Sunday, December 11, 2011

Friends say classmate killed himself due to anti-gay bullying – LGBTQ Nation


Friends say classmate killed himself due to anti-gay bullying – LGBTQ Nation


ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. — Students at a local school are grieving a classmate. Friends say the young man took his own life because he couldn’t take any more bullying.

And they say school officials knew about the torment but didn’t do enough to stop it.

Friends say that kids bullied Jacob Rogers at Cheatham County Central High School for the past four years, but in the past few months it had become so bad he dropped out of school.

And Wednesday, he ended his life.

“He started coming home his senior year saying ‘I don’t want to go back. Everyone is so mean. They call me a f****, they call me gay, a queer,’” friend Kaelynn Mooningham said.

Kaelynn said her friend Jacob felt ignored.

Perry’s chief pollster ‘outed’ in backlash, in-fighting over anti-gay ad – LGBTQ Nation

Perry’s chief pollster ‘outed’ in backlash, in-fighting over anti-gay ad – LGBTQ Nation

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Obama Administration Makes Case for World LGBT Rights | News | The Advocate


Obama Administration Makes Case for World LGBT Rights | News | The Advocate
In a historic address before the United Nations in Geneva, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called on all countries to respect the civil rights of LGBT individuals. The Secretary also announced new U.S. initiatives to support organizations working to protect gay people who are marginalized and targeted with violence.

Hillary Clinton to UN: "Gay Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Gay Rights"

8 Must-read moments from Hillary Clinton's UN Speech

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mid-South Pride Comes of Age



Mid-South Pride festival grows » The Commercial Appeal

Memphis "Mid-South Pride" has grown of age with the biggest and best pride parade and festival in the 30 year history of Memphis/Mid-south Pride.  Usually a subdued event held in gay-friendly area of mid-town Memphis, this year's parade was down historic Beale Street in downtown Memphis and was greeted by large crowds.   This year's  Pride Parade & Festival was a big step forward for Memphis and the Memphis LGBT community.

Congrats to Mid-south Pride on such a great job--and do it again next year!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gays honor U.S. rights pioneer Frank Kameny | The Raw Story

Gays honor U.S. rights pioneer Frank Kameny | The Raw Story

Fischer: "Homosexual Agenda" Is America's "Greatest Immediate Threat" | Right Wing Watch

Fischer: "Homosexual Agenda" Is America's "Greatest Immediate Threat" | Right Wing Watch

John Smid, Former Ex-Gay Ministry Leader Comes Out, Recants Previous Teachings

Former Ex-Gay Ministry Leader Comes Out, Recants Previous Teachings:

Love in Action (LIA) is one of the largest and oldest ex-gay ministries in existence, founded in 1973, the same year the American Psychiatric Association decided that homosexuality was no longer a mental illness. John Smid resigned as the group’s executive director in 2008, and since then has slowly been rethinking his understandings of sexuality and [...]/p

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Obama Lauds LGBT Achievements at HRC Dinnder


Obama Lauds LGBT Achievements at HRC Dinner

Obama's Remarks at 15th Annual HRC Dinner

With a lot of pressure and push from LGBT activists, President Obama did deliver on overturning Don't Ask, Don't Tell, but still refuses to support marriage equality (publicly), though that may change if he wins re-election since the only reason he could be holding back on endorsing gay marriage is to get re-elected.  He promised to work to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages even in states where they are legalized.

Now that the diversion of DADT is out of the way, the real fight for LGBT equality should focus on marriage equality and finally passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Religious-Right Homophobes Whine That They're Being Oppressed | Civil Liberties | AlterNet

Religious-Right Homophobes Whine That They're Being Oppressed | Civil Liberties | AlterNet

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bellevue Pastor Asks Members to Vote Against Equality | Memphis Gaydar

Bellevue Pastor Asks Members to Vote Against Equality | Memphis Gaydar

I don't understand why anyone who considers themselves a disciple of Jesus Christ would be a part of Bellevue Baptist Church, it is a scourge on Memphis and promotes anti-gay bigotry, as well as theocracy. Their pastor is a hypocrite for covering up the sexual abuse of a minor among other things. Shame on Bellevue, and shame on anyone who supports that den of iniquity.

GOP debate audience boos gay soldier | Raw Replay

GOP debate audience boos gay soldier | Raw Replay

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Christian group blasts BlueCross BlueShield for 'acceptance of homosexual conduct' | The Tennessean | tennessean.com

Christian group blasts BlueCross BlueShield for 'acceptance of homosexual conduct' | The Tennessean | tennessean.com

The TN Family Action Council argued against "imposing" anti-gay discrimination laws on businesses in TN, now they want to dictate to businesses that they cannot help gays?

Monday, September 05, 2011

Iran Hangs Three Convicted of "Sodomy"

Three men executed in Iran for Sodomy


Iran Human Rights, September 5: According to the reports from Iran, six people were hanged in the Karoun prison of Ahvaz (southwest of Iran) early Sunday morning September 4th.
The state run Iranian news agency ISNA reported that three of those executed were sentenced to death by the Ahvaz revolution court, convicted of "unlawful" acts based on the articles 108 and 110 of the Iranian Islamic penal code. Articles 108 and 110 of the Iranian Islamic Penal code are part of the chapter covering the punishment of "Hadd" for "sodomy". Article 108 says: "Sodomy (or Lavat) is sexual intercourse between men”, and article 110 says:”Punishment for sodomy is killing; the Sharia judge decides on how to carry out the killing".

Two teenagers were hung in 2005 for rape and sodomy. (Iranian officials are believed to accuse gays of rape to make executions more acceptable to the public and international community.)

Will Prop. 8 End California’s Democracy? | | AlterNet

Will Prop. 8 End California’s Democracy? | | AlterNet

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Surprise! Male Bisexuals Exist!


Study: Researches Confirm Male Bisexuality Exists

A new scientific study by researches at Northwester University confirms that men who have a sexual attraction to both men and women is real, and dispels the stereotype that bisexual men are just closeted homosexuals, or simply confused..

Did we really need a study to confirm male bisexuality? Why are both gay and straight people threatened by bisexuality? Maybe because bisexuality calls into question the assumption that human sexuality ("sexual orientation") is something fixed and immutable?

Related study:
New Report Highights Discrimination Against Bisexuals by both Gays and Straights

Monday, August 15, 2011

Where The Presidential Candidates Stand On LGBT Issues

Where The Presidential Candidates Stand On LGBT Issues: "pHere is a snapshot look at where all the current presidential hopefuls stand on LGBT issues (click to see it full-size): For a more in-depth look at the candidates’ positions, the Center for American Progress offers an interactive with quotes that inform their views on LGBT issues.  /p"

Top 5 Examples of Perry’s Anti-Gay Agenda

Top 5 Examples of Perry’s Anti-Gay Agenda: "pAs the hours tick down until Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) announces his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination, many outlets are speculating as to whether or not he will win the vote of the religious right with his vocal social conservatism. Just last month, he stirred up controversy with various Christian groups by flip-flopping [...]/p"

Michele Bachmann: Gay Families Are Not ‘Families’

Michele Bachmann: Gay Families Are Not ‘Families’: "pOn yesterday’s Meet The Press, host David Gregory challenged Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann on some of her anti-gay views. After grilling her about whether sexual orientation would be a factor she’d consider in making presidential appointments, he asked whether a same-sex couple raising children constitutes a “family.” She doesn’t: GREGORY: Can a gay couple [...]/p"

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Top 5 Examples of Perry’s Anti-Gay Agenda

Top 5 Examples of Perry’s Anti-Gay Agenda: "pAs the hours tick down until Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) announces his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination, many outlets are speculating as to whether or not he will win the vote of the religious right with his vocal social conservatism. Just last month, he stirred up controversy with various Christian groups by flip-flopping [...]/p"

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Four GOP Presidential Candidates Sign Anti-Gay Marriage Pledge

im Pawlenty has become the latest Republican presidential candidate to sign a pledge from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), according to Politico. The group is dedicated to fighting same sex marriage and preventing same sex couples from adopting children.

Republican candidates Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney have also signed the pledge, vowing to support a federal marriage amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman.

By signing NOM's marriage pledge, the candidates also vowed to protect the Defense of Marriage Act in court, appoint conservative judges and a conservative attorney general, create a presidential commission to investigate harassment of same sex marriage opponents and put same sex marriage up to a vote in D.C.

Gay Concentration Camp Survivor Dies

Gay Concentration Camp Survivor Dies at 98

Rudolf Brazda, who was held at the Buchenwald concentration camp for three years until U.S. forces liberated the camp in 1945, died Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.
By Andrew Harmon
Rudolf Brazda The last known gay concentration camp survivor imprisoned because of his sexual orientation has died, according to Germany’s Lesbian and Gay Association.

Rudolf Brazda, who was held at the Buchenwald concentration camp for three years until U.S. forces liberated the camp in 1945, died Wednesday at the age of 98, the Associated Press reports.

In a 2008 interview with the French gay magazine Têtu, Brazda spoke for the first time of his imprisonment since he made remarks at the dedication ceremony of a Berlin memorial to gay victims of the Third Reich. “The way Nazis treated the ‘pink triangles’ is unspeakable,” Brazda said, referring to the emblem gays were forced to wear. “They had absolutely no mercy.”

After he was freed from Buchenwald, Brazda moved to France, where he lived for 35 years with his partner, who died in 2002.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Tenn. Gov: "Don't Say Gay" Bill a Longshot

Tenn. Gov: "Don't Say Gay" Bill a Long Shot

In an interview with Nashville's City Paper, Gov. Bill Haslam said he is tired of the media attention to the bill, which would prohibit teachers from discussing homosexuality in public school classes in kindergarten through eighth grade.
By Andrew Harmon
Gov. Bill Haslam Tennessee governor Bill Haslam is tired of the media attention yo the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would prohibit teachers from discussing homosexuality in public school classes in kindergarten through eighth grade.

"The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill didn’t pass and probably is never going to pass," Haslam said in an interview with Nashville's City Paper.

Comparing the bill to reporting on the appointment of the first superintendent to run the new state Achievement School District, he added, "'Don’t Say Gay' is real sexy and yada yada yada. It’s not going anywhere.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

NY Gay/Lesbian Couples Line Up to Marry

At long last gay and lesbian couples are getting married in New York today. Congrats and best wishes to all the newly weds!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Michelle Bachman's Husband Performs "Ex-Gay" Therapy

Evan Hurst from Truth Wins Out on MSNBC's Hardball discussing GOP presidential candidate Michelle Bachman's husband's ex-gay therapy (it doesn't seem to have worked on him)

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Court Orders End to DADT, Halt to Gay Military Ban

DADT Repeal: Court Orders Halt to Gay Military Ban

A federal appeals court ordered the U.S. government on Wednesday to immediately cease enforcing the ban on openly gay members of the military, a move that could speed the end of the 17-year-old rule.

Congress repealed the policy in December and the Pentagon is already preparing to welcome gay military personnel, said the ruling from a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. There's no longer any purpose for a stay the appeals court had placed on a lower court ruling that overturned "don't ask, don't tell," the judges said.

In the meantime, the court order blocks the military from discharging anyone based on sexual orientation, a Pentagon spokesman said, news that brought relief from gay rights advocates who say there are still dozens of gay or lesbian personnel under investigation.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

New York: Another Victory for Marriage Equality


New York became the sixth state to grant gay and lesbian couples the right to marry Friday night. The bill, which passed the Democratic controlled NY House overwhelmingly, was finally passed in the GOP controlled state senate 33-29, with the support of four Republicans. It was a major victory for the national struggle for marriage equality because with the victory in New York the number of gay couples who can legally marry has doubled, and it was only the second time a state legislature was not forced to legalize same-sex marriage by a court order. Gov. Cuomo signed the bill before midnight.

New York Win Celebrated Far and Wide

New York Gay Marriage Victory Transforms National Debate

New York City Celebrates Marriage Victory (Pictures)

Unfortunately, President Obama was NOT a "fierce advocate" for LGBT equality as Gov. Cuomo.
Obama's Gay Marriage Wimp Out

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Harold Ford Jr. Makes Marriage Equality Video


My former political opponent, former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr.,  made a video in support of gay marriage in his new home state of New York.  I believe he supports gay marriage now, he LIED when he campaigned against gay rights, including marriage, when he was pandering for the bigot vote in Tennessee and bragged about his support of the anti-gay marriage amendment.  My opinion of him has not changed.  Sorry Jr.

Harold Ford Jr. Makes Marriage Equality Video

New York Assembly Approves Gay Marriage



The New York state Assembly approved same-sex marriage on Wednesday and the bill is likely to face a vote in the Senate on Friday, where it only needs support from one more senator to pass.







Sunday, June 12, 2011

"Justice For All" Rally Seeks to Unify Progressive Causes - WREG



"Justice For All" Rally Seeks to Unify Progressive Causes - WREG


A coalition of progressives groups representative women, labor, immigrants, and the LGBT community, organized a rally Saturday in Memphis to protest recent actions by the conservative Republican Tennessee legislature to restrict the collective bargaining rights of public employees, cut funding for Planned Parenthood, and to rollback and prohibit local laws to prohibit discrimination against gays and lesbians and LGBT people. 

In addition to anti-gay and anti-labor legislation at the state level, the Memphis City government is considering proposals to privatize sanitation services and destroy the local AFSCME labor union that Dr. MLK came to Memphis to march with to protest low wages prior to his assassination.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gay Activists Arrested in Moscow Protest




(CNN) More than 30 people were arrested Saturday in central Moscow during the sixth attempt by gay rights groups to hold a parade in the city.
According to the group, Gay Russia, far right groups clashed with activists who were gathered in front of the Kremlin wall and city hall.
A total of 18 gay activists and 14 anti-gay activists were arrested, according to Moscow City police.  A police spokesman told CNN that the group did not have permission to gather publically for a parade.
Three prominent gay rights activists, Americans Dan Choi and Andy Thayer, and France's Louis-George Tin, were among those detained.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tennessee Green Lights Discrimination



Tennessee legislature passes and governor signs bill overturning and prohibiting cities from passing non-discrimination ordinances or policies to protect LGBT people from discrimination.


Gay Rights advocates began calling out companies that were part of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce which supported the bill.  Many of the issued statements opposing the bill and asking the governor to veto it, AFTER the bill was already passed and signed!



Monday, May 23, 2011

TN Govenor Reverses Nashville Metro Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Strike another blow to LGBT civil rights in Tennessee

Gov. Bill Haslam has signed the bill reversing Metro's new nondiscrimination ordinance, dealing a blow to opponents who had mounted a campaign urging him to veto the bill.

The bill effectively reverses an ordinance passed by the Metro Council that required contractors with the city to agree to follow Metro's rules barring discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgendered people.

The move comes despite an effort by opponents of the bill to convince Haslam not to sign the bill, which passed by a more than two-thirds margins in the Republican-led state legislature. Gay rights activists from across the country have been pushing companies to issue statements against with the legislation.

The campaign led the executive committee of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which had supported the bill while it was in the legislature, to reverse its position Monday.

"The Tennessee Chamber supports a standard regulatory environment at the state level as opposed to potentially conflicting local regulations covering employment practices," the executive committee said in a statement released late Monday.

"That principle was the only interest the Chamber had in this bill. Because (the bill) has turned into a debate on diversity and inclusiveness principles, which we support, we are now officially opposing this legislation in its present form."

From The Tennessean

AmericaBlog has been been closely following the anti-gay legislation in Tennessee and helped launch a nationwide campaign to boycott the companies which had supported the TN Chamber of Commerce's support of the anti-gay bill.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

George Takei (Star Trek's "Mr. Sulu") Takes on TN Don't Say Gay Bill



It's OK to Be Takei

Tennessee Dismantles Anti-Discrimination Ordinances

It's been a sad week in Tennessee as the Teapublican controlled state legislature passes a series of anti-gay bills to override local non-discrimination ordinances, such as one recently passed in Nashville, and another bans discussion of homosexuality and gay issues in public elementary schools.

Tennessee Dismantles Anti-Discrimimation Ordinances

"Don't Say Gay Bill" Passes in Tenn. Senate

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Newt Gets Glittered

Newt Gingrich was showered with rainbow glitter, courtesy of a 24-year-old LGBT activist, prior to the 2012 presidential candidate’s Tuesday appearance at the antigay Minnesota Family Council’s annual dinner.
“Feel the rainbow, Newt,” activist Nick Espinosa said as he poured the glitter on Gingrich and his wife, Callista, during a book signing, according to ABC News. “Stop the hate. Stop antigay politics. It’s dividing our country and it’s not fixing our economy.”

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gay Activists Urge Orbitz to Drop Fox News Ads


The Advocate: Gay Leaders Urge Orbitz to Drop Fox News Ads


Several prominent gay rights groups are urging travel site Orbitz to drop its advertising from Fox News because of the network's antigay content.

Leaders from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Courage Campaign, and Equality Matters have all signed a letter to Orbitz CEO Barney Harford asking that his company stop advertising on Fox News.

The letter cites former Gov. Mike Huckabee hosting a show despite his statements in the past, comparing homosexuality with drug abuse, incest, pedophilia, and necrophilia. The letter also mentions host Bill O'Reilly warning about the dangers of allowing gay people to be near children, and others on the network "perpetuating the claim that repealing 'don't ask, don't tell' would impact troop readiness and morale, despite multiple reports -- including the Pentagon's -- to the contrary," according to a statement released Monday.

Orbitz has been a longtime advertiser to gay media outlets, including The Advocate, as well as gay pride and other events. It also has a gay-specific travel site, offering trips to LGBT-friendly destinations.

GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said companies like Orbitz, with a “strong track records of LGBT inclusion, should think twice before supporting Fox News’ pervasive pattern of indefensible bias against our community.”


DROP FOX



Saturday, May 14, 2011

Rep. Tammy Baldwin Could Become 1st Openly Gay Senator


Rep. Tammy Baldwin Could Become First Openly Gay Senate Member


Openly gay Wisconsin Representative Tammy Baldwin is considering a run for the U.S. Senate seat now occupied by Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI). If she won the election, Baldwin would become the first openly gay member of the Senate.
Seventy-six-year old Kohl announced Friday that he will not seek reelection to a fifth term in the U.S. Senate, saying that it's "time for someone else to serve."
Baldwin is "very likely" to run for the seat, according to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which has endorsed Baldwin repeatedly.
"This would be a remarkable milestone for LGBT Americans," said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. "Congresswoman Baldwin is one of the most admired public officials I know. She would have the strong support of those who want to see our economy work for all Americans, and who believe that all voices deserve a place at the table."
Baldwin became the first openly gay candidate to win election to the U.S. Congress as a freshman in 1998.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Uganda "Kill the Gays" Bill Nears Vote



A bill that would give harsh punishment to gays and lesbians in Uganda for their sexual orientation may have a final vote sometime this week as lawmakers finished a second day of hearings on the matter on Monday.
While the initial version of the bill, introduced in 2009, would have found homosexuality punishable by death, the bill's author, David Bahati, said the Parliament has "moved away" from such a provision, the Associated Press reports. Now, lawmakers are considering a recommendation by prominent Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa to make homosexuality punishable by up to seven years in prison. Ssempa told the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee Monday that he does not agree with the proposed death penalty portion of the law, but he said "homosexuality is killing our society."

UPDATE: Uganda Anti-Gay Bill Postponed


Saturday, May 07, 2011

Bill Clinton Endorses Marriage Equality


Former President Bill Clinton Endorses N.Y. Marriage Equality Legislation


President Bill Clinton endorsed marriage equality legislation in New York as it appears increasingly likely that lawmakers will vote on the measure by June.
Clinton announced his support in a statement released by the Human Rights Campaign on Thursday, saying that the goal of achieving a “more perfect union” includes marriage equality.
“Our nation’s permanent mission is to form a ‘more perfect union’ — deepening the meaning of freedom, broadening the reach of opportunity, strengthening the bonds of community,” said Clinton, a New York State resident. “That mission has inspired and empowered us to extend rights to people previously denied them. Every time we have done that, it has strengthened our nation. Now we should do it again, in New York, with marriage equality. For more than a century, our Statue of Liberty has welcomed all kinds of people from all over the world yearning to be free. In the 21st century, I believe New York’s welcome must include marriage equality.”
He's been atoning for his past sins and mistakes on LGBT civil rights

Friday, April 22, 2011

'Don't Say Gay' Bill Clears TN Senate Commitee (slightly revised) | Humphrey on the Hill | knoxnews.com

'Don't Say Gay' Bill Clears Senate Commitee (slightly revised) | Humphrey on the Hill | knoxnews.com

GOP Defends DOMA

From Thinkprogress:


The Offensive Defense

This week, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) released the details of the House's intervention in defending the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), responding to President Obama's announcement in January that the Department of Justice would no longer defend the law's constitutionality in court. DOMA's Section 3 defines marriage for the federal government as only being between a man and a woman, prohibiting legally married same-sex couples in states like Massachusetts and Iowa from accessing the 1,138 federal benefits of marriage (such as joint tax returns, Social Security spousal benefits, and exemption from the Estate Tax). Binational same-sex couples are also deprived of the opportunity to sponsor the foreign-born partner for a Green Card. This past July, a Federal District Court in Boston ruled the law unconstitutional based on the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. It reads: "No person shall...be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." House Republicans will essentially have to argue that gays, lesbians, and bisexuals do not deserve due process; they are willing to spend a lot of taxpayer money to do it and the end result might actually end up being the exact opposite of what they hope to accomplish.

CONSERVATIVE MOTIVES: Last week's "defending marriage" hearing provided an introduction for what kind of defense the Republicans will mount. Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) has said he would support impeaching Obama and defunding the DOJ over the DOMA decision and he used last week's hearing to reiterate his rebuke of the President. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) joined Franks in reiterating the lie that children are only best served by having opposite-sex parents, echoed by the testimony of two prominent anti-gay figures, Maggie Gallagher and Ed Whelan. Though the law cannot be defended without reinforcing animus against same-sex couples' relationships, almost every GOP potential presidential candidate has offered their own support for defending DOMA, including Mike HuckabeeNewt GingrichMichele Bachmann,Tim PawlentyRick Santorum, and Mitt RomneyBoehner responded to a letter from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that he even thinks funding should be reclaimed from the DOJ to support the House's defense of the bill, writing, "Obviously, DOJ's decision results in DOJ no longer needing the funds it would have otherwise expended defending the constitutionality of DOMA. It is my intent that those funds be diverted to the House for reimbursement of any costs incurred by and associated with the House, and not DOJ, defending DOMA." And how much will it cost? The legal contract suggests a cap of $500,000, but a realistic assessment of DOMA's defense suggests the half million is more likely a minimum than a maximum.

THE SECRET CONTRACT: Without including Democrats in the negotiations, the House's Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) arranged a contract with former Solicitor General Paul Clement, who now earns $5 million a year at the law firm of King & Spaulding. The contract calls for a "blended rate" of $520/hour (as opposed to Clement's usual $900+/hr rates), but even at that rate, $500,000 will not go far considering there are 12 different cases pending against DOMA. Good thing the spending cap can be raised "by written agreement." In addition to the unrealistic cost estimates, the contract contains other concerns. Noticeably absent from the contract's nondiscrimination statement are protections for "sexual orientation" and "gender identity," despite the fact K&S boasts of their support for LGBT employees on their website. Even more conspicuous is a gag rule for all K&Semployees regarding advocacy for or against DOMA. According to the contract, "Partners and employees who do not perform services pursuant to this Agreement will not engage in lobbying or advocacy for or against any legislation ... that would alter or amend in any way the Defense of Marriage Act and is pending before either the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate or any committee of either body during the term of the Agreement." Pelosi is still waiting for answers to her many questions about how the contract was negotiated so that Democrats can provide proper oversight.

TIMES HAVE CHANGED: Since President Bill Clinton enacted DOMA in 1996, the political landscape and public opinion have shifted in support of marriage equality. Multiple recent polls have shown that a majority of Americans now support full marriage equality for same-sex couples. Five states and the District of Columbia now offer same-sex marriages, with several more offering same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships. Plenty of Republicans like Dick Cheney and Meghan McCain have voiced their support of marriage equality. In February, a Maryland senator flipped tosupporting same-sex marriage after hearing the "troubling" testimony "demonizing" gay families. A Colorado senator who recently voted against civil unions is now reconsidering his position. No defection has been more remarkable than that ofLouis Marinelli, who organized the National Organization for Marriage's (NOM) 2010 "Summer for Marriage Tour" and managed much of their online outreach. Now an open supporter of marriage equality, Marinelli is speaking outagainst NOM, and even though NOM is distancing themselves, they are also apparently taking legal action against him. While there is much to condemn Republican House leaders for about their defense of DOMA, their efforts could well have the opposite effect. By inviting the spotlight upon their animus, they will raise visibility for the continued plight of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans and likely promote the very trend of supporting marriage equality they oppose.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Big Bullies: How the Religious Right is Trying to Make Schools Safe for Anti-Gay Bullies


The Religious Right has been leading a concerted effort to stop programs that seek to protect LGBT youth from bullying and to deny that the problem of anti-gay bullying exists. Today, People For the American Way released a report exposing the Religious Right's pro-bullying efforts and the myths it is using to promote them.
The report, Big Bullies: How the Religious Right is Trying to Make Schools Safe for Bullies and Dangerous for Gay Kids, can be found online at http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/big-bullies-how-the-religious-right-trying-to-make-schools-safe-for-bullies-and-dangero

Monday, April 04, 2011

Was Malcolm X Gay or Bi?





Malcolm X — one of the African-American community’s most influential and most controversial activists — has been the subject of recent re-examinations as a new biography, “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention,” comes to press just days after its author suddenly died. And many are asking again, was Malcolm X gay? The biography states that Malcolm X, who was born in Omaha, Nebraska as Malcolm Little, had “an early homosexual relationship with a white businessman,” according to a review in The New York Times. The book, by Malcolm X biographer Manning Marable, scheduled to be published today, is not the first to state Malcolm X had a same-sex relationship. Others have stated Malcolm X was bisexual. Some, like U.K. LGBT activist Peter Tatchell, have suggested the black and gay communities should embrace Malcom X’s sexual orientation.


Link to read more...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Torture of Pvt. Bradley Manning


Bradley Manning has been forced to sleep naked in his cell, according to his lawyers. President Obama says he has been assured that Manning's prison conditions 'are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards'. Photograph: EPA


Daniel Ellsberg, This Shameful Abuse of Bradley Manning

Why is the U.S. Torturing Pvt. Manning?


PJ Crowley Resigns After Remarks Bashing Bradley Manning's Detention



PJ Crowley, the official spokesman at the state department, has fallen on his sword after calling the treatment of Bradley Manning, the alleged source of the WikiLeaks files, "counterproductive and stupid".
Crowley had said: "What is being done to Bradley Manning is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid on the part of the department of defence."
The remarks forced President Obama to address for the first time the issue of Manning's handling at Quantico marine base in Virginia. Obama defended the way Manning is being treated, saying he had been reassured by the Pentagon that his confinement was appropriate.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Gays and Harding University



Some gay students are ultra-conservative Christian (Church of Christ) Harding University, are using the internet to reach out for help:
The State of the Gay at Harding University

I'm an alumnus from Harding (1983), I went in a Bible Major, and left three years later a gay, atheist socialist :)
It is very oppressive for gays, and there are a lot of gay students there, like many Christian colleges, most of them are sent there by their parents, and they cannot just leave...
I could and did...
Like most fundamentalists, the Church of Christ has no understanding of sexual orientation or identity, only "homosexual behaviors." They are still in the 18th century...
If you are student at Harding.. GET OUT if you can! Go to a public college, they are cheaper! If you can't leave, hang in there, and seek friends and support online and in nearby cities (Little Rock and Memphis)

Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2011/03/lgbt-students-at-harding-university-cry-out-for-help-in-web-zine-school-immediately-blocks-access.html#ixzz1FbMVVcmI

Conservative Campus Queers Revolt

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Obama Stops Defending DOMA














The Obama administration finally drops its defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), declaring the administration's view that the anti-gay law is unconstitutional.

Obama DOJ Stops Defending DOMA

Gay Rights Advocates Celebrate Obama's DOMA Turnaround


And in related marriage equality news...



Sunday, February 06, 2011

Why Ronald Reagan's Legacy Should Be Vilified Not Sanctified


I survived the dark ages of Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, thousands of gay people did not, thanks in part to his lack of concern or action to address the AIDS epidemic.

In his speeches and writings, Reagan showed a lack of empathy or understanding of LGBT people, and displayed a great deal of disdain toward us.  

This article explains why he is one of the most hated American presidents in the gay community.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ugandan Gay Activist Murdered





Ugandan Gay Activist David Kato Murdered


David Kato, a prominent Ugandan gay rights activist in threatened in October with hanging on the front page of a Kampala newspaper, was found brutally beaten to death Wednesday at his home.  Kato was the advocacy officer for Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG).



The Guardianreports that Kato was bludgeoned to death at his home in the town of Mukono in the afternoon. Witnesses saw a man fleeing the scene in a car.

SMUG called for the police and government to investigate the murder seriously and for religious leaders, politicians, and media to stop demonizing LGBT people. David Bahati, a member of parliament with close connections to American evangelicals, continues to push for a bill that would impose the death penalty on gay people in some circumstances.

Val Kalende, the board chair at Freedom and Roam Uganda, said in the news release,“David’s death is a result of the hatred planted in Uganda by U.S Evangelicals in 2009. The Ugandan Government and the so-called U.S Evangelicals must take responsibility for David’s blood!”

SMUG executive director Frank Mugisha said, “No form of intimidation will stop our cause. The death of David will only be honored when the struggle for justice and equality is won. David is gone and many of us will follow, but the struggle will be won. David wanted to see a Uganda where all people will be treated equally despite their sexual orientation.”

Burial arrangements for Kato are under way for Friday afternoon at his ancestral home in Namataba, Mukono District.

The BBC offers an obituary. Kato was a primary school teacher turned activist who proudly claimed the label of the first out gay Ugandan.
Read Jeff Sharlet's October cover story for The Advocate on the deadly consequences of antigay rhetoric in Uganda.
Update:
U.K. human rights activist Peter Tatchell released the following statement on Kato's murder: 
"David will live on in our memories. He will also live on through the rights and equalities that LGBTI Ugandans will win eventually thanks to his many years of tireless groundwork and campaigning. I express my admiration and appreciation to all the members of SMUG who are battling for LGBTI freedom in conditions of great adversity and danger. Their courage and tenacity is awesome.

"This savage killing will, I hope, finally prompt Uganda's political, religious and media leaders to cease their homophobic witch-hunts. Their hatred helps create the bigoted atmosphere that leads to queer-bashing violence."
The U.S. embassy in Kampala has also issued a statement on Kato's death:
"The U.S. extends its sympathies to David's family, friends and human rights colleagues. David's courageous devotion to promoting the universal human rights of members of Uganda's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community improved the lives of minority populations in Uganda and throughout Africa, and his selfless dedication to defending human rights and speaking out against injustice served as inspiration to human rights defenders around the world."
The White House issued this statement from President Obama:
"I am deeply saddened to learn of the murder of David Kato. In Uganda, David showed tremendous courage in speaking out against hate. He was a powerful advocate for fairness and freedom. The United States mourns his murder, and we recommit ourselves to David’s work.

"At home and around the world, LGBT persons continue to be subjected to unconscionable bullying, discrimination, and hate. In the weeks preceding David Kato’s murder in Uganda, five members of the LGBT community in Honduras were also murdered. It is essential that the Governments of Uganda and Honduras investigate these killings and hold the perpetrators accountable.

"LGBT rights are not special rights; they are human rights. My Administration will continue to strongly support human rights and assistance work on behalf of LGBT persons abroad. We do this because we recognize the threat faced by leaders like David Kato, and we share their commitment to advancing freedom, fairness, and equality for all."

UPDATE:
Violence Erupts at Kato's Funeral