Sunday, October 28, 2007

They Serve A.. Different.. Clientele

Years ago, I went shopping at an area Boston Store. I can no longer remember the item I was shopping for. That portion of the memory was overpowered by an encounter with a not-so-customer-friendly salesperson. The person happened to be a white female which uttered the following words: "well! they serve a.. different.. clientele."

I had no clue what she was referring to. The context was: the adversarial tone of a white woman's voice, the presence of a brown gay mexican male, and an increase in the african american shoppers at the store.

I came across this article about hate crimes in Seattle. Seattle! The gay friendly Capitol Hill neighborhood is facing gentrification: fewer gay bars have survived over time. Read what you want into this.

Last week, at a community meeting with police about the recent anti-gay incidents, David Beard, 26, a Capitol Hill resident and member of the city's advisory commission on sexual minorities, said that because of his sexual orientation, "I feel more trepidation about being in the neighborhood."

New clubs have brought a different clientele to the neighborhood, he said.

What Does The Harry Potter Series Promote?

So tell me: what exactly does Harry Potter promote, anyway? I've heard its far easier to be negative and to destroy, than to be positive and to create. Certainly this bit of insight should bear no surprise when running a Google search on the matter.

In the first two or three pages, the negative articles outnumber the positive ones. At first glance I only found one result with a good thing to say. Once looked further I found three with praise.

I haven't made the time to read the books. I am therefore not fully qualified to express my opinion. Regardless, I do believe this series is a good set of stories which promote reading, tolerance and understanding.

Albus Dumbledore Is Gay

Here is a great article expressing an opinion on a mere extra detail about our beloved headmaster of Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft & Wizardry. J.K. Rowling has announced that Albus Dumbledore is gay. When I heard, I thought "oh. ok, cool!" and didn't think much of it.

People will have their opinions, and some, like this one, make a statement about Dunbledore and the state of gays in this nation pretty well:

We live in a nation where some people still accuse gays of "recruiting." And equate homosexuality with pederasty. And give cheap applause to preachers and politicians who use gay men and lesbians as easy scapegoats.

Could the boy wizard help a generation learn to look at a gay person and see neither definition nor destiny, but only detail? That would be the greatest magic trick of all.

Click here for more news and opinions.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Gay Ban Results In Philadelphia Boy Scouts' Rent Increase

You know -- the answer to this type of situation is pretty obvious. To me, at least. All this council has to do is leave the discriminatory Boy Scouts and join Scouting For All. That is, if the local council's leadership doesn't subscribe to the national organization's type of morality.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Appling: Domestic Partner Benefits And Redefining Marriage

First, she leads a campaign which gets Wisconsin on the Ban Gay Marriage Bandwagon with a confusing, vaguely worded amendment. Now she's speaking out against domestic partner benefits to state employees. She believes it is the state's attempt to redefine marriage and that local government employees are essentially state employees.

Umm.. right.

Is her next step to declare domestic partner benefits unconstitutional because of the amendment?

And why am I giving this woman -- who rumor has it happens to be unmarried and lives with a female roommate of many, many years -- any energy anyway?

You decide. Listen to the story here. Be sure to have RealPlayer installed.

From the NPR web site:

Court Holds Hearing for Same Sex Partner Rights
By Gil Halsted
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
(MADISON) The State Supreme Court will hear arguments today (W) in a lawsuit demanding same-sex domestic partner benefits for state employees.

A group of cities, villages and school boards are trying to intervene in an ACLU lawsuit filed two years ago on behalf of six lesbian state employees. The suit claims the state is violating the Wisconsin Constitution’s equal protection clause by denying health care benefits for the same-sex partners of the employees.

Julaine Appling of the Family Research Council of Wisconsin says although the suit targets state employees, local governments have a legitimate concern about its outcome. She says every employee of a local municipality in this is also ultimately a state employee, and she says she doesn’t think any local municipality wants to have the state make a determination about what kind of benefits they are going to pay or not pay.

Appling, who led the successful campaign for the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Wisconsin says the ACLU lawsuit is an effort to redefine marriage. But ACLU attorney Larry Depuis disagrees. He says providing of domestic partner benefits doesn’t constitute marriage and he notes that all of the sponsors of the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage repeatedly said it was not intended to deny domestic partner benefits to government employees.

That issue isn’t before the court this week; instead, the Justices will hear arguments for and against allowing local governments to intervene in the lawsuit.

State legislators could play a role in the final outcome of the lawsuit. Domestic partner benefits for state employees is one of the many issues still in play in the state budget impasse. Money for the benefits is in the Democratic version of the budget, but not in the Republican one.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Could Abortion Divide Republicans And Create A Third Political Party?

What timing. Steve and I are out for a Sunday drive. We come across an abortion protest. By the time I decide to take pictures, the crowd has fizzled out. The protest is orchestrated by a group called Life Chain.

This band of people extends from Oklahoma Ave. and 108th St...

..all the way up to Greenfield Ave...

..and slightly beyond.

Steve and I stop by a Starbucks on Hwy 100. We have a little chat with the barista. We agree, the protesters are a bit of an eyesore and everyone's entitled to their opinion.

At least the sea of posters included none of a graphic nature that some of the more fanatic type have been known to carry. Among these people, however, are children. These impressionable young people are taking in useless lessons on how to show intolerance. Feelings of disgust start settling in.

I'm disgusted further when I consider the consequences of unsafe abortions. Let's say that the protesters get their way and are successful in imposing their twisted morality on us all, taking away another person's choices. I believe the number of unsafe abortions would go up: where is the morality in that?

Meanwhile, I come across this article on my phone. Depending on who's on the Republican ticket, some believe the politics around abortion could divide the "Grand" Old Party and help out the Democrats:

"There are definitely enough voters out there for whom abortion is the number one issue," says Olson. "If that's the case . . . they're either going to stay home, and that helps the Democrats, or go out and vote for a third-party candidate, and that helps the Democrats."

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Idaho Falls Reporter Outed For Exposing Boy Scouts & Mormon Group Pedophile Cover-Up

I've accidentally come across the PBS documentary series, "Expose: America's Investigative Reports". The current episode is about a small-town reporter who has exposed a cover-up in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Apparently the local Boy Scouts and Mormon groups has had a history of disregarding the safety of its children in a most disgusting manner -- they allowed a known pedophile to lead scouts for years. By the way, the reporter happens to be gay and was outed as a result.

Click here for a blog about this episode of Expose.

While you're at it, visit Scouting For All, an organization that does everything the Boy Scouts of America does and does more: it respects diversity.

From a blog on

This month, PBS airs "In A Small Town," a special two-part episode of their series Expose: America's Investigative Reports.

The episode documents what happens when Peter Zuckerman, a reporter for the Idaho Post Falls Register, unearths evidence of multiple victims of child sexual abuse in the local boy scouts. When the story breaks it leads to fierce division within the community. Zuckerman and the paper he works for come under attack both from Mormon groups and from the Boy Scouts. Zuckerman, who is gay, is eventually outed, and his sexual orientation becomes an issue in the very story he's trying to cover.

Tornado Rainbow Triangle