Wednesday, December 29, 2010

CPAC Losing Social Conservatives Over GOProud


CPAC Losing Social Conservative Crowd


The Conservative Political Action Conference has veered too liberal in inviting the gay Republican group GOProud, according to two national antigay organizations that will not attend the February event in Washington, D.C.
Both Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council will not participate at the 2011 CPAC, according to WorldNetDaily

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The "Radical Homosexual Agenda": "Two Down, Two to Go"

Barney Frank reveals the "Radical Homosexual Agenda"

President Obama Signs DADT Repeal



President Obama Signs DADT Repeal

OK, DADT is finally gone, now let's focus on the more important issues for gay equality:  marriage and discrimination.  We need to refocus on getting the Defense of Marriage Act repealed, continue to the fight for marriage equality, and pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

To the Gay Community:  Now that you can join the military, please don't

Laura Flanders:  Ask, Tell, Don't Kill

Saturday, December 18, 2010

US Senate Repeals DADT



In a historic action, the U.S. Senate on Saturday passed legislation that would end the 17-year-old law prohibiting open gays from serving in the U.S. military. 
Early in the day, the Senate voted 63-33 to invoke cloture on the legislation that would end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to move it to the floor. Later in the afternoon, the chamer approved the legislation by a vote of 65-31, effectively sending the measure to President Obama’s desk. 
For the cloture vote, six Republicans voted in the affirmative. They include Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), an original co-sponsor of the bill, as well as Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Scott Brown (R-Mass) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). Each had indicated prior to the vote that they support the bill when it came to the floor. 
Additional GOP  support for the legislation came from Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio). Three Republicans didn’t vote: Sens. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Action Alert: DADT Vote Saturday!


The senate has scheduled a final vote on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal for TOMORROW.
Everyone in Tennessee needs to call both of their Senators RIGHT NOW! This may be the last chance to repeal DADT in Congress for several years.
Call Sen. Lamar Alexander at (202) 224-4944 and Sen. Bob Corker at (202) 224-3344 and tell them:
I'm counting on you to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Senator Corker had the audacity to tell a reporter that he would abandon support for the START treaty if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dared to bring up DADT for an up or down vote. Such statements place personal bigotry as a higher priority for Corker than national security.
It's time for Tennessee to let Sen. Corker that his tactics are shameful and that he must vote to repeal DADT.
When you make your phone calls remember to
1.       Tell the staff person who answers where you live so they know you're a real constituent.
2.       Tell them you want the senator to support the standalone bill repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" - and that you'll remember how they vote when they're next up for election.
3.       Thank them, hang up, and make your second call to the other senator.
Don't' stop there: save the Congressional Switchboard number - (202) 224-3121 - in your cell phone right now. Then hand it to a friend, then a co-worker, and ask them to make two calls. While you're at it, tell your family and your Facebook friends to call as well.
We need as many calls as possible in order to make this repeal happen in 2010.
I just placed my calls. Now it's your turn!
Sincerely,
Jonathan Cole
TEP Board Chair

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rachel Maddow Slams Log Cabin Republicans


Rachel Maddow exposes the Uncle Tom homocons at Log Cabin Republicans who supported the Republican candidate who supports DADT against the Democrat who led the fight to overturn DADT.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

House Dems Pass DADT Repeal


A stand-alone "don't ask, don't tell" repeal bill, sponsored by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) and cosponsored by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), was introduced in the House of Representatives Tuesday. There is currently no timetable for when the legislation will be debated on the House floor. The Murphy bill is identical to the Senate repeal bill introduced Friday by Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).
Where Does DADT Repeal Go from Here?

UPDATE: House passes DADT Repeal Wed


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Maddow Interview with Ugandan "Kill the Gays" Bill Author

Rachel Maddow Interivews David Bahati
Julie Bulcer, The Advocate:


David Bahati, the Ugandan parliament member who authored the bill that calls for the execution of gay people, told Rachel Maddow that he intends to protect children from being recruited into homosexuality, but he could not produce any facts.
Bahati, who spoke from Washington, D.C., said he had been granted a visa to attend a conference in the United States, but the event denied him entry over his bill. The bill, which is still pending in parliament, would impose life imprisonment for homosexual acts and the death penalty for instances of “aggravated homosexuality.”
Maddow asked him about the part of the bill that has prompted international outcry.
“I know there has been a lot of spin, negative propaganda about this bill, using that clause and I wanted to make the record straight,” he said. “I am not in a hate campaign. I do not hate gays. I love them but at same time, I must protect our children who are being recruited into this practice.”
Pressed for facts about what Maddow called the “foundational myth” of gay recruitment, Bahati could not defend his assertion.
“It is something that is factual and all you need is to get these facts,” he said.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

SPLC Updates List of Anti-Gay Hate Groups


From Evan Hurst, Truth Wins Out:
The Southern Poverty Law Center has updated its list of designated hate groups, and this year is significant in that some of the larger anti-gay outfits have made the cut. After a litany of ever more extreme statements from people such as Peter Sprigg and Tony Perkins of the FRC, Bryan Fischer of the AFA and Laurie Higgins of the IFI, the SPLC has determined that these groups all deserve to be designated as having gone beyond mere advocacy, and into full-blown hatred against the LGBT community. Especially after the recent spate of gay teen suicides elicited no remorse from any of these institutions, they have indeed earned their place in the halls of hate.
It is notable that Focus on the Family is not on the list. Though we at Truth Wins Out still stand in solid opposition to Focus’s mission, they have indeed made baby steps in the past year to moderate their message, which is in stark contrast with the growing extremism at FRC and AFA. Higgins and the IFI have always been awful, of course. These groups especially deserve recognition for their abject ignorance of facts and reality, choosing as they do to spread anti-gay propaganda at all costs, which indeed suggests that their “work” is inspired by little more than juvenile animus.
The list of anti-gay hate groups now includes the following:
1. Abiding Truth Ministries [Scott Lively]
2. American Family Association
3. Americans for Truth About Homosexuality [Peter LaBarbera]
4. American Vision
5. Chalcedon Foundation
6. Dove World Outreach Center [Terry Jones]
7. Faithful Word Baptist Church [Steven Anderson]
8. Family Research Council
9. Family Research Institute [Paul Cameron]
10. Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment
11. Illinois Family Institute
12. MassResistance
13. Traditional Values Coalition


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Memphis Non-Discrimination Ordinance Fails

An ordinance to protect city employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity failed to pass on it's second reading. The ordinance had passes it's first reading Nov. 9.

The ordinance cannot be re-introduced for six months.

More at Memphis Gaydar

Jim Maynard

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Split-Screen Struggle Over Gay Rights


Good article by Arianna Huffington at the Huffington Post on the political struggles over gay rights, particularly the growing impatience of the LGBT community with the lack of progress on LGBT issues by Obama and the Democratically-controlled Congress.

And what's up with John McCain?  He can't seem to stick to any position on anything anymore, and is grasping at straws to stop the repeal of DADT.

13 Arrested at White House DADT Demonstration

Monday, November 15, 2010

GOP Urged to Avoid Social Issues



Gay conservative group GOProud joined forces with some Tea Party leaders to urge Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. John Boehner to avoid social issues such as same-sex marriage and keep their congressional members focused on economic freedom and individual liberty.

According to a news release, GOProud and Tea Party leaders from at least 10 states sent an open letter to McConnell and Boehner on Monday morning. Part of the letter, which includes 17 signatories, reads:

“This election was not a mandate for the Republican Party, nor was it a mandate to act on any social issue, nor should it be interpreted as a political blank check.

“Already, there are Washington insiders and special interest groups that hope to co-opt the Tea Party’s message and use it to push their own agenda – particularly as it relates to social issues. We are disappointed but not surprised by this development. We recognize the importance of values but believe strongly that those values should be taught by families and our houses of worship and not legislated from Washington, D.C.

“We urge you to stay focused on the issues that got you and your colleagues elected and to resist the urge to run down any social issue rabbit holes in order to appease the special interests.”

According to Politico, signatories like Ralph King, a Tea Party Patriots national leadership council member and Ohio co-coordinator, may be more motivated by limited government than they are pro-gay.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Memphis City Council Moves Forward on Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Memphis City gay/gender inclusive non-discrimination passes the first reading, and sets up a study of anti-LGBT discrimination in city of Memphis.

Memphis Flyer Gaydar
Discrimination Debate
TEP Grand Divisions

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

DOMA Lawsuites Filed


Gay civil rights groups trying to build momentum for a possible Supreme Court showdown filed two lawsuits Tuesday that seek to strike down portions of a 1996 law that denies married same-sex couples federal benefits.
The lawsuits were filed in federal courts in Connecticut and New York and come just months after a federal judge in Boston struck down a key component of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
The legal actions seek judicial declarations that the law enacted by Congress in 1996, when it appeared Hawaii would soon legalize same-sex marriage, was unconstitutional because it prevents the federal government from affording pension and other benefits to same-sex couples. Since 2004, five states – Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts – and the District of Columbia have legalized gay marriage.

ON a related note..


Sunday, November 07, 2010

Pope Rails Against Same-Sex Marriae/Gays Kiss


BARCELONA, Spain — Pope Benedict XVI strongly defended traditional families and the rights of the unborn Sunday, directly attacking Spanish laws that allow gay marriage, fast-track divorce and easier access to abortions as he dedicated Barcelona's iconic basilica, the Sagrada Familia.
It was the second time in as many days that Benedict had criticized the policies of Spain's Socialist government and called for Europe as a whole to rediscover Christian teachings and apply them to everyday life.
As he headed to the basilica, about 200 gays and lesbians staged a 'kiss-in' to protest his visit and church policies that consider homosexual acts "intrinsically disordered." Later, a few hundred women marched to protest their second-class status in the church and the Vatican's opposition to birth control.
----
The Roman Catholic Church continues it's attempt to stop social progress and keep gays and women in their place

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Election Setback for Gay Rights



While there were a few wins for gay/lesbian candidates, the 2010 Election was mostly a setback for LGBT equality.  With a Republican-controlled Congress, overturning DADT, and passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act are now in doubt, or off the table until after 2012.  


Don't Mourn, Organize!


The 2010 Election was a major setback for Obama and the Democratic Party, but it may be good for the progressive left. 
The failure of Obama and the Democrats to push a progressive agenda (e.g single-payer Medicare for All) and escalation o the war in Afghanistan suppressed younger and more progressive voters. 
But the Tea Party and the Republican Party are still unpopular and do not have popular support for their radical agenda of austerity and cuts to social programs like education and Social Security. 
John Boehner and the Republican Congress will soon loser favor with the Tea Party and the American people.
The progressive/left must learn from the Tea Party and take over the Democratic Party, or better yet build a movement for a viable third party.
As labor organizer Joe Hill said before he was killed, "Don't Mourn, Organize!"

Republican Blowout, But NO Conservative Mandate

It Didn't have to Be this Way--Progressives Must Be Bolder

7 Things Progressives Need to Keep in Mind about the "Bloodbath"

Comeback of the Republicans and the Rise of the Tea Party-Result of Democrats' Failure

Norman Solomon, Back to Basics

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Election Day 2010

Eight Things Voters Didn't Know on Election Day

The Bad News is John "Boner" is Speaker of the House, and that could be good news, he is now the face of the TeaPublican Party...
And just wait until the TeaPublicans start CUTTING programs that the majority of American support, like Social Security...
And if Tea Partiers think Boner and the GOP will balance the budget anytime soon, or cut anything but small programs that benefit the poor, you will be disappointed..

Most people did not vote, because they hate both parties, and the GOP is still even less popular than the Democrats. Both parties are in the pockets of the corporate rich and Wall Street, and the Democrats failed to deliver real change, it was business as usual, and it still is.
We need campaign reform, and give third parties a chance!

Check out other election news on my other Blog,  Coffee Party Progressive

Monday, November 01, 2010

Appeals court extends life of gay military policy



Appeals court extends life of gay military policy

Thanks to the OBAMA DOJ appeal of the recent DADT ruling, the anti-gay policy will continue indefinitely.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Arkansas School Official Wants Gays Dead


School Official Wants Gays Dead

Arkansas school board member Clint McCance believes "queers" and "fags" should kill themselves — that is, if they don't get AIDS and die first.


Truth Wins Out Demands Removal of Homophobic Arkansas School Board Member

UPDATE: Arkansas School Board Member Resigns

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Military (No Longer) Accepting Gay Appllicants



The U.S. Military is now accepting gay and lesbian applicants after US District Judge denies a stay on her decision ending the military's anti-gay "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips in California denied the government's request for an emergency stay of her order barring the military from enforcing its ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly. The government is now expected to go to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.


Lt. Dan Choi, who was kicked out of the military under DADT for being gay, has re-enlisted.


UPDATE:  Appeals Court Grants Stay, DADT Back





Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Judge Ends "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"


Judge Orders "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Injunction

A federal judge has issued a worldwide injunction stopping enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, ending the military's 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops.
The Dept. of Justice is not required to appeal the decision but is expected to do so.
In related news, the Dept. of Justice is Appealing Rulings Against DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act)
The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday defended the federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman by appealing two rulings in Massachusetts by a judge who called the law unconstitutional for denying federal benefits to gay married couples.
How ironic that the administration of the candidate who promised to repeal DADT and DOMA is now defending them, while conservative Republicans are winning court cases to overturn them!


Monday, October 11, 2010

Memphis Gay Rights March


The Memphis LGBT community held a March for Gay Rights today.  More than 200 people participated in the march from the Civil Rights Museum to City Hall to rally for LGBT equality and to call upon the Memphis city council to approve a non-discrimination ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  The City Council failed to pass a resolution earlier this year.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Coffee Party Progressive Blog


I've created a new blog to counter the right-wing Tea Party for Coffee Party Progressives

It is not the official blog of the Coffee Party Progressives but is designed to supplement the official website with other information from progressive websites and blogs.

Be sure to Join the Coffee Party Progressives!

Another Gay Teen Suicide

Oklahoma Gay Teen Commits Suicide

Another gay teen has taken his life after vicious attacks on gays in Norman Oklahoma.

A 19-year-old gay man from Oklahoma has taken his own life, and his parents say a hate-filled recent City Council meeting he attended may have driven him over the edge.

Zach Harrington was a talented musician who’d endured years of struggles due to his sexual orientation in high school in conservative Norman, Okla.



Monday, October 04, 2010

The Teaparty That The Republicans Don't Want You To See!

It Gets Better

Dan Savage Has Started this project to support LGBT youth struggling with violence and suicide.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

One Nation March/Rally 10-2-2010



My partner Glenn and I joined the Socialist Party USA and the Socialist Contingency at the One Nation Together March Oct. 2. It was great to finally meed the national SPUSA officers and socialist comrades from across the country.
And I finally got to meet David McReynolds!

Some of my highlights:
Driving up to the march I got into a discussion with an older white man (in his 50s) who worked in a TN rest stop. When I told him I was going to the march, he said he thought everyone should have healthcare and that he worked two jobs and had no health insurance. He even agreed that we should expand Medicare to cover everyone. This from a working class man who I was afraid to discuss my politics with because I assumed he was a right-wing conservative.

I also ran into Lt. Dan Choi, who was kicked out of the military for being gay, and he was marching with a group of young LGBT people holding signs with the pictures of the 5 young gay males who have committed suicide in the past weeek.

I got into an argument with a couple of African-American women who objected to referring to gay rights as "civil rights." They support equal rights for gays but not gay marriage and they started throwing the Bible ad religion at us. They walked off, but we had a better interaction with an older black man and his younger daughter (I think). They admitted their was a lot of homophobia (they used that word) in the black community, but the man said he told his daughter he would rather she was with a woman that loved her than a man that abused her.

The crowd was incredibly diverse, unlike the Beck-Palin neo-Nazi rally last month. Lots of discussions about issues and the upcoming elections....

We marched with the Socialists and carried signs and chanted slogans critical of Obama and the Democrats, like "Obama is No Socialist, But We Are, But We Are!"

I admit I was wrong about the Socialist Contingency and now think it was a good idea, even though I didn't agree with everything some of the other groups believe or advocate. We agree on most things, and the big things that matter--the need to replace capitalism with democratic socialism! (We just don't all agree on how to get there.)

Here are some pics I took at the March/Rally

Friday, October 01, 2010

One Nation Together

Greetings from Washington D.C., our nation's capitol. I've joined tens of thousands here to protest the pro-corporate anti-labor policies of the Republican and Democratic Parties and their corporate masters on Wall Street. There is a mix of liberal, progressive and socialist activists here who do not agree on every issue, certainly not on President Obama and the Democratic Congress which have failed to deliver real change for American workers. This is a Wake Up Call! Take back our government from the corporate elite!

There is a Socialist Contingency which strongly objects to the failed policies of Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress. The right-wing propaganda networks (Fox News, etc.) will try to tell you that they are here to support Obama and the Democrats, but they are NOT! Read their statement:

Socialist Contingency

I'll be marching with the Socialist Party U.S.A.

Not Our Party: The Tea Party vs. We The People

Memphians to be Among One Nation Working Together Rally

One Nation Working Together

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Coalition of LGBT Rights Groups Join One Nation Together March



Coalition of National LGBT Rights Groups Joins With Progressive Allies as Part of One Nation Working Together

WASHINGTON - September 23 - The National Black Justice Coalition, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, National Stonewall Democrats and Pride At Work are co-convening the “LGBTQ Table” for One Nation Working Together , a new progressive movement demanding secure jobs, justice and quality education. LGBTQ groups will be joining with thousands of progressive allies in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 2 for One Nation Working Together's national rally.
“This is about getting people energized and re-engaged,” says Sharon Lettman-Hicks, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition. “We can show our collective leadership by mobilizing our constituents, and we will continue to stand tall and steadfast until our priority initiatives become a reality.”

More than 200 organizations have endorsed One Nation Working Together, including the NAACP, AFL-CIO, SEIU and many other labor, civil and human rights, faith, immigrant rights, environmental, women and peace organizations.

"Everyone deserves the right to find and keep a job in a safe work environment with a living wage," says Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "This is about fundamental fairness. This includes ensuring people are not discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. It's about passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. It's about ending 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' It's about ensuring people get a fair shake and are able to support and care for their families. It's about real lives and livelihoods."

The nation's economic climate has left people all across the country vulnerable, and the ongoing discrimination in employment, schools, housing, health care and the absence of relationship recognition present added economic barriers and stresses for many within the LGBTQ community. In addition, the 12 million undocumented immigrants, including at least half a million LGBTQ people living in this country and 36,000 binational couples, deserve access to a system that allows workers to earn legal status and permits people from all backgrounds to stay with their families.

“One Nation Working Together has already been an unprecedented opportunity for the LGBT community to work in coalition with many progressive organizations with a common purpose,” says Michael Mitchell, executive director of National Stonewall Democrats. “The focus of One Nation Working Together — jobs, justice, education — is also what we are fighting for as LGBT Americans.”

"One Nation Working Together is about Oct. 2, 2010, in Washington, D.C., but it is much more than that,” says Peggy Shorey, executive director of Pride at Work. “This is about building stronger coalitions at the intersection of race and sexuality, and becoming more effective allies across our communities. This is about lifting the voice and struggle of low-income LGBT people, of LGBT people living in poverty, of LGBT working families struggling with unemployment and discrimination, of LGBT people also fighting racism. Just as important as Oct. 2 is how we carry the work forward — encouraging all of our members to register and vote in November, and continuing to organize in solidarity to win justice and equality for all people.”

Also on Oct. 2, the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, D.C., is hosting its 24th annual AIDS Walk Washington, which takes place Saturday morning prior to the One Nation Working Together rally. Event information, including registration, is available at www.aidswalkwashington.org . Whitman-Walker Clinic is proud to be a partner organization of One Nation Working Together. Rally attendees can sign-up online for the AIDS Walk and receive a 25 percent discount off the standard registration rate (code:ONWT).

The LGBTQ Table is encouraging people to support the AIDS Walk, as well as rally with One Nation Working Together. LGBTQ organizations and activists are invited to gather at Freedom Plaza at 10 a.m. to share in the closing ceremonies of the AIDS Walk and then march as a delegation to the One Nation Working Together rally.

For more details of how to get involved in One Nation Working Together, visit www.onenationworkingtogether.org
Facebook at “One Nation Working Together,” or Twitter using the hashtags #OneNation, #DC10210 and #OneNationLGBTQ.

UPDATE: NAACP Leaders Reach Out to Gay Rights Groups

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tea Party vs. We The People



Several important news items in the past week underscore the dire situation of the poor and the working class in the United States, but got little attention from the corporate media or the political elite. The number of people in poverty has climbed to 44 million, the highest number in 50 years. In 2009 alone, 4 million people fell into poverty, and it would have been higher without the extensions in unemployment and other benefits Republicans opposed.

The number of people without health insurance climbed to 50 million. The healthcare crisis continues to worsen while the right-wing calls for repealing the healthcare program that will cover 30 million more people. Health insurance companies are already gouging people and dumping children and sick people before the law is fully implemented, while Republicans want to cut all public healthcare programs and throw us all to the mercy of insurance companies.

While corporate profits and CEO pay continue to skyrocket, even after the Great Recession they created out of greed, the wages and income of working class continues to decline. There is a class war, but it is a war of the corporate rich being waged on the working class.

What I don’t understand is why the Tea Party, which claims to represent “we the people,” is taking the side of the corporate rich. They defend private insurance companies which are rationing healthcare based on ability to pay while increasing their profits and CEO pay. They are siding with corporations against unions and the right of workers to organize and improve their working conditions.

Instead, the Tea Party is following millionaire corporate lobbyists like Dick Armey, and corporate front groups like “Freedom Works” and “Americans For Prosperity,” which are nothing but cover groups for insurance companies and energy companies who oppose “regulations” which would protect the environment and increase access to healthcare.

They claim to want to reduce the deficit and cut government debt, but they want to continue to cut taxes on the corporate rich, without any cuts to pay for them. It is this combination of careless tax cuts favoring the rich, along with unpaid wars and increases in military spending, which has caused the explosion in the deficit, all the result of the policies of George W. Bush, which they want to continue.

The Tea Party is taking over the Republican Party, pushing a radical agenda to impose corporate and theocratic rule over the United States. They want to cut or eliminate Social Security, the most successful social program in history, which has nothing to do with the deficit. They claim to be opposed to “big government,” but they want to impose their religious beliefs on everyone, and they seem to love big business.

The Boston Tea Party was a revolt against unfair tax cuts for a multinational corporation, the East India Tea Company, which undermined the small businesses in the colonies. The British were imposing taxes on the colonies, while cutting the taxes of the East India Tea Company. We need a real Tea Party revolt against tax cuts and corporate welfare programs that favor the corporate rich and put the interests of Wall Street banksters over the interests of the American working class. We need to pay more attention to the “common good” and and less attention to the whining of rich people who don’t care about the “general welfare” of we the people.

Memphis Flyer: Not Our Party

Socialist Webzine: Incomes Down, Poverty Up

The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street

Lost Decade For American Income

Poverty Rises as Wall Street Billionaires Whine

More Tax Cuts for the Rich? No Way!

GOP Plan Would Raise Debt $4 Trillion

Thom Hartmann: Boston Tea Party Was An Anti-Corporate Revolt!

DADT Repeal Vote "Too Close to Call"



A repeal of the military's anti-gay "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is coming up for a vote Tuesday, as part of the defense authorization bill. It's not clear if the Democrats have enough votes, though, to break a Republican filibuster led by crazy Sen. John McCain.

A Majority of Americans now Support Marriage Equality




Poll: 52 % of Americans for Marriage Equality

A new national poll from the Associated Press found that 52% of Americans support marriage equality, following a CNN poll last month that showed a similar finding.

The AP poll asked 1,007 Americans, "Should the Federal Government give legal recognition to marriages between couples of the same-sex, or not?’ 52% of those polled responded ‘Yes.’ 46% responded ‘No.’ And 2% responded ‘Don't know.’”

Friday, September 17, 2010

TN Lesbian Couple Victim of Hate Crime



Lesbian couple in Vonore says house fire is hate crime

Carol Ann and Laura Stutte, long-time life partners who have been together for 15 years and are raising a daughter in the small town of Vonore, Tennessee, just south of Knoxville, reported that they received numerous threats from a neighbor–including a threat to “kill them and burn down their house”–over the span of the five years they lived in the town. On September 4th, their house was burned down to the ground and their garage was spray painted with the word “queers.

Gratefully Carol and Laura Stutte were away when the house burned. But they lost everything.

Police have confirmed that this was a case of arson. Investigators are currently conducting interviews about the crime. Tennessee has a hate crime penalty enhancement law that includes property hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation – the federal hate crime statute does not include property crimes.

PLAG Maryville is Taking Donations to Help the Couple

Monday, September 13, 2010

Will Obama's Paralysis on Gay Rights Issues Worsen the Enthusiasm Gap in November? | News & Politics | AlterNet


Will Obama's Paralysis on Gay Rights Issues Worsen the Enthusiasm Gap in November? | News & Politics | AlterNet

While Log Cabin Republicans and more prominent conservative Republicans are pushing to end DADT, and support marriage equality, the Obama administration is defending DADT in court and Obama continues to oppose gay marriage (publicly) and now is to the right of many conservatives!

The recent court decision declaring DADT unconstitutional gives the Democrats and Obama a perfect opening to end DADT, and a vote is scheduled. It may be the last chance for the Obama administration to accomplish anything for LGBT civil rights.

Washington Blade: Reid to Schedule DADT Vote Next Week

Thursday, September 09, 2010

DADT Ruled Unconstitutional



Judge Rules DADT Unconstitutional

A federal judge in Southern California on Thursday declared the U.S. military's ban on openly gay service members unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment rights of gay and lesbians.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips granted a request for an injunction halting the government's "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays in the military.

Phillips said the policy doesn't help military readiness and instead has a "direct and deleterious effect" on the armed services.

The lawsuit was the biggest legal test of the law in recent years and came amid promises by President Barack Obama that he will work to repeal the policy.

Government lawyers argued Phillips lacked the authority to issue a nationwide injunction and the issue should be decided by Congress.

The injunction was sought by the Log Cabin Republicans.

Government lawyers argued that Phillips lacked the authority to issue a nationwide injunction and Congress should decide the policy's fate.

The U.S. House voted in May to repeal the policy, and the Senate is expected to address the issue this summer.

How far will the Obama Administration go to defend the anti-gay policy Obama opposes?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Right-Wing Hijacks MLK and Civil Rights Movement



While Glenn Beck holds his neo-fascist "Restore America" rally on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream Speech" to promote militarism, capitalism and theocracy, we need to remember that MLK's dream was a radical, DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST vision of equality and social justice that called for ending the Vietnam War, slashing military spending and REDISTRIBUTING WEALTH to alleviate the suffering of the poor and create a more just and equal society.

Glenn Beck is con-man and is using religion to promote a neo-fascist corporate agenda that opposes MLK's pro-labor, anti-capitalist legacy.

King's Dream Was Radical Economic Message

Glenn Beck Needs a History Lesson on the Civil Rights Movement

Glenn Beck Has Long History of Racial Mockery--His "Civil Rights" Talk is a Fraud

Glenn Beck's Perverse Revision of King's Dream is Nothing New

Glenn Beck is NOT Martin Luther King Jr.

Former Memphis Officer Pleads Guilty in Transgender Beating Case


Former Memphis Officer Pleads Guilty in Transgender Beating Case

Finally some justice for Duanna Johnson. Former Memphis police officer Bridges McRae admits to using excessive force against Johnson while booking her into the Shelby Co. Jail.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Memphis Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Withdrawn

Sad day in Memphis when a weak ordinance that would only have protected LGBT people from discrimination in city employment had to be withdraw because of opposition from Memphis religious groups and lack of support in the city council.

Memphis Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Withdrawn

From the Commercial Appeal:

The Tennessee Equality Project and City Councilwoman Janis Fullilove on Tuesday morning withdrew the proposed ordinance, designed to prevent the city from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in hiring or promotion of employees. An accompanying resolution would have included the ordinance's language in city contracts.

Fullilove and TEP members said it was clear the ordinance, which was scheduled for the second of three readings Tuesday afternoon, lacked support from the 13-member council and Wharton's administration.

Michelle Bliss, vice chairwoman of the Shelby County committee of the TEP, said council members were making decisions based on "fear and prejudice."
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No wonder gay people flee Memphis...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Third World America: The Collapse of American Capitalism


As most working class Americans realize, the American capitalist system is collapsing, along with the "middle class" and the "American Dream" (home ownership, living wages, college, etc.)

As profits soar on Wall Street and among the financial institutions the American working class bailed out, workers and the middle class are losing wages, jobs and living standards. While demand is falling, the U.S. political and media elite are still focused on giving more tax breaks to the wealthy corporate elite who have declared war on labor and the middle class.

The irony is that while Obama and the corporate Democrats focused on saving American capitalism, they will suffer the wrath of the American voters as the system collapses.

Arrianna Huffington: Third World America--Chronicling the Assault on America's Middle Class

Eight Facts About the Shrinking Middle Class

Economic Fears Rise as Disappointing Figures Pile Up

Jobless Millions Signal Death of American Dream for Many

James Petras: What Crisis? Profits Soar!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mexican States Ordered to Honor Gay Marriages



The Mexican Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that each of the country’s 31 states must recognize same-sex marriages registered in Mexico City, potentially giving gay and lesbian couples full matrimonial rights nationwide.
Enlarge This Image

Revelry in Mexico City last week as the Supreme Court upheld a same-sex marriage law. The court went further on Tuesday.
The court had already ruled this month that Mexico City’s same-sex marriage law, which took effect in March and has resulted in hundreds of same-sex marriages, was constitutional.

But on Tuesday, the court went a step further, ruling 9 to 2 against a complaint from the attorney general’s office, which had said that other jurisdictions should not be required to honor marriages that were performed in Mexico City.

While the court made it clear that state governments were not obligated to enact same-sex marriage laws of their own, it did require them to recognize the legality of such marriages performed in Mexico City.

So now the United States is behind Mexico in recognizing equal rights for gays and lesbians!

Maybe gays should start migrating to Mexico. I'm going to start brushing up on my spanish

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Memphis Non-Discrimination Ordinance Passes First Vote


From Memphis Daily News:

Tuesday Memphis City Council
•Approved a non discrimination ordinance on the first of three readings after the item was removed from the council’s consent agenda. Items up for first reading are usually approved en masse with one vote. Council member Barbara Swearengen Ware wanted the item removed, saying it had not been approved in committee. There was no recommendation in committee and committee recommendations cannot stop an item from being considered by the full council even if there is a negative recommendation. An attempt to water down the ordinance on first reading was also voted down by the council.

A separate resolution that would prohibit companies doing business with the City of Memphis was tabled after some concerns were raised about the scope of the resolution.

Memphis Flyer: Non-Discrimination Ordinance Placed on Hold Note: the Resolution, NOT the Ordinance, was placed on hold--there is some confusion between the two in the media.

Commercial Appeal: Resolution to include Anti-Discrimination in City Contracts Tabled

Memphis Socialist Party Statement on Memphis ND Ordinance

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Victory! Prop. 8 Overturned


A great victory in California today!

Federal judge Vaughn Walker rules California's gay marriage ban unconstitutional, stating that "California has no interest in differentiating between same-sex and opposite-sex couples."

In a highly anticipated decision with potentially far-reaching implications in the national battle over marriage equality, a federal judge has struck down California's Proposition 8.

U.S. district judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled that the ballot measure violated both equal protection and due process clauses of the U.S. Constitution in a 136-page opinion released Wednesday, nearly seven months after an unprecedented trial over marriage rights began in his San Francisco courtroom.

In a sweeping ruling, judge Walker turned down every argument opposing same-sex marriage rights.
Read Ruling here

Keep in mind that Judge Walker is a conservative Republican appointed judge, not a flaming liberal, and the persuasive arguments by conservatives like like Ted Olsen obliterated all the opposition arguments against same-sex marriage. Now can he and other conservative marriage equality supporters convince enough conservatives on the SCOTUS?

Supporters of Prop. 8 are appealing the decision, which is expected to go to the Supreme Court, so the battle for equality continues!

Check out photos from San Francisco

NGLTF Responds to Ruling

Human Rights Campaign Statement

Lambda Legal

Americans United Applauds Court Ruling Against Prop. 8

White House Statement on Prop. 8

UPDATE:
The Best WORST Reactions to Prop. 8 Ruling

Friday, July 30, 2010

Open Letter to Pelosi on ENDA


Eight LGBT groups including GetEqual, the Transgender Law Center, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights have written an open letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanding a floor vote on ENDA immediately.

From San Francisco Pride at Work, One Struggle, One Fight, GetEqual, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, Transgender Law Center, National Center for Lesbian Rights, El / La, and National Pride at Work

An Open Letter to the House Speaker on ENDA

We are writing to express how extremely troubled we are that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has not yet been scheduled for a vote by the full House of Representatives. We believe a floor vote must be scheduled for ENDA immediately.

It would be devastating for LGBT workers for this Congress to not complete its work on ENDA before the end of this session. ENDA would be historic in the number of LGBT people who would benefit from its passage. During this economic crisis, it is more important than ever to prohibit the often impoverishing effects of workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Most LGBT workers have no protections from workplace discrimination. ENDA would provide legal protection against discrimination nationally. Over and over we have been promised that a vote would be scheduled on ENDA, and these promises have been repeatedly broken. In 29 states, it is still legal to fire someone solely because they are lesbian, gay or bisexual. And in 38 states it is legal to fire someone solely for being transgender. The current version of the bill would outlaw discrimination on both sexual orientation and gender identity.

A 2006 study by the San Francisco Bay Guardian and the Transgender Law Center found that 60 percent of transgender people in San Francisco earn less than $15,300 per year, only 25 percent have a full-time job and nearly 9 percent have no source of income.

Only 4 percent reported making more than $61,200, which is about the median income in the Bay Area. More than half of local transgender people live in poverty, and 96 percent earn less than the median income. Forty percent of those surveyed don't even have a bank account. What this study reveals is that even in a city that is considered a haven for the LGBT community, transgender workers face profound employment challenges and discrimination.

A 2007 meta-analysis from the Williams Institute of 50 studies of workplace discrimination against LGBT people found consistent evidence of bias in the workplace. The analysis found that up to 68 percent of LGBT people reported experiencing employment discrimination, and up to 17 percent said they had been fired or denied employment.

Public opinion polling shows that Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of making sure LGBT Americans get the same employment opportunities as everyone else. In fact, the latest surveys shows that nearly 90% of Americans support workplace fairness for LGBT workers.

As you know, in a few weeks, Congress will finish it's legislative business for the year so that they can return to their districts to run for re-election. Last month at a LGBT Pride event, Congresswoman Jackie Spier announced to the LGBT community that not only would we not get ENDA before the end of the legislative session, that she did not think we would get it for five years because we won't have enough votes in Congress again to ensure passage. It is ironic that Congress plans on leaving town and going home to campaign for their own jobs while leaving thousands of LGBT workers without protections for the next five years. When 90% of Americans support workplace fairness, it is challenging to believe that anyone fears a backlash from the voters. The time to pass ENDA is now. The American people support it, the politicians promised it. No more broken promises. We demand that a vote be scheduled now.

Sincerely,

SF Pride at Work, One Struggle, One Fight, GetEqual, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, Transgender Law Center, National Center for Lesbian Rights, El / La and National Pride at Work