Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Gay Leaders To Be Feted at White House?

Courtesy of the Gist

This is pretty outrageous. In the midst of all the anger from LGBT people over the DOMA brief and the inadequate response -- so far -- by the Obama administration, gay lobbyists, executive directors and assorted others who comprise what is identified as the gay leadership apparently have been invited to a party at the White House thrown just for them.

It's another photo-op in which everyone -- the president and the gays -- can look happy and like they're having fun, but more so, it's a way for the White House to wank off the gay leaders a bit while still not delivering. None of them should fall for it -- and that means they should not attend this event -- most all the Human Rights Campaign. We don't want cocktails for high-paid gay and lesbian lobbyists and executive directors looking to schmooze and feel important. We want action on our rights, and at this point it means DOMA and DADT.

The signing of the memorandum by the president to give some benefits to some federal employees was a crumb, which, as I wrote last week, should have been a gesture made five months ago. Nonetheless, unlike some others, I believed it was appropriate for Joe Solmonese of the Human Rights Campaign to be there, along with other LGBT leaders. It was business: The president was signing an order to benefit some LGBT people (in addition to a few partner benefits for some gay and lesbian federal workers he signed an anti-discrimination order banning discrimination in federal hiring based on gender identity). I think they should be there, be cordial, and let the president know it's not nearly enough.

I know some people think Obama should not have been given the photo-op, but really, the story of anger by gays was already out there and wasn't about to be changed by that event. In fact, the next day, the story line in the media was along the lines of "president offers some little thing but gays just are not happy and are in fact more angry." So the photo-op did nothing, but LGBT leaders kept the dialogue open by going, which they should.

But now, a cocktail party? No, that's not business -- it's schmoozing and sucking up, and it's all about buying off gay leaders by seducing them, very cheaply, so the White House can help get the money coming back in, since the DNC gay fundraiser for next week is collapsing. The response so far has only been about the money and it's not nearly enough.

What we need now is real action. Not these crumbs, whether it be the census inclusion or some benefits for federal employees. We need something big, and until then, the DNC fundraisers should continue to be threatened, and nobody among the gay leadership should be partying with this president.

Ex-Gay Preacher Not So Ex-Gay

"Ex-gay" evangelist Matthew C. Manning claims that he was "rescued" from homosexuality in 1989 and that Jeebus cured his HIV in 1994. Despite his producing no proof that he ever had HIV, Pat Robertson hosted Manning on the 700 Club in 2002, where Manning recounted his tale of glorious redemption to a global audience. Since then he has appeared on numerous Christian shows and has launched Lighthouse World Evangelism, from whose site he sells a $30 DVD about his complete "recovery" from his gayness.

But when Ex-Gay Watch tried to find any evidence of of Manning's HIV claims, instead they found that he has been busted for public sex at least three times since 1998. The most recent incident, in 2005, appears to have resulted in Manning being banned from the 24 Hour Fitness in Santa Rosa, CA.

Everybody who is shocked, leave the room. Yeah, we're all still here, Matthew.

Kudos to Ex-Gay Watch for their excellent detective work. Below, watch Manning make his claim on a 2007 show co-hosted by Exodus International's still-completely-gay Alan Chambers.

(Via - Box Turtle Bulletin and the always awesome JMG)

ENDA Introduced In U.S. House

Finally! HRC's press release:
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, hailed today the bipartisan reintroduction of an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would create federal protections against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The lead sponsors of the measure are Representatives Barney Frank (D-MA), IIeana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jared Polis (D-CO), Michael Castle (R-DE), George Miller (D-CA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), John Conyers (D-MI), Todd Platts (R-PA), Rob Andrews (D-NJ), and Leonard Lance (R-NJ).

“Just like our friends, neighbors and coworkers, LGBT Americans work hard, provide for our families and contribute to our nation’s economy,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “We all share the challenges of today's economic downturn, but our community also faces arbitrary discrimination in the workplace, simply because of who we are and who we love. Congress must pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and ensure that all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, get a fair chance to succeed at work.”
Remember, this is a trans-inclusive version of ENDA, unlike the one that passed the House in 2007.

another thanks to JMG for this

HomoQuotable - Rep. Jared Polis

"I’m a Democrat and a proud Democrat. Our party’s not perfect but certainly I will help the Democrats however I can. I did an event for Democrats for education reform Monday and if you figure our party has a ways to go on LGBT equality, we have even further to go on education reform where President Obama has been a great leader, but those are battles we fight every day. [snip]

"What a lot of the community is frustrated about -- and I share this frustration -- is the brief that defended [the Defense of Marriage Act]. President Obama ran on a platform of repealing DOMA in its entirety and certainly we can take him at his word on that. But filing a brief to defend it and using some of the citations that they did was rightfully offensive to our community and that’s why many donors have chosen to withhold their donations until they feel more comfortable with the Democratic Party." - Openly gay Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), who says he will attend tomorrow's LGBT DNC fundraiser, but says that it's "reasonable" for gays to donate to activist groups rather than the Democratic Party.

(Via Kerry Eleveld @ The Advocate and JMG)

Anti-Gay SC Gov. Mark "Defender Of Marriage" Sanford Busted For Infidelity

The interwebs has been buzzing for days over the mysterious disappearance of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who ditched his security detail and went missing for a week. After claims that he'd been out "hiking the Appalachian Trail" (snork!), the truth comes out. Sanford had been in Buenos Aires visiting his mistress.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford says he’s been having an affair and will resign as head of the Republican Governor’s Association. The married father of four emotionally apologized to his wife, staff and others after returning today from a trip to Argentina that followed a days-long absence. His staff had said the Republican was hiking on the Appalachian Trail. He had been a rumored contender for the 2012 GOP ticket. A former congressman, he’s most recently snared headlines for his unsuccessful fight to turn aside federal stimulus cash for his state’s schools.
Sanford vigorously supported South Carolina's Defense Of Marriage Act.

Thanks to JMG for this

ENDA Introduced in Congress Today!

Dear Friend of NCLR,

Today, Representative Barney Frank, D (MA-4) introduced the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. It creates explicit protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people similar to those available under existing federal discrimination laws for other protected classes of workers.

Workplace protections for LGBT people are urgently needed and long overdue, and the introduction of ENDA is the beginning of the end of inaction. Read more about this in NCLR's latest blog posting from Executive Director Kate Kendell, "Long Overdue."

The President has promised to sign this bill. All we need now is for Congress to act.

This historic bill has bipartisan support in the House, but we need your support to make it a reality. Please take action NOW to contact your representatives and urge them to support this crucial piece of legislation that protects all workers.

In D.C., make their phone ring!
Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 and have them connect you to your representative (based on your zip code). Tell your Representative:

I am a constituent and I would like you to please tell Representative _______ that I strongly support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

Set up a visit!
Request an in-person meeting for you and other community members with your representative (or their staffs) in their home district offices. You can call the district offices to request these meetings but they often want you to fax a meeting request. To find contact info for district offices, go to

Sample meeting request letters, and other talking points and resources for your meetings, are available in the following toolkits (pdf):

Let us know!
Let us know how your correspondence went. Go to and fill out the Lobby Report Form to tell us whether your representative expressed support.

Follow the bill’s progress!
You can track the progress of the bill with CSPAN’s gavel-to-gavel coverage of the U.S. House of Representatives here.

Today, we witness a commitment to full equality and inclusion and we look forward to the day when LGBT people no longer have to fear the loss of their jobs or workplace harassment and discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or their gender identity and expression. When that day comes, America will have taken another step forward in assuring justice and equality for all.

In solidarity,

kate signature
Kate Kendell, Esq.
Executive Director
National Center for Lesbian Rights

Chris Dodd Endorses Gay Marriage

Chris Dodd Endorses Gay Marriage
Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, has changed his position on gay marriage, announcing over the weekend that he now supports it.

Mr. Dodd, who finds himself in a tough fight for reelection next year, had already backed civil unions, but had rejected endorsing gay marriage during his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.

His reversal comes on the heels of growing upset among gay activists toward President Obama and his administration, many of whom called the president’s decision last week to extend partnership benefits extension as a minor move,

In a blog post posted on his Senate Web site on Father’s Day, Mr. Dodd cast his decision to go all in for gay marriage in generational terms, writing that his two school-aged daughters have grown up around same-sex couples, some of whom have gotten married since it was legalized in Connecticut.

He wrote:

“[T]o my daughters, these couples are married simply because they love each other and want to build a life together. That’s what we’ve taught them. The things that make those families different from their own pale in comparison to the commitments that bind those couples together.

And, really, that’s what marriage should be. It’s about rights and responsibilities and, most of all, love.

I believe that, when my daughters grow up, barriers to marriage equality for same-sex couples will seem as archaic, and as unfair, as the laws we once had against inter-racial marriage.

And I want them to know that, even if he was a little late, their dad came down on the right side of history.”

Interestingly, Mr. Dodd seemed to believe that voters did not see much of a distinction between gay marriage and civil unions during his presidential run.

When asked the difference between the two at a 2007 event in New Hampshire, Mr. Dodd responded: “I don’t think probably much in people’s minds. If you’re allowing that, all the protections you have there, you’ve covered it.”

Here is Senator Dodd's contact information if you wish to thank him for standing up for LGBT rights:

U.S. Senator Chris Dodd
448 Russell Building | Washington D.C., 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2823 | Fax: (202) 224-1083
Email only accepted from CT constituents.

(Source: New York Times)