Tag Archives: Rhode Island

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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American Taliban in Rhode Island

So The Associated Press today reports that same-sex marriage would happen in Rhode Island — if it weren’t for the Catholic cult.

Reports the AP:

Providence, R.I. – Gay marriage could soon become the law of the land across New England — except in the heavily Roman Catholic state of Rhode Island.

A string of sudden successes for gay marriage advocates has left Rhode Island a political outlier. Maine became the fourth state in New England to legalize same-sex unions on Wednesday, while New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch is now deciding whether to sign similar legislation.

Vermont lawmakers established gay marriage last month, following a path already set by courts in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Yet the movement has stalled in Rhode Island, perhaps even lost ground, after a stalemate at the Statehouse, a loss in the state’s top court and continued opposition from religious leaders….

Religion remains among the biggest hurdles. A recent survey by Trinity College in Connecticut showed 46 percent of Rhode Islanders identify themselves as Roman Catholic, a larger percentage than any other state.

Given its size, the church carries political clout. On the last Inauguration Day, every statewide elected official began the morning with a special Mass at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, celebrated by Bishop Thomas Tobin.

Tobin does not hesitate to tussle with politicians, especially on gay marriage. He calls gay unions a perversion of natural law and a violation of an institution that Catholics believe was created by God.

Two years ago, he harshly criticized Attorney General Patrick Lynch, a Catholic, for advising state agencies to recognize the marriages of gay couples wed outside Rhode Island.

“We don’t see it as a civil rights issue,” Tobin said in a recent interview, “because there’s never a right to do something that’s morally wrong.”

Bills legalizing gay marriage have been introduced in the Statehouse every year since 1997. None has ever been approved by a legislative committee, required before those bills could be aired on the full floor.

House Speaker William Murphy and Senate President M. Teresa Paiva-Weed, both Democrats and Catholics, oppose gay marriage.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Rhoda Perry, a Democrat from Providence, does not expect to get a vote this year. She believes legislative leaders are trying to shield fellow lawmakers from a fractious debate.

“You know your numbers,” Perry said. “So why make anyone even have to vote on something that at least some of their constituents will be upset about if you already know the votes aren’t there?”

Even if a simple majority of lawmakers backed Perry’s bill, Republican Gov. Don Carcieri — another Catholic — would almost certainly veto it. Overriding a veto requires the support of 60 percent of lawmakers in each chamber.

Courts legalized gay marriage in Massachusetts and Connecticut, but that avenue seems unlikely in Rhode Island….

It might become slightly easier for those looking to legalize gay marriage in Rhode Island when Carcieri finishes his second and final term as governor in January 2011. Potential candidates including former Sen. Lincoln Chafee, an independent, and Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts and Attorney General Patrick Lynch, both Democrats, support gay marriage.

General Treasurer Frank Caprio, also a Democrat, said he would not veto a gay marriage bill if he were elected governor.

So, um, Rhode Island is the Utah of New England, a theocratic state?

Rhode Island has a fucking Catholick bishop who says shit like, “We don’t see it as a civil rights issue because there’s never a right to do something that’s morally wrong”? Do they have the Inquisition in Rhode Island, too?

If the Catholicks oppose same-sex marriage, then the Catholicks can refrain from marrying members of their own sex.

But who in the fuck is a Catholick bishop to decide constitutional law and human and civil rights in Rhode Island or in any other state?

We gained our independence from England only to be dictated to in New England by the Vatican?

I don’t fucking think so.

The separation of church and state needs to be enforced in Rhode Island.

The Catholick cult is destroying itself with its backasswards dictates forced by Pope Palpatine, such as the cult’s institutionalized homo-hatred and its prohibitions against birth control. The anachronistic Catholick cult is going the way of the dinosaurs.

It will be a great day when the Catholick cult — and the Mormon cult, too — are no more.

But in the meantime, every American deserves equal human and civil rights — which the Catholick cult is preventing in Rhode Island.

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