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Archive for August, 2010

Stupid Things People Say About Gays – Texas Governor relates Marriage Equality to Unemployment.

August 30, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Headline, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

Perry Event 2/1/2010
Image via Wikipedia

Texas Governor Rick Perry, known widely for his want of Texas to secede from the United States, is on the campaign trail.  In 2006, Perry successfully used fear mongering about “gays” as a tactic to become governor… again. Perry has a long history of anti-gay bigotry, including being a member of the staunchly anti-equality, pro-imprison gays, Texas Republican Party; however, even he may have sunk to a new low in a recent interview with the Tribune as a reason to move to Texas:

We’re creating more jobs than any other state in the nation. … Would you rather live in a state like this, or in a state where a man can marry a man?

While there is no doubt that job growth is happening in Texas, it’s certainly not a phenomena exclusive to states that actively discriminate against its citizens.  In fact, Massachusetts, the very first state in the Union to introduce legislation that provides for marriage equality, has an economy that is expected to expand by 6.3 percent, generating 216,650 net new jobs by 2016.  Of course, facts don’t matter to Governor Perry – Gay Baiting does.

NOTE: For more of the column, Stupid Things People Say About Gays, click here.

The Proper Role of Government is to Protect Equal Rights, not to Ensure Equality

August 06, 2010 By: geekgirl Category: Commentary

Gay RepublicanThis isn’t part of my usual series on LGBT Lessons for Straight People. It’s my own personal commentary on the Iowa GOP Platform. A while back, Jay posted comments about the Texas GOP Platform. Well, I have news folks. The Republican party is pretty much the same everywhere.  And it’s not just “homosexuals” that they want erased. Don’t believe me? Check this out for yourself. I had to restrain myself from publishing the entire document. If you don’t want to keep reading, here’s the summary.

God and guns in our schools. English only. No Social Security. No Department of Energy, No USDA, No IRS, No Department of Education,  No government supported healthcare. Judges cannot interpret law.

But my favorite is ” The role of government is to protect equal rights, not to ensure equality. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

So. Here we go. I’ve trimmed this way back. But do not interpret that to mean I selected a few bad items and most of it was good. Actually, most of it is monotonously repetitive. I selected a range of items to demonstrate that the Republican party is a “My Way or The Highway” kind of group. And since you might give up before you reach the end, I’ll tell you the Gay Agenda.

Equal rights.


Declaration from “We the People” of Iowa

The Republicans of Iowa still believe that The United States of America is a special place, blessed by our Creator.

STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES:

1.     In the eyes of God, all men are created equal. And they do mean just men. In fact, they mean white men. Keep reading. White, straight men.

3.     The family is sacred. The husband and wife are the ultimate authority, not the government.

4.     The core unit which determines the strength of any society is the family; therefore, the government should foster and protect its integrity. Unless you are gay.

5.     The government works for the people. “We the people” do not answer to them, they answer to us. This really says the people must answer to the Republican party.

8. The purpose of the law is to restrain evil. To prevent injustice from reigning. Justice exists only when injustice is absent. I like this sentence. Too bad their platform isn’t built on this.

10. The function of law is to protect the free exercise of a person’s God given rights. Life, Liberty, and the right to property (pursuit of happiness). Watch how they interpret the pursuit of happiness as the right to property.

16. The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not to ensure equality. Um, I’m very confused. Equal rights are different than equality?

19. Our founding fathers were very clear in their writings that the United States of America was to be a Republic and not a Democracy (a government of the law and not of the masses).Unless you want to vote against gays getting married. Then it is a government of the masses. Keep reading.

1.11 We believe in “conscience clause” legislation so that no physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider can be penalized for refusing to prescribe, dispense, or participate in the procurement of abortion or anything contrary to the conscience of the healthcare provider. So my healthcare providers can deny me legal, FDA approved treatments? I thought the government worked for me, not the other way around. It’s my body, not my healthcare providers.
2.03 We believe laws and rules affecting agriculture must be based on sound proven science. But later we will see that sound proven science is not what they believe in.
2.20 We call for the abolition of the Federal Department of Agriculture, returning control to the state and local governments. Good luck the next time peanut butter is tainted with Salmonella or ground beef is tainted with E.coli and people are dying.
3.16 We call for the repeal of all mandatory minimum wage laws.
3.24 We call for the elimination of the Federal agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Eliminate safety. Great idea. British Petroleum is going to love this. So when people are dying from being poisoned or injured in their work place, what is your proposal GOP?

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

EDUCATION
Top of Form

Bottom of Form

We believe parents, not the government, are responsible for and fully in charge of the education of their children
4.03 We support the State of Iowa continuing to allow freedom to home school, and continuing to support Home School Assistance Programs that already exist.

Why should MY tax dollars support an educational curriculum over which I have no influence? If parents want to home school, they can do it on their own dime.

4.06 We call on the General Assembly to provide for tuition vouchers or tax credits to permit parents a choice of schools (private, public, parochial, or home school) to educate their children without government intervention in the school curriculum.

So my tax dollars should go to parochial schools? But I can’t have proper sex education taught in public schools? GOP, your agenda has one direction only.

4.07 We believe money should follow the child in education, whether children attend public or private institutions. Therefore, we support tax deductions that are provided without religious discrimination to assist parents financially in educating their children using the option best suited to their family’s educational needs.

Tax dollars support public schools. Any other schools should raise funding on their own.

4.16 We support the elimination of the Iowa Department of Education and of the U.S. Department of Education.
4.18 We call for the removal of Kevin Jennings, now head of the United States Office of Safe Schools (Safe School Czar). America’s schools would be safer without him.
4.19 We oppose “No Child Left Behind”.

Wasn’t this a Republican idea? Granted, it’s been a failure. But I read this as “Yea, let’s leave some children behind.”

4.20 We believe Educators at all levels shall have comprehensive communication skills in American English, and that American English should be the official language used in the Iowa educational system.
4.26 We oppose teaching multicultural based curriculum.

This means that only white, Christian culture matters. And you better speak English too.

4.27 We believe that Intelligent Design theory, or Creationism, should be included with all science instruction along with the Darwinian theory. No theory should then be taught in public schools to the exclusion of the other.

The concept of creationism is not science. If they want to teach religion, why not teach about every faith, from Christianity to Islam to Hinduism to Native American faiths. Oh, and I’m rather fond of Druids.

4.29 We support displaying the Ten Commandments and the American flag along with the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in its entirety in Iowa Schools.

This absolutely offends me beyond belief. Displaying the Ten Commandments in public schools?  Freedom of religion for Republicans means freedom to express only one religion. The Puritans came here to escape religious persecution. (Then set up their own persecution of others of course, but you get the idea.)

4.30 We believe that Judeo-Christian values and Scripture should not be excluded from the public schools.

What about other religions? Or atheists?

4.31 We support the free speech right of students to write and speak about God and religion in public schools.

All religions? Can they speak about atheism? Wiccan? Scientology.

4.32 We believe that voluntary teacher or student led prayer shall not be restricted in public schools.The use of the Bible as a textbook should be allowed.

THE BIBLE AS A TEXTBOOK? FOR WHAT SUBJECT? Reading? Writing? Arithmetic?

4.36 We call for the repeal of the nationalization of the student-loan industry.

Good bye student loans. Good bye college. Yes, you are being left behind.

4.38 We believe the state should prohibit school based health clinics and external organizations from providing or recommending abortion or birth-control services or referrals, including the distribution of condoms.

Welcome more children born out of wedlock to teens.

4.39 We believe that sex education should not be taught as a mandatory course in public schools. Because the GOP doesn’t really believe in proven science. The teaching of sex education in any form, at any grade level to any student shall be with written parental consent only. When taught it should stress abstinence outside of marriage as the surest way to prevent pregnancy, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and associated psychological problems.

We’re back to sound proven science. Abstinence only programs do not work.

4.40 We oppose the teaching of homosexual behavior as a normal or acceptable lifestyle in our public schools.

It isn’t a lifestyle. And what this really says it “We support saying that homosexual behavior is abnormal and unacceptable.”

4.41 We believe that sexual orientation should not be allowed to be a basis for any school clubs, such as the Gay Straight Alliance, at any level of the public school system.

This is repulsive, discriminatory and re-enforces bigotry.

4.42 We oppose the “Bullying Law”. This is also disgusting. But now that I know that they feel this way, I will enjoy my freedom to bully Republicans.
5.04 We believe that claims of human caused global warming are based on fraudulent, inaccurate information and that legislation and policy based on this information is detrimental to the well being of the United States.

Is global warming real? I believe it is. But let’s say it isn’t. The things we are doing – driving less, reusing bags – those are detrimental?

5.12 We call for the abolition of the U.S. Department of Energy.
6.01 We believe that traditional, two-parent (one male and one female), marriage based families are foundational to a stable, enduring and healthy civilization. Therefore, policy must always be pro-family in nature, encouraging marital and family commitment, and supportive of parental rights and responsibilities.

But not for LGBT people.

6.02 We call for the repeal of sexual orientation in the Iowa Civil Rights Code and we oppose any other legislation or executive order granting rights, privileges, or status for persons based on sexual orientation. Somehow I think straight people are not the ones getting the shaft here.
6.03 We support an amendment to both the U. S. and Iowa constitutions that states that all marriages should be traditional one natural male and one natural female, omitting transgendered.

Back to proven science. Transgender biology is the best understood and well documented. But let’s just erase them instead of acknowledging them as human.a

6.04 We support allowing the electorate to vote on the marriage amendment.Wait, what happened to we are a Republic, a government of law and not the masses?
6.06 We oppose the State of Iowa, its Courts, and its political subdivisions creating or recognizing a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals.

This is aimed toward LGBT people, not straight people.

6.07 We favor improvement, strengthening, and simplification of adoption laws, and oppose adoption by homosexuals.

Despite many studies showing that gay people are just as good at parenting as straight people.

6.08 We believe no-fault divorce laws should be repealed.

Spread this one around. Get more votes for Democrats.

6.14 We support a parental rights amendment to the United States Constitution that parents have the right to direct the upbringing and education of their children.

No, you don’t. You must speak English, you must be exposed to only Christianity in schools and you cannot learn about multi-culturalism or your own body and your own sexuality. Not in Iowa Schools.

7.02 We resolve that the Constitution of the United States is the authority for the basis of law in this country, as intended by our Founding Fathers not as a “living breathing document.”

Ah. Just like the Bible. Fixed in time yet able to foresee the entire future. Because the Founding Fathers could see forever into the future. Let’s roll back the clock, allow slavery and take away women’s right to vote.

7.26 We believe no group or individual should be accorded “minority” or protected class status, or given the existing statutory benefits that come with the designation. All American citizens should be treated equally as called for by the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

Great. Give everyone equal rights. Including LGBT people.

7.27 We oppose unconstitutional “hate crime” laws.

No one complained about hate crime laws protecting people of faith. But protect gays? No way. Ok Republicans. Then give up all laws that protect any group of individuals. And how is it unconstitutional?

7.29 We support the public display of the Ten Commandments.

This is forcing one religion on all of us. We are a country based on freedom of religion. All religions, not one. Including the right not to believe in God.

7.30 We resolve that church representatives and pastors be allowed to speak on any subject from Scripture, whether moral or political, at any time without disturbing the 501c3 status of the church.

Churches should pay taxes. Why should they be exempt? What makes them special? I thought we weren’t going to let anyone be protected anymore?

7.31 We oppose further attempts to remove any mention of God from the Pledge of Allegiance, the Declaration of Independence, and other documents from our governmental buildings, monuments or currency.

Not everyone believes in God. Not everyone believes in the same God. Will you put up symbols for all beliefs? Will you put up an A for Atheists?

7.33 We oppose the appointment of “Czars”.

A new low. Opposing a title that doesn’t exist.

7.35 We believe that the judicial branch should not be allowed to interpret law to accommodate certain factions.

The judicial branch interprets laws. That is their job. This really means “we don’t want judges interpreting law when it goes in a direction that we don’t like.”

7.45 We insist that a candidate prove that he or she meets all requirements for that office prior to being placed in nomination, including proof of United States citizenship.

Birther crap.

7.54 We believe English should be the only official language for governmental purposes in Iowa and throughout the United States.

Yes. Because we can’t understand what you are saying otherwise.

7.59 We demand that the Iowa Legislature take action to impeach, and to remove from office, judges for legislating from the bench bypassing the Iowa Constitution.

Ever heard of case law?

8.02 We believe that health care is a privilege and not a right. Therefore we strongly oppose any mandatory national health care system including managed care.

Are roads, bridges, schools, parks privileges or rights?

8.17 We believe, with the eminent failure of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, Republicans should take any and all necessary actions to abolish these programs, over time, and replace them with private solutions.

Please AARP – let your seniors in Iowa know about this one.

9.05 We support profiling to identify possible terrorists.

Can you define the profile of a terrorist for me? Someone from Wisconsin maybe?

10.11 We believe public university, college, and school buildings should not restrict possession of firearms by those legally possessing a concealed carry permit, as this endangers our children.

Yea. Let’s allow people to carry weapons into our schools. Great idea. As a parent, can I have my subsidy now to home school? Guns and God in school. The Republican motto.

10.15 We believe that the term “assault weapon” should not be used as a term applicable to a semiautomatic weapon.

They really want their guns. Big guns.

11.08 We support “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”

78% of Americans disagree with you. Oh wait. This is one of those times when we DON’T rule by the masses.

11.20 We want the United States out of the United Nations and the United Nations out of the United States.

We are part of the world, not rulers of the world. Way to make friends and influence people, Republicans.

12.01 We support maintaining an environmental policy that protects the rights of humans before animals, insects, and other creatures. We deplore extremist scare tactics not based on scientific evidence.Except when it means denying global warming, the fact that abstinence doesn’t work, and gay people are born that way. “We want to choose the science that suits our agenda. It says so in the Bible, which is a text book you know. “
13.09 We support the abolition of the IRS.

I could go either way on this one. But, no taxes, no government programs, no roads, no schools, no Social Security, no Medicare, no Smithsonian, Nothing. Nada. Zero. In fact, how would we pay Congress or our military?

13.40 We strongly oppose government monies being given to private organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, AARP, ACORN, ACLU, and other citizen groups.

But they want the government to give money to faith based organizations and allow them to keep their tax free status. Even AARP is a threat. The GOP is afraid of people over 50. Wait. I’m over 50. GET OFF MY LAWN.

What’s next GOP? What rights will you take away next? What rules will you force on others?

jaysays.com contributor geekgirlgeekgirl: Jude, the author of this post, is a straight woman, a mom and has been married for 32 years to the same wonderful man. She believes in Buddhism and attends the United Church of Christ. She is a molecular biologist, her best friend is a lesbian, and she believes that every human deserves equal rights, respect and a life free from hate, fear and discrimination. The only thing she hates is pickles. Her science blog can be found at LGBT Latest Science. More of LGBT Lessons for Straight People can be found here.

Equal Rights are Republican Battle Cries

August 06, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Headline, Thought of the Gay

Nathan Deal Georgia Governor CampaignThe day after Judge Walker released his decision in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case declaring bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional under the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the constitution, right-wingers around the country began screaming about the will of the people and majority rule (apparently forgetting that their own messiah, George W. Bush, was elected by the Supreme Court of the United States, not the majority of the people).  Republicans, who have traditionally used anti-gay tactics to win elections, muscled it up.  In fact, my own Representative, Lamar Smith (R-TX) had this to say:

When Congress returns from recess, I plan to introduce a resolution condemning today’s decision and urging an immediate appeal. The voters of California are not the only ones who lost today. This decision defies the voice of all citizens who have sought to define marriage in their states as the union between one man and one woman. Judge Walker’s actions should be opposed and the decision should be swiftly overturned.

Obviously Lamar Smith’s statement is nothing more than political positioning, smoke and mirrors and 9/11 style fear mongering to wage war on the latest threat to America’s safety, gay marriage.  (Why is it everything with Republicans is so doomsday prophetic anyway?)

Unfortunately, the positioning doesn’t stop there.  In Georgia’s gubernatorial race Nathan Dean has attacked his rival, fellow republican Karen Handel in a “Last Straw” campaign advertisement.  Dean claims Handel supported giving state money to Georgia’s YouthPride, an organization which he claims “promotes homosexuality among teenagers as  young as 13.”

YouthPride does promote youth who are homosexual by providing them with: “a safe, comfortable space where youth can conduct support and discussion groups, plan youth-led workshops, utilize library and computer resources, attend social gatherings, or explore educational and career opportunities.”  Such an organization dedicated to youth outside of the LGBT community would be heralded as providing a unique opportunity for youth to grow into productive adults, not as a group dedicated to promoting youth sex.  But that is the stigma that comes with identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender.  One cannot simply be trying to help youth who identify as LGBT better themselves without “promoting homosexuality.”  Dean should be told that the youth show up as LGBT, they aren’t converted.

Here’s what one Georgia voter had to say about the ad and the work of YouthPride:

As a straight, Christian woman, I am extremely proud of YouthPride’s work, but even prouder of the organization’s youth. If Nathan Deal wanted to make a difference for Georgia young people rather than win an election, he would encourage people to visit the organization’s website and make a donation, so that YouthPride can keep providing this vital service to Atlanta’s young people for the next 15 years and beyond.

In response to the advertisement, Karen Handel does not defend the organization, rather instead, she declares that she had no knowledge of the decision to provide the money and wouldn’t have even handled such a decision.

Friends, it’s going to be a long and bumpy ride to November as the Republican candidates continue to cater to right wing fringe voters in an effort to win.  We will be under constant attack because the belief that LGBT people should be denied rights is one of the last issues that Republicans can hold onto that is agreed to by the majority of voters.  Gays and Gay Marriage will swing voters right in November.  While there may be many “moderate” Republican voices in our society, there seem to be fewer and fewer moderate Republicans in office.  One need look no further than the Texas Republican Party Platform for 2010 to see that the group has become an extremist organization dedicate to reducing the Constitution and equal protection as applicable only to heterosexual, English speaking, Christian Americans.

Target CEO is “Genuinely Sorry” for Anti-LGBT Contribution

August 05, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Featured

target gaysIn a message published today to Target leaders, Target President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel, apologized for the contribution to MNForward, which supports candidates who maintain a very anti-LGBT platform.  Here’s the statement from Target:

Civic Activity
A Message From Gregg Steinhafel, Chairman, President and CEO – 8/5/2010

Dear Target Leaders,
I have heard from many of you, and our team members, over the past week regarding Target’s contribution to MN Forward, and I appreciate your engagement and candor, both of which clearly demonstrate your loyalty and passion for our company.

In situations like this, it is often difficult to find the right words, but I would like to respond with the same honesty you have shown me.

The intent of our political contribution to MN Forward was to support economic growth and job creation. While I firmly believe that a business climate conducive to growth is critical to our future, I realize our decision affected many of you in a way I did not anticipate, and for that I am genuinely sorry.

We remain fully committed to fostering an environment that supports and respects the rights and beliefs of all individuals. The diversity of our team is an important aspect of our unique culture and our success as a company, and we did not mean to disappoint you, our team or our valued guests.

Going forward, we will soon begin a strategic review and analysis of our decision-making process for financial contributions in the public policy arena. And later this fall, Target will take a leadership role in bringing together a group of companies and partner organizations for a dialogue focused on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including GLBT issues.

Thank you for sharing your input and for your continued commitment to making Target an even stronger company.

Sincerely,
Gregg Steinhafel
Chairman, President and CEO

Judge Walker: Prop 8 Decision Full Text – Yeah, it’s Unconstitutional

August 04, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Quick Bits

Judge Walker deemed Prop 8 Unconstitutional based upon both the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the U.S. Constitution.  Here’s the full text of the 138 page decision.