Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday New Wave Extra: "Johnny Are You Queer?", by Josie Cotton (music video)

For some reason this song popped into my head at work yesterday and i showed it to some coworkers, who just howled with laughter. I figured I's share it you you all here today.

Back in 1982, singer Josie Cotton packed up all her belongings in her car and headed to L.A. to ask the musical question, "Johnny Are You Queer?"

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Slow News Friday: Denise Richards, Spineless Rick Perry, Secret Gay Mafia in Catholic Church

So here we are on another Friday with nothing really important happening in the world. That's not to say that the debt ceiling BS has been resolved, but when all anybody can talk about is actress/reality TV star/former Mrs. Charlie Sheen, Denise Richards' confession in her new book that she once had some girl-on-girl action, you know it's a slow news day.

Richards has been making the rounds promoting her new book, "The Real Girl Next Door", including a stop at the Howard Stern Show this week, where she titillated listeners with some teasers, specifically that she has once had sex with a much more talented and much more famous actress and that she's sorry she had a boob job. The ex-Mrs. Sheen also appeared on Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live" with Andy Cohen last night, where she hinted that she's be open to becoming part of "The Real(ly boring) Housewives of Beverly Hills".

Denise, dear, here's a news flash: you don't get to call yourself an actress when you haven't acted in over ten years. I know that J.K. Rowling has finished with Harry Potter, but is the literary world really so hard up that they think your life is interesting enough to sell books? Take away the Sheen connection and you're about as complicated as dry toast.

In other uninteresting news, rumored ex-gay Texas Governor Rick Perry has been forced by the lunatic fringe to revise statements he made last week about New York's marriage equality legislation. Perry had said that although he opposes SSM, he supported New York's right as a state to do what it wants, saying it was "fine with me."

Apparently states rights aren't part of the Republican platform any more, or at least Perry is willing to abandon  his principles when they are challenged by homo-haters like Family Research Council's Tony Perkins. Perry appeared on the hate group leader's radio show yesterday and caved like the spineless twit that he is when Perkins questioned him on his lack of condemnation of New York's homo-loving legislators. CNN reports:
"I probably needed to add a few words after that 'it's fine with me,'" Perry admitted to Perkins Thursday.
And he repeated his commitment to the 10th amendment as well as his conviction that marriage should be between a man and a woman. "It's fine with me that a state is using their sovereign rights to decide an issue. Obviously gay marriage is not fine with me. My stance hasn't changed." 
"My comments reflect my recognition that marriage and most issues of the family have historically been decided by the people at the state and local level. And that is absolutely the state of law under our Constitution," Perry continued.
In other breaking news, apparently there are lots of gays in the Catholic priesthood and they're organized into some kind of evil cabal. The former Archbishop of Miami, John C. Favalora has been accused of running a secret gay mafia that has been described as "a kind of Hogwarts with palm trees", by Inquisition-style investigators calling themselves Christefidelis. Gawker reports:
Favalora, who was the most powerful Catholic official in Southern Florida from 1994 until last year, stands accused of cultivating what one group of pissed-off Catholics describes as a corrupt "homosexual superculture" in the 195 churches, schools, missions, seminaries, and universities that constitute the Miami Archdiocese. If their allegations are to be believed, for sixteen years Favalora ran his organization like the don of a lavender mob, rewarding his favorite homosexual sons and forgiving their many indiscretions—rampant sex, hedonism, embezzlement, alcoholism, and the railroading of chaste priests among them—while punishing those with the temerity to complain. Wanton hedonistic gay sex is of course unobjectionable—even encouraged!—among those not in thrall to the idea that God hates your penis. But for the 500-or-so priests and deacons charged by The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI with ensuring the spiritual integrity of 1.3 million of God's children in Southern Florida, it's…unorthodox.
So how's your day going? It's got to be more interesting than any of this stuff, so please share by posting a comment, before I give up on the day and go back to bed.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dan Savage Threatens to Change Meaning of Santorum's First Name Too (Comedy Video)

Some day Santorum will learn not to fuck with the gays.
Life is about to get a lot frothier for Rick Santorum if he doesn't lay off the gays.

Columnist and It Gets Better founder Dan Savage, who redefined the word "Santorum" to mean, “the frothy mixture of feces and lube that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex,” creating an enormous Google problem for the bigoted presidential hopeful and former U.S. senator, and anyone else who has ever, or will ever, share his last name.

In response to Santorum's promise to reverse same-sex marriages in New York, Savage warns the GOP homophobe that he will also change the meaning of the name "Rick" and he's already got the new definition prepared. Celebrities Rick Dees, Rikki Lake and Andy Richter join Savage in this video from Funny or Die,  pleading with Senator Frothy Mix to back off the gays.

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NC Marriage Amendment Vote Put on Hold

When word got out Wednesday that the North Carolina legislature was going to hold a vote today on legislation that would put an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment on the ballot this fall, Equality NC got busy. The vote was not expected to take place until September.

An call to action immediately spread across the web for LGBT's to phone, email and/or write NC lawmakers telling them the amendment was not necessary, as state law already prohibits marriage equality.

By Wednesday afternoon, news agencies reported that the vote would not take place after all. News 14 reports:

The amendment seeks to ban same sex marriage and specify that marriage is only between a man and a woman. There was some confusion among legislators over when a vote would take place.
The second that Equality North Carolina members discovered that a marriage amendment could be voted on Thursday due to an adjournment resolution they picked up the telephoned.
“We originally expected these to be brought up in a special session some time in September or as late as October,” said Equality NC interim executive director Alex Miller.
With no time to waste, 40,000 postcards were ready to go out to legislators asking them to oppose the amendment. The possibility of a vote caught many by surprise. Rep. Joe Hackney said it wasn't fair to the public or to members of the House and Senate that couldn't prepare for the vote this session.
Legislators were even unsure about what would take place.
“That will not be considered this week. What will be considered this week to my understanding is constitutional amendments that have gone through the house process that the Senate has been holding. That's the last word that I got,” said Rep. David Lewis, a Republican from Harnett County.
It was not the last word Sen. Dan Soucek, a Republican of Watagua County, received and he is one of the bill's sponsors.
“While we were here this might be the best opportunity to present this and that was the logic behind it,” he said. “But as you know, if you follow the legislature at all, although that's the plan now plans change quickly.”
They did change and amendments are put on hold, which gives Equality NC more time to get their message across. Legislators are expected to take up the marriage amendment, along with the others, in mid-September.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Wave Wednesday: "The Wild Boys", by Duran Duran

The Wild Boys (song)Image via WikipediaBack in 1984 we were all obsessed with the threat of nuclear annihilation, as Ronald Reagan and Soviet president Mikael Gorbachev engaged in the diplomatic equivalent of penis measuring.

The Cold War heated up in 80's pop culture as movies and music videos portrayed scenes of a post-apocalyptic world with films like "Mad Max" and this New Wave classic, "The Wild Boys", from Duran Duran, which reached #2 on the U.S. charts.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Watch: Transsexual & Intersex Activist Ashley Love Takes on NAACP Over Lack of Inclusion at LGB(T) Meeting

The NAACP held a much needed LGBT town hall meeting Monday night in Los Angeles with an all star panel that included CNN's recently out Don Lemon, comic Wanda Sykes and former NAACP Director, Julian Bond, who spoke stirringly at the National Equality March on Washington in 2009.

Transsexual and Intersex activist Ashley Love, of Transforming Media, was allowed to address the group towards the end of the program. She promptly called out the nation's oldest and largest organization for African American rights on their lack of inclusion of any transsexual/transgender people on the panel. She also corrected Lemon on his comments, when he said that transsexual and transgender people were the same as gays and lesbians.

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Another Poll Shows Growing Support Across the Board for LGBT Equality

A new poll shows that support for marriage equality, employment protection and federal recognition of same-sex relationships among the American people is outpacing support from political leaders, even in conservative states. The Advocate reports:
Research released Monday on national attitudes regarding LGBT rights finds a slim majority in favor of marriage equality, yet a solid consensus on employment protections and adoption rights. 
People in areas of the country with the least LGBT protections also appear to be more progressive than their elected officials, according to the recent survey, conducted by Anna Greenberg of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and commissioned by the Human Rights Campaign. Seventy-three percent of respondents in the South, for example, said they support employment protections for LGBT people, even though the vast majority of the region lacks state statutes banning such discrimination (78% of Midwest residents polled also support employment protections). 
The national survey of 900 adults found 51% support for marriage rights; 58% further favor extending equal federal benefits to same-sex couples who have married in states where it's legal to do so. (Click here for a poll summary.) 
Perhaps most topical, given recent news on the 2012 presidential campaign trail, the survey found that only 24% of those polled believed that prayer-focused "reparative therapy" could change a person’s sexual orientation. 
Widespread dismissal of the controversial form of therapy tracks consensus in the medical and mental health establishments: The American Psychological Association, for example, passed a 2009 resolution advising mental health professionals to avoid telling clients that sexual orientation can be changed through therapeutic methods. 

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Lawsuit Filed in NY to Overturn Marriage Equality

The New York Times is reporting that an anti-gay group is preparing to file a lawsuit in an attempt to undo the hundreds of marriages that have taken place since marriage equality became legal there on Sunday.

The group, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, alleges that the Senate violated the state’s open meetings law in the run-up to the vote on the marriage bill and acted improperly in closing the Senate lobby to members of the public.
The lawsuit also asserts that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had no basis for issuing a so-called message of necessity, which allowed lawmakers to vote on the marriage bill immediately after the language was drawn up, rather than allowing it to “age” for three days, as is usually required.
“Constitutional liberties were violated,” the Rev. Jason J. McGuire, the executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, said in a statement. “Today we are asking the court to intervene in its rightful role as the check and balance on an out-of-control State Legislature.”
The complaint, which is to be filed in State Supreme Court in Livingston County, where Mr. McGuire lives, states: “The plaintiffs in this case seek to preserve not only marriage as the union of one woman to one man, but also our constitutional liberties by acting as a check on an out-of-control political process that was willing to pass a bill regardless of how many laws and rules it violated.”
A spokesman for Mr. Cuomo, Josh Vlasto, said the lawsuit had no merit.
“The plaintiffs lack a basic understanding of the laws of the state of New York,” Mr. Vlasto said.
Spokesmen for the Senate majority leader, Dean G. Skelos, and the state attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, declined to comment on the suit.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

New York Celebrates Marriage Equality

Cheryle Rudd (center) and Kitty Lambert (right)
Hundreds of gay and lesbian couple tied the know in New York State on Sunday, celebrating an historic milestone that has doubled the number of same sex couples eligible to legally marry in their home states.

Cheryle Rudd and Kitty Lambert (pictured) became the first gay couple to wed in new York at the stroke of midnight at Niagara Falls.

Naturally, the haters couldn't let the day pass without making there foul presence known. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church protested in Manhattan, alongside a group of Hasidic Jews, who they blame for killing Jesus. Directly across the street a group of Marriage Equality activists counter-protested. There were no reports of violence.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said he would officiate at the wedding of two senior City Hall officials at a ceremony at Gracie Mansion, while Mr. Cuomo was to host a party for gay rights advocates and lawmakers at a hotel near the meatpacking district.
In Brooklyn, the borough president, Marty Markowitz, planned to open Borough Hall for a marathon series of weddings, complete with free cake and Champagne.
Outside the city clerk’s office in Lower Manhattan, rabbis from a synagogue in the West Village were scheduled to solemnize weddings under a rainbow-colored huppah, or Jewish wedding canopy. And two gay puppets, Rod and Ricky, from the Tony Award-winning musical “Avenue Q,” planned to show up outside the clerk’s office to stage a mock wedding as well.
There are also a variety of same-sex wedding celebrations, some with commercial or promotional overtones, on the agenda over the next days and months.
On Monday night, three gay couples will wed onstage at the St. James Theater after the evening’s performance of the Broadway musical “Hair.” On Saturday, two dozen couples will marry in two pop-up chapels that are to be installed in Central Park. And the Fire Island Pines resort is promoting three same-sex wedding packages, one featuring a private ferry ride “complete with your own crew of drag queens.”
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Friday, July 22, 2011

CERTIFIED! DADT Gone in 60 Days!

President Obama signs certification for DADT repeal
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
From Metro Weekly:

The repeal of ''Don't Ask, Don't Tell'' passed its last significant hurdle today as President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen certified that the U.S. military is ready for the policy to end.
According the DADT repeal legislation signed into law in December 2010, final repeal will take effect 60 days after certification, a period set aside for congressional review.
'''Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' will end, once and for all, in 60 days — on September 20, 2011,'' said Obama in a statement released by the White House. ''Our military will no longer be deprived of the talents and skills of patriotic Americans just because they happen to be gay or lesbian.''
The president praised the ''careful and deliberate manner'' of both civilian and military leadership in bringing about the change.

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NYC says "Screw the lottery, we'll marry all the gays!"

Marriage Equality takes effect this Sunday at 12:00 am and couples from all over the Empire State have flooded clerks offices with requests for marriage licenses To handle the massive demand, state officials created a lottery system.

The Advocate reports that officials decided Thursday that they can handle the the demand in an orderly fashion without the lottery and will allow all applicants to jump the broom on opening day.
Some 823 couples entered the lottery to win one of 764 available spaces in New York City on Sunday, when the new marriage equality law takes effect, and the Big Apple plans to marry all of them.
City officials said Thursday evening that Manhattan saw the highest demand, with 533 entries for 400 available slots. All applicants to clerk’s offices in the other four boroughs received a slot in the location they requested. Applicants could only apply to one borough. The lottery opened on Tuesday at noon and closed on Thursday at noon.
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Gay Horde Glitter Bombs Marcus Bachmann's Office! (Video)

Have you heard of Glitter Bombing? It's the latest protest craze sweeping the queer nation this summer, where protesters confront anti-LGBT politicians on their bigoted positions and shower them with glitter. There have been four such "attacks" this summer in Minnesota, where a constitutional ban on marriage equality is in the works.

So far, Minnesotan Nick Epinosa, creator of the Glitter Bomb movement, has left Tea-Bagger Queen/Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann, Serial Monogamist/Misogynist Newt Gingrich and Minnesota's Douchbag in Chief Tim Pawlenty in his sparkly wake.

This week Espinosa adds potential First Lady and Perennial Closet Case, Marcus Bachmann to his list. Bachmann, along with his dutiful and submissive wife Michele, runs a clinic that practices pray-away-the-gay conversion therapy. At first, he denied conducting the psychologically damaging "reparative therapy", then said he only offered it at the request of his clients, after Truth Wins Out's undercover investigation exposed his lies last week. Bachmann's clinic received $137,000 in Medicaid funding this year, according to MSNBC.

Playing off Miss Marcus' infamous radio interview, where he compared gays to barbarians who need to be educated and disciplined, Espinosa and his friends donned their barbarian attire and paid a visit to the offices of Bachmann and Associates this week, demanding to see the Michelle Obama wanna-be. He was either not in the office or was hiding in a back room somewhere, so the group left their glittery calling card to the strains of Lady Gaga's Born This Way, chanting "You can't pray away the gay, baby we were born this way!" and finishing with, "Hey Marcus! What's in your closet?"

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Tori Spelling's Gay Hoarding Problem (Comedy Video)

Former Actress/Sometime Reality Star/Permanent Heiress Tori Spelling has a hoarding problem. Like potential First Lady Marcus Bachmann, she hoards hordes of gays and it's time for an intervention. This is hilarious!

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Military Leaders to Certify DADT Repeal Today

NBC News reports that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the Joint Chiefs of Staff are expected to announce today that they have certified repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, which means that the ban on open service will be gone in late September.

Each member of the Joint Chiefs had to submit a recommendation to Panetta, indicating that they are far enough in their training to repeal DADT, and that it will not have an impact on military readiness.
The next step is for President Barack Obama to certify the repeal, which then begins a 60-day waiting period to implement the repeal — before "Don't Ask Don't Tell" is officially a thing of the past.
Meanwhile, last week's ruling by the 9th Circuit Court forbids the government from investigating, disciplining and discharging LGB's for the duration.

However, because of DOMA, queer servicemembers who are legally married will not be eligible to receive any of the spousal benefits or considerations due to marital status afforded to heterosexual married personnel.


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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Stephen Cobert's "It Gets Better" Video

It may be a little late in the game, but Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert puts the jokes aside for a moment to take on school bullying. Colbert talks about being bullied as a kid and how a schoolmate dealt with being called "queer" by confronting the bully. Very well done.

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Lesbian Couple Charges Dollywood with Discrimination

This is acceptable attire at Dollywood.
A lesbian couple is charging Dollywood, the east Tennessee amusement park owned by drag icon Dolly Parton, with anti-gay discrimination over the park's dress code.

The incident happened when Olivier Odom and Jennifer Tipton took the children of a friend to the Pigeon Forge park and an employee at the gate decided that Odom's t-shirt, which read [marriage is so gay], might be offensive to some guests. He asked her to turn it inside out before he would allow her to enter.

A park spokesman says it is the their policy to ask anyone wearing a shirt that other guests may find objectionable to either change it, or turn it inside out. Odom says in the following news report that she questioned the attendant about what exactly he found objectionable, but was not given a straight answer. She says she complied, rather than spoil the trip for the kids.

So let me get this straight. As seen in this video, a 300-pound woman in a leopard print bathing suit/moo moo and a shirtless 400-pound man, are perfectly acceptable, but a petite woman in a cool t-shirt that promotes tolerance is not.

Dolly Parton, who is a long-time advocate for LGBT equality and who can be quoted at every opportunity saying, "It takes a lot of money to look this cheap", may not even be aware of the incident. I'm sure she'll have a lot to say about it very soon.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Watch!: Al Franken calls out FoF's Tom Minnery on his lies @ Senate DOMA repeal hearing.

This was perhaps the best moment of Wednesday's senate hearing on the Respect for Marriage Act. Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery lied under oath about the results of a government study about the effects on kids being raised in a nuclear family. Senator Al Franken pulled out a copy of the study, quoted it verbatim and called Minnery out on his deliberate distortion, saying,‎ "Frankly I don't see how we can trust your testimony when you interpret studies these ways."

Al Franken totally rocks!

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New Wave Wednesday: "Personal Jesus", by Depeche Mode (Repost)

When I first posted this video a couple of years ago, a hard core Depeche Mode fan noticed it and posted the link on the Depeche Mode website. I got mad hits for several weeks, which was way cool. But that's not the reason I'm reposting this video, well, mostly not.

I really love the message of this song, when it says, "Be your own personal Jesus." I don't get preachy on this site, despite the name. I believe that we each have our own spiritual path to follow and that if you really want to find the answers you're looking for, you have to think outside the spiritual box.

Ghandi said it best, "Be the change you want to see in the world." Personal Jesus compliments that philosophy perfectly. What it says is, stop waiting for some sort of divine savior/super hero to rescue you from the mess you made of your life, or to lead you to salvation.

Take control of your life and save yourself!

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Obama Expresses Support for DOMA Repeal Legislation. And... ?

Every time I checked my FaceBook status on Tuesday, I saw posts and reposts of stories with headlines like "BREAKING: Obama Supports DOMA Repeal", with comments hailing the news as if it were the second coming of God's number one son.

Queerty, reported it this way:
"Just so you know, sitting Presidents don’t normally endorse bills that have yet to pass first in either the Senate or the House, which means he’s slowly coming through on the afore-promised 'fierce advocacy.'”
Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend writes:
"Killing DOMA -- in fact passing difficult pro-LGBT legislation -- really requires the President to step up and use his bully pulpit to urge Congress to take action. To say again that DOMA must be repealed -- with a specific bill in mind -- is perfect timing with tomorrow's hearing coming up. Yes he can, and yes he did this time." 
Uh... guys? Obama has always supported legislative repeal of DOMA. What he hasn't done is made it a priority or taken a leadership role the way he did last year with DADT repeal, when he appointed Sen. Joe Lieberman to oversee the effort.

True, the administration announced in February that it would no longer defend DOMA in court, but how much effort does it take to do nothing?

Even if the bill passes in the senate, it will never make it through the GOP-controlled House, so the president will not have to lift a finger... again! So when Pam writes,  "Yes he can, and yes he did this time.", with all due respect, I have to ask, "did what?"

It's senators Nadler, Feinstein and Leahy who took the lead by sponsoring the bill, scheduling the hearing and gathering the witnesses. They are the ones who will give marriage equality the public forum it deserves and put anti-equality bigots, like Focus on the Family's Thomas Minnery on the stand so the world can watch him lie to a senate committee.

Nadler, Feinstein and Leahy are the ones who will give voice to people like Andrew Sorbo, who lost his partner, a retired federal worker, to pancreatic cancer in 2009. Sorbo is now losing his home, because of his reduced income. DOMA prevents Sorbo from receiving surviving spouse benefits. The surviving spouse in an opposite marriage is entitled to the social security benefits of the deceased spouse and to retirement benefits as the surviving spouse of a retired federal employee.

I believe in giving credit where credit is due. Obama has done more for us than any other president in the history of the U.S., but what Mr. Pragmatic fails to see is that the American people -- even Republicans --  have left him in the dust on the subject of LGBT equality. It's bad enough that he won't lead on our issues, but this guy won't even follow.

The senate hearings get started at 10:00 this morning. You can watch the live webcast here.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

DOMA Trumps DADT, Senate Approves Gay Judge, DOMA Repeal Hearing Wednesday

Lots of stuff going on this week, so here's a quick run down.

DOMA Trumps DADT Repeal. The Associated Press is reporting that even though DADT is on the way out, gay and lesbian servicemembers will still be treated as second class citizens because DOMA will prevent them from receiving benefits offered freely to opposite sex married couples. This includes housing considerations, posting assignments, medical care, access to shopping facilities and a variety of other services provided only on military bases.

Gay military personnel married to other personnel would be treated as if they were single, which could potentially mean being deployed to opposite ends of the world. The military typically tries to keep married couples together.

Senate Confirms Out Gay Federal Judge. In what's been called an unremarkable event, the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Paul Oetken, an openly gay man, to the federal bench by a vote of 80-13. The Washington Post reports:

“As the first openly gay man to be confirmed as a federal judge,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told a nearly empty chamber before the vote, “he will be a symbol of how much we have achieved as a country in just the last few decades. And importantly, he will give hope to many talented young lawyers who until now thought their paths might be limited because of their sexual orientation. When Paul becomes Judge Oetken, he will be living proof to all those young lawyers that it really does get better.”
But Schumer observed, correctly, that this bit of history was an “otherwise quiet moment” for the Senate. The ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley (Iowa) gave a brief speech in support of Oetkin, mentioning the nominee’s Iowa roots but nothing about his homosexuality.
DOMA Repeal Hearings to Begin on Wednesday. Senator Dianne Feinstein is expected to hold a press conference today accompanied by gay and lesbian couples directly affected by the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The move comes a day before a senate committee hearing on the Respect for Marriage Act, sponsored by Feinstein and Sen. Jerry Nadler, which is intended to repeal DOMA. The legislation is not expected to make it through the Republican-led House to the president's desk and is seen as largely symbolic.

USA Today reports:
While a repeal bill stands little chance of passing both chambers of Congress this year, its supporters say the legislation and the Senate hearing are still valuable. Both will help set the stage for same-sex marriage to be an issue in the 2012 elections.
"We see this as a long-term effort and part of that effort is education," says Adam Bink, director of online programs for Courage Campaign, an advocacy group.
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EVOLVE ALREADY!!: Poll Shows 53% of GOP Say Drop Gay Marriage as an Issue

It was bound to happen. A recent poll of influential political insiders, conducted by The National Journal, shows that Republicans are evolving on marriage equality faster than President Obama, with a majority now saying that, due to changing attitudes, their party should avoid the issue altogether. It really sucks to be Michele Bachmann right now.

What's more interesting, however, is that the same question posed to influential Democrats reveals that support for marriage equality stands at 84%. The party that has traditionally paid lip service to the LGBT community, while delivering very little in the way of progress, has left its leader in the dust. President Obama, are you listening?


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Monday, July 18, 2011

When did Neville Longbottom get cute?

Like millions of other die-hard fans of Harry Potter, Paul and I made the pilgrimage to the local cineplex on Saturday to catch the final installment of the hugely successful series, "Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows". Many will knit-pick about details from the book that might have been left out of the film. To them I say, get a life.

The final installment of the series did not disappoint. For the hard core devotees who have read and reread all the books and watched all the movies three dozen times, there were no surprises, except for how cute Neville Longbottom got since the last film.

As expected, Deathly Hallows smashed all previous box office records, raking in $168.5 million in its opening weekend. I don't usually get caught up in the hype over Hollywood blockbusters, but this one is well worth a look. J.K. Rowling ties up all the loose ends very nicely and the final battle scene at Hogwarts is not to be missed.

Actor Matthew Lewis, who plays Neville, chats with Moviefone:

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Gay Service Members March in San Diego Pride Parade (Video)

San Diego held its annual Pride festival and parade Saturday, as thousands took to the streets in a public display of solidarity, community and fabulousness. This year's parade was a little different though. Among the leather men, drag queens and Dykes on Bikes, were about 200 active duty service members and veterans.

The Huffington Post reports:
SAN DIEGO -- About 200 active-duty troops and veterans wearing T-shirts advertising their branch of service marched Saturday in San Diego's gay pride parade with American flags and rainbow banners, marking what is believed to be the first time a military contingent has participated in such an event in the U.S.
Many of the active-duty troops said they were moved to come out because it is time to end the military's ban on openly gay troops. The march comes a day after a federal appeals court reinstated "don't ask, don't tell" but with a caveat that prevents the government from investigating or penalizing anyone who is openly gay.
National Guard member Nichole Herrera, 31, said she didn't think twice about marching, even though the policy is back on the books. She said she was "choked up" several times as she walked down a main thoroughfare in San Diego, a major Navy port.
"This is one of the proudest days in my life. It's time for it (the policy) to be gone," Herrera said. "I'm a soldier no matter what, regardless of my sexual orientation."
The crowd roared as the group waving military flags and holding placards identifying their military branch walked past the thousands.
Having gay troops march in the parade was the idea of 26-year-old navy veteran Sean Sala, who was honorably discharged on June 30. Sala told The San Diego Union-News on Friday, “I’m getting emails from veterans and active-duty officers and enlisted from all over the nation. There are people flying in literally from the four corners of the nation to participate in this,” Sala said.

“It’s turned from a very small idea to, now, a national movement.”

The following video comes courtesy of Rex Wockner.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Jon Stewart Takes on Michele and Marcus Bachmann: "Field of Dongs" (Comedy Video)

This week Jon Stewart commented on Truth Wins Out's investigation confirming that Marcus Bachmann's clinic promotes and conducts conversion therapy, calling the the self-loathing, closet case "an Izod shirt away from being the gay character on Modern Family", and asserting that Bachmann is only interested in curing the gays "so he can horde all the gayness for himself."

Jon Stewart, will you Gay Marry me?

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9th Circuit Court Rules to Partially Reinstate DADT

A three judge panel ruled on the Justice Department's request to lift the stay on enforcement of Don't Ask, Don't Tell late on Friday. Attempting to satisfy both the government's desire to let the repeal and certification  process move forward legislatively and Log Cabin Republicans' request to get it over with, the court decided on a compromise, ordering the Pentagon to cease and desist all investigations, penalties and discharges under the anti-gay 1996 law, but putting a stop to new enlistments by openly gay and lesbian recruits.

The Court took issue with the government presenting evidence this time around that it did not present in the last appeal, which resulted in the lifting of the temporary stay. The new information is in regard to the implementation process of the DADT Repeal legislation passed in December. The court gave the government until Monday to explain itself. Metro Weekly reports:
The order from Chief Judge Alex Kozinski and Judges Kim Wardlaw and Richard Paez notes the additional information provided to the court in the government's most recent filing -- specifically, "the declaration of Major General Steven A. Hummer, Chief of Staff of the Repeal Implementation Team of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness; the representation that only one servicemember has been discharged under 10 U.S.C. § 654 since the passage of the Repeal Act; the representation that the Secretaries of the Military Departments, Chiefs of the Military Services, and Commanders of the Combatant Commands have recently submitted their written advice regarding the status of their preparation for repeal and ability to satisfy the certification standards set by Congress; and the representation that repeal certification will be presented to the President, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a matter of weeks, by the end of July or early in August."
In order to consider the impact of what it terms these "previously undisclosed facts," the court granted the temporary stay and put back in place the stay originally entered by the Ninth Circuit on November 1, 2010, "in all respects except one. The district court's judgment shall continue in effect insofar as it enjoins appellants from investigating, penalizing, or discharging anyone from the military pursuant to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy."
I take issue with a couple of things in Major General Hummer's statement. First of all, he's dead wrong about the number of discharges this year. The Advocate reported just three weeks ago that as of April 29, 2011, there have been a total of four Air Force personnel discharged since President Obama signed the DADT Repeal Act in December. All four airmen outed themselves in order to avoid fulfilling their enlistment obligations. This is all public knowledge. How could Hummer not know this?

But more importantly, I think it's hysterical that the guy overseeing the end to the ban on gays serving openly is named "Hummer". It could only be better if his initials were B.J.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Cher's tweet about the Bachmanns

You had me at "Testis". Hat tip to The Bilerico Project for this one.

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