Think Pink

breast-cancer-ribbonI feel terrible that it’s the close of the 8th day of this month and I haven’t mentioned Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Unfortunately, breast cancer doesn’t care if you’re gay or straight. It also doesn’t matter if you’re male or female. Yes, men can and do get breast cancer, though obviously far less common than women do. According to the American Cancer Society, in this year alone, 2,240 men will be diagnosed with an invasive form of breast cancer. Of those, 410 will die.

Whether you’re gay or straight; male or female, we need to support all women (an any men) who may come to learn that they have breast cancer. With luck, they will discover it early enough to avoid the worst, but many won’t.

Do what you can to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The simplest way is to help raise money. Pink merchandise is available all month long, usually for just a few dollars, but those few dollars combined with the other monies raised will help.

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Let’s Talk About Sex

Don’t worry; this isn’t a post that will be NSFW by any means. It’s more of an observation about the ways in which we talk about sex – or don’t. The phrasing we use, if you will.

For the most part, I don’t talk about sex. It’s a private act between two individuals in love, or two total strangers. Either way, what goes on in my bedroom is no one’s business but mine and my girlfriend’s. By the same token, I don’t want to know what goes on in anyone else’s bedroom. That’s your private time, to be kept to yourself. To be honest I’ve even felt awkward about commenting on a photo of a male friend’s new bedroom even though I only commented because I was with him the day he bought his new bedding set.

I was scanning various articles on the Huffington Post’s website earlier and this headline caught my eye: TV’s Newest Hated Character. Curious, I clicked on the link. It’s about a television show I do not watch: ‘Homeland’, but based on the little I know about the show I didn’t think it would have any characters that people would come to hate so quickly. Apparently the character is a minor one, but whose presence is apparently over-done. This is the sentence which caught my eye:

Episode 2 of “Homeland” saw Dana running back to the boy she met in therapy and sleeping with him in the laundry room.

Sleeping with him in the laundry room, eh? We all know that sleeping is rarely involved, especially when sex happens in a laundry room of all places. But why can’t we simply state that they had sex in the laundry room? There’s no need to be explicit by any means, but I think it’s perfectly acceptable to say she had sex with him in the laundry room and leave it at that. Sleeping with someone is such a lame euphemism and I think we should be at a point here in the 21st century where we can state something simply and matter-of-factly without being graphic or explicit.

Just my opinion.

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Transgender Teenager, Crowned Homecoming King

Congrats to Mr Ramsey for his crowning and three cheers for his school mates who voted him in by a landslide. 🙂

In a historic moment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teens everywhere, a transgender New Hampshire teen has been voted Homecoming King by a “landslide” victory at his local high school.

Concord High School’s first transgender student to receive the honor, Ray Ramsey took the royal title to the sound of thunderous applause and cheers from his friends and peers. According to the Concord Monitor, Ramsey’s father greeted him after he accepted the crown, taking Ramsey by the shoulders and looking him in the eye, saying, “I am so proud of you.”

Nominations for Homecoming Court at Concord High School function through individual clubs and organizations. Ramsey received his nomination through Tide Pride, the school’s outlet for LGBT students and allies.

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Kristin Chenoweth

This weekend I had the singular privilege to see one of the greatest singers of my generation performing live: Kristin Chenoweth.

She was here performing at the gala opening of our grand old theatre and it was magnificent. I thought it was going to be something serious where she came out in a lovely ball gown or something to sing songs. I couldn’t have been further from the truth. During the first song, she smacked the ass of the conductor. I knew it was going to be downhill from then on. She’s funny and naughty (not raunchy) with a voice that is just as amazing to hear live as it is on CD.

But for me the best part of the night was when she brought two guys up on stage, presumably to talk about their charity organization. It quickly turned into a marriage proposal which I thought was a beautiful thing, even though gay marriage isn’t legal in this state.

Kristin also took the time to express that she is a NALT Christian. The “engagement” that happened on stage was reportedly her third. And then she went on to explain her position on homosexuals: “I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I was told that being 4′-11″ was a sin. I mean this is the way God made me!” On the Wikipedia article, she’s reportedly described as a “non-judgmental liberal Christian.”

I love Kristin Chenoweth!!

 

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Father Disowns Daughter for Disowning Her Son

This is simply amazing. A man writes a scathing letter to his own daughter after learning she disowned her own son who revealed he is gay. I’m sharing the text of the letter below. Think I will also be adding FCKH8’s website to my links on the side. 🙂

Dear Christine,

I’m disappointed in you as a daughter. You’re correct that we have a “shame in the family”, but mistaken about what it is.

Kicking Chad out of your home simply because he told you he was gay is the real “abomination” here. A parent disowning her child is what goes “against nature.”

The only intelligent thing I heard you saying in all this was that “you didn’t raise your son to be gay.” Of course you didn’t. He was born this way and didn’t choose it any more than he being left-handed. You however, have made a choice of being hurtful, narrow-minded and backward. So, while we are in the business of disowning our children, I think I’ll take this moment to say goodbye to you. I now have a fabulous (as the gays put it) grandson to raise, and I don’t have time for heart-less B-word of a daughter.

If you find your heart, give us a call.

– Dad.

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First Openly Gay Circuit Court Judge Confirmed By Senate

Congratulations to Mr Todd Hughes for making history. Apparently no one opposed his confirmation. In this day and age with so much division in politics, this is a feat unto itself.

WASHINGTON — The Senate made history on Tuesday by voting to confirm Todd Hughes to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Hughes, who was confirmed 98 to 0, is the nation’s first openly gay circuit judge. He has been a deputy director in the civil division of the Justice Department since 2007.

Unlike some of President Barack Obama’s other key judicial nominees — namely those for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals — Hughes cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee with a unanimous vote. With Hughes now confirmed, that leaves 13 judicial nominees awaiting Senate votes: two D.C. Circuit Court nominees and 11 district court nominees.

Many of those nominees will likely sail to confirmation after their votes in the Senate. But Republicans are holding up the votes, allowing them proceed at a pace of about one to two nominees per week, said a senior Democratic aide.

Before Obama came into office, the Senate used to clear the calendar of non-controversial judicial nominees at the end of every work period, said the aide, but Republicans “won’t do that anymore.”

Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), pushed back on the idea that Republicans are holding up anyone. Four of the 13 nominees were only reported out of committee last week, he said, and the others were reported out within two weeks of the August recess.

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Same-Sex Partners Of Federal Employees To Get Equal Benefits Under Bipartisan Bill

Never thought I’d see the word bipartisan used in the same sentence as same-sex partners.

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate is introducing legislation that would ensure that same-sex partners of federal employees — even those in domestic partnerships or civil unions — will receive the same benefits offered to heterosexual spouses.

The Senate version of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act is cosponsored by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Baldwin is the first openly gay lawmaker elected to the Senate, and Collins is one of the few Republicans in Congress who supports legislation barring workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. The House version of the legislation is cosponsored by Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.). Ros-Lehtinen is a vocal advocate in her party for marriage equality.

The bipartisan measure would provide same-sex domestic partners of federal employees benefits open to heterosexual married couples, no matter what state they live in or whether they are able to be legally married in their home state.

Full story

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Labor Dept.: Same-sex spouses have benefit rights

More great news on the work front. 🙂

WASHINGTON (AP) — Legally married same-sex couples enjoy the same federal rights as other married couples when it comes to pensions, 401(k)s, health plans and other employee benefits, even if they live in states that don’t recognize their union, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

The new guidance is the latest effort by the Obama administration to clarify questions left unanswered after the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in June which invalidated part of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. The interpretation is consistent with a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service last month that legally married gay couples can file joint federal tax returns even if they reside in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages.

“This decision represents a historic step toward equality for all American families, and I have directed the department’s agency heads to ensure that they are implementing the decision in a way that provides maximum protection for workers and their families,” said Labor Secretary Thomas Perez.

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Court decides if gay juror can be taken off case

I served on a jury in January of this year. I know both sides do what they can to stack the jury in their favour. It’s part of the legal process. Naturally, both sides are going to want people most likely to rule in their favour, so no matter how unfair this seems, it’s part of our legal system. The reasons given for his removal are all valid reasons. It’s not really fair to either side if you cannot be impartial. And in my opinion, the fact that this juror works for the court system is probably the #1 reason he was removed from the jury. They don’t want anyone who works in the legal system on a jury, no matter how insignificant their job may be. I think they view that as coming close to having a trial between three lawyers – one for the defence, one for the prosecution and one for the jury. The other reasons are probably just supporting reasons.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A multibillion dollar case between two giant pharmaceutical companies grappling over arcane antitrust issues has unexpectedly turned into a gay rights legal imbroglio that raises questions over whether lawyers can bounce potential jurors solely based on their sexual orientation.

The case before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Wednesday centers on whether Abbott Laboratories broke antitrust laws when it increased the price of its popular and vital AIDS drug Norvir by 400 percent in 2007. But broader public attention likely will be given to the three-judge panel’s look at whether Abbott wrongfully removed a juror in the case brought by competitor SmithKlineBeecham.

The cost increase angered many in the gay community. SmithKlineBeecham, meanwhile, claims it was meant to harm the launch of its new AIDS treatment, which requires the use of Norvir. And the company contends “Juror B” was removed simply because he was gay.

“It’s a big deal,” said Vik Amar, University of California, Davis professor. “The headlines from this case are going to be about antitrust law — it will be about sexual orientation in the jury pool.”

Before trials, lawyers for both sides are allowed to use several “preemptory challenges” each to remove someone from the jury pool without legal justification.

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Weir out of Sochi after not registering for season

I’m sad to see that such an outspoken athlete won’t be participating in the Olympics next year, but I know his reasons are valid. I hope he shows support in other ways.

Johnny Weir won’t be going to the Sochi Olympics.

At least, not as a skater.

U.S. Figure Skating confirmed Tuesday that the two-time Olympian did not register for the qualifiers for the national championships, where the Sochi team will be selected. The deadline to register was Sept. 1. The three-time U.S. champion can’t get a free pass to nationals, either. According to U.S. Figure Skating rules, only skaters who placed in the top five at last year’s nationals or who won medals at the most recent Olympics or world championships are eligible for byes.

Weir has not competed since withdrawing from last year’s Rostelecom Cup, his first major event since finishing sixth at the Vancouver Olympics. He did not return a text message asking for comment.

Two other former U.S. champions, Rachael Flatt and Alissa Czisny, are registered for the qualifiers. Flatt, the 2010 U.S. champion, and Czisny, who won in 2009 and 2011, missed last year’s nationals because of injuries. They would have to place in the top four at both their regional and sectional competitions to earn spots at the U.S. championships, which begin Jan. 9 in Boston.

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