WATCH: Joel Burns speaks about his brother’s death during Fort Worth City Council meeting

Nearly six months after he delivered his “It Gets Better” speech, gay Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns broke down again Tuesday during a City Council meeting — this time as he remembered his younger brother who died a few weeks ago.

Cody Burns, 27, of Stephenville was killed March 12 when he lost control of his pickup on a dirt road in Erath County.

Joel Burns

“It’s hard to find meaning in a loss like this, someone who’s 27 years old,” Joel Burns said, his voice wavering. “And I don’t want people to think that it was within God’s plan to take Cody. God didn’t cause that accident. God didn’t need another cowboy in Heaven and took Cody, but I do think it’s within God’s plan that we as human beings are compassionate and console one another through loss, and I have certainly experienced that in recent days, as has my family, and I want to thank so many of you for being there for all of us through this very difficult time.”

Burns also took the opportunity to promote seat belt use. He said his brother was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident because he didn’t believe in them.

“If you’re someone who believes in the myth that seat belts don’t save lives, I want you to reconsider, and I want you to talk to the people that you might know that don’t put on their seat belt,” Burns said. “Again, I don’t know that Cody would be alive today if he had his seat belt on, but I’ll tell you that the guy sitting next to him literally unbuckled his seat belt and he walked away from the wreck.”

Finally, Burns encouraged people to call their loved ones. He said he was at a bullying conference at the White House in Washington a few days before Cody’s death. After the conference, he texted with Cody, who had seen him on the news and wrote, “You didn’t make too much of a fool of yourself.” Joel Burns said he’ll cherish that text as his last communication with Cody.

Burns said he called his mom and dad and sister after the conference, but he put off calling Cody until the weekend because he had another appointment to get to.

“Man would I give anything to have that five-minute phone conversation that I didn’t have, that I put off for a couple days,” Burns said. “So if there is one other thing, other than wearing your seat belt, to take from this, I would encourage you if there’s somebody that it would just break your heart to go through life without having that five-minute conversation with, when this meeting is over you should give them a call.

“Cody’s life was an incredible one, and I will miss him every day,” Burns said. “I will miss him on happy days and I will miss him on sad days. He was indeed a miracle, and I thank everyone for your support in recent days.”

Mayor Mike Moncrief thanked Burns for his comments.

“As you always seem to do, you take a negative, and you try to add a lesson, whether that lesson is seat belts or whether it’s bullying or whether it’s contacting a loved one or someone you care about while you’re thinking about it and not as an afterthought,” Moncrief said. “That is something I think we all appreciate about you. As we adjourn today, we will do so in Cody’s honor.”

—  John Wright

Video: Oh Brother, Where Art Vows? #NH

Former NH Marine Advocates For Gay Marriage [WBZ TV]

*EARLIER: See the ad

Good As You

—  David Taffet

Watch: Alabama Governor Apologizes for ‘Christian Brother’ Remarks



Alabama Governor Robert Bentley made a post-inauguration apology for remarks he made at a Baptist church on MLK Day regarding non-Christians.

Said Bentley at the MLK Day service: "So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother." 

Said Bentley on Wednesday: "The terminology I used, I believe, seemed to disenfranchise other religions, and it certainly was not meant to do that…It was never my intension to disenfranchise anyone. If I did make anyone of any faith feel disenfranchised, let me say I am sorry."


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Andy Warhol’s Brother Dies

Warhola390John Warhola, the brother and father figure of the late pop artist Andy
Warhol, died at 85 on December 24 after battling pneumonia. Daily News

—  admin

In Ecuador, Fabricio Correa Wants To Oust Brother Rafael Correa As President (And Exile His Gay Cabinet, Too)

In 2012, the charismatic Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa will face off against a man he knows well: Fabricio Correa (pictured, R-L), who is Rafael's older brother. Ouch! But in case you thought we'd have to wait nearly two years for the sibling sniping to begin, keep in mind that Fabricio already has a history of attacking his brother, particularly for the president's "pink circle" — the term Fabricio uses to describe all the supposed homos in Rafael's inner circle. Why such animosity? The year-plus-long brotherly battle began when reports corruption started circling Fabricio's companies, and Rafael went from defender to prosecutor, nixing the multi-million dollar government contracts his brother's firms had been awarded.

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Will God Forgive Will Lynch For Beating Up The Priest Who Forced Him To Fellate His Brother When They Were Boys?

What to do if you're Will Lynch (pictured), a 43-year-old San Francisco man, who's still just a bit upset over being molested by his priest — and forced to have sex with his own brother in the woods — when he was a boy? You find that priest and kick his ass. And then get arrested.


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Meet every candidate and their brother at Ojeda’s tonight

With midterm elections exactly two weeks away, and early voting already in full swing, you can bet it’ll be standing room only at Stonewall Democrats of Dallas’ monthly general meeting at Ojeda’s tonight. SDD is the largest LGBT political group based in North Texas, and many of its endorsed candidates will undoubtedly be on hand for the last meeting before the Nov. 2 vote. One who’ll definitely be there is Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, who’s scheduled to speak. Also addressing the group will be the Dallas Police Deparmtent’s LGBT liaison officer, Laura Martin, and Youth First Texas’ Sam Wilkes. Besides, it’s worth it just for the margaritas.

DEETS: Ojeda’s, 4617 Maple Ave. Dallas. Free.

—  John Wright

Gay Oklahoma teen commits suicide following ‘toxic’ city debate over GLBT history month

Zach Harrington

A 19-year-old gay man from Oklahoma has taken his own life, and his parents say a hate-filled recent City Council meeting he attended may have driven him over the edge.

Zach Harrington was a talented musician who’d endured years of struggles due to his sexual orientation in high school in conservative Norman, Okla.

On Sept. 28, Harrington attended a three-hour public hearing on a proposal to declare October gay history month in the city. Although the council ultimately approved the proposal, Harrington’s parents described the meeting as potentially “toxic” for their son, a private person who internalized his feelings.

From The Norman Transcript:

Nikki Harrington, Zach’s older sister, said her brother likely took all of the negative things said about members of the GLBT community straight to heart.

“When he was sitting there, I’m sure he was internalizing everything and analyzing everything … that’s the kind of person he was,” she said. “I’m sure he took it personally. Everything that was said.”

Harrington’s father, Van, said he wasn’t sure why his son went to the meeting, especially after his experiences in Norman once he revealed that he was gay as a teenager. He said he feels his son may have glimpsed a hard reality at the Sept. 28 council meeting, a place where the same sentiments that quietly tormented him in high school were being shouted out and applauded by adults the same age as his own parents.

“I don’t think it was a place where he would hear something to make him feel more accepted by the community,” he said. “For somebody like Zach, it (the meeting) was probably very hard to sit through.”

Zach Harrington committed suicide at his family’s home in Norman seven days after the meeting, yet another apparent victim of anti-gay hate. His parents say they hope the story of his death will make people think twice before they say certain things about their friends and neighbors in public. We’re hoping it will also prompt them to reflect upon the hatred in their hearts.

—  John Wright

Christine O’Donnell’s sister denies homophobia; Oh brother.

Mother Jones tips us off to this public Facebook wall posting from Christine O’Donnell’s lesbian sister:

Jennie O’Donnell to all my friends and family..thank you for your great wishes.. for the wisdom to see through the insane lies that were being tossed around, and still will be, i supose [sic]. i’m sure they will make up new ones; but thank you for your love, support prayers, good humor… and support of my sister,no matter what lies were made up about her…oh.. p.s. haave [sic] you heard the latest? she’s homophobic… gotta laugh

Jennie O’Donnell [Facebook]

Which besides being surprising, is a perfect example of why I personally don’t care for the word “homophobic”: Because it’s much too easy to see as an either/or. A role independent of actions. Like it, a personally defined terms, is some sort of condition that one can easily shake. “She’s not homophobic — she took a dose of penicillin.”

Here’s the thing: Christine O’Donnell, without any question or doubt, was involved in “ex-gay” work. Christine O’Donnell, without any question or doubt, compared homosexuality to pedophilia, adultery, eating disorders, and drugs. Christine O’Donnell, without any question or doubt, wrote this:

Adolph Hitler said that to engineer a society you must first engineer its language. Starting with the youth, he set in motion a design to erode the power of words, to steal the significance and beauty of a single word. We can see the unfolding of that plan in our society. For example, “gay” means joyful and gleeful. Yet, today, when we say that Ellen is gay, we’re certainly not talking about her emotional well-being.” [SOURCE]

Christine’s SALT organization, without any question or doubt, linked to anti-science groups like NARTH and to discredited researchers like Paul Cameron to justify the “ex-gay” stances. Christine O’Donnell, without any question or doubt, held a press conference where she attempted to link America’s first openly gay ambassador to the “pedophile rights movement.” Etc. etc.

So is she “homophobic,” as Jennie O’Donnell defines it? Frankly: Who the hell cares?! Not this site. Not most activists. What we do care about is the work and the views. Work and views that might soon join the United States Senate, guiding votes on matters like the Defense of Marriage Act, employment non-discrimination, immigration rights, and open service.

“Gotta laugh”? Sorry Jennie, but we’re not with ya on that one!

Good As You

—  John Wright