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New York legalizes gay marriage

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Jun 24th, 2011
2011
Jun 24

BREAKING NEWS

An momentous historic night for New York and gay marriage!

 

Source 

 

The Empire State Building celebrates gay marriage. Tonight NYC admits that LGBT couples deserve equal rights! Six states down, forty-four to go!

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Message to gay youth: It gets better…

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Oct 19th, 2010
2010
Oct 19

LGBT

R.I.P. – In memory of the recent suicides due to gay abuse, wear purple

 

 

Billy Lucas (above), a 15-year-old freshman, hung himself after classmates called him a ‘Fag’ one too many times

 

Tomorrow, October 20, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes and at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools. RIP Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase and Billy Lucas. You are loved.

 

Join this event and invite everyone on your friends list. Don’t let their deaths be for nothing. Let it mean something, and let’s do something to change this country for once.

 

Chris Colfer from Glee — It get’s better!

 

 

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Dr. Drew on basic civil rights

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Aug 4th, 2010
2010
Aug 4

LGBT

Dr. Drew: Prop 8 Tramples on Basic Civil Rights

 

 

I am certainly by no means a legal scholar.  Nor do I have any special understanding of American History.  I am an American citizen with a deep appreciation of the brilliantly balanced system our founding fathers created.

 

 

Dr Drew

 

 

There was a reason they set up our system as a republic and not a direct democracy.  The Jacksonian Revolution started us in a direction whereby direct appeal to the people and direct democracy gained a distinct priority in our value system.

 

But never did the founding generations expect that we might see the advent of a system where a simple appeal to a majority could result in any whim the majority might decide to assert.

 

A main concern of the founding fathers was to create a system that was sufficiently balanced and thoughtful so as to buffer against one group exerting its will upon another.  This to them, was nothing other than mob rule. While we retain a distinct preference for the gloss of a direct democracy the fact is we are not and thankfully so.

 

Throughout history democracies have inevitably fractured and failed.  Even the Greeks felt that a democracy was impossible in populations greater than 100,000 members.  Not only are we so much larger but more heterogeneous making this even more treacherous.

 

Alexis De Toqueville, a Frenchman who came to America in the opening decades of the nineteenth century to study Democracy in America, in his objective assessment remained very concerned that our system had a potential to allow for something he called the Tyranny of the Majority.  That is to say he was concerned that merely by being a majority one group could exert its will upon another, even restrict its civil liberties and rights.

 

Unfortunately, the referendum system in the State of California has become the mechanism for actualizing precisely this tyranny. The California Supreme Court determined that the argument against same sex marriage was untenable.

 

The opinion, written by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, cited the Court’s 1948 decision in Perez v. Sharp where the state’s interracial marriage ban was held unconstitutional. It found that “equal respect and dignity” of marriage is a “basic civil right” that cannot be withheld from same-sex couples, that sexual orientation is a protected class like race and gender, and that any classification or discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is subject to strict scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause of the California State Constitution (source: Wikipedia).

 

In other words it was the concerted opinion of the judicial authority that the logic used against interracial marriage was the same as that, which was being used against same sex marriages. In spite of this very clear understanding of the law and the logic of prejudice, the response rendered by the referendum system with the passage of Proposition 8 was: “too bad”.

 

Now my point here is not to get into whether or not gay marriage is good, right or should even be included in the definition of what we consider marriage.  My concern is that the referendum system in California can rescind the civil rights of a minority group, independent of the operation of other governmental authority.

 

Abraham Lincoln famously argued in his debates with Stephen Douglas that there are certain things that the majority simply cannot decide.  We simply could not allow for a majority to decide that it is acceptable to enslave another population of humans no matter how substantial that majority.

 

He famously quipped that “squatter sovereignty’s” right to determine whether or not a state should be free or slave was based on an argument that was thinner that the soup made from the shadow of a pigeon that was starved to death!  And so are the arguments flying about today to justify and legitimate Prop 8 and the Referendum system from which it was unleashed.

 

I ask my fellow citizens to give this careful thought.  The protection against the tyranny of the majority has been an important consideration throughout the history of our government and we have quietly allowed, out of our own ignorance and apathy, a very important threshold to be crossed.  A majority has restricted the basic civil rights of a minority.  Beware, it may be your rights next to be trampled merely because there are enough people who think it should be so.

 

Dr. Drew Pinsky is the host of VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab” and a frequent guest on Larry King Live.

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Target and Best Buy – Make it Right!

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Jul 31st, 2010
2010
Jul 31

LGBT

HRC Message to Target and Best Buy: Make it Right!

 

 

Nation’s Largest LGBT Rights Organization Condemns Political Contributions Supporting Anti-Equality Candidate

 

Washington– The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today condemned donations by Target and Best Buy to a political committee supporting the election of an anti-equality candidate and asked them to make it right by contributing to groups that support pro-equality candidates.

 

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, Minnesota-based retailers Target and Best Buy, among others, contributed a combined $250,000 to MN Forward, an independent expenditure committee advocating for the election of a strident opponent of LGBT equality as the state’s next governor. The same candidate sings the praises of a Christian rock band that advocates violence and death to gays. The state’s next governor will have the opportunity to either sign or veto legislation allowing for marriage equality in the North Star State.

 

“It’s a huge slap in the face to LGBT people and for that matter to all fair-minded Americans,” said Joe Solmonese, HRC president. “Two of our most trusted brands have contributed shareholder money that could help elect a candidate that wants nothing but the worst for us. Both companies talk about this contribution as a business decision. I would offer that it’s a really bad business decision. Both companies have now earned the bad will of LGBT people and fair-minded Americans. They need to make it right.”

 

This afternoon, HRC will send out a national email alert to its members and supporters asking them to sign on to an Open Letter to Target and Best Buy. The letter chronicles the outrage and asks both companies to make equivalent donations to groups that support pro-equality candidates. HRC has also purchased a full page ad featuring the letter in Sunday’s Minneapolis Star Tribune. Corporations mindful of the perceptions of LGBT and allied consumers should take notice of the controversy surrounding these political contributions.

 

Both companies have consistently received a 100 percent rating on the HRC Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, a measure of workplace equality. “What makes this all the more astounding is that both companies have been model employers for LGBT people,” said Solmonese. “They have some fence-mending to do.”

 

 
An Open Letter to Target and Best Buy

When lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender consumers — not to mention our millions of supportive friends and family members — used to think about Target and Best Buy, we saw two shining examples of corporations that respected the equality and dignity of every American. As nationwide retailers, both of your brands gave other corporations a standard to which they could aspire. In fact, your consistent ratings of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index were a solid signal of your commitment to a diverse workforce. As a community, we are grateful for that commitment and we fully expect it will continue.

 

 Now, Americans are questioning their loyalty to your brands with word of significant contributions to the political action committee MN Forward that hopes to install one of the most strident opponents of equality in the Minnesota Governor’s mansion. With these contributions, you have severely damaged those carefully cultivated reputations and violated the spirit of the gold standards bestowed on you. In fact, the long-term effects on families that shop at Target and Best Buy throughout Minnesota and the U.S. will be devastating.

 

 At this critical time in Minnesotans’ quest for equality, MN Forward and the candidates they are supporting would turn Minnesota backward, away from the promise of equal opportunity and fairness that we hold dear. No matter your motivations in making these donations, they didn’t occur in a vacuum. Same-sex couples in your home state are denied the equality given to other couples in marriage and many state leaders are poised to right that inequity very soon. $250,000 in contributions to those who would stand in the way is a punch in the gut to those of us who want to see all families treated fairly. What may have sounded like a “good business decision” in the board room turns out to be a horribly short-sighted business decision when millions of consumers lose respect for your companies.

 

 With the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, the landscape for political contributions has changed in ways that no one fully appreciates yet. Your foray into this uncharted water has proved choppy and should serve as a warning to other corporations mindful of the perceptions of LGBT and allied consumers.

 

 It’s time to make things right. The very least you can do to begin rebuilding your image among fair-minded consumers is to make equivalent donations to groups that support candidates who will put all Minnesota families first and fulfill the promises of our highest ideals.

 

We’re watching and we’re waiting.

 
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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Don’t Fire Dan!

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Jun 27th, 2009
2009
Jun 27
http://www.couragecampaign.org/page/m2/4b660907/1ba811ef/9b397cf/40ba2f19/3702227503/VEsE/

LGBT

Tell the Army not to fire Dan!

 

A letter from Dan Choi:

 

 

On Tuesday, I will face a panel of colonels who will decide whether or not to fire me — to discharge me for “moral and professional dereliction” under the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

 

On Tuesday, I will try to prove that it’s not immoral to tell the truth.

 

As an infantry officer, an Iraq combat veteran and a West Point graduate with a degree in Arabic, I refuse to lie to my commanders. I refuse to lie to my peers. I refuse to lie to my subordinates.

 

My case requires that I provide personal testimony from people who can attest to my character. That’s why several members of my military unit have written letters of support and offered to testify on my behalf.

 

Now I need your help. ANYONE who believes the Army should not fire me can take a stand right now. I am bringing a statement of support to Tuesday’s trial and I need you to add your signature to it. Will you support me by signing this statement before Tuesday?

 

http://www.couragecampaign.org/SupportDan

 

I want to thank the 141,262 people who have signed the “Don’t Fire Dan” letter launched a few weeks ago by the Courage Campaign and CREDO Mobile to President Obama, asking him to take leadership to bring this tragic policy to an end.

 

The momentum is building. This week, 77 members of Congress signed a letter to the President citing my service as an example of why DADT should be repealed. And a Gallup poll was recently released showing that 69 percent of Americans — including 58 percent of Republicans – favor allowing openly gay men and lesbian women to serve their country .

 

As I learned at West Point, deception and lies poison a unit and cripple a fighting force. That’s why more than 70 of my fellow West Point graduates have also come out of the closet to join Knights Out, the organization I co-founded to build support for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.

 

The only way we will eventually overturn “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is by speaking up together. You can help me fight back right now by adding your name to my statement of support. On Tuesday morning, I will bring your signature — and thousands of others — to my trial as a demonstration of your collective support:

 

http://www.couragecampaign.org/SupportDan

 

National security means many things, but the thing that makes us secure in our nation and homes is love. What makes me a better soldier, leader, Christian and human being is love. And I’m not going to hide my love.

 

Love is worth it.

 

Thank you for your support.

 

Daniel W. Choi
1LT, IN
New York Army National Guard

 

On Tuesday at 8 a.m., I will stand trial for speaking three truthful words: “I am gay.”

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Gay Pride Festival

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Jun 12th, 2009
2009
Jun 12

LGBT

Los Angeles Pride Festival

 

 

Christopher Street West is Proud to present LA PRIDE – the 39th annual Los Angeles LGBT PRIDE Celebration taking place in the City of West Hollywood, June 12-14, 2009.

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LA PRIDE FESTIVAL
Saturday June 13 from 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight

Sunday June 14 from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
San Vicente between Santa Monica and Melrose

 

All are invited to come out and show their Pride at one of the most exciting PRIDE Celebrations in the country as Christopher Street West launches their latest three-year vision – “PRIDE 365: Power. Passion. Purpose.” Thousands of festival attendees are expected in the heart of West Hollywood to revel amongst world-class headlining entertainment (previously featured artists include: Olivia Newton John, Joss Stone, Joan Jett and the premiere of the music video “Hollywood” by Madonna). In addition to lively dance pavilions with music spun by some of the hottest DJ’s in the country, a new layout of festival grounds boasts food, drink, socialization, community programming and unique exhibitors, all hosting a diverse spectrum of activities to entice the entire LGBT family. Together, as a united force, the LGBT community has the power to ignite the change it desires to see. The LA PRIDE Festival offers an opportunity for all who gather and be celebrated, entertained, educated and encouraged in finding new ways of generating Pride values for greater equality and social acceptance. Festival admission, inclusive of entertainment venues and dance pavilions, is still just $20 per day — or $15 per day with advance purchase from www.LAPRIDE.org.

 

LA PRIDE PARADE
Sunday June 14, steps off at 11:00 a.m.

& Silent Celebration Sunday June 14 at 12:00 noon
Santa Monica between Crescent Heights and San Vicente

 

 

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Crowds will continue to feel the palpable excitement amid the largest gathering of the LGBT community in Southern California by playing witness to this historical and time-honored tradition. Participants are encouraged to get their place along Santa Monica Blvd. in the City of West Hollywood early as over 400,000 people look forward to this dynamic and crowd-pleasing display of moving community creativity. The Parade steps-off at Crescent Heights and extends past the Grand Bandstand viewing area at the Veterans Triangle on Holloway to its final completion at Robertson Blvd. As part of the parade, there will be a Silent Celebration at exactly 12:00 noon, where for one full minute, all are invited to quietly remember those who are no longer with us, to honor those who cannot be with us today and celebrate those who are oppressed and continue fighting for Pride and the freedom we will achieve.

 

For those who are unable to attend in person, the LA PRIDE Parade Live Broadcast will air on Time Warner Cable Channel 10 in West Hollywood and streamed on the web at LAPRIDE.org/webcast.

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Adam Lambert Comes Out

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Jun 10th, 2009
2009
Jun 10

LGBT

Adam Lambert comes out to Rolling Stone, and a change has come indeed

 

Rolling Stone/Adam Lambert

 

By Ann Powers
Los Angeles Times
June 9, 2009

 

The days of “don’t ask, don’t tell” are over for Adam Lambert. Rolling Stone magazine has posted a preview of the cover story in which Lambert unabashedly confirms his homosexuality, and the excerpts online indicate that, from this day forward, this season’s groundbreaking “Idol” expects the media and his fans to accept him for who he is, with neither scandalized whispers nor rainbow flag-waving rallies of support.

 

Click here to continue reading

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Prop 8 Protest in Hollywood

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on May 27th, 2009
2009
May 27

LGBT

Day of Decision

 

 

By Allan R. Ellenberger
May 27, 2009

 

Here are some photos of last nights peaceful demonstration against the California Supreme Court’s ruling on Proposition 8. The march began in West Hollywood and proceeded to Hollywood and Highland, where I took these photos.

 

prop8-1

 

Prop8 march

 

Prop 8 march

 

 Prop 8 march

  

Prop 8 march

 

Prop 8 march

 

 Prop 8 march

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Is Miss California Being Punished?

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on May 16th, 2009
2009
May 16

COMMENTARY

The Miss California hypocrisy

 

Carrie Prejean

 

By Allan R. Ellenberger
May 16, 2009

 

As most people know who read my blog on a regular basis, I rarely get political. My agenda is to discover the history of anything Hollywood. But the recent Miss USA debacle really ticked me off. So please bear with me while I vent.

 

Everyone knows about Carrie Prejean, the current Miss California, who was asked about gay marriage and the reaction that resulted from her answer. She claims her rights were violated – that her freedom of speech was blocked and she was punished for speaking her mind.

 

Wait a minute, how was her freedom of speech taken away from her and how was she punished? She was asked a question and was allowed to give her opinion. She wasn’t immediately taken off the stage and put on a truck to the nearest concentration camp. Billy Bush (Miss USA host) did not hold her down and brand an “A” on her forehead.

 

She gave her opinion and there was feedback to that opinion. Miss California has to understand that that’s the way it works. Just because she wasn’t pleased with the response does not mean her freedoms were obstructed. There were just as many people who supported her opinion.

 

Personally I don’t care what Miss California thinks about gay marriage or any subject for that matter. But she is entitled to that opinion and to vocally express it, whether I agree with her or not — and I would fight for her right to have that freedom. But people are also entitled to respond to her opinion whether she likes the response or not. What bothers me is the hypocrisy she expressed in the press conference when Donald Trump allowed her to keep her crown. At one point she said:

 

“My grandfather served under General Patton in World War II and is someone I admire greatly. He never spoke about the Battle of the Bulge that he participated in as a rifleman or the honorary medals he received because of his bravery. But he did speak about the freedom he fought for and taught me to never back down and never let anyone take those freedoms away from you.

 

“On April 19, on that stage, I exercised my freedom of speech and I was punished for doing so. This should not happen in America. It undermines the Constitutional rights that my grandfather fought for.”

 

It sounds to me that she is trying to obstruct her opponents freedom of speech. For anyone to disagree or express opposition to her opinion should not happen in America? I don’t think so.

 

Well Miss California, my father also fought in World War II, received medals and fought for my rights. The difference is that on November 4, 2008, my rights were taken away from me.

 

As many of the evangelical right like to practice what I call a “cafeteria” approach to the Bible (where they pick-and-chose what they believe), it seems Miss California likes to do the same with the Constitution. She’s evidently for freedom of speech but not for equal rights.

 

The last time I looked, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution — that her grandfather fought for — said:

 

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

 

It appears she and many others disagree with that section of the Constitution.

 

So Miss California, please stand up and give your opinions on gay marriage or any subject you chose, and do it with my blessings (not that you care). But if someone disagrees with you, stop being a cry-baby and take it on the chin. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the pageant. That is my opinion.

 

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‘Wicked’Hosts Gay Rights Cabaret…

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Jan 8th, 2009
2009
Jan 8

LGBT

Cast of ‘Wicked’ hosts cabaret for gay rights

 

Wicked

 

Lots of people are up in arms about the passing of California’s Proposition 8, and the cast of “Wicked” is no exception.

 

Next Monday,  performers from the four North American  companies of the Broadway musical will host “Defying Inequality,” an evening of cabaret performances benefiting four nonprofits that promote civil rights for gays.

 

The one-night only event will take place in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Louisville.

 

So, why “Wicked”? Well, one of the prevailing themes of the musical is acceptance, and that’s what the gay community is after too.

 

 Get more info on the Los Angeles event.

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