commented on Takes Are Optional
I think that's a very good point. Although I admit I was one of the people who raised the gay blood donation issue to you on Twitter. But that was more about trying to get attention to the issue than whether you had a different take on it.
commented on Russian Vodka Boycott Talking Points
I wanted to be enthusiastic about this boycott from the get-go because I think well-targeted boycotts can work. But that means: (1) one that's focused on a limited number of products, which this one is; (2) one that is already popular among those who are boycotting it, which this one is (there's no point in Alcoholics Anonymous launching a boycott against vodka, for example); and (3) one with clearly defined objectives for declaring victory and an end to the boycott. My concern from the get-go is that the boycott targets aren't in a position to directly make the change themselves, like they could if it were simply to get the companies to change their own policies.
So I wish these talking points had focused more detail on what you want these companies to do, and what victory conditions would be. They are touched on a little, but buried:
In the "Isn't Stoli a Latvian Company" section:
And both of these companies—SPI and Russian Standard—are ideal targets for a boycott because inside Russia, regardless of the whether the heads of the companies like or don't like Putin, these companies have enormous influence.
and in the "Why not call it off if you've made your point" section:
If SPI or Russian Standard or any other Russian vodka maker wants the boycott to end, they should put their best, most aggressive, most effective ideas on the table about how they will support LGBT people inside Russia on this issue and create change inside Russia.
I wish these elements were fleshed out a little. Let's say Stoli actively and demonstratively campaigns within Russia to repeal the law. If we felt they were honestly in good faith trying to get the law repealed, would that be sufficient? The part that's entirely in Stoli's power is trying to get it repealed (which they have not yet tried to do). But actually repealing it is not in Stoli's direct power.
I still feel a little uncomfortable targeting a company for something that isn't in their direct power. But if the boycott had more clearly defined end goals like something like this, I'd feel better.
commented on Savage Love
@7 - Yeah, cuz Dan never, ever throws in a tangential political aside in his responses.
commented on Why I'm Boycotting Russian Vodka
@40 - Smirnoff is owned and produced by a British company, Diageo, and is produced and bottled in India, Ireland, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. Despite the Russian-sounding name, there's nothing Russian about it.
commented on What He Said: Andrew Sullivan On Anthony Weiner
It used to be that any hint of prior drug use would destroy someone's ambitions for high office. Now our last three presidents have admitted to using marijuana, and the last two have admitted to using even stronger drugs.
I've maintained for several years now that the same will be true with nudie pix. The prevalence of digital photos and high-quality cameras in cell phones makes it practically inevitable that some sort of naked college hi-jinks photos will emerge for a presidential/VP candidate in the relatively near future. And I suspect voters won't care, especially if they're perceived as youthful indiscretions. (Whether the voters take Anthony Weiner's sexting in the same context remains to be seen.)
commented on Craigslist Ad of the Day
I bet I know a lot of guys who would be interested. If I was neat and tidy, at one point in my life I might be up for it, too.
That said, while I totally believe that a straight guy could have a same-sex encounter (especially an unplanned one) and still be straight, this guy strikes me as at least a little bi.
commented on SL Letter of the Day: Thing 1, Thing 2, Thing 3
I am a gay man, and I am a longtime supporter (emotionally and, when I can, financially) of Planned Parenthood.
First, though I will never get pregnant, nor will I ever accidentally get someone else pregnant, there are women in my life who face the issues that Planned Parenthood helps address. There are women in my life who rely on birth control. A few have had abortions. Many have relied on reproductive services to help them get pregnant. (Family planning works both ways.)
Secondly, I understand how homophobia is closely tied to misogyny. Gay men are "lesser" because they are perceived as "woman-like," "feminine," or "less than a man." Gay issues go hand in hand with with feminist issues in a psychological sense.
Thirdly, there's an extremely close association between gay right and women's rights in a legal sense. Many gay legal issues, like sodomy laws, have to do with the right to control our own bodies and the right to privacy -- issues that strike to the heart of the abortion debate. And many legal battles on gay rights have been argued on the basis of gender bias: by proscribing the gender of the person I'm allowed to marry, you're discriminating on the basis of their sex, and mine.
When I was in college, I did a research paper for what was then the Lesbian Rights Project (now the National Center for Lesbian Rights). Despite what the name might imply, their work then and now also included advocating for the rights of gay men. My paper was on the close association between abortion and gay rights -- e.g., why gay men should be concerned about keeping abortion safe and legal. Wish I still had the paper, though I think I'm summed up its points more succinctly here.
commented on Surely Right Wing Christians Will Protest This New Law In Indiana?
My initial thought was that it "only" criminalized filling out the government documents. (Not that that's no small thing.) But if it also criminalizes private ceremonies in churches, even without the government paperwork, that's a huge, huge thing.
@1 - If it's enforced against private ceremonies in churches, it might be a good thing for both sides, and it will no doubt reinforce that that government has no say in what churches do behind closed doors, though government also has no obligation to acknowledge it.