Annise Parker now co-chair of “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry,” Austin’s Leffingwell joins

Lee Leffingwell

Austin's Mayor Lee Leffingwell

Houstini reported yesterday that Houston’s Mayor Annise Parker was scheduled to appear at the “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry” press conference in Washington D.C., and that she was the only Texas mayor to participate. This morning we found out that Parker, along with New York’s Michael Bloomberg and L.A.’s Antonio Villaraigosa, is serving as co-chair for the effort. Additionally Austin’s Mayor Lee Leffingwell has joined the effort.

So that makes 2 of Texas’ 1,215 mayors with the bravery to stand up for what’s right, leaving the citizens of 1,213 citizens with the task of persuading their mayors. In Dallas Daniel Cates of GetEqual has started an online petition encouraging Mayor Mike Rawlings to sign on which currently has 216 signatories. The Dallas Voice reports that Rawlings claims to personally support marriage equality, despite his unwillingness to join “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry:”

“This one obviously was very difficult for me, because I personally believe in the rights of the gay community to marry,” Rawlings said Thursday… “I think this [same-sex marriage] is way overdue and we need to get on with it, but that’s my personal belief, and when I start to speak on behalf of the city of Dallas … I’ve got to be thoughtful about how I use that office and what I want to impact, and that’s why I decided to stay away from endorsing and signing letters like that.”

Rawlings’ chief of staff, Paula Blackmon, told the Voice “the mayor does not plan to publicly support any social issues but would rather focus on the policy issues that impact Dallas,” adding “we have not signed onto other similar requests.”

—  admin

Takei, Aiken adding gay fabulosity to new “Celebrity Apprentice”

George Takei

I have sincerely admired George Takei ever since 2005 when he publicly came out as a gay man. And I have been a real fan for the last several months, ever since I “liked” his Facebook page and got the chance to see and appreciate his unique sense of humor.

But I am not a big enough fan to watch George in his new gig, because his new gig is being a cast member of the new season of Donald Trump‘s Celebrity Apprentice. And I hate Donald Trump and I hate Celebrity Apprentice way to much to ever watch the show, even for George T. I made myself a promise after listening to Trump’s “presidential campaign” tripe that I would never watch this show, because I never want to do anything that might even remotely put money in his bigoted pockets.

So, love ya George, but I just can’t watch that show.

There will be at least one other gay in the cast to keep George company: Clay Aiken of American Idol and Spamalot fame. And other “gay interest’ cast members are ’80s pop star Debbie Gibson and equal-opportunity-insult comedian Lisa Lampanelli.

I’m not gonna list the whole cast here. You can go over to FoxNews.com to get that (where, by the way, the describe Takei as “Star Wars actor George Takei”). Let it suffice to say that the cast does include Mafia princess Victoria Gotti and Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider.

—  admin

CORRECTION: All major candidates for Dallas mayor vied for LGBT vote in 2002

In my cover story for this week’s paper, I made a minor mistake. Actually it was fairly major. The opening paragraph of the story, as originally written, stated that 2011 marks the first time in history that all major candidates for Dallas mayor have actively courted the LGBT vote.

As former DV staff writer David Webb pointed out in the comments to the story, that’s not true. In 2002, Laura Miller, Tom Dunning and Domingo Garcia — the three major candidates for mayor — all courted the LGBT vote.

From The Dallas Mornings News on Jan. 15, 2002:

Dallas gays and lesbians, who used to hope that they could just find a candidate who wouldn’t be hostile to their interests, find themselves for the first time being wooed from all directions in what boils down to a three-way citywide race – and disagreeing about whom to support.

“It’s the first time I haven’t had to go vote for the lesser of two evils,” said Deb Elder, a Laura Miller supporter and political organizer. “Nothing has piqued my passion like this mayoral vote.”

Put another way, with major candidates Ms. Miller, Tom Dunning, and Domingo Garcia all touting their support for including gays in a nondiscrimination ordinance, a sector of voters that was shunned not long ago can’t lose this time around.

“It’s historic. I knew it would happen, but I didn’t know it would be this soon,” said Michael Milliken, one of the city’s first publicly identified gay appointees. “The gay community is in a unique position this year.”

I had based my report on statements by openly gay former City Councilman Ed Oakley, who called the 2011 mayoral election “a watershed moment for the community” and “unprecedented.”

While that may be true in some other respects, this isn’t the first time all major mayoral candidates have sought the LGBT vote, and I apologize for the error.

—  John Wright

Laura Bush: Publicly Supporting Marriage Equality ‘Was Not My Responsibility…I Just Didn’t See That As Part of My Role’

Back in April, Andy wrote about the revelation, which came via an excerpt from Laura Bush's memoir, that the former first lady had nudged her husband at the time of the 2004 elections to "not (make) gay marriage a significant issue." "We have, I reminded him, a number of close friends who are gay or whose children are gay," she apparently explained. Bush is now talking about the issue again, time the thanks to some prodding from the Texas Tribune who asked her why she didn't speak publicly about it while living in the White House.

Lb TT: "Let’s talk a little bit about that responsibility. You found yourself back in the headlines not so long ago for taking positions on gay marriage and abortion that appeared to be at odds with your husband and with the GOP. What do you say to the critics who argue you had a responsibility to come forward sooner, or who suggest you maybe hid those opinions from view?"

Bush: "Well, I didn’t hide them from view. They were very well known from the first day George was elected, when Katie Couric asked me the question. I’m not elected. I was not elected. George is. He’s the one who’s elected. I was not the elected official. It was not my responsibility, I didn’t think, to speak out in ways to get in some sort of debate with him. I just didn’t see that as part of my role."

In the interview, Bush is also asked if she is friendly with Michelle Obama. Said Bush: "there’s a friendship that develops between all the first ladies, but, no, I don’t talk to her that often."

Revisit the clip wherein Bush talks to Larry King about marriage equality, AFTER THE JUMP.


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Delaware Tea Party candidate running in GOP U.S. Senate race publicly opposes masturbation

Christine O’Donnell and her interesting take on human sexuality and morality clearly was going to come back to haunt her, but common sense should have told her that appearing on a show called “Sex In The 90s”, it may come up if you run for office.

O’Donnell is challenging a congressman in Delaware’s Republican Senate primary, and until now no one took her seriously.

The Huffington Post reports that O’Donnell was on a Sex In The 90s special on MTV. (Remember those?) “The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. So you can’t masturbate without lust,” she said, adding. “The reason that you don’t tell [people] that masturbation is the answer to AIDS and all these other problems that come with sex outside of marriage is because again it is not addressing the issue. You’re just gonna create somebody who is, I was gonna say, toying with his sexuality. Pardon the pun.”

The stupid. It burns. Blazing, white hot embers flying in the air…if you take a look at this teabagger’s web site, she wants government out of everyone’s lives, except for the government to control women’s wombs, and amend the constitution to protect marriage.

What kind of Tea Party does she belong to?

That’s interesting, because some in the LGBT community aren’t in agreement regarding the scope of homophobia within the Tea Party Movement. (Wash Blade):

Michael Cole, a Human Rights Campaign spokesperson, said the Tea Party movement has “taken a lot of the wind out of the LGBT demagoguery sails.”

“Their relentless focus on economic issues has really taken a lot of the attention away from some of the attacks on LGBT people that we usually see from elements of the conservative movement,” he said.

Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of GOProud, a gay conservative group, also maintained the focus of the Tea Party is on economic issues and not blocking the advancement of LGBT issues in Congress.

“The focus of the Tea Party is on fiscal issues and the growth of government, and their influence on Congress is to get Congress focused on those issues,” LaSalvia said. “And so, I think, if it’s having any influence on Congress, it’s telling Capitol Hill to wake up and quit spending all the money.”

Michael Mitchell, executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats, characterized the Tea Party as the reincarnation of previous anti-gay movements.

“There is, indeed, a very conservative movement out there that is finding a voice and turning some races, but I believe it’s the same anti-equality, anti-gay elements that have been roadblocks and are going to be roadblocks for us,” Mitchell said.

How many Christine O’Donnells are out there? The anti-gay, anti-choice meme has no place in the Tea Party if it is indeed about limited government.

 
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright