Happy Birthday, Harvey

Today would have been Harvey Milk’s 81st birthday and in a fitting gesture, the nonprofit Trevor Project, which provides suicide prevention counseling services to LGBT youth, opened the Harvey Milk Call Center at 575 Castro Street, which was the home of Milk’s camera shop and campaign headquarters in the ’70s, and where he occasionally received calls from gay youth seeking hope and validation.  The San Francisco call center will handle overnight calls to the Trevor Project’s suicide prevention hotline.

And in another fitting present for Milk, the WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS San Francisco Giants announced that the team will be filming a video for the “It Gets Better” campaign to prevent gay suicides and to stop bullying of LGBT youth.  They are the first professional sports team to do so.

[Bay Area Reporter: Trevor Project Opens SF Call Center]

Speaking of the gheyz, several friends on El Libro de las Caras have linked to this ABC News video testing Texas bystanders’ responses to homophobia. I’m not sure what to think – on the one hand it’s a little cheesy weird and unscientific, OTOH the guy with the earrings made me cry with his eloquence and compassion to the lesbian couple. Oh, and more Texans than New Yorkers told off the homophobic person. And I also wondered at the reporter’s assertion that it’s legal in Texas to refuse to provide services to gay people – seems to be a violation of the principles in Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States.

This is a good idea … and I have liked it across all my silly online identities! For instance, check out @FakeHuellHowser … on Twitter.

But seriously folks – anything we can do to keep young gays from committing suicide is important. Subscribe to Dan Savage’s podcast, for a start …

@SanFranLefty: My Con Law memories tell me that Heart of Atlanta validated Congress’ Commerce Clause power to use the 1964 Civil Rights Act to bar racial discrimination. However, you need a Congress with the cojones/basic decency to put anti-gay discrimination under the scrutiny of the Civil Rights Act to fit into the Heart of Atlanta precedent.

@SanFranLefty: I think you were out of country when the sports exec came out last week. No, I don’t remember name, team or sport. But it was big NYT news.

Oh, and someone mentioned that Google is running the original It Gets Better on ESPN. This apparently is also Big News.

Homestly, it feels like everyone’s excited because NBC gave Dianne Carroll a series. Only forty years until our first gay president!

Okay. Second.

@Walking Still: And our current GOP House will shit the bed before it helps anyone other than the elites. QED.

@Walking Still: Yep, you are absolutely right that it involved the Civil Rights Act of 1964, so not totally on point, but I think there’s a colorable argument using the logic and strict scrutiny closeness in Lawrence v. Texas that could be applied. Plus if Vaughn Walker’s love letter to Justice Kennedy in the Prop. 8 case is upheld, then it would seem that Heart of Atlanta applies….or am I being too optimistic?

How are you and Ms. Still doing?

@nojo: Saw something in between the cricket and rugby updates on Kiwi News. Phoenix Suns, or was it the Dallas Mavericks?

@SanFranLefty: Phoenix Suns President. Two of the stars for the Suns did an “It Gets Better” ad that ran during the playoffs.

@blogenfreude: They have made their bed and they can lay in it.

@SanFranLefty: Without a statute, you need a constitutionally-based argument. I’m not an expert in this area, but it seems to me that the constitutionally-based arguments in Lawrence and the Prop 8 marriage case turn on more fundamental rights and state action (criminal enforcement of sodomy laws, right of access to the state supported institution of marriage).

Ms Still and I are both well. However, she now has a new job in Washington DC, while I’m still working in SF. This makes life complex. I’m spending a lot of time on airplanes these days.

@Walking Still: Oy vey on the trans-continental commuting!

Oh, and with regard to the Con Law argument – I completely defer to you. I haven’t actually practiced law in six years except in small spurts and in my personal life for reasons I won’t go in to but will summarize as the complacency/laziness/exhaustion of Baby Boomer coworkers (no offense to you or other baby boomers). I start a new job this week where hopefully I’ll get to be an attorney again and not an event planner/website manager.

@blogenfreude: Hey, I believe I saw an AC Cobra on the street today. It had an old license plate and the engine was running rough, leading me to think that it might not be a modern copy.

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