Annise Parker tells youth, ‘It Gets Better’

Annise Parker

Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s staff has been encouraging her to do an “It Gets Better” video. She took the opportunity to do so during a presentation at the Houston Holocaust Museum on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

The museum presented her with a Guardian of the Human Spirit Award, a platform for acknowledging dedicated Houstonians who have worked to enhance the lives of others and to better humankind.

On its website, the museum listed among the reasons she was given the award was her expansion of the city’s nondiscrimination policies:

One of her early official acts was to issue one of the most comprehensive non-discrimination orders in the nation. The order prohibits discrimination and/or retaliation on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity at every level of municipal government, including hiring, contracting and/or access to city facilities and programs/activities.

Her acceptance speech includes her thoughts on the recent rash of publicized suicides by teens who had been bullied. Her office noted the lighting that makes Parker look radioactive. Prior to her appearance, the content of the speech changed several times and it wasn’t until the last minute that Parker decided to include the “It Gets Better” piece and asked that it be recorded.

—  David Taffet

Gotta love the British press

Despite recent, horrible coverage by the BBC of the proposed Ugandan genocide of gays and lesbians, you’ve got to love the British press. They pull no punches.

The (U.K.) Guardian’s headline about the proposed legislation:

Anti-gay bigots plunge Africa into new era of hate crimes

Gets right to the point. Those proposing genocide are anti-gay bigots. Period.

Compare that to New York Times coverage:

Death Penalty for Gays? Uganda Debates Proposal

This is only story I found about the crisis in the New York Times and it is NOT a New York Times story. It’s an Associated Press story. Very neutral headline. Non-judgmental. Same headline might have been used for an article about something innocuous. “Increase spending for education? Uganda debates proposal” or for criminal activity: “Death penalty for rape? Uganda debates proposal.”

But this law is not about something innocuous and not about criminal activity. It is about genocide.

Another example. London Times:

Uganda’s Inhumane Bill

Clear. Unequivocal. This bill is genocide, which goes against all human morality. This bill is inhumane. Humans don’t do this.

Back to U.S. coverage:

Dallas Morning News:

Under proposed bill, some gays in Uganda could face death penalty

Same bland AP story as the NY Times. Note the downplay. “Some gays.” Others will be OK rotting in jail for the rest of their lives, but that’s OK. And their relatives and anyone else they want to jail? Hey, they just get three years. At least they’re not going to kill everyone.

Washington Post. Couldn’t even find the same, bland AP story.

For the only national coverage of this story, only Rachel Maddow is hammering the administration for not speaking out strongly about this and evangelical scum like Rick Warren who has hosted the author of this bill in his church and may have been involved in actually writing this legislation. And “The Daily Show,” not actually a news show, for bringing attention to this issue.

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—  David Taffet