‘Defender of true marriage’

If the LGBT community ever hopes to win equality on issues such as marriage, we will have to start facing the issue of religion and using to our advantage.

That’s the gist of what I wrote back in November on Bilerico.com, in a post entitled, “For marriage victories, we must face and use religion.”

For a lot of LGBT folks, religion is sticky issue. We’ve spent years of our own lives reconciling ourselves with the faith of our childhoods. Many of our churches, synogogues, and other spaces of worship have rejected us and hurt us deeply. Our relationships with the divine have been repeatedly torn to shreds, and we have been the ones left to patch the quilt back up.

As a movement, we’ve spent years insisting on a separation of church and state. We’ve repeated time-and-time again that personal religious views should not be used to keep us from equality.

We’ve lost 31 times in a row. Continue reading this post…

Back when Democrat Heath Shuler was running for U.S. House there was an awful lot of talk about how having any Democrat would be better than any Republican. Of course, it really doesn’t matter when the Democrat being elected is just as conservative as the Republican he replaced.

Shuler’s 11th District covers the western-most tip of North Carolina. It is a conservative district, no doubt, and he has to answer to the constituents who put him in office. But his anti-LGBT and other conservative stances make him more foe than a friend, something the Democratic Party doesn’t need as more and more LGBT people find the party distrustful and slow to tackle our civil rights.

Continue reading this post…


More NASDAQ doubt for PlanetOut?

According to a press release sent out today by PlanetOut, Inc., it looks as though the company continues to face a doubtful future that might include getting the boot from NASDAQ:

PlanetOut Inc. (Nasdaq: LGBT), a leading media and entertainment company exclusively focused on the gay and lesbian market, announced today that the audit report contained in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on March 4, 2009, included an explanatory paragraph from PlanetOut’s independent registered public accounting firm expressing substantial doubt about PlanetOut’s ability to continue as a going concern due to its continuing net losses and accumulated deficit. Pursuant to Nasdaq Market Place Rule 4350(b)(1)(B), any company whose securities are listed on one of the Nasdaq stock exchanges that receives an audit opinion expressing doubt about the ability of the company to continue as a going concern, must make a public announcement through the news media disclosing the receipt of such an opinion.

As a result of recent operating losses, PlanetOut has carefully assessed its anticipated cash needs and adopted an operating plan to manage the costs of its capital expenditures and operating activities along with its revenues. As part of this plan, PlanetOut reduced its workforce by approximately 33% on January 16, 2009. [link mine] In addition, as previously announced, on January 8, 2009, PlanetOut entered into a merger agreement with Here Media Inc. and certain other parties, and this transaction is anticipated to be completed during the second quarter of 2009.

If the proposed business combination is not completed, PlanetOut has adopted an operating plan, including further cost reductions, to manage the costs of its capital expenditures and operating activities along with its revenues in order to meet its working capital needs for the next twelve months.

Back in August 2008, the gay media company announced that its placement on NASDAQ (LGBT) might face the chopping block. In January, the company agreed to a merger with Here Media, the same company that bought up PlanetOut’s print publications The Advocate, OUT and others.

PlanetOut isn’t the only gay media conglomerate facing tough times. In February, Gay City News reported that the majority share owner of Window Media (Washington Blade, Southern Voice, Genre etc.) was going into a receivership with the Small Business Adminstration.

There’s no doubt that the news publishing business, especially the LGBT news industry, is going to be facing some tough questions in the months and years to come. Small publications like the one I work for and large conglomerates like Window Media and all those in between will face cutbacks, shrinking page counts and stiffer competition from the online world. How will we survive? Do we even need to survive? Every one says the era of the print media is going, going … gone?

I don’t think the news-media industry will ever disappear. It’s all just a matter of how quickly print news fades away and how LGBT print news publications learn how to adapt. No one has the answers… I guess we’ll all keep waiting for some genius out there to come up with the next big innovation.