Saturday, September 19, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
The special roundtrip bus tickets can be picked up in person at Vlada Lounge (331 West 51st Street) every night through October 7th from 6pm to Midnight. Instructions on how to reserve tickets online as well as ways to "Sponsor an Equality Bus" are available, along with additional information, at www.broadwayimpact.com.
The National Equality March will take place on Oct. 11th on the National Mall in Washington D.C. and is demanding equal protection for LGBT citizens in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states. We hope to see you all on the bus!
Conservatives say the ELCA's confessions -- or statements of faith -- clearly call for fidelity to Scripture, which clearly condemns homosexuality. So, next week (Sept. 25-26), a conservative network of clergy and lay Lutherans plans to gather and hatch plans to "reconfigure" Lutheranism in North America.
The leaders of Lutheran CORE (Coalition for Reform) are not encouraging fellow believers to bolt from the ELCA for a more conservative denomination, but neither do they want to remain part of one that has "fallen into heresy," they say. Thus, CORE is laying plans for a "free-standing synod" that would include current members of the ELCA along with others that have exited, or plan to exit, from the denomination.
Meanwhile, some conservative Lutherans think a free-standing synod plan doesn't go far enough. Robert Benne, director of the Center for Religion and Society at ELCA-affiliated Roanoke College in Virginia, said conservatives should strike out on their own.
“We condemn this hate speech and his call to violence against gays and lesbians, and we also condemn the exploitation of our community in song for profit,” said Thom Cardwell, a board member of the Gittings Trust, a Philadelphia-based gay rights group.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
For religiosity, the researchers averaged the percentage of respondents who agreed with conservative responses to eight statements, including: ''There is only one way to interpret the teachings of my religion," and ''Scripture should be taken literally, word for word." They found a strong correlation between statewide conservative religiousness and statewide teen birth rate even when they accounted for income and abortion rates.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
In a draft dated April 20, 2009 and being circulated surreptitiously, the proposed bill creates an offense of “aggravated homosexuality” and provides for the death penalty under specific circumstances. It also provides for at least five years imprisonment (and no apparent maximum) for advocating on behalf of LGBT people. This extends not just to activists and organizations, but to individuals as well, including bloggers or anyone else using the internet or mobile phones — as well as anyone who makes a donation or offers a safe refuge for LGBT people. Furthermore, if anyone is “aware of the commission of any offense under this Act” and fails to report it to the police, they will be liable of up to six months imprisonment.
Prince "personally directed and permitted a heavily-armed private army... to roam the streets of Baghdad killing innocent civilians," alleges the suit, filed by four Iraqi citizens. Prince was well aware that his men, including top executives, "viewed shooting innocent Iraqis as sport," the suit says. In fact, "those who killed and wounded innocent Iraqis tended to rise higher in Mr. Prince's organization than those who abided by the rule of law." Prince's top executives openly discussed "laying Hajjis out on cardboard" and "bragged about their collective role in killing those of the Islamic faith," the suit alleges.
A national effort is truly needed to secure federal legislation protecting LGBT Americans from discrimination (which is based on religion ultimately). One's rights as an American citizen should not be dependent upon which state in which one happens to reside. The current second class status of LGBT Americans in most states makes a mockery of the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution .
The National Equality March seeks equal protection in all matters governed by law in all 50 states. Oscar-winning producer Bruce Cohen praised the entertainment industry for coming forward in support of the March, "We are thrilled to have this impressive, ever-growing group of extraordinarily talented entertainment industry luminaries from stage, screen, television and the arts endorsing the march. As the demand for full LGBT Federal rights grows in all corners of the country, adding the support of these wonderful LGBT and straight friends of ours will continue to broaden the impact of what is being planned for October 11th in our nation's Capitol."
Here are the new endorsers of the March:
ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY ENDORSEMENTS
Calpernia Addams, author, actor and musician
Jane Anderson, Emmy Award-winning screenwriter, playwright and director
Paris Barclay, Emmy Award-winning director
Annette Bening, Oscar-nominated actor
Greg Berlanti, writer, producer and director
David Dean Bottrell, screenwriter
The Rev. Canon Malcolm Boyd, author and Episcopal priest
Victor Bumbalo, actor and playwright
Ilene Chaiken, creator, writer, and executive producer, “The L Word”
Wilson Cruz, actor
Dana Delaney, Emmy Award-winning actor
Ronald Dennis, actor, dancer, and singer
Melissa Etheridge, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and musician
Joely Fisher, actor
Carrie Fisher, actor, screenwriter and novelist
James Franco, Golden Globe Award-winning actor
David Marshall Grant, Tony Award-nominated actor
Ellen Greene, Tony Award-nominated actor
Trebor Healy, poet and novelist
Helen Hunt, Academy Award-winning actor
Dave Koz, Grammy Award-nominated musician
Susan Krebs, jazz vocalist
Swoosie Kurtz, Emmy Award-winning actor
Chad Lowe, Emmy Award-winning actor
Camryn Manheim, Golden Globe Award and Emmy Award-nominated actor
Ewan McGregor, Golden Globe Award-nominated actor
Sir Ian McKellen, Tony Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated actor
Julianne Moore, Academy Award and Golden Globe Award-nominated actor
Max Mutchnick, Emmy Award-winning producer
Kathy Najimy, actor
Ken Page, actor and cabaret singer
Peter Paige, actor, “Queer as Folk”
Pauley Perrette, actor and civil rights activist
Felice Picano, PEN Award-winning writer
David Hyde Pierce, Emmy Award and Tony Award-winning actor
David O. Russell, director
Meg Ryan, actor
Eduardo Santiago, author
Mark Thompson, author and gay activist
Marisa Tomei, Academy Award-winning actor
Liz Torres, Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award-nominated actor
Gus Van Sant, Academy Award-nominated director, “Milk”
Ann Walker, actor
Rev. Samuel Chu, Interim Executive Director of California Faith for Equality
Rabbi Mark Diamond, Exec. Vice President of the Southern California Board of Rabbis
Rabbi Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus, President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis
Rabbi Denise Eger, President of Pacific Association of Former Rabbis
Rabbi Dr. David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College
Rabbi Steven A. Fox, Exec. Vice President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis
Rabbi Steven B. Jacobs, Chair of the Progressive Jewish Foundation
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah,
NYCBishop Eugene Robinson, Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire
Rev. Susan Russell, President of Integrity
Rev. Neil G. Thomas, Chair of California Faith for Equality and Sr. Pastor MCC
Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President of the Union for Reform of Judaism
“This law is about the rights and responsibilities of adults in committed relationships raising families, running businesses and owning property. Diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace, and in our state as a whole, are core values in our business community,” Chamber chair Tayloe Washburn said in a statement. “We must protect and enhance them if we want to attract, retain and grow the talented workforce needed to stay competitive in the global economy. Supporting the Approve R-71 campaign sends the right message about the economic environment we have and want. ”
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
For decades, a culture of silence has surrounded priest abuse in Italy, where surveys show the church is considered one of the country's most respected institutions. Now, in the Vatican's backyard, a movement to air and root out abusive priests is slowly and fitfully taking hold.
“We are the unacknowledged victims of the victims of homophobia,” said Amity Pierce Buxton, the founder of the Straight Spouse Network, a New Jersey-based support and advocacy group with 52 U.S. chapters. “When gays and lesbians feel they have to get married to be accepted and to have kids, that hurts not only gays and lesbians, but straight spouses and kids.”
Federal law has lagged behind the reality of American life. There are now openly gay members of Congress from between-the-coasts states like Colorado and Wisconsin. And according to the Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights advocacy group, 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies have policies protecting gay employees from discrimination.