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.