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01/12/2013

Anti-Gay Maryland Lawmaker: Gay Marriage Vote Made Me Drink

6a00d8341c730253ef017c317b7eec970b-800wiDon Dwyer, the anti-gay GOP Maryland lawmaker who drunkenly crashed his boat and injured four children last August, claims that his separation from his wife and the fact that some of his Republican colleagues voted for marriage equality led him to drink.

From the Capital Gazette:

Pressures at home were met with challenges in the State House.

Dwyer says he felt sold out when Dels. Tiffany Alston, Wade Kach and Bob Costa voted for same-sex marriage, an issue he spent years crusading against. Dwyer told reporters one day before the vote that he had enough support to block the bill.

Kach, a Republican from Baltimore County, and Alston, a former Democrat from Prince George's County, voted against the bill in committee. But Kach changed his vote after hearing testimony from gay couples. Alston shifted her vote after her amendment was adopted.

Kach and Costa, of Deale, were the only two House Republicans to vote for the bill. It passed the House by two votes in February.

"I had no time to do anything," Dwyer said. "Had I known earlier, I could have taken some action."

It was petitioned to the November ballot and passed by 52 percent of voters state wide. Voters in Dwyer's district, however, rejected it.

"That betrayal really affected me," he said. "I was physically ill. You pour your heart into an issue like that and it’s devastating."

Forgive me if I show no sympathy.

Posted Jan. 12,2013 at 4:54 PM EST by in Gay Marriage, Maryland, News | Permalink | Comments (71)


News: 'We Do,' Zayn Malik, Italy, Outkast

1NewsIcon Anti-gay activist Brian Brown is in France trying to stir up more homophobia in the nation's debate about marriage equality.

GLF1NewsIcon Former Smithsonian researcher Tim Gold and his husband Mitchell Gold, of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Furniture, hope to open an LGBT history museum.

1NewsIcon The Campaign for Southern Equality will take its "I Do" campaign to Virginia next week, where same-sex couples will try to get marriage licenses to protest nuptial discrimination.

1NewsIcon Italy's High Court ruled yesterday that same-sex couples can adopt.

1NewsIcon The Vatican, predictably, is pissed. "Monogamous families constitute the ideal place to learn the significance of human relations and represent the social and anthropological environment in which the best type of growth is possible," bioethicist Adriano Pessina wrote in the Vatican's newspaper, clearly basing his argument on the homophobic assumption that same-sex couples are incapable of monogamy.

1NewsIcon The world's 100 oldest living Oscar nomineees.

1NewsIcon Dallas city officials recorded a 13-minute "It Gets Better" video.

1NewsIcon "Why Is NBC Sports Sponsoring America’s Largest Gun Show?"

1NewsIcon James Yeager, the man who promised to start killing people if President Obama tries restrict access to deadly firearms, has had his gun permit suspended.

Deathstar1NewsIcon Sorry, Star Wars fans, but the Obama administration says we can't afford the $850 quadrillion it would take to make a Death Star. Also, do we really need a device capable of blowing up planets?

1NewsIcon Hot: Outkast (Andre 3000 and Big Boi) got back together to help Frank Ocean on his track "Pink Matter."

1NewsIcon Paying it woofward: Dog teaches puppy how to walk down the stairs.

1NewsIcon Sorry, but Johnny Cash did not write a song called "I'll Have The Wine," though I'm sure he wanted to...

1NewsIcon Jeremy Renner shines fabulously at Hansel and Gretel premiere in Mexico.

1NewsIcon Happy 20th birthday to One Direction singer Zayn Malik.

1NewsIcon And congratulations to all the winners at the International Web TV Awards.

1NewsIcon Canadian Blood Services wants gay men to be able to donate if they haven't had sex with a man in the past five years. The AIDS Calgary Awareness Association says that's not enough: the entire ban must be lifted.

1NewsIcon A wonderful profile of openly gay boxer Orlando Cruz.

Stormycongress1NewsIcon Only one-in-seven Americans approve of Congress. Shocking, I know.

1NewsIcon Legacy: "George Prescott Bush is gearing up to run for a little-known but powerful office in a state where his family already is a political dynasty and where his Hispanic roots could help extend a stranglehold on power Republicans have enjoyed for two decades." That office? The Texas Land Commission.

Posted Jan. 12,2013 at 3:19 PM EST by in Barack Obama, Canada, Catholic Church, Dallas, France, Gay Adoption, Gay Marriage, Italy, Jeremy Renner, Music, News, Orlando Cruz, Religion, Sci Fi, Star Wars, Vatican | Permalink | Comments (9)


Reddit Cofounder Aaron Swartz Dead From Suicide At 26

Swartz

Some sad news out of New York City: Aaron Swartz, the digital activist best known for laying the groundwork for massively popular (and powerful) aggregating site Reddit, took his own life yesterday.

MIT's The Tech gives more details about Swartz's short life:

Swartz was indicted in July 2011 by a federal grand jury for allegedly mass downloading documents from the JSTOR online journal archive with the intent to distribute them. He subsequently moved to Brooklyn, New York, where he then worked for Avaaz Foundation, a nonprofit "global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere." Swartz appeared in court on Sept. 24, 2012 and pleaded not guilty.

The accomplished Swartz co-authored the now widely-used RSS 1.0 specification at age 14, was one of the three co-owners of the popular social news site Reddit, and completed a fellowship at Harvard’s Ethics Center Lab on Institutional Corruption.

In their notice of Swartz's death, CNN included a note he wrote about his inevitable death: "There is a moment, immediately before life becomes no longer worth living, when the world appears to slow down and all its myriad details suddenly become brightly, achingly apparent."

Boing Boing cofounder and a Swartz's friend, Cory Doctorow, said, "Aaron accomplished some incredible things in his life.

"He was one of the early builders of Reddit (someone always turns up to point out that he was technically not a co-founder, but he was close enough as makes no damn), got bought by Wired/Conde Nast, engineered his own dismissal and got cashed out, and then became a full-time, uncompromising, reckless and delightful shit-disturber."

And to think of all the things he could have still accomplished...

Posted Jan. 12,2013 at 1:31 PM EST by in News, Reddit, Tech | Permalink | Comments (43)


Wade Davis: Closeted Gay Players Not 'Chicken'

Lockerroomcartoon

A few weeks ago, just before the new year, I shared a gay history flashback in the form of a post about Gay Comix, the short-lived, late-70s/early-80s periodical that covered, with tongue in cheek, the burgeoning gay rights movement in illustration.

In that post, I mentioned that a few issues have been reprinted in Robert Triptow's Gay Comics, a collection of LGBT cartoons from that era. My copy of Triptow's anthology came last week, but I didn't had a chance to review it until today.

The first illustration I randomly opened to, a mid-70s cartoon by Charles Ortleb and Richard Fiala originally published in the gay newspaper Christopher Street, is posted above. In case the punchline is too blurry, it reads, "Coach Waldman [no relation] passes out xeroxes of an article asserting that only one in ten of his team could possibly be gay."

This gag, sadly, remains relevant today. Despite all the progress LGBT people have made, the mound, the pitch and the rink all remain relatively closed to sexual honesty.

Wade Davis knows this all too well. The former NFL player had to wait until he retired to come out. Since then, he has dedicated his time to making the collective locker room a more welcoming place for gay players. That doesn't mean, however, that he thinks gay players should be chided for not coming out.

In response to ESPN journalist LZ Granderson's claim that closeted players are "chicken," Davis penned a Los Angeles Times op-ed in which he argues that the onus is on straight players and fans to create a more inclusive environment:

Coming out, or as I like to say, "inviting in," is an individual process that requires a level of safety and security. In women's sports, a number of gay athletes have disclosed their sexual orientation, including tennis champion Amelie Mauresmo, basketball great Sheryl Swoopes and soccer star Megan Rapinoe. It was interesting how little fallout there was from those announcements. But I suspect that women's sports fans are more accepting, in part because of misguided societal notions about femininity and masculinity.

I don't believe another athlete would try to harm a gay male athlete, but professional sports is still full of people happy to express their disapproval of homosexuality, and coming out requires a supportive environment.

It's been about 40 years since Christopher Street published the above cartoon, but this very well could have been run this morning.

Posted Jan. 12,2013 at 12:21 PM EST by in Comic Books, News, Sports, Wade Davis | Permalink | Comments (15)


Rachel Maddow Eulogizes PFLAG Founder Jeanne Manford: VIDEO

PFLAGManford

Rachel Maddow ended her work week with a lengthy and well-deserved segment on the late Jeanne Manford, the woman who founded PFLAG during an era when most people were disowning their gay and lesbian children.

Manford was a pioneer in the LGBT rights movement, and one whose work helped make it possible for moms and dads to embrace their children with pride.

Watch Maddow's touching tribute AFTER THE JUMP.

Posted Jan. 12,2013 at 10:25 AM EST by in Deaths, Jeanne Manford, News, PFLAG, Rachel Maddow | Permalink | Comments (15)


British Catholic Priests Say Marriage Equality Bigger Threat Than 16th Century Reformation

GetoveritWho should be more offended here, gays or protestants?

1,054 Catholic priests, 13 Bishops and assorted Catholic abbots have signed a massive open letter claiming that legalizing marriage equality in England is a greater threat to religious freedom in general, and Catholicism specifically, since the Reformation, the 16th Century split that led to the rise of Protestantism.

Here's a sample of the letter, via The Daily Mail:

After centuries of persecution, Catholics have, in recent times, been able to be members of the professions and participate fully in the life of this country.

Legislation for same-sex marriage, should it be enacted, will have many legal consequences, severely restricting the ability of Catholics to teach the truth about marriage in their schools, charitable institutions or places of worship.

It is meaningless to argue that Catholics and others may still teach their beliefs about marriage in schools and other arenas if they are also expected to uphold the opposite view at the same time.

It is germane to point out here that Martin Luther, John Calvin and the other 16th Century Reformers were protesting what they found to be a corrupt, archaic Catholic church. Their efforts were clearly successful, greatly reducing number of Catholics in England (Yes, Henry VIII played a role in the church's erosion of power by erecting the Anglican Church of England, but for far different reasons, though around the same time.)

So, now we have the modern - well, as modern as it can be - Catholic Church claiming that allowing fellow human beings to marry the people they love will somehow destroy their religion. It seems to be that the only thing destroying their religion is their consistent refusal to adapt to the times.

Posted Jan. 12,2013 at 9:01 AM EST by in Catholic Church, Gay Marriage, Great Britain, Religion | Permalink | Comments (59)



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