NEWS: A Pansexual Legislator In Texas, A Tormented Androgyne In London, And The Sanctity Of Marriage In Nevada
After his London disappointment, gay Aussie diver Matthew Mitcham ponders the future:
Mitcham ... has had enough of the incessant pounding and had gone to London pretty much convinced that he and his body couldn't take much more. But then he felt his love of the Olympic Games reignited, so much so that he never wants to miss another one of them. That means either joining the dread ranks of those reporting on his sport, or continuing in it, almost certainly in the shape-shifting role of a springboard diver.
"I've always been a platform specialist who's done springboard either to fill spots or because I was semi-OK at it," Mitcham said. "So I have been in discussion with Chava (Sobrino), my coach, about the possibility of becoming solely a springboard diver. It's certainly a possibility and I'm not really going to take a holiday when I get home. I'm actually going to start working on the strength to become a springboard diver right away because it's going to take a long time to get my thighs as big as (China's) He Chong's."
Now that she's running unopposed, Texas pol Mary Gonzalez has come out. Not as a lesbian -- she already did that -- but as pansexual:
“During the campaign if I had identified as pansexual, I would have overwhelmed everyone,” she said this week, adding that people don’t know what being pan means. “Now that I’m out of the campaign, I’m completely much more able to define it.”
Although her election focused on helping El Paso’s District 75 citizens gain access to clean drinking water and better educational opportunities, her sexuality was front and center, and something she had to repeatedly address. Mainstream media called her the Latina lesbian lawmaker. The coverage led to negative comments about her dating men in the past and accusations that she was not a “true lesbian,” Gonzalez said.
In Nevada, US District Chief Judge Robert Jones has set a date to hear arguments on marriage equality. He'll accept lawyers' arguments only -- no testimonies:
Jones ... said he planned to rely on oral and written arguments from attorneys, not courtroom testimony from people who might be offered as experts on the history of discrimination against homosexuals.
"Testimony would be not only useless but an absurd inquiry.
Yesterday, the lovely androgyne Caster Semanya, a world-champion runner and now an Olympic silver-medalist, looked a little like a woman throwing a race.
-- and who would blame her? This three-year-old, marvelously written story from the New Yorker details the terrible torment endured by the then 18-year-old athlete when her dominance in the 800-meters led to a protracted investigation of her gender.
Steve and Roger have been together 19 years, and their family is very large.
More on Paul Ryan's homophobia.
How Olympic skepticism gave way to delight.
Reykjavik mayor Jon Gnar, at Iceland's iconic pride parade, supports imprisoned Russian punk band Pussy Riot.
(They're in prison for behaving badly in a church, and could be imprisoned for up to seven years. They'll learn their fates on Friday.)
Tonight, watch the Perseids.
Posted Aug. 12,2012 at 5:00 PM EST by Brandon K. Thorp in 2012 Election, 2012 Olympics, Gay Marriage, Gay Pride, Iceland, London, Matthew Mitcham, Nevada, Paul Ryan, South Africa, Sports, Texas | Permalink | Comments (17)
The biggest practical problem with letting elected officials meddle in people's personal lives is this: They often don't know anything about the things with which they're meddling.
AFTER THE JUMP, hear US Rep. Todd Akin, a Republican of Missouri, defend the outlawing of the morning-after pill, which he insists causes abortions, which it does not. (Rather, it prevents fertilization from occurring in the first place. It takes a while for even a very determined sperm to rendezvous with a willing and waiting egg.)
Rep. Akin has just become the Republican nominee bound to take on Sen. Claire McCaskill in November. Sen. McCaskill was a vocal proponent of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and is currently engaged in an Obamaesque evolution on marriage equality. Rep. Akin is undergoing no such evolution -- he thinks marriage equality is likely to destroy civilization.
Yesterday, nearly 1,000 of Iowa's religious conservatives gathered in Grace Point Church, in Waukee, for the Family Leadership Summit. They did not seek to eliminate child hunger or illiteracy or poverty in Iowa, or to ensure that Iowa's children receive their vaccinations. They instead listened to addresses from Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Rep. Steve King, and others, and plotted the defeat of Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins, who's up for a retention vote this year. Judge Wiggins is one of the seven Iowa Supreme Court Justices who ruled against the Iowa Defense of Marriage Act in 2009.
The campaign to unseat Judge Wiggins was announced by failed gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats. From the AP:
“When you raise your hand and you swear an oath to the constitution and then you go outside of the constitution, outside of your separation of powers to legislate from the bench . . . we the people must hold a person like that in check,” said Vander Plaats, chairman of [the anti-Wiggins campaign,] Iowans for Freedom.
Earlier this month, Andy reported that the state GOP is gunning for Judge Wiggins, too.
Three of the justices who threw out the Iowa Defense of Marriage Act have come up for retention vote since the ruling. All three have been ousted.
Tomorrow, Czechs will celebrate Pride in Prague, and the US State Department's helping. Exactly what the State Department's up to is difficult to know without reading Czech, but the US Embassy is, at the very least, promoting Pride like mad on its website.
The embassy is very clear on why it's gotten involved:
Prague Pride Festival will focus on the topic of minorities within the LGBT community. The main goal of this Festival is to address discriminatory behavior based on sexual orientation and to promote a tolerant civil society and equal opportunities in the Czech Republic.
Tolerance! Equal opportunities! The embassy doesn't even mention "marriage"!
Still, some Americans are upset. Elite homophobes of the United States and elsewhere have come together to protest with a very angry letter:
We the undersigned pro-family and pro-life leaders vigorously protest the participation of the United States Embassy in the Czech Republic in a so-called gay-pride parade which will take place on August 18.
As representatives of the international pro-family movement, we note the following:
The full list of complaints is tediously long, but includes:
At the directive of the president of the United States, Washington is aggressively promoting the “gay’’ agenda internationally, including same-sex “marriage” and the stigmatization and marginalization of any who object to the same.
The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted by the General Assembly on December 10, 1948) provides that “Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family.”
The Madrid Declaration of World Congress of Families VI (May 25-27, 2012) -- which was unanimously adopted by more than 3,200 delegates from 72 countries -- provides, in part: “We affirm the natural family to be the union of a man and a woman through marriage for the purposes of sharing love and joy, propagating children, providing their moral education, building a vital home economy, offering security in times of trouble, and binding the generations.”
(This is an odd thing to mention, because the World Congress of Families, an international collection of anti-science, hyper-religious wackadoos, has no authority over anything but itself.)
We can not imagine a worse form of cultural imperialism than Washington trying to force approval of the “gay” agenda on societies with traditional values.
The letter also includes a shout-out to Czech gayhater Michal Semin, who asserts on his webpage that the site of the first-ever Pride celebration was ancient Sodom.
Signatories of note include Scott Lively, Linda Harvey, Peter LaBarbera, Tom Wildmon, Tom DeLay, and, most troublingly, Nigeria's Theresa Okafor, who runs the anti-gay Foundation For African Cultural Heritage.
In 2006, Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church -- a charming little house of worship just two and a half blocks from The Castro Theatre, and even closer to The Sausage Factory -- laid down the law: No more Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The Sisters had been running bingo games at the church, the proceeds from which went to charity, and some of the congregants seem to have hated it. At the time, the parish council president called the Sisters' very existence a "direct affront to Jesus," and likened their use of church facilities to "using a Jewish space to host an Adolf Hitler look-alike contest."
But it was just the Sisters who were banned. People in drag not impersonating nuns were, in theory, still welcome. Now they'e not.
So learned the Castro Country Club, a queer recovery group, when they were planning their annual Harvest Ball fundraiser at the church -- an event always emceed by drag queens, and until now held happily in Most Holy Redeemer's social hall. But this year the San Francisco Archdiocese has a new Archbishop, and Most Holy Redeemer has a new pastor, Rev. Brian Costello. From the Bay Area Reporter:
Costello said that during a telephone conversation with a Castro Country Club representative, when the topic of drag queens came up, he told the person, "That is not going to work under the present circumstances."
"I said work with me. You can still have the dinner. You can have a regular emcee, but not drag queens on church property," Costello said.
Costello says the order comes directly from the Archbishop: he will allow no drag queens on church property, ever. If that's true, it's silly, because Archbishops like to dress like this:
The Democratic National Committee platform group met in Detroit yesterday to hammer out their party's platform -- a 50-page document that'll be formally endorsed next month at the Democratic National Convention.
In a meeting led by Newark mayor Cory Booker and Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy, and attended by approximately 120 party leaders from across the country (and, in a few cases, from beyond), Democrats created a platform that called for, among other things, renewed commitments to fossil fuel efficiency and continued efforts to combat nuclear proliferation. Nothing much controversial made the platform -- as Detroit News notes, the platform doesn't endorse The DREAM Act, and it "sidesteps" arguments about the role of Japan in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But the platform does call for the end of DOMA, for marriage equality, and for the word "family," when it appears in immigration reform, to refer to all kinds of families.
From the Washington Blade:
Among the committee members who delivered remarks was Scott Dibble, a gay state senator from Minnesota, who said he’s “extremely pleased” with the marriage equality plank, saying the language “should be taken as an affirmation on something that we all value and cherish, and that is what marriage means and that marriage really matters.”
Said Mayor Booker:
We must stand as Democrats. We must stand for the middle class. We must stand for equality and inclusion and whether you are a single mother here in Detroit, whether you or a gay man in San Francisco, whether you are a blue collar worker in Newark, New Jersey, this is the party for you.
Posted Aug. 12,2012 at 9:00 AM EST by Brandon K. Thorp in 2012 Election, Democratic National Convention, Democratic Party, Detroit, Gay Marriage, Gay Marriage Quotes, Newark, News | Permalink | Comments (10)