Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Reloaded Wednesday

In the afterglow of Pride 2009, comes the summer heatwave which has many people in search of a cool spot or their favorite icy refreshing beverage. Hopefully, most of you have recovered from the nightly activities and or events that filled the schedules of our local venues last week. With the "Unity through Community" festivities now passed on, it's time for reflection and assessment of what worked for 09 as well as starting the "vision" for Pride 2010. Many of you who attended the Sunday Picnic stated that you wished you had been involved, well there's no better time than now. Repeatedly, it was mentioned that COP:24/7 had thrown down the gauntlet with the statement of "putting our money where our mouth was," and we rallied to the cause. Therefore, here's the challenge Central City, events such as the Pride Picnic happened via committed individuals whom wouldn't allow any circumstances to shackle us. Stay locked into this forum for updates, gadgets, tools and stimulating dialogue as we create the our blueprint for Pride 2010. Now, let's get busy...

Obama in the Lavender Scope: Even after an affirmation of GLBT Pride Week, offering limited benefits to SGL federal employees, as well as, an impending next week White House invite of "gay leadership," to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, it appears that there's still some grumbling going on from within national LGBTQ circles. On the home front reactions vary from very interested to our norm of "clueless." My in-box has been a off the chain with articles, alerts, commentary, links and mash up about what President O has done or not done for gays. According to an article from Politico, written by J. Gerstein and Ben Smith, they state that, "In fact, Obama’s promise to offer ancillary employee benefits — such as long-term-care insurance and the right to use sick leave to care for domestic partners — while still denying more valuable benefits, such as health insurance and retirement funds, may have further agitated gay and lesbian activists who were already fuming over other perceived snubs. Obama said he also favors extending health and retirement benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees but that such a move is currently prohibited by the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which passed in 1996." The murmuring has extended to big time gay contributors holding their purses and reportedly again from that article citing, "gay leaders have been in a slow burn through much of the spring, distressed about the Obama administration’s failure to press for immediate repeal of the military’s don’t ask, don’t tell policy prohibiting openly gay men and women from serving. Some also chafed at the White House’s refusal to suspend forced discharges of gay military personnel." From my prospective, he's only been on the job for approximately 6 months and do gays really expect their to be some total sea change done with the entire land teetering in crisis this or that. I fully understand that these issues need a hearing, progressive action but nothing is done overnight except FEDEX. Staying vigilant is certainly the order of the day, but brow beating the prez might be ineffective. Oh Boy!, Mr. Obama said he wanted to be President to all the people and you know sometimes you have to be careful for what you ask for. Got thought? Then go to the comment icon and put it on the table!

Bar Watch: Even as I making my way through Pride 09 last week, I was privy to some other interesting tidbits that made the cut this week. It seems that the long rumored re-launch of yet another entertainment venue in the old Factory site is actually in the works. During the foggy and unsubstantiated verbiage of those connected including former front guy of Easy Street, Michael Henderson, I've learned that the new place is tentatively named, Martha's. Who's Martha you ask and what's really going on... well, you'll have to check us out this FRIDAY for the entire scoop! Speaking of openings, it's a green light for another addition to the 7th Street Corridor entertainment mix coming in July. Work is underway, the theme has been chosen, a name is in place and a new show director has been hired. Wanna know who? It's all going down this Friday here in a special edition. Spread the word...

Stonewall Meet-up: Stonewall Democrats will not hold a regular meeting this month and was cancelled in lieu of participating in the Little Rock Pride Picnic. In a E-blast from the organizations President Joe.L.," the picnic was a tremendous success and I want to personally thank all of the great Stonewall folks that volunteered, participated and showed up for the event. The theme of the day was "Unity through Community" and I was very proud of all of the groups that came together, put differences aside, and pulled the community together for a fun day of celebrating our Pride. We look forward to seeing everyone at our next meeting on Thursday, July 23rd!

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