Michelangelo Signorile Hub




ENDA Discharge Petition So Far Has Support from 75 Dems, No Republicans

A discharge petition for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) being pushed by Rep. Jared Polis has the support of 75 of 218 lawmakers it needs to succeed, the Washington Blade reports.

PolisThe petition has no Republican support so far, even from GOP lawmakers who went so far as to co-sponsor the original bill:

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), an original co-sponsor of ENDA, has already vowed not to sign a discharge petition, saying through a spokesperson it’s a “partisan political tool.”

But Polis took Republican supporters of ENDA to task, saying it’s time “to throw down the gauntlet” because co-sponsoring the legislation isn’t enough.

Still, the bill, which has a narrowed religious exemption, faces challenges even if passed by the House, the Blade adds:

Even if the House were to succeed in passing ENDA with a narrower discharge petition, the chances of passing a version of the bill in the Senate with that language would be complicated. Still, Polis expressed confidence the upper chamber of Congress would pass the bill if the discharge petition were successful.

“The previous incarnation of ENDA was in the pre-Hobby Lobby era,” Polis said. “I’m confident that if this is brought to the House floor and passes, the Senate will be able to expeditiously act on this bill and sent it to the president’s desk.”

The Blade reports that Dems are "bullish" on its prospects. At least one pundit is skeptical:


Michelangelo Signorile: Burger King's 'Proud Burger' Is A Tax Evasion Cover-Up

Proud

Writing on The Huffington Post, Michelangelo Signorile argues that companies, political donors and other entities are courting LGBT people in order to cover up criticism of unethical and questionable actions.

Signorile points out that corporate support for LGBT rights is easier for companies than it has been in the past and that many of these organizations need the support of LGBT people.

Arguing that Burger King’s recent actions hurt the economy and workers, he says that the Proud Whopper is an attempt to allow the company to remove attention from the fact that it is “fleeing to Canada, buying up Tim Hortons, following other American companies engaged in so-called tax inversions, all to avoid paying U.S. taxes."

SignorileSignorile continues that although Republican megadonor Paul Singer has given money to LGBT groups and GOP politicians who already support LGBT rights, the hedge fund billionaire is also giving millions to anti-gay candidates via right-wing groups and super PACs.

He goes on to points out that Democrats are as much to blame as Republicans, noting that although Governor Andrew Cuomo supported marriage equality in New York, his recent actions, including budget cuts, have diminished the rights of all workers, be they gay or straight.

Getting straight to the point, Signorile concludes:

“The fact that Burger King so publicly supports LGBT rights shouldn't matter. We should be past the point of being giddy over a nice wrapper. Corporations that dodge paying U.S. taxes while making billions from American consumers are wreaking havoc. We should all be sending a message to the fast-food giant that it is hurting America -- gay America, straight America, all of America.”


Michelangelo Signorile Questions Ted Olson About His Work On Gay Marriage, Prop. 8: AUDIO

 In a SiriusXM Progress interview last week, Michelangelo Signorile asked solicitor Ted Olson about his work on the issue of same-sex marriage.

TED OLSON AND DAVID BOIESThe interview follows the publication of a new book Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality, in which Olson and David Boies discuss how they had California's Proposition 8 ruled unconstitutional and related issues.

In the interview, among other topics Signorile and Olson discuss how the issue of gay marriage can move forward given that the Republican religious base is still opposed, Olson’s criticism of the incrementalist approach to the issue of gay marriage, the importance of the Defense of Marriage Act, and how working on the cause has affected Olson personally.

Listen to a few key clips, AFTER THE JUMP...

And read Signorile's full transcript here.

Continue reading "Michelangelo Signorile Questions Ted Olson About His Work On Gay Marriage, Prop. 8: AUDIO" »


Facebook 'Kiss-In' Launched in Response to Negative Reactions to Michael Sam Kiss

Sam kiss

HuffPost editor Michelangelo Signorile has launched a Facebook "kiss-in" in response to negative reactions over the Michael Sam kiss.

KissinHe writes:

People just aren't used to seeing two men or two women kissing, even with all the news coverage of gay marriage. Judging by some of the reactions to the Sam/Cammisano kiss, I'm not sure what they think gay men in relationships do. Play checkers? (Well, maybe sometimes.) We see straight people kissing all the time, all over television, in magazines, in films, on the Internet. A lot of people who consider themselves pro-gay probably are uneasy about seeing gays kissing, just like a lot of people who in the past said they supported interracial marriage were probably uneasy when they saw two straight people of different races kissing (and some still are). And in this case, it's a gay black man and a gay white man kissing.

Signorile urges Facebook users to change their profile photos to two women or two men kissing.

He also references an article by Mark Joseph Stern at Slate which raises some of the same issues.

Stern makes a good case for why the negative reactions to the ESPN coverage of Michael Sam’s emotional kiss with his boyfriend prove gay people need to be more affectionate in public. 

Writes Stern:

Supporting gay rights means supporting gay people. And you can’t support gay people if you’re disgusted by their most basic and innocuous displays of affection.

Modern familyStill, on an emotional level, I can understand why an otherwise goodhearted straight person’s knee-jerk response to a gay kiss lands on the spectrum of discomfort. Gay PDA remains startlingly rare in 2014, thanks to an overwhelming history of anti-gay animus that makes every public kiss more than a little bit fraught. Even an ostensibly gay-friendly TV show like Modern Family gives mainstream America barely a glimpse at same-sex affection. And there’s an obvious feedback loop problem here: So long as gay people are uncomfortable kissing in public, straight people won’t be comfortable seeing it; so long as straight people are uncomfortable seeing it, gay people will hesitate to do it.

There’s really only one way to break this impasse: more gay kissing. Straight Americans needs to see more same-sex affection, and LGBTQ Americans are the only people who can provide it. Gay couples shouldn’t shrink from sharing a kiss in public, even if they risk drawing annoyed glances or angry tweets. Ten years ago, gay people were instructed to hide their sexuality lest they rub it in everyone’s faces. Today, we’re being told not to kiss in public—under the exact same rationale. There’s no reason to accept this pathetically irrational, plainly prejudiced party line. We should all be grateful to Michael Sam for sparking this conversation with his much-ballyhooed (and very innocent) kiss. But if we truly want to do justice to Sam’s already admirable legacy, we owe it to ourselves to follow his lead.


Former Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent Explains Why She Came Out As 'Queer' - AUDIO

Djuan_trent

This March, former Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent came out of the closet after a federal judge ruled that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

In a recent interview with Michelangelo Signorile, she explained why she came out as “queer” as opposed to “gay”:

”I think it’s one of those words that doesn’t put you in such a box… If you choose other labels, sometimes you feel like you’re in a bit of a box.

”My favorite example, that I always love to use, is that girls I went to college with, who ran all around campus waving rainbow flags -- they were like, ‘Lesbian for life! Yeah, forever!’ And now, how ever many years later, I’m seeing them on Facebook and they’re like, ‘He proposed, and I said, “yes!”’ And I’m looking, like, ‘What?!’

”So I think that 'queer' is one of those things that, it is more inclusive. It kind of opens to a whole other conversation about the fluidity of sexuality and being able to embrace that. Because I mean that’s the basic reason you see women who are hardcore lesbians one year and the next year they’re married to their husbands with three kids.”

The Huffington Post continues her explanation:

"When I originally wrote the blog, I wrote, ‘I am gay... And then, I went back and I looked at it and I decided I wanted to change it. I wanted to put ‘queer' there, because it’s a word that I like. I feel that a lot of people outside the LGBTQ community don’t know it’s a thing, that it’s okay.”

Trent has since become an honorary co-chair of Southerners For the Freedom to Marry.  

Hear her explanation AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Former Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent Explains Why She Came Out As 'Queer' - AUDIO" »


Ralph Reed: Conservatives Can't Put the Gay Marriage Genie 'Back in the Bottle'

2_ralphreedMichelangelo Signorile interviewed former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed at CPAC on Friday and said that even though he believes the Republican party and every GOP candidate that will seek the nomination for president will be in favor of 'traditional marriage', he says a long sought after federal marriage amendment is dead in the water:

"Even if you passed a federal marriage amendment, I would assume it would grandfather in anyone who's been married, so I don't know. It was always a very difficult option. I don't think we ever got 50 votes in the U.S. Senate for that amendment. So, we always knew that the amendment was going to be very difficult to pass."

Reed added that trying to pass such an amendment would be "trying to put the genie back in the bottle."

Listen to Signorile's interview with Reed, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Ralph Reed: Conservatives Can't Put the Gay Marriage Genie 'Back in the Bottle'" »


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