Thursday, June 16, 2011

2011 Netroots Nation LGBT Netroots Connect - Immigration Reform

From CarlosDC:

The 2011 Netroots Nation LGBT Netroots Connect pre-convention was a success and the biggest ever. I have attended two previous meetings before but I think this year was the most meaningful and participative I have seeing so far. There were many new faces, awesome ideas, dialogues and testimonies.

This video is a bit long but worth watching

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Live Chat on New York Marriage Battle with Assemblyman Danny O'Donnell

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Bloomberg hopeful about marriage bill and other Thursday midday news briefs

All of the introductions at yesterday's 2011 Netroots Nation LGBT Netroots Connect. I come in at 16:50 and the back of my neck needs a diet.

NYC Mayor Bloomberg's Discusses Meeting with GOP Senators About Marriage Equality Bill: VIDEO, REMARKS - My guess is that they will vote on this bill. It will be interesting.

Survey: 3 out of 3 anti-equality groups want you to think equal marriage is unpopular - A group which compares homosexuality to bestiality comes out with a poll about marriage equality. One guess what THAT poll says.

Saunders: I'm Not Homophobic, I'm Homoskeptic
- No. you are hetero-idiotic

And if I can get it together right, join me here as I crosspost with Americablog who hosting a live chat at 6 PM ET/5 PM CT with NY Assemblyman Danny O'Donnell. He sponsored the marriage bill in the Assembly, which passed last night.

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Day 2 of Netroots Nation - Lovely chaos

When I stepped out of my hotel room. I had my outfit together and Bon Jovi's Wanted: Dead or Alive  blasting on my ipod as I walked confidently with my computer strapped to my side.

Ten minutes later, my forehead was covered with sweat as I stood wearily in the middle of a crowd while awaiting my registration.

I was in the midst of mad fun. Yesterday's lgbt conference was merely cocktail canape compared to today on until Sunday as Netroots Nation officially started. I mingled with all sorts of folks from the NEA, AFL-CIO, The It Gets Better Project, and the assorted progressive organizations and bloggers.

Best of all was the fact that I finally met Joe Sudbay of Americablog, a very early supporter of my blog.

And of course there were the awkward moments.

During a session on Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the Dream Act, I ran into MSNBC report Dave Weigel. Well not exactly ran into, but rather stared intently at while he sat six seats away from me (yes I counted) typing away.

But I did enjoy the panel discussion on DADT/the Dream Act. A lot of it was about how proponents of the two piece of legislation banded together against a not very receptive president and Congress.

As we all know, DADT was repealed and the Dream Act failed (for now). History will give the Obama Administration credit for the repeal of DADT but very few know the hard work it took to get the president and the Democrats to even push this through a lame duck Congress.

If history was truly correct, the activists behind the scenes with their protests, tears, and hopes would get as much credit  in getting good legislation passed as the lawmakers voting on the issue.

That being said, the cynic in me would hope that folks be careful in terms of how they rip Obama. I love Obama as president, but sometimes I think that some on our side are afraid to sometimes think of him as a means to an end. As president, unfortunately, that is exactly what he is.

I would sincerely hope that folks did not think that things would automatically get better when Obama was elected or that he would do the right thing. Neither idea is realistic.

Getting someone in office who will look kindly on our issues is only a smidgen of the work. When that person is in office, it's up to us to light a fire under his ass to get him to do what he is supposed to do.

The key is keeping that fire from burning him or us.

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Why the religious right fear same-sex families

To hear the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council, and the rest of the religious right tell it, lgbts are selfish people who want to destroy the "time-honored" institution of family for their own purposes.

It's a vindictive, hateful, but at times, effective meme which dehumanizes the lgbt community, and especially our families. As Equality Matters points out, this meme is a lie in the face of a stark reality that more lgbts are adopting children

Adoptions by gay and lesbian couples are on the rise across the U.S., despite significant legal obstacles that leave many of these couples and their families unprotected. A June 13 New York Times article reports that, according to new census data, a growing number of same-sex couples are starting families even if they can’t legally marry:
Same-sex couples are explicitly prohibited from adopting in only two states -- Utah and Mississippi -- but they face significant legal hurdles in about half of all other states, particularly because they cannot legally marry in those states.
Despite this legal patchwork, the percentage of same-sex parents with adopted children has risen sharply. About 19 percent of same-sex couples raising children reported having an adopted child in the house in 2009, up from just 8 percent in 2000, according to Gary Gates, a demographer at the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law at the University of California, Los Angeles.
The trend line is absolutely straight up,” said Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a nonprofit organization working to change adoption policy and practice. “It’s now a reality on the ground.” [emphasis added]

Equality Matters then compares these facts to the statements made by several religious right figures:

Maggie Gallagher, chairwoman of the National Organization for Marriage:
Marriage is our most basic social institution for protecting children. Same-sex marriage amounts to a vast social experiment on children. Rewriting the basic rules of marriage puts all children, not just the children in unisex unions, at risk. [, 1/8/04, emphasis added]

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council:
[I]t is the powerful dynamic of a mother, father, and children that creates those bonds of family that form the bedrock of all societies and provide the best environment for raising children—as social science has clearly demonstrated. Children need both a mom and a dad, not just two adults. These are compelling, scientific reasons to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. They expose the arguments of same-sex advocates as self-serving talking points with no basis in human nature and American history. [U.S. News & World Report3/14/11, emphasis added]

An Alliance Defense Fund brief on the “specific harms” of same-sex marriage:
Who is not necessary to raise a child: the father or the mother? The significant social programs that President Obama decries in the inner city come from children lacking fathers. They are living out the full consequences of the norm that “personal sexual fulfillment is the ultimate goal for each individual.” [ADF Brief, accessed 6/14/11]

 My guess is that you probably won't hear a word about this New York Times article from members of the religious right. And this would be odd. Usually when something pro-gay comes out in the press, one can always count on FRC or NOM to make a statement attempting to delegitimize said article.

But not this time.

While the religious right smears the lgbt community with impunity but they fear actually talking about lgbt families because they know that any mention of these entities destroys all of their myths of the selfish, hedonistic homosexual.

And exposes them for the mean-spirited homophobes they are.

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