Tag Archive: GLBT

Oct 06 2013

Rant of the Week: Lewis Black – Barilla Pasta

Back in Black – Barilla Pasta

Pasta giant Barilla won’t portray a gay family for its commercials, but Lewis Black isn’t buying the whole family values argument.

Apr 29 2013

Happy Birthday, Willie

Singer, song writer, poet, author and activist Willie Nelson is 80 today, or maybe tomorrow

The singer whose birthday is Monday or Tuesday – Nelson says April 29, the state of Texas claims April 30 – occupies a unique space in America’s cultural memory. A walking bag of contradictions, he wears his hair long in braids and has a penchant for pot smoking, yet remains arguably conservative country music’s greatest songwriter. He’s accepted by left and right, black and white and is instantly recognizable to a majority of Americans.

Like few other music stars, his image has grown to represent more than the notes he’s played or the lyrics he’s written. Like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash or Frank Sinatra, he’s become a figurehead for a uniquely American way of thinking. He represents the outlaw and the maverick. If Elvis was all about the pelvis and the sexual revolution, Nelson is American independence: the raised middle finger tossed with a twinkle in the eye.

Willie’s activism has brought attention to such causes as small farmers, organizing Farm Aid in 1985 along with Neil Young and John Mellencamp that still raises money for small family farmers.

He is also the co-chair of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) advisory board that supports its legalization, regulation and taxation.

Willie’s activism doesn’t end there. He has support and invested in biodiesal, the better treatment for horses and the LGBT movement calling for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

In 2008, Willie was interviewed by Amy Goodman at Democracy Now!. Here is an excerpt from that hour long interview

“One person carrying a message can change the world.”

Happy Birthday, Willie, and many more.

Mar 24 2013

Health Alert:: Meningitis Outbreak in NYC Among Gay Men

 photo 0c241d24-e917-4bad-ae36-d0af60a76f71_zps6fb99f85.jpg A health alert has been issued by the New York City Health Department warning of an outbreak of deadly new strain of bacterial meningitis among gay men. They are recommending all gay men, regardless of HIV status get a vaccination.

Health Department Issues New Vaccination Recommendations for Men at Greatest Risk for Contracting Meningitis

Four new cases of meningitis among men who have sex with men have been reported in 2013. Three of the last five cases have been fatal.

March 6, 2013 – The Health Department issued new recommendations today for vaccinating against invasive meningococcal disease – commonly known as meningitis – after an increase in cases. Vaccinations are now advised for men, regardless of HIV status, who regularly have intimate contact with other men met through a website, digital application (“App”), or at a bar or party.

Four new cases of meningitis among men who have sex with men have been reported since the beginning of January, bringing the total to 17 cases since 2012. There have been 22 reported cases – including seven fatal cases – since 2010.

“Meningitis symptoms usually come on quickly, and the disease can be fatal if not treated right away,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “Vaccination is the best defense. I urge all men who meet these criteria – regardless of whether they identify as gay – to get vaccinated now and protect themselves from this disease before it is too late.” [..]

Vaccination prevents, but does not treat, current infection. Common symptoms of meningitis are: high fever, headache, stiff neck, and rash that develop rapidly upon onset. Symptoms may occur two to 10 days after exposure, but usually within five days. Meningitis can be fatal if not treated promptly. People who experience these symptoms should seek medical care immediately.

People should first ask their health care providers if they have the vaccine. For those who cannot obtain the vaccine from their health care providers, Health Department clinics can administer the vaccine. Locations are listed at the Health Department’s Site Locator.

The recent meningitis cases have affected men throughout the five boroughs. Elected officials throughout the City are encouraging people to get vaccinated.

This strain of bacterial meningitis is very different. The symptoms of this variant go from a headache and fever to a rash and death within hours of onset. So fast that many of its victims never make to a doctor or a hospital. It has killed one third of all its victims. Four new cases of meningitis among men who have sex with men have been reported in 2013. Three of the last five cases have been fatal.

The meningitis vaccine is available at many health clinics, hospitals and private doctors’ offices, and is effective against the new strain. To find out where you can be vaccinated in NYC call 311.

Jan 09 2013

The Hagel Haggle

Chuck HagelThe controversy over President Barack Obama’s nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel to be the next Secretary of Defense are, as Republicans say, he is anti-military, anti-Israel and soft on Iran. The gay Log Cabin Republicans, and a few others from the left, object because of his stand against the 1998 appointment of James Hormel as Ambassador to Luxembourg, who is openly gay. The problem on the left is he’s another Republican. Most of these objections won’t prevent Sen. Hagel from being confirmed.

At The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald discusses the concerns of the GLBT community and the objections of the left in his article:

When it comes to LGBT equality, 1998 is a different universe. Virtually no prominent Democrats (let alone Republicans) supported marriage equality back then, or even equal rights for LGBT citizens. In fact, Hagel’s comment came only two years after the overwhelming majority of Democratic Senators voted in favor of the truly odious and discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act – including Joe Biden, Patty Murray, Pat Leahy and Paul Wellstone – which was then signed into law by Bill Clinton. That law not only defined marriage as between a man and a woman, but barred the federal government from issuing any spousal benefits – immigration, tax, death benefits – to same-sex couples. If you’re going to judge politicians by how they felt about LGBT issues 15 years ago, be prepared to scorn almost every national Democratic Party hero you have as a bigot. [..]

So yes: like virtually every prominent politician in both parties, Chuck Hagel had primitive and ugly views on gay issues back in 1998. But shouldn’t the question be: does he still hold these views or, like huge numbers of Americans, have his viewed evolved since then? Hagel has apologized for what he said, an apology which Hormel accepted, graciously noting: “I can’t remember a time when a potential presidential nominee apologized for anything . . . .Since 1998, fourteen years have passed, and public attitudes have shifted–perhaps Senator Hagel has progressed with the times, too.” Moreover, Hagel last week also vowed that he is “fully supportive of ‘open service’ and committed to LGBT military families.” [..]

Then there’s the issue of Hagel’s party affiliation. The perception that Republicans are more trustworthy than Democrats on military issues – and that Democratic presidents thus had to rely on Republicans to run the Pentagon – was indeed both pervasive and baseless. But that, too, has changed: the outgoing Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, is as loyal and partisan a Democrat as it gets, and nobody objected to his selection.

But much more importantly: when it comes to issues such as war, militarism, defense spending and Middle East policy, isn’t substance much more significant than whether someone has an “R” or “D” after their name? As Obama himself proves – and as Biden and Clinton before him proved – the fact that someone has a “D” after their name is hardly a guarantor that they will oppose policies of aggression and militarism. Indeed, as Clemons said Friday night on MSNBC, most Democrats in the Pentagon are so afraid of being cast as “soft on defense” that they hug policies of militarism far more eagerly and unquestioningly than Chuck Hagel ever would. Is partisan identity so all-consuming that it completely trumps substance, so that a hawkish Democrat is preferable to a war-skeptic Republican?

Just as a reminder, although Sen. Hagel objected to the authorization to invade Iraq in 2002, he still voted for it. So have the feral children of the right turned on him? It would seem that Sen. Hagel did the unthinkable, he told he truth about the real reason for the invasion, oil. He then committed a second “cardinal sin” when he voted for withdrawal.

Then according to the neocon’s he is soft on Iran and not sufficiently pro-Israel and has even been called antisemitic. Those objections are based on Sen. Hagel’s refusal to sign onto a number of AIPAC’s policy pronouncements and objections to military intervention with Iran over a non-existant nuclear weapons program.  Since most of those allegations are exaggerated or just false, the opposition is losing “steam” according to Josh Marshall at TPM:

Nominations lose steam or gain steam. Campaigns against nominations lose steam or gain steam. And at the moment, the campaign against Chuck Hagel’s nomination is losing steam. AIPAC and the ADL have both signaled they do not plan to make a fight of it. Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister is giving Hagel the thumbs up. Now even the Washington Post editorial page has signaled it’s backing off its opposition.

As I noted on Sunday, the prospect of a five seat Democratic majority denying a reelected President the nomination of a former Senator who is blandly unobjectionable anywhere outside the hothouse of DC was always quite unlikely. And these tells are consequential precisely because they signal that the parties in question don’t think it’s a winnable fight.

This is all a tempest in a teapot and ridiculous on its face just as the complaints that Pres. Obama isn’t sufficiently bipartisan. Sen. Hagel is just another in a long succession of right of center nominees, appointments and hold overs from the Bush administration that have been part of Pres. Obama’s neoliberal agenda.  

Mar 05 2012

The Fight For Marriage Equality

“8”: A Play about the Fight for Marriage Equality

Featuring an all-star cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Lynch, Kevin Bacon and others, “8” is a play written by Academy Award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and directed by acclaimed actor and director Rob Reiner. It is a powerful account of the case filed by the American Federation for Equal Rights (AFER ) in the U.S. District Court in 2010 to overturn Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that eliminated the rights of same-sex couples to marry in the state of California. Framed around the trial’s historic closing arguments in June 2010, 8 provides an intimate look what unfolded when the issue of same-sex marriage was on trial.

This was a live production of the reading of Dustin Lance Black’s “8″, a play based on the transcripts from the hearings before Judge Vaughn Walker on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 which banned state sanctioned same sex marriage. I join Teddy Partridge in his congrats to Judge Walker for having Brad Pitt play his roll. George Clooney and Martin Sheen play Daivd Boies and Ted Olson, the lawyers who argued the case for the American Foundation for Equal Rights. Also, Kevin Bacon plays Charles J. Cooper, the lead attorney for supporters of Proposition 8, and Jane Lynch is Maggie Gallagher, co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage. The actual play is about 90 minutes.

In February, a three judge panel of the 9th Circuit upheld Judge Walker’s decision. The supporters of Proposition 8 asked the Ninth Circuit to grant them an en banc rehearing of the 2 to 1 decision.

Feb 07 2012

9th Circuit Court Rules CA Prop 8 Unconstitutional

This morning the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that California’s Prop 8 is unconstitutional striking down the ban on gay marriage under both the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment. The ruling is limited and specific to California only.

“Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California,” the court said.

The ruling upheld a decision by retired Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who struck down the ballot measure in 2010 after holding an unprecedented trial on the nature of sexual orientation and the history of marriage.

The ruling makes same sex marriage legal again in California but it is expected that the court will not permit marriages to take place while the appeals are in progress. The backers of Prop 8 have stated that they will appeal this ruling but have not said if they would request a the full 9th Court to hear the appeal or take it directly to the US Supreme Court.

Ninth Circuit Prop. 8 decision

Jul 20 2011

A Message For The LGBT Community: It Gets Better

Words only hurt when you let them. It’s who you are that is important, not what others say about you.

From It Gets Better Project

h/t Think Progress via Twitter

Jun 25 2011

Breaking News: New York Gay Marriage Bill Passes

The New York State Senate has passed the Marriage Equality bill with a comfortable 36 33 votes in favor and only 26 29 nays. The bill includes protections for religious organizations to be exempt from performing ceremonies, if they choose. There is no residency requirement in NY for a marriage license. Well done, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Gay Marriage Bill Passes In New York: Senate Passes Bill Allowing Same Sex Marriage

Gay couples and proponents of gay rights have a reason to celebrate tonight, as the New York State Senate has passed a bill that allows same sex marriage.

New York will be the sixth, and largest, state in the union to adopt gay marriage. The bill will take effect 30 days after governor Andrew Cuomo signs it into law.

The decision, which passed 33-29, was the culmination of weeks of contentious debate and negotiations between Governor Cuomo and the GOP-controlled Senate. After the bill passed in the Assembly, it was unclear if the bill had secured enough votes to pass in the Senate. When a few notable undecideds joined the cause –including Republican Roy McDonald who famously defended his decision, saying “fuck it, I don’t care what you think. I’m trying to do the right thing” — the scale in favor of gay marriage seemed to tip.

Correction: The final vote for passage was 33 to 29. The amendment for the exemption for religious organizations was 36 to 26. h/t to Bruce McF for catching that.

 

Jun 24 2011

NYS Legislature Passes A Bill (Up Dated)

Yes, the New York State legislature passed a really important bill yesterday fixing a long neglected problem of importance for the all New Yorkers. No, it was not the Marriage Equality Bill that would allow same sex marriage in New York. It was naming Sweet Corn as the official state vegetable. Just what we need in NY, more starch in our diets. Meanwhile, we are still waiting for equality for our GLBT brothers and sisters.

Up Dated: We’re getting there. I’ll keep you posted.

NY pols begin to clear way for gay marriage vote

Dec 24 2010

How Would You Know? Ask?

With the repeal of DADT, wingers really start to come out of the closet.

“We don’t get ourselves dry-cleaned. We tend to take showers. …” And “Do you think that gyms should have separate showers for gay and straight people?”

Older posts «

Fetch more items