NPR on the gayification of TV.
Facebook "hate" page exposes gayfolk in the Australian military.
Ricky Martin, Julianne Moore, and a whole bunch of others team up with GLAAD to get a Mother's Day message to Boy Scouts of America.
Geraldo "raped" by TSA worker:
“The last time I flew to Afghanistan I got manually raped by a guy who – the scanner wasn’t working,” said Rivera, before adding that his “junk was junked” by a TSA screener.
“This guy, it seemed to me, was getting off on it…And the more and the tighter I got and the angrier I got,” said Rivera. “You know, he just wanted to be a little more intimate.”
Rivera explained how his trouble with the TSA began when he got put on a ‘no fly list’ and was continually subjected to “enhanced interrogation and search” every time he took a flight.
“And I was so frustrated. I called the TSA, and I called and I called. I went on television. I exposed them, I embarrassed them. I said, ‘can’t ya?’ And they just could not remove my name from the computer that had the no-fly list.”
"Trayvon Martin"-styled gun-range targets prove wildly popular:
WKMG’s Mike DeForest reported on Friday that the unidentified seller told him that the targets “sold out in 2 days.”
“The response is overwhelming,” the seller said.
While the item appears to have been removed from GunBroker.com, a cached version of the page was still available at the time of publication.
Photos of the item, which was titled “10 Pack Trayvon Martin Targets,” showed crosshairs over a hoodie similar to the one Trayvon Martin was wearing when he was shot by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in February. The figure has a bag of Skittle in his pocket and is holding what appears to be a can of iced tea...
Around the world, disappointment with Obama. He failed to close Guantanamo or acknowledge American responsibility for the financial crisis, and:
... Obama has been the U.S. president "least involved in the Palestinian issue," said Mohammed Ishtayeh, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
"We were very optimistic when Obama was elected. He talked in his meeting with us without looking into his notes; that tells how much he knows about our issue," he said.
But since Obama made his Cairo speech, Ishtayeh added, "he found his hands tied and couldn't make much progress."
... but angriest of all are Kenyan clerics, who really disliked Obama's announcement this week:
Speaking to the Nation in Mombasa, Council of Imams and Preachers Organising Secretary Sheikh Mohammed Khalifa accused President Obama of playing god by legalizing what "God Himself objects".
“Simply because he has risen to be the President of a super power does not mean he can now start acting as God. He is nothing in the eyes of God and his plans will not succeed just like those who preceded him in such plans,” said Sheikh Khalifa ...
“God created man and woman so that we can procreate. How come we now want to behave worse than dogs who do not go for their own gender but know the difference between the two?” asked Sheikh Khalifa. [Ed. note: Actually, several of my dogs have been confused on this point.]
Can somebody please explain this joke from Sen. Rand Paul?
"The president, you know, recently weighed in on marriage. And, you know, he said his views were evolving on marriage," the first-term senator said Friday evening. "Call me cynical, but I wasn't sure that his views on marriage could get any gayer."
The Los Angeles Times asks: "Will black voters follow Obama on gay marriage?"
... historically, homosexuality was a nonissue. Then, in the 2004 presidential election, anti-civil union and marriage equality laws were put on ballots in key states to draw "values voters" to the polls. Part of the Republican strategy was to have white evangelical leaders actively recruit black clergy to the anti-gay movement. For example, the Promise Keepers, the Traditional Values Coalition and other evangelical groups organized meetings of black clergy from Washington to Texas to California to oppose gay marriage.
As important as the church's role is, this fact remains: A gay rights movement never really happened among African Americans. The fight for civil rights took up almost all of the justice oxygen. For a black person to be "out," he or she was most likely also out of the black community ...
Finally: After President Obama made his announcement last week, I saw trolls on no fewer than three internet forums begin pointing to this site as evidence of the POTUS's perversion. If they want people to visit it so much, I figure: Why not give 'em a hand?
Tomorrow will be Tracy Rodemeyer's first Mother's Day since her 14-year-old son, Jamey, took his life last September. This morning she published a heartfelt blog at HuffPo in which she reflects on Mother's Days past and future, the nature of parenthood, and the strangeness of the last eight months:
Each Mother's Day that approached had me split equally in half: Half of me was enjoying the life I had with my children, children I'd dreamt of for so long, and the other half was letting my mother know how much I appreciated each and every thing she did for me. I finally understood what unconditional love meant. I'd never really grasped the concept until I had had my own children.
As my children got older, I would look forward to Mother's Day, because we made sure we spent the full day together, and I would tell the kids the stories of when they were born, or how much they changed my life forever. I could never have imagined my life without them. My life had not been complete until they entered it. They started to make me cards and gifts that I will cherish forever.
Little did I know that Sunday, May 8, 2011 would be my last Mother's Day with both my children. Half my life was taken away from me on Sept. 18, 2011. This is when my son Jamey committed suicide. I began to reexamine my life: Why am I here? Why do I exist? Do I deserve to remain on this Earth when my son is no longer with us? My children were my life, the air that I breathed, the reason for my existence. The blood that ran through me was inside both of them. This Mother's Day I will ask myself a question I ask myself every day: Do I deserve to be recognized on Mother's Day after all that has happened? This Mother's Day will be the hardest ever.
No mother should be without her children, especially on Mother's Day. It is unnatural for parents to bury their children. It is too painful, as we spent 5,294 Earth days loving, nurturing, and taking care of him, watching him grow from an 8-pound, 5-ounce bundle of joy to a 130-pound, 5-foot-4-inch young man in a short 14-and-a-half years. He had just surpassed me in height, but I was so happy looking at "my young man."
... How do I plan on spending Mother's Day 2012? It might be a day of just lying in bed, wishing these last eight months were nothing but the worst nightmare of my life. But I must remember that I have a beautiful, intelligent, spectacular daughter to be with and pull it together for her. I will wake up with my husband Tim by my side, we will all have breakfast (hopefully prepared for me), and then I will call my mother, 1,300 miles away, to wish her a happy Mother's Day. I will talk to her as she opens her gift from me and hear how happy she is with it. This year is special, as I got my daughter (who will hopefully be a mother someday), my two sisters, and my mom the same thing I got myself: an angel decoration to remind us all that Jamey is now our angel, and that he has been watching over all of us and will continue to do so until we meet up with him someday.
She concludes with:
To all you moms out there: Happy Mother's Day, and remember to appreciate your children, respect them for who they are, and cherish every moment you have with them, both the good and the bad, because how you look and what you are deep down inside is not all by choice. To all you children: look past what you see as criticism, and understand that you are so loved, more than you can ever imagine, but you may not understand or appreciate it until you are a parent one day. Love yourself, because baby, you were born this way!
GLAAD is compiling messages to give to Tracy Rodemyer tomorrow morning. Please feel free to add your own here.
Check out this astounding bit of political softshoe from the Republican nominee-apparent: On Thursday, Mitt said of gay couples adopting children:
... if two people of the same gender want to live together, want to have a loving relationship, or even to adopt a child -- in my state individuals of the same sex were able to adopt children. In my view, that's something that people have a right to do.
So -- in Mitt's "view," gay people have the right to adopt. That sounds like a statement of opinion -- that things ought to be a certain way. The rest of Mitt's statement seems to express his satisfaction that state legislators have concurred with his opinion.
But on Friday, in an interview with Charlotte's WCTV, Mitt backpedaled:
Well, actually, I think all states but one allow gay adoption, so that's a position which has been decided by most of the state legislators, including the one in my state some time ago. So I simply acknowledge the fact that gay adoption is legal in all states but one.
So then -- what Mitt really meant when he said that "in his view" gay adoption is a "right" is that it's his opinion that it's legal, not that it's his opinion that it should be legal. Which is weird. People don't usually have opinions on whether certain classes can or can't adopt. It's not really a subjective thing.
This is what's so cringemaking about Mitt's speeches and interviews. He crafts his public utterances to obfuscate, not to clarify. What that suggests about his faith in the listening and voting public -- or about his own faith in his abiiity to appeal to that public -- is debatable. Whatever it is, it can't be good.
(Incidentally, Mitt's wrong. It's not "all states but one" that allow gay adoption. It's all states but two. Mitt was probably thinking of Utah; the other outlier is Mississippi.)
The man's just not a very good speaker. Smarmy. Sitting through this video's not fun. (His very first line is a joke at the expense of President Obama, written so poorly and told so awkwardly that nobody in the audience seems to get it.)
If you do sit through this video, bear in mind what's going on: This is the certain Republican nominee for the American presidency delivering the commencement address at the school founded by Jerry Falwell, who blamed 9/11 not on religious fundamentalism, but on gayfolk, lesbians, "abortionists," and pagans (and about whom Romney has several nice things to say), and which canceled its participation in last year's CPAC because GOProud would be there. Viva liberty!
Weirdly, it's also a school that hosts a class on comparative religion, which includes instruction on the heresies of Mormonism.
As one might expect, Romney's commencement address drew a rather tepid reaction from the crowd. His biggest applause line:
Marriage is between one man and one woman!
Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...
Not sure how this memo leaked, but I'm glad it did. It was dispatched yesterday from the desk Jan van Lohuizen, the respected Republican pollster and founder of Voter Consumer Research, and was destined for the desks of various Republican "insiders" and operatives. Here's the text:
Background: In view of this week’s news on the same sex marriage issue, here is a summary of recent survey findings on same sex marriage:
1. Support for same sex marriage has been growing and in the last few years support has grown at an accelerated rate with no sign of slowing down. A review of public polling shows that up to 2009 support for gay marriage increased at a rate of 1% a year. Starting in 2010 the change in the level of support accelerated to 5% a year. The most recent public polling shows supporters of gay marriage outnumber opponents by a margin of roughly 10% (for instance: NBC / WSJ poll in February / March: support 49%, oppose 40%).
2. The increase in support is taking place among all partisan groups. While more Democrats support gay marriage than Republicans, support levels among Republicans are increasing over time. The same is true of age: younger people support same sex marriage more often than older people, but the trends show that all age groups are rethinking their position.
3. Polling conducted among Republicans show that majorities of Republicans and Republican leaning voters support extending basic legal protections to gays and lesbians. These include majority Republican support for:
- Protecting gays and lesbians against being fired for reasons of sexual orientation
- Protections against bullying and harassment
- Repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
- Right to visit partners in hospitals
- Protecting partners against loss of home in case of severe medical emergencies or death
- Legal protection in some form for gay couples whether it be same sex marriage or domestic partnership (only 29% of Republicans oppose legal recognition in any form).
Recommendation: A statement reflecting recent developments on this issue along the following lines:
“People who believe in equality under the law as a fundamental principle, as I do, will agree that this principle extends to gay and lesbian couples; gay and lesbian couples should not face discrimination and their relationship should be protected under the law. People who disagree on the fundamental nature of marriage can agree, at the same time, that gays and lesbians should receive essential rights and protections such as hospital visitation, adoption rights, and health and death benefits.
Other thoughts / Q&A:
Follow up to questions about affirmative action: “This is not about giving anyone extra protections or privileges, this is about making sure that everyone – regardless of sexual orientation – is provided the same protections against discrimination that you and I enjoy.”
Why public attitudes might be changing: “As more people have become aware of friends and family members who are gay, attitudes have begun to shift at an accelerated pace. This is not about a generational shift in attitudes, this is about people changing their thinking as they recognize their friends and family members who are gay or lesbian.”
Conservative fundamentals: “As people who promote personal responsibility, family values, commitment and stability, and emphasize freedom and limited government we have to recognize that freedom means freedom for everyone. This includes the freedom to decide how you live and to enter into relationships of your choosing, the freedom to live without excessive interference of the regulatory force of government.
Andrew Sullivan, writing at The Daily Beast, thinks the memo is a rather big deal. He writes, only a little melodramatically:
The last paragraph is, to my mind, the most remarkable. It's advising Republican candidates to emphasize the conservative nature of gay marriage, to say how it encourages personal responsibility, commitment, stability and family values. It uses Dick Cheney's formula (which was for a couple of years, the motto of this blog) that "freedom means freedom for everyone." And it uses David Cameron's argument that you can be for gay marriage because you are a conservative.
And the walls came tumbling down.
California's legislators, led by State Sen. Ted Lieu (D), are now contemplating a bill that would ban mental health professionals from performing "reparative" therapy on teenagers:
The controversial conversion therapy, sometimes also known as reparative therapy, attempts to change the sexual orientation of a person from homosexual (or bisexual) to heterosexual.
The bill would also require adults who submit to the therapy to sign a release saying they know what they're getting into.
"This therapy can be dangerous," Lieu said. He and supporters of the bill said conversion counseling is ineffective, can cause severe depression and guilt, and can even lead to suicide.
On his show last night, Anderson Cooper underlined the point by reacquainting his audience with the subject of last year's series, The Sissy Boy Experiment. That was the boy named Kirk Murphy, who became reparative therapy's posterchild after George Alan Rekers "treated" him in the early 70s, and who killed himself in 2003.
Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...