning performance by John Hurt, but it sanitises Crisp's ignorant, pompous homophobia. Quentin disparaged homosexuality as an illness, affliction, burden, curse and abnormality. He regarded himself as 'disfigured' by his gayness. He never spoke out for gay rights or supported any gay equality cause," added Mr Tatchell.

"An Englishman in New York invites us to admire Crisp as a hero and pioneer. By the time he moved to the United States he had ceased to be either heroic or pioneering. He turned into an ever-more bitter, self-obsessed person who resented that they way millions of gay people had come out and stolen his limelight.
"Quentin hated the fact that he was no longer unique - no longer the only visible queer on the block. For this reason, he loathed the gay liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s. It had encouraged and empowered the mass coming out of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. He disliked being over-taken and over-shadowed by others; dismissing the new generations of out and proud gay people as johnny-come-latelys.

"He never backed any campaign against homophobic discrimination or violence, and he declined to condemn anti-gay politicians and preachers.

"Quentin Crisp is no gay icon. The true icons and pioneers of the modern British gay community are heroes like Allan Horsfall and Antony Grey. They were the driving forces of the first gay rights organisations in Britain - the North West Homosexual Law Reform Committee set up in 1964 and the Homosexual Law Reform Society, established earlier in 1958. These two men, who are still alive and have never received the public recognition they deserve, have done far more for gay dignity and advancement than Quentin Crisp.

"Crisp is a pale shadow of US gay rights trailblazers like Harry Hay, Frank Kameny, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon.

"The film acknowledges that Crisp disgracefully dismissed Aids as a 'fad', at a time when thousands of gay men were dying and the US government was largely ignoring the epidemic. Sadly, it ignores his ridiculing of the gay liberation movement and his dismissal of the struggle for lesbian and gay equal rights.

"Echoing the worst homophobes, Crisp said that gay men were incapable of love and incapable of caring about other people. The supposed lack of altruism among gay men was, according to Quentin, because they had 'feminine minds.' He was a misogynist, as well as a homophobe.

"In 1997, he told The Times that he would advise parents to abort a foetus if could be shown to be genetically predetermined to be gay: 'If it (homosexuality) can be avoided, I think it should be.'

"Compared to The Naked Civil Servant, this is a much less satisfying film, partly because it portrays Quentin true to life, as a much less sympathetic warts-and-all character, which is what he became in the latter part of his life," said Mr Tatchell.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Ice Storm Leaves Rev. in the Dark... AGAIN!!

You might be wondering why the blog hasn't been updated in a few days. Well, mother nature is one twisted sister! An ice storm that started late on Christmas Eve culminated in downed power lines once again. We lost electric service at 10:00 am on Friday, Christmas morning and didn't get it back until 7:30 pm Sunday night.

This latest winter crap-fest came on the heels of last week's 14-inch snowfall, most of which is still with us. As usual we cranked up the generator, which kept the fridge going and allowed us to catch a little TV on a small digital set with digital rabbit ears.

Paul and I -- and the three cats -- made it through unscathed, except for a severe case of cabin fever. After three housebound days, it was getting kind of tense here, mostly between the cats. Now it's time to do laundry and clean up inside and outside the house. Lots of tree limbs down all over the yard. The ducks are the only ones who don't seen to mind so much. The snow from last week has melted enough for them to get to the pond and splash around a bit in the small area that's not frozen over.

Will resume regular updates in the morning. Waiting for the water heater to do it's job so I can enjoy a much-needed shower. Sponge baths aren't as much fun when you have to give them to yourself.

Hope you all had a great Christmas, or whatever you celebrate at this time of year.
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Friday, December 25, 2009

Cool Site of the Week: "Sketchy Santas"

In keeping with today's Christmas theme, my choice for this week's Cool Site is If you're like me and have a twisted sense of humor, than there's nothing better to take the edge off your holiday stress, than seeing department store Santas having even more stress.

At Sketchy Santas, you'll find reader-submitted photos of Santas through the generations posed with screaming brats, terrified toddlers and creeped-out kids. In some cases the kiddies are cool, it's the Santas that need some adult supervision.

What's not to love about a mom dressing up her kid in some ridiculous red and green outfit, dragging him/her across town to a crowded shopping mall, waiting for hours in line, then shoving that tired, cranky kid into the lap of a scary old man to pose for a picture?

Check it out at
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Merry Chistmas!

Merry Christmas, 
From Rev. Steve

What better way to celebrate peace on Earth and good will toward men, than with our community's poster child for bad behavior, George Michael. From 1984, here's Wham! with "Last Christmas".

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

"God hates Gaga"

Gaga performing "Paparazzi" on the F...Image via Wikipedia
What better way to celebrate the birth of your lord and savior than to point out yet another person that he hates? Those wacky folks at Westboro Baptist are at it again. This time they've decided they need to save the world from Lady Gaga. Yes, that's right. The Phelps klan is taking aim at the pop diva because of her support for LGBT equality and have promised to picket her concerts.

PinkNews reports:
The Kansas-based church, best known for its slogan of God Hates Fags, said in a press release it would protest outside a St Louis concert on January 7th.

Calling her a "sleazy God-hater", the church said: "'Art' and 'fashion' are the euphemisms, the guise under which proud whore Lady Gaga teaches rebellion against God."

Gaga has frequently spoken of her love for her gay fans and thanked them for their support.

Shirley Phelps-Roper, daughter of church leader Fred Phelps, told Radar Online: "We will be going to her concert with placards reading 'God Hates Lady Gaga' – to inform people that they will be going to hell too if they listen to her messages.

“According to the Bible homosexuality is an abomination and she has to shut her filthy mouth and stop promoting it.”
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"Christmas Don't be Late", Alvin and the Chipmunks (video)

Screw a bunch of CGI bullsh*t! Give me the original old school Chipmunks from the 60's.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ghost of Christmas Past

I had totally forgotten about this old photo. My sister recently scanned a bunch of old family pics and posted this on her FaceBook wall this week. My mother had it in her photo album for over forty years. My best guess is that this was taken in 1966, so it would have been sometime around my seventh birthday. From left to right these are my cousins, Charles (whose birthday is Christmas Eve) and John, my sister Nancy, my brother Eric and last but not least, me.

The older siblings must have bailed on this photo op. You can tell from the look on my face that I wasn't totally buying the Santa thing by then, but went along with it anyway, just in case.

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Ugandan Pres. Says He'll Veto "Kill the Gays" Bill

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Entebbe, Ju...Image via Wikipedia reported a few days ago the Uganda's president Museveni has said that he is committed to blocking pending legislation that would punish "aggravated homosexuality" with the death penalty.

DC Agenda's Chris Johnson reported on December 19,
Jon Tollefson, a State Department spokesperson, told DC Agenda that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has pledged on several occasions to the top U.S. diplomat engaged in Africa that he would stop progress on the anti-gay bill.

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson received this assurance from Museveni on Oct. 24 during an in-person meeting with the president in Uganda and again during a phone conversation with Museveni on Dec. 4, Tollefson said.

 While it's reassuring to know that the U.S. government is taking the proposed gay genocide seriously, it remains to be seen whether the Ugandan government will back down in the face of international pressure. The bill has continued its forward momentum in the Ugandan parliament over the last several weeks, despite condemnation from the world leaders a the evangelicals who set this whole thing in motion. Tollefson has said that the US government wants Museveni to make his private commitment public by condemning the bill publicly, but so far, the Ugandan dictator has not done so.

Visit dcAgenda for the full story.

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Cheech and Chong: "Santa Claus and his Old Lady"

"Once upon a time, about five years ago..."

Actually it was a lot further back than that. Back in the days of vinyl LP's (ask your mom), before they made their mark in the movies, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong produced some of the best comedy albums ever made. When I was a kid my parents wouldn't have allowed us to play this in the house, but I remember listening to Cheech and Chong's stoner comedy with my brother and our friends sitting around the stereo in the bedroom of the kid next door and laughing our asses off. One of my favorite routines was "Santa Claus and his Old Lady", which would become a holiday classic.

It was hard to find a video of this bit, since it's an audio routine, but this one is pretty good.

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New Wave Wednesday: Human League, "Don't You Want Me" (music video)

Courtesy of Daily Motion:"Don't You Want Me" was a single released by British synthpop band the Human League from their album Dare (1981). It reached number one in Britain during Christmas time, 1981. In April 1982, it reached the top forty portion of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, eventually spending three weeks at number one, and enjoying one of the longest chartspans of 1982, twenty-one of those spent in the top forty. Billboard magazine ranked it at number six for the year. "Don't You Want Me" is the first song performed entirely on synthesizers to top the U.S. pop chart.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

UK Rugby Star, Gareth Thomas: "I'm Gay."

This story has been making the rounds on the web for the last few days. I wanted to post something about it sooner, until I saw the first pic online. Then I saw the second pic.

I don't know much about sports and I know even less about rugby, except that they don't wear all the padding that US football players wear, they look hot in the shorts and every now and then they celebrate a victory by running around the playing field naked. That's good enough for me.

If a British Rugby player has the balls to come out, why can't U.S. athletes? reports: 
Former Wales and Lions captain Gareth Thomas has broken one of the major taboos that surround sport by revealing he is gay.

The 35-year-old joins stars like basketball's John Amaechi and hurling's Donal Og Cusack who have come out. "Just because you are gay, it doesn't mean you fancy every man who walks the planet," Thomas told the Daily Mail. "I don't want to be known as a gay rugby player. I am a rugby player first and foremost. I am a man."

Read the full story here.
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Viking Zombie Boyfriend, by Jeremy Rizza (12-22-09)

There's always that one kid that gets a little carried away during the neighborhood snowball fight. It's all fun and games until someone gets pillaged.

Visit  for past strips and cool swag. Posted with the permission of the artist.

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