News: iPad, Joe Miller, Louisville, The Moon, Valerie Jarrett

Road Much more water on the moon than anyone thought: "The presence of water doesn't make it more likely that there ever was life on the moon, as the location studied is among the coldest in the solar system. But the large quantity boosts the case for a manned lunar base from which to launch other interplanetary adventures."

Ipad RoadObama meets with Steve Jobs, is likely the first President to have signed an iPad.

RoadHoly Halloween: Avatar dog.

RoadCub Scouts don't like Mormons either.

RoadSt. Vincent's Hospital in New York's West Village to become rental apartments and retail complex

RoadMadonna's new boy toy.

RoadUnfortunately, this will probably be a best seller.

RoadDouble burglary in Louisville, Kentucky may be based on the homeowners' sexual orientation: "Members of the Fairness Campaign are questioning two burglaries that happened less than a mile from each other. Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign, believes the homeowners may have been targeted because they are gay."

Road SF's Castro evacuated over gas leak.

RoadMichelangelo Signorile goes after Valerie Jarrett: "Jarrett, who I met back at Netroots Nation in Pittsburgh, is someone I thought was a voice on our side in the White House, but I'm really coming to dislike her and realize she's another smug hack, a complete phony. She outright lied several times on CNN yesterday, claiming the president has called DADT unconstitutional — he has not — and also claiming the administration must appeal Judge Virgina Phillips injunction."

RoadDavid Beckham pimps out his wife's sunglasses.

Nasa RoadNASA astronaut checks into Foursquare from space, gets special badge.

RoadMama Cass: 'It's Getting Better'.

RoadCrocodile loose on plane in Congo causes crash, kills 19.

RoadFrench eBay changes rules on contest, will allow gay couples to enter.

RoadEx-priest found guilty of abusing boys.

RoadThe Arctic as we knew it is gone: "It is increasingly unlikely, at least in the foreseeable future, that we will return to previous Arctic conditions. It is very likely warming will continue in the Arctic, [and] planning is urgent to adapt to the changes coming."

Road Holland, Michigan's Human Relations Commission votes unanimously in favor of adding sexual orientation to the town's anti-discrimination ordinance.

Pinehardy RoadChris Pine and Tom Hardy: War buds.

RoadProsecutor: Two slayings in Maplewood, NJ may have been related to sexual orientation. "John Staten, 30, of Orange, was arrested Tuesday and charged with the March beating death of Arthur Downey. At the same time, Laurino said a 'manhunt' is under way for two suspects wanted in the shooting death of Victoria Carmen White — a 28-year-old transgender woman from Newark."

Road78% of Australians want conscience vote on allowing same-sex couples to marry.

RoadAlaska GOP teabagger candidate Joe Miller has an extremist anti-gay adviser, Terry Moffitt: "Moffitt's Family Policy Network runs a project called 'Hope for Homosexuals' that encourages 'practicing homosexuals to 'come out' of that destructive lifestyle, and to 'come home' to the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ…While the homosexuals celebrate their perversions, they are confronted with the truth that there is hope for deliverance in Jesus Christ.' In June, the group hired an airplane to fly a banner near Disney World…"


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

GetEqual, LGBT advocates give Rep. George Miller, Nancy Pelosi agita over broken ENDA promises

It’s been a bit quiet on the direct action front and so I was wondering who/what GetEqual’s next targets would be. This time it comes in twos.

George Miller Protest Last Night

Last night there was an action, organized in conjunction with One Struggle One Fight and AFL-CIO’s Pride at Work (its LGBT group), where members staged a protest during the debate between Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the U.S. House Education and Labor committee, and his Republican opponent.

The debate at the Travis Credit Union Auditorium in Vacaville, CA was interrupted in an act of non-violent, civil disobedience demanding that Chairman Miller make good on his promise to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) before Congress recesses for the November, mid-term elections.

On March 18th, 2010, after GetEQUAL protested for the passage of ENDA in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) office, Chairman Miller was asked by the Washington Blade, the Washington, DC-based, LGBT newspaper, when he would move the legislation through his committee.  Chairman Miller replied to the question saying, “Right after healthcare”.  The ENDA legislation has still seen no movement in the U.S. House and healthcare reform passed Congress on March 22nd – nearly six months ago.  (GetEqual press release):

“The ability to obtain or maintain employment should have nothing to do with someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. They have nothing to do with one’s ability to complete any job’s objectives and under the law, that should be all employers are allowed to base hiring and firing of an employee on,” said Robert Moore, spokesman for One Struggle One Fight.

The protestors reminded Chairman Miller that his campaign slogan, “Keep moving America forward.protect workers” also includes LGBT workers.  During the 7-8 pm(PST) debate, the protestors silently walked to the front of the auditorium holding a sign that read:  ”Miller Markup Employment Non Discrimination Act Now”

“Chairman Miller stands for moving America forward and protecting workers.  As co-sponsor of the Employment Non Discrimination Act and Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, he has the power to get the bill marked-up and send it to the House floor,” said Dan Fotou, a California member of GetEQUAL and one of those participating in the protest.   “He promised the LGBT community he’d pass ENDA out of his committee, “right after healthcare”.  Well, healthcare passed nearly six months ago and we’re still waiting.  It’s time that ALL Americans were protected from the ugly reality of discrimination.  Chairman Miller, your conscience and integrity are needed on this issue.   Move the bill to markup and bring us one step closer to being fully-recognized, fully-protected American citizens.

In mid-July of this year, GetEQUAL released a timeline showing years of broken promises and excuses from elected officials that have led to the stalling of any federal protections being in place for LGBT workers.  The timeline is available atwww.getequal.org/endatimeline. To read the entire email titled, “Fight Back Against the Broken Promises”, go to: http://getequal.org/?p=449.

Today: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi targeted with shut-down of Market and Castro Street in her home district of San Francisco

GetEQUAL, One Struggle One Fight and Pride at Work Rally, To Close Down Market and Castro St. Targeting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA):  ”Pelosi:  When Jobs are Lost, the Market Stops

Today, GetEQUAL, a national, direct action lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization; One Struggle One Fight, an LGBT and allied civil disobedience organization; and Pride at Work, an officially-recognized, LGBT constituency group of the AFL-CIO, first rallied at Harvey Milk Plaza and then proceeded to shut-down Market and Castro Street in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home district of San Francisco. The act of non-violent, civil disobedience was the second protest this week targeting House Democratic Leaders to make good on their promise to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that would protect LGBT workers from discriminatory employment practices. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual employees can be fired from their jobs in 29 states, and transgender or gender-nonconforming employees can be fired in 38 states.

At 5:00 pm (PST) a group of LGBT and allied advocates gathered in the historic Harvey Milk Plaza to remind Speaker Pelosi that they are making good on her July 24, 2010, speech at Netroots Nation, telling progressive activists that she wanted to pass ENDA but asked them to “build the mass to make me do it.” At 5:30 pm (PST), after the rally, advocates marched from Harvey Milk Plaza to the corner of Market and Castro Street – in the heart of Speaker Pelosi’s San Francisco Congressional District – where they unfurled a banner across the street, blocking traffic, that read, “Pelosi: When Jobs are Lost, the Market Stops.”

“Why is the Speaker of the House, who hails from the gayest city in America, blocking legislation that protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers from workplace discrimination? Every day we live without the passage of ENDA is another day Congress turns a blind eye to discrimination against the LGBT community,” said Gabriel Haaland, spokesperson for Pride at Work and city-wide elected DCCC Committee Member. “Most LGBT workers have no protections from workplace discrimination. ENDA would provide legal protection against discrimination nationally. Speaker Pelosi has repeatedly promised to schedule a vote on ENDA, but has yet to fulfill those promises. The time to pass ENDA is now. The overwhelming majority of Americans support it; the politicians promised it. No more broken promises. We demand that Speaker Pelosi stop blocking ENDA and schedule a vote, now.”

“We pay taxes, contribute to the economy, and create American-paid jobs that provide products and services world-wide. Yet we continue to be treated unequal and Speaker Pelosi has the power to bring us one step closer to being fully-protected American citizens – and workers,” said Dan Fotou, a California GetEQUAL supporter and participant in today’s rally. “As Speaker Pelosi and other members of Congress are out campaigning to keep their jobs, they should know we have every intent of continuing our campaign to keep our jobs, too. Speaker Pelosi has said that ‘our impatience is justified’ – but what isn’t justified is the unfulfilled promises she continues to make to the LGBT community. It’s time for Speaker Pelosi to do the right thing and schedule an immediate vote on ENDA.”

“GetEQUAL has promised that, as long as people’s lives and livelihoods are at stake, we will not stop standing up for those LGBT workers in dozens of states across this country without a voice, without any job security,” said Heather Cronk, managing director of GetEQUAL. “With the launch of our ‘ENDA Summer’ campaign, we told politicians that while they are back home campaigning to save their jobs, we intend on reminding them that their employment isn’t the only one on the line. Millions of LGBT workers punch a clock every single day unsure if today’s timecard could turn into tomorrow’s discriminatory pink slip. The time to pass ENDA is now.”

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

LGBT activists targeting Rep. George Miller over failure to move ENDA

Promises have been made. Promises haven’t been kept. There have been lots of promises on ENDA.

While members of Congress are asking us to help them keep their jobs, they’re not doing much to help LGBT Americans keep their jobs. ENDA isn’t moving, despite repeated commitments from leading Democrats to move the legislation.

So, tonight, Rep. George Miller, the Chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, will be hearing from LGBT activists on ENDA. From Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade:

Activists affiliated with GetEQUAL were set on Thursday to interrupt a debate between Rep. George Miller (D-Calif) and his Republican opponent in an effort to push for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

According to a statement, GetEQUAL was set to stage an act of non-violent, civil disobedience during the debate between Miller and GOP candidate Rick Tubbs at the Travis Credit Union Auditorium in Vacaville, Calif.

Protesters were set to silently walk to the front of the auditorium holding a sign reading: “Miller Markup Employment Non Discrimination Act Now.”

Set to work in conjunction with GetEQUAL was One Struggle One Fight, another LGBT civil disobedience organization, and Pride at Work, an LGBT constituency group of the AFL-CIO.

Miller has made promises that haven’t been kept. Chris linked to this Blade article from March 18, 2010:

Moments after the arrested protesters were taken away, Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) was seen walking along a nearby street. He chairs the House Education & Labor Committee, which is handling ENDA. Asked by DC Agenda when ENDA would advance to a markup, Miller replied, “Right after health care.”

Health care passed in the House on March 22, 2010.

There’s not much time left to pass ENDA this year. And, as noted in the post below, DADT appears to be in peril. And, Democrats wonder why the base isn’t enthusiastic.

We’re all supposed to do everything we can to make sure these “supportive” members of Congress keep their jobs. It’s really a one-way relationship.

But, sure looks like GetEQUAL and its allies aren’t going to be silent. I’m thinking things could get interesting.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Katherine Miller, Lesbian West Point Cadet, Can’t Go Home Again

I was shocked that I didn't receive more support than that from my hometown. I think the Findlay area has been especially harsh on me – just really wary of what my intentions were. These are the people I spent most of my childhood growing up with … so I was hoping that Findlay would be able to accept me as one of their own and to support me in this. But I ended up getting some of my toughest critics from my hometown, and that personally disturbed me.

—Katherine Miller, the West Point cadet who quit over Don't Ask Don't Tell, saying the only place she didn't find an outpouring of support was from her hometown, where she graduated from high school just two years ago [via]


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Queerty

—  John Wright

Liveblog tonight at 7:30 PM ET: former West Point Cadet Katherine Miller

PHB live chat link: http://tinyurl.com/phbmiller

We’re pleased to bring former West Point Cadet Katherine Miller to the Blend for a liveblog. Miller resigned last week, stating that she was unwilling to ‘compromise her Integrity’ under the discriminatory policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

In her resignation letter, she cites the kinds of experiences she is unwilling to continue to endure:

I have created a heterosexual dating history to recite to fellow cadets when they inquire. I have endured unwanted approaches by male cadets for fear of being accused as a lesbian by rejecting or reporting these events. I have been coerced into ignoring derogatory comments towards homosexuals for fear of being alienated for my viewpoint.  In short, I have lied to my classmates and compromised my integrity and my identity by adhering to existing military policy.

While at the academy, I have made a deliberate effort to develop myself academically, physically, and militarily, but in terms of holistic personal growth I have reached a plateau. I am unwilling to suppress an entire portion of my identity any longer because it has taken a significant personal, mental, and social toll on me and detrimentally affected my professional development. I have experienced a relentless cognitive dissonance by attempting to adhere to ?654 [colloquially known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"] and retain my integrity, and I am retrospectively convinced that I am unable to live up to the Army Values as long as the policy remains in place.

Miller will be transferring to Yale University this fall on a Point Foundation Scholarship.

Here is a video of Miller discussing her decision to resign from West Point:

While at West Point Miller blogged under the pseudonym Private Second Class Citizen at Velvetpark. Check out a snippet below the fold.
Miller:

I kept busy by applying to other colleges and applying for LGBTQ scholarships. The one I pursued particularly aggressively required me to submit letters of recommendation within a week of being notified as a semifinalist. I saw the word “congratulations” in my inbox, confirmed my assumptions with a glance at the email, and picked up my hat and gloves before I headed out of my barracks room. I didn’t even have to think about it; I couldn’t pursue my activism any longer without help.

Five minutes later I rushed haphazardly into my professor’s office. I was sweating in my shiny, plastic Chorofram shoes, and after feeling my pulse my throat I became aware of how tight my collar was around my neck. “Ma’am, do you have a second,” as I closed her office door behind me, consciously worsening the stuffiness in the room and in my heavy wool uniform. Without waiting for a response, I seated myself. “Ma’am I’m transferring next semester. And I need a leader of recommendation in three days. For a scholarship for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students.”

“So does that mean you’re-?”

“Yes.”

“And you’re leaving because of Don’t Ask, Don’t-”

“Yes.”

She studied me for a second, asked a series of questions for clarification, and agreed to write me a letter of recommendation.

As soon as I was out of her sight, I did a little Jersey Shore fist pump in the air.

We hope to have a lively discussion about West Point, t he atmosphere there and Miller’s decision to come out.



Thanks to Sue Fulton at Knights Out for partnering with us this evening.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Progressive radio show host Stephanie Miller comes out — on the air

I have to say that I didn’t see this one coming at all. My gaydar must have short circuited! But as a strong supporter of LGBT equality, I was a fan of Stephanie Miller. That she’s “family” and made her coming out in such a dramatic fashion, I have to wonder why she waited so long, since it wasn’t a state secret in her camp. (After Ellen):

Miller’s sexual orientation was not a secret among her friends and family, but she rarely talked about her private life on air – other than to make jokes about being single.

If you’re not a radio fan, you still may have seen Miller. She had a brief stint on MSNBC before Rachel Maddow came on the scene and she frequently appears on TV talk shows, often sparring with conservative hosts or guests. Since her dad is a former running mate of Barry Goldwater, Stephanie is quite familiar with the GOP.


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Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Talk Radio Host Stephanie Miller: “I’m A Gay Woman”

Miller
Progressive talk radio host Stephanie Miller came out on her show yesterday. She prefaced the big announcement with two back to back tweets: "There may be a lot of crying next hour" and "Stick around for the next hour. Mama's got something to tell you." Once on the air, she revealed: "I'm a gay woman. I've got the gay on me."

Miller, who has been out to her friends and family for years, credited Chely Wright's recent coming out as inspiration. She joked to the country music star, who joined her on the show after the big reveal, "You get a toaster oven for recruiting me."

Miller's father was William E. Miller, who was Republican Barry Goldwater's running mate in his unsuccessful bid for the US presidency in 1964. Goldwater himself famously said about gays serving in the military: "you don't have to be straight to shoot straight."

Miller says that, despite being a lesbian, she still thinks firemen are "hot." Then again, who doesn't?

Listen to her coming out, via Pam, AFTER THE JUMP.


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Another lesbian custody case

Everyone is wondering where Lisa Miller is hiding out with her daughter Isabella to avoid having to relinquish custody of the child to her former partner — and Isabella’s other mother — Janet Jenkins of Vermont.

But out on the West Coast, in Santa Cruz, Calif., Kim T. Smith and Maggie Quale have a custody matter of their own on their minds right now.

According to MercuryNews.com, Smith and Quale are former partners who had twin boys together through artificial insemination. The babies are now 10 months old, and since their birth, Smith and Quale have split up and Quale is now romantically involved with the man who was the sperm donor for the babies, Shawn Wallace.

Smith and Quale never registered as domestic partners with the state, but both Smith and Quale are listed as the babies’ parents on their birth certificates, and the babies have hyphenated last name of Quale-Smith. Smith wants joint custody, but Quale and Wallace say they should get to be the little boys’ only parents.

Family law attorney Deborah Wald, who is representating Smith along with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said if Quale and Wallace win the custody battle it would set a “dangerous precedent for lesbians having children with assistance of known sperm donors.”

Quale’s lawyer, Darlene Kemp, says the case has nothing to do with sexual orientation or LGBT rights, and is just a legal dispute between two parties. She says Smith does not meet the legal criteria of a presumed parent.

Well, I am not sure what the legal criteria for being a “presumed parent” are in California. But surely the fact that Smith is listed as a parent on the babies’ birth certificate and the babies share her last name should carry some weight!

I am also wondering when the right-wingers are going to latch onto this case, as they have to the Jenkins-Miller case. Isn’t it funny how the same people who attack us for going against “traditional values” are the people who do their best to keep up from following those values by getting married and loving and caring for our children?

—  admin

Where is Lisa Miller?

Janet Jenkins
Janet Jenkins

Janet Jenkins has been fighting since 2003 to get to see her daughter, Isabella, on a regular schedule. It looked like she was finally going to get her wish when the judge in her ongoing custody battle ruled that Jenkins’ ex, Lisa Miller, would have to hand over custody of the daughter to Jenkins.

The judge issued the order after Miller repeatedly refused to follow court orders granting Jenkins visitation rights.But now Miller has taken Isabella and disappeared. Jenkins said she last saw her daughter in January, and last spoke to her in March.

Isabella was born to the couple in 2002 after Miller was artifically inseminated, and after the two had moved from Virginia to Vermont and entered into a legal civil union. But the women broke up in 2003, and Miller moved back to Virginia, announced she was no longer a lesbian and became an evangelical Christian. At that point, she got hooked up with attorneys from a right-wing religious group and refused to allow Jenkins to see the child.

Jenkins went to court in Vermont and got rulings in her favor. But Miller retaliated by going to court in Virginia, where she got judges ruling in her favor. Eventually though, even the Virginia courts said the Vermont court rulings should stand. But still Miller refused.

Miller was supposed to hand over Isabella to Jenkins on New Year’s Day. But neither mother nor daughter has been seen or heard from in more than a month.

—  admin

Vermont-Virginia custody battle takes another turn

Janet Jenkins has been fighting in court for years to get access to her daughter Isabella, and as of Jan. 1, she will be given custody of the child, thanks to a court order by Judge William Cohen.

Isabella is the biological daughter of Jenkins’ former partner, Lisa Miller, who conceived the child after she and Jenkins moved from Virginia to Vermont to have a civil union. But after the little girl was born, the couple broke up. And Miller decided she was no longer gay and moved, with Isabella, back to Virginia where same-sex unions are not recognized and where she thought the courts would be on her side in the ensuing custody battle.

But Jenkins filed suit in Vermont courts to get visitation rights with Isabella. The Vermont courts sided with Jenkins, and the Virginia courts basically went along with that precedent. But still, Miller has consistently refused to abide by the courts’ rulings and has refused to let Jenkins see the child.

Finally, Judge Cohen got fed up with Miller and has decided that Jenkins will get custody of Isabella, effective Jan. 1.  Jenkins has agreed to visitation for Miller.

ProudParenting.com has more on the story.

—  admin