Tag Archives: Gay rights

No queer duck for the American Taliban!

Interview Creates Controversy For Duck Dynasty Star

Culture war heats up over 'Duck Dynasty' controversy

“Duck Dynasty” “patriarch” Phil Robertson looks a bit like Osama bin Laden to me, which isn’t that shocking, I guess, given that you could call him and his ilk the American Taliban — “Christo”fascists instead of “Islamofascists.”

I’ve never watched A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” and probably never will. A “reality” show is bad enough, but a “reality” show about rednecks is even worse.

Go into a Wal-Mart (yes, I’ve seen the insides of a Wal-Mart — recently) and you’ll see “Duck Dynasty” merchandise all over the fucking place, and given Wal-Mart’s main target audience — the redneck — you don’t have to have seen the show to have a good idea about what it’s all about.

So, was I shocked to learn that the “patriarch” of the show, 67-year-old Phil Robertson — who, on top of being a redneck, is a baby boomer — is a homophobe?

Um, no.

Does Robertson, who has been suspended indefinitely from “Duck Dynasty” apparently primarily or entirely for his homophobic remarks to the magazine GQ, have the First Amendment right to publicly vocalize his bigoted views?

Absolutely, yes, he does, just as the members of the Ku Klux Klan do, but does A&E, which is a joint venture of Disney and the Hearst Corp., have to keep Robertson in its employment, especially if Robertson, as I suspect he did, violated the terms of his contract with A&E?

Fuck no.

The Associated Press notes:

… Sarah Palin posted a picture on her Facebook page of her with the reality show clan with the message, “Free Speech is an endangered species.” And Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also lamented the suspension on free speech terms.

“It’s a messed-up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended,” said the governor in a statement [today] (the show is filmed in his state). …

Well, of course, to my knowledge, Miley Cyrus never publicly made an offensive, bigoted statement about an historically oppressed minority group — she might be a bit skanky, but I’ve never heard that she has uttered hate speech publicly.

But Bobby Jindal is a stupid fucking piece of sell-out shit who can’t lick the asses of the whiteys who hate him because he isn’t white ardently enough — you know, in order to “show” them that he’s one of them — so that’s to be expected from the likes of him.

But what about the whining and probably-faux hand-wringing about “free speech”?

The First Amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Fact is, only the government may abridge your free-speech rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Did Phil Robertson have to accept a gig with A&E? No. But he signed some contract, I’m sure, and when millions of dollars are at stake, I can’t imagine that the team of lawyers who drew up his contract did not cover what A&E and/or its parent companies may do in the event that Robertson should make public statements and/or commit certain actions that A&E and/or its parent companies deem damaging to them.

If Robertson has been legally wronged, then, of course, he can sue his employer. (I wish him luck with that…)

I find other comments of Robertson equally as interesting as his homophobic ones, which include his apparent assertion that the definition of “sin” begins with “homosexual behavior.” (Wow! Does he really think of “homosexual behavior” that much? I, a gay man, don’t think of heterosexual sex all that much, so why would an alleged heterosexual man think of male homosexual sex so much?)

According to the AP, Robertson also stated in an interview published in the January issue of GQ “that in his Louisiana youth he picked cotton with African-Americans and never saw ‘the mistreatment of any black person. Not once.’

“‘We’re going across the field. … They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, “I tell you what: These doggone white people” — not a word!’ Robertson told the magazine.”

Wow. 

So blacks in the South didn’t need the Civil Rights movement because they all loved whitey? They were all “singing and happy”? Really?

Assuming that Robertson’s report is true — that he heard “not a word” uttered by a black person against “these doggone white people” — could it be that they were so powerless and so terrified of retribution that of course they were very careful about what they uttered around whitey?

Could it be that Robertson’s memory is faulty? (He does, after all, admit to having done his share of drugs during the Sixties.)

Robertson also reportedly said this to GQ: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God.”

Um, did he omit female prostitutes from his list of the hell-bent on purpose? What about heterosexual “offenders”?

Straight white men seem to benefit an awful lot from Robertson’s selective list, don’t they?

What’s most shocking of all, I think, is that A&E ever decided to put this man and his family on the tay-vay in the first fucking place.

P.S. In more good news for equal human and civil rights, it’s great to have heard today that former Olympic figure skater Brian Boitano finally came out (we all knew, but it’s great that he now has talked about it openly), and it’s hilarious that he and out lesbian athletes Billie Jean King (the tennis great, of course) and Caitlin Cahow (a medalist in women’s hockey) will be part of the United States’ delegation to the homophobic Russia’s 2014 winter Olympic games in Sochi, of which no high-ranking members of the U.S. government will be a part. (The Associated Press notes that “For the first time since 2000, the U.S. will not send a president, former president, first lady or vice president to the Olympics.”)

And, of course, today the state of New Mexico became the 16th state to institute same-sex marriage.

The “Christo”fascists and other assorted haters can slow progress down, but they cannot stop it altogether. It marches on!

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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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New pope, same as the last pope (take two)

The new pope still will have none of this, but at least he would let them keep their heads. Yay!

Yes, it could be much worse, I suppose.

At least the new pope isn’t calling for the beheading of gay men, like the 89-year-old dictator of Zimbabwe is. (Robert Mugabe might believe in equal opportunity and believe that lesbians should be beheaded, too, but his rhetoric apparently is aimed primarily or solely at gay men. [“If you take men and lock them in a house for five years and tell them to come up with two children and they fail to do that, then we will chop off their heads,” Mugabe bizarrely proclaimed recently.])

But despite the news today — I guess that it was a slow news day — that the pope has done some 180 on the matter of homosexuality, know that Pope Francis apparently still upholds the Catholick Church’s doctrine that “under no circumstances can [any homosexual acts] be approved. … Homosexual persons are called to chastity.”

“Asked for his position on gay marriage,” Time reports, “[Francis] answered: ‘You know perfectly the position of the Church.’”

This is supposed to be a kinder, gentler pope, yet there has been no policy change on homosexuality. None. Nada, zip, zilch, zero.

“It’s Not What the Pope Said About Gays, It’s How He Said It,” the headline for the Time news article is.

Really?

We must be nice to gays, Francis said. Yes, he did say that, more or less.

But how, exactly, can you uphold an oppressive set of policies* yet still be considered to be such a swell fucking guy?

What if heterosexuals were told that they weren’t to be mistreated for their unfortunate affliction of opposite-sex attraction, but that should they ever act on that opposite-sex attraction, even within the context of a marriage, that would be a sin?

What if heterosexuals were told that marriage only is the union of two men or two women?

What if Catholicks were told that sure, they can be Catholicks in their heads, but that for them to actually practice their belief system — go to confession, kneel, eat that wafer, whatever it is that they do at Mass, for instance — would be wrong, forbidden?

I don’t know… At least Robert Mugabe is pretty fucking direct about his feelings about homosexuality. Sure, he’s a pathetic, addled old dictator who just wants to steal another election on Wednesday, and is throwing some red meat to his fellow backasswards homo-haters, but at least in Zimbabwe, you, as a gay man (maybe you, too, as a lesbian) would know exactly where you stand.

But here is the Catholick Church saying, “Oh, you can be a fag or dyke — just never, ever do what fags and dykes feel compelled to do!”

That’s just backdoor hatred and bigotry and discrimination. The message from the Catholick Church is the same: If you aren’t heterosexual, you are defective. If you aren’t heterosexual, God doesn’t accept you. If you aren’t heterosexual, you can’t ever have sex, even within the context of marriage, because you can’t get married!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Fuck the Catholick Church. And fuck the pope, who is no nice guy (and who, for all we know, is a gay man himself…).

P.S. My first take on Pope Francis is here.

*Pope Francis also firmly opposes women being able to enter the priesthood or, apparently, the Catholick Church’s all-male hierarchy.

How can this woefully outdated patriarchal policy not give women and girls the clear idea that they are inferior to men and boys?

This is sick shit, not love.

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The Supremes give me reverse November 2008 déjà vu

Updated below (last on Friday, June 28, 2013)

For this progressive Californian, this week feels like an uncanny reversal of Election Day 2008: In November 2008, we Californians saw our nation’s first non-all-white president* elected, a historical milestone — but with the narrow (52-48) passage of Proposition H8, which wrote homophobia into the California state Constitution by banning same-sex marriage, we non-heterosexual Californians were stripped of our constitutionally guaranteed right to marry, which the California Supreme Court earlier that year had ruled was ours.**

Yesterday, in a typically 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court eviscerated the Voting Rights Act, claiming that the act’s provisions were too outdated, despite the fact that Congress had renewed it overwhelmingly in 2006, which wasn’t all that fucking long ago.

In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg nailed it on the head when she remarked, “Throwing out [U.S. Justice Department] pre-clearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes [to voting laws] is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”

While I surmise that Congress will restore the Voting Rights Act in the future, that won’t happen, of course, with the current wingnut-dominated U.S. House of Representatives. Indeed, media reports are that the fascists of the red states, in light of this new U.S. Supreme Court decision, are working fast and furiously to reinstate their voter suppression laws (previously shot down by the Justice Department) just in time for the 2014 midterm elections.

I have to wonder, of course, if that was the goal of the wingnuts on the high court: To help the struggling Repugnican Tea Party in the next national elections. Hey, they’ve certainly involved themselves in election-fixing before, which even former U.S. Supreme Court “Justice” Sandra Day O’Connor, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan and who, with four other like-minded “justices,” put George W. Bush in office, has expressed a potential problem with.

Yesterday was a giant leap backwards for the equal human and civil rights of non-whites, and was yet another stain on our nation caused by yet another 5-4 vote by the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court, right up there with the court’s 5-4 coronation of George W. Bush as president in late 2000 even though he’d lost the election by more than a half-million popular votes and even though the pivotal state of Florida clearly had been stolen as a “victory” for Bush and with the court’s 5-4 Citizens United decision, which reinforced the bogus concept that corporations are just like individual people, and that just like individual people, corporations have First Amendment rights.

It’s mind-blowing to ponder the fact that the voting rights for which so many Americans fought and even died were eliminated at the stroke of the poisoned pen of just one right-wing U.S. Supreme Court justice. (Yet at the same time I suppose that it’s a little encouraging to know that it was only a 5-4 vote, that only one “justice” made the difference.)

I hope that the backlash against the right wing’s ongoing attempt to suppress voters is considerable. Generally speaking, the right-wing traitors among us win little battles here and there, but over time, they continue to lose the war. They stymie and delay progress as much as they can, but progress still marches on, and the haters go down in history as the haters that they are or were.

But today, unlike in November 2008, there was good news for us non-heterosexuals when the US. Supreme Court ruled, 5-4 (of course), that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which Congress passed in 1996, is unconstitutional, as it violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws (duh).

This ruling means that no same-sex couple that has been married in a state with legalized same-sex marriage may be denied any of the federal benefits of marriage that are enjoyed by opposite-sex married couples.

However, this also means that same-sex couples in most states will not have the same rights as do same-sex couples in other states (those states that have adopted legalized same-sex marriage), which, of course, is a patently unfair and thus an untenable situation.

Yes, the nation’s high court, while it struck down DOMA, by yet another 5-4 vote refused to touch Prop H8, ruling that, as Reuters puts it, “supporters of [Prop H8] did not have standing to appeal a federal district court ruling that struck the law down.” Thus, the court apparently very intentionally avoided directly ruling on whether or not any state may constitutionally outlaw same-sex marriage, leaving same-sex marriage, for now, as an untenable issue of “states’ rights.”

Because the U.S. Supreme Court wouldn’t touch Prop H8, the lower federal courts’ rulings that Prop H8 is unconstitutional (because it violates the Fourteenth Amendment) stand, and my understanding is that this means that California will have same-sex marriage again, as it did briefly in 2008 (between the effective date of the California Supreme Court’s ruling for same-sex marriage and the effective date of the same-sex-marriage-nixing Prop H8) — but, I understand, there’s more legal wrangling ahead as to what, exactly, the Supremes’ refusal to touch Prop H8 means for California.

It was cowardly, irresponsible and short-sighted of the court to rule that DOMA is unconstitutional on the grounds of the Fourteenth Amendment but to then refuse to rule that accordingly, no state may outlaw same-sex marriage on the grounds of the Fourteenth Amendment, but apparently today’s rulings were, pathetically, the best that we could get from this right-wing court.

Of course it would have been nice if either or both of today’s high-court rulings on DOMA and Prop H8 (the court’s cowardly refusal to issue a ruling on Prop H8 was the court’s “ruling” on Prop H8) had been 6-3 or even 7-2 (or hell, even 8-1 or 9-0), but the right-wing homo-haters have no credibility in (predictably) calling the 5-4 decisions the “tyranny” of the U.S. Supreme Court against the American majority when a series of recent nationwide polls clearly show that a clear majority of Americans favor same-sex marriage.

And those fascistic haters who claim that to overturn Prop H8 is to overturn the will of California’s voters conveniently ignore the two facts that (1) any ballot measure passed by a majority of any state’s voters can be overturned by a federal court if that court deems it to be unconstitutional (Civics 101 — duh) and that (2) while Prop H8 passed in November 2008 with 52 percent of the vote, polls show now that around 60 percent of Californians support same-sex marriage; were Californians to vote again on the issue again today, same-sex marriage would pass by a decisive margin. Prop H8 no longer is the will of the majority of California’s voters.

So: Today we can celebrate a significant although incomplete victory for same-sex couples who desire legalized marriage and the rights (and, yes, the responsibilities) that come with legalized marriage.

But we need to fight like hell to regain the ground that we just lost where voting rights are concerned, and we need to fight like hell to gain full marriage equality for same-sex couples in all 50 states.

The U.S. Constitution’s demands for fairness and equality demand that we do so.

*True, Barack Obama (whom I don’t really consider “black” but consider to be of mixed race) turned out to be a huge disappointment, a George W. Bush Lite, but I did cast my vote for him in November 2008 before I knew how his presidency was going to unfold. I voted for him in 2008 at least in part because I thought that it was great to be able to vote for the first non-all-white president in U.S. history. (In 2012 I could not, in good conscience, vote for Obama again; I voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.)

**And this was no radically left-wing California Supreme Court; when it ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in 2008, most of its justices at that time had been appointed by Repugnican, not by Democratic, governors.

Update (Wednesday, June 26, 2013): Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown has instructed the California Department of Public Health, which comes under his authority, to direct all of California’s 58 counties to begin to issue same-sex marriage licenses as soon as is legally possible, which might take a month or so.

Update (Friday, June 28, 2013): The homo-hating wingnuts here in California (and elsewhere) are going apoplectic over this (from The Associated Press today):

The four plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court case that overturned California’s same-sex marriage ban tied the knot [today], just hours after a federal appeals court freed gay couples to obtain marriage licenses in the state for the first time in 4 1/2 years.

State Attorney General Kamala Harris presided at the San Francisco City Hall wedding of Kris Perry and Sandy Stier as hundreds of supporters looked on and cheered. The couple sued to overturn the state’s voter-approved gay marriage ban along with Jeff Katami and Paul Zarrillo, who married at Los Angeles City Hall 90 minutes later with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presiding. …

Although the couples fought for the right to wed for years, their weddings came together in a flurry when a three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a brief order [this] afternoon dissolving, “effective immediately,” a stay it had imposed on gay marriages while the lawsuit challenging the ban advanced through the courts.

Sponsors of California’s same-sex marriage ban, known as Proposition 8, called the appeals court’s swift action “outrageous.” Under Supreme Court rules, the losing side in a legal dispute has 25 days to ask the high court to rehear the case, and Proposition 8’s backers had not yet announced whether they would do so. …

Call the homo-haters a waaaaaambulance! Anyway, the AP story continues:

The [U.S.] Supreme Court said earlier this week that it would not finalize its ruling in the Proposition 8 case until after the 25-day period, which ends July 21. But San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who joined the two couples in the lawsuit, said [today] that the Ninth Circuit panel had the power to lift the stay it imposed.

“The fact of the matter is the only thing holding up the weddings was the stay that the Ninth Circuit had in place,” Herrera said. “The fact that there is a separate 25-day period allowing the petition to go for a rehearing is separate and apart from that stay.”

[California Gov. Jerry] Brown directed California counties to start performing same-sex marriages immediately after the appeals court’s order. A memo from the Department of Public Health said “same-sex marriage is again legal in California” and ordered county clerks to resume issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. …

Anyway: Wow. After the U.S. Supreme Court’s handed-down decision on Wednesday not to touch the Prop H8 case, we Californians had figured that there would be a wait of at least around a month for same-sex marriages to resume in California; we didn’t expect them to resume this quickly.

I misspoke above, by the way: The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday did not uphold both federal district court Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 decision that Prop H8 violated the U.S. Constitution and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in February 2012 to uphold Walker’s original ruling.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday vacated the circuit court’s ruling, which then reverted the matter of Prop H8 to Walker’s original 2010 ruling.

Frankly, Vaughn Walker, who is now retired, is a hero to me. Yes, he is a gay man, and yes, the homo-haters tried (but failed) to have his 2010 pro-same-sex-marriage ruling invalidated because he’s gay (apparently only [presumedly] straight white men can be fair and impartial judges, you see), but Walker is no left-wing radical: He was nominated as a federal judge first by Ronald Reagan and then by George H. W. Bush, and apparently his political leanings are conservative-libertarian.

I consider Walker’s ruling to be a landmark document in U.S. gay, lesbian and bisexual history. You can read it, if you want, here.

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Magical Elves, sparkleponies and other assorted gay shit

Pro-gay ally NFL player Chris Kluwe’s colorfully titled book is due out next month. Kluwe earlier this month was dropped by the Minnesota Vikings but was picked up by the Oakland Raiders. I’m glad and proud to have him as a fellow Californian; Minnesota’s loss is California’s gain.

I usually comment on gay-rights issues in the news in a timely fashion, but I’ve been slacking as of late. So here I’ll try to catch up:

It was great to see basketball player Jason Collins, the first active player from one of the “Big Four” sports organizations (the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League ), come out late last month, even if there is at least a grain of truth to gay writer Bret Easton Ellis’ criticism that Collins’ treatment by the media “as some kind of baby panda who needed to be honored and praised and consoled and — yes — infantilized by his coming out on the cover of Sports Illustrated” also made Collins a “Gay Man as Magical Elf, who whenever he comes out appears before us as some kind of saintly E.T. whose sole purpose is to be put in the position of reminding us only about Tolerance and Our Own Prejudices and To Feel Good About Ourselves and to be a symbol instead of just being a gay dude.”

And I also was happy to hear the news that pro-gay ally NFL player Chris Kluwe, who was dropped by the Minnesota Vikings earlier this month (perhaps at least in part due to his vocal pro-gay-and-pro-gay-marriage stance), shortly thereafter was picked up by the Oakland Raiders.

If Minnesota didn’t appreciate Kluwe, I’m happy to have him here in California, where Kluwe already has done us some good: Kluwe and another pro-gay ally, NFL player Brendon Ayanbadejo, per Wikipedia, “filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on February 28, 2013, regarding Hollingsworth v. Perry, in which they expressed their support of the challenge to California Proposition 8,” which in 2008 amended California’s Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, a right that California’s Supreme Court had ruled was guaranteed to Californians by the state’s Constitution before the haters later amended it with Prop H8.

I admire the very apparently heterosexual Kluwe, who is heterosexually married and has two children. According to Wikipedia, Kluwe wrote a blog called “Out of Bounds” for a Minnesota newspaper before he quit the blog last year in protest of the newspaper’s having run an editorial in support of the euphemistically titled “Minnesota Marriage Amendment,” which, just as Prop H8 did in California, would have amended the state’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage. (That amendment failed at the ballot box in November, with the haters losing by just more than 5 percentage points, and subsequently the Minnesota Legislature legalized same-sex marriage this month.)

It takes balls and selflessness to fight for a historically discriminated against and oppressed group of people of whom you apparently aren’t a member. Kluwe did the right thing by boycotting the anti-gay newspaper.

Kluwe also has been outspoken about the facts that not all athletes are dumb jocks and that there is more to life than football, even for an NFL player.

And yeah, I’ll probably buy his upcoming book, Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities, which is due out next month.

Also this month, three states approved same-sex marriage: Delaware, Rhode Island, and, as I mentioned, Minnesota. (I find it ironic that just after the Minnesota Vikings dropped Kluwe, very possibly at least in part due to his advocacy for same-sex marriage, the state’s Legislature enacted same-sex marriage.)

True, Rhode Island and Delaware are only our 43rd and 45th most populous states, respectively, but Minnesota is our 21st most populous state, and it joins Iowa as another Midwestern state with same-sex marriage. Once the Midwest goes, how far behind can the rest of the nation be?

Finally, I found it to be a pleasant surprise to learn that President Barack Obama, this past weekend in his commencement speech to the graduates of the all-male, historically African-American Morehouse College, remarked, “… and that’s what I’m asking all of you to do: keep setting an example for what it means to be a man. Be the best husband to your wife or your boyfriend or your partner. Be the best father you can be to your children. Because nothing is more important.”

True, Obama’s wording was inelegant.* If you were a man who had married your boyfriend, he would be your “husband” or your “spouse” or your “partner” or however else you chose to refer to him (hell, call him your “wife” if you want to and if he is OK with that; it’s your marriage, not mine). But if you had married him, you probably wouldn’t still be referring to him as your “boyfriend.”

Still, I found it at least a bit encouraging for the president of the United States of America, whatever his other many flaws and missteps might be, basically state in a college commencement address before an all-male audience that marrying a member of the same sex is perfectly fine if that is what is right for the individual.

You never would have heard George W. Bush, or even Bill Clinton, utter those words at a commencement ceremony.

I noted above that Chris Kluwe is “heterosexually married.” I did that on purpose; married” no longer should automatically mean heterosexually married; “married” should include the possibility of being homosexually married — in all 50 states and in every nation on the planet that recognizes marriage between heterosexuals.

And one day, it won’t matter; “married” will just be married, and no one will much care, if he or she cares at all, whether it’s a same-sex marriage or an opposite-sex marriage.

But it still matters now, and we Magical Elves and our allies have a lot of work to do between today and the day that it no longer matters because everyone (or at least almost everyone) realizes that each and every one of us is a beautifully unique sparklepony.

*Slate.com’s William Saletan reports that Obama’s prepared remark was “Be the best husband to your wife or boyfriend to your partner or father to your children that you can be,” but, again, what Obama actually said was, “Be the best husband to your wife or your boyfriend or your partner.”

Saletan writes:

… But this time, the speech didn’t go according to script. Literally. Obama changed the “boyfriend” line from hetero boilerplate to explicitly gay-inclusive. He ad-libbed. And this was a heck of a time to do it. The speech was about what it means to be a man. The president of the United States, who until a year ago didn’t support same-sex marriage, has just put an official stamp of masculinity on male homosexuality. …

That’s certainly a possibility; it’s a valid interpretation, and it would be my interpretation, too, more or less, but, in my viewing of the clip of the remark, it appears to me as though Obama does stumble and/or hesitate a bit in getting the words out, with a nervous-and-unsure-of-himself-sounding inflection on the final word of that sentence, “partner,” and it’s not 100 percent clear to me whether he stumbles over these words because he’s messing them up or because he’s not sure how what he is saying — that it’s perfectly OK for a man to marry a man — is going to be received by his audience (Morehouse College, after all, is in Georgia, a state that isn’t exactly known as a gay-friendly state).

Indeed, sadly, if you also watch the clip, you will hear and see that after Obama asks his audience to “keep setting an example for what it means to be a man,” he has to pause for applause, but then, after he says next, “Be the best husband to your wife or your boyfriend or your partner,” very apparently his audience at first is silent in momentary confusion but then breaks out in some derisive laughter and mumbling and grumbling.

Indeed, in response to this very apparent derision over his remark that a man may marry a man, Obama puts his index finger up to his audience in apparent admonishment over their apparent homophobia.

As I said, we still have a way to go.

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New pope, same as the last pope

Pope Benedict and Argentina's Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, the one-two finishers in 2005, meet again at the Vatican in 2007.

Reuters photo

Then-Pope Palpatine is shown with then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) in 2007. The new pope, who is Italian, only technically is Latin American.

When I saw the initial headline that the newly minted pope is from Argentina, I thought: Yes! They picked a pope from Latin America!

But only technically did they.

When I saw the new pope’s birth name — Jorge Mario Bergoglio (he’s going by Pope Francis) — I thought, Wait a minute: Bergoglio doesn’t sound Spanish

Indeed, his entry on Wikipedia says that the 76-year-old Pope Francis was born in Buenos Aires in 1936 to Italian parents.

I was hoping for a native Latin American pope, but that was too much to hope for, apparently. We very apparently got yet another pope whose blood is that of the European white man. And as though we haven’t had enough Italian popes.

With his having been born and raised in Argentina, I’m not saying that the new pope isn’t acculturated as an Argentinian (he speaks Spanish as well as Italian, for instance), but let’s not be fooled into thinking that the Catholick church finally picked its first pope of color. It has not.

The Catholick church gets to say that it picked its “first Latin American pope” when, in fact, the Eurocentric church picked a guy with white European blood who only was born in Latin America.

That doesn’t count, in my book.

And I have to wonder if that’s why Bergoglio was picked: because of his appeal as a twofer. He could be called “the first Latin American pope,” on a technicality, but at the same time his selection did not break the looong chain of white-male popes.

Of course, no woman may head the Catholick church, so that’s discrimination against at least half of the human population, so maybe I’m splitting hairs here with the race thing.

Speaking of women, Pope Francis, although he looks like he’s a lot nicer than Pope Palpatine ever looked —

(indeed, in the photo above he kind of looks like Woody Allen playing a cardinal) —  toes the Catholick church’s lines on the issues of abortion (no), contraception (n0) and same-sex marriage (hell no).

Indeed, the former Cardinal Bergoglio had come in at second place when Pope Palpatine was selected in 2005.

Expect no significant changes in the backasswards Catholick church, which I would say changes at a glacial pace, but since the glaciers are all melting, I’ll say at a geological (as in “geological time”) pace.

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Only a Wayback Machine can save the Repugnican Tea Party now

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors should consider hiring Mr. Peabody as a consultant, and they’ll need to go back to even before 1900…

So the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ talking point now is that in order to win over voters from now on, they have to communicate better.

Wow.

They’ve been communicating quite well, actually. Anyone who has been paying attention should be quite clear on where they have stood. Take the Repugnican Tea Party’s platform that was approved from its last national convention. This is Faux News reporting, too (in August):

Tampa, Fla. — Republicans emphatically approved a toughly worded party platform at their national convention Tuesday that would ban all  abortions and gay marriages, reshape Medicare into a voucher-like program and cut taxes to energize the economy and create jobs. …

There alone, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors alienated most women and almost all non-heterosexuals (there are some self-loathing non-heterosexuals who support the Repugnican Tea Party, but there aren’t a lot of them). There’s no way to “better” “communicate” such stances as that the embryo’s or fetus’ “rights” always trump those of the mother (even, very apparently, in such cases as rape, incest or when the mother’s life would be at risk should the pregnancy continue) or that the U.S. Constitution should be amended to ban same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

Those are the hard-right, misogynist, homophobic and patriarchal stances that the Repugnican Tea Party took in its latest party platform, which wasn’t passed nearly long enough ago for the fascistic traitors who comprise the party to claim now that they just didn’t “communicate” well enough.

It’s not just women and gays whom the Repugnican Tea Party traitors have alienated, of course.

Most of the traitors still are beating up on the brown-skinned immigrants from south of the border, whom they regard as subhuman, much as how the Nazis regarded the Jews and how the Israelis, ironically, now regard the Palestinians.

Ohioan “Joe the Plumber,” one of the poster boys for the stupid white man, who last year ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives on the Repugnican Tea Party ticket (of course) declared in Arizona — Ground Zero for the anti-immigrant bigotry and hatred in the U.S.; indeed, Arizona is the South Africa of the Southwest — in August that the U.S. government should “put a damn fence on the border going with Mexico and start shooting.” Those were the words of a candidate for a federal office.

Let’s not leave out black Americans, of course.

A huge chunk of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors still maintain that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and thus his presidency is illegitimate — as though if there had been any problem with Obama’s constitutionally mandated qualifications to be president, neither Billary Clinton nor John McCainosaurus, who must have spent plenty of dough on opposition research and who both wanted to be president very badly, would have discovered it and then worked to oust Obama from the 2008 presidential race.

Michelle Obama can’t do anything without being criticized for it by the white-supremacist wingnuts as being un-first-lady-like. What if Laura Bush — or (shivers) First Lady Ann Romney — had announced the Oscar for Best Picture? Would the Repugnican Tea Party traitors have brayed that that was “inappropriate”?

Of course not — because their main problem with Barack Obama and his wife is that they’re blacks who are in the White House.

And even while we have some of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors claiming that they just need to “communicate” “better,” as I type this sentence we have most of the members of the Repugnican Tea Party publicly hoping that the right-wing-controlled U.S. Supreme Court will eviscerate the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — because despite the fact that the Repugnican Tea Party still advocates measures that keep blacks and other non-whites and other Democratically leaning individuals from voting, such as strict voter identification requirements (in the name of preventing the “voter fraud” that does not exist — that’s in their party platform, too) and insanely long voting lines for black, non-white and other Democratically leaning voters (coupled, of course, with short lines for Repugnican Tea Party voters), race-based voter suppression is a relic from the past, you see.

And if the Repugnican Tea Party traitors can’t suppress enough Democratically leaning voters, fuck it, they’ll just at least try to change the way that we divvy up the electoral votes in the Electoral College, but only in those states that will boost the Repugnican Tea Party. (We’ll leave Texas and the other dark-red states alone, you see.)

It’s clear that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors like, respect and support democracy only when they win/“win” elections. (The quotation marks are for such elections as the 2000 presidential election.) You can’t “communicate” that obvious fact “better.”

We also have Mittens Romney’s comment in October that “47 percent” of Americans are mooches, when, in fact, it’s the 47 percent who voted for Romney who are the takers, while the denizens of the blue states (the “47 percent” whom Romney was referring to) always have been and always will be the makers, supporting the welfare states that are the red states.

Muslims, too, have been bashed relentlessly by the Repugnican Tea Party — aside from advocating the continued mass slaughter of Muslims (such as by incredibly stupidly attacking Iran and by stupidly blindly continuing to support the mass-murderous wingnuts of Israel in their continued Nazi-like mass slaughter of the Palestinians), the Repugnican Tea Party traitors call President Obama a Muslim as a slam — and I can’t see most Muslims ever supporting the Repugnican Tea Party any more than I can see myself ever supporting the Repugnican Tea Party.

As a gay man, am I to just forget what the Repugnican Tea Party just put in its fucking party platform — that my equal human and civil rights guaranteed to me by the U.S. Constitution should be denied to me by an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that specifically singles me out for such discrimination? Am I to just forget that George W. Bush made opposition to same-sex marriage a centerpiece of his 2004 “re”-election campaign? (Speaking of Gee Dubya, am I also to just forget that he blatantly stole office in 2000 and then started a bogus war for which he should be executed as the war criminal that he is?) Am I to just forget that the House Repugnicans right now are spending millions of taxpayers’ dollars to try to keep the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” alive because the Obama administration refuses to defend the blatantly unconstitutional — and thus the infuckingdefensible — act?

Are women just supposed to forget the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ clearly articulated stances on such issues as abortion, birth control, rape and violence against women?

Are Latinos just supposed to forget the brown-skinned-immigrant bashing that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors have been using to induce ignorant, bigoted white voters to vote for them?

Are blacks just supposed to forget?

“We need to be asking for votes in the most powerful way possible, which is to have people asking for the vote who are comfortable and look like and sound like the people that we’re asking for the vote from,” Karl Rove (a.k.a. George W. “Bush’s brain”) said just yesterday just in my backyard, here in Sacramento, at the California Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ convention.

How has that tactic been working for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, though?

They fronted Sarah Palin after Barack Obama had picked Joe Biden (and not Billary Clinton or another woman) to be his running mate. The message was supposed to be that the Repugnican Tea Party is the party that wuvs women.

Women didn’t buy it, and probably were insulted that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors think that they’re that fucking stupid. (I was thusly insulted, and I’m a male.) Despite Palin’s supposedly having demonstrated that the Repugnican Tea Party overnight magically became the party of and for women, Obama in November 2008 won a higher percentage of the popular vote than George W. Bush did in 2000 or in 2004, and he couldn’t have done that without women.

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors then put Michael Steele in charge of the Repugnican National Committee — as the first black head of the party, in obvious cynical response to the election of the nation’s first black president. (Steele, before he became the head of the party, had been only the lieutenant governor of Maryland. That’s how few blacks are in any real position of power within the Repugnican Tea Party.)

Although on Steele’s watch (from January 2009 to January 2011) the Repugnican Tea Party traitors won back the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 (in the “tea party” “revolution”), the Repugnican Tea Party traitors nonetheless dumped Steele in January 2011 and replaced him with white frat boy Reince Priebus — the usual face of the party.

And although the Repugnican Tea Party traitors lost seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012, on white frat boy Reince Priebus’ watch, just this past January the Repugnican Tea Party traitors nonetheless granted the stupid white man Priebus a second two-year term as head of the Repugnican Tea Party.

As George W. Bush amply demonstrated, the bar is set much, much, much lower for stupid white men than it is for anyone else, perhaps especially for blacks.

Now the Repugnican Tea Party traitors cynically are fronting younger Latino male candidates, such as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, as a presidential hopeful, and, here in California, Abel Maldonado as a gubernatorial hopeful.

Rubio is a 41-year-old Cuban American, and of course Cuban Americans, being (1) the rich Cubans who had exploited others for their own selfish gain before they had to escape from Fidel Castro’s anti-capitalist revolution or (2) their spoiled spawn (such as Rubio), predominantly are right-wingers who believe that the lighter-skinned should continue to exploit the darker-skinned.

Yet almost two-thirds of Latinos in the U.S. have Mexican roots and only 3.5 percent of them have Cuban roots. So how representative is Marco Fucking Rubio of the nationwide Latino community? (But he’s Latino — close enough, right? Is that not how the white supremacists think? Kind of like how 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia and not one of them was from Iraq, but let’s invade Iraq because that’s close enough, right?)

Californian Repugnican Tea Party member Abel Maldonado is 45 years old, and while unlike Marco Rubio he is Mexican-American, he couldn’t win even the post of state controller in 2006 or lieutenant governor in 2010. And he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives last year but lost. And he is Californian Repugnicans’ Great Latino Hope.

When will the Repugnican Tea Party traitors realize that the voters can recognize a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Will Marco Rubio (and others who fit his demographic) magically work to win over Latino voters to the Repugnican Tea Party any more than Palin and Steele worked to win over women and black voters?

And is Karl Rove not blatantly asserting that appearance is all that matters when he advises his fellow Repugnican Tea Party traitors “to have people asking for the vote who are comfortable and look like and sound like the people that we’re asking for the vote from”?

Fuck substance, right? Fuck the Repugnican Tea Party’s continuing history of oppressing certain groups of people, right? Just put a right-wing sellout like Sarah Palin or Michael Steele or Marco Rubio out there and the voters won’t know the difference, right?

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors can find a wingnut or two (or maybe even three) among any minority group and front him or her or them as a candidate. It’s not nearly enough, though, to wipe out decades of the party’s bigotry and discrimination that not only is historical but still continues as I type this sentence.

Perhaps especially when the Repugnican Tea Party then blames its electoral losses on the tokens whom it once fronted and then replaces them with the traditional stupid white men (there was no Palin repeat in 2012 — no, it was two stupid white men on the Repugnican Tea Party presidential ticket, the way that it always had been pre-Palin, and, as I noted, Reince Priebus kept his job as the party’s head even though the booted Michael Steele apparently had done a better job than Priebus did) the party loses even more ground with the groups whose votes it claimed it wanted. You won’t score points with these groups by turning your tokens into your scapegoats.

Even Mittens Romney, for fuck’s sake, reportedly has manned up enough to blame his campaign for his loss in November.

“I lost my election because of my campaign, not because of what anyone else did,” Romney reportedly said on Faux News today.

However, while Romney reportedly quite correctly identified his “47 percent” remarks as being damaging to his campaign — insulting almost half of the nation’s voters on video isn’t a great idea — he also reportedly attributed his loss to the loss of black and Latino voters.

As much as I don’t want to defend Mittens Romney, who would have been a disastrous president, the fact is that there was nothing that his campaign could have done to win over black and Latino voters, given his own fucking party’s disastrous historical relations with those groups.

Actually, I guess that I’m not defending Mittens, because his apparent belief that there was anything that he could have done to magically win over black and Latino voters demonstrates, I think, how stupid he and his ilk believe black and Latino voters are, and how superiorly crafty and clever the white man is, that black and Latino voters are just going to forget decades of bigotry and discrimination at the hands of the Repugnican Party because some white-male Repugnican Tea Party candidate comes up with just the right hocus-pocus, mindfuck rhetoric to hypnotize them into voting for him over their own best interests.

No amount of attempted-Jedi-mindfuck rhetoric and no amount of tokens (like Marco Rubio or Sarah Palin) are going to help the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in future elections. Only a small percentage of the members of the minority groups that historically have been oppressed by the Repugnican Tea Party (and women, of course, are no minority group) are going to fall for this the-foxes-actually-wuv-the-chickens bullshit.

No, what the Repugnican Tea Party traitors sorely need now is a time machine so that they can go back in time — waaay back in time — and treat certain groups of people a whole lot better than they did over at least many decades.

I wish them luck with that.

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On Jodie Foster and ‘privacy’ vs. shame

This image released by NBC shows Jodie Foster, recipient of the Cecil B. Demille Award, during the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 13, 2013, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/NBC, Paul Drinkwater)

NBC/Associated Press photo

Actress Jodie Foster kind of officially, publicly came out of the closet the other night when she accepted an award at the Golden Globe Awards. Thankfully, the 50-year-old Foster’s apparent shame over her sexual orientation is rarer in our youthful non-heterosexuals today — no thanks to Foster, of course.

I don’t want this to be a repeat of what I wrote about lesbian astronaut Sally Ride’s posthumous outing in July, so I’ll quote what others have said about actress Jodie Foster’s recent quasi-coming out.

Matthew Breen, the probably-too-pretty editor of The Advocate, wrote this about Foster:

… Everyone should come out in her own time, but Foster was angry last night. One reason could be embarrassment at not having come out publicly (at least in her own estimation) until 2013. Last night’s speech clearly took a lot of guts for Foster to undertake. But too much anger was directed at a straw man of her own creation.

“But now apparently I’m told that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance, and a prime-time reality show. You guys might be surprised, but I am not Honey Boo Boo child. No, I’m sorry, that’s just not me, never was, and it never will be,” she said.

There’s where she’s got it wrong. By referencing Honey Boo Boo, a stand-in for all that is shamelessly confessional about celebrity in 2013, Foster’s implication was that the choices she faces as a public figure are few: (1) stay closeted, never acknowledge your sexual orientation in public, or (2) tell the world every sordid detail of your intimate life.

That’s a bogus comparison, and it’s one that reinforces the idea that being LGBT is shameful, worthy of being hidden, and that saying you’re LGBT is an invitation to the whole world to come into your bedroom. That’s patently wrong. There are numerous out celebrities who guard their personal lives: David Hyde Pierce, Anna Paquin, Zachary Quinto, Amber Heard, Anderson Cooper, just to name a few. … [Emphasis is all mine.]

Breen states in his piece on Foster that The Advocate’s policy on outing is this: “While we encourage everyone who doesn’t risk his or her own safety by coming out to do so, The Advocate has a policy of not outing people who are not actively doing harm to LGBTs through word or deed.”

That’s pretty much my personal view on outing, too. Those who can be out should be out, in my book. You can’t assert that someone who might face real physical danger and/or who might be tossed out of his or her home (or maybe even his or her job) should come out if you’re not the one who would have to face the consequences — but often closeted individuals exaggerate how awful it might be should they come out.

Still, that said, even if I strongly think that an individual should be out, in the end, in many if not most cases it’s up to the individual as to whether or not he or she should be out (assuming that everyone doesn’t already know or strongly surmise the individual’s orientation anyway — there are so many closet cases whose self-awareness is so low that they seem to think that no one knows that they’re not heterosexual when pretty much everyone does).

In my book, the individual deserves the “protection” of the closet until and unless he or she does not deserve it, such as if it’s a closeted guy who is not keeping to himself but is sexually harassing others at the workplace (as happened to me) or, of course, if it’s a closet case who actively is working against the “LGBT community,” such as a “Christo”fascist “leader” or a politician. No traitor deserves the “protection” of the closet.

Most people agree on that point, but there remains a sticking point — that of “privacy.”

I like what LGBT writer Nathaniel Frank has to say on this:

… It’s true that hiding [one’s sexual orientation] hurts. Research shows mental health consequences to holding major secrets over time. And yes, it’s absolutely a wasted opportunity for powerful, visible people who probably could come out unscathed to deny young LGBT people the nurturance of knowing that an admired public figure is gay.

Privacy and shame are closely connected. Adam and Eve covered their “privates” the moment they gained moral consciousness, an awareness of good and evil, setting the tone for a truism ever since: You don’t cover up stuff if there ain’t something wrong with it.

Any step a gay person takes to hide their identity that they wouldn’t take to hide the fact that they’re, say, Irish, vegetarian or left-handed is probably not a neutral quest for privacy but reflects their own doubt about just how OK it is to be gay. Foster’s reluctance to just pull an Ellen (“Yep, I’m gay”), and her tortured speech, with its resentful tone and its ultimate avoidance of the “L” word, made being gay and coming out seem tortured things in themselves. … [Emphasis mine.]

And that’s the deep and profound problem that I have with the widespread argument that one’s sexual orientation (if it is not heterosexual, and only if it is not heterosexual, of course) is “private”: The vast majority of heterosexuals don’t go around asserting that their attraction to members of the opposite sex is “private,” do they? And why is that? Because they’re not fucking ashamed of their sexual orientation, that’s why.

So to assert that one’s non-heterosexuality — not one’s specific sex acts, but one’s basic sexual orientation — is “private” is to keep alive the toxic, ignorant, bigoted, harmful belief that to be attracted to members of one’s own sex is shameful, abnormal, “sinful,” etc.

And to contribute to that toxic, heterosexist and homophobic environment — and yes, all of us are responsible for the environment, since all of us make up the environment — is only to add to the number of non-heterosexual people who become addicted to drugs and alcohol, who contemplate or commit suicide, who don’t protect themselves from STDs because (in their low self-esteem) they don’t find themselves to be worth protecting, and who are the victims of hate crimes, since they exist in such a heterosexist, homophobic environment that encourages such hate crimes.

You are contributing to the problem or you are contributing to the solution.

Lying that your basic sexual orientation is a matter of “privacy” — and lying that what others really want to know are the “dirty” details of your sex life when, in fact, no one is inquiring as to such details — is to try to excuse yourself for your own laziness, selfishness and cowardice for which there is no fucking excuse.

That is the problem that I have with Jodie Foster and with others like her who toss out the red herring of “privacy” instead of manning the fuck up already and working to make things better for everyone.

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Obama’s Round Two already shaping up to look just like Round One

US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Obama (D-IL) shares laugh with Senator Hagel (R-NE) at Amman Citadel in Amman

Reuters photo

Then-U.S. Sens. Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel yuk it up in Amman, Jordan, in July 2008. Obama is expected to nominate the Repugnican former senator as his secretary of defense any day now, because “bipartisanship,” you see, means that a so-called Democrat does things that no Repugnican Tea Party traitor ever would do in kind.

 Let’s see:

“Democratic” President Barack Obama hasn’t even been inaugurated for his second term, and already he:

  • Threw U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice under the bus when she came under attack from the white supremacists and patriarchs, who rather would see U.S. Sen. John Kerry in the position of U.S. secretary of state, since a white male Democrat is better than any other kind of Democrat
  • Capitulated on the Bush-regime-era tax cuts for the rich, having promised over and over and over again to increase taxes on inviduals earning more than $200,000 and families earning more than $250,000, but actually having agreed to increase taxes on individuals earning more than $400,000 and families earning more than $450,000  
  • Is poised to sell us out on Social Security and/or Medicare in the deferred so-called “fiscal cliff” fight over the federal budget (after all, he and his family are set for life)
  • Is poised to name Repugnican former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel as U.S. secretary of defense, reinforcing the meme that Democrats are shitty on defense, and doing something that a Repugnican president never would do (i.e., appoint a Democrat to his cabinet, perhaps especially for defense)

Have I forgotten anything? And again, Obama hasn’t even been inaugurated yet for Round Two.

Your vote for Barack Obama on November 6 was significantly different from what Mittens Romney was offering how?

The most immediate next fight in D.C. apparently will be over Hagel, whose nomination might be announced as early as tomorrow, according to Reuters.

Not that Hagel would represent the first time that Obama sold out those who voted for him where it comes to his selection of the U.S. secretary of defense. Recall that Obama, at the start of Round One, lazily, cowardly and stupidly kept on Robert Gates, who under George W. Bush had replaced war criminal Donald Rumsfeld as secretary of defense in November 2006. Gates stayed on the job as defense secretary under Obama until he retired on July 1, 2011.

My biggest problem with Hagel is that again, a Republican president of today never would put a Democrat on his cabinet (yes, I use “his” because a female Republican president is pretty much an oxymoron), and DINO Obama has sold out the Democratic Party enough as it is.

Yes, I have a real problem with Hagel having referred to former U.S. Ambassador James Hormel in 1998 as “openly, aggressively gay” — we gay men should keep our sexuality strictly and entirely in the closet, just like straight men always do, you see (since when has equality been an American value?) — but I do like Hagel’s reportedly made comments about the “bloated” defense department budget (our national “defense” budget is bloated beyond belief, and mostly represents only the perpetual looting of the U.S. Treasury by treasonous war profiteers) and the insanely disproportionate amount of power and influence that the “Jewish lobby” (I call them the “Israel-first lobby,” because of course not every Jewish American is an Israel firster) has in D.C.

Admittedly, it is unusual for a Repugnican to attack the sacred cows of the military-industrial-corporate complex and the Israel-first lobby, even though both of those sacred cows are milking us dry. And Hagel, himself a veteran of the Vietnam War, also apparently wasn’t enough of a cheerleader for the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War — which also is unusual for a Repugnican.

But are there no qualified Democrats whom Obama could nominate as defense secretary?

What’s Obama’s logic here? That as long as his nominee as defense secretary uses the Republican label, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in the U.S. Senate will be OK with it?

“This is an in-your-face nomination by the president to all of us who are supportive of Israel,” Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham– who, along with Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. John McCainosaurus, was instrumental in Obama’s caving in on the nomination of Susan Rice — already has declared of Hagel’s nomination.

Not that the likes of wingnutty closet case and chickenhawk Lindsey Graham would approve of any of Obama’s nominees, but why the fuck can’t Obama at least respect those who voted for him by ceasing to kiss the ass of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, who never return the favor in the fucking slightest?

Oh, well.

As I watch Barack Obama for the next four years continue to sell out those who voted for him — and continue, just like Bill Clinton did, to make the Democratic Party more and more indistinguishable from the Repugnican Party (I lovingly think of the two corporation-loving and individual-hating parties as the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party) — at least I won’t feel nearly as punk’d this time as I did during Obama’s first term, because while I stupidly voted for Obama the first time, on November 6 I cast my vote for the Green Party candidate for president.

As George W. Bush once so wisely declared: Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again!

See you around, fools.

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