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Posts Tagged ‘WHYY’

Me and Socarides

January 22nd, 2012 1 comment

I know it should be “Socarides and I,” but the post title is catchier. Anyway, I will be on NPR’s Radio Times tomorrow at 10 am. (Here’s the link; you can listen then, or later via podcast. On radio it’s 90.9 WHYY in Philadelphia. I think it’s also on satellite radio but I don’t know the time.) We’re discussing DOMA, Prop 8, Obama and marriage equality, maybe civil unions (I hope).

Richard Socarides, if you don’t know, was a high-level Clinton advisor and is currently a hugely important figure in struggle for LGBT legal equality. What you’re even less likely to know is that his father, Charles Socarides, was an infamous homophobe who for years fought back (unsuccessfully) against the decision by the American Psychiatric Association to delist homosexuality as a mental disorder. I’m guessing there were some interesting dinner conversations….(or maybe not!)

Death-Defying! Equality-Denying!

July 9th, 2009 No comments

Today, as I was preparing for my gig on local TV (WHYY in Wilmington’s Delaware Tonight) to discuss the recently signed sexual orientation non-discrimination bill I discovered that the governor, Jack Markell, had delayed the signing by a week because the date originally chosen conflicted with a memorial service for a recently deceased state senator, Thurman Adams. Thus did Adams, who’d single-handedly prevented the bill’s passage for the past decade, reach back from the afterlife and delay the legislation one more time.

This oddity reminded me of a conversation with a friend years ago. We were discussing the efforts of reactionary forces to hold back the tide of equality for the LGBT community, even as most of them realized that their efforts were doomed to Canute-like failure. After a lifetime in opposition, what would they think, as they lay dying? Maybe something like: “I held them back…for a little…while….”

Well, why stop at death? Thurman Adams managed to delay the inevitable for another week even after he’d passed on. Might he have started something? Here are some irreverent suggestions, along the lines of an old Monty Python skit (scroll down to interview about a ‘new’ film starring Marilyn Monroe):

  • Rabid anti-marriage equality spokeswoman Maggie Gallagher can direct that her ashes be kept in a safe place until the next state permits same-sex marriages. Then, as the first couples make their way into City Hall, a high-speed fan can disperse¬† them into the crowd, temporarily (and fittingly, metaphorically speaking) blinding some couples, and ruining plenty of hair-dos and natty get-ups. Equality delayed!
  • James Dobson’s “Focus on the Family” needn’t stop with his death. His body can be placed, at least for a few minutes, in the way of athletes trying to work out with their “predominantly gay” sports teams. Fun and fairness frustrated!
  • South Carolina Governor (and gay marriage opponent) Mark Sanford can direct that his rambling press conferences on the subject of his Argentine mistress/”soulmate” be recorded and played at ear-splitting levels whenever same-sex couples approach an adoption agency. On second thought, normal levels should do.

My Radio Times Debate with Stacey Sobel

June 20th, 2009 No comments

Just a quick heads-up about my upcoming appearance on NPR‘s Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane. I’ll be on this coming Wednesday, June 24.¬† The show broadcasts here in Philly at 10-12 am (I’m in the first hour) and several times during the day on Sirius Satellite Radio (schedule here). You can also listen to any time at whyy.org.

My friend Stacey Sobel and I will be debating the Obama Administration’s progress on LGBT issues. Stacey is the immediate past Executive Director of Equality Advocates Pennsylvania, and I was on the Board of Directors during her tenure. Now she’s a sought-after lobbyist here in Pennsylvania, as she prepares to start a career in legal academia in the Fall.

It appears that Stacey is somewhat more patient than I am with Obama; as a lobbyist, she’s understands the sausage factory better than most. But I don’t want to reduce what promises to be a great discussion to a sound bite (and not a very good one, at that). Listen and join the conversation — Radio Times takes callers.