Monday, December 28, 2009

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 only openly gay candidate for the U.S. Senate, I have experienced firsthand the bigotry and prejudice that the sexual orientation issue evokes. The subtle innuendo of the 'family values' issue, used by politicians such as Sarah Palin, Andy Martin and my opponent, David Hoffman, to infer that people who are lawfully refused the right to marry or begin a family are somehow less 'qualified' and relegated to second-class citizen status, must stop.

This is nothing less than an assault on the civil rights of all Americans, including the tens of millions of gay and lesbian people living in this country. It is appalling that we live in an America that still allows one's sexual orientation to be used as fodder for political attacks and, worse yet, as an obstacle to the civil rights availed to all of us through the constitution of the United States.

During the course of this campaign, my sexual orientation has been the source of underhanded remarks from my opponent, David Hoffman; the catalyst for a verbal and threatened physical attack toward a member of my staff; and the justification for one online suburban publication to accuse me of treason. Despite the enormous economic, national security and domestic policy challenges on which I have tried to focus my campaign - some think it more important to question someone's sexual orientation than to propose their own ideas on how to confront the many problems that desperately need our attention."

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 and once from the side, to make you think that it wasn't just a sea of crazy caucasians. The earbuds sort of give it away though."

Check the video out and the rest of the post at Bilerico.com! There are LOTS of videos of this crackpot there!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

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 decade began on a high note, despite George W. Bush's election, and Mississippi's enactment of a gay adoption ban. While in the United Kingdom, the ban on gay soldiers was lifted, and Israel began to let same-sex partners sponsor one another for citizenship, over here in the United States, Vermont became the first state to legalize same-sex Civil Unions. Openly gay Richard Hatch becomes the first winner of Survivor. Savage Garden's Darren Hayes comes out. The Millenium March for LGBT rights in Washington DC draws 600,000 people to a day of concerts and Melissa Etheridge. President Clinton addresses the crowd via video."
Read the rest of The American LGBT Decade 2000-2009 on Out & About Illinois's website!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

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 allies, we will never be able to lift ourselves from second class citizen status. When I come across someone who really gets it, I take notice, and I show my appreciation. I've already given to one of the people on this list (I'll let you guess who after you read it) but I now plan on giving to all f... six? OK, so Mike cheated and gave a tie to number one. He should have titled this different, then... ahh well.

However he titled it, this list is great, and the profiles of these great friends of our rights are compelling. Please read the article and consider showing YOUR appreciation for THEIR going out on a limb for YOUR rights.

The Top Five Straight Allies in Congress for 2009 | Gay Rights | Change.org:
"Who are the leading advocates for LGBT rights inside the Beltway? Well, common sense would lead you to the three openly gay and lesbian politicians currently serving in the U.S. Congress –- Rep. Tammy Baldwin, Rep. Barney Frank, and Rep. Jared Polis. Great or legendary figures, but what happens when you get beyond these three folks?

Then it’s time to turn to the straight advocates who rock the halls of Congress. In a governmental body where you have members saying that gay marriage makes them physically queasy (Sen. Jim DeMint), or that gay marriage is a bigger threat than terrorism (Rep. Michele Bachmann), it’s important to know who your straight friends are.

Who are they? Well, in 2009, there were many. But we’ve got five below who not only brought their equal rights game this session of Congress, but lent their bully pulpits and soapboxes to advance LGBT rights."
If you want to read the list, go check it out, and follow Mike's important links!

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 Call in Andersonville Thursday night, when he was surprised by a very special guest: Leo Smith the drunk husband of incumbent 7th district Senator Heather Steans! Leo, had some very special words to share with Madigan! Check out the entire (too hot for TV) diatribe and his wonderful fashion sense.

Read the full article written by Phil Reese of Ameriqueer on the Bilerico Project."

Marc Felion from the Feast of Fun podcast up in Chicago posted this to his ChicagoNow.com blog, and it made it to the front page.

Chicago News Bench also picked up some more photos:
Chicago News Bench: More About Goofy Leo Smith (Mr. Heather Steans) with NEW Photos:
"Chicago News Bench asked for - and got - more photos, which we present in this post. You probably haven't seen these anywhere else (yet!)."

I'm pretty pumped that people are seeing my writing, and that I'm doing what I can to help change the gridlock and corruption in Springfield. We're all sick of playing the game and sending the same people to the Dome over and over again while everything gets worse for the lot of us and the machine just keeps chugging along getting bigger, without noticing that its completely useless. Its like the Illinois Political Industrial Complex!

I hope that fresh blood and underdog candidates can generate true change in Springfield. We shall see!

Monday, December 21, 2009

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!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

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, which engaged thousands of D.C. residents in conversations about why marriage matters in all parts of the city, have played a crucial role in getting us to this moment."

My friend Michael Crawford's MetroWeekly piece on his hard fought/hard WON victory in Washington DC (Crawford--a Bilerico editor--is the co-chair of DC For Marriage, the board behind the win).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

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 gay lawmaker in the Assembly.

When I spoke with Mullen about two weeks ago, he was still waiting for that Victory Fund endorsement. The endorsement by the Victory Fund is a powerful statement, because the fund does not just endorse openly gay candidates, but openly gay candidates with the chops for leadership, and the experience to support their success in their office."

Read the rest of my newest piece Ed Mullen wants to make more gay history in Illinois at the Bilerico Project!

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.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

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 before he stormed up to Meister and Madigan. He had refused to pay at the door, as the rest of the attendees had done, but was allowed to stay inside of the event, despite his refusal to be respectful. Madigan and Smith's wife, incumbent Senator Heather Steans, are both competing over her Illinois 7th District Senate seat..."

Continue reading Husband of openly gay Illinois Senate candidate's rival makes a scene at Jim Madigan fundraiser at Bilerico.com!

Friday, December 11, 2009

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’t activists. They are good neighbors working hard and
struggling to pay bills and get food on the table like most
Americans.

If all things were equal in America, this would be enough.
Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people would never
have to follow the political news and challenge the social
order.

Read more of "When the News Knocks At Your Door" (p. 9) and pick up a copy of Out & About Illinois at progressive bookstores, retailers and restaurants this week!

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 Mullen and Jim Madigan would take the number of openly gay lawmakers in Springfield from 2 to 4--and Jim would be the only out gay Senator. We'd have our presence in both houses. Not just friendly allies, but folks personally invested in the passage of this bill. Greg Harris can't do it alone! Especially when the Senate has been such a dead zone for motion on any LGBT bills since our employment discrimination law passed.

Ed and Jim are going up against the machine, however, and they're going to need hundreds of thousands in their coffers in the next month to really make a stand. I will be presenting information about both Victory Fund endorsed fellas on Bilerico early next week, but I hope you start giving now. To check out Ed Mullen go to voteedmullen.com. And to check out Jim Madigan, check out Jimmadigan.com.

Even if you don't live in Illinois, you ought to be concerned with these two races. Illinois will be the next midwestern battleground for relationship recognition, and because its more difficult to get a measure on the ballot here, could be another permanent win. We need one of those soon.

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!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Testing

Testing, lovelies. Don't worry. Will be back with real stuff soon enough!

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.Buju_Banton_(Apollo_theater,_2007).jpg

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 fight, and as I said in one of my songs 'there is no end to the war between me and faggot' and it's clear."

His song "Boom Bye Bye," doesn't just make homophobic statements. The entire song is an anthem about viciously, aggressively and violently murdering gays. One of the first lyrics in the song describes shooting a gay man in the back of the head as he runs away. Later in the same verse, Banton describes charging into the private home of a gay couple with an uzi. Later, he describes murdering, skinning and burning gays and lesbians. Then there is his song "Batty Rider" which spends describes chasing and gunning down gay men for the fun of it, during the course of which he repeats the word "murder" over a dozen times.

So the Recording Academy nominated him for a GRAMMY.


Read the rest of my post "Recording Academy blows GLAAD off, calls Buju Banton's gay-murder lyrics his 'cultural perspective.'" On the world famous Bilerico Project! Its a REAL doozy. Wait until you read what the Recording Academy just sent back to GLAAD!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

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. Weiss says:
"It is 5 minutes to midnight on ENDA, with still a possibility of getting a vote this year if everyone pulls together, and what happens? Do we have LGBT and progressive media exploding with articles of protest and telling people how to lobby Congress effectively to get this moving?

Nope. Instead, a NY marriage vote that was known to be doomed sucks all the oxygen out of the room. The D.C. city council preliminary vote on marriage is also in the news. But unlike most mornings when I crank up my Google machine, there are no news articles this morning on ENDA, anywhere. This despite the fact that the Committee that's supposed to mark it up announced yesterday that it's not on the schedule next week, which means that it's probably going in the deep freeze until February unless a miracle happens. As I've explained ad nauseam in previous posts, that is going to make ENDA harder to achieve.

Let me first say -- get on the phone and call the House Committee to help get ENDA moving again. It ain't over till its over, and you have to be in it to win it. Okay, now that you've all done that, let's drop the happy crap, and examine what happened to ENDA in 2009 to bring us from the assumptions of invulnerability surrounding its re-introduction, to today, when we are staring at its imminent placement in the deep freeze. This will help the LGBT and progressive communities realize how much more effort is really needed to pass ENDA.

I am pleased to say that I have been invited to discuss ENDA on the Michelangelo Signorile radio show on Sirius-XM this afternoon at 4:30 ET. I am not pleased to say that many more such discussions should have been out there months ago on many radio shows and websites and newspapers in the LGBT and progressive communities."

Continue reading Dr. Weiss' piece at: ENDA Postponement Trumped By Marriage Debacle, Again | The Bilerico Project

Later in the piece, Dr. Weiss goes on to say:
"'We are on track to pass this bill in the House this year,' said Representative Barney Frank on the day of ENDA's introduction, June 24, 2009. He also said that a hearing would take place in July. However, he also said that "obstacles still exist and LGBT activists need to continue to step up their lobbying for the bill."

Did LGBT activists and media step up their lobbying for the bill? I think some activists did, but I think that both activists and the media largely dropped the ball.

Relative to the volume of efforts and news on other issues, such as marriage equality, Don't Ask Don't Tell and DOMA, ENDA was almost completely drowned out. I have been tracking the news every day since June, when ENDA was re-introduced, and what I have seen is massive coverage of DADT and DOMA and little coverage of ENDA.

The reason that I dropped everything to start posting obsessively every day on ENDA is because I saw how low it was on the list of priorities, and given my expertise in workplace discrimination issues, I feel passionate about it. Let me tell you, entering the political fray is not that pleasant an experience. While many people were encouraging, there were also many who disparaged my efforts. I do, however, have a fairly thick hide and a poor memory, and both are important in politics."

Meanwhile, in an email alert to supporters of her Change.org petition, she says:

"Update about 'Mr. Chairman, Please Move on ENDA Now' on Change.org

I have faxed our 260 signatures to Chairman Miller, who has not responded with any action or statement. I have spoken to his LGBT outreach coordinator every day, but Chairman Miller has not been forthcoming.

Under House Rule 11, section 2-c-2, three members of the Committee can demand a markup, which must be scheduled within 3 days. On a national community conference call held yesterday, December 1, 2009, it was decided that we will ask Representatives Jared Polis and Lynn Woolsey, also of the Committee, to make this demand of Chairman Miller. I have faxed them our petition as well. You can find the names of 26 other friendly members of the Committee here, along with a script of what to ask for and more info: http://bit.ly/7RqUPx

Please call the House operator today at (202) 224-3121 and speak to the offices of Rep. Polis and Woolsey and ask that they demand a markup of ENDA, HR 3017, from Chairman George Miller of the House Committee on Education and Labor under Rule 11 2-c-2.

If the bill is not rescheduled shortly (i.e. within a few days), it will be put off until next year, when it will have to compete against a legislative logjam of other bills and midterm election campaigns.

Thank you for your support of ENDA.

Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Associate Professor of Law and Society

Ramapo College"

This is the moment when we decide whether we unite as a community and get ourselves heard, or whether we take this time to continue our separate songs of discord, ensuring that noone on Capitol Hill will EVER take us seriously.

No matter WHAT your own personal goals for the LGBT community, nothing will be possible if we tell Capitol Hill, we don't even have enough clout and unity to band together to pass EMPLOYMENT PROTECTIONS. Do it, and do it now. Make the decision.

Monday, November 30, 2009

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 your life. You want to go dance at the gay bar--YOU GO DO IT. Don't let them try to terrorize you into not. But be smart about it. Its your right to go and feel safe, but there are proactive things you can do to make yourself safer. Stay aware of your surroundings and responsible for yourself. Never capitulate to terrorism, though.

I really hope these guys are ok. If you know how to reach out to them, I'd really like to see how they are.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

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: Stupak has GOT to go. Thanks. Phil.

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" reporting often just reinforces that, rather than trying to challenge that. A true balance would be to make readers think critically about the issues, and not just hear an echo of their own insular, unchallenged thinking.

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 flips the situation. If its safe, you HAVE to come out.

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 man.' No matter America is so fucked up.

Monday, November 23, 2009

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.

Openly gay GOP Lt. Governor candidate pick Richard TiseiModerate 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 Timothy Cahill in a three-way 2010 election.

The announcement made waves today, and the Boston Herald reports that Deval Patrick's sitting Lieutenant Governor, Timothy Murray, immediately criticized Tisei as "the ultimate Beacon Hill insider." He also criticized Baker's own record on financial gluttony, being part of the former Republican administrations that racked up galactic amounts of debt for Massachusetts taxpayers on the "Big Dig" highway tunnel project in Boston.

Cahill’s presence in the race will split the Democratic ticket, which could mean a stronger showing for a Republican in the race. Adding to the mayhem is Governor Deval Patrick’s lower approval ratings, and less than stellar popularity.

Before they get there, however, they will...

Please go to Outandaboutillinois.com to continue reading Massachusetts could be getting an openly gay Lieutenant Governor.

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 aids_ribbon.jpgwas 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.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

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. meet03.jpg

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 the United States Senate?

"Illinois is a very progressive state," Meister tells me as we continue our interview. "This is a historic seat of firsts. This was Carol Moseley Braun's seat, and President Barack Obama's seat," Jacob says with pride. Meister is obviously quite proud to have a shot at representing the people of Illinois in the Senate. He's also quite proud to have a shot at representing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans in the Senate...

Continue reading Illinois' Jacob Meister aims to be the first openly gay Senate candidate [Part II].

Saturday, November 21, 2009

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 Director of Community Health at D.C.'s Whitman-Walker Clinic."

That's a pretty nice resume there, Bruce! Welcome to Illinois!

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 strong connections to the spiritual world, and talks to us about them in Episode 52. Where we’ll go next, we’ll never know. You have any ideas for Ace? You should email him or post them as comments on our blogs–we love to hear from you.

As today was Transgender Day of Remembrance, I wanted to wish everyone a very peaceful, safe, happy and hate-free weekend! If you celebrated TDOR anywhere, let me know where, and about what you did. I spent TDOR with the good kids of Urbana High School’s GSA, here in Urbana, Illinois, and we had a candlelight vigil over at Carle Park. Those kids were amazing! I posted a few pics up over at my Ameriqueer twitter account, check them out at http://twitter.com/ameriqueer!

See y’all next week!

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 / 10c
Gaywatch - Peter Vadala & William Phillips
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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 in favor of the economy, and Weinberg accused Sweeney of reneging on a promise. She said she was 'urging our current majority leader to honor the commitment he made to me to move this important civil rights bill forward.'

'We have the ability in the Legislature to talk about this bill and address the economic crisis at the same time', she said.

Today, Sweeney agreed"

What are the odds that New Jersey passes a marriage equality bill this month? Not likely. They should have done it back when they had the chance, before they lost Corzine.

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 trying to make sure Congress does not intervene in the dispute, spoke briefly with Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl on Thursday.

Meanwhile, D.C. Council members David A. Catania (I-At Large) and Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) sent Wuerl a letter Wednesday urging that Catholic Charities embrace a policy similar to one in effect at Georgetown University.

They said that the Catholic university gives benefits to some same-sex couples even though the university does not officially recognize that the beneficiaries are of the same sex.

Susan Gibbs, a Church spokeswoman, said archdiocese officials were happy that city leaders were "finally responding," but she said she was not sure the proposal alleviates the Church's concerns."

The issue is not having to offer partnership benefits. If the city council EXEMPTED the church, they'd still balk. The issue is the church trying to use their power and influence for evil, not for the good of all. They're already exempted in ENDA, why don't they just not hire gay people?

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.

Friday, November 20, 2009

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, only to find the doors locked, and signs posted telling them to go home and come collect their things later in the week.

Blade employees showed up to their offices in the National Press Association building in Washington DC, only to find Window Media executives there ready to greet them and explain that it was all over.

Today, a new paper went to print in Washington DC. The DC Agenda rushed out its 8 pages and with one grand undertaking, and every single copy was snatched up by eager readers. Blade Editor Kevin Naff and Publisher Lynne Brown united the staff of the Blade Monday morning, and had worked out the kinks by the time they announced it at a previously planned Blade event Wednesday Night at the DC Hard Rock Cafe. Friday afternoon the small but miraculous eight-pager was in then hands of every lesbian, gay, transgender or bisexual Washingtonian, and up on the web at DCagenda.com.

I was honored that when DC Agenda launched their Twitter account yesterday, @DCAgenda, they included my Twitter news account, @Ameriqueer, on their "Voices" list. They are watching me, and I want them to know I'm still watching them.

As a blogger, I am aware that 'citizen journalists' are seen as upstarts trying to bring down traditional, professional journalism. Journalism was my original major in college. I wanted to be a journalist when I grew up from the time I was in fifth grade. I think most bloggers have the utmost respect for professional journalism. I will never have the access and resources that a professional journalist has to do their jobs. For me, journalism is a mere hobby, for the professionals, though, its their area of true expertise.

The Washington Blade staff turned LGBT reporting into a fine art. For almost twice as long as I've been alive, they've been "America's LGBT newspaper of record," for their smart and savvy reporting of local and national Washington goings on. This would have been the LGBT paper that landed interviews with Senators and Representatives, and regular statements from the White House. Their analysis of national politics drove the coverage of even papers like the New York Times, which called the Blade "one of the most influential publications written for a gay audience."

If anything, bloggers often directly linked to the Blade for their smart commentary and content, and to keep up with their inside-the-beltway analysis on national issues. LGBT bloggers have had nothing but absolute love and devotion for this publication.

The past 30 days also saw sad news that the Advocate--the oldest continuous LGBT publication in America--would no longer be published on its own, but would instead be pared down to a mere insert for Out Magazine. More sad news for the LGBT journalism industry.

But is the internet really to blame? The howling outcry when the Advocate announced they would indeed be shrinking was noticable. We have not, as a community, abandoned our true journalism institutions. We still want our Advocate. We still want our Blade.

The culprit here is the economy and corporate consolidation. Many experts have remarked that while Window Meida was saddled with massive debt and was bleeding cash, the Blade itself was a money-maker.

Perhaps its best if communities take ownership of their own publications. Selling out to a national company may make filling the pages with cheap syndicated content easier, but if the company has a bad year, it may not matter if your community loyally picks up your publication every single week.

Local ownership of LGBT media is going to be the key to surviving in the future. When the economic times get rocky, we can handle that locally. Our community can look out for the institution that most looks out for our community. The local rag.

The biggest culprit, however, is ad dollars. Publishers just aren't getting what they used to get for ads in this recession. Don't blame the blogs for this, however. Internet ad prices have toppled at a rate much faster and much fallen farther than print ad prices. Any chance of internet-only publications taking over the marketplace were dashed by this economy.

Internet-only publications, however, are strictly editorial--like this column. Editorial writing is important. We like to read editorial for perspective, and sometimes we like to read editorials to get mad. However, editorials aren't journalism. If you want real, hard reporting, you're going to have to pick up that paper and give it a read. When you grad a copy of your local LGBT magazine or rag, you're doing your community a service. You're helping them continue to provide an eye, ear and voice for the local LGBT community. They help provide a record of who we are, who we've been and where we're going. They help us define our community to the rest of the world, and to let them know we're here!

LGBT web media saved the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area reporters from South Florida Blade and 411 Magazine. LGBT website, Mark's List has taken on the staffs of both publications and will begin putting out a weekly glossy bar-focused magazine called Mark's List Magazine in place of 411 Magazine and an as-yet-unnamed biweekly newspaper is in the works to replace the South Florida Blade. Mark's List owners Multimedia Platforms have said they will retain "most" of the staffs from the former publications in this new venture.

Please read my blog every day. I'm begging you. But don't set down that paper to pick up the laptop. I'm more than willing to wait for you to finish you latest copy of the DC Agenda before you pick up my silly ramblings. There is nothing that has been created yet that will ever replace our local gay rags.

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

Thursday, November 19, 2009

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.

3018941936_05301c96b0.jpg

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 likeliness, not actually weigh in on this minefield, however...

Read the rest of What will President Obama do about that pesky federal Prop 8 suit?

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 same-sex and domestic partners to receive benefits as married couples are receiveng. Mr. Mayor, what may be politically correct, may not be morally or eeithically feasible for the stability and growth of the Tallahasee community.

Mr. Mayor and Commissioners, your actions do not reflect the moral or cultural attitude of the majority of citizens you represent. Why should we as taxpayers be forced to compromise our integrity to pay benefits to a society of who the state have not determined or recognized as legal?? Your leadership on this police has sent a dark cloud over this city that expresses a moment of shame and degradation.'"

You can call the SCLC and tell them to stop supporting discrimination at 404.522.1420.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

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 years until retiring in 2006, says the wording of Subsection B effectively 'eliminates marriage in Texas,' including common-law marriages."

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 meet06.jpgcampaign 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 Champaign, right on Green Street, the campus community's vibrant business center. The event couldn't have come at a more inconvenient time, but I decided to sandwich a quick visit between working out and making dinner.

The atmosphere in the Meister campaign office was really light as we awaited his arrival. The DJ was spinning Soul For Real, New Edition, TLC--it was quite the trip down memory lane. To my surprise, by the time Jacob arrived, his campaign office had become a joyfully wall-to-wall packed party. There was definitely a vibe in this room--young and old, people believe in Jacob Meister.

Speaking to Jacob the next day, I began to realize why he garnered such wide appeal. I quickly forgot I was talking to a politician, and began hearing something else. Jacob Meister is a guy who gets it...

Keep Reading ILLINOIS' JACOB MEISTER AIMS TO BE THE FIRST OPENLY GAY SENATE CANDIDATE

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. 'Secondly, this site is dedicated to every Catholic of faith who is willing to stand up to the Vatican and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on this important issue. Know that your courage and conviction will be rewarded in Heaven.'"

Great job, Phil Attey!

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:
  1. Call Rep. Johnson (202) 225-2371 before 5 p.m. ET.
  2. 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 employees should be judged on their merits, not on sexual orientation or gender identity.
    • The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is NOT about special treatment. It simply gives these workers the same rights and protections as their colleagues.
    • Mention that your representative's support of this bill will affect your future support.
  3. IMPORTANT: After you hang up, click here to let us know that you made the call. Don't skip this step! It helps us track our progress.
Once you call, comment below or on my facebook, please! I want to see 56 people who called him!

57 is the magic number. We're trying to generate 25,000 calls to Congress this week, and 57 of those have to be to Tim Johnson's office. I've already called once. Will you help me?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

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 said.

Gay marriage has been legal in Iowa since April after a unanimous Iowa Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling that found a state ban on same-sex marriage violated the Iowa Constitution."

Monday, November 16, 2009

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 café-friendly seating. And he might use the would-be back room for live music.

But don’t count the Eagle out just yet. “It’s always been my dream to own my own bar,” Stephens says. “A year ago, I thought I was much closer to reaching that goal than I am today. As for Winston’s Cafe, it’s too soon to tell how this is going to turn out. Who knows, I may find a way to have both.”"

I found this really interesting in the context of the shuttering of the Southern Voice and the Washington Blade today--are we losing all of our historic institutions? When the economic downturn is over, will there be nothing left of the gay world that was? I hope we're documenting this. How can we preserve our historic, yet expensive institutions to make sure that our past is not forgotten?

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 on Fresh 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 Over at Bilerico.com.

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 with some money out there--can you help a gay community out? Please rescue the Houston Voice, the Washington Blade, the South Florida Blade and Southern Voice.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

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 long after Jim Madigan announced his campaign. Though Steans makes LGBT rights a very big priority on her webpage, Candidate Madigan has made it a career, no doubt a fact that will be very appealing to LGBT people in the northern shore neighborhoods he is campaigning in.

Surely the opportunity to make history with the first openly gay candidate for the state Senate isn't lost on Madigan's supporters. Least not on Jon Knoll who has been traveling around with the candidate, documenting his historic campaign and sharing it with the world on YouTube and social networking sites. On my way to catching up with Madigan to discuss his campaign, I spoke to Knoll for a bit about why he thinks that Jim Madigan is someone that matters.

Continue reading THE HISTORY MAKER'S HISTORIAN: JON KNOLL ON JIM MADIGAN (CLICK THE LINK TO READ THE COMPLETE PIECE ON THE BILERICO PROJECT--THIS IS ONLY A SNIPPET).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

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. 2129631317_e3d3660f2a.jpgThat 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 FOCUS ON BILERICO.COM.

Friday, November 13, 2009

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. Jacob Meister

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 his local offices and have a conversation with him.

In the interview, we discussed everything from ethics reform to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, to the economy to Don't Ask, Don't Tell and No Child Left Behind. All of his policies on these issues are very well thought out, and available to peruse on his visually appeasing website. However, my final reaction after talking to him..

The rest of the editorial is really good, check it out! READ THE REST AT OUT & ABOUT ILLINOIS!

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."