Carol Anne Burger killed her former lover by stabbing her 222 times with a Phillips-head screwdriver and then took pains to hide her crime, police said Wednesday.
Jessica Kalish, who shared a house with Burger despite breaking up with her more than a year ago, was found last Thursday stuffed in the backseat of her gun-metal BMW sedan, abandoned behind a medical office at 2300 S. Congress Avenue. Her blood was splashed around the rear end and undercarriage of the car, as if her killer had tried to load her into the trunk. The driver-side window was shattered....
Their situation really was a bad one, friends said, but for financial reasons Burger and Kalish had continued to share the house they'd bought together in 2000.
Burger, who on Oct. 7 was tapped to cover the election for the Web site, The Huffington Post, still sometimes felt sad and isolated. Kalish, whom Burger had married in Massachusetts in 2005, had met another woman. At 3300 Churchill Drive, Burger had her half of the house, a room and office where she would write and read and surf the Internet, and Kalish had hers, where she would spend hours absorbed in cyber dates with her new companion, friends said.
You have to wonder if things might have turned out differently if these women had been able to sell their damn house.
This NYT story about how the impact of the economic crisis on families in the small town of Manteca, California, pretty much broke my heart....
As the classified ads put it, everything must go. Socks. Christmas ornaments. Microwave ovens. Three-year-old Marita Duarte’s tricycle was sold by her mother, Beatriz, to a stranger for $3 even as her daughter was riding it.
On Mission Ridge Drive and other avenues, lanes and ways in this formerly booming community, even birthday celebrations must go. “It was no money, no birthday,” said Ms. Duarte, who lost her job as a floral designer two months ago. The family commemorated Marita’s third birthday without presents last week, the occasion marked by a small cake with Cinderella on the vanilla frosting....
When life’s daily trappings and keepsakes are laid out for sale on a collapsible table, sentiment is the first thing to go. “The cash helps a lot,” Constantino Gonzalez, Ms. Duarte’s neighbor, said of the family’s second sale in two weeks, in which he and his wife, Julia, were reluctantly selling their children’s inflatable bounce house for $650, with pump.
Since losing his construction job, Mr. Gonzalez, 43, has been economizing, disconnecting the family’s Internet and long-distance telephone service, and barely using his truck and the Jeep.... The inflatable bounce house is the children’s favorite toy, but the family’s $1,800 mortgage payment is coming.... “We need to eat,” Mr. Gonzalez tells his children about selling off their toys.
And then I got to this paragraph:
This is McCain-Palin placard country, where signs for the anti-gay-marriage state ballot measure, “Yes on 8,” pepper the landscape....
Okay, my heart still breaks for those kids in Manteca who're having their tricycles and bouncy houses sold out from under them by their desperate parents. And I shouldn't be surprised to learn, I suppose, that there's a lot of support for Prop 8, which would ban same-sex marriage in California, in some small town a million miles from anything. But that detail made me want to scream. The religious right goes on and on about the supposed "threat" that same-sex marriage poses to the family. They can never quite tell you precisely how families headed by married same-sex couples threaten the families headed by married opposite-sex couples. But these people fall for it. It's not predatory lending or lax regulations or weakened unions or loose nukes or an immoral health care "system" that functions by denying health care to those who need that keeps them up nights, or has them gathering signatures, writing checks, and passing out yard signs. Nope, it's these three that threaten the family:
Hello? Desperate and broke parents of Manteca, California? You're being played for fools. Same-sex marriage is not a threat to you or your families. The GOP—with its mania for deregulation, its never-ending assault on unions and living-wage jobs, its opposition to a national health care system—is a threat to you and your families.
I'm a California-bred Brooklyn resident aching over my home state's seeming support of Prop 8. I decided to start a picture blog called "We Are Not The Enemy." It'll simply consist of photographs of LGBT couples holding a sign that says "We Are Not The Enemy." (Similar to sorryeverybody in 2004.) I hope to give people a quick, simple, visual look at the great range of couples affected by harmful legislation and discrimination. So I'm looking for couples (or LGBT pals) who want to participate!
The site only went live a day or two ago so there aren't tons of photos up yet. And I doubt that WeAreNotTheEnemy will reach its presumed target audience the same way that SorryEverybody.com did. SorryEverybody.com was created for citizens of other countries around the world who couldn't believe that we had just (re)elected that asshole in 2004—they visited the site to remind themselves that not all Americans were stupid enough to support Bush in 2004. And Americans who voted against Bush visited the site too—I did, and the damn thing had me sobbing my eyes out in a downtown coffee shop—because it made us feel less estranged from our fellow citizens.
But will people who hate and fear gay couples—the people who need to be told that we are not, in fact, the enemy—spend time on this website? Probably not. But it couldn't hurt and there's something sweet and moving about the small handful of pictures posted so far.
Fascinating Article About Genetics and Homosexuality
posted by Dan Savage on October 23 at 9:41 AM
If there's a genetic component to homosexuality—and there is—wouldn't natural selection eventually do away with us? Maybe so, Mr. Darwin, but there's one obvious reproductive advantage to homosexuality: back when our ancestors were being picked off pretty regularly by lions and tiger and bears, having a few childless grownups around conferred a reproductive advantage on the whole breedin' clan, if not the non-breeding gay individuals. Gay people were, in this theory, not just qualified to adopt, but the original adoptive parents.
In a paper to be published soon in Evolution and Human Behavior, they suggest the advantage accrues not to relatives of the opposite sex, but to those of the same one. They think that genes which cause men to be more feminine in appearance, outlook and behaviour and those that make women more masculine in those attributes, confer reproductive advantages as long as they do not push the individual possessing them all the way to homosexuality....
There are also data which suggest that having a more feminine personality might indeed give a heterosexual male an advantage. Though women prefer traditionally macho men at the time in their menstrual cycles when they are most fertile, at other times they are more attracted to those with feminine traits such as tenderness, considerateness and kindness, as well as those with feminised faces. The explanation usually advanced for this is that macho men will provide the sperm needed to make sexy sons, but the more feminised phenotype makes a better carer and provider—in other words an ideal husband. And, despite all the adultery and cuckoldry that goes on in the world, it is the husband who fathers most of the children.
As far as masculinised women are concerned, less research has been done on the advantages that their appearance and behaviour might bring. What data there are, however, suggest they tend to have more sexual partners than highly feminised women do. That may, Dr Zietsch speculates, reflect increased competitiveness or a willingness to engage in unrestrained sexual relations (ie, to behave in a male-like way) that other women do not share.
Men with a touch of the gay—more attractive to women most of the time. Women with a touch of the dyke—more sexually aggressive all of the time.
If you and your ex-lesbian wife hold your marriage up as "living proof" that gays and lesbians—excuse me, "persons with same-sex attraction"—can change, that we can "marry and be happy," then what does your divorce prove?
As expected, one reason Proposition 8, stripping gay couples of marriage equality, is still viable in California is because of strong African-American support. Black Californians back the anti-gay measure by a margin of 20 points, 58 - 38, in the SUSA poll. No other ethnic group comes close to the level of opposition and black turnout is likely to be very high next month.
All this makes it vital, in my opinion, that Barack Obama strongly and unequivocally oppose Proposition 8 in California, rather than keeping mainly quiet as he has done so far. We need him to make an ad opposing it. This is a core test of whether gay Americans should back Obama as enthusiastically as they have in the last month. If he does not stand up for gay couples now, why should we believe he will when he is in office? And if black Americans are the critical bloc that helps kill civil rights for gays, that will not help deepen Obama's governing coalition. It could tear it apart.
Memo to Obama: make an ad. Speak loudly. Defend equality. Defend it when it might actually lose you some votes. Show us you are not another Clinton.
This viral "No On Prop 8" ad is totally cool and really entertaining...
But this "No On Prop 8" ads—created by the "No On Prop 8" campaign—is lame and boring. "The moment in ad #2 when the housewife pauses dramatically, cocks her head, and says, 'No' was the moment I let out a sigh," says Rex Wockner. Watch the lameness for yourself...
So which ads should be on the air in California? The cool & funny ad? Or the lame & wince-inducing ad? Wockner has the answer.
But no ads will air without your support. Preserving marriage equality in California brings us closer to the day when same-sex couples can marry in Washington state and every other state. Donate now.
...but it's a good one. HOMOtracker, a group LGBT entertainment industry professionals, put together this "No On Prop 8" ad. Prop 8, if passed, would amend California's constitution to ban same-sex marriage in that state.
"Our goal in creating these shorts was to shine a fresh light on this issue, as a call-to-arms for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters and to hopefully change a few minds on the other side of the battlefield and those caught in the middle," says one of the ads creators.
Re: "Our children need a mother and a father to thrive."
posted by Dan Savage on October 9 at 4:48 PM
In the comments thread on this post, Ferretrick writes...
I'm from Cincinnati, Ohio and sing in the gay men's chorus. Last night at our rehersal, a spokeswoman from the county came and talked about becoming a foster and/or adoptive parent. They said they are desperate for homes for these kids. They sought us, the homos, out, begging us to take in these children. Schlichter might want to get acquainted with the facts.
This has to stop. Republican elected officials can't campaign against same-sex adoption in the crudest possible terms—"same sex couples adopting our children," little girls crying because they have two dads—while state employees trawl men's chorus rehearsals begging gay men to become foster and adoptive parents. It's fucking infuriating.
"Our children need a mother and a father to thrive."
posted by Dan Savage on October 9 at 10:31 AM
Check out this campaign mailer from Ohio. A Republican state representative—John Schlichter—is attacking his Democratic opponent for supporting adoption rights for same-sex couples.
Where to begin? Well, let's start with the use of scare grooms in this ad. One grooms is kneeling in front of the other—and you know what that means. Gay men are so obsessed with sex that we can't even refrain from getting it on when we're two inches tall, made of plastic, and destined to stand on top of a wedding cake that will be displayed in a banquet hall in front of our friends, our families, and—the horror!—our children. If this is how tiny gay men made of plastic behave on their cakes (and in our attack ads), imagine who gay parents behave in front of their children!
But this is what's truly priceless about this ad—and what will keep those "Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father" Slog posts coming...
Ray Pryor doesn't want to raise Ohio's children in the best environment.
Instead he supports same sex couples adopting our children.
Buy our children need a mother and a father to thrive.
That's right, Ohio—scary gay men are coming to adopt "your" children! You remember your children, right? The children you abused, neglected, and abandoned; the children you were unfit or unready to parent; the children that were taken from your homes by the state and are now languishing in foster care. Those are the children same-sex couples are adopting—children who have been failed by their heterosexual parents, failed by the mothers and fathers they "need in order to thrive," children who in many cases would not have homes—no parents at all—if they weren't adopted by loving, fit, vetted, qualified same-sex couples.
Although the official festival doesn't start until next week, the website is already streaming three features and five shorts. One of the features is called Karl Rove, I Love You. One of the shorts is called Tranny MacGuyver. Viewers can vote on their favorites, and then the winners win some stuff! Hooray for winning some stuff! Hooray for gay and lesbian movies! Hooray for us all!
If you're not registered to vote, you have until TOMORROW, October 4, to get your ass registered to vote. We wrapped every issue of this week's Stranger with a mail-in voter registration form—forms you can drop off at various locations around town (Havana, The Saint, Sonic Boom Records, Cellophane Square, Caffe Vita, Easy Street Records, Hidmo Eritrean Cuisine), or mail in yourself (must be postmarked by October 4)—so there's no excuse. And you can register to vote online here. Get your ass registered!
And you have until Monday, October 6, to register for Jet City Hoops, Seattle's new co-ed gay basketball league. Jet City Hoops' first season begins on October 18th. Get registered!
A North Miami gay man began the court fight Wednesday to adopt two children he and his partner have cared for since 2004 through the state's foster program.... The case is a new challenge to Florida's 31-year-old law that allows gay people to foster children but forbids them from adopting.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman is presiding over the trial to determine whether [Frank Martin] Gill, 47, and his partner, 34, can adopt two half-brothers whom they've had custody of since December 2004. The boys' mother and respective fathers lost their rights to raise the children in 2006.
In court records, Assistant Attorney General Valerie Martin wrote that the state is trying to uphold public morality and working to "encourage optimal family structure by seeking to place adoptive children in homes that have both a mother and a father."
But Gill's attorneys maintain the state is discriminating against gays because no scientific research suggests that children fare better when raised by heterosexual parents.
Okay: the state of Florida placed these boys—foster kids, older kids, kids that are hard to find homes for—with this gay couple nearly four years ago. And now the state blows into court and argues that these men shouldn't be allowed to adopt these two boys because that would be an affront to "public morality," and besides the state wants to encourage "optimal family structures," a.k.a. "every child deserves a mother and a father."
But if being placed in a home with a vagina and a penis is important when a child is adopted, why isn't it important when a child is fostered?
The state of Florida wants to have it both ways: Florida panders to the prejudice of homophobes and bigots by denying gay people the right to adopt—and punishes children by preventing them from finding permanent homes and a sense of real security—but Florida refuses to take the next, logical step and ban gay people from acting as foster parents too. Why is that?
Because willing foster parents are scarce, finding and screening foster parents is expensive, and the state of Florida—like all US states—can't afford to turn away qualified foster parents, regardless of sexual orientation.
For decades Florida has been placing kids with gay foster parents indefinitely—again, those boys have been with that couple for four years—and it has gotten away with this hypocrisy because gay foster parents were afraid, quite rightly, of making waves. Sue the state to adopt kids you've been raising for years and the state could swoop in and take those kids from the only stable home they've ever known. Foster children placed with gay couples aren't wards of the state, they're hostages.
But increasingly gay foster parents aren't willing to be used like this anymore. IF we're fit to foster, we're fit to adopt. Gay foster parents are suing and they're winning.
posted by Dominic Holden on September 30 at 6:48 PM
Neighbours, Seattle’s venerable gay dance club, filed a lawsuit last week fighting for its right to remain in a warehouse-style building in the Pike-Pine neighborhood. The bar opened there in 1983, started serving liquor a few years later, and has since made a patchwork of remodels, from go-go cages to another dance floor in the basement.
But the building’s owners, a land trust comprising several individuals, sent a letter to the bar owners in early August terminating the lease and telling the bar to vacate by the end of the month.
In the letter, landlords claim the bar violated terms of the lease signed in March of this year. It says the lease allows the tenant to use the space as a “tavern… commissary, restaurant. ... and cabaret.” But, it says, “No food, however, is prepared and served on the premises. Furthermore, the current operation of the Premises as a dance club is not a permitted use.” The letter goes on to say that the club remodeled without permission and allowed liquor to be taken outside of the bar, as examples of further lease violations.
But there is no secret that Neighbours is a dance club. Leases over previous decades used similar language, the lawsuit shows. So it seems extremely unusual that the landlords would, after signing another lease in March, suddenly act surprised that Neighbours is, in fact, a dance club. An attorney for the landlords has not returned calls to comment.
“We don’t think there is any merit whatsoever to the landlords’ claims,” says Mark Kimball, an attorney representing Neighbours. He says owners were informed about how the space was used. “We believe the business is accurately described in the lease."
Kimball would not speculate on why the bar owners were attempting to negate the lease after 25 years. He says the bar owners and the landlords are currently in negotiations. “I am extremely confident that the dispute will be resolved favorably to Neighbours,” he says.
Every 401K Deserves a Mother and a Father
posted by Dan Savage on September 30 at 10:23 AM
Well, now it all makes sense. What's to blame for our financial crisis? Lax regulation of the banking industry? Batshitcrazy loans? Inept oversight? Of course not. It's the gays! We did it!
No, wait—you did it! Straight people! By failing to be intolerant enough of the gays, America incurred God's righteous and totally awesome wrath. "The financial crisis facing Wall Street is a symptom of America's sinful sexual culture, including the acceptance of gay unions," says a prominentish Christian leader. "I am not saying I know whether this financial crisis is God's judgment or not. It is not for me to know that definitively."
So how do we get our economy back on track? Forget the bailout! Forget re-regulating the banking and financial industries! All we gotta do is ban abortion and "non-profit groups supporting it" (God hates the First Amendment!), ban gay marriage and domestic partnerships and civil unions for same-sex couples, and then God will allow the credit crunch to end.
...when Proposition 8 appeared on the California ballot, it was an unlikely question for Google to take an official company position on.
However, while there are many objections to this proposition -- further government encroachment on personal lives, ambiguously written text -- it is the chilling and discriminatory effect of the proposition on many of our employees that brings Google to publicly oppose Proposition 8. While we respect the strongly-held beliefs that people have on both sides of this argument, we see this fundamentally as an issue of equality. We hope that California voters will vote no on Proposition 8 -- we should not eliminate anyone's fundamental rights, whatever their sexuality, to marry the person they love.
Not All Religious People and Organizations Are Opposed to Gay Civil Marriage
posted by Dan Savage on September 26 at 1:45 PM
Another news story to toss in the faces of people who insist that marriage equality for same-sex couples is an attack on religion:
Proposition 8 is stirring great fervor this election season, as supporters and opponents of gay marriage gear up for their Nov. 4 duel at the ballot box. Now comes the latest group to weigh in—the Board of Rabbis of Southern California.
The board—a collection of leaders from the Reconstructionist, Reform, Conservative and Orthodox movements—this week declared its opposition to the measure, which would amend the California Constitution to define marriage as only between a man and a woman. Leaders of the board said they wanted protect the civil rights of gay and lesbian couples.... The board has more than 290 members. Roughly 120 took part in Wednesday’s vote, the largest number of rabbis to weigh in on such an issue in recent memory. Vogel said Friday that 93% of those who cast votes supported the resolution.
posted by David Schmader on September 24 at 3:01 PM
So Clay Aiken has finally come out as a homosexual—an unsurprising admission to everyone in the world, right?
Unfortunately, the only people surprised by the news of Clay's gayness are his biggest fans—Claymates, they call themselves, and they've spent the past seven years believing, trusting, and parroting Aiken's claims that no way is he gay.
Now the Claymates' mighty lord and savior has confessed the truth, and my beloved Radar has done the webby legwork—on Clay Aiken fan-sites' message boards, primarily—to find out how the Claymates are dealing. It's not pretty.
"This is a gut wrenching day for The ClayNation. Somebody wake me up, I hope it's a dream." strollynn63 at The Clayboard
"I've cried a river of tears and truthfully do not know where I stand right now. I am envious of those who can take this news and continue to state their unconditional love and support for Clay." Clayncfan at The Clayboard
If Brokeback Mountain taught us anything (besides "Ang Lee is a genius" and "Heath Ledger was a rare talent"), it's that the only thing sadder than closet cases are the women duped into loving them. Happy healing, Claymates, and thanks, Radar.
Another Hollywood Icon Donates $100,000 to Defend Gay Marriage
posted by Dan Savage on September 22 at 6:47 PM
This time courtesy of Steven Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw.
Their donation is the latest high-profile contribution to the campaign, as gay marriage advocates seek to narrow a gap in fund-raising. Brad Pitt donated $100,000 to the No on 8 campaign last week, in what was seen as a wakeup call to entertainment industry figures to pony up more money for the fight....
Spielberg and Capshaw said in a statement, "By writing discrimination into our state constitution, Proposition 8 seeks to eliminate the right of each and every citizen in our state to marry regardless of sexual orientation. Such discrimination has NO place in California's constitution, or any other."
A few years back—about ten years back now—a lefty gay academic brought out a book that argued, amongst other things, that the push for same-sex marriage was elitist. It was all about the needs of rich white gay men. Because, you see, the “sluts, prostitutes, trannies, club crawlers, and other lowlifes” that ought to be the sole focus of the gay rights movement simply weren't interested in getting married. And since marriage rights weren't going to do any good for sluts and hookers and porn stars, he asserted, the push for marriage rights was illegitimate. A betrayal. Because, um, because the rich white gay male academic said so.
Anyway, I wrote a column at the time pointing out that most gay men were sluts—at some point in our lives—and, like sluts everywhere, most of us eventually settle down. (I should have also pointed out that trannies can get married in most states.) But, hey, some of us could get married and continue to slut around, just like all those straight swinging sluts out there. And gay sluts, lowlifes, and prostitutes should have the same rights as straight sluts, lowlifes, and prostitutes, including marriage rights.
"OMG! Look! There on that cake! GROOMS! Run for your lives!"
posted by Dan Savage on September 19 at 3:13 PM
Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe (GOPeemypants) once famously observed—on the floor of the US Senate!—that he could proudly state that there were no queers in his family and that there never had been any queers in his family and that there never would be any queers in his family, so help him God. Anyway, it appears that an 18 year-old gay porn star named Andrew Rice somehow secured the Democratic nomination to run against Inhofe, who is up for reelection this year.
And you gotta love Inhofe's latest campaign commercial (via JoeMyGod):
You would never know watching that ad that Andrew Rice is a married man—a married-to-a-woman man, thank you very much!—and has a kid, seeing as Inhofe makes Rice look like he just walked off a shoot with/shoot in Brent Corrigan. (But we can safely assume that Rice now regrets posing for all those boy-band publicity shots back in the day.)
But here's what I love most about Inhofe's ad: SCARE GROOMS! They're a little like "square quotes," but small and plastic and found on top of wedding cakes especially baked to terrify anti-gay bigots. Inhofe uses scare grooms to particularly good effect here: the ominous music, the swooping camera angle, the sinister look on what are clearly a couple of very cheap-ass grooms, and the sad, blurry bride consigned to the edge of the shot.
Message? While it may be praiseworthy for Sarah Palin to have a kid with downs syndrome and shit, Andrew Rice wants gay babies with downs syndrome to grow up and marry their identical twin brothers! And that ain't right—particularly when there are lots of good, decent, hard-working, completely blurry Oklahoma girls out there just aching marry gay guys with downs syndrome.
Oh man, I love me a good pair of scare grooms! Anti-gay bloggers frequently illustrate posts about gay marriage with images of scare grooms (examples here and here), and the authors of books that come out strongly against gay marriage also find scare grooms hard to resist....
I'd like to find more examples of scare grooms—and scare brides!—so that I can start collecting them and posting them on Slog. (Hey, it's that or more pictures of Gregoire yard signs, people.) So if you run across a pair of scare grooms—plastic cake toppers, not just pictures of gays getting married—on a conservative blog, the cover of a magazine, an anti-gay website, or in a gay-baiting campaign commercial, please send it my way!
California's Biggest Conservative Daily Paper...
posted by Dan Savage on September 18 at 12:43 PM
...just came out against Proposition 8, the proposed anti-gay marriage amendment to California's state constitution. Take it away, San Diego Union-Tribune...
The right of gay and lesbian couples to wed on an equal legal basis with heterosexual couples has long stirred opposition not only among social conservatives but also among a much broader swath of society. But in the four short months since a landmark California Supreme Court ruling legalized gay marriage, a significant social shift seems to have occurred.
As gay couples have gone to the courthouse and entered into matrimony, usually surrounded by champagne, family and friends, the worst fears of gay marriage opponents suddenly seem greatly inflated. For instance, Christian conservatives have asserted for years that allowing gays to marry would undermine heterosexual unions—hence, such laws as the Defense of Marriage Act. In truth, however, there has been no discernible impact on traditional marriage between a man and a woman now that gay couples in California have the same right.
With gay marriage a fait accompli, society has not crumbled. The long-standing institution of marriage is not in crisis.
The Union-Tribune's editorial board eviscerates the every-child-deserves-a-mother-and-a-father argument made by opponents of same-sex marriage:
The second argument made by supporters is that children should be raised solely by a father and a mother, not by two fathers or two mothers. Yet the debate over child-rearing is entirely beside the point, because Proposition 8 is about marriage only. It would do nothing to prevent gay couples from adopting children or from having children through artificial means. Indeed, all Proposition 8 would do is ensure that the children of gay couples would be raised in households where the parents were unmarried. Would that be a healthier situation for children?
Remember the disgusting, dishonest, transparently political decision on gay marriage handed down by the robed cowards on the Washington State Supreme Court? Our "justices" argued—with straight faces—that Washington state could reasonably argue that "limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers the State's legitimate interests in procreation and the well-being of children."
What about the well-being of the thousands of children in Washington state being raised by same-sex couples? Fuck those kids, said our state supreme court. And even though Washington state places foster children in the homes of same-sex couples, and even though the state of Washington formalizes adoptions by same-sex couples, and even though the state played an still plays and active role in creation of families headed by same-sex couples, our supreme court allowed the state to get away with arguing that marriage should be limited to opposite-sex couples because that's somehow in the best interests of children.
Sometimes I wonder if Barbara Madsen and Gerry Alexander—the POS author of the majority opinion and POS justice who essentially cast the deciding vote—don't wake up in the morning and say to themselves, "If I had that to do over again..." If they have consciences—if—it must occur to them that they could've made history, and been on the right side of history, but they opted instead to hold on to their precious seats. Fuckers.
"Because no one has the right to deny another their life, even though they disagree with it, because everyone has the right to live the life they so desire if it doesn't harm another and because discrimination has no place in America, my vote will be for equality and against Proposition 8," the actor said in a statement.
Pitt's donation marks the largest thus far to the anti-Prop. 8 campaign by an A-list celebrity.
Prop 8, if approved by California voters this November, would amend the state's constitution to ban same-sex marriage in California, reversing a recent and historic California Supreme Court ruling that declared the state's ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional. The anti-gay marriage movement—particularly the Mormon Church—is pouring millions of dollars into California. But the more money they send, the worse they do in the polls...
California voter opposition to a ban on same-sex marriages has grown over the past two months and is now a solid majority, according to a new Field Poll. The nonpartisan poll of voters likely to cast ballots in the Nov. 4 election shows 55 percent opposing Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that would reinstate a ban on same-sex marriages, to 38 percent in favor. Only 7 percent were undecided.
Be like Brad: Donate to the "No on Prop 8" campaign here.
In addition to hosting a guest preacher who told the folks in the pews—including Sarah Palin—that terrorist attacks in Israel are just God punishing Jews for rejecting Jesus, Sarah Palin's batshit church also recently hosted a "pray away the gay" conference. New York filmmaker Sandi Bachom got some reactions from New Yorkers. It's required viewing...
The public library in Helena, Montana, is thinking about removing a book from its collection after receiving complaints from patrons. So... um... just how exercised should I be about the possible removal of a book from a library in Montana that I wouldn't put on the shelf in my own home?
Ellen DeGeneres has signed on as the latest face of CoverGirl Cosmetics and will star in a new print and commercial ad campaign that's rolling out in January.
"That's the first thing they teach you when you're a cover girl," DeGeneres said, striking a modelesque pose for her studio audience on Tuesday's edition of Ellen, where she also showed off a picture of her, mid-touchup, during a recent photo shoot. "They're putting some lip liner on me—man they love lip liner," she said.
That's it: Everyone I know is getting Cover Girl cosmetics for Christmas, accompanied by a lovely Hallmark card.
Washington state's biggest (only?) gay rights group—Equal Rights Washington—hopes to inflate the gay vote with its "Flex the Gay Body Politic" campaign. There's a girl version of this poster too, which features a woman in a leotard giving good crotch. (And there's a larger, print-version of the poster that comes complete with abs.) But it's the boytit version of the campaign—ads and posters—that we're seeing all over Capitol Hill.
"Essentially what we wanted to do with this campaign was to convey to people that we need to be engaged in the political process," says Josh Friedes, Advocacy Director for Equal Rights Washington. "We want people to know that voting is important, and that there's more to life than just the gym."
That's funny—because it's not exactly voting that comes to mind when I look at that poster. And it makes me think about gym—as in, "when was the last time I got to the gym?" And my reaction to the poster had me wondering if ERW was getting much grief from the gays who complain about impossible-for-most-to-achieve beauty ideals and the high rates of anorexia, bulimia, and gym memberships that these kinds of ad campaigns induce in gay men.
"Our materials reflect a diversity of body types and races," says Friedes. "I would be deeply concerned by this poster if I couldn’t defend our overall outreach materials from charges like that. We have, over the years, bent over backwards to make sure that our materials are inclusive and that they communicate to people that ERW serves a diverse community and is responsive to the needs of a diverse community."
And Friedes is too polite to say it, so I will: Hot hairless guys with great tits, shoulders, biceps, and abs are an important and valued part of our diverse community too. Come on, people, don't these guys deserve a little representation too?
One last question for Friedes: Whose tit is that? Where does that guy hangout?
"I have no idea," says Friedes. "The poster was developed by an intern."
“At this moment in history, when cultures continue to cross paths more frequently, I am firmly convinced that a new reflection on the true meaning and importance of secularism is now necessary,” the pope said at a ceremony earlier Friday with President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Élysée Palace. He used the word “laïcité,” which denotes the separation of church and state.
But the pope proposed a “distinction between the political realm and that of religion in order to preserve both the religious freedom of citizens and the responsibility of the state toward them.” He distinguished the state’s legislative and social duties from religion’s role “for the formation of conscience” and the “creation of a basic ethical consensus in society.”
Wow—thanks for that ringing endorsement of the separation of church and state, Mr. Pope! This means, of course, that we won't be seeing any more money from Catholic Church pouring into anti-gay marriage campaigns (or anti-right-to-die campaigns, for that matter), right?
Because if there's a secular realm, like Mr. Pope said, and a religious realm, and the church has to let the state take care of the state's business and the state has to let the church take care of its own business, and seeing as marriage is a civil institution as well as a religious institution, well gosh, it naturally follows that states—and citizens—can elect to open the civil institution of marriage to same-sex couples while the church, free to act on its beliefs, can continue to deny the religious sacrament of marriage to same-sex couples.
Superstar gay journalist and blogger Rex Wockner has a post up on his blog today made me cry like a little Palin. San Diego City Councilwoman Toni Atkins married her partner of eight years, Jennifer LeSar, on September 6. Rex was there, got quotes from the happy brides, and took a few pictures. And it was one of the pictures—and its caption—that made me choke up.
Imagine the impact that attending the wedding of his openly-gay aunts had on that kid. What must it be like for young gays and lesbians to live at a time when—and in a state where—gays and lesbians are fully-enfranchised citizens, and gay relationships are afforded the same respect and protections that straight relationships have always been afforded. To know that love and marriage are possible for you too—not compulsory, gay "radicals," but possible—must be incredible.
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I don't know from liquor licenses and leases and derelict fast-food-franchise locations. But I do know from fags and gay bars. And every invert I know is still mourning the untimely demise of Pony, the late, great, trashy gay bar/temporary instillation that occupied the old Cha Cha space on Pine Street for a few glorious months. (Pony was always supposed to be temporary; the block was coming down before the bar opened. Pony's demise was untimely because an empty lot now stands, and has stood for months, on the spot where Pony—and Manray and Kincora's and Bus Stop, etc.—once stood.)
Anyway, it seems to me that Seattle's hipster inverts—young and old—enjoyed Pony not just for its, you know, "divine decadence," but also for its ephemeral, fleeting quality, for the sense, when you walked through the doors, that Pony was too good to last, and that we had to enjoy the free air hockey and the go-go boys and the friendly, flirty, non-lifer bartenders while we could.
Walking past the shuttered KFC franchise on Capitol Hill today, it occurred to me that it would make an excellent, thoroughly trashy Pony 2. I've heard that this spot will never be the site of a fast-food franchise again (the building doesn't come with the parking lot or the drive-through lane), and the building is likely to be torn down soon. It is currently for lease, according to signs in the windows, and the building is attracting new tags hourly. So... is it even possible to get a liquor license for that spot? Black out the windows, paint the awful dingy cream exterior stucco walls black, put a bar behind the counter that's already in there, tear out the bolted-down seating... and... ta-da!
It would be just as trashy and trashed as the original Pony location—but trashy in an entirely new and different way—and it would be just as fleeting and, I believe, just as legendary. Someone make it happen!
They're occurring primarily among young African American men and older gay white men. The closet (a.k.a. "the downlow"), poverty, the insanely homophobic African American church, and a lack of access to medical care drives the AIDS epidemic among young African American men. But what accounts for the new infections among gay men in their 30s and 40s? Despair? Stupidity? Does our luck just run out at a certain point? (And, yes, luck does play a role in staying HIV-negative.)
And seldom is it asked, is our HIV prevention strategies working? Doesn't look that way.