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.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Only in Texas: Butthead and God

Our butthead governor, Rick Perry, is starting to make noises about a run for the White House.  Guys, if you thought the Bush regime was a long, dark night of misery, just wait till the next Republican gets in power.  And pray it's not Butthead.

Check out these gems of Perryism. First, God sent the recession to jerk the country back to Biblical economic principles:

As a YouTube commenter points out, Butthead is talking through his ass here:
Pardon me if I"m wrong - I thought it was God's man Joseph who told the Egyptian Phraoe to lay aside enough food to last through a famine. It was the Government of Egypt that fed and saved the people in the famine! Rick Perry has it half-assed backwards!
And if you love God and your country, save the date for the Day of Prayer down in Houston:

Fuck you if you're not a Bible-believing Christian, is the subtext here.

And Butthead has the American Family Association seal of approval:

So all you brutal, savage, Nazi homo fags, be warned: Rick Perry is on God's side, and he will stop your fascist takeover of America!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

No-Drama Obama

Wayne Besen over at Truth Wins Out has written a very thoughtful piece on what he believes Obama's strategy is regarding marriage equality, you should go read it.  First, he quotes what the President said in today's press conference:
This administration under my direction has consistently said we cannot discriminate as a country against people on the basis of sexual orientation…

What I’ve seen happen over the last several years and what happened in New York last week – I think was a good thing because what you saw was the people of New York having a debate, talking through these issues. It was contentious, it was emotional – but ultimately they made a decision to recognize civil marriages. And I think that’s exactly how things should work. And so I think it is important for us to work through these issues – because each community is going to be different and each state is going to be different – to work through them. In the meantime, we filed briefs before the Supreme Court that say any discrimination against gays, lesbians, transgenders is subject to heightened scrutiny and we don’t think DOMA is unconstitutional (sic – they do think DOMA is unconstitutional). So the combination of what states are doing, what the courts are doing, the actions we’re taking administratively, all are how the process should work…

I think what you’re seeing is a profound recognition on the part of the American people that gays, lesbians and transgender persons are our brothers, our sisters, our children, our cousins, our friends, our co-workers and that they’ve got to be treated like every other American. And I think that principle will win out.
Besen goes on to say, among other things:
Obama alluded in his statement to the idea that this process is working itself out on several fronts — state legislatures, court cases, the actions of his own administration that actually fall under his own set of responsibilities. President Obama simply cannot wave his magic wand and declare full equality for LGBT Americans. And I agree that it’s great that states like New York have used their legislative branch to move us forward. However, those who think that the civil rights of minorities should be solely left up to the whims of either voters or their elected representatives are idiots, as there comes a time in civil rights battles where the Supreme Court has to come in and gently explain to Mississippi that it’s time to stop playing with its own poop in the corner and join the other well-behaved children at the lunch table. (Can you imagine if we had waited around for Mississippi to deal with anti-miscegenation laws on a legislative level? My god.)

This brings us to why I think President Obama is deliberately being cagy on the subject of full marriage equality, at this point in time. Again, we all may not like it, but I do believe there is a method to the madness here. Going into the 2012 elections, the Obama administration is, unfortunately, more vulnerable than I think it should be, due to the economy, and due to the goldfish memories of many American voters, who do not remember where the shitty economy came from, but who simultaneously think that Obama should have been able to snap his fingers and fix it. And though the economy is improving, there are still a hell of a lot of Americans who are first and foremost concerned about the fact that they don’t have jobs. If that situation hasn’t improved much by the time next year’s election rolls around, he could be more vulnerable than we might have expected . . . .

Oh, but hell, if Obama is actually running around before the election, as Daniel Villareal said in the piece linked above, “guns blazing with a red, white, and blue hard-on for the queers,” I can imagine a scenario where that could tip one or more of those states into the red column. As it is, he’s letting the process play out and staying a bit above the fray, seemingly to me, to avoid handing the GOP that easy wedge issue going into the election. Now surely, he could come out for full marriage equality next week and prove me wrongity-wrong-wrong, but my gut just sort of says that’s where things are right now.
I get all that Besen says, and he's probably right. But something he doesn't mention is the bottom-line fact that even though Obama may be doing all the right moves, politically and Constitutionally - what's missing for us queer folk is the feeling of being loved.

Which is one thing Obama is lousy at communicating. Some people, some Presidents are good at getting that message across. Some just suck at it. Do you know what I mean, fellas?

Related:  Whatever we may feel about the President, there's just no comparison between him and George W. Bush - remember?  Obama's remarks today at the Pride reception in the White House:

Excerpt from the transcript, below the jump:

Don't Like Gay Marriage?

Honk to Joe.My.God.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Homosexuality in America - 1964

Decoy officer and partner lead handcuffed homosexual away in Hollywood.  When arrested for soliciting, he burst into tears. 
--Life magazine, June 26, 1964

Found this over on Box Turtle Bulletin, a link to the 1964 Life magazine article "Homosexuality in America."  While we are celebrating Pride and enjoying the afterglow of victory for equal marriage in New York, it's important to remember just how far we've come. 
Do the homosexuals, like the Communists, intend to bury us?  Yes indeed, suggested a startling front-page story in the New York Times and other newspapers last month.  A committee of the highly respected New York Academy of Medicine had come to the conclusion that American homosexuals want far more than to be merely tolerated and even more than to be grudgingly accepted.  Their true goal, said an Academy report, is to convince the world that homosexuality is a "desirable, noble, preferable way of life" - the secret of the greatness of Ancient Greece and "a perfect answer to the problem of the population explosion."
To its credit, Life did try to dispel the outright hysteria:
The Academy committee was dead wrong.  Only a tiny minority of U.S. homosexuals would ever beat the drums so sensationally for their way of life.
But then, as was usual in that pre-Stonewall period, the article went on to dwell relentlessly on the hopelessness of those sick, pathetic, messed-up homos:
Far more of them regard their homosexuality as an affliction.  The lot of the homosexual, as the photographs and article on the preceding pages have shown, is often furtive, hazardous and lonely.  Many homosexuals have gone to psychiatrists begging desperately for help in escaping a life that they had decided was utterly intolerable.
Notice the effect of the subordinate clause here:  they had decided.  Like some confused, childish soul who tries this and tries that, and dislikes all the choices, for no good reason.

But hell, who wouldn't feel that life was intolerable, being labeled night and day not only insane, but also a criminal, and a literally god-damned, hellbound sinner?  Because that is exactly the way it was, living back then in the good old Mayberry days.  I know.  I was there.

So it's somewhat startling to be reminded by this article that notwithstanding all the hatred and hysteria, some big cities had very lively gay communities - with all the very same types of people we still have:  drag queens, leathermen, preppies, long-term couples, hustlers, activists, and so on.  Plus ca change . . . .

But sometimes things do change, for real.  In the context of the above committee report, it's ironic that 47 years later, the American Medical Association has come out for marriage equality.

Then again, some Barneys are stuck back in the kitchen with Aunt Bea:

Bonus: Joe.My.God. has posted the original 1969 report by the New York Daily News on the Stonewall riots. This long, thoroughly homophobic article, titled "HOMO NEST RAIDED - QUEEN BEES ARE STINGING MAD," drips with mockery and sneering condescension at the girly guys who made trouble for the police one hot night in the Village. The unwittingly ironic kicker comes at the very end, though:
The men of the First Division were unable to find any humor in the situation, despite the comical overtones of the raid.

"They were throwing more than lace hankies," one inspector said. "I was almost decapitated by a slab of thick glass. It was thrown like a discus and just missed my throat by inches. The beer can didn't miss, though, it hit me right above the temple." . . .

The police are sure of one thing. They haven't heard the last from the Girls of Christopher Street.

As Joe says, they sure fucking haven't.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Come out of the Closet, Mr. President

Maureen Dowd in the NYT:
Obama is “evolving” on the issue of gay marriage, which, as any girl will tell you, is the first sign of a commitment-phobe.

Maybe, given all his economic and war woes as he heads into 2012, Obama fears the disapproval of the homophobic elements within his own party. But he has tried to explain his reluctance on gay marriage as an expression of his Christianity, even though he rarely goes to church and is the picture of a secular humanist.

While picking up more than three-quarters of a million dollars from 600 guests at a gay and lesbian fund-raising gala in Manhattan on Thursday night, the president declared, “I believe that gay couples deserve the same legal rights as every other couple in this country,” even as he held to his position that the issue should be left to the states to decide.

. . .

With each equivocation, the man in the Oval Office shields his identity and cloaks who the real Barack Obama is.

He should draw inspiration from the gay community: one thing gays have to do, after all, is declare who they are at all costs.

On some of the most important issues facing this nation, it is time for the president to come out of the closet.

While we're on the subject of marriage, here's Cynthia Nixon, speaking last year at the New Yorker Festival:

Gay people who want to marry have no desire to redefine marriage in any way. When women got the vote, they did not redefine voting. When African-Americans got the right to sit at a lunch counter alongside white people, they did not redefine eating out. They were simply invited to the table. And that is all we want to do.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Wiser Today Than Yesterday

New York's straight, married, Catholic - and handsome - state senator Mark Grisanti actually "did the research" - and found there is no reason to deny equality to his fellow citizens.  Which is what the reactionary butthead conservative types never bother to do.  A very moving speech:

Friday, June 24, 2011

New York Senate Votes for Equal Marriage

About damn time.  Almost 42 years to the day since the Stonewall riots in New York City, June 28, 1969.

Thank you, New York!  This will help make the inevitable happen more quickly in the rest of the nation.

The Empire State Building tonight:

Honk to Joe.My.God.

And this twist on an iconic photograph, from The Advocate.  Love it.

Update: Governor Cuomo has already signed the bill into law, a little before midnight New York time. Now that was fucking fast, way to go, Gov.

Weddings will begin 30 days from now.

Evolve Already!

"I love you."  SLAP.  "I love you."  SLAP.  "I really do love you."  WHAM.

Yeah baby, I get the message.

From GetEQUAL:

BTW, that marriage vote in the NY Senate is going to happen tonight. Check out AmericablogGay for coverage.  And keep your fingers crossed.

Waitin' for the Weekend

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Half-full of What?

Ron Reagan hosts a discussion on the President's "evolution."

Also note this article, at a crucial moment when the New York Senate is poised to vote on marriage equality:

President will not endorse marriage equality at fundraiser; will cite states' rights

Honk to Americablog.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Note, Returned

My goal is to always come from a place of love . . . but sometimes you just have to break it down for a motherfucker.


I was going to use that as the epigraph of a little essay on the faults and flaws of the modern world, and of LGBT people in particular. Being oppressed does not make you virtuous, ipso facto. There's a difference.

Oh but . . . skip it. Human beings have been repeatedly told, ad nauseam - and better yet, shown - how to live, from Socrates down to Mother Teresa.

But who really cares? Before you answer: circumspice.


For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives
In the valley of its making where executives
Would never want to tamper, flows on south
From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs,
Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives,
A way of happening, a mouth.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Then and Now

It all changed so fast, didn't it?

Honk to Joe.My.God.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sixty Years and Counting

It is gratifying to know that some few people, at least, get to live out the dream that many of us have had:

The New York Senate is expected to vote on a marriage equality bill today or tomorrow; the measure has already passed the Assembly.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Loving - and Loving

Loving v. Virginia, the landmark Supreme Court case striking down all state laws against interracial marriage, was decided on June 12, 1967.  Attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies, representing the plaintiffs in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, have made this short video as a reminder of the fundamental right to marry.

And just to jog your memories a little further, thought I'd throw in this clip from October, 2008 - make of it what you will:

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Penises Everywhere!

Anderson Cooper rocks.

But hey you guys, just to be on the safe side - stay out of Satan's Snack Shop.

Bonus video: Going from the ridiculist to the subprime, here's your bona fide update on American history.

The Neverdamnending Story

Sigh.  An excerpt from a very read-worthy essay at Daily Kos, check it out:
We as Americans often confuse technological progress with societal progress. Whether this is more pronounced in America than in other countries I have no idea, but it is difficult to sit in a state-of-the-art convention center and imagine a Roman-style collapse of the republic. We have HDTVs, damn it. We have iPhones. Surely we have advanced far beyond those past civilizations, yes? Surely we are better than any current country could be without those things? We have stealth bombers, you primitive bastards. That makes us better.

But people do not progress as fast as their tools, and societies do not even progress at the pace a single person might. Countries might have prodigious technology, and yet still harbor virulent racism. No matter what progress is made, we are still all subject to the self-inflicted effects of war. The environment itself still overwhelms our every invented protection, and easily, with a single tornado, flood, or earthquake, or volcano, or with a slight mutation to a random virus that has always been there, or with changes to the very climate of the planet. In the end we are the stuff of our biology, and harbor the same tribal suspicions and hatreds, the same greed and jealousies, and the same rough ambitions.

There is nothing that declares with (ahem) certitude that our society will always progress, and never regress. Or even collapse. There is no country that is immune to going batshit crazy, from time to time. We do it ourselves rather often: generationally, mostly. Each generation either repeats the same damn mistakes or, overcorrecting, repeats the mistakes from four or five cycles back. I expect we could mostly render history books as generic documents: During the year Y, an overwhelming fear of X assisted in Z's rise to power, after which all went to hell in a handbasket before the countering B movement succeeded in reversing the trend in year Y+N. Cut and paste, kids, cut and paste. All the rest can be done with footnotes.

Where was I? Oh, right. Progress. . . .

Friday, June 17, 2011

Waitin' for the Weekend

The late, great Jon King

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: Dinner at Eight

Steve Hayes reviews the campy, star-studded 1933 classic:
An all-star cast shows up at Lionel Barrymore and Billie Burke's penthouse for George Cukor's comic masterpiece, Dinner At Eight. On the guest list is an aging actress, Marie Dressler; a rich tycoon, Wallace Beery; his chorus-girl wife, Jean Harlow; and a faded movie star, John Barrymore, who's having an affair with their daughter, Madge Evans. Also in sterling support is fast-talking Lee Tracy as Barrymore's beleaguered agent, and Hilda Vaughn as Harlow's laconic maid who resembles a man in drag. Taken from the stage hit by the Algonquin Roundtable team of George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber, Dinner at Eight had the most star-studded cast since Grand Hotel the year earlier. Directed by a master, it's glamorous and witty; "They don't make 'em like that anymore!"

Monday, June 13, 2011

Groovy Guys: Rob Grill, The Grass Roots

Um, so this may or may not be the start of a new feature on the Blue Truck:  hot-looking dudes I remember from the days of my youth.  Implies nothing about their sexuality, of course.  But sure did something for mine.  Maybe some of you fellas will remember too.

Today's featured artist:  mustachioed Rob Grill, second from right in this line-up of The Grass Roots, circa 1970.

Rob peforming in 2004:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Waitin' for the Weekend

Oh fellas, the islands are callin' me big time . . . .

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Now Boarding, Gate 56

 Today I feel like going down to the islands. Who wants to go with me?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

WTF: Wait a Minute, Mr. Postman

Sigh. Now I know why my parents shook their heads at the crazy ideas of my generation. Some days it seems like the whole world is being super-sized . . . in reverse. Apparently the next thing to go is your mailbox, if this article from Canada is any portent:

End door-to-door mail delivery

. . . you didn't stop to make me feel better,
by leaving me a card or a letter . . . .


Friday, June 3, 2011

My Next Yacht

Just when you thought nothing could ever be as much fun again as rolling down the miles in a T-top Firebird . . . check out the Princess V62, which will do 37 knots per hour - that's over 40 fucking mph for you landlubbers.

Not too big to be vulgar, not too small to be cramped. Just right, as Goldilocks said.

Despite the gratuitous heterosexuality in the video, just imagine several young, hung, bronzed and oiled, nearly-naked studs lolling about on the sunbeds or mixing some ice-cold cocktails in the galley.

Sleeps 8. Any which way you want . . . . Grin.
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