Statesville attorney and Democratic National Committee member David Parker was elected Saturday the new chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party.

Parker takes the helm after abysmal performance by his predecessor David Young, especially on LGBT issues. In contrast, Young’s predecessor, Jerry Meek, often reached out, spoke with and worked together with LGBT constituents.

If Parker’s live-blog with Durham-based blogger Pam Spaulding is any indication, North Carolina Democrats have elected a fine leader who truly values the participation and contributions of LGBT party members:

Pam Spaulding:
Since PHB is a blog focusing on LGBT issues, there are huge ramifications for LGBT North Carolinians because of the outcome of the midterms in our Gen Assembly. A question from reader HunterC:What I’m most interested in is for political operators to recognize that in 2011 in North Carolina, embracing LGBT issues is not toxic. What will you do to get through to candidates and the political machinery that NC in 2011 has moved past LGBT items as wedge issues? Even US Senator Richard Burr — A NORTH CAROLINA REPUBLICAN — acknowledged the “generational change” after he voted to repeal DADT.

David Parker:
We are already seeing LGBT issues being used as a wedge: I got a mailing yesterday addressed to 5 million Senior Christians saying that Obama’s signing the Hate Crimes Bill was tantamount to criminalizing Christianity becuase the Bible speaks against homosexuality and is therefore outlawed.

This approach is just to arouse anti-gay passion and we have got to stand firmly against it and stand firmly for individual dignity also … it is my belief that sexual orientation is a gift from God. I will support the issues of personal dignity and the adoption of the Dallas Principles as well. They make sense across the board. LGBT issues are universal issues and should be treated as such.

Read Pam’s full interview with Parker…

If you don’t live in Charlotte, Cleveland, Minneapolis or St. Louis, or if you aren’t a politics/news junky, or if you aren’t in someway involved in Democratic politics, you’ve likely not heard that Charlotte is in the running to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

But, if you do already know that have you yet heard all the discussion surrounding Charlotte’s current treatment of LGBT people and issues? Fear not, and find a comprehensive round-up of all the discussions below…

How do potential DNC 2012 host cities compare on LGBT equality?
July 13. InterstateQ.com
see also: Pam’s House Blend, DemConWatch

A reality check for my own enthusiasm for Charlotte Hosting the DNC2012.
July 13. Mark Wisniewski

Open letter to the DNC: LGBT Charlotteans need the 2012 Democratic Convention.
July 27. InterstateQ.com
see also: Pam’s House Blend, DemConWatch

DNC 2012 as Therapy for Local Gays.
July 27. Meck Deck

Interesting Open Letter* by Matt Comer.
July 27. Mark Wisniewski

City failing on DNC platform issue: treatment of gays, lesbians.
Aug. 15. Charlotte Observer
see also: Mark Wisniewski’s longer, original commentary

Wisniewski on the Keith Larson Show.
Aug. 17. QNotes

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Is gay print media in its last throes?

Gay journo Michael Lavers, national news editor for Edge Media Network, took to discussing the state of LGBT print media in the Village Voice‘s annual “Queer Issue” this week.

His piece, titled “Gay Print Media on the Wane,” rehashes the demise of Window Media — once the nation’s largest LGBT newspaper company — and delves into the possible future of gay journalism.

In the story, Lavers writes that the rise of digital media has given traditional print media a run for its money. No doubt there. He also details some specific challenges to gay media and proclaims some new “kings of the forest” (he calls them the “new gay press establishment”) in the process.

Continue reading this post…

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Yes, but will he lead like Terry Sanford?

Former N.C. State Sen. Cal Cunningham, a Winston-Salem, N.C.-native living in nearby Davidson County, has announced his challenge to Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, also of Winston-Salem.

Other than the interesting regional connection between the two pols and what that means for the continued East-to-West political shift in the Tar Heel State, I was also intrigued by a portion of Cunningham’s announcement. More below the fold…

Continue reading this post…

qnoteshomepageIt has been a year, this month, since my day job, Q-Notes newspaper, upgraded its website from a mis-matched collection of simple, static HTML pages to a fully automated content management system (CMS). In the year since, I’ve learned a lot about new media and how it complements and improves traditional news-media, including the gay news publishing business.

In Q-Notes‘ case, we chose to use WordPress as a CMS. Really, the “software” is a blogging platform. Its uses, though, are almost limitless. Tweak your site design/template and the way in which you post your information and it makes a great CMS for a small newspaper or magazine; student newspapers across the country, I hear, are using WordPress and other similar blogging platforms as CMS solutions.

The choice was easy for us. WordPress is an open source project. It is free to use and the worldwide community it has spawned provides plenty of technical support and information. It’s amazing, really, that so many people around the world would seem to have a vested interest in something like a blogging platform.

Our online news publishing process before our CMS was cumbersome, slow and horribly out-of-date and behind the times. Prior to our use of a CMS we’d have to wait two weeks before the website was updated. In the most urgent of cases, we’d call up our out-of-office web designer and have him add a small notation regarding a breaking event or news on the front page. WordPress immediately changed the way Q-Notes utilized online mechanisms to publish news. Updating breaking news stories or publishing recent headlines on a daily basis became a reality, improving our connection to readers and keeping our content fresh, exciting and new.

Continue reading this post…

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Vote for the best…

Today is the last day to enter your vote in the Best LGBT Blog category of the 2009 Weblog Awards.

Take 10 seconds and skip over to their site and participate. I’m a contributor to at least two of the sites there – Bilerico.com and PamsHouseBlend.com.

Currently, Bilerico is running in second, about 4,000 behind Towleroad.

Would you vote today?

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Headlines: At the week’s end

A re-cap of the last week at InterstateQ.com and around the blogosphere.

OutGayLife.com, a website network based in Bloomington and Edina, Minn., was caught red-handed stealing copyrighted content from several LGBT blogs and news publications, as well as from mainstream media outlets and The Associated Press. (Jan. 5-6, InterstateQ.com)

InterstateQ.com reader Paul McNeal contributed two guest pieces. Shift in progress and Inside Look…DADT. (Jan. 6 and 11, InterstateQ.com)

Gay exotic dancer Devon Hunter related his story of an inhospitable Gay Atlanta. (Jan. 6, DevonHunter.info)

Merck is looking to get boy-friendly approval for its Gardasil. (Jan. 7, InterstateQ.com)

Pam’s House Blend goes down. (Jan. 7, Q-Notes)

Gay grant will benefit play documenting 1996 Charlotte culture wars. (Jan. 7, Q-Notes)

Gay media ignores real gay Boy Scout issues. (Jan. 8, InterstateQ.com)

Gay activist takes issue with eSpin.com “anti-gay” Founding Father comments. (Jan. 9, InterstateQ.com)

N.C. fundamentalists’ much ado about nothing. (Jan. 10, InterstateQ.com)

Q-Notes asks reader feedback on gay prisoner’s writings. (Jan. 10, Q-Notes)

Hagan will keynote HRC Carolinas Gala. (Jan. 10, Q-Notes)