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Louisiana Lawmakers Don't Think Gay People Get Bullied

BullyRemember earlier when I wondered whether Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni lived on another planet for denying that anti-gay discrimination exists? Well, Louisiana conservatives may live in that outer space realm, as well.

Via Joe.My.God comes word that a House committee in Louisiana rejected an LGBT anti-bullying bill because they basically don't think being gay would invoke a bully's ire.

...Civil rights and gay rights advocates failed Wednesday to win approval for a more detailed and, advocates say, stronger anti-bullying law for public schools. Rep. Pat Smith, D-Baton Rouge, pitched House Bill 407 as necessary, given continued evidence of bullying, including a recent suicide by a Point Coupee teenager who had complained to adults many times about being mistreated by her classmates.

Opponents, lead by the conservative Louisiana Family Forum and aides to Gov. Bobby Jindal, argued that the measure went too far by listing perceived or actual characteristics that should not subject a student to bullying. The committee voted 10-5 to strip the bill of those key changes, which included sexual orientation. Smith shelved the measure, saying the action gutted its intent.

Current law requires local school boards to write policies that prohibit "harassment, intimidation and bullying." It defines those terms, in part, as, "any intentional gesture or written, verbal or physical act that a reasonable person under the circumstances should know will have the effective of harming a student or damaging his property or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm."

Smith proposed several tweaks and additions, but the most pertinent passage extended the definition to acts "a reasonable person under the circumstances would perceive as being motivated by an actually or perceived characteristic, including but not limited to race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, exceptionalities, physical disability, intellectual disability, developmental disability, mental illness or emotional health disorder, language ability, sexual orientation, physical characteristics, gender identity, gender expression, political ideas or affiliations, socioeconomic status or association with others identified by such characteristics."

Louisiana Family Forum president Gene Mills said the bill "introduces sexual politics" into the classroom, according to The Times-Picayune. I don't know what kind of atmosphere Mills, Jindal and their friends have on this hypothetical planet, but it's not oxygen.

News: Illinois Civil Unions, Syria, Trevor Donovan, Chaz Bono

 road Illinois governor Pat Quinn to be one of the witnesses to the first 30 same-sex civil unions in that state.

Trevor road Trevor Donovan on the lack of gay acceptance from some: “I think that’s why the bullying does happen, and the teasing. People bully and tease about things they don’t understand, that they’re scared of. So this is enlightening people and bringing it into the mainstream… I think it’s important to educate people, and I’m proud to be part of it.”

 road A lesbian Syrian blogger is getting attention for bravely writing a blog in her country where homosexuality is illegal.

 road Madonna is a single lady once again.

 road The US government has released five videos of Osama Bin Laden found in his Pakistani compound.

 road Lady Gaga is a foot taller in Mexico City.

 road Not that a large "birther"-like movement had grown asking for it, but possible presidential candidate Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has released his birth certificate.

Chaz   road Chaz Bono speaks about his acceptance of being transgender: “Until I really accepted this about myself and got over any of my own transphobia that I had, I really felt like I wouldn’t be accepted. I thought I would ruin my life. I thought it was, ‘Be yourself but become a pariah and put your family through hell,’ or, ‘Don’t be yourself and live a horribly uncomfortable existence where everybody relates to you in a way that’s not you.’"

 road Since the the Navy SEALS who captured Bin Laden didn't bring a tape measure with them, they were forced to come up with a creative way: "According to reports, a Navy SEAL of about 6-feet laid out next to bin Laden's corpse to gauge the Al Qaeda leader's height. The corpse was several inches taller."

 road Mark Salling steps out in Hollywood.

 road Take the elevator to the Jersey Floor.

 road Adele on Rihanna: "If Rihanna wanted me, I'd do it with her. She's hot."

News: A "No" To Marriage Equality For Argentina, Black Gay Pride, Barack's Revenge


Road "Breakfast" is served; art break from Downeyes's Blog.

Road Out publicist Howard Bragman and actress Meredith Baxter will join a panel of Hollywood "industry insiders" to tackle the topic "Coming Out in Hollywood" at Outfest in L.A. on July 17.

GuapoTeam-Homotography-6Road Guapo Magazine celebrates its third issue. In magazine publishing, each issue is a special anniversary these days.

Road DO CRY FOR ME: Another marriage setback, this time in Latin America. The Senate General Legislation Committee of Argentina has voted 9 to 6 to recommend that a marriage equality bill be rejected by the Senate. The Senate will continue debating it.

Road Chicago's South Side holds black gay pride parade. Charlotte, North Carolina, is next.

Road Republican Presidential hopeful Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana has signed into law a bill that allows guns to be carried into churches. No, Hammer, that's why we pray.

RoadVisionaire 58 is a(n expensive) tribute to the late Alexander McQueen.

Road Three-year legal battle ends positively for Tennessee lesbian fighting for the right to have her own teenage children stay legally with her in the home she now shares with her partner.

Road "Are y'all gay...we should whoop your ass for that!" Arrests made in gay couple's mugging in Atlanta; Atlanta Police Department Officer Patricia Powell, LGBT liaison, says, "I don't know if gay people are being targeted."

HorriblepersonImage9Road Rush Limbaugh thinks President Obama created the recession on purpose as a payback for racism.

Road Retiring Reform Jewish Rabbi Peter Knobel of Evanston, Ill., reflects on his change from being homophobic to officiating at gay weddings.

Road Principal photography (with a tony cast including Abbie Cornish, James D'Arcy and James & Laurence Fox) began this week on W.E., Madonna's directorial feature debut, co-written with Truth or Dare director Alek Keshishian. The film is, in a nutshell, Julie & Julia except with Wallis Simpson instead of Julia Child.

Road Tipper Gore doesn't believe masseuse's allegations that soon-to-be-ex Al groped and assaulted her.

News: Adam Lambert, Utah, Tony Kushner, Peru, Microsoft

 roadUtah largest consumer of porn in the nation: "Eight of the top 10 pornography consuming states gave their electoral votes to John McCain in last year's presidential election – Florida and Hawaii were the exceptions. While six out of the lowest 10 favoured Barack Obama."

Lambert  roadAmerican Idol finalist Adam Lambert's "flamboyant" past, in pictures.

 roadMayor Dean Grose of Los Alamitos, California, who sent out an email with a photo I posted last week saying that this year's White House Easter Egg roll would instead be a Watermelon Hunt, is resigning: "Grose says he accepts that the e-mail was in poor taste and has affected his ability to lead the city. Grose said he didn't mean to offend anyone and claimed he was unaware of the racial stereotype linking black people with eating watermelons."

 roadIsrael debates civil marriages.

 roadInternational Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission demands Peru government investigate attack on trans woman posted to YouTube.

 roadReadings from Bobby Jindal's Exorcism: "The paper is a first person account of how Jindal, a new Catholic convert at the time, helped get the devil out of his poor, possessed friend Susan."

Marge  roadMarge Simpson has her first same-sex smooch.

 roadCalifornians Against Hate drops boycott of Utah car dealer Ken Garff: "Californians Against Hate had called for a boycott of Ken Garff Automotive Group's 53 dealerships in six states in retaliation for a $100,000 donation made by Garff family matriarch Katharine Garff in support of Proposition 8, California's same-sex marriage ban, part of a total of $3.8 million donated for and against Prop 8 by Utahns...Fred Karger, director of Californians Against Hate, said Friday the two-week boycott of Ken Garff Automotive Group was being called off immediately, following a series of meetings that included face-to-face discussions between company principals John and Robert Garff and Utah philanthropist Bruce Bastian, a leading gay-rights advocate."

 roadKathleen Chalfant and Stephen Spinella to star in Tony Kushner's The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, to premiere this spring at the Guthrie in Minneapolis.

 roadCIA under Bush/Cheney destroyed hundreds of videotaped terror interrogations.

Jesus_madonna  roadJesus and Madonna step out in New York snowstorm.

 roadLiberty Counsel files lawsuit demanding Florida Bar remain neutral in same-sex adoption case.

 roadRihanna and Chris Brown reunite in Miami.

 roadMicrosoft apologizes for policies after outrage over suspension of lesbian gamer on Xbox Live: "The company's policy was to disallow any statement of relationship preference in their profile or Gamertags, heterosexual, homosexual, or otherwise. However, as Stephen Toulouse, program manager for policy and enforcement on Xbox Live, told Totilo, after seeing issues arise like in the cases of Teresa and Mr. Gaywood, the company was 'looking into that policy.'" 

 roadAcademy of Friends holds 29th annual Oscar Party AIDS benefit in San Francisco.

 roadUK teachers face disciplinary action after calling 16-year-old student "gay" and "retard" in the classroom: "He said he felt 'bullied' by the pair during workshops, eventually filing seven official complaints against them. He now has to travel all the way to Cornwall College Saltash after enrolling on a construction course focused on bricklaying, plumbing and electrical installation."

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #438

BOBBY JINDAL: Rachel Maddow's commentary on Jindal's reponse to Obama's congressional address.

RNC CHAIR MICHAEL STEELE: Is Keith Olbermann's 'World's Worst Person' for his civil union remarks.

MY SO CALLED GAY LIFE: A brief clip by gay-on-the-street Mike Diamond.

EDILSON NASCIMENTO: Made in Brazil's behind-the-scenes video of their Edilson portfolio.

Obama Speaks to Congress, Jindal Does 30 Rock Impression


President  Obama gave his first televised address to a joint session of Congress last night:

"After eight years under President George W. Bush, Americans tuned in on Tuesday night to a scene that put the new Democratic cast front and center. Mr. Obama was preceded into the House chamber by his cabinet, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, whom he kissed as he made his way to the speaker’s dais. Even several Republicans leaned in close to Mr. Obama as he walked down the aisle. He set up his push for a wide-ranging overhaul of domestic policy by lamenting what he said were decades of unwillingness on the part of society and government to make tough decisions or put long-term gain ahead of short-term benefit. In the process, he took a thinly veiled swipe at his predecessor for his tax cuts and philosophy of deregulation. 'That day of reckoning has arrived,' Mr. Obama said, 'and the time to take charge of our future is here.'”

Katie Couric took note of the diverse tableau at the podium: "Nice to see a little diversity, with an African-American President, a female Speaker of the House, and there's the white guy."

Jindal The Republican response, given by Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, was widely panned:

"Both Democrats and Republicans alike panned Jindal's rebuttal in terms that were decidedly harsh: 'amateurish,' 'laughable' and, most commonly, 'a missed opportunity.'... 'After watching Jindal,' one Democratic strategist emailed, 'I'd pay a lot of money to be back watching a Palin speech.' ... 'Awkward with capital A,' emailed another. The punditry was equally brutal. Part of the problem was the crux of Jindal's address, which consisted almost entirely of red meat for conservatives."

More than a few mocked the governor for doing a dead-on impression of Kenneth the page from NBC's 30 Rock.

MSNBC cut to Jindal with an audible "Oh God"...

Watch both speeches and read the text of Obama's address, AFTER THE JUMP...


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