The Party of Lincoln?

Pam Spaulding has this bit on anti-gay Republican Virginia candidate for US Senate, George Allen and his nature of co-mingling himself with white supremists:

The Nation exposes the little problem — Allen’s shill can’t seem to explain the enthusiasm for the chumminess with racists away.

Asked whether Allen supports or deplores the CCC, John Reid, his communications director pleaded ignorance. “I am unaware of the group you mention or their agenda and because we have no record of the Senator having involvement with them I cannot offer you any opinion on them,” Reid told me in an e-mail response.

I think this campaign may be circling the drain, though there are quite a few wingers in VA who would still cast a vote for this turd.

Read more at Pam’s House Blend and from Shakespeare’s Sister.

It hardly seems that the historic “Party of Lincoln” – the party of equality and liberty for African-Americans – is upholding that tradition nowadays. The Republican Party has been taken over by ignorant, prejudiced and – at times – bigoted people who want nothing more than to control and denigrate the lives of every minority in America.


Judge me for something more

The Right to Serve Campaign had its attempted enlistment in Madison, Wisconsin yesterday.

Here’s an article from WKOW TV 27:

A national campaign came to Madison on Wednesday, hoping to repeal the military’s policy of not allowing openly gay homosexuals to serve.

It was at the east Madison U.S. Army recruitment office where three local openly gay men tried to enlist. Derek House, John Alaniz, and Justin Hager walked into the office knowing they would be turned away. They also said they were not going to hide their sexuality.

“Judge me because of something much more important,” said Justin Hager before he entered the building. “My character, my drive to serve the ideals of freedom and equality. My passion for my country.”

House and Hager, both UW students, and Alaniz, all say they were trying to follow in the footsteps of relatives who previously served in the military.

Recruitment officers allowed them to take some aptitude tests. When asked their relationship status, all three disclosed they were gay. By the rules of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” they could not enlist. They say their effort wasn’t a lost cause.

“It’s more for me as well as wanting to serve,” said House. “Just knowing that I do qualify, I am a very qualified individual, and the only reason holding me back is that I’m gay.”

A Minneapolis-based group called Soulforce is staging events like this in 30 cities throughout the nation this fall, including in Milwaukee and Chicago. It’s called the Right to Serve campaign.

The group’s goal is to get more U.S. Representatives to sponsor legislation in the House that would repeal “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” That bill is H.R. 1059. Massachusettes congressman Marty Meehan introduced it in March of 2005. Representatives Tammy Baldwin and Gwen Moore are the only Wisconsin U.S. representatives who have sponsored it. It has sat in a subcommittee on military personnel for more than a year.

Army public affairs officer Patricia Grobschmidt said it knows of the Right to Serve campaign. She went on to say that recruiters were following the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and that it is the job of a recruiter to recruit people based off the written standards of the miltary.

Youc an also find another article and video coverage of the Madison attempted enlistment from WMTV NBC 15.

Another article and video coverage is also available from WISC TV and a few papers have done stories as well (see Google News).

If you live in Greensboro or anywhere in North Carolina and you are interested in finding out how you can get involved in an effort to bring focus to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy this fall, check out the Right to Serve Campaign at the official website, http://www.righttoserve.org/ as well as MattHillNC.com’s Soulforce Youth page (you can also make a donation to the Greensboro Campaign event via the Right to Serve Greensboro site)

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Wow… I’d hate to be the president or treasurer of a UNCG student organization right about now (from UNCG Campus Watch) (EDIT: Excuse me… from the backlash from the Student Body that is already starting to happen and will only get worse, I’d really hate to be Donald Hughes right now):

SGA VP Hughes Gives 18-Hour Notice on Mandatory Meeting
by Ryan Radford, UNCG Campus Watch
Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Organizations hoping for Fall 2006 special allocation funds today were given 18 hours notice of a mandatory Organization Allocation Orientation meeting to be held tomorrow, August 31.

Flyers were disseminated early this morning throughout the EUC offices used by a select group of organizations noting that the OAO meetings were to be held tomorrow at 10:00am, 11:00am, and 8:00pm, the earliest meeting less than 24 hours away. As only a few dozen organizations have these office spaces, several alarmed members of SGA’s leadership questioned how the 100+ other organizations were to be notified.

Finance Committee Chairwoman Christina Sadler was immediately contacted and notified of these concerns. When asked whether or not organizations had been contacted by any other means, she replied that they had not. When asked whether or not an announcement had been made to organization representatives at either the House of Representatives full-body or committee meetings, Ms. Sadler said that she was told (by whom, we do not know) that an announcement at last week’s general body meeting should not be made as room reservations had not yet been confirmed. She claims that Speaker of the House Caitlin Stroud was notified of the meetings, however, and was asked to announce it in House committee meetings on Monday, 8/28. When the grave concerns over the short-notice were expressed, Chairwoman Sadler responded by saying that there may be more meetings possible in the future, but that the decision was ultimately up to SBVP Donald Hughes.

As Mr. Hughes was unavailable at the time, I personally went to find SGA advisor Checka Leinwall for advice on the situation. As Dr. Leinwall was out of the office, I spoke instead to co-advisor Stan Gajda, who commented that the situation was “completely unacceptable.” Mr. Gajda and I spoke to Speaker of the House Stroud, who claimed to have never received any notification of the meetings.

By this time SBVP Hughes had arrived in his office, where I met with him for a brief heated discussion. I expressed my outrage at the situation and Mr. Hughes latest failure to effectively communicate with his staff, to which he replied that that situation was “nothing to stress over,” assuring me there would be further meetings.

UNCG allocates student fees to organization under its obligations stemming from the US Supreme Court case Board of Regents Univ. Wisc. v. Southworth (529 U.S. 217) through its Student Government Association, with stringent guidelines in place to ensure that the funds are equitably allocated. It is presently unclear whether the situation Mr. Hughes claims is “nothing to stress over” could potentially have legal implications for the University if organizations do not feel they were given an equal opportunity to gain funding.

Click here to read the full post


EqualityNC needs your help by tomorrow

This, from EqualityNC:


Four donors gave us a challenge, and with your help we’re meeting it. They told us that if we raised $12,000 from supporters like you, they’d chip in another $12,000 to build our political warchest for the elections this fall.

To date we’ve raised just over $11,000, but we need your help to put us over the top before midnight Thursday!

Your support will not only help us earn that $12,000 match, it will help us protect key allies like NC’s first out legislator, Sen. Julia Boseman and take on some of the most virulently anti-gay legislators like Rep. Russell Capps.

Can you help us reach the goal?

Whether you can give $25, $250, or $2500, you can make a difference and have your gift matched dollar-for-dollar until we reach our goal. There’s only one day to go! Click here to give now.

For Equality,

Ian Palmquist
Executive Director
Equality NC PAC

NC law requires political committees to report the name, mailing address, job title or profession, and name of employer or employer’s specific field for each individual whose aggregate contributions exceed $100 in an election cycle. Due to the political nature of our work, contributions to Equality NC are not tax deductible.

Paid for by Equality NC PAC, PO Box 28768, Raleigh, NC 27611. Not authorized by any candidate.

Major edits: The links above led you all to a page with my info filled out as a contributor. I’ve changed the links to the general contribution page links. Sorry for any inconvenience.

I’ve finally been able to get a digital copy made of my appearance on a conservative leaning talk show back on April 1, 2004 (yeah it took me that long, sad huh?). The appearance dealt with the issue of the Boy Scouts and homosexuality and their discriminatory policies which bar both gay youth members and adult leaders. The other guest on the show was Hans Zeiger, about my age (I think he is just a year, maybe less, older than me). Zeiger is the founder and president of the Scout Honor Coalition.

You can get the audio file (about 32 minutes long) of the radio show on my Media-Press page or by clicking here. This is an older recording (in an MP3 format) which I took from an audio cassette tape and its quality is not 100%. You may need to turn up your volume to hear it depending on your computer. If using Mozilla Firefox, simply click the file link and a player will appear (it should load fairly quickly on a high speed connection). The same player should appear for Internet Explorer users, but it loads more slowly. Try right clicking and “Saving target as”

The radio interview, on a station based in Eastern North Carolina, occurred just days before my April 4, 2004 protest of the Old Hickory Council, Boy Scouts of America’s discriminatory policies and discrimination against me. That was the same year that good ole’ Vernon Robinson showed up to counter-protest what I was saying that day.

I definitely hate listening to this radio interview. For those of you who have heard me speak publicly in recent years (this is three years later, of course), you know that I am a pretty good public speaker (although I’ll admit, I’m still not the best). Gosh… Me at 18? Yeah, I was horrible. I can definitely say that there are no where near as many ums, ah, uhs and you know’s in my speech nowadays.

I don’t really know why the radio hosts keep saying how “sharp” and “intelligent” I am during the show; I think I sounded like a dumbass (this was also before I started to more proactively try to control my very country, very hickish Southern accent by turning it into a more dignified North Carolina accent, lol).

Listening to the show again, I also realized just how many of the statements from the hosts, Hans Zeiger and callers were so very prejudiced and, at times, outlandish, foolish and ignorant. If I would do a similar radio interview today, after having a few more years experience with the issues and public speaking, I would do a whole heck of a lot more talking (and actually sounding smart this time around).

But don’t sit here and keep reading what I have to say… go listen to the show.

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On my other blog, produced by me and conservative, UNCG student Ryan Radford, UNCG students and those in the community can now listen to audio recordings of the UNCG Student Senate, Student Senate Legislative Committee and Legislative Board meetings.

The other blog, the UNCG Campus Watch, is a psuedo online newspaper with news and opinions regarding the UNCG campus, Student Government and other groups and events.

On top of the audio recordings, the UNCG Campus Watch also features news stories (as biased as they may be) on the preceedings of the Student Senate. They are biased stories, I admit it… because they are written by me and Ryan Radford and we are both Student Government members, the stories don’t exactly carry any neutrality. That is what The Carolinian is for, so UNCG Campus Watch is, in a way, more like an insider’s view of Student Government when we are covering it. The audio recordings, however, speak for themselves (yeah, I so meant that to be a pun, lol).

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Right to Serve update

UW-Madison student organizers will begin their Right to Serve events today in Wisconsin. The New York Times is flying out to do a story on that city and nationally, we have been contacted by a number of national news agencies and networks. The media coverage should definitely pick up in the next few weeks.

In terms of Greensboro, we should have an organizing, informational, non-violent training meeting next week (or at the very latest, early in the second week of September). Our Greensboro events will occur in the third week of September.

But now it is time to beg. PLEASE! click here and take the time to donate, even if it is just a little, to the events here in Greensboro, North Carolina. If you think this campaign is something worthwhile and something with the possibility to really make an impact and change in our country and in the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, then please help us reach our fundraising goal of $2000. I’ll love you forever for it!

If you live in Greensboro or anywhere in North Carolina and you are interested in finding out how you can get involved in an effort to bring focus to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy this fall, check out the Right to Serve Campaign at the official website, http://www.righttoserve.org/ as well as MattHillNC.com’s Soulforce Youth page (you can also make a donation to the Greensboro Campaign event via the Right to Serve Greensboro site)

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As previewed to you all last week, here is my column from this week’s issue of The Carolinian (UNCG):

Homo nest closing, this Queen Bee is stinging sad
By Matt Hill Comer, Don’t Ask (I’m Telling)
Issue date: 8/29/06 Section: Opinions

On July 6, 1969, the New York Daily News reported “Homo nest raided, Queen Bees are stinging mad.” That was the headline after the historic June 28, 1969, raid of the Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn. At that moment in time, the world was changed and the path to equality for LGBT people was begun.

Last week, however, a great bit of sad news hit the LGBT news media and its powerful blogging community. The historic Stonewall Inn at 53 Christopher Street is closing, but its history cannot be forgotten.

In the early morning hours of that hot June day, the world would be changed. For one of the first times in American history, LGBT people would stand up against institutionalized government and police oppression; they would assert their rights and their humanity.

The Stonewall Inn of the 1960s was a seedy place, run by the New York mob, but it was one of the only safe places where LGBT people could, even for just a short time, live equally and forget about the extreme daily oppression and discrimination so common in those times and completely unknown to younger LGBT people of today.

History dealt a wild card for the Stonewall’s patrons that night. Raids at gay bars and illegal entrapments of gay men were a common occurrence in the 1960s and many times gay bar patrons would be arrested for indecency charges, sometimes for something as simple as holding hands. The bar was a safe place, as long as the police were nowhere around. On June 28, the police would make a horrible mistake and their gay victims would say, “No more.”

It was the “purse-sling heard ’round the world.” The first opposition to the oppression that night was committed by none other than one of the Stonewall’s many drag queen patrons (cross-dressing could also lead to arrest). As the cop tried to arrest her, the drag queen hit him with her purse and all hell broke loose.

Click here to read the full column

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Have we forgotten?

Earlier today I posted on the most recent debacle in the worldwide debate of the Anglican Communion. Schism and turmoil are definitely happening in the Church today.

But have we forgotten that old English hymn with its ever-present truth? Our Church’s one foundation is Christ, and through all turmoil, schism and war, we should keep our focus on Him:

The Church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord,

She is His new creation
By water and the Word.
From heaven He came and sought her
To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her
And for her life He died.

She is from every nation,
Yet one o’er all the earth;

Her charter of salvation,
One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses,
With every grace endued.

The Church shall never perish!
Her dear Lord to defend,
To guide, sustain, and cherish,
Is with her to the end:
Though there be those who hate her,
And false sons in her pale,
Against both foe or traitor
She ever shall prevail.

Though with a scornful wonder
Men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder,
By heresies distressed:

Yet saints their watch are keeping,
Their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song!

’Mid toil and tribulation,
And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation
Of peace forevermore;

Till, with the vision glorious,
Her longing eyes are blest,
And the great Church victorious
Shall be the Church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union
With God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
With those whose rest is won,

With all her sons and daughters
Who, by the Master’s hand
Led through the deathly waters,
Repose in Eden land.

O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we
Like them, the meek and lowly,
On high may dwell with Thee:
There, past the border mountains,
Where in sweet vales the Bride
With Thee by living fountains
Forever shall abide!

Seal of the Anglican CommunionThe Most Reverend and Right Honorable, the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury (yeah, that is his real title, folks) Rowan Williams has taken a sharp turn to the conservative side in the debate, sparked by the confirmation of The Rt. Reverend V. Gene Robinson (Bishop of New Hampshire), over the role of LGBT persons in the life of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

According to an article from 365Gay.com News, the Archbishop told a Dutch paper in a recent interview that homosexuals must “accept the traditional teaching of the Church.”

In an interview with a Dutch newspaper Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said that gays must accept the traditional teaching of the Church – a signal that he no longer supports the idea of gay clergy and now adheres to the Lambeth Conference decision of 2004 that says gays are welcome in the denomination but that homosexuality is incompatible with Scripture.

“I don’t believe inclusion is a value in itself. Welcome is,” Williams told the publication.

“We don’t say ‘Come in, and we ask no questions.’ I do believe conversion means conversion of habits, behaviors, ideas, emotions.”

Williams went on to say that “ethics is not a matter of a set of abstract rules, it is a matter of living the mind of Christ. That applies to sexual ethics.”

It is the most conservative pronouncement on gays Williams has made as the rift widens betweens Church liberals and traditionalists that began when the Episcopal Church in the United States elected an openly gay man in a relationship with another man to be bishop of New Hampshire.

The (Splintered) Shield of the US Episcopal ChurchThe Archbishop, who holds the highest and most honorable post in the worldwide Anglican Church, has been seen as generally accepting of LGBT persons in the Church, including the acceptance of gay Church members and clergy.

A leader of one of many LGBT religious groups within the Church, The Reverend Giles Goddard said, “The implication is that there is no justification in Scripture for the welcome of lesbian and gay people. It appears that he has moved into the conservative camp.”

The Reverend also said the Archbishop’s remarks were “astonishing.”

The debate over the place of LGBT persons within the Church has grown bigger in recent years and is beginning to take its toll on the unity of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Within the United States’ Episcopal Church and among the many other provinces of the Communion, many parishes and dioceses have broken away or threatened to break away from Church leaders who support gays in the clergy.

The Anglican debate is also starting to have an affect on relations with other churches around the globe. The Russian Orthodox Church recently decided to break ties with the Anglican Church’s U.S. province.

In past posts I have stated that the Archbishop of Canterbury needed to step up and take a more proactive stance in uniting the worldwide Communion. I said we couldn’t afford to have the Church splinter into different groups. After the Archbishop’s latest remarks, I’m beginning to rethink if he is the right person to save this Church and its people from division.

See related posts on the Anglican Church

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