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  • May 23, 2010

    The Rand Paul reality for gays

    Posted by: Chris

    Rand paul senate republican kentucky civil rights gays
    Some Republicans are trying to brush it off as the kind of debate you have in you freshman dorm at 2 a.m.  Not so for us gays.

    The objection raised by Rand Paul, the GOP Senate nominee from Kentucky, to the role of government in the enforcement of civil rights laws in the private sector is very real, and has been raised repeatedly by conservative Democrats and Republicans alike to explain away their opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and other gay civil rights measures. 

    Paul has suggested that the marketplace would take care of itself when it comes to mistreatment of minorities by private business owners.  Consider this timely example from ABC News, taken from a diner in the New York City -- hardly a bastion of anti-gay hysteria -- where almost no one comes to the defense of two gay couples with children being ejected from a restaurant by a waiter because of no other reason but their sexual orientation...

    The libertarian argument against the public accommodations provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, much like the "small government," "pro-business" opposition to ENDA today, is not in and of itself racist or homophobic, but it undoubtedly lends creedence and cover to those who are. And since it's still being trotted out during the civil rights battles of this era, Republican leaders should be called to task for not consigning it to where it belongs -- those late-night dormitory arguments of theory and abstract.

    Filed in: ENDA
    Posted on: May 23, 2010 5:56:05 PM

    May 14, 2010

    Is brown the new gay?

    Posted by: Chris

    Immigration equality banner gay immigration rights binational couples
    Meet the new scapegoats for social conservatives in this country:

    In its perversion of the professed conservative desire for checks on government intrusion, the [new Arizona immigration] law evokes the McCarthy era's war on so-called sex deviants. That reign of error in the early Cold War, as historian David Johnson documents in his 2004 book Lavender Scare, focused the resources of the federal state on thousands of trained and taxpaying workers. It succeeded in ferreting out hundreds of homosexuals and served them up as trophies to placate the prejudice and grand-standing ambitions of a few Congressional overseers. …

    The past is not the only guide toward greater solidarity with immigrants. One would think an entire decade of antigay ballot measures that played on stigma and bigotry to ban recognition of same-sex partners' freedom to marry would make the gay community staunch foes of anti-immigrant bias and its deployment in state law. That is mostly the case, in part because thousands of LGBT people are themselves immigrants or have partners or family members who must navigate the exploitation, suspicion, ignorance, and outright hate that greets immigrants, undocumented and otherwise.

    Let's be sure to stand up for them (or us, for our gay Latino amigos) the way we want to be defended ourselves. Not to mention that we desperately need the support of groups like LULAC and La Raza to make sure comprehensive immigration reform includes gay binational couples so that gay Americans can sponsor their partners for residence here and not be forced into "love exile."


    Filed in: Immigration , Marriage
    Posted on: May 14, 2010 3:29:12 PM

    May 12, 2010

    That's what he said

    Posted by: Chris

    Eliot spitzer elena kagan lesbian gay princeton
    Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned in disgrace after spending tens of thousands on prostitutes, on whether Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is gay or not:

    “I did not go out with her, but other guys did. I don't think it is my place to say more.”

    Spitzer and Kagan apparently ran in the same social circles during their collegiate days at Princeton.

    Filed in: Funny-HaHa , Obama , Outing
    Posted on: May 12, 2010 3:14:33 PM

    Once more into the 'outing' mess

    Posted by: Chris

    Brian betts gay high school principal murder victim washington post
    Perhaps one silver lining from the horrible tragedy that is Brian Betts' murder will be a review by the Washington Post of its antiquated policy of when to report a story subject's sexual orientation. We've seen the issue arise in the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court (more on that later) but the Post ombudsman took it on in connection with reporting on the killing of the popular D.C. high school principal, who was closeted by the paper's coverage even though he was out to friends and family before his death.

    The Post's policy is:

    “A person's sexual orientation should not be mentioned unless relevant to the story... When identifying an individual as gay or homosexual, be cautious about invading the privacy of someone who may not wish his or her sexual orientation known.”

    The policy in and of itself is fine, but the application of "relevant" has resulted in setting a bar that is much higher if a person is gay than it is for those who are straight. My guess is that no WaPo reporter even consults the policy before reporting that a murder victim, or beloved principal, or prominent businessman or politician is heterosexual. And yet the kid gloves come on before a reporter will broach those same story subjects if they are rumored to be gay.

    I have long held that the same rules ought to apply to everyone, period. If the Post is doing a feature on a high school principal, then he/she will of course be asked if he's married, partnered, etc. The reporter ought to ask the question and print the response, whatever it is. "Outing" comes into play only if a reporter delves behind an answer, or a non-answer, into the private life of the person -- something I agree should be very rare and only necessitated by the person's sexual orientation being highly relevant and newsworthy.

    In the case of a murder victim like Betts, his sexual orientation ought to be reported without hesitation if he was out to friends and family -- as was the case here. The fact that the victim was apparently lured into meeting his killers on a phone sex chat line makes the information even more relevant -- both to his story and as a public safety message for the gay community at-large.

    Filed in: Media , Outing
    Posted on: May 12, 2010 11:44:19 AM

    April 21, 2010

    Don't cry, Argentina's activist judges

    Posted by: Chris

    Norma Castillo and Ramona arevalo lesbian argentina gay marriage Very encouraging news out of my former home Buenos Aires:

    A judge in Buenos Aires today upheld the validity of the first civil marriage between two women, rejecting the decision of another judge, Martha Gomez Alsina, who had set aside as "null and non-existent" the marriage between the two women, the newspaper La Capital is reporting.

    This is the latest twist in quite the roller coaster ride for Norma Castillo and Ramona Arévalo, who were married after 30 years together, only to see their marriage declared "null and non-existent" by a judge acting at the behest of Roman Catholic lawyers. Now that judge's order has been struck down and a gay group is filing a civil and criminal complaint against the interfering judge for malfeasance.

    It's the same pattern that followed Latin America's first gay marriage, also in Argentina, just last December, which was also later struck down by a second judge, acting at the behest of lawyers from the Catholic Church.

    Unless jurisdiction is a loosey-goosey concept in Argentina, this sort of interference should subject the judges to ethics complaints, at a minimum. These are not appeals court judges, overturning the rulings of lower courts, but judges with entirely different jurisdiction responding to appeals to religion by a church that has no business claiming to be a moral arbiter of anything these days.

    Don't expect to hear any condemnation of this very blatant form of judicial activism from the right. Just like conservatives here in the U.S. are marshaling forces to ask unelected judges to overthrow the will of the people on health care reform and financial regulatory reform -- and just as they already did on campaign finance reform. How will Republican senators question Obama's Supreme Court pick about "judicial activism" and keep a straight face?

    According to the nationwide gay rights group, none of these annulments has any legal effect:

    The Argentinian LGBT Federation reiterated that the ruling confirmed that "no" marriage between persons of the same sex has actually been annulled in the country, La Capital reported.

    "The acts of these judges … besides being a new act of discrimination, do not bear any legal or procedural analysis," the Federation said in a statement. The group reiterated that "all marriages of same-sex couples are still valid and in force" and questioned the conflicting court rulings, saying that "being a judge does not entitle anyone to impose their religious beliefs to the rest of the population."

    "They could not cancel any of the marriages because they do not have the legal authority to do so," said Maria Rachid, president of the Argentinian LGBT Federation. The group called for a ruling by the Supreme Court in these cases so that "these judges are no longer confusing society."

    The question may be resolved before it even reaches the Supreme Court, since it appears the country's parliament may take up legislation as soon as this week that will clarify that marriage rights extend to same-sex couples.

    Filed in: Argentina , Marriage
    Posted on: Apr 21, 2010 3:17:54 PM

    April 19, 2010

    Tea Partiers softer on gays than GOP

    Posted by: Chris

    Tea party movement obama gay rights
    Call it the Ron Paul wing of the Tea Party movement, but a sizable portion of the colorful, spelling-challenged protesters are at least consistent about wanting the government out of our pocketbooks and out of our bedrooms:

    In general, those who turned out for the April 15 Tea Party event tended to be less culturally conservative than national Republicans.

    Asked to rate their level of anger about 22 issues on a scale of one (not angry at all) to five (extremely angry), the issue that drew the most anger: the growing national debt. The least: courts granting same-sex couples the right to marry. Twenty-four percent said they’re “not at all” upset about gay marriage.

    Politico neatly divides the Tea Parties thusly, into Sarah Palin and Ron Paul camps:

    The results suggest a distinct fault line that runs through the tea party activist base, characterized by two wings led by the politicians who ranked highest when respondents were asked who “best exemplifies the goals of the tea party movement” — former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a former GOP presidential candidate. …

    Specifically, 51 percent of tea party activists say “government should not promote any particular set of values,” while 46 percent said “government should promote traditional family values in our society.” Compare this to national Gallup Polls, which recently found 67 percent of self-identified Republicans think government should promote such values.

    What can you say about conservatives who believe it's a betrayal for government to promote basic medical care for its citizens but who fully expect it to promote their own theological beliefs about marriage and family? That their anger underlies a deeper-seated, ugly tradition of conservative resistance? Or maybe that it's just way past time that they reread the Gospels?

    (Photo via USA Today)

    Filed in: Marriage , Palin
    Posted on: Apr 19, 2010 8:10:57 PM

    April 18, 2010

    The week on GNW (April 11-17)

    Posted by: Chris

    Here are the five biggest stories from Gay News Watch over the last week:

    1. Obama 
orders hospital visitation rights for gaysObama orders hospital visitation rights for gays: QUICK LOOK: President Barack Obama has told the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a rule that would not allow hospitals to deny visitation privileges to gay and... (MORE)
    2. Argentinian judge strikes down first gay marriageArgentinian judge strikes down first same-sex marriage: QUICK LOOK: An Argentinian judge voided last December’s civil wedding of two men, the first gay marriage in Latin America, authorities said Thursday. Magistrate Marcos Meillien declared... (MORE)
    3. Judge declares 'null' Argentina's first lesbian marriageJudge declares 'null and void' Argentina's first lesbian marriage: QUICK LOOK: Argentine Norma Castillo and Uruguay’s Ramona Arevalo, both 67 and who have been a couple for the past three decades, married on April 9 after getting the go-ahead from... (MORE)
    4. Speculation over whether high court possibility is gaySpeculation over whether high court possibility is gay: QUICK LOOK: Because for some conservative activists, being in support of marriage equality is grounds for disqualification to serve on the Supreme Court, whether or not Obama is... (MORE)
    5. Pope's 
No. 2 linking pedophilia with homosexualityPope's No.2 linking pedophilia to homosexuality: QUICK LOOK: The Vatican's second-highest authority says the sex scandals haunting the Roman Catholic Church are linked to homosexuality and not celibacy among priests. Cardinal Tarcisio... (MORE)

    And here are a few of the most popular from the last week:

    • Young 
Manhattan designer is found dead, handcuffedYoung Manhattan designer found dead, handcuffed: QUICK LOOK: A young Manhattan designer was found dead - his hands cuffed behind his back - inside his luxury Financial District apartment Monday, police said. Alejandro Bulaevsky,... (MORE)
    • Watch: 
Ricky Martin releases a naked promo videoWatch: Ricky Martin releases sexy nude promo video: QUICK LOOK: Ricky Martin has celebrated coming out with a naked video. In the two-minute clip, called My Skin Talks, Martin is seen naked save for computer-generated tattoos and... (MORE)
    • Blogs buzzing with Taylor Launter sighting at gay partyBlogs buzzing with Taylor Lautner sighting at gay party: QUICK LOOK: Twilight teen-dream Taylor Lautner has bee spotted attending a party at the home of a well-known gay socialite last weekend. We have the scoop, and the news has people... (MORE)
    • Men 
being trafficked to Scotland as gay sex slavesMen being trafficked to Scotland as gay sex slaves: QUICK LOOK: Men have been trafficked into Scotland to be used as gay sex slaves. In the first known cases of male sex trafficking to hit Scotland, two men were smuggled in from Africa... (MORE)
    • Rufus 
Wainwright claims he 'knows' 50 Cent is gayRufus Wainwright claims he 'knows' 50 Cent is gay: QUICK LOOK: Rufus Wainwright claims he just "knows" that rapper 50 Cent is gay. The Canadian musician told Details: "I love, love 50 Cent. I think he's just the sexiest, and a brilliant... (MORE)


    These were the five stories on Gay News Watch with the biggest buzz over the last seven days, along with some of the most popular stories from the last week. You can also view the stories with the biggest buzz factor from the last month or year, and the most popular from the last month or year.

    Filed in: Gay News Watch
    Posted on: Apr 18, 2010 7:46:00 PM

    March 31, 2010

    A queer way to Queer the Census

    Posted by: Chris

    Queer the census gay ngltf
    Though I wouldn't put it anywhere near the top of the Gay Agenda, the movement to "Queer the Census" to make sure single gay folks are counted makes good sense. After all, the Census is designed to get an accurate count of the demographic sweep of this great nation, and this year marks the first time that gay couples are being permitted to mark themselves as "married."

    Even though these same-sex do not specfically have a "gay" box to check, the fact that they mark themselves as having the same gender will make that clear for them. Gay couples who are unmarried but cohabitating are also indirectly counted the same way -- by marking their gender as the same and indicating they are unmarried partners. But there's no way for gay and bisexual Americans to be counted as part of the survey.

    Enter the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, which in somewhat typical fashion takes a good idea and decreases its appeal and effectiveness. First of all, they chose to call their effort "Queering the Census," choosing a word that many gay folk would never use to describe themselves.

    Second, rather than ask that the Census ask a question about sexual orientation that determines whether each person is straight, bisexual or gay, the Task Force opted to give another option: "lesbian." Maybe this was just the way they're marketing their queer effort, but wouldn't this make more sense:

        Are you:

    • Heterosexual
    • Lesbian or Gay
    • Bisexual

    I also wonder where exactly the "gender identity" question would fit in -- including it as a third option after male and female would be offensive to many -- though not all -- transgender Americans. But it doesn't fit with a question about sexual orientation either, since gender identity is an entirely different concept -- something the good folks at the Task Force regularly forget in lumping us together as "LGBT persons."

    Perhaps all this could be worked out by the bureaucrats at the Census Bureau, but it seems to me a pretty queer way to ask that you be taken seriously if you haven't thought through such basic questions. The closest the Task Force comes to offering an answer is to offer an apology that, wait for it, "queer" isn't being pushed as a choice:

    With the huge bureaucracy that is the federal government, progress comes one small step at a time. The language on our stickers was very specifically chosen because it has been tested in other survey settings and has accurately collected data. This is the exact language we are advocating as part of the Census (minus "straight ally"). Some of our members don't like it and are writing in Queer on their stickers! It's a write-in on a write-in campaign. We encourage everyone to self-report in a manner that feels best for them. This is the case with all Census questions; it's about how you choose to identify yourself!

    Filed in: Obama
    Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 8:24:43 PM

    March 26, 2010

    Do you get misty-eyed at bigotry?

    Posted by: Chris

    Fresh off news that a church in Gainesville, Fla., is preaching politics with a "No Homo Mayor" campaign against openly gay candidate Craig Lowe, a prominent Republican in Kansas City, Mo., is going after a lesbian state senator for the sole reason that she got married.

    Jolie Justus has represented Kansas City in the Missouri Senate since 2006, and went on to marry her partner Shonda Garrison last year in Iowa, which permits same-sex unions. That simple act of personal commitment was too much for Bob Gough, who heads up a local Republican group called the Greater Kansas City Pachyderm Club, who sent out this email:

    Jolie justus lesbian marriage flier bob gough kansas city greater pachyderm club
    Justus has already written about the gay-baiting flier on her own web site and encouraged supporters to donate to her re-election campaign via the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. As of now Justus doesn't seem too endangered, since her district is among the most reliably Democratic in the state.

    Ironically, any Republican who enters the race at this point does so with the taint that their candidacy came in response to a direct appeal to the basest instincts among the GOP faithful.

    Posted on: Mar 26, 2010 4:33:45 PM

    March 24, 2010

    Homeless but not dateless for prom

    Posted by: Chris

    Derrick martin bleckley high school cochran georgia gay prom It seems us old fogeys weren't the only ones impressed by the courage it took Constance McMillen to force her Mississippi high school to let her bring her girlfriend to prom. (Constance won her legal battle and although the school prom has been canceled, the judge ordered her not to be excluded from a substitute prom some parents are putting on.)

    Also taking note was Derrick Martin, an 18-year-old in Cochran, Ga. (pop. 5,200), who asked to bring his boyfriend to the Bleckley High School prom. School officials initially said no but apparently thought better of it and relented.

    Happy ending, right? Not so much. Martin's parents apparently couldn't take the heat from the media publicity and kicked him out of the family home. Apparently they'd rather to be known for abandoning their son rather than having a gay one. Derrick is currently staying with friends.

    Take a minute and join the Facebook page set up to support Derrick. College scholarship fund, anyone?

    Filed in: Youth
    Posted on: Mar 24, 2010 6:56:40 PM

    One down, seven to go...who's next?

    Posted by: Chris

    Speaking of effective activism, the kind that gets your attention and produces results, the Gill Action Fund folks behind Fight Back NY are back with another viral video, fresh off their lopsided defeat of ousted state Sen. Hiram Montserrate.

    Last time around featured "Sex and the City's" Cynthia Nixon with a make-my-day attitude that would make Clint Eastwood blush. This time around it's a Jaws theme, designed to put on edge the other 36 senators up for re-election who voted against marriage equality. Particularly in the hotseat are those eight, now seven, who promised beforehand to vote for the gay marriage bill but switched sides when time came to be counted.

    Can anyone imagine the D&G crowd at the Human Rights Champagne producing something this much fun...and this effective?

    Filed in: Gill , HRC , Marriage
    Posted on: Mar 24, 2010 4:24:46 PM

    Service + sacrifice > Dolce + Gabbana

    Posted by: Chris

    Joe solmonese elegant activist dolce gabbana Following up on my post yesterday about the stark contrast between the "elegant activism" of Joe Solmonese and the direct action activism of Dan Choi, a reader pointed me to some recent data about the salary on which Solmonese affords his Ann Demeulemeester, Billy Reid and D&G.

    According to a Washington Blade report based on 2008 numbers, Solmonese was paid $338,400, a staggering sum that practically doubles the measly $176,000 that Kim Gandy got paid that year to run the National Organization for Women. The Solmonese salary is a good deal higher even than the governors of all 50 states -- Arnold Schwarzenegger tops the list at $206,500, though he waives compensation. Even the President of the United States earns only slightly more, at $400,000.

    The point isn't just how much Solmonese rakes in or the types of clothes he wears. Especially given the FAIL he has to show for the millions he has already earned at HRC, the image he projects is symbolic salt in the wound for the LGBT Americans who he supposedly represents. It is a mixed message to say the least for one of Washington's highest paid lobbyists to be leading a movement of people who claim to suffer from discrimination in the workplace.

    More importantly, Dan Choi's message of service and sacrifice is far more empowering and inspiring than Solmonese's message of Dolce and Gabbana.

    We can only imagine how things might look if Dan Choi were at the helm of the Human Rights Campaign.

    Filed in: HRC , Military
    Posted on: Mar 24, 2010 3:42:32 PM

    March 23, 2010

    Equality by way of 'elegant activism'?

    Posted by: Chris

    Dan choi white house fence dont ask dont tell

    Joe Solmonese favors Dolce & Gabbana. Dan Choi favors your equality. The two images could not contrast more completely:

    On the one hand, there's West Point graduate Dan Choi in uniform, handcuffed to the White House fence in the form of Jesus on the cross, sacrificing his career for the fight against Don't Ask Don't Tell. On the other, there's Joe Solmonese, paid a cool million every couple of years to run the Human Rights Campaign, named "The Elegant Activist" in the 2010 Fashion Awards in the new issue of Washington Life magazine.

    Joe solmonese elegant activist washington life Solmonese, perched next to Count Renault de Viel Castel, tells Washington Life that he favors designers Ann Demeulemeester, Billy Reid, and Dolce and Gabbana.

    Tellingly, Choi had asked Solmonese and comedienne Kathy Griffin to walk with him from a Don't Ask Don't Tell rally in Freedom Plaza, actually a filming of Griffin's reality show, for the two-block walk to the White House. They declined.

    Choi hit the nail on the head in an interview with Newsweek:

    Within the gay community so many leaders want acceptance from polite society. I think there's been a betrayal of what is down inside of us in order to achieve what looks popular, what look enviable. The movement seems to be centered around how to become an elite.

    There is a deep schism [in the gay-rights movement], everyone knows this. But this shouldn't be about which group has better branding. There is a tremor right now in every gay and transgender youth that these groups are not grasping. I would say to them—you do not represent us if all you are looking for is a ladder in to elite society.

    I would take that a step further. It's not just about becoming an elite for Solmonese and his fellow travelers at HRC; it's about access.

    Access is power in a town that truly deserves its nickname as "Hollywood for ugly people," and for Solmonese and David Smith and many of those at the top of the staff and board level for HRC, the access they have with the Democrats who run Washington right now is worth too much than risking it on the actual mission of the organization they are entrusted with gazillions from our community to run.

    In years past, the void created by HRC's cloying corporatism was filled by the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, or even Queer Nation and ACT UP. These days, those organizations are either gone or have so marginalized themselves by focusing on the fringe of the fringe of our community that they are no longer players.

    The grassroots group Join the Impact, which organized those nationwide protests in response to Prop 8's passage, reenergized the movement, even if HRC and the existing architecture of Gay, Inc., was too calcified to notice. Last fall's march on Washington has since given birth to GetEQUAL, which was behind the sit-ins at Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office over her failure to give the Employment Non-Discrimination Act a vote in the House.

    There's no reason why the two forms of activism could not co-exist, of course, forming the sort of good cop/bad cop combination that worked so effectively in the early days of the AIDS crisis, when those with access used the ACT UP street theater as leverage with the CDC and Big Pharma to push through earlier availability of HIV medications and greater commitment to research for treatments.

    But good cop/bad cop requires an effective activist on the inside, able to move the ball forward with politicians who naturally look for cover, not for opportunities to stick their own necks out. Unfortunately, there's no indication that Solmonese's elegant activism approaches that level of effectiveness, unless progress is measured by the number of invitations he gets to White House cocktail events, or by the number of D-List celebrities turn up at black-tie fundraisers.

    As Choi put it:

    We all know the political reality now. The only way for the repeal to go through is for the president to take leadership and put it in the Defense Authorization Bill. There's a sunset on this, and it's happening quickly. Obama told us at the HRC dinner last year, you need to put pressure on me. I was there at that dinner, in uniform. So this is my mission; the president said to pressure him and I heard that as a warning order.

    Filed in: HRC , Military
    Posted on: Mar 23, 2010 3:49:48 PM

    March 21, 2010

    The week on GNW (March 14-20)

    Posted by: Chris

    Here are the five biggest stories from Gay News Watch over the last week:

    1. Dutch reject faulting gay soldiers for Bosnia genocideDutch reject faulting gay soldiers for Bosnia genocide: QUICK LOOK: Dutch officials have reacted with anger and bemusement to the claim by a retired American general that their nation’s soldiers failed to prevent the Srebrenica massacre... (MORE)
    2. CIA 
sought out closeted gay Al Qaeda spy informantCIA sought out closeted gay Al Qaedda spy informant: QUICK LOOK: During the run-up to Sept. 11, there was a previously undisclosed, covert C.I.A. effort to recruit a spy to penetrate Al Qaeda a year and a half before the planes crashed... (MORE)
    3. Gay Iraq 
vet arrested in White House DADT protesGay Iraq War vet arrested in White House DADT protest: QUICK LOOK: A gay Army lieutenant and two others were arrested Thursday outside the White House in an unannounced protest against the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law that bars gays from... (MORE)
    4. Episcopal Church name second out gay bishop in L.A.Episcopal Church names second out gay bishop: QUICK LOOK: The Episcopal Church gave final approval Wednesday to the ordination of an openly gay bishop in Los Angeles, putting a face behind a policy that has divided the church... (MORE)
    5. Tea Partiers call Barney Frank 'faggot' in Hill protestTea Partiers call Barney Frank 'faggot' in Hill protest: QUICK LOOK: Abusive, derogatory and even racist behavior directed at House Democrats by Tea Party protesters on Saturday left several lawmakers in shock. Preceding the president's... (MORE)
    6. Gay 
rights bills caught in Obama, D.C. stagnationGay rights bills caught in Obama, D.C. stagnation: QUICK LOOK: The Obama administration’s passive approach to guiding Congress and health reform sucking up all the air in the room has stalled other legislation, including LGBT bills... (MORE)

    And here are a few of the most popular from the last week:

    • Who
 are top 10 anti-gay activists who like to hook up?Who are top 10 anti-gay activists likely to hook up?: QUICK LOOK: In light of prominent anti-gay activist Roy Ashburn recently being caught walking out of a gay bar, and proving once again that conservative voters have little to no... (MORE)
    • Swiss
 gay man stuck naked outside trans brothel fireSwiss gay man stuck outside trans brothel fire: QUICK LOOK: *WARNING: original source NSFW*: A Swiss newspaper's front page today features a naked man, desperate to cover his face, clinging to the 4th floor balcony of a brothel... (MORE)
    • Miley 
Cyrus quit tweeting after anti-gay hate mailMiley Cyrus quit tweeting after anti-gay hate mail: QUICK LOOK: Miley Cyrus has revealed that one of the reasons the pop star closed her Twitter account was due to the amount of hate mail she received after she said she supported... (MORE)
    • Blogger
 threatens to out Pa. reps who ban marriageBlogger threatens to out Pa. reps who oppose marriage: QUICK LOOK: Pennsylvania's senate judiciary committee will take up a bill Tuesday that could constitutionally ban same-sex marriage — and a blogger is prepared to out any gay politician... (MORE)
    • WATCH: WATCH: 'Ugly Betty's' Justin gets first same-sex kiss: QUICK LOOK: With Ugly Betty winding down its run, producers have decided it's time for Betty’s young nephew Justin (Marc Indelicato) to experience his first kiss ... with another... (MORE)
    • Elton John says religious conflict led ex to kill himselfElton John says religious conflict led ex to kill himself: QUICK LOOK: A former gay lover of  singer Elton John committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a lorry it’s been revealed this week. Elton says he’s been deeply affected... (MORE)


    These were the five stories on Gay News Watch with the biggest buzz over the last seven days, along with some of the most popular stories from the last week. You can also view the stories with the biggest buzz factor from the last month or year, and the most popular from the last month or year.

    Filed in: Gay News Watch
    Posted on: Mar 21, 2010 6:33:00 PM

    March 15, 2010

    Don't Ask, Don't Hold Your Breath

    Posted by: Chris

    Barney frank house chairman gay rights dont ask dont tell
    Stop me if you've heard this before. Once again, Democrats in Congress are blaming President Obama for putting the brakes on Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal, as if the White House introduces legislation that the House and Senate can then vote on.

    This time around, the finger-pointer is none other than Barney Frank, he that refuses to co-sponsor repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, in an interview with The Advocate's Kerry Eleveld:

    But just as the White House has pushed other legislation into the forefront only to back away and watch the congressional fireworks from afar, so it seems to be with ending the military’s gay ban. As Rep. Barney Frank told me Friday, “I’m disappointed with the administration talking about delaying legislation for a year. But I’m working with Patrick Murphy [the lead sponsor of the House repeal bill] on it and I’m hoping we can push ahead.”

    Frank has pinpointed the National Defense Authorization Act as “the only vehicle” for overturning the ban legislatively. When I noted that the White House has failed to designate the defense authorization bill over a stand-alone bill as its preferred method for repealing the policy, Frank responded, “That’s because they don’t want it done this year, not because they want it done separately.”

    Yes, it's frustrating and disappointing that the president hasn't continued to push DADT repeal as companion legislation for the just-launched Pentagon review of the gays in the military issue. And yes, that Pentagon review could have been been launched a year ago.

    But why does Barney Frank, of all people, need leadership from the White House to get the ball rolling on including DADT repeal in the Defense Authorization bill. Is this the same openly congressman who controls the fate of financial reform legislation from his post as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee?

    Barney frank finger pointing Stop pointing the finger, Barney. Tell the president his Wall Street reform goes nowhere without a full-court press from the White House for including DADT repeal in Defense Department bill. 

    Barney and Andrew Tobias and the gay Democratic elite have been telling us for years that if they controlled Congress, gay rights bills would receive a big push. When they won control in 2006, they said the big push would have to wait until a Democrat won the White House.

    Enough with the waiting, and enough with the finger-pointing. Show some leadership, Barney. It's your civil rights at issue here, not Barack Obama's. We are the ones we have been waiting for.

    Filed in: DNC , Military , Obama
    Posted on: Mar 15, 2010 3:19:03 PM

    March 14, 2010

    When comedy can't imitate life

    Posted by: Chris

    Eric massa saturday night live tickle fight
    The abrupt resignation of New York Congressman Eric Massa seemed ideal for a SNL send-up, replete with stories of naked shower chats with Rahm Emanuel, tickle fights with his all-bachelor flatmates, self-described "Caligula orgies" naval initiations, and -- of course -- the allegations of "snorkeling" his fellow sailors.

    Possibly for that very reason, or because it's more painful than humorous to watch the slow-motion trainwreck that is Massa's career and personal life, the skit that opened last night's SNL was among the least funny I can recall.

    Anyone want to wager how long it takes Republicans to capitalize on Massa's Navy hijinks as an example of why lifting the ban on service by openly gay service members can undermine unit cohesion?

    Filed in: Funny-HaHa , Military , Sex Scandals , Television
    Posted on: Mar 14, 2010 10:58:19 PM

    The week on GNW (March 8-13)

    Posted by: Chris

    Here are the five biggest stories from Gay News Watch over the last week:

    1. Gay couples begin 
to wed in Mexico CityGay couples begin to wed in Mexico City: QUICK LOOK: Five same-sex couples wed in Mexico Thursday as Mexico City became the first Latin American city to defy religious taboos and macho stereotypes by legalizing gay marriage... (MORE)
    2. Judge 
annuls Buenos Aires' first same-sex marriageJudge annuls Buenos Aires' first same-sex marriage: QUICK LOOK: A judge has annulled the marriage between two men in Buenos Aires last week, which marked the second time a gay couple in Argentina had legally tied the knot. capital,... (MORE)
    3. Same-sex wedding bells toll across Washington, D.C.Same-sex wedding bells toll across Washington, D.C.: QUICK LOOK: *VIDEO after jump*: Mayor Adrian M. Fenty congratulated three gay couples who became among the first to officially marry in the District of Columbia, in wedding ceremonies... (MORE)
    4. Sex abuse 
scandal in Germany closing in on popeSex abuse scandal in Germany closing in on pope: QUICK LOOK: A widening child sexual abuse inquiry in Europe has landed at the doorstep of Pope Benedict XVI, as a senior church official acknowledged Friday that a German archdiocese... (MORE)
    5. Meet
 the world's four newest gay rights battlegroundsMeet the world's four newest gay rights battlegrounds: QUICK LOOK: The struggle for gay rights in the United States has been going on now for decades. In other parts of the world, however, the fight is in much earlier stages. Here are... (MORE)

    And here are a few of the most popular from the last week:

    • Sandra 
Bullock includes gays in Oscar win speechSandra Bullock includes gays in Oscar win speech: QUICK LOOK: The Oscars have been called the Gay Super Bowl, but the night's only major gay highlight was an acceptance speech by best actress winner Sandra Bullock, who took home... (MORE)
    • Brazilian actor to sue for pics on 'GayTube' XXX siteBrazilian actor to sue for pics on 'GayTube' XXX site: QUICK LOOK: The family of Caio Castro, 22, says the Brazilian actor is the victom of an Internet scam that resulted in photos of him appearing on the gay porn site Gay Tube, (MORE)
    • Washington Post defends front-page gay kiss photoWashington Post defends front-page gay kiss photo: QUICK LOOK: The Washington Post stands by its decision to publish a front-page photo of a gay couple kissing that generated a high volume of complaints from readers. The newspaper... (MORE)
    • Adam 
Lambert's racy show at Sydney Gay Mardi GrasAdam Lambert gives racy show for Sydney Gay Mardi Gras: QUICK LOOK: *VIDEO after jump*: Adam Lambert had a gay ol’ time at Sydney’s legendary Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Party, Australian media have reported. San Diego’s famous glam rocker... (MORE)
    • Police officer to sue over being fired for gay porn rolePolice officer to sue for being fired over gay porn role: QUICK LOOK: When 22-year-old Michael Verdugo performed in a gay bondage flick called Rope Rituals in 1996, there was no XTube or Facebook. But when the out Hollywood, Fla., police... (MORE)


    These were the five stories on Gay News Watch with the biggest buzz over the last seven days, along with some of the most popular stories from the last week. You can also view the stories with the biggest buzz factor from the last month or year, and the most popular from the last month or year.

    Filed in: Gay News Watch
    Posted on: Mar 14, 2010 5:08:09 PM

    March 11, 2010

    A new twist on 'blame the homo'

    Posted by: Chris

    Souleymane_ndene_ndiaye prime minister homosexuality anti gay Give Senegal's Prime Minister Souleymane Ndiaye some credit. The usual pattern we see in "blame the homo" is to explain some natural disasters or social decline -- or the threatened destruction of human civilization -- by pointing the finger at the gays.

    Ndiaye turned that little tradition on its head, explaining that the worldwide financial crisis of recent years is to blame for the gays:

    Ndiaye last year called homosexuality "a sign of a crisis of values." He said it was due to the world's economic problems, and that government ministries as well as society as a whole should fight against homosexuality.

    So according to the gaynesian economic theories of the prime minister, expect homosexuality, like unemployment figures, to be a trailing indicator of the budding economic recovery.

    One final bit of irony, since practiced readers in anti-gay politicians are already expecting it: Yes, there's some tricky hypocrisy at work here. No word whether Ndiaye himself is a closet case, but the man who calls homosexuality a "crisis of values" is defending his government's attempt to bribe an IMF official and blackmail an international cellular phone company to the tune of US$200 million.

    Filed in: Ignorant Quotes
    Posted on: Mar 11, 2010 10:40:57 AM

    March 10, 2010

    Don't f**k with Miranda's marriage

    Posted by: Chris

    "We tried the carrot. Now it's time for the stick."

    That's the message from Cynthia Nixon, Miranda of "Sex and the City" fame, in a simple yet powerful new PSA for the fledgling group Fight Back NY, which exists for the sole purpose of voting out of office those state senators who voted against marriage equality a few months back.

    As the dysfunctional New York legislature was winding down for the Christmas break, hopes for same-sex marriage never seemed brighter. The state Assembly had already approved the measure and embattled Gov. David Paterson (D) was vocal in his support. The last piece of the puzzle was the Senate, where a majority or close to it had given private assurances to activists that they would supply the votes needed for passage. Instead, same-sex marriage went down to defeat by a lopsided 38-24 margin.

    With big-time political backing by Tim Gill and others, Fight Back NY was born, and convicted girlfriend abuser Hiram Montserrate (D-Queens) has been named the first target for his high-profile vote with Republicans against marriage equality.

    Cynthia Nixon asks for donations to Fight Back NY's PAC, and with a smile on her face, makes it clear that it's no more ms. nice gay for her:

    Amen, Miranda!
    Filed in: Gill , Marriage , Television
    Posted on: Mar 10, 2010 7:29:27 PM

    March 09, 2010

    A capital case for gay marriage

    Posted by: Chris

    Buenos aires gay marriage casamento gay
    Last week was one for the history books in the movement for gay civil rights worldwide. As of last week, same-sex couples are marrying in the capitals of four of the five most populous countries in the Americas, and each city offers an important lesson about what works in making progress on the mother of all items on “the gay agenda.”
    In Mexico City, Buenos Aires and, of course, Washington, D.C., gay couples are now registering or entering into civil marriage, accessing a fundamental right already enjoyed by same-sex couples in Ottawa and throughout Canada. The only country missing from the Americas’ Top 5 is Brazil, where a patchwork of common law and judicial rulings extend some legal recognition to gay relationships in the capital Brasilia, and across the country.
    The U.S. capital of Washington, D.C., grabbed most of the headlines last week, as the conservative Chief Justice John Roberts refused a last-minute attempt to block a gay marriage law adopted by the duly elected representatives of the District of Columbia. So much for the argument that “activist judges” are imposing gay marriage on their citizens; in D.C., it was gay marriage opponents who appealed to unelected judges to thwart the will of the majority.
    Primary credit for that mammoth electoral achievement goes to a grassroots effort by a group called D.C. for Marriage, who tired of the snail’s pace and incremental progress made over many years by long-time activists and pushed the envelope with local politicians who had given lip service to marriage equality but still ducked for cover whenever possible.
    If you agree with that aggressive strategy, then take a moment to check out the national org Freedom to Marry, where Michael Crawford, one of D.C. for Marriage’s founders, is now heading up online organizing.
    The other key player in the fight for marriage in our nation’s capital was David Catania, first elected as a gay Republican to a citywide seat on the D.C. Council and later quit his party when President Bush introduced a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage nationwide.
    Allies are crucial to the fight, of course, but we have seen time and again that having one of our own at the table makes all the difference. The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund has taken the leadership role in electing out LGBT politicians to office, and has consistently maintained some of the highest non-profit ratings for putting donor dollars to use in actually accomplishing that mission.
    As important symbolically as gay marriage is in Washington, D.C, the real impact is dwarfed by the availability just two days later of marriage to same-sex couples among the 20 million-plus living in Mexico City, the most populous city in either North or South America.
    As in D.C., marriage equality was achieved in Mexico’s Districto Federal by the locally elected legislature, which defied last-ditch conservative attempts to veto the new law in court. Despite dire threats about a national backlash, the center-left Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), which is a minority party at the federal level, pushed the gay marriage bill through.
    The same courage hasn’t been displayed of yet by the center-left party that in firm control of the federal government here in the land of the free and home of the brave. Despite Barack Obama’s pledge during the primaries that, unlike Hillary Clinton, he would support full and total repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, a bill to do just that has languished for months in Congress.
    Even Barney Frank, the powerful gay Democrat, is acting like he is a Democrat first and a gay man second, refusing even to co-sponsor the legislation for fear it would pressure Nancy Pelosi into actually expending some political capital on our behalf. After years of broken promises to push gay rights legislation through Congress, the Democratic Party at a minimum owes LGBT Americans the immediate repeal of the two anti-gay law signed by a Democrat, Bill Clinton: DOMA and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
    Finally, and for only the second time, a gay couple in the beautiful Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires has tied the knot, after a deadlock in rulings by local judges was broken. Now that events in D.C. and Mexico City have put the lie to that old conservative saw about “activist judges” being the target of gay marriage opposition, rather than gay folks ourselves, it’s important to redouble our efforts here in the U.S. in the courtroom.
    The most promising case is a lawsuit brought in San Francisco to challenge Proposition 8, which could lead to universal gay marriage rights throughout the country. The suit, brought by conservative legal kingpin Ted Olson and liberal David Boies, is itself a rogue effort associated with the newly founded American Foundation for Equal Rights.
    Still, the good folks at Lambda Legal continue to achieve groundbreaking results that can’t be matched by any other national gay group, to forego the black tie dinners for once and get more equality bang for your buck.
    Filed in: D.C. , Marriage
    Posted on: Mar 9, 2010 2:05:42 PM

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