The ex-roommate came over last night to collect some things. We had Kentucky fried and watched a movie, followed by freshly made pumpkin pie - scrumptious. Which was good enough reason to make a face.
Artwork by the Moon King
Full text of the President's remarks below the jump. Despite what I said in an earlier post, they are well worth reading. (Memo to Russ: don't make smartass remarks about somebody's speech until you've actually read it.)
The ban has been in existence for 22 years, pioneered by Jesse Helms, resisted by the first Bush, signed into law by Bill Clinton, legislatively repealed by George W. Bush and now administratively ended by Barack Obama. In an age when bipartisanship is out of fashion, the repeal was led by Gordon Smith and John Kerry, with backing from many Republicans and Democrats. The work of staffers - Rob Epplin and Alex Nunez, in particular - was invaluable. The support of Immigration Equality was vital. The lobbying of HRC was an important late development. . . .
For me, it is the end of 16 years of profound insecurity. Like many others, my application for permanent residence and citizenship can go forward. And I will be able to see my family again in England and know that my HIV will not force me to choose between my husband and the country I have come to call my home. There is no price to be put on that.
It's never crossed my mind that it'd ever be possible for me. That's the scar that I and so many others bear—we believed ourselves to be second-rate citizens for so long, the idea of being able to say "This is my husband, these are my children" was not an option. I remember [playwright] Tom Stoppard saying to me when I came out, "I feel so sorry for you, because you'll never have children." These days I would say, "Well, why not, Tom?" But 20 years ago I accepted his judgment.Honk to Joe.My.God.
After more than a decade of opposition and delay, we've passed inclusive hate crimes legislation to help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray, or who they are."This simply doesn't make sense. Hate crime laws for most categories, including federal measures, have been around for a long time. The only new thing here - the only thing that has fostered "a decade of opposition and delay" - is the addition of sexual orientation. So the president had a chance to defend gays from being excluded from the usual roster of victims, in front of military leaders, and he had to walk backwards into this strange circumlocution.
In the October 25th edition of The Dallas Morning News, business reporter Cheryl Hall used problematic language in referring to the LGBT community when writing about two of Stephen Jarchow’s media companies. In the article, “Dallas executive amassing a gay media mini-empire,” Hall refers to The Advocate and Out magazines owned by Jarchow’s Here Media Inc., as “two alternative lifestyle magazines.” She also refers to his Regent Entertainment film company as catering to an “alternative lifestyle audience.” Furthermore, she labels the gay community as a whole as an “affluent, well-educated minority group.” . . .What I say: Hell, I'd be glad to think it's 1970 in Texas . . . but most of the Lone Star State is still stuck in 1950, if you want to know the truth. At least the DMN didn't call us "sexual perverts."
Out is a “lifestyle” magazine, as are other lifestyle magazines like GQ or Marie Clare that mix news, features, fashion and celebrities. The Advocate on the other hand is a news magazine. This mislabeling goes far beyond the magazines’ descriptions. The term “alternative lifestyle” is one that is typically used to denigrate gay people, who are as diverse in their lives as anyone. There is no single lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender lifestyle. The phrase “alternative lifestyle” is used to disparage the gay community suggesting that their sexual orientation is a choice and therefore can be “cured.” The Dallas Morning News and the Associated Press have marked this term as inappropriate and against their style guidelines. . . .
What I say: This is bullshit, it makes me want to throw up. Grandma getting it off her chest in a letter - probably written in a pretty, cursive hand with pen and ink - is not a fucking hate crime.
Christian campaigners condemned the police action as "alarming" and warned that freedom of expression was under threat, while the homosexual equality group Stonewall said the officers' visit had been "disproportionate".
The pensioner had written to Norwich [England] council complaining about its decision to allow the march in the city centre in July, at which she claims she was verbally abused. In the letter, she wrote: "It is shameful that this small, but vociferous lobby should be allowed such a display unwarranted by the minimal number of homosexuals." Mrs Howe referred to homosexuals as "sodomites" and blamed "their perverted sexual practice" for sexually transmitting diseases as well as the "downfall of every Empire".
She argues that she is not homophobic, but was expressing her deeply held religious beliefs. However, Bridget Buttinger, deputy chief executive at the council, replied to Mrs Howe in September, warning that she could face being charged with a criminal offence for expressing such views. "As a local authority we have a duty along with other public bodies to eliminate discrimination of all kinds," she wrote.
"A hate incident is any incident that is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice or hatred. A hate crime is any hate incident that constitutes a criminal offence. The content of your letter has been assessed as potentially being hate related because of the views you expressed towards people of a certain sexual orientation." She added: "Your details and details of the content of your letter have been recorded as such and passed to the Police."
A gay man is fighting for his life today following a vicious gang beating in Liverpool city centre.
The 22-year–old, who the ECHO understands is a trainee constable with Merseyside police and has been named as James Parkes, was attacked by up to 13 people at 10pm last night when out with three friends on Stanley Street.
He is currently in hospital with multiple skull fractures, a fractured eye socket and a fractured cheek bone.
[N]obody should underestimate the bravery it took for the Cork goalkeeper to publicly come out as a gay man in his autobiography or what a huge step forward this represents for Irish sport. We should also understand what a huge challenge it is to the bigotry and prejudice which remain against gay people in this society.Even though he now faces vile shouts and homophobic abuse at games - his mum has had to quit going to see him play, it's too upsetting for her - Cusack says he hopes his story helps others still in the closet:
Perhaps there are people reading this column and thinking, 'Why is there such a big deal being made about it? Why do gays have to go on about their sexuality so much?' But it's not gay people who make an issue of homosexuality, it's straight people. Most straight men have, for example, been in a pub with a woman and, suddenly overcome by affection, leaned across and kissed her.
If a gay man did this with his partner, he'd be regarded as looking for trouble in most of the country's pubs. There's even a chance he'd suffer physical violence. Do gay couples walk arm-in-arm down our main streets with the same unselfconsciousness and freedom as straight couples do? They don't because straight people wouldn't stand for it. In most towns every pub is a Straight Bar.
This is the country Donal óg Cusack lives in. . . .
Sometimes we kid ourselves that we're tolerant because we condescend to accept flamboyant gay men in the Julian Clary/Graham Norton mould. But we have more problems with accepting our gay neighbours, our gay relations, the gay mechanic, the gay bricklayer and the gay farmer. That's another reason why it's such a big deal that Donal óg came out. Because one look at how the man plays the game is sufficient to destroy that old myth that gay men are uniformly effeminate, sissyish and, above all, instantly recognisable.
Don't ever let anyone - anyone - tell you that loving another man is "not in the service of life."Goodnight, guys.
It's hate that kills. Not love. And it's real easy to tell the difference between the two.
Hate draws a line to keep people out. Love draws a circle to bring them in.
Remember this always: Love is Life. No matter who or how you love . . . when you do, you give them Life, and Life returns to you. To love and be loved is what we were put here for. There is no life apart from love. If you aren't loving, you aren't living.
And beyond that - God is Love. A great mystery at the heart of all things. More than we can understand. But that's all you need to know right now.
When you love, and spend yourself upon another, you are the hands and face of God. The word made flesh. Light out of darkness. Eternity in a heartbeat. Solitude extinguished.
It's what you were born to do. So get on with it.
He drew a circle that shut me out—An old favorite poem of mine, and until this very minute I would have sworn it was by Emily Dickinson. But I checked to make sure - and come to find out, it's by a Californian named Edwin Markham (1852-1940), who also wrote this:
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!
Poetry writing is as practical as bread-making; and, from a high ground, it is just as necessary to the life of man. Poetry is bread for the spirit: it is the bread that is made of earthly wheat and yet is mixed with some mystic tincture of the skies. It nourishes all the higher hopes and aspirations of man.In our day, of course, poetry has been replaced by pop songs, some of which do approach poetic heights - and some not.
I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and I'm known by my own; even as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will hear my voice. They will become one flock with one shepherd.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.
Pastoral letter: Marriage is holy because it puts sexual love at the service of life; homosexual acts are incapable of doing that. . . . Laws in favor of homosexual unions are contrary to right reason because they confer legal guarantees, analogous to those granted to marriage, to unions between persons of the same sex. . . . There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family. . . . For lawmakers to vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral.
Hey, glory, glory, hallelujah
Welcome to the future
Wherever we were going, we're here . . .
The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act gives the Justice Department the power to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated violence where the perpetrator has selected the victim because of the person's actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.This is a historic moment; the first of the four big hurdles has been crossed. Now on to ENDA, DADT, and DOMA.
It provides the Justice Department with the ability to aid state and local jurisdictions either by lending assistance or, where local authorities are unwilling or unable, by taking the lead in investigations and prosecutions of violent crime resulting in death or serious bodily injury that were motivated by bias. It also makes grants available to state and local communities to combat violent crimes committed by juveniles, train law enforcement officers, or to assist in state and local investigations and prosecutions of bias motivated crimes.
This legislation was first introduced in the 105th Congress. Today’s vote was the 14th and final time there has been a floor vote on this historic legislation.
Here is a brief list of the truths Mr. Derbyshire wishes us to face: that human nature is not infinitely malleable or even tameable; that biology increasingly really does seem to be destiny; that Diversity (his capital D) does not strengthen societies but makes them worryingly fissiparous; that foreigners cannot be trusted to share our interests; that Americans with different skin colors demonstrably prefer segregation to integration; that higher education is an expensive racket designed to certify worker bees (because Diversity prohibits other forms of screening); and that the wellsprings of American music, poetry and literature have dried up. "Happy talk and wishful thinking," Mr. Derbyshire says, "are for children, fools, and leftists."So wipe that stupid grin off your face, pal! Oh for the good old days, when everybody knew their place . . . at the foot of the Great White Heterosexual God . . . when Father Knew Best . . . . and Mother didn't open her mouth.
The Navy's 1957 Crittenden Report found "no factual data" to support the idea that they posed a greater security risk than heterosexual personnel. Straight officers boasting secrets due to "feelings of inadequacy" were a realer threat, it found. Despite these findings, the report recommended no changes to dismissal policies, for a reason that would define the department's stance on open service into the 21st century: "The service should not move ahead of civilian society nor attempt to set substantially different standards in attitude or action with respect to homosexual offenders."Miller quotes Kevin Nix of SLDN on the slow, top-down approach to military change:
In 1988, the Defense Personnel Security Research Center - a DoD agency - conducted its own study on gay soldiers to determine whether their service under current policies created security risks, for instance in terms of blackmail. It also discussed, based on the military and wider social data available, whether the military's policies were sustainable. The study returned again and again to the facts of conduct: "Studies of homosexual veterans make clear that having a same gender or an opposite-gender orientation is unrelated to job performance in the same way as is being left or right-handed."
The study also owned the lessons of racial integration: "The intensity of prejudice against homosexuals may be of the same order as the prejudice against blacks in 1948, when the military was ordered to integrate," it found. "The order to integrate blacks was first met with stout resistance by traditionalists in the military establishment. Dire consequences were predicted for maintaining discipline, building group morale, and achieving military organizational goals. None of these predictions of doom has come true."
"The military doesn't exist in a vacuum from the rest of American culture," he says. "There is a generational divide. The newest generation and the next generation of military leadership are much more open and tolerant ... and that is helping the top-down process."