Monday, March 24, 2008

Where the Candidates Stand

According to Southern Voice

ENDA
Supports: Clinton, Obama
Opposes: McCain

Hate crime legislation
Supports: Clinton, Obama
Opposes: McCain

DOMA Repeal
Supports: Obama
Opposes: McCain
Clinton supports a partial but not total repeal

Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Supports: Clinton, Obama
Opposes: McCain

Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage
Voted agains: Clinton, McCain, Obama

Same-Sex Marriage
Opposes: Clinton, McCain, Obama

Same-sex Civil Unions
Supports: Clinton, Obama
Mixed views (means opposes to me): McCain


Does any of this mean that our rights will be advanced? Probably not significantly, although I hope we can see ENDA passed and with transgendered rights included. I would love to see DOMA repealed, but I'm not confident this will happen under any president.

Oh Snap!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Your Easter Sunday Sermon

Here's what Dr. King got out of the Sermon on the Mount. On Nov 17, 1957, in MOntgomery's Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, he concluded the learned discourse that came to be known as the "loving your enemies" sermon this way: "So this morning, as I look into your eyes and into the eyes of all of my brothers in Alabama and all over America and over the world, I say to you: 'I love you. I would rather die than hate you.'"

Go ahead and re-read that. That is hands down the most beautiful, strange, impossible, but most of all radical thing a human being can say. And it comes from reading the most beautiful, strange, impossible, but most of all radical civics lesson ever taught, when Jesus of Nazareth went to a hill in Galilee and told his disciples, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you."

Whoever wins the presidential election this year will be a Christian. (Unless of course it's that one guy who is a member of a Muslim sleeper cell. Just when you think the electorcal process couldn't get any more stupid....) So the rest of us might as well suck it up and see if we can pick the Christian who is, if incapable of loving his or her enemies, the one who seems least likely to drum up a bunch of extra, new enemies to hate.

-- Your most unlikely minister, Sarah Vowell in The New York Times, January 21, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Hey, Hetero! Campaign

From the website:
Hey Hetero! returns the gaze at heterosexuality: the priveleged sexuality which
makes gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender movements both possible and
necessary. In the form of simulated mainstream 'advertisements', the artwork
invites heterosexuality into public discourse.

Hey Hetero! posters and website

Thursday, March 20, 2008

And Continuing the Theme of "Trashy" Tonight

This is NOT SAFE FOR WORK
Nobody under 18...no, 21....no, probably 30 should watch this
Rude, crude, TOTALLY socially unacceptable
Inappropriate terminology and humor
So damn funny


Lives up to its name

Really?

Do we really need this?

Will people really wear this?

Do I have to know them?

How much are you willing to pay to be trashy and slutty?






Description at 10 Percent.Com:

Unique and sexy. Designed to be worn with confidence and style. The Rufskin Hustler jean features a super low-rise waist with a boot cut leg. Rufskin... pushing the envelope and creating the ultimate in sexy men's jeans. There's just nothing that compares to Rufskin.


You can't buy it in a size larger than 35 waist. I don't know whether to accuse them of being sizist or smart.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Debra Chasnoff Interview on NPR

In the wake of recent incidents the last few weeks in the movement to address prejudice and homophobia among youth, GroundSpark is pleases to announce the long-awaited arrival of It's Elementary and It's STILL Elementary on DVD. As we continue to mourn the murder of Lawrence King, the 8th grader in Oxnard, California who was harassed for being gender non-conforming, along with other anti-LGBT hate crimes against youth, our hope is that the media explore the potential solutions to decrease bullying and harassment in our schools and communties.

Our new curriculum guides have printed and the DVDs made, and we are thrilled to start shipping them later this week to everyone who has pre-ordered the DVD set!

In a lengthy segment that aired last week on National Public Radio, executive director Debra Chasnoff called on educators across the country to learn from the preventable death of Lawrence King. To hear her interview, you can visit
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=19357474.

For more information, to obtain a screener copy or to interview Debra Chasnoff, please contact cathy@rennacommunications.com

Sunday, March 16, 2008

LOLCats are a Sin

After the week I had, this spoke to me:
Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics

More Sinister Than We Thought

Peterson Toscano beats me to making the point about the tortured logic and just plain ignorance behind Randy Thomas's (executive VP of Exodus International) pronouncements about gender identity.

Perhaps making the point even finer, DK, one of Peterson's commenters, parallels the alarming rise in left-handedness since the 1900's with increased cases of gender non-comformity, now that teachers and parents have quit torturing us southpaws and that we realize that we don't teach gender: gender, like handedness, just is.

Cool Gay Comic



I recently tripped across Boy Meets Hero. It's been an online comic about same-sex super-hero love, but is about to be published as a graphic novel! How cool is that? If you want to order it, please visit their site and order through them so they can earn a little credit for it! As a seriously nerdy collector, I'll be ordering the deluxe version in May.

Above is a recent promo mini-strip (not part of the main comic) that I found extremely funny.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Atlanta Tornado Pictures

The tornado or tornadoes that hit downtown Atlanta were just a few blocks from where I used to live - the Georgia Olympic Village. Pretty scary and unusual stuff.

CNN has pictures and a map showing where they hit.

Fortunately they were quite some distance from where my sister still lives.

No Link found between Bush Administration and the Truth

ABC News reports that the Bush administration is making the Pentagon report detailing no connection between Sadaam Hussein and al Qaida difficult to access

God Goes Green

Some Southern Baptist leaders are beginning to care about the environment, others not so much.
The Carpetbagger Report

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Things You Should Check Out

Written by the co-founder of BeliefNet.com, Steven Waldman, this book sounds interesting:
Founding Faith: Providence, Politics, and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America

I found out about it from his interview with Terri Gross on NPR's Fresh Air. You can find an exerpt from the book here also.

I plan to read it after I finish this engaging book:
Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives


The Real Threat to America

Kern's remarks in conjunction with the CMS anti-bullying policy debate has made this quite the fun week for anti-gay remarks. I like Wolfe's letter; he sums it all up nicely.

As I said in my last post, Kern and people like her wouldn't know Jesus if he fell on her face and wiggled: something I'm sure has NEVER happened to Sally Kern.

The fact that this woman is an elected official is odious. To paraphrase Frank Schaeffer, politicians, religious leaders and others who traffic in fear-mongering, hate speech, and outright lies are anti-American. They want to see our nation fail so they can rationalize their apocalyptic fervor. They want to see our nation destroyed so they can maintain their fear-based power. These people are the true threat to America; they seek to turn citizen against citizen. They want to destroy the very principles of our great nation: liberty and dignity for all human beings. What is more anti-American than that?



OPEN LETTER TO OKLAHOMA REP. SALLY KERN FROM CHUCK WOLFE, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE GAY & LESBIAN VICTORY FUND (via Renna Communications)


WASHINGTON, DC - The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender political action committee, sent an open letter today to Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern in response to her inflammatory virulently anti-gay remarks and her refusal to issue an apology. Rep. Kern's remarks, recorded in audio and posted on the Victory Fund's Web site, have received national attention and over half-a-million hits.

To listen to Rep. Kern's comments, please visit: http://www.victoryfund.org/files/listening.html
March 11, 2008

Rep. Sally Kern
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 332
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Dear Sally,

I saw the statement you released yesterday in which you said your "hate speech" is merely "free speech." That's kind of gross, but it's also beside the point.

The point is this: your words have consequences. Ask Judy Shepherd - her son, Matthew, was viciously murdered ten years ago by people who think like you. Ask the parents of Lawrence King, an openly gay eighth-grader who was gunned down in school last month by a classmate whose fear was stoked by words like yours. Just this past fall, Steven Domer, a 62-year-old gay man was brutally murdered right in your home state of Oklahoma.

What you said is not okay, but that's not because most sensible people disagree with it. It's because your words give aid and comfort to those who would hurt, maim and even kill people who are different from you. Comparing gays and lesbians to cancer and terrorism and saying they are the "biggest threat to America," gives license to others to treat us that way, especially given the leadership position you hold in your community.

I also read that some of your colleagues in the Republican caucus stood and cheered you as you entered their meeting yesterday. How odd and depressing. This isn't a partisan issue; I know plenty of Republicans who were outraged at your comments, because they themselves are parents, friends and family to gays andlesbians who are at risk when people of your stature say the kinds of things you did.

Whether or not you agree that gay people deserve halfway decent treatment(the fact that you said we were destroying America implies that you don't), what I want you to understand is that the words you said will have real life implications. Your speech can lead to the murders of more young people. You have outraged hundreds of thousands, but you may have inspired a few people, too. That's not just sad, it's evil.

The point of the Victory Fund's releasing your speech was to draw attention to the fact that even elected leaders like you are saying some nasty and potentially dangerous things about your fellow citizens. Our mission is to elect people to counter your hate and bigotry with honesty and courage.

You may have been applauded by a handful of your colleagues, but more than a half million people are now listening. They heard you loud and clear, and they're not clapping.

Sincerely,

Chuck Wolfe

President and CEOThe Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund

About the Victory Fund

The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund is the nation's largest LGBT political action committee and the only national organization dedicated to increasing the number of openly LGBT elected officials at all levels of government. Since 1991, the Victory Fund and its national donor network have helped hundreds of openly LGBT candidates win election to local, state and federal offices. For more information, please visit http://www.victoryfund.org/.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Stay Thy Hand

Christian fanatics would rather sacrifice the children of Charlotte and Mecklenburg county than pass anti-bullying legislation. Apparently more than willing to follow the tradition of Abraham, these homophobes are trying to lay not just the gay, lesbian, and transgendered children, but all children on the altar of religious hatred and intolerance.

In an effort to stop bullying, the CMS (Charlotte Mecklenburg School) superintendent proposed a new policy that would prevent harrassment based on any number of criteria. What criteria has (of course) drawn the most opposition and criticism? The inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression has drawn the fire of homophobes and religious zealots who accuse the school system of trying to set or at least setting the basis for whatboard member Ken Gjertsen calls a "pro-homosexual agenda." Gjertsen also objects because "'There's plenty of instances where (a gay student) could say, `I feel oppressed at school,' " he said. "I would like to see us define bullying to say someone actually has to be bullying you."

I wonder what he thinks bullying is. Did Gjerstsen actually finish high school himself? However, it's not too surprising that Gjertsen opposes the anti-bullying policy since he's obviously quite found of trying to bully gay people himself. Had he been slightly less PC, he would have just proposed open season on fags.

The superitentent stated that he believes that identifying protected groups that he will empower teachers, counselors, and staff to stand up for these children in a city where defending a gay or transgendered student could cost them their job and/ or reputation. Three school board members oppose the measure as do many in the community. Board member Kaye McGarry, like others, tries to explain away their oppostion to the proposal based on the concept that bullying is bullying and that all children should be protected.

McGarry has also stated that you are "either a boy or a girl" and that sexual orientation is "just a feeling." No matter how Ms. McGarry tries to hide behind words of inclusiveness, it's clear that she would have no problem with this bill if it did not include gays and transgendered students.

It's clear that what the opponents of the bill are trying to do is force their religion down the throat of CMS students and parents. They are trying to protect their bigotry. If passed, they would have to defend bullied or harrassed gay and lesbian students. They might have to stop spewing their anti-gay sentiments. They might have to fight for the oppressed, certainly not a modern Christian value.

One might suspect that even if they consider homosexuality a sin that they might demonstrate Christian values by acting to protect the sanctity of human dignity and the preciousness of life (gay and lesbian youth have higher than the normal teenage suicide rate). No, these faithful followers are conent to spill the blood of gay, lesbian, and transgendered youth on the rock of their false piety. I would ask that they realize the harm they are doing, that they would stay their hand and sacrifice their personal objections for the greater good of our children. I'm sad to say that unless others stop them, however, they will not hesitate to plunge their dagger into the collective hearts of all oppressed children.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Not a Funny Video: Homohatred from Oklahoma State Republican Representative Nancy Kern

Both Pam's House Blend and Joe.My.God have sufficient commentary on this sad example of irrational hatred and fear-mongering by public officials (and in this case a former teacher: scary!) that I'll just post the video, courtesy of The Victory Fund.


Friday, March 07, 2008

Protecting Your Heterosexuality

As a courtesy service to my heterosexual readers.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Comics and Politics? Has the World Gone Mad?

On the comics weblog The Savage Critics, Jeff Lester impressively uses comic lingo and the Sandman storyline as pretty spot-on political commentary. Go read his entry and come back to see my response to his excellent post:

I think that the way to tie it back into Sandman is that the entire work is that we create our own story, even when we insist that fate or forces outside of our control has driven us down a particular path not of our choosing (and for Morpheus, perhaps like Clinton, that path was to get out of the job). Like Morpheus, Clinton has to some degree had her narrative disrupted (historic change) by an outside force, but what has she done with that? She has gone defensive and negative largely, becoming more insular (like Morpheus), only showing hints of personality and likeability (are the lessons of Al Gore, a man supposedly charming, but deadly cold and humorless during his presidential bid, so soon forgotten?)

Some psychological research shows that positive candidates win. The more positive you authentically are and your message genuinely is (optimism can only be faked in short bursts), the more likely you are to be elected. I think this is where she has fallen down: Obama has stayed "above the fray" for the most part. Yes, he responds to attacks and does himself attack from time to time, but the delivery doesn't sound venomous like it does from Clinton. Hope may be the defining characteristic of leadership and Obama, less experience or not, seems more hopeful. People want to mock this (and Hillary did herself a huge disservice making fun of this, I think) but I think it's incredibly powerful.

I think you see this in Bush I v. Clinton I. Bush became sour and cynical and it hurt him. He became less personable, likeable, and optimistic.You are also right about the way information and news impacted the Clinton/Bush fight. The excellent book The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008 talks in-depth about the "freak show" the bloggers and the rise of Matt Drudge as a watershed movement that changed not just the way information about candidates was shared, but what kind of information was shared, and what was considered suitable information to share. TV news has since largely followed suit and some print news media as well. Certainly now a million politcal blogs and sites exist catering to everything from political gossip and speculation to partisan talking points to (rarely) balanced, informed information or analysis. Clinton, the book correctly is the best to handle the freak show (as is McCain on the other side).

It's a real potential weakness for Obama, the furies on his heels that he must learn to deal with without having his kingdom crumble around him. I think he has the potential to handle it okay, but am concerned for him in this respect unless he receives good guidance from the Clintons, should he be the nominee. (I don't think we'll still know this until convention, unless by some miracle he takes both Ohio and Texas, which doesn't seem likely at this point - maybe Texas).

As a running mate, Clinton would do well to pick Obama, but the reverse is not true. Running as a change agent, Obama would seem hypocritical picking Clinton (not that I think she would accept if offered). She would also alienate those independents that like Obama but hate her - Clinton is strongly polarizing in a way neither McCain or Obama is.A Veep Obama would help smooth out Clinton, however, an unify Democrats and draw some independents. I would be fearful that our society is not yet progressive enough, however, to vote in a woman-black man ticket.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Thanks, Ellen

Ellen Degeneres: A Tragedy That Should Never Have Happened

I'm proud that Ellen Degeneres used her celebrity to make this important statement regarding the death of 15 year old Larry King.