Discrimination Death March, Silver Lake, 11/4

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I always understood the general rule to be: one in 10 people is gay.  This ratio, which apparently has been oft-repeated to a point where it still remains lore 10 years after I first heard it (the gay population apparently has not adjusted for inflation), is a nice shorthand for: it could be you.  (One of my favoritest people of all time, Jane Lynch, interviewed with Terry Gross on NPR yesterday, and this was her reaction to her 20something realization that she is gay: “Oh man, really?”).  The threat that you could be the one left holding the rainbow flag is the greatest fear tactic of all: it results in the simultaneous internalization and externalization of one’s homophobia.  This is, in part, what moves certain people to go to the polls, draw the little iron curtain, and, in the comfortably private, if not stuffy, polling station, mark a mark that will seal the fate for all those ones in tens, if not themselves.  And they are, of course, protecting the children.  Remember the children!

Yesterday – one year after Prop. 8 passed here, and one day after a similar referendum passed in MaineEquality Network organized “Death to Discrimination,” a march-and-mourn protest and rally in Silver Lake.  The LA Times estimates that 60 people were present when the march started, but grew to a bit over 200 as the march marched up Vermont and down Sunset towards its destination in front of Le BarCito at Sunset Junction (overall, a decent turnout, but a far, far cry from the 700+ people who RSVP’d for the event on Facebook — like certain people I’m sometimes frustrated to know, you’ll always have flakes).  As the speakers began their spiels to the converted, the number of people dwindled – slowly at first, then “exponentially faster,” as Narinda Heng, my fellow mourner, observed.  Tip to future organizers: a rally and protest aren’t the Oscars.  Keep the speeches short well before the orchestra starts to hum its boredom.

A handful of pictures from the post-march rally, after the jump.

Continue reading “Discrimination Death March, Silver Lake, 11/4”

Top chef on marriage equality

Tom Colicchio
Tom Colicchio

“The idea that religious leaders are continuing to shape state law is just wrong.”

Remember last fall’s boycott of El Coyote restaurant in West Hollywood by supporters of same-sex marriage after it was learned an owner had donated money to the campaign to pass Prop 8?

El Coyote had a sizable gay clientele on Thursday nights, the unofficial “gay night” at the restaurant, which packed the place. That all changed in the aftermath of Prop 8’s passing when the owner’s name appeared on donor lists that were available online and publicized by some media outlets.

Demonstrators appeared in front of the restaurant, business fell off on Thursdays, the pilloried owner did herself no favors when she tried to explain herself, saying if she had a chance to do it all over again, she would do the same thing, citing her religious convictions.

Such a mess for such a mediocre restaurant.

Enter Tom Colicchio, Bravo TV’s Top Chef lead judge and owner of Craft, his first venture into the  Los Angeles restaurant world, located in Century City. Continue reading “Top chef on marriage equality”

CA Gay group will wait until 2012 for Prop 8 repeal effort

After much handwringing and consideration, Equality California, the gay rights organization, has decided to hold off until 2012 to push for a ballot initiative to repeal Prop 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state. An impassioned debate over whether to place an initiative on either the 2010 or 2012 ballot had been playing out over the past several months.

I initially wrote about it here last month, when three gay rights organizations successfully got the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in DC on board  to wait until 2012, which at the time I suspected was the writing on the big gay wall.

In a related matter, some gay leaders are at odds over a hastily planned march for marriage equality in Washington DC this fall, on October 11th.

Date for campaign to repeal Prop 8 still up in the air

As deadlines for filing, gathering signatures and fund raising loom, gay rights groups are still debating the timing of a ballot initiative to overturn anti-same-sex marriage Proposition 8, which passed last November with 52% of the vote.

The two dates in question are the November elections in 2010 and 2012. Those pushing for holding off until 2012 cite flat poll numbers favoring same-sex marriage since last year’s election, linking them to the difficulties it would create for raising the enormous amount of money necessary to undertake another ballot initiative drive. The Prop 8 campaign cost more than $80 million, with those opposing it spending $43 million.

Two weeks I posted about three gay rights groups in California that joined together, with the endorsement of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in DC, to release a statement calling a 2010 initiative “rushed and risky.” Called “Prepare to Prevail,” its approach calls for a lengthy grass roots movement that engages minority communities that overall supported Prop 8; and waiting for statewide poll numbers to show a 60% approval rating for same-sex marriage before an initiative appears on the ballot. Continue reading “Date for campaign to repeal Prop 8 still up in the air”

Hollywood liberals eat their own

"I’m a blogosphere virgin. I don’t read blogs. Blogs feels like they’re a dime a bushel. They’re endless. Like cockroaches..."
"I’m a blogosphere virgin. I don’t read blogs. Blogs feel like they’re a dime a bushel. They’re endless. Like cockroaches..."

Out, gay-as-a-picnic-basket, proud, loud, blog-challenged and, by all accounts, liberal director Todd Holland inadvertently got sucked on to the Hollywood Liberal Shit List last week. However, the move looks to be temporary in light of his good-natured and at times bitchy response, in addition to being nominated this year for a directing Emmy for 30 Rock, the sitcom starring über-liberals Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey. His placement on the HLSL was further complicated by the fact that he got legally married to his partner last year before Proposition 8 was passed.

How it happened: At a panel discussion about gay Hollywood, Holland answered a question about whether he would advise gay actors in Hollywood to come out. Leave it to some nasty bloggers to take his response and “twist or warp” his words into anti-gay remarks.

The panel discussion took place at Outfest, the Los Angeles gay film festival held each July at The Directors Guild (a.k.a. Hollywood Liberal World Headquarters.)

So now the LA Times, LA Weekly and those spiteful, overly-sensitive gay blogs manned by (to use Holland’s word) “cockroaches” are tripping over themselves as he trips over himself to clarify and over-explain what he really meant or really meant to say– or more likely wishes he hadn’t said at all in the first place.

A condensed version of what played out… Continue reading “Hollywood liberals eat their own”

Groups urge delaying Prop 8 repeal initiative to 2012

2010 seen as “rushed and risky.”

Should marriage equality supporters push for a ballot initiative in next year’s November election that would repeal Proposition 8? Not according to three gay advocacy groups in California that jointly released a statement urging a delay until 2012.

The statement, “Prepare to Prevail,” was released this week by the Jordan/Rustin Coalition, an African American LGBT advocacy group; API Equality-LA, an Asian and Pacific Islander LGBT advocacy group; and HONOR PAC, which advocates for empowering Latina/o LGBTs.

The groups implore supporters of same-sex marriage “to forego a rush to the 2010 ballot box to repeal Proposition 8” and “start now in building the campaign infrastructure and robust public education efforts needed to win back marriage equality.”

Going back to the ballot to remove the voter-imposed ban on same-sex marriage from the state constitution in 2010 would be rushed and risky. We should proceed with a costly, demanding, and high-stakes electoral campaign of this sort only when we are confident we can win.

Popular support for marriage equality for same-sex couples has not changed since the last election. Today, California voters’ opinions on a constitutional amendment to overturn the voter-imposed elimination of marriage equality remain evenly split, according to all recent polls.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, based in Washington, DC,  has signed on to the statement by the California groups:

Build solid majority support for the freedom to marry before returning to the ballot.  Multiple polls have shown that support for marriage equality has remained flat since November 2008. The LGBT community will be in a stronger position to win if we’re defending, and not attempting to create in the midst of a campaign, majority support at the ballot box for the freedom to marry.

Preparing for 2010 marriage equality campaign

It’s now accepted that in California, same-sex marriage will again be on the ballot in the November 2010 election. This time advocates for marriage equality, stung by the passage of Proposition 8 last year which outlawed same-sex marriage in the state, will be prepared to counter anti-gay distortions thanks to the work of people like Pam Spaulding and her blog, Pam’s House Blend.

Today she has a post about the religious right’s attempts to twist facts, lie about studies and just make stuff up about LGBTs in an attempt to scare voters into not supporting marriage equality for everyone. And she must have struck a nerve, because someone from an anti-gay group, Focus on the Family, responded to her in an email, which she quotes and answers.

It’s going to be a tough campaign, but Pam’s early primer is a good way to gird yourself for the campaign.

According to Pam, this is the first of six distortions used by the anti-gay crowd:

1. Using nonrepresentative or out-of-date studies to make generalizations, or distorting legitimate studies to give misleading conclusions

Example 1 – Religious right talking point: According to the book Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women, 43 percent of white male homosexuals had sex with 500 or more partners, with 28 percent having 1,000 or more sexual partners. Therefore gays have no concept of mongamy and certainly can’t be trusted to raise children.

Truth – Homosexualities was a book written in 1978 that only looked a certain portion of the lgbt population (gay men in the city of San Francisco). It also did not look at same-sex households. In addition, the authors of Homosexualities (Alan Bell and Martin Weinberg) said that their book should not be used to generalize about all gays in general.

And here are the the first four of 17 lies she identifies:

1. Homosexuality is a lifestyle more harmful than cigarette smoking.

2. Gay men have a short life span.

3. The gay and lesbian community have a high rate of domestic violence.

4. Unhealthy behaviors (i.e. substance abuse, promiscuous sexual behavior) is indicative of the gay or lesbian orientation.

Two names added to Hollywood Liberals’ shit list: Gary Sinise & Craig T. Nelson

sinisehlslAn occasional round-up of who’s not liberal in Tinsel Town.

I confess, I am the type of person who takes great joy in watching Republicans who call themselves “defenders of traditional marriage” getting SO BUSTED and copping to having extramarital affairs. Last week it was Nevada’s Republican  Senator John Ensign.

Today it was South Carolina’s Republican Governor Mark Sanford explaining that he wasn’t hiking on the Appalachian Trail when he went missing last week, as his staff told the media. Instead he was skipping down the Treasure Trail in Argentina attending to a year long extramarital affair.

Pam’s House Blend noticed that within an hour of Sanford’s press conference about spilling his beans, the Values Voters Summit, a conservative organization, had already removed his photo from its web site.

So now when you look at it, Sanford is gone, but not people like Sarah Palin, Bill O’Reilly, Carrie Prejean and– GARY SINISE?!

And last week I watched Craig T. Nelson commiserating with Sean Hannity on Fox News.

Hollywood Liberals, take note!

New LA Times poll on same-sex marriage

The LA Times has just released information from their latest poll conducted in Los Angeles about same-sex marriage.

Overall in the city, 56% support the right of same-sex couples to marry while 37% oppose it.

Broken down further into racial and ethnic groups, among whites, 68% support same-sex marriage and 27% oppose it; among blacks, 37% support it while 54% oppose it; and among Latinos, 45% support it and 46% oppose.

Cheney supports gay marriage

cheneyFormer Vice President Dick Cheney is making headlines again but this time it’s not about torture.

Asked today at the National Press Club in Washington DC about recent state level decisions regarding same sex marriage, including California’s  state supreme court ruling upholding Proposition 8, Cheney said,

I think that freedom means freedom for everyone. As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our family. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish. The question of whether or not there ought to be a federal statute to protect this, I don’t support. I do believe that historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level. It has always been a state issue and I think that is the way it ought to be handled, on a state-by-state basis. … But I don’t have any problem with that. People ought to get a shot at that.

The report on Huffington Post also points out the Obama administration being seemingly at odds on the gay marriage question with a growing number of voices on both sides of the political spectrum.

The president has said he supports civil unions for gay couples but that he remains committed to marriage being between a man and woman. His press department has been completely quiet about the recent California Supreme Court case upholding a ban on gay marriage in the state.

Photo: US federal government/public domain

[UPDATE: Video of Cheney’s remarks after the jump.] Continue reading “Cheney supports gay marriage”

Churches ban straight marriage, divorce lawyers threaten legal action

Just kidding about that second part. Two pastors at churches in Los Angeles County have announced that in protest of this week’s state supreme court ruling to uphold Proposition 8, they will not perform any opposite-sex marriages at their churches.

According to The Advocate,

The Reverend Art Cribbs of San Marino Congregation Church and the Reverend Anne Cohen of the First Congregational Church in Glendale have both said they will not be performing wedding ceremonies of any kind until the ban on same-sex marriage is lifted.

Prop 8 ruling expected as soon as tomorrow

As the 90-day period for California’s State Supreme Court to rule on anti-same-sex marriage Proposition 8 draws to a close on June 3rd, an announcement of its decision is expected as soon as tomorrow. The court normally releases judgments on Mondays and Thursdays.

Meanwhile on the other side of the country, here’s the new ad from the so-called National Organization for Marriage that’s running in New Hampshire, which just passed a same-sex marriage bill in its legislature and awaits the governor’s signature.

[UPDATE: Daily Kos just posted that the New Hampshire House has voted against the state senate’s amendment to the same-sex marriage bill, which consisted of changes insisted upon by Democratic Governor John Lynch to protect so-called “religious rights.” The bill is likely to be considered dead for the rest of the legislative session.]

I know it’s not the intention of NOM, but to me it shows how easy it would be to teach children about fairness and equality. Of course, the anti-gay crowd shudders at the very thought of it. Confused indeed, and maybe a little uncomfortable about teaching bigotry to young, trusting minds.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpjPzhSjPqQ&feature=related[/youtube]

NOM’s last high profile ad, “Gathering Storm,” met with a deluge of mocking parody ads on Youtube. I can’t wait for the responses to this one.

The essence of sex and rights

courtgavelThere is something that has gone wrong in the last 40 years of the gay-rights movement, albeit for generally well-meaning reasons.  The justifiable outrage over the passage of Proposition 8 has accentuated this fact in my mind, as did seeing Milk a couple months ago (not because of anything in particular about the quite good movie itself, but just because of the times it chronicles).

By way of background, I have something a familial boast: my mother wrote the first gay rights ordinance in the USA, when I was in my first years of elementary school. This ordinance, like most of those that followed in the few years after it, led to a recall of much of the city council, … Continue reading “The essence of sex and rights”

Prop 8 tied in new internal poll

A Prop 8 round-up

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yU4udzEbcdQ[/youtube]

The Atlantic magazine reports today that a new internal poll by supporters of Proposition 8 reveals the ballot measure tied at 44% to 44% among those polled. Prop 8 would rewrite the California state constitution to eliminate the right to marry for same sex couples.

California Faultline‘s David Markland (former LA Metblogs captain) says a recent Public Policy Inst. of CA poll showed Prop 8 being defeated, with 44% of those polled supporting it while 52% opposed it.

LA Times ran an editorial saying the governor has reneged on his April promise to oppose Prop 8, siting a statement he made in April to gay political organization Log Cabin Republicans. “I will always be there to fight against that because it should never happen,” said Schwarzenegger.  He also called the proposition “a total waste of time.”

No on Prop 8 has a slew of ads on their site in English and Spanish by community leaders and show biz celebs, as well as a series of clever spots modeled on the “Mac vs. PC” ads from Apple. (The company recently announced a $100,000 donation to defeat Prop 8.)

Continue reading “Prop 8 tied in new internal poll”

Bill O’Reilly expects anti-gay Prop 8 to be defeated

Fox News big cheese Bill O’Reilly went on the record tonight on his show, The O’Reilly Factor, stating that he expects California’s anti-gay Proposition 8 to be defeated on November 4th, mentioning the recent court decision in Connecticut as evidence that Americans may be ready for same-sex marriage.

According to an article in tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal:

A Sept. 18 poll by the San Francisco-based Field Poll found the measure losing 55% to 38% among likely voters.

But now the measure is favored 48% to 45% among likely voters questioned in an Oct. 17 poll by Survey USA of Verona, N.J. The poll’s margin of error, four percentage points, means the results were a statistical tie.

In an interview with former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, O’Reilly claimed that the US is “drifting to the left” on social and political issues, siting Obama’s strengthening poll numbers.

O’Reilly has played both sides of the debate over gay rights in the past. Yesterday, he lauded actress/singer Hilary Duff for her recent PSA urging teenagers to stop saying, “That’s so gay,” because of its insensitivity to gays.

Photo: Fox News