Saturday, March 31, 2012

HomoQuotable - John Waters

"When I was young there were beatniks. Hippies. Punks. Gangsters. Now you're a hacktivist. Which I would probably be if I was 20. Shuttin' down MasterCard. But there's no look to that lifestyle! Besides just wearing a bad outfit with bad posture. Has WikiLeaks caused a look? No! I'm mad about that. If your kid comes out of the bedroom and says he just shut down the government, it seems to me he should at least have an outfit for that. Get a look! I'm not judging what they do; I hope they don't shut me down." - John Waters, writing for the Wall Street Journal.

Reposted from  Joe

Via Facebook:

Friday, March 30, 2012

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma March 30, 2012

The Perfect Zen Student

When things are running smoothly, the refrigerator is very much like some people's idea of the perfect Zen student. It is calm, cool, and quiet, and it possesses its own inner light.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Via Faithful America:

Faithful America

Dear Daniel,
Last time I opened the Bible, Jesus said to turn the other cheek, not to shoot first and ask questions later.
But in 24 states—including Florida, where Trayvon Martin's killer is still walking the streets—the law says you can shoot and kill anyone you "reasonably believe" is threatening you.1
Those laws are on the books because of the tireless efforts of a secretive coalition of right-wing lobbyists and state legislators, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which adopted "Kill at Will" as model legislation to promote across the country.2
A key member of the ALEC task force pushing "Kill At Will" is one of the nation's most prominent evangelical organizations: Prison Fellowship, whose stated purpose is to transform lives and reconcile families affected by the criminal-justice system.3
Christians shouldn't have anything to do with promoting laws that invite self-appointed vigilantes like George Zimmerman to use deadly force. After the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, it's time for Prison Fellowship to immediately quit the American Legislative Exchange Council and disavow "Kill at Will."
Prison Fellowship serves alongside the NRA, the nation's largest private-prison corporation, and the state legislator who sponsored Arizona's notorious anti-immigration law, on ALEC's Public Safety and Elections Task force. In addition to "Kill at Will," the task force has crafted and aggressively promoted "model bills" that:
  • Make local law enforcement use racial profiling against immigrants.4
  • Allow private corporations to hire prison inmates at far less than the minimum wage.5
  • Use onerous voter-ID requirements to disenfranchise low-income people, seniors, African Americans, and Latinos.6
As the Center for Media and Democracy, which has analyzed and published hundreds of formerly secret ALEC documents, puts it: "The ['stand your ground'] bill fits into a pattern of ALEC bills that disproportionately impact communities of color."7
No Christian organization, let alone one that purports to rehabilitate inmates and reform the criminal-justice system, should be lending its support to a coalition with an agenda that victimizes the most vulnerable people in our society. Prison Fellowship needs to hear immediately from outraged people of faith demanding that they drop out of ALEC:
-- Michael, Kristin, Nick, and the rest of the Faithful America team
1. "The 24 States That Have Sweeping Self-Defense Laws Just Like Florida's," ProPublica, March 22, 2012 
2. "ALEC Has Pushed the NRA's 'Stand Your Ground' Law Across the Nation," Media Matters for America, March 21, 2012
3. "ALEC Exposed: Public Safety and Elections Task Force," Center for Media and Democracy, accessed March 28, 2012
Webpage for "ALEC Corrections and Reentry Working Group," a subset of the "Public Safety and Elections Task Force," American Legislative Exchange Council, accessed March 28, 2012
"Pat Nolan Promotes Prison Reform at Meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council," Prison Fellowship, accessed March 28, 2012 
4. "Prison Economics Help Drive Ariz. Immigration Law," National Public Radio, October 28, 2010
5. "The Hidden History of ALEC and Prison Labor," The Nation, August 1, 2011
6. "ALEC Exposed: Rigging Elections," The Nation, July 12, 2011
7. "ALEC Ratified NRA-Conceived Law That May Protect Trayvon Martin's Killer," PR Watch, Center for Media and Democracy, March 21, 2012

Via JMG: Black Civil Rights Group Condemns NOM

From the National Black Justice Coalition:
NOM's memos detail its campaign to direct money to a handful of African American clergy in order to attack gay and lesbian couples that have made a lifelong promise to one another. The organization admits their key goal is to "drive a wedge between gays and blacks." The memo also outlines NOM's strategies for targeting Latino communities by "making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity" and "to make opposition to gay marriage an identity marker, a badge of youth rebellion to conformist assimilation to the bad side of 'Anglo' culture."

"These documents expose NOM for what it really is-a hate group determined to use African American faith leaders as pawns to push their damaging agenda and as mouthpieces to amplify that hatred," says Sharon Lettman-Hicks, NBJC Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. "NOM is fighting a losing battle," adds Lettman-Hicks. "With these memos made public, the black faith community must refuse to be exploited and refuse to deny their fellow brothers and sisters equal protections under the law."

Reposted from Joe

JMG Headline Of The Day:

"We're not seeing any impact," says Starbucks.

Reosted from Joe

Via JMG: NAACP Denounces NOM

"This memo only reveals the limits of a cynical agenda. The truth is that no group, no matter how well-funded, can drive an artificial wedge between our communities. People of color understand what it is like to be the target of discrimination. No public relations strategy will make us forget that." - NAACP president and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, via press release.

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Freedom To Marry Calls On GOP Candidates: Renounce NOM's Hate Pledge

"Now that NOM's race-baiting strategy of pitting American against American, minority against minority, and family members against family members is out in the open, we call on GOP candidates to renounce their NOM pledges. A president's job is to lead and unite the nation, not take part in a politics of division and cruelty. Anyone seeking the nation's highest office should not be affiliated with a group seeking to discredit the strong and clear voice of those African-American civil rights champions, such as John Lewis, Julian Bond, and Coretta Scott King, who have stood up for the freedom to marry and the equal civil rights of all people, including gay people of color." - Evan Wolfson, head of Freedom To Marry.

RELATED: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich all signed NOM's pledge to thwart the civil rights of LGBT Americans should they be elected. Included in that pledge is a vow to pursue an anti-gay amendment to the federal constitution.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: FOTF Launches Anti-Gay Obama Poll

Guess who dominates Focus On The Family's poll about President Obama? That's right. YOU do. Wars, threats of nuclear attacks, a crumbling global economy? PFFFT. Treating homerseckshuls like human beings is what the nation should REALLY be worried about.

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Mark Bingham's Mom Fires Back

TMZ interviews Alice Hoagland, the mother of openly gay 9/11 hero Mark Bingham.
"Yes, my gay son was known in our family for bringing me flowers on my birthday and Mother’s Day. He also was known for careening down the rugby pitch, and, on the morning of September 11, 2001, for charging unarmed down the aisle of a doomed Boeing 757 to face knife-wielding Islamist thugs in a hijacked cockpit."

She adds, "No one among his pick-up team of fellow passengers was asking 'Are you straight? Are you gay?' No one doubted that a guy who weighed 220 and stood 6’4” tall - who could run over a charging opponent on the field, and ran with the bulls in Pamplona earlier that summer - would be an asset to a desperate group trying to overcome a threat onboard an airliner."

"The world has its share of strong, heroic gay men. Gay men in sports uniforms and military uniforms have been winning America’s games and fighting America’s battles for a long time: quietly, humbly, and in the face of vicious bigotry." "I hope you and I may have an opportunity to talk sometime. I prefer to believe you didn’t mean to offend. Good luck to you."
BAM! Also: Suh-NAP!

Reposted from Joe

Civil rights leader: NOM e-mails 'scary'

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma March 29, 2012

Straight Ahead

Go very deep into yourself. Let body and mind fall away. Experience the absolute basis of reality. But the path doesn't end there. This is just the peak of the mountain. You need to continue the journey. Where do you go when you’re at the peak? Straight ahead. It’s always straight ahead. Straight ahead when you’re on the peak means down the other side of the mountain back into the marketplace. That’s where your realization needs to manifest. Otherwise, what’s the point?
- John Daido Loori, "Straight Ahead"
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection

Via AmericaBlog Gay:

Rich came out as a lesbian in the 1970s and had been with her partner, writer Michelle Cliff, since 1976.

Her poetry and prose showed feminist sympathies from the 1950s onward, and her 1980 essay “Compulsory Heterosexuality and the Lesbian Continuum” challenged the idea that heterosexuality was the only normal orientation and formed the heart of theories of lesbian feminism. Her work features prominently in gender studies classes. 

She also wrote passionate antiwar poetry and concerned herself with issues of class. In 1997 she turned down the National Medal for the Arts, writing to President Bill Clinton, “The radical disparities of wealth and power in America are widening at a devastating rate. A president cannot meaningfully honor certain token artists while the people at large are so dishonored.”

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Via JMG: Real Men Don't Bowl With Pink Balls

Followed up with: “Friends don’t let friends use pink balls.”

HRC's Fred Sainz responds via press release:
“This is another example of Rick Santorum intentionally making ignorant statements that have a real impact on LGBT people. Whether he’s comparing our marriages to inanimate objects, saying our children would be better off with a parent in prison as opposed to two loving same-sex parents, or calling open military service a ‘tragic social experiment;’ he’s proven that he thinks LGBT people are second-class citizens not worthy of dignity or respect. In this case, he’s advancing tired gender norms by implying a boy should be ashamed or embarrassed to use a certain color bowling ball.”

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Less Religion = More Gay Rights

More here. (Tipped by JMG reader Matthew)

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Concerned Women Are Concernstipated About Those Liberal Lovers At Starbucks

"I’ve known for a while that the founders of Starbucks were left-of-center. But I convinced myself that, so long as they stayed out of public policy, I could remain a customer. Sadly, this is no longer the case. What is most frustrating about Starbucks’ liberal support is that it totally disregards the traditional views of many customers and staff members. Considering that there are twice as many conservatives as there are liberals, Starbucks should heed [NOM's] warnings. Ponder the impact of lost business from loyal customers. In this economy, I was willing to spend more on a cup of coffee than a gallon of gas! Big Oil vs. Big Coffee; I’m not sure which would win. Coffee-loving, traditional values voters deserve more respect. I guess it’s time to bite the bullet and drink the overly strong office coffee." - Chelsen Vicari, writing of the Concerned Women For America.

Reposted from Joe


Danny Rose - What Are We Waiting For?

Clip description:

This is my marriage proposal video to the love of my life. I cant imagine anyone telling us we cannot get married! The song is available on iTunes and 100% of the profits will go to marriage equality.

This is quite the production.

(Via Towleroad)

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Corporations Plead With NOM: Please Please Boycott Us TOO!

Reposted from Joe

JMG HomoQuotable - Larry Kramer

"Why can't we, once and for all, bond together to fight for our mutual needs? Where are the leaders who can lead us on this journey to our equality? Where's our army? I don't see either. We face this coming election naked and unprepared and as always exceptionally vulnerable.

"What does that say about how much the gay population wants to fight for these rights that I speak of? I think we help to kill each other by not fighting together to get these rights, by fighting each other instead, and not fighting against all the hate that's always out there coming non-stop from our enemies.

"And just like all the Jews in the world couldn't form Hannah Arendt's army to save all their brothers and sisters, the gays of today once again do the same. You'd think one day we'd learn. You don't get anything unless you fight for it, united and with visible numbers. If ACT UP taught us anything, it taught us that. We had greatness in our hands, but we couldn't quite carry the ball over the goal line.

"I'm not certain I see where that necessary anger and firepower is going to come from as we approach another election, where our rights are going to be on the table for fighting over by one and all, the haters and the non-haters and the ones being hated. At this moment in time, I am not very sanguine. In fact on certain days I get downright depressed.

"All the more reason then to celebrate ACT UP's 25th birthday, at least as a touchstone on our never-ending journey to find our equality and with the hope that one day we can get -- and keep -- our act together. So happy birthday, ACT UP, to all my dead brothers and sisters we couldn't save in time. I'm sorry we're no longer doing much that is productive to celebrate that you lived, that you were here, and that some lucky ones -- all the rest of us -- still are." - Larry Kramer, writing for the Huffington Post.

Read the full essay.

Reposted from Joe

Via Think Progress: Ari Fleischer Thinks President Obama Will Endorse Marriage Equality After Election

USA: Ari Fleischer Thinks President Obama Will Endorse Marriage Equality After Election

Written by scott on March 28th, 2012 Former Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer predicted that President Obama will evolve towards full support for same-sex marriage after the election. During an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper Tuesday night, Fleischer sought to explain Obama’s “flexibility” remark to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev by suggesting that he could change his mind on controversial issues.

Full Story from Think Progress
Click here for gay wedding resources.

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma March 28, 2012

The Perfection of Purity

Sustaining and furthering insight into selflessness is the act of purification, and yet the purpose of it all is not the process of purification but the nature of life when the goal has been reached. When the realization of this nature is complete, the heart has arrived at perfect nirvana, free from any clinging whatsoever. It is the realization that there is no one here to be pure or impure—only a quality of brightness and ease, a rich and fearless peace. This is the perfection of purity.
- Amaro Bhikkhu, “The Perfection of Purity”
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection

Via AmericaBlogGay:

AP covers NOM's secret plan to start a race war in America

NOM is now bragging about its outreach to the black community.

The organization put in writing its plans to destroy the first African-American President in part by creating a race war.  I wonder how the black community feels about that kind of "outreach."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

JMG Quote Of The Day - Adam Savage

"I have concluded through careful, empirical analysis and much thought that somebody is looking out for me. Keeping track of what I think about things, forgiving me when I do less then I ought, giving me strength to shoot for more than I think I am capable of. I believe they know everything that I do and think and they still love me and I’ve concluded after careful consideration that this person keeping score is me." - Mythbusters host Adam Savage, speaking at the Reason Rally.

RELATED: Head over to The Friendly Atheist for a massive recap of the Reason Rally. Videos, photos, quotes.

Reposted from Joe

The Gay Debate: The Bible and Homosexuality

Via JMG: New York Times Picks Up NOM Scandal

Just posted at the NYT's Caucus Blog:
“The strategic goal of the project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies,” reads a portion of the memo, describing an initiative called the “Not a Civil Right Project.” The project’s goal, according to the memo, is to recruit blacks who oppose gay marriage to serve as spokespeople for the group, then “provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots.” Another initiative, described under the heading “Internationalizing the Marriage issue: A Pan-American Strategy,” is to convince Hispanic voters that efforts to legalize gay marriage would force them to assimilate to “the dominant Anglo culture.” The memo suggests that the strategy was inspired by successful efforts to outlaw same-sex marriage by initiative in California in 2008, when the measure passed with strong support from black voters, who turned out heavily to support Barack Obama for president. Brian S. Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, did not immediately return a call for comment on Tuesday.

Reposted from Joe

MSNBC Covers NOM Scandal

Via JMG: Julian Bond On NOM's Race-Baiting

"NOM's underhanded attempts to divide will not succeed if Black Americans remember their own history of discrimination. Pitting bigotry's victims against other victims is reprehensible; the defenders of justice must stand together." - Julian Bond, Chairman Emeritus, NAACP.

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Quote Of The Day - SPLC's Mark Potok

"Black folks, this is a message for you: The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the country’s preeminent group fighting against same-sex marriage, really, really likes you. They even want to make some of you famous! Have NOM’s principal leaders, former president Maggie Gallagher and current leader Brian S. Brown, stood up for African Americans before? Well, not so much. But it turns out that they’ve decided that you’re actually very important. [snip]

"NOM isn’t the first organization to use such cynical marketing ploys, schemes that seem to have little do with the interests of the people they claim to represent, and it certainly won’t be the last. But the revelation of its bald attempt to exploit black people and Latinos should help end the idea that NOM is an honorable group that would never engage in race-baiting. Because that is precisely what it has done." - Southern Poverty Law Center spokesman Mark Potok, writing on the SPLC's site. (Tipped by JMG reader Fritz)

Reposted from Joe

Tricycle Daily Dharma March 27, 2012

Having Good Purpose

In America and Europe, everyone is very active. But if you become too active, you lose the essence of Buddhism. You only have the Buddhist labels. One must cultivate peace to be compassionate. Without this, what you do, even as an 'engaged Buddhist' is just a lot of activity with no good purpose.
- Sulak Sivaraksa, “In Exile from Siam”
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection

Via AmericaBlogGay:

It's not like we didn't think this was happening, but, wow, it's really ugly to see it in writing. As John notes on the main AMERICAblog home page, the religious right wanted to fan a race war, and they admitted it in writing.  Ben Smith at Buzzfeed calls the documents "explosive".

Earlier tonight, Alvin McEwen tipped me off about some court documents that revealed NOM's strategy. It's ugly. From Alvin:
The National Organization for Marriage's unsuccessful fight to skirt Maine's financial disclosure laws just backfired majorly on the group by revealing a distasteful part of its game plan to stop marriage equality.

According to a court document that was uploaded online, NOM specifically worked to drive a wedge between the black and gay community on the subject of marriage equality
Here's the key passage about gays and blacks (and there's also a strategy for Latinos):
The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks - two key democratic constituencies. We aim to find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage; to develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; and to provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots. No politician wants to take up and push an issue that splits the base of the party. Fanning the hostility raised in the wake of Prop 8 is key...

They mean hostility between African-Americans and white gays.

The full document is below. (John links to a second confidential NOM document that is similar to this one, but also includes the "fanning the hostility" phrase. There seem to be at least three different documents.)

Jeremy Hooper and HRC's NOM Exposed are on top of this, too.

And, as for NOM and Latinos, read the post from Dr. Gary Segura, who runs Latino Decisions polling firm -- and was an expert witness in the Prop. 8 case and several DOMA cases. He noted:
For starters, Latinos are far more liberal on marriage equality than stereotypes might suggest.

This has the potential to be a very big story. Ben Smith at BuzzFeed has already picked up the story.

Nom Depo Exhibit 28