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On Outfest & the gay community

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:45 pm - July 12, 2012.
Filed under: LA Stories,Movies/Film & TV

I am about to set off to volunteer yet again at Outfest, LA’s gay and lesbian film festival.  If you’re in the LA area, you can still buy tickets for some great shows.

Over the years, as a Theater Manager, in many ways the ears of the festival, I have heard criticism of the films selected and even about the very idea of a gay film festival, now with the mainstreaming of gay individuals (e.g., Ellen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris) and gay themes and with gay movies regularly selected by other festivals.

I have also heard much praise–how people wish the festival were longer.  Or that it took place in the winter as well as the summer.

There is a spirit this festival has.  I have found it easier to be openly Republican at Outfest than in perhaps any other gay endeavor in which I have participated (save, of course, gathering of our blog readers and meetings of Log Cabin).  Some people do rib me for my politics, but in a friendly manner.  Most accept me for who I am.  And I am not the only right-of-center Theater Manager.  Nor the only Republican supporter of this festival.

Something seems to happen at Outfest.  A number of people notice this every year.  It is one of those few places where you can really feel a gay community.  Others notice that as well.  When some suggest that there is no longer the same “need” for a gay film festival as there was at the first Outfest thirty years ago, I remind them of the sense of community we feel when this particular festival begins — and how many gay people look forward every year to that Thursday in July when we gather downtown at the Orpheum to celebrate our stories on celluloid.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Neptune wonders “if this is a place where you feel more of a ‘community’ because everyone in attendance has an interest in film? In other words, because no matter your politics, you are all there due to something you have in common? To me, that would be a primary drive of that community feeling.”  Good point.

Feeling overwhelmed by charitable solicitations

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:30 pm - July 12, 2012.
Filed under: Random Thoughts,Worthy Causes

Today, in my snail mail, I received yet again a batch of letters from charities to whom I have donated, including some who have sent me repeated missives over the years.  One such outfit, like many others, had printed on the enveloped, “The favor of a reply is requested.”  This is not the first time I have seen such a message.

Now, I believe those of us who can afford to should support the less fortunate — or organizations which promote causes we support, seek cures to diseases or help to those afflicted with said ailments, provide help to veterans and opportunity to children.  I wish I could give each letter the attention its cause deserves.  But, there are only so many hours in the day — and so many dollars in my bank account.

For the balance of the summer, I have (reluctantly) decided to stop reading such solicitations.  As I attempt to de-clutter my apartment, I find such missives scattered around my apartment (saved until today because I did want to consider supporting these groups). As I recycle the paper, I often find duplicates; the same charity has sent me the same letter on multiple occasions.  (Would donors be paying to help their cause or for fundraising efforts?)

Instead I have resolved to respond only to personal solicitations from people I know.   (more…)

A story which shows how far gay people have come

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:59 pm - July 12, 2012.
Filed under: Gay America

This morning, Michael Moynihan, filling in for Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post’s Right Turn blog, alerts us to a story which is a very much a must read:

William McGowan, author of two books on the influence of political correctness in American newsrooms, both published by the conservative imprint Encounter, has a fascinating piece in Slate on a long-forgotten extortion ring targeting gay men in 1960s New York . . .

In this story, we learn how, not even fifty years ago, in America’s most cosmopolitan city, easy it was to blackmail gay men, individuals who feared for their livelihoods if their sexuality came out.

I read this as we here in Los Angeles prepare for the opening of Outfest, a gay and lesbian film festival which many in the entertainment industry — and not just gay men and lesbians — readily embrace.  Instead of sexuality being something hide, today, in Los Angles at least, our stories have become something to celebrate.

And that progress is something to celebrate.

Why the choice to slur prominent opponents of gay marriage?

Last week, Bruce posted on the sudden notoriety of Brad Pitt’s mother.  Yesterday, Michelle Malkin came to her defense.  Now, we can agree to disagree with Mrs. Pitt on some issues, but one wonders why when the Missouri woman faulted Obama for being “a liberal who supports the killing of unborn babies and same-sex marriage”, some, as Michelle details, would see her expression of her opinion as “hate” and proceed to call her names and wish for her death.

Michelle writes:

Self-appointed Tinseltown anti-bigotry cops blew their tops [in response to Mrs. Pitt expressing her views in a letter to the editor for Missouri’s Springfield News-Leader] The Hollywood Reporter labeled Mrs. Pitt’s letter “anti-gay.” Gossip website Global Grind, founded by rap mogul Russell Simmons, called her “homophobic.”

Anti-gay?  Did she express hostility to gay people? No, she just indicated her opposition to same-sex marriage.

Do people just want to vent — or do they want to change minds?  Instead of insulting Mrs. Pitt, gay marriage advocates would be better served by explaining why state recognition of  gay marriage is a good thing.

BuzzFeed Reporter Posts Anti-Gay Tweet

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 11:35 am - July 12, 2012.
Filed under: Liberal Hypocrisy

There’d be BREAKING NEWS sirens going off right now at MSNBC if someone from say, The Daily Caller, posted this anti-gay tweet today.

You may recall that Richard Grenell is the former Romney foreign affairs spokesman who resigned when the issue of his being gay became a distraction.

Well Michael Hastings, who says he writes for BuzzFeed, seems to have no problem hurling out an anti-gay stereotype with no remorse whatsoever.

Funny, those double standards.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

We have freedom to marry, we lack* state recognition of our unions

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:30 am - July 12, 2012.
Filed under: Freedom,Gay Marriage,Log Cabin Republicans

In his statement praising presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s “Inclusive Tone” yesterday at the NAACP Convention, Log Cabin Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper added that “it is unfortunate that he countered his outreach to gay and lesbian Americans with a gratuitous attack on the freedom to marry.

He did?

All he said about marriage was simply this, “As President, I will promote strong families – and I will defend traditional marriage.”  He never said he would deny individuals the freedom to form couples and define their unions as marriages.

Now, this is not to say I join Mr. Romney in supporting a federal constitutional amendment allowing states to recognize only traditional marriages as such. I don’t; I oppose this change to our national charter.

Clarke’s statement, however, suggests that marriage doesn’t exist in the absence of state recognition. To the contrary, marriage has existed as institution long before governments recognized it.  And many marriages exist today without the benefit of state sanction.

The issue in the marriage debates is not whether gay couples are free to marry, but whether the state should recognize their unions and grant them the same benefits they offer to straight couples.

Freedom doesn’t come from the state, but the state can limit its exercise.   (more…)

If Obama spoke to a gathering of Mormons, would the media focus on the crowd’s criticism or the Democrat’s courage?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:30 am - July 12, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Gay Marriage,Media Bias

Returning home from a date to see The Amazing Spider-Man last night, I caught this leading Yahoo!:

Now, to be fair to the folks at Yahoo!, did acknowledge the applause Mitt Romney received at the NAACP meeting (dismissing it a tad by calling it “polite”), but this outlet like others (as I witnessed today via my left-of-center Facebook friends) focused on the boos, the hostile reaction.  Both Powerline (in their “Picks” section) and Instapundit (in this post) linked this report in Twitchy, Lapdog media play up NCAA boos for Romney:

As Twitchy reported this morning, Mitt Romney spoke at the NAACP National Convention in Houston. Predictably, his promise to repeal Obamacare was met with boos. However, his firm support of traditional marriage was met with applause (as was his support for the Keystone Pipeline and charter schools). You’d never know that, though, were you to watch mainstream media outlets. Those applause don’t suit the narrative! Are NAACP members drinking the H8R-ade? That doesn’t suit. So, ignore! Ignore like the wind!

It’s not just Mormons and evangelical Christians who support traditional marriage — and oppose state recognition of same-sex marriage.

Now, while our friends in the legacy media have played up the boos and, by and large, ignored the substance of a very solid speech, the presumptive Republican nominee addressed problems facing black Americans and discussed solutions consistent with free-market conservatism.  Seems folks in the legacy media would rather focus on the spectacle than the issues — while bemoaning how little people consider the issues.

Do wonder how the media would react if President Obama spoke to a meeting of leaders of the Church of Latter Day Saints.  Would the Democrat agree to address such a gathering?  If he spoke forthrightly as did Mr. Romney to the NAACP, I dare say the Mormon crowd would disagree with the speaker — and the media would spin the story as one of courage, a noble man daring to speak his mind before a hostile audience. (more…)