Tag Archives: Declaration of Independence

Mississippi is still burning

Constance McMillen, an 18-year-old senior at Itawamba County ...

Associated Press photo

Lesbian high-school student Constance McMillen was told by her rural Mississippi high-school officials that she could neither wear a tuxedo nor bring her girlfriend to her high-school prom — which the officials then canceled altogether because of her insistence that she be allowed to attend with her girlfriend, wearing what she wishes to wear. It wasn’t that long ago that mixed-race dancing was prohibited at red-state high-school proms, and the same “arguments” that were used to justify racial discrimination are now used to justify discrimination based upon sexual orientation — not only in rural Mississippi but even in the U.S. military, as the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is debated even though it clearly violates the principles of the U.S. Constitution.

If you have read me for any time at all, you know that there is a lot that I fucking hate.

I hate the U.S. military. Not the individual members of the U.S. military, necessarily — although I question how they can support the U.S. military when it has been debased into becoming little but bands of thugs for the megacorporations’ profits (bands of thugs paid for by us, the American taxpayers, and of course the megacorporations don’t pay their fair share of taxes) — but the whole damn idea of the U.S. military, with its might-makes-right, jingoistic bent. The majority of those in the military call themselves devout Christians, too, as though Jesus Christ would have had anything to do with their maiming and killing for the expansion and the preservation of the American Empire in the names of freedom and democracy — and even in the name of Jesus Christ.

Yet, as much as I never would have joined the U.S. military, opposing pretty much all that it stands for (patriarchy, violence and aggression, jingoism, misogyny, homophobia, “Christo”fascism, xenophobia, etc., etc.), I have a real fucking problem with the fact that non-heterosexuals don’t have equal human and civil rights in the U.S. military, that they can be expelled from the military or prevented from joining the military for solely who and what they are.

I never went to my high school prom, either. Not so much because I’m gay and because in the red state of Arizona in the mid-1980s there was no way in hell that I had the opportunity to go to my high-school prom with another male, but because I hate the whole concept of proms, too. I find them to be pretentious wastes of money, relics from the past. (I love the original film version of Stephen King’s “Carrie,” by the way…)

But the idea that high-school officials in rural Missifuckingssippi canceled the high school’s prom because a lesbian student wants to attend prom with her girlfriend boils my blue-state blood.

Reports The Associated Press:

School officials in a rural Mississippi county told a lesbian student to get “guys” to take her and her girlfriend to a high school prom and warned the girls against slow dancing with each other because that could “push people’s buttons,” according to documents filed [today] in federal court.

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Itawamba County School District and some officials at Itawamba Agricultural High School on behalf of Constance McMillen, 18, who wanted to escort her girlfriend to the prom and wear a tuxedo. A hearing is scheduled for Monday to hear an ACLU motion that seeks to force the district to hold the April 2 prom it canceled after McMillen made her requests.

In the court documents, McMillen said Rick Mitchell, the assistant principal at the school, told her she could not attend the prom with her girlfriend but they could go with “guys.”

Superintendent Teresa McNeece told the teen that the girls should attend the prom separately, had to wear dresses and couldn’t slow dance with each other because that could “push people’s buttons,” according to court documents.

The school district last week said it wouldn’t host the prom “due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events.” District officials said they hoped private citizens would sponsor a dance. The decision came on the same day the ACLU asked the district to act on McMillen’s prom requests.

McMillen said she approached school officials weeks ago about wanting to take her girlfriend to the prom.

“I want my prom experience to be the same as all of the other students, a night to remember with the person I’m dating,” McMillen said.

The district, located in northern Mississippi near the Alabama state line, prohibits same-sex dates at the prom. The ACLU has said that violates the rights of gay and lesbian students.

The school district had not responded to the ACLU filing by [this] afternoon.

Christine Sun, a senior counsel with the ACLU’s national gay rights project, said the organization is determined to put the prom back on the school calendar.

Fulton Mayor Paul Walker said he has heard that parents are making plans for a private dance but he didn’t know the details. It’s unclear if gay couples would be welcome at that event….

Shit like this makes me wonder why in the hell the blue states didn’t just allow the red states to secede way back in the day of President Abe. (Speaking of whom, did you know that red states started seceding from the Union after his election but even before his inauguration? Um, yeah.) But then I remind myself that the oppressed peoples of the red states, without the help of those of us of the blue states, would be completely at the mercy of the mouth-breathing fucktards who dominate the red states. It’s not right to allow that to happen.

Equal human and civil rights — liberty and justice for all — just don’t grow naturally in the red states. They have to be forced upon the red states from without. It’s unfortunate that that is so, but it is the red states’ fault — for all of their talk of the founding fathers, for fuck’s sake — for their absolute refusal to live up to the American ideals that every0ne is created equal and that everyone has the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Two female students or two male students dancing at prom together would “push people’s buttons.” Oh, boo fucking hoo!

Was not the very same argument made to outlaw mixed-race dancing at red-state high-school proms past? Or to disallow non-white students to attend prom at all?

And the prom was canceled “due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events”?

Really?

Or was the prom canceled because the high school officials are a bunch of fucking homophobes and/or fucking cowards?

“Due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events” — that is what you call blaming the victim, who in this case is the lesbian student who just wants the equal human and civil rights to which she is entitled by the founding documents of the United States of America, including the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence (which, I understand, are being rewritten for the Texas public-school textbooks…).

Goddess bless the ACLU.

If a good number of high-school students truly do have a problem seeing same-sex couples at their schools’ dances, that’s probably because they just never see it. What you never have seen, when you see it, can feel and seem quite alien.

But it’s fucking circular: Same-sex dancing at high-school proms is rarely or never seen at most high schools, and so it’s taboo, and because it’s taboo, it is banned at many if not most high schools, and because it is banned, it is never seen, and because it is never seen, it remains taboo, and…

Constance McMillen is brave; she is a sort of Rosa Parks for 2010.

I admire her.

I love her balls.

I hope that she gets to go to her high-school prom with the person of her choice, wearing what she wishes to wear, and that by so doing, she shows her classmates what the noble American principles that the red-staters only claim to value actually look like.

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I’ll have my life, liberty and pursuit of happiness NOW, fuck you very much!

Protesters gather on the west steps of the state Capitol in ...

Associated Press photo

Thousands of Californians rallied today at the state Capitol here in Sacramento against Proposition 8, which narrowly passed on November 4. Proposition 8, funded mostly by Mormons and Catholics from outside of California, wrote discrimination against same-sex couples into the state constitution after the Repugnican-dominated California Supreme Court (six of the justices were appointed by Repugnican governors, while only one justice was appointed by a Democratic governor) had ruled in May that same-sex couples must be allowed to marry under the rights guaranteed to them by the state’s Constitution. 

So today I attended the second weekend anti-Proposition 8 protest rally at the state Capitol building here in Sacramento. I haven’t seen mainstream media estimates of the crowd’s size in the media yet, but I estimate that it was at least a third bigger than was the first one on November 9, which I also attended.

I had to go to the protest rally today. I’m a gay man who is sick of being told that I don’t deserve the same rights as every other American, am sick of my second-class citizenship status — and hell, I live within walking distance of the Capitol. (And Margaret Cho was there! And she sang an anti-Mormon-cult song that the crowd loved.)

The most poignant part of the rally happened before I even got to the rally, and it was unexpected. A female friend and I walked from my apartment to the protest rally at the Capitol, and while the rally was on the west side of the Capitol, on the east side of the Capitol my friend and I saw and passed, on our way to the rally, a heterosexual wedding party.

Lots of people get married on the east side of the Capitol in what is called Capitol Park. It has a nice rose garden and a little veranda under which couples can exchange their wedding vows.

As the bride and groom and their wedding party passed right by us, the bride in her sweeping white dress and a wedding photographer documenting the bride and groom’s movement, it really struck me that according to California law right now, I can’t get married.

My boyfriend Tony and I have been together in a monogamous relationship for more than a year and a month now. (He would have accompanied me to the protest today, but he had to work.) Tony and I should be able to legally marry if we so choose. We both work and we both pay taxes — but we don’t have equal rights.

People remind me that other groups have had to wait years to get their rights. Getting Americans to do the right thing takes decades, generations, I’m reminded.

You know what?

I don’t want to fucking wait. Right is right and wrong is wrong. There’s nothing to argue about and there’s nothing to wait for.

EQUAL RIGHTS FOR EVERY AMERICAN — NOW.

That’s nonfuckingnegotiable.

And if I hear one more fucking moron say that democracy won out on November 4, I will fucking vomit — preferably on the assbite who has just made that “argument.”

The majority is wrong much of the time.

It has been established that slavery is wrong, but had you put slavery up for a vote in the South before the Civil War, surely the “democratic” majority would have voted for slavery. So is slavery right or wrong? Or does it depend upon the vote? (And one wonders how the South would vote on slavery today…) 

Had the Nazis put the persecution of Jews up for a vote, a majority of German voters would have approved it.

And lest you think I’m just picking on the Nazis again:

The more than 100,000 Japanese American citizens who were rounded up and put in concentration camps during World War II: At the time, had you put the putting of Japanese Americans into concentration camps up for a vote, the majority of Americans would have voted yes. Even the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1944 that the internment of the Japanese Americans was acceptable.

But, Wikipedia notes:

In 1988, [the U.S.] Congress passed and President Ronald Reagan signed legislation [that] apologized for the internment on behalf of the U.S. government. The legislation stated that government actions were based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.” About $1.6 billion in reparations were later disbursed by the U.S. government to surviving internees and their heirs.

Internment of the Japanese Americans sure seemed like the thing to do at the time, though! (I’m surprised that there was no serious movement to intern Arab Americans during the post-9/11 hysteria that gripped so many people around me…)

And it wasn’t until 1967 that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional for any state to outlaw interracial marriage.

I say: Fuck this tyranny of the majority bullshit. EQUAL HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS DON’T GET PUT UP FOR A VOTE!

And Americans need to learn their nation’s fucking history and basic fucking bedrock principles:

In the U.S. Declaration of Independence it reads: “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.”

So are these American concepts and ideals of equality, unalienable rights, and the enumeration of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as such unalienable rights actual American concepts and ideals — or if the Mormon cult and the Catholic church pour millions of dollars into a hateful campaign of bigotry and lies and manage to get just more than 50.00 percent of the voters to side with them on their side of ignorance, fear and hatred, can we just burn the Declaration of Independence to ashes, then?

Do we mean it when we say that all are created equal? And that they have unalienable rights, meaning that even a majority vote cannot take away these rights? Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — are these for all Americans or just some Americans? Can we vote that a certain segment of Americans may not have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as was the case during slavery or when women couldn’t vote or when we put Japanese Americans into internment camps?

Mormons and Catholics and other “Christo”fascists call gay men sluts when gay men don’t enter into monogamous relationships — yet the “Christo”fascists tell us gay men that we can’t get married, either. When you put a group of people into a double bind like that, what it means is that you just don’t want them to exist at all.

No doubt many if not most of the “Christo”fascists would have us gay men and lesbians outright exterminated, eliminated, if they could, just as the Nazis wanted to exterminate, eliminate, not just Jews, but gay men and others, too. (Uh-oh; I should be careful lest I give the “Christo”fascists an idea for their next ballot-proposition campaign. After all, surely the murder of “undesirables” if perfectly acceptable if you get a majority vote, right? That’s democracy in action, no?)  

You know what? I’m as mad as hell and I’m willing to die for my rights. I won’t just stand by or sit down while the “Christo”fascists try to strip me of my rights. If they win this battle, whose rights will they try to eliminate at the ballot box next? At what point will they not even bother with the ballot box? What freedoms will they continue to destroy until we have the “Christo”fascist state that they desire?

This is a bit cheesy, but very apparently far too many of my fellow Americans need to see it (again):

When the Nazis came for the Communisits,
I remained silent;
I was not a Communist.

When they locked up the Social Democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a Social Democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Martin Niemöller

P.S. I’m now seeing estimates in the media that today’s crowd at the Capitol was around 4,500 to 5,000 people. I’d estimate that there were at least that many people at the Capitol today.

Unfortunately, organizers of today’s protest rally had publicized that they were shooting for a crowd of 10,000, making it all too easy for people to deem today’s protest rally a failure, but how often do you see even 100 people rallying together on something that they care about?

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