Sunday, June 28, 2009
Before we get to the best posts from this week on the Bilerico sites, don't forget to e-mail 50 ENDA-shy Democrats!
Michael Jackson: Goodnight, Sweet Prince...or Princess
Filed by: Patricia Nell Warren
The "New" NJ Trans Drivers License Regs, Part 2: Buying My Identity
Filed by: Rebecca Juro
Don't Cry For Mark Sanford, Argentina
Filed by: Terrance Heath
A Bilerico interview with new GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios
Filed by: Father Tony
Don't Be Played for a Sucker, Again
Filed by: Michael Hamar (B-DC)
You say you want a revolution....
Filed by: Brynn Craffey
Filed by: Kate Clinton
Traditional Marriage Threat Alert - Brownsburg, Indiana
Filed by: Donna Pandori (B-IN)
Why there won't be a gay Martin Luther King
Filed by: Alex Blaze
5 "I can't help it" excuses that need LGBT help
Filed by: Austin Crowder
Pictures from Pride of Greater Ft. Lauderdale!
Filed by: Waymon Hudson (B-FL)
The Dancing Man (YouTube's Latest Viral Sensation) Talks With Bilerico
Filed by: Prince Gomolvilas
Sesame Street knows what marriage is
Filed by: Bil Browning
Visibility Matters: Scientific Proof
Filed by: Dana Rudolph
"The Times of Harvey Milk" now on YouTube
Filed by: Waymon Hudson
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See the cover story in this week's New York Blade for more information. http://theblade.net/.
Please circulate this to all your friends in the media. Blog it, retweet.
MEDIA ALERT: Press Conference at Historic Stonewall Inn to Announce New LGBT Civil Rights Agenda and Present U.S. Congressman Jerrold Nadler With Signed Petition from all 50 States.
As President Obama prepares to host a cocktail reception at the White House for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender leaders, prominent activists and fundraisers return to the Stonewall Inn on the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots to announce a new comprehensive LGBT civil rights agenda. At that time they will also present U.S. Congressman Jerrold Nadler with signed petitions from all 50 states and 36 countries supporting expansion of the Civil Rights Act to include LGBT people, marking the official launch of The Power’s nationwide petition drive and campaign demanding full equality now.
The Power (http://www.thepoweronline.org) is an online organizing network that empowers grassroots and netroots activists from every state in the country and from all over the world to fight for equal rights for LGBT people, not on some arbitrary and convenient schedule created by politicians and lobbyists, but right now.
Speakers will include Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights, Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, civil rights attorney Liz Abzug (daughter of feminist, anti-war, and LGBT activist and Congresswoman Bella Abzug), former Jerry Falwell ghostwriter and Soulforce founder Rev. Mel White, and others.
WHAT: A press conference convened by The Power (http://www.thepoweronline.org/) launching a national movement to pass comprehensive LGBT civil rights legislation.
WHO: Jeffrey H. Campagna, founder of The Power, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, a representative of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, and civil rights attorney and daughter of Congresswoman Bella Abzug, Liz Abzug.
WHEN: 10 a.m., Monday, June 29, 2009, 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots
WHERE: Outside The Stonewall Inn, 53 Christopher St. @ Sheridan Square, New York, NY
WHY: With a self-proclaimed "fierce advocate" of LGBT rights in the White House, and Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, the federal agenda for gay rights does not include full equality. It is time for LGBT people and their allies to seize this historic moment to pass comprehensive civil rights legislation now.
• Jeffrey H. Campagna is the founder The Power. Campagna is also an attorney who has worked in the civil rights bureau of the New York State Attorney General's Office, and a fundraiser for Democratic causes who was on Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama's LGBT steering committees. He is also a co-author of The Dallas Principles (www.thedallasprinciples.org), a call to action demanding full equality now. Campagna and The Power's organizing efforts have been cited by The New York Daily News, The New York Blade, The Washington Blade, The San Francisco Examiner, Edge (the largest web portal of LGBT news and entertainment), Huffington Post, TimeOut New York, http://www.towleroad.com/, and others.
• Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) is Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Civil Rights, and lead sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act.
• Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum is the leader of the largest LGBT congregation in the world, New York's Congregation Beth Simchat Torah.
• Liz Abzug is a civil rights attorney, a public affairs consultant, and adjunct professor of urban studies at Columbia University; she is the daughter of the late Congresswoman Bella Abzug who introduced sweeping gay rights legislation three times in the 1970's.
• Rev. Dr. Mel White, former ghost writer for clients including Jerry Falwell and Pat Roberston, founder of Soulforce, a national organization of religious leaders fighting religious based bigotry, and author of "Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay And Christian In America"
QUOTES AND INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
Many supporters of President Barack Obama have gone "all in" on this administration. Considering it too historic to fail, either they can't see this White House's shortcomings and mistakes or they simply refuse to acknowledge them.
With one notable exception: gay and lesbian activists who are, as they say, so over that.
The relationship got off to a rocky start. Many gays and lesbians were so eager to help put an end to Republican control of the presidency that they enthusiastically became part of the coalition that helped elect Obama – even though he opposed gay marriage.
Since taking office, Obama has been criticized by gay and lesbian activists for not addressing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy that allows for a service member to be dismissed if discovered to be gay or lesbian. Obama has said that he opposes the policy but he has yet to do anything about it.
It gets worse.
Obama is also on record saying that he opposes and would like to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act – which essentially denies same-sex married couples the protection of the "full faith and credit" clause of the Constitution by preventing the federal government from recognizing such unions. Obama has said that the law is discriminatory and that it infringes on states' rights.
So imagine the surprise, and even disgust, on the part of gay activists when the Obama Justice Department recently filed a motion in support of the Defense of Marriage Act. The administration opposed a lawsuit brought by a married gay couple in California seeking to have their union recognized in all 50 states.
And in making their argument that not all marriages ought be recognized as lawful, Obama's lawyers cited as precedent cases involving, of all things, pedophilia and incest – the same sort of obscene comparisons that some religious conservatives have, in the past, drawn to argue against gay marriage.
All of this has incensed gay and lesbian pundits and activists.
They include prominent blogger Andrew Sullivan and the Joshua Blog.
The rift has prompted editorials in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times, both of which were critical of Obama. In response, many of Obama's gay and lesbian supporters have recently pulled out of Democratic fundraisers and some have already threatened to withhold political contributions to Obama's re-election campaign in 2012.
What's more, the activists aren't in any hurry to mend fences with the White House.
When Obama recently signed an executive order granting benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees, some activists dismissed the gesture as a feeble attempt at pacifying critics in the gay and lesbian communities – and not an original one at that since, according to a federal employee quoted by CNN.com, such benefits are already available to gay couples who work for the federal government.
Things are so touchy that when Obama recently made a gay-themed joke, some gays and lesbians were not amused.
At the 2009 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, Obama noted that he and senior adviser David Axelrod "have been together for a long time." In fact, Obama said, years ago, he called Axelrod and said, "You and I can do wonderful things together." Then, Obama joked, Axelrod "said to me the same thing that partners all across America are saying to one another right now. Let's go to Iowa and make it official."
And now he makes a joke out of it? The deteriorating relationship between Obama and the gay and lesbian community is no laughing matter. It never is when a group of voters feels written off by one party and taken for granted by another. And it never is when a group of voters feels completely let down by a political leader in whom they put their trust.
Gays and lesbians put their trust in Barack Obama assuming that he would join in their fight for dignity and equal rights. The shame of it is that they're still waiting.