What’s Shakin’ – Stone Soup at F Bar, Washtonians support marriage equality

Stone Soup1. For people living with AIDS proper nutrition is more than just healthy living, it’s a vital part of the regimen that keeps them alive. Unfortunately the struggling economy and cuts to government HIV/AIDS nutrition programs mean that, for some, eating right, or just eating, is a challenge.  That’s where the AIDS Foundation Houston Stone Soup Food Assistance Program steps in.  Kelly McCann, CEO of of AFH, says that the program has recently seen a 40% increase in request for assistance and needs an additional $25,000 a month to meet demand. F Bar (202 Tuam) is doing its part to help out tonight, collecting monetary and food donations from the community. Donors will receive a VIP invitation to an appreaciation party on Nov 22, and be entered in a raffle to win fabulous prizes.
2. Washington may soon become the seventh state to have full marriage equality, if a recent poll by the University of Washington, Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexualityis accurate.  The poll asked 938 registered voters in the evergreen state if they would support a same-sex marriage law were it to appear on the 2012 ballot: 47% responded that yes, they would strongly support it, only 32% said they would strongly oppose.
3. Voter turnout in Harris County is slowly catching up with the last municipal election cycle in 2009, but continues to lag.  So far 28,679 people have cast their ballots, 81% of the 34,485 who had voted at this point in the process the last go around.  Early voting continues through November 3.  Election day is Nov 8. A list of all early voting locations and sample ballots  are available at harrisvotes.org.

—  admin

‘Camp Death’ tonight at Pocket Sandwich

Keep that Halloween feeling

Pocket Sandwich Theatre keeps the frights going along with the laughs in their latest popcorn-tossing show Camp Death. No block parties to struggle through this time. Just sit back and enjoy as Pocket Sandwich spoofs on Friday the 13th and other ’80s horror flicks. And stock up on the popcorn. It’s just as fun to toss at your friends as it is the onstage villains.

DEETS: Pocket Sandwich Theatre, 5400 E. Mockingbird Lane, Ste. 119. 7:30 p.m. $10–$18. PocketSandwich.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Sia tonight at the Granada Theater

‘Clap your Hands’ and say yeah

Even though Sia hasn’t quite made into the big time on the pop charts, she’s developed a strong following. The lez singer recalls the vein of Robyn, with smart pop music that keeps us coming back. She’s sold out here, but the venue has been releasing tickets so keep an eye out.

DEETS: With Oh Land and Ximena Sarinana. Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. 8 p,m. $24. GranadaTheater.com.

—  Rich Lopez

In Oklahoma, Sally Kern keeps it classy (not, of course) right til the end

Via The Advocate, Sally Kern ended her campaign against Brittany Novotny just like you’d expect from one of the nation’s proudest and most vocal LGBT bashers:

Oklahoma state representative Sally Kern and her challenger Brittany Novotny don’t agree on much, but neither supports one of the more contentious issues in their state this Election Day: State Question 744.

Novotny’s disapproval on the ballot question, which would raise per-student education spending in a way she does not agree with, was never made public. However, Kern’s last-minute mailer, sent to voters over the weekend, not only claims the challenger supports SQ744 but points out several times that she is transgender.

“Last I checked, bearing false witness is in violation of the 10 commandments,” Novotny said. “This kind of false representation of my position on an important local issue shows that Representative Kern is not only out of touch and ineffective but also just plain dishonest. The voters of HD 84 deserve a representative who will focus on jobs, education and transportation — not more political games.”

The mailer also pointsjavascript:void(0) out that Novotny is unmarried, chair of the LGBT Caucus of Oklahoma, and supports marriage equality as defining traits. Kern, on the other hand “supports traditional marriage (between a man and women [sic])” and touts that she is the wife of a preacher.

Wait…”a man and women”?? Is that really a mistake on Kern’s mailer — or does she support polygamy? I mean, that is “traditional” marriage for some.

Brittany’s website is here. I sure hope she wins, but she deserves our gratitude for taking on Kern.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Washington keeps trending towards marriage equality but isn’t there yet

For the 5th year in a row, the number of pro-equality voters in Washington state is increasing.  Last week The Washington Poll released the results of their annual fall poll of likely voters on questions including this one:

Q: Which of the following statements best describes your views on the issue of same-sex marriage?
  • Gay and lesbian couples should have the same legal right to marry as straight couples.
  • Gay and lesbian couples should be able to have the same legal rights as stright couples but it should not be called marriage.
  • There should be domestic partnerships that give gay and lesbian couples only some of the benefits and protections of marriage.
  • There should be no legal recognition of gay and lesbian couples.
  • Dunno/Getoffmylawn

  • The Washington Poll is a non-partisan academic survey research project sponsored by the University of Washington’s Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality.  They first asked this question in 2006.  I combed through previous reports so that we could look at the most recent results in historical context.  Looking at the graph above, the positive, unwavering trend towards equality is very clear.

    We saw this statistical trend validated last year when almost 53% of the Washington electorate voted to ratify the new comprehensive domestic partnership law via Referendum 71 (a national first!).  A post-election analysis showed that 38 of Washington’s 39 counties had demonstrated an increase in pro-equality voting since the last time an LGBT measure was on the ballot.

    So we’re ready to push for marriage equality in the legislature, right?  Well, not so fast.
    The really great news is that fully 29% of voters in Washington State believe gay and lesbian couples should be legally recognized.  But from here it gets a little more complicated.  The graph to the right should make you drool.  I’ve combined the results from the Washington Poll graph above into two pots: voters who support marriage equality or full domestic partnerships, and voters who support limited domestic partnerships or no legal recognition for lesbian and gay couples.  In the Land of Wishful Thinking, we’re nearing 70% support when you look at this way.  Do not look at it this way.  Then why am I showing you this?  So that you can see that we have great potential for success in Washington if we marshal our resources over the next 2 years..  

    Strong support for marriage equality currently polls somewhere close to 40%.  Taking a sober look at that number is vital because Washington is a referendum state and any marriage equality law passed by the legislature will almost certainly need to be defended at the polls.  The wild card are the 29% percent of voters who support giving same-sex couples all the rights and benefits of marriage but don’t want the  legal status called marriage. While many of these voters will ultimately support marriage equality we can’t even count on a majority of them.  And here is what we know about how voters actually behave when it comes to marriage referenda and initiatives.

    * Pre-election polls consistently underestimate opposition to marriage equality.

    * We cannot change voters’ attitudes on marriage equality during the course of an election campaign.

    These facts are well known to our leadership in the Washington state Legislature, and Senator Ed Murray for one has said he will file but not push a marriage equality bill until he’s satisfied that the electorate is ready to ratify it at the polls.

    Equal Rights Washington’s Executive Director Josh Friedes says we are at the point where we can seriously start talking about winning marriage equality at the ballot box as early as November 2012.  According to Friedes, what we need to do over the next 18 months is explain to voters why full domestic partnerships are not equivalent to marriage.


    Part of this conversation has to be sharing our personal stories and the stories of people we care about. We need to help people see that domestic partnerships don’t provide the dignity every person is entitled to.  Another part of the conversation has to be explaining how domestic partnerships do not attempt to confer the federal protections of marriage such as Social Security protections, immigration rights and equal treatment under the IRS tax code. Lastly we need to address the concerns many voters have, we need to ask adult children of same-sex couples to speak out so that ambivalent voters can see that our children grow up to be productive and well adjusted.

    It  takes a long time for voters to move on family recognition issues so we need to start now and since the key is personal conversations we need to fund an educational program that allows us to reach out to the 40% of voters who already strongly support marriage equality and ask them to speak to their social networks.

    Friedes says that its not so much that the work is hard, as it is costly. In California and Maine the money came too late.

    We need to fully fund a comprehensive education program that starts to roll out by mid 2011, if we have any intention of winning marriage on the ballot in November 2012.

    So what’s the moral of the story?  The latest poll results are incredibly encouraging, but we still have a lot of work to do, and it is work that cannot be put off until some electoral crunch time.  I’m game.  Are you in?
    Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

    —  John Wright

    9th Circuit Keeps Stay On Prop 8 Ruling: No Marriages Just Yet

    The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted ProtectMarriage.com's emergency request for a stay in Judge Vaughn Walker's Prop 8 ruling, which means the possibility of same-sex marriage resuming on Wednesday, when Walker ordered a temporary stay lifted, is dead. The Court did, however, place the case on its "expedited" list, and will (theoretically) more quickly decide whether to rule the defendant-intervenors have proper standing to appeal.


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    Queerty

    —  John Wright