We Won the Battle with Ford!!!

Update from Americablog:

The Ford Motor Company today released the following letter (below) clarifying that whatever did or did not happen behind closed doors with the American Family Association (AFA) two weeks ago, the company is NOT backing off of its support for the gay community or gay advertising (in contrast to what was reported over the past two weeks).

According to the AFA and media reports over the past two weeks, in order to avoid a boycott from the extremist gay-hating organization, Ford allegedly agreed to:

1. No longer run ads promoting Jaguar or Land Rover in the gay press.
2. No longer support gay events or organizations.
3. Continue running Volvo ads in the gay press, but no longer tailor those ads to the gay community (i.e., in the future such ads would be the same ads that are run in the mainstream media, rather than the crafting the ads to appeal to a gay readership).

Ford addressed and resolved each of our three concerns regarding the above:

1. Ford announced that it will continue to support gay organizations and gay events in the coming year and beyond.

2. Ford is going to run advertisements in the gay media NOT ONLY promoting the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, but the ads will promote ALL of Fords brands, by name, including Jaguar and Land Rover.

3. Ford states unequivocally that it will continue to tailor its ads for the specific audience it is trying to reach, and then goes one step further. Ford challenges us to keep an eye out on their upcoming ads in order to verify that they will in fact be tailored.

There is no other way to read this than that Ford did the right thing.

NEVER BE INTIMIDATED!!! We have the power to win against the theocratic-dominionist-fascist machine! We can and will win!

Ford Keeps Sinking

Boy, they just keep getting their asses kicked. I guess it's true what my momma always said: "If you go to bed with dogs, you'll wake up with fleas."

Well, they got in bed with the AFA, now Ford is their bitch. I don't know if all the spin in the world will fix what ails them: pure unadulterated bigotry.

A headline from the Holmes Report, one of the TOP corporate communications publications in the country that EVERY public relations agency reads, states:

Under Pressure From KKK, Ford Pulls Ads From Black Media

Okay, so that’s not quite the story, although the KKK should probably give it a try, because if Ford’s craven response to pressure from the American Family Association is any indication, the company would buckle under at the first sign of trouble....
Forty years ago, at the height of the civil rights struggle, the KKK had about the same economic influence, popular support and moral authority the American Family Association enjoys today. It’s hard to imagine that Ford then would have negotiated with the Klan, far less given it an excuse to claim victory. The company’s surrender to the AFA tells you all you need to know about the quality of leadership at Ford today.

CT Not Inundated Over Civil Unions

Some may laud it as a step in the right direction, but not everyone is rushing to the clerk's office to get a civil union license:

The Levine-Rittermans plan to enter a civil union, once they find the time between shuttling Maya to horseback riding lessons and Joshua, 8, to tae kwon do.

But if the law allowed marriage, Barbara said, "We would have done it Oct. 1."

Since their 1992 commitment ceremony, the couple has secured as many legal protections for their union as possible. A civil union would extend those rights, though they still wouldn’t be able to file taxes together, or have their union recognized outside Connecticut. The federal government does not recognize civil unions.

"We’re going to go do it because we think we should have those legal rights," Robin said. "But it’s not very meaningful for us," Barbara said. "To be able to be married — that would have real emotional resonance. If Maya could say to her friends, ‘My mommies are married,’ they’d know exactly what she meant.(Civil union) just isn’t in the cultural vocabulary."

The Levine-Rittermans say gay couples they know have had mixed reactions to civil union legislation. Some got civil unions immediately and threw parties to celebrate. Others say they won’t, ever. "They feel it’s offensive," Barbara said. "Separate but unequal."


Brit Govt Officially Tallies Gay Population

The British government in a series of studies over the past 15 years, now believe they have a handle on a fairly accurate figure for their gay population: 3.6 million (that's approx. 6% BTW).

"This is a significant moment,'' Ben Summerskill, the chief executive of Stonewall, told the newspaper. "For the first time the government has robustly acknowledged the existence of a substantial number of gay people in Britain. This is welcome and long overdue.

Brokeback Mountain has phenomenal opening

From The Advocate:

The long-awaited film version of writer Annie Proulx's cowboy love story, Brokeback Mountain, opened December 9 to long lines of moviegoers in three cities. By the end of the weekend it had broken box-office records and carried home some of the first major prizes of the year-end season.
"This is an astonishing accomplishment and a real testament to how this film is connecting with audiences," said Neil G. Giuliano, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. "Brokeback Mountain is truly a remarkable event, and its journey and impact are just beginning."
The critical reception to the movie has been glowing since its debut in September at the Toronto Film Festival, where it won the top prize, and on Saturday the Los Angeles Film Critics Association named it the best film of the year. The group also gave Lee the best director prize. Gyllenhaal and Ledger did not win acting honors from LAFCA, which went to another actor in a gay role: Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote in the film Capote.

Saw another movie this weekend that surprised me: D.E.B.S.

It was cheesy and funny, but definitely an under-the-radar lesbian movie. A good description for it: Charlie's Angels meets Bound! WOW!

The U.S. Constitution: "Just a goddamned piece of paper!"

I don't know if this is true or not, but I'd be VERY afraid of anyone who thinks this.

I've talked to three people present for the meeting that day and they all confirm that the President of the United States called the Constitution "a goddamned piece of paper."

And, to the Bush Administration, the Constitution of the United States is little more than toilet paper stained from all the shit that this group of power-mad despots have dumped on the freedoms that "goddamned piece of paper" used to guarantee.

Having such a heinous view of the Constitution cannot be a good thing. It's served us well for 200 years and should be revered and respected.


Open Thread-A Tribute to John Lennon

May he Rest in Peace...

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
Helen Keller (1880 - 1968)

People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest.
Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962)

Strong feelings do not necessarily make a strong character. The strength of a man is to be measured by the power of the feelings he subdues not by the power of those which subdue him.
William Carleton


Peace and Many Questions

The suspected killer of a local gay man was finally apprehended

A 16-year-old Maplewood High School student was arrested and charged with the murder of Eric Scott Mansfield.
Mansfield, 33, was fatally wounded while behind the wheel of his silver Volkswagen Jetta at Chapel and Greenwood Avenues on Friday, Nov. 11. Mansfield drove a short distance before pulling to the side of Chapel Avenue between Douglas and McKennie Avenues. He suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and was found unresponsive by his partner, O&AN staff writer David Miller.

A follow-up article analyzed the local newspapers and news sources early responses to the story. From the uncertainty in how to acknowledge Mansfield's partner, David Miller, to the extent of recognition to give their relationship in write-ups and on camera. Making it even more difficult was the inability of Mr. Miller to discuss the matter.

Friends of David Miller report that local mainstream media is, in fact, interested in this story and the unsolved crime. Though he receives calls from local media on a daily basis, they say he remains unable to speak of his experience without breaking down.

At least now, Eric Mansfield and his partner, two children, and parents he left behind can have a brief moment of piece. Let's hope justice is found.


Ford Situation Getting More and More Interesting

Reports are all over the news about Ford and their dealings with the devil today.

It doesn't end there...oh no, never does:

In a Nov. 29 meeting at AFA headquarters in Tupelo, MS, David Leitch, general counsel and vice president for Ford, and Ziad Ojakli, group vice president-Corporate Affairs, along with Dallas-area Ford dealer Jerry Reynolds, hammered out a deal.

So who are these two boys, Leitch and Ojakli?

None other than two former senior Bush administration officials.

More details HERE!

PLUS, Ford just keeps lying and lying and lying:

It seems Ford is telling customers and others upset about their succumbing to a hate-group like the AFA that the initial reports weren't entirely true (in other words, some of it was true).

However, reports from several journalists with direct contact with Ford reps have concurred otherwise:

"...he did confirm that Ford had indeed reached a formal settlement with AFA, and this specifically includes withdrawing advertising for certain Ford vehicles from LGBT publications/media."

Read more about the lies HERE!

The only way to kill the Beast is to sever the triangulation (er, strangulation) between religion, big business, and politics.

I don't care if we are called un-American, unDemocratic, unChristian, blah, blah, blah!

Religion needs to keep it's nose out of business and politics or it gets the shit taxed out of it!

They want to be a business then they need to get taxed like a business.


A Deeper Understanding

Forgive this long post but while doing some research I ran across this book which clearly outlines some current cultural issues for the GLBT community. It has given me some insight (and perhaps pity) for heterosexist mentalities:

Heterosexism, as defined by Jung and Smith (1993), is a "reasoned system of bias regarding sexual orientation [that] denotes prejudice in favor of heterosexual people and connotes prejudice against bisexual and, especially, homosexual people" (13). Herek (1995) elaborated by defining heterosexism as a system of denial, denigration, and stigma towards any non-heterosexual behavior, relationship, or identity. Utilizing these definitions, heterosexism, then, is a reasoned system of bias regarding sexual orientation that denotes prejudice in favor of heterosexual people and denies, denigrates, and stigmatizes any non-heterosexual form of behavior, identity, relationship, or community.
In 1992, Warren Blumenfeld edited the text Homophobia: How We All Pay the Price, which highlighted the ways in which heterosexism, or homophobia as defined by Blumenfeld, hurts the members of the heterosexual community. While GLBT people are “marginalized and disenfranchised” by heterosexism, this form of oppression serves “the dominant group [heterosexuals] by establishing and maintaining power and mastery” over the nonheterosexual minority (8). Despite the privileges assumed by heterosexuals as a result of this power, they, too, pay a price. As outlined by Blumenfeld, heterosexism hurts heterosexuals in the following ways:

First, heterosexism locks people into “rigid gender-based roles that inhibit creativity and self expression” (8).
Second, heterosexism “compromises the integrity of heterosexual people by pressuring them to treat others badly, actions contrary to their basic humanity” (9).
Third, heterosexism “greatly restricts communication with a significant portion of the populations” (Blumenfeld, 1992, 9-10)... As noted by Jung and Smith (1993), “[T]he dishonesty, secretiveness, manipulation, hatred, and ostracism fostered by heterosexism undermine the development of healthy social interaction” (95).

Fourth, heterosexism can be used to “stigmatize, silence, and on occasion, target people who are perceived by others as gay, lesbian, or bisexual but who are in actuality heterosexual” (Blumenfeld, 1992, 11)...According to the Community United Against Violence (CUAV), an agency that serves the victims of anti-gay and antilesbian violence, “3 percent of the over three hundred victims seen by CUAV each year identify as heterosexuals” (as cited in Vazquez, p. 160).

Finally, heterosexism “inhibits appreciation of other types of diversity, making it unsafe for everyone because each person has unique traits not considered mainstream or dominant” (Blumenfeld, 1992, 13). As demonstrated previously, heterosexism promotes stereotypes, based on physical traits or gender roles, associated with GLBT people that affect both the non-heterosexual minority and the heterosexual community. Thus, heterosexism inhibits appreciation of diversity.

From Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender College Students, by Ronni Sanlo, EdD, pp. 269-271.

For a link to the referenced section from the book CLICK HERE

Where's My Cushy Job?!

I want a job where I can do nothing, enforce my beliefs on others, and still get paid handsomely for it!!! Who knew you could get a degree in theology and practice as a medical doctor???

A state appeals court has ruled that two fertility doctors had the right to refuse to artificially inseminate a lesbian based on her marital status because it would have violated their religious beliefs.

Friday's ruling reversed a lower court decision that Drs. Christine Brody and Douglas Fenton could not use religion as a defense against a lawsuit filed by Guadalupe Benitez.

The panel found that the doctors were within their rights because they based their decision on Benitez's unmarried status and that discrimination based on marital status is not prohibited by state law.

Benitez, 33, sued the doctors and their small practice in Vista in 2001, claiming their actions violated California's anti-discrimination laws.

Benitez was eventually treated elsewhere and gave birth to a boy who is now 3 years old.

In her suit, Benitez claims that Brody told her in 1999 that her religious beliefs prevented her from helping a homosexual conceive a child by artificial insemination, but that other physicians at the practice would be able to help her.

The next year, Benitez said, she was told that both Brody and Fenton were unable to help her because they did not feel comfortable with her sexual orientation.

IMAGINE the possibilities, IF I was able to tell all these infertile hetero couples, SORRY!!! I don't like the fact that you're married and straight and all and trying to get pregnant so I don't think I'm going to help you. Boy, talk about being able to control the friggin' population!!! Better than trying to foster or adopt their unwanted kids! What a hassle that's been, plus I get paid for forcing my beliefs on them.


Shame on Ford!

I knew I should have bought a Subaru instead!

In a nutshell, the rabid homophobes at the American Family Association threatened Ford with a boycott earlier this year because they were advertising in the gay press. Suddenly in June the AFA called off their threatened boycott because local Ford dealers had contacted the national Ford office and, apparently, suggested Ford might be amenable to working out a deal. Now we find out that Ford is pulling its gay ads and that Ford even tells the Advocate that the AFA's press release claiming credit for this entire thing is accurate.

Ford wants to dance with bigots, that's fine. But you don't get to do that in the year 2005 and remain a prosperous company in America.

Hmmm, plants closing and employee layoffs, but they can afford to dance with bigots. That's alright, a Subaru drives better and has better gas mileage. Besides, it's almost a necessity for the snowy roads of my future home in the Northeast or Northwest. Screw 'em!

Update: Seems Daddy Ford danced with devils many years ago

Henry Ford began publication of a newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, in 1919. The paper ran for eight years, during which it republished "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion," which has since been discredited as an anti-Semitic forgery. The American Jewish Historical Society describes the ideas presented in it as "anti-immigrant, anti-labor, anti-liquor, and anti-Semitic".

The Independent also published, in Ford's name, several anti-Jewish articles which were released in the early 1920s as a set of four bound volumes, cumulatively titled "The International Jew, the World's Foremost Problem." These volumes were distributed through Ford's car dealerships. Denounced by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the articles nevertheless explicitly condemned pogroms and violence against Jews (Volume 4, Chapter 80), preferring to blame incidents of mass violence on the Jews themselves. None of this work was actually penned by Ford, though they required his tacit approval since he was the paper's publisher....
Ford's indirect financial backing of the Nazis was also undeniable, as Ford Motor Company was active in Germany's military buildup prior to World War II. In 1938, for instance, Ford assisted to construct an assembly plant in Berlin, the purpose of which was to supply trucks to the Wehrmacht. Forced labor was employed to produce 78,000 trucks and 14,000 track vehicles. In July of that year, Ford was awarded (and accepted) the Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle (Großkreuz des Deutschen Adlerordens). Ford was the first American and the fourth person given this award, at the time Nazi Germany's highest honorary award given to foreigners. The decoration was given "in recognition of [Ford's] pioneering in making motor cars available for the masses." The award was accompanied by a personal congratulatory message from Adolf Hitler. [Detroit News, July 31, 1938.] A portrait of Ford was hung at the Nazi party's headquarters in Munich.

Once rotten, always rotten. Hate of any group manages to trickle down from the top leader to the meager followers and infect society like a virus. Truly sad...


Your Blues Ain't Like Mine

Excellent entry on Keith Boykin's site from a black gay man's point of view comparing the civil rights movement to the gay rights movement.

I am confident that 50 years from now we will look back at this day in the same way we look back at the anniversary of Rosa Parks's courageous move. Our children and grandchildren will wonder why our society was so obsessed with perpetuating bigotry against gays and lesbians. And they will ask us which side we were on and what did we do to make a difference.



The former apartheid capitol of the world, South Africa, legalizes marriage rights for same-sex couples.

In the post apartheid years, tremendous strides have been made in GLBT rights in South Africa.

South Africa's post apartheid constitution states that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals have the same rights as any other individual. Section 9 of the Constitution outlaws discrimination in South Africa based on sexual orientation.

Thursday's ruling was the latest in a series of legal wins for gays and lesbians dating back to 1998 when sodomy was decriminalized.

The following year immigrant partners of South African lesbians and gays were allowed to apply for permanent residence.

Same-sex adoption was legalized in 2002 and in 2003 the government bowed to pressure and permitted domestic partner benefits.

Could these be lessons learned from a terribly discriminatory country? If South Africa of all countries can recognize the humanity of its GLBT citizens, why can't we? Aren't we "the land of the free" too?