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Archive for the ‘Gay Rights’ Category

I think I’m done being a patsy for politicians. It’s time for LGBTs to quit voting for people who don’t support full legal equality for LGBTs, or who don’t match their actions to their words.

We need to quit sending them our money, quit putting up signs, quit making phone calls, quit attending fundraisers, quit putting bumper stickers on our vehicles, and above all, quit voting for the sons of bitches.

I’m not talking about Republicans.

It seems that New York Governor David Paterson and his party have conspired to do absolutely nothing about marriage equality. (Source.)

During the recent election, the Indiana Democratic State Committee paid for an anti-gay flier that was distributed by an anti-gay Democratic candidate. (Source.)

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both opposed marriage equality. Barack isn’t even in office yet, and his supporters are already making excuses for what they expect to be his lack of action on equal rights.

Starting now, I don’t support any politician who doesn’t work for full equality.

Barack Obama doesn’t support same-sex marriage? Fuck him.

Barney Frank wants to sacrifice transfolk to advance lesbian and gay rights? Fuck him, too.

The Human Rights Campaign supports a non-inclusive version of ENDA? Fuck them above all.

I don’t know why it took me so long to get it. For years now, I’ve been deriding people who say they’re working to change their homophobic churches from within. I should have seen this years ago.

If we think we’re going to change the system from within, we’re wrong. Any politician, even a gay politician, will screw over his supporters to protect his own position, and voters everywhere — our parents, our siblings, our co-workers, our friends — have shown that they will always vote to deprive us of our rights. We are tolerated but not accepted. Remember that.

If we want equal rights, politics is not the way to get there from here. I’ll still support a politician who really works for equality, but I’m not going to invest any energy in those who don’t, or those who equivocate.

I don’t think the Democrats can win without us. If we withdraw our support, they lose. That also means, by the way, that the Democratic Black and Latin Christians who hate queers lose, too. Up till now, they’ve been getting our support for free, then spitting on us every chance they get. That needs to end now. Right now. Support full legal equality for LGBTs, or we walk. Period.

“But … but … but … Then the Republicans will win!”

So what? Let them win. If the Democrats can’t move to advance equality, let the goddamned Republicans win every election in the United States. Let them drag this country down into their whirlpool of insanity. It’s a country that hates us, a country that is doggedly committed to excluding us from equality, so let them have it. If the Democrats don’t like that, they can always change it by getting serious about equal rights.

If our community could find the strength of conviction to take that position, I think we could have full equality in six years. Without that strength of conviction, we will all surely live and die as second-class citizens.

Whether we win or lose, though, let’s try a little honesty. Let’s try a little accountability, and not just for the Mormons and the Catholics and all the other low-life religious freaks who think it’s God’s will for them to kick us in the teeth. Let’s try some accountability for our so-called friends. For our “friends” above all.

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Doing unto others.

In the aftermath of our stunning defeat at the hands of religious bigots, Tom Ackerman has come up with an interesting proposal: Don’t recognize their marriages either. Ackerman says:

Yesterday I called a woman’s spouse her boyfriend.

She says, correcting me, “He’s my husband,”
“Oh,” I say, “I no longer recognize marriage.”

The impact is obvious. I tried it on a man who has been in a relationship for years,

“How’s your longtime companion, Jill?”
“She’s my wife!”
“Yeah, well, my beliefs don’t recognize marriage.”

Fun. And instant, eyebrow-raising recognition. Suddenly the majority gets to feel what the minority feels. In a moment they feel what it’s like to have their relationship downgraded, and to have a much taken-for-granted right called into question because of another’s beliefs.

I read the piece to John, and we liked it. We talked enthusiastically about putting it into practice.

We also talked about boycotting hetero weddings. “I’m not going to any more weddings in states without equal rights,” I said. John agreed.

One thing about that, though: No matter how sarcastic we are, no matter how strident we are in making our point, the bottom line is that they’re still the first-class citizens and we’re still the second-class citizens. They still have rights and we still don’t. It might be a way of making a point, and I haven’t ruled anything out, but I have my doubts about the enlightenment of bigots. I don’t think We’re people, too, you know is the kind of point we ought to have to make. It seems degrading to have to point that out.

So. I visited my parents last night. If you’re just tuning in, my parents are right-wing Christian Evangelicals, lifelong Republicans who have been drawn more and more deeply over the years into the most extreme wing of that party. Whenever I go to their house, Fox News is on the television — even though they consider Fox News “too liberal.” There are a lot of things my parents and I just can’t talk about. Apparently, my marriage is going to be one of them. I didn’t even get to the wedding; I started with what we’re going to do about our names.

“So what are you going to do?” asked my dad. “One of you puts on a suit and the other one puts on a dress and then you prance down the aisle together?”

I resisted the impulse to tell my father to kiss my ass. I resisted the impulse to insult him, or his marriage, back.

“I’m sorry you’re disappointed about having a gay son,” I said. “But making insulting remarks isn’t going to change that.”

I stayed longer than I intended, but when I left he was still pissed off. So was I, frankly. So what do I do? Denigrate my parents’ marriage? Boycott their 50th anniversary next year?

Meanwhile, John’s nephew is getting married this month. He’s a fine young man, and his fiancée is a lovely young woman.

He was crushed when a medical problem prevented him from shipping out to Iraq with his unit. “We’re supposed to be in this together. I’m supposed to be with them, and I’m not,” he told me. It wasn’t that he wanted to go to Iraq; it wasn’t support for the war or even patriotism that made him feel so disconsolate. It was a sense of brotherhood and mutual responsibility. I don’t have to approve of this war, or any war, to respect that.

His fiancée voted for Obama and is an outspoken critic of racism. That might not sound so brave in the 21st century, but bear in mind that this is the most Republican county in South Carolina. Racism is still socially acceptable here; it’s almost expected here.

John let me make the call. Are we serious about boycotting straight weddings? Are we going or not?

Yeah, we’re going. Of course we’re going.

I resent Christianity, and Christians, for the unrelenting campaign of bigotry, hate, discrimination and lies. I don’t fucking appreciate it all. I’d like to let them know how it feels.

But I don’t think most of them are ever going to get it. Invincible ignorance isn’t just a Christian doctrine, it’s a Christian goal, and one of the rare ideals they’re pretty successful in achieving. Most Christians are never going to see their way clear to doing unto others as they would done by — not when it comes to queers. Not in my lifetime. Fine.

Don’t get me wrong: I plan to keep of criticizing Abrahamic religion and all its ignorance, bigotry, stupidity and hate. I haven’t resolved to shut up.

But when it really comes down to it, we just don’t have it in us to do unto the Christians as they do unto us.

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Don’t ask the Pope; don’t ask the Mormon Prophet; don’t ask any religious leader at all. Ask Princess Sparkle Pony.

I love PSP. I especially love PSP when she’s pissed off. Tuesday, Princess called out the Human Rights Campaign:

… practically the only time I ever hear about the HRC accomplishing anything, it’s always a cocktail party, an expensive fundraiser, or an awards ceremony where the honors are generally given to, um, HRC members or important celebrities like Lance Bass. “What does the HRC actually do?” I wondered. My friend offered, “I think they mostly send out press releases.”

Read the full post here.

As it happens, Autumn Sandeen also called the HRC out Tuesday over at Pam’s.

And Monday, Andrew Sullivan said the HRC was useless.

I think it’s time to re-think gay activism. I think the college kids got more done this past weekend than HRC is ever going to accomplish. Let’s take it to the streets; let’s take it to the people.

I predict that it won’t be long before most of us are pretty pissed off at the Democrats for accomplishing much less than promised. I may be wrong — I certainly hope I am wrong — but I think it’s time to ask ourselves whether throwing millions of dollars at the Democratic Party has really been a very effective way of getting anything accomplished. Results talk; bullshit walks. If we allow the Democrats to take us for granted, they will. Apparently, that goes for the HRC, too.

I will say one thing for the HRC’s ability to unite our community, though: they’ve got me agreeing with Andrew Sullivan.

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Dick MaloneWhy are so many of Jebus’ friends so fucking stupid?

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Portland, Richard Malone, has issued a statement condemning same-sex marriage. Big surprise, right? But get what he says:

To redefine marriage to include same-sex couples is to strip marriage of an essential component, namely the ability and obligation to procreate. To strip marriage of this essential component is to render marriage meaningless and open it up to endless revision and redefinition.

Jesus. You’ve got to wonder who ties this guy’s shoes for him. According to Benny the Dick’s official spokesman in Maine (Benny being Jebus’ official spokesman on earth), the ability and obligation to procreate is an essential component of marriage. Furthermore, to strip marriage of this essential component is to render marriage meaningless.

So there you have it, straight from the guy who speaks for the guy who speaks for Jebus. Marriage has been meaningless ever since the first time an infertile person got married. Without the ability and obligation to procreate, you don’t have a marriage, and if you’re allowed to marry anyway, then everybody’s marriage is meaningless.

Of course, that means that everybody’s marriage is meaningless already, and every marriage from time immemorial has been meaningless, too. If you pick at Malone’s absurd statement, I’m sure you can find a heresy there. Better yet, you can grow up and realize that the story of Santa Claus is more plausible than the claims of the morally bankrupt Catholic hierarchy.

Can any intelligent person really believe that assholes like Malone really have anything to do with Jesus?

I understand, of course, that the Catholic clergy don’t approve of sex between consenting adult men, but isn’t about time they realized that altar boys just aren’t for everybody?

Isn’t it about time they just stopped and fucking thought about what they were saying for once?

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Well, my lesbian gaydar must be broken. It never even occurred to me that Wanda might be gay. What a nice surprise!

Just Jared reports:

“[After Barack Obama was elected,] I thought, man we are moving in the right direction. And then at about 11 o’clock I was crushed. We took a huge leap forward and then got dragged 12 feet back. I felt like I was being attacked, personally attacked, our community was attacked. I got married Oct. 25, I don’t really talk about my sexual orientation, I felt like I was living my life, I wasn’t in the closet, but I was just living my life. Everybody who knows me personally, they know I’m gay. And that’s the way people should be able to live our lives, really. We shouldn’t have to be standing out here demanding something we automatically should have as citizens of this country. … They pissed off the wrong group of people. They have galvanized a community. We are so together now and we all want the same thing and we shouldn’t have to settle for less. Instead of having gay marriage in California, no, we’re gonna have gay marriage across the country. When my wife and I leave California, I want to have my marriage also recognized in Nevada, in Arizona, all the way to New York. … I’m proud to be a woman, I’m proud to be a black woman and I’m proud to be gay.

Here’s a longer video of Wanda’s speech:

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By the time we left, about 150 people had showed up at the State House for the Prop 8 protest yesterday. We heard that even more came by later, and that a total of about 200 people protested, though not all at the same time. That was pretty good, considering the protest was thrown together in less than two days, and there were no speakers, no music, or anything.

Basically, we stood along Gervais Street in front of the State House with our signs, and tried to get passing drivers to honk in support of equality.

Considering all the talk in some circles about African-Americans supporting Prop 8, it was interesting to note how many of the people honking in support were African-American. I heard two white people comment on it:

(1) “Did you notice that most of the people honking are black?” and

(2) “I’m a little surprised at the demographic of the people people honking.”

That second remark made me laugh.

We had a lot of white people honking, too, of course, though I did notice three white men giving us the finger as they drove by. A lot of people averted their eyes and pretended not to see us at all.

Overall, we thought it went well. I was impressed at how many of our fellow protesters were young. The majority were probably college-age folks, and a number of them were straight. I couldn’t avoid the rather discouraging thought that the world will be a better place when my generation is dead.

Not too many people our age were out, and especially not too many male couples. I was disappointed about that, but then, the event was put together on short notice and there were probably a lot of people who didn’t hear about it in time. We only found out about it yesterday morning; we had been planning to go to the protest in Charlotte.

There were a few people our age, and even a few older than us. Harriet Hancock, the grande dame of gay rights in the Midlands, was of course in attendance. (For those who don’t know her, Harriet is a straight woman who has been a prominent supporter of gay rights for decades.)

Everybody’s “mother,” Bertha, came out for the protest, too, and managed to hold onto a protest sign with both hands even while clutching a Big Gulp in the right hand. “I’m sixty years old,” she said. “It’s time I took a stand for something.”

It was windy, and I was too busy trying to keep my sign under control to worry about taking pictures. Most of the time, I felt like I was trying to go parasailing. I did take one picture just before we left, of a lovely family of four:

Family at protest

One of the thing that really galls me about our opponents is their pretense that they’re trying to protect children, when in fact they go far out of their way to harm children. It’s not just the two moms in this picture who are being denied equal protection under the law, but the two children, as well. The Religious Right doesn’t give a damn about these children. I don’t think they really give a damn about children at all; the only thing they care about extending their own power and influence.

One of the good things about a protest thrown together on short notice was that no counter-protesters showed up. No Anabaptists — no churches of any kind — came out to shout hateful slogans or pass out tracts. It was the first time in my life I had ever been to a gay event where there were no Christian haters in attendance, and it was nice. Maybe we should have more events on short notice.

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There are now three protests scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today in South Carolina:

Charleston.
Liberty Park
360 Concord St. Charleston, SC
MySpaceFacebook

Columbia.
South Carolina State House
Main & Gervais Streets, Columbia, SC
Facebook

Greenville.
City Hall
206 S. Main Street, Greenville, SC

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