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I last saw Advise and Consent in the mid-1970s when it was already a period piece. It must have been in 1973 or 1974 because it had been awhile when I finally read the book, and I know I did that in 1976.

It was one of the first things I remember seeing about "gay" issues. Although, to be fair, it's much more about the process of governance in DC. Wikipedia tells me that Anita Bryant's big campaign was a year later, but I was already aware of gay people in my neighborhood (one couple was very nice and another hated when kids played in the cul-de-sac near them -- you know, just like real people are different). It was shameful. Forbidden. The jokes at my all-girl boarding school and summer camp about lesbians were uneasy, at best.

I thought the movie would be heavily coded, but Preminger presents a small Greenwich Village bar pretty straightforwardly. There's no doubting what the milieu is which is probably why I remember bits of it so vividly. Of course, the married Senator who had a relationship in Hawaii during the war had to die. It was a plot point. But the film is sensitive to him, if not to closeted men or gay men in general. He's trying to do the right thing, being blackmailed, and, ultimately, commits suicide rather than give in to the blackmail.

In its own way, the most fascinating thing is that the movie was clearly filmed on location here in DC. I not only knew the big buildings, but some of the smaller homes they used as the fronts for the characters' residences. The mall has so many more buildings on it now, of course. The political power structure has changed. There are no more hostesses like the character of Dolly Harrison. But I've been around and reading the newspapers through some of those changes. I'm, mostly, glad that the hostesses power has gone.

And I'm ecstatic that there are now movies where the gay person doesn't have to commit suicide to further the plot.
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Dustin Lance Black took the transcripts of the Proposition 8 trial and shaped them into a play. Also included are actual anti-Proposition 8 advertisements from the ballot campaign.

The reading last night was livestreamed. I found out about it accidentally after it had started. There is a link to it on the American's For Equal Rights page. It can be found on YouTube, too. The play starts at about 29 minutes, and there are some preliminaries which provide context beginning around the 17 minute mark. This may only be up for a week, so if you're interested, watch sooner rather than later.

The cast includes Martin Sheen, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Kevin Bacon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christine Lahti, Matt Bomer, Matthew Morrison, etc.

Massachusetts is mentioned more than once.


Feb. 23rd, 2012 07:16 pm
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The Governor has been working quietly behind the scenes since last year to get the same-sex marriage legislation to cross his desk. He says he'll sign it. That makes Maryland the first state south of the Mason-Dixon line to do so. Although the District has allowed same-sex marriage since March of 2010, so it's not the first jurisdiction south of the Mason-Dixon line to do so. (There is some "suck it, New Jersey" mixed in this, too.)

Across the Potomac, Virginia is continuing to anger me. I had an ancestor in the Jamestown colony. My rants about ultrasounds, birth control (someone in comments of The Washington Post actually said that they were trying to ban any contraception that could be construed as abortion -- IUD, pill, morning after pill, etc. That would leave the diaphragm for a woman to control her reproduction options or trusting that her partner will use a condom every time.), and the most repressive DOMA in the country tend to begin with the phrase, "My ancestors didn't found that Commonwealth to have it make such boneheaded laws..."

Fortunately, some of my relatives were in Maryland, too. *G*
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Confederate Month?!? Really?

Look, my great-great-grandfather (I think that's right, my dad's great-grandfather) joined the Confederate Army at the age of 16 to participate as a defender at the siege of Richmond. I think it's correct for the Confederate flag to fly over Confederate military graveyards. Nowhere else, ever.

But to commemorate the Confederacy sends the wrong message. No. It sends the right message. The message it's sending is that the Commonwealth of Virginia -- the cradle of Democracy in the United States -- no longer cares about being part of the larger society. It's sending the message that they are so appalled by gay rights, a black man in the Oval Office, or the promulgation of evolution that they would rather commemorate the most shameful decision of their past (and remember, Virginia was the final state to join the Confederacy and the fight in the legislature was bitter) than be part of the modern world.


Mar. 6th, 2010 05:43 pm
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People occasionally ask me why I don't live in Virginia. It's cheaper than Maryland or the District. Plus, my ancestors founded the Commonwealth of Virginia, or at least participated in the Jamestown colony. It's a beautiful place.

It's a beautiful place with poison in its heart. Loving vs Virginia was the last gasp of anti-miscegnation laws. It is second only to Texas in the number of people it's put to death since the death penalty ban was overturned in 1976.

And it is the home of the most repressive DOMA in the country. Now it's attorney general wants to interfere with the academic freedoms of the state university system. The Washington Post article is here. Basically, he doesn't think they should have any wording forbidding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression because the laws of the Commonwealth don't permit it.

I do not spend my money in Virginia. I won't even buy a cup of coffee from the Alexandria Dunkin' Donuts.


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