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July 31, 2008

US Virtually Ignores AIDS In Black Community

When was the last time you saw an AIDS prevention ad that targeted the black community? Can't think of any? That's because just about everyone in this country is virtually ignoring the alarming statistics that were released by the CDC (Center For Disease Control).

According to a Black AIDS Institute Report, AIDS in segments of Black America is as severe as in many African countries, but receives much less attention here. The CDC has said that blacks account for 50 percent of the new HIV/AIDS diagnoses “in the United States in the 33 states with long-term, confidential name-based HIV reporting.”

Phill Wilson, CEO of the Black AIDS Institute and one of the author’s of the recently published book “Left Behind! Black America: A Neglected Priority in the Global AIDS Epidemic” said:

“More Black Americans are infected with HIV than the total populations of people living with HIV in seven of the 15 countries served by PEPFAR [President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief]. Were Black America a separate country, it would elicit major concern and extensive assistance from the U.S. government. Instead, the national response to AIDS among Black Americans has been lethargic and often neglectful."

The book "Left Behind..." stated that there is:

A clear and startling gap between the U.S. government’s appropriate concern about AIDS overseas, and its ongoing denial of the epidemic at home – despite the fact that, in areas of the United States such as Detroit, Newark, New York, Washington D.C. and the Deep South, HIV levels among segments of the Black community approach those of many severely affected countries in Africa. For example, HIV prevalence among middle-aged Black men in Manhattan is almost as high as overall prevalence in South Africa, home to the world’s largest population of people living with HIV

"Left Behind..." also points out that:

While the U.S. government requires countries receiving PEPFAR support have a national AIDS strategy in place, the United States itself has no strategy for its own epidemic, and was one of 40 countries that failed to fulfill its commitment to report to the Joint United Nations program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) on its response to AIDS at home. At the same time that the United States has dramatically, and appropriately scaled up funding for AIDS overseas, it has simultaneously cut real spending for domestic HIV prevention and care initiatives – even as HIV caseloads in Black America have risen sharply.

What's wrong with this picture?

My two sources for this posting were: Blackaids.org and an article written by James Withers at 365Gay Blog

July 30, 2008

Massachusetts Will Allow Out-Of-State Gay Marriages

The Massachusetts House of Representatives voted 118-35 yesterday to repeal the 1913 law that prohibits the marriage of couples from out-of-state if their own state doesn't allow those unions.

The law was originally intended to prevent interracial couples from coming to the state to marry because they couldn't do it in their own state. It became obsolete when those marriages were declared legal nationwide by a 1967 Supreme Court ruling but it was never officially taken off the books. When the Massachusetts Supreme Court declared gay marriages legal, the then governor Mitt Romney dug out this bill from forgotten, dust covered files and declared that it applied to gay marriages as well.

By their actions yesterday, the House agreed with the Senate (see my July 15th post) and rebuked Ex-Governor Romney by repealing that discriminatory law. Current Governor Deval Patrick has said all along that he would sign the repeal. It now goes to his desk.

Congratulations to the Massachusetts House and Senate for a job well done!

July 29, 2008

Statewide Campaign To Defeat Prop 102 Is Launched

I just received an email this morning from Equality Arizona announcing the official launch of the Vote NO on Prop 102 Statewide Campaign.

As most of you know, the Arizona Senate, in a disgraceful display of arrogance and a total disregard for their own rules, rammed through Proposition 102 which would ban gay marriages in Arizona (see myJune 28th post). This proposition would amend the State Constitution by adding the following article related to marriage:

Marriage - Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state.

We have defeated this before but this time they scaled back their language in hopes of duping the voters into voting for it. We can't let that happen! The campaign to defeat this will need all the help it can get so if you want to volunteer, donate money and/or goods and services or just sign up for email notices about the progress of the campaign, go to Vote NO on Prop 102.

If you want to work for the defeat of anti-gay candidates statewide, go to Equality Arizona Volunteer Opportunities

July 28, 2008

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!

The Arizona Senate Ethics committee voted 3 to 2 to hold full hearings on Senator Ken Cheuvront's (D-15) complaint that the rules were violated when his and Senator Paula Aboud's (D-28) microphones where turned off to stop debate on the anti-gay marriage amendment. (see my June 28th posting.)

To his credit, I think, Ethics Committee Chairman Jay Tibshraeny (R-21) sided with the only two democrats on the committee. I hope his vote was motivated by an honest desire to seek the truth. He will work out details and then schedule the start of those hearings when all 5 members can be present and the necessary witnesses can be lined up.

I'll keep you posted.


An anonymous reader just sent me this video link. It's a streaming video so I can't post it directly but if you go to


you'll be able to see the part of that session when the microphones were turned off, the chairman going right to another Senator who called the question on the amendment proposal, all the while, you can clearly hear several voices in the background calling for a point of order. This is the worst kind of government misconduct and resulted in ramrodding the proposal through the Senate! Check it out.

My thanks and gratitude to "Anonymous."

Church Shooting Caused By Anti-Liberal and Anti-Gay Hatred

Yesterday morning at about 10:15, James D. Adkisson, 58, of Powell, TN walked into the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church and opened fire. At the time, the church was putting on a children's production of the musical "Annie." There were about 200 people in the audience and about 25 children involved in the production.

Church members quickly wrestled Adkisson to the floor but not before he was able to shoot seven people, killing two and sending five others to the hospital in critical or serious condition.

Today, Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owen IV revealed that Adkisson left behind a four-page letter in which Adkisson described his feelings and motives. According to Chief Owen;

"Adkisson apparently acted alone and chose the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church because of recent publicity about activities there that Adkisson considered liberal."

The church has a long history of not only being an open, loving and tolerant environment but also working for desegregation, women's rights and gay rights since the 1950s. According to the Knoxville News Sentinel:

It appears that (the) church had received some publicity regarding its liberal stance,” the chief said. The church has a “gays welcome” sign and regularly runs announcements in the News Sentinel about meetings of the Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays meetings at the church.

According to Out & About Newspaper (which is a Tennessee GLBT publication):

Owen said a four-page letter written by Jim David Adkisson, 58, stated that his reasons for the attack were for “lack of being able to obtain a job and frustration over that and his stated hatred for the liberal movement,” Owen said. “We recovered a four-page letter in which he describes his feelings and the reasons he claims he committed these offenses.”

A reporter asked the police chief “does that mean he was talking about targeting gays in particular or just liberals in general?”

“Both,” the chief responded. “Liberals in general, as well as gays.”

Owen said his department was investigating the shooting as a hate crime and that federal authorities had been asked to assist.

The two church members who died were Linda Kraeger, 61 and Greg McKendry, 60. According to witnesses, Mr. McKendry (who was an usher and church board member) immediately and intentionally positioned himself between Adkisson and everyone else in an attempt to save as many lives as possible.

My sources for this story are: Box Turtle Bulletin, CNN News, Out & About Newspaper and Knoxville News Sentinel

July 27, 2008

Significant Change To Wording Of Proposition 8

The Advocate announced today that the California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, has significantly changed the wording of Proposition 8 (the anti-gay marriage amendment). The change could help defeat the amendment in the November election.

According to The Advocate,

The original wording of the November ballot initiative read, "[Proposition 8] amends the California Constitution to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

The new language says that the initiative "Changes California Constitution to eliminate right of same-sex couples to marry." It further explains that banning gay marriage could prevent the state from gaining tens of millions of dollars in potential sales tax revenue.

Some activists think the language change, which spells out the removal of the right for same-sex couples to marry, could help to defeat the measure, according to Waymon Hudson at Bilerico.com. He notes that some polls have shown that changing the language to denote the removal of rights can add up to 10 percentage points to the "no" votes.

In light of the fact that the most recent poll of likely voters (see my July 18th posting) showed a slim majority of 51% opposed to Prop 8, this could be enough to assure its defeat. And, of course, deal a heavy blow to this latest homophobic and discriminatory attempt by the religious right to wipe out our rights.

Wouldn't it be great if the Arizona Secretary Of State, Jan Brewer, would do the same here. Our polls show that even though most Arizonians oppose gay marriage, an even larger majority don't want to see the state constitution changed. This kind of wording could have a substantial effect here as well.

If you would like to express your feelings on this to our Secretary Of State go to: azsos.gov/info/contact_us.htm)
I sent the following message through that link:

Aside from the anti-citizen rights immorality of Proposition 107, the Fiscal Impact Statement, as it appears on your sight, is a gross misdirection of the truth of the impact of this amendment on the Arizona economy.

Clearly, there can easily be a dramatic increase in health care costs (via AHCCCSS and other state provided programs) due to the loss of medical insurances already provided to various city, state, county and private business employees throughout the state. It also doesn't take into consideration the tax base and human resource losses of graduate students and highly specialized/higher income business, government and university employees (or even businesses themselves) going to other states that are more tolerant of individual rights and freedoms.

To allow the legislature to make a blanket statement that "Proposition 107 is not projected to have a state cost" is not in the best interest of all Arizonans. Or, even more importantly, in the interest of full and honest disclosure.

As Secretary of State you have an obligation to make sure that all "official" statements regarding propositions put before the voters are true and accurate. Please exercise that right.

To read the Advocate story go to: advocate.com)

July 26, 2008

In The Bizarre News Department...

My partner sent me this article. It's from the Tonawanda News in North Tonawanda, N.Y. and it's so bizarre I have to share it with you.

According to the article a two year old boy in Lockport (a nearby town) was attacked and sexually assaulted by a pit bull.

Lockport Police Detective Capt. Larry Eggert said that “The dog sexually attacked the kid and caused some pretty significant injuries.” He said the boy’s family members, who were reportedly home at the time, and neighbors had to beat the dog to get him off the boy. “I have never, ever heard of an assault quite like that,” Eggert said.

The article went on to say:

Niagara County SPCA Executive Director Al Chille said this case is an unusual one.

“I have had reports of adults having (sexual) relationships with animals, but not anything like that,” he said. “The majority of the calls we receive with regards to pit bulls are bite calls, not calls of this nature. We get a considerably large number of those (bite calls) from all over the county.”

The dog was a 2-year-old pit bull that had been with the family since it was a puppy, Eggert said. Sunday’s incident was the first time the family had any problems with the dog being aggressive or biting, he said.

The boy underwent surgery on Sunday night and may need more reconstructive surgery in the future, Eggert said.

Wow! I wonder how the right-wingers are going to handle this one?

You can read the whole story at: tonawanda-news.com

July 25, 2008

Right-Winger Stuns Congressional Hearing On Don't Ask, Don't Tell

In arguments meant to persuade congressional leaders, Elaine Donnelly, founder and president of the Center for Military Readiness, stunned everyone at the House Armed Services subcommittee hearings on the now infamously famous "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

According to a Washington Post story, Ms. Donnelly was called to testify before the committee but instead of making her case to retain the DADT policy, she launched into amazingly bizarre and far-fetched arguments that had just about everyone staring at her with their mouths hanging open.

The Washington Post story said:

Donnelly treated the panel to an extraordinary exhibition of rage. She warned of "transgenders in the military." She warned that lesbians would take pictures of people in the shower. She spoke ominously of gays spreading "HIV positivity" through the ranks.

"We're talking about real consequences for real people," Donnelly proclaimed. Her written statement added warnings about "inappropriate passive/aggressive actions common in the homosexual community," the prospects of "forcible sodomy" and "exotic forms of sexual expression," and the case of "a group of black lesbians who decided to gang-assault" a fellow soldier.

At the witness table with Donnelly, retired Navy Capt. Joan Darrah, a lesbian, rolled her eyes in disbelief. Retired Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, a gay man who was wounded in Iraq, looked as if he would explode."

Ms. Donnelly not only didn't make her case she was an embarrassment to herself and her organization. In fact, she did more to generate sympathy for the repeal than just about anyone else who testified.

Rep. Vic Snyder (D-Ark.) called her comments "just bonkers" and "dumb" and her comments about an HIV menace "inappropriate." Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), a veteran of the war in Iraq, called her words "an insult to me and many of the soldiers" by saying they "aren't professional enough to serve openly with gay troops while successfully completing their military mission."

To read the full story (it's worth taking a few minutes to read) go to: Washington Post

July 24, 2008

Another Homophobic Ad


It was announced yesterday that Mars has pulled the ad referred to below.

Mars issued this statement late Thursday:

"This ad is the second in a series of U.K. Snickers Ads featuring Mr. T which are meant to be fun and which have been positively received in the U.K. However, we understand that humor is highly subjective, and it is never our intention to cause offense. Accordingly, we have pulled the Mr. T speed walker ad globally."

HRC (Human Rights Campaign) Workplace director Daryl Herrschaft said "HRC applauds Mars for taking swift and appropriate action."

Thanks to everyone who expressed their feelings about this ad to the Mars Corporation. Good work!

------ Read original post below ------

It seems that the misguided folks over at the ad agency Omnicom (producer of other homophobic ads in the past) are at it again.

This time they have Mr. T "machine-gunning" a young, blond male who is doing nothing more than speed walking down a sidewalk. Mr. T bursts through a house in a modified pickup truck with a gatling-type machine gun, manned by Mr. T, mounted in the back. He shouts at the hapless walker that he is "a disgrace to the man race" and that "it's time to run like a real man" then starts shooting him with snickers bars. Check out the ad for yourself...

This might not seem like such a big deal but when we have right-wing, religious fanatics calling on their congregation to literally shoot gay people (see my June 6th posting), this suddenly becomes very serious and in incredibly poor taste. Even though it could be argued that this isn't necessarily an anti-gay ad, the image they chose to use is that of a thin, young man who "swishes" while walking. That clearly plays off of the stereotypical image that most of the ignorant and uninformed religious fanatics have of gay men.

To express your dissatisfaction and/or outrage at this kind of advertising go to snickers.com This is a direct link to their contact form.

I found this story at queersunited.com through a headline on Yahoo's Gay/Lesbian News.

Los Angeles Police Chief Supports Gay Marriage With A Donation

According to the Los Angeles Times, Police Chief William J. Bratton has come out in favor of gay marriage. He not only supports it, he has backed up that support with a donation to Equality California, a group that is fighting the homophobic, anti-gay marriage amendment that will be on the ballot in November.

Chief Bratton and his wife, former Court TV diva Rikki Kleiman, strongly believe that gays have a right to marry. "The Constitution guarantees life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," Bratton said this week. "I see no reason why gays can't pursue happiness through marriage." His donation is a wedding present honoring his friend celebrity publicist Howard Bragman and his longtime partner, Chuck O'Donnell.

Mr. Bragman and Mr. O'Donnell requested that instead of gifts, they would like donations made to Equality California and that they be made publicly. As a result other friends, including tennis star Martina Navratilova and former "Grey's Anatomy" actor Isaiah Washington (who has been trying to make amends with the gay community since he was caught uttering an antigay slur backstage at the Golden Globes in January 2007), have also made public donations.

Mr. Bragman is quoted as saying:

"So many of these ballot initiatives seem esoteric and hypothetical. Our marriage changed that for people who know us. Our love, respect and commitment has the power to change hearts and minds and make an ethereal concept real."

After so much negative news lately it's really nice to see something like this. Congratulations to Mr. Bragman and Mr. O'Donnell and very big kudos to Police Chief Bratton and his wife, Rikki Kleiman as well as Martina, Isaiah and all the others who also made donations.

I hope we can generate that kind of interest and support here in Arizona where we also face an anti-gay marriage amendment in November.

To read the full story go to: Los Angeles Times

July 23, 2008

Scientist Tells PFOX To Stop Distorting His Work

According to a press release from Truthwinsout.com (TWO) Dr. Gary Remafedi said that PFOX (Parents & Friends Of Ex-Gays) has manipulated his research study and should take the distortions off its website immediately.

PFOX objected to a story run by the Washington Post that was about a 15-year-old boy who described his homosexual feelings and how Gay Straight Alliance student clubs help gay teens deal with discrimination and bullying in high school and middle school. PFOX Executive Director Regina Grigg is quoted as saying “What the article failed to describe is the danger of young sexually confused teens self-identifying as gays at an early age. Research has shown that the risk of suicide decreases by 20% each year that a person delays homosexual or bisexual self-labeling. Early self-identification is dangerous to kids.” The research that was cited to "prove" her case was Dr. Remafedi’s study.

Today, Dr. Remafedi released the following statement to Truth Wins Out:

“My work has been cited by PFOX in response to a Washington Post article on gay-straight alliances (GSA). PFOX misuses one of my studies on suicide attempts in gay youth to argue that people should not identify their sexual orientation at young ages. Our findings do not support the contention that young people choose their identity or the timing of events in identity formation. Nor is there any evidence that the availability of GSAs influences those developmental processes.”

PFOX, as well as Focus on the Family, distorted Dr. Remafedi's findings to make the case that young people should not learn about homosexuality because they were sexually confused, and could thus be influenced by educational material. This is just one more example of how virulently homophobic, right-wing, pseudo religious groups twist and distort legitimate scientific research to fit their own sick and perverted arguments. Much like our President has done with environmental research studies over the last almost eight years.

These groups count on the fact that most people would never know what the research really said and they rely on that ignorance to make it sound like someone or something "official" supports their arguments. That's why it's important to expose them whenever they're caught doing it. TruthWinsOut does an excellent job of riding roughshod over these groups and I commend them for their diligence. I also commend Dr. Remafedi for coming forward and not letting them get away with distorting his work.

To read the full press release go to: Truthwinsout.com

July 22, 2008

Reverands John Hagee And Rod Parsley Not "Really" Disavowed By McCain Campaign

It appears that John McCain and his campaign haven't really ostracized Reverands John Hagee and Rod Parsley.

In case you don't remember Hagee's and Parsley's ridiculously outrageous comments that caused McCain to "distance" himself from their support, I'll recap a few. Hagee got in hot water for calling Catholicism a "false cult," blaming gays for Hurricane Katrina, and preaching that Hitler came about "because God said my top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel." Parsley, meanwhile, called the prophet Muhammad "the mouthpiece of a conspiracy of spiritual evil" and claimed that Islam was an "anti-Christ religion," in addition to countless anti-gay rantings.

Hagee's group, Christians United for Israel (of which, Parsley is a regional director) went to Washington this week for its third annual "summit" of Christian Zionists amid much self-generated hoopla. The group booked the convention and widely publicized its agenda in the media, encouraging everyone to attend.

However, when reporters showed up for a panel with Hagee and Gary Bauer (president of the group American Values), yesterday morning the group's spokeswoman, Avraleigh Keats told them "I have some bad news for you. There's been a change. There's no press allowed. . . . No interviews. No filming. Nothing."

According to The Washington Post, when Executive Director David Brog was asked why, after announcing the summit agenda with such fanfare and inviting the public to watch, did they suddenly decide to bar the press and the public? Brog speculated darkly: "I don't know if it was someone trying to sabotage us."

The Post article went on to say:

"A secret Christian Zionist meeting? Talk of sabotage? It was the sort of thing that caused McCain to distance himself from Hagee and Parsley in the first place. But while McCain has officially renounced the pair (and they him), the program for the summit suggests the distancing came with a wink and a nod. It touts as speakers top McCain surrogate Joe Lieberman and Bauer, a prominent McCain supporter and an informal adviser to the campaign. It displayed three photos of McCain with Hagee at last year's summit."

Obviously, John McCain would not only continue the disgusting, prejudicial and secretive policies of George Bush but would most likely expand them. Ya wanna see something really scary?

To read the whole store go to: The Washington Post

July 21, 2008

Perverse Religion Once Again Rears Its Ugly Head

According to a follow-up story in The Advocate, the North Carolina legislature just effectively killed a bill that would protect school children from bullying.

The senate sent the bill back to committee guaranteeing that it won't be voted on this year. The bill-killing hoopla was over the inclusion of the phrase "sexual orientation" as a reason that a student may face discrimination or bullying. The objections that sent the senators running home with their tails between their legs were from right-wing religious groups that included the Christian Action League and the North Carolina Family Policy Council. These so-called "children-of-god" claimed that LGBT groups would use the bill as leverage for other rights legislation.

Let me see if I have this right. They don't want to protect A CHILD from being bullied because it might lead to other protections for GLBT children and adults? What kind of a sick, perverted and repulsive mindset is that? If a bully starts calling a little kid a faggot and a queer and starts pushing him or her around or even ultimately physically beats them, that child would have no right to be protected and no legal recourse to prevent future abuses simply because the words queer, faggot or homosexual were used in the attack - EVEN IF THE CHILD ATTACKED WASN'T GAY!

These people have gone way too far for way too long. What kind of religion would even remotely condone outright child abuse FOR ANY REASON? Certainly none that I've ever heard or read about that purports to believe in an omnipotent, loving God. This is a travesty and an ugly perversion of religion for nothing more than personal and/or organizational avarice for wealth and power.

To the legislators of North Carolina, and everywhere else for that matter, I ask you - is this the kind of family legacy you want to leave to your children and your family's future reputation? If so, then you deserve to be in a jail cell right next to every other child abuser!

July 19, 2008

It's A Sad Day For The Radio Hall Of Fame

According to a press release from TruthWinsOut.org the Museum of Broadcast Communications announced that they would induct right wing extremist James Dobson into its Radio Hall of Fame.

Because voting was open to the general public (see my July 9th posting), clearly he got enough of his fanatical supporters to go to the website and vote for him. Unfortunately, there seems to have been a little deception going on there also.

When I went to the Radio Hall Of Fame website to check the list of inductees myself, I noticed what I think is a pretty important variance in the way they listed their winners and the way the ballot listed them. When I voted, the listing for James Dobson was under his own name but on the final list of winners, it was recorded as "Focus on the Family."

This may not seem like such a big deal but when you consider that most of the people (not counting Dobson's Dogs) who took the time to seek out the site and cast their votes, did so because they wanted to support one or two of their personal favorites and wouldn't necessarily have known much about the other nominees. So, when they see a name they recognize but don't really know anything about and don't have time to do research, they'll usually vote for that person solely because they recognize that name and it doesn't ring any negative bells in their minds. James Dobson is a name that would fall into that catagory. Most open-minded, non-judgemental people who don't know him or anything about his history wouldn't think to question his credentials.

"Focus On The Family" however is pretty well known for its extremist views and outrageous statements and would, in all likelihood, ring all kinds of bells in the minds of a lot of those people. If that organization was, in fact, the winner then why wasn't it listed by its name on the ballot so people would have known that they were voting for an organization and not an individual?

Conversely, Art Bell is another inductee who was listed by his own name on both the ballot and the winners list. The program he started and nurtured into the most listened to late night broadcast in the history of radio, "Coast To Coast AM," was not named as the winner, only Art was.

That being said, I would suggest that there are a few things we can do to show our revulsion at a hate-monger being honored by the Museum of Broadcast Communications.

Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out (TWO), has vowed to protest the annual awards dinner that will be held in Chicago on Saturday, November 8, 2008. If you live in or will be in the Chicago area at that time, contact TWO and find out how you can participate.

Another way is to send a quick email to the Museum's Founder/President & CEO, Bruce Dumont.

If you want to write a letter, phone or fax the Museum, here's their info:

The Museum of Broadcast Communications
400 North State St., Suite 240
Chicago, IL 60610
Tel: 312-245-8200
Fax: 312-245-8207

To read TWO's full press release go to: TruthWinsOut.org

July 18, 2008

Latest Poll Shows Majority Opposed To Proposition 8

According to The Field Poll survey conducted in English and Spanish between July 8 and July 15th, 51% of likely California voters oppose a ban on gay marriage.

The Field Poll surveyed 672 Californians who are likely to vote in the November election. Only 42% support the ban.

According to The Field Poll itself;

"Democratic and Republican voter sentiments are poles apart on this issue. Sixty-three percent of
Democrats intend to vote No, while 68% of Republicans are ready to vote Yes. Non-partisans are
overwhelmingly on the No side – 66% to 27%.

There are also big differences in voting preferences by region. Voters living in California’s coastal
counties, which represents 69% of all likely voters, oppose Prop. 8 56% to 37%. Opinions are
almost reversed among Californians living in inland counties, where supporters outnumber
opponents 54% to 40%.

The strongest opposition to Prop. 8 is found in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, where
voters oppose Prop. 8 by a two and one-half to one margin (67% to 26%). They are joined by
voters in Los Angeles County who are also on the No side, 51% to 41%.

By contrast, voters in the Central Valley and in other parts of Northern California outside of the Bay
Area are opposed on the order of five to four. In Southern California areas outside Los Angeles
County, preferences are more evenly split (50% No and 45% Yes).

Women voters are lining up on the No side of Prop. 8 to a greater extent than men – 54% No and
40% Yes among women vs. 49% No and 45% Yes among men.

By age, opposition to Prop. 8 is greatest among younger voters under age 30, as well as among
"baby boomers" in the 50 – 64 age bracket. Voters in other age groups are more evenly divided.
White non-Hispanics, African-Americans and Asians are lining up on the No side by five to four
margins. This contrasts with the voting preferences of Latinos, who are supporting Prop. 8 five to

There are also big differences by religion. Protestants favor Prop. 8 56% to 40%, while Catholics
are evenly divided. By contrast, voters affiliated with other religions or who have no religious
preference are opposing Prop. 8 by wide margins.

Evangelical Christians favor the amendment better than two to one, 66% to 31%. However, non-
evangelicals are on the No side 59% to 34%.

There is greater opposition to Prop. 8 among voters who personally know or work with gays or
lesbians. This group, which includes nearly three in four voters statewide, opposes Prop. 8 54% to
40%. On the other hand, those who have no personal familiarity with gays or lesbians favor the
amendment by a narrow margin."

Let's hope that margin not only holds but increases between now and the election. In the meantime, I'm also going to research any polls taken here in Arizona for our own discriminatory anti-gay marriage ballot proposition. I'll keep you posted on both.

To see the entire poll results, go to: The Field Poll

July 17, 2008

Public And Political Attitudes Changing On Gay Marriage

I ran across an excellent Op-Ed piece in the New York Times this morning. In it, Gail Collins outlines the evolution of attitudes towards gay marriages since Massachusetts became the first state to legalize those unions.

I'm sure we all remember the intensity of the right-wing hoopla surrounding the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision and the consequent legislation that followed. There were petitions, news articles and talk radio programs that screamed about the demise of the institution of marriage and painstakingly detailed the false perceptions of the supposed immoral "lifestyle" of the "mentally disturbed" and "anti-christian" homosexuals. And, much like the rantings in California today, impassioned attempts at constitutional amendments which, as we all know, failed.

Even after it became the law of the state, the then Governor Mitt Romney, in a complete political turn around and desperate attempt to appease the right-wingers prior to his Presidential run, dug out the obscure law of 1913 to prevent Massachusetts from becoming “the Las Vegas of same-sex marriages.”

This week, the Massachusetts Senate voted to repeal even that law (see my July 15th posting "Breaking News"). So what changed?

According to Gail Collins:

"Well, with the economy the way it is, becoming the Las Vegas of anything whatsoever began to sound like a good deal. California has been raking in money from weddings of out-of-state gay couples since a court made same-sex marriage legal there.

In Massachusetts, a study commissioned by the state, with the optimism of such studies everywhere, predicted that getting rid of that old law could create hundreds of jobs, millions in tax revenue and tons and tons of local business for hotels and restaurants and party planners. As an advocate predicted reasonably, when a gay person decides to come to Massachusetts and get married, “most won’t come alone.”"

Of course the fact that four years later heterosexual marriage wasn't destroyed, God didn't smote the Godless citizens and most people in that state hardly ever even talk about it anymore. It has become, for them, a regular part of their daily lives and, in effect, a non-issue.

Ms Collins' piece is also an excellent, in-depth analysis of the changing views on social justice with a little precognitive irony thrown in. After the 1970 Supreme Court ruling that people of different races had a constitutional right to wed, someone suggested to President Nixon that same-sex marriages would be next. He responded, “I can’t go that far; that’s the year 2000.”

To read the full opinion piece, go to: New York Times Opinion

Update To Flagstaff Gay Bashing

This is an update to Gay Bashing In Flagstaff Arizona posted on June 23rd.

According to a press release from Equality Arizona, the Coconino County Attorney's Office has charged Travis Reiner with a felony assault in the June 22, 2008, anti-gay attack on Michel Brown. If found guilty on the felony assault charge, Reiner could receive an enhanced sentence under Arizona's hate crime statute.

Reiner was one of four men arrested after allegedly shouting anti-gay slurs and attacking several people gathered at a street corner during Flagstaff's Pride in the Pines weekend festivities. The incident involved staff and volunteers of Equality Arizona and resulted in at least two individuals being treated for injuries at a local hospital.

I'll keep you posted on the outcome.

July 16, 2008

Christian Fanatics Same Hypocrites All Over

I ran across an article at pinknews.co.uk that shows that christian fanatics are the same double-talking hypocrites no matter where they may live.

Lillian Ladele is a 47 old, born and raised in Nigeria, who claimed that she was discriminated against by the Islington Council. Ms. Ladele is a Registrar who refused to perform gay civil partnerships (legal in England) based on her strongly held religious beliefs. She told her superiors: "I would not be able to conduct civil partnerships because it states in the Bible that marriage occurs between a man and a woman, not people of the same sex, and, as a Christian, I try to follow what the Bible teaches." She was however, directed by the Islington Council to carry out the partnerships. She appealed to an Employment Tribunal and their judgment in her favor read, in part:

"Ms Ladele is a Christian. Her unchallenged evidence was that she holds the orthodox Christian view that marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life to the exclusion of all others and that marriage is the God-ordained place for sexual relations.

"She could not reconcile her faith with taking an active part in enabling same-sex unions to be formed.

"She told us that she believed this to be contrary to God's instructions that sexual relations belong exclusively between a man and a woman within marriage."

The problem is that the Tribunal failed to question her on the depth of her beliefs because it has since come to light that she is a single mother who had her child out of wedlock.

She was also quoted as saying "I’m not homophobic. I’ve never had a problem with gay people or their lifestyle. My issue was purely that I did not want to be the one to facilitate same-sex civil partnerships because I do not agree with them."

If she isn't the epitome of blatant hypocrisy, what is?

To read the full story go to: pinknews.co.uk

July 15, 2008

Breaking News...

The Massachusetts Senate has just voted to repeal the 1913 law used to bar out-of-state gay couples from marrying in Massachusetts.

The repeal has the support of Gov. Deval Patrick, whose 18-year-old daughter announced publicly last month she is a lesbian.

The House is also expected to pass the repeal and a vote there is anticipated for later this week.

An analysis found repealing the law could draw thousands of couples to Massachusetts, boosting the economy by $111 million over three years.

AFA Again Shows Their Hysterical, Hypocritical Homophobia

According to an article by Daniel Gonzales posted today at BoxTurtle.com, the AFA (American Family Association) sent him an urgent email "alert" from AFA's "One Million Dads" campaign. The "alert" warned of the grave dangers awaiting young children at public libraries that stock gay and lesbian books as well as at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore chain.

It seems that in a Collierville, Tennessee Barnes & Nobel, a young 11 year old boy was walking through the store (followed closely by his father) when he came across a book titled “Ultimate Gay Sex” lying open on one of the reading area's tables. According to the boy's father, Brannon Howse, the boy saw graphic pictures of two men engaged in sex.

The email railed on saying:

"...this is a serious problem in Barnes & Noble stores across the country. Many parents have written to say they have had the same type of heart wrenching experiences with their children as Barnes & Noble does not place the homosexual pornography behind the counter or even in a restricted area not open to minors. Anyone can go in and find it on the shelf."

Mr. Gonzales looked the book up on Amazon.com and found "that it is nothing more than a sex guide, a sex guide that happens to be written for gay people."

Of course, the hysterical "alert" made no mention of the fact there were also books readily available, and just as explicit, in the same bookstore but written for heterosexuals. Why aren't they calling for those books to be sequestered away also? It seems that the AFA is oddly fixated on male gay sex. I would be willing to bet that a fairly substantial majority of AFA's male members wouldn't be quite as quick to object if they saw girl on girl books laying open on a table. Especially if they weren't with their wives. Can you say "hypocrite?"

See The Full Story at: BoxTurtle.com

July 14, 2008

Boycott Of San Diego Hyatt Called For

According to an article posted on signonsandiego.com, a boycott of the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego has been called for. Apparently the owner, Doug Manchester, donated $125,000 to the Anti-Gay Marriage amendment (Proposition 8) in California.

Fred Karger, who is one of the organizers of the boycott, said he is also urging the public to boycott Manchester's other hotel, the Grand Del Mar. “This is someone who is giving an exorbitant amount of money to write discrimination into the constitution for the very first time,” Karger said. “Our goal is to create a business loss for people who contribute. We want to make it a little uncomfortable," he added.

Andrew Pugno, an attorney for protectmarriage.com, which supports Proposition 8 said “Support for traditional marriage is a mainstream view. I can't imagine that efforts to boycott businesses with mainstream views are going to be successful.”

However, in May of this year, after the court ruling legalizing gay marriage in California, the non-partisan Field Poll found a majority of California voters opposed a constitutional ban and by a slimmer majority for the first time supported same-sex marriage. Also, two gay rights organizations, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and PlanetOut Inc., moved events they had scheduled at the Manchester Grand Hyatt to another location. So, it seems that Mr. Pugno's comments about mainstream views and that the boycott wouldn't be successful are turning out to be wrong on both counts.

Mr. Manchester, by the way, said that his hotel doesn't discriminate and that he welcomes the GLBT community. If that isn't the height of crass hypocrisy I don't know what is. He's happy to take our money but doesn't want us to have the same rights that he and his family has. What's wrong with that picture?

If you're planning a trip to San Diego, I would urge you not to stay at either the Manchester Grand Hyatt or the Grand Del Mar.
Staying at any other Hyatt is actually recommended since the Hyatt Corporation itself is a very strong supporter of our community and has scored very highly for their non-discrimination policies. Hopefully, the corporate office will bring a lot of pressure down on Manchester. After all, most people will only recognize the name Hyatt and wouldn't necessarily make the distinction between the whole chain and a single hotel.

You can read the full story at: signonsandiego.com

July 12, 2008

Unlikely Support From A Black Conservative Republican

Ward Connerly is a black conservative republican who is not exactly the kind of political conservative most of us in the GLBT community would applaud.

In fact, according to a July 6th article in The Arizona Republic, Mr Connerly "...has made a name for himself - and some would say a lucrative career in the process - as a Black man at the forefront of the battle to end racial and gender preference in the workplace and on campus."

Now most of us usually equate conservative opposition to Affirmative Action to anti-gay everything positions as well. And, unfortunately, that has all to often proven to be the case. But wait --- there seems to be much more to Mr Connerly than a superficial glance would show.

Regardless of whether or not you agree or disagree with his argument against continuing Affirmative Action (see the whole article), what he says later in the interview definitely caught my attention.

When Mr. Connerly was asked by Viewpoints Editor Joe Garcia, "You've been a proponent of domestic partnerships for gay couples, which puts you at odds with a core element of the Republican Party. How do you marry the two stances, if you will - anti-affirmative action but in favor of gay rights or domestic partnerships?"

Mr. Connerly replied:

"Very, very easily. I don't want the government making decisions about people's personal lives or making decisions about treating people differently on the basis of their identities. So, to me, it's a natural fit. . . .

The government shouldn't be making distinctions about people on the basis of what they do in the privacy of their bedrooms. And those within my party that try to inject the government into that, they're not the conservative, I'm the conservative. I'm saying, keep government small, keep government out of people's personal lives. If you're going to give benefits to people who happen to be straight, give the same benefits to people who are gay. That to me was a very easy call.

I took a lot of heat from "strong conservatives" who said that I was eroding the concept of marriage. I'm not "eroding the concept of marriage." If marriage is that fragile, that giving people who are gay equal benefit (would cause harm), then we're in big trouble. I believe in the institution of marriage, but I also believe in freedom. I believe in treating people equally. . . .

I grew up in a time when I was forbidden from marrying people who were not of my race. In 1962, when my wife and I got married, in some parts of the country, we would have been breaking the law. It wasn't until 1967, when the Supreme Court in the Loving (vs. Virginia) case said that that's unconstitutional. So, I feel very strongly that the government shouldn't be treating people differently just because they are gay."

Now that's the kind of statement I can easily applaud him for. What really ruffles my feathers though is if a man like Connerly gets it so easily then why can't others see the same simple logic? Of course, I have my opinions about that but that's for another post addressing the paranoid, or even avaricious, meddlings of most of the church institutions. That, in my opinion, is the main engine driving much of the homophobia throughout the world today. That and politics of convenience.

To read the whole article/interview, go to: Arizona Republic PDF File

July 11, 2008

American Family Association Once Again In Hot Water

Yesterday, SentinelSource.com, which is the online edition of New Hampshire's The Keene Sentinel, posted a story about the embarrassing ineffectiveness of American Family Association's (AFA) boycotts. I've written about the AFA in several of my own postings and I'm really happy to see such a prestigious publication (the country's fifth oldest continuously published newspaper since March, 1799) take this absurdly fanatic group to task.

The article says, in part:

The American Family Association of Tupelo, Mississippi, is always up to something. Usually something related to sex. Often it involves a boycott.

Time was when the AFA seemed most incensed about nudity, pornography, suggestive clothing and the like. We remember a decade or so ago when it mailed news organizations still photographs of what might have been a bare breast flashing by in a CBS promotional film. People in newsrooms around the country no doubt studied that mailing very carefully.

The AFA still objects to nudity. Its Web site features a complaint that the Department of Defense is allowing Playboy publications to be sold on military bases. It’s promoting a House bill that would end that practice. But in recent years, homosexuality has become the AFA’s greatest preoccupation. Currently, it’s urging people to stay away from McDonald’s because, it says, the company promotes “the homosexual agenda, including homosexual marriage.” To which a McDonald’s official replied: “We have a well-established and proud heritage of associating with individuals and organizations that share our belief that every person has the right to live and work in their community free of discrimination.”

The AFA’s effectiveness is in some doubt. McDonald’s stock is up more than 10 percent during the past year, and sales are steady. Earlier AFA boycotts did not go well either, including those against Procter & Gamble, Disney, CBS and Kraft Foods. The AFA claims it did better with its Ford boycott, but the energy crisis may have had something to do with any success in that arena. The AFA corporate Hall of Shame (also called “the dirty dozen”) lists other companies that seem to be doing okay: Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Comcast, Johnson & Johnson, Viacom. The dirty details are at www.afa.net.

The AFA has recently made bigger waves with a software program it developed that automatically replaces the word “gay” on its news Web site with the word “homosexual.” The idea is that “gay” leaves a more positive impression than “homosexual.” (see my July 2nd posting "Christian News Group Embarrasses Itself With It's Own Homophobia")

Hooray for reason and logic. When I lived in New York I used to go to Vermont and New Hampshire a lot! It's an absolutely beautiful area with really great skiing and picture-perfect little towns. It's well worth visiting.

If you'd like to read the whole article (which was published both in print and online) go to: SentinelSource.com

July 10, 2008

Is Scientogogy Just A Harmless Group Of Funny Fanatics?

If you think that Scientology is a harmless, even comical (Tom Cruise jumping up and down on Oprah's couch) group of fanatics, you need to watch this video.

The video was made by a Canadian group called Anonymous Toronto and was taped in front of the Scientology building during Toronto's Gay Pride celebrations last March.

I pretty much knew about Scientology's horrendous treatment of their own members. And I even heard about the violence that was perpetrated against anyone who tried to leave the organization or challenge it from within. What I didn't know was that these intimidation tactics, including death threats, are also used against ANYONE who tries to expose the truth about who they really are.

To give you an idea of how extreme their teachings can be, in a sequel titled "Science of Survival" by their now-deceased founder, L. Ron Hubbard you'll find an explanation of their "Tone Scale" that classifies people and their behavior ranging from -3 to +4. LGBT people are classified at 1.1 and Hubbard recommends the following very disturbing solutions for people below 2.2. He says:

"The first is to raise them on the tone scale by un-enturbulating some of their theta by any one of the three valid processes. The other is to dispose of them quietly and without sorrow."

I wonder if Oprah knows about this.

If you want to know more about Anonymous Toronto go to: anonymoustoronto.org

I discovered the story and video at: religiousleft.us

July 9, 2008

Keep James Dobson Out Of The Radio Hall of Fame

In an article by Phillip Perry of TruthWinsOut.org it was announced that The Museum of Broadcast Communications nominated James Dobson to be inducted into the Radio Hall Of Fame.

For those of you who don't recognize the name, James Dobson is the founder of Focus on the Family which is one of the most virulently anti-gay organizations in the country. Dobson himself has been accused of distorting scientific research and spreading grotesque lies about gays and the gay community for his own egocentric political gain. One of the most wildly ridiculous things he has said is that “Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage. It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth.” He is, hands-down, one of the worst of what the human race has to offer.

In the article, Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen is quoted as saying:

“It is outrageous and insulting that James Dobson would be nominated for the Radio Hall of Fame. We believe that character counts and nominees should have careers based on honesty and integrity - not discrimination, distorting research and outright lying.”

Truth Wins Out is running a petition campaign to defeat Dobson's induction. I've already signed it and would strongly encourage you to do the same. You can find the petition at: TruthWinsOut.org

In addition to signing the petition, you can actually vote for a nominee yourself since the general public is allowed to do that. The nominees are James Dobson, Laura Schlessinger (absolute NO's), Bob Costas and Howard Stern. Certainly Costas or Stern would each be far more worthy of this honor than either of the two bigoted homophobes.

To vote yourself go to: Radio Hall Of Fame
You have until midnight (EST), July 15th to vote.

I went to this site and registered to vote. After you register, they'll send you an email with a link to the ballot. The ballot itself actually gives you four catagories to vote in, "National Pioneer," "National Active," "Local Pioneer," or "Local Active." I won't tell you whether I voted for Costas or Stern because, of course, that's something you'll have to decide for yourself. I would certainly be happy with either one.

July 8, 2008

Time To Boycott Heinz!

I'm sure by now that most of you have heard about the controversy over the Heinz Deli Mayo TV ad that ran for a very short time in England. If not, watch the ad below:

The controversy started when Heinz pulled the ad because of a mere 200 complaints it received. It was reported on several blogs that the complaints were orchestrated by the infamous American group inappropriately called the American Family Association (AFA) which has been featured in two of my own blog postings (Religious Right Boycotts McDonalds and Christian News Group Embarrasses Itself).

This group rails at anything that even remotely portrays our community as a natural part of the world community. Although they purport to be driven by religious convictions, their words and actions are anything but Christian. They're a hate mongering group that vilifies anyone who doesn't agree with them. They tried to do that to McDonald's but they were met there with a strong refusal to acquiesce to their ridiculous demands. McDonald's stood behind their Vice President and their commitment to diversity.

Unfortunately, Heinz put their tail between their weak and trembling legs and pulled the commercial. And they have since refused to reinstate it because, I'm sure, they fear losing a few religious fanatics as customers. Well, it's time to show Heinz what losing customers looks like.

I don't normally endorse boycotting but there are times when that is clearly what is called for. So, I join with many others and call for


There are many companies that sell the same products that they do. And even though I have purchased Heinz products for many years I, personally, am going to be buying those products from other companies instead. If and when Heinz finally realizes the error of their ways, I may reconsider going back to them. But not until then!

July 7, 2008


Postings on several blogs this morning described a sign supposedly posted by a Rite Aid store in New York's West Village. The sign read:

"This store does not believe in Gay & Lesbian marriages. Any same sex activity which includes kissing, hugging, touching or anything that would make our customers feel uncomfortable is prohibited in this store."

THIS IS A HOAX! A comment posted by "duanereadefan" on queerty.com (which apparently broke the original story) said:

"I actually just got a call back from a VP of Northeastern operations, after I filed a complaint with the executive offices. It seems that a former disgruntled employee did this to about 11 different Rite Aid stores in Manhattan to cause trouble for the boss who fired him, and Rite Aid.

This actually rings true to me. I don’t think anyone is actually stupid enough to post that in the West Village and sign their name to it."

I looked up Rite Aid's Diversity policy that has long been posted on their website. It reads:

"Diversity expands beyond race, religion, color, sex (including gender and sexual orientation), disability, age, or national origin. It also includes differences such as corporate tenure, marital status, personal beliefs, and education level. At Rite Aid, we embrace our differences and strive to create an environment where every associate is valued individually and as a team member, treated with respect, and encouraged to do his or her best work."

We've fought long and hard to get major companies to include "sexual orientation" in their non-discrimination policies and I seriously doubt that a company like Rite Aid is going to go back on their commitment to the GLBT community. Rite Aid SHOULD BE supported by us and I intend to do just that.

July 6, 2008

Surprising Decision Allows Child Of Gay "2nd Parent" Social Security Benefits

An article in the Washington Post on Saturday said that the Justice Department's Office Of Legal Council (OLC) advised the Social Security Administration (SSA) that the child of a gay-union was eligible for social security benefits.

This decision was the result of an inquiry made by the SSA to the Justice Department last year. They wanted to know if the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies federal benefits to same-sex couples, would also bar the child of a same-sex couple from receiving benefits from his non-biological parent?

The two women involved in the case, identified only as Monique and Karen, entered into a civil union in Vermont in 2002. In 2003, Monique gave birth to a son. The civil union (legal in Vermont) made it possible for Karen to be identified on the birth certificate as "second parent." In 2005, Karen became eligible for disability benefits and asked that Elijah receive "child's insurance benefits" under Social Security to supplement their lost income.

What's pretty amazing, and gratifying, is the fact that OLC acting chief Steven G. Bradbury, who was strongly criticized for his involvement in Justice Department interrogation matters, approved the Social Security memo.

The Washington Post article asked:

How could the OLC, which gained notoriety for putting ideology before the rule of law to justify extreme interrogation techniques, come to such a conclusion? By reading the law governing Social Security benefits neutrally and correctly -- and by keeping politics out of the analysis. In short, it relied on a straightforward -- some might say "conservative" -- approach to produce a result that even "liberals" should applaud.

This is a very important milestone in our efforts to secure equal rights for same-sex couples and their families.

I never thought I'd say this while the Bush administration was still in office but I have to applaud the OLC and its acting chief, Steven G. Bradbury, for their surprisingly balanced and just approach.

Read the full story at: washingtonpost.com

July 5, 2008

Religious Right Boycotts McDonald's - Let's Thank McDonald's

Once again the religious right-wingers are boycotting. The right-wing-nuts calling for this latest lame boycott is the same organization whose news division ran the auto-edited story about Olympian Tyson Gay (aka Tyson "Homosexual" - see my July 2nd posting "Christian News Group Embarrasses Itself With It's Own Homophobia" - it's hilarious!).

This time American Family Association (AFA) is pursing their lips and clucking their tongues because McDonald's won't condemn their Vice President of Communications Richard Ellis’s decision to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC).

According to AFA's own press release, Rev. Don Wildmon, founder and chairman of AFA, said "...the chain's decision is baffling. And this is so strange, because it's the family that McDonald's appeals to -- children's playland, you know, all the little toys, all of that. And they are promoting a lifestyle that would utterly destroy the traditional family."

McDonald's responded to their boycott threat by telling Wildmon in a letter:

We treat our employees and our customers with respect and dignity, regardless of their ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or other factors. We support our employees’ personal involvement in organizations of their choice.

By the way, in case you didn't know, The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is the largest LGBT business development and economic advocacy organization in the world representing the interests of more than 800,000 LGBT businesses and entrepreneurs. If you would like to check them out, go to: www.nglcc.org

Read Full Story at: thinkprogress.org

July 3, 2008

Another Beef Recall Due To E. Coli Contamination

I am running this story because tomorrow is July 4th and, as we all know, hamburgers are a pretty big part of the celebrations.

The Kroger Food company (they own Fry's Foods here in Arizona) has expanded a major beef recall due to possible e.coli contamination. The beef was supplied by Nebraska Beef Ltd. which issued the initial recall of almost 532,000 pounds of beef that was already shipped to stores.

According to Kroger's press release:

Based on the latest information from the USDA, Kroger is expanding the recall to include ground beef products in Styrofoam tray packages wrapped in clear cellophane or purchased from an in-store service counter from the stores described below.

There are various “sell by” dates on the ground beef being recalled due to different Nebraska Beef production dates.

The following chart explains the range of “sell by” dates that customers should check:

Fred Meyer May 21-July 5
QFC May 21-July 5
Kroger stores May 21-July 3 *
(*except Kroger stores in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Knoxville, Tenn. and Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division, which includes stores in North Carolina, Northeastern Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Kroger stores in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Knoxville, Tenn. are not involved in the recall of ground beef in Styrofoam trays or from in-store service counters.)
Kroger Mid-Atlantic May 19-June 6
Fry’s May 21-July 3
Ralphs May 21-July 3 Smith’s May 21-July 3
Baker’s May 17-June 4
King Soopers June 20-July 3
City Market June 20-July 3

Here in Arizona, Fry's Foods seems to be the only chain that receives beef from Nebraska Beef through Kroger. If you purchased beef with the above "sell by" dates DO NOT EAT IT! Return it to the store for a refund or throw it out.

To see Kroger's press release in it's entirety, go to: kroger.com

If it's not e.coli, then it's MCD - see my Friday, June 20th posting "Are You Still Eating Beef?"

July 2, 2008

Christian News Group Embarrasses Itself With It's Own Homophobia

I just love this story! According to an article at PinkNews.com.uk, which is Europe's largest gay news service, the online division of the American Family News Network uses an auto-replace feature that is setup to automatically replace the word "gay" with the word "homosexual." This has resulted in very embarrassing stories that were run, unchecked by human eyes, about Tyson "Homosexual" qualifying for the Olympics in the 100 meter sprint trials.

That change resulted in headlines like: "Homosexual eases into 100 final at Olympic trials" and "Close call: Homosexual barely averts major flop in 100″. Then there was body copy that read "Tyson Homosexual was a blur in blue..." and "...Here's what does matter: Homosexual qualified for his first Summer Games team and served notice he's certainly someone to watch in Beijing."

And, finally, there was this quote, which is my favorite:

"It means a lot to me," the 25-year-old Homosexual said. "I'm glad my body could do it, because now I know I have it in me." […] After the race, Homosexual and Dix looked at each other and slapped palms, then hugged.

I haven't seen anything quoted anywhere about how Tyson Gay feels about this and he makes no mention of it on his official website. Hopefully, he'll just get a kick out of it like the rest of us and laugh it off.

On the off chance that Tyson Gay sees this posting, I just want to say; CONGRATULATIONS! You were awesome!

You can read the whole story at: PinkNews.com.uk

July 1, 2008

Heterosexual Mormon Professor Opposes Church Leaders

My partner just sent me this media release he discovered at Affirmation.org which is a support group for gay and lesbian Mormons.

The release is a letter from Professor Jeffrey Nielsen who is currently at Westminster College after losing his job at Brigham Young University for opposing the church's leadership.

In his "Open Letter to California Mormons" he said, in part:

“We should never allow our constitutions, whether state or federal, to become weapons in a crusade to impose a particular religious value system upon a pluralistic democracy”

I am a member of the Mormon Church, a married heterosexual, and a supporter of marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. I am asking you to pause and give sincere thought to the letter from our religious leaders you have heard read, or will soon hear read, over our church pulpits asking you to get involved and oppose marriage equality in California. Please think deeply about this, not only as a member of a particular church, but also as a citizen of a democracy.

To press for an amendment to a civil constitution that would legalize discrimination against an entire class of people is no small matter, but of the greatest significance. When the argument, no matter how well intentioned, is based solely upon a religious proclamation; then, I believe, it is a serious contradiction of the wisdom of our founding fathers. It also does tremendous damage to the great progress in civil rights we've made in our country respecting the equal dignity of each person and towards a more certain legal equality for all citizens.

As you can see, not all Mormons think alike. As usual, it's the hierarchy that needs to be educated. Unfortunately, under the current leadership of this church, you can be severely punished for speaking out against policies or teachings you disagree with. Fortunately, there are more and more Mormons with the same courage as Professor Nielsen. Let's hope their numbers grow fast enough to unseat the bigoted leaders that this church still has. It's people like Professor Nielsen who have made this country great. Now, it's your turn. Speak out!

The letter, in its entirety, can be seen at: affirmation.org

Obama Strongly Opposes Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment

In stark contrast to John McCain who just switched his position from neutral to outright support for California's Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment, Barack Obama has come out in strong opposition to it.

In a letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club that was read at Sunday's annual Pride Breakfast, he wrote...

"I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law . . . that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states."

He went on to say that...

"For too long, issues of LGBT rights have been exploited by those seeking to divide us. It's time to move beyond polarization and live up to our founding promise of equality by treating all our citizens with dignity and respect."

How can we not support someone who supports us in such a strong way.

If you'd like to read the whole story, it's at: Yahoo News