Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Republicans Make Lindsey Graham's Sexuality an Issue

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Tue, May 27, 2008 at 9:04 AM

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Buddy Witherspoon, the Columbia dentist who is running in the GOP primary to unseat Sen. Lindsey Graham, was on the radio this morning when a caller asked something along the lines of "Do you support Don't Ask, Don't Tell — the policy that is allowing Lindsey Graham to serve in the military?"

Witherspoon's response didn't address the second part of the question, but he said that he would repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell (thus reinstituting the aggressive pursuit and removal of gay service members) because we need to make sure our soldiers are there for the right reasons (because us gays go into war zones for the expansive color palette — oh, and the showers! Oh, the showers!).

Two calls later, a listener wants to know Buddy's opinion on gay marriage. He responded with all that sanctity b-s.

So, then I get to work, and what do I find in my e-mail box? A note from anti-immigration folks that refers to the Senator as Lindsey "The Pink Elephant" Graham.

In the wake of the Larry Craig scandal last year, we took a look at this speculation about Graham's private life.

Is Lindsey Graham gay?

At 52, the life-long bachelor has been fodder for such rumors for years, but with the (since revoked) resignation of Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho — the anti-gay politician who pled guilty to disorderly conduct after allegedly soliciting sex in an airport men's room — the internet is abuzz over who's next, and they're dying to know what's going on in Graham's bedroom. Is it the latest grasp for the light switch in South Carolina's powerful political closet? Or the inevitable labeling of "closet-clinging self-hater" that befalls any content bachelor?

When GQ asked last year, Graham wasn't mean, just dismissive. He said he's not gay, just a loner.

And, interestingly enough, we made this prediction.

With rampant calls for a primary opponent to challenge Graham next year, it likely won't be the Dems that Graham has to be concerned about with the gay-baiting. While many in the Democratic Party have reveled at the scandalous exit of Sen. Craig, a long-standing opponent of gay rights, the most vocal calls for his ouster came from his own party, including presidential candidate John McCain, Graham's Senate BFF.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Footlight Players Plan Big Gay Spring '09

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Mon, May 26, 2008 at 12:41 PM

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The Footlight Players Theatre's 2008-2009 season will end next year with back-to-back gay classics.

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Del Shores' Sordid Lives will premiere March 20. The story revolves around a dysfunctional family that includes a mother struggling to come to terms with her sons sexuality and a drag queen uncle infatuated with Tammy Wynette.  The film by the same name has been a cult classic for years. And, oddly enough, film star Leslie Jordan will be visiting Charleston this summer for a one-man show at the Music Hall.

Following Sordid Lives, the Footlight will close it's season with La Cage Aux Folles (better known as The Birdcage). The play, also converted to film with some success and a cult following, is about a cabaret owner and his drag-performing partner as they struggle to act straight in front of their son's prospective in-laws.

GSA Rally in Irmo on Tuesday

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Mon, May 26, 2008 at 11:00 AM

There will be a rally at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Dutch Fork Elementary School in Irmo, to show support for Irmo High School's Gay Straight Alliance. The rally will be outside the district school board meetig.

Irmo Principal Eddie Walker announced last week that he would be resigning at the end of the next school year because the district is allowing the GSA to from. District officials have said their hands are tied because of equal access requirements.

Gay advocates are calling for Walker to leave now, suggesting that his continued administration at the school after such a high-profile proclamation that he can't support the club could incite the type of dangerous environment that GSAs are looking to stop.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

South Carolia Equality calls for Irmo principal to go

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Thu, May 22, 2008 at 2:25 PM

The South Carolina Equality Coalition has called for the resignation of the Irmo principal who announced he would leave his position at the end of the 08-09 school year because he's being forced to allow a gay/straight alliance at the school.

C. Ray Drew, Executive Director of South Carolina Equality, states “This Principal has emphatically and publicly stated that he does not support a significant portion of his student body.  He has created an atmosphere where intolerance is considered a principled stand.”

That is certainly the thing that got me. The school district's response isn't that this club provides a home base of sorts for gay and lesbian students to feel comfortable without fear of intimidation or harassment (or worse). No, instead the district argues that it had to allow the club — its hands were tied.  More from SCEC:

National research from the Gay Lesbian Straight Educators Network (GLSEN) shows that 80% of gay students do not know a single supportive adult at their school.  They show that 38% of gay students face hostility and violence in the course of their required attendance at school.  18% of gay students experience physical assault. Gay students face more verbal harassment and physical violence than any group of students.  Yet, the one mitigating factor for students is when they know a supportive adult at school.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

At Least He Put His Money Where His Mouth Is

Posted by D. A. Smith on Wed, May 21, 2008 at 10:46 AM

News from the Capital City that is Columbia via The State:

Irmo High School Principal Eddie Walker said this morning he does not plan to announce his resignation today.

Walker declined further comment noting the school is dealing with the death of a student.

Reports indicated Walker would announce his decision to leave the district during morning announcements. The decision was apparently related to personal conflict with the formation of the Gay/Straight Alliance Club at the school.

In a letter writter to the "Irmo Nation" Walker wrote:

"However due to a recent conflict involving my professional and religious beliefs I sent Dr. Angela Bain a letter of resignation effective June 30, 2009. On May 14, 2008, I was instructed by email to allow the formation of a Gay/Straight Alliance Club at Irmo High School. On May 15, 2008 I told Ms. Ann Pilat to allow the formation of this club for the 2008-2009 school year. Allowing the formation of this club on our campus conflicts with my professional beliefs and religious convictions. I considered resigning this year but reconsidered because to not fulfill my written contract for the 2008-2009 school year would also conflict with my professional beliefs and religious convictions. In my opinion failure to fulfill my contract would constitute a breach of trust with School District Five of Lexington and Richland County, my student heroes, returning Irmo High School employees, and new employees who have chosen to work at Irmo High school for the 2008-2009 school year."

Lexington-Richland 5 spokesman Buddy Price confirmed the resignation this morning and provided a statement from the district:

"While the District respects Mr. Walker's position in this matter, our attorneys have advised us that because Irmo High School has permitted the formation of a number of non-curricular clubs at the school, the federal law known as the Equal Access Act does not permit the school to discriminate against a club based on the club's purpose and viewpoint by not allowing it to form unless the purpose of the club is unlawful; for example, the school would not have to permit the formation of a marijuana club."

-- From Staff Reports

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