Friday, July 31, 2009

Well, A Kiss Really Is Just A Kiss


Up in Mormon country, Salt Lake City Prosecutor Sim Gill has opted out of prosecuting a gay couple cited for trespassing after they shared a kiss on the plaza. The Mormon Church has owned the plaza for about ten years, having purchased it from the city , and wanted it to be an inviting, beautiful space for all to enjoy.

That, however, is the problem.

"The two individuals believed--albeit mistakenly--that they had the right to be there," Gill said. "Fairness requires that either that property be not open to the public or you condition that [openness] in a way that the person who comes on understands that it is private property."

In other words, Mormon Church, post a sign calling the plaza private property and then, only then, can you regulate behavior.

Gill said his decision not to prosecute this particular case "should not be viewed as limiting" the ability of the church to enforce its private-property rights on the plaza in the future. "Going forward," he said, "working toward clarity [on the plaza] serves everyone's interests in this community."

Gill also cites the lack of signs on the plaza that indicate visitors are entering private property "at will," meaning they can be ejected at any time for any reason. Gates around the plaza, akin to those encircling the Salt Lake Mormon Temple next door, would make the plaza's private nature more clear, Gill acknowledged. But he did not recommend any specific solutions.

The Mormon Church did not respond to questions about whether it will alter access to the plaza or change the way it advertises rules on the property, commenting only on the city's decision to drop the trespassing charges.

"While we feel the city had the necessary elements available for prosecution in this matter," spokeswoman Kim Farah said via e-mail, "the decision on whether to move forward or not rests with the city prosecutor."

Simply put, the church is not happy the case was dismissed.

What goes around.......

To Old Dogs Who Can't Learn New Tricks

NSFW for those of you on the job.

A Man And A Horse Named Sugar


Just when you think the news isn't weird enough already, a South Carolina :::::sigh:::: man has been charged with having sex with a horse after the animal's owner caught him in the act.

On videotape.

First Pam and Tommy, then Paris, and, finally, this.

And, on the scale of odd, this part falls a tad bit lower, this wasn't the first time Rodell Vereen has been charged with buggery. He pleaded guilty last year to having sex with the same horse after owner Barbara Kenley found him in the same stable. He was sentenced to probation and placed on the state's sex offender list.

Just a few weeks ago, Kenley noticed her 21-year-old horse Sugar was acting strange and getting infections again. She noticed things in the barn had been moved around – dirt piled up and bales of hay stacked near the horse's stall.

"Police kept telling me it couldn't be the same guy," Kenley said Wednesday. "I couldn't believe that there were two guys going around doing this to the same horse."
After spending several nights in the stall to no avail, Kenley installed surveillance cameras, and when she reviewed the footage from July 19, she couldn't believe she was seeing the same man doing the same thing to her horse.

Yet Kenley didn't call police because, she says, she was certain he would come back again, and he did; she then chased him to his truck and held him there with her shotgun until police came.

Vereen was first charged with trespassing, but police added a buggery charge after watching the surveillance tape. He faces up to five years if convicted, seeing as how he was already on probation after pleading guilty to buggery last year and being ordered to stay away from the Lazy B Stables.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Harvey Milk To Receive Presidential Medal Of Freedom


President Obama plans to award America’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to Harvey Milk, one of the country’s first openly gay elected officials. The award will be accepted at a White House ceremony by Stuart Milk, the nephew of the late San Francisco Supervisor and civil rights activist.

Stuart Milk: “The President’s action today touches the core of our very human hearts and my uncle would be so proud of this high honor. His election was, for him, a beginning–a chance to make real change. That change is happening, but we still have so far to go. I hope this recognition inspires LGBT Americans everywhere to heed Harvey’s call to run for office, to serve openly, to live proudly with authenticity and to demand the equality that we all deserve.”
Harvey would be thrilled. I know I am.

Asshat Of The Week


You know, just when you think wingnuts have sunk as far as they can, a new sub-basement of crazy opens with free parking for all.

Case in point: A member of the Kissimee City commission wants to change the city's logo to feature the words In God We Trust.

Wingnut Art Otero, who apparently has never heard of a little something I like to call separation of church and state, says his plan to advertise God on the city emblem is because of patriotism and not religion. Oh, now I get it. My bad. See, I always, ALWAYS, equate God with religion when I should have known that God is a patriot. I should have stayed awake in bible study, I guess.

But then Art goes further, as wingnuts are apt to do, and tells the local paper that the real reason he proposed putting God on the seal--and doesn't that sound like a MarineWorld attraction not to be missed--is because he doesn't agree with the direction the country is headed under President Obama; Art says Obama is a socialist. I say Art is an Asshat.

I win!

Art Otero: "This nation has been moving toward more liberal postures such as homosexuality, gay marriage, abortion and the legalization of marijuana. I'm against that way of thinking. Those are not the values upon which this nation was founded. I think we need to fight for the values we're losing."

Homosexual is a posture? Sheesh, now I have to learn posture, too. I guess I need to head on down to the Smallville Finishing School For Homosexuals. Being gay is hard work.

Seriously though, why, and how, in these tough economic times, do these people not only get elected, but are offered a forum to voice their ridiculous opinions. Art Otero seriously thinks putting God on the seal--I'd prefer to see her on a dolphin--is going to...BAM!...change the world?

What it will change is to bring more ridiculous debt to the city of Kissimee. In order to change all those logos--and it hasn't been approved as of yet--it would cost over $200,000.

Yup. And we all know that money could be and should be used for something more productive and less hateful.

Art Otero. The I Should Be Laughing Asshat Of The Week!

What?!!?? No?!!!??


Not too long ago, I posted a little something about Republican Senator Paul Stanley complaining about an attempt to extort money from him. He never discussed why someone would want money from him, although the extortionist was the boyfriend of a woman with who Stanley had denied having an affair.

For Stanley, it was all about poor him and that nasty extortionist.

Well, that Tennessee Asshat Paul Stanley resigned from the state Senate this week after it was revealed during the investigation into the extortion attempt that he was indeed having an affair with on of his 22-year-old interns.

What? He lied? He cheated on his wife? A Republican adulterer? Okay, that last one seems a bit redundant in the light of John Ensign and Chip Pickering and Mark Sanford.

Senator Paul Stanley: "Due to recent events, I have decided to focus my full attention on my family and resign my Senate seat effective August 10."

Recent events? Oh, adultery. Yeah, focus on your family, Paul. Had you been focusing on your family all along maybe you would have thought twice about hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Paul Stanley: "Whatever I stood for and advocated, I still believe to be true. And just because I fell far short of what God's standard was for me and my wife, doesn't mean that that standard is reduced in the least bit."

No, Paul, one would have to have standards to lower them.

You, sir, have no standards.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Losers, By A Nose




We've all heard the stories.

Michael Jackson's nose was fake. After so many surgeries, allegedly performed to make Michael look nothing like his father, there were stories that his nose simply became two small holes in his face.

There were stories that he kept a tray of noses at the ready for his public appearances.
There are stories that he wore the surgical masks to cover up his lack of nose.

Now, we have a new story.

Michael Jackson's nose has gone missing at the LA County coroner's office. Seriously.

A witness claims to have seen Jackson's body on an autopsy table, and now says: 'The prosthesis he normally attached to his damaged nose was missing, revealing bits of cartilage surrounding a small dark hole.

These, uh, claims appeared in Rolling Stone and apparently are confirmed by Adrian McManus, a former housekeeper for the star. McManus claims Michael Jackson had a number of false noses and used plasters to cover and support the prostheses. "In his closet he had a jar of fake noses and stage glue, which he told me he used for disguises. But some were similar to his real nose, just without the hole."

Honestly, can't we leave him alone. LaToya's busy selling her stories to the London tabloids; Tito's revealing 'all' on Entertainment tonight; Jermaine reportedly has a book coming out. His mother and father are spending long hours in court trying to gain control of his estate.

The man is dead.

Can't we let him rest in peace.

At least until he shows up with Elvis at a WalMart in Akron, Ohio.

An Opinionless Politician.....A Spineless Politician

Utah has a new governor who doesn't know where he stands on LGBT issues.

Yes, the man does not have an opinion.

Lt. Governor Gary Herbert, who will be sworn in as governor sometime in the next few weeks, has yet to stake out positions on a host of gay rights issues supported by the departing and highly popular Governor Jon Huntsman, who is set to become the U.S. Ambassador to China.

Now, you may ask yourself why is it, and how is it, that Herbert has no opinions. It seems he is less concerned with LGBT issues than making sure he is governor longer than just the remainder of Huntsman's term.

Politics as usual.

Utah has become a focal point for LGBT rights issues because it is home to the Mormon Church, a group that has spent millions spreading hate throughout California; a group that has spent far too much time keeping the gays from kissing in public. But in Utah, 60 percent of the population is Mormon, as are Herbert, Huntsman and more than 80 percent of legislators. Huntsman, however, supports civil unions, although he believes marriage should be between a man and a woman.

Herbert, on the other hand, stays mum.

"It's premature for him to say what position he will take on these bills," said Jason Perry, Herbert's transition director. "We don't know what will be in those. He will keep a very open mind as he hears what the issues are."

Hears what the issues are? He doesn't know the issues? This is just political posturing for the sake of gaining public office and keeping oneself in that office. I don't think there's a human being in this country who doesn't have an opinion on LGBT issues.

Except for Gary Herbert.

Wockner On Schwarzenegger AIDS Services Cuts


Schwarzenegger decimates AIDS services
Eliminates funding for viral-load testing'Beyond immoral,' 'Amazingly stupid,' 'Deadly'

by Rex Wockner

In an effort to balance California's budget, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger used line-item vetoes July 28 to chop more than $50 million in funding from the state Office of AIDS, including critical funding for HIV viral-load testing.

Schwarzenegger decimated AIDS services across the board, leaving full funding in place only for epidemic surveillance and for the drugs that suppress HIV.

Although the cuts curtailed state funding for HIV-related education (an 80% cut), prevention (80% cut), counseling (70% cut), testing (70%), primary medical care (50%), home care (50%) and housing (20%), one cut stood out in particular: the termination of all funding for the Office of AIDS' Therapeutic Monitoring Program.

For some 35,000 working- and middle-class Californians whose HIV care is paid for by the state, that program pays for viral-load testing and drug-resistance testing.

Viral-load testing is mandatory in HIV care, as it is the only way to determine if a particular HIV drug cocktail is working in a given patient. Drug-resistance testing comes into play when a drug cocktail that had been working stops working in a given patient. The two types of testing together guide a doctor in getting a patient on a new drug cocktail so the patient's viral load again becomes undetectable.

Patients whose viral load is undetectable are very unlikely to develop deadly HIV-related opportunistic infections, and they are dramatically less infectious than those whose virus is not suppressed. The Swiss government has said that an HIV-positive individual whose viral load has been undetectable for six months in a row is essentially unable to transmit HIV sexually.

"These were extraordinarily difficult cuts to make and they are cuts that will have consequences," said Al Lundeen, spokesman for the California Department of Public Health. "More people will become infected."

Office of AIDS Chief Michelle Roland, a doctor who treats HIV patients herself, said that state funding of the Therapeutic Monitoring Program made up only 50 percent of its funding, with the rest coming from the federal government, so not everyone will lose access to the two critical types of testing. She also expressed hope that counties would somehow be able to come up with some funding for the tests.

"We'll have half of the resources that we have now, so it's not quite as dire as no one will have access, but there will definitely be fewer services for people to access," Roland said in an interview.

She added: "A population that is less successfully virally suppressed is more likely to transmit. We may see an increase in the HIV rate as a result."

Roland also said the massive reduction in funding for ordinary HIV testing (to see if one has the virus) means "there will be fewer people who know their status," which also will increase HIV transmission.

In the final analysis, if some California HIV patients lose access to viral-load testing, they could get sick and die, despite receiving HIV drugs paid for by the state. And, in the interim, they would be much more infectious if, for example, a condom broke during sex.

Equality California called Schwarzenegger's elimination of monitoring testing "beyond immoral" and "amazingly stupid."

"To leave hundreds of million of dollars in reserve by cutting an entire program that no one will argue isn't saving lives is beyond absurd, immoral and unethical," Executive Director Geoff Kors said in an interview. "The governor needs to announce that he's going to free some money from his reserves to restore the $8 million needed to fund this program. To pay for people's medicine knowing that the medicine has to be monitored through testing to make sure it's working, and then to deny those same people the testing, makes one question if the governor and his staff really understood what they were doing or if they are just playing politics with people's lives to punish the Legislature for not giving him everything he wanted. It's amazingly stupid."

San Diego blogger Mike Tidmus, who has AIDS and frequently writes about HIV issues, said Schwarzenegger's move also doesn't make sense economically.

"If someone loses access to viral-load testing and their virus becomes active again, they're going to develop an opportunistic infection and end up in an emergency room or hospital bed, costing the state more money," Tidmus said in an interview.

The California Legislature's LGBT Caucus said it was "outraged by the governor's line-item vetoes to eliminate state funds that support critical HIV/AIDS-related programs."

"With the stroke of a pen, he has crippled the Office of AIDS, striking a totally devastating cut to a state-funded infrastructure that took more than two decades to build," the caucus said.

"Given that the governor has chosen to eliminate support for HIV/AIDS early intervention, treatment, education and prevention programs, we wonder how many new HIV infections the governor has projected for this year and next, and whether he really thought through the additional costs, in both fiscal and human terms, these cuts will have on people across this state."

Los Angeles' AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the U.S.' largest AIDS organization, said Schwarzenegger's "heartless act is not only deadly, but guaranteed to cost California taxpayers millions more in the future."

"With HIV testing programs sidelined and the state's ability to prevent new infections stymied, new infections in California will increase -- each new infection can mean up to $600,000 dollars in lifetime health care costs," said AHF President Michael Weinstein. "A 100% cut to the Therapeutic Monitoring Program is the definition of penny-wise and pound-foolish -- with the ability to monitor the effectiveness of lifesaving AIDS drugs hampered, the state's already cash-strapped AIDS Drug Assistance Program will only end up spending more for drugs."
from Wockner

Foot In Mouth Disease

I am all for Free Speech; all for it. But there are times when certain members of the media, and you know who you are Fox News, carry the Free Speech mantra too far.

Case in point: Glenn Beck who called President Obama a racist for his comments on the Henry Gates and Cambridge Police fiasco. Beck is such an asshat that, at first he says Obama hates white people and the white culture--and forgive me, but what the hell is "the white culture" anyway--but then goes on to say that Obama doesn't hate The White Man.

But here's my problem. With so many people disenfranchised in this country today because of the housing, economy, fuel, mortgage crises, I think it's very dangerous to label the president as ant- anything. It sets up just another reason for these sorts of people, the birthers, the white supremacists, the Pro-Choice wingnuts, to do something radical.

Free Speech is beautiful. Stupid Speech is dangerous.
Glenn Beck should be made to apologize and then be fired.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

End It.......It'll Be Okay


Across the pond they are far more enlightened, more open-minded, more positive-thinking that we are, here in the New World.

Soldier magazine, the British Army's official publication, has Trooper James Wharton–-an openly gay member of the British military–on its cover. He's wearing his dress uniform, complete with Iraq medal, next to the headline "Pride". It's a first for the magazine, and it's been some years in the making.

Pride, indeed.

It's been ten years since the UK lifted it's own ban on gays in the military, and they are finally comfortable with the "new" soldiers. British servicemen and women now march openly at Gay Pride in uniform, all three services have become Stonewall diversity champions and a few months ago the head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt made history when he became the first army chief to address an LGBT conference.

"Respect for others is not an optional extra," he said. Indeed.

More interesting to note, is that, according to the article, senior members of the British military are quietly advising senior American officers on how America can change, should change, DADT.

Learn from their example. It can be done. It should be done. it will be done.

Gay On Board


Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat who last year became the first openly gay non-incumbent elected to Congress, took his place Friday on the U.S. Air Force Academy's supervisory board.

He is thought to be the first openly gay member serving on an oversight board at any service academy.

The supervisory board reports to Congress and the Pentagon on how the academies are doing, including recommendations for change, such as ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Polis opposes the military's ban on gay and lesbian servicemembers and has twice proposed, then withdrawn, amendments to undo DADT. The appointment, made by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has veterans on both sides of the DADT debate wondering if it's a signal that change is coming.

Oh, change is coming, and it's long overdue my friends.

Tricia Heller, a Class of '87 Air Force Academy graduate who flew C-9 jets for the Air Force before the leaving the service four years ago and coming out: "We're all reading the tea leaves here. I'm not saying 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is going away. We can't say that. But this is a good sign."

Heller is now an attorney, and one of about 70 members of the Blue Alliance, an alumni group of gay and lesbian Air Force Academy graduates, plus some straight alums who want to end the ban on gays in the military.

On the flip side, and there always is a flip side.

Former congressman, and board member, Robin Hayes of North Carolina, who supports the ban: "This is not the direction I would choose. This is certainly a topic of discussion, but to be perfectly frank, I don't think sexual orientation should be criteria for the diversity we're working for."

Sexual orientation not a criteria for diversity? Ass. Hat.

The irony here is that, if Jared Polis were not a congressman appointed to the board, but rather a student at the Air Force Academy, he would have been kicked out for being gay.

Tuesday Tune

I've been seeing, and hearing, Lyle Lovett all over the place these days. Everywhere from Stephen's Post Apocalyptic Bohemian, where it's on the iPod, to Howard's Soundtrack To My Day. And it had me pulling out all my Lyle CDs and having a good old time with Lyle Lovett and His Large Band.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A True Leader


Anthony Woods, openly gay Iraq war veteran, has received the endorsements of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and the Human Rights Campaign in his race to represent California’s 10th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. A special will be held to fill the seat left vacant when Ellen Tauscher, accepted a presidential appointment as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.

A victim of the discriminatory Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Woods was awarded the Bronze Star for his two tours in Iraq before being discharged from the Army because of his sexual orientation. He is also a graduate of West Point and Harvard University.

Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund: “Anthony Woods is an exciting candidate with a tremendous record of accomplishment. He’s also running an impressive campaign. Anthony has assembled a solid campaign team that understands what it will take to win this extremely competitive race. We need more leaders like Anthony Woods in the U.S. Congress, so we are proud to endorse him. His will be an authentic voice not only for the people of California’s 10th Congressional District, but for the millions of Americans who are denied equal treatment because of their sexual orientation.”

His is a voice that may just be heard above the din of those who choose to deny the LGBT community equal rights and protections under the law.

A Man Of The Cloth...And By Cloth, I Mean Bed Linens


Tony Alamo, a one-time street preacher who built a multimillion-dollar ministry and became an outfitter of the stars, has been convicted of taking young girls across state lines for sex.

"I'm just another one of the prophets that went to jail for the Gospel," Alamo told reporters as he was escorted to a U.S. marshal's vehicle.

Alamo stood silently as the verdict was read, a contrast to his occasional mutterings and frequent naps during testimony. His five victims sat looking forward in the gallery; one of them, a woman he "married" at age 8, wiped away a tear.

Alamo's lawyer, Don Ervin, said the evidence against the 74-year-old preacher was insufficient and that Alamo would appeal, though he agreed that Alamo's criminal history—he served four years in prison on tax charges in the 1990s—"will hurt him" at sentencing in six to eight weeks."

And it just might. "We believe he will face the rest of his natural life in prison," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyra Jenner. The penalties on the 10 charges total 175 years in prison and violations of the century-old Mann Act also carry fines of up to $250,000 each.

The five women, now age 17 to 33, told jurors that Alamo "married" them in private ceremonies while they were minors, sometimes giving them wedding rings. Each detailed trips beyond Arkansas' borders for Alamo's sexual gratification, though Alamo claims the trips were "church business."

State and federal agents raided Alamo's compound last September after repeated reports of abuse, though defense lawyers said the government targeted Alamo because it doesn't like his apocalyptic brand of Christianity. Alamo, himself, has blamed the Vatican for his legal troubles.

With little physical evidence, prosecutors relied on the women's stories to paint an emotional portrait of a charismatic religious leader who controlled every aspect of his subjects' lives. No one obtained food, clothing or transportation without him knowing about it.

In the end, prosecutors convinced jurors that Alamo's ministry offered him the opportunity to prey on the young girls of loyal followers who believed him to be a prophet who spoke directly to God. They described a ministry that ran on the fear of drawing the anger of "Papa Tony."

Just another case of religious leaders using any means necessary to get what they want.

Summing Up Sunday


Well, another weekend has come and gone and Monday is here, hotter than hell already!

One day, while we were having the house painted, there was a knock at the front door. A pleasant looking woman stood there, clipboard in hand and asked for either me or Carlos by name.

I asked what she needed and she said she was here from the County tax assessment office to measure our pool. Our. Pool.

I was a bit taken aback, because, well, although we've only lived here two years I was nearly 100% certain that we didn't have a pool. And I told Pleasant Looking Woman just that.

Are you sure?
Well, I said, if we had a pool you would have found me in it by now.

I wish we had a pool today!
____________________

Yesterday we went to see the new Harry Potter movie. It was good; I always like Harry Potter, mostly because I spend the rest of the day walking around and saying Pott-ah for no reason. But it really felt like it was merely a set-up to the next two, the last two, movies to come. Good, not great.

Now, however, as we're sitting there, waiting for the film to start, they flash the Silence Your Cell Phones Now Please sign on the screen. I was thrilled to see the woman next to me open her purse, scoop out her phone and, well, not turn it off, but turn off the ringer. Silence. I get it now. I was ready to thank her because it always seems that a phone goes off in the movie theater these days.

But, during the movie, she must have opened her purse ten or fifteen times to see if she'd gotten a call. And every time that bag opened and she checked her phone, a light so bright poured out of her purse I thought that I was Carol Ann and it was Poltergeist.

Go into the light, Carol Ann. Go into the light.

I was a'scurred a'that light.
_________________________

Carlos made his delicioso Banana/Walnut pancakes for breakfast.
Carlos took me to the movies.
Carlos made dinner. [Although to be fair the chicken was a little undercooked and had to be grilled a bit longer.]
Carlos cleaned the kitchen.
Carlos cleaned the bathroom.

I played Queen For A Day.

Carlos is still paying for Chicken-Carlos-Car Accident.

I am still not at liberty to say more.
______________________


I watched the Next Food Network Star.

Debbie got booted. I hate Debbie.

She's a liar. She's a crier.

One challenge was a group challenge and she was in charge of the cash. At the grocery store they came in over-budget and she made everyone on her team put something back while she kept all her ingredients. Then she lied to the judges about it and cried that they would question her integrity.

She was on another group challenge and only worked on her food while the rest of the team worked together and worked the room. She cried then, too.

Last week she was told she had to use anchovies, olives and capers in her food. She forgot the capers and, when questioned, she, oh, I don't know, lied about having to use capers. She said they were in the dressing; she said she didn't have capers; she said she forgot them.

Lied. Integrity. Cried.

Buh-bye Debbie.
_________________


Design Star.

Nathan is just the cutest little thing. I want to carry him around in my pocket and then take him out whenever I need a smile. He is so adorkable. Carlos doesn't get adorkable, but if he gets me Nathan for Christmas it'll be. The. Best. Christmas. Ever.

And then there's Dan.
The Man.

I want Dan to come redo my kitchen all by himself and let me watch. And as he works and works and bends over and wears those jeans for weeks on end, I'll watch.

Then, when he's done, I'll say something like, You know, I think Asian Modern was the wrong way to go. Can we change to Tuscan-French Country.

And he'd work. and I'd watch. And he'd finish. And I'd say.

I'm not really feeling the Tuscan-French Country. How about New York Loft-slash-Bible Belt Chic?

And it goes on.

We Should Just Be Quiet


Virginia Miller owns this sign--it has since been taken down--in Gatesville, Texas.
The message, however, was paid for by Oen Dollins, a former minister, who doesn't believe that gay rights are civil rights.

Virginia Miller, in defense of Dollins, says, “He wanted to get the message to black people that it’s not fair that they’re the ones who suffered, they’re the ones who paid the price, and now everything they fought for is being hijacked.”

Miller says Dollins paid $300 for the message to appear on the sign for three days, from Sunday through Tuesday, and then it was taken down. Virginia Miller also says that her husband, Bo, carefully screens the messages and doesn’t allow anything negative. But Bo Miller told Channel 9 that he approved the message because he felt Dollins was making a valid argument, and Dollins says, “It’s nothing to compare with the civil rights movement. No gays are having to ride on the back of the bus. No gays are being enslaved. No gays are being prosecuted [SIC] in any way.”

Prosecuted? I believe you mean persecuted.

And that doesn't happen to gay people on a daily basis. Does it? We are never denied housing or employment because we're gay. We are never denied rights to visit our loved ones in the hospital because we're gay. We aren't allowed to get married because we're gay. We can't serve openly in the military because we're gay. We aren't murdered for being gay.

No, no persecution there.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tidbits


Carlos is mowing the front yard and I'm working inside for a few minutes.....blogging....but, hey, what he don't know....yada yada yada.

Joy, over at BabbleOn, left me a comment on one of my posts that she needed a Carlos story because the news this week, with the hate crimes and the murders and the banning books, and that god awful Katie Holmes on So You Think You Can Dance, was horrible.

Well, I happen to have a Carlos story, but I haven't been given authorization to share it. Yet. So, I'll give you three words of a Carlos story and you can use your imaginations as to what the true story sounds like.

Here are your three words:

Carlos.
Chicken.
Car accident.

Have fun.
________________________

I'm not really a Tori Spelling fan, but I caught her as a guest host on The Today Show this week--no, Kathie Lee Gifford was still there! And, i must say, Tori was kinda funny and self-deprecating.

She mentioned that, in her rush to get to the NBC studios, she'd left her hotel room without a wearing a bra. Kathie Lee Gifford....ugh, I loathe her.....pointed to Tori's chestal region and asked how she could get away without a bra and not have those things flop around.

Tori Spelling smiled sweetly, and said, Honey, for what I paid for 'em, they better stand up straight.

I.Loved.It.
_____________________

I am tired of the Repugnants bashing Obama's every plan, from health care to stimulus to, well, everything the president mentions.

I say, and listen up you group of pandering asshats, if you don't like the president's plan for any of the issues facing this country, don't stand around and stomp your feet like children, come up with a better plan.

Oh, but that would mean you'd actually have to work, and we know you're all too busy cheating on your wives and denying marriage rights to the gay community to actually work.
____________________

Smallville is small, hence the nickname.

But, and this is weird, I've seen some odd things.

Years ago, when i was a wee gay lad, we'd go to visit my grandmother. And in her bathroom, on the back of the toilet, was a spare role of toilet paper. only, it would seem unsightly to just leave it lying around, so my grandmother had a crocheted cover, a toilet paper cozy, if you will, that she placed over the spare roll. It looked like a little hat.

A woman in Smallville has one of those. She, um, wears it on her head. Every time I see her, I think, Toilet paper cozy hat!
_____________________

Speaking of toilet paper. Nice segue.

We just began having The State newspaper delivered every morning. But, in the thirteen days we've been on the delivery route, we have not received a paper five times! That puts me off. So today when no paper arrived, we called the newspaper and complained and then cancelled delivery. I'll go back to the online version.

But, what has The State newspaper got to do with toilet paper, you say? Well, although it is the paper for the Midlands of South Carolina, it is the smallest paper I've ever seen...the thinnest paper I've ever seen.

I've wiped my ass with more substantial paper.
_______________________

Yesterday afternoon I was home and the phone rang. the voice on the other end asked for Carlos. I said he wasn't in and I would take a message. The voice then said, I am calling from the Fraternal Order of Police, and, hehe, no, you aren't in trouble.

I said, I know that.
Voice said, I just need sixty seconds of your time. Would you agree that the police provide a much needed service to our community, making us feel safer in our homes and on our streets?
I said, Uh huh.
Voice said, That was a question. Don't you agree--
I said, I answered the question., Did you call to talk about the Fraternal Order of Police or give me a lesson in phone etiquette?
Voice said, Well, I--
I said, Your sixty seconds are up.

Click.

Welcome


A Smallville welcome to MTaylor813 from My Place In This World!

Helloooooooooooo!

Friday, July 24, 2009

History Never Repeats.......Or Does It

Book burning. That's what they want to do with their time in West Bend, Wisconsin. well, maybe they don't want books burned, but one couple wants to tell you what you can, and cannot, read. And, of course, the books are all about The Homosexual!!! And S-E-X!!!


It seems af though all of West Bend is in on the fight, arguing on blogs, the radio, town meetings. Must be nice to live in a town where all you have to worry about are books. No economic crises, apparently. No foreclosures or crime sprees. Just naughty books on library shelves.

One man has suggested that the city's library director he should be tarred and feathered.

Yes folks, it's the 1700s all over again in West Bend, Wisconsin.

All the brouhaha began back in February when Jim and Ginny Maziarka objected to the content of a few books in the young-adult section. Then they petitioned the library board to move any sexually explicit books --the definition of which would be debated, although Jim and Ginny have named themselves experts-- from the young-adult section to the adult section and to label them as sexually explicit. The Maziarka's also asked the library board to obtain books about homosexuality that affirmed heterosexuality, such as titles written by "ex-gays."

We need to affirm heterosexuality because it's on the decline apparently. And those poor heteros are feeling put upon and discriminated against. Let's build them up.

"All the books in the young-adult zone that deal with homosexuality are gay-affirming. That's not balance," Ginny Maziarka said.

Yes, Ginny Maziarka thinks gay-affirming books are bad, especially these days with gay kids being bullied to death. We shouldn't be telling these kids that they're okay; we should be giving them books to tell them how to change their evil ways and be like the rest of us....or at least like the Maziarkas.

But the library did not agree with the Maziarkas' suggestions, and did not relabel or segregate books according the Maziarka System. So, Ginny set down the plate of biscuits she normally would be eating while she watched Oprah and began a blog championing her cause of book banning.

Maria Hanrahan, also a West Bend mom whose mind isn't nailed shut, set up a rival blog to argue the other side. "I'm against any other party telling me what's appropriate for my child and what isn't," said Hanrahan, 40, who also created a West Bend Parents for Free Speech group. "We don't mean to say these are appropriate for everyone, but we don't feel they should be set apart from other materials or restricted from the young-adult section."

What's this? Rational thought in West Bend? Go Maria!

"If you told me we would be going through a book challenge of this nature, I'd think, 'Never in a million years,' " said Michael Tyree, director of the West Bend Community Memorial Library.

With the debate raging, the city council voted in April against renewing the terms of four library board members, in part because council members thought the board was dragging its feet, library director Tyree said.

And the Maziarkas continued their obsession with books about sex, and have identified 82 questionable titles--more than double their original list. They asked the library board to label and move to the adult section any "youth-targeted pornographic books"--including books that describe sex acts in a way unsuitable for minors.

"We're not talking about educational material. We're talking raunchy sex acts," Ginny Maziarka said, obviously referring to one book in particular that has her back hairs in a twist: "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," in which a fictional teenage boy tells about his freshman year in high school, including rape and homosexual and heterosexual sex between teens.

Michael Tyree said book excerpts found on Maziarka's blog had been taken out of context and, in the case of "Wallflower," the criticism missed some of the book's points. "In this book, there were consequences of ... rape, of indiscriminate sex. Those were not portrayed so glowingly," he said.

But Ginny kept going after the books like a kid after Halloween candy, and by the June 2nd library board meeting she had collected over 1,000 signatures; but so had Maria Hanrahan. After listening to dozens of speakers on both sides of the issue, the board--which still included the outgoing members--unanimously voted to keep all policies the same.

The Maziarkas and their supporters are gearing up for another go at the library, in part because the board now has its four new members. They do not want books burned, but they do want action. They want books segregated and kept away from anyone who might be interested in them because Jim and Ginny don't like books that talk about sex

"We want parents to decide whether they want their children to have access to these books ... and we want the library's help in identifying [them through labeling and moving]," Maziarka said. "It's just common sense."

No, Ginny, common sense would be to let parents police their own children, not the library, or the schools, or the babysitters and the day cares. Just because you don't want your children to have access to books you don't like doesn't give you the right to segregate literature.

Step away from the brownies, Ginny, and parent your own children.

Asshat Of The Week


Pat Robertson, Asshat For All Time, is quite upset that the Episcopal Church is going to allow gays and lesbians to be ordained as bishops, and that the church is allowing the blessing of same-sex marriages. Through his tears, he is announcing that he hopes the Episcopal Church will die out.

Pat Robertson: "They have lost their way. They were taken over by this controversy having to do with same-sex marriage and the ordination of homosexual bishops. Once they got into that morass and lost their way from scriptural teaching, they didn't have much denomination left....And there will be no tears in my life if the Episcopal Church of America just quietly goes out of business."

Another Repugnant Cheater (allegedly)

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

We hear that all the time from these self-righteous, moralizing, Bible-thumping, conservative, wingnut, Repugnants. Like John Ensign, who demanded Bill Clinton be removed from office for his affair only to be revealed as a cheater himself. And our own Governor Mark Sanford who doesn't want the gays to be married because it goes against the traditional marriage of having a wife at home and a booty call south of the border.

We hear it all the time from these people on how to live our lives, and then, well, they show their true colors.

Next in line is one Senator Paul Stanley of Tennessee. He was the sponsor of one of the most socially conservative pieces of legislation this session, Senate Bill 78, which proposed to keep cohabiting, unmarried couples from adopting children. This was just a fancy way of keeping the homosexuals from adopting because, as we all know, homosexuals need children to keep our numbers up. Luckily for the gays, the attorney general decided Stanley's bill would most likely not pass constitutional muster--it's UNconstitutional--and it didn't go anywhere.
Paul Stanley wanted so badly for his bill to pass; he was desperate to be the face against gay adoption; the perfect family is a mother and father, 2.5 children, a picket fence and a dog named Spot. If you didn't fit that mold, well, then Paul Stanley didn't think you should be able to adopt a child.

Senator Paul Stanley: “Our responsibility is to put these children in the best homes in the ideal environment. It’s not always the perfect environment. The ideal environment is a married couple that are able to bring them up in a great home life. And, if they’re not married, a lot of times there’s just not the commitment to one another. Now, there’s exceptions to that as there is a lot of things, but over the course a lot of relationships, that’s definitely the case.”

Remember the first line of this post. Sin. Stone.

See, it seems that Paul Stanley has announced that he is the victim of an extortion scheme. No, not by a gay man, gay woman, or gay couple, who is annoyed by his homophobia. No, the person who is trying to extort money from the righteous Stanley is the boyfriend of a woman, a legislative intern, who is rumored to have had an affair with Stanley.

Pot. Kettle. Black.

Paul Stanley has not confessed to his sins, but he has also not denied the affair either; he is just complaining about the extortion. And calling himself a victim.

Paul Stanley: “Unfortunately, I am the victim and a witness to a crime in an ongoing investigation. At this time, I have been advised by authorities and the District Attorney’s office not to comment. There is already misinformation being inferred regarding this matter which I look forward to clearing up at the appropriate time.”

Advised not to comment, except to announce that he is the victim of an extortion attempt. Not to comment on the allegations of marital infidelity. Not to comment but to hide behind the skirts of the district attorney.

Just admit it, Paul. You're a fraud and a phony and a cheater.

Ideal.

Dancing and Weeping

My Mom died of cancer and just when I think it doesn't hurt anymore, something happens to bring back the grief and the tears. I was watching So You Think You Can Dance and there was a dance about breast cancer. I didn't know you could dance about breast cancer, or any cancer; but I watched and it was exactly like what you go through if you have cancer or love someone who has cancer. And when it was over, I had tears in my eyes.Side note: Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise's beard, was on SYTYCD last night, doing an, ahem, homage to Judy Garland. She announced she would be dancing to, and singing, Get Happy.
Note to Katie: You can't sing, dear. And as for dancing, shaking your hips and prancing about the stage does not make you a dancer. try as you might, Katie, you will never be Nicole Kidman.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Constitutional Discrimination


Oooh, boy, there's lotsa stuff to think about these days if you want to run for public office. I mean, global warming, health care, war, the economy, all the hot button issues.

Unless you're an asshat from Iowa.

State Congressman Rod Roberts has announced that he has formed an exploratory committee as he considers a run for Iowa governor. Let's see: he announced he formed a committee to see if he should consider......Make up your damned mind already fool.

I mean, c'mon run for office. You're 'the man,' even though you don't have a cure for the planet, or a solution for the economic crisis, or an alternative health care plan. What Roberts does have is the desire to amend Iowa's constitution to include discrimination.

Yup. It's all about the gays and lord knows we love to be the center of attention; especially when there is nothing else to talk about.

Oy!

"I've spoken with countless Iowans who have told me that Iowa needs a change in leadership and a change in direction," Roberts said during a news conference. If, and it's still a big if, because there are committees and considerations and thoughts to process--no wonder nothing ever gets done...too many committees and thoughts and consideration--Roberts said he would stress his belief in the traditional definition of marriage being between one man and one woman.

He is apparently a 5,000 year old man. with a 5,000 year old brain.

What makes me giggle, though, is when he said this: "It's not about being anti-someone so much as standing up and defending traditional marriage...The people of this state have expressed themselves adequately to all of us where we know they want to determine the answer to that question. It's the right thing to do. It's the proper thing to do."

He's not anti-anyone but he doesn't want gays to be allowed equal rights. He talks about doing the right thing when he is talking about making discrimination a constitutional amendment.

I can see the wingnuts now, waving their signs: Rod Roberts. He's Not Anti-Anyone, Unless You're A Fag.

Love Him Or Hate Him, He's Always Interesting


"I think it was fortuitous that he died...He was supposed to be doing 50 concerts in London. It wouldn’t have mattered how good or bad he was. He wouldn’t have managed to do all of them and the press would have destroyed him. He was a freak. He looked like a character from Shrek. He was a black to white minstrel. He was crucified by that court case when he was accused of child molestation – that killed him. He personified the pain and anxiety of a black man in a slave country. We all watched as he changed from black to white. He was living performance art. You cannot divide the music from the person. I think his life – and death – is a great lesson. I think we are going to see the end of celebrity as we know it. Show business is not an honest profession. It’s like the last days of Versailles. I do wonder how much more bullsh*t people can take about celebrities. We’re living in very strange times. We have Michael Jackson, a black man who has gone white, and we have President Barack Obama, who is a half white man gone black. It’s absolutely fascinating to watch."

Rupert Everett on Michael Jackson

Repugnants Pandering To Whackjobs. Who Knew?

I am so tired of these "birthers" who want to stomp their feet and squeal like pigs who missed the slop bucket because Obama was elected president. They can't handle the truth--thanks Jack--and now they've gotten a congressman to take on their case.
Barack Obama was born here.
He has a birth certificate.
It's over. Move on.
But I can't help but think this is not a "birther" issue, but rather a racial one. if Obama was a white man would we be having this discussion? I mean, come on, deep down we all know it's because he's a black man and, well, :::::tongue in cheek::::: everyone knows that black people aren't from here; we brought them over in slave ships so they aren't real Americans, right?
Get over it, wingnuts. Build a bridge to nowhere and. Get. Over. It.
Here's Chris Matthews taking on wingnut panderer congressman.

More Hate


Once again simply being gay can get you killed, or maimed, and in Seattle of all places.

Teresa Butz, sister of Broadway actor Norbert Leo Butz, was stabbed to death in her home. Her partner, who name is being withheld, was also stabbed but survived; she was released from the hospital this past Monday.

Their attacker, who entered the house through an open window, has yet to be apprehended.

The attack on the couple, who were about to get married, has shocked their friends and neighbors; over 400 people packed the South Park Community Center Monday night and heard police describe her slaying as "one of those types of crimes that tears at the fabric of a community."

Seattle police are, as of now, labeling the attack a random crime, but also say it's too early to rule out a hate crime; Seattle's sexual-minority task force has taken an interest in the case.

So, maybe it's not a hate crime. maybe this murderer just happened upon an open window in a house where two gay women lived and decided he had nothing better to do than stab them. But, still, it makes me wonder as we hear more and more about gay people being attacked if any crime against the LGBT community is ever truly random.

I don't know about the rest of the homos out there, but I'd feel better sleeping with the windows closed.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Anniversary Girls!

They say we can't get married because it would destroy the sanctity of that traditional one-man-one-woman institution; we can't do it because we don't count. But wait a second here. We can do it. We have done it.

From the Sun-Sentinel:

Dania retirees, who kept relationship secret for decades, celebrating 70 years

Yes, couples in their 90s still argue occasionally.

This is how it went recently for Caroline Leto and Venera Magazzu as they sipped lemonade on their couch in Dania Beach:

"We're not going to have a party," said Magazzu, 97, insisting they are too old for such things.

"Oh yes we are," responded Leto, 96, who noted the two can still polka. "This is a big one."

Indeed. A party celebrating 70 years together is a big deal for any pair. But a celebration of this couple's love takes on special meaning, considering they had to keep silent about it for decades.

"You just couldn't tell everyone we were lovers," said Leto. "You tell people we're friends, and some thought we were sisters."

Leto and Magazzu downplay their pioneering role in the gay and lesbian community. But many of their friends and relatives talk it up anyway, marveling at how their love was able to transcend a lifetime's worth of obstacles.

To mark their Aug. 17 milestone, members of Etz Chaim, a gay and lesbian congregation in Wilton Manors, are planning a party. They hope Leto and Magazzu will attend and show everyone how to do the polka.

"Honestly, I think they are more in love with each other than they were back then," said longtime close friend and congregation member Gayle Scott. "Look at straight couples. You are lucky if you are married after seven years. . . That is an amazing love story."

In 1939 Leto and Magazzu met at a party in New York. Caroline thought Venera was stylish. Venera thought Caroline was funny.

After a courtship of about a year, Magazzu, a teacher, and Leto, a telegraph operator, moved into a tiny house in New York. They spent most of their lives there, with only close family members and closer friends knowing about their relationship.

Magazzu, a former Army medic, said she often fought the urge to tell others, but feared what "outsiders" would think. She believes society back then was more receptive to two women living together than two men -- or at least less inquisitive.

"I think most people had their suspicions, but they didn't really make a big deal about it because it was just two women," she said. "They didn't ask, and we just didn't talk about it."

Leto's niece, Patricia Dillion, said she grew up believing the two were sisters and referred to them as aunts. One day, at a family party, an apparently tipsy Leto let Dillion in on a secret.

"She mentioned they got married," said Dillion. "I was so happy, but then I got sad thinking that all that time they really couldn't be upfront about it."

In 1996 the couple registered as domestic partners in New York City. They said they did it because they felt the need to tell everyone about their life together.

Years later they moved to Florida, where they got more active in the gay and lesbian community, attending rallies and galas and recounting their story. They lead the life of any Florida retiree couple, going on cruises, playing poker on Tuesday nights with friends. At one point, they adopted a pet monkey named Chi-Chi.

In 2006, as age slowed them down a bit, Magazzu put their story in a self-published book called An Unadulterated Story: Young and Gay at 90.

During a reporter's recent visit, the two quibbled over where they had last seen a copy. Magazzu insisted it was in a bedroom. Leto said she saw it in the trunk of their car.

"OK, so if you know where everything is, then you look for it," Magazzu huffed as she turned her head toward the kitchen.Leto smiled.

"Cute, isn't she?"

So, from me, to Caroline and Venera on their 70th, a little Judy:

No Homo


This is a new one to me, and strange, because y'all know how I am so into the hip-hip scene, yo.

Dr Marc Lamont Hill, a political commentator on Fox News has spoken out against the use of a new, trendy gay slur: No Homo. It has become increasing popular in the hip-hop scene, but Hill denounces it, saying the phrase "reinforces the idea that gay and lesbian people are worthy of ridicule, shame, and surveillance". Hill, who is also a professor at Columbia University, published an essay on his website, HERE, commenting about the recent rise in the slur.

The term 'No homo' is generally used in African-American and urban slang to follow up a remark to ensure it won't be mistaken as homoerotic. Dr Hill gave an example using the words of the Dip Set rap crew who made the slur popular urban slang: "One of the members, Freeky Zeeky, was talking about an upcoming album and said, 'I couldn’t have gotten it done if Cam’ron hadn’t really gotten behind me. No homo!'"

Hill believes, as do many, that this new, 'no homo', fad shines a light on the difficulties that the African-American community has in dealing with gay identities amongst themselves. It also, as Hill points out, highlights an interesting link between certain cultures and the gay community, and that fads such as 'no homo' show an underlying animosity between different identities.

But most interesting of all is Hill's statement: "The use of 'no homo' also reveals a deep homoerotic impulse within our culture. After all, how can you constantly say 'no homo' without constantly thinking about gay sex?"

True. When you constantly feel you have to protect yourself from people thinking you might be gay, then you are spending an awful lot of time thinking about being gay.

It's A Panic

A gay panic. It's all the, well, for lack of a better word, rage these days. Men kill other men because of a pat on the ass. But what about the panic that arises in a man when he finds out his wife has left him for another woman? What does he do with his rage?

A London man has been sentenced to nine years in prison, after which he will be deported, after an "enraged" and "frenzied" attack on his ex-wife, after she told him she thought she was a lesbian.

Adel Hdili, originally from Tunisia, left his estranged wife, Gail Hdili, blind in one eye and scarred after attacking her repeatedly with a knife at a bus stop last January. Mrs Hdili had recently left her husband after confessing that she thought she was a lesbian and had moved in with a woman she had befriended online.


The attack took place at a bus stop outside the woman's home after Hdili traced his estranged wife there using the address she had listed on her eBay account. He waited for her outside the house and followed her to the bus stop before attacking her, even though their five-year-old son was present. The boy screamed at his father to stop the attack, and Hdili was eventually restrained by witnesses.

Hdili pleaded guilty to wounding with intent after originally being charged with attempted murder. His lesser plea was accepted by the court.

Wounding with intent? His rage suggests something far more sinister.