Before I get started with this week’s round-up, I have a confession to make, prompted by a bit of news this week. See, for a period of my life I was a boy band fan; a big gay boy ban fan. Celebrity crushes are a regular thing with me, and in this case I had one in every group. When a video came on, I’d park myself in front of the set hoping to catch my favorite.
I knew they were all straight, but a single gay man can dream, can’t he? And there was one I dreamt about more than the rest. He wasn’t a lead singer or anything like that, so I had to really pay attention to catch a glimpse of him, but my attention seemed to focus on him naturally. He had a certain something, but I didn’t know what it was. Now I do. That’s not the biggest news of the week, jut it rocked my world just a little. Anyway, that’s my confession. I’ve always been and remain a “Lance man.” Now for the round-up.
Note: After Warren suggested it, I’ve started an email list to notify people when these round-ups are posted. If you’re interested email me at email@example.com with QueerlyKos or QKos in the subject and I’ll add you to the list.
- In other news about famous or infamous gay or allegedly gay people: anti-gay Republican and former mayor of Spokane, WA, Jim West (ousted from office after being outed in a gay chat sex scandal) died of complications from a cancer operation; Anderson Cooper will be spared having his sexuality become a sitcom joke; George Michael’s wedding is off in the wake of his publicized romp in the bushes, and he’s suing just about everyone involved; Jody Watley (not gay, but a gay icon of sorts) was barred from talking about her performance at the Gay Games during a radio interview in Chicago; and Ann Coulter outed Bill Clinton — given his supposed track record of heterosexual trysts — as a big ‘mo.
- Andrew Sullivan’s link to Billy Porter’s column on homophobia in black churches sparked some reflections of my own as one looking in from the outside. By choice, I might add. And Keith notes that black gays in Britain are fighting the same battle in their own churches.
Right after last week’s round-up posted, drudolph posted that Dubya had dubbed last Sunday Parents Day. Yeah. Right. Somehow I don’t think we’re the parents he had in mind to “recognize, support, and honor” on that day.
On the other hand, Dubya also turned around and nominated a gay man to be Global AIDS Coordinator, basically serving as an ambassador to the UN.
Continuing in the international vein (the UN mention is a nice segue-way), angrytoyrobot had news on the latest in Latvia where gay activists were attacked by a mob while the police stood and watched. See this previous diary about an evangelical conference in Riga for background on just how U.S. churches played are role in what happened.
- RichardR also has some insights on just what it means when a mob attack like the one in Latvia happens in a democratic country, and is condoned by government and law enforcement.
- Fortunately, the Latvian Pride leaders were rescued after the Deputy Prime Minister ordered it.
Meanwhile, Jerusalem World Pride will be cancelled until the apparent war in the Middle East is over or until armageddon, whatever comes first.
- Speaking of the Middle East, Coffee House Studio posted an interview with a gay Arab on life in Lebanon right now.
- Angry young man posts that about the Arm’s dismissal of a gay Arabic linguist. I guess the culture war still trumps the war on terror.
And S1NV brought us news that Slovenia became the next country to take a giant step ahead of the U.S. (light years ahead, perhaps?) when its Parliament passed legislation recognizing the rights of same-sex couples. It’s not full marriage rights, but it’s more than most gays in this country have anyway.
On marriage, SensibleDemocrat held out hope that Washington would become the next state to OK gay marriage, but it was not to be. In the aftermath sfluke offered an analysis of the majority and dissenting opinions.
In California, the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors will debate a resolution this fall that backs civil unions and opposes a constitutional ban on them.
- In fact, on the legislative track there are same-sex marriage bills pending in the state legislatures of New York, California, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine. And I was interviewed by the Washington Blade this week, about the state’s new advance directives which grants three new rights (hospital visitation, ambulance rides, and funeral arrangements) to same-sex couples. The hubby and I already have legal documents, but we’ll file these forms with the state too, if it helps.
- And in my own back yard, Maryland’s highest court is set to take up the case that’s seeks to overturn the states anti-gay marriage law
- After several consecutive defeats in state courts, I wonder if opening up the debate on the local level is a way of moving the conversation forward with our friends and neighbors first. Some gay organizations have responded to the recent rulings with an advertising campaign designed to foster dialogue on the issue.
- Stephen Miller at the Independent Gay Forum noticed the lack of conservative signers on the ad, and wonders if any were invited sign on. Of course, we could also ask if any conservatives volunteered to sign on.
- Regardless, a media campaign might not be such a bad idea as Damn Straight points out indicators of media bias against validating same-sex relationships.
- Damn Straight also has an interest post about how early kids learn homophobia, which links to an article about a nursery in the UK thats starting to teach kids about same-sex relationships. (Also check out the Bay Windows interview with this blogger and daughter of two gay dads.)
- Of course the reason for teaching about same-sex relationships stems from the reality that some kids have same-sex parents. And we all know how well Americans handle reality, which means HomeGrownDem may be right about the next hot button issue.
- And that hot-button issue may not just pop up here. Paul Cameron’s research is being used in Australia and New Zealand where christian lobbies are pushing to ban gay adoption. What was that about American religious organizations spreading their bigotry abroad?
- Speaking of queerspawn, it still isn’t all that easy being a queer kid (as opposed to a queer’s kid). LGBT youth still aren’t safe in their schools. Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney just axed the state commission on gay youth, but gay youth in Kentucky and Georgia won the right to have gay/straight alliances in their schools.
- But given that the most effective suicide prevention could fall to the Bush administration’s control, things could get worse for LGBT youth down the line.
And if you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, demandcaring offers a perspective on what marriage means to someone who can legally marry, as well as how having that right makes one appreciate the problem of not having it.
- Speaking of not having it, usagi points out that some gay people (or at least one gay blogger) thinks someone needs to say “enough already” and “get our agenda back.” I’m not sure what that means, because my memory on the marriage issue is that it bubbled up from the grassroots 10 years ago when gay leadership didn’t want to touch it. My guess is that it hasn’t gone away because more of us are building families and realizing how unprotected we and our loved one’s are. But I guess we should’ve thoughta that before we settled down and/or had kids.
- Along the same lines, Chris Crain at the Washington Blade blog discusses the Beyond Same-Sex Marriage petition and coins a new term: “anti-conjugalists.” Because marriage unfairly privileges conjugal relationships over other kinds of relationships. Call me crazy, conservative or a conjugalist, but given how hard it is just to get equal marriage rights I think winning the benefits of marriage for “committed, loving households in which there is more than one conjugal partner” stands even less of a chance of succeeding in this century than winning same-sex marriage. Commit to that and I commit to my family doing without some important rights and protections that we might actually end up needing down the line. But perhaps I shoulda thoughta that before I chose to have a family in the first place.
- Back on a state/local level, DemoCratic asked earlier where Cynthia McKinney’s challenger Hank Johnson stands on same-sex marriage. Ninety-six hours later, he still didn’t have an answer, but there was considerable discussion over whether the question should be asked in the first place.
- Speaking of Democratic candidates and gay issues, Booman lit into Bob Casey — the conservative, “pro-life” Dem challenging Santorum — for returning a check from gay activist Dan Savage.
- BlueTide stands back to take a look at the similarities between Democrats and Republicans these days and comes away with the assessment that we’re all Republicans now.
- Kansasr offers an interesting take on the two political parties when it comes to the marriage issue. The Republicans are the party of gay marriage. The Democrats are the party of civil rights. My guess is the former uses is as a wedge, and the latter as a unifier. Just a guess.
- Maybe advocating civil rights and equality under the law will sharpen the emerging Democratic values advantage Ian Samuel sees in the latest poll data. Of course, it won’t win over voters who think gays portraying themselves as equals to heterosexuals is the biggest problem facing America.
That’s all I got folks. Not only have I exhausted my store of links for the week, but I’m actually exhausted myself as my company moved into new offices today. So half of this was written last night, and the other half after the move. I’m sure there’s stuff I missed, so please include them in the comments.
As always, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if there’s something you think should go in next week’s round-up. Also drop me an email if you want to be on the email list to be notified when the next round-up goes up. Just put “QueerlyKos” or “QKos” in the subject.