"I'm not the kind of person to do that kind of thing in public," says Jonathan Williams, one of two men on a first date asked to leave the John Snow pub for "obscene" behavior on Wednesday. [more inside]
Yesterday, US President Obama signed a $680bn military policy bill, which cuts military spending, including $2bn in funding for new F-22 fighter jets. However, the bill also contained the first major piece of federal gay rights legislation, and fulfilled an Obama campaign promise: acts of violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have now been added to the list of federal hate crimes.
NewsFilter: The California Supreme Court has just overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriages. Read the decision.
In 1968, Mattachine Society of Washington co-founder Frank Kameny declared "Gay is Good"; in 1971 he became the first openly gay candidate for the US Congress. But if you're running for president today, while you know gays contribute money and definitely vote, Kameny's or any "gay support could cost candidates":
Quinnipiac University polls of voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania -- the big three Electoral College swing states -- found voters by large margins more likely to see the endorsement of a gay rights group as a reason to vote against, rather than for, a candidate.So is the Democratic Party's apparent embrace of gays, as evidenced by tonight's "gay debate," a good idea? Or would greater distance between gays and the Democratic Party help both groups achieve their goals?
Second thoughts on gays in the military by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Shalikashvili. (NYT link; do the Bugmenot thing if you need a username and password.) M/I
Newsfilter: More than 100 arrests at Moscow gay protest. Upon others, German MP Volker Beck, Oscar Wilde's grandson and Paris mayor's representatives were injured by a mob of fashist thugs and christian-orthodox fundamentalists at Moscow's first gay pride march, and then arrested by the police. In fraternal unity the violence was called upon by the orthodox church, Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov, the grand mufti of Russia’s Muslims, and Russia’s chief rabbi. Read this article by Peter Thatchell on UK Gay News for a first hand account of the events, and for background information Doug Irland's blog and Scott Long's Moscow diary, published by the Washington Blade.
NewsFilter: Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the chapel, teh gay menace strikes again. The GOP-dominated Senate Judiciary Committee backs the Constitutional amendment to prohibit states from recognizing same-sex marriages. In a fractious hearing, Republican chairman Arlen Specter shouted "Good riddance!" when Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) walked out. Laura Bush recently advised her party's candidates not to campaign on this issue and to handle it with "great sensitivity." Maybe next time.
Are you a Republican candidate for Senate facing a tough election and having trouble getting endorsements from your own party? It's time to take in an all-American baseball game with the Commander-in-Chief, target teh gay menace, and amend the US Constitution so American voters don't have to see any more of this over their morning corn flakes. "I think this will save him," Burress said of DeWine. "I think this move right here, regardless of the reason, will send him back to Washington." Of course, it's not just a GOP thing.
He's young, telegenic, bilingual, a Harvard grad... and now André Boisclair, the youngest person ever elected to a seat in Quebec's National Assembly, is the new leader of the Parti Quebecois, the nationalist -- as in Quebec nationalist -- left-leaning party founded to take Canada's mostly french-speaking province out of the federation. Oh, and he's gay. And an admitted (former) cocaine user (although that might be a good thing.) Oh, and, according to the polls, the next Premier Ministre of Quebec.