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Back to the grind

Monday. December 1.

I’m kind of dreading heading back to work, on one hand. But on the other, I’m really looking forward to getting back into the swing of my regular, daily routine. I mean, sleeping in every morning for four days straight was awesome and all, but I was mostly bored out of my mind except for when I was hanging with family. How much T.V. can you watch, right?

This week is going to be a hectic one. We’ve moved up our deadline at the paper from Friday to Wednesday, so that I can get everything proofed and placed before I head up to fabulous Washington, D.C. for the weekend.

Hectic, but productive. That sounds about like my life.

NOTE on NEW FEATURE: InterstateQ.com has a new feature, Twitter Tools. The plugin sends new blog posts from this site to my Twitter account (did you notice the TwitterQ in the white box in the sidebar?) and will also create a daily digest of these moblogging (“mobile blogging”) posts. There have been reports of some mis-haps with the daily digest feature. We’ll notice if we wake up Monday or Tuesday morning and see dozens of duplicate posts. If it happens, we’ll find another way to keep this nifty, cool moblogging feature. I love it.

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InterstateQ – What’s your opinion?

I guess everyone’s noticed I’ve taken a little holiday weekend break from almost everything work and web related. It’s awesome. This weekend’s a perfect time to get your feedback.

Since I’ve re-dedicated myself to paying more attention to InterstateQ, I’ve noticed I don’t like the theme and design. It looks rather crowded. Part of that’s my fault, I know; way too much stuff in the sidebar.

So… my dear lovely readers: I’m asking for your opinion. What should be done? What’s some of your ideas for a new design? What about content? What about, whatever? Got some feedback, suggestions, comments, criticisms — fire them away! Comment on the post or email matt ‘at’ interstateq ‘dot’ com.

Continue reading this post…

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Thanks for the things that matter

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! It’s so wonderful to be able to take one special day out of each year to think long and hard about the people, places and things for which we are truly thankful.

So many times in the world you hear people use the words “thank you” as a sort of involuntary, instinctive reply to someone else. Today we should use those words wisely and with ultimate meaning.

A few things for which I am thankful:

1. The love of my God.
2. The love and closeness of my family, no matter how far a part we might be.
3. Employment – basic needs are taken care of in my home.
4. My readers and supporters at Q-Notes and InterstateQ.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

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Yes, join us Greenland

Greenland just voted for independence. Another step toward complete autonomy, away from Denmark.

Well, you know what I say: Come join us Greenland! Part ways with that old world European power ruling you thousands of miles away from home! Welcome to independent North America!

(totally satire by the way) (h/t KipEsquire Twitter)

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No Milk for Cinemark

I’m usually not one for boycotts, although I did boycott the 2008 Olympic Games (I watched the opening ceremonies, though; I wanted to see the political capitulating).

For all the rounds of boycotts going around after the passage of Prop. 8, I’m thinking that most of them are either going to be blown way out of proportion or complete failures. Either way, most of the boycotts will be useless, and probably turn more people against us instead of in our favor. But there is one boycott I agree with.

The CEO of Cinemark, Alan Stock, donated $9,999 to the Yes on Prop. 8 campaign. His theaters (Cinemark, Century, CineArts and Tinseltown) are carrying the iconic film “MILK,” which profiles the life of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person ever elected to any U.S. political office who was one of the first openly gay or lesbian people in U.S. elected office. Ultimately, Milk was assassinated.

It makes me sick to my stomach to think that a man (and company) who supported the passage of the worst anti-LGBT legislative measure in the history of the nation will now profit from the memory of one of America’s greatest LGBT heroes.

The Carolina theaters below are owned by Cinemark:

North Carolina
Asheboro – Cinemark Asheboro
Greensboro – Brassfield 10
Matthews – Movies 10
Salisbury – Tinseltown 14

South Carolina
Myrtle Beach – Cinemark
Summerville – Movies 8

Other state listings can be found here: www.cinemark.com/tspage.asp

More info: www.nomilkforcinemark.com

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Call me crazy, but I’m American first

All of this talk of Obama’s hesitancy on a DADT repeal is making me nauseous.

Washington Blade editor Kevin Naff says:

There is no rational justification for prolonging the repeal effort any longer. No more waiting, no more excuses and no more cover for duplicitous, squeamish politicians from our timid activist groups.

Flaming Politics’ Brock Savage says:

I went into this, as much as I could, with my eyes open, aware that the new President was not nearly as liberal as I would like, and far from on-point on many of the most important issues facing the LGBT community. There are still many battles to be fought, and the LGBT community can’t sulk because he isn’t the man he never claimed to be but we hoped he was.

Obama spent countless hours talking about how he’d reach out to everyone on the DADT issue. If my memory serves me right, I believe Obama even told us before he was elected that he’d work to build consensus on the issue before pushing for a repeal.

The 2010 timeline for repealing DADT doesn’t offend me. Naff’s insistence that there’s “no rational justification for prolonging the repeal” conveniently (and, perhaps, blindly) ignores the dire economic situation in which our entire nation (and world) now finds itself.

Obama’s tactics on the issue of DADT repeal aren’t the issue; it’ll get done one way or another — seventy percent of the American public won’t be able to be ignored for long.

But, right now, 100 percent of the American public is begging our government to fix this financial mess. Gays need to cool it and give Obama a chance. It’s not like his entry into the White House is going to be a nice walk in the park on a sunny, warm day. He’ll have to save the entire nation before he can start saving the minorities within it. What good are civil rights if there’s nation where they can be exercised?

Of course, the impassioned activist inside me is screaming, “Equality Now!” The more politically-adept, enlightened side of me says, “Yeah… we’re all so great at pissing of the religious right and independent voters; go ahead and push DADT ahead of the line and in front of the economy. That’ll be just fine.

I understand Naff’s view from an activist standpoint. Strategically, pushing a DADT repeal through before dealing with the economy would be a complete disaster. Talk about turning folks against us.

There will be time to hold Obama accountable. When the time is right — when the nation isn’t on the verge of collapse — then we can shout and scream into the windows of the White House. Let’s be American first. Let Obama and the new administration figure out the national and worldwide economic problem, then we can worry about DADT.

Our LGBT organizations and leaders need to keep pushing on our issues, including DADT, ENDA, hate crimes and marriage equality. Keep these issues on the agenda for national discussion. Just realize that more important matters — problems with international implications — are being dealt with first and foremost. Painting Obama as a back-peddling politician isn’t going to help our cause

UPDATE: The Washington Blade has more. Oh, and another on why we have to get the economy fixed.

Foot-in-mouth syndrome or how conservatives really feel about Falwell’s minions? Either way, it’s funny as hell.

From The San Francisco Chronicle:

Other conservative groups that loudly backed Prop. 8 are being targeted as too extreme and off-putting by ProtectMarriage.com, which put the constitutional amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot and hopes to help persuade the state Supreme Court to uphold the measure.

“We represent the people who got things done, who got Prop. 8 passed,” said Andrew Pugno, general counsel for the Yes on Prop. 8 campaign. “An important part of defending Prop. 8 is eliminating arguments not helpful to our concerns.”

Pugno, for example, persuaded the Supreme Court last week to bar the Campaign for California Families from intervening in the court case over the validity of Prop. 8 and the same-sex marriage ban.

“That organization represents the extreme fringe and is not representative of the coalition that got it passed,” Pugno said. “They didn’t even support Prop. 8 until sometime in the summer.”

People associated with the group didn’t expect the Prop. 8 campaign’s efforts to push them to the sidelines.

“I’m surprised, because we’ve litigated beside each other for 4 1/2 years” in the unsuccessful effort to keep the Supreme Court from overturning Prop. 22 same-sex marriage ban in 2000, said Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, which represents the Campaign for California Families. “We have the same goal, which is to defend Prop. 8.”

The group, now known as the Campaign for Children and Families, is run by Randy Thomasson, who for years has been one of California’s most visible opponents of gay rights and what he bills as “the homosexual agenda.”

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Why here?

At least one blogger has asked why gay folks are protesting Prop. 8 in places like North Carolina. Here’s why:

California’s gay marriage ban could open the door to legal discrimination against unpopular groups if the state Supreme Court allows the voter-approved measure to stand, blacks, Latinos, Asians and other minorities said.

[…snip…]

Legal scholars say the measure, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, breaks new ground by limiting the courts’ ability to protect minorities.

“They could take away any right from any group,” said University of Southern California Law Professor David Cruz, who filed a brief in favor of gay marriage in an earlier case.

Full story here.

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Weekend radical right wrap-up

A few items of note from the weekend, from the void-of-all-reality world of the Radical Right…

The N.C. Christian Action League‘s correspondent L.A. Williams and executive director Rev. Mark Creech attempt to paint all LGBT people as violent — “He said as discouraging as the nationwide Prop. 8 protests are, they serve a function in uncovering motives,” Williams writes. “‘The violence of some protesters reveals the true nature of the homosexual agenda which has little to do with tolerance,’ the Rev. Creech said.” It’s kind of like saying since Fred Phelps like using the fag word so much, all Christians hate gays with the same ferocity. Way to blow things completely out of proportion, Creech; I gues the whole “bear no false witness” thing doesn’t apply when talking about queers, huh?

Radical theocrats in Hillsborough County, Fla., are making their next move in the big chess game to strip away minority rights: “Seeking to capitalize on statewide passage of a gay marriage ban, a leading antigay-rights activist is setting his sights on same-sex domestic partnership benefits,” writes The St. Petersburg Times. “David Caton, executive director of the Florida Family Association, says he will seek a change to the Hillsborough County Charter in 2010 to pre-emptively ban same-sex benefits for county employees.”

Yet again, the N.C. Christian Action League pops back on our radar screen. In a post by Dr. Richard Land, the League peddles misinformation on the California legal system — “Now we are witnessing the spectacle of same-sex marriage advocates going before the California Supreme Court in attempts to convince them to overturn the people’s choice to amend their state’s constitution,” Land writes. The good doctor fails to mention that this is just the way it works in the great western state of California. The Court doesn’t waste its time on motions prior to a ballot vote; why waste taxpayer time and money on something that might not even pass, and therefore, might not even be an issue worth dealing with.

A founding board member of the Family Research Council thinks its cool to propagate 19th century prejudices against Native Americans — “‘He said he would also consider banning Native Americans from adopting because research shows that they are also at much higher risk of mental illness and substance abuse. ”They would tend to hang around each other,” Rekers testified. ‘So the children would be around a lot of other Native Americans who are . . . doing the same sorts of things.”” Columbia, S.C.’s Alvin McEwan calls out the B.S.

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Update: Prioritizing the movement

A few days ago I blogged about my ideas on where our movement should go next. I made a priority list on what we should focus on.

My most recent post on this notion of “you haven’t suffered enough” prompted some more thinking on my part. Updated priority list below the fold…

Continue reading this post…