01-24-10, 08:24 AM #481
03-03-10, 02:05 PM #482
Quote of the ... undetermined period
Quote of the ... um ... last little while, I guess. Dan Savage suggests:
One day, straight folks everywhere are going to realize that anti-gay ravers come in two flavors: assholes who are externalizing their own internal struggles against homosexual desires (Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, Joseph Ratzinger, et al.) and assholes who are attempting to compensate for and/or draw attention away from their own moral shortcomings (David Vitter, Mark Sanford, Vic Toews, et al.).____________________
Savage, Dan. "Fabulous Jackboots, Eh?" The Stranger. March 4, 2010. TheStranger.com. March 3, 2010. http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/S...ve?oid=3537955
03-05-10, 11:57 PM #483
It's not like we didn't suspect, but still ....
Oh, For God's Sake!
I don't know. To the one, who wouldn't have guessed? To the other ... um ... er ... yeah.
Head, meet wall.
Police wiretaps are expected to result in charges against Angelo Balducci, 63, a Papal Gentleman, as lay attendant are called, and the former chairman of the Holy See's Public Works Department, which is itself caught up in a corruption investigation.
According to police, Balducci regularly contacted Chinedu Ehiem Thomas, a Nigerian man who sings in St. Peter's Cappella Giulia, to engage the sexual services of young male members of the choir, along with seminarians and undocumented immigrants seeking residency status.
The Cappella Giulia is the official choir of the St. Peter's Basilica and performs at many solemn Vatican functions not involving the pope, who is accompanied by the Sistine Chapel choir.
Ehiem, 40, who goes by the nickname Mike, and his assistant Lorenzo Renzi, 33, allegedly arranged for prostitutes for Balducci several times a week. The two men are said to have operated a network of aspiring young priests, choir members and sometimes recruited foreigners seeking to secure their immigration status.
The scandal now envelops Balducci, a well-known and powerful local figure who is married with two children, who despite all this is said to have taken remarkable risks in setting up sexual liaisons even in Chigi Palace, home of the Italian prime minister, or immediately after a private audience with a cardinal.
(Gay News Watch)
I mean, come on. Really. What punch line could I possibly write that wouldn't absolutely wreck this fabulous joke that isn't a joke?
Oh, right. I know.
God damn it!
Gay News Watch. "Papal aide, Vatican men's choir in gay prostitution ring". March 4, 2010. GayNewsWatch.com. March 5, 2010. http://www.gaynewswatch.com/Page.cfm?PageID=22&SID=7864
03-19-10, 02:58 AM #484
Srebrenica: It's the queers' fault!
Today In Utter Crap
Former NATO commander blames homosexuals for Srebrenica massacre
Stop me if you've heard this one before: When I was twelve, I attempted a complete makeover of my personality and presentation. The whole thing failed utterly. To the one, my mother wouldn't allow me to wear that much black. To the other, I set impossible goals for myself. For instance, I resolved to never be shocked by the things human beings are capable of choosing and doing. And for nearly a quarter of a century, I have abjectly failed in that pursuit.
Okay, so it's not that I'm shocked. Nor necessarily unsettled. Superstition suggests to me that I should expect this sort of thing, but still, I find myself taken aback by the brazen stupidity and desperation of modern bigotry.
Apparently, according to one General John Sheehan, a retired American soldier who once served as Supreme Commander of NATO forces, explained to the United States Senate that the Dutch failure in 1995 at Srebrenica, came about in part becaue the Dutch allow homosexuals to openly serve in the military.
According to the BBC:
Gen Sheehan said the former chief of staff of the Dutch army had told him that the presence of openly gay soldiers in the Dutch peacekeeping force were seen as "part of the problem" which contributed to the fall of Srebrenica.
He argued that since the end of the Cold War, European militaries had changed and he concluded "there was no longer a need for an active combat capability".
This "socialisation" process, Gen Sheehan said, "included open homosexuality" and led to "a focus on peacekeeping operations because they did not believe the Germans were going to attack again or the Soviets were coming back".
The first question to mind is whether this argument even makes sense. For their part, the Dutch are astonished by Sheehan's remarks. A defense ministry spokesman, Roger van de Wetering, responded that, "It is astonishing that a man of his stature can utter such complete nonsense." The Washington Post reports that Ambassador Renée Jones-Bos disagreed with Sheehan, noting, "I take pride in the fact that lesbians and gays have served openly and with distinction in the Dutch military forces for decades, such as in Afghanistan at the moment." The Beeb notes that Britain, Canada, Australia, and Israel, among others, allow homosexuals to serve openly in their military forces. Maybe next Sheehan will blame the Palestinian conflict on gays.
British Broadcasting Corporation. "Dutch fury at US general's gay theory over Srebrenica". BBC News Online. March 19, 2010. News.BBC.co.uk. March 19, 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8575717.stm
O'Keefe, Ed. "Ex-Marine general blames part of Dutch army's failure in Bosnia on gay soldiers". The washington Post. March 19, 2010. WashingtonPost.com. March 19, 2010. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...031806122.html
03-24-10, 03:57 AM #485
I'm going to assume the role of Tiassa here for a short bit. To the one, I'm sure I will be forgiven. To the other, let's hope this doesn't happen often. I don't need this responsibility.
Lesbian Student Sues To Have Prom!
Judge: No school prom but lesbian's right violated
JACKSON, Miss. – The prom's still off at a Mississippi high school that canceled it instead of letting a lesbian student bring her girlfriend, but a federal judge ruled Tuesday that the district's actions did violate the teen's constitutional rights.
U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson refused the American Civil Liberties Union's demand to force the Itawamba County school district to put on the April 2 prom. However, he said canceling it did violate 18-year-old Constance McMillen's rights and that he would hold a trial on the issue.
That would come too late for the prom to be salvaged at Itawamba Agricultural High School. Still, Kristy Bennett, ACLU Mississippi legal director, called the decision a victory.
The American Civil Liberties Union sued the district to force it to put on the prom and allow McMillen to bring her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo. School officials said in U.S. District Court this week that they decided to cancel it because McMillen's challenge to the rules had caused disruptions.
The judge noted that McMillen has been openly gay since she was in the eighth grade and that she intended to communicate a message by wearing a tuxedo and escorting a same-sex date.
"The court finds this expression and communication falls squarely within the purview of the First Amendment," Davidson said.
That most memorable of nights in a high-schooler's life, the Prom, was cancelled because of a stubborn lesbian, who, in defiance of her Creator, has exchanged that which is natural and proper with that most abominable of abominations, homosexuality.
She even wanted to wear a tuxedo! Was it just to help differentiate which is the dominant one in the "relationship" or is it because she is confused about her gender?!? After all, gender dysphoria is one of the key pillars in the faulty foundation of what we know as homosexuality.
Thanks Miss McMillen (you are aware that you are a WOMAN, and hence a "Miss" aren't you?)!!! You ruined a memorable night of listening to Top 40 hits, silly dancing, mingling, cliquery, and general BS. AND most important of all, you ruined that chance to get to the base! You know, first, second, third, or, for the lucky ones, a home run. HOME run. Not HOMO run, oh ruinous Lesbian McMillen.
And maybe that hasty act of unprotected sex would be the first truly magic moment in a young woman's life: the act of conception. Sure, the marriage could and should come later, but at least they would be doing things the right way; the natural way; GOD'S way!
Homosexuality destroys everything it touches. Even idiotic dances.
Caveat Hannibal ...
03-29-10, 02:53 PM #486
Destroying Families for Family Values, or, Why Winning is Important
Why Winning is Important
"No son of mine", and other absurdities from the Gay Fray
Dan Savage makes the point well enough:
I'm not going to link to Raymond Martin's bio on Bleckley High School's website—his email and phone number are on there—because the last thing Derrick Martin needs is a bunch of angry people calling and writing his dad. But Raymond Martin used to proud of his son Derrick, the honor student, proud enough to mention his son in his bio:
But Raymond Martin wrote his bio before Derrick Martin asked to take his boyfriend to prom, before his school saying yes became national news, and before Derrick's parents kicked him out of the house.
(Boldface accent added)
And Jeanne Sager asks the vital question:
A set of parents who kicked their teenager out of the house made national news late last week -- their son, Derrick Martin, made the egregious mistake of standing up for his rights in the face of homophobia.
And get this, the kid won over his small town school district! They are actually going to let Martin take his boyfriend to the prom.
It's just the sort of experience that should have parents falling all over themselves to help their child, but Martin's mom and dad reportedly thought he brought bad publicity to the family.
Which begs the question: what justifies a parent kicking their child out of the house?
Because 1.6 to 1.7 million American youth have experienced homelessness, and some 63 percent are never sought by their parents.
Gay teens are at a particularly high risk of being kicked out of the house -- 26 percent of gay teens report it happened to them.
But the range of reasons parents make the decision is immense -- from teen pregnancy, to drug abuse, to just being in a really pissy mood.
(Boldface accent added)
On the upside, Derrick did win his argument with the school.
But Derrick Martin's story is only the latest prom issue to make the news lately. Indeed, it's a steep price to pay for winning what Constance McMillen couldn't. The 18 year-old lesbian caused such a stir by simply wanting to bring her girlfriend to the prom that the school canceled the event. And then heterosexuals organized a private prom specifically to exclude gays.
It is in the shadows of Constance McMillen's story that we find another sad tale of het pride. The community of Fulton, Mississippi and administrators at Itawamba Agricultural High School managed to run Juin Baize out of school after all of four hours, and, eventually, out of town. Again, from Dan Savage:
Constance McMillen wasn't the first student at Itawamba Agricultural High School to contact the ACLU this year.
Juin Baize was a student at Itawamba Agricultural—for a grand total of four hours.
Baize, his mother, and his two sisters moved to Fulton, Mississippi, from New Harmony, Indiana, to live with Baize's grandmother at the beginning of the year. (For now Baize says he prefers to use male pronouns.) Baize, age sixteen, enrolled at Itwamba Agricultural High School, where Constance McMillen was also a student. McMilllen clearly recalled Baize's first—and only—day at Itawamba Agricultural.
"People were talking about him all day, trying to get a look at him," said McMillen. "It was insane, it was ridiculous, it made me so mad. They said he was causing a distraction with what he was wearing but it was a half day of school and people didn't have time to get used to him."
The other students wouldn't be given a chance to get used to him: the next time Baize came to school, according Kristy Bennett, legal director of the ACLU of Mississippi, Baize was given a suspension notice and sent home. When Juin returned to school after his first suspension, he was suspended again.
"Juin's case was a situation where a transgender student wanted to attend school dressed in feminine clothing," said Bennett, "and the school district would not even let him attend school."
The reasons for a student's suspension are supposed to be noted on the suspension form, according to Bennett, but that part of Baize's suspension notice was left blank. So the ACLU sent a letter to the school on Baize's behalf asking the school administration for the reasoning behind his suspension—information the ACLU would need in order to challenge Baize's suspension in court.
"But the school would not talk to us about the situation," said Bennett.
Juin Baize has moved to Pensacola, Florida, where he is staying with family friends. While the gay community and good-hearted people around the country have been offering to help Derrick Martin afford a limo, tux, or other niceties of the prom, and various groups have reached out to stage an open prom for Constance McMillen and all of her classmates, in Juin Baize's case, they are trying to raise enough money to reunite the family in Florida.
Let me repeat that last: They are trying to raise enough money to reunite the Baize family in Florida.
Family values, indeed.
This is why we fight. This is why we must win.
Savage, Dan. "Derrick Martin's Dad". Slog. March 29, 2010. Slog.TheStranger.com. March 29, 2010. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/arc...ck-martins-dad
—————. "Trans Student Suspended from Same School in Mississippi That Canceled Prom, Later Hounded Out of Town". Slog. March 25, 2010. Slog.TheStranger.com. March 29, 2010. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/arc...ack-in-january
Sager, Jeanne. "What Would It Take to Kick Your Kids Out of the House?". The Stir. March 29, 2010. TheStir.CafeMom.com. March 29, 2010. http://thestir.cafemom.com/big_kid/1...uld_It_Take_to
Joyner, Chris. "District defends nixing prom". The Clarion Ledger. March 20, 2010. ClarionLedger.com. March 29, 2010. http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pb...ID=20103200341
03-29-10, 03:21 PM #487
What God Wants: Excluding the poisonous fungi
What God Wants
Excluding the poisonous fungi
As with so many ultimately conservative organizations, the Catholic Church is in the process of circling its wagons. And even for some of the same reasons. Renata Pereira brings us the latest:
The bishop of the city of Tursi has declared homosexuals should not receive communion or be given funerals.
In an interview published last Friday on pontifex.roma.it, a website created to ‘prove and defend Christianity’, Bishop Francesco Nolè declared that ‘irregulars’ such as criminals and homosexuals should not be given communions or funerals. This, he said, is not to be seen as discrimination, but rather as ‘healthy medicine’ for those close to the person: “Our behaviour, which could be perceived as mean or cruel, in the long-run often heals and evangelises.”
He added: “We must have the courage and tact, perhaps first informing the individual, or the families if he has passed, that it’s not possible to administer a communion or funeral. We would perhaps pray for his soul, which must be done.”
And if that wasn't enough, the choirmaster at the Sistine Chapel, Domenico Bartolucci, went to add some more salt to Christ's wounds:
He went on to say: “The church, with its eternal obsession with compassion, is or has already succumbed. Homosexual couples or those who are divorced and re-married are being called ‘irregulars’ instead of ‘public sinners’, and so the concept of sin itself goes down the drain.
“Nothing surprises me anymore. Homosexuality, which is a disease, has become something normal. They sprout like poisonous mushrooms, and instead of feeling shame they celebrate this plague and the church itself minimalises these sins. Homosexuality itself is not a sin, you can’t punish a sufferer. But it becomes one when the abomination is practised. It’s disgraceful.”
Such faith in God, indeed. After all, it couldn't possibly be that God has His own reasons for blessing the conceptions and births of homosexuals.
"When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the King will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'____________________
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?'
"And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.' Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.'
"Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?'
"Then he will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.' And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
(Matthew 25.31-ff, RSV)
Pereira, Renata. "Gays shouldn’t be given funerals, argues Italian bishop". March 18, 2010. Pink Paper. News.PinkPaper.com. March 29, 2010. http://news.pinkpaper.com/NewsStory.aspx?id=2601
Weigle, Luther A., et al. The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version. Second edition. New York: Thomas Nelson, 1971. Quod.Lib.UMich.edu. March 29, 2010. http://quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/
03-29-10, 04:06 PM #488
The rain keeps coming ... out
Yet Another One ....
Fish in a barrell, ducks on a rock
I suppose maybe I should just settle on a daily or weekly digest of all the inevitable outings, idiocies, and brutalities of the homophobic sector. Or, as Dan Savage notes:
A "leading Canadian psychiatrist" who was famous for "treating" gay men—and curing homosexuality—with "electroconvulsive aversion therapy" and chemical castration drugs has been accused of—can you guess?
Or to look to Chris McGreal's report for The Guardian:
A leading Canadian psychiatrist who kept accusations of gross human rights abuses in apartheid-era South Africa hidden has been charged in Calgary with sexually abusing a male patient and is being investigated over dozens of other allegations.
Dr Aubrey Levin, who in South Africa was known as Dr Shock for his use of electricity to "cure" gay military conscripts, was arrested after a patient secretly filmed the psychiatrist allegedly making sexual advances. Levin, who worked at the University of Calgary's medical school, has been suspended from practising and is free on bail of C$50,000 (£32,000) on charges of repeatedly indecently assaulting a 36-year-old man.
The police say they are investigating similar claims by nearly 30 other patients. The Alberta justice department is reviewing scores of criminal convictions in which Levin was a prosecution witness.
According to McGreal, Levin left South Africa—where he had a reputation for using electroshock therapy to cure white military conscripts of being gay, or doping conscientious objectors out of their minds—fifteen years ago:
South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission heard that Levin was guilty of "gross human rights abuses" including chemical castration of gay men. But after arriving in Canada in 1995 he managed to suppress public discussion of his past by threatening lawsuits against news organisations that attempted to explore it.
Following Levin's arrest, the expected flood of allegations has spilled out. Meanwhile, Candian authorities are starting to wonder how Levin was allowed into the country at all, much less given a job at the University of Calgary medical school.
Levin, who made no secret of his hard rightwing views and was a member of the ruling National party during apartheid, has a long history of homophobia.
In the 1960s, he wrote to a parliamentary committee considering the abolition of laws criminalising homosexuality saying that they should be left in place because he could "cure" gay people.
His efforts to do just that in the army began in 1969 at the infamous ward 22 at the Voortrekkerhoogte military hospital near Pretoria, which ostensibly catered for service personnel with psychological problems. Commanding officers and chaplains were encouraged to refer "deviants" for electroconvulsive aversion therapy.
The treatment consisted of strapping electrodes to the upper arm. Homosexual soldiers were shown pictures of a naked man and encouraged to fantasise, and then the power was ratcheted up.
Trudie Grobler, an intern psychologist on ward 22, saw a lesbian subjected to severe shocks.
"It was traumatic. I could not believe her body could handle it," she said later.
One gay soldier claimed to have been chemically castrated by Levin. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was told by investigators that he was not alone. It also heard that at least one patient had been driven to suicide. Levin refused to testify before the commission.
And yet, after all this ....
Savage, Dan. "No One Could've Predicted". Slog. March 29, 2010. Slog.TheStranger.com. March 29, 2010. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/arc...ldve-predicted
McGreal, Chris. "'Doctor Shock' charged with sexually abusing male patient". The Guardian. March 28, 2010. Guardian.co.uk. March 29, 2010. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010...busing-patient
04-28-10, 03:20 AM #489
The Mississippi Solution: You Just Don't Exist
School erases lesbian from yearbook ... how Soviet
Dan Savage provides a pretty good summary:
Sturgis has been a student at Wesson Attendance Center—WTF with that name?—for 12 years. Sturgis is an honor student. She was told that her photo wouldn't appear in the yearbook because, you know, God hates lesbians in tuxes. But that wasn't enough for the bigots running Wesson: they removed all references to Sturgis. Her photo doesn't appear in the yearbook, her name doesn't appear on a list of graduating seniors, there's no mention of the academic honors she racked up.
The irony here is myriad, and amazing as hell. As a liberal growing up in the '80s, this is the sort of erasure conservatives warned me about. This is what the Soviets do. They'll just erase you from the history books. That's why they're evil.
And yet, once again, it is conservative sentiments bringing us that Stalinist nightmare.
Congratulations to Wesson Attendance Center, and principals Ronald Greer and Oscar Hawkins, who have achieved the unenviable title of national laughingstocks. And, of course, I'd offer my congratulations to Mississippi itself, but at some point I'd think those folks down there would eventually get sick and tired of embarrassing the hell out of themselves.
When Veronica Rodriguez opened Wesson Attendance Center's Yearbook on Friday, she didn't find a trace of her lesbian daughter Ceara Sturgis after a long battle with school officials to include a photo of her daughter wearing a tuxedo in the school's 2010 yearbook.
"They didn't even put her name in it," Sturgis' mother Veronica Rodriguez said. "I was so furious when she told me about it. Ceara started crying and I told her to suck it up. Is that not pathetic for them to do that? Yet again, they have crapped on her and made her feel alienated."
Sturgis and her mother commissioned the Mississippi ACLU to protest officials' October 2009 decision not to allow Sturgis' photo to appear in the senior yearbook because she chose to wear a tuxedo instead of a dress.
The ACLU wrote an October letter demanding officials use Sturgis' submitted photo in the yearbook, but Copiah County School District officials refused. Rodriguez said she expected the yearbook to at least contain a reference to her daughter on the senior page. What she discovered on Friday, when the yearbook came in, was that the school had refused to acknowledge her entirely.
"It's like she's nobody there, even though she's gone to school there for 12 years," Rodriguez said. "They mentioned none of her accolades, even though she's one of the smartest students there with wonderful grades. They've got kids in the book that have been busted for drugs. There's even a picture of one of the seniors who dropped out of school.
"I don't get it. Ceara is a top student. Why would they do this to her?"
Okay, look, this is the thing. The petty and small-minded in the world are like God's version of a practical joke. To the one, we teach children to not hate other people. To the other, though, how long are we supposed to pretend that conservative bigots are useful, decent human beings who deserve an iota of respect?
And the sad thing is that when the earthquake comes, it will be California that falls into the sea. Can't we negotiate with Nature? Sure, take L.A., but leave us San Francisco, and the next time a hurricane floods Florida, Louisiana, or Mississippi, we'll just leave them to drown.
Hurry up and secede, already. Please?
Savage, Dan. "Mississippi Goddamn: High School Erases Lesbian Student From Yearbook". Slog. April 27, 2010. Slog.TheStranger.com. April 28, 2010. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/arc...-from-yearbook
Lynch, Adam. "School Cuts Gay Student Photo from Yearbook". Jackson Free Press. April 26, 2010. JacksonFreePress.com. April 27, 2010. http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/inde...from_yearbook/
05-19-10, 07:57 PM #490
President Silva ratifies gay marriage law in order to move on to more important things
Earlier this week, Portugal became the sixth European nation to legalize gay marriage. The Portuguese Parliament passed the law in January after an extended, contentious debate, and on Monday, the president—widely viewed as a conservative—ratified that decision.
I raise a glass to President Silva, who might disagree with the law, but offered the kind of explanation for his move that, frankly, I can admire:
President Anibal Cavaco Silva said in a nationally televised address he regretted that the country's political parties had failed to reach a compromise during days of heated debate in Parliament four months ago.
Vetoing the bill would only send it back to Parliament where lawmakers would overturn his decision, he said, adding that the country needed to focus on overcoming an economic crisis that has increased unemployment and deepened poverty.
The Socialist government's bill was backed by all of Portugal's left-of-center parties, who together have a majority in Parliament. Right-of-center parties opposed the measure and demanded a national referendum.
"Given that fact, I feel I should not contribute to a pointless extension of this debate, which would only serve to deepen the divisions between the Portuguese and divert the attention of politicians away from the grave problems affecting us," Cavaco Silva said.
Congratulations to Portugal, its Parliament, and its people. And deepest gratitude to President Silva for choosing to accept the times and attempt to focus on more vital issues facing his nation instead of plunge it back into aesthetic friction in order to revisit an argument that is long overdue for settling.
As a note to my politically conservative American neighbors: take the lesson.
Hatton, Barry. "Portugal's president ratifies gay marriage law". Associated Press. May 17, 2010. Forbes.com. May 19, 2010. http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2010/...e_7612103.html
05-19-10, 09:02 PM #491
You're still yapping about the gay agenda, I see. Surprisingly, I hear very little about the issue anywhere else these days, which is quite a relief--all that whining is irritating. The whole controversy, having spun itself into a black hole of fatuity, seems to be dying from exhaustion. Also, two wars and economic hardship have focused our attention on more pressing matters, gay rights being the more trivial matter. You may be the only one who really cares about them, Tiassa, because I'm not hearing much about gay marriage anywhere else.
05-22-10, 05:21 PM #492
Today in Family Values
Today in Family Values
Oklahomans send a message to gays; West Virginia pastor encourages flock to commit murder
Dan Savage brings us the news. First, from Oklahoma:
A gay couple from Washington state moving to Texas to be closer to family made the mistake of getting a room with one bed at a motel in Oklahoma. The men weren't harmed—but all of their possessions were stolen and destroyed. It's the top story in this local news broadcast ....
The news report points out that the stolen moving truck was simply torched; none of the possessions, including valuables, appear to have been stolen. Oklahoma authorities say they have no reason as yet to believe this is a hate crime.
Meanwhile, in West Virginia, one Pastor Jeff Owens of the Shenandoah Bible Baptist Church explained to a cheering congregation:
In America, we need to stop burning flags and start burning fags! It's about time somebody said what needs to be said! It's vile, it's reprobate, and AIDS is a curse sent from God! It's a curse sent from God! You say, "Well you shouldn't say that"; well, don't you say it, I will—it's my turn! We need "Hunt a Homo Week"! We do! [unintelligible] straighten it up, put it on television, brother! Put it on television! That'd put 'em back in the closet! I'm gonna tell you somethin': Those of you that are yellin' and screamin' and shoutin', the reason they came out of the closet is 'cause there weren't enough men on the other side of the closet to keep 'em in! You be a man, you wouldn't have that problem! You know, we take 'em all out and shoot 'em with a scatter shotgun.
Family values in (middle) America.
God shed His grace on thee.
Savage, Dan. "Gay Couple From Washington State Victims of Probable Hate Crime in Oklahoma". Slog. May 22, 2010. Slog.TheStranger.com. May 22, 2010. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/arc...me-in-oklahoma
—————. "Who Is Pastor Jeff Owens?" Slog. May 22, 2010. Slog.TheStranger.com. May 22, 2010. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/arc...tor-jeff-owens
05-23-10, 04:24 PM #493
Today in Family Values (Revisitation)
Today in Family Values
West Virginia pastor apologizes, son faces sentencing on two counts of sex offenses against minors
An email campaign promoted by Dan Savage at Slog, and other sites around webworld, has earned the following response from Pastor Jeff Owens, who was recently outed as encouraging his flock to murder homosexuals:
Nearly 15 years ago I preached a sermon that promoted physically hurting gay people. I was young, stupid and immature. I didn’t even hold to the belief of hurting people when I wrongly made those comments. I regret those words and have asked God to forgive me for them. I am not a believer in the gay life-style but I was profoundly wrong in making any comments about hurting people. If I could retract those words I certainly would.
I wrongly represented both God and myself. I truly believe that God is a God of LOVE. I believe he loves the whole world even when people in the world do things that are wrong; Such as my wrong representation of how to treat someone who does not believe the same way I do.
I no longer preach like that and I purposely teach and train others to preach and behave properly as well. The hurtful words in that sermon tape were erased many years ago and somehow have resurfaced much to my disappointment and embarrassment. I realize I have disappointed many who have heard those words in that sermon. May I include my disappointment in myself. Once again, I offer my humble apology.
With a sincere heart,
(qtd. in Savage)
Savage points out an issue with the apology, that Pastor Owens was apparently "young, stupid and immature" after nineteen years in the pulpit; an online biography also notes that he served fourteen years as an associate pastor in Indiana.
Nonetheless, picking a nit with the word "young" might overlook the alleged repentence and change of heart; we ought to look forward, and hope it is sincere.
Meanwhile, in a separate development, one of Pastor Owens' children faces sentencing today (a Sunday? in West Virginia?) has entered a plea deal with Berkeley County prosecutors. Jeremiah Daniel Owens has pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault, against girls aged 15 and 13. He faces up to five years for each count, though his attorney, Kevin Mills, will ask the court to throw out the minimum sentence (one year) and consider a request for probation or alternative sentences.
“Mr. Owens has entered his guilty pleas to these two charges and he wishes to take full responsibility for his poor decisions,” Mills said. “We have a number of witnesses that will be testifying on his behalf at this hearing. These witnesses will be testifying in an effort to present the judge with a full and complete perspective on the many good things Jeremiah has been involved with.”
Perhaps such testimony will tug the court's heartstrings. Even so, one might wonder at Jeremiah Owens' prior three-year probation after a September, 2004 guilty plea for three counts of possession of stolen property; he had been charged with burglary and theft in multiple incidents in Indiana. Additionally, a grang jury in Fayette County, Kentucky dismissed rape charges against Jeremiah Owens for insufficient evidence that he had sexually abused a fourteen year-old girl in Lexington, when he worked as a school janitor.
Something about "family values" goes here.
Savage, Dan. "Jeff Owens: I've Changed My Mind! Please Don't Kill The Gays!" Slog. May 22, 2010. Slog.TheStranger.com. May 23, 2010. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/arc...-kill-the-gays
Stewart, David J. "Who is Pastor Jeff Owens?" (n.d.) Jesus-Is-Savior.com May 23, 2010. http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Great...jeff_owens.htm
Grebenstein, Sherree. "Man pleads guilty to sex charges". The Journal. April 16, 2008. Journal-News.com. May 23, 2010. http://www.journal-news.net/page/con...id/505647.html
Last edited by Tiassa; 05-25-10 at 05:01 AM. Reason: Typo
06-14-10, 10:37 PM #494
Our Marine Corps
The Few, the Proud ...
... the frightened?
Arek Sarkissian II brings us the news from Savannah, Georgia, where two U.S. Marines stand accused of assaulting a gay man after allegedly sucker-punching him for allegedly winking at them.
Cronauer and Stanzel told police they were being harassed by a gay man and wanted to get away from him. But witnesses painted a different picture, according to the report.
They told police one of the men grew angry because he thought Daly was winking at him and struck Daly in the back of the head with his fist, knocking him unconscious.
Saturday night, from his bed at Memorial University Medical Center, Daly insisted he tried to convince the Marines he was not winking at them.
"The guy thought I was winking at him," Daly said. "I told him, 'I was squinting, man. ... I'm tired.'"
Daly said one of the men told him he demanded respect because he served in Iraq. And at least one hurled slurs at him as he tried to walk away.
"That's the last thing I remember is walking away," Daly said.
Daly said after his friends performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the scene, he was taken to Memorial University Medical Center and diagnosed with bruises to his brain. He had two seizures immediately after the attack and was expected to remain at Memorial for several days.
Meanwhile, Cronauer and Stanzel were booked into Chatham County jail on battery charges and later released to military police, according to jail and police records.
One commenter to Savannah Now noted that the story only reinforces the stereotype that Marines are petty thugs, suggesting, "Isn't it ironic that in the report that he said that he 'demand respect,' but then had to hit the man in the back of the skull? It takes a great deal of fortitude to pull something like that off."
Admittedly, there is a presumption of guilt about that, and we should in fact hope that the multiple witnesses are somehow mistaken in their accounts, and that Daly collapsed coincidentally after the encounter, injuring his head on the sidwalk as he fell. After all, it would be rather quite sad—perhaps to the point of being morbidly funny—to think that one can train to face the worst of the world's worst, but is still afraid of a swish.
More on this story as media interest permits.
Sarkissian II, Arek. "Police: Two Marines beat gay man near Johnson Square in downtown Savannah". Savannah Morning News. June 13, 2010. SavannahNow.com. June 14, 2010. http://savannahnow.com/crime/2010-06...ntown-savannah
06-28-10, 03:13 PM #495
Wait, isn't that a cigarette?
Pride in Istanbul:
Looks like a hell of a party. Radikal has more.
See, the thing is that I have no doubt Turkey's religious conservatives could probably muster a pretty good turnout for a "kill the queers" or "Prude Pride" parade, but it just wouldn't be nearly as fun.
Savage, Dan. "Photos From Yesterday's Pride Parade ...". Slog. June 28, 2010. Slog.TheStranger.com. June 28, 2010. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/arc...s-pride-parade
Radikal. "Taksim'de 5 bin kişilik 'Onur Yürüyüşü'". (n.d.) Radikal.com. June 28, 2010. http://www.radikal.com.tr/Radikal.as...icleID=1005083
07-09-10, 07:27 PM #496
DoMA Down: Round One Strikes Section Three
Massachusetts: DoMA Down, But Not Out
Same-sex victory in federal court sets stage for next round
Michael Levenson brings us the news from Boston:
A US district court judge in Boston yesterday declared unconstitutional a 1996 law that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage.
Judge Joseph L. Tauro, ruling in two separate challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, declared that the law "induces the Commonwealth to violate the equal protection rights of its citizens" and "plainly intrudes on a core area of state sovereignty, the ability to define the marital status of its citizens."
"This court has determined that it is clearly within the authority of the Commonwealth to recognize same-sex marriages among its residents and to afford those individuals in same-sex marriages any benefits, rights, and privileges to which they are entitled by virtue of their marital status," Tauro wrote.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who brought one of the two challenges, said the decisions would apply only to the approximately 16,000 same-sex couples who have married in Massachusetts since gay marriage became legal here in 2004. They will now become eligible for the same federal benefits extended to married heterosexuals, she said.
"Judge Tauro's decision does not technically apply to other states," Coakley said. "It doesn't change anything in terms of how they treat marriage or how they're treated by the federal government."
But opponents as well as proponents of same-sex marriage predicted that the Obama administration will appeal the rulings to the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston and that the constitutionality of the law will be decided by the US Supreme Court. During an appeal, it is likely that the law would remain in effect, lawyers said.
The law was defended in court by lawyers from the US Justice Department, even though President Obama supports repealing the law and has called it discriminatory.
What has been struck in Massachusetts is Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act:
SEC. 3. DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE.
.....(a) In General.--Chapter 1 of title 1, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
"Sec. 7. Definition of 'marriage' and 'spouse'
....."In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.".
Abby Goodnough and John Schwartz explain, for The New York Times:
In the case brought by Attorney General Martha Coakley, Judge Tauro found that the 1996 law, known as the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, compels Massachusetts to discriminate against its own citizens in order to receive federal money for certain programs.
The other case, brought by Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, focused more narrowly on equal protection as applied to a handful of federal benefits. In that case, Judge Tauro agreed that the federal law violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution by denying benefits to one class of married couples — gay men and lesbians — but not others.
Neither suit challenged a separate provision of the Defense of Marriage Act that says states do not have to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. But if the cases make their way to the Supreme Court and are upheld, gay and lesbian couples in states that recognize same-sex marriage will be eligible for federal benefits that are now granted only to heterosexual married couples.
Thus, Section 2, allowing states to disapprove marriages fashioned in other states remains intact, though some expect a challenge to this part after the Section 3 battle is finished. Some argue that Section 2 contravenes the Full Faith and Credit Clause in Article IV of the United States Constitution.
Criticial reaction to Judge Tauro's decision has been nearly predictable. Bruce Hausknecht, a judicial analyst for CitizenLink—a division of Focus on the Family—toyed with definitions:
"The fact that the judge could, with a straight face, conclude that after several millennia there is no rational reason why Congress might want to define marriage as one man and one woman, even though it has existed that way for thousands of years, is irrational."
Massachusetts Family Institute president Kris Mineau called the ruling "another blatant example of a judge playing legislator", and argued the real question is not the definition of marriage, but that, "The federal government should have the right to determine [who receives federal] benefits."
Family Research Council senior vice president Tom McClusky accused the Obama administration of bad faith, claiming the outcome "results from the deliberately weak legal defense of DOMA that was mounted on behalf of the government".
Charles Lane, writing for The Washington Post's "PostPartisan" blog, included the bad-faith suggestion in his review of the federal government's role in Utah's statehood and polygamy:
In fairness to the judge, the Justice Department seems not to have presented these facts to the court, and they aren't mentioned in the only historical document in the record before him, an affidavit from Harvard historian Nancy Cott from which Tauro quotes frequently. Maybe we'll hear more about them if the Obama administration decides to appeal.
The marriage equality movement responded to the decision with its own predictable rhetoric. "Today the court simply affirmed that our country won't tolerate second-class marriages," said GLAD attorney Mary Bonauto, who argued one of the cases. Plaintiff Nancy Gill was perhaps more measured in her assessment of Tauro's decision: "I am so happy I can't even put it into words."
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick spoke of a victory for the Commonwealth:
Governor Deval Patrick said those who challenged the law "clearly made a compelling and effective case against discrimination and, in the process, helped to guarantee that all of our citizens have access to the same protections and benefits."
"This ruling is a victory for equal rights and affirms the hard work we have done over the years to ensure that the citizens of our Commonwealth can marry anyone they love," he said in a statement.
More sober analysis, of course, suggests there is much more to the decision than the political rhetoric otherwise allows. Professor Jack Balkin of Yale Law School called Tauro's two rulings "amazing", and explained, "No chance they'll be held up on appeal."
Professor Balkin, who supports the right to same-sex marriage, said the opinions ignored the federal government's longstanding involvement in marriage issues in areas like welfare, tax policy, health care, Social Security and more. The opinion in the advocacy group's case applies the Constitution to marriage rights, he said, undercutting the notion that the marriage is not a federal concern.
"These two opinions are at war with themselves," he said.
The arguments concerning the 10th Amendment and the spending clause, if upheld, would "take down a wide swath of programs — you can't even list the number of programs that would be affected," he said.
By citing the 10th Amendment and making what is essentially a states' rights argument, Professor Balkin said Judge Tauro was "attempting to hoist conservatives by their own petard, by saying: 'You like the 10th Amendment? I'll give you the 10th Amendment! I'll strike down DOMA!'"
(Goodnough and Schwartz)
Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of University of California-Irvine School of Law took a more sympathetic outlook:
"The key issue in this case, and in all litigation about marriage equality for gays and lesbians, is, Does the government have a rational basis for treating same-sex couples differently from heterosexual couples?" he said. "Here, the court says there is no rational basis for treating same-sex couples differently from heterosexual couples. Therefore, DOMA is unconstitutional, and conditioning federal funding on compliance with DOMA is unconstitutional."
A central issue in the fight over the constitutionality of California's same-sex marriage ban is whether laws restricting gay rights should be held to a tougher standard of review than the "rational basis" test, and so Judge Tauro's decision takes a different path that would eliminate the need for that line of argument, Professor Chemerinsky said.
"There's no need to get to higher scrutiny if it fails rational basis review," he said.
Boston College Law School professor and Huffington Post pundit Kent Greenfield, like his Yale colleague, considered the decision in the context of the Tenth Amendment:
A federal judge in Boston has ruled unconstitutional the portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that limits federal benefits to straight couples even in states that recognize gay marriage. This is just the first inning in a long game that will eventually end up in the Supreme Court. The decision there will depend on whether the conservatives really believe in states' rights.
For almost 20 years, one of the pivotal debates on the Supreme Court has been the role of states' rights in limiting the power of the federal government. In cases on issues ranging from the possession of handguns in school zones to violence against women, the conservatives on the Court have argued that Congress cannot assert its power to regulate because doing so would encroach on "state sovereignty." According to the conservatives, areas of "traditional state concern" are protected by the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.
The contours of the 10th Amendment limitation have never been clear, mostly because the 10th Amendment itself is not clear. (It says that whatever powers the federal government does not have are left to the people or to states; it punts on what those powers actually are.) But one thing has been clear in the opinions of the conservatives on the Court: family law -- marriage, divorce, child custody -- is an area of traditional state concern. In both the handgun case (United States v. Lopez) and the violence against women case (United States v. Morrision), then-Chief Justice Rehnquist cited the federal regulation of family law as one of a parade of horribles that would arise if federal power got out of hand ....
.... Up to now, the 10th Amendment has been used almost exclusively by conservatives who want to limit the federal government's power to protect our environment, restrict firearms, or punish racial discrimination. And it's been a powerful rhetorical tool -- it's been used to good effect by the Tea Party, for example, in fighting health care reform and Wall Street bailouts.
But the DOMA case turns the ideology around. The 10th Amendment is being used for a politically progressive goal -- to fight against federally mandated discrimination in an area of traditional state concern.
When it gets to the Supreme Court, if the Court is consistent with its previous statements about family law being out of bounds for the federal government to regulate, then DOMA should lose.
The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder tried to make sense of the seeming conflict between the two rulings:
So how will President Obama's Justice Department finesse its commitment to gay rights with its precedence-rooted commitment to defend the Defense of Marriage Act? The answer isn't clear, but what is clear is that Justice will take its sweet time trying to figure a way out. The government was surprised that yesterday's decision, in Gill v. OPM, didn't change the scrutiny standard at all -- and the plaintiffs were still able to win their case. Judge Joseph Tauro ruled that because marriage was "the firmly entrenched province of the state," the government could not regulate it without violating the 10th amendment. (Health care reform opponents will enjoy the logic of this argument.) In a separate and somewhat conflicting ruling, Tauro ruled that DOMA violates equal protection guarantees because it forces the state to discriminate. So -- can states ban gay marriage in Tauro's world? ....
.... Generally, the equal protection case is seen as the strongest, because DOMA was signed into law by politicians who wanted to make sure that gay couples could not get access to federal benefits if their states legalized same-sex marriages or civil unions. Its intent was to deprive a class of people of rights afforded to another class.
I don't know if this case has the ingredients to create (or recognize) a federal right to gay couples; one presumes that, if this case doesn't reach the Supreme Court, the more compelling challenge could come from a couple who gets married in Washington, D.C., decides to move to Kentucky and demands that Kentucky recognize their marriage ... which Kentucky, citing DOMA, won't.
The prevailing assumption among many gay rights advocates is that there are four and a half votes on the Supreme Court for gay marriage, and the fifth vote will depend upon both the sway of public opinion, which absolutely influences how the justices work, and the quality and elegance of the underlying argument. I don't know if Gill gets them there. But it does, in a sense, advance the line of argument that holds that any sort of discrimination against gays is irrational. That's something the appeals court will take up, and something that the administration will have to figure out how to argue very carefully ...
Yet there must be something amiss either in Ambinder's construction or my understanding of the Tenth and Fourteenth Amendments. And, most likely, yes, I am the one missing something.
Still, though, the decision in Massachusetts has great impact. When the issue is long settled, Gill v. OPM and Massachusetts v. DHHS will be remembered as landmarks in a long struggle toward equality.
Levenson, Michael. "Judge rejects gay marriage curb". Boston Globe. July 9, 2010. Boston.com. July 9, 2010. http://www.boston.com/news/local/mas...riage_upended/
Government Printing Office.. "Public Law 104-199". 1996. GPO.gov. July 9, 2010. http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-...=f:publ199.104
Goodnough, Abby and John Schwartz. "Judge Topples U.S. Rejection of Gay Unions". The New York Times. July 9, 2010; page A1. NYTimes.com. July 9, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/09/us/09marriage.html
United States Constitution. Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School. Cornell.edu. July 9, 2010. http://topics.law.cornell.edu/constitution
Lane, Charles. "Judge Tauro's questionable past". PostPartisan. July 9, 2010. WashingtonPost.com. July 9, 2010. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/pos...able_past.html
Greenfield, Kent. "The DOMA Supreme Court Question: Do the Conservatives Really Care About States' Rights?" Huffington Post. July 9, 2010. HuffingtonPost.com. July 9, 2010. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kent-g..._b_640615.html
Ambinder, Marc. "Administration Will Take its Time on DOMA Decision". The Atlantic. July 9, 2010. TheAtlantic.com. July 9, 2010. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/...ecision/59474/
07-15-10, 05:20 AM #497
By six votes, "a more just country for all families"
Buenos Aires was the first city in Latin America to legalize same-sex civil unions. Urugay, along with parts of Brazil and Mexico, followed. Mexico City legalized gay marriage last year. And this morning, after fourteen hours of contentious debate, the Argentine Senate voted 33-27 in favor of a bill to legalize gay marriage throughout the nation. Following last month's vote in the Chamber of Deputies, gay marriage is now legal in Argentina. Preisdent Cristina Fernandez hailed the vote, claiming that "Argentina, from today forward, is a more just country for all families".
Opposition to the bill is obviously disappointed. Ines Frank, of Argentine Families Argentina, explained that opposition to gay marriage was not discriminatory because "the essence of a family is between two people of opposite sexes".
Estimates suggest there are over six hundred-thousand orphans needing homes in Argentina. Marriage equality for homosexuals means gay couples can, among other things, adopt children.
British Broadcasting Corporation. "Argentine Senate backs bill legalising gay marriage". BBC News Online. July 15, 2010. BBC.co.uk. July 15, 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10630683
07-21-10, 03:26 AM #498
Gay Demons ...
... or something like that
So, Wm. Steven Humphrey, television critic for The Stranger suggests Pastor Jay Stirnemann tried to frighten gays into becoming straight by speaking in tongues at a National Organization for Marriage rally in Providence, Rhode Island last weekend.
Actually, I think the preacher was trying to exorcise the gay demons.
Or, as Humprey put it:
Seriously, people who speak in tongues! YOU LOOK LIKE IDIOTS!! I'm just telling you for your own good!
(And I will further note that this does not just hurt the heterosupremacist movement; it also denigrates Christianity. Seriously, when people see that, some wonder, "Why would I ever want to be like those people?")
Humphrey, Wm. Steven. "Freaky Pastor Tries to Scare Gays Straight!" Slog. July 20, 2010. Slog.TheStranger.com. July 21, 2010. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/arc...-gays-straight
07-21-10, 03:31 AM #499
07-21-10, 04:09 AM #500
Not So Much "Only in Texas", But Still ....
Could this get any more bizarre?
Okay, for starters, let's just go with Dan Savage's summary. It's easier that way:
A firefighter died battling a blaze and now his family is suing to prevent his wife from receiving death benefits. The dead firefighter's parents are arguing that Nikki Araguz isn't entitled to her late husband's death benefits because Nikki was born a man. Texas views a marriage between a man and a trans woman—between a man and someone who is legally a woman—as no different than a same-sex marriage and Texas doesn't recognize same-sex marriages.
Easy enough? Or ... something like that? But that's not the end of it:
Thomas Araguz's parents claim that their son didn't know his wife—a woman he married less than two years ago—was born a man until shortly before he died. According to lawyers representing his parents, Thomas Araguz separated from Nikki Araguz immediately after learning that his wife had been born a man.
For the morbid details of this soap opera, see the El Campo Leader-News, Houston Press, and Click2Houston.
It only gets worse from there.
Savage, Dan. "A Mess In Texas". Slog. July 20, 2010. Slog.TheStranger.com. July 21, 2010. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/arc...-mess-in-texas
Halvorson, Barry and Shannon Crabtree. "Fireman's widow faces gender challenge". El Campo Leader-News. July 17, 2010. Leader-News.com. July 21, 2010. http://www.leader-news.com/articles/...a743455136.txt
Connelly, Richard. "Nikki Araguz: Lawsuit Says Widow Of Heroic Wharton Firefighter, Was Born A Man". Houston Press. July 19, 2010. Blogs.HoustonPress.com. July 21, 2010. http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairba...sex_change.php
Jaquez, Nefertiti. "Fallen Firefighter's Wife's Gender Questioned". Click2Houston. July 20, 2010. Click2Houston.com. July 21, 2010. http://www.click2houston.com/news/24320992/detail.html