LGBT Celebs for Obama

Even though the presidential debates seem to be sorely lacking any questions about LGBT issues, several openly LGBT celebrities, including Wanda Sykes, Chaz Bono, Zachary Quinto and Jane Lynch, have endorsed President Obama as the best choice when it comes to the future of equality in America.

“We don’t have to hide,” says Billie Jean King.

Check it out:

Was Madonna in the Wrong?

Here’s the good news, Democratic Americans: Madonna has joined the ranks of George Clooney, Will Smith, Demi Moore, Julia Roberts and scores of other celebs in endorsing Barack Obama for reelection. The bad news: She called him a “black Muslim.”

During a concert at the Verizon Centre in Washington, the aging pop star announced to a crowd of thousands: “It’s so amazing and incredible to think that we have an African-American in the White House … So y’all better vote for fucking Obama, OK? For better or for worse, all right, we have a black Muslim in the White House, OK? Now that is some shit. That’s some amazing shit. It means there is hope in this country. And Obama is fighting for gay rights, OK? So support the man, goddammit!”

Madonna was quickly called out on her mistake—Obama is well-known for his Christianity—and released the following statement:

“I was being ironic on stage. Yes, I know Obama is not a Muslim – though I know that plenty of people in this country think he is. And what if he were? The point I was making is that a good man is a good man, no matter who he prays to. I don’t care what religion Obama is—nor should anyone else in America,” she said.

Ironic? Seems doubtful, Madge. (Especially since I’m pretty sure she’s referring to sarcasm and not irony.)

Click here to read the full story.

Gay Social App Launches Obama Pride

Turns out that not only can you peruse which guys are into what on Hornet, a gay social app, but you can also find out about their other persuasions – politically speaking. The app recently launched ObamaPride, a tool to share campaign information, facts about LGBT issues and spread the word about elections among users of the app. Guys can even indicate their support for the prez by adding an Obama Badge to their profile pictures.

“Hornet is proving that the LGBT space is broad, and that building an application focused on health and security is how you win record user support,” says Christof Wittig, Hornet co-founder, “which is why we hit 200,000 users yesterday.”

In a space dominated by apps like Grindr and Scruff, Hornet is definitely setting itself apart with the new feature, which uses the same geo-targeting technology for finding Mr. Right (or at least Mr. Tonight) that it does sending calls to actions in swing states just in time for the November election. This season, there are four states that are considering marriage equality on ballots, including nearby Maryland, as well as Washington, Minnesota and Maine.

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DNC Hosts LGBT Welcome Party

As Charlotte, N.C., heats up in anticipation of Pres. Obama’s speech this week, the Democratic National Convention kicked off with an LGBT welcome party. More than 1,000 people attended on Sunday, according to reports. Organized by Unity Through Community, the party was held at the North Carolina Dance Theatre, a few blocks from the official convention site.

Quite a few notables were spotted, including HRC President Joe Solmonese and Clinton White House advisor Richard Socarides.

Charlotte itself is becoming a more LGBT-friendly city in recent years, according to Unity Through Community. “The city has a strong diverse heritage, reflected in part by the growing LGBT population,” says the group. “Same-sex domestic partners are among North Carolina’s fastest growing demographic groups. Between the 2000 and 2010 Census, same-sex couples jumped 68 percent, from 11,052 to 27,250.”

Click here for photos.

Vick Will Slide On First Run Of The Year For Obama

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Michael VickMichael Vick is still on a high after learning that the President of the United States is hip to his game and wants the QB to start sliding this season.

In true campaign form, Vick vowed he would change and made a promise to President Obama.

“I was stunned. I didn’t believe it. It was awesome, though,” said Vick of being recognized by the most powerful man in the world. “You think to yourself, ‘Yo, man, he’s got a point.’ If he says it then I’ve got to do it, so the first run of the year I’ll slide and he’ll know it was for him.”

Nnamdi Asomugha, a big player in charitable circles, met with the President this offseason. Asked if he had any football advice, Asomugha on Wednesday revealed that Obama wants Vick to start protecting himself. He is not the first.

“I get it from my teammates, I get it from my mom, I get from friends, I get it from Andy, I get it from the President,” said Vick.

Vick has never met Obama, but wants to and knows winning the Super Bowl would give him that opportunity.

“That may be my opportunity to meet him. It’s something to pray for, something to work for,” he said. “It’s not going to  be easy, that’s the one thing we do know. And I acknowledge that. That’s why I come out here each and every day and put in as much effort as I can to try and be better than the day before.”

Since the President is handing out advice on football, does Vick have any advice for him?

“Nah, we’ll try and convert him over to an Eagles fan,” said Vick of Obama, who is a Bears fan. “We’ll see if we can make him an Eagles fan after this season.”

You can follow Tim McManus on Twitter and email him at tmcmanus@phillymag.com.

This is What’s Wrong With PA’s Voter ID Law

Photo by Think Stock

As the trial is about to begin this Wednesday in Harrisburg over whether Pennsylvania’s voter ID law is discriminatory, there have been a few recent developments that remind us just how dangerous a decision to keep citizens away from the polls could be come November.

The case has been brought to the courts by the ACLU and other civil rights groups in defense of plaintiffs who say they’ll be denied the right to vote in the next election. All along the GOP in the state have claimed that the new law would protect against voter fraud. But defendants in the case made a major concession this week: They admitted there’s no in-person voter fraud on record in the Commonwealth, nor is there likely to be come the November election.

So what’s the real reason for the law?

Civil rights groups oppose voter IDs, saying that many elderly and low-income voters (including racial and transgender minorities) will have a tough time casting their vote if they head to the polls without the approved identification. As many as 750,000 registered voters in Pennsylvania do not have IDs from the Transportation Department – it’s an especially big problem in cities like Philly. The number of voters without identification is greater than the margin by which Obama could win the state – a figure that is definitely not being ignored by conservatives who have supported the law from the beginning.

The line that’s drawn now is a partisan one – and for good reason.

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It’s About Time, Mr. President

Jane Velez-Mitchell (courtesy of HLN)

My first reaction to President Obama saying he now supports gay marriage was: Whew, finally. He’s the first U.S. president to take that stand. It’s historic and it’s about time. Americans have grown up debating and pondering this issue. A recent Gallup poll shows more Americans support gay marriage than oppose it. Even many Republicans like former Vice President Dick Cheney think same-sex marriage should be legal. His stance is the result of his own personal connection to the issue – his daughter is gay – but I’ll take it.

This was the next natural step in the long journey towards ending discrimination based on sexual orientation. We’ve gotten rid of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy without any negative repercussions. And, the states that do currently allow gay marriage have seen only more business for wedding caterers.

Still, I have to ask: Could the President have done even more? His new stance is amazing in the symbolism department. But what does it accomplish in the real world?

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Obama on Same-Sex Marriage

It may take some time before many of us will fully realize the significance of President Obama’s “coming out,” as it were, in favor of same-sex marriage yesterday. And while today religious leaders condemn him, and the GOP are already using it against him, he made history. And we are incredibly proud that we have a leader who is willing to do what is right, rather than what may be politically savvy. Let’s remember that this November when we head to the polls to re-elect the first president in history to say out loud and proud that he supports marriage equality in America.

“At a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” the president said. “When I think about those soldiers or airmen or Marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’ is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

Check it out:

Anderson Cooper Talks Gay Marriage

Anderson Cooper, host of AC360° on CNN, used Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks recently to take President Obama to task over his administration’s stance on same-sex marriage. Even in states where same-sex marriage is legal, most couples who tie the knot still can’t enjoy many of the same rights that heterosexuals do, he explains.

Cooper also reminds us that there is no protection for marriage equality on a federal level – and when it comes to binational couples? Good luck, even though half of all Americans actually say they favor gay marriage during this election year.

Check it out:

Marriage Discussion Heats Up

Photo by Think Stock

It’s been an interesting week for same-sex marriage. On Sunday, Vice President Joe Biden told NBC’s David Gregory, “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights – all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.”

His statement is more progressive than that of President Obama, who seems to be keeping quiet about same-sex marriage as the presidential campaign heats up this year. And for that reason it didn’t take long before White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was compelled to explain away Biden’s remarks, well, sort of.

Inundated with questions about the president’s take on gay marriage, Carney said yesterday that he had no additional details about Obama’s personal views, adding, “What the vice president said yesterday was to make the same point that the president has made previously, that committed and loving same-sex couples deserve the same rights and protections enjoyed by all Americans.”

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