Friday, April 30, 2010

Roanoke Equality and HRC Lobby Sen. Webb on DADT Repeal

Today is the day, folks! Members of Roanoke Equality and several gay military veterans are meeting this morning with the staff of Senator Jim Webb in his Roanoke office to ask for the senator's support in repealing "Don''t Ask, Don't Tell".

Sen. Webb serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee and has stated that he wants to wait until the Pentagon completes its year-long study on the impact of repealing the 17-year-old policy before making up his mind on whether to support it.

It is our hope that we can impress upon the senator the sense of urgency we feel over this issue. With mid-term elections coming up in the fall, there is likely to be a reshuffling of the deck in Washington. The political landscape in DC could look markedly different that what we see now, with anti-Obama sentiments giving Republicans more clout than they have had since the '08 elections gave Democrats a majority in the house and senate.

This morning's meeting was arranged by Terry McGuire of the Human Rights Campaign, who will be joining us for coffee before the meeting. Also joining us for this morning's meeting will be Rev. Joe Cobb of the Metropolitan Community Church of the Blue Ridge. I'll post a follow-up later today to let you all know how it goes.
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Gays.com Calling for World-wide Kiss In

The social networking site Gays.com (not to be confused with gay.com) has called for a global kiss-in to mark the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO).
From Gays.com:
See the video [below]? It shows you a kiss-in in Paris, France in front of the Eiffel Tower.

This year for the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia, we want YOUR help in organizing kiss-ins like this in major cities around the world between May 14-17 -- that's the weekend before IDAHO2010!

Gay, straight, black, white -- whatever you look like and whatever your political stripes are -- as long as you believe in love and equality for ALL people everywhere, we want you to join us in a kiss-in near where you are.


Details will be up soon on this very website, but if you think you can help us put together a kiss-in in your city, don't hesitate and write to us at idaho@gays.com! 

The Great Global Kiss-in is an official project by the Committee for the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHO) and Gays.com.

For their part, IDAHO wants the LGBT world-wide community to submit videos of same-sex smooches to be edited together for a video project.

From the IDAHO website:
This year, IDAHO will be marked by Kiss-in events organised in several cities around the world in a global celebration of love ! Features of these events, and messages from people around the world, will be edited into a global video for MAY 17th.

You can be part of it !

Record a  video of you with your partner and/or friends featuring friendly kisses in a creative way. Put these videos on Youtube or other video shareware and share them with kissin@idahomophobia.org or go directly to our special site www.gays.com/idaho

Organisations wishing to join in and create an event in their city should consult the frequently-asked-questions or write to contact@idahomophobia.org
Let us all get together and make this moment a global celebration !!
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hawaii House Approves Same-sex Civil Unions

The Associated Press reports:
HONOLULU -- The Hawaii House of Representatives has approved same-sex civil unions, sending the measure to the governor. The House voted 31-20 to give final legislative approval to civil unions Thursday. The bill passed the Senate in January. Republican Gov. Linda Lingle hasn't said whether she'll sign it.

The measure grants gay and lesbian couples the same rights and benefits the state provides to married couples. The issue was revived on the last day of this year's legislative session when House Majority Leader Blake Oshiro made a motion to reconsider it. The House declined to act earlier this year because of fears that the Democratic-controlled House wouldn't have enough votes to override Lingle if she vetoes it.
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Supremes to Decide if Anti-Gay Petition Signers Deserve Secrecy

In a closely-watched case involving last year's Washington State ballot initiative to overturn domestic partnerships, the Supreme Court is considering whether or not the names of those who signed the petition to put the measure on the ballot should be kept secret. This is considered by many to be a test case for future LGBT rights cases that are likely to find their way to this court, including the federal challenge to California's Proposition 8.

If Wednesday's opening session in the case of Doe vs. Reed is any indicator, it doesn't look good for the anti-gays. Conservatives fighting to keep the over 138,000 names secret contend that revealing those names would open up those people to the risk of harassment. One of the court's most conservative jurists, Antonin Scalia said, "running a democracy takes a certain amount of civic courage."
On Top reports:
In an amicus brief filed with the court, four gay rights groups – GLAD, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force – argued that opponents were feigning victimization.

“Petitioners seek, through their feint of victimization, to take away one of the few defenses that lesbian and gay individuals have to defend against hostile initiatives: the use of public records to stop the fraudulent qualification of such measures in the first place, and to lobby, through personal advocacy, the people who legislate using such measures,” the groups wrote.

“The Court should decline the invitation to scrap these protections based on a poorly-supported and largely fictitious tale that those who seek to deprive lesbian and gay Americans of rights are the ones being victimized.”
 Read the full story here.

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Gaga A'Capella: "Bad Romance" by Univ. of Oregon's On the Rocks (music video)

Here's the latest viral video that's been burning up the internets this week. The University of Oregon's award winning all male a capella group On the Rocks performing Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance", complete with choreography. 

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Va. Employers Can Now Offer Life Insurance to Partners of Gay Employees

How did this one get in under the radar? Is Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell softening his position on LGBT rights or is this just a ploy to make himself look less hateful in the wake of his recent string of homophobic policies?

It's more likely that Taliban Bob is feeling the a sense of urgency over Northrop-Grumman's yet to be announced decision on where to relocate their corporate headquarters. The company announced plans last year to relocate to the DC metro area. There has been a lot of pressure on the aerospace giant from LGBT rights groups to avoid Virginia due to our homophobic laws and instead choose the more queer-friendly environments of either Maryland or the District of Columbia.

From dcAgenda:
A bill enabling Virginia companies to offer life insurance benefits to the same-sex partners of employees became law earlier this month after Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) signed the measure.

The new law, approved by both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly with unanimous votes, was enacted after McDonnell signed it April 7.

Stacey Johnson, a McDonnell spokesperson, said the governor signed the bill into law because it passed with broad bipartisan support in the House and Senate. “In addition, it will have no fiscal impact on Virginia’s taxpayers,” she said. “The governor believes a decision about who an employer can extend life insurance coverage to should be made by the group policy holder and the insurer.”

Previously, state law permitted Virginia residents to take out group life insurance coverage only for a legal spouse or a child under age 25. But the new statute, which takes effect July 1, broadens that group of people to include anyone with whom a Virginia resident has a substantial and economic interest, including a same-sex partner.
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"Dr. Who?" Star Matt Smith to Play Gay Pioneer Christopher Isherwood

Pink News Reports:
The latest Doctor Who actor Matt Smith is to play gay writer Christopher Isherwood in a drama about the writer's life. Isherwood wrote A Single Man, which was recently adapted for a film starring Colin Firth. The drama will see Smith, 27, playing Isherwood as a young man who escapes his suffocating mother to move to Berlin in the 1930s.

Titled Christopher And His Kind, the show is based on Isherwood's memoirs of the same name. A source told The Sun: "This is a world away from what Matt's fans will expect. He's really excited and can't wait to get stuck in." Smith became the 11th Doctor Who last year, succeeding David Tennant.
Smith can be seen as the 11th Doctor in the current season of "Dr. Who?" on BBC America.
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New Wave Wednesday: "Goodbye to You", by Scandal (music video)

Scandal, fronted by lead singer Patty Smyth, topped the charts in the early and mid 80's with hits like "Goodbye to You" and "The Warrior". Smyth, who changed the spelling and pronunciation of her last name so as not to be confused with punk music legend Patti Smith, went to a moderately successful solo career after Scandal dissolved after a 1984 tour, most notabley with the Don Henley duet, "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough".

The reunited band in 2004 as Patty Smyth and Scandal. You can visit their website here.

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Washington Blade to Resume Publishing This Week

The Washington Post reports that  DC's weekly LGBT newspaper The Washington Blade, which closed it's doors in November after 40 years in business, will resume publishing this Friday under new ownership. Former staffers from the Blade, who founded the online news magazine dcAgenda within four days of losing their jobs, purchased the Blade's name, copyright, archives, computers and office furniture at a bankruptcy auction in late February for just $15,000.

The Washington Post article says, "The 40-year-old newspaper -- founded as a one-sheet newsletter in October 1969 just months after the Stonewall riots in New York incited the modern gay rights movement -- has published weekly editions under the name D.C. Agenda since Nov. 20, four days after parent company Window Media declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy and ceased operations. Working with half the staff of the Blade (which last year had 24 full-timers) and an array of freelancers, D.C. Agenda also relied on the generosity of lawyers, accountants, advertisers and readers from around the world, many of whom contributed pro bono or financial support, according to editor Kevin Naff."
 
Naff told the Post, "A lot of people really have an emotional connection to the Blade, and the outpouring since it closed was overwhelming and was really what led us to carry on. We'll be a leaner publication and we'll grow as we can afford to grow, but Friday's issue, as of now, is 56 pages, which is remarkable considering Agenda launched with eight pages."
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

St. Olaf Glee Club pays tribute to Betty White (video)

Betty White at the 1988 Emmy Awards.Image via Wikipedia


Three comics calling themselves The St. Olaf Glee Club pay a musical tribute to the legendary Betty White with a video montage of her 60+ years in show biz. If you subscribe via e-mail, you should really stop by the site for this one.



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AZ LGBT Activists Arrested at DADT Protest in John McCain's Office (video)

Five LGBT activists from the Phoenix, AZ group Human and Equal Rights Organizers (H.E.R.O.) followed in the footsteps of GetEqual on Monday and staged a sit in at the Phoenix offices of Sen. John McCian. The group called on the mavericky old dude to stand by his 2006 statement where he said he would follow the recommendation of military leaders regarding repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT). McCain has since reversed his position on repeal saying the current system is "working just fine."

The protesters told McCain's staff and local police that they refused to leave until Sen. McCain spoke to them  personally, which did not happen. The activists were arrested and as this video shows, the protest was peaceful, with all parties behaving in a respectful manner.

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Pelosi plans vote on DADT Repeal this year. We'll believe it when we see it.

A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday that the speaker intends to have a vote on the house floor on repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell by the end of the year.

DCAgenda reports:
“It is the Speaker’s intention that a vote will be taken this year on ['Don't Ask, Don't Tell'] in the House,” Drew Hammill, a Pelosi spokesperson, told DC  Agenda in a statement Monday.
The announcement is promising news for repeal advocates because Pelosi has yet to put legislation to the floor that hasn’t had sufficient support for passage. Michael Cole, a Human Rights Campaign spokesperson, praised Pelosi for planning the vote.
“As we’ve been saying for a long time now, the time to repeal the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law is this year, and it’s a positive sign to hear congressional leaders affirm that,” Cole said.
Still, Cole said further work is necessary to make repeal happen. “We need pressure on the Congress, we need pressure on the White House, we need pressure across the board, and as we get into this critical period, signs like that are promising,” he said.
Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said he learned the House was planning this vote last week in a meeting with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.
“I’m delighted that she’s reaffirmed to hold the vote this year,” he said. Sarvis said the planned vote is helpful because it “underscores to the White House the seriousness of purpose” and the importance of moving key votes in both the House and Senate the upcoming weeks.
I don't mean to be the fly in the ointment here but, although this sounds like great news, you don't have to dig very deep to find that the president and congress have been backing away from controversial legislation this year in the wake of last year's drastic health care overhaul. The Hill reported back in December, “The Speaker has told members in meetings that we’ve done our jobs,” a Democratic leadership aide said. “And that next year the Senate’s going to have to prove what it can accomplish before we go sticking our necks out any further.”

The other problem is that there are six key democratic senators that still need convincing on DADT repeal and the Republicans are dead set against it, with ex-maverick John McCain having told Admiral Mike Mullen that he thinks the current system is "working just fine".

Queerty had this to say about yesterday's news:
"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is promising a full floor vote on repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell by the end of 2010. Well, her office is calling it an "intention." We're calling it either a) a reaction to GetEQUAL storming her office; b) lip service; or c) both."

We've been down this road before folks. The mid-term elections are coming up and the Dems need our votes in what promises to be a very critical election year. A lot of people are pissed off at Obama and it's not just the Teabaggers. This year's vote could reshuffle the political deck in a way that puts the LGBT equality movement once again on the back burner for another decade. This is no time to relax. We can't afford to ease up on the pressure. Call your senators and congressional reps and urge them to back repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The number for the congressional switchboard is 1(202) 224-3121.

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Viking Zombie Boyfriend, by Jeremy Rizza (4-27-10)


Rorik and Dill reflect on a Sticky situation. 


Jeremy writes: 
"My original idea for Sticky’s dislike of Rorik was a convoluted story involving Rorik throwing a tantrum at a dentist office where Sticky worked as a receptionist, and it made so little sense that I finally scrapped it and went with Rorik sucker-punching Sticky in the face.  It’s so much more eloquent that way."

-- Jeremy Rizza

Visit VikingZombieBoyfriend.com for past strips, character back stories and VZB merchandise.  

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Betty White's SNL Promo Video

As you probably know by now, ever since her appearance in the now-famous Super Bowl ad for Snickers, Betty White has been the subject of a FaceBook campaign aimed at booking her to host Saturday Night Live. The folks at SNL apparently agreed that it would be a great idea and confirmed a few weeks ago that White will in fact host the show this weekend.


Here's the new promo video for the much anticipated May 8th show.

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Attend "Voices of Honor" in Blacksburg on Wednesday, Help Us Lobby Sen. Webb Friday

My good friend Terry McGuire from the Human Rights Campaign has put together an event called "Voices of Honor" in Blacksburg this week to help rally the LGBT community in southwestern Virginia to lobby Sen. Jim Webb for his support in repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".

Terry writes, "Voices of Honor (www.hrc.org/voicesofhonor) is a national tour aimed at generating grassroots pressure in support of the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' (DADT), and I'm really excited to help bring a stop to Blacksburg."

Blacksburg Voices of Honor
7pm this Wednesday, April 28th
Colonial Hall in Virginia Tech's Squires Student Center

The event will feature a screening of the award winning short documentary "Ask Not" (www.asknotfilm.com), as well as a Q&A panel with veterans from the film and the area. Terry has been working for over a month to secure support for repeal from US Senator Jim Webb, who sits on the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee. I hope you'll join us in participating in this historic movement to repeal this discriminatory law.

I have seen "Ask Not" and I can tell you it is very moving film and something everyone who cares about equality should see.

I'm taking this opportunity to once again remind my readers about the upcoming lobbying meeting on Friday with Sen. Webb's staff. The meeting will be held on Friday, April 30 from 10:00am - 11:00am, at 3140 Chaparral Drive Bldg C, ste 101, in Roanoke. Please e-mail me at rev.stevescyberpulpit@yahoo.com or respond via the Roanoke Equality event page.
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Archie Comics Introduces Gay Character

The publishers of Archie Comics announced last week the introduction of a new openly gay character, Kevin, in the September issue of "Veronica". The official press release says,

"The introduction of Kevin is just about keeping the world of Archie Comics current and inclusive. Archie's hometown of Riverdale has always been a safe world for everyone. It just makes sense to have an openly gay character in Archie comic books," stated Archie Comics Co- CEO, Jon Goldwater.

VERONICA #202 features the full-issue story, "Isn't it Bromantic?" that introduces Kevin, Archie Comics' first openly gay character. Kevin Keller is the new hunk in town and Veronica just has to have him. After Kevin defeats Jughead in a burger eating contest at Pop's Chocklit Shoppe, she desperately latches onto him. Mayhem and hilarity ensue as Kevin desperately attempts to let Veronica down easy and her flirtations only become increasingly persistent.

This is a big step forward in the world of comics. Although there have been gay super hero characters introduced in recent years, like DC Comics' current incarnation of Catwoman and Marvel Comics' Colossus, this is the first time we've seen a gay character in a normal high school setting.

The website goes on the say, "the introduction of Kevin as an openly gay character is part of the commitment to keep Archie properties reflective of the current world of teens and teen media."

Showing Kevin as just another character goes a long way in helping LGBT kids feel less isolated. Let's hope that the writers develop the character in such a way that the fact that he's gay is not the most interesting thing about him.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

"Gay Watch": Jon Stewart's take on GetEqual's Obama Protest & Lindsey Graham's Outing (video)

"Everyone knows if a Republican comes out of the closet and sees a gay shadow, it means six more years of a Democratic administration."
The Daily Show


The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Friendly Fire - Gaywatch Edition
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

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Transgendered Activist was once Brother-in-Law to Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell

This article was posted Wednesday on the Washington Post's Virginia Politics Blog. It may explain a lot about why Bob McDonnell is such a flaming homophobe.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's former brother-in-law, who is transgendered, was one of several speakers at a rally outside the Capitol today pushing for a state law to provide protections for workers based on sexual orientation. Robyn Deane said she decided to go public today to offer her former brother-in-law help in coming around on his views on gay rights issues. "I believe Bob is in a unique position,'' she said in an interview. "I want to help him."


Deane, 55, of Richmond, was married to First Lady Maureen McDonnell's younger sister, Ellen, for 17 years. The couple divorced 1999 and has three children, ages 26, 22 and 19.  About 50 protesters, many wearing red, gathered under umbrellas and rain coats at a rainy rally in Capitol Square held by the gay rights group Equality Virginia. They urged legislators to "Don't Hate/Legislate," asking that lawmakers change write legal protections for gay residents into state code. Some held signs that read "Equality is Good." 
"This is a personal matter,'' McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said. "The Governor wishes Robyn the very best."voices.washingtonpost.com, Virginia Politics Blog, Apr 2010

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

From Protest March to Lavish Parades: Has Pride Lost its Meaning?

Since the passing and subsequent upholding of California's Proposition 8, a renewed sense of grass roots activism has swept the LGBT Community across the nation and around the world. The National March on Washington last fall drew roughly 200,000 LGBT Americans from all over the U.S. to the nation's capital to demand that our leaders take action in securing full and equal protection under the law for our community. People came home from the march with a renewed sense of purpose and energy.
As Pride season quickly approaches, there is a move underway to re-infuse a sense of political action to the annual parades, festivals and parties. The group, Take Back Pride has issued an open letter to the LGBT Community calling for a return to our movement's activist roots.

The letter states, in part, "The organizers of Pride Marches around the country work tirelessly over the course of the year to bring us the most inclusive marches and celebrations in the world. We want to help those organizers by working with them to implement plans for education and protest within our marches."

This year there will be another mini-march of sorts at Pride in the Park in September. I encourage you all to take part in the march and to bring your protest signs and/or banners and wear your protest t-shirts calling for action from our elected officials.

We should never forget that the first "Pride Parades" were actually "Gay Liberation" protests held in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, on June 29, 1970 to mark the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. They were political demonstrations against discriminatory laws that have cost our community our jobs, our families, our homes and our dignity.

In the 40 years since those first marches, we can still lose our jobs in 29 states -- including Virginia -- just for being who we are. We still cannot serve our country openly in the U.S. military. Our families are denied full legal recognition and protection.

So this year, whether you travel to another city for Pride and/or when you turn out here in Roanoke this September, bring the spirit of Stonewall with you. Have a great time, but never forget, that it's not about being fabulous, it's about fighting for your rights. Following is the full text of the letter from TakeBackPride.com For the sake of space I have included only a few of the 60+ activists, bloggers and others who have cosigned the letter:
Dear Members of the LGBTQ Community, Our Allies and Community Partners,
While last year we celebrated the 40th Anniversary of our liberation at Stonewall on the last Sunday of June in 1969, we are celebrating another anniversary in 2010. And we need to do it right.
On the last Sunday in June 1970, Gay Liberation Front and Gay Activists Alliance, in commemoration of the Stonewall riots, staged the first “Gay Liberation Day March.” Organizers in Los Angeles and San Francisco also held marches that day.
We have much to celebrate. As a community we have struggled and fought for our very lives. Together, we have accomplished what at one time was a fantasy at best. Our sexual liberation has been celebrated every year now for 40 years with what was once a march and is now a parade, in the streets of New York and dozens of other cities across the country and the world.
This year, in light of the major battles we have ahead of us, we are asking for all of you to join us in taking back pride. While we have so much to be proud of in what we have accomplished as a community, this fight is far from over. We want our community to not only remember those who have fought and died before us, but to forge ahead in the struggle -- so that our children may one day live truly free and equal lives in this country.
The organizers of Pride Marches around the country work tirelessly over the course of the year to bring us the most inclusive marches and celebrations in the world. We want to help those organizers by working with them to implement plans for education and protest within our marches.
We know that our community is made up of every race, creed, religious affiliation and political background imaginable. We come from everywhere, from Africa to New Zealand. We represent Conservatives and Socialists. We are made up of Catholics and Buddhists alike. The time has come to embrace our ideals and differences and remember that what we have in common as a community - is our strength.
For Pride 2010, we ask that organizers and participants of marches around this great country take this opportunity to be heard. Yell. Scream. Chant. Wear your chaps and thongs, but carry a sign while you do it. Put on your most sequined ball gown, but shout for your rights as you flaunt your fabulousness. The sheer number of people who turn out in the streets this June will send a clear message around the world that we are not content with what we have. We are somebody. We deserve full equality.
If you’re marching with a group, ask your group what they are angry about. It could be Marriage Inequality, or Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It could be that in 31 states, you can still be fired for being gay (see the “What Are You Angry About” section of the Take Back Pride page.)
We owe it to our community and to those young gay people who are still afraid to say who they are to TAKE BACK PRIDE. Make your signs. Create your chants. It’s time for us all to remember this is a march, not a parade. This is OUR celebration of who we are and it has the potential to once again be something we are ALL truly proud of.
On Tuesday, May 11th in New York City, we will be having a community town hall discussion about what we can do to Take Back Pride. We encourage all groups participating in Pride to take part. And for those of you outside New York, the meeting will be posted on YouTube. You may also visit www.TakeBackPride.org to see how YOU can help Take Back Pride.
Jamie McGonnigal, www.TalkAboutEquality.org
Lt. Dan Choi, U.S. National Guard
Alan Bounville, Member-Queer Rising, New York
Robin McGehee, GetEQUAL
Wayne Besen, Founder & Executive Director Truth Wins Out


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GetEqual Strikes Again, Interrupts House Committee Meeting (Video)

After heckling president Obama on Monday night during a speech at a fundraiser in LA, followed by several of its members, led by Lt. Dan Choi, chaining themselves to the White House fence on Tuesday, LGBT activists from GetEqual interrupted a Health Education and Labor Committee meeting in Washington on Wednesday challenging Chairman Miller to stop delaying the vote on ENDA.

The group was escorted out of the room by gay congressman Jared Polis. GetEqual founder Robin McGehee continues the confrontation in the hallway, challenging Polis to push to move the legislation through the committee for a full vote. Listen for the young woman asking Polis, "Can you pay attention?"

The sticking point with this version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is the inclusion of gender expression and identity as protected classes. GetEqual's Autumn Sandeen had this to say about the subject earlier this week:
"If you're gay, lesbian, or bisexual, would you sacrifice for your trans neighbors and siblings? If you're trans, would you sacrifice for your gay, lesbian, or bisexual neighbors and siblings? It's something worth knowing about yourself and those around you."
--Autumn Sandeen, 4/19/2010, the night before GetEQUAL's DADT repeal protest at the White House

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

When Wing-nuts Eat Their Own: Border Militia Group "Outs" SC's Lindsey Graham at Teabagger Rally

When radicals start cannibalizing their own, it's a major sign that their movement is in its final death throws. That's what happened in Greenville, SC over the weekend when  William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee (ALIPAC) addressed a Tea Party rally. Gheen says that the only reason Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has reached across party aisles to work with Democrats is that he's being blackmailed because he is secretly gay.

Graham, a "confirmed bachelor", has been the subject of rumors and speculation for years over his sexuality due to his effeminate demeanor and single status. Graham voted for the "Defense of Marriage Act" and has received a 0% rating on LGBT issues from the Human Rights Campaign.

However, not satisfied to simply diss Graham in front of ravenous teabaggers, Gheen sent out the folowing statement via mass e-mail:
The national border security organization known as Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) is officially calling for US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to make his homosexual lifestyle public knowledge in the interest of political integrity and national security...

"US Senator Lindsey Graham is gay and while many people in South Carolina and Washington DC know that, the general public and Graham's constituents do not," said William Gheen President of ALIPAC. "I personally do not care about Graham's private life, but in this situation his desire to keep this a secret may explain why he is doing a lot of political dirty work for others who have the power to reveal his secrets. Senator Graham needs to come out of the closet inside that log cabin so the public can rest assured he is not being manipulated with his secret."
In the following video clip from the Tea Bagger event, Gheen compares Graham to Barney Frank, saying at least Frank is not hiding and can't be blackmailed. Let's hope the circular firing squad continues.



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New Wave Wednesday: "I Melt With You", by Modern English (music video)

The British post-punk/New Wave band Modern English reached #7 on the Billboard charts with its 1982 hit "I Melt With You". You may recognize this song from the various TV commercials its been used in, most notably the Hershey's Chocolate ad currently in rotation.

This song also rated #7 on VH-1's Top 100 One-hit Wonders of the 80's

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Lt. Dan Choi, 5 Others Arrested at White House, Cops Shut Down Press Coverage (video)

Lt. Dan Choi and five others were arrested for chaining themselves to the White House fence on Tuesday in a protest organized by the LGBT rights group GetEqual.

It was the second time for Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo. Others participating in the protest were Petty Officer Larry Whitt, Petty Officer Autumn Sandeen, Cadet Mara Boyd, and Cpl. Evelyn Thomas.

The protest came on the heels of a protest staged over the weekend where GetEqual members heckled President Obama at a fundraiser of Sen. Barbara Boxer.

GetEqual posted the following statement on their website:
"Our hopes swelled when President Obama promised to end Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT). But his words mean nothing without action. And he has an opportunity to take action right now, by placing repeal language in the Defense Authorization Bill (DAB), which provides funding for all military operations. But recent reports suggest that the Administration is trying to delay any law change until December or even later."



In a move that is reminiscent of the heavy-handed government reaction to anti-war protests during the 60's, Park police closed Lafayette Park, located directly across Pennsylvania Ave. from the White House fence where the incident took place and refused to allow reporters to use the park to film or report on the event. Is this president afraid of a little dissent?

Why would our government censor press coverage of a protest against a policy that the president has repeatedly promised to repeal? Maybe because as critics have said, Obama has no plans repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell this year as he promised.


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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Georgia Gay Teens Attend Prom Amid Cheers of Support

Derrick Martin arrived at his prom Saturday night with his date on his arm and a smile on his face like so many other teens at so many other proms this year. The difference was that Derrick's date was his boyfriend, Richard Goodman. Unlike what happened a few weeks ago in Mississippi to Constance McMillen, this was not a fake prom, there was no scheming or lying, only cheers of support from parents and classmates.

Couples began arriving at about 7:45 pm to find tight security provided by about 15 officers around the grounds of Bleckley County High School.

Macon.com reports:
When Martin, 18, and his boyfriend Richard Goodman, also 18, stepped onto a makeshift “red carpet” and their names were announced, a few parents whispered but many in the crowd gave him a loud cheer. No one yelled out in protest.

“I wonder if they realize what they’ve done,” said Arturro Beeche, a San Francisco professor who flew into Georgia on Friday and drove Martin and Goodman to the prom. “Once it happens in small-town America, it will inspire so many,” he said.
In a sad twist, although Derrick won the right to attend the prom with his date, his parents threw him out of his home due to all the press attention.
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