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Not all newspapers going bust

eldiariolaprensaNPR’s “On the Media” interviewed the editor of El Diario La Prensa, a New York City-based Hispanic and Latino community newspaper.

It seems not all papers are going under. Editor Alberto Vourvoulias says his paper has been among the fastest growing newspapers in the past two of three years.

A lot of great insights in the interview. Vourvoulias says ethnic newspapers are doing a lot of great things and that the English-language press isn’t covering ethnic communities as well as it should.

Take a listen.


Astonishing: Back-stabbing in gay history

gaypowerI picked up a copy of David Eisenbach’s “Gay Power: An American Revolution” at my local gay bookstore here in Charlotte. I’d never seen the book before and, although I had read another gay history compilation some years ago, I thought the book might be a good read.

I just finished reading through an account of some serious, dramatic back-stabbing in gay history. Quite frankly, I’m astonished, in part, that in even this early stage of gay history activists and advocates made moves to subvert other legendary and courageous leaders.

The tale begins with Robert (Bob) Martin (a.k.a. Stephen Donaldson), a Columbia University student who founded the Student Homophile League in the mid-1960s. New York Mattachine Society President Dick Leitsch later sought its complete demise. It seems he resented the media coverage Martin had spawned, fearing any negative attention could undue his own hard work at winning over New York City liberals.

Immediately after Martin’s strident criticism of the Columbia administration appeared in the Times, the MSNY board voted unanimously to have Leitsch contact Frank Hogan, the Manhattan District Attorney and a Member of the Columbia Board of Trustees, to advise him on how to undermine SHL. Leitsch wrote Hogan a confidential letter suggesting how the university could quietly dissolve SHL: “For reasons I shall enumerate later, I want the group packed away, quietly and unobtrusively, without newspaper headlines.” Leitsch warned Hogan, “If you oppose them under the law they will litigate, and you’re the villain. If you oppose them on moral grounds, you’ll look a fool with the churchmen against you. The only possible outcome of a public fight will be either the continuance of the group, as it is, but with more strength gained from having beaten down a District Attorney; or the end of the group, but strong opinion on their side.”

Instead of publicly opposing the group “and thus giving them headlines and sympathy,” Leitsch suggested Hogan wait until summer recess, “state [his]objections to the group at a trustee’s meeting and swing a vote against eh group. Thus come the fall, a fait accompli, several months old, and no press interest.”

Interesting, indeed.

Join The Impact NYC Rally

Join The  Impact gathering

As you may have heard, a grassroots movement called Join The Impact has sprung up in the days since the election to organize rallies in every state in the union on Saturday November 15 for the cause of LGBT equality. A gathering in New York City is scheduled for 1:30 PM at City Hall. While this is not a SFNYC organized event, I will be there and I hope to see you there as well! We recognize that marriage is not a city issue, however city halls are traditional gathering places for communities, and it is fitting for us to gather there as others across the country do the same. We are not protesting the city but rather standing up and being counted–that we are passionate about the cause of justice for LGBTQ people, that discrimination in all forms is unbefitting of our society, that gay relationships should be supported equally with straight ones, and also to remind ourselves that the journey for LGBT equality does not begin nor end with marriage.

Non-Violence Training at 11:30Non-Violence at Patrick Henry College

In preparation for the rally, Micah and I will be leading a non-violence training for Soulforce NYC. This will cover non-violence of the heart, communication messaging, and courageous responses to violent action. Marble Collegiate Church, located at 29th St & 5th Ave, has graciously opened their building to us for this occasion. We will meet from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM before traveling to City Hall together to arrive by 1:30 PM.

We hope that if you are planning on attending the rally, that you will join us for this training so that we can be prepared to boldly confront this important issue.

Feel free to invite your friends.

See you this Saturday!

Facebook event information here.


More voices from the right

After Brian’s eloquent post praising the brave equality stands of a couple New York Republicans, I thought it was interesting to read a recent article from The Daily Star (Oneonta, NY).

It seems as though the county manager in Otsego County took steps to exclude legally wedded same-sex couples (recognized in New York) from the county’s insurance plan. Republican county commissioners spoke up.

Continue reading this post…


Voices From the Right

While the GOP has done much to hinder equality for LGBT Americans, it’s nice to be reminded that there are also Republicans taking a stand for us. Here are some recent quotables:

“[Amendment 2] could set us back…unnecessarily or could set us on the road to progress and equality because, although some proponents would like to phrase this debate as a gay versus straight issue, it is not that at all. We’re talking about basic, fundamental rights that could be in jeopardy.” — Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), on her opposition to amend Florida’s constitution

“The night I took the vote in June, I was told I would never be elected again. I’m running unopposed.” — New York Republican Assemblywoman, Teresa Sayward, on her vote for marriage equality


Veto-Proof Equality

The Republican-controlled legislature of Putnam County, NY enacted domestic partnerships by a veto-proof majority, though Republican County Executive Robert Bondi signed the bill into law, according an Associated Press article carried by local TV station WCAX.

Though I don’t support domestic partnerships, preferring to support, encourage, and protect marriage by extending the rights and responsibilities to willing and able couples regardless of gender, this decision is important. Equality for LGBT citizens is not a partisan issue, it is a civil rights issue and Americans of all stripes are wising up and taking a stand. More importantly, LGBT folks are not captive to the Democratic party. If Democratic officials and candidates won’t take a stand, we can find Republicans (and Libertarians, and Greens, etc.) who will.

It is a shame that in well-intentioned effort to extend equality to queer citizens, straight politicians are doing the one thing most gay and straight people can agree is NOT what we want: taking apart marriage. I need to join with my fellow New Yorkers in making certain that our state enacts marriage equality so that we can see parity under the law while preserving marriage.


Secretary Jennings?

The Advocate compiled a list of “potential” Obama/Clinton Presidential appointments.

Hometown boy Kevin Jennings, native of Winston-Salem, N.C. and GLSEN founder, made the list for possible Obama appointments.

Do I sense a “Secretary of Education Kevin Jennings” in the air?

Oooo. Awesome.

Past posts.


Let’s just shove her aside

by Micah Beasley . Guest Commentary

hillary-micahI believe that the word “Democrat” stems from the word democracy and yet some of my party leaders seem bent on stifling democracy in the fourth quarter of this very intense political battle. Personally, I want my voice and vote heard in this quarter, as do many others. But, no, let’s just push Hillary over to the sidelines. The conveniently orchestrated addresses by the Obama surrogates thinly veiled the arrogance with some of the men in the Democratic Party. Sen. Dodd one day, Sen. Leahy the next — Obama speaks out “against” their calls following the weekend. The damage had already been done and the Obama campaign new that full well.

Photo: Micah Beasley, Cody Rigsby and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY).

However, instead of badgering the Obama campaign and Democratic party elders I want to make the case for my candidate without that negativity. I want to lay out facts and thoughtful analysis of why Hillary Clinton is actually the better candidate to defeat John McCain in the fall.

Continue reading this post…

Soulforce Q, in partnership with SoulforceNYC, PlanetOut/ and Young People For, presents an exclusive benefit concert for the 2008 Equality Ride, which will take 20-some young adults to Southern Christian colleges and universities that discriminate against LGBT students and faculty.

Award-winning recording artist Ari Gold will perform with special guests including Anthony Rapp from the original Broadway cast and the motion picture Rent, fashion designer Jack Mackenroth from the Bravo series Project Runway, and Emmy award-winning comedienne Judy Gold, creator of 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at