From the Advocate:
"I think it’s funny, but the last thing you’ll ever see me do is jump up and down, saying, “These are lies!” That would be unfair and unkind to my good friends in the gay community. I’m not going to let anyone make it seem like being gay is a bad thing. My private life is private, and I’m very happy in it. Who does it hurt if someone thinks I’m gay? I’ll be long dead and there will still be people who say I was gay. I don’t give a sh*t."
"It’s always been this albatross that stood out to me as the final leg of the civil rights movement. It really came to a head during the 2004 elections, when it was used as a wedge issue, and it was a very effective tool to keep the Republicans in office and to avoid talking about other issues. Well before Prop. 8, I’ve made the point that every time we’ve stood against equality, we’ve been on the wrong side of history. It’s the same kind of argument they made when they didn’t want blacks to serve in the military, or when they didn’t want blacks to marry whites. One day the marriage equality fight will look as archaic as George Wallace standing on the University of Alabama steps keeping James Hood from attending college because he was black. People will be embarrassed to have been on the wrong side. So it’s encouraging to know that this too will seem like such a silly argument to our next generation."
"When you have a candidate few people really like, whose support is a mile wide and an inch deep, whose raison d’etre (a 4am fancy word) is fixing an economy that is fixing itself without him, and who only wins his actual, factual home state by three percentage points against a guy no one took seriously only two months ago, there really is little reason for independent voters in the general election to choose him if the economy keeps improving.
Seriously, putting it bluntly, conservatives may not like Barack Obama, but most other people do. And when faced with a guy you like and a guy you don’t like who says he can fix an economy that no longer needs fixing, you’re going to go with the guy you like,"
--Erick Erickson, RedState.
The gay marine on his famous homecoming kiss: "Love is love. We haven't fought for more rights or better rights than others. We fought for equal rights. And now we have them."
Well, we have a ways to go before the LGBT have equal rights, but we got rid of DADT...and now are working on DOMA.
I enjoyed the statement issued by Marine Corps spokesman: "It's your typical homecoming photo." Yes, love is love.
On the issue of marriage equality, Frank Rich takes to task wavering Democrats as well as fear-mongering Republicans
Frank Rich from New York Magazine:
The GOP is on the wrong side of history for sure, with gays no less than Hispanics and every other minority group. Generational and demographic turnover is remaking America even as the right tries to turn back the clock. But over the shorter term, the party’s hard line will continue to inflict real injustice on citizens of all stripes—not just on gay adults (whether they are seeking marriage or not), but on gay kids struggling to find a safe place for themselves in the world and straight children who love their gay parents. So uninhibited is the animus of the Republican base that it thought nothing of booing a gay Army captain serving in Iraq when he presumed to ask a polite question via YouTube during a campaign debate on Fox News. Not one of the nine presidential candidates onstage spoke up to defend the soldier.
That’s why the celebrations in New York last June, while merited, must be seen as provisional. That’s also why Democratic leaders who profess fierce advocacy of gay civil rights must be held to account. Back in a day that was only yesterday, too many of them also fell silent—and when it counted most. While same-sex weddings are indeed a happy ending, they are haunted by the ghosts of many gay men, too many of them forgotten, who died tragically and unnecessarily while too many good people did nothing. Like Andrew Cuomo, those good people could yet make a big difference and, in the bargain, exorcise the multitude of past sins they keep hoping the rest of us will forget.
Tonight's results should be interesting in MIchigan. If Santorum pulls this out - the trusted statistician Nate Silver at the NY Times Five Thirty-Eight blog now calls it a virtual tie and toss-up at the last minute - then it's Katy-bar-the-insane-asylum-door. It will be an internecine political war between the GOP establishment and the radical base like nothing we've seen since 1964 and we all know how that ended up for them. But this is how radical and nihilistic this new bunch of right-wingers is: even Goldwater would be too liberal in his libertarian leanings for them. But at this point they all deserve each other. Let'em go at it.
A message from Brandon Morgan, the Marine pictured kissing his partner, Dalan Wells, upon coming home to Hawaii:
To everyone who has responded in a positive way. My partner and I want to say thank you. Dalan, the giant in the photo, can't believe how many shares and likes we have gotten on this. We didn't do this to get famous,or something like that we did this cause after 3 deployments and four years knowing each other, we finally told each other how we felt. As for the haters, let em hate...to quote Kat Williams, everyone needs haters, so let them hate. We are the happiest we have ever been and as for the whole PDA and kissing slash hugging in uniform...it was a homecoming, if the Sergeants Major, Captains, Majors, and Colonels around us didn't care...then why do you care what these random people have to say? In summation thank you for your love and support. I received a lot of friend requests off this. I don't just accept requests so if your request was because of this post message me and let me know. Goodnight all, and Semper Fi.
Brandon Morgan is very much "a man's man". That must be disturbing for many people:
Thank you President Obama for repealing DADT!
Andrew Sullivan exposes the underpinnings of Santorum's political stances:
What's fascinating to me about Santorum's outburst yesterday was not its content, but its candor. In fact, one of Santorum's advantages in this race, especially against Romney, is that we can see exactly where he stands. There can be no absolute separation of church and state, let alone a desire to keep it so; and in their necessary interactions, the church must always prevail, or it is a violation of the First Amendment, and an attack on religious freedom. The church's teachings are also, according to theoconservatism, integral to the founding of the United States. Since constitutional rights are endowed from the Creator, and the Creator is the Judeo-Christian one, the notion of a neutral public square, embraced by liberals and those once called conservatives, is an attack on America. America is a special nation because of this unique founding on the Judeo-Christian God. It must therefore always be guided by God's will, and that will is self-evident to anyone, Catholic or Protestant, atheist or Mormon, Jew or Muslim, from natural law. Hence the notion that America could countenance abortion or same-sex marriage is anathema to Santorum and to theoconservatism.
His full blog post
Watch How Lincoln Shaped American Politics, Popular Culture on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" predicts Barack Obama and Condoleezza Rice. Hopefully, less than 40 years from now we will elect a president who is gay
(1967) Sidney Poitier talks about his children from his planned mixed marriage who would become President - or at least Secretary of State.
As the second season of Downtown Abbey ended last week, I can say few shows or movies captivate and entertain me like this one. I can't wait to see the next season
I find the stories, character development, and acting of Downton Abbey to be a beautiful, extraordinary thing. I started watching the show this season, from the beginning, and found myself going back and re-watching portions of my favorites episodes. That's rare for me.
You can watch this show for free by going to the PBS website or renting it via Netflix.com
Jim Fallows is a thoughtful and articulate man, and this article delivers. Read it here.
Motion Picture Association of America has given an “R” rating to “Bully” -- a new film coming out soon that documents the epidemic of bullying in American schools. Because of the R rating, most kids won’t get to see this film. No one under 17 will be allowed to see the movie, and the film won’t be allowed to be screened in American middle schools or high schools.
This decision by the MPAA blocks millions of teenagers from seeing a movie that could change -- and, in some cases, save -- their lives. SIGN THIS PETITION ASKING THE MPAA TO GIVE BULLY A PG-13 RATING INSTEAD OF A "R" RATING NOW.
Zen lesson: meditation and applying spiritual principles to the way you live are more important than lots of book knowledge
Reading about enlightenment is like scratching an itch through your shoe.
via Zen Calendar
Good ole boy GOP legislators in Virginia laugh about making women undergo medically-unnecessary "trans-vaginal" ultra-sounds if they want an abortion. Hard to believe this is 2012
Not two weeks ago, male Republicans in the Virginia legislature were advocating mandatory "trans-vaginal" ultrasounds for women seeking abortion in the early weeks of pregnancy. If they'd had their way, women seeking abortions would have had camera-equipped metal thingamajigs forcibly inserted into their vaginas to snap pictures of fetuses too underdeveloped to be detected with a standard ultrasound.That battle's over now -- "trans-vaginal" ultrasounds shall remain purely elective in Virginia -- but one Virginia lawmaker won't let it go. He's milking the issue for its comedic value. That's State Del. David Albo, who assumed the dais in the House of Delegates on Friday to relate an allegedly humorous anecdote about how media coverage of the legislation disrupted his attempted seduction of his wife.
For more info
These mostly white Tea Party conservatives and Republicans, in this legislative session, have also voted to allow adoption agencies and VA state government to legally discriminate against LGBT parents and employees. Homophobia, racism, and sexism are all highly correlated, and that's why the LGBT community must ally itself with women and other minority groups: we are in the same boat. Until all of us are free, none of us are. --Joe
Watch 'Friends of Syria' Call for Ceasefire, Assad to Step Down on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
Fox News reportedly promoting petition drives to repeal the new marriage equality laws in Maryland and other states. Homophobia must make for good ratings
I thought "the fourth estate" was suppose to report the news, not create it. Read this report from Maryland.
Cindy McCain blames the media for the GOP's anti-gay image. The truth is, in every state, most GOP leaders are working to curtail the rights of gay Americans. That's reality!
On the national level, Romney and Santorum voice very anti-gay policies when it comes to marriage equality, other rights, and judicial appointments.
On the state level, most of the political opposition to marriage equality comes from the GOP, from Washington State to Maine, and from Wisconsin to Texas. This is a simple fact.
While a few brave Republican lawmakers buck their party's anti-gay platform and vote for the repeal of DADT and marriage equality, most GOP lawmakers consistently vote against the human rights of the LGBT...nearly every day.
From The Advocate:
Gov. Chris Christie defended his veto of marriage equality in New Jersey by saying he's just siding with President Obama, who he says is "silent" and cowardly on the issue.
But when Washington Post editorial writer Jonathan Capehart, who is gay, came from off-set during Morning Joe to correct the governor and confront him about whether he agrees with the list of things Obama has actually done on marriage, it was the governor who suddenly wouldn't answer.
For the whole story...
Obama has repealed DADT, stopped defending DOMA, has linked our foreign policy with gay rights, and issued many many executive orders protecting the rights of LGBT. Just like Lincoln who gradually adopted the abolition of slavery as his cause, Obama is edging closer to marriage equality each day. Obama should be criticized for hedging on the issue, but, also, he has done more for LGBT Americans than all the previous presidents put together. Governor Christie has done virtually nothing to protect the rights of LGBT New Jersey residents. --Joe
Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White, a W. appointee, ruled DOMA unconstitutional for violating the Constitution's guarantee of equality
Step by step, statutory discrimination against gay people is being disassembled.
Read Ari Ezra Waldman's, as-always, incisive analysis
Charlie Rose and some of America's leading historians discussed Obama and other presidents, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. Some of the qualities of the best leaders: an even temperament, the ability to learn and grow, and the ability to communicate with the American public.
Watch it here.
According to C-SPAN's panel of 65 historians here are the best and worst American presidents:
Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Harry Truman, in that order. Rounding out the top 10 were John F. Kennedy at six, Thomas Jefferson, Dwight Eisenhower, Woodrow Wilson, and Reagan.
The worst presidents, according to the survey, were James Buchanan at 42, Andrew Johnson at 41, Franklin Pierce, William Henry Harrison, Warren Harding, Millard Fillmore, George W. Bush, John Tyler, Herbert Hoover, and Rutherford B. Hayes.
Just sitting means just that. That “just” endlessly goes against the grain of our need to fix, transform, and improve ourselves. The paradox of our practice is that the most effective way of transformation is to leave ourselves alone. The more we let everything be just what it is, the more we relax into an open, attentive awareness of one moment after another.
From the Daily Beast:
Peter Tatchell, the legendary international gay rights activist, reminiscences about younger Whitney's closest friend, Robyn Crawford:
When I met them, it was obvious they were madly in love. Their intimacy and affection was so sweet and romantic. They held hands in the back of the car like teenage sweethearts. Clearly more than just friends, they were a gorgeous couple and so happy together. To see their love was infectious and uplifting.
Whitney was happiest and at the peak of her career when she was with Robyn. Sadly, she suffered family and church pressure to end her greatest love of all. She was fearful of the effects that lesbian rumours might have on her family, reputation and career. Eventually she succumbed.
Andrew Sullivan sums it up quite well, and spares no one:
Yes, I think Obama is patently disingenuous in his "evolving" bullshit on marriage equality. I think it's fair game to pummel him for it, from right or left (and both have). But there is no equivalence here at all. None.
All Obama has ever said is that he is concerned with the word "marriage" but still favors state and federal civil unions that contain every single right that civil marriage contains, the repeal of DOMA, and has refused to defend DOMA's constitutionality in court. Santorum, in contrast, wants to amend the federal constitution to nullify all civil unions, domestic partnerships, and civil marriages for gays recognized in any state law. He would single out a minority within this country for discrimination in the federal constitution itself! He would tear bi-national couples apart and remove children from their parents. Does McGurn really not see that this is a distinction with a huge difference?
Santorum believes also that all non-procreative marital sex is sinful and certainly has no constitutional protection under some penumbra called "privacy." This means he also in principle believes the government has the right to criminalize masturbation, even if, on prudential grounds, he wouldn't back enforcing it. He opposes all contraception and has compared gay relationships with "man-on-dog" bestiality. He has defined himself, unlike Obama, as a candidate motivated primarily by social issues throughout his career. He is the most radical of the religious fanatics yet to emerge from the Republican base. Quit pretending otherwise.
Amen! -- Joe
Steve Locke argues that gay men should stop having sex "with Republican homophobes, no matter how hot they are."
From the Good Men Project, read part of Steve's rant:
Paul Babeu, George Rekers, Troy King, Richard Curtis and the beat goes on. These men aren’t worthy of being called gay. They’re cowards. I’m tired of hearing about people who “can’t come out.” No one ever said it was easy being gay. There are lots of people like myself who could never pass for being straight and moreover, we never wanted to. We got the shit beaten out of us. We fought back. We marched. We got in people’s faces. We fought for our jobs and our rights. We advocated when we started to die from a plague and with the help of the many lesbians who went into the healing professions, a lot of us survived to today. So don’t tell me about how hard it is to come out. And don’t call these men gay. They aren’t gay. They are liars and cowards. They haven’t earned the right to be called gay.
The thing that makes sick bastards like this come–the thing that really gets them off–is the knowledge that they are doing something dirty. It’s so much hotter for them if it’s a secret. So that’s what sex with men is to them, a dirty little secret. That’s not what gay people are and that’s not what we deserve from someone who says that they love you, but they won’t be seen in public with you. Or worse yet, someone that will sleep with you on Sunday night and then advocate for the removal of your rights and humanity on Monday morning.
...So it’s past time to stop fucking these guys. And don’t believe the crap they tell you. They hate you almost as much as they hate themselves, and they’ll discard you like a used condom when they are done with you.
Read the whole article here.
While I don't share the intensity of Steve's anger, I understand why he feels the way he does: men who enjoy the hard-fought freedoms of being gay but vote against their own interests, freedoms, and community by supporting homophobic Republicans, like George W. or Chris Christie, at the ballot box. What self-hatred! This is why I never knowingly dated or had sex with a gay Republican -- most of them don't share my core value of equality for all people -- marriage equality for gays, abortion/contraception choice and equal pay for women, affirmative action for oppressed minorities, and basic human rights for undocumented workers and others. (Having said that, there are exceptions: for example, I do respect openly gay candidate Fred Karger for running in the GOP presidential primaries and conservative Andrew Sullivan, two men who walk their talk.) I don't think I have missed much.
Andrew Sullivan on Gov. Christie's "act of cowardice" in vetoing NJ's marriage equality law: "..this is what a legislative debate can do that no referendum can, and it's why the founders established a republic not a pure democracy..."
Andrew Sullivan calls out GOP hypocrisy:
As the GOP moves relentlessly off the far right cliff, the country is edging relentlessly toward accepting the humanity of gay couples and our marriages and relationships. But Chris Christie's veto - after New Jersey's legislature backed equality - and Maryland's upcoming referendum - after its legislature and governor passed a marriage equality law - form a sad last ditch.
To give some perspective, when we first started this push for marriage equality 23 years ago or so, we were told this was an interesting if obviously nuts idea. But the opposition was adamant about one thing: the courts had nothing whatever to do with ensuring minority rights, if that minority were gay. Going the court route was undemocratic. I remember being lectured on this by the Congressional Committee in the DOMA hearings in 1996.
And I saw their point at the time when public opinion was so hostile. I was always more leery of the court strategy than my friend and ally in the fledgling movement, Evan Wolfson, at the time. I didn't want a Roe-style over-reach. I thought that public education and state legislative debate was the right way forward. If in the end, the courts reacted to a shift in public opinion, and we won the constitutional and legal arguments, great. But I thought state legislatures were the main way to go.
So we did. And guess what? They moved the goalposts on us. When we actually began to win in state legislatures, such as California (twice!), or New Hampshire, or now Maryland and New Jersey and Washington State, that process became suddenly unacceptable - and undemocratic! - as well. Even on an issue many hold to be a core civil right, we were told the courts were irrelevant and now that the legislatures were irrelevant. This was particularly odd coming from conservatives who at one point in time were strong believers in restraints on majority tyranny. But this is what a legislative debate can do that no referendum can, and it's why the founders established a republic not a pure democracy...
I am not afraid of referendums in New Jersey or Maryland. Let's do all we can to win them. The polls are now increasingly on our side. But the way in which a tiny 2- 3 percent minority seeking basic civil equality has been forced now to be subject to state referendums, even after winning legislative victories, strikes me as revealing. It's basically an attack on representative government, a resort to the forms of decision-making which maximize the potential for anonymous bigotry and minimize the importance of representative government, a core achievement of Anglo-American democracy, that can help enhance reason of the accountable against the sometimes raw prejudice of the majority.
Christie is a man whose candor I admire in many ways. But this was an act of cowardice and unfairness and a misguided disregard for representative democracy. How many other duly enacted laws must now be sent to the referendum process for final judgment. Why have a legislature at all? And this from the party that claims to defend the Constitution.