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America, I Live In New York City, I’m Gay, And I’m A “Real American” Too



This land was made for you and me.

I have spent the past few years writing extensively about the GOP, the religious Right, and the fight for civil rights for the lesbian and gay community. I’ve written about the machinations of radical politicians like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, radical hate groups like “Focus On The Family,” and of course, our President. Over the past two weeks, with the “outing” of former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman, some say there’s been a change in the air. (It seems there are a few Republicans who actually do not hate the LGBT community.) This renewed debate has given me even more insight into (and in some cases, contact with,) Republicans.

Republican politicians like Ken Blackwell, Republican hate-group chiefs like Maggie Gallagher, Republican columnists like Don Feder, and countless other right-wing pundits and policy-makers.

And, it seems, one woman, who read a piece I wrote about Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, titled, “Top Republican Wants Americans ‘Scared For Their Country’s Future’.” Via Facebook, she says,

“I am scared for my country David, perhaps in NYC you all enjoy the crazy things happening there. Here in the south, we don’t like the crazy things that are happening; like the Mosque and ‘cultural center’ near GZ. Americans need to be scared, our beloved country is going to the dogs under Obama!

“just read your article and heck yes, we are scared! Scared of Washington giving our country away, scared of behind closed door politics, scared of people who don’t love this country, and people who aren’t PROUD of America (Michelle Obama). I am scared this country continues to go in the wrong direction…away from our beliefs…away from our constitution, away from the laws that have served us well for OVER 200 yrs. Come to MS David, see how the real people live.”

Now, I don’t generally spend a lot of time on the casual Facebook musings of people I don’t know, but this one caught me not for it’s point of view or passion, but for its sincerity.

I truly believe this woman (I don’t think it’s fair to name her. If you need to know who she is contact me,) speaks for many Americans.

But so do I.

She says, “I am scared for my country David…” Of course she is. She is scared because people like Haley Barbour and John Boehner, all her local and national Republican politicians, and their master, Fox News, TOLD her to be scared!

She continues, “perhaps in NYC you all enjoy the crazy things happening there. Here in the south, we don’t like the crazy things that are happening; like the Mosque and ‘cultural center’ near GZ.” And then ends with, “Come to MS David, see how the real people live.”

There you have it. “The real people.” “Real Americans.” “Real Americans” think people in NYC aren’t “Real Americans.” Well, guess what? We are. New Yorkers are the backbone of this country. We move the wheels of the financial industry, the fashion industry, the art world, the entertainment world, museums, even, my Dear “Real Americans,” FOX “News,” which, if you hadn’t noticed, is based right here in little old Midtown Manhattan, right across the street from Radio City Music Hall.

That’s THE Radio City Music Hall, which hosts things like the Tony Awards, that you “Real Americans” love to watch. Oh, and speaking of the Tonys, New York City is home to Broadway, which tourists across the world use as a paragon of live theatre.We’re also home to the New York Yankees, the New York Mets, the New York Knicks, and the New York Rangers.

I, for one, am tired of “Real Americans” telling New York City’s citizens that we’re a great place to visit, but we’re not part of your “Real America.”

Recently, the surviving members of the iconic folk group “Peter, Paul and Mary” (a group, by the way, that was formed right here in New York City,) had to issue a “cease and desist” letter to the National Organization for Marriage, who had been using their song, “This Land Is Your Land,” at their hate rallies. The song, written in 1940 by Woody Guthrie (who grew his career in, yes, New York City,) is perhaps the most-recognized American folk song. No doubt, every “Real American” knows it goes like this:

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

As I went walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me.

I roamed and I rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
While all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
A voice was chanting, As the fog was lifting,
This land was made for you and me.

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

Dear “Real Americans,” did you happen to catch that?

“This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island.”

That’s Manhattan, the center of New York City.

Now, getting back to our Facebook reader, who says, “Here in the south, we don’t like the crazy things that are happening; like the Mosque and ‘cultural center’ near GZ. Americans need to be scared, our beloved country is going to the dogs under Obama!”


Well, Dear “Real Americans,” here in New York City, we don’t like that many of you are applying your hate and bigotry to our issues. New York City is the melting pot of the melting pot that used to be America. Yet, the American melting pot has cooled and separated, and the Republican party is to blame. The 90% white, mostly-highly-religious Republican Party that hates New York City and hates the LGBT community, is no more the face of “the American People” than a dandelion is the face on a grassy knoll.

This land was made for you and me. Not made for you or me. Not made to be intolerant, hateful, war-mongering, fear-mongering, divisive, selfish, or theocratic.

And yet, and contrary to our Facebook reader who claims Michelle Obama is not “PROUD of America,” (I believe the First Lady IS proud of America, by the way,) I am proud of America. I love my country, despite the fact that almost every day its people give me more and more reason to not be. Despite the fact that I’m still a second-class citizen, denied the very rights our worst pop-icons, for example, Bristol Palin, are delivered at birth and flaunt and toy with to the endless delight of the main stream media gossip machines. Despite the fact that there are, yes, 1138 federal rights that a great many, especially those in the Republican Party, want me to continue to be denied.

Yes, America, this land IS your land, and mine. But until we learn to use it and its resources, including its people, wisely, and to respect and honor our differences, it will go down — in flames. The choice, I’m afraid, is yours, AND mine, as well.

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Lindsey Graham Admonished by Senate Ethics Committee



U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been formally admonished by the Senate Ethics Committee for violating ethics rules and standards by repeatedly soliciting campaign donations during an interview at the Capitol.

The bipartisan committee issued Graham a Public Letter of Admonition after the South Carolina Republican solicited donations for Georgia GOP Senate nominee Herschel Walker.

“Based upon all available information, the Committee concluded that on November 30, 2022, you conducted a media interview with Fox News in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building and that your interview was slightly over nine minutes, with over four minutes devoted to a discussion of the 2022 senatorial run-off election in Georgia. The Committee further concluded that during your discussion of the senatorial run-off election, you directly solicited campaign contributions on behalf of Mr. Walker’s campaign committee,, five separate times.”

The letter notes that Sen. Graham had previously violated the same standards when he solicited campaign donations in a federal building in October of 2020, but said it was an “unplanned media interview.” When a reporter had asked him about fundraising, Graham “directly solicited campaign contributions” for his re-election campaign.

READ MORE: Watch: GOP Lawmaker Orders Grieving Parkland Parents Removed From ‘ATF Overreach’ Hearing

The Committee noted “mitigating” circumstances and did not cite him for that violation.

“The public must feel confident that Members use public resources only for official actions in the best interests of the United States, not for partisan political activity,” the letter concludes. “Your actions failed to uphold that standard, resulting in harm to the public trust and confidence in the United States Senate. You are hereby admonished.”

CNN’s Manu Raju posted the letter to social media.

You can read the letter below or at this link.

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Watch: GOP Lawmaker Orders Grieving Parkland Parents Removed From ‘ATF Overreach’ Hearing



U.S. Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX) is being criticized for having the parents of a victim of the Parkland school massacre removed from a GOP-led House committee hearing on “ATF Overreach” after he deemed them “out of order” for remarks they made while a Member was speaking. Minutes later, Capital Police pinned the father to the ground in the hallway and arrested him.

“See this is, exactly what we have to avoid!” Rep. Fallon, chairing the joint hearing, angrily declared as he pointed his finger after the father, Manuel Oliver, made a remark that was inaudible. “Which is some minority of folks trying to silence dissent. Dissent shouldn’t be kryptonite.”

“There’s a decorum that should be adhered to,” Fallon, who recently refused to sign a statement denouncing white supremacy, said as he chastising Oliver.

After another, louder outburst, Fallon mockingly asked, “Is this an insurrection? So will they be held to the same — I don’t want another January 6.”

READ MORE: ‘Unlawful Incursion’: Manhattan DA Schools Jim Jordan for Demanding He Testify in Ongoing Trump Investigation

Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) responded, “If they’re trying to overthrow the government, they oughta be held to the same standard, but I think they’re trying to express their frustrations.”

Angrily again, Rep. Fallon interjected.

“Whoa whoa whoa whoa,” he shouted as he banged the gavel.

“Member’s out of line,” Fallon said (incorrectly. The term is “out of order.”)

Shortly thereafter, Rep. Fallon had both Manuel and Patricia Oliver removed.

ABC News reporter Will Steakin, who was in the hearing, tweeted video and said bot Manuel and Patricia Oliver “appear to leave without resistance… moments later there was a loud thud outside the hearing room and I found Manuel being pinned to the ground by multiple officers.”

“Manuel Oliver, the father of a 17-year-old Parkland shooting victim, was arrested Thursday on Capitol Hill after he appeared to shout at a Republican lawmaker who was speaking during a hearing on gun regulations,” NBC News reports. Patricia Oliver, his wife and the mother of their 17-year old son, Joaquin Oliver, who was one of 17 people who died in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, was not arrested.

READ MORE: ‘National Security Implications’: Former DOJ Official Speculates on Ruling Ordering Trump Attorney to Hand Over Docs

On social media critics expressed anger at Fallon.

“Rep. Pat Fallon (R) thinks parents of slaughtered children should just sit down & shut up as Republicans maintain outrageously dangerous gun laws. He had this parent expelled rather than just giving a warning, which is the usual,” wrote one Twitter user.

“Texas Rep. Pat Fallon: You are the EXACT problem with the gun violence and why it keeps being the leading cause of death in children today,” wrote another.

According to the NIH, gun violence is the leading cause of childhood death.

Still another Twitter user blasted Fallon: “What disgraceful & despicable behavior by Representative Pat Fallon. Exercising your right to free speech is being an insurrectionist? The man lost his son. Have you no compassion? I think he has more than earned the right to be heard by Congress. Such an abuse of power.”

And one called Fallon “feckless.”

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‘Repercussions’: Biden White House Warns Uganda ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill Could Force US to Cancel $950 Million in Annual Aid



The Biden administration may cancel the $950 million in annual assistance the U.S. provides to Uganda if President Yoweri Museveni signs into law its latest “Kill the Gays” bill, which calls for the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” and between ten and 20 years in prison for other LGBTQ “acts.”

National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby on Wednesday made clear if Uganda further criminalizes homosexuality and the LGBTQ community there could be “repercussions that we would have to take.”

“That would be really unfortunate because so much of the economic assistance that we provide Uganda is health assistance,” Admiral Kirby said at a White House press briefing.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also told reporters Wednesday the Biden administration has “grave concerns” over the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA), and “increasing violence targeting LGBTQIA+ persons.”

READ MORE: Florida GOP Lawmaker Who Wrote ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Facing Up to 35 Years After Pleading Guilty in COVID Fraud Case

“If the AHA is signed into law and enacted, it would impinge upon universal human rights, jeopardize progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, deter tourism and invest in Uganda and damage Uganda’s international reputation,” Jean-Pierre warned. “The bill is one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQI+ laws in the world.”

Kirby and Jean-Pierre’s remarks came on the same day as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” legislation, saying it “would undermine fundamental human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”

“The United States provides more than $950 million in aid to Uganda each year, according to the State Department. The money supports development and health care measures, such as combating HIV/AIDS,” Courthouse News reported Wednesday. “Uganda is already among 30 African countries that ban same-sex relations. The new proposal would broaden penalties and appears to be the first to outlaw identifying as LGBTQ+, according to Human Rights Watch.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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