July 2010 Archives

Zack Tells All

Posted by Chris Geidner
July 30, 2010 2:15 PM |
Zack Rosen, usually writing at The New Gay and known more recently for showing all (Google it, grown-ups), is now comfortable telling all too, following his participation in the Get Equal protest of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) on Capitol Hill that ended with Rosen's arrest. Writing today at Metro Weekly, he shares an interesting perspective -- in his Rosen way: ... [Read]

From the National Organization for Marriage's website, NOM executive director Brian Brown announced today at the latest "Summer for Marriage" tour stop in St. Paul, Minnesota: "We've taken great pains to make clear what were all about. We view ourselves as a new civil rights movement ... committed to something that in the 1960s was key: the right to vote." ... [Read]

A little before noon today, July 28, eight individuals associated with Get Equal, who had been taking an ordinary tour of the U.S. Capitol, began a protest once they reached the Capitol Rotunda. As statues of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and others surrounded them -- including a bust of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. -- the eight were ... [Read]

Judith Peabody, a New York City socialite known well for her causes, as well as her fashion, died on Sunday, according to The New York Times. The Times obituary prominently features her early support of AIDS causes: In the mid-1980s, after the death of a friend from AIDS, Mrs. Peabody volunteered to work for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. She ... [Read]

With one seat vacant on the New Jersey Supreme Court, a three-three split decision on whether the high court would hear the challenge to the inadequacy of civil unions, which are available for same-sex couples in New Jersey, means that the effort launched by Garden State Equality and Lambda Legal hit a major roadblock today. The effort was intended to ... [Read]

Saying that the Pentagon will have "no choice" but to work with them, a group of active duty gay and lesbian servicemembers, OutServe, is sending a statement to the Pentagon this morning, July 26. The statement is both literal and in action, as the renamed group launches a website and issues a public statement aimed at the Pentagon regarding OutServe's ... [Read]

Andy Humm raises more questions than he answers in his column introduced by Michael Petrelis at Petrelis's blog, but it is a good thought piece -- particularly now, as LGBT activists gather at Netroots Nation in Las Vegas. The current disgraceful situation [of LGBT ] is in stark contrast to the first ten to fifteen years of the post-Stonewall LGBT ... [Read]

Choi Confirms His DADT Discharge

Posted by Chris Geidner
July 22, 2010 3:04 PM |
Former Lt. Dan Choi, who Metro Weekly reported on July 21 has been discharged from the military, spoke with his unit commander today and issued the following statement: This morning I received notification of my honorable discharge from the army under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." After 11 years since beginning my journey at West Point and after 17 months of ... [Read]

Seven same-sex couples, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, have sued the state of Montana for the lack of equal relationship recognition. In a first-of-its-kind twist, however, the state-court lawsuit is not seeking equal marriage rights for the same-sex couple plaintiffs. Instead, the couples are ask the court to require officials in Montana -- which has a state constitutional ... [Read]

ENDA Protest in Vegas Under Way

Posted by Chris Geidner
July 20, 2010 4:22 PM |
Get Equal is starting off Netroots Nation ... with a protest! Challenging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the activists have blocked traffic with activists and a sign calling on Reid to pass ENDA, and unfurling a banner over the strip urging the same. According to Steve Friess, who is on the scene, the cops ... [Read]

The Judiciary Committee voted in support of the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court seat being vacated by Justice John Paul Stevens, sending the nomination to the full Senate for consideration. On a vote of 13-6, with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) as the only Republican voting yes, the Senate Judiciary Committee took the action after ... [Read]

Some major action toward international engagement on LGBT issues today, with a nod from President Obama -- as the White House Broadway night was set to get under way. From Talking Points Memo: The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission today won accreditation from the United Nations despite Republican efforts to defeat the group's application. ... [T]he resolution passed ... [Read]

It hasn't been that long since anti-gay activist George Rekers put "lifting my luggage" into the American dictionary of hypocritical sexual innuendo by taking a European vacation with a young man from Rentboy.com. But Truth Wins Out today went public with accusations of another closeted hypocrite -- although this case is more disturbing because of the claims of sexual abuse. ... [Read]

The President and First Lady Michelle Obama will be continuing the White House Music Series in the East Room this evening with a salute to Broadway. PBS will be recording the event for later broadcast, but the event will be livestreamed on the White House website. From the White House: In the evening, [20 dance students from Duke Ellington School ... [Read]

Carte Goodwin (law firm bio here), the former general counsel to West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D), is set to be the pick of his old boss for the Senate seat that had been held by the late Sen. Robert Byrd since 1959, according to The Washington Post and Associated Press. Manchin is expected to name Goodwin as his choice ... [Read]

The D.C. Court of Appeals issued its awaited decision in Bishop Harry Jackson's appeal of the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics's decision that his proposed marriage initiative was an improper subject of an initiative. In a 5-4 decision, the court held that the Human Rights Act limitation in District law, which prohibits initiatives or referendums that would violation the ... [Read]

Although the charges were dismissed against Lt. Dan Choi and James Pietrangelo on Wednesday morning (as Metro Weekly's Yusef Najafi reports here), questions remained about why they were abruptly dropped moments before trial. Those questions, though, aren't the focus for Get Equal. Though Choi and Pietrangelo were joined outside the courthouse by their lawyers, communications consultant and Get Equal activists ... [Read]

What Would Machiavelli Do?

Posted by Chris Geidner
July 13, 2010 8:31 PM |
Writing about "political fear" and the oft-repeated line that "[e]lected officials and candidates view the gay community as an ATM," AmericaBlog's Joe Sudbay posits, "We do need to create the conditions to win. And, we're not going to get there by playing nice. For one thing, our advocates need to call out 'political homophobia' when they see it. And, we ... [Read]

Log Cabin Goes to Court

Posted by Chris Geidner
July 13, 2010 1:32 PM |
As others focus on the questions the military is asking troops, Log Cabin Republicans are focused on questions of another type, as the group's lawsuit challenging the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy began its trial today. The government had been trying to delay the trial, but U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips -- a Clinton appointee to the federal bench -- ... [Read]

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell hit back hard on Monday afternoon against the claim alluded to at Talking Points Memo and circulating in the LGBT blogosphere over the weekend and into today that "segregation" is a possible outcome of the Pentagon working group's review of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy (and associated troop survey). First, it's important to note what ... [Read]

More From Pentagon's Morrell

Posted by Chris Geidner
July 11, 2010 8:02 PM |
Following up from the Friday evening, July 9, news conference held by Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell, I believe many questions remain about the survey, its wording, potential bias and the sample size. If anything, Morrell raised more questions for me than when I started the call. (For example, Morrell says that the survey group, Westat, "had to know from us ... [Read]

[UPDATE: The Pentagon held a news conference for reporters regarding the survey at 4:15 p.m. Friday afternoon. My report, "Pentagon Pushes Back," details what was -- and wasn't -- said.] The dueling responses of LGBT groups to the Pentagon survey relating to the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy continued on Friday following the release of at least 32 pages of ... [Read]

[Updated; originally posted at 4:35 p.m.] U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro, appointed to the federal bench in 1972, ruled this afternoon in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act violates the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A ... [Read]

[UPDATE: Please refer to "Questions' Quagmire" for a full article on this issue, in which the Human Rights Campaign and Palm Center do not take the same position as SLDN on the survey. In addition, at the bottom of this post, please note the Log Cabin Republicans and Servicemembers United statements, which encourage servicemembers to fill out the survey.] The ... [Read]

Veto in Hawaii

Posted by Chris Geidner
July 6, 2010 9:20 PM |
Calling it "marriage by another name," Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle (R) today announced that she would veto the state's civil union bill, passed earlier this year by the legislature. Despite that, Lingle said at the news conference that "[i]t would be a mistake to allow a decision of this magnitude to be made by one individual." Freedom to Marry's Evan ... [Read]

Constitutional Follow-Up

Posted by Chris Geidner
July 6, 2010 4:41 PM |
Following up on the question raised -- and unanswered -- at the July 1 LGBT media briefing with White House domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes regarding whether the President Obama believes the Defense of Marriage Act is constitutional, I wrote this follow-up piece, which was featured today at The Huffington Post: "Answer the Question." In it, I write: Although the ... [Read]

Wedding Jitters

Posted by Chris Geidner
July 6, 2010 12:38 PM |
When "doom" appears in a headline these days, you know that we're either talking about the Gulf -- or an overheated political argument. The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart, who I would call an amiable acquaintance, went with the latter this morning, in "Could impending Prop 8 decision doom same-sex marriage?" In writing about marriage and the Proposition 8 case currently ... [Read]

As the Fireworks Clear

Posted by Chris Geidner
July 4, 2010 11:48 PM |
It wasn't the rockets' red glare tonight, but all the colors of the fireworks over the National Mall that kept the District's attention as the night fell on Sunday evening, July 4. Remembering the parchment-based beginnings of this day, however, also is important. Here's the National Archives page about the Declaration of Independence, which begins: When in the Course of ... [Read]

GOProud has joined with several other Republicans -- including, as reported by Politico, former National Republican Congressional Committee chair Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.)  -- in calling for Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele to step down following comments about the war in Afghanistan being captured on tape. In the comments, Steele called the current war there "a war of Obama's ... [Read]

There was much more -- at least, in the way of reporting -- from the Thursday, July 1, meeting between White House Domestic Policy Adviser Melody Barnes and nine representatives from the LGBT media, including Metro Weekly. My second report -- "The Constitutional Question" -- looks at discussion of the White House and President Obama's position on the Defense of ... [Read]

From The New York Times Magazine this weekend comes a lengthy profile -- "This Year's Maverick" -- of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Graham has been beset by "gay rumors" -- from the Tea Party to tea dances -- and he takes the opportunity of Robert Draper's profile to squarely address the rumors in a way that The Washington Post's Jonathan ... [Read]

Today, Metro Weekly, along with eight other LGBT media outlets, attended a briefing on LGBT issues by White House Domestic Policy Adviser Melody Barnes. White House spokesman Shin Inouye, Office of Public Engagement deputy director Brian Bond and deputy associate White House Counsel Ian Bassin also attended the meeting, which lasted a little more than an hour, although they did ... [Read]

HRC Endorses Kagan Nomination

Posted by Chris Geidner
July 1, 2010 4:48 PM |
Today, the Human Rights Campaign announced its endorsement of Solicitor General Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court. From HRC: “Elena Kagan has demonstrated her understanding of the Constitution and the protections it provides all Americans” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “She has articulated a commitment to the substantive protections of liberty guaranteed by the Constitution – ... [Read]