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Showing posts from May, 2009

COFFEE 529 - ILLINOIS CIVIL UNIONS EDITION

So it's 5:29 on 5/29--and I'm wondering what will happen with Civil Unions in Illinois today. Some folks bite the hand that feeds them over the LEVI'S display up in Chicago.  According to Stonewall Democrats of Chicago, Wednesday, David Reis (R-Olney [217-782-2087]) filed four query notes on the Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act Amendment to the Senate 'shell bill' with the intention of stalling the bill--each of the notes has to be resolved before the bill is able to be voted on (thanks LawDork!).  Thursday it seemed all four were resolved, and the bill is likely to start moving forward again today.  According to Rep. Greg Harris, we only have until Sunday now (it was Saturday) to get this passed.  CALL YOUR REP! The switchboard number is 217-782-2000, and you can determine your representative by entering your address here.  We can see this happen today, if we put the heat on all over the state.  Please forward this post to everyone you know in Ill…

ILLINOIS CIVIL UNIONS TODAY: CALL YOUR LAWMAKER! 217-782-2000!

STOLEN VERBATIM from HRCBackstory.org.
Illinois to Take up Civil Unions TODAYMay 28, 2009 9:17AM
Michael ColeEd. Note: This post from Nathan Schackow, an HRC volunteer leader in Chicago. Illinois State Capitol via flickr user jimmywayne22 Civil Unions in the Land of Lincoln?All eyes are on the Illinois legislature today as the House will likely take a vote within hours that could bring civil unions to the Land of Lincoln. Yes, that is right. Today the legislature is expected to vote on civil unions HERE in Illinois!Please join me RIGHT NOW in doing the following 2 things:1) Call your State Representative in Springfield. Ask them to support the civil union bill, Senate Bill 1716. (The switchboard number is 217-782-2000, and you can determine your representative by entering your address here.2) Pass this message along to your supportive friends and family members, writing a sentence or two in your own words at the top letting them know this is important to you. (Copy and paste should m…

COFFEE 528 - Sotomayor, New York, National Polls, PA and FLA!

FIRST: What kind of Justice will Judge Sonia Sotomayor be? LAW DORK investigates some of her previous statements on diversity. We're eager to learn more about her. Alex Blaze specifically looks at what her LGBT record may end up being.

NATIONAL: Gallup finds that the nation is holding steady on Marriage Equality support. Statistics guru Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight blog shows us that Latinos are no less supportive of Marriage Equality than Caucasians.

STATE2STATE: HERE'S WHERE THINGS STAND. RHODE ISLAND may be the only New England state whose government is saying "never" to Marriage Equality, but the majority of the citizens are saying "NOW!" PENNSYLVANIA now has a 'Marriage Discrimination' Constitutional amendment up for debate in the legislature, but that bill is about to get some competition--from a MARRIAGE EQUALITY AMENDMENT! A gay FLORIDA Politician is not only honest about his orientation--he's unabashedly so--and calls out othe…

HAPPY HOUR 527 - CALIFORNIA DOMINATES! ILLINOIS UPDATES!

Well, nothing much happened today on the ILLINOIS RELIGIOUS FREEDOM PROTECTION AND CIVIL UNION ACT Amendment to the "Shell Bill" SB1716.  Its still waiting for a floor vote, which it will most likely get this week... though we don't know when.
I'm just going to spend the rest of the post talking about CALIFORNIA and what this all means for the movement.  Then maybe tomorrow we can return to some SEMBLANCE of NORMALCY around here!
THE DECISION:  BTB breaks down, in plain English, what the Justices were saying about the law and about rights yesterday in their decision.  The only right they agreed gays can be denied now is the right to call their unions "marriage."  Let's not forget that their decision EXPRESSLY says that gays and lesbians still must be afforded the same rights as everyone else. 
DEMONSTRATIONS:  Civil Disobedience abounds in California and around the nation.  In San Diego, dozens of protesters have occupied the Clerk's office, and won…

COFFEE 527 - Your Complete Prop 8 Coverage and NEWS ON ILLINOIS CIVIL UNIONS!

PROP 8: UPHELD--MARRIAGE EQUALITY BANNED IN CALIFORNIA

18,000 same-sex couples that married before the election--including Ellen and Portia--will stay married.

See the opinion here.

Live Coverage here.

LA Times.

Joe.My.God.

So who do we want to take rights away from next? Since we can now vote to just take away rights en masse from an entire group of people, we should start setting up all sorts of tiers of citizenship! That's what our forefathers would have wanted.

COFFEE 526 - PROP 8 DECISION TODAY, WATCH FOR ILLINOIS CIVIL UNIONS

Good morning!  Today, all eyes are on CALIFORNIA as the Supreme Court releases their Proposition 8 Decision at around 10A.M. Pacific (1P.M. Eastern).  This afternoon, there will be demonstrations all over the nation in reaction to whatever the decision is--probably one near you.  Visit dayofdecision.com.  We doubt President Obama is going to be at any of them, even though he's going to be in California TOMORROW.  Then this Saturday, MEET IN THE MIDDLE FOR EQUALITY!  Law Dork tells us what the Prop 8 Decision WILL and WON'T mean.
We may also get a SURPRISE from Illinois today--or at least at some point this week.  According to the Washington Blade, the legislature is poised to amend the last minute 'shell' bill to allow Civil Unions 30 days after the bill is passed... could it be today?  We'll find out.
TOAST TO MY FRIEND MIKE FOR A FUN EVENING IN BLOOMINGTON THIS SATURDAY!

HAPPY HOUR 522 - BIG NEWS IN CA, IL, TX, AND OBAMA SEEMS TO BE MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!

TUESDAY, MAY 26, WILL BE THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT'S DAY OF DECISION ON PROPOSITION 8.  Please visit dayofdecision.com to see if there will be a rally at  near you on the afternoon/evening of May 26th.  Here in C-U, Urbana is listed, but there is no information.  Then, Saturday May 30th, MEET IN THE MIDDLE FOR EQUALITY is planning a March on the Fresno, CA City Hall at 1:00pm--BE THERE IF YOU CAN!
What are The Dallas Principles?  This is the new rubric for the advancement of Equality for LGBT people in this nation.  Will it replace the HRC, The Victory Fund, GMHC, NCLR, The Task Force, Lambda Legal and state and local organizations?  No.  Will it allow us to reframe our fight and our vision and reshape our language so that we are more effective?  Maybe.  Should you sign on?  Absolutely.  Even the Washington Post is giving it attention.  The momentum in the community is sparking talk of another march on Washington.  Its been 11 years--isn't it time for the next big call for j…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HARVEY MILK! ILLINOIS UNIONS NEXT WEEK?

HAPPY 79th BIRTHDAY, HARVEY MILK!

I have a lot to cover later today, including the fact that I may be able to get Civil Unionized next week in my state, Illinois! The White House also seems to be gearing up for an all-out pro-gay blitz in advance of Pride--they better, because all of the unhappy queers getting together at Pride and spreading their distaste for the administration to all of the other queers out there is going to be REALLY hard to undo!

If any more information becomes available about ILLINOIS Civil Unions, I will be sure to get it to you as fast as possible. Keep checking in next week. Because there is no specific date set, couples could begin entering into Unions 30 days after the law takes effect.

Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the WHITE NIGHT RIOTS. Read more about the biggest uprising in our community's history here.

TOAST TO GOOD OLD HARVEY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! LA'CHIAM!

COFFEE 521 - THIS IS A DAY OF INDEPENDENCE FOR AMERIQUEER AND HIS DECENDANTS!

...if any!
Today 50 of my students will graduate and leave... and in a week the rest will be gone!  AWESOME!
I was on Lundon Calling last night, and it was lots of fun--even if my mic was a problem at times.  A lot of you said that you couldn't hear it.  Check back on Saturday night/Sunday morning and give me a listen.  AND you should also listen to the aftershow, because I think that went much better sound-wise!
I hope we learn more about NEW HAMPSHIRE today.  I'll try to update, though it should be infrequent as we're setting up for Graduation.  
TOAST TO ME!

WHAT. THE. HELL? NEW HAMPSHIRE??? (and a prop 8 update)

Okay, first let me just say CALIFORNIA can breathe easy for a few more days as San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsome convinced the Supreme Court to hold of on releasing their decision on Prop 8 a few more days until the 30th anniversary of the White Night Riots is passed.  We're probably going to see it Tuesday, the following Thursday or THAT following Monday.  
NOW:  WHAT THE HELL, NEW HAMPSHIRE HOUSE?!?!?!?!???!?!?!?!????!
The NEW HAMPSHIRE House, which on May 6 APPROVED Marriage Equality by a vote of 178-167, has now stalled the REWRITTEN BY GOVERNOR JOHN LYNCH bill 188-186--That's right, folks, two votes.  25 members did not vote at all, and opponents of the bill failed to kill it in a 173-202 vote, but this STILL means we're waiting on NEW HAMPSHIRE to GET ITS SHIT TOGETHER!  The House passed a resolution to continue negotiating with the Senate by a vote of 207-168.  If that same number votes for the 're-re-renegotiated' bill in the next two weeks it will pass, but …

SANFRAN POLICE SET UP BARRICADES IN THE CASTRO...

...The decision from the California Supreme Court is going to come TOMORROW or TUESDAY, from the looks of things--the SFPD started setting up barricades in The Castro on Tuesday.   THURSDAY (TOMORROW) is the 30th anniversary of the WHITE NIGHT RIOTS that took place after Harvey Milk's death.  My friends Harry and Wayne were there, and they said it was something else.  FRIDAY is Harvey Milk's birthday.  Temperatures are boiling over in California.  I hope that the Supreme Court understands the timing of all of this.  With the marriage wins in Iowa and the East Coast, and the historical significance of this week to gay Californians, NOT TO MENTION the shift in energy in California to a more radical, militant defiance, I'm nervous about what this is going to look like.
TONIGHT I'M GOING TO BE ON THE RADIO.  An AZ gay entertainment show called Lundon Calling with Ace Lundon, great gay activist and friend.  I've got Skype all set up, and practiced with Ace last night.  I…

CLOSING TIME 519 - Quick updates, and how we can make Obama move.

COFFEE HOUR 519 - OPPS OUT OF TIME!

I've run out of time to post much this morning!  However, I can't leave you hanging with NO news...
WHITE HOUSE WATCH:  Obama could halt gay discharges with an Executive Order today.  CNN Takes Obama to task on DADT now!  How has the White House changed on DADT over the last few months?  We're feeling like we're forgotten.  He's on his way to Africa, where gays are being imprisoned or killed at the hands of mobs... will he stand up for us?  
OUT TRANSGENDER BROTHERS AND SISTERS:  Often left out of the alphabet soup in discussion of issues is the 'T', our transgender siblings.  The APA is about to revamp the DSM and there is talk of taking out GID--Gender Identity Disorder.  Follow this complicated topic here.  Also, the complex role the HRC is having in the transgender community--and the distrust in this community for this organization.  
ME ON THE RADIO:  I'm going to be on the AZ-based radio show, Lundon Calling with Ace Lundon, on Wednesday, May 20 at 7…

COFFEE HOUR 518 - RUSSIA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, WISCONSIN, AND ALL OVER!

FIRST: ONE AMAZING EIGHT YEAR OLD!
MARRIAGE IN ONE YEAR'S TIME! POLLS SHOWING SUPPORT FOR EQUALITY HIGHER THAN EVER!
NEW HAMPSHIRE continues to wait for Marriage Equality while John Lynch passes back the bill to congress to make some changes in the language to pretend to appease the Far Right. John Lynch, though against gay marriage, is supporting Marriage Equality because he realizes he's got to look at the issue through a 'broader lens.' Apparently the legislature is moving quickly to make these changes.
HACKERS TAKE DOWN GAY MEDIA SITES!
ON THE HILL: Lawmakers are making a push to make same-sex couples and ALL families count on the 2010 Census. Marion Barry said Ward 8 would be alienated if D.C. recognized Marriage Equality... however Ward 8 leaders just voted ahead of the full City Council vote to SUPPORT FULL MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN THE CAPITOL!
WHITE HOUSE WATCH: With all of the bad news from 1600 Pennsylvania, here's the good news: The State Department …

Lundon Calling, Wednesday May 20th 7pm Pacific!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:  I'm going to be on Ace Lundon's "London Calling" this Wednesday, May 20th at 7pm Pacific time!  I'm going to be there talking politics, LGBT advocacy, using social networking to mobilize and the rise of the Queer Blog as news gatherer and advocate.  DON'T MISS IT!
This Wednesday at 7pm Pacific, tune to http://www.lundon-calling.net/!
TOAST TO ACE LUNDON!

HAPPY HOUR ROUNDUP 514 - NEW HAMPSHIRE/NEW YORK! Uruguay, Singapore, Alaska, and Stonewall!

First, lets begin with the fact that NEW HAMPSHIRE Governor John Lynch never DID get the Marriage Equality bill (as I had previously thought).  Now, however, he's sending it back.  He wants a bit of new language put in that emphasizes the religious protections--basically make sure EVERYONE KNOWS that no church is going to be forced to perform gay marriages.  Like any self-respecting gay couple would WANT to marry in front of a congregation like that, anyway!  However, either way, I support our movement being VERY CLEAR to religious groups that this is MOST DEFINITELY not about attacking a religion or religious values, and that this is a RIGHTS issues.  Same-sex couples are marginalized and penalized in 1049 ways for NOT being heterosexual.  This makes them second class citizens.  There are THOUSANDS of churches out there that will perform a ceremony for me and call me "married" to my partner.  I'm pretty sure almost EVERY church in Urbana-Champaign will do it.  Its n…

BREAKING: DID NEW HAMPSHIRE BECOME #6 AT MIDNIGHT BY DEFAULT?

When any legislative body passes a bill, the executive has so much time to sign or veto it before it becomes a law, defacto.  Apparently in New Hampshire, its only 5 days!!!  Passed on the 6th and given to Governor Lynch on the 6th... 7th... 8th... 9th... (skip Sunday) 10th... 11th... 12th... FIVE DAYS UP!  If the House REALLY DID deliver the bill on the 6th, then it became law at MIDNIGHT!

COFFEE HOUR 513 - NY, DADT, More States, Russia... boy there is a lot of news!

BREAKING: NEW YORK ASSEMBLY PASSES MARRIAGE EQUALITY 89-52!

They did it--Rosie O'Donnell's gay brother, Assemblyman Danny O'Donnell has passed through his Marriage Equality bill (again) and now its off to the Senate (again)... and then, apparently David Patterson still has to sign it (I feel like he already has), even though I'm pretty sure he'll be standing right freaking outside the Senate chamber doors with pen in hand while they're debating it.  JUST GET IT OVER WITH!  Your state wants it, your most important politician (Bloomberg) wants it, your freaking Governor wants it--SENATE DON'T EVEN FREAKING DELAY!
PS.  I'm not into bears, but for all that he does for the LGBT people of New York, and the fact that Rosie is his sister, I'd make it with Danny O'Donnell.  A sort of big gay thank you and sign of my admiration!