Daily Archives: December 9, 2008

I’m a media whore.

I had a short telephone interview with a reporter from the Sacramento Bee today. She was doing a story on tomorrow’s “Day Without a Gay.”

Sacramento’s gay and lesbian community center, where I’m volunteering tomorrow (yes, I almost always end up caving in and doing the right thing…), was contacted by the reporter, and with my permission the center gave the reporter my contact info.

Her story, which captures our phone interview fairly well, is below; you will note that she saved her best material for last. (Hee hee hee…)

Dozens of Sacramentans plan to miss work, ‘call in gay’ Wednesday

By Jennifer Garza

Kris Applegate, who is gay, will not be at his job as a legislative analyst Wednesday. Instead, he will volunteer at the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center.

Applegate is joining dozens of others in the Sacramento region who are “calling in gay” to their place of employment as a way of highlighting the visibility of gays in the area.

“We’re everywhere — we work for the state, we’re accountants, we’re lawyers, nurses and doctors, we’re in the cubicle next to you,” said Applegate, 30. “Hopefully, this will show the role we play in the community.”

The national “Day Without A Gay” event was modeled after a similar effort by Latinos to recognize their value in American society. It was spurred by the passage of Proposition 8, the Nov. 4 ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage.

Participants will skip work to volunteer at nonprofits. A post-Prop 8 town hall meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Sierra II Center in Sacramento’s Curtis Park neighborhood.

The Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center in midtown expects about 30 volunteers will do everything from data entry to building maintenance.

“We had so many calls that we had to make sure there’s enough work for them to do,” said Bonnie Osborn, the center’s communications director. “A lot of the people we’re hearing from have never volunteered here before. But since Prop 8, they’re motivated.”

This is Applegate’s first time as a volunteer at the center. Applegate, who is taking a vacation day from work, told his boss in advance that he would not be in the office Wednesday.

“Out of respect for my employers, I didn’t want to blindside them,” said Applegate. “They were very supportive.”

Robert Crook also told his employer in advance that he is taking a vacation day in honor of “Day Without A Gay.”

“I’m doing it out of solidarity,” said Crook, who works for the state. “If there are a lot of empty chairs in the office — and I hope there are — then that will really make a statement.”

Critics have said that missing work is not a good idea, given the worsening economy.

Crook understands that some people will not be able to “call in gay” but says the economy should not be the reason.

“For some people, it’s tantamount to coming out and they might not be comfortable with that and I understand,” said Crook. “But this is a human and civil rights issue, and to me, it’s more important than the economy.”

A few comments on the news story: The headline says that “dozens” will “call in gay” tomorrow, but that’s just the number of people the reporter was made aware of through her contact at the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center. No one can really know how many gay men and lesbians in my city of Sacramento and the surrounding region actually will “call in gay” tomorrow; the reporter and I discussed that fact, in fact. My best guess is that it will be in the hundreds.

And speaking of “calling in gay,” note that both I and the other gay man interviewed for the news story requested the time off and are using vacation time that we earned. I surmise that few people are really going to “call in gay” (call in sick, that is) and that most of them responsibly have pre-arranged their absence, as I did.

Finally, if  you want to see what we gay men and lesbians are up against, read the vicious comments that visitors to sacbee.com have left on this news story by clicking here.*

Under the cover of complete anonymity (of course), these courageous haters spew forth venomous hatred that once was reserved for blacks.

It’s true: Gay is the new black!

*Sacbee.com has a system where you can report comments as hate speech or obscenity/vulgarity, and I’m reporting the hate speech as hate speech and the obscenity/vulgarity as obscenity/vulgarity, so by the time you click that link, a good number of the comments that I was talking about might since have disappeared…

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Why didn’t he just put it on eBay?

You know, I’m against the death penalty, but in cases such as this, it might help the gene pool to remove such incredibly retarded individuals from it.

Reports The Associated Press today:

CHICAGO – Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested [today] on charges that he brazenly conspired to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder.

Blagojevich also was charged with illegally threatening to withhold state assistance to Tribune Co., the owner of the Chicago Tribune, in the sale of Wrigley Field, according to a federal criminal complaint. In return for state assistance, Blagojevich allegedly wanted members of the paper’s editorial board who had been critical of him fired.

A 76-page FBI affidavit said the 51-year-old Democratic governor was intercepted on court-authorized wiretaps over the last month conspiring to sell or trade the vacant Senate seat for personal benefits for himself and his wife, Patti.

Otherwise, Blagojevich considered appointing himself. The affidavit said that as late as Nov. 3, he told his deputy governor that if “they’re not going to offer me anything of value I might as well take it.”

“I’m going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain,” Blagojevich allegedly said later that day, according to the affidavit, which also quoted him as saying in a remark punctuated by profanity that the seat was “a valuable thing — you just don’t give it away for nothing.”

… U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald said in a statement that “the breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering.”

“They allege that Blagojevich put a for sale sign on the naming of a United States senator,” Fitzgerald said….

Nothing in the court papers suggested Obama had any part in the discussion. In fact, Blagojevich allegedly said in the same conversation that Obama most likely would not appoint him as secretary of health and human services or to an ambassadorship because of the negative publicity that has surrounded the governor for three years….

Corruption in the Blagojevich administration has been the focus of a federal investigation involving an alleged $7 million scheme aimed at squeezing kickbacks out of companies seeking business from the state. Federal prosecutors have acknowledged they’re also investigating “serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud” under Blagojevich….

Federal prosecutors said Blagojevich and the chairman of his campaign committee have been speeding up corrupt fundraising activities in the last month to get as much money as possible before the end of the year when a new law would curtail his ability to raise contributions from companies with state contracts worth more than $50,000.

According to the affidavit, agents learned Blagojevich was seeking $2.5 million in campaign contributions by the end of the year, with a large part allegedly to come from companies and individuals who have gotten state contracts or appointments….

Blagojevich took the chief executive’s office in 2003 as a reformer promising to clean up former Gov. George Ryan’s mess.

Ryan, a Republican, is serving a 6-year prison sentence after being convicted on racketeering and fraud charges. A decade-long investigation began with the sale of driver’s licenses for bribes and led to the conviction of dozens of people who worked for Ryan when he was secretary of state and governor….

I’ve heard about the corruption in Chicago, but damn was Blagojevich brazen, and damn if he isn’t the poster boy for the fact that neither of the duopolistic political parties is a stranger to corruption.

Illinis probably look forward to having a governor whose name they can actually pronounce and spell, and while they’re at it, hopefully they’ll get a better-looking governor, too:

In this April 18, 2007 file photo, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich ...

Associated  Press photo

I wouldn’t do him…

And hopefully the Illinis’ next governor will manage to keep himself (or herself, but doesn’t it always seem to be men?) out of prison.

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