Free Gay Excerpt; Supreme Court Gay Marriage; Tory Minister Tweets Queer Word; Raven-Symone on Fame and Celebrity

Supreme Court Gay Marriage

As I’ve posted about gay marriage over the past few years I’ve focused on the small victories, like most recently when each state declared it’s legal on a state and federal level. But that’s exactly how it’s been, one small victory leading to another, and a few setbacks, and then it starts all over again in some places. We’ve yet to see a broad ruling that will allow all same sex couples to marry legally in the US, and this has caused issues that range from the most emotional right down to the most practical.

Politicians flip and flop and either use it to their advantage, or disadvantage. It is especially hard when it comes to obtaining a legal divorce if the state you live in doesn’t recognize gay marriage. I know what it’s like to live in Pennsylvania three miles from the state of New Jersey where same sex marriage was legal and it wasn’t in Pennsylvania. Even though it is now legal in Pennsylvania I can sympathize with those who still live in states where it’s not legal. In books I write about characters going outside state lines just to get married to get some federal recognition, and I’m tired of doing that just as I’m sure millions of other same sex couples are tired of waiting for their turn.

How long will this continue? It seems close to impossible to do in some parts of the US.

Right now the Supreme Court is once again getting ready to decide the future of same sex marriage. And it’s been a long time coming…almost all of my life. When I was a child it wasn’t even a discussion. In the 90’s it started to gain attention. This article to which I’m linking talks about the history of gay marriage and what’s to come.

The air of inevitability that pervades the issue today stems from a near-perfect string of court victories since June 2013, when the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where it is legal. The same five justices appear likely to take the final step this term by declaring state bans against gay marriage unconstitutional.

The article also discusses various issues yet to come, and it even makes this statement, which I found interesting.

“It was considered an impossible dream by some,” Smith recalls. “Some gay people thought it was a crazy idea themselves.”

I cannot tell you how many times gay couples I knew made this comment. They often conceded by stating they were for civil unions, but didn’t care about gay marriage. And it always stunned me at first, but after I thought about it I understood. When you’re kept down for so long by so many you learn how to live with a mindset that makes it okay to be second best, or even third best as the case usually is with gays. And, thankfully, there are those who were not willing to settle for anything other than complete equality.

In any event, you can read the entire piece here. It also gets into religious freedom and how that’s played a huge negative role in the fight for gay marriage.

Tory Minister Tweets Queer Word

During National Poetry Day in the UK, Tory minister, Matt Hancock, sent out a tweet that has offended many people. Read it in the form of a limerick. It’s not the best example of limerick.

It read: ‘The party run by young Ed/is quietly going quite dead/bereft of ideas/quite full of queers/no wonder the faithful have fled.’

He deleted the tweet only moments later, and then he apologized and said it was a mistake. As one person stated in the comments, paraphrased, this will be forgotten and pushed aside and no one will remember it tomorrow.

Unfortunately.

You can read the rest here.

Raven-Symone on Fame and Celebrity

Once in a while I find an article that I not only agree with, but it makes me feel sane because I know I’m not the only one thinking this way. She gained fame at a young age, on the Bill Cosby show in the 1980’s. For those who don’t remember that time, no one left their homes on Thursday night. We were all home watching Cosby…at least most of us underage were.

Raven-Symone came out in support of same sex marriage last year on Twitter, and she also told the world she’s a lesbian. And now in a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, she talks about her feelings with regard to fame and recognition.

She has learned some important lessons about fame along the way.

‘What I’ve learned is it’s unnecessary to go to the most popular restaurant in the world when you have a scandal on your head, and then get mad when someone’s going to take a picture of you,’ Raven says.

 ‘That’s your fault, Boo-Boo. Stay in the house.’

And, that’s really about as plain and simple as it gets. I read once in a celebrity autobiography that people in the public eye don’t have to be recognized when they go out if they don’t really want to be recognized. Do you think the publicity George Clooney’s been getting for that wedding was all unplanned?

You can read the rest here.

Free Gay Excerpt

Before I get criticized for always using the word “gay” in titles, I’m not that fond of doing it myself. But we live in a world where search engines are everything and I’m basically a realist at heart. If I were to title a post without using the word “gay” it would wind up buried in a heap of nothing. And frankly, with so many straight people exploiting gays these days, I’m going push my way into the forum, too.

The excerpt I’m publishing today is from a recent novel I just turned in titled, “When a Man Loves a Man.” It’s the next book in the Glendora Hill series, and the title is a parody of the old song, “When a Man Loves a Woman.” That’s the only parody here: the title. The rest of the novel deals with a gay country singer who wants to make it big with gay country songs, and he wants to marry the man he loves. I’ll post more as I get release dates and links. I just had a new book released, so I’m thinking this one won’t be out for a month at least. I wanted to share a little bit about how the character feels about music and the lack of gay music out there.

 

Although Clayton sang in clubs and bars for a living, he’d never been fond of playing before small parlor groups like this. It made him feel self-conscious and the acoustics were never right. “Maybe another time,” he said. “I don’t want to bore you all to death.”

            “Oh, I’d love to hear you sing something,” Ned said. “Sing something gay, a long song about two gay men. I’m so fucking sick and tired of hearing love songs about the straights I could fucking gag.” When he realized the language he’d just used, he shrugged and said, “Sorry for that outburst. I don’t know what’s come over me.”

            Bobby Joe chimed in this time. “Clayton’s right. He’s not in the mood to sing right now.”

            But when Clayton noticed the dejected expression all over poor Ned’s face, he stood up, crossed to the baby grand, and said, “I guess I could sing just one song…for Ned. I’ll sing one that’s not about the fucking straights.” He and Ned exchanged a smile.

            Then he sat down at the piano and said, “I normally play and sing with the guitar. But the first instrument I learned to read music on was the piano. I’m not the best, but I can hold my own. And, I’m not going to play anything original right now. I’d rather play something I think Ned will like just for fun. It’s a parody of a really popular straight country western song, but with all male names and pronouns. Just for gay people, because we don’t ever get to hear anything like that anywhere.”

            Ned clapped and said, “I love it.”

            Michael didn’t seem as enthused. He lowered his head and put his hands in his pockets.

            It didn’t matter to Clayton anymore because the song he chose was one of the parodies he’d recreated for gays and sung online where he’d received the most hits and attention. But only positive attention from gay people. Straight people didn’t seem to get this and they thought it was an aberration to mock a straight song. To view the comments from angry straight listeners a person would have thought he’d killed a kitten. It was a fairly popular song by a hetero country western singer, Toby Keith, titled As Good As I Once Was. Oh, how the straights hated him for ruining this one, even those who claimed to support gay people. When he sang it, he changed the pronouns from she to he, and he changed twin sister to twin brother.  Best of all, the name Bobby Joe was actually in the original song and he didn’t have to change that at all.

            As he sang it that afternoon, he glanced across the living room when he sang out Bobby Joe’s name. Bobby Joe smiled in an awkward way, as if he were terrified to show any emotion at all in front of Michael. Ned seemed to forget all about Michael and he stood up to join Clayton at the piano and sing with him. In fact, the most interesting thing happened. The instant Clayton starting changing this particular song to make it gay instead of straight, Ned couldn’t wait to throw his hands up and join in. It looked as if he’d been liberated from a prison camp after years of oppression and torture. Although Clayton had seen this reaction before to his parodies of straight country western songs, he’d never seen it quite as embellished as he did that afternoon. It was as if Ned had been held back by society and his own husband. And with the help of a few martinis and Clayton he finally felt free enough to enjoy something for once.

            When the song ended, Ned said, “Let’s do another one. Do you know any Dolly Parton songs we can make gay? Or how about that one song by the other singer titled, When a Man Loves a Woman. We can sing, When a Man Loves a Man. Oh, I’ve always wanted to hear a gay version of THAT one. I’d sing that baby in church. Ha.” He’d clearly had one martini too many. He wasn’t drunk; just overly animated to the point where he’d begun to slur a few words.  

            Clayton covered the keyboard and said, “We’ll do more later, Ned. I promise. And when I do these songs you have to understand I’m only parodying straight music because we’ve been ignored for so long as human beings. I have plenty of original gay music I take very seriously I’ve written myself. I’ll do some of that later.”

            Before Ned could insist he play something else, Michael stood up and said, “Well, that was interesting, Clayton. Now it’s time to go into town and pick up a few things.”

            Ned smiled at Clayton and said, “We just got here ourselves and there’s not much to eat in the house. Would you like to join us, Clayton? We’re only going into Glendora Hill to nice little market Judd told us about.”
 

Glendora Hill: Too Hard to Handle

 

 
by Ryan Field
 

Publisher Purchase Link $4.99 (always cheaper at the publisher)Purchase Link to Allromanceebooks.com

 
 

Paula Deen Again; Danny Cevallos on CNN; Nook Partnership; Scotus

Update 2: The Supreme Court has cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California by holding that defenders of California’s gay marriage ban did not have the right to appeal lower court rulings striking down the ban. Link

Update: SCOTUS strikes down DOMA as unconstitutional.  DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.”

Paula Deen gave a highly emotional interview on NBC’s Today Show this morning about the issues she’s been facing recently with racism and the N-word. I’ve posted earlier here. This next link will lead you to CNN where the interview was discussed with Marvette Britto, president and CEO of PR and brand strategy Firm, The Britto Agency, and Danny Cevallos, criminal defense attorney from Philadelphia.

The accusations against Deen stem from a lawsuit filed by a former manager of Deen’s restaurants in Savannah, Georgia. Lisa T. Jackson’s lawsuit alleges that Deen and her brother, Bubba Hier, committed numerous acts of violence, discrimination and racism that resulted in the end of Jackson’s five-year tenure at Deen’s Lady & Sons and Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House eateries in Savannah.

Marvette Britto didn’t seem impressed with Deen’s interview, or the way Deen handled the issue. Unfortunately, the clip didn’t include what Danny Cevallos had to say, and I was very curious to listen to him. Cevallos started doing these pieces on local Philadelphia news channels not too long ago, and since then he’s gone network. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cevallos wound up with a show of his own eventually…CNN might want to take note of this and help try to boost those hideous ratings. Because you’re not going to increase them by cutting Cevallos out of a clip like that and only giving one side of the story.

Nook Partnership

B&N will stop making the Nook, but the good news is that they are working on a deal to get other manufacturers to produce what I’m guessing would be the same device as the Nook. So for those who love their Nooks I would imagine it’s good news.

So instead of making and selling its own tablets, the company is planning to move to a “partnership” model.

Essentially, it’ll try to get other companies to build tablets that come with NOOK software preloaded. You’ll probably be able to buy those devices in Barnes & Noble stores if and when when they’re available. Who knows? They might even have the NOOK name on them. But they won’t be built in-house.

I’m not familiar with the Nook, but I know people who have them and they love them.

Scotus Gay Marriage

We’re waiting patiently.

Those facts in combination mean that shortly after 10 a.m. the justices will announce their rulings on challenges to two laws that define marriage to include only unions of a man and a woman.

Paula Deen the N-Word; The Q-word; Supreme Court/Gay Marriage

(Update: It doesn’t seem to be ending for Paula Deen. More sponsors may terminate their relationship with her, and Smithfield Foods has terminated their relationship with her and issued a striking statement.)

(Update 2: And now there are more allegations of racism surfacing about Deen and her family. An attorney for the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition said current and former Paula Deen employees told him the famous cook and her brother discriminated against black employees, one of whom was consistently referred to as “my little monkey.”)

According to one article I read this morning, Paula Deen’s employees will now be affected by the category five shitstorm that happened when she admitted to using the N-word.

Paula Deen’s TV career is toast after the Food Network announced Friday that it would not be renewing the popular shows “Paula’s Best Dishes” and “Paula’s Home Cooking” after her contract expires at the end of June.

But is she really “toast?”

Tons of fans, of all races, have swamped her facebook page with support. I read another article this weekend that said fans and supporters lined up in the hundreds outside her restaurant in Savannah. Fellow chefs have come to her defense. There are far too many to link to or mention. But here’s one I found that’s less slanted than most.

“I was shocked. I thought she’d get a fair trial,” Wilson, a nurse from Jacksonville, Fla., said Saturday after stopping to buy souvenirs at the gift shop Deen owns next to her Savannah restaurant. “I think the Food Network jumped the gun.”

Here’s a link to Deen’s facebook page. I don’t follow her.

Of course I can’t help thinking about how all this is related to the Q-word…Queer. I’ve been open about how I find the word Queer cringe-worthy at best. It brings to mind negative images from my past and present, and I know for a fact there are still people calling gays “queers” in a very negative way. There are bad jokes about queers, and offensive metaphors and similes about queers. I know many other gay men and women who agree with me (a lot e-mail me in private because they are afraid to talk about it openly). However, I’ve learned to live with the Q-word because I don’t seem to have any choice in the matter. I don’t hold it against anyone who uses the queer word the “right” way. There are people who use the word because they claim it will take the negative stigma away. I get that. On a certain level I agree with it, but I’m a realist, too, and words are strong.

In the same respect, there’s been this very same debate over the N-word. I remember Oprah Winfrey devoting an entire show to it once a while back. Frankly, when I first heard that Paula Deen admittedly used the N-word I started to wonder about how often she used the Q-word, too. It stands to reason. Then I started to wonder how she would use the Q-word…in what context. Clearly, from what I’ve read, Deen was not using the N-word in a positive way.

Evidently, there’s a double standard, though. It’s okay to offend me and thousands of other gay people by using the Q-word because it’s politically correct to do this, but it’s not okay to use the N-word at any time, or in any context. Because in spite of all the lobbying I’ve seen to take the negative stigma away from the N-word by using it openly, no one has yet to remove the hideous racist images that the N-word is associated with. It’s still offensive in any context, especially if you use it and you’re not of African descent. And I think what happened to Paula Deen is a good example of this, and how strongly so many of us feel about the racist implications associated with the N-word. But there are some who can get away with calling me a queer and I’m supposed to smile and take it because they don’t mean any harm. But they are also the same people who would never use the N-word. If that’s not a double standard I don’t know what is.

I’m starting to think that maybe it is time to remove the stigma and negative associations to both words…queer and the N-word. Unfortunately, I just can’t bring myself to type the N-word out no matter how hard I try.

Supreme Court/Gay Marriage

This is the day many of us have been waiting for. The Supreme Court will be ruling on gay marriage, and we’ll find out whether or not the massive fight for equality continues on.

As the term draws to a close at the end of this week, the nine justices still have not released decisions in two highly anticipated gay marriage cases—Perry v. Hollingsworth and Windsor v. United States—as well as two key cases involving race, Shelby County v. Holder and Fisher v. University of Texas.

At 9:15 a.m., the experts at SCOTUSblog—SCOTUS stands for Supreme Court of the United States—will begin analyzing what the Court might do in the liveblog below, and when a decision is handed down, this liveblog will likely be the first place to break the news.


I have no idea how to predict this one. When you’ve been kicked around and disappointed so many times, you learn to anticipate with caution, and never to assume anything. You are also prepared to stand up fast, and keep on fighting if that’s what you have to do.

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