Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Are We Too Hard On Today's Black Artists?

This question just popped in my mind as I was watching the BET Awards (of all things lol.) Anywho, in reading reviews of the show I've heard the usual things--"It was a bunch of crap," "Today's artists have no class/talent/love of music," "They're just out to make a quick buck," or some variation of that.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm extremely critical and picky when it comes to music. I consider music an art and won't just shell out $15 for a crappy cd with one good song that I'll might halfway remember six months from now. And I'll also admit that I'm critical of the current musical landscape.

Most of the mainstream hip hop scene seems to be dominated by disposable dance tracks by no name artists (i.e. The Stanky Leg, Ricky Bobby, You A Jerk). Granted there have always been and will continue to be do-this-dance type songs. But you can still do dance music and be creative and artistic. Missy Elliott and Naughty By Nature are perfect examples of this. "Work It" or "Feel Me Flow" might be feel good party music, but I would still blast them and dance to them outside of the club. I definitely couldn't say the same for "Turn My Swag On" (chile don't get me started) or the songs mentioned above.

Also when it comes to R&B, most of the male artists seem more concerned with being hard and thuggish than really being sensitive and emotional, while the female artists seem to fall into one of two categories: hood chick or glammed up diva. I mean could an artist like Tracy Chapman or Grace Jones be successful today? Or would they just be lumped into an alternative category and languish in obscurity?

With all that being said, at what point does criticism of artist go too far? I think we sometimes set up unrealistic expectations for new artists, both in music and performance. This is often rooted in our nostalgia about music from our childhood. You never forget who impressed you first. In other words, since most of us came of age in the 80's or 90's then TLC, Sade, Michael Jackson, Janet, Prince, Aaliyah, Mary J., En Vogue, Tupac, Biggie, or Outkast is probably in your top 5 R&B group/artist list. They made the first big musical impression on us, set the standard that we measure ever artist that comes after by. We consider every song they sung classic, every live performance legendary and iconic. Even if they fall off as we grow older, we still hold them in high regard. But at what point does that become unfair?

How is a current or new artist supposed to live up to that childhood image of perfection? No matter how great their performance might've been, no matter how much they may have sang their hearts out, or no matter how much style or effort they put into their image or videos, we find ourselves sucking our teeth, saying "Yeah that was alright I guess." For example people are quick to say Usher/Ne-Yo/Chris Brown are just imitation/copycats of Michael Jackson. Or that Beyonce could never be Tina Turner no matter how hard she tried. Or Ciara jacks from Janet and Aaliyah.

But how could they be anything else? The reason why young male R&B/pop artists could never equal Michael's achievements and influence is because the barriers he faced are no longer there. He broke them. The styles and sounds that we take for granted as the norm he helped invent. So how could they break ground that's already been broken and been so enormously influential? On the female side, there's no way Ciara could ever deny Janet's influence on her music or choreography, and if she tried, people would call her a liar. The walls of our collective childhood memories of these and other icons are sometimes so indestructible that today's artists can't hope to chisel through it, no matter how impressive they might be.

White artists don't seem to have this dilemma. Britney Spears has made a career out of lip syncing in concerts, doesn't write or produce her music (none of her collaborators even pretend she's remotely involved in the create process), and had a meltdown of epic proportions but is still seen as the next Madonna. Nevermind that she's still stuck on the Like A Virgin stage of her career, people still celebrate her.

Now don't get me wrong. Of course we should expect today's artists to sound good live, have exciting choreography, and make interesting, durable music. We shouldn't accept crap. But at the same time we shouldn't let nostalgia cloud our vision from seeing artists--such as Kanye West, Lady Gaga, Ne-Yo, Fantasia, The Dream, Jill Scott, Alicia Keys and others-- that are truly trying to make an artistic mark. Otherwise we'll just be just like our parents, shaking our fists that music isn't as good as it was in the 90's.
So what do you think? Are we as consumers too hard on today's black artists? Please discuss, I want to see comments lol.

Monday, June 29, 2009

"Gayby" Boom Generation Grows Up, Speaks Out

That name is just too cute lol. According to CNN, a growing number of kids raised by gay parents are speaking out about their childhood experiences and countering criticisms that having two moms or two dads is damaging.

Some gayby boomers say they are tired of hearing that their family isn't legitimate. It's an argument many have heard since they were children. They learned that they didn't fit the definition of the "right" family, and worried how others would react if they found out about their parents.

The result: the children of same-sex couples often lived lives that were more closeted than their parents.

"Many of us were so closeted that we didn't know others like us were out there," says Danielle Silber, a 26-year-old fundraiser for the International Rescue Committee, who was raised by lesbian mothers and gay fathers in Takoma Park, Maryland.

"In middle school, because of pervasive homophobia and taunting, I didn't tell any of my new friends in school about my family to the point where I wouldn't invite them to my birthday parties," Silber says.

Silber says she didn't tell her parents about her fear of harassment because she was afraid to stand up for her family in school even though she was proud of them.

"Although I would normally turn to my family, I couldn't because I was ashamed that I was ashamed of them," she says.

Shame has now turned to pride for some gayby boomers. Many are now adults. They're writing memoirs, searching one another out online and have even formed their own support and advocacy group.

Their numbers are increasing as well, according to COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere). At least 10 million people have one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender parent.

"As Harvey Milk [the first openly gay man elected to a major public office] said, the more people know us, the less they'll vote against us," says Silber, coordinator of COLAGE's New York chapter. "The more our voices are heard, the less other people will be bigoted."

Read the rest of the article here.

Joe Jackson Needs To Shut Up

Leave it to 'ol Joe Jackson, the stage parent to end all stage parents, to make a buck in a time of grief. While being interviewed by CNN at the BET Awards, Papa Joe responded to questions about his family's emotional state with blase comments like "Oh we're fine," "Everything's great."

Joe, did you see your daughter Janet onstage last night on the verge of tears? That didn't look fine to me. Or were you too busy gettin' your groove on in the audience? But I could give even that questionable act a pass, because everyone deals with grief in their own way. It's not like I expected the man to be curled up in his seat in a fetal position bawling the whole night.

But that wasn't enough. Besides having his publicist read a prepared statement for him (even though he could've easily answered the question himself since he was standing right there), he also took to time promote his new record label. That's right Joe: don't worry about your son's untimely tragic death. There's coins to be made. Watch Joe's interview below and Janet's appearance below, and tell me who's truly grieving.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Can't Believe It.....

Michael Jackson has died. I can' believe I just typed that sentence. After suffering a heart attack at his Los Angeles home, Michael was rushed to the hospital. When paramedics arrived, he was not breathing.

This is so tragic. Say what you want about Michael, whatever his eccentricities or quirks (and I hope with everything in me that he never touched a child) he was, and will always be known as one of the greatest pop artists of all time. Period. Without his dancing, visual style and music, there would be no Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, Usher, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Ginuwine, Bobby Brown, Janet, and hell maybe not even a Madonna, who was also inspired by the King of Pop in the early days of her career. Virtually every major artist of our generation has been influenced by this man in some form or fashion.

Michael changed the face of pop culture and the music industry. In the late 70s/early 80s rock and new wave pretty dominated the charts and early MTV. With Thriller Michael broke records, made history, shitfted the focus to dance/pop and R&B (where it's pretty much stayed to this day) and proved black artists could be just as successful and mainstream as any white artist.

We all know that death is a part of life. As humans we are not an exception. But you always think your favorite artists will just go on forever, living and inspiring others and whose work is waiting to be discovered by a new generation. This goes beyond music however. Whether that person is your grandma, your parents, your best friend, you seem to think that they're somehow immune to the laws of nature. I know I'm rambling at this point, cause I'm still in shock.

R.I.P Michael Jackson, THE KING OF POP. Get into these clips below:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Last Night I Had A Dream....

Okay, this is completely random, but last night I had one of those extended dreams that come along rarely. Anyways, somehow me, a group of friends, and random folks got into some insane, apocalyptic battle with a group of vampires. Of course their leader was one of those ultra sinister types who wanted kill and/or enslave all humans. I guess we defeated them but the leader vowed he would be back to annihilate our asses or something like that.

Anyways after the battle we went back to our house, where I was staying with two fabulous girls who must've been my hags. We gabbed about how we'd just survived a vicious vampire attack. We also spent some of the night convincing a cutie not to go to the club lest the vampires had a surprise attack planned for him.

The next day we were all in some Times Square style part of town hanging out when I noticed the sky was getting progressively darker. I told everyone I was about to home when a woman who I assumed was one of my friends' grandma asked if I could walk with her to one the boutiques to get something. (We were at one of those outside malls). She reminded me of the old woman from Drag Me To Hell. But I digress.
As we were making our way back The sky turned pitched black as a blood red fog covered everything. I heard a loud, cataclysmic crash that sounded like a crater had just been blown in the Earth. The next thing I knew a tank the size of Texas burst out the ground. My first thought was Ooooooooh Shit! I turned the corner to run but saw five or six smaller things that looked like tanks barreling towards me.

As I rounded the curb I saw a vampire pointing what looked like an AK-47 at me as he snarled with a wicked laugh, revealing gnarled rotten teeth and inch long fangs. As I made it around the other side of the boutique, I saw people who looked frozen in place. Vampires stood calmly beside them, as if they'd exerted some sort of mind control over them. Maybe they'd struck a deal with some warlocks or something lol. Others were being shuffled along by other vampires to some unknown destination. For some inexplicable reason I also saw my real-life aunt and uncle pass by. My aunt was walking on crutches. I found my friends, who'd somehow managed to avoid whatever mind control magic the vampires had worked. I quickly sat down by them as we talked about what I assume was a battle plan.

Then I woke up.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Chris Brown Gets Plea Deal

Well I can't say I didn't expect this to happen. Chris Brown has struck a plea deal in his assault case. According to CNN.com:

Under terms of the agreement, Brown will serve five years of probation and must serve 180 days in jail or the equivalent -- about 1,400 hours -- in "labor-oriented service," said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office. He must also undergo a year-long domestic-violence counseling class, she said.

Brown's sentence is comparable to other felony sentences when the defendant has no previous record, she said.

"This is not an easy sentence," Gibbons said. He must check in with a probation officer every three months.

Brown, 20, had previously pleaded not guilty to felony counts of assault and making criminal threats in connection with an attack on his girlfriend, Rihanna, also a singer.

But under the plea deal, he pleaded guilty to one count of assault with the intent of doing great bodily injury in connection with the argument inside a rented Lamborghini on a Hollywood street in February.

Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, made a brief appearance at the hearing -- after Brown had left the courtroom -- to hear Los Angeles Criminal Court Judge Patricia Schnegg discuss the issuance of a "stay away" order requiring him to stay 100 yards from her.

Through her attorney, Rihanna had requested that such an order not be issued.
But Schnegg refused that request, saying she would issue such an order but would revise it to 50 yards -- 10 yards if the two are at the same "industry event" together.

Schnegg told Rihanna, who was wearing a black dress with white pearls around her neck, that she would consider lifting the order after Brown completes his domestic violence counseling but advised Rihanna not to contact Brown. Asked whether she understood, Rihanna said she did before leaving the courtroom via a back door.

Rihanna's attorney, Donald Etra, said Rihanna made the request because she felt that a protective order in place, requiring that Brown not annoy or harass her, was sufficient.
Schnegg said Brown could apply to have his supervised probation transferred to Virginia, where he maintains his legal residence. He also can complete his community service there, she said, but it would have to meet the court's standards.

"I want Mr. Brown treated as any other defendant who comes to this court," Schnegg said. She noted, however, that he has no prior criminal record.
Gibbons, of the district attorney's office, explained that the judge wants Brown to work -- remove graffiti, for instance -- as part of his service.

"His sentence is not based on what he's available to do," Gibbons said. "His sentence is what he's going to do, or he's going to go to state prison for four years."

Dressed in a light plaid suit, Brown answered "guilty" when asked his plea by Assistant District Attorney Mary Murphy. Formal sentencing was set for August 5.

After the hearing, Geragos said of Brown, "as long as I've known him in connection with this case, he's wanted to take responsibility."

He said Brown is thankful to those who offered him support and noted that he is "a kid who's never been in trouble before" who wants to "move past this" and get out the message that domestic violence is not acceptable.

Brown "embraces this as an opportunity to get his life back on track and get his career back on track," Geragos said, adding that Brown will speak further after his sentencing.
Etra said after the hearing that Rihanna "was fully prepared to testify and she would have told the truth about what happened that evening." He said she did not object to the plea agreement.
Rihanna had not attended any of the hearings in the case but had been following the case closely, Etra said earlier.

Hopefully Chris Brown will show that's he's a man of his word, serve his sentence and complete his rehabilitation. For better or worse, Rihanna and Chris Brown's domestic drama has shined a light on an all too common problem among teens and young adults. Brown could use this as a platform to show domestic is not wrong and shouldn't be tolerated. I hope he will.

Jamie Foxx Shouts Out B. Scott, Gay Fans

Well this is a pleasant surprise. On his satellite radio show Jamie Foxx shouts out B. Scott and his gay fans. But what really surprised me was how Jamie shot down one of his co-hosts when they tried to bring up the whole "A gay dude might try to get your booty" stereotype. The link to the clip is below:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Census Study: Straight and Gay Married Couples Are Similar

A recent census study reveals that gay and straight couples have several similarities, including age, number of children in the household and level of income. Although I think a more precise study could be done on states where gay marriage is legal, it's still an informative article. Here's an excerpt:

Members of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force have been meeting with the Obama administration over the issue. On Wednesday, the administration extended limited job benefits to gay partners of federal workers, and President Barack Obama said he would work to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

"I think the signs are good from Commerce (Department) that this policy is going to be reversed," said Jamie Grant, director of the Policy Institute at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

One argument they may be able to use for the policy change is that same-sex couples who check "husband" or "wife" on a census form appear to be a very different demographic group than couples who check "unmarried partner," according to the new census study.

Those "married" couples tended to be older and have lower incomes, but were more likely to have children and own their home, than same-sex couples who checked "unmarried partner." In terms of education, homeownership, children and income, the same-sex "married" couples more closely resembled heterosexual husbands and wives.

Martin O'Connell, chief of the Census Bureau's Fertility and Family Statistics Branch, said the agency decided to dig into its unpublished internal files after the California Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in May 2008.

"We saw it was going to be a pretty important issue," O'Connell said.

O'Connell defended editing the census responses of same-sex couples where gay marriage isn't legal.

"What if you fill out the form to say you are my sister?" O'Connell said in a conversation with a male reporter. "Does that make you my sister? No, you're not my sister. "... People have to ask what is the responsibility of the Census Bureau to provide data that people have confidence in."
The bureau says it is also bound by federal law. And changing the definition of marriage would have statistical ramifications throughout the federal government.

Gary Gates, a demographer with the Williams Institute at the UCLA law school and an expert on gay and lesbian demographics, compared the number of California marriages on the same dates in 2007 with the number in 2008 to produce the estimate that there were 18,000 same-sex marriages last year.

But O'Connell checked that methodology against records in Massachusetts, which does count same-sex married couples. He said that methodology could have inflated the number of married couples by a third.

Gates said his estimate is conservative, because the worsening economy potentially would have caused fewer Californians to marry in 2008, strongly suggesting the spike in marriages starting June 17 was due to same-sex couples.

Both demographers agree that with state marriage laws changing so rapidly, better data is needed. "Not all of these can be legally married same-sex couples — there are too many of them," Gates said of the census study. "They are capturing, in essence, a socially constructed term, more than a legally constructed term."

Read the rest here.

Ex-Miss Califronia Threatens Lawsuit

Well the saga continues. Carrie Prejean's lawyer is threatening to sue the pageant director Keith Lewis for statements he made regarding Ms. Prejean's dismissal.

Prejean, stripped of the Miss California USA title last week, "suffered severe emotional distress" and her reputation was harmed by Lewis, Charles LiMandri said in a letter sent Thursday to Lewis' lawyer.

LiMandri's letter also accused Lewis, whom he referred to as a "gay activist," of setting Prejean up to be fired because of her statements opposing same-sex marriage.

Lewis however says Prejean was fired in part because she missed several scheduled appearances.

"She came to us and said I'm not interested in your input; I'll make my own decision what I'm going to do," Lewis said. "You know, when you have a contract, when you're working for someone, you have a responsibility to follow through on what that requirement is." Lewis told King it was clear "she was not interested in upholding the title or the responsibilities."

Ok, first all of "severe emotional distress"? Girl please. You didn't get fired because of a "gay conspiracy," and your lawyer insinuating that you did is despicable. You got canned because you didn't fulfill your contract. If you were a crew worker at McDonald's, clocked out to go on break and never came back (we all seen someone do it lol!) you wouldn't even fix your mouth to claim severe emotional distress and threaten a lawsuit. Lying about taking pics with your naughty, surgically enhanced bits out obviously didn't help matters. Not that I think naked pics are horrible or anything, but if you're trying to be a pageant queen, you already know the rules about that sort of thing.

Secondly, you are neither a martyr for free speech or conservatives. You spoke your mind: gays shouldn't be allowed to marry. And the public, the media and Perez (as much as he gets on my nerves) responded to your opinion. Granted Perez calling you a "dumb bitch," among other things, was harsh. But you were not censored, just severely criticized. Be a big girl and drop the "woe is me, the queens are out to get me" routine. It's tired.

Lastly, I fear for your hair and makeup, because no self-respecting gay will do your head or beat your face now. Good luck on proving your case girl. You'll need it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Master Mix: Rock Chicks

Don't act like you're surprised. R&B starlets and dance divas aren't the only objects of my diva worship. Rock chicks also get love as well. For some reason I love the sound of a girl wailing over guitars lol. Get into some of the clips below:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I Love Lady Gaga!

There are few new music artists that I really get excited about and become invested in. Kanye West was one--I even wrote a paper in sociology class about him-- Amy Winehouse was another, at least until she started taking hits from the crack pipe.

Now I can add Lady Gaga to that list. When I first heard "Just Dance" I thought it was cool club track, but then as I heard other songs, like "Poker Face," "The Fame," "Love Game," and Paparazzi," I've become hooked. What's really got me however is Ms. Gaga's image, that crazy-ass mix of Space Channel 5(I know someone remembers that game lol!) garb and sex kitten chic. Everytime I see her I think this chick is ridiculous. But I love it lol! While her concepts(the glamour and absurdity of celebrity, knowingly ironic and superficial pop music) are not entirely original, they're still refreshing compared to Miley Cyrus' and the Jonas Brother's tunes.

I also love that fact that she's taking so much effort to craft her image and videos and inject pop music with peformance art. That and the fact that the chick is witty, irrevent and doesn't give a damn if people know she's bi. I can't to hear what her next album will sound like and what her image will look like next.

Get into a couple of Lady Gaga vids below:

Obama's Deeply Disappointing Memo

Don't get me wrong. I'm still an Obama supporter, but he's going to have to do some hella damage control and give some concrete answers after this very offensive memo in defense of DOMA(Defense of Marriage Act).

In a nutshell, the memo states, among other things, that DOMA saves money, doesn't discriminate against gays, and most upsetting of all, compares gay marriages to incest, one of oldest and dumbest arguments in the book. Read this excerpt below if you don't believe:

The courts have followed this principle, moreover, in relation to the validity of marriages performed in other States. Both the First and Second Restatements of Conflict of Laws recognize that State courts may refuse to give effect to a marriage, or to certain incidents of a marriage, that contravene the forum State's policy. See Restatement (First) of Conflict of Laws § 134; Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws § 284.5 And the courts have widely held that certain marriages performed elsewhere need not be given effect, because they conflicted with the public policy of the forum. See, e.g., Catalano v. Catalano, 170 A.2d 726, 728-29 (Conn. 1961) (marriage of uncle to niece, "though valid in Italy under its laws, was not valid in Connecticut because it contravened the public policy of th[at] state"); Wilkins v. Zelichowski, 140 A.2d 65, 67-68 (N.J. 1958) (marriage of 16-year-old female held invalid in New Jersey, regardless of validity in Indiana where performed, in light of N.J. policy reflected in statute permitting adult female to secure annulment of her underage marriage); In re Mortenson's Estate, 316 P.2d 1106 (Ariz. 1957) (marriage of first cousins held invalid in Arizona, though lawfully performed in New Mexico, given Arizona policy reflected in statute declaring such marriages "prohibited and void").

And this part that pretty much insinuates that gays aren't a real minority group:

Because DOMA does not restrict any rights that have been recognized as fundamental or rely on any suspect classifications, it need not be reviewed with heightened scrutiny. Properly understood, the right at issue in this case is not a right to marry. After all, the federal government does not, either through DOMA or any other federal statute, issue marriage licenses or determine the standards for who may or may not get married. Indeed, as noted above — and as evidenced by the fact that plaintiffs have married in California — DOMA in no way prohibits same-sex couples from marrying. Instead, the only right at issue in this case is a right to receive certain benefits on the basis of a same-sex marriage. No court has ever found such a right to federal benefits on that basis to be fundamental — in fact, all of the courts that have considered the question have rejected such a claim. (And even if the right at issue in this case were the right to same-sex marriage, current Supreme Court precedent that binds this Court does not recognize such a right under the Constitution.) Likewise, DOMA does not discriminate, or permit the States to discriminate, on the basis of a suspect classification; indeed, the Ninth Circuit has held that sexual orientation is not a suspect classification.

Granted, it's not like I'm running down the aisle to get married (Lawd knows the state of Louisiana isn't going to give me the right any time soon), and I do believe health care and the economy are more pressing issues right. But this is just wrong. Saying I shouldn't be allowed to marry because it saves people money and that it the law doesn't discriminate against me (even though that was the point of its creation, to "defend") disgusts me. Like I said before, I'm still an Obama supporter and don't think he hates gays or is some kind of bigot. But this memo makes it hard to believe that his administration doesn't think of our lives and relationships as somehow second rate.

Read more about the memo at americablog or read the whole motion here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

BET Updates Their LGBT Section

Usually the words BET and LGBT community don't conjure positive feelings or images. Lawd knows that gay folks are few and far between on the channel or usually ignored altogether. However, with the recent updates to their LGBT section on the station website, they seem to be taking a step in the right direction. The dreadful "How to Know If Your Man's Gay" section is gone. The page also includes info about important figures in the black LGBT community and a page that discusses (and debunks) common myths about gay people. Check it out here.

This Fox Needs Pot To Trot

Besides being every straight boy's current carnal obsession (hell she'd almost make me turn in my rainbow coalition card) Megan Fox is also a fierce advocate of the right to spark up:

The actress who is never the one to hold back says, “America’s war on drugs is propaganda...I can’t tell you how much bulls**t I’ve been through because I will openly say that I smoke weed. People look at it like it’s this crazy, hippy, f***ed-up thing to do. And it’s not! “I hope they legalize it and when they do I’ll be the first f***ing person in line to buy my pack of joints.”

While I've long given up the ganga ghost, I do agree with Ms. Fox that marijuana should be legal. Although in my case I was, in the words of the late great Notorious B.I.G., a "mad Buddah abuser," there are plenty of folks who use weed in moderation for purely recreational or medicinal reasons. And at the same time, if someone is using weed to cover up pain, issues etc., they're adults and ultimately it's their health and their choice. It should be treated like alcohol: only those 21 and up can buy it, no getting baked and driving, etc. Compared to cigarettes (which I've never touched ironically) and alcohol, weed has never resulted in death and is a far less dangerous drug overall.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

It's The Return Of The Old School

My fellow gays (and assorted straights) rejoice! Both Whitney Houston and Sade plan to release new albums this year. After who knows how many pushbacks and release dates, Nippy's new album is set to be released in the fall. Of course earlier this year she got her feet wet by performing at Clive's pre-Grammy party, and while she wasn't wailing like it was 1985, she clearly had been working on restoring her pipes.

Sade also seems to have come out of hibernation and will also release a new album later this year. In case you forgot, Sade's last album was Lover's Rock which featured my jams "By Your Side" and "King of Sorrow." Ms. Sade will also turn 50 this year (damn that's hard to believe). Hopefully these ladies new music will show the rookies what a true diva is.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Hampshire Legalizes Gay Marriage

I might have to become a Yankee after all lol. New Hampshire becomes the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage, with a vote of 198-176 in the House and 14-10 in the Senate. The ruling provides provisions for religious institutions to decide whether or not they will marry a gay couple (so no griping from the peanut gallery!). The new law will take effect on Jan. 1.

Monday, June 1, 2009

News and Notables

Male Student Crowned Prom Queen

"I felt invincible." That's how 18-year old Sergio Garcia described being crowned prom queen at his Fairfax, LA high school. Garcia, who is openly gay, beat out several female candidates to claim the crown.

"Garcia, 18, spent most of his years at Fairfax openly gay and wanted to be part of the Los Angeles school's prom court -- but not as prom king. He felt that vying for prom queen would better suit his personality, so he decided to seek that crown, running against a handful of female classmates.He said it started out as a bit of a stunt and challenge -- he wasn't sure the school would allow it. But his campaign for queen ended up being serious and sparking dialogue about gender roles on campus. "

"He's among the first male students in Southern California to take the title usually owned by female high school beauties."It just shows how open-minded our class is," said Vanessa Lo, 18, the school's senior class president."

Shiite Cleric Says 'Being Gay Is Bad, But Don't Kill Them!

Well I suppose this shows some progress. Moqtada Sadr, a radical Iraqi Shiite cleric, has declared the "depravity" of homosexuality must be destroyed, but violence against gays must end.

"The purpose of the meetings is to fight the depravity and to urge the community to reject this phenomenon. The only remedy to stop it is through preaching and guidance. There is no other way to put an end to it."
Regarding the recent killings of six gay men in Sadr city, on the outskirts of Baghdad, Atabi said: "Al-Sadr rejects this type of violence … and anyone who commits violence [against gays] will not be considered as being one of us."

Homosexuality isn't illegal in the region, but religious leaders strongly oppose it. In the wake of the recent killings Amnesty International urged Iraq's president and other leaders to condemn the attacks on the gay community, which have even extended to children suspected of being gay.

Exxon to LGBT Employees: "No Equal Opportunity For You"

Exxon's shareholders rejected a proposal to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the company's equal employment opportunity policy. The latest attempt was made by the HRC, as well as the New York City Comptroller and New York City Pension Fund, two large shareholders in the company.

“ExxonMobil continues to have the dubious distinction of being the only Fortune 50 company that refuses to add sexual orientation and gender identity to their non-discrimination policy, and is stuck in the ever-shrinking minority of businesses that don’t offer domestic partner benefits,” said Human Rights Campaign Foundation President Joe Solmonese.

“It is irresponsible for ExxonMobil to ignore overwhelming shareholder support and not to join the majority of companies that provide equal protections and benefits to all families.”
The oil giant is the only American company to have a LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination policy and reverse it.

*Unrelated side note: Am I only who thought 106 and Park's Terrence J was so homophobic and immature when, during a episode last week, demanded that a guy who caught his jacket in the audience give it a girl because, in his all-knowing wisdom, guys shouldn't catch and wear jackets thrown by other guys. Then just today when reading a question from a fan named Cutie, he said "I really hope this from a girl, cause I'mma feel weird is this is from a guy and I'm reading your name," or something like that.

Wow Terrence, I hate to see what would happend if Keith Boykin, Rupaul, E. Lynn Harris or John Amachei ever popped up on your couch. You'd probably run to other side, ball up into a fetal position and splash them with holy water for fear that your precious heterosexuality would be drained from your body with a single touch from a gay man. So sad.
Related Posts with Thumbnails