Conservative journalist Andrew Sullivan emerged from a private chat with Governor William F. Weld a decade ago, certain that the Republican politician was an unqualified believer in the right of gay couples to marry.
So Sullivan was more than a little surprised when he read in The New York Times and New York Post this week that Weld, who may run for governor in the Empire State, said he does not support the legalization of gay marriage beyond the Bay State's borders.
''He's always been consistently in favor of the logic and morality of marriage rights for all couples, so I'm at a loss," Sullivan said in a telephone interview.
Sullivan's reaction was typical yesterday, as those who considered Weld one of the most forceful voices for same-sex marriage in either major political party expressed shock that he was now hedging that support as he looks to woo voters in a state far larger and more politically diverse than Massachusetts.
There are so few decent Republicans that this is quite dissapointing. Say it ain't so Willie. Say it ain't so.
Let us send our wishes, prayers and good karma to Coretta Scott King. Sadly, she has suffered a heart attack and a major stroke that has impaired her ability to speak and affected her right side.
The heart attack and stroke reportedly caused by a blood clot that moved from the heart -- and lodged in an artery in the left side of her brain.
The 78-year-old widow of Martin Luther King Jr. is listed in fair condition. She'll remain in the hospital for days to come and will need intensive therapy.
She is an amazing lady who actually gets her husbands dream of equality for all people. She has taken every opportunity to make it known that the GLBT community is included in the rainbow.
"Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union," she said. "A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages."
The world needs more people like Coretta Scott King. She is a person of great integrity and a genuine hero.
Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., is shaking a few trees with his new kiss and tell book, "Herding Cats, A Lifetime in Politics". Lott wrote that Sen. Bill Frist, his successor as majority leader, was one of the "main manipulators" in the events that resulted in his own loss of power. Lott lost his post in 2002 after making racially tinged remarks at a 100th birthday party for one-time segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond.
"Frist's actions amounted to a "personal betrayal," Lott wrote. "I had taken him under my wing. ... He was my protege. ... We'd been friends off and on the floor, and that's pretty rare in a governmental body loaded with lone wolves and enormous egos."
Lott also expressed how President George W. Bush stabbed him in the back.
President Bush also played a role in his downfall, Lott wrote, not so much with what he said, but by saying it in a tone that was"devastating ... booming and nasty."
I'm thrilled that Lott is attacking these folks, but give me a break. He should take personal responsibility for his own actions. Frist and Bush did not go to Strom'sbirthday party and wish the Dixicrat would have won. No, this was Lott's very own political suicide. All Frist and Bush did was eventually acknowlede that Lott had fallen on his own sword. It is time Lott slinks back to Mississippi in shame and disgrace. He is a bigot who has no place in a respectable Senate. He can try to "whitewash" his actions, but we all know who he truly is. Calling Frist a snake and Bush a worm, will not change the fact that he is a racist toad.
In today's New York Times, GOP gurus worry that the botched war in Iraq is going to hurt them in midterm elections. Well, lying about a war, fabricating a nuclear weapons threat, not supplying enough troops, failing to protect these brave troops with new body armor and having no exit strategy should hurt the Republicans. Interestingly, Bush's plunging poll numbers have pundits speculating if he will be a drag on the party in 2006.
"If this continues to drag down Bush's approval ratings, Republican candidates will be running with Bush as baggage, not as an asset," Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, said. "Should his numbers go much lower, he is going to be a problem for Republican candidates in 2006."
The years of dishonesty are starting to catch up with Bush. He is finding it increasingly difficult to hide behind 9-11. Although he tried to take the funerals of troops out of public view, relatives are coming forth to ask, "What was this all about?" "Why did my child die? " "For what?"
Bush's poor decision making has put all Americans in a hole. If we leave Iraq now, we have emboldened evil Muslim extremists. If we stay in the desert with inadequate troop levels, we've got Vietnam. The only good option "We The People" have left is to vote the bums out of office in 2006.
If you want to get a good morning laugh, check out funny man Peterson Toscano's take on Zach's latest blog and the way the media, gay and anti-gay advocates are trying to read the tea leaves. For those who don't know the story, poor little Zach came out to his parents and they whisked him away to an ex-gay boot camp.
Sometimes Neo-Puritan groups let down their guard and tell the truth about their insidious agenda. In a statement today by Focus on the Family, the group talks about a group they are working with that is trying to infiltrate the public schools.
Regina Griggs of PFOX says their focus is public schools."One of the major projects has been to produce brochures to be provided to schools."
Time to wake up folks, unless you want "ex-gays" spreading propaganda in schools and influencing the curriculum. These groups need to be exposed as the frauds they are, before this nonsense is taught along side "Intelligent Design".
This story is hard to believe. Illinois Family Institute leader Peter LaBarbera suggested that hate preacher Fred Phelps is a gay plant.
"Politically and culturally speaking, Phelps and his protesters serve as a crude caricature of pro-family traditionalists who oppose the normalization of homosexuality. Fred makes an easy target for the media and secularists who are tempted (partly by their own prejudices) to paint any opposition to 'gay rights' as hateful. For this reason, I have sometimes wondered if Phelps and his lawyerly clan are 'gay plants.'"
Yeah, I admit it. There was this aging, out of work Broadway actor I knew. He was drunk in the Bowery and depressed because he couldn't find a job. So, I picked him up off his drunken behind and said, "why don't we move you to Kansas, dress you up like a hillbilly and have you picket the funerals of gay hate crime victims." I must say, it was pretty astute of LaBarbera to solve this riddle.
The truth is, LaBarbera doesn't like Phelps because they share the exact same beliefs. They are peas in a pod. The only difference is that Phelps didn't train in Washington like LaBarbera did, and so he missed out on The Family Research Council's slick PR 101 class. Instead of hiding the far right's goals, Phelps says what they truly believe. He is a mirror for LaBarbera and he does not like what he sees.
Researchers at Oregon State University think that new studies showing that about 8 percent of rams are "male-oriented" have the potential to help explain sexuality in other mammals, including humans.
The findings, by researchers at Oregon State, Oregon Health & Science University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Sheep Experiment Station, suggest that homosexuality may be biologically driven, a hot topic in the perennial "nature vs. nurture" debate.
Newt Gingrich is staging a comeback and laying the groundwork for a run at the presidency. Most democrats I speak to scoff at the notion of Gingrich rehabilitating his image and winning the GOP nomination. I think it is premature to write off Newt. With Bill Clinton out of the picture, Newt may now be the smartest one in the class.
People easily forget that Newt single handedly masterminded the "Republican Revolution" that toppled the entrenched Democratic congressional leadership in 1994. He is a brilliant strategist, a powerful public speaker, has the connections to raise early money and is a master at framing issues and conducting negative campaigns. This makes him too dangerous to ignore in 2008.
In today's Washington Post, there is an article on "ex-gay" therapy by writer Sandra G. Boodman that explores right wing efforts to turn gay people heterosexual. In the story, Dr. Robert Spitzer goes out of his way to distance himself from the far right who are distorting the results of his flawed work.
Remember, two years ago Dr. Spitzer published a controversial study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior that angered many of his colleagues and earned him the praise of "ex-gay" therapists.
It took Spitzer 16 months to recruit 200 people who had undergone treatment. He conducted 45-minute telephone interviews and found that 66 percent of 143 men and 44 percent of 57 women, all of whom Spitzer described as "highly motivated" and almost all of whom were "extraordinarily religious," had achieved "good heterosexual function" lasting at least five years. They were in a committed relationship, had satisfying heterosexual sex at least monthly and said they were rarely or never bothered by homosexual feelings.
In an accompanying commentary, former APA president Lawrence Hartmann, a professor at Harvard Medical School, called Spitzer's study "too flawed to publish." Hartmann noted the study was retrospective, that it lacked controls or independent measurements, and was based entirely on self-reports by people who were motivated to say they had changed because of their affiliation with ex-gay or anti-gay groups.
While the ex-gay industry frequently cites the study as proof reparative therapy works, Spitzer said his results have been misrepresented.
"It bothers me to be their knight in shining armor because on every social issue I totally disagree with the Christian right," he said. "What they don't mention is that change is pretty rare," he added, noting that the subjects of his study were not representative of the general population because they were considerably more religious. And Spitzer calls "totally absurd" the twin hypotheses that everyone is born straight and that homosexuality is a choice.
While Spitzer's study remains essentially meaningless, since right wing political groups provided him with the subjects, many of whom were paid anti-gay lobbyists, it is good to see that he is distancing himself from the fringe. He is learning that these are immoral people who will twist the truth and fix the evidence to suit their ignoble goals. I urge Dr. Spitzer to continue speaking out about how ex-gay therapists are misusing his work and tarring his name in the process.
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman is a strong leader who really gets it. His Aug 13. comments to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, cogently and succinctly explain what our movement is about.
"We have sanitized and intellectualized our cause to the point of abstraction. Our argument is always about -- you know, you get a better dental plan if you're married. Stuff like that. But marriage is just a code word. The fight is really: Are we equal humans in society or not? The right wing goes for the gut and we respond in this completely sterile way, talking about academic issues like the 1,038 rights that are denied us. It's kind of like John Kerry in the presidential race."
Foreman is dead on. Our movement is one of morality that says that there should not be different sets of laws, with different standards for different people. If we are a free society all people will be treated fairly and equally. We are fortunate that Foreman has a gift for telling it like it is.
The firestorm over Zach, an out teen trapped in an "ex-gay" program in Tennessee, has uncovered the far right's aggressive efforts to force gay youths to act straight. Some have escaped and share their harrowing tales. (The Advocate)
In 2004, a group of gay activists took over Cato Island, a small sand bar in the Coral Sea off the northeast coast of Australia. They planted a rainbow flag on the beach and declared it the world's first gay kingdom in protest of anti-gay legislation in Australia. When I originally read this news story I got a good laugh while I drank my morning coffee.
After a recent spasm of anti-gay violence in several countries, I'm no longer chuckling. The merits of founding a nation where persecuted homosexuals can escape rampant abuse is worth exploring.
The death toll for U.S. forces in Iraq has surpassed 1,800, nearly 14,000 soldiers have been injured, there is no exit strategy and for all of our nation's bloody sacrifice we have accomplished little more than transforming a secular Iraq into another Iran. With all things swell in sweltering Babylon, it is comforting to know that the Pentagon is paying close attention to military affairs.
Just this week, for example, four-star general Kevin P. Byrnes was relieved of his command as head of Training and Doctrine for cheating on his wife with a civilian. In a time when our armed forces can't drum up enough warm bodies, they are drumming out decorated warriors because they are decadent womanizers.
Boston gay newspaper Bay Windowswrote a story about Focus on the Family's Love Won Out conference coming to Boston. The road show tries to make gay people straight through prayer and therapy. The funny thing is, there are usually no "ex-gays" at these events who are not on the payroll of right wing groups like Focus. Because the right refuses to show ex-gays who aren't on the dole I've questioned whether any truly exist. In the Bay Windows story, Focus on the Family, once again, refuses to provide real people, and not spokespersons, that claim to have gone from gay to straight. When questioned why they can't provide unpaid testimonials, the group's spokesperson got defensive and made some lame excuse about security concerns.
Melissa Fryrear, an ex-gay conference speaker, disputed Besen's claim, saying that there are plenty of success stories, but that those people often keep quiet to avoid intimidation by the gay community. "Literally thousandsof men and women have successfully overcome homosexuality. Not everyone feels safe to share their story publicly because to be honest, in my own life, I have to have personal security when I travel. I could never repeat to my mother the things that are said to me," said Fryrear. "There's a lot of hatred directed towards former homosexuals, and people don't want to share that publicly."
Sounds like a lot of BS excuse making. She claims "thousands" of people have changed, yet not a single one of them will come forward? Not one brave soul who is excited to share his or her story without Dobson sticking a check in the pocket? When real success stories can't be found, I'd be pretty skeptical and wonder if such a conference is a scam.
I just got back from Fire Island. I had an amazing time, seeing friends and drinking the most fabulous gay wine from Rainbow Ridge of Palm Springs. I've been a little tardy posting this week. Good thing, since I've been tipsy and tanning. Plus, I hate to get sand in the lap top. I'm sure you will all forgive me.