Lady Gaga: “Obama, congratulations on being the first sitting President to support marriage equality. Feels like the future, and not the past.”

Oprah Hangs At Home With Neil and David (VIDEO)

In this television exclusive, Oprah visits the home of actor Neil Patrick Harris; his fiancé, David Burtka; and their 18-month-old twins, Harper and Gideon. Neil and David talk candidly about coming out, their decision to have children, and the pressures of life in Hollywood. Tune in Sunday, June 3, at 9/8c!

Queen Oprah is still around!

Today In Wing-Nuttery: Birthers, NOM Knows, Tony Perkins

In case you’ve been at a desk for 10 hours today (like me), you might have missed all the kookery going on on the far right – and making it into the mainstream press. Here’s a sampling:

Birthers are back!

Towleroad: “Rachel Maddow Laments Ongoing Birtherism ‘Clap Trap’”

“Despite the release last year of the president’s long-form birth certificate and all evidence to the contrary, some conservatives are still suggesting that Barack Obama was born outside of the United States. And one of the main characters fueling the rumors is of course Donald Trump, a Mitt Romney surrogate.”


NOM is Back!

Good As You: “NOM blogger to married gays: If you think your marriages are permanent, you’re wrong”

Jeremy Hooper: “As I look down at the ring on my diligently typing finger, here in my state where my neighbors have supported my legal marriage in every credible poll to come down in the last five years or so, I can’t help but draw a head-shaking laugh from this tweet. Here we have Thomas, an unmarried young man whose advocacy is driven by his heavy devotion to his Catholic faith, essentially telling me that my civil marriage is not going to legally last. He’s saying that he knows better about this state of affairs, not from personal experience in a legal union or objective reads of the trend lines and legal rationale that are turning the tide on this conversation, but rather from his paid employment with NOM, this nation’s house of “traditional marriage” spin doctoring. He’s telling me I’m wrong in thinking that my and my husband’s household is safe from his faith-motivated meddling.

Simply precious. Adorable, really.”

DOMA Is Back!

Today, The Defense of Marriage Act was deemed unconstitutional by yet another federal appeals court. Cue uproar from the right.

Joe.My.God: “FOTF Outraged Over DOMA Ruling”

“Today’s decision from the First Circuit overruling a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was an unfortunate exercise of judicial tampering with the rules by which constitutional cases are decided. The Court began by recognizing that this case would fail under the usual tests that courts apply to these cases, and then proceeded to invent a new test by which the federal DOMA failed. Unfortunately, we’ve come to expect strange decisions like this from judges bent on redefining marriage for all of us.

“This is simply another round in the legal wranglings over the definition of marriage in this country, and marriage supporters can take heart that the battle goes forward. We are optimistic that the Supreme Court will reject the First Circuit’s adventure in legal gymnastics and uphold the interest of citizens and taxpayers in the vast majority of the United States who neither support the redefinition of marriage nor look forward to subsidizing same-sex unions with taxpayer dollars.” – Focus On The Family spokesbigot Bruce Hausknecht.

Gay Indoctrination Is Back!

Right Wing Watch: “Tony Perkins Lashes Out at US Tourism Ad for Featuring Gay Couple”

The ad promoting tourism to the US seemed innocuous enough, but Family Research Council president Tony Perkins warns that the advertising campaign is being used to “highlight same-sex attractions.” TheDiscover America ad highlights diversity in the US, including a song by Rosanne Cash and images of an interracial couple, two Muslim women in a city and people celebrating the Hindu festival Holi. But Perkins is peeved by its attempt “to celebrate homosexuality” by featuring a man with his arm around his partner on a bus for almost two seconds.

A new batch of U.S. travel ads should send some leaders packing–permanently. Hello, I’m Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. In 236 years, America’s never had an international tourism ad. So when Congress passed the Travel Promotion Act, people thought it’d be a great chance to highlight American attractions. What they didn’t know is that it would highlight same-sex attractions. That’s right. The commercial invites people to America-not to see the Grand Canyon, but to celebrate homosexuality. In one scene, a gay man is sleeping on his partner’s shoulder in a trolley. The actors said they were specifically recruited to add a “homosexual presence” to the commercial. According to Brand USA, the ads were supposed to “open up some minds as to what America really is”-which, based on this commercial, is a country of radical values and backwards priorities. I suppose this is part of the President’s push to “rebrand” America. It’s just too bad he used a travel ad to feature so much cultural baggage.

And how was your day?

Hate Crimes (Murder) Against LGBTs Higher Than Ever

gay hate crimes 2012

Yesterday, I posted about how gay hate groups and their venomous rhetoric is not helping keep members of our community safe. Via Towleroad:

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects today released a collective report on hate crimes against LGBTQ people.

Despite increased public and political acceptance of gays and lesbians, the number of crimes against LGBTQ people is the highest since 1998, the year they began tallying such attacks and also the year Matthew Shepard was murdered.

The amount of physical violence, rather than just verbal abuse, has also skyrocketed — and, not surprisingly, younger people, transgender people and people of color are targeted the most. From NCAVP:

This year’s report shows that LGBTQH youth and young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 years old were 2.41 times as likely to experience physical violence compared to LGBTQH people age 30 and older.

As in the case of the murder statistics, transgender people and people of color were more likely to experience physical injury in a hate violence incident. The report found that transgender people were 28% as likely to experience physical violence compared to non-transgender people, and that LGBTQ people of color were two times as likely to experience physical violence compared to those who were not LGBTQ people of color.

These numbers are discouraging, yes, but there is a bit of good news: NCAVP found that mainstream media and the general public are now paying more attention to hate crimes of all varieties.

I wonder how a similar graph for hate crimes against Christians would look. Non-existant.

Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2012/05/hate-crimes-against-lgbtq-people-highest-in-14-years.html#ixzz1wVtwkpJR

Jeremy Hooper: Maine Bigot Michael Heath and Anti-Gay Rhetoric

Michael Heath gay marriage
Michael Heath

From my home state of Maine, via Bangor Daily News:

Two longtime opponents of gay rights and same-sex marriage initiatives are forming a political action committee to oppose Maine’s same-sex marriage referendum.

Michael Heath and Paul Madore said Tuesday they’ve formed the No Special Rights PAC to oppose November’s ballot measure asking voters if same-sex marriage should be legalized.

Heath and Madore have held leadership roles going back to the early 1990s opposing gay rights and gay marriage initiatives in Maine. Heath was executive director of the Christian Civic League for 15 years until his resignation in 2009, and Madore once headed a group called Maine Grassroots Coalition that opposed sexual orientation laws.

Madore said he’s ready to “take off the gloves” in the campaign leading up to November’s election.

“It’s going to be a fight,” he said.

Heath is one of those guys who is likely closeted, which doesn’t surprise me in Maine. Many are familiar with coastal Maine but once one drives inland, you run into a rural and conservative (but libertarian) world. It’s where I grew up. And Heath’s rhetoric adds to an already crowded anti-gay freak soap box. I swear that these bigots must think about gays and anal sex every waking moment of their lives. From Heath’s website:

The truth is that there is NOTHING complicated about either abortion or sodomy. They are both pure evil. We can stop talking about them today. All it will take is for the truth to win the political day. And all that is required for that to happen here in Maine is for Christians to demand that their pastors and priests lead them out of their stained glass fortresses into battle. The enemy will run faster than those Union boys at Chancellorsville with ole Stonewall Jackson at their heels.

And a reference to the Confederate South as well!

Jeremy Hooper at Good As You calls out Heath on the continued insistence of the wing nuts that we are the sinful scum of the earth:

First of all, don’t be so quick to believe that we’d run, Mr. Heath. I know it’s easy to write us off as wimpy and cowering, built on the illusion that LGBT = WEAK. Our success in the face of such adversity proves otherwise. You bring your hostile fantasy vision, and we will more than rise to the challenge!

That promise aside, it’s pretty damn scary to hear how close to war-in-the-streets this rhetoric is starting to lean. If they keep this up, it’s not a question of if someone’s going to get hurt—it’s a matter of when. All who engage on the side of discrimination need to put an end to it. Now.

With Election Day taking place in 5 short months, and President Obama’s recent endorsement of marriage equality, the friction over this issue can only get more intense.

Jeremy Hooper Good As You
Jeremy Hooper

And speaking of Jeremy, his new book is coming out in June. From a press release via Truth Wins Out:

If It’s a Choice, My Zygote Chose Balls: Making Sense of Senseless Controversy (ISBN: 0615574548), a book by Jeremy Hooper set for release on June 5, 2012, blends a unique mix of memoir and social commentary to make its equal rights case.

Hooper leads readers through his own life story, revealing the positive and unnecessarily encumbered aspects of growing up gay in contemporary society. The noted author and activist writes in a sometimes humorous, sometimes serious, but always sharply informed style, opening a window into the realities of family rejection and acceptance. Whether offering direct guidance for would-be straight allies or sharing the inner monologue of a boy who knew who he was long before early adulthood would allow him to own it, Hooper provides a wealth of insight and argument to push the equality conversation forward. By sharing his highly relatable human journey, Hooper hopes to move us toward the shared, highly achievable goal.

“From constant talk about marriage to the popular parlor game ‘Which celebrity is gay?‘ our world is, in many ways, obsessed with LGBT topics,” says Hooper. “However, there is serious neglect in terms of actually tackling the issues at hand. I want to address the weighty topics head on, but in a conversational way.”

As someone who spends ten to twelve daily hours slogging through the “culture war” for his celebrated website, Good As You, Jeremy Hooper knows better than anyone how far the LGBT community still has to go in order to obtain full equality. At the same time, his focused lens had led him to believe that some of  the usual LGBT activism has isolated the fight and stories, leaving much of the continued struggle to go unrealized by the population at large. So Hooper’s answer is to present relatable tales that are just as proactive in changing hearts and minds as any textbook gay rights treatment, but doing so in a package that pops with universal heart and wit. Hooper calls out the B.S. for what it is, while keeping an equal focus on uniting folks from all walks of life for the common causes of peace, equality, acceptance, and, ironically enough–family values. All of this while remembering to keep his tongue in or around the cheek region.

Written to engage and entertain as well as inspire further discussion and action, the book is aimed at a wide range of readers interested and open to learning.

I hope to have Jeremy on for a DanNation Cast. I’ve followed him from the founding of Good As You and would love to meet in person. More to come…