Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Via Andres Duque at Blabbeando, who says: "How great is it that the editors of one of the most widely read Spanish-language magazines in the United States would deem it fit to honor Ricky Martin and his parenting as an openly gay man and, in doing so, highlight gay parenting in general? Appropriately, I also happened to come upon this story today on what a number of bloggers are celebrating as the 5th Annual Blogging for LGBT Families Day." Duque notes that the editor of People en Español is also an openly gay man with two kids of his own.de Joe
Portuguese soccer hero Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the most beloved athletes in the world, has endorsed same-sex marriage. Via Blabbeando's Andres Duque, who translates Ronaldo as saying: "The Portuguese man that I am, I try to keep informed about what is happening in my country. I know the law was passed and the comment it deserves is that we must respect the choices made by anyone, because, after all, all citizens should have the exact same rights and responsibilities." Last month Portugal legalized gay marriage.Joe
THE WHITE HOUSEJoe
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
May 28, 2010
LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2010
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
As Americans, it is our birthright that all people are created equal and deserve the same rights, privileges, and opportunities. Since our earliest days of independence, our Nation has striven to fulfill that promise. An important chapter in our great, unfinished story is the movement for fairness and equality on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. This month, as we recognize the immeasurable contributions of LGBT Americans, we renew our commitment to the struggle for equal rights for LGBT Americans and to ending prejudice and injustice wherever it exists.
LGBT Americans have enriched and strengthened the fabric of our national life. From business leaders and professors to athletes and first responders, LGBT individuals have achieved success and prominence in every discipline. They are our mothers and fathers, our sons and daughters, and our friends and neighbors. Across my Administration, openly LGBT employees are serving at every level. Thanks to those who came before us -- the brave men and women who marched, stood up to injustice, and brought change through acts of compassion or defiance -- we have made enormous progress and continue to strive for a more perfect union.
My Administration has advanced our journey by signing into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which strengthens Federal protections against crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation. We renewed the Ryan White CARE Act, which provides life-saving medical services and support to Americans living with HIV/AIDS, and finally eliminated the HIV entry ban. I also signed a Presidential Memorandum directing hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds to give LGBT patients the compassion and security they deserve in their time of need, including the ability to choose someone other than an immediate family member to visit them and make medical decisions.
In other areas, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a series of proposals to ensure core housing programs are open to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. HUD also announced the first-ever national study of discrimination against members of the LGBT community in the rental and sale of housing. Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services has created a National Resource Center for LGBT Elders.
Much work remains to fulfill our Nation's promise of equal justice under law for LGBT Americans. That is why we must give committed gay couples the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple, and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. We must protect the rights of LGBT families by securing their adoption rights, ending employment discrimination against LGBT Americans, and ensuring Federal employees receive equal benefits. We must create safer schools so all our children may learn in a supportive environment. I am also committed to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" so patriotic LGBT Americans can serve openly in our military, and I am working with the Congress and our military leadership to accomplish that goal.
As we honor the LGBT Americans who have given so much to our Nation, let us remember that if one of us is unable to realize full equality, we all fall short of our founding principles. Our Nation draws its strength from our diversity, with each of us contributing to the greater whole. By affirming these rights and values, each American benefits from the further advancement of liberty and justice for all.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2010 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month by fighting prejudice and discrimination in their own lives and everywhere it exists.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.
"I have received several calls and visits from constituents who, in spite of the heavy investment in their training, have been forced out of the military simply because they were discovered to be homosexual," Paul said Friday. "To me, this seems like an awful waste. Personal behavior that is disruptive should be subject to military discipline regardless of whether the individual is heterosexual or homosexual. But to discharge an otherwise well-trained, professional, and highly skilled member of the military for these reasons is unfortunate and makes no financial sense." - Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), one of five GOP House reps to vote in favor of repealing DADT. Stopped clock and all that.Joe
Fantastic news. President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi has pardoned the gay couple sentenced last week to 14 years in prison at hard labor for the "grossly indecent and unnatural act" of holding a commitment ceremony.
Mr Mutharika, speaking as UN chief Ban Ki-moon visited Lilongwe, said he had ordered their immediate release. Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, were given 14-year jail terms after being convicted of gross indecency and unnatural acts. The case has sparked international condemnation and a debate about homosexuality in the country. Mr Ban said he welcomed the president's decision. Correspondents say Malawi is a deeply conservative society where religious leaders equate same-sex liaisons with Satanism. Mr Mutharika, who has in the past dismissed homosexuality as alien, said he had set them free on humanitarian grounds. "These boys committed a crime against our culture, our religion and our laws," he said after meeting Mr Ban. "However, as the head of state I hereby pardon them and therefore ask for their immediate release with no conditions."We can consider this welcome news as evidence that even the most virulently anti-gay government can indeed by swayed by international pressure. I imagine that today's planned protest at the Malawi consulate in NYC will not take place.
UPDATE: The protest in NYC is still going to happen. From the organizer:
WE DID IT! BUT THE WORK IS STILL NOT DONE! TODAY WE STILL PROTEST, FOR ALL THE STEVENS AND TIWONJES IN AFRICA, WHO DO NOT HAVE A VOICE. AND FOR A REMOVAL OF ALL THE ANTI GAY LAWS, NOT ONLY IN MALAWI, NOT ONLY IN AFRICA, BUT IN THE WORLD! THE PROTEST IN NYC, IS STILL ON! I'M SO PROUD OF YOU! I HAVEN'T CRIED SUCH HAPPY TEARS IN A LONG TIME!UPDATE II: The White House has issued a statement.
The White House is pleased to learn of President Bingu wa Mutharika's pardon of Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza. These individuals were not criminals and their struggle is not unique. We must all recommit ourselves to ending the persecution and criminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity. We hope that President Mutharika's pardon marks the beginning of a new dialogue which reflects the country's history of tolerance and a new day for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights in Malawi and around the globe.Joe
"I don't even think there is bad taste anymore. American humor is bad taste — that's what we import, that's what television is about, reality television is based on that. I think it kind of ruined bad taste, because you're asked to feel superior to the subject matter, which I don't think I ever do. I think I always look up to my subjects, which is maybe what good taste is. Extreme taste is more interesting to me now than good or bad."- Director John Waters, lamenting that reality TV has destroyed the kitsch value of his work.Joe
A couple of politicians took to the airwaves during Sunday morning's political talk shows to discuss "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
"Things have changed. That was 17 years ago." He also added that, "I am personally of the view now that attitudes have changed and I think it is perfectly acceptable to get rid of the law and the policy but I think before we actually do it we have to hear clearly from the officers and the men and women who are charge of executing the policy."
“I think it's important to listen to the troops who are affected and take into account the views of the senior leadership and military leadership of the armed forces.”