Careful which film icons you invoke, Congressman King

At yesterday’s Judge Bus stop in Winterset, IA, Congressman Steve King is quoted as saying:

John Wayne would want you to vote NO” (on retaining Iowa’s pro-equality judges) [SOURCE]

But here’s the thing: The late John Wayne is also on record saying of Native Americans:

Our so called stealing of this country was just a question of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.” [Playboy, 1971]

And saying of African-Americans:

I believe in white supremacy until blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.

It’s not my judgment. The academic community has developed certain tests that determine whether the blacks are sufficiently equipped scholastically. But some blacks have tried to force the issue and enter college when they haven’t passed the tests and don’t have the requisite background” [Playboy, 1971]

So while he was a good actor, American icon, and native Iowan, we think we’d be careful about playing the “John Wayne would’ve...” game. It’s likely that time did evolve his views up until the time of his 1979 death. It’s possible that these quotes don’t reveal what was truly in his heart. But the archived record is the archived record. The raised questions would seem to more fully embolden the side that is seeking minority protection, not modern day limitation.

Good As You

—  admin

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Drag King Role Made Jake Gyllenhaal Want To Play Gay

Jake Gyllenhaal says he was motivated to sign on for Brokeback Mountain after seeing pal Gwyneth Paltrow "dressed as a young boy" in Shakespeare In Love, proving that it takes only five years after its release to make us feel nostalgic.

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—  John Wright

Celebrities Combat Anti-Gay Bullying On ‘Larry King’


Larry King dedicated his entire CNN show to homophobic bullying last night, and invited gay celebrities like Lance Bass, Chely Wright, Tim Gunn and Nate Berkus to share their stories.

Bass admitted that he used laugh along while his friends taunted gay classmates. "When you're 13, 14, you just go along with what the other people are doing. You just want to fit in. You want to make sure that your friends like you," the singer confessed. "You're going to crack jokes, you're going to laugh along with it. And when you're a teenager, you're not really thinking, oh, I'm being a bully by laughing along with it… But you know, you're also a bully by condoning the behavior and making the jokes along with them."

Meanwhile, Berkus verbalized the isolation of living in the closet, unsure of what "gay" even means: "You are trying to hide a fundamental part of yourself, what happens is that you cannot focus on anything else. Please understand, too, there was no Youtube. There were no — there was no Internet, nothing like that, when I was growing up."

Wanda Sykes also made an appearance, and tied the rise of anti-gay bullying to homophobic legislation, like Don't Ask, Don't Tell. "I believe that it is assisting," she said. "I'm not going to say that that's… the crux of it, because this has been going on for decades. But I think maybe what's making people a little more vocal… is because of issues that — like Don't Ask, Don't Tell and Prop 8. They're so much in the forefront right now of politics that maybe that's, you know, causing people to do more harm."
At the end of it all, gay favorite Kathy Griffin reminded viewers that they're not alone, and that our collective efforts can put an end to bullying: "If you're watching this at home and you feel enraged but helpless, you can help. All right, come see me at the Gibson Theater. Make a monetary donation. Come get a pamphlet. Sign up for the Trevor Project. Sign up for Give a Damn. Go talk to somebody."

I've included the entire episode AFTER THE JUMP…

Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Guest column by CD Kirven: Open Letter to Dr. Alveda King from a Black LGBT Rights Activist

When NOM rolled into Raleigh yesterday, Brian Brown took the opportunity to exploit the reputation of Dr. Martin Luther King by lauding the heinous remarks of his niece, Alveda King (video), who earned Keith Olbermann’s “Worst” the other night for her bigotry. This open letter is a plea for her to stop supporting NOMs notion that LGBTs are second-class citizens. — Pam

My open letter is a request for a one-on-one private meeting or public debate with Dr. Alveda King (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece who spoke at a National Organization for Marriage anti-gay rally in Atlanta). My hope is to assist with bridging the gap of misunderstanding between our opposing communities in order to lead to a civil dialogue as well as a public acknowledgement of the 41-year-old civil rights struggle of the LGBT community’s efforts to free themselves of unjust laws that allow religious persecution and in hopes of removing the overpowering thumb of our government’s secular mandates.

Open Letter to Dr. Alveda King from a Black LGBT Rights Activist: “Injustice Anywhere is Injustice Everywhere!”

By C.D. Kirven, Contributing Writer & LGBT Activist

Dear Dr. King:

Good afternoon! I urge you to denounce the National Organization for Marriage’s relentless obsession to derail the LGBT community’s efforts to obtain civil protections for their children and families.  Please understand the same people that requested your presence at their anti-gay rally are some of the same people that fought against a holiday in the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s  tremendous work for human rights.  Please lift the secular veil used to disguise blatant bigotry from a group twisting God’s biblical message of love into monstrous hatemongering.

For me, your comments on Saturday at the National Organization for Marriage’s anti-gay rally were very painful to me as a person and as a parent. It was reported that you stated: “Supporting gay marriage will lead to genocide and the extinction of the human race” and this comment has no sound civil or social foundation. But, your comments do assist in furthering the objective of second class citizenship for LGBT Americans and assist with the persecution LGBT citizens in a culture war waged against my community by groups like the National Organization for Marriage. You can’t defend marriage from love but you can use marriage restrictions as a tool to spread hate.

Unfortunately, this type of prejudicial endeavor has had tragic consequences on my community that include high LGBT teen suicide or vicious hate crimes. The National Organization for Marriage’s use of your lineage as a weapon in their oppression arsenal to set back civil gains made by the queer community in our pursuit for marriage equality is truly disheartening. Your aunt and uncle were apostles of peace and were aware of the spiritual connection required in denouncing hateful rhetoric used to publicly degrade a minority group in order to further a devout political agenda. I must say I’m heartbroken by your words and cut deeply by your association with this mean spirited group. Humanity is bound to love and inhumanity is chained to hate. The truth carries the power to determine the difference between a federally protected personal belief and unjust mandate of law.

More below the fold.

In the words of your uncle, who has inspired my efforts as an activist:

I never intend to adjust myself to the viciousness of mob rule. It may be that the salvation of the world lies in the hands of the proclaimed maladjusted –  in the midst of injustice proclaim; Let judgment run down like river waters and righteous like a mighty stream.  As maladjusted as President Lincoln, who envisioned a nation with no separation of those living freely and those who are oppressed.  That all men are created equal, and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

In the words of Jesus Christ; “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you and do good to those who hate you and pray for them that despitefully use you.” N.O.M. is using your family’s name in a horribly painful way and members of your family were known to actively fight against discrimination of the LGBT community.  N.O.M.’s requesting your attendance was a transparent effort to weigh down the LGBT civil rights movement. My community’s struggle is a civil rights pursuit because anytime a country allows a majority to use the law to oppress a minority then that is a matter of civil liberty. Our struggle is the same struggle faced by African Americans during the civil rights movement.

Loving vs. Virginia made interracial marriage legal and in that case the bible was used as a tool to bend the law to further discriminate against the African American community. The bible is being used in that same way to oppress my community now.

My plea is that you give me an opportunity to change your heart and open your mind to our plight. You have a rare opportunity to right a wrong and I pray to God that you will take it. As an African American you understand the ugliness of hate and the pain of discrimination. This is not a battle of heterosexual against homosexual, but a struggle of justice against injustice.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to our discussion!


C.D. Kirven, Co-founder of Get Equal Now


* NC: PHB exclusive video of NOM’s Brian Brown at Raleigh rally – plus I am mistaken for a fundie (!)

* NC: NOM’s pathetic stop in Raleigh – another FAIL-O-RAMA
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Watch: Alveda King Speaks At NOM Event In Atlanta

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s niece, Dr. Alveda King, spoke in front of another lowly attended NOM event during the Atlanta stop of their Hate-a-Palooza "Summer for Marriage Tour."


Even with an ever-growing population in the US and all over the world, King told the small crowd that humans could face extinction if gays and lesbians were allowed to marry.

Said King:

"I come from a long line of Christian soldiers…we know that people of virtually every faith and culture agree that marriage is a union between a man and woman…marriage of a man and a woman remains the guard against human extinction."

Marriage equality supporters once again greatly outnumbered those of NOM's attendees – only 30 bigots showed up this time. By contrast, about 300 people supporting marriage equality counter-protested the event. One local NOM supporter said he was "so disappointed more people didn’t show up.”

NOM has faced low attendance at their rallies since the start of their tour, but, according to the GA Voice, Brian Brown is now saying that bigots are staying away because they feel intimated by the harassment they've faced from marriage equality supporters. As we've seen before, apparently blocking someone's view is what they consider harassment. Guess they're still painting themselves as victims.

Watch King's speech as well as a follow-up interview, AFTER THE JUMP.

Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Dr. Alveda King hijacks the King legacy while promoting equality for some

NOTE FROM JOHN: Perhaps if our groups were a little less skittish about the topic of “r-a-c-e and the gays,” they’d have embraced long ago Coretta Scott King’s comments – repeated comments – about how gay civil rights are part of the larger civil rights movement. Call me crazy, but what could be more helpful than the revered wife of America’s most revered civil rights leader? Yet, you never hear about Coretta’s comments, even when the religious right is using a relative of MLK in an effort to subvert the cause.

It is tragic to me that this woman is tied to the King last name.  In the interview below, Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., attempts to imply a position for her uncle based on shared DNA and simultaneously puts down the position of Coretta Scott King, who stood for marriage equality, based on a lack of common DNA.

Beyond all of the emotional undertones that this interview carries, what I find most striking is that even after having had her rights protected by a court despite public opinion, she is unable to recognize the fact that no minority should ever have their fundamental rights voted on by society. Joe wrote earlier on the pitiful attendance at this rally (despite the headliner), but I had to chime in on the interview below.

This interview was conducted by Arisha Hatch who is with the Courage Campaign’s NOM Tour Tracker.  Hatch has done a fantastic job calmly interviewing NOM’s Brian Brown and Larry Adams (who suggested lynchings as a cure to homosexuals).  But this one is beyond the pale.  I respect Alveda King’s work in the civil rights movement of the ’60s, but the gaps in her logical, lack of empathy and unwillingness to look beyond her own experiences are truly disturbing.


—  John Wright