Tuesday, April 28, 2009

News and Notables

Gay Couples Begin To Wed In Iowa

Iowa county clerks began processing same-sex couples' marriage applicaations on Monday, following the April 3rd ruling that legalized gay marriage in the state. Iowa is the third state to legalize gay marriage along with Massachusetts and Vermont. Bouquets were expected to be handed to the newlyweds by volunteers in the state's larger cities.

Maryfrances Evans, 46, and Stephanie McFarland, 39, plan to hold their ceremony Friday, performed by the same judge who finalized the adoptions of their two daughters, now 5 and 3.

"It's all about me having the legal right to protect my family, and it's about my daughters being able to grow up knowing that their family is absolutely as valid as any other family," said Evans, who lives in the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale.

Obama Reflects on Holocaust

At a memorial for the Holocaust, in which millions of Jews were transported to concentration camps and murdered by Nazi Germany, President Obama emphasized that silence is unacceptable in dealing with evil and bigotry.

"Today, and every day, we have an opportunity, as well as an obligation, to confront these scourges -- to fight the impulse to turn the channel when we see images that disturb us, or wrap ourselves in the false comfort that others' sufferings are not our own," Obama said. "Instead, we have the opportunity to make a habit of empathy; to recognize ourselves in each other; to commit ourselves to resisting injustice and intolerance and indifference in whatever forms they may take."

Ending on a hopeful note, Obama referenced more recent violent conflicts such as those in Ireland and Rwanda, both of which have since subsided.

"Our fellow citizens of the world, showing us how to make the journey from oppression to survival, from witness to resistance, and ultimately to reconciliation," Obama said. "That is what we mean when we say, 'Never again.'"

Soujouner Truth Memorial Bust Unveiled

Today Soujourner Truth, respected abolitionist and women's right activist, became the first black woman honored with a memorial bust in the U.S. Capitol.

"One could only imagine what Sojourner Truth, an outspoken, tell-it-like-it-is kind of woman ... what she would have to say about this incredible gathering," first lady Michelle Obama said at the Celebration of Truth ceremony. "We are all here because, as my husband says time and time again, we stand on the shoulders of giants like Sojourner Truth."

"And as just Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott would be pleased to know that we have a woman serving as the speaker of the House of Representatives, I hope that Sojourner Truth would be proud to see me, a descendant of slaves, serving as the first lady of the United States of America," she said.

Those in attendance at the ceremony included Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, House Republican Leader John Boehner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as actress Cicely Tyson, who recited Truth's famous "Ain't I A Woman" speech.

New Jersey Voters Support Same-Sex Marriage Law

New Jersey voters support a law legalizing same-sex marriage by a 49-43 margin, according to a Quinnipac University poll.

And voters support 63 - 30 percent the existing law establishing civil unions for same-sex couples.

A proposed same-sex marriage law wins 64 - 29 percent support from Democrats and 50 - 41 percent from independent voters, but Republicans oppose it 67 - 26 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Men oppose it 48 - 44 percent while women back same-sex marriage 53 - 39 percent.

Read the rest of the poll results here.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The World Just Got A Little Less Funny...

Bea Arthur, better known as Maude or Dorothy Zbornak on The Golden Girls, perhaps one of the greatest TV shows ever, has died. She was 86.

"Dan Watt, a spokesman for Arthur's family, told the Associated Press that the star had been suffering with cancer, though he did not specify what kind. She died peacefully at her Los Angeles home with her family by her side, said Watt, who remembered Arthur as "a brilliant and witty woman."

Of her powerful stage and TV persona, which often found her cast in the same sort of role, Arthur once said, "Look – I'm 5-feet-9, I have a deep voice and I have a way with a line. What can I do about it? I can't stay home waiting for something different. I think it's a total waste of energy worrying about typecasting."

In case you don't know how talented this woman was, get into the clip below:

Rest in peace Bea.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's Official....

The Beyonce army has arrived. As a promo hook for her November shows in London, a 100 London ladies took the streets armed with leotards and high heels to perform a "Single Ladies" rush hour takeover. I have to admit, no matter how tired I might be of hearing the song, the choreography never gets old for me for some reason. Watch the clip below:

h/t Rod 2.0

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

News and Notables

Guidelines for Stem Cell Research Released

On Friday the Obama administration released the new guidelines for expanded stem cell research. Under the new rules, money will go only to research on stem cells from embryos created for reproduction purposes through in vitro fertilization. According to CNN.com:

"Funding for research using adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells will continue. Funding will not be allowed for stem cells obtained from other sources, including somatic cell nuclear transfer, also known as cloning; in vitro fertilization embryos created specifically for research purposes; and parthenogenesis, the development of an unfertilized egg."

Scientists believe stem cells may hold the cure to ailments such as heart disease, Parkinson's, and diabetes. The revelation of the new guidelines follows the administration's earlier decision to lift the ban on stem cell research.

"We considered the range of ethical issues and we believe this policy will allow substantial research that is ethically responsible and scientifically worthy," said Dr. Raynard Kington, the institutes' acting director. "We believe this is our best judgment now about a reasonable policy at this time."

Kington called this "an important day for science," saying there are reports that up to 700 stem cell lines might be available. And while it's impossible to estimate how many meet the guideline standards, he said, "We believe many of the lines that exist now that were not eligible under previous policy would be eligible under this policy."

Bullying Causes 11-Year Old Boy to Committ Suicide

This is so sad. Another 11-year old boy, this time Jaheem Herrera of Dekalb, Georgia, hanged himself after coming home from a school day of relentless bullying. According the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

After returning home from school, fifth-grader Jaheem Herrera quietly went into his room and hanged himself. His 10-year-old sister, Yerralis, also a fifth-grader, discovered Jaheem’s dead body. 'His sister was screaming, "Get him down, get him down," 'said Norman Keene, who helped raise Jaheem since the boy was two years old.

"Jaheem was bullied relentlessly, his family said. 'They called him gay and a snitch,' his stepfather said. 'All the time they’d call him this.'

"[Jaheem's best friend] said, 'He told me that he’s tired of everybody always messing with him in school. He is tired of telling the teachers and the staff, and they never do anything about the problems. So, the only way out is by killing himself.' "

No child should ever feel their only way out is through suicide. Jaheem's mother, Masika Burmudez, spoke about her son at a vigil held at the family's home.

After a short prayer, Bermudez told friends and parents to make sure their children understand that whatever problems they have “don’t be afraid to talk to your mother.”

"Jaheem asked if anyone would miss him if he wasn’t here,” said Alice Brown, mother of Jaheem’s 10-year-old classmate A.J. “[A.J.] told him ‘He was his friend and he would miss him."

I've already written about the sickening and potentially deadly consequences of anti-gay bullying so I won't go there again. But I think this song pretty much sums up the circumstances of Carl Hoover-Walker and Jaheem Herrara's deaths.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Eye Candy: Larenz Tate

It's been a while since I've showed a little eye candy and it's Friday, so take a look at this sexy piece of chocolate, otherwise known as Larenz Tate. I've pretty much loved everything he's been in, from Menace II Society to Dead Presidents to Waist Deep and Crash. Everything about this man, from his arms to his chest to his eyes and smile.... *sigh*. Just see for yourself below:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Throwback Mix: Janet and Madonna

Since I pretty much play their videos back to back everyday anyway, I thought hey, why not make it a blog post lol:). Here are some of Ms. Jackson's and Madge's videos, starting from the True Blue/Control era (how many current female artists' careers will we be able to divide up into eras 20 years from now?) of their careers.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

No Homo!

I don't know about anyone else but I'm too through with that phrase. Seriously why do straight guys (and some DL dudes) feel the need to say it after every sentence? It's not like every ounce of heterosexuality will drain from your body if you compliment other dude. Courtesy of Rod 2.0, here's a hilarious parody of 'No Homo' and the 'For Ladies Only' Youtube videos. Get into it below:


I've put off blogging about this story because it's so tragic. In case you haven't heard, last Friday sixth grader Carl Walker-Hoover committed suicide after months of relentless bullying by classmates.

"Sirdeaner L. Walker found her son, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, hanging by an extension cord on the second floor of her Springfield home on Monday night. Walker said Carl, a sixth-grade student at the New Leadership Charter School, had been taunted and threatened by classmates for weeks before he killed himself. She said that she contacted the school repeatedly over the last six months to ask teachers to intervene after learning her son had been targeted by students. Walker said her son’s classmates called him gay on a daily basis, made fun of his clothes and threatened to harm him, according to the Springfield Republican."

Walker, who would have turned 12 on April 17th, played football, baseball, was a Boy Scout and was active in church and volunteer work. Mrs. Walker said the bullying that lead to her son's suicide is larger than homophobia:

"It's not just a gay issue," Walker said. "It’s bigger. He was 11 years old, and he wasn't aware of his sexuality. These homophobic people attach derogatory terms to a child who’s 11 years old, who goes to church, school, and the library, and he becomes confused. He thinks, Maybe I'm like this. Maybe I'm not. What do I do?"

The issue is bigger than homophobia. Many of us guys, whether gay or straight, can recall being called or calling someone else a punk, faggot or gay, or have accused or been accused of 'acting like a bitch' in school if our pants were a little too tight (or actually fit) we didn't dress like thugs, listened to music outside of rap and R&B, or had interests (dance, fashion, poetry etc.) that didn't the standard of hypermasculinity so often held in high esteem in the black community. Homophobic teasing does more than just drive gay kids deeper into the closet; it causes both gay and straight boys to constantly monitor their behavior, suppressing any personal interests or mannerisms that could be perceived as gay and lashing out against those who step outside the boundaries.

The result of homophobia can not only result in tragic physical deaths, such as Carl Walker-Hoover's, but in spiritual death as well. I know this has been true in my own life, having spent much of my adolesence sacrificing my identity and policing my behavior--from the way I talked, walked, gestured, dressed and so on--to fit what others in my community wanted and expected. And I've seen it the lives of other men, who fully believe their sexuality is a choice and they're going to burn in hell, or others who wield flamboyance like a shield to hide their insecurities, and only see their lives as revolving around sex, men, and material goods.

We've all either been the victims of or perpetrators of bullying or teasing, and questioning someone's sexuality is right at the top of the list of ways to hurt someone. A story like Carl Walker's shows that this must stop. You can read The Advocate's feature about the tragedy here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Rick Warren: I'm Not Against Gay Marriage"

Seems like Rick Warren can't keep his facts straight. First he tells Larry King he never made any statements about Proposition 8, and he's oblivious to the whole gay marriage issue.

Really Rick? Then why did you make this video endorsing Prop 8, and told your flock if they believe in the Bible says they should support it?

Or this interview with Ann Curry where you called gays who follow their nature impulses for sex and relationships immature and further repeated your views on marriage?

Or these statements you made about gay getting hitched:

"The issue to me, I'm not opposed to that as much as I'm opposed to redefinition of a 5,000 year definition of marriage. I'm opposed to having a brother and sister being together and calling that marriage. I'm opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that marriage. I'm opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage."

Rick, if you didn't want that video misunderstood as an official statement, then maybe you shouldn't have made an online video that could be viewed by anyone with a computer. And if you are against gay marriage, then be a man about yours and say so instead of flip flopping like a fish on a dock. And who are these gay friends he keeps referring to? Where are they?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Flashback: Freakout Edition

This is still funny. I swear I can't watch this without rewinding it at least 10 times. A little background: Marguerite Perrin is an extreme religous fundamentalist,(and Lawd, she just had to be Louisiana! My state has such a bad reputation!) so of course, to appease the gods of good ratings, Trading Spouses placed her with a family who believes in, I guess I'll call it, new age/unitarianism. The whole episode is posted on Youtube and is hilarious, but the last part had me rolling for months. Here it is:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Gay Marriage Legalized in Vermont

Well, maybe I should look into Vermont for a post-grad destination. The Vermont legislature overrode a veto by Gov. Jim Douglas to legalize marriage for the state's gays and lesbians. According to CNN.com:

The Senate voted 23-5 to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto, according to the Senate office. Shortly afterward, the House overrode the veto on a 100-49 vote. The votes surpassed the number needed -- two-thirds of those present -- to override the veto.

The action makes Vermont the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriages. The others are Massachusetts, Connecticut and, as of last week, Iowa.

The Human Rights Campaign, which describes itself as the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, issued a statement applauding the votes, noting Vermont is the first state to legalize same-sex marriage through the legislative process.

"This historic vote in the Vermont Legislature reminds us of the incredible progress being made toward equality," said Joe Solmonese, Human Rights Campaign president, in the statement. "Less than five years ago, lesbian and gay couples began marrying in Massachusetts. Now, with the Iowa court decision last Friday and today's vote in Vermont, there will be four states recognizing the right to marry for loving, committed lesbian and gay couples."

Vermont was the first state to legalize civil unions for same-sex couple in 2000. Marriages for gay couples will take effect on September 1st. In related good news, the Washington D.C. council voted today to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages. 

Monday, April 6, 2009

Shoulda Seen This Comin'...

The recent ruling legalizing gay marriage in Iowa has inspired mixed reactions from the state's clergy. While some, such as Rabbi David Kaufman and Rev. David Ruhe, who both wrote essays about the decision, have been supportive, others have been, shall I say, more negative.

The Rev. Keith Ratliff, leader of the Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church, received a standing ovation Sunday as he denounced the court's decision.

Ratliff, an outspoken critic of gay marriage, called on state lawmakers to begin the process of amending the constitution to restrict marriage to between a man and a woman."We believe the homosexual lifestyle is wrong," he said. "But we invite homosexuals to the church, and invite them to repent."Ratliff said the ruling contradicted God's word, and he cited a Bible passage from the Old Testament. The passage, according to some translations, says: "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; it is an abomination."

"I don't care how you spin it," Ratliff said. "I don't care how many philosophical discussions you have on it. I don't even care what the Iowa Supreme Court says. There's a higher court."

Hmm, where do I start. First off, Rev. Ratliff, it doesn't matter what your beliefs or Bible says about gays or marriage. This is a state, I repeat, STATE issue. If you want to continue to preach that 'dem evil homosexticals are wrong (even though I don't agree) and refuse to marry gay couples in your church, the do you playa. But in case you haven't noticed the government doesn't deal in sin and scripture, but in the law and equality.

Secondly, if you want to follow the Bible to the letter, then the entire civil rights movement of the 60's was an immoral, ungodly rebellion, at least according to Romans 13:1-2:
1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

Third, how sad and ironic is that you're the leader of Iowa's NAACP chapter? An organization that recently declared their opposition to Proposition 8, a measure you support. Nevermind the potential boost to the Iowa economy gay marriage could provide, which, according to scholars and business people, could be in the range of $160 million dollars. Not that money should be a reason to grant civil rights, but I'm just sayin'. But don't think about all that Rev. Ratliff. Just keep those blinders on and keep protesting.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Gay Marriage Becomes Legal in Iowa

I wonder how Des Moines is this time of year? Today the Iowa Supreme Court declared the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional and a violation of gays and lesbians civil rights. The court's decision makes Iowa the third state, and the first in the Midwest to legalize same-sex marriage.

The court's ruling, which stated that "the Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution," according to a written statement by court spokesman Steve Davis, stemmed from a lawsuit filed by six Iowa gay couples who were denied marriage licenses, and become effective in 21 days.

"This is a great day for civil rights in Iowa," said attorney Dennis Johnson, a co-counsel with Lambda Legal, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of six same-sex couples seeking to marry in Iowa. "Go get married. Live happily ever after," he said at a news conference where there was loud clapping among plaintiffs.

The ruling comes on the heels of same-sex marriage legislation in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

If Ya Man Wanna Get Buckwild....

You know the rest! And ten points to anyone who knows who sang that song(whatever happened to her, hint lol!) Via Son of Baldwin, here is some guy on Craig's list (of course he's gay....you know straight boys aren't going to get this specific:) meticulous reaction to being cheated on by his boyfriend. 

To My Boyfriend and The Guy He's Cheating On Me With - 28 (columbus)
Reply to: pers-fnr2r-1086194520@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]
Date: 2009-03-22, 1:08AM EDT

Let me begin by saying that I am not angry and that after finding out who the guy is that you are fucking, well, bravo. He’s hot. I get it, the whole French thing is a major turn on, and to be honest, I don’t blame you. Furthermore, since I know you two search CL for people to join in, I felt it to be the best way to let you know the following before you come bounding home tomorrow afternoon.

1. I’ve known for about a week now. Contrary to popular belief, I can smell him on you when you come home after a night of “studying,” or, “working.” I wondered what that was. Not cool.

2. After a brief moment of being really pissed off, I realized that we are living in MY apartment. -Sweet!! As such, your key fob will no longer open any of the outer doors to my building. Your parking pass has been deactivated and security will not let you past the front desk. Furthermore, your access card allowing the elevator to go my apartment has been deactivated. Also, the door locks have been changed.

3. I have ceased all automatic monthly payments to your bills. You no longer have access to any of my accounts. Perhaps the French guy will take up your student loans. He does know your poor, right?

4. Your belongings are gone. Since I am a reasonable man, I have moved them into a Self Storage unit. The unit is paid up for a month so you’ll have ample time to get them. The address and combination to the unit have been left with the security guard at the front desk. I couldn’t remember if the stuffed panda was yours or mine so I threw it in with the rest of your stuff just in case. I’m not sure how long the plants will last though.

5. Security has been alerted at my office and you will not be allowed entry. Don’t try it. Those guys have about 50 pounds on you, and they carry guns.

6. Anything you have with you right now is yours and I will not look to get any of it back. Just a suggestion though; don’t try and sell my watch. I have the certificates for it and most reputable dealers won’t buy it unless you have the proper documentation. Those that would will probably just take the watch from you, along with your wrist and most of your arm.

7. The keys to your car are at the front desk as well. Your car will be towed unless you pick it up before 5pm on Tuesday. Although I might change my mind between now and then so, the sooner the better.

8. I have blocked your number.

9. I’ve blocked your mom’s number.

10. I’m keeping the dog. Even though you picked him out, I paid for him. He likes me more anyway.

In case you missed it, I’m breaking up with you.

You were good. I had no idea that I slowly became your sugar daddy, which is weird because you are older than I am. How’d that happen?

Location: columbus
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
PostingID: 1086194520 
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