Tag Archives: heterosexism

Chick-fil-A yet another battle in the unfinished Civil War

I’m a bit sick and fucking tired of the whole Chik-fil-A thing, which is why I haven’t written anything about it until now.

I’ve known for years now that the chicken franchise is owned and operated by “Christo”fascist homophobes, and so for years now I have refused to give the place a fucking penny. So why and how this has become a “new” controversy eludes me.

That said, I will note that of course boycotts violate no one’s “rights.” The wingtards who tout the capitalistic system that has destroyed the United States of America can’t talk up enough the concept of “free enterprise,” yet at the same time they apparently have this underlying belief that we American serfs have to give our business to our corporate feudal overlords.

No, we fucking don’t. “Free enterprise” means that the consumer has the freedom to decide how to spend his or her money. The consumer is free to support or to oppose a boycott.

Yes, the “Christo”fascists who own and operate Chick-fil-A may be homophobes. They may hate whomever they wish in the names of “God” and “Jesus.” The overlords at Chick-fil-A may give monetary donations to all kinds of awful “causes.”

And we, the American public, have the right to decide, in light of what a corporation supports (or does not support), whether or not we wish to support that corporation. And the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives us the right to be vocal about which corporations we support and which ones we oppose.

It’s interesting, though, to see the geography of homophobia in the United States.

Via Joe. My. God., there is this map:

States where Chick-fil-A can legally fire gay employees.

and then there is the map of which states, prior to the Civil War, were slave states and which were free states:

Very apparently, freedom is still big in the free states, and slavery, at least in spirit, is still big in the “former” slave states. The overlap between the “former” slave states and those states where a business legally may fire an employee solely for not being heterosexual is too much to be a coinky-dink. Ditto for the overlap betweent the free states and those states where a business may not legally fire an employee solely for not being heterosexual. (And it’s too bad that most of the former territories went with the “former” slave states than went with the free states.)

As I have noted many times before, the Civil War never ended.

We pretend that it did, but it did not, and the “new” Chick-fil-A controversy is just another flare-up of essentially the same old battle between mindsets, the truly American mindset of freedom, liberty and justice for all, not just for some, and the truly un-American mindset of freedom, liberty and justice for only some. 

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I am Barack Obama’s ex, too!

Fire and ice!

You come on like a flame,

Then you turn a cold shoulder!

Fire and ice!

I want to give you my love,

But you’ll just take a little piece of my heart…

— from Pat Benatar’s “Fire and Ice”

A younger Barack Obama and his former girlfriend, Genevieve Cook, the daughter of an Australian diplomat, are shown in a photo from the 1980s, when they were a couple.

It was interesting to read the remarks of one of Barack Obama’s pre-Michelle girlfriends about her experience of him in the 1980s. While I didn’t see that anyone else made the overt comparison, it certainly struck me that Barack’s modus operandi in love is the same fucking one that we’ve seen in his politics.

“His warmth can be deceptive,” Obama’s ex-girlfriend, Australian Genevieve Cook, wrote of Barack in her diary years ago, adding, “[Though] he speaks sweet words and can be open and trusting, there is also that coolness. …” AFP reports that Cook’s diary chronicles “how [Cook and Obama’s] romance grew and then cooled when the couple moved in together.”

Fuck. I’ve had the same damned experience with Barack Obama. He courted me madly but then became a cold fucking fish. Does that make me one of his exes, too?

I remember one of my first exposures, if not my very first exposure, to Barack Obama’s first campaign for the White House. When I was visiting San Francisco for the Castro Street Fair (no, that’s not a sex fair [not that there’s anything wrong with that…]) in October 2007, an Obama campaign operative gave me an Obama campaign sticker that had the rainbow morphed into the ubiquitous “O” logo:

I was happy to see a Democratic presidential candidate courting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and non-gender-conforming vote.

But I also remember that the campaign sticker fucking ruined my faux-sueded shirt. (Seriously — the adhesive never came off completely.)

Maybe that was a sign of what was to come.

Barack Obama, you see, despite his rather unequivical embrace of same-sex marriage in 1996, today claims that on the topic of same-sex marriage he still is “evolving.” Today, he refuses to advocate for legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, even though that is the right thing to do. Apparently he believes that to do so will cost him too many “swing votes.”

This issue has an awful lot of relevance to me. Let me give you a fresh example of how I have been relegated to a different drinking fountain because I am gay.

My same-sex partner and I are in our fifth year together. We consider ourselves to be, for all intents and purposes, married. We do maintain separate apartments (largely because both of us hate moving, and also largely because he doesn’t want to move to my city and because I don’t want to move to his suburb), but we are together on weekends and on holidays and on other days that we have off in common, and we speak on the phone every day that we are not together in person. And certainly, there are heterosexually married couples who, for whatever reasons (such as having jobs in different cities, states or even in different nations), see each other in person much less often than my partner and I do, but the validity of their marriages is never called into question — because they enjoy heterosexist favoritism.

Whether or not my partner and I have legal or social recognition of the fact that we consider ourselves, for all intents and purposes, to be married, this fact is our reality, is our truth, and as such, while recognition of our relationship from others is nice — and while such recognition, at least from our local, state and federal governments, is our pathetically and sickeningly unfulfilled constitutionally guaranteed equal human and civil right — it’s not essential for us to have others’ approval or recognition for us to know what we have together. We know that we are, for all intents and purposes, married; anyone who disagrees is a mean-spirited, fucking heterosexist, homophobic bigot who can go fuck him- or herself.

Recently, I claimed some “family” sick leave (time off for caring for an ill family member; in this case, for my partner) in my California state job. Whether I claim sick time for myself or for a family member, it doesn’t really matter, as it comes out of the same sick leave bank. There is not a separate sick leave bank for myself and for my family members.

My employer — the state of California, which should know much, much better — this past week mind-blowingly questioned whether or not my partner really is a family member. After all, my employer essentially stated to me, my partner and I do not have a domestic partnership. (The only legal protection that same-sex couples in California have, outside of such legally protective documents as wills and living wills, is the domestic partnership. [The marriages of those same-sex couples who married when same-sex marriage briefly was legal in California* remain legal, but today, all that same-sex couples in California have in terms of seeking state recognition of their partnership is the domestic partnership.])

My employer also, unethically if not also illegally, asked whether my partner and I live together full-time, and suggested (or at least implied) that because we don’t, my partner is not actually my family. Of course, California’s domestic partnerships, one of which my employer at least semi-faulted me for not having, don’t require that the two individuals share the same residence all of the time, and allows them to have two residences yet still be registered as domestic partners, so the invasively personal question was way out of bounds. And again, whether or not two heterosexually married individuals share the same residence all of the time never is used to determined whether or not their marriage is valid.

Sure, I told my heterosexist employer, my same-sex partner and I could get a domestic partnership, but to do so, of course, is to give tacit support to something akin to having to drink from a different drinking fountain or having to swim in a different swimming pool.

Real marriage, you see, is reserved for heterosexual couples. Non-heterosexual couples in the United States are lucky to get even second-class, separate-but-unequal marriage, such as a civil union or domestic partnership.

This bullshit is blatantly unjust and unfair in a nation that promises “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and “liberty and justice for all.”

If I were heterosexually married and stated that my wife were ill, or even if I just claimed to be heterosexually married and claimed that my “wife” were ill, would my employer have asked to see the marriage certificate? Would my employer have questioned the validity of my heterosexual relationship/marriage?

Fuck no, because of widespread heterosexism, even within the supposedly “progressive” and “liberal” California state government.

(My employer advised me, by the way, in the future to claim sick time for myself only, whether or not the reason for my use of sick leave was for me or for my partner. In other words, my partner, according to my employer, the state of California, is not my family because we have not bought into the separate-but-unequal institution of the domestic partnership. I have a real fucking problem with my employer dictating to me who is and who is not my family. Especially when California state government explicitly prohibits discrimination based upon sexual orientation.)

I still am torn on the subject of getting a domestic partnership. The legal protections that come with it are good, and all couples deserve such legal protections, but it still rankles me that in the supposedly “liberal” and “progressive” state of California, my partner and I, if we want those legal protections, are forced to drink from a different drinking fountain than the fountain from which heterosexual couples drink. It’s unfair, it’s un-American and it’s fucking wrong.

To bring all of this back home: Does Barack Obama give a flying fuck about any of this?

Hell fucking no.

He is, indeed, as Genevieve Cook described him to be: a cold calculator. He says what he figures he should say in order to get what he wants from you.

He lures you in with pretty promises, such as of “hope” and of “change.” He gives you a pretty rainbow sticker. Then, once he has your money and your vote, he leaves you high and dry.

Instead of delivering upon his relentless, ubiquitous campaign promises of “hope” and “change,” Barry for the most part has maintained the status quo and has told us dreamers of full equality for all that our dream must be deferred.

No, it doesn’t have to be deferred. It’s that Barack Obama lacks the character, the courage and the moral conviction to deliver upon what he promised (explicitly and implicitly, and it goes beyond much more than just same-sex marriage; it goes into such other areas as combatting poverty and the growing gap between the haves and the have-nots, and combatting the corporate thievery that is responsible for this growing gap, and ceasing the bogus warfare for the military-industrial complex, which is looting the U.S. Treasury while Americans go without adequate health care, higher education, environmental protections, etc.).

Barack Obama has found going along to get along to be the easier, more politically expedient route. He is a moral sluggard. He can trumpet what the right thing to do is — like a trumpeter on crack. He just can’t bring himself to actually do the right thing.

Which is why, like Genevieve Cook, I broke up with Barack Obama a long time ago.

I gave him hundreds of dollars in Round One. His sweet talk swayed me that he’d be a significantly more progressive president than would Billary Clinton, but he turned out to be just another Clintonista, a Repugnican-ass-kissing Democrat in name only. I’m giving him not a single fucking penny in Round Two.

I also gave Barry my vote in Round One. He made me regret that vote, so in Round Two I most likely will cast my vote for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.

I don’t care that she can’t win the White House. I would much rather vote for the person I actually would like to see in the Oval Office than be punk’d by Barack Obama, the sweet-talking cold calculator, once again.

*The California Supreme Court ruled 4-3 on May 15, 2008, that the state’s Constitution as it was written at that time guaranteed legalized same-sex marriage to residents of the state, so Proposition 8, in response to the state’s highest court’s ruling, wrote the prohibition of same-sex marriage into the state’s Constitution after the proposition passed narrowly on November 5, 2008, and became effective the very next day.

The window period during which same-sex couples could legally marry in California in 2008 — after the California Supreme Court’s ruling until the passage of Prop H8 — was less than six months.

My partner and I had been together for just over a year when the window for same-sex marriage in California slammed shut on November 6, 2008. While we consider ourselves essentially married today, it was too early for us to get legally married then. We wanted to know each other for longer than just a year before making such a serious commitment, a commitment that we take much more seriously than do many heterosexual couples who marry and divorce willy-nilly — and whose marriages’ validity is never questioned simply because they are heterosexual.

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Clint Eastwood’s ‘J. Edgar’ is not your father’s gangster movie

Film review

Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer J. Edgar

Clyde Tolson (played by the Adonis Armie Hammer) and J. Edgar Hoover (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) have a lovers’ quarrel in Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar.”

Woe to the heterosexists who don’t bother to research the movies that they see who stumble into Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar” thinking that they’re going to see an action-packed gangsta movie (he-man Clint Eastwood is directing, after all) but who instead get “Brokeback Mountain” meets “Bonnie and Clyde” — in which “Bonnie” is the late long-time FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

As others have noted, “J. Edgar” isn’t going to wholly please either side. The heterosexists don’t want the slightest flowery whiff of male homosexuality contaminating their gangster movies, as evidenced by the male homophobe behind me in the audience who twice uttered “faggot!” (and who once uttered “AIDS!”) during the movie and the female homophobe behind me who vocalized her disapproval during the scene in which a distraught J. Edgar Hoover dons his recently deceased mother’s dress.

And gay men like me are going to feel, as I do, that screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (who won an Oscar for his screenplay of “Milk”) and/or director Eastwood wussed out by having portrayed the very apparent real-life same-sex relationship between Hoover and his long-time “assistant” Clyde Tolson as essentially sexless.

No, I didn’t need a steamy sex scene, although I can’t say that I would have minded one; Armie Hammer, who plays Clyde Tolson in “J. Edgar” (and who played the “Winklevi” twins in “The Social Network”) is achingly beautiful, and much more handsome than was the real-life Tolson, just as the real-life J. Edgar never looked anything like Leonardo DiCaprio, even with all of that makeup piled atop his baby face.

But are we really to believe that although the real-life Hoover and Tolson were inseparable and never heterosexually married — and that although Tolson inherited Hoover’s estate after Hoover’s death and later was buried near Hoover — that the two of them never did more than hold hands and share just one (bloody, very conflicted) kiss?

“J. Edgar” apparently would have us believe so, and while many movies about gay characters have a closeted feel to them, this closeted feel can be artful if it is intentional and thus helps us to understand the characters and their sufferings better, but if this closeted feel is a result of the filmmakers’ own cowardice and/or discomfort with the material, then it diminishes the film, and this appears to be the case with “J. Edgar.”

“J. Edgar,” as others have noted, also tries to do too much. Hoover’s time as head of the FBI, which spanned from 1935 to 1972, can’t be captured in one film. Not that it has to be; “J. Edgar” is a fictionalized film, after all, not a documentary, but because “J. Edgar” portrays so many of the historical events during Hoover’s decades-long tenure at the FBI, it has lent itself to be criticized for what it leaves out — such as the “Lavender Scare” of the 1950s, which surely was relevant to the real-life Hoover and Tolson.

And because “J. Edgar” tries to capture so many historical events, the examination of Hoover’s psyche gets short shrift.

Judi Dench is good as Hoover’s mother, even if she is portrayed as a textbook case of the overbearing mother who lives through her son so that of course he turns out gay.

Perhaps the most memorable scene in the film is the one in which Hoover’s homophobic mother tells him the story of another young man who turned out to be gay and who killed himself, which was a good thing, in her eyes. Many of us gay men (my husband included) have been told by a homophobic parent that he or she could never accept a gay son, as Hoover is told by his mother in “J. Edgar,” so I expect that scene to resonate with millions of gay men.

Still, “J. Edgar” doesn’t go far enough with the examination of J. Edgar Hoover’s homosexuality. My guess is that that is a result of the combination of Dustin Lance Black’s upbringing as a Mormon, which, I surmise, keeps him on the “safe,” conservative side, and of the generation of Clint Eastwood (he’s 81 years old), who, while he reportedly is pro-gay, on other issues leans to the right (he reportedly can recall having voted for a Democrat only once, and that was former California Gov. Gray Davis in 1998), and who might be one of those individuals who is much more intellectually accepting of homosexuality (that is, in theory) than he is viscerally accepting of it (that is, in practice) — you know, the kind of person who says that he’s OK with gays as long as he doesn’t ever actually have to see two men kissing. (Thus, we could see Tolson and Hoover kiss in “J. Edgar” only if violence was involved. [The scene, by the way, is fairly reminiscent of a similar scene in “Brokeback Mountain” in which our two conflicted lovebirds who live in a homophobic place and time pummel each other.])

“J. Edgar” probably should have picked one path and stuck with it: the documentarian path or the psychoanalytical path. Hoover’s professional life alone was interesting enough to carry a film. It was because of Hoover’s gross abuse of power, including his notoriously illegal monitoring of prominent individuals, that directors of the FBI need the Senate’s approval to serve more than 10 years, indicates Wikipedia.

But also interesting are the psychological dynamics in which those who have something to hide — such as homosexuality in a society in which homosexuality is stigmatized — react to their inner conflict and their self-loathing by becoming anal retentive and relentless moralists who viciously attack others in order to ease their own self-hatred. We saw this not only in J. Edgar Hoover, but in Roy Cohn, the gay assistant to Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who isn’t portrayed in “J. Edgar.” (I’ve wondered about the sexual orientation of McCarthy, too, since he was an alcoholic who viciously attacked others and since he picked Cohn to be his assistant, but that’s purely conjecture on my part.)

If I had made “J. Edgar” and were focusing on Hoover’s personal life, I’d have left out all of the Lindbergh baby stuff and focused more on the relationship between Hoover and Tolson, and I especially would have focused on the “Lavender Scare,” which bizarrely gets no real mention in “J. Edgar.”

And I would have left out the scene in which Hoover tries on his dead mother’s dress. The account that the real-life Hoover was seen in a dress is dubious, and in any event, it wasn’t as it is portrayed in “J. Edgar,” and we gay men have enough problems as it is for Black and Eastwood to give homophobes the idea that all gay men like to wear women’s clothing (not that there is anything wrong with that; it’s just that it’s a tiresome stereotype, and Black’s screenplay shows keen gay sensibility except for this fairly unfortunate scene).

Still, despite its flaws — which include the fact that it tries to do too much and that Armie Hammer’s old-man makeup is bad (maybe there’s just no way to make such an Adonis look unattractive) — and despite the fact that it doesn’t belong in the pantheon that includes “Brokeback Mountain” and “Milk,” “J. Edgar” is worth seeing.

My grade: B

Update:I don’t think that I’ve been unfair here to Dustin Lance Black. In a recent interview with the Advocate, he remarked, “I grew up in a military family, which was also Mormon and conservative, so he [J. Edgar Hoover] was seen as a bit of a hero.” Again, Black’s conservative upbringing seems to have greatly colored his portrayal of Hoover in his screenplay. And of the historical Hoover and Clyde Tolson’s relationship, Black stated:

I don’t know how much sex they were having. I couldn’t anchor that in anything provable. I also didn’t need it for what I was trying to say. They may or may not have [had a sexual relationship], but frankly, I wouldn’t want to see it. What’s important to me is they were not straight. They were two gay guys, in my opinion.

What is it with this phenomenon of de-sexing gay men, of stripping them of human sexuality? We don’t do that to heterosexual people! I can’t say that I would have wanted to watch the historical J. Edgar Hoover (who, again, was not an attractive man) getting it on with anyone, either, but was the only alternative to making “J. Edgar: The Gay Porn” making a film that portrays him as a celibate, frustrated closet case?

True, we cannot “anchor” the assertion that Tolson and Hoover had a sexual relationship “in anything provable” — we have only the very strong circumstantial evidence that they had a decades-long sexual relationship — yet the scene in which Hoover puts on his deceased mother’s dress very apparently was fabricated from whole cloth. Why was that liberty OK, but we couldn’t take the liberty of having the two of them ever do anything more than occasionally hold hands and share only one frustrated kiss? 

Critic Roger Ebert also apparently has jumped on the no-sex-for-gay-men bandwagon, proclaiming in his review of the film:

Eastwood’s film is firm in its refusal to cheapen and tarnish by inventing salacious scenes. I don’t get the impression from “J. Edgar” that Eastwood particularly respected Hoover, but I do believe he respected his unyielding public facade.

So to have made the two men sexually active human beings, I suppose, would have been “cheapening,” “tarnishing” and “salacious.” Since they were gay, much better to make them celibate! And apparently “[respecting Hoover’s] unyielding public facade” means going along with Hoover’s having been in the closet, because to do otherwise would have been “disrespectful.” (Fuck the truth!)

Ebert also notes in his review:

In my reading of the film, they were both repressed homosexuals, Hoover more than Tolson, but after love at first sight and a short but heady early courtship, they veered away from sex and began their lives as Longtime Companions. The rewards for arguably not being gay were too tempting for both men, who were wined and dined by Hollywood, Broadway, Washington and Wall Street. It was Hoover’s militant anti-gay position that served as their beard.

That reading of the film is correct, because indeed “J. Edgar” intended to keep the two lovers celibate, since gay sex is so dirty, you know, and while we can posit that Hoover was gay, we just can’t go so far as to assert that he ever actually had gay sex (ick!).

Again, the real film in the story of Hoover and Tolson’s relationship is the one indicated by Ebert’s assertion that “It was Hoover’s militant anti-gay position that served as their beard,” and I still find it rather stunning that the film glosses over the Lavender Scare of the 1950s. Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn should be in any film about the very-most-likely-gay relationship between Hoover and Tolson, it seems to me.

And speaking of McCarthy, I’m not the only one who has wondered about his sexual orientation. David K. Johnson, author of The Lavender Scare (The University of Chicago Press, 2004), notes (on page 3) that although McCarthy in early 1950 first raised the specter of Communists and gay men having “infiltrated” the U.S. government, McCarthy went on to pursue only the Communist angle, having “mysteriously recused himself” from the witch hunt against gay men. Johnson goes on:

A knowledgeable observer at the time suggested that [McCarthy] did not pursue the “homosexual angle” more aggressively because he was afraid of a boomerang. As an unmarried, middle-aged man, he was subject to gossip and rumor about his own sexuality.

I find the parallels between Hoover and Tolson and McCarthy and Cohn to be striking. Maybe Dustin Lance Black can redeem himself somewhat for his wussy “J. Edgar” screenplay and pen a movie with balls about Joseph McCarthy and his relationship with Roy Cohn, the latter of whom we know for sure was gay. I’ll even give Dustin a highly creative working title: “McCarthy.”

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Bill would make LGBT individuals visible in California public schools

The California state Legislature has passed a bill that requires the state’s public schools to teach about the contributions that non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming Americans have made to the nation — and the wingnuts, predictably, are agog.

Funny, though, how it’s perfectly OK for the Repugnican-Tea-Party-majority members of the Texas Board of Education to dictate that state’s public school curricula — among many other things, the Texas board last year voted to replace all references to “capitalism” with “free-enterprise system” (since capitalism, in which the rich grow richer and the poor grow poorer, is growing more and more unpopular these days) and to rewrite history to reflect that the alcoholic, self-aggrandizing witch hunter Joseph McCarthy wasn’t such a bad guy after all — but it’s “socialist” “tyranny” or the like (indeed, the McCarthy-loving Ann Cunter would call it downright “demonic”) for the Democratic majority in the California Legislature to dictate California’s public school curricula.

It’s only “brainwashing” when the Democrats do it, you see.

One Repugnican Tea Party California Assemblyman said of the pro-LGBT education legislation, “As a Christian, I am deeply offended” that the “homosexual agenda” would be taught in the state’s public schools.

As a non-Christian, I am offended that the so-called “Christians” — the “Christo”fascists — believe that it’s appropriate for our public schools to be conducted like “Christian” schools. What if the Muslims or the Jews wanted Islam or Judaism pushed in our public schools? How would the so-called “Christians” like that?

And the “homosexual agenda”? First of all, we don’t call ourselves “homosexuals” — only the homo-haters call us “homosexuals” — and secondly, our agenda is that of equal human and civil rights. (The “homosexual agenda” to the right-wing fascists, I do believe, is that we “homosexuals” have the goal of “making” everyone homosexual. [Of course, the actual heterosexual agenda is to “make” everyone heterosexual, but I digress…])

Gay Democratic California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco stated of the pro-LGBT education legislation, “I don’t want to be invisible in a textbook,” echoing the words of a (wise) Latina Texas Board of Education member who reportedly last year stormed out of a board meeting after the white-majority board refused to include more Latinos in the curricula, even though Texas is second only to California in the number of Latinos who live there: “They can just pretend this is a white America and Hispanics don’t exist.”  

The Democratic view of public education is that public education should reflect our nation’s diversity. Our children, after all, need to be taught how their world is, not how some wingnutty ideologues believe the world should be.

On that note, the Repugnican Tea Party view of public education is that public education should perpetuate, as long as is possible, the unjust, oppressive domination of the entire nation by the minority of those who are right wing, white, (presumably) heterosexual and gender-conforming, and “Christian.”

Determining what should and what should not be taught in our public schools inherently is a politically charged process, but if I had children, I sure the hell wouldn’t cripple them, possibly for life, by sending them to schools that don’t teach how the world is, but that teach how some ignorant and bigoted, white supremacist, patriarchal and misogynist, heterosexist “Christo”fascists — who, thankfully, are a dying breed — would like the world to be.

I hope that California’s Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, signs the bill to require that the contributions of us non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming Americans are taught in our public schools. It’s the right thing to do.

P.S. For more context, this is from The Associated Press:

California law already requires [public] schools to teach about women, African Americans, Mexican Americans, entrepreneurs, Asian Americans, European Americans, American Indians and labor. The Legislature over the years also has prescribed specific lessons about the Irish potato famine and the Holocaust, among other topics.

SB48 [the LGBT education bill] would require, as soon as the 2013-2014 school year, the California Board of Education and local school districts to adopt textbooks and other teaching materials that cover the contributions and roles of sexual minorities.

The legislation leaves it to local school boards to decide how to implement the requirement. It does not specify a grade level for the instruction to begin.

So all that the LGBT education legislation does is add LGBT individuals to a curricula of diversity that already is mandated by state law.

I love living in California, where diversity is honored, not shit and pissed upon.

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Boycott WIN! (And chimp FAIL!)

Obama greets Brewer after stepping off Air Force ...

Reuters photo

Repugnican Tea Party Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer claims that she doesn’t want to see President Barack Obama’s circumcision certificate. (Of course, even if he did make it public, the wingnuts would call it a fake…)

Boycotts work. That’s why boycotts — even though they exemplify both free speech and the so-called “free market” — so often are criticized.

Take Arizona (I prefer to leave it. I did, actually, in 1998, after three decades there…): Repugnican Tea Party Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer yesterday vetoed a bill that would have required any individuals appearing on the state’s ballot for U.S. president to provide his or her birth certificate to the state’s top elections official, its secretary of state. Brewer wrote in her veto letter:

I never imagined being presented with a bill that could require candidates for president of the greatest and most powerful nation on Earth to submit their “early baptismal or circumcision certificates,” among other records, to the Arizona Secretary of State. This is a bridge too far.

I don’t believe for a nanosecond that that is the real reason that Brewer vetoed the bill. I have precious little doubt that she vetoed the bill primarily or even solely because the tourism-heavy state already is reeling from lost revenue from the political fallout (including, of course, the resultant boycott of the state) from S.B. 1070, the state legislation passed a year ago making it a crime to breathe while brown in Arizona whose key provisions the federal courts won’t allow the state to implement because they violate the U.S. Constitution.

With Arizona already known around the world as the South Africa of the American Southwest, no doubt Brewer thought it imprudent to sign a bill that targets one black man, Barack Obama, no matter how much the bill’s supporters, most of them stupid white men, lie to the contrary.

It’s a sign of how far gone Arizona is, however, that a (if not the) main problem of the bill that Brewer picked out is that one of the documents that the bill mentions as establishing citizenship is a circumcision certificate. Oooo! It’s penis-related! Can’t have that! Must! Veto! Anything! Related! To! The! Penis!

Brewer doesn’t want to alienate her base of white supremacists and xenophobes, so of course in her veto letter she didn’t say anything about racism or xenophobia or the probable unconstitutionality of yet another mean-spirited, white supremacist, racist bill passed by the Arizona Legislature. She didn’t even mention (not directly, anyway) how damaging to the state’s tourism industry (and its economy in general) its blatant white supremacism and racism have been.

Gay is the new black, however, and while the Repugnican Tea Party traitors use code words for “nigger” — such as “socialist,” “Muslim,” “Barack Hussein Obama” and “He wasn’t born here” — because blatantly open racism and white supremacism are taboo even in backasswards red states like Arizona, it’s still wide open fucking season on us non-heterosexuals.

While Brewer vetoed the so-called “birther bill,” yesterday she did sign a bigoted, homophobic, probably unconstitutional bill mandating that married heterosexual couples be given priority consideration when state agencies are placing children for adoption or foster care. So her hordes of red-state haters did get some red meat this week.

On the topic of the Repugnican Tea Party, don’t let me pick on Arizona where racism and white supremacism are concerned. An Orange County (California) Repugnican Tea Party official made the news this week for having sent out an e-mail portraying Barack Obama as a young chimpanzee with his chimp parents (thus explaining his supposed lack of a birth certificate, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!). In a statement, the incredibly fucktarded Repugnican Tea Party official, Marilyn Davenport, wrote:

I’m sorry if my email offended anyone, I simply found it amusing regarding the character of Obama and all the questions surrounding his origin of birth. [How does portraying Obama as a chimpanzee relate to his “character”? And “all the questions surrounding his origin of birth”? “Questions” only in the minds ofracist/white supremacist crackpots, but whatev…] In no way did I even consider the fact he’s half black when I sent out the email. In fact, the thought never entered my mind until one or two other people tried to make this about race. We all know a double standard applies regarding this president. I received plenty of emails about George Bush that I didn’t particularly like, yet there was no “cry” in the media about them.*

Not to defend a Repugnican Tea Party traitor, but “President” George W. Bush was routinely compared to the chimpanzee. (Go to images.google.com and type “bush chimp” in the search field and you’ll see plenty of hits.) I seem to remember having engaged in such a comparison myself, and there was (still is?), if memory serves, even a whole website dedicated to comparing Bush (and sometimes his kin) to chimps.

However, this was a clear statement about Bush’s level of intelligence, not a statement about his race.

Context is everything, and thus there is a difference between comparing a white person to an ape and comparing a black person to an ape. Comparing a black person to an ape hearkens to the days of slavery (and afterward…), when blacks were treated like animals. While comparing Bush to a chimp is a fairly clear statement as to his intelligence, comparing Obama to a chimp at least raises the possibility that the individual making the comparison is making a statement as to the fullness of Obama’s humanity and/or the inferiority or superiority of certain races.

And that’s a fucking problem, because once you relegate an individual or even a whole class or race of individuals to sub-humanhood or even animalhood, you then can justify the perpetration of all kinds of evils upon him or her or them.

Aside from the rather obvious racist/white supremacist overtones of it, if you are going to compare Obama to a chimp — if you must do it — shit, at least do it well.

The image that Davenport used in her e-mail —

— not only is utterly unfunny, but it’s a piss-poor PhotoShop job.

And that is almost as unforgiveable as is blatant white supremacism and racism. (Almost.)

With the upcoming release of “Planet of the Apes” prequel “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” brace yourself for even more Obama-chimp comparisons. Hopefully they at least will be technically well done, but of course they won’t be, since the Repugnican Tea Party fucktards aren’t funny, creative, intelligent or technically masterful. They’re not even intelligent enough to reflect upon the fact that all of us humankind rose from the apes, since they incredibly stupidly still believe in hocus-pocus flat-earther creationism instead of evolution.

Which makes you wonder who the real chimpanzees are…

That’s not to bash our primate first cousins, for whom I have much more respect than I do the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, who, because of evolution, have no fucking excuse…

*And true to wingnut form, Davenport tried to make the leaking of her e-mail the story instead of the e-mail itself — even though she talks of Obama’s “character.” Reports The Los Angeles Times:

County GOP Chairman Scott Baugh has called for the resignation of … Davenport, an elected member of the party central committee who sent the e-mail to some committee members and others last week. Baugh said he received it Friday afternoon and quickly responded with an e-mail telling Davenport it was “dripping with racism and is in very poor taste.” He said the issue should be referred to the Orange County GOP’s ethics committee.

According to an e-mail Baugh sent to committee members Saturday, Davenport described the Obama photo as a “joke” and wanted to know who had leaked the email to the OC Weekly’s R. Scott Moxley, who broke the story. She called the leak “cowardly” and wrote, “Anyone brave enough to come forward?”

Hmmm. If the e-mail were innocent, then why would its having been leaked be any problem?

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Two dudes kissing: Get over it or help the homophobes to get over it already

Adam Lambert, left, gets ready to kiss one of the dancers as ...

Adam Lambert, left, kisses one of the dancers as he performs ...

Associated Press photos

Openly gay artist Adam Lambert plants a kiss on an androgynous (but presumably XY-chromosome-possessing) keyboard player during his performance at last night’s American Music Awards. I love Lambert and I loved his same-sex kiss, except that in the video of it the kiss seems to be a bit rough, even perhaps with at least a tinge of violence to it, and I prefer it to be warm and tender. (And parents probably do have a legitimate complaint that during his performance he shoved a male dancer’s face in his crotch…)

I love Adam Lambert. Not just his music, but his balls.

No, he hasn’t taken the path of Levi Johnston; I mean, I love his chutzpah.

Of any complaints that he was sexually demonstrative with other males during his performance at the American Music Awards last night, he said:

“I do feel like there’s a bit of a double standard in the entertainment community, on television, on radio. I feel like women performers have been pushing the envelope, especially, for the past 20 years. And all of the sudden a male does it and everybody goes ‘Oh, we can’t show that on TV.’ For me, that’s a form of discrimination and a double standard. And that’s too bad.” 

Yup. Ditto.

And it’s because in a patriarchal, misognynist society, female-on-female sexuality (in which the women really are heterosexual or are at least bisexual, of course) is considered to be hot (or at least tolerable) by many (if not by most), but male-on-male sexuality, even just a kiss, is considered by many (if not by most) to be repulsive and/or even obscene. (Must protect the children!)

(Male-on-male violence, of course, is perfectly OK, even for the kiddies.)

So many Americans have a problem seeing two men kissing because it’s so rare that they ever actually see two men kissing. What you rarely see can seem strange and foreign and even unsettling when and if you ever actually should see it.

The solution to this problem?

And I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Gay and other same-sex-loving men who wish to show affection in public — holding hands, kissing, hugging, etc. — should do so if they are reasonably physically safe in doing so. (Kissing before some skinheads with baseball bats might not be such a good idea, for example.)

Of course, I can’t say that I am big on public displays of male-on-male affection that are not heartfelt but are just for political purposes. (Lambert’s on-stage same-sex sexual antics appear as though they might have been at least somewhat for the latter.) However, there might be times and places for even political same-sex public displays of affection.

Nor am I calling for public man-on-man sex or even for prolonged open-mouthed man-on-man kissing in public; if you must have prolonged open-mouthed kissing or fondling of the genitalia or the like, please get a room if you are in public (regardless of your XX or XY chromosomal status and your sexual orientation).

But again: If you are a male and you wish to demonstrate, with another male, affection in public that any heterosexual couple would be able to demonstrate without drawing condemnation (or maybe even a law enforcement officer…), then do so, unless you have good reason to believe that you could get physically harmed by doing so.

(Of course, if ending up in the ICU — or becoming the next Matthew Shepard — is your idea of a great political statement, then who am I to try to stop you?)

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