Thursday, April 30, 2009

HAPPY HOUR 430 - MAINE MARRIAGE PASSES SENATE, Hate Crimes Bill co-sponsored by 34% of Senate, Alberta Canada now protects LGBTs

BIG NEWS FROM MAINE! The Senate passed the Marriage Equality bill in short order there, Now it heads back to the House--the Governor of MAINE has shown very positive signs he will sign the bill.

In the U.S. SENATE, 34 Senators are co-sponsoring Ted Kennedy's Hate Crimes Bill, which means it may be up against VERY little resistance here. An ABC News/Washington Post Poll shows that ALMOST HALF of Americans are ready to see full Marriage Equality. TAKE THAT CALIFORNIA! Meanwhile, far more than half want to see Don't Ask Don't Tell Repealed! AMAZING ALLY, Keith Olbermann, has named Virginia Foxx the WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD! Unfortunately, a very famous list detailing President Obama's LGBT agenda shrunk on the White House web-page, after several LGBT activists--including myself (on another blog)--called attention to it via the web. Where is it now?

NEW HAMPSHIRE's Governor still won't say whether or not he'll veto Marriage Equality. NEW YORK's Marriage Equality Bill has begun its journey through the legislature!

Around the world, Alberta Canada is now the latest Province to add LGBT protections to their Human Rights Charter. In response to the two recent suicides of two students who were victims of bullying, the Human Rights Campaign has published a new Guide to Safe Schools. FESSING UP is a new series, partially sponsored by a site run by one of my favorite bloggers, and it deals with confronting head-on the problems still plaguing our community, so that we can stop sweeping it under the rug, and start owning the conversation. Check it out. We ARE NOT these problems--the drugs and indiscriminate risky sex--and if we own the conversation, we can take that ammunition AWAY from those who seek to use these issues to vilify and stereotype our community for their purposes to lie, distort and beat us back into the closet. We need to admit the high drug use plaguing our community is a problem--one we're looking to eliminate--but it isn't and will not be WHO WE ARE!

Top Gun star Kelly McGillis has come out. Thousands of guys with mullets and Camaros just either said "boo" or "yay!" I guess it depends on how much imagination they have. Ed Koch is outraged over Outrage, but not because he's been outed. WATCH the new NOMNOMNOM Ad featuring Miss Cali-Phobia, Carrie Prejean, Joe Solmonese and Perez Hilton. Box Turtle Bulletin tears it apart.

TOAST TO MAINE, NEW YORK and NEW HAMPSHIRE!

COFFEE HOUR 430 - HATE CRIMES BILL PASSED! N.H. Marriage Heads back to the Senate, Howard Stern makes a plea for Marriage Equality.

The U.S. House went and passed the Trans-inclusive Hate Crimes Bill, and now it heads off to the Senate.  There is finally going to be justice for Matthew--as long as the Senate doesn't dilly dally too long.  PAY ATTENTION to these bigots who tried to stop it.  ALSO, the NEW HAMPSHIRE Senate voted to upgrade their Civil Unions to full Marriage Equality, however, last minute amendments to the bill (which emphasize Churches' freedom to refuse to perform a marriage, which of course they should have, and which allow couples to refuse to be "Party A" and "Party B" and still be "Husband" and "Wife" which I fully support) mean that it has to go BACK to the House again before the Governor signs it.  The Governor does not support the bill, but has not indicated whether or not he'll veto it.  Unfortunately, that same link will tell you they killed a transgender rights expansion bill.  We'll keep trying.  


Howard Stern advocates for Marriage Equality on his show... not the most sought after endorsement, but we'll take it--do you know how much of middle America listens in?  Virginia Foxx backtracks on her Matthew Shepard comments.  I'm not telling you anything about NOMNOMNOM or Cali-phobe today.  This is a day of Independence for all the munchkins and their descendants (IF ANY)!


TOAST BANCO PROVINCIA! AND TO JUDY SHEPARD!  BIG KISS!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

HATE CRIMES ACT PASSES HOUSE!

HATE CRIMES ACT PASSES HOUSE!

HAPPY HOUR 429 - N.H. PASSES MARRIAGE! Obama, can you hear me? NOM & Carrie Prejean get hitched.

How equal are we after 100 days?  0%.  All he needs is to push ONE SINGLE FREAKING THING through to his signature and he'll get 12.5%.  Dear president Obama:  Don't forget that the gays played NO SMALL PART in getting you elected.  And we'll turn on you faster than we turned on skinny ties.  



Miss Cali-phobe and NOMNOMNOM are joining forces--who didn't see THAT one coming.  Straight homophobes just don't get the joke.  I thought that Manhunt and gay.com--not to mention craigslist--made gay cruising in parks obsolete.  In Champaign all it took was some guy getting decapitated by a samurai sword.  Check out Brokeback Mountain: Christian Edition--"The only man that its OK for another man to love, is Jesus."

My friend "C" from Days of Marriage told me to check out this amazing Katy Perry video.  I love Katy Perry AND music videos, but I don't have cable, so I don't SEE music videos unless someone sends them to me.  Thanks gym buddy!  And it includes a WACKY WAVING INFLATABLE ARM FLAILING TUBE MAN!

TOAST TO FAMILY GUY!

OK, so its not my normal fare, but I thought I'd share...


Candy Station:  Madonna's official internet Radio Station.  

Yes, I know, its fluff... but its making me SO happy on my day off!

COFFEE HOUR 429 - Specter Fallout, Racism in the Community and HATE CRIMES BILL VOTE TODAY!

Olympia Snowe gets it right--why the GOP should stop throwing Specter under the bus, and use this as a LEARNING EXPERIENCE!

President Obama has urged Congress to pass the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act--or the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Hate Crimes Prevention Act--Late Tuesday (after my last Happy Hour, of course).  CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE AT 866.346.4611 IMMEDIATELY TO ENSURE THIS BILL'S PASSAGE!  It's toll free!  If we want to win Equality, we have to ELIMINATE RACISM FROM OUR COMMUNITY!  Its there, people, and let's face it, it reared its ugly head after the election.  Lets confront it and control it!  And back to some good news about Marriage Equality nationally!

MINNESOTA residents are gearing up for gay-marriage fight, as couple cross into Iowa to say "I Do."  NEW YORK's Governor Patterson is officially my favorite Governor, as he tells off the Religious Right.  Sorry Pat.  MAINE moved one step closer to Marriage Equality yesterday.  MAINE's own legislators are saying it "ought to pass."  A NEW HAMPSHIRE Freedom to Marry Coalition poll has found 55% of residents support full Marriage Equality, however, I for one would like to see a CNN, ABC, or CBS poll run on the subject before the gavel is banged.  I took a poll of everyone in my room this morning, and they all think that I should have another cup of coffee.  I told you about Marion Barry's presence at the WASHINGTON D.C. NOM rally yesterday--see what my favorite blogs are saying about his hypocrisy.  And here.  Reports from NEW YORK'S Equality and Justice Day yesterday.  

ARKANSAS residents are learning who put money up to pass a discriminatory, anti-family amendment limiting adoption to heterosexuals only.  

What on earth is wrong with knowing who gave how much to what cause?  If someone believes in something enough to give up cash for it, I believe that they should be proud that everyone else knows they support it.  Not to mention:  I have a right to NOT have to shop at a business owned or run by someone who'd just as soon send me to the gas chambers as take my coin.  I have a right to avoid places where I am clearly not welcome.  The people that hate me, are more likely to bring bodily harm to me than those that don't, and even if they're not going to hurt me, I'd rather feel comfortable and welcome, than not.  Knowing who gave what to the hateful bigoted amendment push, will allow gays and lesbians in Arkansas to go where they are wanted, and assure their hard earned dollars AREN'T speant to fund the 'relocation and re-education' camps that these bigots surely wouldn't mind getting on the ballot next.  HERE IS A LIST OF BIG ANTI-GAY COMPANIES!  NOTE:  Wal-Mart is doing much much better than in the past, and I think these people have old information.  Also note, I'm from Detroit, and I know that Dominos has a very high rating from HRC, and offers domestic partnership benefits--I once again believe they have some old information here.  Besides those two, I follow this when I go out shopping.  I won't be caught dead in Urban Outfitters or Cracker Barrel or getting gas from Mobil.  My car could be dead on the highway, and the next gas station could be another 50 miles, I'm not going to give Mobil one IOTA of attention or business, even if it means going out of my way or spending more.  When I learned about RockStar drinks a few months ago, I stopped drinking them.  Coincidentally, I was listening to an LGBT podcast on my iPod, walking INTO a convenience store for an energy drink, and was reaching FOR a RockStar when they said it!  I quickly pulled my hand (and money) away and instead tried one of the new DELICIOUS Monster Java flavors!  If EVERYONE who supported Equality did that, these businesses would be FORCED to support Equality too, JUST LIKE FLORIDA ORANGE JUICE DID IN 1977!

AROUND THE WORLD:  If Guido Westerwelle's Free Democratic Party overtakes Merkel's Christian Democrats in Germany, this Free-Market Maverick will become the world's first openly gay Foreign Minister!  Here are the places in the world where the U.S. could be doing more for equality.  

If you were to buy me this calendar for May Day, I certainly wouldn't hate it.  Representative Bachmann brings the sanity:  Democrats cause Swine Flu!  Nina Simone's "Feeling Good" is one of the 50 greatest recordings ever made, and every cover has been incredible (Including the Muse version [God, I just started playing it and got chills] used in my favorite episode of Queer As Folk), but (gay) Adam Lambert's version on American Idol is up there with the best of them.  
Miss Cali-Phobia, Carrie Prejean's sister is surprised to find out she's apparently a gay activist; but what do famous lesbians have to say about Miss Cali-Phobia?  The world may know him as Mr. Panama, but SeanCody.com fans know him as "Andy," and now he knows he's unemployed.

TOAST TO NINA SIMONE FOR RECORDING ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SONGS EVER.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy Hour Roundup 428 - Hate Crimes Vote tomorrow, Sen Spector switches parties, New Hamshire Senate Marriage Equality Vote tomorrow.

Big news today: Senator Arlen Spector (R-PA) is now (D-PA). Meanwhile, a new CBS poll out today finds that over half of America want LGBT couples to have some sort of relationship recognition, with 43% supporting full Marriage recognition.

Our U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the Matthew Shepard Act--the trans-inclusive Hate Crimes bill--tomorrow. The HRC and many other LGBT advocacy groups are URGING you to call your Representative and make sure they vote YES! Here is what North Carolina's crazy Virginia Foxx is saying about it.

HELP MAKE ILLINOIS CIVIL UNIONS A REALITY! In NEW YORK, Equality and Justice Day is under way. Is Rudy flip-flopping again? Tomorrow, the NEW HAMPSHIRE Senate will vote on Marriage Equality. We'll be following on our favorite blogs. NEW MEXICO Extends Health Insurance to the Domestic Partners of retired and soon to retire state employees. Out of the "new" states--and out of the states all together--WASHINGTON D.C.'s anti-Equality rally by NOM--who is claiming Equality in the nation's capital is tantamount to Armageddon--sure took a turn for the Nazi today with raised arms in "hail" positions. Meanwhile, former Mayor and moral pillar lends his righteous words to NOM. I guess you can smoke crack with Transsexual prostitutes, but you can't let them have Equality. In CALIFORNIA, Gavin Newsome is speaking out for LGBT rights! He doesn't have nice things to say about the GOP either. In MAINE, Marriage Equality has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. Follow the MAINE discussions here. The OREGON House has clarified the Domestic Partnership Law.

Britain is naming its first female Poet Laureate--an open lesbian! An Oklahoma teacher discusses why she lost her job for teaching tolerance. The SLDN Director's open letter to President Obama about the DADT repeal slow-down has been released. Learn more about NOM's Bishop Harry Jackson--the poster-guy for anti-gay rhetoric from Religious Leaders. Here's an uplifting story about a former college football captain that was openly gay. Thailand's gay monks are being asked to tone it down. Some follow-up question-and-answer from Frank Rich on his 'nail-in-the-coffin' NOM commercial op-ed.

Israel allows gays and lesbians to serve openly in their armed forces, but I'm not sure they had this in mind when they allowed it! Was Trainspotting's Frances Begby gay? The Democrats love Bachmann so much, they've started a website to follow her every move, TMZ-style. A study has found that many Republican activists think that Stephen Colbert is serious in his conservative beliefs--which is why so many agree to an embarrassing interview! The Producer of the Miss California U.S.A. pageant has something to say to the lady currently holding the title. You know, the one who has pictures up online partying with #1 Transsexual, Amanda Lepore. What is going on here? Gays can't get married, but they can party with her, apparently. Speaking of Amanda, the video for her new single "Cotton Candy" is coming soon. Results are in for the Feminist Porn Awards. Speaking of which, the movie Humpday will tell the story of two straight buds who just want to make a gay porn. More from OUTrage Director, Kirby Dick, on outing famous people. 24 just got gayer.

TOAST TO IOWANS WHO ENTERED INTO FIRST-CLASS FULL CITIZENSHIP YESTERDAY!

Coffee Hour 428 - Phelpses protest Walt Whitman School,rodeo season starts, what's up in New York?

The Phelpses made their disapproval known at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland yesterday.  Apparently naming the school after America's greatest poet is endorsing the "gay lifestyle."  Yeah, I'm sure the city council was thinking just that when the school was named like 1200 years ago.  

IOWA couples that were able to finally be treated as American Citizens numbered over 350 near the end of the day yesterday, but there will certainly be even more as the week goes on.  NEW HAMPSHIRE's Senate is ready for a showdown this coming Wednesday on the Marriage Equality bill that the Judiciary Committee shot down.  We'll be giving you more on how to follow this in the Happy Hour today/Coffee Hour tomorrow.  CALIFORNIA Equality groups are preparing a big demonstration following the Supreme Judicial Court's decision on Prop 8 called "MEET IN THE MIDDLE 4 EQUALITY!"  In WASHINGTON, Gary Randall tried to prove that the Domestic Partnership program was ticking off everyone there, only to prove that the general public is almost ready for full Marriage Equality!  Opps!  Go WASHINGTON!  In NEW YORK, more on Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith's homophobic pastor.


TOAST TO WALT WHITMAN!  

Monday, April 27, 2009

HAPPY HOUR ROUNDUP 427 - ICELAND FOR LESBIANS, MISS CALI-PHOBIA AND IOWA CONTINUES

Iceland's Emergency Interrum Prime Minister, Johanna Sigurdardottir, has just become the first openly gay person elected to head a nation by popular election. Light up a "cigar-dar" for our lucky "daughter!" A Coalition of Human Rights groups is urging the passage of the Hate Crimes Bill in Congress.

IOWA Marriage Equality began today with a bang! Here's more about getting hitched in IOWA if you're thinking of doing it. NEW YORK Senate Majority Leader, Malcolm Smith is caught between a rock and a hard place: his Governor, and leader of his party in his state, and the anti-gay pastor he considers his mentor. Here is the state-by-state evolution.

THIS looks like the natural projection of things... Viagra was always destined to become rub-able. Rex Wockner interviews Miss Cali-phobia, Prejean. Here is some great analysis of the interview.

I'm very interested to read the new book, a Terrible Splendor, about one of the most famous tennis matches in history, one of history's most pivotal LGBT events, and an incredible moment on the doorstep of World War II.

TOAST TO JOHANNA SIGURDARDOTTIR! YOU GO GURL!

COFFE HOUR ROUNDUP 427 - IOWA EQUALITY STARTS TODAY, MAINE MARRIAGE HEARD IN COMMITTEE TOMORROW, BEA WILL BE MISSED.

First up, news from Senegal:  Nine gay men previously convicted of "the crime of homosexuality" have been freed!  Could linguists fired under Don't Ask Don't Tell have prevented 9/11?  Obama condemns intollerence and homopbobia at Holocaust memorial.  

In IOWA, Marriage Equality begins TODAY!  Don't miss MAINE's big Senate Judicial Committee hearing tomorrow, where the fate of the Marriage Equality Bill is to be decided.  Here is the Speaker of the House SUPPORTING EQUALITY!  D.C. gets ready for anti-equality protests on Tuesday.  UTAH's Governor SUPPORTS EQUALITY (just not full marriage).  NEW YORK has introduced their Marriage Equality bills!


Friday, April 24, 2009

HAPPY HOUR ROUNDUP 424 -New York is back on, New Hampshire say back off, and we go way back for a history lesson.


LGBT Rights groups in the U.S. are standing up for Iraqi gays. The HRC is reportedly putting pressure on the State Department to do something for these persecuted people.  The gay community isn't exactly squeaky clean all of the time--but we're good people and we want to talk about and help alleviate some of the darker issues facing our community.  These mothers are taking their tragedies and turning it into good to stop anti-gay bullying.  

Flip-floppin Bishop's testimony in MAINE.  The ALABAMA House has passed a resolution honoring Miss Cali-phobe. If there was any doubt that this is the most backward state in the Union, here's your proof. NEW YORK's Congressional Delegation has one more Democrat. Also, Marriage Equality may be back on in NEW YORK.  FLORIDA's Broward County is upping the reward to bring to justice the attackers that recently beat two gay men. Bad news from the NEW HAMPSHIRE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE.  However, the NEW HAMPSHIRE Speaker of the House thinks that discriminating against Transgender citizens is wrong.  Is CALIFORNIA heading towards a Constitutional Convention to clean up that document, or even throw it out completely and start over?  If so, we hope they completely chuck Prop 8.  

Michelle Obama attended John Barry's swearing in as the head of the Office of Personnel Management for the White House yesterday--the highest ranking gay in the Executive Branch.  A sign of things to come from the new LGBT Republican group, GOProud.  

Even though this story is awesome, our tribe wasn't always fighting for Marriage Equality.  At one point we were just fighting to survive.  Michael Urie is staring in an Off-Broadway production called The Temperamentals about the first real gay rights organization, the Mattachine Society. Though wider recognition as a legitimate group of people in a legitimate struggle didn't come until the 70s, Mattachine stood up and took us a long way. Unfortunately--despite all of the good they did--after the Stonewall Riots, things moved so fast, the Mattachines were seen as obsolete and not revolutionary enough. Their leader, Harry Hay, went on to found the Radical Faeries and is one of the great heroes of the LGBT rights movement.

Earlier I wrongly labeled Taking Woodstock as Gus Van Sant's upcoming pic.  Its Actually Ang Lee's.  Its tough, because they both do such AWESOME gay films, but Ang Lee went to UIUC, so I should know better.  SORRY ANG!

TOAST TO MY HERO, HARRY HAY. REST IN PEACE!

COFFEE HOUR 424--Hunker down, Agreeing with NOM and Marrying Charlie.

The Life archives has a very different way of defining "hunk," or rather "hunkering" than, say, Queerty, but I bet you this was great exercise for the gluts! Speaking of good muscle tone...


Cybil's daughter is out again!


More from the MAINE Marriage Equality testimony.  

Why Black Prides MUST exist, from Pam's Blend.

Repeal Prop 8.  Do it for this straight D-List Actor/Comedian.

Something Lori and Pastor John from Chi Alpha at CMU would have NEVER EVEN THOUGHT of doing.  Meanwhile pastors lobby Congress for LGBT Equality.

FLORIDA Governor Charlie Crist is a married straight man, right?  Aaron Schock is taking notes.

TOAST TO PASTOR JOHN AND LORI.  I MISS YOU!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

HAPPY HOUR ROUNDUP 4/23--HATE CRIMES MOVES TO THE FULL HOUSE AND GAY CONVERSIONS ARE MADE UP!

Great news from the House Judiciary Committee: The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes bill moves forward to the Full House! Why I sometimes love Diane Feinstein--NOW JUST PASS THE UNITING AMERICAN FAMILIES ACT!

What did Shakespeare think of Marriage Equality? Happy Birthday, Bard.

Masters and Johnson made up their evidence in the iconic study about gay conversion success, Scientific American now reports. More on them here. Somebody tell these closeted gay republicans!

NEW JERSEY voters are ready for FULL Marriage Equality! Public Opinion polls released on four states that have upcoming Marriage Equality bills, votes or judgments. NEW YORK polls even HIGHER! I already posted this video by NEW YORK group Empire State Pride Agenda about Massachusetts and religious freedom. Watch it if you didn't get the chance before. IOWA's Clerks now have gender neutral Marriage Licenses, and the Attorney General is going to make sure no bigot tries any funny business on Monday.

I didn't realize that the new Stonewall Library is actually a CIRCULATING Library! How cool! Don't forget this year makes FORTY!!!

See what Miss Cali-phobia's fellow Miss U.S.A. contestants think of her answer. Miss Cali-phobe debated by Martin and Signorile on AC360 last night! Roland Martin is a moron. Signorile also popped up on TruTV this morning to discuss the Angie Zapata trial verdict in depth. And along those lines, WHY Perez should watch his mouth.

Learn more about the upcoming protest of the London NARTH/CARE Conference.

Finally, here's a "SCHOCKER!"

TOAST TO MY "HETERO" BUDDY AARON!

COFFEE HOUR ROUNDUP: JUSTICE FOR ANGIE!


The trial for the murder of Angie Zapata--the first trial to test anti-trans hate crimes--has garnered verdicts of guilty on all charges.  JUSTICE IS SERVED!

How did MAINE go yesterday?

NEW YORK Governor Patterson is backing off a little--he previously called for an immediate vote on marriage, but now says that he'll defer to the Senate leadership's guidance.  

The CONNECTICUT Legislature has officially codified Marriage Equality.

CALIFORNIA Assembly Member Kevin De Leon is requesting that the U.S. Congress eliminate barriers to immigration for same-sex bi-national couples.  


SCOTLAND same-sex couples who are parenting are going to find it legally easier to be parents.  

Miss California U.S.A. might get "opposite" married to my favorite stud.


The Stonewall Library Archives opens in Fort Lauderdale, FLORIDA today.

Hugh Jackman just LOVES the gay rumors!

I'm personally against outing, and yet, I can't turn away from a good "outing" affair story... Rev. Haggard?

TOAST TO THOSE QUEENS AT STONEWALL!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Hour Roundup-Marriage Equality GALORE!


AMAZING NEW VIDEO IN RESPONSE TO NOM!

I'm not disliking Perez Hilton's new role as Marriage Equality posterboy. He may not have been the most likely candidate, but he's certainly got the nation's ear, and he's not doing bad! Meanwhile, the other judges are speaking out in his favor--all while Miss California U.S.A. considers legal action.

On the Marriage Equality Front: The Log Cabin Republicans have gained assurances that NEW YORK GOP leadership in both the Senate and the Assembly will encourage Republican lawmakers there to vote their conscience, rather than by the party rule-book. I'm liking Log Cabin more and more every day--and so is Deb Price, one of my favorite Detroit News columnists! This will make life a lot easier for Bloomberg and Patterson. ONE IOWA has launched a state-wide Ad-Campaign on Marriage Equality to prevent a Prop 8 Situation there. The NEVADA Senate is sending a Domestic Partnership bill to the House that would allow many of the same benefits of Marriage. LOUISIANA is seeing its first lawsuit on behalf of a New Orleans couple denied Marriage Equality there. In VIRGINIA 2 out of the 3 Democrats running for their party's Gubernatorial nomination already support or "are evolving" in support for Marriage Equality--and the third one wants to help us get some rights. NEW HAMSHIRE GOP Chair Sununu (say that three times fast) calls Marriage Equality "garbage." But who's surprised?

In Marriage Equality non-specifics: Queerty presented some myth-busting today: How Marriage Equality WON'T affect churches. I think I already posted a version of this, but its worth revisiting. Just in time, as the arguments against Marriage Equality get more and more ridiculous! Look at NOMNOMNOM!

In other news: thankfully, the police are getting involved in the child exploitation case of "ChristianU2ber" an "ex-gay" 12 year old whose YouTube account has created quite a stir on ALL sides of the 'ex-gay' issue. Meanwhile the ACLU has earned an Arizona student the right to express himself at school. Sexy LGBT author and activist, Wayne Besen, blogs about where our LGBT rights groups are failing us in the area of violence prevention, and what he sees as the solutions. However, the Task Force has just released a statement that they are taking on the Iraqi abuses! Joe.My.God tells us about Ex-Gay activist, Dr. Warren Throckmorton's recent evolution on the subject of 'Christian' bullying, and how its riling up the Religious Right. PENNSYLVANIA'S bill prohibiting discrimination based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity looks tied up in committee. NEW YORK's Assembly is passing their just passed Transgender Protection bill up to the Senate. Nate Silver explores whether or not Republicans are falling in line behind Ron Paul. Here's some information on America's first Transgender mayor, Stu Rasmussen!

INDEPENDENCE HALL MARCH FOR EQUALITY MAY 3!

Finally, Please read this blog post that my friend posted recently about arguments in favor of committed consummated monogamous same-sex relationships. Once and a while the Bible is used for good rather than to hurt!

TOAST TO MY BUDDY WHO WRITES THE BLOG!

LUNCH SHOT-HATE CRIMES/MAINE BILL

I want to take a quick moment to just tell you to pay attention to the Maine Marriage Bill hearing--which you can watch live--and the U.S. Congress hearing on the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill--which is also going on live--watch the markup via Twitter. New polls show 39% of Maine voters support FULL marriage. Not too bad. Thousands are gathered. WATCH IT NOW!

COFFEE HOUR QUICK SIP--MAINE MARRIAGE/HATECRIMES/FLORIDA ADOPTION TODAY!

Here's a quick sip for you--pay attention to Box Turtle Bulletin, Joe.My.God, Towleroad and Pam's House Blend today for updates on the Maine Marriage hearing, the Hate Crimes bill on Capitol Hill and the Florida Gay Adoption hearing today. These are also, consequently, the BEST gay blogs for your money (and since you don't have to pay to read them... you're all set)! Off to work!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Hour Roundup-Michael Steele on bottoming, Maine Marriage hearing tomorrow and more NOMNOMNOM.

BIG HAPPY HOUR NEWS: MAINE MARRIAGE HEARING TOMORROW! PAY ATTENTION!

First, I'll go ahead and post another NOMNOMNOM parody video... I wonder if we'll ever get over how hilarious this commercial is? Maybe your gut will completely bust after you see FunnyOrDie's take on it. Maybe NOMNOMNOM's own videos will get better now that Orson Scott Card is on the board. While Miss California hates us (or at least she hates political correctness), plenty of heterosexual college students are boycotting the institution of marriage until it is available to everyone. Is Perez Hilton the new spokesperson for God? I sure hope not, but Miss California U.S.A. seems to think so! Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus Tweets her support for Perez and Marriage Equality. In other Twitter/Political news, Gavin Newsom announces his candidacy for Governor over Twitter--check out the post here! I think its a first! Experts say that committed relationships NEED sex to stay healthy--I guess that means you need to take care of that sleep apnea: doctors say it can kill your sex-life! And OH RUDY!

Next--apparently the GOP views itself as 'the girl' of their gay marriage with the Dems. Michael Steele makes a little verbal oppsie. Dubya and Bubba (Bill Clinton) will debate publicly in Toronto next month--this ought to be good! Meanwhile non-profit lobbyists want the White House to treat them differently than corporate special interest lobbyists. New York's Empire State Pride Agenda has created a fantastic video debunking many of the myths about Marriage Equality put out by the Flat-Earth Fundies. The Chicago Tribune has released a guide on where to get gay married. Meanwhile, the Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case fighting that state's ban on gay adoption.

On Capitol Hill, The House Committee dealing with the Federal Hate Crimes Bill will decide if it moves forward to the floor tomorrow. Here are some compelling reasons why it must. Lying hate groups, however, are trying hard to scare people with false accusations about what 'it will do.' Mike Quigly--a LGBT rights supporter who helped create Chicago's Cook County Domestic Partnership registry and extend benefits to same-sex partners of county employees--is settling in nicely as Rahmbo's replacement in the House. The first (non-incumbant) openly gay man elected to the House will be on Michelangelo Signorile's Sirius OutQ show (love it!) today at 3:30/4:30 Central discussing the gay agenda. You can listen for free! Senators are ranking one anothers' "bipartisanship."

More Pastor Rick Warren bashing. You all know my feeling about this. I think that we should be glad he's showing signs of evolving--even if we must be suspicious of his motives.

THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND MAGAZINE BACKS SAME-SEX PARTNERSHIPS AND OPENLY GAY MINISTERS!

Finally: Learn more about this amazing and iconic gay group--the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. My friend Harry Kelley in Mt. Pleasant is actually one of the FOUNDING MEMBERS! The sisters wrote the VERY FIRST health brochure on Safe Sex EVER back at the beginning of the GRID crisis (which we now know as HIV/AIDS). I'm going to start posting more LGBT history links in my posts called KOH (Know Our History!), so this is volume 1!


TOAST TO HARRY AND WAYNE--HAPPY SIX MONTHS!

Coffee Hour Roundup-Meghan hates Rove, Chambers' hand wringing, and more Log Cabins. Why is everyone so mad at Rick Warren?

Welcome to my new daily Coffee Hour Roundup Number 1!

First, let me plug a Champaign-Urbana local U of Illinois event:  Come see Real World Brooklyn's gay celebrities, Katelynn Cusanelli and JD Ordonez at 7pm tonight at the Union Illini rooms--$3 for students/$4 for non-students.  It'll be awesome!

Next--More on My MegMac (Meghan McCain):  apparently MegMac doesn't like being "stalked" on Twitter by the likes of Karl Rove (I'm WITH HER!).  GLADD thinks Kathy Griffin looks good in a bikini--and thinks she's just plain awesome.  More NOMNOMNOM spoofs.  A broad coalition is forming to develop a coordinated strategy on the repeal of Proposition 8--get in on that conference call!  One of my "favorite" blogs (I said that with SarcasticHands) discusses the "decline and fall" of the Log Cabin Republicans (not if MegMac has anything to say about it!).  Alan Chambers says some kind of decent things about the Uganda Conference, and somewhat gives LGBT activists the benefit of the doubt... kind of....

Along the same lines, Rick Warren is still catching flack, despite showing some movement in favor of LGBT acceptance.  OK, yes, Rick Warren has been fairly anti-gay in the past, and yes he's not being completely honest about his former stances on LGBT acceptance, but I for one see this as a GOOD THING.  Here is one of the most important religious figures in this nation, and he's trying to look more gay friendly.  What message is that sending to scores and scores of Evangelical Christians around the country?  Maybe we should chill out on the gays a bit.  I love my gay leaders and commentators, but I'm starting to get a little frustrated with them.  What message are THEY sending to moderate and conservative Christians?  If you show a little bit of tolerance, we're going to go ahead and slap you in the face?  If we're not buying it, the least we can do is just be quietly skeptical.  This man is getting skewered.  Anyway, I'm just asking you to put a positive spin on this.  That's all.

Finally IGLHRC and Iraqi gays themselves are getting loud and asking for support from America.  I think that we're about to see some good news there for Iraqis, because the noise is getting pretty deafening.  I'm so glad so many people are paying attention to this!

TOAST TO THE ABOMINABLE UNSINKABLE IRAQI GAYS!

Monday, April 20, 2009

HAPPY HOUR ROUNDUP--PART II

This second part of the Happy Hour Roundup for today will focus mainly on Marriage Equality in general--lots of good news out there for us!  

First:  I want to plug my friend Chris' great blog which recently wrote about another friends' Christian take on the National Day of Silence.  Kudos!  Also--great work on the Hug In on the DOS, U of I!  In other local news, read up on the latest on the anti-gay Peoria Karaoke bar;
 better than having their bachelorette parties at our bars, I guess.  

Second:  We've got a lot of glowing endorsements this week!  Who said the Log Cabin Republicans didn't do enough good?  This week's LCR convention has garnered a lot of hot press--and not just the gay kind:  CNN and everything!  First, Steve Schmidt--McCain's 2008 campaign advisor--let on a few weeks ago that he supports Marriage Equality.  Now he's telling the LCR how they're going to do it--and how to get the GOP to help them.  He even got the LCR convention on CNN doing so!

My favorite Republican (besides Aaron Schock, of course), Meghan McCain rocked the LCR keynote with a mouth like a Sailor!  I LOVE this girl, and you should too!  The other day she even told Laura Ingram to "kiss [her] fat ass!"  Meghan mixes the fun and fabulousness of Paris Hilton with the brains and savvy of Chelsea Clinton--and she's the most visible socially progressive/fiscally conservative Republican celebrity daughters.  Her address came complete with a Public Speaking 101 neat and clean thesis statement--the first tenant of which was "The old school Republicans are scared shitless..."  Even mom got into the act, however, and began tweeting about her pride in her "fabulous" daughter (I have to remember to add Cindy to my twitter feed now...).  

A third big name popped up at the LCR convention today.  While not the most ringing endorsement of marriage equality, former Republican New Jersey governor, Christine Todd Whitman, advocated the GOP remove the 'traditional marriage' plank from their party platform--also endorsing the repeals of 'Don't Ask; Don't Tell' and the 'Defense of Marriage Act.'  While Rudy Giuliani is going on the Marriage Equality warpath, Whitman says its time for Christian Conservatives to allow moderates a voice in the party again.  Pretty powerful stuff.  

While not at the LCR convention, Dr. Laura also made headlines by proclaiming to Larry King that gay and lesbian relationships are a "beautiful thing."  Suck on that Rudy!

This all comes at a time when political insiders are weighing in on how their parties should handle Marriage Equality--funny little differences here, in the National Journal article!

The Universal Life Church (of which I am an ordained minister, actually--"I have the receipts") that church that bestows ordination to anyone after taking five minutes to answer a few questions online, has made waves by announcing plans to sue for nation-wide Marriage Equality.  The ULC usually stays way way out of politics, but will take legal action when they feel like their ministers' rights are being infringed upon.  

Meanwhile Larry Kramer is raising eyebrows again--this time telling gays to rise up against and demand more from the organizations that are working for our equality.   Very interesting points.  Meanwhile, Illinois is steaming full speed ahead to... Civil Unions (just doesn't seem very big now that you can cross the border at the Quad Cities and have full-blown marriage in 6 days).  

That is interesting considering many experts believe that we're closer than ever to full Marriage Equality nearly everywhere.  Check out the state-by-state guide at Box Turtle Bulletin.  Also check out Nate Silver's projections on state-by-state recognition, as well as his models on how its polling nationally.  Even NPR seems to be leaning toward the game-change--this could be the tipping point.   However, not everything is rosy--Speaker Pelosi has recently indicated the repeal of DOMA may NOT be a priority for the Democrats AFTER ALL.  This is opening the door for the introduction of one big complete gay-rights bill that covers EVERYTHING to try to increase the debate and get momentum in congress in place for a smaller compromise.  My buddy Jared Polis may be the one to pull of this brash premature act in Congress.  

Off the beaten path, A new group is calling for nonviolent civil disobedience, while Californians Against Hate are becoming a little bit TOO anti-Mormon for my liking with their six-state ad campaign.  Not all religious news is bad--an evangelical Christian and gay rights advocate is helping us make a BIBLICAL case for Marriage Equality.  Israel is turning unlikely gay rights advocate in taking their case against Iran to the international community.  You GO gurl!  Miami Beach put another nail in the coffin for the myth of the noncommittal gay couple, by turning their first official Pride Festival this week into a celebration of long-long-long term same-sex relationships.  

Finally, Miss California U.S.A. got Perez Hilton's question wrong last night, but that's OK because her sister is a same-sex equality activist, right?  Anyway, she's calling foul--she thinks it cost her the crown.

NEW Happy Hour REVIEW! PART ONE!

Today I'm starting a new semi-daily news rundown called the Happy Hour review.  I'm hoping I'm able to get it out by 5pm every day, but of course that won't always be possible.  

We're going to hit all of the good gay news of the day in an easy to follow after work format.  Enjoy your major stories with your martini. 

Today was a DOOZIE of a day in gay news, though, so I'm going to run this up in two parts.

So, without further adieu:

What is NOM?  Baby, don't hurt me... no more.  If you haven't caught it yet, NOM is the National Organization For Marriage, who spent over $1 Million on one of the corniest campiest commercials ever.  Last week, Steven Colbert took NOM to the cleaners with his parody of their spot, and now Frank Rich rips them apart in the New York Times.  Dozens upon dozens upon dozens of fantastically funny people have created their own parodies.  

We're also learning more about NOM's spokesperson, Damon Owens, an Opus Dei fanatic who has some questionable ties to some really weird beliefs on sex and spirituality.  

Meanwhile, while NOM buddy Maggie Gallagher prefers polygamy to gay marriage; another NOM board member--and scion of Mormon prophet--QUITS as things start to flounder quickly for NOM.  Meanwhile, while NOM begins thier Two Million For Marriage (2M4M) campaign, their efforts are already falling apart as a gay marriage proponent already owns 2M4M.org--also known as TWO MEN FOR MARRIAGE!

The Illinois Family Institute removed their video protesting the Day of Silence, and advocating for support of bullying and harassing kids who don't conform to traditional standards of masculinity or femininity or who may be questioning their sexuality.  When the bullied stand up about being bullied, apparently its silencing the bullies, and that's just wrong.  Then again, why are comments disabled on their video?

Kanye West says he was humbled by being called a gay fish by South Park last week.  Kanye West is notable because he's recently revealed that people should start using "that's so gay" as a compliment and he was the first major hip-hop star to about four years ago come out against homophobia and gay-bashing in hip-hop music.  Then again lyrics in last year's "Stronger" include the word "dyke," but, I can't complain too much, as it leads my work-out mix list.   And further in entertainment news, Gus Van Sant's Taking Woodstock about the gay organizer of Woodstock is on its way!  I really like this new Progressive ad campaign with century old same-sex affection!

PART II WITH MEGHAN AND CINDY MCCAIN, STEVE SCHMIDT, DR. LAURA AND MORE COMES LATER!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

And then there were four...

A week ago, Massachusetts and Connecticut stood alone as the solitary bastions of Marriage Equality in the nation (since California citizens saw fit in November to bring back second-class citizenship status to their LGBT residents). In the past five days we've had a flurry of news almost too fast to process. First on Friday April 3, 2009, Iowa's Supreme Court unanimously made that Midwestern state the newest and most protected Marriage Equality state. Monday, April 6, Senate Majority Leader, Michael Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, emphatically pledged to never allow a vote on a Equality-banning constitutional amendment to reach the Senate floor, even as square-jawed Governor Chet Culver vows to push one. Many experts believe that Iowa will be different than California because Iowa's Constitution is much harder to change, and will take at least 4 years to get an amendment on the ballot before the people, even if conservatives do rid themselves of Gronstal. The good news kept rolling in on Tuesday, April 7, when the Vermont Legislature voted 100-49 to override Governor Jim Douglas' veto of the bill they had passed (Thursday, April 2) turning their existing Civil Unions law into full-fledged Marriage Equality--the first state in the nation to do so without a court telling them so.

On deck now are four states to watch:

New Hampshire--though the House passed their Marriage Equality bill by a slim margin, the bill still needs to slide through to the Senate (which has already passed a version of the bill) and then on to Governor John Lynch, who does not approve of Equality in the law.
Main--There is a lot of support for this legislation, but unfortunately, the bill puts the question before voters, so even if it passes, it may not pass.
Maryland--Though a bill defining marriage as a heterosexual-only institution died in committee, it seems that as the session draws near close, a bill enacting Marriage Equality also looks dead in the water.
Illinois--The Civil Unions bill, a sweeping law that will give same-sex couples most of the rights of opposite-sex couples--but not all--is still awaiting its third and final reading/debate.

...Don't forget about D.C.--whose council approved rules today (April 7) to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Couples who move to D.C. now are recognized as Domestic Partners.

The business of Marriage Equality seems to be gaining momentum by leaps and bounds. My next article will discuss how we can accelerate and protect this momentum.

IT HAPPENED! 100-49 EQUALITY BEATS BIGOTRY!

Now that the Vermont Senate has easily overridden the veto, it is on the House to do what is right and just. Queerty has a list of seven possible game changers that may become one of the five people who change history.

Follow the story here.


UPDATE: IT HAPPENED! THE HOUSE OVERRODE THE VETO!!!!!!!

Final Vote: 100-49!!!

FOLLOW THE VERMONT VETO OVERRIDE RIGHT NOW!

There is Live video RIGHT NOW at the Burlington Free Press of the vote to override Governor Douglas' VETO in Vermont. This text is completely stolen from Pam's House Blend, and you should REALLY go read and subscribe to her awesome blog so I never have to rip it again, but I really want all of you to see this right now WITH EMPHASES! Pam--please don't hate me for stealing from you, but this is SOOOO BIIIIIIGGGG!


MONTPELIER - Gov. Jim Douglas vetoed same-sex marriage legislation Monday evening, sending the bill back to the Legislature today, where the votes to override the veto could teeter either way.

The House and Senate are expected to vote today on whether to override. Whether supporters of the legislation can reach the two-thirds majority in the House is a looming question.

"I'm still talking to members and we're working toward a number that's two-thirds," House Speaker Shap Smith, D-Morristown, said at 6 p.m. Monday.

The vote to override the veto will start Tuesday morning in the Senate, where a 26-4 vote on the bill itself indicates an override is likely.

The House vote, possibly later this morning, will be more dramatic. Smith and other House Democratic leaders are urging Democrats who voted against the bill to support the majority and vote for the override.

If all 150 members are present, 100 votes are needed for an override. Counting all members who voted for the bill in two votes last week, plus the speaker, who did not cast a vote but may on the override, there are 97 who support the bill.

Two Democrats who voted against the bill have said they would change course and support the override.