Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gay Sailor Wins Discharge Hearing

(JoeMyGod) -- Petty Officer Derek Morado today won his discharge hearing with the Navy after being told he faced ejection due to a MySpace photograph that was turned in anonymously. In the photo, Morado is seen kissing another man. Morado's lawyer told KMPH News that even though DADT has been repealed, that doesn't mean the military's investigations are over.
"There's nothing illegal about what the Navy is trying to do to this man right now as I understand it," Attorney Mark King said. King says that's because the law, is the law. "If someone does something in January that by June is no longer a crime, there's nothing unconstitutional about prosecuting them in September over what happened in January, because in January it was against the law," King said. A Navy spokesperson tells KMPH News, the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy has to be certified by the Secretary of Defense, Chairman and President. After that, it will take another 60 days before it goes into effect. "We have to treat them all with dignity and respect. At the same time there is a law and we have to maintain that law," Navy Commander Danny Hernandez said. But for Derek Morado, it wouldn't matter. On Thursday the board voted against discharging him, which means he can continue his dreams of a decorated military career.

According to a press release from GetEQUAL, the Navy's panel voted 3-0 in favor of Morado's retention.

COLORADO: Civil Unions Bill Stalls

(JoeMyGod) -- Colorado's civil unions bill was stalled tonight by the GOP-led House Judiciary Committee, who refused to approve the bill for consideration by the full chamber. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper had urged the committee to advance the bill, which was approved by the state Senate last week. One Colorado reports via press release:
“Today’s vote was out of touch with everyday Colorado voters. With 72% of Coloradans in support of civil unions, House Republicans are out of the mainstream,” said Brad Clark, Executive Director of One Colorado, a statewide LGBT advocacy organization. “Once again, they have turned their backs on Colorado families and kids.” According to polls, support for civil unions is high. A February 2011 poll by Public Policy Polling found that 72% of Colorado voters support legal recognition of gay and lesbian couples. Additionally, a Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll conducted in 2010 found support for civil unions across political parties and religious affiliations, including 61% of Republicans, 84% of independents, 70% of Catholics, 67% of Protestants, and 55% of “born again Christians.”
Earlier in the day, a coalition of anti-gay Christians gathered at the state capitol building for a prayer vigil against the bill while pro-gay supporters held their own rally nearby.

Gay Rumors Drove Teen to Suicide

(The Advocate) -- A U.K. high school student [fifteen-year-old Dominic Crouch] jumped to his death off a six-story building last year after classmates spread a rumor that he had kissed a boy during a game of “spin the bottle” on a school trip, an inquest heard earlier this week.

Against Passage Of Civil Unions Bill

(JoeMyGod) -- Happening at the Colorado capitol building right now, according to the Catholic News Agency:
Colorado Catholics and others in a coalition opposed to a civil unions bill will gather on the state capitol’s eastern steps on March 31 for a noontime prayer vigil. Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley of Denver has invited others to join him at the event. "The domestic Church (founded on marriage between one man and one woman) is the very basis of society and an image of the Triune God," he said. He asked those who cannot make the vigil to "please join in prayer where ever you are for this most important issue." Catholic laity, seminarians and a contingent from the Colorado Springs-based evangelical Christian ministry Focus on the Family will be among the attendees.

DELAWARE: Civil Unions Bill Advances

(JoeMyGod) -- Yesterday Delaware's proposed civil unions bill advanced out of a state Senate committee after a boisterous debate featuring the usual anti-gay bigots.
The Rev. Rick Hensley, pastor of Grace and Truth Community Church in Felton said he was raised by a single mother who lived a "homosexual lifestyle." But she left that lifestyle, he said, and so did her partner. That proves such orientations are a choice, not innate, he said. "They are wonderful people, and I don't have anything bad to say about them," Hensley said. "I love them. But the lie we are talking about is that this is something innate, unchangeable. ... Freedom to pursue sexual orientation does not necessitate fundamentally redefining marriage in our society." "If you do that, you run a perilous path. And this is a step toward same-sex marriage. We all in this room know that," Hensley said. The Rev. Dale Mast, pastor of Destiny Christian Church of Dover, said he had a dear friend who was gay, whom he counseled and stood beside, who got AIDS and "went on a sexual rampage out of his anger." Mast said he fears what would come next if Delaware adopted civil unions -- heterosexual unions with 14-year-old girls? He said pastors in Southeast Asia have told him of grandfathers taking their granddaughters to hotel rooms."I encourage you not to pass this," he said. "What else will come?"
One former Delaware state Senator said he'd been personally sent to testify against the bill by Jesus Christ, who is apparently worried about having to send all of Delaware to hell.

Tax Campaign: Refuse To Lie

(JoeMyGod) -- Equality Florida tips us to a new campaign in which legally married gay couples will "refuse to lie" and will therefore file joint tax returns.
Each year the federal government demands that thousands of married couples lie. The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) not only denies legally married gay couples the benefits of heterosexual marriage, but we are also told to disavow our spouses and file our taxes as "single." The Federal Government must stop requiring legally married gay couples to deny the existence of our families and hide our marriages. It is dehumanizing and it is wrong. Across the country, legally married gay couples are taking a stand. We are refusing to lie about the fact that we are married.

Refuse To Lie organizers warn: "Taking this principled stand is not without risk and each person doing so needs to carefully consider those risks before deciding if it is a stand you are willing to take." Facebook page here.

Tweet Of The Day - Porno Pete

(JoeMyGod) -- Presumably PFOX head Quinlan's "testimony" won't include mention of his ex-wife, who dumped his totally gay ass four years ago after they'd paraded themselves on Christian networks as models of reformed homosexuals.

Damian Furtch Assault

Police are searching for two men who attacked 28-year-old Damian Furtch in an alleged anti-gay hate crime.
Damion Furtch: "The attack against me is part of the larger issue of violence against gay and transgender people in New York City. While I am grateful for the opportunity to share my story, I hope to shed light on the larger issue of violence against my community. This has to stop. Under no circumstance should a person be attacked for their sexual orientation."

Women in Pants= an Abomination

Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt, a gay servicemember

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ill. Marriage Amendment Declared Dead

(The Advocate) -- A bill that would amend the Illinois constitution to ban marriage equality is dead for this year, LGBT activists say.

...Illinois already has a statutory ban on same-sex marriage, but constitutional bans are more difficult to overcome. Earlier this year Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a bill establishing civil unions for both gay and straight couples, something that proponents see as a step toward marriage equality.

Wash. to Recognize Out-of-State Gay Marriages

(The Advocate) -- A bill heading to Washington governor Chris Gregoire's desk would allow the state to recognize marriages of gay and lesbian couples performed elsewhere.

...The law would classify the marriages as domestic partnerships, as same-sex couples in the state can enter into domestic partnerships, and not full marriages.

Christopher Atkins At The Lake

Matt Barber Claims Death Threats Over Comments On LGBT Youth Suicides

(JoeMyGod) -- Today Liberty Counsel spokesdouche Matt Barber claims to Porno Pete that he's received death threats since his Monday announcement that gay kids kill themselves because they intuitively know they are immoral. And that doesn't bother Barber, because he knows that gays are really just mad at God.
You know, scripture says ‘woe to those who call evil good and good evil.’ When homosexual activists and other ‘progressives’ in the pro-sin movement are exposed to biblical truth, their reaction is invariably visceral and loud. There’s ‘nothing new under the sun.’ This ‘kill the messenger’ strategy is age-old and knee-jerk. These folks, as a matter of course, call evil good and good evil. Of course their gripe isn’t with me. I’m nothing. I’m nobody. Their problem is with their Creator, the natural order and the fallen state of mankind. They’re just lost. I merely repeated what God’s objective truth about sexual sin has always held: That heterosexual fornication, to include adultery, is sin and that homosexual behavior is always immoral and unnatural. Scripture is unequivocal on these points throughout both the Old and New Testaments. So, essentially I said nothing new. As you know I’ve never been one to mince words or sugarcoat things. That’s how God hardwired me. I also shared my opinion that many of those caught-up in the homosexual lifestyle intuitively know that such conduct is sin – that it’s both immoral and unnatural behavior. Scripture warns that ‘the wages of sin is death.’ Homosexual behavior is demonstrably destructive physically, emotionally and spiritually.
UNRELATED: Both Barber and Porno Pete have complained about the above "trick photo" I regularly use on Barber-related posts, claiming that Barber's fey pose was created with "special camera tricks." Seriously.

Defense of Marriage Act

Antigay Administrator Hired for H.R. Job

(The Advocate) -- Crystal Dixon, who was fired from her job at the University of Toledo in 2008 for writing a newspaper column that argued being gay is a choice and not a matter of civil rights, has been hired to lead a county human rights department in Michigan.

... “As a Black woman who happens to be an alumnus of the University of Toledo's Graduate School, an employee and business owner, I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are 'civil rights victims,'” she wrote. “Here's why. I cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a Black woman. I am genetically and biologically a Black woman and very pleased to be so as my Creator intended. Daily, thousands of homosexuals make a life decision to leave the gay lifestyle evidenced by the growing population of PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex Gays) and Exodus International just to name a few.”

It angers me that this woman would suggest that she has a right to decide who is and who isn't worthy of civil rights because she's black.  Everyone is deserving of civil rights.  If she doesn't understand that, then she doesn't know the first thing about civil rights.  And she does not speak for all black people.  There are plenty of black people who support gay rights, and they see gay rights as civil and human rights. 

As for this claim that we can change...  Well, we all know that's just bullshit.  But even if it were possible, why should we have to in order to receive civil rights?  Are only people who can't change to blend in with the majority worthy of civil rights?  What if a plastic surgeon could bleach this woman's skin and change her features to look more European?  Should she have to endure those procedures before being granted civil rights?  I don't think so.

Andrew Sullivan On Gay Deportations

(JoeMyGod) -- "The US government regards gay Americans as sub-human in their needs and wants and rights. Their loves and relationships mean nothing under the law every time they encounter federal authoritah. Aaron and I are total strangers to one another in the eyes of federal law. And because we are legally married, I am paradoxically more vulnerable to being deported than I would be if I were single - because it's plain that I intend to reside in the US indefinitely, even though my visa has an expiration date.

"So I'm a risk - hence my huge anxiety if I ever leave the country. I am lucky to be able to apply for a Green Card on my own merits, under the rubric of what's called extraordinary ability in my field (it's still in process). But most people are not so lucky. They just fall in love. Only to have their own government rip their marriage apart, or force the American into exile. If this isn't wrong, what is?" - Andrew Sullivan, commenting on the news that the foreign partner of legally married binational gay couples may still be deported.

Don't Filter Me!

Gay Partner Deportations To Continue

(JoeMyGod) -- We celebrated too soon. The foreign partners of legally married binational gay couples can still be deported.
An announcement by immigration officials in Washington on Monday that they were delaying decisions on some immigration cases involving gay couples led to a surge of expectations among gay advocates that the Obama administration had taken a small but significant step toward recognizing same-sex marriage. But on Tuesday, immigration officials moved swiftly to clarify their position and dampen those hopes, saying they have not made any policy changes that would provide an opening to gay couples. The episode added to the legal confusion that has followed the administration’s determination last month that the law that bars the federal government from recognizing gay marriages, the Defense of Marriage Act, is unconstitutional.

In this case, the misunderstandings and soaring hopes arose from an effort in recent days by officials at Citizenship and Immigration Services, the federal agency that awards immigration status, to clarify their policy on granting permanent residency green cards to immigrants legally married to American citizens who are gay. While it is routine for American citizens in heterosexual couples to obtain green cards for their foreign spouses, the Defense of Marriage Act has barred such status for immigrants in same-sex marriages.
Immigration attorney Lavi Soloway warns gay couples that "if they file for immigration status, they may be putting themselves at considerable risk of deportation."

MONTANA: House Blocks Bill To Decriminalize Homosexuality

(JoeMyGod) -- Yesterday the Montana House blocked an attempt to bring a bill decriminalizing homosexuality to a vote before the the full body. Earlier this month the GOP-led Montana House Judiciary Committee tabled the bill, but last night openly gay Rep. Diana Sands tried to force the issue before the full chamber.

The motion by Rep. Diane Sands, D-Missoula, to blast Senate Bill 276 out of the House Judiciary Committee, received 51 votes in the 100-member House but failed to secure the 60 votes needed. The vote was 51-47. The Senate passed SB276, by Sen. Tom Facey, D-Missoula, 35-14, but the House Judiciary Committee tabled the bill. Before the court ruling in 1997, gays and lesbians in Montana risked being charged with felonies and if convicted, they could have faced a maximum penalty of a 10-year prison sentence and a $50,000 fine, said Sands, a lesbian. "It's been almost 15 years since the Supreme Court ruling," Sands said. "It's about time we removed that language from the books. Let's bring it to the floor and debate it and take action on it."
The laws against gay sex remain on the books despite being declared unconstitutional by the Montana Supreme Court in 1997, a ruling echoed several years later by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Public Schools Tool of Satan

Christian extremists often send their kids to Christian schools or home school them. What they would really like is for the state to give them money that would otherwise go to public schools to fund these alternatives. It is a shifty way to get the state to sponsor and endorse their religion. And that’s the real reason so many conservatives support school voucher programs.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy Spring From The Scenic Boys

DOMA Author To Keynote LCR Confab

(JoeMyGod) -- Former GOP Rep. Bob Barr, who is honestly so terribly sorry about authoring that DOMA thing, will keynote the upcoming Log Cabin Republicans convention. Chris Johnson reports at the Washington Blade:
R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin’s executive director, called Barr’s attendance at the dinner “living proof that Republicans are becoming more inclusive, and doing so for conservative reasons.” “As a freshman member of Congress in 1996, Barr wrote DOMA,” Cooper said. “He has since come to the conclusion that ‘DOMA’s language reflects one-way federalism’ and that the law ‘has become a de facto club used to limit, if not thwart, the ability of a state to choose to recognize same-sex unions,’ contrary to the traditional Republican respect for states’ rights, and that DOMA should be repealed.” Passed by Congress in 1996, DOMA prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage. Both President Clinton, who signed the bill into law, and Barr have since come out in favor of repealing the law. Cooper added that Barr’s new stand on DOMA demonstrates “what a real evolution on marriage looks like” — presumably a dig at President Obama’s remark that his lack of support for same-sex marriage could “evolve” into a endorsement.

I suppose it's mildly interesting to see the LCR embrace a whackadoodle Libertarian like Barr - that seems more like GOProud territory. Incidentally, shortly after Barr introduced the resolution to impeach Bill Clinton, Larry Flynt revealed that Barr had cheated on his second wife with the woman who became his third. Flynt also uncovered proof that the rabidly anti-abortion Barr had paid for his second wife's abortion. Whoopsie.

Other Barr tidbits: Social Security is "immoral," gays shouldn't be allowed to adopt, teachers should lead prayers in public schools, guns for everybody, etc etc.

Tea Party Warns: Whites Are Going Extinct

(JoeMyGod) -- Right Wing Watch reports that today Tea Party Nation emailed its followers with a warning that the "uniquely American culture" of WASPs is in danger of extinction. Because shameful white women are having fewer children. Also: Too many brown people! Also also: GAYS.
What is keeping America's fertility rate up are immigrants - both legal and illegal. There are those in America who are continuously attacking the family, bent on redefining marriage and have established anti-family government programs. This has led to downward pressure on our national total fertility rate. All of these actions are done in the name of various causes such as: reducing unwanted pregnancies, delaying child bearing to further career goals and even promoting childlessness and promoting adoption as a better option. Child bearing has become something distasteful to many women, an unwanted and painful experience to be avoided rather than embraced. All of these programs, ideals and ideologies are doing one thing and one thing only - reducing America core TFR to the point of no return. The White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) population in America is headed for extinction and with it our economy, well-being and survival as a uniquely America culture. This county is dying not because it is aging, it is dying because of infertility as public policy.

Marcia Walden's Story: Losing My Job for My Christian Beliefs

Garlow: African Americans Saved Us From The Bondage of Gay Marriage

Lesbian Can Wear Tux to Prom

(The Advocate) -- A Louisiana high school senior who was told by school officials she would not be allowed to enter her prom if she arrived dressed in a tuxedo will now be allowed to attend.

Harvey Milk Stamp Promoted

(The Advocate) -- Several LGBT activists are campaigning for the U.S. Postal Service to issue a stamp honoring Harvey Milk, and one of them says Milk would love it — and find it hilarious.

Farley Granger Dies at 85

(The Advocate) -- Farley Granger, a bisexual actor perhaps best known for his performances in two homoerotic Alfred Hitchcock suspense dramas, Rope and Strangers on a Train, has died at 85 of natural causes.

Indy Senate Votes to Ban Marriage

(The Advocate) -- The Indiana state senate Tuesday passed a bill, with a 40-10 vote, that could constitutionally ban marriage equality and civil unions.

The state house already approved the measure. If it is approved again by the legislature in 2013 or 2014, the measure could go to voters as a ballot initiative in 2014...

There was a proposal to remove civil unions from the ban, but that was rejected.

Indiana Senate Marriage Ban Hearing Disrupted

(The Advocate) -- The Indiana senate closed its gallery Monday in response to approximately 40 protesters who disrupted a hearing on the proposal to amend the state constitution to ban marriage equality and civil unions.

According to The Indianapolis Star, “Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, R-Fort Wayne, ordered the roughly 40 audience members expelled from the Senate balcony after they began chanting ‘stop hating, stop dividing, stop pandering.’”

Catholic Bishops To HUD: Don't Add Gays To Housing Discrimination Protections

(JoeMyGod) -- In January the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed sweeping new rules adding LGBT people as a protected class in all of its programs. That doesn't sit well with the Catholic Conference of Bigoted Bishops, who have sent HUD a letter strongly opposing the change.
"By this, we do not mean that any person should be denied housing. Making decisions about shared housing, however, is another matter,” wrote Picarello and Moses. “Particularly here, faith-based and other organizations should retain the freedom they have always had to make housing placements in a manner consistent with their religious beliefs, including when it concerns a cohabiting couple, be it an unmarried heterosexual couple or a homosexual couple. Given the very large role that faith-based organizations play in HUD programs, the regulation, by infringing upon that freedom, may have the ultimate effect of driving away organizations with a long and successful track record in meeting housing needs, leaving beneficiaries without the housing that they sought or that the government intended them to receive.”

Gay Officer Reinstated After Settlement

(The Advocate) -- A former sheriff’s deputy in Mississippi will be reinstated following settlement of an antigay discrimination lawsuit out of court.

...In his lawsuit, Cooley said that he was listed as the victim when he called 911 from home last year in response to violence from his boyfriend. He alleged that after his chief officer learned he was gay, he told him not to report to work before speaking with his direct supervisor, and that he was fired the next day.

Log Cabin Files Demand To Lift DADT

(JoeMyGod) -- Yesterday the Log Cabin Republicans filed a brief with the Ninth Circuit Court demanding the immediate end of DADT. The ban on openly gay soldiers remains in place while the Pentagon "certifies" that its repeal won't harm military effectiveness.
[Log Cabin] said that keeping the ban in place after President Barack Obama signed an order to repeal it is “absurd”. The group argues that it is unconstitutional for Congress to allow the military to keep the ban while it trains troops to deal with the change after lawmakers have repealed the policy. President Obama pledged to repeal the 1993 law in his 2008 election campaign but was criticised by gay groups for being slow to act. In December, the US Senate finally voted to repeal the 17-year ban, which is known as ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ because it requires gay and lesbian troops to keep their sexuality secret.
Last year 261 soldiers were discharged under DADT.

Randy Thomasson: Students Will Be Taught They'll Enjoy Homosexuality

(JoeMyGod) -- "This shows that you cannot trust the Democrat legislators, the homosexual agenda people at all, and you cannot trust the teachers unions -- the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers boldly and brashly supported this bill in committee. They want children in the classrooms statewide to be taught that they can be homosexual or bisexual or transsexual -- or they ought to be -- and that they'll enjoy it." - Save California spokesbigot Randy Thomasson, responding to a bill that requires that LGBT people be depicted positively in public school textbooks.

The bill, sponsored by openly gay state Sen. Mark Leno, advanced out of a Senate committee last week.

Dan Savage: Don't Bother The Bigots At Home

(JoeMyGod) -- "I'm against making people feel uncomfortable or unsafe in their own homes. Even bigots. And staging protests outside people's homes is a tactic usually employed by rightwing anti-abortion activists and the KKK back in the day. I don't think this is a tactic that gay rights movement should endorse or adopt.

"To bring this down to a personal level: I say a lot of shit that pisses off the religious right. I don't want rightwing anti-gay haters turning up on the sidewalk outside my house, annoying my neighbors, and, most importantly, making my son feel unsafe in his own home. (Honestly sometimes I'm surprised that they haven't; I'd even go so far to express my gratitude—yes, to the haters—that they haven't.) Protesting outside people's homes? I don't think they should do that to us, any of us, and I don't think we should do that to them, any of them. Not Tony, not Maggie, not these florists." - Dan Savage, responding to the protest outside of the home of an anti-gay Canadian florist.

REMINDER: Tony Perkins Is A Racist

(JoeMyGod) -- I mentioned Family Research Council leader Tony Perkins' racist history and affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan a couple of years ago, but this bears repeating for those that missed it.
In 1996, while managing the U.S. Senate campaign of Woody Jenkins against Mary Landrieu, Perkins paid $82,500 to use the mailing list of former Klan chieftain David Duke. The campaign was fined $3,000 (reduced from $82,500) after Perkins and Jenkins filed false disclosure forms in a bid to hide their link to Duke. Five years later, on May 17, 2001, Perkins gave a speech to the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a white supremacist group that has described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.” Perkins claimed not to know the group’s ideology at the time, but it had been widely publicized in Louisiana and the nation, because in 1999 — two years before Perkins’ speech to the CCC — Republican House Speaker Trent Lott had been embroiled in a national scandal over his ties to the group. GOP chairman Jim Nicholson then urged Republicans to avoid the CCC because of its “racist views.” The Duke incident surfaced again in local press in 2002, when Perkins ran for the Republican nomination for the Senate, dooming his campaign to a fourth-place finish in the primaries.
This is the same man now regularly invited to make anti-gay testimonies before Congress. This is the same man now regularly invited to spew his bigotry on national news networks. This is the same man who almost every day emails his millions of followers about the evil of homosexuality.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mile-high madness with Richard Simmons! #RICHROLL

Crazy Eyes Gets Crazy Competition

(JoeMyGod) -- An aide to former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore revealed today that Moore plans to join the GOP 2012 presidential field. Moore was booted from office in 2003 after refusing to abide by a federal ruling that he had to remove a two-ton monument bearing the Ten Commandments from the state courthouse.
The aide, Zachery Michael, said Moore's platform will be focused on repealing the health care overhaul law, replacing the progressive income tax with a flat tax and bringing "commonsense solutions" on immigration and border control. Michael said Moore is entering the fray because "we're just seeing the same type of politicians run for president." He said Moore is someone "who can connect with over 300 million Americans across the country, which is something we've been lacking with today's leaders across society." Michael said Moore should not be thought of simply as a culture warrior, arguing that he has been a strong advocate for limited government. "He not only stood up for his faith, he stood up against the tyranny of government," he said.
Last year Moore finished fourth in his bid to become Alabama governor. Earlier this month he spoke at an anti-gay rally held on the steps of the Iowa state house. Video below.

BREAKING: U.S. Immigration Puts Hold On All Binational Partner Deportations

(JoeMyGod) -- Last week a New York immigration judge temporarily suspended the deportation of an Argentine lesbian while she and her wife contest her green card denial due to DOMA. Today U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services revealed that ALL such deportations are now on hold. Chris Geidner gets the big scoop at Metro Weekly:
Following up on reports from this weekend, Metro Weekly just received confirmation from Christopher Bentley, the spokesman for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, that cases of foreign partners who are married to a same-sex partner and would otherwise be eligible for a green card are on hold in light of questions about the continued validity of the Defense of Marriage Act. Bentley writes, "USCIS has issued guidance to the field asking that related cases be held in abeyance while awaiting final guidance related to distinct legal issues." He notes, however, "USCIS has not implemented any change in policy and intends to follow the President's directive to continue enforcing the law." The legal distinction means that although DOMA is still being enforced, the USCIS is using its discretion to hold off on denying green card applications where applicable.
An amazing development, largely thanks to the work of Immigration Equality and attorney Lavi Soloway, who was interviewed in today's episode of This Week In Prop 8.

The Tutor - Vol. 2

Ali Forney Center Begs NY Gov. Cuomo: Don't Send Our Kids Back To The Streets

(JoeMyGod) -- As the New York state budget inches closer to a major cut in funding for homeless youth shelters, today Ali Forney Center executive director Carl Siciliano posts a blistering letter to the governor in Gay City News. An excerpt:
Mr. Governor, I invite you to stop into one of our youth shelters. Maybe you can explain to our kids why they should be turned out of their beds and put in the street so you can give tax breaks to millionaires, to paraphrase your own father in his address at the 1984 Democratic Convention. Maybe you could explain how they are supposed to survive alone on the streets at night. I don’t have an answer for them, and their pain and confusion are palpable. Most of our clients are the most vulnerable LGBT youth in the community, rejected and abused by parents who cannot accept having gay children, discarded and thrown out of their homes simply for being LGBT. It is inexplicable how you –– a longtime ally to the gay community and champion of civil rights for LGBT adults, who has repeatedly made a commitment to marriage equality in New York –– can have so little concern for the safety and welfare of these young people.
Read Siciliano's letter in full.

TAKE ACTION: Sign's petition to Cuomo. You need not be a New York resident to sign. Call today: Governor Andrew Cuomo (518) 474-8390. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (518) 455-3791. Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (518) 455-3171.

I'm overwhelmed by the Christian compassion.

And who exactly is telling them that it's immoral and unnatural?

ENDA To Be Reintroduced In House

(JoeMyGod) -- Rep. Barney Frank will reintroduce the trans-inclusive version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) this week. Metro Weekly's Chris Geidner reports that even Frank has no illusions about the bill's chances.
Although the bill is not expected to move forward in the House under the leadership of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Frank, talking with Metro Weekly on Sunday, March 27, says, "It's an organizing tool. Obviously, with the Republicans in power, you're not going to get the bill even considered." But, Frank -- the longest-serving out member of Congress -- says, "I'm going to be urging people to spend their time talking to those who have voted in the past for ENDA and are supportive of ENDA but where we're not certain they're still with us on the transgender issue."

Talking about the bill's movement -- or lack thereof -- in the 111th Congress, Frank says, "[W]e have work still to do and we have overwhelming -- over 90 percent -- support on the Democratic side for ENDA based on sexual orientation and we had, in the last Congress, about 30 Republicans that way. Unfortunately, there's a drop-off from that number to transgender, and this is a chance to work hard to sway those who are committed to ENDA to support the full transgender inclusion as well."
Frank predicts that "ENDA will pass before DOMA is repealed legislatively."

RELATED: A trans-exclusive version of ENDA strongly opposed by some major LGBT rights groups passed in the U.S. House in 2007. Last year an anti-gay Christianist group listed the 2010 introduction of ENDA as the "worst anti-Christian act of the year."

Matt Damon On Kissing Michael Douglas

(JoeMyGod) -- "I never thought I would get to kiss Michael Douglas. I kind of think of it in algebra terms, back to my high-school days. It's like the transitive property - by kissing Michael Douglas, I am making out with Catherine. I was actually kind of upset that I never got to kiss Catherine. But now I get to kiss Michael. I thought it would have been better if I could have at least kissed them both." - Matt Damon, on his kissing scenes with Michael Douglas in the upcoming Liberace bio-pic.

Porno Pete: Homosexual Propaganda Is Sweeping The Nation's Schools

(JoeMyGod) -- Porno Pete is asking his followers to send in proof of "pro-homosexuality propaganda" in public schools, using the above display from an Illinois high school as an example.
Each pro-homosexual law makes it easier for school administrators and teachers to allow the one-sided promotion of homosexuality in their school, as occurred recently at Lyons Township High School in LaGrange, Illinois (see photo). The state’s Democrat-dominated General Assembly passed a “Civil Unions” bill in a lame-duck session last year (before a new elected, more conservative legislature could take office) — and Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signed it into law January 31. (The bill, which also allows heterosexual “civil unions,” thus further undermining marriage, takes effect June 1.) America’s public schools are becoming de facto ”Homosexuality-Promotion Zones” — directly undermining the authority of parents to guide their children’s moral upbringing — and subjecting Christian and moral-minded students to one-sided pro-homosexuality propaganda like the above.

According to a letter LaBarbera posts today, local wingnuts may attempt to remove school board officials over the above display.

NEW YORK CITY: Gay Man Brutally Attacked On West Village Street

(JoeMyGod) -- New York City's month-long rash of gay bashings continued this weekend. JMG reader Warren directs us to this account on the blog Watts Up With This.
26 year old Damian Furtch was on his way home from work at a restaurant late Sat night (Sunday morning), when he stopped off at a McDonalds in NYC’s West Village ( a predominantly gay area) to get some food. It was approx. 4:30 am. While inside the restaurant Damian noticed 2 men staring at him – giving him “looks” – we have all been there, we know what this feels like. It was late, Damian was tired, he felt uncomfortable and he didn’t want any trouble so he left. He was across the street, walking away while on the phone to a friend when the 2 men from McDonalds approached him and asked him “if he had a problem” before he knew it he was punched in the face by one man, then instantly felt another punch by the second perp, and then he heard it – “You Fucking Faggot” , the words as hurtful as the punches.

According to the above-linked blog post, the NYPD is investigating the attack as a hate crime. Surveillance video provided by McDonald's may help. Furtch was treated for his injuries and released after his face was stitched up. He has posted numerous photos of his injuries on his Facebook page.

Gay Marriage Activists Protest At Christian Woman's Home in Canada

(JoeMyGod) -- NOM bleats the following on their YouTube channel:
Homosexual activists have protested outside the home of a Christian florist in Canada because she will not provide flowers for a lesbian wedding. The protestors dropped flowers tied with rainbow-coloured ribbons on the front lawn of the florist's suburban home, and demanded that she be hauled before the courts. The intimidating protest was sparked when the lesbian couple's 'wedding planner' wrote about the Christian florist's stance on Twitter. Florist Kim Evans runs her business from her home in Moncton, New Brunswick. She previously told the lesbian couple by email: "As a born-again Christian, I must respect my conscience before God and have no part in this matter." Outside the florist's home, protestors spoke to news reporters, claiming they were 'spreading a message of tolerance'.
NOM is also outraged that "local authorities did nothing to stop the protest." While the New Brunswick Human Rights Act bans businesses from refusing customers on the basis of sexual orientation, no claim has yet been filed against the florist.

Who Is Your Favorite Diva? (Divas Episode 1)

Tennessee Williams was born on March 26, 1911.

Put It Gets Better In School Libraries

(The Advocate) -- With a $25 donation, you can make sure a copy of Dan Savage's It Gets Better book is sent to the school library of your choice.

Book Reviewer: Gandhi Was Gay

(The Advocate) -- Conservative historian Andrew Roberts says that a new biography of Mohandas Gandhi provides ample evidence to conclude that the revered leader of the Indian independence movement was gay.

DOMA Doubts Rescue Couples from Deportation: March 28, This Week in Prop 8

A Vision of Loveliness

Christopher Atkins...Back In The Day

Nice Melons

A Romantic Picnic

Elizabeth Taylor, Our Hero

It has been reported that Elizabeth Taylor left the bulk of her estate, worth in excess of $600,000,000, to AIDS charities. Most of you are probably already aware of this, but since a lot of you guys are younger, I thought I would fill you in on who Elizabeth Taylor was and what she did. I’m sure you already know that she was an old movie star who devoted herself to AIDS charities in her later years. But you may not be aware of the scope of her star power and the brilliant way she used it to mobilize this country and our government back in the ‘80s.

We have stars today. We have huge stars. Nearly all gay guys know who Lady Gaga is. She’s a huge star. But I’m sure you know that if you asked around, you would quickly find people who have no idea who Lady Gaga is. You could quickly find people who may have heard of her, but have never listened to any of her music. Elizabeth Taylor was like Lady Gaga in her day, except that there were no limitations on her appeal. Literally everyone knew her, and most idolized her to some degree or another.

She became a movie star before television, and back in the ’40s and ’50s, most people went to the movies regularly. They often went at least once a week if not more. And it wasn’t just the young people who went. Everyone did. Back then, movie stars where the epitome of glamour, and Elizabeth Taylor was one of the most popular movie stars who ever lived.

Elizabeth Taylor's film credits include:  National Velvet (1944), Father of the Bride (1950), A Place in the Sun (1951), Giant (1956), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), Suddenly, Last Summer (1959), Cleopatra (1963),  Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966).  She stared in these films with legendary actors such as Mickey Rooney, Spencer Tracy, Montgomery Clift, Shelley Winters, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Paul Newman, Katharine Hepburn and Richard Burton.

When I was growing up, I knew who Elizabeth Taylor was, and so did all of my friends. And that’s despite the fact that she was an aging movie star from the past even then. My parents knew who Elizabeth Taylor was, and so did all of their friends. My grandparents knew who Elizabeth Taylor was, and so did all of their friends. She was well known in Europe and other parts of the world, too, because American movies where shown just about everywhere.

By the time the ’80s rolled around, Taylor’s film career was pretty much over, and she could have chosen to simply fad away. But when the AIDS crisis got underway, Taylor decided to use her enormous celebrity to move people to act. And she brought out the humanity in people who couldn’t break away from their fear of the illness and of gays by showing them her compassion. Later on, she revealed that many tried to warn her to stay away from this issue. They warned her that the public could turn on her, but she didn’t care. She talked about AIDS every chance she got for years. She begged those who heard her voice, which was just about everybody, to have some understanding for those who were sick. She reminded us that those who were dying were sons, brothers, fathers… She reminded us that anyone could contract this illness. She did everything she could to humanize those who were suffering. Taylor spoke to people about AIDS, people who would have otherwise ignored the issue, people like my parents and grandparents.

She used her star power to influence Senators and Representatives, too. Of course AIDS activists deserve a lot of credit for their demonstrations and marches. Several hundred people or more making a stand always has an impact. But Taylor didn’t have to stand outside a Senators office and protest. She could just walk right in, and she did. She knew she had been the youthful wet dreams of most of those old bastards, and she used that to get what she wanted. The Reagans were from Hollywood, too, and you can bet that Taylor tried to influence them.

The ’80s were a scary time for gay men. Sometimes it seemed that we were all going to end up dying from AIDS. And it seemed like we might die alone, rejected and scorned. But we knew that this legend from Hollywood’s Golden Era loved us. At least Elizabeth loved us.

I was greatly moved when I heard that she had left most of her estate to AIDS charities. As many have already pointed out, Elizabeth Taylor is our hero even in death.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I preached against homosexuality, but I was wrong

As a Presbyterian minister, I believed it was a sin. Then I met people who really understood the stakes: Gay men

A Decade of Dutch Marriage Equality

(The Advocate) -- The Netherlands is about to celebrate a decade of marriage equality, when it became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage on April 1, 2001.

Ten years later, 20% of gay and lesbian Dutch couples is married, after 15,000 weddings.

Gingrich: My Infidelities Helped Me Understand How To Impeach Clinton