June 24th, 2011
TODAY’S AGENDA (OURS):
New York Senate Vote on Marriage Equality (?): Albany, NY. Will the Republican caucus finally succeed in blocking a vote on marriage equality in the state Senate? That appears to be the growing realization late Thursday. Only two Republicans have joined twenty-nine Democrats in publicly declaring their support for marriage equality, one short of a majority in the sixty-two member chamber. But more significantly, marriage equality supporters are a distinct minority in the thirty-two member Republican caucus, which will collectively decide whether to allow a vote on the measure on the Senate floor. Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who himself has said he will vote against marriage equality, insists that the discussion will take place soon and promised an all-nighter in order to wrap up the Senate’s business. That didn’t happen; the Senate adjourned shortly before 11:00 p.m. and will reconvene this morning at 10:00 a.m. One marriage equality supporter, Sen. James S. Alesi (R-Monroe Co.) told The New York Times:
“I don’t see how the conference doesn’t bring this to the floor at this point,” Mr. Alesi said. “I respect the collective will of my conference, but I believe on an issue as important as this to the Republican Party as well as to the L.G.B.T. community, I feel our conference has to bring this bill to the floor.” But Mr. Alesi added, “Albany is not a place to make predictions.”
Just after midnight Eastern Time, NOM sent out a lengthy message to its email list with a link to the entire Republican caucus asking them to put marriage equality up for a referendum. NOM also is targeting these state Senators:
The last two are listed as “yes” votes for marriage equality. Saland and Grisanti are listed as undecided. Lanza is a “lean no” and Ball and Flanagan are both “no.” Empire Pride also wants all New Yorkers to call their senator’s office right now. You can use their simple click-to-call tool to make your voice heard.
Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Anchorage, AK; Antwerp, Belgium; Augusta, GA; Barcelona, Spain; Baton Rouge, LA; Berlin, Germany; Casper, WY; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Columbia, SC (Black Pride); Dublin, Ireland; Durango, CO/Four Corners; Harlem, NY; Houston, TX; Knoxville, TN; Lexington, KY; Lisbon, Portugal; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Mexico City, DF; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Oklahoma City, OK; Omaha, NE; Oslo, Norway; Outer Banks, NC; Panama City, FL; Paris, France; Prince Albert, SA; San Francisco, CA; Santa Fe, NM; SÃ£o Paulo, Brazil; St. Louis, MO; St. Petersburg, FL; St. Petersburg, Russia; Seattle, WA; Valencia, Spain and Wichita, KS.
TODAY’S AGENDA (THEIRS):
Florida Awake!: Naples, FL. Florida is firmly in the hands of a tea-party governor and with the GOP holding 70% of the state Senate and two-thirds of the House, the state is very firmly in conservatism’s tightest grip. And yet for all of that, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver thinks “Florida must rise up and take back its state!” (Exclamation point in the original.) That’s why he will be joining discredited “historian” David Barton for an evening of sheer lunacy tonight at the First Baptist Church of Naples.
TODAY IN HISTORY:
Sydney Police Block Pride Parade: 1978. This was supposed to be Sydney’s first Gay Pride Parade, known locally as Mardi Gras, and was planned as a night-time celebration after a morning march and commemoration of the Stonewall riots. (You can see film of the morning march taken with a super-8 camera here.) While homosexuality was still against the law in New South Wales, organizers had obtained all the necessary permits for the celebration beforehand. The evening celebration began simply, with a small crowd walking down Oxford Street on a chilly Australian winter day. The idea was to encourage people to come out from the bars and join the fun. But the crowd aroused suspicions of the police, which had gathered around the group.
By the time the small crowd, estimated at between five hundred and a thousand, reached the end of the street, the police confiscated the sound system, removed their identification badges and turned on the crowd. One participant recalled, “There was, you know, pretty serious bashing and kicking and all sort of things going on. It was a real riot.” Fifty-three marchers were arrested. One marcher recalled that while in police custody, he was beaten so badly he began to convulse on the floor.
“They took me along a long corridor in the police station through a U-shaped route into a room and then just beat the hell out of me. There were two police officers who did that – one in particular – bashing me with their fists in the head and saying ‘you’re not so smart now are you’.” Mr Murphy said he was beaten solidly until a blow to the solar plexus floored him. He was thrown into a solitary cell where he could hear protesters gathered outside chanting his name. “They tried to break my leg but fortunately the bones didn’t snap,” he said. “I was (literally) pissing my pants.”
Although most of the charges were dropped, the Sydney Morning Herald published the full names of everyone who was arrested, outing many to their family, friends and employers. Many lost their jobs. More than thirty years later, many of those surviving original marchers are still waiting for an official police apology.
If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. PLEASE, don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.