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June 22, 2009

There Oughta Be A Law

See, here is where current gay outrage is about to veer wildly off the tracks and ultimately cost us support. It's as pointless as it was inevitable. Pam Spaulding started it by comparing gay leadership to House Negroes and Uncle Toms. John Aravosis, an eloquent, reasoned defender of the cause a raging hysteric, ran with it, and now there a thousand different fights across the internet about who's offended by the comparison, who suffered more in history, blacks or gays, and the usual circular firing squad spinning so wildly that it's more a vortex of cannon fire.

I propose a new internet law in the spirit of Godwin's Law. We could call it Stowe's Law.

The longer a significant group of internet gays are outraged, the more likely poorly thought out comparisons to the Black Civil Rights struggle will be made. This will invariably result in an Oppression Olympics that alienates and infuriates everyone involved while accomplishing nothing at all.

Something along those lines. It always happens.

June 17, 2009

The Craigslist President

The most apt comment I've read about today's tokenism:

Obama is like all the men on gay hook up sites. They all promise 8″ or more, but when you meet them it’s barely 5″, but ya go ahead and do it anyways because, well, you drove all the way over there.

And afterwards, Joe Solmonese tells all his friends it was actually nine.

Obama Administration Gets A Savaging

This seems to be snowballing. Dan Savage reacts to tonight's presidential signing:

Which brings us back to sheer insulting incompetence of this idiot maneuver. Why announce a bold plan and an Oval Office signing ceremony for a something-or-other that will "extend federal benefits" to the partners of gay employees... when that package does not include the only workplace benefit that most people can name off the tops of their fucking heads: health insurance? This is your big gesture to mollify your gay critics? This is designed to calm the waters in the wake of your DOMA betrayal? When I wrote earlier tonight that the federal benefits Obama is extending "are by no means trivial," I was naturally operating under the assumption that these benefits would include health insurance. They do not. What benefits will federal employees enjoy the day after tomorrow anyway? Discounted entrance fees to our national parks?

. . .

This is worse than insulting. This is outrageous, another slap in the face, salt in the wound left by last week's DOMA betrayal. Fuck the Obama administration. That DNC fundraiser next week has to be shut down.

The question facing this administration and the broader community is whether or not the power structure as it has been commonly understood in D.C. will hold in the face of all this anger. The professional gay overclass that has spent the past twenty years telling politicians they had the community under control seems about to fail spectacularly.

Stupid Activist Tricks

I'm still thinking through a post about the incredibly ill-conceived and anachronistic Meet on the Mall. Meanwhile, this is just hilarious.

June 16, 2009

Water Buckets Incoming? // Update: More Like Piss Bucket

Will this quench the flames of cyber fury?

President Barack Obama plans to extend health care and other benefits to the gay and lesbian partners of federal employees. White House officials say Obama plans to announce decision on Wednesday in the Oval Office.

It's a fig leaf, and given the generally groveling disposition of the community, it may just be enough to get everyone to calm themselves and do a little face-saving. However, such an incremental step that requires next to no political capital to enact may be too little, too late. There's Democratic blood in the water.

Of course, all of this is assuming no one's reading this interview with the administration's highest ranking gay official. John Berry intimates measures like repeals of DADT and DOMA may not be attempted until a theoretical second term.

In related news, Harry Reid has no idea what's going on. President Obama has repeatedly stated any action on DADT requires Congressional initiative. Sen. Reid said that such initiative should come from the White House, but he is now "clarifying". It's nice to know Democrats approach gay rights like an easily forgotten domestic chore. "I thought you were taking out the trash?" "No, I thought you did." "So neither of us did?" . . ."What's that smell?"

That smell is a lot of pissed off gay people.

Update: Apparently the term "benefits" has a very flexible definition.

It almost feels like the president is taunting the GLBT community at this point. Whoever is advising him on gay policy should probably be fired. Solmonese should resign. If we haven't reached the point of official circus, we're getting mighty close.

Why, I think the situation has deteriorated to the point where not even an insincere speech will salvage his position with the community. It's that serious.

Gays Revolt, Will Not Enjoy Cocktails, But Will Remain Clueless

At least it's . . . something. The gay DNC fundraiser is splintering under increasing pressure from activists not to attend in response to last week's odious DOMA brief filed by the Department of Justice.

However, the situation is far from a devolution in gay partisanship. While being hailed as the strongest action yet by GLBTers against a Democratic administration, it seems not a single prominent blogger mentions the ridiculous submissive position they placed themselves in by spending the last twenty years being unfailingly loyal and protective of a national party that has gleefully abused their generosity while daring them to do anything about it.

To whit, the DNC fundraiser's very existence puts in a stark light the Democratic Party's usual treatment of the gay community as little more than a cash cow to be milked to the point of bruising. Imagine this, timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Stonewall, during a Pride month, the DNC "celebrates" these milestones by deigning to give prominent gays the privilege of paying them to mutter nice things. Could the party any more plainly and harshly say "Hooray for you! Now pay us."

Yet revolting against this base submissive stance is being hailed as a SERIOUS ACT in the fight against a tepid, unenthusiastic administration. It seems to me that serious activism would have avoided the gay community being in this position to begin with.

To gild an ever increasing comical lily, activists are hailing this letter from Joe Solmonese as a turning point in gay submission. Adjectives include the words "scathing", "brutal", and "unprecedented." Which part, this?

As an American, a civil rights advocate, and a human being, I hold this administration to a higher standard than this brief.  In the course of your campaign, I became convinced—and I still want to believe—that you do, too.  I have seen your administration aspire and achieve.  Protecting women from employment discrimination.  Insuring millions of children.  Enabling stem cell research to go forward.  These are powerful achievements.  And they serve as evidence to me that this brief should not be good enough for you.  The question is, Mr. President—do you believe that it’s good enough for us?

While not the HRC's usual bend-over-and-take-it tone, there's still room for Solmonese to wipe his chin as he once again points out that the largest organization supposedly representing all gays is still a good liberal soldier.

One, of course, should have some pity for Solmonese. Here is a man who has spent years straddling the divide between activism and a slobbering desire for access, money, and power. The HRC is usually the very last organization to spring into action with one of the rustiest barometers for gay sentiment ever constructed. With his back recently put against a very impatient, post-Prop 8 wall, Solmonese has no choice. One could almost hear the phone calls after the release of this letter, as the HRC president furiously dialed every Democratic politician in his rolodex. "How dare you! Look, I'm really sorry. Really. I have to. This administration is wrong! Really, so sorry. Please ignore this. Homophobia! Please don't hold this against me. They're making me."

If the gay community were a fifth as serious in opposing Democratic intransigence as they were complaining about Republicans, they'd probably start outing Democratic staffers in the Department of Justice. That, of course, will never be forthcoming. As Mike Petrelis notes, the activist community is prepared to do very little at all other than vent on blogs and refuse to attend a party. Although it would've been a fabulous party. Did the DNC treasurer and uber apologist mention the 10,400 sq. ft. spa? He did!

That's what the DNC thinks of gays. It's what they've always thought of gays. Pity it took a Prop. 8 to get anyone to notice. But then, the Republicans haven't even a modicum of power in Washington at the moment. The activists have no choice, and so now they will play-activist, without the slightest clue that they put the community here by apologizing for the gross submission to party for so very, very long.

Still, it's something, even if it's an incredibly late something.

June 08, 2009

Supreme Court Doesn't Want To Know Either

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Don't Ask, Don't Tell this morning. The plantiff, Army captain James Pietrangelo, was just on KGO radio in San Francisco tearing the Obama administration a new one, referring to the president as a liar, a bigot, and a coward. It is almost as if the president were some mere mortal of a politician.

Joe Solmonese defended the ruling and the administration by noting, "In these dark economic times, it's imperative we see a silver lining in our setbacks. Thanks to this administration and rulings like this, the Human Rights Campaign will be collecting money from you suckers concerned GLBT citizens for years to come."

And that's what's really important here.

May 30, 2006

Exodus Undetected?

Gay men in urban areas gathered. First at the theaters and single bars in bad neighborhoods. Then one bar became three. As the theaters closed, the shops came in, from the erotic to the mundane, dildonic wares and groceries. Then came the condo renovations, and the sleek nightclubs advertising in mainstream papers. For a decade or two or even three, many cities constructed upscale enclaves like gay retirement communities for men in their 20s and 30s. Every letter in GLBT alphabet streamed in as the activism poured out from these safe, coccooning bases as fortress against an intolerant outside world.

When tolerance spreads outwards from the cultural centers that Dan Savage refers to as the urban archipelago, what happens when future gay generations feel less need for these places and younger heterosexuals feel comfortable enough to begin claiming them as their own? Conflict.

"West Hollywood is having an identity crisis. It doesn't know if it's gay or straight anymore," said Raymond Weddle, a server at Hedley's restaurant, near the Abbey. As crowds flock to the lively bar scene, the town is inevitably confronting the strains of its popularity. Mostly, it's been a subtle shift. Many bar owners and patrons say that straight women have flocked to West Hollywood clubs because they feel safe in crowds of gay men. But on any weekend night, the distinctly gay vibe of the town has given way — in some venues more than others — to a more mixed and some think downright gay-hostile atmosphere.

Even as activists and interested parties debate the merits of gay marriage as the demographic's civil rights issue of our time, it seems the gay community itself has begun fraying along the edges towards a potentially long and slow disintegration in direct correlation to the movement's goals: normalization of varied sexualities in American culture. When a gay teenager finds his friends accepting and open to his or her differences, and the local crowds and clubs become indifferent to his orientation, is there such a burning need for an exclusively gay bubble in his world, and even if so, would he be inclined to defend it as vigorously as the old queer guard?

The entire article is worth reading, for the variety of issues between gays and straights, business issues vs. community loyalty, assimilation vs balkanization of identity, and even the urban gay communities' traditional make up of white middle class males vs. and increasingly mainstream, urbanized black culture.

While the activists press their pet political issues, average gay people are shifting and changing in ways imperceptible to a leadership firmly ensconced in a mindset generated by an older community built in the shadows of the deadliest years of AIDS. Can gay political issues be effectively pressed by a minority demographic whose bonds of solidarity are quietly beginning to loosen as acceptance and tolerance become the norm in the largest population centers of the nation?

It doesn't seem to be a question anyone's asking. Maybe they should.

h/t Boi From Troy

May 23, 2006

The Movement of Misfit Toys

Marycheney_letterman They are meeting. Quietly, without fanfare, roughly three dozen GLBT organizations have gathered in Washington D.C. to discuss the policies and strategies involved in advancing GLBT rights. Though they're not telling, the head of the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce, Matt Foreman, has recently released press materials that should give us all an inkling of their direction.

Let's see here…Iraq is a disaster and the treasury is hemorrhaging red ink to pay for it. Gas prices are soaring. New Orleans remains a shell. Osama taunts us on videotape. Iran's going nuclear. Seven in 10 think the country's heading in the wrong direction. What do you do when you're in power and there's an election just around the corner? You trot out some old diversionary workhorse scapegoats once again.

Like the HRC, The Taskforce does not actually want to discuss gay marriage. Given a national debate and platform, their tactic is not to argue on behalf of gay families but to throw dozens of distractionary cantrips at their audience like a cheap street illusionist. Recently, Andrew Sullivan asked of the HRC, "Why do they exist? And why should any gay person care?" Foreman, the Cardinal Ratzinger of this Queer Conclave, trots out the future of the established GLBT movement:

At between 4-6 percent of the population, we are simply too small to win equality by ourselves. That means we must build alliances and relationships of trust with other communities and causes. Building these kinds of alliances requires more than words, it requires reciprocal work.

Bluntly put, the LGBT movement has a long history of asking other causes to fight for us and then not being there when those causes have been under attack.

Read the entire press release. Abortion. Anti-war activism. Now, illegal immigration. The GLBT Establishment has a long and consistent history of supporting liberal and left-wing causes unrelated to the struggle of gay families. As three dozen bodies purporting to support the movement meet, we are dishonestly told by the NGLTF that gay activists don't support enough liberal causes. The answer to the GLBT dilemma is more causes, more coalitions, more money and manpower spent on a laundry list of unrelated movements and groups who may or may not support our cause.

(More ranting and video after the jump.)

Continue reading "The Movement of Misfit Toys" »

May 18, 2006

Terminology of the Day

Jeremy_bloom When newly minted Philadelphia Eagle and one of the hottest men in creation, Jeremy Bloom, doesn't actually stab the President during a photo opportunity, there is much wailing and gnashing of queer teeth.

"Gay Erectile Dysfunction - When the guy who makes your pee pee stand at attention doesn't hate Bush as much as you do." - Tom, Commenting at Towleroad

Dean's Pink Poodles

You would think the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights organization, would be spoiling for a fight over the upcoming reintroduction of the Federal Marriage Amendment. You'd be wrong. Instead, Joe Solomnese and others have bowed to the demands of Howard Dean, with gay families offered up on the sacrificial altar of Democratic politics. Washington Blade editor, Chris Crain, is having none of it.

Rather than actually defend gay families and make the case for gay marriage, HRC continues to argue that the American people don't — and shouldn't! — care about marriage equality for gay couples.

"Voters want candidates focused on soaring gas prices, a healthcare crisis and national security," Solmonese says in the release, "not putting discrimination in the United States Constitution."

What sort of gay rights strategy is it, when the attention of Americans is focused on our issues, to argue that our rights aren't important, and refuse to engage our opponents in the debate over our equality? [. . .]

Can you imagine Martin Luther King, Jr., responding to an attempt to rollback the gains of the Civil Rights Movement by arguing that the issue shouldn't be debated because rising gas prices are more important?

The HRC can't raise money to defeat state level amendments, and now they won't debate gay marriage when the nation and the media are focused on Congressional deliberations over the FMA. They can, however, come to the rescue of abortion activists in no uncertain terms.

What, exactly, is it these people do again? Why do we need them? Aside from the gala dinners, influence peddling, and activists enriched on donations from gay people and their families who suffer real injustices outside the glossy New York - Washington axis.

Dan has additional thoughts on how the HRC and others are pissing away the opportunity to make the case for gay marriage to an attentive national audience. I think now, more than ever, one of my first articles on this blog is becoming increasingly relevant to the movement.

Update: How much do I love Chris Crain? Let me count the ways. Mal linked this earlier article from Crain that I've just now spotted. I've always enjoyed Crain's honesty and integrity when addressing gay issues, even when I've not necessarily agreed with him. However, his recent responses to the DNC's routing of gay partisans mark his Duke of Wellington moment. Crain for President of the HRC!

May 15, 2006

Howard Dean on "The Daily Show" Tonight

Malbug_17Let's hope Jon Stewart gives him the grilling he deserves.

May 12, 2006

Gay Left-Coast Kookiness


California_cuckoo I'm sure there are more such reports to be found in California alone, but a casual perusal of blogs this afternoon helps underscore the dogged determination of some gay liberals to alienate the rest of us who might otherwise support them on issues that concern us all.

BoiFromTroy writes about a trip to his local gay bookstore, during which he had hoped to find a copy of gay American Mary Cheney's new tome.  But the shop was good enough to carry plenty of copies of straight American, and frothy socialist, Noam Chomsky's new book.

Perhaps these are wise business decisions for someone with a West Hollywood clientele.  But why, then, call yourself a "gay" bookstore?  Answer: Because a disturbing number of gay Americans naïvely consider ultra-leftist politics part and parcel of the homosexual experience.  For millions of the rest of us, this just doesn't compute.

In a somewhat related story, Queerty reports that the California State Senate has passed a bill "that would require textbooks in public schools to instruct students on contributions by gays and lesbians in the state's development."

Normally I would decry the balkanization of education by officious politicians.  But the bill already reads like a laundry list of aggrieved groups — "men and women, Black Americans, American Indians, Mexicans, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and other ethnic groups, and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender" — so gays might as well join the hit parade.  (It's similar to my thoughts on hate-crimes laws: They're stupid and pointless, but as long as we have them, gays should be protected by them.)

But why can't they just teach students about Californians' contributions to the state, regardless of whatever preferred group to which they belong?

May 11, 2006

Thanks, But No Thanks, Howie


NGLTF returns $5,000 to the DNC, blasting Chairman Howard Dean's complete ignorance of his own party's platform regarding gays:

WASHINGTON, May 8 —In a Christian Broadcasting News segment aired today on The 700 Club concerning how Democrats are reaching out to evangelicals, Howard Dean, chair of the Democratic National Party, said, "The Democratic Party platform from 2004 says that marriage is between a man and a woman. That's what it says. I think where we may take exception with some religious leaders is that we believe in inclusion, that everybody deserves to live with dignity and respect, and that equal rights under the law are important."

In fact, the DNC 2004 platform says, "We support full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of our nation and seek equal responsibilities, benefits, and protections for these families. In our country, marriage has been defined at the state level for 200 years, and we believe it should continue to be defined there. We repudiate President Bush's divisive effort to politicize the Constitution by pursuing a 'Federal Marriage Amendment.' Our goal is to bring Americans together, not drive them apart."

Bravo to NGLTF for showing integrity.

On gays, Democrats continue to race Republicans to the bottom.  So to speak.  (Ahem.)

May 10, 2006

Scouting for Some


Boy_scouts "Scouting for All" takes its message of tolerance to Washington, D.C., on May 24.

A news conference, rally and candlelight vigil will be held to protest the Boy Scouts' ongoing exclusion of gays and atheists.

Scouting for All President Scott Cozza writes that they will be "reading the names of those scouts who have turned in their scouting awards to Scouting for All in protest of the BSA's national leadership's policy of discrimination against gay and atheist youth and adults."

The full text of the announcement follows ...

Continue reading "Scouting for Some" »

May 09, 2006

The Lesbian Brain


More evidence for nature over nurtureShhhh, don't tell NARAL.

Land of Pink Linc

How can I not adore my home state? On the very same day Peter and crew filed petitions for a destined-to-fail advisory referendum on the November ballot to recommend a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed an executive order extending benefits to state employees with same-sex partners.

Meanwhile, the Republican candidate for governor, Judy Barr Topinka, stated, "Don't even look at me. I support civil unions." I highly recommend this website "outlining" her views. Hilarious.

Equality Illinois, apparently finding itself with way too much time on their hands because of all this bipartisan tolerance, cheered on a pointless hissy fit after a local urban magazine known for its irreverent tone offered a contest seeking the most outrageous pictures from this year's Pride Parade.

What about the most inspiring (gay student groups) or the most heartwarming or affirming (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays or various religious institutions). Why does the media continue to try to titillate the population at large with what is "outrageous" in our community?

When reached for comment, organizers replied, "This guy's been to a pride parade before, right?" They then vowed to win the contest themselves, wandering off in a flurry of whispers about sequins and rhinestones.

May 08, 2006

Mary Quite Contrary - Updated /w New Video

Mary_cheney Cashing in on a nation's and GLBT folks' curiosity, vice-presidential daughter Mary Cheney appeared on Primetime Live last night to promote her new book, Now It's My Turn.

During the course of her chat with Diane Sawyer, Cheney describes coming out to her parents, her fourteen year relationship with partner Heather Poe, why she remains loyal to the Republican Party, her disagreements with right-wing orthodoxy, her reaction to her lesbianism-as-Democratic-demagoguery during the debates, and the careful balancing act of existing between a vitriolic gay left and the venemous religious right.

It's remarkable how poised and likeable Mary comes off in this interview. By virtue of her middling position on the political divide, it's safe to say she's subjected to a great deal of unfair attacks from opponents on the Right and Left. Lesbian Traitor and Unrepentant Sinner, Mary Cheney seems to take it all in stride.

[Watch video – 14:10, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 14:10, WMV format, low bandwidth]

Update: Mary Cheney took live viewer questions today with Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America. Somehwat related, John Aravosis reacts to Rosen and Birch's recent op-ed. His commenters are not quite as charitable. Andrew Sullivan pens an article on the closet tolerance of the president and vice-president. Though I feel he utterly mischaracterizes Dick Cheney's public statements and opposition to the Federal Amendment (not to mention the equating with Darth Vader shtick), there are some good points offered, especially about the potential effects of the November elections on gay rights.

[Watch video – 5:45, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 5:45, WMV format, low bandwidth]

Burying, Rathering Than Grinding, Axes


Many on the gay Left have made a cottage industry of demonizing their political opponents, even when those opponents also happen to be gay.  So it was refreshing to see today's WaPo op-ed by Elizabeth Birch, former executive director of the Human Rights Campaign, and her partner, Hilary Rosen, former director of the Recording Industry Association of America.

Rather than continue the Left's pointless and self-destructive crusade against Mary Cheney, the pair welcomed her more public stance on issues of concern to gay Americans:

Mary's presence on the national stage -- the daughter of the vice president of the United States discussing issues related to our lives -- is most welcome and has the potential to be a transforming moment for all Americans.


We applaud Mary Cheney's leap onto the national stage. The timing of the book's release is a welcome boon to the current effort to defeat (for the second time) the White House-endorsed Federal Marriage Amendment, which is before Congress and would put discrimination against gay and lesbian families into the Constitution. The vote has once again been timed by the congressional Republican leadership to exploit the midterm elections.

Mary is leading the Cheney family to bring new understanding to dinner-table discussions across the land. We look forward to the Cheney family embracing this teachable moment, not just on the book tour but in election halls, state legislatures and Congress.

Nice to see that "Dear Mary" website hasn't been updated since the 2004 election, by the way.  Then again, leave it to those kooky gays not to let a chance at political posturing go by, at the expense of actually making a meaningful difference.

May 04, 2006

Democrats' Outreach Around

It's a circular firing squad, and for once we're not discussing bukkake.

Democratic Party Chair Howard Dean fired the party's gay outreach adviser Donald Hitchcock on May 2 less than a week after Hitchcock's domestic partner, Paul Yandura, a longtime party activist, accused Dean of failing to take adequate steps to defend gay rights.

I am frankly stunned to discover Howard Dean is a vile, petty man and the national Democratic Party enjoys ample cash infusions from the gay community without actually, you know, doing anything to earn them.

John Aravosis is rightly furious with the chairman and the state of the party, but his comments section is a seething pit to behold.

As another Washington Blade article notes, the DNC has quietly dismantled its GLBT operations as sinking Republican poll numbers bring electoral victory tantalizingly close. They'll not have the taint of gay politics mucking up their November returns, thank you very much.

However, if you'll continue to donate generously, they'd be much obliged. I recommend a bit of Boy Butter for the exercise.

Update: An excellent round-up of the kerfuffle can be found here.