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04/23/2014

58 Mostly Gay Conservatives Sign Statement Denouncing 'Intolerance' of Brendan Eich Critics

Fifty-eight mostly gay conservatives including Peter Thiel, Andrew Sullivan, and Ken Mehlman have signed a statement denouncing "some supporters of gay equality" for being intolerant of people who do not see gays as equal citizens.

EichThey point by example to Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, who took actions with his donation to Proposition 8 specifically intended to harm others, and then resigned when those actions were exposed and they did not fit the corporate culture of the company at which he was employed. The signatories seem to suggest that there was an organized campaign to get rid of Eich ("scalped by gay activists" as Sullivan put it) even though the mass disgruntlement seemed to come mostly from people on Twitter and social media reacting to the news, the two developers who brought up Eich's donation in the first place, and OkCupid, which took the boldest step of blocking Mozilla's browser Firefox.

Says the statement, in part:

The signatories of this statement are grateful to our friends and allies for their enthusiasm. But we are concerned that recent events, including the resignation of the CEO of Mozilla under pressure because of an anti-same-sex- marriage donation he made in 2008, signal an eagerness by some supporters of same-sex marriage to punish rather than to criticize or to persuade those who disagree. We reject that deeply illiberal impulse, which is both wrong in principle and poor as politics.

...There is no evidence that Brendan Eich, the Mozilla CEO who resigned over his $1,000 donation to California’s Proposition 8 campaign, believed in or practiced any form of discrimination against Mozilla’s LGBT employees. That would be a very different case. He was pressured to leave because of personal political action he took at a time when a majority of the American public shared his view. And while he acknowledged the pain his donation caused, he did not publicly “recant,” which some suggested he should have done as the price of keeping his job.

It continues:

Much of the rhetoric that emerged in the wake of the Eich incident showed a worrisome turn toward intolerance and puritanism among some supporters of gay equality—not in terms of formal legal sanction, to be sure, but in terms of abandonment of the core liberal values of debate and diversity.

Sustaining a liberal society demands a culture that welcomes robust debate, vigorous political advocacy, and a decent respect for differing opinions. People must be allowed to be wrong in order to continually test what is right. We should criticize opposing views, not punish or suppress them.

Finally:

We prefer debate that is respectful, but we cannot enforce good manners. We must have the strength to accept that some people think misguidedly and harmfully about us. But we must also acknowledge that disagreement is not, itself, harm or hate.

As a viewpoint, opposition to gay marriage is not a punishable offense. It can be expressed hatefully, but it can also be expressed respectfully. We strongly believe that opposition to same-sex marriage is wrong, but the consequence of holding a wrong opinion should not be the loss of a job. Inflicting such consequences on others is sadly ironic in light of our movement’s hard-won victory over a social order in which LGBT people were fired, harassed, and socially marginalized for holding unorthodox opinions.

It's unclear where the fingers are pointing here because gay activists did not get Eich fired. As our Ari Ezra Waldman explained in a piece earlier this month, gay groups were not in this fight - Eich was brought down simply because he took actions that made him unfit to lead a unique community like Mozilla.

Read the full statement HERE.

Posted Apr. 23,2014 at 9:00 PM EST by in Brendan Eich, News, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (42)


ACLU Says Challenge to Pennsylvania Marriage Ban Should Proceed Without Trial

ACLU of Pennsylvania

When the ACLU challenged Pennsylvania's gay marriage ban last summer, the trial was originally scheduled to be held this June. However, the ACLU this week filed a motion asking U.S. District Judge John Jones to rule without a trial .

From the ACLU of Pennsylvania:

A trial became unnecessary after the commonwealth stated that it will not call any experts to counter the plaintiffs’ argument that there is no rational reason why lesbian and gay couples are excluded from marriage, nor does it plan to dispute the specific harms caused to the plaintiffs by the marriage ban. All legal papers in the case will be filed by May 12, meaning a ruling could come at any time after that date.

The commonwealth filed its own motion for summary judgment on Monday.

Posted Apr. 23,2014 at 8:30 PM EST by in ACLU, Gay Marriage, Pennsylvania | Permalink | Comments (0)


Billy Eichner and Amy Poehler Play Pitbull Prank on New Yorkers: VIDEO

Pitbull-poehler

Billy Eichner is the host of Billy on the Street, a comedy pop quiz show on fuse where the titular host accosts New Yorkers with random trivia questions for the chance to win cash prizes, all amidst madcap antics such as destroying a car with Lindsay Lohan or panicking over the end of How I Met Your Mother at strangers while accompanied by Neil Patrick Harris. Despite the show having made it to its third season, an interview on Vulture.com notes that it hasn't gained much traction with gay audiences.

Eichner's thoughts in part on why:

There’s still a lack of awareness about the show in certain mainstream circles, and outside of the independently, culturally minded urban gay man, the general gay population is out there watching Bravo, and I’m not on Bravo. I’m actually in the comedy community much more than I am in the gay community at this point in terms of my public persona — I don’t mean in my personal life. And I think the comedy community is largely a heterosexual community, although it's getting a little bit more gay.

You can read the interview at Vulture.com and watch a new clip in which Amy Poehler masquerades as Pitbull AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Billy Eichner and Amy Poehler Play Pitbull Prank on New Yorkers: VIDEO"

Posted Apr. 23,2014 at 8:00 PM EST by in Amy Poehler, Billy Eichner, News, Television, Video | Permalink | Comments (9)


Eric Paul Leue On His Petition To Remove Weinstein From AHF

Eric Paul Leue

In response to AHF president Michael Weinstein referring to Truvada as PrEP as a "party drug", Mr. LA Leather Eric Paul Leue created a petition on Change.org to have Weinstein removed from his position. Having drawn both commendation and condemnation for speaking against Weinstein and in favor of PrEP - with some condemnations levied at Leue more baseless than others - Leue took to Huffington Post to explain his background, his views, and why he chose to target Weinstein with a petition. His explanation is difficult to sum up in a single quote so the full editorial should be read regardless of whether one agrees with him or not, but in part:

The petition I launched is titled "Remove Weinstein." I have nothing against Weinstein as a person, nor do I mean to devalue his past achievements or the AHF in general. I simply question his role as a leader of an HIV organization and as an influential public figure on HIV issues.

[...]

Dialogue would unite everyone over our common goal of preventing HIV transmission, providing accurate information to the public, and alleviating HIV-related stigma and discrimination. The question is: Why is Weinstein not interested in participating?

Posted Apr. 23,2014 at 7:30 PM EST by in AIDS/HIV, Truvada | Permalink | Comments (11)


NYT Reporter Jo Becker Defends Marriage Equality Book in Grilling from Ronan Farrow: VIDEO

Farrow_becker

MSNBC host Ronan Farrow used a segment of his show to discuss NYT reporter Jo Becker's new book Forcing the Spring: The Fight for Marriage Equality which has come under heavy criticism for a narrative advocates have called absurd, distorted, and just plain wrong.

Becker is asked if she regrets any of the language she used, including comparisons of AFER's Chad Griffin to Rosa Parks, and starting the book with "this is how a revolution begins" as if the movement for marriage equality began when AFER took up the Prop 8 case.

Becker regrets none of it.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NYT Reporter Jo Becker Defends Marriage Equality Book in Grilling from Ronan Farrow: VIDEO"

Posted Apr. 23,2014 at 7:00 PM EST by in Books, Gay Marriage, Jo Becker, News, Proposition 8, Ronan Farrow | Permalink | Comments (9)


Five Hasidic Men Arrested for Beating of Gay Black Man in Brooklyn

In December we reported on the beating of Taj Patterson, who told police he was attacked by a gang of Hasidic men on the way home from a night out partying in Brooklyn. The case was originally investigated as a bias attack.

PattersonToday, five Hasidic men were arrested, the NY Daily News reports:

Aharon Hollender, 28, Abraham Winkler, 39, Mayer Herskovic, 21, Pinchas Braver, 19, and Joseph Fried, 25, were charged with gang assault and other counts, but not with any hate crimes, authorities said Wednesday.

“We simply cannot allow anyone walking on the streets of Brooklyn to be knocked to the ground, stomped and brutally beaten,” said Brooklyn district attorney Kenneth Thompson.

The group, at least two of whom belonged to a volunteer patrol called Shomrim, were looking for someone who vandalized cars in the area and stopped Patterson, prosecutors said.

Even though the vandalism report was unfounded, they allegedly started pummeling the victim, authorities said.

The men reportedly yelled "Stay down, faggot" as they beat the victim. Patterson suffered a broken eye socket, a torn retina, and cuts and bruises.

Posted Apr. 23,2014 at 6:28 PM EST by in Crime, New York, News | Permalink | Comments (20)



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