The "equality is a conservative value" argument got a big boost today in DC, where the group Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry launched a new program to win over right wing voters.
"Freedom to marry and family are core conservative values. We have a historic opportunity to reaffirm these important values by supporting the fundamental freedom to marry for all Americans," said Margaret Hoover, a conservative pundit and a director of the group, which is a spin-off of sorts from Freedom to Marry.
From the press release:
Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry is part of Freedom to Marry's campaign to demonstrate the broad and growing support for marriage across the ideological spectrum. Members of the group will make the case that the freedom to marry should not be a partisan question, and that supporting the freedom to marry fulfills basic conservative values of responsibility and community, as well as limited government and individual freedom.
Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a sponsor of the inclusive Respect for Marriage Act, is also lending her voice to the movement. "We believe that the individual and the family are the central engines in our society," she said.
"The right for individuals to lead their lives without government intrusion is a bedrock conservative principle and it is much more than just about sexual orientation. It is about the fundamental rights we all share as Americans, it is about equality for all with no exceptions."
Perhaps this will help make some people on the right more level-headed about upholding the American values they claim to respect.
Well aware that more LGBT people smoke than the national average, California's Health Department erected this billboard targeting these populations. The phone number, however, may be a dissuasion to some.
[Copyranter via Joe.My.God]
Legendary gay activist Frank Kameny soars above us as we speak. Kameny, a former government astronomer whose 1957 firing led to a lifetime of equality activism, died last year, but an amateur star watcher from Canada decided to keep his high-flying legacy alive by naming Minor Planet 40463 after the New York City native.
Fox News reports that the astronomer, a man named Gary Billings, was inspired after reading Kameny's obituary last year, and after some discussion with his peers, ultimately decided the asteroid should be called "Frankkameny." It's traveling too fast through space for a space between the names. Either that or that's just celestial parlance.
Anti-gay conservatives at the American Family Association are none-too-pleased with Google's global "Legalize Love" initiative, a program that the tech giant hopes will help foster LGBT-inclusive legislation and understanding abroad.
While the right would typically boycott a company like Google, as seen recently in the protests against General Mills and JC Penney, AFA radio's general manager Buster Wilson admits such measures may not work with Google and that any and all action will "test the meat of our convictions." And how!
Watch the short clip of Wilson's remarks AFTER THE JUMP.
(h/t Right Wing Watch)
Totaling $800,000, the donation from Bohnett's eponymous fund will help the Institute continue its work training and preparing LGBT Americans for public office.
From the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute's website, Gay Politics:
Graduates of the program include some of the country’s top LGBT political talents, including Houston Mayor Annise Parker, New York State Sen. Tom Duane, Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez and San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros.
"So much is at stake for the next wave of LGBT leaders, and the Leadership Fellows program reflects this pivotal period," said David Bohnett, the philanthropist and entrepreneur for who the [David Bohnett LGBT Leadership Fellows] program is named. "It empowers LGBT leaders who are making a difference in the world—it hones their skills and furthers their leadership potential."
Institute CEO Chuck Wolfe said Bohnett's money "will help us expand and deepen the Bohnett Leadership Fellows program, and that will pay huge dividends as these leaders go on to brilliant careers in public service." Here's hoping.
"I think we are winning the war against this prejudice," he said. "I'm pretty optimistic" about future state wins because "clearly what works is that reality beats ignorance" and most citizens, after meeting LGBT people, can have their minds changed toward progress.
Frank was also asked about congressional reaction to his nuptials, a ceremony that makes him the first ever sitting member of Congress to enter a same-sex marriage.
While his fellow Democrats have been openly happy for him and some Republicans have "privately" congratulated him, Frank says most of the GOP has ignored it, and he thinks that's a good thing because "there have been no negative comments."
"The climate is changing and the opponents are realizing that the country is moving beyond them," said Frank in the video, which I've included AFTER THE JUMP.
As for his and Ready's honeymoon, Frank says the gents are jetting off to celebrate in August.