Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Margaret Cho talks about Prop 8 stay & marriage equality 8/16/2010

Via JMG: Fidel Castro: I Take Responsibility For Cuba's Persecution Of Gays

Calling it a "great injustice," today Fidel Castro told a Mexican newspaper that he accepts responsibility for Cuba's persecution of its gay citizens, thousands of whom were rounded up and placed in internment camps during his regime.
Castro said that the revolutionary government's actions represented "a great injustice – a great injustice! – whoever committed it. If we committed it, we committed it. I am trying to limit my responsibility in all that because, of course, personally I don't have that type of prejudice." The interviewer paraphrases him as saying that "everything came about as a spontaneous reaction in the revolutionary ranks that came from the nation's traditions. In the old Cuba, blacks were not the only ones discriminated against; there was discrimination against women and, of course, homosexuals." Was the Communist Party to blame, the interviewer asks. "No," Castro responds. "If anyone is responsible, I am. True, at that time I couldn't concern myself with the subject. I was deeply and mainly involved in the October Crisis, the war, the political issues. But in the end, if responsibility must be assumed, I assume mine. I'm not going to blame others," Castro says.
Many will likely credit Castro's niece Mariela for today's statement as she has led Cuba's burgeoning LGBT rights movement in recent years. Havana has staged gay pride parades for the last two years.

reposted from Joe

Say Cheese! Glee 'Vogue' Flash Mob At Sydney QVB [OFFICIAL]

Courage Campaign

"This land is your land, this land is my land,
From California, to the New York Island,
From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf Stream Waters,
This land was made for you and me..."

Have you heard about how Peter, Paul & Mary -- one of the most famous musical groups of the 1960s -- just stood up to the National Organization for Marriage?

It all started when participants on the Courage Campaign Institute's Prop 8 Trial Tracker web site noticed that NOM was playing Peter, Paul & Mary's version of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" at their anti-equality rallies.

Kathleen Perrin, a frequent commenter on the Prop 8 Trial Tracker, was stunned and deeply offended that NOM was using this beautiful folk song to drown out the chants of equality counter-protesters. Kathleen knew that Woody Guthrie and Peter, Paul & Mary unequivocally supported justice and equality for all. So she contacted Peter Yarrow, one of the performers in the group along with Noel Paul Stookey and Mary Travers (Travers passed away in 2009).

Peter Yarrow responded to Kathleen, saying use of the song by NOM was "heartbreaking" and then sent a cease-and-desist to NOM, telling them to stop playing their song.

But Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey didn't stop there. On behalf of "Peter, Paul & Mary," their letter went on to make an impassioned defense of the freedom to marry: 
"We strongly support the rights of all gays and lesbians to enjoy the rights and rituals of marriage that are enjoyed by their straight counterparts, and consider the abridgement of this right contrary to the sense of equal protection and fairness inherent in, and applied by, the law of the Constitution of the United States."
"All along the NOM tour we saw, time and again, how NOM inverted the truth, portraying themselves as the oppressed instead of the oppressor. NOM's president Brian Brown even made the outrageous claim that he follows in the footsteps of Martin Luther King, Jr. as the leader of a new civil rights movement."
NOM's playing of "This Land Is Your Land" at their rallies is just as Orwellian -- a twisted version of the truth.

Will you stand by Peter, Paul & Mary as they tell NOM to cease using this recording in a way that associates these staunch supporters of marriage equality with NOM's offensive anti-equality agenda? Just click here now to add your name. DEADLINE: Friday, 5 p.m.:


Thank you for standing in solidarity with Peter, Paul & Mary. Together, we'll stop NOM.

Eden James
Managing Director, 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 power our campaign to defend Judge Walker's Prop 8 decision, please chip in what you can today:


Tragically LGBT youth are taunted, harassed, bullied and even worse. One in four becomes homeless after coming out to their parents. Many try to commit suicide.
Benji was one such youth. Growing up in a small town in California, his life was a living nightmare. He was mercilessly teased and bullied. He faced rejection by his family. He tried to kill himself many times. 

Benji desperately needed professional help. But California law prevents mental health professionals from treating youth who cannot obtain their parents' permission. 

Equality California has been working with Senator Mark Leno and key coalition partners to change the law and eliminate this restriction to ensure that other young people don’t suffer like Benji did. Yesterday the Assembly and Senate passed the Mental Health Services for At-Risk Youth bill which, if signed into law by the governor, will allow youth to obtain the mental health services they need and will help save countless lives.

This is just one of the seven Equality California-sponsored bills that has passed the legislature and is awaiting action by the Governor. These bills will help some of the most vulnerable members of the LGBT community and will advance equality. 

We need your help to ensure these bills are signed into law. Write Governor Schwarzenegger and urge him to protect LGBT Californians by signing these seven EQCA-sponsored bills into law.:
Write the Governor and ask him to sign the bills into law. 
Fortunately, Benji was able to find support from a caring teacher and is now headed to college. He was strong and he was lucky, but many aren't as fortunate.
We will achieve full equality when LGBT people are equal in the eyes of the law and are fully accepted in society. Until then, Equality California will continue to champion legislation to protect every LGBT Californian.

Join us to achieve full equality.

With hope,

Geoff Kors
Executive Director
Equality California


Today in Stupid AssholeryLand: Focus On The Family Launches Site To Stop Anti-Bullying Programs

The bigots at Focus On The Family are worried that their "God-given, constitutionally protected" right to have their kids beat up queers is being thwarted by the rising number of anti-bullying programs around the nation. Therefore they have launched the misnamed hate site True Tolerance, where parents can get tips on how to stop any anti-bullying education that includes the message that it's wrong to attack gay kids. "The emphasis should be on the wrong actions of the bully — not on the bully’s perceived thoughts or motivations." They should ask Carl Walker-Hoover's mother what she thinks about that.

reposted from Joe

Viva JMG: Mexico City Invites Gay Honeymooners

Mexico City has launched a new tourism office to lure gay honeymooners from around the world.
"We hope that many same-sex couples who get married around the world spend their honeymoons here," says Alejandro Rojas, the city's tourism secretary. In July, the city opened an office aimed at catering to gay tourists that officials describe as the first of its kind in Latin America. "We are a very tolerant, liberal, avant-garde city," Rojas says. Officials inaugurated the new office by cutting a rainbow-colored ribbon. Rojas said the office's goal is to make Mexico City the No. 1 gay-friendly destination in Latin America. "Mexico has a tradition of being a rather macho culture... This is a sign of a very important social change," says Argentinean architect Jose Luis David Navarro, who will be spending part of his honeymoon in Mexico City this week.
The first gay couple to wed in Argentina is honeymooning in Mexico City this week on an all-expenses paid trip courtesy of the new tourism office.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Quote Of The Day - NOM

"An earthquake is beginning: If 'gay is like black,' then 'Christian is like racist.' The early warning signs are now taking place all over the globe. In New Zealand, Exodus Ministries was just stripped of its tax-exempt status, on the grounds that helping gay people lead Christian lives is not a charity." - NOM reacts to yesterday's news that New Zealand doesn't consider "ex-gay" ministries to have a public value. Despite NOM's lies about this, the government did not comment about racism or discrimination in its ruling.
reposted from Joe

Via JMG: GEORGIA: No Hates Crime Charges For Marines That Beat Gay Man

In June two U.S. Marines were arrested in Savannah, Georgia after viciously beating a gay man they claimed had winked at them. The victim was hospitalized after suffering two seizures at the site of the attack. The case prompted national outrage and a local protest vigil after the men were only charged with misdemeanor assault. On Friday a joint investigation by the FBI and local police concluded that the case did not merit any hate crimes charges.
Johnson said after the FBI, the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department and the DA’s office reviewed Daly's medical records and conducted further investigation, they determined this case had “no merit” to be considered a hate crime. “I can’t speak on the specifics because this is pending litigation, but for a crime to be considered a felony [which a hate crime is considered to be] there has to be proof of a sustained injury,” Johnson said. “It’s my understanding Daly suffered only a punch. Based on his medical records we could not upgrade the charge from a misdemeanor to a felony.” If convicted of a misdemeanor, the Marines could face less than a year in jail and a fine of no more than $1,200, she added.
posted by Joe