Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Movie studios threaten Georgia over "religious freedom" bill regarding gay parents

Hollywood is hitting back at Georgia for a “religious freedom” bill that would allow adoption agencies to turn away gay adoptive parents (and couples) and prospective foster parents, if based on religious grounds, without losing state money.

The Variety story is here.
Georgia has been a popular location for indoor shooting of many films, especially for Lionsgate. Also some of “Black Panther” was filmed there.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Second circuit reverses Trump on rolling back civil rights protection to gender only

The Second Circuit has ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act does include sexual orientation implicitly as part of sex in employment cases, as in the Buzz Feed LGBT story today.

The case is Zarda v. Altitude Express.

It is not yet clear that this includes gender identity.

But it would appear to obviate the need for ENDA.
The Trump administration had tried to scale back administrative protections to gender only.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Trump could make things right on transgender troops?

Thank you, New York Times, for a nice editorial , “Trump’s chance to do right by transgender troops”   It’s refreshing to see some Republican politicians who fought the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell” in 2011.
Yet the Washington Times (conservative paper) in a piece by Bradford Richardson, writes, “Growing body of movement rejects transgender movement”.  The article, however, ignores that some people really are born intersexed. 
The AMA is going to disagree with the social conservatives on this. 
The first transgender enlistee in 2018 is apparently Nicholas Talbot (Examiner story). 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Current fiasco about indictment of Russians for election meddling: the 2013 anti-gay law was an early warning shot

The recent attention to the Russian attacks on our democracy and on our style of ungated “public speech” by individuals (so criticized recently by George Soros) should remind us of the early warning that came form the 2013 anti-gay propaganda law which has even led to a few asylum cases in the U.S.

Remember, that law punished speech and public demonstrations about homosexuality, on the “fear” that such speech would further suppress the Russian birth rate.  That was a warning that Russia believes that individual public speech undermines social stability and group solidarity – a pattern we also see in China and in more successful countries like Singapore.

Of course, Russia was also playing on the pseudo-pedo issue.  At the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Putin even said “Please leave the kids alone.”  So that they’ve give him more ethnic Russian offspring when they grow up.
Picture: Georgie’s in Asbury Park, NJ, yesterday’s day trip and meeting.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Trump administration rolls back special protections for transgender students in public schools

Under the Trump administration, the Education department no longer reviews transgender student bathroom complaints in public schools, according to a Washington Post story here
The Trump administration roles back an Obama interpretation, and says that Civil Rights law applies only to biological sex when it comes to public facilities. However it encourages states and school systems to fine tune their own policies and to provide reasonable and orderly processes, under supervision, for transgender students to announce genuine gender status change.  Some states may not be willing to do this, but the federal government, unlike other civil rights issues, will not make them now.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Gay seniors often treated badly by nursing home or assisted living staff in less urban areas

Today, at an Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance Brunch at Freddie’s Beach Bar, the topic of LGBT seniors in nursing homes and assisted living came up. 
There is real concern that in northern VA, outside Arlington itself, LGBT seniors in assisted living get poor treatment by staff, often from overseas from hostile cultures.
Here’s a piece on the Elder Advocate. Note the "Teacup" at Freddie's. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Who was the most "Dangerous" gay man in America? Not Milo

Here’s a booklet-length article in Newsweek, by Eric Markowitz, “The Most Dangeours Gay Man in America”, link.

No, he’s not Milo Yiannopoulos. Quite the contrary, he was the late left-wing activist Rev. Raymond Broshears (born Earl Raymond Allen), 1935-1982, founder of the “Lavender Panthers” which defended the Tenderloin district of Sam Francisco during the days I made my first trips there after coming out a second time (like in 1975).

Wikipedia attribtution, San Francisco picture by Agunther, CCSA 3.0 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Andrew Sullivan first trashes Trump, and then destroys "intersectionality" in a spoof of the end of the cis gay male world (New York Magazine)

In a column in New York Magazine called “The Daily Intelligencer” quasi-conservative gay writer Andrew Sullivan provides us with “America Is Trapped in Trump’s Delusional World”. 

The first part is OK, but half way through Sullivan asks, Is the gay rights movement effectively over?
Also following Paul Rosenfels ‘s 1970s theory of functional decomposition by polarity, Sullivan codes DNA helices of all possible identity combinations, as if to mock identarianism and intersectionality.  Suddenly, the says that the radical Left sees love as a bourgeois concept and admits that the radical Left would drive out the white cis gay may population, which he says is the majority of the gay community.  Look at the dance floors again.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Lesbian teacher fired from Catholic school in FL after gay marriage ceremony; other teachers who attended reprimanded by school

A lesbian teacher Jocely Morffi was fired from a Miami Catholic school where she had taught first grade after getting married to a woman in a legal ceremony. USNews has a typical story. 

Several other teachers were reprimanded for attending the wedding.

The school insists that its teachers represent the teachings of the Church at all times, but even Pope Francis is said to have disagreed with the firings.
Is this what proponents of “religious freedom laws” want?

I've visited a Catholic school in northern Virginia for chess tournaments and never encountered controversy. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Washington Blade reports on Puerto Rico after Maria, including story on quick re-opening of a club

Washington Blade reporter Michael Lavers has a “short film” (4 minutes) “Driving Through Caguas” from San Juan to Ponce on Feb. 2.
Lavers spent some time in Puerto Rico right after the “Creating Change” conference in Washington, and writes in the Blade on the quick (8 days) reopening of Bear Tavern in the Ocean Park area of San Juan.
Picture: By NOAA - http://www.weather.gov/sju/maria2017, Public Domain, Link

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Gay olympic skater creates stir by refusing to talk to Pence over conversion therapy issue

Gay Olympic skater Adam Rippon turned down a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence in Pyeongchang, and Pence even tried to have the meeting anyway, but is not commenting now.
MSN has one of the media stories with USA Today Sports, here
Rippon apparently mentioned Pence’s past support of conversion therapy.

The exchange is particularly embarrassing because Pence was also trying to deal with the loss of college student Otto Warmbier, which had occurred before the escalatingPe series of missile tests in 2017.  The incident is embarrassing as the U.S. faces existential threats of eventual nuclear war with North Korea.

Gus Kenworthy is also skating. Kenworthy attracted attention in the 2014 Sochi Olympics when he adopted an abandoned mother dog and four puppies.

Pence has made strong statements warning North Korea, which plans a military “parade” tomorrow, many items of which may be fake.
On the video, I could do without Kenworthy’s tattoos.

Wikipedia attribution link   Korean Culture ministry, under CCSA 2.0.

Update:  Feb. 8

Rippon's mother appeared on CNN this morning with Chris Cuomo and indicated that Adam didn't want to be distracted during performance.  There are reports that he will be willing to meet with Pence when the Olympics are over, which has some geopolitical significance. 

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Important legal blog; notes from others on Creating Change Conference

Kenneth Jost, author of the Supreme Court Yearbook, offers a perspective “On LGBT Rights, Trump’s America Not Do Great” on his “Jost on Justice” blog .

 That’s in contrast to Trump’s toting out gay tech executive Peter Thiel at the convention, and his claim that foreign terrorists are the greatest threat to LGBTQ (he choked on the Q) people. I’d throw in North Korea. I could not imagine bringing children into the world if I lived there.

He offers some speculation on the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, noting that centrist Kennedy is quite sympathetic to First Amendment arguments (on the part of the shop owner).

He talks about Judge Gorsuch, not so much from the point of any direct hostility but simply literalism. Gorsuch is likely to rule that protection of gay rights is the job for legislatures, not the courts – which throws things back into the “tyranny of the majority” idea of decades past – except that today, the general public is a lot more sympathetic to equal rights for gay individuals – just not for recognition of gay minority status.

The Metro Weekly has 30 interviews of people who attended the LGBTQ Task Force Creating Change Conference in Washington DC, here

While many of the people interviewed talked in terms of groups (people of color), by no means everyone did, and there was at least one young white cis gay male Log Cabin Republican. Like me, he seemed more concerned about international issues and whether Trump’s behavior could endanger national security as well as compound problems down the road (climate change, lack of belief in truth). There were some straight people interviewed.  There was a comment that this year the conference did not have a forum on the problems of Palestinians in the conflict with Israel (ironic given Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem).

Zeke Stokes has an article “The Vanishing: Thanks to Trump’stabloid antics, the LGBTQ community gas been pushed to the back burner in mostmainstream media”.  The problem is you could say that about my own blogs.  I tend not to be interested in claims made at a “group” level as opposed to the actual individuals  in the group and how mainstream issues can affect “all of us” personally. 

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Rules for asylum seeker interviews change suddenly

Very recently USCIS has changed the rules as to how it will schedule asylum seekers for interviews, to more or less a LIFO process.  Usually the most recent asylum applications are heard first, now.
That could matter for LGBT asylum seekers with longstanding applications.

DC Center Global has a long piece on the issue.  There article would not expand properly in Facebook, but when I reposted it to my timeline, it did, so here is the link. 
 Please bear in mind that as I add more entries to the timeline, the CG piece will be pushed farther down. As soon as I have a more stable URL I’ll update this post and put it here.

See also my International Issues blog today for more links of a general nature.