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My Bilerico Post: Homophobia explodes in Illinois Senate Race

This is a big story. My latest piece at Bilerico.com on the brou-ha-ha that's been getting whipped up today in Illinois. Please check it out.

Illinois GOP Senate primaries hit a homophobic low-note | The Bilerico Project:
"While openly gay Jacob Meister campaigns over on the Democratic side, it seems the Republican contest for the Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama is the contest with the real gay scandal. Illinois Republican Representative and active Navy Intelligence reservist Mark Kirk--who has voted against the homophobic Federal Marriage Amendment, and in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act--now has to field schoolyard taunts from one of his primary competitors, Andy Martin; the 'Obama is secretly Muslim' guy.

Comparing this situation with a similar controversy taking place in the same race for the other party's candidate, openly gay Democratic primary candidate, Jacob Meister, released a statement this afternoon, saying in part:
As the …

A white conservative teabagger rapper? Are we being punk'd?

My newest Bilerico.com post is about the sanest person ever! On opposite day!

Either this is the best joke ever, or we've got ourselves a nut! | The Bilerico Project:
"Hi-Caliber rapped on camera for progressive blogger Max Blumenthal at the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference. You know. CPAC. The one being sponsored this year by GOProud but not letting them say anything. That conference.

The former New Jersey construction worker told Blumenthal that he was converted to Conservatism when his radio broke in his car and became stuck on Bilerico.com's best friend, Michael Savage. I think I'd go crazy too if all I was able to listen to was Savage Nation. Henceforth, Hi-Caliber--Mr. Conservative--has set out to be the first conservative rap star.

His first music video was filmed at this spring's 'teabagger' march on Washington. Check out the diversity! They actually found one non-white person and got so excited they showed him twice! Once from the front …

RELIVE THE DECADE: My comprehensive LGBT news of the decade review!

I'm going to turn each headline into a link, but until I have the time for that... here it is just as is: my review of the LGBT decade!

The American LGBT Decade 2000-2009:
"Technically we're still a bit over 365 days until the end of the decade--we began in year 1 not year zero--but who wants to miss the boat on a trend? The last ten years have been a roller-coaster ride for the American LGBT community, but luckily, we seem to be ending off better than we started.

The end of the nineties saw some of the most celebrated moments in gay history: the coming-out of Ellen and Elton, and the premier of Will and Grace. We also we horrified as a community by the headline-grabbing brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, which eventually led--eleven years later--to the creation of a Federal hate crimes law that protects LGBT people. The decade that brought us 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' and DOMA would soon be topped by the decade that brought us Dumbledore and GaGa.

2000: The …

Top 5 Straight Allies in Congress 2009

To call me a single issue voter is an exaggeration, but not a gross exaggeration, and its a charged lobbed at me often for good reason--I'm Mr. Gay. I wouldn't call myself a single issue voter because workers' rights, climate change and health care are all extremely important to me--not to mention immigration reform. However, we all know my TOP political issue is, and will always be LGBT rights--at least until the United States is able to pass UAFA, ENDA, DPBO and repeal DOMA and DADT. Lots of letters, I know. You don't have to know exactly what they all mean right now. Just know they're important.

Because I'm ALMOST a single issue voter, I appreciated this Festivus gift that Michael A Jones from Change.org dropped in my lap this week. Its a list of the TOP FIVE straight allies in Congress. I know who I'm NOT sending lumps of coal to this year! On the contrary, I plan to drop a little change in their reelection buckets come January.

Without straight a…

Looks like we made it, we're Phil incorporated!

Remember when I told you (over at Bilerico.com) about that certain Senator's husband who crashed a Jim Madigan fundraiser? Well looks like y'all were reading and talking!

Drunk Husband of State Senator Heather Steans Crashes Fundraiser of Rival Jim Madigan | WindyCitizen.com:
"The Commish 1 week 22 hours ago

Sweet, this story just hit #1. Good work, team. This is a silly incident even by Illinois standards."
So the drunk Leo Smith story has taken on a life of its own, and I'm really glad that it has. Just as "The Commish" says, its a silly incident even in this state of silly incidents. But WindyCitizen.com isn't the only outlet to have picked up my version of the piece:

Heather Steans' Drunk Husband Crashes Jim Madigan Fundraiser - Feast of Fun - Chicagonow.com:
"This was just put up on the Fresh section of Feast of Fun

Jim Madigan, the openly-gay former director of Equality Illinois running for the state Senate was having a fundraiser at The …

I get around...

A year ago I was a struggling middle school teacher--one whom half of the students and half of the parents hated, and one who was doing everything he could to hold it together emotionally.

Today I'm a grad student and blogger whose content is now being picked up and linked all over. I want to thank Queeried.com for the props here!

Recording Academy Says Buju Banton Isn’t Homophobic It’s Just His Cultural Perspective:
"You can still sign GLAAD’s online petition against the nomination, but one of the strongest ways to really show the Recording Academy this is not okay is to not watch the show. As Phil Reese of The Bilerico Project said you’ll be able to catch all the best bits (which this year seems to involve falling over) on Youtube the next day anyway."
I go!

How Marriage Happened: In the District, a time to celebrate and defend equality

How Marriage Happened: In the District, a time to celebrate and defend equality:
"This week, the D.C. City Council voted 11-2 to legalize marriages between same-sex couples. This is a milestone for the LGBT movement for a number of important reasons. First, the overwhelming vote proves we can win legislatively. Second, D.C. will be the first majority-minority jurisdiction to legalize marriage. And, third, D.C. will be the first place below the Mason-Dixon Line to end discrimination against same-sex couples and their families.

This achievement is the result of years of work by a range of committed organizations and individual activists who in a careful and methodical fashion created and implemented a comprehensive strategy that has us at the brink of marriage equality.

Groups like the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, which helped to elect supportive candidates to the Council; Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, which worked with members of the Council on policy; and DC for Marriage, w…

How we will win our next Marriage Equality victory.

Ed Mullen wants to make more gay history in Illinois:

"Ed Mullen, Democratic candidate for Illinois State Assembly District 11, got a bit of good news this weekend. He found out that the Victory Fund will officially endorse him in his primary. ed-portrait.jpgThis is good news for his home town of Chicago, good news for Illinois, and good news for marriage equality nationwide.

The openly gay civil rights lawyer who attended law-school in Washington D.C., Ed Mullen is competing for the open seat against Dan Farley and Ann Williams in the February 2 primaries in this fairly gay and overwhelmingly progressive Democratic district that includes Chicago's 'other' gayborhood, Andersonville, and 'hugs' the famous 'Boystown' neighborhood on its north and west sides. Mullen is hoping to join the Northwest side's Deb Mel (40th District incumbent being challenged by openly gay man Joe Laiacona) and tried and true Greg Harris (14th District) as the third openly ga…

At least someone cares about Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado, even if local authorities do not

Federal hate crime charges possible in gay Puerto Rican teenager’s murder :: EDGE on the Net:
"A federal prosecutor on Puerto Rico said earlier today her office would file hate crime charges against the man who reportedly confessed to killing gay teenager Jorge Steven López Mercado if local authorities do not."
The local law enforcement's handling of the vicious, brutal murder of young Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado has been awful. I'm glad its getting the attention and care it deserves now.

Husband of openly gay Illinois Senate candidate's rival makes a scene at Jim Madigan fundraiser. | The Bilerico Project

Husband of openly gay Illinois Senate candidate's rival makes a scene at Jim Madigan fundraiser. | The Bilerico Project:
"What on earth was Heather Steans' husband Leo Smith doing at the Jim Madigan community fundraiser Thursday night (even though he didn't pay to get in)? It certainly wasn't a diplomatic outreach mission. The prominent donor to shamed former Governor Rod Blagojevich approached Madigan at his event at The Call last night in Andersonville Chicago while Madigan was in the midst of a slightly friendlier conversation with Jacob Meister, the openly gay candidate seeking Barak Obama's former United States Senate seat.

'I'm not here for your event! I know you think you're gonna get famous with all your BULLSHIT! But those things are about me!'

The photos speaks for itself, Smith is obviously disheveled and angry. Onlookers have noted that Smith was belligerent and out-of-sorts. He'd been drinking in a corner of the bar for an hour be…

MY FIRST OUT AND ABOUT COLUMN!

oadecember09.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Please check out my first column in Out & About Illinois magazine on newsstands this week!

LGBT Politics and Life: When the News Knocks at your Door

Mother told me there are three things you never
talk about in polite company: sex, religion and politics.
Unfortunately for her, thanks to my father her boy has always
been a very politically-oriented person. Current events was
the ‘sports’ of our household, and political campaigns is the
major leagues of the news.

Back when I was a kid there were two things that
happened once every four years and you never missed a
minute of it unless you were in a coma: The Olympics and
the election (or reelection) of another American President. I
became a political junkie at a young age.

I think, however, I’m a rare duck in the lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender community. Most gays and lesbians
are content to live their lives every day just being the best
citizens they can possibly be. They aren’t radical, and they
aren…

Illinois Democrats Put Off LGBT Rights...Again

Gapers Block : Mechanics : Chicago Politics - Illinois Democrats Put Off LGBT Rights...Again:
"Gays and lesbians can go ahead and scratch Civil Unions off their holiday wish list this season, as a Nov. 30 deadline for moving on Civil Unions legislation passed with almost no action by the Democratic-controlled Illinois legislature -- except to create a new deadline nearly half a year away.

The fact that the deadline was missed comes as no surprise, considering the state legislature has been adjourned for weeks and is not scheduled to meet again until Jan. 12. Still, this is just one more turn in a complex holding pattern the state Democrats have locked this bill into."
Doesn't this just piss you off? I think we definitely need more out gay lawmakers. If Illinois--a state that borders Iowa--was to pass civil unions or equal marriage, our ballot procedure would make it very difficult to overturn at the polls. IF we ever get it passed, that is. We would need a miracle.

Ed M…

Mice Prove Gender Isn't Fixed at Birth - Battle of the sexes rages inside each individual

Mice Prove Gender Isn't Fixed at Birth - Battle of the sexes rages inside each individual:
"If you think your gender is a fixed part of who you are, a pioneering study suggests you should think again. In it, scientists turned the ovary cells of adult female mice into male testicular tissue by switching off a single gene—one that's found in all mammals. The study unravels the long-held assumption that gender is fixed from birth, implying that in fact the adult body is the site of a constant battle between male and female genes.

The findings could explain biological mysteries such as why some women develop male traits after menopause, and 'may eventually remove the need for surgery in gender-reassignment treatment,' one of the researchers tells the Independent."
SO IMPORTANT!

In anti-gay attack, AIM falsely asserts "pedophile" Jennings was "teaching 14-year-old boys" about sexual practices | Media Matters for America

In anti-gay attack, AIM falsely asserts "pedophile" Jennings was "teaching 14-year-old boys" about sexual practices | Media Matters for America:
"In attacking the media for allegedly insufficient coverage of Obama administration official Kevin Jennings, a blogger for Accuracy in Media, which purports to 'set the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage' -- and which has a record of antagonism toward gays -- smeared Jennings as a 'pedophile' and falsely claimed that '[v]ideos have surfaced of Jennings teaching 14-year-old boys the dangerous sexual practice of 'fisting,' and discussing with them the particulars of oral sex.' In fact, Jennings did not conduct that seminar and, in fact, reportedly criticized it when he became aware of its content."
AIM is a crock. They're nothing more than Republican mouthpieces.

Love Takes Over

Love Takes Over: "Love Takes Over is a nationwide initiative calling on citizens to write to their local newspapers about marriage equality during the week of January 3rd-January 9th. Love Takes Over seeks to promote and foster dialogue about marriage equality on a local level."

I'm doing it. Are you?

Recording Academy celebrates shooting, incinerating gays as "cultural perspective" #GRAMMYboycott

Glad to know that the Recording Academy is so interested in celebrating diversity...
Over the last decade, Buju Banton has reemerged as one of the most blatantly homophobic celebrities in the world--especially after 2006 when a judge dropped all charges against him for storming the residence of six suspected gay men and severely beating them to the point of permanent injury. He has repeatedly been caught singing his 1992 pro-murder hit "Boom, Bye Bye" after pledging not to sing it anymore. In 2007 he was the last signer of the "Reggae Compassion Act" pledging to refuse to sing homophobic lyrics anymore, only to immediately after deny ever signing it.In October 2009, after agreeing to meet with members of the San Francisco gay and lesbian center about the homophobic content in his music, Buju Banton refused their requests to stop promoting the murder of gays and lesbians, and to make an anti-violence statement. days later he proceeded to pronounce, "This is a fi…

IF WE CAN'T EVEN PASS ENDA, FORGET ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE!

Dr. Jillian Weiss over at Bilerico.com is pissed, and with good reason. Today is ZERO HOUR on ENDA, we need three Representatives in the Committee responsible for it--House Committee on Education and Labor--to demand that chairman George Miller schedule a markup of the ENDA bill so it may have a chance of passing in this Congress. Over days and days, Jillian and other ENDA proponents promoted her Change.org petition to the Committee, and how many people signed it? 260. Out of 30,000,000 LGBT people in the United States--not to mention allies--260 signed the petition.

Folks, you want marriage equality? If we can't even get these gutless politicians to make a move on EMPLOYMENT PROTECTIONS so that people can have JOBS and LIVE, how the hell do you think we're going to get them to support something SO MUCH MORE CONTROVERSIAL as MARRIAGE EQUALITY?

You have to walk before you run, folks. If you want marriage equality, you need to open the door with ENDA. Take a look at what Dr…

Three gay men beaten outside of a St. Louis bar while attackers yelled "faggot."

Attack victims believe they were targeted for being gay | ksdk.com | St. Louis, MO:
"KSDK-- St. Louis Police are investigating an attack early Saturday outside a nightclub on Chouteau Avenue. And while police say it's too soon to tell whether this will be categorized as a hate crime, the victims believe they were targeted because they're gay.

Jacob Piwowarczyk says, 'I have a soft tissue bruise on my elbow. I have six stitches in my eye and I have a mild concussion.'

These are the physical reminders, of a night Piwowarczyk won't soon forget. He and two friends were leaving the Complex Nightclub when it happened.

Piwowarczyk says, 'They came up out of the car and they start calling us f*^%#.'"
A few tips to all of my queer friends. Never walk alone at night. Always avoid poorly lit, dim areas. Try to go in big groups. Stay as sober as you can be so you can run away when you need to.

Finally NEVER EVER let them scare you so much that you stop living …

Window, Unite Media Owes Over $15M to Creditors « The NLGJA Blog

Window, Unite Media Owes Over $15M to Creditors « The NLGJA Blog:
"Reports are now beginning to trickle in regarding the financial collapse of Window Media. ProjectQAtlanta has gotten the first look at bankruptcy filings by Window Media and Unite Media (the media unit of Avalon Equity Partners, the owners of Window Media) and the initial list of creditors shows the companies owes over $1 million in payroll and other taxes and more than $400,000 to printers.

The filings, in a federal bankruptcy court in Atlanta, show pages of unsecured and secured creditors, including employees, freelancers, vendors, and shareholders. Before any of those people get paid, the Avalon Equity and M&T Bank will be first to get paid under the Chapter 7 bankruptcy."
I'm hoping the Voice can make a comeback, as the Blade (both Washington and South Florida) and 411 Magazine staffs have been relatively successful at keeping everything running without interruption, under new names.

John Buccigross: How one of hockey's toughest men accepted his son's courageous admission - ESPN

John Buccigross: How one of hockey's toughest men accepted his son's courageous admission - ESPN:
"'Middle school and early high school is the first time I remember thinking that I could be gay, but I definitely tried to ignore it and didn't want to seriously consider it. It's pretty easy to try and convince yourself that it's not true, but it won't work, ever.' -- Brendan Burke"
In an effort to try to put his readers in Brendan Burke's shoes, John Buccigross writes most of this piece in second person, which is a little awkward to read, but this immensely supportive piece is sure to make some waves and maybe change some minds in this truly masculine arena of Pro Hockey.

Brendan Burke, son of Maple Leaf's coach Brian Burke, attended Toronto Pride with his dad this year. What an amazing story.

More reasons to vote Bart Stupak out of office

Meet the U.S. Politicians Who Want to See Gay People Dead in Uganda | Gay Rights | Change.org:
"Congressmen Bart Stupak and Joe Pitts have a lot more in common than just working together to strip reproductive rights out of U.S. health care reform. The two are also tied through an evangelical network known as “The Family,” which has dubious ties to at least two Ugandan leaders who are championing draconian legislation in the country that would institute the death penalty for homosexuality.

Speaking yesterday on NPR’s Fresh Air, Jeff Sharlet – who wrote a best-selling book documenting the political influence of the family – noted that many U.S. politicians, straddling both sides of the political aisle, are involved with “The Family.” Sharlet spoke about how members of “The Family” have been quite active in Uganda, including Ugandan Parliamentarian David Bahati, who is a member of “The Family” and one of the legislators behind the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009."
Dear Michigan: …

When "balanced" really isn't.

Balancing Things Out « The NLGJA Blog:
"The story keeps this tone, including an interesting disagreement over whether LGBTs account for 15 or 19 percent of the city’s population. What’s missing, however, is a single voice of a DC minister who supports same-sex marriage. The story even acknowledges they exist, but then fails to actually quote one of the 200 religious leaders who are members of Clergy United for Marriage. It’s not that there aren’t any African American ministers who support same-sex marriage, yet they don’t make it into the story."
The National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association analyze a Washington Post piece that doesn't quite get "balanced" correct.

In fact, "balanced" journalism is quite often skewed to the right, giving the right more face time, more soundbites, and more of the benefit of the doubt. Especially when it comes to LGBT issues, the prevailing cultural attitude is one of oppression to LGBTs. The "balanced" r…

Gallup poll proves that when you come out, you change minds in a BIG way!

Gays Have The Power - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan:
"If gays are really serious about marriage rights, they need to accelerate the process of coming out. It's not often that a minority group has this option - African-Americans don't. But gays, like Jews, can 'pass', and by passing, we don't even give many people the option of changing their minds and hearts by better understanding who we are, and why our relationships and families strengthen society rather than weakening it."
Andrew Sullivan posted the new Gallup poll on American adult views on marriage equality--National average is that 40% support it and 57% do not, but if you ask someone if they personally know a gay person, 49% over 47% favor marriage equality if they do know a gay person, contrasted by 72% over 27% against if they do NOT know an openly gay person. The more that we come out, the more that we change those numbers. Its astonishing that just knowing an out gay person completely fl…

Are Good Morning America producers complete idiots?

Anger rising as ‘GMA’ books Chris Brown « Call Tyrone….:
"ABC has booked Rihanna-beater Chris Brown for an interview and a performance on “Good Morning America” — right after the network canceled guy-kisser Adam Lambert.

Brown will do a taped tell-all with Robin Roberts, followed by a performance of songs from his new album. But TV insiders say the appearance, slated to air the week after next, has outraged feminists and gay activists who wonder why a convicted girlfriend abuser is more palatable to the network than an openly gay man who broke no laws with his raunchy performance on the “American Music Awards.”"
You know, canceling Adam Lambert was one thing... bringing Chris Brown on afterward though? Bad move. Gays will be switching to the Today Show for sure now. As well they should. Every pair of eyes we give to Good Morning America tells them 'Its OK to shove us in the closet,' and tells America 'a violent woman-beater is more desirable than an openly gay m…

O&A--Massachusetts could be getting an openly gay Lieutenant Governor

Check out my latest post at Out & About Illinois: Massachusetts could be getting an openly gay Lieutenant Governor.

It may defy all reason, but it seems that the Republican party may be the first political party to make an openly gay Governor—or at least Lieutenant Governor. Moderate Republican Charlie Barker, former President and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, has tapped his campaign chairman, openly gay Massachusetts Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei to be his running-mate in the Republican primaries this winter. According to the Boston Globe, while the 47 year old Tisei’s sexuality has been an open secret in Boston since the early 1990s, he only came out officially on the 19th of November, after it came to light he was front-runner among those jockeying to be Barker’s running-mate. Regardless of the revelation, Barker chose Tisei anyway, and if they win the Republican ticket together, they’ll be squaring off against Governor Deval Patrick and former Democrat, Treasurer…

TBP--Public Health cuts could leave Chicago HIV+ in the lurch

Check out my newest on the Bilerico Project: Public Health cuts could leave Chicago HIV+ in the lurch.

Chicago was recently hit with the bad news it has some of the highest HIV infection rates of any city in the nation--especially high in the adult African American men who have sex with men population. The state has already made cuts to Chicago's bare-bones AIDS/HIV budget, forcing the HIV services organizations and Public Health to plan to soon make choices between providing housing to infected homeless, and providing much needed medication. The AIDS Foundation of Chicago is sounding the alarm that a $4.6 million cut in Public Health funding could mean the end of many of the support services that the city's HIV+ population have come to rely on... Continue reading Public Health cuts could leave Chicago HIV+ in the lurch.

TBP--Illinois' Jacob Meister aims to be the first openly gay Senate candidate [Part II]

Check out my newest Bilerico post: Illinois' Jacob Meister aims to be the first openly gay Senate candidate [Part II].

Last week I had a delightful conversation with Jacob Meister, the openly gay Chicago lawyer who has high hopes for winning the Democratic primary and seeking the seat previously held by President Barack Obama and Carol Moseley Braun before him. We opened by talking about Meister's long history working with small businesses, and his experiences on Capitol Hill as an intern in the 1980s. We continued to talk about his plan for education, his telecommuting tax credit plan and his 2020 Vision for America which includes building a strong stable of green jobs in manufacturing to move the United States to the forefront of the global green economy, and get all Americans back to gainful employment. Next we moved on to the very reason why I sought an interview with the candidate: why does Jacob Meister believe that he is going to be the first openly gay man elected to th…

Bruce Weiss Named Executive Director of Test Positive Aware Network (ChicagoPride.com)

Bruce Weiss Named Executive Director of Test Positive Aware Network (ChicagoPride.com):
"The Board of Directors of Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN) is pleased to announce that Bruce Weiss has been named Executive Director of the leading peer-led, Chicago-based AIDS service organization.

'Bruce is that rare combination of experienced leadership and unbridled enthusiasm,' stated TPAN Board President, Condon McGlothlen. 'Everyone at TPAN is excited about his arrival.'

A recipient of the 2006 Capital Pride Hero Award honoring LGBT leaders, Weiss has provided leadership to the HIV/AIDS community in Washington, D.C., for more than a decade. He served for several years as the Executive Director of SMYAL (Sexual Minority Youth Action League), overseeing major growth in their programs, staffing and funding. He later became the Director of the Whitman-Walker Clinic of Northern Virginia, a community health clinic focused on HIV and LGBT health care. Most recently, he was D…

LC--52: WHO COULD HAVE PREDICTED ONE YEAR..

Check out my newest blog over at Lundon Calling: Show 52--Who could have predicted one year of Lundon Calling!

Wednesday Lance, Ace and Phil got together to celebrate one year of Lundon Calling with Episode 52! The talk show that’ll get you high gave you the low down on how it all came together, and where we’re going in year two! We also announced a short hiatus over the holidays. We will be back early in the new years. Ace did let our audience know that his computer problems are a major reason for our need for a hiatus, and we would really appreciate it if our listeners visited our PayPal account and help ole Ace get the show up and running again! (while we’re at it, ole Phil’s going to need a new machine soon… but we’ll cross that bridge later).What did we talk about in Episode 52? One of Ace’s favorite topics: the psychic world! Do you believe in the psychic world? Have you ever experienced clairvoyance? You ever moved something with telekinesis? Do you have ESPN?Ace has s…

Straight Talk On Marriage: The Daily Show: Gaywatch

Straight Talk On Marriage: The Daily Show: Gaywatch:
"Jon Stewart discusses stories involving the LGBT community including Will Phillips, the 10-year-old student who refuses to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance until gay and lesbian couples can marry. Stewart brings out professional wrestler Mick Foley, who vows to protect Phillips from bullies in school."
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10cGaywatch - Peter Vadala & William Phillipswww.thedailyshow.comDaily Show
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N.J. Sen. Majority Leader says gay marriage vote would be irresponsible if passage unsure | New Jersey Real-Time News - - NJ.com

In case you thought we may actually get a win in New Jersey:
"The Gloucester County Democrat, speaking at the New Jersey State League of Municipalities conference in Atlantic City, said he thought gay marriage was an important social priority, but the economy takes precedent.

The politically sensitive issue had created sparks between two of the state Senate’s heavyweights - Sweeney and Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), who was Gov. Jon Corzine’s running mate.

As legislators try to finagle votes for one side or another, Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) said he would not bring the bill up for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee -- even though enough people in the committee supported it to pass -- unless the Democrats could prove they had the votes to pass it outright. Sarlo, who said he did not necessarily support the bill, said he would not 'stand in the way of progress' if there were enough votes.

On Wednesday, Sweeney had appeared to say same-sex marriage should be put aside …

D.C. officials push for compromise on Catholic Charities - WaPo

"Is there a way we can make this work?"

'blak, balk, blak' goes the Catholic Church.

D.C. officials push for compromise on Catholic Charities - washingtonpost.com:
"Some D.C. Council members and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton are reaching out to the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington to see whether they can find a compromise so the Church will not end its social services contracts with the city if the council legalizes same-sex marriage.

After a week of heated rhetoric, District officials said Thursday that they see a way for Catholic Charities to continue operating programs with city money while assuring that the organization's gay and heterosexual employees would be treated equally if they got married.

'The rights of [gay] partners cannot be any different from similar situated couples, but with that said, if other jurisdictions have found a way to accommodate Catholic Charities, that would be very much be desired,' said Norton (D).

Norton, who said she was t…

Gillibrand phones for gay marriage -NY Daily News

There are a finite number of New York politicians that I like. That said, I don't dislike Kirsten Gillibrand.

The Daily Politics - NY Daily News:
"Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has put LGBT issues on the top of her 'to-do' list as she works to shore up her liberal credentials, has placed personal phone calls to on-the-fence Democratic state senators in hopes of getting them to vote 'yes' on gay marriage.

Gillibrand's office confirmed calls had been made, but refused to say who the recipients had been or if anyone had specifically asked the junior senator to weigh in.

'She made calls, yes; and they were private conversations,' Gillibrand spokesman Matt Canter said. 'She did it because it's an issue she cares deeply about.'"
More reason to like Gillibrand.

A crazy week for LGBT Media as a giant goes under.

Please read my latest blog post at Out & About Illinois: A crazy week for LGBT Media as a giant goes under.

Phil Reese November 20, 2009--For over three decades the Washington Blade was the go-to weekly political news source for the American LGBT community that was unrivaled in prestige and access for much of that time.And today it doesn't exist anymore.In fact, the Washington Blade disappeared with some long-standing bastions of the LGBT journalism pantheon: the South Florida Blade, 411 Magazine, David Magazine, the Houston Voice, and the extremely respected Southern Voice. This Monday all of these institutions suddenly ceased to exist at once as the Small Business Administration decided to close down their parent company, Window Media.Window Media had been forced into receivership late last year, and we've known since at least February that they were in trouble. However, there was no warning for what happened on Monday. Folks showed up to work as they did every Monday…

TBP--What will President Obama do about that pesky federal Prop 8 suit?

Read my newest Bilerico Post: What will President Obama do about that pesky federal Prop 8 suit?

While the federal Proposition 8 lawsuit continues its battle in federal court, leaders in the LGBT community are casting a suspicious eye on the White House, asking whether or not our 'fierce advocate' up there is going to come to our aide when thousands of same-sex couples in California most need him.The argument that the Department of Justice used to defend their defense of DOMA in federal court was that they have a duty to defend federal law. Well, this may or may not be true--certainly, there is a lot of credible evidence supporting that this would be correct protocol for any non-dictator President. However, Prop 8 is state law, not federal law--if the Department of Justice chose to file a brief in the case, they would be free to take whichever side they chose, and certainly take side against the law: as Bush's DOJ did on many occasions.President Obama will, in all likelines…

OUCH!

Window Media's Demise Can Be Blamed on Its Leaders, Not the Marketplace / Queerty:
"Says Horn: 'Window Media has been is serious financial trouble for some time for reasons mostly unrelated to the general decline in newspaper advertising and the economic downtown. They leveraged their assets, including their newspapers, to fund acquisition, expansion and Web development by obtaining a huge Small Business Association loan which they were unable to service and resulted in their being put in involuntary receivership. I do not believe that the failure of Window Media means the failure of LGBT newspapers in the major population centers where they are located. Gay newspapers that have prudent management and business practices, such as the B.A.R., the Philadelphia Gay News, and the Dallas Voice, just to name three, continue to succeed.'"
Read the rest, follow the link. Lots of good insight.

Bernice King Just Started at SCLC. And Already Oversaw Its Latest Round of Homophobia-Queerty

Bernice King Just Started at SCLC. And Already Oversaw Its Latest Round of Homophobia / Queerty:

Queerty hits the nail on the head:
"Well that was a let down. After taking the reigns of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Bernice King — whose father Martin founded the organization — had the chance to turn a new leaf on the organization's, and her own, homophobia. In the most clear signal yet, she's not going to.

Since being named head of SCLC — the latest in a scandal-plagued series of power grabs — King has made no indication that she's going to suddenly come out for the gays. But we hoped and prayed. She didn't answer.

What she did do, however, was oversee SCLC's public denouncement of Florida's Tallahassee City Commission granting benefits to the same-sex partners of city employees. In an open letter to the mayor, the group wrote:

'We the members of the SCLC are very displeased of the recent actions of the commission to revise a policy to allow…

Texas' gay marriage ban may have banned all marriages - Politics AP - MiamiHerald.com

Texas' gay marriage ban may have banned all marriages - Politics AP - MiamiHerald.com:
"Texans: Are you really married?

Maybe not.

Barbara Ann Radnofsky, a Houston lawyer and Democratic candidate for attorney general, says that a 22-word clause in a 2005 constitutional amendment designed to ban gay marriages erroneously endangers the legal status of all marriages in the state.

The amendment, approved by the Legislature and overwhelmingly ratified by voters, declares that 'marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.' But the troublemaking phrase, as Radnofsky sees it, is Subsection B, which declares:

'This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.'

Architects of the amendment included the clause to ban same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships. But Radnofsky, who was a member of the powerhouse Vinson & Elkins law firm in Houston for 27 ye…

Maine. September, 1917 - Good As You:: Gay and Lesbian Activism With a Sense of Humor

Maine. September, 1917 - Good As You:: Gay and Lesbian Activism With a Sense of Humor:
"Maine. September, 1917

The Pine Tree state legislature had enacted a bill granting women the right to vote, throwing their strong support behind the measure. But first, the matter had to be ratified at the polls, putting a minority's right was put to the whims of a majority vote. Sound familiar?

Yeah, you know the script. The anti-side warned their troops to come out against the 'unwise policy' before it was 'everlastingly too late':"

TBP--ILLINOIS' JACOB MEISTER AIMS TO BE THE FIRST OPENLY GAY SENATE CANDIDATE

Please check out my latest Bilerico.com post, ILLINOIS' JACOB MEISTER AIMS TO BE THE FIRST OPENLY GAY SENATE CANDIDATE

Jacob Meister and his campaign manager, Lowell Jaffe, were standing outside of a CVS Pharmacy on DuPont Circle, in Washington DC the morning of the National Equality March. Jaffe stuck his hand out as I passed and they started a campaign pitch, and I smiled and rolled my eyes. Candidates are always stopping folks outside of Wal-Mart or inside of Bob Evans, and I think at a certain point most politically active people have been desensitized to these awkward attempts to schmooze. Hearing that Jacob was openly gay and was running for a state-wide seat in Illinois got my attention, however, and we exchanged information before I ran off to get my press pass and line up. I didn't think much of the encounter, and let it roll to the back of my mind until I started getting emails from the campaign.Last week, Jacob Meister opened up a local campaign office here in Cham…

If We Out D.C.'s Gay Catholic Priests, Will the Church Stop Railing Against Marriage? / Queerty

If We Out D.C.'s Gay Catholic Priests, Will the Church Stop Railing Against Marriage? / Queerty:
"As the Catholic thought police tried — and, miserably, failed — to prove same-sex marriage in the nation's capital would somehow make their religious teachings a hate crime, one smart alec has gone and created a website that's one part WhoSigned.org, and 10 parts Blog Active. That is: A public registry of any Catholic priest belonging to the Archdiocese of Washington who is a big homo. Or, involved in a seedy hetero affair when he should be celibate.

ChurchOuting.org and its creator Phil Attey (an HRC veteran) is calling for crowd sourced knowledge of any D.C.-area Catholic clergy who might be violating their promises to Jesus. 'This site is dedicated to every Catholic family who has lost a loved one to suicide or disassociation, needlessly caused by the spiritual pain inflicted by the church hierarchy's relentless attacks on LGBT people,' the website writes. &#…

Will the Matthew Shepard Act Play a Part In Jorge Mercado's Murder? / Queerty

Will the Matthew Shepard Act Play a Part In Jorge Mercado's Murder? / Queerty:
"Juan Antonio Martínez Matos, the 26-year-old alleged murderer of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado (pictured, right), believed he was cruising for female prostitutes in Caguas, Puerto Rico. And when he found out Mercado was a man? That's when he killed — and burned, and dismembered, and decapitated — him.

'After being rejected by a few women, [Matos] saw Jorge dressed as a woman and asked him to go with him to the house,' reads a translated police report. 'Apparently at the house, the suspect found out that Lopez was a man, after Lopez made sexual advances, and as a result of the rage, Matos did what he did.' Ah, the wonderful 'gay panic' defense."I AM SO SICK OF THE GAY PANIC DEFENSE, AREN'T YOU? LET'S GET THIS YOUNG BOY JUSTICE! FIGHT THIS PANIC DEFENSE! LET'S CALL THE COPS AND SAY THEY NEED TO PUSH HATE CRIMES CHARGES!

Champaigners--CALL TIM JOHNSON ON ENDA TODAY!

TODAY IS NATIONAL ACTION ON ENDA DAY! If you haven't yet, you need to call your Rep about ENDA and tell them you support it. Get your Rep by calling the Capitol switchboard. 1-866-220-0044, and tell them your zip code to get your Rep.

IF YOU LIVE IN CHAMPAIGN, I NEED TO SEE 56 OF YOU COMMENT ON THIS AND TELL ME YOU CALLED TIM JOHNSON!

His number is (202) 225-2371. Follow these directions from HRC:
Call Rep. Johnson (202) 225-2371 before 5 p.m. ET.Most likely, one of the interns for Rep. Johnson will answer and ask where you're calling from and why. You're calling to express your support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 3017) and urge the representative to work hard to pass it. Most calls end right there. But if you like, you can add:In 29 states, it's legal to fire someone because they're lesbian, gay, or bisexual; in 38 states, it's legal to fire someone for being transgender.The American people believe in fairness and understand that empl…

Iowa conservatives still focused on gay marriage -Tribune

Don't forget that our Victories are incredibly precarious and precious still! We have to continue DEFENDING in places we've already won. Isn't that effed up?

Iowa conservatives still focused on gay marriage -- chicagotribune.com:
"DES MOINES, Iowa - Conservative leaders have promised to make gay marriage a central issue in next year's legislative elections and governor's race, and they're considering a push to oust the Iowa Supreme Court justices whose ruling legalized same-sex unions.

Iowa Christian Alliance President Steve Scheffler said his group will focus first on lobbying lawmakers during the legislative session that starts in January to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage. Legislators who don't support that effort could find themselves facing opponents recruited and financed by the alliance, Scheffler said.

'We're going to encourage people, especially in key legislative races that are going to be competitive,' Scheffler sa…

Winston’s Cafe - Time Out Chicago

The former manager of the Chicago Eagle is having a little trouble bringing the Eagle back. While he waits for the ability to get the Eagle's liquor license back, he's opened a cafe in the meantime, and if you're a fan of the Eagle, you'd better hit Winston's up in the meantime to help him bring the Eagle back!

Winston’s Cafe - Time Out Chicago:
"Knee-deep in debt, Stephens soldiered on. “I was at a loss,” he says. “I had to open something.” Enter Winston’s Cafe. Named for Stephens’s English setter, the café opens the week of Monday 16 as a coffeehouse with soup and sandwiches, free Wi-Fi and an unusual niche: It aims to be open 24 hours. “Friends of mine say, ‘But the carpets roll up in this area at ten o’clock,’ ” Stephens says. “And I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s because nobody’s open past that.’ ” While the floor-to-ceiling windows and exposed beams and brick seem ideally suited to the new endeavor, Stephens threw his new barstools into storage and invested in ca…

The Final Hours of the Washington Blade -The Sexist

The Final Hours of the Washington Blade - The Sexist - Washington City Paper:
"Robbie Barnett, one of the guys in the purple shirts, is back from unloading another dolly full of Blade leftovers. Barnett worked as the Blade’s distribution coordinator until this morning, when he walked into the office in the middle of the closure announcement. Barnett says the news came directly from COO Steve Myers and CFO Mike Kitchens. Myers is the one in the eye-patch, Barnett says: “I think he might be ill or something.” Myers and Kitchens did most of the talking, Barnett says. “None of us really said anything.” The atmosphere, he says, was just “grim.”"
This is an awesome piece on the dismantling of America's most respected LGBT paper. Where do you think the Blade will go from here?

LC--Lundon Calling 51: Which well did Timmy fall in?

Check out my latest blog at Lundon-Calling.net!

Ever wonder what it would be like to be a child star?
Ever wonder what happens to child stars when they grow up?
This week on Episode 51 we spoke with John Provost, Timmy from the classic television series Lassie. John reveals to us what it was like to be on one of the most popular shows of all time, what his life was life before, during and after, and talks to us a little about life.
Please check out Episode 51! And help us figure out exactly which well Timmy fell in!

TBP--BREAKING: WASHINGTON BLADE, SOUTHERN VOICE CLOSED IN WINDOW MEDIA DEMISE

My latest Bilerico Post--BREAKING: WASHINGTON BLADE, SOUTHERN VOICE CLOSED IN WINDOW MEDIA DEMISE

Disturbing news this morning. Window Media--the Publisher of the Washington Blade, the South Florida Blade, the Houston Voice, the Southern Voice, David Atlanta and 411 Magazine--has officially closed its top publications: The Southern Voice, David Atlanta and the Washington Blade. At publishing time I had not received any confirmation on Houston Voice or The South Florida Blade's closure (both their websites were down once again, most likely due to high traffic), though an update onFresh Loaf from former Southern Voice Editor Lauren Douglass-Brown confirms that all Window Media publications are affected. The Blade website has been up and down all morning, presumably because of increased traffic from this story, but their Twitter feed officially confirmed the bad news...VERY IMPORTANT TO CONTINUE READING BREAKING: WASHINGTON BLADE, SOUTHERN VOICE CLOSED IN WINDOW MEDIA DEMISE Ove…

Southern Voice Shuttered, Others in Question

From Chris Geidner at LawDork: Southern Voice Shuttered, Others in Question:
"This is big, bad news.

It is important to note, though, that sales and ownership changes in the past decade have made it so that not all Blade publications are under the same ownership. Window Media lists as its 'family of publications' – Washington Blade, Southern Voice, Houston Voice, South Florida Blade, David Atlanta and The 411 Magazine.]"
This is bad bad bad bad news!

Anyone with a few dollar bills steppin' in to stop this monstrosity?!? Yes, yes, I know being a blogger I 'assisted with this downward spiral.' I doubt anyone came to Ameriqueer, though, to read my content, that would have hit the Blade's website instead.

And I'm really really upset about this. The Blade had outstanding content. This was THE LGBT weekly of the Nation. We can't possibly have the same presence we once had without it. I mourn all LGBT media if the Blade is really gone.

So anyone w…

TBP--THE HISTORY MAKER'S HISTORIAN: JON KNOLL ON JIM MADIGAN

Check out my latest BILERICO.COM POST--THE HISTORY MAKER'S HISTORIAN: JON KNOLL ON JIM MADIGAN (THIS IS NOT THE FULL POST, YOU HAVE TO CLICK THROUGH TO FINISH AS IT IS OWNED BY THE BILERICO PROJECT!)

Illinois has had its share of making history lately, but we have the opportunity to make history once again with an unprecedented number of openly gay candidates going into this Spring's primaries. Cook County (Chicago) is leading the pack with dozens of openly gay candidates for various offices on all levels. One of those offices is the 7th State Senate district currently being held by Democrat Heather Steans who is being challenged in the Primaries by openly gay former Executive Director of Equality Illinois, Jim Madigan. The district includes Andersonville, which is the up-and-coming new 'gayborhood' for the city of Chicago, no doubt part of the reason that Steans introduced a Marriage Equality bill and transgender friendly legislation in the Illinois state Senate not…

TBP--JOHN ARAVOSIS' "DON'T ASK/DON'T GIVE" HAS THE WRONG FOCUS

Check out my newest Bilerico Post about the gay DNC boycott: JOHN ARAVOSIS' "DON'T ASK/DON'T GIVE" HAS THE WRONG FOCUS
Let me preface this by reminding everyone that my first Bilerico post ever was a critique of the President's LGBT record. That was this past Spring. We are now getting on into Winter, and I still believe the President has not acted correctly on an Executive Order lifting the military gay ban, or ending the misguided practice of not accepting gay blood donors.But John Aravosis is going to throw the game by singling out the President in his point-by-point Democratic donation "pause" manifesto. This is a mistake with gigantic implications...

KEEP READING JOHN ARAVOSIS' "DON'T ASK/DON'T GIVE" HAS THE WRONG FOCUSON BILERICO.COM.

O&A--JACOB MEISTER FTW?

Please read my latest post at Out & About Illinois: JACOB MEISTER FTW?
Phil Reese November 13, 2009--It will admittedly be an uphill climb for openly gay Illinois US Senate Candidate, and Chicago lawyer Jacob Meister, who spent the week touring the state opening campaign offices in every nook and cranny of Illinois to kick off his campaign. However, being the first openly gay Senate candidate in US history should not make anyone think for even a moment he cannot do it. Meister himself notes that this was the same Senate seat of history-makers Carol Moseley Braun and President Barak Obama. I interviewed Jacob Meister on Thursday for the LGBT website Bilerico.com, and wanted to share first with you my personal reactions upon spending the day talking with the underdog that is bound and determined to make US History: Jacob Meister is the real deal.This is my own personal take, of course, and this is in no way an official endorsement. But I do encourage others to meet Jacob in one of…

DEOMI - Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute

DEOMI - Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute:
Help change the conversation on DADT by telling the military you believe that Military Readiness will be enhanced if the military gay ban is lifted:
"What outcome would you expect if the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' policy was changed to allow openly gay members in the military?"Just check out the quick poll in the middle of the page.

Rod 2.0 features my video! Thank you!

Rod 2.0:Beta: WATCH: "Hey #P2!" When Will Progressives Fight for LGBT Rights?:
"Phil Reese at Ameriqueer is an amazing young Twitter-based progressive and gay activist. Phil just produced this powerful new video that calls all progressive political allies the—Twitter hashtag is #P2—and asks, 'When do #LGBT issues get their turn?'

Phil writes: 'Anti-war actions, anti-racism efforts, environmental efforts, and anti-domestic violence efforts. I've been there, simply, because I've been called on to do so. The leaders in these movements have made it very clear that if you're really a progressive, you must show action on these issues. ... When do LGBT issues get their turn?'

Oh and congratulations are in order. Phil Reese is writing a new monthly column on Illinois LGBT politics for Out & About. Bravo. Watch the video AFTER THE JUMP."