Monday, November 30, 2009

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

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

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

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

Piwowarczyk says, 'They came up out of the car and they start calling us f*^%#.'"

A few tips to all of my queer friends. Never walk alone at night. Always avoid poorly lit, dim areas. Try to go in big groups. Stay as sober as you can be so you can run away when you need to.

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

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

Sunday, November 29, 2009

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

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

The filings, in a federal bankruptcy court in Atlanta, show pages of unsecured and secured creditors, including employees, freelancers, vendors, and shareholders. Before any of those people get paid, the Avalon Equity and M&T Bank will be first to get paid under the Chapter 7 bankruptcy."

I'm hoping the Voice can make a comeback, as the Blade (both Washington and South Florida) and 411 Magazine staffs have been relatively successful at keeping everything running without interruption, under new names.

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

John Buccigross: How one of hockey's toughest men accepted his son's courageous admission - ESPN:
"'Middle school and early high school is the first time I remember thinking that I could be gay, but I definitely tried to ignore it and didn't want to seriously consider it. It's pretty easy to try and convince yourself that it's not true, but it won't work, ever.' -- Brendan Burke"

In an effort to try to put his readers in Brendan Burke's shoes, John Buccigross writes most of this piece in second person, which is a little awkward to read, but this immensely supportive piece is sure to make some waves and maybe change some minds in this truly masculine arena of Pro Hockey.

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

More reasons to vote Bart Stupak out of office

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

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

Dear Michigan: Stupak has GOT to go. Thanks. Phil.

When "balanced" really isn't.

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

The National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association analyze a Washington Post piece that doesn't quite get "balanced" correct.

In fact, "balanced" journalism is quite often skewed to the right, giving the right more face time, more soundbites, and more of the benefit of the doubt. Especially when it comes to LGBT issues, the prevailing cultural attitude is one of oppression to LGBTs. The "balanced" reporting often just reinforces that, rather than trying to challenge that. A true balance would be to make readers think critically about the issues, and not just hear an echo of their own insular, unchallenged thinking.

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

Gays Have The Power - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan:
"If gays are really serious about marriage rights, they need to accelerate the process of coming out. It's not often that a minority group has this option - African-Americans don't. But gays, like Jews, can 'pass', and by passing, we don't even give many people the option of changing their minds and hearts by better understanding who we are, and why our relationships and families strengthen society rather than weakening it."

Andrew Sullivan posted the new Gallup poll on American adult views on marriage equality--National average is that 40% support it and 57% do not, but if you ask someone if they personally know a gay person, 49% over 47% favor marriage equality if they do know a gay person, contrasted by 72% over 27% against if they do NOT know an openly gay person. The more that we come out, the more that we change those numbers. Its astonishing that just knowing an out gay person completely flips the situation. If its safe, you HAVE to come out.

Are Good Morning America producers complete idiots?

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

Brown will do a taped tell-all with Robin Roberts, followed by a performance of songs from his new album. But TV insiders say the appearance, slated to air the week after next, has outraged feminists and gay activists who wonder why a convicted girlfriend abuser is more palatable to the network than an openly gay man who broke no laws with his raunchy performance on the “American Music Awards.”"

You know, canceling Adam Lambert was one thing... bringing Chris Brown on afterward though? Bad move. Gays will be switching to the Today Show for sure now. As well they should. Every pair of eyes we give to Good Morning America tells them 'Its OK to shove us in the closet,' and tells America 'a violent woman-beater is more desirable than an openly gay man.' No matter America is so fucked up.

Monday, November 23, 2009

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

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

It may defy all reason, but it seems that the Republican party may be the first political party to make an openly gay Governor—or at least Lieutenant Governor.

Openly gay GOP Lt. Governor candidate pick Richard TiseiModerate Republican Charlie Barker, former President and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, has tapped his campaign chairman, openly gay Massachusetts Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei to be his running-mate in the Republican primaries this winter. According to the Boston Globe, while the 47 year old Tisei’s sexuality has been an open secret in Boston since the early 1990s, he only came out officially on the 19th of November, after it came to light he was front-runner among those jockeying to be Barker’s running-mate. Regardless of the revelation, Barker chose Tisei anyway, and if they win the Republican ticket together, they’ll be squaring off against Governor Deval Patrick and former Democrat, Treasurer Timothy Cahill in a three-way 2010 election.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chicago aids_ribbon.jpgwas recently hit with the bad news it has some of the highest HIV infection rates of any city in the nation--especially high in the adult African American men who have sex with men population. The state has already made cuts to Chicago's bare-bones AIDS/HIV budget, forcing the HIV services organizations and Public Health to plan to soon make choices between providing housing to infected homeless, and providing much needed medication.

The AIDS Foundation of Chicago is sounding the alarm that a $4.6 million cut in Public Health funding could mean the end of many of the support services that the city's HIV+ population have come to rely on...

Continue reading Public Health cuts could leave Chicago HIV+ in the lurch.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

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

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

Last week I had a delightful conversation with Jacob Meister, the openly gay Chicago lawyer who has high hopes for winning the Democratic primary and seeking the seat previously held by President Barack Obama and Carol Moseley Braun before him. We opened by talking about Meister's long history working with small businesses, and his experiences on Capitol Hill as an intern in the 1980s. meet03.jpg

We continued to talk about his plan for education, his telecommuting tax credit plan and his 2020 Vision for America which includes building a strong stable of green jobs in manufacturing to move the United States to the forefront of the global green economy, and get all Americans back to gainful employment.

Next we moved on to the very reason why I sought an interview with the candidate: why does Jacob Meister believe that he is going to be the first openly gay man elected to the United States Senate?

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

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

Saturday, November 21, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What did we talk about in Episode 52? One of Ace’s favorite topics: the psychic world! Do you believe in the psychic world? Have you ever experienced clairvoyance? You ever moved something with telekinesis? Do you have ESPN?

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

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

See y’all next week!

Straight Talk On Marriage: The Daily Show: Gaywatch

Straight Talk On Marriage: The Daily Show: Gaywatch:
"Jon Stewart discusses stories involving the LGBT community including Will Phillips, the 10-year-old student who refuses to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance until gay and lesbian couples can marry. Stewart brings out professional wrestler Mick Foley, who vows to protect Phillips from bullies in school."

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Gaywatch - Peter Vadala & William Phillips
www.thedailyshow.com
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N.J. Sen. Majority Leader says gay marriage vote would be irresponsible if passage unsure | New Jersey Real-Time News - - NJ.com

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

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

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

On Wednesday, Sweeney had appeared to say same-sex marriage should be put aside in favor of the economy, and Weinberg accused Sweeney of reneging on a promise. She said she was 'urging our current majority leader to honor the commitment he made to me to move this important civil rights bill forward.'

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

Today, Sweeney agreed"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gillibrand phones for gay marriage -NY Daily News

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

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

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

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

More reason to like Gillibrand.

Friday, November 20, 2009

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

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

Phil Reese November 20, 2009--For over three decades the Washington Blade was the go-to weekly political news source for the American LGBT community that was unrivaled in prestige and access for much of that time.

And today it doesn't exist anymore.

In fact, the Washington Blade disappeared with some long-standing bastions of the LGBT journalism pantheon: the South Florida Blade, 411 Magazine, David Magazine, the Houston Voice, and the extremely respected Southern Voice. This Monday all of these institutions suddenly ceased to exist at once as the Small Business Administration decided to close down their parent company, Window Media.

Window Media had been forced into receivership late last year, and we've known since at least February that they were in trouble. However, there was no warning for what happened on Monday. Folks showed up to work as they did every Monday, only to find the doors locked, and signs posted telling them to go home and come collect their things later in the week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 19, 2009

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

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

While the federal Proposition 8 lawsuit continues its battle in federal court, leaders in the LGBT community are casting a suspicious eye on the White House, asking whether or not our 'fierce advocate' up there is going to come to our aide when thousands of same-sex couples in California most need him.

3018941936_05301c96b0.jpg

The argument that the Department of Justice used to defend their defense of DOMA in federal court was that they have a duty to defend federal law. Well, this may or may not be true--certainly, there is a lot of credible evidence supporting that this would be correct protocol for any non-dictator President. However, Prop 8 is state law, not federal law--if the Department of Justice chose to file a brief in the case, they would be free to take whichever side they chose, and certainly take side against the law: as Bush's DOJ did on many occasions.

President Obama will, in all likeliness, not actually weigh in on this minefield, however...

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

OUCH!

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

Read the rest, follow the link. Lots of good insight.

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

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

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

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

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

'We the members of the SCLC are very displeased of the recent actions of the commission to revise a policy to allow same-sex and domestic partners to receive benefits as married couples are receiveng. Mr. Mayor, what may be politically correct, may not be morally or eeithically feasible for the stability and growth of the Tallahasee community.

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

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

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

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

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

Maybe not.

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

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

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

Architects of the amendment included the clause to ban same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships. But Radnofsky, who was a member of the powerhouse Vinson & Elkins law firm in Houston for 27 years until retiring in 2006, says the wording of Subsection B effectively 'eliminates marriage in Texas,' including common-law marriages."

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jacob Meister and his meet06.jpgcampaign manager, Lowell Jaffe, were standing outside of a CVS Pharmacy on DuPont Circle, in Washington DC the morning of the National Equality March. Jaffe stuck his hand out as I passed and they started a campaign pitch, and I smiled and rolled my eyes. Candidates are always stopping folks outside of Wal-Mart or inside of Bob Evans, and I think at a certain point most politically active people have been desensitized to these awkward attempts to schmooze.

Hearing that Jacob was openly gay and was running for a state-wide seat in Illinois got my attention, however, and we exchanged information before I ran off to get my press pass and line up. I didn't think much of the encounter, and let it roll to the back of my mind until I started getting emails from the campaign.

Last week, Jacob Meister opened up a local campaign office here in Champaign, right on Green Street, the campus community's vibrant business center. The event couldn't have come at a more inconvenient time, but I decided to sandwich a quick visit between working out and making dinner.

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

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

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

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

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

ChurchOuting.org and its creator Phil Attey (an HRC veteran) is calling for crowd sourced knowledge of any D.C.-area Catholic clergy who might be violating their promises to Jesus. 'This site is dedicated to every Catholic family who has lost a loved one to suicide or disassociation, needlessly caused by the spiritual pain inflicted by the church hierarchy's relentless attacks on LGBT people,' the website writes. 'Secondly, this site is dedicated to every Catholic of faith who is willing to stand up to the Vatican and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on this important issue. Know that your courage and conviction will be rewarded in Heaven.'"

Great job, Phil Attey!

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

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

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

Champaigners--CALL TIM JOHNSON ON ENDA TODAY!

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

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

His number is (202) 225-2371. Follow these directions from HRC:
  1. Call Rep. Johnson (202) 225-2371 before 5 p.m. ET.
  2. Most likely, one of the interns for Rep. Johnson will answer and ask where you're calling from and why. You're calling to express your support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 3017) and urge the representative to work hard to pass it. Most calls end right there. But if you like, you can add:
    • In 29 states, it's legal to fire someone because they're lesbian, gay, or bisexual; in 38 states, it's legal to fire someone for being transgender.
    • The American people believe in fairness and understand that employees should be judged on their merits, not on sexual orientation or gender identity.
    • The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is NOT about special treatment. It simply gives these workers the same rights and protections as their colleagues.
    • Mention that your representative's support of this bill will affect your future support.
  3. IMPORTANT: After you hang up, click here to let us know that you made the call. Don't skip this step! It helps us track our progress.
Once you call, comment below or on my facebook, please! I want to see 56 people who called him!

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Iowa conservatives still focused on gay marriage -Tribune

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 16, 2009

Winston’s Cafe - Time Out Chicago

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

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

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

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

The Final Hours of the Washington Blade -The Sexist

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

This is an awesome piece on the dismantling of America's most respected LGBT paper. Where do you think the Blade will go from here?

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

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

Ever wonder what it would be like to be a child star?


Ever wonder what happens to child stars when they grow up?


This week on Episode 51 we spoke with John Provost, Timmy from the classic television series Lassie. John reveals to us what it was like to be on one of the most popular shows of all time, what his life was life before, during and after, and talks to us a little about life.


Please check out Episode 51! And help us figure out exactly which well Timmy fell in!

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

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

Disturbing news this morning. Window Media--the Publisher of the Washington Blade, the South Florida Blade, the Houston Voice, the Southern Voice, David Atlanta and 411 Magazine--has officially closed its top publications: The Southern Voice, David Atlanta and the Washington Blade.

At publishing time I had not received any confirmation on Houston Voice or The South Florida Blade's closure (both their websites were down once again, most likely due to high traffic), though an update on Fresh Loaf from former Southern Voice Editor Lauren Douglass-Brown confirms that all Window Media publications are affected.

The Blade website has been up and down all morning, presumably because of increased traffic from this story, but their Twitter feed officially confirmed the bad news...

VERY IMPORTANT TO CONTINUE READING BREAKING: WASHINGTON BLADE, SOUTHERN VOICE CLOSED IN WINDOW MEDIA DEMISE Over at Bilerico.com.

Southern Voice Shuttered, Others in Question

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

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

This is bad bad bad bad news!

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

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

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

Sunday, November 15, 2009

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

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

Illinois has had its share of making history lately, but we have the opportunity to make history once again with an unprecedented number of openly gay candidates going into this Spring's primaries. Cook County (Chicago) is leading the pack with dozens of openly gay candidates for various offices on all levels. One of those offices is the 7th State Senate district currently being held by Democrat Heather Steans who is being challenged in the Primaries by openly gay former Executive Director of Equality Illinois, Jim Madigan.

The district includes Andersonville, which is the up-and-coming new 'gayborhood' for the city of Chicago, no doubt part of the reason that Steans introduced a Marriage Equality bill and transgender friendly legislation in the Illinois state Senate not long after Jim Madigan announced his campaign. Though Steans makes LGBT rights a very big priority on her webpage, Candidate Madigan has made it a career, no doubt a fact that will be very appealing to LGBT people in the northern shore neighborhoods he is campaigning in.

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

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

Saturday, November 14, 2009

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

Check out my newest Bilerico Post about the gay DNC boycott: JOHN ARAVOSIS' "DON'T ASK/DON'T GIVE" HAS THE WRONG FOCUS

Let me preface this by reminding everyone that my first Bilerico post ever was a critique of the President's LGBT record. 2129631317_e3d3660f2a.jpgThat was this past Spring. We are now getting on into Winter, and I still believe the President has not acted correctly on an Executive Order lifting the military gay ban, or ending the misguided practice of not accepting gay blood donors.

But John Aravosis is going to throw the game by singling out the President in his point-by-point Democratic donation "pause" manifesto. This is a mistake with gigantic implications...



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

Friday, November 13, 2009

O&A--JACOB MEISTER FTW?

Please read my latest post at Out & About Illinois: JACOB MEISTER FTW?

Phil Reese November 13, 2009--It will admittedly be an uphill climb for openly gay Illinois US Senate Candidate, and Chicago lawyer Jacob Meister, who spent the week touring the state opening campaign offices in every nook and cranny of Illinois to kick off his campaign. However, being the first openly gay Senate candidate in US history should not make anyone think for even a moment he cannot do it. Meister himself notes that this was the same Senate seat of history-makers Carol Moseley Braun and President Barak Obama. Jacob Meister

I interviewed Jacob Meister on Thursday for the LGBT website Bilerico.com, and wanted to share first with you my personal reactions upon spending the day talking with the underdog that is bound and determined to make US History: Jacob Meister is the real deal.

This is my own personal take, of course, and this is in no way an official endorsement. But I do encourage others to meet Jacob in one of his local offices and have a conversation with him.

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

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

DEOMI - Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute

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

Rod 2.0 features my video! Thank you!

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

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

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

Noize: Circuit Spirituality

Explore & Live | Circuit Spirituality:
"I always tell people if you want to feel God, or the presence of God, you have to go to the most packed Circuit event, or a packed gay bar. Grab your partner and head out until you’ve worked your way to the very center of the dance floor, underneath that big ball. Erase from your mind the decadence around you and feel the vibration in the music coming at you from every direction. Straight people may go to church for their spirituality, but Circuit events are my form of church and the DJs are my priests."

I thought I was the only one! I've been very spiritually moved on the dance floor many times--crazy as that sounds. Just feeling the vibe and the overwhelming feelings of good will and happiness surrounding you are quite counter to the experience in the rest of the world around you. Why do you think I'm first one up on the box every time? I'm always in the center of the dance floor with my eyes closed or looking up to the big silver ball--I'm praying, y'all! I'm praying that this peace and happiness go out and wrap its arms around the whole world. I'm praying for an end to hate and drama!

DC has some GOOD Catholics too: Catholics United for Marriage Equality

Catholics United for Marriage Equality:
"We are Catholics who live or work in the District of Columbia. We are a diverse group of lay women and men, religious, and clergy. We represent parishes, religious institutions, and independent Catholic organizations in every ward in the District. We now join our voices to speak a faithful word for freedom and equality.

Our religious traditions and scriptures teach us that wherever love is present, God is also present. One of God's greatest gifts to us is our human capacity to love one another. The ability of two people to enter into relationships and form families of love and care is one expression of this gift. We therefore affirm the right of loving same-gender couples to enter into such relationships on an equal basis with loving heterosexual couples in civil marriage."

Not all Catholics are bad. Just the Bishops. The great majority of Catholics are Progressive and believe in helping others. Unlike the Bishops. Catholic Bishops continue to look more and more like the pharisees of Jesus' time every day. Now they are going to "punish" the homeless and poor of Washington DC if the City Council approves Marriage Equality--even though they would be exempt from performing any marriages they are against.

One more nail in the coffin. As the Bishops retreat further into their crazed ignorance, they push away the youth in the Catholic Church who understand what true Caritas means.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

TBP--ENDA: NOT A DONE DEAL YET

Bilerico.com posted my newest piece--ENDA: NOT A DONE DEAL YET

According to Dr. Jillian Weiss' Congressional ENDA spreadsheet, we seem to have enough "supporters" in the House to pass an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act once and for all.

Human-emblem-urgent-blue-128.pngThat does not mean ENDA will pass.

Dr. Weiss' spreadsheet shows 214 Representatives are confirmed 'suppprters' on ENDA, and 35 unconfirmed Democrats. We would only need four of those unconfirmed Democrats to vote for ENDA to get it passed. However, 'support' is not a "Yes" vote.

Only a "Yes" vote is a "Yes" vote.

There are always procedural maneuvers Republicans can use to stave off equality, and we must keep our eyes on the conservative Democrats who get nervous around equality issues, but it does seem we have enough "support" for the bill to pass it if it comes up for a vote. Until the House votes on this bill and passes it, however, their support is meaningless; and the clock is ticking on this Congress to pass ENDA. Our House of Representatives has got to have a real vote on ENDA before December if this has any real chance of passing in the Senate and ever getting signed...

Read the rest and find out how you can make a difference at Bilerico.com.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Maggie Gallagher's dream.

1.jpg (JPEG Image, 580x599 pixels): "http://208.116.9.205/10/content/20262/1.jpg"http://208.116.9.205/10/content/20262/1.jpg

Sent to me by my heterosexual assistant--who is turning out to be a great straight ally.

Normally I don't post stuff like this, but this really got me going. Thanks Matt!

Rod 2.0:Beta: WATCH: "Hey #P2!" When Will Progressives Fight for LGBT Rights?

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

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

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

One of my FAVORITE bloggers in the world, Rod McCullom posted my -HEY #p2 video to his blog--Please go read his blog, and subscribe to it, because its pretty much one of the best gay blogs out there.

Arkansas 10-Year-Old Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Arkansas 10-Year-Old Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality :: EDGE San Francisco:
"A 10-year-old Arkansas boy name Will Phillips has decided that he cannot in good conscience pledge allegiance to the flag as long as the country for which it stands refuses legal equality to its GLBT citizens.

That stand has brought young Mr. Phillips anti-gay taunts in the lunch room, but admiration from around the country, reports a Nov. 5 Arkansas Times article. The West Fork School District fifth grader clashed with a substitute teacher for his refusal to stand for the pledge, prompting a call to Will’s mother, Laura Phillips. When the principal acknowledged that Will has the right to refuse to say the pledge, Ms. Phillips asked that her son receive an apology--a request that the principal declined to honor."

What an outstanding human being! And I applaud his parents for teaching him to stand up for EQUALITY no matter what others think of you. He's going to be a great man someday--and the school ought to be sticking up for HIS rights and protecting him from bullying!

Awesome kid! Keep it up!

A Proud Cadre--Jarrod Chalpowski

A Proud Cadre « HRC Back Story:
"“Why would you ever join an institution that openly discriminates against you?” This is a question I am often asked when on the road, to which my response usually begins, “Well, I was unaware I had the honor of being included in that discriminated class at the time…” I had no clue I was gay when I joined, and so that wasn’t a deciding factor at any time during my lengthy visits to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), nor was it when I finally had the honor to raise my right hand and promise to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But that’s all irrelevant, as I think I still would have joined had I already come to terms with being gay. And I still would look back on my time in the military with no regrets.

The military is such a unique institution. We – those serving and who have served – often complain of the slow bureaucracy that somehow integrates itself into everyday life in the military, but it really is amazing that an institution of over 2 million active duty and reserve members accomplishes anything, let alone in such a coordinated fashion. Cohesion, here, really is key, which is why the word rings so powerfully for those who have served."
So begins the Veterans day post of my friend, Veteran Jarrod Chlapowski of Servicemembers United--the premier organization working to overturn the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and the military ban on gays and lesbians.

Jarrod knows I'm a conscientious objector, but he also knows I am very much against the discriminatory Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, and that I have a great deal of respect for those that serve their country in honor.

As the grandson of two proud very Progressive and liberal Veteran men who both supported my rights as an American, and wanted me to be equal in every way, Happy Veterans Day to all.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

MY FIRST OUT AND ABOUT ILLINOIS!

I've joined the ranks of the print media elite! Sort of. Next month I will begin a monthly column on Illinois LGBT politics for Out & About Illinois, downstate's premier LGBT glossy magazine! For now, I'm blogging politics and news on the Outandaboutillinois.com main page! Check out my first contribution to O&A: PLEASED TO MEET YOU--AND TELL YOU WHAT'S GOING ON!

Phil Reese on Politics and News for November 10, 2009.

Hey, all!

My name is Phil Reese, a former teacher, a current blogger and graduate student, and news junkie. I will be keeping you up to speed with the most current LGBT news right here on the Out & About Illinois blog. I would love to hear more about what you are looking for from me as well in the comments. Let me know what sort of stories you'd like me to go after as I get the news you want.

I mine as well jump right into the news, since there is big buzz coming out of Washington DC today.

The Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary passed a marriage equality bill in the District of Columbia today that now goes on to the entire District City Council. Monday, Committee Chair Phil Mendelson released a revised draft of Councilor David Cantania's bill; expanding the religious protections in the bill, ensuring that no Religious leader with moral objection would be forced to perform a same-sex marriage. The revisions also includes language that protects the existing Domestic Partnerships in the District--rather than phases them out--to offer Washington residents and visitors wider choice.

The bill is cosponsored by 10 of the 13 Council members, and is expected to pass without problem, making marriage equality legal in our Nation's capitol. The bill should get a final vote by the entire Council before Christmas. Check out the Washington Post piece for in-depth coverage of the bill...

Read more at O&A: PLEASED TO MEET YOU--AND TELL YOU WHAT'S GOING ON!

House Passes Health Reform Bill with Key LGBT Provisions

House Passes Health Reform Bill with Key LGBT Provisions « HRC Back Story:
"Late this evening, the House passed the Affordable Health Care for America Act, H.R. 3962, by a vote of 220 to 215. While this is a historic step toward improving health care for all Americans, it is also a tremendous advance for the health needs of LGBT people. HRC lobbied the three committees involved in drafting the bill to include provisions that would help LGBT people in particular obtain the improved access to health care that the Act is designed to provide. Some of these measures have been part of HRC’s legislative agenda as free-standing bills for many years. The key provisions in the bill that the House passed are:"

HRC lists five pieces of the law that will provide expansion of protections for LGBT patients:
1. Health disparities
2. Unequal taxation of Domestic Partnership benefits
3. Equal treatment for HIV under Medicaid
4. Comprehensive sex education
5. Non-discrimination

Monday, November 9, 2009

Not all Religious leaders are fighting the government AGAINST Marriage Equality...

Gay_Marriage_Pleading 10-17-09[1].pdf (application/pdf Object)

"Ecclesiastical Complaint for a declaratory judgment that the Universal Life Church has the right to consecrate the marriage of all committed couples of human beings, regardless of gender; and further to enjoin and require all governments, including the United States, to recognize those marriages as sacred and entitled to the same rights as those marriages between humans of different genders."

I think what infuriates me the most... - G.A.Y.

I think what infuriates me the most... - Good As You:: Gay and Lesbian Activism With a Sense of Humor:
"...is that our opposition will never realize, admit, or take responsibility for the gut-wrenching sense of de-humanity that they inflict upon us. Had Maine's 'yes on 1' side lost last night, each and every one of the folks invested in that campaign would still go about their days, perhaps a little bummed, but otherwise unaltered. They would have lost nothing, as each and every point that they claimed was at stake was nothing more than fear-mongery rhetoric (something I truly believe that most if not all of the higher-ups know to be true). They wouldn't truly be threatened in any tangible, citable way, and they wouldn't be forced to have any kind of difficult conversation with their young ones about how and why their family was just assaulted as part of the democratic process."

Nobody says it better than Jeremy Hooper!

TBP--The time to demand unequivocal Progressive support

Read my latest Bilerico Project post: The time to demand unequivocal Progressive support

I think everyone's already put their two cents in on 'Maine'--including myself and Maggie Gallagher. Certainly we're not all on the same page on marriage, but what happened in Maine was a demoralizing defeat for a lot of people. The same-sex couples in Maine in desperate need of legal protections for their relationships, and the young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens who had to endure severe and dehumanizing scrutiny in the media are the folks I feel worst for. I feel sort of bad for our whole Progressive movement too.

Our movement is easily distracted. We are a broad and curious umbrella of causes. We are united by a common proclivity toward supporting society's greater good, equality and justice and building on rights, access and protections for people rather than limiting them. The form that this progress ought come in, however, seems to often be very different depending on who you ask. The Progressive "Movement" is almost a misnomer. We're not all on the same page.

If you're an active ally, I thank you for standing with me. So many Progressives, though, simply don't understand why they should focus on this issue. I need your help convincing them.



Truth be told, I'm more progressive than I let on, but far less passionate about non-LGBT Progressive issues than I'd like to be. I want freedom of choice for women, universal health care, equal pay for all, measures to stop Climate Change, an end to the war--and all wars for that matter--Education Reform, Drug Policy reform, stronger anti-trust laws and enforcement against big business and a little less worship of the free market... but if its not news on ENDA/UAFA passage or DADT & DOMA repeals, it mostly flies below my radar.

Matter of fact, that's how many Progressives are with LGBT issues like ENDA. We're off their radar. So many of us in the LGBT community--myself included--have noted tons since Tuesday that we're shocked our Progressive friends didn't know about the vote in Maine. Shocked? At this point why should it be a surprise that non-LGBT people aren't focused on every little thing that happens to us queers? We don't invite our Progressive friends to care at all. We're afraid of coming on too strong, seeming self-centered.

I'm sick of tiptoeing around it. In my immediate situation, Question One was not going to disrupt the law, yet I was heavily invested in Maine--in time and finance--and was deeply effected emotionally by the loss there. Who in the LGBT community doesn't see every "Yes" vote as a subtle little vote against our very humanity and existence? I don't plan on getting married tomorrow, nor was I ever planning to do so in Maine, but I know what people were voting for was to shut me up and push me back into the closet.
Greater Movement, And How We Fit

Health Care reform is going to fundamentally reshape our nation, and effect all of us in many ways, but in reality, the group of folks that it will make the most immediate change for is probably a size of the population not too much larger than the LGBT population. There's about 30,000,000 of us. This will immediately provide coverage for about that many un- or under-insured. Why should we care about this? Because its the right thing to do.

I've been uninsured in the past, but I'm insured now. In fact I have very good insurance as a member of the graduate student union. This bill is not going to change my coverage. It may make it a little better, but I'm not going to notice much difference.

This is not in fact the case for many people, though. For many people their lives will be monumentally improved--if not saved--by this legislation. I'm just not one of them. However, I've been supporting, fighting for, and staying abreast on Health Care for years--I've written letters, talked to my Senators... I've been an advocate for a long time.

Same with anti-war actions, anti-racism efforts, environmental efforts, and anti-domestic violence efforts. I've been there; and I've been there, simply, because I've been called on to do so. The leaders in these movements have made it very clear that if you're really a progressive, you must show action on these issues.

LGBT leaders, on the other hand, have never been so bold.

In a way, we're still a little afraid to come out of the closet. We make apologies for our Progressive friends: "There are more important things." And, "there are bigger fish to fry."

We can't apologize anymore for Progressives who--while our rights are put up to popular vote--stay at home and wish us luck but don't lift a finger to write their lawmakers, or phone a friend on the fence and demand they become an LGBT ally. These allies are allies in name only, and very recent history has proven that's not enough. As other leaders in the Progressive movement have refused to accept complacency from Progressives, we too must push harder, be bolder, and demand more action from our allies.
A Call To Action: Allies and Potential Allies

I need you to come with me--or even go on your own power--to tell your lawmaker why they don't have your vote unless they become tough and aggressive allies of their LGBT constituents on ENDA, DOMA repeal, UAFA, and DADT repeal...

You HAVE to finish this one--there is a great call to action. Finish this post, The time to demand unequivocal Progressive support, at The Bilerico Project!

DAILY ILLINI GUEST POST: MAINERS NEED TO GET A GRIP!

I submitted this piece under a different title, but that is neither here nor there at this point.

READ MY DAILY ILLINI PIECE: MAINERS NEED TO GET A GRIP!

On Tuesday, voters in Maine approved a bill establishing second class citizenship for millions of American citizens by a slim margin. Despite the tireless work of organizers, fundraisers and the amazing turn-out by the supporters of equality, in the end, discrimination won over fairness. We see across the country voters choosing to create two types of citizenship: the folks we’re comfortable with get first tier, and those we aren’t comfortable with get second tier.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans are often feared for religious reasons, but somehow this is justification for legal discrimination? And believe you me, it is discrimination. According to the New York Times just last month, a same-sex couple pays anywhere from $50,000-$400,000 more than the national average over their lifetime for health insurance alone, let alone double-taxing and other financial discrimination.

In addition, gay Americans are unable to sponsor their spouse for citizenship, are unable to visit one another in the hospital, unable to make end of life-decisions, unable to inherit their spouse’s estate without penalty, and unable to care for their spouse’s children if something happens to the biological parent — no matter how long the couple have raised children together.

The message this sends to LGBT youth is “you’re less than human.” LGBT teen suicide rates are four times higher than the national average, according to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, and according to the National Coalition for the Homeless, 20-40 percent of homeless youth are LGBT. This feeling of social rejection and hopelessness is proven to lead to higher drug and alcohol abuse, and riskier behavior.

Its not right.

A nation with two types of citizenship is setting up a system of apartheid. In this age of Hope with a capital ‘H,’ we are taking hope away from some 30 million Americans. We tell them that their relationships are worth less, that they cannot serve honestly in the military, that they cannot be honest about themselves lest lose their job, be kicked out of their home, experience violence or even be killed.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans are good citizens. I know several who are honorably serving their nation — despite “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — in the armed forces and Peace Corps. They are ministers, teachers, community leaders, small-business owners and philanthropists. Despite their contributions, communities continue to tell LGBT Americans that they do not want them to experience being a full-fledged American.

It’s time for this to nation end its ‘acceptable apartheid.’ However, in order to prevail, we need allies, and we need them in spades. The progressive community failed in Maine big-time. Our progressive allies did not turn out in our support, despite the long-time presence of passionate LGBT people in progressive causes for decades. Even the Democratic National Committee failed us. In the hours leading to the election, they sent out several calls for action to Mainers to support New Jersey Governor John Corzine; without ever mentioning the ballot fight in Maine or encouraging Mainers on their lists to get out and vote for Equality.

I call on all progressives to make ending this American apartheid as urgent as climate change and health care. How can we bring America together while we ignore what is tearing it apart? Until we make all our citizens equal under the law, we cannot ask them to be concerned with anything but equality. Seek out ways that you can actively participate in ending LGBT discrimination now, and make lobbying your local, state and national leaders for equality a priority.

Phil Reese is a graduate student.

PLEASE VISIT THE SITE AS LINKED AND CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMENTS--THEY'RE PRETTY NASTY RIGHT NOW!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

LC--On 50 We ask: What's in Breckenridge, CO?

Crossposted at Lundon-Calling.net

Check out this week’s Lundon Calling with Ace Lundon and featuring Phil Reese and… oh yeah Lance ditched us this week–but it was still a fun! We answered fun questions like what’s in Breckenridge CO? Did you get your flu shot? Do you use honey, vinegar and cinnamon?

Ace updated us on his friend Jeramie Rain-Dreyfuss and Ace’s trip to Las Vegas. Is the death penalty akin to putting down a rabid dog? I gave Ace an election roundup and we talked about marriage. Ace told us about the importance of getting to know people.

We talked about death, sharing of yourself and living in truth and honesty. Ever listen to Sting? Ace used to work at his favorite West Hollywood hangout, and brought him his bagels! That was after his time as Editor at the old Advocate competitor, the Coast-to-Coast times. Speaking of the Advocate, we discussed the Advocate folding… into an insert in Out magazine.

Want to know what to do to make changes in your world around you? We’re going to teach you how you can How can you help PFLAG, and how to stay young.

My question is about Marriage. Do you agree with Ace? Is Marriage dead? Are we wrong to focus on Marriage? Is marriage bad or great or something in between? Answer in the comments! Find out more in EPISODE FIFTY OF LUNDON-CALLING!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Making history in Washington State...

Danny Westneat | Right here, right now, history is incubating | Seattle Times Newspaper:
"Gays can't win at the ballot box.

That has always been the harsh reality. Put the subject of equality for gays and lesbians to a vote of the people — practically any people, in states from deep red to dark blue — and the people have always said: 'No. Not here. Not yet.'

Until — it appears — now. Right here.

There's a week's worth of ballot-counting remaining in an election everyone is saying is too-close-to-call. But it appears Washington state will be the first in America to approve a gay-equality measure not by court fiat or legislative action, but by the direct will of the people.

It's never happened before. If the slim lead holds for the gay-partnership law Referendum 71, it would be a landmark. Huge.

Not because the law that was on the ballot Tuesday is the last word in this debate.

But because the vote signals, finally, a tipping point of sorts — a bellwether of public acceptance — that has eluded gays and lesbians forever."

When will enough of the elderly in Maine... stop voting... so that we can get Equality back?

Distracto » A Totally Gay Math Problem:
"In the wake of Maine rejecting same-sex marriage, here’s a math problem for you:

Given a 53% to 47% split, and the fact that, statistically speaking, the older you are, the more likely you are to be bigoted*, how long will it take before same-sex marriage remains legal (or, at least, is popularly supported**) in Maine?"

David Mixner featured my "-HEY #p2!" video on his blog this morning!

DavidMixner.com - Live From Hell's Kitchen--Our Young Speak: CALLING ALL PROGRESSIVE ALLIES:
"This is an amazing video and plea for freedom from one of the young members of the LGBT community..."
Its nice to be called young! Sometimes I don't feel like it anymore! I'm working with young college activists all the time, and I feel like Old Man River in comparison!

Anyway, it was quite an honor to be featured on David Mixner's blog this morning! I hope Ace sees this! Anyway, please--like David Mixner did--help spread the video by posting it to your facebook, your blog, and tweeting it with the phrase "-HEY #p2!" We're trying to get the greater Progressive community's attention. We LGBT folk have been helping the Progressive community progress for years, but we still need more help on our issues. We're not going to Get anywhere without as many allies as we can bring to the table!

Help spread the video, and make sure you send people to the post with resources at: http://bit.ly/HEYP2ALLY

Thursday, November 5, 2009

HEY #p2!--CALLING ALL PROGRESSIVE ALLIES!

-HEY #p2! (Progressives).

We can't do this alone.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans have been fighting for over half a Century to have basic Civil Rights. We have so much to do, and we are such a small group. Without an army of Progressive allies, we can't win. Our rights as American citizens are constantly being compromised, despite life-time service to our nation as good, contributing citizens. We can't wait any longer. We need our Progressive allies to step up and go to bat for us TODAY.

We must demand Progressives have got to make LGBT rights a top priority in 2010, or we will keep being put on the back-burner.

There will ALWAYS be something more important than LGBT equality affecting America--issues like Health Care Reform and the Economy effect LGBT people too! However, when we are discriminated against under the law every single day, we can't give our all to fixing these problems. We are long overdue to be counted as equal citizens. That's why we need to stop compromising and get laws guaranteeing LGBT equality passed in THIS CONGRESS.

We must Pass:
  • The Employment Non-Discrimination Act [HOUSE/SENATE] [how to help]
  • The Military Readiness Enhancement Act (overturning the military ban on homosexuality, putting the economic livelihood of thousands of LGBT soliders in jeopardy every day) [HOUSE/SENATE] [how to help]
  • The Uniting American Families Act (allowing me to sponsor my partner for citizenship) [HOUSE/SENATE] [how to help]
  • The Respect for Marriage Act (repealing the Defense of Marriage Act) [HOUSE/SENATE] [how to help]
  • The Domestic Partnerships Benefits and Obligations Act (allowing Federal recognition of my state-sanctioned or holy union) [HOUSE/SENATE] [how to help]
  • The Safe Schools Improvement Act (bullying) [HOUSE/SENATE] [how to help]
  • A yet unwritten adoption rights bill [HOUSE/SENATE] [how to help]
And when it comes up, we need ALL Progressives--regardless of their religious beliefs--to stand beside us at the ballot box and vote to protect FULL Marriage Equality for all loving adult couples, and unity for all families. I promise it won't affect your marriage AT ALL!

You can do this by setting up a face-to-face meeting with your local, state and national law-makers and tell them how you feel about these bills. Tell them that most of their constituents feel the same as you--and recruit your Progressive friends to come with you and make this a priority too. You can get talking points for specific bills from the "how to help" links above.

You can also write to your local newspapers often and try to convince others in your community that LGBT Civil Rights are LONG overdue, and we can't let another year go by with NO action from the Federal Government. We need to make 2010 the year Progressives finally went to bat for LGBT Civil Rights and WON THEM.

You can also join these causes and help us grow our numbers so that we can make real change. These are organizations mostly interested in legal policy rather than social service. There are many others that focus on serving those in need in the LGBT community.

Human Rights Campaign - LGBT Legislative advocacy organization
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force - LGBT political grassroots organization
Equality Federation - National alliance of state and local organizations
Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays - National public advocacy organization
National Center for Transgender Equality - Transgender advocacy organization
Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation - Media watchdog
Victory Fund - LGBT candidate development organization
Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network - Safe schools organization
Immigration Equality - Organization fighting for bi-national couple rights
Marriage Equality USA - Marriage Equality advocacy organization
Family Equality Council - Relationship recognition and adoption rights advocacy
Servicemembers United - LGBT soldiers advocacy organization
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network - LGBT solider legal advocacy
Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders - New England LGBT legal advocacy
Lambda Legal - LGBT-AIDS/HIV legal advocacy
National Center for Lesbian Rights - LGBT legal and public policy advocacy

-HEY #p2! Thank you for standing with me, and I promise to continue standing with you.

ALSO, CHECK OUT THESE LOCAL CAUSES YOU CAN HELP WITH! (Check back for updates)
Courage Campaign - California progressive advocacy for 2010-equality.

Wanna help? Copy and tweet this: " -Hey #p2 #LGBT people really NEED YOUR HELP NOW! http://bit.ly/HEYP2ALLY " SEND ME A TWEET @Ameriqueer !