Cuz, that's why.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Other countries continue to surpass American efforts to legalize gay marriage. Argentina's the latest on that list.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Two Argentine men were joined Monday in Latin America's first same-sex marriage, traveling to the southernmost tip of the Americas to find a welcoming spot to wed.
Gay rights activists Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre were married in Ushuaia, the capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego state, exchanging rings at an informal ceremony witnessed by state and federal officials.
"My knees didn't stop shaking," said the 41-year-old Di Bello. "We are the first gay couple in Latin America to marry."
The slim, dark-haired couple previously tried to marry in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires but were thwarted by city officials citing conflicting judicial rulings. Argentina's Constitution is silent on whether marriage must be between a man and a woman, effectively leaving the matter to state and city officials.
This time around, they traveled to a remote seaside fishing village at the end of South America that is closer to Antarctica than Buenos Aires. The ceremony took place during the region's brief summer thaw.
Tierra del Fuego Gov. Fabiana Rios said in a statement that gay marriage "is an important advance in human rights and social inclusion and we are very happy that this has happened in our state."
An official representing the federal government's antidiscrimination agency, Claudio Morgado, attended the wedding in the city of Ushuaia and called the occasion "historic."
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Well? What is it?
Here are my suggestions.
I love my day job.
Happy New Year!
Celebrating the end of what Time magazine called "The Decade From Hell" shouldn't be hellish as well. Celebrate the ends and beginnings. For skating, movie-going and museum-going options on the holidays, see Friday and Thursday's listings.
Wanna dance for real? New Year's Eve Country-Western Dance at the Hotel Whitcomb is the place as Sundance Saloon celebrates the new year with its first dance party. Enjoy line-dancing and two-stepping into 2010. $15-$20. 8pm-1am (dance lessons 8pm-9pm). 1231 Market St. at 8th. 820-1403. www.sundancesaloon.org
For a nice sit-down show, enjoy Marga Gomez New Year's Eve Spectacular. Everybody's favorite lesbian Latina comic hosts another annual party, with comics David Hawkins, Ben Lerman and Natasha Muse. John Fisher MCs. DJ O'DJ spins tunes. $25-$30. 7pm, 9pm. 2961 16th St. at Mission. (800) 838-3006. www.therhino.org
If you're looking for something fun to do on Christmas Day, you're in luck ... joy luck, with Kung Pao Kosher Comedy at New Asia Restaurant. The 17th annual gay and Jewish comedy night – for those who don't celebrate Christmas, or want a break from all that – features Jonathan Katz (Dr. Katz cartoon show), Brian Malow, Hilary Schwartz and Lisa Geduldig. Enjoy a 7-course dinner banquet or cocktail show veggie egg rolls. $42-$62. Also Dec. 25, 26 dinner 6pm, show 9:30pm. Dec. 27, dinner 5pm, show 8:30pm. 772 Pacific Ave. www.koshercomedy.com
For New Year's Eve spacious outdoor patio fun, and the always thrilling possibility of falling in a swimming pool, Blow Your Whistle at Bambuddha Lounge. Juanita MORE! hosts a poolside New Year's Eve bash, with DJs Pee Play, Stanley Frank, Joshua J, Silencefiction, VivvyAnne ForeverMORE, and, well, more. $35. 9pm-2am. 601 Eddy St. at Larkin. www.juanitamore.com
If decor and creative ambiance are what you seek, Sea of Dreams at the Concourse Exhibition Center is pretty special. It's not gay, but rather festive. Massive New Year's Eve party with amazing decor, circus acts, a dozen DJs, live bands Ozomatli, Bassnectar, Ghostland, Yard Dogs, The Glitch Mob and a lot more. Costumed dress code. $75-$125. 8pm-4:30am. 635 8th St. 18+. www.seaofdreamsnye.com
Sundance Saloon's New Year's Eve dance
Get those resolutions started with a few Yoga Classes at Yoga Tree. Send off the year and start anew with popular instructors. On New Year's Day, Les Leventhal and Karma Moffet Moffet lead a special yoga session with meditation, chanting and music. 4pm-6pm. $30-$35. $60 two-day deal for Leventhal's Jan. 1 & 2 classes. Castro studio, 97 Collingwood at 18th St. 701-9642. Valencia studio, 1234 Valencia St. at 23rd. 647-9707. www.yogawithles.com www.yogatreesf.com
Happy New Year.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
British rugby player Gareth Thomas just came out big time. He's gay. He's also hot. That's nice.
It's understood that he will be the first openly gay professional rugby player still playing the game.
Thomas, a former Wales captain, told his wife he was gay in the summer 2006 and has admitted that his marriage started to fall apart before problems came to a head in November 2006 following a Wales international match in Cardiff when he broke down in tears in the changing room at the Millennium Stadium.
Thomas opened his heart to the Wales coach Scott Johnson who then confided in Thomas' fellow senior Wales internationals Stephen Jones and Martyn Williams.
Thomas told the Daily Mail: "I was like a ticking bomb. I thought I could suppress it, keep it locked away in some dark corner of myself but I couldn't. It was who I was and I just couldn't ignore it any more.
"I'd been through every emotion under the sun trying to deal with this. It's been really tough for me hiding who I really am, but I don't want it to be like that for the next young person who wants to play rugby."
Johnson and Williams patted him on the back and said: "We don't care, why didn't you tell us before?"
He then told team-mates at Cardiff Blues, who have all supported him during his time at the Arms Park and now the Cardiff City Stadium.
Here's more of what he he said in an interview.
And here's his butt.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Just when I thought I'd found a non-biased, non-stupid daily news source...
In light of the horrible Uganda "kill gays" legislation now angering half the globe, the BBC flippantly decided to have a little online poll. "Should homosexuals be executed?"
Huffington Post reports on the controversy.
UK Guardian does, too.
The assholic comments are relentless:
Chris from Guildford, wrote: "Totally agree. Ought to be imposed in the UK too, asap. Bring back some respectable family values. Why do we have to suffer 'gay pride' festivals? Would I be allowed to organise a 'straight pride' festival? No, thought as much!! If homosexuality is natural, as we are forced to believe, how can they sustain the species? I suggest all gays are put on a remote island and left for a generation " after which, theoretically there should be none left!"
Another, from Aaron in Freetown, said: "Bravo to the Ugandans for this wise decision, a bright step in eliminating this menace from your society. We hope other African nations will also follow your bold step."
You can file a complaint with the BBC, to which I won't be linking again for a long time, if ever.
Our Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, offered some lip service to protesting the hateful bile coming out of Uganda.
Monday, December 14, 2009
It wasn't too cold, the guys and gals had fun, and most got a little prize afterward. Woohoo!
On Lexicon Magazine
Coverage of the 10th annual Boston Santa Speedo Run.
And on Towelroad.com! Woohoo!
SFist stand-alone funny photo.
French Tetu Magazine enjoys some coverage and funny commentary.
And last but, oh, yes, least: the Advocate links to the Lexicon video. Nicely done, guys. Not you, Advocate.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
But when it rains, and I have to ride, it better be fun, or at least comfortable, or I'm not doing it.
Lacking a completely waterproof outfit, I'd been doing makeshift for years, with layers, different gloves, and a generally unflattering combo that made me look like a giant puffy dork.
Of course, some outfits might make you look like a scifi moving machine.
Here's an article about winter cycling that offers comparable tips. I remember that fun, not exactly good unless the snow's packing fresh. After it turns to slush, you might as well walk, or you'll end up sliding under a bus.
A reminder on rain riding in the Bay Area from Cyclicious; fenders! That's so the back spatter doesn't spray your butt with mud like a cupcake.
Although it hasn't snowed in San Francisco proper -yet- the recent downpour in the Bay Area prompted me to take a long-overdue trip to Sports Basement, where I bought my Christmas and birthday presents. I got a new bike helmet, rain pants, running pants, glo stickers for the bike (maybe even the helmet), and a few other things.
But what brought me there, in the rain, was a red Speedo.
Yep, in the middle of a downpour, in a San Franciscan chill, I hunted Speedos.
After multiple Google address/phone/map checks, I narrowed it down.
Sports Basement, of course.
The salespeeps on the phone at both locations were like expert fishing gamesman, helping me round up exactly which sizes and brands were in stock.
Although the idea of either a Fillmore 22/combo bike trip to the Presidio store sounded fun, after a quick waist measurement, I realized that larger would be better, and headed toward South of Market to the Bryant Street store, where they had those sizes.
I forgot how much frackin' STUFF they have. I could have spent thousands, (camping equipment, new running shoes, gifts for family), the rain and exhilaration of having safely tooled down at a measured pace amid crazed auto drivers and bewildered jaywalking peds.
But I had a goal. I knew there were less than half a dozen red Speedos in town, and I had to have one.
The first San Francisco version of the Santa Speedo Run.
Started in Boston a few years ago, it's become a huge event there, and it's a lot colder. Guys and gals strip down in sub-zero temperatures in Santa hats and not much else. It's fun (Boston.com album), and more than a bit sexy, despite the shrink factor. they warm up once back in the bars. Sometimes they really warm up.
Toronto's version: "Some wait for Santa. Others for Elijah. And still others for Krüüdknæpper, the Festive Elf of Iceland. But in Yorkville, they wait for pasty-white “athletes” in nothing but flimsy red lycra."
So, Sunday, 1:30pm in the Castro, will be the first gay version, with Team San Francisco, Track and Fielders, FrontRunners and other jocks running in a one-mile jog around the hood. Pledge money goes to the SF AIDS Foundation. Party afterward for all at The Lookout ($5 for non-runners).
Should be fun.
Sign up HERE.
Monday, December 7, 2009
A coalition of LGBT rights groups including PFLAG, COLAGE, the Equality Federation, and the Family Equality Council has joined forces on a campaign to send pro-LGBT holiday cards to the White House. The group will collect the cards and send them in a giant package for maximum impact.
Today national and regional lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) family rights groups from around the country launched the “From Our Family to Yours Campaign,” designed to introduce President Obama to thousands of LGBT families. In addition to spreading holiday cheer, the campaign will increase visibility and awareness for the need for federal protections for the LGBT community. In this season of peace and generosity, let’s introduce the First Family to ours. Because to succeed in getting federal protections for our families, we must put real names and faces to the people in our community.To participate in the campaign, we encourage families to send holiday cards to the First Family, and share their photos and this message:
“Season’s Greetings, from our family to yours. May the next year bring peace and equality for all.”
Please send your holiday cards and photos to:
Family Equality Council
Attn: First Family
P.O. Box 206
Boston, MA 02133
Or send a digital version to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 1, 2010. We encourage you to send your holiday cards as soon as possible so that we can compile all of the images into a holiday package to be delivered to the First Family.
via joe.My.God.blogspot.com It seems every day there's a new flare-up of reichwing idiocy. I really should just type, "go to Joe.My.God, Towleroad.com and Queerty. It's what i do. Little time for regurgitating, but this is my pick of the day.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Another readin', another show!
Well, not really a show, but a reading should be entertaining, right?
When I first heard about the Reading Series at Joe's Barbershop, I thought, "Oh, that's the place with all the cute barbers. I should get a cut there for a change of pace from Louie's."
It turned out they were as much of a bargain, closer to my home, and they had a few racy magazines like old-fashioned barbershops, only with gay mags. Mmm.
The reading series, curated by owner Joe's beau Michael McAllister, turned into an instant hit, and like any self-serving author, I soon afterward pestered Micheal - er, politely volunteered - to read at an upcoming event.
Then I got the best haircut in years from Mike. Then, later, Michael asked me to read for this month's event, which is cool, since I like early December, my birthday being the next day, and well, it being all pre-holidaze-ish.
With the chosen theme "Incredible, Improbable, Impossible," I've polished up one of my many orphaned short stories, trimmed it and styled it (Hey, I'll be reading in a barbershop), and hope you can be there to enjoy my story, along with authors Helen Wecker and Holly Payne. Musician Megan Keely will also sing some songs.
Plus, for a mere $5, you enjoy a beer or soft drink, chips, snacks, and if you get there early, sit in one of those everso comfy barber chairs.
2150 Market St (between Church and Sanchez)
Saturday, December 5th, at 8 pm.
Books Inc. (we love them) will be selling a few copies of my first and third novels, PINS and Cyclizen, along with other books.
So, what's my reading about? It's not an excerpt from a novel.
Here's a subtle hint, aka, something visual that's not too abysmal:
Thursday, November 19, 2009
As the Puerto Rican legal system comes under new scrutiny with the arrest of a brutal (alleged) murderer of a gay man, I noticed a series of short videos made by gay celebs about remembering antigay murder victims.
Gay American Heroes, although rather cluttered and amateurish in its layout, is nonetheless sincere in its intent. Says founder Scott Hall:
“It’s time to show the world our HEROES… because our family and friends are being stolen from us because of hate and those who teach it.
We should not, and will not, live in fear. We will face the ongoing violence against Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people head on and fight those who want to enslave us in their beliefs.
So, until we are given the same rights, freedoms, and protections as every other American, we will be united in this fight for respect, dignity, and protections under the law. We will win this fight through awareness, education, and perseverance for the good of all humanity.
And with totally gorgeous out gay actor/singer Chris Salvatore as one of their spokespeople, it'll hopefully get some attention.
Enjoy Chris Salvatore's other videos HERE.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
There is not a fine line between activism and vandalism. It's very clear.
Destroy property and people go nuts. do it cleverly, and the message gets across. Do it stupidly, and you shoot yourself in the foot, ruin the focus of whatever point you were trying to make, and make even more people hate your perspective.
Antigay gay vandals destroy billboard
A billboard showing a tall, proud Marine, saluting smartly and kitted out in full dress uniform, was vandalized in Memphis, Tennessee. The billboard ad, put up by the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center, read, "I’m gay and I protected your freedom."
The billboard’s defacement was denounced as an act of homophobia, reported a Nov. 17 article at Advocate.com, but then a "Radical Transfolk, Queers and Allies" group calling itself Bash Back! took credit for the vandalism, denouncing the cost of the billboard ad--reported to be $3,500--and citing the high level of violence targeting trans people in the city: "11 trans women of color, 1 white transwoman and 1 transman of color" have been killed in Memphis, which also suffers from "one of the highest queer youth homeless rates in the nation."
Thanks, kids! F for effort. Talk about off-topic!
That's exactly the case with the inane, twerpy, PR-needy brats with Bash Back. The quartet of 20something doofs -who've gotten overpraiseful undeserving PR in Details and The Advocate- think it's "radical" to deface a billboard supporting the rights of LGBTs in the military. Instead of protesting the actual military itself -these weiners would never have the guts to do that- they attack an ad because, um, queer people in that city are getting beat up, and a $3500 billboard is a waste of money, or something.
So, make it look like even more people hate gays! Yeah, that'll show 'em!
The weaseldinks at Bash Back are the face of the new idiocracy. With no understanding of the decades of activism that made an impact, they poop their own diapers to protest something going on in their crib.
If you're going to deface a billboard, which I highly recommend, do it with some preparation and a response. Defacement should change the message, warp it.
Example: Exodus gets a makeover.
Example 2: McCain's true motives unveiled.
Self-criticism is healthy for a subculture.
But Bash Back is just dumb.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Another wing of the gay media world has died, mostly due to the ambitious greed for a mini-empire.
Am I surprised? No.
When an Australian media group did the same thing, I had just bailed from PlanetOut before it had a binge and purge session around 2000-2001. Here's what I said in the San Francisco Chronicle (in an article that no longer exists online, except in cache form):
One backdrop to the PlanetOut debate is the debacle of Australia's Satellite Group, a gay media and real estate company that went public last year, only to end up in receivership with seven gay publications shuttered.
To someone like Jim Provenzano of San Francisco, a freelance writer and former PlanetOut staffer, the lesson of Satellite is that one company should not control so many publications.
"The collapse of Australia's gay media may serve as a harbinger of the media blackout that could happen if financial truths are belatedly faced by the U.S. version," Provenzano said.
To [then-CEO Megan] Smith at PlanetOut, however, Satellite's failure proves just the opposite: "We have no desire to go the way of Satellite media in Australia. We want to make a strong, profitable company."
But ya did, Blanche. Ya did. Not profitable, but profit-losing, and a cheap sale, and now a nearly worthless entity, the shadow of a once-grand media empire.
And now the east wing has also fallen.
This decade has become a minefield of things we ought to have done.
There's a lotta oughttas out there.
The latest is Window Media, which owns, er, owned, pretty much every major LGBT newspaper on the East Coast, except a few independents. And it's now dead.
Among the affected titles are the weekly newspapers Washington Blade, Southern Voice, South Florida Blade and the bar guides David Magazine and 411 Magazine. (Earlier this year, Window Media ceased publishing Genre Magazine.) Window Media's primary investor, the Avalon Equity Fund, has been in receivership over a loan from the Small Business Administration.
And they're out of work.
Once upon a time, the same doofs that just killed half the gay media world made overtures to other publications. Any that avoided being subsumed by Window Media should thank their lucky stars.
Meanwhile, The Advocate, one of the oldest recurring gay magazines on earth, has been compacted into a fold-in for subscribers of Out, and available online only. They got bought up by Regent Media after PlanetOutOfIt tried to own them, and failed.
There's a lotta oughttas out there.
A lotta shouldas.
But not much print media any more. Nope, the sad news is sent via blogs that critiqued this doomed merger from the beginning.
Read an expansive story about the rise and fall of Window Media at EdgeBoston.com
Buh-bye. Epic fail, folks. Epic.
See the staff at the Washington Blade haul their stuff out while vowing to start a new publication, at WashingtonCityPaper's blog.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Maggie Gallagher, STFU.
As shown in this YouTube video, antigay-marriage whore Maggie Gallagher has been blabbing hate for decades, even back to the over-the-top shoulder-padded 80s.
Here she is in all her passé fashion-don't glory. The main spokesfrau for the Catholic Mormom money-laundering NOM used to just be a woman's rights hater. Now she's a gay-hater. Nice to see she's at least changed her target, if not her hideous fashion sense.
Carrie Prejean, STFU.
The deposed fake-boob whore for "Christian values" not only showed her manufactured mammaries to a photographer. She sent pornographic masturbatory videos of herself to a "boyfriend," whom she actually only knew for a week. Talk about "christian" values, whore. Prejean has relentlessly made the media ho rounds on The View, and the bubbleheaded twit walked off softball grandpappy of interviews, Larry King! The nerve of him, asking her actual questions!
Reichwing nutbags, STFU.
the reichwing has been sniffing around gay blogger JoeMyGod's site for a while, but now they're in rabid faux-victim frenzy, claiming that one sarcastic comment is an all-out war on their Christianosity.
Jeebus freaks, STFU.
Just. Shut. Up.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The Vatican Explores Alien Life
VATICAN CITY – E.T. phone Rome. Four hundred years after it locked up Galileo for challenging the view that the Earth was the center of the universe, the Vatican has called in experts to study the possibility of extraterrestrial alien life and its implication for the Catholic Church.
"The questions of life's origins and of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe are very suitable and deserve serious consideration," said the Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, an astronomer and director of the Vatican Observatory.
Funes, a Jesuit priest, presented the results Tuesday of a five-day conference that gathered astronomers, physicists, biologists and other experts to discuss the budding field of astrobiology — the study of the origin of life and its existence elsewhere in the cosmos.
Funes said the possibility of alien life raises "many philosophical and theological implications" but added that the gathering was mainly focused on the scientific perspective and how different disciplines can be used to explore the issue.
Chris Impey, an astronomy professor at the University of Arizona, said it was appropriate that the Vatican would host such a meeting.
"Both science and religion posit life as a special outcome of a vast and mostly inhospitable universe," he told a news conference Tuesday. "There is a rich middle ground for dialogue between the practitioners of astrobiology and those who seek to understand the meaning of our existence in a biological universe."
The Church of Rome's views have shifted radically through the centuries since Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake as a heretic in 1600 for speculating, among other ideas, that other worlds could be inhabited.
Scientists have discovered hundreds of planets outside our solar system — including 32 new ones announced recently by the European Space Agency. Impey said the discovery of alien life may be only a few years away.
"If biology is not unique to the Earth, or life elsewhere differs bio-chemically from our version, or we ever make contact with an intelligent species in the vastness of space, the implications for our self-image will be profound," he said.
This is not the first time the Vatican has explored the issue of extraterrestrials: In 2005, its observatory brought together top researchers in the field for similar discussions.
In the interview last year, Funes told Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano that believing the universe may host aliens, even intelligent ones, does not contradict a faith in God.
"How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere?" Funes said in that interview.
"Just as there is a multitude of creatures on Earth, there could be other beings, even intelligent ones, created by God. This does not contradict our faith, because we cannot put limits on God's creative freedom."
Funes maintained that if intelligent beings were discovered, they would also be considered "part of creation."
The Roman Catholic Church's relationship with science has come a long way since Galileo was tried as a heretic in 1633 and forced to recant his finding that the Earth revolves around the sun. Church teaching at the time placed Earth at the center of the universe.
Today top clergy, including Funes, openly endorse scientific ideas like the Big Bang theory as a reasonable explanation for the creation of the universe. The theory says the universe began billions of years ago in the explosion of a single, super-dense point that contained all matter.
There are divisions on the issues within the Catholic Church and within other religions, with some favoring creationism or intelligent design that could make it difficult to accept the concept of alien life.
Working with scientists to explore fundamental questions that are of interest to religion is in line with the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI, who has made strengthening the relationship between faith and reason a key aspect of his papacy.
Recent popes have been working to overcome the accusation that the church was hostile to science — a reputation grounded in the Galileo affair.
In 1992, Pope John Paul II declared the ruling against the astronomer was an error resulting from "tragic mutual incomprehension."
The Vatican Museums opened an exhibit last month marking the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first celestial observations.
What I find a bigger case of "tragic mutual incomprehension" is how the overgrown cult of cannibal-zombie worship with its own country gets to dictate who gets married on another side of the planet. The Catholic Church has infested itself into electoral politics for years, most visibly with antigay marriage initiatives in several states.
Catholic High Drag Queens should stop star-gazing and look into their disgusting sordid past of genocide patriarchal fascism, and their continual denial of LGBT rights, safe sex education, and contraception before they aim to hook up with ET.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Do you remember chanting this in the streets?
"Health! Care! Is a right!
Health! Care! Is a right!
Pump up the volume!"
Apparently, 20 years after I've last done that, Congress listened.
The blue dog Dems, the deranged teabaggers, the insurance industry whores, the lipsmacking lobbyists, therethuglican whiners, bleating, "Keep the government off my Medicare!" morons all got temporarily shut up.
The house passed the healthcare bill.
A triumphant Speaker Nancy Pelosi likened the legislation to the passage of Social Security in 1935 and Medicare 30 years later. "Oh, what a night!" she proclaimed at the beginning of a press conference held after the vote. Obama issued a statement saying, "I look forward to signing it into law by the end of the year."
"It provides coverage for 96 percent of Americans. It offers everyone, regardless of health or income, the peace of mind that comes from knowing they will have access to affordable health care when they need it," said Rep. John Dingell, the 83-year-old Michigan lawmaker who has introduced national health insurance in every Congress since succeeding his father in 1955.
The Rethugs in the senate used babies as props, vow to stop it in its tracks, and blatantly spew insurance coonglomo rhetoric in their bilious arguments.
They argue, but have nothing better to show.
And the battle contines.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I'm beginning to really despise elections.
Gay-Marriage Activists Look Ahead After Big Defeat in Maine
by Michael A. Lindenberger – Wed Nov 4, 10:20 am ET
Mainers' 53-47 vote to reject gay marriage does more than simply slap down a law that just six months ago had made Maine America's second state to permit same-sex couples to wed. With voters thronging to the polls, the closely watched - and ultimately not very close - vote extended the winning streak of gay marriage opponents nationwide, who have now prevailed in more than 30 straight state elections over whether to allow gays to marry. Just like Californians one year ago, Maine voters insisted on having their own say on an issue that simply will not go away.
Watching the results come in at the historic Eastland Park Hotel in downtown Portland, Scott Fish of the Stand for Marriage Maine campaign told TIME the other side had acted with too much haste, and too little respect for voters' wishes. "What's the hurry [for gay marriage]?" asked Fish, whose group began seeking a so-called "people's veto" almost immediately after Maine's Democratic (and Catholic) Gov. John Baldacci signed the gay marriage bill in May. (See a visual history of gay rights in America.)
But Maine's vote, much like all of the states before it, including California's vote on Prop 8 12 months ago, will do little to slow the fight over gay marriage. Not in Maine, where Tuesday's vote is only the equivalent of a veto and can be easily reversed by lawmakers when they next meet, and not in the rest of America, where the issue continues to roil courthouses and statehouses alike. "Ultimately this is going to have to have a national resolution," says same-sex marriage activist Mary Bonauto, one of the nation's top lawyers involved in the campaign to legalize gay marriage. "It's about aligning promises found in the Constitution with America's laws." A leader in Maine's campaign to uphold gay marriage, Bonauto is best known for arguing the same-sex case that led the Massachusetts Supreme Court to strike down prohibitions against gay marriage in a hugely influential 2003 decision that paved the way for that state to become the first to permit gay marriage in 2004.
At least Washington's gay marriage bill is ahead.
I'm so sick of this.And here's why, stated plain as ever from Jesse Ventura:
"You can't put a civil rights issue on the ballot and let the people decide. You have to have elected officials to who have courage to make the right decision. If you left it up to the people, we'd have slavery, depending on how you worded it." - Former Minnesota governor and pro wrestler Jesse Ventura, responding to Maine's vote on CNN last night. (via JoeMyGod)
Why doesn't HE run for president? Where is Obama during this?
Saturday, October 31, 2009
While Americans celebrate the amusing horrors of Halloween, in London, thousands defied fear as they commemorated the life of a fatal victim of antigay hatred.
Thousands gathered in Trafalgar Square in London last night for a vigil in response to a recent surge in anti-gay hate crimes, and more specifically, the recent homophobic murder of Ian Baynham, and the attack on James Parkes, a police trainee who was beaten in Liverpool last week.
More from the BBC:
Family and friends and thousands of gay, lesbian and transgender people turned out to mourn Ian Baynham, 62.
Tributes were also paid to trainee Pc James Parkes, who suffered skull fractures after an attack in Liverpool.
Rows of candles spelt out "No To Hate" and speeches took place before a two-minutes silence at 2100.
Like millions of people before him, Ian Baynham walked through the square on 25 September, looking forward to a night out.
A little over a month later, thousands gathered beneath Nelson's Column to mourn his murder.
Police believe Mr Baynham, from Beckenham in Kent, was beaten by a group of total strangers because he was gay. He suffered head injuries and died in hospital two weeks later.
From where the candles flickered, mourners could see the spot, just a few yards away, where he became another victim.
Youtube links to videos at Towleroad.com.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Crash director Paul Haggis has quit the "Church" of Scifitology. After 35 years in the devious controversial "religion," Haggis finally has a firm grasp of the obvious. Scifitology is evil and dumb at the same time.
Scientology-Cult.com has the story, and Gawker fills us in on the dish.
The entire letter to—of all people—creepy Church spokescreature Tommy Davis is below, but here are the highlights: Haggis has been asking the church to resign their support of Proposition 8. He registered his distaste for the church's stances on homosexuality via phone calls and letters. Davis told Haggis that "heads would roll" over this about ten months ago. Davis apparently drew up a press release he showed to Haggis, which eventually got canned. Haggis views the church's actions as "cowardly," and thus, after thirty-five years of membership, is resigning.
Furthermore, Haggis saw Davis' interview on CNN, when Davis denied the existence of a "disconnection" policy in which the church orders members to cut non-members out of their lives, as they pose some kind of negative threat towards the work of the church in members' lives.
Surprisingly, Haggis' main beef is the "church"'s stance in support of Proposition 8, which (for now) banned gay marriage in California. The media mavens are noting how well-timed (or ill-timed, depending on your perspective) Haggis' quitterama is. A few nights ago, on ABC's Nightline, effete Scifitology flak Tommy Davis walked off the set of his interview in a huff.
Haggis directed the Best Picture Oscar-winning film Crash, which, some allege, robbed the gay-themed Ang Lee heartbreaker Brokeback Mountain of a few Oscars.
I just bought a copy of the Heath ledger/Jake Gyllenhaal flick for a $1 at a sidewalk sale last weekend. While I don't know when I'll watch it again, I definitely will never see Crash. Hollywood gossip is that while it's a given that many of the older more conservative academy members don't care for gay movies, others pointed out that Crash's promoters (aka other Scifitologists) sent out screeners of Crash in droves right before the Academy voting deadline.
Recent protests at Scifitology centers have been organized by the group Anonymous, who don Guy Fawkes masks made popular by another film, V for Vendetta.
Apparently, Scientology, Haggis knows how to quit you. Maybe Haggis can give his Oscar to Ang Lee as a form of protest. For now, his high profile protest may be the straw that breaks the cult, excuse me, camel's back.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Unhinged rightwingers, who in huge numbers are threatening the life of the president, threatening to commit acts of treason and violence nationwide, are microcasting their venom on a gay man and a nearly defunct AIDS activist group.
Yep, as Peter Staley notes on the POZ blog, the wingnuts are digging up anything they think might be hateful and hurtful in their latest smear campaign against Kevin Jennings, founder of GLSEN and a presidential aide.
Oh, and Peter, also blogs, psychotic freak Bill Donahue claims ACT UP is/was a "terrorist group." This from a lone whiner who pretends to represent a religion that burned thousands and thousands of people alive, massacred children and natives worldwide, and whose priests molest children every day.
These wingnuts are only now again aware of ACT UP because of a new exhibit of ACT UP art at Harvard.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
This is like something out of a John Waters movie.
Pervy guy exposes himself to unsuspecting neighbors and innocent children in Virginia?
Nope. Here's the story.
Nosey pervy cop's wife trespasses on hot straight dude's property, peeps into his window, and exposes her son to a hot guy and his body while he's making coffee in his own home.
I think the nosey cop's wife should be arrested, and the the guy should pose for a nudie magazine, or become a spokesman for some artsy coffee company. Nosey Cop's Wife life is so obviously sad and unfulfilled that she needs to go snooping around a hot guy's home while dragging her kid around.
More at Towleroad.com
Artist's interpretation of the events? Not exactly.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The Toronto Star reports on a real-life Billy Elliot, raised by two dads. Sweet!
Thomas Jones and Rob Gibson are acutely aware that they are setting themselves up for a barrage of "nature versus nurture" jokes whenever they tell people their son is a budding ballet prodigy.
So be it, though. Their adopted offspring, James Gibson-Jones, appears destined for some species of ballet greatness, having been snapped up by the National Ballet of Canada this fall after just two years of lessons.
He began dabbling in dance at the urging of teachers and family friends in Bowmanville, who sensed an affinity for rhythm and performance in the charismatic 11-year-old with the "classic Billy Elliot build."
Gibson, for one, knows it's going to raise eyebrows, bringing up the (pink) elephant in the room – actually a typical suburban backyard fraught with excitable golden retrievers – unprompted and in good humour.
"That was the first thing that I thought of," he chuckles. "Here are the two gay men and their son, the dancer. There are those stereotypes: `We're recruiting.' `Only gay men dance.' Things like that. I just find that incredibly funny. We didn't even push him in dance. We were thinking gymnastics because he was so flexible."
"Nobody's actually brought it up," shrugs Jones. "But if it happens, it happens. So be it."
Saturday, October 17, 2009
San Francisco loves its anniversaries; murders, celebrations, assassinations, and of course earthquakes.
It's no less fascinating to recall the fright and fear of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, because thanks to pro baseball, the quake was televised live.
SF Gate's coverage should provide enough lurid memories of panic and disaster to distract you from the idiocy that was Balloon Boy.
Apparently, there was a citywide earthquake drill late this week. Missed it. Well, I don't need practice screaming, giggling, and ducking under my desk.
Should "the big one" happen while I'm at home, my apartment has scars along a few walls from the '89 quake. So i know where it'll rip next time. Maybe.
It's surprising how many people aren't prepared for an earthquake. I have some bottled water that's been sitting under my sink for a few years. Probably stinks by now. Flashlights? Canned food? Good shoes? Turn off the gas? So much to recall while your home is shaking.
The journalist in me would just hope i have a camera and tape recorder with the batteries charged.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Bob Mould brings musical diversity to new CD and DJ gig
by Jim Provenzano
Bay Area Reporter
"Growing old, it's hard to be an angry young man," state the lyrics in Bob Mould's song "Return to Dust." While the 48-year-old musician shouldn't feel old, it is fascinating to recall that he started the seminal punk band Husker Du 30 years ago, and has continued to influence cultural shifts in modern music.
His other accomplishments, including his subsequent band Sugar, an upcoming memoir, and even a brief stint with the World Wrestling Federation (as a story developer, not a wrestler), add up to a career worthy of a retrospective. But Bob Mould just keeps moving on, performing October 18 at the Treasure Island Music Festival along with dozens of other musicians and DJs. Included in his set will be songs from his latest CD, Life and Times.
When we talked, Mould had arrived in San Francisco for the September edition of Blowoff, the popular roving nightclub event Mould and musician DJ Rich Morel (Death of the Paperboy) produce every two to three months in different cities across the U.S. How does the busy musician manage a constantly roving schedule?
"We try to balance it out," said Mould. "I've also got my band doing an entire North American tour. How I worked it this time, the DC band show and DC Blowoff will be on the same night. Then we turn the house over for Blowoff in about 45 minutes. That works really well. I try to put the band shows in that schedule."
How does the audience change? Mould chuckles, then admits, "For the band shows, it's 90% straight. For Blowoff, it's 100% gay."
This balance between straight and gay fans has been a persistent duality. He continues to expand the specificity of being out in the new CD, Life and Times. One song, "Argos," includes descriptions of the cruisy, sex-filled backrooms of an Amsterdam bar. The CD's concise collection explores some of the more painful aspects of relationships, emptiness, while still keeping a rocking beat and melody.
"A while back, I was trying to put together a fictitious gay punk-rock band," Mould said, as he explained the sexual inspiration behind "Argos." "I actually did it, then I wrote some songs like 'Argos.' Nothing came of it. Then I thought, 'What the hell, I'll put it on my recor
d.' It has a sexy, fun sort of bathhouse atmosphere. I started addressing same-sex relationships in songs in 2002 with Modulate . That was sort of my jumping-off point with being not only gender-specific, but orientation-specific."
Read more at www.ebar.com
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I wish I could find the text of my 1993 March on Washington feature for Frontiers. It might drum up some energy for what's going on today. It is interesting that HRC managed to wrangle President Obama away from the San Francisco golf tournament (where he was scheduled to be a few weeks ago), and to their dinner in DC on the eve of Cleve Jones' new grassroots march. But of course it didn't work that way. Did it? The March was organized by grassroots activists.
Gay rights advocates march on DC, divided on Obama
Thousands of gay and lesbian activists marched Sunday from the White House to the Capitol, demanding that President Barack Obama keep his promises to allow gays to serve openly in the military and allow same-sex marriages.
Rainbow flags and homemade signs dotted the crowds filling Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House as people chanted "Hey, Obama, let mama marry mama" and "We're out, we're proud, we won't back down." Many children were also among the protesters. A few counter-protesters had also joined the crowd.
Did Obama promise again to eliminate Don't Ask Don't Tell? Yes. Did he make his case for our rights clear? Well then, mission accomplished. Sort of.
Mr. Obama, who spokes for about 25 minutes, told the crowd that he came to the gay community with a simple message: "I'm here with you in that fight….My commitment to you is unwavering."
Introducing Mr. Obama, Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese told the crowd, "We have never had a stronger ally in the White House. Never."
Richard Socarides, who had advised the Clinton administration on gay and lesbian policy, told the Associated Press that Mr. Obama delivered "a strong speech in tone, although only vaguely reassuring in content.''
"The president and Nobel winner came and paid his respects, but tomorrow many will ask: What's his plan, what's his timetable,'' Mr. Socarides said.
It's a grey cold day here in San Francisco. Facebook friends are uploading mobile pictures. I share, from a distance. I wonder and hope that it took this march to get that speech to get our rights.
Gestures, symbols, moments. Yes, these, too, are a form of activism:
For Lt. Dan Choi, the day began with a jog around Washington's memorials, calling cadence at 8 a.m. with fellow veterans and supporters before joining the march. Choi, a West Point graduate, Arabic speaker and Iraq war veteran, is facing discharge under the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy for revealing in March that he is gay.
"We have fought in battles to protect our country, and now we are fighting at home for equal and full protection under the law," he said. He later stood outside the White House in uniform with his partner.
On Saturday, he led a group of gay veterans in laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery to honor gay and lesbian soldiers who have died in the line of duty.
But what will today do? Ever since Cleve then David Mixner, and others called for this march, the message was clear. But there wasn't a lot of agreement for months, and it no doubt will be smaller than any.
Other veteran activists doubted the march would accomplish much. They said the time and money would have been better spent working to persuade voters in Maine and Washington state, where the November ballot will include a measure that would overturn a bill granting same-sex couples many of the benefits of marriage.
A bill introducing same-sex marriage in the nation's capital also was introduced last week by the District of Columbia Council and is expected to easily pass.
Rep. Barney Frank, an openly gay member of Congress, said the marchers should be lobbying their lawmakers. He said the demonstrations are simply "an emotional release" that do little to pressure Congress.
"The only thing they're going to be putting pressure on is the grass," the Massachusetts Democrat said Friday.
Despite Barney, our gay party-pooper, I wish everyone well, and I hope it energizes their activism.
More coverage of the 2009 Equality March HERE.
See the live-streaming photo album HERE.