Same Sex Sunday 5/22/11

In this special interview only episode, Phil Reese, Joe Mirabella, and D Gregory Smith interviewed some outstanding leaders in the gay community.

Joe Mirabella interviewed Terrence Meck, the Executive Director of Palette Fund, an outstanding organizing that grants hundreds of thousands of dollars to deserving LGBT organizations. Learn what the Palette Fund looks for in non-profits and what inspired Terrence to found the organizing.

Phil Reese interviewed Eric Ross the author of the outstanding child’s book “My Uncle’s Wedding“. This book is perfect for younger audiences discovering same gender marriage for the first time.

We finished the episode with an impressive young man, 16 year Caleb Laieski. Caleb is confronting his school in Arizona for their lack of response to the bullying he suffered for his sexual orientation. Don’t miss my conversation with Caleb. It will inspire you.

Caleb Laieski: Teen Advocate

You may have heard of the 16 year-old student who is fighting to protect other students, after he himself was forced to drop out of high school because of bullying and threats of violence.

Photo courtesy of Brody Levesque

Caleb Laieski, 16, of Surprise, Arizona, started his anti-bullying activism when he was forced to drop out of school when teachers and administration wouldn’t protect him from bullying and threats- even after repeated incidents had occurred. He was being threatened with violence and death threats because he happened to be gay.

Laieski, who has since received his GED, brought the fight to his school district starting with a legal notification that he would bring suit to protect himself and others in the same situation. After the school district agreed to change its policies, he sent a similar notice to every other school district in Arizona, and then went to the Arizona Legislature to fight for laws to protect all students.

He was invited to the White House’s first ever, Conference on Bullying Prevention and is now advocating for the Student Non-Discrimination Act, in Congress and is currently in D.C. “for those who are afraid to speak up.”

Laieski says the bill would “include sexual orientation and gender indentify into the current federal law under education, guaranteeing all students a safe place.” Laieski also pointed out that “when some have opposition to these categories being protected, we must get past that and realize that it’s about giving ever student the right to his/her education a safe place to learn.”

Caleb successfully met with over 30 Congressional Representatives in his first week in D.C., and plans to keep the pace for the remainder of his time in our nation’s capital.

Brave kid.
You’ll get to meet him this week on Same Sex Sunday– I interviewed him today.

Same Sex Sunday, 5/1/11

Our newspapers and magazines love making lists and ranking famous people.  We see it every day: from Cosmo to USA Today, lists are it.  One list made a surprising uproar in the LGBT community recently.  Out Magazine’s Power 50 generated a lot of criticism for its clear lack of diversity.  There were few people of color on the list–only two people of Latino heritage–and absolutely no African Americans or trans people.  Is this a comment on Out Magazine, or a comment on our larger society as a whole?

This week we sit down with Out Magazine’s Editor in Chief, Aaron Hicklin, to discuss the list, the backlash, and what this could tell us about opportunities for people of color and trans people in our society as a whole.  We also ask Aaron if there is a way to be more inclusive without destroying the spirit of the list–find out what he says.

Listen here.

Same Sex Sunday 4/24/11

by Phil Reese

Though there will be fresh interviews every week, the SameSexSunday round table will be going on a brief hiatus until Pride Month, so Joe and I sought to make this week’s expert panel one of our best. We invited a crew of past all-stars that I think you’ll love.

Luckily, we have a brilliant crew with us, because there are some really important stories we need to dive into. This week, join us as we discuss the brutal apparently anti-transgender beating in a Maryland McDonald’s and a discussion of whether or not publicizing this video is helpful. We also dissect theTennessee Senate’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill attempting to silence public school employees from discussing “homosexuality” and all things adjacent in Tennessee’s K-12 schools. Finally, we also go full-force at the House Republicans’ incredibly expensive defense of DOMA: the legal landscape, the law firm behind the move, and what some activists want to do to send a message to opponents of equality.

We also get an update on the Chick-Fil-A anti-gay charity fiasco: is one university about to say goodbye to the chain because of their anti-gay giving?

Listen here!

Same Sex Sunday 4/17/11

This week, I interviewed former NOM staffer, Louis Marinelli about his realization that his work to stop marriage equality for gays and lesbian was wrong. Great guy- very easy to talk with. He had a lot of great things to say- you should hear them.

Then the round table discussed Friday’s so called “defending marriage” hearing in the United State House, where NOM’s Maggie Gallagher testified. As Jeremy Hooper from Good As You pointed out on this show, Maggie was on her best behavior. She did not show her true self to the House.

Joseph Erbentraut from the Windy City Times, shared some strange developments in Illinois where democrats tried to make it harder for LGBT people to be parents.

Our entire round table, including Cathy Renna from Renna Communications andThinkProgress.org ‘s Zack Ford, discussed the introduction of the both the Employee Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) and Uniting American Family Act (UAFA) into Congress. How likely is it that we will see any movement on these bills this year?

That and more on this week’s SameSexSunday! Listen here. (And I’ve installed a permanent link to the podcast on the right column- right under my bio, so you can check back anytime.) But, just so you don’t miss a gosh-darned thing, subscribe on iTunes.

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Same Sex Sunday 4/10/11

#SSS NOM bus tour organizer defects, queer population 3.5 million, queer the taxes

Apr 10th, 2011 by Phil Reese at samesexsunday

Tech problems couldn’t get us down this week at SameSexSunday.

We just had too much to talk about to give up, so even when we lost almost all of our round table participants, we knew “the show must go on.” Lavi Soloway of Masliah and Soloway and the Stop the Deportations Project, was the only round table participant to not be lost to technical difficulties, however, Lavi was able to hold his own alone with Joe and myself.

This week, with news about LGBTQ population numbers, gay adoption developments, the National Organization for Marriage’s bus tour organizer switching sides–and Lavi’s area of expertise–the struggle for same-sex binational couples becoming very complicated; we had quite a workload.

Joining us prior to the round table was Executive Director of Basic Rights Oregon Jeana Frazzini to discuss marriage equality efforts in that state. Also, we sit down one-on-one with Executive Director of Equality Florida, Nadine Smith to discuss the “Refuse to Lie” campaign encouraging married same-sex couples to be honest about their marriages when filing taxes this year.

The round table talked quite a smorgasbord of topics, and the technical issues afforded us the opportunity to host a more intimate and detailed round table than in the past. Check it out- Listen link is here.

Have you subscribed on iTunes yet? Visit our iTunes page at http://itunes.samesexsunday.org.

Until next time, until we are equal!

Same Sex Sunday 4/3/11


I interviewed Jim and Tammy Fay Bakker’s son, Jay Bakker about his new book Fall to Grace. Bakker discussed how growing up in the Bakker house helped him discover empathy for LGBT people later in life. It was a really good visit and I think you’ll enjoy it.

Then host Joe Mirabella and our round table discussed the need for more information about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities as outlined in a new study by the Institutes of Medicine. They discussed privacy concerns about reporting one’s sexual orientation or gender identity on medical records, a potential government mandate to include sexual orientation and gender identity in government funded research- and more.

Our panel also addressed concerns about last week’s introduction of ENDA and the roller coaster ride caused by the immigration back and forth for bi-national couples.

Finally, gay Republican candidate for president Fred Karger won the first straw poll in New Hampshire. What does this mean for the republican presidential campaign season? Will Karger fare better than some expected?

Our panel this weekend included:

Co-chair for Americans for Democratic Action’s LGBT task force, Jim Levin

Co-chair of the Fenway Institute, Judy Bradford

Spokesperson for the Log Cabin Republicans, Casey Pick

Managing Director of the Raw Story, Michael Rogers

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Listen to it here!