CORRECTION: All major candidates for Dallas mayor vied for LGBT vote in 2002

In my cover story for this week’s paper, I made a minor mistake. Actually it was fairly major. The opening paragraph of the story, as originally written, stated that 2011 marks the first time in history that all major candidates for Dallas mayor have actively courted the LGBT vote.

As former DV staff writer David Webb pointed out in the comments to the story, that’s not true. In 2002, Laura Miller, Tom Dunning and Domingo Garcia — the three major candidates for mayor — all courted the LGBT vote.

From The Dallas Mornings News on Jan. 15, 2002:

Dallas gays and lesbians, who used to hope that they could just find a candidate who wouldn’t be hostile to their interests, find themselves for the first time being wooed from all directions in what boils down to a three-way citywide race – and disagreeing about whom to support.

“It’s the first time I haven’t had to go vote for the lesser of two evils,” said Deb Elder, a Laura Miller supporter and political organizer. “Nothing has piqued my passion like this mayoral vote.”

Put another way, with major candidates Ms. Miller, Tom Dunning, and Domingo Garcia all touting their support for including gays in a nondiscrimination ordinance, a sector of voters that was shunned not long ago can’t lose this time around.

“It’s historic. I knew it would happen, but I didn’t know it would be this soon,” said Michael Milliken, one of the city’s first publicly identified gay appointees. “The gay community is in a unique position this year.”

I had based my report on statements by openly gay former City Councilman Ed Oakley, who called the 2011 mayoral election “a watershed moment for the community” and “unprecedented.”

While that may be true in some other respects, this isn’t the first time all major mayoral candidates have sought the LGBT vote, and I apologize for the error.

—  John Wright

Can’t Dancing On Ice Contestant Jeff Brazier Talk Bukkake With Gay Judge Jason Gardiner?

I want to say JG, before he rains on my parade, the boys are in the audience over there. They are experts in group insemination, I mean group interrogation, so just watch out.

—Jeff Brazier, the X Factor host (and reality TV veteran), who's competing on Britain's Dancing On Ice, in a televised remark to openly gay judge Jason Gardiner after his not-so-great routine, that had everyone thinking he's a homophobe. But his rep insists: "Jeff gets his words wrong sometimes, it was not on purpose."


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Virginia Lawmaker: Feds Can’t Stop Us From Banning Gays From National Guard

Back in December, wingnut Virginia legislator Bob Marshall announced a bill to ban homosexuals from serving in that state’s National Guard. Today we get the text of that bill, which lists numerous examples of gays being booted from the military after declaring that the federal government has no right to tell Virginia who can serve in its National Guard.

A state may have different eligibility standards for membership in a State’s National Guard than for membership in the Armed Forces of the United States (e.g., education, driving record, drug use, criminal record, age, and other criteria). Such eligibility standards are not within the power of the U.S. Congress because they are not matters of “discipline.” “training,” “arming” or “organizing” the Militia, or National Guard. At present, the Virginia National Guard and the U. S. Army have different eligibility admission criteria than the Armed Forces of the United States, and the Commonwealth of Virginia has authority to determine whether or not an active, open and practicing homosexual should serve in the Virginia National Guard. There is no constitutional right to serve in the National Guard.

Joe. My. God.

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AFA: Limp-Wristed Nancy Boys Can’t Get Out Of The Military Anymore! ROFL!

“If a homosexual signs up now, he’s stuck with the whole magilla. Go to your superior officer now and say, hey, I’m a flaming homosexual, I hate the army, let me out of here, the superior officer will say, tough darts, those days are gone. You’re stuck with us now, Nancy-boy. So, who’s sorry now?

“The more this message resounds, the fewer homosexuals will want to enlist. It’s one thing to be gay, and say, hey, I’ll give it a few weeks and then bail if I don’t like the food, can’t get enough action in the barracks, or thought I’d enjoy ogling male soldiers in the shower more than I did. Those days are now shortly to be a distant memory for our homosexual friends. They enlist, they’re stuck with the whole program just like everybody else.

“In other words, they had preferential treatment and special privileges, a status and privileges and an exit strategy denied to their honest and straight counterparts. And homosexuals just bargained it away. Now, they will discover to their dismay, they’re back to having equal rights instead of special rights.” – American Family Association radio host Bryan Fischer, who once predicted rampant gay rapes, AIDS infections, and battlefield boyfriend spats should DADT be repealed.

Joe. My. God.

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Petraeus Aide Sgt. Maj. Marvin Hill: If You Can’t Serve With Gays, Get The Hell Out Of the U.S. Armed Forces

If there are people who cannot deal with the change, then they're going to have to do what's best for their troops and best for the organization and best for the military service and exit the military service, so that we can move forward — if that's the way that we have to go. … We know that if there is a change, that that change will have to be led, and it's going to have to be led by senior leaders such as myself and — and others across the battlefield. Senior leaders are the ones [that are] going to set the tone in the unit and enable the unit to move forward.

—Command Sergeant Major Marvin Hill, a senior aide to NATO's Afghanistan commander David Petraeus (pictured R-L), in an interview that airs tomorrow on Washington Watch. If Don't Ask Don't Tell was a way to rid the military of openly gay soldiers, its repeal is a way to rid the military of openly bigoted soldiers. [via]


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U.S. Believed German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle Is a ‘Wild Card’ Who Can’t Be Trusted

Germany Westerwelle Gay

Guido Westerwelle, Germany's newly married gay foreign minister, is an inexperienced "wild card" with an "exuberant personality" that prevents him from being trusted, according to a March 2009 cable that dropped among Wikileaks' treasure trove of 250,000 supposedly private intelligence communications. So that's sort of awkward.

CONTINUED »


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Dish it, can’t take it: FRC pissed that people are calling them on their crap

As predicted, the Family Research Council is lashing out against the respected Southern Poverty Law Center for adding the anti-LGBT group to their latest hate groups list. Just as predictably: FRC is completely overlooking the clearly documented findings that landed them on the list, instead attacking the monolithic “left,” their “sexual preferences,” and their “radical” “slander”:

Family Research Council has, for nearly 30 years, advanced faith, family, and freedom in public discourse. We do so with civility and compassion. We hold to the indisputable fact that the family – a Dad, a Mom, and children – is the best building block of a good society, which is why we oppose efforts to transform it based on personal sexual preference.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center is a massively funded liberal organization that operates under a veneer of public justice when, in fact, they seem more interested in fundraising ploys than fighting wrongdoing.

“This is a deliberately timed smear campaign by the SPLC. The Left is losing the debate over ideas and the direction of public policy so all that is left for them is character assassination. It’s a sad day in America when we can not, with integrity, have a legitimate discussion over policy issues that are being considered by Congress, legislatures, and the courts without resorting to juvenile tactics of name calling.

“The Left’s smear campaigns of conservatives is also being driven by the clear evidence that the American public is losing patience with their radical policy agenda as seen in the recent election and in the fact that every state, currently more than thirty, that has had the opportunity to defend the natural definition of marriage has done so. Earlier this month, voters in Iowa sent a powerful message when they removed three Supreme Court justices who imposed same-sex marriage on the state. Would the SPLC also smear the good people of Iowa?

“Family Research Council will continue to champion marriage and family as the foundation of our society and will not acquiesce to those seeking to silence the Judeo-Christian views held by millions of Americans. We call on the Southern Poverty Law Center to apologize for this slanderous attack and attempted character assassination.” [SOURCE]

It’s the height of shooting the messenger, since the message is too karmically damning. Here are the unacknowledged points that SPLC writer Evelyn Schlatter highlighted about FRC in her writeup:

Headed today by former Louisiana State Rep. Tony Perkins, the FRC has been a font of anti-gay propaganda throughout its history. It relies on the work of Robert Knight, who also worked at Concerned Women for America but now is at Coral Ridge Ministries (see above for both), along with that of FRC senior research fellows Tim Dailey (hired in 1999) and Peter Sprigg (2001). Both Dailey and Sprigg have pushed false accusations linking gay men to pedophilia (see related story, p. 31): Sprigg has written that most men who engage in same-sex child molestation “identify themselves as homosexual or bisexual,” and Dailey and Sprigg devoted an entire chapter of their 2004 book Getting It Straight to similar material. The men claimed that “homosexuals are overrepresented in child sex offenses” and similarly asserted that “homosexuals are attracted in inordinate numbers to boys.”

More recently, in March 2008, Sprigg, responding to a question about uniting gay partners during the immigration process, said: “I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them.” He later apologized, but then went on, last February, to tell MSNBC host Chris Matthews, “I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions on homosexual behavior.” “So we should outlaw gay behavior?” Matthews asked. “Yes,” Sprigg replied. At around the same time, Sprigg claimed that allowing gay people to serve openly in the military would lead to an increase in gay-on-straight sexual assaults.

Perkins has his own unusual history. In 1996, while managing the U.S. Senate campaign of Republican State Rep. Louis “Woody” Jenkins of Louisiana, Perkins paid ,500 to use the mailing list of former Klan chieftain David Duke. The campaign was fined ,000 (reduced from ,500) after Perkins and Jenkins filed false disclosure forms in a bid to hide the link to Duke. Five years later, on May 17, 2001, Perkins gave a speech to the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist group that has described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.” Perkins claimed not to know the group’s ideology at the time, but it had been widely publicized in Louisiana and the nation. In 1999, in fact, GOP chairman Jim Nicholson urged Republicans to quit the group over its “racist views.” A short time later, after an Intelligence Report exposé but before Perkins’ 2001 speech, Republican House Speaker Trent Lott was embroiled in a national scandal over his ties to the group.

And to that, we could also add:

- Tony Perkins routinely says his opposition (including but not limited to gays) is “held captive by the enemy

- FRC has issued a same-sex marriage pamphlet that compares gay unions to those that might theoretically exist between a man and his horse (complete with a horse’s picture on its front page)

- Peter Sprigg on how to handle sexually active gay men: “The CDC spokesman is cited as saying, ‘There is no single or simple solution for reducing HIV and syphilis rates among gay and bisexual men.’ This is plainly false. There is, for example, a single and simple solution for smoking-related illnesses, and we have all heard it—’If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quit.’ It’s long past time for public health authorities to say the same about men having sex with men.

- Perkins saying that gay teens try suicide because they know homosexuality is “abnormal.”

- Sprigg has emphatically stated that the idea that homosexuality is present in infants at birth “has been disproven scientifically.

- FRC’s Tom McClusky voicing support Sen. Jim DeMint’s belief that gay teachers should be fired.

- Perkins saying those who criticized or even simply questioned a bakery for refusing to make rainbow cupcakes of engaging in “economic terrorism.”

- FRC has given multiple platforms to the beyond-incendiary Bryan Fischer. Most prominently, at this past September’s Values Voters Summit.

- FRC uses grim reaper photos to illustrate what non-discrimination will supposedly do to America.

Etc, etc. We’ll stop there, because we could seriously be here all day. That’s not even a joke. We have six years of archives on FRC: Feel free to use your own Black Friday pulling their organizational thread of offense, should mall shopping be a bore.

The bottom line: FRC can try all they want to attack those who simply use their eyes and ears and digital recording devices to capture what comes forth from their Washington D.C. stable. Those who look at the record and side with FRC are people who were never going to side with pro-LGBT peace in the first place. For the rest of the reality-based community, the message is finally starting to hit home. Thankfully.




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Video: Why can’t Americans understand concept of *civil* marriage?

More support for “biblical values” pertaining to marriage, complete with the word “fag” at the 1:58 mark and man/donkey comparisons at 6:00:

The thing is: While we’d always push back against his slurs and any attempts to physically encroach in our own life, we actually support this man’s right to put every one of these ideas on faith. His own personal faith. His own personal religious ceremony. His own personal “making sweet love to a goat” fears. His own personal house and family. If only he’d add, “…but despite all of these feelings, I support *civil* equality for LGBT taxpayers,” we’d have no issue with his right to see his religion as supporting these kinds of “facts.”

But that’s what our opponents won’t realize or at least admit. And hey, why should they, when so few are articulating the root issue in this so-called “culture war”?




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You can’t love a gay person without the ‘gay’

I have a piece at The American Prospect about Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project and how the conversation about it has devolved into one about bullying in general, which I think is different from the harassment gay kids face:

That conversation should begin by acknowledging that general “bullying” is different from the sort of prejudice gay kids are up against. It’s one thing to be told you’re stupid, a dork, or ugly during high school and another to be a permanent member of a stigmatized group.

When kids bandy about the term “gay” as a slur — or its more derogatory counterparts, “fag” and “queer” — it bears the force of society’s homophobia. It’s not just the schoolyard jerk who picks on you. It’s the pastor who rails against the “gay agenda” on Sunday, the parent who stands up at a city council meeting and says he moved to your city because it’s “the kind of place that would never accept the GLBT community with open arms,” and politicians like New York’s would-be governor Carl Paladino, who on the campaign trail said things like “there is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual.” Even once you get past high school, you still can’t get married or serve in the military, and in most states, your employer can fire you just for being gay. This is the kind of “bullying” gay kids face, and it’s the kind no one’s standing up to.

I don’t say this explicitly in the piece, but I think what’s especially telling about the difference between “bullying” and anti-gay harassment is that conservative Christian groups oppose the latter, but not the former. Check out this quote from a The New York Times piece about the outcry from conservatives over anti-bullying programs:

Candi Cushman, an educational analyst with Focus on the Family, a Christian group, said that early lessons about sexuality and gay parents reflected a political agenda, including legitimizing same-sex marriage. “We need to protect all children from bullying,” Ms. Cushman said. “But the advocacy groups are promoting homosexual lessons in the name of antibullying.”

Conservative Christians like to pretend that there’s a big difference between picking on a gay kid — i.e., ”bullying” — and disapproving of homosexuality, but in reality one stems from the other. In practice, it’s tough to indoctrinate someone into thinking being gay is wrong, immoral, disgusting, and then ask him or her to treat a gay person with respect; it’s a natural human instinct to recoil from things that you perceive to be bad or harmful, and no matter how many times you pledge to “love the sinner but not the sin,” when it comes down to it, even adults can’t carry that out, much less children. Seriously, has any gay person ever felt much love from the likes of Maggie Gallagher or Anita Bryant?

Protecting gay kids would be a lot easier if it were possible to do so without talking about homosexuality or teaching kids that it’s okay to be gay. But the truth is you can’t — and we shouldn’t try to. Anti-gay prejudice isn’t just a private, religious belief people respectfully keep to themselves. It manifests itself as violence — both verbal and physical — on playgrounds, in politics, on the streets of our cities. Legislators should be willing to confront protect its most vulnerable victims, even when prejudice rides on the back of religion.




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She Can’t Believe It’s Buenos Aires’ 19th Gay Pride Parade Either

THE SHOT — An estimated 100,000 people flooded the streets of Buenos Aires on Saturday, with much gay pride to celebrate: This summer Argentina became South America's first country to legalize gay marriage.


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