Matt Foreman Hub

Wednesday Speed Read: Virginia, Idaho, Equality Act of '74, Matt Foreman, ENDA, Alaska

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service


Oral arguments Tuesday before the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals over Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage suggest the vote will almost certainly be 2 to 1 vote. The only question is which way it will go. Sharp comments and fierce questioning by two of the three judges left little room for doubt on how their votes will split. Republican appointee Paul Niemeyer, 73, said allowing gays to marry could set the stage for a man to marry “six wives or his daughter.” He suggested same-sex couples could have a “parallel” type relationship “with less attributes.” Democratic appointee Judge Roger Gregory, 62, derided arguments by attorneys who said marriage laws are for heterosexual couples to “protect the children.” Gregory said that sounded like a “totalitarian system where people are baby makers and you get married for the interest of the state.” Full story tomorrow.


Just eight days after hearing arguments, a U.S. magistrate judge on Tuesday struck down Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage and ordered the state begin issuing licenses Friday. Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale’s 57-page memorandum order in Latta v. Otter, a case brought by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, says the ban on same-sex couple marrying violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees to equal protection and due process.  “Slow as the march toward equality may seem, it is never in vain,” wrote Dale, who said the state offered “no evidence that same-sex marriage would adversely affect opposite-sex marriages or the well-being of children.” The ruling made Idaho the 11th state this year to see its ban on same-sex marriage struck down. All are under appeal. In anticipation of Dale’s decision, Idaho’s Republican Governor Butch Otter filed a motion requesting a stay pending appeal.


It was 40 years ago today that U.S. Reps. Bella Abzug and Ed Koch (D-NY) introduced the “Equality Act of 1974,” the first version of what is now the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The Equality Act was a much broader piece of legislation, seeking to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Over the years, the bill was trimmed and rewritten. Today’s version seeks to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity but only in employment with businesses of 15 employees or more and with exemptions for religious organizations. The bill passed the Senate last November for the first time in its 40-year history; but House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has vowed it will not get a vote in the House under his leadership.


Former National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman urged LGBT leaders to “pull the plug” on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), saying it is an “essentially lifeless corpse.”


Five same-sex couples filed suit in federal court Monday to challenge Alaska’s ban on same-sex marriage. That now leaves only three states with bans that have not yet been challenged in court: North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana.


Lambda Legal argued a case before the Alaska Supreme Court Tuesday that could strike down that state’s ban on same-sex marriages. In Harris v. Millennium Hotel, Lambda argued that the state law barring same-sex couples the right to marry prevented Deborah Harris from qualifying for a survivors’ benefit paid through the state’s Workers Compensation Act to spouses of employees killed at work. Harris and Kerry Fadely were in a relationship for 10 years before Fadely was shot to death at work by a recently fired employee.

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.

California's Proposition 8--Ours to Lose? Nope.
It was always an Uphill Climb

GuestbloggerMATT FOREMAN

Matt Foreman is the former director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Empire State Pride Agenda. He is currently a program director at the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. He released this op-ed yesterday

A lot of people have been saying that Prop 8 was our side's to lose and that missteps by the No on 8 Campaign snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Those analyses ignore hard core obstacles and fundamentals underlying the contest, including how hard it is to hold and move opinions on marriage in the narrow confines of a campaign.

MattforemanI need to start by saying that I had nothing to do with the No on 8 Campaign. Because the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, where I work, has been so deeply involved in public education work in support of marriage equality, the law literally precluded any contact or coordination with the electoral campaign. So, as a purely armchair quarterback it's pretty easy for me to catalogue things I -- in my infinite wisdom -- would have done differently. But I also know that even if everything -- every single thing -- had gone our way, it still would have been incredibly hard to win by anything more than a tiny margin. Here's why.

Putting Minority Rights Up to a Popular Vote: the Difficulty of Winning

First off, it's nearly impossible for minorities to win or defend their rights at the ballot box. Californians have demonstrated that time and again, voting to outlaw affirmative action, to deny grade school education and non-emergency medical care to undocumented children, and to specifically permit race discrimination in housing. This profound disadvantage was exacerbated by the fact that marriage is in a class by itself as an issue. Everyone has an intimate, personal relationship with marriage and has an opinion -- usually visceral -- about it. True, over time people are moving toward marriage -- we've quite amazingly gained about one point per year since 2000. But within the narrow time constraints of a campaign -- under 90 days -- it is pure fancy to think there's a "movable middle" on marriage. At best there was movable sliver. More on that in a bit.

Our Opponents' Base -- Huge, Solid, Energized

Second, the other side had a huge, largely unmovable, energized base. We didn't. No surprise but they had older people all sewn up. While we won among all voters under 65, more than two-thirds (67%) of voters 65 or older voted for Prop 8. That alone -- yes, alone -- was enough to override our majority support among all younger age groups. Anyone who thinks a 90-day campaign -- even a flawless one -- is going to overcome the imprint of homophobia on those born before World War II needs to think again.


Continue reading "California's Proposition 8--Ours to Lose? Nope.
It was always an Uphill Climb" »

News: Guy Ritchie, Senegal, Matt Foreman, Dubai, Rufus Wainwright

road.jpg Page Six: MSNBC hiring "glam squad" for Rachel Maddow, forcing her to doff glasses, wear skirt?

Lance_laceyroad.jpg Lance Bass and his dance beard Lacey Schwimmer.

road.jpg London hotel records Josh Hartnett on sex tape.

road.jpg The Guardian on Guy Ritchie's 'gay movie': "I’ve never seen a gangster thriller punctuated by quite so much homoeroticism. Gerard Butler plays One Two, a rugged beefcake who steals millions of euros from a Russian oligarch and football club owner, Uri Obromavich (Karel Roden). When One Two is not tied to the bed and tortured by Uri’s humourless Soviet henchmen – stripped down to their leather pouches - he is being hit on by his best friend and fellow gang member, Handsome Bob (Tom Hardy)." Madonna and Guy glam it up at premiere...

road.jpg Gay couple turned away from guesthouse in South Africa.

road.jpg Senegal jails Belgian retiree and Senegalese partner for marrying in Belgium.

road.jpg Lesbians jailed for kissing on beach in Dubai: "The Dubai Court of Appeal upheld the one-month jail sentence handed down by a lower court to the women, a 30-year-old Lebanese national and a 36-year-old Bulgarian who both pleaded not guilty, 7Days newspaper said. Prosecutors had charged the women with kissing, groping each other and "indecent acts in public," the paper said, adding that this was the first case of its kind in the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven states including Dubai."

Foremanroad.jpg Former NGLTF Chairman Matt Foreman marries partner Francisco Adex De León in San Francisco: " Mr. De León, 46, is the owner and president of FADesign, a graphic design firm in New York. He graduated from the University of Houston. He is a son of Josefina De León and Francisco A. De León of Houston. Mr. Foreman, 53, is the director of gay and immigrant rights programs at the Evelyn & Walter Haas Jr. Fund in San Francisco."

road.jpg NYT Poll of Republican delegates: "The only surprising finding was that 6 percent believe in gay marriage and 43 percent believe in civil unions for gay couples, compared to 46 percent who believe there should be no legal recognition. Thus more Republican delegates support some kind of domestic partnership for gay couples than oppose it."

Radclifferoad.jpg Daniel Radcliffe on dream role: “I think part of me would love to play a drag queen, just because it would be an excuse to wear loads of eye makeup.”

road.jpg ABC orders gay-inclusive family doc pilot: "Untitled laffer will revolve around a traditional married couple and their three kids; an older guy, his younger wife and their adopted son; and a gay couple who have just adopted an Asian infant."

road.jpg New York Metropolitan opera turns down French libretto by Rufus Wainwright about day in the life of an opera diva: "The Met reaction turns the tables on the French-speaking world and its increasingly desperate official attempts to stem the global linguistic hegemony of English. 'Presenting a new opera that is not in English at the Met when it could be in English is an immediate impediment to its potential success with audiences,' Met manager Peter Gelb told the New York Times. 'I hoped he would switch over, but he was determined to do it in French,' he said."

road.jpg Italy's security forces to launch association for openly gay officers: "The Open Polis association will launch in the northern Italian city of Bologna on 26 September. Membership is open to gay men and women from the police, the paramilitary Carabinieri and tax police, as well as the army and the air force. 'For many of us in uniform, the worry is not violent physical attacks, but blatant discrimination, and daily 'macho' jokes and language,' said Open Polis President Nicola Cicchitti, who serves with Italy's tax police, quoted by Italian daily, Corriere della Sera."

News: Rea Carey, Justice Dept, Olympics, Monet, Barack Obama

road.jpg Conservative Orange County Register says high court's decision on marriage was justified.

Obama_rollingstone_2road.jpg MAG: What's on Obama's iPod.

road.jpg Matt Damon's summer look: flab with pornstache.

road.jpg Rea Carey to succeed Matt Foreman as executive director of Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

road.jpg REPORT: Justice Dept. politicized hiring practices to favor Republican candidates: "'Many qualified candidates' were rejected for the department’s honors program because of what was perceived as a liberal bias, the report found. Those practices, the report concluded, 'constituted misconduct and also violated the department’s policies and civil service law that prohibit discrimination in hiring based on political or ideological affiliations.'" FLASHBACK: DOJ Looking into Possible Firing of Atty Over Sexual Orientation...

road.jpg Ad campaign for Dexter in Portugal features severed limbs in butcher cases and knifed corpses on the street!

Uforoad.jpg British soldiers see 13 UFOs in sky above barracks: "I was on duty in the guard room when the other boys outside began shouting. I went out to see what the commotion was about and could see thirteen craft in the skies. They were zig-zagging, but I filmed two before they disappeared. They were like rotating cubes with multiple colours. I made a full report to my commanding officers and gave them my footage. The other lads were as amazed by it as I was."

road.jpg Monet water lily painting goes for $80.5 million at Christie's, doubling previous record for the artist.

road.jpg Washington D.C. city councilman and former mayor Marion Barry says he would support a bill legalizing same-sex marriage there.

road.jpg Bill Clinton offers support to Obama; Obama asks donors to raise money for Clinton.

road.jpg Orlando Bloom reveals his back end in the Canary Islands.

road.jpg Justin Timberlake's 'Play' fragrance may smell clean but his feet are filthy.

Langenfeldroad.jpg Out swimmer Andrew Langenfeld to compete for a spot on the Olympic team in the 100-meter butterfly.

road.jpg NYC Chelsea nightclub 1 Oak reacts to reports yesterday that they covered up a gay bashing at the venue. Page Six: "Club sources say the night was not promoted as a 'gay night' and that the attacker was re strained by security but broke away. The victim said 1Oak owner Scott Sartiano insisted on giving him a car to the hospital instead of calling an ambulance. A rep for the club said, '1Oak is committed to providing an environment of safety and security to patrons every night. This incident was handled by security and staff immediately and this type of inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated at 1Oak.'"

road.jpg Art Fag City talks to Nayland Blake about who they'd all like to fuck.

road.jpg Anti-gay assault suspect under arrest in Minneapolis: "A gay Twin Cities man, the apparent victim of a hate crime, was badly beaten last Saturday. He claims a stranger approached him near 6th and Cedar Ave. South in Minneapolis, and asked if he was gay. The victim answered yes proudly, and the suspect hit the man in the face, yelling that he hated homosexuals. Abdirizak Mohamed has been charged with assault in the fourth degree with bias—a hate crime with enhanced penalties."

road.jpg Michelle Obama to give keynote address at Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council Gala DNC fundraiser on Thursday in New York.

SF Politicos Recognize Boycott of Human Rights Campaign Dinner


San Francisco Supervisors Tom Ammiano and Bevan Dufty are among those local politicians supporting a boycott and protest of the Human Rights Campaign dinner in that city next month, over the organization's failure to support a trans-inclusive employment non-discrimination bill (ENDA) last year. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, "The city's two LGBT Democratic clubs support the boycott, as does the San Francisco Labor Council. Assemblyman Mark Leno and state Sen. Carole Migden, both of San Francisco, also are not attending the event."

TranspicketIt's a scene that has played out in New York (pictured) and other cities.

The paper reports: "On Tuesday, San Francisco Supervisors Tom Ammiano and Bevan Dufty introduced a resolution at City Hall calling for a bill that includes transgender people and recognizing the boycott. 'The Human Rights Campaign should not be human rights cowards,' Ammiano said at a news conference at the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center. He said the organization seems uneasy with transgender issues. Dufty said he will skip the fundraising dinner for the first time in 23 years and instead will make dinner at his home for people protesting outside the event."

Matt Foreman, former executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, will be among those protesting outside the event. Said Foreman: "What is going on here is an emperor-has-no-clothes moment. We still don't have one single federal law that protects gay people, let alone transgender people."

HRC defend its actions in a statement from President Joe Solmonese: "HRC's position is that we could not oppose - and, in fact, should support - legislation to provide crucial civil rights protections that would be brought to the House floor for a vote, even though we did not and, certainly, would not have chosen that course...At a time when our community is threatened, once again, with a cynical election-year ploy that could hurt our families, we believe that it's time to set aside our differences and fight for what we all want."

The HRC dinner, which will benefit marriage equality (the organization has already made an initial pledge of $500,000 to the Equality for All marriage coalition), takes place on July 26th at the Westin St. Francis hotel.

Activists to boycott gay-rights group dinner [sf chronicle]

News: Orcas, Dax Shepard, Homecoming King, Alabama

road.jpg NPR runs heartbreaking piece on two boys who identify as girls: "It’s really hard for him. He’ll disappear and close a door, and we’ll find him playing with dolls and Polly Pockets and … the stuff that he’s drawn to...He really struggles with the color pink. He really struggles with the color pink."

Daxroad.jpg Dax Shepard appears to be acting out the role of Abercrombie door dude in the new film When in Rome.

road.jpg Neil Patrick Harris's Barney shows off his new trophy date, Britney Spears. Watch it.

road.jpg Jay Bakker to spend Mother's Day in honor of the late Tammy Faye pressuring megachurch pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church to sit down and talk to LGBT activist group Soulforce: "I want to celebrate my mother's life, and help spread the message she lived and preached. We need to stop thinking of ourselves as 'us' and 'them.' We hope the families of Lakewood Church will open their hearts and minds to us and sit down and have a conversation and share a meal. ... Let's put our differences aside and share the love and hope of Christ."

road.jpg Details on the first dates of Madonna's "Sticky and Sweet" world tour.

road.jpg Arizona Christian group Alliance Defense Fund has hand in New York same-sex marriage cases.

Homecomingkingroad.jpg Shawnee Mission East High School loves its gay Homecoming King.

road.jpg Investigators say photographers won't be charged for photos of teenage water polo players that turned up on gay porn websites: "The Orange County district attorney's office says a four-month investigation determined Scott Cornelius and Allen Rockwell didn't commit any crimes. Cornelius, a University of California, Irvine, police employee currently on paid leave, is still being investigated by the university to determine if he violated college policies. Photographs of youths as young as 14 taken by Cornelius and Rockwell appeared on homosexual pornographic Web sites. But district attorney's office spokeswoman Farrah Emami says 'legally there were no criminal charges we could file.'"

Orcadolphinroad.jpg Killer whales photographed hunting dolphins for the first time ever.

road.jpg Matt Foreman's new perspective.

road.jpg Your money's worth: Mario Lopez embroiled in Broadway bicep controversy.

road.jpg Two card stud.

road.jpg Alabama legislature passes two pro-gay bills: "In an email from State Rep. Patricia Todd, she announced that the Alabama House of Representatives passed the Hate Crimes Bill sponsored by Rep. Alvin Holmes of Montgomery by a vote of 46 to 44, mostly along party lines. While the fate of the bill is unsure as it moves to the Senate, this is huge progress, as the legislation was defeated last year. Also passed (unanimously) was an anti-bullying bill sponsored by Rep. Betty Carol Graham of Alexander City and Sen. Parker Griffith of Huntsville. This is also going to to the Senate."

road.jpg Truce Off: McGreevey's fail to reach a settlement in their divorce trial.

road.jpg Don't sit on the benches in New York subway stations unless you want bedbugs.


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