A supporter of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) offered a solution to “gay” marriage at an anti-LGBT rally in Indianapolis this week: Hang same-sex couples.
NOM supporters don’t think it’s enough to take away our rights. They want to take away our lives.
The National Organization for Marriage is committed to ensuring that same-sex couples never have the right to marry. And while they might not seriously try to kill every same-sex couple in California, they are determined to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to elect candidates, build coalitions and work with other extremists to ensure that we never have marriage equality in our state.
Don’t think for a second that the money NOM is raising on its national bus tour won’t find its way back to California. Not only is NOM opposing the federal trial against Prop. 8, they have launched a new California-based organization called the Ruth Institute that is trying to convince younger people—who we know resoundingly support full equality—to change their minds on marriage for same-sex couples.
If we are to restore the freedom to marry permanently in California, and if we are to secure full equality and nothing less, we have to continue to stand strong against NOM. We can’t let them gain ground for even a second. Can you help us today?
NOM and their allies are trying to claim again and again that advocates for LGBT equality are intimidating and threatening them. But this sign from the rally—and so many other examples—show that the opposite is true.
Our community’s safety and progress depends on it.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
"For those who care, and I understand if you don't: Today I quit being a Christian. I'm out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being 'Christian' or to being part of Christianity. It's simply impossible for me to 'belong' to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten ...years, I've tried. I've failed. I'm an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.
"In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of ...Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen." - Famed novelist Anne Rice, from her Facebook page.Joe
Dear Daniel --
Wow. Just wow.
When we launched the "NOM Tour Tracker" web site two weeks ago along with our friends at Freedom to Marry, we had no idea what we would discover on the tour route:
· In Indianapolis, a National Organization for Marriage supporter painted two nooses on a sign as his "Solution to Gay Marriage," implying that LGBT people should "be put to death," as described in Leviticus 20:13: "They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them."
· A Pastor that NOM allowed to speak at a Minneapolis rally had previously compared gays and lesbians to pedophiles, adulterers and alcoholics. NOM has failed to condemn the Pastor's previous statements.
· As the NOM Tour Tracker has helped spread the word, marriage equality supporters have out-organized and outnumbered NOM supporters at nearly every event on the tour. Just a few days ago in Wisconsin, 466 equality supporters overwhelmed NOM's turnout of 54 attendees.
And that is just scratching the surface of a series of stunning stories that continue to unfold day by day, across America. From Maine to Minnesota, the Courage team of Arisha, Anthony, Phyllis, Danny, Jethro, Robert, Adam and Eden have been on the ground (and online) documenting every moment.
Right now, our NOM Tour Tracker web site is the eyes and ears of the marriage equality movement. We want to increase our NOM tour coverage, but we need to increase our budget to cover the costs. Will you become a "Tracker Backer" and contribute $25, $50, $100 or more to support our staff on the ground before the last leg of the tour starts? DEADLINE: Monday 5 p.m.:
If you haven't been reading NOMTourTracker.com on a daily basis, you've missed some amazing moments. But the best part may not be what's happening on the ground at each tour stop, as local and state groups organize inspiring counter-protests on the spur of the moment.
The best part might actually be what's happening in the comment threads of each NOM Tour Tracker post. To date, the NOM Tour Tracker and Prop 8 Trial Tracker have attracted nearly 2.5 million views and 41,389 comments combined.
The relationships that have formed in the comment threads -- and the discussions and debates that have developed -- are sometimes quite moving and emotional. Two people even met on the site and have been dating ever since.
Because of you, the NOM Tour Tracker is now a community -- not just a clearinghouse. To serve this community and take our coverage to the next level, we need your financial support. Please become a "Tracker Backer" and make a tax-deductible contribution of $25, $50, $100 or more before the final leg of the tour begins. DEADLINE: Monday,, 5 pm:
Thank you so much for supporting our work to hold NOM accountable and build the equality movement. We can't do it without you.
Chair, Courage Campaign Institute
Courage Campaign Institute is a part of the Courage Campaign's multi-issue 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 get involved in the Courage Campaign Institute, visit "Testimony: Equality on Trial" -- our year-long campaign to bring the Prop 8 trial into the lives of Americans.
To support our work to hold NOM accountable, please chip in what you can today:
Memphis city councilwoman Janis Fullilove is paying the price from God's Gentle People™ for sponsoring an LGBT rights law. So far she's received four telephoned death threats and the body of a dead cat tossed on her front lawn.
Police think the threats are serious enough have increased patrols around her home to keep her safe. All four calls came Tuesday and each call mentioned the proposed employee non-discrimination ordinance. Someone also threw a dead cat on her lawn. Each phone call mentioned her support for banning discrimination against gays in city government. Distraught, Fullilove reached out to Jonathan Cole with the Tennessee Equality Project. "She essentially said that they were threatening to kill her," said Cole, who thinks the death threats are just another example of intolerance in Memphis. "It's scary and our city needs to stand up to this kind of ugliness." Police are keeping a close eye on Fullilove and her family. She's asked her telephone provider to track the calls. Meanwhile, Cole says the councilwoman's experience should highlight the need for the ordinance to protect gays and lesbians working for the city.Fullilove (great name!) says the threats will not make her back down. The vote on her legislation is expected to come on August 10th.Joe
A federal judge today upheld Eastern Michigan University's dismissal of a graduate student who refused to "affirm homosexuality" when counseling gay students. Julea Ward's case has been a hot topic on Christianist and rightwing blogs, who maintain hers is just the latest in the homofascist campaign to stifle anti-gay dissent at the nation's universities.
In an order granting summary judgment to the university on Monday, Judge George Caram Steeh of the U.S. District Court in Detroit held that the university's requirement that the student be willing to serve people who are homosexual was reasonable, and did not amount to an infringement of the Christian student's constitutional rights to free speech and free expression of religion. The university "had a right and duty to enforce compliance" with professional ethics rules barring counselors from being intolerant or engaging in discrimination, and no reasonable person could conclude that a counseling program's requirement that students comply with such rules "conveys a message endorsing or disapproving of religion," Judge Steeh wrote.Last year Ward refused to treat a suicidal gay student, telling fellow counselors that her religious views prevented her from helping him feel better about himself. Ward plans to become a high school counselor, if anybody will have her after this.Joe
The Alliance Defense Fund, a coalition of Christian lawyers that is helping to represent the student, Julea Ward, issued a statement on Tuesday saying it plans to appeal the judge's decision. "Christian students shouldn't be expelled for holding to and abiding by their beliefs," said David French, a senior counsel for the group, which helped out in a similar lawsuit filed against Augusta State University, in Georgia, this month.
"It is worth noting, once again, how utterly hollow the Vatican is on the subject of homosexuality. It is an institution so embedded with homosexuality it makes Broadway look straight. The stories I've heard! The network of gay priests is vast in Rome, and is, in my mind, as unhealthy for those who get away with it - the hypocrisy must hollow out the soul in the end - as for those who impose it. Instead of grappling with this fact, owning it, and seeking to diversify the priesthood by ending the celibacy requirement and men-only anachronism, the Vatican clings on to denial and repression.
"And as society and the actual church evolves - as both must - the denial and repression must increase in proportion - until the sheer ridiculousness of the whole thing becomes apparent even to the most devout. Increasingly, on these issues of modernity, the Vatican of the new millennium seems like the Soviet Politburo of the 1980s. They pretend to believe what they preach while we pretend to obey them. One day, this surreality will pop like a bubble. One day." - Devout Catholic Andrew Sullivan, responding to the latest gay scandal at the Vatican.
RELATED: If you ever get a chance to sit down with our Father Tony, ask him for a few of his juicier stories from his time serving at the Vatican. "Gayer than Broadway" is putting it mildly.from Joe
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
About 20 members of GetEQUAL staged an ENDA protest at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda this morning. An unknown number of the group was arrested. Via Kerry Eleveld at the Advocate:
“In March, GetEqual held a sit-in in Pelosi’s office asking her to bring ENDA to the floor for a vote. At that point, we said we keep coming back until it was voted on,” explained Heather Cronk, GetEqual spokesperson, who was participating in the protest. “So this is us making good on our promise, asking her to make good on her promise over the last few years on ENDA.”The story is still developing. Following along at GetEQUAL's Twitter feed.Joe
The group of about 20 LGBT activists entered the Capitol as part of a routine tour through the Capitol. Upon reaching the rotunda, they sat down and pulled out signs reading, “Pass ENDA Now!” and “This Is Your Reminder.” Meanwhile, they began their signature chant, "I am ... somebody ... I deserve ... full equality." Eight to nine people were risking arrest in the action, according to Cronk, with the other half present to provide support including a couple legal observers.
Via Catholic Culture:
A survey of over 3,000 Californians conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute in June has found that Catholics strongly support the legal recognition of homosexual unions. Only 22% of white Catholics and 23% of Latino Catholics oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions. 37% of white Catholics and 44% of Latino Catholics support same-sex marriage, while an additional 41% of white Catholics and 28% of Latino Catholics support homosexual civil unions. In contrast, 53% of Latino Protestants oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions. The survey did not distinguish Catholics by frequency of Church attendance. “Protestants are much more likely to hear about homosexuality from their clergy than Catholics,” the survey report added. “Only 29% of white Catholics and 42% of Latino Catholics report hearing about homosexuality from their clergy.”Freepers say the poll's respondents are CINOS (Catholics in name only.)from Joe
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Bilerico co-founder Bil Browning just posted this sign seen at today's NOM rally in his hometown of Indianapolis. The maker of the sign agreed to an interview with the Courage Campaign team and just as the interview began, one of the NOM flacks rushed over to warn him, "We don't want anything inflammatory." Watch the clip, the hater says he's had homosexual attractions, but rejected them because they were "from the devil." We should totally use this sign against NOM, as they love to play victim at every opportunity.
Monday, July 26, 2010
"Will had as much sex on camera as anybody on Friends had on camera. It's a sitcom. Nobody has sex on camera. Will had lots of dates. Will was dating Patrick Dempsey and he married Taye Diggs. I think that a lot of the rhetoric in the kind of anti-Will & Grace press was misguided and was from people that had stopped watching the show about three years earlier.
"A lot happened to Will with regards to romance, with regards to relationships and, like I said, he walked down the aisle in his own apartment with Taye. I think the show actually ended up being -- as much as it got very outrageous near the end, it also got more outspoken. And I think that we weren't necessarily a show for the gay community alone; we were for America to maybe start making some inroads." - Eric McCormack, speaking to Rex Wockner.
Read Wockner's entire interview.Joe
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Via JMG: Sen. Harry Reid Prompts Standing Ovation For Dan Choi At Netroots Nation, Choi Presents Reid With His West Point Ring
"Sen. Harry Reid's opening remark at his keynote address at Netroots Nation recognized Lt. Dan Choi, who was sitting next to me in the front row. The entire room gave Choi a standing ovation. Later during the question and answer session, the moderator presented Reid with Choi's West Point ring. Reid promised to return the ring to Choi upon the official repeal of DADT, prompting Choi to leap to the stage and salute Sen. Reid (and also sending a couple of Secret Service men scrambling to protect Reid.)
The two then hugged on stage in a moment that will surely live on in LGBT activism history. It was a great moment. (Most of the queer contingent at Netroots had rushed to the tables at the front of the room immediately upon the opening of the doors, as we'd heard rumors that Choi might "do something.") The video below is by Good As You's Jeremy Hooper, who was further back in the room, so the audio is a bit low. That's me in the blue shirt up near where Choi jumps to the stage."
[Top three photos are mine, bottom photo by Pam Spaulding.]
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Obviously referring to GetEQUAL's protests, Pelosi said, "I would target [politicians] in a positive way. This is America, show your appreciation to those that are with us." More about Pelosi's speech at LGBT POV.
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,2 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.
While the pairing of saints, particularly in the early Christian church, was not unusual, the association of these two men was regarded as particularly intimate. Severus, the Patriarch of Antioch (512 - 518 CE) explained that, "we should not separate in speech they [Sergius and Bacchus] who were joined in life". This is not a case of simple "adelphopoiia." In the definitive 10th century account of their lives, St. Sergius is openly celebrated as the "sweet companion and lover" of St. Bacchus. Sergius and Bacchus's close relationship has led many modern scholars to believe they were lovers. But the most compelling evidence for this view is that the oldest text of their martyrology, written in New Testament Greek describes them as "erastai,” or "lovers". In other words, they were a male homosexual couple. Their orientation and relationship was not only acknowledged, but it was fully accepted and celebrated by the early Christian church, which was far more tolerant than it is today.
Friday, July 23, 2010
"Why do so many effeminate gay men prefer in their partners the very masculinity they've bleached out of themselves? The obvious answer is that they're attracted to their opposites. But that answer only goes so far. Effeminate men may lust for their masculine counterparts but most masculine men don't return the favor.
"Effeminate men get hoisted on their own chiffon petards. The more they take on effeminate characteristics the less able they are to attract the kinds of guys they want to sleep with. This is a mating absurdity. Imagine birds trying to attract mates with red and white plumage when the objects of their affection are attracted to yellow and green. The mis-matched mating call of the merry marys brings up a great question: If effeminacy is counter-productive to attracting the kind of sexual partners you want, then why not butch it up? Is it because like being gay, being effeminate isn't a choice?
"Nobody knows what fuels the gay flame -- nature or nurture. Some believe gay guys turn sissy because they're naturally nelly and some think it's because they're conforming to a culture that expects it. I've always maintained that effeminacy is like obesity. Sometimes it's glandular, but mostly it's cultural. There's an undeniable Pansy Vortex in gay life. You fall into it with baggy jeans and a t-shirt and climb out of it with spandex up the crack of your ass." - Mike Alvear, writing for the Huffington Post.
Read the entire essay.
RELATED: A lot of you took issue with Alvear's last essay quoted here.Joe