Wed, 30 June 2010
A few hours ago, I learned of the sudden and very sad extinguishing of a light in the podcasting world.
The producer of this podcast is not dead, but his show definitely is. What's worse, due to the nature of his career--and people's ignorance--he stands a good chance of losing a job he has worked at for many years. Due to the sensitive nature of what is happening, and out of deference for this podcaster, his career, and his family, he must remain nameless.
As charged up as I was in the aftermath of a weekend that went far better than I imagined, this news has left me saddened and angered at the way that people choose to politicize a person's life. This guy was seeking the same thing that all of us are: to exercise his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What's more, he was exercising his First Amendment right of free expression. And now, due to a society that is tilting in favor of so-called "rights" of corporations and organizations and away from the rights of individuals, his right to free expression has been abridged.
I often question whether or not I should continue to blog and to podcast. It is no longer a question. I am committed even more to get my voice and my text out there on the internet. I am more determined than ever to be out, loud, and proud on the internet. I am dedicated even more to telling my story to anybody who will take the time to download and listen.
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to this now-former podcaster, since his show gave mine a much-needed boost in listenership. Every time I turn on the microphone and record my voice for my podcast, it will be in tribute to this fallen colleague. Every time I type out a blog entry--and there will be more--it will be in tribute to this fallen colleague. As long as I have the means to do so, this blog and podcast will continue to be posted. It's personal now, and I can't afford not to do it.
Until the next time you can speak and write freely, I'll take up your fallen torch, my friend.
aka, That Blue Jeans Guy.
Category:GLBT Issues -- posted at: 10:13am EDT
Fri, 3 April 2009
Needless to say, the Religious Right is sharpening its knives as we speak:
Iowa court says gay marriage ban unconstitutional
DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa's Supreme Court legalized gay marriage Friday in a unanimous and emphatic decision that makes Iowa the third state — and first in the nation's heartland — to allow same-sex couples to wed.
In its decision, the high court upheld a lower court's ruling that found a state law restricting marriage to between a man and woman only violated Iowa's constitution.
"If gay and lesbian people must submit to different treatment without an exceedingly persuasive justification, they are deprived of the benefits of the principle of equal protection upon which the rule of law is founded," the court stated in its ruling.
The decision set off celebration among the state's gay-marriage proponents.
"Iowa is about justice, and that's what happened here today," said Laura Fefchak, who was hosting a verdict party in the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale with partner of 13 years, Nancy Robinson.
Robinson added: "To tell the truth, I didn't think I'd see this day."
Richard Socarides, an attorney and former senior adviser on gay rights to President Clinton, said the ruling carries extra significance coming from Iowa.
"It's a big win because, coming from Iowa, it represents the mainstreaming of gay marriage. And it shows that despite attempts stop gay marriage through right-wing ballot initiatives, like in California, the courts will continue to support the case for equal rights for gays," he said.
Its opponents were equally dismayed.
"I would say the mood is one of mourning right now in a lot of ways, and yet the first thing we did after internalizing the decision was to walk across the street and begin the process of lobbying our legislators to let the people of Iowa vote," said Bryan English, spokesman for the conservative group the Iowa Family Policy Center.
"This is an issue that will define (lawmakers') leadership. This is not a side issue."
The Rev. Keith Ratliff Sr., pastor at the Maple Street Baptist Church in Des Moines, went to the Supreme Court building to hear of the decision.
"It's a perversion and it opens the door to more perversions," Ratliff said. "What's next?"
Technically, the decision will take about 21 days to be considered final and a request for a rehearing could be filed within that period.
But Polk County Attorney John Sarcone said his office will not ask for a rehearing, meaning the court's decision should take effect after that three-week period.
"Our Supreme Court has decided it, and they make the decision as to what the law is and we follow Supreme Court decisions," Sarcone said. "This is not a personal thing. We have an obligation to the law to defend the recorder, and that's what we do."
That means it will be at least several weeks before gay and lesbian couples can seek marriage licenses.
Gov. Chet Culver, a Democrat, said the decision addresses a complicated and emotional issue.
"The next responsible step is to thoroughly review this decision, which I am doing with my legal counsel and the attorney general, before reacting to what it means for Iowa," Culver said in a statement.
The case had been working its way through Iowa's court system since 2005 when Lambda Legal, a New York-based gay rights organization, filed a lawsuit on behalf of six gay and lesbian Iowa couples who were denied marriage licenses. Some of their children are also listed as plaintiffs.
The suit named then-Polk County recorder and registrar Timothy Brien.
The state Supreme Court's ruling upheld an August 2007 decision by Polk County District Court Judge Robert Hanson, who found that a state law allowing marriage only between a man and a woman violates the state's constitutional rights of equal protection.
The Polk County attorney's office, arguing on behalf of Brien, claimed that Hanson's ruling violates the separation of powers and said the issue should be left to the Legislature.
Lambda Legal planned to comment on the ruling later Friday. A request for comment from the Polk County attorney's office wasn't immediately returned.
Around the nation, only Massachusetts and Connecticut permit same-sex marriage. California, which briefly allowed gay marriage before a voter initiative in November repealed it, allows domestic partnerships.
New Jersey, New Hampshire and Vermont also offer civil unions, which provide many of the same rights that come with marriage. New York recognizes same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, and legislators there and in New Jersey are weighing whether to offer marriage. A bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Vermont has cleared the Legislature but may be vetoed by the governor.
The ruling in Iowa's same-sex marriage case came more quickly than many observers had anticipated, with some speculating after oral arguments that it could take a year or more for a decision.
On the Net:
Iowa Supreme Court: http://www.judicial.state.ia.us/
Lambda Legal: http://www.lambdalegal.org/
Category:GLBT Issues -- posted at: 12:29pm EDT
Tue, 3 February 2009
I never cease to be amazed at the double standard recently applied to Superbowl ads. On the one hand, KNBC aired ads for TobaccoFreeCA.org and DontBeAnAsterisk.org, the latter of which advocates against steroid use. At the same time, they rejected a series of ads by GetToKnowUsFirst.org advocating getting to know GLBT couples (especially ones with children!) and understanding the impact of Prop 8, due to the NFL's ban on "advocacy" ads during Superbowl airings. This is the "liberal Hollywood" we hear so much about?
Well, count me as one person who won't take this lying down. As a New Media producer, I intend to use the power of my blog to make sure these ads get the distribution they deserve.
Therefore, I am embedding these ads--which are available on YouTube--in my blog, and I am challenging all of my fellow bloggers/podcasters to do the same. Furthermore, I am making a donation to GetToKnowUs.org, and asking everybody to do the same. I know that times may be tough, but we cannot allow free speech and debate to be squelched.
Here are the ads:
Xavier & Michael
Sonia & Gina
Miguel & Ru
Diane & Robin
Duncan & John
Miguel & Ru (Spanish Version)
Support free speech and debate today!
Category:GLBT Issues -- posted at: 8:50am EDT