Saturday, July 31, 2010

University of Illinois Rehires Homophobic Catholic Professor

The Department of Religion at the University of Illinois decided not to have Kenneth Howell continue teaching courses on its behalf. Then, due to pressure from groups that did not understand or intentionally misrepresented what had happened, Howell was reinstated. The University was well rid of him, and, although the importance of avoiding any appearance of discrimination based on religion and any infringement of free speech and academic freedom is understandable, he should not have been rehired. He is committed to proselytizing discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered people, using “morality” as a weapon to humiliate and degrade. Let me be clear: I have no personal grudge against this man. I do not know him. In fact, I am sure he is a perfectly harmless old man that may even do some good in this world. He has demonstrated an admirable ability to do what he thinks is right even when it causes himself significant inconvenience. I am, however, opposed to him as a social factor, as an influence within the University community.

This raises the question, What sort of role did this man adopt? Was he not a professor of religion? No, that may have been his title, but Howell was performing the role, not of a teacher, but of a priest. A teacher educates; a teacher helps students to entertain many ideas, but without undue judgment or attachment, objectively, from all sides, lingering over them, setting them against each other, experimenting with them, teasing out their hidden properties. He who would educate another must have an interest in allowing a student to recapitulate the history of conflicting human thoughts within a certain area of inquiry. On the other hand, a priest indoctrinates, imprints, freezes the mind in a posture of orthodoxy and righteousness; the catechist is interested, not in a journey, but in a destination. All teachers bring their own knowledge and backgrounds into the practice of education. There will, of course, be bias. Nonetheless, Howell celebrates his bias in an indecent fashion, luxuriating in his narrowness and dogmatism as if it were a desirable virtue. Although he should be using his knowledge to guide the explorations of his pupils, he instead uses his wider experience to overwhelm them with his own position. His Catholicism has gotten in the way of his teaching Catholicism.

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

Same Sex Sunday: DOMA decision, the Today Show, Hawaii Veto, and more

Same Sex Sunday: DOMA decision, the Today Show, Hawaii Veto, and more | The Bilerico Project:
"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

RP--The firing of Dr. Howell: Its not what he said, its how he said it.

Was it right to fire Dr. Howell, or did the University pull the trigger to early?

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.
Dr. Howell

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

BREAKING - NBC Agrees to Community's Demands - Today Show Wedding Contest Now Open to All

This just came into my mailbox from GLAAD.

Hi:

 

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, 2010

GLAAD 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

My @FeastOfFun latest! Will @TODAYSHOW show, place or win today? Ask @GLAAD!

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

TBP--A garden of wisdom

1 of my latest at Bilerico Project.

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!

TBP--Why is Lady Gaga playing the discriminatory TODAY Show?

She's our favorite current queer popstar, but she's got the chance, Friday to make a real difference--will she?

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

TBP--SameSexSunday: Prop 8 Closing Arguments; Will Blogs Kill LGBT Print Media?

SameSexSunday: Prop 8 Closing Arguments; Will Blogs Kill LGBT Print Media? | The Bilerico Project:
"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!

FOF--More federal benefits for LGBT families located

More federal benefits for LGBT families located « Feast of Fun:
"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!

FOF--Will Hawaii Governor say “Aloha” or “Aloha” to Civil Unions today?

The FULL piece is over at Feast of Fun, with a ton of really important facts and commentary AFTER this snippet. Please don't comment until you've read the whole thing.

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.

Be well.

Monday, July 5, 2010

RP--2 Tuff 2B Str8. Bingham Cup 2010

Reese’s Pieces » Blog Archive » 2 Tuff 2B Str8. Bingham Cup 2010:
"This past weekend, Minneapolis played host to the fifth biannual international lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rugby tournament, otherwise known as the Bingham Cup. The Bingham Cup brings together 50 teams from Europe, Australia, South and Central America, and all over the United States and Canada. This year, the Minneapolis Mayhem hosted the tournament.

I had the good fortune of quickly locating and befriending the most excellent team of the bunch, the Ottawa Wolves. So much fun, we sang “Hungry Like the Wolf” during half-time. The Wolves had almost as many players on the disabled list as they did on the field. They also had three straight guys–one married, one finding Twin Cities girls to be very welcoming–but they also proudly wore little rainbow flags on the right leg of their uniform shorts..."

I'm extremely proud of this piece, which goes into the background about gay rugby, and why the cup is named for 9/11 hero Mark Bingham--you won't believe what he did for this country, and yet our nation and his home state would still have him be a second class citizen. What are your thoughts?

FOF--Supreme Court: Colleges Can Discriminate Against Groups that Discriminate

Supreme Court: Colleges Can Discriminate Against Groups that Discriminate « Feast of Fun:
"This year, the Roberts court has been pretty good to minority populations–especially the gays. Must be the down-to-earth, common sense latina wisdom that they finally have in the mix.

In a 5-4 decision, yesterday with Justice Ginsberg writing, the Supreme Court sided with the University of California’s Hastings College of Law against the militant Right-Wing hate group the “Christian” Legal Society who had been denied registered organization status and benefits because they don’t allow non-Christians, gays, pro-lifers, etc… to join. Heck, even the Republicans let us in, give me a break..."

So what do you think? Should the CLS be allowed to discriminate, or should they be beholden to the University's non-discrimination rules if they want University benefits? Comment on my latest over at the Feast of Fun and tell me what you think.

RP--My view from Homo Heights: June 28, 2010

Reese’s Pieces » Blog Archive » My view from Homo Heights: June 28, 2010:
"“My View From Homo Heights” was one of the names tossed around when I was discussing launching this blogs. I am thinking of doing this photo-blog as a weekly thing–what do you think?"

I forgot to share this one with you as well!

RP--My view from Homo Heights: July 4, 2010

Reese’s Pieces » Blog Archive » My view from Homo Heights: July 4, 2010:
"Its fine to be patriotic on July 4, but why not take it one step further and be GAYtriotic on Independence Day? My neighborhood has the gaytriotic spirit every day. Check out this house just down the street from me. Now that is Homo Heights!"

Go look at the cute picture I took of the house on Hill Street!

TBP--The second #SameSexSunday round table will blow your mind!

Roundtable: Holiday Weekend Version of SameSexSunday! | The Bilerico Project:
"For our second weekly politics round table, we discuss Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Google's gay partner salary bump, future Justice Elena Kagan's Senate hearings, Lt. Dan Choi's curious subpoena and why we weren't part of the President's first speech on comprehensive immigration reform plus what that might mean for the bill. We also examine the Wisconsin's Supreme Court letting us down while the United States Supreme Court picks us up..."

You're going to want to hear our second round table--it gets heated near the end! Such a fantastic time--I'm loving our awesome, amazing SameSexSunday podcast!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

FOF--Dear Mr. President: YOU GOT SERVED!

Dear Mr. President: YOU GOT SERVED! « Feast of Fun:
"Yesterday Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo–the two gay soldiers who in an iconic move chained themselves to the White House fence this Spring–served the President… with a subpoena. You remember the exclusive pictures here at Feast of Fun, and the “Choi Chained” headline. I know you do. Now they’re making the bold move of calling the President as a witness in their July 14th trial.

Pietrangelo and Choi’s lawyers jointly released a memo with a rationale for the move..."

You know you wanna know more! That's why you should click the link and read my latest at the Feast of Fun!

TBP--Why I want to be smaller

I'm going strong on my new diet and fitness plan! Its going so well, I wrote about it!

Why I want to be smaller | The Bilerico Project:
"We are sometimes a community of size queens, but believe it or not, I want to be smaller. No, I know what you're thinking, and I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about my gut.

Before I was blogging at Bilerico, I was working hard at trying to keep my weight down. I had lost 70 pounds using the fad diet of eating healthy and exercising. I know. Crazy. I was blogging on a website for weight-loss, and leading a group of gays and lesbians on that site trying to lose weight.

Then I learned I was losing my job..."

Want to learn more about me? Check out my latest at Bilerico.com

RP--What Pride is

Check out my latest "Reese's Pieces" blog.

Reese’s Pieces » Blog Archive » What Pride is:
"This past weekend was Chicago Pride–the biggest insane party of the year for the midwest. Its hours of go-go boys, drag queens, DJs bar floats, politicians, and political organizations, that plays to a half million drunk sunburnt revelers annually in Lakeshore."

Check out the rest, and hundreds of photos, at the217.com!