Thursday, December 31, 2009

Gay Rights @ Change.org

From JMG: Top Ten Wingnut Lies Of 2009

The wingnuts came up with some doozies this year. Huffington Post counts down the ten biggest lies.

1. The census will result in internment camps.
2. Health care reform = death panels.
3. Obama was born in Kenya.
4. Obama cedes U.S. sovereignty by bowing.
5. Obama indoctrinates school kids with speech.
6. Bill Ayers really wrote Obama's autobiography.
7. Dems are turning the country to socialism.
8. Obama is a Muslim.
9. Terrorist plan electromagnetic pulse attack.
10. The 9/11 planner will be set free in NYC.

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lifted from JMG

2010 MARRIAGE PROTECTION ACT Signature Drive

JMG's Chart Of The Day

(Via - New York Times)

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I saw this first on JMG

The Gay State Of The World

(Via - World Focus, tipped by JMG reader Alex)

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I read it first on JMG

From JMG: BREAKING: Rush Limbaugh Rushed To Hospital With Possible Heart Attack

Rush Limbaugh was rushed to a Honolulu hospital tonight after complaining of chest pains.
A Honolulu television station is reporting that conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh has been taken to a hospital with chest pains. KITV reported Wednesday that paramedics responded to a call at 2:41 p.m. from the Kahala Hotel and Resort where Limbaugh is vacationing. The station, citing unnamed sources, said paramedics treated Limbaugh and took him to The Queen's Medical Center in serious condition. Queen's spokeswoman N. Makana Shook says the hospital is unable to comment on the report.

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I read it first on JMG

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Courage Campaign: Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Courage Campaign


Dear Daniel --

"You're out of your freakin' mind."

That's what Julia Louis-Dreyfus said to me point-blank in the second Courageous Conversations video we filmed on the set of "The New Adventures of Old Christine" a few weeks ago.

Julia was trying to make a point about what NOT to say to someone who may disagree with you about the importance of marriage equality, but she may have gotten a little carried away.

Judge for yourself. Click here to watch the sequel to our first Courageous Conversations video. And help support our friends at the Courage Campaign Institute by making a last-minute tax-deductible contribution before January 1. They need just 103 more donors to reach their critical year-end goal:


http://www.couragecampaign.org/JuliaAndEric


I taped this video with Julia for a reason. We both wholeheartedly support full LGBT rights and think that the Courage Campaign Institute is a uniquely creative, effective and inspiring organization that can help get the job done.

From the remarkable Camp Courage training program to Courageous Conversations, this amazing team is working every day to bring full equality to America.

That's why Julia and I taped this sequel video to spread the word about Courageous Conversations. And it's why we hope you will make a last-minute tax-deductible contribution to support the Courage Campaign Institute. Courage needs just 103 more donors before January 1:

http://www.couragecampaign.org/JuliaAndEric

Thanks for supporting Courage in these last few hours before the New Year.

Eric McCormack


The Courage Campaign Institute is part of the Courage Campaign's online organizing network that empowers more than 700,000 grassroots and netroots supporters to push for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country.

To power our Courageous Conversations program, please chip in what you can today:

This email was sent to:

A sad update on the story...


"Malawi nationals arrested for getting married"

http://www.facebook.com/l/b20b2;www.rfi.fr/actuen/articles/120/article_6340.asp"

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Men wed in Malawi's first gay ceremony, risk arrest

LILONGWE (Reuters) - Two Malawian men became the first gay couple to publicly tie the knot, the Nation newspaper reported on Monday, risking arrest in the conservative southern African state where homosexuality is illegal.

Jump here to read the article


Matthew Shepard Foundation Selected for Grant in Chase Community Giving Contest

Home Page Banner 1-5-06 Donate

Matthew Shepard Foundation Selected for Grant in Chase Community Giving Contest

The Matthew Shepard Foundation will receive a $25,000 grant from the JP Morgan Chase Foundation in the new year to further our educational and outreach programs against hatred and bias, thanks to votes cast by Facebook users in the bank’s “Chase Community Giving” program.

Fans of the Matthew Shepard Foundation on the leading online social network cast enough votes to place us in the top 100 community charities nationwide in first-round balloting earlier in December. A second round of voting begins January 15, in which the top vote-getting nonprofit organization will qualify for $1 million, and five runners-up will win $100,000 grants.

“The overwhelming show of support for the Matthew Shepard Foundation is deeply gratifying and will provide us a huge boost as we seek to double our outreach to schools and community groups in 2010,” said Executive Director Jason Marsden.

“We hugely appreciate the thousands of supporters who voted for us on Facebook to give us this unique opportunity and additional exposure,” Marsden added.

The unexpected new grant will also help expedite our ongoing Web development work already under way for 2010, in which our youth-oriented Web resource, MatthewsPlace.com, will be expanded to include more user-generated content and on-demand educational program modules.

While the Foundation personally reached 18 high schools, 23 colleges and 22 community organizations with its seminars and speaking programs in 2009, developing similar programs delivered via the Internet will allow us to reach a vastly larger audience with our message of replacing hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance.

Facebook users can register to participate in the next round of voting by visiting the Chase Community Giving page at http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/ and following the instructions provided.

Chase Giving Logo

Monday, December 28, 2009

From JMG: First Gay Marriage For Latin America

After being temporarily thwarted by a judge's stay of a Buenos Aires court ruling in their favor, two men in Argentina have become the first gays to marry legally in Latin America.
An official in Argentina's southern Tierra del Fuego province says two Argentine men have wed there in Latin America's first gay marriage. Provincial spokesman Eduardo Porter says the wedding between Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre took place at the civil registry in Ushuaia. Their marriage plans in Buenos Aires earlier this month were thwarted when city officials refused to marry them because of conflicting rulings. An official representing the federal government's antidiscrimination agency attended the wedding. Claudio Morgado called Monday's marriage "historic." Argentina's Constitution is silent on whether marriage must be between a man and a woman, effectively leaving the matter to state and city officials.
The court ruling allowing their marriage was specifically for this couple only. It remains to be seen if a precedent has been set.

RELATED:
Last week Mexico City legalized same-sex marriage, but that law has not yet gone into effect. Civil unions are available to gay couples in several Brazilian and Mexican states, and in the entire nation of Uruguay.

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courtesy of JMG

FROM JMG: Quote Of The Day - Rep. Pete Sessions

"I love you and believe in you. If you want my ear/voice — e-mail." - Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) to billionaire Ponzi swindler Allen Stanford, hours after Stanford was arrested by the feds. After the arrest, Sessions denied that he knew Stanford at all, despite having been photographed with him many times and accepting $44,000 from Stanford for his re-election campaign.

Sessions has a 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign, having voted against every single bit of pro-LGBT legislation ever put before him. He voted for the failed Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and for banning gay adoptions in DC. But he loves and "believes in" a man who stole $8B. What's going on there? What's with the trips to Antigua?

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Courtesy of JMG

This from Fred

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Fred Karger
December 28, 2009 619-592-2008
Check out this excellent editorial calling out NOM for violating Maine's election laws. NOM did not report any of its contributor's names, and it gave $1.9 million (64% of all money raised) to defeat same-sex marriage in last month's election. Then NOM sued Maine election officials to invalidate all campaign reporting:

BANGOR DAILY NEWS

12/26/09

Editorial

Campaign Clarity Needed

By BDN Staff
BDN Staff

A lawsuit involving a national group opposed to gay marriage has far-reaching implications for the state’s campaign reporting and financing laws, especially since the National Organization for Marriage said it plans to advocate for supporters of “traditional marriage” in next year’s election.

In October, NOM filed suit in federal court claiming Maine’s referendum campaign finance reporting requirements were overly burdensome and, therefore, unconstitutional. Earlier this month, the group amended its complaint to U.S. District Court to include candidate elections. If its challenge is upheld, it would leave a big hole in the state’s reporting requirements and its Clean Election financing program, which relies on candidates’ reporting of donations to determine whether matching funds are warranted.

The group, based in New Jersey, contributed nearly $2 million to Stand for Marriage Maine, which successfully advocated a repeal of the state law allowing same-sex couples to marry. NOM has refused to disclose to state election officials where its money came from. State law requires groups or individuals that raise more than $5,000 to support or oppose a ballot question to register as a ballot question committee. Anyone who donates more than $100 to the committee must be identified in campaign finance reports.

The Commission on Governmental Ethics and Elections Practices is investigating whether NOM violated state campaign finance laws by refusing to name its donors in connection with Question 1 on the Nov. 3 ballot.

Attorneys for the group have argued that listing donors would discourage contributions because people would be afraid of retaliation.

Gay marriage is an emotional issue, but citing fear as a reason to flout the law is an unpersuasive argument, especially when thousands of donors are named — complete with their home or businesses addresses and occupations — on campaign finance reporting forms filed by groups on both sides of Question 1. National groups have been involved in many contentious campaigns since Maine’s reporting requirements have been in place. None has refused to comply with the law.

At the same time, there are varying levels of compliance. Some groups simply list “fund transfer” as a source of funding.

NOM’s argument that it raises money nationally to be used in many different states, rather than for a campaign in a specific state, is more complex. A close look at the group’s fundraising literature will clarify whether it was raising money for the Yes on 1 campaign in Maine. If it was, reporting is necessary, as it should also be for other national groups that contribute to Maine campaigns.

It may be that lawmakers need to reconsider Maine’s ballot committee law to clarify how such national fundraising should be handled, especially since it could influence Clean Election funding next year.

The bottom line is that Maine voters should be able to know who is trying to influence their vote.


HELP US FIGHT BACK.
www.FiveforFred.com

Thanks JMG: DJ Earworm - United State of Pop 2009 (Blame It on the Pop) - Mashup of Top 25 Billboard Hits

Best wishes from Brasil where it is almost party time! Crank it up!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Fabulous Guest Conductor

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


Subject: Weekly Reader: The Salvation Army, Katy Perry, & Lance Bass

It might have been a holiday week, but we kept plugging away to bring you the best content we could - including tons of holiday-themed posts! Check out some of these great posts from last week:

Sunday
Disturbing: Pelosi & Reid burnt in effigy by schoolchildren
Filed by: Bil Browning
http://www.facebook.com/l/a327f;www.bilerico.com/2009/12/disturbing_pelosi_reid_burnt_in_effigy_schoolchildren.php

The Last Minute Gay Geeks Gift Guide
Filed by: Nathan Strang
http://www.facebook.com/l/a327f;www.bilerico.com/2009/12/the_last_minute_gay_geeks_gift_guide.php

Monday
The year Lance Bass saved Christmas
Filed by: Joe Mirabella
http://www.facebook.com/l/a327f;www.bilerico.com/2009/12/gay_christmas.php

Surprise -- Roses at Christmas
Filed by: Patricia Nell Warren
http://www.facebook.com/l/a327f;www.bilerico.com/2009/12/roses_at_christmas.php

Tuesday
Katy Perry offends LGBT people in a bout of twitterrhea
Filed by: Jerame Davis
http://www.facebook.com/l/a327f;www.bilerico.com/2009/12/katy_perry_offends_lgbt_people_in_a_bout_of_twitter.php

8 Tips for LGBT People to Lower Holiday Stress
Filed by: D Gregory Smith
http://www.facebook.com/l/a327f;www.bilerico.com/2009/12/tis_the_season_for_depression.php

Wednesday
How Newsweek Got It Wrong On Gay Rights
Filed by: Dr. Jillian T. Weiss
http://www.facebook.com/l/a327f;www.bilerico.com/2009/12/how_newsweek_got_it_wrong_on_gay_rights.php

Just say no to the Salvation Army's red bucket
Filed by: Alex Blaze
http://www.facebook.com/l/a327f;www.bilerico.com/2009/12/just_say_no_to_the_salvation_armys_red_bucket.php

Thursday
My Marriage is a Stone
Filed by: Father Tony
http://www.facebook.com/l/a327f;www.bilerico.com/2009/12/my_marriage_is_a_stone.php

Christmas Eve in the Tenderloin
Filed by: Guest Blogger Jerry Weiss
http://www.facebook.com/l/a327f;www.bilerico.com/2009/12/christmas_eve_in_the_tenderloin.php

Friday
Merry Christmas!
Filed by: Bil Browning
http://www.facebook.com/l/a327f;www.bilerico.com/2009/12/merry_christmas_1.php

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 Eastern time.
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Follow Bilerico Project on Twitter for links to new posts, breaking news and contest opportunities.
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Friday, December 25, 2009

This from The New Civil Rights Movement

Hey, CNN: “Admit” You’re Gay Is Wrong

by David Badash on December 22, 2009 · Comments (12)

in Celebrities, Discrimination, Media, News

CNN thomas

Just a few days ago, we witnessed an “amazing” revelation: Former international rugby star Gareth Thomas said, “I’m gay.”

What’s also amazing is that so many mainstream, big media outlets did not say this:

“Gareth Thomas admits he is gay.”

Except CNN.

In, “Thomas relief after admitting he is gay,” CNN writes,

“Every gay man will tell you that ‘coming out’ is like a weight lifted from your shoulders and beng able to walk down the street knowing that there is nothing for me to hide has been a liberating experience, ” admitted Thomas…”

Because, really, why would anyone use the word “admit” when it comes to coming out? Being gay is not wrong. We “admit” to things we’ve done wrong.

We admit to lying. We admit to stealing. We admit to adultery.

We “come out,” we “acknowledge we’re gay,” we can even “reveal” we’re gay. But “admit?” Why would you “admit” to something that isn’t wrong?

Words matter.

It’s time for the media, especially the MSM, to get it straight: “admitting” you’re gay is like “admitting” you’re human.

Got it?

From The New Civil Rights Movement


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Senate Passes Health Care Bill

It's definitely not the bill we wanted, but this morning the Senate voted 60-39 to approve its version of health care reform.
The Senate voted Thursday to reinvent the nation’s health care system, passing a bill to guarantee access to health insurance for tens of millions of Americans and to rein in health costs as proposed by President Obama. The 60-to-39 party-line vote, on the 25th straight day of debate on the legislation, brings Democrats a step closer to a goal they have pursued for decades. It clears the way for negotiations with the House, which passed a broadly similar bill last month by a vote of 220 to 215.

If the two chambers can strike a deal, as seems likely, the resulting product would vastly expand the role and responsibilities of the federal government. It would, as lawmakers said repeatedly in the debate, touch the lives of nearly all Americans. The bill would require most Americans to have health insurance, would add 15 million people to the Medicaid rolls and would subsidize private coverage for low- and middle-income people, at a cost to the government of $871 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Senator Robert Byrd voted this way: “This is for my friend Ted Kennedy. Aye!”

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thanks from Brasil to JMG for this!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Utah Congressman Chaffetz Leads Effort to Dump

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Fred Karger
December 22, 2009 619-592-2008
Utah Congressman Chaffetz Leads Effort to Dump
Recently Enacted Gay Marriage Law in Washington, DC
Salt Lake City, UT -- Mormon freshman Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), ranking Republican on the Congressional subcommittee that oversees Washington, DC, is now trying to undue the District's new law that allows same-sex marriage in our nation's capitol. Congress has 30 days to overturn that law.
The president of the National Organization for Marriage, which was created by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) two years ago to fight gay marriage throughout the country, announced last week that they would go to the ballot and to the courts to overturn marriage equality in Washington, DC. Well, she left out a third avenue, going to the Congress to veto the new law. Maggie Gallagher, NOM's President said that they would defeat it, and here they go again.
NOM is very effective. They were responsible for Proposition 8 qualifying for the California ballot last year which ended same-sex marriage there. They were successful in overturning Maine's gay marriage law last month, having contributed 64% of all money raised ($1.9 million of the $3 million) in that state. Now they have set their sights on our most recent victory in Washington, DC.
"We have been tracking NOM from day one, and while effective, they do all this secretly and utilizing highly questionable practices," said Fred Karger, founder of Californians Against Hate. "Maggie and executive director Brian Brown are single handidly fighting same-sex marriage in 11 sates, and now Washington, DC, all by themselves -- truly amazing."

"That is why we have called for investigations in California and Maine into their fund-raising, which is shrouded in mystery. In Maine they refused to disclose the names of thier contributors even after being ordered to do so by Federal Judge D. Brock Hornby and Maine attorney General Janet T. Mills.
Both California and Maine are investigating NOM right now, and the California investigation has included the Mormon Church. It has been ongoing for the past 13 months (FPPC Case # 08/735)."

"Now we need a Congressional investigation of the National Organization for Marriage as they come charging into out nation's capitol to attempt to undo marriage equality there. They must no longer go unchecked," demanded Karger.
Read the story about Rep. Chaffetz from the Mormon Church owned Salt Lake City Deseret News:

Chaffetz, family differ on gay marriage

Published: Monday, Dec. 21, 2009 11:32 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — Gay rights groups are flabbergasted that Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is leading a charge to block gay marriage in the District of Columbia, since his family has some interesting gay and liberal ties.

After all, his father, John Chaffetz, wrote a complimentary book about a gay couple that competed in the "Amazing Race" reality TV show. And liberal, former Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis (whose wife, Kitty, was once married to Chaffetz's father) has been helping the young Chaffetz to pass legislation.

So gay groups are questioning in widespread Internet posts why Chaffetz, with such ties, could do such a thing. They wish aloud that he would listen to his more liberal relations, and stop his pledges to try to overturn a D.C. ordinance signed by its mayor last week to allow gay marriage.

Chaffetz told the Deseret News on Monday that such groups should not hold their breath for that.

"I see my position more as a support of traditional marriage than it is an attack on gay marriage. I think I have a core moral belief in traditional marriage, and I'm willing to stand up and stand tall for traditional marriage," he said.

Although Chaffetz is a freshman, he is the ranking Republican on the House subcommittee that oversees District of Columbia operations. So he said it is part of that job to announce GOP opposition to the new ordinance, and vow to fight it since federal law gives Congress 30 days to overturn any ordinance passed by the D.C. Council.

"It has led to a whole series of very aggressive personal attacks, but go ahead, I don't care. It doesn't phase me much," Chaffetz said. Many of the attacks draw attention to how his father wrote the book "Gay Reality" about the gay couple of Bill Bartek and Joe Baldassare who gained attention as reality show contestants. And attacks point out Chaffetz's ties to Dukakis.

But Chaffetz explains, "I am the only member of my family who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am a convert." He joined the church two months after he graduated from Brigham Young University, where he had been recruited as a football placekicker.

Because of that church background, Chaffetz said he is more conservative than many in his extended family, although he said it does include both Republicans and Democrats.

"My younger brother Alex is about as conservative as it gets, other than maybe Attila the Hun," he joked. "My older half-brother (John Dukakis — who changed his last name from Chaffetz to match that of his famous stepfather, Michael Dukakis) is about as liberal as it gets."

That doesn't mean that Chaffetz hasn't sought out the opinion of his half-brother, a former actor who had roles in such films as "Jaws 2" and in such TV series as "Family Ties" and "Taxi."

"I showed my brother John a draft of a campaign piece we prepared. And he said, 'I disagree with everything you say here.' And I thought, 'We have success. We must be on to something,'" Chaffetz said.

In contrast, Chaffetz said his father is a "very conservative person," his book about the gay couple notwithstanding. "I've talked to him about some things, but not about this (gay marriage)."

While Chaffetz is not biologically related to Michael Dukakis, Chaffetz said they became well acquainted and spent time together because John Dukakis would spend the school year with Dukakis and John's mother, Kitty, and the summers with his father and his half-brothers, Jason and Alex, and their mother.

Rep. Chaffetz even headed the Dukakis campaign at BYU in 1988, before his conversions to be a Republican and a Mormon. He said he and Dukakis still keep in close contact, and the former Massachusetts governor has helped him make some Democratic contacts needed to do such things as pass House legislation to ban use of "whole-body imaging" machines at airports.

"One of the interesting phenomena is that Michael Dukakis has been very helpful in opening a lot of doors that wouldn't have been opened otherwise. Some very liberal Democrats have given me the time of day that wouldn't normally have done so, particularly some of the people from Massachusetts," Chaffetz said.

"He (Dukakis) is a passionate believer in good public service, and considers party secondary. He wants to do some things that I could never support, but I respect him," Chaffetz said. "I talked to him the day before yesterday. We keep in contact."

But, again, Chaffetz said he believes strongly in defending traditional marriage, and no one should expect differently even if he has some liberal friends and family. "I'm my own guy on this one," he said.

Still, the Utah Log Cabin Republicans on Monday called for him to change, issuing a statement that it wants him to "get back to tending the issues we sent him to Washington to represent, and stop trying to force others to adhere to his misguided interpretation of what makes a real marriage."

HELP US FIGHT BACK.
www.FiveforFred.com


Monday, December 21, 2009

This from JMG

A Gay First For Martha Stewart

Popular Good As You blogger/activist Jeremy Hooper and his husband Andrew have become the first gay couple to be featured in Martha Stewart Weddings. Jeremy and Andrew were married in Connecticut in June. Congrats, guys!

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posted by JMG

Saturday, December 19, 2009

From Father Geoff: Will America become a Fundamentalist "Republic?"

Why is religion so anti-gay? I was asked this question recently on the heals of Uganda passing legislation which makes homosexuality a capital offense. The short answer is that a superficial reading of both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures clearly gives the impression that homosexuality is forbidden by God. This has affected the stance towards homosexual persons by Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Within each of those traditions there exist literalists (who see the written word as THE law) and progressives (who look beyond the written text and seek understanding of the Divine intent.)

Jump here to read the full article

From JMG: Newsweek Predicts For 2010: "Obama Does Nada On Gay Rights"

Newsweek takes a grim outlook on what the president may do for us in 2010:
Patience became the 2009 mantra of the gay rights movement, which generally supports Democrats. Many activists believe that in his heart Obama supports their flagship issues: the ability to serve openly in the armed forces, to be protected from employment in the workplace, and the right to marry (even though he’s on record as favoring civil unions over marriage). But they’ve received almost nothing for their troubles. What the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered community has learned this year is that the president is ultimately a pragmatist.

Although his very presence in the White House is the stuff of culture wars, Obama himself is reluctant to wade into one. Moreover, if socially divisive policies have the potential to compromise his legislative agenda, Obama has proven that he simply won’t pursue them. Expect this tension to become more acute as the 2010 elections loom—and for gay rights to be shunted aside again. The last thing this pragmatist president will do is hand election-year ammunition to an already energized conservative base that’s venomously opposed to gay marriage.

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Another great find from JMG

Quote of the Day


"When one permits whom one studies to define the terms in which they will be understood, suspends one's interest in the temporal and contingent, or fails to distinguish between "truths," "truth claims," and "regimes of truth," one has ceased to function as historian or scholar. In that moment, a variety of roles are available: some perfectly respectable (amanuensis, collector, friend, and advocate), and some less appealing (cheerleader, voyeur, retailer of import goods). None, however, should be confused with scholarship." (Bruce Lincoln, "Theses on Method" [1996, 227])

More JMG News: Prop 8 Trial May Be Televised

The Ninth Circuit Court has authorized televised trials in some cases, leading to the expectation that the Olson/Boies attempt to repeal Proposition 8 will be be viewed nationwide. Guess who doesn't like that?
The Judicial Council of the 9th Circuit authorized television cameras in certain district court proceedings Thursday, reviving a national controversy just weeks before a groundbreaking trial over same-sex marriage is slated to begin in San Francisco. The 9th Circuit currently allows cameras to televise appellate arguments, as does the 2nd Circuit. A private vendor has also recorded a handful of district court proceedings in New York. But under the 9th Circuit's new experimental program -- in which only civil, nonjury trials would qualify -- district courts would be likely to use their own camera equipment, said Circuit Executive Cathy Catterson. The method of distribution would be figured out on a case-by-case basis. "It might be posted later in the day, it could be edited, or it could be live. It would depend on the nature of the case," Catterson said.

Cases to be considered for the pilot program, and the distribution details, will be decided by each district's chief judge, in consultation with 9th Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski. In San Francisco it is the Northern District of California's chief judge, Vaughn Walker, who is presiding over the federal challenge to Prop 8. Walker first raised the possibility of a televised broadcast several weeks ago, and lawyers representing pro-same-sex-marriage plaintiffs support the idea. The defendants oppose it, saying anti-gay-marriage witnesses could be subject to harassment and retribution. When the topic arose again this week, Walker alluded to possible 9th Circuit action and asked for another discussion with the parties should authorization occur.
Critics of the idea point to the OJ Simpson trial as an example of how the presence of TV cameras can tend to create grandstanding and non-legal histrionics on the part of lawyers. "If it does not fit, you must acquit."

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Courtesy of JMG

Conversion: That's Gay

JMG: DC Mayor Adrian Fenty Signs Marriage Equality Bill (In A Church!)

Moments ago, Washington DC Mayor Adrian Fenty signed the city's historic marriage equality bill. Above, Fenty hands openly gay City Councilman David Catania the pen used to sign the bill Catania sponsored.
In a raucous signing ceremony at a northwest Washington church, Mayor Fenty officially legalized same-sex marriage in the District, distributing ceremonial pens among the Council members standing behind him. The law now will go through a period of review consisting of 30 days in which Congress is in session. If the law passes that hurdle -- as is widely expected -- the first gay marriages in the District could take in late winter or early spring of 2010.

The ceremony at All Souls Unitarian Church -- one of many in the city that supported the legislation -- opened with comments by Fenty, Council chairman Vincent Gray, and Council members Phil Mendelson, David Catania and Jim Graham. In his opening remarks, Fenty recalled that when his own parents were married, many states would have refused to recognize their bonds. Fenty's father is black, while his mother is white. "Today an era of struggle ends for thousands of D.C. residents," he said. "Our city is taking a leap forward." Sponsoring Council member David Catania (I-At Large) opened his comments with a little family history recalling how his ancestors had moved from Massachusetts to Kansas to try and swing an election and prevent it from becoming a slave state. "So there's a tradition of troublemaking in my family, and a deep and abiding understanding of civil rights," Catania said.
Congratulations Washington DC! And thank you Mayor Fenty and Councilman Catania!

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courtesy of JMG

Thursday, December 17, 2009

From JMG: Going Vogue

RuPaul is promoting the second season of her hit LOGO series Rupaul's Drag Race with a dig at Sarah Palin. If you recall, I got ridiculously engrossed in last season's show - to the point where I actually squealed a little bit when I met the out-of-drag Nina Flowers on the dance floor at the Black Party. Season two begins on February 1st.

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thanks to JMG

Todays' Double Post: Keith Olbermann's Special Commentary On Health Care Reform



and




From JMG: BBC Apologizes For "Kill Gays" Debate

An executive from the BBC has issued an apology for yesterday's online debate asking if homosexuals should be put to death. It's not much of apology. From the blog of BBC World Service director Peter Horrocks:
The original headline on our website was, in hindsight, too stark. We apologise for any offence it caused. But it's important that this does not detract from what is a crucial debate for Africans and the international community. The programme was a legitimate and responsible attempt to support a challenging discussion about proposed legislation that advocates the death penalty for those who undertake certain homosexual activities in Uganda - an important issue where the BBC can provide a platform for debate that otherwise would not exist across the continent and beyond.
Like many U.S.-based bloggers, I have relied on the BBC for many stories out of non-English speaking countries. I'm going to try and use other sources, when available, in the future. So far, I'm finding their action unforgivable.

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AIDS Group Files Petition To Require Condoms In All Porn

California's AIDS Healthcare Foundation will file a petition to amend state law that that would require that male actors in all porn productions wear a condom. The majority of gay porn companies are based in California.
The change would be made to the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board's policy on bloodborne pathogens. “Although workers in adult films should enjoy protections under the current phrasing of the regulation, the adult film industry has steadfastly refused to take any steps to protect its workers from diseases spread by bloodborne pathogens, resulting in thousands of employees becoming infected with sexually transmitted diseases," said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
As reported by the Advocate, in August the AHF filed 16 worker-safety complaints with the state over the lack of condom use in porn films produced in California. Perhaps unsurprisingly, porn actors in California have been found to have 10 times the STD rate of the general population.

Should the AHF succeed, it can be expected that the popular barebacking porn companies, whose titles sell very well, would merely move their productions into another state. Some have called for a stricter law that would ban the sale of such new releases in California entirely.

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Quote from JMG: HomoQuotable - Ellen DeGeneres

"I'm so thankful for the freedoms that we have in this country; the freedom of speech, the freedom to vote and the freedom to love who we want. And I want to say that what's happening in Uganda makes me incredibly sad. There's an "Anti-Gay Bill" that's proposing to jail homosexuals. They are trying to give life sentences to same-sex couples, and the bill even proposes that they jail anyone who fails to report "gay activity" to the police within 24 hours. This is a horrible violation of human rights and I can't believe something like this is being discussed in this day and age. I think we should be grateful for our freedoms this holiday season. Be thankful for the people who fight for them. And let's continue to be an example to the world through our love and compassion." - Ellen DeGeneres, writing on her network fansite.

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When Same-Sex Marriage Was a Christian Rite


SS. Sergius & Bacchus - 7th cent.

A Kiev art museum contains a curious icon from St. Catherine's Monastery on Mt. Sinai in Israel. It shows two robed Christian saints. Between them is a traditional Roman ‘pronubus’ (a best man), overseeing a wedding. The pronubus is Christ. The married couple are both men.

Is the icon suggesting that a gay "wedding" is being sanctified by Christ himself? The idea seems shocking. But the full answer comes from other early Christian sources about the two men featured in the icon, St. Sergius and St. Bacchus, two Roman soldiers who were Christian martyrs. These two officers in the Roman army incurred the anger of Emperor Maximian when they were exposed as ‘secret Christians’ by refusing to enter a pagan temple. Both were sent to Syria circa 303 CE where Bacchus is thought to have died while being flogged. Sergius survived torture but was later beheaded. Legend says that Bacchus appeared to the dying Sergius as an angel, telling him to be brave because they would soon be reunited in heaven.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Surviving The "Ex-Gay" Industry

How blatantly bizarre and predatory does "ex-gay reparative therapy" have to be for even the mental cases at Exodus International to disavow you? Here's some of what their "therapist" at their Lansing, Michigan affiliate did to young Patrick McAlvey.
“He asked how large my penis was. He asked if I shave my pubic hair. He asked what type of underwear that I wore. He wanted me to describe my sexual fantasies to him and the type of men I’m attracted to. On one occasion, he asked me to take my shirt off and show him how many push-ups I could do, which I did not do.”
Truth Wins Out reports:
Truth Wins Out (TWO) revealed today that the nation’s largest “ex-gay” organization, Exodus International, officially cut ties with its Lansing affiliate Corduroy Stone after charges were made by an ex-gay survivor that the sessions included harmful and bizarre therapy. In August, Patrick McAlvey made the charges against Corduroy Stone’s Mike Jones in a Truth Wins Out video, yet it took Exodus until December to take action. Exodus’ dithering in the face of scandal cost precious time and may have placed additional youth in harm’s way, according to Truth Wins Out.
VIDEO: Patrick McAlvey talks about his Exodus International predator.

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lifted from JMG