Reel them in…

From the day job blog

For a man who still cries when he hears the national anthem, I’m livid someone would question my patriotism based solely on my sexual orientation and party affiliation. My 80-year-old, heterosexual, U.S. Marines WWII/Korean War veteran, Old South, Democratic grandpa would kick your ass if he heard you questioning my love for this country.

That’s my response to a Log Cabin Republicans’ statement calling gay Democrats unpatriotic. As I said at InsideSource, Patrick Sammon — you need to reel your local chapters in real quick.

On a related note… Chris Crain has a wonderful post on the LCR’s endorsement of John McCain and how he thinks LCR could have done better. Check it out.

Oh… and while I’m sending you around to every website in the world, check out monthly LGBT Carolinas publication Out in Asheville and their report on the in-crisis-mode Asheville PrideFest. There’s a great comment thread going on.

NEWTON, N.C./InterstateQ.com — Just slightly over three weeks until North Carolina’s highly anticipated May 6 primary, openly gay U.S. Senate candidate and Chapel Hill businessman Jim Neal won a Western North Carolina straw poll on Saturday, Apr. 12, in the 10th District town of Newton.

U.S. Senate Candidate Jim Neal (right) won a Western N.C. straw poll against his better-funded rival, N.C. State Sen. Kay Hagan (D-Guilford).

Neal, who has been running neck-and-neck with N.C. State Sen. Kay Hagan (D-Guilford), won the poll 54% to 46%.

“Today’s results show the power of the grassroots. The people in the 10th Congressional District spoke, and their voice is louder than insider money and TV ads. Despite being outspent two to one, our message is getting through. North Carolinians are supporting our movement for a government that works for all the people,” Neal said in an Apr. 13 press release.

The event started at 11 a.m. at the Newton-Conover Civic and Performance Place. Both Neal and Hagan spoke to the crowd.

After the final tally, Neal earned 127 votes to Hagan’s 108.

“Strength for a Democratic candidate in this type of more rural setting is certainly a great indicator of which candidates will fare best in the general election,” District Chairman Tony McEwen said. “For a Democrat to be successful statewide in North Carolina, they not only will have to get support from urban areas but also be able to pick up more conservative voters in rural counties, like you will find in the 10th district.”

Neal has made it a campaign focal point to visit as many communities across the state as possible. His grassroots campaign has been reaching out to voters in far-flung places. The effort, it seems, is paying off.

According to news reports and progressive bloggers, Hagan continues to sidestep questions on issues important to the LGBT community. Her latest LGBT gaffe occurred during a BlueNC.com live blog when she failed to directly answer questions from nationally respected, Durham, N.C.-based blogger Pam Spaulding. Attempts for clarification and follow-up by Spaulding and other community members were ignored.

The latest official poll results continue to show Hagan and Neal in a dead heat.

Other straw poll results from the Newton event include:

  • Democratic Presidential Primary: Obama 138, Clinton 109
  • N.C. Democratic Gubernatorial Primary: Perdue 129, Moore 115

That’s right. I feel honored.

Not only is InterstateQ.com featured in this month’s OutInAsheville Spotlight, we are also featured right along side such well-known sites as my friends at Pam’s House Blend and PageOneQ, as well as 365gay.com and Chris Crain.

Here’s what writer Maxwell Powell says about us:

InterstateQ.com serves as both a an internet community for the masses and a personal website for Matt Hill Comer, one of SoulForce’s Equality Riders and an NC native. Matt is a student at UNC-Greensboro and is the Executive Director/Co-Founder of the NC Advocacy Coalition. Most recently he has been blogging about his experience as an Equality Rider. InterstateQ.com is devoted to LGBT news, events, and opinions through a youth and activist perspective. Matt’s writings have been featured or included in numerous media outlets. Since coming out at age 14, he has worked with various organizations to create social awareness on LGBT issues and make his community, state and nation a more accepting and equal place for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. He longs for “the day when our beloved nation will live up to its ideals of equality, liberty and justice for all by full heartedly treating, respecting, accepting and valuing LGBT Americans as equally and as fairly as straight Americans.”

Check out the full Spotlight here

You should also check out Ann Paige’s OutInAsheville article on the Soulforce Equality Ride visit to Montreat College in Montreat, NC, which is just outside Asheville, NC.

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T.W.O. condemns ex-gay youth camp

Ignite Student Outreach, the possible ex-gay program running a possible ex-gay camp I first posted about on Friday, has now been condemned by Truth Wins Out (TWO), an organization founded by long-time and well-respected gay activist Wayne Besen:

Truth Wins Out strongly condemned a new “ex-gay” Summer camp today as possibly coercive, mentally destructive and harmful to vulnerable youth.

“Exodus International has a disturbing track record of forcing youth against their will into bootcamps and we are concerned that teens will also be coerced into this summer camp,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “This is life imitating art, as a the movie ‘But I’m a Cheerleader ‘ is now about to become reality with this odd camp.”

Indeed, one of the camp’s bizarre leaders is Justin Lookaboo and another is ex-gay spokesman Alan Chambers. TWO will investigate this camp and work to free youth from these puritanical prisons disguised as “summer camps.” src

I had received an invitation to attend Ignite Student Outreach’s summer camps in 2007; one of the camps will be held at Ridgecrest, NC, a camp run by Lifeway Christian Resources (which is, thanks to Weave for the following info, owned by the Southern Baptist Convention). The speakers at the camp include Alan Chambers and Scott Davis, ex-gay leaders of Exodus, International and Exodus Youth respectively, as well as well-known right-winger Justin Lookadoo.

On Friday, after publishing my post on Ignite Student Outreach, I contacted TWO asking if they had any information on the camp. I’ll be talking to Wayne Besen either tomorrow or Monday.

Thanks to Maria for the shout out on her blog post concerning the subject.

More info coming soon.

Click here for the most up-to-date & past posts on Ignite Student Outreach

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