Tag: gay rights

Survey of clueless straight people

November 21, 2010

Seriously, if you haven’t considered this angle on the issue, have you been living under a rock for 30+ years? Or maybe it wasn’t a rock, maybe it was a cross, since that tends to suppress mental activity and feelings of compassion.

Progressive groups and activists condemn inaugural role for Rick Warren

December 17, 2008

People for the American Way

… the sad truth is that this decision further elevates someone who has in recent weeks actively promoted legalized discrimination and denigrated the lives and relationships of millions of Americans.

Rick Warren gets plenty of attention through his books and media appearances. He doesn’t need or deserve this position of honor. There is no shortage of religious leaders who reflect the values on which President-elect Obama campaigned and who are working to advance the common good.

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

President-elect Obama campaigned on a theme of inclusiveness, yet the selection of Rick Warren to give the invocation is a direct affront to that very principle.

Human Rights Campaign

by inviting Rick Warren to your inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have a place at your table

Right Wing Watch

… (Warren’s) media-driven reputation as some sort of “moderate” evangelical preacher continues to win out …

John Aravosis (guest posting at Huffington Post)

(in Obama’s voice) … devastating my own supporters on what was supposed to be a day of celebration and national rebirth …

Melissa McEwan

… a sharp stick in the eye to progressive women and GBTQ men, and all their allies …

Andrew Sullivan

… More evidence that a civil rights movement needs to realize that no politician can deliver for us what we have to deliver on our own.

John Amato (Crooks and Liars)

… Obama’s decision on this one is highly insulting.


… Obama will be roundly and loudly criticized for this decision, and rightly so. He should listen to what so many of his supporters will be saying about this. Obama says he values those with the ability to listen. If he hears, he will reverse this decision and apologize for hurting good people for no good reason.

Ann at Feministing

I can’t even handle the irony that Warren’s appearance will be immediately followed by Aretha singing “Respect” and “Someday We’ll All Be Free.”

And, as previously noted, Atrios dubbed Obama Wanker of the Day.

Honeymoon over

December 17, 2008

Well, that was a brief hiatus, when I didn’t feel like crying or screaming every time I heard about the latest political news.

The inauguration hasn’t even taken place yet, and already, folks like me have been slapped in the face. At least with Clinton, it came after he was in office a few days.

So here’s my first complaint letter to Obama (yes, I let the selection of Emmanuel go – figuring I’d trust the guy to know what he was doing – Ha!).

Rather than choose one of many religious figures who could have
embodied the “post-partisan” atmosphere that President-elect Obama
says he wants to promote, a divisive and hurtful one has been given a
very meaningful role. It is a grave insult to many, many people who
worked hard to elect Obama.

Rick Warren and his fanatic followers may like to think of themselves
as moderate Christians, but they are no such thing. They would like to
keep gays and lesbians as second class citizens, deny women the right
to control their own bodies, keep torture as an American value(stet — see Update 2 below) promote assassination, and
foster some more illegal wars around the world. These are public
positions that they don’t try to hide. So I can only assume that Obama
now means to embrace them too, in the name of “unity”– while
millions of Americans who believed words about “change” can now feel
used and discarded.

Putting Warren on that stage is no less than a loud “F*** you” to ALL
gay and lesbian Americans and their allies, pro-choice folks, civil
rights and antiwar activists. Obama obviously has no use for them
anymore, and will cast his lot with those who hate, divide and
discriminate. Good luck with that in 2012.

What a huge disappointment.

There are other reactions, and an email address for your own letter, at Pam’s House Blend, Americablog and Daily Kos.

Updated to fix error: Apparently Rick Warren supports assassination, not torture. My bad.

Update 2: Ah, I remembered correctly reading about his willingness to allow torture, so stet on that, just add assassination cheerleading to the original list. What a man of God, eh?

Light up the night for equality, OKC 12/20

December 16, 2008
DECEMBER 20, 2008 | 5PM – 8PM
On the Northwest corner of Reno and Mickey Mantle in Bricktown


On December 20th, we ask that you join us again for a nation-wide demonstration that will make an impact on the private sector. Candlelight vigils will be held at commercial centers in cities across the country in remembrance of the rights that once were for 18,000 marriages, and in honor of the rights that one day will be again – for EVERYONE.


  • Hosting peaceful candlelight vigils
  • We will stay silent unless asked a question, we will not yell, instigate, or bare signs. Instead, we will let our shirts do the talking and our candles pay our respects.  Bring candles (battery powered if you’ll be huddling inside) or flashlites with cups/cones.
  • Singing and/or silence encouraged…chanting is not….keep it peaceful and in the holiday spirit.

  • Hosting peaceful candlelight vigils
  • We will stay silent unless asked a question, we will not yell, instigate, or bare signs. Instead, we will let our shirts do the talking and our candles pay our respects.  Bring candles (battery powered if you’ll be huddling inside).
  • Singing and/or silence encouraged…chanting is not….keep it peaceful and in the holiday spirit.
Contact:  Trey Dill, OKCimpact@yahoo.com

Mike Rodgers is a political genius

November 19, 2008

He’s not called “The Most Feared Man on the Hill” for nothing.

So here’s how, by aggressively pushing back over a $2,500 donation from one franchisee of an international fast food chain, one pissed off gay man got sexual orientation and gender identity added to the entire company’s employment policy. Said company sent a letter to over 30,000 owners in 85 countries explaining the new policy. What’s more, the offending franchisee was chastised for violating policy regarding use of the brand name, and subsequently has requested that the donation be refunded by the Yes on 8 campaign.

Tell us how it’s done, Mike. (So easy you won’t believe it — although it helps to have scary WaPo-generated nickname to throw around.)

I was reading through the Human Rights Campaign’s list of companies that gave to Yes on 8, the California referendum that removed marriage equality from the state’s constitution. When I saw a franchisee of an international company gave $2,500 to opponents of equality, I immediately knew I would require someone at the company’s world HQ to address this. Or, I would.

So, after a few discussions, I informed the company’s spokesperson that they had until today to take the following three actions:

1) Repudiate the franchisee’s gift
2) Make a gift in the same amount to an organization fighting for true equality
3) Immediately add sexual orientation and gender identity to the corporation’s non-discrimination policy.

Some thought this was a misplaced target in the overall campaign. I was one of them. It was one stupid franchisee among 30,000. But Mike is smarter than me, and more motivated to take no prisoners:

Some have asked if I have been too harsh. It’s an easy one to answer. “Harsh?” Are you kidding me? Let me tell you about harsh. This is a civil war waged upon free and just people by those who seek to control them. In 1776 the punishment for such treatment was not a boycott. Those objections came at the end of a bayonet. Thank goodness times have changed.

[…] Luckily, we have a weapon far more powerful than the end of a gun. We have a handle, a handle on a spigot of money. Mess with the gays and watch the “pink wrath” slowly twist the spigot until they’re at the table begging for forgiveness. (see: Coors, Ford, Microsoft, et al.)

(emphasis added)

Read the story at Page Q — and patronize your local Subway!

A personal view of marriage equality

November 17, 2008

Look, I’m not married. I’ve never been married. I never wanted to be married — okay, maybe when I was five I played house or something, but once I was out of early childhood, I always knew I would never get married.

No, my parents weren’t divorced, married for over 60 years.

In a way, I was a feminist before I even knew there was such a thing. I rejected marriage before I knew I was gay, before I got overtly political, before I finally called myself an atheist. As a feminist, I think marriage is an archaic institution, and contemporary divorce statistics prove my point while those entering both conditions, serially, nonetheless disagree with my analysis.

I look at marriage as a social contract that was designed to control women and insure paternity of children. It’s the 21st Century, let’s just throw the whole thing out. However, mine is clearly a minority view. Despite the cognitive dissonance, marriage doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Folks just seem to like it (again and again!). I’ve come to tolerate this strange need to get state sanction of relationships. )And unlike some, I don’t feel the need to force my opinion and practice on everyone else.)

In the gay community, the marriage equality movement has been around for quite a while. Lots of gay people would like to get officially married to their beloved, and not just for those rather important legal perks like hospital visitation. It means something to them, just as it does to the serially married heterosexuals. Most gay and lesbian citizens are really more like the Nelsons, the Cleavers or the Huxtables than they are like me. That is the great irony of this whole brouhaha.

So what to do? I think some language adjustments would be helpful. Gays (the lucky ones in progressive states) have been thrown the “civil union” bone as a separate but unequal alternative. In most cases, as I understand it, this takes care of most of the legal ramifications of partnerships in our society. But, in order that some paranoid so-called religious nutcases don’t get their panties in a twist, there have to be two forms available from the state, one for straight couples, one for gays and lesbians. One labeled “marriage certificate” and one labeled “civil union.”

Of course the distinction is ridiculous. Where are those fiscally responsible, small-government conservatives when you need them?

Just have the state — and here I mean government, in every fucking state of the U.S. — provide civil unions for consenting adults, which are easy to get and easy to abolish. It’s a legal and social contract and has nothing to do with anyone’s god or any church dogma.

Frankly, I think it should be available to partnerships of two or more. What’s it to ya? Throughout human history, societies have formed different kinds of affinity groups, and yes, the sacred task of raising children might have been performed by entities other than just the biological mother and father. In fact, I got news for Focus on the Family: the latter system, the “nuclear family,” is NOT the norm, not even close. Somehow, despite this crazy behavior of social elasticity and community building, culture has progressed even to the zenith of producing James Dobson.

With this arrangement, religious groups can then choose to provide an additional imprimatur to the partnerships that fit whatever little corner of humanity they approve of. No one forces them to do anything they don’t want to do. Give these neanderthals the legal exclusions for their cultdoms so they won’t have to employ or give communion to someone that makes them feel icky (or involuntarily and inexplicably horny). Let’s see how that works out for them in the long run. Not well, I suspect. With affirming alternatives, sane people will gravitate away from hate and toward love naturally.

Don’t spoil ‘Milk’ by seeing it at a Cinemark theater

November 16, 2008

In an earlier post about the Prop 8 backlash, I mentioned the fact that the CEO of Cinemark, which runs a chain of theaters, contributed thousands of dollars to the anti-gay Proposition 8 in California and a boycott was in order.

Is this kind of response over-reacting? Is it religious bigotry to fight back against those whose “faith” led them to contribute to the Prop 8 campaign? Should we lovingly nurture them until they see the error of their ways? Tbogg put it well:

The kind of person who contributes money to deny their fellow citizens their civil rights are not someday magically going to be part of the solution: they’re the problem. These are not people to be reasoned with; they’re ignorant, they’re haters and they’re bigots and the only thing people like that understand is power.

So when they stick their noses in other people’s affairs, they forfeit the right to be considered just another “ordinary person”. They’re involved and they would be foolish to expect that those other people in whose private affairs they have meddled wouldn’t return the favor. As they say: you pays your money and you takes your chances.

You don’t get to heaven above by trampling someone else’s heaven on earth.

I don’t and won’t deny these bigots their right to practice their faith, and to be active politically within all legal perimeters. But I am done coddling them, or being silent while they deny me and others our rights. The next time someone from LDS comes to my door, they are going to get a serious earful. (I’ve already started practicing, because I want to make sure my whole list of grievances gets covered before their sorry asses are out of the range of my very loud voice.)

Anyway, among the many events and actions coming out of the passage of Prop 8 is a blacklist of the individuals, organizations and their businesses that contributed to its passage.

Cinemark Theaters is a major target of this blacklist/boycott effort, not just because of the amount of the contribution or the high visibility of the chain, but because of the upcoming release of the Sean Penn film Milk, which is about gay rights hero Harvey Milk. The No Milk for Cinemark campaign makes the very significant connection between the film and the boycott: “Don’t let Harvey Milk’s legacy finance your oppression.” (Facebook group)

As I posted before, the Cinemark theaters in Oklahoma are:

– Cinemark North Hills Cinema 6 (1106 North Hills Shopping Centre)

Broken Arrow
– Cinemark Cinema 8 (3812 S Elm Pl)

Oklahoma City
– Cinemark Tinseltown (6001 Martin Luther King Blvd.)

– Cinemark Movies 8 (6808 S. Memorial)
– Cinemark Tulsa (10802 E 71st St South)
– Cinemark IMAX® Theatre (10802 E 71st St South)

If you are outside of Oklahoma, note that their theaters also go by the names Tinseltown, CineArts and Century.

I have previously posted about how much I am looking forward to this film, and how much it means to me, but I will be going to another theater to see it, or waiting for the DVD if no other chain near me screens it. If you want to join me in avoiding Cinemark (until further notice, not just this film, as far as I’m concerned) and/or tell other folks about the boycott, this flyer can help (pdf).

The film is set for wider distribution in the US on Nov. 2 and then nationwide on Dec. 5, which is the earliest we’d see it around here. But no schedules are available that far ahead. I’ll be checking for when and where Milk will be screened in Oklahoma, and post the news here.

Update [2008-11-16 23:45]: Nancy in NYC has a brilliant post about this up at Pam’s House Blend, Oh no you didn’t! (Why it’s not ok to support Prop 8, then hide behind the Constitution), and at Open Left, Paul Rosenberg takes the need to challenge the right-wingnuts on their hypocricy a step further, noting that

Now, however, it’s very clear that letting this stuff slide because it’s so idiotic is simply not an option.


There is word for this sort of total disconnect from reality: psychotic. And that, quite literally, is what we are up against: organized psychosis.