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Posts for January, 2013

GetEqual Opposes Hagel Nomination

Jim Burroway

January 8th, 2013

GetEqual, the far-left LGBT advocacy group, has issued a press release opposing Sen. Chuck Hagel’s nomination for Defense Secretary. The group’s press release gives a flavor ofthe group’s political priorities:

During his tenure in the Senate, Hagel scored 4% with the Human Rights Campaign, 14% with the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, 12% with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), 5% with the League of Conservation Voters, and 7% with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). This is not a voting record that indicates Hagel is in line with the Obama Administration’s stated core values.

“With our country facing so many important battles ahead on such crucial issues as immigration reform, climate justice, and gun control, it’s baffling why President Obama would spend political capital on a nominee who so clearly is at odds with his Administration’s values,” said Heather Cronk, managing director for GetEQUAL. “While Hagel’s remarks 15 years ago about Jim Hormel pulled back the window on how he felt then about gay Americans, his voting record seems more in line with those remarks than with the Obama Administration. The majority of his votes in the areas of civil rights, economic justice, and environmental conservation — the areas articulated as priorities for President Obama’s second term — rank him in the bottom rung of all members of Congress.”

Interestingly, the group says very little about Hagel’s competency as Defense chief. You’d think they’d at least mention that he voted for the Iraq War in 2002. What conservation, gun control or climate change has to do with anything isn’t clear. More confusingly, the statement demands that during Hagel’s confirmation hearing he “explain in great detail…where he stands on equality in the ranks and throughout the country.” I agree. But with the overall tone of this press release, it seems rather obvious to me that no explanation would ever satisfy GetEqual.

Not a gay organization

Timothy Kincaid

March 17th, 2012

Corporate America is currently the gay communty’s biggest supporter. Time and again companies have stepped up and supported equality even when under threat from a “million” moms or “families” who are enraged at the idea. This wasn’t always true, but nowadays the bigger the Big Business, the more they seem to want to sponsor events or contribute to campaigns or even lobby legislators on our behalf.

And while some in our community are not going to ever change their perspective about the role of business in society, most of us will happily accept their support. If Microsoft wants to work for marriage equality in Washington, that’s a good thing. If Apple and Levi’s give to fight Prop 8, we’ll use our iPhone to buy some jeans. If Macy’s tweeks the nose of the “marriage protectors”, we’ll chuckle while registering in their marriage register. And if a handful of Republican Wall Street types put enough money and pressure on the Republican controlled NY Senate that they pass a marriage bill, even dedicated liberal Democrats will swallow hard and smile while throwing rice.

Most of us.

But there are those who claim to be gay groups that put gay issues secondary to their radical political agenda. GOProud is a good example. They’ve never met an extremist homophobic Republican or an outrageous Republican position that they couldn’t endorse. Often with logic that would make a pretzel dizzy. And nothing is more important to GOProud than hatin’ on The Left; hate is their primary purpose and driving motivation.

And there’s also this:

As constituents and LGBTQ supporters, we demand that HRC stand with us, to stand against the exploitation of the less fortunate, and stand for those suffering at the hands of corporate criminals. We urge HRC to make decisions that support their mission statement of “equality and fairness for all.” WE DEMAND THAT HRC rescind their Workplace for Equality Innovation Award and revoke Mr. Balnkfein’s title as “national spokesperson for same-sex marriage.”

Lloyd Blankfein’s crime, that which disqualifies him from working for marriage equality in the minds of GetEqual, is being CEO of Goldman Sachs. Because, when it comes right down to it, GetEqual has a lot in common with GOProud. In choosing between advancing equality or hatin’ on the Wall Street fat cats, there’s no question.

And if advancing gay rights is but a secondary purpose – as is the case with GOPride and GetEqual – then you aren’t a gay organization.

UPDATE: I was insufficiently clear above. The group protesting HRC is GetEqual. I only included GOProud generally, as a balance, not because the object to Balnkfein. As far as I know, GOProud has never organized their political allies to picket any gay organization.

The Daily Agenda for Thursday, February 2

Jim Burroway

February 2nd, 2012

TODAY’S AGENDA:
Ninth Court of Appeals To Rule On Prop 8 Tapes: San Francisco, CA. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has announced that they will issue their ruling this morning regarding the public release of the video tapes that were made during trial of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, which ultimately led to the court’s ruling that Prop 8 was unconstitutional. Anti-gay supporters of Prop 8 have been fighting to keep the video tapes out of public view over embarrassment over the very poor performance of their star witnesses. The ruling will be released at 10:00 a.m. PST.

GetEQUAL to Protest National Prayer Breakfast: Washington, D.C. According to a press release from GetEQUAL:

“On Thursday, Feb. 2, GetEQUAL will protest “The Family” and their agenda of persecuting LGBT people around the world by demonstrating outside the National Prayer Breakfast. The National Prayer Breakfast is an annual event hosted and attended by members of Congress, business leaders and international heads of state. It is organized by a secretive, shadowy religious group called “The Family” (also known as “The Fellowship Foundation”), which pursues a viciously homophobic agenda in the United States and around the world. GetEQUAL will make the point that attendance at this event helps prop up this fringe group, and implies an endorsement of the anti-LGBT agenda of “The Family.”

The protest will take place from 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. EST outside of the Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY:
Havelock Ellis: 1859.When it came time to chose a career, he chose an unorthodox one for a Victorian Englishman: that of a sexologist. To prepare, he studied to be a physician. When he joined the Fellowship of the New Life, a social group influenced by Emerson and Thoreau, he met Edward Carpenter, whose unabashed homosexuality must surely have been a great influence on him. Another influence: his wife, women’s rights activist Edith Lees, who was openly lesbian, and who insisted on an open marriage, an arrangement to which he readily agreed although he himself was impotent until the age of 60. When in 1896 he co-authored the first installment of his six-volume Studies on the Psychology of Sex, that volume, titled Sexual Inversionbecame the first English medical textbook on homosexuality. He originally published it in German, and then translated it into English in 1897 in a bid to avoid British censors. German scholars, by then, had already written several influential works on homosexuality, making German the de facto language of sexology. It was thought that by translating a German work, censors might look the other way. They didn’t. A bookseller was prosecuted for stocking Sexual Inversion, but the charges were eventually thrown out.

Ellis can claim several firsts. He was the first to study what we today recognize as transgender identities as a distinct phenomenon from homosexuality. He is also credited for creating the ideas of narcissism and autoeroticism, concepts which were later adopted by psychoanalysis. He is also often credited for introducing the word “homosexual” into the English language, but in fact he hated the word. Made up of a mixture of Greek and Latin roots, he complained, “‘Homosexual’ is a barbarously hybrid word, and I claim no responsibility for it.” He wrote instead about ”sexual inversion,” and in ways that no major English writer had done before: as an objective field of study without characterizing it as a disease, immorality or a crime.

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?

Petition Calls On Southern Baptists To Apologize

Jim Burroway

June 13th, 2011

A large group of Southern Baptists will gather in Phoenix this week for their annual convention. As leading proponents of ex-gay ministries, they have been front and center of a larger anti-gay political movement. Several LGBT advocacy groups plan to greet the convention with a gathering of their own. Faith in America, Soulforce, Truth Wins Out, Get Equal, and the Association of Affirming and Welcoming Baptists will join a local group of Phoenix-area clergy known as Believe Out Loud for a demonstration calling on the Southern Baptist Convention to apologize for the harm its teachings have caused the LGBT community, particularly to the youth. There is an online petition which will be hand-delivered following a protest outside the SBC’s annual meeting in Phoenix on Wednesday, a day that marks the religious group’s historic apology to African Americans for supporting slavery and Jim Crow laws.

So far, more than 5,000 people have signed the petition calling on the SBC to apologize. You can add your name to the petition here.

DADT Rally At White House Announced

Jim Burroway

September 10th, 2010

GetEqual and local Washington, D.C. LGBT advocates have announced a rally at 2:00 pm today in front of the White House to demand that President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder instruct the Department of Justice not to appeal yesterday’s ruling declaring “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” unconstitutional. The rally will also demand that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) immediately schedule a vote on the Defense Authorization Act, which contains language that would start the process of repealing DADT.

GetEqual’s press release announcing today’s rally describes this as a “moment of truth for President Obama and his administration.” The rally will take place at the north side of the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue near Lafeyette Park.

Choi and GetEqual protest something again

Timothy Kincaid

July 29th, 2010

Lt. Choi and other GetEqual activist were arrested for photographed protesting in the Capitol Rotunda. (SDGLN)

A group of GetEqual protesters have closed down the Capitol Rotunda, specifically targeting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the lack of progress on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

The didn’t meet with Pelosi. They didn’t get any mainstream media. They didn’t accomplish anything discernible.

But someone paid attention to them and took pictures. Choi even tweeted about himself.

Success!!

BREAKING: Six Vets Chain Themselves to White House Fence

Jim Burroway

April 20th, 2010

In a repeat of last month’s protest against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:, six veterans have chained themselves to the White House fence.

In a protest that is currently ongoing according to The Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld’s Twitter feed, Lt. Daniel Choi and five others have handcuffed themselves to the White House fence. The protesters consist of three men and three women, including Lt. Choi, who reportedly is calling on the President to include the repeal of the ban on gays serving openly in the military in the Defense Authorization Bill.

Joe Sudbury identifies another protester as Autumn Sandeen, a transgender blogger with Pam’s House Blend who is a retired twenty-year navy veteran. Another protester has been identified as  Capt. Jim Pietrangelo, who was discharged under DADT in 2004. Pietrangelo also handcuffed himself to the White House fence last month alongside Choi.

The protest was organized by GetEQUAL, which also organized a protest at a fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer last night. The protest target was President Barack Obama, whose address was interrupted by hecklers demanding action on DADT’s repeal.

Update: GetEqual identifies the six as Capt. Jim Pietrangelo II, Petty Officer Larry Whitt, Petty Officer Autumn Sandeen, Cadet Mara Boyd, and Airman Victor Price.

Update 2: All six protesters have now been place under arrest.