Saturday, October 31, 2009

Another great find from JMG

jump to the discussion here

Bil Browning sent a message to the members of The Bilerico Project.

Subject: Weekly Reader: Faggots, Child Witches, & Ryan White

I think this was one of Bilerico's best weeks ever. Not only did we have some highly popular emotional and entertainment posts this week, but our political coverage was spectacular. What other LGBT site covered the hate crimes bill signing - and gave you personal posts from contributors who attended? Combine that with our Ryan White Act reporting and a big dose of health care breaking news and you've got a recipe for Bilerico! Here are the posts you won't want to miss from the past week:

PS - Did you go vote for Bilerico Project as the best blog from Indiana? Help us win first place (We're in 10th currently! A bunch of corporate blogs are beating us!):;

TV ads aren't the answer in Maine
Filed by: Matt Foreman;

The Gay Hate Crimes Crisis Isn't Over Yet
Filed by: David Badash;

I have a problem with faggots
Filed by: Bil Browning;

War is anti-LGBTQ
Filed by: Alex Blaze;

Bend (Over) It Like Beckham
Filed by: Prince Gomolvilas;

Drag memorabilia: vintage Finocchio's postcard
Filed by: Gloria Brame Ph.D.;

WWJB: Where Would Jesus Bank? -or- Jesus Doesn't Bank Here Any More
Filed by: Bil Browning;

Child witches, demons, and LGBT youth
Filed by: Rev Irene Monroe;

The beginning of the end
Filed by: Cathy Renna;

LGBT History: A British Bisexual and American Religious Liberty
Filed by: Patricia Nell Warren;

When the Government does Right
Filed by: Rebecca Juro;

Dragon Age: Origins and Buttsex
Filed by: Jason Tseng;

Bilerico Nation
William & Mary Students Pick Transgender Homecoming Queen
Filed by: Michael Hamar (B-DC);

Sen Evan Bayh will oppose Republican filibuster
Filed by: Bil Browning (B-IN);

Help Us Stop Murder Music in Miami
Filed by: Nadine Smith (B-FL);

Obama Signs Matthew Shepard/James Byrd Hate Crimes Bill into Law
Filed by: Waymon Hudson;

Obama Signs Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act and Announces End of HIV Travel Ban
Filed by: Waymon Hudson;

Don't forget:

Subscribe to the Bilerico Project Report to get all of the previous day's posts sent to you every night at midnight.;

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Rachel Maddow: Gay Marriage Battle In Maine

Pat Robertson Lies About Hate Crimes Act

Pat Robertson flat out lies to his audience on The 700 Club. Again. Via Crooks & Liars:

His basis for opposing the law, however, is completely detached from reality. For instance, Robertson argues:

Robertson: You know, there’s a law – what about a law that says it’s a federal crime to attack somebody because of his religious beliefs? Not a chance!

Robertson seems completely unaware that in fact religious bias is one of the categories of bias crime covered by hate-crime laws -- and it has been from the very start, since these laws were first enacted on the state level in the early 1980s!

Hint to Pat: Religion was covered as a bias category from the start because Jews have long been some of the most common victims of bias crimes. For instance, in the FBI's hate-crime statistics for 2007, some 1,400 of the nation's 7,600 or so reported bias crimes were of the "anti-religion" category; of those, some 118 were varieties of anti-Christian bias.

Indeed, he needs only read the text of the the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act to see that religion is one of the categories of bias it covers:

“(1) OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN.—Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person—

It's not even surprising anymore, is it?

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Thanks to JMG

In Battle Over Gay Marriage, Timing May Be Key

Gay Marriage Lawsuit

Published: October 28, 2009

To the Editor:

Re “In Battle Over Gay Marriage, Timing May Be Key,” by Adam Liptak (Sidebar column, Oct. 27):

The pivotal exchange in one of the lawsuits now challenging the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage shows that the opponents of gay people’s freedom to marry still can’t give a real answer to the key question posed in yet another court by yet another judge: “What would be the harm of permitting gay men and lesbians to marry?”

The anti-gay forces’ lawyer, Charles J. Cooper, replied, “Your Honor, my answer is: I don’t know ... I don’t know.” Mr. Cooper eventually told the judge that the government should be able to exclude gay couples from marriage in order “to channel naturally procreative sexual activity between men and women into stable, enduring unions.”

But even Justice Antonin Scalia, no friend of equality for gay people, wrote in Lawrence v. Texas: “What justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising ‘[t]he liberty protected by the Constitution’? Surely not the encouragement of procreation, since the sterile and the elderly are allowed to marry.”

The reason smart lawyers like Mr. Cooper don’t give a better answer to why marriage discrimination should be allowed to continue is that there isn’t one.

Evan Wolfson
Executive Director
Freedom to Marry
New York, Oct. 27, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

U.S. list of hate crimes expands

U.S. list of hate crimes expands


By Margaret Talev

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed the first major piece of federal gay rights legislation, a milestone that activists compared to the passage of 1960s civil rights legislation empowering blacks.
The new law adds acts of violence committed against people because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender to the list of federal hate crimes.
Gay rights activists voiced hope that the Obama administration would advance more issues, including legislation to bar workplace discrimination, allow military service and recognize same-sex marriages.

Jump to the rest of the Bee article here

The sisters of a black man slain in Texas and the mother of a gay man killed in Wyoming appear with President Obama at the bill signing.

Fred Karger sent a message to the members of Californians Against Hate.

Subject: Judge: State Can Press for Disclosure of Donors -- Amazing NEWS!!!

The attorney general now challenges the Yes on 1 group to open its records.

Portland Press Hearld


October 29, 2009

PORTLAND — The state can compel the National Organization for Marriage to disclose the identities of donors who contributed to its effort to repeal Maine's gay-marriage law, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Judge D. Brock Hornby ruled that Maine's reporting requirements for ballot question campaigns do not violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as claimed in a lawsuit filed last week by the National Organization for Marriage.

Bolstered by the ruling, Maine's attorney general challenged the advocacy group Wednesday night to make its records public before next week's vote on Question 1.

"We are not going to give them legal advice. We trust that their legal counsel will advise them to comply fully," said Attorney General Janet Mills. "The court has ruled that it is in the public interest to do so, and the law couldn't be clearer.

"I would hope that they would file before the election," Mills said. "Why not? What is there to hide?"

The National Organization for Marriage, a Virginia-based nonprofit corporation, has contributed about $1.6 million to the political action committee Stand for Marriage Maine, which is leading the fight to repeal the same-sex marriage law. That's more than half the total raised for the campaign so far.

On Oct. 1, the state Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices voted 3-2 to investigate the fundraising practices of the National Organization for Marriage. One concern is whether the group has violated state law by not registering as a "ballot question committee" and by withholding its contribution records.

State law requires any individual or group that raises or spends more than $5,000 to influence a ballot question vote to disclose contributors who gave more than $100 for that purpose.

Last week, the National Organization for Marriage sued the ethics commission and several state officials in federal court, arguing that Maine's ballot question law is unconstitutional and that individual donors have the right to anonymity in referendum campaigns.

The group asked for a temporary restraining order that would have let it operate outside of the state's reporting requirements while the lawsuit was pending.

Judge Hornby heard arguments on Monday from Josiah Neeley on behalf of the National Organization for Marriage; Assistant Attorneys General Phyllis Gardiner and Thomas Knowlton represented the state.

While a final resolution of the lawsuit is at least several months away, Hornby's order on Wednesday denied the request for a temporary restraining order, and said the National Organization for Marriage is not likely to succeed on any of its claims.

Hornby said Maine's ballot question law approaches, but does not cross, the line between essential transparency and protection of an individual's free speech.

"Maine is entitled to conclude that its electorate needs to know, on an ongoing basis, the source of financial support for those who are taking positions on a ballot initiative," Hornby wrote in his 32-page ruling.

"I conclude that the state's interest to provide this information to voters is 'not only compelling but critical' to the proper functioning of the system of direct democracy," Hornby wrote, quoting from a similar case in California in which the National Organization for Marriage is a plaintiff.

It is unclear what the organization's response will be to Hornby's ruling.

Two lawyers representing the group in the Maine case did not return calls seeking comment on Wednesday.

Brian Brown, the organization's executive director, also could not be reached.

Maine's ethics commission is scheduled to take up the issue on Nov. 19. Members are expected to discuss the scope of the investigation.

Regardless of the investigation, Mills said, Hornby's ruling should send a clear message to the National Organization for Marriage and other national advocacy groups that have an interest in Maine ballot questions.

"This is an excellent day for the Maine citizenry," Mills said. "This decision stands for the proposition that the people have a right to know who is behind either side of any issue that is on the ballot."

Staff Writer Trevor Maxwell can be contacted at 791-6451 or at:

To reply to this message, follow the link below:

Keeping The Faith - Sacramento

another quote of the day

“This legislation begins a new era in hate crimes protection and prevention. Its sends a clear message to all that we will not tolerate hate crimes against any American”

- Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP

From Rachel Maddow Show

President Obama Signs Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill Into Law

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

todays best blog comment

I keep a can of spray under the sink for creatures like this.

- anon post in reference to the Tony Perkins on JMG below

Tony Perkins: Why Spend Money On LGBT Seniors? Gays Don't Live That Long Anyway

A few days ago it was announced that the Department of Health & Human Services has authorized a $250K grant to establish the National Resource Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders. That's a meager amount by federal standards, to be sure, but an important and unprecedented recognition of LGBT seniors.

But staying true to evil form, the vile Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council says it's a waste of money because homos don't live long enough to become senior citizens.
Apparently, our nation is never too broke to advance a radical social agenda. The agency released a statement on the Center last week, saying its purpose would be to "help community-based organizations understand the unique needs... of older LGBT individuals and assist them in implementing programs for local service providers..." In the release, HHS regurgitates the Left's propaganda to justify the waste, claiming that "1.5 to 4 million" LGBTs are age 60 and older. In reality, HHS has no idea how many LGBT seniors exist. No one does! The movement is only a few decades old, and people who are 80- or 90-years-old didn't grow up in a culture where it was acceptable to identify with this lifestyle. Of course, the real tragedy here--apart from the unnecessary spending--is that, given the risks of homosexual conduct, these people are less likely to live long enough to become senior citizens! Yet once again, the Obama administration is rushing to reward a lifestyle that poses one of the greatest public health risks in America. If this is how HHS prioritizes, imagine what it could do with a trillion dollar health care overhaul!

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courtesy of JMG


Human Rights Campaign

Dear Daniel,

Today, something extraordinary happened. Love conquered hate. After more than a decade, the inclusive hate crimes bill we've fought so hard for has been signed by the president and sealed in law.

I cannot overstate the importance of this moment. This is the first time ANY federal equality measure protecting LGBT rights has become law. The very first time. And it is the first federal law to explicitly protect transgender people. It is a touchstone in our movement, a triumph of what is right. And I truly feel things will never be the same.

Daniel, you made this day possible, along with thousands like you who called, wrote to Congress, met with lawmakers, and never gave up. I am inspired and humbled, and I thank you for all you've done.

As I left the White House, my thoughts turned to two crucial tasks immediately ahead – the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Tomorrow, we will wake up emboldened to fight those battles. So will our enemies. This victory gives us momentum, and we cannot slow down.

With your help, this moment will be a beginning, not a culmination.

Help us put more pro-equality legislation under that pen!

Hate crimes legislation was the first piece of creating a safe environment for LGBT people – prohibiting workplace and military discrimination are the next. When LGBT people live in fear of violence or discrimination, we cannot be who we are. And when we must hide our true selves, we cannot change hearts and minds.

It took twelve years, over one million emails, faxes and phone calls to Congress, and 14 separate votes on the floors of the House and the Senate to turn the hate crimes bill into law. Right-wing groups opposed us ferociously until the very end; they knew having a pro-LGBT law on the books would be a game-changer, and it is.

We've learned invaluable lessons. Now we know the next victory will take at least that much effort. But it must not take that much time. That means we need your help now.

Today, I am more determined than ever to put more pro-equality legislation on the president's desk – let us galvanize ourselves in the fire of this moment.

Thank you again for standing with us to make this historic victory possible. Your hard work has made this country a safer place for millions of LGBT people.


Joe Solmonese
Joe Solmonese

Quote of the Day

"If Dick Cheney can support marriage, so can every Senator. So can every Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative. Equality should know no bounds, and we must not rest until we have marriage in all fifty of these United States."

- Senator Charles E. Schumer

X Factor Ordinary Geezer Olly Murs

Tell Congress to pass The Uniting American Families Act!

To: The President of the United States, Your U.S. Senators and Your U.S. House Representative

Started by: Xavier Von Otwell

The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA, H.R. 1024, S. 424) is a U.S. bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate discrimination in the immigration laws by permitting permanent partners of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the same manner as spouses of citizens and lawful permanent residents and to penalize immigration fraud in connection with permanent partnerships.

Every year, thousands of same-sex couples are separated or live in constant fear of being stopped by officials who demand to see documentation and threaten detention. In some cases, same-sex partners face prosecution by the Immigration and Naturalization Service - including hefty fines and deportations. U.S. citizens are sometimes left with no other choice but to immigrate with their partners to a country with more fair-minded immigration laws.

The UAFA was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on May 8, 2007 by New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). There are currently 118 cosponsors of this bill in the United States House of Representatives.

The UAFA was introduced in the United States Senate on May 8, 2007 by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). There are currently 18 Cosponsors of this bill in the United States Senate.

By writing your lawmakers today, you bring us one step closer to equal immigration rights, so citizens can sponsor their same-sex partners for immigration!

Help Congress get the message loud and clear: America supports passage of the Uniting American Families Act!

No more separation. No more deportation. No more fear!

Thank Yoi Obama for Signing the Hate Crimes Bill!

Just feeling a bit campy...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Quote of the Day

Miko on Stuart Gaffney's facebook status:

""If marriage were outlawed, only outlaws would have in-laws.""


""Marriage is like pi - natural, irrational, and very important" 3.1415..."

The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bil

Dear Friend:

The Matthew Shepard hate crimes bill will at long last become law. Last week, the Senate agreed to final passage of legislation that included the Matthew Shepard hate crime provision, and President Obama is expected to sign it into law. This law will strengthen the ability of federal, state and local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute hate crimes.

Hate crimes are particularly offensive because they are propelled by bias, ignorance and bigotry. These crimes do not just inflict harm on one victim, but they also instill fear in entire communities. And no person – simply because of who they are – should ever have to live in fear.

Earlier this year, the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed as an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill. It adds gender, sexual orientation, disability and gender identity to the list of protected categories under federal hate crimes laws. The measure also provides additional federal support to state and local authorities investigating and prosecuting hate crimes.

It has been more than 10 years since the senseless and brutal death of Matthew Shepard, and I look forward to watching President Obama sign this much-needed legislation into law.


Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

Quote of the Day

"Who would give a law to lovers? Love is unto itself a higher law."

- Boethius

(thanks to Stuart Gaffney)

Tis the Season, or it?

How many times have you walked in or out of your local grocery store and felt pressured to give a handful of change to the Salvation Army volunteer, ringing his little bell? I think we've all probably dug into our pockets, at one point or another, and pulled out a crumpled dollar bill, proudly exchanged merry, merries and then dropped the cash into the little red kettle. It is after all Christmas-time, and the Salvation Army is out in full force.

They do good things with the money, right? Well, I hate to be the Grinch, but the answer is yes and no. According to the official website of the Salvation Army, 83 cents of every dollar collected goes directly to client service. Sounds impressive. The Salvation Army delivers aid to 36 million people through a national network of soup kitchens, drug-treatment centers, hospitals, shelters for battered women, nursing care and day-care centers run by low-paid workers or volunteers. The Army even does great work for AIDS care. That's the good.

jump her to read more

Monday, October 26, 2009

Judge To Prop 8 Backers: Turn Over The Paperwork NOW

On Friday a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that the backers of Proposition 8 must immediately turn over their internal documents.

The sponsors had sought to keep the documents while challenging the order to turn them over in an appeals court. But in a ruling late Friday, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco said backers of Proposition 8 had failed to show that disclosing internal memos and e-mails would violate their freedom of speech or subject them to harassment. He said they had refused to identify any documents that needed special protection and noted that he could order their opponents to keep any sensitive material confidential. "It simply does not appear likely that (Prop. 8's) proponents will prevail on the merits of their appeal," Walker said. He said he doubts that a federal appeals court even has jurisdiction to consider the dispute at this early stage of the case.

Those behind the push to overturn Prop 8 say the campaign was based on anti-gay bias, not the need to protect "traditional marriage." Prop 8 proponents say their motives are irrelevant.

Labels: California, feds, marriage equality, Proposition 8

posted by Joe

Gay Family Values: "King & King"

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Thanks for the Heads up BoxTurtle!

Starbucks Says Approve Ref. 71

Jim Burroway

October 24th, 2009

StarbucksThis comes to us via SLOG:

In a statement, the company said that approving R-71 “ensures that basic benefits and important protections are not taken away from committed couples, so they are able to take care of each other, especially in times of crisis.” Starbucks wants voters to approve the measure “because it is aligned with our business practices, providing domestic partner benefits, and one of our core values of treating people with respect and dignity.” [emphasis in SLOG's post]

Starbucks hasn’t contributed to the campaign, but they did send this message out to their employees. Starbucks has 3,000 employees in its Seattle headquarters and maintains 667 stores in Washington state, and each of them got this statement. That’s quite a venti.

Starbucks’ endorsement follows similar appeals from Microsoft, Boeing, Nike, and many other companies that employ large numbers of people in the Pacific Northwest.

With all the attention being paid to Maine, Washington’s LGBT citizens are feeling ignored. Karen Ocamb says they’re sweating bullets because they may well lose their hard-won Domestic Partnerships. Please show them your love by donating to Approve Ref. 71 today.


Subject: Weekly Reader: LGBT politics, Rosie, & holding hands

The past week has been huge for forward progress in LGBT political news. Between the administration's clarified definition of "family," HHS's announcement of the creation of an LGBT senior resource center, HUD's new study on LGBT discrimination in housing, and the Senate's passage of hate crimes legislation, the fundies must be going apoplectic. We, however, kept delivering some of the best LGBT content on the web like these gems:

Bilerico Nation
Martinis With Fred Phelps
Filed by: Peter Monn and Alex Paredes (Bilerico-Indiana);

Norfolk Country Club Bars Same-Sex Family Membership in Vote
Filed by: Michael Hamar (Bilerico-DC);

Dan Gelber Garners LGBT Endorsement in hotly contested FL AG race
Filed by: Nadine Smith (Bilerico-Florida);

Equality Across America wants you
Filed by: Diane Silver;

My Cleaning Trolley, just in case real cleaning wasn't fun enough
Filed by: Alex Blaze;

The APLA AIDS Walk, the Age of Aquarius, and people like me
Filed by: Karen Ocamb;

Click Here To Email 36 U.S. Representatives Unconfirmed on ENDA
Filed by: Dr. Jillian T. Weiss;

High School Hand Holding as Punishment... with a Dash of Internalized Homophobia
Filed by: Waymon Hudson;

Sexy and queer religious imagery
Filed by: Alex Blaze;

Glee star Corey Monteith thinks you're the jazz
Filed by: Bil Browning;

Growing Calls for Immigration Reform That Leaves No Family Behind
Filed by: Steve Ralls;

Rosie and Kelli Working on Their Issues; So Is the Media
Filed by: Dana Rudolph;

Inside baseball: The all-male college "gay problem"
Filed by: Austen Crowder;

Histórica aprobación de ley federal para prevenir crímenes de odio
Filed by: Pedro Julio Serrano;

Top 10 Out Gay Male Pop Stars
Filed by: Phil Reese;

Obama administration moves forward on LGBT rights via HUD & HHS
Filed by: Bil Browning;

Hate crimes passes Senate: Goes to President's desk
Filed by: Bil Browning;

Don't forget:

Subscribe to the Bilerico Project Report to get all of the previous day's posts sent to you every night at midnight.;

Friday, October 23, 2009

How American Evangelicals are Killing Gay People in Africa

Hate never made for a good export. But that hasn't stopped a prominent group of American evangelicals from trying to ship their anti-LGBT principles abroad. One glaring example of right-wing theology run amuck across the globe is fresh out of Uganda, where legislative efforts to attack Ugandan LGBT people reached fever pitch this week.

Uganda is an interesting example of how the radical religious right in the United States has sought to take their battle against all things related to homosexuality to a global level. Earlier this year, a prominent group of evangelicals -- among them representatives from Exodus International and Defend the Family International -- attended a conference in Uganda aimed at discussing ways to fight homosexuality. The goal of the conference was to brainstorm ways that the government, schools and churches in Uganda could "wipe out" homosexuality from the country.

From American religious leaders to participate in something like this shows some pretty gross disrespect for human rights. What's worse, their support has lent credence to a bill introduced in Uganda's parliament this week that will imprison people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, and will imprison straight people who support gay rights. Oh, and let's not forget that the bill also calls for HIV-positive gay people to be put to death.

All of that and a bag of chips, and it's all courtesy of American evangelicals.

Wayne Besen, a leading LGBT rights activist who monitors "ex-gay" religious groups, nails a description of the shady stuff going on in Uganda.

read the rest here

Quote of the Day

Customer “Waiter do you have any soup on that menu?”

Waiter, “Yes but I wiped it off”.

RC Weekly Update from Joe Solmonese Joe Solmonese, Human Rights Campaign President []

Dear Daniel,

As we note the historic passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, we remember the lives of these and countless other victims of hate violence:

Angie Zapata, beaten to death because she was transgender. Her murderer referred to her as "it." She was twenty years old.

Balbir Singh Sodhi, age 52. A Sikh American, he was shot to death by a man who, thinking that he was of Arab descent, took private revenge for the attacks of 9/11.

Jose Sucuzhanay, murdered at age 31 by men who saw him walking arm in arm with his brother and assumed that he was gay. The assailants added anti-Hispanic and anti-gay slurs to the violence they inflicted on him.

Matthew Shepard, age 21, was taken to a remote area by two men and was severely beaten, then tied to a fence and left to die because he was gay.

James Byrd, Jr. was chained to the back of a pick-up truck and dragged for three miles. His killers left evidence inscribed with "KKK" to show their intent. Byrd was 49 years old.

We mourn their loss, celebrate their lives, and share their friends' and families' grief.

Passing this legislation honors the lives of these good people whom we lost too soon. But we must not mistake it for a monument to them, or a plaque commemorating distant history. The hate crimes law is necessary because the scourge of hate violence that took these lives has not ended.

Dr. King often quoted the Book of Amos, saying that we must not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."

In passing this bill, Congress has unleashed the power of justice to combat hate. And it has done more.

Senator Edward Kennedy once said that this legislation sends "a message about freedom and equality that will resonate around the world." This marks the first time that we have as a nation expressed—explicitly, and with teeth—that LGBT people are to be protected. And this law sends a loud message that perpetrators of hate violence against anyone will be brought to justice.

This message, and this powerful tool in combating hate crimes, will erode the very foundations of the hatred that has taken so many lives already. From the justice that this Act provides—the righteousness, and the end of violence, will necessarily flow.


Joe Solmonese
President, Human Rights Campaign

Visit to learn more about the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Anderson Cooper & Panel Discuss Obama's Gay Rights Record & Hate Crimes Act

Soupy Sales Dead At 83

Legendary 60's comic and children's show host Soupy Sales has died at the age of 83.

As the star of "The Soupy Sales Show," he performed live on television for 13 years in Detroit, Los Angeles and New York before the program went into syndication in the United States and abroad. Ostensibly for children, the show had broad appeal among adults who found Sales' puns, gags and pratfalls deliciously corny and camp. His cast consisted of goofy puppets with names like White Fang, Black Tooth and Pookie, and a host of off-camera characters, including the infamous naked girl. The high point of every show came when a sidekick launched a pie into Sales' face. Sales once estimated that he was hit by more than 25,000 pies in his lifetime. The gag became more than hilarious; it evolved into a hip badge of honor. Frank Sinatra was first in a long line of celebrities who clamored for the privilege to be cream-faced, including Tony Curtis, Mickey Rooney, Sammy Davis Jr., Dick Martin and Burt Lancaster.

Soupy's show was a big part of my childhood, partly because I could only watch it at my grandparent's house in Newark as we didn't get it in North Carolina. Watching Soupy was a big holiday tradition for us whenever we were in town. My dad thought he was the funniest man alive - until Flip Wilson came along.

thanks to JMG for this...

Thursday, October 22, 2009


The inclusive hate crimes bill has crossed its last hurdle in Congress! President Obama has vowed to sign it by the end of this month.

Today's victory marks a truly pivotal moment in our fight for LGBT equality. It happened because of the dedication of people like you and the families of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., for whom the bill is named.

More here

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Phot of the March

Courtesy of Lotus Opening

Quote of the Day

What have you done today, to make ya feel PROUD?
~Heather Small


U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - Shaun Donovan, Secretary
Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20410
Brian Sullivan Wednesday
(202) 708-0685 October 21, 2009

Commissions first-ever national study of discrimination against members of the
LGBT community in the renting and sale of housing

WASHINGTON - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced a series of proposals to ensure that HUD's core housing programs are open to all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

"The evidence is clear that some are denied the opportunity to make housing choices in our nation based on who they are and that must end," said Donovan. "President Obama and I are determined that a qualified individual and family will not be denied housing choice based on sexual orientation or gender identity."

The initiatives announced today will be a proposed rule that will provide the opportunity for public comment.

Charlene Strong: Approve Referendum 71

Christianists Call For California School Boycott Over Harvey Milk Day

Christianist outfit Save California has issued a call for parents to "boycott" California's public schools over last week's approval of Harvey Milk Day by Gov. Schwarzenegger. Via the American Family Association's "news site" OneNewsNow:
Randy Thomasson, president of, tells OneNewsNow he is calling for a boycott over a law designed to force students to honor a deceased homosexual activist. "With Harvey Milk Gay Day now the law for California government schools, and a handful of sexual indoctrination laws already existing that are in effect throughout the entire school year, parents have to at least boycott Harvey Milk Day or days or week," Thomasson urges. The boycott, he says, needs to be established by parents to protect their children, but also to drive home a point that they do not want their children indoctrinated with a pro-homosexual philosophy. Thomasson feels that taking students out of the government school system is the only way to accomplish this protection. He adds that parents also need to be aware of the quality of education their children are receiving in California. Thomasson reports that "on the academic chart, California is among the lowest academically in the country. On the sexual indoctrination chart, California leads the pack with Massachusetts following."
Thomasson believes that Harvey Milk Day will strike so much terror into parents that they will begin home schooling or send their kids to private religious schools.

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Courtesy of JMG

Heritage Foundation, Part of Right Wing Infrastructure, Defends 30 Republican Senators Who Enabled Rape

By Mark Karlin

For BuzzFlash, when it comes to enabling rape, the Republican think tank-media-political infrastructure sticks together: a bunch of white guys -- primarily from the South -- who believe corporate criminal personhood trumps the rule of law when it comes to gang rape.

I have written two pieces on the extraordinarily shocking and ethically sick vote of 3/4s of the GOP Senate delegation who voted not to cut off the contracts of defense contractors who prohibit employees from suing them for job-related rape.

Sure enough, the right wing Heritage Foundation -- who, along with the American Enterprise Institute, is a favorite of the "respected" RWNJs --wrote a convoluted defense of the 30 GOP Senators who claimed that not interfering with Halliburton/KBR and other leeches on the government was more important than holding them accountable for preventing rape in the workplace.

The Heritage Foundation managed to, in the same "defense of rape" article, argue that because the federal courts held that Halliburton/KBR could not prevent a rape victim from suing, there was no need to punish them for trying to prevent such a suit (still trying by the way). Heritage also managed to blame the whole idea of allowing a lawsuit for rape against the likes of Halliburton as a stealth tactic by attorneys to launch frivolous lawsuits that would result in the creation of fewer jobs.

Excuse us, we are talking about rape here.

So now we are discussing the vast right wing infrastructure created over three decades supporting rape. If you are a woman, how can you vote Republican? It's a question of backing a party that enables rape, period, whatever specious defense they cook up.

A satirical site posted the photos of all 30 GOP Senators who voted for corporate noblesse oblige privilege over rape prevention and accountablity. You can view the rape rogues gallery, with a pink frame for any Republican Senator from a state where both Senators voted for rape.

I guess if you're in the GOP, rape and racism are as American as apple pie and a noose.

Didn't they used to lynch black men for just looking at a white woman the wrong way?

These are some twisted, perverse minds in the GOP, and enablers of crime.



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Quote of the Day

"I made the mistake of not having sex until I was 23! I loved being with another man and felt relieved that I finally knew who I was. I made the mistake of falling in love too soon because I was naive and romantic. My advice to you is to never chase love. It will find you when you least expect it. Have fun, have lots of safe sex and enjoy your sexuality. Be proud of who you are. I made a lot of mistakes. Stay away from drugs, they’re a waste of time. Stand up for every human being’s rights. Be loving, kind and strong. Set an example. You’re going to have one hell of a life!”

- Elton John, from a coming anthology titled Dear Me: A Letter To My 16 Year-Old Self.

House Bill Would Cut Funding To States That Oppose LGBT Adoption

Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) has introduced a bill that would restrict federal child welfare funding from any state that discriminates against LGBT people attempting to adopt.
Stark said in an interview that he introduced the legislation, H.R. 3827, in part because thousands of children each year "age out" of the child welfare system without finding homes. "We got 25,000 kids a year maturing out of the welfare system without permanent foster care or adoptive care, and the prospects of those children having a successful adult life are diminished greatly," he said. "These are kids who end up in the criminal justice system, or end up homeless."

States with explicit restrictions on adoption that the pending legislation would affect are Utah, Florida, Arkansas, Nebraska and Mississippi. Florida, for example, has a statute specifically prohibiting gays from adopting, and in Arkansas, voters last year approved Act 1, which prevents unmarried co-habitating couples, including same-sex partners, from adopting children. The legislation, Stark said, also would restrict funds for states where restrictions are put in place by agencies, individual social workers or judges, or where restrictions are part of the common law of the state. For states that don't comply with the law, federal officials could withhold from the states funds provided to them for child welfare services. The bill also calls for a Government Accountability Office study within five years to examine how states are complying with the new rules.
Stark rates the chances of his bill passing as "pretty good," but no hearing is yet planned. A spokesman for the HRC said they'll get behind the bill if it gains traction in Congress.

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Courtesy of JMG

20% Of Polled Identify As Republicans

From a story about an ABC News/Washington Post poll about attitudes on health care reform comes this little nugget: "Only 20 percent of adults identify themselves as Republicans, little changed in recent months, but still the lowest single number in Post-ABC polls since 1983."

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Courtesy of JMG

Subject: Stay off FOX

It's about time Democrats stood up to FOX! The White House communications director said FOX is a "wing of the Republican Party...let's not pretend they're a news network."

To draw attention to its biased coverage, President Obama will not appear on FOX for the rest of this year.

I signed a petition urging Democrats to support President Obama's stance by staying off FOX as long as he does. Can you join me at the link below?


National Equality March: "Imagine"

"IMAGINE" featuring Eva Cassidy (music available on iTunes) National Equality March, October 11, 2009 Washington DC (additional pics from the Prop 8 March and DADT Rally in Washington DC)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Another great find courtesy of JMG

Double Quote of the Day

“The first principle Bahá'u'lláh urged was the independent investigation of truth. "Each individual," he said, "is following the faith of his ancestors who themselves are lost in the maze of tradition. Reality is steeped in dogmas and doctrines. If each investigate for himself, he will find that Reality is one; does not admit of multiplicity; is not divisible. All will find the same foundation and all will be at peace."

– ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i Scriptures, p. 276.

"The basic principle of the Cause is independent investigation of truth. This applies to us as much as to our children. They should be free to chose for themselves any religion they wish. To promise that they will belong to a certain Faith and not to another is therefore not only contrary to our precepts, but is also a futile promise to give. How can we make the future generation think as we do or follow our dictates. God has made them free. All that we can do is to open their eyes and tell them of what we think to be the truth."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, March 3, 1931)

(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 155)