Tag Archives: Gay is the new black

You DON’T get to vote on my rights

Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no [legitimate] interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

— Federal Judge Vaughn Walker in Perry vs. Schwarzenegger

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, [and] that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

— The U.S. Declaration of Independence

Stuart Gaffney, from left, his husband John Lewis, ...

Spencer Jones, left, kisses his husband Tyler ...

Associated Press photos

San Franciscans Spencer Jones and Tyler Barrick, who were married when California honored same-sex marriage in 2008 and who are featured prominently in the worthwhile documentary “8: The Mormon Proposition,” celebrate a federal judge’s decision today that November 2008’s anti-same-sex-marriage Proposition 8 is invalid because it violates the protections afforded to Californians by the U.S. Constitution. I expect the U.S. Supreme Court to ultimately uphold the ruling.

I should have been a fucking lawyer.

When I predicted several hours before he did so that federal Judge Vaughn Walker would rule that Proposition H8 is unconstitutional — which he did, of course — I noted the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in Lawrence vs. Texas, the case that found that no state has a legitimate reason to meddle in what consenting adults do sexually in private, that religious sexual prohibitions aren’t enough to make a sex act illegal if the state cannot demonstrate that the state has an interest (such as a public-safety interest) in making that act illegal. 

In his ruling invalidating Prop H8, Walker wisely and correctly notes, on page 8, that “The state does not have an interest in enforcing private moral or religious beliefs without an accompanying secular purpose. See Lawrence v Texas…”

Yup.

Again, I don’t wish to compare same-sex marriage and sodomy (the subject of Lawrence vs. Texas), but again: What Judge Walker said!

The pro-Prop H8 fascists have actually claimed that same-sex couples getting married actually violates their (the fascists’) religious freedom because they find same-sex marriage to be offensive to their religious beliefs and sensibilities.

This line of “argument” is down-the-rabbit-hole-level insanity.

To live in a free nation is to be offended sometimes. If you can’t fucking handle that, then you need to get the fuck out of the fucking nation. (I hear that the Taliban is recruiting, and they’re quite homophobic.)

But seriously, I find Mormon motherfuckers, “tea-party” dipshits and other “Christo”fascists to be incredibly offensive. I find them to represent quite the opposite of what Jesus Christ and the founding fathers stood for. Thus, in all seriousness, I find them to be anti-Christian and anti-American.

However, because their very existence offends me — and my sense of religious and civic propriety — does that mean that I have the right to violate their constitutional rights in the name of preserving or defending my own rights or my personal cognitive comfort or my peace of mind?

Fuck no.

Then there is the “argument” that whatever a majority of the voters decides never, ever should be overturned, that that majority vote is sacrosanct.

OK, what if we Californians took a vote, and a solid majority of us decided to drive every last Mormon motherfucker out of the state of California? Would that be constitutionally permissible?

Um, yeah.

Only you know what? Such a ballot measure wouldn’t even fucking make it to the ballot. It would be stricken down as blatantly unconstitutional before a single voter could weigh in on it.

Yet my equal human and civil rights were put up for a vote in November 2008, and that is some fucked-up shit. It’s why they call being non-heterosexual “the new black”: because even black people, who should know how wrong oppression is, shit and piss upon us non-heterosexuals.

Then there is perhaps the lamest argument against same-sex marriage that I’ve heard: that same-sex couples can’t produce children, and procreation is in the state’s interest.

Oh, puhfuckinglease. Procreation is in the Mormon cult’s best interests, because the Mormon cult wants to take over the entire fucking world, and the Catholicks are big on procreation, too, because they also want to take over the world, even though to prohibit birth control is incredibly irresponsible and cruel, especially in the Third-World nations where there is starvation and disease and overpopulation, but the United States of America is not underpopulated (indeed, in Arizona they’re trying to drive all of the brown-skinned people out) and Homo sapiens is, um, the last time that I checked, not on the endangered species list (the omnipresent risk of nuclear annihilation aside, of course…).

And let’s carry the procreation “argument” out: So what if two old people, say a widow and a widower in their 70s, want to marry? We don’t let them because the only valid purpose of marriage is procreation? What about heterosexual couples of reproductive age who aren’t able to have children for medical reasons? Must we give fertility tests before we allow heterosexual couples to marry, since procreation is the only valid reason for marriage?

What about fertile heterosexual couples that never have a child? Should we annul their marriages in, say, a year or two if the woman doesn’t get knocked up? What if she manages to get knocked up but just can’t carry a baby to term, but keeps miscarrying? How many chances should we give her?

Um, yeah, one by one, all of the “Christo”fascists’ and other assorted wingnuts’ “arguments” against same-sex marriage all come down to their own backasswards, bigoted religious or personal beliefs.

The pro-Prop H8 wingnuts lost their case before Walker because they have no fucking case.

The wingnuts no doubt will crow that because Walker himself is gay, he handed down a personally biased ruling.

However, when the case goes to the U.S. Supreme Court, the court will be required to look at U.S. Supreme Court precedent, and Lawrence vs. Texas is precedent — fairly recent precedent — that isn’t friendly to keeping same-sex couples from marrying.

I put the chances of the U.S. Supreme Court agreeing with Walker that to prohibit same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution at about two in three.

The battle for same-sex marriage is pretty much all over except for the wingnuts’ crying.

It’s too bad that the Mormon cult and its allies spent more than $40 million pushing Prop H8 down Californians’ throats. Probably the best anti-Prop H8 sign that I’ve seen reads: “Jesus said: ‘Feed the poor.’ They said: ‘Sorry, Jesus, we spent $40 million on hate and fear!'”

I suggest that the members of the Mormon cult and the other “Christo”fascists, instead of trying to make their miserable, hypocritical, self-righteous selves feel better and superior by shitting and pissing upon others, actually fucking read what Jesus Christ actually fucking taught. And then fucking follow it. And then tell the rest of us what great fucking Christians they are.

God bless America, land of the free.

Amen.

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Health care reform is not the new black

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is taking flak for having said, on the Senate floor, of the Repugnicans’ obstructionism in expanding health care for all Americans, not just for those who can afford to pay for for-profit health care (a.k.a. wealth care): “You think you’ve heard these same excuses before? You’re right. In this country there were those who dug in their heels and said, ‘Slow down, it’s too early. Let’s wait. Things aren’t bad enough’ — about slavery.”

Well, it’s absolutely true that the Repugnicans are all about slowing down progress. Anything and everything that has benefitted someone at the expense, literal or figurative, real or perceived, of the stupid rich white man, the Repugnicans have fought tooth and nail.

But comparing the Repugnicans’ obstructionism on health care reform to their obstructionism on equal civil and human rights for non-whites is a strange comparison, unless you want to get into detail, such as how most Americans are wage slaves for rich white masters who don’t want their wage slaves to have even adequate health care and who want to profit obscenely even from their wage slaves’ illnesses and medical problems.

Gay, not health care reform, is the new black, and has been for some time now. It was anti-equal-civil-and-human-rights-for-non-heterosexuals ballot measures that brought the wingnuts to the polls in 2004 and that continue to bring them to the polls today.

The wingnuts, most of whom claim to be followers of infamous hater Jesus Christ, have to hate someone, and while they hate blacks, they can’t be overtly racist these days, so they use code for “nigger,” such as by asserting that President Barack Obama is a Muslim, a socialist and/or a citizen of Kenya, not of the United States. (Again, this otherness is just a substitute for the otherness of “nigger.”)

The wingnuts still can openly hate non-heterosexuals, however. While virtually no one would have a KKK bumper sticker on his or her car, and few would attend a public KKK rally, you see these homophobes at public anti-gay rallies with their signs (often with their children in tow) and you see their hateful anti-gay bumper stickers on their cars, because it’s still OK to openly hate on non-heterosexuals.

Because, again, gay is the new black.

And while Harry Reid criticizes the Repugnicans for proclaiming on health care reform, “Slow down, it’s too early. Let’s wait,” that’s exactly what many if not most of the Democrats are telling us non-heterosexuals where it comes to equal human and civil rights for us: Slow down. It’s too early. Let’s wait.

Did I say that gay is the new black?

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‘Brüno’ is (mostly) good for gays

Gay fashionista Brüno (a.k.a. Sacha Baron Cohen), of Vienna, poses with adopted son O.J., whom he obtained in exchange for a limited-edition iPod.

So the Internet buzz is that the movie “Brüno” is bad for gays.

Oh, puhfucklinglease.

The only camps of people who truly could believe that are self-homo-hating gays and the members of the heterosexual politically correct crowd who want to be offended on behalf of us queers in order to burnish their PC credentials.

Any actual damage that comic genius Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Brüno” might cause the gay community (if there is such a thing [and there isn’t]) most likely is offset considerably by the pervasive homo-hatred that Cohen brings to light in “Brüno.”

Only fucktards could believe in all of the gay stereotypes that Cohen uses liberally in “Brüno,” but even dullards should come away from “Brüno” with a better sense of what hatred — and consequent danger — there is for gays throughout the United States of America, land of the free (well, free for stupid, white, presumably straight, “Christian” males, anyway). 

In at least one scene it appears that Cohen-as-Brüno nearly was hit by a large object thrown at him by a homo-hater that could have caused him serious injury had it made contact with him (I won’t give it away by giving the details), and in another scene, what appears to be an angry mob of Orthodox Jews seriously chasing him in what appears to be Israel gives us a hint as to how “civilized” our partner in war crimes and crimes against humanity, Israel, is (which is about as “civilized” as the United States is). 

Not only was Cohen’s physical safety apparently jeopardized by homo-hatred and anti-homo violence in his quest to get footage for “Brüno,” but even when his physical safety was not jeopardized, with his antics as the gay Austrian fashionista Brüno he still reveals homo-hatred aplenty. (Salon.com’s often-lame reviewer and even the New York Times’ lame reviewer both seem to think that this isn’t such a big deal — homo-hatred is pretty much expected of the red states, which pretty much makes it OK, right? — which strikes me as rather homo-hateful itself.)    

Perhaps most revealing is the segment in which Cohen-as-Brüno appears before an all- or mostly black television talk-show audience in Dallas; the segment showcases how homo-hating many, if not most, black Americans are. Don’t you dare to discriminate against them based upon race, but they feel perfectly fine discriminating against non-heterosexuals. Gay indeed is the new black, with even the historically oppressed blacks shitting and pissing upon gays.

One stupid white man (at a gun show, I believe it is) tells Cohen-as-Brüno apparently quite seriously that if Brüno refers to him as gay one more time, he will inflict upon Brüno serious bodily injury. (I mean, think of that: This man believes that being gay is so awful, is such a stigma, that he is justified in even doing serious bodily injury to someone who calls him gay.) And I was surprised to see that Cohen-as-Brüno apparently did not get a gunned pulled on him when he went out with a group of redneck hunters and proceeded to get rather Brokeback on them after nightfall.

“Brüno” also exposes Ron Paul (whom Bruno claims [hilariously, I thought] he had thought was RuPaul) as quite a homo-hater; Cohen-as-Brüno has Ron Paul using, on camera, the epithet “queer” quite seriously and quite liberally — even though the effete Paul strikes me as quite possibly non-heterosexual himself.

(A long time ago I passed a Ron Paul table near the California State Capitol. Knowing that Paul is a right-winger masquerading as a moderate and/or as an “independent,” I kept walking past the Paul propaganda table when one of the Paul zombies stopped me. I told him that I cannot support a homophobe.

The young male zombie informed me that he is gay yet he was following Paul. Whether he was telling the truth or was lying in order to try to gain a convert to his little cult I’m not sure, but when I saw Paul using the word “queer” in “Brüno” today, I felt pretty fucking vindicated. [Yes, Cohen-as-Brüno certainly eggs Paul on, but Paul’s reaction is quite homo-hateful and there is no excuse for that hatred. It’s OK to fault a person for his or her wrong actions, but not for whom he or she is.])

“Brüno” is crude, of course, and as with “Borat,” sometimes this works as comedy and sometimes it doesn’t. Cohen-as-Brüno employs about every gay sexual stereotype imaginable. There are dildos aplenty and Brüno’s pygmy boyfriend (yes, pygmy boyfriend) proves to be quite, um, capacious as well as portable. Cohen employed a lot of homo-related gags in “Borat,” and the character of Borat is heterosexual, so you can imagine what “Brüno” is like. 

If you hated “Borat,” you probably will hate “Brüno,” too, and if you loved “Borat,” as I did, you probably will find “Brüno” funny but a little less funny than “Borat,” as I did.

On its own, “Brüno” holds up to “Borat,” but we saw “Borat” before we saw “Brüno,” so Cohen’s shtick of filming the spontaneous reactions of bigoted dupes to his antics in character isn’t brand-new to us anymore.

And “Brüno” mimicks “Borat” in some plot aspects, such as in that both Borat and Brüno find themselves leaving their native nations and making pilgrimages in the United States. And Borat has his sidekick in the blubbery Azamat, while Brüno’s sidekick is Lutz, his fawning “assistant’s assistant” (although Lutz plays a smaller role in “Bruno” than Azamat does in “Borat”). And in both “Borat” and “Brüno,” the title character has a spat with his sidekick that forces a separation, only to have the sidekick return later at a critical junction in the title character’s unfolding story.

Hopefully, Sacha Baron Cohen will use a different formula for his next film, but “Brüno” had me laughing hysterically throughout, so much so that in the theater my boyfriend asked me several times to keep it down, so Cohen succeeded in his main goal for “Brüno,” which was to be funny.

As a gay man, the only scene of “Brüno” that made me uncomfortable is the scene in which Cohen-as-Brüno shows apparently faked photographs of him and his adopted toddler O.J. partying in a hot tub with his naked gay friends. The myth of gay men as pedophiles doesn’t need to be reinforced.

But probably Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants have more reason to be offended by “Brüno” than do gay men. How Cohen-as-Brüno actually got Paula Abdul to sit atop a Mexican(-American) guy serving as a piece of furniture in order to do a serious interview about the importance of humanitarianism I don’t know. But even with that, Cohen’s intent, it seems, was to show us how Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants are treated in the United States; of course Cohen doesn’t believe that such treatment is acceptable.

“Brüno” also contains plenty of Nazi jokes, such as how Brüno quite seriously reflects that he is the second great man from Austria.

But Cohen can get away with his jokes about Nazis and Jews because we know where he stands; he’s Jewish, so he’s hardly an anti-Semite.

And it was in an interview with NPR after the release of “Borat” that Cohen stated that of the characters he has played, duping people, he has most been concerned for his physical safety while playing the gay character of Brüno — a testament, he stated, as to the severity of the problem of homo-hatred and anti-homo violence.

Sacha Baron Cohen is on our gay men’s side. Those gay men who claim otherwise because they find “Brüno” to be offensive should examine their own deepest beliefs about homosexuality and being gay, and those straight self-appointed members of the PC Police who want to be offended on my behalf should find another group on whose behalf to be offended.

My grade: A-

P.S. I’m really not getting the “argument” that I’m seeing everywhere that it was just too easy for Cohen to evoke homo-hateful words and deeds from homo-haters.

“Ridiculing American rubes is like shooting dead, motionless fish in a barrel filled with Jell-O,” notes one pretentious writer who tells us, rather explicitly, that he’s above and beyond it all (as do the rest of his ilk).

OK, so then you see news stories like this one from The Associated Press from today:

Salt Lake City – A gay couple say they were detained by security guards on a plaza owned by the Mormon church and later cited by police, claiming it stemmed from a kiss on the cheek.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said that the men became argumentative and refused to leave after being asked to stop their “inappropriate behavior.” The men say they were targeted because they are gay.

Matt Aune said he and his partner, Derek Jones, were walking home from a concert nearby on Thursday night, cutting through the plaza near the Salt Lake City Mormon temple.

Aune, 28, said he gave Jones, 25, a hug and kiss and that the two were then approached by a security guard, who asked them to leave, telling them they were being inappropriate and that public displays of affection aren’t allowed on the property. He said other guards arrived and the men were handcuffed.

“We asked what we were doing wrong,” Aune told The Associated Press.

Church spokeswoman Kim Farah said in a statement Friday that the men were “politely asked to stop engaging in inappropriate behavior — just as any other couple would have been.”

“They became argumentative and used profanity and refused to leave the property,” she said. The church did not immediately respond to a request for more comment.

Police later arrived and both men were cited with misdemeanor trespassing, Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Robin Snyder said.

“It doesn’t matter what they were asked to leave for,” Snyder said. “If they are asked to leave and don’t they are … trespassing.”

The church has been the target of protests over its support of a ban on gay marriage in California.

I find it hard to believe that a heterosexual couple would have been handcuffed for a kiss on the cheek, and I find the “trespassing” “issue” to be a smokescreen for the Mormon cult’s homo-hatred.

To those who claim, explicitly or implicitly, that homo-hatred isn’t a problem or that it’s such old hat that Cohen shouldn’t have even bothered to make a film about it, I say to you heartily and wholeheartedly: FUCK YOU!

No one would claim in an article posted on a supposedly reputable website that racist hate speech and racist acts of violence are acceptable or even tolerable.

Why the fuck, then, is it still wide open season on gays? Even by pretentious, supposedly enlightened, above-and-beyond-it-all writers?

P.P.S. Just thought I’d note that my favorite film critic, Roger Ebert, loved “Brüno” too.

“The needle on my internal laugh meter went haywire, bouncing among hilarity, appreciation, shock, admiration, disgust, disbelief and appalled incredulity,” Ebert wrote in his review of “Brüno,” adding, “Here is a film that is 82 minutes long and doesn’t contain 30 boring seconds.”

I should have noted that “Brüno” was directed by Larry Charles, who also directed “Borat” and “Religulous” with Bill Maher. I love Charles’ direction — I’ve reviewed both “Borat” (here) and “Religulous” (here) — and I look forward to his next film.

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Why Barack Obama is dead to me

I could just post these two news photos to explain why I’m not exactly moist, to put it mildly, over the inauguration of Barack Obama three weeks from today:

Three Palestinian children from the Balosha family, of five ...

In this Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008 file photo, Pastor Rick Warren ...

Associated Press photos

The second photo of the bloated baby boomer with the shit-eating grin is, of course, of Prick Warren, the homophobic stupid white man who, in the spirit of “inclusion,” Obama invited to give the invocation at the inauguration.

Gay most definitely is the new black if a black Democrat sees no problem inviting a homophobe to open his inauguration.

A gay male co-worker of mine recently stated that he isn’t going to let Prick Warren ruin the inauguration for him.

Oh, I am.

First we California fags and dykes were hit with the narrow passage of Proposition 8 on Nov. 4. I fully expect the California Supreme Court to strike down Prop 8 and reinstate same-sex marriage in California next year, as the same court ruled in May that the state’s Constitution mandates that same-sex marriage be legal, but as of today, same-sex couples may not legally marry in California. We don’t have equality. In only two states do we gay men, lesbians and other non-heterosexuals have equal marriage rights.

While we’re still reeling from Proposition 8 (and other anti-gay ballot measures that passed in the nation on Nov. 4), Obama picks homophobe Prick Warren to set the tone for his inauguration and he won’t back down from his incredibly poor political decision. You know, fuck “political.” This is a matter of Obama’s fucking character. He (presumably) isn’t gay, so he doesn’t give a flying fuck about gay men and lesbians.

I can’t just get over that like my co-worker can. I can’t just pretend that I don’t know what I know.

And with Barack Obama, if you are a progressive, that’s what you have to do in order to be jazzed about his impending inauguration: ignore certain things. Psychologists and pychiatrists have terms for such mental gymnastics.

Barack Obama doesn’t have my back. He no longer has mine. I regret that I gave him hundreds of dollars and I regret that I cast my vote for him. The only thing I’m glad about where he is concerned is that it wasn’t Billary Clinton who won the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, as he is the lesser of the two evils and as I doubt that Billary could have beaten Repugnican John McCainosaurus on Nov. 4. I was glad to help Obama knock Billary out of the race, but it’s been downhill with him ever since.

Yes, I suppose that there are larger issues than same-sex marriage, such as war and peace and right and wrong, and Obama is all wrong on those issues too.

The caption of the first photo above reads: “Three Palestinian children from the Balosha family, of five who were all killed in the same Israeli missile strike, are seen in the morgue before their burial at Kamal Edwan hospital in Beit Lahiya [in the] northern Gaza Strip, [on] Monday, Dec. 29, 2008.”

The Associated Press reports that the Israelis have slaughtered more than 370 Palestinians this past week in a campaign of aggression that world opinion, including the United Nations, has condemned.

Although Team Obama’s fucking mantra is that “there is only one president at a time,” Obama somehow found himself able to publicly state today that Illinois Gov. Rod “$enate $eat for $ale” Blahblahblahblah’s choice for Obama’s replacement in the U.S. Senate should not be seated because the scandalous Gov. Blahblahblahblah has zero credibility — and that Blahblahblahblah should resign. 

While it’s nice to be able to agree with Obama on something for once, Obama’s statement on the gubernatorial hijinks in his home state probably more than anything else is meant to protect his own political ass from too much tarnishment as he assumes the White House next month. Standing up for what’s right when doing so serves oneself — well, that diminishes the good deed a bit, doesn’t it?

While he can speak up on right and wrong when it helps himself, Obama remains deafeningly silent on the carnage that continues in the Gaza Strip. Because it’s not his children whom the Israelis are dropping bombs upon. Obama rather now-famously said back in July: “If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I [would] do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.”

OK, fine, but the Palestinian children whose corpses are pictured above: they were dangerous members of Hamas? Obama cares about the safety of the Israelis’ daughters and his own daughters, but what about the safety of the Palestinians’ daughters?

Did Jesus Christ teach that it’s OK to pick and chose which children’s lives are valuable and which are not?

Obama is a “Christian”?

Bullshit. A Christian follows the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Barack Obama isn’t a Christian. He’s a politician. That’s his religion. He doesn’t answer to a higher power, unless you count the American Israel Public Action Committee (AIPAC) — the Israel-first lobby — as a higher power.

“Change”?

Yeah, right — keep hoping.

P.S. How are my two questions to Barack Obama doing at change.gov?

Recall that my two questions, verbatim, are:

  • I’m a gay man who gave your campaign hundreds of dollars. You have invited homophobe Rick Warren to appear at your inauguration. How about you invite Rush Limbaugh to perform “Barack the Magic Negro”? C’mon, now! In the spirit of “inclusion” and all!
  • Are you going to treat the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with SOME degree of even-handedness and fairness or are you going to kiss Israeli ass, thus further enraging the Arab world and further putting the United States at risk for terrorist attacks?

Apparently neither question has been yanked from the site (yet…), and thus far the majority who have voted like Question No. 1 by 123 votes to 91 votes, or 57 percent to 43 percent, and the majority also favor Question No. 2, by 80 votes to 59 votes, or 58 percent to 42 percent. (No, I haven’t voted for myself or asked anyone else to vote on my two questions.)

Gee. So a clear majority of Obama’s strongest supporters — those who take the time and trouble to visit his site and vote on shit — agree with me that these two issues are important and that Obama is misfuckinghandling these two issues (or at least the first one).

What if I had posed the two questions in a “nicer” way? I’d have received even stronger support from Obama’s supporters.

Will Obama listen to his supporters on these two issues?

Um, no, probably not. Prick Warren appeals to the dumbfuck vote that Obama for some reason is courting (as though eight long years of American stupidity weren’t enough), and Obama listens to his pimp$ at AIPAC, not to his supporters or to the American people, where the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is concerned.

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I’m a media whore.

I had a short telephone interview with a reporter from the Sacramento Bee today. She was doing a story on tomorrow’s “Day Without a Gay.”

Sacramento’s gay and lesbian community center, where I’m volunteering tomorrow (yes, I almost always end up caving in and doing the right thing…), was contacted by the reporter, and with my permission the center gave the reporter my contact info.

Her story, which captures our phone interview fairly well, is below; you will note that she saved her best material for last. (Hee hee hee…)

Dozens of Sacramentans plan to miss work, ‘call in gay’ Wednesday

By Jennifer Garza

Kris Applegate, who is gay, will not be at his job as a legislative analyst Wednesday. Instead, he will volunteer at the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center.

Applegate is joining dozens of others in the Sacramento region who are “calling in gay” to their place of employment as a way of highlighting the visibility of gays in the area.

“We’re everywhere — we work for the state, we’re accountants, we’re lawyers, nurses and doctors, we’re in the cubicle next to you,” said Applegate, 30. “Hopefully, this will show the role we play in the community.”

The national “Day Without A Gay” event was modeled after a similar effort by Latinos to recognize their value in American society. It was spurred by the passage of Proposition 8, the Nov. 4 ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage.

Participants will skip work to volunteer at nonprofits. A post-Prop 8 town hall meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Sierra II Center in Sacramento’s Curtis Park neighborhood.

The Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center in midtown expects about 30 volunteers will do everything from data entry to building maintenance.

“We had so many calls that we had to make sure there’s enough work for them to do,” said Bonnie Osborn, the center’s communications director. “A lot of the people we’re hearing from have never volunteered here before. But since Prop 8, they’re motivated.”

This is Applegate’s first time as a volunteer at the center. Applegate, who is taking a vacation day from work, told his boss in advance that he would not be in the office Wednesday.

“Out of respect for my employers, I didn’t want to blindside them,” said Applegate. “They were very supportive.”

Robert Crook also told his employer in advance that he is taking a vacation day in honor of “Day Without A Gay.”

“I’m doing it out of solidarity,” said Crook, who works for the state. “If there are a lot of empty chairs in the office — and I hope there are — then that will really make a statement.”

Critics have said that missing work is not a good idea, given the worsening economy.

Crook understands that some people will not be able to “call in gay” but says the economy should not be the reason.

“For some people, it’s tantamount to coming out and they might not be comfortable with that and I understand,” said Crook. “But this is a human and civil rights issue, and to me, it’s more important than the economy.”

A few comments on the news story: The headline says that “dozens” will “call in gay” tomorrow, but that’s just the number of people the reporter was made aware of through her contact at the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center. No one can really know how many gay men and lesbians in my city of Sacramento and the surrounding region actually will “call in gay” tomorrow; the reporter and I discussed that fact, in fact. My best guess is that it will be in the hundreds.

And speaking of “calling in gay,” note that both I and the other gay man interviewed for the news story requested the time off and are using vacation time that we earned. I surmise that few people are really going to “call in gay” (call in sick, that is) and that most of them responsibly have pre-arranged their absence, as I did.

Finally, if  you want to see what we gay men and lesbians are up against, read the vicious comments that visitors to sacbee.com have left on this news story by clicking here.*

Under the cover of complete anonymity (of course), these courageous haters spew forth venomous hatred that once was reserved for blacks.

It’s true: Gay is the new black!

*Sacbee.com has a system where you can report comments as hate speech or obscenity/vulgarity, and I’m reporting the hate speech as hate speech and the obscenity/vulgarity as obscenity/vulgarity, so by the time you click that link, a good number of the comments that I was talking about might since have disappeared…

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Why the ‘Christians’ hate us

Salon.com has an interview with gay Catholic and Mexican-American writer Richard Rodriguez (shown at left) on Proposition 8 and religion that’s worth reading. In the interview Rodriguez attempts to explain the passage of Proposition 8 and he suggests how gay men and lesbians can fare better among the religious.

Rodriguez correctly identifies that discrimination against gay men is more along the lines of misogyny than racism, since what it is that really seems to make gay men feared and hated is that many if not most of them represent the feminine, which is feared and hated. (And gay men have always seemed to me to be more reviled than are lesbians.)

But what it all really boils down to, I think, is that gay men and lesbians are dangerous to the blind obedience that the Mormon cult, the Catholic church and other organized “Christian” religions expect of their members.

Gay men and lesbians throw a monkey wrench into the patriarchal order that the “Christo”fascists want to impose upon everyone.

Yes, everyone. A huge goal of both the Mormon cult and the Catholic church is to overrun not just the United States, but the entire world, with their members. Thus their emphasis on irresponsible over-reproduction, including opposition to birth control and to abortion rights.

We gay men and lesbians — well, most of us — don’t reproduce like good little breeders “should,” so the Mormon cult and the Catholic church attack us.

And gay men especially tend to display liveliness and love and creativity and spark that the “Christian” organizations feel the need to snuff out. We gay men are, or at least often are, anathema to the doom and gloom and guilt and self-hatred and walking deadness that the “Christian” institutions espouse. Therefore, we should be eliminated; if we can’t be physically eliminated (as AIDS was just allowed to decimate gay men), then our rights should be restricted as much as is possible. Minimally, we should be minimized at all costs.

And, of course, as Rodriguez points out, as organized “Christianity” continues to crumble in the United States — because organized “Christianity” refuses to change and grow with the times — the “Christians” have to blame someone. Racism is out of fashion, but good ol’-fashioned homo-hatred is still acceptable among at least half of Americans, I estimate. As they say: gay is the new black.

I do have some disagreement with Rodriguez. In his interview with Salon.com he states: “I think gay activists … should not present ourselves as enemies of religion. I am not prepared to leave the Roman Catholic Church over this issue. The Catholic Church is my church.”

Hmmm…

I am not fully decided as to whether gay men and lesbians should remain in their churches and try to reform them — or leave their churches and let their churches die the natural death that they need to die. (I lean toward the latter, however.)

After Prop 8 passed, a Latina friend of mine who opposed Prop 8 (and who went to two anti-Prop 8 protest rallies with me here in Sacramento) announced, to my shock and awe, that she was considering joining the Catholic church.

She and I then had a strained conversation about this.

Her position was that people like she should try to reform the Catholic church. I don’t know, I told her; when I think of one institution on the planet that is the most resistant to change, it’s the Catholic church. (The Mormon cult would be No. 2 on my list, mainly because it’s much younger than is the Catholic church.)

Among the many things the Catholic church and the Mormon cult have in common, besides gay-bashing and involving themselves in right-wing politics, is that both excommunicate dissenters who oppose a serious threat to the established order. What better way to resist change and to preserve the status quo than to expel anyone who represents real change?

I told my Latina friend that should she make any real headway in helping to significantly change the Catholic church, they’d boot her out.

I understand her desire for community and service, but the Catholic church?

Not all Catholics are bad, she said.

True, but, I asked her, how can you support an institution that creates harm without contributing to that harm yourself? I mean, even if someone was just a daycare worker for the Nazis, didn’t that person help the overall Nazi cause, even though she or he never harmed a single hair on the head of a single Jew? How can one so neatly separate himself or herself from the evils that others within his or her institution commit? How can you support the Catholic church, even peripherally, without helping the church to oppress gay men and lesbians, since a big chunk of the church’s agenda is to continue to oppress gay men and lesbians? 

Anyway, while I generally oppose violence, as does Rodriguez, I disagree with Rodriguez’ assertion that we gay men and lesbians must not offend the religious. Oh, fuck the religious. They routinely offend me with their ignorance, fear and hatred that they cloak with the name of Jesus Christ — I mean, what worse blasphemy than to commit evil in the name of Jesus Christ? — so fuck them if I offend them. They don’t worry about offending me, so I won’t worry about offening them. They need to be offended.

There is this belief that no matter what ignorance and hatred the “Christians” spew forth, we are still to “respect” their beliefs. You know what? I “respect” their homo-hating beliefs like I “respect” the Nazis’ anti-Semitic and white supremacist beliefs.

No, trying to change monolithic “Christian” institutions from within is too much like banging your forehead against a wall ad nauseam.

Better to create something new, different and wonderful outside of these institutional dinosaurs and let these institutional dinosaurs go extinct by starving them of our time, energy and money, which is better spent creating something new, different and wonderful.

Boy, did I digress.

But read Rodriguez’ interview.

But if you don’t, these are the excerpts that I found the most poignant:

  • “…Latinos and blacks [took] part in this terribly tragedy [the passage of Prop 8]. We persecute each other. The very communities that get discriminated against discriminate against other Americans.”
  • “I know a lot of black churches take offense when gay activists say that the gay movement is somehow analogous to the black civil rights movement. And while there is some relationship between the persecution of gays and the anti-miscegenation laws in the United States, I think the true analogy is to the women’s movement. What we represent as gays in America is an alternative to the traditional male-structured society”
  • “Then there is the Roman Catholic Church, my own church, which has just come off this extraordinary season of sexual scandal and misbehavior in the rectory against children. The church is barely out of the court and it’s trying to assume the role of governor of sexual behavior, having just proved to America its inability to govern its own sexual behavior.”
  • “…[I]t’s one thing for the churches to insist on their right to define the sacrament of marriage for their own members. But it’s quite another for them to insist that they have a right to define the relationships of people outside their communities. That’s really what’s most troubling about Proposition 8. It was a deliberate civic intrusion by the churches.”
  • “To my knowledge, the churches have not accepted responsibility for the Bush catastrophe. Having claimed, in some cases, that Bush was divinely inspired and his election was the will of God, they have failed to explain why the last eight years have been so catastrophic for America.”
  • “The divorce rate suggests that women are not happy with the relationship they have with men. And whatever that unhappiness is, I would like people to know that, as a gay man, I’m not responsible for what’s wrong with heterosexual marriage. On the other hand, whatever is wrong with the heterosexual marriage does have some implication for the world I live in. Women are redefining sexuality in a way that’s going to make it easier for me to be a gay man.”

Rodriguez’ next book, which I’ll probably buy, is on what he calls the “desert religions,” Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which, he asserts, need to be “feminized” — not taken over by women or the feminine, but balanced out by the feminine, I believe he means.

“If the male is allowed to hold onto the power of God, then I think we are in terrible shape,” he says.

Yup. And it’s the male power that wants to continue to hold on to its power that finds us gay men and lesbians, especially us gay men, so threatening.

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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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