Tax Day Demonstration at Main Post Office

Keeping the peace

Pro-Equality activists get together tonight at the Main Post Office for a peaceful demonstration to remind the city at large that  LGBTs pay the same taxes as everyone else but they just don’t get all of the rights. Sounds wortwhile and if you haven’t filed, well, finish that up and head down to the post office tonight to drop off and then demonstrate. You’re even encouraged to take sings and banners. Not only will you be performing a civic duty, you can also be creative.

DEETS: Main Post Office, 401 DFW Turnpike (I-30 at Sylvan). 6 p.m. Click here for more information.

—  Rich Lopez

Not a choice: By virtue of gay blog orientation, we must post ‘Born This Way’




Good As You

—  David Taffet

Maggie calls us gloaters, then pulls post. Which kind of makes us wanna gloat, frankly.

For some reason NOM abruptly pulled this post from Maggie Gallagher (which referenced this here website as the “gloaters”):

Screen Shot 2011-01-12 At 10.30.01 Am

(*Thanks to Bob Barnes for capturing it!)

Interesting that she responds to this one thing we wrote, with a frivolous “gloat” aside, considering we’ve directly taken on her logic in any number of ways over the past six years. Guess this one matter was easier to spin than the time we caught her calling homosexuality “unfortunate” and said that gays can “always control [their] behavior” (to name but one instance). But I digress.

Since we were able to reclaim this removed post, let’s look at Maggie’s stated claim. Maggie says that even though her ideas still ended up getting trounced in the Economist debate, she’s actually glad because of the change that occurred. This change:

6A00D8341C503453Ef0148C778D0C3970C

That’s what she’s so happy about: That through NOM and other group’s GOTV actions she was able to grow opposition by 19%, getting it all the way to 37%? Well okay, Maggie, if you want to claim that as progress, then go for it. Though you should know: It is less than the The Cool Moose Party candidate for Lt. Governor ;-) .




Good As You

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Wash. Post names Cicilline as one of the ‘Freshmen to Watch’

Rhode Island is providing the good news today. As the new Congress convenes, the fourth openly gay member, David Cicilline from Rhode Island, will be sworn in.

Today, the Washington Post profiled ten “Freshmen to Watch.” Most of those named are hard-core right wingers, like Allen West from Florida. Only two Democrats made the list, Senator Chris Coons from Delaware and Cicilline:




AMERICAblog Gay

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Navy Officer Removed From Post

Owen Honors x390 (.gov) | advocate.comThe Navy officer behind a series of videos featuring simulated sex and
antigay slurs has been permanently removed from his post as commander of
the USS Enterprise.
Advocate.com: Daily News

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Guest Post: Left Behind 2010

Below is an guest post by Shannon Cuttle — Shannon Cuttle is an educator, school administrator, safe schools advocate and trainer, writer and policy wonk. She has a background in non profit leadership, community organizing and policy on a state and federal level. She is the founder of the Safe Schools Action Network and contributor to change.org.


This year will go down in history as full equality became one step closer for millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adult community members.  From the historic Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010, which will eventually allow openly lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members to serve,to full marriage equality in Washington D.C., to victories such as hospital visitation mandates for LGBT families nationally.

Image: Shannon Cuttle. Photo by Jamie McgonnialOne of the biggest under-reported stories of 2010 affects a population who mostly cannot yet legally vote nor make a donation to a campaign or an organization, and most of whom still depend on an adult to look out for their best interests and in some cases save their lives:

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming youth and allies.

In 2010 we saw bullying and harassment in schools and communities in Washington, D.C, Texas,  Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Massachusetts,  Colorado,  Virginia, Florida, New York, Michigan, Utah, Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Louisiana, Idaho, Connecticut and California, and those were just the stories that we heard about.

In more than half of the United States of America in 2010, youth experienced bullying and harassment.

In 2010, we lost over 20 youth due to reported suicide from bullying and harassment. Keep in mind: those are only the reported cases. Across the nation, we were heartbroken and shocked to learn about many suicides due to bullying harassment, including Seth Walsh, Tyler Clementi, Phoebe Prince, Chloe Lacey, and others. The youngest student that attempted to take hir life from severe bullying and harassment at school was just six years old. Not every story made the news.

This year we also saw student heroes like Will Phillips, Constance McMillen, Ceara Sturgis, Paige Rawl, Graeme Taylor, Derrick Martin stand up and fight back after serve bullying and harassment at school. There are countless other youth whose stories have yet to be told about their struggle, strength, courage, and pain facing bullying and harassment in schools, colleges, and universities.  Over 150,000 students miss school each day due to bullying and harassment. And 9 out 10 LGBT youth experience bullying and harassment-especially given the advent of  Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites. According to GLSEN, 40% of all youth who have access to a computer have experienced cyber bullying.

Youth in 2010 have faced not just bullying and harassment, but homelessness as well.  Up to 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBT and are struggling for food and shelter across this nation. Most of these homeless youth were thrown out of their homes or disowned by their families, left on the streets because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

And even progressive advances such as the DADT Repeal Act of 2010 still do not address creating safe spaces for lesbian and gay youth in JROTC, young adults in ROTC, or cadets in our nation’s schools, colleges, and universities.

How are we truly providing high quality education if we are not providing inclusive safe schools?

In 2011 we must fight together to make safe schools a priority so that all youth-regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity (actual or perceived), socioeconomic status, disability or impairment , religion, immigration status, race, national origin, HIV/AIDS status, or any other identity-are free from bullying, harassment and discrimination.

What can you do?

Join the movement for safe schools in your local communities and stand up to bullying and harassment when you hear it, see it and take action. Help create inclusive safe spaces and anti-bullying and harassment polices on a local, state-wide, and federal level such as the Student Non-Discrimination Act and Safe Schools Improvement Act.

Make 2011 the year we invest in youth and make sure no child is left behind by making inclusive safe schools  a reality.

Get Involved today: Safe Schools Action Network, GLSEN, Make it Better Project, Project Life Vest, Operation Shine America, PFLAG, Trevor Project, It Gets Better Project, Ali Forney Center, GSA Network and your local PTA, LGBT community Center, classroom, school board or college campus.

If you need help please call The Trevor Help Line at:

1-800-U- TREVOR (800-488-7386)

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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N.Y. Post Continues Tradition of Homophobia With ‘Elton and Wife’ Headline

The New York Post calls David Furnish the “wife” of Elton John, prompting critiques from watchdog groups.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

Guest post by Rev. Patrick Cheng – The Truth Will Make Us Free: A Queer Year in Review

Give a hearty coffeehouse welcome to Rev. Patrick S. Cheng, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at

Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The author of
Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology, he shares a year-end piece for discussion. –Pam


The Truth Will Make Us Free: A Queer Year in Review

By Rev. Patrick S. Cheng, Ph.D.

Follow on Twitter @patrickscheng

Anti-gay Christians love to quote John 8:32, which says that “the truth will make you free.” According to them, if only lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people would simply accept the truths of the Christian faith, we would discover the error of our ways, repent of our sins and miraculously change our misdirected sexual orientations and/or gender identities.

As an openly-gay theologian, ordained Christian minister and seminary professor at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I agree that the truth will make us free. However, the anti-gay Christians have it backwards. As the groundbreaking events of 2010 have demonstrated, it is actually the truth of the fundamental goodness of LGBT people and our lives that will make us free. Ironically, this truth also will free anti-gay Christians of their own heterosexist prejudices and theological blind spots.

What were some of the truths about the goodness of LGBT people and our lives that were demonstrated in 2010? In August, the first fully-litigated U.S. federal court trial about same-sex marriage concluded that there was no rational basis for prohibiting LGBT people from entering into civil marriage. The trial court struck down California Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot initiative that stripped LGBT people in California of the right to marry. Judge Vaughn R. Walker’s ruling demonstrated the truth that LGBT civil marriages are grounded in the same ethical values of love, mutual caring and commitment as non-LGBT civil marriages.

In September, after a rash of horrific suicides by young gay men across the United States, the openly-gay author and syndicated columnist Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller started the “It Gets Better Project.” This project has resulted in more than 5,000 Internet videos of LGBT people and our allies, speaking directly — and giving hope — to suffering LGBT young people around the world. Each video tells the truth about how even though many of us suffered at the hands of bullies and bigots while growing up, our lives ultimately have become better in the process of coming out and speaking the truth about our lives to the world.

More below the fold.

In December, the U.S. Congress authorized — and President Obama signed into law — the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell statute that had prohibited openly lesbian and gay soldiers from serving in the U.S. military for the past 17 years. The repeal was based upon overwhelming evidence that allowing lesbians and gays to serve openly in the military would have no adverse consequences to national security. In fact, the evidence showed that encouraging truth telling by lesbian and gay soldiers would actually enhance the effectiveness of our armed forces. As most of us learned from an early age, telling the truth is a virtue and not a vice.

There were a number of other encouraging examples in 2010 of speaking the truth about LGBT people. For example, in September a Florida state court struck down an anti-gay statute that expressly prohibited LGBT people from adopting children in that state. Shortly thereafter, the Florida Department of Children and Families declined to appeal the decision, thus conceding the truth of that ruling.

In December, the United Nations spoke the truth by voting to protect LGBT people around the world from extrajudicial killings and arbitrary executions, notwithstanding the strenuous objections of a number of member countries. Even Pope Benedict XVI, in a recent book-length interview with a German journalist, took a first step toward speaking the truth about LGBT people by saying that the intentional use of condoms by a male prostitute to prevent HIV/AIDS infection could be the “first step in the direction of moralization.”

Interestingly, anti-gay Christians love to cite over and over again the half-dozen or so verses in the Bible that purportedly condemn same-sex acts as sinful. However, they ignore the nearly 200 verses in the Bible that emphasize the importance of truth-telling from a theological and ethical perspective, not to mention the explicit prohibition of bearing false witness against one’s neighbors in the Ten Commandments.

These anti-gay Christians would do better to heed the stern biblical warnings against bearing false witness. Recently, the venerable Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) officially designated 13 anti-gay Christian groups — including the American Family Association, the Family Research Council and the Traditional Values Coalition — as “hate groups” for spreading “known falsehoods” against LGBT people. Another five groups — including the Concerned Women for America, Liberty Counsel and the National Organization for Marriage — were cited for their use of “demonizing propaganda” against sexual minorities on the SPLC’s website.

Anti-gay Christians, including those who are affiliated with the above groups mentioned by the SPLC, would do well to read more closely the first chapter of letter of St. Paul to the Romans. In particular, they should read Romans 1 as applying to themselves. Often that chapter is used solely as “proof” of the sinfulness of LGBT people. What anti-gay Christians seem to forget, however, is the traditional doctrine of original sin, as articulated in Romans and interpreted by theologians such as Augustine of Hippo onwards, applies to all people — including themselves!

What if the warning of Romans 1:18-21 against the “ungodliness” and “wickedness” of those who “suppress the truth” — and those whose “senseless minds” are “darkened” — actually referred to those anti-gay Christians who fail to acknowledge the truth and empirical evidence about the fundamental goodness and loving nature of LGBT people and our relationships?

What if the “lusts,” “impurity” and “degrading” actions (including “exchanging the truth about God for a lie”) as described in Romans 1:24-25 actually referred to the lust for political power, wealth and idolatrous self-worship as exhibited by many anti-gay Christians, some of whom scapegoat LGBT people as a convenient way of diverting attention from their own sexual sins?

What if the condemnation of the “shameless acts” committed with “one another” and the “debased mind” described by St. Paul in Romans 1:27-28 actually referred to the brutal gang rape (metaphorically speaking) of LGBT people by anti-gay Christian hate speech – hate speech that has resulted in numerous queer bashings and suicides by LGBT people, including innocent young people whose lives were tragically cut off before reaching their prime?

Although admirable progress was made during 2010 with respect to basic human rights for LGBT people, much more needs to be done. In particular, the rise of state-sanctioned anti-LGBT violence in other parts of the world, including the Middle East, Asia and Africa, is frightening. For example, the upcoming vote by the Uganda legislature on its “kill-the-gays” legislation is one example of this state-sanctioned violence that must be condemned by people of faith everywhere.

As LGBT people, we must remain ever vigilant and hopeful that the truth of the fundamental goodness, and holiness, of our lives and relationships will free us from the sinful bondage of homophobic and heterosexist oppression. However, LGBT people are not the only ones who will benefit from this truth. The truth will also free anti-gay Christians from their own heterosexist prejudices and theological blind spots — shortcomings that would otherwise prevent them from entering fully into the reign of God.

Other year-ender items to click over to:

* Truth Wins Out – Year in Review — LGBT Top 10

* Michigan Messenger – Year in Review: LGBT issues figure prominently in 2010

* Ranker – Top 10 People Out of the Closet in 2010
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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GUEST POST: Mountaineers Deliver Message to Senator Manchin

The following is a guest post from U.S. Army Veteran and repeal advocate Pepe Johnson:

Today Jared Towner and I carried hundreds of petitions and individual letters to the office of West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin III calling on him to support the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Fairness WV created an election petition Monday morning and in less than 36 hours gathered the names of hundreds of Mountaineers who support integrity and equality in our armed forces. On top of the petition were added numerous handwritten letters from more constituents collected by various volunteers including the WVU Young Democrats.

As I printed the petitions out the night before I was moved. There were names from all over the Mountain State – from Shepherdstown to Bluefield, over to Logan, up the Ohio River Valley to Ripley, Wellsburg and Newell, into the heart of the mountains in Elkins, and across the central and southern part of the state picking up places like Sutton, Hinton, Craigsville, Poca and too many mountain hometowns to mention in this blog post.

I recognized some of the names, too. There were elementary school teachers and high school principals, doctors and nurses, ministers, department store clerks and oil field workers. And a lot of veterans – people I’ve met along the journey we’ve taken in West Virginia for DADT this year. There were friends and family – people I’ve known all my life and new friends I’ve made.

Across this state there are people that truly believe in our state’s motto and believe it applies to everyone – including LGBT Mountaineers. We took their message to Senator Manchin today and we’ll continue to remind him that “Mountaineers are always free.”


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

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GUEST POST: Organizing Repeal in the Frontier State

The following is a guest post from Elias Rojas, Board Chair for Alaskans Together for Equality:

It’s winter in Alaska and Alaskans Together for Equality Inc., Alaska’s statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organization and the Human Rights Campaign have been working hard to organize the LGBT, progressive and moderate Republican community in Alaska to secure two affirming votes from both Senator Begich and Senator Murkowski to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT).

Last week we achieved some success!  We’ve successfully convinced both Senator Murkowski and Senator Begich to vote in favor of repealing DADT. It’s a big step in the right direction but now we need to continue our work to ensure a vote on the repeal of DADT before the session ends. Though our joint efforts, we mobilized dozens of veterans to contact Sen. Murkowski and generated more than 500 phone calls and letters to the Senator asking her to support repeal.

Senator Murkowski has been fairly supportive when it has come to legislation impacting the Alaska LGBT community. She recently supported the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in the Senate and just came out in favor of repealing DADT this past week. Senator Begich continues to be an unwavering ally.

We are cautiously optimistic that both our Senators will do what it takes to repeal this discriminatory law. We hope that Senator Murkowski does what she can to vote in favor of this legislation. It’s looking promising that Alaska will be able to deliver two votes for repeal.

As our organizing continues for the next couple of weeks, Alaskans Together for Equality Inc. and the Alaska LGBT community would like to thank the Human Rights Campaign for sending Tony Wagner, HRC Regional Field Director, to Alaska in early November to help kick start our lobbying efforts. He has been instrumental in providing technical assistance to help our members coordinate our statewide lobbying efforts.

In solidarity,

Elias Rojas
Board Chair
Alaskans Together for Equality Inc.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin