Sunday, December 28, 2008

Florida Supreme Court to rule on same-sex adoption ban

In 2008, two separate Florida Circuit Court Judge's ruled that Florida's 30-year-old gay adoption ban unconstitutional. In 2009, the Florida Supreme Court will have the final word.

According to a Fort Myers newspaper, thirty-seven foster children in Southwest Florida have no prospects for permanent, loving families.

Under current law, gay people are not allowed to adopt children, but a recent court ruling making its way to the state's Supreme Court may change that.

Click here to read the entire article.


Friday, December 26, 2008

A Christian plea for gay rights

As we approach the new year, an opinion in the Arizona Republic rang true.....more so than anything after setbacks in Arizona, Arkansas, California, and Florida. Regardless of your religion, it all translates the same: "Love your neighbor and live peacefully."

It saddened me when Arizona and other states passed initiatives attacking the GLBT [and I, for intersex] community, an often demonized and misunderstood minority.

As an American, I saw equality for all fall. As a Christian, I saw love held less important than tradition.

Since the passage of these Jim Crow-style initiatives, there has been a backlash against the initiatives' supporters, specifically the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I understand the need to express anger. Surely I would lash out against a law declaring invalid the love between a Protestant and a Catholic.

But I suggest we move away from retribution and toward understanding. As Americans, we must fight for equality for all, and at the same time as Christians, we must help those mired in tradition to understand that Christ commands that love, not tradition, be our guide.

The latter can be achieved only through honest dialogue, not by punishing those who disagree.

Finally, it concerns me that of the triumvirate of intolerance - LDS, Catholic and Christian Fundamentalist churches - the LDS Church is bearing the brunt of the backlash. - James E. Barton II, Phoenix


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pope angers campaigners with speech seen as attack on homosexuality

Although Catholic doctrine is that homosexuality is not a sin, the church does condemn homosexual acts and the former Joseph Ratzinger stated in 1986 before he became pope that homosexuality "is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder".

"What keeps the pope awake at night is the idea that human beings might be able to seek out their own sexual identity to have a happy life," said Franco Grillini, of the Italian association Gaynet. "The speech has no scientific basis," said Aurelio Mancuso, head of Arcigay. "A divine programme for men and women is out of line with nature, where the roles are not so clear."

Click here to read the entire article.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Caroline Kennedy comes out in full support of gay marriage

Caroline Kennedy, who is seeking to replace Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate, has revealed some of her positions on hot-button political issues. Answering questions from Politico through her spokesman, Kennedy said she supports gay marriage. Kennedy left no doubt, though, about her support for gay marriage. She "supports full equality and marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples," her spokesman wrote.


Prop. 8 Supporters try to VOID 18,000 LGBT Marriages

Proposition 8 proponents are trying to strip the 18,000 couples who married of their marriage licenses. They are like the Grinch attempting to pull every last shred of happiness and hope from same-sex couples. The Court cannot allow the bullies and bigotry to pollute our Constitution that has heretofore stood for equality and justice for all.

"We are incredibly encouraged by the Attorney General's thoughtful and courageous decision to urge the California Supreme Court to stand up for its historic role in protecting minorities against the tyranny of the majority," said Media Director Molly McKay. "The lives of thousands of couples and their children hang in the balance. We are hopeful that the outpouring of support from every major civil rights organization and dozens of cities and legislators will encourage the Justices that the right thing to do is to find that Proposition 8 is a revision to our Constitution and not allow it to stand. We have fundamentally altered the checks and balance of our democracy if a prejudiced minority is entitled to only the fundamental rights that they can persuade the majority to extend to them."

RELATED: California Attorney General Urges Court To Strike Down Proposition 8 Marriage Equality USA Advisory Board Member Robin Tyler Responds to Challenge to the 18K Married Couples. (more)


Best and Worst LGBT Charities?

LGBT blogs continue to chatter about Queerty publishing the best and worst of non-profits according to Charity Navigator.

Making the Top 5 of the worst LGBT charities include:

  1. Gay Men's Heath Crisis
  2. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
  3. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
  4. Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community Center
  5. The New York City Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project
Other LGBT charities that received horrible ratings include: Equal Rights Advocates (California), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), GLSEN, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and The Trevor Project.

Notable charities not on the list at all

Making the top of the list for best LGBT charities include:
  1. Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute
  2. Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
  3. Rescue Mission of Trenton (New Jersey)
  4. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
  5. The Point Foundation (California)
  6. National Center for Lesbian Rights
  7. Human Rights Campaign (even though President Joe Solmonese makes a staggering $256,715.00 per year)
  8. Lambda Legal
The Charity Navigator is not without controversy however; they produce financial information based off the charities form 990, which although is a snapshot of the organization, is not considered a substitute for the annual audited financial statements.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Anti-gay Rev. Rick Warren will deliver the invocation at Obama's inauguration

Joe Solomnese, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, has sent a blistering letter to President-elect Obama, accusing him of delivering a "genuine blow" to the gay community in choosing Rev. Rick Warren to give the formal invocation at next month's inauguration. For once, I find myself in agreement with the Human Rights Campaign (scary):

Let me get right to the point. Your invitation to Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration is a genuine blow to LGBT Americans. Our loss in California over the passage of Proposition 8 which stripped loving, committed same-sex couples of their given legal right to marry is the greatest loss our community has faced in 40 years. And by inviting Rick Warren to your inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have a place at your table.

Rick Warren has not sat on the sidelines in the fight for basic equality and fairness. In fact, Rev. Warren spoke out vocally in support of Prop 8 in California saying, "there is no need to change the universal, historical definition of marriage to appease 2 percent of our population ... This is not a political issue -- it is a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about." Furthermore, he continues to misrepresent marriage equality as silencing his religious views. This was a lie during the battle over Proposition 8, and it's a lie today.

Rev. Warren cannot name a single theological issue that he and vehemently, anti-gay theologian James Dobson disagree on. Rev. Warren is not a moderate pastor who is trying to bring all sides together. Instead, Rev. Warren has often played the role of general in the cultural war waged against LGBT Americans, many of whom also share a strong tradition of religion and faith.

We have been moved by your calls to religious leaders to own up to the homophobia and racism that has stood in the way of combating HIV and AIDS in this country. And that you have publicly called on religious leaders to open their hearts to their LGBT family members, neighbors and friends.

But in this case, we feel a deep level of disrespect when one of architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda is given the prominence and the pulpit of your historic nomination. Only when Rev. Warren and others support basic legislative protections for LGBT Americans can we believe their claim that they are not four-square against our rights and dignity. In that light, we urge you to reconsider this announcement.


I lost all respect for HRC when the left the transgender community (cut them out) of critical federal legislation last year. Since then, HRC has been shunned by more than 59 organizations, and LGBT people have even protested at HRC events.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gay marriage battle reaches Maine

Religious leaders and activists in the State of Maine are mobilizing for a legislative battle over the politically charged issue of gay marriage. In recent weeks, the politically charged issue has been heating up in Maine ahead of the new legislative session, which begins in early January (as it does in most states with part-time lawmakers, meaning the legislature is in session for a couple of months per year, and Committees supervise things in the interim).

Equality Maine is ramping up its game, after three years of a low-key public education campaign to highlight gay and lesbian issues. Equality Maine has a new adversary however, the newly-formed Maine Marriage Alliance, who is pushing for an amendment to the state constitution that would define marriage as being between a man and a woman.

Both sides agree that any bill allowing same-sex marriage that wins legislative approval is sure to be challenged in a people's veto referendum (which is distinctive to Maine, just as most states cannot "recall" their chief executive as California did former Governor Davis).

Both sides are also aware the State House will be largely focused on dealing with an $838 million gap in its next two-year budget. Three pieces of citizen-initiated legislation that could go before voters next November are also having an impact. The legislation might draw more conservative-minded voters to the polls and if a same-sex marriage bill passes the Legislature, it would assuredly be challenged and put to referendum.

Equality Maine provides to following video:



Monday, December 08, 2008

A Day Without Gay

December 10, 2008 is the national Gay Without Gay Day.

Click
here for additional information.


Sunday, December 07, 2008

Recession: LGBT organizations are disappearing

The auto industry isn't alone in a national recession. Statewide LGBT advocacy organizations are disappearing at an alarming rate; this is especially bad since complete equality cannot be achieved without statewide, county, and city organizations.

Arkansans for Human Rights, Kansas Unity, and Equality Mississippi. In addition, Lambda Legal has cut its staff by more than 10%.

The Washington Blade is running a story about some other organizations; click here to read it.


Mississippi's only LGBT rights organization closes

Equality Mississippi, the only LGBT civil rights organization in the state published the following statement Friday announcing it was terminating operations (edited):

It's with sadness and regret that we must inform you that due to financial reasons, the Board of Directors of Equality Mississippi voted to bring an end to Equality Mississippi. You may have already noticed our main web site gone and our phone disconnected. This is the reason.

Equality Mississippi, formed in March 2000 under the name Mississippi Gay Lobby, was the result of gay, lesbian and straight Mississippians coming together to lift a united fist and raise a united voice against the oppression and hatred of gay and lesbian Mississippians. On New Years Eve 1999/2000, Jamie Ray Tolbert was kidnapped from Joey's On The Beach, a gay bar in Biloxi at the time. He was beaten and strangled to death and his body was thrown out in the woods in Alabama. He was a close friend of Equality Mississippi founder and director Jody Renaldo. Jody's anger at the lack of equality in Mississippi and his hurt from his friend having been murdered, propelled him to finally stop being an arm-chair activist. He began assembling other Mississippians, regardless of sexual orientation or color or religious beliefs, that believed in basic dignity and equality for ALL human beings. And Mississippi Gay Lobby, now known as Equality Mississippi, was born.

While Equality Mississippi has always been a political gay and lesbian rights organization - meaning we didn't organize social events and parties, we were usually walking the hallways of the State Capitol building trying to educate the elected un-educated - the Board feels that now is the time for a revolution in the gay and lesbian realm in Mississippi. It's time for other people with passion and fire to come out of the closet and take on this fight.

Those of us that have been with Equality Mississippi for the entire 8 years, are of course feeling somber but we do have good memories of battles won (and no so good memories of battles lost). It was Equality Mississippi that publicly took on SkyTel and eventually got them to stop purchasing advertising during the queen of homophobia's radio show, the queen being "Dr." Laura Schlessinger. SkyTel is somewhat meaningless these days but back then, they were an MCI Worldcom company, big and well known in paging as AT&T is now known in cell phones. Then there is of course our many battles with Tupelo, Mississippi based American Family Association. We even got them to apologize once. Amazing! Our work with former state representative Erik Fleming saw an annual introduction of a bill that would have added "sexual orientation" to Mississippi's current hate crimes law. We've held protests from Gulfport to Oxford, Vicksburg to Meridian and many places in between.

At any rate, we just wanted to say to you: THANK YOU! Thank you for 8 years of putting your most treasured of belongings in our care: that being your right to live freely as the human being you are.


Iowa Supreme Court to hear gay marriage case this week

The Iowa Supreme Court this week will hear a same-sex marriage case that could become a national victory for the gay rights movement or a chance to reinforce Iowa's decade-old gay marriage ban.

Oral arguments begin Tuesday. Varnum vs. Brien, could make Iowa the first state in the Midwest to legalize same-sex marriage.

Couples filed lawsuits in 2005 after the Polk County recorder denied them marriage licenses. Last year, Polk County district Judge Robert Hanson declared the marriage ban unconstitutional and ignited a legal fire storm. Hanson later suspended his ruling until the Iowa Supreme Court decides the case.

Camilla Taylor, senior legal counsel for the national gay-rights group Lambda Legal, which helped bring the case, said the couples who filed the lawsuit are optimistic they will prevail.

The Iowa high court, she said, has traditionally led the nation on civil rights issues. For instance, she said, the court eliminated a ban on interracial marriage more than a century before the U.S. Supreme Court declared such laws unconstitutional.

Most Iowa Supreme Court rulings take two to six months to deliver after oral arguments, Iowa Judicial Branch spokesman Steve Davis said.

The high court acknowledged the case's high profile last week by extending the length of oral arguments and creating a special Web page for the case at www.judicial.state.ia.us/Supreme_Court/. Such decisions are rare and generally reserved for complex cases, Davis said.

Court administrators also plan to stream the oral arguments live on the Supreme Court Website.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

California begins investigation into Mormon Church

Finally, investigations are beginning in California:

California officials will investigate accusations that the Mormon Church neglected to report a battery of non-monetary contributions — including phone banks, a Web site and commercials — on behalf of a ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage.

Roman Porter, the executive director of the Fair Political Practices Commission, which oversees California campaign finance laws.

The complaint, filed by Fred Karger, founder of the group Californians Against Hate, asserted that the church’s reported contributions — about $5,000, according to state election filings — vastly underestimated its actual efforts in passing Proposition 8, which amended the state’s Constitution to recognize only male-female marriage.

Broadly speaking, California state law requires disclosure of any money spent or services provided to influence the outcome of an election.

Kim Farah, a spokeswoman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, issued a statement Tuesday saying it had received the complaint and would cooperate with the investigation.

Responding to a plea from Mormon Church leaders to “become involved in this important cause,” members contributed millions of dollars and volunteered for countless hours on behalf of Proposition 8. The ballot measure passed with 52 percent of the vote, leading to protests and boycotts of supporters of the proposition, including some Mormon temples and businesses.

Mr. Karger’s complaint paints a sweeping picture of the involvement by the church leadership, and raises questions about who paid for out-of-state phone banks and grass-roots rallies in California before the Nov. 4 vote.

“Who paid for the buses, travel costs, meals and other expenses of all the Mormon participants?” the complaint reads. “No contributions were reported.”

The complaint also touches on a five-state simulcast from church leaders to Mormon congregations, as well as a Web site, preservingmarriage.org, that featured a series of videos advocating passage of the ballot measure and is labeled “an official Web site” of the Mormon Church.

If found in violation of election laws, the church could face fines of up to $5,000 per violation, Mr. Porter said. Bigger fines could also be levied by a civil court.

The California Supreme Court agreed last week to review the constitutionality of the measure, with a ruling expected next year.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Mormon Church; Roseanne and Lady Bunny protest companies owned by them

Special thanks to Lady Bunny for this!

FROM ROSEANNE BARR: The Mormon church was the single largest monetary contributor to the VOTE "YES" ON PROPOSITION 8 campaign. The Mormon church gets its money from church-members and its business holdings.

Below is a list of organizations that are either owned by the Mormon church outright; owned, founded or run by Mormons in executive positions
(a portion of whose salary is tithed to the church); or in which the church owns a large percentage of stock.

I respectfully ask that you carefully review this list and think twice before you financially empower these companies with your patron dollars.

PLEASE BOYCOTT THE FOLLOWING BUSINESSES AND PEOPLE (IF IT IS A PERSON, DO NOT PURCHASE THEIR PRODUCTS):

Check-out this site for additional information: http://www.mormonstockindex.com.


Kentucky protests successful; Family Foundation tries to place us back in "check"

According to the Courier-Journal, Martin Cothran with the Family Foundation of Kentucky says gay-rights groups have “achieved many of their victories by going behind the backs of voters using judicial rulings rather than the legislative process. And when they suffer defeat in a democratic process, they get upset about it.” (story)

I guess I was sleeping when we changed our system of government from three (yes, that is
3 Martin) equal branches to only 2, or possibly 1; either way, if you believe any of the rhetoric from the Family Foundation of Kentucky under this scenario, the Judiciary Branch would be history. The REALLY scary thing is, some legislators in Kentucky proposed a law a couple of years ago to downgrade the authority of the Judiciary.

Family Foundations and Associations are useless! (story)

Congratulations to protesters in Lexington and Louisville; you made a huge impact! Gay rights are civil rights; each time you purchase something (non-food) in Kentucky, you are paying a 6% sales tax to the Commonwealth..... taxation without equality!

Wake-up Martin, marriage equality is not only coming to California, but Kentucky also; check-out www.marriageequalityky.org.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Multiple protests scheduled around Kentucky tomorrow; including Lexington, Louisville, and Berea

Kentucky Equality Federation, Marriage Equality Kentucky, GLSO Pride Center, and many others across the Commonwealth joins in the spirit of the grassroots movement taking to the streets to stand up for our full dignity as LGBT Americans.

Marriage Equality Kentucky will join in this national call to action and urge you to add your city and your voice to the growing call for liberty, justice and marriage equality for all around the country.

We urge organizers to continue the moment
um by joining the mailing list at www.kyLGBT.org, and volunteer.

Click here to visit the the Equality Center at kyLGBT.org for event information and links!

Join the Impact!


Multiple events are being held around Kentucky tomorrow!

Click here for additional information! We hope to see you there! We need your support!

Join the Impact!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Advocacy group abruptly closes, dismisses director

Mike Wilke, the man behind Commercial Closet Association, an association that promotes positive images of gays in advertising, is out of work after being dismissed and his organization abruptly shut down.

Wilke, founder and former executive director of the Commercial Closet Association, said the organization’s board voted two weeks ago to close and merge with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

Commercial Closet Association is a New York City based non-profit organization, founded in 2001, to educate and influence the $1.1 trillion annual worldwide advertising market ($128 billion in the US alone) to foster understanding, respect and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to achieve a more accepting society and successful business results.


Wilke, who started the Commercial Closet Association in 2001, said the shutdown left him unemployed and the organization’s other full-time employee to work part time. Wilke said as part of the planned merger with GLAAD, he was formally offered and had accepted a program director position.

But he said amidst the Commercial Closet Association shutdown, he’s been unable after a week of attempts to confirm with GLAAD President Neil Giuliano that the employment offer stands.

The Commercial Closet Association announced in a Tuesday press release that it would integrate its programs and operations with GLAAD, which promotes positive images of gays in media.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

New blogger claims Kentucky's LGBT Organizations are divided

A new blogger claims Kentucky's LGBT Organizations are "divided."

Click here to read the article.

Ummm, United We Stand is associated with Kentucky Equality Federation and Marriage Equality Kentucky. United We Stand posted Kentucky Fairness Alliance's FAIR PAC information along with Kentucky Equality PAC's.

Divided? No, the organizations simply believe the same goal(s) can be accomplished in totally different manners, and there is nothing wrong with that! United We Stand is pro-Kentucky Equality Federation and pro-Kentucky Fairness Alliance!


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Special thanks; we stood united!

Special thanks to everyone for their hard work and relentless dedication regardless of the outcome in Arkansas, Arizona, California, and Florida.

For the past couple of days, a quote from Ronald Regan continues to run through my mind: "Government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem." Though I am no fan of Regan because of the way he handled the AIDS crisis, the quote is true nonetheless. Since the Stonewall Riots, we continue to openly fight against the unnecessary burdens and inequality placed on our community by our governments.

Remember, regardless of what happens in each individual state, we have been successful because we stood united as a community and raised our hands in protest.

We will continue to have dedication and perseverance until equality for all is established.


Monday, November 03, 2008

Kentucky's LGBT PAC's Candidate Information

Please remember to vote for pro-LGBT candidates! Both Kentucky Equality PAC (Kentucky Equality Federation), and FAIR PAC (Kentucky Fairness Alliance) have candidates listed who have been pro (or anti) LGBT.

Please visit them at the following:
http://www.kyequalitypac.org (contains information on both the House and Senate)


Kentucky House: http://kentuckyfairness.org/fairpac/HouseRaces2008.pdf

Kentucky Senate: http://kentuckyfairness.org/fairpac/SenateRaces2008.pdf

Overall, it doesn't look like a lot of candidates returned questionnaires from either Kentucky Equality PAC or FAIR PAC. Kentucky Equality suspects a lot of them did not want to actually go on the record; candidates who did not return questionnaires from Kentucky Equality PAC are not listed; we can no longer allow people running for office as public servants to remain in the dark on issues important to us!

Contested races are critical; we need more pro-LGBT candidates in the Kentucky Senate, and we need to pick-up additional pro-LGBT candidates in the House of Representatives.

Sign-up for email alerts today at www.kyLGBT.org.


Blogger(s) target McConnell as being homosexual

One of the most popular and respected LGBT blogs (Pam's House Blend) is citing sources again claiming incumbent U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell is in fact, homosexual. McConnell, who is facing a tough re-election campaign is part of Kentucky's Congressional Delegation.

Click here to read the article.

Another contributor to Pam's House Blend adds:

It's the worst-kept secret in Washington and many people in Louisville and Lexington know how queer their senator is. But in rural counties around Paducah, Bowling Green, Covington, Pikeville, Somerset... not a clue. Well, not 'til today. As many as 150,000 of the above fliers are being placed on windshields in the most Republican precincts in Kentucky.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Gay equality in Kentucky Government hasn't hurt Gov. Beshear

According to a Herald-Leader/WKYT Kentucky poll, the approval rating for our new chief of state and government, Governor Beshear, is up 18 points!

It doesn't look like creating job security for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people in Kentucky's Government has hindered the current Governor in the slightest, nor did it help a politically wounded former Governor when he rescinded them in 2006. (story)


The average Kentuckian values equality and fairness!


Violence erupts as the gay marriage vote nears

Tensions are running high over election 2008. In California there are growing number of dirty tricks, vandalism and threats of violence. Carmichael resident Marge Otto had a McCain sign in her front yard. She found a threat written on it "Bleep McCain, Bleep you, vote Obama or die." The message was handwritten, along with a warning that her house would be vandalized if she dared re-plant her lawn sign. Marge's family was intimidated and convinced her to remove any political placards.

The increasing number of attacks are becoming more bold. And they are not limited to presidential politics. In San Jose, supporters of Prop 8, which would ban gay marriage in California, were victimized by graffiti vandals who didn't like their message. A message was written on their car which read "Bigots live here."

The leader of Kern County's campaign in support of a ballot measure that would ban same-sex marriage in California was videotaped at a pro-gay marriage rally kicking and punching a protester.

Violence was also reported in other areas of California and isolated areas of Florida.

The latest prompted a response from Marriage Equality USA's President:

We must remember to take the high road, and not partake in any actions that result in violence. Marriage Equality USA has a very strong commitment to non-violence in its activities.

There have been some less than stellar instances of behavior on both sides of the issue ranging from stealing of signs, destruction of property, vandalism, and physical harm to individuals participating on both sides. Please remember to use caution and good judgment when canvassing and tabling at events. No one should be working alone, you should always be in pairs with others knowledgeable about your whereabouts.


Keep this in mind also when you watch the video:

"The plague of mankind is the fear and rejection of diversity: monotheism, monarchy, monogamy and, in our age, monomedicine. The belief that there is only one right way to live, only one right way to regulate religious, political, sexual, medical affairs is the root cause of the greatest threat to man: members of his own species, bent on ensuring his salvation, security, and sanity."


The Face of Proposition 8 from Theremina on Vimeo.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Time, and with it, the threat of losing civil rights is ticking away

Initiated Act 1, which Arkansas voters will decide on this November, would prohibit unmarried co-habitating couples from adopting or fostering children. Although this act is intended as an attack on the LGBT community, it also would prevent unmarried opposite-sex couples from adopting or fostering.

Act 1 has not received a lot of national attention. If it passes, right-wing groups across the country may try to replicate its success in other states.
For additional information, visit www.arkansasfamiliesfirst.org.

Please also remember that we are fighting three (3) constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage this year! Check-out the following links:


Thursday, October 02, 2008

We’re not “lovin’ it“

Kentucky Equality Federation unconditionally supports the Louisville Fairness Campaign in the following action alert:

Protest Against Anti-gay Discrimination at McDonald’s

WHEN:
Friday, October 10, at Noon
WHERE: McDonald’s, 420 E Market St., Louisville

WHY:
While 5 visitors waited for their food to be prepared, an employee behind the counter referred to them as "faggots" to another employee. The visitors asked to speak with a manager. As they waited for the supervisor on duty to appear, the employee who had called them "faggots" started arguing with them, repeatedly calling them "faggots" in front of other customers and calling one of them a "cocksucker" and "bitch."

The supervisor on duty refused to refund the group's purchase, claiming that only the restaurant's general manager could authorize a refund. All attempts to solve the issue with McDonald’s managers have been ignored.

  • Kentucky Equality Federation handled a similar complaint against Steak n' Shake in 2006 (story), and Halloween Express in 2007 (story).


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kentucky Court of Appeals rejects adoption by lesbian couple

In a shocking ruling, the Kentucky Court of Appeals struck down another court ruling allowing a woman to co-parent her same-sex partner’s child.

The ruling also made clear: No more cases involving co-parenting by same-sex couples.

“It is not this or any court’s role to judge whether the legislature’s prohibition of same-sex marriage … is morally defensible or socially enlightened,” the appeals court said in a written ruling.

The statement from the court is shocking since the judicial branch of government has oversight of legislative acts. Since the founding of our nation minority groups have turned to the courts for equal treatment.

Hopefully, this ruling will be challenged (to the Kentucky Supreme Court). But, a study published in 2007 by the Supreme Court of California found that of all state supreme courts in the United States, the decisions of the Kentucky Supreme Court were the least followed by other states' appellate courts.


Friday, September 12, 2008

FYI.... Governor Beshear declares emergency to prevent price gouging

Governor Steve Beshear has declared a state of emergency to prevent price gouging on gasoline and other items as hurricane Ike moves closer to the Texas coast.

I am outraged by the voracious practices of price gouging we are seeing,” Beshear said in a statement. “Today, I have taken an extraordinary step to protect the consumers of the commonwealth from these predators.”

The declaration triggers several consumer protection measures, including authorization for the Kentucky Attorney General to investigate and prosecute those who engage in predatory pricing during a disaster.

Speaking to reporters outside the Lexington Health Department, Beshear said he had spoken with Attorney General Jack Conway, who is beginning to investigate complaints that have been pouring into both of their offices all day.

Beshear said taking such measures wasn't politically motivated.

"I would ask folks to look at the gas pumps. It's anything but politics," he said. "I think it is an emergency when folks wake up in the morning and all of a sudden they're having to pay 50 cents, 60 cents, 70 cents more at the gas pumps than the day before when the hurricane hasn't even hit anything."

Conway, the attorney general, has scheduled a briefing later Friday. Anyone with specific complaints about specific gas stations are encouraged to email information to gaspricecomplaints@ag.ky.gov.

In Lexington, people lined up two to three cars deep at area gas stations.

“It’s been busy all day long,” said Jacqueline Wilkinson of the Thorntons on Winchester Road near Interstate 75. “Usually on Fridays we’re busy, but nothing like this.”

Lerry Campbell of Lerry’s Hair Design left work to fill up after hearing concerns that stations might run out. Sure enough. He stopped by the Speedway at Liberty Road only to learn it was out of regular unleaded because of the unexpectedly high demand.

“I was almost on empty,” he said.

Some people brought in extra gas cans to fill up. Beside Campbell at Shell was Jean May of Lexington who heard talk that the price might go up a dollar as Hurricane Ike approaches refineries along the Gulf Coast.

She initially passed the Shell and Thorntons, which was charging $3.729, in favor of checking the station at Wal-Mart because “they’re usually cheaper.” Nope. It was more than 10 cents higher and by the time she returned, Thorntons and Shell had raised their prices.

“Wouldn’t you know it,” she said laughing.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Actor Matt Damon rips Sarah Palin

Money quote: "I need to know if she really thinks dinosaurs were here four thousand years ago....I want to know that -- I really do; because she's going to have the nuclear codes."


Florida Judge Rules Gay Adoption Ban Unconstitutional

A Florida judge has found the state's 31-year ban on gay adoptions to be unconstitutional, reports the Miami Herald. The ruling from Judge David Audlin Jr. will allow a gay Key West resident to adopt the teenage boy he has raised as a foster parent since 2001.

Judge Audlin said the adoption was in the child's "best interest" and asserted that barring gays from adopting conflicted with the state constitution since it targets a specific group for punishment. Audlin had appointed the foster father to be the boy's legal guardian in 2006. At a hearing earlier this year, the order says the boy testified that he wanted the man to be his "forever father...because I love him," the Herald reports.

''Contrary to every child welfare principle,'' Audlin wrote in his opinion, ''the gay adoption ban operates as a conclusive or irrebuttable presumption that...it is never in the best interest of any adoptee to be adopted by a homosexual.''

Florida and Mississippi are the only two states that currently forbid gays and lesbians from adopting children. (The Advocate)


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Gay Rights Groups Condemn Gov. Palin's Church; Palin's Position on the Issue Sought

Gov. Sarah Palin's church is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through the power of prayer. "You'll be encouraged by the power of God's love and His desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality," according to the insert in the bulletin of the Wasilla Bible Church.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fortune 500 Companies and LGBT Discrimination

Equality Forum, a national and international gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) civil rights organization, reported that 471 (94.2%) of the 2008 FORTUNE 500 companies voluntarily include sexual orientation in their employment nondiscrimination policies. This year marks the fifth anniversary of Equality Forum's FORTUNE 500 project, which is a collaboration with Professor Louis Thomas, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Ian Ayres, William K. Townsend Professor, Yale Law School.

Exxon Mobil is the largest of the FORTUNE 500 that does not specifically provide sexual orientation protection. At the 2006, 2007 and 2008 annual Exxon Mobil shareholders meetings, Vanguard voted its proxy of 194 million shares for including sexual orientation workplace equality and against Exxon Mobil management's opposition.
Noncompliant Companies (spend your money someplace else):

  • AES
  • Aleris International
  • Auto-Owners Insurance
  • AT&T
  • BJ Services
  • Cameron International
  • Celanese
  • CHS
  • Commercial Metals
  • D.R. Horton
  • DISH Network (they also do not carry LGBT channels or programming)
  • Energy Transfer Equity
  • Expeditors International of Washington
  • Exxon Mobil
  • Fidelity National Financial
  • Frontier Oil
  • GMAC (no longer owned by General Motors)
  • Holly
  • Huntsman
  • Jarden
  • KBR
  • Kroger
  • Leggett & Platt
  • Perini
  • Pilgrim's Pride
  • Plains All American Pipeline
  • Targa Resources
  • TRW Automotive Holdings
  • Universal Health Services
  • Virgin Media
  • Western Refining
Some of the largest Compliant Companies:

  • General Motors
  • General Electric
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Amazon.com
  • Target
  • Dollar General
  • Family Dollar Stores
  • Big Lots
  • Office Depot
  • OfficeMax
  • Lexmark International
  • Chevron
  • Sprint
  • Home Depot
  • Procter & Gamble
  • General Mills
  • Winn-Dixie
  • Marathon Oil
  • Walgreen's
  • Rite Aid
  • Best Buy
  • Walt Disney
  • FedEx


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

An intolerant gay community

Two weeks ago, news emerged that the co-founder of the website Manhunt.net had contributed $2,300 to the presidential campaign of John McCain. Uproar ensued.

Haven't heard of Manhunt?

Unless you're a gay man, that's to be expected. It's one of the most popular gay websites in the world, with 1 million registered members in the U.S. alone and 400,000 unique visitors a month. As its name implies, it's a site where many gay men go to find "casual" sexual encounters.

Except that the Internet, as Jonathan Crutchley recently discovered, isn't really private. He founded Manhunt with his partner, Larry Basile, in 2001. He ran into trouble when Out published an article about the website in its current issue. The article, in passing, referred to Crutchley -- who until last week was chairman of the board at Manhunt -- as a "liberal Republican." That tidbit apparently shocked gay blogger Andy Towle, who within seconds found Crutchley's donation to McCain on a contributor database and posted the news on his website.

The shaming and condemnation of Crutchley was swift and unforgiving.

"Let's show MANHUNT what we in the gay community think of members of our community who support politicians who vote against the interests of the community," an anonymous commenter wrote. "Delete your MANHUNT profile!" Michelangelo Signorile, a gay liberal radio host, labeled Crutchley "asinine" simply for supporting McCain.

Rarely do you come across a political candidate who shares each and every one of your political views, and Crutchley's support for McCain was hardly different from that of any other donor who doesn't make the perfect the enemy of the good. "I believe McCain will be a better commander in chief than Obama, who also opposes gay marriage," Crutchley wrote on a website that covers the online personal ad industry. "If we have an experienced, seasoned person defending the country in this dangerous age, we will be able to argue about the gay agenda later."

That explanation might not please every gay activist, but it is a feeling shared by many gay people. According to exit polls, about 25% of gays voted for George W. Bush in the last two presidential elections (the actual number is likely higher, seeing that many gays do not identify themselves as such to pollsters).

The fact that Crutchley is a Republican ought not to come as much of a surprise then, especially considering that he's a self-made millionaire. And he's hardly a radical right-winger either. "I'm a Massachusetts Republican," he wrote, "which is about the same as being an Alabama Democrat."

But such nuance is apparently irrelevant to those who equate homosexuality with political liberalism. Manhunt hasn't revealed how many people canceled their profiles. However, just how poisonous Crutchley's politics can be in a gay milieu can be deduced from the speed with which he stepped down from his position as chairman -- at "the request of the board," according to Basile. Crutchley maintains his co-ownership of the site.

If the intent was to silence a conservative gay voice, it appears to have succeeded.

The hue and cry over Crutchley's politics is all too familiar. Why can't gay activists countenance the idea of a "Massachusetts Republican"? Liberal intolerance. In the minds of too many on the left, gay people (like women and ethnic minorities) have to be liberal and support Democratic candidates. To do otherwise -- to have opinions on issues that don't follow the left-wing line -- is to be a traitor to the gay "community."

Anyone ever hear of the Log Cabin Republicans?

For too long, many gay-rights activists have acted as if throwing temper tantrums will magically bring about their political agenda. But labeling everyone with whom they don't agree a "bigot" does not help gay equality.

Civil rights for gays can't come about without the help of Republicans; gay people -- and straight supporters allies need to stand with, not silence, people like Crutchley who are working to change the GOP from within.

Did we forget California? The state Supreme Court loaded with Republican appointees legalized gay marriage and the Republican governor is one of the most powerful pro-gay publicly elected officials in the country, to understand the importance of making gay rights a bipartisan cause.

Aside from sexuality, gay people are no different from heterosexuals. There are gay people of all races, income levels, occupations, body types and, yes, political beliefs. Gay liberals are always crowing about the importance of "diversity" and lauding its importance on matters of race and gender. Too bad diversity doesn't count when it comes to politics.


Monday, August 25, 2008

McCain, the next U.S. President?

The McCain camp has a new TV add for the Democratic National Convention:

“I'm a proud Hillary Clinton Democrat,” says Debra Bartoshevich, a Racine-area nurse, as she looks into the camera. “She had the experience and judgment to be President. Now, in a first for me, I'm supporting a Republican, John McCain.”

Additionally, McCain’s campaign said that
Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO who has become among the GOP’s most visible women surrogates, will be in town to meet privately with some Democrats who backed Clinton in the primary and not yet fully committed to Obama.

Large numbers of Clinton backers — 30 percent in a recent ABC/Washington Post poll — are still not backing Obama over McCain.

"Obama not making Clinton his running mate will likely make McCain the next U.S. President," is what I continue to hear in the LGBT community.

Obama only got the number of delegates he needed very, very late in the season and the Senator Clinton had an impressive campaign. By campaign's end, Clinton had won 1,640 pledged delegates to Obama's 1,763, a mere 3.6 percentage point difference.

The Obama campaign is doing their best to paper over the deep divisions in their party among the many Hillary Clinton supporters who do not want Barack Obama to be president.

“There are a significant number [of Democrats] that want Hillary Clinton,” RNC Chairman Mike Duncan told reporters today during an open house of the temporary war room the GOP has opened up to counter-program the Democrats this week. “Typically when parties are split, the other one wins.”

A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll released last week made plain why Republicans are trying to play up divisions. According to the survey, 21 percent of Clinton supporters are supporting McCain and that another 27 percent are still holding out.


Saturday, August 09, 2008

Religion and Gay Marriage

"What if this whole crusade's a charade, and behind it all there's a price to be paid for the blood on which we dine, justified in the name of the holy and the divine?"

By: DaniDe

I'll never fully understand religion. The topic itself fascinates me because it is one that so many people get worked up over. Although I was raised Catholic, I currently am at a stage in my life where I don't know if I believe in the existence of a higher being nor do I truly care. At one point in my life I probably would have said that death was my greatest fear because of my wavering faith in Christianity and the overall uncertainty that comes from it. But now I have come to realize that death isn't something to be feared and that my energy and worries are must better wasted on issues relevant to the present situations that I live in. I simply do not feel that I need to have the looming threat of eternal damnation in order to force me to be a good person. To me, it seems inherently hypocritical to one who practices a religion to say that they require a religious backing in order to create or even reinforce a desire to do good. I have never felt that I should be a good person because it is what was expected of me by a higher power. Nor have I ever felt that I need a super-empirical safety net to give my life value. I guess what I have come to realize is that the reason I am not religious is because I have no purpose for being so. I am able to obtain ethics and value out of my daily life without a need or desire for religion or spirituality.

However, even though I personally do not need religion in my life to be a happy and fulfilled person, I wish to clarify that I do not condemn those who do. Furthermore, I find nothing wrong with having a strong religious identity and I do not belittle those with a solid faith or spirituality by labeling them as weak-minded. I do, however, have a huge issue with religion when it becomes appallingly misinterpreted and abused. Too many times throughout history (and even in modern day) religion has been used as a justification for actions that are in no way, shape, or form truly representative of the intentions of religious practice. To further elaborate this point, I call upon an example that illustrates how modern misinterpretation of the Bible can cause religion to be vilely misconstrued and used as a weapon of intolerance and injustice.

But, before I do so, I would like to say that despite the fact that I am not religious, that does not mean I do not think that the Bible is not an excellent source for values and morality. Although I may not believe in some of the Church's teachings about the divine nature of Jesus of Nazareth, that does not mean that I do not think the message that Jesus preached does not have any value. In fact, I truly think that the message and values Jesus taught are ones that all people should live by so long as they actually put into practice his message and values and do not corrupt them to their own benefit. What I mean by this is that many modern interpretations of the Bible are not truly interpreted in the spirit of the message of Jesus of Nazareth.

This becomes clearly evident with the issue of homosexuality. If I could only count how many times that I have heard someone say homosexuality is wrong and that sodomy is a sin. While the Catholic church has recently slightly changed their position on homosexuality (they now preach that being a homosexual is not a sin so long as homosexuals do not engage in sexual behavior) many fundamentalist Christian denominations believe that homosexuality is not only inherently wrong but that it is sinful and disgusting. To this, they back their arguments by quoting scripture and different biblical verses. Apparently, after doing so, they find that their arguments have sound proof and that their stance on the issue is thus completely justified.

How very foolish this approach really is.

I am not sure how many people have ever heard of the idea of "context" reading but if anyone has ever taken an SAT they probably recall coming across the reading section of the SAT and encountering a question that in one form or another asked, "What is the main idea of this paragraph?" Following this question, there would be four options. Usually a couple of them would be direct quotes from the passage that, although they were mentioned within the passage, are really just diminutive details that really are not representative of the overall purpose or intention of the passage. Then there will be a couple answers that don't quote the text, but offer a summary of it—one correct, the other wrong. One answer will have clearly nothing to do with the topic and offer a summary to some text completely foreign to the passage on the page before it. The final answer may not have any words directly from the text but after deductions and analytical connections are made, it is evident that it truly gives the best representation of what the intention of the passage was. This answer is the correct answer.

I call upon this example to show how one quote or one scripture citing can rarely truly represent the main idea of a text. So when people use Old Testament passages to justify their anti-homosexual stances, I become upset by their method of biblical interpretation. First off, most Christians argue the Old Testament in itself is outdated and whereas the Old Testament was a document of the covenant of the Jewish people with God, the New Testament is a document of the new covenant of all people with God. Since this is the approach taken by most Christians, I find it in bad taste to turn to the Old Testament to justify a teaching of anti-homosexuality. But even then, my biggest issue goes back to saying the Bible justifies anti-homosexuality by quoting single biblical passages. It is at this point that I say people need to learn how to "context" read, that is, look for the main idea of the Bible as a whole—and, if you are a Christian, specifically emphasize the main idea of the New Testament. To those who think they can justify any interpretation of the Bible as being anti-homosexual after doing so I must say to them--Think again. I've read the bible in its entirety and I've been educated on it thoroughly (13 years of Catholic Schooling!). I know I am capable of quoting more scripture verses and showing more knowledge of biblical history, authorship, themes, and purposes than most Christians or Catholics who swear by the Bible as their book of salvation. In other words, I know a bit about the bible so I truly despise when religious folk argue with me that I am uninformed of the purposes behind Christian texts and doctrine just because I do not practice them. So, when you tell me that the Bible is anti-homosexual I simply cannot do anything but tell you that you have been utterly misinformed. The Bible I know shows Jesus as a healer, forgiver of sins, and a friend to societal outcasts. Jesus was a friend of the prostitutes, the beggars, the tax collectors, the Samaritans—all groups of people that were considered the outcasts of society in his time and day. So, if you, by any capability are able to apply situational factors from the past to the present, you would realize that, had Jesus been around today he would have befriended society's outcasts--who better to fall in that category than the homosexual community which so many continue to condemn today. To those Christians who condemn homosexuals, I say to you, who are you to condemn, when your own God told you "Let he without sin cast the first stone." The God of the New Testament, the God of the Christians, is a loving and forgiving God who extends his welcome to all people. And, as Jesus himself told his disciples, the final and greatest commandment of all is "To love your neighbor as yourself." If this truly is the commandment above all other commandments, laws, and teachings, it seems that any teaching that could even begin to appear anti-homosexual would be overridden by the ultimate commandment that Jesus established. As Jesus told us, all people are our neighbors (a category that includes homosexuals) so his commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves meant that we must love all people as we do ourselves. So I must ask then, how can one even begin to love a homosexual if they condemn their very being? I just don't see how that is possible. To me it seems that any person who is homophobic on the basis of religious belief is actually in violation of their own biblical doctrine, for they are, above all things, breaking the greatest commandment of them all.

It is with this interpretation in mind, that I believe society has wronged the homosexual community. Many religious people do not support gay marriage today because they either believe that 1. Homosexuality in itself in wrong or that 2. Marriage is a holy institution established by God between a Man and a woman. To any person who finds themselves falling into either of these categories, I would like to point-out that marriage was an institution separate of religion long before the time of Jesus. It wasn't even viewed to be a ceremony in which God intervened until a Church council if 300AD decided to make it a sacrament. So, marriage was an institution originally established by mankind that mankind later transformed to be a covenant between two people and the Lord. In this sense, the intolerance that arises from not allowing homosexuals to marry does not come from a biblical standpoint or even an accurately interpreted religious viewpoint, it really comes from the prejudice of those who attempt to justify their intolerance by basis of their faith even when their faith, in essence, does not truly allow for it.

It is for these reason that I do not believe that the anti-homosexual base in America is rooted in the proper practice of religious doctrine. I truly believe, and do so with biblical evidentiary support, that anyone who attempts to use scripture to justify injustice, intolerance, and prejudice does so out of their own selfish bigotry and contempt. For, as Shakespeare once wrote, "Even the devil can quote scripture for his own purposes."

As Shakespeare believed, at the end of the day, any religious book--be it the Bible, the Tanakh, or the Qu'ran--can be used to justify evil actions that contradict the original intentions of the text from which they are derived. It is these contradictions that lead to problems when they are grossly misconstrued. And it is these problems that have become a significant issue at the heart of religious intolerance and misunderstanding in the world that we live in today.


Saturday, August 02, 2008

Against God's law?

I was on a radio show this weekend to discuss "Should society recognize gay marriage?" Well, I assumed we would be discussing the legality of the subject, problems some people have with the general idea, and of course the "gay people do not deserve special rights" argument.

To my dismay, the show focused on "Is it against God's law?"

Homosexuality is not unique in its status as an issue some people use to justify their hatred and/or repression of others. Throughout the history of this country, the world, and the church there have been other issues that were divisive in nature: anti-Semitism, slavery, and female clergy to name a few.

The person kept arguing "being homosexual is a choice." Being gay isn't a choice; it is something you are born with.

After the show I posted a blog on the radio shows website. Click here to view it.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Gay Sex Trumps Corruption on Senate Sin List

Checkout this article about Kentucky's own, Mitch McConnell:

Let's take a civics quiz. In Congress which is worse: being corrupt or being gay? Time is up. Pencils down. If you answered being gay, you've been paying attention, class. Of the 10 Commandments, it is much better to break the one about stealing than the one about sex.

This teaching moment comes to you courtesy of His Holiness, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who took a powder from reporters crowded into the Capitol this week after the indictment of Ted Stevens, the Senate's longest-serving Republican and once third in line to the presidency.

...........

If you quickly passed the one-minute quiz above, take the rest of your time to call McConnell and tell him the bribery of public officials, the reign of lobbyists and the mortgaging of democracy to special interests are what's crippling Congress, not sex.

The pity is how long these guys hang on (it's always guys) when the facts are overwhelming, the quid pro quo obvious, and the republic's reputation at stake. The Constitution guarantees you're innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, but it doesn't guarantee you a Senate seat in the meantime.
(more)



Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Several people shot at gay affirming church in Knoxville, Tennessee

Church services were disrupted Sunday at a gay-affirming church in Knoxville when a lone gunman opened fire killing at least one person, and wounded several more.

Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, 2931 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, was the site of the vicious attack. It occurred while a group of children were singing for the congregation when the gunman opened fire. The children were staring in a production of "Annie" that was taking place as part of the normal Sunday service at the time of the shooting.

A member of the congregation wrote in a national blog that the church just recently put up a sign welcoming gays. One of the goals of the church's long range plan is to
"Increase congregational participation in human rights programs for
gay/lesbian/transgendered persons."


Seven people have been injured. Two have died. Two were treated and released and five remain in critical or serious condition at UT Medical Center. Police found a multi-page, handwritten letter in the vehicle of the suspect.

The Associated Press has reported that Knoxville's police chief says the man accused of a shooting that killed two people at a Tennessee church targeted the congregation because of its liberal social stance. Chief Sterling Owen IV said Monday that police found a letter in Jim D. Adkisson's car. Owen said Adkisson was apparently frustrated over being out of work and had a "stated hatred of the liberal movement." The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that Chief Owen said the letter stated his "hatred of the liberal movement," Owen said. "Liberals in general, as well as gays."


Thursday, July 24, 2008

4 out of 10 Gay Men Are Not Out To Their Doctors

A recent study in New York City says 4 out of 10 gay men are not out to their doctors about their sexuality - meaning they are far less likely to get tested for HIV.

The study continues:

Black, Hispanic and Asian men are far less likely to tell their doc that they're gay than white men, a Health Department survey of 452 gay men shows.

Thirty-nine percent of all gay men weren't out to their doctor. Some 60% of black men said they didn't tell their doctor; 48% of Hispanic men; 47% of Asian men, and 19% of white men.

Just over half of men under 28 were open with their doctor, compared to 69% older. Some 63% who are out have got an HIV test, compared to 36% of those who aren't.

"It's a combination of people being less comfortable with the term gay or homosexual, and discrimination they perceive they will experience if they are open about their sexual experiences and attractions," said Dr. Elizabeth Begier, the city's director of HIV epidemiology.

Doctors are implicated in the don't-ask-don't-tell dynamic, too.

"As a group, doctors fail miserably at doing it," said Assistant Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Sweeney.

"People were not reluctant to talk once you brought it up," she said. "They're reluctant to initiate, but once you bring up highly emotional issues, patients will talk about it if you're not judgmental."

Partly because of the communication gap, the city is promoting routine HIV testing, starting in the Bronx. Federal health officials recommend medical providers offer the test to everyone between 13 and 64.


Just because you're gay, it doesn't mean you have HIV or AIDS for that matter. Remember, you can also get tested at a local Health Department, AVOL, AVOC, etc. HIV/AIDS in the Bluegrass Region of the Commonwealth continues to climb and we are doing a horrible job at educating teenagers and the general public about it.


Monday, July 14, 2008

South Carolina: 3 years for gay murder

If one thing is apparent, it is that the U.S. Midwest and Southern states have a long, long way to go for LGBT rights..... let alone marriage equality.

I remain surprised that most LGBT advocates in those areas don't even like to place the words "gay" and "marriage" in the same sentence. In addition to marriage equality, hate crime laws, discriminations laws, and domestic partner benefits seems a long way off.

A couple of days ago, the first state of leave the Union sentenced a man for killing a gay teenager to 3 years in prison.
Yes, 3 years. The State of South Carolina has no hate crime law that covers LGBT people.

The brutality of the telephone call the man made after hitting the victim, Sean Kennedy, has kept this blogger awake [it is now nearly 4 AM EST].

“Hey, I was just wondering how your boyfriend’s feeling right about now [laughter]. The f___ing faggot..... Yeah boy, your boy is knocked out, man. The mother______. Tell him he owes me $500 for breaking my g__damn hand on his teeth, that f___ing b____.”

As one local told me in an email: "
Equally troubling to me is that not one single LGBT organization has spoken out about this, organized protests, sent out fliers, issued an action alert to promote new hate crime legislation, used a damn phone, or even send flowers to the victim’s family to show that they care. What happened to that joke we call the Human Rights Campaign or the South Carolina Equality Coalition? Why isn't someone screaming in Columbia that this is wrong?"

Click here to read the story by Matt Comer.


Another gay issue in the Anglican Communion

As the threat of the issue of gay marriage, and now a gay priest being appointed Bishop threatens to tear apart the Anglican Communion, its 80 million members (making it the 3rd largest church in the world) are receiving no feedback from Queen Elizabeth II.

The Anglican Communion is an association of churches in full communion with the Church of England (which may be regarded as the "mother church" of the worldwide communion) and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Episcopal Church is the official name of the Province of the Anglican Communion in the United States. The U.S. National Cathedral belongs to this church, and more than half of U.S. presidents have been members.


Conservative priests yesterday responded with alarm to Dr Morgan’s remarks that he would support the appointment of an openly gay bishop if one was chosen by the Church’s electoral body. They warned such an appointment would be “disastrous” and could even end up splitting the church.

The row comes as leaders from across the Anglican Communion prepare to gather in England this week for the crucial once-a-decade Lambeth Conference.

As Queen, Elizabeth II is the ex-officio "Supreme Governor of the Church of England." It is the Queen who appoints the highest ranking members to the church. A simple statement from the Queen would carry significant impact, and possibly quell the situation. Buckingham Palace, however, remains silent for the moment.

In 2005, a evangelical Christian group begged Queen Elizabeth II to intercede and stop Canada's same-sex marriage bill from becoming law. The group wanted the Queen to instruct her representative as head of state in Canada - Governor General Adrienne Clarkson - not to sign the bill into law. The Queen, however, did not intercede.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Family Association and Foundations are useless

I ran across this article (actually, a friend forwarded it to me), and I think this blogger perfectly describes 'family' associations and foundations.

The last few weeks have shown that so-called pro-family organizations are some of the most useless, money-sucking scams in the world. With real families suffering from economic hardship in America, a declining birthrate in Europe and Google doubling the price of daycare for employees, the only thing right wing family groups want to discuss is their bizarre and all-encompassing fagela fetish. Recently, The Brooklyn Paper, had a huge headline, "SPLITSVILLE: Brooklyn divorces up 30%." The article cited a number of reasons including, "when the economy tanks, so do many marriages."

One would think this would alarm so-called pro-family organizations and they would be out in force repairing marriages - or at least looking for economic solutions to take the stress off couples. Unfortunately, as I walked around my Brooklyn neighborhood, I saw not one representative from the American Family Association.

Well, I take that back. I did encounter one of the group's representatives on CNN Headline News as we debated a Heinz mayonnaise ad in the United Kingdom that featured two men kissing. I'm sure the children of these broken marriages in Brooklyn will feel much better knowing Heinz pulled the ad and they can have gay-free mayonnaise at both mommy and daddy's separate houses.


This reminds me of
Kentucky's Rep. David Watkins (D-Henderson) slamming the Family Foundation of Kentucky in an open session of the Kentucky House Standing Committee on Health & Welfare for trying to discriminate against the LGBT community in health insurance benefits.

Rep. Watkins slams a Kentucky Senator in the process. The bill in question would have stopped LGBT people at Kentucky universities from adding their 'domestic-partner' to their health insurance.

I wish more Representatives and Senators had this attitude. Watch this video: