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02/05/2012

NEWS: Tyler, Ravi, And Wei; The Doings Of Drones; Iran; Models; Channing Tatum

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Road The New Yorker
has published a long, thoughtful story suggesting that Tyler Clementi wasn't killed by homophobes. At least, not the way we might think.

It became widely understood that a closeted student at Rutgers had committed suicide after video of him having sex with a man was secretly shot and posted online. In fact, there was no posting, no observed sex, and no closet. But last spring, shortly before Molly Wei made a deal with prosecutors, Ravi was indicted on charges of invasion of privacy (sex crimes), bias intimidation (hate crimes), witness tampering, and evidence tampering. Bias intimidation is a sentence-booster that attaches itself to an underlying crime—usually, a violent one. Here the allegation, linked to snooping, is either that Ravi intended to harass Clementi because he was gay or that Clementi felt he’d been harassed for being gay. As he sat in the courtroom, his chin propped awkwardly on his fist, his predicament could be seen either as a state’s admirably muscular response to the abusive treatment of a vulnerable young man or as an attempt to criminalize teen-age odiousness by using statutes aimed at people more easily recognizable as hate-mongers and perverts.

Road Don't have a job? Blame Obama. (But if you've got one, thank a GOP governor.)

Road " ... the U.S. first kills people with drones, then fires on the rescuers and others who arrive at the scene where the new corpses and injured victims lie."

Road Barack Obama's really insistent that war with Iran is a last option. Is he protesting too much?

Road Read as a snickering Ivy-leaguer demonstrates his contempt for underpaid retail slaves.

Road T-Rex is incompetent but adorable.

Road The legacy of the Kennedy presidency just gets weirder by the year:

Mimi Alford, then Mimi Beardsley, interned at the White House in the summer of 1962, quickly caught the president’s eye. The 19-year-old joined the 45-year-old president for a noon swim four days into her internship. Later that day, he took her virginity in “Mrs. Kennedy’s room.”

“After he finished, he hitched up his pants and smiled at me.” Alford says their sex life was “varied and fun” and describes an affair that was more than just sex. They apparently spent an “inordinate amount of time taking baths” and listened to music together. He confided in her during key personal and professional moments, such as when his infant son died and during the Cuban Missile Crisis. But he never kissed her on the lips.

At one point, during another noon swim, Kennedy allegedly asked Alford to “take care” of an aide ...

Road This model has a 20-inch waist and a corset. Thoughts?

Picture 17 Road Meet a lesbian atheist single mother from Point, TX (pop. 792), along with other nonbelievers in difficult situations:

... One by one, members of [Harry's] new family turned against him because of his lack of belief. Harry doesn’t see any of his American family any more. “The last one I saw was my cousin, Ronnie. Every time he invites me over to dinner, he turns to religion. Last time I saw him, I didn’t back out, I took him full on.

 “I’ve been told things like ‘I hope you have an accident, die and go to hell.’ So that’s what I’ve been up against.”

Road Madonna's performance was fine, but maybe a little too classy. Football's over the top! A little dumb! Kind of crazy! Arguably unnexessary! Kind of like this!

Road Last night, Tatum Channing stripped during his on SNL monologue. Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...

 

Posted Feb. 5,2012 at 11:46 PM EST by in Abercrombie & Fitch, Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Iran, John F. Kennedy, Models, Religion, Steven Tyler, Tyler Clementi | Permalink | Comments (14)


WATCH: Madonna's 'Super Bowl' Halftime Performance

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If you missed Madonna's Halftime show at the Super Bowl (as you may well have, because as it turns out NBC's livestream of the event skipped it completely), you can watch it,
AFTER THE JUMP ...

Posted Feb. 5,2012 at 10:03 PM EST by in Football, Madonna, Sports, Super Bowl | Permalink | Comments (91)


To Stream The Super Bowl, Plus Halftime Show (UPDATED)

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Perhaps you've heard: Tonight at 6:30 p.m., Eastern Time, some of the biggest, fastest, strongest and richest men in America will meet on a field of painted grass in Indianapolis and practice war games. They will wear shoulder pads, and they will be watched by millions. If you would like to be among those millions, the event is streaming here. (Note: That's the only place it's streaming. If you don't want to stream, tune into NBC.)

There's no telling exactly when Madonna will take the stage for the Half Time show, but the earliest it could possibly be is 7:30, Eastern Standard. 8:30 p.m.'s most likely, it almost certainly won't be after 9:00.

UPDATE: Sorry! The livestream skipped the Halftime show completely. I just posted a vid of Madonna's performance, which you can watch here.

Posted Feb. 5,2012 at 4:53 PM EST by in Football, Madonna, Sports | Permalink | Comments (21)


Praying The Gay Out Of Bangor (UPDATED)

Picture 2American Christianists have become very skilled at euphemizing their desire to pray the gay away. See the verbiage coming out of Portland, ME, where Bishop Dick Malone has announced the formation of a chapter of "Courage," the worldwide Catholic ministry for people "struggling with" same-sex attractions. From The Bangor Daily News:

“This service is being initiated in response to requests from people who desire the church’s assistance,” Sue Bernard, spokeswoman for the diocese, said in the press release.

... “Courage offers hope and encouragement to men and women who desire to live in accordance with the church’s teaching on homosexuality — specifically that the dignity and identity of every person is not determined by their sexual attractions, but by their relationship with the Lord and their striving to live the virtues of faith, hope and charity,” Bernard said.

This is the most flowery admonition to stop sexin' and start prayin' that I've ever heard.

Identities of Courage members are kept in strict confidence, and chapter meetings are held at times and locations disclosed only to participants. The therapeutic approach is based on the 12 steps, which rather annoys Rev. Mark Doty, a Congregationalist Portland cleric and out gay man, who tells the Bangor Daily News that it's "presumptuous and wrong-headed to equate homosexuality with addictive behavior."

The Bangor Daily gives the Courage chapter a good bit of free PR, explaining the five "five goals" of participants ...

• Live chaste lives in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality.

• Dedicate their lives to Christ through service to others, spiritual reading, prayer, meditation, individual spiritual direction, frequent attendance at Mass and the frequent reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist.

• Foster a spirit of fellowship in which all may share thoughts and experiences and so ensure that no one will have to face the problems of homosexuality alone.

• Be mindful of the truth that chaste friendships are not only possible but necessary in a chaste Christian life and in doing so provide encouragement to one another in forming and sustaining them.

• Live lives that may serve as good examples to others.

... and offering the relevant contact deets for anybody who'd like to sign up. One hopes the respondents will be misguided adults, but I've got a queasy feeling they'll mostly be parents afraid for the souls of their gay kids.

UPDATE: Although the creation of the Courage chapter has been mandated by a bishop in Portland and reported upon by a paper in Bangor, I note that it's being operated by a chaplain in Augusta and is intended to serve struggling souls across Maine. I've got no idea where they'll host their meetings, and, as noted, Courage isn't saying.

Posted Feb. 5,2012 at 4:47 PM EST by in "Ex-Gays", Catholic Church, Maine, Religion | Permalink | Comments (19)


Rep. Jim Splaine Defends Equality

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In an excellent editorial published today in the Sea Coast Online, gay New Hampshire State Rep. Jim Splaine demolishes one of the most common attacks on marriage equality mounted by bigots in his home state: That marriage equality was forced upon New Hampshire by shadowy outside operators, possibly from San Francisco:

3,722 people who call New Hampshire "home" — our neighbors and friends, co-workers and family members — [are] making a commitment to share their love and caring for one another in marriage. A pretty decent thing for the "Live Free or Die" state.

But there are those who want to go backward. They want to repeal marriage. And there's a myth being promoted by those who oppose marriage equality. They say it was "brought" or "pushed onto" New Hampshire by out-of-state interests. They know better, but in their advertising they feel that such an untruth (I could call it worse) is persuasive.

I can attest first-hand to the fact that no one from out-of-state — no organization or individual — asked me to introduce either the civil unions bill in 2007 or gay marriage in 2009. Nor did any organization, group or political party within the state. Those of us who love New Hampshire and wanted to stop discrimination in marriage fought for change.

New Hampshire's Republican-controlled state legislature will meet on February 17th to discuss House Bill 437, which would repeal marriage equality and invalidate the same-sex unions that have been sanctified in the state since January 1st, 2010. HB 437 isn't a matter of political expedience -- polls suggest that well over half of all New Hampshirites support equality, and that only about a fifth strongly oppose it. (Some New Hampshire legislators have gone to extraordinary lengths to alter this political reality, but so far to no avail.) Rather, HB 437 is the result of a genuine, gut-level dislike for the LGBT community, as may be divined from the image above, which is featured prominently at nhmarriage.org.

There are reasons to hope that personal repugnance will be an insufficient political motivator in 2012. The New Hampshire Republican party is itself divided on the issue of marriage equality, thanks to the state party's strong libertarian bent. Unless they pull together a veto-proof majority, Gov. John Lynch pleadges to kill any anti-marriage legislation to cross his desk.

Posted Feb. 5,2012 at 3:50 PM EST by in Gay Marriage, New Hampshire | Permalink | Comments (3)


Lesbian Mothers Of The Golden Orchid Society

Picture 23I never learned about the same-sex marriages of the Golden Orchid Society when I was growing up, and I bet you didn't either. Now, thanks to Rainbow Rumpus, plenty will.

According to a just-published essay at Rainbow Rumpus, the online magazine for the children of LGBT parents, the Golden Orchid Society was a loose association of women which existed for hundreds of years in imperial China -- according to this presentation, they tended to be involved in silk production for export -- who shunned husbands, married each other, and often adopted orphaned girls. From Rumpus:

The courtship and marriage of two women in the Golden Orchid Society was similar to other couples in China at the time. If a woman wanted to marry another woman, she would offer the woman and her family gifts, such as tea and wedding cakes. If the woman accepted the presents, then the couple was engaged. For the wedding ceremony, the women probably wore traditional red Chinese wedding veils and changed their hairstyle from long braids, which were worn by single women, to buns, which were worn by married women. During the actual ceremony, the couple not only promised to be faithful to each other, but also honored their ancestors and parents.

Once married, the women lived together and cared for each other and their families. In a journal written in 1937, a traveler describes “two women [who] dwell together, always existing as if they were one woman. They are as close as a stalk of grain coming through a stone.”

Apparently all of this info is contained in an old academic tome by Bret Hinsch, entitled Passions of the Cut Sleeve: The Male Homosexual Tradition in China. It's now been spun into a children's book called Grandpa Dragon And My Peach Tree Moms, written by Rene Ohana and illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic. Grandpa Dragon is a lovely little book written from the perspective of Bao, a young orphan girl who's raised from infancy by an aging dragon and then deposited in the home of two loving lesbian mums. If you've got kids, download the fully illustrated version here.

Posted Feb. 5,2012 at 1:23 PM EST by in China, Gay Media, Gay Parents, Gay Youth | Permalink | Comments (5)



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