Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
If "you" haven't heard, "The Artist" won Best Picture (LA Times has a typical story here.) Personally, I wonder if that wonderful scene where Uggie (the pooch) finds a policeman and brings him back to the fire won the prize for the film. Uggie needs a feline companion.
The party was fairly quiet, but fun. There were plenty of hors d'oeuvres, although one of them leaked on my sweater! Comcast Xfinity had some connectivity problems in the early evening.
Two "models" or "actors" were painted gold as Oscar statues, with shaved bodies and skin that looked chafed when viewed close up. One of them said that the latex paint just washes off with water afterward. I said, I would never allow that to be done to my body (especially when younger), and he asked "Why not?" What if I had been an actor? Look at what John Travolta did for "Staying Alive" or Robin Williams did for "Mrs. Doubtfire". I guess you have to go to Tribunals first. (Actually, a character does that in Oliver Stone's "JFK", the character David Ferrie, played by Joe Pesci).
I got someone to take my picture holding a small toy Oscar, because I plan to make my "Do Ask Do Tell" film (with a layer, sci-fi format) and win Best Picture.
A photographer was there from The Washington Blade. (I didn't see Metro Weekly). There was an amorous male couple on the other side of the room in the lounge that attracted the photographer's attention (and mine, but no pictures). You don't always need a dance floor!
Friday, February 24, 2012
Gingrich says its OK if the people of a state vote for gay marriage; Santorum talks about "dilution of marriage"
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Challenges to those who are different, Part II; "Outlierage": When does sexual orientation "really matter" to people, and why?
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Saturday, February 18, 2012
The article is here. It’s an odd story to occur right in the middle of one of the most critical times in the gay marriage battle.
Here is WJLA's video on the gay marriage vote in Maryland Friday night. Demonstrations on both sides in Annapolis are reported to have been heated.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Lambda Legal magazine discusses tricky issues for gay parents, and an important housing case in Hawaii; MD House OK's marriage bill, with a catch; NJ veto
The Maryland House OK'd gay marriage Friday evening, but with a caveat that probably will require voter approval. In New Jersey, Chris Christie vetoed a law, but it might get an override from the legislature. Baltimore Sun story is here. New Jersey could lose out economically if the legislature doesn't overturn the governor, as gay marriage really does generate jobs in nearby New York State.
Update 2: Feb. 24
The Maryland Senate passed the bill early Thursday evening.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Today, there was a rally for marriage equality near the Fairfax County courthouse in Fairfax VA (not technically in the county!), where Karen Rasmussen and Barb Brehm, partners for 26 years, had gone upstairs in the building to apply for a marriage license, not legal in VA because of the Marshall-Newman amendment of 2006. The court used an “old form” and was reportedly very cordial, meeting in a conference room, but said that under Virginia law there was no way to accept the application. Weather was cloudy and mild, around 50 degrees.
Monday, February 13, 2012
This refers to serious problems with anti-gay bullying in the Anoka-Hennepin school district, north of Minneapolis (along Highway 10), in a suburb and rural area that is working class and in much more difficult economic straits than the Twin Cities themselves are. The problem is reported to stem from an official “neutrality” policy where teachers and staff may not mention gay issues, called the “No Homo Promo Policy”. The tone and details reported in the Rolling Stone article are shocking.
The school district has responded, according to CBS Minnesota, in this story Feb. 6, link.
I lived in Minneapolis, downtown, from 1997-2003 and never heard of problems like this. I don't know whether schools in Minneapolis, in Hennepin County, are included in the school district, but it sounds unbelievable that this would happen in them. The Twin Cities is very much as "blue" area.
The Rolling Stone article describes what sounds like horrific harassment and assaults that a school district normally would not tolerate under any circumstances. The “right wing”, in a curious perversion of logic, blames the victims for disclosing their lifestyle, and seems to view the behavior of attackers as “free speech”.
I was a substitute teacher in northern VA 2004-2007, and we did not have a systematic problem like this as far as I could see. A few progressive schools had GS alliances. But random incidents of verbal assaults against various groups did occur, and it was very difficult for a substitute teacher to prevent them unless and commanding authority figure. One anti-Semitic slur was passed on a hidden note (pasted on another student’s back) that I could not have seen. A few schools in less prosperous areas did have problems with gang behavior in “remedial” (below standard curriculum) or special education classes.
Students behave this way because they see the world in terms of “social combat”, in which the “strongest” must prevail, and the “weakest” must accept dependency on their authority. That is a real world problem that many people, especially in lower income areas, experience and perceive where criminal and civil justice in the usual sense does not work. Some Evangelicals can manipulate this social situation and morally blame “less competitive” people for their own situation and demand obedience, shame, and “repentance”. In Biblical times, tribal societies imposed these values on everyone as a group survival strategy.
It's rather amazing to see this going on "locally" in a school district when nationally, gay marriage (and gay sin the military) is accepted as a credible mainstream issue, with a prevailing view that giving someone else the same rights you have shouldn't diminish you. (Just today, Washington State acted -- more on that soon.)
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Emma Chattin gave the sermon, "Let's Go On".
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Picture (first): a model toy stadium, 1956. We actually had a board game played with aluminum foil wads.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Picture: At Fort Eustis, VA, back in 1969, the guys would mimic "tiptoe through the tulips" and invoke the "gesture", "O go way butterfly". We called it OGAB. And this was around the time that Stonewall hit the newspapers.
Thursday, February 09, 2012
The ruling also begs a line of reasoning in some previous Supreme Court holdings, where a purported "fundamental right" needs to have a social purpose (like procreation or family) before it becomes "fundamental". That sort of thinking had infiltrated the majority in "Bowers v. Hardwick" in 1986 but went away in "Lawrence v. Texas" (2003) except for dissent.
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
I will provide a review when I am able to view it.
The trailer opens with "Rogue Culture" presents. I don't know if this company is related to "Rogue" pictures (that is, "I am Rogue", link) a well known Hollywood distributor that specializes in B-movies and in some independent "art" film (which included "Catfish"). Rogue has sponsored at least one filmmaker's contest that was advertised in AMC Theaters. I don't know if it is related to this production. Rogue the distributor is associated with NBC Universal-Focus, Relativity Media, and possibly Wolfe (which does distribute LGBT film).
Later comments say that the Ninth Circuit pointed out that California law gives same-sex couples all benefits "manually", so denial use of the legal term "marriage" seems intended to offend or injure. This argument would not mean that other states could not outlaw same-sex marriage if they also outlawed civil unions (like Virginia Marshall-Newman) so there is a poison pill in the opinion.
Same sex marriages, at such, will not start until the appeal before the Supreme Court is carried out. (I suppos there could be an en banc appeal first.)
Wikipedia attribution link for 9th Circuit building.
Monday, February 06, 2012
Remember, Colorado was the site of the Amendment 2 fight (Romer v. Evans) in the 1990s.
I don't know if is very practical for me to make this event. I'm not a skiier, and it's short notice. And the SLDN Annual Dinner in Washington DC takes place March 3.
Wikipedia attribution link for picture of Telluride downtown. I may have been there in 1973, and again in 1994.
Saturday, February 04, 2012
It's true, you can construct the "social contract" around the "common good" notion that everyone has intergenerational reponsibility at a personal level, but then the tie between sexual intercourse and responsibility for the children that come from that act is weakened, and men may feel entitled, if they're going to be held responsible (for the choices that others make) anyway. It goes back to the kind of thinking (and double standards) the days we had a male-only military draft.
Friday, February 03, 2012
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
There is a branch of the Occupy movement called “Queering OWS”, link here offering a “Occupy Guerilla Potluck for Full Equality”, link, and advice to “bring flashlights”.It has a website “Act on Principles; Turning Principles into Equality; The Pledge for Full LGBT Equality”, link here.Their email to me early February 1, 2012 from Todd Fernandez, (no url given for the content) said the following:
"New York, NY, February 1, 2012 - Queer/LGBTIQA2Z Occupy Wall Street, a caucus of the NYC based Occupy Wall Street movement, announced today that it will protest a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Gala honoring Goldman Sachs on Saturday February 4, 2012 at the Waldorf Astoria. "In contrast to the $650 a plate Gala, the Queer/LGBTIQA2Z Caucus will host a “Guerrilla Potluck” on the sidewalk outside of the prestigious hotel at 50th Street & Park Avenue from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. "The Queer Caucus: 1. Condemns HRC for honoring Goldman Sachs, 2. Calls upon HRC to adopt a strategy of Full Equality by 2014, and 3. Demands that HRC create a transparent process that includes the grassroots. "1. The Queer Caucus condemns HRC’s decision to honor Goldman Sachs in a time of financial collapse caused by their unethical business practices and greed, and deplores the use of our cause and suffering for corporate public relations. HRC honoring Goldman Sachs at this time reveals all one needs to know about the corporate LGBT lobby, and its disconnect from the 99% and the LGBT people it purports to represent. "2. The Queer Caucus calls upon HRC to embrace the grassroots demand for Full Federal Equality by 2014 – the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. After 60 years of struggle, there is still not a single federal non-discrimination law protecting LGBT Americans from discrimination. More incredibly, HRC, the corporate entity that controls our strategy, is not even seeking equal protection for our community. "To address this, the Queer Caucus calls on HRC to take The Pledge for Full LGBT Equality to seek and secure full non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identify for all people. "The right to be protected from discrimination secures a core liberty interest. And it is the duty of government to protect LGBT Americans from the harm caused by discrimination as a matter of public welfare, law and conscience, as it has for decades for all other oppressed groups. "As HRC restrains the demand for equality, discrimination takes its insidious toll on LGBT Americans who suffer vast psychological harm rejected by their families and society, driven to suicide at 5 times the heterosexual norm by tormenting, minority stress afflictions, and lost hope. "A whopping 40% of homeless youth identity as LGBT, 66% of Transgender people have been fired or not hired for a job, 60% of our youth are taunted and feel unsafe at school, and LGBT people are 6x more likely to have multiple mental stress disorders due to societal discrimination. "Homo/transphobia in America is a public health and economic emergency for our community” said Michael Tikile, an occupier and Duke University graduate. “We are not safe in school, work or housing. How are we supposed to live, pursue happiness or achieve economic equality?” "3. The Queer Caucus also demand that HRC open the process with transparency and grassroots inclusion. "Currently, HRC operates under a closed, hierarchical system, controlled by a financial elite, insulated from grassroots input. Likewise, in Congress, Democrat House members Barney Frank, Jared Polis and Tammy Baldwin, keep the grassroots out of the conversation, protecting the DNC strategy from movement agitation and impact. "With this structure in place, queer occupiers know that only a handful of privileged voices are setting the national queer agenda and strategy, defining what “LGBT equality” means and who our friends are. "For example, HRC's key sponsors includes a long list of big businesses that contributed to recent economic and environmental distress, including Citi Bank, Bank of America, Chevron, BP, Shell, Morgan Stanley, MetLife, Deloitte, Lexus, Prudential, and Ernst & Young. “With all of these companies, you’d expect the power to be on our side! But instead, our community is simply a tool and pawn in the political system” said Tanya Walker, an original occupier and tireless transgender activist. "Simply put, the Queer Caucus demands equal non-discrimination protections under the 1964 Civil Rights Act because equality is the only true antidote to LGBT abuse - like it has proven to be for race, sex, national origin, religion, age and disability – long protected from discrimination by law. "Equality and non-discrimination are universal values that define basic human dignity” said Todd (Tif) Fernandez, a human rights lawyer and grassroots activist.“It is our civic duty as Americans to protect and respect the LGBT community immediately.”
I was in NYC Dec 1-2 and when I was there Zuccotti Park was mostly empty.