In issue25

The Heat Is On


The Heat Is On


Who Turned Down the Heat?
The last several weeks have seen a lot of criticism of President Obama’s actions, or lack thereof, in comparison to the promises he made while campaigning. A number of think tanks, activists, lobbyists, etc. have been amping up their support on such trivial matters as the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) and the same-sex marriage debate. The effort has stretched across the seas to Russia, where CNN reports protesters are seeking permission to demonstrate in front of the US embassy in support of same-sex marriage during Obama’s visit. On the home front, seems to be implying that the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) may be behind delaying efforts to repeal DADT in lieu of “passing hate crimes and anti-discrimination employment legislation.” They’ve also reported that Aaron Belkin of the Palm Center at University of California (Santa Barbara), in an interview with Michelangelo Signorile, has said that some of our advocates are “pro-actively lobbying against consideration of the issue.” HRC Executive Director Joe Solmonese denies allegations that HRC has suggested putting the repeal of DADT on the back burner while Obama publicly proclaims to be a fierce advocate for our community. Who’s telling the truth?

“Crackberry” Blues
Republicans are a sensitive lot, especially if you can believe what you read on the internet. Last week’s bloodless coup in New York, where two Democrats switched teams to give the Republicans the majority in the Senate, was allegedly due to one senator’s inability to put down his Blackberry during a meeting. According to a blog at and confirmed through numerous other sources, billionaire Tom Golisano was behind the push for the takeover because former Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith paid more attention to his Blackberry during a meeting than he did to him. Golisano has also threatened to move to Florida in protest of high taxes in New York… Can you say, “Economic stimulus”? Just remember to put your Blackberry away when he’s comes for a shopping visit.

Strange Side Effects
The power struggle in New York’s Senate has taken the same-sex marriage debate into The Twilight Zone. The New York Times reported that Senator Thomas Duane (D), a sponsor of the marriage equality bill, may join the defectors on the other side of the aisle.  Here’s where it gets weird – Duane has been spending a lot of time trying to get the 32 votes necessary to pass the bill and reportedly has them; meanwhile, the new majority leader has said he will bring the bill up for a vote before the current session ends this week. Could it be that the Republican takeover could be responsible for New York legalizing marriages between people of the same gender?

Oh, My Lord!
My favorite fundamentalist web site,, recently reported that children of gay couples are 7 times more likely to be gay and claims that researchers have kept this secret from legislators. They quote one researcher as saying, “the large majority of children who grew up in lesbian families identified as heterosexual” while another pulled-from-the-tailpipe declaration from a psychologist points out that 8% “had a homosexual relationship even though they weren’t sexually attracted to same-sex partners.” What? We checked with Reverend Pat Robertson to gain some perspective and learned that many boys are gay “because of a coach or a guidance counselor or some other male figure… abused them.” This put noted author Dan Savage in fact check mode. Savage points out in a recent piece on SLOG that since good fundamentalist Christian parents don’t let their children near deviant homosexuals, pointing out that “most fundamentalist Christian kids have never met an out gay or lesbian person” then they must be getting recruited from the inside.

What Do You Think?
While we’re collectively a-Twittering about our surprise that American Idol’s Adam Lambert is gay (who knew?), we often overlook the fact that being able to discuss this publicly and seeing it in the media is far from where we were 40 years ago. Those who stood their ground at the Stonewall Inn and are still with us today are no doubt proud of where we are. Actions and words are important, if not for today then for those who will follow us. Share your thoughts on current events at and keep the conversation going!