Friday News Roundup

– New Hampshire is set to become the sixth state to enact marriage equality. Governor says he’ll sign a bill with extra religious protections:

Gov. John Lynch said Thursday he will sign a bill to make his state the sixth to legalize gay marriage as soon as the Legislature makes some changes, which legislative leaders immediately said they would back.

Lynch asked that the already-approved legislation be revised to better protect churches and their employees against lawsuits if their beliefs preclude them from marrying gays. Gay marriage supporters said they do not object.

It’s a ridiculous provision, but if it makes the religious right feel better, I’m all for it.

– President Obama has said he’s a “fierce supporter” of LGBT rights. So far, I haven’t seen much ferocity – and neither has Andrew Sullivan:

Here we are, in the summer of 2009, with gay servicemembers still being fired for the fact of their orientation. Here we are, with marriage rights spreading through the country and world and a president who cannot bring himself even to acknowledge these breakthroughs in civil rights, and having no plan in any distant future to do anything about it at a federal level. Here I am, facing a looming deadline to be forced to leave my American husband for good, and relocate abroad because the HIV travel and immigration ban remains in force and I have slowly run out of options (unlike most non-Americans with HIV who have no options at all).

And what is Obama doing about any of these things? What is he even intending at some point to do about these things? So far as I can read the administration, the answer is: nada.

And the excuses are maddening: We have to fix the economy first! Hello! Ever hear of multi-tasking Mr. President. It’s not all that tough to toss this issue into the mix.

– South Carolina is working to pass law on teen dating violence – but leaves out gay kids on purpose. Apparently straight kids beat the hell out of each other more than gay kids.

– Religious right says the notion of a “gay gene” has been dealt a “knockout punch” by new APA brochure. The problem? The brochure came out in 2008 and does nothing of the sort. File under: “quotes seeking a story.”

– How about a black woman judge on the US Supreme Court? Not so fast, say some gay rights folks:

Georgia Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears, considered a potential nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, has drawn criticism from gay rights groups after announcing plans to join a think tank whose founder is an outspoken opponent of gay marriage.

Sears, the nation’s first black female chief justice of a state supreme court, announced this week she will join the New York-based Institute for American Values when she retires June 30.

[…]

In announcing her future plans, Sears said her role at the institute would build on her work with the Georgia Supreme Court toward “strengthening the institution of marriage” by working to reduce the nation’s divorce rate.

Gay rights advocates, who enthusiastically supported Sears’ re-election bid against a conservative in 2004, said they felt betrayed that she will be working part-time for the New York-based think tank.

Here’s hoping it’s all a moot point …

Have a great weekend!

PS: Follow me on Twitter @revtheodyke

NY Inches Closer to Marriage Equality

The New York Assembly passed a gay marriage bill today on a vote of 89 – 52.

Four weeks after Governor Paterson announced plans to introduce a gay marriage bill in New York, it passed its first vote today. Since that day, when the governor called his state’s lack of gay marriage a “crisis of leadership,” many factions have weighed in. On one side, State Senator Ruben Diaz, who called for the governor’s resignation, and Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who promised an “active and present” battle. On the other side, several thousand activists who flooded the state capitol to support gay rights, many secular and sectarian groups, and the New York State populace itself, which is in support of the bill by a 53% to 39% margin.

The next stop is the Senate where it faces a tough vote.

One of the best quotes comes from Republican Joel Miller:

“I hope that I will be the first of many Republicans who stand and say I support this bill. Throughout the animal kingdom we see homosexual behavior. There was never an advantage to be gay. It’s not gay to be gay. No one knows the size of the gay community, but it includes our family… We all remember when clearly the earth was flat, the sun revolved around the earth, it had to be that way because religion told us.”

The Donald Sides with the Pretty Woman

When has Donald Trump ever denied anything to a pretty woman? Why would anyone think that he’d strip Miss California Carrie Prejean of her title, especially after getting a peek at those newly, man-made breasts?

The decision, announced at Trump’s New York headquarters Tuesday, follows several weeks of controversy ignited when Prejean, 21, declared her opposition to same-sex marriage in response to a question during the national pageant. She finished as runner-up to Miss USA.

Trump said of the pictures: “Some were very beautiful.”

Hubba, hubba.

There’s nothing wrong with a man looking at naked boobies, right, Donald? Now, when men want to look at other naked men or women want to look at other women’s naked boobies – that’s where we draw the line.

With Prejean at his side, Trump also defended the answer she gave at last month’s Miss USA pageant when asked for her views on same-sex “marriage.” Prejean said she believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. Trump says that’s “the same answer the president of the United States gave” and reflects the views of “many people.” He says Prejean “gave an honorable answer” that came “from her heart.”

And, all those who opposed interracial marriage spoke from their heart as well. It doesn’t mean they are right. Both Prejean and President Obama are wrong on this issue and history will prove it, just as it proved those who opposed interracial marriage wrong.

The issue is not whether she spoke “from her heart” but whether she violated her contract by posing for the photos and abandoning her duties by working with the National Organization for Marriage against marriage equality. State pageant officials believe she did.

But, all a pretty woman has to do is show her breasts and men like Trump start thinking with their tiny brains instead of their big brains.

Bzzzt! The Detector Goes Off Again!

So Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher has “homosexual” friends, but lets them nowhere near his children.

I won’t ask what sort of paragon of Christian morality has friends he can’t allow around his children.

Nor will I ask how many “homosexual” friends Joe the Plumber really has, because this is clearly a lie. The people of whom he speaks are about as real as the Little People of Bronze Age Ireland, or the snipe farm kids used to take their city cousins out to hunt.

But as a Christian who genuinely cares about morality, and who really does worry about The Children (and what about them, anyway?!), I must ask one question. Why do we keep letting bigots raise children?

Even Elisabeth Hasselbeck on The View has turned against the Republican Party’s brightest star.

Whether it is borne of disgust, fatigue or mere boredom, most of America seems to be turning away from the sort of ignoramus prejudice expressed by the likes of Wurzelbacher. When the most outspoken Right-Wing standardbearers in pop culture turn against them, they really are through.

Bzzzzt! There goes that detector. After years of inactivity, somebody finally replaced the battery. And now it even works against homophobia.

Change doesn’t begin in Washington D.C. It comes out of the hearts of ordinary folks around the country. God doesn’t need people like Joe the Plumber to tell “Him” what to think about “queers.” And neither — it is becoming increasingly obvious — does anybody else.

Right Wing Lies About Hate Crimes

The religious right has been running around with its hair on fire about the hate crimes bill currently working its way through Congress. Every organization has been sending out emails about how many deviant “sexual orientations” are going to be protected including pedophilia.

Right Wing Watch has done a great job at dispelling these ridiculous claims:

Like I said, religion is currently protected by existing hate crimes law and attacks targeting someone because of their real or perceived religion are subject to increased penalties – this has been the law for more than a decade.

Yet, in that time, I know of not one instance where someone in this country who has rebuffed an attempt to proselytize or spoken out against the right-wing agenda has been charged with a hate crime. In fact, I do nothing BUT rail against the right-wing agenda, so if anyone should be terrified of hate crimes laws, it should be me. But I’m not, because I know that hate crimes laws don’t shut down my right to free speech or get me tossed in jail for exercising it.

Read the entire post, it’s worth printing off and memorizing the next time some angry right winger goes off about how the bill protects pedophiles.

Marie Osmond on Marriage Equality

As a kid, I would grab the hairbrush and sing along with Donny and Marie: “I’m a little bit country – I’m a little bit rock-n-roll …” I loved the Osmonds so much – and now my love is finally returned – by Marie Osmond at least, who, surprise! has a lesbian daughter:

In an interview with Los Angeles radio station KOST 103.5 on Monday, Marie Osmond confirmed that her oldest daughter Jessica is a lesbian — calling her a “magnificent woman” and stating that she supports her daughter and believes in equal rights for gays and lesbians under the law.

Osmond’s public support of her daughter is significant, because Osmond is the highest profile Mormon thus far to come out in support of marriage equality — or at least giving gay and lesbian couples the same rights afforded to heterosexual couples.

Donny’s not so open minded, writing that he does not support marriage equality. I wonder what his neice thinks about that.

Maine Makes it Five!

The Great State of Maine has become the fifth state to recognize marriage equality for gays and lesbians! Gov. Jim Baldacci signed the legislation into law today:

“I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage,” said Baldacci, a Democrat.

But he raised the possibility that the residents of the state would overturn the law, saying, “Just as the Maine Constitution demands that all people are treated equally under the law, it also guarantees that the ultimate political power in the State belongs to the people.”

Hopefully such a thing won’t happen and Maine will remain a state that does not discriminate based on sexual orientation.

New Hampshire is considering a similar bill, and Washington, DC’s council voted to recognize same-sex marriages from other states and countries.

Gays and lesbians can now be legally married in Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont, and Maine!

All in all, it’s stacking up to be some good progress for marriage equality. Watch for the mass right wing head explosion in 3, 2, …

Church of the Poisoned Mind

The minds of many social conservatives have gotten so sick, it’s frightening. So Rep. Virginia Foxx, R. North Carolina, thinks Matthew Shepard’s brutal murder was a “hoax.” And she sees fit to say so in the presence of his mother.

What is wrong with these people? Really?

A “hoax,” perpetuated by whom? And why? How on God’s green earth can it be a “hoax?” Does that mean Matthew is not really dead?

The whole “gay people want special protections” argument just flummoxes me. I know a lot of people who say that. I must admit that I used to think so, myself. But the more I lived life as a lesbian, “out” in the big, cold world, the more the reality of our situation hit me.

No one wants — or needs — special protections. We all just want to be safe and to live at peace. Of course we do. Why shouldn’t we?

Not all of us can afford to live in a city or state where we have the political clout to secure just laws for ourselves and our families and friends. As a matter of fact, most of us probably can’t.

We don’t have to be safer than anybody else. We only want to be as safe as everybody else. But there are still a great many places in this country — too many — where state or local authorities refuse to protect us the way they do heterosexuals and those who conform to conventional gender expectations.

Federal hate crimes laws simply extend to us the same protections others already enjoy. They enable us to live in safety and peace — no matter where, in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave — we happen to live.

It’s still a crap-shoot whether we can afford to live in a place where we can legally marry for love. It should not be a crap-shoot whether we can afford to live in a place where we can merely stay alive.

I pray for the day when we no longer need hate crimes legislation to keep us safe. To suggest that there is anything wrong with our not wanting to be murdered in the meantime is nothing but a slander.

If anyone is perpetuating a hoax on the American people, it is Virginia Foxx and her gang of socially-reactionary moral midgets.

Many of these people boast about their church attendance. But the only church to which they really belong is the Church of the Poisoned Mind.