Sunday, May 31, 2009

Illinois Civil Unions today?

 5/29/2009HouseFinal Action Deadline Extended-9(b) May 31, 2009

Will we be seeing any progress on Illinois Civil Unions today?  Please keep your eyes on the bill's site to find out.  Let's all pray that we'll see Equality happen by the end of the day.

Friday, May 29, 2009

ILLINOIS CIVIL UNION BILL GETTING THIRD READING NOW!

To watch, click link.

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 Illinois.  

HERE'S TO A FUTURE OF EQUALITY IN ILLINOIS!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

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

STOLEN VERBATIM from HRCBackstory.org.

Illinois to Take up Civil Unions TODAY

May 28, 2009 9:17AM
Michael Cole

Ed. 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 make this quick and easy.)

We will not let the disheartening California decision stand in our way as we march toward equality nationwide, and we–as citizens of Illinois–have the power to reverse the tide right now.

As a former downstate resident of Peoria and now a proud voter in the Windy City, I salute Representative Greg Harris and Senators David Koehler and Heather Steans, the key leaders who have been working so hard to gain support for the civil union bill. I am honored to have met each of them, and I cannot thank them enough for their unwavering support for the LGBT community in Illinois.

Now let’s all do our part to help them and make sure the civil union bill passes in Illinois!


TO WATCH THE BILL'S PROGRESS (IN TEXT) GO HERE.

TO WATCH/LISTEN TO THE VOTE GO HERE.

More updates to come.

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 other 'less honest' politicians in the process! NEW YORK sees a potential boom in the 'pink buck' if Marriage Equality is legalized. The NYC Public Library is to open a History of Gay Activism exhibit. EMPIRE STATE PRIDE AGENDA has released another awesome Marriage Equality ad. Here are some words from a crazy Assemblywoman. Here are some better words from Ugly Betty's Ana Ortiz supporting our rights! Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Shumer send a letter to law-makers URGING them to pass Marriage Equality. However, there is concern that support for Marriage Equality is DROPPING in NEW YORK. Wait 'til they find out about the MILLION$ in store for them, though! MASSACHUSETTS knows well--they've made $111 Million off of Marriage Equality--and most of that time no 'out-of-staters' could even do it! NEVADA Governor Jim Gibbons vetoes Domestic Partnerships.

GOOD WORK: Twitter is rolling out a new 'e-currency' called 'twollers,' but instead of raising money for the fat corporate cats, twollers are raising money for good causes! Starting a "Giving Circle." There are many great organizations that are working hard to try to achieve success today! Harrah's supports same-sex couples LOUDLY! Microsoft goes gay in India.

OFF THE BLOTTER: NOMNOMNOM is starting a crusade... I mean anti-marriage ad blitz. Conservatives may be cheering about the New York Times' decline now, but when the uber-left-leaning web takes the helm of journalism, they're going to miss it. Did AT&T--a sponsor of American Idol--cheat to help Kris Allen win?

TOAST TO ADAM LAMBERT-KEEP 'EM GUESSING, HONEY!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

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't leave until they get licences.  175 arrested protesting in San Francisco yesterday.  President Obama, who has been SILENT about Marriage Equality (not necessarily a bad thing) since the avalanche started, will be greeted by a demonstration by the COURAGE CAMPAIGN at his DNC fundraiser at the Beverly Hilton tonight.  What will his response be to THIS?

RESPONSE:  Watch for this great COURAGE CAMPAIGN commercial starting to air this week.  Though I don't AGREE with the "BLAME IT ALL ON THE MORMONS" meme, here is a funny Big Gay Sketch show response.  



MEET IN THE MIDDLE 4 EQUALITY is planning a MASSIVE demonstration in Fresno on Saturday--you'll recall Fresno--in the center of CALIFORNIA--was one of the heaviest areas of California supporting Proposition 8.  MEET IN THE MIDDLE is hoping that more visibility there will encourage more discussion and help locals see the issue clearer.  


TOAST TO MIKE WHO IS WAITING FOR ME IN HIS CAR RIGHT NOW TO TAKE ME OUT!

Illinois House debating "Shell Bill" which will include Civil Unions today.

Watch it live. The bill is called SB1716. On the screen it tells you which bill is being debated. You can ignore it until you see SB1716 come up on the screen.

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

Well, if you're unaware, and didn't read my blog last night, CALIFORNIA's Proposition 8 was upheld by the court yesterday.  Here's some coverage.  Here's a legay's (gay lawyer) take on the language.  Noone seems happy--not the gays (and allies), and especially not the Religious Right because the court said that gay couples still have the fundamental right to all of the same protections and that Prop 8 ONLY forbids them from using the term "marriage," nothing else.  However, we DON'T know how the White House feels about it.  Just because MARRIAGE is illegal between same-sex couples in California, doesn't mean that they can't get MARRIED in California (an interesting take).  Interestingly, President Bush's Solicitor General in Bush v. Gore just filed a Federal Prop 8 challenge.  Traffic was blocked in L.A. and S.F.  Thousands marched around the country after the decision was announced--from California to INDIANA--and hundreds were arrested around California in Civil Disobedience.  Meanwhile the Governator urged calm.  I think things are going to get even harrier in the next few weeks.  Even San Diego Pride called for peaceful Civil Disobedience.  EQCA says Prop 8's repeal is going to be on the 2010 ballot, and if it doesn't pass that year, on every ballot every election year after until equality is reached.  California Politicians were on Rachel Maddow last night, saying they think Prop 8 stands no chance in the future. JOIN THE FIGHT TO REPEAL IT!  Visit stop8.org!

In the mean time, what could we call Same-Sex Unions in California?  The court says we have to allow them, but they can't be called "marriage."  Here is an interesting proposal to call them "weddings."  Same-sex couples could get "wedded."  

Don't forget, this probably pained the justices to do.  Prop 8 overturned their ruling, so it was a slap in the face, but they had no choice.  The Constitution is the Constitution.  

This could turn ugly, though.  

ILLINOIS CIVIL UNIONS ALERT:  Yesterday the House Youth and Family Committee tacked on the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act as an amendment to the Senate "Shell Bill" SB1716!  This act will allow all couples to get Civil Unions in Illinois 30 days after it is enacted!  Thank you Box Turtle Bulletin for the tip!

I've been holding back on updating on ANYTHING except for Prop 8 and Illinois Civil Unions but I have a lot more to talk about.  Look for that today!

TOAST TO THE C-U PROP 8 DEMONSTRATORS!  LET'S DO THIS C-U PRIDE MARCH THING!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

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!

Friday, May 22, 2009

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 justice?

NATIONAL/WHITEHOUSEWATCH:  California Rep Berman, who introduced a bill into the House which included a provision to allow same-sex partners of State Department workers to receive the same benefits as heterosexual partners, has dropped the provision because the STATE DEPARTMENT HAS INSTEAD BEGUN THE PROCESS OF CHANGING THE RULES ITSELF!  GO HILARY!  Related, however (though not in the White House), both houses of our Congress have introduced a same-sex DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP BILL FOR ALL FEDERAL EMPLOYEES!  Moreover, Berman has brought up an interesting speculation that the White House is planning a big LGBT announcement to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.  Too good to be true?  The President DID meet with Judy Shepard this week about the Hate Crimes bill that passed the house, and is slowly making its way through the Senate.  Obama also nominated out lesbian Jenny Durkin to U.S. Attorney in Seattle. The White House has also said officially that it IS reviewing what it can do about Don't Ask Don't Tell.  We've been giving them hell, and they've been noticing.  Why can't Obama do what Truman did?  Rachel Maddow keeps pressing.  Lieutenant Colonel Victor J. Fehrenbach says that there is NO MORE TIME TO WASTE!  Today a gay former Army Ranger has written a WALL STREET JOURNAL Op-Ed about ending DADT.  You rock, Sargent Hughes!  The military is already recruiting lesbians in anticipation!  When it comes to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Gibbs proves that he knows what it is!  And thats about it.  Obama vowed to end the HIV Travel Ban, but as he hesitates, a Cuban refugee is denied entrance into the U.S. because he is positive.  

Unfortunately, the House has ALSO introduced a Defense of Marriage Act for D.C. that would undermine the city council's recent decision to recognize out-of-state marriages equally.  The bill will likely not pass, but then again... we thought the same thing about Proposition 8 in California last year.  

STATE2STATE:  IN HUGE LOCAL NEWS, ILLINOIS IS SET TO SLIDE IN CIVIL UNIONS NEXT WEEK IN AN 11TH HOUR LEGISLATIVE MANEUVER, AND IT WILL GO INTO EFFECT 30 DAYS LATER!!! Colorado offers benefits to Domestic Partners of state workers!  Nevada passes Domestic Partnerships, but the Governor is going to veto the bill.  The 4-term Mayor of San Angelo, TEXAS has resigned because his partner can not gain legal entry into the U.S.  MAINE's "People's Veto" referendum on Marriage Equality.  NEW YORK TIMES calls Marriage Equality opposition "unorganized."  Also in NEW YORK, Meghan McCain has told the NY GOP to embrace Marriage Equality.  All while she continues to 'tweet' her support.  In NEW HAMPSHIRE even though the GOP told Governor Lynch to "kill" Marriage Equality there, it looks as though the wrinkles are being ironed out on the passage of the Marriage Equality bill.  There is a lot of politicking here.  The governor, who is a Democrat, has ticked off the Republicans who originally supported the bill by sending it back with Executive revisions and expecting it just to be taken.  They don't want to feel like patsies--they already went out on a limb for their parties.  I am starting to feel a bit more relieved.  

HOWEVER, on the subject of these "Religious Reassurances," I think we really need to work these into our work.  Independent voters, who feel more comfortable when they know their lives won't have to change, are on the rise.  Studies show that ministers polled on their views of recognition of Marriage Equality support that recognition at EXTREMELY HIGH numbers IF they are reassured that no church will EVER be forced to perform or recognize such unions.  Governor Lynch may be on to something here.  WE AREN'T TRYING TO FORCE ANYONE TO MARRY US THAT DOESN'T WANT TO.  We just want legal recognition.  This REALLY isn't about the church.  Honestly.  I can already have my relationship consecrated in almost ANY mainstream church in C-U, and I don't want to get married in front of a congregation that hates me anyway!  So why don't we put it out there up front?  What if we tell them we absolutely don't want to force religions to recognize our marriages, but we need full Equality--not a separate institution with a different name--but full Equality.  Beyond the financial impact, there is a personal toll that is taken on same-sex couples that cannot have their relationships recognized.  It affects the relationship and the individuals that are a part of it.  When you're married, you're married, and noone can take that away from you.  However, if you've got a long-time "partner" its scoffed at, and noone need take it seriously.  You're constantly asked "Oh, are you still seeing..." or "are you and so and so still together?"  Same-sex relationships are viewed as transient--even in our own community at times--but everyone knows that Marriage is solid.  There is divorce--true--but how many of you have gone up to a real married friend and said "So, are you still with..."?  


The marriage license comes from the courthouse not the church house. “I think folks should take the religious factor out of marriage, or realize that the religious part is a ceremony based on their liking, not a requirement. that’s why the marriage license comes from the courthouse not the church house. When you start to deny tax-paying citizens the right to enter a legal binding agreement because of sexual orientation, its flat out discrimination, no matter who is for it or against it. If the churches don’t wanna perform the ceremony, that’s cool. But for the law to forbid the right is as discriminating as being counted as 3/4 of a person during slavery.”

- Sasha Springer

Amen.   Of course, though, Liberty University would disagree about the distinction--they've just kicked out their Student Democrat group.  

TOAST TO ILLINOIS!  WOO!

PS-THANKS ACE FOR HAVING ME ON YOUR AWESOME SHOW!

PROP 8 DECISION TUESDAY FOR SURE.

THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT WEBSITE STATES THE COURT WILL RELEASE THEIR DECISION ON PROP 8 FOR SURE ON TUESDAY! STAY TUNED FOR MORE.

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!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

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!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

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 then if the renegotiations write out some of Governor John Lynch's changes, it still could face a veto!!!!!

Earlier in the day, today, the NEW HAMPSHIRE Senate--or, as I like to call them, my new best friends--passed the re-renegotiated bill with the Governor John Lynch language 14-10.  The Senate originally passed the bill 13-11 back on April 29, at the time slightly rewording the language from the ORIGINAL House bill passed on a vote of 186-179 WAY BACK on April 25.  On May 6, the House passed that bill with the Senate language changes... and then the bill sat and sat and sat.  Nobody seemed to know where it was.  Then Governor Lynch came out with his revisions, and here we are today... the same place we were months ago--SECOND DAMN CLASS CITIZENS!

I will be discussing these and more tonight on Lundon Calling with Ace Lundon, great gay activist and friend.  I've got Skype all set up, and practiced with Ace last night.  If you're on the EAST COAST tune in at 10pm.  CENTRAL, 9pm.  MOUNTAIN (Drew), 8pm.  PACIFIC, 7pm.  Brant, your family can listen to me at about 5pm.  Not that they will.  But they could.  I wish I could listen to me at 5pm too, because that would mean I'm in Hawaii!  THIS POST HERE HAS INSTRUCTIONS ABOUT HOW TO LISTEN!

Remember, the link you click to listen to me depends on what you'll listen to me on--WinAmp,Media PlayerRealPlayer or Quicktime.  Email the WEBMASTER right away if you have problems connecting, because they want to know if their stream is having issues.  

TUNE IN AND EMAIL ME IF YOU'LL BE LISTENING, SO THAT I CAN GIVE YOU A SHOUT OUT!

TOAST TO NEW HAMPSHIRE COUPLES STILL DREAMING OF HAVING EQUALITY SOME DAY!  DON'T GIVE UP!

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.  If you're on the EAST COAST tune in at 10pm.  CENTRAL, 9pm.  MOUNTAIN (Drew), 8pm.  PACIFIC, 7pm.  Brant, your family can listen to me at about 5pm.  Not that they will.  But they could.  I wish I could listen to me at 5pm too, because that would mean I'm in Hawaii!  THIS POST HERE HAS INSTRUCTIONS ABOUT HOW TO LISTEN!

Remember, the link you click to listen to me depends on what you'll listen to me on--WinAmp, Media Player, RealPlayer or Quicktime.  Email the WEBMASTER right away if you have problems connecting, because they want to know if their stream is having issues.  

TUNE IN AND EMAIL ME IF YOU'LL BE LISTENING, SO THAT I CAN GIVE YOU A SHOUT OUT!

TOAST TO ALL CALIFORNIANS WHO LOVE EQUALITY!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

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

FIRST: THERE ARE ONLY FOUR POSSIBLE DATES NOW THAT THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA MAY RELEASE THEIR DECISION ON PROPOSITION 8: May 21, May 26, May 28 and June 1--ALL IN THE NEXT WEEK AND A HALF!!!

WHITE HOUSE WATCH: The Pentagon has officially stated it has "no plans" to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell, though they've had initial conversations with the White House. The Courage Campaign has added 120,000 signatures to its petition to save Lt. Dan Choi's job--ADD YOUR NAME TO THE LIST! Anderson Cooper takes the White House to task AGAIN on Don't Ask Don't Tell, and seems to be painting Tony Perkins into a corner! Meanwhile, my old Representative, Rep. John Conyers of Detroit, Michigan, says he has enough votes to force a Judiciary Committee vote to overturn the Defense of marriage Act (DOMA)--AND QUEER BLOGGERS ARE MAKING SURE THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT FLIP FLOP ON DOMA--YOU MUST READ THIS!!! Conyers was one of only 67 Representatives to vote against DOMA 13 years ago. You may remember him when he told Michael Moore, "Sit down son..." Members of Congress "...don't read most of the bills" that come before them. Obviously HE read that one, saw it was a stinker, and STILL thinks so... unlike the other 350 Representatives that voted for it after obviously just skimming.

STATE2STATE: Tomorrow (Wednesday), NEW HAMPSHIRE's full legislature will vote on Governor John Lynch's amendments to the Marriage Equality bill. No word on when that will finally get to the Governor's desk. Christine Quinn, Speaker of the NEW YORK CITY Council, spoke with NEW YORK STATE Senate leader Malcolm Smith and members of the Senate about passing the House's Marriage Equality bill, and came back from Albany feeling very optimistic. PENNSYLVANIA is facing an anti-Equality Constitutional Amendment vote in their legislature. It won't pass, but it sure is interesting.

OFF THE BLOTTER: NOM's trying to sound sane... trying being the operative word--read this 'rational' argument against the rational arguments for Marriage Equality.

FINALLY: 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 7:00pm Pacific. Make sure you have either Windows Media Player, WinAmp, Quicktime or RealPlayer first. Go to Lundon-calling.net, or click this link to take you to the show page. From there, look on the right side menu for "**Listening Live" If you use WinAmp, click the WinAmp stream link. If you use WMP, click the WMP stream link. If you use RealPlayer, click the RealPlayer stream link. And if you use Quicktime, click the Quicktime stream link. It might prompt you to do something like download something or open software or something like that. I assure you that Ace is not trying to put malware on your system. You can also listen to the show after the fact in a podcast form a few days later at this link here. I believe they're posted on Sundays. I'll let you know.

If you're Eastern time, tune it at 10pm.
If you're Central time, tune in at 9pm.
Mountain time, 8pm.
Pacific time, 7pm.

If you're an International reader of Ameriqueer, thank you! you will probably be able to figure out the time yourself!

UPDATE: Ace and I talked on the phone today. If you're having trouble connecting to the stream, EMAIL THE WEBMASTER IMMEDIATELY! If they're having stream trouble, they need to know right away.

TOAST TO MY FRIENDS JOE MODERATE AND DAYSOFMARRIAGE!

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...


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 7:00pm Pacific.  Make sure you have either Windows Media Player, WinAmp, Quicktime or RealPlayer first.  Go to Lundon-calling.net, or click this link to take you to the show page.  From there, look on the right side menu for "**Listening Live"  If you use WinAmp, click the WinAmp stream link.  If you use WMP, click the WMP stream link.  If you use RealPlayer, click the RealPlayer stream link.  And if you use Quicktime, click the Quicktime stream link.  It might prompt you to do something like download something or open software or something like that.  I assure you that Ace is not trying to put malware on your system.  You can also listen to the show after the fact in a podcast form a few days later at this link here.  I believe they're posted on Sundays.  I'll let you know.

If you're Eastern time, tune it at 10pm.
If you're Central time, tune in at 9pm.
Mountain time, 8pm.
Pacific time, 7pm. 

If you're an International reader of Ameriqueer, thank you!  you will probably be able to figure out the time yourself!

Please listen in on Wednesday!  Have a great day!

TOAST TO ACE LUNDON!

Monday, May 18, 2009

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




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.





STATE2STATE: THE NEVADA LEGISLATURE PASSES DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP BILL! However, the Governor has vowed to veto it. The WISCONSIN Supreme Court is going to hear a challenge to that state's Constitutional Amendment barring Marriage Equality--at least sometime in the near future. The plan there to give DP Benefits skirts the Constitutional ban! PENNSYLVANIA extends Domestic Partnership Benefits to same-sex spouses of employees. The CALIFORNIA bill to make official Harvey Milk day has passed the Senate. Closer now than ever to being law. CALIFORNIA is also working on a resolution to urge the U.S. Senate to pass the Hate Crimes legislation from the House. CALIFORNIA also passed an LGBT Domestic Violence Services bill. Houston TEXAS may have an out gay city councilman soon. NEW YORK's Marriage Equality rally was a total success--and drew the mayor and the Governor! But the ANTI-GAY rally drew 10,000... WHAT?


Friday, May 15, 2009

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!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

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 not about a ceremony.  Its about the fact that once the ceremony is over, I still can't:
  • Visit him in the hospital if he gets sick
  • Inherit property from him
  • File a joint tax return
  • Receive survivor benefits
  • Sponsor him for citizenship
  • Adopt a child with him
  • Make medical and end of life decisions with him
  • Be placed together in a nursing home
  • Be shielded, legally, in the case of any court cases...
And on and on.

Anyway, John Lynch will sign it if the language is changed.  But how quickly will the legislature move on it?  Now we're going to have to watch the legislature belabor over this AGAIN!  All the while, NOMNOMNOM is putting out this filth.

STRATEGY LEARNED:  IF YOU OVER-EXTEND YOURSELF IN COMFORTING THE RELIGIOUS WING-NUTS, THE MODERATE DEMOCRATS WILL FEEL BETTER SUPPORTING EQUALITY.

In NEW YORK, now that the Marriage Equality bill HANDILY passed the Assembly, all eyes are on the Senate, where things are going to be tight.  There are 20 Yes votes, 25 No votes, 17 undecided.  5 Undecideds might be leaning toward No... but that doesn't stop us from working on them.  Nate Silver crunches the numbers.  Queerty explains how we can get around Sen. Ruben Diaz who has basically secured a guarantee from Majority Leader Malcolm Smith to try to stop the bill from coming up.  Meanwhile, New Yorkers are split on Marriage Equality.  But in communities of color, the divide is deeper. Empire State Pride Agenda has put together this lovely ad to air in communities where votes are up for grabs.  

ON THE HILL:  Frank, Baldwin, Polis and Nadler introduce a resolution to officially recognize the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.  

WHITE HOUSE WATCH:  Obama's latest Souter-replacement short list DOES NOT include any lesbians, but does include ally California Supreme Court Justice, Carlos Moreno.  However, I think the nation is ready for another woman on the court, so he probably should be out.  There are other opinions, however, that say that a lesbian isn't necessarily out of the running.  Obama needs to step in and do something about this Census mess that is going to marginalize gays,  lesbians and transgender folk--especially those in relationships raising families.  Andrew Sullivan on seeing the writing on the wall, and why he's enraged at the broken promises.  On the other side of the political fence, Dan Savage--not exactly a big Conservative--gives Obama an "F" for LGBT rights, while speaking to MSNBC.  Even one of my FAVORITE minds in the LGBT movement, black trans blogger, Pam Spaulding, has some extremely harsh words for Obama and very thoughtful insight into the homophobia he is embedding into our communities of color with his recent action.   When it comes to Don't Ask Don't Tell, the White House says that Legislation is key, however, Dan Choi disagrees, and has a lot of very intelligent things to say.  Though you gotta love the "Let's go to IOWA and make it official" joke!


ON THE GLOBE:  SINGAPORE is throwing a big ally party--and filming it from space!  URUGUAY is lifting their Military ban on gays... I wonder if anyone in D.C. is noticing this trend of previously assumed less-progressive less-democratic nations getting ahead of us... In Moscow, however, gay fans of the Eurovision Song Contest are being told they are not safe.  

OFF THE BLOTTER:  The human phalus--why its so big (although, I wouldn't mind if it were even bigger... well some of you... you know who you are)?  Comedy Dyke, Wanda Sykes, came home last night with two new-born tykes!  All the crazy you can take in one anti-gay video.   Shanna Moakler, Executive Director of the Miss California U.S.A. pageant has quit over the absurdity of the Carrie Prejean junk.  YOU GO GIRL!  Someone please shut WORLDNETDAILY down!  Eliot Spitzer on legalizing prostitution... hey, I still actually like this guy, despite the egg on his face.  Honestly, in my own experience, unaffiliated people have the best sex... followed by non-Americans, followed by Democrats AND Republicans (watch the outtake from OUTrage).  Illinois natives sadly land last on my list (sorry, I still love you!).  Many of you already know this.  


TOAST TO MY HERO BLOGGERS!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

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!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

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




State2State: MARYLAND may follow D.C.'s lead and recognize out-of-state Marriage Equality. NEVADA's Judiciary Committee passes Domestic Partnerships. What's holding up NEW HAMPSHIRE?  The Marriage Equality bill has been on John Lynch's desk a full week--or has it?  In WASHINGTON STATE, breaking down the insanity of Referendum 71. Are those against the Referendum making the wrong argument, though? RHODE ISLAND will tomorrow take up two competing bills--one to legalize Marriage Equality, and one to enshrine discrimination in The Constitution. Neither is expected to pass--Religious leaders in Rhode Island are doing all they can to stop it. DULUTH, MINNESOTA has passed a Domestic Partnership bill.  Elsewhere in the Midwest, the former Archbishop of Milwaukee, WISCONSIN, comes out in his memoirs.  He's surprisingly unapologetic and upfront about it.  In CALIFORNIA, gay Iraq Vet Anthony Woods is running for the U.S. Congressional seat in the 10th District--move over Aaron Schock. However, will CALIFORNIA get 'left at the station?' The MICHIGAN Womyn's Festival STILL discriminates! Last week IOWA Senator Tom Harkin changed his mind on Marriage Equality: here's why. Here is the interview. HAWAII backtracks on Equality again.  A new LGBT Health Center has opened in BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS.  The Boston MASSACHUSETTS trolley driver that crashed while texting was FTM and was texting his girlfriend--and the Religious Right can't WAIT to jump all over that.  Nevermind the texting--IT MUST BE BECAUSE HE WAS TRANS!


Off the blotter:  Will 'out' media mogul, David Geffen, buy the New York Times?  Charlie Crist tweets his plan to run for Senate. Learn a bit more about crazy Crist.  Joe Solmonese debates Family Research Council on Hardball with Chris Matthews on Marriage Equality.  NPR recently profiled the movie OUTrage--which I've covered here on the blog--but did so in a peculiar way:  without naming any names.  In a movie all about naming names and correcting hypocrisy, you'd think a NEWS organization would be all over that.  They chose, instead to respect the privacy of the individuals covered in the movie.  Yet they publicized it anyway.  Is OUTrage 'outing' or just 'reporting?'  I think that depends on where you stand on 'whistleblowing.'  If you think those Enron workers who helped us understand that those filthy slimeballs were bilking the stockholders and employees were out of line, you might not like this movie.  However, if you think they did the right thing, you might be on Fandango right now getting a ticket.  

What are "the 30 Sexual Orientations?"  This is the new rhetoric that the Religious Right is trying to use to bring down the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Bill--or the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes bill.  Apparently, 'Congress has not yet defined sexual orientation,' so when deciding if something is a Hate Crime, Law Enforcement will have to defer to the APA, which "lists" more than "30 Sexual Orientations."  Bull Shit.  There are THREE Sexual Orientations--Heterosexual, Bisexual and Homosexual.  The other paraphilias ARE NOT COVERED UNDER THAT DEFINITION.  But this hasn't stopped the wackos on the Right from redubbing the Hate Crimes Prevention bill the "Pedophile Protection Act."  Seriously.  Check out these WorldNutDaily headlines.    Here are the facts:  THE BILL WILL NEVER PROTECT PEDOPHILES--READ A LITTLE, IDIOTS!  No surprise that Exodus International has been facilitating the hysteria.  The Illinois Family Institute (a certified HATE GROUP by the SPLC) later backtracked and apologized... sort of.  They didn't apologize for misleading the public, only for not making a distinction... but didn't retract their misleading inference.  


TOAST TO DANNY O'DONNELL!

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!