Tag Archives: equal rights

The pink-triangle bullshit continues

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. arrives to pose for photographers in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 11, 2015. The rookie Republican senator leading the effort to torpedo an agreement with Iran is an Army veteran with a Harvard law degree who has a full record of tough rhetoric against President Barack Obama's foreign policy.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Associated Press photo

Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas (he looks like such a nice guy, doesn’t he?) recently took time out from his important task of treasonously sending letters to the leaders of other nations meant to undercut the foreign policy of the twice-democratically-elected U.S. President Barack Obama to essentially tell us non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming Americans that we should sit down and shut the fuck up already and just be grateful that we aren’t executed, like non-heterosexuals are in Iran, and that speaking of which, A nuclear-armed Iran! is all that we Americans should be thinking about anyway! After all, we need to get our priorities in order!

Same-sex marriage now is the law in 36 states and in other jurisdictions, covering more than 70 percent of the American population. Not that same-sex marriage is the be-all and end-all for equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals, but it’s not a bad start.

So, of course, the heterosexist and homophobic “Christo”fascists are agog and apoplectic.

Losing the battle of same-sex marriage — for which I expect the U.S. Supreme Court to rule for all 50 states this summer (arguments in the matter of the constitutionality of denying same-sex marriage are to begin in the court late this month) — the wingnutty haters now are focused on trying to legally allow businesses that serve the public to deny service to non-heterosexual and/or non-gender-conforming individuals on the basis that the business owners’ religious belief is, in a nutshell, that God hates fags. And surely the most important right that we Americans possess is the right to hate and to discriminate against certain groups of people. It’s apple pie, man!

I’m not a lawyer (I probably should have been), but, as I have noted, my reading of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states that businesses serving the general public legally may not refuse to serve customers based upon those customers’ race, color, religion or national origin, is that the act does not expressly prohibit discrimination based upon sexual orientation or gender expression, because those minority statuses are not listed in the act as protected classes. (Indeed, in 1964, which was more than 50 years ago, non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals were considered so lowly, so subhuman, that their protection by the Civil Rights Act was not even a possibility.)

While it’s beyond pathetic that an historically oppressed minority group should have to be listed expressly on a do-not-discriminate list in order to be treated with dignity, respect and equality — you know, as Jesus Christ taught that we should treat everyone else — federal law does need to be updated in order to add non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals to the list of protected classes. (That won’t happen as long as the Repugnican Tea Party traitors control both houses of Congress, but they won’t be in control forever.)

The “Christo”fascists also are losing the battle (at least in the court of national public opinion, if not in the courts of law) to enable businesses serving the general public to discriminate against non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals, but never fear, “Christo”fascists! We have Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas on the front lines of the battle!

Apparently the new “argument” against equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals in the United States of America is that everything up to the point of their execution for their “crime” of not being heterosexual and gender-conforming should be tolerated.*

After all, Tom Cotton, a U.S. senator, defending states’ “right” to enact “religious-freedom” laws that are meant to allow business owners to discriminate against non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals, proclaimed on CNN on Wednesday:

“I think it’s important that we have a sense of perspective about our priorities. In Iran, they hang you for the crime of being gay. They’re currently imprisoning an American preacher for spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ in Iran. We should focus on the most important priorities that our country faces right now.”

Cotton went on to say that “a nuclear-armed Iran” is “the most important thing that we be focused on.”

There is a lot in there, so let’s unpack it:

We Americans have priorities, and we have to have a sense of perspective about our priorities. Equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals — equal human and civil rights for all Americans, which are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution — is not one of our priorities. (Duh!) We have to have perspective!

After all, it’s a crime to be non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming, and in Iran, they hang you for that crime! Non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming Americans should sit down and shut the fuck up already, and just be thankful that here in the U.S., we’re not executing them for their crime of being non-heterosexual and/or non-gender-conforming (yet)!

Besides, an American preacher is imprisoned in Iran, and his rights are far more important than are the “rights” of all of the millions of sodomites in the United States of America combined! (We have, after all, established that they are criminals!)

And besides all of that, a nuclear-armed Iran is all that we really should be focused on anyway! For the love of God, why are you just sitting there, reading this? Why aren’t you doing something right now to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran?

That is, more or less, the propagandistic spirit of Cotton’s remarks. What a fucking neo-Nazi Tom Cotton is. (Recall that the Nazis put tens of thousands of gay men into their concentration camps.)

The attitude that an historically oppressed minority group’s equal human and civil rights aren’t at all one of our national “priorities” is the slippery slope that leads to slapping inverted pink triangles (or the yellow Star of David) on us and putting us into concentration camps. And even executing us, because it’s well-established fact that God hates fags (as well as Jews).

When Cotton referred to “the crime of being gay” on CNN, I don’t believe that he was referring only to the Iranian perspective that being non-heterosexual is a crime. I believe that Tom Cotton and his ilk — being as theofascist as any Iranian could be — also hold that being non-heterosexual and/or non-gender-conforming is a crime (indeed, for years and years it wasyou know, in the good old days), and I’d call Cotton’s wording on CNN a dog whistle to his fellow “Christo”fascists except that every mammal could hear his message loudly and clearly.

Besides trying to advance the “Christo”fascist agenda, which includes the persecution of non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals (because that’s what God wants), Tom Cotton, whose letter to Iranian leaders of last month already has demonstrated that he is an anti-democratic traitor (the majority of the American people twice elected Barack Obama, not Tom Cotton, to represent us and our interests on the world stage), also is trying to advance the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party’s tactic of having Americans so terrified over Iran that the Repugnican Tea Party can do whatever it wishes, just like the good old days when the unelected, treasonous regime of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney used 9/11 and Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction” (replete with the “threat” of “mushroom clouds” here at home) as political cover with which to ram their treasonous, right-wing agenda down distracted, terrified Americans’ throats.

It’s classic George Orwell: The fascistic oligarchy always has an enemy nation with which to terrify and distract the masses. The designated enemy nation sure changes a lot over time (such as, here in the U.S., first Russia, then Iraq, now Iran), but that’s not the point; the point is that there perpetually is an enemy nation that (we, the masses, are told by the oligarchs) threatens the very existence of our home nation. This is critical to the oligarchic fascists’ grip on power.

And it’s funny that the likes of Tom Cotton (who, pathetically, very well might be a closet case himself) should try to spook us Americans with the bogeymen of the Iranians, when Cotton and his Repugnican Tea Party ilk are just jealous that they can’t get away with executing non-heterosexuals for the “crime” of being non-heterosexual.

Iran? No, I’m much more concerned about the enemies here at home, such as the “Christo”fascists who comprise the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party. They’re a far bigger threat to our national security than those evil Iranians ever could dream of being.

*Not to pick on just Tom Cotton, of course, it’s important to note that the intention of the proponent of the widely-reported-upon “Sodomite Suppression Act” of California, on which I blogged here, also might have been (at least in part) to raise the specter of the mass execution of non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals because once that specter has been injected into the public consciousness, then anything else short of execution that is done to non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals will seem, by comparison, to be no big deal at all. (After all, we have to have our priorities!)

And I want to provide this update on the “Sodomite Suppression Act”:

Last month California Attorney General Kamala Harris asked a superior court to kill the “Sodomite Suppression Act” by relieving her of the obligation to issue it a title and summary, after which the proponent of the “act,” a right-wing, bat-shit insane and evil lawyer who should be disbarred, could begin to gather the signatures of registered California voters who want the proposition to appear on the ballot. (I rather doubt that the proponent ever has had any actual intention to significantly try to gather the required amount of signatures [365,880 of them], by the way.)

In a March 25 press release, Harris proclaimed:

“As Attorney General of California, it is my sworn duty to uphold the California and United States Constitutions and to protect the rights of all Californians. This proposal not only threatens public safety, it is patently unconstitutional, utterly reprehensible, and has no place in a civil society. Today, I am filing an action for declaratory relief with the Court seeking judicial authorization for relief from the duty to prepare and issue the title and summary for the ‘Sodomite Suppression Act.’ If the Court does not grant this relief, my office will be forced to issue a title and summary for a proposal that seeks to legalize discrimination and vigilantism.”

On that note, I neglected to note in my original piece on the “Sodomite Suppression Act” that one of its lovely provisions does indeed call for vigilantism. It reads that:

The state has an affirmative duty to defend and enforce this law as written, and every member of the public has standing to seek its enforcement and obtain reimbursement for all costs and attorney’s fees in so doing, and further, should the state persist in inaction over 1 year after due notice, the general public is empowered and deputized to execute all the provisions hereunder extra-judicially, immune from any charge and indemnified by the state against any and all liability.

I know of no other way to interpret that language other than that should the “Sodomite Suppression Act” be passed by the voters (it would not be, even if it actually makes it to the statewide ballot), and the state of California does not start executing non-heterosexuals as the “act” requires, after one year Californians may take it into their own hands to execute non-heterosexuals on their own (the “act” calls for non-heterosexuals to “be put to death [by the state of California] by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method”) — with impunity.

Again, the lawyer who explicitly wrote in a ballot proposition that the extrajudicial execution of an already oppressed group of persons in California should be allowed should be disbarred. Not only has the lawyer, a Matthew McLaughlin, advocated for the patently unconstitutional and thus patently illegal (and, indeed, reprehensible) execution of a whole class of persons, but he has advocated for extrajudicial actions (a.k.a. vigilantism), demonstrating his contempt for the legal system of California and of the nation. (Yes, the U.S. Constitution prohibits vigilantism/extrajudicial “remedies.”)

McLaughlin has demonstrated that he has no place within the legal system of the state of California — or, indeed, of any state in the nation. He doesn’t get to hide behind “free speech.” Lawyers are admitted to the bar only on the condition that they uphold the respectability of the legal profession as well as the state constitution and federal constitution under which they practice law.

You can, and if you haven’t yet you should, sign the petition to the California State Bar to disbar McLaughlin here.

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Brendan Eich(mann) got what he deserved

Outgoing Mozilla chief executive Brendan Eich

Former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich gave a hate group $1,000, paid a price for it, and this poetic justice is deemed to be a “violation” of “free speech” in the fascistic United States of America. (Yes, the fascistic Nazis persecuted non-heterosexuals, too.)

Most discussion of whether or not the “free-speech rights” of Mozilla co-founder and short-lived CEO Brendan Eich — who stepped down as CEO Thursday after a firestorm had raged over his having donated $1,000 to the 2008 Proposition Hate effort — have been trampled upon wholly ignores or glosses over one simple historical and legal fact: a federal court in 2010 found Prop H8 to be unconstitutional — and thus illegal.

As Wikipedia recounts it, “In August 2010,  [United States District Court for the Northern District of California] Chief Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that the [anti-same-sex-marriage California constitutional] amendment was unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, since it purported to re-remove rights from a disfavored class only, with no rational basis.”

So, before we blather ourselves into a lather about “free speech,” let’s take a good, long, hard look at exactly the kind of speech that we’re actually defending here — and in this case, it is hate speech.

Yes, it is.

To have supported Prop H8 was to have supported the continued mindless oppression of a minority group picked out for such continued mindless oppression. “Mindless” oppression because, as Vaughn Walker (whose original ruling still holds as the law of California, since the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legally upheld it) correctly ruled, there is no rational basis to prohibit same-sex marriage.

To have supported Prop H8 was to have supported something that was and that remains unconstitutional and thus illegal.

Whether or not hate speech should have First-Amendment protection — especially when hate speech (yes, even “just” giving $1,000 to a “cause” meant to continue to oppress a certain minority group) so often results in very real harm to many very real people — is another discussion, but for the time being, let’s not pretend that Brendan Eich was just trying to do something nice for someone and that he paid a price for it, that no good deed goes unpunished.

Let’s also not pretend that if Eich (whom I really want to call Eichmann) had a “free-speech right” to donate money to an unconstitutionally and thus illegally oppressive “cause,” that those who wanted his head on a silver platter for his donation didn’t also have a free-speech right to call for his head on a silver platter (so to speak [of course]). They did. They do. We do.

And let’s not pretend that Eich was fired for having given a $1K donation to a hate group. He was not fired. He resigned.

He resigned, apparently, because in his high-level job, his very apparently being a homophobe tarnished the public reputation of the entire organization. Most large organizations wouldn’t have well-known white supremacists as their CEOs, either.

Let’s not pretend that a CEO, a very public person, having given $1K to Prop H8 and then having been fairly forced, socioeconomicopolitically, to resign because of that donation is just like! you or I, a very private person, having given $1K to Prop H8 and actually having been terminated from our much-lower-level employment because of it. Let’s not do that, because context, including the level of the power of the players involved, is everything.

Brendan Eichmann — er, Eich — got what he deserved for having financially supported a hate group. If he believes that his constitutional (such as his First-Amendment) rights have been violated by anyone, then he may sue to his hating heart’s content. Presumably, he has plenty of cash with which to do so. (But he won’t sue, because he has no fucking case.)

There is nothing more to discuss.

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Arizona and California in the news

Another black eye for Arizona (yes, it’s the thought that counts)

Jo Beaudry holds up a sign as she joins nearly 250 gay rights supporters protesting SB1062 at the Arizona Capitol, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Phoenix. The protesters gathered demanding Gov. Jan Brewer veto legislation that would allow business owners to refuse to serve gays by citing their religious beliefs. The governor must sign or veto Senate Bill 1062 by the end of next week. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

An anti-discrimination protester holds up a sign at the Arizona Capitol yesterday. Whackadoodle Repugnican Tea Party Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (below) has less than a week to decide whether or not to sign into law the legislation that the state’s legislature just passed that allows business owners to discriminate against non-heterosexuals out of their “religious” beliefs.

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2014 file photo, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announces her plan to end the current Child Protective Services agency by executive order during her State of the State address at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix. An independent team named by Gov. Brewer to review the state's troubled child welfare agency on Friday Jan. 31, 2014, called for a top-to-bottom overhaul of the department to focus it purely on child safety. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

Associated Press photos

The Arizona legislature’s passage of a law that, under the guise of the protection of religious beliefs, allows businesses to discriminate against non-heterosexuals (mostly, to refuse to serve them, and, very apparently, this applies also to those whom the “religious” business owners simply perceive or suspect to be non-heterosexual, and very most likely also would apply, by extension, to the non-gender-conforming), is yet another example of the abject ignorance, bigotry and mean-spiritedness that exists in the backasswards state where I was born and raised and left in 1998, yet to have set foot back there since.

All eyes now are on Repugnican Tea Party Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. Will she or won’t she sign the discriminatory legislation into law?

Arizona businesses — quite ironically, since the legislation is touted as being for the benefit of business owners — vehemently don’t want Brewer to sign the legislation into law, arguing, correctly, that like Arizona’s past refusal to recognize Martin Luther King Day and its more recent unconstitutional discrimination against the brown-skinned perceived to be “illegals,” this legislation, if enacted, would give the pathetic state yet another black eye and result in more boycotts and more lost business.

The Arizona Republic, Arizona’s largest newspaper, also has come out against the discriminatory legislation. But this is Arizona, you see, and so the Republic’s largest argument is not that even further discrimination against an already historically oppressed minority group is wrong, but is that it’s bad for bidness. (The Republic’s editorial concludes:

… High-tech companies need talented young workers, so they locate in places young people find attractive and welcoming.

Arizona should strive to be one of those places.

This bill is a do-it-yourself black eye that would tag Arizona as a champion of anachronistic views of sexual orientation.

That’s not just the wrong side of history; it’s the dumb side of economic development.

We urge the governor to veto this bill as part of her continuing message that Arizona is open for business.)

But the Bible-thumping, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, inbred haters in Arizona (and they are legion), like the wing comprised of the plutocrats and those who love them, also are a huge wing of the Repugnican Tea Party, and they vehemently want Brewer to sign the legislation into law, so what’s poor Brewer to do?

My best guess is that Brewer won’t sign it into law — citing business interests, and not, of course, moral or ethical or even legal concerns — but I’m thinking that it’s only just over 50-50 that she won’t, so I wouldn’t be shocked if she does enact the discriminatory legislation.

However, if Brewer signs the legislation, this could backfire on the haters in Arizona and in the other red states, with whom we of the blue states still are waging a civil war.

Should Brewer sign the law, I have little doubt that a lawsuit would result, and it is quite possible, if not even probable, that because of the Arizona teatards’ attempt to legalize the practice of discriminating against an already historically oppressed minority group while hiding behind the facade of their “religious” “sensibilities,” we will see federal law changed to protect non-heterosexuals among the groups that federal law already protects.

Specifically, Title II of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 declares that “All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

This federal law, and the subsequent court rulings regarding it, prohibit most (if not even all) businesses that serve the general public from practicing discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion or national origin (we could add the more generic category of “ethnicity” to that list, I believe). Simply adding sexual orientation to this list of protected groups of individuals would invalidate any state’s law to enshrine discrimination against non-heterosexuals in its statutes or constitution.

(Civics 101 lesson for the teatards: No state’s law, even a law contained within a state’s constitution, may violate federal law, which includes: the mandates of the U.S. Constitution, federal statutes, and, of course, the rulings of the federal courts, up to the U.S. Supreme Court.)

No, I wouldn’t, of course, expect the currently-less-than-worthless U.S. House of Representatives to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in order to offer any more historically oppressed minority groups protection from discrimination, since the Repugnican Tea Party is all about discrimination against the “wrong” kinds of Americans, but the House won’t be in the teatards’ control forever.

And while the current U.S. Supreme Court is too timid and too slow to bring all Americans to the level of equality that we are promised by the U.S. Constitution (and other founding documents, such as the Declaration of Independence), I wouldn’t rule out the U.S. Supreme Court, or, at least, a lower federal court, ruling Arizona’s legalized discrimination against non-heterosexuals to be unconstitutional (since it is), and thus invalid.

Anyway, I wasn’t going to write about this issue until Brewer had gone one way or the other, but you know, whether Brewer signs the law into effect or not, the majority of the Arizona legislature has passed this deeply anti-American (well, I suppose that, given our nation’s ugly history, you could argue that it’s very American…) legislation, and it’s the thought that counts.

That the state’s legislature would even pass such hate-filled legislation like this tells you volumes about the backasswards state of Arizona.

California will keep its 55 electoral votes, fuck you very much

Much has been written about some bizillionaire’s attempt to get an initiative on California’s ballot that, if the majority of the state’s voters passed, would signify their agreement with his plan to split California up into six states as shown in the graphic above.

Having lived in California for more than 15 years now, I can tell you that California will not be split any century soon.

Not only would a majority of California’s voters never approve splitting the state even into two, but the U.S. Congress, which must approve the creation of any new state, most likely would not approve a plan to create one or more new states from California (or from any other of the already existing 50 states, for that matter).

So let’s not waste time arguing about the viability of the plan, since many proposals to split the state of California have come and gone over the decades and will continue to do so, will continue to go nowhere.

What we should pay attention to, however, is what most discussions of these periodic proposals to split California up miss: the fact that the real agenda behind these proposals is to make it easier for the Repugnican (Tea) Party to win the White House.

Yes, California’s 55 electoral votes — more electoral votes than any other state, since California is the most populous state (even the second-most-populous state, Texas, has only 38 electoral votes) — are just sitting there, in a huge pile, and they are soooo tempting to the wingnuts. (Since the 1992 presidential election, all of California’s electoral votes have gone to the Democratic presidential candidate.)

Divvy up California, especially creating one or more new red states from California’s red(der) regions, and now the Repugnican Tea Party now gets a significant chunk of those 55 electoral votes, making it easier for Repugnican Tea Party traitors and more difficult for the opposition party (as much as we can call the Democratic Party “the opposition party,” anyway) to win the White House.

If it isn’t about that, then how come the very same Repugnican Tea Party traitors who want to divide California don’t advocate that we divide other, populous, red(der) states, such as Texas and Florida? (The third-most-populous state of Florida has 29 electoral votes.)

Um, yeah.

Whenever a wingnut proposes something and claims that it’s for the public good, take a good look behind the curtains and see what the real agenda is.

Nothing good comes from the Repugnican Tea Party traitors.

P.S. The rich proponent of the so-called “six Californias,” a venture capitalist from Silicon Valley, claims that he is an “independent,” but my guess is that that is a smokescreen for his pro-plutocratic agenda. In any event, the majority of so-called “independents” lean to the right, and their calling themselves “independents” often (if not usually) is to (try to) sucker in those who have soured on the Repugnican Tea Party; it’s classic bait and switch.

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Yes, Virginia, loving is a civil right

I am happy to have read, on Valentine’s Day, that a federal judge, in declaring the state of Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional (because all states’ bans on same-sex marriage violate the U.S. Constitution), evoked the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, in which the nation’s highest court ruled that it is unconstitutional for any state to prohibit mixed-race (heterosexual, of course!) marriage.

Many if not most are hesitant to compare same-sex marriage to mixed-race marriage, since this makes the non-white homophobes go apeshit. (You don’t choose your race, but you choose to be non-heterosexual, they [for the most part incorrectly*] assert, and they believe, of course, that being non-hetrosexual is bad. [You aren’t born with your religious beliefs, but people’s religious beliefs are protected against discrimination, so that whole “choice” “argument” is actually pretty fucking moot where equal human and civil rights are concerned.])

Mildred Loving, the black woman whose marriage to a white man was the subject of Loving v. Virginia, wrote this in 2007 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the court case bearing her name:

When my late husband, Richard, and I got married in Washington, D.C., in 1958, it wasn’t to make a political statement or start a fight. We were in love, and we wanted to be married. 

We didn’t get married in Washington because we wanted to marry there. We did it there because the government wouldn’t allow us to marry back home in Virginia where we grew up, where we met, where we fell in love, and where we wanted to be together and build our family. You see, I am a woman of color and Richard was white, and at that time people believed it was okay to keep us from marrying because of their ideas of who should marry whom.

When Richard and I came back to our home in Virginia, happily married, we had no intention of battling over the law. We made a commitment to each other in our love and lives, and now had the legal commitment, called marriage, to match. Isn’t that what marriage is?

Not long after our wedding, we were awakened in the middle of the night in our own bedroom by deputy sheriffs and actually arrested for the “crime” of marrying the wrong kind of person. Our marriage certificate was hanging on the wall above the bed.

The state prosecuted Richard and me, and after we were found guilty, the judge declared: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” He sentenced us to a year in prison, but offered to suspend the sentence if we left our home in Virginia for 25 years exile.

 We left, and got a lawyer. Richard and I had to fight, but still were not fighting for a cause. We were fighting for our love.

Though it turned out we had to fight, happily Richard and I didn’t have to fight alone. Thanks to groups like the ACLU and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and so many good people around the country willing to speak up, we took our case for the freedom to marry all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. And on June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men,” a “basic civil right.”

My generation was bitterly divided over something that should have been so clear and right. The majority believed that what the judge said, that it was God’s plan to keep people apart, and that government should discriminate against people in love. But I have lived long enough now to see big changes. The older generation’s fears and prejudices have given way, and today’s young people realize that if someone loves someone they have a right to marry.

Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.

I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving [v. Virginia], and loving, are all about.

Kinda knocks the wind out of the sails of the black homophobes, doesn’t it, that the black woman who was involved in Loving v. Virginia herself proclaimed — seven years ago! — such things as that “Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights” and that “black or white, young or old, gay or straight,” she “support[s] the freedom to marry for all”?

I am struck by how “God” routinely was used as a defense of the prohibition of mixed-raced marriages, with the judge in Virginia having proclaimed that “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

Similar “arguments” by the “Christo”fascist homophobes abound today.

I also am struck by how Mildred and Richard Loving faced what same-sex couples in the United States face today: having your marriage performed and recognized in one state but flatly and wholly rejected in another state.

This kind of bullshit cannot stand. A house divided will fall.

But I have no doubt that one day soon, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule, as it did in Loving v. Virginia the year before I was born (it was not nearly long ago enough!), that “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men [and women],” a “basic civil right.”**

*My observation is that some non-heterosexuals clearly are born non-heterosexual, that they had no choice in it whatsoever, but that it might more or less be a choice for some other non-heterosexuals.

However, the U.S. Constitution and other founding documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, guarantee all of us Americans such things as the right and the freedom to associate with whomever we wish, the right to privacy, and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Therefore, it doesn’t fucking matter whether an individual’s non-majority sexual orientation is his or her (or “their”?) choice or not; he or she (or “they”?) still is entitled to the same civil rights as is everyone else.

(I can’t say that I’m on board with “they,” “them” and “their” — plural pronouns — being used as gender-neutral pronouns. The plural pronouns exist to indicate number, not gender status. I’m fine with gender-neutral pronouns being used, but I don’t think that we’ve found the best ones yet, and therefore we might have to invent them…)

**Slate.com has a pretty good piece today titled: “It’s Over: Gay Marriage Can’t Win in the Courts.” The piece notes:

… Insofar as there was confusion about what [United States v.] Windsor [2013] meant at the time it was decided, the lower courts across the country have now effectively settled it. A survey of publicly available opinions shows that in the eight months since Windsor, 18 court decisions have addressed an issue of equality based on sexual orientation. And in those 18 cases, equality has won every single time. In other words, not a single court has agreed with Chief Justice [John] Roberts that Windsor is merely about state versus federal power. Instead, each has used Windsor exactly as Justice [Antonin] Scalia “warned”—as a powerful precedent for equality. …

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Win some, lose some, but we queer ducks are still ahead of the haters

The first gay couple to be married in Utah, Michael Ferguson and his husband Seth Anderson, kiss as Blake Ferguson and his girlfriend Danielle Morgan watch after the pair married at the Salt Lake County Clerks office in Salt Lake City, Utah

Reuters photo

Michael Ferguson, center, and Seth Anderson, right, of Salt Lake City, were the first gay-male couple to legally marry in the “Christo”fascist state of Utah, on December 20. This unexpected, incredibly ironic historical event more than makes up for this pathetic shit:

This undated image released by A&E shows Phil Robertson, flanked by his sons Jase Robertson, left, and Willie Robertson from the popular series "Duck Dynasty." Phil Robertson was suspended for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people but was reinstated by the network on Friday, Dec. 27. In a statement Friday, A&E said it decided to bring Robertson back to the reality series after discussions with the Robertson family and "numerous advocacy groups." (AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard)

Associated Press image

So A&E cravenly has caved in and decided to keep “Duck Dynasty” intact. Here is the “patriarch” of the “reality” show — who won’t be missing from a single episode — spewing forth racist, homophobic and generally stupid-white-male-bigoted venom and bile*, yet the shameless corporate weasels (redundant…) of A&E assure us that “A&E Networks’ core values are centered around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect.”

Yes, so much so that Papa Duck (a.k.a. Phil Robertson) got only a slap on the wrist, if even that, and that from now on it will be business as usual. (Oh, but as a parting gift, a consolation prize, much like Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco treat, A&E has promised, “We will also use this moment to launch a national public service campaign [public service announcements] promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people, a message that supports our core values as a company and the values found in Duck Dynasty. [!] These PSAs will air across our entire portfolio.”

When I was earning my journalism degree, my cohorts and I thought of those who actually were going for a public relations [PR] degree at our university as PRostitutes. We remain correct.)

I had figured that the highly-lucrative-among-white-trash “Duck Dynasty” would live on, albeit at a more appropriate venue, such as FOX. No doubt, there remains a captive audience for the stupid white man’s hate speech. (If they see and hear it on the tay-vay, then it must be the truth!)

Oh, well. I have added A&E to homophobic operations that I steadfastly boycott, including Chick-fil-A (there is one nearby that I’ve never stepped foot in), Cracker Barrel (OK, so I don’t think that we have even one of those restaurants here in Northern California, but I’d never step foot in one, anywhere, ever), and a local ice cream restaurant named Leatherby’s that I haven’t stepped foot in ever since I learned that its “Christo”fascist owner gave $20,000 toward the passage of Proposition H8 (true, the restaurant always struck me as at least a bit dirty and nasty anyway, so that wasn’t exactly a difficult boycott).

But recently there was another addition to another list, a list that is much more important than is my own personal boycott list: the list of states where same-sex marriage is in effect.

To that list we have added Utah. Yes, Utah — to a large degree the home of the now-overturned anti-same-sex-marriage Proposition H8, which wouldn’t have passed here in California in November 2008 if the Utah-based Mormon cult hadn’t aided and abetted the hateful effort (how do they keep their tax-exempt status?) — now has same-sex marriage.

That wonderful irony blows the pathetic Papa Duck right out of the water.

Lest you believe for a nanosecond that the “Christo”fascists of Utah have had a sudden change of heart, that they actually have taken to heart the actual teachings of Jesus Christ (to love others and to not be a fucking asshole), know that in this case, change had to come from without: It was a federal district court judge, not the voters of Utah or the state’s legislature or the state’s highest court, who ruled, correctly, that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage has violated the equal, human and civil rights guaranteed to all Americans by the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, and which no one, not even the grand wizards of the Mormon cult in Salt Lake City, is above.

And know that of course the bigoted state of Utah, which is owned and operated by the Mormon cult, is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene and to stop same-sex marriages in Utah, which recently have been going on at a record pace. (Reports The Washington Post:

Salt Lake City — In the week since a federal judge overturned Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage, the number of weddings in the state has skyrocketed, shattering records and accruing thousands of dollars for Utah’s 29 counties.

As of close of business Thursday [December 26], more than 1,225 marriage licenses had been issued in Utah since last Friday [December 20]. Of those, at least 74 percent, or 905 licenses, were issued to gay and lesbian couples. …

Salt Lake County shattered a previously held record of 85 marriages in a given day, by handing out 353 on Monday [December 23] — the first full day of issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. …)

This! Unbridled! Happiness! MUST! STOP! NOW!

(That is, after, all, the central teaching of Jesus Christ!)

I’ll live with the fact that a “reality” show about a white-trash family (again, I think of them and their kind as the American Taliban) that I’ve never watched and never will watch continues on.

And that battle isn’t over. Thus far, the weasels of A&E have done the math — the accounting, more accurately — and have calculated that it was safe for them to rescind their indefinite suspension of Papa Duck from his family’s “reality” show before it even had gone into effect.

We’ll see if there is any blowback over this — again, A&E is a venture of Disney and the Hearst Corp. — and if so, whether this blowback makes the assholes of A&E change their minds on Papa Duck and his “reality” show once again.

In the meantime, I expect the U.S. Supreme Court to refuse to intervene in same-sex marriage in Utah, leaving same-sex marriage intact there, which is, after all of the Proposition H8 drama, incredibly fucking funny. (Not that equal human and civil rights for everyone is a joke — it is not — but still!)

What would be even funnier still would be if the U.S. Supreme Court does get involved in the issue of same-sex marriage in Utah, at the state of Utah’s request — only to rule in favor of same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

Unlikely, perhaps, but not impossible, and that ruling will come from the U.S. Supreme Court in the not-too-distant future — with or without A&E’s PSAs “promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people.”

*In addition to the quotes widely publicized from Papa Duck’s interview in next month’s edition of GQ, in recent years he also said these things (click that link [to the Los Angeles Times’ website] to see the links to the YouTube videos that are videorecorded evidence of these quotations):

  • “Look, [if] you wait ’til they get to be about 20 years old, the only picking that’s going to take place is your pocket. You gotta marry these girls when they’re 15 or 16; they’ll pick your ducks.”
  • “Why do they murder and why do they hate us? Because all of them … 80 years of history, they all want to conquer the world, they all rejected Jesus and they’re all famous for murder. Nazis, Shintoists, Communists and the Mohammedists. Every one of them the same way.”
  • “Women with women. Men with men. They committed indecent acts with one another. And they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. They’re full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant God haters. They are heartless. They are faithless. They are senseless. They are ruthless. They invent ways of doing evil.”

As Andrew Sullivan has pointed out, this rhetoric is chillingly reminiscent of the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Nazi Germany, where the Jews were blamed for all evil. Sullivan wrote, in response to Papa Duck’s remark to GQ that when it comes to “sin,” you simply “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there”:

… [To] posit gay people as the true source of all moral corruption is to use eliminationist rhetoric and demonizing logic to soften up a small minority of people for exclusion, marginalization and, at some point, violence.

If you think I’m hyperventilating, ask yourself what the response would be if in talking about sin, Phil Robertson had said, “Start with Jewish behavior…” The argument would be totally recognizable, once very widespread, and deeply disturbing. What we’re seeing here – and it’s very much worth debating – is how fundamentalist religion seizes on recognizable, [“]immoral[“] minorities to shore up its own sense of righteousness. You can gussy it up – but it’s right there in front of our nose. …

This is the type of speech that A&E attempts to excuse, as though some fucking PSAs are going to make it all A-OK.

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TIME wusses out yet once again

This is the cover of the TIME magazine dated December 23, 2013.

TIME magazine’s having named Pope Francis its “Person of the Year” for 2013 is much like the magazine’s unimaginative choice of Barack Obama for last year’s “Person of the Year.” And like Obama’s 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was, Pope Francis’ “Person of the Year” win is premature — it was based upon his rhetoric rather than upon his actual actions. (Nobel Peace Prize laureate Obama now proclaims that he’s “really good at killing people.”)

On equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals, for instance, Pope Francis talks about love and compassion, but has maintained that under his papacy the Catholick church’s official stance on non-heterosexuality and non-heterosexuals has not budged a millimeter: The church still opposes same-sex marriage and still maintains that while same-sex attraction itself is not a sin, ever acting upon it is.

So this is the message to us non-heterosexuals from the Catholick church: We love and accept you, non-heterosexuals! Just don’t ever act upon your perversion! And don’t expect to ever get married in one of our churches!

Don’t expect to be employed by the Catholick church, either. The Catholick church recently even fired a long-time high school teacher in Philadelphia because he announced that he was going to marry his same-sex partner, and in October the church fired a lesbian high school teacher in Arkansas after she had married her same-sex partner.

This is the love that Jesus Christ taught?

The Catholick church also still staunchly opposes not only abortion, but even simple birth control, despite the obvious pain and suffering that overpopulation causes, including poverty, starvation and child abuse, and the obvious destruction to the planet that human overpopulation causes.

But no — Pope Francis, like Barack Obama, sure can give a good speech, so, like Barack Obama has been (twice), Pope Francis is TIME’s “Person of the Year.”

And just like being president of the U.S. pretty much means that you’re going to be named TIME’s “Person of the Year” one to even three times, being pope means that there’s a good chance that you’ll be named “Person of the Year.”

Pope Francis is the third pope to be named “Person of the Year” since TIME began the designation in 1927. Since 1927 there have been eight popes, including Francis, but one of those eight popes died after little more than a month after he became pope, so if you are pope, your chances of becoming TIME’s “Person of the Year” are about 50-50.

I don’t know — it seems to me that being president of the U.S. or pope is enough of a reward; TIME has to reward you, too?

TIME magazine proclaims Pope Francis to be “the people’s pope” and notes of Francis that “The first non-European pope in 1,200 years is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century.”

As I have written, because Francis was born to Italian parents in Argentina, in my book he’s still pretty much yet another Italian pope — not a “non-European pope,” except only technically — and maybe he is “poised to transform” the backasswards Catholick church, but so was Obama poised in 2009 to be a U.S. president for peace.

Have we really devolved to the point that we’re rewarding people for what they could or might do, instead of for what they actually have done?

My choice for “Person of the Year,” hands down, as I wrote, was whistleblower and patriot Edward Snowden, who, given the fact that he doesn’t have the power base that a pope or a president has, in exposing the illegal, unethical and unconstitutional mass spying that the U.S. government has been perpetrating for some years now at home and abroad, has been much more courageous than has Pope Francis, and probably has done much greater good for many more people than Francis ever will do during his entire papacy, however long it lasts. (Yes, I factor in the overpopulation and its attendant harm that Francis still advocates, and that’s a big fucking negative.)

But TIME wussed out and went with the easier and lazier choice of Pope Francis, and put Edward Snowden at second place, and put same-sex-marriage warrior Edith Windsor, whose lawsuit brought about the U.S. Supreme Court’s killing of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (a.k.a. DOMA) as unconstitutional — (arguably) the high court’s first step in prohibiting the prohibition of same-sex marriage in all 50 states, since to prohibit it is indeed unconstitutional — at third place.

I’d say that two out of three isn’t bad, but Pope Francis didn’t belong even in the top three. I don’t know that he’d have made even my top 10.

TIME screwed Snowden of his rightful first place, and the rest of us along with him. As usual, the powers that be, such as the Catholick church, remain on top, while we, the people, as usual, remain second-class citizens, if that.

I guess we’re just lucky that TIME didn’t name Miley Cyrus its “Person of the Year.”

That, apparently, was the best that we could hope for from the wonderful people at TIME.

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On ENDA: Haters gonna hate

Boehner pauses between answers to questions during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

Reuters photo

Repugnican Tea Party House Speaker John Boehner, apparently pulling a Miley Cyrus in the photo above, refuses to even allow the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to come up for a vote in the House of Representatives, even though a solid majority of Americans oppose discrimination against non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming employees in the workplace.

Repugnican Tea Party House Speaker John Boehner gives a novel “reason” for his refusal to even allow the House of Representatives to vote on a federal prohibition of discrimination against non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming employees, which just passed the filibuster hurdle in the U.S. Senate, with 61 votes: “The speaker believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs,” Boehner’s spokesweasel proclaimed.

So much for the kinder and gentler, more inclusive Repugnican (Tea) Party that we were going to see after November 2012, when presidential wannabe Mittens Romney went down in flames.

“Current federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race and national origin,” notes The Associated Press, adding, “But it doesn’t stop an employer from firing or refusing to hire workers because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.”

So, presumably, the Repugnican Tea Party is perfectly A-OK with an employee being fired primarily or even solely because he or she is not heterosexual or gender-conforming.

And, presumably, the Repugnican Tea Party also views the current federal prohibitions against discrimination in the workplace based upon sex, race and national origin as equally bothersome — you know, “increasing frivolous litigation and costing American jobs, especially small business jobs.”

Wow.

Of course, it’s not about jobs, which benefit the working class, what’s left of the middle class, and the poor; it’s about profiteering, which benefits only the rich.

Civil rights? Equality? Fairness? Liberty and justice for all?

Fuck that shit!

To the Mittens Romney/Richie Rich wing of the Repugnican Tea Party, all that matters is the ability of profiteers to profiteer. And to the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, an employer should be able to treat his or her employees however he or she wishes. (This is, I think — in all seriousness — a remnant from the days of slavery, in which the owners, the masters, had all of the power; the former slave states, of course, are all red states today.)

But it’s not all about profiteering. The likes of John Boehner also want to keep the “religious”-whackjob wing of the Repugnican Tea Party happy, too, and the “religious” whackjobs love to believe that God (very conveniently) hates everyone whom they hate, which includes, of course, the queers.

Yet here are 61 of our 100 U.S. senators voting that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) at least should come up for a vote in the Senate, where it is expected to come up for a vote and to pass soon.

While the Senate is more progressive than is the backasswards, Repugnican-Tea-Party-controlled House, the current Senate isn’t exactly known for being radical (except to our farthest-gone wingnuts, of course).

ENDA, in fact, doesn’t go far enough. The AP notes: “The bill would bar employers with 15 or more workers from using a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity as the basis for making employment decisions, including hiring, firing, compensation or promotion. The bill would exempt religious institutions and the military.”

Fifteen employees is an awfully arbitrary number, as though it were perfectly OK to fire someone (or otherwise discriminate against him or her in his or her employment) for being non-heterosexual or non-gender-conforming if there are 14 employees, but not OK if there are 16 employees. Really?

And while perhaps I could hold my nose and accept an exemption for “religious” institutions (which are, in this case, just hate groups), I wholeheartedly disagree with a military exemption. Our tax dollars should fund discrimination? I don’t fucking think so!

A poll by the Public Religion Research Institute conducted not that long ago (in May) found that more than 70 percent of Americans favor or strongly favor laws that protect non-heterosexuals from job discrimination. (Sadly, Americans are significantly less accepting of the non-gender-conforming, especially transgender individuals, than they are of non-heterosexuals who more or less are gender-conforming.)

And Reuters notes that “Nearly 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies now extend workplace protections based on sexual orientation and more than a third on the basis of gender identity, said supporters of [ENDA] in the Senate.”

The AP similarly notes that “About 88 percent of Fortune 500 companies have adopted non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation, according to the Human Rights Campaign. About 57 percent of those companies include gender identity.”

If non-discrimination against non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming employees is so damned detrimental to profits, then why do the vast majority of the Fortune 500 companies support it?

I hope that John Boehner doesn’t give up drinking any day soon.

His incredibly shitty, short-sighted judgment, which includes, of course, his stance on ENDA, which is wildly out of step with the beliefs and the wishes of the solid majority of Americans, is only driving his pathetic, uber-dysfunctional party to extinction all that much faster.

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