Archive for the ‘Gay Pride’ Category

>Openly terrific

June 23, 2010

>The President hosted a reception in honor of LGBT Pride month yesterday.

I’m wondering if Rick and Bubba will be able to hold their tongues. They’ve been warned by their sponsors and by their syndicator to hold down their rhetoric or face the music.

While most of the local community has heard what the sponsors are saying (both Academy Sports and Bojangles Chicken have said they don’t agree with Rick Burgess’ comments and told the radio hosts as much, and that if they targeted gays or any other group like that again they would pull their sponsorship. The syndicator of the show is unhappy as well, and he doesn’t want to hear any more reports of such talk.

Here is the president speaking at the reception. He called Tammy Baldwin and Jared Polis, lesbian and gay members of the House of Representative, “openly terrific.”

I think that’s a great new term for us. Because being gay is terrific.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also spoke at an event celebrating LGBT Pride month.

She was the first first lady to march in a Pride parade.

“Human rights are gay rights and gay rights are human rights once and for all.”

One of my facebook friends, and straight woman who took part in the civil rights struggles during the 1960’s posted this comment on one of my facebook posts yesterday.

June is Pride Month. President Obama has called upon all Americans to observe this month by fighting prejudice and discrimination in their lives and everywhere it exists.

    I am so proud of our straight allies and the way they take up for us against the hurtful rhetoric of the right.

    So many people have told me or have posted on facebook that this year’s Pride has given them more inspiration than they have felt in years. Polls are showing that Americans are now more accepting of Equality than they have ever been, and many religious groups or individual churches are realizing that LGBT people are created and loved by God just as they are.

    In spite of the vocal frustration with the Obama administration on the slowness of advancement of LGBT Equality, we really should be thankful of the progress that has been made.

    These things come to mind.

    Passage of the (inclusive) Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act.

    Repeal of the HIV ban on travel.

    Hospital visitation for lesbian and gay partners (in hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid.

    Federal employee benefits.

    Broadening of the definition of “son and daughter” so employers would be required to offer workers in same sex relationships the same right to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for partner’s newborns or to adopt (announced yesterday by the labor department).

    And the president’s call for congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), to pass an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and the pending end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell(DADT). The House has passed the repeal, the Senate Armed Services Comittee has approved, and the full Senate will vote someday.

    Country singer Chely Wright was at the President’s reception.

    Here is her video for “I Already Do.”

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    >Rick and Bubba and LGBT Pride

    June 11, 2010

    >In an email from Rick Burgess of the Rick and Bubba show, the holy man states that what I called a ‘rant’ was actually a “presentation of BIBLICAL truth about sexual sins for those of us who claim a BIBLICAL world view.”

    I normally refuse to engage in debate with people like him, but what he said was so offensive that I felt compelled to send him an email. After all, this is LGBT Pride Month, according to 40 year tradition since the first gay pride march in 1970, and according to the proclamation by the President of the United States, Barack Obama.

    In fact, that proclamation was what got Rick all hot and bothered. Here’s the video of his rant.

    Now, I do not enjoy criticising people because of their faith, because I actually feel a bit sorry for them. Well, maybe there is some enjoyment, because possibly they are becoming educated.

    People with a “Biblical Worldview” think that the world is only about 5000 years old, that people lived with the dinosaurs (think “Flintstones”), and that Noah had a mosquito net and caught two Anopheles gambiae mosquitos, (the ones that transmit malaria, responsible for infecting over 200 million people and killing 1 – 2 million per year) along with a couple of Onchocera volvulus worms (the ones that cause river blindness in about 18 million people) and a pair of the Simulium black flies that spread the debilitating disease. (Try keeping those, along with thousands of other arthropod and worm species alive for 40 days on an ark.)

    I could go on but you get the picture, I hope.

    I have written enough on this blog about the Bible that I don’t need to repeat the passages here that are affirming to the LGBT community. Just look to the left, and you can see some links to popular posts about the subject.

    But Rick did say this in his email. “…we gain control over our sin through the power found in
    CHRIST who then changes our desires when we love him enough for HIS grace and MERCY to obey HIS commands as he calls us to do in several places in the BIBLE but none more simple than JOHN 14:15 if you love me then obey my commands.”

    The truth is, Jesus did not say one word about homosexuality. Nothing that could be mis-translated, or mis-directed, to condemn homosexuals. Nothing, Rick!

    He also says this in more than one email that I have seen “…I felt that i was born as most straight men with a disposition to sleep with several women other than our wives” and that he overcame that desire through Christ.

    Fine. Even though this just seems a little creepy as well as bragging (like “I wanna make sure you know I had a lot of sex before I found Christ, ladies”) it seems a little strange that one would need to call on God to do what should just be the decent thing to do. Are you that depraved? Well, he would say “yes,” because of “sin”.

    That is just a big fat excuse. He can think about adultery all he wants without acting, call on Christ to keep him from falling, but if he does fall, “Oh, it was just sin that made me do that. Let me play my “get out of hell” card and start over.”

    Rick also said in that video clip that President Obama didn’t observe the National Day of Prayer, and I heard that same lie from other right wing talk show hosts. Rick said, “I would love to have seen a nice long letter on the National Day of Prayer but we didn’t get that.”

    If you had been paying attention, Rick, you would have seen this “long letter”, the proclamation released by the Obama administration on April 30, 2010, which included this:

    “NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 6, 2010, as a National Day of Prayer.”

    Rick Burgess, and others like him, ride the high horse of the Biblical World View, and talk about living a moral life and all, but have no reservations about telling lies and distorting the truth for the sake of bringing down our president, and getting higher ratings for their radio show.

    I have a little proclamation of my own.

    Now, therefore, I, Joe the blogger, do proclaim Rick Burgess and his sidekick Bubba Bussey as Alabama redneck trash unworthy of lending an ear to, and an embarrassment to our state. I forever ban them from my radio.*

    *I do reserve the right to watch their Youtube videos in order to monitor their hate speech.

    Happy LGBT Pride, all my Alabama brothers and sisters, and do not let the words of this man or anyone else dissuade you from enjoying this celebration of your being and your life.

    Here’s short video of the start of last year’s Central Alabama Pride parade, including the Alabama Stonewall Democrats truck, which will be in this year’s parade with the message, “Together we can…”

    Come out Saturday night near Five Points South and celebrate with us!

    >Pride Week in Birmingham

    June 8, 2010

    >While awaiting the results of today’s elections in other states, I’ll fill you in some area “goings on.”

    Quick update. the Bessemer City Council voted today to annex the 350 acres I wrote about here. The vote was 6-1. As expected, Jeffco Comm candidate Jimmie Stephens, looking for votes, voted against the annexation rather than voting in the interests of the citizens of Bessemer.

    But this is a Big Plus for Bessemer as it will allow a developer to build warehouses and such near the Norfolk Southern Hub. Things are rockin’ in the Bessemer area.

    This is Pride week in Birmingham. That includes Bessemer, as we don’t have our own Pride celebrations here. Yet. Someday. Here are some pictures from the last Pride or two.

    On Wednesday the film, Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride, will be showing, and a short panel discussion will follow. What is the local importance of Pride? What should the message be? I will be on the Panel, representing Equality Alabama.

    On Saturday the Pride Parade takes place, and once again I will be driving the Alabama Stonewall Chevy pickup. Our guys will be blowing bubbles and tossing out candy and maybe some beads. Step-off is at 8:30 at Five Points South.

    Bubbles and jewels help make the night beautiful.


    Last minute adjustments before the parade.


    Patricia Todd and Jennifer rode on our truck last year!


    The mis-informed haters are sure to be there.

    Sunday is Pridefest at Sloss Furnace, beginning at noon. I’ll be there as well, promoting and signing my book, Those Others: Navigating the “Riddle of Homosexuality” in 1965 , promoting Terri Sewell for congress and helping with the Equality Alabama table.


    Lamar was one of the performers at last year’s Pridefest.


    Libertee Belle and Z at Pridefest last year.

    Come and join in the fun. More information on these and other events can be found here.

    >Celebration Overcomes Adversity

    June 15, 2009

    >If the rains had persisted I imagine that the gay haters would have said it was God preventing the gays from having a successful Pride Parade and Pridefest. But on Saturday the skies cleared and the parade was fabulous, with hundreds of participants and thousands of spectators cheering us on. Then on Sunday, after the rain and winds blew over vendors’ tents and tables during set up, when it was time for the event to begin, the skies began to clear and the crowds came out.

    I wonder if those same people who believe that God uses the weather to direct events will agree that God must have been watching out for the gay community and blessed us with good weather.

    I don’t have pictures of the parade entries (there were 55-60, I guess) because I was driving, but I took pictures from the cab of the truck during the parade.

    View all my pictures of Pride here. ( Or wait, more will be posted on the blog later in the week.)

    Among the spectators was a group of two or three protesters, who I have dubbed the “haters.”


    As believers in Free Speech most of us agreed that these guys (who hid behind their signs when they saw my camera) had a right to be there. But the next day, we were reminded what their hate speech represents.

    Mr Gay Pride Andrew performed his powerful interpretation of the killing of Matthew Shephard

    And then rose to perform “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”

    I don’t have Andrew’s performance on video, but to remind you of the song, here’s Michael Ball performing:

    The response to Andrew was as strong as that in the video. Gay people, and our allies, know loss. We’ve had friends (or ourselves) beaten or killed (Billy Jack Gaither, Scotty Joe Weaver, and Sean Kennedy ) or who took their own lives ( Bobby Griffith ) because of hatred. We know loss because we’ve had friends and loved ones die from a disease that was ignored by a president (Reagan) who cared less about gays than he did about smuggling arms and cocaine.

    I am reminded of the Bible verse, “Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

    There is so much hatred in our country, as evidenced by certain high profile killings, and in the world right now. My column in the Western Tribune this week addresses that, you will see it on Wednesday.

    >Beauties of Pride

    June 9, 2008

    >Part of Pridefest is entertainment by local and not local performers. These girls are all locals, I believe, and appear regularly at local clubs, although I didn’t catch the name of each.

    Sorry for the anonymity, girls.

    This picture was actually taken Saturday night, amongst the bubbles. How beautiful.

    Here is Libertee Belle, thrilling the audience as usual. At the end of her performance, she threw off her hat and wig…to the delight of everyone.

    More entertainment




    Wow. I mean…WOW


    In a hurry


    Look at those…heels!


    How pretty!

    These are but a few of the entertainers, as I spent much of the afternoon manning the booth. Next year I plan to recruit others to work the table and catch more of the entertainment.

    Beauties of Pride

    June 9, 2008

    Part of Pridefest is entertainment by local and not local performers. These girls are all locals, I believe, and appear regularly at local clubs, although I didn’t catch the name of each.

    Sorry for the anonymity, girls.

    This picture was actually taken Saturday night, amongst the bubbles. How beautiful.

    Here is Libertee Belle, thrilling the audience as usual. At the end of her performance, she threw off her hat and wig…to the delight of everyone.

    More entertainment




    Wow. I mean…WOW


    In a hurry


    Look at those…heels!


    How pretty!

    These are but a few of the entertainers, as I spent much of the afternoon manning the booth. Next year I plan to recruit others to work the table and catch more of the entertainment.

    >Central Alabama Gay Pride Parade 2008

    June 9, 2008

    >If you missed the parade, or even if you attended, here are a few pictures taken as we were getting ready. Since I was driving, I could not take pictures of all the entries, but you can see it all here. About 90 pictures.

    Thank you Central Alabama Pride, thank you Parade Committee, thank you Larry Langford (for creating such interest and boosting attendance to record levels).

    Preparing one of the flags

    Ben and Jason helped carry the huge flag from Atlanta.


    Here is our Stonewall Democrats truck…the letters across the back spell out AlObama. Our chief bubble maker is Bessemer resident Glenn Shadix. Other Stonewall members are there ready to load up.

    Obama bubbles like these decorated the sides of the truck.


    Real bubbles floated from the truck

    Here Glenn has met Libertee Belle, who has been a parade participant since the first parade in 1989. Libertee performed at Sunday’s Pridefest, more about that on the next post.

    Read what the Birmingham News said about Glenn and Pride Here

    Our elected officials, Howard Bayless and Patricia Todd.

    One other picture taken Saturday night will be posted with Sunday’s pictures because it of of a beauty. On that post I will have nothing but beauties.

    Be sure and look at the pictures on the Central Alabama Pride link at the beginning of the post

    Central Alabama Gay Pride Parade 2008

    June 9, 2008

    If you missed the parade, or even if you attended, here are a few pictures taken as we were getting ready. Since I was driving, I could not take pictures of all the entries, but you can see it all here. About 90 pictures.

    Thank you Central Alabama Pride, thank you Parade Committee, thank you Larry Langford (for creating such interest and boosting attendance to record levels).

    Preparing one of the flags

    Ben and Jason helped carry the huge flag from Atlanta.


    Here is our Stonewall Democrats truck…the letters across the back spell out AlObama. Our chief bubble maker is Bessemer resident Glenn Shadix. Other Stonewall members are there ready to load up.

    Obama bubbles like these decorated the sides of the truck.


    Real bubbles floated from the truck

    Here Glenn has met Libertee Belle, who has been a parade participant since the first parade in 1989. Libertee performed at Sunday’s Pridefest, more about that on the next post.

    Read what the Birmingham News said about Glenn and Pride Here

    Our elected officials, Howard Bayless and Patricia Todd.

    One other picture taken Saturday night will be posted with Sunday’s pictures because it of of a beauty. On that post I will have nothing but beauties.

    Be sure and look at the pictures on the Central Alabama Pride link at the beginning of the post

    >The Flags are Flying

    June 6, 2008

    >Channel 6 reported last night that the Rainbow Flags are flying in Birmingham!

    This video is dedicated to Mayor Larry Langford. Listen to the words, mayor. For the rest of us…Dance!

    Actually the video isn’t that great, but the song is nice.

    I want to urge everyone to come to the parade Saturday. You don’t have to be gay to enjoy a parade, but if you are gay, you have no excuse. You should either be part of a group taking part, or on the sidelines cheering us on.

    If you are not gay, please lend your support. Show the mayor that Birmingham is an accepting city, and is proud of all its residents. The line up for the parade starts at 6:30…the parade kicks off at 8:30. Just go to Five Points South and join the crowd lining up for the parade.

    The lead unit in the parade will be a Veterans group. How fitting, on the week that Sam Nunn, one of the principle lawmakers responsible for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, speaks out telling America it is time to revisit the policy. Gays and lesbians now and always have fought to defend our freedom, even when they do not enjoy the rights and freedoms they are fighting for.

    Alabama Stonewall Democrats will be in the line-up. Watch for our bubble blowing pick up truck, and speaking of Stonewall Democrats, join us at our next meeting June 19, 5:30 at Logan’s in Crestwood. We heard at the Interfaith meeting the other night that we need to get more political, and certainly if policy is to be changed it must come through the governing bodies, local, state and federal. And face it, the Democrats are the only ones who (somewhat) consistently stand up for our rights. So join us.

    And make friends with us on myspace: http://www.myspace.com/alabamastonewall
    Join our group on Facebook: Alabama Stonewall Democrats Group

    The Flags are Flying

    June 6, 2008

    Channel 6 reported last night that the Rainbow Flags are flying in Birmingham!

    This video is dedicated to Mayor Larry Langford. Listen to the words, mayor. For the rest of us…Dance!

    Actually the video isn’t that great, but the song is nice.

    I want to urge everyone to come to the parade Saturday. You don’t have to be gay to enjoy a parade, but if you are gay, you have no excuse. You should either be part of a group taking part, or on the sidelines cheering us on.

    If you are not gay, please lend your support. Show the mayor that Birmingham is an accepting city, and is proud of all its residents. The line up for the parade starts at 6:30…the parade kicks off at 8:30. Just go to Five Points South and join the crowd lining up for the parade.

    The lead unit in the parade will be a Veterans group. How fitting, on the week that Sam Nunn, one of the principle lawmakers responsible for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, speaks out telling America it is time to revisit the policy. Gays and lesbians now and always have fought to defend our freedom, even when they do not enjoy the rights and freedoms they are fighting for.

    Alabama Stonewall Democrats will be in the line-up. Watch for our bubble blowing pick up truck, and speaking of Stonewall Democrats, join us at our next meeting June 19, 5:30 at Logan’s in Crestwood. We heard at the Interfaith meeting the other night that we need to get more political, and certainly if policy is to be changed it must come through the governing bodies, local, state and federal. And face it, the Democrats are the only ones who (somewhat) consistently stand up for our rights. So join us.

    And make friends with us on myspace: http://www.myspace.com/alabamastonewall
    Join our group on Facebook: Alabama Stonewall Democrats Group