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Archive for March, 2009

eHarmony, Ellen and Portia – Smoke and Mirrors or True Apology?

March 31, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

After a lawsuit which eHarmony reluctantly settled with the New Jersey attorney general, the matchmaking site is launching its “gay” service under “compatiblepartners” dot com.

Interestingly, at least to this observer, eHarmony was the sponsor of “The New Newlywed Game” on the show Ellen.  During that episode, the eHarmony logo was displayed on the booth which held Ellen and her wife, Portia.

It appears that the dating website that took such a heavy hit for its discriminatory tactics is now trying to make amends with the LGBT community.  Do we forgive or do we continue to give our business to supportive companies such as match.com?

See more: EHarmony launches gay matchmaking service – Los Angeles Times.

Notes on the Human Condition

March 30, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

In spite of the fact that I sometimes wish I could transform myself into another species, like a rabbit or a snake, I am stuck in this body that is human.  I’m often reminded, by way of a cold, the flu, injury, mistake or mind change, that I am fallible and mortal.  Sometimes, because I’m not perfect, I have to ask for forgiveness from people and often, they accept the apology and we continue down our paths.

So I started thinking about some of my old blog posts and things I’ve done or didn’t do, and I remembered an event that took place where I wronged someone, nay, an entire people.

I had just arrived in Atlanta, GA and walked out of the airport.  A driver had been sent for me, and she was there greeting me with a sign bearing my name.  I climbed into the back of the car, which was open to the front, and prepared for the ride to my hotel.  We exited the airport and drove up to the ticket booth, where we were barely greeted by a young woman in order to pay for the parking.  As I reached for my wallet to hand the driver some cash, she yelled at the lady working the ticket booth.

“What?”  This got my attention and I looked out at the woman in the booth, “I can’t understand you.”

The lady behind in the booth repeated the parking fee amount, was paid, and we drove off.  Upon exiting the parking lot the driver turned to me and said, “I can’t understand those monkeys with their fat lips flapping.”

I didn’t say anything.  I didn’t acknowledge her in any way actually, choosing instead to believe I didn’t hear those remarks.  In fact, the only action I took against her was to report her to the company who hired her to pick me up and suggest they no longer use that car company.  But I didn’t do for “those people” what I would have done for myself.  I didn’t tell her I disagreed or say she should reconsider her racist rhetoric or even pelt her with a Pepsi bottle.  I failed.

Now, as I stand before people on the streets asking them to support Human Rights for ALL people and support the LGBT community, I realize that I am a hypocrite as I didn’t stand up for ALL people.  I hope that I have grown a little in the last five years since the event occurred.  I hope that now, I’m secure enough in myself to stand against those that discriminate in any form and stand up for those that are discriminated against.

Surely there will be another test.  If so, I intend to pass it.

Obama Puts Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in the Closet

March 29, 2009 By: jaysays Category: DADT, LGBT News

In a sad and twisted moment, the Obama Administration has decided to delay the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy until 2010.  The policy, implemented during the Clinton Administration, prevents gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.  Should it become known that they are homosexual, they loose their jobs.

This turn reeks the foulness that was the Clinton Administration – court the gays, liberals and progressives, get their votes, then continue to deny them the very thing that was promised, blatantly.

You may recall Robert Gates’ YouTube video wherein he was asked if the administration would repeal the current Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.  His response was simple, yet to the point, “Yes.”  But now, excuses for not overturning the policy seem to be all the action being taken by the administration:

This is a considerable slap in the face after the U.S. finally decided to sign the U.N. Declaration calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality.  Although a positive move forward, the administration stated that the signing of the declaration would have no impact on existing U.S. law – presumably should it have had an effect, the U.S. would have continued the policy of bigotry and left the declaration on human rights unsigned.

Upon completion of this post, I will go out to my car, which has proudly displayed an Obama pin in the rear view mirror since the election, and remove it.  I may even run over it a few times (100 or so) just to make sure my point is made.  To Obama, to America, to the free “god” loving citizens of the world, I am nothing if I am not denied.  Yet they demand my respect, my complacency and flinch at any signs of anger or resentment for what this country, it’s people and the present and past administrations are doing.

Some may say that we should be patient.  Some may say that overturning Don’t Ask Don’t Tell or providing any rights denied LGBT people should wait due to the pressing matters of the economy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the overall chaos the world has fallen into; however, there comes a time when we have to demand human rights and decency be put first in the list of our priorities, otherwise, something else will always be more important.

Kansas City Men’s Chorus Denied Honorific because it Mentions Gay

March 27, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, LGBT News

As the Kansas City-based Heartland Men’s Chorus prepares for their Saturday performance of “And Justice For All” to honor the fight and fighters for civil equality (i.e. women’s suffrage, the stonewall riots and Martin Luther King, Jr.), the “top leaders” of the state’s senate denies a resolution honoring the group.

Sen. Jolie Justus, District 10 MO, introduced the resolution as part of the hundreds of courtesy resolutions passed each year.  Such resolutions are designed to honor milestones such as 50th wedding anniversaries and “Eagle Scout” achievements; however, the Kansas senate has sent a clear message, “No gays.”

The uproar isn’t about honoring the group, but because of the language of the resolution indicating they are fighting homophobia and makes mention of “gay” men.  Senate republican (of course), Shields has stated he feels the language is too controversial indicating it would:

probably not meet the standards of all the senators.

He has asked the resolution remove references to homophobia, gay and LGBT, the very thing that has brought the group forward as a potential recipient of the resolution.

Sen. Justus stated, rather than “de-gay” the resolution, she will present a certificate to the Heartland Men’s Chorus from her own office rather than from the full Senate and let them know:

Your state capitol finds you to be offensive just because you’re gay.

To that, jay says: “I find your state capitol offensive because they are homophobic bigots who have mistaken a moral delusion for morality.”

Gay Bashing at a Sports Bar: What Would You Do?

March 24, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Hate Crimes, LGBT News

ABC News recently aired filmed “What Would You Do?”  In it, ABC hired two openly gay male actors, one heterosexual couple and one “gay basher” to go to a local sports bar.  The heterosexual couple and homosexual couple agreed to show affection toward one another and gauge the crowds reaction.

They began with the afternoon lunch crowd.  The retained gay basher made numerous remarks about the gay couple and found two allies to agree with his derogatory remarks; however, it quickly turned south when a man (who I will call HERO) arrives and puts the gay basher in his place.  Mr. Hero goes as far as to tell the gay couple, “I think you’re beautiful.”

Unfortunately, night time didn’t go so well for the gay couple.  Although no one noted the heterosexual couple showing affection, the homosexual received all sorts of negative attention; however, so does one of the gay bashers who receives this comment:

Nobody else in here is making me uncomfortable, you are making me uncomfortable.

She then abruptly excited the bar.

Perhaps the thing that most will find shocking about this video is the high level of passion from both Mr. Hero and the hateful lady (Ms. Hateful) near the end.  Unfortunately, the Mr. Heroes are far outnumbered in the world by the Ms. Hatefuls.  However, this video is a remarkable example of homophobia exposed – the daily lives of gay couples should we not “hide” our affection for one another and instead participate in the same rituals of our heterosexual counterparts.

For more on this episode of ABC’s What Would You Do, visit ABC News: Gay Bashing at a Sports Bar: What Do You Do?.

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: Gay Behavior is Abnormal

March 23, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Stupid Things People Say About Gays

It isn’t hard to find stupid comments people make and relate to gay people.  In this comment, “SwingLeft,” aka Norton (43 years old),  attempts to explain why homosexuality is unnatural when faced with the argument that it can be found throughout the animal kingdom:

Get your dick out of that ass long enough to consider this… Abnomal [sic] behavior occurs in all species. When a dog humps my legs, it doesn’t make it right.

First, it’s obvious that Norton immediately associates gay relationships with anal sex, something that most homophobic people do.  Many homosexuals do not engage in anal sex at all and many heterosexual couples admit to engaging in anal sex, thus his argument fails before it is fully laid out.

Norton goes on to compare consensual same-species relationships with a dog humping a leg.  Perhaps Norton thinks that the act of a dog humping a human leg is just “sexual” for the dog.  Actually, when a dog humps your leg, it is the dog’s way of establishing dominance or authority over you as well.  In fact, female dogs will sometimes hump a leg too. The behavior is very common.

Further, abnormal by definition is: ” not normal, average, typical, or usual; deviating from a standard.”  Because the behavior is normal, average, typical and does not deviate from a standard (as most male dogs that are not neutered participate in the practice), the behavior in dogs cannot be defined as “abnormal.”  It can even be argued that such behavior would be considered very normal in dogs.  Abnormal would be if something of another species, such as a human, were to start humping your leg as it is not average, typical or usual.

Thus, the argument further fails.

abnormal. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved March 23, 2009, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/abnormal

School Demands Student Turn Rainbow Bracelet Around

March 19, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, LGBT News, Youth Issues

Chris Quintanilla, a 14 year old Peoria, Arizona student, was recently forced to turn his rainbow wristband inside out by the principal.  Chris reports that he has experienced numerous anti-gay moments at the school.  When the school failed to stop such anti-gay actions, his mother went to the ACLU.  See: Letter from ACLU to school district.

The principal claims that the request was made after many of Chris’ teachers found the wristband “offensive.”  See Also: Gay student banned from wearing rainbow | News Story on 365gay.com.

Perhaps the principal is unfamiliar with the 2001 case of Chamber’s, wherein a Woodbury High School student wore a shirt which said, “Straight Pride” which resulted in the principal banning the “offensive” shirt.  In that case, sponsored by the American Family Association Center for Law and Policy (yes the anti-gay folks), U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank issued a preliminary injunction stating that the action was “probably unconstitutional.”  A federal court later agreed stating it violated the student’s right to free speech.

Tennessee Bill Debated Today to Ban Gay in Schools

March 18, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, LGBT News, Youth Issues

Radical extremist and Religious Reich member, Stacey Campfield, of Tennessee has introduced more controversial legislation.  With his latest push to outlaw the word “gay” from Tennessee schools, Campfield has stooped to a new low.

The proposed ban would prevent public elementary and middle school educators from providing information about nay form of sexual orientation and/or gender identity with the exclusion being heterosexuality.

On Mr. Campfield’s blog, which I refuse to link to but can be found easily enough, Mr. Campfield writes this about education:

Pass Education first so education can become funded properly instead of just a battle cry for more taxes, Pass local option for election of school superintendents to give locals more power and input in fixing their education system, Allow school choice at least for students in failing schools to help get kids a first class education, Remove teacher tenure putting teachers under civil service protection so teachers can be held accountable and principals can fix failing schools, allow merit pay for teachers who work in failing schools or improve standardized test scores of children to reward success and achievement, Allow home school students to play sports in schools their family pay taxes on.

It seems Mr. Campfield has forgotten his own words, “help get kids a first class education.”

On the bright side, at least in my humble opinion, such a bill would criminalize the Bible (or at least teaching the Bible) since homosexuality is discussed [allegedly] within its texts.

See also: Birmingham Progressive Politics Examiner: Extremist anti-gay bill ‘Don’t Say Gay’ debated in Tennessee today.

Increase in Crimes Against Gays since Passage of Prop 8

March 16, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Hate Crimes, LGBT News

I previously speculated in a post (based on rough math) that after the passage of Proposition 8, a substantially higher number of hate crimes against LGBT people began to occur.  I discussed that, in large part, the theory was based upon the fact that more LGBT activists were taking to the streets and making our community more visible to the violent majority.  As if to confirm my speculation, the San Jose Mercury news is now reporting that 56% (14 out of 25 ) of all hate crimes reported in Santa Clara County California were based upon sexual orientation.  This is a significant jump from 2007 with only three of the twenty reported hate crimes being “gay” related.

From the article:

Hate crime cases involving anti-gay sentiment shot up in Santa Clara County last year, a striking increase that a leading prosecutor attributes to controversy over Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on gay marriage.  Surge in anti-gay hate crime cases – San Jose Mercury News.

Supporter of Proposition 8, Frank Shubert of the poorly named Protect Marriage, had this ridiculous statement:

I certainly hope Proposition 8 did not result in more crime, but if it did, it did so on both sides.

So it seems the Religious Reich is claiming that the gays are beating people up again, even though there have only been two confirmed reports of gays “attacking” Proposition 8 supporters in California.  Both of these claims were videotaped, involved only yelling and neither case resulted in physical bodily injury to the Proposition 8 supporters.

Regardless of whether the Court rules in favor of or against the validity of Proposition 8, the moment will be part of the long history of religion being used to abuse a minority class.

Are you Unaware of your Bias or Prejudice – Take an IAT

March 14, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

Implicit Association Tests (“IAT”) are experimental and intended to measure the automatic association between mental concepts.  In it’s experiment Harvard has designed several IAT’s which measure one’s automatic response to things such as Homosexuality, Race, Gender, Weapons, Weight, Disability and other such categories.

For example, I took the IAT to measure my automatic response as to whether I prefer heterosexual people or homosexual people.  According to the results, I have a “moderate automatic preference for gay people.”  This is proof I’m heterophobic; however, such bias is conditioned upon prior treatment by heterosexuals and safety concerns.

Perhaps not suprisingly I was in the minority 6% of people [as of today].  28% of servey takers showed a strong automatic preference for heterosexuals , with 25% reporting a moderate automatic preference for heterosexuals.  Overall 68% of those taking the IAT had slight to strong automatic preference for heterosexuals with 16% showing a slight to strong automatic preference for homosexuals.  17% indicated they had no automatic preference of either heterosexuals or homosexuals.

Next I’ll be taking the IAT regarding race to find out if I have an automatic preference toward one particular race.

The IAT takes approximately ten minutes and requires that you eliminate distractions as results are largely based upon response time.  To take the test, please visit Project Implicit’s website.  I encourage you to share your experience with me either via the comments or by way of the contact page.