Coco Rosie performs tonight with Sleep Whale at the Granada Theater

Indie duo goes only half drag

Coco RosieWhat the Indigo Girls are to traditional folk, Coco Rosie would perhaps be the antithesis. The avante-garde popsters are also sisters with one heckuva back story. Vision quests, traveling childhoods and even loss of contact for a number of years, Bianca “Coco” and Sierra “Rosie” Casady reunited and began their musical endeavor. They are on the road supporting their fourth full-length album, Grey Oceans.

Younger sister Bianca told AfterEllen she’s surprised people don’t realize she’s lesbian. Like, really surprised.

“I am surprised, to tell you the truth, that people don’t talk about it more,” Bianca said of her being queer. “Maybe we are still living in such a homophobic culture that people [who] like me don’t want to hear about it.”

She even performs in drag. And with the band’s frequent use pf children’s toys as musical instruments (along with piano and guitars) to make what they call their “freak folk” music, this could be some show to watch.

DEETS: With Sleep Whale. Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. 8 p.m. $18.

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: Texas natives wed after 40 years

Jean Eleanor McFaddin and Susan Elaine Falk first met in 1962 at the University of Texas in Austin. McFaddin was from Dallas, and Falk was from Lufkin. They’ve been together for more than 40 years, but were finally legally married in Connecticut last week, according to The New York Times.

“You come to weddings, and they’re about people making promises that they hope to keep in their marriage, and in truth, our marriage is an affirmation of a lifetime of promises that we’ve made and lived,” McFaddin says. “We have fulfilled our commitments.”

“She was the one, is the one and always will be the one,” Falk says.

—  John Wright

Ken Mehlman, Do Something Useful: Speak Truth to Power.

I'm not privy to what Ken Mehlman did or did not do secretly while working for the Republican Party and the White House.  Nor am I privy to his soul.  And I'm not privy to hearts of those he caused agony, suffering, depression and anxiety to, or to those were were fired or beaten up partly as a result of the campaigns he waged.  And I have no idea what, if anything, he could possibly do for those hearts to forgive him.

Still, Mr. Mehlman claims that “he wants to become an advocate for gay marriage.”.  That's pretty vague, and seems to consist of doing a fundraiser to support further litigation in the Proposition 8 trial.  Kerry Eleveld and I have a better idea.  As she put it on Friday:

… instead of crucifying Mehlman, let’s hand him a pickax and a shovel and let him get to work on dismantling the hate he and his cronies helped heap upon a vulnerable and undeserving minority.

Or, in my less eloquent opinion, if Ken Mehlman really wants to demonstrate a commitment to equal rights, he should forecefully employ the political talents he is famous for.

Below the fold for my two ideas.

Mr. Mehlman was the Chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2005 to 2007.  He was also a very important political operative working in the Bush White House before that.  Hell, the American Association of Political Consultants named him the Campaign Manager of the Year in 2005. He's given large sums of money to various Republicans who currently hold positions of responsibility.  It's safe to say he knows lots of Republicans.  Very Important Republicans.  In Washington and everywhere.

The battle for equal marriage rights in California isn't going to be won or lost because Ken Mehlman does or does not co-host a fundraiser.  The arguments have been made, the Ninth Circuit and perhaps ultimately the Supreme Court will render their verdicts.  But there are two hugely important political battles that Mr. Mehlman might, just might, be able to effect to the point that he could actually change the outcome.  What might those be?

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA):  It's not marriage equality, true.  But it's as fundamental to full equality.  ENDA is nearly dead, largely because there aren't enough votes in the Senate to invoke cloture (there are at least 51 votes for passage).  Could Mr. Mehlman convince two or three Republicans other than Senators Snowe and Collins (who are sponsors of the bill) to support it?  Hell, he doesn't even have to do that.  All he has to do is convince a few Republicans to vote for cloture.  They don't have to vote for the bill itself. If there were five Republicans ready to do that, might Harry Reid just get a spine, round up the 55 Democrats he needs, and push it through?

Marriage equality in New York State:  At some point in the not too distant future, the New York State Senate is likely to again take up marriage equality.  Last year, in a truly dismal result, the Senate voted 38-24 against, with all Republicans voting nay (the Assembly had passed the bill by 89-52).  But there were indications that some Republicans (and some Democrats) might have been willing to vote in favor of the bill if their vote meant it would pass.

With a newly elected Senate in 2011, and with it a different cast of characters, could Ken Mehlman (now a New York State resident) employ his considerable political savvy to convince some Republicans in the Senate to support a bipartisan effort to pass marriage equality in New York State?

I have no idea whether someone of Mehlman's stature could pull off either of these.  Perhaps Republicans in office are unmovable on these issues.  Perhaps he has become persona non grata to the very people he would need to influence.  But if Ken Mehlman was truly thrown from his horse expensive automobile on the road to Damascus Chelsea, wants to do something important, and wants to have a real impact, these two battles might be good place to start.

And, if he's successfu at the latter, he could get married…
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Did a hunter’s camera catch a UFO?

OK, so this is not “gay” in the least. But the headline of the story in the Los Angeles Times caught my attention: “Did hunter’s infrared camera capture images of UFO?”

It caught my attention for two reasons. First, I am fascinated by the idea of UFOs. I always have been. And the second reason is that I couldn’t figure out why the LA Times is reporting on an ambiguous UFO sighting by a hunter from Archer City, just outside Fort Worth.

Anyway, here is video of an interview with Lisa Brock-Piekarski who saw something strange — and for her, a bit unsettling — in a series of images taken by a stationary infrared hunting camera on her ranch near Archer City.

So, what do you think? Is the truth really out there?

—  admin

Citing ‘Biblical Truth’, Iowa GOP Senate Candidate Dave Leach Agrees That AIDS is God’s Punishment for Homosexuality

Earlier in the week Iowa GOP Congressional candidate Jeremy Walters apologized for remarks written on his Facebook page saying that AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuality.

Leach Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn denounced Walters.

Yesterday, Dave Leach, a GOP candidate for the state senate there, came to Walters' defense, the Iowa Independent reports:

Leach, who is running against Democratic state Sen. Matt McCoy in Senate District 31, said Walters statement was 'theologically clumsy, but it seemed close enough to Biblical truth to not merit a censure from the Republican Party.'  … 'GOP head Matt Strawn is right in saying HIV does not discriminate; in other words, the fact that someone has HIV by no means proves they got it through sodomy,' Leach said in an e-mail to Strawn and The Iowa Independent. 'But I don’t see that that is what Jeremy said.'

Whether the Bible says there is a connection shouldn’t matter, he said, since, 'everyone knows there is this connection.'"

Said Leach:

"Everyone knows sodomites suffer [HIV/AIDS] far more than the rest of the population, and that sodomy’s practices, which are so embarrassingly unsanitary that you dare not detail them in one of your articles, would inevitably create such a disease if it did not already exist. It seems 'inappropriate,' to use Strawn’s word, to apologize for saying what the Bible says, with which everyone agrees. It is 'inappropriate' for anyone to ask such a thing. I am sorry that Jeremy gave up his ground, although at least he stood it for awhile, which is more than most will do."

And on a side note — that hat. Seriously?

Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Truth Wins Out: Catholic Bishops Claim to ‘Refute’ Legitimacy of U.S. Court System

Boy, that claim can generate all sorts of punchlines. Seriously, can this church claim legitimacy of any kind after becoming the world’s premier professional pedophile protection racket? Michael Airhart:

U.S. Catholic bishops and declared today that they had “refuted” the Ninth Circuit federal ruling on the constitutionality of Californians’ equal access to civil institutions such as marriage.

Cardinal Francis George, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), rejected [Judge Vaughn] Walker’s claims, stating that “no court of civil law has the authority to reach into areas of human experience that nature itself has defined.”

The Aug. 4 ruling, which the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals put an emergency stay on this week, stated that, “Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.”

And look at this haughty crap – trying to deny the church is homophobic.

Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the bishops, said in an e-mail to that “Judge Walker, in his decision, backed his bigotry with errors, including the misstatement that the ‘Catholic Church views homosexuality as sinful.’ The fact is, the Catholic Church sees homosexuality as a condition, an inclination in a person, something not intrinsically sinful.”

According to the bishops, Catholic autocrats are unbigoted for imposing their antigay prejudices upon all the civil institutions that couples of all faiths or no faith may require – and meanwhile, the bishops say, courts that defend civil law and constitutional equality are bigoted for rejecting false Catholic claims to authority over civil society and for rejecting Catholic false distinctions between sin and supposedly-unholy-disorders-that-cause-one-to-sin.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  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

Daily News

—  John Wright