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Archive for March, 2009

San Antonio, Texas Sees First Transgendered City Council Candidate

March 13, 2009 By: jaysays Category: LGBT News

Ruby Krebs stepped up to run for City Council of San Antonio’s District 1 seat.  Krebs is the first transgendered candidate to run for City Council in San Antonio.  Krebs political career started when she was volunteering for the Hillary Clinton campaign and she now serves as Chair for Precint 4001.

In and interview with QSanantonio.com, Krebs stated she is not running to make a statement about her gender identity:

I know I’m making history, but that’s not the point. I love this city and I know I can do good things for the people of my district.

There are three people running for the District 1 seat.  The Democrat incumbent, Mrs. Mary Alice Cisneros, the challenger, non-partisan (although he has attended Stonewall Democrat events), Mr. Chris Forbrich, who is openly gay and Ms. Ruby Krebs.   District 1 includes areas of San Antonio generally thought to be areas in which gays reside such as Monte Vista, Tobin Hill and King William (home of the fabUloUs King William Fair during Fiesta).

More Gay Soldiers Discharged At Peace Time

March 12, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Hate Crimes, LGBT News

The AP is reporting that 11 military service members were discharged in January, 2009, under the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy put into place during the Clinton administration.   That doesn’t seem like a high number, but… in the report, the AP went on:

The military discharged nearly 10,000 service members under the policy in a 10-year period, from 1997 to 2007. The number fired each year dropped sharply after the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, when forces were stretched thin. Whereas more than 1,200 were dismissed in 2000 and again in 2001 for violating the policy, about half as many — 627 — were fired in 2007.  via The Associated Press: Army fired 11 soldiers in Jan. as openly gay.

When I first read that I remained fixated on the numbers, then I re-read this portion:

The number fired each year dropped sharply after the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, when forces were stretched thin.

That statement gave me the same feeling I had when I found out my “first love” was a homeless cocaine addict who was trying to recover from his homosexuality while simultaneously declaring his love for me and spending all my money.  In other words, I suddenly felt very used.

Now, I’ve never had an inclination or even the slightest interest in joining our armed forces.  In fact, even being on a military base makes me feel very frightened and a bit like being in prison.  That being said, if there is any “company” that has proven itself to be anti-gay rights over and over again, it is our nation’s military.  Therefore, should any military recruiter wish for me to join, I will be forced to decline the offer until such time that the company fully recognizes rights being denied it’s LGBT service members.

What rights am I referring to, you ask?  Well, the first one to come to mind is a matter of access.  Let’s say a heterosexual woman joins the military.  She is married to a civilian man.  They live happily together for many years, moving from place to place.  When the wife is transferred, the military moves the husband along with her.  Now, let’s say a homosexual woman is in the military and her partner is a civilian.  Such privilege is not granted to the lesbian couple because they are not “spouses.”

So for those of you concerned with the sanctity of your marriage who claim that we can draft documents to equalize our rights – guess what, you’re lying again.  So much for that truth theory.

Top Web Filmmakers Unite for Anti-Prop 8 Web Series

March 12, 2009 By: jaysays Category: LGBT News, Marriage Equality

Imagine if constitutionally protected rights were invalidated – that’s what you’ll see in the series being produced by The Fine Brothers (and actually they are pretty good looking guys).  Here’s the first video which explores taking away the right to freedom of religion:

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE FINE BROTHERS:

Hollywood, CA — 03/11/09 – Benny & Rafi Fine (http://www.TheFineBrothers.com), one of the most popular internet filmmakers of all time, have released the first of five episodes in a web series against Proposition 8, which overturned same sex couple’s marriage rights and is currently back in the California courts. The series, entitled “Prop 8: The Web Series”, puts an irreverent comedic spin on the controversial proposition. Each episode presents various rights from the California Constitution, and presents a “What if?” scenario of what it would be like if those rights were taken away. Known for their sometimes controversial brand of satire, the Fine Brothers hold nothing back in making a bold statement for equality for all.

The Brothers attempted to find a company willing to help produce the series to no avail, and decided to make it independently out of their own pocket. Filming took place in part at the home of a married same sex couple, film composer Joseph Carrillo and Gregory Frye whose marriage hangs in the balance of the upcoming court ruling.

The cause brought in a large cast of well known talent from across the web video community. The episodes star not only the brothers themselves, but also includes Sara E. R. Fletcher from Fremantle’s “Secret Girlfriend” and her husband Brad, Maxwell Glick from “LonelyGirl15”, Woody Tondorf from HBO Labs, Channel101.com veterans Scott Chernoff and Andy Goldblatt, Tubefilter reviewer and screenwriter Lindsay Stidham, rising YouTube star Shane Dawson, actress and activist for IndustryForCharity.org Lisa Schwartz, stage and screen actress Katie Locke O’Brien, and comedienne Dayyanah Coleman.

The series will be distributed over the next 90 days until a decision is made on the lawsuits that followed the passing of the proposition.

“We hope we do not have the chance to release all of the episodes of the series, and that the state does the right thing and overturns Prop 8 to restore equal rights for same sex couples across the state”, said Benny Fine, the older brother. “We have plans to continue using our large fanbase and exposure on the web to create similar content for as long as it takes until this is changed on the federal level”, added Rafi Fine.

About The Fine Brothers:
Benny & Rafi Fine are one of web video’s pioneers, creating content for nearly five years and receiving millions of views from every website imaginable. They are most well known for their LOST parodies and Movie Spoiler videos, and are currently in production with Comedy Central, Just For Laughs and iKlipz among others.

Additional information can be found on their online press kit:
http://www.TheFineBrothers.com/press-kit

They are represented by Abrams Artists Agency and Ziffren Law and can be reached at TheFineBros@gmail.com

Nigeria Has Gays Too!?!?

March 12, 2009 By: jaysays Category: LGBT News, Marriage Equality

Perhaps in the grand ole USA when you hear of something happening in Nigeria you immediately think of the countless emails from Nigerian attorneys requesting that you hold several hundreds of thousands (or millions) of dollars belonging to a forgotten estate in your bank account – just send us your account information.  Well this time, some Nigerians are on the side of Marriage Equality.

A group of “homosexuals” apparently “stormed” the National Assembly in protest of a bill seeking to prohibit same-gender marriages in Nigeria.  The argument made by the bill is that the charter on Human Rights signed by the U.N. (but not the USA) granted them the freedom of sexual orientation – which the proposed ban would infringe upon.

The effort by the group of storming homosexuals is particularly brave in Nigeria as the penal code provides a sentence of up to 14 years or death under Sharia Law for homosexuality.

Perhaps Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ojo Madueke will need to revise his February 23, 2009 statement wherein Madueke said:

During our National Consultative Forum, we went out of our way to look for gay, lesbian and transgender groups but we could not come across Nigerians with such sexuality

Apparently Minister Madueke, there are gays in Nigeria.

See: THISDAY ONLINE / Nigeria news / African views on global news.

Marijuana Found to Cure Homosexuality

March 10, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

I’ve been trying to find a way to infuse truth into the statement, “Marijuana Cures Homosexuality.” The problem is, I haven’t hired the Anti-Gay Agenda’s advertising firm. What is it about their rhetoric that makes statements like, “homosexuals are the biggest threat to America” (uttered by Chris Buttars) so believable? Finally, I figured it out. God makes it believable.

By declaring your faith in “God” or making claims that you are speaking God’s word, you automatically become believable in the U.S.A. – after all 76.5% of American’s identify as “Christian” according to a 2001 ARIS study.

It was then I realized, to have authority in such an asinine statement as “Marijuana Cures Homosexuality,” I must first invoke God. But how? I decided a little research was in order and turned to my old friend, Google.

As it turns out, by taking singular bible quotes out of context, I can show that Marijuana cures Homosexuality:

The Lord said unto me, ‘I will take my rest and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs.’  — Isaiah 18:4-5

And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. — Ezekiel 34:29

It is obvious that God used Marijuana and even more apparent that marijuana would prevent man from bearing the shame of homosexuality. Perhaps marijuana advocates should use this argument in their next ad campaign… legalizing marijuana will put all this “gay” behind us.

By invoking the word of God, I have found that I can argue for, or against, just about anything.  In fact, many pro-gay websites and blogs have taken the position that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality while anti-gay blogs use it to argue against homosexuality.  I realized that for me there is no truth in either debate.  Both arguments are hypothetical and debating what “God” thinks about homosexuality is a bit like debating what “Romeo” wanted out of his relationship with “Juliet,” the only difference is when debating God, you debate it as truth.

The Trouble with Jerry Lewis and the MDA

March 09, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

Many will remember Jerry Lewis’ comment on his telethon raising funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in 2007.  But in case you don’t, here are his words:

Oh, your family has come to see you.  You remember Bart, your older son. Jesse, the illiterate faggot.

He then abruptly stopped himself and said, “No.”  Obviously, Gay and Lesbians Against Defamation made a fuss, and rightfully so I think, about Mr. Lewis’ use of the word “faggot.”  He then apologized by saying:

I apologize to anyone who was offended.  Everyone who knows me understands that I hold no prejudices in this regard. In the family atmosphere of the telethon, I forget that not everyone knows me that well.  That something like this would distract from the true purpose of the telethon pains me deeply. … I accept responsibility for what I said. There are no excuses.

I gratefully accepted Mr. Lewis’ apology and was profoundly glad to hear it, particularly because my very dear friend is a beneficiary of assistance by way of the Muscular Dystrophy Association for which Mr. Lewis was raising funds.  Because of the much needed help she received from the organization I have continually been a contributor to the organization and a vocal supporter of their work.  I could continue honoring this important organization for the good it was doing.

But then, Jerry Lewis again used the word “fag” during the telethon – only one year later, and thus my trouble with Jerry Lewis and the MDA begun.

Upon months of consideration, I finally sent a text message to my friend who has benefited from the work of the MDA which said, “Would you hate me if I boycotted the MDA because of Jerry Lewis’ homophobic comments?”  Her response was simple and to the point, unlike the debate that has been swirling in my head for so long, “No.”

It is that time of year when shamrocks are being sold throughout the country to raise funds and awareness regarding Muscular Dystrophy.  I am still debating two possible courses of action: (1) Refuse to donate my money to the MDA; or (2) Donate, but on each shamrock I purchase write, “From, Jerry’s Fags.”

Thus far, I have chosen not to donate to the MDA at all and instead donate my money to other charitable organizations who support LGBT rights.  I encourage other supporters of LGBT rights to do the same.

This Week in Racism

March 06, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

This week has resulted in my being startled by very vocal, racist remarks.  On Monday, a very dear friend of mine was the victim of such vocal racism.  While riding in an elevator with an older woman and a young girl, my friend was called a “gook.”  This term was not used in anger against my friend, but was sharp and jarring none-the-less.  The older lady in the elevator turned to the young girl and matter of fact-ly stated (while pointing at my friend), “That is a gook.”  Out of shock, my friend did not respond.  She told me it was the first time in her life she can recall someone using that term in her presence to reference her directly.

Two days later I was at a gas station filling up my car in San Antonio, Texas.  Although I do not live in San Antonio any longer, I was raised in the city and have always found it to be a very welcoming city for minorities, particularly Hispanics as they are a huge portion of the overall population.  On the opposite side of the pump from me was a black male.  A young Hispanic woman was across from me.  The black male went inside the store and when returning to his vehicle called the young Hispanic woman “stupid.”  That’s what caught my attention and I looked over in their direction.  The woman did not respond and just continued pumping her gas.  As the man walked away mumbling at the woman pumping gas, another Hispanic woman yelled to him, “Just leave her alone.”  He responded by shouting, “Go back to Mexico.”  I was dumbfounded and found myself staring blankly at the Hispanic woman, unable to form words.  She then responded, “I could tell you to go back to where you came from too,” or something to that effect.  The black man simply repeated himself more loudly, “Go back to Mexico.”

Today, I was listening to NPR and a black man (as he indicated) was discussing immigrants in his town and the jobs they have taken from the residents there.  He began his sentence with, “I don’t mean for this comment to sound racist.”  At that point, I knew he was about to say something extremely racist.  He did not disappoint, “If you’ve ever seen a house overrun with cockroaches…” thus he began, “… watch them come out of the building, there isn’t one white person or black man coming out of that building, they are all Mexicans.”  Interestingly, they interviewed one of the workers who was not “Mexican” but “Guatemalan.”

His comment reminded me of a comment I received in my youth from someone I considered to be my best friend.  I was going through the coming out process and thought I would gauge his feelings about homosexuals before telling him affirmatively that I was a homosexual.  I mentioned gay people and he said, “I don’t like them.”  I inquired as to why and he said, “They are like cockroaches, anytime I see one I want to step on them.”

Yes, we’ve come a long way in the battle for civil equality for ALL people, but there are miles and miles to go.  We must continue to educate each other that ALL people are human, ALL life is valuable and fragile and our words have power.  We must stop teaching our children that Asians are gooks, immigrants and homosexuals are cockroaches and that Americans should “Go back to where they came from.”  These are the values we are teaching our children and the values they will teach their children in turn.  Unlearning racism is a daunting process, one which I myself struggled with due to my upbringing and continue to try to evolve away from.  Somehow, we must overcome this disease.

Galveston Texas Gay Bar Attacked by Anti-Gay Stone Throwers

March 04, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Hate Crimes, LGBT News

Just south east of Houston, TX sits the island city of Galveston, or whats left of it after Hurricane Ike.  Galveston is most famous as the home of legendary rocker, Janis Joplin.  But morbid news is abound.

Three men, two brothers and a cousin, shouted anti-gay slurs at patrons of Robert’s Lafitte and stoned them due to their sexual orientation.  One man, Marc Bosaw, required 12 staples to close the wounds.  Another man was hit in the jaw by a rock.  Thankfully, the attack did not result in any persons death.

Patrons chased the gay bashers and were able to obtain a description which led to their arrest.  Bosaw stated:

I thought with all the things going on, especially politically, that we would be more accepted and not just randomly attacked.  I don’t see any room for hate right now.

Regrettably, this attitude of gays being more accepted continues to permeate the LGBT community as I discussed more in a prior post.  It is because of these attacks that we must remain a united front and continue to combat this hatred.  It is time to stand against this violence.  “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

via Galveston gay bar attack draws rare use of law w/ video | Front page | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle.

VIDEO: Evangelical Teachings of “TRUTH”

March 03, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Religion

I’ve been contemplating this project for a while – Should I, do a video slide show?  Do a video monologue?  Use puppets?  All of that seemed complex and I wanted the message to be clear.  The fact remains that Evangelical Christians continue to abuse biblical text and the “authority” bestowed upon them by “God” to keep people other than themselves down.  But how do you express that in an honest and forthright way?  I attempt to with this video:

Yes on Equality to Broadcast Supreme Court Hearings LIVE

March 03, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Community Outreach, LGBT Action Alerts, LGBT News, Marriage Equality

The California Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments on the efforts to overturn Proposition 8 on March 5, 2009 beginning at 9:00 A.M. Pacific.  Our allies over at Yes! on Equality will be providing LIVE video feed of the oral arguments between 9AM – Noon PST.

To view the live video feed or for more information, visit: Yes on Equality – Live Video Feed.