Archive for the 'gay rights' Category

President Obama: It Gets Better

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Also, check out the Trevor Project website, it’s amazing.

It gets better

This is so cool — hopefully it will help the young kids out there who feel so alone and desperate to undertstand that It Gets Better:

A great start to what should be an ongoing campaign of encouragement.

(via huffpo)

Tyranny of the majority overturned in California

Few things exemplify the brainless white noise of howling human dumbness and tyranny of the majority better than “Proposition 8“, the 2008 ballot initiative that banned marriage equality – by majority rule, no less — in California.  Prop 8 is infamous for many reasons, among them putting a twisted, ironic shit-stain on an election day that was being heralded as a “transformative” civil rights landmark.

But not for everyone.

So there is much to celebrate in the wake of a scathing decision yesterday by California’s district court to overturn the vicious “Prop 8”, and return gays and lesbians to the fold of the full complement of rights under the law that every other Californian enjoys. It was a crushing and well-deserved defeat for those born-again pinheads and punishment freaks who would give the state the authority to legislate “morality”.  (It’s only slightly ironic that the decision came down on the Transformative President’s birthday.)

And the opinion written by District Judge Vaughn Walker (Maddowblog has a .pdf, well worth the read), while careful and well-researched to a fault, was indeed scathing as legal opinions go, stopping just short of ridicule at times (and that in itself is an accomplishment, given the unrelenting ridiculousness of Prop 8 proponents).  It’s indicative of Prop 8’s utter inane absurdity that its proponents’ arguments fell apart like wet 1-ply toilet paper under legal scrutiny, “legal scrutiny” being that which examines and argues only The Facts.  Stripped of its imaginary monsters and fear-mongering and bigotry and religious delusions, there was little to support Prop 8.

But you already knew that.

An important aspect of the overturning of Prop 8 is that it reinforces the truism that rights are not something that can or should ever be put to a vote. Rights are innate, intrinsic to humanity, and in some lucky parts of the world, protected by the state against just the kind of tyranny of the majority that gave California Prop 8. It’s ludicrous to imagine that we can “vote” on who has rights and who doesn’t — and no decent person should even want to.

Prop 8 was a public opinion, but that is all it was — an opinion — and public opinion, even majority public opinion, even when the majority is vast (which in the case of Prop 8 it wasn’t) is completely irrelevant to individual rights.  Some of us have always known this, but for others there’s apparently a learning curve.

*****************************

On that happy note, let’s congratulate blogging buddy Mark and his beloved on their marriage this week.  See?  No earthquakes, no storms, no plagues of locusts.  (I was hoping it might set off the Rapture, but no luck there either.)  Just another joyful couple looking forward to a long and happy life together.  (Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t that sound kind of, you know, traditional?)  Cheers, guys!

UPDATE: You could set your freaking watch by these half-baked halfwits.  Right on schedule, the shrieks of “judicial activism!!!” began reverberating through the moronosphere as word spread that Judge Vaughn Walker has a private life, and in that private life, he is gay. (How this affects his ability to interpret the Constitution is anyone’s guess, but anyway…)

Unfortunately, he’s also a registered Republican, nominated first by Reagan then again by Bush the Elder, a nomination which was opposed by liberal Dems and gay rights groups.  But don’t take my word for it, listen to the conservative libertarian Cato Institute:

In other words, this “liberal San Francisco judge” was recommended by Ed Meese, appointed by Ronald Reagan, and opposed by Alan Cranston, Nancy Pelosi, Edward Kennedy, and the leading gay activist groups. It’s a good thing for advocates of marriage equality that those forces were only able to block Walker twice.

Aw, snap!

UPDATE II: Social Conservative idiocy was showcased on Hardball last night with the appearance of nutcase Wendy “Concerned Women of America” Wright, who artlessly sleazed out of answering any of Matthews’ direct questions about why she actually opposes gay marriage:

If ever there was someone who needed to be smacked across the side of the head with a phone book, pushed down a flight of stairs and set on fire, it’s that brainless twat.

Tone-deafness & bigotry: lifestyle choices

Mark has news from the great state of Iowa about a couple of Republican legislators proposing a bill that would remove gay and lesbian students from those protected under anti-bullying legislation (the Safe Schools Act).  Their rationale?  Stand back!  Because protecting such students from bullying might lead to (sound effects: thunder) gay marriage.

Well, GASP!

The two vicious, brainless turkeys pushing this bill must have been told to do so by the voices in their heads — they obviously didn’t get the idea from their constituents, who are more concerned about puppy mills and payday loans than (yawn) gay marriage:

The Des Moines Register conducted a poll of Iowans asking, “The state Legislature can address large and small issues during the course of the session. For the following issues, please tell me if you think the issue does or does not deserve the Legislature’s limited time.” Banning gay marriage did not make the cut; only 36% thought it was worth the time discussing.

Not only was it not deemed worthy of legislative time, of the six issues that Iowans were questioned about, addressing gay marriage concerned them the least. Iowans were more concerned about payday loans and puppy mills than they were about whether same-sex couples married.

Iowa is one of the few states with marriage equality, a ban having been struck down by the state Supreme Courst last year.  The Republicans’ attempts to get it re-banned have been an epic fail, thus the sleazy attempt to chip away at gay rights from another direction — by throwing students under the 1958 International Harvester bus.

Keep pushing that outdated, knuckledragging bigotry, GOP: that’ll bring young people to the party in droves.  Duh.

That’ll leave a mark, Pt.2

Further to the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda that was downgraded yesterday to “Imprison the Gays — and their friends”, last night it was revealed that there are USian fingerprints all over this horrific violation of human rights.

There is evidence on undercover tapes made during anti-gay meetings before the introduction of the bill that certain Americans urged Ugandans to adopt a “zero tolerance” policy towards gays, and this led directly to the crafting of this legislation.  This is how C Street occupies itself when it isn’t busy fulfilling its self-appointed role as Official United States Uterine Hall Monitor:

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Disgusting, utterly disgusting.

That’ll leave a mark

The good news is that Uganda has cut the death penalty and life imprisonment from their proposed anti-gay legislation…:

Persistent international outcries have prevailed in Uganda where an anti-homosexuality bill is being edited before it goes to Parliament for a vote. The legislation previously included provisions for death by hanging in cases of HIV-positive gays caught having sex and life imprisonment for non-HIV-positive offenders. These two sentences have now been cut from the draft bill which will likely be passed in two weeks in order to gain support from religious leaders.

…but the bad news is that an anti-anyone bill could exist in any form.  (What’s next, 40 days in the hole for having green eyes?)

While it was the international outcry that caused Uganda to rethink the most draconian part of this brutally oppressive bill, ironically some of the inspiration for this odious legislation also comes from an outside source — one of those absurd “pray the gay away” books being flogged by an American snake oil salesman “gay-to-straight” “therapist”.

Here Rachel Maddow interviews Richard Cohen, whose book “Coming Out Straight” was cited by the creeps pushing the bill as justification for it, because it perpetuates the horribly (and provably) wrong idea that being gay is a choice.  And it’s one of the best smackdowns I’ve seen on TV:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Christian is the New Black

If you haven’t had your fill of Wild-Eyed Shitcrazy Bonkers for the week, at Wingnut Daily the deranged Ken Hutcherson begins an unhinged anti-gay screed by hinting at some upcoming craze-a-liciousness:

It has been said loudly and proudly that gay marriage is a civil-rights issue. If that’s the case, then gays would be the new African-Americans. I’m here to tell you now, and hopefully for the last time, that the gay community is not the new “African-American” community. In fact, I think Christians are the new Negro – but that’s an issue for a follow-up column.

The Paranoid Persecution Complex, now with added civil rights metaphors for extra wingnutty goodness!

Hutcherson is African-American himself so he should know better, but he’s also a fundie, which by definition makes him a demented crackpot regardless of race, colour or creed.  A pastor who stokes the hellfires of anti-gay sentiment from his pulpit at the Antioch Bible Church in Kirkland, Washington, Hutcherson has a long and depraved history of anti-gay activism.  A favourite target is Microsoft…

A few years ago he was so pissed at Microsoft for supporting anti-discrimination laws that he devised a plan to punish the software giant:  all his supporters would buy a couple of shares in Microsoft with the goal of selling them all at once on a pre-arranged date in order to drive down the stock price.   Stock manipulation for Jesus — it’s not securities fraud if you’re a conservative! The day of the fundie stock dump the mighty Microsoft was shaken to its core, with stock closing 14 cents higher than the day before.

Knowing Hutcherson’s bugfuck nuttiness, it’s hard not to breathlessly anticipate his column explaining how “Christians are the New Negro”. But I wonder if he’s thought about how it will go over with his anti-abortion cohorts, who’ve already made pretty much the same claim about Fetuses.  Maybe they’ll compromise, and the New Negro will be Christian Fetuses?  Stay tuned.

(h/t – right wing watch)

Sweet

Enough of Carrie “Pleasuring Myself for Jesus” Prejean.  Stand back, because here comes a story that’s so sweet and heartening, it might even make your day like it did mine.

Will Phillips is a 10-year-old Arkansas elementary school student who decided that he could no longer in good conscience stand to pledge allegiance to the flag every morning in class, as long as the country continued to discriminate against gay people:

“I’ve always tried to analyze things because I want to be lawyer,” Will said. “I really don’t feel that there’s currently liberty and justice for all.”

After asking his parents whether it was against the law not to stand for the pledge, Will decided to do something. On Monday, Oct. 5, when the other kids in his class stood up to recite the pledge of allegiance, he remained sitting down. The class had a substitute teacher that week, a retired educator from the district, who knew Will’s mother and grandmother. Though the substitute tried to make him stand up, he respectfully refused. He did it again the next day, and the next day. Each day, the substitute got a little more cross with him. On Thursday, it finally came to a head. The teacher, Will said, told him that she knew his mother and grandmother, and they would want him to stand and say the pledge.

“She got a lot more angry and raised her voice and brought my mom and my grandma up,” Will said. “I was fuming and was too furious to really pay attention to what she was saying. After a few minutes, I said, ‘With all due respect, ma’am, you can go jump off a bridge.’ ”

Predictably, Will took some flak for his protest action.  Even at the age of 10, it sounds like he’s already encountered irrational right-wing rage:

“They [the kids who don’t support him] are much more crazy, and out of control and vocal about it than supporters are.”

But he seems to be taking it all in stride with great calmness — knowing you’re right will do that for you.

There’s a lot of  ugliness and hate in the world, and it’s good to attack it with the  mockery it deserves.  But sometimes it’s also good to remind ourselves that for every Carrie Prejean and her group of supporters, there’s a Will Phillips with a much larger and steadily increasing group of supporters.

(h/t skinny dipper)

Nice soup kitchen ya got there

… be a shame if anything happened to it:

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn’t change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.

Under the bill, headed for a D.C. Council vote next month, religious organizations would not be required to perform or make space available for same-sex weddings. But they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and lesbians.

Fearful that they could be forced, among other things, to extend employee benefits to same-sex married couples, church officials said they would have no choice but to abandon their contracts with the city.

What would Jesus think was more important — making sure the poor don’t starve or die of exposure, or making sure that the couple working in the soup kitchen could be discriminated against?

Awesome

Washington DC Council is currently holding hearings on an equal marriage bill.  Look what happened during yesterday’s hearing:

Aww, sweet.  More on the story here.

Wow

In Maine, where in spite of being signed into law last spring, the fight for marriage equality still goes on, a moving and personal speech of support given by a WWII veteran before the law was passed:

Maybe it’s just my Canadian naivety showing, but as with the Prop8 travesty, it never fails to amaze and disgust me that the hatemongers would devote the resources to challenge an equality law and push it to a ballot referendum.  The majority deciding on the rights of the minority?  What a sick concept.

(via andrew sullivan)

Interesting

Bruce has a post up about a Mr. Sub commercial that generated some controversy — so much controversy that the agency responsible has been fired following an outraged letter campaign orchestrated by the Canadian Auto Workers.  (Thinks:  Canadian Auto Workers?  Huh?)

Offensive or not offensive?  Watch the vid, make the call.

Oops

Pop! THUNK! fizzzzzzzzzzzz

moetGet back in there, damn cork, and stay there for another 9 hours.


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