Saturday, April 11, 2009

What's happening tonight? Consider this a weekend open thread. What are you doing this weekend?
Just passed a bunch of fundie wingnuts all over the place in Downtown Santa Ana. Jeez. I know it's Easter Wknd, but why force one's religion on everyone else?

You want to know something? Wow

I'm on my way to my nephew's t-ball game. This should be interesting. Btw, Happy Easter Weekend, everyone. I hope the weather near you looks better than SoCal.

The President's Weekly Address

It's a nice address, but theology is not the President's long suit: It's not accidental that Easter and Passover are celebrated at the same time of the year. Jesus was crucified at Passover, which is an important theological point in Christian theology.

Moreover, the President suggests that all Christians celebrate Easter on this Sunday. This is not true. While Catholic and Protestants accept the Gregorian calendar, eastern Christians use the Julian calendar, so the convergence of Easter on a single date among all Christians is a relatively rare event.

Friday, April 10, 2009

"GOProud"? Really?

Gimme a f*ckin' break!

It's been threatened to go down, and now reality: Conservative gays are splitting from the Log Cabin Republicans, furious with the organization's internal sniping and overall lack of influence as it lost ground in even the most basic of gay news cycles. The new org is GOProud, classified as a 527 and headed by former Log Cabin political director Christopher Barron, and will likely have zero connection with influential (and wealthy) Democratic fundraiser and "gay mafia" member Tim Gill, who was outed as one of Log Cabin's biggest donors. (Were it not for his cash, it could be argued, Log Cabin would exist in name only right now.)

Expect GOProud to return to Log Cabin's more conservative roots, which means less support for hate crimes legislation. Notes, which advocated splitting from LCR: "Their left-of-center positions on important issues have bothered me as LCR has continually sucked the teet of the Gay Leftist agenda. LCR’s silence and unwillingness to stand up and be vocal on true gay conservative issues (outing of Republican staffers, increasing threat of gays being selectively aborted, peril gays face by Islamic extremists) has been mind-boggling. And LCR’s continued obsession in trashing Republicans, yet letting Democrats get a pass on their gay-related hypocrisies, has been infruriating [sic]."

So they think the answer to LCR's identity crisis is to be even more self-loathing? What's "liberal" about protecting our community from hate crimes? Or allowing women to make their own health care decisions? Or using diplomacy in our foreign policy? May gawd, they just don't get it. If common sense is "liberal", then I guess we're all raving "socialists". If they really think Bush-style lunacy is what defines "gay conservative", then they can go ahead & fall off that cliff with the rest of their failed party.

Eugene Robinson: The Republicans are just making it up

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Nevada: Opening the Mountain West to Equality

Something amazing happened yesterday. Maybe it isn't revolutionary, but hopefully it will be evolutionary. The Commerce & Labor Committee of the Nevada Senate agreed to domestic partnerships (or "DP's"). Unfortunately it's not marriage, but let me explain to you why this is a major step forward for equality in the Mountain West.

First off, no Western state without a Pacific coastline has either marriage equality or civil unions/domestic partnerships. Currently California and Oregon have "marriage lite" domestic partnerships available for same-sex couples, while Washington (state) and Hawaii offer some domestic partner (DP) rights (though Washington may soon agree to expanded DP rights). While New Mexico is unique in being the only Western state without a marriage ban (for now, until CA's Prop H8 is overturned in court this year or by voters next year), their DP bill failed in the Legislature and gay & lesbian couples still have no official legal rights. Considering the recent setbacks in California and New Mexico, Nevada's DP bill gives us a chance to turn the tide in LGBT civil rights out west.

Secondly, Nevada's proposed DP law is quite special in guaranteeing equal rights. While DP isn't marriage, this DP will move us much closer to full equality. Why? In the proposed law, all rights, responsibilities and benefits of marriage will be afforded to same-sex AND opposite-sex couples who choose to form a DP. Hopefully, this will help Nevadans become comfortable with the practice of treating gay & lesbian couples the same as straight couples. And hopefully as they become more comfortable with the idea of equality, they'll one day put the idea fully into practice by repealing their marriage ban.

And finally, this bill now gives gay & lesbian couples the ability to be together without worrying about extra legal paperwork for hospital visits, child custody, property inheritance, state and local tax filings, and much more. For far too long, Nevada LGBT families have been suffering under arcane laws that added hardship to their lives. At least if the DP bill becomes law, these families will have it a little easier.

So what can we do? If you're in Nevada, please contact your state legislators and ask them to support SB 283, the domestic partnership bill. If you're out of state, please contact everyone you know in Nevada and ask them to contact their legislators in support of it. And wherever you are, please support organizations like The Las Vegas Center, ACLU of Nevada, and PLAN Nevada.

We can do it. I know we can. We're winning our civil rights in states across the nation, so let's get working in Nevada to add yet another victory to the rolls!
Cloudy skies out here. Rain's coming soon. Hopefully, those April showers will bring May flowers.

The Levi Johnston Drama

I don't know exactly why this interests me, but the Levi Johnston drama continues:

Watch CBS Videos Online

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Nevada Moves One Step Closer to Equality!

Yay! Domestic partnerships for everyone may soon be a reality in Nevada.

A bill to give same-sex couples the rights of married couples passed a key hurdle Wednesday, clearing a Senate committee by a 4-2 vote.

Senate Bill 283 would allow gay couples the right to enter into domestic partnerships, which would grant the same benefits to partners as married couples.

It now will have to clear the Senate floor, where Democrats hold a slim 12 to 9 majority over Republicans.

Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, sponsored the bill. He added an amendment Wednesday that exempts state and local government from being required to pay for domestic partner benefits.

Parks, Sen. Maggie Carlton, Sen. Mike Schneider, and Sen. Allison Copening, all Las Vegas Democrats, voted in support of the bill. Sen. Warren Hardy, R-Las Vegas and Sen. Dean Rhoads, R-Tuscarora, voted against the bill. Sen. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, was not present.

Let's hope this becomes law. Nevada families are counting on it.
Crazy day today. Crazy week this week. So how are you this Hump Day?

Is Obama Siding With Bush on Illegal Wiretaps?

OK, I'm freaking out again...

Someone please tell me that President Obama does not want to give further immunity to these criminals? And especially not engage in the same behavior?

Update by DCDemocrat: This is Keith Olberman's take on the President's usurping of new and unprecedented authorities. If President Obama thinks his supporters are going to fall in line like a bunch of Bush Automatons, he perhaps belongs to the wrong party. The Democratic Party is the party of thinking and principled Americans:

How Nevada's Republican Governor "Respects the Sanctity of Marriage"

Yes, that's all for real. So how come the radical right screams about how loving gay & lesbian couples threaten other people's committed relationships but never complains about this? Just wonderin'...

UPDATE: There will be a committee vote in the Nevada Senate on SB 283, the domestic partnership bill. If you're in The Silver State, please call or email your legislator in support of SB 283!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The March of History

Vermont has signed on to gay marriage, the second state to do so in the last week. It is the fourth state in the Union to recognize gay marriages after Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa. It is the first state to do so with the vote of a state legislature. CBS reports:
The Legislature voted Tuesday to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of a bill allowing gays and lesbians to marry. The vote was 23-5 to override in the state Senate and 100-49 to override in the House. Under Vermont law, two-thirds of each chamber had to vote for override.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Walking for Equality

(Proudly cross-posted at OC Progressive)

Last Saturday, I had the privilege to do Orange County's first Courage Campaign Equality Team canvass. We met. We prepared. And then, we went out and talked with voters. Yes, we really did go door to door to talk with voters in our area.

And guess what? We made change.




In all the conversations we had with our neighbors on Saturday, we persuaded about 5% of the voters we talked with. At first, this number may seem small. But guess what? If this results in just 5% of voters changing their minds on marriage equality throughout Orange County and all over California, we go from narrowly losing to winning a majority in favor of equal marriage rights for gay & lesbian families. 5% may seem small, but that much change in the vote can result in massive change in policy.

And in addition to the people we persuaded our way, we actually found far more people who were already open to undoing the damage of H8. I was surprised when I found out that we had picked up a total of 146 pledges to repeal H8 on Saturday! People throughout the battleground areas of Irvine and Costa Mesa, cities where we narrowly won (even in neighborhoods where we lost!), told us that they were appalled by Prop H8's assault on LGBT civil rights and understood how the attack on our rights threatens everyone.

We're not hopeless. We have far more support than we think. And if we simply talk to our supporters, let them know they're not alone, and let them know what they can do to help our cause, we can make significant progress in preparing to win our next campaign coming soon regardless of what happens in court.

Sooner or later, we'll see marriage equality come to California and arrive nationwide for good. So why not make it sooner in the nation's most populous state? Voters may be ready to undo the H8 next year, so why not build up an army for civil rights to go out, share our stories, and open up a whole lot of hearts and minds? That's what Courage Campaign is doing, and that's why we need to support them.

So if you're in Cali, why not consider joining your local Equality Team? If you're not, why not join local activists in your area? And no matter where you are in the nation, you can help Courage keep the momentum going in our direction?

We can do it. I know we can.

It's because the gays are getting married

Et tu, Iowa?

Wearable Technology

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I'm outside of Santa Barbara now, but I promise to add some good stuff to the blog as soon as I reach SF.
I really haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I'm on my way to San Francisco to pick up my aunt & take her back to Orange County to see my grandmother.