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November 24, 2008


Because I missed getting a posting up last Friday, I am posting below several stories and a commentary that I believe would be of interest to everyone who reads my blog. Most are new but some are stories that I haven't been able to post yet and want to get published before they become too dated.

San Diego Hotel Owner In Hot Water Again...
Last July I wrote about a boycott of the Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel because of a $124,000 donation that owner Douglas Manchester made to the Yes On 8 campaign. Well, it seems that Mr. Manchester has, once again, caused another call for another boycott.

This time, it's a labor dispute involving unfair labor practices. According to a story in The Advocate, the boycott is supported by an LGBT group affiliated with labor issues, local unions, Hyatt employees and 300 members of the National Communication Association (NCA) -- an association of collegiate speakers -- who object to their national convention being held at the contentious Hyatt.

Dana Cloud, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and an NCA member participating in the boycott said, "I'm supporting the boycott because in our country we're forced to feel like second-class citizens. I'm also part of this because of the participation of the unions. The solidarity between the labor movement and the gay rights groups is unprecedented… It demonstrates that working people need the benefits and rights that marriage allows."

San Diego's Other Side...
According to a posting at the blog site san diego:dialed in, blogger Rosemary was on her way to Bar Pink when she spotted the following billboard at the corner of University & 30th, above the Union Bank:

Since some of the words are obscured by the lighting, Rosemary translated for us. It reads:

Mission Gathering Christian Church
Is Sorry
For The Narrow-Minded, Judgmental, Deceptive, Manipulative
Actions Of Those Who
Took Away The Rights And Equality
Of So Many
In The Name Of God.

As Max, one of the postings commenters, put it, "Beautiful! It's refreshing to see a Church get it right. If only all christians had this much morality and good judgement..."

Vermont Lawmaker And His Family Threatened...
Because Vermont Senate Majority Leader John Campbell (D-Windsor) announced that he intended to introduce legislation to legalize same-sex marriages, his life and the lives of his family were threatened.

According to Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin, a St. Albans woman was so upset with his announcement that she called the state house and threaten to blow up Sen. Campbell’s home.

Burroway said:

Officer Dale Manning, who took the call, says that police do not take threats like this lightly and are investigating. The caller did not identify herself.

Sen. Campbell characterized the call as disturbing, saying, “This wasn’t directed just at me, but at my family, which is quite unfortunate.”

Vermont was the first state in the country to offer civil unions on July 1, 2000.

Unfortunately, the Republican Governor, Jim Douglas has since announced that he considers the civil unions to be adequate for his state and he will not support Senator Campbell's legislation. Since Campbell has said that without the governor's support, the bill would have no chance of winning, it's unlikely that he'll go through with the introduction.

Between the homophobia of Governor Douglas and the extreme, violent homophobia of that anonymous woman, Vermont has had its once positive image and reputation severely tarnished.

What a shame. It's a beautiful state.

New York Times Columnist Maureen Dowd Speaks Out...
Renowned columnist Maureen Dowd speaks out about the upcoming film "Milk;" about and with Senator Dianne Feinstein, who found Harvey Milk's bullet-ridden body; about the sadly ironic similarities of the gay rights movement then and now and about Proposition 8.

In her Op-Ed piece published on Sunday, Dowd said:
The movie, chronicling the rancorous California fight of gay activists against church-backed forces in the ’70s to prevent discrimination against gays, is opening amid a rancorous California fight of gay activists against church-backed forces to prevent discrimination against gays.

For those of you who don't know too much about gay history, Harvey Milk was a strong-willed and very outspoken gay activist of the early seventies in San Francisco. He became the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

He was gunned down by Dan White, who had served on the board with Milk and Feinstein. White was an Irish Catholic former policeman and Vietnam vet who opposed Milk’s equal rights initiatives for gays. In a moment of frenetic emotion he resigned his position and then immediately wanted his seat back. Milk helped persuade the mayor, George Moscone, to reject White's request which later caused an irrational White to climb through a City Hall basement window with a loaded gun and shoot down Moscone and Milk. At his trial, White tried to use the now infamous “Twinkie defense,” arguing that junk food had left him stressed out. It didn't work and he was convicted.

I have always admired Maureen Dowd for her insightful and well written observations but this particular Op-Ed piece really struck a cord and I highly recommend that you take a few minutes to read it in it's entirety. It's really not that long and I guarantee that you'll be glad you did.

In case you missed the link above, you can find Dowd's piece at: New York Times