Thursday, December 10, 2009
Annise Parker, openly lesbian candidate for mayor of Houston, comes under vicious anti-gay attack in the final days
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
It doesn't matter where you live. You can help Annise Parker make Houston the nation's largest city with an openly LGBT mayor!
Who is Annise Parker? She is a highly qualified candidate to be Houston's next mayor, and she happens to be an out lesbian. She finished in first place in the November election, but she did not get over 50%, so she has a runoff election against the runner-up, Gene Locke.
Learn more about Annise at these links:
This race is huge for LGBT people all across the United States. If elected, Annise Parker will become mayor of Houston, the USA's fourth largest city.
Despite the recent setbacks at the ballot box on the issue of marriage equality, openly gay and lesbian candidates have made some real strides this year, including last Tuesday, when Simone Bell became the first openly lesbian African American elected to a state legislature. On the same night, Alex Wan became the first openly gay Asian American elected official in Georgia when he was elected to Atlanta's City Council.
The race in Houston is tight. The recent Zogby poll showed Annise Parker with a small lead, with a large percentage of voters "undecided."
She needs our help to win this election. Here's what you can do:
If you live in or near Houston, contact the campaign directly by going to the campaign office or by giving them a call. Annise's "contact us" page with all the details is here.
If you do not live in the Houston area, you can still phone bank from home. To get more info, email us here at the Gayborhood Times and we'll pass you info on to a phone bank coordinator. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org (Include your name and phone number, as well as a Twitter or Facebook ID if you have one, and we'll get you all set up.) The system is easy-to-use and we'll provide you with all the info you need to get started. All you need is the script we give you and a telephone with touch tone capability.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
But now that we have a significant audience, things are about to change. First, we're just days away from migrating to a new .com domain of our own. It will be a lot shorter to type in and it will help us establish greater credibility than just being on the .blogspot.com domain. Second, we're looking to add fresh, original content to the site.
Despite the good following we have established, The Gayborhood Times doesn't really make money. Perhaps a few dollars per day from Google Ads, but we haven't really tried to monetize our traffic. Our first priority is to make a top-notch site for activists and interested parties. If money comes later, so be it. If it doesn't, but we can still make a difference for the cause, that's fine too. I guess that's my roundabout way of saying that we're not paying for content. At least not yet.
But how do we take it to the next level? That's where you come in. We're looking for writers to submit original content - opinion articles that are interesting to read and have some supporting documentation, LGBT-themed poetry or short stories, and/or "Letters to the Editor" of The Gayborhood Times.
Have something interesting and/or compelling to say? Let us distribute it for free and build your profile in the online LGBT community. We'll link back to your Twitter and Facebook profiles from the article, and we'll distribute it online through our Twitter account (nearly 1000 followers and growing) and our Facebook account (nearly 6000 fans and growing).
All we ask is that you submit your content to email@example.com and, once we inform you that we have selected and published your content, we ask that you "tweet" and/or post a link to the article on your Facebook profile. Then we'll spread the word about the post on our end.
Portia De Rossi was on The View on Friday morning and the issue turned to marriage. Elisabeth Hasselbeck didn't understand why it needed to be called "marriage." Portia nailed it right on the head. Watch the video to see how she handled it.
Friday, December 4, 2009
In my opinion, his speech sums up everything. Please post your comments below.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Marriage Equality bill fails in NY Senate. Gays and Lesbians remain 2nd class citizens in the Empire State.
The NY State Senate voted 24 Y, 38 N (Ds 24-8 in favor; Rs 30-0 against) and defeated the marriage equality bill in New York state. This comes at a time when there was great optimism that New York state would pass the bill and send it to Gov. Paterson's desk for his signature.
Supporters claimed to have enough votes to secure passage of this landmark legislation. This was clearly not the case. Gays and lesbians will continue to be second-class citizens in the Empire State.
FULL ROLL CALL (from TimesUnion.com)
Eric Adams (D) — YES “This is about love.”
Joseph Addabbo (D) — NO
James Alesi (R) — NO
Darrel Aubertine (D) — NO
John Bonacic (R) — NO
Neil Breslin (D) — YES
John DeFrancisco (R) — NO
Ruben Diaz (D) — NO “Sen. Smith, it is better to keep your word.”
Martin Malave Dilan (D) — YES
Tom Duane (D) — YES
Pedro Espada (D) — YES
Hugh Farley (R) — NO
John Flanagan (R) — NO
Brian Foley (D) — YES
Charles Fuschillo, Jr. (R) — NO
Martin Golden (R) — NO
Joseph Griffo (R) — NO
Kemp Hannon (R) — NO
Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D) — YES
Shirley Huntley (D) — NO
Craig Johnson (D) — YES
Owen Johnson (R) — NO
Jeffrey Klein (D) — YES
Liz Krueger (D) — YES
Carl Kruger (D) — NO
Andrew Lanza (R) — NO
Bill Larkin (R) — NO
Kenneth LaValle (R) — NO
Vincent Leibell (R) — NO
Tom Libous (R) — NO
Elizabeth Little (R) — NO
Carl Marcellino (R) — NO
George Maziarz (R) — NO
Roy McDonald (R) — NO
Hiram Monserrate (D) — NO
Velmanette Montgomery (D) — YES
Thomas Morahan (R) — NO
Michael Nozzolio (R) — NO
George Onorato (D) — NO
Suzi Oppenheimer (D) — YES
Frank Padavan (R) — NO
Kevin Parker (D) — YES
Bill Perkins (D) — YES
Michael Ranzenhofer (R) — NO
Joseph Robach (R) — NO
Stephen Saland (R) — NO
John Sampson (D) — YES
Diane Savino (D) — YES
Eric Schneiderman (D) — YES
Jose Serrano (D) — YES
James Seward (R) — NO
Dean Skelos (R) — NO
Malcolm Smith (D) — YES
Daniel Squadron (D) — YES
William Stachowski (D) — NO
Toby Ann Stavisky (D) — YES
Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) — YES
Antoine Thompson (D) — YES
David Valesky (D) — YES
Dale Volker (R) — NO
George Winner (R) — NO
Catherine Young (R) — NO
We will be editing this post to add more. Please leave your comments below. Gay rights activists may have lost this particular battle, but the war will be won over time.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
First-term Assemblyman John Perez, an ally of organized labor and cousin of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, has launched a campaign to capture the Assembly speakership, and many members of the house are quickly rallying behind his bid.
Perez entered the race after a number of his Assembly colleagues mounted an effort to draft him as a speakership candidate. Capitol sources said if Perez is able to secure a majority of his caucus, the vote on a new speaker could come by next week, when the Assembly reconvenes to vote on education legislation.
One of those involved in the Draft Perez movement was Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael. Huffman told Capitol Weekly Tuesday, "I believe John now has the votes. I think it's over."
Read the full article at Capitol Weekly, the newspaper of California government and politics.
"Men who have had sex with men will no longer be permanently barred from donating blood," the National Board of Health and Welfare said in a statement released on World AIDS Day.
“The human rights of people living with HIV, men who have sex with men, lesbians and transgender people must be fully respected,” UNAIDS stated in a press release on their website. “Where they have been able to access HIV information, prevention and treatment and avoid discrimination, these populations have become a force for health and community empowerment.”
"We are not condemning the LGBT, but we cannot compromise the well-being of the greater number of people, especially the youth," the commission said
Read the rest of the article at The Advocate.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Not surprisingly, the marriage is already being hailed by equality activists as a significant triumph against the odds in a traditionally macho society. Argentina – and Latin America in general – is not known for a tolerance of sexual diversity, and violence against gays is an everyday occurrence.
Read the rest of the article at Medical News Today.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Although a victory by Annise would be historic and a victory for the LGBT community at large, a win would also be a big victory for the citizens of Houston. Annise is not new to this city; she has been an elected official for years and she is currently the city's Comptroller.
She has received the enthusiastic endorsement of the Houston Chronicle, the city's largest newspaper, and a recent poll shows Annise Parker with a tiny edge:
Annise Parker 37%
Gene Locke 34%
Margin of Error +/- 4.4%
Want to connect with the campaign or help with time or money? Here are your links:
and most importantly:
Thursday, November 5, 2009
There was a lot of LGBT news from Election Night around the country.
The biggest story of the night was that voters in Maine vetoed the marriage equality law. Politico had a thoughtful analysis of what went wrong. You can read it here.
But there were many bright spots:
Kalamazoo, Michigan voters chose to keep an existing ordinance banning discrimination against LGBT persons.
Annise Parker finished first in the Houston mayoral election, although she fell short of the 50% threshold to avoid a runoff. If she wins the runoff election, Annise will be the city's first openly LGBT mayor.
Charles Pugh will become Detroit's first openly gay councilmember. He finished in first place and will also become the city council president.
Steve Kornell won his race for St. Petersburg City Council. Now St. Pete will be Florida's largest city with an openly gay councilmember.
Sandra Kurt overcame anti-gay attacks to become the first openly LGBT councilmember.
Mark Kleinschmidt was elected mayor of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
The shift is even more profound when you look at other issues:
92.2% believe that same-sex partners should have hospital visitation rights, while only 6% are opposed.
70.9% favor inheritance rights when a gay or lesbian partner is deceased, while only 26% are opposed.
65.5% support domestic partner benefits for government and university employees, and only 29.7% are opposed.
63.7% are in favor of civil unions for gay/lesbian couples, while only 31.1% are opposed.
57.5% believe gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to adopt children, while only 35.9% are opposed.
Why the change in attitudes? Polling in 2004 suggested that only 56% of voters personally knew a gay or lesbian person. Now that number is sharply higher, 80.2%.
Source: The Glengariff Group Inc. poll of 600 registered Michigan voters conducted May 27-29. MOE +/- 4%.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Read more here.
I just read an article from Reuters which told of the economic benefits many northeastern states will reap due to recent marriage equality laws. Here are a few key excerpts:
"The expansion of legal gay marriage across New England could deliver an economic windfall by attracting a youthful "creative class" of workers to a region with an aging population."
"New arrivals include John Visser and Nick Keffer, who recently moved to Hartford, Connecticut, from Raleigh, North Carolina. They plan to wed later this month.
"The sole, only reason why we moved was because it was now legal for us to get married here," said Visser, 42. 'No other reason whatsoever other than marriage equality. We were perfectly happy in North Carolina.'"
"The spread of gay marriage could serve as a recruiting tool for universities, health care companies and financial services firms that dominate the region's economy, experts said.
"It will be a selling point when it comes to trying to lure people with same-sex partners who are being wooed for a job," said M.V. Lee Badgett, a University of Massachusetts economist who studies gay and lesbian issues.
Same-sex couples in the so-called "creative class" were 2.5 times more likely to move to Massachusetts in the three years following the approval of same-sex marriage than they had been in the three prior years, according to a study released in May by the Williams Institute of the University of California.
That study also found that migrants relocating to the state were more likely to be younger and female than before same-sex marriage was approved.
Research shows that heterosexual members of the "creative class" -- a group that includes financial whizzes, software programmers and educators -- tend to regard states that allow gay marriages as more appealing places to live.
"It broadly suggests you have an environment in which people who are seen as different are accepted," said Gary Gates, the UCLA demographer who was the study's lead author."
The first economic effect Massachusetts felt from gay marriage was a boost in business related to actual wedding ceremonies performed over the past five years.
The 12,167 same-sex couples that have wed and their guests have spent about $111 million on weddings, from flowers and cakes to hotel rooms and meals for out-of-state guests, another Williams Institute study found.
Over the longer term, there could be a greater economic effect if gay couples decide they are unwilling to leave the region to move to states where their marriages would not be recognized. Forty-two of the 50 U.S. states have laws on their books prohibiting same-sex marriages.
"Once these states offer marriage to these families, they will not quickly, willingly or easily accept new assignments, transfers and promotions to states that don't offer them," said Bob Witeck, chief executive of Witeck-Combs Communications, a Washington-based marketing firm that focuses on gay and lesbian issues. "They're creating an economic wall in the region that is going to impact the ability of all national employers to move talent around."
Some married gay people said they would not consider moving to a state where their marriage would not be recognized.
"I just wouldn't do it. It's pretty straightforward," said Mike Swartz, 41, a vice president at a software company who lives with his husband in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Some couples said another key factor influencing where they would move is how states recognize their role as parents.
Marie Longo, 45, moved to Massachusetts before the state allowed gay marriage because its laws allowed her now-wife Allison to adopt Longo's twin daughters.
"Portability is a big issue for those of us now who have lived in a state where we have been legally married and respected and treated just like any other couple," said Longo, who works as a fund-raiser for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, a group that lobbies for gay marriage.
Knowing they could move from state to state and still have their marriage recognized made it easier for Visser, an interior designer, and Keffer, a real estate agent, to start a new life in the north, Visser said.
"Connecticut is a very small state," Visser said. "Hartford is the center and it only takes an hour to get to the state border in any direction, so for us to be able to establish ourselves in the surrounding states, it broadens our opportunities. We feel less restriction."
New England has a graying population, particularly in Maine where 14.7 percent of the population is 65 or older, compared to 12.5 percent for the nation as a whole, according to U.S. Census data. Economists and academics say this will take a toll on the region's economy, both by limiting innovation and growing the demand for government services.
Almost all of the other states in New England are on board. Come on Rhode Island! Get with the program!
"A German zoo says a pair of gay male penguins are raising a chick from an egg abandoned by its parents.
Bremerhaven zoo veterinarian Joachim Schoene says the egg was placed in the male penguins' nest after its parents rejected it in late April. The males incubated it for some 30 days before it hatched and have continued to care for it.
Schoene said the male birds are one of three same-sex pairs among the zoo's 20 penguins."
I wonder if a Florida judge would force this penguin into the foster care system?
There will not be a parade. The organisers took legal advice which suggested that might get them into trouble with the authorities.
Instead, there will be film screenings, talks, an art exhibition and a large, all-day party at a privately-owned venue.
Gay sex was decriminalised in 1997 in China. Before that, people used to be prosecuted under "hooliganism" laws.
Homosexuality was described officially as a mental illness in China until 2001.
Although China is a very conservative society, surveys suggest the majority of the population are reasonably tolerant of gay people.
However, there is intense pressure on young Chinese to get married, so it can be difficult for gay Chinese to be open about their sexuality.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
The ice is cracking under opponents of marriage equality and equal rights for gays and lesbians. Although it wasn't perfect, the former vice-president offered support for gay marriage at the National Press Club. His support was for states to be free to allow gay marriage, yet he did not support action at the federal level. Because this is a civil rights issue and one of equal protection, I have a problem with that.
It is still amazing to see such a stubborn, right-wing nutbag actually step away from toeing the party line. Some of his language was awkward and his position is less than ideal, but it is still better than the position of President Obama, and I appreciate that.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
June 2, 2009— In a lengthy May 28 tirade on the Rob, Arnie & Dawn in the Morning radio show heard in Sacramento, California on KRXQ 98.5 FM and Reno, Nevada on KDOT 104.5 FM, hosts Rob Williams and Arnie States verbally attacked transgender children. While discussing a recent story about a transgender child in Omaha, Nebraska and her parents’ decision to support her transition, the two hosts spent more than 30 minutes explicitly promoting child abuse of and making cruel, dehumanizing and defamatory comments toward transgender children.
You can listen to the entire segment beginning at 4:48 by clicking this link:http://robarnieanddawn.com/newsite/audiofiles/05.28.09%20Transgender%20Children%20In%20America.mp3
Among the comments made by the hosts:
ROB WILLIAMS [11:12]: This is a weird person who is demanding attention. And when it’s a child, all it takes is a hug, maybe some tough love or anything in between. When your little boy said, ‘Mommy, I want to walk around in a dress.’ You tell them no cause that’s not what boys do. But that’s not what we’re doing in this culture.
ARNIE STATES [13:27]: If my son, God forbid, if my son put on a pair of high heels, I would probably hit him with one of my shoes. I would throw a shoe at him. Because you know what? Boys don’t wear high heels. And in my house, they definitely don’t wear high heels.
ROB WILLIAMS [17:45]: Dawn, they are freaks. They are abnormal. Not because they’re girls trapped in boys bodies but because they have a mental disorder that needs to be somehow gotten out of them. That’s where therapy could help them.
ROB WILLIAMS [18:15]: Or because they were molested. You know a lot of times these transgenders were molested. And you need to work with them on that. The point is you don’t allow the behavior. You cure the cause!
ARNIE STATES [21:30]: You got a boy saying, ‘I wanna wear dresses.’ I’m going to look at him and go, ‘You know what? You’re a little idiot! You little dumbass! Look, you are a boy! Boys don’t wear dresses.’
ARNIE STATES [29:22]: You know, my favorite part about hearing these stories about the kids in high school, who the entire high school caters around, lets the boy wear the dress. I look forward to when they go out into society and society beats them down. And they end up in therapy.
To her credit, co-host Dawn Rossi stood up to Williams and States during the segment.Despite her apparent lack of familiarity with transgender issues, Rossi repeatedly defended transgender people and made an on-air apology for her colleagues’ defamatory remarks.
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Please contact KRXQ management in Sacramento, California, where the show is produced and demand that radio show hosts Rob Williams and Arnie States publicly apologize. Call on KRXQ to hold Williams and States accountable for their remarks and establish clear standards to ensure their media platform will not be used to condone or promote violence against any parts of the communities they serve.
Vice President & General Manager
On Air Personality
On Air Personality
Please alert any of your friends and others who may also wish to take action. When contacting KRXQ, please ensure that your emails and phone calls are civil and respectful and do not engage in the kind of name-calling or abusive behavior.
"I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists."
Earlier in the release:
"My Administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security. We must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.
These issues affect not only the LGBT community, but also our entire Nation. As long as the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled, all Americans are affected. If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded, every American will benefit. During LGBT Pride Month, I call upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity."
Read the full release at The White House web site and post your comments here on The Gayborhood Times!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
The gay marriage ban in California can not stand.
Sign The Courage Campaign's pledge and/or contribute to get this ad on the air:
Marriage rights for gays and lesbians were polling at their highest when images of gay people were in the news. It is my hope that the next campaign will look more like this. People need to see images of gay people to become more accepting.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Read more here. More to follow later once I get out of work. Leave comments below.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Some of you may know that I live in the Tampa Bay, FL area and have been keeping a close eye on this race. Steve Kornell, an openly gay candidate, is running for St. Petersburg City Council. If Kornell is elected he will become the first ever openly gay member of the St. Petersburg City Council. The neighboring county, Hillsborough, just elected their first openly gay county commissioner, Kevin Beckner, in 2008. Kornell left the gates early and has been running a fabulous campaign for months. With all of our help he can help turn the page in St. Pete.
A friend who attended the debate gave me a detailed report of what happened. The question Steve received was loaded and had three parts: 1) are you gay?, 2) how will that affect your ability to do your job?, and 3) will you be persuing a gay agenda? I do not think I have ever seen a candidate answer a question like this so well and according to my friend, this was the loudest applause of the day, nearly everyone clapped and it was the only question where any candidate had people on their feet.
This sort of questioning has happened in candidate forums in St. Petersburg before. In 2005, a woman known as "Momma Tee" asked an openly gay candidate, Darden Rice, if she was gay. When Ms. Rice said yes, "Momma Tee" said "God's not down with that" and stormed out of the building. (Read more here.) Saturday was a different scene in St. Pete.
We need to support Steve. He has some serious skills and he will help make strides in a state which sorely needs some progress after Amendment Two last year. Join me in going to http://www.stevekornell.com and contribute to his campaign online or by mail.
We also need to support Anthony Woods who is running for US Congress in California. Don't forget to send him a check too. He has a great story and would be a great advocate for our community in DC. http://www.anthonywoodsforcongress.com/
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Here are my questions:
1) What city/state do you live in?
2) What do you think the court will do?
3) If we win, how and where will you celebrate?
4) If we lose, what, if anything, will you do in reaction and where will you do it?
Speak out by posting a comment below!
Need a breather before the big ruling on Tuesday? Watch this Wanda Sykes comedy video about gay marriage.
The California Supreme Court will rule Tuesday regarding gay marriage. You should already know this, but I'm writing it just in case you have been living under a rock for a while.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Read the full article here.
EDITOR'S NOTE: If I saw one of these ads, I would click on it. The gay-friendly site gets paid and NOM spends money. That is the best way to combat this attack. I think someone posted a comment last week saying one of the Google ads which popped up on this site was from NOM. Let them waste their money.
The high court announced the pending opinion on its Web site Friday morning.
Read the rest of the report from the Associated Press at Yahoo! News.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Atlanta’s major mayoral candidates were all in the same room for the first time Thursday, each making his or her case as the best person to run the city to a room full of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents.
Five candidates gathered for a forum of about 150 people held at the Amsterdam Cafe in Midtown. Mayor Shirley Franklin, a two-term incumbent, is prohibited from running for a third consecutive term.
Several candidates stressed their past achievements and support for a community that advocates say accounts for one out of every seven Atlantans. It has become an influential force in city politics, particularly in neighborhoods near downtown.
Read the rest of the article at the AJC web site to find out where the candidates stand.
"New President. New Congress. No Change. Here is the latest evidence of what our country is losing under the law that prevents gay men and women from serving openly in the armed forces of the United States."
Read the full article at The Huffington Post.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Fabulous speech which touches on issues including the future, coming out and being who you are.
Thank you to Rafael, one of our readers, for this great find.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Federal lawsuit over Florida hospital visitation rights among LGBT and unmarried heterosexual couples
That’s what Janice Langbehn, a social worker in Lacey, Wash., says she experienced when her partner of 18 years, Lisa Pond, collapsed with an aneurysm during a Florida vacation and was taken to a Miami trauma center. She died there, at age 39, as Ms. Langbehn tried in vain to persuade hospital officials to let her visit, along with the couple’s adopted children.
“I have this deep sense of failure for not being at Lisa’s bedside when she died,” Ms. Langbehn said. “How I get over that I don’t know, or if I ever do.”
The case, now the subject of a federal lawsuit in Florida, is being watched by gay rights groups, which say same-sex partners often report being excluded from a patient’s room because they aren’t “real” family members.
Read the rest of the story at The New York Times web site.
Limiting dating violence prevention to students in hetereosexual relationships further discriminates against students who are already vulnerable to bullying, depression and self-doubt, the advocates said. They urged senators to remove the reference.
"The message this sends gay kids is, we're not worthy, we don't count — it makes them feel like second-class citizens, and isolated," said Harriet Hancock, who founded the Columbia chapter of Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
Keep reading at The Spartanburg Herald-Journal web site.
Hello Gay Graduate,
You sure are in a bitter time to be thrust out of the womb of higher education. When I graduated college 15 years ago, America was in a golden decade. Five years before, the Berlin Wall had come down, giving us a new sense of security. We were at peace. We had saved the World Trade Center from destruction in 1992. The economy was booming. For someone like me, who wanted to go into print journalism, the job opportunities were everywhere.
How times have changed.
Great letter that you should continue reading at The Huffington Post.
NBC Bay Area reports that Rochelle Harrison, who has been openly gay since the age of thirteen, was ridiculed on a daily basis by teachers and staffmembers at Jesse Bethel High School in Vallejo, who would say such nonsense as: "You'll never get a job," "You're going to hell," "You're so ignorant. You don't even know whether you're a boy or a girl."
Harrison's mom, Cheri, wrote letters, made phone calls, and scheduled meetings with school officials, but the harassment continued. So, the Harrisons turned to the ACLU for help.
From the title of this article you know that she won, but click on this link to get the details of the lawsuit and her award.
School district says reparative therapy sites ok, but gay rights sites blocked. ACLU says "not so fast my friend!"
Two school districts representing thousands of Tennessee students were sued Tuesday for blocking access to web sites discussing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, but are not filtering sites advocating “reparative” therapy to change their lifestyle away from being gay.
Last month, the American Civil Liberties Union asked the Knox County Schools and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools to stop the practice. Evidently, they didn’t. So the ACLU made good on its promise, and sued the districts in federal court on Tuesday.
Read the full article at wired.com. (I hate when people/press use the word "lifestyle.")
This video shows White House press secretary Robert Gibbs dodging a question about DOMA. He didn't outright sell the LGBT community out yet, but this makes me nervous.
Mr. Gibbs, we are waiting for you to get back to us.
Monday, May 18, 2009
More than 5,300 domestic partnership registrations had been filed in Washington since July 2007.
He's hot, ivy league educated and, until recently, was a man in uniform. Now Anthony Woods wants to be a Member of Congress!
"Craig's right to privacy might have greater currency had he not publicly supported the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have constitutionally prohibited same-sex couples from marrying in the United States. He has also voted against LGBT-inclusive hate-crimes and employment nondiscrimination legislation. Senator, you just can't have it both ways."
If the allegations are true, that is exactly what the Senator has been doing for several years.
Read the article at The Advocate and post your comments below.
Advocates and opponents of gay marriage took to the streets of Manhattan on Sunday. Among those in attendance on the "pro" side were Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon (speech in video above) and Ugly Betty's Ana Ortiz.
From the article:
“There are 18 days left in the senate session,” Sen. Tom Duane, the lead sponsor of marriage-equality legislation, told the upbeat crowd gathered in the chilly gray weather. “I need your help," he said, urging people to contact their representatives in the chamber.
Marriage-equality legislation passed the assembly last Tuesday by a vote of 89-52, but its outcome remains uncertain in the closely divided senate, where Democrats hold a slim 32-30 majority. Current estimates put the number of affirmative votes for the legislation at around 25. Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, who did not attend either rally on Sunday, has vowed not to bring the legislation to a vote unless its passage is assured in advance.
New York governor David Paterson, who made a last-minute appearance at the rally in support of marriage equality, also stressed the time element, characterizing the issue repeatedly as a “race.”
“We’re in a race right now in New York,” Paterson said. “When are we going to admit that LGBT people do not have the same rights as straight people right now?”
Read the full article at The Advocate.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Even if Obama does not name a gay justice, senators are likely to question the nominee about the hot-button issue during confirmation hearings, propelling it to the top of the political agenda this summer.
Read the rest of the article at the LA Times web site.
No injuries were reported, but the detentions could damage Russia's desire to be seen as a modern nation as it holds the finals of the Eurovision song contest, a cultural event televised around the world.
Read the rest of the article from the AP at Yahoo News.
On another note, the mayor of Moscow has repeatedly referred to homosexuality as being "satanic."
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
As a slew of states move to legalize gay marriage, a new CNN poll finds that most Americans still oppose it, though those under 35 are solidly for gay marriage legalization.
The poll finds that just 44 percent back gay marriage, compared with 58 percent of those under 35. The generational gap over the issue is striking: Only around 4 in 10 Americans ages 35 to 64 back gay marriage, and the number drops to 24 percent for those above age 65.
The numbers raise an important question about the strategy of the pro-gay marriage forces: Is their move to start legalizing gay marriage in many states far enough ahead of public opinion to provoke a serious backlash? Or, given the dramatic generational shift in public opinion on the issue, is their timing just right?
At least that's what CNN was wondering in their article. What do you think? Post a comment below.
She also revealed that her daughter is a lesbian.
Read the details of her vote at The Advocate.
FYI: The Maine house voted 89-57 to support the marriage equality bill, although it has a few more hurdles to clear before becoming law. (Read more here.)
Read the rest of the article at The Advocate.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Sometimes you need to take a break from all this serious news business and just laugh a little. I hope you will enjoy this clip from Margaret Cho. It is one of my personal favorites!
Police in the village of Thies, in the west of the country, were called out after villagers exhumed the body.The man, born in Dakar in 1975, had died in hospital on Saturday of natural causes, said a police officer in the village."
But after his burial the same day in a Muslim cemetery, four people dug him up. The deceased was considered homosexual," the officer said.
You can read the rest of the story at this South African news site. (FYI - homosexuality is illegal in Senegal.)
"Anybody who thinks we're not serious about winning this in 2009 better throw cold water on themselves and wake up," said Alan Van Capelle, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda.
"We are absolutely serious."
Read the rest of the article at the NY Daily News web site.
Update from Cathy Burke at the New York Post on an article we posted earlier about Rudy snubbing his gay former roomies who helped him pick up the pieces after Donna Hannover booted his ass out of Gracie Mansion. (P.S. That pic is really Rudy in drag. Isn't it fabulous?)
A gay pal of Rudy Giuliani said yesterday there's one word for why the former mayor and potential gubernatorial candidate snubbed his same-sex wedding: Politics.
"We're still friends," said Queens car dealer Howard Koeppel, who tied the knot with longtime partner Mark Hsiao on Saturday in Connecticut.
Still, Koeppel said, "I danced at his wedding with [his wife] Judith [Nathan], and it would have been nice if he'd danced at mine."
Hsiao said the ex-mayor's snub "did not spoil the day -- we actually didn't expect him to come."
Koeppel said, "I understand why he's doing what he's doing. If he decides to run for governor . . . he's a Republican, and he's taking a Republican stand" on same-sex marriage.
There was no immediate comment from Giuliani.
Iraq’s gay population is being targeted by militia groups in a wave of killings that has claimed the lives of up to 25 young men and boys in the past month.
"They know I am gay. I don’t know if I am going to be killed, this is up to God," said Moyad, a 38-year-old Baghdad resident who would not give his last name out of fear for his safety.
Visibly frightened, he said that he has many friends who have been sadistically tortured, some even murdered. "They are sticking glue up their anuses; some hospitals refuse to treat them. Is it a war waged against homosexuals?" he asked.
You can read the rest of this disturbing article at msnbc.com by clicking this link.
V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire is among more than 300 clergy members from different faiths who planned to spend Tuesday lobbying on Capitol Hill for support of a bill that broadens the definition of hate crimes to include those motivated by a person's sexual orientation, gender identity and disability. The House passed the legislation 249-175 last week over conservatives' objections.
A weaker bill died two years ago under a veto threat from President George W. Bush. In contrast, Obama is urging the Senate to support it, saying it would enhance civil rights protections.
Read the rest of the article at boston.com by clicking here.
I was at a, err, opposite-sex wedding over the weekend when one of the guests asked me, presumably as the member of the MSM on hand, why Carrie Prejean, Miss California, gets lambasted for being anti-gay marriage, while Barack Obama, the president of the United States, gets a free pass while having essentially the same position.
The answer lies in tone and nuance.
It is true that Obama's position is that marriage is "between a man and a woman" and that he is "not in favor of gay marriage." That said, he articulately advocates for the rights of gay couples on things like hospital visitation. See here, for example, starting at about 1:06: "When I sit down and read scripture and I think how would Jesus feel about somebody not being able to visit someone they love when they're sick, I conclude that that is something that's important."
And it is possible that some portion of people suspect that Obama would favor gay marriage were it a politically viable position: He's secretly with us, not like that nasty Miss California. And even if that's not the case, he's good on enough other stuff that he can get a pass on this.
For the rest of Schlesinger's column, visit the web site of U.S. News.
I personally think this is a gross oversimplification of the issues related to lgbt people, but I'm interested in what you have to say. Post away in the comments section!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
It was a disappointment for Queens car dealer Howard Koeppel and his longtime lover, Mark Hsaio, who tied the knot in a double-ring ceremony before 10 guests in Westport, Conn.
The couple famously let the ex-mayor crash at their luxury $2.37 million three-bedroom Manhattan apartment while he was going through a nasty divorce with Donna Hanover in 2001. Later, Giuliani married the "other woman," Judith Nathan.
The United Nations agency said people with immunodeficiency diseases -- including the AIDS virus -- will most likely be vulnerable to health complications from the H1N1 strain, as they are from regular seasonal flu, which kills between 250,000 and 500,000 people a year.
HIV and the new flu strain could also mix together in a dangerous way, as has occurred with HIV and tuberculosis, the WHO said in guidance for health workers on its website.
Read the rest of the article from Reuters at Alernet by clicking here.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
In recent weeks, Vermont and Iowa have legalized same-sex marriage, while New York, Maine and New Hampshire have taken steps in that direction. Polls show younger Americans are far are more tolerant on the issue than are older generations. For now at least, the public is much more focused on the troubled economy and two wars than on social issues.
Read the rest of the article by following this link to the Boston Herald web site.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A documentary called "Outrage" argues that closeted homosexual U.S. politicians who vote against the interests of gays and lesbians should be "outed" because their hypocrisy has slowed the progress of gay rights.
Written and directed by Kirby Dick, the film relies on interviews with people who claim to have had gay relationships with politicians who vote against gay marriage, hate crime legislation, gays in the military, and funding for HIV/AIDS research.
"Outrage" premiered at this week's Tribeca Film Festival in New York and opens on May 8 in select U.S. cities.
"My film is not about outing gay politicians. It is about reporting on hypocrisy," Dick told Reuters. "When a politician is in the closet and voting anti-gay with a very consistent record, he's acting hypocritically and I think it's completely appropriate for me to report on that."
Follow this link to read the rest of the article about this movie or click on the video clip above to view the movie's trailer.
So what do you think about outing elected officials? Are they all fair game? If not, are those with anti-gay voting records fair game? Or should all be entitled their privacy, even when they are acting in a hypocritical manner? Speak out by posting a comment!
Friday, May 1, 2009
For the first time ever, a national poll suggests that more Americans support marriage equality than oppose it
Although there are other polls which show a different balance on this issue, the fact remains that same-sex marriage is getting closer to widespread support among the American people. Read more by following this link.
How about a Lesbian on the Supreme Court of the United States? Kathleen Sullivan could be a candidate to replace Souter
Sullivan, a professor at the Stanford Law School who served as dean of the school from 1999 to 2004, founded and currently acts as director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center. She has also been involved in some of the most historically prominent LGBT-related court cases, including Bowers v. Hardwick and Lawrence v. Texas.
Mrs. Shepard rejected Rep. Foxx's apology on the Rachel Maddow show. Catch the video below or visit Rachel Maddow's site to read the whole story.
Listening to Ms. Prejean makes me wonder...
Are we dealing with the next Anita Bryant, a former Miss Oklahoma who crusaded against giving rights to LGBT Americans, or are we dealing with the next Miss Teen USA South Carolina contestant. If you don't remember her, get a chuckle out of the very popular video of her below.
Click here to read more about this story gaypolitics.com