WATCH: Chelsea Clinton discusses LGBT rights

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetThe Democratic National Convention ended last Thursday night with Hillary Clinton’s gay-inclusive speech, but that’s not the end of the discussion of how gay rights will figure into the election. Logo TV reporter Raymond Braun sits down with former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton to discuss her input into her parents’ evolution on gay rights. It’s just seven minutes, so settle in for some insight by clicking here. Or check it out below.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Bill Clinton wore a lovely blue pantsuit to the Democratic Convention


Bill Clinton (Photo (c) Washington Blade by Michael Key)

Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s husband Bill wore a blue tie and white shirt under a dark blue pantsuit as he introduced his wife at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night, July 26.

First gentleman watchers speculated that Mr. Clinton’s suit may have been designed by Hart, Schaffner Marx or Hickey Freeman and expected a buying frenzy when the actual label is revealed.

Mr. Clinton, who looks like he had his hair done for the convention, has been sitting in front row center of the balcony of the Philadelphia Convention Center, acting as the charming host, surrounded by Democratic dignitaries as his wife campaigns before addressing the convention on Thursday.

The presidential candidate’s husband spoke about Mrs. Clinton’s experience but apparently has had quite a career for himself as well. In addition to two terms as governor of Arkansas, he served as president of the United States. He also addressed the Democratic Convention in 1988 as the keynote speaker and is expected to be a trusted adviser in his wife’s administration.

Dallas Voice has sent a message to Dallas-based delegates to find out if the potential first gentleman can bake chocolate chip cookies.

Now, can we stop talking about who designed Mrs. Obama’s dress and concentrate on how she gave one of the best speeches ever delivered at a political convention?

—  David Taffet

The politics of hope: Bill Clinton at the podium

Jones, Arnold WayneI’ve decided there are only two reasons anyone votes anymore. One if fear. And one is inspiration.

The fear side can be powerful. There’s a lot to fear in the big bad world — not the least of which, in my opinion, is the thought of a planet where Donald Trump is president. It’s a legitimate thing, fear: Part of the human fight-or-flight instinct. It can protect us.

But then there are irrational fears — fears that prey on us with suspicion, exaggeration, even falsehoods. You’re more likely as an American in America to be killed by an asteroid than by an ISIS attack. Not all illegal immigrants are Mexican, or even “sneak” over the border. No one wants to ban all handguns. Christianity it not, I assure you, “under attack.”

But after watching the entirety of the Republican National Convention last week, I saw day after day or fear, trotted out like the inevitable result of progressive politics. Many of the claims were all but fact-free. And night after night after night, the reason was Hillary Clinton. Chris Christie, who should know better, even held a kangaroo court in which he had the assembled “convict” Hillary based on his “evidence” that smacked of the Salem Witch Trials; all that was missing was a burning effigy. (They haven’t been able to get legitimate law enforcement to make a charge stick, so that’s all that’s left.) I found it all itchily distasteful. And not because I’m a Democrat (in presidential politics, I have voted for two Republicans, three Dems and three independents) or even a great Hillary supporter. But because I’m an American. Hatred isn’t my go-to. Ah well. That’s politics.

The RNC actually told media that days 1 and 2 of the convention would be anti-Hillary, and the last two days pro-Trump. That never really materialized. Even Trump’s acceptance speech — for all its narcissistic bloviating — could not help but attack his opponent’s character, record, judgment. (This from a man on four bankruptcies and three marriages; Hillary has had the same spouse for 40 years.)

But political conventions only come around every four years; it’s easy to forget the last one, except for moments (Clint Eastwood talking to a chair, “poor George” Bush, born “with a silver foot in his mouth”). Maybe that’s always the tone, even for both parties.

And then comes the revelation that it’s not the way it has to be.

I’ve never voted for any Clinton — not in a primary, not in a general. Never campaigned for one, nor donated money to one. (It’s one reason the Bernie or Bust folks irritate me — who really wants to “bust” the presidency out of ego?) But even so, I have never denied Bill Clinton’s power as a public speaker — how could you? And last night, when I saw his address, I was reminded not just why he’s a great communicator, but why politics can be about inspiring people. About encouraging us with hope, not fear.

The structure was a master class of rhetoric. He mentioned nine states by name, each time eliciting hoots from the assembled delegates, but he smoothly soldiered on with his encomium. (Side note: Last week, Trump released a campaign ad that said only that his speech was 75 minutes, that he got 24 minutes of applause, and then did the math — cuz, ya know, his supporters… — that one-third of the speech was applause. How sad that he gains self worth from that.) Bill painted pictures with words, vividly. He made Hillary seem more human (and humane) than any ad has ever done.

But best of all, he drew a sharp contrast with the Republicans — not just in his portrait of Hillary, who was demonized to the point of caricature by the GOP, but in his style of speech and his off-handed emphasis on the value of public service in a candidacy. Now, I understand “political speech” and selected emphasis. But I can’t recall a single speaker at the RNC who said anything about trump that wasn’t wholly focused on either “he knows how to run a business/create jobs” or “he’s nicer in private than he seems.” I mean that quite literally. What was I missing from the GOP convention? Not just specifics, but any portrayal of Trump as someone who has put others first in his life. Things he’s accomplished that didn’t have a dollar sign in front of them.

Not so with the Hillary who Bill shared. His version was caring, outward-thinking, diligent, public-minded. He elevated rather than tore down. Every day of the RNC show was Bash Hillary Day. But Trump’s name has barely been mentioned these past two days.

It doesn’t have to be. Bill made the case not for voting against someone, but why supporting their candidate is good for America. Trump was never going to get my vote. I didn’t have to be persuaded to support the opposition, whoever that opposition was. But I’ve gotta say, last night Bill convinced me to cast my first vote for a Clinton — and not as a protest, or a compromise, but because I was swayed that she has what it takes to lead. I’ve never used the hasgtag #ImWithHer, but I do now — and with full gusto.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

BREAKING: Hillary Clinton announces 2016 presidential bid

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Longtime Clinton family confidante John Podesta announced today (Sunday, April 12) that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is running for president.

This is her second presidential run. The former senator from New York and first lady made her first bid for the presidency in 2008, where she was defeated in a bruising presidential primary by then-Sen. Barack Obama, a first term senator from Illinois. After securing the Democratic nomination he ultimately crushed another longtime titan, Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, in the general election.

While it is not the first time she’s been the presumed frontrunner for her party’s nomination, she is expected to face only token opposition this time. Despite the Democrats’ best efforts, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley are said to be considering bids as well.

But not everyone wants to see Clinton go without a challenge. On Twitter, the Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith pointed out links to a 2013 article in The New Republic calling Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts and a favorite of progressives, “Hillary’s Nightmare.” Many progressive activists have repeatedly attempted to recruit the first-term Warren to jump into the race. She has repeatedly declined.

So far, Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican with Texas ties, have declared their bids for their party’s nomination. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, is set to announce his campaign tomorrow (Monday, April 13). Other Republicans with Texas ties, including former governors Rick Perry, R-Texas, and Jeb Bush, R-Florida, are also expected to announce soon.

—  James Russell

Working on Ann Richards documentary became a passion for director

Keith Patterson wasn’t from Texas and hadn’t even spent much time here. Then while living in Los Angeles, a friend said he wanted to do a documentary about Ann Richards. Patterson was familiar with — even a fan of — the late Texas governor, “so I came on board” in late 2010, he says.

The following 20 months, however, have been a journey for the gay filmmaker, who ended up co-directing Ann Richards’ Texas, the documentary that kicks off Dallas VideoFest 25 at the Dallas Museum of Art Thursday night.

“We came to Texas for a year: Austin first, but we ended up everywhere,” he says on the phone from New York, a few hours before his planned arrival in Dallas to attend the festival. “I even have a place in Houston [still].”

Working on the documentary quickly became a passion for Patterson.

“I loved her,” he says. “You can’t get any larger than a Texas politician. That’s why The Best Little Whorehouse is so good — it captures the politics. That song where the governor talks about sidestepping [every issue]? That was [the governorship]. When Ann got in there and started passing a lot of reforms, she shook everything up.”

Richards had help from some powerful friends, including lesbian power couple Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner, who met and befriended Richards early in her political career. “They were friends from the 1980s when she ran for treasurer and helped write the comedy for Ann’s [historic 1988 Democratic National Conventional] keynote address,” Patterson says. “That’s when she met Dolly [Parton], too. I think Ann was a county commissioner when Dolly was [in Texas] shooting Whorehouse.”

Tomlin, Parton and a host of other celebs offer their voices to the documentary. It wasn’t difficult finding people anxious to talk on the record about the flamboyant Texas pol.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Hillary’s mom dies

Dorothy Rodham

Dorothy Howell Rodham, 92, died today at George Washington University Hospital. She is survived by her daughter, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and two sons, Hugh and Tony Rodham, and four grandchildren, including Chelsea Clinton.

The family asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to George Washington University Hospital or Heifer International, her Christmas gift of choice last year, or to an organization that helps neglected or abused children, according to a report in the New York Daily News.

Rodham came from a troubled home and left at the age of 14 to work as a nanny. She married Hugh Rodham in 1942. He was a staunch Republican but she remained a Democrat. He died in 1993 soon after Bill Clinton became president.



—  David Taffet

Facebook adds civil unions, domestic partnerships to relationship status options

Props to Facebook peeps. The word is spreading about their updates to the relationship status field. The HuffPo posted earlier that “civil union” and “domestic partner” are now listed under the field as options and are being rolled out as we speak.

The changes were made in consultation with Facebook’s Network of Support, a group that includes LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] organizations such as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, and the Human Rights Campaign.

“As LGBT people face a pathwork of relationship recognition laws, this gives people more tools to adequately describe their relationship,” said Michael Cole, spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign. “Facebook has been a company that has tried to be inclusive of the LGBT community and this just one sign of it.”

Richard Socarides, president of Equality Matters and former gay rights advisor to president Bill Clinton, echoed Coles’ praise.

from Huffington Post

—  Rich Lopez

Marriage next on ‘gay agenda,’ NYT reports

Richard Socarides

According to a report in the New York Times, marriage, rather than employment non-discrimination, is the next item on the official “Gay Agenda” now that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is on its way to being repealed.

A new group called Equality Matters grew out of a group called Media Matters. Bill Clinton adviser Richard Socarides will head the group. Advocate writer Kerry Eleveld will edit the group’s website.

The Times points out that marriage discrimination means discrimination in taxes, social security benefits and other programs run by the federal government even if a couple is legally married.

While many more rights flow from marriage equality, it is interesting that the group has chosen that as the next fight. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” was, in many ways, an employment non-discrimination issue. The next logical win would be again in the employment area. Most people understand that someone shouldn’t be fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, even among people who base their marriage-equality views on religion.

And Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said he welcomed the new group and hoped they would help change opinions. But who gave this new group the authority to decide the next battle? Or is the New York Times bestowing a title on the group prematurely? Either way, we weren’t consulted and haven’t even received a press release from Equality Matters.

—  David Taffet

Cammermeyer appointed to DOD committee

Col. Margarethe 'Grethe' Cammermeyer, left, with then-Texas State Rep. Harryette Ehrhardt during Cammermeyer's visit to Dallas in 1998
Col. Margarethe ‘Grethe’ Cammermeyer, left, with then-Texas State Rep. Harryette Ehrhardt during Cammermeyer’s visit to Dallas in 1998.

Back in 1989, the U.S. Army Reserves threw Col. Margarethe “Grethe” Cammermeyer out of the military when she told the truth during a security clearance interview and acknowledged that she was a lesbian.

Today, 21 years later, the Department of Defense announced that Cammermeyer has been appointed to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services.

In announcing Cammermeyer’s appointment — and the appointment of a new committee chair and eight other committee members — Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Clifford Stanley said the committee’s work is “vital to the development of informed department policy.”

—  admin