Melissa Etheridge Hub




Biden, Etheridge Talk Rick Warren as Calls to Dump Him Continue

Bidenwarren

Last night, as I mentioned in a previous post, Vice President-elect Joe Biden appeared on Larry King Live and discussed the Rick Warren controversy. That clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

At the controversy wears on, a united front among LGBT people appears to be slipping away.

DumpwarrenThere are groups, like Californians Against Hate, who call for Obama to dump Warren, and have started a Facebook group and website, DumpRickWarren.com, urging the President-Elect to disinvite the anti-gay pastor from the inaugural ceremonies.

And then there are voices here and there, such as Melissa Etheridge, who calls for the extension of an olive branch to the pastor despite policies barring gays from his church and connections he made of gays with pedophilia, incest, and bestiality, though Etheridge has some odd rationalization for her change of heart in a piece in the Huffington Post:

"I told my manager to reach out to Pastor Warren and say "In the spirit of unity I would like to talk to him." They gave him my phone number. On the day of the conference I received a call from Pastor Rick, and before I could say anything, he told me what a fan he was. He had most of my albums from the very first one. What? This didn't sound like a gay hater, much less a preacher. He explained in very thoughtful words that as a Christian he believed in equal rights for everyone. He believed every loving relationship should have equal protection. He struggled with proposition 8 because he didn't want to see marriage redefined as anything other than between a man and a woman. He said he regretted his choice of words in his video message to his congregation about proposition 8 when he mentioned pedophiles and those who commit incest. He said that in no way, is that how he thought about gays. He invited me to his church, I invited him to my home to meet my wife and kids. He told me of his wife's struggle with breast cancer just a year before mine. When we met later that night, he entered the room with open arms and an open heart. We agreed to build bridges to the future."

And then there are legislators like Barney Frank, who has strongly condemned Obama's decision but expresses hope for his presidency and seems willing to, at the end of the day, move on.

Last night on Hardball, BlogActive's Mike Rogers debated Reverend Eugene Rivers on the Warren flap:

IMHO Obama will never dump Warren. He made a GRAVE miscalculation on the invitation, but the political stakes in dumping Warren are so great, I don't believe it will happen. I believe asking Obama to dump the pastor is the right thing to do, however, and is a direction that should be pursued, but is ultimately a fruitless battle. At the same time, I'm not forgiving like Etheridge. Warren would have to go a hell of a lot further than liking my album (???) for me to suddenly believe he's one of the good guys. Our voices must not weaken on these issues. It is right to continue to condemn the Warren decision, and it shows that not only must we hold Obama to the promises he made to the LGBT people who helped get him elected, we must demand even more.

It is shameful that Obama's campaign of "inclusivity" is to get its first national blessing from a man whose ideology is anything but inclusive. It won't be forgotten until promises, policy, and solid legislation are pursued in the direction of equality for LGBT Americans.

Watch Biden's clip from Larry King, AFTER THE JUMP...

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As Obama Bakes, Rick Warren Controversy Simmers [tr]
Rick Warren Defends Inauguration Invite, Engages Melissa Etheridge [tr]
Rachel Maddow: Could Obama Rescind Rick Warren's Invitation? [tr]
Congressman Barney Frank 'Disappointed' by Warren Invite [tr]
Rick Warren on Why He's Not Homophobic [tr]
Obama Defends Rick Warren's Inauguration Invitation [tr]

Continue reading "Biden, Etheridge Talk Rick Warren as Calls to Dump Him Continue" »


Rick Warren Defends Inauguration Invite, Engages Melissa Etheridge

Pastor Rick Warren defended his invitation to Obama's inauguration at the 8th Annual Convention of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Long Beach, California Saturday, according to the AP:

Warren"Under fire for opposing gay marriage, influential evangelical pastor Rick Warren said Saturday that he loves Muslims, people of other religions, Republicans and Democrats, and he also loves 'gays and straights.' The 54-year-old pastor and founder of Saddleback Church in Southern California told the crowd of 500 that it's unrealistic to expect everyone to agree on everything all the time. 'You don't have to see eye to eye to walk hand in hand,' said Warren...Toward the end of his speech on Saturday, Warren also talked about singer Melissa Etheridge, who performed earlier in the evening. Warren said the two had a 'wonderful conversation' and that he is a huge fan who has all her albums. The openly lesbian gay rights activist even agreed to sign her Christmas album for him, he said."

More on that meeting from Juan Cole:

"I was told that Warren's friends among the MPAC Muslim community had urged him to call Melissa Etheridge Friday night in the run-up to their being (serially) on the same stage Saturday night, and that he did so and they talked for half an hour. During his address, Warren mentioned also seeing Etheridge backstage on Saturday. Local television in Los Angeles showed a short clip of Etheridge after the event asking gay leaders to reach out to Warren, just as they wanted him to reach out to them. This stance was big of her, since she and her partner had planned to marry but were prevented from doing so by the same Proposition 8 that Warren worked for, and she was so upset she suggested she would refuse to pay California taxes since she is obviously not considered a full citizen by her fellow Californians."

Meanwhile, Etheridge's partner Tammy Lynn Michaels, seems to have bought Warren's bullsh*t hook, line, and sinker.

RobinsonGay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, who advised Obama several times during his campaign, weighed in on the invitation to Rick Warren, and said that hearing about the selection was like was like "a slap in the face.":

"I’m all for Rick Warren being at the table, but we’re not talking about a discussion, we’re talking about putting someone up front and center at what will be the most watched inauguration in history, and asking his blessing on the nation. And the God that he’s praying to is not the God that I know."

Richard Socarides, former special assistant to President Bill Clinton in charge of gay and lesbian policies, also spoke to the NYT:

"[The decision is a] serious miscalculation that will anger a lot of people and will be hard to undo. It’s not like he’s introducing Obama at some campaign rally in the South. He’s been given this very prominent, central role in the ceremony which is supposed to usher in a new civil rights era."

Also, doughnut campaign underway: "So one gay rights advocate is encouraging supporters of gay marriage to “return the favor” by sending Mr. Warren gift cards to Dunkin’ Donuts. The gift cards, which cost a minimum of $10, can be personalized with pictures of gay couples and supporters. The effort was conceived by Tom Leonard, an Internet marketing consultant in Burbank, Calif., who also created ZeroH8.tv, which is working to place ads in support of gay marriage on cable networks in the wake of a new gay marriage ban in the state."

Melissa Etheridge made remarks after the MPAC event. Watch them, AFTER THE JUMP...

More
Katha Pollitt in L.A. Times: Rick Warren is an insulting choice.


Continue reading "Rick Warren Defends Inauguration Invite, Engages Melissa Etheridge" »


Shepherd Blocks Etheridge and Hasselbeck Prop 8 Wrestling Match

Etheridge

Yesterday, on The View, Melissa Etheridge tried to explain the founding fathers and the protections built into the Constitution to Elisabeth Hasselbeck in a discussion about Proposition 8.

Explained Etheridge: "Actually one of the things that was difficult about this was the - Thomas Jefferson wrote a paper (saying) the rights of the minority should never be voted on by the majority - that should never happen."

Hasselbeck basically said she believes that the majority should vote on the rights of the minority, and before Melissa Etheridge had chance to verbally smite her into a pile of right-wing dust, Sherri Shepard interrupted and said, "We wanted to talk about your CD."

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Shepherd Blocks Etheridge and Hasselbeck Prop 8 Wrestling Match " »


Melissa Etheridge on Prop 8: No Taxation without Representation

Melissa Etheridge has penned an excellent column for The Daily Beast on Prop 8 and legislating morality:

Imgbsbottometheridgeprop8_134036596"When did it become okay to legislate morality? I try to envision someone reading that legislation "eliminates the right" and then clicking yes. What goes through their mind? Was it the frightening commercial where the little girl comes home and says, "Hi mom, we learned about gays in class today" and then the mother gets that awful worried look and the scary music plays? Do they not know anyone who is gay? If they do, can they look them in the face and say "I believe you do not deserve the same rights as me"? Do they think that their children will never encounter a gay person? Do they think they will never have to explain the 20% of us who are gay and living and working side by side with all the citizens of California? I got news for them, someday your child is going to come home and ask you what a gay person is. Gay people are born everyday. You will never legislate that away."

You Can Forget My Taxes [the daily beast]


A Report from Ron Burkle's 'No on Prop 8' Beverly Hills Fundraiser

Mjb

I have a report from last night's major 'No on Prop 8' fundraiser at Ron Burkle's estate in Beverly Hills.

GreencacresOur source writes:

"First the good news: 'No on Prop 8' raised at least $3.9 million from last night's event! Ron Burkle underwrote the entire evening so that every dollar donated went to the No on Prop 8 campaign. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom donated $100,000. David Hyde Pierce donated $50,000. They also announced that in the past two weeks, 'No on 8' had taken in $10 million to the 'Yes on Proposition 8' campaign's $2 million. If I'm doing my math correctly, at this point we should be fairly even with the bigots in terms of funds raised.

Fund_2"Mayor Gavin Newson opened the event by calling the fight for marriage equality the civil rights issue of our time.

"Patrick Guerriero stated that 'No on Prop 8' had just completed a Spanish language radio ad that was ready to air. He also announced that 'No on Prop 8' would soon be running recently completed ads specifically to address and counter the false claims made in the advertisements run by the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign.

"Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa stated that the campaign was trying to reach out to Hispanic voters and that he would volunteer to be the face of the television ads and the voice of the radio ads.

"Now for the entertainment!:

Melissa"Melissa Etheridge opened her set with Laura Nyro's 'Wedding Bell Blues', only she changed the lyrics 'Marry me, Bill' to 'Marry me, Jill.' She also played Janice Joplin's 'Bobby McGee'. Throughout the set she made lots of jokes as well as pointed comments about what Yes on Proposition 8's $25 million dollars could have bought (housing for people left homeless by Katrina, etc...) In the middle of her set, she said she wanted to help raise more money for No on Prop 8 by auctioning off a song, any song, for the highest bidder...with bidding starting at $50,000. There were no takers, so she started into her next song. She closed her set with 'Bring Me Some Water'. After that, Lorri Jean (director of the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center) announced that two anonymous men (David and Paul, I believe), had agreed to donate $50,000 to No on Prop 8 if Melissa Etheridge would sing a song at their wedding ceremony on December 20. She accepted their proposal!

Noonprop8"Mary J. Blige followed Melissa Etheridge. I don't know her music, so I can't really tell you much of what she sang. The only one of her songs that I've been able to figure out is 'No More Drama'...very powerful! She also performed a cover of U2's 'One'. She looked AMAZING!"

Donate to the 'No on Prop 8' campaign HERE.

***As a footnote to this report, I'd like Towleroad readers to know that based on the tracking the campaign has done off links from this site, together you have raised at least $63,000 so far for the 'No on Prop 8' campaign.

More reports at Variety, The Advocate, and Bilerico.
(Etheridge/Blige photos Becky Sapp©Berliner Studio/BEImages)


News: Melissa Etheridge, NASA, Dominic Purcell, Uganda, Eminem

road.jpg NYT declares city's real estate boom over.

road.jpg REPORT: Palin used another private email account.

Aldrin_2road.jpg 50 years ago today, the U.S. created NASA. They've put up a gallery of images to celebrate.

road.jpg This might be the most degrading job ever.

road.jpg Washington Blade interview with John McCain holds few to no surprises.

road.jpg Entrepreneur and political activist Jonathan Lewis pledges $500,000 to fight Prop. 8 if the entertainment industry will match it: "My family and I are issuing a $500,000 challenge to the entertainment industry. We will match the next half-million dollars that entertainment industry leaders contribute. This is an urgent time in the campaign, and we have to act now."

road.jpg Keith Haring's universe explored in new film.

road.jpg Grouchy old UK man charged in court for harassment of gay couple.

road.jpg Boy George reality show Living with Boy George begins tonight in the UK: "The show follows George as he returns to the UK after four years in America, where he was arrested for possesion of cocaine and subsequently sentenced to do community service. George also finally comes clean on his addiction to heroin and his battles with other drugs. He also speaks openly and frankly about his sexuality and his controversial former relationship with Culture Club drummer, John Moss."

road.jpg Eminem returning.

Deerroad.jpg Cutest deer ever.

road.jpg Former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Peter Pace appointment meeting resistance at Indiana University: "Pace, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs from 2005 to 2007, publicly likened homosexuality to adultery in March 2007, calling it immoral. He later said he should have not expressed his personal views."

road.jpg Gay Ugandan given refugee status in Canada. Ugandan paper calls homosexuality a moral disease. And anti-gay Christian bishops from around the world are meeting in Uganda this week to discuss their homophobia: "About 40 bishops from Africa, Australia, the United States, India, Canada and Britain are taking part in the conference, which began on Monday near the Ugandan capital Kampala."

road.jpg School board in New Mexico takes control of yearbook to avoid last year's lesbian horror show.

Etheridgeroad.jpg Melissa Etheridge to marry partner Tammy Lynn Michaels: "Yes, we have four children and we're trying to find the right time. We are so grateful for the blessings from our friends and family as we commence our vows, and begin the rest of our lives together."

road.jpg Gianni Versace's mansion, where he was gunned down in 1997, now a restaurant called 1116 Ocean. The mansion also rents rooms for $5,000 a night.

road.jpg Prison Break's Dominic Purcell checks himself out.

road.jpg Mad Men's Bryan Batt talks to CNN about being gay in Hollywood: "There are always going to be people who look at people who are different and who disapprove [of them] either through fear or through ignorance. We have to work toward acceptance on all levels. How long ago were the civil rights movement and the women's movement? And, still today, women don't make the same amount of money as men do for doing the same job."

road.jpg Paris Hilton makes gay bar visit.

Antroad.jpg The first documented case of a suicidal ant.

road.jpg Liberty University to allow Soulforce Equality Ride activists on campus: "This year's visit will mark the group's first visit to Liberty since Jerry Falwell Jr. assumed leadership after the death of his father. Riders say they hope the campus' zeal for politics will allow open conversation about 'faith and fairness,' they said. 'We are in contact with Liberty students who have been waiting for the Equality Ride to return,' said Katie Higgins, Equality Ride's co-director."

road.jpg Gay editor of Lapland's largest newspaper fired because of her sexuality: "Ms. Korhonen told reporters from the Finnish media today that the real reason for her sudden dismissal was because 'I live in a registered partnership – in other words my spouse is a woman'."

road.jpg ACLU: Gay rights groups may have been spied on by Maryland State Police.


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