[Ed. Note -- In the original version of this post, we incorrectly identified Josh Stein has a Republican. As testified to in the comments, Stein is not a Republican and has, in fact, been a great ally to many communities in this state, including LGBT people. We regret the error, and wish'd we'd had, perhaps, another cup or two of coffee before writing this morning. Thanks.]
Hey, at least it’s a start.
N.C. Sen. Pete Brunstetter (R-Forsyth) and Josh Stein (D-Wake) filed a bill yesterday to expand the duties and purpose of the (soon-to-be renamed?) Economic Development and Global Engagement Oversight Committee. (They also want to create a global engagement study committee.)
It’s nice to know that GOP legislators like Brunstetter have decided to take a stab at this jobs and economy thing. Though with such a simple bill, you have to wonder why it wasn’t filed last week (especially for a committee that’s yet to have been appointed members and hasn’t had a substantial meeting since last April). I don’t know about you, but I’m still waiting to see exactly what the GOP’s priorities are this session. It’s not looking good, so far.
Dear GOP: Surprise me, please, by doing the job you sold to Tar Heel voters last fall.
Dr. Michael Brown, founder of several Charlotte-area ministries including the activist Coalition of Conscience, says he has “serious concerns” about the anti-gay Ugandan law that would punish homosexuality by death.
His statement was emailed to me as I was writing an article on the subject for Q-Notes. Despite his “concern,” his statement falls far short of a outright condemnation of the law. More below the fold…
There’s a lot of talk here recently over a proposed anti-gay death penalty law in Uganda. Activists and news organizations have linked the legislation’s Ugandan proponents to several high-profile American religious leaders and politicians.
The law, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009, would make gay sex a crime punishable by death. The legislation has been endorsed by Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa, a man invited to speak at Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church and “embraced warmly” by Warren and his wife.
Jeff Sharlet, author of an exposÃ© on the secretive American group, “The Family,” has linked the Ugandan legislation’s mastermind, David Bahati, back to the ultra-conservative group.
After all the rantings and ravings of the religious right and their fear of “homosexual special rights,” us queer folks finally have them:
For a limited time, Travelocity is offering LGBT travelers an additional $150 off its already discounted 5-night or longer flight and hotel vacation packages to major cities in Europe as well as many other destinations around the world including Costa Rica, Australia and Venezuela.
The Associated Press reports that the U.S. will sign on to a U.N. declaration on the decriminalization of homosexuality. Officials have notified the French sponsors of the intent to sign on. George Bush had refused to sign the statement, leaving the U.S. as the only Western nation refusing to do so. Read more.
A young journalist from Britain writes that the LGBT community needs a stronger and more effective HIV/AIDS prevention program:
Craig’s story brings home the reality of barebacking – a reality missed by the glossy HIV prevention adverts and messages aimed at my generation of gay men (I’m 23). Those responsible for the ads, organisations such as the Terrence Higgins Trust and GMFA, the gay men’s health charity, insist that harder hitting representations of life with HIV do not work and that they stigmatise those living with the virus.
But I believe that a refusal to show the harsh reality of HIV is encouraging attitudes like that of one of the three men infected. John, 22, told me and Newsnight (video) that he wasn’t bothered he had HIV, and that being gay he always knew he’d get it. Time Out’s Paul Burston told the debate’s audience of a conversation he’d had with a 22-year-old in Liverpool, who said he was more worried about catching gonorrhea than HIV.
Yet instead of giving us a picture of what our lives could be like if we bareback, they choose to “empower” us. They do that by saying: “If you are the active partner you’re less likely to get HIV” and “If you withdraw, then you and your partner are at less risk of contracting HIV.”
When was the last time you were told that if you’re going to drink drive you should opt for a bottle of wine instead of tequila slammers? Or saw the withdrawal method advocated to prevent pregnancy?
The very nature of sex, when arousal clouds your judgment, means even stronger messages on safe sex are required. You need an authoritative voice at your shoulder, not a voice as clouded as your judgment telling you that you’re at less risk if you do this or that.
Remember Monday morning’s post on Prince Harry’s royal racist and homoerotic tendencies?
Well, discounting the racism, of course, legendary Brit gay activist Peter Tatchell is saying King-never-shall-be Henry is “enlightened” and is praising the lad for his apparent comfort with male-male intimacy:
The video, obtained by the News of the World tabloid, also includes images of Harry on a night out with friends in which he mouths to one soldier: “I love you” before kissing him on the cheek and licking his face.
Another extract shows Harry asking a colleague how he felt after an army exercise, adding: “Gay, queer on the side?”
But Peter Tatchell, an Australian-born human rights activist who made his name focusing on gay rights, said he had no problem with Harry’s use of the word “queer” and praised his show of affection.
“For him to happily give his soldier friend a public kiss and lick his face strikes me as rather liberated and enlightened, for a straight man,” he said.
“If only more heterosexual men were relaxed about same-sex affection like Harry, the world would be a better place.”
Tatchell added: “The context and intention of words is crucial in deciding whether they are offensive or not. I don’t find anything objectionable about the context in which Harry used the word queer.”
Heterosexual men rarely kiss their male friends or family members in stiff upper lip Britain, preferring to greet each other by shaking hands.
Maybe Harry’s really gay and all this macho-jock-boy-cool-and-down-with-the-gays thing is a cover-up?
I think this story is almost as good as, and maybe even better than, Prince William’s penis pictures (NSFW).
Prince Harry just doesn’t ever seem to get it. Nazi uniforms. Smoking weed around the palace. Sucking a friend’s nipple. Licking and kissing a friend on the face. Calling military colleagues “Paki” and “raghead.”
Sounds like average-joe, racist, redneck, military jock talk and behavior to me. It certainly isn’t behavior you’d expect from a member of the most powerful royal house in Europe.
This is what happens when you give a hot boy complete access to the world’s privilege and power expecting no responsibility in return. You don’t see big brother William acting like this. Maybe Harry should be told he’ll be his brother’s future co-regent. Maybe then he’ll shape up. Some responsibility might do him some good. I doubt William would appreciate sharing the throne, though.
But on the other hand… I kind of feel bad for the guy. He’s 24 years old, he’s never had a normal life and he’s part of a family he certainly had no choice to belong to. I kid about him having no responsibility; that certianly isn’t true. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have to grow up with the whole world watching, nit-picking over every little part of my life.
More: News of the World
[Rick] Warren’s man in Uganda is a charismatic pastor named Martin Ssempa. The head of the Makerere Community Church, a rapidly growing congregation, Ssempe enjoys close ties to his country’s First Lady, Janet Museveni, and is a favorite of the Bush White House. In the capitol of Kampala, Ssempa is known for his boisterous crusading. Ssempa’s stunts have included burning condoms in the name of Jesus and arranging the publication of names of homosexuals in cooperative local newspapers while lobbying for criminal penalties to imprison them.
Arab Times is reporting that Kuwaiti police raided several restaurants, cafes and other establishments on New Year’s Eve and arrested several youth, both male and female and at least 22 gays.
Under instructions from the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior Lieutenant-General Ahmed Al-Rujaib and Assistant Undersecretary for Criminal Security Affairs Lieutenant Ghazi Al-Omar, the Criminal Investigation Department raided a number of restaurants on New Year’s eve and arrested several youngsters — male and female — for drinking alcohol and taking part in ‘wild’ parties. During the raid police also arrested 22 gays, reports Al-Anba daily.
The places targeted included cafÃ©s and restaurants inside commercial complexes in Salmiya.
Both homosexuality and cross-dressing are illegal in Kuwait, a Muslim nation; however, many anti-gay laws are rarely or severely enforced. No civil rights legislation exists to protect LGBT Kuwaitis. If convicted of homosexuality, LGBT people can face up to seven years imprisonment. If the acts involve anyone under 21, the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment.