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Friday, January 16, 2015

The Moreland Market Owners Who Vocally Opposed Same-Sex Marriage Are Now Flying Rainbow Flags?

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Fri, Jan 16, 2015 at 12:00 PM

It's a miracle in Southeast Portland!

Last year, the co-founder of the Moreland Farmer's Pantry sparked debate and derision, when it came to light she'd vocally opposed same-sex marriage in the past.

Additionally, owner Chauncy Childs' Facebook page linked to an article supporting a business owner's right not to serve gay people. Those revelations would have raised concerns regardless. But coming as they did in a time before same-sex marriage was legal in Oregon—and when opponents were marshaling a measure to formally allow businesses to refuse service partly on the basis of sexual orientation—they sparked serious outcry.

Childs and her husband, John, swore the whole thing was a misunderstanding, made a "sizable donation" to a local advocacy group, and the furor settled itself.

And today? With same-sex couples getting married as they please and the business discrimination effort long-since dismantled? The Childs are proudly flying rainbow flags outside of their new business, which opened on January 10. Check it out, courtesy of reader Blake:

PANTRY.jpg

Either the couple has had a massive change of heart—since, you know, Chauncy Childs suggested, on the record with the Oregonian, same-sex marriage could start the slow slide toward pedophilia and bigamy—or this is straight-up disingenuous.

A call to John Childs hasn't been returned.

Update, 2:45 pm:

Nope. No change of heart.

John Childs just called back. He says the flags are in front of his shop just to let everyone know they're welcome. But he still doesn't want gay people getting married.

"The rainbow flag, as far as I understand, represents diversity and tolerance and understanding," Childs says. "We welcome all people, no matter their sexual orientation, color, race, et cetera."

Then he adds: "We don't believe in redefining marriage. That hasn't changed."

I was wrong, by the way. The Moreland Farmer's Pantry opened in May—it's just holding its "grand opening" right now.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Scenes from the Portland Counter-Protest that Drove Off the Westboro Baptist Church

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 2:14 PM

Portland's propensity for the cute and strange and clever is usually cloyingly annoying. But then, sometimes, it's absolute pure genius.

Take Saturday night, when a couple of hundred people showed up outside the Moda Center to shame the anti-gay trolls from the Westboro Baptist Church—who'd decided to try picketing the Portland Trail Blazers for their first-in-major-sports declaration in favor of marriage equality.

Portlanders glammed up for the occasion and printed mocking signs. Greg Raisman, a city transportation employee, started a website, Protestathon.com, in which people could pledge money for Basic Rights Oregon. Black bloc adherents came armed with giant black banners meant to cover Westboro's words. And DJs were waiting with a sound system and stage lights for a promised dance party.

Westboro's crew showed up later than expected, closer to 5 instead of 4:45, and stood on a feeder road several hundred feet from the arena. And then they left far sooner than expected. About 15 minutes in, after protesters swarmed them with signs and derision (and after one Westboro-type had her hat snatched from her head and thrown into the road by a counter-protester), Westboro booked it for their cars (three in all) and drove off in defeat. (One source told me, afterward, that some topless women made sure to makeout in front of the departing cars, accompanied by a "God loves butt plugs" chant.)

Naturally, we were out there taking pictures. Enjoy!

Kneel.
  • Kneel.

Continue reading »

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Here's the New DMV Form for Changing the Gender on Your Driver's License

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 12:44 PM

Way back in December, the Mercury broke some welcome news for Oregon's transgender community. After months of quiet discussions with advocates, the Oregon DMV had decided to make it easier for people to change the gender on their driver's licenses.

That meant scrubbing a list of therapists—just 110 statewide—who in the past served as gatekeepers for folks seeking that change. In the old system, you'd find one of those professionals, get them to sign off on your status, and the DMV would acknowledge your right to change the gender on your license.

It wasn't a terrible approach, advocates say, but it was also pretty ill-suited to a population that often struggles with steep barriers to employment , and can find health insurance tough to come by. Better, then, to open the system up to a wider variety of experts.

Now that's happened! As promised the DMV rolled out a more open process for changing your gender designation in early January. The department now even has a form specific for gender changes, which a department spokesman described as rare.

Screen_Shot_2015-01-08_at_12.13.14_PM.png

It might seem like a small step, but advocates say something as simple as a government form for these changes are important. They normalize the needs of transgender people, inching a heavily marginalized group ever closer to the mainstream.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Reading Stone Butch Blues with a Highlighter: The Legacy of Leslie Feinberg

Posted by Megan Burbank on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 10:13 AM

LESLIE FEINBERG A self-portrait taken by Feinberg.
  • Leslie Feinberg
  • LESLIE FEINBERG Feinberg, in a self-portrait here, wrote revolutionary words.

Monday morning, my Facebook feed exploded with tributes to author Leslie Feinberg. Maybe yours did too. Feinberg, who died over the weekend from complications due to multiple tick-borne illnesses (one of them Lyme disease), was a trans activist and a prolific author, whose writing examined butch identity, and whose best-known work was arguably Stone Butch Blues. Much has been written about Feinberg since this weekend, but Shauna Miller's piece at The Atlantic does two things that other writers have not: Miller writes about the highly personal influence Feinberg's work had on her as a not-yet-queer-identified teenager in the 90s ("1993 was a hard year to be queer. For one thing, almost anyone who used the word "queer" was probably about to kick your ass for being one.") and she uses the pronouns Feinberg reportedly preferred:

I wouldn't blame you if you thought the audience for Stone Butch Blues must be incredibly limited. (You'd be wrong: It's been translated into Chinese, German, Italian, Dutch, Slovenian and Hebrew.) Admittedly, the "Who Cares?" barriers are high. It's about a woman. It's a about a gay woman. It's about a sexuality and gender expression that's hard for even the narrator in question to understand. The story itself is pre-Stonewall, and it was published pre-Internet. It could seem antiquated and irrelevant to young people today, kids with the freedom to embrace their queerness—and especially their genderqueerness and identity fluidity—with actual communities they can turn to, Tumblrs they can learn from each other on, and role models they can Tweet at. Who wants to read story about some crusty butch who can't open up to her lovers? To anyone?

I did. My god, I was dying for it. I read that book with big, round eyes and a highlighter. Stone Butch Blues was the heartbreaking holy grail of butch perspective. The main character Jess Goldberg, is always on the move—either trying to find a new spot to maybe fit in, or more likely rest a while before being forced to move on for her safety. Her appearance is an affront. Her appearance is aggressive. It puts her life in danger. It puts her livelihood in danger. It's dispersed any biological family. Her appearance has cost her everything.

Read the whole thing here.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Saturday at All Jane No Dick: Queer Zone and The Worst Books You'll Ever Read

Posted by Megan Burbank on Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 11:44 AM

THE ACTUAL FUNNIEST DeAnne Smith.

There's only one day of All Jane No Dick left! How did that happen? For the past couple days, I've been ugly-laughing like a boss at jokes told by women and non-binary comedians. Yesterday's Queer Zone showcase of LGBTQ performers at Alberta Street brought up my laughter quotient, hard. Here were the highlights:

Portland's Andie Main shared her experience of performing for three ungrateful bros in Gresham, and held it down for those of us who list "Downton Abbey and wine" among our favorite hobbies.

I saw DeAnne Smith, the last performer of the night, at Thursday's show too, where she was on her game, but last night she managed to totally kill it using almost no prepared material, which, in a festival that has so many repeat performers, is especially funny and welcome. Her set was full of hilarious, endearing crowd-work and covered everything—the syncing-up of menstrual cycles, the proper way to spell woman (with many Y's and I's), taxidermy stores, and what's wrong with Portland (we're very sincere and just want to be helpful). I've never seen a room so full of people being made fun of and enjoying it so, so much.

Seattle's Elicia Sanchez made some fresh jokes about Bible ownership—"It's America. If you don't have a Bible already, it means you don't want one"—and confessed to ordering a Bible from the Mormons on TV, only to be stalked by calls from the Church of Latter-Day Saints for years to come.

Rye Silverman, Mo Welch, Candy Lawrence, Caitlin Weierhauser, and Caroline Bassett also delivered solid sets covering dumb cat-calls, lesbians who hate cats and astrology, and Portland's underemployment problem and no. 1 hobby (doing kind favors for strangers).

An All Jane No Dick episode of the reading aloud from terrible books series "Say Wha?!" followed the Queer Zone, with Beth Stelling, Brandie Posey, and Courtenay Hameister's dramatic readings from Christian propaganda about the dangers of socialism, divorce, and enjoying food. Also did you know that Alice Munro sat on the jury that gave Canada's Governor General's book award to a novel about bestiality? I didn't, but now I do thanks to All Jane No Dick. Yay, I guess?

If you seriously didn't get off the couch over the past several days, or if you are protesting the fact that Lena Dunham's book event today is sold out, All Jane continues tonight. Your Sunday night can be a typical weekly existential crisis, or it can be spent laughing at strangers saying funny things. Your pick.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Mary Bonauto, Genius

Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 2:29 PM

I just want to second what Andrew said:

Let’s be clear: there would be no national surge in support of marriage equality without ten years of civil marriage equality in one state, and then several others. There would be none without Mary Bonauto.

Federalism was essential in helping us prove that, with this reform, the sky wouldn’t fall, that lives would actually be immensely improved, that families would be strengthened, and that all the scare tactics of the reactionary right were unfounded. Bonauto—along with Evan Wolfson—was absolutely integral to that strategy.

Both of them also understood that one state would not be enough, that if this issue rose up to the federal courts, it was vital that we would not merely be talking about one lone and allegedly rogue state. Bonauto made that happen. You can see her mild-mannered affect in the above video, but don’t be fooled. She was extraordinarily persistent and a ruthlessly methodical lawyer. She also helped dispel the myth that somehow marriage equality was a function of white male elitists (a charge so often leveled at me in the community at large). Of course it wasn’t. Lesbians had a huge amount at stake—especially in the safety and custody of their children and families—in ensuring that civil marriage could protect them. And lesbians—from Edie Windsor to Robbie Kaplan to Bonauto herself—were absolutely indispensable and central in this fight.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why Anti-Gay Christian Bigots Always Lead With Leviticus

Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 11:28 AM

From RawStory via JoeMyGod:

A pastor of a large Southern Baptist church near Chattanooga, Tennessee said this week that Christians would never repent for discriminating against gay people like they had for racism because African-Americans could not change the color of their skin. Brainerd Baptist Church Senior Pastor Robby Gallaty devoted his entire hour-long sermon on Sunday to justifying Christian opposition to the sexuality of LGBT people.

And how does Pastor Gallaty justify "Christian opposition" to LGBT people? With every hater's favorite verse:

After spending about 20 minutes recounting the perils of homosexuality throughout history, Gallaty asserted that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God because of gay sex*. “God said that the sins of the people had infected the very land in which they live,” he explained. “So what happens to people who engage in this activity, this sexual immoral activity? Go to Leviticus 20, God gives us the punishment for engaging in these sins… ‘If a man sleeps with a man as with a woman, they have both committed a detestable thing. They must be put to death. And their blood is on their own hands.’”

Leviticus is some Old Testament shit.

Whenever someone who isn't a Christian points to all the shit in the Old Testament that American Christians choose to ignore—force your daughters to marry their rapists, God endorses genocide and killing babies, girls who aren't virgins on their weddings nights should be stoned to death, etc., etc., etc.—we're inevitably told that the Old Testament is irrelevant. Christianity is about the New Testament, God's new covenant, and all those silly Old Testament rules don't apply. Ralph Reed pulled that move on Bill Maher in this interview. But these same Christian bigots never object when a fellow Christian bigot uses Old Testament shit to slam gay people. Ralph Reed won't personally call Robby Gallaty to tell him that Leviticus is irrelevant and Reed certainly isn't going to call Gallaty out publicly.

As I wrote the last time I was told Leviticus is irrelevant...

Continue reading »

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dapper D: Portland's Lesbian-Targeted Clothing Line Is a Go!

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Wed, Aug 27, 2014 at 11:59 AM

A happy follow-up to a post I did on Dapper D, the first local clothing company to my knowledge that explicitly markets to the LGBTQ community with their designs of "men's style clothing for women." Back in May, I wrote about the Kickstarter they were running to get things off the ground, and then shortly after we featured the couple behind the line, Vanna and Rasha Pecoraro. In the short months since, their Kickstarter succeeded, and they opened for business at the start of this month, garnering press from places like Curve Magazine and Seattle Gay News. The clothing is simple and meant to be for everyday: shirts, hoodies, and simple accessories. It'll be interesting to see how things evolve, though, if the concept takes hold.

resized-robyn.jpg
  • Dapper D

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Supreme Court Grants Stay of Same-Sex Marriage in Virginia

Posted by Paul Constant on Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 3:00 PM

The state of Virginia was preparing for gay marriage, which was going to become legal statewide tomorrow due to a court decision. But the Supreme Court just stepped in:


This is terrible news for gay couples in Virginia. Ruth Bader Ginsburg has promised that the Supreme Court won't "duck" the next gay marriage challenge brought to them, but that's cold comfort for the Virginians who hoped they could get married tomorrow.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

"The Most Transphobic Article Ever Written"

Posted by Dan Savage on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Surprise! It's not some mildly clueless piece of advice I gave fifteen years ago. It's diatribe that is actually—and quite appallingly—transphobic and it went up at Thought Catalog yesterday. Parker Marie Molloy:


Thought Catalog published today a transphobic screed by VICE co-founder Gavin McInnes. The essay, titled, "Transphobia is Perfectly Natural," uses language more vile than even the most overt transphobes would dare print.... [McInnes mocks] trans people, writing, "We aren’t blind. We see there are no old trannies. They die of drug overdoses and suicide way before they’re 40 and nobody notices because nobody knows them. They are mentally ill gays who need help, and that help doesn’t include being maimed by physicians. These aren’t women trapped in a man’s body. They are nuts trapped in a crazy person’s body." Later, McInnes makes the case for discrimination. "By pretending this is all perfectly sane, you are enabling these poor bastards to mutilate themselves," he writes.

McInnes is a "literal pile of garbage and obvious clickbait zipped into a human suit," says riese & rachel at Autostraddle, and they have the quotes and links to prove it.

Friday, August 8, 2014

And They Will Know We Are Christians by Our...

Posted by Dan Savage on Fri, Aug 8, 2014 at 1:59 PM

...appalling acts of cruelty:

Julie Atwood was standing at her son's casket when the phone rang. The church where her son's funeral was scheduled to be held the next day decided to abruptly cancel the service, after the pastor learned the deceased was gay and his obituary listed a surviving "husband." Atwood said she was told it would be "blasphemous" to hold the services at the church because her son, Julion Evans, 42, was gay. "It was devastating," she said. "I did feel like he was being denied the dignity of death." Evans' husband, Kendall Capers, says the pair were partners for 17 years and married last year in Maryland. Evans died at home after a 4-year battle with a rare illness called Amyloidosis, which destroys organs in the body.

The church—Tampa's New Hope Baptist—has a website. Phone and fax numbers and contact form at their contact page. Might be nice if some NALTs got in touch with New Hope. (Via JoeMyGod.)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Watch a Reporter Grill Minneapolis Archbishop John Neinstedt on Same-Sex Marriage

Posted by Paul Constant on Tue, Aug 5, 2014 at 1:43 PM

This video, where Fox 9 reporter Tom Lyden asks embattled Minneapolis/St. Paul Archbishop John Nienstedt about gay marriage, is required viewing. The most important part starts at 11:36 in the below video:

CityPages has a transcript of the exchange:

Nienstedt: ...[sex is to take place] within the context of a marriage relationship between a man and a woman.
Lyden: Okay. What about homosexuals?
N: Homosexuals need to lead chaste lives.
L: They need to lead celibate lives?
N: Well, yes.
L: Okay. Does that seem reasonable to you, that we should all lead the lives of priests?
N: Well... um...

Neinstedt seems like a real piece of work. At the end of the interview, Lyden asks him why anyone should believe the church when they say that they care about victims of sexual abuse this time, when the church has said this insincerely in the past. Neinstedt replies, "Because we're saying it again, and we're saying it with gusto, and we're saying it with meaning." Apparently, Neinstedt thinks "because we said so" is good enough.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Anti-Immigration Candidate for AZ Governor Says He "Stood Up to the Gay Lobby"

Posted by Paul Constant on Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 9:44 AM

I like to imagine the Gay Lobby as being represented by an attractive man in a seersucker suit. He arrives in Andrew Thomas's office holding two large cloth bags with "$$$" printed on the front. He sets the bags down on Thomas's desk, sits in the chair facing Thomas, and smirks, "Looks like Arizona is about to get a whole lot...gayer."

Andrew Thomas stands up and shoves the bags of money off his desk. "NEVER," Thomas shouts. "You can tell your damn lobby I don't want any part of their game! They can all go to hell! Especially the Mexican ones!" Shocked, the Gay Lobby representative stands up and collects his bags of money. "You tell your people that I'm not for sale! Andrew Thomas doesn't need any of your goddamned money!"

SMASH CUT TO: Two months later, Thomas is standing on the crappy patio where filming for his gubernatorial election ad is taking place. The commercial is being filmed with a Nokia phone from the early 2000s, and the extras were carted in from a local nursing home. "Goddamnit," Thomas mutters to himself, looking around at his penny-ante operation. "I really should've taken that fucking money."

(Via Gawker.)

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Republican Party Has No Idea What to Do About Gay Marriage Anymore

Posted by Paul Constant on Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 1:29 PM

First, there's this:

Marriage equality arrived in New Jersey last October when Gov. Chris Christie (R) decided not to appeal a decision overturning the state’s ban. Speaking at the National Governors Association over the weekend, however, the possible 2016 presidential contender said that he believes the Republican Party should continue to fight against same-sex marriage.

But then:

Inside the offices of Republican gay-rights groups, a strategy is forming to convince party leaders to strip opposition to gay marriage from the GOP platform.

However:

For Govs. Chris Christie, R-N.J., and Scott Walker, R-Wis., two chief executives of blue-hued states who have largely declined to engage in the culture wars, they would rather not reiterate their opposition [to gay marriage] as the courts deal with the cases. But for others, like Govs. Rick Perry, R-Texas, Bobby Jindal, R-La., and Mike Pence, R-Ind. – who are each looking to build a more conservative national constituency – the fight has only begun.

And yet:

Many of the largest Christian publishers are coming out with books supporting same-sex relationships. More are on the way. These books have spurred praise from pro-gay Christians and strong resistance from the movement's right flank. All of this indicates that Christian publishing may be the next battleground in America's explosive debates about gay marriage.

In conclusion, no conservative in America knows what the fuck to do, now that the battle over gay marriage is ending and they've obviously lost.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Utah Takes Gay Marriage to the Supreme Court

Posted by Paul Constant on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Reuters:

Utah will appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court over last month's ruling by a regional appeals court that found in favor of gay marriage in the conservative state, the attorney general's office said on Wednesday.

A challenge by Utah was widely expected after the June 25 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, which said the state could not stop same-sex couples from marrying. That ruling was put on hold pending Utah's appeal.

Oh, man. The Supreme Court feels like such a crapshoot these days. Is the libertarian-leaning Supreme Court going to show up for this case, or are we going to get the religious-fucking-nutjob Supreme Court instead? There's no way of knowing.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

"A Burger Has Never Made Me Cry Before"

Posted by David Schmader on Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 1:59 PM

And a Burger King video has never made me want to puke before. (Unless we count slaughterhouse footage as a Burger King video, which we probably should.)

It's a fine line between support and pandering, and for me, the above video coats that line in bloody gay cow guts.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Another State Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment Struck Down

Posted by Dan Savage on Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 11:14 AM

It's Kentucky's turn—and, once again, a Republican-appointed judge did the striking down. From the Freedom to Marry's press release:

Today a Republican-appointed federal judge ruled that Kentucky’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex couples from the freedom to marry is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II was appointed by President George H. W. Bush in 1992, on the recommendation of current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:

"Today a Republican-appointed federal judge in Kentucky held—as have more than 20 other judges and as did the U.S. Supreme Court last year—that discriminatory state marriage bans are unconstitutional. It is wrong for the government to deny same-sex couples the freedom to marry the person they love; a freedom that is part of every American's liberty and pursuit of happiness. Today’s ruling in Kentucky underscores that America—all of America—is ready for the freedom to marry, and the Supreme Court should bring the country to national resolution as soon as possible."

Kentucky makes for 23 consecutive rulings in a row striking down state marriage bans. ALSO: Haters gonna hate, of course, but anti-gay haters are really gonna hate Judge Heyburn's decision:

"In America, even sincere and long-held religious beliefs do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted," U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II wrote to invalidate Kentucky's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.... Heyburn upheld the right to marry today, but put his ruling on hold pending a decision by a higher court. Heyburn rejected the only justification offered by lawyers for Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear—that traditional marriages contribute to a stable birth rate and the state's long-term economic stability. "These arguments are not those of serious people," he said.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down Utah Gay Marriage Ban

Posted by Paul Constant on Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 2:29 PM

The New York Times brings the news:

DENVER — A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that states cannot bar same-sex marriages, overturning Utah’s voter-approved ban against them in a decision that extends a long streak of legal victories for such unions.

The ruling by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit here in Denver came almost a year after the Supreme Court struck down part of a federal law that denied marriage benefits to same-sex couples.

The word "inevitable" applied itself to gay marriage in the United States about a year ago today. It's impossible for something to be "more inevitable"—you're either inevitable or you're not—but that's the phrase that comes to mind reading this report and the news out of Indiana this morning.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Rick Perry Admits He "Stepped Right in It" When He Compared Homosexuality to Alcoholism

Posted by Paul Constant on Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 1:59 PM

A few days ago, Rick Perry gave a kinda-sorta apology for comparing being gay with alcoholism. Today, he backpedaled even more:

“I got asked about an issue, and instead of saying, ‘You know what, we need to be a really respectful and tolerant country, and get back to talking about, whether you’re gay or straight you need to be having a job, and those are the focuses I want to be involved with,’ instead of getting — which I did, I readily admit, I stepped right in it,” he said.

This is not a sign that Perry is going to "evolve" on gay marriage anytime soon, but it is a sign that you can't say stupid shit about gay people in politics anymore.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Obama Administration Preparing to Ban Anti-LGBT Discrimination by Federal Contractors

Posted by Dan Savage on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 1:14 PM

This is a big fucking deal. It's something that LGBT activists have been demanding for years—and it's something that candidate Obama promised the LGBT community in 2008. BuzzFeed:

The White House Monday will announce that new rules barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity are being drafted, BuzzFeed has learned. More than two years after the White House first rejected pursuing an executive order implementing the protections, President Obama is moving on the issue a week after talking about the important role that administrative action can play in advancing LGBT rights.... The Obama administration has maintained in the past that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is its preferred path for LGBT workplace protections, but Monday’s announcement signals an acknowledgement that, despite Senate passage last fall, the bill is not likely to move in the House this year.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fuck Off, Texas

Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 2:59 PM

1. The Republican Party—which completely controls Texas—added a plank to its party platform backing "reparative therapy" programs, aka "pray away the gay" counseling. Anderson Cooper interviewed/shredded this smiling douche of a Texas Republican about the new plank:

2. Texas Governor Rick Perry was asked about the plank during an appearance before the Commonwealth Club of California—in San Francisco—and the man who was too stupid to be president but just stupid enough to be governor of Texas had this to say:

In response to an audience question about it Wednesday night, Perry said he did not know whether the therapy worked. Commonwealth Club interviewer Greg Dalton then asked him whether he believes homosexuality is a disorder. "Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that," Perry said. "I may have the genetic coding that I'm inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way." The large crowd gathered at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel on Nob Hill included many Perry supporters. But the comment still drew a murmur of disbelief.

Towleroad points out that Perry's line of reasoning—gay people are like alcoholics for come—is nothing new.

3. Texas's political leaders don't happen by accident—idiots elect these idiots. And their idiocy isn't limited to issues that touch on human sexuality. Watch this Vice report on what Texas is doing to address climate change and the drought and the fires that are destroying the state. (Spoiler alert: they're doing squat, aka "praying.")

Your Portland Pride Paper Dolls

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Hey, internet readers! Here's another reason besides the smell of fresh ink to pick up the printed version of the Mercury this week: We made you paper dolls! Using two sets of adorable Portland queer folk, along with clothing drawn by Kjersti Faret, the dolls make a fun game out of demonstrating how getting married—while grand, and all—transforms you from a hip young thang into a normal-ass, dweeb-tastic norm, with a variety of outfit combinations to demonstrate. Cut 'em out and play along at home!

Friday, June 6, 2014

"How the National Organization for Marriage Doomed Itself to Collapse"

Posted by David Schmader on Fri, Jun 6, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Thank God for Slate writer Mark Joseph Stern's deeply heartening roundup of the rise and fall of the National Organization for Marriage. A sample (bolds mine):

[T]he exact same factors that led to NOM’s success have helped to hasten its decline and fall. From the get-go, the group has simply refused to play by the rules, displaying a brash disregard of both law and custom. For years, NOM refused to release various financial reports, instead electing to challenge disclosure laws in court—a costly and quixotic quest that the Supreme Court clearly doomed to failure. At every turn, NOM has played dirty, illegally keeping its donor lists secret and actively hiding its fundraising reports from ethics commissions. Its unprecedented campaigns against equality-minded judges represent a shocking encroachment upon judicial independence. And its constant barrage of ad hominem attacks against LGBTQ Americans turned a political campaign into a vicious assault on gay people’s dignity.

I'm tempted to credit Stern's piece with inspiring schadenfreude, but there can be no shame in enjoying the downfall of a group as vile as NOM. Go read the whole thing.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

NOM Denied Thrice: Supreme Court Shuts Down Same-Sex Marriage Foes

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 2:23 PM

gay_rights.jpg
  • illustration by Leo Zarosinski

The National Organization for Marriage's attempts to derail same-sex marriage in Oregon have been swatted aside for the third time, making more unlikely the specter it will have a say in the state's newfound marriage equality.

The US Supreme Court decided NOM—a thorn in the side of gay rights advocates nationwide—can't argue on behalf of Oregon's newly unconstitutional ban on same-sex marriage. That follows similar decisions at the district court and appeals court levels last month.

“We are delighted that the Court has rejected NOM’s attempt to derail marriage equality in Oregon,” ACLU of Oregon executive director David Fidanque said in a news release. “We are confident that marriage equality in Oregon will help pave the way for marriage equality nationwide.”

A May 19 decision by US District Judge Michael McShane ruled Oregon's definition of marriage as "one man and one woman" violates protections under the US Constitution. Couples have married at their leisure since.

In the run-up to McShane's decision, NOM had argued the court case was a farce, since even Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, who typically defends Oregon law, agreed with plaintiffs the marriage ban was unconstitutional. So NOM tried everything it could to find a way into the court case, saying someone had to defend the law. The organization asked Justice Anthony Kennedy to stay McShane's decision while he sorted out whether they could be involved. Kennedy referred the matter to the court, and the court said 'no.'

“The application for stay presented to Justice Kennedy and by him referred to the Court is denied,” read the one-line order, according to a release from Oregon United for Marriage.

Gay rights advocates anticipate the Supreme Court will issue a ruling in the next year or two on one of the many decisions overturning bans around the country. That ruling could somehow wrinkle McShane's decision, advocates fear. Expect a push to eradicate the state's now-illegal marriage definition by 2016.

Also, the Oregon Family Council has sworn to file suit in order to allow business owners to opt out of gay marriages.

For now, though: Good news! Read the ACLU of Oregon's release after the jump.

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Jonah Hill: "Use Me as an Example of What Not to Do"

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 10:29 AM

The internet's obsession with "apology porn"—demanding public mea culpas for the slightest infringements—really bores the crap out of me, and I think we can all do better. That being said, sometimes an apology comes along that actually makes those watching it better people. Here's actor Jonah Hill on The Tonight Show apologizing to the LGBTQ community (and the world) after lashing out at a dickhead paparazzo and calling him a "faggot." Instead of blaming the paparazzo (which would've been fine by me) Hill gives an impassioned, emotional response that asks us all to join him in trying to be a better person. Watch.

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