First Ever Gay Sex Scene On Daytime TV: Yesterday, television history was made when One Life to Live aired the first ever gay sex scene on daytime TV.
December 31, 2009
First Ever Gay Sex Scene On Daytime TV: Yesterday, television history was made when One Life to Live aired the first ever gay sex scene on daytime TV.
Malawi's First Same-Sex Wedding Ends In Arrests: (from Jezebel): "Following Malawi's first same-sex wedding on Saturday, the newlyweds were jailed for 'gross indecency':
Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza must have known the likely outcome of the ceremony: homosexuality and sodomy are illegal in Malawi, and punishable by up to 14 years in jail. And the timing was no accident: Uganda has recently proposed an Anti-Homosexuality Bill that would condemn convicted homosexuals with life imprisonment or death, as in the Sudan. Meanwhile, Senegal and Burundi have both publicly cracked down on homosexuality (already illegal in 37 African nations). And in general southern Africa, not incidentally with the vocal encouragement of US-based Christian evangelical groups, is a dangerous region to be openly gay. Thus, the couple's ceremony was an exercise in protest as well as commitment: a public statement of sorts.The Malawi law society has publicly called the wedding 'against the order of nature,' and the couple will come up for trial shortly. In 2006, the Anglican Church posted Bishop Nick Henderson, a cleric known for his support of gay rights, to head a Malawian diocese; the move led to protests and, ultimately, the death of a parishioner. Since then, the country has become more conservative. But the hundreds of attendees at the ceremony - and the outcry the arrests are drawing - may have already made their point."
December 30, 2009
Uganda may use oil to leverage capital punishment for gays: Oil reserves as large as Saudi Arabia's may soon embolden Ugandan officials who've been threatening to punish homosexuals with death, just as independently oil wealthy Saudi Arabia does.
“If Museveni wants the bill to pass, it will pass,” says Charles Langwa Bbaale, president of the Ugandan Ecological Party. “And, even if it doesn't pass, or only part of it passes,” Bbaale adds, “it will have done what it's supposed to do if it distracts from other issues like poverty and hunger, and the lack of democracy.”
And, Yoweri Museveni (Uganda's president since 1986) may soon control so much oil that he can hang all the gay people, and whomever else, he wants, as freely as King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, and otherwise carry on his epic career as all around tyrant and human rights criminal.
December 28, 2009
December 25, 2009
Onion News: "Gays Too Precious To Risk in Combat": Props to Cole for finding this:
December 24, 2009
December 21, 2009
Mexico City Legalizes Gay Marriage! Mexico City lawmakers on Monday made the city the first in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage, a change that will give homosexual couples more rights, including allowing them to adopt children.
December 17, 2009
Rwanda to vote on bill criminalizing homosexuality: From the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission: On December 16, 2009, the lower house of the Rwandan Parliament will hold its final debate on a draft revision of the penal code that will, for the first time, make homosexuality a crime in Rwanda. A vote on this draft code will occur before the end of the week. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has learned that the proposed Article 217 of the draft Penal Code Act will criminalize "[a]ny person who practices, encourages or sensitizes people of the same sex, to sexual relation or any sexual practice." If the Chamber of Deputies approves, the draft code will go before the Rwandan Senate most likely in early 2010. Article 217 violates Rwandans' basic human rights and is contradictory to the Rwandan Constitution as well as various regional and international conventions.
BBC Slammed For Debating Ugandan Bill To Kill Gays: "The British Broadcasting Corp. suffered criticism from lawmakers Wednesday for inviting debate on whether homosexuals should face execution in Uganda.
BBC's "Africa Have Your Say" Web site asked for people's views on whether Uganda has gone too far and whether there should be any laws against gays.
The page's title was originally "Should homosexuals face execution?" but was later changed to "Should Uganda debate gay execution?" Several British politicians said the taxpayer-funded broadcaster should not treat the execution of gays as a legitimate topic for discussion.
"We should be looking at what is going on in Uganda with abhorrence," said lawmaker Eric Joyce of the ruling Labour Party. "We should be condemning it, and the BBC should be condemning it. ... Instead it seems to have thought it appropriate to come up with something that suggests it's a subject for discussion." ...
The BBC's World Service Africa program editor, David Stead, defended the debate. In a blog posted on the BBC Web site, he said editors had "thought long and hard about using this question" and sought to reflect the diverse views about homosexuality in Africa.
"We agree that it is a stark and challenging question, but think that it accurately focuses on and illustrates the real issue at stake," he said."
December 16, 2009
Mecklenberg, North Carolina approves domestic partner benefits: North Carolina's largest county, Mecklenberg, which includes Charlotte, has approved domestic partner benefits for workers.
"The Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners split along party lines at their meeting Dec. 15, approving domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples 6-3. The county joins six other local North Carolina governments offering similar benefits. "
Gov. Paterson signs order protecting state employees against gender identity discrimination:
From the Office of Governor Patterson:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 16, 2009
Executive Order Will Protect State Workers from Discrimination Based on Gender Identity
Governor David A. Paterson today signed Executive Order No. 33 that will prohibit New York State agencies from discriminating against any individual on the basis of gender identity and expression in any matter pertaining to employment by the State. Executive Order No. 33 directs the Office of Employee Relations, in consultation with the Executive Director of the Division of Human Rights, to develop and implement clear and consistent guidelines prohibiting gender identity and expression discrimination by all State agencies.
Currently, 13 states and over 90 municipalities and counties - including the City of New York - prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression by statute, and numerous others have imposed such a ban through executive action or policy.
The story of a young Ugandan gay couple: (from The Daily Monitor) A proposed anti-gay law could make Uganda perhaps the most dangerous place for homosexuals and drive the gays of Uganda further underground. In a rare interview, the first of its kind with a newspaper journalist, a lesbian told Saturday Monitor’s Rodney Muhumuza why she is very scared.
Ms Kalende has been openly gay since 2002, several years before she became a rights activist with the group Freedom and Roam-Uganda, six years before she met the woman she calls the love of her life.
In the intimate scheme of things, Ms Kalende plays the stronger partner, encouraging her lover, whom she affectionately calls Mimi, to be brave and allaying her concerns about safety in Uganda. “When she starts to cry, I don’t cry,” Ms Kalende said. “I want to be stronger than she is. But I feel bad, of course. She is really scared about what’s going on at home.”
In press conferences hastily called to condemn the gays of Uganda, Ethics Minister Nsaba Buturo has been revving up the rhetoric, telling reporters that homosexuals can “forget about human rights”. In a recent press briefing, Dr Buturo asked homosexuals to “leave us alone”.
When Ms Kalende agreed to talk to a journalist about how the proposed law made her feel, she first sought the consent of her partner.
She said yes, but with the caveat that “you don’t put me out there”. Before she left Uganda, Ms Kalende’s partner had sought to convince her lover to go slow with her activism, to keep a low profile, to just hang in there. It was the kind of advice Ms Kalende was always reluctant to accept.
In one of those moments when Ms Kalende would stop to give a thoughtful response, she came across as resigned to a destiny she had no way of foretelling. “We’ve never been through this,” she said, preparing to ask a question for which she get no answer.
“Even with the existing law, things have never been this serious. I don’t know if things will ever be normal for us. Tell me, what will happen to us?”
December 15, 2009
Marriage Equality Passes in Washington D.C.: The Associated Press reports that the Washington, D.C., City Council voted Tuesday to legalize gay marriage in the nation's capital, handing supporters a victory after a string of recent defeats in Maine, New York and New Jersey.
Mayor Adrian Fenty has promised to sign the bill, which passed 11-2, and gay couples could begin marrying as early as March. Congress, which has final say over Washington's laws, could reject it, but Democratic leaders have suggested they are reluctant to do so.
The bill had overwhelming support among council members and was expected to pass, though opponents have vowed to try to get Congress or voters to overturn it.
December 14, 2009
December 13, 2009
Houston becomes the largest city to elect an openly LGBT chief executive! Annise Parker, who was endorsed by the Victory Fund, won her runoff election against Gene Locke, a former city attorney, after a year-long campaign that drew national attention both because of the potential for a history-making outcome and because of coordinated anti-gay campaigns designed to prevent her victory.
Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund, said the win was significant not just for Houston, but for all LGBT Americans. "This is a watershed moment in American politics. One of the largest cities in the country will be headed by an out lesbian, chosen by people who voted for her because of her experience and competence. Houston rejected the politics of division and the extremists failed," Wolfe said. "After a bittersweet political year for the LGBT community, it's nice to be able to smile this wide."
December 12, 2009
Gay British soldier talks about coming out to his comrades: "An openly gay soldier in Afghanistan has spoken about the support and acceptance he has received from his comrades.
Trooper Ben Rakestrow, said that since he came out to his squadron a year ago he has faced nothing but harmless banter from his fellow soldiers.
The 21-year-old, who serves with 2nd Royal Tank Regiment (2RTR), said it was difficult to reveal his sexuality in such a high-testosterone environment. 'It was difficult to start with,' he said. 'I didn't know how they'd react.'"
"The army hasn't always been so accepting. In 1999, the year before the ban on gay personnel was lifted, 298 people were discharged for their sexuality.
But in 2000 a legal victory, fought for by three gay men and a lesbian, who had been discharged from the Royal Navy and RAF after being found to be gay, paved the way for openly gay servicemen and women.
British servicemen and women now march at Gay Pride in uniform."
I cannot wait for the day that this will be a reality for our brave servicemembers.
December 11, 2009
Civil Unions legalized in Austria: Austria's parliament has approved legalising civil unions in the country.
Out of 174 lawmakers present, 110 voted in favour and 64 voted against, Associated Press reports.
The law is due to come into force on January 1st. It will provide gay couples with some of the rights and benefits enjoyed by heterosexual couples.
However, it reiterates the ban on gay couples adopting children or using IVF and artificial insemination.
Instead, benefits granted include rights to social security claims, inheritance and court trials.
Gay couples will not be able to hold their ceremonies at civil registry offices, as heterosexual couples do. Instead, they will have to register at the municipal office or the magistrate's office."
December 10, 2009
Ari is a Jewish Israeli, with a mom from Tel Aviv and a father who served in Lebanon for six months. His family came to the United Stated based on persecution, so even though he does not consider himself very religious, he still feels very strongly about Jewish ethics and culture. “At Thanksgiving, it’s the turkey next to the kabob next to the hummus.” He remains very curious about his background and where he comes from, he says he knows it sounds cliché but “as an American I’ve become very detached, but I want to know more about my family.”
He spends his time reading and doing work (and watching films, as we know from his great film reviews on this blog). From how he talks about his shows, I can tell he watches a lot of TV too. Our interview was long and detailed and wonderful and he rattled off a list of his favorite things: The History Boys movie (Chris is going to make fun of him for this) [Ed. Note: Yeah, I am. This is The Weirdest Movie, Ari.], In Cold Blood, Into the Wild, The Smiths, his grandma’s food, New York pizza and bagels…
Ari is sensitive and hilarious but he showed a different side of himself when we sat down to talk. Granted, I don’t know Ari incredibly well in the first place, but it was great to listen to him wonder about the future. “I look forward to knowing how everything pans out. Where am I gonna be working? I don’t even know. It sounds so cheesy, but who am I gonna be marrying in Greenwich Connecticut and then going to where they accept me. I look forward to my parent’s acceptance as much as their growing process. I know my parents, I know what their reaction is gonna be. I want to see where my indecisiveness leads me.”
Our time together was interrupted due to the BDU meeting that was starting but I was able to get a little bit more information out of him. We talked about regrets, and he acknowledges that he’s going at his own pace so he doesn’t regret coming out sooner. He mentions that he regrets not being closer with his brother, but as he was saying this he realized that it’s definitely something he can still change. (So change it!)
One thing I do every night is think about three things I’m thankful for, so I ask this same question of my interviewees. Ari says, “Today I am thankful for my close friends here and at home, I’m thankful for (this goes back to the Jack thing) the LGBT students that are so comfortable with themselves, and I’m thankful I’m done with my history class.” I’m certain that we’re all thankful Ari is in our lives and I hope that he can continue to be a strong individual and be that beacon of light for some new individuals who are learning how to come out with their heads held high.
McDonald's Fires Anti-Trans Manager: Earlier this week, Zikerria Bellamy filed a complaint against McDonald’s for refusing to hire her because she is transgender.
One of the managers left a detailed voice mail message on Bellamy’s phone in July, saying “It doesn’t matter how many times you go down there, you will not get hired. We do not hire faggots. You lied to me.”
That manager has been fired.
December 9, 2009
Richard Cohen, Real Life Person That Is Completely Serious: (from The Huffington Post) Last night, Rachel Maddow interviewed Richard Cohen, the author of Coming Out Straight. Which is an actual book about 'overcoming' homosexuality. All you need, apparently, is a tennis racquet and CUDDLING WITH A MEMBER OF THE SAME SEX. Science. Unfortunately, this would be much funnier if it wasn't being used by the Ugandan government for support of their proposed bill to make homosexuality punishable by death, which is also something that is actually happening in real life in 2009 on this planet. Right now. Videos below, Readers.
December 7, 2009
NJ Marriage Equality Headed to Senate: The New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee has voted the marriage equality bill onward--it will be discussed in the Senate as early as Thursday.
More discussion at advocate.com.
Listen to the NJ Marriage Equality Debate Live: If you're around right now, the NJ Senate Judiciary Committee is currently discussing marriage equality in the state. Listen here! (click Listen on the right side)
Update: The deliberations have since ended--the results of the vote can be found here.
Orlando McDonald's Manager Allegedly Told Trans Applicant: 'We Do Not Hire F**gots': Seventeen-year-old Zikerria Bellamy applied online for a position as a shift manager or crew leader at an Orlando McDonald's. When she went in for the interview on July 28, Bellamy says a manager forced her to check a box indicating her gender.
"Once I looked at his facial expression, when I checked off male, like the whole face just changed. He was upset. I seen the anger, you know, like you can tell when someone gets upset," Bellamy said.
She said she was told she would not be granted an interview and received an angry, hateful voicemail from the manager later in the day.
"You went to [indistinguishable] McDonald's today," the message says. "It doesn't matter how many times you go down there. You will not get hired. We do not hire faggots. You lied to me. You told me you was a woman. And then you lied to me. You told me you were seventeen. I can't believe you. You're a lying brother. How could you ever lie to me?"
More coverage at Pam's House Blend.
UCLA: Stem Cells Can Kill HIV: Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, made a stunning announcement Monday: Stem cells can be engineered to kill HIV.
The results, published Monday in the online journal PLoS ONE, demonstrate that human stem cells can be engineered into the equivalent of a genetic vaccine.
Gay Catholics Blast NJ Bishops: A gay Roman Catholic group has denounced a letter that New Jersey Catholic bishops circulated in opposition to marriage equality.
“Whatever the New Jersey bishops are trying to do around the issue of marriage has nothing to do with justice,” reads a statement from the Rainbow Sash Movement. “One of the most basic concepts that underline all Catholic teaching is that ‘All people are entitled to equality of rights regardless of their situation.’ This fundamental position cannot be dismissed in the name of religious rigidity. To do so is to throw foundational Catholic tradition out the window in the name of intolerance and the narrowness of dogma.”
Late last month New Jersey bishops asked priests to read or distribute a letter asking parishioners to pray that the state legislature would not approve marriage rights for gay couples. The bishops called the possibility of same-sex marriage “one of the most serious challenges” to the traditional definition of marriage. The state senate is expected to vote on a marriage equality bill this week, after which the assembly would consider it.
December 6, 2009
Straight Brooklyn Couple Applies to Annul Marriage Because Gay Marriage Still Not Legal: A couple in Brooklyn is looking to challenge the legitimacy of straight marriages in light of the recent New York Senate vote against gay marriage rights. Their strategy: apply for an annulment.
Unlike a divorce, an annulment claims that the marriage was never viable and legal or that the situation has changed so significantly through no fault of either member of the couple that the marriage must be dissolved.
But this week I was invited to join a Facebook group run by Rachel Murch D’Olimpio and Matthew D’Olimpio: New York residents who are going to apply for an annulment on the grounds that their marriage contract violates constitutional equality guarantees and is thus void. The group already has over 700 members.
December 5, 2009
Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles elects openly gay bishop: "The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles today elected the first openly gay bishop since the national church lifted a ban that sought to bar gays and lesbians from the church's highest ordained ministry.
Clergy and lay leaders, meeting in Riverside for their annual convention, elected the Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool, 55, who has been in a committed relationship with another woman since 1988. Another gay candidate, the Rev. John L. Kirkley of San Francisco, withdrew late Friday.
Glasspool’s election to fill one of two openings for bishops of the diocese followed the selection Friday of the Rev. Canon Diane Jardine Bruce, 53, the rector of a San Clemente church. The two became the first women elected as bishops of the diocese in its 114-year history."
Cynthia Nixon on NY gay marriage vote: "... Wednesday's No vote on same sex marriage was supremely disappointing on a personal as well as a political level. Guess Christine and I can kiss that Waldorf Astoria wedding... Brooklyn Botanical Gardens wedding... Montauk Beach wedding -- you fill in the blank -- goodbye.
But we have two things today we didn't have yesterday. The first thing we have is clarity about who's with us and who's against us. And we'll remember those yays and nays for next November and for Novembers to come. And there will be consequences.
The second thing is a new ally. Her name is Ruth Hassell-Thompson. She is a Senator from the Bronx and Mt Vernon and she is fierce. ..."
Read more at The Huffington Post.
December 4, 2009
When I came out, it really took a while for me to decide how big a part of my identity it was--it's a daily process, really--okay, so I'm gay--what's next? Following the bridge incident this year, Blue Devils United ordered rainbow flags for students to put up outside their windows to show support for and solidarity with the LGBT community. I put mine in the window itself, so when I have my lights on it looks kind of like stained glass from the outside (photo: Oli Wilson). I think it's really important to show people that this is campus that's affirming of LGBT individuals (or even if that's not entirely the case, I think that if we give off that image, it will gradually become a self-fulfilling thing). It's the same with the Love=Love shirts.
December 3, 2009
N.J. gay marriage proposal will be considered by Senate next week: The New Jersey gay marriage proposal will be considered Monday by a Senate committee and could be posted for a full senate vote later in the week, state Sen. Ray Lesniak said today. ...
"On Thursday the full Senate is going to vote on marriage equality," said Lesniak, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee." And God be willing, we'll have 21 votes." ...
Both houses of the Legislature must pass the bill before it goes to the governor. Outgoing Gov. Jon Corzine has said he would sign it. Incoming Gov. Chris Christie says he would veto it.
I was looking forward to analyzing a type of sex that I am used to, yet was also worried that the class reception would be overtly homophobic and only serve to invalidate my own sexual desires. As the clip was starting I held my breath. The two boys start kissing. I look around the room. Everyone is still watching and no one is squeaming in their seats yet. Clothes start coming off. People are still watching. The oral sex begins. Everyone is still watching. I am shocked. Even the straight-identified men in the room are still looking. However, there's still more to go. The anal sex starts. People are still watching with their academic eye. Not at all the reaction I was expecting. Then one of the boys sucks on another ones toes. The class erupts in an expression of disgust.
Gayle Rubin, in her transformative essay "Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality," describes a hierarchy of sexual acts with heterosexual, monogamous sex on one end and fetishistic sex on the other. She states that "as a result of the sex conflicts of the last decade, some behavior near the border is inching across it." Has our society advanced to the point where gay sex is seen as an appropriate form of sex?
While I do think the positive reception in my class is due to the progressive nature of my classmates and not an overall societal advancement in sexual thought, I do think that we have come a long way in destigmatizing sex between members of the same sex. In the six years since sodomy was deemed unconstitutional in Lawrence v. Texas our society has gradually become open to all types of sex between consenting adults. I hope that in the future, we will only an increase in the acceptance of all types of consensual sex acts.
"If it's one of my main identifiers, I shouldn’t feel bad about that. I don’t think it’s so bad." -Ari Bar-Mashiah on being gay
He’s a self-described social butterfly, but anyone who knows him would agree. In high school he was involved in many activities, but was only out to a select few. Although there was a GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance), Ari refers to it as SAG, the straight alliance for gay people. No one identified as gay. He didn’t like being closeted, but always had a hard time reconciling the way gays are portrayed in the media. He didn’t think people could be intelligent and gay at the same time.
Coming to Duke, and particularly his experiences with Project Build, paved the way for Ari’s integration to the LGBT Center and it’s social activities. For Ari, the LGBT community at Duke was much more than he had at home and for that he is “very, very thankful.” He says, “You wish there was always more, or at least, more out. If I would want to see something, I would want to see more gay couples holding hands, the peck on the cheek when they go to class on the Plaza. When it comes to the community, they’re not to blame. It’s the other students, and the stuff we have to deal with, like ripping down flags, it’s the bridge incident or the bench incident. I really love the LGBT community here.”
Ari takes a moment and gives tribute to another Center frequenter. It was so sweet and so true it needs to be shared here in this blog. I believe we should all take a moment and think about those we look up to and pay tribute wherever we can.
“There is no one here that I appreciate more in the LGBT community than Jack. By far. By far. By far. Jack has allowed me to feel more comfortable with myself, because I see how comfortable he is. He’s so unafraid. People can be inspiring in so many different ways, by being active and forward and political, and you see them being proactive. Jack is the silent fighter, he doesn’t have to say a word. It makes me so much more comfortable to come here.”
Ari is great at making people laugh and finds ways of relating to everyone. I asked Ari what his favorite LGBT event was at Duke. Here’s what he said: “You know what I fucking love? Fab Friday. I love Fab Friday. There’s so many good things at once. It’s Friday, I just got out of classes, and I see all these amazing people. You see people that you may only see once a week. And Jack makes great food.”
I know we’re all grateful for what Ari has added to our community, and it truly is a joy to see him grow and learn from the other wonderful people who support him.
Stay tuned to learn more about Ari next Thursday, and I promise there will be photos next time (y’all know how busy the last week of classes gets, cut me some slack!).
December 2, 2009
Jamie Frevele Sells Her Legal Right to Marry on Ebay: In response to her home state of New York's rejection of marriage equality today, Jamie Frevele is selling her legal right to marry on ebay and donating all proceeds to the Point Foundation and other LGBT organizations.
Ebay item description by Frevele:
New York State has voted down marriage equality. A lot of people just don't believe all adults should be allowed to get married, usually for religious reasons, which is silly because you need to obtain a license from the state to get married, and there's a separation of church and state in this country, so denying someone the right to get married based on their sexual orientation is actually against the Constitution. The 14th Amendment, actually: Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
I'm an unmarried heterosexual woman, and since I probably won't be using my right to get married, I would like to give it away. I would like to sell it to the highest bidder and donate the proceeds to an organization that supports LGBT rights since the government designed to protect all of us is picking and choosing based on what they think is icky, weird, or unkown to them.
Bid now, and you can have my super wonderful privilege and legal ability to get married as many times as you want in a classy place like the one pictured. You don't have to know the person, you don't have to like them, you don't have to think through your decision to get married or anything - you can just do it! Because you can! Come on, it's cool to get married, and think of the pictures you'll have to show people of this person that they will definitely think is so wrong for you and probably is! But heavens to BETSY, do NOT marry someone of the same gender because that would be a mockery of the institution of marriage.
And if it doesn't work out, just get divorced. Half the cool people who get married do that anyway.
I will write you up a fancy, wonderful, articulate proclamation handing over my right to get married. I have no official documentation because this is something I was born with since I was born heterosexual. Unfortunately, this is only a symbolic gesture. However, since I'm picky and difficult, it's probably something that, if a physical object, would have been considered pristine and shiny after some dusting. Your bid, on the other hand, is real, and the donation you make to an organization that supports those who have been treated as second-class citizens will be well worth it.
I have not named an organization yet because I thought I would see if anyone wanted to join me on this journey rather than drag them into something they're not serious about, ready for, etc.
Will Gay Troops Get to Join the Debate About Their Own Service to America? Nathaniel Frank, author of "Unfriendly Fire", discusses the importance of the proposed bill that would allow gay service members to testify openly at Congressional hearings regarding "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".
"Congressman Alcee Hastings, Democrat of Florida, has just introduced a bill with 27 co-sponsors to allow gay service members to testify openly at Congressional hearings about "don't ask, don't tell." Rep. Hastings authored the bill to ensure that the national debate will not be stacked against those most affected by the current gay ban. Without explicit protection, gay troops could be fired for sharing their views and experiences with senators and representatives, since current law calls for discharging anyone who says they are gay. ..."
Rupert Everett's Advice To Gay Actors: Stay In The Closet: I can't decide whether this is just a really sad truth, or the kind of thinking that keeps us all from pushing for change, an acceptance of the status quo as stronger than our own will.
Personally, I prefer Meredith Baxter's newfound take on celebrities coming out.
"At 50, the 'My Best Friend's Wedding' star says that homophobia in Hollywood has kept him from becoming a leading man. He says that heterosexuals are cast as gays (pointing to 'Brokeback Mountain' and 'Transamerica') but gay men are denied the plum straight roles and often reduced to drag.
'The fact is that you could not be, and still cannot be, a 25-year-old homosexual trying to make it in the British film business or the American film business or even the Italian film business," he said. "It just doesn't work and you're going to hit a brick wall at some point. You're going to manage to make it roll for a certain amount of time, but at the first sign of failure they'll cut you right off. And I'm sick of saying, 'Yes, it's probably my own fault.' Because I've always tried to make it work and when it stops working somewhere, I try to make it work somewhere else. But the fact of the matter is, and I don't care who disagrees, it doesn't work if you're gay.'
Everett does admit that his openness about his sexuality has afforded him personal happiness if not professional success. He's glad he's not one of the "plenty" of gay Hollywood stars still stuck in the closet."
Amazing Speech on Marriage Equality: New York State Senator Diane Savino makes some very compelling statements on marriage equality.
Washington's statewide vote for full domestic partnerships is official: "It's official! Governor Chris Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed certified the election results on Tuesday. The new domestic partnership law will now go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, December 3. There are currently 13,082 people in registered domestic partnerships in both same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples where at least one partner is 62 or older. Washington state registered domestic partners are now fully equal to their married peers under Washington state law."
GA elects 1st black out lesbian state legislator, 1st Asian out gay man to Atlanta City Council: Wow! This is awesome! Today has been such a mix of good and bad news.
Great news tonight from Georgia. Voters there have elected the first openly lesbian African-American state legislator in the United States, and Atlanta voters elected the first gay man and first Asian-American to the city council.
Simone Bell, a Victory Fund-endorsed candidate, won a runoff election to represent Georgia State House District 58. She becomes the second openly LGBT member of the Georgia State House, joining Rep. Karla Drenner. Both are from the Atlanta area.
Meanwhile Atlanta voters elected the city’s first gay man, and first Asian-American, to the city council. Alex Wan, a Victory Fund-endorsed candidate, will represent District 6 after winning his runoff election tonight. He currently works as the development director of Jerusalem House, Atlanta’s oldest and largest provider of permanent, supportive housing for homeless or low-income individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS.
Meredith Baxter Comes Out On the Today Show: Oh my god, Elyse Keaton is gay! This just adds fuel to sooo many childhood fantasies... And here I was thinking that Alex was supposed to be the lesbian.
Aside from my long-held torch for the perfect tv mom, the news here is this:
Meredith Baxter, who played Elyse Keaton on the popular 80s show "Family Ties" came out today as a lesbian. Baxter, who has been married three times and has four children, is currently in a relationship with general contractor Nancy Locke, and joins a growing group of women coming out later in life.
"I want to say that, I'm not a very political person. I've done political things before, but it's been brought to my attention that this is a political act, even though that's not what it feel like to me. It just feels like personal exposure, and it's uncomfortable. When my understanding is that so much research has been done that says that if anybody knows someone who is gay or lesbian, then when they are addressing gay or lesbian issues, political issues that affect their rights, they are less likely to vote against them, to take away their rights. So, if you knew me before, and you cared about me before, I'm the same woman. I'm the same mother to all these children, and if I can be that lesbian you know now, ok, well if I vote this way then that, that actually might affect this person I know, that Meredith."
Well said Ms. Baxter.