Friday, July 21, 2017

Unite Virginia with (Q Virginia) offers glossy magazine on gay weddings in the Old Dominion

At an AGLA social at the Hilton Garden Inn in Alexandria, VA, I picked up a glossy issue of “Q Virginia” aka “Unite Virginia” (June 3), Jun 2017.  The inside front cover calls itself “The Q Guidebook 2017-2017”.

Most of the issue is devoted to gay weddings in Virginia. On p. 6, publisher Justin Ayars offers his own letter, followed by an editorial “WhyQ Weddings?” by Jesse LaVancher. 

Later there is a QA page by Gretchen Gales, and then two book reviews.  One of these is for “Before I Do: A Legal Guide to Marriage, Gay and Otherwise” by Elizabeth E. Schwartz and Jim Obergefell (Afterword), review y Terri Schlicjenmeyer, who then reviews “The Art of the Affair: An Illustrated History of Love, Sex, and Artistic Infleunce, and one more review of “Raising the Transgender Child” by Dr. Michele Angello and Alisa Bowman.

On p. 50 Mr. Ayars offers an exclusive interview with Gavin Grimm.  I did get an inquiry to do this myself by email (which led to a discussion about press credentials).   

Soon I will review the massive book by Nathaniel Frank, “Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America”.

The May 2017 AGLA News has a piece by Andrew Huggins on “Three Ways to Use Social Media to Spread Your Message”  The third point challenges the writer to ask himself “So what?” or “Who cares?”  That may relate to activism, or to publications (or blogs) that are directed to specific populations and not as “general commentary”.  Note AGLA’s anti-bullying link.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Gay pastor from Nigeria visits Foundry Methodist in Washington

Michael Lavers reports on the visit of a gay Nigerian minister to Foundry United Methodist Church near Dupont Circle in Washington DC in the Blade, story here. 

The pastor is Rev. Jide Macaulay, who has also led a “straight” married life and produced a son.
He had also two men from South Africa in his home in London, when he was introduced to MCC London (which I attended once, in 1982).

He described the deteriorating climate in many sub-Saharan African countries since the middle 2000’s when Nigeria passed its vitriolic anti-gay law, prohibiting gays from meeting, disguised as an anti-gay marriage law. He described a world of violence and kidnappings. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

DC Center Global publishes new call for housing assistance

DC Center Global has posted, effective early July 13, another request for hosting housing assistance in the Washington DC area. The details are in this post on the Facebook page here.  Similar stories had appeared in the Washington Blade and were reported here in August and October 2016.

I have considered the possibility of hosting, but at the present time I am considering the possibility of selling the inherited trust house that I am in.  This could mean relocation out of the DC area this fall. 

 I will need to examine this opportunity thoroughly before I could look at hosting activities again.  It is discussed on my main blog (“BillBoushka” on the Blogger profile) on July 5, 2017.  I can’t really say anything further right now about this, but I will inform everyone of my plans as various issues are resolved in the next two months or so.  

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Fairfax County Public Schools Pride holds picnic; many local political candidates ask for support

Fairfax County Public Schools Pride held a picnic I Vienna Virginia today in Nottoway Park in Vienna VA south of Tysons.

There were many speakers discussing local elections including school board.  There was frank discussion of the need for partisanship and conventional activism, including door-to-door.  There is a transgender candidate for the House of Delegates.

There are more video clips on Wordpress here.

Friday, July 14, 2017

"Do No Harm Act" would pretty much nullify RFRA

Lambda Legal describes a “Do No Harm” Act proposed by Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-MA) and Bobby Scott (D-VA), which would mediate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by not allowing denial of goods and services in public accommodations or imposition of religious beliefs by businesses open to the public.

It would narrow the circumstances where the RFRA could be used.

And the Washington Blade reports that Jeff Sessions will walk a tightrope on issuing DOJ policy on how religious freedom may be claimed by businesses.

In the meantime, the Trump administration has had almost nothing to say about LGBT issues, although it maintains that they do not need specialized focus from the White House.

On the other hand, Lambda Legal also noted a few potential Trump appointees with past statements wanting the ability to roll back gay marriage and even sodomy law repeal at the constitutional level.
Private organizations and generally mainstream faith groups (doing missions, summer camps, etc)  have gradually adjusted to the idea of gay equality among emerging adults, although trans is more difficult.  Mainstream churches are more likely to look at the behavior of international charities.  One church dissociated itself from World Vision and picked a different charity for its 30 hour famine events.  And, for example, I know of gay teens in Eagle Scouts without any difficulties.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

MO Hartzler introduces bill to ban transition care for transgender troops; House narrowly votes it down

Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), following her rant about LGBT people in the military (not just trans) has introduced a bill or amendment denying transition care to transgender troops. The text for the amendment is here.

The Blade has a story by Chris Johnson. 
HRC’s story and petition by AaronRodriquez is here.

The Washington Post weighed in on Mattis’s delay on implementing accession to transgender recruits Wednesday here. Mattis understandably needs a laser focus on North Korea right now. 


Lambda Legal reports that the measure is coming up for a vote.

Update: July 14

The House narrowly rejected Hartzler's amendment to the Defense Authorization Act, Blade story

Friday, July 07, 2017

Could Union Market be a good stable location for a replacement for Town DC in 2018?

A walk through Union Market in Washington DC, NE, near the NOMA Metro stop and near the Amtrak train lines, showed me a lot of possible space for a new club after Town closes on July 1. 2018.

There are lots of industrial buildings.  It looks like there is open-air parking.

So maybe this is a logical place for Town to look. You'd have to add security and make sure parking was sufficient and open all night.

The area is remarkable for being low-rise and industrial in a city of high density and high rentals.  It has the look of similar industrial areas in Queens of NYC (as around Jamaica or Long Island City).

Gallaudet University is nearby.

I was there today at the Angelika Pop-Up, which I think is supposed to expand.

The Blade has an op-ed about Town's future and gentrification, here.  See the comments. 

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

South Africa has a decent LGBT asylum program; Congress condemns purges in Chechnya

DC Center Global posted a story about South Afirca’s assistance for LGBT asylum seekers and refugees.  Some asylum seekers would have entered the country from the more troubled countries to the north. The article did not specifically discuss hosting.  The services are extended by Gateway Health.

South Africa, however, has more problems with violence and “self-defense” than the U.S. does.

But this is a far cry from the ABC Nightline shows in the 1980s about South Africa under apartheid.
Here’s a new report on anti-gay attitudes in Africa, which are more nuanced that other sources (like Pew) say.

The US Congress has passed a resolution to condemn anti-gay purges in Chechnya.

Also, today, Log Cabin Republicans put out a Nations Birthday card on Twitter.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Pentagon wants to delay allowing transgender people to enlist; MO GOP congresswoman wants DADT for transgender

The US military service chiefs are asking for more time to provide the capability to allow transgender soldiers to enlist.  But the final decision will rest with Mattis.

However those in the service may serve openly.

CNN has a news story here but the Washington Post featured it as breaking news Friday afternoon.

The service chiefs seem more comfortable now with cis-gender gay soldiers than they had been two decades ago.

Aaron Belkin at the Palm Center at UCSB (Santa Barbara) called it "don't ask don't tell for transgender troops" in own op-ed.

Kristin Beck had been a Navy seal before becoming a woman.  There are times that transgender or fluid people are particularly valuable in intelligence operations.

The Washington Blade has a more detailed story by Chris Johnson, including a proposal by Rep. Vicki Hartzler (R-MO) to resume a ban on openly transgender in the military, in DADT fashion, possibly as part of the defense authorization bill (is what happened in 1993 with the original DADT policy).