The nation’s first openly bisexual governor has officially been sworn in. Liberal Democrat Kate Brown has replaced the now-disgraced governor of Oregon John Kitzhaber who stepped down after facing federal and state corruption charges. The 54-year-old took the oath of office at Oregon’s House of Representatives in Salem. “Oregon has been in the national news for all the wrong reasons. That changes, starting today,” said Brown. “It’s time for us to get back to work. It’s time to move Oregon forward.” [Yahoo]
Republican Congressional Candidate Anthony P. Culler, who is running in South Carolina’s sixth congressional district, went on a hate-filled homophobic rant on his Facebook calling the LGBT community, along with many other bigoted things, gremlins. His tirade came after a series of gay marriage victories took place in states across the nation.
You can read his post after the jump, and remember South Carolinians vote for SC-6 Congressman Jim Clyburn who supports same-sex marriage.
On October 9, members of Congress will receive scores based on their support for marriage equality in addition to LGBT-related issues. Resulting from these rankings, the HRC has released their Hall of Shame—a list of those congressmen and women who came out at the very bottom of their class. “If you want to understand why LGBT equality has hit a roadblock in Congress, you don’t need to look any further than these leaders of anti-LGBT obstruction and animus,” said David Stacy, HRC’s Government Affairs Director. “These members go out of their way to oppose any step toward equal protection under the law or to protect LGBT Americans from violence, discrimination and harassment. They proactively work to undermine existing legal protections and promote anti-LGBT discrimination.”
Check out the list that includes 14 members of the House and five members of the Senate after the jump…
A former journalist, now “fringe” candidate running for president of Brazil stole the show at last night’s penultimate presidential debate, but not in a good way. With the election just a week’s away, the country wasn’t talking about the serious contenders political perspectives, but about Levy Felix, a candidate with just 1% of support in polls. The conservative said that gays “need psychological care” and should be kept “well away from [the rest of] us.”
According to the Guardian:
His comments went unremarked upon by the three main candidates – incumbent Dilma Rousseff of the Workers party, former environment minister Marina Silva and Aécio Neves of the pro-business Social Democratic party – though his insults quickly dominated post-debate discussion on social networks.
The incident highlighted the challenge of maintaining fairness in a campaign with seven candidates, four of whom usually poll less than 1% yet are entitled to almost equal prominence in televised debates.
The Bronx is New York City’s only borough that lacks any kind of gay community center. Ritchie Torres, 26, the youngest member of the New York City Council and the first-ever openly gay candidate to be elected to legislative office in the Bronx, hopes to change that through his recent plan for the 2015 construction of a community center for gay senior citizens in his home borough.
Out of about 100,000 gay seniors living in New York, approximately 5,400 of them are living in poverty in the Bronx, according to Service and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE). SAGE opened the nation’s first publicly funded, full-time gay senior center in Harlem in 2004 and a second Chelsea-based facility in 2012. Brooklyn’s Griot Circle, an intergenerational and culturally diverse community-based organization, provides services for LGBT seniors, especially those of color. The Bronx Community Pride Center, which closed in 2012 following a corruption scandal, was the borough’s only facility that catered to its LGBT population. No center has since replaced it, but gay seniors are at a particular disadvantage because they often experience inhospitable conditions at “many retirement communities and nursing services,” Kira Garcia, a SAGE representative said in an interview. As a result, Garcia claims, “many gay elders go back into the closet as they age.” Now Torres has secured some funding to back the project, which he told New York Magazine, will benefit “the most underserved part of the most underserved New Yorkers.”
In Monday’s episode of his “WTF” Podcast, Marc Maron sat down with RuPaul to discuss the famed drag queen’s personal heroes and inspirations. RuPaul surprises Maron (and undoubtedly many listeners) by revealing new details about his life. For example, growing up, one of RuPaul’s favorite things to watch on TV was Monty Python, and he has an obsession with the Matrix. RuPaul got personal during the interview, detailing the in’s and out’s of his career, spiritual beliefs, and daily routine.
The part of the podcast that is attracting the most media attention is a segment in which RuPaul discusses his feelings about the word “tranny.” In recent years, this word, along with the similar term “she-mail,” have brought controversy for RuPaul. In 2012, he defended Lance Bass’s much-criticized use of the term “tranny.” Just this year, after objection from trans* advocates, RuPaul’s Drag Race discontinued the use of “she-mail,” which had been a catchphrase on the show during a recurring bit.
On “WTF,” RuPaul commented on his feelings about the term “tranny” for the first time since that controversy. He reiterated his fondness for the term, and he denied the claim that it is the transsexual community at large who objects to the word as a slur. According to RuPaul, “[The people who are offended are] fringe people…looking for story lines to strengthen their identity as victims.” He continued, saying “if your idea of happiness has to do with someone else…changing what they say, what they do, you are in for a f**king hard-ass road.”
This is the latest in what’s been a heated debate amongst the LGBT community, and it seems only likely that this will renew the conversation. Check out the complete version of RuPaul’s interview here.
President of The Gambia Yahya Jammeh (above), who is known for hate speech directed toward gay people, has made new statements that continue to stir concern for the fate of LGBT people in The Gambia.
In the latest of a string of anti-gay comments, President Jammeh claims that people from The Gambia who are not gay “go to the west and claim they are gays and that their lives are at risk…in order for them to be granted a stay in Europe.” He continues with the concerning part of his statement: “If I catch [these people] I will kill them.”
Unfortunately, this is not the first time Jammeh has made hateful comments of this magnitude. In addition to the aforementioned hate speech (calling gay people “vermin”), Jammeh has made threats to homosexual citizens of The Gambia, saying ““If we catch you, you will regret why you were born.”
What’s the best way to be a good Christian? According to a new, typically convoluted statement from the king of faux-compassion, Pat Robertson, the answer is simple: reject your gay family members! In answer to a TV viewer’s question on how, “as a Christian,” to best to react to a family member coming out, Robertson said:
“The last thing you want to be is judgmental, but at the same time, you want to be loving, and warm, and let them know that you love them. But! You cannot accept it. You cannot be an enabler. If they’re livin’ together as a homosexual [sic], you cannot say you accept this lifestyle.”
The strangest part of the clip comes when, out of left field, Robertson praises gay people for their creativity. “There are some homosexuals who have enormous capacity for artistic expression,” he said. “You find a lot of this in the homosexual community. Very talented people! And, you know, but, you need to have love!”
Listening to Robertson speak is more than a little painful, but if you’re so inclined, you can decipher his “uh’s” “um’s” and hasty clichés here on YouTube courtesy of Right Wing Watch.
In a response to a lawsuit from four gay Idaho couples, a Federal District Magistrate Judge from the state, Candy Wagahoff Dale (above) has shot down Idaho’s same-sex marriage ban. With this decision, starting next week, the state will be required to provide couples with marriage licenses. In her decision, Judge Dale specifically declares that the ban is unconstitutional because it denies gay people the “fundamental right to marry.” Further, Judge Dale disputed the state of Idaho’s claim that gay marriage poses a threat to children.
Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter originated the appeal that was denied, leading the way for gay marriage in Idaho. The governor says he plans to appeal to a higher court.
MoveOn.Org has asked its members to speak out against a plan by Verizon and Comcast to “allow corporations to take over the Internet—providing a ‘fast lane’ for big companies willing to pay for the better service and relegating the rest of us to second-class service.”
Recently appointed FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler (above), was sworn in to office November 2013 , and he is set to unveil a new proposal on May 15. There have been rumblings that Chairman Wheeler’s new policy may be weak on net neutrality, allowing corporations to take over. However, the vocal outcry over this news has proved unexpected, so MoveOn encourages people to make their voices heard.
To take action, MoveOn recommends calling 202-456-1111, and telling the operator: “I call on President Obama to urge FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to pursue nothing less than full Net Neutrality.”