The Washington Blade, NBC News and Metro Weekly piled on today to ask White House Press Secretary Jay Carney why President Obama decided not to sign an executive order prohibiting LGBT discrimination among federal contractors.
Carney's answer? Mr. Obama wants to focus on constructing and passing a comprehensive, nation-spanning Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Here's part of the nearly 8-minute exchange, via Think Progress:
Q: Can you make the distinction between ENDA and signing this executive order? In other words, if he does support ENDA, why not sign this executive order which relates to a smaller part of the population to get that policy started?
CARNEY: I think the DADT repeal is instructive hear in terms of the approach that we’re taking at this time…We’re deeply committed to working with partners in the LGBT community on a number of fronts to build the case for employment nondiscrimination policies. [...]
Q: Is this a political calculation?
CARNEY: Absolutely not, the president is committed to securing equal rights for LGBT Americans, and that is why he has long supported ENDA….The approach we’re taking at this time is try to build support for passage of this legislation, a comprehensive approach, to legislate on the issue of non-discrimination.
ThinkProgress also points out that in addition to incurring the ire of equality activists, the President upset some of his party colleagues. Jeff Merkley, the U.S. Congressman from Oregon, said yesterday that though he's happy to hear Obama supports ENDA, "an executive order would be a very constructive step forward and help build momentum to pass the bill."
"It’s disappointing that the White House is passing on an opportunity to make immediate gains for equal opportunity in America," said Merkley.
Watch Carney field reporters' questions, AFTER THE JUMP.
Beyoncé is clearly one of the 65% of registered voters who love First Lady Michelle Obama.
Taking to her recently launched Tumblr page today, the pop star wrote that Mrs. Obama is the "ultimate example of a truly strong African American woman. "No matter the pressure and the stress of being under the microscope, she's humble, loving and sincere," Beyoncé wrote in the hand-written missive.
I've included the letter AFTER THE JUMP...
April 14th marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's fateful brush with an Atlantic iceberg.
As most of us know, 1,514 people died that day, and the world became forever enraptured with the doomed ship's tale. Rather than honoring the people who lost their lives that day, a group of anti-gay activists have produced a film in which they claim that LGBT equality is the United States' iceberg, and that without a conservative course correction, we're all doomed.
RightWingWatch offers the gory details:
The Truth that Transforms film features well-known anti-gay activists such as Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy and Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries, Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, right-wing historian Bill Federer, radio talk show host and author Michael Brown, and pastors Harry Jackson, Robert Jeffress and Erwin Lutzer.
Staver warned that the “homosexual agenda is the moral iceberg that we need to steer clear of” and maintained that it is “the biggest threat I believe in our lifetime to religious freedom and the fundamental values we share here in America.” While Jackson said the “homosexual agenda” is “one of those icebergs that if we don’t navigate around them correctly, will take us under,” Brown claimed “we’ve already hit the iceberg and the ship is already going down” and Land insisted that “we’re taking on water, the only question is whether or not we’re going to be able to survive and the ship won’t sink.”
Staver predicted that opposition to gay rights is bound to be “criminalized and targeted for assault” and Federer even asserted that “there are just a couple steps before the military could be used in a persecution of those that are viewed as enemies of the new state belief system.”
Just when you thought social conservatives had hit the water mark for illogical, offensive and outright bizarre arguments, along comes a video like this. You can watch some snippets AFTER THE JUMP...
If you've ever doubted the relationship between aural stimulation and the human spirit, here's some pretty solid proof of how music can break down physical and mental barriers to deliver happiness in even the most dire of situations.
Henry is elderly man who has been in a nursing home for about a decade after declining into dementia, and though he doesn't recognize his own daughter and remains pretty much unresponsive to the world around him, he always perks up when the headphones go on. He also, incredibly, remembers his favorite musician: Cab Calloway.
Watch the inspiring, tear-worthy video, AFTER THE JUMP...
Video via The Good Men Project:
Oh, snap! Marcus Bachmann's "counseling centers" in Minnesota have again been exposed as anti-gay Christian proselytizing centers that try to "convert" gay people to heterosexuality.
The clinics came under intense scrutiny last year when Truth Wins Out journalist John M. Becker went undercover and later wrote about how counselors tried to steer him toward Christianity and shame him for same-sex desire. Well now there's another undercover report hitting the figurative streets.
Kristina Lapinski, a colleague of lesbian filmmaker Melanie Nathan, recently paid the clinic a visit and pretended to be struggling with her innate desires and a fabricated engagement. The duo posted their results on Nathan's website, Gay U.S.A.
I told [counselor Sheila J. Marker] I had been with a woman, and found that to be true love. I made my uncertainty clear, that I had two options either to go through with the marriage or to refrain because I thought I was a lesbian.
She asked me if I had slept with my fiancé and I told her that I had not yet and that I was not attracted him. She said “how can you know how it will be until you try?”
She asked if I believed in God, and I answered, “yes.” She pulled out a bible, handed it to me and asked me to read a passage out loud. It was about love, and then she asked me to analyze it with her. We talked about love and commitment, and even though I have never been attracted to my fiancé, the commitment, she noted, was a form of love.
She told me to follow God’s road. “The bible says one man one woman… two great halves come together….” and then spoke to some extent about a woman’s duty to keep the man company… I found that oddly sexist.
She then went on to convince me about what was right and never ever explored the option that I could possibly in fact be a lesbian. She told me the commitment part was important and the love part would grow over time.
That's the same kind of mentality behind arranged marriages: enough time with one person will breed romance, love and respect. Anyone who has ever been in an unhappy relationship can tell you that's not the case.
Lapinski's misadventure will soon chronicled in Nathan's forthcoming documentary, Gay U.S.A: The Movie. Hopefully someone will send the Bachmanns an advanced copy.
For those of you following the unfolding drama of soap opera Days of Our Lives' gay characters, Will and Sonny, below is video of Will coming out, in a roundabout way, to the man who may be his future beau. Because, you know, there are only about three gay people in all of Salem, and as Sonny points out, he's the frequently troubled town's "resident homo."
Catch up on all the sudsy, slow-moving drama in a clipped video, AFTER THE JUMP...