Update on Ray Hill’s arrest

Ray Hill

Ray Hill

As previously reported by Houstini, longtime Houston LGBT activist Ray Hill was arrested last night after a confrontation with police outside Treasures, a gentlemen’s club on Westhiemer Rd. Hill has been released from jail and posted the following message to his Facebook page:

I was arrested trying to stop power arrogant cops from bullying frightened and vulnerable people (this is not my first rodeo) There will be a trial; they will lie under oath; I will show the video of the whole incident; I will win and then sue and win that case. The system works if you have the tools to use it properly. My lawyer and I will make money off the city in this process. The cycle will end when the City of Houston stops trying to treat adults like they were children…


—  admin

Choose between O.M.D at HOB or k.d. Lang at the Meyerson

Decisions, decisions

Whether you’re in the mood for swoony torch songs or synth-pop from the ’80s, tonight is your night. k.d. Lang stops in town with her new band the Siss Boom Bang in support of her latest album Sing it Loud. She’ll likely have you as putty in her hands once her mouth hits the microphone. Or for some flat-out fun pop that will take you back a few decades, hit up Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (or O.M.D.) tonight. The band hit it big with “If You Leave” and “Dreamin’” back in the ’80s and then kinda faded away. But last year, they dropped History of Modern and tour and have been getting raves ever since.

If only you could be in two places at once.

DEETS: k.d. Lang and the Siss Boom Bang, Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. at 8 p.m. $40–$100. DallasSymphony.com.

O.M.D., House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. at 8 p.m. $25–$45. HouseofBlues.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Obama Stops in to Meeting with Gay Leaders on DADT

President Obama stopped by a meeting held today at the White House with representatives of the Center for American Progress, the Human Rights Campaign, Servicemembers United, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, the University of California Santa Barbara's Palm Center, Stonewall Democrats and the Log Cabin Republicans, the Washington Post reports:

Obama "The president stopped by the meeting 'to directly convey to the participants his personal commitment on this issue,' a senior official said, speaking on condition of anonymity."

There was discussion of DADT elsewhere Tuesday at the White House as well:

The WaPo adds:

White House senior adviser David Axelrod defended the administration's decision to appeal the case during an online video chat Tuesday. 'It is the custom of the U.S. government to appeal laws of Congress that were challenged in lower courts,' Axelrod said during the chat, arranged by the White House. 'It should be by no means read as an abandonment of a commitment, and we intend to keep it.'"

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs also addressed the issue at today's press briefing, reaffirming the President's desire to see the Senate vote on the measure.

When asked if Obama had reached out to individual Senators in order to change "no" votes to "yes", Gibbs replied:

"To my knowledge, it hasn’t taken place yet.  But, look, the only way we’re going to get something through the Senate is to change the vote count and to move past — look, you got to get — you’re going to have to get past a promised filibuster and — in moving to the bill.  And certainly the only way we can move to that bill is to change some of those votes."

Gibbs also declined to say whether the President would issue a stop-loss order should the legislation fail to pass:

"I think that — look, you’ve seen steps that have been taken over the past several days at the Pentagon involving service secretaries.  You have for — you have a sitting chair of the Joint Chiefs that believes it’s time for this law to end; the President working closely with the Secretary to make that happen. And our efforts in the short term will be focused on the durable repeal of a law that the President thinks is unjust, and that’s where our focus will be."

Press briefing clip, AFTER THE JUMP



Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings: How About You Just Cross Your Fingers And Hope Bullying Stops?

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As is the case for most of those reading this message, I have been horrified by the recent media coverage of student suicides prompted by bullying. I am fortunate to have a boss who is just as horrified and today made the below statement. I hope each of you will consider ways you can help bring bullying to an end and urge you to check out www.bullyinginfo.org for useful resources in so doing.

—Kevin Jennings, the man Obama appointed to make American schools safer, breaks his silence on a Friday evening, when everybody stops paying attention to the news, with these empty and useless remarks. (Technically, Jennings says it is "the recent media coverage" that horrifies him, not the suicides themselves, but grammar schmammar.) His boss, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, released this note.


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—  John Wright

GetEQUAL: ‘Pelosi: When Jobs are Lost, the Market Stops.’

Expect more civil disobedience from GetEQUAL, One Struggle One Fight and Pride at Work later today in San Francisco.

A protest aimed at Speaker Pelosi for failing to get a floor vote on ENDA will shut down Market Street with a banner that states: “Pelosi: When Jobs are Lost, the Market Stops.” The protest is scheduled for 5:00 PM PST. Here’s a quote from GetEQUAL’s press release explaining the protest:

“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.”

Yes. Members of Congress expect us to give them our money and our time so they can keep their jobs. It’s time for them to follow through on the promises to protect the jobs of LGBT Americans. (I hope to post photos and/or video later tonight.)

Last night, those same three groups disrupted Rep. George Miller’s debate with a similar ENDA message. Miller chairs the House Education and Labor Committee, which is still sitting on the ENDA bill. A hearing was held last .

Also, this morning, several ENDA protesters were arrested in Rep. Chris Carney’s office in Williamsport, PA. Zack Ford has the details on the ENDA phone swarm to Carney, the protest in the office and the arrests.

Many, many ENDA promises have been made — but not kept.

The protesters are just asking Pelosi and the other Democrats to do what they said they would do.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

ENDA Summer: ‘GetEQUAL is determined to pull out all the stops to get ENDA passed in 2010.’

It’s the end of summer and there’s no ENDA in sight. So, GetEQUAL is ramping up the pressure. Today, the group launced “ENDA Summer.” Keep in mind that GetEQUAL is asking leaders on Capitol Hill to keep their promise to pass ENDA in this session of Congress.

Via press release:

Earlier today, GetEQUAL launched its “ENDA Summer” campaign with a national email sent out to supporters across the country. In the email, GetEQUAL co-founder and director Robin McGehee wrote, “We’re heading into the end of summer, and there has been both an eerie silence from Congress and whispers of surrender from the White House about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Despite these challenges from our elected leaders, GetEQUAL is determined to pull out all the stops to get ENDA passed in 2010.”

McGehee went on to write in the email, “This isn’t a legislative issue — this is a moral issue. And we’re targeting legislators in specific states who have not yet shown the moral courage to support this legislation. We’re tired of legislators telling us that basic job protections for LGBTQ Americans are politically inconvenient — that some are more concerned with securing their own jobs than those of their constituents. We’re tired of being asked to wait — we’ve been waiting for 40 years.” To view today’s “ENDA Summer” campaign launch email, please go to: http://getequal.org/2010/08/enda-summer/.

To join in and be a part of “ENDA Summer” by making a commitment to take bold action for LGBT equality, please visit: www.getequal.org/endasummer.

In addition to today’s email, GetEQUAL has identified local organizers in each state who will spearhead this campaign. Those who sign up to join the “ENDA Summer” campaign will submit their contact information and will be paired with a local organizer in their particular state in order to obtain more information about actions planned in that state and how they can get involved.

And they’re naming names in the 15 targeted states. Members of Congress and their staffs hate being on target lists. That’s why so many DC-based organizations won’t release target lists. They get yelled at by Capitol Hill offices for doing it. GetEQUAL isn’t playing that game:

Arkansas: Sens. Blanche Lincoln & Mark Pryor; Reps. Marion Barry & Mike Ross

California: Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Reps. Ken Calvert & George Miller

Georgia: Reps. Jim Marshall & Sanford Bishop

Illinois: Reps. Daniel Lipinski & Jerry Costello

Indiana: Sens. Richard Lugar & Evan Bayh; Rep. Joe Donnelly

Louisiana: Rep. Charlie Melancon

Minnesota: Rep. Collin Peterson

Missouri: Rep. Ike Skelton

Mississippi: Reps. Travis Childers & Gene Taylor

New Jersey: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen

North Carolina: Reps. Heath Shuler & Mike McIntyre

Ohio: Senator George Voinovich

Oregon: Rep. Greg Walden

Pennsylvania: Reps. Jim Gerlach & Christopher Carney

Tennessee: Reps. Lincoln Davis, John Tanner & Bart Gordon

To review the long list of promises made to pass ENDA, from President Obama to Majority Leader Reid to Speaker Pelosi, among other, check out the ENDA timeline of Broken Promises.

And, if you live in one of the states listed above, sign up. Even if you don’t, call your members of Congress and ask them to pass ENDA this year.

If the elections go the way some pundits are predicting, meaning Democratic losses, we won’t see ENDA for a long time. The window is closing.

Senator Merkley’s ENDA bill, S. 1584, currently has 43 co-sponsors. The House bill, H.R. 3017, has co-sponsors.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright