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Human Rights Campaign Protested, Criticized for Honoring 'Predatory' Goldman Sachs: VIDEOS

This past weekend at its New York gala, the Human Rights Campaign honored Goldman Sachs with the 2011 Workplace Equality Innovation Award. Accompanying that honor was a video released by HRC's 'Americans for Marriage Equality' campaign featuring Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein (above) and an article in the New York Times:

Fred Sainz, an executive with the Human Rights Campaign, said the organization sought Mr. Blankfein, in part, because he is “an unexpected messenger.”

“Lloyd Blankfein is not someone average Americans would think is going to support marriage equality,” Mr. Sainz said. “The green visor crowd is not typically associated with socially progressive policies, and this is further proof that a diversity of Americans are coming to the same conclusion.”

The LGBT grassroots did not respond kindly to HRC's move.

Mcgregor_sachsThe honor to Goldman was met by a protest from approximately 80 members of Queer Occupy Wall Street, which countered the $650-a-plate dinner with an "Occupy Guerilla Potluck for Full Equality" outside the doors of the Waldorf Astoria where the event was taking place.

More photos by Erik McGregor HERE.

The Queer Caucus listed three demands regarding its protest:

The Queer Caucus: 1. Condemns HRC for honoring Goldman Sachs, 2. Calls upon HRC to adopt a strategy of Full Equality by 2014, and 3. Demands that HRC create a transparent process that includes the grassroots.

The NYPD broke up the protest, Joe Jervis reports:

Cops moved the protesters across the street to a location where the black-tie crowd could not hear their chants. Still some protesters entered the Waldorf lobby to make their case. Some gala attendees reportedly mocked the protest via Twitter.

And today, Marketing and communications consultant Andrew Beaver slammed HRC in the Huffington Post. Beaver said giving such an honor to "a predatory company like Goldman Sachs" shows that HRC "has seriously lost its way at a unique time in our country and the LGBT movement's history."

Writes Beaver:

HRC's willingness to whitewash the pasts of individuals and organizations in return for cold cash is nothing new. In some ways I don't fault the group's willingness to look these execs in the eye, take their money, and use it to promote LGBT equality. But this strategy has its limits. In honoring Goldman Sachs, HRC is incredibly tone-deaf to the enormous outrage nearly all Americans feel toward the banks and securities firms at the center of the economic meltdown...

...I'm not suggesting it is HRC's job to police the American economy, nor do I think an organization that represents the spectrum of LGBT opinion should become a mouthpiece for critiques of our economic system, but I do believe HRC should embrace fundamental progressive values, especially those that so directly impact a generation we encouraged to live by those values. In honoring Goldman Sachs, HRC is aligning itself with a company that has nearly bankrupted an entire future generation and would do it again. This past Saturday HRC sent the message of "do as I say, not as I do," and that is very sad.

What are your thoughts about the HRC-Goldman Sachs relationship?


Seattle Woman Weds Building, Calls It a Gay Marriage: VIDEO

Seattlebuilding
(image SeattlePI)

In an event that right-wing hate groups like the AFA will likely see as a great victory for their people will start marrying buildings theory, a Seattle woman this weekend "married" a warehouse she said she fell in love with during the Occupy protests and called it a gay wedding.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

WCTI reports:

Babylonia Aivaz invited the Seattle public to attend what she calls the “gay wedding” to the building [this past] Sunday. The building is an abandoned warehouse that is in the process of being demolished, according to ABC affiliate KOMO. Aivaz hopes to save the space for a community center.

“Yes, I’m in love with a 107 year old building! Yes, ITS A GAY MARRIAGE! How is that possible? Well there must obviously be a deeper story,” Aivaz wrote on her Facebook invitation to the wedding.

In December, Avaiz and 16 others held a protest at the building, circling around the property and linking arms to fight for dedicated community space, according to the report. The warehouse is slated to be demolished and turned into a mixed-use apartment building.

Added Aivaz: “If corporations can have the rights as people, so can buildings. I’m doing this to show the building how much I love it, how much I love community space and how much I love this neighborhood. And I want to stop it from gentrification.”

Check out the slideshow by Lindsay Wasson at the Seattle PI (above photo) HERE.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Seattle Woman Weds Building, Calls It a Gay Marriage: VIDEO" »


Rick Santorum Glitterbombed

Picture 37
Before Rick Santorum departed South Carolina last night, a few Occupy people presented him with parting gifts: glitter and screeches. As the former senator signed autographs, they glitterbombed him, or almost did (it looks like they might have missed), and were dragged away by security personnel while screaming "occ-u-py, occ-u-py." Santorum was all smiles.

Once the Occufolk were out of the hall -- and well out of Santorum's earshot -- they began chanting "bigot, bigot, bigot." One young woman appears to have then glitterbombed one of the security personnel, demonstrating -- well, who knows what she was demonstrating? Presumably not solidarity with America's working stiffs. One young man then screamed "occupy is everywhere," and the Occufolk took up the cry. In the CBS video of the glitterbombing, the protestors then disapeared down a stairwell, and were followed a moment later by a final Occugirl wh, in her descent, began a solo chant of "bigot." She cast a last look at the camera, said "You're not welcome in South Carolina," and then was gone, followed by the dismayed stares of South Carolinians.

Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Rick Santorum Glitterbombed" »


Activists Visit HRC Store in 'Occupy the Castro' Protest: VIDEO

Hrc_occupy

A group of LGBT activists and allies supporting the 99 Percent Movement staged an "Occupy the Castro" protest over the weekend and stood in at the Human Rights Campaign store in Harvey Milk's old camera shop as one of several stops in the neighborhood.

Writes activist Michael Petrelis: "Over the course of ninety-minutes we chanted, spoke out, marched in the streets without a permit, distributed flyers, went into CitiBank's branch on Castro with a bawling baby and dozens of us surrounding a banker as a letter was read to him demanding that his and all banks start paying for public health and education while ceasing evictions and foreclosures..."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Activists Visit HRC Store in 'Occupy the Castro' Protest: VIDEO" »


NEWS: Bishop Eddie Long's Marital Woes, Ethopia's Inhospitality, Obamacare Is Happening, And A 3D Tour Of An Extraterrestrial Body

Vesta3D
Road The space probe Dawn has now gathered enough data on the asteroid Vesta to allow NASA to create a guided tour in 3D. You'll need red and green 3D glasses to view properly. Watch AFTER THE JUMP! And marvel: once Dawn's done with Vesta, she'll spin out of the asteroid's gravity well using super-futuristic ion propulsion and rendezvous with the dwarf planet Ceres, which is orbiting the sun at 17 kilometers per second. Science is awesome!  [HT: Phil Plait]

Road Ethiopians are unhappy about hosting International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Africa.

Road Alan Sues, Laugh-In star and pioneering/stereotyping TV gay guy, has died. From the Times:

Mr. Sues tended to perform with over-the-top flamboyance on the show, displaying stereotypically gay mannerisms. What he did not disclose was that he was gay, Mr. Michaud said, fearing that to tell the truth about his sexual orientation would have ended his career.

“It wasn’t because he was ashamed of being gay; it was because he was surviving as a performer,” Mr. Michaud said in a telephone interview, adding that Mr. Sues was actually an inspiration to many gay viewers. “Many gay men came up to him and said how important he was when they were young because he was the only gay man they could see on television,” Mr. Michaud said.

EddieLong Road Bishop Eddie Long's wife seeks a divorce:

In September of 2010, four young men came forward with lawsuits against Eddie Long—a well-known social conservative and Atlanta megachurch pastor—claiming that the bishop had plied them with vacations, cars and money in exchange for sex, starting when they were 16. (The cases were dismissed this spring after Long reached settlements with each of the men.) Yesterday, Vanessa Long filed for divorce, releasing a statement this morning that read "[a]fter a great deal of deliberation and prayer, I have decided to terminate my marriage to Bishop Eddie L. Long."

Road Gay couple accused of molesting adopted sons:

The allegations have caused turmoil within the family and has divided them, with family members forced to choose sides. Harasz’s biological daughter, Jackie, 19, told the media that she strongly believes that the couple is innocent. Chris Harasz, one of the adopted boys, says that all of the allegations are true.

Wirth and Harasz adopted nine boys from three different sibling groups over the past ten years.

Road Sandusky talks. And talks. And talks.

Road Standing On Ceremony to close.

Road Christian's don't like Johnny Depp's Christmas song.

Road Lovely Patty Austin's got a new album out. She talks about it, and AIDS, and all kinds of other things with The Advocate.

Road Yesterday, according to Forbes, "the bomb buried in Obamacare" exploded.  

Road The police stole the Occu-pies:

First there was pepper spray. Then came the batons. But on Thursday night, bad relations between the police and protesters entered a new dimension. While arrested demonstrators sat in their cells at a Lower East side station house, the police, protesters say, stole their pizza and drank all their soda pop.

“NYPD Sadistically Eats Pizzas Meant for World AIDS Day Occupy Wall St. Protesters,” read the headline on the protesters’ news release about the episode.

The police concede that they ate the pizza, but said they thought the pies were intended for them.

“Any way you slice it, it was an honest mistake,” said Paul J. Browne, the head police spokesman.

Road George Packer tells the story of Ray Kachel, and some other folk who found a home at Zucotti. It's a really good read.

Continue reading "NEWS: Bishop Eddie Long's Marital Woes, Ethopia's Inhospitality, Obamacare Is Happening, And A 3D Tour Of An Extraterrestrial Body" »


Occupy The Castro

HarveyMilkPlazaSan Francisco: Today at noon, protestors shall gather at Harvey Milk Plaza and begin an occupation of the Castro to protest housing injustices. From the "Occupy The Castro" Facebook page:

From the subprime mortgage crisis that began our current recession, to bank bailouts, the rising rates of homelessness and policies like the Ellis Act that prioritize profit over people, housing has been central to the occupy movement in San Francisco, and around the country.

We gather and rally in four neighborhoods in San Francisco which have experienced high rates of evictions for profit, and highlight the local struggles of the 99% against banks, and greedy real estate speculators.

There shall also be protests at the Embarcadero, in the Tenderloin, and in the Mission District.

[HT: Bay Area Reporter]


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