Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for October, 2009

I Don’t Wear Pajamas

Jim Burroway

October 12th, 2009

National Equality MarchAravosis shrieks:

For the political context of the gay community’s ire, NBC went to Chief Washington Correspondent John Harwood. Harwood was asked if the White House was worried about “the left as a whole,” and concerns they have that the White House isn’t doing things that “the left” expected them to do.  …

Harwood then went on to say:

For a sign of how seriously the White House does or doesn’t take this opposition, one adviser told me those bloggers need to take off the pajamas, get dressed, and realize that governing a closely divided country is complicated and difficult.

An NBC reporter quoted an anonymous source with an axe to grind — who is it? Chief of staff? Press Secretary? Electrician? — and bloggers go off the deep end fulfilling every blogging stereotype. Take a deep breath. I know people are frustrated with the slow pace of change with this president. I am too. But if an anonymous minion complains that bloggers are acting like cry-babies throwing temper tantrums, one doesn’t exactly counter that image by throwing a temper tantrum. We’ve all been called names before on the playground. Sheesh!

National Equality March

Meanwhile, some are estimating that 150,000 people showed up for a hastily-organized march. That’s a huge. And for the record, most major bloggers were very critical of Cleve Jones for calling for the march. And it remains to be seen what the march will actually achieve. But they had a very successful event, the media took notice, and everyone had a great and inspiring time by all accounts. Makes me wish I had been there after all.

So to keep everything in perspective, I have a suggestion. Go digging into the archives of, say, the Washington Post. Maybe pull out the August 24, 1963 edition, the day after Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I have a dream” speech. I’ll bet you’ll find an anonymous White House staffer trying to throw cold water on that march because it’s detracting attention from the things he thinks the President should pay more attention to. This is the ancient practice of trying to nudge policy by press quotes. It’s been going on since Ben Franklin began publishing the Pennsylvania Gazette. Chill out people. It doesn’t mean this reflects what the President is thinking. All it means is somebody noticed.

Update: A White House source with a real name disavows the remark.

Videos from the National Equality March

Jim Burroway

October 11th, 2009

Lt. Dan Choi, who is in the process of being dismissed
from the New York National Guard under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:

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Sex and the City start Cynthia Nixon:

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Judy Shepard, mother of hate crime murder victim Matthew Shepard:

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Lady Gaga:

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March organizer and LGBT activist Cleve Jones:

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Oscar-winning (Milk) screenwriter Dustin Lance Black:

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Veteran civil rights leader and chairman of the NAACP Julian Bond (Parts 1 and 2):

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David Mixner:

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LGBT Servicmembers Remembered At Arlington National Cemetary

Jim Burroway

October 10th, 2009

Robert Polzoni sent these photos on his Flicker stream.

Lt. Daniel Choi, front row center, at the start of the wreath-laying ceremony

Lt. Daniel Choi, front row center, at the start of the wreath-laying ceremony

Lt. Dan Choi and other former servicemembers today honored those who gave their lives for our nation with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. Many of the former servicemembers have been dismissed from the military under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Choi was dismissed came out earlier this year, and he is in the process of being dismissed under President Obama’s watch. The ceremony at Arlington was among 50 events being held as part of Sunday’s National Equality March.

Lt. Choi hands the wreath to the honor guard.

Lt. Choi hands the wreath to the honor guard.

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