State Department to grant diplomats’ same-sex partners benefits and protections

24 05 2009

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton wrote an internal State Department memo saying that the State Department would grant the same benefits and protections to same-sex partners of American diplomats.  Such benefits and protections include “diplomatic passports, use of medical facilities at overseas posts, medical and other emergency evacuation, transportation between posts, and training in security and languages”.  Heterosexual partners of American diplomats are entitled to all of these but gay and lesbian diplomats have been lobbying the State Department for these benefits for quite some time now.  The current policy is also harmful to the LGBTQ community because “diplomats with domestic partners could be evacuated from a hazardous country by the American government while their partners were left behind.”

Clinton said:

Like all families, our Foreign Service families come in different configurations; all are part of the common fabric of our post communities abroad.  At bottom the department will provide these benefits for both opposite-sex and same-sex partners because it is the right thing to do.

Gay marriage is often the only LGBTQ issue that receives significant mainstream media coverage and public attention.  This has the tendency to eclipse the many other critical issues that the LGBTQ community struggles and strives for.  This memo is certainly very heartening and indicative of progress.  While there is no set time frame on when the policy will take effect, it has been confirmed by a senior State Department official.  Hopefully it will take effect as soon as possible and overcome any legislative hurdles that may come in the way.





Mary Kay Letourneau hosts “Hot For Teacher Night” at a Seattle nightclub

24 05 2009

Remember Mary Kay Letourneau?  She’s the woman that served 7 1/2 years in prison for raping Vili Fualaau, her sixth grade student.  Letourneau and Faulaau met when he was in the second grade.  Their “relationship became sexual” (she started raping him) when he was only 12 years old and Letourneau was a 34-year-old married mother of four.

Letourneau is now 47, and Fualaau is 26.  He is her husband of four years, and the father of two of her children.

Last night, the couple hosted their third “Hot For Teacher” night at a Seattle nightclub, Fuel Sports Eats & Beats.   Vili was spinning records, and Letourneau was reportedly walking around signing autographs.  The couple also sold “Hot for Teacher” posters and t-shirts at the event.

The bar owner, Mike Morris, told a tv station at the event:

It wouldn’t be funny if it was a situation that was happening right now.  But it’s a situation that happened a long time ago. She served her time.  Now they’re married – they had kids together. And we’re just having fun.

However, this is not something that simply “happened a long time ago.”  Child rape and sexual abuse are happening now worldwide.  Parties like these trivialize rape and implicitly condone Letourneau’s actions.  Plus, they are even profiting off the idea, selling t-shirts and posters at the event, and signing autographs for fans!  The couple is two married adults now and can host these parties if they so choose, but to me it just seems so so tacky.

Thoughts?





(More) Sex-vertising

24 05 2009

Calvin Klein Jeans has a racy Spring-Summer 2009 ad campaign with a commercial that’s been banned from the US but airs in Europe. In New York City’s Soho, there’s a big billboard that generally features racy Calvin Klein ads. This is the ad that’s currently on the billboard:

DSCN0892

Head banging against desk.

Here are examples of ads that have been on the billboard in the past:

An ad for Calvin Klein Secret Obsession featuring a naked Eva Mendes

An ad for Calvin Klein Secret Obsession featuring a naked Eva Mendes

This was up a few months ago.

This was up a few months ago. It's not as provocative as other Calvin Klein ads - now there's just a big ass for us to see when we're walking down the street.

Will the sex-vertising ever end?