Joe Solmonese (Credit: HRC)

Great news for outgoing Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese, who will be making one of his last public appearances as “professional gay” head honcho at this weekend’s HRC Carolina Gala in Charlotte: Solmonese has been named a national co-chair of President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, according to The Miami Herald‘s Steve Rothaus.

But, I saw something like that coming. Who couldn’t have.

From my Feb. 18 Q&A with Solmonese at the old day job:

Where do you see your life taking you now?
I’ve given some thought to what I’ll do next. I haven’t decided how I’ll spend all of my time, but I know I’ll spend a fair amount of time between now and November working to reelect President Obama.

But, the move out of HRC wasn’t the only topic of my chat with Solmonese. There was some great conversation on ENDA, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” voter mobilization, the progressive movement and North Carolina’s impending vote on an anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment.

I have to say, I was quite proud this Q&A was one of my last duties as editor of QNotes — so, count me as biased as I highly encourage you to read the full thing at goqnotes.com…

 

Control freaks.

That’s exactly what anti-LGBT organizers and activists are. They honestly believe that they, and only they, can claim the role of moral arbiter of right and wrong. Their opinions. Their religion. Their interpretation of Scripture.

Have a different point of view? Too bad. Actually think all people — including gays — should be treated equally (as in, the dictionary’s definition of “equal”)? Tough luck.

Charlotte Hays of Independent Women’s Forum takes issue with the White House’s recent anti-bullying summit. She writes:

Okay, bullying is wrong. But this isn’t entirely about bullying, is it?

This is partly about promoting acceptance of alternative lifestyles. Most of us today are pretty accepting of these lifestyles, and all decent people know that it would be wrong to be unkind to anybody because of sexual orientation. Decent people don’t bully. But a kid who is a Christian is more likely to face censure in some schools. Why aren’t Christian kids on the president’s no-bullying list?

[..snip..]

My problems with the no bullying campaign are twofold: it is ideologically driven, second, this really isn’t what government should do. This is an issue for a family. Families teach children to behave decently-or they don’t. Stable families instill civility, but ideological anti-bullying campaigns instill ideology.

As if Hays’ idea of an anti-bullying program wouldn’t be any less ideological. Ha.

There was a time — and for many LGBT kids, that time is still now — when schools’ anti-bullying campaigns or policies were designed specifically to exclude them. That’s the kind of anti-bullying campaign I can see Hays supporting. Why shouldn’t Christian kids be able to torment gay kids day-in and day-out, telling them they are going to hell and excluding them from dodge ball games. After all, we all know that gay kid is condemned anyway. We might as well let the Christian kid tell him so.

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Neal: It’s time to man up, Mr. President

Chapel Hill businessman and one-time U.S. Senate candidate Jim Neal took to The Huffington Post yesterday with a message to President Obama.

“Man up,” he says in the face of Tuesday’s devastating midterm elections, poking and prodding the president to engage in a political fight to show which party really does have the nation’s best interests at heart.

Neal also sees a bright side to this week’s political history:

When the new Congress convenes in January, there will be a new bogeyman in town. The hot potato is in the hands of the Republican Party for the next two years.

And therein lies the silver lining — a Pyrrhic victory — for the president. The heat’s off. It’s now the Republicans’ economy to fix and it’s the Republicans’ responsibility to create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

That’s a tall order for a Party that reminds us “Government doesn’t create jobs.”

In 2012 Americans will do what they always do: vote with their pocketbooks. The Republicans have no rabbits in the hat, no tricks up their sleeve to fatten, much less maintain, those pocketbooks. You can’t pay the mortgage with a tax cut. You can’t stave off a foreclosure with a tax cut. You can’t stimulate short-term economic growth through tax cuts. You can’t create jobs by cutting government spending and shuttering government agencies. You can’t create jobs by bashing gays, illegal immigrants and mosques.

Read Neal’s full column…

An interesting Twitter convo:

Demre: RT @proudamericans Obama is governing like a dictator and is purposely destroying this country! Please RT if you agree… #tcot

interstateq: @proudamericans Just curious: y’all are just kidding, right? If not, I’ll be on the lookout for stray marbles.

proudamericans: @interstateq kidding about what

interstateq: @proudamericans Your Obama ruling like a dictator comment.

proudamericans: @interstateq When a President passes more & more by executive order to get his agenda passed & not going through Congress – thats dictator!

interstateq: @proudamericans Did you make same claims against Bush? If not why all the outrage now? This is childs play compared to Bush’s true *abuses*

proudamericans: @interstateq I can tell you are a zombie brainwashed by the liberal media go ahead and believe what you want. Bush did not govern like this

It’s so nice to know our compassionately conservative friends answer true, honest and civil debate (along with completely valid questions) with ad hominem attacks. Wait. I thought only liberals did that. I’m confused.

A few reminders: The Constitution in Crisis, Bush v. Constitution,  Exposing Bush’s historic abuses of power

And none of that even adds up to being the tiniest bit of a tip of the iceberg. Obama, the dictator? That notion is just about as crazy (and, yes, I mean crazy as in clinically delusional) as Liberty Counsel’s claims that Obama is planning to ‘subvert’ the Constitution.

Neo-cons are weird sort of creature. People with Alzheimer’s have better memory function than these folks.

P.S. — There’s no such thing as “The Liberal Media.” I highly recommend Glenn Greenwald’s excellent piece: “Octavia Nasr and what The Liberal Media allows.”

P.P.S. — Again, I’ll repeat: “I’m telling you: The right wing agenda is evil, insidious and pernicious. Nothing more. Nothing less. (Although the words “sick” and “twisted” come to mind, too.)”

You’ve got to be freaking kidding me. After eight years of the Bush Administration and its biggest expansion of federal government and executive branch power in all of American history, the folks at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty Counsel want to push this? Bonkers. Looney. Lost marbles. Crazy (like so far past going off the deep end it is unimaginable) is the only thing that can describe it.

From Liberty Counsel’s email blast today:

The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency

Revealing Barack Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution…and How to Stop Him. President Obama must be stopped. Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski show how to do it in The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, a new No. 1 best-selling book.

The Constitution is on the side of the American people. It’s time to take America back! The Blueprint is available from Liberty Counsel for a gift of $30 or more.

Where the hell were these batshit crazy loons when Bush and his cronies were taking the Constitution and ripping it to shreds?

I’m telling you: The right wing agenda is evil, insidious and pernicious. Nothing more. Nothing less. (Although the words “sick” and “twisted” come to mind, too.)

2

‘Their blood shall be upon them’

There’s a lot of talk here recently over a proposed anti-gay death penalty law in Uganda. Activists and news organizations have linked the legislation’s Ugandan proponents to several high-profile American religious leaders and politicians.

The law, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009, would make gay sex a crime punishable by death. The legislation has been endorsed by Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa, a man invited to speak at Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church and “embraced warmly” by Warren and his wife.

Jeff Sharlet, author of an exposé on the secretive American group, “The Family,” has linked the Ugandan legislation’s mastermind, David Bahati, back to the ultra-conservative group.

Continue reading this post…

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Two Queer Perspectives on President Obama

First off, hello from long-ago to regular readers and hello for the first time to new readers With that out of the way, here are two perspectives on President Obama which I found on the same day. I hear myself saying “YES! YES!” to both. All things in tension? What are your thoughts?

First: Dustin Lance Black
Second: LZ Granderson

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Obama: Defender of Discrimination?

Throughout the campaign and through his first few months in office, we’ve heard Obama and his assistants say that the president is still committed to repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Except, Obama’s administration isn’t fighting to repeal the ban. Instead, they’re fighting to defend it. The Associated Press reports (emphasis added):

The Supreme Court on Monday turned down a challenge to the Pentagon policy forbidding gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, granting an Obama administration request to maintain the Clinton-era “don’t ask, don’t tell” directive.

The court said it will not hear an appeal from former Army Capt. James Pietrangelo II, who was dismissed under the military’s policy.

[..snip..]

In court papers, the administration said the appeals court ruled correctly in this case when it found that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is “rationally related to the government’s legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion.”

[..snip..]

During last year’s campaign, President Barack Obama indicated he supported the eventual repeal of the policy, but he has made no specific move to do so since taking office in January. Meanwhile, the White House has said it won’t stop gays and lesbians from being dismissed from the military.

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No thanks for table crumbs

On June 1, President Barack Obama issued an official proclamation on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and National Pride Month.

The resolution is reprinted in its entirety below, but, first, my thoughts.

Should we thank Obama for the proclamation? Criticize or chastise him for not yet doing more to help us achieve our equality? Should we do both?

Continue reading this post…

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. will sign on to a U.N. declaration on the decriminalization of homosexuality. Officials have notified the French sponsors of the intent to sign on. George Bush had refused to sign the statement, leaving the U.S. as the only Western nation refusing to do so. Read more.

(h/t Bilerico, UKGayNews)