Archive for the News & Views Category

City Council Member Responding to Buju Banton Show

Posted in News & Views with tags , , , on September 6, 2009 by GayRVA

BujuFacebook comments are still flowing about Buju.  A reader sent us his e-mail to Richmond City Councilwoman Ellen Robertson with her response.  She copied the Chief of Police and the Mayor’s office to setup a meeting regarding the National’s show.

Good morning Ms. Robertson;

I am writing to you today for the same reason that I am sure you have received many other emails, to express my discomfort and anger towards the upcoming Buju Banton concert at The National, in downtown Richmond. As a tax payer, Richmond business supporter, gay man, and someone who cares for this city – my stomach is in knots that this type of show is being help in my city.

I do believe that all people have the right of freedom of speech. I also believe that those who do not agree with homosexuality have the right to share the discussion. What I do not believe in, is paying someone and endorsing an act (which by having him perform at the National and doing any types of advertising they are endorsing him) that goes beyond freedom of speech to the call of violence and death against members of the human race, is not acceptable and bad business.

What I also fear is that if this concert does happen that the protest that occurs (and there will be a protest of this show) will turn violent. Richmond does not need that type of media attention, nor does the National, which has always allowed diverse acts perform. I also fear for the National after the show. This concert has struck a chord in the greater Richmond area – moving far beyond just the gay community. There has already been damage done to the reputation of the National – people have already decided to boycott the theater. It only makes me sad to think of the boycott/ reaction that occurs if the theater does not cancel this show.

Thank you for your time. I hope that you are able to speak with the people at the National to let them know that this concert is unacceptable and that it has outraged the people of our city.

The following was Robertson’s response:

I cannot afford to set and allow this group to come to town. I will be asking the Chief of Police to meet with me and the owners of the National to address the urgency of this matter. By way of this email, John will follow up with the Mayor and Chief to coordinate a meeting.


National’s Facebook Page Flooding with Comments

Posted in News & Views with tags , , on September 5, 2009 by GayRVA


As soon as the “Cancel Buju Banton…” page went live, Facebookers hopped over to the National’s page to express their opinion.  The admin had been deleting comments, but stopped at the time of this posting.

What people are saying…

“You deleted everybody’s concerns and then went as far as to post an offensive defense to Buju Banton. On top of all of this, their show is on Richmond Gay Pride anniversary day. How insulting!”

“Should Buju Banton be allowed to perform? Freedom of speech is a great good and a right in this country. However, there is a greater good of protecting the people as a whole. It is the government’s responsibilty to protect the people. His messages have a great enough potential to cause harm, and it’s our duty for the greater good to not allow him to play. Thus, his speech is not his right becuase of the potential harm it could cause. Do we have to wait for someone to die before we can prove the harm? That is what our law would dictate. I do not want our community to be the place where it could be proven. Please consider your responsibility to our community.”

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Announcing 2.WHOA!

Posted in News & Views, Site Announcements, Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 2, 2009 by GayRVA



On Thursday, September 10, goes from blog to webmagazine. Readers will see a new layout with more dynamic content and improved navigation.

The new also debuts a photo campaign painting a diverse portrait of “GayRVA.” The campaign features gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and queer (GLBTQ) Richmonders and allies with the site’s slogan “Out.Spoken.”

Also on September 10, to coincide with the redesigned site, New York Deli hosts a happy hour event from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. To add a social media twist, our Twitter followers will be able to take the conversation online using hashtag #thatgaytweetup. Join and a few special guests as we come out again.

Who knew starting in March as a small community blog, would grow up in a matter of months to become a valuable online resource?

“Really, it started over dinner with friends,” Editor Kevin Clay said. “During conversation we wondered why doesn’t Richmond have a gay blog?”

This simple idea turned into a social network with 1000 followers between Facebook and Twitter with the website steadily growing in readership. Combined with monthly events from a Launch Party, to a week of fundraising for AIDSWalk Richmond, to live video blogging at the Watermelon Festival, has become an interactive tool connecting Richmond’s GLBTQ communities.

Ice Cream for Marriage Rights

Posted in News & Views with tags , , , , on September 2, 2009 by GayRVA


There’s a lot of ice cream happenings lately in the community.

In Vermont, and five other states with marriage rights, Ben & Jerry’s has renamed and is distributing “Chubby Hubby” as “Hubby Hubby.”  The gooey and delicious frozen treat has fudge covered peanut butter-filled pretzels in vanilla ice cream with fudge and peanut butter throughout.

The partnership with Freedom to Marry aims to bring “Hubby Hubby” to more states an in the process bring marriage equality nationwide.

Feminists, Working Women, Homosexuals, Oh My!

Posted in News & Views, Politics with tags , , , , , , on September 1, 2009 by maymedonohue

What were you doing in 1989?

I was wearing floral dresses against my will that my mom picked out for me and rocking some serious bangs. I did look super cute though, and if I ever run for governor I won’t have to hold an emergency press conference to explain how my views have change since that magical year.

Yesterday, Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Bob McDonnell did just that.

thesis lays out his views that working women and feminists are detrimental to the family and that government policy should be weighted to couples over cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators.

thesis lays out his views that working women and feminists are "detrimental" to the family and that government policy should be weighted to couples over "cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators."

On Sunday news broke in the Washington Post of a thesis McDonnell wrote in 1989 when he was working for his master’s in public policy and his J.D. at Regent University (an evangelical university founded by Pat Robertson). He wrote the 93 page paperat the age of 34 and described  working women and feminists as “detrimental” to the family, said government policy should favor married couples over “cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators” and argued that the use of contraception by unmarried couples was “illogical.” He also mentions that it is the responsibility of Republicans to “correct the conventional folklore about the separation of church and state.”

News of McDonnell’s thesis entitled, “The Republican Party’s Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of the Decade” made news in the Richmond Times Dispatch yesterday, and amidst blogs and newspapers picking up the story all over the state, McDonnell called a phone conference with the press. The RTD wrote another article today with some of McDonnell’s comments and retractions from the phone call. McDonnell stressed that his views have changed since he wrote that paper.

Claiming his views at the time had been shaped by his Catholic faith, Army service and Reagan-era Republicanism, McDonnell nonetheless said his perspective has changed on such issues as women in the workplace, homosexuality and divorce — all of which he depicted in his thesis as threats.

But there are some inconsistencies between McDonnell’s speaking that his views have changed and his record which demonstrates that they truly have not. The Times notes,

As for gays, McDonnell said that in hiring decisions as attorney general, he was interested only in candidates’ qualifications and not their sexual orientation. McDonnell, however, made no mention of an opinion he wrote early in his term in which he said Gov. Timothy M. Kaine acted illegally in vowing to protect gay state employees from discrimination in the workplace.

And in the conclusion of the thesis, McDonnell spells out a 15 point plan for Republicans to follow in the protection of the traditional family, 10 of which he has pursued through legislation during his time in office.

This has the potential to be a real turning point in this race. Creigh Deeds, McDonnell’s democratic opponent, trails in the polls by anywhere from 7 to 15 points.

The Washington Post has endorsed Deeds and there is no question their discovery and release of the thesis will help their candidate in the last 4 weeks before the election. What is more surprising is how hard the Richmond Times Dispatch has come down on McDonnell for his ’89 thesis. Where they have had the opportunity to argue that the past is the past and he should not be judged by his old ideas, they have done the opposite, explaining how those hateful ideas are still evident in his more recent legislating. When the RTD is coming after you for being too conservative, you might have a problem…


Mayme Donohue is a Richmond native and Master’s Candidate in Political Management at George Washington University. She’s a rockstar and you can catch more of her thoughts and musings on gay politics and lesbian gossip at Maymes.

Campus Coverage of Last Week’s Family Foundation Protest

Posted in News & Views with tags , , , on August 31, 2009 by GayRVA

University of Richmond’s campus newspaper, the Collegian, posted a story about last week’s Family Foundation Protest.

Members of the Student Alliance for Sexual Diversity said that the foundation’s presence on campus had countered The Richmond Promise of an authentic culture of inclusivity, especially because of its stance against gay marriage. Thad Williamson, assistant professor of leadership studies, said he had become an ally of the GLBTQ community through his best friends.

“It’s important that the university community and the city and the state know that there is a gay and lesbian community here,” Williamson said. “They’re real people who have families, valued partnerships and children, and it’s a form of love just as wonderful as any other.”

Read the full article here.  The Family Foundation also made a post to their own blog regarding the event.  UofR’s queer community met last Monday to discuss a response to the organization’s presence on campus.

Update on Family Foundation at UofR

Posted in News & Views with tags , , , on August 25, 2009 by GayRVA

University of RichmondRegarding today’s Family Foundation retreat at UofR, we received an e-mail message from Jon Henry, president of the campus’s Student Alliance for Sexual Diversity.  Their organization along with other groups on campus held a protest this morning toward that Family Foundation with the first one starting at 7:15 a.m.  A second gathering was held at noon.

“Ever since those letters in the paper last year, we have been extremely active and motivated here on campus,” Henry says.