Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Funnies











Howdy!

Welcome Damien NZ, from down at 2 cents worth Down Under.

He blogs about "food, wine, men, me, porn, the sex industry, my jewish journey, and my ongoing battle of the bulge. Knowing my own inability to keep my mouth shut I will probably post about current events as well. Please enjoy... and don't forget to tip your waitress."

Check it out.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tiny State. Tiny Poll. But Still..........


Now, I don't put much stock in polls, but a recent survey has found that more than half of Rhode Island voters favor a law allowing gay marriage.

Huh? What? Huh? The most Catholic state is leaning toward equality?

A recently released Brown University poll shows 60 percent of registered voters in the state said they would support a law allowing gay couples to marry. Thirty-one percent said they were opposed.

Right now, bills to legalize gay marriage...marriage equality, people...in the state are before legislative committees in both the House and Senate.

Now, here's why I don't put much stock in polls. This poll was conducted over two days in May with just 593 registered voters statewide. Now, I know Rhode Island is tiny, but I could have gotten more answers standing on the corner of Broad and DeKalb in downtown Smallville.

But, I'll take it with a grain of salt. It's a hint of a twinge of a nudge of an idea of a promise of equality.

Make A Change


This news is huge for LGBT advocates working on the issue of immigration; for anyone concerned with the issues of immigration.

The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) was introduced in Congress by Representative Jerrold Nadler and Senator Patrick Leahy. UAFA will eliminate discrimination in U.S. immigration laws by permitting same-sex partners of U.S. citizens to obtain permanent resident status. It's kind of like how straight people who marry someone from outside the country can obtain legal resident status for their partner.

According to the Washington Blade, Congress will start hearings on the UAFA next week, in which LGBT advocates will surely see as a chance to revise U.S. immigration policy with an eye toward equality.

Equality. Such a lovely word.

So, I ask you to urge Congress to help pass the Uniting American Families Act by signing the petition here on Change.org. Let's make U.S. immigration laws a little more just for LGBT couples.

More equal.

Welcome

... aka...shirleyheezgay!
And don't forget to visit him at The Lisp.
You'll be gald you did!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Asshat Of The Week


U.S. Representative Nathan Deal, a Repugnant candidate for governor of Georgia, has proposed changing the long-standing federal policy that automatically grants citizenship to any baby born on United States soil.

Naturally, this move is opposed by immigrant rights advocates who say it won't solve the illegal immigration problem and goes against America's history of welcoming immigrants.

However, those fools who support Deal’s proposal say “birthright citizenship” encourages illegal immigration and makes enforcement of immigration laws more difficult.

Birthright citizenship is one of the ways this country was built; but not for those filthy Mexicans--because let's face it, if the influx of illegal immigration was from Canada, Deal wouldn't have an issue with this. It's outright bigotry.

Though drafted in 1868 with freed slaves in mind, birthright citizenship is enshrined in the 14th Amendment, which says: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

Deal and his supporters say the 14th Amendment wording was never meant to automatically give citizenship to babies born to illegal immigrants.

“This is a sensible, overdue measure that closes a clause that was never meant to be a loophole,” said Bob Dane, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which seeks tighter immigration restrictions.

I'm all for tighter immigration reforms, but when you still have Wet Foot, Dry Foot in Florida, how is that any different from birthright citizenship. For those who don't know, Wet Foot, Dry Foot refers to those who enter this country illegally via boat or pontoon or life raft. If they can get one foot on US soil, they are allowed to stay. They make a deliberate run to enter this country illegally and are allowed to stay, but a baby born here is treated far worse?

Azadeh Shahshahani, director of the Immigrants Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, said “We would stand in strong opposition to this bill as it’s in fundamental contradiction to our nation’s long history of welcoming immigrants and bestowing inalienable rights” on all people born here, regardless of the circumstances of their birth.

Lisa Navarrete, vice president of the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group, said the proposed law wouldn’t stem illegal immigration and would make the problem worse because not only would illegal immigrants be undocumented, their American-born children would be too. “The worst part of it is you end up with potentially millions of children who are stateless, who were born here and have no ties to any other country, yet they’re not considered citizens or part of the United States.”

Deal, who has submitted his bill to the House Judiciary Committee, said he’s not optimistic about it becoming law this year unless it is tacked onto another bill.
“I think the current makeup of the Congress is such that this will never get a hearing and will never be an issue that we get a chance to vote on....[b]ut I think it’s important to keep the issues that are part of the immigration problem alive.”

What you think important, Deal, is to keep your name in the news as free advertising for your campaign. Why not focus on what you can change, not what you can't.

Asshat.

The Big Gay Chip On My Shoulder by Rob Thomas


I am a straight man, with a big gay chip on my shoulder.

A while back on my
Twitter page (yes, I know how ridiculous it sounds), I mentioned that, if I believed in the devil, Pat Robertson might be him.

Being a fairly liberal-leaning guy with either liberal friends or Republican and Christian friends who don't believe that being one has anything to do with the other, I was surprised at how many people took offense to what I had to say.

These people weren't friends of Mr. Robertson but friends, apparently, of God. They had "spoken" with him and he had assured them that he was no friend of the gays. He also told them that he loved America more than any other country and was a huge fan of Dancing With the Stars.

The small controversy or "Twitter-versy" (patent on phrase pending) all started when I had made the mistake of asking why two people of the same sex shouldn't be able to make the same life-long commitment and (more importantly) under the same god, as straight people. Why can't my gay friends be as happily married as my wife and I? It seemed simple to me, but let me start off by telling you a series of things that I believe to be true:

I am a person who believes that people are born gay. I don't think you have any control over what moves you or to whom you're attracted. That's why it's called an attraction and not a choice.

I believe that America is a great nation of even greater people. I also believe that anyone who says that this is a "Christian nation" has RHS, or revisionist history syndrome, and doesn't realize that most of our founding fathers were either atheist or at least could see, even in the 1700s, that all through Europe at the time, religion was the cause of so much persecution that they needed to put into their brand new constitution a SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE so that the ideals of a group of people could never be forced onto the whole. (I also find it funny when people point out to me that it says "one nation under god" in our pledge of allegiance, not realizing that this was an addition made in 1954 during the communism scare of the McCarthy era. It's not surprising, however, knowing that these same people would punch me in the mouth if I called Jesus a Jew.)
I believe the fact that an atheist, who doesn't believe in God at all, is allowed to enter into the holy land of marriage while a gay Christian is not, shows that this law is arbitrary. Are we to believe that anyone who doesn't live their life according to the King James Bible isn't protected by the same laws that protect those who do? Using the same argument that I've seen on the 700 Club, that would mean that Jewish, Hindu, or Muslim weddings are also null and void.

I believe that to deny this right to the gay population is to say to them, "this god is not your god and he doesn't love you." There isn't one person who is against gay marriage that can give me a reason why it shouldn't be legal without bringing God or their religion into it. Still, I'm amazed at the audacity of a small, misdirected group of the ultra-conservative Christian right wing, to spend millions of dollars, in a recession, on advertisements to stop two men or women who love each other from being able to be married, but when you present any opposition to them, they accuse you of attacking their religion. Isn't it funny that the people who are the quickest to take someone's basic rights to happiness are always the loudest to scream when someone attacks their right to do so?

But this isn't a paper about religion. How could it be? Since we clearly have a separation of church and state, how could a conversation about laws have anything to do with religion at all? I'm writing about basic civil rights. We've been here before, fighting for the rights of African Americans or women to vote, or the rights of Jewish Americans to worship as they see fit. And, just as whites fought for African Americans or Christians for Jewish Americans, straight people must stand up and be a voice for gay people.

I've heard it said before, many times, that if two men or two women are allowed to join into a civil union together, why can't they be happy with that and why is it so important that they call it marriage? In essence, what's in a name?

A civil union has to do with death. It's essentially a document that gives you lower taxes and the right to let your faux spouse collect your insurance when you pass away. A marriage is about life. It's about a commitment. And this argument is about allowing people to have the right to make that commitment, even if it doesn't make sense to you. Anything else falls under the category of "separate but equal" and we know how that works out.

The support of legalizing gay marriage is in no way meant to change the ideals of the section of Christians who believe that homosexuality is a sin. But we should refuse to let other people's ideals shape the way we live our lives. Each of us has a short ride on this earth and as long as we stay in our lane, and don't affect someone else's ride, we should be allowed to drive as we see fit.

By Rob Thomas, for the Huffington Post.

Quality Never Goes Out Of Style



And neither does doing the right thing.

Levi's has launched a new ad campaign in more than twenty of it's company-owned stores from New York to San Francisco, with mannequins wearing Levi’s jeans and shirts fitted with White Knots, a symbol of solidarity with the same-sex marriage movement.

A Levi's spokesperson says "We always try to connect to the energy and events of our time. What’s the pioneering spirit of today? A lot of people are rallying around marriage equality and fighting for that and so many individuals within our company feel so strongly about it."

Levi's has always put the LGBT community out front, as it were. They have a long history of supporting LGBT rights, from taking ads out on LGBT television, to even signing onto an amicus brief last year challenging the validity of Prop 8.

What's even greater, is that Levi's started this new ad campaign in an instant. Within 24 hours of the California Supreme Court upholding Prop H8, Levi's was standing with us again.

Levi's, where equality never goes out of style.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tag. I'm It?


1) What is your current obsession?
Blogging? Nah, that's too easy. It's actually publication, as in, trying to get a book published! Dammit!

2) What are you wearing today?
Right now, I have an ankle brace on--relapse of the tumble from a few weeks back--grey socks, plaid shorts and a plain white T.

3) What's for dinner?
Dinner was leftover pizza.....cold. Don't knock it!

4) What would you eat for your last meal?
Something spicy, very spicy....Indian or Thai. As long as there was lots of ice cold beer to go with it. No dessert, because i don't really have a sweet tooth.

5) What's the last thing you bought?
Other than the aforementioned ankle brace? A flatscreen TV and an umbrella for the outside dining table.

6) What are you listening to right now?
Show tunes. i know......Gay! But they're doing stuff from Miss Saigon and I love that show!

7) What do you think of the person who tagged you?
Oddly enough i got tagged twice and i don't remember either time.
First up is Lou from The Quiet Life. Excellent blogger, thoughtful, provocative....makes me think. She has some tales to tell about life on the other side of the world. How cool is that?
Then we have DuPree from Chlorine In The Gene Pool who is so fabulously, uproariously funny that I cannot read his blog while drinking anything lest I do a spit-take.

8) If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
I would love a farmhouse in Avignon, among the grapes, so i could make wine and drink wine and live wine. Someplace peaceful and beautiful.

9) If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
New York City. I would never sleep. Love it there.

10) Which language do you want to learn?
I'd like to relearn the French i forgot from high school.

11) What's your favourite quote (for now)?
It's not from a poet or anything like that, but I do love this song lyric from Crowded House: Mostly I want to free myself from the burden of inaction. Mostly I want to raise myself to any plane I can imagine.

12) What is your favourite colour?
Green. Used to be blue, then black, now green. Although I'm told I look dashing in red--I say it's because the color matches my eyes.

13) What is your favourite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
I have a black wool coat Pea Coat that, for years, I couldn't wear--living in Miami winter lasts about thirty minutes. Up here in Smallville I get to bring it out all winter long and I love it.

14) What is your dream job?
I'd like to be an author, at least in the published sense of the word. I'd also like to help people, even if it is just by listening. There isn't a lot of actual listening going on these days. I could own a bookstore, too, because I do loves me some readin'.

15) What's your favourite magazine?
I get The Advocate, This Old House and Entertainment Weekly. I love them all because they really have nothing to do with one another.

16) If you had £100 now, what would you spend it on?
Well, that's about $161 US buck-a-roos, so I think that would buy Carlos and me a lovely dinner....if we stick to one bottle of wine. If. We. Stick.
To. One.

17) What are you going to do after this?
Relax and put the wrapped ankle up. The Real Housewives of New York: The Lost Footage is on tonight. Guilty pleasure.

18) What are your favourite films?
All About Eve; anything with Bette Davis. Anything. Same goes for Meryl Streep. Then we can add The Red Violin, Angels In America, and Longtime Companion. The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me In St Louis.

19) What is your special talent?
I have the uncanny, though friends say annoying, habit of seeing both sides of any issue and understanding them. Not agreeing, mind you, but understanding.

20) What inspires you?
Music. Weather. Carlos. Sounds of life, like my animals purring. So many inspirations, so little time.

21) Your favourite books?
Anything by Armistead Maupin, Caleb Carr, old Anne Rice. I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb; How Long Has This Been Going On? by Ethan Mordden; In The Spirit Of Crazy Horse by Peter Mathiessen; I've never really met a book I didn't like.

22) Do you collect anything?
I do not and I have no idea why. Except to say that I like to live simply, so i don't like a lot of "things" around. So, I guess I could say, I collect memories and emotions and experiences.
But then, sitting and thinking and looking at Question 21, I guess I'd have to say I collect books, because I rarely get rid of any of them.

23) What are you currently reading?
I am reading three books because I'm crazy like that. The Mayor Of Castro Street: The Life & Times of Harvey Milk by Randy Shilts; I am also reading Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris; and The Promise Of Rest by Reynolds Price.

24) Go to your book shelf, take down the first book with a red spine you see, turn to page 26 and type out the first line:
“As I've told you, my father said, clearing his throat once or twice, Professor Rossi was a fine scholar and a true friend." From The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Not the greatest sentence, but it is a good book.

25) By what criteria do you judge a person?
Honesty. Fairness. Manners. I look for those things in others so I can make sure to tend to them in my own being. Sometimes you need a guide.
And now, I can tag Joy at Babble On, Charlie at Berry Blog, Stephen at Post Apocalyptic Bohemian and Beth at Nutwood Junction because they are all so interesting and have such things to say.

From The Religious Front


A gay minister in the middle of a dispute about his appointment to a church in a Scottish city said he was “humbled” after the Church of Scotland upheld his appointment.

In a ground-breaking move, the Church’s ruling body voted by 326 to 267 in support of the Reverend Scott Rennie, the British Press Association reported Sunday.

The 37-year-old’s appointment at Queen’s Cross Church in Aberdeen, on Scotland’s northeast coast, provoked opposition from traditionalist members of the church and has led to fears it could cause a damaging split.

More than 400 Church ministers and almost 5,000 Church of Scotland members are said to have signed an online petition, organized by the Fellowship of Confessing Churches, against the appointment.

Papers lodged with the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly in Edinburgh claimed scriptures in the Old and New Testament describe same-sex activity as a “wrong choice.” However, Rennie’s supporters argued that the Bible does not directly address homosexual relationships, which are now “essentially a feature of modern society.”

We're here.

We're queer.

Get used to it.

Makes Me Wonder About My Decision Last November


U.S. officials say Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will soon announce that gay American diplomats will be given benefits similar to those of their heterosexual counterparts.

The same? Now less than? Not separate but equal?

In a notice to be sent to State Department employees, Clinton says regulations that deny same-sex couples and their families the same rights and privileges that straight diplomats enjoy are "unfair and must end."

Sing out, Louise!

She says providing training, medical care and other benefits to domestic partners promote "cohesiveness, safety and effectiveness" of U.S. diplomatic posts abroad.

And she says "it will also help the department attract and retain personnel in a competitive environment where domestic partner benefits and allowances are increasingly the norm for world-class employers."

What Did He Expect? A Parade?


The LGBT community came out again for Barack Obama yesterday, but not in the same way we came out for him last November.

Oh, we still chanted and carried flags, but we weren't out to support him. Gay rights advocates called on President Obama, who was in LA to attend a DNC fundraiser, to more aggressively pursue equal rights for all Americans.

In other words, to do what he said he would do.

The organizers called the event a “welcome” for Obama, but many people in the crowd were angry for the president's failure to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as he had promised.

The crowd chanted, “Out of the court, into the streets, we are ready to fight, we won’t be beat”--referring to Tuesday’s California Supreme Court decision to uphold Proposition 8 and maintain a ban on marriage equality.

Rick Jacobs, who chairs the Courage Campaign and organized the protest: “The president made a promise when he made his speech about hope. I bought that promise and I still buy that promise, but it’s time for him to start fulfilling that promise for all Americans.”

The Courage Campaign has collected 140,000 signatures for a petition asking the president to end DADT and stop firing of U.S. Army Lt. Dan Choi, an Arab language specialist who was discharged after declaring hat he was gay.

i expect there will be further protests wherever Obama goes now, and I think there should be. The man made certain promises to us and has systematically backed away from them.

Not fair.
Not right.

I still support President Obama. I just wish he'd support the gay community as promised.

Pretty Things. Funny Things.

My Dad lives near Newport Oregon and took these pictures while he was out and about. After a couple of days of Prop H8 rants I decided to put up a little something pretty. And something pretty cute.

These are crab floats used to set cages in and around Newport Harbor. I love all the colors.
And down there is a Sea lion who woke up when my father started clicking his picture. Maybe he should be on Make Me A Supermodel.


And this is Newport Harbor, with the bridge in the background.

As for this one.
We're having the house painted and I had to corral all the cats into the sunroom so the painters could open the windows and do the trim and the sills. Tuxedo and Tallulah promptly fell asleep, but little MaxGoldberg, of the Boca Raton Goldbergs, went in the CPP--Cat Protection Program. He hid under couch cushions and stayed there until the painters left.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dear Mister President

I have sent the following letter to President Obama, expressing my disappointment in his reactions and relations to the LGBT community since his election. I have said before, I hate to think he was a "say anything, do anything" candidate, but it seems as though I may have been wrong.
If you want to express your disappointment to Mr. Obama, use this link to do so. And thanks to Mark, over at Running With Blue Sponge, who gave me the idea.
_______________________________

Mr. President,
As a gay man I was overjoyed to support you in your bid for the White House. I saw in you a new hope for the future, a chance to feel included a s a gay man, a chance for change. You asked for my help, for the help of the entire LGBT community, and we gave it to you because we believed you were on our side.
But I grow disappointed each day, Mr President.
You campaigned on the idea of ending DADT, and yet now it seems as though that is a non-issue in your administration. By not coming through on your promise, you continue to let gay men and women lose their careers because of some antiquated, homophobic ideal that gay people are unfit to serve their country.
That is discrimination. And it's wrong.
When marriage equality passed in Iowa...in Maine....I wanted to hear from you, but I didn't. When the issue arose in New Hampshire and New York, you said nothing. You have been strangely silent on this issue and I don't know why.
And I want to know why.
Just yesterday, the California Supreme Court allowed discrimination of a minority by a majority to be the law of the land; California is no longer Golden. And yet you have nothing to say on the issue.
This is discrimination as law; separate but equal as a way of life. This is treating the LGBT community as 'less than.'
And it's enough.
I realize there are so many issues for you to tackle as president. I know times are tough. But you asked for my help, and offered to help me live my life as a fully equal member of the United States, and you have fallen short.
I realize we are mere months into your administration, but you don't even talk about us any more. I feel as though the LGBT community and our struggles for equality are a non-issue in your White House. Yet, worse than not speaking about us, you no longer talk to us. I feel no support for our community coming from your administration.
As a gay American, I am deeply disappointed.
As an American who believes we are all equal and should be treated equally, I am disappointed.
As a human being, I am disappointed.

Day Of Decision: Voices Of Reason

The California Supreme Court voted 6-1 to uphold Hatred/Bigotry/Discrimination in the Golden State. But, who was The One? Who had the good sense?

It was Justice Carlos R. Moreno, who said:

"I conclude that requiring discrimination against a minority group on the basis of a suspect classification strikes at the core of the promise of equality that underlies our California Constitution."

_________________________

"We're going to have to go back to the ballot and I believe say to the people of California, 'listen, whatever your feelings are on this, you can't have separate rules.' Ipso facto. That's separate but equal. It's not right."

California Senator Barbara Boxer

__________________________________

Kate Kendell, from the Natioanl Center for Lesbian rights:

"Today, the California Supreme Court diminished its legacy as a champion of equality. By upholding Prop 8, an initiative that stripped the right to marry from same-sex couples in California, the Court’s decision has undermined the central principle that all people are entitled to equal rights and has jeopardized every minority group in California. No minority group should have to defend its right to equality at the ballot, and the Court should not have permitted such a travesty of justice to stand."

Maybe It Should Say "But You Didn't"

Saw this on Towleroad.


And check out Joe.My.God. for all the news of the New Yorks protests and protests around the nation. He's got good stuff over there!

Who's The Maverick Now?


Meghan McCain:
As I read the news about the recent advances of marriage equality across our country, I think it is easy for many to get distracted by the politics and rhetoric on this issue and lose sight of what is really at its heart: the equality of freedom.

No matter how politically charged the discussions about marriage equality may get, the question is really a simple one: Do the rights and privileges we offer citizens include everyone in our country, or only some of us?

I believe that allowing gays and lesbians the freedom to marry is an idea whose time has come. Though my opinion is no doubt influenced by my family's public role in political life, I still approach this from personal experience, as I think most people do. For me, this is about treating all of my friends, and all of our brothers, sisters, children and grandchildren the same as I want to be treated. Equality under the law and personal freedoms are what make America the greatest country in the world, and they are core values that I hold as a Republican.

As I recently wrote after speaking at the Log Cabin Republican convention: "People may always have a difference of opinion . . . but championing a position that wants to treat people unequally isn't just un-Republican. At its fundamental core, it's un-American." I believe most Americans want our nation to succeed. Marriage equality moves us to a place where more of us can do a better job of taking care of our families.

Gays and lesbians are a vital part of our communities. They are doctors, teachers, firefighters, emergency personnel and neighbors. In this way, marriage equality is also about supporting good citizens and strengthening our communities. When a committed gay couple seeks to declare their love for one another and get married, the whole community benefits from the added stability and strength of that family. On top of that, we don't give up anything by sharing responsibilities and protections with those whom we love.

That's why I support marriage equality. It is the best and fairest way to grant gay and lesbian neighbors and family members the protections and responsibilities that they need to provide for their family and give back to their community.

As Republicans, we understand the importance of strong communities. Last week, the New York Assembly passed the marriage bill with the support of five Republican Assembly members. Now, the bill goes before the state Senate, where Republican senators will make the difference on whether the bill becomes law or dies. Once again, New York has the opportunity to make a statement about Republican values and fairness by passing the marriage bill.

I believe marriage equality will soon come to New York. My hope is that Republican senators will offer their support and make the difference to pass the marriage bill.

By voting for the marriage bill, they will make a strong statement about supporting New York families, strengthening New York communities and demonstrating that equality and fairness are fundamental values of New York Republicans. It will leave a legacy that will make us all proud.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's Today


The decision will be announced at 10 AM PST.

Will we celebrate, or begin to fight for our rights?


UPDATE: The California Supreme Court has upheld Prop H8 banning marriage equality in that state. It will, however, let stand the 18,000 marriages performed before last November's election.
This is a sad day.
A day in which California has allowed one segment of the population to feel the sting of discrimination yet again.
A day in which the LGBT community is told that we don't matter, that we don't count, that we are "less than"other American citizens.
It's discrimination, plain and simple.
It's wrong.
We all need to band together like we've never done so before and see to it that we are no longer undeserving of the same rights and privileges afforded the rest of the population.

Quelle Surprise Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly is expected to approve a measure that would legalize civil unions, according to Rick Garcia, political director for Equality Illinois. Garcia is "absolutely" expecting the full state House and the Senate to pass a civil union measure either today or tomorrow, and the bill has the support of Governor Pat Quinn.

The House Youth and Family Committee, chaired by Representative Greg Harris, who's gay, intends to attach an amendment legalizing civil unions to a "shell bill" that's already been approved by the Senate, Garcia said. If the full House votes in favor of the legislation, the bill would be sent to the full Senate within hours for a vote of concurrence.

Garcia said Illinois lawmakers often use "shell bills" to pass legislation expediently. He said it's necessary to legalize civil unions through this method because the legislative session ends May 30 and the approach limits the time that opponents of civil unions can lobby lawmakers.

"We get it out of the House and then senators only have a few hours of being beat up by our opponents rather than three days or a long weekend," he said. "Since there is a perfectly legitimate way of doing it in one day, that's what we're going to do."

Should the measure become law, both gay and straight couples could enter into civil unions. As there's no explicit language regarding an effective date, couples could start entering into civil unions 30 days after the bill is signed into law. The measure does contain language noting that the establishment of civil unions would not interfere with the practices of any religious group and that any religious institution could decide for itself whether or not to solemnize or officiate a civil union.

Good for you, Illinois. Now, take the full step, the next step, for full marriage equality.

Colin Powell For Change


With all the rumblings of Vice President Of Terror Dick Cheney and Chief Drug Addict Rush Limbaugh trying to reorganize the chaos that is the Repugnant Party, a voice of reason, a voice of moderation has spoken up. He wants the Repugs to calm down, open their minds, pay attention and listen: your party's future is at risk.

Colin Powell went on the offensive this week, arguing that the conservative wing of the GOP is steering the party too far to the right and is unwilling to listen to other views within the party.

Colin Powell: "I believe we should build on the base because the nation needs two parties, two parties debating each other....what we have to do is debate and define who we are and what we are and not just listen to dictates that come down from the right wing of the party."

And by 'right wing' he's referring to the Dynamic Asshat Duo of Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh, who have openly mocked him as a Repug in name only, citing his endorsement of Democrat Barack Obama over Repug John McCain for president.

Powell revealed his voting record for the past forty-plus years--yes to Ronald Reagan and both Bush men, but yes also to John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter--but reaffirmed that he is a solid Republican who wishes that the GOP become more inclusive or risk giving Democrats and independents the chance to scoop up disaffected moderate Republicans who left the party over such conservative and divisive issues as immigration and marriage equality. Those younger Repugs are open to moderation and change; those old men--Cheney Limbaugh et al--are not.

"If we don't reach out more, the party is going to be sitting on a very, very narrow base. You can only do two things with a base. You can sit on it and watch the world go by, or you can build on [it]."

Dick Cheney has made it quite clear who he thinks is the new leader of the Repugs, saying he would rather follow broadcaster Limbaugh than Powell into political battle over the GOP's future. "I didn't know he was still a Republican," he said in that smartass, dumbass tone of his.

Rush Limbaugh called Powell "just another liberal"--such a dirty word, y'all--and said he should become a Democrat. In a blatant show of his own bigotry and racism, Limbaugh also said that Powell endorsed Obama based on race.

Colin Powell took on the Cheney-Limbaugh high-profile-low-class criticism, saying, "I may be out of their version of the Republican Party, but there's another version of the Republican Party waiting to emerge once again."

Now, don't get me wrong. I am not a fan of Colin Powell. I believe he lied when he spoke at the UN and I believe he knew he was lying. Whether he did it at the urging of Bush or the orders of Hellhound Cheney, makes no difference. One of the main reasons we got into this war was because of the things Colin Powell said, the lies he told.

But if the Repugs are to survive and regroup and grow and change and realize that this isn't Dick Cheney's America, or Rush Limbaugh Land, they ought to pay closer attention to people like Colin Powell.

I like the idea of choice; of GOP over DNC. I like a good debate on issues. But when one side sees only one way, their way, they are quickly losing ground. The world is changing and the Repugs aren't moving as fast as they should.

Just sayin'.

I Never Went To Camp, But If This Is It, I Missed Out


Blatantly stolen from dlisted

Cher just might tear herself away from her custom-made oxygen crypt long enough to shoot scenes in Xtina's debut movie Burlesque ( I want to see jazz hands in the air when you read that title).

It was already announced that Xtina would star in the movie musical
as a small-town girl who dreams of being a singer but finds herself thrusting her crotch at a burlesque club. The working title should be, Showgirls: The Whores Are Alive With The Sound Of Music!

Entertainment Weekly says that Cher is in final talks play the owner of the club. Seriously, the camp level of this movie will hit the heavens if Cher is in it. I mean, Cher and Xtina wearing sparkly nipple tassles while singing and shaking their chichis?! All this ridiculousness needs is a random scene where Joan Collins storms into the club and slaps Cher for no reason. That would make this soon-to-be cinematic wreck the glittery cherry on top of my life sundae. Is it really too early to order my tickets on Fandango?

And if you live in the Los Angeles area, you better stock up on all your cosmetics right now. This movie is going to empty out every single make-up counter in the city.

Now, I loves me some Cher, but that is funny. And, um, of course, you, ah, know, that I'll, er, be right there, um, on opening day of this movie!

Front row, baby!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Remember To Say Thanks


Real Housewives Cartoon'd

I love me some Real Housewives of New York....and here they are, more animated than ever!

Scoop This


While one notable member of the recently ousted regime just won't shut up, his puppet-boy is, well, cleaning up dog dookie.

President George W. Bush was walking former first dog Barney in his new Dallas neighborhood when it stopped in a neighbor's yard for relief.

"And there I was, former president of the United States of America, with a plastic bag on my hand," he told a group of graduating high school students in New Mexico on Thursday. "Life is returning back to normal....I no longer feel that great sense of responsibility that I had when I was in the Oval Office. And frankly, it's a liberating feeling."

Sheesh, W, you've gone from leader of the free world to pooper-scooper. Nice transition.

But, uh, could you do us a favor? We've stepped in some Cheney recently--because, frankly, he's everywhere--and wonder if you could help scrape it off our country?

Welcome


Hey there to Stephen, over at Post Apocalyptic Bohemian a great, fun, interesting blog.

And a Hi y'all to Jason, who has several blogs for you to check out: Jason Messinger Writes, Jason Messinger Art and Artists Of Chicago; pretty words and pretty things.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

No Queen Like A Bitter Queen

Clay Aiken or kd aiken?
Clay Aiken, or Clay Gayken, or Gay Aiken, whatever he calls himself these days, has a rant about American Idol. He used to be white hot; now he's not. He used to have Number 1 records, now he's a guest judge on America's Next Top Model. He used to keep quiet, now he doesn't shut up.

Here are some tidbits--and that's me, in red:

Now that it's all over, and for the record.... I couldn't be happier about the way AI ended this year. I only turn the show on once a season, and only to see what the set looks like each year. This year, I happened to turn it during the minute that Adam Lambert was singing "Ring of Fire" and, at that moment, thought my ears would bleed. Contrived, awful, and slightly frightening!

How about innovative and new, and most decidedly not you? How about watch more than once before you climb onto your throne and issue a decree no one but you cares about?

I wasn't really a fan and found myself surprised whenever folks told me that they liked him. Granted, I never saw another performance (and many folks who I trust said that he was great) but I can't imagine I would have enjoyed it.

Yes, Clay, base it on one performance. If we all did it that way, right now we'd be saying, "Clay who?"
Oh wait, we are.

......
However, this year, there was an obvious bias. Not even having watched the show, I can tell you that I was WELL aware of the bias from the judges as to who should win. In my opinion, that is awfully unattractive. I don't think I am alone In my opinion, it all often comes down to that last night of voting.

He doesn't watch but he knows what was happening. How queervoyant of you, Gayken.

Until the finale, folks are voting for the contestant that they want to see continue. But, I believe that on that last night, the dynamic changes. No longer forced to choose one person that they want to see win, the audience can effectively vote AGAINST the person that they don't want to see win. In the case of season two this might have happened. There may have been some folks who voted for myself or Ruben because they didn't like the other of us. I was the nerdy little girly boy .... so they may have voted for Ruben .... I feel that Ruben and I were fairly matched. We both had our detractors and negatives, but I feel we were both very worthy of being on that stage in that moment, and either of us would have been worthy of winning.

But you didn't win, Clay. You. Didn't. Win. Build a bridge and get over it. The Claymates have left the building.

The show was different then, and folks made it in seasons 1-3 because they were "real" people who happened to sing/entertain well. But, somewhere along the way, AI stopped being about real people.

Real people like closeted homos? That kinda "real"?

In a battle between David and Goliath, my money is on David!

Wow! I always took you for a size queen. My bad.

I think many voters got sick of being "told who to vote for" .... Therefore, on that last night, they used their votes against a contestant that they were tired of hearing about and for the contestant who had been written off. And, at the same time, I think they voted AGAINST an American Idol that has, for four years now, been more about the slick productions and polished contestants than it has been about finding the raw talent that it did in its first three seasons.

So, Clay, honey, if you're 'real' talent than there is no such thing as talent. You're a bitter, washed up queen who is reduced to guest spots on failing reality shows, or peddling your baby for publicity. How real.

Will American Idol choose to listen to the resounding and clarion call that those voters gave them?.... "Enough with the pretention. More Rubens, more Clays, more Fantasias and Tamyras and Kellys please." My faith has always been in the voters. I think they have gotten it right every year (mine included). It's now up to American Idol to decide if it will finally REALLY listen to the folks that keep it on the air.

More Clays? More self-loathing homosexuals who live their lives in fear of being outed until their career tanks and then they use their sexual orientation and the sudden arrival of Turkey Baster Baby Clay to revive a flagging career?
No thanks.
Be gone, Clay, before someone drops a house on you.

In case you couldn't tell, I don't like Clay. Not on AI. Not after AI. Not Leave-Me-Alone-Clay; not Yep-I'm-Gay-Clay.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Someone Else Calls Us To Action


Cleve Jones, who conceived of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and worked as an intern in Harvey Milk's office in the 70s, responds to David Mixner's call for a National March On Washington For LGBT Rights:

"....
Over the past six months I have been contacted by many of the emerging new leaders of the grassroots movement created in the wake of Proposition 8, some eager to organize a march on Washington. Up until now, I have discouraged plans for a march, based mostly on my memories of the cost and difficulties of previous marches. I also had high hopes for our new President and the Democratic majority in Congress.
As I write this, we in California are still waiting for the State Supreme Court's decision on Proposition 8. Today is the 30th anniversary of the White Night Riots and tomorrow is Harvey Milk's birthday. Next month we will observe the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion and the birth of the modern LGBT Movement.
Across the country, a new generation of LGBT leaders is rising up, learning how to organize, speak out and fight back. These young activists reject compromise and delay; “the tranquilizing drug of gradualism,” described so aptly by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They are demanding nothing less than full equality under the law for LGBT people in all fifty states.
In my travels throughout California and around the country, I have been stunned and inspired by the determination and fearlessness of our young people. This is the generation that is going to win. This is the time to unite and push - as we have never pushed before - to achieve victory.
Sadly, at the very moment we are poised to reach our greatest goals, President Obama and the Democratic leaders of Congress have turned their backs, forgotten their promises and betrayed our trust. In recent weeks House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stated that repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act is “not a priority.” President Obama has ignored the appeals of brave young people serving in our military as they are drummed out of the services for being gay or lesbian. Indeed, Lt. Daniel Choi who recently “came out” publicly, was dismissed from the army, even though he is a highly valued fluent Arabic speaker and a veteran of the Iraq war.
Apologists for the Democrats counsel caution and patience. They speak of “political reality.” The time has come to change that reality.
I applaud and endorse David Mixner's call for a national march with the following four suggestions:

  • Schedule the march for the weekend of October 10 - 11, 2009. This is National Coming Out Day and the 30th anniversary of the first national march.....The Columbus Day holiday provides a three-day weekend for many and the weather is generally favorable.
  • Have one demand only: “Full Equality Now - full and equal protection under the law for LGBT people in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states.” Let's stop settling for fractions of equality. Every compromise undermines our humanity. We must declare our equality.
  • Organize the march from the grassroots with a decentralized internet-based campaign. Keep it simple; avoid bloated budgets and cumbersome structures. The primary objective must be to turn out the largest possible crowd. We don't need elaborate and expensive staging or fabulous dinner parties....we need a million or more people in the street demanding equality now.
  • Encourage and enlist our allies in the broader progressive movement to build the march. Involve the labor movement, racial, ethnic and immigrant communities, progressive faith leaders, peace and social justice advocates and other supporters. LGBT people of all ages and races recognize the challenges facing our nation and our planet. We are eager to stand, as equals, with our fellow citizens in meeting these challenges.

We are on the verge of a new chapter in the history of our country and our movement. There is a bold new spirit and a powerful new resolve within our communities. Now is the time. We are equal."

Harvey's Words


“We must continue the education that began in this campaign. We must destroy the myths, once and for all, shatter them. And most important of all: every gay person must come out. You must tell your family. You must tell your friends, if they truly are your friends. You must tell the people in the stores you shop in. You must tell the people you work with….”
--Harvey Milk on the night of the defeat of the Briggs Initiative which would have banned the employment of gay and lesbian teachers in the California school system. November 1978
___________________________

“As the years pass, the guy can be educated, that’s where we disagree. Everyone can be reached. Everyone can be educated and helped. I’m gonna sit next to him every day and let him know we’re not all those bad things he thinks we are.”
--Harvey Milk on Dan White, the man who murdered him.
___________________________

“ A true function of politics is not just to pass laws, but to give hope. There have been too many disappointments lately. The real abyss lies not too far ahead when a disappointed people lose their hope forever. When that happens, everything we cherish will be lost.”
--Harvey Milk’s inaugural remarks
____________________________________________


More from Harvey:

"The American dream starts with neighborhoods. If we wish to rebuild our cities, we must first rebuild our neighborhoods. To sit on the front steps—whether it’s a veranda in a small town or a concrete stoop in a big city—is infinitely more important than to huddle on the living room lounger and watch a make-believe world in not-quite living color."
________________________

"I can be killed with ease.
I can be cut right down.
But I cannot fall back into my closet.
I have grown.
I am not by myself.
I am too many.
I am all of us."




______________________

"If I turned around every time someone called me ‘faggot’ I’d be walking backwards. And I don’t want to go backwards."
________________________________________

"If a bullet should enter my brain
let that bullet destroy every closet door."

Happy Birthday Harvey

Today marks what would have been Harvey Milk's 79th birthday.

Oh, what would have been if only.....

You Have To Be Taught To Hate


A San Diego-area sixth-grader's report on slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk was not welcomed by the school's principal. Instead, the principal sent letters to parents giving them the option of not allowing their child to listen to the presentation by classmate Natalie Jones--who learned of Harvey Milk through the Gus Van Sant film, Milk. Officials cited the district policy requiring that parents be notified before any classroom instruction about sex, AIDS or 'family life.'

Uh, Principal Asshat? The report was about Harvey Milk. Not his sex life. Not AIDS. And not his 'family life,' whatever that means.

About half the class received permission and listened to the report, which was given during lunch hour rather than regular classroom time like other students' reports, the ACLU said.

That's right, the ACLU is involved. The ACLU of San Diego and Imperial counties asserts that officials misinterpreted the district's policy on sex education and, in the process, violated Natalie's free speech rights. The group has given the Ramona Unified School District five days to respond or face a possible lawsuit."
Natalie Jones' mother says, “This whole thing is unbelievable – first my daughter got called into the principal’s office as if she were in some kind of trouble, and then they treated her presentation like it was something icky. Harvey Milk was an elected official in this state and an important person in history. To say my daughter’s presentation is ‘sex education’ because Harvey Milk happened to be gay is completely wrong.”

It's this kind of ignorance and homophobia and bigotry that keeps us from moving forward. If you can't discuss gay people in classrooms--gay people not gay sex--then what does that say to our children. It says gay people don't matter; we don't count. It continues a streak of intolerance that has gone on far too long.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Stupid Stupid Man.....Stupid. Really Stupid.


I'm all for Freedom of Speech. Really. I am. Call me what you want. Fag. Queer, Homo. Butt Pirate. Pervert. Pole Smoker. S'okay. I'm all for free speech. But, sometimes, some times, I wish free speech didn't apply to stupid people.

Case in point: Chuck Norris.

Now, I know he was on a TV show in the early 50s; Walker Knows Best....Leave It To Walker....I Love Walker....Walker, Texas Ranger. Yeah, that's it. And I know he was a karate man; or Judo; or Kung Fu; or maybe he just got beat up a lot. But still. TV show or no TV show. Head injury or not.

Chuck Norris is a moron.

In columns he wrote for Creators Syndicate, actor, political activist and all-around dumbass--remember, it's Freedom of Speech--Chuck Norris falsely claimed that pedophiles could be protected under the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act--the Matthew Shepard Act. Norris wrote that the legislation--which, among other things, defines as a federal crime certain acts or attempted acts of violence committed "because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person" --could, and these are his words, "...provide elevated protection to pedophiles." In fact, while conservatives point to the bill's inclusion of "sexual orientation" and "disability" to justify their assertion that the bill could protect pedophilia, neither term would do so.

For your edification, Chuck, "sexual orientation" is already defined by federal statute as applying only to "consensual homosexuality or heterosexuality," thereby excluding pedophiles, who engage in nonconsensual sexual relationships with children. And, sorry Chuck, but pedophilia is not considered a "disability" under current federal law. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 specifically excludes pedophilia, thereby precluding protection for pedophiles from the hate crimes bill.

Chuck Norris. Hasbeen actor. Present-day wingnut.

But it's Free Speech, y'all. Fear Speech and Stupid Speech, yes, but it's also Free.

The Discrimination Train Keeps Chugging Along

Nevada lawmakers have passed two pro-equality bills: one outlawing job discrimination based on sexual orientation, and one establishing domestic partnership rights for same-sex couples. Both bills were sponsored by Senator David Parks, Nevada’s only openly gay legislator.

But all is not right in Nevada. Guess which one is creating drama.

Yup. Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons said he plans to veto the domestic partner legislation, citing several reasons for his decision. Gibbons' spokesman, Daniel Burns says:

“The governor believes that government has no business in your medicine chest or your bedroom. He also believes there are existing contracts that can be created, so no change to the law is needed. If there are people who want to be domestic partners, they can do so under existing laws. He is also mindful of the fact that voters of this state on two occasions have said that marriage is between a man and a woman, and it’s part of our Constitution.”

Well, let me ask a question. Why, if you're gay and living in Nevada, do you have to jump through hoops and run that extra mile, and ask Mother May I just to get the same thing available to every other resident of Nevada?

That sounds like discrimination to me, Governor.

And that ain't good.

Make Me A Supermodel....WTF?



I'm not doing a recap, but I did stay up to watch this after American idol, so I was in a reality show mood.

Salami has won 5 of 11 photo shoots. That's pretty good. But they tell her she needs to work on her catwalk, and, according to her own admissions, she has a jiggly ass.

But Sandhurst. They tell him he takes awful pictures. He has no intensity in his eyes. He's too tall for catwalk. His legs are too big--he's a dancer. And his ass is too big; watching him squeeze that butt into those pants he wore last night made me tired. Someone needed Crisco and a pair of spatulas to get the job done. They said he had the body of a model, but the face of an accountant.

So..................................................
They booted Salami. is it Salami? Salome? Salame? So Lame?
And they kept Sandhurst. Now he is eye-candy, but.......