Archive for May, 2008

The Picture You’ve All Been Waiting For…

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Here’s my Pick-a-Little hat for The Music Man.


I realize you can’t actually see the hat under there, but it will be firmly secured to my head on Friday night. The show runs June 6-15 (Friday through Sunday the first weekend; Thursday through Sunday the second weekend). It’s a silly, fluffy show full of fun and familiar music and great dancing. If you’d like tickets, click here.

Del, I’m guessing this hat would not be suitable for a funeral. :)

Get Your Gay On, Larry

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Kyle Whitmire at the Birmingham Weekly takes issue with Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford’s assertion that sexual orientation is a “personal lifestyle choice”, one he doesn’t condone. The Mayor has refused to sign a proclamation recognizing the annual Central Alabama Pride celebration, and he won’t let CAP hang banners in Southside for the parade. He’s thrown down the gauntlet to the LGBT community and its allies, and Kyle has kindly picked it up and made a counter-challenge. Go read it.

I won’t give anything away here, except to say that a certain exceedingly homophobic staffer will not be happy.

Oh, and this may be the best graphic EVER:


I just can’t help myself

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

…and this is a society and glamour blog, after all.

Ladies: when you are selecting attire for a funeral, use a little judgement. Just because a dress is black does not mean it is the one you should put on. Some black dresses say “mourning,” and others say “let’s drink dry martinis and then have sex afterwards in your penthouse apartment.” Listen carefully to hear what your dress is trying to say.

Yes, the breast can remind us of life and renewal, and yours are very perky and attractive. But for God’s sake, cover up! Plus, if they crank up the AC, which they very well might because Father has to wear all those heavy robes and he’s the one who controls the thermostat, you’re gonna be chilly.

And while you’re at it, lose the four-inch heels, too.

Thank you. That is all.

NY Governor Directs State to Honor Out-of-State Same Sex Marriages

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

New York Governor David Paterson has directed all state agencies to recognize same sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions.

In a directive issued on May 14, the governor’s legal counsel, David Nocenti, instructed the agencies that gay couples married elsewhere “should be afforded the same recognition as any other legally performed union.”

The revisions are most likely to involve as many as 1,300 statutes and regulations in New York governing everything from joint filing of income tax returns to transferring fishing licenses between spouses.

…The directive is the strongest signal yet that Mr. Paterson, who developed strong ties to the gay community as a legislator, plans to push aggressively to legalize same-sex unions as governor. His predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, introduced a bill last year that would have legalized gay marriage, but even as he submitted it, doubted that it would pass. The Democratic-dominated Assembly passed the measure, but the Republican-led Senate has refused to call a vote on it.

Short of an act by the Legislature, the directive ordered by Mr. Paterson is the one of the strongest statements a state can make in favor of gay unions.

“Basically we’ve done everything we can do on marriage legislatively at this point,” said Sean Patrick Maloney, a senior adviser to Mr. Paterson. “But there are tools in our tool kit on the executive side, and this is one.”

Equality — it has a nice ring to it. Kudos to Gov. Paterson.

via The Albany Project, with a tip of the hat to mooncat at Left In Alabama

The Supremes rule in favor of Riley

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Remember all the flap about Riley’s appointment to the Mobile County Commission when Sam Jones, one of its three members, was elected mayor? Well, it finally wended its way up to the Supreme Court, and they just now ruled in favor of Riley. I have posted about this before on the Blues (here and here) and also on Thomason Tracts, offering my opinion that this is about a Larger Issue than who represents District One on the Mobile County Commission: this is about systematically weakening the Voting Rights Act. (I wish I actually knew anything about law and could expound on this brilliant theory.)

Aside from the VRA, however, I hope that this is not about re-installing Juan Chastang on the County Commission. I may be forced to organize a rally, or petition drive, or something. He is just not fit to do the job. It’s sad, y’all. “The practical impact of today’s decision was not clear,” says the Mullet Wrap Register. Yikes. And yikes for you in Birmingham, facing a similar situation – what does this mean legally for that appointee?

EDIT: I found this “PrawfsBlawg” entry from a little over a month ago in which Real Lawyers and Teachers of Law are discussing the Mobile case. (The last commenter predicts what actually happened – a 7-2 ruling in favor of Riley.) Here’s the last sentence of the post: [The] lack of any big picture of social justice in appellants’ oral argument or briefs illustrates a tragic trivialization of modern voting rights litigation. I agree. Grasping at any tool they could find to overturn Riley’s appointment (and with good reason – Juan Chastang!) the Mobile crew misused, in my opinion, the Voting Rights Act. Now they’ve gone and lost, and possibly given strength or even ammunition to those who would like to retire the VRA altogether.  And all that state money wasted.

An Apology

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

A couple of days ago I wote a post I called “Worst Person in the World” in reference to Keith Olbermann’s response to Senator Clinton’s reference to Robert Kennedy’s death in June of 1968. I compared Olbermann’s criticism of Senator Clinton over that reference in a very unfavorable light to a comment he had made several weeks earlier calling for Senator Clinton to be locked in a closet.

While I appreciate that no commenters I have called me out on the insensitivity of the post, I have deleted it. (And I want to acknowledge Katharine’s  and bhmhomeboy’s disagreement with me and appreciate their positive candor in disagreeing with me on the issues that the post attempted to address.)

However, there is a much bigger issue involved here than my unfavorable opinion of Keith Olbermann. The wonderful Melissa McEwan at Shakesville yesterday referred her readers to a very thoughtful post about Senator Clinton’s comments from an African American man. And I read the post and several others from persons of color and realized that the reference to assassination in the context of Senator Obama’s candidacy is something that I could not appreciate from my position of white privilege. And I do not want there to be any doubt that I want to be sensitive to issues of race. I apologize without qualification if my post sounded like a white guy who doesn’t care if Senator Obama is put in danger. I did not intend to imply that in any way. (Nor do I think Senator Clinton had similar intent. But I can only speak for me.)

I reject completely any racism toward Senator Obama or any other candidate or person of color. I reject completely any sexism directed toward Senator Clinton or any other woman, candidate or otherwise. I reject completely any homophobia toward any person, candidate or otherwise. Period. End of conversation.




Memorial Day

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Please take some time today to remember the families of our service members who have died. We’re all grateful for their service, and for those who continue to put their lives on the line every day.

Enjoy the holiday!

Official Word

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

UPDATE 2:  So much for the city’s inclusion resolution.  Langford’s bigotry trumps it.

UPDATE: the Birmingham News report. Thanks to Robin in comments.

Official word from Rep. Todd: Mayor Langford did not say he would deny a parade permit. He will leave the approval process to the police department. This can be a great educational opportunity for the community.

And, I might add, the mayor. No word yet on whether he’ll reverse himself regarding the proclamation and the banners.

(I’m in the middle of Music Man rehearsal, so I’m getting information on the fly. Please leave updates in comments if you hear anything.)

Langford Reverses Himself?

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

I’m hearing that Rep. Patricia Todd has spoken with Mayor Langford and he’s reversed himself re: the Pride parade permit. Hoping for confirmation ASAP.

ETA:  Also see Joe’s take at Bessemer Opinions.  I’m with him — if there’s no permit, hold the parade elsewhere.  And, I’d add, any of the events that would bring tax money into Birmingham’s coffers.

Langford: No Pride Proclamation or Banners

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

UPDATE:  Per the Birmingham News, Larry says he’ll deny a parade permit as well.  Does he have the authority to do that?  He says it’s not about discrimination, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

I hope he gets his ass sued off.


Birmingham mayor Larry Langford has denied a request from Central Alabama Pride for a proclamation recognizing Gay Pride Week in Birmingham. He has also refused to allow CAP to hang banners in Southside to commemorate the 20th annual Pride parade. Below is the text of the email sent in response to the CAP Board’s inquiry:

I have received your request for a proclamation celebrating Gay Pride Week. While I do not personally ascribe to any form of discrimination, I believe it is not the role of local governments to condone, endorse or support the personal lifestyle choices of its citizens.

Therefore, I respectfully deny your request for a city-issued proclamation as well as the posting of banners on city right-of-ways for such event.

Larry P. Langford

“While I do not personally ascribe to any form of discrimination, I believe it is not the role of local governments to condone, endorse or support the personal lifestyle choices of its citizens.

Oh please. If the first part of that sentence were true, the Mayor would never have written the second part. Here’s a clue, Larry: sexual orientation and gender identity are NOT LIFESTYLE CHOICES. And refusing to allow Pride banners on city streets IS discrimination.

Funny how Larry thinks it’s just fine to force the local government to condone, endorse, and support his peculiar version of Christianity, as evidenced by his sackcloth and ashes event (to which he invited homophobic Bishop Eddie Long) and weekly Bible study for city employees.

Nephew Zach, who tipped me on this story, says this at Sweet Homo Alabama:

The proclamation has usually been issued by the mayor’s office each year to be printed in the guide handed out to pride participants. Each year the Pride Parade marches through the center of Five Points South, a commercial square in downtown. The parade route is usually decorated with gay pride flags and banners. Not so this year, according to the mayor. Langford also denied the pride board’s request to hang the banners this year. CAP board President Jonathan Quinn said that the organization is moving forward cautiously. “The pride board is meeting with the mayor and then moving forward,” Quinn said.

CAP is awaiting approval of its parade permit. The Birmingham News is expected to run this story tomorrow. Perhaps citizen outcry will have an effect on His Majesty Honor the Mayor, but I’m not holding my breath.