Today's Mighty Oak


In June, SCOTUS ruled on the Masterpiece case, handing down a ‘narrow’ ruling.  Basically, they said that how Colorado handled the legal case was in appropriate.

This is still very troubling, and will for sure just open the door and be the first shot across the bow, as it may, The latest tactic against equal rights is the so-called ‘religious liberty’ argument, as we’ve seen with racist house elf Jeff Sessions even putting together a religious liberty commission, specifically to stamp out queer rights.  At the end of the day, this ruling, while narrow, still means that two men were denied service because they’re gay.  But there are larger implications; the court, incorrectly, said that a lawyer for the men was critical of religion, when instead he was critical of what religion was being used to justify (as well as it’s use to justify slavery, segregation and more):

If saying something true, yet critical about religion as an institution is an example of expressing hostility toward religion, then is every comment critical of religion evidence of bias? Are we never allowed to say anything negative about the harms that can be wrought by fundamentalism? It’s now hard to imagine the forces of equality getting a fair hearing if no one can say anything negative about the forces of bigotry when they use religion to justify their hatred.

And of course, the insanity continues.  A GOP lawmaker from South Dakota has said that Masterpiece means business can discriminate based on race.  In good news though, a lower court in Arizona stood by the narrow ruling and refused to allow a a non-discrimination ordinance to be struck down.

We will see more of these, and honestly, I think we are lucky that a larger ruling was prevented due to the technicalities of the legal system.  With a conservative court, without Kennedy, it will only be a matter of time when non-discrimination ordinances are a thing of the past.  As it stands right now, doctors are allowed to refuse to treat patients (for anything, including emergency services) if it conflicts with their ‘deeply held religious beliefs,’ which is why, on all of my race bibs in the emergency information, I have to specify to not be taken to Mercy, the local Catholic hospital.  I have to play the odds, and hope if the worst were to happen and I was already unable to speak for myself, that I could actually get the medical help I need.

All my best,

Mike



Two bits of legality today, one good (but currently probably futile) and one bad.

First the bad.  A jury in South Dakota condemned a man to death because he’s gay.  There’s an additional step in there, but that’s what it comes down to.  A gay man is a convicted murderer, but the jury sentenced him to death because they felt “he would enjoy” life without parole in an all-male prison.

Jurors cited his orientation with disgust and said they didn’t want to send him ‘where he wants to go,’ and the Supreme Court refused to step in to take up an appeal.  Currently (and I just learned this) jury deliberations are kept secret, except when there might be racial bias involved in sentencing.  The same does not apply for sexual orientation or gender expression.

Putting aside the sickening notion of the death penalty, the entire episode is disturbing and vile and quite frankly sickening.

But onto some better, if unlikely to pass legal news: Democrats have put forth a bill to put a federal ban on the ‘gay panic’ defense.

A few states already bar it, but this would ban using ‘gay panic’ as a defense in federal court.  Gay panic, for those unaware, is the idea that someone can be found innocent of a crime (usually murder or the like) if they were hit on by a person of the same sex and they ‘acted out of panic.’  So total bullshit.

Do I think this bill has a chance: no.  But, it’s good to see at least recognition that these things need fixing.

All my best,

Mike



Alright, let’s see what we have today.  First up, I might have actually linked to this before, but did you know that we have a plan in case we ever find Nessie?  Now you do!

If you haven’t seen it already, stop everything you’re doing and watch the new Randy Rainbow song:

There’s going to be a Baby Groot Chia Pet!

The Downton Abbey movie is finally confirmed and moving forward!

Remember all that money Jill Stein raised for a recount, yeah, she’s spending it on her legal defense for her involvement with Russia.  Raise your hand if you’re surprised.  Nobody?  I didn’t think so.

Gay ‘conversion therapy’ is torture.  Full stop.  And there’s a feature film about it and it looks powerful:

Queen Elizabeth II is a master stateswoman.  She greeted the President last month while wearing a brooch given to her by the Obamas.

Speaking of Britain, an artists has created a portrait of Princess Diana using diamond dust and HIV+ blood:

And in infuriating news, the Health and Human Services have removed all LGBT references from the ObamaCare website.  The erasure continues.

Integrity USA celebrates progress made at the General Convention.

And finally, Stranger Things 3 has a great new promo!



Yesterday it was announced that the magazine/journal “Hello Mr.” will publish one final issue before shuttering their doors.

Over and over again, through six years and their soon to be published tenth issue, “Hello Mr.” provided the widest breadth of queer writers and I was always impressed with the quality of the writing.  Combine that with innovative photo spreads and entertaining layout, and it was always something I looked forward to.

From their announcement:

From the start, Hello Mr. was a space to understand each other better through a deeper understanding of ourselves. But I was determined to create something bigger than that. With the support and validation from this community, we built a platform to showcase new stories on a global stage. We may not have “rebranded gay,” but we exposed some flaws in the existing models, and opened the door for queer people to demand more, by showing them how.

Whether you contributed or consumed it, the content we produced, issue after issue, amounted to something truly powerful. I can’t thank you enough for believing in it unconditionally. The world we live in today is a very different place than the one that originally afforded me the space to subvert gay media through a branding exercise. “Marriage can wait” meant something different in 2012 than it does now. After six dedicated years pushing our queer stories forward, I’ve learned a few things about my place in this conversation. When I came out a decade ago, for instance, I could have never imagined that my visibility, the thing I feared most, would become such a powerful form of activism.

It’s certainly a sad day, but also a time to look back on what they were able to produce an where we are now as compared to 2012.  The world has changed, and the world continues to change.  I’m happy to have been along for the ride as a dedicated reader.

Looking back helps move us forward. Decades of various kinds of activism paved a way for me to make the most of the chance I was given. Now, it’s up to you to continue defining the future you want to live in. You already know what’s possible, so trust yourself and manifest that shit already! I’ll be seeing you.

Back issues are available at hellomrmag.com, I’d suggest anyone looking for some amazing writing to check it out.

All my best,

Mike



We’re a third of the way through the month already!  I’ve been enjoying writing every day, and really enjoyed the more free-form blogging over the weekend (as well as the time to work on the site a bit), so I’m certainly glad I’m doing this.  However, if other NaNoWriMo projects are any indication, this is where it starts to get hard!

Anyway, first up today, it’s illegal for the Pride flag to be displayed in Russia.  But these World Cup fans have found a way around that!

The Governor of Maine has vetoed a ban on gay ‘conversion therapy torture.’  No word on if the state legislature will overrule him.

Various LGBT groups have come together to help stop the SCOTUS pick.  If he’s confirmed, we will most likely lose any kind of discrimination protection and will probably lose marriage equality as well (in addition to legal and safe abortion, contraception, voting rights and the list goes on and on).

The trailer for OITNB has arrived:

 



A short one today, dare I say that I’m just about caught up (on one source of blogging)!

First up, some karma: three lions killed rhino poachers.

New York has unveiled the first of a series of LGBT monuments that will be going up around the city.  I’m hoping to see some of them when I’m there in December if I have time!

Currently the only gay male athlete in the five major sports, Collin Martin, got a standing ovation for his entrance into his first game since coming out publicly.

And finally, this amazing quote from one of the survivors of the shooting at the Capital Gazette:

I don’t know what I want right now but I’m gonna need more than a couple days of news coverage and thoughts and prayers. Thanks for your prayers but I couldn’t give a f*ck about them if there’s nothing else,” she told the unfazed CNN host.



Alright, let’s see what we have today, little bit of a video heavy one, but let’s go with it!

For Star Wars Day, Heathrow added flights to destinations in the Star Wars galaxy to their boards.

In good news, Ireland is looking to prosecute practitioners of gay conversion torture.

The trailer for POSE looks so good:

Spoilers for Infinity War, but here’s a great break down of the real villain.

In that vein, want to see if you survived the final events of Infinity War?  Click here.  Spoiler, I didn’t make it.

Also related: straight people shouldn’t write about gay ‘culture’ if they don’t know what they’re talking about.  Bad NYTimes.

The music video for Deadpool 2 is amazing:

It’s a little heavy handed, but good on AIG and the All Blacks for these awesome new jerseys!

Two classic Mega Man games are being re-released….on cartridges!

I ran the marathon a few weeks ago and had a blast!  I talked with the guy filming this, but we didn’t make it in, but still a really cool video!

Required reading: Dan Savage eviscerates a gay republican and it’s so perfect.

Also, conservatives are sad because people don’t like them.  If I wasn’t busy trying to save the world, I still wouldn’t give a shit.

Arrested Development is coming back for season 5, and I’m so, so excited:

That’s it for now (hopefully these video links work, Youtube was acting strange for me), have a great one!



Alright, let’s see what’s been going on.  First up, did you know that Harry Potter makes you more understanding of others?  It’s true!

Joseph Gorden Levitt writes about Star Wars: The Last Jedi (spoilers,obviously).

Like me, do you need a chart to see who owns the rights to which superhero?  Well this chart is handy (but won’t be accurate for long, I’m sure).

Super Mario Bros. in ragtime:

These are really bad times for queer people.  Just recently, the federal government has taken steps to allow doctors to deny services to anyone because they’re part of the LGBT community.

A new study has shown that 40% of LGBT high school students have considered suicide due to bullying because they’re queer.

The majority of people still think it’s okay for businesses to discriminate against queer people.  And the Supreme Court denied an appeal and Mississippi’s law allowing businesses to discriminate is able to stand.

Waste of oxygen and poor excuse for a human being, Mike Pence, will officially lead the US Olympic delegation and openly gay figure skater Adam Rippon is having none of it.

And in other slightly better news, Senator Doug Jones’ son, who is gay, stared down Mike Pence at his father’s swearing in and it made my day.

Here’s the Star Wars Cantina Theme played with pencil and paper, writing out a math equation:

In better news, a new ruling from the International Court of the Americas (didn’t know that was a thing) is bringing marriage equality to a lot of different countries (potentially)

And new year’s resolutions for gay men (and everyone, in some cases).  And speaking of resolutions, Surviving the World has a great coming about them.

Watch a Katana disappear.  Makes me think of the novel, “The 50 Year Sword”

Quite possibly the best thing ever, a T-Rex conducts the Jurassic Park theme music.

Pittsburgh non-profits come out hard against the PG and it’s owner’s racist editorial, published on MLK Day.

And finally, a great little comic about our place in the universe.



Alright, let’s see what we have today.  First up, Mark Hamill pays tribute to Carrie Fisher in a wonderful way.  Joe Manganiello remembers the time she glitter bombed him.

This optical illusion is blowing my mind!

USA Today did not hold any punches when writing an editorial about Drumpf.

Jessica Jones is coming back, and I”m very excited:

We have a new chapter of Harry Potter!  Kind of.  Not really

DeRay McKesson is suing FOX news after being constantly slandered, good for him.

2 Political Junkies has an amazing icon of Darlene Harris, Defender of Faith and and Small, Noncompliant creches.

Did you know Wikipedia has a list of individual dogs?  They’re all very good boys.

A great take on being gay for the holidays:

In horrifying legal news, SCOTUS has declined to hear a case about employment discrimination, leaving a split in circuit court decisions.  This will be the followup to the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.

Also in bad news for us, gay people are more likely to have trouble sleeping.  But some good news, we tend to have happier relationships.

More scientific evidence about why some people are born gay, and the correlation to having older brothers.

That’s it for today, have a great one!



I hope everyone is enjoying their post-Thanksgiving turkey comas.  Let’s see what we have today.  First up, an insane 360-degree water slide.

I’m sure you voted in this last election, and if you live in Allegheny County, you can check out amazing statistics about how everything went (you can drill down to you voting district)

And speaking of voting, need help getting people registered for the so, so important 2018 election?  Indivisible has you covered.

And lastly in politics, this amazing song from Randy Rainbow:

The Player’s Tribune has an awesome article up about the crime of running the Boston Marathon while female.

I’ve talked about it before, but an amazing article from The Good Men Project about straight people trying to make things like National Coming Out Day about themselves, and how hurtful it really is.

And lastly, I just finished it, but here is the trailer for Season 2 of Lady Dynamite.  Maria Bamford is one of my favorite comedians, but she is a very acquired taste:

That’s it for today, I’ll be back with more soon as November wraps up, have a great one!

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