Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Did Homophobia Kill Michael Jackson?

Of the many things that contributed to Michael Jackson's death (fame, drugs, exhaustion, money, debt, etc.) one has not been getting any media attention, in fact it is not even being discussed--homophobia.

It is a not-so-secret secret that Michael Jackson was gay. It is an unspoken fact that probably only his parents continue to deny. In his book "Unmasked: The Final years of Michael Jackson" Ian Halperin argues that Jackson was the victim of greed, and handlers that pushed him to perform 50 concerts in London to help keep him out of bankruptcy. But he also spills the beans about Jackson's secret gay relationships:

"It is clear to me that Michael was homosexual and that his taste was for young men, albeit not as young as Jordan Chandler or Gavin Arvizo.

In the course of my investigations, I spoke to two of his gay lovers, one a Hollywood waiter, the other an aspiring actor. The waiter had remained friends, perhaps more, with the singer until his death last week. He had served Jackson at a restaurant, Jackson made his interest plain and the two slept together the following night. According to the waiter, Jackson fell in love.

The actor, who has been given solid but uninspiring film parts, saw Jackson in the middle of 2007. He told me they had spent nearly every night together during their affair – an easy claim to make, you might think. But this lover produced corroboration in the form of photographs of the two of them together, and a witness.

Other witnesses speak of strings of young men visiting his house at all hours, even in the period of his decline. Some stayed overnight.

When Jackson lived in Las Vegas, one of his closest aides told how he would sneak off to a ‘grungy, rat-infested’ motel – often dressed as a woman to disguise his identity – to meet a male construction worker he had fallen in love with.

Jackson was acquitted in the Arvizo case, dramatically so, but the effect on his mental state was ruinous. Sources close to him suggest he was close to complete nervous breakdown."

See Ian Halperin, "I"m better Off Dead. I'm Done": Michael Jackson's Fateful Prediction Just A Week Before His Death"

It may be too simplistic to say that homophobia alone killed Michael Jackson, but let me lay out a theory. Jackson lived a life in the closet. From a young age, he was victimized by racism and a father who beat him. He grew up black in a racist, anti-gay society, and gay in a homophobic black culture. He did not love or accept himself as gay or black. As he tried to change his physical appearance through damaging plastic surgery, he tried to cover up his true sexual identity by playing straight. He had to keep his true self secret, from his family and fans. He could not be himself. He found substitutes for a loving gay relationship with fans, female friends, and children (I don't think he was a pederast though). He could NOT be himself.

All of this would drive anybody off the deep end. Add on the pressures of fame, fortune, stardom, and his growing financial problems, and we can see the results...

What IF Michael Jackson had been allowed, or allowed himself, to be an out gay superstar, who could have a healthy loving relationship with another man? Would he still be alive?

See also:
CNN, Jackson Rabbi-friend: Michael was a "Tortured Soul"

Monday, June 29, 2009

Obama Makes More Promises to Gay Community

Obama Promises Progress to the Gay Community

President Obama held a high profile meeting today with "gay right leaders" in the East Room of the White House to honor Gay Pride Month and to try to make some amends to the increasingly frustrated LGBT community. He acknowledged the slow progress on LGBT issues, but reaffirmed his commitment to repeal the anti-gay Don't Ask, Don't Tell and "Defense of Marriage Act," both laws supported by the last "pro-gay" Democrat in the White House, Bill Clinton.

Obama: Gays will be Pleased by End of Administration

Obama Tries to Win Back Favor of Gays

Not all gays are happy...
Gays Say Obama Hasn't Kept Promises

Ft. Worth Gay Bar Raided on 40th Anniversary of Stonewall

Seven Arrested in in Texas Gay Bar Raid

Shortly after midnight on Sunday, police raided a gay bar in Fort Worth, TX, and arrested seven customers for public intoxication. (One man was reportedly taken to the hospital "with bleeding in his brain after officers threw him to the ground and used zip-ties to handcuff him.") Police said they were simply conducting an "alcohol beverage code inspection" when several customers made sexual advances toward the officers. However, the owner of the Rainbow Lounge, J.R. Schrock, said that claim was a "lie."

Unbelievable that this would happen on the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Talkin' Bout a Revolution

Tracy Chapman, Talkin' About a Revolution

I think this song says it all.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Remember Stonewall: Gay Pride, Gay Power!

It is time for the "gay movement" to rediscover the radical roots of gay liberation. Gay Pride events have largely become commercialized parties. Its time to put "gay power" back in "gay pride"!

Remembering Stonewall
Socialist Party USA, Queer Commission

Peter Tatchell, Our Lost Gay Radicalism

The Gay Rights Movement: 40 Years Since Stonewall

Democracy Now! A Look Back at the Uprising that Launched the Modern Gay Movement

Stonewall Was a Riot: Gay Liberation and the Struggle for Social Change

NYT: Political Shifts on Gay Rights Lag Behind Culture

Frank Rich: 40 Years Later, Still Second-Class Citizens

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Anti-Gay S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford Admits Affair

Well who didn't see this coming??
Anti-Gay SC Gov. "Defender of Marriage" Busted for Infidelity

After misleading his staff and family, turns out Sanford was not hiking the Appalachian trail after all.. he was in Argentina practicing his "family values" with his mistress! He ditched his four kids on Father's Day to sneak away with his mistress!

Yes, this is the same right-wing Republican governor of South Carolina who was praised by conservatives for standing against Obama's stimulus money for his state, and for being a defender of family values and marriage. Here he is several months into his affair opposing the real enemy of marriage--Gay Marriage!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mid-South Gay Pride

June is "Gay Pride Month" in most places, we celebrate Mid-South Pride Today in Memphis.

UPDATE: Here Are are some Pics from Mid-South Pride 2009

It was HOT! (Can we move Gay Pride in Memphis to November?)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Democrats Are Blowing it!

So much for "change we can believe in"--The Democrats have blown their historic opportunity to move this country in a progressive direction.

First, the fallout between Obama and the DNC vs. LGBT people, after the Obama DOJ brief defending the anti-gay "Defense of Marriage Act", and the efforts of the Democratic Leaders to push gay rights issues to the backburner, the DNC is losing gay donations and more groups are pulling out of the DNC Gay Fundraiser next week. The latest drop outs include the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and the Stonewall Democrats. AmericaBlog's John Aravosis and Andrew Sullivan have declared war on the DNC.

Stonewall Democrats Withdraw from DNC Fundraiser

There is also a growing gap between gay activists and gay Democrats in Congress. Some, like Rep. Barney Frank, are now defending the Obama DOJ and supporting the DNC gay fundraiser. Gay activists are not ready to make up with Obama or the DNC until they start delivering on their campaign promises.

Second, the Democrats in Congress are caving to the insurance lobbyists on heath care reform. Not only have they stopped any consideration of the best plan for universal healthcare, SINGLE-PAYER, they are now taking out any public option and are going along with Republican proposals, like TAXING health insurance benefits! Many prominent Democrats working on the "reform" are deep in the pockets of the healthcare industry--including Tom Daschle and Max Baccus, and are fighting any public health insurance option. They appear to be winning.

Sen. Dems Pare Back Health Bill
Healthcare Lobbyists are Winning the Battle to Screw All Of Us

Third, Democrats now own the Iraq and Afghanistan military occupations. Even many "anti-war" Democrats caved in and voted to support the increased funds for the wars.

Shame on "Anti-War" Democrats Who Sold Out

So much for "Change we Can believe In'--we got more of the same.

Theda Skocpol: A Moment of Truth for Obama and the Democrats

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Obama Grants (Some) Benefits to Gay Fed. Employees

Obama Grants (Some) Benefits to Gay Federal Employees
After a week of growing anger and frustration by gays & lesbians over his DOJ anti-gay brief defending the "Defense of Marriage Act," President Obama signed a memorandum granting SOME benefits to gay federal employees. He noted it was a small step, called the Defense of Marriage Act "discriminatory" and called for it to be repealed (again), and urged Congress to pass the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act, which would grant full benefits to gay employees, which are currently prohibited by the DOMA. The signing statement was rushed to counter gay anger over the DOJ anti-gay DOMA brief, and to salvage a DNC gay fundraiser next week, which many prominent gay leaders and activists are boycotting.

Obama's Statement on Gay Federal Benefits

This statement does not seem to be enough to calm the gay anger and frustration with the lack of any progress on the promises the DNC and Obama campaigns made to gay voters and supporters:

Gay Critics Say "Too Little, Too Late" From Obama
John Arovosis: Obama Betrays the Gay Community
Deb Price: Obama Backtracks on Gay Rights
NYT: Outcry o Federal Same-Sex Benefits

Maybe the Democrats in Congress got a wake up call and will do something now:
Rep. Barney Frank to Introduce ENDA Next Week

If the DNC wants to get any more gay money, they better ACT NOW!

More Racism from the TN Republican Party

TN Republican Staffer Caught Forwarding Racist Email/Picture

There is a patter of racism and racist attacks on Obama from the Tennessee GOP.

GOP Strategist Call for Republican to be Fired over Racist Email

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Obama Throws the Gays a Bone

Obama to Announce Benefits for Same-Sex Partners of Fed. Employees

After all the uproar over the Obama DOJ's anti-gay brief defending the "Defense of Marriage Act," it looks like Obama and the DNC are trying to kiss up to the gay community, especially since so many were pulling out of the big DNC gay fundraiser next week.

When Will Obama Deliver on Gay Rights?

Obama's Plan for Gay Rights

UPDATE: (The Advocate) Obama To Extend Benefits to Partners of Fed. Workers (NOT Healthcare!)

The White House press office declined to detail which benefits would be included, but people familiar with the legal obstacles posed by the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, said health benefits are not likely to be a part of the package.

Pam Spaulding (Pam's Houseblend) is reporting that the "memorandum" Obama will announce Wed. will be very limited. (No Healthcare benefits, etc.)

UPDATE: Harry Reid Changes Tune on DADT
Something is going on in D.C., maybe the gay anger has got the attention of the Democrats and Obama...

Monday, June 15, 2009

More Fallout From Obama DOJ's Anti-Gay Defense of DOMA

There is more fallout from the Obama DOJ's DEFENSE of the anti-gay "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA):

Obama Faces Growing Gay Anger

A Letter to Obama from HRC

David Mixner's Personal Statement: DOMA Brief Brings Shame to Obama

DNC Gay Fundraiser Falling Apart

New York Times: A Bad Call on Gay Rights

Rep. Barney Frank Rips Obama's anti-gay DOJ DOMA Brief

Richard Socarides (former aide to Bill Clinton) refutes the argument that the Obama admistration HAD to defend DOMA since it is current law: The Choice to Defend DOMA and its Consequences

Rachel Maddow and Howard Dean Take on Obama's Defense of DOMA

Saturday, June 13, 2009

March on Washington Oct. 10-11

I swore off another LGBT March on Washington after the last Millennium March fiasco, but now that it is clear that Obama and the Democrats in Congress are going to throw us under the bus again, it is time to give them a wake up call. Cleve Jones is organizing a National Equality March Oct. 10-11, 2009. Its going to be focused on grassroots organizing, not a big pride party (like the Millennium March).

On October 10-11, 2009, we will gather in Washington DC from all across America to let our elected leaders know that now is the time for full equal rights for LGBT people. We will gather. We will march. And we will leave energized and empowered to do the work that needs to be done in every community across the nation.

Our single demand:
Equal protection in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states.

Our philosophy:
As members of every race, class, faith, and community, we see the struggle for LGBT equality as part of a larger movement for peace and social justice.

Our strategy:
Decentralized organizing for this march in every one of the 435 Congressional districts will build a network to continue organizing beyond October.

Sign Up Now!

Here's the first promo Clip

Friday, June 12, 2009

Obama Administration DEFENDS "Defense of Marriage Act"!

After fighting off a challenge to the anti-gay "Don't, Ask, Don't Tell" policy, which he pomised to repeal, the Obama Administration Moves to Dismiss Challenge to the "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA), which he promised to change/repeal.

John Arovosis at AmericaBlog has more:

Obama DOJ Defends DOMA. Invokes Incest!

Obama DOJ Lies to Politico on Defending Anti-Gay Brief

And The Gratuitousnes!

In both cases (DADT & DOMA), Obama appealed to gay voters promising to be a "fierce" advocate who would defend our rights and REPEAL both anti-gay laws, but instead, his administration is DEFENDING them!

Does Obama have any shame??

LGBT Groups Decry Obama Administration's Defense of DOMA

QEERTY: Obama has Spat Shit in the Faces of Gay America

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More Right-Wing Violence, Another Angry White Male Terrorist

White Supremacist Opens Fire at Holocaust Museum, Kills Guard
WASHINGTON — An 88-year-old gunman with a violent and virulently anti-Semitic past opened fire with a rifle inside the crowded U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday, fatally wounding a security guard before being shot himself by other officers.

Von Brunn has a racist, anti-Semitic Web site and wrote a book titled "Kill the Best Gentiles," alleging a Jewish conspiracy "to destroy the white gene pool." Writings attributed to von Brunn on the Internet say the Holocaust was a hoax. "At Auschwitz the 'Holocaust' myth became Reality, and Germany, cultural gem of the West, became a pariah among world nations," one says.

DHS Report (Rediculed by Conservatives) Warned Against Anti-Semitic Violence

James W. Von Brunn a White Supremacist

Part of Obama "Birther" Movement

Where do they get their crazy Ideas?

Right-Wing Violence and Fox News

FOX NEWS Anchor Shep Smith: Email from Anti-Obama Viewers Getting "More and More Frightening"

The Problem with the Democrats

What is wrong with the Democratic Party? With a wave of populist revolt and disgust with the corporate elite and Wall Street, the Democrats continue to do the will of their corporate masters. From health care "reform" to regulating Wall Street and challenging corporate power, the Democrats are losing an historic opportunity to be a PROGRESSIVE party of CHANGE.

George Gilder spells it out:
We're Screwed on Everything From Health Care to the Economy if The Dems Don't Shape Up

Progressives Have a Chance to Dominate American Politics for the Next 40 Years

There is a right-wing populist backlash sweeping Europe and the same thing could happen in the U.S. if the Democrats and Obama do not offer a PROGRESSIVE Populist alternative to the right-wing racist, nationalist populism that is growing in the U.S. Trust in corporations and Wall Street is at an all-time low, now is the time to take on the corporate elite and save the American working class from the 30 year war on labor began by Ronald Reagan. The alternative may be a resurgence of FASCISM.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Obama Administration DEFENDS "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" !

Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed with the Obama administration and refused to review Pentagon policy barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

The court said it will not hear an appeal from former Army Capt. James Pietrangelo II, who was dismissed under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

The federal appeals court in Boston earlier threw out a lawsuit filed by Pietrangelo and 11 other veterans. He was the only member of that group who asked the high court to rule that the Clinton-era policy is unconstitutional.

"I think this decision is an absolute travesty of justice and I think every judge on this court should be ashamed of themselves," said Pietrangelo, who served six years in the Army, seven years in the Vermont National Guard and fought in Iraq in 1991. "It's nothing short of rubber stamping legalized discrimination, the same way Nazi Germany legalized discrimination against Jews.

"The Supreme Court is not infallible, they get things wrong, and they got it wrong this time," he said.

During last year's campaign, President Barack Obama indicated he supported the eventual repeal of the policy, but he has made no specific move to do so since taking office in January. Meanwhile, the White House has said it won't stop gays and lesbians from being dismissed from the military.

In court papers, the administration said the appeals court ruled correctly in this case when it found that "don't ask, don't tell" is "rationally related to the government's legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion."

Even Conservatives now support repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell

If Obama cannot support THIS measure of equal rights for gays and lesbians, with broad popular support, how can he be a "fierce advocate" for gay rights??

Candidate Obama promised to REPEAL Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Looks like Obama is a LIAR, and the Democratic Congress is going to betray us again... What a pathetic party the Democratic Party is... no political backbone whatsoever in that bunch of backstabbing liars.

There hasn't been much "CHANGE" yet in the Obama administration--it was just a campaign slogan folks!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Radical, Violent Right: Homegrown Terrorists

Here are some good articles I found on Alternet about the radical violent right and the radical anti-abortion terrorists:

A Brief History of the Radical, Violent Right: How Racist Hate Groups Joined With Anti-Abortion Terrorists
By James Ridgeway, MotherJones.com.
Alleged murderer Scott Roeder was once a white separatist before he became an anti-choice zealot -- many others have followed the same deadly path.

The Dangerous Lies of Anti-Choice Extremists

The Right's False Rhetoric on Abortion

Saturday, June 06, 2009

TN Schools Must Allow Access to LGBT Sites

The ACLU has won it's lawsuit. TN Schools Must Allow Access to LGBT Sites

The lawsuit, filed just over two weeks ago, addressed the use of computer filtering software provided by Education Networks of America at both Nashville Public Schools and Knox County Schools. The software, which blocked access to the websites of national LGBT groups, is used by about 80 percent of the school systems in Tennessee, including Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools. (it blocked pro-LGBT sites, but not the anti-gay ones!)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

On Vacation in Eureka Springs

My partner and I are vacationing in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, an oasis of tolerance and diversity in the Ozark Mountains. There are a lot of gay owned and gay-friendly places here, we hare staying at The Byrds Eye View, an apartment owned by Alvin and Charlie, who also own a gift shop downstairs and soon opening a male resort. If you ever come to Eureka Springs, look them up.

Eureka Pride

Monday, June 01, 2009

Shelby Co. (Memphis) Non-Discrimination Ordinance

About 500 people gathered Sunday at First Congregational Church to rally in support of a proposed ordinance to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from job discrimination.

The ordinance goes to a vote today before the Shelby County Commission. The results from an early vote Thursday were 5-5 with abstentions from Democrats Sidney Chism and James M. Harvey. Speakers at the rally called the two out by name in hopes for a change in their favor today.

Supporters Come Out to Support Gay Rights Ordinance

Bianca has more on Memphis Gaydar: Non-Discrimination Support Rally Draws 500

UPDATE: Watered-Down Non-Discrimination Resolution Passed by Shelby Co. Commission

I'm not sure why people are cheering this resolution--it was a resolution, not an ordinance, and cannot be used in court. It basically restates the Shelby Co. handbook! All because a couple of commissioners did not want to give "special rights" to LGBT people or spell out "sexual orientation" or "gender identity".

Letter from the Editor (Memphis Flyer): Bible Thumping Politics in Memphis