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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 22, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 43
National News
Section One
ALL STORIES
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National News

by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

N.Y. GOP governor candidate talks trash about Gays
Carl Paladino, the Republican candidate for governor of New York, sounds like an old-school homophobe.

First, on October 10, he said: 'I didn't march in the ... Gay pride parade this year. My opponent did. And that's not the example that we should be showing our children, and certainly not in our schools. And don't misquote me as wanting to hurt homosexual people in any way. That would be a dastardly lie. My approach is live and let live. I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don't want them to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option. It isn't.'

The following day Paladino went on the Today show and dug in his heels, telling Matt Lauer: 'They wear these Speedos and they grind against each other and it's just a terrible thing. ... Would you take your children to a Gay pride parade? I don't think it's proper for them to go there and watch a couple of grown men grind against each other. I don't think that's proper. I think it's disgusting.'

Video 1: tinyurl.com/nogrind1. Video 2: tinyurl.com/nogrind2.

In an October 12 editorial, The New York Times called Paladino's comments 'bigoted' and 'shockingly irresponsible,' given recent anti-Gay hate crimes and the spate of Gay teen suicides.

'A week before Mr. Paladino's comments, police say three men in the Bronx were tortured by a group of attackers who believed they were Gay,' the newspaper wrote. 'On October 1, Rutgers University held a memorial service for a student who killed himself after police said his sexual encounter with a man was broadcast over the internet by two classmates. For Mr. Paladino to choose this moment to make his utterly gratuitous remarks suggests at the very least an extraordinary level of insensitivity.'

Later October 12, Paladino issued a statement that said, in part, 'I sincerely apologize for any comment that may have offended the Gay and Lesbian Community or their family members.'

GetEQUAL zaps Obama in Miami
Disagreement over whether White House banned Gay vet from event

GetEQUAL attempted to confront President Barack Obama in a three-pronged zap of a fundraiser at NBA star Alonzo Mourning's home in Miami on October 11. A fourth component of the protest allegedly was thwarted by the White House.

As the presidential motorcade drove into the Coconut Grove estate, activists held large signs demanding that Obama 'End the discharges now' and announcing, 'We'll give when we GetEQUAL.' The president reportedly rolled down his window and waved to the protesters.

A bit later, activists boarded boats and got as close as possible to the events as Obama spoke on the estate grounds. They blasted bullhorns and loudspeakers from a yacht covered with a banner that said, 'Stop the discharges!'

The White House press-pool reporter accompanying Obama made note of the disruption in her fourth dispatch.

The group also set aloft weather balloons carrying their logo and URL.

A plan to confront Obama inside the fundraiser was thwarted when the White House refused to let Anthony Woods attend the pricey soirée, according to GetEQUAL's version of events. Woods is a Democratic former congressional candidate who was fired from the military under the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Gay ban.

'[Woods] was the guest of Itzel Diaz who was told to send her information over to the DCCC [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] by the deadline on Friday at 5 p.m.,' said GetEQUAL spokesman Brad Luna. 'Itzel spoke with the DCCC RSVP contact and was told there was room, that she simply needed to send her info over by the deadline - which she did - and it would be sent to the White House for clearance. They informed her that she would hear back from them at 11 a.m. [October 11]. However, when they did not call at 11 a.m., Itzel phoned them and was informed that they were both denied access by the White House.'

But DCCC National Press Secretary Ryan Rudominer contradicted that version of events.

'Ms. Diaz called on Friday and said she may be interested in attending the event with a guest,' Rudominer said. 'However, Ms. Diaz did not confirm attendance, payment was not submitted and no information was provided for vetting.'

GetEQUAL cofounder Robin McGehee said Obama will be seeing more of the group.

'President Obama has failed to deliver on his campaign promises to the LGBT community, and we will continue to remind him of that failure,' she said. 'If the president is going to travel around the country asking for our dollars and our votes, then we are going to travel with him and insist that he first give us some of the hope and change he promised.'

McGehee said Obama should immediately sign an executive order halting discharges under the DADT Gay ban, which has been struck down by a federal court in California. At the moment, an injunction from the court forbids the government from making any use of DADT. The Justice Department on October 14 asked the judge to suspend the injunction while the government appeals it.

The Pentagon is presently conducting a study on how to formally end the ban. A measure authorizing its repeal passed the House of Representatives this year but failed to pass the Senate.

It is unclear whether the repeal authorization will be considered again between the November elections and the time new House and Senate members take office in January.

Democrats are expected to lose seats in both houses.

With assistance from Bill Kelley

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