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.

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:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Fighting for equality

Three states will be voting on whether to approve or reject Constitutional Amendments to make gay marriage illegal.

In November, citizens in Arizona, California, and Florida will decide if same-sex couples will share the same rights heterosexual couples do under state law.

Political Action Committees are lining up to combat the measure in each state:

A similar constitutional amendment was approved by voters in Kentucky during the 2004 General Election.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Christian Site's Ban on 'G' Word Sends Homosexual to Olympics

The American Family Association makes a huge mistake.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Obama and McCain on California's Gay Marriages

Log Cabin Republicans issued the following statement today about presidential hopeful Sen. McCain:

Late last week, the group pushing California’s anti-marriage constitutional amendment released an email from a McCain staffer saying the Senator backed the amendment. We now have confirmation that this represents the Senator’s view. “Unfortunately, his position on this amendment hurts gay and lesbian families,” said Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon. “We obviously disagree with Senator McCain and do not believe he should have interjected himself into this state issue.”

“Supporting this amendment is inconsistent with Sen. McCain’s belief in federalism,” said Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon. “Backing California’s ban sends the wrong signal to the independents who will decide this election because it creates the impression that he’s pandering to social conservative leaders.”

Democratic Sen. Barack Obama announced his opposition to the California November ballot.

Obama is skating gingerly past his previous position on the issue. The Illinois senator said repeatedly that he believes marriage should only be between man and a woman. When the California Supreme Court overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage in May, Obama released a carefully nuanced statement saying he respected the court's decision, believed states should make their own decisions on marriage and "will continue to fight for civil unions as President."

But civil unions, gay activists have often argued, aren't the same as marriage, which would put Obama on the wrong side of what's increasingly seen as a civil rights issue.

Although California's proposed constitutional amendment affects only Californians, the battle is extending far beyond the state's borders.

More importantly, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says the effort to ban same-sex marriage "a waste of time." He said he believes marriage should be between a man and a woman but does not think that view should be forced on anyone else.