Starvoice • 06.17.11

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Meredith Baxter turns 64 on Tuesday. For most of the ’80s, Baxter played Elyse Keaton on Family Ties. She’s mostly been seen in TV films and guest-starring roles. In an interview with Matt Lauer on Today back in 2009, she came out of the closet as lesbian. Her memoir Untied was released this past March.

THIS WEEK

For the next few months we get a taste of the Uranus-Pluto square that will dominate the next five years. Recent political turmoil has just been the set-up for major crises and changes ahead. Astrologically it looks a lot like 1848, 1939 and the ‘60s. Buckle your seatbelts; it’s gonna get bumpy.

………………….

GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
As dystopian as the future looks, you’ll find a way to thrive. Trust your instincts and reconsider the most important lessons you learned from your mother. Talking with siblings can clarify that.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
Frustrations in love and career are too big to solve by yourself. Fortunately you have some very wise and resourceful friends. As odd as their ideas may seem, they will likely help.

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
It’s easy to worry yourself sick. Arguments make it worse. Focus on your career. Working through sexual issues is healing. Quiet time alone gives you space to think about what you need to do.

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
Sharing your innermost thoughts will open up ideas for creative fun. On the way, you open up some difficult childhood memories. Resolving an ugly past can clear the way for a better future.

LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
Your home and partnership are heading for big changes. Be generous and comforting in bed. Family commitments need to change. Be clear on what those are. Be adaptive at work.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
Obsessing on details leads to accidents and misunderstandings. Don’t neglect the important details; just keep it all in perspective. Your partner’s advice and practical support will prove helpful.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
Now’s the time to find a job you enjoy. Channeling your sexual charisma into the job search is helpful, but if you already like your work that charisma can go back to what it does best.

CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
Trying to manage your family or community will backfire. Focus on having fun. If you’re looking for love, play at being moody, broody and intense; but remember, you’re playing.

AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
Conversations open up deep psychological insights. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your family, no matter how odd. Releasing old tensions could have surprising health benefits.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
Reality is challenging your values and your plans, but that’s life. Adaptability and a sense of humor will help you stay true to your core while everything else goes crazy.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
Be very sure that your career is in line with your ambitions. Being unhappy on your job track will get you derailed. Contempt for authority is well-deserved but pick your battles strategically.

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
“Bad religion” is a subjective experience. Focus on your own personal beliefs; know where you find clarity, support and reassurance. Respect others’ paths while finding your own.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 17, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

NOM Files Yet Another Lawsuit Challenging Disclosure Laws

As part of its radical nationwide efforts to dismantle state laws that provide transparency about who is funding political campaigns, the National Organization for Marriage this week filed suit in Rhode Island seeking to have their disclosure laws ruled unconstitutional.  The suit comes the same week as NOM lost in federal court in Minnesota on a similar case.

The case – National Organization for Marriage v. John Daluz – was filed in U.S. District Court in Rhode Island on September 21.  Daluz is the named defendant in his official capacity as Vice Chairman of the state board of elections.

This new lawsuit brought by NOM’s lawyers is similar to other public disclosure challenges they have made across the country including in Minnesota and New York.  In Maine NOM remains under investigation by the Maine Ethics Commission for failing to register with the state as a ballot question committee and disclose the donors to its campaign to overturn Maine’s marriage equality law in 2009.  In Washington State, NOM’s lawyers fought the state’s public records law all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court – and lost.  A federal court in California has similarly rejected NOM’s efforts to hide its donors in the wake of Proposition 8.

Human Rights Campaign Vice President of Communications and Marketing Fred Sainz remarked in a release: “One thing’s for sure – NOM feels like they have something to hide. In yet another state, NOM is trying to eviscerate the fair and open process that governs election spending in this country.  What lengths won’t they go to in order to shield themselves from public scrutiny?”


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

Ken Mehlman, Peter Thiel, and Paul Singer Host Manhattan Fundraiser for Team Challenging Proposition 8

Guestblogger COREY JOHNSON

Tonight I attended a highly anticipated fundraiser for the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) in New York City at the Mandarin Oriental in the Time Warner Center. The fundraiser was co-chaired by former Republican National Committee Chair Ken Mehlman, Paypal Co-Founder Peter Thiel and Elliott Management hedge fund CEO Paul Singer.

Mehlman The fundraiser was initially supposed to be held at Singer's home but had to be moved to accommodate a crowd of over 120 people. It was announced by Mehlman that more than 1.2 million dollars was raised tonight. The energy in the room was hopeful, enthusiastic and celebratory even in the face of yesterday's setback on Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

The crowd was a diverse mix of Wall Street titans, Republican establishment figures, LGBT community advocates and politicos (partial list below after the jump). Barbara Bush, President George W. Bush's daughter attended the event — which was a surprise to people in the room.

Mehlman opened the event by speaking about the importance of achieving marriage equality and explained how he came to be involved with AFER. He acknowledged and thanked people who helped raise money for the fundraiser and also different members of the LGBT community. Mehlman said that this is just the beginning of his involvement and that he regretted that he hadn't gotten to this place sooner.

Said Mehlman: "As someone who regrets very much not being involved, and not being on the right side of this important effort until recently, let me just say this. This will be my first but not my last event and I hope you will stay involved too."

Video, AFTER THE JUMP

Aferinvite Mehlman introduced Peter Thiel, a gay conservative who is hosting an event for GOProud at his New York home this fall. Thiel was brief and spoke about how marriage equality should not be a partisan issue.

Mehlman then introduced Paul Singer, a titan in finance and former Chair of the Giuliani for President Campaign in 2008. Singer gave a very moving speech about why equality for gay and lesbian people mattered so much to him. He spoke about his openly gay son and his son-in-law and how personal the issue was to him. He received a loud, standing ovation after his remarks.

A video was played that showed all of the media coverage from the very beginning of the Proposition 8 lawsuit, chronicling all of the events leading up to Chief Judge Vaughn Walker's decision declaring Proposition 8 unconsitutional. The video was inspirational and uplifting, serving as a crescendo to the introduction of Ted Olson and Chad Griffin.

AFER_panel CNN's Campbell Brown then came on stage with Olson, one of the lead attorneys' in the case, along with Griffin, the President and Founder of AFER. Brown interviewed Olson and Griffin on topics ranging from how they came to meet each other, what the next steps are in the appeal process, whether or not Olson was optimistic about the outcome and how this case fit into past marriage decision at the Supreme Court.

Olson's clear and unvarnished optimism was outwardly apparent in all of his remarks and answers to questions from Brown and also from the audience.

OlsonOlson said that he was confident with the case, plaintiffs, witnesses and evidence that opponents of Proposition 8 provided during the trial last January and that he believes that the case will ultimately land at the Supreme Court of the United States with a successful result.

Chad Griffin said this about tonight's fundraiser: "Tonight represented much more than .2 million to fight Proposition 8 in the 9th Circuit and the Supreme Court. This unprecedented gathering of bipartisan political leaders and Wall Street titans demonstrates the shift of momentum that's possible when it becomes clear that marriage equality isn't a special interest issue, but rather one of fundamental American values. That has been the focus of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, and while there is certainly a tremendous amount of work to be done, it is gratifying to see such progress."

After a difficult and painful day in the United States Senate yesterday, the palpable optimism at the fundraiser was unmistakable and welcome for the attendees.

Watch VIDEO of Mehlman, Thiel, and Singer (apologies, we were only able to grab a partial portion of Singer's speech), AFTER THE JUMP


PARTIAL LIST OF ATTENDEES

WALL STREET FIGURES and FIRMS

Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts (KKR)
Henry Kravis
Sir Deryck Maughan (former Vice Chairman of Citibank and Salomon Brothers)
Alex Navab
Scott Nuttall
John Pfeffer
Lewis Eisenberg
David Sorkin

Blackstone 
Garrett Moran

Third Point Capital
Daniel Loeb

Carlyle
Jay Sammons

Elliot Management
Paul Singer
Sundar Srinivasan
Dan Senor
Terry Kassel

Evercore Partners 
Charles Myers

Clarium Capital 

Peter Thiel

Goldman Sachs
Todd Malan

Lincoln Park Capital
Mark Cozzi

TPG
Nick Stone

POLITICAL

Former Republican Governor William Weld from Massachusetts
Former Republican Governor Christie Todd Whitman from New Jersey
Former Clinton White House Chief of Staff, Obama Advisor and head of Center for American Progress John Podesta
Former Republican National Committee and McCain finance chairman Lew Eisenberg
Former McCain for President Chief Strategist Steve Schmidt
Former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt (Democrat)
Former Bush Federal Election Commission Chairman Michael Toner
Chairman of the Manhattan Institute and former Chairman of the Giuliani Presidential campaign Paul Singer
Former Bush White House Communications Director Nicolle Wallace
Former Bush Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Mark Wallace
Former RNC Chairman and Bush Campaign Manager Ken Mehlman
Former Advisor to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton David Gergen

LGBT Community Members

Activist and Author David Mixner
Freedom to Marry Executive Director Evan Wolfson
Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation President Jarrett Barrios
Board Chair of the Empire State Pride Agenda Frank Selvaggi
Human Rights Campaign New York Marriage Director Brian Ellner
Former Chief of Staff to Minority Leader Dick Gephardt and Deputy Campaign Manager to John Kerry for President Steve Elmendorf
Senior Vice President for External Affairs at the Center for American Progress Winnie Stachelberg
Democratic National Committee Treasurer Andy Tobias
Former Clinton White House Advisor Richard Socarides
Academy Award Winning Producer and AFER Board Member Bruce Cohen
Gill Action Fund Executive Director Patrick Guerrero
Gill Action Fund Deputy Executive Director Bill Smith


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Join the Blend’s live chat with Billy Kennedy, who is challenging GOPer Virginia Foxx

You all remember Virginia Foxx. She’s the class act who said Matthew Shepard’s murder was a hoax. Seriously:

this — the bill was named for him, hate crimes bill was named for him, but it’s really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills.

This year, Foxx has a Democratic opponent, Billy Kennedy. Pam’s hosting a chat with him tonight, which you can join here. Pam has a post with some background on Kennedy here.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Lawsuit Filed Challenging Domestic Partner Registry in Wisconsin

Less than two months after the Wisconsin Supreme Court voted unanimously to uphold the state's ban on same-sex marriage, a conservative group has filed suit challenging the state's domestic partner registry, saying it violates that ban.

Wisconsin The AP reports:

"The lawsuit filed in Dane County Circuit Court by members of Wisconsin Family Action contends the registry creates a legal status substantially similar to that of marriage.
Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, proposed the registry as a means of granting same-sex couples more legal rights, such as the right to visit each other in hospitals, make end-of-life decisions and inherit each other’s property. The Democratic-controlled Legislature approved the registry and it went into effect in August 2009. By the end of the year 1,329 couples had signed up.
The same-sex marriage ban, actively pushed by the same group bringing the lawsuit against the registry, was added to the constitution by voters in 2006."

Fair Wisconsin executive director Katie Belanger says that while 200 benefits are guaranteed to heterosexual couples through marriage, same-sex couples only get 43 of those benefits through domestic partner registry:

"These are the most basic, critical things that couples need to have to take care of one another."


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright