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Equality, Despite Our Differences.



Editor’s Note: David Mailloux is an LGBT activist and an organizer with Join the Impact Massachusetts. He was an organizer for the National Equality March in Washington D.C., and was also part of the coordinating committee for the Maine LGBT Civil Rights March. I’m proud to have co-founded The Great Nationwide Kiss-In with David, and could not have done it without him. David’s first guest post here was, “Dear Crate and Barrel Ultimate Wedding Contest Coordinators: I Have A Dream…

I’ve been choking on the same couple of grains of rice since dinner, which was roughly an hour ago.

Mom and I decided on tempura vegetables and rice for dinner tonight, and we were watching CNN at the same time. Janice Langbehn – the Seattle woman who was forced to sit in the waiting room of a Miami hospital with her adopted children as her partner, and the children’s mother, lay dying in a nearby hospital room – was speaking about President Obama’s recent decision to allow all unmarried partners visitation rights in hospitals. Langbehn was recalling the pain of not being able to say goodbye to Lisa, the love of her life, and my mother was shaking her head with disgust. “That’s just not right,” she said. “There’s no reason that should have happened.”

Then, she turned the conversation around to something I had recently said in my Facebook, that I believed in some freedom in relationships, that I would allow for my partner (if I had one) to kiss another man if I knew he was still coming home to me, that the idea physically excited me sometimes. (And, yes, I sometimes forget that my often socially conservative mother is one of 936 Facebook friends and that she often pays close attention to everything I say on there.) That worried her. She supports full LGBT equality because it means her son and his friends will have a better life, but she worries that supporting marriage equality means supporting ideals in some relationships in which she may not believe.

I wanted to tell her that all marriages have quirks, and that a number of them involve different standards than what the right-wing or Christian-religious folks who support only “traditional” marriages between people of the opposite sex will accept. I wanted to remind her that love arrives in all different forms, that sexuality is a beautiful thing that we need to embrace. I wanted to tell her that supporting full LGBT equality didn’t mean she had to support those differences of opinion she might carry. She could support LGBT equality and love between non-related adults of any gender without supporting the differences. The bottom line was believing that my friends who were same-sex couples and who were partnered and wanted to marry had the right to marry.

Instead, I just choked on a couple of grains of rice that had decided to follow the wrong path to my stomach. I’m not terribly fond of aspirating rice, just so you’re aware, and my body is still telling me that as I write this.

The LGBT community is a microcosm of the rest of the world. We are – based on various studies you might read, from conservative “scientists” to Alfred Kinsey and beyond – anywhere from 10 to 30% of the population. We live a life not so different from everyone else. We are just people who were wired differently from birth. If you take a liberal Christian approach, we were all created by God and he made us this way. The conservative Christian approach suggests we are afflicted with a deviant hedonism that will lead to the downfall of humanity.

In my mind, we’re all just people. I wouldn’t dare jump into your dinnertime debates and challenge your ideals. Please don’t do the same to me. My philosophy, at the end of the day, can be summed up in just a few words: live and let live.

The lead editor of this extraordinary blog that I’ve been following for a year now is David Badash. In a phone conversation earlier this month, somewhere in between discussing boyfriends and love interests and whether or not I should buy an iPhone or a Blackberry (and David B loves his iPhone, so you know), he invited me to be part of this awesome world of his. And I accepted immediately, and he was truly excited. We’d known each other for nearly a year, when I had started my own blog, and we shared a mutual admiration for one another almost from the get-go.

But we’re very different people. He kept going with the blog, and I discussed the volume and occasional audacity of the grassroots. Neither of us has looked back, We press forward with the same passion we had since day one.

While I love him like a brother and we respect each other immensely, we both follow a different path when it comes to activism, the fight for full LGBT equality. His blog and his quiet socializing and strategizing with other brothers in the fight are how he works toward our common goal. Personally, I love to stand in the middle of the street with homemade signs and scream and chant and dance. I have plans to get arrested in the very near future, because I am loud and crass and angry.

We are very different. He has my utmost respect, and I’m pretty certain I have his. I don’t attack him or concern myself with his approach. He doesn’t question me. We know that what we do, every day, still brings us that much closer to our dream.

Live. And let live.

My friends Jonathan and Gregory – two of the dearest people I know – have dinner with politically-minded professional activists from the land of Gay, Inc. (that’s what some of us grassroots folks call the professional organizations who choose dinner parties over getting their hands dirty). Yet, they also adore Robin McGehee, the gorgeous, soft-spoken Mississippi native and mother of two who recently got herself arrested in front of the White House while chaining Lt. Dan Choi to the Obama’s wrought iron fence. They – that’s Jon and Greg, by the way – support whatever it takes to make our equality happen. They believe in the battle, regardless of how we choose to fight. They like Joe Solomonese, the Director of the HRC, as much as they like Robin McGehee.

They believe that we must live and let live.

My mother may disagree with how I express my sexuality sometimes, and Jon & Greg might not ever join me in the middle of the street as I scream at the top of my lungs, and David B may never get arrested alongside me in our struggle, but we all have that love in our hearts and souls and we desperately want a beautiful conclusion to this war in which we’re – passively or actively or somewhere in between – fighting for our lives or the lives of those we love. We all carry a common mindset.

And I look at the conservative Christians who claim the bible tells them something it truly doesn’t, but I can’t tell them differently. And I try to look into the eyes of the politicians who know, deep in their hearts, that supporting us is the right thing to do, but fear the wrath of their constituents when the ballot boxes are looking to be stuffed with their realities in November. And I pray to the journalists and the talking heads on CNN and the political pundits who occupy low-backed chairs and whose makeup melts among the bright lights of a studio elsewhere in the mediasphere. I want to believe that those among the intelligentsia are all thinking the same thing, and that they somehow make those beliefs known to the millions of hungry consumers throughout our great country.

We can all respect one another, despite our differences. I don’t have to agree with you and you don’t have to agree with me. But all I’m asking, as the great Aretha once wailed in soulful and musical desperation, is for a little respect. I will respect you. I will always give you that which you believe. I just want you to let me live my life.

Let me live the way God created me, just as everyone has let you live the way God created you. There is enough room in this world for both conservative Christian beliefs, and fluid sexuality, not to mention everything in between. There is room for chicken piccata and Armani, as well as torn jeans and hoarse screams on street corners – and everything else in between.

I am not saying we all have to get along. I am asking that you just let me live. That’s all I want.

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‘I Feel a Little Bit Dumber for What You Say’: The Nine Worst Moments of the GOP Presidential Debate



The second Republican presidential debate was mired in in-fighting and personal attacks by the candidates,  a vow to wage physical war against Mexico, hate against LGBTQ people, an insistence the U.S. Constitution doesn’t actually mean what the words on the page say, and a fight over curtains.

Here are nine of the worst moments from Wednesday night’s debate.

The debate itself got off to a rough start right from the beginning.

Multiple times candidate cross-talk made it impossible for anyone to make a point, like this moment when nearly half the candidates talked over each other during a nearly two minute segment as the moderators struggled to take control.

READ MORE: ‘I Don’t Think So’: As GOP Debate Kicks Off Trump Teases Out the Chances of Any Candidate Becoming His Running Mate

Vivek Ramasway got into a heated argument with Nikki Haley, leading the former Trump UN Ambassador to tell him, “Honestly, every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber for what you say.”

Ramaswamy launched an attack on transgender children.

Moments after Ramaswamy attacked transgender children, so did Mike Pence, calling supporting transgender children’s rights “crazy.”

He promised “a federal ban on transgender chemical or surgical surgery anywhere in the country,” and said: “We’ve got to protect our kids from this radical gender ideology agenda.”

Former New Jersey Governor Cris Christie described the First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, who has dedicated her life to teaching, as the person President Biden is “sleeping with.”

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, as CNN’s Manu Raju noted were “one-time allies,” after “Haley appointed Scott to his Senate seat,” until they started “going at it at [the] debate.”

“Talk about someone who has never seen a federal dollar she doesn’t like,” Scott charged. “Bring it, Tim,” Haley replied before they got into a fight about curtains.

Senator Scott declared, “Black families survived slavery, we survived poll taxes and literacy tests, we survived discrimination being woven into the laws of our country. What was hard to survive was [President] Johnson’s Great Society, where they decided to take the Black father out of the household to get a check in the mail.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, currently leading over everyone on stage, said practically nothing for the first 15 minutes. He may have said the least of all the candidates on stage Wednesday night. But he denounced Donald Trump for being “missing in action.”

Watch all the videos above or at this link.




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‘I Don’t Think So’: As GOP Debate Kicks Off Trump Teases Out the Chances of Any Candidate Becoming His Running Mate



Donald Trump, again refusing to participate in a GOP debate, teased out the fate of every candidate on stage Wednesday night: he will choose none of them as his vice presidential running mate.

The ex-president who is facing 91 felony charges in four criminal cases across three jurisdictions and is now also facing the dissolution of his business empire, brought up the running mate question around the same time the debate on Fox News was kicking off.

“It’s all over television, this speech,” Trump falsely claimed, referring to his live remarks at a non-union shop one day after President Joe Biden stood on the picket line with UAW workers.

READ MORE: ‘Apparently You’ll Never Believe Us’: House Republican Melts Down After Reporter Questions His ‘Evidence’ Against Biden

“You know, we’re competing with the job candidates,” Trump said, mocking his fellow Republican presidential candidates after he scheduled an event opposite the debate he refused to attend.

“They’re all running for a job,” he continued, as the audience began to boo.

“They want to be in the, they’ll do anything,” he continued. “Secretary of something.”

“They even say VP, I don’t know,” Trump said. “Does anybody see any VP in the group? I don’t think so.”

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Careening’ Toward ‘Risk of Political Violence’: Experts Sound Alarm After Trump Floats Executing His Former General


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‘Apparently You’ll Never Believe Us’: House Republican Melts Down After Reporter Questions His ‘Evidence’ Against Biden



Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) became defensive and accusatory after repeatedly being unable to answer a reporter’s questions in a press conference Wednesday, held to announce what House Republicans claim is “evidence” against President Joe Biden.

A shortened version of the video posted by the news organization Heartland Signal went viral, garnering nearly one million views in under three hours on the social media platform X.

“Mr. Chairman, question about the timing of all of this,” began an NBC News reporter identified by Mediaite as Ryan Nobles. “You’re talking about a two-tiered system of justice. If I’m not mistaken, on August 7, 2020 Bill Barr was the attorney general and Donald Trump was the president, so explain to me where the two-tiered system of justice comes into play. And then the WhatsApp message you have, I believe, is dated June 6, 2017. Joe Biden is not vice president or even a candidate for president at that time. So where is the direct connection to some sort of criminal malfeasance within these two pieces of evidence?”

RELATED: ‘Everybody Has Seen That’: Fox News Host Smacks Down Republican Pushing Biden ‘Burismo’ Video People ‘Not Talking About’

Chairman Smith could not only not answer any part of those questions, he appeared to forget a portion of them.

“Well, I think the facts speak for themselves,” Smith replied. “There’s over 700 pages of examples of, where people should be very concerned, when you’re talking about um, ah, – what was your first question?”

Smith went on to say, “It doesn’t matter who’s in the White House,” after being reminded them President at that time was Donald Trump. “We need to make sure that the Department of Justice works for all people and doesn’t treat those who are politically connected or wealthy much differently. And unfortunately, we have several examples that came forward by the two IRS whistleblowers, that proves that people are treated differently because they’re politically connected.”

“Are you suggesting that Joe Biden being the president now, is unfairly treating Donald Trump in his indictment?” Nobles asked.

Again, Smith did not answer the question.

“What I’m talking about is the 700 pages that we have before us, which is all the information that came from the IRS whistleblowers, and that’s what we’re releasing right now,” Smith replied, again not answering Nobles’ question. “And I’ll tell you, I would encourage everyone in this room to look at those 700 pages. If you think it’s okay, with what’s in it, then we live on two different planets.”

RELATED: ‘You F**ked Me – I Know It Was You’: Top House Republican ‘Exploded’ at McCarthy After Losing Chairmanship

“Can you explain the timing of the August 6 WhatsApp message? Why is that evidence of some wrongdoing?” Nobles continued..

“I’m not an expert on the timeline,” Smith admitted, before pivoting to say, “I would love to have President Biden and his family to tell us about all the timelines, because it’s really, really unfortunate that we see so many meetings and so many phone calls that involved around official activity that the Vice President has been participating in, and then big sums of money follows later –”

“But he’s not the president or the vice president at that time. Where, where’s the wrongdoing? He wasn’t even a candidate for president,” Nobles pointed out.

“He was a candidate – ” Smith claimed.

“On August 6 –” Nobles began before Smith interrupted him.

“So apparently apparent – what source are you with?” Chairman Smith asked Noble.

“I’m with NBC,” the reporter replied.

“So apparently, you’ll never believe us,” Smith charged.

“I’m asking you a very direct question,” Nobles explained. “You presented a piece of evidence that you say came on August 6, 2017, that demonstrates that Joe Biden was using political influence to help his son. He wasn’t a political figure at that time. The first WhatsApp message you put up, where yo talk about the brand,” Nobles explained. “I’m completely open minded about this. I’m asking you specifically, how does that demonstrate that there was some sort of political influence being put over him, if at that time, he is not a political – he’s not an elected official?”

“I’m definitely not going to pinpoint one item,” Chairman Smith said defensively.

READ MORE: ‘Jaw Dropping’: Democratic Senator Slams Tuberville’s ‘Open’ Talk About ‘White Supremacy’

“You presented it!” Nobles acclaimed. “It was the first thing that you brought up.”

“So apparently, you don’t agree with that. So report that you disagree with it. I’ll take the next question. Yes?” Smith said, refusing to answer any of Nobles’ questions.

Watch below or at this link.


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