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Reactions to and celebrations of today's decision:

Listen: Oprah Gal Pal Gayle King Supports Marriage Equality

On her radio show Friday, Gayle King acknowledged the nervousness she felt when invited to the September 2008 wedding of Emmy and Tony Award-winning producer, Scott Sanders and Interventionist and author Brad Lamm. But it took only seconds for her bring her listeners along, sharing the news of last weeks ruling that DOMA is unconstitutional by Massachusetts courts. ("I like how they think in Boston.") — and to offer what is I guess her trademark  "Mommie Hug" to the Today show for its inclusiveness. 

399small285Said King, reacting to the U.S. District Court in Boston's striking down of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional: "They believe Gay people should be able to be married. I do too. In the world according to Gayle I definitely do."

Sanders, Lamm and King got to know each other through connections to Winfrey. Sanders co-produced The Color Purple musical and Lamm is producing a show for the new Oprah Network.

Listen to King's endorsement of marriage equality, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Listen: Oprah Gal Pal Gayle King Supports Marriage Equality" »

Prop8 Trial Finishes Arguments. Broad Range Of Possible Outcomes.

The closing arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, if one could call them that, are done, with-- as expected-- no ruling from the bench. Judge Walker scheduled the final round of testimony and rebuttal five months after the initial testimony so that he could have time to prepare the 39 questions he asked both sides to address in closing. If you missed the Twitter stream this afternoon, you'll wish it was televised after dipping into some of the summaries.

Unofficial transcript at the AFER site.

More coverage fromOlson_boies Courage Campaign, along with their clever project acting out the trial.

Good round up  at Huffington Post.

One side seemed a whole lot better prepared than the other, with the proponents of Prop 8 so unable to avoid Boies' logic that David Blankenhorn of the Institute for American Values made a number of statements clearly affirming the need for marriage equality (on display at Pam's House Blend).

In fact, Boies' questions were so effective at getting Blankenhorn to make the case that adoptive parents are better that when Olson came back to it during rebuttal, observers were "literally laughing and banging palm on foreheads" in the gallery,  reports Firedoglake. Check it out for their SportsCenter-like play by play of the legal team strategy scoring points today, but also covering bases most of us wouldn't know needed covering for the inevitable Supreme Court appeal.

Blankenhorn's respect for the "dignity of homosexual love" -Though a committed member of those opposing gay marriage -- is not actually news. The Independent Gay Forum noted his take in 2007 commenting on the this Gay Marriage Edition of Bloggingheads.

Not to worry, it was sufficiently balanced by arguments irrational, illogical and surreal. With Twitter the only way to follow along, at times it seemed like sitting behind Waldorf and Stadtler in the Muppet balcony  or with the MST3K commentators without actually being able to see the show. Over the course of this trial, Twitter news coverage has clearly come of age.  Compare the awkward first day's unplanned twitter coverage to today's mastery of the 140 characters.

Kate Kendell's distillation of the trial was so concise she had characters left to pour out a drinking game, counting the shots  each time the other side used some version of the word "procreation."

The re-tweeting, replaying and second-guessing continues.

The judge has broad authority to determine the time and possible outcomes which range from dissolving the 18,000 legal same sex marriages as proponents of Prop 8 asked again today, to ordering that new marriages be performed without waiting for the appeal.

Manifest Equality: L.A. Art Show Showcases Fierce Allies, Art


Cropped animate mamnifestby 90 I stopped by the now former Big Lots on Vine the other night to check the progress of  Manifest Equality, an art show which is the culmination of an open contest focused on LGBT civil rights.  The organizers are Jennifer Gross, Apple Via and Yosi Sergant, who resigned as NEA director last fall, having served through Obama's campaign as somewhat of his "hipster publicist." All three are wired into the art and political scenes. Sergent brought Shepard Fairey and Obama together initially for the Hope poster, and this initiative grew out of the similarly structured Manifest Hope contest and show.



The pieces I saw -- by gay and straight artists, ran the gamut from kitsch to polemical, disturbing to banal, along with a few I can't get out of my head and will be back to have another look at once they're hung on the wall.




There's a private preview this evening for a small group of artists, collectors and media. It's open to the public with a schedule of events from tomorrow through the closing on March 7th. If you're in LA, it's worth a little effort to go by in the next few days. 


Saturday night, the space was simmering with activity. Organizers were moving pieces, strategizing traffic to the crowd pleasers, bars, and the bathrooms. Two guys were unselfconsciously focused on letter-spacing and leveling the two-foot high stencils near the ceiling that spelled "men", "equal", "endowed" and other words from the Constitution. Finding Roman Alonso, co-founder of Commune and "one of the hottest names in [design]" according a recent LA Times piece, with his sleeves rolled and paint roller in hand  doing his part to make the back wall look like a barn added to the "Hey, let's put on a show" feel. 

Amateur night, this is not. Picking 30 pieces from the hundreds submitted to show alongside works by established/invited artists fell to a masterfully constituted panel of judges including high-profile, straight and gay art world figures (Fairey, Lari Pittman, Ed Ruscha); Media reps; LA Times art critic Dave Pagel and Vogue's Senior West Coast Editor, Lisa Love; a senior curator from LACMA; the director of the Hammer; politicians on the inside (LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa) and fighting to get in; and Rick Jacobs, founder of Courage Campaign which will get a significant percentage of proceeds — rising to 50% after costs are covered.



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Unwavering support like this has been a long time coming. It's nice to see MoveOn, which usually comes off as ambivalent on gay issues stepping up with Rock The Vote  to partner with national gay groups in support of the show. What? Straight allies who don't need to be taught or told how to be supportive? With initiative and passion of their own? Sounds like the way a "fierce advocate" might work. 

Some may not be ready for the 'age of Aqueerious' though. A friend told me he was trying to figure out the flier for Manifest Equality that someone handed him at the Farmers Market with his arm around a new guy. He looked up and a passer-by read his face and explained,

"It's a bunch of straight artists making gay-marriage art." 

And to some degree that is what it is...

...not that there's anything wrong with that.

Note: The first piece is Robbie Conal's.



Deviants Mash "Love Unites": Contest Attracts Hundreds

 Deviant Art's contest to mash the now familiar Shep Fairey poster "Love Unites" has attracted tons of entries.  A surprising number are worth a look, though as one might expect from Deviant Art and the open nature of the contest, others are not as well executed and a few are purposefully off topic, annoying or incindiary. But, just as love can unite, art can incite. Let us know what you think of the layers of issues here--from marriage equality to broader social justice and the fine point all this puts on fair use and ownership of images and creative work.

Towleroad Gallery: Mashing Equality 1


In case you missed it, some coverage of the  celebrity version of the contest with The Shepard Fairey Marriage Equality Project to raise money for FAIR (Facebook Page) .Movieline,Yahoo OMG! Access Hollywood, Greg in Hollywood.

Tons more entries on at the Deviant Art site  and don't miss the ones we pulled for a Towleroad gallery: Mashing Equality.

Correction (12/20): FAIR was the sole presenter. -mg

Houston Becomes Largest US City to Elect Openly Gay Mayor

After a runoff campaign that got extremely homophobic and nasty near the end, Houston voters tonight have chosen an out lesbian, Annise Parker, as their mayor. 

Houston Chronicle reports:Park  

Here's the bottom line, or maybe the punch line:

In Houston, it is now harder for a lawyer to be elected mayor than a lesbian.

In the last two weeks of the hard-fought campaign, several mailings — one of them funded to the tune of $40,000 by candidate Gene Locke's finance chairman and another finance committee member — urged voters to choose Locke because Annise Parker is a lesbian.

Parker hit back with two tough mailings attacking Locke for his history as a lawyer and a lobbyist.

The first on one side repeated line after line of what it called: “The three words Houston taxpayers dread most: Lawyer. Lobbyist. Locke.”

More at:  --Victory Fund which supported her in the past six races for city council and city controller

--Dallas Voice, which declared her winner a little earlier.


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