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New US President commits to further LGBT rights

Friday, January 30, 2009

Newly sworn-in US President Barack Obama commits to oppose a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, support full civil unions and federal rights of same-sex couples, expand adoption rights, fight workplace discrimination among others.

New President Barack Obama called for a 'new era of responsibility' as he took the oath of office as the United States’ 44th president – and first African-American president in the country's history.

In his 20-minute inaugural address, the new president acknowledged how far African Americans had come in the country with one poignant line.

"This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath."

And doubly so as he was sworn in on the steps of the US Capitol Building which slaves helped build from the 1790s until the 1820s.

The 47-year-old president was born in Honolulu, Hawaii to a Kenyan father and a white American mother.

President Obama’s address has been described by news outlets such as the New York Times as a ‘stark repudiation of the era of George W. Bush’ despite being couched in indirect terms. He referenced a wide range of issues from interrogation policies to the invasion of Iraq and the use of its military power and spoke of the need to “restore science to its rightful place.”

He is expected to reverse some of the most contentious policies of the Bush administration such as banning the use of harsh interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists, giving a go-ahead for stem cell research and repealing the military’s Don't Ask-Don't Tell policy which bans openly gay and lesbian personnel from serving.

On Tuesday, the White House web site was updated with a list of commitments to further LGBT rights on his civil rights agenda:

THE AGENDA • CIVIL RIGHTS Support for the LGBT Community

"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect." - Barack Obama, June 1, 2007

Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: In 2004, crimes against LGBT Americans constituted the third-highest category of hate crime reported and made up more than 15 percent of such crimes. President Obama cosponsored legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability. As a state senator, President Obama passed tough legislation that made hate crimes and conspiracy to commit them against the law.

Fight Workplace Discrimination: President Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees' domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy. The President also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.

Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: President Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.

Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell: President Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.

Expand Adoption Rights: President Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.

Promote AIDS Prevention: In the first year of his presidency, President Obama will develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. The President will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system. The President also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. President Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma - too often tied to homophobia - that continues to surround HIV/AIDS.

Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS: In the United States, the percentage of women diagnosed with AIDS has quadrupled over the last 20 years. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. President Obama introduced the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides are a class of products currently under development that women apply topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections.


Lesbian to be Iceland's First Female PM

Thursday, January 29, 2009


REYKJAVIK, Iceland (Jan. 28) - Iceland's next leader will be an openly gay former flight attendant who parlayed her experience as a union organizer into a decades-long political career.

Both parties forming Iceland's new coalition government support the appointment of Johanna Sigurdardottir, the island nation's 66-year-old social affairs minister, as Iceland's interim prime minister.

"Now we need a strong government that works with the people," Sigurdardottir told reporters Wednesday, adding that a new administration will likely be installed Saturday.
Sigurdardottir will lead until new elections are held, likely in May. But analysts say she's unlikely to remain in office — chiefly because her center-left Social Democratic Alliance isn't expected to rank among the major parties after the election.


Flash Fiction: Kyuryus

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Sa chat lamang kami nagkakilala. Matagal akong naghintay at halos namuti na ang aking mga mata, mula ika-siyam ng gabi hanggang ala-una ng umaga sa palengkeng katabi ng Sandiganbayan.

“Sorry, natagalan ako sa pagtapos ng short film”, nagpapaumanhing pagbati sa akin. Bata pa ako noon at wala pang muwang . Gusto ko lang masubukan.

“Wala akong dala”, wika ko sa kanya.
“Pwede na yan”, tugon niya.

At nagpatuloy na kami sa kung ano man ang napagusapan naming gawin kung bakit kami magkikita. Ang isang gabing aming pinagsaluhan ay naging mga araw. Naging buwan.
At hindi na kami nagkausap pa sa loob ng anim na taon.

Kadarating ko lamang dito sa PGH. Nagbabasa ng pahayagan at ang artikulo’y ukol sa sikat na director ng malayang pelikula na nagwawagi sa mga internasyonal na patimpalak, pumanaw nitong makalawa dahil sa malalang karamdaman.

Nag-text sa akin ang aking kasalukuyang kasintahan,

“Babe, positive ako...”

Kung Hei Fat Choi: Ang Kapalaran ng Rabbit sa Taon ng OX

The Rabbit (1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999) can look forward to a better in 2009 Year of the Ox because of the number of stars of relationships shining on him in the year of the Ox. After going through many changes like reunions, separations, heated arguments and changing jobs, things will be more stable and favorable for him.

The star of Harmony Yue De symbolizes excellent human relationships and it can turn dangers into opportunities. This means that the Rabbit will be having people around him taking good care of him and supporting all his needs. The star Sui He is a star that represents harmony between spouses. This star can also help the Rabbit get support from his supervisors and/or superiors as well as from elderly family members.

Two stars, Tao Hua and Xian Chi, which are stars of Love Luck are working together to make the Rabbit be more attractive and charming than ever before. For married Rabbits however, it is advised that they practice extreme caution and try hard to resist temptations. Because with the two stars shining on them, they might be overwhelmed by people who will show interest in them, no matter what their gender maybe, or else they might become involved in love triangles. These people will do anything just to please them. For Single Rabbits, it is a good year to pursue that love interest because there is a good chance that they will be accepted.

Lastly, the stars Xiao Hao and Si Fu are two stars that the Rabbit should be aware of and take extra caution with. Because Xia Hao represents minor financial loss, which could be brought about by the money spent in entertaining more friends and lovers. Si Fu on the other hand represents an elderly male family member who might suffer from health which should be given special attention to.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Another MUST SEE MOVIE. Although it is not in the Philippine setting, I am sure that we will be able to learn a lot form this film. Again, fighting for what we think is right is the main purpose why social activism for gender equality exist in our country. The same concept is seen in the film.

Despite being oppressed because of social deviancy doesn't mean you have to stop believing in what you think is right! We must continue in our journey for equal rights because what we're asking are not special priviledges, but acceptance and respect from all the people around us.

I can still remember the people telling me to change because it is not OK to be GAY. Well, ok, it may not ok to be Gay, but it's cool to be one. I may be different from the sexual role that the society imposed on me, but I am still what I am. Embrace my sexuality!

The bottom line is... Never stop believing... Keep trying... You may never know, we can change history for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community in our country...

The Thank You Girls

Friday, January 23, 2009

"You'll feel more at home here than in any previous drag-queen movie. If you don't, you'll laugh, you'll gasp, you may even hurl. But you'll come out a better person." - Vancouver International Film Festival


"The 'Thank You' Girls" is a Visayan film with a gay lingo twist. (with subtitles)

Tired of losing in all the beauty competitions in Davao City, six dysfunctional gay beauty pageant veterans decide to travel north to Cagayan de Oro City, in the island of Mindanao, with a mission to conquer the grandest competition of beauty, personality and brains in the province. They believe that being city dwellers, gays in the province will never stand a chance against them.

Passing through the breathtaking landscapes and cultural vignettes of the Mindanao provinces, each queer need not only struggle to win a single title but also battles against his individual internal demon raring its ugly head behind their pink masks.

During their travel, the ultimate gay adventure of the characters brings them to back to the basics of themselves and of each other.

While they are blinded by their belief in the power of their so-called beauty, they still have to prove that whether on or off stage, beauty doesn't just come in packages wrapped in foundation, mascara, eyeliners and witty beauty pageant answers. What they will discover about themselves could be fitting and that being a run-away loser is not at all ugly.

Because what is essential is VISIBLE to the naked eye.

Directed by: Charliebebs Gohetia

Produced by: Brooklyn Park Pictures in cooperation with Bicycle Pictures and Alchemy of Vision and Light

Gie Salonga
July Jimenez
EJ Pantujan
Pidot Villocino
Kit Poliquit
Kim Vergara
Ari Bancale
Joan Soco


My 2009 Horoscope and Personal Blahs

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Last week, before ending the year, I talked with a friend of mine whose view is quite different. He's the type of gay who wouldn't engage in rallies againts discrimination. His statements are somewhat discouraging me to stop what I am doing because I dont have a future in it since this country is not ready to face the reality that we do exist. Although he's accepting the fact that we are JUST TOLERATED and he is contented with that kind of idea and wouldn't care more if we will be accepted or not. The hell he cares if he is not properly treated as long as he is not stepping on other people's lives and is doing all the best to be respected. Well, my only reply was I am happy fighting for equality. I may be able to find my place in this society but how about those who can't since they are being discriminated againts. This is not just for myself but for all the LGBT people out there who can't get out of their closets or those who are maltreated because of their gender identity.

At first I was wondering if I will listen to him or not because he's making sense. It made me think if I can live a normal gay life, not having the burdens that I am carrying now. Thinking of stands on statements just like what the pope said that saving humanity from homosexuality is as important as saving the rainforest. Whoah! Isn't he suppose to unite the world and not cause havoc by giving irresponsible speaches? I am not into issues like Cha-Cha but if it will have an impact to the gay community, you'll see march on the streets shouting at the top of my throat. Going back, I decided to remain the way I am. An activist. Even if my mother is asking me for a grandchild but I have no intention of giving her one because of a three word statement:




Live with it mom! Hehehe. I would like to thank her because my outfit were her tights and body fit long sleeves, the malong was mine. I can still remember her reaction when I wore my costume in the Pride March. She can't look at me straight in the eyes. At that very moment, I still felt that she has not yet totally accepted me for what I am. Although it seems like she's comfortable calling me Juday, or Judy Anne, her other term for JUDING.


Right now, I just went home from a meeting about my organization GABAY. It was an exhausting discussion of several plans and targets for the year 2009 but I believe it's all worth it since my core members are willing to help in order to achieve our goals for this year. What added to my excitement is the idea that there are new people who went earlier who are interested in joining us as an affiliate organization in our team. We welcomed them wholeheartedly as they promised to participate in our events that are beneficial to this country's young LGBTs.

I opened my computer, was about to log in to and before going to that site, I was able to read my horoscope for the Year 2009 (courtesy of


The Aquarian energy of 2009 encourages you to weave new dreams into peoples' lives, and to help them feel at home in the world. Success grows as exemplify your visions, attracting people who appreciate your compassion to raise their consciousness to a new level. In your service to help others realize deeper realities, you become more aware and sensitive to your own connection to the powers that be.

Your profound ability to explore transformation and share wisdom with large communities helps you find a welcome place in society. The love you discover through your own transformation will bring abundant manifestations for others. As you help people heal their consciousness, they can more easily find sanctuary from harsh realities. Your sensitivity to their needs reaches into the deepest realms of a their psyche.

For those who wish also to support change in the world, emotional affinity comes easily between you and your peers. From time-to-time this year, step back and reflect on the deeper purpose of your life's work. Be sure to make decisions that match your own objectives, values and goals, and don't allow yourself to be swayed by others desires. Maintain your individuality. Getting in touch with your dreams will help you know which direction is best to take in your effort to expand your beliefs and be of service in a much larger way.

At the first glimpse of my horoscope for this year, I was surprised to see these words. I was motivated to excel more on what I am doing right now which is my advocacy on gay rights and helping younger LGBT people reach their full potential despite being discriminated in this society. Do I have to believe this? My answer is simple, it is man who creates his own destiny, and since this prediction is quite challenging, I will make sure it will happen...

May this be a good head start for 2009 and hopefully, me and my team can change the society in our own little ways for the future generation of the beckies alike.

Did I make sense?

Whatever... hahahaha.
May mali ba sa grammar, walang pakialamanan, blog ko toh, Ahihihihi.


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