Gov. Rick Perry brought down the house at the Gridiron Dinner, so why are we not laughing?

Gov. Rick Perry

Gov. Rick Perry

Texas Gov. Rick Perry sure is popular in Washington among reporters after his appearance at the annual Gridiron Dinner. In fact, the governor did so well that reporters are fawning all over him and talking about how he revived his career and made everything OK.

He did have some great one-liners.

In what was probably not a self-conscious reference to Glen Maxey’s book alleging Perry is a closeted homosexual, one of the governor’s one-liners was: “I like Mitt Romney as much as one really good looking man can like another really good looking man under Texas law.”

Arianna Huffington’s favorite Perry line was, in a reference to the governor’s major at Texas A&M, “Animal husbandry is what Santorum thinks happens after gay marriage.”

But are great one-liners a reason to elect Perry president or re-elect him governor? The Dallas Morning News seems to think so.

The DMN called the Perry performance “star caliber” and asked whether this 10-minute speech could be the silver bullet that turns his national image around.

That’s something I’d expect from out-of-state media that don’t really cover Perry. The best part of Perry’s speech was that he wasn’t at home doing damage. Ask the 130,000 women who are going to lose their healthcare next month because Perry doesn’t want Planned Parenthood to provide the gynecological exams and mammograms they could not otherwise afford. Glad he got some laughs, but I doubt many of these women are laughing.

And did we ever figure out how to fund Texas public schools? I know we didn’t tap the Rainy Day Fund and certainly no taxes were raised. Yup, lots of laughs, and Perry’s a hit. Unfortunately, Texas school children will have to suffer. Interesting that it’s the gay paper with nary a school child among us that has to point those things out.

—  David Taffet

With friends like Mike, who needs enemies?

As Rawlings continues to dig in his heels on marriage pledge, Prop 8 ruling serves as reminder of the impact one mayor can have

Viewpoints-1

NOT GOING AWAY | LGBT protesters gathered outiside Dallas City Hall on Jan. 27 to call on Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings to sign a pledge in support of same-sex marriage. This week LGBT advocates went inside City Hall, with five people speaking during public comments at the council's regular meeting. (John Wright/Dallas Voice)

 

With all the jubilation this week surrounding the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision to strike down Proposition 8, I couldn’t help but take a look back at how far things have progressed in California.

Given recent events in Dallas, my thoughts tend to settle on a moment four years before Prop 8 made its way to the ballot. I think of the moment the marriage battle in California began to make national headlines.

It was 2004 when a mayor, realizing that tens of thousands of his citizens were officially discriminated against under California law, ordered the San Francisco County Clerk’s Office to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

While Mayor Gavin Newsom had no means to directly influence the law and while these marriages were eventually annulled by the state, his bold action created the environment necessary for real dialogue about equality.

What’s more, it taught our community the difference between elected leaders saying they support us and showing us their support.

Perhaps that is why Dallas’ Mike Rawlings’ refusal to join the mayors of almost every major U.S. city in signing a pledge in support of marriage equality, despite claiming to personally support it, continues to go over like a fart in a space suit.

If Rawlings were a Rick “Frothy Mix” Santorum or of similar ilk, his not signing the pledge would come as no surprise and we would have long since moved on.

But, this is a man who is supposed to be our friend. This is a man who campaigned hard for the Dallas LGBT vote. This is a man who has hosted a Pride reception at City Hall and tossed beads like an overgrown flower girl at last year’s Pride parade. For a man who claims to be so focused on making Dallas a “world class city,” signing the pledge just seems like a no-brainer.

Even more puzzling has been the way Rawlings has continued to defend his position — at first explaining that civil rights were a “partisan issue” that didn’t matter to the “lion’s share” of Dallas citizens, until that backfired magnificently, and now claiming that maintaining a position of neutrality has transformed him into some kind of weird ambassador for the queer community to the conservative religious communities of Dallas.

Apparently no one ever told Mayor Rawlings that when it comes to issues of civil rights, there is no such thing as a neutral position. To quote the Archbishop Desmond Tutu, “If you remain neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

This is where our true frustration is coming from. Mayor Rawlings claims to understand marriage as a civil rights issue. He claims to understand that our community is discriminated against in thousands of state and federal laws, creating economic, educational, familial and health hardships for thousands of people in his city. Yet he chooses a position that serves only to validate those who would strip us of our humanity.

Perhaps he could have gotten away with this a few years ago, but in today’s world the majority of Americans now support equality and the LGBT community is no longer satisfied with neutrality, compromises or indefinite waiting. We are seeing evidence of this at every level of government, from City Hall to the White House where President Barack Obama stands to lose a significant percentage of the LGBT vote amid his prolonged “evolution” on marriage equality.

We understand that there is still much work to be done before full recognition of our equality becomes a reality. We know it will take time, resources and leadership to get us there. We don’t need our mayor to be as controversial as Gavin Newsom, but there is a way he can take a simple and powerful stand starting today.

It won’t cost the taxpayers a single penny. It won’t disrupt the business of the city for even a moment. It won’t even force people to change what they believe. It will, however, send a message to our state Legislature and to Congress that the people who live and work in Dallas, Texas, deserve equal treatment under the law.

It will tell 17,440 children in the state of Texas that their mommies and daddies are the same as the mommies and daddies of their peers. It will tell more than 14,000 individuals in our city who live in committed loving relationships that they will grow old with their partners in a city that respects them and values their contributions.

All our mayor has to do is pick up a pen and sign the pledge.

Daniel Cates is North Texas regional coordinator for GetEQUAL.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 10, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Gay-obsessed Rick Santorum says Dan Savage ‘has some issues’

Dan Savage

I can’t get enough of the ongoing saga of Rick Santorum and his “google problem.”

We all know it’s about what pops up when “Santorum” is googled – a genius idea crafted by Dan Savage. Santorum even has its own wikipedia entry. I still like the original Santorum website. It’s NSFW — and, guess what? It makes Ricky, who is obsessed with all things gay, very sad. Roll Call interviewed Santorum about it — and he took a swipe at Dan Savage:

Santorum himself sounded slightly defeated when asked about it recently.

“It’s one guy. You know who it is. The Internet allows for this type of vulgarity to circulate. It’s unfortunate that we have someone who obviously has some issues. But he has an opportunity to speak,” Santorum told Roll Call.

Santorum’s Google problem began in 2003, when gay sex-advice columnist Dan Savage sought to mock Santorum’s comments on homosexuality. Then the third-most-powerful Republican in the Senate, Santorum told the Associated Press that April that gay sex could “undermine the fabric of our society.” The interview touched on a Supreme Court case related to sexual privacy, and Santorum compared homosexual acts to allowing for “man on child, man on dog” relationships.

Yeah, Santorum has a google problem. He’s also a hate-filled homophobe who is obsessed with discussing gays and gay sex. It’s bizarre. So, who’s go some issues here?

It is probably fair to say that Dan Savage does have some issues — with blatant homophobes and elected officials who send messages that lead young LGBT youth to commit suicide. That means Santorum.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  David Taffet

Video break: Santorum at CPAC: “America Belongs to God”

Potential GOP Clown Car occupant Rick Santorum mounted the stage at CPAC today, and bleated his “family values” schtick. via Right Wing Watch:

Santorum stood up for the importance of social issues and blasts the judiciary, claiming it has no right to redefine life and marriage before declaring that “American belongs to God”

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  David Taffet

Video: Rick Santorum vs. full spectrum of our natural world

Since leaving the Senate, Rick Santorum has made a name for himself on the anti-equality speaking circuit. Here he is with Kevin Smith, head of New Hampshire’s chief anti-gay marriage lobby group, and with Maggie Gallagher, the nation’s most prominent voice on the opposition side:

Screen Shot 2011-01-19 At 4.13.06 Pm

Cornerstone POlicy Research’s 10th Anniv. dinner [Picasa]

So what kind of comments are earning the former U.S. Senator these bookings of political import? Well, ones that paint gays and their families as downright “unnatural,” natch:



[RWW]

Ya know, it’s one thing to take on marriage policy. But gunning for the very cores of gay existences by painting us as unnatural and our families as invalid? That’s beyond the pale. And it’s an albatross that’s ultimately gonna drag down the carefully code-worded marriage movement that folks like Gallagher (Maggie, not the prop comedian) have been so strategically crafting for the past decade or so.




Good As You

—  admin

Iowa Hatefest: Santorum and Tony Perkins team up to thwart justice and equality. Help stop them.

Yesterday, I posted about the election measure to retain judges in Iowa. Basically, marriage equality is on the ballot, even though it’s not, thanks to the work of the gay haters. Next week, Iowa’s voters will decide whether to retain three State Supreme Court Justices. It’s usually a perfunctory thing. And, the homophobes are trying to hijack and undermine the state’s judiciary — because of the same-sex marriage decision.

NOM is spearheading the effort — and Arisha Michelle Hatch has been tracking them across Iowa. And, you really need to know is that Santorum and Tony “gay kids know they are abnormal” Perkins were campaigning out there with NOM this week. They cannot win.

The Fairness Fund
has an ActBlue page. Donate. Every dollar will help increase their online ad buy. Polling shows that this is very close. So, every vote will matter.

Spare something to stop NOM, Santorum and Tony Perkins.

And, if you live in Iowa, or have friends or family there, make sure they vote YES, YES and YES to retain the Supreme Court Justices.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Mother Jones: Rick Santorum has a Google buttsecks problem

SpreadingSantorum.com is one of those domains with a history on teh Internets that is larger than life.

It has been up since 2003 to honor Mr. Man-On-Dog after he made this now-classic comments about homosexuality (Mother Jones):

[T]he then-senator from Pennsylvania compared homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia, saying the “definition of marriage” has never included “man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.” The ensuing controversy prompted syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage, who’s gay, to start a contest, soliciting reader suggestions for slang terms to “memorialize the scandal.” The winner came up with the “frothy mixture” idea, Savage launched a website, and a meme was born. Even though mainstream news outlets would never link to it, Savage’s site rose in the Google rankings, thanks in part to bloggers who posted Santorum-related news on the site or linked to it from their blogs.

What’s oh-so-beautiful is that the site is now haunting Little Ricky as he considers hopping into the 2012 GOP Presidential Contender Clown Car. His problem? SpreadingSantorum has been around so long and clicked so often that his campaign cannot think of any way to close the Google ranking deficit to get a “Santorum” search result that doesn’t have SpreadingSantorum as the top entry.

To at least make a dent, Santorum could try a concerted push to generate links to his domain on prominent sites and blogs, ginning its Google ranking; Mark Skidmore, an expert in search-engine marketing at the online strategy firm Blue State Digital, says Santorum should also consider buying paid search results for his name. He says the Obama campaign successfully used this strategy to help bury sites that claimed Obama was a Muslim or not an American citizen. But like Fertik, Skidmore thinks Santorum faces an uphill battle, in part because Savage’s site has been up for so long-with more than 13,000 inbound links, compared with only 5,000 for Santorum’s own site, America’s Foundation. “He’s staring at a very big deficit,” Skidmore observes.

That deficit might grow even bigger soon. “I’ve sort of been in denial about the fact that Rick Santorum is going to run for president,” Savage says. “But now I’m going to have to sic my flying monkeys on him”-in other words, mobilize bloggers to start posting and linking to his site again.

Join the fun, Blenders. Spread some more Santorum around with your mouse clicks.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Santorum 2012. He’s seriously considering it.

Santorum for President.

That’s what he’s thinking:

In an interview with The Daily Caller, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said he’s actively cultivating donors, staff and supporters so he’ll be in a position to run for president in 2012 as a Republican if he decides to do so by early next year.

“I’m going through the process of what someone who is seriously considering running would do,” Santorum said by phone, “in order for when the time comes to decide, I’m in a position that I have a choice.”

Santorum—who was elected to the Senate in 1994 but left in 2006 after losing his seat—said he plans to make a decision on a presidential bid by either the end of this year, or the beginning of 2011.

Now, Ricky’s got some hurdles to overcome. Like the thrashing he took on Election Day in 2006. AMERICAblog did an hour-by-hour countdown til the polls closed at 8:00 in Pennsylvania. Check out our 8:00 PM post here.

The latest polling on same-sex marriage is going to make it harder for Santorum to base his campaign on hating the gays. Might help get him the GOP nomination (they still hate gays), but Ricky wants to be President. Gay marriage has been one of Ricky’s favorite subjects for years. Remember this infamous gem from 2003?:

Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that’s what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality —

AP: I’m sorry, I didn’t think I was going to talk about “man on dog” with a United States senator, it’s sort of freaking me out.

SANTORUM: And that’s sort of where we are in today’s world, unfortunately. The idea is that the state doesn’t have rights to limit individuals’ wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire. And we’re seeing it in our society.

AP: Sorry, I just never expected to talk about that when I came over here to interview you. Would a President Santorum eliminate a right to privacy — you don’t agree with it?

SANTORUM: I’ve been very clear about that. The right to privacy is a right that was created in a law that set forth a (ban on) rights to limit individual passions. And I don’t agree with that. So I would make the argument that with President, or Senator or Congressman or whoever Santorum, I would put it back to where it is, the democratic process. If New York doesn’t want sodomy laws, if the people of New York want abortion, fine. I mean, I wouldn’t agree with it, but that’s their right. But I don’t agree with the Supreme Court coming in.

Think of the fun we’ll have with this campaign.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright