Friday, July 16, 2010

Argentina Becomes First Latin American Country to Approve Gay Marriage

Argentina approved a same-gender marriage law yesterday by a 33-27 Senate vote, according to NPR. Church groups had staged a 60,000 person march on the capital. According to the Advocate, Argentinian Mormon church leader Carlos Aguero attended a strategy meeting aimed at stopping same-gender marriage. The Church of Latter-Day Saints (aka the Mormon church) has said that Aguero was not representing the church in an official capacity.

Alejandro Rojas, Mexico City's tourism minister, is offering a free honeymoon to Mexico City to the first couple that gets married in Argentina (Advocate). Note: non-resident foreigners cannot travel to Argentina to get married.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hawai'i Gov Lingle Compares Incest and Same-Gender Marriage

You know you're a crazy liberal when you're blogging about queer rights while drinking fair-trade, shade-grown Ethiopian coffee.

But, let's talk straight (ha!). The Advocate reports that Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle (R), the witch who vetoed civil unions, just compared same-gender couples to incest on radio show KHVH 830 AM. Now, I realize that the show was an AM, so Lingle probably thought no one was listening...but c'mon! Lingle had that well-written veto speech about feelings and stuff, but then someone let her answer questions without a prompt! Dumbasses.

Lingle said that first couples cannot marry, and that is reason to restrict marriage. Because it's not a civil right if you can restrict some groups but can't restrict others. Some dude named Rick called up and let Lingle know that first cousins can marry in Hawai'i...which is true according to Hawai'i's Department of Health website.

"Almost everyone I know has family members, friends or both who are gay and involved in committed relationships. We don't love them any less and we don't value them any less. It's not about a decision for individual couples. It's about the impact it has on society," said Linda Lingle (my favorite alliterative idiot). Let us not forget to take into account the positive impact same-gender marriage has on churches' religious freedoms (to perform or not perform ceremonies), local economies, children in foster care, and on the lives of same-gender couples.

And as for Lingle's quaint little story about the distressed mom who was afraid her children would be brainwashed by Obama's socialist, pro-gay, fascist, anti-Christian, pro-killing-little-babies educational system (see Lingle's speech here)... Jeebus forbid that a straight marriage is considered on par to a gay marriage in the government's eyes. You can still teach your kids that gays are gonna go the way of Sodom and be destroyed if you want. Go start a creepy militant commune if that's what you want. We've got gun rights up the wazoo now if you're interested.

Sidenote: Sodom as an example to hate the gays? That story is about protecting your guests by letting mobs of angry people rape your virgin daughters. But let's harp on the possibly gay message here - since raping people is about sexual attraction and all. Rape is about power, people. Think, damn you!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Update on Homeless LGBT Youth

An update to an old post of mine regarding impoverished LGBT youth (where Rush Limbaugh said that poor kids should go dumpster-diving): reports that the Center for American Progress estimates LGBT youth account for 20-40% of the homeless youth population in the US. In New York, the average age that a queer youngster becomes homeless is 14.4 years old. The Center for American Progress suggests that the high proportion of homeless LGBT kids results from fundie families kicking their own children out on the street.

Our good buddy Obama plans to end homelessness among youth by 2020. The Advocate reports that Obama will be targeting homeless queer kids in his program. Obama says, "still, others ... are perhaps unable to stay with families [that are] hostile to their sexual orientation or gender identity." He mentioned us. OMG. W00t! Hopefully, that means that something will actually happen - for the moment, I'm optimistic.

A book sale in New York City today from now until 6pm will benefit New Alternatives, a center for LGBT homeless youth:

Buy a Book, Save a Young Life
10,000+ books
$10 per bag of books
Free music and performance art
Now until 6pm
LGBT Community Center
208 West 13th Street, NYC

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hawaii Gov Vetoes Civil Unions Bill

Governor Linda Lingle (R) of Hawai'i just vetoed a measure to allow same-gender couples the almost-marriage privilege of civil unions, according to the AP.

The Senate had a veto-proof majority (aka they can over-ride Lingle's veto). Senate leaders have said that they will not pass the bill over the Governor's head, according to Lambda Legal. The ACLU of Hawai'i and Lambda Legal will file suit - the state constitution prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. They can't sue for marriage because Hawai'i was the first state to establish a constitutional amendment effectively banning marriage equality until the legislature votes for marriage.

Lingle says that the issue should be brought up for a vote by the people. And, although she didn't base her veto "on the political impact it might have on" her, Lingle did make sure to use her speech to blast Democrats for bringing the bill to the floor. Political maneuvering indeed.

The full text of Lingle's speech is attached here (I have bolded the best parts):

After months of listening to Hawaii’s citizens express to me in writing and in person their deeply held beliefs and heartfelt reasons for supporting or opposing the Civil Unions Bill, I have made the decision to veto HB 444.

I have been open and consistent in my opposition to same gender marriage and find that HB 444 is essentially marriage by another name.

However, I want to be clear that
my personal opinion is not the basis for my decision against allowing this legislation to become law. Neither is my veto based on my religious beliefs or on the political impact it might have on me or anyone else of either political party in some future election.

I am vetoing this bill because I have become convinced that this issue is of such significant societal importance that it d
eserves to be decided directly by all the people of Hawaii.

The subject of this legislation has touched the hearts and minds of our citizens as no other social issue of our day. It would be a mistake to allow a decision of this magnitude to be made by one individual or a small group of elected officials.

And while ours is a system of representative government it also is one that recognizes that, from time to time, there are issues that require the reflection, collective wisdom and consent of the people and reserves to them the right to directly decide those matters. This is one such issue.

The legislative maneuvering that brought HB 444 to an 11
th hour vote, on the final day of the session, via a suspension of the rules, after legislators lead the public to believe that the bill was dead, was wrong and unfair to the public they represent. After eight years of observing members of the Majority Party manipulate the legislative process when it suits them, I initially accepted their actions as business as usual. That was wrong too.

There has not been a bill I have contemplated more or an issue I have thought more deeply about during my nearly eight years as governor than HB 444 and the institution of marriage.

After listening to those both for and against HB 444 I have gained a new appreciation for just how deeply people of all ages and backgrounds feel on this matter, and how significantly they believe the issue will affect their lives.

Few could be unmoved by the poignant story told to me in my office by a young, Big Island man who recounted the journey he had taken to bring himself to tell his very traditional parents that he was gay. I was similarly touched by the mother who in the same office expressed anguish at the prospect of the public schools teaching her children that a same gender marriage was equivalent to their mother and father’s marriage. 

In addition to meeting in person with citizens of differing opinions, I have read legal memos on both sides of the issue, some urging me to veto the bill because of unintended consequences and guaranteed years of court battles while others urged support for what they consider a legally sound bill that grants long overdue civil rights.

But in the end, it wasn’t the persuasiveness of public debates, the soundness of legal arguments, or the volume of letters and emails that convinced me to reach this decision. It was the depth of emotion felt by those on both sides of the issue that revealed to me how fundamental the institution of marriage is to our community. It is as fundamental to those who support marriage between two people of the same gender as it is to those who support marriage only between one man and one woman. 

This is a decision that should not be made by one person sitting in her office or by members of the Majority Party behind closed doors in a legislative caucus, but by all the people of Hawaii behind the curtain of the voting booth.        

As difficult as the past few weeks have been, I am comfortable with my decision while knowing full well that many will be disappointed by it.

And while some will disagree with my decision to veto this bill, I hope most will agree that the flawed process legislators used does not reflect the dignity this issue deserves, and that
a vote by all the people of Hawaii is the best and fairest way to address an issue that elicits such deeply felt emotion by those both for and against.

I have done my very best to reach a reasoned decision in a manner that brings honor to the political process and that I hope a majority of people believe reflects the values of Hawaii. (c/o KHON2)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Queer Fourth of July!


Let's celebrate America together - the gay way.

Abraham Lincoln was our first gay president?!

And...of course:
(surprisingly, I got more lesbian porn than gay porn when looking for today's patriotic images...that's new)


In other news, I had the most trouble telling if this site is for real. Their posts on homosexuality are f*cking scary shit...but, here's a fun satire 4 you -

Friday, July 2, 2010

Zac Efron and Taylor Lautner - Grease Remake and the Twilight Saga: Eclipse

The Advocate reports that director Randal Kleiser is making a gay remake of his classic musical Grease (apparently, it wasn't gay enough the first time?).

His choice for leads?

1. Taylor Lautner - famous for some of the best acting gigs ever - The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl and the new hit Twilight...

2. Zac Efron - who is at his hottest in Hairspray and his upcoming movie Charlie St. Cloud. P.S. blonde streaks are a no-no for Efron...

(photo from The Advocate c/o Getty Images)

Speaking of two hotties, Lautner was at his buff best in the new Twilight movie, Eclipse. Surprisingly, he actually was acting pretty well. I've read the first Twilight book and have seen the other two movies. The first two movies killed parts of my soul, but watching Eclipse actually encouraged me to read the rest of books (of course, I would get them at the library)...

I have a confession to make. I paid for tickets for my boyfriend and I to see Eclipse. Why is this a problem? Because some of the money from the movies probably goes to the Mormons.

The Church of Latter-Day Saints (aka the Mormons) fight hard to keep gay marriage from becoming a reality. A coalition of religious groups, including the Church of Latter-Day Saints, the Roman Catholic Church, and some evangelical churches, created our favorite organization AHMMM-NOM-NOM...or the National Organization for Marriage. A new documentary, 8: The Mormon Proposition, covers Prop 8 and the Mormon influence in depth. See this New York Times review.

Stephenie Meyer, the author of the books off of which the movies are based, is a devout Mormon, and her books are rife with Jesus messages (which I write as my boyfriend looks over my shoulder disapprovingly...he loves Twilight).

The State Journal-Register reports:
“The most obvious Mormon influences can be seen in the ways that Meyer has her teenage heroine stand up for marriage and, ultimately, motherhood,” says Jana Riess, author of “What Would Buffy Do: The Vampire Slayer as Spiritual Guide” and co-author of “Mormonism for Dummies.”

“But anyone who is familiar with the Book of Mormon can also discern deeper theological themes, from the Mormon reinterpretation of the Fall of humankind — which inspired the apple on the ‘Twilight’ book cover — to the theme of overcoming the natural man, which we can see when Bella wrestles with her desires and decides whether or not to become a vampire.”

But, seriously...Mormons are supposed to give 10-20% of their yearly salaries to the Church. We can assume that Meyer would be doing the same (although, I have not found good confirmation of Meyer actually giving to the Church). Daily Mail says that it found a close friend of Meyer who said that Meyer gives significantly to the Church.

Meyer met her husband at the age of four at their local Church of Latter-Day Saints. She is heavily dedicated to her Church (she's never seen an R-rated movie)...and graduated from Brigham Young University.

According to Affirmation (a group for gay and lesbian Mormons), BYU is the same university that Christian gay rights group Soulforce staged a die-in at in 2006. The die-in was to bring attention to the 24 Mormons that have committed suicide since 1965. The protesters were peacefully arrested.

So, the moral of this post is:
1. Zac Efron and Taylor Lautner are hot.
2. Eclipse is the best of the three Twilight movies.
3. I'm going to work extra hours at work (for free) this week to make up for buying tickets to Twilight.
4. I didn't have time to get into the anti-feminist nature of the series...