Sonoma County CA separates elderly gay couple and sells all of their worldly possessions.
Three months after he was hospitalized, Harold died in the nursing home. Because of the county's actions, Clay missed the final months he should have had with his partner of 20 years. Compounding this tragedy, Clay has literally nothing left of the home he had shared with Harold or the life he was living up until the day that Harold fell, because he has been unable to recover any of his property. [more inside]
is a 2009 documentary about the Lady Lions,
the Penn State women's basketball program, under Rene Portland. [more inside]
A white kid adopted by a Japanese-American couple, he grew up hearing stories of his grandmother raising his dad in an internment camp
while his grandfather fought in Italy, and didn't eat a baked potato
until he was eight. He went to UC Berkeley. He's vocal
in his support for marriage equality
. Scott Fujita is a linebacker for the New Orleans Saints
An official military investigation into abandoning Don't Ask Don't Tell
will begin today, lead by Defense Secretary Robert Gates
. [more inside]
In Illinois, a political ad is airing on the radio. In it, former
Republican Party candidate Andy Martin
says current Illinois congressman Mark Kirk
is a homosexual
. Another ad claims Kirk is a "de facto pedophile
." Jack Roeser
, an Illinois businessman, is quoted in one ad as saying there is a "solid rumor" regarding Mark's sexuality. What says Roeser about Martin? "I have nothing to do with that SOB."
In a first for Latin America, Mexico City's legislature voted to legalize gay marriage
Monday night, changing "the city's civil code definition of marriage from the union of a man and a woman to the 'free uniting of two people.'" [more inside]
A treasure trove of gay and lesbian documentaries to watch online. Our course begins with a brief overview
. (9m05s) [more inside]
The Australian Capital Territory
, the home of the Australian capital of Canberra
, has passed a bill allowing same-sex civil unions
. As marriage is a federal matter in Australia, this is the highest recognition of same sex unions that is constitutionally allowed in a state or territory of Australia. However, it does give political momentum to the movement looking towards the repeal of the "one man and one woman" Marriage Amendment Act of 2004.
In September of 2004, a Superior Court in Washington state ruled the state's 1998 "Defense of Marriage" act unconstitutional
, a ruling which would have allowed the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In 2006, the state Supreme Court issued in an opinion in Andersen v. King County
overturning the lower court's ruling, noting "that our decision [pdf]
is not based on an independent
determination of what we believe the law should be." The legislature, in response, created the state-registered domestic partnership
in 2007, expanding many (but not all) marriage-related rights to same-sex couples. Last month, a new law expanded the partnership
to cover the remaining rights, creating an "all-but-marriage" partnership.
This year, the Washington Values Alliance has filed Referendum 71
, which would put this expansion to a ballot vote. The referendum will need 120,000 signatures to make it to the ballot. WhoSigned.org intends to make these signatures searchable
, this is creating some controversy
. [more inside]
Colm Tóibín reviews Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love by Sheila Rowbotham
a fine essay and good introduction to the life
, thought and work
of "the poet, socialist, free-thinker and sexual rebel" of high Victorian England, Edward Carpenter.
Alone among major Western nations, the United States refused to sign a United Nations declaration
calling for worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality. The U.S. was joined by China, Russia, the Roman Catholic Church,
and members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in rejecting the declaration. In 2004, the Vatican and Islamic Conference had lobbied vehemently and successfully
to prevent the U.N. Human Rights Commission from outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation. [more inside]
Thirty years ago yesterday (November 27, 1978) San Francisco Board of Supervisor Harvey Milk
and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated
by Dan White
, another city supervisor. Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the U.S. Prior to his death he championed a movement against a California proposition (Proposition 6, dubbed the Briggs Initiative
) which sought to ban gays and lesbians, and anyone who supported gay rights, from working in California's public schools. In the midst of a national right-wing, conservative, religious movement heralded by folks like Anita Bryant
the proposition was soundly defeated. Fast forward to today. A new film "Milk
] (starring Sean Penn in the title role) is garnering critical acclaim
and is relevant to current events. "Harvey came up against a lot of obstacles, which I think is the case for any gay man now," says Brolin, who plays Dan White [in the film]. "The irony is that Prop 8 is now what Prop 6 was then
Duanna Johnson broke the news in June when vidotape of her (alleged) beating by Memphis police was leaked
(youtube). According to Johnson, the provocation for the (alleged) assault was asking to be called by name rather than as "faggot" or "he/she." Involved in a lawsuit against the Memphis Police Department, she was murdered on Sunday
. Answering a call for donations for funeral expenses, the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition raised $5,300
in four hours. There are nagging questions about the circumstances of the case
and the level of coverage
this case has received in comparison to Prop. 8 protests. (More coverage: bilerico
, the HRC
, questioning transphobia
Proposition 8. Saddened? Curious? Outraged? Happy? Dont Care?
On Saturday, November 15 in every state across America and even in cities worldwide there will be a day of action
. The response has been so overwhelming the website organizers needed to open up a sister website to handle to traffic overload. In many cases, police are being updated
repeatedly by event coordinators with exponential expectations for attendees. [more inside]
"We should have got nasty a long time ago,".
So the mormon church has decided to get itself involved with the politics in California? Some California residents have decided to attempt to have the church's tax exempt status revoked
while others are taking the fight more directly to the church
. Some have called for a boycott of Utah
while possibly the only mormon in Utah who doesn't give a crap about gay marriage has written a very insightful piece
The Massachusetts House of Representatives voted to repeal a ban on out of state marriages that has been on the books since 1913. The up-shot? Out of state gay and lesbian couples may soon wed in Massachusetts
. The vote goes next to governor Deval Patrick, who has already indicate that he is in favor of repealing the law. [more inside]
Orson Scott Card
on gay marriage
, which he says "marks the end of democracy in America". Not everyone is too happy about that
, a Christian
registrar, has won her discrimination case
after refusing to conduct same sex civil partnerships
. " Islington Council cared too much
about the "rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual" community, the panel ruled. "
From unprecedented chart-topping
, to crossover appeal
, to the bizarre image change
and retirement from music, he was truly country's Michael Jackson. While many of us may not have cared for his music or paid much attention to his core audience, those of us who were inspired despite ourselves by the (previously posted) Will.i.am
video might just find something in the surprisingly liberal prince of the red states. [more inside]
They Won’t Know What Hit Them.
How a network of gay political donors is stealthily fighting sexual discrimination and reshaping American politics.
Is Your Baby Gay?
Southern Baptist theologian Albert Mohler has come out to support stem cell research: If a biological basis [for homosexuality] is found, and if a prenatal test is then developed, and if a successful treatment to reverse the sexual orientation to heterosexual is ever developed, we would support its use as we should unapologetically support the use of any appropriate means to avoid sexual temptation and the inevitable effects of sin.
Following the Money "Millions of dollars contributed by a handful of donors have allowed a small network of theologically conservative individuals and organizations to mount a global campaign that has destabilized the Episcopal Church and may break up the Anglican Communion."
Yesterday, in anticipation of the upcoming General Convention
, the Diocese of Washington released a report on the influence people like Howard Ahmanson Jr
and other wealthy conservatives have had on the Episcopal Church, especially in regards to the church's positions on gays and lesbians
The Ninth Circuit
as a hotbed
liberal judicial activism, but defended
by others PDF
) issued its opinion in the case
of Harper v. Poway Unified School District
last week. Judge Stephen Reinhardt - who, to some people, embodies
the alleged evils
of the Ninth Circuit - issued the majority opinion
, and Judge Alex Kozinski filed a strong dissent
. The majority opinion held that a high school
principal who ordered a student to remove his T-shirt that said "Homosexuality is Shameful" did
not violate the student's First Amendment rights, reasoning that "limitations on speech" are
permissible in cases where speech is "derogatory and injurious remarks directed at students'
minority status such as race religion and sexual orientation," and the limitation is "narrow, and
applied with sensitivity and for reasons that are consistent with the fundamental First Amendment
mandate." [more inside]
The Solomon Amendment is constitutional.
The 8-0 holding in Rumsfeld v. FAIR
(PDF), contrary to much of the media coverage, does not force law schools to allow the military to recruit, it merely ensures that they will not receive federal funds if they do not (text of the U.S. Code
affected by the Solomon Amendment). A distinction without a difference? The ACLU is not happy
with the outcome; "Protest & Amelioration"
have been demanded. More inside.
Custody After Civil Union Pits States Against Judges
(NYT) - This may be the most signficant custody battle
to ensue following the collapse of a Civil Union. Are there any laws in place to allow the non-biological mother visitation rights over the three year old child born during this union? Vermont says yes
, Virginia says no. Final verdict? Jury's still out, this one may go all the way to the Supreme Court.
"A Souter in Roberts clothing"
was the accusation made by Ann Coulter
in one of her recent screeds. Maybe so. In 1995, Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr.
worked behind the scenes for gay rights activists.
His legal expertise helped them
persuade the Supreme Court to issue a landmark 1996 ruling
protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation. A ruling Lamda
called the "single most important positive ruling in the history of the gay rights movement." In the blistering dissent, Scalia, joined by Rehnquist and Thomas, said "Coloradans are entitled to be hostile toward homosexual conduct." Thanks to John G. Roberts, the U.S. Supreme court decided that no, Coloradans are not so entitled. The National Legal Foundation (supporting the Biblical foundations of America's Laws) called it "the worst decision in the history of the court.
" Will Robert's nomination now be opposed by the Christian Right
? In any case, watching the GOP cat fight
will be fun!
So that's what "Organ Donor" means on my driver's license -
Gay tourists are hereby warned to butch it up at Italian car rental offices. [via mofi]
Ford Motor Company
is under attack
by the American Family Association
for supporting gay rights, or as the AFA calls it, "affirm and promote the homosexual lifestyle".
Other targets of the AFA include Carls Jr.
, Kraft Foods
, Mary Kay Cosmetics
, Old Navy
, and NutriSystem Inc.
Previous targets include Walt Disney Co.
, and Microsoft
The Thirty Years War: A timeline of the anti-gay movement.
From "Holy War
," the latest Intelligence Report to come out of the very
lefty Southern Poverty Law Center
. Includes an interview with former Falwell speechwriter Mel White
, a look at 12 major groups in the "Mighty Army
" and a slideshow of fascinating quotes
from famous figures
. [Previous Intelligence Reports: Easy Prey, Age of Rage.]
April 14, 2005: The Day of Truth.
On April 13th thousands of students will don black-and-red t-shirts and remain quiet for the ninth Day of Silence
in order to "recognize and protest the discrimination and harassment--in effect, the silencing--experienced by LGBT students and their allies." But this year the Alliance Defense Fund
, "a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth [yes, "Truth" is capitalized] through strategy, training, funding, and litigation," plans to add a twist to the occasion by following up with its so called Day of Truth in order to protest the homosexual agenda
and promote their interpretation of Christianity. Though in their "Hostile Questions"
section they claim they're not Day of Silence copycats, in addition to the silent treatment like their DoS foes students who register will receive t-shirts and explanation cards to distribute to inquiring minds, albeit with a slightly altered message.
But will it draw participants? Well, Clint Armstrong can't wait--he staged a protest of his own last year.
The Washington Post decided to publish this advertising insert.
Basically, it is political propoganda aimed at blacks speaking against gay rights. The problem is that it is filled with so much questionable information, and is so obviously intended to inflame one minority group towards another, that I seriously question The Washington Post's judgment in publishing it. It tries to destroy comparisons with the black civil rights movement by claiming homosexuality can't be genetic since they don't reproduce and conveniently ignores events like the Stonewall riots
. Will we see advertising supplements from holocaust deniers next?
"The sissy institution of marriage must not be perverted by sinners
who are capable of abstaining! The sacred union of church and state
must prohibit the immoral union of men and women capable of the discipline of sexual abstinence." This message, among others, was placed in the Oregon voters' guide
by the Special Righteousness Committee.
(A little more explanation here
During a question-and-answer period, someone says they'd once heard Johnston call for the execution of gays and lesbians. He vigorously denies the charge. Later, he tells me that the decision to put gays to death is a matter best left up to the states.
Ohio's precedent-shattering new ballot initiative and the people behind it.
(Salon, ad req'd.)
Today is National Coming Out Day
which aims to raise awareness of the kinda screwed up laws we have about having The Gay™ in America. Did you know that in 36 out of our 50 states, if you tell your boss you're gay and you get fired over it, it's totally legal
? One person has proposed that this day also be Gay for Pay Day
, to protest the payment of income taxes to a government that doesn't protect their right to be and is actively trying to forbid their own marriages.
Redefining Rights in America: The Civil Rights Record of the George W. Bush Administration, 2001–2004
-- This very thorough report
(PDF) finds that President Bush has neither exhibited leadership on pressing civil rights issues, nor taken actions that matched his words.
The US Commission on Civil Rights presents something for everyone, from Gay and Lesbian Rights on page 129 to Voting Rights and the 2000 Election on page 40, to Faith-Based Funding on page 157...from page 9: In fact, the faith-based initiative’s only civil rights significance may be that it actually allows employment discrimination. ... this initiative reflects the President’s desire to recast civil rights in a manner that suits his narrow agenda and, as such, has been highly controversial.
has had gay marriage
for years, and surprise surprise, the institution has not collapsed. It's amazing how rarely Americans take advantage of these sorts of international comparisons...
The 'nightmare' fall of Svend Robinson:
Canada's first openly gay MP threw his career into doubt yesterday with a shocking revelation that he had stolen a piece of jewellery last weekend.
Where Having Sex is a Crime: Criminalization and Decriminalization of Homosexual Acts.
As Western countries ponder the legalization of gay marriage, it's well worth keeping in mind that queer men and women are living in the dark ages elsewhere. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
tries to keep track of progressive and regressive steps, and advocate for liberty. It's a tough job
Gay Princes defeat NC Parents.
Parents object to library book about two gay princes, concerned because being gay "is not part of their beliefs." Presumably books which discuss other things not part of their beliefs could also be an issue. Is this a basic confusion about the purpose of a library, or is any temptation just too much temptation?