GOProud And Tea Party Urge Republicans To Avoid Social Issues

Politico has learned that GOProud has joined forces with the Tea Party and written a letter addressed to both current House Minority Leader John Boehner, who is expected to be the next House Speaker, and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell asking for Republicans to avoid focusing on social agendas.

The gay conservative group's Executive Director as well as its Chairman of the Board, Christopher Barron, have both signed the letter along with openly lesbian talk show host Tammy Bruce and several group leaders of the national Tea Party movement.

The letter, which will be officially released tomorrow, reads in part:

Christopher The Tea Party movement is a non-partisan movement, focused on issues of economic freedom and limited government, and a movement that will be as vigilant with a Republican-controlled Congress as we were with a Democratic-controlled Congress.

This election was not a mandate for the Republican Party, nor was it a mandate to act on any social issue, nor should it be interpreted as a political blank check.

Already, there are Washington insiders and special interest groups that hope to co-opt the Tea Party’s message and use it to push their own agenda – particularly as it relates to social issues. We are disappointed but not surprised by this development. We recognize the importance of values but believe strongly that those values should be taught by families and our houses of worship and not legislated from Washington, DC.

Politico delves into the marriage of GOProud and the Tea Party:

The alliance underscores many of the tensions and divisions in the freewheeling, leaderless tea party movement. While GOProud is ambivalent on the issue of same-sex marriage, it does openly advocate the repeal of the military's"Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy – something some of the letter's tea party signatories disagreed strongly with.

Tea Party Patriots Maine coordinator Andrew Ian Dodge said that pushing DADT repeal would be a distraction from fiscal issues like deregulation and lowering taxes and he hopes that the letter also reminds GOProud of this fact. "It is a little bit of a distraction," said Dodge about the possible repeal of DADT. "Why divide our forces?"

Ultimately, the tea party forces sympathetic to the GOProud letter said they just want to focus on fiscal issues, even if they personally hold socially conservative views.

Barron hopes to have more Tea Party signatures after the letter's official unveiling in the morning.


Towleroad News #gay

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Rudy Giuliani: Republicans should ‘ease up’ on social issues and repeal DADT

The Republican leaders will have to respond to this call from Rudy Giuliani to repeal DADT.  Via Think Progress:

Rudy Giuliani called on Republicans to “ease up a little bit” on social issues like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that while he opposed ending the ban at the height of the Iraq war, “you can probably accomplish it now”:

  GIULIANI: I didn’t see [Don't Ask, Don't Tell] as a big issue in this. The social issues were not in this. So maybe that’s an area where Republican can ease up a little bit and not …

  BLITZER: But you support gay rights?

  GIULIANI: I do.

  BLITZER: So you would get rid of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

  GIULIANI: My feeling about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was, in the middle of the height of the Iraq war, not a good time to do it. We’re not in the middle of the height of the Iraq war. Afghanistan is a different kind of thing. You could probably accomplish it now. It’s eventually going to happen and it seems to me that it gets my party out of this anti-gay, feeling that we’re being unfair to people who are gay.

Gee, what will John McCain say?

 
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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Ill. Repub.: Won’t Focus on Social Issues

BILL BRADY PAT QUINN X390 (FAIR) | ADVOCATE.COMIllinois governor Pat Quinn is highlighting challenger Bill Brady’s social conservatism, but Brady says he will focus on economic issues if elected.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright

Video: The one where social conservative compares trans kid to KKK, blackface

American Vision‘s Gary DeMar:

“A crazy world indeed,” Mr. DeMar.




Good As You

—  John Wright

Movies: The Social Network, August Osage County, What’s Up Baz? and More

Thisisourtime
"It's our time" - Justin Timberlake speaks the truth.

GuestbloggerNATHANIEL ROGERS
…watches trailers through fingers (too many spoilers) and waits impatiently for the feature. He blogs daily at the Film Experience.


YOUR FEATURE PRESENTATION
"Dating you is like dating a stairmaster," Erica Albright (Rooney Mara) says, exasperated, in the opening sequence of THE SOCIAL NETWORK. Her personal stairmaster is Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and you're witness to a car wreck of a break-up in progress. It's emotionally gorey but there will be rubbernecking; you can't look away. If the hilarious stairmaster line doesn't hook you, something else in the screwball sharp rat-a-tat-tat of Aaron Sorkin's screenplay will. Not many movies open with five unbroken minutes of conversation but not many movies are as confidently verbal and as exhilarating made as this one. The instantly classic opening scene works like a gunshot and the movie is off.

Remarkably, The Social Network never loses the propulsive energy of these jolting first moments. David Fincher, long one of the movie's great visual stylists in films like Fight Club, Benjamin Button  and Se7en, turns expert dramatist here, staging the rest of the movie's events like a series of inevitable chain reactions, pop-pop-pop. 

Facebookgoboom

More AFTER THE JUMP

You'd think a movie that charts the creation, growth, lawsuits and behind-the-scenes power struggles of Facebook would be less than, well, thrilling but you'd be wrong. It seems only fitting that early word from press screenings spread like wildfire across the internet through a variety of social networks. I was barely out of the theater before a fellow critic tweeted…

"I don't care about Facebook" is to SOCIAL NETWORK what "Self-absorbed theater people bore me" is to ALL ABOUT EVE

In other words, fasten your seatbelts. You'd be absolutely crazy to miss this one.

 

Also opening: Renée Zellweger investigates CASE 39 and even if it's nothing one would call a 'resume piece', she has Bradley Cooper to show for it; the brilliant Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In gets a US makeover as LET ME IN – it wasn't exactly necessary but advance word is good;

BONUS SCENES

Picture 32  road If you're 'theatuh people' or a Disney Gay Days regular are you excited to hear Donna Murphy as "Mother Gothel" in the Rapunzel musical Tangled? The trailers have been kind of obnoxious but let's hope that the Alan Menken score has worthy gems for Murphy's magic pipes. At least piece of early buzz claims she's the film's standout.

 road Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts are in talks for August: Osage County (the movie). As the two biggest stars in the age ranges for those huge awesome roles, the casting is expected. But it feels a little lazy. Streep is the queen but she's such a warm full bodied performer and that role is so cold shrunken…

 road a sex toy for straight boys who liked Avatar way too much. Pop culture never tires of the sexy cat woman trope does it? Alien cat men don't get as much play outside of maybe Patrick Fillion circles [NSFW].

Baz_forever  road Silver fox Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!) still hasn't decided on a follow up to Australia (2008)? He's been trying to decide between another original musical and an adaptation of The Great Gatsby for what seems like centuries now. Love you Baz but you have serious commitment issues. See a therapist. The world needs your eye candy (movies).

THE CLASSICS

 road 25 Things You Didn't Know About Liza Minnelli. Or maybe a few of you did. It's fun that she likes Nurse Jackie. Oh Jackie… such a mess. When she goes, she's going like Elsie ♪

 road Tony Curtis (RIP) knew Madonna? Boy Culture uncovers an Evita era moment.

 road We end with Barbara Stanwyck… the original Scissor Sister. Hee [hat tip]

Stanwyck_scissor_sister 

You really can't go wrong concluding with Ms. Stanwyck.

"Put me in the last fifteen minutes of a picture and I don't care what happened before. I don't even care if I was IN the rest of the damned thing. I'll take it in those fifteen minutes."


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Another reminder that same-sex couples aren’t equal: Social Security benefits

Steve Vernon at MoneyWatch.com took a look at retirement planning for gay and lesbian couples and provides some financial advice. And, it also provide an example of how same-sex couples aren’t equal:

Unfortunately, Social Security does not recognize gay marriage (see footnote 1), as was verified by a phone representative at Social Security who talked with my research associate. With a gay couple, the Social Security income that your household receives is the sum of each of your Social Security benefits, based on your own earnings record. When one of you dies, that person’s Social Security income stops. This is different from married straight couples, for whom survivors’ benefits are paid to the spouse.

Here’s that footnote 1:

Under Federal law an individual whose claim for benefits is based on a State recognized same-sex marriage or having the same status as spouse for State inheritance purposes cannot meet the statutory gender-based definition of widow or widower of the worker, including one who is divorced. Therefore, for all benefit purposes, the Social Security Administration does not recognize such individual as the widow or widower of the deceased worker.

That’s thanks to Section 3 of DOMA.

Remember, a federal court judge found section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional. The decision has been stayed pending appeal. We’ll know by October 18 if the Obama administration intends to appeal the decision. It’s widely expected that they will. Until DOMA is overturned by the courts or Congress repeals it, we’re not equal.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Rewriting recent history, NY Times now reports Mehlman ‘tended to avoid social issues’

This deification of Ken Mehlman over his recently discovered homosexuality is already getting absurd.

Tonight, Michael Luo from the New York Times absolved Ken Mehlman from any involvement in George Bush’s fiercely homophobic campaign back in 2004:

Mr. Mehlman was in Mr. Bush’s inner circle in both presidential campaigns, and ran his campaign in 2004. But Mr. Mehlman, in his work as chairman of the Republican National Committee and as head of Mr. Bush’s campaign, tended to avoid social issues, arguing that they would undercut the Republican Party’s efforts to expand its appeal.

I’m not sure how Mr. Luo determined the Mehlman “tended to avoid social issues.” Maybe Luo took Mr. Mehlman at his word (just like reporters took Mehlman at his word when he said he wasn’t gay.)

But, perhaps Luo should have at least checked the archives of his own newspaper. For example, there’s this story from James Dao from November 4, 2004:

Proposed state constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage increased the turnout of socially conservative voters in many of the 11 states where the measures appeared on the ballot on Tuesday, political analysts say, providing crucial assistance to Republican candidates including President Bush in Ohio and Senator Jim Bunning in Kentucky….the ballot measures also appear to have acted like magnets for thousands of socially conservative voters in rural and suburban communities who might not otherwise have voted, even in this heated campaign, political analysts said. And in tight races, those voters – who historically have leaned heavily Republican – may have tipped the balance.

Hmmm. Who came up with that strategy. Well, maybe if Luo googled something like “mehlman” “gay marriage” 2004, he would have found this:

According to religious leaders, the conference calls with White House officials started early in the Bush administration and became a weekly ritual as the campaign heated up. Usually, the participants were Rove or Tim Goeglein, head of the White House Office of Public Liaison. Later, Bush campaign chairman Ken Mehlman and Ralph Reed, former executive director of the Christian Coalition and the campaign’s southeast regional coordinator, were often on the line.

Yes, Mehlman was in the thick of it. I don’t think that strategy decided the election, but Mehlman and his colleagues used it.

Luo might have found this, too, from 2006:

“I think the issue was injected when a liberal court in Massachusetts said they were going to redefine a 200 year old institution in this country by judicial fiat,” said Mehlman, who also endorses a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage — political catnip for the Christian Right.

See, we gays tend to see using those strategies and that kind of language as engaging in social issues, specifically anti-gay engagement.

So, let’s not rewrite history. Many of us remember vividly how the Bush campaign, managed by Ken Mehlman, used gay baiting and gay bashing as a core part of its strategy. It was ugly. And, it happened.

I get that Mehlman is now trying to make amends. After what he did to the gay community in 2004, he has a long way to go.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

The Truth About Gays, Lesbians and Social Security Benefits

A new video offers a sobering look at how gays and lesbians are
invisible to the U.S. government when it comes to social security
benefits.

Daily News

—  John Wright