Friday, April 23, 2010

Via Belirico: Pride is about making people uncomfortable

Filed by: Alex Blaze

April 23, 2010 1:00 PM

Here's another story about how restrictions on free speech ultimately get used to quell political debate and silence certain opinions, no matter what the intentions were in developing those restrictions.

I was following a story from Toronto last month on Page1Q (didn't post about it here, though) about how the Toronto Pride committee set up a panel to pre-approve signs people wanted to march with in pride this year.

In a press release, Pride Toronto co-chair Jim Cullen wrote that all messages must "support the theme of the 2010 festival, celebrating '30 Years of Pride in Toronto.'"

People immediately thought the new policy was meant to keep Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) out of the parade, although some people thought it was about homocons as well (they're always the victim). A Facebook group called "Don't Sanitize Pride" was created and thousands joined. The Pride committee's spokesperson refused to say why the policy was put in place.

Continue reading "Pride is about making people uncomfortable" »

Via Belirico: Queer music Friday - R.J. Helton

Filed by: Alex Blaze

April 23, 2010 5:00 PM

Waymon pointed me to another Christian music singer who's gay, former American Idol contestant R.J. Helton. He came out in 2006 after his first Christian album and his run on Idol. Here's his performance of "Blessing," a song about a Christian coming out to his parents. It's a little Idoly for me, but I'm not the target audience.

A video of him from Idol after the jump.

Continue reading "Queer music Friday - R.J. Helton" »

From HRC:

Dear Daniel,

As we approach the time when Congress will consider the Department of Defense Authorization bill, a critical order of business is to secure the votes we need in the Senate Armed Services Committee for repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT).

To do so, HRC has identified senators in six key states (FL, IN, MA, NE, VA & WV) for grassroots and grasstops lobbying. We have two dozen organizers on the ground in those states, and are engaged in events, post cards drives, phone calls, visits to in-district offices, op-eds from veterans and opinion leaders, and other earned media. The Voices of Honor Tour, a successful collaboration with our allied groups, has held events in 30 cities so far. In these key states we have:

  • Generated almost 10,000 postcards to senators;
  • Placed over 4,000 phone calls to senators; and
  • Identified over 300 veterans to do in-district lobby visits or attend our May 11 Lobby Day.

HRC is also meeting with House leadership to discuss strategies for moving DADT repeal this year and we continue to exert pressure on the White House to take a visible leadership role as we enter this critical period. We are hopeful about moving repeal, and aware that a handful of votes in the Senate could determine the outcome. If you have not done so already, please take action and learn more about how to help.

Our steadfast advocacy of an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act has not wavered as well. Along with LGBT coalition groups and congressional leaders, we are putting the pieces in place to pass an inclusive ENDA in the House and hope to have news to share in the coming weeks. After you've taken action on DADT, don't forget to also visit to let Congress know fair workplaces are a critical issue for our country.

As we press ahead on those two fronts I want to add one more item to your to-do list. We celebrated last week when the President issued a memorandum requiring hospitals accepting federal funds to respect families' wishes regarding who is at a sick or dying patient's bedside. When fully implemented, the memorandum will help to avert the tragedies that many same-sex couples and their children face in their times of greatest need.

But the policy is not in force yet. Now, the Department of Health and Human Services must issue regulations. To ensure that your family is protected today, you must have documents expressing your intentions regarding visitation, as well as a health care proxy and living will to ensure that those who know you the best can make medical decisions on your behalf in an emergency.

Download sample forms online from the HRC Foundation.

Another great resource is the Healthcare Equality Index, our groundbreaking nationwide report on healthcare facilities' policies affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. This index was a key resource in our efforts with the White House on this memorandum and you can use it to find out the policies of your nearest hospital. The next edition of the Healthcare Equality Index is due to be released in early June.



Joe Solmonese
President, Human Rights Campaign

via JMG: Archie Comic Gets Gay Character

After running for 69 years, the venerable Archie comic has added a gay character.
"We're trying to reflect society and we're just trying to show Riverdale is a diverse place," says Dan Parent, the artist-writer behind the series. Kevin Keller makes his debut in September in "Veronica" No. 202, on sale in September, as a hunky new kid who catches the raven-haired vixen's eye. Though Veronica is used to getting her way, she's finally run up against a boy who's immune to her charms. Cue the hijinks. Parent says he hopes the positive message will offend as few people as possible, but adverse conservative reaction "was not a reason not to do the story." Archie Comics Co-CEO Jon Goldwater said in the few hours since the official announcement his voice mail has been overwhelmed with messages - mostly in support of the company's decision.
Freepers react:
-Wow, those faggots are really taking over.
-An extremely marginal and diseased viewpoint.
-Giving the Arabs yet another reason to seek nuclear weapons...
-Maybe the new character will get himself some JugHead.

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a repost from JMG

Via JMG: Westboro Baptist Church To Picket Constance McMillen's Graduation

Westboro Baptist Church has announced on their website (NFSW) that they will be picketing the graduation ceremony of Constance McMillen's high school in Mississippi.
WBC will picket the graduation of Itawamba Agricultural High School to remind the parents, teachers and students of this nation that God said "Thou shall not lie with mankind, as with womankind, it is abomination." Leviticus 18:22. This generation has been raised to believe that they can live for the devil and still go to heaven, that God has no standards and the biggest lie of all - that God loves everyone. The parents of Fulton, MS feign outrage that a filthy dyke wants to parade her "girlfriend" around at their night of fornication called a prom. They had a duty to teach their children what the Lord requires of them. They shirked this duty. The Lord repays them to their face by sending dykes, burning in their lusts, to tyrannize them. "For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women did change their natural use which is is against nature." Romans 1:26
While we've seen many moving examples of young people protesting the presence of Westboro, it will be very interesting to see how the people of Constance's hometown react to this. Encouragingly, a Facebook group against the picket has already appeared.

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a repost from JMG

Via JMG: Rosie O'Donnell Vs. Mike Huckabee

Rosie O'Donnell hosted Mike Huckabee on her SiriusXM show yesterday to grill him about his recent outrageous "children are not puppies" statement of opposition to gay adoption. Wonk Room has the transcript. Good stuff, listen to this.

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a repost from JMG

From facebook:

Steve MarshallDaniel Orey: A FaceBook friend of mine, Daniel Orey, got married a few years ago. He ran into some problems because a state-sanctioned, committed, same-sex marriage is not an acceptable lifestyle for Baha’is, according to his NSA...
make the jump here to read his posting