Thursday, May 31, 2012

DOMA Takes a Big Hit


Today the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston declared the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, because it denies federal benefits to married homosexual couples.  All three judges held that DOMA deprives gay couples of the rights granted to straight couples.

That DOMA does exactly that may be patently obvious to you, but it takes the law a while to catch up.   This is actually the first time a federal appeals panel has decided the benefits portion of DOMA is bad, bad, bad.  The court agreed with a lower court judge who had come to the same conclusion in 2010.

The Associated Press reports this groundbreaking ruling is almost certainly headed for the U.S. Supreme Court.  Up goes the drama quotient.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Buckets of Cuteness--Not

A little boy singing in church?  Adorable.  A little boy singing in church that gays will go to hell?  Not so much.

North Carolina Apologizes to Mississippi

After North Carolinians voted for the anti-gay Amendment One, the state's governor responded, "Folks are saying what in the world is going on with North Carolina, we look like Mississippi."

That prompted Mark Washburn of The Charlotte Observer to make nice with Mississippi.  Thanks to Matt Comer for passing along this wonderful column that provides so much insight into how Southern states feel about each other.

Magnolia state: Sorry we made you feel like dogwood

On behalf of the citizens of North Carolina, I offer a humble apology to the people of Mississippi.

Our governor, Bev Perdue, did not intend to incite border passions when, in a flash of anger, she insulted your whole state and the many good people contained therein.

She was actually scolding us for passing the marriage amendment, which she opposed, when she spat out the words, “It makes us look like Mississippi.”

As you know, we look nothing like Mississippi.

Our unemployment rate is higher by nearly a point. At 57 cents a gallon, our gas tax is 20 cents higher than yours. Mississippi comes in at No. 17 on the Tax Foundation’s ranking for favorable state business taxes. We’re No. 44.

You have the river known as the Mighty Mississippi; we’ve got the Pee Dee.

What our governor meant to say was that North Carolina has long tried to be a progressive, enlightened force among our Southern neighbors, with whom we would like to dwell in perpetual harmony (except, of course, the villainous South Carolina, which keeps stealing our tire plants with tax perks and other sultry seductions, and the barbarous Georgia, which keeps pilfering movie projects from us by offering even bigger boatloads of incentives than we do).

Gov. Perdue is proud of her state (and by “proud,” we don’t mean “snobby” like Virginia). We have always made sacrifices to ensure a leading statewide educational system with respected public universities, at least until recently when support was slashed to the point that it makes us look like California.

Please understand that we are thinking hard about our image these days because of world-wide attention we’re getting for the big Democratic political thing. Of course, we know the John Edwards trial won’t last forever.

Mississippi has every right to feel indignant about slurs from elsewhere. We are sorry it was said. That’s not the way we operate here. We know better than to make fun of others when they don’t deserve it.

Anyway, please cut her a break and forgive her in your hearts. You have to remember, she’s from Raleigh.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Question of the Week

Anybody surprised to hear that Jim Parsons, who plays clueless genius Sheldon Cooper on "The Big Bang Theory," is gay?

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

From George Takei.

Guest Post: The Catholic Church Wants to Make a Man Out of You

By Ned Flaherty

The Roman Catholic Church opens its latest folly this weekend in Philadelphia:  a sports “tutorial” camp, for gay men, where they play sports until exhausted, then swear off their attractions to each other with a distracting array of prayer, confession, church-going, scripture, and hope (and hope-against-hope).
The application form confirmed my suspicions with this testimonial:  “When Father Paul Check isn’t praying with us in the chapel, he’s competing with us on the field!”
Oh, indeed he is.
A trifling $390 includes:  lodging, meals, a take-home-with-you T shirt, and a Cognac-with-cigar on Sunday.  Also included are:  “Risk!” and “Challenge!” and “Triumph!” but no explanation of how the fee might be discounted for those who just want the triumph part.
I feel straight just reading about it.
The papal premise seems to be that gay men don’t play sports, and straight men do, so if gay men pretend to be straight by playing sports with Catholic priests, and then also commit to life-long celibacy, then they can claim they’ve become straight, so long as every free minute the rest of their lives is spent in desperate hope and prayer.  It seems like it would be easier to just be a priest and skip the rugby.
Francis DeBernardo at New Ways Ministry logically wonders about future seminars:  “What’s next?  Baking Lessons For Lesbians”?

Ned Flaherty was born and bred into a Catholic household,
but the spell didn't take.  He is a Project Manager for Marriage Equality USA, and writes from Boston, Massachusetts.

A Different Perspective

From Being Liberal.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wedding Photo

From Wipeout Homophobia.  Some people, of course, still think this is absolutely wrong--that a tux and a kilt should never go together.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"Pukin' Sick," for Sure

I've been waffling all week about whether to post this rant from a North Carolina pastor, which has gone viral.  But his folksy delivery and suggestion that gays be penned up until we die make him a caricature, and that fits into my humor mandate.  Doesn't it?

A Voice in the Pseudo-Wilderness

Equality Southwest Washington shared this photo of Pastor Brooks Berndt of Vancouver 1st Congregational UCC, who led the Interfaith March for Marriage Equality in February, when clergy and people of faith walked from Vancouver to the Capitol in Olympia, a trudge of some 120 miles, to demonstrate support for marriage equality in Washington.

I don't know if this photo was taken during that march.  The road suggests yes; the lack of a coat suggests no.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Harvey Milk's Day

Harvey Milk would be 82 today.  On this day, which California officially recognizes as "Harvey Milk Day," the slain gay rights leader is getting a couple of birthday presents from cities in the Golden State.

There's a groundbreaking ceremony in Long Beach for Harvey Milk Promenade Park.  In San Diego, local dignitaries will unveil Harvey Milk Street.

From now on it's a good thing when people walk all over Harvey Milk.


This Week's Quote

The NAACP Constitution affirmatively states our objective to ensure the “political, educational, social and economic equality” of all people. Therefore, the NAACP has opposed and will continue to oppose any national, state, local policy or legislative initiative that seeks to codify discrimination or hatred into the law or to remove the Constitutional rights of LGBT citizens. We support marriage equality consistent with equal protection under the law provided under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.  Further, we strongly affirm the religious freedoms of all people as protected by the First Amendment.

Resolution passed by the NAACP


Monday, May 21, 2012

Mainstreamed in the Press

Being the old-fashioned type, I have a newspaper delivered to my door every morning.

Being part of modern American society, I rarely have time to read it.

But this week I managed to scan a couple of issues, and there in my old-fashioned newspaper were distinctly modern morsels.  These items treated gays not as criminals or political footballs, but as members of society.

Somewhere William Randolph Hearst is asking, "What fun is that?"

Monday's local section of The Seattle Times included the headline "Being Themselves at the 'Pink Prom,'" and two photos from the weekend event.

The top picture's extended caption began, "'Vnitii Fair,' or Barry Caadan, 22, of Seattle, helps put a necklace on 'Isis,' or Zac Burr, 19, of Marysville."

Marysville is about 30 miles north of Seattle.  I'm guessing the phone lines in that small city are still burning.

After explaining the prom is for "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth," the caption noted how long the two have been doing drag, and that Burr performed in a show for the first time that morning.

"I like making new friends, and I love feeling beautiful," Burr said.

Perhaps in the period since these pictures ran a fence has gone up around Marysville to keep Burr in.  Or out.

A newspaper is supposed to inform, and The Seattle Times did its job in sending a photographer to the event, running the pictures and explaining to the clue-free—that would be most people, no matter how liberal Seattle is—the appeal of a pink prom and drag.

Some of us might quibble that only female pronouns should've been applied to the drag queens in the caption.  Maybe, but not long ago we'd have counted ourselves lucky that the newspaper didn't use "it."

In Thursday's paper I spotted a double helping of respect.  The lead story in the sports section was a preview of the Seattle Storm, as the women's hoop team starts the WNBA season.  The Times included factoids about each player, and the info on new Belgian center Ann Wauters amounted to a lesbian full-court press.

Wauters "enjoyed being pregnant simultaneously with her partner, giving birth to her son, Vince, on June 1, 2011.  Legally married in Belgium, her wife's daughter, Lou, was born May 12, 2011."

Wonderful.  Honest.  But to a homophobe, that description is one very offensive foul.  Such a person wishes for safer offerings from a newspaper, like, "Wauters enjoys watching soccer and her favorite food is Fruity Pebbles."

If that person threw down the sports section in disgust and headed for the fun parts of the paper in search of relief, he got another jolt.  Next to the comics and under the horoscopes, the advice columnist answered a question from two lesbian mothers.

Between that and the sports blurb, my horoscope should've said, "Observe how things tilt to your advantage today.  Avoid beets."

The woman who wrote to "Ask Amy" said she and her partner have two young daughters.  Her partner talks often about losing weight and diets, while she doesn't.  "Body image has been such a painful issue for both of us.  I don't want to pass that on to our daughters in this already diet/body image-obsessed world," she wrote.

Amy dispensed respectful advice to the parents that they should get in sync, see a nutritionist, involve the kids in food prep, never criticize anyone's body in front of the children and perform other miracles.

It was the same advice she'd have given straight parents.  Unlike the pink-prom photos or the Storm blurb, this advice column is syndicated, so LGBTQ people around the country read it that day and saw true equality—the chance to be screwed up on an equal basis.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I might be willing to watch women's hockey.  From George Murphy.

Question of the Week

In memory of Donna Summer, the queen of disco and gay icon, tell us which of her songs is your fave.

Just a Thought

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

This Week's Quote

Lois:  We had one date.  Pizza and sex on her fold-out couch.
Miko:  How was it?
Lois:  Well, I coulda done without the anchovies, but she ordered before I got there.

Alison Bechdel

Source:  The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For

A Tried and True Tradition

Is That All?

Monday, May 14, 2012

A "Bold" Coming Out

I don't know one soap opera from another.  It's all Days of Our General Hospital's Guiding Light to me.

But here's a reason to pay attention.  Joanna Johnson, a star of "The Bold and the Beautiful," has come out.  According to SheWired, that makes Johnson the only out star of the daytime soaps.

Hard to believe she's the only one.  I'd hazard a guess that assorted gay males are making a nice living on daytime TV.  One, say, might be playing a cop who's been in six comas.

"Daytime is a whole different world than primetime or theater or film,” said Johnson.  “There's a greater intimacy between the viewers and the characters. They think you are your character. And that creates a lot of fear. Fear of rejection. I was so worried I wouldn't be employable as an actress if people knew I was a lesbian. Or that I wouldn't be believable in romance stories. I had to deal with a lot of self-loathing.”

Johnson, who has been on "Bold" since 1987, is embarking on a queer storyline.  She'll be married to another woman.  Or her identical twin will be married to another woman . . . I don't know.

In actuality, Johnson is married to an actress and has two children.  She's hung out with Melissa Etheridge and Ellen DeGeneres, noting, “I'm not anywhere near as famous as those ladies, but I guess it's my turn to do my little part. It's time to live a fully authentic life."

Being fully authentic in her real life is a nice counterpoint to the job of soap star.  At home, she's a lesbian mom.  At work, she might be a long-lost heiress with leprosy.

The Obama Legacy


Friday, May 11, 2012

Damn Fine Reasons

Thanks to Seanna J. for passing this along.

The Nerve of Us

From Being Liberal.

Bad Blood in the South

North Carolina's governor, Beverly Perdue, today told a local television station that Tuesday's passage of Amendment One was bad for the state.

"People around the country are watching us, and they're really confused, to have been such a progressive, forward-thinking, economically driven state that invested in education and that stood up for the civil rights of people including the civil rights marches back in the '50s and '60s and '70s.  Folks are saying what in the world is going on with North Carolina, we look like Mississippi."

To which Mississippi replied, "Those are fighting words.  North Carolina can only dream of being as backward as we are."

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Question of the Week

Do you think Obama's whopper of an announcement yesterday will help or hurt his re-election chances?

Limbaugh Laugher

From George Takei.

Keep 'Em Apart

From Political Loudmouth.  I don't know where this was taken, but after Tuesday's vote I can safely say this is a message North Carolina has declined to absorb.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Evolution Complete

Stop the presses.  And everything else, for that matter.  President Obama has come out in support of same-sex marriage.  Holy cow.

North Carolina Vocalizes

North Carolina voters have spoken, and they should have their mouths washed out with soap for what they said.

The message that their gay neighbors are second-class came across loud and clear.  I heard it here in Seattle.  My partner, a native North Carolinian, doesn't know whether to be more upset by the passage of Amendment One or the news that members of the North Carolina men's hoop team enrolled in academically laughable classes.  You can take the girl out of Carolina . . .

North Carolina now joins the other southern states in adding a no-gay-marriage amendment to its constitution.  This brings a whole new meaning to the term Solid South.

North Carolinians think of their state as progressive, but that's compared to the rest of the South, said Andrew Taylor, a political scientist at N.C. State, to The News & Observer.  "This is a socially conservative state," he said.

And how.  After it became clear the amendment would pass, Tami Fitzgerald, the Vote for Marriage chairwoman, took to the stage and announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, through God's great mercy we have won an overwhelming victory tonight."

She said, "As you all know, marriage was not invented by government. Our creator established it as the union of a man and a woman in an exclusive lifelong covenant and it has merely been recognized by government as the key to a strong and flourishing society.”

Government by God.  Or the way some choose to interpret God.  Oh, goodie.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

This Week's Quote

Maurice Sendak died today.  In honor of the gay author and illustrator of "Where the Wild Things Are," two memorable quotes:

*Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.

*I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can't stop them. They leave me and I love them more.


Singing Out Against Amendment One

No humor involved here, but I was moved by this group of Piedmont musicians singing their message to fellow North Carolinians, so I'm sharing this video on the day the Tar Heel State votes on whether to add discrimination to the state constitution.  Sigh.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Emotions After a Lesbian Court Battle

News item:  When two Canadian lesbians broke up in 2006 they divided all their assets, but forgot about the 13 tubes of sperm they had stored in a sperm bank.  Later one of the women re-partnered and asked to use the leftover sperm, but her ex wanted it destroyed.

The first woman went to court to fight for sperm ownership, and recently a judge ruled the women should divide the sperm, just as they had everything else.

Let's listen in as two figures directly involved in the case react to the decision.

Ernie:  Finally.

Harold:  Yes, all this waiting around was getting me down.  I think I was even losing my will to swim.

Ernie:  Don't worry, boy.  Soon as they unfreeze us, you'll be off like a shot.

Harold:  I do hope so.  I hope my tail feathers remember which way to go.

Ernie:  They will, but I gotta tell you, once we're let loose, it's every gamete for himself.  I'm on a mission.

Harold:  Roger that, Rambo.  Isn't it amazing, Ernie, the path we've traveled?  Why, we were brought into this world during the last millennium!

Ernie:  By a guy with a dirty magazine.

Harold:  Oh, I don't like to think of it that way.  A nice, sterile environment.  A good cause.

Ernie:  A decent check for him.

Harold:  Well, it beat landing on his sheets.  Death by Clorox.

Ernie:  Yeah.

Harold:  We were transported in regal style, moved from the U.S. to Canada.  We're world travelers, Ernie!

Ernie:  I suppose.

Harold:  Set up in lovely Vancouver.  Then the moment of truth.  Our brethren got one of those women pregnant.  Two years later, her partner was pregnant, too.  We're small, but mighty.  And then . . .

Ernie:  . . . they forgot us.  That's gratitude for you.  Left us here to freeze our flagella off.

Harold:  It is kind of hard to figure out how they forgot about 13 tubes of us.  But the whole drama brought us before—metaphorically speaking—a British Columbia Supreme Court justice, so I feel pretty special.

Ernie:  You won't feel special if we wind up with the gal who wants to flush us down the john.

Harold:  I choose to believe we're going with the other woman, the one who wants to get pregnant again.  And for her I promise to swim like Mark Spitz.

Ernie:  She sure as heck went through a lot to get us back.  You know why, don't you?

Harold:  Because we make children who are smart, beautiful and not allergic to peanuts?

Ernie:  Because she wants the biological connection to her other child, and our guy isn't making any more donations.

Harold:  He's retired?

Ernie:  If I know him, his hand won't stop till his heart does, but he's not doing it for pay anymore.

Harold:  Wow.  We really are special.  The last in a glorious line.  At the very least, a fertile one.

Ernie:  Some people, you know, say the judge is whacky to think of us as property and divide us.  They say there's a moral issue.  I say I don't freaking care.  Just get me out of this sperm bank!  Get me unfrozen!  I have places to go and people to impregnate!

Harold:  Right, Ernie!  Absolutely!  Get us out of this vial and into a turkey baster like nature intended!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Grenell Jumps Ship

Well THAT didn't last long.

It’s not that Richard Grenell suddenly realized he was working for the wrong side.  If only.  No, what Grenell realized is that some conservatives couldn't see him as anything more than a walking, talking affront.  The homo in their midst.

"My ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues has been greatly diminished by the hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes comes from a presidential campaign," Grenell said in a statement.  "I want to thank Governor Romney for his belief in me and my abilities and his clear message to me that being openly gay was a non-issue for him and his team."

The Advocate noted how virulently social conservatives reacted to Grenell's hiring.  Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association tweeted that Romney was telling the allegedly pro-family activists to "drop dead."

Again, if only.

In the National Review, Matthew J. Franck wrote, "Suppose Barack Obama comes out—as Grenell wishes he would—in favor of same-sex marriage in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.  How fast and how publicly will Richard Grenell decamp from Romney to Obama?"

All together now:  If only.  These folks don't get that gay conservative politicos like Grenell are Republicans first, gays second.  Of course, a lot of us don't get it either.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

This Week's Quote

If sex is such a natural phenomenon, how come there are so many books on how to?

Bette Midler

Source:  Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle

With Style to Spare

 Even my spelling doesn't fit in.