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Help from a Knight across the pond

Sir Elton John has donated $20,000 to Fair Wisconsin, a group pushing hard to oppose that state’s ballot measure on an amendment which would ban same-sex marriage, effectively writing anti-LGBT discrimination into that state’s constitution.

According to an AP article posted by the Washington Blade, the donation showed up in a campaign finance report filing on Monday, October 30th:

John made the donation to Fair Wisconsin October 23. It was among the gifts that helped the group raise $2.5 million in the last reporting period.

The group has been running television advertisements noting that the proposed amendment would also ban civil unions comparable to marriage. Critics say that would threaten benefits for all unmarried couples — gay and straight.

The filing cited “privacy reasons” in withholding John’s address — a filing requirement made of other donors.

I hope Elton will be as supportive of other LGBT movements and organizations in America. I think it is great that Elton John has enough of an internationally-minded outlook on life that he could see the need to help out this group in Wisconsin. Thanks for the help, Elton; us Americans who truly understand what America is about appreciate your help.

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In case you missed Sunday’s paper…

I’ll give you two ways to read it… Click the thumbnails below to enlarge the scanned article or read the copy-and-pasted text from the original article at the News & Record‘s website.

UNCG student stands up for gay rights
Tom Steadman, News & Record
Sunday, October 29, 2006, page B1

GREENSBORO — At 14, Matt Hill Comer was a Winston-Salem Boy Scout who told the world he also was gay. Soon, he was no longer a Boy Scout.

“My Scout leader told me they would be voting on my membership,” Comer said . “I don’t know who the ‘they’ were.”

A month later, Comer went back to the Scout leader and asked about his status.

“He said that if you choose to live the gay lifestyle then you’re choosing not to be a Boy Scout,” Comer said .

Now a 20-year-old sophomore at UNCG, Comer is still challenging the norm .

Last May, he co-founded the N.C. Advocacy Coalition, a registered state political action committee that champions gay rights. His blog, www.onlinegreensboro.com/~matthillnc, focuses on gay rights, and he writes a weekly column in the UNCG newspaper, The Carolinian. He’s a member of UNCG’s PRIDE, a gay and lesbian student group, and the Triad Business and Professional Guild, a gay and lesbian business and social group.

That’s not all. Comer was among nine protesters arrested at a local Army recruiting office this fall when he and three other openly gay people were refused the chance to enlist under the Army’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.

This spring, Comer was also arrested for trespassing when he and other gay activists walked onto the campus of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., the first stop on the 2006 Equality Ride. The misdemeanor convictions just go with the territory of being an activist, Comer said.

“I was raised to be very outspoken and to be very patriotic,” he said . His mother agrees.

“I pretty much raised my children to say what they had to say as long as they watched their tone,” said Alice Hill, a mother of five who still lives in Winston-Salem.

She admits she was shocked when her oldest son told her he was gay. “I saw it as a rebellion,” she said . “He was 14 and we had never clashed on anything. It took me a couple of years to quit thinking of it as disobedience, but it’s his choice. I still think it’s a choice, not something you’re born with. I still think it’s wrong, but I don’t necessarily think as harshly of the people now.”

Nor has Alice Hill forgiven the Boy Scouts for turning her son out.

“It was like a betrayal,” she said . “The Boy Scouts had been the most stable thing in his life, the only male influence. We had been involved with them for years. They just turned their backs on him.”

Comer’s father, who had been physically abusive to Matt, had left the family years earlier, Hill said .

Matt Hill Comer (he legally had Comer added to his name earlier this year in honor of his maternal grandfather) says he’s just getting started as an activist. A political science major and a student government member at UNCG, he’s hoping for a career in politics.

Last summer, he sparred online with Guilford County Republican Party Chairman Marcus Kindley after Kindley commented in his own blog that being gay was “as natural as pedophilia .”

Comer demanded an apology from Kindley.

“He never replied,” Comer said .

But as Comer himself is quick to point out, he remains a 20-year-old college student. Last month, while on a trip with fellow members of UNCG’s PRIDE group, Comer drank so much vodka so quickly that he had to be taken to the hospital with alcohol poisoning. Subsequently, he agreed to resign from the PRIDE board, but he remains a member.

“I had to take some accountability,” he said .

“I made the decision to do something that was not only harmful to me, but harmful to the group.” He also apologized in his column in The Carolinian.

“I see it as a learning experience,” he said . “I wasn’t even old enough to drink legally. I didn’t know what the limits of my body were.”

Though chastened, Comer has no plans to stay quiet.

“There are problems in America, especially on lesbian, gay, bi sexual and transgender issues,” he said . “They have a place within society and the law that makes them second-class citizens . And unlike some others, I have the ability to be out.

“I’m going out there and being outspoken because a lot of people can’t do that. That’s why I do the things I do — to stand up for the people who don’t have a voice.”

Contact Tom Steadman at 373-7351 or tsteadman@news-record.com

And as a quick note… Thanks Tom and Lynn!!! I owe them an email thank you note, lol.

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NC GOP speaks on NJ marriage ruling

The North Carolina Republican Party has again proven to me why I never became a Republican, despite some of my conservative leanings.

Blazened across the very front of their web page as the “Top Story” (direct link to the official press release)only days before the General Election, the NC GOP has decided to once again use scare tactics in recruiting votes on the Oh No! Gasp! Scream! It’s Halloween, let’s scare everybody! issue of marriage for same-sex couples:

What Stands In Between North Carolina and Homosexual Marriage? Seven Supreme Court Justices

(RALEIGH) – Wednesday, New Jersey’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of granting same-sex couples the rights given to heterosexual couples in New Jersey. The court ruled that under the New Jersey constitution “committed same-sex couples must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by married opposite-sex couples.”

“What happened in New Jersey is a prime example of what can happen when liberals are in charge of the courts,” said Ferrell Blount, State Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party. “The New Jersey Supreme Court decision shows how liberal judges can change the law and subvert the will of the people by interpreting state constitutions. That is why North Carolina needs to elect Republican judges.”

North Carolina has ratified a Defense of Marriage Act that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman. However, the liberal Democrat leadership in both the NC House and Senate never allowed the Defense of Marriage Amendment to the North Carolina Constitution, which would have protected the institution of marriage from misinterpretation, to be brought to a vote despite bipartisan support in the General Assembly.

“Only conservative justices on the North Carolina Supreme Court stand in the way of a liberal trial court judge ruling that homosexuals have a right to marry under the North Carolina Constitution,” added Ferrell Blount. “Until we can replace the Democrat majority in the General Assembly, North Carolina needs a Republican majority on the Supreme Court.”

Four of the seven members of the North Carolina Supreme Court are up for election this year, bringing the possibility of major changes to the interpretation of North Carolina’s constitution after the election.

“Following the election, our newly elected Supreme Court will have the power to interpret our constitution,” said Ferrell Blount. “We need a Supreme Court that will defend the constitution as it is written, not interpret it to its members’ liking.”

I guess it really has to suck knowing that your party is going to lose no matter what you do! Maybe they’ll think twice before electing a nit-wit like Bush again.

When the debates over marriage for same-sex couples first started the Republicans and their conservative wacko-nutcase Religious Right bedfellows claimed that all they were wanting to do was “protect traditional marriage.” They said they weren’t against equality. They said all they wanted to do was defend the “definition of marriage.”

The New Jersey decision does not grant same-sex couples marriage. All it does is say they must be given the same rights, benefits, privileges and, yes, obligations which heterosexual couples receive. Why the hell are the GOPers up in arms? The “definition of marriage” hasn’t been changed. New Jersey will most likely institute “civil unions.” Most likely, Jersey gay folks won’t see “marriage.”

If all the Republicans really wanted to do was “protect marriage,” then they would have absolutely no reason to be upset over this ruling for equality under the law. The NC GOP has done nothing but show its true, ugly, anti-gay hatred, bigotry, ignorance, prejudice and support for discrimination.

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NC State rears its ugly anti-gay face #6

I thought it might start back. The weekend is over.

Here now your daily dose of exposing the anti-gay hate, bigotry and prejudice of NC State students in the debate over a proposed LGBT student center on campus.

In a past post “Kissin’ some NC State ass – I think I’ll pass” I commented on how I’d pass up the invite to kiss the ass of DeAndre’, an NC State student. I said that while I had met plenty of cute guys from NC State, DeAndre’ certainly wasn’t one of them.

Here now is Bobby Benson (pictured right), an NC State student I would say is cute (no, make that hot, lol). Too bad his bigotry is so blatant. How come all the cute ones have to turn out to be so straight and, at least this time, so hateful:

In case anyone didnt read the Technician today…it is illegal in the State North Carolina to have butt sex. So building a center for people who have butt sex would be illogical.

and… not only are these acts illegal…they are class 1 felonies. I just dont feel safe around all these criminals.

Josh Patrick wants to re-closet all the gay people:

I believe that nc state should build a giant closet in which gays, fags, homos, lesbians, transgentered, queers, butt pounders, anal ass assailants, carpet munchers, carpet cleaners, people that play for the same team, and homosexuals that practice bestiality can go and stay there and never come out. Solving this epidemic once and for all. (I’m sorry if i forgot a group i tried my hardest to get all of them but if you think there is another group that should be added put it on the wall.)
Also its illegal for two people of the same sex to live and have sexual relations together in north carolina.

we should crack down on these criminals and put them in jail. (but they might like that too much)

I kind of expected that, sooner or later, someone would bring up CAN (crimes against nature). Unfortunately, what these folks obviously don’t know (and what The Technician failed to mention in their article) is that in 2003 the Supreme Court tossed out and invalidated sodomy laws (Lawrence v. Texas). The Supreme Court ruled that people have the right to privacy and that the government can’t go snooping around their bedroom.

CAN might still be on the books but it isn’t exactly “still illegal” for gay people to have sex with each other.

Oh… and a note to Josh… It was NEVER illegal for people of the same-sex to live together. That was a law directed toward straight people. Sorry.

My column comes out tomorrow. I put up a sneak peek a few days ago.

UPDATE (9:45pm 10/30/2006): I found another bit of ignorance and bigotry. It is from Daniel Thomas, another favorite in the NC State rears its ugly anti-gay face series. Here, Daniel tries in earnest to justify bigotry and discrimination against gays:

for a lot of GLBT people, u make the choice to be visible and bring things on yourself. if your going to act a certain way, prepare to be treated a certain way. if i dressed in jerseys and sideways hats ud treat me differently then if i wore boots and a cowboy hat or if i wore a dress and a wig. so if u cant take the heat get out of the kitchen and stop complaining, if u want to live ur life, then deal with complications that comes with it. just like i deal with the point of being white and the negatives of it and others deal with being black, latino, christian, muslim, gothic, female and male. they all have problems. and if u want to cry about them or talk to someone, u have friends and conselors already here around campus

UPDATE 2 (10:20pm 10/30/2006): Oh you’ll just love this comment from Jordan Rose:

if having sex with another man isn’t naturall wrong then tell me why a mans ass doen’t get wet like a womans vagina? O maybe it’s because its not natural!

Hey Jordon, I have another question (sorry to be graphic, but hell… everyone else is) If having sex with another man isn’t naturally wrong, then tell me why there is an “A-spot” and a man can have a great orgasm from participating in anal receptive sex? If it wasn’t natural, then why would there be naturally occuring sexual pleasure when such sex acts take place?

NC State LGBT Center. The most up-to-date news right here.

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So fresh and so clean…

Sometimes it’s just the simplest of things that make your day a great one.

A haircut and a nice long shower… a perfect end to a good day (minus that damned paperwork, a missed class (because of that damned paperwork, and a ‘I don’t think I did too badly’ art exam).

I’ll be back a little later, after the shower; there’s some more anti-gay NC State-ers to report on.

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The Next Marcus Kindley

Check this guy out. You might remember him from the past “NC State rears its ugly anti-gay face #2” post.

NC State student Jonathan Paul first stated this (emphasis added):

if the lesbians, gays and bisexuals get a building than people who are into beastiality, pedophilia, and convicted felons should also get a building amirite?!?!

Today, he states (emphasis added):

sticking your penis in another mans ass is wrong or taking a penis in the ass is wrong

what has happened to the world when it becomes socially acceptable to do stuff like this?

whats next?? people pushing for a center for students who like to have sex with dogs and cats????

Looks like Marcus has an apprentice.

NC State LGBT Center. The most up-to-date news right here.

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NC State rears its ugly anti-gay face #5

NC State LGBT Center. The most up-to-date news right here.

In the online debate over the proposed NC State LGBT Center (see first post concerning Student Senate approval) it seems as though most of the horrible anti-gay hate and prejudice I’ve spotlighted in the last few days has died down.

Perhaps blog commenter and NC State student Brian was right when he said that some of my postings themselves would be enough to scare off the students making the anti-gay comments and slurs. Maybe that’s the reason; if so, it is because hate and bigotry-laden people and can hardly hold their own ground when their speech and actions are spotlighted for exactly what it is: backward, ignorant, hate-filled rhetoric bent on pushing one group of people under another, making them second-class and effectively stripping them of their humanity.

On the other hand, however, maybe the comments have stopped because it is the weekend and those folks had better things to do. I guess we’ll find out when the new week starts up.

Here, however, is a comment from the “Students Against NCSU LGBT Center” Facebook group which I wanted to highlight and one to which I felt a need to respond. The comment was made by Daniel Thomas, a student whose comments I’ve spotlighted in past posts:

u talk about how we bash gays, dont even try to bash straight people because ive said it before, yall are naturally and scientifically wrong in what u do, sure love another person and all that jazz but be a decent person and like everyone else, u dont have to flaunt the gayness and then say ur being subjected to it. its the same as a girl crying about how people treat her like a slut when she dresses like it. well im sry for both of u but there are common sense things running around. lastly, our money is spread out so thin over many things, that there is no way we could boycott everything we want and say ok, i dont want to pay for this. its a community and people share things, but just like our government, we dont favor groups, so….u dont get the center otherwise theres prejudice.

I’m now going to break this comment down, part by part, with my responses.

u talk about how we bash gays, dont even try to bash straight people

Ok… first of all: People in the Facebook group were bashing gays. That cannot be denied; I have the quotes to prove. Secondly, calling you a bigot and calling you a hate-filled person isn’t bashing, it is the truth. People in the Facebook group have said horrible, horrible, horrible things, including some violent and intimidating things as well. It is quite evident that there is no “Christian love” running through the veins of any of the people who posted such comments. The truth is that the comments were full of hate, ignorance, bigotry and prejudice. That’s just the truth. There is no way around it.

yall are naturally and scientifically wrong in what u do

And who is Daniel Thomas to tell anyone else they are “naturally and scientifically wrong.” Homosexual behavior has been exhibited and observed in countless numbers of animal species, including ours: homo sapiens sapiens.

sure love another person and all that jazz but be a decent person and like everyone else, u dont have to flaunt the gayness and then say ur being subjected to it. its the same as a girl crying about how people treat her like a slut when she dresses like it. well im sry for both of u but there are common sense things running around.

Thanks for giving us gay folks permission to love each other. We weren’t asking for your permission anyways. Gay people aren’t “flaunting” their “gayness” by asking for an LGBT Center. LGBT people are asking for the LGBT Center because they have been subjected to social as well as legalized and institutionalized discrimination, harassment, prejudice, violence and abuse. LGBT people are not crying about being subjected to these things because we flaunted our sexuality. We are asking that we be treated as full human beings and until that time, many LGBT people have special needs which, sadly, straight people don’t have. Straight people do not have a whole society bearing down on them telling them they are bad, evil, sinful or hell bound. Straight people do not have to live in fear of rejection from family, friends, church, state and others just because of who they are as a person, as a human. No one says straight people are “flaunting their sexuality” by holding hands, hugging or kissing in public. No one says straight people are “flaunting their sexuality” by having marriages, wearing wedding rings in public or by getting legal, government recognition for such a union. Why do people say it about gays? Mostly because they think being gays is “wrong” or “immoral.”

its a community and people share things, but just like our government, we dont favor groups, so….u dont get the center otherwise theres prejudice.

Oh, I’m so glad Daniel realizes this. Maybe he does understand the concepts of equality. Our government can’t favor groups… he just so offered a great argument for marriage, an institution legally cut off from a whole group of people based simply on their sexual orientation. The LGBT Center would be open to all people, regardless of sexual orientation, so there is no discrimination or prejudice there. In fact, if you read the official University proposal for the LGBT Center, you’ll see that “straight allies” are included in the Center’s mission and purpose.

My friend Samantha IMed me earlier today, pointing me toward a message written by former NC State chancellor Marye Anne Fox after the death of Matthew Shepard. Here’s a snippet:

In response to this tragedy, the NC State University community must renew its vehement opposition to any expression of hatred and violence directed toward any individual or group based on sexual orientation, race, gender, religion, national origin, or disability. All forms of harassment and discrimination are completely incompatible with the values and goals of NC State and will not be tolerated on this campus. Here at NC State, students involved in acts of violence or intimidation against other students will be charged with a serious violation of the Student Code of Conduct and will be prosecuted aggressively under the student judicial system. If found guilty, students could face suspension or expulsion.

NC State University’s position has long been that educational and employment decisions should be based on an individual’s abilities and qualifications and should not be based on factors or personal characteristics that are not germane to academic abilities or job performance. Traditionally we have viewed race, sex, religion, and national origin as among those factors which are not connected with academic abilities or job performance. An individual’s sexual orientation is another factor which is not relevant to educational and employment decisions. Only relevant factors will be considered in such decisions. Furthermore, equitable and consistent standards of conduct and performance will be applied to all members of the North Carolina State University Community.

NC State is a diverse community that extends a nurturing embrace to men and women of different races, national origins, religions, sexual orientations, and varying physical and mental abilities. All of us, faculty, staff, administrators, and students, must work together to build a community that is inclusive and welcoming to all people, both tolerating and celebrating these personal characteristics. Only then can NC State achieve its mission to actively integrate teaching, research, and extension to create an innovative learning environment that stresses the mastery of fundamentals through intellectual discipline, creativity, reasoned problem solving, and individual responsibility. It is imperative that each member of the NC State University community, as a responsible citizen, respects each other and treats each fellow human being as he or she would like to be treated. Only to the extent that we can together eliminate hatred and violence can our nation be considered a civilized and safe place for all people.

I challenge NC State to take another look at that message and I challenge current NC State chancellor James L. Oblinger to keep a careful eye on the current debate at NC State, lest it grow worse and more vehemently anti-gay. It doesn’t take much to make a situation like the one Matthew Shepard faced in 1998.

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‘Gays’ worth $500,000

Gays.com to be exact.

Sedo, the world’s largest domain name marketplace has sold the domain gays.com:

The new domain owners are Julius and David Dreyer of Germany. “We are very proud to have invested in such a representative domain as gays.com. Building an internet portal for the gay community has always been one of our biggest goals,” said Julius Dreyer. “We are confident that we will be able to introduce an entertaining and informative website in the near future; one that will meet the needs of the gay community.”

Hopefully they’ll make it an international site, not just one for Germany.

Hat tip: PageOneQ.com

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Paperwork sucks

Don’t ask me how I did it. God knows I thought I was keeping all those friggin’ bank statements in one place, but the one statement I REALLY need (that being July) to finish the Third Quarter State Board of Election report for NC Advocacy is M.I.A.

Guess which month the third quarter starts in: yup… July.

Mr. Bank man, I’ll be coming to get a copy of that statement bright and early in the morning.

I really hate paperwork.

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Blog of the Week – I’m Honored

Thanks to Anonymous Soldier for making my blog his first “Blog of the Week.”

Ya’ll be sure to head over to his blog and give him some blog love. He’s a great writer and has some awesome perspectives, especially on the issue of LGB servicemembers and the Military.

You can visit him at www.armyof1in10.net

And, oh yeah, you gotta love his site design, too.

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