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Friday, October 21, 2005

Debate over the Rochester Post Bulletin Policy

The Rochester Post Bulletin Post blog asked for comment about their policy on marriage announcements. Chuck Darrell, director of communications for Minnesota for Marriage stopped by to comment. He predictably brings up 5th Ward council member, Natalie Johnson Lee's buddy, the anti-gay African American minister, Bob Battle.

As same-sex "marraige" [sic] is illegal in Minnesota, the Post Bulletin should not publish any announcement. There is a mountain of socilogical [sic] data that proves children need, both, a mother and a father in the home. A same-sex "marriage" deliberately creates fatherless and motherless homes.

A reader commented upon civil rights. Ask most black Americans and they will agree that same-sex marriage is not about civil-rights. Rev. Roberts [sic] Battle recently said, "98% of black pastors firmly stand for marriage as between one man and one woman." The African American community understands the meaning of a mother and a father in the home. They also teach us that two loving people in a committed relationship does not work. As Star Parker said, "We have tried to raise our sons with a mother and a grandmother for decades. It doesn't work."

If readers are concernced [sic] with civil rights, lets support the civil rights of a child to the "diversity" of a mother and a father, married and in the home.

Two mothers don't equal one father. Two fathers don't equal one mother.

Chuck Darrell
Director of Communications
Minnesota for Marriage

Posted by: Charles Darrell | Oct 21, 2005 10:07:29 AM

Brian Hokanson challenged Chuck:

Charles, I'd like to hear your thoughts on why the Post-Bulletin shouldn't publish the announcement for free. Because that's kind of the topic of this thread, and you avoided it quite well. Using some great B-section-esque random quotes, I might add.

Actually, now that I think about it, your comment does raise a very interesting point in regards to this conundrum. Do you believe, since your argument is based on the premise of "motherless and fatherless homes," that newspapers should abstain from publishing announcements until it is certain that the couple will not divorce? With around 50% of heterosexual marriages ending in divorce in three decades time, are not those 50% of heterosexual marriages as unethical as gay marriages, in that respect?
And reflecting this in the newspaper would better teach children about the true purpose of marriage, right?

I eagerly await your answer.

Posted by: Brian Hokanson | Oct 21, 2005 11:49:34 AM

I'd be interested in the answer to that one also.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Minneapolis Election Rundown

Loosestrife has a good post here.

In the latest Lavender, our worst 6th Ward candidate, the decidedly straight Dean Zimmermann, claims to be a bigger LGBT rights activist than than the decidedly gay Robert Lilligren. Dean says that he is an advocate, "not just a vote," and accuses Lilligren of sitting on his hands on the council on the issue of domestic partner benefits.

I talked with Robert Lilligren about this point at the TC Quorum Candidate Meet and Greet. Robert said that Dean's ad misrepresented him, and he is responding with a letter to the editor in Lavender.

In the same issue, Z has an ad showing himself in his tacky PRIDE parade regalia with his arm around Bonnie Bleskachek, Minneapolis Fire Chief, with the line, "I felt like a fairy godmother voting for the first openly lesbian Minneapolis Fire Chief. " (In typical have-it- both-ways Zimmermann stylee, the fine print of the ad has this disclaimer--"Bonnie Bleskachek's apperance in this ad does not necessarily constitute endorsement.")

Wow. What's next? An ad in The Circle with Dean in a tourist trap headdress and some bullshit line about being one with the Great Spirit while elsewhere in the issue the claim of being more down with Indigenous rights than enrolled tribal member Lilligren?

That ad reminds me a bit of Michele Bachmann getting photographed with a veteran.


According to the Minneapolis Observer, a ruling has come down that there is "probable cause" that our choice for the worst in the 8th, Marie Hauser, "distributed misleading campaign materials" when she put park board candidate Mary Merrill Anderson's name (and picture too we recall) on a piece of her campaign literature. If you recall, Mary Merrill Anderson is Jeff Hayden's aunt; Anderson filed a complaint against Hauser, who included Anderson without her knowledge or approval. The Observer reports that, "The case has been forwarded to a three judge panel for a evidentiary hearing." That sound you hear is Elizabeth Glidden on an abacus tallying votes.

Personally, while I don't think much of Marie Hauser, I hope this is decided by the voters of the 8th ward. The voters are now aware of this issue, and let them decide.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Great talk radio...

Tune in AM1500 at 5 pm on Sunday, October 23 to hear host Dave Thompson interview Patrick Guerriero, national president of the Log Cabin Republicans. Dave is a very conservative, insightful host who is sure to do a great job of interviewing Patrick.

Rochester Post Bulletin Responds to Criticism

The Editor of the Rochester Post Bulletin responded to criticism about their policy towards same sex wedding announcements on the Post Bulletin blog


19 October 2005
Same-sex wedding notices

The P-B doesn't publish free same-sex wedding notices in our lifestyle news columns.

This is in keeping with most U.S. newspapers that still publish free wedding notices. Many metro-sized newspapers don't carry free wedding notices at all.

We do publish paid wedding notices for same-sex couples. Those run as "Celebrations" ads.

Our policy recently made news in a Twin Cities gay-lesbian magazine, and the story was picked up by KSTP-TV. Several readers have followed up with questions and comments.

Here's our rationale: We publish notices for marriages legally recognized in Minnesota. This allows for clarity and consistency in our wedding notices at a time when there's great disagreement and political controversy over same-sex marriage, and while marriage laws are evolving.

What do you think?

It's good he is asking for comments. I encourage Lloydletta readers to go to the Post Bulletin blog and comment.

Hat tip: Brian Hokanson.

Retired Lutheran Bishops - Unplugged

I'm a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in south Minneapolis, a large, mainline ELCA congregation. A group of left-leaning members started meeting last year to talk about political and social issues in the context of faith. I haven't gone to their meetings, but track what they do and am glad that the 'religious left' is starting to makes some noise.

This fall they've had guest speakers presenting on a variety of tough topics, including war, tax policy, the Katrina response, stem cell research, and tonight, same-gender unions (using the Bishop's language).

Retired Bishop Herb Chilstrom was the speaker tonight. From 1988-1995, he was the first presiding bishop of the Evangelical Church in America, and has since retired. His wife Corrine was a pastor at Bethlehem before they moved to Chicago for the bishop assignments.

Since he retired in 1995, he has remained very active on social justice issues. He and Lowell Erdahl, former Bishop of the St. Paul Synod, co-authored a controversial book on sexuality that put same-sex relationships on the same level as heterosexual unions. Their emphasis was on responsibility, commitment and fidelity.

The thrust of the Bishop's presentation was on his own journey in understanding this issue (he has to be in his mid-70's), different ways to view the Bible, and what has been going on in the Lutheran church. The most interesting part (to me) was a list of topics that have divided the church since ancient times. He started with circumcision, which split the early Christians (per the book of Acts), dealt with celilbacy for clergy, slavery, ordaining women, ethnic diversity, etc. etc. In all cases, the status quo was defended by Biblical means.

Bishop Chilstrom also pointed out that if the church were to start following the 'letter of the law' as defined by Christ when it came to divorce, we'd have a huge uproar.

My criticism of the presentation was that it didn't present both views of the issue. The Q&A time at the end was pretty limited. I offered some clarification of what the Bachmann amendment would mean. Bishop Erdahl reported that the St. Paul Catholic Diocese has recently put out a letter to the parish priests about the importance of supporting the Bachmann amendment. He was following up with the Archbishop. It must be nice to be a retired bishop - you no longer have a constiuency to please, but can act as an 'elder statemen' and use your name and gravitas to influence people.

Bishop Erdahl can be rather cranky in his public comments (in a harmless way). I wish I could convey his inflection when he spoke of 'that Bachmann from Stillwater'. It was hilarious.

I'm guessing there were 55-60 people room. Thanks to the Bishops for being 'out there' and presenting the other side of this issue.

Minnesota for Marriage Responds to OutFront's Kickoff Together Minnesota Meeting

Minnesotans for Marriage showed up in my inbox today. I have contacted OutFront Minnesota for comment. I was not at this meeting, so I can't speak to what specifically was said there. David DeGrio reported on this meeting for Lloydletta Readers earlier today.

A project of the Minnesota Family Council
Action Alert!

"We need to get them to shut up."

(Referring to the Church at the OutFront strategy meeting, Oct. 18th, 2005)

Now is the time to ask your pastor and church leaders to attend the Minnesota Pastors' Summit!

  • "We need to get them to shut up." That's what OutFront Minnesota, the state's largest homosexual advocacy organization, says about the church and pastors who believe that marriage should be preserved as a union between one man and one woman.

  • This chilling statement was made by an activist on October 18th at OutFront’s unveiling of their strategy to block the Minnesota Marriage Amendment. At a community meeting on that date, homosexual activists agreed that, regarding the church, their best-case scenario is to "neutralize the faith community" in the battle for marriage.

I'd like to see the entire quote. What's important is to neutralize the so called "christians" that use "faith" as an excuse to marginalize gays.

  • It's a sobering thought that the church is the only thing that stands in the way of legalized same-sex "marriage" in Minnesota. Even proponents of same-sex "marriage" recognize this fact. If church leaders don't speak up boldly to defend marriage between one man and one woman - then who will?

  • Please encourage your pastor to attend the Minnesota Pastors’ Summit, November 10. Pastors can register on line at or call 877-MN-MARRY.

Well I hope that that Pastors from the Gay churches and churches that reach out to gays and lesbians (without requiring that gays become "exgay") go to this summit.

Click here to learn about the Pastors' Summit, speakers, or download a brochure.

Your financial support is critical to the success of the marriage amendment.
Double your investment, thanks to a generous matching grant! *
Click here to donate on-line to Minnesota for Marriage

Yup, this issue will be a good fundraising appeal for both sides.

*Deadline of October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween.

To unsubscribe from our email alerts, please return this message with the word UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line. Please allow up to two weeks for the change to take effect.

Prepared and Paid for by Minnesota for Marriage, 2855 Anthony Lane S, Suite 150, Minneapolis, MN 55418


Minnesota for Marriage is a project of the Minnesota Family Council

Chuck Darrell at Minnesota for Marriage is trolling around for publicity for the Pastor's summit by posting a link to Minnesotans for Marriage in the Dump Bachmann comments to a post that discussed Janet Boynes, Michele Bachmann's African American, ex-lesbian sidekick.

The speakers for this Pastor's Summit encompass a true Rogue's Gallery from the Leviticus Crowd. I'm surprised they didn't invite the Reverend Willie Wilson to give the invocation!

Wilson, Willie

Hillary Clinton - Warmonger
From World Net Daily

Cindy Sheehan, the so-called "peace mom" on a crusade to end U.S. involvement in the Iraq war, is publicly blasting Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., for her continued support of the ongoing conflict.

"I think she is a political animal who believes she has to be a war hawk to keep up with the big boys," Sheehan writes in an
open letter. "I would love to support Hillary for president if she would come out against the travesty in Iraq. But I don't think she can speak out against the occupation, because she supports it. I will not make the mistake of supporting another pro-war Democrat for president again: As I won't support a pro-war Republican."

(MH - Cindy, America is waiting on pins and needles to find out who you'll support in 08)

"I believe that the intelligent thing for Democrats to do for 2006 and 2008 would be to come out strongly and correctly against the botched, bungled, illegal, and immoral occupation of Iraq," Sheehan added.

The California woman, whose son Casey was killed fighting insurgents in Iraq, launched an anti-war movement in August when she camped outside President Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch and demanded to meet with the commander in chief, drawing national media attention.
She was granted a meeting with Sen. Clinton to discuss the war effort, but says the Democrat "apparently" didn't listen, as the senator told a reporter for the Village Voice, "My bottom line is that I don't want their sons to die in vain. ... I don't believe it's smart to set a date for withdrawal. ... I don't think it's the right time to withdraw."

"That sounds like Rush Limbaugh to me," Sheehan said. "That doesn't sound like an opposition party leader speaking to me. What Sen. Clinton said after our meeting sounds exactly like the Republican Party talking points I heard from Senators Dole and McCain."

MH - how did we get the point in our national political discourse where the most vocal, newsworthy spokespeople for the different points of view are Ms. Sheehan, Nancy Pelosi, Rick Santorum, or James Dobson?

Outfront Minnesota Kicks-off Fight Against Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment

At 630pm on Tuesday, October 18th at the Sabathani Community Center in Minneapolis, Outfront Minnesota held a meeting to introduce and kick-off the fight against discriminatory legislation in the state of Minnesota. About 65 community members and leaders such as Mayor R.T. Rybak and Senator Scott Dibble, were present at the meeting during which the slogan "Together Minnesota: It's about more than marriage" was revealed. I am in the process of securing a copy of the presentation which has the preliminary logo design.

The basic strategy set out was describeb by Ann DeGroot as a series of tracks. The first track is to keep the amendment off the ballot. Sen. Dibble stated that if we put up no fight the amendment will surely be on the 2006 Ballot, but he feels we have a very good chance to keep it off by using a coordinated and well targeted campaign. DeGroot estimated the campaign will cost at least $350,000 and will be targeted at convincing 34 Senators to vote against bringing up the Amendment. Monica Meyer, Outfront Policy Director, said that the state population is divided into 3 equal parts: 1/3 who will vote for the amendment, 1/3 who will vote against the amendment and 1/3 who is generally unsure. Our goal will be to target that 1/3 of the population and get them to contact their senators and encourage them to vote against the amendment. Since the Democrats will not force their members to vote on party platform it is important that every Senator see that there is opposition from their districts, to this amendment.

If the effort to keep the amendment off the ballot fails, the next track will involve educating 1.5 million Minnesotans on the amendment and getting them to vote against it. This education, however, will be ongoing from day one. This way we are prepared far in advance of any ballot initiative.

This campaign is intended to focus on the "just and fair" attitude of most Minnesotans and will target everyone from faith organizations to minority groups to the business community.

I was personally a bit skeptical going into this meeting, however, by the time it was over I was convinced they have a pretty good plan. It is the responsibility of every member in the GLBT and Allied community to help with this campaign. Future meeting times will be published on this blog. Additionally the website is in the development stages.

Monday, October 17, 2005

SGL (Same Gender Loving) - but "not gay" Speaker, Cleo comments on Millions More March

Femme Noir:

Black Same-Gender-Love, Represented At Historic ‘Millions More Movement’ Podium

October 15, 2005

By Cleo Manago

This years’ ‘Millions More Movement (MMM)’ rally, held October 15, 2005, on the National Mall in Washington D.C. was historic for same-gender-loving (SGL) and bisexual members of the Black community, and for the community at-large. At the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March, I had the honor of addressing the massive crowd, specifically, as a same-gender-loving (SGL) man of African descent. Flanked by John-Martin Green and Leo Singleton - two leaders of the Black Men’s Xchange (BMX) in New York - proudly, I represented the organization. From the momentous MMM podium, eagerly, I shared BMX’s purpose: to affirm, unify and educate SGL people, and a diverse Black community. My words included, "As we plan for the political and economic strengthening of our communities, so that the framework is not vulnerable to inter-group conflict, we have to take care of our people. Because, movements are made up of people. Parallel to the Minister's brilliant MMM plan I suggest that there be mental health and restoration intervention for Black people. Because many of us need it. We need cultural affirmation courses. Because many of us do not know who we are. We need healing opportunities particular to the Black experience that explicitly acknowledge our diversity, which would include same-gender-loving Sisters and Brothers, non-religious folks, powerful women, people who are differently-abled physically, and others loyal to Black unity, life and success.”

I went on to discuss the importance of acknowledging and affirming SGL and bisexual folks as part of the healing necessary for the Black family. I was able to express more, but of course, with over one hundred speakers a head of me, my presentation was short. I had planned to discuss SGL Sisters, manhood, ways of resolving HIV/AIDS, the importance of nurturing Black children and allowing them to blossom into who they really are – including when they are same-gender-loving. There was not enough time.

At my closing, as I bid the audience my affection and respect, in response I received rousing applause and love. Upon leaving the platform we were mobbed with accolades including from Dr. Maulana Karenga (the creator of Kwanza), Dr. Julianne Malveaux, and Kwame M. Kilpatrick Mayor of Detroit, and various members of the Nation of Islam. Responses included, "Thank you Brother. You gave me something important to think about," and "That was powerful, man. Keep up the great work, and thank you for presenting."

Cleo Manago's presence was made possible by the hard work of activists like Keith Boykin, Jasmyne Cannick and others in the National Black Justice Coalition - who have had the courage to confront the rampant homophobia in the Black Church.

The Millions More Movie

Pam Spaulding has the scoop. Mike Tidmus is excellent with photoshop. He's put together a movie promotion piece....


Who will play the role of Louis Farrakhan?

The Zimmerman Files

Lloydletta's Nooz contributor, Ken Avidor has been highly critical of 6th Ward candidate, Dean Zimmerman. He has put together "the Zimmerman Files", a web page explaining why people might want to oppose Zimmerman's election bid. (Zimmerman represented most of the current 6th ward, but was redistricted outside the ward).

Ken is especially critical of Dean Zimmerman because of his promotion of Personal Rapid Transit (which is an untested boondoggle). Ken is also concerned about Dean Zimmerman's ties to Basim Sabri (who bribed former councilman Brian Herron).

6th Ward Candidates and Gay Voters

When I paged through the current issue of Lavender, I saw this:


Dean's ad is catchy and edgy. It's also a bit patronizing to gay voters. While Dean makes a point of mentioning the openly Lesbian fire chief appointed by Rybak, he neglects to mention the police chief. RT Rybak passed over a well qualified internal openly Lesbian police chief candidate in Sharon Lubinski, in favor of hiring external candidate Bill McManus. Dean Zimmerman was a big supporter of McManus. Lilligren got lots of heat for opposing McManus's confirmation. McManus was favored by self-proclaimed "community leaders" such as Pauline Thomas and the ambulance chasing Citizens Against Police Brutality. Titi Bediako wrote a scathing article in the Spokesman Recorder chastizing Robert for his vote. (Cached version here.)

From Lavender:

Now, Lilligren—who is proud of being an enrolled member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and a gay man of color—believes his familiarity with institutionalized racism has given him experience others might lack.

Lilligren says, "The new ward is a gateway area for new arrivals and immigrants. Many of these cultures are less accepting of GLBT people than your longer-term Minneapolitan, and I think it is very important that these new-arrival communities see an openly gay person in a position of authority."

This is definitely true. When Robert Lilligren ran in 2001, he ran as an openly gay candidate, but he downplayed the issue.

To that end, other demographics of the ward point to a rather hip, urbane, and energetic community—one that provides more than a gay vote, but a socially supportive one for Lilligren.

When asked what differentiates him from a candidate who also is considered an ally to the GLBT community, Lilligren responds, "As LGBT people in America, we function as something less than equal to our straight fellow citizens.

"When I sit with my City Council colleagues, and I cast my vote during roll call, I am expressing equality. My vote is exactly equal to my nongay counterparts. I think this manifestation of equality in our communal lives is very important.

"Most municipal issues that LGBT people face are the same as their nongay neighbors: safe community, strong neighborhoods, and getting our share of the public dollars spent."

Very true. Robert has hit the nail on the head, that most gays in his ward are not going to vote based on identity politics.

Lilligren continues, “Our city has become more LGBT-friendly in this last term. Among other things, we’ve expanded the scope of our domestic-partner (DP) registry, required our contractors to provide DP benefits, and expanded our zoning code to recognize and acknowledge LGBT families.

This ordinance only applies to union contractors, and not to non-union contractors. If I had been on the city council, I would have opposed that particular ordinance. It would have been a different thing, if this was a business was getting city subsidy, rather than just doing business with the city. That being said, I've always found it rather amusing that the Green Party was highly supportive of this ordinance and the Green Party's Natalie Johnson Lee voted against this. The Greens were more upset about this, than when Natalie refused to distance herself after being quoted in the visciously bigoted African American minister, Bob Battle's column supporting the notiriously anti-gay Michele Bachmann.

"Many of these initiatives emerged from the LGBT activist community. I will continue to work with the community to define ways, within the city's jurisdiction, to continue to make our lives even better in Minneapolis."

Zimmermann, in answer to the statement that the choice between him and Lilligren will be tough for many GLBT voters, remarks, "Tough? What's tough about it? I have a history of being outspoken on questions of civil liberties.

"When the issue of equal benefits for spouses/partners came up at the Council, I and Council Member Lisa Goodman were the only ones who spoke up about how the gays on our Council were being short-changed."

Zimmermann adds, "Robert just sat there on his hands. I think this shows the clear difference between Bob and me.

“Whether it is GLBT issues, policy issues, or constituent service, I’m not just a vote; I am an advocate."

Dean Zimmerman made the case that a candidate doesn't have to be gay to be a forceful advocate of the gay community on the city council.

Lesbian Baiting by John Aravosis


Sunday, October 16, 2005

Louis Farrakhan, Willie Wilson and Pat Robertson - Oh My!

The Air America program, Politically Direct discusses the story of Keith Boykin getting banned from the Millions More March. You can listen to the archive here. It's at the beginning of the show. Wilson is the Executive Director of the March - and Louis Farrakhan is fully aware of his appalling "sermon".

The Village Voice covers this here.

A different sort of scene unfolded across the lawn as a group of 23 boys and girls in long dresses and neat suits began tuning their violins. Students from the Muhammad School of Music in Buffalo began practicing the classical number they would later perform in front of the crowd of thousands. They’ve been working on it for six months, says Jeannine Mohammad, whose 15-year-old daughter, Jamila, plays bass as well. “This march means everything to us!” she says. “Black people coming together in unity. It’s a day I’ve always dreamed of. I couldn’t come to the family march, so this is my first one.”

When asked what she thinks about the criticism the minister Farrakhan has received for being anti-Semitic and anti-gay, she also dismisses the accusations. “He is very tolerant of all races,” she says. “And he recently told the gay community they are welcome—and surely they are in need of healing, so they are welcome.”

It’s well-meaning but not quite accepting attitudes like Muhammad’s that some hope to change. The GLBT activists marched from Freedom Plaza to the Washington Mall, shouting “Black, gay, proud!” and “We are your mothers, your sisters, your brothers, your uncles,” to a few cheers, a few taunts, and many stares from onlookers. They weaved through the crowd, their chants competing with the amplified voices from the official podium. “Uh-uh, I know he didn’t just say he was gay,” said a teenager in a Millions More t-shirt.

Vallerie Wagner, a 46-year-old nonprofit worker, walked arm-in-arm with the woman she’s dating, Courtney Snowdon, a 26-year-old lobbyist. They cheerfully endured the stares. Wagner said she thought a minister close to Farrakhan was behind the reported rebuffing of Boykin, and that it wasn’t the decision of Farrakhan himself. “I wasn't really surprised they reneged,” she said. “But it speaks to the amount of hurt and hatred in the black community. It’s a sad day.”

According to the Washington Blade, Cleo Manago, a controversial queer speaker who does not identify as "gay" but rather as a "same-gender-loving black man" spoke briefly to the crowd. Black GLBT activists are calling the substitution unsatisfying.

Sam Varner, a 26-year-old accounts payable clerk, said not having a strong gay speaker saddened him because the march was billed as an "inclusive thing, but [African Americans] are behaving like those who once excluded us. It's wrong."

Jim Kouri at Common Voice reports that Bill Clinton is giving the hater Farrakhan legitimacy:

Beam Me Up, Louie Farrakhan
Jim Kouri
October 16, 2005

When the leader of the Nation of Islam announced his Millions More March on Washington, DC scheduled for October 15, none other than former President William Jefferson Clinton announced his support for Farrakhan's endeavor. But Clinton is not the only Liberal to offer credibility to a man who claims he was taken up into a spaceship where he met and spoke with the late Elijah Mohammed, the founder of the NOI.

The mainstream news media continue to shield Farrakhan from exposure, while the new media -- the internet bloggers and news services, talk radio and Fox News -- possess an abundance of factual information on Farrakhan's racist, anti-semitic and anti-American statements and writings. The fact that Farrakhan is a space cadet also appears to elude the mainstream news media. It doesn't help that he can't count either.

Besides Farrakhan's excursion to the mothership with Elijah Mohammed, the man's utterly bizarre statements would be laughable had the news media not showered him with positive press. How often do we need to hear about his first national spectacle The Million Man March, before some anchorperson or newswriter tells Americans that there were never a million men marching in Washington, DC in 1995? It was more like a 500,000 man march? And even that figure is suspect since it comes from the news media and some professors at Boston University.

During the original 500,000 Man March in 1995, Farrakhan banned whites, Latinos, gays and women from participating. This time he's permitting them to participate and like dogs running to the front door to great their owners, some jumped at the chance to participate. Farrakhan, in his wisdom, discovered the need for "useful idiots."

After the Millions More March or Movement or whatever they call it, news reporters gushed over a man who is arguably ready for a rubber room. Newspapers such as the Washington Post actually headlined their story with, "DC Rally Tribute to the Passion of a Million." It would be a good idea for our nation's journalism schools to provide remedial courses in arithmatic, since it's obvious they can't count. This time Farrakhan couldn't even come up with 500,000 people for his media circus. Here's a good rule of thumb: If the elite media report on a Liberal-Left march or protest, divide the number of people participating by two; if it's a Conservative gathering, multiply the number the media give by two.

Pam Spaulding has contacted John Aravosis from Americablog to get them to cover this story. Americablog continues to maintain silence.

Millions More March Ban of Keith Boykin Makes Kos Front Page


Politically Direct discussed this issue today.

Kudos goes to Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend for excellent coverage of this issue. This made the Kos front page - and the commenters are going wild.

On Pam's House Blend, Pam is calling for a blogswarm of this story.

You can find the contact information for the Congressional Black Caucus here, and ask if they have any comment on the outrageous statements and behavior of Willie Wilson.

Sheila Jackson Lee (202-225-3816 - phone, 202-225-3317 - fax), is on the board of the Millions More Movement.

I'll update with more contacts as I have time. If you have some, please post in the comments, and pass the word for a blogswarm.

Lloydletta Readers are encouraged to join the blogswarm.


Pam Lists Congressional Black Caucus Contact Information in the comments.

Sheila Jackson Lee was on stage at the end of this event. She gets lots of gay donations - and was on the board for this March.

This event didn't look well attended.

Other comments:

Naive? Or wishful thinking? (none / 0)

Frankly, I was surprised a few days ago to see Keith Boykin rejoicing in plans for him to speak Saturday. I didn't think it was going to happen, and I was disappointed to see Keith, a guy I always thought to be sharp and politically savvy, being taken in.

Was Keith that naive? Or was it wishful thinking?

Blacks gays, white gays, purple gays -- it doesn't matter -- we all have to get over expecting respect from the Willie Wilson types who increase their power by exploiting homophobia. It's foolish and naive and, frankly, as pathetic as a dog that keeps going back to lick the hand that weilds the clug.

We're not going to convert the Willie Wilsons of this world. We can make friends among the indifferent people of America, and we can get tighter with the friends we have already. But the Wilsons won't change. If we want to get ahead, we have to get enought allies to outvote the homophobic bigots.

by S1NV on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 06:32:00 AM PDT

Another says:

Washington Post has a (none / 0)

very good article on this. I hope I'm not duplicating any of your fine content, Pam. But I just had to point out the despicable way Wilson behaved at a meeting with Farrakahn and Boykin/Donna Payne.


Boykin and the two other leaders who were at the meeting said Farrakhan appeared genuinely interested in working out a solution. But the three said Wilson refused to shake their hands and went on a tirade.

Boykin said Wilson said he was furious about hate mail and angry calls he had gotten since he was criticized for delivering a sermon at his Southeast Washington church that described gay sex in graphic and derogatory terms. He has since written about an "epidemic" of lesbianism among young black girls.

Donna Payne, an organizer with the Human Rights Campaign who also attended the meeting, said Wilson told them he had to change his telephone number and was worried about his family. He then pulled out a book, "The New Joy of Gay Sex," and accused gay leaders of sending it to him.

Payne also said Wilson accused gay leaders of not knowing what is happening in the community.

Boykin and Payne said Wilson then grabbed a white plastic bag and pulled out a bottle of sleeping pills and a G-string made from Pez candies strung together. He said black girls use the items to try to turn other girls into lesbians.

"We were stunned into silence," said H. Alexander Robinson, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, who attended the meeting. "What do you say to that?"


Time and time again we see that those who claim to be moral and claim that we are perverse are the ones who are obsessed with sex and with filth.

by JamesB3 on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 06:33:20 AM PDT

Kudos to Pam Spaulding. I read her blog regularly. She's the best there is when exposing anti-gay wackiness. She knows what to do with a tip. I sent her material about Peter LaBarbara and she knew exactly what to do about it.

John Aravosis from Americablog used to cover issues like this. They have avoided this story like the plague on Americablog.

Will Mike Hatch run for Governor?

Now there's talk that he won't run.

This time, should the DFL endorse another candidate, I believe the candidate could get through the primary. Brian Melendez is a very smart DFL chair. Look what he's done for Chris Coleman in St Paul.

Compare this to what Mike Erlandson did for endorsed DFL candidates.

The Mike Unhatched website is unhatched.

Chuck Muth Tells Tony Perkins to Take the Chill Pill

I sent Chuck Muth a copy of the email I sent to Grover Norquist thanking him for speaking to Log Cabin Republicans in Texas. Chuck used the tip to put an item in his DC confidential. Chuck is hearing from the Leviticus Crowd about this item. They are furious that Grover Norquist is raising money for LCR in Texas which will use the $ to fight the marriage amendment in Texas. What hypocrites. Grover Norquist has also done fundraisers for Leviticus crowd groups - and they use the proceeds for anti-gay campaigns.

From DC Confindential: Chuck Muth's newsletter for donors.


Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is having a cow over the scheduled appearance tonight of Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, at a Texas fundraising event for the Log Cabin Republicans, a national organization of gay GOPers. Perkins laments Grover's "apparent support of this anti-family group" and warns that merely speaking to a conservative Republican group which doesn't share Perkins' anti-gay agenda "will no doubt split this important coalition" of fiscal and social conservatives.

Perkins needs to take a "chill pill." One need not be a social conservative or a supporter of the Federal Marriage Amendment to be either a good conservative or a good Republican. I've had a few tactical and political disagreements with LCR over the years, but I've discovered that all of their members came from families themselves. There's no "anti-family" agenda in this group of limited-government conservatives who generally operate under the conservative philosophy of "live and let live."

That merely speaking to Log Cabin Republicans will split the conservative "leave us alone" coalition which Grover has built is...just...plain...silly.

Cultivating the card carrying member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Chuck Muth is the best investment of time I've made.

Mortgage Interest Deduction

BoifromTroy comments on the recent Bush appointed commission proposal.

NLPC Criticizes Farrakhan and Millions More March; Says Extremists Have Seized Control of Civil Rights Movement

From US Newswire:

10/15/2005 8:20:00 PM

To: National Desk

Contact: Peter Flaherty of NLPC, 703-237-1970 or 703-864-7902 (cell); Web:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Peter Flaherty, president of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), today said of today's Millions More Movement march, "Extremists have seized control of what used to be called the civil rights movement. It is amazing to see Jesse Jackson, members of Congress, the NAACP all marching in Farrakhan's parade."

Flaherty continued, "Farrakhan was up there looking and sounding like some kind of tinpot dictator. He referenced a charge he made at least twice in the week preceding the rally claiming that the levees in New Orleans were blown up by the United States government. One of his wackiest ideas is for African-Americans to lease land from Native Americans to grow food so that the 'merchants of death' who currently own supermarkets can be by-passed. It would be a mistake, however, to make light of the likes of Farrakhan and Malik Zulu Shabazz, who spoke just before him. They are dead serious about their agenda."

Shabazz is the leader of the New Black Panther Party and has a history of anti-Semitism. He reportedly claimed that Jews had advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks. In 2002, Shabazz reportedly lead a march on Hitler's birthday on the B'nai B'rith building in Washington, DC.

Flaherty continued, "Neo-nazis tried to march in Toledo, Ohio and were met with bricks and rocks. The neo-Nazis who organized the Million More march were met with cheers and uncritical media coverage. The coverage has failed to emphasize the ugly and dangerous character of the Millions More Movement march, when it is mentioned at all. There is clearly a double-standard. The media is simply unable to objectively cover issues of race."

Flaherty noted that slave reparations had a prominent place at the march, and in Shabazz's speech. Wachovia, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase have all recently apologized for their alleged links to slavery and have made financial commitments to reparations activists.

NLPC promotes ethics in public life, and sponsors the Corporate Integrity Project The group has published a monograph titled "The Case Against Slave Reparations," that is available as a pdf at


/© 2005 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/

Reaction to the Millions More March Last Minute Banning of Keith Boykin

Pam Spaulding has updated her post. She has some thoughtful analysis:

I was thinking this probably happened because Keith Boykin and Jasmyne Cannick did the outing campaign looking for stories about Willie Wilson being a closet gay. [I posted about the series on the Blend here]

This reminds me alot of what happened between Log Cabin Republicans and the Bush campaign in 2000. Jake Tapper's account discusses the Log Cabin internal divisions on this.

Keith gave it the old college try, but after Wilson's behavior (as a minister, no less), it's time to hang it up with getting a seat at that particular table.

Farrakhan knew exactly what he was doing when he extended the invitation in the first place. The National Black Justice Coalition had sent him a list of 10 prospective gay speakers for the MMM -- Keith wasn't on the list -- yet Farrakhan asked Keith to speak, knowing that Wilson was hopping mad over the outing campaign from a few weeks ago.

It's no surprise then, on the day of the event -- with festivities in motion -- Wilson could pull rank and block Keith from taking the stage and call it miscommunication. The goal is achieved -- the NBJC doesn't get a chance in front of thousands of people that needed to hear the message Keith planned to deliver.

For me, the larger issue is the whether there will be a follow-up reaction to this incident by the other black leaders at that march -- will they ignore this slight? Will they address Wilson's bigoted remarks and end-run on the black gay community?

These are the people that need to be asked to comment on what it means when a segment of the black community that has been marginalized and demonized is explicitly denied an opportunity to openly address a painful issue -- black homophobia -- with a message of hope.

Instead, Farrakhan and Wilson played Keith -- letting him publicize the "success" of being given a seat at the table, and then pulling the chair out from under him -- all to show him who was in charge. It's disgusting.

I don't want a seat at the table of homophobes and bigots claiming to be religious leaders. Keith, you're better than these people. They are brothers under the skin with the white evangelical AmTaliban -- they'd rather bed down with those jackals.

Keith's speech -- the one that he could not give because of bigotry by a man of the cloth -- is powerful.

Keith's speech is available on his blog.

Remarks Prepared for Delivery
The Millions More March
Saturday, October 15, 2005
By Keith Boykin

Good Afternoon. Today I am honored to stand here at the Millions More Movement March as a representative of the National Black Justice Coalition, the country’s only national civil rights organization for Black lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people. The National Black Justice Coalition strongly supports the goals of the Millions More Movement for unity and inclusion of our entire community.

In February of this year, Minister Farrakhan and I participated in Tavis Smiley’s annual “State of The Black Union” event in Atlanta. During a press conference that day, Minister Farrakhan announced that women and gays would be encouraged to participate in today’s March. “The makeup will be our people, whoever we are,” he said. Then he added, “Male, female, gay, straight, light, dark, rich, poor, ignorant, wise. We are family. We will be coming together to discuss family business.”

After the press conference, I spoke to the Minister and I introduced myself. “Minister Farrakhan,” I said, while shaking his hand, “My name is Keith Boykin, and I am a Black gay man. And I want to thank you for your inclusive comments about gays in the Million Man March.” Without missing a beat, Minister Farrakhan responded to me with a long, warm embrace. “Brother, I love you,” he said as we hugged. “We are all part of the family. We are all part of the same community.” That was an historic moment.

Ten years ago, I joined more than a million of my brothers on this very location for the Million Man March. At that time, there were no openly gay, lesbian or bisexual speakers at that March. This time, however, I am able to speak here today as an openly gay man because of the courageous leadership of one man – Minister Louis Farrakhan. I publicly and honestly thank him and salute him for the invitation to speak. The diversity of speakers assembled here today is a powerful signal that we in the Black community will not allow ourselves to be divided by differences of opinion, religion, gender, class or sexual orientation ever again.

As Minister Farrakhan himself said in August, “we must not allow painful utterances of the past or present, based on sincere belief, or based on our ignorance, or based on our ideology or philosophy to cripple a movement that deserves and needs all of us—and, when I say all, I mean all of us.”

Earlier this week, two of my colleagues and I sat with Minister Farrakhan, his wife, his daughter, and his son, and with Rev. Willie Wilson, the executive director of this March. Minister Farrakhan said it was the first time he had ever sat down with a group of openly gay and lesbian African Americans. Let me be honest. It was an intense, passionate and candid meeting where both sides shared their pain and frustration with the other. At the end of the discussion, however, we made progress. We realized that there are no “both sides” of the table. There is only one side, and that is the side of justice.

So today I accept the olive branch offered by Minister Farrakhan and Rev. Wilson and offer an olive branch of my own. We acknowledge the hurt and pain that has been caused by both sides in our past conflicts, and we fully commit ourselves to heal the deep wounds that have hurt us. Thank you, Minster Farrakhan and Rev. Wilson for the love.

We have disagreed in the past and we may disagree in the future, but we all agree that we must move forward together. We all agree that we will not allow ourselves to be manipulated by the media to create divisions among us. We all agree that we are stronger together than we are apart. And we all agree that the struggle for the liberation of our people is more important than our individual differences of opinion.

Fifty years ago, Ralph Ellison wrote, "I am an invisible man. . . I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. . . . When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination -- indeed, everything and anything except me." Ralph Ellison was talking about the invisibility of the African American, but the same could be said of Black gays and lesbians.

When Dr. King spoke at the 1963 Civil Rights March, he called on one person, Bayard Rustin, a Black gay man, to organize that march. When Duke Ellington performed “Take The ‘A’ Train,” he called on one person, Billy Strayhorn, a Black gay man to serve as his composer. And when Black actors and directors put on performances of “A Raisin In The Sun,” they call on one person, Lorraine Hansberry, a Black bisexual playwright, to serve as their muse.

Black culture as we know it today would not exist without the words of James Baldwin, the poetry of Audre Lorde, or the choreography of Alvin Ailey. That is why I am here today – to honor their legacy.

But I am also here to honor the living heroes and sheroes of today. My good friend Phill Wilson likes to say that our people cannot love us if they do not know us. So I want you to know who we are. I want you to know the activist Angela Davis, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Author Alice Walker, the Grammy-nominated recording artist Me'Shell Ndege'Ocello, Editor-at-Large and former executive editor for ESSENCE magazine Linda Villarosa, and the former Adviser to New York Mayor David Dinkins, Dr. Marjorie Hilll.

And I want you to know the living male heroes. Men like New York City Council Member Phillip Reed, Former Mayor of Cambridge Ken Reeves, Mayor of Palm Springs Ron Oden, Bestselling Author E. Lynn Harris, and Harvard University Chaplain Rev. Peter Gomes.

And finally, I want you to know that we are your brothers and sons and fathers. We are your sisters and daughters and mothers. And we are your cousins and nieces and nephews as well. We cannot separate ourselves from the larger Black family because we are an integral part of the Black family. We raise our families, we send money to our nephews, and yes we sing in the choir as well.

The issues that affect Black gays and lesbians are issues that affect all Black people. Last year I sat in the living room of a young mother who had lost her child to violence in Newark, New Jersey. Her 15-year-old daughter, Sakia Gunn, was murdered because the killer thought she was gay. When black homosexuals and bisexuals are murdered, black heterosexual family members still have to bury their kin. What happens to Black gays and lesbians directly affects black straight people as well.

HIV and AIDS is the leading cause of death for young Black people, gay or straight. Forty-five million Americans do not have health insurance, and too many of this group are Black, gay or straight. Unemployment is still too high among Black people, gay or straight. We are all connected.

When Black people were forced to sit in the back of the bus, Black gay people were forced to sit in the back of the bus. When Black people could not vote, Black lesbians could not vote. And when Black people are beaten and abused by the police, Black bisexuals are beaten and abused by the police.

We share the same goals and aspirations as the rest of the Black community, but none of us can accomplish those goals without unity and courage. We all need courage in our lives. It took courage for you to come here today. It took courage for Minister Farrakhan to invite me to speak today. And it will take courage to heal the wounds that have divided us for far too long.

In the timeless words of Audre Lorde, "When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision – then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." So I say to you today: Be strong, be proud, be courageous.

The comments on Keith's blog are very interesting.

This one suggested that the anger shouldn't just be at Willie Wilson:

Do you honestly think that you would have been allowed to speak at the march when tyou personally attacked this man by trying to find out if he was gay or not?
Personally I feel that was a very immature action to take from a man as educated and intelligent as yourself. Farrakhan is not released from the negtaive things he has said about homosexuals. It amazes me how we are quick to jump on the black church but the muslim faith yet kills and shuns homosexual members of their faith.
Posted by: Zion at October 15, 2005 06:24 PM

but this march successfully did what keith *tried* to do - they publicly silenced and shamed him...


they baited keith until WEDNESDAY of this past week without giving any answer as to if they'd have an LGBTQ speaker at the event this week...the NBJC gave a list of folks they thought would be great speakers...

what did the committee do? they glossed over the suggested list for the president of the NBJC - great, right? wrong.

all while they're holding off and then choosing boykin, it is in the back of their minds that keith publicly tried to shame Wilson and others...

so what did they do?

they let keith believe that he'd get a chance to speak...let him write about it...sent press releases and everything...EVERYONE knew that keith boykin, president of the NBJC would be was everywhere...EVERYWHERE...

and they wait until keith is about to get on stage to tell him that there's no space for him on the program...Chavis said that the LGBTQ community was welcome at the event but there had never been any confirmation of the speaker...

they played keith by silencing showing everyone publicly that they have the power and keith doesn't...

so here's the thing...we shouldn't be TRYING to play into their hands in the first place...we should be creating our own spaces to speak truth to power, not pandering to "mainstream" folks just to get a one minute blurb...

(As well, this is Wilson ANNNNNNNNND Farrakhan...please stop acting like he's not apart of the march when it's HISSSSS march)
Posted by: ashon at October 15, 2005 07:18 PM

I second that one. Farrakhan is a viscious bigot and a hater.

Hey Keith, thank you for all that you do. I know today wasn't easy for you but I appreciate your willingness to be present and to step forward. Get some rest. We still have a lot of work to do. I love you. Jasmyne.
Posted by: Jasmyne at October 15, 2005 10:40 PM

Why am I not suprised. I think that the way Wilson/Farrakhan went about doing this was in poor taste, poor character, and was totally unprofessional. It was childish at best. If the mission of the march was to bring our community together and to address issues affecting us, then it was truly unsuccessful. I guess they got scared--they didn't want anyone to speak who would phenomenally set the record straight and bring it home. This just goes to prove that the fight continues. It's just sad that our own people will foresake us because of their fears/beliefs about sexuality. If we want change, we're going to have to mobilize and work to create it ourselves. I won't take this effort or any of what Keith and the NBJC have done in vain. This wonderful speech may be called "The Speech That Didn't Happen" for now but I have a feeling that this will soon change.
Posted by: BuddahDesmond at October 15, 2005 10:39 PM

great speech from a great leader thank you for your courage to fight the religious bigots that rule all places of power in this country from the President on down to the Rev. Wilson. We need to forget the religious bigots and work on our own economic and spiritual development. We need to work in our own families to not allow ourselves to be second class citizens.
Posted by: Kevin at October 15, 2005 09:00 PM

Keith and everyone else, dont think this is a step back. It is a step forward and a wake up call for us not to take ANY nonsense from our own. What happened to Keith has happened twice to my organization, Palmetto Umoja. Twice we were lied to and betrayed by black leadership groups. When things like this happen, we need to expose the liars in our community who are only interested in generating status for themselves. And on that note, I am pleased to announce that South Carolina will be having its first Blatino Gay Pride next year in Columbia. I am sure we will have so called black leaders opposed but to hell wiht it. It's plan and we are loaded for bear. No going back, Always push forward
Posted by: Alvin McEwen at October 15, 2005 08:52 PM

Keith Boykin and the National Black Justice Coalition should be commended for talking publicly about this issue.