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The Daily Agenda for Friday, August 5

Jim Burroway

August 5th, 2011

TODAY’S AGENDA:
Response to “The Response”: Houston, TX. Tomorrow, Houston’s Reliant Stadium will be the site for Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Day of Prayer he’s calling  “The Response.” The rally, which is being sponsored by the SPLC-certified anti-gay hate group American Family Association, will feature virtually every anti-gay extremist this side of Westboro Baptist, including Family “Research” Council’s Tony Perkins, Rev. John Hagee (he declared that the anti-Christ would be “a blasphemer and a homosexual”) five senior staff members of the dominionist International House of Prayer (members of which have endorsed Uganda’s “Kill-The-Gays” Bill), and “prophet” Cindy Jacobs (she declared that birds were dying in Arkansas because of DADT repeal). A coalition of groups, including GetEqual and other LGBT organizations and affirming churches will hold two rallies tonight. The first one is from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Mount Ararat Baptist Church, 5801 West Montgomery Rd., Houston, TX. The second rally this evening is from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Tranquility Park in downtown Houston. There will also be an all-day rally at Reliant Stadium tomorrow, beginning at 8:00 a.m.

TransOhio Trangender & Ally Conference: Columbus, Ohio. TransOhio will host it’s fourth annual conference beginning today and through the weekend. Over 250 participants are expected to attend and participate in more than seventy workshops on such issues as health and safety, sex and sexuality, legal issues, family issues, religion and spirituality, education and culture. The conference takes place through Sunday at The Ohio State University’s Multicultural Center and Student Union.

Sweat for Equality: Arizona. Most communities in the lower elevations of Arizona have had solid triple-digit temperatures now for a couple of months. It’s the time of year when we carefully plan our movements, from an air-conditioned home to an air-conditioned car to an air-conditioned mall. But beginning today, seventeen Equality Walkers will walk 99 miles, representing the 99 years since Arizona’s statehood, in a state without marriage quality. The walkers will walk through eighteen cities and nine counties, and will follow the following route:

Friday, August 5th — Parker
Saturday, August 6th — Yuma
Sunday, August 7th — Casa Grande, Eloy, and Arizona City
Monday, August 8th — Tucson
Tuesday, August 9th — Nogales and Sierra Vista
Wednesday, August 10th– Bisbee and Tombstone
Thursday, August 11th — Safford, Thatcher, and Pima
Friday, August 12th — Clifton and Duncan
Saturday, August 13th — Florence and Queen Creek
Sunday, August 14th — Phoenix

Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Hamburg, Germany; Leeds, UK; Oakland, CA (Black Pride); Reykjavik, Iceland; Salem, OR; Stockholm, Sweden; and Windsor, ON;

Also This Weekend: Summer Diversity, Eureka Springs, AK; and Louisville LGBT Film Festival, Louisville, KY.

TODAY IN HISTORY:
Clinton Forbids Denying Security Clearances To Gays: 1995. President Bill Clinton signed an Executive Order officially banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in granting security clearances. For decades, federal agencies routinely denied security clearances to gay people on the assumption that all gay people were subject to blackmail. But a GAO study found that eight government agencies had already stopped using homosexuality as a reason for denying clearances, including the Defense Department, State Department, the FBI and the Secret Service. A 1953 Executive Order signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower included “sexual perversion” as a basis for firing from the federal workforce. That ban was lifted in 1975, but policies regarded security clearances remained vague. Clinton’s Order established uniform standards for granting security clearances, and it added sexual orientation to the non-discrimination clause. This Executive Order came two years after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was passed by Congress.

The Family “Research” Council’s Robert Maginnis denounced the move, saying that “in all healthy societies, homosexuality is recognized as a pathology with very serious implications for a person’s behavior. … Even more importantly for security concerns, this is a behavior that is associated with a lot of anti-security markers such as drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuity and violence.” FRC hasn’t changed much since then. Rep. Bob Dornan (R-CA), who was never at a loss for words when it came to outrageous statements, called gay people “promiscuous by definition,” and said that Clinton’s action was “something else he didn’t have to do that’s gotten in our face. I wouldn’t trust them with a $5 loan, let alone the nation’s secrets.”

Smashing the Stained Glass Closet

Rev. Gene Robinson Elected Episcopal Bishop: 2003. Overcoming eleventh-hour charges that he had sexually harassed a parishioner — charges which were withdrawn with regrets from the person making them – senior bishops at the Episcopal Church’s General Convention voted 62 to 43 with two abstentions to approve Rev. Gene Robinson’s election as bishop of New Hampshire. The election ended months of emotional debate, threats, and bizarre charges. One charge was that a web site run by a youth advocacy group that he supported had links to porn sites. The Boston Globe investigated, and found, that, yes, it was possible to find explicit photos from that web site, but it would take seven clicks outside of it to get there.

At issue was the fact that Robinson was not celibate and had been living with his life partner since 1988. During committee hearings leading up to his confirmation, Robinson said that his relationship with his partner was an essential element in his own spiritual life. “‘What I can tell you is that in my relationship with my partner, I am able to express the deep love that’s in my heart,” he explained. ”And in his unfailing and unquestioning love of me, I experience just a little bit of the kind of never-ending, never-failing love that God has for me. So it’s sacramental.”

When Robinson’s election was finally confirmed, about thirty delegates walked out, and opponents called the election ”a step toward moral disintegration in America. Anglican leaders in Asia and Africa immediately denounced the decision and threatened schism.

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).

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