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San Francisco Police Department: “It Gets Better”

4:12 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

I’m so proud of people I know who appear in this video.

I hope this starts a new wave of police department “It Gets Better” videos across America. LGBT youth need to know that their own police officers will assist them, and support them, when they are bullied and assaulted.

Tyler Clementi’s Suicide Bully Indicted

10:00 am in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

The Rutgers University fellow student who live-streamed video of Tyler Clementi in his own dorm room leading to Clementi’s suicide the following day has been indicted on fifteen charges by a Middlesex County, New Jersey, grand jury:

A grand jury in Middlesex County, New Jersey, handed down a 15-count indictment on Wednesday charging former Rutgers University freshman, Dharun Ravi, with bias intimidation and other charges connected to his roommate Tyler Clementi’s suicide.

Ravi and an alleged accomplice, Molly Wei, were accused of secretly filming Clementi during a same-sex encounter in his dorm room and live streaming the video online. The next day, on September 22, apparently distraught over the streaming of the video, 18-year-old Clementi, a talented violinist from New Jersey, committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River.

In addition to the bias charges, Ravi was also charged with witness and evidence tampering for allegedly attempting to destroy evidence in the case and throw off the investigation with false postings on Twitter.

Garden State Equality’s chair, Steven Goldstein, issued the following statement (via email):

Garden State Equality commends Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan and the grand jury for its 15-count indictment of Dharun Ravi. Without question, the indictment is in the best interests of justice and in the best interests of students across New Jersey, for their potential bullies will now think harder before demolishing another student’s life.

As Garden State Equality has said all along, Mr. Ravi’s grotesque violation of Tyler Clementi’s invasion of privacy, based on Mr. Ravi’s perception of Tyler’s sexual orientation, presents the clearest-cut violation of New Jersey law. You could not ask for a clearer case.

To those who say that Mr. Ravi’s conduct was merely a prank that students are apt to pull – and that somehow he should not receive a tough sentence – we say that’s nonsense. That heinous philosophy has tragically done so much to create an anti-bullying epidemic in our state and nation in the first place.

Today’s indictment, when combined with the recently enacted anti-bullying law which Garden State Equality steered to enactment – widely considered the strongest anti-bullying law in the country – will have an appropriate chilling effect on bullies everywhere.

We continue to mourn the loss of Tyler Clementi deeply. Today is a day of justice.

I would say that justice has begun its work today, but that the actual day of justice will come upon conviction and imprisonment. These bullies need to be held up as examples to would-be bullies everywhere: society will not stand for your ‘pranks’ and we will hold you accountable for the consequences of your actions.

So — take heed.

Dan Savage Talks About “It Gets Better” on KING5 Seattle

2:02 pm in LGBT by Teddy Partridge

Amazing interview with “It Gets Better” co-founder and “Savage Love” columnist Dan Savage on KING5 Seattle’s New Day NorthWest chat program this morning. Really worth a watch as Dan eloquently explains, to a very sympathetic and intelligent interviewer, the genesis of the project, its goals, the specific communications obstacles it has overcome in getting LGBT youth to hear the message that it DOES get better, and his fundraising for The Trevor Project.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton: “It Will Get Better For You!”

2:21 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Hillary Clinton lends her voice to teens troubled by bullying for being or being perceived as ‘gay.’ This is a great American lending her powerful voice to the "It Gets Better" project.

HRC Spanks Ken Buck for “Choice” Remark After Utter Silence on Valerie Jarrett

6:36 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

The Human Rights Campaign, reliable lapdogs for the Obama White House and their lack of progress on LGBT issues, bothered to chastise GOP Senate candidate in Colorado Ken Buck — on Sunday! — for his remarks on NBC’s Meet the Press that being gay was a "choice."

Michael Petrelis:

That Daily Caller column today points out that this gay choice question is an "October Surprise," and reports something new to me:

Colorado Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck looked surprised and uncomfortable when asked Sunday whether homosexuality is a choice or not. But nonetheless, he said he thought it was.

“I think that birth has an influence over it, like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically you have a choice,” Buck said when asked by David Gregory on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” [...]

Sure, this is several degrees stronger than the incredibly poor, um, choice of words by Jarrett on Wednesday, a normal business day, but for me, the basic issue is the same: a top Democrat or GOP operative or pol is expressing the lie that sexual orientation is a decision one makes, like whether to wear a blue or green shirt one day.

Of course, this follows HRC’s equally stern criticism of Valerie Jarrett for a similar comment to WaPo’s Jonathan Capehart for a similar remark in the middle of last week. Oh, wait — HRC was silent on Jarrett’s remark and silent on Capehart’s silence in the interview.


On Wednesday when Jarrett’s comments roiled the gay community and progressive bloggers, thousands of words were spilled from all sides about her remarks, but America’s largest gay Democratic advocacy org, the HRC, had not a peep to say about it all. Of course, no sane person would expect HRC, after slavishly avoiding even the mildest and meekest bit of criticism against the Obama administration’s screwing of the gay community without a rubber or any lube, to issue a rebuke to Jarrett. She is after all, a Democrat and HRC executives would rather walk barefoot on glass than slam a Democrat.

HRC calls Ken Buck a ‘dangerous extremist’ — and someone came in to work this Sunday to put together the organization’s long-winded and righteous condemnation of Buck:

Today on NBC’s Meet the Press, Colorado Republican Senate candidate and Tea Party darling, Ken Buck called homosexuality a choice and compared it to alcoholism – a theory debunked by the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association. Buck’s extremist views and prior lapses of judgment show he is not worthy of representing the citizens of Colorado in U.S. Senate. The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization – in partnership with One Colorado, call on Mr. Buck to correct his dangerous statements immediately.

“Mr. Buck’s ill-informed views are not only factually inaccurate, but they are extremely dangerous,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “In the past six weeks a number of teenagers have taken their own lives after being the victims of anti-gay bullying and harassment. When public figures like Mr. Buck make statements like he did today, kids struggling with their identities question their self-worth and other kids justify bullying. Ken Buck must correct his remarks now.”

Joe goes on. As he should. But search HRC’s website all you like, you won’t find anything about Valerie Jarrett’s ‘lifestyle choice‘ comment on Wednesday. And you won’t find anything about Jonathan Capehart’s next-day apologia for her.

Why is that, do you suppose? Why is the same thing offensive when Ken Buck says it about gay people in general, but not offensive when Valerie Jarrett says it (and Jonathan Capehart doesn’t challenge it) about a dead gay teen? And note the timing: nothing from HRC on Jarrett, same-day response on Buck.

Does the HRC think it’s okay for the White House to talk like that?

Or was that one of their marvelous behind-the-scenes interventions that we’ll never know about? Was the HRC responsible for Valerie Jarrett’s apology dictated to Jonathan Capehart?

Because we know the White House doesn’t care what bloggers and the professional left and the base thinks. But they like their black-tie gala appearances.


Obama WH Aide Valerie Jarrett: 15-Year Old Justin Aarberg “Made a Lifestyle Choice”

3:00 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

To hear how far out of the mainstream the Obama White House is, just listen to senior adviser Valerie Jarrett describe her conversation with the parents of gay teen Justin Aarberg (who committed suicide), and her description of Justin having "made a lifestyle choice."

Michael Petrelis provides the WaPo video(at about 4:15) and this commentary:

The last time I heard anyone use the obnoxious phrase "lifestyle choice" to describe a gay person’s sexual orientation was during the Bill Clinton presidency when the gays were accused of wanting "special rights."

Today the Washington Post’s gay kapo Jonathan Capehart shares a video interview he conducted on Monday with senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett. She clearly states a belief that Minnesota gay teen Justin Aarberg, who committed suicide in July after being bullied, made a "lifestyle choice."

If the closest adviser to the President on LGBT issues — the one he sent to make nice with the Human Rights Campaign’s black-tie supporters last Saturday — describes a 15-year-old suicide as having "made a lifestyle choice" we are absolutely doomed.

Number one: it’s not a lifestyle.

Number two: it’s not a choice.

Number three: Valerie Jarrett is an idiot.

If a presidential adviser had made such a boneheaded remark about any other American minority group — let alone an incredibly loyal group that has provided the Democratic Party its margin of victory in any number of tight races across the nation — would that presidential adviser still have a job?

Does Valerie Jarrett live in the early 1990s? Does she really believe that being LGBT is a ‘choice’ and a ‘lifestyle’ — and will she really get away with insulting the memory of a dead gay teen with this horrifying out-of-touch language?

Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns: “It Gets Better”

11:39 am in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

This incredibly moving statement by Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns during a City Council meeting really needs no additional words from me.

Just watch it all, please.

Sit down with someone you love when you have 13 minutes to devote to this.


Dan Savage Replies to the White House: “You Can Make It Better!

1:06 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Dan Savage has a reply to Valerie Jarrett’s uncredited theft of his project’s tagline "It Gets Better" for the title of her Saturday night (short straw at the WH Friday staff meeting, too bad, eh, Val?) speech at the Human Rights Campaign’s big DC black-tie gala.

Wisely, Dan ignores the actual intellectual property heist and focuses on the content. Pithily.

It’s short and sweet, I’m going to share all of it; please give Dan a click, though.

Confidential to the White House
Posted by Dan Savage on Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Fuck you.

Seriously. You can do a lot more than offer hope. You can make it better. Right now. Suspend enforcement of DADT. Don’t appeal the decision by a federal judge that declared DADT unconstitutional. Stop defending DOMA in court.

You can do more. And you’re not. Fuck you.

This White House is part of the problem.

They are making it worse. Until they recognize that, apologize and change course, no one should be honoring any White House staffers at black-tie galas. That’s called being a quisling accomodationist, Joe.