Monday, October 17, 2011

Via Updated Obama LGBT Accomplishments Brings Out The Haters And The Cheerleaders

Updated Obama LGBT Accomplishments Brings Out The Haters And The Cheerleaders


We just cracked up when we read the commentary following eQualitygiving’s most recent update of accomplishments the Obama administration has achieved so far with LGBT rights. There’s two camps: the haters and the cheerleaders. With the haters we notice there’s just nothing the administration can do right. These are people who have completely drawn a blank on what is was like to be gay under any other administration. To hear them tell it gays knew no pain until January 12, 2008—–the day Barack Obama was sworn into office.

Then you have your cheerleaders——-we proudly fit in this category. We’re the ones who beam and glow over any little offering or gesture the White House has made since day one. We just can’t understand why so many gay folks (now joined by many black folks) are so embittered. Quite honestly, we just don’t get it.
We love the fact that this administration has done more for LGBTs than all the previous administrations combined and we’re more than happy to remind folks ad nausea of this oft’ overlooked fact. We take on anyone who dares to criticize the president in any way—–even if there’s a smidge of proof to their whining. We don’t care. We’d as soon tell them to shut it rather than listen to their monotonous diatribe.
Anyway blah blah, here’s the updated list. Oddly the repeal of DADT is not on it.

Accomplishments by the Administration and Congress on LGBT Equality

By Andrew Tobias (DNC treasurer)
  1. Signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which expanded existing United States federal hate crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability — the first positive federal LGBT legislation in the nation’s history
  2. Repealed Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell
  3. Signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act
  1. Reversed US refusal to sign the UN Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
  2. Extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees in 2009 and, further, in 2010
  3. Lifted the HIV Entry Ban
  4. Issued diplomatic passports, and provided other benefits, to the partners of same-sex foreign service employees
  5. Committed to ensuring that federal housing programs are open to all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity
  6. Conceived a National Resource Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Elders — the nation’s first ever — funded by a three-year HHS grant to SAG
  7. Banned job discrimination based on gender identity throughout the Federal government (the nation’s largest employer)
  8. Eliminated the discriminatory Census Bureau policy that kept our relationships from being counted, encouraging couples who consider themselves married to file that way, even if their state of residence does not yet permit legal marriage
  9. Instructed HHS to require any hospital receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds (virtually all hospitals) to allow LGBT visitation rights
  10. Required all grant applicants seeking HUD funding to comply with state and local anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBT individuals
  11. Adopted transgender recommendations on the issuance of gender-appropriate passports that will ease barriers to safe travel and that will provide government-issued ID that avoids involuntary "outing" in situations requiring ID, like hiring, where a gender-appropriate driver’s license or birth certificate is not available
  12. Extended domestic violence protections to LGBT victims
  13. Extended the Family and Medical Leave Act to cover employees taking unpaid leave to care for the children of same-sex partners
  14. Issued guidance specifically to assist LGBT tenants denied housing on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity
  15. Issued a National HIV/AIDS Strategy praised as "long-overdue" by the Task Force, Lambda and others
  16. Issued guidance to 15,000 local departments of education and 5,000 colleges to support educators in combating bullying
  17. Cut back authority to discharge under Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell from hundreds of generals to just 6 civilian appointees, effectively ending discharges while working toward a permanent end to the policy.
  18. Led the fight that reversed a 2010 UN vote removing sexual orientation from the list of things people should not be killed for
  19. Launched the first-ever national study of discrimination against members of the LGBT community in the rental and sale of housing
  20. Determined that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional
  21. Determined that LGBT discrimination should be subject to a standard of "heightened scrutiny"
  22. Stopped defending DOMA, leading to "dramatic changes across the country and the federal government in the way that lawyers and judges see legal challenges brought by LGBT people – and, slowly but surely, in the way that LGBT people are able to live their lives"
  23. Filed an unprecedented brief detailing the history of discrimination faced by gay, lesbian and bisexual people in America, including by the federal government itself — the single most persuasive legal argument ever advanced by the United States government in support of equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people
  24. Vacated a court order that would have deported a gay American’s Venezuelan partner
  25. Begun recognizing joint bankruptcy petitions filed by same-sex married couples
  26. Endorsed the Respect for Marriage Act
  27. Reduced the deportation threat faced by binational LGBT couples
  1. Endorsed the Baldwin-Lieberman bill, The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009, to provide FULL partnership benefits to federal employees
  2. Released the first Presidential PRIDE proclamations since 2000
  3. Hosted the first LGBT Pride Month Celebration in White House history
  4. Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Harvey Milk and Billie Jean King, joining past recipients such as Rosa Parks
  5. Appointed the first ever transgender DNC member
  6. Testified in favor of ENDA, the first time any official of any administration has testified in the Senate on ENDA
  7. Hired more openly LGBT officials (like these) in its first two years — more than 150, including more than 20 "Senate-confirmables" — than any previous administration hired in four years or eight
  8. Sworn in Ambassador David Huebner
  9. Changed the culture of government everywhere from – among others – HUD and HHS to the Export-Import Bank, the State Department, and the Department of Education
  10. Appointed Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, instead of conservatives who would have tilted the Court even further to the right and virtually doomed our rights for a generation. To wit (quoting McCain): "I’ve said a thousand times on this campaign trail, I’ve said as often as I can, that I want to find clones of Alito and Roberts. I worked as hard as anybody to get them confirmed. I look you in the eye and tell you I’ve said a thousand times that I wanted Alito and Roberts. I have told anybody who will listen. I flat-out tell you I will have people as close to Roberts and Alito [as possible]."
  11. Named open transgender appointees (the first President ever to do so)
  12. Emphasized LGBT inclusion in everything from the President’s historic NAACP address (“The pain of discrimination is still felt in America. By African American women paid less for doing the same work as colleagues of a different color and a different gender. By Latinos made to feel unwelcome in their own country. By Muslim Americans viewed with suspicion simply because they kneel down to pray to their God. By our gay brothers and sisters, still taunted, still attacked, still denied their rights.”) . . . to the first paragraph of his Family Day proclamation (“Whether children are raised by two parents, a single parent, grandparents, a same-sex couple, or a guardian, families encourage us to do our best and enable us to accomplish great things”) and his Mothers Day proclamation ("Nurturing families come in many forms, and children may be raised by two parents, a single mother, two mothers, a step-mom, a grandmother, or a guardian. Mother’s Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate these extraordinary caretakers") . . . to creating the chance for an adorable 10-year-old at the White House Easter Egg roll to tell ABC World News how cool it is to have two mommies . . . to including the chair of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce along with the Secretary of the Treasury and the President of Goldman Sachs in the small audience for the President’s economic address at the New York Stock Exchange . . . to welcoming four gay couples to its first State Dinner
  13. Recommitted, in a televised address, to passing ENDA . . . repealing Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell . . . repealing the so-called Defense of Marriage Act
  14. Spoken out against discrimination at the National Prayer Breakfast ("We may disagree about gay marriage, but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are — whether it’s here in the United States or, as Hillary mentioned, more extremely in odious laws that are being proposed most recently in Uganda.")
  15. Dispatched the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to call on the Senate to repeal Don’t Ask / Don’t Tell
  16. Launched a website to gather public comment on first-ever federal LGBT housing discrimination study
  17. Appointed long-time equality champion Chai Feldblum one of the four Commissioners of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  18. Produced U.S. Census Bureau PSAs featuring gay, lesbian, and transgender spokespersons
  19. Appointed Retired Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer, an early public champion of open service in the military, to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services
  20. Publicly invited the shunned Mississippi high school prom student to the White House
  21. Successfully fought for UN accreditation of IGLHRC (the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission) — against Republican attempts to block it
  22. Convened the first-ever anti-bullying summit to craft a national strategy to reduce bullying in schools
  23. Launched
  24. Awarded $13.3 million to the LA Gay & Lesbian Center to create a model program for LGBTQ youth in the foster care system
  25. Tweeted to 5.7 million Barack Obama followers and nearly 2 million Whitehouse followers the President’s "It Gets Better" video
  26. Embraced that campaign with heartfelt messages from, as well, the Vice President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Agriculture (aimed particularly at rural youth), the Secretaries of Education and Health & Human Services, the Secretary of Labor (in English and Spanish), the Director of OPM and LGBT members of the White House staff
  27. Issued a Department of Justice video urging kids to call a Justice Department toll-free number if their school is aware of bullying but taking no action
  28. Held the first ever White House conference on bullying prevention, led by the President and First Lady
  29. Hosted first-ever White House transgender policy meeting
  30. Emphasized the positive value of Gay-straight Student Alliances (GSAs) and advised the nation’s school districts of their legal responsibility to allow establishment of GSAs
  31. Appointed the first openly gay man to serve on the federal bench
  32. Nominated the first open lesbian US attorney
  33. Nominated the first openly gay US attorney to serve Texas
  34. Forced the Tehachipi Unified School District to prevent and respond to gender-based harassment
  35. Acknowledged in federal court the U.S. government’s "significant and regrettable role" in discrimination in America against gays and lesbians, arguing that DOMA is unconstitutional. ("This is your U.S. Justice Department, folks, forcefully, stunningly taking on the homophobes in Congress and a huge Obama WIN." — Rex Wockner)
  36. Appointed open lesbian activist to West Point advisory board
  37. Used the President’s annual United Nations address to say, "no country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere."
The Administration will continue to make steady progress on our issues whether we help strengthen its hand or not. But the stronger it is, the faster that progress will come. Accomplishments by the Administration and Congress on LGBT Equality

JMG HomoQuotable - Zachary Quinto

"when i found out that jamey rodemeyer killed himself - i felt deeply troubled. but when i found out that jamey rodemeyer had made an it gets better video only months before taking his own life - i felt indescribable despair. i also made an it gets better video last year - in the wake of the senseless and tragic gay teen suicides that were sweeping the nation at the time. but in light of jamey's death - it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it - is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality." - Actor Zachary Quinto, writing on his personal blog. Quinto came out this weekend.

reposted from Joe

"The Right to Love: An American Family" - Documentary Trailer

Via JMG: WASHINGTON: Federal Court Orders Release Of Referendum 71 Names

Much to the anguish of the anti-gay hate industry, today a federal judge ordered the release of the names on Referendum 71, the 2009 petition attempt to repeal Washington state's domestic partners law.
U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle said in a ruling Monday that it was unlikely that signers would face threats or harassment. Opponents of the law that expanded gay partnership rights managed to get enough signatures in 2009 to force a vote on the issue. They had pushed in court to keep the names of petition supporters private, arguing that it was a contentious issue and that people could be harassed.
RELATED: Referendum 71 failed by a margin of 53-47, becoming the first ever statewide LGBT rights law to be upheld by a public vote. Today's ruling follows a June 2010 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which voted 8-1 to uphold the constitutionality of releasing the names.

UPDATE: The above-linked article has been updated to report that a DVD containing all 138,000 petition names has been provided to the press. The names were released despite a promised appeal of the decision. You should check out the comments and their replies.

reposted from Joe

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

 October 17, 2011

Christianity and Buddhism

Perhaps an important difference between Buddhism and Christianity is that, within the Christian tradition, there is usually a subject you are contemplating, whereas in Buddhism, especially with the formless practices, you are really opening the mind in and of itself; you are not contemplating a particular subject or figure. Ultimately, we are looking to simply open the mind and lay bare its depths. In Christianity you find that as well, so it’s not an absolute difference but a difference in emphasis.
– Reginald Ray, "The Power of Solitude"
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection

Via AmericaBloggay: Spock is gay

I'm impressed he came out.  And how, and why.

Last year, the Times, in profiling him for Angels, noted that “the blogosphere is rife with speculation about his sexuality” but that “he prefers not to feed the rumor mill with either substantiation or dismissal.” That has changed. A little while later in our conversation, speaking of the cultural bipolarity that can see gay marriage legalized in New York in the same year that yet another gay teenager, Jamey Rodemeyer, was bullied and killed himself, Quinto says, “And again, as a gay man I look at that and say there’s a hopelessness that surrounds it, but as a human being I look at it and say ‘Why? Where’s this disparity coming from, and why can’t we as a culture and society dig deeper to examine that?’ We’re terrified of facing ourselves.