Gay Rights

Gay Rights & Law & Privacy28 May 2008 12:26 pm

If you’re a straight person who thinks that the gay marriage issue isn’t really relevant to you, you should take a moment to consider one thing: The same people that have a big problem with what gay or lesbian people do behind closed doors have just as big a problem with what lots of straight people do behind closed doors.

I’m not talking wild and kinky stuff, like anything other than the missionary position. No, long before the religious right got up in arms about queers, they were trying to stop straight people from having non-procreative sex. And they were so successful that they had succeeded in banning the use of birth control in several states.

In Connecticut, there was a law that said: “Any person who uses any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception shall be fined not less than fifty dollars or imprisoned not less than sixty days nor more than one year or be both fined and imprisoned.” Further, any doctor, pharmacist or other person who “assists, abets, counsels, causes, hires or commands another to commit” the offense could be prosecuted and punished in the same way.

In 1965, in a landmark case called Griswold v. Connecticut, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that there was inherent in the U.S. Constitution a core of rights around which glowed “penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance.”

Although a right of privacy is not explicit in the Constitution, a broader right of privacy exists in the penumbra of rights like freedom of association, quartering of soldiers, prohibition on search and seizure, etc. In the judgment of a 7-2 majority of the court, the right of privacy extended to making decisions about whether or not you could attempt to control whether having sex resulted in reproduction.

On June 7, 2008, the 43rd anniversary of the Griswold decision, the religious right is working to mobilize a nationwide protest called “The Pill Kills Babies.” And just in case you had any question about whether they are talking about the famous “Morning After” pill, the logo on their website — — includes the familiar round pill case containing one month’s dosing of the regular old standard birth control pill.

According to their website, every prevented pregnancy is an abortion, meaning more than 11 million “chemical abortions” occur each year, with more than 324 million “chemical abortions” — nearly the entire US population! — since 1973.

So, in case you think the fight against gay marriage isn’t relevant to you, it’s only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the forces of religious morality have in store for us all.

Please remember that when you talk to your friends and family about what those crazy queers are doing out in California.

Gay Rights & News & Culture27 May 2007 11:35 pm

He was anything but boring. Tony Award-winning actor and 95-time(!) guest on the Tonight Show, Charles Nelson Reilly has passed away at age 76. Quite by coincidence, I’ve spent a lot of this past week watching old episodes of Match Game on the Game Show Network. (This is what happens when Justin goes travelling for a week and leaves me alone to tend the kitties.)

A few months ago, our TiVo happened to capture an episode of Match Game as a “Suggestion” and we watched it and nearly wet ourselves laughing. I remember watching the show as a kid and found it funny then, but now it’s so much funnier.

We’ve set up a Season Pass for it, we always have about 25 episodes queued up and I watch them while cooking or just to pass the time. I would recommend that you try catching a few old shows yourself. It’s worth the effort!

The show is such an amazing artifact; an incredible snapshot of culture from the mid 1970s through the 1980s, from clothing to the who’s who of B-list and C-list stars, to the sometimes bizarre “matches” drawn from the cultural awareness of the day. And to see Charles Nelson Reilly, so obviously gay and yet so incredibly loved by his fellow panelists and the audience so many years ago, he was quite a force for change… and humor.

Goodbye, Charles!

Here’s some YouTube clips for your entertainment.

Gay Rights & News & Culture & Politics & Punditry11 Apr 2006 04:22 pm

Back to my usual Tuesday night, here are tonight’s items from The David Lawrence Show:

Identity Thief Uses iPod

Justice Department Adds Privacy Panel

Iowa House approves prescription database” peace activists, religious groups

Memphis Suburb Deploys GPS to City Vehicles

Update: David wanted me to comment on this outrageous story…
Christians Sue for Right to Ignore School’s Tolerance Policy

Gay Rights & News & Culture28 Mar 2005 12:16 pm

Wonkette talks about a Washington Post profile of Sgt. Brett Parson, head of Washington, DC’s Police Department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit. Wonkette sez: “…he’s our new hero and he should be yours, too.” I couldn’t agree more. Make sure to check out the photos and video clips that accompany the profile to see this extraordinary police officer in action.

Gay Rights & Law & Politics & Religion27 Mar 2005 10:19 pm

This is going to be my only entry discussing the Schiavo disaster. And it is a disaster. It used to be merely a tragic story, but when the religio-political opportunists got involved, it turned into a farce, and then rushed headlong into being a disaster. (more…)

Gay Rights & Personal & Politics01 Mar 2005 10:46 pm

Tonight was my weekly segment on The David Lawrence Show, and we had a fun conversation about today being the first anniversary of Justin and my wedding in San Francisco City Hall, thanks to our hero Mayor Gavin Newsom.