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.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gomer Got Married

Surprise, surprise, surprise!

And now we know: Jim Nabors married his longtime companion Stan Cadwallader during a visit to Seattle this month.

Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

The guys have been a couple for 38 years, though Nabors has never been officially out until now. All good wishes to them, and more happy years together.

I know some of you fellas around my age will remember that in the winter of 1971-72, when the new meaning of gay had just barely begun to trickle into people's minds down here in the Southland, there was a funny story going around that Rock Hudson and Jim Nabors had gotten married. Which everybody laughed at because of course the idea of two men getting married was completely ludicrous in that day and time; and also, nobody could picture those two very opposite types making any kind of couple.

But there was a grain or two of truth buried in that garbled story, wasn't there.

Update: Snopes.com has the origins of the story.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The President's Second Inaugural Address

Lord have mercy, I have lived to see this day:

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 . . . .

Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law - for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

Thank you for that, Mr. President. Full text here.

See also gay Latino poet Richard Blanco reading his inaugural poem over at Reluctant Rebel.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

January Blahs

Cold, wet, gray, and rainy here.  Inside and out.  Not much news happening, and I just don't feel like talking until . . . spring?  Maybe sooner, if the sun comes out. 

So I'm taking a winter break from blogging till further notice.  Y'all take care.

Honk to my truckbuddy Tim for finding the video.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Guest Post: An Airman's Tale

By Tim:

This post derives from a short tale I e-mailed to Russ a while back, about an experience from my days in the Royal Air Force of the 1970’s. He suggested that if it was expanded a little, it would make a good Universal Truth. Two things here, first of all Russ didn’t say what UT he had in mind, and I’m not sure I know either, at least not until we reach the end of the tale, so please bear with me! Secondly, by ‘expand’, I think Russ meant put in some pictures of young men in uniform. If you read my November Guest Post on Gay Imagery, you will realise I don’t wholly agree with the use of salacious photos, but Russ assures me it will draw the punters in. Sex still sells apparently, so stick with the tale and you will be well rewarded!

Just to get us into the mood then, here is a nice young man partially wearing an RAF No. 1 uniform of the period. He fits it rather better than I did mine at his age. When I joined up I was as thin as a beanpole, barely making 115 lbs of skin and bone.

During my aircrew training we used to have uniform regular inspections. The course would line up first thing in the morning and our Flight Commander, accompanied by our Sergeant Drill Instructor, would check our uniforms for fit and general smartness. One day we were wearing our new No. 2 uniforms. The Flight Commander stopped in front of me, frowning. He pulled at my collar, then at my waistband. He turned to our Drill Instructor, a wonderful Eastender from London who sprinkled his speech with extra ‘H’s’ whilst leaving others out all together. “Sergeant, this man’s uniform doesn’t fit at all well, get the tailor to look at it, will you?” The Sergeant replied, “Hit’s not the huniform wot’s wrong, sah, hit’s the man inside it, ee’s pigeon chested!” Well, at least it started that morning with a laugh.

Anyway, back to my original tale: When I take my Labrador, Lulu, for her evening walk here in Spain, we usually end up sitting on a little hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea I watch the ships passing by, and Lulu waits for biscuits. This evening, as we sat side by side, I heard the unmistakable growl of the local Guardia Civil patrol boat as it passed by at the end of its daytime patrol, heading back to its home port at Puerto Banus. It looks just like this one:

These vessels are essentially large speedboats, designed to chase the drug and cigarette smugglers crossing the straits of Gibraltar. The crews have very smart uniforms, though they do seem a tight fit! However, I like the way this young Guardia Officer stands to attention:

Continued after the jump . . .

Friday, January 4, 2013

Waitin' for the Weekend

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Fools, Frauds, and Fanatics

The Blind Leading the Blind,
Pieter Breugel the Elder, 1568.
Click to enlarge.

This may or may not become a regular feature of the Blue Truck. As I said in my New Year's Eve post, there's just not much point in my complaining about the state of the world and the people in it. Nobody wants to hear yet another grumpy old man's rant, and the intertubes are already choked with suchlike.

Still, sometimes I run across items that in my younger days I might have expatiated on at length. Being older and wiser now, not to say wearier, I think I will just throw some out and let you fellas make of them what you will. Today's choices:

1. From Andrew Sullivan, talking about the fiscal cliff deal, but making an important and accurate observation about economics and the history of nations:
I do not see why the Pentagon is immune from real sacrifice, when we have no serious military rival in the world and are spending more in real terms than we did when Reagan out-spent the Soviets. . . .

History is replete with examples of great powers who undid themselves by spending on war and empire - in the end often with debt - while neglecting the core concerns of the domestic economy. Hegemonic America is following imperial Spain and imperial Britain into the same morass. But it is a choice, not a fate.

2. Also from Andrew Sullivan, on "the broken American polity":
Senator Ben Nelson said recently that many Republicans have yet to accept the presidential election of 2008, let alone the re-election of 2012. I see no real evidence to the contrary. Whether this is due to race, or culture, or fanaticism (they regarded Bill Clinton as illegitimate as well) I do not pretend to know. We know also, of course, that the corrupt gerrymandering of House districts allows those with power to rig the system so they can retain power - even when they have no broad public support. And we know that the whitest, rightest part of the Republican base controls the primaries and is determined to destroy any member of Congress who votes against the religion of permanent insolvency - which is what "no-revenue-increases-ever" means as we near a demographic wave of older folks. What a perverse cause: a party dedicated above all to the permanent, chronic insolvency of the American government. The cuts they need without any new revenues would simply end the welfare state in America and would never be tolerated by the middle classes in practice. And tax reform will only get us so far.

This, then, remains a country in a Cold Civil War - not far off the geographical contours of the first, but with the inheritors of the Confederacy concentrated in the South and now also with serious pockets of absolutists in the more rural parts of the country as a whole. Maybe it was precisely because Barack Obama campaigned against partisan polarization that the GOP has decided to ratchet it up. The right-wing media-industrial complex - from Limbaugh to Hannity to Drudge - earns money from conflict, not compromise. And these lucrative media institutions have taken over from what's left of the conservative intelligentsia (three decades ago a flourishing, growing and open group, now shrinking fast into calcified, partisan hacks).

3. Yeats prophetically wrote, "the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." Here's an example of the former, who happens to be a Georgetown law professor and means exactly what he says in the title of his article, "Let's Give Up on the Constitution" - which was published in the New York Times, no less.

I won't even dignify this goofball's asininity by quoting him, but it just goes to show that it is entirely possible to be a very well-educated fool. Where would we be without the Constitution now, hmmm? If I had any say in the matter, he would be dismissed from his job immediately, and posted to one of those couple dozen African countries where nobody gives a damn about constitutions already, and see how he prospers.

4. Joe.My.God. quotes the Rev. Franklin Graham, Billy's son, who pontificated last week on the decline of the nation being largely due to "same-sex couples lining up at courthouses in several states to receive their marriage licenses," among other things: "a reflection of the moral corruption that has infected our entire nation. These are indeed dark days."

Of course you know the Pope and many other petrified religious leaders have said the same thing before, ad infinitum et ad nauseam. A new thing in the world: for centuries, the religionists decried gays for being promiscuous libertines, with dead-end lives that contribute no good to society. Now that we are finally able to marry and form long-lasting, publicly recognized unions, the religionists shout about how immoral that is. Which just goes to show that it is entirely possible to be a blind guide and hypocrite, though claiming to be a man of God.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

ESPN Airs Pro Bowler Kissing His Husband

My stars, will wonders never cease?  Here's the finale of the 2012 PBA Chameleon Championship in Las Vegas, filmed in November but broadcast last Sunday.

The 30-year-old Scott Norton, whose day job is being an attorney, came out after his championship win in May 2011, and got hitched to his partner, Craig Woodward, in October of that year.  Outsports.com reports:
In what might be a first, ESPN this weekend showed an openly gay male pro athlete kissing his husband and they did not shy away from describing the relationship. . . . Scott Norton won the event over Jason Belmonte and afterward broke down and cried in memory of a friend who had died. He was then shown kissing his husband, Craig Woodward, as they exchanged affectionate words (video below). During the telecast, ESPN’s announcers referred to Woodward as Norton’s husband or spouse.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Maryland: Wedding Bells Ring in the New Year

Now Maryland joins the ranks of states permitting same-sex marriage, and the first one below the Mason-Dixon Line.  Once again, gay couples were lined up at courthouses and city halls at the stroke of midnight to tie the knot, like Jim Scales and Bill Tasker of Baltimore, together for 35 years:

A sweet way to begin the new year. See more couples' weddings in the photo gallery here.

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