WATCH: Annise Parker wins second term as Houston Mayor

Annise Parker

Annise Parker greets the crowds at her victory party

Before a cheering crowd at Houston’s Union Station Annise Parker thanked her supporters and family for making her reelection as mayor of Houston possible. With 50.86% of the vote Parker narrowly avoided a runoff, but handily defeated her nearest opponent, Jack O’Conner, who received less than 15% of the vote.  The reelection to the office of mayor marks Parker’s eighth victory in a citywide election as she previously served three terms as an at-large city council member and three terms as city comptroller.

—  admin

UPDATED: Marriage bill now has 22 23 of the 24 supporters needed in Maryland Senate

UPDATE @ 5:24 PM: The magic number is down to one. Another Maryland Senator is on board:

Sen. Katherine Klausmeier said today that she has decided to vote in favor of same-sex marriage, putting the measure within a breath of passage in the Senate.

“I just weighed all of the options,” said the Baltimore County Democrat, who earlier told The Sun that she was torn about the issue. “It’s about fairness.”

It is about fairness. This sure feels like momentum.
_____________________
Some good news today in Maryland, via the Maryland Politics blog at the Baltimore Sun:

Sen. Edward Kasemeyer said this afternoon that he will support the controversial same-sex marriage bill, giving the measure 22 of the 24 votes it would need to clear the senate.

Kasemeyer, a Democrat who represents Howard and Baltimore counties, had not previously said how he planned to vote on the bill. Many had believed he would not support it because he represents a conservative area.

His pledge means there are five senators who either have not decided how they will vote or have declined to share their position publicly. (See full vote list after the jump. [posted below])

This year changes in a key senate panel delivered advocates the best chance they’ve ever had to legalize same-sex marriage. They believe that they have the 29 votes needed to cut off debate in the chamber and vote. The bill is expected to be voted out of committee this Thursday.

So, Senate Committee vote this week, then a floor vote in the full Senate next week. There’s intense lobbying underway at the State House in Annapolis. Equality Maryland is holding a lobby day this evening. If you live in Maryland, make your calls.

Here’s the UPDATED list of Senators the Baltimore Sun considers undecided:

No public position/Undecided

Sen. John Astle, Anne Arundel County Democrat
Sen. James Brochin, Baltimore County Democrat (supports)
Sen. Joan Carter Conway, Baltimore Democrat
Sen. Ulysses Currie, Prince George’s County Democrat
Sen. Edward Kasemeyer, Baltimore and Howard counties Democrat (supports)
Sen. Katherine Klausmeier, Baltimore County Democrat
Sen. James Rosapepe, Prince George’s County Democrat

Also, the Senate President, Mike Miller (D) is a NO vote.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  David Taffet

Prop. 8 Supporters, Foes Watch Hearing

PROP 8 WATCHERS X390 (GRAB) | ADVOCATE.COMAs attorneys argued both sides of Proposition 8 in the ninth circuit
court of appeals Monday, people across the country and around the world
watched the proceedings take place. 
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

GetEqual, DADT repeal supporters (including Blenders) hold vigil at the grave of Leonard Matlovich

From GetEqual’s release:

The vigil, held to coincide with the starting day of the lame-duck session of Congress, will send a clear and frank message to the United States Senate – repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” now. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, President Barack Obama, and other Democratic leaders have continually reassured the LGBT community that the legislation would be repealed during the current session of Congress.

The vigil is set to center around the gravesite of gay Vietnam Veteran Leonard Matlovich. Matlovich, a recipient of both the Purple Heart and Bronze Star, made headlines in the 1970s after he came out as openly gay and fought to stay in the U.S. Air Force – landing him on the cover of Time Magazine. Matlovich’s tombstone at the Congressional National Cemetery is meant to be a memorial to all gay veterans and is inscribed with the well-known phrase: “When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.”

The vigil will be one in a series of actions GetEQUAL will engage in throughout the week to pressure the Senate to repeal the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.  The lame-duck session begins on Monday, November 15, and is expected to run approximately two weeks – or until leadership has the votes to call adjournment.  With Congressional leaders such as John McCain and Carl Levin in discussions over the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, national activists across party lines are making their voices heard.

Lt. Dan Choi preparing Sgt. Leonard Matlovich’s grave before this morning’s vigil.

“Paying respects to the memory and legacy of Sgt. Leonard Matlovich – and re-dedicating ourselves to the movement focused on repealing DADT” –

Blenders at today’s event include Autumn Sandeen, Scott Wooledge (Clarknt67) and Michael Bedwell. Note that this is one of a few actions planned — so stay tuned.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Video: Iowa For [Infantilizing Supporters of Basic Fairness]

Concerned Woman For America Tamara Scott:



***

*SEE ALSO: Our complete Iowa For Freedom Archive




Good As You

—  admin

Watch: Iowa ‘Judge Bus’ Supporters Decry ‘Sodomy Marriage’ and ‘Disease-Carrying Nasty Threats to Society’

Monkey

Check out a few interviews from the Courage Campaign's Iowa 'Judge Bus' tracker of Christian wingnut loonies outside various stops on the hate-a-palooza bus tour. 

Wingnuts If you're not familiar with what's happening in Iowa, check out a few of my previous links below.

According to an email provided to Towleroad by journalist Rex Wockner, from Justin Uebelhor, Director of Communications from gay rights group One Iowa:

"The latest poll results show the race deadlocked at 36-35, with still a large pool of undecideds. On one hand, this gives us confidence that things haven't moved much even after nearly 0,000 in ads. On the other hand, it worries us because there are often a block of voters who just vote no by default on retention races….We do feel the energy on our side is picking up with great attendance at our Homegrown Justice rallies to counter the NOM/FRC Judge bus. At many stops, we've outnumbered the opposition 2-1 – resulting in some good media coverage in each town."

Watch the wingnuts go crazy, AFTER THE JUMP

Previously…
Watch: Iowa NOM Supporter Equates Gay Marriage to Goat Marriage [tr]
Guide to the Tube: Iowa 'Judge Bus' Bigot Edition [tr]
Anti-Gay Hate Groups Launch Bus Tour Targeting Pro-Equality Judges in Iowa [tr]
Marriage Equality Under Attack in Iowa on Eve of Bus Tour [tr]






Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

HRC Supporters Rally with Obama in Ohio

Terry Penrod, member of HRC's Board of Directors, attends the rally at Ohio State

On Sunday evening, HRC supporters joined 35,000 other progressive voters to rally with the president and first lady at Ohio State University in Columbus.

President Obama reminded us that change does not often come quickly, and that the stakes in this election are huge.  We have a choice to keep moving America forward with policies that will move us into a clean energy economy with clean energy jobs, that will maintain higher education affordability, continue tax cuts for middle-class Americans and advance our civil rights.  Or, we will go back to the failed policies of the Bush years.  It’s a pretty simple and a pretty stark choice.

I felt the excitement of 2008 all over again, and President Obama’s message is just what we needed to hear—in clear terms—how we must all get out to vote for fair-minded legislators at the local, state and federal levels so the policies that we all care so much about—like the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and the Employment Non-discrimination Act—have a chance to pass.

It’s now or never, and I urge all Ohioans to get involved with our HRC election efforts in Ohio by emailing me:  Karin.quimby@hrc.org.

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC and authorized by the Ohio Democratic Party.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

HRC supporters are pumped up for EQUALITY in Minnesota!

Last night was our first Twin Cities based, volunteer phone bank to members and supporters in Minnesota.  Our mission between now and Election Day is to cycle through tens of thousands of our supporters and mobilize them to volunteer and vote for pro-equality candidates up and down the ticket.  By all accounts last night’s effort was a resounding success with thousands of supporters dialed and hundreds of conversations held.  The overwhelming sentiment is that Mark Dayton, Yvonne Prettner Solon and fair-minded legislative candidates are HRC supporters’ choice for a better Minnesota.

This election is important for one simple reason:  Equality in Minnesota is under siege. Powerful interest groups like the National Organization for Marriage are pouring money into the state to support anti-equality candidates.  Even the Catholic Church has joined in the discrimination by sending hundreds of thousands of anti-marriage DVDs to parishioners.

Given the rash of LGBT youth suicides, Dayton and Prettner Solon will fight for a stronger Safe Schools bill that would give our educators the tools they need to effectively deal with bullying towards LGBT students, and they’ll fight to enact a marriage equality bill, making Minnesota the sixth state in the nation to recognize the love and commitment shared by same-sex partners.

If you’d like to get involved with our volunteer efforts to secure equality in the state, please RSVP here or contact Terry.McGuire@hrc.org directly.

And don’t forget to Celebrate National Coming Out Day

Join HRC, OutFront Minnesota and the DFL Stonewall Caucus

Confirmed Champions of Equality: Sen. Yvonne Prettner Solon, House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Sen. Scott Dibble, Sen. John Marty, Eric Dayton

Monday, October 11th is National Coming Out Day and we’d like to invite you to our Coming OUT for Equality event that evening. This FREE event will be held at Lush Food Bar from 6-10pm with featured speakers beginning the program at 7pm. Come join us for this unity event and get pumped up for winning equality on November 2nd!  RSVP by clicking here.

Prepared and paid for by Human Rights Campaign Minnesota PAC, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington D.C., in support of the Minnesota DFL and Mark Dayton for a Better Minnesota.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

Video: Brown vs. Board of Educated Equality Supporters

Yesterday in Manhattan, as part of The New Yorker Festival, pro-equality attorney David Boies, Log Cabin Republican president R. Clarke Cooper, Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, and long-suffering Carrie Bradshaw sounding board Miranda Hobbes (a.k.a Gifted actress and activist Cynthia Nixon) took on the responsibility of defending marriage equality in a world that still wastes time turning certain unions into a needlessly contentious matter. On the other side of the coin was National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown, a heterosexual person who continued to muddy the waters of fairness so that this overwrought issue continues to waste everyone’s time, even though it’s something that would not really affect his life, marriage, or family even one iota.

We’re not free to embed the whole shebang (which you can buy for yourself for just under 5 bucks). But we can show you a brief clip wherein Cynthia is forced to channel the same “ugh, what are you thinking?!” skills that she used when Carrie was carelessly sleeping with Big while he was still married to Natasha:



*Buy the full program for .95: Love and Obstacles: The Case for Gay Marriage [Fora.TV]

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**SEE ALSO: NOM’s tweets from the event.

(reverse chronology)

201010031108




Good As You

—  John Wright

CNN’s Don Lemon to Long supporters: ‘I was the childhood victim of a pedophile’

 

Let me tell you what got my attention about this and I have never admitted this on television. I’m a victim of a pedophile when I was a kid. Someone who was much older than me.

– CNN anchor Don Lemon, during a segment on alleged sex predator “Bishop” Eddie Long, 9/25/2010

Consider how difficult this had to be for Don Lemon. I can’t imagine what ran through his mind as he built up to the moment of disclosure of this painful part of his life on live international television.

CNN anchor Don Lemon made a very personal admission in the most public of ways – during his live newscast. Lemon was discussing the sexual abuse cases against Bishop Eddie Long with three members of Long’s church who continue to support him.

Lemon had just played a soundbite from the lawyer of one of Long’s accusers about how the bishop allegedly got close to one of the young men in his church.

…Lemon’s admission led to an audible gasp from one of his guests. “I’ve never admitted that on television and I never told my mom until I was 30 years old,” Lemon said later in the segment. “Especially African-American men don’t want to talk about those things.”


What I do know is that crossing the line from journalist to interested party had to be beyond difficult. Facing Long supporters had to push some seriously painful buttons. Weighing it all against the possible good it can do for those who suffered similar abuse out there is immeasurable. Lemon’s strength to share will help someone else muster up the courage to tell their story.

For me, “thank you” is too insignificant a thing to say in response to what Don Lemon did.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright