M. Christian
December 4, 2008
Category: Politics

That it would happen isn't a real big surprise - this being the age of micro-productions and all.  But that a musical about California's bigoted Proposition 8 should feature not just teddy bear bad-boy Jack Black AND reborn wild and crazy (and damned funny) Neil Patrick Harris (not to mention honorary queer guy Margaret Cho) is nothing short of ... well, WOW!

But that's just what has happened, compliments of Marc Shaiman, who composed such Broadway hits as Hairspray.  Ladies and Gentlemen: Proposition 8 The Musical!

Just goes to show you: never piss off 'the gay' - especially ones who know how to sing, how to dance, and how to put on a kick-ass show!  So enjoy the show and also be sure to go to jointheimpact.com to get involved.

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M. Christian
November 24, 2008
Category: Politics

In a word: WOW.  More than 100 retired generals and admirals called Monday for repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays so they can serve openly.

According to a statement obtained by The Associated Press, the generals reportedly said it was time for the United States to join other nations in allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. "Our service members are professionals who are able to work together effectively despite differences in race, gender, religion, and sexuality."

The Obama administration is not about to make the same mistake President Clinton made in 1993 and said that repealing "dont ask, don't tell" is not really on their immediate agenda. Aubrey Sarvis, of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said that Obama sees 2009 as being about "foundation building and reaching consensus."  See more on the Obama team's response here.

Sure Obama's lack of drive to send the dinosaur of "don't ask, don't tell" into extinction might -- on the surface -- be a tad disappointing but remember this: is it better to have a President rush into something, even if it might be the right thing, or approach it with skill and intelligence? "Don't ask, don't tell" is definitely on the way out, it's just Obama's considerable challenge to make its passing smooth and, most of all, lasting.

In the meantime, let's celebrate this VERY impressive list...

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Walter Smith
November 19, 2008
Category: Politics

Does banning same-sex marriages in California require a Constitutional Amendment or Revision? That arcane distinction may be Prop. 8 opponents' best chance to have the recent voter-approved Amendment thrown out by the courts.

The California Supreme Court has agreed to hear three cases that claim the measure abridges the civil rights of a minority group by relying on a Constitutional Amendment rather than a Constitutional Revision. The California Constitution requires an Amendment to receive a simple majority vote to pass, while a Revision requires a vote of two-thirds of the California Legislature followed by a majority vote of the citizens.

The determination as to whether an Amendment or Revision is required hinges on whether the changes are narrow or broad. Prop. 8 added only 14 words to the Constitution and advocates say it deals only with the narrow issue of defining marriage, therefore requiring only an Amendment. Opponents say is is a Revision because Prop. 8 stripped a fundamental right (marriage) from a suspect minority class (gays and Lesbians). Does your brain hurt yet? Mine does.  If you want it to hurt even more, you can read the brief filed yesterday by several legal groups representing gay couples.

But that procedural distinction in California is what it might all come down to so you can bet lawyers on both...

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Chris Turner
November 18, 2008
Category: Politics

As reported by 365gay, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed a law that will go into effect on January 1st protecting LGBT seniors in senior care facilities and nursing homes.

"Some members of the (LGBT) community living in nursing homes have been denied their most basic rights, including the simple choice to spend time with a loved one, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity," said Geoff Kors, Executive Director of Equality California. "We appreciate the support of Gov. Schwarzenegger and the legislature for approving this measure, which will proactively create a culture of respect and understanding for all seniors living in care facilities."

The new laws requires healthcare professionals who deal primarily with the senior community to attend an anti-discrimination training program.

365gay reports, "Basic rights, such as the choice to live in the same nursing home with a partner and the right to hospital visitation, are routinely denied to same-gender couples in older age, according to a 2000 study from the Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

The study also found that same-gender partners lack essential protections, including Medicaid benefits and access to pensions, which typically protect the homes and retirement funds of surviving spouses who are married."...

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Chris Turner
November 18, 2008
Category: Politics

As reported by 365gay, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed a law that will go into effect on January 1st protecting LGBT seniors in senior care facilities and nursing homes.

"Some members of the (LGBT) community living in nursing homes have been denied their most basic rights, including the simple choice to spend time with a loved one, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity," said Geoff Kors, Executive Director of Equality California. "We appreciate the support of Gov. Schwarzenegger and the legislature for approving this measure, which will proactively create a culture of respect and understanding for all seniors living in care facilities."

The new laws requires healthcare professionals who deal primarily with the senior community to attend an anti-discrimination training program.

365gay reports, "Basic rights, such as the choice to live in the same nursing home with a partner and the right to hospital visitation, are routinely denied to same-gender couples in older age, according to a 2000 study from the Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

The study also found that same-gender partners lack essential protections, including Medicaid benefits and access to pensions, which typically protect the homes and retirement funds of surviving spouses who are married."...

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Chris Turner
November 17, 2008
Category: Politics

This past Friday, police had to come between Christianists who were preaching on the corner of Castro and 18th and a group of angry locals. Here's an excerpt from a KTVU story-

In San Francisco's Castro District, people on both sides of the same-sex marriage controversy confronted each other on Friday night, as police tried to keep the peace. Proposition 8 passed in a close vote and eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Members of the gay community said that almost every Friday night, a Christian group meets at the corner of Castro and 18th Streets. They try to convert gays and lesbians into a straight lifestyle. This Friday night, the message didn't go over well. Some gays and lesbians reacted by trying to chase the group out of the Castro."Their rights were respected," said Joe Schmitz, an opponent of Prop 8. "They got a chance to go ahead and pray on the sidewalk and I had the opportunity to express my freedom of speech which is telling them to get out of my neighborhood. "San Francisco Police officers in riot gear formed a line and escorted the religious group into a van to safely get them out of the area. Members of the gay community insisted that their reaction to the Christian group was spontaneous. "It was not an organized thing. We're tired of it. It's not religious. It's not a racial thing. It's about hate. We're trying to send a message across the world that we're standing up and we don't want this...

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Chris Turner
November 17, 2008
Category: Politics

This past Friday, police had to come between Christianists who were preaching on the corner of Castro and 18th and a group of angry locals. Here's an excerpt from a KTVU story-

In San Francisco's Castro District, people on both sides of the same-sex marriage controversy confronted each other on Friday night, as police tried to keep the peace. Proposition 8 passed in a close vote and eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Members of the gay community said that almost every Friday night, a Christian group meets at the corner of Castro and 18th Streets. They try to convert gays and lesbians into a straight lifestyle. This Friday night, the message didn't go over well. Some gays and lesbians reacted by trying to chase the group out of the Castro."Their rights were respected," said Joe Schmitz, an opponent of Prop 8. "They got a chance to go ahead and pray on the sidewalk and I had the opportunity to express my freedom of speech which is telling them to get out of my neighborhood. "San Francisco Police officers in riot gear formed a line and escorted the religious group into a van to safely get them out of the area. Members of the gay community insisted that their reaction to the Christian group was spontaneous. "It was not an organized thing. We're tired of it. It's not religious. It's not a racial thing. It's about hate. We're trying to send a message across the world that we're standing up and we don't want this...

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Chris Turner
November 15, 2008
Category: Politics

We had an impromptu sign making party at our house this morning before we headed over to City Hall.

The jointheimpact.com protests against prop 8 today had huge turnouts. There were protests in all 50 states and 10 countries. I haven't heard the official numbers for San Francisco, but we were in the tens of thousands. The estimate for the LA rally is 30-40,000 people.

We had an impromptu sign making party at our house this morning before we headed over to City Hall.

Then we headed downtown with our friends.

Our friend Eric Smith took this photo of me and my husband Armistead.

This had to be my favorite sign of the day... although there were many great ones.

It felt wonderful to be out with our friends and community speaking out for our rights. No matter what they do, they can't take our love away.

Chris Turner
November 15, 2008
Category: Politics

We had an impromptu sign making party at our house this morning before we headed over to City Hall.

The jointheimpact.com protests against prop 8 today had huge turnouts. There were protests in all 50 states and 10 countries. I haven't heard the official numbers for San Francisco, but we were in the tens of thousands. The estimate for the LA rally is 30-40,000 people.

We had an impromptu sign making party at our house this morning before we headed over to City Hall.

Then we headed downtown with our friends.

Our friend Eric Smith took this photo of me and my husband Armistead.

This had to be my favorite sign of the day... although there were many great ones.

It felt wonderful to be out with our friends and community speaking out for our rights. No matter what they do, they can't take our love away.

Chris Turner
November 15, 2008
Category: Politics

Prop 8 has been huge in the news this week and celebrities have been raising their voices to speak out against this blatant violation of civil rights. Keith Olbermann has the best response that I've seen to date-

Ellen reads a great quote by sexy daddy George Clooney-

Christina Aguilera speak out on MTV-

...

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