Clay Aiken Hub




Thursday Speed Read: Clay Aiken, Closeted on the Job, Heather Mizeur, Maryland, HIV Criminalization

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

AikenAIKEN VICTORY STILL PENDING:

North Carolina election officials will review the outcome of the Congressional District 2 Democratic primary race on May 15, after they’ve had a chance to tally in absentee and challenged ballots. As of Wednesday afternoon, openly gay candidate Clay Aiken, of American Idol fame, held just over 40 percent of the vote with a 369-vote lead over businessman Keith Crisco.

53 PERCENT CLOSETED ON THE JOB:

A report released Wednesday by the Human Rights Campaign’s educational arm says that 53 percent of LGBT people keep their sexual orientation secret at their places of employment. According to the report, only 17 states and Washington, D.C., have laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Another four states prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation only. The report, “The Cost of the Closet and the Rewards of Inclusion,” surveyed 800 LGBT workers and an unspecified number of non-LGBT workers.

MizeurMIZEUR HANDLES FIRST DEBATE:

Openly lesbian Maryland gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur stayed above the fray and focused like a laser on the need to increase the minimum wage and the virtues of legalizing marijuana. Mizeur, a delegate in the state House, was participating Wednesday night in the first debate in the three-way race for the Democratic nomination June 24. Mizeur ranks behind both Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown and Attorney General Doug Gansler in polls. But a transcript of the debate published by the Washington Post, indicates Mizeur managed a solid performance.

MarijuanaMARIJUANA FOR CHILDREN?

At one point during Wednesday night’s debate, Maryland gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur was questioned about her support for legalizing marijuana. She noted, among other things, that legalization could provide tax revenue to pay for a universal pre-Kindergarten. Mizeur then added that it would send “an important message about the fact that this is a substance that is arguably less harmful to the body than alcohol and tobacco.” That awkward juxtaposition of pre-Kindergarten and marijuana being “arguably less harmful” apparently prompted this question from moderator David Gregory of Meet the Press: “Are you comfortable saying to the children of this state, ‘marijuana’s okay’?” “We’re not saying that to the children of this state,” replied Mizeur, noting that, in fact, her plan calls for spending $4 million a year to make sure children know marijuana is a “a very dangerous substance for a developing mind.”

HolderREPORT URGES DOJ ACTION:

A report Wednesday from a coalition of groups working on fair treatment of people by the criminal justice system recommends the U.S. Department of Justice amend its guidelines to stop profiling of LGBT people and people with HIV by federal law enforcement agents. The “Roadmap for Change: Federal Policy Recommendations for Addressing the Criminalization of LGBT People and People with HIV,” was developed by former NGLTF Executive Director Urvashi Vaid and former AIDS Project Director at Lambda Legal Catherine Hanssens and others. DOJ announced in January it would revise its rules for federal agents to prohibit the use of sexual orientation and other characteristics to prompt investigations. In April, Attorney General Eric Holder said the department would begin to collect data on people stopped or arrested to “reduce” the possible effects of bias. But he did not make specific mention of LGBT bias. In a preface to the coalition report, former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous notes that New York City police have used “stop and frisk” practices against LGBT people. Another of the Roadmap’s authors, Andrea Ritchie, co-coordinator of the LGBT group Streetwise and Safe, said the coalition members have spoken with DOJ about some of their recommendations and look forward to conversations in the future.

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Wednesday Speed Read: Clay Aiken, Kathleen Kane, Brunei, Lorri Jean, Monica Lewinsky

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

C_aikenAIKEN SQUEAKS BY, BRANDON FALLS:

Openly gay candidate Clay Aiken was holding on to a slim lead at midnight last night in his bid to win the Democratic primary for the U.S. House seat for North Carolina’s Congressional District 2. The state elections office showed him just 369 votes ahead of businessman Keith Crisco. If the lead holds, he’ll have just over the 40 percent share of the vote needed to avoid a run-off. In Congressional District 12, where another openly gay candidate was running against six other Democratic candidates, Marcus Brandon fell into fourth place, with only eight percent of the vote.

KaneWALK-OUT ON IMPEACHMENT HEARING:

Democratic lawmakers walked out of a Republican-led hearing on a resolution of impeachment against Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane Tuesday. Republicans sought to impeach Kane, a Democrat, because she announced last July that her office could not defend the state ban on same-sex marriage as constitutional. Democrats said the proceeding was a partisan attack.

BRUNEI BOYCOTT BUILDS:

JeanThe Human Rights Campaign and the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center had speakers at a rally Monday in front of the famed Beverly Hills Hotel. The rally was aimed at building support for a boycott of the two Los Angeles hotels owned by the sultan of Brunei. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah announced on April 30 that his country would, in three phases, begin enforcing a new criminal code. The third phase, which will be enforced beginning next year, calls for people involved in homosexual relations to be stoned to death. HRC President Chad Griffin sent out a letter May 2 to various organizations with events planned at the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air, urging them to relocate their events.

IT’S NOT JUST BRUNEI:

Lorri Jean, executive director of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, told Monday’s rally in front of the Beverly Hills Hotel that the problem is not “just about opposition to the Sultan and his barbarism.” “It’s about taking a stand against the religious intolerance and bigotry masquerading as religious freedom that destroys people’s lives,” said Jean. “It’s not OK in Brunei, or Beverly Hills, or Pasadena or Los Angeles.  And we must do more to stop it."

FIGHTING ONLINE HARASSMENT: Lewinsky

In a Vanity Fair article published online Tuesday, former White House intern Monica Lewinsky says she empathized with Tyler Clementi’s anguish in having his intimate relations with another man secretly recorded and held up to ridicule on social media. Lewinsky says her own public humiliation over having had a sexual affair with then President Bill Clinton prompted thoughts of suicide, too. But after hearing the news of Rutgers first-year student Clementi’s suicide, she writes, “my own suffering took on a different meaning.” “Perhaps by sharing my story, I reasoned, I might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation.” She says she wants to “get involved with efforts on behalf of victims of online humiliation and harassment and to start speaking on this topic in public forums.”

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Stephen Colbert Faces Off with Gay Political Interloper Clay Aiken: VIDEO

Aiken_colbert

Gay American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken is making a run for Republican Renee Ellmers congressional seat in North Carolina and Stephen Colbert welcomed him on the show to find out what it's all about.

Said Colbert: “I am un-warmed by your story. That's my disability. I don't hear things I don't like."

Colbert then tries to get him to sing the National Anthem. Will Clay get patriotic with the faux conservative?

Find out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Stephen Colbert Faces Off with Gay Political Interloper Clay Aiken: VIDEO" »


Clay Aiken's Would-Be GOP Opponent Renee Ellmers Already Using Homophobic Rhetoric Against Him

Aiken

Clay Aiken, who officially announed his intention to run for Congress and challenge Rep. Renee Ellmers in North Carolina, is already being attacked by Ellmers with familiar homophobic rhetoric, Think Progress reports.

EllmersEllmers released a statement linking Aiken to San Francisco (you know, where the radical gays hang out):

“It speaks volumes to the state of the N.C. Democratic Party that the primary is shaping up to be a choice between the failed Perdue Administration’s Keith Crisco, a lawyer who doesn’t even live in the district, an activist who’s (sic) own party rejected her in the last democrat primary – and Aiken, a performer whose political views more closely resemble those of San Francisco than Sanford,” Ellmers spokeswoman Jessica Wood wrote in an email. “Renee best represents the values of the voters in the 2nd District and remains focused on fighting for their families.”

The remarks were immediately denounced by the former executive director of the NC Republican party, who called them "offensive and childish".

Zack Ford notes that Ellmers has a consistently anti-gay record:

She opposed North Carolina’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage because it also banned civil unions, but she still opposes same-sex marriage. She has supported bills to limit the religious freedom of military chaplains to officiate same-sex marriages and endorsed efforts to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.


Clay Aiken Announces Run for Congress in North Carolina: VIDEO

C_aiken

As rumored, American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken is going to run for Congress in North Carolina. The seat Aiken would be planning a run for is held by Rep. Renee Ellmers.

Watch his announcement, AFTER THE JUMP...

The News Observer reports:

Aiken’s decision to enter the race has already reshaped the field. Houston Barnes, a young attorney who lives in Durham, plans to announce Wednesday he is withdrawing from the race and supporting Aiken. That leaves former state commerce secretary Keith Crisco of Asheboro and licensed professional counselor Toni Morris of Fayetteville as Aiken’s primary opponents.

Continue reading "Clay Aiken Announces Run for Congress in North Carolina: VIDEO" »


More Sources Confirm Clay Aiken Prepping Congressional Bid in North Carolina

Additional sources confirm pop singer and gay American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken is assembling a political team to run for the Democratic nomination in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District, WRAL News reports:

Clay aikenAiken, a Raleigh native, is expected to make an official announcement next month, sources said.

Sources said Aiken has talked to Democratic consultants Betsy Conti, Nation Hahn and Gary Pearce about possibly helping with a run for Congress. He also has spoken with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, sources said.

Former state Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco and Durham attorney Houston Barnes have already announced plans to seek the Democratic nomination in the 2nd District, which is now held by Republican Congresswoman Renee Ellmers.

Elmers defeated seven-term Democratic incumbent Bob Etheridge in the 2010 midterm elections. In 2011, Republican state lawmakers redrew the district to be more favorable to GOP candidates.

In 2012, Aiken spoke out against Amendment One, North Carolina’s anti-gay marriage amendment that was eventually passed by voters 61%-39%.

 


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged