Weekly Round Up for Friday August 12th, 2011

Happy Friday!

I spent the week out of town wrangeling nieces… I hope you all had as much fun in the past five days as I have. I have a whole slew of news and notes for you, so let’s jump right in!

Paul Oetken is set to become the first openly gay man to serve on the federal bench. His Senate confirmation sailed through with even ardent conservatives voting for him. While this is a landmark, the fact that it didn’t garner more attention can be seen as a sign of the times.

Are you following the Bert and Ernie drama? A Facebook petition to Sesame Street calling for the duo to wed or for there to be LGBT characters on the show has met with resistance… from the Christian right, of course, but also from Sesame street itself who’s spokesperson is reported on stating that the two are “just best friends, created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves”.

Allen West, the Tea Party backed Republican Congressman took a rather confusing stance on gay rights: “Everyone has the same basic rights, and no one is telling people in the gay community that they don’t have the same basic rights that any American has,” he noted. [H]e elaborated that while he believed it to be a choice, he did not think it an inferior one that should be changed. “No, I don’t think that!” he cried upon being asked. (From the Mediaiate). No sign yet on how his belief will translate into the subject of rights.

From the LA Times: Gay presidential candidate Fred Karger has a message : The longtime political advisor knows he stands no chance of becoming the Republican nominee, but he wants to let other homosexuals know it’s OK to be gay and to aim high in life.

The White House has designated Raul Alvillar, a gay administration official who currently serves as associate director for public engagement at the Office of the Vice President to the position of the interim point of contact for the LGBT community. Alvillar will replace current LGBT liaison. Brian Bond, who is leaving later this month for a position at the Democratic National Committee, and will serve this position temporarily until a permanent liaison is named,

Activists in Michigan are working hard to include LGBT protection in new hate crime legislation.

Good news for the transgendered community, at least for those incarcerated in Wisconsin: “A federal appeals court upheld a ruling striking down a Wisconsin law banning publicly-funded hormone therapy for transgender inmates, saying denying the treatment amounted to torture.” One can only hope this precedent will have far reaching consequences.

Now playing a hauntingly alluring witch in Conan the Barbarian, in theaters August 19, Rose McGowan talks to The Advocate about her activism for LGBT equality, her LGBT family, her dream lesbian crush and her desire to do a guest spot on Glee.

And lastly… in honor of Jani Lane, lead singer for Warrant (you know, from the 80s?) who died yesterday

… here is Cherry Pie!

That’s all for me. Have a fun, and safe, weekend!

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