Friday, December 28, 2007

Looking Ahead

With events in Pakistan, Iowa and New Hampshire dominating the news across New York, what’s left is primarily “year in review” detritus and we’ll spare you all of that.

We’ll see you next year.

It will be a busy one here in New York for us -- no big surprise there. The Legislature goes into session on January 9 when Governor Spitzer gives his State-of-the-State address. We also have critical elections looming in November that will determine whether we win our equality here in New York sooner rather than later.

The Pride Agenda has been busy these past few months planning and planning and -- well you know -- all that stuff that has to be done in order to be the best advocates we know how to be. Alan, our Executive Director, will be in Albany very regularly, if not weekly, as he was last year, to talk to legislators and policymakers about our issues. And LGBT New Yorkers and our friends will be going to Albany en masse on April 29 to remind elected officials in person there is much work to be done and legislation to pass.

So relax these next few days. And then get ready to work with us in what we hope will be an exciting and fruitful 2008. ;>)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Two Openly Gay Elected Officials in WNY Win Leadership Positions

This month two openly gay legislators were chosen by their peers for leadership positions in their local legislatures. Council Member-at-Large Bill Pritchard was named Vice President of the City Council in Rochester and Council Member-at-Large Greg Rabb was chosen to be Council President in Jamestown.

Pritchard, a Democrat, has served on the Rochester City Council since 2003. Rabb was elected to the Jamestown City Council for the first time in November after running several times for the seat and has told us that he was named Council President just a few weeks later by the Democratic Majority. The Pride Agenda has endorsed both in past races they’ve run.

Pritchard and Rabb join other openly LGBT elected officials in New York, such as Christine Quinn, the Speaker of the New York City Council, and Jon Copper, the Majority Leader of the Suffolk County Legislature, who have been named by their colleagues to leadership positions.

We think it says something good about our state when openly LGBT lawmakers from the western border to the eastern most tip of New York can rise to positions of leadership.

Our congratulations go out to both Bill Pritchard and Greg Rabb for their achievements.

Morning Sweep

Hillel--the largest Jewish organization at many colleges and universities around the world--has developed at 186-page guide to welcoming LGBT students into mainstream campus Jewish communities.

The first openly gay president of the National Association of Black Journalists and former New York Times reporter Thomas Morgan III passed away Monday morning.

A car dealership in Tonawanda is facing a lawsuit from three of its former employees who claim that management harassed them by creating an atmosphere of sexual hostility, including multiple gay slurs towards one employee.

Sexual orientation is proving to be the sticking point for Georgia's hate crimes law. It is still unclear as to whether or not the state's legislature will pass a hate crimes bill that includes protections for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Morning Sweep

Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village, a participant in our Pride in the Pulpit program, is the subject of a complaint letter that was sent to the leadership of the Reformed Church of America. Several member churches in the Midwest are upset about Middle Church’s support for marriage for same-sex couples.

Over in New Hampshire, the Concord Monitor has a front page article that is the most comprehensive piece I’ve read about Mike Huckabee and gay issues and the Huffington Post shows how Huckabee calibrates his anti-gay positions in Iowa based upon his audience.

What would Hillary do on day one on issues like DOMA if she becomes President? The Concord Monitor in another front page article says “cautious change, not dramatic upheaval.”

The Boston-based weekly Bay Windows provides us with its guide to the Presidential candidates on LGBT issues, including “The Good” and “The Bad.” (Santa, you better put on your spectacles and give this a read before firing up the sleigh tonight.)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Morning Sweep

A small homeless shelter that acts as a safe haven for LGBT youth--and is run by a priest in Astoria--might be closing due to lack of funds.

The Washington Blade reports on why Bill Richardson believes that he's the most pro-LGBT candidate but the paper's editorial endorses Hillary for president.

Here are the top-10 gay stories of 2007, according to We might be a little New York-centric (who isn't, really?) but we'd add Governor Spitzer's introduction of the marriage bill into the state legislature and the Assembly passing it two months later as one of the biggest stories of 2007.

Pam Spaulding welcomes North Carolina candidate for U.S. Senate Jim Neal to the Bilerico Project, where he will now be a regular contributor.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Morning Sweep

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorializes against the same-sex marriage ban that Floridians will be voting on next November.

Uruguay is about to become the first Latin American country to allow civil unions.

Jossip interviews BlogActive creator Mike Rogers, who is known for outing closeted politicos who are publicly anti-gay.

The NGLTF has released a study that shows the disproportionate numbers of LGBT people among the homeless population in New York City.

A gay man can be elected to public office even in Fort Worth, Texas!

Andy Towle reminds us that Time Magazine's "Person of the Year," Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been terrible on LGBT rights issues.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Morning Sweep

John Edwards told a crowd in New Hampshire that getting rid of DOMA and dismantling "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" are two big priorities for him.

Vermont's commission on same-sex marriage held its first hearing and heard nothing but support for marriage equality.

A new law passed by the New York City Council may have some adverse implications for gay men: the stricter lewdness law supposedly targets serial "flashers" but gay men who discreetly have sex in public have traditionally been the target of such laws, while heterosexual couples are often ignored.

Hungary has become the latest country to legally recognise same-sex relationships: it's government this week passed the Registered Partnership Act, which will go into effect in January 2009.

Immigration Equality appreciates the fact that New York Magazine names NYC's status as a "sanctuary city" as one of the reasons to love New York City in its annual "Reasons to Love New York" issue.

Mombian shares the results of a recent survey that finds that lesbians are more likely to be stressed during the holidays than their straight women counterparts...and the headline is my personal favorite of the day.

Judging by her not-so-impressive book sales, the hideously anti-gay Ann Coulter may be losing some of her popularity and influence.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Morning Sweep

Post-war "liberated" Iraq is much worse for LGBT Iraqis, who were "quietly accepted" under the previous regime.

Pam Spaulding (who is all over CNN these days) writes about "The Giuliani Files," as does EDGE magazine and Joe.My.God.

A leading gay rights group in the important early primary state New Hampshire has endorsed John Edwards.

The Ithaca-area high school student who was sent home for wearing a "Gay? Fine By Me" t-shirt received an apology from her principal and the school's dress code was clarified to avoid similar situations in the future.

Rochester's City Council has its first-ever openly gay vice president.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Elmira: on the leading edge of the LGBT rights movement in New York

Yes you read it right. Elmira is not just the home of Mark Twain and Tommy Hilfiger. It’s also where the “radical” notion of equality and justice for LGBT New Yorkers is being debated and -- from how we see it -- the local LGBT community is winning.

Over the past year or so there have been a number of incidents in and around Elmira that have put our lives and our relationships up on the public stage for open debate and the responses, not surprisingly, have been both positive and negative.

Late last year, a gay man was attacked near a bridge by two men, who were later caught and charged with a hate crime. It was the first such anti-gay bias crime reported in Elmira. In response, Mayor John Tonello organized a community rally to protest hate crimes of any type and urged everyone to accept and value LGBT people.

Then there is Elmira’s Pride celebration. Now in its fourth year, Pride has been a work in progress. Our Field Director Nora Yates attended the first one in 2004 along with several hundred members and friends of the Elmira LGBT community. She told us later that there were also a large number of police present to guarantee everyone’s safety as no one was quite sure what the reaction might be to such an open demonstration of LGBT Pride in Elmira.

This year the Mayor took part in the celebration for the very first time as a continuation of the city’s show of support for LGBT people. On the flip side, the religious right also showed up. Seven protesters wearing T-shirts that said “Liberated from Sin” tried to disrupt the celebration by blocking the stage and putting on a show of praying and scripture reading.

Two months later in a nearby town, a high school student was sent home for wearing a T-shirt saying “gay? fine by me.” The school principal said the shirt violated the dress code. The school district’s attorney disagreed and reversed the decision, but not before a debate began about free speech in schools and whether people really are “fine” with us.

Then in October an insurance sales person put up a sign in the window of his office that said, “Save the kids – Say no to gay marriage in NY.” It got a lot of attention from both supporters and critics, none of whom hesitated to make their views known, including a local lay preacher who spoke out to say religion should not be used to justify bias against LGBT people.

Just about all of this was covered in the local paper, the Elmira Star-Gazette, which would not have happened just a few years ago. The Star-Gazette practically never mentioned our issues or talked about our lives. And on the very rare occasion when it did, such as it’s 2003 editorial on the Massachusetts marriage court decision, its viewpoint was archaic and out-of-step with what any other newspaper in New York was saying.

These days the paper does talk about our lives and our issues. The coverage is impartial, as it should be, and there are actually pro-gay opinion pieces being written by the paper’s columnists. Furthermore, it has also published a stream of letters from readers expressing a whole range of viewpoints in the aftermath of the above-mentioned incidents.

The Mayor deserves a great deal of praise of course for being a real leader and appealing to the better instincts of the people of Elmira. The Star-Gazette is also to be thanked for no longer pretending that we don’t exist.

The local LGBT community, though, is where the most praise must go. They’ve been the catalyst for forcing the change that’s happening. It’s not easy being out in a smaller community and the process of winning broader acceptance always results in push back, which as we’ve seen can come in the form of protests from religious zealots and, tragically, even violence.

All in all though, the public debate happening in Elmira over LGBT issues and LGBT lives is a great development. It’s a vital and necessary step to getting to that place where LGBT people can be out and accepted for who we are.

So our thanks go out to every one of you in Elmira who is working to make your community a better place. You are the leading edge of our fight for equality and justice in New York State and you make us all better.

Morning Sweep

The New York Times reports on a conference in Westchester County that provided a chance for LGBT teens and their straight, supportive peers to meet one another and attend trainings on issues like coming out at school and transgender awareness.

More and more anti-gay and anti-marriage equality groups are materializing in New Jersey now that there is a good chance that the state's legislature will take up and vote on a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the next couple of years.

Mike Huckabee has been grabbing headlines lately with his unlikely surge to the top (or near the top) of the Republican field of presidential candidates. As the Advocate points out, a Huckabee presidency would not be good for the gays.

Jared Polis, who is running to be the first openly gay man elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, is finding that his sexual orientation is not having much bearing on the race in Colorado's 2nd Congressional District (Boulder).

Deb Price writes about "The Giuliani Files" and talks about the importance of new media in the 2008 presidential race.

New York Republicans are no longer expecting Rudy Giuliani to be the Republican presidential nominee, which seems to be causing discontent in their efforts to hold on to the majority in the New York State Senate.

A couple of straight guys and a gay guy in New Haven, CT have created an increasingly popular t-shirt promoting marriage equality, which will soon appear in some American Apparel stores.

New Hampshire's Civil Unions law, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2008 is likely to be the subject of much negative and positive campaigning for presidential candidates. Republicans--who can't use their standard anti-gay messages in New England--will walk a tight rope as they try to vilify the new law.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Morning Sweep

According to a 60 Minutes segment, obeying the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy matters less to the military chain of command during times of war--when retaining quality soldiers is vitally important.

Anti-gay marriage groups in Florida claim that they have enough signatures to get a measure on the ballot that would, if passed, make Florida the 28th state to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage.

Gay reporter Doug Ireland and CBS/Logo news anchor Jason Bellini have been exchanging verbal jabs after Ireland accused the CBS/Logo news segment titled "Special Report: Year in Review" of being "show-biz fluff."

The Oneonta Daily Star reports on a concert in New York City that will benefit the Ali Forney Center for homeless LGBT youth.

The Pope, in the spirit of the holidays, has called same-sex marriage (along with abortion and birth control) a threat to world peace.

Queerty has posted Jim Neal's new ad, which takes shots at Republicans and Democrats. Neal is the openly gay and highly qualified candidate for U.S. Senate in North Carolina who is challenging Elizabeth Dole, but has yet to secure support from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (headed by NY Senator Chuck Schumer).

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Presidential candidates on HIV/AIDS

The presidential primaries are quickly approaching, and if you’re like me you still haven’t settled upon one specific candidate yet. The polls are tightening and right now there is no clear leader in either Party’s races. This is a good thing: it forces candidates to be very clear on important issues—and that particularly holds true for LGBT issues.

Our community has played a role in this presidential election that is unparalleled in our political history. LGBT issues have been front-and-center for both parties—in debates, speeches, town halls, etc. We have demanded that Democrats and Republicans articulate their positions on issues that are extremely important to our safety, happiness and health. And in many cases (most often in the case of Democratic candidates) we have been able to move candidates when we’ve felt that they haven’t been where they need to be on issues like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and legal recognition of our families.

One issue in particular, however, tends to get overshadowed by the headlines caused by sexier, more controversial issues such as gay marriage, LGBT people serving openly in the military and the need for a federal hate crimes bill. That issue is HIV/AIDS.

Numerous reports have recently stated that HIV infections are on the rise for young gay men and gay men of color. This is a problem that is not going away. New treatments have made it so that HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence, but it is still a very serious and lifelong disease. The next leader of this country needs to have a comprehensive plan for dealing with AIDS—not just globally, but also here in the United States.

Gay Men’s Health Crisis has just put out a report that very closely details where exactly each candidate for president stands on all issues pertaining to HIV/AIDS—from the strategies used to educate about prevention to subsidizing medicine for those who are already infected but cannot otherwise afford treatment. The report is reader-friendly and hopefully will help if you have not yet made up your mind on which candidate to support on Feb. 5, 2008 (for all New Yorkers).

The report was the subject of a recent front-page article in Gay City News. In it, Duncan Osborne discusses how bad Republicans are on HIV/AIDS related policies. Republicans—closely following the Bush Administration line—tend to support ideology-based solutions instead of the obviously more effective strategy of using science-based solutions (like teaching abstinence-only curriculum versus safe-sex practices in sex education classes).

We might also add that Republicans tend to want to talk about HIV/AIDS as being something "over there" (i.e., Africa where transmission is predominately due to heterosexual sex) instead of here at home where they deem transmission pathways as being too hot to talk about on the "Pollyanna" trail of a Presidential campaign.

As far as New York’s two presidential candidates are concerned, Hillary scores towards the top of the chart, ranking among the best candidates on HIV/AIDS issues. And Rudy dwells near the bottom with his fellow Republicans. He didn’t respond to the questionnaire provided by for evaluation on this report and his record on HIV/AIDS policy while mayor of New York City was never much to be proud of.

Download a PDF of the report here.

Morning Sweep

Lawmakers--led by Sen. Ted Kennedy--are protesting 14-year old travel restrictions that unfairly discriminate against foreign travelers who wish to visit the U.S. and are HIV-positive.

'Tis the be a bigot.

A recent experiment showed that sexuality could be altered in fruit flies. The New York Times science blog looks at the application of this study to humans and brings up some obvious ethical questions.

This AP story exemplifies why it's so important to recruit straight allies to the struggle for LGBT equality and justice.

California's gay marriage case before the state's Supreme Court has received the most friend-of-the-court briefs in "recent memory," according to the Chief Justice.

A hate crime was committed against an openly gay elected official in Sweden. And the Church of Sweden sanctioned (with some reservations) same-sex marriage in their congregations.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Morning Sweep

Presidential candidate Ron Paul talks about gay marriage to ABC’s 20/20 and says government should get out of the marriage business altogether. Here’s the clip courtesy of Towleroad.

Did Rudy Giuliani infer “love the sinner, hate the sin” when talking about LGBT relationships on “Meet the Press” on Sunday? The Caucus from the NYT explores Giuliani’s response to Tim Russert.

Liz Benjamin breaks the news that Republican State Senator Jim Wright will be announcing his retirement soon. Wright, whose district includes Oswego and Jefferson counties and part of St. Lawrence County has never been a friend of the LGBT community. Read here about it. looks at the Pride Agenda’s “The Giuliani Files” and asks the same question we've been asking: “What does it mean when a candidate reverses positions?”

Monday, December 10, 2007

Rudy Giuliani Then and Now: Marriage, Civil Union & Domestic Partnership

Last week we wrote about Giuliani’s reversal on hate crimes and the question mark over where he is on a non-discrimination bill. Now, we want to bring you up-to-date on how he’s changed his views around marriage, civil union and domestic partnership. Though not equal, all three are legal mechanisms government employs to support families.

As you will see, there has been significant slippage in Giuliani’s positions since he decided to run for President and sometimes he has completely reversed himself.

We continue to pose the question we asked when we launched “The Giuliani Files” two weeks ago: If Rudy Giuliani becomes President which Giuliani will he be on our issues? The Giuliani we knew as Mayor? Or the Giuliani who’s running for President?


Rudy Giuliani doesn’t support marriage for same-sex couples and never has. However, on the question of whether or not there should be a constitutional amendment prohibiting marriage for same-sex couples, he has moved from being against it to a position much closer to that of the religious right.

On March 7, 2004 he said on “Meet the Press” about a Constitutional amendment, “I certainly wouldn't support it at this time” and “I don't think this is one of the critical issues.” But this year Giuliani has said he would support an amendment if additional states legalize marriage for same-sex couples. See here and here for more of the specifics on this change in position.

Civil Union

In February 2004, Giuliani said on Fox News's "The O'Reilly Factor” that he was for civil unions. This year, however, his campaign told the New York Sun in a written statement that Giuliani opposes anything that is the equivalent of marriage and specifically said about New Hampshire enacting civil unions, “This goes too far and Mayor Giuliani does not support it.”

His new position on civil union was widely reported in April and ranks up there with hate crimes in terms of a major policy reversal on an important LGBT issue.

Domestic Partnership

While Giuliani’s backtracking on a marriage amendment and civil unions has been reported in the press, his shift on domestic partnerships – and it is a significant shift – has not been written about anywhere.

We should preface this by saying the domestic partnership (DP) is an umbrella term that, unlike marriage or civil unions, can mean many different things legally. It can be as little as a registry with no rights attached or as strong as California’s DP law, which is essentially civil union, and can also be many things in between.

When Giuliani was Mayor, he was firm in his belief that domestic partnerships and marriages should be treated the same by government in terms of the rights and obligations government provides them. He went out of his way in a 1997 letter to the Pride Agenda to put the two on the same level when he said he would work to have New York City pass a DP law. He also said anything less than equality between domestic partners and married persons would be discriminatory. In 2001, he again speaks about domestic partners and married persons in equivalent terms when he co-signed a letter to President Bush asking for the 9/11 federal victims compensation fund to treat survivors in domestic partner relationships the same as survivors who were married.

Today, there is strong evidence that his view of domestic partnership has shrunk to it being nothing more than a simple registry that gives two people a document that states they’re partners who live together in a committed relationship. No rights or responsibilities provided by government – only a piece of paper to shop around in the event some entity might honor it, such as an employer who provides DP health coverage and requires documentation to validate the relationship.

Why do we say this?

This summer, the Boston Globe pressed Giuliani on what rights should accompany domestic partnership for same-sex couples. The campaign refused to answer the question. Then on October 16 on Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes, Giuliani answered the question himself by saying benefits for same-sex couples “should be contractual.”

A favorite talking point by the religious right when arguing against marriage for same-sex couples is that we can already get the rights of marriage contractually by going to an attorney. In fact any two people in America can go to an attorney and get a very limited number of rights by filling out the necessary legal paperwork. In New York State of the almost 2,500 rights and responsibilities that come with a marriage license (1,138 federal-based, 1,324 state-based and in the case of NYC another 20 or so), two people can get just about five of those rights contractually and you don’t need to be domestic partners to get them. And even in these five areas, which include power of attorney and health care proxy, blood relatives can challenge these agreements and if they push hard enough can often have them broken in a court of law.

Here's the transcript from Hannity & Colmes and below is the clip:

We believe Rudy Giuliani knew what he was doing when he said on Fox News that rights “should be contractual.” Sadly, this would also mean his view of domestic partnership is now a simple registry with no rights attached, which is very different from his position in 1997 when he equated DP to marriage in terms of how government should treat the two.

Morning Sweep

A New York Times editorial calls House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to task for failing to pass the Matthew Shepard (hate crimes) Act.

Rudy Giuliani spoke about his position on gay issues yesterday on Meet the Press saying, "The way that somebody leads their life is not sinful. It is the acts that people perform that are sinful, not the orientation." Good As You has video.

Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee was standing by a statement he made 15 years ago saying that people with HIV/AIDS need to be quarantined.

Longtime LGBT activist Bob Kohler, who died last Wednesday, was celebrated in the West Village last night.

Last week we posted a story about Columbia University's evolving policies towards transgender students. The thorough and well-written story appeared in the student-run Columbia Spectator. Contrast its quality with the New York Post's Page Six write-up on the story, using expressions like "girls will be boys at Barnard College." Shameful, but not surprising.

The Dutch government is adding LGBT equality to their foreign policy, which will put needed pressure on some of the countries (mainly in Africa and Asia) that typically benefit from Dutch aid.

Queerty interviews gay travel writer Michael Luongo, who has just released a collection of essays titled "Gay Travels in the Muslim World."

Friday, December 7, 2007

Morning Sweep

The federal hate crimes bill has been dropped from the Department of Defense Authorization Act in the Senate, effectively killing the legislation for now.

Columbia University's newspaper writes about the problems that transgender students sometimes deal with on campus.

The Washington Blade finds that the economy is the most important issue to gay, lesbian and bisexual voters. Equal rights comes in a close second.

Gay City News takes a look at a poll that analyzes the liberal-leaning political inclinations of LGBT voters.

HIV/AIDS groups are setting the record straight on Rudy Giuliani's history dealing with HIV/AIDS issues.

Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan Van Capelle appeared on CBS News on Logo this week to speak about Rudy Giuliani's back-and-forth positions on important LGBT issues. (at -3:13 in the video).

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Morning Sweep

The Boy Scouts in Philadelphia have lost the lease on a building that they've inhabited since 1928 because of their anti-gay policies.

An Elmira-based lay preacher writes in the Elmira Star-Gazette that Christians should not be using the bible to justify their bias against gays and lesbians.

A philosophy professor at SUNY Fredonia also thinks that arguments against same-sex marriage are ridiculous.

The 21-year old gay Iranian man whose death sentence was stayed a few weeks ago by the Iranian Chief Justice was executed this morning without any warning.

The Advocate reports that Log Cabin Republicans aren't endorsing any candidates in the Republican presidential primaries.

A GQ interview provides more reasons why a Mike Huckabee presidency would be scary for LGBT people...or anyone who values separation between church and state.

Mombian provides a list of LGBT-inclusive gifts for children.

In a message to Julia Roberts (who was receiving an award from American Cinematique), George Clooney and Brad Pitt parody a certain Idaho senator.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Morning Sweep

Mombian wishes us all a Happy Hanukkah.

CBS News reports on the ever-increasing support for allowing gays and lesbians to serve in the military.

One of America's oldest Episcopal congregations is divided over the Episcopal diocese's recognition of same-sex marriage.

Immigration Equality's blog reports that Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau will create a unit that specifically looks out for immigrants' rights--whether they are legal or not.

Towleroad has lots about Harvey Milk, including an open casting call for 18-30-year old men who may be interested in being in the upcoming Milk biopic and this nice little feature about the man who currently runs a home furnishings store in the same place that Milk and his partner once owned a camera shop.

Mayor Bloomberg on Randi Weingarten at last night's celebration of the UFT President's 50th birthday: "Like Christina Aguilera, she’s a superstar performer, like Robert Moses, she’s literally changed the lives of 8 million New Yorkers, and, like Brad Pitt she really loves beautiful women."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Rudy Giuliani Then and Now: Hate Crimes and Non-Discrimination

Hate Crimes

Rudy Giuliani’s reversal on the need for a federal hate crimes law is one of our biggest disappointments in where he now stands on LGBT issues as a candidate for President. In case you missed it, here’s one of his campaign operatives telling the Christian Broadcasting Network that Giuliani no longer supports passage of a federal law.

A former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, a former Associate Attorney General at the U.S. Justice Department responsible for supervising all the U.S. attorney offices’ law enforcement agencies, and a Mayor who made fighting crime a centerpiece of his time in office, Giuliani’s new position on hate crimes seems antithetical to everything he stood for in the past.

We posted his 2000 press release where he announced his own hate crimes initiative, which came just a few months before New York State finally passed a statewide law. In the press conference he held (that we attended to show our support), Giuliani announced the formation of a Hate Crimes Task Force for NYC and put over $5.0 million in taxpayer dollars behind it so that the NYPD and the City’s District Attorneys would have the funding they needed to investigate and prosecute possible crimes motivated by bias. He also said, as you can read in his release, “I call upon the State Legislature and Congress to enact hate crimes legislation that recognizes the severity of hate crimes and imposes the appropriate penalties.”

Given that hate crimes legislation passed the House of Representatives this year by a vote of 237-180, the Senate by a vote of 60-39 and the White House has said it will veto the measure, this is no academic issue. It’s before our federal government right now.

Hate crimes against LGBT people continue to spike up across America and we need Republican voices speaking up on why a federal law is important, but Rudy Giuliani’s voice is no longer there because he changed his position during the heat of the campaign primary season.

What does this say about Rudy Giuliani? We’ll leave that to you to decide, but I think you can figure out what we think about it.


While NYC already had a law banning discrimination based upon sexual orientation when Giuliani was Mayor, we did not have protections in NYC for transgender people or a statewide law addressing either sexual orientation or gender identity and expression discrimination.

As Mayor, Giuliani frequently spoke about his support for the then-pending statewide Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA). I myself heard him state his support for SONDA each time I attended his annual Pride event in June at Gracie Mansion. And you can hear a reporter and one his openly gay political appointees, Chris Lynn, talk about Giuliani’s support for SONDA and hate crimes legislation in this video clip we posted last week on YouTube.

While support for non-discrimination legislation was a major part of his schpiel on gay issues whenever he spoke to our community, support for transgender non-discrimination protections was not. He and NYC Council Speaker Vallone blocked pending legislation amending the City’s human rights law to provide protections based upon gender identity and expression. It took Bloomberg becoming Mayor for trans discrimination to be outlawed.

So where is Rudy Giuliani on pending federal non-discrimination legislation for LGBT Americans, known as ENDA, another issue that is before Congress right now?

He’s silent. Despite the many times he spoke passionately as Mayor about there being no room in NYC for discrimination and the need for a statewide non-discrimination law, he’s nowhere to be found on federal non-discrimination legislation protecting LGBT Americans.

Perhaps he'll still articulate his views on this critically important civil rights issue. We hope so. We’ll be sure and let you know if he does.

For more on Rudy Giuliani, go to “The Giuliani Files” on the Pride Agenda website.

Morning Sweep

The New York Times new blog (run by the editorial board) called "The Board" discusses remarks given by retiring career diplomat and former Ambassador to Romania Michael Guest. Guest, who is openly gay, uses his last official moment in front of the foreign service corps to very tastefully lambaste the U.S. State Department for not recognizing same-sex couples as family.

As part of its efforts to bring in even more tourists, New York City is launching a marketing campaign directed towards LGBT travellers and their expendable incomes.

The Louisville (KY) Courier Journal reports on the exploding numbers of same-sex couples reported over the last decade in the fly-over states (anything NOT on a coast...) saying, "Now either there's been a wildly successful gay recruitment campaign, or lots more lesbian and gay couples are "coming out" on government surveys." Our money's on the latter.

A story in the Baltimore Sun today reveals that black "men who have sex with men" are twice as likely to contract HIV than white gay men.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Morning Sweep

Argentina is becoming a mecca for gay tourists, according to the New York Times.

The Times also reports that Newark, although only minutes from New York City, is not safe place for LGBT people.

The Middletown Times Herald-Record has a Q&A with Ellenville, NY native Susan Stanton--formerly Steven Stanton, the city manager of Largo, FL who made national headlines when she came out as transgender and was subsequently fired from her job.

Pam Spaulding attended the International Gay & Lesbian Leadership Conference in Las Vegas last weekend and interviewed openly lesbian Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin.

Andrew Sullivan discusses repealing the highly discriminatory travel restrictions that the United States places on non-citizens with HIV/AIDS.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Need we say more about Rudy Giuliani? Well maybe we will.

This week we released “The Giuliani Files” and it created a bit of an explosion. There are strong feelings about Rudy. That we knew already.

Quite a few of you welcomed our shining a few rays of sunlight on the pro-gay things he did as Mayor and then comparing them to where he unfortunately is today as a candidate for President. Evidently we’re not the only ones who’ve gotten tired of the mainstream press continuing to call him “pro-gay” even while he has been distancing himself from every pro-LGB (no “T” intended here) position he took as Mayor.

There were a very small number of you who were not happy we didn’t also hash through those areas where Giuliani as Mayor was not particularly pro-gay. Yes, we know about his less-than-stellar record on AIDS and his acrimonious relationship with AIDS advocates over funding. We also know about his support for homophobe Ruben Diaz and his actions and positions on a range of other issues that put him at odds with our community.

“The Giuliani Files” and our comments to the press were about reminding everyone that Giuliani was once relatively “pro-gay” on a number of important issues, but now no longer seems to be. It was not intended to be about areas of his record where he was not great to begin with and still isn't.

To supplement “The Giuliani Files,” we thought we’d post a couple of additional pieces over the next few weeks that provide the nitty-gritty on exactly where and how he's slid away from pro-gay positions he once embraced.

After all, if he’s able to change so quickly on issues like ours, what does this say about Giuliani and his stand on any other issues should he become President? Deciding whether or not an aspirant for the highest elected office in the land has a set of core beliefs should be important to every voter, no matter where we might fall along the political spectrum.

So stay tuned. We’ll give you the dope on Rudy.

Morning Sweep

Protest rallies and other lobbying efforts are underway calling for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" as the discriminatory law marks its 14th anniversary.

The Village Voice has a piece on Christine Quinn's sometimes difficult job of navigating between the interests of the LGBT community and those of all New York City residents, as required by her role as Speaker of the NYC Council.

The editor in chief of the Washington Blade says that we've got some educatin' to do when it comes to our straight allies.

Log Cabin has come out with a new radio ad in New Hampshire attacking Mitt Romney's "flip-flopping" and fiscal policies while governor of Massachusetts.

Uruguay has become the first Latin American country to legalize civil unions.

Good As You has the anti-gay marriage radio ad that's currently running in New Jersey. The ad is sponsored by a new group called National Organization for Marriage.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Morning Sweep

Yesterday we released our "Giuliani Files" which is a collection of videos and documents that clearly display Rudy Giuliani's positions on LGBT issues while he was mayor of New York City. The Washington Post first reported on the "mini-archive." Some of best coverage (we think) is here, here, here, here, here and here.

The Republican CNN/YouTube debate unsurprisingly brought up issues that are important to LGBT people, including "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and marriage equality. When Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was asked if he'd accept Log Cabin support (I don't think there's much of a movement within Log Cabin to support Huckabee, but that's besides the point...) he stated that he'd accept any support (support=money) but he would never support same-sex marriage.

NYU's Stern School of Business for the first time has an LGBT group. It's name: OutStern.

Wisconsin's constitutional ban on gay marriage will be getting a legal challenge after a Dane County (Madison) Circuit Court judge ruled that the amendment's language was "constitutionally defective."

Although social issues may not drive the youth vote, according to a ABC News-Washington Post poll, 76 percent of college-aged voters are in favor of same-sex marriage.

John Edwards spoke to an LGBT group in New Hampshire recently, saying that he'd be in favor of requiring health insurers to cover hormone treatments for transgender people and that he supports allowing same-sex couples to have every single right that married couples are afforded through marriage.

Queerty breaks down a recent Hunter College poll on who LGBT voters plan to support in the upcoming primaries.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Will the real Rudy Giuliani please stand up?

Who is the real Rudy Giuliani?

The Rudy Giuliani we knew was pretty pro-gay. He supported a statewide and a federal Hate Crimes bill. He supported New York's Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA) which made it illegal to fire someone from their job, kick someone out of their apartment or deny someone credit simply because of their sexual orientation (much more comprehensive, we should note, than the federal ENDA bill). He also stated several times that he believed that same-sex couples were entitled to all of the same rights and obligations that married couples are entitled to.

Yet recently he has back-pedaled on many of these positions, saying that he's not for federal hate crimes laws, remaining silent on employment non-discrimination and abandoning his support for civil unions--even saying that he might support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman.

We have just opened up a mini-archive of videos and documents that show in his own words exactly what Rudy Giuliani said to/did for LGBT citizens of New York City. The primaries/caucuses are only a few weeks away and we think that our community and voters in general deserve to know who the real Giuliani is.

Is he the fair-minded mayor of New York City who supported LGBT equality? Or is he the Presidential candidate who has distanced himself from all of the major issues that LGBT people care about.

We'd like to know...because you can't be all things to all people...

Morning Sweep

Ulster County's social services commissioner spoke to the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center last night and pledged a closer relationship between his department and the LGBT community.

Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney use gay issues as each continues to accuse the other of being the biggest flip-flopper, while Mike Huckabee proudly brandishes his anti-gay credentials in a new television commercial.

Brian Bates became the first openly gay Republican to win an elected office in Georgia.

Openly gay political blogger John Aravosis (AMERICAblog) reports that his site is banned in places like Chicago's O'Hare airport and a Marriott in New Jersey simply because of the word "lesbian."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Morning Sweep

Gay City News' Michael Luongo goes to the front lines and reports on life for LGBT people--Iraqis, Kurds, Americans, etc--who are living in/dealing with post-war Iraq.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed an executive order last week to protect transgender state employees from discrimination.

The New York Post reports on a scandal in Long Island involving a doctor who allegedly had sex with a male patient in his examination room.

A lesbian pastor at a Lutheran church in the Bronx may be defrocked because she is living openly in a same-sex relationship.

Columbia University, home to the country's oldest LGBT campus group, has reopened the space that students claimed for the organization in 1972.

The New York Times looks at the status of the global AIDS pandemic in the context of last week's announcement by UNAIDS that the rate of infection has plateaued.

A Times Op-Ed contributor looks at the history of marriage and argues that couples should decide whether or not they wish to enter into the legal protective framework provided through marriage--and governments and especially churches should not interfere.

HRC gave Wal-Mart a bad rating in its guide to holiday shopping because the global retail giant doesn't offer domestic partner benefits to its employees with same-sex partners.

Gay issues play a large role as Mitt Romney attacks Rudy Giuliani in New Hampshire.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Morning Sweep

At least seven events were held around New York State over the past several days remembering those who have been killed in America due to anti-transgender prejudice. Here's an account of the ceremony at Hendricks Chapel at Syracuse University and here's one from the event in front of Rochester's Federal Building.

The three killers of Michael Sandy are sentenced in Brooklyn Supreme Court for their hate crime. Anthony Fortunato, the leader of the three, says to the parents of Sandy, “I turned and walked away and I abandoned your son, Michael, and I also abandoned my conscience.” See here and here.

Responding to growing questions in the blogosphere, Brian Williams put out a statement yesterday clarifying his “marriage is under attack” comment on Monday night. Jeremy Hooper of Good as You who was the first to post the clip of Williams saying this and to ask for the clarification provides the follow-up here.

Palm Beach County in Florida bans discrimination based upon gender identity and expression, a move that was sparked by Largo firing its high performing, but transgender, City Manager earlier this year. Here's to some of those sparks from Palm Beach reaching our Legislature in Albany and igniting a desire to do the same thing in New York.

Josh and I will be back to you next Monday. If you're a parade person, be on the lookout for the three new balloons (pictured above) that are being added to the lineup tomorrow at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade here in Manhattan. If you're a college football person, well there's plenty of that coming up too. And yes many of "us" do follow football, but there are blogs out there that focus on that aspect of our community so I'll let it go at that.

Have a great Thanksgiving and remember to extend a helping hand to someone in need this weekend. It could be you or me someday, if it hasn't been already.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Morning Sweep

In a speech in a small town in Iowa, Hillary Clinton answered a question about privacy in the military by again stating her support for repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Once seen as anti-gay, the mayor of Philadelphia will be officiating a gay couple's commitment ceremony this weekend.

Sean Penn will be playing slain San Francisco gay rights activist Harvey Milk in Gus Van Sant's biopic titled "Milk."

New England is (proudly) becoming the mecca for gay unions--and it's great for the economy.

The Presbytery of Baltimore is trying to recast how marriage is defined in their religious texts so that same-sex couples can be recognized by the church.

The FBI has released hate crimes statistics for 2006. Overall, reported hate crimes increased by seven percent. Hate crimes based on sexual orientation make up more than fifteen percent of all hate crimes. (via Good As You)

Openly gay candidate for Congress (Colorado's 2nd District) Jared Schutz Polis will be spending Thanksgiving in Iraq with the troops. (via Queerty)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Morning Sweep

A humanities course offered at an Upper East Side middle school is the subject of a NY Post column because of controversy over a quiz that includes questions on gay marriage, abortion and the death penalty.

A columnist for the Elmira Star-Gazette applauds the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the House.

The Buffalo News profiles transgender activist Camille Hopkins, a 57-year old Buffalo city employee.

A new study by reveals some travel preferences of the LGBT community.

International pressure may have saved a young gay man in Iran, who was spared from his death sentence after the country's chief justice intervened.

The City Council of Sacramento, CA has voted to back same-sex marriage and will file a friend of the court brief in support of the plaintiffs in the marriage case currently before California's Supreme Court.

Rebecca Romijn researched her role as a transgender woman on Ugly Betty by asking her transgender friends.

Openly gay NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn has upset local HIV/AIDS activists by not supporting a bill that would extend HIV treatment to homeless people in city shelters.

Republican State Senators, holding onto their majority by a pinkie finger, are trying to use marriage equality as a wedge issue (that's so 2004) and the New York Post naturally indulges them.

Two young women have been taken into custody for the hate-based attack against Long Island lesbian and former Top Chef contestant Josie Smith-Malave.

Gay former pro-baseball player Billy Bean has a question for Republican presidential candidates.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Morning Sweep

The NY Post reports that Gov. Spitzer will make passage of the marriage bill a priority in 2009.

Mary J. Blige talks to The Advocate about her longtime support for the LGBT community. (via Towleroad)

Syracuse University's LGBT group is partnering up with the campus Health Center to promote a campaign to help students quit smoking.

The Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens voted last night to endorse Hillary Clinton.

Gay City News Editor in Chief Paul Schindler looks at the missteps that HRC took throughout the ENDA ordeal. He cites the Pride Agenda's legislative scorecard as an example of the kinds of tools that HRC could have used to be more transparent in their vote counting.

The federal Hate Crimes Bill may be in jeopardy in the House of Representatives because of its inclusion within the Iraq war funding bill.

Because of a procedural technicality, the Pennsylvania High Court has struck down the state's hate crimes law. Gov. Ed Rendell "urged lawmakers to immediately approve appropriate legislation reinstating the measure."

Very smartly, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) may use a rarely used technical tactic to prevent President Bush from appointing his anti-gay nominee for Surgeon General during the Senate's recess.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Morning Sweep

California's Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in the case that will determine whether or not the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

Controversy has arisen at the University of Virginia, where a line from one of the school's traditional songs that says "where all is bright and gay" has been changed by students to say "where all is bright and NOT gay" when singing at football games.

L.A. Lakers coach Phil Jackson got an NBA reprimand and a finger-wagging from GLAAD for making a joke about Brokeback Mountain when explaining his team's poor performance in a recent game. He has since apologized.

An openly gay man is one of the candidates in London's mayoral race.

The Democratic National Convention is opening its doors to a limited number of political bloggers.

Rudy Giuliani has a new ad out that has him showing/telling how he saved New York City.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Morning Sweep

An NYU panel discussion focused on the discrimination that LGBT people still regularly face in the workplace.

"Armed Gays Don't Get Bashed" is the motto of a group called "Pink Pistols," which supports a gun-toting LGBT community.

Openly gay Congressman Barney Frank (Mass) has endorsed Hillary Clinton, saying that "Hillary Clinton is the candidate best equipped to pass laws that will treat all Americans with dignity, fairness and equality no matter who they are or who they love."

Famous lesbians give their views on the LGBT rights movement--which, for many, is part of a larger progressive agenda.

Salt Lake City's mayor-elect has pledged to do all he can to provide equality to LGBT families--even in a state that constitutionally bans same-sex marriage.

Burrito chain Chipotle has stepped in where the local government in Nassau County has wisely decided to step out--supporting the anti-gay Boy Scouts of America.

The New York Times profiles the ever-progressive Gill Foundation.

China--no doubt in anticipation of heightened scrutiny before the Beijing Olympics next year--is easing up on restrictions imposed upon HIV-positive travellers.

GLAAD's E.D. Neil Giuliano writes on HuffPo about the importance of newspapers around the country treating gay and lesbian commitment celebrations the same as they would straight ones.

ABC News/Good Morning America profiles transgender actress Candis Cayne, who talks about the amazing support she's had from her family.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Alan Van Capelle's Pathway to Victory

Alan Van Capelle, Executive Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, gives an overview of what it will take to pass key LGBT legislation in the New York State Legislature over the next couple of years.

powered by ODEO

Morning Sweep

The Star-Gazette in Elmira, NY writes about the controversy over a sign in the window of a local insurance agency that says "Save the kids. Say no to gay marriage in NY." We'd love to read the whole story, but apparently we have to buy today's print version of the Elmira Star-Gazette in order to do so. Queerty has more.

California's battle for LGBT rights is heating up, according to the San Diego Union Tribune. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed seven of eight pieces of pro-LGBT legislation earlier this year, but vetoed the marriage bill. Still, right-wing religious groups are launching referendum campaigns to repeal some of the newly-passed laws.

Hungary is set to be the next country to take up legislation that would recognize same-sex couples in some areas of the law.

The openly gay town supervisor of Salina, NY is calling for a law that would recognize "same-sex partnerships" in the town.

NYU's paper features a very interesting piece about what happens when LGBT NYU students travel abroad to NYU's proposed "mini-campus" in the United Arab Emirates, where "acts of homosexuality" are illegal.

The Advocate reveals more about HRC's poll on whether or not the LGB community would support an ENDA that did not include transgender protections.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Morning Sweep

The New York Times calls for full marriage equality in New Jersey.

Barack Obama articulates his strategy on achieving LGBT equality and specifically addresses the controversy caused by including Donnie McClurkin in a campaign event.

Recent marketing research shows that LGBT people seem to be online more than heterosexuals.

An Elmira-area high school student/contributor to the Elmira Gazette explains her reaction to Dumbledore's sexual orientation.

A new student group called the Queer Action Coalition has been successfully launched at SUNY New Paltz as a place for students to learn about the LGBT community and participate in queer-oriented programming.

Andy Humm writes about New York's role in the fight for transgender rights.

Jeremy over at Good As You has starting "vlogging," which is like the mid-2000s version of "voguing." Check it out!

Pam Spaulding looks at the diversity (or lack, thereof) of each presidential candidates' campaign staff and points out that the former mayor of America's most diverse city has hardly and women or people of color on his staff.

Pam also featured a live-blog interview with openly gay Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Jim Neal, who is looking to challenge Elizabeth Dole in North Carolina.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Morning Sweep

An editorial in The New York Times praises the "long overdue" vote on ENDA and agrees with moving incrementally to achieve civil rights victories. It also calls out Republicans who voted against the bill and George Bush who threatens to veto it for being mimics of all previous groups who have used similar arguments throughout history to oppose the advancement of civil rights.

The opposition has plenty to say about the passage of ENDA, too.

The Washington Blade reports on vague positions held by Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson on a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.

A majority of Americans support civil unions, according to a recent ABC poll. The poll didn't ask about positions on marriage.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Morning Sweep

ENDA, protecting people from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last night for the first time ever. The New York Times and Gay City News have very different analyses of the vote and the events leading up to it.

Good As You has audio from most of the speeches made on the House floor yesterday during the ENDA debate. Speaking from the New York delegation are Democrats Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney and Anthony Weiner.

The AP has a complete roll call on the ENDA vote broken down by state delegation.

As Rudy gets Pat Robertson's endorsement, John McCain gets Sam Brownback's.

Holland is going to be pressuring its foreign aid beneficiaries to be better on gay rights.

The number of self-reported same-sex couples in the United States has quintupled since 1990, according to a new study from UCLA's Williams Institute.

A contributor to Pam's House Blend points out that being transgender is still absurdly considered a mental disorder.

New York House Delegation vote on ENDA

Before we do our morning sweep, we thought you'd like to know how New York's 29 House members voted on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which passed 235-184 yesterday evening and provided workplace non-discrimination protections based upon sexual orientation, but not gender identity. We'll probably be making a few additional comments about the vote and the debate later today, so stay tuned.

Important to note about the vote tally is that the five Democrats voting "No" on ENDA did so because the bill failed to provide comprehensive non-discrimination workplace protections for LGBT Americans, namely protections for transgender people. That means only three of the twenty-nine New Yorkers -- King, Reynolds and Walsh -- are opposed to any protections in the law for LGB Americans (and presumably T Americans as well). Another interesting fact is the "Yes" vote by Kuhl. In 2002 as a State Senator, he voted "No" on the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act, which makes his vote on ENDA a reversal of his position from back then.

For the complete vote tally on ENDA, go here.

Here's the New York vote:

Voting Yes

Ackerman (D)
Arcuri (D)
Bishop (D)
Crowley (D)
Engel (D)
Fosella (R)
Gillibrand (D)
Hall (D)
Higgins (D)
Hinchey (D)
Israel (D)
Kuhl (R)
Lowey (D)
Maloney (D)
McCarthy (D)
McHugh (R)
McNulty (D)
Meeks (D)
Rangel (D)
Serrano (D)
Slaughter (D)

Voting No

Clarke (D)
King (R)
Nadler (D)
Reynolds (R)
Towns (D)
Velázquez (D)
Walsh (R)
Weiner (D)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Morning Sweep

The New York Times writes about gay Muslims in America.

The transgender-less ENDA looks to be headed for a vote on the House floor later today.

Pat Robertson has endorsed Rudy Giuliani.

The complexities of online advertising have caused Mitt Romney's presidential campaign ads to appear on places like

Pro-marriage equality television ads will run for two weeks in New Jersey as part of that state's campaign to trade in their civil unions law for full marriage equality.

Pam's House Blend has audio of the very heated discussion over ENDA that took place yesterday between HRC's Joe Solmonese and gay journalist Mike Signorile.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Vote on non-inclusive ENDA coming this week

The House Rules Committee voted late last night to advance the non-transgender inclusive version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to the floor for a full House vote. Many believed that a vote would happen today, but it now looks like it will come either tomorrow or Thursday.

HRC, which had previously been neutral on the revised bill, came out in full support of the version that was advanced to the floor last night. HRC's position was released in a letter today put out by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, which was sent to all House members and explicitly stated an endorsement of the non-inclusive bill. The letter noted that the decision to move forward without protections for the trans community was "extremely difficult." In the end, HRC's Joe Solmonese told Gay City News Editor Paul Schindler, "we felt that in the long term interest of the community and the movement it should not be defeated."

Along with HRC, a vast array of progressive organizations, unions and religious groups signed the letter endorsing the bill, including: the NAACP, AFSCME, National Education Association and the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism.

The Advocate also announced the findings of an HRC-financed poll released today, which said that 70% of LGBT Americans (I'm not sure how many "T"s were asked) support passing a non-inclusive ENDA over passing no bill at all.

***UPDATE: Gay City News gets NGLTF Executive Director Matt Foreman's reaction to the advancement of the non-inclusive ENDA: "At no time during the African-American Civil Rights movement were light-skinned African Americans or dark-skinned African Americans left behind. What is being lost is that we need to be working for the best law, not a bill that can be passed today."

Morning Sweep

The House Rules Committee voted to send the non-inclusive ENDA to the House floor for a vote. Rep. Tammy Baldwin's amendment, which would restore transgender protections in the bill, will get 10 minutes for debate.

It's Election Day and gay issues are noticeably absent from the ballots.

The Advocate tells us why the LGBT community should be paying close attention to the Republican presidential primary race.

CBS News on Logo be the first-ever regular LGBT broadcast news program "produced by a major network news operation." The show will air on Mondays at 7:00 PM. (via Good As You)

NYU's paper writes about a campus-wide effort to make gender-neutral restrooms in all new (and a few old) university buildings.

A lesbian Air Force nurse in Seattle is challenging "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in court after being discharged despite her decorated career.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Morning Sweep

Congrats to the Pride Agenda's Executive Director Alan Van Capelle who got married over the weekend to Matthew Morningstar, his partner of five years.

Kentucky's Republican incumbent governor is way, way behind in the polls leading up to tomorrow's election and is (as expected) using anti-gay messaging as a last-ditch attempt at gaining some ground.

New York Magazine takes an in-depth look at the the young men who were recently convicted in the hate crime killing of Michael Sandy.

Las Vegas is aggressively courting gay and lesbian travelers.

In the NYTimes' "Modern Love" column, a lesbian mother looks back on life during the peak of New York City's AIDS crisis and its effects on her efforts to find a sperm donor for the children she wanted to have.

A black pastor's expulsion from his church after coming out exemplifies the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that black communities have taken regarding homosexuality.

A campaign in Florida to get a statewide vote on banning same-sex marriage almost has the required number of signatures to put the issue on the 2008 ballot.

Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders--a group that was instrumental in the Massachusetts same-sex marriage case--is not taking on the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

David Mixner touts Andrew Sullivan's piece about Barack Obama, who Sullivan calls the bridge between the baby boomers and the next generation.

The Baltimore Sun reports on the complex relationship between the LGBT community and hip-hop.

New York-based and openly gay Orthodox rabbi Steve Greenberg talks about how biblical references to homosexuality being wrong is all man-created and not divinely inspired.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Morning Sweep

In case you missed it yesterday, read this very disturbing story about a French teenager who was raped by a group of men in Dubai and has had a horrible time dealing with the country's "third world" legal system. His mother has established this site.

The Washington Post has a story about Log Cabin Republicans and their support of Giuliani but overall disappointment with the state of the Republican Party.

Mitt Romney received some boos by university students in Iowa and Colorado after trumpeting his support for a Federal Marriage Amendment.

Reform Jews are supporting a fully-inclusive federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

According to a recent poll in Vermont, 47% of voters in the Green Mountain State support same-sex marriage while 41% oppose it.

Unsurprisingly, fear of being out at work hurts both the employee and the employer.

Syracuse University is extending its LGBT programming to its study abroad campus in London.

It was only a matter of time before these started appearing.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Morning Sweep

LGBT supporters of John Edwards have written a letter to the media calling the candidate "the Democrat with the best chance to regain the White House against all of the top Republican candidates."

A columnist for the Huffington Post notices that gays have been in the news a lot lately.

TPM offers some advice to "Not Gay Republicans."

A student journalist for the University of Wisconsin newspaper very eloquently describes why full equality for gay people should not even be a controversy.

There will be a multi-faith roundtable this weekend in Westchester Co. to discuss ways in which religious communities can improve their outreach to LGBT people and their families.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Morning Sweep

Another anti-gay Republican lawmaker (this time from Washington) has found himself in a gay sex scandal. How cliche this is becoming... Good As You has full coverage.

New scientific research suggests that HIV came to the US from Haiti (via Africa) in 1969 and infections spread for about 12 years before the virus was detected.

Long Island is about to get its first-ever gay friendly business directory.

The New York Times yesterday featured a story about the decline of "gayborhoods" in American cities, specifically discussing the Castro in SF, West Hollywood in LA and the West Village in New York City.

A Baltimore-based transgender Methodist minister will be able to keep his job, according to the church's top court.

Syracuse University is taking steps to make its campus health center more LGBT friendly.

An NYU student/columnist thinks that people shouldn't be able to choose a sexual orientation preference when searching for roommates.

A recent poll of New Jersey voters shows that 48% support same-sex marriage, while 44% oppose it. Three in five between the ages of 18-29 support same-sex marriage compared with a near even split among voters aged 30-64. Unsurprisingly, people who have gay friends or relatives were much more likely to support full marriage equality than those who didn't.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Morning Sweep

Anti/ex-gay gospel singer Donnie McClurkin's appearance at a Barack Obama campaign event in South Carolina was widely popular among the crowd he was meant to draw, despite the outcry from the LGBT community.

Disappointingly, Barack Obama made it clear to Iowans that he does not support gay marriage, but instead prefers civil unions.

Libby Post calls all of this Obama criticism nonsense, saying that the LGBT community is too easily distracted with trivialities of the moment and should focus on long-term obstacles like the confirmation of anti-gay judges.

Six of Sweden's seven political parties support legalizing gay marriage, including the Moderate Party, the party of the current prime minister. In Ireland the government is considering legislation that would legalize civil unions for same-sex couples.

Fred Thompson's position against civil unions didn't go over so well in New Hampshire.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune takes a look at where Minnesota's congressional delegation stands on the federal ENDA and Hate Crimes bills. Would be great if one of New York's papers did something similar...

Salon has the new gay stereotype.