Saturday, February 26, 2011

Postcards from Dupont Circle

Dupont Circle was the place to gather on Saturday, Feb. 26, to protest Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to curtail state employees' benefits and collective bargaining rights, a bill that would eliminate Planned Parenthood's federal funding and the ongoing human rights abuses in the Middle East and North Africa.

There was also a handful or protesters outside the Iraqi embassy on P Street, NW.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Is Obama's DOMA announcement a game changer?

Is the Obama administration's decision to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court a game changer?

Hours after the White House made its announcement, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed his state's civil unions bill into law. The Maryland State Senate is poised to vote on a marriage equality bill later today. Rhode Island lawmakers continue to debate a similar measure, while Republican legislators in New Hampshire have introduced two bills that would repeal marriage for gays and lesbians in the Granite State.

Obama's announcement certainly amounts to a game changer in the battle to secure marriage for same-sex couples. As I blogged yesterday, however, the fight for marriage equality in the United States is far from over.

Boy in Bushwick appears on "The Brian Lehrer Show" to discuss the administration's DOMA decision and its implications for same-sex couples.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Obama administration will no longer defend DOMA

LGBT organizations are obviously applauding the Obama administration's announcement it will no longer defend a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, but it is important to note same-sex couples in New York and 44 other states continue to wait for the opportunity to legally tie the knot.

Maryland lawmakers are poised to pass a marriage bill by the end of this week, while New Hampshire Republicans have introduced two measures that seek to repeal nuptials for gays and lesbians in the Granite State. Obama's announcement is a very welcome development. The struggle for marriage equality in the United States, however, is far from over.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Confessions of a Washington snowstorm virgin

Smowmageddon it was not, but the roughly half an inch of snow and sleet that fell in Washington, D.C., late last night and early this morning caused slippery roads, delayed schools and prompted fears of another hellacious commute.

Snowstorms have become an unfortunate part of life this winter, but I confess I was somewhat excited to experience my first Washington snowstorm. The .4" that fell at Reagan National Airport hardly qualifies as a serious snowfall to anyone born north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Watching Washingtonians stress over the mere prospect of a moderate snowfall, however, is simply priceless.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Postcards from Washington

It was a beautiful afternoon on the National Mall yesterday. Temperatures were near 50 degrees, the winds that toppled the National Christmas Tree slackened and thousands of visitors and locals alike took advantage of the seasonably mild weather.

Here are two pictures--one of two teepees outside the National Museum of the American Indian's entrance on Independence Avenue with the U.S. Capitol in the background and another of a public art installation on the National Mall--from our afternoon outing.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Maggie goes to Concord

The National Organization for Marriage's Maggie Gallagher was among those who testified before the New Hampshire House’s Judiciary Committee today in support of two bills that would repeal the state’s marriage equality law.

One source described the NOM lightning rod in particularly unflattering terms as he described today’s proceedings in Concord, but it is important to note hundreds of marriage equality advocates also turned out for the hearing. I would also like to add my mother, who lives in Manchester, to the discussion. Don’t politicians have anything better to do than to stop someone from getting married? Sometimes mothers definitely know best!

The view from Jefferson Street

Taken around 8:30 a.m.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day, now let us get married!

Valentine's Day is arguably the perfect day to highlight the lack of marriage equality in New York, and Rob Lassegue and José Manuel Reyes did just that when they unsuccessfully tried to apply for a marriage license at New York City's Marriage Bureau on Monday, Feb. 14.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The view from Jefferson Street

Taken from my bedroom window around 12:15 p.m. The snow that remains on the ground here in Bushwick could very well be gone by the end of the week.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ugandan bishop describes gay activist's murder as "tragic and cruel"

In an open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury and other Anglican leaders, retired Bishop Christopher Senyonjo described Ugandan gay activist David Kato's murder as "tragic and cruel."

Senyonjo, who opened St. Paul’s Centre for Equality and Reconciliation in Kampala after he retired as bishop of West Buganda a decade ago, urged Rowan Williams and his fellow bishops to do more to combat homophobia, anti-LGBT discrimination and violence.

"A loving Anglican Communion should not keep quiet when the Rolling Stone tabloid in Uganda openly supports the “hanging of the homos,” including a fellow bishop who pleads for their inclusion and non-discrimination" wrote Senyonjo. "Silence has the power to kill. We have witnessed its destruction this past week in the tragic and cruel murder of David Kato."

Senyonjo's statement comes nearly a week after New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and others held vigil for Kato near the United Nations. Roughly 50 people protested outside the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Feb. 3, to draw attention to what they describe as The Fellowship's connection to supporters of a Uganda bill that would impose the death penalty upon anyone found guilty of repeated same-sex acts.

Congressmembers Barney Frank [D-Mass.], Tammy Baldwin [D-Wis.], David Cicilline [D-R.I.], Jared Polis [D-Colo.] and Donald Payne [D-N.J.] are scheduled to conduct a hearing on Capitol Hill on Friday, Feb. 11, about anti-LGBT violence in Uganda.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Alphonso David addresses N.Y. marriage equality activists

Will marriage equality come to New York in 2011?

Will marriage equality become a reality in New York this year?

Nuptials for gays and lesbians in 2011 in the Empire State is certainly not a slam dunk, but perhaps this blogger and activists will have a somewhat clearer picture of what could potentially come after today's Marriage Equality Day in Albany.

Stay tuned...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Anti-Mubarak protesters demonstrate in front of White House

Hundreds of protesters demonstrated in front of the White House on Saturday, Feb. 5, to urge Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to resign. Amnesty International was among the organizations that organized the protest.

Friday, February 4, 2011

New Yorkers hold vigil for murdered Ugandan gay activist

Hours after LGBT activists protested outside the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., New Yorkers held vigil for murdered Ugandan gay activist David Kato near the United Nations.

Bill Alatriste sent Boy in Bushwick these shots of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, City Councilmember Daniel Dromm [D-Jackson Heights] and others who took part.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

LGBT Washingtonians protest National Prayer Breakfast

Calling attention to what they describe as The Fellowship's connections to homophobic measures and anti-gay violence in Uganda, dozens of LGBT Washingtonians and others protested outside the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, Feb. 3.

Parliamentarian David Bahati's so-called Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which would impose the death penalty upon those found guilty of repeated same-sex sexual acts, remains on the table. And the protest also came less than two weeks after Ugandan gay activist David Kato was murdered in his Kampala home.

Here are some images and a clip from this morning's protest.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ice Ice Baby in Bushwick

Here we go again!

Ice has coated the trees behind my building here on Jefferson Street, but it appears as though the worst will pass to the north of Brooklyn. That said, however, Ice Ice Baby is an all too appropriate moniker for this latest storm to wreak havoc on the five boroughs.

And Staten Island Chuck and Punxsutawney Phil both predicted spring will come six weeks early. Thank goodness!!!