C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Marriage News Watch, 4/14/14

Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights reports:

Update, 8:30 p.m., from Freedom to Marry:

Today, U.S. District Court judge Timothy Black officially issued his ruling in Henry v. Himes, declaring that the state of Ohio must respect the marriages of same-sex couples legally performed in other states. He wrote, "Ohio’s marriage recognition bans are facially unconstitutional and unenforceable under any circumstances."

The ruling has been stayed - meaning it does not take effect immediately - throughout the state of Ohio. Tomorrow, the judge will revisit whether a stay is necessary for the four plaintiff couples, who he says have demonstrated clear and urgent harm: That when they give birth to their children, they must be respected as married so that both parents can appear on the birth certificates. The judge wrote, "The Court inclines toward a finding that the issuance of correct birth certificates for Plaintiffs’ children, due in June or earlier, should not be stayed."
Text of the ruling is here.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Civil Rights in America, Fifty Years On

President Johnson addresses a nationwide television audience during his signing of the Civil Rights Act in the East Room of the White House, July 2, 1964.  Among the dignitaries in the front row are Lady Bird Johnson, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, and Senator Barry Goldwater.

President Obama spoke on Thursday at the LBJ Library in Austin, commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a great turning point in American history that was largely the result of President Lyndon Johnson's strenuous efforts to ensure that Congress passed the bill, which he signed on July 2, 1964.  Notice what Obama says about gay Americans, and about the movement of history.

Full text and video of Obama's remarks are here.

Just to refresh your memory, here's a mini-documentary about LBJ's work on the Civil Rights Act, which was an uphill battle all the way - this Wikipedia article gives details on the votes in the House and the Senate.

And a short study of Barry Goldwater's attitude towards civil rights - notice at the 1:28 mark, the sign held by white protesters in New Orleans, 1960: "God Demands Segregation." Sound familiar?

And Andy Borowitz gets the last word:

Nation Stunned to Learn Congress Accomplished Something Fifty Years Ago

Sunday Drive: All Glory, Laud, and Honor

Today is Palm Sunday.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Change of Heart for U. S. Marine

Via Box Turtle Bulletin: Go read this moving epiphany by a Baptist jarhead.  Excerpt:
Sgt. Santiago and I spoke often, if casually. He routinely had one of the highest physical fitness test scores in our unit and never missed a chance to go salsa dancing stateside with fellow Marines, including our senior enlisted Marine and his wife, whom he persuaded to join a few times. He also proudly displayed his Puerto Rican flag in his barracks. Nevertheless, he was a reserved man, quiet, private. I assumed these were inherent personality traits. I didn’t realize that he was hiding something.

I believed I knew the men in my B-hut better than I knew most of my friends at home, yet the man sleeping next door had a secret he dared not reveal for fear of being removed from active duty. It never crossed my mind that he was gay — or that I could have done so much more to be his friend. . . .

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Newsbites, 4/8/14

Mickey Rooney Dies at 93 - a comedic genius and a highly underrated performer.  The Los Angeles Times reports:
When such leading actors of his generation as Cary Grant and Anthony Quinn were asked who was the best actor in Hollywood, they both immediately named Rooney, Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne recalled while interviewing author Gore Vidal, who said the same.

"Tennessee Williams, who knew more about actors than anybody in our time … said, 'There's only one great actor in the United States and that is Mickey Rooney.... He can do anything. He sings, he dances, he can make you weep. He can play tragedy, he can play comedy,'" Vidal said in 2007 while introducing "A Midsummer Night's Dream," the 1935 film with a teenage Rooney as Puck.
May he rest in peace with Judy and all his other fabulous co-stars from 90 years of delighting audiences around the world.

LBJ's Daughters Say Daddy Would Have Supported Marriage Equality:
“I think my father felt very strongly that when there was bigotry anywhere, prejudice anywhere, all of us lose out,” said Luci Baines Johnson. “Because it’s just one more expression of hate.”

Added her sister, Lynda Bird Johnson Robb: “It’s hard to project what Daddy would have thought about that because that wasn’t an issue that had come upon the States at that time. But I know he really wanted everybody to be able to live up to the best that God gave them.”
I think he would too if he were still alive. Texans who aren't brainbound by religious fundamentalism have an instinct for fair play and root for the underdog. But oh my gosh, I remember Lynda and Luci as teenagers, watched their weddings on TV - and now here they are old women, immaculately dressed and groomed, but grandma age. Of course, I'm not far behind them, and getting pretty damn long in the tooth myself.

UVA Swimmers Embrace Their Gay Teammates - Okay, so which two do you think are the gay ones?

Louisiana Congressman Defends "Our Christian Way of Life" by Making Out with Staffer - Another lying, hypocritical sack of shit Tea Party Republican has been busted - on video - because he just can't keep his Traditional Family Values in his pants. But it's cool - he's asked the wife and five kids to forgive him, so that's just all right with God then.  He was elected just last November; here's a campaign ad of McAllister promising to do his duty to God and his country:

The betrayed husband of the woman McAllister was putting a lip lock on says:
I know his beliefs. When he ran one of his commercials, he said "I need your prayers," and I asked, "When did you get religious?" He said, "When I needed votes." He broke out the religious card and he's about the most non-religious person I know. He's apologized to everyone in the world except me. I’m just freaking devastated by the whole deal, man. I loved my wife so much. I cannot believe this. I cannot freaking believe it. I feel like I’m going to wake up here in a minute and this is all going to be a bad nightmare. It was just a kiss, that was all it was, but it embarrassed me and my family.

Westboro Protesters Chased Away by Mob in Oklahoma - Hundreds of local residents jeered and put to flight a group of Westboro Baptist Church protesters in Moore, Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City, on Sunday. The Westboro gang were there to praise God for sending a tornado that killed several children last year. KFOR in Oklahoma City reports:
Westboro’s permit to picket was for half an hour. They had been there a mere eight minutes when several people took matters into their own hands. Some Moore residents crossed the picket line to go after Westboro members. Dan Eccles said, “I was afraid of a riot really. I didn’t know how long Westboro would stay, which they were smart to leave.” Police were able to hold back the Moore residents while the Westboro bunch rushed to pack their signs in their cars and leave.

Dan Eccles said, “They shagged tail, got in them cars and was leaving in a hurry. Oh yeah, they was gone!” "I thought it was hilarious. I mean I really did. We sat there and laughed the whole time,” said Tina Johnson. “They were running, yeah.”

This week's New Yorker cover just makes me laugh out loud.  Brilliant.
The Best Medicine by Barry Blitt.

The Quality of Mercy - Regarding the flap over the resignation of Mozilla's CEO last week, Andrew Sullivan says:
The ability to work alongside or for people with whom we have a deep political disagreement is not a minor issue in a liberal society. It is a core foundation of toleration. We either develop the ability to tolerate those with whom we deeply disagree, or liberal society is basically impossible. Civil conversation becomes culture war; arguments and reason cede to emotion and anger. And let me reiterate: this principle of toleration has recently been attacked by many more on the far right than on the far left. I’m appalled, for example, at how great gay teachers have been fired by Catholic schools, even though it is within the right of the schools to do so. It’s awful that individuals are fired for being gay with no legal recourse all over the country. But if we rightly feel this way about gays in the workplace, why do we not feel the same about our opponents? And on what grounds can we celebrate the resignation of someone for his off-workplace political beliefs? Payback? Revenge? Some liberal principles, in my view, are worth defending whether they are assailed by left or right. . . .

A civil rights movement without toleration is not a civil rights movement; it is a cultural campaign to expunge and destroy its opponents. A moral movement without mercy is not moral; it is, when push comes to shove, cruel. For a decade and half, we have fought the battle for equal dignity for gay people with sincerity, openness, toleration and reason. It appears increasingly as if we will have to fight and fight again to prevent this precious and highly successful legacy from being hijacked by a righteous, absolutely certain, and often hateful mob. We are better than this. And we must not give in to it.

And Jim Burroway over at Box Turtle Bulletin concurs:
Mozilla describes itself as “an open source project governed as a meritocracy.” Eich had been with Mozilla since the very beginning and developed the ubiquitous Javascript that powers much of the web today. If meritocracy means anything at any company, it should certainly mean something to the company’s most visible job at the very top. But Eich was caught in an impossible quagmire that had nothing to do with merit. In the name of tolerance, he learned that we don’t have to tolerate his opinions, opinions which he kept private and away from the workplace.

Which means that everyone who has had to endure corporate diversity training now has the same lesson lodged in their heads. Until now, they had been told that they can do whatever they want and believe whatever they want outside the workplace, but when they crossed the company’s threshold, they had to treat their fellow workers with dignity and respect, and to respect and encourage diversity in the workforce. They’ve now learned that it was all a lie. We do care about what they do outside of work and we can demand their ouster if we don’t like it. Eich learned that lesson the hard way and resigned yesterday. I can’t think of a better way to encourage even more cynicism toward company diversity programs than that.

In a highly interesting development in this affair, Mother Jones reports that OKCupid's CEO, Sam Yagen, contributed $500 to an antigay congressman's campaign back in 2004.  OKCupid announced last week that it would block all users with Mozilla's Firefox browser from OKCupid's site while Eich remained at the head of that company. Yagen has now apologized for his thoughtcrime, saying he had no clue about the candidate's antigay views.

And Joe Jervis disagrees with Sullivan but says:
Demands for ideological purity are killing the Republican Party and are no less a danger for the LGBT rights movement. . . . My larger point is that there is room for people for have different ideas about how to get to the same place. Every social movement in history has been torn by infighting and ours is definitely no exception. So yes, call out our own and call them out strongly when you think they are wrong about tactics. We can do that without the same vitriol we direct at our actual enemies.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: Cabaret

This is not your Head Trucker's kind of movie, but it's unforgettable for two things: Liza Minelli's voice, and this brief exchange - breathtaking at the time for a 17-year-old closeted gay kid hidden away in the Deep South:
"Screw Maximilian!"

"I do."

Steve Hayes reviews the award-winning musical:
Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey give iconic, Oscar winning performances in Bob Fosse's brilliant CABARET (1972). The plot deals with a tragic affair between a would-be novelist and a cabaret chanteuse, set against the decadence of pre-Nazi Berlin in the early 1930's. Based on the writings of Christopher Isherwood, shot on location in Berlin and adapted from the Tony winning Kander and Ebb musical, it also stars Michael York, Marissa Berenson and Helmut Griem. Filled with eye-popping musical numbers, brilliant performances, and Fosse's subtle direction, CABARET is an unsurpassed musical achievement not to be missed!

Catch more fabulous movie reviews at Steve's YouTube channel.

Marriage News Watch, 4/7/14

Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights reports:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Honey Maid: Love


The original ad:

The gay family:

Sunday Drive: Baby Blue

Been out of town a few days, helping a friend and enjoying the fine spring weather.

This song came out in spring of my senior year of high school.  It always reminds me of sunshine and blue skies, running the back roads in my Malibu 350 V-8, the smell of the piney woods, the fun of tubing down the river with my best bud, the scent of creosote melting out of railroad ties in the hot sun as we walked along the tracks, laughter and popcorn and ice-cold cokes, the infinite hopes of youth, the sight of bare, tanned muscles, the bittersweet pangs of forbidden desire.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Marriage News Watch, 3/31/14

Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights reports:

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