Sunday, November 30, 2008

Urge Vermont Governor to Support Marriage Equality

Vermont was the first state in the union to sign into law a civil unions bill under than governor Howard Dean (D). Since that time lawmakers have been challenging the civil unions law which does not provide full equal benefits to gay and lesbian couples. The house is likely to take up a bill upgrading civil unions to full marriage equality this session.

The current governor Jim Douglas (R) has come out in opposition to marriage equality and feels civil unions are adequate. He has yet to indicate whether he would veto this bill if it comes to his desk.

"Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas said Thursday he would oppose legislation allowing same-sex marriages, saying the state's civil unions law is adequate and that lawmakers should be focusing on the state's money problems.

State Sen. John Campbell says he plans to introduce such legislation in the Legislature's upcoming session. "I think the current civil union law is sufficient," Douglas said. "It accords equality of rights to Vermonters in terms of their relationships and I think we should leave the law as it is." Campbell said the bill is unlikely to gain support in the Legislature unless Douglas gives a clear signal he would sign it – or allow it to become law without his signature.

But Douglas balked at sending any such signal. "I never indicate what I might do when a bill gets to my desk, but I've been quite clear that I don't support the legislation," said Douglas, a Republican." (JMG)
It is imperative that we begin to contact the governor and urge him to sign into law a marriage equality bill should it eventually come to his desk. We must remind him that regardless of how he personally feels about marriage it is wrong to create a separate and unequal institution for LGBT people.

Use the E-contact form to get in touch with the governor.

Governor Jim Douglas
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609-0101

802 828-3333
(toll-free in VT only: 800 649-6825)

"The Honor Roll"

Thanks to the Achievement Gap we now have a listing called "The Honor Roll" which lists many who have supported marriage equality. These are famous individuals and organizations who deserve recognition for their contributions and efforts to preserve marriage for all. Of course everyone, whether famous or not deserves a thank you and a hug, but that list would be way too long!

* Brad Pitt - $100,000
* California Teacher’s Association, $1,312,998
* David Geffen, Dreamworks Studios, $100,000
* Jeffrey Katzenberg, Dreamworks Studios, $25,000
* TR Knight, actor, (Grey’s Anatomy), $100,000
* Pete Wentz and Fall Out Boy, $50,000
* George Lucas, $50,000
* Lucas Films, $50,000
* Chelsea Handler (E! talk-show host)
* Hotel Worker’s Union, $100,000
* Apple, $100,000
* Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google founders, $140,000
* Levi Strauss, $25,000
* PG&E, $250,000
* Ellen DeGeneres, $100,000 (airtime for No on Prop 8 PSA)
* David Hyde Pierce, actor (Frasier), $40,000
* Ron Burkle, former owner Ralph’s supermarket chain
* GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), $172,081
* Bridget Fonda, actor, $200
* Jason Tam, actor (One Life to Live), $100
* Mary McCormack, actor (In Plain Sight), $200
* Gus Van Sant, director, $2,500
* Greg Berlanti, executive producer (Brothers & Sisters), $5,000
* George Takei, actor (Star Trek), $2,600
* Jonathan Murray, co-creator and executive producer of “The Real World”, $10,000
* Stephen Speilberg & Kate Capshaw, $101,000
* Pauley Perrette, actor (NCIS), $3,000
* Larry Maiman, owner Mani’s on Fairfax, $500
* Bruce Bastian, founder WordPerfect software, $1,000,000
* Stephen Bing, producer, $500,000
* Robert W. Wilson, $1,200,000
* David Bohnett, lawyer, $1,100,000
* David Maltz, $1,000,000
* John Stryker, $1,000,000
* Fred Eychaner, $675,000
* Williamson Capital, LP, $570,000
* Center Advocacy Project Issues PAC, $420,655
* Human Rights Campaign, $409,097
* LA Gay & Lesbian Services Center, $350,048
* Gill Action Fund, $350,000
* The San Francisco Foundation, $258,907
* CA State Council of Service Employees, $250,000
* James C Hormel, $250,000
* Esmond V Harmsworth, $225,000
* National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, $212,998
* National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, Inc., $187,675
* Equality California (Sponsor), $187,107
* David Ring, $105,416
* Democratic State Central Committee, $104,968
* Susan Orr, $102,186
* Robert Haas, $100,500
* Eugene La Pietra, Circus Disco, $100,000
* Henry Van Ameringen, $100,000
* Horizons Foundation, $100,000
* John August, $100,000
* Jonathan Lewis, $100,00
* Michael Huffington, $100,000
* Peter Lewis, The Progressive Group, $100,000
* SEIU General Fund, $100,000
* SEIU United Healthcare Workers West Political Issues Committee, $100,000
* Unite Here TIP State and Local Fund, $100,000
* Proteus Funds Civil Marriage Collaborative, $80,000
* ACLU of Northern California, $113,720
* Adam Lewis, $75,000
* Chuck WIlliams, $75,000
* Committee for a New Economy, $60,000
* Jennifer Rainin & The Rainin Foundation, $102,500
* Leonie A Walker, $51,000
* Carrie Farrell, Google, $50,360
* Anita May Rosenstein, $50,000
* CA Community Foundation Endowment, $50,000
* Frank Pond, $50,000
* James Johnson, $50,000
* Kate O’Hanlan, $50,000
* Kathy Levinson, $50,000
* Kazan, McClain, Abrams, Lyons, Greewood & Harley, $50,000
* M Quinn Delaney, Akonadi Foundation, $50,000
* National Center for Lesbian Rights, $50,000
* Service Employees International Union Local 1000 CA State Employees Association Issues PAC, $50,000
* Thomas Bombardier, MD, $50,000
* CA Nurses Association, $40,000
* Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry Action Network CA PAC, $29,638
* Democratic National Committee Federal Fund, $25,000
* Mayor’s Committee for Government Excellence and Accountability, $25,000

Shameless Self Promotion Sunday

Please feel free to share any links to queer or queer related topics of interest. You can post a blog entry you made, a website you found interesting. Anything goes as long as it is queer in nature.

Word of the Gay: "Flamespeak"

"Flamespeak" is a term used to describe exactly what word of the gay is all about, lingo used by queer people and expressed throughout queer culture.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nationwide Student Protest for Marriage Equality 12/3/08


On 12/3 Walk out of class at 9 am in your own time zone.
When you leave, please leave a note on your desk or chair that says, "SCHOOL TAUGHT ME NOT TO DISCRIMINATE. SAY NO TO H8. SAY YES TO EQUALITY".

We'll leave it up to the students at each school to figure out what they want to do while they are out of class, but we encourage you all to meet up as a group somewhere nearby and protest for equal rights for everyone. Coordinate through facebook, myspace, text messages, and word of mouth.

Home Page, Facebook Group, Myspace Page

CLICK HERE to print flyers that allow you to write in a place for local students to meet up and protest.

CLICK HERE to print a flyer without adding a place to meet up.

Eric Ross -

Elijah Nouvelage -

Open Forum: The Asexual Rights Movement?

This blog is about uniting sexual and gender minorities in the fight for equality. We are about calling out those who discriminate, boycotting and protesting against those that seek to destroy our lives, and showing appreciation and support for those who have been allied with us in our fight for true liberation.

It is without doubt that lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are fighting for genuine rights, such as the right to marry, adopt, serve openly in the military, donate blood, and be free from discrimination and hate. Likewise the transgender movement is about creating acceptance for gender diversity, obtaining the rights listed above and in addition fighting to change the notion that gender identity variance is a "disorder" make sure sex re-assignment is affordable, safe, and approved. There are also efforts to make the process to change the birth certificate, passport, license, etc to reflect the new gender identity of the individual. The intersex movement does not have to fight for medical care in the same way the transgender community does, instead they are fighting against childhood genital mutilation of intersex babies. They are also on a mission to create awareness, advocacy, and acceptance of third gendered people.

That leaves us with one group under the queer umbrella that begs to question if it is indeed a civil rights movement. Asexuality is a legitimate sexual orientation, one that needs awareness and understanding within society. The question is, will there be an asexual rights movement and what would the fight be for?

Some things to consider about the current movement and status of asexuality:

-It is newly organized and just beginning to receive publicity, due to the internet people are learning about and coming out as asexual and/or questioning.

-There is a division within the movement over whether asexuality falls under the queer umbrella and whether it should be added on to the LGBTQ acronym.

-Asexuality is not being taught in sex-ed or in books with regards to human sexuality.

-There is a complete lack of resources available for an asexual or questioning asexual person.

-Laws which mandate marriages be consummated are discriminatory against asexual couples.

-The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association lists asexuality as "Hypoactive Sexual Desire isorder"

-Asexuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or intersex face additional struggles and lack of equal rights.

Those points being noted, do you think that asexuality is the next battle on the civil rights front? Is this a battle for some degree of equal rights and recognition or more a battle for acceptance and understanding?

Word of the Gay: "Castro Clone"

"Castro Clone" was a term used to describe how most gay men would embrace a certain type of style and dress. The term was used in a time when hyper-masculinity was idolized and everyone was trying to achieve what they deemed male perfection.

Friday, November 28, 2008

HRC - Buying for Equality 2009

The Human Rights Campaign has listed their annual publication called "Buying for Equality" which helps consumers identify which companies are supportive of the LGBT community.

According to a Witeck-Combs/Market study, the buying power of the LGBT community is estimated to be $759 billion in 2009.

Let us use our money wisely. Check out the guide for a comprehensive listing per category and be sure to spread the word!

Click here for a PDF of the Buying for Equality guide.

Web Spotlight: Out Impact

Out Impact is an online gay magazine with a focus on making improvements within and for the LGBT community. Check them out for great articles, event listings and more, also be sure to sign up for their e-newsletter!

Word of the Gay: "Lesbian Potential"

"Lesbian Potential" is a term used when playing a game to decipher a strangers sexuality in public places. The term is indicative of someone who either is likely lesbian or as the term says has potential to be one.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Meet Norman

Born Different is an ad campaign from the Gill Foundation out of Colorado. The Gill Foundation gives millions of dollars a year to great causes/charities around the US.

Norman is a dog that doesn't bark - he "moos". Watch it to understand and visit for more information and share this educational website with friends!

Happy ThanksLiving 2008!

Happy ThanksLiving to all QU blog readers, you have truly become part of the extended online family. I am thankful for all your support and insight that you have provided over the course of many months, I look forward to renewed queer activism and spirit in the wake of our defeats this election day. United we stand, divided we fall, queers and allies together as one will bring about true equality as evidenced by the reality of the dreams of the great ones before us like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohatmas Gandhi.

On this day we also must as queers extend our arms and hearts to those who have been so affected by this day we call "thanksgiving" that represents sorrow for millions. I am deeply saddened and in mourning for the millions of Natives of this land who were murdered, raped, and evicted from their homeland. This holiday represents the destruction of a beautiful and wise culture with rich spirituality and history of preserving the land and exploring its beauty and vastness.

Included in the destruction of heritage and culture were queer Natives, commonly referred to as Two-spirits.

I also am horrified by the continual massacre of beautiful sentient beings that are intelligent and kind only to be murdered in the name of food because they look different and aren't equated with deserving any rights. "Thanksgiving" has become associated with the massacre of hundreds of millions of Turkeys. Beings who are de-beaked, packed so tightly with the inability to move, forced to stand on excrement, having their throats slit while still conscious, and scalded to death in the feather removal tank.

The video above highlights the unacceptable standard practice on factory farms.

"In Germany they first came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me —
and by that time no one was left to speak up." (Pastor Martin Niemöller)
I won't be part of the "Thanksgiving" tradition which does not honor life and speak up for others. ThanksLiving for me is about honoring others and aspiring to be grateful and committed to a better future. I honor the living tradition of the Natives, and respect the life and dignity of my fellow creatures. Happy ThanksLiving!

Web Spotlight: Glee

GLEE is a social networking site for the gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and asexual community. The acronymn GLEE stands Gay, Lesbian, and Everyone Else. It is modeled after myspace and facebook and has become very popular among the queer community for its profiles, personals, forums, videos, chat, music, groups, instant messaging and other features.

After you join be sure to add Queers United as a friend.

Word of the Gay: "Inverts"

"Inverts" was a term used by famous psychiatrist Sigmund Freud to describe homosexuals.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving E-Cards from the Human Rights Campaign

This Thanksgiving send a Human Rights Campaign e-Card to friends and family telling them why they should support marriage equality.

David Letterman Makes Mockery Out of "Milk"

"Milk" is an important upcoming documentary about historic civil rights icon Harvey Milk. In an interview with actor James Franco on the David Letterman show, Mr. Letterman instead of focusing on the historic nature of the film or talking substance about what the movie is about, focuses on the fact that there is a kiss between the two straight men.

Below you can see the interview, and the lack of seriousness and mockery that goes on regarding an epic film that is about to be released.

"Milk" is not a comedy, it is a film about a major icon in the gay rights movement who was assassinated. The fact that David Letterman finds this to be amusing and is focused on one kissing scene that is irrelevant to the movie says more about him than it does about the film.

Contact the Late Show with David Letterman:

Word of the Gay: "Kiki"

When butches and femmes ruled the lesbian bar scene, "kikis" was a derogatory term for those who didn't fit into one of those categories.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Boycott A-1 Self Storage!

Californians Against Hate has launched a new website urging for a call to boycott A-1 Self Storage. Previously we blogged in July about Mr. Terry Caster a California businessman who owns A-1 Self Storage contributing nearly 300,000 dollars to support eliminating marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples in California via proposition 8.

His reason for donating:

"Without solid marriage, you are going to have a sick society,"
In October, Mr. Caster more than doubled his previous donation, bringing his total donation to proposition 8 to 693,000 dollars, making his family the 2nd largest contributor to the proposition.

Let the company know that you will be boycotting them over the Caster families donation to proposition 8.

Corporate Office Number: 800-219-4854 ext. 106

A-1 Customer Service Number: 800-210-8979

The Boycott A-1 Self Storage website has a listing of all the locations to avoid.

"Creating Change" - National Conference for LGBT Equality

Creating Change- The National Conference for LGBT Equality is being held Jan 28-Feb 1 2009, in Denver Colorado.

"Each year the conference is held in a different region of the United States and attracts 2,500+ participants from within and outside of the LGBT community. It's is well known for providing a unique environment where activists and leaders come together from diverse places and backgrounds to create a community that is both strengthening and inspiring to the participants.

Creating Change is for you if you are: an activist and organizer in your community, campus or workplace; a board member, staff member or leader in a LGBT organization, community center or foundation; an elected or appointed official; a change agent for justice, freedom & equality for all. In other words, Creating Change has something for everyone!"

For more information:
e-mail or call 202-639-6333

Breaking News: Florida Adoption Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

"Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman Tuesday declared Florida's 50-year-old ban on gay adoptions unconstitutional -- a ruling state lawyers immediately said they would challenge.

The ruling sets the stage for Frank Gill, a gay man from North Miami, to adopt two foster children he has raised since 2004.

In a 53-page ruling, Judge Lederman said, ``It is clear that sexual orientation is not a predictor of a person's ability to parent.

Two lawyers from the Florida Attorney General's Office said they would file an appeal Tuesday.

''We respect the court's decision,'' said Assistant Attorney General Valerie Martin. ``Based upon the wishes of our client, the Department of Children & Families, we will file an appeal.''

Gill, who is raising the half-brothers, ages 4 and 8, said he was ''elated'' by the ruling and ``I cried tears of joy for the first time in my life." (Miami Herald)

Word of the Gay: "Tryke"

A "tryke" is a transsexual dyke, a male-to-female transsexual who identifies as a lesbian.

Web Spotlight: Cultural War Effort

One of our readers has designed a new blog to inspire LGBTIQQA "soldiers on the home front" (and our allies) to do our part to help win the cultural war for our full and equal civil rights. The blog has a mission of achieving equality and success for the community. One of the first calls to action is QVS - Queer Voluntary Service that we can do on behalf of the community.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Christian Billboard Apologizes for Proposition 8

The Mission Gathering Church in San Diego has paid for a billboard in San Diego apologizing for people who supported proposition 8 in the name of God.

The sign says: "Mission gathering church is sorry for the narrow-minded, judgmental, deceptive, manipulative actions of those who took away the rights and equality of so many in the name of God. Our hearts are with you, Christianity for all"

Mission Gathering Church
3828 Herman Ave.
San Diego CA, 92104
Phone: 619.624.9335
Fax: 619.624.9395

H/T to Joe My God.

Arizona Prop 102 Supporting Bigots Exposed

Proponents of proposition 102 spent a whopping 8 million dollars to ban marriage between gay and lesbian couples in the state of Arizona. They exercised their right to use their money as they saw fit, and now we will exercise ours, by boycotting and exposing those who imposed bigotry on decent tax-paying American families.

The Tuscon Observer has created a comprehensive listing they obtained from the campaign finance reports showing who supported and opposed prop 102 financially.

Ten More Good Years

Ten More Good Years is a new documentary being featured on the queer channel LOGO. This short but moving film features a few LGBT elders who are struggling to get by in a hostile world. The film shows the struggles of being a queer senior in nursing homes, and being around people who don't understand or accept of alternative sexuality or gender.

It is very heart warming to see these kind people going about their lives and sharing their stories. It is also very shocking and sad to see the people who began the movement for LGBT liberation being forced back into the closets they so proudly broke out of decades ago.

Word of the Gay: "Flame Dame"

A "flame dame" is an attractive woman who prefers the company of gay men.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

We Made the "God Hates Fags" News List Again!

It is an honor for Queers United to make the notorious anti-gay and ludicrous news feed of "God Hates Fags."

A link to an entry on a protest listing is labeled with this...

"Obama's Grandmama is in hell - you got a problem with that?"

What Obama's grandmother has to do with our request for people to act as a buffer against the GHF cult, in protection of the students who held the Laramie Project show, one will never know.

Well, anyways it is a Sunday and I figured I'd share the humor, ridiculousness and utter sadness that is the "Westboro Baptist Church."

Praise ye my fellow homosexuals, for you are the light unto the nations and the chosen lavender petals that will stream my queendom of heaven. Amen.

No MILK For Cinemark!

The CEO of Cinemark, Alan Stock, donated $9999 to the Yes on 8 Campaign, but will now profit from showing MILK in his theaters.

As of sunday evening, they have exceeded 1,000 facebook members who have joined the cause!

But it’s just a start—we need to keep going to make the biggest impact we can. Our new goal is 10,000 members—This is aggressive but we think it’s possible. Let’s keep it going!

Boycotts work. A boycott of a Sacramento theatre company resulted not only in the resignation of a Yes on 8 contributor,
but a public apology and donation to Human Rights
Campaign! We can do this again.

You can find an alternative theater using the links on the left, and join our facebook group below to spread the word!

Check out the No MILK for Cinemark campaign, for fliers, facebook group, gay-friendly theaters, and ones to avoid who donated to prop 8.

Shameless Self Promotion Sunday

Please feel free to share any links to queer or queer related topics of interest. You can post a blog entry you made, a website you found interesting. Anything goes as long as it is queer in nature.

Word of the Gay: "Swish"

"Swish" is descriptive of either feminine or flamboyant people and/or actions.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Help Pro-Equality Candidate Win Senate Seat in Georgia!

Help elect pro-equality Democrat Jim Martin in the Tuesday, December 2nd run-off election in Georgia. Incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss has a 0% rating on issues important to us, even voting for a same-sex adoption ban!

Jim Martin on LGBT issues:

-Expand federal hate crimes laws to include LGBT citizens.

-Expand federal workplace equality laws.

-Increase funding for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and education.

-Repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell

-Supports Civil Unions

-Protect adoption rights for same-sex couples.

-Opposes discriminatory federal marriage amendment.

Open Forum: Is Thomas Beatie a Hermaphrodite by Choice?

The word hermaphrodite is mythological and it describes someone who is both fully male and female. This is a biological impossibility.

However, with the case of Thomas Beatie, the "pregnant man" it brings into question whether someone who elects to go through some sex-altering procedures could be classified as a hermaphrodite.

Thomas Beatie is a female to male transsexual. He has removed his breasts, gone on testosterone, and as a result has develop more masculinized features. He has opted to keep his vagina, and uterus so he can give birth.

The testosterone has helped his clitoris grow into a penis. Essentially Thomas Beatie does have both a penis and a vagina, which by birth is impossible but through surgery can become a reality.

Does this make Thomas Beatie a hermaphrodite? Would a trans person who fits in this category find the term offensive if the term hermaphrodite was used in a different context to reflect this modern phenomenon?

Word of the Gay: "Pride"

"Pride" is a term used to reference joy, power, and expression of sexual and gender identity. The term "pride" can be used to denote queer celebrations.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Defending Traditional Sidewalks

Princeton University students in light of the passage of proposition 8 banning equal marriage rights in California have come up with "Princeton Proposition 8". This would ensure that sidewalks would be protected for sophomores, juniors, seniors, grad students and faculty members and make sure that freshmen activists and freshmen enablers are not permitted to betray the will of the majority of the campus. Proponents of "Princeton Proposition 8" say they love freshmen, but want to protect traditional sidewalks, while opponents say that "separate is not equal."

Web Spotlight: Against Nature?

In 2006 The Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, opened the first-ever museum exhibition dedicated to gay animals. Parts of the exhibition and information are preserved online. The exhibition title "Against Nature?" is intended to get people to think about their arguments against homosexuality, when it is evident that it is completely natural and seen throughout the animal kingdom.

Violence Inciter "Bounty Killer" Granted Visa by U.K.

Anti-gay reggae artist Bounty Killer is seen below saying violence inciting homophobic commentary. He says such things as "faggot, I kill every one of them", and "queers must die."

The U.K. has granted him a temporary visa and he is set to perform a show this Sunday at The Stratford. The police say the show will go on unless there is a riot which puts the public in danger, gay activists are afraid to protest the show due to unforeseen violence.

Human rights activist Peter Thatchell has been arguing against hate inciting violence for years now saying that: "There is a clear correlation between murder music and homophobic violence, especially in Jamaica, where the release of anti-gay tracks often coincides with a rise in queer-bashing violence." (Pink News)

Mr. Thatchell is urging us to contact the Jamaican High Commission in the United Kingdom.

1-2 Prince Consort Road
London SW7 2BZ
Tel: 44-(0)-207-823-9911

Project Postcard - LGBTQ Community to Obama

President-elect Barack Obama has made a lot of promises to the LGBTQ community. We have to make sure he follows through. What better way to do it than to send him a friendly little reminder? Here's what you do...

BUY A POSTCARD - It would be great if it had the name of your city or state on it, but feel free to get creative. Make your own, use one that you have around the house, or grab a free one at your local restaurant. Heck, why not get a bunch of different ones? The more, the better.

ADDRESS IT - A handwritten card is always best, but feel free to print out labels if you're going to send multiple cards. Here's the address...

President-elect Barack Obama
Presidential Transition Office
Kluczynski Federal Building
230 S. Dearborn St., 38th Floor
Chicago, IL 60604

WRITE A MESSAGE - A unified message would be ideal. Let's keep it focused. I recommend something like this...

Dear President-elect Obama,

Please ask Congress to repeal D.O.M.A.! All Americans should have the right to marry. Thank you in advance for advocating for the civil rights of your LGBT citizens.

SIGN YOUR NAME - There is nothing more powerful than that.

BUY POSTAGE AND DROP YOUR POSTCARD(S) IN THE MAIL - Wasn't that easy? Repeat frequently.

The image I posted of a gay ally postcard is an idea, but any postcard will do, it is the message and wording that is key.

Go to Civil Rights Front for more info on Project Postcard.

Word of the Gay: "Stone Butch"

A "stone butch" is a woman who is strongly masculine in her personality and style. A "stone butch" is generally the more aggressive partner in the relationship, and the one who wears the pants.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Gay American Smokeout 11/20/08

A disproportionate amount of people in the queer community face cancer risk due to high level of smoking within the community. Smoking exacerbates complications in queer men and women who are already at a higher risk for breast, anal, and ovarian cancers.

The American Cancer Society estimates that over 30,000 LGBT people die each year of tobacco related diseases.

So commit to quit, take your last drag and find more resources and meet-up/social groups for those trying to or have quit at the Gay American Smokeout and the LGBT Tobacco Control Network.

Video Remembering Our Beloved Transgender Friends & Family

Transgender Day of Remembrance - 11/20/08

Today is the 10th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance commemorating all those in the transgender community who lost their lives due transphobia, misunderstanding, and pure hate.

Prayer for Transgender Day of Remembrance

"God full of mercy, bless the souls of all who are in our hearts on this Transgender Day of Remembrance. We call to mind today young and old, of every race, faith, and gender experience, who have died by violence. We remember those who have died because they would not hide, or did not pass, or did pass, or stood too proud, or looked like someone who did. Today we name them: the reluctant activist; the fiery hurler of heels; the warrior for quiet truth; the one whom no one really knew.

As many as we can name, there are thousands more whom we cannot, and for whom no prayer may have been said. We mourn their senseless deaths, and give thanks for their lives, for their teaching, and for the brief glow of each holy flame. We pray for the strength to carry on their legacy of vision, bravery, and love.

And as we remember them, we remember with them the thousands more who have taken their own lives. We pray for resolve to root out the injustice, ignorance, and cruelty that grow despair. And we pray, God, that all those who perpetrate hate and violence will speedily come to understand that Your creation has many faces, many genders, many holy expressions.

Blessed are they, who have allowed their divine image to shine in the world.

Blessed is God, in Whom no light is extinguished.(CBST)"
Suggested actions for the day:
-Candlelight vigils / marches
-Visual representation of the number of deaths with:
-Cardboard tomb stones of remembered people
-Paper cutouts of remembered people
-Body outline chalkings of remembered people
-Art / photography displays

Please use the opporunity to commemorate a friend or loved one who has suffered due to transphobia, regardless of whether one is theist, atheist, and regardless of your particular faith, please keep those names in your heart today and think about how we can all work to make this world a better and more just place regardless of ones gender identity/expression.

Word of the Gay: "Non-sexual"

"Non-sexual" is a term for not having or not being involved with sex and sexuality. It can apply to asexuals or people who for various reasons choose to disengage from sexuality.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

California Supreme Court to Hear Prop 8 Case

This just in .... California's highest court has just agreed to hear legal challenges to a new ban on gay marriage, but has refused to allow gay couples to resume marrying until it rules.

The California Supreme Court on Wednesday accepted three lawsuits seeking to overturn Proposition 8. The amendment passed this month with 52 percent of the vote. The court did not elaborate more on this decision.

Gay rights advocates in these case are arguing that the measure was actually a constitutional revision, instead of a more limited amendment. A revision of the state Constitution can be placed before the voters only by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature or a constitutional convention.

Lawsuits to overturn the initiative contend it was a revision because it denied equal protection to a minority group and eviscerated a key constitutional guarantee. Supporters of Proposition 8 counter that it merely amended the constitution by restoring a traditional definition of marriage.

In its order, the court established an expedited briefing schedule, under which briefing will be completed in January 2009 and oral argument potentially could be held as early as March 2009.

Six justices — Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Justice Marvin R. Baxter, Justice Kathryn M. Werdegar, Justice Ming W. Chin, Justice Carlos R. Moreno, and Justice Carol A. Corrigan signed the court’s order, but Justice Moreno indicated that he would grant the requests to stay the operation of Proposition 8 pending the court’s resolution of these matters.

The court has tended to defer to voter sentiment on initiative challenges, but it has overturned popular ballot measures in the past.

In 1966, the California Supreme Court struck down an initiative that would have permitted racial discrimination in housing. Voters had approved the measure, a repeal of a fair housing law, by a 2-to-1 margin.

Opponents challenged measure on equal protection grounds, not as a constitutional revision.

Additionally Federal courts have also overturned another contentious initiative, Proposition 187, the anti-immigration measure passed by voters.

Crossposted via Lez Get Real.

E-Harmony Becomes Harmonious with Queers

E-Harmony has not been providing matchmaking services to gays and lesbians on account of its "christian values" and claim that their love research was only done on heterosexual relationships giving them no basis for how to match queers.

Now, thanks to a lawsuit E-Harmony will open its service to gays and lesbians.

"Internet matchmaker will provide same-sex matching services in 2009 under the terms of a settlement reached today in New Jersey. The online dating service, founded in 2000 in California, has 20 million clients, according to its website. Eric McKinley, a gay man from New Jersey, filed a discrimination suit against eHarmony Inc. in 2005 after the service refused to take his personal advertisement. McKinley's suit triggered a N.J. state investigation of the service. Under the terms of the settlement, eHarmony agreed to provide a new service for gay men and lesbians by March 31 under the headings "male seeking male" and "female seeking female." In return, the complaint against eHarmony was dismissed by the N.J. Division on Civil Rights. The company and its founder, Neil Clark Warren, were absolved of any liability." (JMG)
Too bad it took a court order to force them to expand their dating service to include gays and lesbians.

I know I for one will sign up for a "free" account, to demonstrate that there are gays and lesbians out there, but no way in hell will they get a dime from me for the regular basic membership.

Red Eye's Greg Gutfeld Spews Out More Queerphobia

Greg Gutfeld who runs the Red Eye show on Fox News is no stranger to controversy. A year ago he engaged in trans bashing against Thomas Beatie the "pregnant man" as seen here and here.

So did Mr. Gutfeld learn his lesson, when he faced criticism by us and many in the LGBT community? Nope.

In his latest show he takes a plug at Barney Frank (D) the openly gay congressman from Massachusetts.

"Look, I don’t dispute that aliens exist, but there are more urgent matters to deal with, other than wrinkly creatures with a knack for anal probing. But enough about Barney Frank...I couldn’t resist."
Below is a video account of the segment.

Contact Fox News and Red Eye and tell them to stop their Homophobia!


Phone Fox News: 1-888-369-4762

Unified Voice - Stand for Civil Partnerships

The people at Unified Voice believe that America is not ready for marriage equality, so instead their focus is on taking it one step at a time, securing as many rights as possible. They hope that through their action they can secure civil partnerships in all 50 states by 2020.

Sign the petition to grant full civil partnership benefits on a federally recognized level.

Web Spotlight: GLBT National Help Center

The GLBT national help center operates 2 toll-free hot lines to help GLBT youth and adults. Callers can discuss in confidentiality anything from needing support coming out, to dealing with issues of safe-sex, or simply finding out where the local GLBT community organizations and resources are in ones area. Be sure to check the hours of operation for the hotlines on the website, you can also use the email contact to get in touch with them.

GLBT National Hotline - 1-888-THE-GLNH

GLBT National Youth Talkline - 1-800-246-PRIDE (by youth for youth).

GLBT Database with listings city

Word of the Gay: "429"

"429" is the numerical term for G-A-Y. Used on mobile phones, the numbers correspond to the letters G, A, and Y and are sometimes used as a codeword to indicate ones sexuality.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Anti-gay Alaska Senator Ted Stevens Loses Seat

In a closely contested race the AP is now reporting that Mark Begich (D) has defeated incumbent Senator Ted Stevens (R) of Alaska. Senator Ted Stevens has received a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign indicating an anti-LGBT voting record.

While Mark Begich's views are not as well known on the issue of gay rights, early indications appear positive. He has appeared at the Anchorage Pride Parade and read the city proclamation marking the third Saturday in June as Gay Pride Day. He attended Pride Fest every year since becoming mayor. He has also come out on the record saying it is wrong to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

Senator Ted Stevens losing is a great way forward for LGBT rights, regardless of his replacement, but it appears we have a friend in Mark Begich.

Wake Up This Morning (Video)

"Welcome to California Where Chickens Have More Rights Than Me"

As a queer vegan blogger I probably have a different perspective on this but I felt the need to rant. I wrote about the Black-Gay Blame Game and how it is wrong to single out African-Americans because the majority of that community voted for prop 8. We must understand that all the struggles for liberation have parallels but cannot be equated as each are unique in their own way.

Black people were enslaved, beaten, and subject to some of the most horrendous discrimination in this country. The queer civil rights movement cannot be compared to that movement because it is fundamentally different, there are parallels but equating that both are the same is doing a disservice to both movements. There are struggles blacks have dealt with that gays have not and vice versa.

Similarly this notion that proposition 2 passed (an animal protection bill) is somehow giving animals more rights than LGBT people is ridiculous and downright speciesist (involves assigning different values or rights to beings on the basis of their species membership).

People are holding signs at rallies saying "chickens can spread their wings, but gays can't marry." Six hens to a tiny battery cage where they cannot move, and are forcefully debeaked without pain killers, and excrete on one another is not on the same level with the marriage equality movement. The parallel is both movements strive to bring basic dignities and rights to all, but they are not on the same level playing field.

The routine procedures such as castration, debeaking, caging, force-feeding, and denial of basic natural practices for animals is far from humane, and no chickens do not have more rights than gay people. That is a ridiculous assertion, animals have no rights in our society. The federal law to protect animals even excludes animals raised for food consumption.

I am very much in favor of drawing parallels between struggles for liberation, after all we are all tied to the same goals of basic dignity for our families and livelihoods and we all face a similar oppressor each and every time. The time now is to understand the struggle for equality and to draw parallels but not to point fingers and denigrate one struggle over another.

Obama-Biden Lay Out Plans for LGBT Community

The President-elect Barack Obama transition team and agenda website has listed comprehensive plans for the nation, including plans for LGBT rights.

Support for the LGBT Community

"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."
-- Barack Obama, June 1, 2007

The Obama-Biden Plan

* Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: In 2004, crimes against LGBT Americans constituted the third-highest category of hate crime reported and made up more than 15 percent of such crimes. Barack Obama cosponsored legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability. As a state senator, Obama passed tough legislation that made hate crimes and conspiracy to commit them against the law.

* Fight Workplace Discrimination: Barack Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees' domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy. Obama also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

* Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.

* Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: Barack Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.

* Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell: Barack Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. Obama will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.

* Expand Adoption Rights: Barack Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.

* Promote AIDS Prevention: In the first year of his presidency, Barack Obama will develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. Obama will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system. Obama also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma -- too often tied to homophobia -- that continues to surround HIV/AIDS. He will continue to speak out on this issue as president.

* Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS: In the United States, the percentage of women diagnosed with AIDS has quadrupled over the last 20 years. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. Barack Obama introduced the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides are a class of products currently under development that women apply topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections.

The transition team is also taking your opinions on civil rights, and ideas for moving the country forward.

Word of the Gay: "Rug Muncher"

"Rug Muncher" is a term used to describe oral sex in which a female is stimulated, but the term has also become a derogatory word synonymous for lesbian.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dr. Phil Steps into Prop 8 Debate

Dr. Phil is having an upcoming program on proposition 8 and same-sex marriage in California on Friday 11/21. We will be watching closely considering we haven't been too pleased with the transphobia aired on Dr. Phil in the past.

If you want to appear on his upcoming shows follow the links below:

Are you in the Los Angeles area and want to be on the "prop 8" show, click here.

Do you have a strong opinion on marriage equality and prop 8, click here.

Web Spotlight: BFLAG

BFLAG stands for Blind, Friends, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People. The organization is a voice and a place to empower those who are visually impaired and also LGBT. The organization seeks to provide resources and information in an accessible way and also make sure that institutions serving the blind are aware and sensitive to issues of the LGBT community.

Favorite Rally Chants?

So many creative chants have come about due to the prop 8 revolution. Queers have taken back the streets and we are demanding equal rights.

Here are some of my favorite slogans:

"Gay families under attack, what do we do, we fight back!"

"Gay, Straight, Black, White, marriage is a civil right!"

"What do we want? Marriage Equality! When do we want it? NOW!"

"Hey hey ho ho homophobia's got to go..."

"Out of the bars and into the streets"

"Tax the Mormon Church!"

What are your favorite slogans, or did your rally locale have something unique?

Nepal's Highest Court Grants Full Rights to LGBTI Citizens

The highest court in Nepal has issued a ruling granting full rights to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersexual citizens.

The final judgement was issued today.

"It reiterates that all LGBTIs are defined as a "natural person" and their physical growth as well as sexual orientation, gender identity, expression are all part of natural growing process. Thus equal rights, identity and expression must be ensured regardless of their sex at birth."(Pink News)
Furthermore, the court has instructed a study into countries which have same-sex marriage practice and has ordered the legislature to introduce a bill putting forth full marriage equality which is expected to pass.

Androgynous Musician "Prince" Makes Anti-Gay Name for Self

The always androgynous, sexually ambiguous Prince has come out with his anti-gay sentiments. In an interview with a Christian businessman he made an inference to the biblical cities "Sodom & Gomorrah" indicating that God wiped out those cities due to widespread homosexuality.

"He pointed to a Bible. But there’s the problem of interpretation, and you’ve got some churches, some people, basically doing things and saying it comes from here, but it doesn’t. And then on the opposite end of the spectrum you’ve got blue, you’ve got the Democrats, and they’re, like, ‘You can do whatever you want.’ Gay marriage, whatever. But neither of them is right.” When asked about his perspective on social issues—gay marriage, abortion—Prince tapped his Bible and said, “God came to earth and saw people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever, and he just cleared it all out. He was, like, ‘Enough." (JMG)
Prince may be androgynous and helps breaking down label barriers, but he is far from royal when it comes to issues of diversity, boycott Prince!

Equality Utah - Petition for Gay & Transgender Utahns

"Throughout the recent election cycle, the LDS Church has demonstrated its willingness to participate in political issues by asking its members to do all they can do, including donating their means and their time, to support California’s Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution and eliminated gay couples right to marry by defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

The LDS Church has articulated it is not “anti-gay” but rather pro-marriage and it “does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights.” On November 5th, Elder L. Whitney Clayton stated the LDS Church does not oppose “civil unions or domestic partnerships.” In response to these statements, Equality Utah is drafting legislation for the 2009 General Session of the Utah Legislature to address each of the issues mentioned by the LDS Church."

Help urge the LDS church to stick by their statements and help in the effort to pass equality legislation in Utah.

Click here to sign the Equality Utah petition.

Word of the Gay: "Ladyboy"

A "ladyboy" is either a male-to-female transgender, or an effeminate gay male who adopts a feminine appearance. The term is popular in Thailand, outside of that country the word is deemed offensive to MTF's.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Catholic School Kicks Lesbian Mother Off PTA

Robin McGehee's 5 year old son Sebastian attends St. Helen's Catholic School. The school was aware of her sexual orientation but forced her to resign after she appeared at a "No on 8" rally claiming it went against church teachings. Shortly after being forced to resign, the Vice-president of the PTA had resigned in solidarity with Ms. McGhee. Ms. McGhee and her wife are now looking for a new school for their son.

Email contact for St. Helen's Catholic School.

Phone: (559) 251-5855
Mailing Adress:
4888 East Belmont Avenue
Fresno, California 93727