Tag Archives: Vaughn Walker

Brendan Eich(mann) got what he deserved

Outgoing Mozilla chief executive Brendan Eich

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

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

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

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

Yes, it is.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is nothing more to discuss.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Assorted shit (gay pride month edition!)

Homophobes take another blow

File photo of judge Vaughn R. Walker speaking ...

Reuters photo

Former federal Judge Vaughn Walker (pictured above in April), who last year correctly ruled that to prohibit same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, came out after he retired from the federal bench in February. Homophobes  shamelessly had challenged the ability of Walker, who had been appointed by the first President George Bush, to be able to rule fairly on same-sex marriage, but today another federal judge, who also was appointed by the first President Bush, affirmed that Walker did not inappropriately rule on the case.

If I could say two words to the “Christo”fascists who still oppose legally recognized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, it might be something like this: “Surrender, Dorothy!”

Same-sex marriage in all 50 states is going to be a reality within the next decade, most likely. So for the supposedly freedom-lovin’ wingnuts to keep expending their time, money and energy trying to stop the inevitable — life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and justice for all — is a fucking waste. (If they were true Christians, they’d spend their time, money and energy helping people, as Jesus Christ instructed his followers to do, instead of trying to keep others down so that they can feel better about their miserable selves.)

Today the homophobes suffered a significant defeat when federal Judge James Ware rejected their “argument” that another federal judge, the now-retired Vaughn Walker, should have recused himself from ruling on Proposition Hate — the anti-same-sex-marriage proposition that passed narrowly in California in November 2008 — because he has been in a long-term same-sex relationship himself.

Walker — who, like Ware, was appointed by the first President George Bush — correctly ruled last year that Prop Hate violates the protections granted to all Californians by the U.S. Constitution.*

(When judges who were appointed by Repugnican presidents are ruling against the haters, the haters’ days are numbered, methinks.)

As The Associated Press notes, today’s ruling that Walker had no reason or obligation to recuse himself from ruling on the matter of same-sex marriage “does not settle the legal fight over Proposition 8. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering whether Walker properly concluded that denying gays and lesbians the right to marry violates their rights to due process and equal protection.”

But the ruling does make it much more difficult for the homophobes to try to pick and choose the judges who hear their bullshit homophobic arguments.

To the “Christo”fascists and other assorted wingnuts, only conservative, heterosexual, “Christian” white male judges should be able to rule on anyfuckingthing. Indeed, in Ware’s ruling he noted that female and non-white judges historically have been accused of not being able to rule impartially in certain cases — a right-wing “argument” that the law rejects.

“The sole fact that a federal judge shares the same circumstances or personal characteristics with other members of the general public, and that the judge could be affected by the outcome of a proceeding in the same way that other members of the general public would be affected, is not a basis for either recusal or disqualification,” Ware wrote in his ruling.

Indeed, one easily could counter-argue that a heterosexually married (or perhaps even a heterosexual but single) judge should recuse him- or herself from ruling on same-sex marriage, but how far would that argument get?

Ironically, in their homophobic attacks on Walker, the pro-Prop Hate crowd only further proved that non-heterosexuals in the U.S. routinely face bigotry, hatred and discrimination — which is going to speed up, not slow down, the eventuality of same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

But this fact apparently escaped the homophobic abject fucktards, who are capable only of stupidity, fear and hatred, not of reason.

Black homophobes still suck ass

Tracy Morgan

Associated Press photo

“Comedian” Tracy Morgan, pictured in March, has apologized for having said some hateful things that you really can’t apologize for, not credibly, anyway.

Way back in 2005 I posted a piece titled “Black Homophobes Suck.”

Among other things in that piece (which I think you should read if you have the time), I wrote about how a so-called leader in the black community actually wrote in a letter to me that being gay or lesbian might be a choice or it might be a “birth defect” and closed the letter with, “Take care of yourself health wise,” an apparent reference to her apparent belief that all gay men must have HIV or must be just about to contract HIV, since all that being a gay man means is taking cock up the ass as often as possible.

Alas, little has changed since 2005.

In the news recently has been black “comedian” Tracy Morgan’s anti-gay rant during a recent stand-up performance that you can’t just apologize for.

According to an audience member, among many other things, such as suggesting the President Barack Obama has been as pro-gay as he has been only because he is pussy-whipped, Morgan stated that being gay or lesbian is a choice and that “if his son [were] gay he better come home and talk to him like a man … or he would pull out a knife and stab that little [nigger] to death.”

Morgan also reportedly made the unfunny, already-made (by comedian Carlos Mencia, long, long ago) “joke” that if gay men can take a dick, they can take a joke — ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

The audience member further stated that

The sad thing is that none of this rant was a joke. [Morgan’s] entire demeanor changed during that portion of the night. He was truly filled with some hate towards us. As far as I could see, 10 to 15 people walked out. I had to fight myself to stay seated, but I knew if I got up … he won.

I understand where this man, the audience member, is coming from: When someone tells an anti-gay joke/“joke,” you can tell what kind of space it’s coming from, whether it’s truly a joke or whether it’s coming from a space of bigotry and hatred and meanness.

The routine of Carlos Mencia that I saw on television years ago that I just made reference to did not strike me as coming from a space of actual hatred of gays, so it did not repulse me. Similarly, some years ago, the creators of “South Park” created an episode in which a classroom gerbil named Lemmiwinks must save his own life after having been inserted into a gay man’s rectum, for fuck’s sake.

On the face of it, that’s pretty fucking homophobic and stereotypical (I am one gay man who knows of no other gay man who ever inserted a small mammal into his rectum), but the way in which the episode was done does not give me the impression that the creators of “South Park” actually are homophobic. Therefore, I was able to laugh at the episode, even if at least on the face of it it’s pretty fucking homophobic. (Anyone who truly believes that gerbils are a routine part of the gay man’s sexual repertoire probably is beyond help anyway, so I can’t even really knock the “South Park” creators for having put out a negative and damaging view of gay men, even if they aren’t homophobic themselves.)

Anyway, Tracy Morgan sounds like he’s as out of control as is his character on the NBC show “30 Rock,” and after his homophobic rant, I don’t think that I can watch that show anymore (I’ve watched several of the early episodes via the Internet, mainly because I love Tina Fey and a co-worker recommended the series to me).

I hope that NBC dumps Tracy Morgan. After all, any star of any major network show who made blatantly racist (or, say, anti-Semitic) remarks in seriousness should expect to get fired, so why not Morgan?

Also in the news, it recently was reported that U.S. Rep. Allen West, a black Repugnican whose district is in Florida, recently fired an intern for having sent an unauthorized pro-gay Tweet in response to Tracy Morgan’s homophobic rant. (I read the Tweet, and it seems to me that it could have been meant sarcastically, which actually would make it an anti-gay message, but whatever…)

The reportage of the firing of West’s intern notes that West has called same-sex marriage “an oxymoron.”

Gee, that’s nice. There was a time when pro-slavery white supremacists would have called the term “a free black man” an “oxymoron.” (Just as white supremacists might call being born black a “birth defect.”)

As long as your own freedoms and liberties and rights are secured, that’s all that fucking matters, right?

I wrote way back in 2005: “Black homophobes will attack injustice that affect them — racism — but fuck the rest of us minority groups. They don’t have a problem with oppression in general; they have a problem only with being oppressed themselves.”

Nothing has changed, has it?

Some have actually suggested that we non-heterosexuals visit with members of the black community to convince the homophobes within the black community that we are deserving of their approval or respect or the like.

I say: Fuck! That! Shit! We non-heterosexuals shouldn’t have to fucking grovel on our hands and knees for equal human and civil rights any more than blacks ever should have had to or should have to today.

We non-heterosexuals should boycott all black homophobes, just as we would boycott any other homophobe, regardless of his or her race. I, for one, won’t spend a penny on anything that has Tracy Morgan in it. (That won’t be hard to do, since Tina Fey, certainly not Morgan, is the creative genius behind “30 Rock,” and since Morgan isn’t, in my estimation, remarkably talented anyway.)

And I invite black homophobes to commit some introspection and to ask themselves why it’s so fucking important to them to be able to have one historically oppressed minority group that even they, also members of a historically oppressed minority group, can shit and piss upon — and whether or not this is moral.

Still not much to be proud of

It’s “gay pride” month, but the corporatization of the gay and lesbian “community” continues.

It’s interesting: While gay men and lesbians (and other non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals) proclaim that they won’t take it from the heterosexists and the homophobes anymore, they’ll still gladly bend over for the corporations.

Memo to the gay and lesbian “community”: The corporations don’t love us.

In October 2009 I posted on my blog “An Open Letter to Joe Solmonese,” who is the president of the Human Rights Campaign, and I e-mailed a copy of the open letter to the HRC.

In the letter (which, I think, you should read, if you have a few minutes), among other things, I criticized the HRC for accepting corporate money from corporations that, while they might have pro-gay-and-lesbian-et.-al. policies (at least on paper), are harmful to human beings and to the planet.

In the fall 2009 issue of HRC’s membership magazine (titled Equality), I noted, I saw full-page ads for Chevron, Shell Oil, American Airlines and Citigroup — corporations that, respectively, are killing the planet with the continued production of fossil fuels, drastically underpay their employees (their pilots, in the case of American Airlines), and, as Wall Street weasels, are partially responsible for the Wall Street meltdown that has tanked our nation’s economy.

I seem to remember getting some e-mail reply from HRC — not from Joe, of course, but from some lackey — stating that HRC supports those corporations that at least pay lip service to being pro-gay-and-lesbian (my words, not hers), and that if I have a problem with this, then I can have my subscription to Equality canceled.

I didn’t ask to have my subscription canceled, thinking that it would just run itself out, but I’m still getting the magazine even though I stopped giving HRC money a long time ago, disgusted by its corporate ass-licking and its selling out of the gay and lesbian community to the fucking corporations.

Nothing has fucking changed, because in the current (spring 2011) issue of HRC’s Equality is a full-page ad for — wait for it — that paragon of corporate responsibility — keep waiting for it — drum roll, please! — British Petroleum!

Yes, my non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming brethren and sistren, BP loves us!

(Along with the full-page ad for British Petroleum in the current issue of Equality are full-page ads for Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Chase, Chevron and Deloitte, all banking fraudsters, planet destroyers and Wall Street weasels. And American Airlines has another full-page ad.)

Not just to pick on HRC.

Locally, Sacramento’s annual gay pride festival earlier this month for the first time ever got rained out, which, naturally, resulted in low attendance, and the organizers of the festival subsequently actually apparently unashamedly and unabashedly sent out a fundraising e-mail asking people to just fork over $40-something because the festival didn’t recoup its costs this year (and they calculated that the average person would have spent $40-something at the festival were it not for the rain).

Well, the festival was held two weeks earlier this year than it was last year, increasing the chances of rain, it seems to me, but that aside, the fundraising e-mail actually read: “Pride 2011 was always going to be different for many reasons. Our corporate sponsorship support was the highest ever, with over two dozen sponsors this year. We invested in more marketing and promotion to hit the far reaches of our area to bring as many LGBT people and our supporters to [Sacramento] on June 4th….”

The first thing that the e-mail lists is the “highest-ever” “corporate sponsorship.”

Why has the gay and lesbian “community” become so fucking dependent upon corporate sponsorship over the years?

Can we not do anything on our own without corporate handouts, for which there are always strings attached?

Is bigger always better? Do we have to do everything huge? Is a huge amount of money necessary for every endeavor? Can nothing be home-grown? (Ironically, it seems to me, if the organizers of the rained-out Sacramento gay pride festival hadn’t focused on making the event so huge, the rain-related losses wouldn’t have been as huge. The bigger things are, the harder they fall.)

Anyway, I replied to the shameless fundraising e-mail with this: “Maybe the Rain Goddess was pissed off over that record-level corporate sponsorship, the selling out of the LGBT community to profits-over-people corporations by the same people who claim to care about and to be helping the LGBT community. Just sayin.'”**

(Unsurprisingly, I haven’t received a response to my response, and no, I don’t claim that I always play along nicely with the other kiddies in the sandbox…)

This gay pride month, if it were up to me, the gay and lesbian “community” would ponder this question: How are we of the gay and lesbian (and bisexual and transgendered and…) “community” doing ourselves a favor by fighting for equal human and civil rights for all non-heterosexuals (and for all non-gender-conforming individuals) while further enslaving ourselves and others to our corporate overlords, who have only their profits, not our best interests, at heart?

But I’m not queen just yet

*In his ruling, Walker concluded:

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

Indeed, that you just don’t like a whole class of people is not sufficient cause to deny this class of people equal human and civil rights as guaranteed to them by the U.S. Constitution.

**Not even to pick only on the gay and lesbian “community” in Sacramento — other festivals in Sacramento have been ruined by a corporate omnipresence, such as a recent festival for Asians and Pacific islanders here in Sacramento that I recently attended at which McDonald’s and Wells Fargo had prominent presences. (Indeed, McDonald’s provided the only place to sit down to eat — provided that you were eating McDonald’s, of course, because I don’t know about you, when I think of Asian and Pacific islander food, I immediately think of McDonald’s.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Judge’s haters only prove their hate

As I had predicted they would, the wingnuts are trying to make an issue out of the fact that federal Judge Vaughn Walker, who recently overtuned Proposition H8 — ruling that to prohibit same-sex marriage (yes, even at the ballot box) violates the equal rights guaranteed to all Americans in the U.S. Constitution — himself is gay.

Ironically, the wingnuts, by claiming that Walker should have recused himself from the case because of his sexual orientation, only prove that they’re a bunch of hateful, discriminatory bigots — and that such venomous discrimination is routinely leveled at non-heterosexuals.

Suppose that a heterosexually married judge had heard the case and that he had ruled to uphold Prop H8. Could I, as a gay man, then have argued that of course the judge should have recused himself — that a heterosexually married judge couldn’t have been unbiased in ruling on a case about same-sex marriage? And what would the victorious homo-hating wingnuts’ response to that argument have been?

Um, yeah.

I suppose that, following the wingnuts’ “logic,” no non-white judge ever can preside over a case involving racial discrimination, and that no female judge ever can preside over a case involving sex discrimination. Only conservative, heterosexual, “Christian” white males can be impartial judges, the right wing apparently believes. That itself, of course, is incredibly discriminatory and biased and unfair, but when were the wingnuts ever about fairness? 

Oh, well. The wingnuts can piss and moan all that they want. They’ve lost the battle over same-sex marriage.

Repugnican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic California Attorney General Jerry Brown, who will succeed Schwarzenegger, both have asked Walker not to stay his ruling, but to allow same-sex marriages to resume in California as soon as possible, just as same-sex marriages were conducted in California in 2008 after the California Supreme Court ruled in May 2008 that to prohibit them violates the state’s constitution until Prop H8 in November 2008 wrote discrimination against non-heterosexuals into the state’s constitution.

The Schwarzenegger administration’s filing with Walker urging him not to stay his decision proclaimed, “The administration believes the public interest is best served by permitting the court’s judgment to go into effect, thereby restoring the right of same-sex couples to marry in California. Doing so is consistent with California’s long history of treating all people and their relationships with equal dignity and respect.”

Yup.

What flies at Mormon cult headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah doesn’t fly here in California.

Yeah, it’s too bad that the Mormon cult and its anti-Christian allies spent more than $40 million to force their backasswards, ignorant, hateful “Christo”fascist beliefs on everyone in the state of California, and it’s too bad that we real freedom-loving Californians had to spend almost that much money to defend ourselves against the unprovoked attack from the Mormon meddlers in Utah, but the fact is that the Mormon motherfuckers were incredibly fucking stupid for having taken on California. They bit off waaay more than they could chew.

Ironically, the unprovoked attack on California by the cabal in Salt Lake City is likely to make legalized same-sex marriage the law of the land.

My official prediction: The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will uphold Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling, and then the U.S. Supreme Court either will refuse to take up the case, leaving Walker’s ruling intact, or will hear the case and explicitly uphold Walker’s ruling. Then, in all 50 states it will be illegal — because it is unconstitutional — to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Shit. I’m starting to think that we non-heterosexuals might thank the Mormon cult for (quite inadvertently) bringing us same-sex marriage in all 50 states before we ever would have achieved it on our own…

As of right this very moment, only the residents of Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Washington, D.C., have the right to marry whomever they wish to marry. It took years just to gain those victories.

Now, same-sex marriage will be legal again in California shortly.

And as goes California, so will go the nation.

Suck on that, “Christo”fascist motherfuckers.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

You DON’T get to vote on my rights

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

— Federal Judge Vaughn Walker in Perry vs. Schwarzenegger

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, [and] that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

— The U.S. Declaration of Independence

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

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

Associated Press photos

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

I should have been a fucking lawyer.

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

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

Yup.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fuck no.

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

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

Um, yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless America, land of the free.

Amen.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Drum roll: My Prop H8 predictions

Correction: Judge Vaughn Walker was appointed by George H.W. Bush, not by George W. Bush. (The Los Angeles Times had reported just “George Bush.”) Also, I should note that Walker is openly gay, which the wingnuts should have a field day with. 

So later today, U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker is to decide whether or not California’s Proposition 8 — which in November 2008 reversed the California Supreme Court’s May 2008 ruling that same-sex marriage must be allowed under the California Constitution — violates the United States Constitution.

My prediction is that Walker will rule that Prop H8 indeed violates the U.S. Constitution.

One of the lawyers who argued before Vaughn that Prop 8 violates the U.S. Constitution was former Solicitor General Ted Olson, a conservative who fought for George W. Bush in Bush vs. Gore, the God-awful 2000 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that crowned George W. Bush “president” even though he had lost the popular vote and lost the state of Florida to his Democratic opponent Al Gore.

And Walker was appointed by George W. Bush.

And lest you think that the California Supreme Court is a bunch of swingin’, dope-smokin’ libbies — I mean, we are talking about California, after all — six of the seven California Supreme Court justices were appointed by Repugnican governors and only one of them by a Democratic governor, and in May 2008 the court voted 4-3 that under the state’s constitution, same-sex marriage must be allowed.

So along came Prop 8, funded mostly by the Mormon cult and mostly from Utah, which in November 2008 changed the California Constitution to add the same-sex marriage prohibition to it.

However, no state may enact a law, even a constitutional revision, that violates the U.S. Constitution. (A civics lesson that the fucktards in Arizona don’t get yet, but will.)

However Vaughn decides, his ruling is expected to be appealed to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and then to the U.S. Supreme Court.

I am not familiar with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, but my prediction is that the circuit court will uphold Vaughn’s ruling that finds that Prop 8 does indeed violate the U.S. Constitution.

The U.S. Supreme Court, however, is a lot less predictable.

Most people would assume that of course the Supremes would quash same-sex marriage, but it was in 2003 (in Lawrence vs. Texas) that the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 6-3 vote, struck down sodomy laws — that is, the nation’s highest court prohibited any state from making consensual sexual acts between adults in privacy illegal, ruling that such restrictions are unconstitutional — when it had been only in 1986, in Bowers vs. Hardwick, that the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled, 5-4, that sodomy laws (apparently especially those targeting non-heterosexuals) were not unconstitutional. (In Lawrence, the court concluded that “Bowers was not correct when it was decided, and it is not correct today.”)

I certainly do not intend to equate same-sex marriage with sodomy, like the wingnuts’ signage does, but I mean to point out that the U.S. Supreme Court does reverse itself and that it can be unpredictable — and that even conservative jurists sometimes do the right thing.

I give it a little bit more than a 50-percent chance that when it goes to the current U.S. Supreme Court (by which time we will have Justice Elena Kagan on board, for better or for worse), the court will rule that to prohibit same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution.

If the current U.S. Supreme Court does not rule that way, I give it less time than it took between Bowers and Lawrence for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule again, this time in favor of same-sex marriage.

Same-sex marriage rights in all 50 states is just a matter of time.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Memo to the breeders: 6 billion-plus already is more than enough

I usually hate the term “breeder,” used as a pejorative for heterosexuals who have offspring, but I was inspired by a moment at Wal-Mart yesterday (yes, I was at a Wal-Mart; I’m a very bad moonbat) and by a news story from today regarding the anti-gay Proposition 8 to use it just now.

When I was at Wal-Mart yesterday, I witnessed this young Negro black guy ask another young man (who, I believe, was Latin0), “Are you still walking with Jesus?” Apparently the two young men knew each other but hadn’t seen each other for a while.

I could go off on what the fuck “walking with Jesus” means, but I won’t — but I will say that if anyone ever asks me if I walk with Jesus, I will say something like, “Yeah, man, and let me tell you, he is tore up!”

The whole “walking with Jesus” thing is indicative of “Christo”fascist brainwashing that makes me want to vomit, and I include mention of the races of the young men only because I think it’s tragic that non-whites have adopted whitey’s toxic bullshit backasswards ignorant religious beliefs, which resemble nothing of what Jesus Christ actually taught, but what came next in the moment at Wal-Mart was even worse.

The young black man asked the other young man (who had replied that yes, he still walks with Jesus) if he was married. No, the other young man said. Engaged? asked the young black man. Nope, said the other young man. Why not? asked the young black man, to which the other young man replied that he’s been too busy with work.

“Adam and Eve,” the young black man intoned at least moderately ominously. I surmise that the full “thought” was: “If you don’t follow the example of Adam and Eve, and procreate, then you’ll go to hell.”

That seems to be the “argument” that the pro-Proposition 8 fascists made in federal court today during arguments as to whether or not the federal court should overturn November 2008’s Proposition 8 — which overtuned, by a popular vote of 52 percent to 48 percent, the California Supreme Court’s ruling that it is unconstitutional, and thus illegal, to ban same-sex marriage in the state.

Reports The Sacramento Bee today:

Chief Judge Vaughn Walker peppered attorneys with questions as a historic federal trial on Proposition 8 began today, with the defense of California’s same-sex marriage ban arguing that the fundamental purpose of marriage is procreation, to raise children in an “intact” family and that same-sex marriage could erode that purpose.

“Same-sex marriage is simply too novel an experiment at this stage,” argued [pro-]Proposition 8 attorney Charles Cooper in U.S. District Court for Northern California in San Francisco.

Representing two gay couples challenging Proposition 8, attorney Ted Olson gave the first opening remarks.

Gay people have been classified as “degenerates” in the United States, Olson said, targeted by police, fired from employers. “Proposition 8 perpetuates that for no good reason,” he said. He said it has the effect of inflicting “upon them badges of inferiority” and is a violation of constitutional rights.

Walker asked pointed questions about whether each side had evidence to prove their cases. Two plaintiffs, a gay couple from Los Angeles, took the stand, and the challengers began showing pro-Proposition 8 campaign videos and asking gay plaintiffs to describe how the campaign videos made them feel, especially the references to protecting children….

Walker was quick to start questioning Olson once the famed attorney began his presentation. Olson, a conservative who views gay marriage as a constitutional right [emphasis mine], is famed for representing George W. Bush before the U.S. Supreme Court after the [disputed] 2000 presidential election.

Olson said, “This case is about marriage and equality.” He quoted from U.S. Supreme Court decisions referring to marriage as “one of the most vital personal rights” in the pursuit of happiness and “a basic right.”

Walker interrupted him and asked him if that meant that a marriage license was necessary. He also asked if evidence will show that gay people “suffer” by being limited to domestic partnership.

Olson said the language that the Proposition 8 campaign used, describing marriage as “unique,” bolsters his argument that by barring gays from marrying, the government has “isolated” gays and lesbians and said, “You are different.”

Walker said that “moral disapproval” leading to a law is not a reason to declare it unconstitutional.

Olson replied that moral arguments were used to defend discrimination based on race and gender, and that marriage has “evolved” to discard biases and prejudices.

The parents of President Obama, he said, wouldn’t have been allowed to marry in some states at the time they did….

Cooper said, as he began his presentation, that voters in California cast their ballots on an issue of “overriding cultural and social significance” and favored a definition of marriage that has “prevailed” through history.

He said the people of California have “been generous” on extending rights to gays, and that the gay movement — with the exception of marriage — has been “very successful” at enacting rights and laws against discrimination.

He said the gay organization Equality California “hailed” civil unions, when they were permitted by law, as a victory for civil rights.

“The evidence will show that gays and lesbians in California have substantial political power,” Cooper said.

He said Proposition 8 speaks not out of “ill will” toward gays but rather a “special regard” for a “venerable institution.”

“Among those who have drawn that line are President Obama,” he said, noting that Obama said he favors civil unions but believes marriage is between a man and a woman.

Walker interrupted and noted that Olson said Obama’s parents couldn’t have married under some laws barring interracial marriage.

Cooper said such laws were “loathsome” but were of a different nature.

He said people of different races can procreate. He said the evidence presented during the trial will show that the government has a purpose to “channel” the procreation and rearing of children into families with a mother and a father.

Walker asked if companionship was not a reason for marriage, along with other reasons other than children.

Procreation, Cooper said, “is the essential” and the “defining definition of marriage.” [Emphasis mine.]

The question, Cooper said, is whether marriage will remain “a pro-child institution” or a “private relationship” between adults based on the search for “personal fulfillment.”

He said same-sex marriage would “deinstitutionalize” marriage, and “hasten” its demise in society….

Where to begin?

Cooper’s “argument” is that almost equal equals equal. It does not. Further, the U.S. Supreme Court long ago struck down the concept of “separate but equal” as unconstitutional.

And those heterosexual couples who wish to marry but who do not wish to procreate — or who cannot procreate, because of age or medical condition or some other reason — will be shocked to discover that the right wing apparently believes that marriage hinges upon procreation, and therefore their marriages aren’t real marriages.

Under Cooper’s “argument,” those who don’t procreate shouldn’t be married. Maybe we’ll give heterosexual newlyweds one year in which to procreate, and if they don’t, the state will dissolve their marriage — because the state needs people to breed, Goddamnit!

Actually, Cooper answered the question of same-sex marriage better than did anyone at the courthouse today, it seems. The answer to his question as to whether marriage should be regarded as “a pro-child institution” (suggesting, of course, that anyone who disagrees with the right wing on same-sex marriage is anti-child) or as a “private relationship” between adults based upon their search for “personal fulfillment” is that of course it is the latter, not the former.

The preamble of the U.S. Declaration of Independence declares:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Not only would Cooper and his ilk strike a line through that pesky equality language, but they would shit and piss upon the pursuit of happiness as well.

The pursuit of happiness — an unfuckingalienable right, let me remind you — may or may not involve procreation. It is not for the fucking wingnuts to define happiness for other people.

If the “procreation” “argument” is the best that the wingnuts can come up with to defend the denial of equal human and civil rights to non-heterosexuals, then the wingnuts already have lost the battle.

The planet, which is approaching 7 billion people, already is overpopulated, which not only has resulted in diminished quality of life for everyone who is here, but which threatens the future of the entire fucking human race, and indeed, the future of all life on Earth. To argue that any government anywhere has an interest in furthering procreation anywhere on the planet is bullshit.

To get back to my friend at Wal-Mart from yesterday, the Old Testament’s instruction to “be fruitful and multiply,” to which he apparently was referring, came at a time when world population was just a tiny fraction of what it is now, and when people thought such things as that disease was caused by unclean spirits rather than by microbes and other medical problems, and that certain astronomical events, such as solar eclipses, were ominous signs from God. (In other words, they were fucking ignorant.)

That someone could walk around in the year 2010 and instruct others to mimic Adam and Eve — shit, that someone even believes in the myth of Adam and Eve in the year 2010 — is frightening.

I might as well go and live among the Taliban, who are as enlightened as are too many of the dumbfucks whom I have to share this nation with.

You know who’s going to save the human race from overpopulation?

We Adams and Steves — not the Adams and Eves.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized