Thursday, April 5, 2007

Where I'm blogging now

OK, Q-Bomb is pretty much defunct at this point. I'm keeping it around because I sometimes refer to old things I posted here and I need something to link to, but that's about it.

But my Site Meter tells me I still have quite a few people visiting this site. If you're looking for fresh content, I've pretty much moved my blogging to three other sites.

First, I'm mostly posting at Bilerico on queer politics and culture. So if you were interested in what I have to say about that, you can check it out over there.

Second, I've moved the Qomics for Queers archives and started to post more often about comics-outing here. I'm going to keep on posting a weekly post on that at Bilerico, but there's some other stuff that won't make it to the Sunday QFQ post.

Third, I've started a completely different blogging venture at Street Economics. I'm kind of fed up with the way laissez-faire economic theory is accepted uncritically considering how ridiculous some of its tenets are, so I'm posting news stories there that show that Econ 101 doesn't quite describe the way that the world works. I'm trying to get some other people involved with that project to make it more comprehensive, and I'm sure that'll be fun.

So I don't know what's going to become of Q-Bomb. It'll sit here as archives until the bug to start some new blogging project that could involve this content springs up.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Qomics for Queers, providing 24-hour coverage of Dennis the Homosexual Menace

OK, folks, sorry about not having a Qomics for Queers last week. I didn't have anything from that week that really jumped out at me, and then I was going to do a few re-writes, and I never got around to it, and it became one of those things, and before I knew it it's today.

First is Monday's Dennis the Menace:

The question on everyone's mind is: Where are Dennis' parents right now? They apparently got him all ready for bed. I don't think that if he asked "Can I go bother our elderly neighbor now that I'm supposed to be asleep and it's all dark?" that they would say yes.

One of them should be supervising him....

One possible explanation is that both Alice and Henry are simultaneously having affairs (I just watched Desperate Housewives). Think about it, neither would leave Dennis at home if they thought the other wasn't, so there would have to be a situation where each of them is away for something secret. Since this is supposed to be outing the comics, let's make them gay affairs. Hot, sexy woman- or man-loving affairs. And neither made an excuse, Alice and Henry each snuck out of the house so well that the other thought that it was safe to sneak out as well. That leaves Dennis, all alone. I suppose he woke up and asked for a glass of water, only to find no one there. Where a normal 5-year-old would start crying, Dennis is a true professional menace, so he takes this opportunity to do his thing.

And really, I can't see anything else that's gay in this comic.

Sunday's Dennis the Menace throwaway panels:

Oh, kindergarten. Where candy is sweeter, life is simpler, and kids sit around talking like the characters in Queer as Folk.

The throwaway panels from last Sunday's Beetle Bailey:

You know, from what I know about the army, it's not really common for a Sergeant 1st Class to be hanging out with a private when they have some time off. But not only is Sarge going out with Beetle here, Otto implies that this happens quite often. Their smiles indicate that they're happy, really happy, going-to-get-some-head level happy.

Now, I may not be the first person to say that Beetle and Sarge are gay, but I am probably the person who says it the most often. I think its particularly apropos right now in light of Pace's comments this week (I know, I know, this one was drawn weeks before his comments, but hear me out). Wouldn't it be great if they're setting Beetle Bailey up for a huge publicity stunt involving Beetle and Sarge coming out to everyone when DADT is repealed? It'd be great, and all the characters could be there in one big coming out party (do people do those ever or was that just Ellen?) that would be one big panel on a color, large-format Sunday feature, with doves holding up pink banner that could say, "We're here, we're queer, and you did get used to it!"

Uhhhhhhhhh..... That revealed a little too much of my personal Beetle Bailey fantasies. Maybe I should stop now.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Qomics for Queers - For the record, I blame King Media Features

Well, my fears from last week were misplaced; there's absolutely no shortage of gayness in this week's comics. It did, however, take me all of two days to actually put this together. It definitely couldn't have been caused by a lack of motivation. This Wednesday's Slylock Fox (after the jump) was, for a comics-outer, like looking into the face of God and having Him whisper back, "I love you". I was reminded why I got into this business: immature penis jokes. Because, even with all its bells and perks and whistles, isn't that what being a comics-outer is really all about?

Let's start with Saturday's 9 Chickweed Lane:

Wow! An actual gay reference in a real comic! Inclusive! Well-drawn! Wonderful! Well... except for that tiny, tiny detail: it makes no sense. Here are some possible explanations:
1. Cartoonist McEldowney thinks that "Oh, sweetie, if only" is some kind of universally known gay pick-up line, like "Lookin??"
2. The first two panels have nothing to do with the joke; Seth just really doesn't like Mark's goatee.
3. For the length of time that is panel 2, Seth thought that Mark was a carnivorous lion, making him envy the quick instincts of real gazelles.
4. I joined the boat way too late on 9 Chickweed Lane, and the strip has developed its own alphabet and language that only looks like English, and the above conversation is really a mother-in-law joke.

Friday's Family Circus:

This pretty much explains itself, I guess. One little gay boy drew a Village People moustache on his infantile brother. Seriously, people, nothing to look at here.

This Friday's Dennis the Menace:

Considering the outfit you're wearing, cowboy, I don't think it was your room she wanted you to straighten.

Wednesday's Rex Morgan, M.D.:

It's funny because it's true! It happens like this every time when I have to pull away from my vapid, self-absorbed life and boyfriend to show some sort of affection towards my wife after she talks me into mentoring a teenage near-orphan with flattery, and I'm closing in and closing my eyes like someone would plug their nose to take bad medicine, and it's always like, BANG!, saved by the gunshot!

This Wednesday's Slyock Fox:

Any more? Let's see.... Banana? No, that has seven letters. Penis? No, five. Johnson... no, no no, that has seven letters. Hmmm, these puzzles are really hard!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

More responses to Ann Coulter, comedian extraordinaire

The NY Times blog has a post up about the Coulter affair from yesterday afternoon. John McCain's spokesman said:
The comments were wildly inappropriate.
Romney's said:
It was an offensive remark. Governor Romney believes all people should be treated with dignity and respect.
Edwards's campaign manager said:
John was singled out for a personal attack because the Republican establishment knows he poses the greatest threat to their power. Since they have nothing real to use against him, Coulter's resorting to the classic right-wing strategy of riling up hate to smear a progressive champion.
And the CPAC frontpage as of five minutes ago:

Speaks for itself.

That's it so far. I'm not going to update anymore on this until Monday, unless something huge happens.

But a few things about this whole incident. First, I'm not surprised and honestly don't care what Ann Coulter said. Really. I've stopped caring about anything that this woman says because she focuses on being shocking instead of being informative, as evidenced here or when she called Gore a fag or suggested that both Hiillary and Bill Clinton were gay or called Helen Thomas a security risk for being "an old Arab" or.... The list goes on and on. That's not the point. The important part is the reaction of the people attending. This wasn't a far-right fringe crowd - this is the mainstream conservative movement. Cheney and almost all the potential GOP presidential candidates were in attendance and a whole lot of people in the audience laughed. Who can say whether or not any of presidential candidates were laughing at this "joke"?

Moreover, Coulter basically did the same thing last year when she referred to people of Middle Eastern descent as "ragheads". At the same conference. She can't be surprising anyone on the Right by going over the edge; inviting her to speak at anything is a known risk. Yet the conservative movement continues to ask her to speak at their events. One can only assume that they not only agree with her comments, they value them as insight.

Second, while McCain responded (even though he wasn't there) and Romney "responded" (What does he think about the fact that she endorsed him in the same speech? Will he put himself at risk for losing her "constituency" or will he do what's right?), we still haven't heard anything from the coordinators of the CPAC, the leadership of the American Conservative Union that put the whole thing together, the other potential candidates there, the leadership of the GOP, or vice president Cheney. If they answer on Monday, just know that they were calculating their response. This should be a no-brainer, but when a good part of your party thinks that what she said was not only funny but the spot on (Edwards should be labeled as gay because he is progressive, being gay is bad, using the word faggot to attack someone is A-O-K), you've got to navigate your way around this carefully.

I don't mean to say that the entire Republican Party agrees with her, just that a very large part of them does. So when these specific Republicans who were there and yet have not responded ask for your votes, remember that they are worried about losing votes for thinking about you as anything more than a faggot.

Third: Come on, Mr. Cheney, say something. Coulter was attacking your daughter....

(Crossposted to bilerico)

Friday, March 2, 2007

Coulter calls John Edwards a "Faggot", shines as conservative star

Y'all know how Republicans whine so much about how reliably Democratic GLBT folk are? Well, maybe it has something to do with the Conservative Movement's sweetheart. Ms. Coulter said:
I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot', so....
Don't worry, she was at some small, fringe crowd, introduced by a no-name, and was booed as a result.

Oh, wait, what's that? She was at the CPAC conference? And she was introduced by Mitt Romney? And everyone laughed and cheered?

Kagro X at DailyKos said:
Click here for video of Romney walking out in protest.

Oh, wait. There is no such video.

Video at and h/t to Crooks and Liars.

UPDATE: The HRC responds:
"To interject this word into American political discourse is a vile and disgusting way to sink the debate to a new, all-time low," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Make no doubt about it, these remarks go directly against what our Founding Fathers intended and have no place on the schoolyard, much less our country's political arena."


The Conservative Political Action Conference was attended by 2008 Republican Presidential candidates: Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and former Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA). Vice President Dick Cheney also attended the event.
'nuf said.

UPDATE II: Media Matters has more. Coulter endorsed Romney in that speech too. I'm sure that makes him happy. But also this was interesting to show how out-of-touch with reality Coulter is:
Well, you know, screw you, I'm not anti-gay. We're against gay marriage. I don't want gays to be discriminated against. I mean, I think we have, in addition to blacks, I don't know why all gays aren't Republicans. I think we have the pro-gay position, which is anti-crime and for tax cuts. Gays make a lot of money, and they're victims of crime. I mean, the way -- no, they are. They should be with us. But the media portrays us.
Besides the fact that she's flat wrong on her claims about queer incomes, she plays the big, bad media card in the same speech where she calls John Edwards a faggot.

I'm updating this story a lot tonight because this is starkly honest compared to the majority of conservative rhetoric on gay and lesbian people. Here we have, at the largest conservative conference of the year, one of the most if not the most prominent conservative commentators of our time calling another prominent figure a faggot in front of almost all the potential presidential nominees of the GOP and the Republican vice president, and not one of them has repudiated what she said. Media Matters already did. The HRC already did. Governor Dean already did. Even Michelle Malkin did... well, kinda sorta mentioned it and implied that she thought it wasn't cool. It's not that hard to put out a press statement on the matter. I've put out this whole long post this evening and I went to the gym and ate dinner and listened to Nas and watched Las Vegas all since Coulter's comment (great Friday night!).

So if they come out with a statement tomorrow or next Monday, remember that they needed time to calculate their position. That's the only thing that could be causing this delay. And if they never denounce her, then they should at least have the decency to stop playing the media bias card when people call Republicans anti-gay. But I won't hold my breath.

Kafka couldn't write a more kafkaesque story

From 365gay:
A gay man held for two years in a dank Cameroon prison without ever having a trial has been released after he was discovered by an attorney working with the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
There are plenty of gay men being held in prison throughout the world for no reason other than their sexual orientation. Are they trying to turn these people straight? Because, you know, that's so possible.

But this story just seemed to be beyond the pale, because the person wasn't charged with anything. I don't know how the judicial system in Cameroon was able to let something like this slide by, but I can only imagine the hopelessness that this man had being held without charges, without an attorney, without any means of serving his time and being freed, even if we accept that sexual identity is a legitimate crime.

So when silly people say that queer people haven't really suffered enough to deserve equality, they apparently forget that many queer people live their lives in states worse than Kafka stories. They want Suze Orman and Elton John to be representative of all GLBT folk, and that reason should be enough for us not to forget our queer brothers and sisters stuck in prison or in the closet throughout the world.

(Crossposted to bilerico)

Back to blogging

I took a day off yesterday because I had so much to do that I found myself at 12:30 at night finally in front of the computer and ready to go... and ready for bed. I'm trying to catch up with things that I wanted to blog about today, some of yesterday's news, some things from the past week, and of course things that are happening today.

As I'm writing this I'm also wondering about why I'm maintaining this separate space since most of what I do is crossposted to Bilerico. All I can say to answer that is that I like maintaining a space where I can post with the knowledge that anything I say will not reflect on anyone else but me. Well, that and revenge. Sweet, vague revenge. I also like writing things here because Blogger has all the quick keys for HTML tags that don't require my browser to open up separate windows and makes it a little easier to get things out.

So for the time being I'm going to keep this going so I can post things about the Argentine gay marriage bill and hook-ups and things without having to pretend to be smarter than I am. :)

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Viva la Republica!

From 365gay:
Legislation will be presented in Argentina's Parliament this fall that would give same-sex couples all of the rights of marriage.

Currently the law limits marriage to opposite-sex couples. However the country does afford gay and lesbian couples some rights including inheritance, adoption and survivor pensions.

Two regions of the country permit civil unions - the province of Río Negro and the federal district of Buenos Aires.

In 2003 Rio Negro became the first area in South America to permit civil unions.

A poll released this week shows that three-quarters of those surveyed in the capital believe gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry. Only 25 percent disagreed.
I'm of Argentine descent (first generation), so this is awesome news to me.

College student in Colorado attacked

Speaking of hate crimes, there was another attack this past week against a lesbian student at Naropa University. 365gay has more:
Police say the young woman had met two men in a mall who said they were from California and did not have enough money for a hotel. The woman invited them to sleep on a couch at her home.

When they made a sexual advance to her she told them she is a lesbian and at least one of the men began beating her. She was punched and kicked in the face.
The student said that she is doing better every day.

Now I'm noticing a trend with these two cases, the student's and Anthos'. The assailants always pick victims who, regardless of sexuality, were far less able to defend themselves against their attackers than their attackers would have been able to defend themselves against the victims. In this case, it was two men against one woman. The article said that only one of the men attacked her, but it didn't say that the other helped her out. In Anthos' case, the attacker came up on him from behind, had a weapon, and was far younger. It goes on and on like that in other cases.

There is something more than hating gay people going on here. These people need to feel big, so they choose victims who they know won't be able to fight back. They probably also think that no one will care about GLBT victims, making it easier to get away.

That's why hate crimes legislation is so necessary - these people have to be shown that the law is not on their side and that they aren't more powerful than the collective moral will of the American or the Hoosier people.

(Crossposted to bilerico)

Andrew Anthos passed away last Friday

Andrew Anthos, the 72-year-old man who was attacked after getting of the bus on February 13th, passed away Friday. The assailant apaprently asked him if he was gay while on the bus and then followed him when he got off and hit him in the back of the head with a pipe. Anthos was helping a friend in a wheelchair, and that friend was able to give the police a description.

The police still haven't found the assailant almost two weeks after the attack, and the only witness who came forward was the friend. I'm sure that other people saw this person while on the bus, I mean, it was 6 pm on a Tuesday in Detroit. More people probably saw this guy berate Andrew than saw Janet's boob pop out of her outfit two years ago. I don't know why more people haven't come forward with a cold-blooded murderer on the loose in Detroit, but that just may be a question for the ages.

But I do know some people who are partly responsible for this who won't be doing any hard time. Shakes has a post that describes how I feel about this. Here you have an elderly gentleman who was taking the bus home from the library. That's it. But following him were the specters of years and years of heterosexual supremacist rhetoric and millions if not billions of dollars pumped into that machine that labeled him in a way that was neither accurate nor kind.

You have people like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell who put the blame for 9/11 on Andrew. You have people like Paul Cameron who said that Andrew was out to molest your children. You have Gary DeMar who says the Bible calls for killing Andrew. You have Fred Phelps who will probably organize a demonstration to show how happy he is with Andrew being killed. And you have presidents like GWB who normalized and legitimized all those accusations against Andrew by trying to get an amendment into the Constitution to solidify his status as a second-class citizen. Yeah, they pretend like they're talking about some non-specific group of people, but it's only reasonable to interpret what they're saying as an attack leveled against each and every GLBT person individually.

So I point the finger in their face and say "you helped this happen."

Because when you set up a by any calculus powerless minority to be the demon for all of societies evils, some people out there are going to take matters into their own hands. Have we heard any condemnation of this from any of those people mentioned? The most we can expect is a statement that says the killer gives them a bad name. Probably in the same way that a sloppy hitman can get the person who hired him into trouble.

They can hide behind their "religion" to justify what they say, but let's remember here, this is not what Jesus would do. Straight up, 100% certain on that one. Look at how Jesus treated the Pharisees. He disagreed with them, and he told them so. Did he protest their funerals? No. Did he blame them for Rome taking over the Holy Land? No. Did he say that they were going to molest everyone's children? No. Did he say that fighting them was the greatest war of his time? Hell no. So if they want to use their junk theology to defend their positions, they should at least have the decency to not take the Lord's name in vain while doing so.

So now, after all that, a man was killed because someone thought his singing on the bus was too gay. Is it any surprise that the murderer, like the far right, picked someone who was more defenseless than he? A 72-year-old, who had his hands full pushing a wheelchair, and he came up from behind to hit him. I want to see the Dobson, et al., crowd to find the honor in that.

Oh wait, they haven't put out their statement about how they're the ones who were really hurt by this.

(Crossposted to bilerico)

I'm not a psychoanalyst, I just play one on the internet

Some guy sent a question into Savage Love asking if it was ok to continue to masturbate to Anna Nicole's Playboy work. Here's Dan's answer:
But not because it's disrespectful--there's nothing you can do to Anna Nicole Smith in death that could possibly outdo the shit Anna Nicole Smith subjected herself to in life. No, the reason you feel creepy about beating off to Anna Nicole's photos now, MAN, and the reason you must stop, is this: Whacking off to the dead violates the hope that masturbation represents. When Anna Nicole was alive and young and beautiful, MAN, a tiny part of your brain somehow managed to convince your dick that your fantasies existed within the realm of possibility. If the right set of circumstances, however improbable, were to occur, you might actually find yourself in bed with Anna Nicole Smith. So long as she lived, MAN, you lived--and whacked off--in hope.

But masturbating to the dead inspires only feelings of hopelessness and despair. Which is why no one beats off to James Dean or River Phoenix or Marilyn Monroe or Mary Todd Lincoln without feeling a little creepy, a little hopeless, and a little closer to the grave himself. Knock it off.
Makes ya think.

Really, about what what pornography is. There's something more to it than just pictures of naked people - otherwise Anna Nicole pics and anatomy books and National Geographic magazines would all be good material for the 16+ crowd. If one were to create a more precise definition, it would, of course, include fantasy fulfillment, as Dan suggests.

Now I wouldn't be the first to say that people can project their own fantasies of controlling others onto pornography. Any gay boy who's accidentally clicked on a straight porn site knows that it isn't just gay male porn with a woman involved - there's an element of degredation and mass consumption towards women that doesn't appear in gay male porn towards men. And real lesbian porn versus heterosexual male girl-on-girl action vids are worlds apart in their treatment of women as full and equal human beings with control over their sexual choices. I don't think it's a coincidence that society's sexism gets projected into pornography.

But maybe the fantasy fulfillment aspect of pornography is a little bit more independent of the nakedness part than people would like to think. Could anti-gay literature be such a text? I mean, those homophobic pamphlets make up facts about our lives, take one tiny aspect of the gay community and blow it out of proportion, and do it all with an intention of controlling our sexualities. The creation of a complete narrative so detached from the lives of real gay people and the collective unwillingness to challenge such a narrative bear striking resemblence to a guy who jacks off to fantasies of sex with Justin Timberlake. If Dan's right, then the latter is taking the small chance of that fantasy being possible, blowing that chance out of proportion, and using it construct a reality in his mind. The difference may only be that the latter knows, intellectually, that it isn't really true.

So when I read from people like the folks at Pure Life Ministries or NARTH or the anti-sex, anti-gay site du jour about how pornography is bad and gays are always unhappy child molesters, I wonder about where the energy to read that tripe came from. Does their anti-pornography lifestyle cause them to seek out other sources to create narratives of domination and control over people's sexualities? Consider this from Kathy Gallagher at Pure Life Ministries:
[I] personally would not trust a guy who has been involved in pornography--especially one who has shown such a flippant attitude about it. His reaction tells me two very important things.

First, this young man could not possibly have a relationship with God and believe that something as evil as pornography is acceptable.
It's nothing new - disliking pornography for no real reason and then saying that all Christians have to think the same way about it. She sometimes goes on pornographic tirades about how porn will turn women into lesbians, cause husbands to cheat, and destroy heterosexual marriages, all the while not presenting any statistics or facts and just writing stories about how what she says could come to be reality. It reads like a Nifty story. The realities she and others like her construct in their writing seeks not to challenge the readers' beliefs like is kind of the point of Jesus' life; rather they attempt to create a narrative that affirms one belief that the reader may already have and give it prominence over his/her knowledge of the real world, in the same way as the guy who masturbated to Anna Nicole pics was using the pictures to affirm one fantasy over his knowledge of the way the world works.

So what's the point of all this? I think that by having a better understanding of the heterosexual supremacist mind can help us find ways to fight it. Like I've said before, heterosexual supremacy isn't just a few mistaken beliefs that can be cleared up by presenting the facts; it's a complicated structure that seeks to privilege heterosexuals over everyone else.

This is also why I don't in general refute homophobes. I mean seriously, with what we're up against, logic is not the correct weapon to use.

(Crossposted to bilerico)

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

We gays could learn a lot from Asian-Americans

From CNN:
Asian-American leaders are calling on a weekly newspaper to apologize and cut ties with a writer who penned a column titled "Why I Hate Blacks."

In the piece, which appeared in the February 23 edition of San Francisco-based AsianWeek, contributor Kenneth Eng lists reasons why he supports discrimination against blacks, writing, among other things, "I would argue that blacks are weak-willed. They are the only race that has been enslaved for 300 years."

An official at the nationally circulated paper apologized and called the column's publication a mistake.

Leaders at the Asian American Justice Center, Chinese for Affirmative Action, Coalition for Asian Pacific Americans and other groups are circulating a petition denouncing the piece as "irresponsible journalism, blatantly racist, replete with stereotypes, and deeply hurtful to African Americans."

The petition calls on AsianWeek to cut ties with Eng, issue an apology, print an editorial refuting the column, and fire or demote the editors who published it.
Notice how the response from Asian community leaders to an Asian person in an Asian publication insluting Blacks was swift, unified, and unrelenting.

Compare that with the reaction from gay community leaders to a gay man performing a character in gay night clubs that's pretty hard-core racist against Black people. The NGLTF released a statement about Shirley Q. Liquor a couple of years ago. GLAAD jumps in several years too late. Yup. And after that a mainstream queer publication questions whether our advocacy groups should have gotten involved at all. (Jasmyne Cannick answers the line-by-line).

It's frustrating to me that GLAAD could not have seen on its own that Chuck Knipp's act helps fuel stereotypes that Black gays and lesbians have to experience every day and that it doesn't reflect very well on the rest of the GLBT community. More importantly, they should have realized their unique position to help bring about an end to this act.

Imagine being in Kenneth Eng's position. Since he works for an Asian-American cultural magazine, I'm going to guess that he has a love for his community. When he was told by a united front of Asian-American advocacy groups that what he did was wrong, I'm sure that he was more affected than he would have been by any other community group.

I would think that a person like Knipp would be more likely to change his ways if the GLBT community took such a stand on his act. It's one thing to have a group of people for whom he has little respect say that he should change; it would be quite another for a coalition of LGBT organizations to tell him to stop the act. Since he identifies with the latter, I could only imagine the pain of being ostracized from one's own people in that way.

Imagine receiving letters from the HRC, GLAAD, the NGLTF, the NCLR, the NBJC, and GLAD all in the same week telling you personally that something you were doing was deeply offensive and hurtful. I know I'd have to have a lot of chutzpah and a pretty good reason in order to stay the course, and whether I did or not, I would still feel the pain of ostracism from the community that I love deeply.

And it's that power and that sense of duty that the Asian community demonstrated in reacting to Eng's column. What makes that so difficult that we can't understand it?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

It's baaa-aaack

Remember that bill I blogged about earlier on bilerico going through the Utah House to block GSA's from forming in schools, and reader Lynn pointed out in comments that it was gone? Well, it's back. From the Salt Lake Tribune (sometimes I just love how local papers cover issues):
Lawmakers gutted it and then restored it.
Passed it and then pulled it back.
No bill has been tweaked more than the one targeting gay support clubs in high schools but also affecting many other student groups.
The tinkering ended Monday with a final compromise among Republicans.
Over the objections of Democrats, the House sent the bill, sponsored by Springville Republican Rep. Aaron Tilton, to the desk of Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.
So like yeah, it's there. The governor said he opposed the version of the bill last year that was so complex that it prompted one state rep to say: "it was easier to start a corporation than it would be to create a high school club".

Of course, the right wing there (not all Republicans in Utah support it, but you can fill in the blank: "The bill is supported by the far _____.") said before that it wasn't targeted at GSA's, which is laughable, but the Tribune printed this lovely paragraph:
Buttars, on the other hand, hopes to give administrators the ability to block clubs such as the Gay Straight Alliance without fearing a massive legal bill. He expects the attorney general's office to handle any lawsuits that would stem from a school district blocking a club.
Because when you're passing legislation you know goes against federal law, the main point has to be that challenging it requires the Attorney General to be on your side.

This story has irked me on so many levels. Besides the total acknowledgement that it goes against the Federal Equal Access Act and it being an attempt to circumvent federal law by just making it harder to challenge homophobic school administrators, the whole point of the bill is to hurt our community's children. GSA's often do a wonderful job of helping build awareness of GLBT issues at an age where such awareness is, to quote Salt 'n' Pepa, very necessary. The only point in getting rid of them would be to further marginalize those kids at an age when being accepted by one's peers is a key component in developing a positive self image.

Then again, that's heterosexual supremacy. It's not about opposing homosexual acts or preserving the family or whatever else they say. It's about materially and psychologically hurting GLBT people both as a community and as individuals because of that identity. They say they are against GSA's to keep us from recruiting, but there's no excuse for not knowing that that's impossible in 2007. None.

Respected trans woman fired for being trans, being respected still OK

From 365gay:
Largo city commissioners voted Tuesday night to fire its longtime city administrator less than a week after she disclosed she is embarking on sex reassignment.

For 14 years Steven Stanton was an admired overseer of the Tama Bay community's local government. Last week after a local newspaper acting on a tip began asking questions Stanton sat down with the St. Petersburg Times and divulged her status.
Wow. That's what a reputation built on fourteen years of service is worth to those folks in Largo. Is it just me, or didn't keeping a job use to be about doing it well and taking pride in your work, not what's in your skirt or fabulously tailored Armani pants? I guess I'm just old-fashioned that way.

Note to Canada's government - Our Canadian brothers and sisters aren't ATMs


A ruling is expected in the largest gay and lesbian class action suit in the history of... man this is huge. The Canadian government gave widowed partners in same-sex couples the pensions of their partners when it opted for full and equal marriage - for all those whose partners died after January 1998. Now those surviving partners of people who died before that date are suing for the pensions and accrued interest going all the way back to 1985. The total is over $100 million Canadian, which is about $78 American (man that joke never gets old).

I'd say there's a good chance that Team Q will win. From the Globe and Mail:
In two lower court rulings, Ottawa lost its argument that survivor benefits should only be extended to gays widowed after 1997. The judges agreed with the roughly 400 gays and lesbians in the class-action suit that the cutoff date should coincide with the Charter coming into effect.

In the latest decision in November, a panel of justices at the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the view of the Ontario Superior Court that the government's 1998 cutoff wasn't "rational."
That's three courts so far....

Canada is, of course, way ahead on the gays-are-real-human-beings game than the US is. Can you imagine a suit like this happening here? I mean, we have an international reputation for being letigious, but we not so recently had to win the right to exist. So this amount of money, while it's huge, could have been paid out evenly throughout the last 22 years so that it wouldn't be so much all at once. Instead, the Canadian government treated its own citizens like ATMs all these years, took their tax money and pension contributions, and kept the real and material benefits of paying those taxes away from a segment of their population. They made their bed, and now they have to sleep in it.

Also, one thing I love about Canadian newspapers is that they refer to their supreme court as "the Supreme Court of Canada", as if there's a need to clarify.