Monday, November 22, 2010
Pentagon Warns Congress To Hurry Up On DADT Repeal
SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia — The Pentagon's top leaders warned Sunday that if Congress fails to repeal the ban on gays serving openly in the military, the courts may order changes that military leaders consider too fast or poorly thought-out.
The Pentagon is trying to make it easier for the Senate to consider lifting the ban in the current postelection session. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday he will release a study of the effects of repeal on Nov. 30, a day earlier than planned.
That could allow the Senate Armed Services Committee to hold hearings on the ban the same week.
The report on the impact of lifting the ban is meant as a guide for Congress as it considers what the Pentagon hopes will be a gradual and carefully calibrated change.
The Washington Post has reported that the study concludes the military can lift the ban with only minimal and isolated incidents of risk to the current war efforts.
"The timing and the legislative approach and so on, that is completely up to the Congress. All I know is if this law is going to change, it's better to be changed by legislation rather than have it struck down by the courts," Gates said.
Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said later that Gates pushed his staff to deliver the report a day early in order "to ensure members of the Armed Services Committee are able to read and consider the complex, lengthy report before holding hearings with its authors and the Joint Chiefs of Staff."
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Posted at Bilerico.com:
Several states are poised to move towards marriage equality for gays and lesbians in 2011 and 2012. On the 25th episode of Same Sex Sunday, hear from those closest to the ground.
Joining us will be the Executive Director for Equality Maryland, Morgan Menesses-Sheets; the Executive Director of MassEqulaity Kara Suffredini; Founding Partner of 3PG Consulting Andy Szekeres, and the State Legislative Director for the Human Rights Campaign Sarah Warbelow.
Click here to subscribe on iTunes or listen in your browser after the fold.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Your SameSexSunday hasn't changed, but we're really glad you've been active in your discussions with Joe and myself; letting us know what you like about the show and what you'd like to see us do better. We're listening! The show is now running a very trip one hour (approximately) and we're giving you more of what you love!Keep sending us your comments, concerns & questions! SameSexSunday@bilerico.com
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
In Iowa, which declared Iowa's marriage ban unconstitutional under the state's constitution in 2009, the National Organization for Marriage got one of its first electoral victories this year. The judicial retention elections appear to have resulted in the replacement of all three justices up for a vote this year.
Here, as of 3:35 a.m. and with 1767 out of 1774 precincts reporting, are the Iowa Secretary of State's election results:
Supreme Court Justice David L. Baker
Yes 443437 45.75%
No 525865 54.25%
Supreme Court Justice Michael J. Streit
Yes 442459 45.6%
No 527921 54.4%
Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus
Yes 437118 44.99%
No 534486 55.01%
The court was unanimous in its 2009 ruling that Iowa's constitution required marriage equality."
"Lincoln Chafee, who was the only GOP Senator to ever express support for marriage equality, has won the gubernatorial race in Rhode Island as an Independent. Democrat Frank Caprio had been leading up until two weeks ago, but lost ground after telling President Obama to "shove it" when he didn't get Obama's endorsement. Both Chafee and Caprio had promised to sign a marriage equality bill should one get to their desks."
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Nevada will send Democratic Majority Leader Reid back to the Senate (but will he still LEAD the Dems there?). Reid, who has been outstandingly mealymouthed and milquetoast on LGBT issues, at least gets to hold the gavel for a few more weeks. However, as the tides change, there will be some strong challenges to his leadership.
Too bad Russ Feingold can't run for Majority Leader. THAT strong LGBT ally who took a moral stand against DOMA in 1996 and has always been a strong ally to the community, is now out of the job.
If its someone like Durbin that replaces Reid, I swear I'm going to waterboard MYSELF. Vom.
Any LGBT people who stayed home because of anger at the Dems in general, listen up. I'm angry at the Dems too, but there were Dems working for us. Several are now OUT. Yet a lot of the ones crappy on our issues are still there. What good did it do you to be lazy and throw your hands up in the air and say "I'm taking my ball and going home!" ? I hope you enjoy the:
- Statewide ballot initiatives banning gay adoption.
- Redistricting that will allow even more Conservatives elected in your state in 2012.
- Roll-back of small gains in many places like Michigan.
You never sit it out. You never take the easy road and be lazy. You stay in, and you fight, and you REWARD your friends and PUNISH your enemies!
Tonight, those of you who stayed home, those of you who blew off this election in frustration PUNISHED your friends and REWARDED your enemies.
Get your head on straight. Seriously. Don't be stupid.
If Alexi Giannoulias does win the President's former Senate seat, he would have been an outspoken full-equality, pro-marriage ally on the hill. We're now getting half and half with Kirk, who supports ENDA, but not a DADT repeal. Sad thing is, whoever wins will be replacing Sen. Burris immediately, and--though we're not going to see ENDA come up in the Senate in the Lame Duck session, we WILL see DADT repeal come up.
With the Pentagon's working group sure to report to the Senate favorable conditions in the armed-forces for a DADT repeal, might we see Kirk switch positions? I'd hope so. It would be the honorable thing to do. However, a brand new Senator is unlikely to flip-flop like that, even if it is the right thing. When is the last time you've seen a politician do the right thing, anyway? Oh yeah, that's right, all of them were voted out tonight.
"New York (CNN) – Despite record election achievements by African-Americans in the House, the United States Senate will not have an African-American in its ranks.
All three black Senate candidates, Kendrick Meek (D-FL), Alvin Greene (D-SC) and Mike Thurmond (D-GA) are projected to lose tonight. The only incumbent black senator, Roland Burris (D-IL), is retiring.
Only six black senators have served: three Republicans and three Democrats, including the future President Barack Obama (D-IL).
There have been 118 voting members of Congress who are African-American. This year the GOP has 14 African-Americans on the ballot, any one of which could become the first black Republican in the house since 2003.
There are 41 African-American Democrats in Congress of which most are running in majority black districts. CNN projects Alabama sent its first African-American woman to Congress tonight with the election of Terri Sewell in the state's 7th district. She is a Democrat."
"Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, issued the following statement tonight about the election of Providence, R.I., Mayor David Cicilline to the U.S. House of Representatives (RI-1)..."
"Marcus Brandon has been elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives. He will represent the cities of Greensboro and High Point in the state legislature.
Brandon will be the only openly LGBT state legislator in North Carolina, and one of just five openly LGBT African-Americans serving in state legislatures across the country (including Maryland House of Delegates candidate Mary Washington, who will also win tonight).
Openly lesbian N.C. State Sen. Julia Boseman is stepping down at the end of this term."
Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., has been reelected despite a strong challenge from Republican challenger Sean Bielat, who was backed by tea party groups and consequently amassed a huge campaign warchest in recent weeks.
“Barney Frank is nothing if not a fighter, and we’re very happy he will return to the House and continue to fight for the people of Massachusetts and for all LGBT Americans. Nobody has worked harder or longer in the U.S. Congress for fairness and equality for the LGBT community,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
Frank, perhaps the world’s most famous openly gay elected official, has served in the House since 1981. He came out as gay in 1987.
"Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D) has won the race for New York Governor over Carl Paladino (R).
With 0% of precincts reporting, CNN projects that Cuomo is the winner.
Though the Tea Party-backed Paladino had some early momentum that helped him beat Rick Lazio in the September 14 Republican primary, his campaign has since been plagued by controversy and concerns about his temperament.
Paladino, a Buffalo businessman, first made a name for himself when he forwarded several racist and obscene emails. He has since suggested that New York should house welfare recipients in prison, and was one of the louder voices against the Cordoba House Islamic Center near Ground Zero."
Dem Sources Hold Out Hope For Feingold:
Two Democratic sources tell TPM that their exit poll data shows Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) either tied with or down by the thinnest of margins against his Republican challenger Ron Johnson.
A senior Dem source says one exit poll has them down by a point. The other has it dead even.
Customary notes of caution about exit polls apply, and, of course, these are Democratic sources pulling for their candidate. But the early data is clearly closer than they expected they would be.
Russ Feingold was the first sitting Senator to come out in favor of full Marriage Equality. He's a true friend of our community. Cross your fingers.
Kentucky’s second-largest city has elected an openly gay man as its next mayor. Vice-Mayor Jim Gray was victorious tonight in his second campaign for the city’s top job, beating incumbent Mayor Jim Newberry.
“This is a tremendous victory for Lexington, for Kentucky’s LGBT community and for fairness. We are proud of Jim Gray and his fantastic campaign staff who fought hard for this win,” said Chuck Wolfe, Victory Fund’s president and CEO.
Keep posted for more equality news, right here...
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Out October: ‘Truth Is, I Was Contemplating Suicide.’ | The New Civil Rights Movement:
"Today’s Out October Project story comes from Phil Reese, writer and contributor for The Bilerico Project and writer for Ameriqueer, who explains that sometimes it isn’t an actual physical bully pushing you over the edge. Sometimes it is you and your own thoughts that torture and torment.
Missed our other coming out stories? Catch up here!
I was never, exactly, an angst-ridden teen growing up. It might be more dramatic to claim I was some brooding introvert before I made good with myself and turned into this sloshing bucket of sunshine that ‘stands’ before you today. However, truth-be-told, I’ve always been the picture next to “Happy-Go-Lucky” in Webster’s New American. Nature over nurture..."
Click the link above to read the rest, and find out who my worst enemy was, growing up.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
BREAKING: Ninth Circuit Stays DADT Injunction - Poliglot:
"A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued a temporary stay of U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips's Oct. 12 order in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States halting all enforcement of the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy.
After DADT had been halted from enforcement for nearly 200 hours, the Ninth Circuit order legally makes DADT enforceable again for the time being.
In a brief order, Judges O'Scannlain, Trott and W. Fletcher wrote..."
Kirk and Giannoulias: a clear contrast � Feast of Fun:
"Last night in their ABC 7 Chicago WLS-TV televised debate, Mark Kirk and Alexi Giannoulias were asked about both “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and marriage equality. Though Kirk has a point about Federal interference with marriage (which is exactly what the Federal Government did when it passed the Defense of Marriage Act) Giannoulias is spot on with both his answers..."
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
"After the tragic deaths of nearly a dozen teens in the past month following relentless anti-LGBT bullying, a few kids on Facebook have banded together to send a message to the world that the bullycides must stop, and that there is indeed hope.
They asked that folks who support their effort to end the bullycides wear purple on Wednesday. They got quite a response.
Their facebook event, “R.I.P. ;; In memory of the recent suicides due to gay abuse, wear purple,” has nearly 1.5 million attendees, 300,000 maybes, and 3 million waiting for reply. Imagine the power of 5 million Americans wearing purple tomorrow in solidarity with kids that feel isolated, alone, tormented and abused."
Monday, October 18, 2010
This goes for anti-science lies by Global Warming deniers, as well.
Read my take:
The mainstream media, yet again, treats wild anti-science as valid “opinion.” � Feast of Fun:
"This post is initially about Ken Buck, the GOP’s Senate Candidate in Colorado who has made a clear choice to become a Professional “Dumbass;” however, this post is really about the laziness and stupidity in the mainstream media when it comes to allowing anti-science screeds to perpetuate as valid “opinions.”"
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Its like gay news avalanche: DOJ appeals DOMA case � Feast of Fun: "From the “Not Shocked” Desk in the Feast of Fun Newsroom comes this one fresh over from Chris Geidner at MetroWeekly:
“In a move expected by most legal observers, the U.S. Department of Justice this afternoon filed notices of appeal in two cases striking down the federal definition of marriage, contained in the Defense of Marriage Act, as unconstitutional."
Worldwide injunction on #DADT discharges–what now? � Feast of Fun:
"After feeling disappointed last month over the McCain-led Senate filibuster of the Defense BIll that would have repealed the military ban on openly gay servicemembers, the gay political blog world (talk about niche!) is abuzz right at the moment over the injunction of all ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ investigations and discharges. Federal Judge Virginia Phillips (two ‘L’s, the RIGHT way to spell it) issued a worldwide permanent injunction against enforcement of DADT. According to the Log Cabin Republicans who brought forward the case on behalf of discharged Marine, Alex Nicholson:
“Barring a stay by a higher court, the injunction suspends all investigations and prevents all discharges under the policy. However, Log Cabin Republicans urges caution by servicemembers considering coming out at this time, as the Obama administration still has the option to appeal.”
Stating that the policy violated the First and Fifth Amendments to the US Constitution, the Judge’s decision was stern in its admonishing of the Department of Defense and the Government:
Phillips ruled that the law intruded on service members’..."
Want to know what Phillips ruled? You have to check it out at Feast of Fun!
Generation Gossip: Phils Coming Out:
"As we drove back from the gas station, Easter Sunday 2004, I knew I had to tell my dad. I'd come out in high school to my friends and teachers and even some neighbors, and was rising in the leadership levels in the Gay-Straight Alliance back at Central Michigan, we're I'd be heading later that day after family dinner at my grandparents'. But I'd yet to come out to anyone in my family, and I'd come home this Easter vacation with that specifically on my agenda.
Thursday it hadn't happened. After planning for two weeks to go have coffee and Krispy Kreme with my dad on Thursday night when I drove into Detroit for the holiday, I had dreamed that we'd split a half-dozen, there would be tears and coffee and in the end we'd drive home after making peace.
But when we arrived at Krispy Kreme, my father's motor mouth took over and I couldn't even get a word in edgewise. He told me about the crazy stuff happening at work, funny stories from the old folks back at the church, my sister's first year in High School, family gossip--anything but the fact that I was gay and needed him to know..."
Friday, September 24, 2010
"…It seems like we lost the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” fight yesterday when Senator John McCain successfully led a filibuster against the Defense Authorization bill that contained repeal provisions. However, its important to remember the bill isn’t dead. There was no vote on the bill itself, only a vote on whether or not to call the bill to the Senate floor for a vote. Yep, the Senate has to vote to vote. Yeah, and we wonder why nothing gets done.
Anyhow, the bill can still be called. There’s still some danger, though. Republicans will again halt the bill if none of their concerns with how the vote went down aren’t addressed. This means that aspects of the bill are going to be up for negotiation–including the controversial amendments like the DREAM Act, the legalization of privately funded abortions in military hospitals and–of course–Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal.
Its important to note that, although John McCain’s problem with the bill was Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, that wasn’t everyone’s problem. In fact, most Republicans weren’t even thinking about DADT at all. Republicans like Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe and Democratic (barely) Senator Blanche Lincoln were angry about Majority Leader Reid’s move to block any more changes to the Defense Authorization and close it off from any more amendments. While many have noted this might have been a choice to protect the DADT repeal, ultimately it harmed it by preventing a vote on the Defense Authorization bill. In the end, the votes are there in the Senate for the National Defense Authorization Act with the DADT repeal. As long as we can get it to a vote..."
Read the rest at Feast of Fun!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Very urgent | Good morning Florida, Maine, Arkansas, Indiana, New Hampshire, Virginia, Ohio and Missouri
* SENATE VOTE ON DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL REPEAL IN A LITTLE OVER TWO HOURS
* VOTE IS TOO CLOSE TO CALL
* 9 SENATORS STILL NEED PRODDING TO DO THE RIGHT THING
* FULL INFO http://www.sldn.org/pages/only-one-day-remains
* THE NUMBER TO CALL: (202) 224-3121
* KEY SENATORS STILL UNCOMMITTED ON BREAKING JOHN MCCAIN'S FILIBUSTER
--George Lemieux (R-FL);
--Susan Collins (R-ME);
--Olympia Snowe (R-ME);
--Mark Pryor (D-Ark.);
--Richard Lugar (R-IN);
--Judd Gregg (R-NH);
--Jim Webb (D-VA);
--George Voinovich (R-OH);
--Kit Bond (R-MO);
TAKE ACTION NOW: http://bit.ly/bdYE3Z
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Here's my post: Start calling! Phone swarm Chris Carney D-PA! | The Bilerico Project:
"Get on the horn, people, and help GetEQUAL put pressure on an anti-gay Democrat carneyEQUALenda.jpgfrom Pennsylvania. (Script after the jump.)
Clarks Summit: 570-585-9988
Washington, DC: 202-225-3731
At 10:00 Eastern time this morning, GetEQUAL PA brought advocates together from around the state to tell Congressman Carney that our community will no longer stand silently and watch him vote against our rights. The non-violent, civil disobedient action was carried out at Rep. Carney's congressional district office in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, asking him to sign a pledge to vote in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).
Carney is a died-in-the-wool blue dog, and we're paying for him on our side. This is from the GetEQUAL PA press release..."
Get the rest of the 411 and the SCRIPT FOR THE CALL at Bilerico.com!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Queering the Mayor Daley announcement | The Bilerico Project: "Yesterday, Mayor Richard M. Daley--the son of infamous Chicago Machine mayor Richard J Daley--announced he would not seek a second term, allowing his dad to keep the title of longest-serving Chicago mayor (by a smidge).
I can't tell you how quickly my cell phone's battery died after yesterday's announcement. Not exactly what I was expecting. Democrats around the State see this as a seismic shift in state politics. The effects will be felt not only around Chicago, not even just around the state--but across the nation as we will surely see high profile officials in the Obama Administration weigh in on the race. Maybe someone will even return to Chicago from DC to run. We'll see.
Mayor Daley's announcement is significant for many queer reasons as well, however. In fact, this is possibly one of the most significant queer moments in the state in the past ten years..."
Read the rest at bilerico!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
The good side of Gay Inc:
"Say what you will about Gay Inc, I still send my dollars down to DC every year without fail. Should I be happy with the return on investment that I get out of my pet causes? Certainly not. logos.jpg
With the exception of Lambda Legal which has made some tremendous gains in the court system, the organizations I give most often to--HRC, The Task Force and Victory Fund--have struggled to bring about solid gains on the Federal Level. Besides the passage and signing of the Federal Hate Crimes bill, we've yet to see a sweeping piece of legislation that will improve the lives of LGBTQ folks around the nation--not just in the cosmopolitan super-leftie coastal states, but in the middle of Bumblehopsburgh Alabama.
Let me be clear that we should be vocal in demanding more action from our national organizations. Even if it is the way of things, never be content and complacent about the slow rate of progress. The only thing slowing progress is the conflicting agendas of people, and that can always be overcome.
However, I'm glad Gay Inc exists. Here's why..."
There's a lot more. Read The good side of Gay Inc. @ The Bilerico Project
"Bil Browning is moving to Washington DC. That means that for the next seven days, I’m runnin’ things over at Bilerico.com!
Well, by running things, I mean writing a bunch of stuff and making the other contributors feel good about themselves.
Check out my first post, “Philerico World Commences,” and make sure you check out my post later today!"
Read it at Uh oh! Guess Who’s in Charge of Bilerico Today? on Feast of Fun
Monday, September 6, 2010
Read more at: "Reese’s Pieces » Blog Archive » Peoria Pride–get there!"
Monday, August 30, 2010
"This morning, I received a breaking press release from JD Smith, the co-director of OutServeOutserve-Logo3.png, the network for LGBT active duty military service members. Last week, their new website went live, and JD has been really eager to get the word out. OutServe is one of several amazing organizations pushing hard against the forces that want to preserve employment discrimination in the military--most notably my heroes at Servicemembers United and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. OutServe's constituency is very specific, however--active duty service members and only active duty service members..."
...Read the rest of "Is OutServe creating a grassroots organizing model we can copy?" | The Bilerico Project
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
So gays are getting married in California tomorrow right?Stay-whaaaaat? « Feast of Fun
Not so fast, says the 9th Circuit Court.
Judge Walker’s decision from his Northern California district Federal Court initially had no sort of limit blocking its immediate effect. Stories of savvy and well-prepared lesbian couples sliding a quick wedding in under the wire wafted over from California–though none were confirmed to my knowledge. However, Judge Walker quickly implemented a temporary stay on his August 4th decision within hours–a rule that prevents a Judge’s decision from going into effect right away. He asked for arguments from both sides about whether or not to lift the stay.
Prop 8 supporters wanted a stay to preserve the status quo and prevent any more same-sex couples from marrying. The Plaintiffs argued against it, saying the ruling should take immediate effect and there would be no harm done to the defendants if it did go into immediate effect...
Saturday, August 14, 2010
A youthful-looking Madonna shimmies in silver as she celebrates her 52nd birthday a day early with a party in LondonShe’s always been one who is keen to turn back the hands of time and try anything to cling on to her youth.And as these pictures prove, Madonna may be turning 52 tomorrow but she’d give a woman half her age a run for their money in the youthful stakes.On the eve of her birthday, the pop star arrived for an early celebration at London’s trendy Shoreditch House this evening looking youthful and sexy.The Material Girl showed off a smooth, wrinkle-free face as she stepped out of her car looking very glamorous in a tight-fitting silver dress.And while she may be dedicated to Kabbalah, the system of thought concerned with the mystical aspect of Rabbanic Judaism, she will always be a Catholic girl at heart.Madonna accessorised her outfit with a crucifix necklace and she carried a gold crucifix in her hand which she held against her black clutch bag.Absolute Madonna » A youthful-looking M shimmies in silver as she celebrates her 52nd birthday early
Twins on the Way for Neil Patrick Harris - E! Online
UPDATE: Harris has confirmed his babies-to-be via Twitter: "So, get this: David and I are expecting twins this fall. We're super excited/nervous/thrilled. Hoping the press can respect our privacy..."
Neil Patrick Harris is going to have his hands full come fall.E! News has exclusively learned that the ubiquitous actor and his longtime partner, David Burtka, are going to become the parents of twins, via a beautiful surrogate, this October.At least the dads are allowed to celebrate with a champagne toast!A source tells E! that the happy couple have put baby shower plans in motion, as if Harris' chance of winning three Emmys this month wasn't already enough to celebrate!Burtka, a chef and actor who has guest-starred on How I Met Your Mother, was just seen with his multitalented beau last weekend after Harris directed a production of Rent at the Hollywood Bowl.And this is not the first time there's been speculation about Harris' pending fatherhood.Star reported last year that Burtka and Harris had visited a surrogacy agency in L.A. to get the ball rolling on expanding their family. They've been together for roughly six years.Reps for Harris have yet to return our calls for comment.
Friday, August 13, 2010
PROTEST Target! 11 AM Tomorrow (Saturday) 4466 N. Broadway, Chicago GLN
After his widely publicized $150K gift to an anti-gay Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, Target Corp. CEO Gregg Steinhafel came under such fire from the LGBT community and our allies that he emailed an apology to all Target employees. We say, not good enough. For all Steinhafel's words, he offered no actions to make amends for the anti-gay gift, aside from a general promise to do better in the future. Moreover, he did nothing to directly address the nasty social agenda of Target's favorite candidate, Tom Emmer. In addition to targeting LGBTs for discrimination, Emmer supports a toxic social agenda that targets immigrants, and low-income workers for discrimination and marginalization. Steinhafel's "apology" to his gay employees is far from what's required to repair the damage to Target as a supposedly "gay friendly" corporation. Here is what we demand:
1. That Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel demand the immediate return of the $100K in cash and $50K of "in kind" contributions made to Emmer. Every penny, each and every item needs to be returned.
2. That Gregg Steinhafel contribute the $150K to pro-LGBT organizations like OutFront Minnesota.
3. That Gregg Steinhafel issue an apology to the entire LGBT community, along with providing continued corporate benefits to LGBT employees.
Please join the protest at 11 AM, this Saturday in front of the new Uptown Target, 4466 N. Broadway Avenue.
We bloggers got our tushies kicked yesterday. Sure, Judge Walker decided his stay on the Perry vs. Schwarzenegger decision would expire August 18th (good news, although I'm pretty sure that the 9th District or Justice Kennedy is going to be jumping in and putting their own stay in place before then). However, despite the somewhat good news, every gay blogger, journalist and organization was pissed at one another around 4:00 Eastern Thursday...READ MY LATEST: How soon is too soon to blog the breaking story | The Bilerico Project
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Reported by Chris Geidner and just confirmed by CBS News: at 12:45 Pacific time, Judge Walker announced effective August 18th at 5pm, the stay of his Proposition 8 decision in Perry V Schwarzenegger will expire. That means marriage equality will be--at least on August 18th at 5pm--law in California.Read the rest of my latest Bilerico.com post on the Prop 8 updates: Prop 8 stay to be lifted in 6 days--now what? | The Bilerico Project
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
"I'm not the most radical guy on this blog (by a long shot) but I sure as heck am not a conservative. However, GOProud did catch my attention whenthey went to CPAC and ended up making some inroads and impact - evident when an anti-gay speaker got booed off stage for condemning their presence there..."
Saturday, August 7, 2010
"Ann Coulter probably isn't as anti-gay as she pretends. After all, we all know that sensationalism makes lots of money. Look at Madonna. Look at Gaga. Look at Liberace. Regardless, however, the woman who throws around "fag" like I throw around "um" and "like" on SameSexSunday is not exactly someone who I would consider as an honored guest for an LGBT fundraiser. Enter constant contrarians, GOProud, stage right. GOProud is throwing their coming out party, HOMOCON (as in homosexual conservatives, so, you know, transgender and bisexual not included) on September 25--apparently somewhere in New York City, but the location is unspecified (witness protection?). And their keynote? None other than the tallest blondest jack ass in the world, Ann Coulter! It only costs $250 a plate to get into this three-ringed circus. Joe and I are expecting to discuss this and more with Bruce Carroll of GOProud on SameSexSunday this week..."
Saturday, July 31, 2010
What is his position? He claims that his ideas about sexuality are rooted in natural law, but he demonstrates a profound ignorance concerning the diversity and creativity present in nature. Howell would have us believe that each bodily organ has but one purpose and meaning, and that one purpose of morality is to conserve the single meaning of each structure. Innovation violates the natural order; evolution is immoral; human interference in nature, although few things are more grounded in human nature than the impulse to manipulate the world to suit our purposes, always verges on the illicit. This man’s doctrine of “reality” is utterly opposed to the real world. He would impose on the body and its members specific meanings, without respect for context or environment. He does not consult the world and learn from it the variety of uses to which biological structures are put, for, indeed, evolution is conservative, adapting the same organ to countless purposes in innumerable organisms. No, before even entering into consideration of a question, he has received its answer as dogma from our often ignorant and superstitious past.
That the man has a background in linguistics and literacy in several languages makes his claims all the more amazing. Words have very little meaning apart from their contexts, and, in different contexts, different senses are invoked. And words are mere shadows of reality. The different shades of meaning present in a word’s semantic field are (and even this is a simplification) remnants of the diversity of impressions, experiences, purposes, and meanings individuals have found by living with and experiencing the real objects to which the signs point. What is water’s meaning? In cold weather, it means a harness-that-shatters, a slipperiness-that-causes-one-to-fall, a crystal-lace-from-heaven, a blanket-for-the-weary-earth, and so on. In warm weather, it is the humid air, the terrible sea, the gentle but strong river, etc. To a chemist, it is a distinct arrangement of atoms; to a fisherman, it is his means of livelihood. Insofar as the world is endlessly knowable, the elements of the world are endlessly significant.
One of his first substantial claims is that “right or wrong does not depend on who is doing the action or on how I feel about those people.” This sort of acontextual, universal morality is most unnatural. It is not how ordinary people engage with moral questions, and it betrays a hatred of the material world. Let me illustrate briefly the moral significance of personal identity. I may not kill someone, but, within certain ethical systems, a duly appointed executioner may. Whether or not one judges execution to be one of the powers that can ethically (legality is another question) reside in a person or state, this case should serve as a dramatic example of my point. Moral judgments about people’s actions are and should be based on how we feel about them--their honesty, their intentions, their unique conditions, etc. Howell’s insensitivity to others’ experiences and conditions, his conviction that there should be one universal moral law for all, his moral imperialism, accounts in part for his inhumane bigotry. Howell want to divorce people from their acts, but it happens to be the case that, with respect to questions of sex and gender, actions that are natural and moral for one person would be exceedingly unnatural for another person. For Howell to engage in gay sex would be for him to do something contrary to his nature that violates of his sexuality. (This assumes, of course, what none but he can know for certain, namely, that he is in fact straight.) If, however, Howell were a gay person, the act of gay sex would be a fulfillment of his nature.
I do not want to weary your patience, Good Reader, with an account of Howell’s slippery misrepresentation of utilitarianism, whose rough treatment at his hands he seems to justify by claiming that he is only talking about “Utilitarianism in the popular sense.” Apparently, the utilitarians have abandoned seeking the greatest happiness for all and have settled, instead, for private, selfish, subjective happiness in wilful abortion, adultery, molestation of children, bestiality, and, of course, homosexuality--which is, in Howell’s mind, probably the moral equivalent of these other acts. Such, it seems, is the consequence of a morality that accepts the individual responsibility of subjective moral agents to determine what will promote the general happiness. How he reconciles his opposition to “subjectivity” in moral matters with the Catholic doctrine of the primacy of individual conscience is a mystery beyond my powers of understanding.
In his discussion of utilitarianism, Howell dismisses out of hand an interesting moral question. He suggests a scenario in which a dog has been elevated to the point where it can give consent to sexual intercourse with a human. If the dog desires and consents and the human desires and consents, if the happiness of both is promoted by such an act, if no other party is harmed, then in what way is the act vicious? Imagining canine and human natures that mutually desire and satisfy each other and that both have equivalent understandings of their actions is, indeed, an astounding act of the imagination, but the thought experiment does support the sorts of consequences one would like to see in a moral world. That is, these dogs that have been granted human-level consciousnesses have also been given the dignity of conscience. Their volition and consent has been respected. On the other hand, in Howell’s world, those super-intelligent canines who desire human partners would, it seems, be morally (and perhaps legally) restrained fulfilling their “immoral” desire. But why would it be immoral? One suspects it is wrong simply because the idea of it makes Professor Howell uncomfortable. One further suspects that the criterion of it-makes-Howell-uncomfortable would exclude most things.
Howell urges us to look at reality. Let us recall that at the beginning of his email he mentioned those who base their moral evaluations of homosexual relationships on their knowledge of gay couples and individuals. Are these people not consulting reality? Do they not there find couples who display psychological compatibility? I can assure good Professor Howell that, whatever his unnamed physician has told him, gay couples also find themselves physically fitted and complementary to each other, and are deeply and happily aware of the fact that, as Howell states, “Men and women are not interchangeable.”
But let me respond with equal delicacy and discretion--for, “I don't want to be too graphic,” to Howell’s claim that gay sex is “deleterious to the health of one or possibly both of the men” (I, like he, but with more self-awareness, will pass over lesbian sex without comment). Let us consider, for a moment, the nature of pregnancy and childbirth. If entered into consensually, a woman allows her body to host a foreign organism for a period of months, at the end of which, it experiences a biological crisis, one of the most dangerous periods in a human’s natural life cycle, and ejects the foreign organism from itself. Pregnancy measurably lowers life expectancy. As I stated above, this injurious act, which harms the structure of the woman’s body, is often performed consensually. Indeed, for many women, it is the consummate act of their life. Howell has written against the use of birth control (in fact, he opposes it within the body of the very email that caused him all this trouble) and abortion, so he is even willing to impose on women against their will a harm far more significant than any resulting from consensual anal sex. In any case, this reveals, I think, something about the nature of life. Life is injurious. Almost every activity does some harm to our body, and sometimes harm is beneficial. Exercise rips muscle tissue in order that it may grow back stronger; the virgin’s hymen is broken that she may cease to be a maid; we strain our minds with tests and labors in order to gain knowledge and jobs; our innocence is lost that we may become wise. Sex is somewhat violent, yes, but if one finds himself to be as abnormally squeamish, excessively sensitive, hygienically obsessed, and hyperspiritualized as Howell seems to be, one would do well to avoid not only sex, but also all strong foods, drinks, and emotions.
I now want to object to the most loathsome part of Howell’s most execrable email. He claims that transgendered people, who seek surgery because their physical bodies do not align with their psychological gender, in fact get surgery because they “think that we can use our bodies sexually in whatever ways we choose without regard to their actual structure and meaning.... We can manipulate our bodies to be whatever we want them to be.” In other words, Howell would correct Jesus: “None may make himself a eunuch for the Kingdom; if your member causes you to stumble, you may not cut it off and cast it into the fire; man was made for the Sabbath [i.e., the body], not the Sabbath for man.” How horrifying it would be to be a transgendered student in this man’s class! He would find nothing Christlike here, no compassion and understanding. Just piggish judgement and proud ignorance. This man’s thought is theorizing-without-evidence par excellence. To say that each biological structure and organism has a "meaning" and that you know what that meaning is (because you have received it by hearsay from our often foolish and illinformed ancestors) and that deviation from it is immoral, is to reason unscientifically. Such a method does not involve consulting nature itself to determine what is natural; rather, it knows what “nature” is a priori and imposes its idea of what is natural on the world. This professor's transphobic comments indicate that he is not aware of how the gender binary is often insufficient to deal with the diversity of genders present in nature. Likewise, his ideas about the functions of sex (limiting it almost exclusively to procreation and ignoring its role in promoting the communal cohesion and bonding of social animals, etc.) again point to a willful biological ignorance. He could certainly profit from reading works such as those by Joan Roughgarden, Bruce Bagemihl, Alice Domurat Dreger, and Anne Fausto-Sterling. That organs have no one "meaning" and that transformation is part of their nature can be illustrated by the fact, for example, that the slit we now use to hear was once a gill with which we used to breathe.
All of the above having been said, my problem with this man's behavior as exhibited in his email and as reported to me by others who have taken his classes is not that he is teaching an erroneous philosophy that claims to be derived from fidelity to nature when it is, in fact, utterly opposed to the natural world. My issue is that he is passionate convert that uses his position as a scholar and professor to proselytize his faith. It distorts his teaching beyond the bounds of ordinary bias into the realm of propaganda. I stand firmly on the side of the weaker party in this situation: the LGBT student in his class that looks up to him as a trusted and authoritative source of knowledge.
We can never have all the information, so dogmatic positions are always dangerous. I do not know what motivated Howell to write, for example, the unfair things he has written in some of his “Step by Step” articles for This Rock. They are not scholarly articles, so I shall not say anything about them as scholarship. But, as devotional/religious works, they have surely done mischief in the lives of people that sincerely want to do what is right and good. I do not know what motivated him to write that e-mail. He seems to have become caught up in his own rhetoric.
The Department of Religion, of course, had the right not to renew his contract for whatever reasons they might have--he was certainly never “fired,” and, given the bad scholarship exhibited in his email and his apparent interest in writing almost exclusively devotional, as opposed to scholarly, works, the University really should not have rehired him. The University has limited resources and does not need to waste them on harmful rubbish. However, censorship is a tricky thing. When libraries select good books and discard bad ones because they have limited space, they are engaged in a sort of censorship, a sort of censorship that they would not perform in an ideal world of infinite resources. When departments hire good professors and let bad ones go, they usually do so for similar reasons. This is not a question of academic freedom; it is a matter of economics. I had the pleasure of attending a Catholic college for my undergrad, and I had many great Catholic teachers. Nonetheless, I also had a few that let their role in their church get in the way of their role as scholars and teachers. Since Howell has his job back, one can only hope he will learn from his experience and gain a more “thorough understanding of natural reality.”
Link to Howell's original e-mail
Guest post by N. Fredrickson
Monday, July 12, 2010
"Last week was a roller coaster ride for the LGBT community. We started off with more than disappointing news that Hawaii's Governor Lingle vetoed the civil union law. On Same Sex Sunday we interview Lambda Legal's Jenny Pizer who will discuss a pending lawsuit to challenge the veto. Good news ended the week with with the Federal court decisions striking down section 3 of DOMA. Pizer shares her incites on this decision.
The community also celebrated the Today Show's change of heart when they opened up their wedding contest to gay and lesbian couples. We spoke to the Crate and Barrel wedding contest's second place winner Jonathan Howard about how he used social media to draw attention to the Today Show issue. He also discussed how GLAAD worked with NBC.
This week's round table, Metro Weekly's Senior Political Correspondent Chris Geidner, National LGBT Advocate Meghan Stabler, and OutSport.com founder Syd Zeigler discuss all of that and more, on this weeks' episode.
Listen to it all after the jump..."
You can't listen unless you click the link and see our latest podcast at Bilerico!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Reese’s Pieces » Blog Archive » The firing of Dr. Howell: Its not what he said, its how he said it.:
"Instruction is a fine art. When I was teaching, it was a delicate ballet between covering everything and meeting the students intellectually where they were, and where they needed me to be. There is always a problem when your beliefs and feelings are in conflict with the material. This one is a lot less of a problem when you’re a middle school literature teacher working with a non-controversial curriculum. There is an entirely different can of worms when one is a college professor–especially a professor in Religion at a public institution.
I am fascinated with the study of religion, and really love the work, but I don’t envy the Religion professors at the University of Illinois. No one goes into the study of Religion unless they have pretty strong feelings for some sort of creed. Whether you’re atheist, pantheist, Deist, Catholic or Muslim, I am sure that Religion professors often have a difficult time balancing their strong feelings about their beliefs and presenting material in a detached, objective scientific way.
All subjects at a public university must be taught this way, however. This isn’t a seminary, this is an institute of thought. This is a laboratory of the world..."
Read my take on a story that's bound to absorb us over the next week.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
This evening, GLAAD announced that NBC has agreed to change the rules of the Today Show's "Modern Wedding Contest" to allow same-sex couples to apply. Full release is below OR (link here: http://www.glaad.org/page.aspx?pid=1551)
GLAAD released a Call to Action against NBC on Tuesday that garnered nearly 4,000 signatures (link here: http://glaadblog.org/2010/07/06/call-on-nbc-to-open-today-show-wedding-contest-to-same-sex-couples/http://glaadblog.org/2010/07/06/call-on-nbc-to-open-today-show-wedding-contest-to-same-sex-couples/)
NBC then agreed to meet with GLAAD to hear our concerns. Today, GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios met with "Today Show" Executive Producers and NBC agreed to allow same-sex couples in the contest. Additionally, NBC agreed to extend the contest deadline to Monday, July 12.
For coverage, please include a link to http://www.glaad.org/2010/calltoaction/todayshow
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 8, 2010GLAAD Praises NBC Decision to Open Today Show's "Modern Day Wedding Contest" to Same-Sex Couples
New York, NY, July 8, 2010- The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today praised NBC's decision to open the Today Show's "Modern Day Wedding" Contest to same-sex couples. This afternoon, after GLAAD met with NBC executives and shared our community's concerns, the network agreed to the changes.
The announcement comes a week after GLAAD learned that the contest had excluded gay and lesbian couples. Good As You blog first alerted us to the problem after discovering the contest's application included only "bride" and "groom" as options for applicants to choose.
After we called the network with concerns, NBC argued that it was excluding same-sex couples because "the couple must be able to be legally married in New York, which is where the wedding will take place."
GLAAD questioned the validity of that argument since New York State legally recognizes same-sex marriages licensed in other states. Same-sex couples can now legally obtain marriage licenses in Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Washington D.C. NBC mistakenly equated the marriage license with the wedding celebration. Same-sex weddings are entirely legal in New York State.
Our Call to Action prompted thousands of people to write to NBC and urge the network to give our community the same opportunity to share our stories of love and commitment and allow us the chance to participate in the contest.
This afternoon NBC and the Today Show did just that. Following a meeting between GLAAD and NBC executives NBC announced that after listening to community concerns it will open the contest to same-sex couples. In addition to opening the contest NBC is extending the application period until this Monday, July 12. Finalists will be announced later this year and the wedding takes place live on the Today Show this October.
"We're thrilled that Today Show's 'Modern Wedding Contest' now recognizes what most fair-minded Americans have already concluded - a wedding celebrates love and commitment, whether the spouses are straight or gay," said Jarrett Barrios, President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). "NBC heard GLAAD and the thousands of viewers who contacted them. And they have moved to make their contest a truly modern wedding where any couple can share their story. NBC is living up to its own high standard of fairness and for this, we applaud them. We encourage qualified same-sex couples to submit their applications to make the new contest submission deadline of Monday, June 12 and we look forward to next year when same-sex couples will have the ability to apply to the contest from the beginning."
STATEMENT FROM NBC NEWS' 'TODAY' SHOW
Over the past few days TODAY has received a considerable response regarding our wedding contest application. The rules stated that eligible couples must be able to be legally married in New York, where we will host the wedding, therefore excluding same-sex couple applicants. Our intent was not to be discriminatory or exclusive. In 2005 when the wedding took place outside of New York, the application process was open to same-sex couples. We have listened to every voicemail and read every email. We take this feedback seriously, and we will change our application process. TODAY is a longtime supporter of the LGBT community, and GLAAD considers us an ally. We are committed to keeping those relationships strong and positive. We have opened up the application process to same-sex couples, and will extend the deadline to Monday, July 12. Moving forward, we ensure that our future wedding contests will be inclusive of all couples.
Today’s the day for TODAY « Feast of Fun:
"With the singe of Hawaii’s Governor Linda Lingle’s burn still fresh on our skin, from her veto of the legislature’s Civil Unions bill on Thursday, we may yet have a victory to count.
We may not be getting relationship recognition in Hawaii, but we could soon have it at the TODAY show!
After recently launching their annual “Modern Wedding” Contest, the TODAY show seems, yet again, ignorant that same-sex couples are fully capable of getting legally wed in 10% of the country. For the second year in a row since the avalanche of additions to the list of marriage equality states, TODAY show producers refused to allow same-sex couples to join in the equality fun.
Enter GLAAD, stage left..."
Who is GLAAD meeting with today, and what do you think the outcome will be? Learn more at my latest at FeastOfFun!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
A garden of wisdom | The Bilerico Project:
"This week, on my other podcast, I couldn't escape my Bilerico roots. Ace Lundon, Lance Helms and I had the pleasure of interviewing celebrated lesbian writer, trailblazer, publisher--and Bilerico contributor--Patricia Nell Warren.
Patricia (whom I have it on good authority is one of Bil Browning's favorite authors ever) joined us on the show after our discussion of Arizona's crazy immigration law (and more sensible pot laws) and discussed how Patricia became an icon of our movement.
For those of you who don't know, Patricia, who was born and raised in Montana, made a splash in the writing world in 1974 with the publication of one of the most famous gay novels ever, The Front Runner and galvanized a community. Patricia now lives in Beverly Hills, California where she writes about the intersection between living a very gay life and broader issues that face all people and especially LGBT people--everything from economic issues, to aging, to religion, to even sports. Not to mention her very popular blogs about her garden!
Learn more after the jump..."
Learn a bit more about one of the most celebrated queer writers of all time! Go read my latest piece at The Bilerico Project!
Why is Lady Gaga playing the discriminatory TODAY Show? | The Bilerico Project:
"Hey, we've all been there. We've all had jobs or done work just for the money.
Today I'm a proponent of 'locally owned, locally grown,' 'buy local, shop local, eat local.' I'm a nearly-vegan vegetarian (I did put mayo-based Cajun remoulade on my sandwich last night, so not there yet). But you know how I got through college?
'Welcome to McDonald's, would you like to try the new triple-fat fat McFatty today?'
Growing up slightly less than rich (okay, way more than slightly less), I understand doin' it because you need the money, but Lady Gaga isn't hurting for money: she's one of the richest stars on the planet..."
Want to know why something smells funny in Gagaville? Read my latest at Bilerico.com
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
"This week on SameSexSunday with Joe Mirabella and Phil Reese, Metro Weekly Senior Political Correspondant and Law Dork blogger, Chris Geidner, shares his perspective on the Proposition 8 Federal trial closing arguments in Judge Vaughn Walker's San Francisco Court. His MetroWeekly piece, 'Case Closed' summarized the last day of the Perry vs. Schwarzenegger case--a case that could have a much broader impact than just striking down a discriminatory California ballot initiative..."
Check out the rest at Bilerico!
"Yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder led a Pride ceremony at the Justice Department and today, President Obama will greet LGBT Americans at a White House Pride Month Reception. Good week. However, its really been a good month to be queer, with the Federal Government making moves to sniff out and secure dozens of benefits for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender headed families–especially for same-sex couples where one partner works for the Federal Government. How?"
Find out how at my FULL piece at Feast of Fun!
Will Hawaii Governor say “Aloha” or “Aloha” to Civil Unions today? « Feast of Fun:
"Today is the last day that Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle (R) can veto the state’s Civil Unions bill–and both supporters and opponents are biting their nails to see what this Diane Keaton doppelganger will do.
“I really thought about this more than I have thought about any other piece of legislation,” Lingle told KITV on Sunday, July 4th, “It is a subject that has really touched the hearts and minds of everyone in Hawaii.”
In June, the Governor added the bill to a list she sent to the legislator of newly passed legislation that she might potentially veto–apparently a strange quirk of the Hawaiian system.
Perhaps the statement, published Sunday, released by a Governor’s office spokesperson speaks volumes..."
To read the quote, and get more analysis, check out my latest at "Feast of Fun."
Please read the ENTIRE piece before you comment! I don't post my entire pieces to Ameiriqueer. These are just snippets, meant to bring you to my pieces at their homes at the host blogs. Many folks, it seems, think that--despite the fact that the quote ends in elipses, and says "read the rest here" that that's all I have to say on the subject, and promptly comment on the little bit of information as if its the whole piece--often conflicting with information in the full piece, which they would not have done had they gone and read it. I really really want you to go visit the full piece at Feast of Fun, today, and comment THERE instead of HERE. Get the full story, the whole picture, and THEN drop your knowledge on us.