Monthly Archives: May 2009

Bittersweet déjà vu all over again

President Barack Obama announces federal appeals court judge ...

Associated Press photo

Sonia Sotomayor, President Barack Obama’s pick for the next vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, would be the first Latino and only the third woman on the nation’s highest court. Her nomination to the court was announced yesterday — the same day that the California Supreme Court announced that it was upholding Proposition 8, which stripped non-heterosexuals of their constitutional right to equality.

On November 4, we non-heterosexuals in California received bittersweet news: We had gained the nation’s first black president — and Repugnican rule of the White House was finally fucking over — but also on Election Day, Proposition 8 stripped us of our equal human and civil rights that the California Supreme Court had ruled in May 2008 were ours.

Yesterday we also got bittersweet news: We learned that President Barack Obama had named federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor as his candidate for the next vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court — and we also learned that the California Supreme Court had decided to let stand Proposition 8, keeping us non-heterosexuals in second-class-citizen status.

While I am thrilled that a Latina has been nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, word is that Sotomayor is a moderate, a la Obama (or even more so), and that she has little to no paper trails on such issues as a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own uterus, state-sanctioned murder (a.k.a. the death penalty) and same-sex marriage.

Let’s hope that Sotomayor believes in equal rights not only for women and for Latinos, but for all Americans…

P.S. I have to note that all of the wingnuts who are “arguing” that Sotomayor had better not use her gender or race or minority status to influence her judicial decisions (!) conveniently ignore the fact that the American legal system was created by privileged, presumably heterosexual white men who fashioned the American legal system after their own backgrounds and their own interests — which is perfectly OK with the wingnuts, because it’s OK with the wingnuts when the law is set by stupid white men.

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California Supreme Court wusses out; so we take it to the ballot next year

Emily Drenne, a same sex marriage advocate, wears a wedding ...

Supporters of same sex marriages block the streets in a civil ...

A same sex couple kiss as a man is arrested in a civil disobedience ...

A same sex couple kiss before being arrested for blocking the ...

An unidentified same sex marriage advocate is held by San Francisco ...

Supporters of same sex marriage block the streets in a civil ...

Same-sex marriage advocates block a street after the California ...

A same sex couple kiss before being arrested in a civil disobedience ...

Associated Press and Reuters photos

Civil disobedience rocks: Activists for equal human and civil rights participate in civil disobedience today in San Francisco, where the California Supreme Court ruled 6-1 that it was upholding Proposition H8, which reversed the court’s 4-3 ruling a year ago this month that same-sex couples have the legal right to marry under the state’s Constitution. The lone dissenting justice in today’s 6-1 decision, Carlos Moreno, correctly wrote in his dissent that denying same-sex couples the right to legally marry “strikes at the core of the promise of equality that underlies our California Constitution” and that Prop Hate represents a “drastic and far-reaching change.”

So if 52 percent of California’s voters voted against mixed-race (heterosexual) marriages, as 52 percent of the state’s voters voted in November against same-sex marriages, the will of the voters in that former case would be shot down as an obvious unconstitutional violation of equal human and civil rights.

But clearly, it’s still wide open fucking season on non-heterosexuals; the haters need some historically oppressed minority group to continue to oppress.

Gay truly is the new black.

The California Supreme Court took the cowards’ way out and refused to do the right thing. Today the seven-member court announced that by a vote of 6-1 it would not strike down Proposition H8. (The court unanimously decided to protect those 18,000 or so same-sex marriages that were performed between June and November, when same-sex marriage as legal in the state, however.)

Which means that the fight for equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals in California, in the United States, and in the world goes on.

We who believe in freedom and in equal rights for all probably would win at the ballot box in California in 2010; if not in 2010, then in 2012.

We need to put the issue in front of the California voters at every opportunity that we can until we win.

That’s how you win: by fighting. By never giving up.

We fight on. Until we win.

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Tomorrow, tomorrow! I’ll love ya — tomorrow! You’re always a day away!

“For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait.’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ ”

Martin Luther King Jr.

I’m sick and fucking tired of equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals always elusively being just somewhere up the road.

But what’s up the road is just a fucking mirage that, when you get upon it, fucking disappears.

If I hear just one more time the “argument” that we can’t give non-heterosexuals equal human and civil rights right now because right now we have other things to deal with, I just might go postal.

Two give just two examples, there is this (from The Associated Press today):

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama’s top military adviser said [today] the Pentagon has enough challenges — including two wars — without rushing to overturn a decade-old policy that bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military and incites political and social factions on both sides.

Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he is working on an assessment of what — if any — impact overturning “don’t ask, don’t tell” policies would mean for the military and its culture. In the meantime, the Pentagon plans to follow the existing rules, which say gays and lesbians can serve in the military if they do not disclose their sexuality or engage in homosexual behavior….

During his presidential campaign, Obama pledged to overturn the Clinton-era policy and promised that gays and lesbians could serve openly in uniform. But he has made no specific move to do so since taking office in January….

Wow. Did the U.S. military bigwigs — most of them presumably straight white males, of course — say the same thing, I wonder, during the years before and after President Harry S. Truman signed an order in 1948 to racially desegregate the armed forces? That they had more pressing matters to attend to? That the racial desegration of the armed forces would just have to wait?

Stopping discrimination against non-heterosexuals in the armed forces does not require the armed forces to do anything. It requires them to stop doing something: to stop discriminating, to stop treating a class of Americans as less than equal.

Equal human and civil rights are inalienable rights, which means that these are rights that all individuals are to have right now — not at some vague point in the future when the majority oppressors feel that they have crossed off enough items on their to-d0 lists to finally fucking let some historically oppressed minority group have its equal human and civil rights.

There is nothing to argue about. Discrimination against a class of people in the U.S. armed forces is a violation of inalienable rights and thus is constitutionally illegal as well as morally wrong.

If the U.S. military truly cannot eliminate “don’t ask, don’t tell” while simultaneously performing its other functions, then the United States of America is frighteningly unsafe because its military cannot walk and chew gum at the same fucking time. (But don’t fear, because of course the U.S. military can end “don’t ask, don’t tell” right now.)

To give another more personal and more local example, on Friday I attended a small gathering at the California state Capitol to observe what would have been gay-rights icon Harvey Milk’s 79th birthday.

In response to the coverage of the small event on the Sacramento Bee’s website, some assbite dipshit left this comment: “Another example of how these lawmakers have their priorities all messed up and why our state is the way it is. Not only this but having frog jumping contests, etc., is crazy when they should be taking care of this budget! The longer they wait the worse it gets for the rest of us.”

You know, I highly doubt that even though the Milk birthday gathering was led by state Sen. Mark Leno, the gathering had any appreciable adverse impact on the state’s current budget crisis. My guess is that Repugnican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been the state’s CEO for more than five years now since the gubernatorial do-over — er, recall — election of 2003, is a lot more at fault for the state’s budget meltdown than are we non-heterosexuals (and friends) who observed Milk’s birthday at the Capitol on Friday.

Another asshole left this anonymous comment: “With the budget crisis, why is the the state wasting money on this????”

My impression of the event — which, unlike the anonymous asshole who left the anonymous comment, I actually attended — is that the state most likely did not pay for the event, but that the event was paid for by a private party or parties. But not actually knowing whatsofuckingever who actually paid for the event didn’t stop Captain Anonymous from just assuming that “with the budget crisis,” the “state [wasted] money” on the birthday observance for Milk.

Further, if the state Legislature truly cannot walk and chew gum at the same time (as the U.S. military apparently can’t, either) — then we Californians are far more fucked than we even realize.

Where it comes to equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals, it isn’t about the money and it isn’t about competing priorities. Excuses like that are just a smokescreen for the fucking fact that the homo-haters just don’t want to grant non-heterosexuals equal human and civil rights and are just throwing out excuses to drag their feet.

We non-heterosexuals cannot wait for that day that will never come. The mirage just up ahead in the road always vanishes and then another mirage appears, only to vanish also.

If we non-heterosexuals want our equal human and civil rights — our inalienable rights that we should have had from Day One — then we need to fight for them, not wait for them.

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Why Lambert lost to Allen (or, There’s NO escape from ‘American Idol’)

Adam Lambert, left, pretends to be happy that competitor Kris Allen, with his mouth wide open, beat him during the season finale of “American Idol” in Los Angeles earlier this week.

Goddess help me, I’m actually writing about “American Idol.”

I don’t even watch the show. I don’t even watch TV.

I caught “American Idol” no more than once or twice (maybe three times) more than five or six years ago.

That was in 2002 or 2003, I believe, because it was when the major television network “news” organizations acted as fucking cheerleaders for the unelected Bush regime’s Vietraq War in 2003 — instead of acting as critical journalists — that I stopped watching television, not nearly out of protest as much as out of total disgust.

But you hear about “American Idol” whether you watch it or not, because it is considered “news,” and the big “news” this past week was that probably-gay Goth-looking Adam Lambert was expected to win in the season finale of “American Idol” but squeaky-clean Kris Allen won instead.

It was just demographics, methinks.

The 27-year-old Lambert is from San Diego, while  the 23-year-old Allen is from Arkansas. This is Lambert:

Adam Lambert, American Idol Season 8

And this is Allen:

Kris Allen, American Idol

My guess is that more red-staters watch vapid, mind-wasting television than do blue-staters (I mean, I question the IQ of just about anyone who watches a lot of television these days) and that they found that Allen resembles them much, much more than does Lambert, so they cast their votes for Allen.

Sure, Lambert’s probable homosexuality was a factor, as he himself has stated, apparently; but that’s because to most of the bad-TV-gorging red-staters, homosexuality (or another form of non-heterosexuality) is tantamount to satanism, while Allen (who, hell, might also be gay, who knows?) is seen as a squeaky clean Christian boy. (He is heterosexually married before the age of 25, after all, while Lambert is suspiciously single.)

Maybe, given the clear divisions between the Lambert camp and the Allen camp, next season “American Idol” can split into two shows: “Red-State American Idol” and “Blue-State American Idol.”

(I shouldn’t give them ideas…)

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That’s so fucking cute that I have lost my capacity to think critically!

FILE - In this May 11, 2009 file photo, soldiers from the U.S. ...

Associated Press photo

The caption for this photo from The Associated Press reads: “In this May 11, 2009 file photo, soldiers from the U.S. Army First Battalion, 26th Infantry take defensive positions at firebase Restrepo after receiving fire from Taliban positions in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan’s Kunar Province. Spc. Zachary Boyd of Fort Worth, Texas, far left, was wearing ‘I love NY’ boxer shorts after rushing from his sleeping quarters to join his fellow platoon members…. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says American soldiers have more than their military might and training on their side in the war in Afghanistan. Some have pink underwear.” Har har!

So apparently the little tale of the U.S. soldier in his pink boxer shorts in Afghanistan is supposed to be so fucking disarmingly cute that we don’t even think of thinking of asking such questions as: “Why in the fuck are we in Afghanistan anyway?”

I am no expert on Afghanistan. Let me state that straight up. My guess is that we don’t absolutely have to be there, that Afghanistan is yet another example of “national security interests” actually amounting to private business interests, such as how Iraq was a “national security threat” that just coinky-dinkily turned out to be just a great no-bid-contract opportunity for Dick Cheney’s war-profiteering Halliburton Corp. 

But regardless of whether the U.S. should even be in Afghanistan or not, the pink boxer shorts story is so sickeningly syrupy that I want to vomit.

Is the little story of Boyd in his boxers not meant as a distraction?

The “transparent” Obama adminstration has blocked the release of images of U.S. soldiers abusing detainees in Afghanistan and Iraq, but we do get to see the guffaw-inducing, perhaps even heartwarming image of a U.S. soldier in his skivvies?

I guess that I just have to take it on faith that the whole thing wasn’t orchestrated for the publicity.

But is this supposed to be a cutesy little human interest story that makes us Americans OK with perpetual warfare?

Because that’s sure the fuck what it feels like.

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Prop 8 decision to come Tuesday!

Really this time!

This is straight (so to speak…) from the California Supreme Court’s website: The court’s decision on whether to uphold or strike down Proposition Hate — er, Proposition 8 — is to be handed down at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

A year ago this month, the California Supreme Court, by 4-3, ruled that same-sex marriage must be allowed in California under the state Constitution’s guarantee of equal rights for all Californians.

The haters, most of them “Christo”fascists, then pushed Prop 8 — with millions of dollars from Utah (yes, the Mormons [and, to a lesser extent, the Catholicks] declared war upon us non-heterosexuals here in California) — to write discrimination against non-heterosexuals into the state’s Constitution.

Prop 8 narrowly passed on November 4 (52 percent to 48 percent) and immediately was legally challenged in the state Supreme Court, which agreed to decide whether Prop 8 passes constitutional muster and, if it does, whether or not the same-sex marriages legally performed in California from June 2008 to early November are still valid.

I give it at least a 90-percent chance that the court will rule that those same-sex marriages already performed (which the Sacramento Bee’s website states number more than 18,000) will remain legally valid and about a 60-40 chance that the court will strike down Prop 8 as unconstitutional.

But Tuesday will be interesting, regardless of which way the court’s decision goes; the court has had to decide whether to stick with its original decision a year ago this month to uphold equal human and civil rights for California’s non-heterosexuals or to overturn the decision of a slim majority of California’s voters to discriminate against non-heterosexuals.

Equal human and civil rights for any minority group should never be left up to a fucking vote.

The Declaration of Independence declared:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

“All … are created equal.” Heterosexuals are not more equal than non-heterosexuals, to borrow from Orwell’s Animal Farm.

“Unalienable rights.” That refers to rights that may not be taken away by any means.

“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” You know, liberty, a synonym for freedom, which the wingnuts can’t shut the fuck up about but which they wish to deny to non-heterosexuals and other historically oppressed minority groups. (The wingnuts say they’re “pro-life” too…)

These “truths” are “self-evident.”

There’s no argument: Those who wish to deny equal human and civil rights to non-heterosexuals violate the spirit of liberty — true liberty, not the faux “liberty” of the Repugnicans and other assorted wingnuts — with which the nation was founded.

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Prop 8 ruling May 26 or 28 or June 1

Based upon the schedule with which the California Supreme Court releases its decisions, and based upon the fact that its decision on whether to give Proposition 8 a thumbs up or thumbs down is due by June 3, the court is expected to hand down its decision on Prop 8 this Tuesday (May 26), next Thursday (May 28) or Monday, June 1.

(The court releases its decisions on Mondays and Thursdays; it might release its decision on Prop 8 on Tuesday, May 26, because Monday, May 25, is a holiday for the court, Memorial Day.)

This is a big deal not only for those of us Californians who are not heterosexual, but it’s a big deal for the rest of the nation’s non-heterosexuals, too. Once the nation’s most populous state of California goes for legalized same-sex marriage — now that Iowa, Connecticut, Massachussetts, Maine and Vermont have legalized same-sex marriage — same-sex marriage in all 50 states will come more quickly, especially if the nation’s second most populous state, New York, goes for legalized same-sex marriage.

Women in the United States won their right to vote state by state, and the fight for women’s suffrage was about more than just voting — it was about women’s rights in general. Ditto for the same-sex marriage fight; whether we non-heterosexuals decide to legally marry or not, the fight for same-sex marriage expands our rights all around, which is why the same-sex marriage fight is important for every non-heterosexual in the nation.

And if the California Supreme Court upholds Prop 8? We get the issue of same-sex marriage back on the California ballot in 2010.  (No, we don’t wait until 2012.) We fight on.

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False alarm: No Prop 8 ruling tomorrow

OK, the buzz now is that the California Supreme Court will not release its decision on whether to uphold or strike down Proposition 8 tomorrow.

However, as the court’s decision is due no later than on June 3, we won’t have to wait for long.

There has been speculation that the court deliberately avoided handing down its ruling on the anniversary of the White Night Riots, but again, this is speculation…

Hopefully it’s just speculation and is not fact, because if it’s true, that doesn’t bode well as to what the court probably already has decided…

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Sign the petition for Harvey Milk Day

Harvey Milk, May 22, 1930-November 27, 1978

Click here to sign the petition to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign, and not to veto, legislation to create Harvey Milk Day (May 22) in the state of California.

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Prop 8 decision to come on Thursday?

File:Rioters outside San Francisco City Hall May 21 1979.jpg

Rioters outside of San Francisco City Hall during the White Night Riots of May 21, 1979. Let’s hope that history doesn’t repeat itself this Thursday night…

There is buzz that the California Supreme Court probably will announce in San Francisco on Thursday as to whether or not it has decided to uphold or shoot down Proposition 8, the anti-same-sex-marriage amendment to the California Constitution that California voters narrowly passed back in November (52 percent to 48 percent).

Gay blogger Joe of the blog Joe.My.God notes that “Thursday will also be the 30th anniversary of the White Night Riots, and Friday is Harvey Milk’s birthday. You have to wonder if the court is aware of that timing and what it may mean if they’ve decided to rule this week.”

The White Night Riots, per Wikipedia, “were a series of violent events sparked by an announcement of the lenient sentencing of Dan White for the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk, an openly gay San Francisco supervisor. The events took place on the night of May 21, 1979 in San Francisco.”

The California Supreme Court is expected to rule no later than on June 3 on its decision whether to uphold or to strike down Prop Hate — er, Prop 8.

Given the momentum of the same-sex-marriage-rights movement since November — including the success of the Oscar-winning film “Milk” and the legalization of same-sex marriage in Iowa — I put it at about 60-40 that the state Supreme Court will indeed strike down Prop 8 as unconstitutional, especially as this is the same court that already ruled, a year ago this month, that forbidding same-sex marriage in the state violates the rights of those Californians who wish to marry members of their own sex.

Same-sex marriage supporters for weeks have been planning to gather in locations around the state on the day that the court rules on Prop 8, regardless of which way the court rules.

Hopefully, the court will do the right thing and we won’t have a repeat of the White Night Riots.

Things could get ugly…

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