Thursday, June 30, 2011

Quack of the Week (6-30-11)

Posted with permission. Visit for more Duck Toons, featuring Buckminster Duck.

Rhode Island Lawmakers Approve Marriage Lite

It's not real marriage, but an incredible simulation, kind of like Beatlemania. Lawmakers in the miniature New England state of Rhode Island voted Wednesday to legalize Civil Unions. Governor Chaffee has said he intends to sign the bill into law.

While queer activists and churchy types bitch and moan about religious exemptions, my advice to both parties is to take your circle jerk to the nearest highway rest area where it belongs.

I've made it clear on numerous occasions that I believe Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships are a separate and unequal status for gay and lesbian couples that are nothing more than the government issuing an official statement that we are not good enough and are undeserving of equal protection under the law.

That's all I have to say on the subject. Rhode Island is so small that you could sneeze and drive right past it. I would suggest to anyone living in that mob-run, micro-state who wants to get married for real that they drive the extra ten minutes to either Vermont or Massachusetts and get it done right.
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Evolve Already! Victory Over DOMA in Immigration, Not In Bankruptcy Court

This morning I'm introducing a new segment called Evolve Already!, where I'll be taking a look at President Obama's long, slow evolution on Marriage Equality and the often contradictory and hypocritical application of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1993 law banning federal recognition of same-sex marriage. The President and Attorney General Eric Holder have said the administration will no longer defend DOMA in court, due to their shared opinion that section 3 of the law is unconstitutional.

As it turns out, the administration will only walk the walk when it suits them.

First up is the immigration case of Venezuelan-born Henry Velandia, 27, who legally married his husband, Josh Vandiver, 30, in Connecticut in 2010. Velandia has been fighting his deportation for most of the last year, because under DOMA, he has not been able to obtain legal residency status. After A.G. Holder announced the administration's new position on DOMA, Velandia's case was put on hold by the court, while the administration sorted out how their new position would apply in immigration cases.

The New York Times reported overnight that the court has decided to drop the case against Velandia.
The announcement comes as immigration officials put into effect new, more flexible guidelines governing the deferral and cancellation of deportations, particularly for immigrants with no serious criminal records.
Immigration lawyers and gay rights advocates said the decision represented a significant shift in policy and could open the door to the cancellation of deportations for other immigrants in same-sex marriages.
“This action shows that the government has not only the power but the inclination to do the right thing when it comes to protecting certain vulnerable populations from deportation,” said the couple’s lawyer, Lavi Soloway.
The court's decision could have a ripple effect nationwide as other bi-national gay and lesbian couples and their families fight to stay together in the U.S.

Now for the two steps back.

At a time when every American family is fighting to survive during the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, the Obama administration has filed an appeal in the California bankruptcy case of Gene Balas and Carlos Morales, a legally married gay couple, who were initially told by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court that they could not file jointly for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy protection because of DOMA.

The couple appealed the decision. On June 15 Judge Thomas Donovan issued a ruling in the case, where he agreed with the administration that section 3 of DOMA was unconstitutional and that Balas and Morales could proceed with their joint filing.

On Wednesday, the U.S. government's appointed trustee in the case filed an appeal, as the president sidestepped direct questions about his evolution on marriage equality during a press conference. The appeal reads, in part:
Although Attorney General and the President have concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same sex couples is subject to heightened scrutiny and is unconstitutional under that standard, the  President has instructed that Executive Departments and agencies continue to comply with Section 3 unless and until it is repealed by Congress or there is a definitive ruling by the Judicial Branch that Section 3 is unconstitutional.
This appeal makes no sense at all. Obama and Holder say they believe DOMA is, at least in part, unconstitutional and a federal judge agrees with them and rules accordingly. Instead of allowing this financially struggling couple to file jointly, the feds decide to waste taxpayer dollars to fight a decision that they essentially agree with.

Given that the Prop 8 challenge may not make it to the U.S. Supreme Court due to the lack of legal standing of the anti-gay side to appeal, this may actually be the case that defeats DOMA once and for all.


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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New Wave Wednesday: "A Little Respect", by Erasure

ErasureCover of ErasureThis week's featured artists Erasure have a long musical history within the LGBT community. Band mates Vince Clark and Andy Bell have been playing concert halls and Pride events for nearly 30 years. Clark was a founding member of Depeche Mode and the British pop band Yazoo.

Bell provided lead vocals for Bronski Beat (Small Town Boy) in his trademark falsetto.

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Obama Hosts Pride Reception Tonight as Pressure Mounts to Evolve on Marriage Equality

President Barack Obama campaigned three years ago claiming to be a fierce advocate for LGBT equality. Our community helped him raise millions of dollars and turned out in record numbers to put him in office. His record on moving our fight forward has received mixed reviews.

We got Hate Crimes legislation passed and DADT repeal could be certified this summer. But ENDA was allowed to die in congress and there seems to be no sign of resurrection any time soon.

When it comes to Marriage Equality, the president says he is against discriminatory laws that violate the rights of LGBT people, but marriage is in the purview of the states. He famously said that his views are "evolving", but many claim he's trying to have it both ways, giving liberals hope, while not alienating more conservative elements of the Democratic party and independent voters.

With the huge step forward on passage of New York's Marriage Equality Act, which more than doubled the number of gay and lesbian couples eligible to legally marry in the U.S. and the start of the 2012 election cycle, the president can no longer afford to straddle the fence.

The Washington Post's Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote Tuesday:
For months, Mr. Obama, who has in the past opposed same-sex marriage, has said his views are “evolving.” But last week’s vote in Albany has intensified pressure on the president to say where he stands, particularly after remarks he made at a Manhattan fund-raiser disappointed and confused many gay rights advocates, including some of his most ardent supporters.
Some are now comparing Mr. Obama unfavorably with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat who championed the New York bill and helped get it passed in a Republican-controlled Senate.
Some of us have speculated that Obama may be deliberately holding back until after the election and will then give his full support for marriage equality and the rest of the laundry list of promises he made to us. Only time will tell if this is the case. Before you rush to judgement, remember how it all went down with DADT repeal. While the LGBT community railed against his inaction, the president was meeting with activists, military leaders and congressional and senate leaders behind the scenes.

For the sake of argument, let's say that Obama has a plan and doesn't want to tip his hand, but his re-election is by no means a sure thing. With so much at stake, can we afford to gamble on our rights?

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sometimes It Takes a Village Idiot: The Best of Michele Bachmann (video)

Gacy as "Pogo The Clown""Killer Clown" John Wayne Gacy, Bachmann's inspiration.
Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, the new Sarah Palin, is apparently the best the GOP can come up with so far to challenge President Obama in the 2012 elections. She made the news yesterday for her comments in her former home town of Waterloo, Iowa where she compared herself to Waterloo's other famous resident, John Wayne, saying, "that's the kind of spirit I have too."

The problem is, John Wayne was not from Waterloo at all. It's actually John Wayne Gacey, the Killer Clown who raped and murdered 33 boys that hales from Bachmann's old stomping grounds.

While most people can't wait for Bachmann to just go away, I am one of her biggest supporters. I say give her all the camera time she wants. We haven't had this much fun in a presidential campaign in decades. Nothing any Democrat could say about Bachmann could be as damaging, or entertaining, as letting her speak for herself.

You don't believe me? Here's a Best of Bachmann video showing just how out of touch the Moron from Minnesota really is. Hat tip to Alvin McEwan for sharing this video.

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Pat Robertson Says God Will Destroy America Over Gay Marriage (video)

The 700 ClubImage via WikipediaAccording to religious whack-job Pat Robertson, who believes he lives in a protective prayer bubble that has the power to repel hurricanes, God is a member of Al Qaida and is determined to destroy America if we let the gays marry. He announced on his Monday 700 Club broadcast that God's destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was just a warning shot to all us angel rapers.

As a side note, my partner's 98-year-old grandmother was one of the original 700 members of Pat's club. She once told me that the internet was going to bring about the end of the world. "It's in the Bible", she told me.

I wish these folks would make up their minds about what's going to bring on Armageddon. It's so hard to know what to wear.

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DOD Confirms Four DADT Discharges, Servicemembers Outed Themselves

The Pentagon confirmed on Monday that four Air Force servicemembers have been discharged under Don't Ask, Don't Tell since the House and Senate voted to repeal  the law last year. The four in question volunteered their sexual orientation for the express purpose of using DADT to get out of the service.

Air Force Spokesman Maj. Joel Harper told The Advocate that all four individuals made voluntary statements about their sexual orientation and requested to be "separated expeditiously" from service.

The Pentagon would not release or confirm the names of the four military personnel for privacy reasons, but released the following statement Monday:
“On April 29th, 2011, the Secretary of the Air Force approved the discharge of an Airman under the provisions of 10 USC 654. On May 31st, 2011, the Secretary of the Air Force approved discharges of two Airmen under the provisions of 10 USC 654. On June 23, 2011, the Secretary of the Air Force accepted the resignation of an Airman who asked to be separated under the provisions of 10 USC 654.
“Each case was approved after coordination with the DoD General Counsel and the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. The officials evaluated these cases carefully and concluded that separation was appropriate. 
“Each Airman made a statement identifying themselves as gay. Each Airman asked to be separated expeditiously after being informed of the current status of the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' Until repeal occurs, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' remains the law."
29 Apr -- Airman 1st Class, Male
31 May -- Staff Sgt., Female
31 May -- Staff Sgt., Female
23 Jun -- 2nd Lt., Male
Servicemembers United released the following statement about the recent discharges:
"It is rather shocking that we continue to see isolated incidents of servicemembers trying to force the Pentagon to let them out of their service obligations because the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law still technically remains on the books," said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans. "The Pentagon has made it abundantly clear that it does not want to enforce 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' any longer and that it is more than willing to deal with any lingering harassment issues through the chain of command or, in the case of command involvement, the base's or post's Inspector General's office. Thousands of servicemembers have dreamed of the day when 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' would be virtually dead and commands would plead with openly gay servicemembers to remain in the service. It really would behoove the Defense Department to expedite certification so that no one can use this archaic law as a loophole to leave the military early anymore."
Aubrey Sarvis, of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, had this to say:
“These Air Force discharges underscore that DADT investigations and discharges continue. Unfortunately, SLDN has a client right now who was recently recommended for discharge at a board hearing, and his paperwork is headed to the Navy Secretary. He made no statement, and he wants to continue serving. We have another client who is having a board hearing later this week, and if this senior enlisted person is recommended for discharge, her paperwork will likely be before the Navy Secretary in short order. She, too, wishes to continue serving. Let me be clear. At SLDN, we have scores of clients who have been advised they are under DADT investigations. Some of these clients have between 10 and 15 years of honorable service, few made voluntary statements, and none to my knowledge has asked to be ‘separated expeditiously.’ For these service members, especially, certification and final repeal cannot come soon enough. The continued stress of investigations and the risk of separation under DADT is real and very much imminent.”
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Monday, June 27, 2011

What a Weekend! Roanoke Remembers Stonewall, NYC Pride Celebrates Marriage, Chicago Pride Float Tires Slashed, Anchorage Pride Canceled Over Tragedy

Rainbow flag flapping in the wind with blue sk...Image via WikipediaAs the queer universe celebrated the 42nd anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, the historic event that kicked the LGBT rights movement into high gear, cities everywhere turned out to celebrate Marriage Equality in New York. Some events were marred by hate and tragedy.

A small crowd gathered here in Roanoke Saturday for the 3rd Annual Stonewall Remembrance Rally. I was honored to be one of the speakers at the event, which included Frank House (Roanoke Equality), Garland Gravely (Fashionista Roanoke), MCC's Rev. Joe Cobb, Roanoke Pride Committee Co-Chair, Sean Avidano, veteran activist Richard Ward and Equality Virginia's Michael Sutphin.

The event actually got some coverage this year in the Roanoke Times, which I cross posted yesterday. Local TV media ignored the event again, even though I sent a personal plea to NewsChannel 10 anchor Jay Warren, who used to be a regular fixture at The Park for many years and who, with his long time partner, never missed Roanoke Pride every September. That is, until he got the anchor gig.

All I ask of you, Jay, is to stop ignoring your own community. You are in a unique position to do a lot of good for a lot of people. Would it have been so hard for you to ask your boss to send a guy with a camera to recognize Roanoke's LGBT community as we celebrate our history... your history? It's 2011, for Christ's sake! What are you so afraid of, Jay?

Meanwhile, up north, New York's Christopher Street was overflowing with jubilation, as Pride weekend kicked off with the news of the passage of The Marriage Equality bill, which Governor Cuomo signed into law late Friday night.

 Chicago's Pride parade was delayed due to vandalism, when organizers discovered the tires of all 51 floats had been slashed overnight. The Windy City Times reports:
In what could be a hate crime, dozens of tires on floats headed for Chicago's Pride Parade were cut with knifes just hours before the Parade Sunday.
Chuck Huser, owner of long-time Pride float provider Assocated Attractions at 4834 S. Halsted on Chicago's South Side, said the floats were fine when he left 8 p.m. Saturday night, but when he returned 5 a.m. Sunday to start preparation for drivers to depart, he found two tires punctured each on more than 30 floats.
"This is catastrophic," he told Windy City Times at 8 a.m. June 26. "This has never happened before, and we have been doing this since 1989."
The attackers [broke] in but did no other damage to the floats, and they took nothing else, leaving Huser to believe this had to be a hate crime. No notes were left.
Huser has filed a police report, but his main focus the morning of the Pride Parade was finding an open tire shop, where they were running back and forth to repair the tires.
The AP reports on a tragedy that resulted in the cancellation of of Anchorage Alaska's pride parade:
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A gay pride parade in downtown Anchorage on Saturday was canceled after a convertible carrying the grand marshal fatally struck a man, authorities said.
Anchorage police Lt. Dave Parker said James L. Crump, 50, was killed while participating in the Celebrating Diversity Parade. He said the car accelerated and ran over the man just minutes after the parade scheduled for 11 a.m. started.
Officers "immediately started CPR, but were not able to revive him," Parker said. "He was declared deceased at the scene." Police questioned the driver and authorities were trying to determine whether the collision was caused by mechanical failure or driver error. There was no indication that alcohol was involved.
Grand marshal Doug Frank told the Anchorage Daily News that the convertible's driver had trouble with the car's accelerator. "It ran over a person, totally over," Frank said, sobbing. "This went from one of the best days of my life to the worst."
Organizers told parade-watchers to head to a nearby park where the Alaska PrideFest was taking place. An announcer urged people to clear the parade area to make way for emergency vehicles and police cars. People later held a brief prayer ceremony at the festival.
"It should be a day we're celebrating our diversity, not having to focus on the death of anyone, especially one of our own," said Michael French, who was working at one of the festival's booths.
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Viral Video: "Mellow Brick Road"

Screenshot of Judy Garland from the trailer fo..."Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
As a life long Friend of Dorothy, I just love this awesome new video called Mellow Brick Road. Musician "Pogo" put together the mix using samples of sounds, music and vocals from "The Wizard of Oz". Pogo then held a contest to see who could come up with the best video for the tune.

The winning entry comes from Reed Gauthier, who takes us through Dorothy's incredible trip to Oz and back in just over four minutes. I can't think of a more fitting way to cap off an historic weekend.

Big thanks to the folks at Bilerico for sharing this.

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Viking Zombie Boyfriend, by Jeremy Rizza (6-27-11)

Jeremy writes:
Forget hockey fights or mixed martial arts tournaments... there’s nothing quite as brutal as two queens pretending to apologize to each other.  You’ll note that Sticky came to his senses and is looking more like himself again.  I like the little dab of punky color in his hair.  It reminds me of Manila Luzon from the last season of Rupaul’s Drag Race. When she wasn’t performing, she looked like a twink version of Cruella DeVille. (It killed me when she didn’t win...)

Next week: Dill’s ex, “Rowdy Joe” Rasputin, hits the airwaves!

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

Stay connected by liking VZB on Facebook.

Posted with permission.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Group observes gay rights movement -


The event in Roanoke marked the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York.

About 20 people gathered in downtown Roanoke on Saturday to support gay rights, organizers said.
The third annual Stonewall Remembrance Rally was organized months ago but fell coincidentally the day after New York legislators passed a landmark bill legalizing gay marriage in that state.
The Stonewall riots of 1969, which took place in New York City, are often recognized as the beginning of the gay rights movement in America.
Half a dozen people spoke at the Roanoke event, which was held in Century Square between Kirk and Church avenues, said Betsy Parkins, 44, the founder of a networking group for professionals in Roanoke's gay community.
Parkins said the rally took on new meaning after the New York gay community's legal victory.
"To me, it's a sentimental moment in our work toward equality," she said of the bill's passage. "It's incredibly important."
With the New York bill signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state becomes the largest in the country to allow same-sex marriage. Five other states permit gay marriage: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, plus the District of Columbia.
Virginia voters in 2006 ratified an amendment to the state constitution that defines marriage as "a union between one man and one woman."
Parkins, an account executive for a Roanoke advertising agency, said the gathering reaffirmed her hope that Virginia will one day allow gay marriage.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Governor Cuomo Announces Passage of Marriage Equality Act

Freedom to MarryImage via Wikipedia
Albany, NY (June 24, 2011)

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced passage of the Marriage Equality Act, granting same-sex couples the freedom to marry under the law, as well as hundreds of rights, benefits, and protections that have been limited to married couples of the opposite sex.

"New York has finally torn down the barrier that has prevented same-sex couples from exercising the freedom to marry and from receiving the fundamental protections that so many couples and families take for granted," Governor Cuomo said. "With the world watching, the Legislature, by a bipartisan vote, has said that all New Yorkers are equal under the law. With this vote, marriage equality will become a reality in our state, delivering long overdue fairness and legal security to thousands of New Yorkers."

"I commend Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Minority Leader John Sampson for their leadership and Senator Tom Duane for his lifetime commitment to fighting for equality for all New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo continued. "I also thank Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell for ushering this measure through their chamber."

The Marriage Equality Act amends New York's Domestic Relations Law to state:
  • A marriage that is otherwise valid shall be valid regardless of whether the parties to the marriage are of the same or different sex
  • No government treatment or legal status, effect, right, benefit, privilege, protection or responsibility relating to marriage shall differ based on the parties to the marriage being the same sex or a different sex
  • No application for a marriage license shall be denied on the ground that the parties are of the same or a different sex
The Marriage Equality Act was amended to include protections for religious organizations. The Act states that no religious entity, benevolent organization or not-for-profit corporation that is operated, supervised or controlled by a religious entity, or their employees can be required to perform marriage ceremonies or provide their facilities for marriage ceremonies, consistent with their religious principles. In addition, religious entities will not be subject to any legal action for refusing marriage ceremonies. The Act will grant equal access to the government-created legal institution of civil marriage while leaving the religious institution of marriage to its own separate and fully autonomous sphere. Additionally, the Act was amended to include a clause that states that if any part is deemed invalid through the judicial process and after all appeals in the courts, the entire Act would be considered invalid.

The Act was made a reality thanks largely to New Yorkers United for Marriage, a coalition of leading New York LGBT rights organizations who have fought so that all couples in New York have the freedom to marry. The partners include Empire State Pride Agenda, Freedom to Marry, Human Rights Campaign, Marriage Equality New York, and Log Cabin Republicans.

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Gay Marriage Approved by New York Senate -

Rainbow flag flapping in the wind with blue sk...Happy Pride Weekend New York!
ALBANY — Lawmakers voted late Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples can wed, and giving the national gay-rights movement new momentum from the state where it was born.
The same-sex marriage bill was approved on a 33 to 29 vote, as four Republican state senators joined 29 Democrats in voting for the bill. The Senate galleries were so packed with supporters and opponents that the fire marshals closed them off. And along the Great Western Staircase, outside the Senate chamber, about 100 demonstrators chanted and waved placards throughout the night — separated by a generation, a phalanx of state troopers and 10 feet of red marble.
“Support traditional marriage,” read signs held by opponents. “Love is love, Vote Yes,” declared those in the hands of the far more youthful group of people who supported it.
Senate approval was the final hurdle for the same-sex marriage legislation, which is strongly supported by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and was approved last week by the Assembly. Mr. Cuomo is expected to sign the measure soon, and the law will go into effect 30 days later, meaning that same-sex couples could begin marrying in New York by midsummer.

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Still No Vote Yet on NY Marriage Equality Bill, Could Happen Today (Video)

While the president refused to evolve on Marriage Equality, New York State legislators hashed out a variety of legislative measures, but kept kicking the gays to the back of the line. Anderson Cooper discussed the developments with Freedom to Marry's Evan Wolfson and Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin last night on AC360.

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Nothing New from Obama as NY Lawmakers Work Late into the Night on Marriage Equality Bill

Rainbow American flag promoting equality for e...Image via WikipediaAgainst a backdrop of increased pressure to get off the fence on marriage equality, President Obama spoke to an LGBT group at a Democratic fundraiser in New York City Thursday night, as lawmakers in Albany worked into the night on legislation that could make same-sex marriage legal in the Empire State.

The president reiterated to the crowd his belief that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional and should be repealed and restated his position that LGBT Americans should enjoy all the same rights as everyone else. However, president stopped short of endorsing marriage equality, saying it should be left to the states to decide. He acknowledge New York's Marriage Equality Bill, telling the crowd, "I want to say that under the leadership of Governor [Andrew] Cuomo, with the support of Democrats and Republicans, New York is doing exactly what democracies are supposed to do. There’s a debate; there’s deliberation about what it means here in New York to treat people fairly in the eyes of the law.”

The Washington Blade reports:
About 600 donors, mostly male, sat at round tables in a large ballroom for the $1,250-a-plate dinner at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in New York. Gay actor Neil Patrick Harris and Capt. Jonathan Hopkins, a West Point graduate who was discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” introduced Obama at the start of the event.
Advocates had been hoping that Obama, who has previously suggested his position could evolve on same-sex marriage, would come out for gay nuptials and endorse the New York marriage bill during the fundraiser. But before the fundraiser, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said during a press gaggle that Obama wouldn’t issue such an endorsement during the speech.
At an earlier point in his remarks, while beginning to list his achievements for the LGBT community, Obama was interrupted by hecklers who shouted, “Marriage! Marriage!” in an apparent attempt to get the president on board with marriage equality.
The president replied, “I heard that. Believe it or not I anticipated that.” Despite the heckling, no attendees were escorted out of the event.
Obama continued listing his accomplishments for the LGBT community and said he would continue to fight against discrimination against LGBT people, recalling that legislative passage of a hate crimes protections and legislation allowing for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal occurred under his watch.
“I believed that discrimination because of somebody’s sexual orientation or gender identity ran counter to who we are as a people, and it’s a violation of the basic tenets on which this nation was founded,” Obama said. “I believe that gay couples deserve the same legal rights as every other couple in this country.”
Meanwhile, outside the hotel, GetEqual protesters took to the streets in an effort to remind the president that if he wants our financial support and our support at the polls and in the 2012 election, he's going to have to do more to earn it.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

US Airways Dress Code for Men: No saggy pants, women's lingerie okay.

Example of US Airways approved attire.
As the summer vacation season shifts into high gear, there are a few things you need to remember before you head to the airport. Along with the usual invasive security scans, enhanced pat downs and restrictions on what you can or can't pack in your carry-on bags, you must comply with the Airline's passenger dress code. Non-compliance may result in your arrest.

The problem is, it's not always clear what constitutes a violation. MSNBC Reports:

US Airways has acknowledged that less than a week before having a college student arrested for allegedly refusing to hike up his saggy pants while boarding, the airline allowed a man wearing little more than women’s underwear, black thigh-high stockings and heels to fly.

On June 16, University of New Mexico football player Deshon Marman was removed from a US Airways flight at San Francisco International Airport and arrested for refusing to follow crew members’ requests to hike up his saggy pants.
At the time, an airline spokesperson said that while the airline “does not have a specific dress code …we do ask that our passengers dress in an appropriate manner to ensure the safety and comfort of all of our passengers.”
Now there are reports — and a photo published in the San Francisco Chronicle —showing that six days before the saggy-pants incident, the airline allowed a man to board a flight in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., wearing an outfit that consisted, mostly, of women’s underwear and a short, see-through, cover-up shirt.
A spokesperson for the airline told MSNBC that passengers can wear whatever they want, as long as the naughty bits are covered. This is good news for all you drag queens and leather daddies heading to New York for pride this weekend.

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No Vote Yet on NY Marriage Equality

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
After days of of closed-door negotiations, there has still been no vote in the New York State senate on the marriage equality bill. A vote was expected Wednesday evening as the legislature worked after hours during the last official day of the legislative session.

At issue in the Republican-controlled senate is the question of religious exemptions from recognizing same-sex marriages for the purposes of employee benefits, adoption, foster care and other areas where faith-based organizations want to be free to discriminate. Under the version of the bill passed by the Democratic-controlled NY State Assembly and supported by Governor Cuomo, there were no such exemptions.

The senate bill is one vote shy of passing and needs only one Republican to cross party lines.

Cuomo has stepped into the negotiations saying he is open to including religious exemptions. Assembly members have said they are also open to revising their version of the bill in order to get it passed.

The other hold up is that senate Republicans are insisting on addressing other legislative matters before voting on the Marriage Equality Bill. Capitol Confidential Reports:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo applauded leaders of the Civil Service Employees Association for the tentative contract agreement they reached Wednesday, while insisting stalled progress on same-sex marriage and an omnibus bill to renew rent regulations, cap local property taxes and relieve some local government mandates.
“These are very, very complex matters that we’re talking about,” Cuomo told reporters late Wednesday. “That they’re not done immediately is sort of the essence of what we’re doing here. The rent regulation, property tax mandate relief bill is a complicated bill…If it takes a little bit more time, it takes a little bit more time. I would much rather get it right than rush it.”
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rick Perry is Ready to Take On All Comers Over Gay Rumors

"The Honorable Rick Perry (front right), ...Texas Gov. Rick "No Homo" PerryFor some reason, there are people out there who think that we need another misogynist, homophobic, evangelical Texas governor in the White House. We call these people morons.

Governor Rick Perry, who became head redneck after W became the Moron in Chief, would like to see if the Oval Office is really oval, or if they just call it that to confuse the Russians. Given the current field of evolutionary throwbacks vying for the GOP presidential nomination, I say, "Why not?" The moron, the merrier.

Perry has a problem that, like a stubborn case of jock itch, just won't go away. Every few years, rumors begin to circulate the Gov. Perry likes dick -- and I don't mean Nixon.

Politico reports that every time the attractive-in-an-Osmond-kinda-way politician runs for office, he has to defend himself against rumors that he's a butt pirate, even though no one has ever been able confirm whether or not the Texas governor is a Friend of Dorothy.

The Politico story says that the gay rumors have been all over Perry's still-perky-for-his-age ass ever since his earliest days in politics, back in 2002. This time around, however, Perry's man handlers are not going to let him take it on the chin again.
The claims, which had made the rounds for months by the time the story was written, included rumors that Perry and his wife Anita had split, and that the governor was gay.
The state Democratic Party in Texas seized on the rumors seven years ago, the American-Statesman reported, prompting the governor to finally address them himself as an "obvious, orchestrated effort" launched by political foes. They spread for two months, were posted on various websites and were vetted by many national outlets, all of which turned up nothing.
But Team Perry, asked about how it's prepared to handle them when they emerge if he runs, said it remains "false and misleading."
"As you may know, Rick and Anita Perry first met in grade school, went on their first date together in 1966, have been lovingly married since 1982 and are parents to two grown children," said top Perry strategist Dave Carney. "This kind of nameless, faceless smear campaign is run against the Perry family in seemingly every campaign, with no basis, truth or success."
I think they left out that summer he spent at ex-gay camp when he was 13, but I could be wrong.

If it will help keep Perry out of the White House, I am more than happy to welcome him into our big gay family with open gay arms and a full on, big gay kiss on the lips... with gay tongue!

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New Wave Wednesday: "Suddenly Last Summer", by The Motels

All Four One (1982) was the band's best-sellin...Image via WikipediaIt's New Wave Wednesday again and this moldy oldie from The Motels seemed appropriate for the first full day of summer. "Suddenly Last Summer" peaked at #9 on the Billboard Charts in 1983. The cheesiness of the New Wave look really stands out in the natural setting of the beach, which makes it all the more appealing to me.

Lead singer Martha Davis reformed the band in 1998 as The Motels, featuring Martha Davis and continues to tour.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blogging with Squeaky

Blogging can be lonely at times. It helps to have a blog buddy like Squeaky. She loves to distract her daddy every morning while he's working. I think it's in the Cat Handbook or something. She's not really a giant cat, it's just the camera angle.

Remembering Stonewall: Rally in Roanoke Saturday

Queers fought back against police harassment, June 29, 1969. 
Just a reminder that the 3rd annual Stonewall Remembrance Rally is taking place this Saturday in Downtown Roanoke. This year's event is brought to you by Roanoke Equality and MCC of the Blue Ridge. I'll be one of the speakers at the event. Others addressing the crowd will be:

Rev. Joe Cobb of MCC Blue Ridge
Richard Ward of MCC Blue Ridge
Sean Avidano of Roanoke Pride
Michael Sutphin of Equality Virginia
Frank House of Roanoke Equality
Garland Gravely-Fashionista Roanoke-our MC

The rally will be held from 11am - 12pm at Century Square, between Kirk Ave. & Church St. to the north and south, and Market and Jefferson to the east and west.

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Happy Summer Solstice! It's Naked Hiking Day!

This is NOT me.
It's the first day of Summer in the Northern hemisphere. School is out, the mercury is rising and nature lovers up and down the east coast are celebrating the longest day of the year in the traditional fashion, hiking naked on the Appalachian Trail.

Many hikers chose to celebrate the annual event on Sunday, which happened to be Fathers Day (I never know where to put the apostrophe), but purists will celebrate today by having scheduled the day off work or calling in sick. The trails are less populated during the middle of the week, so there is less of a chance of running into cub scouts, families and other slaves to the textile industry.

The Appalachian Trail winds its way through the mountains of the east from Maine to Georgia. I've hiked the local portion of it myself. It's a great great exercise and the perfect way to get away from it all for a couple of hours and clear the cobwebs out of the cranium. I'll leave the details to your imagination.

Be forewarned, park rangers have taken notice of the annual event and reactions vary, depending on the region and/or the remoteness of the area you're hiking. Some people have been ticketed in the more populated sections of the trail. In other areas, rangers stand watch at the trail head and warn other hikers that they may encounter nudists along the way.

As a side note, on a trip to Vermont many years ago, I was told that skinny dipping is legal there, as long as you can't be seen from the road or other public areas. The first person in the water determines the dress code. Leave it to the liberal yankees to have such a tolerant attitude toward nude recreation. I wouldn't try it in Georgia.

If you decide to venture out to the AT today, there are three things to remember, bug spray, sun block and watch out for poison ivy. Repeat after me: "leaves of three, let it be".

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Deadline for Marriage Equality in New York

Seal of New York.Image via Wikipedia
Monday is the last scheduled day of the legislative session in New York, where the marriage equality bill, which remains one vote short of passage, awaits a vote in the senate.
The New York state legislative session is scheduled to end on Monday, giving the senate one more day to hold a vote on the marriage equality bill that remains one vote short of passage. Following a series of major breakthroughs last week, 31 senators, including two Republicans from the majority party, support the bill that would make New York the sixth and most populous state, not including the District of Columbia, to allow same-sex couples to enter into civil marriages.
Republican senators, who will decide whether to vote on the Marriage Equality Act and must provide the decisive vote, expressed concerns late last week about the strength of the religious exemptions in the measure. Although neither senate majority leader Dean Skelos nor Gov. Andrew Cuomo have publicly discussed the specifics, the additional exemptions being negotiated are said to be narrow, and the governor has indicated that he believes the matter can be reconciled in accordance with the law to meet his priority of passing the bill this session.

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Debbie Reynolds Sells Marilyn Monroe's Dress from 'Seven Year Itch' for $5.6 Million

Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds has taken it upon herself to preserve the history of Hollywood by spending millions of dollars over the last thirty years collecting iconic pieces of movie memorabilia. The star of TammySingin' in the Rain, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and more recently, Will and Grace, as Grace's mother Bobbie, had always planned on opening a museum to house her collection, but never had the money to make it happen.

Time reports that one of Reynolds prize possessions, Marilyn Monroe's billowing halter dress from The Seven Year Itch, sold at auction on Saturday for a record $5.6 million.

Marilyn Monroe's ivory “subway dress,” the costume that contributed heavily to America's love affair with the iconic beauty, sold for $5.6 million at an auction in Beverly Hills on Saturday.
The actual bidding price for the dress was $4.6 million, but the unidentified buyer, who bid over telephone, must pay an additional $1 million commission fee. The dress was expected to fetch $2 million.

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