Keith Olbermann is reporting results of a Survey USA poll showing that 8% of those who voted to take civil rights away from California GLBTs would now vote no. Apparently, the recent demonstrations have made them think. He speaks with Candace Gingrich in this video.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Keith Olbermann is reporting results of a Survey USA poll showing that 8% of those who voted to take civil rights away from California GLBTs would now vote no. Apparently, the recent demonstrations have made them think. He speaks with Candace Gingrich in this video.
A Florida court delivered another pie to Anita Bryant today when it ruled the state's ban on gay adoption unconstitutional.
''This is the forum where we try to heal children, find permanent families for them so they can get another chance at what every child should know and feel from birth, and go on to lead productive lives,'' Lederman said in court before releasing the order. ``We pray for them to thrive, but that is a word we rarely hear in dependency court.''
''These children are thriving;
The Miami Herald had the details.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Candace Gingrich is mad, and I don't blame her one bit. She happens to have an astoundingly hypocritical brother who is a self-appointed defender of traditional marriage. Her brother, thrice-married Newt, dumped his first wife while she was in the hospital recovering from uterine cancer and then married a younger one he'd been having an affair with while his wife was ill. Once the divorce became final, he refused to make his child support payments. Gory details here.
This self-styled defender of marriage is just another slimeball hypocrite trying to drum up support by gaybashing.
I recently had the displeasure of watching you bash the protestors of the Prop 8 marriage ban to Bill O'Reilly on FOX News. I must say, after years of watching you build your career by stirring up the fears and prejudices of the far right, I feel compelled to use the words of your idol, Ronald Reagan, "There you go, again."
However, I realize that you may have been a little preoccupied lately with planning your resurrection as the savior of your party, so I thought I would fill you in on a few important developments you might have overlooked.
The truth is that you're living in a world that no longer exists. I, along with millions of Americans, clearly see the world the way it as -- and we embrace what it can be. You, on the other hand, seem incapable of looking for new ideas or moving beyond what worked in the past.
Welcome to the 21st century, big bro. I can understand why you're so afraid of the energy that has been unleashed after gay and lesbian couples had their rights stripped away from them by a hateful campaign. I can see why you're sounding the alarm against the activists who use all the latest tech tools to build these rallies from the ground up in cities across the country.
Friday, November 21, 2008
This is a gadget that runs an analysis of blogs.
Here's what Typealyzer says about this one. (Race cars? Ha! If they only knew.)
ISTP - The Mechanics
The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment are masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. They generally prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts. The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like to seek fun and action both in their work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Posted by Mike in Texas at 5:13 PM
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Today it finally happened in conservative Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker's editorial, Giving Up on God.
As Republicans sort out the reasons for their defeat, they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit.
Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D.
I'm bathing in holy water as I type.
To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn't soon cometh.
Simply put: Armband religion is killing the Republican Party. And, the truth -- as long as we're setting ourselves free -- is that if one were to eavesdrop on private conversations among the party intelligentsia, one would hear precisely that.
The choir has become absurdly off-key, and many Republicans know it.
But they need those votes!
So it has been for the Grand Old Party since the 1980s or so, as it has become increasingly beholden to an element that used to be relegated to wooden crates on street corners.
Short break as writer ties blindfold and smokes her last cigarette.
Which is to say, the GOP has surrendered its high ground to its lowest brows. In the process, the party has alienated its non-base constituents, including other people of faith (those who prefer a more private approach to worship), as well as secularists and conservative-leaning Democrats who otherwise might be tempted to cross the aisle.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
But at least he's indicating the he does not plan to stand in the way of true equality, and in fact he intends to remove existing obstacles at the federal level.
His website has posted the Obama administration's Plan to Strengthen Civil Rights. A bit of it is shown below.
Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: In 2004, crimes against LGBT Americans constituted the third-highest category of hate crime reported and made up more than 15 percent of such crimes. Barack Obama cosponsored legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability. As a state senator, Obama passed tough legislation that made hate crimes and conspiracy to commit them against the law.
Fight Workplace Discrimination: Barack Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees' domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy. Obama also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. '
Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.
Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: Barack Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.
Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell: Barack Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. Obama will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.
Expand Adoption Rights: Barack Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
From Cleve Jones, creator of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and Dustin Lance Black screenwriter of the film "Milk," a powerful call to action.
Here is an excerpt.
It has been thirty years since Harvey Milk gave his life in our struggle for equality. We will not wait thirty years more. We demand that the Federal Government act immediately, decisively and unequivocally to ensure equal protection under law throughout the United States of America.
We can accept no compromise.
We call on President-Elect Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to draft and submit to the Congress comprehensive legislation protecting the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens in all areas including civil marriage, military service, adoption, social security, taxation, immigration, employment, housing and access to health care, social services and education.
We can wait no longer.
We call on President-Elect Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to speak out against the escalating campaign of harassment, violence and murder directed against our communities and pass legislation extending hate-crime protections to GLBT citizens.
Now is the time.
We call on President-Elect Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to take personal responsibility for involving our nation’s religious leaders and the GLBT community in a national dialogue to encourage understanding and reconciliation.
We also call on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to heed the call of Harvey Milk, when he spoke thirty years ago on the steps of San Francisco City Hall: “You must come out, my brothers and sisters, you must come out!”
We call on gay people everywhere to seize this moment, to understand that freedom will not come until we are willing to commit the full strength of our own voices, minds and bodies to the struggle. We must personally introduce ourselves to those who would discriminate against us. We must make ourselves visible.
We call on all supporters of equality to sustain and intensify the nationwide campaign of mass protests and non-violent civil disobedience, for seven weeks, starting on November 27, 2008, the thirtieth anniversary of the assassination of Harvey Milk, and to then gather together in mass, from all corners of our country, in Washington, DC on the morning of Tuesday, January 20, 2009, to honor the inauguration of our President, Barack Obama.
We call on all our people and all our allies to carry this message of hope and equality to every corner of our nation, to every place of worship, to every school and factory and shopping center, every city, suburb and farming town. We call on you to march together, demonstrate together, pray together and dream together of a future America where, finally, all are free.
Be sure to read all of it and sign the petition.
Friday, November 14, 2008
For all Rachel Maddow fans, Suzan Colon of The Advocate has written a terrific article.
The New American Classic
Rachel Maddow’s not only bringing thinking back to TV news, she’s assuring herself a spot on the Mount Rushmore of broadcasting, right next to Murrow, Cronkite, and Brokaw.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
It is not often that the Bible reaches forward into the future to admonish a group of people who claim to revere that document, but it does exactly that when condemning the Mormons (Latter Day Saints) for their support of Proposition 8 and other DOMAs.
1 Timothy 4:1-5 (King James Version)
King James Version (KJV)
1 Timothy 4
1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
4For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
The Mormons (Latter Day Saints) pride themselves on being the ones spoken of as being in the latter times. It is even incorporated in ther name -- Latter Day Saints. So clearly this passage speaks to them.
It also directly addresses their support of Proposition 8 and other DOMAs. When speaking of those people in latter days (and latter days are NOW) who wish to forbid others to marry, the Bible says they: "shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry
The names of those Latter Day Saints who worked so hard to destroy the lives and marriages of others are written large in the Book of Shame.
We can only hope and pray that they will come to their senses, throw out those leaders who have misled them so badly, and make restitution to those they have harmed.
Copyright November 13, 2008, by John Richards. All rights reserved,
except that free distribution via any medium is permitted as long as
author's credit is given and no profit is involved.
Now here's a guy who donated $20,000 to the campaign of lies and defamation of California GLBT people who just can't seem to figure out why people are reacting negatively.
From the Sacramento Bee via AmericaBlog.
"I'm frustrated by what's going on," said Dave Leatherby, owner of the Leatherby Family Creamery in Sacramento, commenting on the protests and court battles."
Let's move on. I always told my children that once a rule was made, you have to abide by it. I think it should be the same in this circumstance."
Leatherby and his family donated about $20,000 for the passage of Proposition 8. A devout Catholic and father of 10, Leatherby supported the measure for religious reasons. He said his business has been targeted by bloggers as a result, and that he is particularly confused because his business has participated in the annual gay pride Rainbow Festival.
Um ... I suppose it didn't occur to him that the rule WAS made and that he paid $20,000 to have it changed. I supposed I should feel sorry for thoses children with such a homophobic father who sends such bizarre mixed messages.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Early reports of the protest at New York's Mormon Temple this evening are coming in.
Whoopi was there, and although the text on her sign is cut off in the image, it says "For my friends, equal rights."
The estimates are that 10,000-15,000 attended tonight's rally.
One commenter wrote that his favorite sign said "Jesus Had Two Dads" (can't remember which blog has that comment)
The reports are popping up at Joe.My.God, Blabbeando, The Gist, Boy in Bushwick, Wockner, and probably more by the time I've written this.
Posted by Mike in Texas at 5:32 PM
Sign for Something is a site with a great number of letters written by Mormons who are resigning because they are so very much offended by the Mormon Church role in revoking the civil rights of GLBT Californians.
No wonder the Mormons are so upset that their behavior is being protested.
Michelangelo Signorile brings our attention to a 10-year-old memo in which the Mormon strategy to align with Roman Catholics to wage war on gays is discussed ... along with the part where they want to try to avoid being "out front" in the war.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Beliefnet has released the results of a survey among its readership.
As firefighters began hosing down the house at 1275 Buffalo Shoals Road, it became clear the home was set on fire intentionally. What they found launched an immediate hate crime investigation.
The fire was intense, but it didn’t keep Jason Drum, chief of the Bandys Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department, from noticing graffiti written across the back of the brick home within five minutes of arrival. Someone used white spray paint to write a derogatory message referring to sexual orientation and race.
Drum asked Whistlehunt’s mother, who lives next door, if the graffiti had been there. She told him it was new.
Whistlehunt said everyone who knows him is aware he’s gay, but few people have outwardly criticized him for it.
“I don’t know of anybody who would go this far,” he said.
As soon as Drum found the writing, he called the Catawba County Fire Marshal’s Office. He said he felt that it was important to get them started on their investigation right away. The State Bureau of Investigation arson unit and the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office are also involved in the investigation.
“It is considered a hate crime,” said Karyn Yaussy, Catawba County emergency management coordinator.
SBI Investigator Mark Bivens used an arson dog to search for evidence of accelerants, however Yaussy would not comment on whether any was found. However, she said there were multiple indicators aside from the writing on the wall that the fire was set intentionally.
“I’ve been in the fire service 10 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Drum said.
The articles continues here.
AP is reporting that Mormons have repeatedly been ignoring a 13-year-old agreement to stop posthumous baptism of Holocaust victims. The Mormons claim they are making it more difficult to do this, but they haven't stopped. A representative of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors, Ernest Michel, said the group is finished with attempts to negotiate with Mormons. Making it more difficult is not enough. They want the Mormons to reverse what they have done.
The Mormon practice of posthumous baptism extends to all people, not just Holocaust Survivors. Last May the Vatican ordered Catholic dioceses worldwide to refuse giving member lists to the Mormons in an attempt to prevent posthumous baptisms of Catholics.
"Baptism of a Jewish Holocaust victim and then merely removing that name from the database is just not acceptable," said Michel, whose parents died at Auschwitz. He spoke on the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Nazi-incited riots against Jews.
"We ask you to respect us and our Judaism just as we respect your religion," Michel said in a statement released ahead of the news conference. "We ask you to leave our six million Jews, all victims of the Holocaust, alone, they suffered enough."
There is additional information in a Salt Lake Tribune article.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
WASHINGTON — In the first of an expected avalanche of post-election regulations, the Bush administration on Friday narrowed the scope of services that can be provided to poor people under Medicaid’s outpatient hospital benefit.
Public hospitals and state officials immediately protested the action, saying it would reduce Medicaid payments to many hospitals at a time of growing need.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Okay. So Prop 8 passed. Alright, I get it. 51% of you think that I am a second class citizen. Alright then. So my wife, uh I mean, roommate? Girlfriend? Special lady friend? You are gonna have to help me here because I am not sure what to call her now. Anyways, she and I are not allowed the same right under the state constitution as any other citizen. Okay, so I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen. I mean that would just be wrong, to make someone pay taxes and not give them the same rights, sounds sort of like that taxation without representation thing from the history books.
Okay, cool I don't mean to get too personal here but there is a lot I can do with the extra half a million dollars that I will be keeping instead of handing it over to the state of California. Oh, and I am sure Ellen will be a little excited to keep her bazillion bucks that she pays in taxes too. Wow, come to think of it, there are quite a few of us fortunate gay folks that will be having some extra cash this year. What recession? We're gay! I am sure there will be a little box on the tax forms now single, married, divorced, gay, check here if you are gay, yeah, that's not so bad. Of course all of the waiters and hairdressers and UPS workers and gym teachers and such, they won't have to pay their taxes either.
Gay people are born everyday. You will never legislate that away.
Oh and too bad California, I know you were looking forward to the revenue from all of those extra marriages. I guess you will have to find some other way to get out of the budget trouble you are in.
When did it become okay to legislate morality? I try to envision someone reading that legislation "eliminates the right" and then clicking yes. What goes through their mind? Was it the frightening commercial where the little girl comes home and says, "Hi mom, we learned about gays in class today" and then the mother gets that awful worried look and the scary music plays? Do they not know anyone who is gay? If they do, can they look them in the face and say "I believe you do not deserve the same rights as me"? Do they think that their children will never encounter a gay person? Do they think they will never have to explain the 20% of us who are gay and living and working side by side with all the citizens of California?
I got news for them, someday your child is going to come home and ask you what a gay person is. Gay people are born everyday. You will never legislate that away.
I know when I grew up gay was a bad word. Homo, lezzie, faggot, dyke. Ignorance and fear ruled the day. There were so many "thems" back then. The blacks, the poor ... you know, "them". Then there was the immigrants. "Them.” Now the them is me.
I tell myself to take a breath, okay take another one, one of the thems made it to the top. Obama has been elected president. This crazy fearful insanity will end soon. This great state and this great country of ours will finally come to the understanding that there is no "them". We are one. We are united. What you do to someone else you do to yourself. That "judge not, lest ye yourself be judged" are truthful words and not Christian rhetoric.
Today the gay citizenry of this state will pick themselves up and dust themselves off and do what we have been doing for years. We will get back into it. We love this state, we love this country and we are not going to leave it. Even though we could be married in Mass. or Conn, Canada, Holland, Spain and a handful of other countries, this is our home. This is where we work and play and raise our families. We will not rest until we have the full rights of any other citizen. It is that simple, no fearful vote will ever stop us, that is not the American way.
Come to think of it, I should get a federal tax break too...
Thursday, November 6, 2008
It's time to start hitting the Mormons where it will hurt, their bank accounts. I am hoping to gather some information on Mormon-owned and operated businesses to boycott, like the Marriot Hotel chain. That will come in a later post.
In the meantime, here's something quick and easy to do. This site has a petition to revoke the Mormon tax exemption. It also has copies of pre-filled IRS forms to print out and send directly to the IRS. (I noticed that the form is missing one bit of information, the Mormon EIN, but I was able to find it on another site that also has pre-filled forms. ) The EIN is 23-7300405.
BTW, if you're curious about the image in this post, click here.
Here's a bit extracted from the petition site, Mormons Stole Our Rights.The Mormon church began in 1830 in New York. The first Mormons were persecuted by the American majority, and were compelled to emigrate to Utah where they could live unmolested, much like gays and lesbians who lived in the urban ghettos last century. Mormons had alternative views of what family meant, and were excluded and marginalized from the political process. In their arguments against the majority, Mormon Prophet Brigham Young wrote:
Marriage is a civil contract. You might as well make a law to say how many children a man shall have, as to make a law to say how many wives he shall have. (Journal of Discourses, 11:268-9)
Much has improved for the Mormon people since then. Today, Mormons have powerful representation in the Senate, and ran a nationally viable candidate for the United States Presidency in 2008.
The Mormon story is possible because our country is a tolerant and forgiving place. America believes in the rights of its citizens to determine their own fates, and grants rights to individual communities to determine their own norms and values. The Mormon people have been able to flourish because of this country's generous spirit.
But now, history has reversed, and it is the Mormons who have become the oppressor.
The Mormons began with the Boy Scouts of America, originally a children's club meant to introduce boys and girls to the natural beauty of America. Mormons took financial control of the Boy Scouts by donating more than 28% of their global operating budget per year. Gays and lesbians are barred from participating in this group not just in Mormon troops, but nationwide, thereby turning our children into a political football.
Some Mormons send their own gay teenage children to "conversion camps," where these children are forced to endure shock therapy and given psychotropic drugs. The emotional stress of such experience drives many to contemplate suicide. The Mormon Church has yet to repudiate these activities.
Now the Mormon Church has set its target on gay and lesbian adults of California. They have started by amending our constitution to deny equal protection to gays and lesbians. [Note from Mike in Texas: Actually they have been targeting gays for many years, starting with marriage in Hawaii back in 1988. See here and also here.]
Ask the Jews about how freedoms are lost. The concentration camps were not built in a national referendum. They were the product of a systemic reduction of freedoms, year after year, one at a time.
We as citizens of California, Americans, and persons of various beliefs and faiths will not allow this to happen.
From BBC: Aerial footage appears to show Los Angeles police beating a protester in their custody at a rally against the banning of same-sex marriage last night.
UPDATE WITH MORE VIDEO FROM WOW REPORT
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
This morning I experienced a familiar feeling while watching the news on TV.
In 1991 we took a cruise of the Baltic just days after the fall of the Soviet Union. The highlight of the trip, of course, was the stop in Leningrad. We'd planned the trip a year earlier. When the Soviet Union fell, we were told that we might not be able to stop in Leningrad and that if things were highly unsettled, we would not even be able to go into the Baltic. As it turned out, 2 days before we left here we were told everything was okay, and we would be visiting Leningrad.
We were not prepared for what we saw when we got there, the flag of old Russia flying in place of the Soviet Union flag. We'd seen a number of ships flying the Soviet flag in Stockholm, the stop before Leningrad, and because of that, we didn't expect to see anything different in Leningrad.
And by the time we left, the name of the city had been changed back to St. Petersburg. It was a very exciting and emotional time for us.
And that brings me to this morning. That feeling came back to me as I watched Barack Obama and his family in the voting booth this morning. I was surprised to feel so moved.
Something momentous is happening today.
Since 1948, two small New Hampshire towns have had the tradition of being the first towns to cast and tally their votes. All residents eligible to vote gather and cast their votes at the stroke of midnight.
Obama was the winner in both towns.
Dixville Notch, NH cast 15 votes for Obama and 6 for McCain. This is the first time Dixville Notch has voted Democrat since 1968.
Hart's Location, NH cast 17 votes for Obama, 10 for McCain, 2 for Ron Paul, and 0 for Ralph Nader.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
According to Chuck Todd, McCain will lose if he picks up all of the tossup states. He must have New Hampshire to win.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Montreal's Masked Avengers made a prank phone call to Sarah Palin, convincing her she was speaking to French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The Masked Avengers have a regular show on Montreal radio station CKOI.