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July 24, 2012

Sally Ride - A True American Lesbian Superhero Dies At 61

Sally Ride, the former NASA astronaut, who was the first American woman to fly on a NASA space mission, and the youngest American to fly on a NASA space mission, died on Monday July 23rd, 2012. She was also the only woman to make two trips on a NASA space mission.

Sally was born in Encino, California, and was the oldest daughter of Joyce and Dale Ride. She was a double major at Stanford University, and graduated with bachelor’s degrees in English and physics. She also earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in physics at Stanford.

The Los Angeles Times reports:
Ride died Monday at her home in La Jolla after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 61.

Her trip into space made Ride a household name and a symbol of the ability of women to break the glass ceiling, inspiring generations of young girls and women who came after her.

"Sally Ride broke barriers with grace and professionalism — and literally changed the face of America's space program," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement. "The nation has lost one of its finest leaders, teachers and explorers. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sally's family and the many she inspired. She will be missed, but her star will always shine brightly."
According to BuzzFeed, Sally Ride came out as a lesbian in her obituary.
Sally Ride, who died today after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer, was the first female U.S. astronaut in space and became friends with Tam O'Shaugnessy at the age of 12.

It was not until today, however — nearly 50 years after meeting — that their 27-year romantic relationship was made public.

The pioneering scientist was, a statement from Sally Ride Science announced, survived by "Tam O'Shaughnessy, her partner of 27 years."

With that simple statement — listed alongside her mother, Joyce; her sister, Bear; her niece, Caitlin and nephew, Whitney — Ride came out.

Bear Ride, talking with BuzzFeed, said today, "We consider Tam a member of the family."

Saying that her sister was a very private person, Bear Ride said, "People did not know she had pancreatic cancer, that's going to be a huge shock. For 17 months, nobody knew -- and everyone does now. Her memorial fund is going to be in support of pancreatic cancer.

"The pancreatic cancer community is going to be absolutely thrilled that there's now this advocate that they didn't know about. And, I hope the GLBT community feels the same," Bear Ride, who identifies as gay, said.

"I hope it makes it easier for kids growing up gay that they know that another one of their heroes was like them," she added.
Sally Ride was a pioneer in space, and now Sally Ride is an LGBT pioneer and hero who went to space.

Our country lost a true American lesbian superhero. RIP Sally.

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Hate Watch: Boston Mayor Bans Chick-Fil-A and Tripp Palin Uses Anti-Gay Slur On National TV

Just Say No To Chick-Fil-A

Menino Says No To Homophobic Chick-Fil-A In Boston

The Mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, has vowed to block any efforts by Chick-Fil-A to expand their franchise to the New England city. The Boston Herald reports:
Mayor Thomas M. Menino is vowing to block Chick-fil-A from bringing its Southern-fried fast-food empire to Boston — possibly to a popular tourist spot just steps from the Freedom Trail — after the family-owned firm’s president suggested gay marriage is “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.”

“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion,” Menino told the Herald yesterday.

“That’s the Freedom Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail.”
Forbes magazine blogger Carol Tice wrote an excellent blog post about Chick-Fil-A’s “boycott” problem, entitled “How Chick-Fil-A's Social-Media Bungle Fueled a Gay-Rights Backlash.” Carol writes:
The flames were re-ignited Tuesday when company president Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press he is “guilty as charged” of donating to anti-gay charities. Then the company tried to fix the problem with an announcement on Chick-Fil-A’s Facebook page that sent the whole controversy massively viral. Here’s the exact verbiage:
“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.

“Chick-fil-A is a family-owned and family-led company serving the communities in which it operates. From the day Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying biblically-based principles to managing his business. For example, we believe that closing on Sundays, operating debt-free and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities are what make us a stronger company and Chick-fil-A family.

Our mission is simple: to serve great food, provide genuine hospitality and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
Translation: “We’d like to close our eyes now, count to ten, and you should forget all about our fervently avowed political views — which we won’t be changing — and go back to eating our chicken a lot.”

Which didn’t work.

This non-response didn’t answer the questions on many people’s minds: Will the company stop donating to groups that are actively opposing gay-marriage laws, and controversial “gay-curing” groups such as Exodus International? Also, how are gay employees treated at the company given the corporate culture?

By essentially refusing to address the issues its founder raised, Chick-Fil-A just made a lot of people madder.

Also. by issuing its statement only on its Facebook page — no official company press release was issued — Chick-Fil-A attempted to hide the controversy in a corner instead of facing it square-on. Unfortunately, the social-media corner is exactly the wrong corner for trying to hide something like this.

This one’s easy. If you see a Chick-Fil-A --- Just Say No! Boycott Chick-Fil-A!

Bristol Palin Lifes A Tripp

The Gay Hating Palin Family: Tripp Palin Uses A Gay Slur On National TV?

Everyone knows that a 3 year old mimics the behavior of the adults who surround them. Kids that age are like a sponge, soaking up as much as their little brain can handle. The Huffington Post reports that on the Lifetime reality series “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp” - Bristol Palin’s son Tripp, age 3, called his Aunt Willow a faggot. Apparently the “gay slur” is censored in the clip.

Bristol Palin claims her son called her Aunt Willow a “fuck it” and not a faggot. If Tripp Palin called his Aunt a “fuck it,” the young child is not only using swear words he shouldn’t be using, but he using them improperly.

I find the “fuck it” claim to be suspect at best. Sarah Palin is a trained broadcast journalist, who worked as a television sports reporter early in her career. She speaks proper American english, and so do her kids. I’m sorry - but I think it is unlikely that Tripp said “fuck it.” He called his Aunt a “faggot” because his family is known for using that slur.

I agree with what the Huffington Post initially surmised. They wrote:

The Palins have never been known for being particularly gay-friendly -- and unfortunately, it seems as if the youngest member of the family is following in the footsteps of his elders.

A newly-released clip from the Lifetime reality series "Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp" shows Tripp Palin uttering a homophobic slur when mom Bristol and aunt Willow won't let him visit the swimming pool.

The Palin sisters gasp, and then giggle, when three-year-old Tripp's temper tantrum culminates in the tot calling his aunt a "faggot."

Sorry Bristol, I don’t believe you.

Where’s the Soup Nazi when I need him?

No Soup for You Bristol!

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Armistead Maupin’s House, Gay SOMA, Horny Olympic Athletes

Uptown Almanac Screenshot The Wiggles

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July 20, 2012

Boycott Chick-Fil-A For Overt Bigotry And Homophobia

As some of you may know, I don’t call for a boycott of a corporation very often. Ha! 

When I do call for a boycott, the intelligent companies tend to listen. Just ask the 150+ companies that still refuse to support the Christian Values Network, which is now known as the Charity Give Back Group or CGBG.

I am officially calling for a boycott of Chick-Fil-A for the blatant homophobia expressed by the CEO of Chick-Fil-A. Over the coming week I will also be writing about other actions we can take to convince Dan Cathy, that he is sorely mistaken.

I am writing an open letter to Mr. Cathy, and hope that you will do the same.

It is unacceptable for the CEO of an American corporation to espouse discrimination and homophobia in any forum, whether public or private.

Here is the text of my letter to Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-Fil-A

Dear Mr. Cathy:

You recently appeared on the radio program The Ken Coleman Show, and you made some controversial and incendiary remarks that included your personal belief that you think marriage equality is challenging God’s definition of marriage. You said:

I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’

I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about.

I’m confused about why you personally think it’s audacious, as well as prideful and arrogant, to demand or expect equality.

Your personal beliefs and statements raise a few questions that I’d really like you to answer.

There isn’t ONE WORD about marriage equality in the Bible, so I challenge you to cite where God condemns marriage equality anywhere in scripture.

Do you have a hotline directly to God? Has he spoken to you about this? What has God told you?

The institution of marriage has been evolving over hundreds of years. There was a time when a wife was the “property” of her husband, and the Bible has many representations that support this fact. As our culture has progressed, a woman is no longer her husband’s property. As such, marriage was redefined. How does God view that?

For many years women couldn’t charge their husband with assault, or rape. Since they were personal property, like a slave, they weren’t given legal standing in a court of law. As our culture has progressed, if a husband physically or sexually assaults his wife he can expect to be arrested by the police, and charged with a crime. Again, marriage was redefined. How does God view that?

If you want to cite scripture to support your view, even though scripture never touches on marriage equality, what do you think of Leviticus (20:9)? In case you are unfamiliar with this passage, it says that if anyone curses their mother or father that they must be killed.

How about Leviticus (20:10)? In case you are unfamiliar with this passage, it says that if a man is unfaithful to his wife, or a wife is unfaithful to her husband, that they both must die.

Since the Bible was written, our society has evolved and we don’t kill anyone for adultery in this country. Marriage was redefined. How does God view that?

Hell - in Deuteronomy (13:6-10) it states that if a family member worships another God, you should kill them. In our society today, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists and Agnostics live side by side. We are friends and neighbors, and in some cases a family member might have a different faith. We don’t kill someone for their beliefs. How does God view that?

In the United States of America we believe that all men and women are created equally. While you don’t share this view,  and you think that the LGBT community should be singled out and denied basic civil rights, how do you think God views that?

A better question is probably - how do you think God views you?

I’d like to remind you of Corinthians (13:1-3):

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Marriage has been redefined many times over the centuries, and it will continue to evolve and be redefined.

God wants everyone to love and be loved, that’s the real truth Mr. Cathy - not your nonsense.

I’m not shaking my fist at God and telling him that I know anything better than anyone else. I’m shaking my fist at you Mr. Cathy - and telling you I know what the definition of marriage is - and if you would look beneath your prejudice, you might learn it too.


Roy Steele

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