lance_sibley: (Pride)
I was just packing for my Winnipeg trip (dang, the Anticipation banner Terry asked me to take doesn't fit in my suitcase), and I heard this breaking news on 103.9, Proud FM:

California's Supreme Court today struck down the state's statutory ban on same-sex marriage, finding the state's constitution "properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples."
lance_sibley: (Pride)

The father of a United States Marine who was killed in Iraq was suing the Westboro Baptist Church (Fred Phelps' outfit, the "church" that pickets the funerals of gay men and soldiers for defending a country that tolerates gay people - you may have heard of his website, I read about this a couple of months ago and thought, "Great, another opportunity for Phelps to get publicity. The courts will never rule against him because of the free speech rights enshrined in the Constitution, no matter how deranged he is in using said rights."

Well... the jury awarded the Marine's father 11 million dollars today, after only 24 hours of deliberation! Hopefully this will put that bastard Phelps and his "church" out of business for good - according to the judge, that's more money than they have. *does happy dance*

Here's the news story.

Thanks go out to [ profile] neoengel for posting this earlier.
lance_sibley: (Strike)
Damn it, this is the third time I've tried to post this... Firefox keeps shutting down on me every time I try to start a post. Hopefully the third time is the charm...

First, bowling: I had a decent night, with scores of 198, 154 and 159, and we won all three games. [ profile] h8torun was declaring her scores tonight, so it's good that she was over her average in all three games. Once again, however, we were the last ones out despite the fact that Mario was away tonight. The other team seemed to have a small problem realizing when it was their turn to bowl, which may have been the main contribution to the issue. Though the second-last group to finish included a rather cute guy named Spencer (who has a bf, alas), so I had some eye candy while I was stuck there to the bitter end. :) Randy had the car tonight, so he gave me a ride to the subway.

The painkillers seem to be working - my arm was just starting to get sore toward the end of the night, but nowhere near as bad as it has been. (I had tentative plans to go out with [ profile] cuteteenboy tonight, but this time I had to call and cancel as I'm not supposed to drink with these painkillers. Dagnab it.)

I tried calling the recruiter again today to find out what's happening with the job I interviewed for (three weeks ago, now), but again, got her voicemail. I keep hoping that this indicates that they're still making up their minds, rather than that she's avoiding me.

And now some miscellaneous links from other folks on my LJ:

  • From [ profile] evawhitley: The Baptist Bulletin is on their high horse about gay marriage. In what I take to be an ironic typo, they refer to the third state to legalize civil unions (and about which I saw nothing on my friendslist despite the fact that it happened this week - what's up, folks?) as "Jew Jersey". I'm pretty sure that's an innocent typo, though, as they got it right further down.

  • From [ profile] defenestr8or, apparently the Polish president thinks that acceptance of homosexuality will lead to the end of the human race. Someone ought to tell him that legalizing same-sex marriage doesn't make it mandatory...

  • From [ profile] montrealais, another publicly-homophobic Baptist minister has been caught soliciting a man for gay sex. Unfortunately for him, it was an undercover police officer. The lawyer is claiming that the minister has a Constitutional right to solicit for sex. I can't speak to that point, but there may be laws in Oklahoma against solicitation.

  • From [ profile] chase820, there are full-frontal pictures of Daniel Radcliffe rehearsing for the upcoming production of Equus. Speculation is, however, that the picture at that link has been Photoshopped. Let's not have any jokes about Harry Potter's wand, 'mkay? *grin*

And courtesy of a comment by [ profile] sarcasm_hime on [ profile] sandwichboy's LJ, I present to you a preview of the upcoming series Blood Ties, based on the Tanya Huff novels:

Apparently it's not being aired in Canada until the fall, however. *sigh*

Oh, and if you want a chuckle, check out Conservapedia, the right-wing version of Wikipedia. I particularly enjoyed the edits the page on the United States has been undergoing recently, though it still needs a couple of tweaks. Some pages strike me as being more bloglike than encyclopedic, though - when I searched for the page on the U.S., I saw listings for things like Should the United States Have Entered WWI? (that one made me laugh) and Should the United States Have Entered WWII? (still not encyclopedic, but a teensy bit more worthwhile than the previous one, if you ignore comments like "At this moment we could be speaking German and not be celebrating Christmas the Christian way!"). I don't think I'll be giving up on Wikipedia just yet...
lance_sibley: (If Looks Could Kill - by hoskie)
Okay, Madonna winning the Grammy for "Confessions On A Dance Floor," I can see, but Justin Timberlake? Excuse me? I'd puke, but I haven't actually eaten yet. (Okay, I'm biased, I admit it... :) )

I gave in today and picked up the Doctor Who S2 box set today - Best Buy had it for $89.99, which from what I'd been hearing/reading, seemed to be about as cheap as I was going to find it. Now, whether or not to watch "Army Of Ghosts"/"Doomsday" before they're aired on CBC, that is the question...

On the way home from my excursion to the Eaton Centre, I was subjected to something that no music lover should ever have to hear. There was a busker in Eglinton station playing "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"... on an accordian. My ears may still be bleeding. (Yeah, I know Weird Al did it, but he's Weird Al.)

BTW, [ profile] gurudata, did you see this news story? It seems Telus is making pornography available to its cell phone customers, and the Archbishop of Vancouver is all up in arms about it, and trying to get Catholics to cancel their Telus contracts. I'm curious as how Telus will react.

Oh, and Alvaro Orozco, the gay Nicaraguan being denied refugee status, has been granted a two-month reprieve to allow him to file a request to stay in Canada on humanitarian grounds. The battle has been won, but the war is not yet over...
lance_sibley: (flag)
This is infuriating.

From the Globe and Mail today:

Alvaro Antonio Orozco, a gay teen runaway from Nicaragua, was denied asylum in Canada because the Immigration and Refugee Board didn't believe he was a homosexual.

Mr. Orozco, now 21, is slated for removal next Tuesday to a country where sodomy is illegal and to a family that he says beat him and taunted him for his sexual orientation ever since he was a young boy.

The rest of the article can be found here, but basically the upshot is that the member of the Immigration and Refugee Board who heard his case (via video conference from Calgary - he's in Toronto) doesn't believe that he's gay because he wasn't sexually active when he was a teenager.

WTF?! I can think of two very good reasons for this:

  1. It's only been in the last couple of years that gay teens have felt comfortable enough to be open about themselves with other teens - and even so, I'm sure that there are many more teens who are gay than there are teens who are out of the closet.

  2. After fleeing Nicaragua (by swimming across the Rio Grande) he arrived in Houston where he was hidden by a Seventh Day Adventist church. Even leaving to one side the fact that Texas is not the most welcoming of states when it comes to LGBT people ([ profile] crusherdisciple, I know you've said Austin is fairly liberal, but what's Houston like?), according to this statement by the Seventh Day Adventists, same-sex relationships are forbidden. So again - why would he have a boyfriend when a group that abhors homosexuality and gay relationships were protecting him from being sent back to a country where such a relationship is illegal?

And he certainly couldn't have been sexually active in Nicaragua, not without risking either prison (gay relationships are illegal there) or being beaten by his own father, who has threatened him. (He fled Nicaragua when he was 12, anyway.)

According to the article, since coming to Toronto he actually has been spending time with the gay community, going out to bars on Church Street and such. (It doesn't say whether he now has a boyfriend, or if he's had one in the two years since coming to Toronto.)

I've checked the IRB's website, and although they list contact information for many IRB employees, this particular board member (Deborah Lamont) is not listed. Big surprise. However, the central email address for the IRB would appear to be, and the Calgary office can be reached at:

Fording Place
205-9th Ave. S.E., 9th Floor
Calgary, Alberta
T2G 0R3

Tel.: (403) 292-6134
Fax: (403) 292-6131

I'll be writing them a letter.
lance_sibley: (too busy to fcuk - by xokadieox)
Thanks to [ profile] lsanderson for the link.

The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that gay couples have the same rights as straight couples.

They've given legislators 180 days to rewrite the law to either grant marriage rights to gay couples or to create a type of civil union. Obviously, I'm hoping that they take the former approach. As I've often said before, creating a separate but equal institution doesn't work, because even if civil unions are initially set up with the exact same set of rights as marriage, future legislatures can chip away at those rights. It's much more equitable to just extend the rights of marriage to include gay couples.

In other news, I got a call today from Toronto-Dominion Bank regarding a job I applied for a few weeks ago. The call came just as I was about to get into the shower, but when the caller asked if she should call back later, I said, "No, this is as good a time as any." She wanted to know about which of my skills I used at my most recent jobs, and said that she would let me know by the end of the week if I would be asked in for an interview (which would be the first of three or four from the sounds of it).

Last night in C# class, we covered methods, objects and classes. I had a little trouble with the lab, but that was partially because the specs that the instructor gave us had the same variable name being used in both the main program and one of its classes, and I had been mixing them up so my program wouldn't compile. But once the instructor pointed this out and I fixed it, the program worked perfectly. Now, I just have to figure out the syntax for declaring and using arrays of classes so that I can do the assignment. I have the variables that are created in the class being correctly passed back to Main, but I can only handle one at a time. Every time I've tried using the array syntax on my class definition, the compiler barfs on my shoes. When I'm over there tonight I'm going to email myself the files for last night's lab (Yahoo was being very slow last night when I tried) so that I can make sure that I'm doing everything correctly so far. I do wish that I could just log on remotely from home... it would save me the trouble of having to email the files back and forth.

Now I have to get ready to go to my Internet Scripting Languages class. It looks like we'll be getting our first assignment tonight, and then we're moving on to DHTML and JavaScript. We're moving into things I have no idea about. I had hoped to be able to make dinner before I left, but it looks like I'm not going to have time until I get home, since I have to leave in about 20 minutes.
lance_sibley: (flag)
Originally seen on [ profile] hoskie's LJ, but since seen on those of several other friends:

"Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?" - Ernest Gaines

We would like to know who really believes in gay rights on LiveJournal. There is no bribe of a miracle or anything like that. If you truly believe in gay rights, then repost this and title the post as "Gay Rights". If you don't believe in gay rights, then just ignore this. Thanks.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.

As for the Congressman and the page... it sickens me that at TrekBBS, the right-wing horde are trying to lay the blame on the Democrats, saying that they knew about him but didn't do anything, waiting until just before the midterm elections for maximum impact. They seem to be getting their "information" mostly from right-wing blogs, while news sites are saying that it was the Republican Speaker who tried to sweep it under the rug. Of course, those stories are a "liberal conspiracy". Yeah, right.

Regardless of who knew and when, it seems to me that any delay could be attributed to, oh, I don't know, people trying to confirm it before breaking the story? After all, without proof, it would have been dismissed as slander, possibly prosecuted as such, and then it would have been next to impossible to confirm as evidence could have been deleted, and so forth.

Mind you, the latest news from ABC reveals that Foley left the House during an emergency vote on supplemental war appropriations to have cybersex with one of his teenage pages:

Explicit instant messages from the ABC website behind the cut )

Let's see the Republicans spin their way out of this one.

*shakes head*

The sad thing is, there are people out there who will defend this on the basis of Foley being the target of homophobia, especially since his homosexuality was apparently an open secret on Capitol Hill. What they're failing to see is that this is essentially a case of sexual harassment in the workplace - even if the page was consenting, the question is whether he was really able to give true consent, given the position of power Foley held over him. It's not that much different than Clinton/Lewinsky, except that in Monica Lewinsky's case, at least she was a legal adult. (While the age of consent in DC is apparently 16, because the exchange took place over the Internet while the teenager was in Florida, federal law kicks in, making the actual age of consent in this case 18.)

I'm sure, as well, that there will be people out there using this to support their contention that gay men are all pedophiles; several of the people who have left comments on the ABC website have made this mistake, in fact. Those people need to read the dictionary and learn the difference between pedophilia and ephebophilia - not that the distinction makes everything okay in this case.

[ profile] con_girl posted this story:

A 32-year-old man speaking Tamil and some English about a sporting rivalry was questioned at Sea-Tac Airport and missed his flight Saturday because at least one person thought he was suspicious.

The paranoia about anyone with brown skin not speaking English is out of control. I thought it was bad that I got screened at LAX back in February because I was getting off the plane in Toronto rather than Tel Aviv (or possibly just because I'm not Jewish... take your pick). But this isn't the first story I've read about people being detained because they seemed "suspicious," and then turned out to be completely innocent. I hope this guy gets very well compensated.

It's ironic that Space should be airing the Star Trek TNG episode "The Host" while I've been compiling this post...
lance_sibley: (flag)
Yeah, yeah... I know it's a meme.

Gakked from [ profile] brendan_moody (with one change to the wording of #8):

Top Ten Reasons Against Gay Marriage

  1. Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

  2. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

  3. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behaviour. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

  4. Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

  5. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britney Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

  6. Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

  7. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

  8. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in Canada.

  9. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

  10. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

Please post this in your journal if you are for gay marriage.
lance_sibley: (flag)
I don't normally make back-to-back posts, but I wanted to separate this political commentary from the personal entry I just finished.

The school board of Surrey, British Columbia, has decided to cancel Elgin Park Secondary School's production of "The Laramie Project", saying that the subject matter of the play was not suitable for family audiences.

"The Laramie Project" is about the murder of Matthew Shepard, who was killed seven years ago for the simple reason that he was gay. Lured by a group of young men who pretended to offer him sex, he was beaten and left to die, tied to a fence post. (He died five days after he was found.) The murder inspired Elton John's song "American Triangle":

Seen him playing in his backyard
Young boy just starting out
So much history in this landscape
So much confusion, so much doubt

Been there drinking on that front porch
Angry kids, mean and dumb
Looks like a painting, that blue skyline
God hates fags where we come from

'Western skies' don't make it right
'Home of the brave' don't make no sense
I've seen a scarecrow wrapped in wire
Left to die on a high ridge fence
It's a cold, cold wind
It's a cold, cold wind
It's a cold wind blowing, Wyoming

See two coyotes run down a deer
Hate what we don't understand
You pioneers give us your children
But it's your blood that stains their hands

Somewhere that road forks up ahead
To ignorance and innocence
Three lives drift on different winds
Two lives ruined, one life spent

Judy Shepard, Matthew's mother, now tours the United States speaking out against homophobia. She says, "Hate is really out there and alive and thriving in our world. It is learned from fear and ignorance. We can learn to be more tolerant and if I didn't believe that I wouldn't be out here preaching the word."

As I see it, the message being sent by the Surrey school board is that violence against gay people is something that ought not to be discouraged. The play is meant to shock and to make people reconsider their hatred and fear. It contains no overt sexuality. It contains some foul language, but nothing that most kids have probably heard on playgrounds (and the director was prepared to tone down the language). By cancelling the performance, the school board is saying, "We're comfortable with our bigotry. We don't want to be made uncomfortable."

Playwright Moises Kaufman said: "I think the kind of bigotry that killed Matthew Shepard is learned in high school. To pretend that high school kids are unaware of homosexuality is not only a fallacy but it's irresponsible. I think it's really irresponsible for them to do that [cancel the Surrey high school production] because the kind of violence that leads to hate crimes is learned at the high school age."

He's absolutely right, though in fact I would suggest that the attitudes that lead to violence is learned earlier than high school. I was being called "faggot" when I was nine years old.

The Surrey school board can be reached at:

School District No. 36 (Surrey)
14225 56th Avenue, Surrey, BC V3X 3A3
(604) 596-7733

Their website's feedback page can be found here.

And here is the full story from today's Globe and Mail; here is the Vancouver Sun's take on it.
lance_sibley: (boywhocantsayno)
[ profile] bobafet posted this, and I thought I'd pass it along:

Georgia considers ban on gay foster parenting

It's a couple of days after the news broke about Malcolm's suicide, and I'm still having trouble understanding what he did. I now know more about the situation, and my emotions have shifted somewhat since [ profile] rockgoddes filled me in. I'm still angry at him, but now for a different reason, and I don't know how to get past those feelings (or even if I should try, or just let the emotions play themselves out naturally). There must have been reasons, but I'm sure we'll never know what they were. Any explanations now can only come from biased sources.

I hope that next Saturday's gathering will serve to help get some of these feelings out of my system.

On a happier note... I've been ordered not to post about what happened Friday night after the Toronto Trek concom pubnight. So I won't. Even though I'm pretty sure the person who issued the command doesn't read my LJ... and it's not as though anything happened that he might not want others to hear about. (He's embarrassed about being an amazing singer, maybe?) Whatever.

I watched the Emmys tonight. I was mildly disappointed that Shatner only performed the opening narration of the Trek theme; I was half hoping that he would sing Gene Roddenberry's (atrocious) lyrics. And maybe it was just me, but the opera singer (mezzo soprano, IIRC) who performed the vocal seemed a little flat. (In the off-key sense of the word "flat", you dirty so-and-sos... :P) cut so that Andrew will remain unspoiled )

I was pleased to see that they acknowledged James Doohan during the "In Memoriam" portion of the programme, and also pleased that he got one of the loudest rounds of applause.


lance_sibley: (Default)

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