Thursday, April 30, 2009

Equality By The Numbers

For the second time this week, polling shows Americans are increasingly supporting marriage equality.

(from ABC News)
"Take gay marriage, legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut and now Iowa, with Vermont coming aboard in September. At its low, in 2004, just 32 percent of Americans favored gay marriage, with 62 percent opposed. Now 49 percent support it versus 46 percent opposed -- the first time in ABC/Post polls that supporters have outnumbered opponents.

More than half, moreover -- 53 percent -- say gay marriages held legally in another state should be recognized as legal in their states.

The surprise is that the shift has occurred across ideological groups. While conservatives are least apt to favor gay marriage, they've gone from 10 percent support in 2004 to 19 percent in 2006 and 30 percent now -- overall a 20-point, threefold increase, alongside a 13-point gain among liberals and 14 points among moderates. (Politically, support for gay marriage has risen sharply among Democrats and independents alike, while far more slightly among Republicans.)"

Meet My New BFF: Howard Stern

Remember that kid from high school that your parents would have grounded you for if they'd known you were hanging out with him? Well, he's all grown up now and his name is Howard Stern. (NSFW) Audio

Holy Hard Times, Batman!

Adam West's "Batman Garage Sale"

One More For Our Side!

(From today's New York Times)

WASHINGTON — President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. welcomed Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania to the Democratic fold at the White House on Wednesday morning, praising Mr. Specter warmly and telling him he can count on their support for re-election in 2010. Read the full story here.

(from today's Times Op/Ed page)

Undoing the Damage, Step by Step

The Obama administration is reversing many of the potentially damaging anti-environmental regulations rushed through in the Bush administration’s final months. This week, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar withdrew a rule that would have weakened protections for endangered species. He also took the first legal step to revoke a rule that would have allowed the ruinous coal mining practice known as mountaintop removal to inflict even greater damage on Appalachia’s landscape. More here.

A Mother's Pain

Next Stop, the Senate

Despite Republican opposition, the House passed the Matthew Shepard Act on Wednesday, which, if signed into law by Pres. Obama, will give local law enforcement additional powers to prosecute hate crimes.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Audacity of a Place Called Hope

In her 1988 hit "Opposites Attract", Paula Abdul summed up the fight for LGBT equality with the words "I take two steps forward, I take two steps back".

Sorry for the obscure 80's reference, but as I'm reminded every day by co-workers I could have fathered, I'm old. Besides, I think it's important to remind the young folks that, once upon a time, Paul Abdul was actually relevant.

But I digress.

Bill Clinton was the first president I voted for at the age of 32. I was a political late bloomer. Politicians had never said anything about LGBT rights that gave me reason to believe that America would ever be a gay friendly place. In the run-up to the 1992 election, as Slick Willie courted the LGBT vote, I dared to hope that we had a powerful ally. I believed his rhetoric, I liked his style and I loved that he had an openly gay man, David Mixner, as one of his advisers.

After the victory parties were over and the confetti swept up came the knife in the back called, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) and the smack-down of "The Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA).

During his campaign, Clinton promised to lift the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. Once in office, he was faced with a big, steaming pile of political reality and conservative opposition. DADT was a forced compromise that was supposed to allow us to serve our country as long as we kept our mouths shut. But the the military powers-that-be, along with the rest of the world, forgot all about the third don't: "Don't Pursue" . There weren't supposed to be any witch hunts.

In the years that followed the implementation of this half-assed policy, gays and lesbians have been investigated, interrogated, humiliated and booted out in record numbers.

In the late 90's Hawaii was the first Marriage Equality battleground in the U.S., when two same-sex couples sued the state for the right to marry. They lost.

Before the dust had even settled, Pres. Clinton signed DOMA into law, defining marriage as between one and and one woman and making it clear that states did not have to recognize same-sex unions performed in other states.

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, has never publicly spoken out against the policy. She believes states should be able to decide what makes a marriage. This may explain why Bill forgets he's married from time to time.

Back when the buzz first started about Barack Obama and Oprah gave him her royal seal of approval, like most of America, I had barely heard of the man. When the ground swell started and the momentum started to build, I decided that I wasn't going to support Obama just because everyone else was. I wasn't crazy about Hilary either.

I was cautiously leaning towards Biden, who promptly and predictably shot himself in the foot by referring to Obama as "clean" and "well-spoken". One thing you can say about our new veep is that he never disappoints, even when he does.

When the Virginia primaries took place, I was still on the fence between Barack and Hilary, right up to the last minute when I stepped into the voting booth. I still didn't know much about Obama, but I knew what to expect from the Clintons. So I decided that sometimes the devil you know is better that the devil you don't know and I voted for her, not him.

As the interminable presidential campaign season dragged on and Obama-Mania swept the nation, I held onto my cynicism with a white-knuckled grip, determined, like the late Charlton Heston, that they would have to pry it from my cold, dead hand.

In the months following the November elections, the same-sex marriage war rages on, with some significant victories, but even more defeats. That's why this week's release of a CBS/New York Times poll is such a shot in the arm for our community:


Forty-two percent of Americans now say same sex couples should be allowed to legally marry, a new CBS News/New York Times poll finds. That's up nine points from last month, when 33 percent supported legalizing same sex marriage.

Support for same sex marriage is now at its highest point since CBS News starting asking about it in 2004.

While some may choose to focus on the obstacles we face, I am encouraged by the fact that 67% of those polled are in favor some legal recognition of our relationships, either marriage or civil unions. As the date of the arrival of my AARP membership card looms on the horizon, this cynical old fart is feeling something I haven't felt in a long time. Could it be hope?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Panic in the Streets as UFO Buzzes NYC

When Pigs Attack

As the world prepares for a epidemic of biblical proportions, health officials warn that the recent Swine Flu outbreak could be as dangerous as -- wait for it -- the Flu.

The U.S. Centers For Disease Control has recommended some radical precautionary measures to stem a potential global spread of the worst health threat to the human race since SARS. In a bold move, Health officials urged the public to wash their hands and use tissue when they sneeze or cough. Some fringe elements advocate the use of hand sanitizer.

Those commie bastards!

Americans will never willingly give up their God-given right to be dirty, rude and disgusting! Coughing in someone's face is as American as mom, apple pie and morbid obesity!

Medical experts have revealed that symptoms of the deadly disease include flu-like symptoms. Radical new treatments are being developed to treat the afflicted masses. Early reports suggest bed rest and forcing plenty of fluids. At a recent medical conference on the pandemic, acclaimed immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci said "Nanna's chicken soup works best."

Monday, April 27, 2009

In Celebrity News...

Actress Mia Farrow has announced she is going on a hunger strike until Woody Allen promises to stop marrying her children.

Chelsea Handler: "Save the Silver Fox"

The E! Network's queen of late night Chelsea Handler points out how attractive a head of naturally gray hair can be:

"My writer Jen made her fiancĂ©, Neil, dye his hair because he had a little grey. The silver fox, along with the Grand Canyon—and very lean corned beef—is one of God’s most beautiful creations. We must save them from extinction. I have given Jen’s phone number and address to PETA so they can throw hair dye on her. She is obstreperous*."

* Okay, I admit it. I had to look this one up too. According to Webster's: marked by unruly or aggressive noisiness

For the record, the Rev. likes his men mature and natural too. (Anderson Cooper to the white courtesy phone!)

Same-Sex Marriage Begins Today In Iowa

As LGBT Iowans prepare to jump the broom today,
The Rev can't help but wonder,
is America ready for these honeymoon pics?

Can You Help a Brother Out?

But They're So Cute!

(form today's New York Times) "Responding to what some health officials feared could be the leading edge of a global pandemic emerging from Mexico, American health officials declared a public health emergency on Sunday as 20 cases of swine flu were confirmed in this country, including eight in New York City."

Fearing that Swine Flu outbreak could spread like wildfire, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said, "it's like declaring (a state of emergency) before a hurricane. It means we can release funds and take other measures. The hurricane may not actually hit."

In other news:

  • Denny's fearful as sales of "Grand Slam Breakfast" plummet.
  • Walmart worried about potential decline in shoe sales once America is able to see its feet.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Prop 8. Hurts Heteros Too

Actor Michael Rapaport explains how California's Proposition 8 has ruined his life.

Because Some People Just Don't Get It

Saturday, April 25, 2009

But Wait, There's More...

Introducing the Slum Wow,
as seen on TV's "Real Time with Bill Maher".

Golden Girl, Bea Arthur, Dead at 86

Gay icon and show biz legend Beatrice Arthur has passed away after a long battle with cancer. She will be missed. Here's a sample of Bea at her best.

Could Westboro Baptist Be the Next Jonestown?

Earlier this month, The Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) released a report stating that the ailing economy and the election of Barak Obama is fueling a rise in membership in right-wing extremist organizations. The report went on to say that DHS had "no specific information that domestic right-wing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence". Really? Well they do now.

As first posted by blogger Gossip Boy, the haters at the Westboro Baptist Church, lead by Fred "God Hates Fags" Phelps, may be planning to drink the Koolaid - for reals. Or will they choose to go out in a blaze of glory, taking a few innocent bystanders with them?

In a cryptic message posted on the group's blog, God's chosen morons are throwing in the towel and declaring their mission over. Having lost a major law suite, the "church" is on the verge of bankruptcy and founder Phelps' health is failing. Here's some of what was posted on their blog:


We are particularly urgent about it, because the time is shortly to come when we will grant you your wicked wish, Doomed america!

Let us see how that is shortly now to play out, my angry little sodomite-loving friends. It’s about time for us to leave this place.

When we’re done, we will leave your filthy land and be placed safely out of the reach of the horror that will then land upon you swiftly and certainly – in one hour.

We pray it to be any day now, for the promises of our God are sure and certain. We finished our job in Napa County – one of the few we have left – and then went to tell the Saints of our God-blessed exploits and our joy.

We gotta go, peeps! We gotta go! And when we do, it’s time for this filthy nation to receive of all the plagues that your Creator has promised. The reason there is such urgency in those words … such passion in the irresistible call from our Saviour, Husband, and Friend … is because when that time comes for this rebellious nation – which is spiritually called Babylon and has become literally Babylon by the inexplicable and forcible snatching of that Mesopotamian land where ancient Babylon sat – it is going to be very fast and very violent, such that all mankind is utterly and simply amazed. Check out the words, fools … it’s all about the words!

Some might say this is good riddance to bad rubbish, but let's not forget, these wackos have kids. I hope DHS is paying attention to what could be a major tragedy.

The Rev. is Now on Twitter

Signed up on Twitter this week. Tweet me @cyberpulpit

Friday, April 24, 2009

The New Season of "Torchwood" Coming in June

If you're a middle-aged, gay, white, British-SciFi-TV-Show lover like me (and who isn't), then you're just as excited as I am about the upcoming season of "Torchwood", starring out and proud actor John Barrowman as the dashing Capt. Jack Harkness.

The third season will be a five-part, single story entitled "Children of Earth", airing for five nights on BBC America in June. (Check your TV listings.)

A spin-off of the reborn series, "Dr. Who", "Torchwood" follows the exploits of the mysterious and immortal Capt. Jack and his team in Cardiff, Wales, where they monitor a rift in the space-time continuum. Naturally, all sorts of alien beasties pop in for a visit to wreak havoc on the human race. Since Capt. Jack can't die, he always manages to get the upper hand.

In the popular series, The Torchwood Institute was founded by Queen Victoria in 1879, (after battling werewolves with the time-traveling Doctor on an episode of "Dr. Who") to research and combat alien threats to the British Empire, and use their findings to restore the Empire to its former glory.

Fast forward to the 21st century, and we find a high-tech operation that is above the law, outside the government and beyond the U.N., ready to kick some alien ass.

Did I mention that Capt. Jack is a randy bisexual who will shag anything with a pulse? Lots of man-on-man snogging gives the show that little something extra that's been missing from the Sci-Fi genre. It's about time!

Watch the official trailer on YouTube.

This Just In From "Cheslea Lately"

"Tyler Perry is allegedly being stalked by some woman. But how can we be certain it isn’t just Tyler Perry in a dress pretending to stalk himself? Also, Perry is a Christian drag queen. If Chrisitanity disapproves of homosexuality so much that it won’t let gays marry, then you can’t have drag queens."

(From the Rev.) When asked to comment, actor Wesley Snipes had this to say, "When a straight man puts on a dress and goes on a sexual kick he is a transvestite. When a man is a woman trapped in a man's body and has a little operation he is a Transsexual. When a gay man has way too much fashion sense for one gender he is a drag queen. And when a tired little Latin boy puts on a dress, he is simply a boy in a dress!"

My question for Mr. Perry is, are you getting off, going off, or cutting it off?

Chelsea Handler rocks!

Week #1. What do you think?

Today is day 7 of "Rev. Steve's Cyber-Pulpit". I've tried to make it interesting, entertaining and topical (like a fine ointment). Let me know what you think by posting a comment. Traffic is up, interest is growing. The Traffic Tracker shows hits from all over the U.S. and from as far away as New Zealand, India, Iraq, and Turkey. Don't you love the Internet?

I've added some features like "This Day in History", "YouTube Feed", links to some sites I like and will be adding a widget to do some polling. I promise there will be much more to come. I'm new at this and would appreciate any suggestions about how to improve the site.

As you can tell, I'm not the preachy kind of preacher. I think we all have the ability to pass on the insights we've picked up along the way. That's what I'm trying to do here, but not by beating you about the ears, nose and throat with it. I'm a "get the gist of it" kinda guy.

Thanks for your support. Tell your friends, phone the neighbors and wake the kids. All are welcome at "Rev. Steve's Cyber-Pulpit".

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Is This What We Call Spreading Democracy?

As a new openness has been spreading through the streets of Baghdad, Iraqi gays and lesbians who were beginning to live openly, are now living in terror. Many are being tortured and murdered on the streets in "honor killings" and at the hands of Iraqi militia members who've been setting up stings in local LGBT gathering places such as bars, cafes and local cruising areas. As many as 25 bodies of young men suspected of being gay have been found in the streets of Sadr City over the last two months. Read more at Iraqi LGBT.

Who is Varla Jean Merman?

"Just a busy gal on the go", is how chanteuse Varla Jean Merman describes herself. Preparing for the opening of her latest stage production, "Varla Jean and the Mushroomheads" tonight in New Orleans, Varla is a very busy gal indeed. With a tour schedule that would make even Cher say "are you nuts?", this glamazon kitten with a whip has been entertaining the masses coast to coast for the past decade.

The creation of New Orleans native Jeffery Roberson, Varla is more than a just your friendly neighborhood drag queen. A classically trained singer, she's a little Ann-Margaret, a little Girl Next Door, a little bit Prozac, with just a dash of Eli Manning for flavor. She's more than just a stage character, she's a real person. I know she is, because only real people can have blogs.

Here's a sample of Varla's amazing fabulosity in her version of Cher's 70's hit "Dark Lady" .

And Because I Just Can't Get Enough Varla...

Sometimes Comedy Just Writes Itself.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Props to Perez

I'm not a big fan of Perez Hilton, or anybody else that makes a living stalking other people and hoping their fame will rub off on you if you just talk about them long enough. He's the insecure, pimply-faced kid in high school that was too obnoxious and nerdy to hang out with the cool kids, but would do anything to elevate his status off the D-list.

However, sometimes it takes an obnoxious nerd to say what needs to be said. During the question and answer portion of the Miss USA pageant this week, Miss California, Carrie Prejean, in what can only be described as a game of karmic Russian Roulette, drew the loaded chamber. Her response to Hilton's question about whether same-sex marriage should be legal in all 50 states, was incoherent, rambling, misinformed and just plain wrong. She deserved to lose.

Offense taken, Miss California!

I don't know which USA she lives in, but in my country, we are not free to choose same-sex or opposite-sex marriage. That was the whole point of the question, you brainless twit!

We've become such a P.C. nation. We're supposed to be tolerant of other people's opinions and respectful of their "religious beliefs" even when those beliefs are extreme, hurtful and are used to justify bigotry and to restrict the rights of others.

Thank you, Perez, for driving home the point that we can be respectful of other people's "opinions", but bigotry should never be rewarded.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Is Meghan McCain the New Face of the GOP?

As a dyed in the wool Kennedy Democrat, I have always said I could never vote republican. The Republican Party used to stand for something. When I say used to, I mean back in the days of Abraham Lincoln. A lot has changed since then. In the 40 or so years since Richard Nixon first courted what he called The Silent Majority, the religious right has taken over the party like the pod people from "Invasion of the Body Snatchers".

In my lifetime I have seen women's roles in society go from June Cleaver to Hilary Clinton and African Americans have gone from fighting for the right to vote, to having one of their own elected president. The gay rights movement has gone from the Stonewall Riots to marriage equlity in four states.

In 1993, when 1 million Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgendered people and their supporters marched on Washington demanding equal rights, I was there as a volunteer helping with crowd control. I've taken part in candle-light vigils at the Lincoln Memorial to draw attention to the AIDS epidemic that claimed too many of my friends.

While all of this was going on, the Republican Party, lead by the religious right, did everything they could to stop social progress. In the 70's right-wing nut-job Phyllis Schlaffley made a career out of telling women they shouldn't have careers. (She has a gay son now.)

In the 80's, Ronald Reagan turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to the AIDS crisis, saying that it was only infecting fags, hookers and junkies, so who cares.

In the 90's, Ken Starr spent over $40 million of tax payer money investigating Bill Clinton over allegations of improprieties in a real estate deal, only to come up with Monica Lewinski and the cum-shot heard 'round the world.

We all know what happened with W. We'll be cleaning up that mess for decades.

Enter Meghan McCain, daughter of ex-presidential hopeful John McCain. Last Saturday night, she addressed the Log Cabin Republicans with a speech that has ruffled the feathers of many die-hard, old-school republicans. Her comments included the following:

"I am concerned about the environment. I love to wear black. I think government is best when it stays out of people’s lives and business as much as possible. I love punk rock. I believe in a strong national defense. I have a tattoo. I believe government should always be efficient and accountable. I have lots of gay friends. And yes, I am a Republican."

The younger McCain is just one of a growing chorus in the GOP that is calling for a return to the core values of smaller government, fiscal responsibility, and protection of personal freedoms. These folks have come to understand that by moving to the far right to appease religious conservatives, republicans have sold their collective soul to the devil. They finally realize what the rest of us have known all along, that if you have to demonize gays to win an election, then you really don't have a strong platform to stand on.

Stay tuned for more. You can read the full story on Meghan McCain's blog at The Daily Beast.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Now That's Kinky!

Hollywood stud Jason Statham in a publicity still from his new action film "Crank: High Voltage".

Former NJ Governor and GOP Darling Backs Gay Marriage, Lifting DADT

In an address to Log Cabin Republicans on Friday, former NJ Governor and EPA head under George W. Bush, Christine Todd Whitman urged the GOP to change it's position on gay rights. Read the full story here. Maybe there is a God.

Is Homophobia Going the Way of the Doe Doe?

According to a New York Times op-ed piece written by Frank Rich, it may very well be.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

"Revue Your History" With Varla Jean Merman

Because they didn't teach you this in school...

"End of the World" by Matt Alber

Matt Alber is one of the most talented up and coming singer/songwriters out there. What an amazing voice.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

When Did We Get So Stupid?

How is it that the greatest civilization in the history of the planet managed to produce so many stupid people?

First, let me say that I don't claim to be a genius. I like to think I have slightly above average intelligence. I manage to make it through the day without walking out into traffic or electrocuting myself by using my hairdryer in the shower. I understand the basics.

I know that the 10 Commandments are not part of the U.S. Constitution. I understand that guns don't kill people, idiots with guns kill people. And I've learned that it's better not to know what's really in your hot dog. Most of us understand these things.

So why did the country that gave the world the Manhattan skyline, the moon landing and the Internet elect George W. Bush... twice? Why do people live in trailer parks in Tornado Alley? Why do we dump nuclear waste on a fault line? (google Yucca Mountain for that last one.)

Why? Because we're stupid.

Let me explain what I mean by that. Stupid people are not the same as dumb people. Dumb people stumble through life in a permanent haze. The world doesn't make sense to them. They will never understand that Jesus was not born in America and that appearing on The Jerry Springer Show doesn't boost your resume.

Stupid people are actually smart people that choose not to use the intelligence they were born with. I'm not talking about the brain fart that happens when you lock your keys in the car or forget to wear pants to work.

I'm talking about people who believe that dinosaurs and humans lived together like the Flintstones. The ones who don't get it that the Snuggie is just an over-sized bathrobe that you wear backwards, or that if their gay or lesbian neighbors choose to get married it won't effect their own marriage in any way, shape or form.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't be stupid.

Ducks? Who the f#ck has ducks!?

Yes, we have ducks. Why? Because Paul and I have a pond on our property and it looked stupid without them.

Oh, yeah, Hi, I'm Steve. This is my first attempt at blogging, I hope it's not completely lame. Check back from time to time if you have nothing better to do.

Yes, I am an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church. We have one simple principal: "At all times, do the right thing." I'm not an active preacher, but I am registered at the county courthouse and can legally perform marriage ceremonies in Virginia. Ironically, I can not have one of my own.

Stuff I Like:

Kathy Griffin
Chelsea Handler
Rachel Maddow
Anderson Cooper
Cher (who doesn't?)
Star Trek of all varieties
Dr. Who
Graham Norton
Katherine Tate
Ab Fab
Little Britain
Battlestar Gallactica (The new one. The old one sucked.)
Men over 40
Cats (the animals, not the over-rated musical which sucked out loud)
Classic Rock
k.d. lang
Matt Alber

That's just a sampling. Hopefully you'll get a better idea from my postings.
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