‘Outraged’ 80-year old Iowa grandmother supports her gay son and blasts the haters

This is so, so great:

H/T Dan Savage.




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Kramer Blasts Cooper for AIDS Special

ANDERSON COOPER 201001 X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMVeteran writer-activist Larry Kramer takes CNN’s Anderson Cooper to task
for the 360 host’s “lackluster, bloodless” and “wimpy” AIDS special which aired last night.
Advocate.com: Daily News

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R.I. Bishop Blasts New Gov. on Marriage

BISHOP THOMAS J TOBIN X180 (FACEBOOK) | ADVOCATE.COMThe leader of Rhode Island’s Roman Catholics said marriage equality is “morally wrong” and that the newly sworn-in governor and other lawmakers should not be pushing to legalize it in his state.
Advocate.com: Daily News

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A gay Marine tells his story and blasts DADT

Powerful op-ed in the New York Daily News from Justin Johnson, who served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He’s gay. He’s a Marine. And, he knows Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is wrong:

Since I hadn’t outed myself to the military in 2005 and simply allowed my four year active duty service expire, the Marine Corps recalled me from its pool of inactive reserves. Now, I was faced with a decision to closet myself and deploy or out myself to the Marines, be honorably discharged and consequently not deploy. In effect, I faced a choice between maintaining my personal integrity and following through on my commitment to serve when called, which I agreed to when I was commissioned.

I reached out to friends, family and comrades for advice. Surprisingly, the Marines I spoke to, most of whom I served with in combat, were almost uniformly in favor of me deploying despite my sexuality. Certainly, one or two were concerned what might happen if I were outed, but the vast majority gave me characteristically blunt advice: “Buck up, serve honorably, if you don’t go, someone else will have to.”

So I deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, from September 2007 to April 2008 without incident and with honor.

As I have said, I have kept a low profile on this issue to this point. But I can no longer abide the mischaracterizations made by politicians and conservative organizations. There are certainly real concerns about training and discipline that must be addressed, but the arguments put forth by many opponents are disapproval of homosexuality as opposed to genuine concerns about “readiness.”

The recent survey of the military echoes my experience: 92% of those who have served with someone they knew or believed to be gay felt their unit’s performance was better or the same as it was before. The repeal of DADT will contribute immeasurably to unit cohesion and our national security, and is in keeping with our commitment to justice for all.




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SLDN blasts Senate GOPers for holding Defense bill hostage to tax cuts: ‘This is unprecedented and it is shameful’

SLDN just sent out this statement:

“It is unprecedented that a tax reduction bill must pass before the Senate can act to fund our troops and the nation’s defense. We need to be clear about what’s happening here: the defense bill is being held hostage until Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and John McCain get the tax bill they want to pass. This is unprecedented and it is shameful. The National Defense Authorization Act, which includes the repeal provisions, must be called up in the Senate, debated, and passed before Congress leaves for the year. If the 42 GOP senators — including several who support repeal of ‘Don’t Ask’ — put process and procedure and tax cuts first, their continued delays and political jockeying will be an endorsement of the discrimination that has cost 14,000 men and women their jobs and threatened our country’s national security by discharging mission-critical service members,” said Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

Sure sounds like SLDN has had it with the games. And, they should be.




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Anderson Cooper blasts Arkansas School Board Member Clint McCance

Anderson Cooper wants us to know the face and name of Clint McCance — and he blasted him. Anderson is becoming quite the activist. He wants McCance to come on his show, but that won’t happen. McCance is a tough guy on Facebook, wishing death on young gay kids. But, he couldn’t stand up to AC. This is definitely worth a watch:

Via The Advocate.




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Priest Blasts MN Archbishop’s Anti-Gay DVD Plot, Likens It To Bullying

WeDoNotAgree-1 A Minnesota Catholic priest has hit out against his peers' to mail about 400,000 Catholics a DVD denouncing gay marriage.

Father Michael Tegeder published a letter over the weekend condemning the marriage-related action, which was authorized by Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt, and made clear that the real threats to marriage aren't gay or lesbian, but economic.

"In every serious study, poverty is the top reason for marital breakdowns," writes Tegeder in the missive, originally published in the Minnesota Star Tribune. "It is very hard to make the case that a small percentage of the population who bond with members of their own sex and seek to live in a committed relationship could have anything but a positive effect on the general population's appreciation of stable, faithful, life-giving unions."

The more biting edge comes in Tegeder's remarks about Nienstedt, whom he blasts for focusing too much on political, rather than spiritual, issues:

Since arriving in Minnesota as a bishop in 2001, Nienstedt has had the constitutional amendment as a priority. In 2006, he promoted postcards, which as archbishop he has upgraded to DVDs. I do not believe any of our other bishops would have been on such a crusade.

Just recently the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Schönborn, the main author of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and friend of the pope, publicly stated that the church needs to look differently at committed same-sex relationships. His fellow Austrian bishops concurred. These are thinking, serious church leaders. They listen.

And, just to make sure the reader and Nienstedt both get the point, Tedeger concludes, "Most scandalous is that Archbishop Nienstedt has compromised his office with the use of anonymous money to fund this effort. The constitutional amendment is a very political issue. The impression is given that political funding is at work here."

Asked whether he fears being ousted for the letter, Tedeger said, “If he throws me out I can walk away from this with my head up … I love ministry." He also compared the Archbishop to a bully: “We have to call it for what it is – it’s bullying behavior. It’s not the work of Jesus Christ. It’s not the work of Jesus Christ."

Read the entire letter, AFTER THE JUMP

I have watched the DVD sent out by the Minnesota Catholic bishops in favor of a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman.

The premise of the DVD is that same-sex couples and their committed relationships are a grave threat to marriage. To be clear, these bishops hold that sacramental Catholic marriage is in essence different from what is considered marriage by society. Nevertheless, the bishops claim they have a concern for marriage in the overall society.

What are the real threats to marriage? The Sept. 29 story “Economy is Hitting Hearts and Wallets,” about the effects of our current economy on marriage, said that “being broke and unemployed is not conducive to matrimony, young Americans are finding. In 2009, the number of young adults (25-34) who have never tied the knot surpassed those who had married for the first time since data collection began more than a century ago.”

In every serious study, poverty is the top reason for marital breakdowns. It is very hard to make the case that a small percentage of the population who bond with members of their own sex and seek to live in a committed relationship could have anything but a positive effect on the general population’s appreciation of stable, faithful, life-giving unions.

The very thoughtful letters to the editor about this subject reflect the fact that Catholics have very diverse opinions about this issue. The bishops themselves are not united on how to approach this new reality of gays and lesbians claiming a right to have their own families publicly recognized with corresponding rights and responsibilities.

Since arriving in Minnesota as a bishop in 2001, Nienstedt has had the constitutional amendment as a priority. In 2006, he promoted postcards, which as archbishop he has upgraded to DVDs. I do not believe any of our other bishops would have been on such a crusade. “Minnesota nice,” if not prudence, would have prevailed. Ask them privately.

Just recently the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Schönborn, the main author of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and friend of the pope, publicly stated that the church needs to look differently at committed same-sex relationships. His fellow Austrian bishops concurred. These are thinking, serious church leaders. They listen.

The constitutional amendment being promoted by the archbishop does not allow even for civil unions, and it would limit current rights enjoyed by our gay and lesbian citizens. We as Catholics can have our own beliefs about marriage. But we must recognize that people of other faiths and of no faith have conscientious beliefs as well.

Most scandalous is that Archbishop Nienstedt has compromised his office with the use of anonymous money to fund this effort. The constitutional amendment is a very political issue. The impression is given that political funding is at work here.

- Pastor Michael Tegeder
Church of St. Edward, Bloomington


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

GOProud blasts Republican Jim DeMint for call to bar gays and unmarried women from teaching

While GOProud has managed to endorse conservative candidates over pro-equality ones, Jim DeMint has apparently crossed a line of no return. I’m pretty sure this is a safe call for the org, as DeMint is nearly certifiable for making this pronouncement…

Jim DeMint: Trying His Best to Make Alvin Greene Look Sane

DeMint Wants the Government to Weed Out Gay Teachers and Sexually Active Unmarried Female Teachers

(Washington, D.C.) – On Friday, United States Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) told a crowd in South Carolina that he supports barring openly gay teachers, as well as sexually active unmarried female teachers, from the school system. “Jim DeMint’s comments can only be described as outrageous and bizarre. The idea that someone who says they believe in limited government would support the government weeding out gay teachers and unmarried sexually active female teachers simply defies logic,” said Christopher R. Barron, Chairman of the GOProud Board. “Jim DeMint is doing his best to make Alvin Greene look sane.”

“A real limited government conservative would be talking about getting the government less involved in education – not more involved. Instead of talking about shutting down the Department of Education, supporting school choice and protecting parents’ rights to homeschool their children, Jim DeMint instead wants the government even more involved in our education system, and involved in a way that would invade the personal lives of every teacher in this country,” continued Barron.

DeMint’s comments come on the heels of increased media attention to the problem of bullying of gay teenagers and the tragically high rates of gay teen suicide. “At a time when we need to be having a serious discussion about the silent epidemic of gay teen suicide, Jim DeMint’s comments send a powerful and disturbing message to people all across the country,” said Jimmy LaSalvia, Executive Director of GOProud. “For a man who speaks a great deal about morality, Jim DeMint’s comments represent some of this most morally reprehensible comments made by a politician in modern history.”

“It is clear that the socially conservative big government wing of the Republican Party is desperate to undermine and co-op the message and enthusiasm of the tea party movement. After a year and a half of attacking the tea party movement for not being focused on their pet issues, it is clear that Tony Perkins and his crowd have embraced a new strategy – if you can’t beat’em, join’em. The tea party movement is about limiting the size and scope of the government and empowering indiviudals. The grassroots tea party activists should reject attempts by Washington Republicans like Jim DeMint to corrupt the movement’s conservative message,” concluded LaSalvia.

NOTE: GOProud’s Chris Barron and Jimmy LaSalvia will be on MSNBC at 10:35PM ET tonight to discuss this issue.
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SU blasts ‘insulting and derogatory’ DADT survey sent to military spouses

Servicemembers United obtained a copy of the Pentagon’s latest survey on DADT. (I I posted the survey on scribd.com and embedded it below.) This one goes to military spouses. Here’s the statement from SU’s Alex Nicholson:

“This survey of military spouses contains many of the same insulting and derogatory assumptions and insinuations about gays and lesbians that ran throughout the last survey,” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former U.S. Army Human Intelligence Collector who was discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” “Answer choices suggest things like the Defense Department possibly distributing flyers in military neighborhoods if, as they say, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is repealed and that the ‘readiness’ of military families might somehow be impacted. Again we stress that neither the President, the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff nor anyone else would ever stand for such insulting questions being asked about any other minority group in the military in this day and age. The Pentagon’s senior leadership should seriously consider Servicemembers United’s offer to meet with them in person to talk about the insensitivity of these surveys and how the poor handling of these surveys might negatively impact implementation.”

Politico provides a recap of some of the questions — and they are insulting and derogatory:

The 13-page survey, similar to one sent to troops earlier this year, poses 44 questions on a range of topics. Among the questions:

“Assume Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is repealed. If the partner of a gay or lesbian Service member participated in a family support program, would it affect your participation?”

“Assume Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is repealed. Would repeal affect your family readiness?”

The survey also asks spouses if they live on base and how they would react to an openly gay or lesbian service member or partner living nearby. The list of answers include: “I would make a special effort to get to know the gay or lesbian service member and partner” or “I would generally avoid them when I could” or “I would do nothing.”

See for yourself. Here’s the survey. You have to wonder how the hell the Pentagon came up with these questions. Makes me think Elaine Donnelly had a hand in writing the survey. And, we’ve been told repeatedly, the Pentagon study is about “how” to implement repeal, not “if.” But, everything we see from the Pentagon seems to be a lesson in how not to implement repeal:
Pentagon’s DADT Spouse Survey




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