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All Things Queer:
GRADUATION SPEECH CANCELLED
Speaker is Gay
A successful television producer says that an
informal invitation to speak at his northern Arkansas high school’s
commencement ceremonies this year was rescinded because he is gay.
Bryant Huddleston, who has produced “E! News” and “Access Hollywood” and
who is currently working on a new show for Bravo, wrote a letter to
Superintendent Mitch Walton criticizing the decision to withdraw its
offer to speak at his sister’s graduation from Sloan-Hendrix High
School. Huddleston graduated from the school in 1990 and his father
heads its five-member school board.
“I’m curious," Huddleston asked Walton, "Did you think my speech would
have focused on recruiting youngsters and passing out Go Straight to
Gay cards over sharing the tools that I used to achieve success?”
High School Cancels Graduation Speech
Because Speaker is Gay
Obama Mentions LGBT Rights
"Our journey is not complete until our
gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law."
President Obama didn't just make history by
becoming the first president to refer to "our gay brothers and sisters"
in an inaugural address. Of course, that alone was a stunner -- he put
gay rights on the agenda for his second term in a way that no other
president had committed to before -- but by referring specifically to
the Stonewall riots of 1969 in the same sentence as Seneca Falls and
Selma, he put the LGBT rights struggle within the context of the great
civil rights movements in American history.
Standing before Republican leaders, who are fighting against gay rights;
the Supreme Court, which will be deciding on gay rights this year; and
the American people, who are fast embracing gay rights, the president
made it clear that there is no separating LGBT rights from the struggles
for equality by women and people of color. The following passage, in
which the president casts the individuals who stood up to the police at
the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village gay bar that was raided in the
summer of '69 -- the drag queens and the lesbians, the gay men and the
transgender people -- as our "forebears," is truly amazing and powerful:
We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths, that all
of us are created equal, is the star that guides us still, just as it
guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall,
just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left
footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot
walk alone, to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is
inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.
And by proclaiming that "our journey is not complete until our gay
brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law," and
that "the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well," the
president challenged all Americans to support marriage equality.
(From Huffington Post, Gay Voices)
History-Making Gay Rights Inaugural Speech
President Obama's Inauguration Speech
Video & Text: Richard
Blanco Reads Inauguration Poem
Letter to President Obama
from a Gay Family
Transcript: President Obama's Inauguration Speech
CBS News Video: President Obama's Second
CNN: Obama Sworn in Again
Alabama Reaction to President Obama's Speech
National LGBT Reports
In Memory of PFLAG Founder Jeanne Manford
Gay Men’s Chorus of Los
Angeles: Dedication to Sandy Hook Victims
Time Mag: Pres Obama
Reflects on LGBT Progress
Barney Frank: Reflection
on Current Political LGBT Issues
LGBTQ Nation: National Headlines and News Reports
The State of Equality &
Asking About Sexual Orientation
Henry Rollins on LGBT
She’s Marrying Her
Services Denied: Anti-Gay
Tour Company in Maryland
Military Couples and Their
New York Times: Generation LGBTQIA
NEWT GINGRICH REFLECTS
Legalized Gay Marriage
On gay marriage, meanwhile, Gingrich argued that Republicans could no
longer close their eyes to the course of public opinion. While he
continued to profess a belief that marriage is defined as being between
a man and a woman, he suggested that the party (and he himself) could
accept a distinction between a "marriage in a church from a legal
document issued by the state" -- the latter being acceptable.
"I think that this will be much more difficult than immigration for
conservatism to come to grips with," he said, noting that the debate's
dynamics had changed after state referenda began resulting in the
legalization of same-sex marriage. "It is in every family. It is in
every community. The momentum is clearly now in the direction in finding
some way to ... accommodate and deal with reality. And the reality is
going to be that in a number of American states -- and it will be more
after 2014 -- gay relationships will be legal, period."
Stepping back from the political, Gingrich noted that he has a personal
stake in the gay marriage debate. His half-sister works at the Human
Rights Campaign. He has gay friends who've gotten married in Iowa. The
once compared same-sex marriage to paganism
is now worried that the Republican Party could find itself trapped in a
bygone era on the matter.
"I didn't think that was inevitable 10 or 15 years ago, when we passed
the Defense of Marriage Act," he said. "It didn't seem at the time to be
anything like as big a wave of change as we are now seeing."
Newt Gingrich Interview
Reply to Ten Year Old Girl
Ten-year-old Sophia Bailey Klugh penned a letter to President Barack
Obama in which she told the president how happy she is that he agrees
with her on the topic of marriage equality. You see, young Sophia has
two dads. She went on to ask the president an important question:
I am so glad that you agree two men can love each other because I have
two dads and they love each other, but at school kids think that it's
gross and weird, but it really hurts my heart and feelings.... If you
were me and you had two dads that loved each other and kids at school
teased you about it, what would you do?
President Obama sent a reply to Sophia and took some of his important
time to share a little advice with a little girl:
Thank you for writing me such a thoughtful letter about your family.
Reading it made me proud to be your president and even more hopeful
about the future of our nation.
In America, no two families look the same. We celebrate this diversity.
And we recognize that whether you have two dads or one mom what matters
above all is the love we show one another. You are very fortunate to
have two parents who care deeply for you. They are lucky to have such an
exceptional daughter in you.
Our differences unite us. You and I are blessed to live in a country
where we are born equal no matter what we look like on the outside,
where we grow up, or who our parents are. A good rule is to treat others
the way you hope they will treat you. Remind your friends at school
about this rule if they say something that hurts your feelings.
Thanks again for taking the time to write me. I'm honored to have your
support and inspired by your compassion. I'll be sure to tell Sasha and
Malia you say hello.
Obama Responds to Young Girl’s Heartfelt Letter
About Her Dads
ANTI-GAY ATTACKS IN NYC
Assaults at Local
September 26, 2012
A 44-year-old man has been arrested on
charges of hate-crime assault for the antigay slashing last week of a
22-year-old man in a McDonald’s in the West Village.
Keith Patron, of the Bronx, got into an
argument with a man inside the restaurant at 136 West Third Street, made
antigay statements and cut him on the elbow, face, back and neck with a
razor. The victim was transgender and that the attacker told him he was
“going to the wrong bathroom” before assaulting him.
The same McDonald’s was the scene of an
attack last year in which a 26-year-old man walked out of the restaurant
and was brutally beaten. A different man was charged with that attack.
NY Times: Man Charged with Hate Crime After
New York Neighborhood News: Man Slashed in Local
New York Neighborhood News: Man Attacked at West
REMEMBERING MARK BINGHAM
10 Year Anniversary of
Sept 11 Terrorist Attacks
September 11, 2011
Mark Bingham,31, a gay passenger on United
Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania,
helped to thwart the plane's hijackers.
September 16 is officially designated Mark
Bingham Day in San Francisco.
died Sept. 11,
lives. Just how
many will never
gay rugby player
was one of the
led a revolt
Flight 93. The
planned to slam
the plane into
the White House
or the U.S.
according to the
crashed into a
Pa., killing the
passengers – but
-- her only
issues that were
important to her
son. Now 61, the
is a proponent
that the World
Trade Center and
Bingham – along
Jeremy Glick –
game plan of
the phone calls.
All four men
225 lbs., and
6-foot-2 and was
high school and
6-foot-3, was a
ability to think
strength, made a
hitting one of
really made a
America on that
day,” she says.
That’s one of
Bingham Cup -- a
the “World Cup
of gay rugby,”
as she describes
feels the sport
helped shape her
son into the
became, and she
wants others to
enjoy the sport
as much as
Bingham did. The
cup started in
2002 with less
than 10 teams.
Now, 40 to 50
happening in the
and the United
Francisco Fog, a
found in 2001,
gave Hoagland a
“I may have
lost a son but
I’ve gained a
very huge family
and it makes me
feel good every
time I see
them,” she says.
Unexpected Legacy Left by
Sept 11 Hero
Mark Bingham's Phone Call
from Flight 93
United Heroes: Mark
Tribute to Mark Bingham
Angelfire: Sept 11 Gay
Victims & Heroes
Wikipedia: Mark Bingham
Gay Bears: Mark Bingham
Bingham: Real American Hero
FATHER MYCHAL JUDGE
The Saint of September 11
September 11, 2011
Also among the openly Gay people known dead at the World
Trade Center is New York Fire Department Catholic chaplain Father Mychal
Judge. Judge, 68, was killed while ministering to a fallen firefighter
at Ground Zero. Judge's helmet was presented to the Pope, and Judge was
chosen Grand Marshall of the 2002 Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade.
There is also an initiative to elevate Fr. Mychal to sainthood. In
June 2002, the president signed the Mychal Judge Act, granting federal
money to certain survivors of victims of 9/11, including same-sex
Saint Mychal Judge
Wikipedia: Father Mychal Judge
About Father Mychal
ANTI-GAY RANT BY SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER
Apologizes and Resigns Over FaceBook
November 1, 2010
Clint McCance, a school board district member in Arkansas who
came under fire for an anti-gay post on the
networking site, regrets his comments and will
resign his seat, he told CNN's Anderson Cooper
"I'm sorry I've hurt people with my comments,"
Clint McCance, vice-president of the Midland
School District in Pleasant Plains, Arkansas
said. "I'm sorry I made those ignorant comments
and hurt people on a broad spectrum."
McCance wrote on his personal Facebook page that
he wanted gay people to commit suicide,
according to The Advocate, an LGBT news
McCance used the terms "queer" and "fag"
repeatedly, promised to disown his own children
if they are gay and stated that he enjoys "the
fact that [gay people] give each other AIDS and
a fag doesn’t give you the right to ruin the
rest of our lives… If you get offended by being
called a fag, don’t tell anyone you’re a fag… It
pisses me off that we make a special purple fag
day for them. I like that fags can’t
"I would never support suicide for any kids," he
said. "I don't support bullying of any kids."
"I'd like to extend apologies to those families
that have lost children, for all those children
who feel that suicide is the only way out,
especially for the five families who have
already lost children," he said, referring to a
rash of recent suicides by gay teens. "I brought
more hurt on them... they didn't deserve that
and I do feel genuinely bad for them."
Though he disapproves of homosexuality, McCance
said that "I give everyone a chance and try to
McCance said that he has received an outpouring
of criticism over his comments, including
"thousands of phone calls, hate mails, people
threatening to kill my family and me."
He said he has sent his wife and two kids out of
the state because of fears for their safety and
that he is installing a security system at his
"I'm reaping what I've sown," he told CNN. "I've
had a lot of hate speech thrown at me and my
family on every level."
He said he would resign from the school board to
spare the district the bad press and
distractions of dealing with the fallout from
his comments. "If they decide after five or ten
years to vote me back in, then I'll run again,"
Anderson Cooper Report:
School Board Member Quits Over Anti-Gay Post
Anderson Cooper Blog: Read
Report and View Video
CCN: School Board Member
Resigns Over Anti-Gay Remarks on FaceBook
USA Today: School Board
Member Quits After Anti-Gay Comments
On Top Mag: Protest Over
She Wired: Gay Bashing
Daily Mail: Clint McCance
Arkansas News: We're Sorry
George Takei's Humorous
Response to Clint McCance
GAY GEORGIA TEEN GOES TO
School Allows Him to Bring His
Derrick Martin, a senior at
Bleckley County High School
in Cochran, Georgia, was
permitted by school
officials to take his
boyfriend, Richard Goodman,
to the prom. But the
divided his small town,
prompted his parents to kick
out their only child, and
even resulted in death
threats for the
Martin, an honor student who
tutors at-risk elementary
and middle school students
after school, knew the move
would be controversial for
the rural town of 5,200
officials said there was no
policy against bringing a
same-sex date to the prom.
Pipkin said: "Students are
allowed to bring their date
to prom. There’s nothing in
our policy that says who the
Some of Martins classmates
were supportive, others were
not. Some members of
the community expressed
favor while others expressed
Macon Telegraph reports:
"When Martin, 18, and his
boyfriend Richard Goodman,
also 18, stepped onto a
makeshift 'red carpet' and
their names were announced,
a few parents whispered but
many in the crowd gave him a
loud cheer. No one yelled
out in protest. 'I wonder if
they realize what they’ve
done,' said Arturro Beeche,
a San Francisco professor
who flew into Georgia on
Friday and drove Martin and
Goodman to the prom. 'Once
it happens in small-town
America, it will inspire so
many,' he said."
Martin's parents, who
already knew their son was
gay, kicked him
out of the house
after news broke that he was
taking a gay date to his
prom. Their religious views
and the increased publicity
prompted their actions.
MISSISSIPPI HIGH SCHOOL
After Lesbian Student's Date
county school board announced Wednesday it
would cancel its upcoming prom after a gay
student petitioned to bring a same-sex date
to the event.
"Due to the
distractions to the educational process caused
by recent events, the Itawamba County School
District has decided to not host a prom at
Itawamba Agricultural High School this year,"
school board members said in a statement.
an 18-year-old senior at Itawamba, recently
challenged a school policy prohibiting her from
bringing her girlfriend as her date to the April
McMillen, who is a
lesbian, and the Mississippi chapter of the
Civil Liberties Union urged
school officials to reverse the policy both on
McMillen's choice of date and attire. She also
wanted to wear a tuxedo to the dance.
attorney Christine Sun said her organization
receives requests for help every year from
students facing anti-gay prom policies. The
complaints are especially prevalent in the South
where attitudes toward sexuality are more
conservative, she said.
announcement, the school board encouraged the
community to organize a private prom. "It is our
hope that private citizens will organize an
event for the juniors and seniors. "We sincerely
apologize for any inconvenience this causes
anyone," the statement concluded.
was also banned from the school yearbook for
wearing a tuxedo on picture day. She said, "it's
a small town in Mississippi, and it's run by an
older generation with money. Most of them are
more conservative and they don't agree with
USA Today: Mississippi
Prom Cancel After Lesbian Date Request
Mississippi High School Prom Cancelled After
Lesbian Date Request
AMERICAN BAR ASSN BACKS GAY MARRIAGE
California voters have adopted a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, The Associated Press reported, joining voters in two other states who went to the polls in the last national election to overturn such unions.
Elections returns showed that the same-sex marriage ban initiative known as Proposition 8 won 52 percent of the vote. Some provisional and absentee ballots remained to be counted, but based on trends and the locations of outstanding votes, the initiative’s margin of support was secure, according to the A.P.
In Massachusetts, meanwhile, a proposal to eliminate the state income tax was rejected as voters nationwide considered a wealth of ballot initiatives.
Voters in 36 states weighed in on 153 ballot measures, including 59 initiated by citizens. Colorado had 14 ballot questions, more than any other state, including whether to ban race- and gender-based affirmative action. Early results showed that proposal would not pass, nor another that would define human life as beginning at fertilization, effectively giving fertilized eggs the same constitutional rights and protections as people.
Only three states this year had ballots that included bans on same-sex marriage, compared with 8 in 2006 and 11 in 2004.
The ban passed in all three states — the other two being Florida and Arizona — but its success in California, a trend-setter in so many arenas, was seen as major defeat for gay rights activists.
A total of $73 million was spent on the race there, a record for a ballot measure on a social issue, resulting in incessant television and radio commercials from both sides. Advocates of the ban played up their belief that without it, children could be taught about gay marriage in schools, while opponents likened approval to denying fundamental civil rights.
The measure came only months after California’s highest court ruled it constitutional, spurring thousands of gay couples to marry there.
“We pick ourselves up and trudge on,” said Kate Kendall, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “There has been enormous movement in favor of full equality in eight short years. That is the direction this is heading, and if it’s not today or it’s not tomorrow, it will be soon.”
Opponents of same-sex marriage had expressed hope that a convention could lead to a ballot initiative to ban the practice, which the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled legal last month.
Connecticut is the third state, after Massachusetts and California, to allow marriage between people of the same sex.
Early results showed voters in Arkansas supporting a proposal to ban unmarried couples from adopting or acting as foster parents, which critics said was unfairly aimed at gay men and lesbians.
(From Archibold & Goodnough, New York Times)
Read various news reports on the California Gay Marriage Ban:
New York Times
Google News Reports
MAYOR & GOVERNOR COMMENT
Two Videos Worth
Jerry Sanders Video
View the YouTube video of San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders
discussing his personal journey to becoming a supporter of marriage equality
Arnold Schwarzenegger Video
View the YouTube video of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vowing to fight anti-gay legislation
ELLEN DEGENERES SPEAKS OUT
Remembering Murdered Gay Teen
"It is okay if you
and old, men
at the Santa
an Oxnard boy who was shot and killed
Ellen Degeneres took
a moment on her show
was shot and killed
who he'd asked to be
his Valentine, on
Ellen got choked up
discussing it and
made a plea to stop
the hate. "Larry is
not a second-class
citizen. I am not a
citizen. It is okay
if you are gay."
She also made a call
for voters to look
at the candidates
extra closely this
election season. "We
must change our
country. We can do
it with our
behavior... We can
do it with our
vote... Fight hate."
Ellen Show You Tube
MORMON CHURCH SUPPORTS GAY RIGHTS
Salt Lake City Passes Gay Rights Laws
November 11, 2009
for the first time
has announced its
support of gay
an endorsement that
for Salt Lake City
against gays in
support ahead of
Tuesday night's vote
came despite its
to gay marriage,
reflected in the
high-profile role it
played last year in
measure that barred
because they are
fair and reasonable
and do not do
violence to the
director of public
The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day
Passage made Salt
Lake City the first
Utah community to
prohibit bias based
the two new
ordinances, it is
illegal to fire
someone from their
job or evict someone
from their residence
because they are
gay or transgender.
lawmakers tend to
quickly fall in line
when the influential
church makes a rare
could have broad
reaching effects in
where more than 80%
of lawmakers and the
governor are church
tonight I do believe
is a historic
event," said Brandie
Balken, director of
the gay rights
Equality Utah. "I
think it establishes
that we can stand
together on common
ground that we don't
have to agree on
there are lot of
things that we can
work on and be
the church has
pointed out an
inherent dispute it
has with the gay
marriages central to
God's plan. Gays are
welcome in church,
but must remain
celibate to retain
church callings and
strong support for
Proposition 8 in
California last year
drew a sharp
reaction from gay
outside temples that
singled out Mormons
as the key culprits
in restricting the
rights of gay
Utah's gay community
has sought to engage
church leaders in
to help foster
of the Utah Pride
never come to be
while I was here in
Salt Lake City,"
said Larabee, adding
that the discussions
have "shifted her
what's possible" and
could foreshadow a
the two sides.
council on Tuesday,
Otterson said the
endorsement is not a
shift in the
church's position on
gay rights and
stressed it "remains
of marriage between
a man and a woman."
Church support for
the ordinances is
due in part to the
way the legislation
was drafted to
in the legislation
allow churches to
of conduct or rules.
ordinances, the city
that should be
crucial rights of
protections for the
gay community did
not contain those
although this was
the church's first
legislation, it is
not the first time
the church has
voiced support for
some gay rights. In
August 2008 the
church issued a
statement saying it
supports gay rights
or probate as long
as they "do not
infringe on the
integrity of the
rights of churches."
year, church leaders
were silent on a
package of gay
rights bills known
as the Common Ground
them from the start.
STUDENT KICKED OUT
Gay Student Expelled from Kentucky College
After writing about
his boyfriend on his MySpace.com profile, a gay student at a small
Baptist college in Kentucky was expelled last week. Sophomore Jason
Johnson, who would have been stage-managing a production of As You Like
It, instead was dismissed from the University of the Cumberlands because
the school prohibits homosexuality and any sex outside of marriage,
reports The Lexington Herald-Leader.
Administrators at the school, located in Williamsburg, confronted
Johnson last Thursday about his MySpace page, asserting that it was
evidence he was in violation of school policy forbidding homosexual
conduct. He was required to leave the university that night and moved
out of his dorm within hours.
"I was upset to the point that I couldn't speak," Johnson told the
Herald-Leader. "I didn't even want to ask about it. I wanted to be out
Since Johnson's expulsion, his boyfriend, Zac Dreyer, has been
publicizing what happened on his own MySpace profile, writing, "He is
being asked to leave the university because he is gay. Help get the
story out there so that all the gays and lesbians at the university will
no longer have to live in secrecy, in fear of having their dreams
crushed in front of them."
In a statement released last week, University of the Cumberlands
president Jim Taylor said that "students know the rules before they come
to this institution," although officials admitted that when Johnson
enrolled in 2003, school policy did not specifically refer to being gay.
It has since been amended.
Johnson is now considering legal action.
(From The Advocate)
LARRY CRAIG INCIDENT
US Senator Cops More Shame
Things got worse for
Larry Craig on
August 30 as US TV
networks played an
audio tape of his
after his arrest in
an airport toilet.
Sgt Dave Karsnia
said of Senator
Craig, who cited his
technique to explain
away his bumping of
the cop's foot in
the next stall in an
Since the Mark Foley scandal broke, increasing attention
has been paid to the
Every election year,
these party leaders
make what many of us
see as anti-gay
appeals to religious
who object to what
call the "homosexual
these party leaders
don't tell these
voters is how many
of them actually
lead secret lives
which include sexual
members of the same
Melbourne Herald Sun
On The Issues
Larry Craig's Website
GAY MARRIAGE IN NEW JERSEY
NJ Okays Equal Rights for Same Sex Couples
New Jersey's Supreme Court
ruled that same-sex couples are
entitled to the same rights as heterosexuals in
New Jersey, but that lawmakers must determine
whether the state will honor gay marriage or
some other form of civil union.
Advocates on both sides of the issue had
believed the relatively liberal New Jersey high
court had the best chance of approving gay
marriages since Massachusetts became the only
state to do so in 2003.
But the high court stopped short of fully
approving gay marriage in the state — it gave
lawmakers 180 days to rewrite marriage laws to
either include same-sex couples or create new
"Although we cannot find that a fundamental
right to same-sex marriage exists in this state,
the unequal dispensation of rights and benefits
to committed same-sex partners can no longer be
tolerated under our state Constitution," Justice
Barry T. Albin wrote for the 4-3 majority's
"This is a victory for same-sex couples, but it
also offers an olive branch to opponents of
same-sex marriage because the Court, in a slim
majority opinion, said that the state's citizens
and legislators can determine for themselves
what these unions ought to be called," says
CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen. "Maybe
marriage. Maybe something else."
Outside the Supreme Court, news of the ruling
caused confusion, with many of the roughly 100
gay marriage supporters outside asking each
other what it meant. Many started to agree that
they needed to push for a state constitutional
amendment to institute gay marriage.
Garden State Equality, New Jersey's main gay and
lesbian political organization, quickly
announced that three lawmakers would
introduce a bill in the Legislature to get full
marriage rights to same-sex couples.
Gay couples in New Jersey can already apply for
domestic partnerships under a law the
Legislature passed in 2004 giving gay couples
some benefits of marriage, such as the right to
inherit possessions if there is no will and
health care coverage for state workers.
"The issue is not about the transformation of
the traditional definition of marriage, but
about the unequal dispensation of benefits and
privileges to one of two similarly situated
classes of people," the
court said in its 4-3
David S. Buckel, the Lambda Legal lawyer who
argued on behalf of the seven New Jersey
couples, said he expects some couples would
travel to the New Jersey to get married if his
suit is successful. But, he said, "it won't be
And, he said, while many same-sex couples would
prefer to be married, they are getting more
legal protections for their relationships.
Several states, including New Jersey, offer
domestic partnerships or civil unions with some
of the benefits of marriage. A growing number of
employers are treating same-sex couples the same
way they treat married couples.
Cases similar to New Jersey's are pending in
California, Connecticut, Iowa and Maryland.
Until this ruling, gay marriage supporters had a
two-year losing streak, striking out in state
courts in New York and Washington state and in
ballot boxes in 15 states where constitutions
have been amended to ban same-sex unions.
Gay News 365
MS NBC News
Response to Mark Foley
In response to
homophobic statements made by Mr. Paul Weyrich
on NPR equating gay males to pedophiles, the
leadership of AGLBIC has collaborated with ACA
administrators to form this response (see
below). Many thanks to Karen Eriksen (Florida
International University) for taking the lead on
Counseling Association (ACA) unequivocally
supports the equal rights for and
nondiscrimination towards lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender persons. It also
supports the rights of children, women, and
others to be free of the abuses of power implied
in unwanted sexual advances by those in
authority over them. We thus share concerns
currently being expressed in reaction to
Congressman Mark Foley's sexually inappropriate
emails to congressional pages.
However, we must
strongly protest statements made by the
Arlington Group's Mr. Paul Weyrich on National
Public Radio that gay men, because they are
"preoccupied with sex," are not suited for
leadership in public service positions that
involve child safety. To pair Mr. Foley's
inappropriate behavior and breach of the public
trust with discussions about homosexuality,
merely because he is a gay male, is offensive
and inconsistent with the beliefs of every major
mental health professional, including
psychiatry, psychology, and social work.
Further, to imply in a national forum that gay
men are more likely to be sexual predators, when
research clearly finds otherwise, is
irresponsible and only serves to fuel divisive
politics and homophobia. While this issue
involves sexuality, it is NOT a matter of sexual
orientation. One must certainly ask what
political ends are served, at this point in
history, by a focus on a gay man's misuse of
power in the absence of outrage about the rather
frequent occurrence of heterosexual politicians'
abuse of power in their advances on young women.
(From Brian J. Dew / AGLBIC National President)
Comments From HRC President
With all that’s going on in
Washington this week, I felt it was important to update
all of you on the role that HRC has played in this
unfolding story concerning Mark Foley.
Congressman Mark Foley’s
sexually-charged communications with young congressional
pages was reprehensible and we have strongly condemned
it. We have also been equally quick to condemn some in
the GOP for their attempts to blame this scandal on the
Just hours ago, following Speaker Hastert's press
conference, I sent a letter to him expressing outrage at
the efforts of some in his party to scapegoat gay people
for this unfortunate situation.
You can read the full letter here.
At the beginning of the week, I
issued the following statement to the press:
“Gay or straight, Democrat or
Republican, it is completely inexcusable for an adult to
have this kind of communication with a minor.
Congressman Foley brought shame on himself and this
Congress by his horrible behavior and complete lack of
judgment. We strongly condemn his behavior.”
On Tuesday, we issued a press
release condemning the Republican leadership for
avoiding responsibility and for trying to blame our
On Wednesday, HRC Vice President, David Smith, appeared
on MSNBC to combat Charmaine Yoest of the Family
Research Council. Her group has been saying that the
House Republican leaders were afraid to investigate the
Foley matter because they were afraid of being labeled
“homophobic.” That’s right! - the same members of
Congress who have been trying to write our community out
of the Constitution were supposedly unwilling to stop
Foley because they were worried about their image as gay
bashers. This is some of the most convoluted nonsense
out there. David did an excellent job of going after
FRC’s illogical and inflammatory statements.
You can watch the clip here.
Yesterday, I also submitted an editorial to Huffington
Post, the popular online website run by Arianna
Huffington. We need to get the focus of this debate back
on topic. It has nothing to do with Mark Foley’s sexual
orientation and everything to do with the fact that the
pages were teenagers entrusted to the care of Foley and
the entire House of Representatives.
Last night, I continued HRC’s
full-on offense against the scapegoating and half-truths
permeating this debate, when I appeared on CNBC’s “The
Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.” Donny had an excellent
show looking at how the media continues to perpetuate
and exacerbate the more outlandish excuses for the
scandal. (Foley was molested as a child; he was in the
closet; and, so on. All of these issues are beside the
Click here to watch a clip of the show.
Keep up-to-date on developments
and HRC’s aggressive response to the smearing and
vilifying of our community by visiting
please feel free to forward this message.
(From Joe Solmonese / HRC
July 27 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews,
host Chris Matthews gave a free pass to a guest's use of
a defamatory anti-gay slur, the second time in the past
year that the NBC News commentator has tacitly offered
an on-air embrace of anti-gay prejudice.
In an interview with Ann Coulter, Matthews prodded his
guest to revisit her previous comments on CNBC claiming
that former President Bill Clinton is gay. Coulter told
Matthews, "He may not be gay, but Al Gore, total fag.
No, I'm just kidding." Rather than confront his guest's
use of the word "fag," Matthews continued to ask his
guest whether she thought Clinton and Gore were gay.
It took a responsible audience member to do what
Matthews, in his pursuit of ever more outrageous
soundbites from his guest, failed to do. The audience
member said: "I'm just wondering how you can call
yourself a Christian or even look at yourself in the
mirror in the morning and use words like the one you
just used to describe Al Gore. Just curious." She added,
"I think pure hatred, spewing hateful rhetoric violates
a lot of Biblical commands."
GLAAD reached out to MSNBC's Senior Vice-President for
Communications Jeremy Gaines to express concern about
its host's silence in the face of an on-air expression
of bigotry. Gaines' response was only that, "Just like
many guests on our air, Ann Coulter's views are not
those of MSNBC."
MSNBC's statement avoids the important question: why is
NBC News placing its brand on a program where these
kinds of slurs are acceptable?
refusal to confront and address on-air use of the word
"fag" — and its repeated willingness to provide a
platform for crude expressions of bigotry — raises
serious questions about the network's standards and
practices and, with regard to Matthews, the standards of
conduct for its hosts.
On the Jan. 18 edition of MSNBC's "Imus in the Morning,"
Matthews initiated a homophobic exchange with host Don
Imus regarding "Brokeback Mountain," saying that another
radio host had called the film "Bareback Mounting." Imus
then tried to one-up him, claiming that one of his staff
had titled it "Fudgepack Mountain."
Baptist School Ousts Gay Student
LAFAYETTE GRAD'S WEB PAGE UPSETS UNIVERSITY OF THE
A Lafayette High School
graduate has been kicked out of the University of the
Cumberlands in Williamsburg because he wrote on a
personal Web page that he is gay.
The student, Jason Johnson, 20, was officially dismissed
either Thursday or yesterday, according to Larry Cockrum,
director of media relations at the 1,700-student Baptist
institution, formerly called Cumberland College.
Johnson, a sophomore majoring in theater arts, was at
home in Lexington last night. The dean's list student
said he could not comment under instructions from his
lawyer, Don Waggoner.
Johnson was apparently thrown out of school, three weeks
before the end of the school year, because his
declaration that he is gay on MySpace.com violated a
university policy that says:
"Any student who engages in or promotes sexual behavior
not consistent with Christian principles (including sex
outside marriage and homosexuality) may be suspended or
asked to withdraw from the University of the Cumberlands."
Jim Taylor, the university's longtime president, was
attending a funeral in Atlanta and was unavailable for
comment. However, he released this statement:
"At the University of the Cumberlands, we hold students
to a higher standard. Students know the rules before
they come to this institution. We've followed our
policies and procedures in keeping with our traditional
"University of the Cumberlands isn't for everyone. We
tell prospective students about our high standards
before they come. "We are different by design, and are
non-apologetic about our Christian beliefs."
One of Johnson's close friends, Jennifer Roberts, a
senior from Belfry, said "everybody on campus is
extremely upset about this." Roberts said Johnson was a
person of high character, honesty and trustworthiness
who had distinguished himself in several campus
activities, especially theater.
"He's openly gay but doesn't flaunt it," she said, then
added: "I think you would be floored by the amount of
gay people at our school."
"I would consider Jason a Christian because so many of
his values are Christian," she said. "He embodies
everything a friend should be. A lot of people are
suffering because he is not here."
Roberts and Johnson worked together on a student-run
television show, Patriot Talk. "I'm producer,
he's director," she said.
Johnson was stage manager for a recent production of
Shakespeare's As You Like It, and was a key
person in the theater outreach program.
Roberts said some students will not be afraid to express
their outrage. "They're
already printing T-shirts that say 'Jesus loves gay
people, too,'" she said.
(From Art Jester / HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER)