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Archives – November, 2010

VIDEO: Harvey Milk was assassinated 32 years ago today

By Eden James

On this day in 1978, Harvey Milk and San Francisco mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White.

For those in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Annual Milk-Moscone Memorial March will take place at 6 p.m. The vigil will last one hour and the march will begin at the Castro Muni station (Castro & Market Streets) at 6:45 p.m.

According to the SF Sentinel, speakers include:

Cleve Jones, Founder, Names Project, and friend of Harvey
Harry Britt, former Supervisor, and friend of Harvey
David Campos, SF Supervisor
Carol Migden, former State Senator
Tom Ammiano, State Assembly member

Whether you’re able to attend or not, watch the “You’ve got to give ’em HOPE” video of one of Harvey’s most famous speeches. This speech was the “It Gets Better” of its time. Share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter today…

… and let us know in the comments your thoughts on the meaning of this day, given how far the LGBT community has come and far it has to go.

21 Comments November 27, 2010

You know what? Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher are right.

P8TT community member Linda Liles reads NOM’s blog so you don’t have to. Here are her thoughts, post-Thanksgiving. — Eden

By Linda Liles

I confess, I actually ventured onto the NOM website and read Brian Brown’s Thanksgiving blog post… and the 2 comments in response.

Here’s my impression of our opposition. They cannot support their stance using our Constitution; so
they use their Bible as a trump card. The implication is if it’s a ‘Biblical Truth’ it is above Constitutional
law. They cast themselves as both heroes and martyrs. They are the Christian Soldiers of the twenty-
first century; they are our true American Patriots. Noble is a word used frequently to describe their ilk.
Their ability to love their enemy while striking them down is admirable; Godly. Nothing will be allowed
to threaten their family; they sacrifice themselves daily to protect their loved ones, their descendants,
their fellow Americans from the threat of… of…

… of what?

  • The threat of other Americans enjoying their full rights as citizens without conforming to Brian
    Brown’s belief system.
  • The threat of all adults enjoying their freedom to choose who they wish to marry.
  • The threat of the public discovering that the children of same-sex couples do just fine.
  • The threat that the truth of who LGBTs are will become known.
  • The threat that LGBTs will actually come out of their closets and live their lives freely, openly
    and without shame or apology….and the public will accept them.

And life will go on. No catastrophes, no fire and brimstone, no supernatural punishments or

That’s the fear. That’s what makes Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher, James Dobson and John McCain shudder: the very valid fear that the more the American people learn about LGBTs the more they will embrace them/us.

And you know what? They’re right.

61 Comments November 26, 2010

NOM’s Rhode Island strategy: Incoherence

Cross-posted at Waking Up Now.

by Rob Tisinai

Christopher Plante, who heads up NOM’s Rhode Island franchise, says:

The National Organization for Marriage- Rhode Island is disappointed that Governor-elect Chafee… refuses to listen to the voice of over 80% of Rhode Islanders who want the right to vote on marriage. It is clear that Governor-elect Chafee intends to put fringe issues and radical politics over saving Rhode Islanders jobs and securing a prosperous future for our State.  NOM – Rhode Island will work with Rhode Islanders to demand their right to vote on marriage, and demand that the Governor-elect sticks to the business of getting Rhode Island back on the right economic track.  We are confident that the majority of Assembly-women and men know there are more important things to deal with and we will support their efforts to push for a referendum. [emphasis added]

Wait — did NOM just call same-sex marriage a fringe issue? Does that mean NOM considers itself a fringe group?

NOM-RI’s blog offers this:

Rhode Island’s recovery from its economic disaster is forecast to lag well behind the rest of the country.  In these dire fiscal conditions Governor-elect Chafee and the new Rhode Island Assembly must focus all of their energy on saving our State’s economy.  Gridlock inducing social experiments such as homosexual-marriage will only bog down our government and take away from the energy and ideas needed to bring Rhode Island and Rhode Islanders back to prosperity.

This is particularly crucial given the economic morass that Rhode Island still faces; this is no time to bog down our State government with an issue that impacts less than 5 percent of the population.

Let me see if I can sum up NOM’s position:

Same-sex marriage is a fringe issue affecting only a tiny fraction of Rhode Island’s population, so instead of having the State Assembly deal with it we’ll open it up for a vote by the entire population of the state, because a state-wide ballot with campaigns and stump speeches and television commercials and millions of dollars in fundraising is the best way to direct energy and ideas away from same-sex marriage and toward creating jobs in Rhode Island.

That’s utterly incoherent.  Given the history of such initiatives, it makes no sense to argue that —

Oh.  Wait.  Did I just mention something about “millions of dollars in fundraising”?

Suddenly NOM’s Rhode Island strategy makes a bunch more sen$e.

115 Comments November 25, 2010

Senate DADT hearings scheduled for early next week

by Andy Kelley
New Media Organizer, Courage Campaign

The Washington Blade is reporting that the Senate will hold hearings on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy early next week.

This report comes after several key leaders within the Senate have indicated a desire to hold hearings on how best to move forward with ending DADT. These hearings are widely considered a positive step forward towards ending DADT, and an important next step procedurally in the Senate as congressional leaders prepare to respond to the Pentagon’s study on the matter.

As the Washington Blade Reports:

For the Dec. 2 hearing, the witnesses are set to include Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen as well as the co-chairs of the Pentagon working group: Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon’s general counsel, and Gen. Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Army Europe…

On Dec. 3, the committee is set to hear testimony from Vice-Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright and the military service chiefs: Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey; Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead; Marine Corps Gen. James Amos; and Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz.

Of those scheduled to testify, Secretary Gates and Adm. Mullen have already expressed their strong support for repealing DADT and both men believe legislative action is the appropriate means by which to do so.

Air force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz and Adm. Gary Roughead have expressed similar positive thoughts in light of their knowledge of the Pentagon study, due to Congress at the end of the month.

46 Comments November 24, 2010

NOM Opposing civil unions in IL: “We just don’t like the gays”

Cross posted at NOM Exposed

By Kevin Nix

Of course, we already knew the National Organization for Marriage isn’t fond of the LGBT community. But they just ratcheted things up by making a play in Illinois, where a civil unions bill is coming up for a vote soon. (See their action alert urging their people to write Illinois lawmakers asking them to vote ‘no’ on the bill.)

The bill would allow same-sex couples to enter into a legal civil union in the state; it does not provide for same-sex marriages. An overwhelming 2/3 of Illinoisans support either civil unions or marriage equality.

We’ve heard Brian Brown say before he doesn’t support civil unions. But now they’re actively campaigning against them. NOM is hell bent on blocking any and all recognition for LGBT couples.

HRC continues to mobilize our members in Illinois to make sure legislators hear their support for the bill that Representative Greg Harris, Equality Illinois, and others have been working on for years.

116 Comments November 23, 2010

BREAKING: DOJ to appeal Witt reinstatement order in DADT case

by Andy Kelley
New Media Organizer, Courage Campaign

In breaking news, the Department of Justice has filed an appeal to the trial judges order in Witt v. Department of Air Force that Witt be reinstated into the service.

As Chris Geidner at Metro Weekly reports:

On Sept. 24, U.S. District Court Ronald Leighton ruled that the Air Force’s discharge of Witt under DADT violated her constitutional rights. He wrote:

[T]he Court concludes that DADT, when applied to Major Margaret Witt, does not further the government’s interest in promoting military readiness, unit morale and cohesion. If DADT does not significantly further an important government interest … it cannot be necessary to further that interest …. Application of DADT therefore violates Major Witt’s substantive due process rights under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. She should be reinstated at the earliest possible moment.

In October, the Department of Justice opposed Witt’s request for costs, in part, because “Defendants’ time for noticing an appeal of the Court’s September 24, 2010 decision does not expire until November 23, 2010, and, accordingly, this matter has not been finally resolved in plaintiff’s favor.”

This is truly a step in the wrong direction by the Obama Administration, especially in light of the President’s public statements last week renewing his commitment to ending the ban.

The DOJ motion can be viewed in its entirety here:

[scribd id=43809545 key=key-14hyir5p3zocb3v2gxf1 mode=list]

57 Comments November 23, 2010

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