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Late afternoon equality round-up

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By Adam Bink

A couple items of note:

  • If you missed it, today Louis Marinelli, formerly of NOM, asked Courage Campaign members to chip in to change more hearts and minds like his. He attributed two big reasons for his conversion to discussions with Courage’s Arisha and Anthony, and his experience on the bus tour stop at places like Atlanta. Louis blogged earlier today on P8TT. Sometimes amazing things really do happen when we all work together to change hearts and minds.

$5 — one dollar for each year he spent with NOM — will help make more gay and lesbian couples and families visible. It’s clear our model — story-telling, and making LGBT people more visible — is working. The sky’s the limit. You can throw in that, or more, here. Your contribution will be used for projects like Ed and Derence, sending Arisha and her team out on the road, showing up to counter-protest and make ourselves visible at events from NOM’s rallies to those of other anti-gay groups.

  • Re-introduction of Uniting American Families Act and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — after a false start on the latter bill last week — are set for tomorrow.
  • HIV/AIDS activists target House Republican leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) over budget cuts.
  • Michelle Bachmann sucks up to the Family Research Council. On that note, which potential Republican Presidential candidate do you think will do the most to harm the movement to attain full equality for LGBT people? My gut is Santorum. Also Romney, given his track record in Massachusetts. But then again, he constantly has his finger in the wind.
  • On the flip side, three cheers for Fred Karger, the only gay Republican Presidential candidate.
  • Here we are, now over 100 days since “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed, and the White House won’t invite representatives of gay servicemember organizations to Michelle Obama’s and Jill Biden’s event and two-day tour… but can sit down with representatives of gay servicemember organizations to plot strategy for repeal last December? Doesn’t make a lot of sense.
  • Emergency action needed on a stealth bill in Illinois to amend the civil unions law to allow state agencies to discriminate, including against same-sex parents seeking to adopt. It’s for real.

What are you reading?

42 Comments

  • 1. Ann S.  |  April 12, 2011 at 7:43 am

    §

  • 2. Kathleen  |  April 12, 2011 at 7:51 am

    The "Joining Forces" story is getting wide coverage. It made CBS's hot sheet http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20053120-5

  • 3. Ronnie  |  April 12, 2011 at 8:00 am

    "Emergency action needed on a stealth bill in Illinois to amend the civil unions law to allow state agencies to discriminate, including against same-sex parents seeking to adopt. It’s for real."

    The selfish religious reich…I mean right…. are using blind people to discriminate against LGBT Illinois tax paying citizens & planning to use their hard earned money to do it……stay classy…… > I …Ronnie

  • 4. Rhie  |  April 12, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Reading later…

  • 5. Sagesse  |  April 12, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Me too.

  • 6. Ray in MA  |  April 12, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Arisha is definitely worth Five bucks! (she is well underpaid… give her a raise!)

  • 7. Alan E.  |  April 12, 2011 at 8:22 am

    She looked like a million bucks when we got to meet her at the Circuit Court hearing last December.

  • 8. Alan E.  |  April 12, 2011 at 8:25 am

    On that note, which potential Republican Presidential candidate do you think will do the most to harm the movement to attain full equality for LGBT people? My gut is Santorum. Also Romney, given his track record in Massachusetts. But then again, he constantly has his finger in the wind.

    I read today that Trump threatened to run as an independent if he doesn't get the R ticket. One could hope!

  • 9. Bob  |  April 12, 2011 at 8:42 am

    in response to the last question, I've been readiing Zacks blogs

  • 10. the lone ranger  |  April 12, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I'd love to see the Tea Party field a candidate of their own, separate from the Republican party (although a part of me fears what would happen if they actually won… one has to be careful what one wishes for!)

    Why should the left be the only ones to have to endure a history of internal "divide and conquer"? Let the right have some fun with it. Let's see where Americans really stand.

  • 11. Kate  |  April 12, 2011 at 9:25 am

    ANN S. – Time for merit badges for Arisha, Ant and Louis!

  • 12. Ronnie  |  April 12, 2011 at 9:32 am

    LGBT Stories: Wasilla Teen's Coming Out Results In Slashed Tires, Shouting Parents, Supportive Sister. http://www.towleroad.com/2011/04/wasilla.html

    "Heading up to Wasilla from Anchorage, I was hoping to find some stories that would provide a balance to the conservative, homophobic perception the town now had thanks to a certain politician. While we found the people everywhere we visited in Alaska were kind and welcoming–strangers really do say "hello" on the street–the stories we collected unfortunately didn't provide the rosier picture I was hoping to find." ~ Nathan Manske, I'm From Driftwood.

    <3…Ronnie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embed

  • 13. Ann S.  |  April 12, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Oh, you are so right. How remiss of me!!

    Ahem –

    ANT, you are hereby awarded Merit Badges for Undaunted Courage in the face of physical violence directed toward your body, and for Bridging the Gap in reaching out to Louis.

    ARISHA, you are hereby awarded Merit Badges for Bridging the Gap in reaching out to Louis, and Community Involvement for reaching out to everyone you meet with patience, courage and understanding.

    and last but certainly not least, LOUIS, you are hereby awarded Merit Badges for Extraordinary Courage in searching your conscience and admitting past mistakes, Bridging the Gap for being open to the hand of friendship being extended to you, and Trailblazing, for driving the bus to its correct final destination — the land of equality!!

    Please wear your badges with Pride!!!

  • 14. Ronnie  |  April 12, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Hawaii Legislature passes employment protections for gender identity and expression
    APRIL 12, 2011
    http://thetaskforceblog.org/2011/04/12/hawaii-leg

    "The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauds the Hawaii Senate’s passage today of legislation prohibiting employment discrimination based on gender identity and expression. The vote was 22-2. The protections are added to the employment section of the state’s nondiscrimination law, which already covers housing and public accommodation discrimination based on gender identity and expression. The House passed the bill on March 4 with a vote of 42-4. Gov. Neil Abercrombie is expected to sign it."

    (me) Awesome……<3….Ronnie

  • 15. Sagesse  |  April 12, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Jerrold Nadler To Reintroduce Gay Immigration Rights Bill
    http://ontopmag.com/article.aspx?id=8076&Medi

  • 16. JonT  |  April 12, 2011 at 11:32 am

  • 17. Ronnie  |  April 12, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Does anybody else find it extremely annoying that the right-wing busybody's have no problem with telling other people how to raise their children but the second someone suggests that the right-wing busybody's don't raise their kids to be homophobic bigoted bully brats (love alliterations) they get all….."Stop persecuting my religion. Don't tell me how to raise my child. Shut up liberal, I am superior to you"

    Well the bigots busybody's are at it again, attacking J. Crew creative director, Jenna Lyon, for appearing in a J. Crew ad with HER son, Beckett, rocking some little bright pink toenails with the caption "Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon."

    Pink Nail Polish Causes Panic
    By Advocate.com Editors http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/04/1

    I'm sorry, Erin & Keith from Fascist/Faux News …..I mean Fox News, but are you the child's mother & father? Furthermore, are you the owner of J. Crew? NO, you're not, so with-all-do-respect, SHUT THE FRONT ZIPPER UP!!!! & mind your own business you yenta & fink.

    >I ….Ronnie

  • 18. Mark M (Seattle)  |  April 12, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    I just love it when you're on a rant. :-)
    Said it before and I'll say it again, I love your passion Ronnie.

    Hugs
    Mark

  • 19. adambink  |  April 12, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Trump who just doesn't "feel right", or something like that, about gay marriage. Some lame response like that on TV recently.

  • 20. Alan E.  |  April 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    This is being posted on my blog tomorrow morning, but I wanted to share an incident I had on my way home today. Full warning, there is some incendiary language.

    I take public transit every day to get to and from work. The BART train I was on last night was incredibly crowded, like any other day (although some days you can get lucky, or if you are like me, wait a few extra minutes to get an emptier train by watching the time schedules closely). As we were on our way through Oakland, I heard a group of black (this is important later) women chatting. I usually don't pay attention to many conversations, but these women started talking about somebody being a faggot, and then that person being a faggot, and LL Cool Jay, "Oh he's a flaming faggot!"

    This struck a nerve, but I was too far away to really say anything (which also goes to show how loud they were being that I could hear them halfway across the car). They stopped talking about that subject and moved on to something else, but my mind kept focusing on their "faggot" conversation.

    After a few moments, I resolved internally that I would confront them if they started throwing out homophobic pejoratives again. However, I knew that the women were sure to go on the defensive if I said something; I would have to collect myself so that I don't react irrationally. I gathered everything together in my mind and scripted exactly what I would say.

    I ended up getting very close to the women just the way the crowd was flowing. They moved to some empty seats, and I was moving towards the door. My stop was coming up soon. Sure enough, though, one of the women threw out another comment about someone being "a faggot. A big flaaaming faggot." Now was my time to put my preparations into action.

    I turned to the woman, looked her right in the eye, and calmly stated, "Excuse me, but your homophobic slurs and statements are just not necessary. Surely you can think of something else to describe this person."

    That threw her into a fit. She stood up quickly and started yelling about how she was in a private conversation that didn't involve me at all. I responded (I figured she would say that) with, "Yes, it was a private conversation, but you get everyone else in this car involved when you start saying hateful things."

    More oxygen for the flames (no pun intended). Thankfully, she was in the window seat, and her friend was holding her back. I wasn't afraid, though.

    She tried to yell at me that she was on the phone with her niece, and she can say what the fuck ever she wants. I don't know how old this niece of hers was, but I instantly felt sorry that she was being taught to speak like that.

    I tried to respond with, "Well, would you have a problem if I was going around saying the N word all the time?" (I knew not to say n****r then, and I would never use it anyways unless I'm stating the use of the word, [like right now]).

    The only response I got from that point on was her screaming over and over, "I DON'T CARE! I DON'T CARE!" There were also other passengers who started speaking up on my behalf, too. And then, I felt incredibly sorry for her, and I told her so.

    "I'm sorry for you. I'm sorry that you don't care. Just oh so sorry." The entire time, I had forced my voice to never raise to a shout to match hers. I remained calm and collected. At that point, her attention was directed towards someone else, but my stop was also coming up.

    The last thing I heard from her as I was stepping towards the exit was her screaming at another passenger, "YOU BETTER STEP OFF THE TRAIN RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I'VE GOT THE DEVIL IN ME. I'VE GOT THE DEVIL IN ME NOW!"

    I took a deep breath. I could have stayed on for another stop and turned around, but at that point it wouldn't have done any good. The remaining crowd was large enough that she probably wouldn't or couldn't do anything, but I surely hope not.

    On my way to the escalator, out of nowhere came a few pats on the back, a couple "Good job"s, and a hand shake. I wasn't completely through yet, though. As I approached the top of the escalator, two young women behind me were talking about the incident, and one said to the other, "he probably should have just ignored it."

    Taking a cue from my previous reaction, I turned and calmly stated, "I couldn't just ignore it. If no one will stand up to bigotry, then nothing will ever get solved."

    One of them replied, "It wasn't hurting anybody."

    "But it does hurt people, and it hurts me personally."

    The last word as they were walking away just made my eyes roll. "Well you probably shouldn't ride on public transit then."

    Outside the gate, I got another "Way to go." One more person made a point to stop me, shake my hand, and thank me a few times. I repeated what I said earlier, "Nothing will get solved if no one will say anything." I think he was among the most appreciative.

    I stand by what I did. I don't think I got through to her, but I surely got the crowd to notice. I was the cool and collected person–a surprising feat for myself–and she was the shouting maniac.

    This woman probably said a few more choice things about me, but I feel confident that the remaining bystanders would anything else she might say in a negative light.

    All in all, I feel proud.

  • 21. Rhie  |  April 12, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    You have a right to feel proud. And you are right – if no one speaks up, nothing gets solved. The little things like using faggot or gay as a pejorative matter because they aren't little at all. The contribute in a big way to the culture of contempt for LGBT.

    It's NOT just one person on public transit. It's a person on that train, one in a school, another school, on a bus, in a park…it adds up.

    Saying you shouldn't ride public transit is just asinine. That's the same kind of bigotry that leads a person to say a woman shouldn't walk down the street if she doesn't want to be sexually harassed or a person of color shouldn't sit in a class with white people if they don't want racist crap spewed near or at them.

    Everything matters because it all matters.

  • 22. Elizabeth Oakes  |  April 12, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    You go, Alan! The more people speak up, the more quickly this kind of behavior is marginalized and "de-normalized." Clearly a lot of folks were in your court, but not everybody is mature enough to understand why speaking up is important. I hope those young ladies who wanted to rescript your experience realize someday that it was their own discomfort with reality and not your impulse for activism that should have been ignored.

  • 23. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  April 12, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Proud of you too! Especially how you organized your thoughts first then kept your cool. Thx for sharing in detail!

  • 24. BK  |  April 12, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    If the Tea Party ran, and won, my guess is that they would try steering the country in a fascist direction. I doubt they would attempt many reforms that were based in secular thought. I highly doubt they would be voted for in greater numbers than the traditional Republican party, though.

  • 25. Kathleen  |  April 12, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    In Stunning Reversal, Divided Federal Court Denies Accurate Birth Certificate to Son of Gay Dads http://www.lambdalegal.org/news/pr/la_20110413_in

  • 26. Kathleen  |  April 12, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Proud to know you, Alan

  • 27. Kathleen  |  April 12, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Dana Rudolph reports the story for Keene News Service: http://networkedblogs.com/gBfHi

  • 28. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  April 13, 2011 at 12:01 am

    : (

  • 29. Peterplumber  |  April 13, 2011 at 1:03 am

    My dad always taught me, that the person who remains calm will always win any argument. I used to be a hot head when I was younger, but as I have matured, my temper has mellowed.
    I am glad that you were able to remail calm & cool.

    When she told you that she was having a private conversation, I woulda said something about all the other passengers being in on it. But that's just me.

  • 30. fiona64  |  April 13, 2011 at 1:33 am

    ^^ This, plus eleventy-one.

  • 31. fiona64  |  April 13, 2011 at 1:37 am

    Good for you, Alan. As one who calls out hate speech regularly these days, I cannot concur enough that it only stops when people stand up and *make it stop.*

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 32. AnonyGrl  |  April 13, 2011 at 1:44 am

    Excellent, Alan. Standing up to a bully is never easy, and that is precisely what that wonam was. She was using abusive language, and absolutely should have been called on it. Ultimately it is up to her whehter she changes her behavior or not, but good for you for pointing out that what she was doing was wrong!!! And by doing it in front of all the other people who were forced to listen to her bile, you were sticking up for them too. I am very glad that you got some immediate praise for it, because you deserved it!

    Well done!!!

  • 33. Ronnie  |  April 13, 2011 at 1:46 am

    Part two of the Advocate's "Forty Under 40" features:

    a photographer, a Arizona state senator, a world traveler, a producer/writer, a wrestler, 2 nonprofit executives, a film marketing executive, an asylum seeker/advocate, an attorney, a Colorado Democratic Party chairman, an executive pastry chef, a documentary filmmaker, a football (soccer) player, a model, a business consultant, a city council member, a law student/Harvard Law Review president, & a filmmaker. Here are their stories…..

    <3…Ronnie:
    http://advocate.com/Print_Issue/Cover_Stories/For

  • 34. Alan E.  |  April 13, 2011 at 2:12 am

    The toughest part for me is collecting my thoughts. I was given the opportunity to think of what I could say, but I need to practice for when I don't have those extra minutes and only fractions of a second to respond.

  • 35. Ann S.  |  April 13, 2011 at 2:46 am

    Here's another "atta boy" from me.

    I feel a merit badge is warranted:

    Please accept these Merit Badges for Undaunted Courage in the face of bigotry and for Educating the Public in coolly confronting bigotry and hostility.

    Please wear them with Pride!!

  • 36. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  April 13, 2011 at 2:48 am

    I am so proud of you Alan! Thank you for standing up, for finding your voice.
    You are right you probably didn't change her mind, but your most certainly had an impact on others.

    Furry Hugs
    Mark

  • 37. Gew  |  April 13, 2011 at 2:57 am

    One does NOT have a PRIvate conversation on PUBlic transport.

    Kudos to you.

  • 38. Joe  |  April 13, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Posted this in the wrong blog… But the SB 1123 bill was heard today and failed, thanks to all in Illinois who got involved,

  • 39. Anthony Ash  |  April 13, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Thank you very much Ann. We could not have made it as long as we did without you guys cheering us on. We read the readers comments everyday and it kept us going, THANK YOU GUYS!!!

  • 40. nightshayde  |  April 13, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Alan – you just got me to tear up. I'm so proud of you — and proud of the people who praised you for sticking up for what's right.

    Good work, Man!

  • 41. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  April 14, 2011 at 9:44 am

    : D !

  • 42. Ronnie  |  April 21, 2011 at 12:33 am

    Hugs back …. ; ) …..Ronnie

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