Thursday, July 29, 2010

Via JMG: Quote Of The Day - Anne Rice

"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.

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reposted by Joe

Via Courage Campaign:

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 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.

Rick Jacobs
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:

Via JMG: MEMPHIS: Death Threats And A Dead Cat For Sponsor Of LGBT Rights Ordinance

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.

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reposted from Joe

Via JMG: MICHIGAN: Federal Judge Upholds Dismissal Of Anti-Gay Student Counselor

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.

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.
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.

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reposted from Joe

VIA JMG: HomoQuotable - Andrew Sullivan

"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.

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reposted from Joe