Archive for the 'teh gay' Category

We’re deciding to specialize in things that are not news.

May 18, 2012 in Politics, teh gay

Paul Cameron finally admits what we know about all anti-gay crusaders, that he has some serious issues with his own gay feelings.

It’s tragic that Cameron was raped as a young boy, but that does not excuse the years of hatred directed at homosexuals that he built his career around. I remember back in the debates of the nineties, when anti-gay sentiment was still the prevailing attitude, Cameron’s studies fueled hundreds of thousands of Christian fundamentalist attacks on gay people. I ran into them in the dorm hallways, the internet, and on the street, all touting studies by Cameron that were quickly laughed out of serious debate by any actual scholars. He was a man with an axe to grind, and he made up whatever numbers would fit into that mission.

-hw

The gay person’s Abraham Lincoln.

May 09, 2012 in Barack Obama, teh gay

And mine. I started fighting in 1996, so obviously this is long past due, but justice doesn’t often come quickly in this country and there is still so far to go after the disgrace of North Carolina.

Click here for the celebrations…

-hw

Sweet mercy, already.

Mar 12, 2012 in Religion, teh gay

Sullivan charts the Catholic Church’s corruptive doubling down on the anti-gay:

The leaders of the current Catholic hierarchy are the Pharisees of our time. They are the people Jesus came to liberate us from. And he does. And he will.

Once again, Catholicism would greatly be improved by treating the papacy as some kind of entertaining kabuki theater. I can’t think of any organized body other than NAMBLA whose sexual philosophy should be entirely dismissed and disregarded as utterly without merit or grounds to speak.

-hw

It has wheels, so you can move the goalpost.

Feb 18, 2012 in Politics, teh gay

Sullivan identifies how anti-gay people throw the Constitution right out the window, doing and saying anything as long as it fulfills their ends.

Christie is a man whose candor I admire in many ways. But this was an act of cowardice and unfairness and a misguided disregard for representative democracy. How many other duly enacted laws must now be sent to the referendum process for final judgment. Why have a legislature at all? And this from the party that claims to defend the Constitution.

Anti-gay opponents have outright ruled out the legitimacy of court victories, where their bigotry doesn’t stand up very well. Individual rights are completely disregarded when it comes to a gay person, and their equality is seen as an infringement on their right to push gay people in the closet. As legislative victories mount, the very same people will be quick to run to the courts to protect that perceived right.

I don’t know how much of a bigot Chris Christie is, just that he doesn’t plan on being a Republican signing a gay marriage bill. Oh, and that he belongs to a political party with bigotry woven into its platform, so he must behave in a bigoted manner in order to stay a member in good standing. So, yeah.

-hw

Love beats hate.

Dec 01, 2011 in teh gay

-hw

Our post-Constitutional era.

Nov 30, 2011 in Abortion, Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Constitution, Disappointing Dems, Politics, Religion, Sophistry, Straight-up madness, teh gay, Torture, War on Terra, Where's the outrage?!?!

This is becoming inevitable, as the Republican Party, while ever ready to say the word, “Constitution,” is a complete and udder fraud on the subject, and has categorically dismissed most of the Amendments and the underlying philosophy behind the Constitution’s writing.

Now, I know it is required that I disclose the presence of a certain contingent of chickenshit Democrats who regularly cave whenever Republicans get hot and bothered, but they’re never the driving force, and they’re a minority within the Democrat Party, so there. It’s the wholly unbridled unified army of the Republican Order that drives an agenda that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, except as their protections pertain to white Christian heterosexual males.

1. They’re actively pro-torture, even though they square that by declaring any form of torture they like to not be torture. Simple, right? Not only is the Constitution unambiguously against cruel or unusual punishment, i.e. torture, but the entire history of the country at war has hewn to the same principles. Ronald Reagan was explicit in his condemnation of torture. The Republican Party today is best represented by Rick Santorum telling John McCain that he doesn’t understand torture.

2. They’re consistently against or dismissive of the religious freedom of gays, gay-supporting straights, Wiccans, atheists, Muslims. That the First Amendment ever be read in context with a world of varying beliefs is verboten. It’s about the Christian right to inject Christianity into anything they do, even and especially as a public employee. But when it comes to gays, the Christian right directly posits its beliefs as important enough to cancel out those of gays and to directly affect how gays live their lives by forbidding them marriage. The thought that Jesus might look kindly upon a loving gay couple cannot be entertained.

3. Search and seizure, forget it! Everything is open, up for grabs, ready to be peeped upon by Uncle Sam whenever he wants. The Drug War paved the way, the War on Terror planted the settlement and opened shop. Merely being suspected of having drugs can result in asset forfeiture, meaning your property rights are violated without due process, the police department acting as judge and jury. The burden of proof is often reversed onto suspects in such cases, and property is rarely returned regardless of charges.

Every phone and internet conversation has been opened up, and siphons through the NSA’s data miners.

Binney, for his part, believes that the agency now stores copies of all e-mails transmitted in America, in case the government wants to retrieve the details later. In the past few years, the N.S.A. has built enormous electronic-storage facilities in Texas and Utah. Binney says that an N.S.A. e-mail database can be searched with “dictionary selection,” in the manner of Google. After 9/11, he says, “General Hayden reassured everyone that the N.S.A. didn’t put out dragnets, and that was true. It had no need—it was getting every fish in the sea.”
Binney considers himself a conservative, and, as an opponent of big government, he worries that the N.S.A.’s data-mining program is so extensive that it could help “create an Orwellian state.” Whereas wiretap surveillance requires trained human operators, data mining is automated, meaning that the entire country can be watched. Conceivably, U.S. officials could “monitor the Tea Party, or reporters, whatever group or organization you want to target,” he says. “It’s exactly what the Founding Fathers never wanted.”

Power creeps, as the Founders realized, and always, always had to be balanced.

4. While ever ready to claim that rights not spelled out in the Constitution aren’t really rights, directly contradicting the Ninth Amendment, the Republican Party has declared that money equals speech. Why then should I be punished for bribing a police officer or judge? I’m merely talking to the them.

No, anybody knows exactly what money in politics means, it means buying politicians, period. Money buys politicians, it buys media outlets, it pays people to spout theories that testify to the greatness of the wealthy, and it’s all done for the sake of ever more money. As Danny DeVito said in The Heist, “That’s why they call it money.” It’s not the same as speaking your mind, it’s engaging in a transaction. There’s a reason “money talks” is a cliche. With money, speech isn’t so important anymore. It becomes the pretty envelope on a fat wad of cash.

5. Nor does it say anywhere in the Constitution that corporations constitute distinct immortal citizens with full rights. The very construction of a corporation is a legal designation, a product of government legislation. Who ever talks about it in those terms? Certainly not Republicans. Apparently God made corporations?

Ruling in Citizens United that not only could these corporations donate unlimited funds to candidates, but do so anonymously? Does anybody on this planet think the politicians don’t know exactly who donated? It merely creates a gigantic firewall against the public, keeping them out of the process, refusing to tell them who’s bought their supposed representative.

Jesus declared that the rich would not easily find their way into Heaven. He said no such thing about those with lots of opinions. Yet a party built on Judeo-Christian superiority delivers the sentiment, “money equals speech,” to us with deeply sincere faces, even strident faces. Add to that, “a corporation is a person,” whereas one soulless legal entity is equated to a human being, and the conundrum deepens. How do these people maintain such cognitive dissonance? With great strain.

6. Indefinite detention. Like torture, it is the complete and utter opposite of each and every plank, nail, and window in the Constitution’s house. It is the Gulag. It is the dungeon. It is the concentration camp. And now one of the two major parties has not merely let it fly under their radar, but made it their agenda. Take a few Dem politican scalps if you will, but only lefties and a few libertarians (where are you guys when we need you?) are going to bring this fight at all. Lesson from 2010: Letting more Republicans get into office is not a solution.

7. General Welfare: Abolishing the EPA? YHGTBFKM (You have got to be fucking kidding me). The Koch brothers need to dump more poison in our groundwater, Michele, won’t you help them?

The entire concept of the general welfare of the country has completely evacuated the Republican Party. In their eyes, fuck the general welfare. People get what they deserve, and if your life sucks, blame yourself. Of course, if everybody did a lot more looking in the mirror at themselves, we wouldn’t have many Republicans left. Instead, they survey only the oily shell of the individual, and perceive nothing of the complex lattice-work of society that supports their existence.

If you don’t fund schools, you end up living in a world of noisy uneducated people giving you rotten service, and you can only keep moving to new suburbs so long. If you don’t fund police departments, you end up with high crime rates and decreased property values. If you fund prisons while not funding rehab clinics, your Drug War will result in financial incentives that outweigh regular crime prevention. A Drug War waged primarily on minorities will turn jail into a martyrdom ritual, and your children will revere felons as heroes.

President Obama turned the health care system into a universal program, for which he is reviled by the right (not to ignore the political convenience…had there perhaps been a President Romney in 2008, his Massachusetts plan would be considered to be a rightful and just conservative blueprint to accomplish the goals of liberals through free-market means). The rather explicit permission of the Commerce Clause gives the government more than fair leeway to point out that uninsured people merely transfer the cost of their care to others. A mandate is really little more than a distribution of that cost among all citizens. You might not like it, but who’s going to be there for you if you have a stroke in twenty minutes and spend your remaining decades fully paralyzed?

8. Abortion. The government should enter the womb and put up a sign telling the mother to keep providing the nutrients but she’s not in charge anymore? That assertion of domain over the entirety of her body and its natural processes isn’t listed in the Constitution as a specific right, thus it does not exist?

As I mentioned, this is in direct violation of the Ninth Amendment, which explicitly states that the enumeration of certain rights is not meant to disparage the others. The Constitution is not a finite list of rights, and it says so clearly! And it certainly grants the government no power over a woman’s reproductive process. Anti-abortion sentiments were rare at the time of the writing of the Constitution, unfit for a special extension of government powers. And yet as the subject has become a crusade for religious fundamentalists, attempts to justify its Constitutionality have naturally occurred. Their crowing is as predictable as a rooster.

______

Republicans have in many cases not merely gone passive about certain rights, they’ve turned outright aggressive against them. Such a republic facing this prospect would rightly be deemed to be in or near its death throes, about to face a civil war. No matter how casually Republicans treat the Constitution, they’re emphatic about it, often moreso than Democrats. And that should just never be the case, because the only people I see left standing up for the Constitution anymore are left. And if libertarians were to be believed for half the things they say about liberty, there wouldn’t be Republican majorities anywhere.

-hw

Sticking the boot in.

Sep 23, 2011 in teh gay

I just want to be one more voice telling the people who booed active-duty Iraq soldier Stephen Hill for being gay, miscreants who do actually represent the Tea Party base quite ably and wonderfully, to go to hell. And the audience can’t claim exemption when they applauded Santorum’s hate screed afterwards. Blind evil.

-hw

How dare you suggest I’m Polish!

Jul 19, 2011 in Politics, teh gay

Exactly:

My guess is that the only people who are seriously offended by those wondering if Marcus is gay are probably people for whom “gay” is a terrible insult, and they’re also the people who oppose gay civil rights. Similarly, in 1948, the people who would be extremely offended by the notion of Strom fathering a black child are those who opposed civil rights for African Americans. Well-intended non-bigots like Joyner and Thomas, who are not offended by the notion of homosexuality, shouldn’t feel the need to carry water for someone who’s devoted his life to ruining the lives of vulnerable teenagers and denying civil rights to fellow citizens. Marcus Bachmann doesn’t deserve it.

Michele and Marcus Bachmann have made one thing clear, and that is their contempt for gay people, which in Marcus’ case seems to be largely self-directed. And in GOP world, that’s awesome-sauce! But I prefer to think gay people are awesome-sauce, and these two are wankers.

-hw

“President Obama is against what just happened.”

Jun 25, 2011 in Barack Obama, teh gay

Rachel Maddow had to go take a dump on tonight’s festivities by pretending Obama isn’t just reticient about admitting his support for gay marriage openly, but that he is actually actively against New York legalizing gay marriage.

Y’know, the whole circular firing squad on the left thing sometimes needs to happen, but for someone usually so good about the facts, Rachel, you kind of blew it on this one.

The President has long believed that gay and lesbian couples deserve the same rights and legal protections as straight couples. That’s why he has called for repeal of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” and determined that his Administration would no longer defend the constitutionality of DOMA in the courts. The states should determine for themselves how best to uphold the rights of their own citizens. The process in New York worked just as it should.

Say what you want about Obama playing it safe, he has never said anything whatsoever to suggest he was against New York legalizing gay marriage, and that is merely reaffirmed tonight. I understand gays who might still feel some frustration over the president’s language, but President Obama has been, without any doubt whatsoever, the most pro-gay president in the history of the United States, and he’s racked up quite a record for gays to be whoopin’ proud of. Slamming him like this is just unfair, and I hope tomorrow Rachel apologizes for her slander. It just ain’t right.

-hw

Playing victim is one of the most consistent strategies among bigots.

Feb 09, 2011 in Christian Right, teh gay

Looks like Iowa Republicans are introducing a bill that would legalize just about any form of bigotry and discrimination by businesses if the person working there says it’s their religion.

Of course, the bill is designed to be a Jim Crow law for gays, but the wording is pretty loose and could apply to any marriage the person found objectionable.

Either way, this is utterly indefensible, but it’s representative of the mentality of bigotry.

In order to justify their desire to discriminate against gay people, the few remaining homophobes have concocted a scenario where they are The Real Victims. They can say what they want, set up churches or mosques that preach what they want, and turn away gay people from their homes every day of the week if they so desire—and I would defend every one of those rights to the last ditch. There is only one thing they can’t do. They can’t choose to offer a service to the general public, and then turn people away on the basis of race or sexuality. They can’t put up de facto signs saying ‘No blacks, no Irish, no gays’ at their B&B.

Precisely. The victimhood must be shifted to the bigot. Naturally, this argument was used against blacks and other minorities, most recently by Rand Paul. Who is the government to tell you you have to let a black person buy your gas? Many variants involve turning tolerance around to say that tolerance also must include the intolerant…except they mean to the point of letting them actually practice that intolerance, thereby changing nothing.

This isn’t a form of prejudice—it is a way of preventing prejudice.

But it’s teh gay, and these so-called Christians simply can’t control their hatred enough to treat them as the American citizens they are.

-hw

Best president of my lifetime, ctd.

Jan 19, 2011 in Barack Obama, teh gay

Another milestone:

New regulations regarding hospital visitation rights went into effect Tuesday, paving the way for members of the LGBT community to have further control over their own medical decisions.

Under the new protocol, initiated last April and developed over the following months, hospitals partaking in Medicare and Medicaid must now allow all patients to decide visitation rights, as well as who to entrust with making medical decisions on their behalf, regardless of sexual or gender identity.

“This policy impacts millions of LGBT Americans and their families. The President saw an injustice and felt very strongly about correcting this and has spoken about it often over the years,” White House deputy director of public engagement Brian Bond wrote on the White House blog.

Actual family values. Isn’t that something?

-hw

Better than Clinton.

Dec 18, 2010 in teh gay

1. Clinton couldn’t pass Health Care Reform, Obama did.
2. Clinton euthanized the regulatory dogs, while Obama passed financial reform.
3. Clinton signed DADT, Obama is going to sign its repeal within days.

Of course, Clinton raised taxes, presided over an era of prosperity, and put the country on the road to paying down the deficit and shoring up Social Security. I’m betting that with eight years Obama will be able to say that and a lot more.

But right now, let’s hail this great day of freedom, the day a Republican filibuster was broken in a victory for liberty and the honor of those who have served this country proudly, regardless of their orientation.

Greatest lame duck Congress ever, even with the tax deal and all the other things Republicans are killing, like the excellent DREAM act for immigrants. Somehow, they got the courage to act after they lost the election, and they did so on an issue that seemed insurmountable just years ago. This is huge. This is a big fucking deal. Marriage rights remain, but some places in America gays can get married already. Now every soldier in the Armed Forces can set this false division behind and achieve true unit cohesion. The purges can end. The best and brightest will prosper. And America finally joins the rest of the civilized world on this one.

This is just plain huge.

-hw

Always love this.

Dec 15, 2010 in Disappointing Dems, teh gay

Gay rights groups and leading commentators on the left will expect Reid to make this happen, and will be very reluctant to tolerate any efforts to blame Republican obstructionism if it fails.

Even though Republican obstruction is the only possible way it could fail. The beauty is that Republicans can kill whatever they want, and those who support the bill will blame Democrats. It’s a double win.

The good news is that I think DADT has pretty good chances of being repealed in the Senate. The Republican filibuster opposing the wishes of most Americans, most servicemen, the Secretary of Defense, and most of the military leadership may just be overcome. You don’t hear Mitch McConnell talking about “the people” much on this one, do you?

-hw

UPDATE: Must still be asleep and dreaming. News says we won. There must be a catch. What’s the catch? We don’t just win without a catch! WTF, is this real? I won’t be able to bear it if it isn’t, and I don’t know if I can bear it that it is…the Senate Republicans block health care for 9/11 responders, and they let this pass?

Eh, can’t be real. I’m going back to sleep. Can’t process…

Move over, gay-dissin’ Republicans.

Oct 29, 2010 in teh gay

It’s time to accept that the world is changing.

WASHINGTON — An internal Pentagon study has found that most U.S. troops and their families don’t care whether gays are allowed to serve openly and think the policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” could be done away with, according to officials familiar with its findings.

When I think about freedom, I think about gay men and women who are in so many ways exiled from first-class citizenship.

Then I think about Republicans clamoring about paying some extra income tax if they’re too irresponsible to go sign up for low-cost health care insurance. Yet they scatter when I ask them if they would agree to foot all health care expenses, cash up front, the rest of their lives.

That’s why I find their talk disingenuous. Yes, I can agree that the government should keep its nose out of your business. I think the government should keep its nose out of your business, treat each citizen equally, enforce fairness, and provide some essential, basic services that every American needs and deserves.
Be useful or get the hell out, by all means.

Fortunately, freedom marches, and those marches are gonna have gay soldiers in them.

-hw

Ken Mehlmann is gay!?!?!

Aug 28, 2010 in teh gay

I don’t remember hearing that he was previous to last weeks revelation but for some reason I just always assumed he was anyway. I’m happy for Ken and I think that it’s a step in a positive direction for both him and the Republican party. Michael Steele’s comments on the subject were especially thoughtful. But on the flip-side these pronouncements are always a little underwhelming for me because when a homosexual “comes out” they aren’t doing so for the benefit of commieliberalfascistmarxists like me because, unlike the base of the party he represented, we generally as a group don’t believe that the sodomites are abominations that will burn in God’s eternal hellfire. A lot has changed since Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential bid where he solicited but then ultimately turned down a donation from the Log Cabin Republicans once it was discovered. McCain and Palin refusing to endorse a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, for instance. I think the difference here, however, isn’t that the base is becoming more accepting of homosexuals so much as it is that they’ve got a different assortment of minority groups to fear and despise; namely, powerful (black) ACORN employees who have the ability to sway national elections, New Black Panthers preventing them from voting, a (black) Muslim, Kenyan, socialist president and armies of Mexicans taking away their cherished shrub pruning and fruit picking jobs. All of these are ginned up threats by commissars who occupy positions like Mehlman’s so while I’m happy he’s being honest to himself about his sexuality he needs to take it a step further and do his fellow minorities a favor by encouraging his party to back off the hysteria button.

Allowing gay marriage is not an “attack” on straight marriage.

Aug 09, 2010 in teh gay

That’s the trick, of course, turning a restriction on gays into a “defense” of heterosexual marriage. The problem is that actual liberty doesn’t work that way.

You are free to tell your children that the earth was created 6,000 years ago and that they must not eat shell-fish or mix fabrics and that gay people are condemned to hell. You are free to preach this from the rooftops. You can encourage your children, even the gay ones, to marry opposite-sex wives and husbands; you can disseminate information that stigmatizes gays; etc etc. But you cannot disenfranchise your fellow citizens in a civil institution because of your religious beliefs.

-hw

The Constitution isn’t a tribalist document.

Aug 09, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives, Stupidity, teh gay

And thus tribalists have problems with it. The same crowd that can’t handle gays or Scary Black People doesn’t want mosques. Anywhere.

Well, there’s this thing about religious freedom in this country, but that only matters when it benefits this crowd. They’re tribalists. If they don’t like the religion, religious liberty doesn’t matter. If atheists were protesting the building of a church or a synagogue, the same people would be falling out of their chairs in outrage and FOX would crank that shit up to 11.

Their attitude towards gays is much the same. Arguments that they wouldn’t dare apply toward themselves suddenly sound valid to them when it’s the dreaded “other.” David Boies dismantles Tony Perkins with reason in the following clip. By the end, Perkins can do nothing but sputter about tradition and the voters, two classic fallacious arguments.

As Ted Olson brilliantly puts it, how would Chris Wallace, who shamelessly argues the anti-gay side, like it if Fox News’ free speech rights were taken away by a majority vote?


Of course, voters repudiated Bush and the Republicans by tossing them out in two consecutive elections, and that didn’t seem to mean much to them. Democracy matters except when it doesn’t, the Constitution matters except when it doesn’t, and hell, the Bible matters except when it doesn’t. They’re tribalists. The Bible offers some verses that align with anti-gay bigotry, so those verses matter most. The verses that suggest deeper truths to those who see gays as a merit of Creation, as a feature not a bug, don’t matter. And gay Christians, fuggeddabouddit!

This is a free country, and it is not so just for Tony Perkins. There is no rational basis for denying gay Americans their right to marry. There is no Constitutional basis. Freedom means nothing if it’s the privilege of special groups. Love thy neighbor, Tony. It’s not just a political slogan.

-hw

Victory for religious liberty, equality, and reason.

Aug 05, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives, Sophistry, teh gay

To anybody who actually followed the court case over Proposition 8 banning gay marriage in California, it should be gobsmacking to anybody that Judge Walker could have ruled any other way. The plaintiff lawyers, both Republican and Democrat, methodically and rigorously dismantled the case for Prop 8. You can read Walker’s judgment here. It’s watertight. The case for Prop 8 had no evidence and no sound argument…because there is no evidence and there is no sound argument.

Surprisingly, that has no effect on Prop 8 supporters on the right. I mean, reason ordinarily works so well on them…

Worth a giggle is Newt Gingrich, “intellectual” of the right:

“Judge Walker’s ruling overturning Prop 8 is an outrageous disrespect for our Constitution and for the majority of people of the United States who believe marriage is the union of husband and wife. In every state of the union from California to Maine to Georgia, where the people have had a chance to vote they’ve affirmed that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Congress now has the responsibility to act immediately to reaffirm marriage as a union of one man and one woman as our national policy. Today’s notorious decision also underscores the importance of the Senate vote tomorrow on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court because judges who oppose the American people are a growing threat to our society.”

Among rightwingers, it be merely sufficient to say the word, “Constitution.” No explanation necessary. No awareness that the Constitution exists in order to protect individual rights, and thus will often be at odds with the public. No particular explanation of how the judiciary is supposed to have any function at all if it exists merely to rubber-stamp whatever “the people” want. Yes, ladies and gents, this is what passes for big brains on the right. Newt may sound smart in a party led by people like Limbaugh, Beck, and Palin, but there are actual standards out there, and real conservatives should be standing up for them.

In reality, it’s a bunch of emotional, irrational noise. People may indeed be emotional, irrational creatures, and may react angrily and defensively when this is pointed out to them, but so it goes. Our Constitution was authored by Enlightenment thinkers, rationalists, men who engaged in one of the greatest intellectual experiments in governance in all of history, designing a document carefully that would allow the country to circumvent ugly whims and angry mobs.

Along with the mad fever with which the right has recently opposed religious liberty via the building of a mosque near the WTC site, the growing outrage over the 14th amendment, and the continued non-apologetic stance towards Bush’s jettisoning of the Constitution it’s amazing anybody can take this Constitution talk seriously for a second. With the right, the Constitution’s text means nothing. They want what they want, and no damn piece of paper, as George W. put it, is going to get in their way.

Today is a great day for America.

-hw

DOMA overturned?

Jul 08, 2010 in teh gay

Ruh-roh! Teh gay is outside your door, wanting…to marry another gay!

-hw

Ah, the humanity.

May 12, 2010 in Barack Obama, Clueless Conservatives, Constitution, Disappointing Dems, Glenn Greenwald, teh gay

And so it all comes to an end. Elena Kagan is not gay.

But what a sad hell-wrought spectacle it was getting there. Christianist rightwingers ready to denounce her for nothing other than this perceived homosexuality. Andrew Sullivan going nuclear over not being able to get a straight (no pun intended) answer when he had already received one from the WH (although it was a bit of a homophobic response itself, describing an insinuation of homosexuality as a “charge” when right-thinking people know it is no crime). In Andrew’s defense, he was merely being a pit bull for the sake of getting a satisfying answer, much like he has been with Sarah Palin and her multitude of neverending fibs, but for a man with such a supposedly “conservative” temperament he might consider displaying one once in awhile. Liberals ready to champion her as a stealth candidate for gay rights. Glenn Greenwald not giving a damn about any of it and ready to slam her as another Obama-ite who be truly Bush-lite…

Chroniclers of human folly that we are, I found the best approach to be hanging back awhile and absorbing a bit more information before spouting off with an intemperate mouth. Thus, Iowa Liberal is a blog not updated frequently, but rather when the time is right. Via this path do we claim elegance…

In all that I have seen, the best critique I’ve seen of Kagan actually belongs to David Brooks, who makes the best use of his ability to be right twice a day. In her steely resolve to never say or do anything to peeve anybody, throughout a career somehow designed to make her an ideal candidate for the Supreme Court, she has disappointed everybody.

But the time to bitch about it is over. The noise that needed to be made about her was already made, and Obama went for her anyway. The only thing left to do is cross our fingers and watch the decisions pass, and wonder why conservatives get to nominate any goddamn nutter they please while liberals have to constantly backpedal and apologize and tread water within the accepted rightwinger buoys.

For we have a court that is no longer for the people, but for the powerful, stacked by authoritarian “conservatives” who seem to be motivated by political grudges and the bleatings of Rush Limbaugh more than anything contained within the Constitution. Elena Kagan can have no higher aspiration than to stem the tide and hold ground against the attacks on our civil liberties that are certain to come from the cabal of activist judges named Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, and Alito, along with their oft-willing dupe Kennedy. If Obama could not nominate a real liberal progressive for an essentially placeholder position, when can we ever expect it?

-hw

Will I ever tire of hypocritical homophobes?

May 04, 2010 in teh gay

No!

On April 13, the “rent boy” (whom we’ll call Lucien) arrived at Miami International Airport on Iberian Airlines Flight 6123, after a ten-day, fully subsidized trip to Europe. He was soon followed out of customs by an old man with an atavistic mustache and a desperate blond comb-over, pushing an overburdened baggage cart.

That man was George Alan Rekers, of North Miami — the callboy’s client and, as it happens, one of America’s most prominent anti-gay activists. Rekers, a Baptist minister who is a leading scholar for the Christian right, left the terminal with his gay escort, looking a bit discomfited when a picture of the two was snapped with a hot-pink digital camera…

If you remember, we had a good time laughing at Ray Ashburn and I stated then that I was henceforth going to assume that every outspokenly anti-gay member of society was a closet homosexual and that was just two months ago. It might not be as reliable as scientific axioms but it’s damn close. And besides, Rekers is high profile but I’m keeping my hopes up for the day Fred Phelps is exposed as a sodomite.

-mg

h/t John Cole

What the hell? (I is not a homo edition)

Apr 19, 2010 in Journamalism, Stupidity, teh gay

Is Howie Kurtz a hack, or is the White House really acting like being gay is a bad thing? Both? Or is there simply no way to deny a rumor that somebody is gay without acting like gay = cooties?

To answer my third question, there is. You simply say, not that there’s anything wrong with being a big rug-munching lesbo, but Elena Kagan doesn’t happen to be one. Okay, try it like that without the rug-munching comments, else Republicans suddenly decide they’re going to be offended on behalf of lesbians.

If Elena Kagan is gay, it would behoove the WH to stand by her and stand by her sexuality and let the hate come out. Don’t add to it.

And yes, Howie Kurtz is a hack.

-hw

The new (old) gay rule.

Mar 04, 2010 in teh gay

I’m just going to go ahead and assume from now on that all vehemently anti-gay representatives are themselves closeted homosexuals.

Ray Ashburn is exactly what Republicans expect of homosexuals; closeted, in denial and self-hating

-mg

Because Republicans and Democrats are all the same anyway, right?

Feb 17, 2010 in teh gay

Why elections matter.

It’s always about the hate.

Feb 10, 2010 in teh gay

What was never hidden was found out: The Prop 8 trial judge is gay.

Of course, a gay judge would be biased, but a straight one wouldn’t be, right?

Or he’d just be biased in “the right direction,” which the anti-gay crusaders need since they’re blatantly flailing to make their case on anything resembling evidence or reason. Since the whole point of Prop 8 and anti-gay-marriage activists is that homosexuality is evil and sinful, a loss will simply confirm all their beliefs, to them. The opinions of homosexuals are of zero concern to them, as gays are “corrupted.”

In any case, his actual record as a judge has nothing to do with it.

-jb

And nobody’s lives changed.

Feb 10, 2010 in teh gay

Gay marriage ceasing to become an issue of interest for Iowans.

It fills us with great pride that our home state is a leader on this issue and has conquered the fear. People are realizing that if you’re not gay, it really has nothing to do with you. And (ZOMG WHAT ABOUT) the children are doing just fine. This kind of live and let live mentality is what I learned growing up in Iowa (though we spent no shortage of time in school calling each other fags, but so goes it with kids…if there’s less of that in the future, then children stand to benefit).

Hat tip to Sullivan for the news.

-jb

Conservatives for gay marriage.

Jan 15, 2010 in Politics, teh gay

Sullivan praises Ted Olson, who is bringing the case to court, ready to demolish every grass hut argument that gets constructed to deny gay citizens equal rights.

Looking at what Olson has written on the subject, I see virtually no difference in the case for gay marriage I’ve been making on the web for over ten years. Yes, he’s conservative, I’m liberal, but what on earth does that have to do with equal rights in America? Zip. It’s the same argument because it goes to the deepest principles the nation was built around. In those principles, liberals and conservatives should find common ground. That we have a gang of reactionary theocrats calling themselves conservatives nowadays is to be expected. But there’s a significant difference between wishing gay people would go away or turn invisible and actually wanting gay people to be more conservative in their lives by settling down and reinforcing their families.

Sadly, the presence of four “conservative” judges on the Supreme Court bench who are more of the theocratic radical model, gladly willing to throw out the Constitution where their religious beliefs have deeper roots.

-jb

Richard Cohen wants to sell you some merch.

Jan 04, 2010 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Politics, teh gay

Right-wing, evangelical Christians looking to profit from culture war anxieties have a pretty good scam going. Present yourself as an expert in a field that dove-tails with your culture war issue of choice and then set up a non-profit where suckers can donate cash, buy your self-help materials and pay to hear your lectures. During the last decade these operations became even more lucrative as the Bush administration sought to funnel tax dollars into faith-based schemes like abstinence only education. The fact that it doesn’t work didn’t matter. The Christian Right voting block wanted some payback for their organizational efforts and thought they could save babies by telling girls that they’re guaranteed to get venereal diseases and die if they touch a boy’s pee pee. Richard Cohen has made a comfortable living by selling books and CDs (some cost up to $350) to parents that believe that they can cure their children of homosexuality and save them from a life of sin. I pointed out here how those selling the idea of homosexuality as a psychological disorder base their premises on the work of the universally discredited, hate-group leader Paul Cameron.

Uganda has always been a popular stepping stone within evangelical circles so it’s no surprise to find that Richard Cohen and his usual troupe of salesmen have been trying to push their wares. Christian friendly Uganda has a comfortable relationship with religious industries like the 700 Club or charismatics like Benny Hinn who can go set up a “ministry” there and solicit donations on behalf of the locals. These organizations can then use the ministry as a means of income for themselves under the guise of “administrative costs” while their congregation gets to relieve the burden on their heavy souls by way of their wallets. Uganda makes for a friendlier environment than say, nearby Sudan where proselytizing might cost you your head.

The theme of the event, according to Stephen Langa, its Ugandan organizer, was “the gay agenda — that whole hidden and dark agenda” — and the threat homosexuals posed to Bible-based values and the traditional African family.

For three days, according to participants and audio recordings, thousands of Ugandans, including police officers, teachers and national politicians, listened raptly to the Americans, who were presented as experts on homosexuality. The visitors discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how “the gay movement is an evil institution” whose goal is “to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.”

Now the three Americans are finding themselves on the defensive, saying they had no intention of helping stoke the kind of anger that could lead to what came next: a bill to impose a death sentence for homosexual behavior.

More consequences that, omg! Nobody could have predicted!:

Human rights advocates in Uganda say the visit by the three Americans helped set in motion what could be a very dangerous cycle. Gay Ugandans already describe a world of beatings, blackmail, death threats like “Die Sodomite!” scrawled on their homes, constant harassment and even so-called correctional rape.

“Now we really have to go undercover,” said Stosh Mugisha, a gay rights activist who said she was pinned down in a guava orchard and raped by a farmhand who wanted to cure her of her attraction to girls. She said that she was impregnated and infected with H.I.V., but that her grandmother’s reaction was simply, “ ‘You are too stubborn.’ ”

Despite such attacks, many gay men and lesbians here said things had been getting better for them before the bill, at least enough to hold news conferences and publicly advocate for their rights. Now they worry that the bill could encourage lynchings. Already, mobs beat people to death for infractions as minor as stealing shoes.

Good job, guys! Hope you did well at the merch table!

“Experts” and the basis for their expertise.

Dec 10, 2009 in Christian Right, Politics, teh gay

Richard A. Cohen bills himself as a “sexual orientation expert”. He works under the auspices of the International Healing Foundation, a nonprofit and tax-exempt organization founded by him in 1990 to “treat” same-sex attraction. His is not a licensed therapist. He avoids state licensing requirements by asking for donations to his foundations instead of payment. Cohen has been permanently expelled from the American Counseling Association after repeated ethics violations. To provide the illusion of authority he uses the work of Paul Cameron as “scientific” backing for his premises. If you haven’t already heard of him, here’s some information about expert Dr. Cameron:

  • On December 2, 1983, the American Psychological Association sent Paul Cameron a letter informing him that he had been dropped from membership. Early in 1984, all members of the American Psychological Association received official written notice that “Paul Cameron (Nebraska) was dropped from membership for a violation of the Preamble to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists” by the APA Board of Directors.
  • At its membership meeting on October 19, 1984, the Nebraska Psychological Association adopted a resolution stating that it “formally disassociates itself from the representations and interpretations of scientific literature offered by Dr. Paul Cameron in his writings and public statements on sexuality.”
  • In 1985, the American Sociological Association (ASA) adopted a resolution which asserted that “Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism” and noted that “Dr. Paul Cameron has repeatedly campaigned for the abrogation of the civil rights of lesbians and gay men, substantiating his call on the basis of his distorted interpretation of this research.” The American Sociological Association officially and publicly states that Paul Cameron is not a sociologist, and condemns his consistent misrepresentation of sociological research.
  • In August, 1996, the Canadian Psychological Association adopted the following policy statement: The Canadian Psychological Association takes the position that Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism and thus, it formally disassociates itself from the representation and interpretations of scientific literature in his writings and public statements on sexuality.

Cameron also runs a non-profit organization called the Family Research Institute that is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The FRI receives funds via non disclosed private donations and refuses to allow peer review of their “research” which invariably concludes that homosexuality is a sickness and that homosexuals themselves are unrepentant pedophiles and disease carriers that should be isolated and even branded for identification purposes.

Maddow does a terrific job of detailing how beyond Cohen’s anecdotal statements about being a “cured” homosexual he has a complete lack of credibility or credentials and regardless of the “loving and caring” spin he wants to put on it, his junk science is lending credibility to those that wish to not only deprive homosexuals of their basic civil rights but actually kill them.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

-mg

DADT out.

Nov 12, 2009 in teh gay

With the next military appropriations bill. Only a tiny minority of Americans anymore believe in hating gays more than defending the country.

Today we salute the veterans, with a special nod to those who served while forced to hide who they really were.

-jb

Pratfalls in idiocy.

Oct 15, 2009 in Stupidity, teh gay

Sullivan posts a picture of a guy who had the gay-hatin’ passage from Leviticus tattooed on his arm. A pastor offered a corrective citation:

Too bad the guy with the passage from Leviticus tattooed on his arm didn’t read the next chapter:

“You shall not make any gashes in your flesh for the dead or tattoo any marks upon you; I am the LORD”

Or in the King James Version:

“Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.”

Of course since when is the Bible applied to oneself. It is apparently only to be applied to others, as an excuse for abuse.

Nobody who cites the Bible to bash gays cares one whit what the rest of Leviticus says. They’ve thrown out everything but the hatred of gays. This guy just made a more obvious version of the mistake.

-jb

“All pornography is homosexual pornography.”

Sep 21, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, teh gay

Every right-winger/homophobe is an amateur psychoanalyst. They also spend an inordinate amount of time fretting over what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes. So it was only a matter of time before a Values Voter Summit speaker got around to pontificating on Teh Gay when speaking in reference to “how men, who already are good husbands and fathers,” can “change the culture.”:

SCHWARTZ: But it is my observation that boys at that age have less tolerance for homosexuality than just about any other class of people. They speak badly about homosexuality. And that’s because they don’t want to be that way. They don’t want to fall into it. And that’s a good instinct. After all, homosexuality, we know, studies have been done by the National Institute of Health to try to prove that its genetic and all those studies have proved its not genetic. Homosexuality is inflicted on people.

Schwartz then recalled “a very good friend” of his “who was in the homosexual lifestyle for a long time,” saying that he “had good conversations about, about the malady that he suffered.” He then relayed “an astonishingly insightful remark” his friend had made about the relationship between pornography and being gay:

SCHWARTZ: And one of the things that he said to me, that I think is an astonishingly insightful remark. He said, “all pornography is homosexual pornography because all pornography turns your sexual drive inwards. Now think about that. And if you, if you tell an 11-year-old boy about that, do you think he’s going to want to go out and get a copy of Playboy? I’m pretty sure he’ll lose interest. That’s the last thing he wants.” You know, that’s a, that’s a good comment. It’s a good point and it’s a good thing to teach young people.

So now even looking at straight porn is gay? Somebody better tell Jesse Jane that all of the hard work and sacrifice she’s putting into her craft is having the reverse effect and is slowly eroding her fan base. There’s so much wrong with the above that it’s difficult to know where to begin.

Putting aside the hilarity of a Christian fundamentalist invoking science I think that it needs to be pointed out that nobody has set out to “prove” anything in regards to a strictly genetic homosexuality link because science doesn’t work like that. No serious researcher starts off with a conclusion and goes looking for evidence to support it. Especially in regards to questions involving human nature; an area of biological science that we know the absolute least about. A good scientific analogue is the story about a person who walks out of a bar and sees someone looking around in the dark under a lamp post. He asks the man what he is looking for. The man replies that he lost his keys and he is trying to find them. When asked if he knows where he dropped them the man points over to a dark alleyway and says that he thinks that he lost them there. He is then asked why, if his keys were lost in the alley, he is looking under the lamp post. The man responds by saying that he is looking under the lamp post because that is where the light is. Just like the global warming deniers who see every cool day outside of their office window as an affirmation, Michael Schwartz has decided that since he can’t find the keys under the lamp post they never existed to begin with.

-mg

Police are raiding gay bars in 2009?

Jul 01, 2009 in teh gay

You just wait…Republicans will take the side of the police over this ugly incident:

First, witnesses say the officers showed up ready to make arrests, their fists full of plastic zip-cuffs.

“They were hyped up. They were loaded for bear,” said Todd Camp, a veteran journalist who was there celebrating his birthday with friends. “They were just randomly grabbing people, telling them they were drunk.”

Camp told me he has been in bars during TABC/police “checks” before, “and it was never anything like this.” Usually, he said, officers discreetly walk through, looking for anybody who has had too much. This was different.

“They were shoving patrons,” Camp said, “asking, ‘How much have you had to drink?’ ”

Since when do cops go into bars and arrest people for being drunk anyway?

Nevertheless, the “check” was obviously a raid, and one man is in the hospital due to police brutality. The excuse? The police claim that patrons were hitting on them and groping them. While the claim is ridiculous on its face, the obvious bad faith with which the officers approached this “check” removes any chance at credibility they have with this story.

Unless you’re a Republican.

-jb

Obama doubles down on his campaign promises to gays.

Jun 30, 2009 in Barack Obama, Politics, teh gay

I think it’s more than fair to say he bought himself some time and good-will with this speech. How far have we come from the wasteland of history to have an American president able to speak so highly of the gay community?

Full speech here. Money quote:

And I know that many in this room don’t believe that progress has come fast enough, and I understand that. It’s not for me to tell you to be patient, any more than it was for others to counsel patience to African Americans who were petitioning for equal rights a half century ago.

But I say this: We have made progress and we will make more. And I want you to know that I expect and hope to be judged not by words, not by promises I’ve made, but by the promises that my administration keeps. And by the time you receive — (applause.) We’ve been in office six months now. I suspect that by the time this administration is over, I think you guys will have pretty good feelings about the Obama administration. (Applause.)

Not an easy thing to say, but he puts some more meat on the bone:

I’ve signed a memorandum requiring all agencies to extend as many federal benefits as possible to LGBT families as current law allows. And these are benefits that will make a real difference for federal employees and Foreign Service Officers, who are so often treated as if their families don’t exist. And I’d like to note that one of the key voices in helping us develop this policy is John Berry, our director of the Office of Personnel Management, who is here today. And I want to thank John Berry.

I’ve called on Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act to help end discrimination — to help end discrimination against same-sex couples in this country. Now, I want to add we have a duty to uphold existing law, but I believe we must do so in a way that does not exacerbate old divides. And fulfilling this duty in upholding the law in no way lessens my commitment to reversing this law. I’ve made that clear.

I’m also urging Congress to pass the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act, which will guarantee the full range of benefits, including health care, to LGBT couples and their children. My administration is also working hard to pass an employee non-discrimination bill and hate crimes bill, and we’re making progress on both fronts. Judy and Dennis Shepard, as well as their son Logan, are here today. I met with Judy in the Oval Office in May– and I assured her and I assured all of you that we are going to pass an inclusive hate crimes bill into law, a bill named for their son Matthew.

In addition, my administration is committed to rescinding the discriminatory ban on entry to the United States based on HIV status. The Office of Management and Budget just concluded a review of a proposal to repeal this entry ban, which is a first and very big step towards ending this policy. And we all know that HIV/AIDS continues to be a public health threat in many communities, including right here in the District of Columbia. And that’s why this past Saturday, on National HIV Testing Day, I was proud once again to encourage all Americans to know their status and get tested the way Michelle and I know our status and got tested.

And finally, I want to say a word about “don’t ask, don’t tell.” As I said before — I’ll say it again — I believe “don’t ask, don’t tell” doesn’t contribute to our national security. In fact, I believe preventing patriotic Americans from serving their country weakens our national security.

Now, my administration is already working with the Pentagon and members of the House and the Senate on how we’ll go about ending this policy, which will require an act of Congress.

Alright, but on that last point Obama is still being a bit dodgy. He could neuter DADT instantly. Obviously he likes being slow and methodical, but losing one more gay translator is unacceptable.

Then again, if he makes good on this steroid-enhanced promise, spelled out explicitly in the blood of his firstborn, I suspect all will be forgiven.

-jb

The Gay Exemption Clause.

Apr 20, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, teh gay

A brilliant point is made (you know it’s brilliant when you slap your head and yell, “Why didn’t I think of that already, it’s so simple!”)

The “victimized” Christian bigots are of course not making a thorough, comprehensive (i.e., truly libertarian) demand for full entrepreneurial freedom of contract — and its reciprocal “right to refuse service to anyone.” All they want to do is discriminate against gays. Not “anyone and everyone.” Just gays.

Which is precisely why they should not be allowed to do so. As I have blogged previously: Whether or not you approve of bans on private discrimination is not the point — we are not debating the creation of Libertopia.

The point is instead whether, given that we already have such laws, are we going to craft and apply those laws consistently, logically and equitably — or are we going to short-circuit the entire raison d’être of such laws by allowing the majoritarian mob to fashion carve-outs for the very same insular minorities who are most in need of such laws?

If the religious bigots really want to invoke libertarian arguments to legitimize their bigotry, then they better be prepared to be judged by real libertarians about the entire spectrum of libertarian issues — including separation of church and state.

Think they’ll go for it?

Of course not. Anti-gay people want a special exemption to discriminate against gays without any blowback in their career. They know they can’t live in Libertopia the libertarian paradise where the market eliminates discrimination, in fact they don’t want to, because it may end up subjecting them to discrimination for their Christian(ist) “lifestyle.”

Customer: “Can I get twenty bucks on pump five?”
Cashier: “I see you have a No on 8 sticker on your car. We don’t serve your kind here!”

Anti-gay folks want to discriminate, plain and simple. They really want to, so as a matter of “principle,” they are content to pretend that they will be the victims if they aren’t allowed to. Cuz Jesus told them not to rent to fags or something, but whatever…

-jb

Iowa: The best of the Democrats and the worst of the Republicans.

Apr 14, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Iowa, teh gay

Via Norm Sterzenbach

Matt Strawn, Chairman, Republican Party of Iowa:

“And then Friday with the ruling with the Supreme Court they see a governor that comes out, everybody in the state had an opinion on that ruling within five seconds of it hitting the newswire except our governor. He puts out a two sentence statement talking about it being a complicated issue that he has to talk to his legal advisors about. That’s not leadership and our people see that and Iowans see that, not just republicans..” [Iowa Press, April 10, 2009]

Chuck Grassley, U.S. Senator:

“You better ask me in a month, after I’ve had a chance to think.” [Des Moines Register, April 9, 2009]

It doesn’t take much to outclass gay-hating bimbos. Even pausing to think gets you booted out of the cool kidz club!

-jb

Reason is the tool of the devil.

Apr 04, 2009 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, teh gay

The obvious is stated openly:

The court held that sexual orientation discrimination should be subject to heightened scrutiny because (1) gays and lesbians have been the victims of discrimination; (2) no other state courts have found orientation relevant to a person’s ability to contribute to society and other state statutes treat sexual orientation as irrelevant; (3) sexual orientation is “central to personal identity” and “highly resistance to change”; (4) and gays and lesbians lack political power as evidenced by their failure to convince a legislature to redefine marriage.

The “saving the children!” defense that anti-gay activists try was shredded:

It said that maintenance of the tradition of marriage is not a justification. It believed there was “an abundance of evidence and research” showing “the interests of children are served equally by same-sex parents and opposite-sex parents” and opinions to the contrary “were largely unsupported by reliable scientific studies. The court said the statute did not promote the welfare of children because (1) it does not exclude all bad parents from marriage which “tends to demonstrate that the sexual-orientation-based classification is grounded in prejudice,” (2) same-sex couples are already raising children, (3) the statute will not result in fewer children being raised in same-sex relationships, (4) some couples who don’t have children can marry, and (5) excluding same-sex couples from marriage does not “encourage stability in opposite-sex relationships.”

I’m impressed that this anti-gay activist can actually bear to cite the reasoning against him. Of course, he tries some limp-wristed slap back, but it’s such a flaccid effort you can feel the resignation settling into his bones as he phones it in:

The decision was unanimous that the marriage law is unconstitutional. It distorted the state’s interests in the marriage law and engaged in a little bit of mind-reading to suggest that the real reason a person would be concerned with redefining marriage is religious belief and that, the court thinks, is no real reason at all.

Oh, gee, where would the court have gotten the idea that religion had something to do with it?

But besides that, rewind a few sentences. The non-religious case was also addressed and dismantled. All that was left standing was the religious rationale, which requires a great deal of deceit to present as something other than overwhelming cause for most anti-gay activists. It isn’t just a minor reason, it’s the ultimate reason for most of them. There is no mind-reading required. The most religious are the most opposed, and they, insanely, believe that allowing gays their religious beliefs is an affront to their beliefs. “Marriage is sacred.” “Adam and Eve, not Steve!” “It is an abomination!” “You’re changing what marriage is!”

And, you know, all that stuff Jesus said about how it’s bad to be gay.

Er…

Really, you’re going to downplay the religious component of the argument against gay marriage? You’re going to try gaming me with some pseudo-Darwinist babble about “preserving” marriage (as if the government letting gays also marry destroys anything), and how marriage just has ONE purpose? That’s your big rallying cry? “For teh children!!!” It’s all sales. Slapping God’s name on your icky feelings is the engine under the hood.

This is America. Believe what you want, and act accordingly in your life. But this country is for freedom of religion, not freedom of your religion to dictate the lives of others. This much is bloody obvious.

-jb

Activist judges!

Apr 04, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, teh gay

A list of the judges who have most famously swatted down arguments against gay marriage:

Massachusetts (Goodridge, 2003) Margaret Marshall, appointed by Chief Justice Gov. Weld (R) in 1996, elevated to Chief by Gov. Cellucci (R);

in 1999 California (In re Marriage Cases, 2008) Ronald George, Chief Justice appointed by Gov. Wilson (R) in 1991, elevated to Chief by Gov. Wilson (R);

in 1996 Connecticut (Kerrigan, 2008) Richard Palmer, Associate Justice appointed by Gov. Weicker (Ind.); in 1993 — Note that Weicker was a Republican during his time in the House and Senate. He won the governorship as an independent.

And today, in Iowa (Varnum, 2009) Mark Cady, Associate Justice, appointed by Gov. Branstad (R) in 1998.

The Republican base has lost all sense of legal reason, but some conservative judges dare to realize they are bound by the Constitution and serve the law as much as they preside over it.

-jb

No other choice.

Apr 03, 2009 in teh gay

More on the legal reasoning:

Iowa’s gay marriage ban “is unconstitutional, because the county has been unable to identify a constitutionally adequate justification for excluding plaintiffs from the institution of civil marriage,” Cady wrote in the 69-page opinion that seemed to dismiss the concept of civil unions as an option for gay couples.

“A new distinction based on sexual orientation would be equally suspect and difficult to square with the fundamental principles of equal protection embodied in our constitution,” Cady wrote.

The ruling also addressed what it called the “religious undercurrent propelling the same-sex marriage debate,” and said judges must remain outside the fray.

Some Iowa religions are strongly opposed to same-sex marriages, the justices noted, while some support the notion.

“Our constitution does not permit any branch of government to resolve these types of religious debates and entrusts to courts the task of ensuring that government avoids them,” the opinion says.

Of course, the anti-gay activist is so deluded that they attempt to portray allowing gays to marry as an imposition on them! Emotion prevents them from wondering about the imposition on gays effected by denying them marriage, but again that doesn’t stand up well in court.

People can go to church and deny the morality of whatever they want. That’s what you do in church. But by allowing both straight and gay to do as they will, the courts are fulfilling their role.

-jb

Iowa the Free and Brave

Apr 03, 2009 in teh gay

This is a victory for Iowan civility and decency.

The Iowa Supreme Court struck down the final stand of bigotry in the state, and reaffirmed to the nation that Iowans are proud of fundamental American values of equality and fairness.

California, which allowed an alteration of the state constitution with a 51% vote, shot down gay marriage in the state that made gay rights possible.

Iowans do it right. Constitutions should be hard to change. That’s why we have them. Laws that pass with a 51% vote are a passing whimsy, a flip of the coin. Constitutions are meant to provide a deeper framework to our system of government. They are conservative institutions, holding onto the old ways until society truly demands a change via great energy and consensus.

The Iowan Supreme Court is, like most courts, bound by ancient scrolls which were written to defend individual liberty, the founding principle of our nation. This has slowly dawned on some anti-gay activists, who realize that they need constitutional amendments, though they try to paste over this realization with cartoonish claims about “activist judges” who are apparently supposed to rubber-stamp their pseudo-Biblical aspirations.

Those who oppose gay marriage really have little ground to stand on religiously, given the extreme selectiveness with which they approach the Bible. They have even less of a case legally. Such things rarely slow them down because those aren’t the reasons they first came up with their opposition to gay marriage. All they have is emotional claptrap. And that doesn’t get you far in court if you can’t stack them with Pat Robertson’s buddies.

UPDATE:

Furthermore, this affirms what I know of Iowans as people. Oh, sure, the most popular subject in my high school was certainly who was a “faggot” and who wasn’t (and you shouldn’t have to think hard to wonder what we were classified as). And sometimes it did result in fisticuffs.

But what I know from life in small-town Iowa among adults, the part I saw, was that people feel a lot of regard for the independence and privacy of others. We had gay neighbors in my home town. But people knew one of the girls, and finding out that she was lesbian was no big surprise. Nobody bitched about having them as neighbors (though they were rarely seen). Nobody really cared, ultimately, because it was no skin off their nose. Several teachers in my small-town school were suspected, correctly, of being gay. People gossiped with fevered joy, but ultimately those teachers were respected (and sometimes feared…in the right way you fear teachers).

In the Iowa I know, it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference if those lesbian neighbors are married. It doesn’t make a lot of difference when my lesbian cousin, or my transgender cousin, show up at Christmas. Giggling? Okay. But it’s America. You let them walk on the same sidewalks you do, and the principle extends all the way down. Distilled, it simply states: It ain’t no skin off my nose.

-jb

Be like Jeebus.

Dec 19, 2008 in Barack Obama, teh gay

I mean, being a gay and Christian is kind of asking for a hypocrisy hat, if you’re going to be really hardline about it. But many of the gays love Jesus and believe he loveth them. Sullivan elaborates:

If I cannot pray with Rick Warren, I realize, then I am not worthy of being called a Christian. And if I cannot engage him, then I am not worthy of being called a writer. And if we cannot work with Obama to bridge these divides, none of us will be worthy of the great moral cause that this civil rights movement truly is.

The bitterness endures; the hurt doesn’t go away; the pain is real. But that is when we need to engage the most, to overcome our feelings to engage in the larger project, to understand that not all our opponents are driven by hate, even though that may be how their words impact us. To turn away from such dialogue is to fail ourselves, to fail our gay brothers and sisters in red state America, and to miss the possibility of the Obama moment.

It can be hard to take yes for an answer. But yes is what Obama is saying. And we should not let our pride or our pain get in the way.

My only retort is that pride doesn’t come easy for many gay people. They have to fight for it all their lives, and may not want to set it aside easily. But they may need to.

Okay, I know that last line totally copped Andrew’s style, but still.

-jb

Warrin’ on Warren BA-DUM

Dec 19, 2008 in Barack Obama, teh gay

Like that play on words, huh? More where that came from, bitches.

DICK Warren (I strike again!) isn’t an intellectual. Like many Americans. He’s a touchy-feely guy who goes to the Bible for the emotional comfort he needs to deal with this amazing but harsh world. Unfortunately, he believes himself capable of engaging in arguments with atheists like Sam Harris or pretending he has some actual reason besides “mansex ICKY!” to be anti-gay. So there’s a long line of stupid he’s left in his trail that is completely unnecessary to his larger goals, which are admirably about using Christianity for more positive things like fighting hunger, disease, and other human ailments. A lot of evangelicals are emotional creatures, not logical, but in the past they’ve been led by some nasty angry people who have turned their religion into a mirror of their inner filth. Rick Warren more of the “not such a bad guy” type. Chances are if you bump shoulders with him, you’ll find him to be “not such a bad guy.” Fer chrissakes, people, he may talk enormous shit about the gay, but at least he brought them donuts!

Okay, that’s not much consolation. But let’s remember that Warren isn’t exactly playing it safe appearing on stage with Obama while Obama is talking about gay equality and potentially hiring a gay Navy Secretary.

Kos sizes up the conflicts engendered by Obama giving Warren a warm hug onto his inaugural stage. It’s a complex move from Obama, and some people aren’t into the nuances. Even Andrew Sullivan, famous and proud man-lover, sees the virtues while acknowledging the anger. Kos sees the positive in what Obama is doing, but nonetheless,

Obama wouldn’t be out there making perhaps the strongest statement in support of gays and lesbians by a president…if it wasn’t for the sturm and drang this choice generated. It is precisely this backlash that has forced Obama to clearly affirm his commitment to equality. And it will be continued pressure that will force him to do the right thing on the issue.

If we shut up, he’ll take the path of least resistance. And that path of least resistance is kowtowing to the conservative media, the clueless punditocracy, and bigots like Warren.

There is a balance that can be found here, making clear where we stand on Warren’s bigotry while not condemning Obama as being some kind of traitor. Those who fancy themselves wise would do well to seek that balance. But if you’re angry, I ain’t mad at ya.

-jb

UPDATE: John Cole says, not so fast on dissing Obama’s consistency.

Someone who is not supportive of gay marriage or wholly receptive to gay rights is not something new- Billy Graham was no champion of gay rights, and I seriously doubt there has ever been anyone giving the invocation that openly supported gay marriage or gay rights. On the other hand, an open advocate for gay marriage is giving the Benediction, and that has never happened before.

Opposition to gay marriage increasingly incoherent.

Dec 19, 2008 in teh gay

I read the letters to the editor in the latest Newsweek regarding the “Religious Case for Gay Marriage” article by Lisa Miller from a last week.

Today I pulled that Newsweek out of my backpack where I’d shoved it and forgotten about it, and read the article.

Was it impossible for Newsweek to find a letter from somebody who did the same and actually read the article?

If you go to their website, you can find a tidal wave of reader feedback. This entry is the latest, but there are several trying to encompass the reaction. But it’s hard to find much nuance, intelligence, or reason in the vehement pushback from anti-gay activists. It amounts to:

1. I am going to disregard your proofs that I do not take all of the Bible literally, and just say that I do anyway. ESPECIALLY THE GAY PART. (Bonus points for those who dug up an extra citation Miller left out, like Sodom and Gamorrah)
2. Regarding the right of gays and gay-friendly people to their religious beliefs: on to point 3!
3. I have some other reasons outside the Bible to deny gays marriage rights, but look away while I base my stance on the presumption that homosexuality is a choice…
4. Did I remind you that LOTS OF PEOPLE AGREE WITH ME? That means something! Disregard that I won’t change my mind if the tide turns and more people disagree with me…

Essentially the same crap arguments we’ve been hearing for the last ten years, all things that could have been written simply by reading the title of Lisa Miller’s article. There’s never been a rational case, and nobody’s invented one recently.

And nobody will. That’s kind of how it goes when you’re wrong. You keep resisting, but you slowly and steadily run out of ammo. Eventually people stop finding you persuasive, and you just end up being some grumpy self-righteous old person muttering under your breath.

-jb

The victorious conscience.

Dec 12, 2008 in Christian Right, teh gay

Support caring for the environment, getting squishy on gay marriage, AND you voted for Obama?

“It was time for him to go,” Tom Minnery, a Focus on the Family senior vice president, said Thursday. “He no longer represents the view of evangelicalism. He has not represented those views for some time.”

The man in question is Rev. Richard Cizik.

A fixture in Washington for nearly three decades, Cizik has played a key role in bringing evangelical Christian concerns to the political table. But in recent years, he earned enemies in the movement for pushing to broaden the evangelical agenda. His strongest focus was on “creation care,” arguing that evangelicals have a biblical responsibility to the environment that includes combatting global warming.

To be fair, Cizik doesn’t come out in support of gay marriage, officially, though his comments weren’t firm enough to please those adamant that their religion dictates the citizenship status of homosexuals. His thoughts represent a mind struggling to put aside extremism and reconcile his conscience with the world around him and those in need of his compassion, rather than use a few passages in the Bible selectively to foster hatred and discrimination. Civil unions are still a form of second-class treatment for gays, but it’s more than many evangelicals can bear to “suffer.”

Still, there is pressure on Cizik to recant, and he is staying out of the limelight. It’s important for those who are supportive of equal rights and religious (especially those who are supportive of equal rights because of their religion) to reach out to him and others like him.

-jb

Larry Craig: still guilty. Gay people: still not married…yet.

Dec 09, 2008 in teh gay

Not that anyone doubted the charges would stick like a dab of wet toilet paper to the restroom ceiling, ha ha.

But Craig is guilty of more than soliciting sex from an undercover officer in an MSP bathroom. He’s also guilty of being a hypocritical closet case. When he wasn’t hiding behind a toilet stall door, he was hiding behind a wife and a wedding ring, and opposing myriad same-sex civil issues, including protection from job discrimination based on sexual orientation, expanding the definition of hate crimes to include those committed based on a person’s gender and sexual orientation, and same-sex marriage.

So it’s fitting that his appeal to continue living his guilt-free, duplicitous delusions ends on the same day that the Iowa Supreme Court’s hearing about same-sex marriage begins.

These couples want nothing more than what any other married couples are given: legal recognition, and all of the rights and privileges that are automatically afforded married couples. A lot of quotes from same-sex proponents talk about “legalizing love”, which irritates me because there’s so much more to it than that. I love my partner to the end of days, but that’s not going to help either of us when I’m barred from visiting him in the hospital (god forbid), or when we’re navigating a legal jungle just to arrive at some rudimentary, officially-recognized level of financial interdependence.

There is a group here in Minnesota that took the time and trouble to figure out just how many different ways the law currently discriminates against same-sex couples. The answer: 515 specific ways, in everything from the big issues like inheritance, health care, and parenting rights to hunting and fishing privileges.

(I got over being surprised about the interests of other gay people the day I learned that there are gay Republicans…so joke about stereotypically effeminate men with rifles and fishing poles all you want, there’s just nothing to top that one for sheer cognitive dissonance in my mind!)

Opponents keep trying to tag this as the beginning of a slippery slope that leads directly to the end of a thousands-year-old tradition and society as we know it, but that’s a total line of BS. Marriage has evolved as society has evolved. After decades of Larry Craigs, celebrity marriages, and who only knows what else freaky straight people do behind doors–or in the Metrodome (seriously, what is it with out-of-staters in our public bathrooms?)–if the legal recognition of these six couples, and others like them, is the straw that breaks the camel’s back, I will invite the lot of you to witness one frail-ass camel!

There’s also the bogus religious rights issue. People are free to believe whatever they want. Their church can also believe what it wants–that’s not going to change, and I honestly don’t think it should (unless they really cross the line like the LDS). Those beliefs should not be codified in law that the rest of us have to follow.

-JJB Mpls

Like an even gayer Benedict Arnold

Sep 30, 2008 in teh gay

“I think there’s a right to privacy. But the right to privacy should not be a right to hypocrisy. People who want to demonize other people shouldn’t then be able to go home and close the door, and do it themselves.” –Rep. Barney Frank

Or go to the Minneapolis airport and close the bathroom stall door, go home and pick up the M2M sex chat line, etc.

Oh, and here’s another example of that hypocrisy.

Seriously. One of my best friends from high school is gay and Republican. The “fiscal responsibility” he believes they bring to the table trumps the fact that they are advocates for his continued status as a second-class citizen, at least in his mind. I see at least two major problems with this:

1. Fiscal responsibility != GOP and hasn’t for a very, very long time.
2. Everything else about it. But whatever, at least he isn’t working for a homophobic politician, and isn’t one himself.

Thankfully, most of the GOP’s attempts to use TEH SCARRY GAY MARRIDGE!1!!!11 as a wedge issue are falling flat this cycle. That doesn’t mean GLBT people who benefit from helping politicians that work to oppress other GLBT people deserve a break. I’m still looking at you with jaundiced eye, Mary Cheney!

-jjb mpls

If you hate teh gay, the Constitution is your enemy.

Aug 20, 2008 in Christian Right, teh gay

Orson Scott Card, via Sully (can’t help it):

If the Constitution is defined in such a way as to destroy the privileged position of marriage, it is that insane Constitution, not marriage, that will die,”

The more anti-gay activists realize that their wishes aren’t Constitutional, the happier I’ll be. Judges permitting gay marriage aren’t “activist” judges (9 out of 10 rightwingers can’t even explain what they mean by that term…actually, 10 out of 10, since I haven’t heard a coherent explanation yet), they’re simply recognizing the fact that the Constitution doesn’t permit the government to deny gay citizens their equality.

-jb

Hark, the hermaphroditic future sings!

Jun 17, 2008 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, teh gay

They really do think you’re a drooling idiot.

Photobucket

I mean, this is hilarious. But then you remember these unholy bastards call the shots in much of the country, and are gleefully represented by the GOP. The humor quotient dips a little bit after you factor that in…then I see the “Get a free Marriage Protection Kit!” and start laughing again.

Um, then depression again, because I’ve got like twenty years before they come to chop off my junk.

-jb

Polygamy and gay marriage.

May 21, 2008 in teh gay

William Saletan writes in Slate about how the polygamy boogeyman may be looming the more gay marriage is legalized…then promptly undoes himself, skimming over the most relevant point:

In other words, polygamy now has the same legal status as homosexuality in most jurisdictions: Your second marriage won’t carry any legal weight, but it’ll be tolerated.

Uh, yes. You can claim you’re married to as many people as you want, but the state only recognizes one, and has no burden to recognize more. This isn’t really a change in anything at all. Bigamy laws generally only apply when you go to the courthouse and try to get a second civilly-recognized marriage. If the fight is really about the government hunting down polygamous couples who aren’t seeking government recognition, then yes, we’ve reached a truce. Observe the logic mirrored in practice:

In reality, most polygamist communities are authoritarian and push girls into marriage before they’re old enough. That’s why Texas raided a polygamist compound last month. But the raid has actually clarified the distinction between plural and underage marriage. “This is not about polygamy,” a Texas government spokesman tells the Dallas Morning News. “It is about child sexual abuse and our commitment to protect children.”

Furthermore, the raid—complete with bogus intelligence and an aftermath fiasco—is already doing for polygamy prosecution what the Iraq war has done for invasions: reminding us why it’s better to stay out.

The point is that polygamy will not truly be legalized. Civil polygamous marriage will not be brought into existence via arguments for gay marriage. Yes, you consider yourself married religiously, but gay couples already did that too without it making “gay marriage legal.” It exists outside of the law’s purveyance. Legal recognition of gay marriage does not lead to legal recognition of polygamous marriages.

Also, Saletan references incest as a potential problem, but drops brother-sister style incest like a hot potato, pontificating about first-cousin marriages (risk of genetic disease increases from 3-4% to 4-7%). Case in point? Rudy Giuliani. Um, so first-cousin marriage is already legal in several states, and the populace more or less is indifferent to the issue. So no, no logical connection is made to courts being forced to recognize men marrying their daughters.

Saletan blathers but in the end produces little more than some trivia, failing his thesis that Rick Santorum’s warning (“If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery.”) was warranted. What are the odds, though, that an anti-gay activist would see in such an article exactly what they want? And how much did Saletan enable that by failing to admit that he couldn’t prove what he set out to argue?

-jb

Civil rights victory in California

May 15, 2008 in teh gay

Sorry, gay haters, but courts do have this unfortunate tendency to protect individual rights rather than defend irrational prejudice

In a monumental victory for the gay rights movement, the California Supreme Court overturned a voter-approved ban on gay marriage Thursday in a ruling that would allow same-sex couples in the nation’s biggest state to tie the knot.

Domestic partnerships are not a good enough substitute for marriage, the justices ruled 4-3 in striking down the ban.

Outside the courthouse, gay marriage supporters cried and cheered as the news spread.

Jeanie Rizzo, one of the plaintiffs, called Pali Cooper, her partner of 19 years, and asked, “Pali, will you marry me?”

“This is a very historic day. This is just such freedom for us,” Rizzo said. “This is a message that says all of us are entitled to human dignity.”

Of course we are. In the most pleasant part of this news, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger vows to remain passive.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has twice vetoed legislation that would’ve granted marriage rights to same-sex couples, said in a news release that he respected the court’s decision and “will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling.”

Earlier today I wrote that gay equality would never come at the hands of a Republican, but every day there are signs that Republicans are realizing they have to change the game or go extinct. The person who does something active to bring equality to America certainly won’t be representing what is known as today’s GOP, it is possible that an (R) might be sitting next to their name. I overlooked the more libertarian-oriented wing of the GOP. Schwarzenegger didn’t do anything to bring this about, but executives can accomplish a lot through passivity. It is to be commended.

-jb