Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Wave Wednesday: "Veronica", by Elvis Costello

29 - Costello, Elvis -  Veronica - D - 1989Image by Affendaddy via FlickrThis week's New Wave Fave is actually one of my favorite songs from the New Wave era, from Elvis Costello. "Veronica" is perhaps the only pop song ever to address Alzheimer's Disease and it happened at a time when no one was talking about it. It's sad and sweet and catchy and all the things I love about what pop music can be, if the artist puts in a little extra effort.

Wikipedia has this to say:
"Veronica" is a single from Elvis Costello's 1989 album Spike, co-written by Costello with Paul McCartney. The song "Veronica" was co-produced by T-Bone Burnett and Kevin Killen, and features Paul McCartney on his iconic Höfner bass. In 2004, Entertainment Weekly voted it as one of Costello's top ten greatest tunes.[1]
The song focuses on an older woman who has experienced severe memory loss. Costello's inspiration for this song was his grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer's. When talking about the song on a VH1 interview, Costello reminisced about his grandmother having "terrifying moments of lucidity" and how this was the inspiration for "Veronica".
"Veronica" was also Costello's highest-charting Top 40 hit in the United States, peaking at #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, #1 on its Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart, and #10 on its Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

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NC Gov. Perdue: "Focus on Hurricane Relief, Jobs", not Marriage Amendment

The seal of North Carolina bears the date of t...Image via WikipediaThe Republican leaders in North Carolina are facing a backlash and some tough questions over their continued push for an amendment to the state constitution banning same sex marriage, despite the devastation and massive cleanup efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Critics are also hammering proponents for their lack of focus on job creation.

Equality NC reports:

8/30/2011 - A press conference today by supporters of a proposed anti-LGBT amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, prohibit civil unions and strip domestic partner benefits, turned uncomfortable for its speakers, House Majority Leader Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam and House Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Dale Folwell. Reporters pushed Rep. Stam to clarify comments that seemingly tied same-sex relationships to polygamy and adult incest, as well as suggested that sexual orientation is a matter of choice. Later, Rep. Folwell surprised some when he agreed with a reporter who suggested that the best way to "defend traditional marriage" might be to address poverty and infidelity in the constitution.

Rep. Stam was also asked to back up comments about studies showing societal harm of same sex couples, in light of the fact that American Academy of Pediatrics has said, “There is ample evidence to show that children raised by same-gender parents fare as well as those raised by heterosexual parents.”

Audience members also pressed Rep. Folwell to explain why Republicans were expending energy on an unnecessary constitutional amendment (North Carolina state law already defines marriage as being between a man and a woman), rather than focusing on creating jobs and bolstering the economy. Both Stam and Folwell claimed that nothing in the amendment would impact private businesses ability to offer domestic partner benefits, nor would it impact private industry.

In response, many state businesses have come forward to say that the amendment would drive away companies with diversity policies and domestic partnership benefits. "In the face of the worst economy in 80 years and as our neighbors recover from a devastating hurricane, the General Assembly is considering a Constitutional amendment that may terminate the legal rights of thousands of same- and opposite-sex couples, creating hardships for employers and employees alike.  If other workplaces are anything like mine, please join us in saying enough is enough.  As employers, we take our responsibilities to our people seriously.  This is the kind of help from the government that we can least afford. If the legislature’s going to bear the expense of a special session, they should focus on job creation and matters that are important to all North Carolinians," said Bob Page, Founder & CEO, Replacements, Ltd. Greensboro, N.C., said on Tuesday.

In reality, legal experts and business owners agree, the anti-LGBT amendment would not only strip local governments of the authority to provide their public employees with domestic partner benefits in areas like the City of Asheville, the Town of Carrboro, the Town of Chapel Hill, the City of Durham, the County of Orange, the County of Durham, the City of Greensboro, and County of Mecklenburg, but also harms private businesses by potentially denying them control over what benefits they offer their employees and the caliber of employees they can recruit. In one of several anti-business scenarios created by the language of Senate Bill 106, defining “marriage” as the only “legal domestic union” that can be “valid or recognized in this state,” the amendment could tie the hands of state regulatory agencies like the North Carolina Department of Insurance, by preventing approval of any private contracts for domestic partner benefits for unmarried same- or opposite-sex couples. But, as UNC Law professor Victor Flatt put it,"the larger economic impact may be based on the perception of what the policy means about the state of North Carolina as a place to live and do business."

Stam and Folwell also claimed that the anti-LGBT amendment has strong support across geographic, racial, and generational lines. In fact, three polls this year show a majority of North Carolinians, including African Americans, support legal recognition of same-sex relationships and oppose efforts to write discrimination into the constitution. Bishop Tonyia Rawls of Unity Fellowship Church, has addressed these erroneous claims of support for discrimination across racial lines: “I am the beneficiary of liberties hard won through the Civil Rights Movement. I am here because reasonable people took a stand and said no to unjust laws that wanted to rob me and people like me of our liberties. I am here because it is my turn to fight. We all stand today against these efforts to legislate discrimination and harassment.”

This opposition to the amendment is especially true among younger demographics, with the majority of support for this type of legislation coming from those over the age of 65. In reality, in all three polls, between 93-95% of those surveyed said lawmakers should instead be focusing on jobs, the economy and the state budget, with less than 4% in each poll wanting the focus on social issues generally. Loan Tran, a senior at Phillip O Berry Academy of Technology balked at lawmakers' claims of support across generations, “As a high school student in North Carolina, and as a human being who has endured an unfair share of bullying, harassment, and relentless put downs from my peers due solely to my sexual orientation, I am disappointed at the apparent lack of courage exhibited by our General Assembly in not only refusing to prevent this discriminatory amendment from coming to bear, but instead moving mountains to effectuate its passage when not one job is created by it.”

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Watch! Another Glitter Bomb Hoard Descends on Marcus "I'm Not Gay, Dammit!" Bachmann's Ex-gay Clinic

Michele Bachmann shows hubby Marcus how it's done.
Gotta love the gay barbarian hoards that work so hard to come up with these cute routines and travel hundreds of miles to show up the bigots for what they really are. Now that's activism! This time around, the group is called "Columbus Go Home!" The choreography is extensive and slightly more "Thriller" than Gaga, but I love it any way.

This time around the flash-mobbers didn't go inside the office and the brought along their own Marcus Bachmann, just in case he was cowering inside again.

A statement from the group on their YouTube page states, in part, "Let's be clear: Marcus Bachmann is the practitioner of an unhealthy, unscientific and dangerous practice," explained Nick Espinosa, one of the event organizers. "It seems all too convenient that the minute Michele Bachamann becomes a candidate for President Marcus starts making a desperate attempt to walk back his previous statements."

The mother of the little boy in the video wrote on the group's page, "I am the mom of that little boy dancing in the front. And for all the uninformed ones out there, he BEGGED me to be in the flashmob and made his costume himself. No brainwashing from this end, just a boy with some integrity and a good heart. And a flair for the dramatic. I wonder where he gets it from?"

As it says in that dusty old book they keep beating us over the head with, "... and a little child shall lead them."

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Viking Zombie Boyfriend, by Jeremy Rizza (8-30-11)

More from Pride Fest in Dill and Rorik's home town of Barnberg, KS. 

Permanent links to the latest strips can be found here and here.  Don’t forget to check out the recently added Sagas page, and the updates to the Free Stuff section!

And don’t forget to check out Viking Zombie Boyfriend at:
Facebook! For up-to-the-minute site updates and background info.
Flickr! For vintage VZB-related and other art by Jeremy Rizza!
CafePress! For super-cool merchandise!

GOP Homophobe May Face Off with Lesbian Democrat in Senate Race

Tammy BaldwinCongresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) Raw Story Reports:

Former Republican Congressman Mark Neumann announced Monday he was running for the U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Wisconsin Democrat Herb Kohl, according to the The Associated Press, making him the first to officially announce his candidacy in the 2012 race.
Neumann lost a Senate bid to Russ Feingold in 1998 and lost a Republican gubernatorial primary to Scott Walker last year. noted that he has made several homophobic remarks, including saying that if he were God, "homosexuality wouldn’t be permitted," and saying he wouldn’t hire an openly gay staffer.
If he wins the Republican nomination, Neumann is likely to face Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay candidate to win election to the U.S. Congress.
“I believe our opponent is Tammy Baldwin and I believe it is essential that we bring Tammy Baldwin’s record to the forefront,” Neumann said.
Baldwin has not officially entered the race, but has previously said she is likely to run for the Senate seat.
Two other Democrats, U.S. Congressman Ron Kind and former U.S. Congressman Steve Kagen, are also considering running for the seat, but a recent survey by Public Policy Polling suggests Baldwin is the early favorite among Democrats.
Related articles
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He's Back! Updates from the Rev, the Continuing Saga of a Guy Trying to Get His Shit Together

Morning Wood Acres
So sorry to have been away for the last several days. I've been up to my eyeballs in studying for my North Carolina state insurance exam. I've been in training classes for the past week for the new job at Connextions. They are an outsourcing company that runs call centers for other companies. One of those companies is a medical insurance group. There are licensed and unlicensed positions there. I've been hired for the licensed one. The difference is a higher wage and the ability to earn commissions. The up side is that the company pays for the training, exams and license fees, but the licenses are mine, so as long as I keep up with the continuing education requirements and renewal fees, I can sell insurance just about anywhere.

The final exam for the course consists of 100 multiple choice questions, which I took on Monday and passed with a score of 92%! A passing grade for the course is 80%. A passing grade for the state exam is 70%, but there are only 60 questions. Now that I've passed the course, there is a 3-day waiting period before I can take the state exam, however, due to high demand, the state is currently scheduling people 7 to 10 days out. The company does the scheduling and I'll be notified by e-mail about when my date is. There will be a review the day before the exam.

Once I get that out of the way, I start the course for the Medicare exam. It's a shorter course of 20 hours and there is also a licensing exam. After that, I begin training for the actual job I'll be doing.

Through all of this training, my hours have been 8am-5pm, so I've been up before the chickens and am still without internet access at the new house. It's coming along very well and starting to feel like home. I'll post pics soon, I promise. The Related articles link below is to a story that ran in Charlotte a couple of weeks ago about Connextions, where I've been training and will soon be gainfully employed.

We're about 75-80% done with the move. We'll be renting another big truck for the final push this week. Then it's all about cleaning up the old place and getting it sold.

Today I'm back at good old Morning Wood Acres for a few days. I will miss this place with its woods, gardens, solitude and privacy. The best part is that there are no old people yelling across the driveway. (Did I mention the new place is next door to Paul's parents?)

So, on with the updates!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Wave Wednesday: "Controversy", by Prince (Music Video)

Forest National - Brussels - Belgium - 1986Image via WikipediaBefore he was making doves cry, the Joker dance and Sheena Easton into a slut, Prince was actually cutting edge and controversial. People speculated about his gender-bending ways and wanted to know if he was black or white, straight or gay. He never answered questions like that.

From 1981, here's Prince with Controversy.

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Viking Zombie Boyfriend, by Jeremy Rizza

For nearly all of the Pride storyline, the spotlight will be on everybody’s favorite cub, Paco! He’ll have some interesting run-ins with Bigmajestus, Vernon, Sticky, and... well, that would be spoiling it.

Permanent links to the latest strips can be found here and here.  Don’t forget to check out the recently added Sagas page, and the updates to the Free Stuff section!

And don’t forget to check out Viking Zombie Boyfriend at:
Facebook! For up-to-the-minute site updates and background info.
Flickr! For vintage VZB-related and other art by yours truly!
CafePress! For super-cool merchandise!
 -- Jeremy Rizza

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Study, Test, Repeat, Day 3

So I'm here I am once again in lovely downtown Gastonia, NC using free wi-fi to do my updates. This is getting kind of old. Gotta get the interwebs set up at the new house. Soon, soon.

So I've been offered this job with an insurance company in there call center here. In order to do it, I have to go through the insurance agent training program and pass the state test and the Medicare test to get my license. Once I have that, I can earn commissions. It better be worth it.

So, how about that earth quake yesterday? I was in training and none of us even noticed. lots of people around here did though. One old lady on the local news said, "Ah wuz jus' settin' here readin' muh Bahbel an' muh chayer started shakin' and a-shakin'! Ah thought it wuz th' end of tahms!"

People who don't believe in evolution don't evolve.

So I've got two more days of training to get done before I take my pretest on Monday. Assuming I pass it with a score of at least 80%, I then get scheduled to take the state exam, which only requires 70% for a passing grade. After that, I start training on Medicare coverage, then take a pretest, then that Exam.

After all that I start training for the actual job I've been hired to do and start actually getting paid. Did I forget to mention that I'm not getting paid for license training and testing? The trade-off is that the company pays for my training, testing and Exams fees.

I'll do what I can to keep this here blog thingy going and hopefully provide my readers with something newsworthy and/or entertaining. Please leave a comment or ask any questions in the comments section. I'll try to answer them.
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Boehner's DOMA defense contains junk science, bad sources

Government's defense of DOMA contains references to the work of Paul Cameron and George Rekers

by Alvin McEwen
Reposted from Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

Yesterday, it was discovered that one of the experts, Professor Lisa Diamond, cited by Speaker of the House John Boehner's legal team in their defense of DOMA complained that her work was being distorted.

Boehner's team is defending DOMA against Edie Windsor, an 81-year-old woman suing the federal government for not recognizing her union with her late partner.

The portion having to do with Lisa Diamond's work is in documentation provided by the lawyer chosen to defend DOMA, Paul Clement (see the documentation here.) Clement is using this documentation as an attempt to get the case dismissed and for the judge to deny Windsor's motion for summary judgment.

Diamond's complaint is detrimental to this pursuit. But I think I have found another potentially huge problem.

There is a portion of Clement's documentation which bears much scrutiny. It is the section called "Plaintiff Misstates the Science on Same-Sex Parenting" and it is a huge mess.

Part of this section (pg. 24) cites George W. Dent, Jr., No Difference?: An Analysis of Same-Sex Parenting.

Dent is a law professor at Case Western Reserve University who has written many negative papers on marriage equality and homosexuality in general. In the paper cited by Boehner's legal team, he pulls out all of the stops to make the case that same-sex parenting is inferior to heterosexual parenting, even the citing of folklore:
Every child with homosexual guardians has lost at least one biological parent. Loss of a parent is universally regarded as a great misfortune. If the child has one biological parent, the other adult is a step-parent. In fables step-parents are typically hostile to their step-children.
If you pardon me for being so bold, anyone who takes Dent's paper as credible is dealing in folklore themselves. There are several problems with it including:

On page four, Dent cites both Paul Cameron and George Rekers, both discredited researchers. Cameron has been censured or rebuked by several organizations for his bad methodology in his studies and Rekers lost a lot of credibility for last year's scandal when he was caught coming from a European vacation with a "rentboy."

On page two, Dent cites the work of Walter Schumm's study Children of Homosexuals More Apt To Be Homosexuals? A Reply to Morrison and to Cameron Based on an Examination of Multiple Sources of Data.

Schumm's study was criticized for using the same false methodology as Cameron's work. i.e. citing sources "from general-audience books about LGBT parenting and families, most of which are available on"

Furthermore, in 2008, Rekers and Schumm testified for Florida's gay adoption ban. The judge overseeing the case, Cindy Lederman, criticized both of them. She said about Rekers:
"(His) testimony was far from a neutral and unbiased recitation of the relevant scientific evidence. Dr. Rekers' beliefs are motivated by his strong ideological and theological convictions that are not consistent with science. Based on his testimony and demeanor at trial, the court cannot consider his testimony to be credible nor worthy of forming the basis of public policy."
And about Schumm, she said:
" (He) integrates his religious and ideological beliefs into his research," citing several of his writings, including one with Rekers, in which a theological argument against homosexuality is offered."
Regarding Cameron, Dent's paper not only cites him directly, but also indirectly.

On page 13, Dent cites a book called Straight & Narrow by Thomas E. Schmidt to make criticisms about gay health. However, Schmidt is not a credible researcher in the field of gay health. He is a professor of New Testament Greek at Westmont College in Santa Barbara and according to Rev. Mel White of the group Soulforce, Schmidt cited Cameron's discredited studies many times in Straight & Narrow (5th letter to Jerry Falwell.)

Another huge problem with Dent's paper is on page 16 when it cites a paper by the American College of Pediatricians (Homosexual Parenting: Is It Time for Change?).

The American College of Pediatricians is not a credible organization, but an organization created to give credibility to junk science about the gay community. Last year, over 14,000 school district superintendents in the country were sent a letter by ACP inviting them to peruse and use information from a new site, Facts About Youth. The site claimed to present "facts" supposedly not tainted by "political correctness." Of course these were not facts, but ugly distortions about the gay community, including:

Some gay men sexualize human waste, including the medically dangerous practice of coprophilia, which means sexual contact with highly infectious fecal wastes

The particular study by the ACP cited by Dent, Homosexual Parenting: Is It Time for Change?, is filled with several errors which I talked about two years ago, including:

1. Outdated work

2. Extreme distortion of studies not meant by to used to gauge the effects of same-sex parenting.

3. And researcher complaints.

In citing Homosexual Parenting: Is It Time for Change?, Dent tries to pull a double deception. Not only does he cite this poor study done by ACP, but he actually takes some of the individual bad work from the study and cites it on its own throughout his study in general.
One has to wonder what other "surprises" Boehner's defense of DOMA contains. They may not be accurate but they are certainly entertaining.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Study, Quiz, Repeat. What a Day!

Spent 8+ hours with my face stuck in a computer screen learning about the insurance game. I'm finding it surprisingly interesting, but then, I don't get out much. It's gonna be two weeks of intensive training so I can pass the state insurance and Medicare exams. (Two separate exams!)

Assuming I pass both, then the training starts for the actual job I'll be doing as a customer service consultant. Why all the training and licensing, you ask? Money! Once I'm licensed to sell insurance, I can earn commission. Even if this job doesn't work out, the license is mine to take with me and I don't have to pay for any of the training or testing. It's a win-win scenario.

At first I felt like such a sell-out for choosing this career path, but then I figured, what the fuck? If the insurance companies are making all the money these days, why shouldn't I get a piece of the action?

On the home front, things are starting to take shape at the new house. We moved in some china cabinets and started to finally hang some pictures and mirrors. We brought two of the cats (Max and Snowball) down yesterday. Snowball delayed our trip down from Virginia on Sunday by running off and hiding in the woods. I don't know how, but she knew something was up. After searching inside and out for over two hours, I put some dry cat food in a plastic cup and went out into the back yard abd shook it several times. That brought her out.

Upon seeing us stuff her into her carrier, Max high-tailed it to the basement and hid from us for several minutes. They're adjusting slowly but surely to the new place, as am I.

I promise I'm gonna get bck into the swing of things with the blog posts. I'm using my mother-in-law's computer this evening. Gonna be spending a couple of hours doing some online training for the insurance exam. Also have to send a fax for my father-in-law. The only thing he knows about faxing is that it somehow involves a phone.

More later.
They REALLY don't like it yet. I'll have to post some new pics soon.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Viking Zombie Boyfriend, by Jeremy Rizza (8-19-11)

Playing catch up with the VZB strips this week with two for the price of one. 

Jeremy writes:
8/18/11: The layabout bear in the second strip is named Vernon Joong.  Vernon is as cheerful and unpretentious a golddigger as you could ever hope to meet. He’s also one with pretty low aspirations, considering he’s trying to sponge off of Rex. Given Rex’s spinelessness, he’s probably going to be stuck with Vernon for quite some time.  Vernon has been added to the Characters page, at the bottom, which is where his lazy ass belongs.

Next time around is the start of my 8-part (at least) Barnberg Pride saga, featuring plenty of Paco!

Permanent links to the latest strips can be found here and here.  Don’t forget to check out the recently added Sagas page, and the updates to the Free Stuff section!

And don’t forget to check out Viking Zombie Boyfriend at:
Facebook! For up-to-the-minute site updates and background info.
Flickr! For vintage VZB-related and other art by yours truly!
CafePress! For super-cool merchandise!

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I Got a Job!!

That's right gays and girls! The Rev has secured a new revenue stream here in North Carolina. I start training on Monday at a brand new call center facility in south Charlotte, where they handle calls for a variety of companies, one of which is a group health insurance company.

There's a butt-load of training required for licensing to sell insurance, but they pick up the tab for all of that, including the state and federal fees. Once I'm licensed, I can take it with me anywhere, if it doesn't work out.

Fingers crossed here, hoping I can make it through the two weeks of unpaid training. It's gonna be tough getting the final stages of the move done. Gonna be real busy on the weekends getting all of that done. There's enough left for another U-Haul truckload.

Moving sucks!

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Updates from the field...

Greetings from lovely Gastonia, NC. I am once again on the road looking for work in my new state. There are two job fairs going on today that I'm going to check out. One is for an insurance company call center that looks promising. They're looking to hire 900 people between two facilities. The pay is good and there's commission too.

There other one is for an internet marketing company. I don't have a lot of details, but it could be pretty cool.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the direction this blog should take. I know I have to rework it a bit to fit better with the changes my life is going through. I'm thinking that simply echoing the stories that circulate on the net is kinda lame. My goal has always been to offer something unique that can't be found anywhere else. That something has typically been my own unique perspective, coupled with my smart-ass sense of humor.

Maybe it's the stress of the move and looking for work, but there isn't much in the news lately that I find interesting enough to comment about. The Republicans are still hateful assholes and the president still refuses to evolve on marriage equality.

The loony tune Teabaggers are the biggest threat to American democracy since Senator Joseph McCarthy launched his witch hunt against the commies back in the 50's and the uneducated masses eat up the "taking back America" bullshit with a spoon.

Anyway, lots to get done today. Was up way too late last night getting things organized at the new house. It's beginning to take shape. I rearranged the furniture in the living room so that it looks reasonably functional. Still need a new couch, but the TV is working.

More later.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

That's Estertainment! All the News That's Fit to Drink (video)

Big fat Kardashian Wedding- Bachman likes Weiners & Sherri Shepard Fame whore.

I get all my Hollywood news and gossip from Ester Goldberg. You should too.

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New Wave Wednesday: "I Touch Myself", by Divinyls (Music Video)

Okay, this one came along well after the New Wave genre had merged into mainstream 80's pop, but when Australian band Divinyls released "I Touch Myself" on their fifth album in December of 1990, the song clearly reflected the New Wave sensibility, which was beginning to evolve into what would become known as the 90's Alternative sound. The lyrics of the song may have raised a few eyebrows, but they reflected the sentiments of a generation that had become paranoid about sex, due to the AIDS epidemic.

Thankfully, "I Touch Myself" eventually knocked Vanilla Ice's "Ice, Ice Baby" off the number one spot on the Billboard Charts in 1991.

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Watch: Glitter Jesus Confronts Religious Bigots at Brisbane Marriage Rally (Video)

Glitter Jesus confronts Religious Bigot at Marriage Rally
A group of Aussie marriage equality activists marched through the streets of Brisbane on Saturday when they were confronted by a group on religious counter-protesters, who they promptly glitter-bombed. The LGBT side had a special guest with them in the person of Glitter Jesus.

This one comes to us via the Sunday edition of TheQIT:
Yesterday members of the LGBT community and their supporters came together for the National Day Of Action for the Equal Love’s Marriage Equality Rally. Now if you were one of the hundreds that came together for the Brisbane rally, you’d  definitely have to agree, it was quite eventful. While some came dressed in the colours of the rainbow and T-shirts with pro marriage slogans, one came dressed as Bishop Bliss and yours truly rocked up as Glitter Jesus. Yes, you gotta love ruffling a few feathers.
When the the special guests began their speeches a small group of Baptist church goers used it as their opportunity to disrupt the rally. What could have turned into a violence confrontation, was thankfully avoided with the closest thing to violence, being in the form of the bishop being shoved by one one of the church goers and a lesbian glitter bombing one of the other counter protesters.

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Village People Lead Singer Sues for Rights to YMCA and Other Music.

I've always found it disturbingly ironic that every Opposite Wedding I've ever been to has played the disco classic "YMCA" by the Village People. I'd sit there watching a bunch of drunk, overweight straight folks stuffed into their way-too-tight Sunday Best, huffing and puffing as they engaged in their first cardio workout in twenty years to the strains of a blatantly gay song, sung by blatantly gay singers, knowing the whole time that I would probably never be able to get married myself.

Most straight folks made fun of the Village People, with their outrageous costumes and gay sensibility, but they couldn't help but love their music and can now be seen doing that stupid YMCA dance (which we never did back in the day) at wedding receptions, high school reunions and football stadiums across the country. What most have forgotten, however, is that they were essentially, just another boy band constructed by music producers.

The group is in the news again, more three decades later, over who should maintain the rights to the music. The New York Times reports:
Victor Willis, the original lead singer of the group, filed papers this year to regain control in 2013 over his share of "Y.M.C.A.," whose lyrics he wrote, under a copyright provision that returns ownership of creative works to recording artists and songwriters after 35 years. His claim to "Y.M.C.A." and 32 other Village People compositions, however, is being contested by two companies that administer publishing rights to the songs.
The companies, Scorpio Music, a French business, and Can't Stop Productions, one of its American affiliates, do not deny that Mr. Willis, who dressed as a police or naval officer in the group's live performances, is one of the writers of several of the songs, which have made many millions of dollars. But they have asked a court in Los Angeles to deny his attempt to exercise what are known as "termination rights," arguing, among other things, that the two companies "employed defendant Willis as a writer for hire, and he therefore has no rights" to any share of ownership of the songs.
"This is going to be an important case because they claim my client was a worker for hire," said Mr. Willis's lead lawyer, Brian D. Caplan of the New York firm Caplan & Ross. "We are quite confident there will not be finding of work for hire, and that the rationale of such a decision will have implications for many other cases."
Read the full story here.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

RI Gays Ignoring Marriage Lite, Holding Out for the Real Deal

According to the Associated Press, in the first month that same-sex civil unions became legal in Rhode Island, only nine couples have taken advantage of Marriage Lite.

Few Rhode Islanders are seeking civil unions more than a month after the state began offering them to same-sex couples.
Only nine couples were joined in a civil union in July, the first month licenses were available.
Dawn Euer, a spokeswoman for Marriage Equality Rhode Island, says couples may be skipping civil unions to hold out for true marriage. Her group plans to push gay marriage legislation in the Ocean State again next year.
But Rep. Peter Petrarca, the state lawmaker who wrote the civil union bill, says couples may just be trying to figure out if a civil union is right for them.
The state's General Assembly passed legislation authorizing civil unions this year after a gay marriage bill stalled.
Related articles
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Fight Intensifies Over NC Marriage Amendment

Via the AP:
RALEIGH — In public places and behind the scenes, lobbying is gearing up ahead of the General Assembly session next month when lawmakers could consider putting a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on next year's ballot.
Campaigns for and against the proposed constitutional ban are already including petitions, pulpit messages, rallies, billboards and phone banks, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported today.
The gay rights group Equality North Carolina on Sunday set up at the North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in Durham with stacks of postcards for patrons to sign urging lawmakers to withhold their support for the proposed ban. The group hopes to have 50,000 to deliver to legislators by next month.
"Just because two guys want to be together or two girls want to be together, what effect does that have on me?" asked theatergoer Joseph Sawyers, 31, of Raleigh. "It doesn't bother me at all. It has nothing to do with me."
On the other side of the issue, the executive director of the Christian Action League has spent days in face-to-face lobbying and vote counting.
"There's a lot of groundwork to be laid," the Rev. Mark Creech said. "Not only do you have to have all the votes that are needed, in the long run, you need to be in the best position so you can win North Carolina."
It's already illegal for same-sex couples to marry in North Carolina. The proposal would let voters decide whether to amend the state constitution to state that marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic valid legal union recognized in the state.
Thirty states already have constitutional language defining marriage. Minnesota lawmakers this year agreed to place an amendment defining marriage on the ballot for 2012.
Three-fifths of all members of the House and Senate would have to approve putting the question before voters in November 2012. Republicans hope a constitutional amendment on gay marriage would increase turnout of conservative voters in 2012 and boost their chances against Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue and President Barack Obama.
Obama narrowly won North Carolina's electoral votes in 2008 and signaled he aims to contest the moderate Southern state again. Democrats decided to hold their convention in Charlotte. An Elon University poll in February found that 37 percent of the state's residents support or strongly support a marriage amendment, down from 43 percent in March 2009. A December poll of registered voters by the Civitas Institute, a Raleigh think tank, found that two-thirds supported an amendment.
With Republicans in control of the General Assembly for the first time in a century, religious conservatives see this year and next as an opportunity to advance a gay marriage amendment sidetracked for years when Democrats held power.
"Our organization is pushing to say to our legislature, 'We want you to vote on it,'" Said Ron Baity, president of the conservative Christian organization Return America.
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Monday, August 15, 2011

A note about the Malware Alert message

Last week I cross-posted a petition from The New Civil Rights Movement and calling on congress to call out anti-gay groups who are often called upon to give "expert" testimony at congressional hearings, even though their alleged evidence has been discredited by mainstream science and the greater medical community.

In my haste to post the item, I did a simple cut and paste directly from's site, instead of pasting the text to a Word Pad document,then copying it to the site. As a result, Google is flagging the content as a possible source of Malware, which can infect and damage PC's. I have removed the post from the site and hopefully removed any potential problems.

The New Civil Rights Movement and do a lot of good work in promoting LGBT Equality and has caught the attention of anti-gay hackers, who have worked their magic on at least one occasion, which is why Google has flagged the content. There is nothing dangerous currently active on the site or on mine. 

Going forward, I won't take any shortcuts. Please let me know if you have experienced any problems with Malware after visiting my site.


Rev. Steve

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Inside the Twisted Mind of Michele Bachmann: "I don't judge, I convert." (Video)

GOP Front Runner, Michele "Crazy Eyes" Bachmann
Michele Bachmann is in full campaign mode after winning the Iowa straw poll over the weekend, which means that she's following in the 235-year tradition of American politics by denying her own record and expecting the rest of us to check our brains at the door and fall in line. That may work for the Teabaggers, for whom reality is shrinking dot in the rear view mirror.

For those of us on this side of the looking glass, watching Bachmann side-step direct questions from David Gregory, who confronted Crazy Eyes with her own malicious statements against the gay and lesbian community on Meet the Press on Sunday, was enough to make your head explode.

When it comes the the gays, Bachmann has changed her tune. In a speech in 2004, the Teabagger Queen called homosexuality "personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement".

Now that she's running for president, however, her mantra is now "I don't judge", as if the rest of the world doesn't now know what goes on behind the closed doors of Bachmann and Associates, the "clinic" she founded with her closet case, ex-gay husband Marcus. This is the same operation that has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in Medicaid funds, a system that Bachmann would do away with, if elected.  This is the insanity that the GOP has embraced this time around.

Just so we're clear here, Bachmann is only doing what Obama did when he ran for president, except in reverse. During the '08 elections, The Big O backtracked from his previous pro-Marriage Equality position to make himself more palatable to social conservatives. Bachmann is backing away from her anti-gay rhetoric in order to appeal to the deaf, dumb and blind.

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