Friday, February 26, 2010

I love Rita Rudner

The terrific blogger of Alfred Lives Here posted a great quote by comedienne Rita Rudner: "My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child. We can't decide whether to ruin our carpet our ruin our lives."  It reminded me just how much I love Rita Rudner.  I found an early clip of one of her acts.  A great way to start the weekend!  Back on Monday.

Scott Brown and Mass Resistance

Pam's House Blend has an interesting story about Scott Brown, who angered some Tea Baggers and other conservatives by joining the Democrats in voting for a jobs bill.  But before anyone starts to think that Senator Brown has tempered his political views, consider this:

Senator Scott Brown (?-MA) has successfully snookered Brian Camenker (left)  of MassResistance.  Southern Poverty Law Center categorizes MassResistance as an active hate group.  MassResistance is so fringe that the "mainstream" anti-gay organization Massachusetts Family Institute cut ties with them during the marriage debates in that state.
According to a MassResistance e-mail that Camenker sent out today, Brown showed up to a Feb. 20th breakfast with tea baggers and MassResistance, told the group all the stuff they wanted to hear, then on Feb. 22nd went and voted with the Democrats on the job stimulus bill.
 Scott Brown has only been senator for less than a month, but sooner or later he's going to decide he wants to continue to align himself with a hate group or whether he wants to represent the people of Massachusetts.

Down if you're Out in Beverly Hills

Miss Beverly Hills (aka Lauren Ashley), who will compete in the Miss California, had this to say about gay people in a recent interview:
The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman. In Leviticus it says, 'If man lies with mankind as he would lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.' The Bible is pretty black and white . . . "

I feel like God himself created mankind and he loves everyone, and he has the best for everyone. If he says that having sex with someone of your same gender is going to bring death upon you, that's a pretty stern warning, and he knows more than we do about life.
Must we go through the list of other Biblical crimes that people like Ms. Ashley choose to ignore while quoting Leviticus again?

There are many ways to protest

This is from The Advocate, and was brought to my attention by my friend Steve:

Gay Couple Engagement Initiative Launched

Two Bremerton, Wash., men, Karl Urseth and Michael Maria, who have been together for 23 years, have placed an announcement in the Kitsap Sun newspaper stating their intent to marry as soon as they are legally able to do so.

Two Bremerton, Wash., men, Karl Urseth and Michael Maria, who have been together for 23 years, have placed an announcement in the Kitsap Sun newspaper stating their intent to marry as soon as they are legally able to do so.

The couple placed the notice at the request of Ben, a commenter on the website for Seattle’s newspaper, The Stranger, who encouraged readers to do so, writing, “Gay couples all across the country who would like to marry should get engaged and post their engagement in local newspapers, saying they plan to hold a ceremony 'as soon as it's legal.'"

Another world

The UK website Pink News is reporting that Prime Minister Gordon Brown hosted a reception where he expressed his deep appreciation for LGBT members of the armed services in England.  LGBT people have been serving openly in England for a decade.

According to the website:
He told guests at 10 Downing Street, including a number of gay servicemembers, that there was a “debt of gratitude we can never fully repay”.

He said that the pride they felt was “nothing compared to the pride we feel in them”.

Mr Brown cited the current struggle in the US to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, saying he knew debate on the issue continued.

In 2009, for the first LGBT reception at Downing Street, Mr Brown said that the ban on gay marriage in California was “unacceptable.”

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bert and Ernie: Gay Marriage Heroes!

David Henry Sterry of The Huffington Post has posted a very important piece of news in the battle of same-sex marriage.  Here's an edited version:

Bert and Ernie, legendary lovable Sesame Street icons, are in favor of same-sex marriage, sources close to them recently revealed. This hot button topic that has caused raging and flaming controversy all over the United States for years is still dominating headlines. On February 18, 2010, the Archdiocese of Washington announced that they are doing away with their foster care program, because they can't work with the change in the District of Columbia's laws that will allow same-sex marriages to be recognized legally. This is just the latest in a long line of decisions which affect millions of people's lives, legally, socially and morally.
Even though there has been an informal "don't ask-don't tell" policy on Sesame Street for years, Bert and Ernie have not come out publicly advocating for same-sex marriage because they are afraid of the public backlash. An anonymous source overheard Bert and Ernie lamenting to Cookie Monster, Count von Count and Snuffluffigus that they were afraid if people knew, they might be evicted from Sesame Street, shunned by their monster friends and blackballed by the Muppet's Union. Bert and Ernie are reported to have said, "It's ridiculous, why should people pay taxes and not have the same rights as everyone else? It's not about whether you're gay or hetero, or whatever the heck else is out there, it's about whether there's love in the house. And everyone knows there's always been a lot of love in the basement of 123 Sesame Street." 

Bert and Ernie have long been rumored to be gay. Many have speculated that Ernie's international hit, "Rubber Ducky", was actually a coded love song to Bert. They have, and continue to be, closed mouth about their personal life. An anonymous source had this to say: "Well, Bert and Ernie were carrying on, like they do, and Ernie said, 'Look, what we do behind closed doors is our business.' And Bert said, 'Hey Ernie, is that a banana in your ear?' And Ernie said, 'What Bert?' And Bert said, 'I said Ernie, is that a banana in your ear?' And Ernie said, 'What's that Bert, I can't hear you, I've got a banana in my ear!' Everybody just fell out. No matter how many times they do it, it's always funny." 
Kermit the Frog was the only confidant of Bert and Ernie who would comment about this supercharged situation. And that was only on the condition of being off the record. "Hey, it's not easy being green. And in this case, when I say green, of course I mean gay. Just to be clear, I'm not saying Bert and Ernie are gay. Not that there's anything wrong with it. If two people want to live in the same bedroom together, that's their business. Whatever gets you through the night, right? I mean come on, how many couples have been together for 40 years? I would take my hat off to them, except I am a frog, and I don't wear a hat."
         Attempts to contact all Muppets, and their representative, proved fruitless.

Maybe the only thing better would be a Dan Quayle/Sarah Palin double feature

Sarah's greatest hits with thanks to Paul.

Maryland Attorney General rules that state may acknowledge same-sex marriages

According to The Baltimore Sun, Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler released a long-awaited opinion yesterday stating that Maryland must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.  The ruling did not deal with the issue of whether or not same-sex marriages could take place in Maryland.  While at first there was some confusion about whether or not the ruling had the force of law, Gansler later clarified that the recognition of same-sex marriages should begin immediately.  

One Republican was so angered by the ruling that he has called for the Attorney General's impeachment.  Some opponents of same-sex marriage are concerned that Maryland couples will simply marry in nearby Washington DC, where same-sex marriage is set to begin next month, then return to their home state.  One such opponent, State Senator Norman Stone, said that if people "strongly believe in same-sex marriages, they should go live in those states" that allow it.  Said another, "It is going to end up on referendum, and I am going to win,"

For their part, supporters of same-sex marriage hope to pass a bill that would make performing same-sex marriage legal in Maryland.

Utah bill would criminalize miscarriages

Some newspapers and websites are reporting that the Utah House of Representatives has passed a bill that would make some miscarriages punishable by law.  According to this bill, women could be prosecuted for an "intentional, knowing, or reckless act" that led to a miscarriage.  The word "reckless" is undefined, leaving open the possibility that a woman could be charged with murder for someone else's interpretation of the word.  Commentator Anna North posed the question if this would leave a woman vulnerable to a homicide indictment for not wearing a seatbelt or falling down the stairs.

The bill itself is disturbing enough.  What is even more frightening is the enormous support of the bill in the Utah House.  It is also disturbing that this news hasn't received much attention.  Most of the reports I found were in Utah newspapers such as The Salt Lake Tribune and a few websites and blogs. 

Thanks to Kimberly for posting this on facebook and bringing it to our attention.

Constitutional amendment in West Virginia fails

Alison Knezevich of The Charleston Gazette is reporting that a Republican attempt to make same-sex marriage unconstitutional in West Virginia has been defeated in the House of Representatives.

Those seeking a constitutional amendment on marriage haven't give up. The "Family Policy Council of West Virginia” is focusing on a Senate version of the resolution. The group is also planning a rally against same-sex marriage at the Capitol.

The law seems particularly mean-spirited given that same-sex marriage is already illegal in West Virginia. 

But this bill isn’t the only mean-spirited measure the Republicans hope to present to the legislature in the coming weeks. Republican delegates plan to try to force a vote on a bill to require drug-testing of all welfare recipients.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Of course I don't mind

Of course I don't mind if some politicians are heterosexual. As long as they don't flaunt it....I mean, why the need to make it so public?  (Sound familiar?)  See you Thursday!

Scott and Gail

George and Laura

Rick and Karen

Mitt and Ann


Military leader after military leader has come out either against Don't Ask, Don't Tell or has at least acknowledged the the present system isn't working.  The latest is General Petraeus, who on Meet the Press  acknowledged that he had served with gay soldiers in the past. When asked whether hetero soldiers care if DADT is repealed, he answered,"I'm not sure that they do."

Remember that when military leaders such as Colin Powell supported DADT, conservatives used their opinions as ammunition.  So what happens when these leaders change their minds?  Here's what The Huffington Post is reporting how Rick Santorum explains the second thoughts top military brass are having about DADT:
Addressing how the military leadership, led by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen, could now favor a repeal of the law, Santorum raised the specter of brainwashing. 'Political correctness is reigning in the military right now,' he said. 'People say [on DADT] listen to the military brass. I'm not too sure that we haven't so indoctrinated the officer corps in this country that they can actually see straight to make the right decision.' The line went over well with the CPAC.

Okay.  Changing one's mind with the times after 17 years of DADT is now considered "indoctrination."

Torville and Dean

As I watch the Ice Dancing competition in awe, as usual, I still can't forget the remarkable performance of Torville and Dean in 1984.  Other couples since then may have done more daring things, perhaps more technically difficult things, but few have done what these two did: they made themselves seem as if they were in the wrong category.  It's hard to consider this performance"pairs skating" when the skaters are one entity, one being.  

Joe Lieberman to introduce Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal

Those of you who read this blog will by now know that Joe Lieberman is not my favorite politician.  His obstructionist role in the health care debate has been a major reason why we have not had reform.  Still, when someone does the right thing, it's important to note that.  That doesn't mean I support the guy, nor would I vote for him.  Despite the focus of this blog, LGBT issues are not the only issues important to me.

In any case, Meredith Shiner is reporting for that Sen. Lieberman will introduce a bill next week to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." 

Said Lieberman: 
I will be proud to be a sponsor of the important effort to enable patriotic gay Americans to defend our national security and our founding values of freedom and opportunity. I have opposed the current policy of preventing gay Americans from openly serving in the military since its enactment in 1993.
To exclude one group of Americans from serving in the armed forces is contrary to our fundamental principles as outlined in the Declaration of Independence and weakens our defenses by denying our military the service of a large group of Americans who can help our cause.
So kudos to Joe for doing the right thing.  There are also many more right things to do.

Interesting Poll at Conservative Political Action Committee Conference

Julie Bolcer of The Advocate is reporting that a poll taken at the end of the CPAC Convention produced some surprising results.  When given choice of issues to indicate as important, stopping gay marriage only received 1% of the vote.

Part of the explanation may be that a majority of attendees was 25 or under, a demographic that in poll after poll has been shown to be much more accepting of same-sex marriage than their older

According to Hot Air, students and people age 25 and under constituted the majority of respondents, which suggests the poll holds even more implications for the years ahead than the present day:

Respondents picked Paul, a Texas congressman and 2008 presidential candidate, as their 2012 presidential favorite with 31%, ahead of last year’s pick, Mitt Romney, who received 22%. Sarah Palin took 7% and Tim Pawlenty won 6%.

Another poll question seemed to indicate that the antigay agenda was less important.  Hot Air noted that only 9% said their most important goal was to promote traditional values by protecting “traditional” marriage and the lives of the unborn.

The poll was criticized for surveying only 2,935 respondents, the majority of them young, out of 10,000 CPAC registrants.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.  The list of speakers at the conference was a who's who in anti-gay politics.  Will social issues be downplayed in upcoming elections?  Will the Glenn Becks and Rick Santorums (he's the one who compared gay men with dog sex) allow anti-gay sentiment to diminish?  Stay tuned.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Smith College President announces commencement speaker

Sad story from Kenya

Here's an edited/summarized version of a story that Doug Ireland wrote for Gay City News.  Before we start judging the people of Kenya, do take note that here in the United States in 2008, the FBI reported t 1,617 hate crimes based on sexual orientation.  That's just those crimes that were reported.  Of this group, almost 60% were anti-gay male hate crimes.  So yes, this story in Kenya is horrible.  So is the fact that so many LGBT people in the US were threatened, beaten, or murdered in only one year because of who they were.

In the coastal town of Mtwapa in Kenya’s Kilifi district, media hysteria and outrage by clerics over a rumored but non-existent gay wedding whipped up mob violence that began on February 12, unleashing a house-to-house witch hunt by anti-gay vigilantes, street attacks targeting gay men, the sacking of an AIDS-fighting medical center, and a widening wave of ultra-homophobic national media coverage.

Many gay men are in hiding or have fled the area.

Kenyans protest alleged gay wedding.

From Nairobi, the nation’s capital, Denis Nzioka, a prominent 24-year-old gay activist, told Gay City News, “Ever since the outburst of violence in Mtwapa, gay people have had to fear for their lives. Vigilante groups are hunting down gay men, going door to door, and anyone who is overly flamboyant is attacked in the street.”

That mosque’s imam then announced the so-called “wedding” to his congregation and instructed his flock to begin monitoring any community gatherings to insure that no gay weddings could take place.

After this, “a local radio station, Kaya FM, picked up the story and started a series of programs on gays,” according to the GALCK-KHRC (Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya/ Kenya Human Rights Commission) report, which Nzioka told this reporter included phone-in talk shows filled with homophobic discourse and incitements to violence. Other local radio stations also picked up the story.

Five days before the date of the alleged wedding, “many of the muftis and imams .... told their congregants to demonstrate and to flush out homosexuals from the midst of Mtwapa and to ensure that no gay wedding took place,” the GALCK-KHRC report declared.

According to a story in the Daily Nation about the press conference, “The clerics claimed that a large number of youths were being recruited into gay clubs and warned that ‘God is about to punish the fastest growing town in the Coast region. Come night, come day, we shall not allow that marriage to be conducted in this town tomorrow. We shall stand firm to flush out gays who throng this town every weekend from all corners of this country,’ the religious leaders said.”

The day after this inflammatory press conference, a well-organized mob of some 200 to 300 people armed with sticks, stones, and other weapons, and led by a vigilante leader named Faridi surrounded the KEMRI clinic, which was alleged to be the site of the non-existent wedding, and demanded that all the “shogas” come out of the building. “Shoga” is a Swahili word used as a pejorative against homosexuals — the equivalent of “faggot."

Later that same day, “after Friday prayers” in Mtwapa’s mosques, “mobs of individuals went to the homes of suspected homosexuals looking for them,” said the GALCK-KHRC report, which also recounted speeches to a large mob that had gathered outside the local police station. Sheikh Hussein addressed the crowd in a manner “that was inciting, and he kept talking about Sodom and Gomorrah and the need to root out all homosexuals from the Mtwapa area,” the report said.

A former member of Kenya’s parliament, Omar Masumbuko, was one of several politicians who also addressed the mob. “He said that homosexuality must be stopped and every means used to make that happen,” according to the GALCK-KHRC report. “He told the crowd they should not even bother to bring the homosexuals they find to the police station but should take care of the issue themselves,”

On February 12 a 23-year-old security guard was descending from a bus heading toward the center of Mtwapa when he was set upon by a mob that threatened him with death and beat him senseless. A female sex worker tried to protect him with her body and yelled at the crowd that they can’t kill people like that and that the man had not done anything, but the mob doused the man with kerosene, preparing to burn him alive. At this point the police arrived, but instead of arresting anyone in the mob, they arrested the man it had attacked. The bloodied, dazed man was incarcerated and denied medical attention.

The Mtawapa witch-hunt shows no signs of letting up: at the beginning of this week, Sheikh Hussein launched radio appeals for a mass anti-gay demonstration in Mtawapa on February 19.

Laurel and Hardy on gay marriage

Yes, it seems everyone has an opinion.....

Pro-gay posters in Vancouver

I'm pretty sure we didn't see these posters in Salt Lake City.  The small print reads: Gay love has been legal in Canada since 1969, protected by the Constitution since 1992 and celebrated with marriage since 2005.

Bumper sticker

These bumper stickers were on sale at the Conservative Political Action Committee Convention held last week. Why would anyone buy one of these except out of malice?

A speech at the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Committee) Convention

Ryan Sorba (left) California Director of the conservative Young Americans for Liberty (as opposed to all those young Americans who hate liberty, I guess)  took to the podium on Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Committee Convention.  He followed a speaker from GOProud, a gay conservative group, who thanked the assembly for including him.  (He didn't mention that when GOproud announced that it would like to co-sponsor the event, the offer was immediately rejected.)  In any case, here's what Mr. Sorba had to say.  I should note that there were many folks who expressed their opposition to Mr. Sorba by booing, and Mr. Sorba stopped his speech.  There were also quite a few folks who applauded. 

“I want to condemn CPAC for bringing GOProud to this event! (some booing) I love it. I love it. Guess what. Guess what. Alright. Civil rights are granted in natural rights. Natural rights are granted in human nature. Human nature is a rational substance in relationship. The intelligible end of reproductive act is reproduction. Do you understand that? Civil rights when they conflict with natural rights are (yelling) No YOU sit down. The lesbians at Smith College protest better than you do. The lesbians at Smith College protest better than you do...."

Hmmmm.  Once again, I guess this is why people call it hate.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ewan McGregor calls George Stephanopoulis on his homophobia

Wait until the end of the clip to see how Ewan McGregor quietly calls George Stephanopoulis on his homophobia. Thanks to towleroad (once more) for picking this up.