Friday, June 27, 2008

Adulterers Protecting Marriage

Who needs satire when we have Republicans?

PageOneQ is reporting that America's favorite restroom toe tapper and his buddy the DC Madam's favorite diaper-fetish client are sponsoring an anti-gay "protection of marriage" amendment to the US Constitution.

Sens. Larry Craig and David Vitter co-sponsor Marriage Protection Amendment

Toe-tapping Larry Craig, who entered a guilty plea to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct, was detained and charged for attempting to engage in sexual activity with a male undercover police officer. His arrest and plea became public two months later. At that time, Craig attempted to withdraw his plea and enter a new plea of not guilty. To date, his efforts have been denied by the courts.

In July of 2007, David "Diapers" Vitter was identified as a client of a prostitution firm owned by the late Deborah Jeane Palfrey, commonly known as The DC Madam.

Text of the proposed amendment is included in the article linked above.

The Latest DADT Discharge

Decorated Army SergeantDarren Manzella has been discharged under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law banning lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans from military service, effective June 10. The Iraq war veteran was the first openly gay active duty servicemember to speak with the media while serving inside a war zone.

In December2007, Manzella was profiled by the CBS news magazine 60 Minutes. He told correspondent Lesley Stahl that he served openly during much of his time in the Army, with the full support of his colleagues and command." The discharge of battle-tested, talented service members like Sergeant Manzella weakens our military in a time of war. National security requires that Congress lift the ban on gays in the military and allow commanders to judge troops on their qualifications, not their sexuality," said Adam Ebbin, Communications Director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN).

SLDN reports that a growing number of service members are also serving openly without incident. The organization is aware of more than 500 troops who are 'out' to their colleagues and, in some cases, their commands.

Sergeant Manzella said, "My sexual orientation certainly didn't make a difference when I treated injuries and saved lives in the streets of Baghdad. It shouldn't be a factor in allowing me to continue to serve."

Manzella, 30, enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2002 and was twice deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While under fire on the streets of Baghdad, he provided medical care to his fellow soldiers, Iraqi National Guardsmen and civilians. He was awarded the Combat Medical Badge,and also received several other awards recognizing his courage and service.

For more information on Sergeant Manzella, SLDN and the campaign to repeal"Don't Ask, Don't Tell," visit .

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Right Goes All In to Stop Marriage Equality in California

Now more than ever it is vitally important to contribute to the battle against the religious fascists. Evan Wolfson has recommended that we send our contributions to Equality for All. I trust his advice implicitly.

The good people at Right Wing Watch are keeping up informed of what the religious fascists are doing to prevent equal treatment under the law for GLBT American citizens.

As we have noted over the last several weeks, the Religious Right’s response to the California marriage ruling has been noticeably over-the-top, even for them. Throwing out everything from Nazi metaphors and warnings that the end of the world was upon us to hateful language and ridiculous scare-tactics, the Right’s response has consisted almost entirely over rhetorical over-reaction.

But now that same-sex marriages have begun in California, the Right appears to be transitioning from over-reaction to action and begun ramping up its organizing efforts to
amend the California Constitution to “provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized.”

Just yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reported that Focus on the Family dumped a quarter-million dollars into the effort:

The initiative campaign proposes to amend the state Constitution to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. It received $250,000 this week from an evangelical group, Focus on the Family, and declared that the debate about same-sex marriage "is not over." Focus on the Family, led by James C. Dobson, posted a statement on its website declaring that California's "judicially imposed social experiment has hastened the demise of religious freedom across the U.S."

Today, the Family Research Council sent out an email seeking to have its own quarter-million dollar investment be doubled by a matching grant for the fight in California and across the nation:

I'm writing to ask you to give a generous donation to Family Research Council's MARRIAGE CAMPAIGN.

Your donation and others will be doubled by a Matching Grant up to $250,000!

Traditional marriage is now in grave peril across the nation due to the outrageous decisions by activist judges and radical legislators in Massachusetts, California, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Oregon. With reckless disregard for logic and law, these threats open the door to:
* Counterfeit marriage being imposed on states with marriage amendments
* Erosion of traditional morality as homosexuality is normalized
* Schools teaching that homosexual behavior and homosexual "marriage" are social goods
* Restriction of religious freedom and free speech

In response to the marriage crisis, FRC has launched our Marriage Campaign.

Our initial goal: raise $2 million immediately to educate the nation on the centrality of marriage, respond to threats and lies across the country, educate leaders and pastors, and register voters.

The crisis is so great that FRC has been given a $250,000 Matching Grant to help fight this battle and others FRC plans to use the money is raises to, among other things, “Educate the grassroots and government leaders, Launch paid advertising and press events, Alert and inform FRC's powerful network of churches and Flood TV, radio, newspapers, and the Internet with FRC experts doing eye-opening interviews.”

The group through which FOF and FRC will presumably channel their money and efforts is, a who’s who of right-wing organizations and individuals.

ProtectMarriage itself appears to kicking its efforts into high-gear, beginning with what they seem to be billing as the single most important conference call ever:

Dear Pastors, Friends and Christian Leaders,

We have labored to make this letter as short as possible. However, the gravity of this moment caused us to need to share several critical items. Please read carefully – at least this first page.

The landscape of California will change dramatically as of Monday, June 16 at 5:01 PM. Every Bible believing pastor and church will be affected.

Please join with pastors and Christian leaders all across California who are coming together at 43+ locations for a statewide Pastors Strategic Conference Call, Wednesday, June 25, at 10 AM.

For the location list, please see

If you, as a pastor, are willing to host a gathering of pastors and Christian leaders at your church, or you know of a pastor who will host, please contact Chris Clark at or 858-395-7136. You need to have speaker-phone capability that can be adequately amplified, along with PowerPoint capabilities for visual purposes.

Additionally, please forward this email to as many pastors and Christian leaders as you can or email reply with the email addresses of pastors and Christian leaders so that we can keep them informed of future developments … Be assured that the information shared will be extremely beneficial for the future of the cause of Christ in California. Saying it another way, it is worth canceling all other appointments in order to be present at one of these locations.

The conference call looks like it is tied to the organization’s efforts to use churches to register thousands of new voters before the November election:

The church in California is being called upon to turn out the vote for the November election, in which voters will vote on a constitutional amendment to nullify a recent court decision legalizing homosexual "marriage" in that state. has already signed on a thousand churches to work to increase voter registration and turnout. As spokesman Ron Prentice notes, the church is seen as one of the keys to victory. "[In] many elections, only 50 percent of those church members register to vote," he says. "And so we know that our success hinges on getting out as many votes as possible -- and the church community is available and willing."

Prentice explains that as a follow-up to voter registration materials, his group will provide church leaders with specific sermon content on the subject of biblical marriage -- "and then we'll be working with them to get out more and more of their congregation to vote," he adds.

It seems as if it has finally dawned on the Right that a loss in California on the marriage issue could do serious damage to their efforts to pass a federal marriage amendment and permanently deny marriage equality to men and women throughout the nation and they look set to pull out all the stops in an effort to ensure that that does not happen. As AFA’s OneNewsNow put it: “History has shown that what happens in California affects the rest of the country, so Prentice is calling on people to pray for victory."

Friday, June 20, 2008

"Clinton and Obama both ended up looking like -- there’s no other way to put this -- pussies."

Armistead Maupin and husband, Christopher Turner.

Armistead Maupin shares his thoughts on the recent California marriage decision in an Advocate article as well as what he thinks about the pathetic showing by both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in reaction to the news.

Four years ago, when the mayor of San Francisco made history by marrying gay folks down at City Hall, his fellow Democrat Dianne Feinstein voiced her displeasure in no uncertain terms. “Too much, too fast, too soon,” was the way she put it, and the ice water in her veins was almost audible. The senator’s 26 years in the national spotlight had been launched by a homophobic assassin, yet she still found a quarter of a century “too soon” for the full establishment of gay civil rights.
The sad truth is that gay rights has always been the disposable card of liberal politics. The very fact of our existence is still “controversial” even to those who make a noise about being our friends. We’re still the fly in the ointment, the “divisive issue” that can lose an election. Just look at the weak-kneed response from the Clinton and Obama camps when the California supreme court made its landmark decision overthrowing the ban on same-sex marriage. Both candidates hid behind a campaign spokesperson and both reaffirmed their “separate but equal” policies of civil unions, thereby assuming a stance that would keep them in comfy solidarity with John McCain come November. The problem, of course, was that California court had just ruled that separate was NOT equal and never would be, so Clinton and Obama both ended up looking like -- there’s no other way to put this -- pussies. Faced with a major milestone in American civil rights, the Democratic contenders could offer neither congratulations nor condemnations. Like Dianne Feinstein four years earlier, they’d been completely upstaged by the decisive action of braver and wiser souls.
The battle has largely been won, I think. The mean and tiny minds who’ve made it their mission to “defend marriage” have existed in every era and have always lost. They lost when black people were given the right to vote. They lost when women were finally enfranchised. They lost when the ban on interracial marriage was lifted. And in each of these instances they claimed with a righteous certainty to have God on their side, only to be roundly defeated by the abiding decency and good sense of the American people. Now we’re in the midst of another seismic cultural shift, thanks to several generations of lesbians and gay men who’ve refused to live their lives in hiding. People know who we are now, and we’re just not that scary anymore. The old bigots are dying off, and the young ones are learning, at the very least, to deny their homophobia. Our happy ending is finally in sight.


Be sure to read the entire article.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Social Security Must Recognize Children of Gay Couples

The Advocate is reporting

The Social Security Administration must recognize the children of same-sex couples, the Department of Justice determined Tuesday.

The federal Defense of Marriage Act prevents Washington from recognizing or providing benefits to same-sex couples, but it does not explicitly address the benefits of children of such couples.

"Although DOMA limits the definition of 'marriage' and 'spouse' for purposes of federal law, the Social Security Act does not condition eligibility for [benefits] on the existence of a marriage or on the federal rights of a spouse in the circumstances of this case; rather, eligibility turns upon the State's recognition of a parent-child relationship, and specifically, the right to inherit as a child under state law," stated the legal opinion prepared by Steven Engel, deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel.

The opinion was delivered after a child of a lesbian couple who had a civil union in Vermont attempted to receive Social Security benefits.

The child's nonbiological parent began collecting her Social Security benefits in 2005, the year the child was born, and under Social Security law the minor children of adults who receive disability benefits can also claim benefits.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'm Voting Republican Because ....

Prayers for Bobby, A New Film Based On The Bobby Griffith Story

Originally uploaded by mggm100

A Child is Listening

by Mary A. Griffith (Bobby Griffith lived June 24, 1963 - August 27, 1983)

"Because of my own lack of knowledge, I became dependent upon people in the Clergy. When the Clergy condemns a homosexual person to Hell and eternal damnation, we, the congregation, echo 'Amen'.

"I deeply regret my lack of knowledge concerning gay and lesbian people. Had I allowed myself to investigate what I now see as Bible bigotry and diabolical dehumanizing slander against our fellow human beings, I would not be looking back with regret for having relinquished my ability to think and reason with other people...people I trusted for truth and guideance in my life and in the life of our gay son.

"God did not heal or cure Bobby as he, our family and Clergy believed He should. It is obvious to us now why He did not. God has never been encumbered by His child's genetically-determined sexual orientation. God is pleased that Bobby has a kind and loving heart. In God's eyes, kindness and love are what life is about.

"I did not know that each time I echoed 'Amen' to the eternal damnation, referring to Bobby as sick, perverted and a danger to our children, that his spirit was broken until he could no longer rise above the injustice of it all. Bobby ended his life at age twenty.

"It was not God's will that Bobby jump over the side of a freeway overpass into the path of an eighteen-wheel truck, killing him instantly. Bobby's death was the direct result of his parent's ignorance and fear of the word gay.

"An injustice has been done not only to Bobby but to his family as well. God knows it isn't right that Bobby is not here with loved ones. Correct education about homosexuality would have prevented this tragedy. There are no words to express the pain and emptiness remaining in the hearts of Bobby's family members, relatives, and friends. We miss Bobby's kind and gentle ways, his fun-loving spirit, his laughter. Bobby's hopes and dreams should not have been taken from him, but they were.

"We can't have Bobby back; if we could we would say to him, as I say to all gay and lesbian people around the world, these benevolent words of Leo Buscaglia: 'Love yourself -- accept yourself -- forgive yourself -- and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.'

"There are children like Bobby sitting in our congregations. Unknown to you, they will be listening to your 'Amens' as they silently cry out to God in their hearts. Their cries will go unnoticed for they cannot be heard above your 'Amens'. Your fear and ignorance of the word gay will soon silence their cries. Before you echo 'Amen' in your home or place of worship, think and remember...a child is listening.

Sigourney Weaver to Star in and Co-produce ‘Prayers for Bobby’

LOS ANGELES, (PRNewswire) — Oscar(R) nominated and Golden Globe(R) winner Sigourney Weaver (”Aliens,” “Ice Storm,” “Gorillas in the Mist”) has signed on to star and co-produce the Lifetime Original Movie, “Prayers for Bobby”.

Based on a true story and Leroy Aarons’ book of the same name, Weaver stars as Mary Griffith, a profoundly religious wife and mother who begins to question her faith after the suicide of her beloved gay son.

Ultimately, with the posthumous acceptance of her son’s homosexuality, Mary becomes an advocate for the rights of gay and lesbian youth. “Prayers for Bobby” will premiere in February 2009 on Lifetime Television.


In “Prayers for Bobby,” Mary Griffith (Weaver) is a devout Christian who raised her children with the conservative teachings of her Presbyterian church. But when her son Bobby confides to his older brother he may be gay, life changes for the entire family after Mary learns about his secret. While Bobby’s father and siblings slowly come to terms with his homosexuality, Mary believes God can cure him of what she considers his ’sin’ and persuades Bobby to pray harder and seek solace in church activities in hopes of changing him. Desperate for his mother’s approval, Bobby does what is asked of him, but through it all, the church’s apparent disapproval of homosexuality causes him to grow increasingly withdrawn and depressed.

Guilty over the pain he is causing Mary, Bobby moves away, yet hopes that some day his mother will accept him. His subsequent depression and self-loathing intensifies as he blames himself for not being the ‘perfect’ son and is driven to suicide. Faced with their tragedy, Mary begins to question her faith when she receives no answers from her pastor concerning her devastating loss. Through her long and emotional journey, Mary slowly reaches out to the gay community and discovers unexpected support from a very unlikely source.

More Here

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Is McCain Qualified to be the Decider ...

... when he can't even decide if he's running for Dubya's third term or not?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Brazilian President Fights Homophobia

Brazilian President calls homophobia a "perverse disease"

The president of Brazil has become the first national leader to launch a conference with the sole purpose of promoting gay equality.

The First National Conference of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transvestites and Transsexuals was inaugurated by president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who called for a "time of reparation" in Brazil.

At last week's conference President Lula announced his support for gay rights, and stated he will "do all that is possible so that the criminalisation of homophobia and the civil union may be approved."

He also called homophobia "the most perverse disease impregnated in the human head."

Toni Reis, president of the Brazilian Association of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transvestites and Transsexuals, advocated a gay statute.

This would codify in law specific rights that Brazil's legal framework could not prejudicially deny to LGBT citizens.

The conference, which was called an important historic event in the history of Brazil, coincides with the news of a gay Brazilian army sergeant who was recently arrested, reportedly for desertion.

He had given a series of media interviews about his sexuality before he was detained.
Homosexuality has been legal in Brazil since 1823, except in the armed forces, and civil unions are allowed in some areas.

However, homophobia and gay-bashing remain significant problems in the country of 184 million people.

Pink News UK

A Heartwarming Coming Out Story

During the time Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick was courageously fighting for equal treatment under the law for GLBT Massachusetts residents, he did not know that his daughter is a lesbian.

On June 14, 2007, the day that lawmakers finally voted down an anti-gay marriage amendment to the state constitution, Katherine Patrick stood outside the State House and looked up at her father. Gov. Deval Patrick was standing on the front steps, surrounded by a jubilant crowd of hundreds that mobbed the brick sidewalk and spilled halfway across Beacon Street. As they cheered the defeat of the amendment - an effort led by the governor, Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Sal DiMasi -
Katherine had never before felt more proud of her father.

"Because, of course, he didn’t know that I was gay then," the 18-year-old recalls. "So, for someone so publicly to fight for something that doesn’t even affect him was just like, ’That’s my dad,’ you know?" she says with a laugh. "That’s all I could think. I was very, very proud to be part of this family, and this state in general."

"It was great. I’m very glad," she adds, looking at her father. "Don’t cry, Dad." Patrick’s eyes are brimming with tears, prompting some good-natured teasing from his daughter. "He’s done some good things," she says with a laugh, patting his arm. "I appreciate it. Want a tissue? Oh, God. He’s a crier."

The Bay Windows article is here.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Callifornia Supreme Court: No Delay of Justice

June 4, 2008

California Supreme Court
Denies Rehearing and Stay in
Marriage Cases

Decision to become final on June 16 at 5:00 p.m.

San Francisco—The California Supreme Court today filed an order in the Marriage Cases (S147999; decision filed May 15, 2008), denying requests to stay its decision until after the November 2008 election and denying petitions for rehearing.

The rehearing petitions were denied by a 4-3 vote. Chief Justice Ronald George, and Justices Joyce Kennard, Kathryn Werdegar, and Carlos Moreno voted to deny rehearing. Justices Marvin Baxter, Ming Chin, and Carol Corrigan would have granted rehearing.

The order further specified that the decision of the court filed on May 15, 2008, will become final on June 16, 2008, at 5 p.m.