Thursday, May 31, 2012

Women's Clinic Faces Arson Attack



The Wrap-Up: May 31, 2012

Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL)
Conservative/Republican Super PACs are planning a $1,000,000,000 assault on the Obama administration between now and the November elections.

Despite the extremely un-American moves being made in Florida on voting rights, it seems like the mainstream media is turning a blind eye.

With Wisconsin's gubernatorial recall election this coming Tuesday, someone on Scott Walker's side is playing some dirty (and illegal) tricks.

The looming problem for the Republican party (as I have mentioned before) is the growing power of Latinos...and how poorly the GOP has treated them..

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA)
Currently, there are six states plus D.C. that have marriage equality. Compare that to the states where you can marry your first cousin (SPOILER: eww...).

A Missouri senate candidate doesn't want citizens to be able to vote for him. Maybe the people should take his advice and just not vote for him. Everybody wins that way!

Has Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA) opposed judicial nominees for being gay? Stammering usually implies guilt and a poorly attempted cover-up. Just sayin...

California is closer to protecting against reparative "therapy." I seriously hope other states take up this call given the damage this "therapy" is shown to cause to its victims.

And lastly, A Texas judge is, well, not a good judge (to put it nicely).



Since today is my birthday, I won't be spending too much time working on the blog and there won't be a Wrap-Up tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Life Without the Filibuster


The Wrap-Up: May 30, 2012

Apparently black people started what has since become Memorial Day. You're welcome for the long weekend folks.

While making a Memorial Day speech, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) was heckled by a protester. I'm no fan of McCain for the most part, but there are times when he says things worthy of being heckled...and this was one of those times.

Tea Party darling Rep. Allen West (R-FL) has praised elements of the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare"), meaning he probably won't be a Tea Party darling for long.

A Minnesota pastor may lose his church because he supports marriage equality. Of course this is happening at the same time that other churches who are using their pulpits to gather money to fight marriage equality retain their tax exempt status. Where is the justice in this?

A Florida high school is under investigation after a straight student attempted suicide because of anti-gay bullying (the state has an anti-bullying law that may have been ignored).

One of the victims of Florida's voting purge: a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge.

The European Union adopted a resolution condemning anti-gay laws in the continent. Hopefully Russia (among other countries) is paying attention.

The Boy Scouts will receive a petition some 275,000 signatures strong supporting a den mother who was ousted from her position solely because she is a lesbian.

And lastly, Liberty Council's Matt Barber thinks it is offensive and demeaning the the NAACP (the nation's oldest civil right organization) supports equal rights for ALL Americans.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Marriage News Watch: May 28, 2012


Breaking Bread With Tony Perkins

Remember when Family Research Council (read: anti-gay hate group) president Tony Perkins said he had never been to the home of a same-sex couple? Remember when a same-sex couple extended him an invitation? Well, it looks like Mr. Perkins has (in principle) accepted.


Gay Soldiers



I would have posted this yesterday, but I didn't want the day to be too political for obvious reasons.

The Wrap-Up: May 29, 2012

Rudy Giuliani is definitely not a good spokesman for Mitt Romney.

A New Mexico health official was asked to resign after advocating condom use (the governor is one of those abstinence-only deluded conservatives). P.S. New Mexico has the nation's highest teen pregnancy rate.

Letters sent to the judge of the Dharun Ravi case may have influenced the sentence he handed down (again, I'm using the word sentence loosely in this case).

A brutal hate crime took place at a high school graduation party in Minnesota.

While demanding the right to hold a gay pride parade, about 40 Russian activists were arrested in Moscow. Note to self: do NOT go to Russia.

A debate will take place in London tonight (London time) on the possible implementation of marriage equality in England and Wales.

The state Supreme Court of Ohio has dismissed an attempt by social conservatives to stop a pro-marriage equality amendment.

North Carolina's "Concentration Camp" Pastor Worley faced a protest of well over a thousand people on Sunday (compared to a counter-protest of about 50).

And lastly, Donald Trump is still full of crap (i.e. himself).

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Wrap-Up: May 28, 2012

Bedford County, Virginia
HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!!! While you're out grilling and enjoying the day off, take some time to remember what this holiday is truly about.

The House Republican's Summer wish list read like a how to of taking the country back into recession.

A ballooning Hispanic population may turn North Carolina into a long term swing state.

Perhaps all is not lost with the Republican party as at least GOP candidates are refusing to sign "the pledge." Grover Norquist can't be happy about this, which means it must be a good thing.

When it comes to voting and voting rights, it's all but official that Florida is the worst state in the country.

Monument Terrace in Lynchburg, Virgina
Kansas is the latest state to freak out over the non-existent Sharia Law threat.

In the past two weeks, over 300,000 people have thanked President Barack Obama for his public support marriage equality. I wonder if the opposition even bothered trying a counter petition this time (like their Starbucks failure).

Governor Scott Walker's (R-WI) recall opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D), took him to task on a number of issues face-to-face.

And lastly, after saying he had never been to the home of a same-sex married couple in a resent interview, Tony Perkins has been offered an invitation. A response is pending (which I can't wait to hear about).

Friday, May 25, 2012

LaVar Arrington on Gays in the NFL

On a DC radio show, former Redskin LaVar Arrington said that the first NFL player to come out as gay would (in time) be seen as a "national hero."
I know this, the first person that does it is going to be a hero. I know that. They may go through a lot of ridicule, they may go through a lot of different things, but this is one sport where you have not had a guy just outright while they were playing say look, this is what I am. I bet you he would turn out to be a national hero, if you ask me.
***
If you’re a player that has played football for a long time, if you’ve played in high school, if you’ve played in college, and if you’ve played in the league, you gotta be clear that there’s a  strong possibility that one of your teammates is homosexual. I don’t think that that’s something guys should e naïve about. It’s kind of that unspoken word type deal or you don’t ask I won’t tell type of deal. But I think it could go over a little bit better than what we would think, just based upon the fact that it would almost be like addressing the elephant in the room.

You can read the full report on Out Sports or listen to the interview.

Lowlights & Highlights: May 26, 2012

Unless you live in a cave, you are probably aware the the sentence for Dharun Ravi - the Rutgers roommate of Tyler Clementi, whom he videotaped in an intimate incident with another man ultimately leading to Clementi's suicide - came down this week. I'm using the word sentence fairly lightly here.  Ravi faced a possible 10 year sentence which I, and many others, deemed to be far too harsh if it came to that given the charges. however, the actually sentence he received was...a slap on the wrist seems like an understatement. 30 days in jail, a $12,000 fine, 300 hours community service, and probation. To put this in perspective, New Jersey law mandates 90 days in jail for shoplifting. There are people who go to jail for far longer for simple marijuana possession.

This is what I like to call an abortion of justice, especially given how the judge noted Ravi's lack of remorse and how he offered no apology. This sentence is a stain on the justice system.

***

Since the last time that I posted this feature, it appears there may be a huge change happening within the African-American community. It has been reported numerous times that black people, though generally more liberal and tending to vote as such, are quite socially and religiously conservative (i.e. against LGBT equality and homosexuality). This is becoming less and less the case however. Last Saturday, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) officially came out as supporting marriage equality. This is a fairly big deal, especially given that this is the nation's oldest and best known civil rights organization. Of course, there were some naysayers but there has also been a huge positive response.

Not only this, but Outsports has been reporting that numerous people associated with the National Football League - from retired players (including former Green Bay Packer Ahman Green) to rookies (including Robert Griffin III who had a gay teammate in high school in Texas) - would have no problem with having an openly gay teammate. Many of the people that were asked were black. Perhaps the perception that black people tend to be homophobic is finally beginning to crumble, yet another bastion of homophobia going by the wayside. We have seen it with the military, we are seeing it in sports, and even in the religious community (even an increasing number of Evangelicals are in agreement with LGBT equality). Being someone who is black, I am absolutely thrilled to see this happening.

I gotta say though, given Griffin's support, it's sad to see him go to the Redskins...

Happy Birthday Sir Ian McKellen


Gandalf is my hero.

No Bachelorettes Allowed!!!

It was recently reported that a Los Angeles gay bar called The Abbey had instituted a policy where they no longer allow bachelorette parties. A press release from the owner stated:

Every Friday and Saturday night, we’re flooded with requests from straight girls in penis hats who want to ogle our gogos, dance with the gays and celebrate their pending nuptials. They are completely unaware that the people around them are legally prohibited from getting married. Over the past 22 years, The Abbey has been a place that accepts everyone, gay, straight, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and everything in between. We love our straight girlfriends and they are welcome here, just not for bachelorette parties. It has long been a policy at The Abbey to deny admission to groups in costume, including Bachelorette regalia. Bachelorette parties had previously been allowed inside if they removed their costumes. The Abbey's Bachelorette Ban comes on the heels of a ban on Gay Marriage in North Carolina and a number of other states across the south. The Abbey encourages other gay-owned and operated establishments to institute their own bans as a sign of solidarity until Marriage is legal everywhere for everyone.

When I first heard about this story this morning, my reaction was rather tepid. I honestly didn't know how to feel about it. The more I thought about it however, the more I was against this policy. On the one hand, I get that the owner here (and other owner elsewhere that have instituted similar policies) is upset about the lack of marriage equality in this country. On the other hand, I do not believe that meeting discrimination with discrimination is the right way to go. Two wrongs don't make a right after all.

The women who would have their bachelorette parties at these gay bars are not very likely to be homophobic, otherwise being surrounded by gay people would just make no sense. On the contrary, for that very reason, they are very likely to be LGBT-friendly. As such, not allowing them to have their bachelorette parties there just comes off as misdirected anger. Potential allies are being punished for the deeds of truly homophobic people. To me, that is wrong.

Also, as I said above, this is discrimination. There is not much difference between this policy banning straight women from having bachelorette parties for political/moral reasons and someone (say a florist, musician, caterer, etc) saying that they will not provide their services to a same-sex couple for moral/religious reasons. The two scenarios are to close for my personal comfort.

There are far better ways to fight for marriage equality, but resorting to this policy is a step in the wrong direction. It makes us in the gay community look no better than those who would subject us to second-class citizenship.

The Wrap-Up: May 25, 2012

President Obama is making a significant push for the LGBT vote.

New York state is considering a ban on anonymous internet comments. I suggest they familiarize themselves with the a little thing I like to all freedom of speech

There a Catholic group that is (vainly) attempting to de-gay men by using sports. I'm no prophet, but I see failure as being imminent (for that matter, it might just confirm to these guys that they're gay).

A New Jersey mayor was caught (allegedly) hacking into the website of an organization seeking to recall him. I'm guessing this guy is unfamiliar with Watergate.

Mitt Romney received a less than warm welcome when he went to an inner-city charter school yesterday.

Rep Ted Deutch (D-FL) thinks that Gov Rick Scott (R-FL) is attempting to purge the state's voting rolls by up to 180,000 voters. Given what I have heard about Scott, I would not put this past him, especially as this seems to be a GOP theme.

The new Prime Minister if France is making some big promises to the French gay community.

I think Newt Gingrich was running for president of the wrong country.

While many are saying that President Obama's support of marriage equality is pretty much a wash, the evidence speaks to the contrary,

And lastly, another Palin related fail.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fox Fail: Fox is For Idiots

Or is it idiots are for Fox?


Sandra Fluke to a Conservative's Defense

Sandra Fluke
I don't to remind anyone how despicable it was when Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a slut for advocating women's access to contraception. What was worse was how so many other conservative jumped on the bandwagon, including conservative women. So much for sisterhood. Well, maybe sisterhood does exist, it just isn't a two-way street.

In an issue of Hustler Magazine, notable conservative activist S.E. Cupp was the subject of a very NSFW photo-shopped picture. Supposedly, it was satire. I must be missing the joke. While I'm sure that some thought it was funny (God have mercy on them), there was an interesting source of defense for Cupp: Sandra Fluke. Fluke condemned the photo as marginalizing women, particularly those who are public figures, to nothing more than sex objects. To be fair, I can't say offhand that Cupp was one of the conservatives that was badmouthing Fluke. However, it seems very rare for a conservative to leap to the defense of a liberal unprovoked.

You can find more information of Fluke, Cupp, and the Limbaugh debacle HERE on Raw Story's website.

The Religious Wrong: "Defending" Pastor Worley



I love how this woman has zero idea of what she speaks. What a great spokeswoman for the cause of homophobia.

The Wrap-Up: May 24, 2012

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is gone on record as supporting marriage equality under the law.

Powell was a busy man yesterday, also taking time out to criticize the foreign policy team of Mitt Romney.

While the President of Malawi tries to curb homophobic laws in the nation, she is facing opposition from the usual suspects.

The pastor who talked about punching kids who might be gay rebuked the pastor who talked about putting gays in concentration camps. Seriously, what is wrong with the so-called Christians?

Speaking of Pastor Worley, many of his parishioners agree with his statement, thus showing how the lot of them have a very poor understanding (if it can so be called) of the Bible.

The Vatican looks like it is no longer able to hold the Catholic Church together on (read: against) LGBT issues here and abroad.

Today in GOP hypocrisy, they are all in a huff because President Obama did something once that George W. Bush did three times.

The landscape of the National Football League maybe a bit less homophobic than most would think, and that's definitely a good thing.

Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ) has introduced a Juror Non-Discrimination Act so that jurors will not be discriminated against based on sexual orientation (similar law exists for race and gender based discrimination).

And lastly, Anderson Cooper tells a woman how bad of a mother she is (P.S. he was absolutely correct.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

If Websites Were People: Fox "News"


The Wrap-Up: May 23, 2012


The growing national trend towards marriage equality continues...despite what the ignorant Bristol Palin has to say.

The obvious reason for Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker defending Wall Street over President Obama: campaign contributions. This is why we must get corporate dollars out of politics.

Rush Limbaugh's ratings are way down. Gee, I wonder why...?

The North Carolina "pastor" who essentially called for gays and lesbians to be placed in concentration camps (because obviously, this is what Christ would want) is facing a major backlash.

Dan Savage may be accepting a debate challenge from Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage (Discrimination). The details he lays out are...interesting.

An Ohio student has officially won the right to wear (in school) a shirt saying "Jesus is not a homophobe."

Former Green Bay Packers (GO PACK GO) running back Ahman Green talked with Outsports about having gay siblings among other things (SPOILER: Green is a class act).

And lastly, the intersection between being black, being gay, and being  Christian.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

War on Women: GOP Women's Caucus

Did you know that there is a GOP Women's Caucus? Well, there might as well not be since most of the women in it have voted time and time again against female equality. Think Progress gives us the following details:

  • Access to contraception: 21 of the 24 co-sponsored the “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act” to take away regulations enacted under Obamacare requiring most employers to cover birth control in their health insurance plans, without additional cost-sharing. 
  • Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act: Of the 15 Republican Congresswomen who were in the House at the time, all 15 voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, a law that helps women hold accountable employers who discriminate in the pay practices based on gender. 
  • Reproductive health: According to Planned Parenthood, 20 of the 24 GOP women earned a zero score, voting against reproductive health at every opportunity. The average score for the women was under 6 percent.

All jokes aside, what is the point of having a women's caucus if all you are going to do is vote against female equality? Voting against equal pay, equal access to health care, and so on goes counter to what these women SHOULD be voting for. These particular women would be a joke if the subject matter were not so serious.

You can read the whole article HERE. It's all downhill from what you just read.

The Wrap-Up: May 22, 2012

If you weren't one of the people that bought Facebook stock in its IPO, be glad you didn't (at least for right now). So much for all of the fanfare.

Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker (one of President Obama's surrogate's and someone I generally like) made a fairly large error on Meet the Press this Sunday.

And here is laid out my main problem with the death penalty: frame-ups and massive amounts of time that can never be recovered.

Apparently there was a nomination for a third party candidate...which ended without a third party candidate. The two-party system lives on (for good or/and ill).

Showing how much of a Christian he is, a North Carolina pastor state that gays should be fenced off and left to die. Obviously, it's what Christ would have done.

Today in stupid political comparisons to Nazis...

It's President Obama's fault that $10,000,000 in racial-attack ads will be on the air against President Obama. Then again that's the opinion of the RNC chair, so it's only worth so much.

The GOP's long-term problem goes far beyond the fact that the best candidate they can muster is Mitt Romney.

This is why Democrats and President Obama should run on their health care record, not from it.

And lastly, a Pastor has a warning for Home Depot. My warning, however, would be beware false prophets.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Marriage News Watch: May 21, 2012


Dharun Ravi Gets Sentenced...

But just barely. After a "joke" that resulted in the suicide of Tyler Clementi, he was sentenced to a paltry 30 days in jail, a $12,000 fine, and 3 years probation (which includes 300 hours of community service). In my opinion, giving him the full 10 years may have been overkill, but this sentence, if it can so be called, is a true insult to Tyler Clementi's memory. Here is the statement from Garden State Equality (with which I largely agree):

Moments ago, Judge Berman decided to sentence Dharun Ravi to 30 days in jail. We have been public in taking a position of balance: We opposed throwing the book at Dharun Ravi. We have spoken out against giving him the maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and against deporting him. That would have been vengeance beyond punishment and beyond sending a message to the rest of society.
But we have similarly rejected the other extreme that Ravi should have gotten no jail time at all, and today’s sentencing is closer to that extreme than the other. This was not merely a childhood prank gone awry. This was not a crime without bias.
Remember that Ravi had messaged his motivation in violating Tyler’s privacy: “I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.” Remember that before Tyler took his life, Ravi messaged a friend: “Keep the gays away.” And remember that because Ravi had tampered with evidence, his post-facto messages to Tyler that he, Ravi, had no problem with gay people understandably lost their credibility to the jury.
Dharun Ravi wasn’t convicted of a bias crime unfairly. Dharun Ravi was convicted of a bias crime because his own words broadcast anti-gay animus to Tyler Clementi and the world.
Since the verdict, Dharun Ravi’s extraordinary lawyers and their media operation have deemphasized these facts, stunningly able to recast Ravi in the role of victim, scapegoat and even folk hero. But we remember the trial itself – a long and painstaking trial where Ravi had the best team possible, unlike many other defendants charged with serious crimes.
None of us not directly affected by this tragedy has reason to be happy. Tyler Clementi is no longer with us. Another man – M.B. – has seen this tragedy wreak havoc on his own life. The life of a third man, Dharun Ravi, will never be the same again. And Tyler’s family will forever have to live with the loss of their son, brother, nephew and cousin. May the family receive strength from their loving memories.
Those who have oppose giving Dharun Ravi jail time have asked, hasn’t he suffered enough? But we believe there’s another question: Has Dharun Ravi done enough? Has he done enough to use his place in history to speak out against student bullying and to make a positive impact on millions of lives across our state and nation?
Thus far, no.
Though Tyler Clementi has left us, the rest of Dharun Ravi’s life will help tell his life story. Ravi’s own lawyer portrayed him as a young man who engaged merely in jerky behavior. Ravi can stay that course, or he can do some good with his life by making amends and fighting for the justice and dignity of every individual, including people who are LGBT. That much is up to Ravi.
As for all of us, we must continue our focus on building a better world, one free of bullying of every student, so that a tragedy like this never happens again. That’s what New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, the country’s strongest anti-bullying law, is ultimately about.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all whose lives have been changed by this tragedy.

The Wrap-Up: May 21, 2012

Athletes from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill have posted a video for the "It Gets Better" campaign. I guess someone had to make the state look tolerant in the wake of Amendment One.

Mitt Romney wants to blame President Barack Obama alone for the massive cuts to military spending despite the facts that A) military insiders are on board with much of the cuts and B) the GOP definitely had a hand in $500 in cuts. What a classy fella...

Over the weekend, the NAACP officially announced its support for marriage equality.

The Pan-American Health Organization has officially denounced ex-gay "therapy."

In Minnesota, where there will be an anti- marriage quality amendment on the ballot come November, the debate has had new life breathed into it on both sides.

Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI) thinks that adding $10 trillion to the national debt will prevent a debt crisis. I believe this is what "W" meant by fuzzy math.

Remember that New Jersey teacher who wrote homophobic comments on her Facebook page a while back? The bad news is that she's avoiding penalties. The good news is that she is doing so by retiring. So long as she isn't in a position of power over kids (undoubtedly some of whom are gay).

And lastly, Evangelicals are on the wrong side of history...again.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tweet of the Day: May 19, 2012


Lowlights & Highlights: May 19, 2012

Here in the States and much of the Western world, the fight for LGBT equality centers around marriage, adoption, employment non-discrimination, and so on. While those battles rage on, it is easy to forget sometimes that in other parts of the world, gay people do not even truly have the right to exist. Case in point: it was reported this week that four Iranian men were sentenced to execution by hanging for sodomy laws. Iran is a nation governed by Sharia Law (meaning it is an Islamic theocracy) and homosexuality there is punishable by incarceration and/or execution. Strangely, the Iranian president said that they don't have that "problem" in his country.

We have come a long way in the West. Several countries have hate crimes laws, marriage equality and other such LGBT equality measures. Some countries, however, have a very long way to go, and their fights will be long and, unfortunately, bloody.

***

There were many people who responded to President Obama's announcement supporting marriage equality. Some agreed, some disagreed. One of those who disagreed was Bristol Palin. In her response to the president's announcement, she did not just give the standard right-wing diatribe against homosexuality (which would have been bad enough on its own), also managed to call into question the president's parenting skills. While some agreed with Bristol, there were some who were not so kind...to say the least. She reported death threats and bullying committed against her. While I certainly think that those kinds of responses go way too far, she should have expected at least some backlash.

One of the responses to Bristol Palin caught my attention. It was written by John M. Becker from Truth Wins Out, an organization that fights against misinformation from the "ex-gay" movement specifically and homophobia in general. Here is part of his response:

Hey, Bristol. I’m so sorry that you felt bullied by some of the abusive comments that were left on your original post. They are indeed awful and inexcusable.

That said, welcome to the world that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people live in every day. In fact, according to an exhaustive analysis of FBI hate crimes data by the Southern Poverty Law Center, LGBT people are at a greater risk of being targeted for a violent hate crime than literally any other minority group — more than twice as likely to be attacked as Jews, 2.6 times more likely than African-Americans, nearly 4.5 times as likely as Muslims, almost 14 times more likely than Latinos, and 41.5 times more likely than whites. In large swaths of our country, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth are regularly teased and beaten up for who they are (or who their peers *think* they are), all the while living in a culture that shames them into silence. Many of them have homophobic parents or guardians, so they can’t even turn to the people who are supposed to love them unconditionally. LGBT youth are four to five times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight counterparts because of the malicious bullying and crushing hatred that they’re surrounded by every day. I should know: I attempted suicide myself at age 16...

...In closing, I must submit an important correction. You wrote about the “younger generation” in the context of abortion, then continued in the same sentence about how “voters just keep defending [so-called] traditional marriage.” If you meant to imply here that the “younger generation” — *our* generation – supports the continued exclusion of loving same-sex couples from full civil marriage equality, you are wrong. Seriously, no, *incredibly* wrong. In fact, you couldn’t be more wrong: repeated polling consistently proves that our generation OVERWHELMINGLY believes that EVERY American deserves the freedom to marry the person they love, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. You’re free to hold any views you like, no matter how bigoted they are. But you are *not* free to misrepresent the truth. And the truth is that when it comes to marriage equality, the jury is in – and you’ve lost.
 You can read the whole article and response by Becker HERE. It is well worth the read.

Friday, May 18, 2012

NDAA Faces the Courts



VICTORY!!! Thank God for this judge.

The Religious Wrong: Gays Worse Than Terrorists


The Wrap-Up: May 18, 2012

Chris Rock hits the nail on the head about marriage equality.

One of the killers of the Colorado civil unions bill has a gay son who is none-too-happy about what has father did.

An adamantly homophobic middle school teacher in Kansas has, thus far, gone unpunished for anti-gay statements on his Facebook page (the principle is looking into it).

Rep Mike Coffman (R-CO), who has tried to look like a moderate, stepped in it by saying President Obama is "not an American."

A Virginia legislator thinks that, contrary to what the Supreme Court said in Lawrence v. Texas, sodomy (which is technically ANY unreproductive sex act) is not a civil right. I don't always agree with SCOTUS (Citizens United for example), but I'll take their opinion on this over a homophobe..

Another side effect of President Obama publicly supporting marriage equality is that more prominent people in the black community are also voicing their support.

Bristol Palin is claiming to be the victim in the wake of negative response she got to her statement on Barack Obama supporting marriage equality. I say if she can't stand the heat, stay out of politics (and stop trying to give the President of the United States parenting advice).

Here is a look at the latest electoral map from the Washington Post.

And lastly, Vice President Joe Biden takes a shot at Mitt Romney on the auto-bailout.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Religious Wrong: Be A Vandal


The Wrap-Up: May 17, 2012

There are many ideas of what the Bible says about homosexuality. Here is what one ordained priest/theologian has to say on the matter (SPOILER ALERT: it isn't what you think).

George W. Bush will be writing a book on economic growth...because his administration was so goo at it, we're still reaping the benefits of it. Oh, wait...

In news that surprises no one, the American Family Discrimination Association thinks that all Americans being treated equally under the law is like cancer.

When Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) didn't like the U.S government's job numbers on Wisconsin, Walker decided to create his own numbers. There's being innovative, and then there's just plain making crap up. Walker chose the latter here.

Proof of Mitt Romney's fiscal conservatism: in 2007 (i.e. when he was Governor of Massachusetts), the state had the highest per capita debt in the country.

The version of the Violence Against Women Act passed in the GOP-led House was watered-down so badly, that a sexist national men's group (the National Coalition For Men) endorsed it. Luckily, the bill faces a presidential veto threat.

World famous boxer Manny Pacquiao would like to clarify his statement against marriage equality. I guessing the clarification will fall on deaf ears.

Is the filibuster even constitutional?

And lastly, a rundown of conservative boycotts that either haven't worked, or have actually backfired. Ah, the perils of zealotry.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Conservative Agenda: Run From Marriage


The Wrap-Up: May 16, 2012

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is not very popular in his home state. We just aren't that into him.

President Obama's announcement supporting marriage equality (yes, we're still talking about this) has had a cascading affect.

The response from many black pastors on the other hand is a little...less than supportive. At least Obama still has the Reverend Al Sharpton on his side.

Shorter University is seeing a huge faculty exodus because of its new "lifestyle statement." Strange how people don't want their employers telling them how to live their lives away from work.

George Zimmerman may face the death penalty for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. I'm not really here or there on capital punishment, but I won't feel bad for Zimmerman either way.

One of Mitt Romney's donors wants his money back. I'm guessing it's actually more than one (or will be eventually).

Major League Soccer is joining the fight against homophobia in sports.

One of Facebook's co-founders is making a big donation to the marriage battle in Maine.

And lastly, there are more holes in the claim that Christianity and marriage equality are mutually exclusive.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tweet of the Day: May 15, 2012


Is Romney's Bullying Past an Issue?



For my part, this IS an issue, especially at a time when so many kids are subject to such homophobic malice that they are succumbing to despair and committing suicide. In part for the reasons laid out by David Pakman. This was an illegal act, it was malicious, and it was handled badly in the media by Mitt Romney in such a way that Romney was obviously lying about some part of this story. This was not merely some stupid prank, this was a kid who was targeted and assaulted.

Something that was not said in the video is the fact that when an anti-bullying task force was formed in Massachusetts while Romney was governor, Romney eventually snuffed the task force out. Obviously his animus towards the LGBT community has not abated, he is just slightly better at hiding it by not openly/physically attacking gay people. His views are still there, and he clearly has never seen LGBT people as equals under the law, and he still doesn't. That, so far as I'm concerned, is reason enough for me to not vote for him.

Tony Perkins' Feet to the Fire

In case you missed the much talked about exchange between Chris Matthews, Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, here it is for your viewing pleasure. Spoiler: it's pretty epic and Matthews finally (after all these years) calls Perkins on his crap.


The Wrap-Up: May 15, 2012

Governor Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) has issued an executive order to recognize same-sex marriages performed out of state.

An Oklahoma congressman thinks firing someone for being LGBT is fine...because it's a choice. I'm guessing he failed to say why anyone would choose to be subject to homophobic animus/discrimination (as all of the choicers do).

Four Iranian men will be hanged for sodomy, which is weird since, according to the Iranian President, they don't even have gay people in that country.

After the passage of Amendment One in North Carolina, the state's Democratic governor Bev Perdue had an interesting (and accurate) comment that left another state's governor less than thrilled.

After President Obama's announcement supporting marriage equality, he took some (read: a lot of) time to reach out to religious leaders.

Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is invoking the spirit of Republican President Theodore Roosevelt in calling for the big banks to break up.

The Iowa Catholic school openly gay student who was prohibited from accepting a $40,000 grant has reached an agreement with the archdiocese.

Were same-sex marriages actually accepted in the early days of Christendom?

And lastly, with the California legislature looking to put restrictions on reparative "therapy," CNN takes a look at some of the survivors of this...well, let's call this "therapy" what it is, A SCAM!!!


Monday, May 14, 2012

BREAKING: CO. Speaker Blocks Civil Unions

Gov. John Hickenlooper
From the New York Times:

The legislation was voted down by Republican lawmakers on 5-to-4 vote along party lines after more than two hours of emotional testimony in the State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, where it was assigned Monday by Republican leadership in the House of Representatives. 

“Even as nearly a dozen courageous Republicans are standing on the right side of history and supporting civil unions, House leadership is pandering to the far-right fringe of their party,” Brad Clark, executive director of One Colorado, a statewide gay and lesbian advocacy group, said in a statement after the vote...

...But if the special session breathed fresh life back into the legislation, it was short lived. 

On Monday, despite the urgings of civil-union supporters who rallied at the Capitol in Denver, House Speaker Frank McNulty, a Republican from Highlands Ranch, assigned the bill to the state affairs committee, which was dominated by opponents of the legislation.

Credit still goes to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper for calling the legislature back for a special session to try to pass this bill. Yet again, conservatives try to stand in the way of progress and justice. They can only fight the long defeat for so long.

A Year of Blogging

On May 9, 2011, I posted my first entry for this blog. This anniversary almost escaped my notice completely and had it not been for the last few days (which were extremely busy because of the day job), I would have gotten this post out sooner.

While not everything that has happened in the past year was good (Amendment One, I'm looking at you), there have been plenty of positives. Three states (Washington, Maryland, and New York) have enacted marriage equality. Though anti-gay bullying is a truly horrific thing, a light has been shed on this terrible epidemic. In fact, a film has been made that talks about the plight of bullying victims in schools, which will hopefully lead to a greater dialogue about how to end bullying. Don't Ask Don't Tell has been thrown onto the scrap-heap of history (hopefully there to stay). The Obama administration has gone from defending the so-called Defense of Marriage Act to not defending it, to (on the very anniversary of my first blog post) announcing that he supports marriage equality. The economy is (ever so slowly) improving despite the best efforts of the Republican Party.

My hope is that when I write about my two-year blogging anniversary, I'll be writing about President Obama's reelection victory, even more strides for the LGBT community, and progress in America's economy. However, those are goals that will require the work of many people, and I plan on being one of them.

Keep fighting the good fight from your corner of the world folks.

-Rob from VA

The Religious Wrong: Gays Are Molesters


Marriage News Watch: May 14, 2012


Th Wrap-Up: May 14, 2012

Here you can see a bit of Michelle Obama speaking at the Commencement ceremony of Virginia Tech (LET'S GO HOKIES!!!).

Tony Perkins' Thursday was...less than stellar (which in the grand scheme of things is probably good).

Speaking of Mr Perkins, when he of all people says a homophobic "joke" goes too far, it's gone WAY too far. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) should take note of that fact.

Bristol Palin had the temerity to give President Obama parenting advice after saying that his interactions with his daughters' friends helped him "evolve" on marriage equality. Some needs to be taken down a peg...or three.


The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is taking on a diabolical enemy: the Girl Scouts.
Mitt Romney flip-flopped on same-sex adoption in record time, even for him.

Hopefully, this leaked memo to GOP operatives signifies a coming change in Republican policy. Ironically, it comes after GOP strategist Ed Gillespie said Republicans would be campaigning in "traditional" marriage (after President Obama's announcement).

How might marriage equality affect in presidential race in 2016?

And lastly, MSNBC's Tamron Hall lays the smack-down on one of Mitt Romney's surrogates.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Lowlights & Highlights: May 12, 2012

Amendment One. Need I say more? At first I wasn't going to, but here we go...

I really don't want to dwell on this too much, so I'll say that on the good side, a lot of young people turned out to vote against this. Last week I mention a couple of stories showing how the upcoming generations are far more LGBT inclusive. That fact bodes well for the overall fight for LGBT equality. Then there is the obvious fact that enshrining discrimination into a Constitution is a reprehensible thing to do, but so chose a majority of North Carolina voters. I'll just end this part by reiterating the words of on of the amendment's supporters who said that should the measure pass, it will likely be repealed within 20 years. Hopefully, it won't take nearly that long.

***

The day after the fall of North Carolina to constitutionalized bigotry, President Barack Obama formally announced (finally) that he supports that right of same-sex couples to marry under the law. He has been "evolving on this issue for about 18 months now according to my reading, so it's high passed time that he come to this conclusion. There are some who will say that he should have done this before the vote in North Carolina...and I would agree with that statement. However, given how the vote ended up, President Obama would not and could not have single-handedly pushed that amendment to defeat.

To be honest, were I a betting man, I would have had him announcing support for marriage equality at the nominating convention this Summer. However, based on pressure from within the administration and the campaign, combined with pressure from without in terms of progressive organizations and LGBT groups, it looks seems like the announcement had been forestalled as long as possible.

I think that with this cloud of doubt lifted from the campaign, many gay people who had admonished the President for his hesitance on this issue will be far more willing to work on his campaign's behalf and give money to his organization. It is good to know that the President is on our side. now, the only question is exactly how hard will he fight for marriage equality?



The Wrap-Up: May 11, 2012

Marriage equality opponents in Washington state have said they have almost half of the signatures needed to put marriage equality on the ballot.

Here are some...not so nice...reactions to President Obama's announcement supporting marriage equality.

House Speaker John "cry me a river" Boehner wants the President to focus on jobs, not marriage equality. Keep in mind Boehner is using taxpayer dollars to defend DoMA in the courts. Hypocrisy much?

What might this announcement say about the President's election strategy going forward?

One of the New York GOP state senators who voted for the state's marriage equality bill has announced he will not run for reelection.

It is now pretty clear why Mitt Romney has not lifted a finger against bullies: they are his people.

Here is little more on Romney's history with bullying.

Remember me saying I thought the Democratic Party most likely would not move the national convention out of North Carolina? Well, here are some reasons I may have been wrong.

And lastly, here is what people on the street had to say about President Obama's recent announcement: