Saturday, December 20, 2008
FOCUS Jerry Brown: Gay-Marriage Ban Should Be Invalidated
Jessica Garrison, The Los Angeles Times: "In a surprise move, state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown asked the California Supreme Court on Friday to invalidate Proposition 8. He said the November ballot measure that banned gay marriage 'deprives people of the right to marry, an aspect of liberty that the Supreme Court has concluded is guaranteed by the California Constitution.'"
Friday, December 19, 2008
December 19, 2008
President-elect Barack Obama
Presidential Transition Office
Washington, DC 20270
Dear President-elect Obama:
The gay and lesbian community, our millions of friends and all other fair minded Americans are extremely hurt and angry with your choice of Reverend Rick Warren to give the invocation at your Inauguration next month.In an interview just 4 days ago, Reverend Warren compared gay marriage to legitimizing incest, child abuse, and polygamy. He said:"I'm opposed to redefinition of a 5,000 year definition of marriage. I'm opposed to having a brother and sister being together and calling that marriage. I'm opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that marriage. I'm opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage." -- Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church, December 15, 2008
How can he talk about loving same-sex couples who wish to marry like everyone else in this cruel way? This guy is a bigot plain and simple. He has a long history of saying mean and hateful things to so many Americans with whom he does not agree, that he seems an odd fit into your celebration as you assume the Presidency of the United States. So today we are asking you to drop Rick Warren from delivering the invocation at your swearing in ceremony. We will be launching a new web site www.DropRickWarren.com to ask others to join in our effort to help persuade you to choose another man or woman to take this place of honor at your historic Inauguration. We hope that you will drop Reverend Warren soon, and instead pick one of the thousands of religious leaders who don’t offend the gay and lesbian community and so many other Americans. You campaigned and were elected to unite this country and your removal of Rick Warren would go a long way toward achieving that goal.Rick Warren was a major supporter of California’s Proposition 8, the successful ballot initiative to ban gay marriage. Many prominent national gay leaders have called for Reverend Warren to step aside or for you to remove him. Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese, declared your invitation to Rick Warren a “genuine blow” to gay Americans. “And by inviting Rick Warren to your Inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have a place at your table,” he wrote.
Equality California Executive Director, Geoff Kors said yesterday that, “I have decided to decline the invitation to attend the inauguration as I cannot be part of a celebration that highlights and gives voice to someone who advocated repealing rights from me and millions of other Californians.Mr. President-elect, we know that you are trying to be inclusive at your Inaugural and in your administration and we applaud that. We, however, strongly urge you to do the right thing and reconsider your choice of Rick Warren. If you drop Rick Warren, it will send a loud and clear message to America and the world that you do not tolerate discrimination and hatred from anyone.
Thank you very much.
"I'm opposed to redefinition of a 5,000 year definition of marriage. I'm opposed to having a brother and sister being together and calling that marriage. I'm opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that marriage. I'm opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage." -- Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church, December 15, 2008
US balks at backing condemnation of anti-gay laws UNITED NATIONS – Alone among major Western nations, the United Stateshas refused to sign a declaration presented Thursday at the UnitedNations calling for worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality.In all, 66 of the U.N.'s 192 member countries signed the nonbindingdeclaration — which backers called a historic step to push the GeneralAssembly to deal more forthrightly with any-gay discrimination. Morethan 70 U.N. members outlaw homosexuality, and in several of themhomosexual acts can be punished by execution.
Co-sponsored by France and the Netherlands, the declaration was signedby all 27 European Union members, as well as Japan, Australia, Mexicoand three dozen other countries. There was broad opposition fromMuslim nations, and the United States refused to sign, indicating thatsome parts of the declaration raised legal questions that neededfurther review.
"It's disappointing," said Rama Yade, France's human rights minister,of the U.S. position — which she described as in contradiction withAmerica's long tradition as a defender of human rights.According to some of the declaration's backers, U.S. officialsexpressed concern in private talks that some parts of the declarationmight be problematic in committing the federal government on matters that fall under state jurisdiction. In numerous states, landlords and private employers are allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexualorientation; on the federal level, gays are not allowed to serve openly in the military.
Carolyn Vadino, a spokeswoman for the U.S. mission to the U.N.,stressed that the United States — despite its unwillingness to sign —condemned any human rights violations related to sexual orientation.
Gay rights activists nonetheless were angered by the U.S. position."It's an appalling stance — to not join with other countries that arestanding up and calling for decriminalization of homosexuality," said Paula Ettelbrick, executive director of the International Gay andLesbian Human Rights Commission.
She expressed hope that the U.S. position might change afterPresident-elect Barack Obama takes office in January.Also denouncing the U.S. stance was Richard Grenell, who until two months ago had been the chief spokesman for the U.S. mission to theU.N.
"It is ridiculous to suggest that there are legal reasons why we can'tsupport this resolution — common sense says we should be the leader inmaking sure other governments are granting more freedoms for theirpeople, not less," said Grenell, who described himself as a gayRepublican. "The U.S. lack of support on this issue only dims our oncebright beacon of hope and freedom for those who are persecuted andoppressed.
"More than 50 countries opposed to the declaration, including members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, issued a jointstatement Thursday criticizing the initiative as an unwarrantedattempt to give special prominence to gays and lesbians. The statementsuggested that protecting sexual orientation could lead to "the social normalization and possibly the legalization of deplorable acts" such as pedophilia and incest.
The declaration also has been opposed by the Vatican, a stance whichprompted a protest in Rome earlier this month.A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the Roman Catholic Church opposed the death penalty and other harsh repressionof gays and lesbians, but he expressed concern that the declarationwould be used as pressure against those who believe marriage rightsshould not be extended to gays.
A new Vatican statement, issued Thursday, endorsed the call to endcriminal penalties against gays, but said that overall the declaration "gives rise to uncertainty in the law and challenges existing humannorms." The European nations backing the declaration waged their campaign inconjunction with the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.The Dutch foreign affairs minister, Maxime Verhagen, said countries that endorsed that 1948 document had no right to carve out exceptions based on religion or culture that allowed discrimination against gays.
"Human rights apply to all people in all places at all times," he said. "I will not accept any excuse."He acknowledged that the new declaration had only symbolic import, but said it marked the first time such a large number of nations had raised the cause of gay rights in the context of General Assembly proceedings.
"This statement aims to make debate commonplace," he said. "It is not meant to be a source of division, but to eliminate the taboo that surrounds the issue." Although the declaration's backers were pleased that nations on sixcontinents had signed it, there were only two from Asia and four from Africa.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Over at Listverse they have counted down the best and worst Christmas specials of all time.
Top Five Best
1. A Charlie Brown Christmas
2. How The Grinch Stole Chrismas
3. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
4. Frosty The Snowman
5. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Joes goes on to say "But my personal favorite will always be Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special. Gay, gay, gay. The guest list alone! And played at my house every year."
its well worth some quality time at you tube... a classic!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
It is appalling that President-elect Barack Obama would invite California Pastor Rev. Rick Warren, an ardent supporter of Prop 8 and someone who is opposed to the equality of LGBT Americans, to give the invocation at his inauguration.
Demand President-elect Obama to immediately rescind this invitation.
Would President-elect Obama invite someone to give the invocation who supported eliminating the civil rights of a minority other than the LGBT community? Of course he wouldn’t!
This is a slap in the face to the millions of LGBT Americans who supported his historic candidacy.
TAKE ACTION: Sign EQCA’s petition to President-elect Obama. Ask him to immediately rescind this despicable invitation.
Bill Moyers Journal What's Next for Afghanistan?
Friday on Bill Moyers Journal: "As a new administration is set to take over in the White House, Bill Moyers checks in with author Sarah Chayes on the state of affairs in America's other war in Afghanistan. An author and former journalist, Chayes has lived the last seven years in Afghanistan, helping to rebuild the country."
Wishing for a safer world, free from nuclear weapons, is all well and good. But getting there will take all of us, taking action together. President-elect Obama has publicly joined our call to work for nuclear weapons abolition. In his acceptance speech he told us we would have to work for the change we want to see. Click the pic above to join Peace Action's online campaign, today, to realize a Nuclear Weapons Free World.
A Treatise on Stuff
Things are different today
There is ice hanging from the downspout
Frost all over the lawn
Yet we are short, and the lady on the news says
We might catch-up
Or then again
We might not
Not enough rain, that is, and
Too many people and
Too much stuff makes for less rain and
An economy that feeds on feeding us useless stuff
To turn off
and plug in then it is
Time to replace
The useless stuff I bought to plug in, and turn off
I found that the useless stuff, needs
And children to
Assemble the useless stuff, that
Required a mountain to be taken down and forest to be
Disassembled so that the
Useless stuff, that
Requires a ship to take it back to be reassembled as
That comes back again as
Car parts and cell phones and underwear and
That breaks or replaces the stuff that broke
And replaced the other stuff before that
The TV promises that your
Children will cry if they don’t get the right useless stuff that
My TV taught me that
If you are good
Santa will bring you lots of useless stuff,
That he stuffs down your chimney and puts
By the chimney, with less care than hope
For useless stuff.
Parents fret if the useless stuff isn’t heaped
High enough around
Made in China
A perfect Xmas should include perfect useless stuff
The media frets
Far too many people
Are not buying enough useless stuff to
Heap around their trees.
Made in China
The icicles on our tree are made in China.
see more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/17/more-republicans-revolt-a_n_151695.html
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
When leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) took a prominent role in ending marriage equality in California, I felt compelled to act.
Bruce Bastian, HRC Board Member said, "As a gay resident of Utah who grew up in a conservative Mormon family, I have seen the LDS Church divide the community and even families every day. I became active in and donated a million dollars to the "No on 8" campaign to help spread the truth in the face of a deceptive campaign funded largely by members of the LDS Church."
Bcause LDS (Mormon) leaders have been trying to deflect criticism by insisting that they're not "anti-gay" or opposed to civil unions, domestic partnerships and other LGBT rights – just marriage equality, click here to ask them to prove it.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Bush Sneaks Through Host of Laws to Undermine Obama
Since the Theatre is near