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Posts for June, 2013

Massachusetts GOP Senate Candidate goes to Pride

Timothy Kincaid

June 19th, 2013

Next Tuesday there will be an election for US Senate in Massachusetts. This is a special election to replace Sen. John Kerry after his move to Secretary of State.

Although Massachusetts usually sends Democrats to Washington, the GOP nominee, Gabriel Gomez, is within striking distance of his Democratic counterpart, Rep. Ed Markey. And it appears that Gomez, who supports marriage equality and has endorsed ENDA, is far more in line with Massachusetts values than are most Republicans. He may even have forged new ground.

It isn’t surprising that Ed Markey, who has long been a firm supporter of the community, participated in the Boston Pride Parade this year. And it is not at all unusual for Log Cabin to have a presence at Pride Events. However, I am not able to recall any previous time in which the Republican Nominee for Senate from any state had their own booth at a Pride Festival.

Naturally, the wackadoodles over at MassResistence are all kinds of unhappy about this.

A whole new reason to support equality

Timothy Kincaid

April 9th, 2013

I’ll admit that this is not the first thing I think of when I ponder marriage inequality. But any injustice is worth fighting. (LATimes)

A Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts who supports gay marriage has asked the Federal Election Commission to determine whether gay couples have the right to make joint contributions to political candidates.

In a request for an advisory opinion Friday, attorneys for state Rep. Dan Winslow, a moderate Republican running in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Secretary of State John F. Kerry, asked the commission whether gay couples could donate to his campaign with a single check, as heterosexual married couples were allowed to do.

In heterosexual families, if wifey is the breadwinner, both her and hubby can contribute to the candidate of their choice using just one income. But if wifey’s spouse is a woman, then federal election law steps in and says “you ain’t really married; you’re just skim-milk married; you can only give half as much.”

So Winslow has teamed up with Log Cabin to have DOMA questioned in an area most of us haven’t thought of. And due to his election deadline, he’s asked for expedited ruling.

And while this may seem a bit, well, non-essential, it’s actually quite important that election law not discriminate against those who support equality.

Voters Send Record Number of LGBT Pols to Washington

Jim Burroway

November 7th, 2012

“Now, I am well aware that I will have the honor of being Wisconsin’s first woman senator. And I am well aware that I will be the first openly gay member,” Baldwin said to loud cheers and chants of “Tammy, Tammy!” from her supporters. “But I didn’t run to make history. I ran to make a difference.”

Yesterday’s election was a watershed moment for LGBT equality. Not only did voters defeat attempts to deny marriage equality in four states at the ballot box, but a record number of LGBT representatives will be going to Washington to serve in Congress, including the nation’s first openly gay Senator, Tammy Baldwin (D) from Wisconsin. With 99.6% of the vote counted, Baldwin defeated former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) 1,528,941 (51.5%) to ,363,994 (45.9%).

Five other openly gay representatives have won their races for Congress. Returning to Congress are Jared Polis (D-CO) and David Cicilline (D-RI). New gay members include Mark Takano (D-CA), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), and Mark Pocan (D-WI). Pocan made history himself be becoming the first openly gay representative to take over a House seat from another openly gay representative when he won Rep. Tammy Baldwin’s old seat.

Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema (D) leads in a tight race over former Paradise Vally mayor Vernon Walker (R) to become the first openly bi member of Congress. All precincts have been reported, but there are still a number of provisional ballots to be counted, making a final call in that race impossible.

Click here to see the latest results for Congress.

Election Liveblog

Jim Burroway

November 6th, 2012

2:00 EST: One more thing:

Iowa Supreme Court Justice Retention Vote:
David Wiggins:
Yes (retain): 54% 
No: 46%
83% reporting.

NOM is having a very bad night. A historically bad night. I’m going to bed now and I will sleep very, very soundly.

1:39 EST: President Obama is now giving his victory speech. And with that, I’m going to sign off for the night. I will provide an update with the latest results again tomorrow morning.

1:30 EST: Here is a rundown of all of the LGBT-related races I’ve been following:

BALLOT MEASURES:

Maine, Question 1: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 54.2% √
No: 45.8%
58.1% reporting.

Maryland, Question 6: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 51.2% 
No: 48.1%
96.8% reporting.

Minnesota, Amendment 1: Same-sex marriage ban.
No: 49.2.5%
Blanks: 1.5%
Yes: 49.2%
67.4% reporting.
Remember: The Amendment needs to pass by more than half of all ballots cast. Blanks will be added to the “no” vote for the final tally.

Washington, Referendum 74: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 51.8.9%
No: 48.2%
49.9% reporting.

SENATE RACE:

Wisconsin:
Tammy Baldwin (D, openly lesbian): 51.2%
Tommy Thompson (R): 46.2.%
86.8% reporting.

CONGRESSIONAL RACES:

Arizona:
Kyrsten Sinema (D, openly bi): 47.4%
Vernon Parker (R): 46.3%
86% reporting.

California:
Mark Takano (D, openly gay): 54.4%
John Tavaglione (R): 45.6%
13% reporting.

Colorado:
Jared Polis (D, openly gay): 54.6%
Kevin Lundberg (R): 40.4%
45.3% reporting.

Massachusetts:
Richard Tisei (R, openly gay): 47.1%
John Tierney (D) 48.4%
98.3% reporting.

New York:
Sean Patrick Maloney (D, openly gay): 51.7%
Nan Hayworth (R): 48.3%
96.7% reporting.

Rhode Island:
David Cicilline (D, openly gay): 53.1%
Brendan Dohert (R): 40.7%
97.0% reporting

Wisconsin:
Mark Pocan (D, openly gay): 67.4%
Chad Lee (R): 32.6%
90.5% reporting.

12:55 EST: Gov. Mitt Romney is now giving a very classy consession speech, congratulating President Obama for his win.

12:50 EST: Here is a rundown of the ballot measures addressing same-sex marriage. Voters in two states have approved marriage equality. Voters in Washington are on their way to approving marriage equality, and Minnesota voters look poised to turn down a proposal to write a permanent ban on same-sex marriage in the state’s constitution. After voters in 30 states have written marriage equality bans into their state constitutions, we now have a remarkable turnaround in 2012. Remember this day.

Maine, Question 1: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 54% 
No: 46%
51% Reporting

Maryland, Question 6: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 52% 
No: 48%
93% Reporting

Minnesota, Amendment 1: Same-sex marriage ban.
No: 48.5%
Blanks: 3.7%
Yes: 47.9%
53% reporting.
Remember: The Amendment needs to pass by more than half of all ballots cast. Blanks will be added to the “no” vote for the final tally.

Washington, Referendum 74: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 52%
No: 48%
50% reporting.

12:40 EST: Tammy Baldwin has now given her victory speech. With 79% reporting, she has defeated Gov. Tommy Thompson 51-47%, making her the first openly gay Senator in American history.

12:38 EST: Now I’m ready to call Maryland’s Question 6 a win for equality! With 92% reporting, Question 6 has passed 1,126,598 to 1,050,179 (52-48%) Maryland voters have joined those in Maine to approve marriage equality at the ballot box. I don’t know about you, but this really feels like a truly historic turning point.

12:30 EST: Colorado has now gone to Obama, bringing his lead to 290-201. There’s a lot of talk about whether Ohio was prematurely declared, but even if Ohio went red, this would still be Obama’s victory. An ugly one, especially if he doesn’t win the popular vote, but it is a win.

12:28 EST: Another gay congressman is headed to Washington. Sean Patrick Maloney (D) has defeated Rep. Nan Hayworth (R), 52%-48%.

12:15 EST: Believe it or not, Politico has had the results swapped between Question 6 and the “Illegal immigrant tuition” question all night long. For the love of god!!!  Question 6 is up, but only 52-48%, way too early to call.

12:00 EST: With 44.1% reporting in Maine, Question 1 is projected to win!

Maine, Question 1: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 54.4%
No: 45.6%
44.1% Reporting

11:45 EST: With 81% reporting in Maryland, Question 6 is projected to win!

Maryland, Question 6: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 58%
No: 42%
81% Reporting

11:31 EST: Remember James Hartline?

I took my Bible with me today and proudly honored God with my decisions. I refused to vote for the demonized Mormon Cultist Mitt Romney or Obama. Instead, like nearly two million other voters, I marked other and wrote in Jesus.

11:30 EST: Has Tammy Baldwin won her Senate race? Reuters called it, but right now with 53% reporting, she is only up 49-48%. She may yet win, but it looks like a lot of folks might have jumped the gun a bit.

11:23 EST: CNN has given Ohio to Obama. President Barack Obama, the most pro-gay president in American history, has been re-elected.

11:05 EST: A slew of new projections has put Obama on top 243-191. Ohio continues to lean toward Romney, but CNN is now mapping out multiple possibilities for Obama to win even without Ohio.

Here are the state marriage ballot measures. All of them are still looking good so far.

Maine, Question 1: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 53%
No: 47%
30% Reporting

Maryland, Question 6: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 58%
No: 42%
55% Reporting

Minnesota: Amendment 1: Same-sex marriage ban.
No: 52%
Blanks: 3.8%
Yes: 45%
19% Reporting
Remember: The Amendment needs to pass by more than half of all ballots cast. Blanks will be added to the “no” vote for the final tally.

10:55 EST: Obama is now tied with Romney, 172-172. Ohio is leaning toward Obama, and FLorida and Virginia are very nearly tied so far. It’s going to be a long night.

10:35 EST: Great news so far in the three states with marriage on the ballot that are reporting:

Maine, Question 1: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 55%
No: 45%
16% Reporting

Maryland, Question 6: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 60%
No: 40%
41% Reporting

Minnesota: Amendment 1: Same-sex marriage ban.
No: 57%
Blanks: 1.5%
Yes: 42%
7% Reporting
Remember: The Amendment needs to pass by more than half of all ballots cast. Blanks will be added to the “no” vote for the final tally.

10:25 EST. In Rhode Island, it looks like openly gay Rep. David Cicilline has defeated Republican challenger Brendan Doherty. With 82% reporting, Cicilline is ahead 50-44%.

In Massachusetts, Richard Tisei is trailing in his question to become the first openly gay Republican congressman. Rep. John Tierney is leading 49-47% with 58% reporting.

10:15 EST: We can celebrate Tammy Baldwin’s win now. Fox News is projecting that she will be the new fabulously openly lesbian Senator from Wisconsin. History is made!

Question 1 in Maine is now tightening. With 11% reporting, it is now up 53-47%.

10:00 EST: Mitt Romney has won his home state of Utah. But he lost New Hampshire

With 7% reporting, Question 1 is passing in Maine, 55-45%.

With 23% reporting, Question 6 is passing in Maryland, 61-39%.

With only 3% reporting, Amendment 1 is trailing in Minnesota. 61-38%, with about 1.5% of the ballots blank for the proposed amendment. Blank ballots are will be counted as no votes.

9:45 EST: CNN Projects Elizabeth Warren (D) has unseated Scott Brown (R) in Massachusetts, and JOe Donnelly (D) has defeated Richard Mourdock (R) in Indiana. God’s will, you know. These are both pick-ups for Dems.

9:42 EST: NBC and Fox have given Wisconsin to Obama. CNN has finally given Pennsylvania to Obama also.

9:35 EST: The Associated Press has declared Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) the winner in her Senate race against former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R), making Baldwin the first openly gay Senator in U.S. history. Oops, take that back. The AP has NOT called for Baldwin.

9:20 EST: Fox called Pennsylvania for Obama. I’ll take it.

9:15 EST: Vote counts for Maryland’s Question 6 and Maine’s Question 1 are excruciatingly slow. With 3% counted in Maine, Question 1 is trailing 4,253-5,362. In Maryland, Question 6 is passing 192,860-157,767 with only 1% of the vote counted. Obviously with vote tallies this low, it’s way to early to see any trends.

9:00 EST: Polls close in Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Wisconsin, Wyoming. Last polls close in Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Texas. And with it, a whole slew of new projecitons, mostly lining up with expectations. So far, it looks like the red states are going heavily red, while the blue states are slower to come in. Right now, Romney is up 152-123.

CNN says that the Republicans will hold on to the House. Obama is getting a lot of grief for not campaigning in key House races on behalf of Democratic candidates.

8:50 EST: Alabama is red. Romney is up 82-64.

People are still in line in Florida and Virginia, even as polls have officially closed. Those who are in line will get to vote. Twitter hashtag #stayinline is now trending upward. It sure would have been nice if someone had mentioned to Florida and Virginia election officials that they were supposed to be ready for an election today.

8:30 EST: Polls just closed in Arkansas, which CNN has called for Romney. CNN has also called Tennessee as well, putting Romney ahead 73-64.

So far, only about 1% of the results are in for Maryland’s Question 6 and Maine’s Question 1, which means that there aren’t enough results to talk about yet.

8:25 EST: In the Senate races, it looks like the Angus King, the independent candidate for Maine’s Senator to replace Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) is headed to Washington. He hasn’t said which party he will caucus with, but most observers expect that he will caucus with the Dems. Another possible pickup for the Dems might be Joe Donnelly, who is leading Richard Mourdock by 50-44% with 30% of the votes counted. Mourdock, you may recall, got in trouble during the debate when he said that when a child is born as a result of rape, it’s God’s will.

8:16 EST: Georgia now goes to Romney, bringing the EC count to 64-56 for Obama.

8:00 EST: Polls have now closed in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.

CNN has called a Delaware, DC, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts and Rhode Island for Obama, and Oklahoma for Romney. This puts Obama up 64-40 in the Electoral College, with Maine splitting its vote 3-1 for Obama. (Nebraska is the only other state that is not winner-take-all in the Electoral College.)

Virginia officially closed but:

Polls closed in Virginia at 7 p.m. ET, but with long lines at polling places around the state — and those in line still able to vote — the state is delaying counting votes so as not to unduly influence those still waiting in line. Smart move.

7:43 EST: CNN has now called South Carolina and West Virginia for Romney. Not much of a surprise. It’s now Romney, 33-3 in the electoral count.

Polls close in Maryland and Maine at 8:00. Hopefully we’ll start to get an early look at the marriage ballot measures in those states soon after.

7:30 EST: Polls have now closed in North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia. CNN’s exit poll has Obama up by 3 in Ohio and tied in North Carolina.

7:19 EST: CNN has called Kentucky for Romney, and Vermont for Obama, which means that Romney leads the electoral college count 8-3. And we’re off!

7:00 EST: Polls have closed in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. First results will probably begin within the half hour. Here are the races I’ll be watching, in addition to the presidential election and any others you think I should keep an eye out for.

Consider the comments thread for this post an open thread, which I’ll be watching for whatever tips you have. And jokes. We may need some jokes. Or videos of cute kittens. Whatever you got. You can also email them by hitting the Contact Us link on the sidebar.

Tisei’s new ad

Timothy Kincaid

November 1st, 2012

Globe endorses Tisei

Timothy Kincaid

October 23rd, 2012

The Boston Globe, the city’s more liberal newspaper, has issued an editorial endorsing Republican Richard Tisei. Endorsing a Republican is a rare move for the Globe and the decision is based both in a familiarity and comfort with Tisei and with growing frustration over Democrat John Tierney’s increasingly difficult-to-believe protestations of innocence in his family’s illegal offshore gambling operation.

There’s longstanding evidence of Tisei’s willingness to defy his party and even public sentiment at key points; he voted against rolling back the state income tax from 5.3 percent to 5 percent because he didn’t think the state could afford to do so. He argues that, because he would be the only openly gay Republican to be elected to Congress, he would have a national profile of sorts. He would, and he should use it to press for tolerance and moderation among his fellow Republicans.

The other reason to support Tisei is to underscore the principle of accountability — to make clear that service in elected office is conditioned on leveling with the electorate, and in responding to legitimate inquiries, in a way that John Tierney has not done.

Neither his brother-in-law’s involvement in an offshore gambling operation nor the fact that his wife received significant payments for handling his brother-in-law’s money should, by itself, disqualify Tierney from further service. Yet his insistence that he knew nothing about the matter strains credulity. And his efforts to fend off inquiries into the subject — for instance, by trying to stage-manage how the issue might be discussed in debates — seem high-handed and disrespectful of voters’ legitimate concern.

Currently polls are slightly favoring Tisei and the Globe’s endorsement could carry weight. Should Tisei win, he will be the first non-incumbent Republican to be openly gay when elected to Congress.

“He Completely Lacks Empathy”: Massachusetts Gay Advocates Recall Meeting Gov. Romney

Jim Burroway

September 12th, 2012

The Boston Spirit, the LGBT-centric blog for The Boston Globe,  has a post which has also appeared in The Boston Spirit magazine in which Scott Kearnan spoke with two plaintiffs in Goodridge v Dept. of Public Health, the landmark Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court case which opened the way for same-sex marriages in that state. After the court victory, Julie Goodridge and several other plaintifs had a meeting with Gov. Mitt Romney, who at that time was looking for a way to  keep the Goodridge decision from taking full effect:

For about 20 frustrating minutes, say those in attendance who Boston Spirit interviewed recently, they shared their stories, pled their case, and tried to explain how equal marriage would protect them and their families. Romney sat stone-faced and almost entirely silent.

“Is there anything else?” Romney asked when they finished. With that, the meeting was over.

David Wilson, one of the plaintiffs who was at the meeting, recalled that occasionally Romney would say something, like one offhand remark: “I didn’t know you had families.” Goodridge also recalled:

“I looked him in the eye as we were leaving,” recalls Goodridge. “And I said, ‘Governor Romney, tell me — what would you suggest I say to my 8 year-old daughter about why her mommy and her ma can’t get married because you, the governor of her state, are going to block our marriage?’”

His response, according to Goodridge: “I don’t really care what you tell your adopted daughter. Why don’t you just tell her the same thing you’ve been telling her the last eight years.”

Romney’s retort enraged a speechless Goodridge; he didn’t care, and by referring to her biological daughter as “adopted,” it was clear he hadn’t even been listening. By the time she was back in the hallway, she was reduced to tears.

“I really kind of lost it,” says Goodridge. “I’ve never stood before someone who had no capacity for empathy. It went behind flat affect. It was a complete lack of ability or motivation to understand other people.”

The article also talks about events leading to Romney’s decision to kill the Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth, his defunding of the Governor’s Task Force on Hate Crimes, his attempts to obstruct an anti-bullying guide, and his interactions with Massachusetts gay Republicans and government employees. His literal and figural dismissal of gay people has a long history, going all the way back to his high school days.

Typical Barney Frank

Timothy Kincaid

April 30th, 2012

I don’t know why our community is so enamored of Barney Frank; he certainly doesn’t reciprocate. Frank’s two great loves are himself and the Democratic Party, and the gay community comes in a far distant third, if that.

I first became aware of Frank’s priorities in 1990 when he endorsed Democrat John Silber over Republican William Weld for governor of Massachusetts.

Silber, president of Boston University, was a vocal anti-gay activist and an enemy of equality. And the death of his eldest son from AIDS in 1994 did nothing to diminish his ire. In 2002 Silber (then Chancellor of the University) demanded that the gay-straight alliance at a high-school affiliated with BU be dissolved, accusing the group of “homosexual militancy” to promote gay sex and of, naturally, “homosexual recruitment”.

Weld, on the other hand, had an established record of being supportive on gay issues. He attributed it to being a picked-on fat kid and to having his roommate come out to him shortly out of college.

From the perspective of who would be best for the community there was no question. There was no hesitant possible maybe really they weren’t all that far apart.

Weld won (narrowly) thanks to Democrats who found Weld to be far more consistent with their social policies. They didn’t change their mind, and Weld won a second term in the heavily Democratic commonwealth by 71% – 28%.

Nor did Weld disappoint the gay community. He was quick to appoint gay people to positions of leadership, established the Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth, and signed executive orders providing equal treatment for such things as hospital visitations and bereavement leave for gay state workers. At some point early in his administration, became convinced of the fairness of marriage equality and when the Chief Justice of the commonwealth’s supreme court (a Weld appointee) wrote the opinion legalizing same-sex marriage for the first time in our nation, Weld’s response was to announce that he’d like to officiate at the wedding of his former chief of staff. The former governor also lobbied the legislature not to seek an amendment overturning the decision or replacing it with civil unions.

In short, Weld was the advocate that the community desperately needed. But Frank endorsed the homophobe.

I say this all to note that Barney Frank is consistent. He can’t be faulted for that. He still puts party affiliation far above what is best for our community.

For example, currently Richard Tisei is running for Congress in one of Massachusett’s six districts. The openly gay Republican is not a token candidate, having served as Senate Minority Leader and as the party’s Lieutenant Governor nominee.

But regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with Tisei’s politics or thinks that he would serve the interests of the district, it goes without saying that Tisei’s presence in the Republican caucus would serve in our community’s best interest. It has long been seen that having a gay person present in any legislative body or subgroup significantly shifts opinion and votes. One can oppose Tisei as a candidate without questioning whether his inclusion in the caucus would be a positive step.

Unless you’re as partisan as Barney Frank. His response to the Daily Beast:

Tisei’s candidacy, said Frank, is “of limited relevance to the LGBT effort to win equality.” He added that were the Republican to win, “it would be a setback for LGBT issues,” since “the effect would be to help perpetuate a rigid and militant anti-LGBT majority in the House.”

What a pompous partisan petty fool. He’s fine to endorse Tierney (who is not an enemy of our community) or to explain how Tierney would better serve us as representative. But to blather as though Tisei would be bad for us illustrates the contempt that Barney Frank has for you and I and how little he thinks of our intellect.

Barney Frank is retiring. And, in fairness, I’m appreciative of the times when Frank could find no advantage to selling out our community and took whatever steps were convenient for him to take on our behalf. But I will not miss him as self-appointed spokesman for my community nor will I long for the days when he encouraged our community to vote against our best interests.

Counter-Protests Overshadow Boston Tea Party Rally

Jim Burroway

April 16th, 2012

The last thing you want is for the counter-protesters’ arrests and reports of “rushing the stage” to become the main story to emerge from an anti-gay rally, as that only serves to feed the persecution complex of anti-gay extremists. The only other story to compete with that meme is that of a photo that was posted on Flickr showing a Boston police officer’s hands around a protester’s neck. Criticism of the Boston police’s handling of the Tea Party rally prompted a statement from a department spokesperson saying that they would investigate, but that due to “the aggressive nature” of the protests (the short statement used the word “aggressive” twice) the department “supports the arrests made by the officers today.” The man in the photo was reportedly not among those arrested.

According to the narrative from Boston’s primary news outlets, those appear to be the main stories behind yesterday’s Mass Tea Party Rally held on Boston Common which featured Scott Lively of Abiding Truth Ministries an SPLC-certified hate group, and Brian Camenker of MassResistance, another certified anti-gay hate group.

Turning back to the rally itself, it’s very difficult to learn exactly what was said there. MassResistance posted a headline saying, “Mob of homosexual activists overrun & nearly shut down Boston Common Tea Party event as police look on and do nothing.” But if the The Boston Globe and local television reports are any indication, it appears that the rally was neither overrun nor “nearly shut down,” nor that the police “did nothing” amid those reports of arrests and apparent abuse. Online accounts of what Lively or Camenker said are sparse. One is from Mike Ball:

Photo by Mike Ball

Lively came on at the very end to give a benediction. Of course, given his self-righteous bent, it wasn’t a blessing at all. It was the eternal-damnation version of Deuteronomy 30. His went beyond the “I have set before you live and death; therefore choose life.” It was if you warn someone what they have to believe and they don’t do it, they’re going to hell. So there.

Some benediction, Scotto.

During his time, the counter-demonstrators kept up their yelling, calling him a murderer, in allusions to his Ugandan politicking. They did shout him down.

Photo sent to me from Matthew Murphy, who is shown holding the sign.

Ball said that turnout for the rally on Boston Common was rather small, perhaps about 100 people. About 40 more were counter-protesters. Another account, from Join The Impact MA, puts the number of counter-protests at 20, but they were joined by “100 exuberant protestors from the Occupy movement (who) charged onto the scene.” According to that account:

The din became an uproar as Lively took the microphone. In his speech, Lively blasted conservatives who would minimize the importance of social issues. Then he denounced LGBT rights activists as “fascists” who were intent on destroying civilization. Camenker met with similar pushback as he criticized the work of GLSEN for allegedly promoting homosexual recruitment of public school students—in reference to the group’s efforts to prevent anti-LGBT bullying. Lively and Camenker were loudly booed, and much of their speech-making was drowned out by Occupy chants and “mic check” counterpoint.

Not all counter-protestors joined the chanting. I (Join the Impact MA’s Don Gorton) argued that Lively and Camenker should be allowed to speak, both out of respect for freedom of expression and because they tend to discredit the opposition to LGBT equality when their extremist views are publicized. Yet the passions these two hate group leaders stir are difficult to contain. Tea Party organizers learned that giving a platform to anti-gay bigotry effectively drowns out any other message they may seek to propagate. The Boston Police kept the peace while allowing everyone an opportunity to be heard. By the time anti-government activist Carla Howell took the podium after Camenker, most of the “tea party” attendees had frittered away, the momentum of the rally dissipated.

Battered and Bruised

Jim Burroway

March 7th, 2012

Romney hangs in there again like a punch-drunk fighter staggering toward the finish of the sixth round (ooh look at me, I’m using a sports metaphor), picking up wins in six of the states up for grabs yesterday including a very hotly contested Ohio, where Santorum very nearly pulled off an upset. Romney did best in his home state of Massachusetts, and he did well in neighboring Vermont. He also did very well in the Idaho caucuses, where 23% of spudsters are fellow Mormons. There were no exit polls in Idaho, but in Arizona where Mormons made up 14% of the vote, they broke 96-4 for Romney on Feb 28.

Romney also did very well where he had very little actual competitors (Virginia, where Santorum and Gingrich weren’t on the ballot). Which is to say that he has done very well where he had the home field advantage (as did Gingrich) or where his most potent opponent was missing. Or Alaska.

AK GA ID MA ND
Romney 32% 26% 62% 72% 24%
Santorum 29% 20% 18% 12% 40%
Gingrich 24% 47% 2% 5% 8%
Paul 14% 6% 18% 10% 28%
OH OK TN VT VA
Romney 38% 28% 28% 40% 60%
Santorum 37% 34% 37% 24%
Gingrich 15% 27% 24% 8%
Paul 9% 10% 9% 25% 40%

Which goes to day that Romney is still having trouble closing the deal with Santorum racking up rack up wins in the more conservative middle bits of the continent. In Oklahoma, Santorum’s first place finish came in spite of Sen. Tom Coburn’s endorsement of Romney, while Romney actually came in third in North Dakota and just barely avoided that same fate in Oklahoma. And in Ohio, where Romney poured massive amounts of dollars into the race, he only managed to pull out a 1% win over Santorum in the bellwether state. But even there, he he lost among Evangelical, blue collar and rural voters, but won among those who were 50 and older.

But here’s the stat I find most telling: When Ohio voters were asked whether they’d support Romney in the general election regardless of who they voted for in the primary, 36% said they would not be satisfied with a Romney candidacy, versus 33% who said they’d reject a Santorum candidacy. In other words, Ohio Republicans are less willing to settle for Romney than Santorum.

Delegates
Romney 404
Santorum 165
Gingrich 106
Paul 66

But this is a race for delegates, not popular votes. And whatever weaknesses that exist in Romney’s popular support within the GOP, he’s still by far the frontrunner in the delegate race according to CNN’s count, with more delegates than his opponents combined. But at only about half way through the primaries, Romney’s still a long way from the 1,144 needed to secure the nomination. Kansas, US Virgin Islands and Guam hold caucuses next week, followed by primaries in Alabama, Mississippi and Hawaii the week after that. Which means that for Romney, the long slog continues. But for the other candidates in the field, the slog is even longer.

The idea behind Super Tuesday was to bring the nomination process into clearer focus. The only thing made clear yesterday is that GOP voters would still prefer another candidates. But that’s not the choice available to them. Which means that Romney will almost certainly be the nominee when all is said and done, but what is said and done before then will continue to be the story. As Ezra Klein at the Washington Post put it, “For three guys who profess to not like the media very much, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich are really making all our dreams of a long, unpredictable primary come true.”

Barny Frank To Announce Retirement

Jim Burroway

November 28th, 2011

The following release was sent from Barny Frank’s (D-MA) office moments ago:

Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts 4th Congressional District, Ranking Member of the House of the House Financial Services Committee, will hold a press conference in Newton, MA today to formally announce and answer questions about his decision not to run for re-election in 2012.
 
The press conference will be held at Newton City Hall at 1:00 pm in the auditorium.

Frank, 71, has been serving in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1981.

Occupy Hate, a.k.a. Scott Lively

Jim Burroway

November 21st, 2011

A contingent of the Occupy Springfield, Massachusetts, movement took time out to deliver a special message to Scott Lively’s drop-in coffee shop. Lively counters with a bit of preaching of his own.

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[via Joe.My.God]

Gay, Pro-Gay Candidates Win Big

Jim Burroway

November 9th, 2011

Yesterday was a very good day for gay and -pro-gay candidates throughout the country. Here is a wrap-up. Please let me know what else is out there in the comments.

NOM Loses Big: Same-sex marriage remains secure in Iowa as Liz Mathis won big, 56-44%, over her NOM-backed opponent, Cindy Golding, in a special election for the Iowa state Senate. The National Organization for Marriage threw about $40,000 toward their failed attempt to elect Golding by making same-sex marriage an issue in the race. But soon after it was clear Golding lost, NOM’s cultural director Thomas Peters tweeted: “That’s what happens when a state GOP nominates a weak candidate.” Wow. Talk about your fair weather friends.

Virginia’s First: Adam Ebbin became the first openly gay state senator in Virginia after defeating his Republican challenger by a margin of 64-35%. His district, which is solidly Democratic, includes parts of Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax counties.

First Openly Gay, African-American Republican Mayor: At least that’s what we think happened when Bruce Harris was elected mayor of Chatham Borough, New Jersey.

Charlotte’s First: LaWana Mayfield became the first openly gay city council member as part of a Democratic landslide in North Carolina’s largest city. North Carolina, which will see a marriage amendment on the ballot next year, saw a number of other LGBT victories:

  • Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt won re-election with 78% of the vote.
  • Lee Storrow, a gay 22-year-old UNC grad won his race for a seat on the Chapel Hill city council.
  • Carrboro incumbent Alderwoman Lydia Lavelle was re-elected to another term for city council.

Cincinnati’s First: Chis Seelbach became the first openly gay city council member. He worked in 2004 to help defeat Article XII in the city charter which banned anti-discrimination ordinances for gay people.

Indianapolis’s First: Zach Adamson became the first openly gay city council member. S

Missoula’s First: Caitlin Copple became the first openly gay city council member. She defeated one of only two city council members who voted against the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance in 2010, which made Missoula the first city in Montana to provide discrimination protections in housing and employment regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Youngest Mayor: Alex Morse, 22, beat incumbent mayor Mary Pluta in Holyoke, Massachusetts, to become the nation’s youngest mayor.

Houston Re-elects: Mayor Annise Parker was re-elected with more than 50% of the vote, a margin which allows her to avoid a run-off. Mike Laster also became the first openly gay member of Houston’s city council.

Traverse City Supports Anti-Discrimination Ordinance: Voters in Traverse City, Michigan voted by a 2-to-1 margin to keep an anti-discrimination ordinance.  The vote came more than a year after Traverse City adopted the ordinance to prevent discrimination against gays in employment, housing and other areas. Opponents of the measure collected signatures to place a referendum for repeal on the ballot.

And on a final note, there were a number of gains in school board elections around the country which I didn’t cover, but I would like to point one out anyway: Daniel Hernandez, Jr., Rep. Gabrielle Gifford’s openly gay intern, was elected to as seat on the board of the Sunnyside Unified School District in Tuscon’s south side. Hernandez was one of the recognized heros during the January shooting at a Northwest side Safeway which killed  six and critically injured Rep. Giffords. And on a more personal note, I couldn’t be happier about the stunning news that Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce, architect of infamous anti-immigrant S.B. 1070 which was later found unconstitutional, was ousted by voters in favor of a political newcomer in Mesa.

And who made you gay? Hmmmm? Could it be…. SATAN!?!

Timothy Kincaid

November 4th, 2011

One of the cleverest characters to have been created for Saturday Night Live was Dana Carvey’s Church Lady. Enid Strict, as host of show-within-a-show Church Chat, would interview guests focusing on their real or imagined failings and attribute them to … (pause for effect) … SATAN!

Her colorful euphemisms (e.g. “naughty parts all engorged and tingling”) and smug superiority made the Church Lady an instant cultural reference point. But the real success of Carvey’s character was based on the recognizable attitudes she espoused. Yes, Church Lady was way over the top, but only slightly more over the top than the very real people on religious television that she parodied.

And it would seem that the Church Lady’s proclivity to see Satan as the personal instigator of all manner of things is still alive and well. Take, for example, an amusing but real illustration out of Massachusetts.

The Pilot Catholic News is “America’s oldest Catholic newspaper” and the “Official Newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston”. And on October 28, the Church shared with us the wisdom of Daniel Avila, a policy adviser at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

I give Avila some credit. He has, after all, accurately articulated the problem that I have with the conservative theology on the matter of sexual orientation.

That is, if God causes same-sex attraction, and yet commands that it not be satisfied, then this is divine cruelty. Or, if God causes same-sex attraction, then it must be the divine will that those with the attraction should act on it and it is the Church that is being cruel in its teaching or at the very least tragically mistaken about what God wants.

Yeah, though I’d use different phrasing, that’s pretty much what I believe. Either the Church is misunderstanding the will of God, or the god they serve is a petty bully delighting in his own cruelty.

But Avila has discovered the flaw in my thinking. As it turns out, sexual orientation is not a naturally occurring phenomenon present in a stable minority of humans and illustrating either God’s intent or His consent. Nope. Avila’s found another culprit.

His logic goes like this: God wants us to be male or female, as evidenced by “male and female genes”. And as same-sex attraction is likely the result of “random imbalances in maternal hormone levels” and “their disruptive prenatal effects on fetal development”, then surely someone is causing those imbalances in order to thwart God’s intent.

And who is it that’s making all those male genes want to design ballgowns and those female genes want to play softball? Hmmmm? Could it be…. SATAN?!?

Why yes. It could.

Catholics do not have the luxury of being materialists. We look for ultimate explanations that transcend the strictly physical world and that stretch beyond our limited ability to mold and reshape reality as we know it. Disruptive imbalances in nature that thwart encoded processes point to supernatural actors who, unlike God, do not have the good of persons at heart.

In other words, the scientific evidence of how same-sex attraction most likely may be created provides a credible basis for a spiritual explanation that indicts the devil. Any time natural disasters occur, we as people of faith look back to Scripture’s account of those angels who rebelled and fell from grace. In their anger against God, these malcontents prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. They continue to do all they can to mar, distort and destroy God’s handiwork.

Therefore, whenever natural causes disturb otherwise typical biological development, leading to the personally unchosen beginnings of same-sex attraction, the ultimate responsibility, on a theological level, is and should be imputed to the evil one, not God.

Well that’s nice. It turns out that you are a product of Satan.

So if you think little Johnny is demon possessed because he’d rather play dolls with his sister than hit her with a toy truck, Avila’s theology is the one for you. And if you beat little Johnny to death because of his demons, well surely the Church can understand your holy stance for righteousness.

And they printed it. Really. The Editors of the Pilot Catholic News (the Official Newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston) didn’t notice any problem with an editorial that claimed gay people were created by the devil.

Well, not until those outside the enclave of the faithful read it and either were horrified or laughed their asses off. Then they recalled that the words they were supposed to use in public were “image and likeness of God” and “inviolable dignity”, not “spawn of Satan”.

Ooopsie

And so a “retraction” was issued.

“Statements made in my column, ‘Some fundamental questions on same-sex attraction’ of October 28, do not represent the position of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the column was not authorized for publication as is required policy for staff of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The teaching of Sacred Scripture and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church make it clear that all persons are created in the image and likeness of God and have inviolable dignity. Likewise, the Church proclaims the sanctity of marriage as the permanent, faithful, fruitful union of one man and one woman. The Church opposes, as I do too, all unjust discrimination and the violence against persons that unjust discrimination inspires. I deeply apologize for the hurt and confusion that this column has caused.”

I put retraction in quotes because, to me, if you are taking back some truly evil and vile thing you have just said about people, you don’t use the opportunity to “proclaim the sanctity” of denying those people’s rights. That is neither apology or retraction but rather a smug pat on his own back.

And, while I’m at it, I’m sick of the Catholic Church opposing “unjust discrimination.” Guess what, Avila? The distinction between “unjust” discrimination and “just” discrimination isn’t determined by whether or not you want to engage in it. Justice isn’t defined as “what the Church endorses”.

So you can stop doing your little Superior Dance.

And now the latest word is that Daniel Avila has resigned his advisor position. And the church gratefully accepted his resignation.

Which solves everything, doesn’t it?

Sure, except that behind the pretty-speak about being children of God, we know what they really think. Avila is not alone. His column passed the editorial staff without question and he’s received no rebuke from the church.

And the next time the Roman Catholic Church tries to appeal to their moral values to take away civil rights from you and those you love, remember this: they may say that they love you, but that love is the same love they would feel for any other vile creatures created by Satan himself.

Well now, isn’t that special?

- – - -
thanks to Ned for the links and the copy of the original article

The Pilot pulled the opinion piece (who could blame them) but you can read it after the break
Read the rest of this entry »

Red Sox Releases “It Gets Better” Video

Jim Burroway

July 1st, 2011

As promised, the Red Sox video was released this morning:

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Red Sox To Produce “It Gets Better” Video

Jim Burroway

June 4th, 2011

Sam Maden

The Boston Red Sox have announced that they will become the third Major League Baseball team to produce a video for the “It Gets Better” anti-bullying campaign:

We are proud of dedicated Red Sox fans like 12-year-old Sam Maden who have taken the courageous step of publicly standing up against bullying of LGBT youth,” said Susan Goodenow, Senior Vice President/Public Affairs and Marketing for the Red Sox, in a statement. “The Red Sox have frequently done PSA videos, or public service announcement videos, on important social issues. We are currently producing an “It Gets Better” video to support the It Gets Better campaign to stop bullying of LGBT youth and teen suicides. We hope that when it is released it will both reflect our continued commitment to be active participants in the community and help advance the efforts of Sam and others to stop bullying. Our team stands for respect and inclusion – there is no place for discrimination or acts of hatred in Red Sox Nation.”

The announcement came after 12-year-old Sam Maden started an online petition asking the ball club to produce a video. Maden began the campaign after his seventh-grade teacher asked him to come up with a project that could “make a difference” in the world. More than 9,000 fans signed the petition.

This announcement not only demonstrates the power of one person to make a difference, but it also shows that the BoSox can still beat the Yankees.

Will Obama’s DOMA Decision Backfire?

Jim Burroway

February 25th, 2011

That’s what Daily Beast’s Eve Conant and Daniel Stone seem to think after talking with ant-gay activists who see an opening in the Administration’s new stand on defending the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” in the courts.

By failing to defend marriage, the administration may open the door for those passionately opposed to gay marriage to have what they feel they’ve been lacking: a stronger legal voice. In Massachusetts, which is also in the midst of a legal challenge to DOMA, traditional marriage activists, after the initial shock, are finding themselves equally emboldened. Kris Mineau of the Massachusetts Family Institute says, “It’s a horrible situation when the president and the attorney general refuse to carry out their constitutional duties. We are now asking Congress to do its job.” But he says the law, in his view, “says that under unusual circumstances people who are friends of the court can participate in oral arguments.” Previously barred from doing so in the state’s key DOMA challenge, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, he says, his legal team is working on documents to take part in oral arguments “with real resources and with people who have a passion for success” in battling gay marriage. Mineau says the government’s defense of DOMA thus far “has amounted to something along the lines of ‘we’re personally against DOMA but we’re here today to defend it.’” That watered-down approach, he says, left traditional marriage supporters feeling hopeless.

If the Justice Department’s stand that DOMA should fall under heightened scrutiny holds sway in the courts, then groups like Massachusetts Family Institute with their impassioned position against same-sex marriage would actually prove the Administration’s case under one important aspect of heightened scrutiny: a history of discrimination. We already saw how well this played out so far in California, where widespread evidence of discrimination and expressions of anti-gay bigotry became important pivots on which Federal Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision rested.

On the other hand, Conant and Stone argue that the GOP-led House could try to take the case completely out of the DOJ’s hands altogether so that they would not even be present in court to argue for heightened scrutiny:

Committee lawyers have been summoned early next week to meet with Boehner and other officials to discuss their options. One leading strategy would be to stage a sort of legislative intervention, in which Congress’ counsel would remove the Justice Department’s authority to defend DOMA.

Administration officials aren’t opposed to that idea. In a letter to Boehner, Attorney General Eric Holder suggested Republican leaders appoint more lawyers to defend the law themselves, without Justice attorneys.

I see two potential problems here: If Congress were to intervene and remove DOJ’s authority to defend DOMA, wouldn’t the Democratic-controlled Senate have to go along with it? And secondly, as I read Attorney General Eric Holder’s letter, I don’t get the sense that he agrees that DOJ should be removed altogether from defending DOMA or that Republicans leaders should defend the law themselves “without Justice attorneys,” as if Justice would be willing to voluntarily step aside. “We will remain parties to the case and continue to represent the interests of the United States throughout the litigation,” he clearly added, after acknowledging that Congress can play a role in defending the statute.

DOJ will “cease to defend” DOMA in Gill and Commonwealth cases

Timothy Kincaid

February 25th, 2011

GLAD is announcing:

The Department of Justice followed Wednesday’s withdrawal from two DOMA cases in the Second Circuit, including GLAD’s Pedersen v. OPM by notifying the clerk of the First Circuit that they will also “cease to defend” the two consolidated DOMA cases, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v. HHS.

According to the letter, the DOJ will remain parties to the case but will cease to defend Section 3 of DOMA. They also notified the court that Congress will be given the opportunity to defend DOMA Section 3.

Manager At Scott Lively’s Coffee Shop A Convicted Child Molester

Jim Burroway

January 13th, 2011

Scott Lively (left), Michael J. Frediani (right)

Anti-gay extremist Scott Lively, who travels the world to preach that the international gay cabal is recruiting young children into homosexuality through child molestation, hired a convicted child molester as manager of his Springfield, MA coffee house. The manager, Michael J. Frediani, 38, who lived in an apartment above the coffee house was arrested this morning by Springfield police for failing to register as a Level 2 sex offender.

In New York, Frediani was convicted of sexual abuse in the first degree and aggravated sexual abuse in the second degree in 1996.

The charge relates to an arrest by police in Canandaigua, N.Y., in 1995 in which the victim was an 11-year-old girl. The description of the offense was “deviate sexual intercourse.”

He was sentenced to two to four years in state prison, serving at the Midstate Correctional Facility from September of 1996 to February of 1999, according to Carole Weaver, a spokeswoman for the state’s Division of Parole.

New York determined that Frediani was a level 3 sex offender under that state’s classification which indicates that Frediani is considered most likely to reoffend again. Lively says he didn’t know about Frediani’s past, and didn’t appear too concerned about it:

Frediani had told Lively that he had a “rough past before he became a Christian,” Lively said, adding that he did not know any specifics and that he saw no need for a criminal background check.

“That’s the beauty of the salvation of Christ,” Lively said. “When you come to Jesus Christ, and you accept his forgiveness for your sins, then you are forgiven by Him and enter a new life. It doesn’t surprise me that he had a rough past, that he has a criminal record.”

Right. He warns everyone that they should keep gay people away from their children, but just anybody can hang out with the local teens at Lively’s coffee shop. Yeah. Good thinking.

Lively’s coffee shop drew criticism last week from local officials when his new storefront ministry became a hangout for truent teens while skipping school.

Oh, and that bit about Lively turning over a new leaf and no longer being interested in anti-gay activism? I was skeptical. ”‘Let’s see where we are, say, a year from now,” I wrote. Well…

Lively said he continues to serve as a conference speaker around the world on the topic of homosexuality, but “it has nothing to do with the ministry in Springfield.”

That wasn’t even a full week.

Herald sports writer comes out

Timothy Kincaid

January 6th, 2011

Steve Buckley has written sports for the Boston Herald (the city’s more conservative newspaper) for the past 15 years. Today he shared a detail of his life with his readers.

Over the past couple of months I have discussed the coming-out process with my family and a few friends, and have had sit-downs with Herald editor-in-chief Joe Sciacca and sports editor Hank Hryniewicz, as well as with WEEI’s Glenn Ordway. They’ve been great, as have my friends and family.

But during this same period, I have read sobering stories about people who came undone, killing themselves after being outed. These tragic events helped guide me to the belief that if more people are able to be honest about who they are, ultimately fewer people will feel such devastating pressure.

It’s my hope that from now on I’ll be more involved. I’m not really sure what I mean by being “involved,” but this is a start: I’m gay.

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