Minneapolis KSTP reporter Mark Saxenmeyer was fired this week after a joke he inserted into the web script for a story on a Minnesota gay couple attending the White House Easter Egg roll made it to print. The joke was intended to make his colleague, Katherine Johnson, laugh, and he asked her to remove it before it went to print, and she did — most of it.
The big HOMO dads line was one of those things.
“I said, ‘Make sure you delete that because obviously that would not be funny out of context,’” says the fired newsman. “She deleted most of it. There was one little part she missed when she closed it.”
The story was posted on KSTP.com, then flagged. An editor’s note added to the update said: “Earlier today comments were published erroneously regarding this story. KSTP does not condone the comments. Action is being taken to ensure that this does not happen again.”
The Star Tribune adds:
KSTP news director Lindsay Radford said, “I’m not going to comment on personnel issues.”
Asked about the editor’s note, Radford said, “We had an employee, as a joke, make an inappropriate reference inside that story. It was published with that inappropriate comment. We removed it immediately. That employee has been dealt with.”
Saxenmeyer, who says he's been "out and proud" since he was 25, is contrite:
"Bizarre ironic is what it is. I’m not sorry for me. I’m a big boy; I’ll get over it. I made a profoundly stupid mistake. There’s just no getting around that. I have apologized profusely. It was stupid, inappropriate, irresponsible. It is beyond comprehensible. Make that clear. I don’t want anyone else to suffer repercussions of this. I especially don’t want the gay community to be hurt or offended in any way. They are the last people I would ever want to malign and disparage. When you are gay, you sometimes feel you can say things because they are coming from a place not of disrespect or evil."
Stephen Colbert highlights Georgia GOP Chairwoman Sue Everhart's recent remarks that gay marriage is not right because same-sex couples "do not have the equipment" for a sexual relationship and that the whole thing is a set-up for heterosexuals who lie about their sexuality to pretend to get gay-married and collect the benefits.
"Yes. A free ride. This entire battle about marriage equality has really been about straight men trying to get free health care. Because if there's one thing I know about straight guys - it's that they will jump at any chance for their peers to think they might be gay... Of course two straight guys getting married for benefits isn't a new scheme. It was blown wide open in the explosive documentary I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry..."
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Yesterday, Equality Matters made note of an email sent out by Jennifer Roback-Morse, a virulent homophobe who heads up NOM's Ruth Institute. Roback-Morse had sent out an email about an upcoming gala event the group is holding and tooted about Chciago Bears memorabilia the group planned to raffle off, specifically a jersey signed by Brian Urlacher and a photo autographed by Walter Payton.
This year, we're planning on sending our graduates off with a bang! And we've got some help! Several donors have stepped up and donated terrific items for us to raffle as prizes in an effort to raise funds for ITAF '13.
For now, you should know that we have two fabulous raffle items from the Chicago Bears Organization (and a huge THANK YOU to the Bears for supporting our message).
Turns out that was all a lie and the Bears were not pleased about it, the Chicago Tribune reports:
"I sign a lot of stuff for charity and I don't always know where it goes," Urlacher told the Tribune. "If I would have known it was for this cause, I wouldn't have done it."
Payton's older brother Eddie Payton said he did not know of any memorabilia regarding his brother used to support an anti-gay marriage group.
"This is the first I've heard of it," said Payton, a former NFL kick returner. "Walter treated everybody equal. Only Walter could speak for himself, but it's a touchy subject. It should be a non-subject."
The Bears issued a statement, saying "The two items featured in The Ruth Institute gala invitation were personal donations to (President) Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse. Neither was a club donation, nor do they represent the team's view on any social issues. Any remarks stating otherwise are false."
Morse also issued a statement:
"The Ruth Institute is not working with the Chicago Bears organization or any of its players past or present to promote our upcoming auction. The memorabilia we are auctioning off was acquired by me personally, not through the team or players. We understand that the Chicago Bears organization takes no position on social issues, and we regret any confusion we may have caused on this point."
Many of you are familiar with the devastating video "It Could Happen to You" made by Shane Bitney Crone in response to the accidental death of his boyfriend Tom Bridegroom. The video, which chronicled what happened to Shane after Tom's sudden death has been viewed more than 3.5 million times.
After the video went viral, a producing team led by director Linda Bloodworth Thomason sought funds on Kickstarter for a documentary about Tom's story, a Kickstarter which broke records for the fundraising start-up.
“The prejudice and bigotry that Shane and Tom experienced was not unlike what I witnessed in 1986 when my mother died of transfused AIDS," said Bloodworth Thomason.
Now, Bloodworth Thomason has completed the film and it's set to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on Tuesday, April 23 where it will have four screenings.
Towleroad is now bringing you the premiere of the trailer for Bridegroom.
Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...
Bridegroom tells the emotional journey of Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom, two young men in a loving and committed relationship that was cut tragically short by a misstep off the side of a roof. The story of what happened after this accidental death – of how people without the legal protections of marriage can find themselves completely shut out and ostracized - is poignant, enraging and opens a window onto the issue of marriage equality like no speech or lecture ever will.
Said Bitney Crone to Towleroad:
"Tom and I were not perfect, but we were perfect for each other. Our love was undeniable, and when I lost him, I lost a large part of myself. No matter how hard Tom's family tries; they can never erase the love that Tom and I had for each other, and the life that we started together. If Tom and I were legally married, I would never have been so easily disregarded, and knowing that Tom would have wanted his family to embrace me, makes me more determined to fight for this cause. I will never be able to hold Tom again, or tell him that I love him, but this movie may convince many opponents to reconsider their stance on marriage equality, not for me or for Tom, but for love."
Watch the trailer, AFTER THE JUMP...
Here's the trailer:
Here's Shane Bitney-Crone's heartbreaking video which inspired the production:
Bisbee, Arizona Gay Man Declares 'I am Not an Abomination'; State Will Sue to Block Civil Unions: VIDEO
Yesterday I reported that the tiny Arizona town of Bisbee had approved civil unions. Here's a video (via jmg) of the meeting leading up to the City Council's 5-2 vote to recognize them. In the video, several people get up and declare homosexuality an abomination, except for one couple.
Says one of the couple in a statement:
"I just have to clarify. I am not an abomination. The love that we share together and the life that we have built together is not an abomination. It's strange to have to say that. It's strange to be up here asking all of you that are married - you all have more rights than I do, and you'll have more rights even if this passes...It does feel strange to be up here begging for something that's so little...I really just want the same rights that all of you have right now and I want all the same rights that my parents have...This isn't an abstract issue of gay marriage. This is us. We're a couple. And we love each other. And we would like you to please unanimously vote to give us just a sliver of the rights that you have."
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
And yesterday, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced he will take the city to court to block the decision, the Star reports:
Horne spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham says the planned lawsuit will be filed before the ordinance approved Tuesday night by the Bisbee City Council takes effect in 30 days.
The council approved the ordinance after three hours of testimony by residents of the former mining town in mostly rural southeastern Arizona.
Horne says he's not taking a policy stance against civil unions by planning to sue. He says the council acted outside its legal authority because state laws control things such as community property.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
David Letterman Lets His Anger About Anti-Gay Discrimination Rip in Discussion with Rachel Maddow: VIDEO
"I'm just sick and tired, and I think it has really crossed the line of being nonsense. This ongoing, politically nuanced, religiously nuanced discussion of gay marriage, gay rights. It is absolute stupidity....Humans have the right to do what humans do, that’s it. End of story. There’s no argument. There’s no exceptions. Humans have rights and they get to do what humans get to do. Case closed. Good night."
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
I'll try to find a longer segment to post.