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Rachel Maddow Hub



04/19/2007


Rachel Maddow on the Arizona Anti-Gay Bill Veto and Similar Measures Elsewhere: VIDEO

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Last night, Rachel Maddow addressed Jan Brewer's veto of Arizona's anti-gay 'religious freedom'/segregation bill and noted that since Arizona's bill has been getting so much attention, similar bills in other states have either been shelved or put on hold.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Rachel mentions the Mississippi bill which we mentioned yesterday, noting that the bill had been stripped of many of its provisions.

MississippiDeep South Progressive, however, insists that the ugly parts of the bill still remain:

Those key parts of the bill, which LGBT activists feared would legitimize discrimination by businesses that claim “sincerely held religious belief” as the motivating factor, remain unchanged. That’s contrary to previous reports that said the bill had been amended to only include the section that would add “In God We Trust” to the Mississippi state seal.

Despite that, leaders of the state business community were declaring victory Wednesday night, saying that the bill addressed the concerns of the business community. The Mississippi Economic Council (MEC), said that SB 2681, as amended, “provides both positive clarification and focused direction so that the amended bill addresses only actions by government, not private businesses or individuals.”

Mississippi is obviously one to keep an eye on.

CNN yesterday ran a list of other states with similar measures and the status of each.

2_brewerAnd finally, Michelangelo Signorile has some important notes on Arizona, et al:

But let's not forget that in Arizona, it's still legal to refuse to serve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in your bakery or your photo studio for religious or any other reasons, due in no small part to Jan Brewer's hostility to LGBT rights throughout her tenure. It's legal for a landlord in Arizona to turn away LGBT people. Except in a few Arizona cities with employment protections, it's also legal for an employer to fire someone simply for being queer...

...The backlash against this bill should also be a lesson for national LGBT groups that supported ENDA with dangerous religious exemptions: It looks hypocritical and wrongheaded to support a federal employment nondiscrimination bill that gives exemptions in hiring to some businesses, like hospitals run by religious entities, only to condemn a state bill that, in the name of "religious freedom," seeks to exempt businesses from having to serve gays. Could that be one reason that some major LGBT groups were oddly silent when the Arizona bill was passed last week?

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Alec Baldwin, Still Bitter Over Gay Slur Incident, Says He's Leaving Public Life

In a lengthy essay in New York magazine, Alec Baldwin rehashes the cascade of events after he used gay slurs (with surprisingly little perspective), pulls up a number of enemies to verbally shoot down, decries the state of American media and entertainment, trashes New York, and announes that he's leaving public life.

BaldwinBaldwin puts Anderson Cooper, (whom he calls "the self-appointed Jack Valenti of gay media culture") and Andrew Sullivan in his sights, as well as Rachel Maddow:

Once they fired me, a former MSNBC employee I knew emailed me. He said, “You watch now, Phil is going to start leaking left and right to bury you.” When I left, “Page Six” was flooded with lies about me. Another told me, regarding the “toxic little queen” comment, that Rachel Maddow was the prime mover in my firing, as she was aghast that I had been hired and viewed me as equivalent to Mel Gibson. Another source told me, “You know who’s going to get you fired, don’t you? Rachel. Phil will do whatever Rachel tells him to do.” I think Rachel Maddow is quite good at what she does. I also think she’s a phony who doesn’t have the same passion for the truth off-camera that she seems to have on the air.

The immediate aftermath of the gay slur incident is also described this way:

I flew to Hawaii recently to shoot a film, fresh on the heels of being labeled a homophobic bigot by Andrew Sullivan, Anderson Cooper, and others in the Gay Department of Justice. I wanted to speak with a gay-rights group that I had researched and admired, so I called its local Honolulu branch.

The office number turned out to be some guy’s cell phone. I left him a message—I said, “I’m from out of town, I’m visiting Hawaii on business, I’d like to  get some information on your group.” After two or three more calls, he answered the phone. I said, “Yeah, I’m the guy that called about your organization.” And he said, somewhat impatiently, “Okay, well, what did you want?” I said, “Well, let me put it to you this way, Nick. Your name is Nick? Nick, let me begin by asking you a question. Who would you say, by your estimation, is the most homophobic member of the entertainment industry currently in the media?” And he paused for a long count of four and said,

“Um … Alec Baldwin?”

And I said, “Ding, ding, ding, ding! Bingo, Nick, bingo! That’s who you’re talking to.”
He said, “C’mon!”

I said, “Nick, I want to come in and talk.”

I met with Nick and others from two LGBT organizations. We talked for a while about the torment of the LGBT life many of them have lived while growing up in traditional Hawaiian families. Macho fathers. Religious mothers. We talked a lot about words and their power, especially in the lives of young people.

One young man, an F-to-M tranny, said, “Are you here to get dry-cleaned, like Brett Ratner?” Meaning I could do some mea culpa, write them a six-figure check, go to a dinner, sob at the table, give a heartfelt speech, beg for forgiveness. I thought to myself: Beg for forgiveness for something I didn’t do?

I said, “No. I don’t want to get dry-cleaned. I don’t want to be decontaminated by you, Karen Silkwood–wise, scrubbed down. I want to learn about what is hurtful speech in your community. I want to participate in some programs about that. Or underwrite one. And then, like you, I just want to be left alone.”

BaldwinNow Baldwin is very bitter:

Now I loathe and despise the media in a way I did not think possible. I used to engage with the media knowing that some of it would be adversarial, but now it’s superfluous at best and toxic at its worst. If MSNBC went off the air tomorrow, what difference would it make? If the Huffington Post went out of business tomorrow, what difference would it make? Arianna Huffington accomplished what she wanted to accomplish. She created this wonderful thing. And what have they done with that? They want clicks, I get it. They’ve gotta have clicks for their advertisers, so they’re going to need as much Kim Kardashian and wardrobe malfunctions as possible. The other day, they had a thing on the home page about pimples. Tripe. Liberal and conservative media are now precisely equivalent.

I’m aware that it’s ironic that I’m making this case in the media—but this is the last time I’m going to talk about my personal life in an American publication ever again.

When this whole thing happened, Warren Beatty, who is mystifyingly intelligent and wise, said to me: Your problem is a very basic one, and it’s very common to actors. And that’s when we step in front of a camera, we feel the need to make it into a moment. This instinct, even unconsciously, is to make the exchange in front of the camera a dramatic one. Perhaps I fell for that.

Baldwin says he's leaving public life. Will you miss him?

Read the full essay here.


Rachel Maddow Reports on the Rolling Tide of Court Rulings Against Gay Marriage Bans: VIDEO

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Kenji Yoshino, constitutional law professor at NYU, joined Rachel Maddow last night to discuss the recent series of federal court rulings against gay marriage bans, and litigation in Kentucky, Oklahoma, Utah, Nevada, and Virginia. And why the Virginia ruling has a bit more historical heft.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Rachel Maddow on Mizzou's Amazing Snowy Tribute to Michael Sam's Coming Out: VIDEO

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Rachel Maddow reported on a heartwarming tribute that University of Missouri students created for defensive end Michael Sam to show support for his coming out on Sunday night.

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Rachel Maddow on Yesterday's Arrests of LGBT Activists Across Russia: VIDEO

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Rachel Maddow devoted a segment of her show last night to the many arrests of LGBT people in Russia yesterday and then noted the irony of a performance by fake lesbian group T.A.T.U. and the Russian team marching into the opening ceremonies to a song sung by Freddie Mercury, a gay man.

She Added:

"A lot about the recent anti-gay lurch in Russia is kind of hilarious in its ignorance. But most of it is not. Nobody wants politics mixed up in their Olympics or vice versa, but this really is how Russia started the Olympic Games today on day one. Holding our breath for day two."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Rachel Maddow Mocks Oklahoma's Plans to Ban All Marriage in Order to Avoid Gay Marriage: VIDEO

Oklahoma_maddow

Rachel Maddow mocks Oklahoma's ridiculous proposal to ban all marriage in order to avoid having to "face the horror" of gay marriage.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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