Friday, June 29, 2012

The End of the Road

Fred Karger, openly gay candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, officially ended his campaign today.

Mitt Romney is breathing easier.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Throwing Stones for God

The fifth annual Pride Parade in Sofia, Bulgaria, is scheduled for this Saturday.  Earlier this month, Father Evgeni Yanakiev of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church told a newspaper that throwing stones at the Pride marchers was an “appropriate” method of displaying opposition.

It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy when spiritual leaders call for violence.

The orthodox priest didn’t recant later on a TV show, but he said he personally wouldn’t be hurling any stones.

Of course not.  Why bother when you can incite others to do it?  Saves wear and tear on the arm.  Not to mention the conscience.

Yankkiev added that homosexuality is a “contagious psychological condition” that leads to pedophilia.

All the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church has done is release a statement saying it’s “categorically opposed to the organization of such an immoral manifestation.”  So Pride in Bulgaria’s capital city could result in capital crimes, tacitly endorsed by the church.

I wouldn’t blame anyone for hiding their rainbow under a bushel. 

On God and Gays, and Dumbledore

Comedian Ted Alexandro has been quoted a lot lately on pro-gay sites.  Here's why.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Typo for Equality

Equal Rights Washington posted this on Facebook:  "At Seattle Pride, Washington United for Marriage rolled out wonderful merchandise including shits, tank tops, bags with the Washington United logo and the Approve 74 message."
I'm empathetic regarding the typo--we've all done it.
I should mention I bought one of those shits.

Two Different Opinions

This Week's Quote

I know there are nights when I have power, when I could put on something and walk in somewhere, and if there is a man who doesn't look at me, it's because he's gay.

Kathleen Turner

Source:  An Uncommon Scold

Friday, June 22, 2012

Only if You're Lucky

From LGBT Equality World-Wide

One Less Enemy

David Blankenhorn has changed his mind.  In 2010 Blankenhorn testified against same-sex marriage during the Proposition 8 trial.  Today, in a piece in The New York Times, he wrote, "But as a marriage advocate, the time has come for me to accept gay marriage and emphasize the good that it can do."  

Some of what he wrote in the op-ed may still irk you, but the bottom line is one of our most esteemed opponents has switched sides.  I don't know if he, too, has evolved, or is just jumping on the bandwagon, but either way, it's a gloomy day at NOM headquarters.

Marching in Utero

Three years ago, this is how my friend Rebecca adorned herself for the Seattle Dyke March.  Tomorrow her twins will again attend the march.  Rebecca mused on Facebook, "I wonder how many years I have left before they protest me bringing them to my protest?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Keeping it Civil in Washington

Here in Washington, we achieved marriage equality.  For five minutes.  Opponents put the new law on hold by gathering enough signatures to get a referendum on the ballot to kill the law.  David Ward, legal and legislative counsel for Legal Voice, the group fighting for women's rights in this neck of the woods, penned the following for Legal Voice's blog about the battle ahead.


    Can We Really Have a Civil Debate on Marriage Equality?


Last week, I was in Olympia to watch opponents of Washington’s marriage equality law turn in petitions to put Referendum 74 on the ballot. In case you haven’t heard, this means voters will have to approve Referendum 74 in the November election to keep the marriage equality law for lesbian and gay couples that Governor Gregoire signed earlier this year.

The group that collected signatures to put marriage equality to a public vote is called Preserve Marriage Washington (“PMW”). At a press conference, PMW’s spokesperson called for a “civil debate” on Referendum 74.

My initial reaction was that calling for a “civil debate” was bit of a throwaway line; it’s not like most people support having an “uncivil” debate. But it did make me think about what it would really mean to have a civil debate on marriage equality.

If it means not shouting at each other, I’m fine with that – although as Dan Savage has pointed out, it’s not surprising that LGBT folks get a little “shouty” when our rights and our families are at stake. Especially when our opponents include the infamous Westboro Baptist Church,which was also in Olympia last week to spread their message of anti-gay hate.

If it means being polite to each other, I agree with that too. We managed to do that last week when marriage equality supporters and PMW representatives sat together for hours in the same room watching the Secretary of State’s office conduct the extremely tedious task of counting the R-74 petition sheets. We made polite chit-chat without any incident (although I was a little surprised by the response I got when I asked one of the PMW folks where she lived; she responded by telling me that her son is a police officer. In the interest of civility, I assume she meant that as a joke).

But having a “civil debate” on marriage equality should mean more than just minding our manners. When people vote on Referendum 74, they will literally be voting on how lesbian and gay people are allowed to live our lives, form our families, and protect our most important relationships. They will also be voting on whether to keep a marriage equality law that our elected representatives adopted by a bipartisan vote after extensive legislative debate. That should put this debate on a higher plane than most ballot measures, and should demand a higher standard of debate.

So here are some ideas about what I think a “civil debate” on marriage equality should look like:
  • Let’s be clear that this civil debate concerns civil marriage. We’re talking about whether the state may issue marriage licenses to committed lesbian and gay couples. It’s not about religious marriage; no church or religious organization will be required to perform marriage ceremonies or to accommodate marriage celebrations for same-sex couples.
  • Let’s keep in mind that thousands of children in Washington have lesbian and gay parents. There are also thousands of LGBT youth in our state. As a group, LGBT adults are pretty tough; most of us have dealt with anti-gay bullying, harassment, and discrimination at some point in our lives. But I hope my new friends at PMW will be mindful of our kids and LGBT youth during this debate – and how they will be hurt by ads suggesting that LGBT families or youth deserve less respect or protection than others.
  • Let’s focus on whether allowing civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples will actually harm anyone in Washington state. We’re not operating in a vacuum here. Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Iowa, and the District of Columbia have already extended the freedom to marry to lesbian and gay couples. Is there even one heterosexual couple in any of those states who can honestly say their marriage has been harmed as a results?
Normally, I’d be skeptical that we can have this kind of debate. But if I can chat politely for hours with the people who are working to take away my freedom to marry the person I love, maybe anything is possible.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ooh, Ouch

Recruiting at West Hollywood Pride

Thaddeus Thacker wants you to be an ex-gay . . . sort of.

This Week's Quote

A poet can survive everything but a misprint.

Oscar Wilde

Source:  The Quotable Intellectual

An Abomination

Monday, June 18, 2012

Puzzling Out the Phelpsians

Some people argue that the best way to handle the ever-present, ever-protesting members of the Westboro Baptist Church is to ignore them.

That sounds sensible.  I just can’t do it.

The truth is I find Fred Phelps and his congregation fascinating.  I get that they’re among the world’s biggest media whores—they could even give Donald Trump pointers—and will push any boundary for attention.  Yet they still manage to surprise me.

Like just recently, when they journeyed to North Carolina.  Since Westboro’s religious creed is God Hates Fags, and since North Carolina passed the anti-gay Amendment One, a person might assume the Phelpsians visited the Tar Heel State simply to sniff the heady air of bigotry victorious.

That’s not the Westboro way.  North Carolinians don’t want gays to marry; Westboro members don’t want gays to live.

So they went to North Carolina to do what they always do, stage a protest.  Their target was obvious, a man famous for supporting gay rights, a man who practically bleeds rainbow colors.

Billy Graham.

See, fascinating.

The elder statesman of Christian evangelism a friend of gays?  Right.  And Billy’s son and heir Franklin is a part-time imam.

While Graham has taken fewer political stances in his career than, say, Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson, he jumped into the Amendment One battle.

"At 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage," Graham wrote in an ad that ran in newspapers around North Carolina. "The Bible is clear—God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote FOR the marriage amendment on Tuesday, May 8."

Yup, he’s on our side, all right.   Downright ready to head up a PFLAG chapter.

So why, if Westboro and Graham are anti-gay bedfellows, did the Phelpsians protest Graham?  Because the reverend isn’t anti-gay enough.  Westboro has high standards.

About a dozen church members picketed the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte and other Graham-centric locations.  On Westboro’s website, according to WBTV, the church said Graham should use his influence to tell the world “it’s not okay to be a fag, it’s not okay to divorce and remarry, it’s not okay to fornicate, it’s not okay to kill your babies.”

The man is 93.  How can he be expected to remember all that?

Protester Paulette Phelps told the Asheville Citizen-Times that Graham cares more for money and power than preaching God’s truth.  “The true Gospel says if you don’t obey, you’re going to perish.  There are consequences for not obeying.  Homosexuality is all bad, all day.”

She makes it sound like a radio format.

Either Paulette or another Phelps—because most church members are related—held a sign reading “God H8S Billy’s Cow.”

I was baffled as to why God would hate dairy products, unless he’s lactose intolerant, but it turned out that a “talking” cow offers stories and songs to young library visitors.

All part of Graham’s money-grubbing, claimed the Phelpsians, who asked, “How many children can you lead to Satan through Bessie the talking cow?”

I guess that depends on the quality of Bessie’s stories and songs.

Only after I’d ruminated over Westboro’s attack on Billy Graham did I remember that this isn’t the first time the cult has targeted a prominent evangelical.  In 2007, these folks protested at Jerry Falwell’s funeral, in part because of Falwell’s warmth toward gays.

Yes, Falwell adored us.

How could I forget they protested him?  Because their reasoning is so bizarre I can barely wrap my mind around it.  But I won’t forget again.  When Pat Robertson dies, I’ll expect the Phelpsians to picket his funeral.  Since Robertson has always overflowed with love for gay people.

One Woman's Response to Current Events

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

If You're HARD Up . . .

If you're short on money, and your parents won’t pony up for your same-sex wedding, you do have another option:  a condom company.

NuVo Condoms is offering one gay couple an all-expenses paid wedding at the NYC PrideFest on June 24 in honor of the first anniversary of legalized gay marriage in New York.

As the press release I received put it, “NuVo Condoms wants you to take the plunge!”


The release also said, “NuVo Condoms is the challenger brand that is making a bang—literally—in the condom industry.”

I just hope whoever wrote the press release isn’t writing the wedding vows.

This Week's Quote

Taking tranquilizers with my booze, I felt like Marilyn Monroe.  Carried out of bars, I felt like Frances Farmer.  I thought if I died this way, that drag queens would dress up like me until the end of time.  If I couldn’t be happy, at least I could be immortal.

Margaret Cho

Source:  I’m the One That I Want

Action Plan

Friday, June 8, 2012

You Win

Russians Drop the Hammer

The city of Moscow has banned gay Pride celebrations for 100 years.

Democracy was banned for 1,000 years.

Susie Solves the Gay Marriage Issue

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Chevy Wants to Rev Our Engines

This ad for the Chevrolet Volt ran in Between The Lines, Michigan’s LGBT newspaper, and it’s Chevy’s first ad aimed at little old us, LGBT consumers.

So writes Richard Read online at The Car Connection, noting that Chevy got savvy in pitching us its electric car.  For one thing, LGBT consumers tend to be among the first to buy new products.  Also, we’re considered more eco-friendly than the rest of humanity.

But perhaps most importantly,” says Read, “Chevrolet has managed to find an interesting parallel between one of its ‘outsider’ products and a population that, in some ways, still resides on the margins of society. That's not just clever, but it makes for good advertising . . . This ad strikes an interesting balance between flat-out niche marketing and brand-alignment.”

All this makes me feel like I’ve been unknowingly involved in the world’s biggest focus group.

As it happens, I own an electric car—the Nissan Leaf.  Nissan’s advertising, gay or straight, didn’t get to me.  My eco-friendly partner told me about the car, my eco-friendly gay genes kicked in, and that was that.

At Last I Perceive the Threat

Let's Give It a Try

From Being Liberal

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

This Week's Quote

Nonviolence is a flop.  The only bigger flop is violence.

Joan Baez


Having a Hand in It

Monday, June 4, 2012

Adding to the Christian Splutterings

‘Tis the season of ministerial ravings.  The world has heard Pastor Sean Harris urge parents to punch effeminate sons, Pastor Charles Worley advocate putting gays in concentration camps and Pastor Curtis Knapp suggest the government kill gays.

What the world hasn’t heard is an equivalent rant from the other side.  Time to change that.  What follows is a sermon I’ve whipped up for use by any Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) pastor.

Friends, in the time allotted to me this morning I’m going to preach on an uncomfortable subject.  It’s something we don’t want to think about, let alone talk about.  But I would be abandoning my duty as your spiritual shepherd if I didn’t face it head on.


Oh, I see you crinkling your noses in distaste.  I get it, brothers and sisters, believe you me.  But we can’t hide our heads in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist.  Heterosexuality is all around us.

Openly straight people are in the military.  Openly straight people are in the government.  They’re all over Hollywood.  These days they think they can do anything.

But we won’t let them.  And you know why?  It’s not just because straights do icky things.  Although that’s bad enough.  George, can you imagine kissing a woman?  Betty, can you imagine kissing a man?  Yuck.  And what straight people do in bed makes me want to vomit.

No, the reason we must stamp out heterosexuality is simple:  It’s wrong.  It’s immoral.  It’s not God’s way.  How do I know that?  Jesus had only male disciples!  If that’s not a clear message that men and women are supposed to stay apart, I don’t know what is.

But heterosexuals mock Jesus.  They spit on God’s plan.  They choose that abominable straight lifestyle instead.  They openly and wantonly cavort with each other.  They hold 4th of July parades and flaunt their seersucker shorts.  They recruit!  When I think of all the poor lesbian and gay children who’ve been lured onto the sinful path of straightness, I cry.

I tell you, one day God will turn Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard into pillars of salt!  But he will bless Provincetown!

Brothers and sisters, what can we do to aid the Lord’s work?  First, we must root out the devil in our midst.  Some of you have confessed to me that you are, yes, straight.  Calm down, everyone.  We are Christians, so we shall love the sinner.

It’s our duty to help these sinners get right with God.  So I’m announcing today that this MCC church will launch ex-straight groups.  We have plenty of former Catholic nuns to run the women’s ex-straight group, and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have volunteered to facilitate the men’s group.  May the spirit of the Lord be upon you all as you enter into this difficult and critical work.

That’s not all that we have to tackle here on the home front.  I now turn to the parents among us with a truth that must be spoken:  Far too many of our beautiful children are turning straight.  I know you’ve tried your best, and I know evil societal forces undermine you.

But you’re obviously doing something wrong.

If you want to do God’s will, you must produce gay kids.  It’s that simple.  Please, look at your parenting.  Figure out where you’re going wrong.  If your son starts to show an unhealthy interest in girls, knock him into next week.

If you don’t, he could wind up in a concentration camp for straights.  So for his sake, your sake and the sake of this great nation, model God’s love by whacking him silly.

Go in peace.  Amen.