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Archive for September, 2010

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: Libertarian Party Board Member Says DADT Should Remain

September 27, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Headline, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

Although the Libertarian party has often pressed Congress on the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, a recent internal email from one of the party’s Board Members, Norm Olsen of Region 4, argues against the repeal, stating that, “The heterosexual soldier has a right to be free from unwanted sexual advances.”  Here’s the full text of his “P.S.” remarks from a copy of the leaked email (all errors his own):

PS> This is written by a Libertarian individual who believes the that the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy is fine and appropriate.  I realize this will ruffle a whole flock of feathers.  Please hear me out.

My son serves in the military, and is currently deployed in Afghanistan. While joining the military was his choice, the conditions of his deployment are not of his choice.  With whom he is deployed is not his choice.  I suggest that he and all other heterosexuals who have volunteered to serve for whatever reason have a right to be free from unwanted sexual advances. Under normal conditions, he could separate himself from such advances, or physically defend himself from such advances.  Neither is appropriate or applicable in the combat situation; especially under those conditions where his physical safety is in jeopardy; specifically those case where he is dependent upon others for his survival.

The heterosexual soldier has a right to be free from unwanted sexual advances.  It is said that the homosexual has a right to serve his country. In the ‘you and me alone in a foxhole situation’, you have two rights in conflict.  You must solve to the highest level of morality.  In the case of the heterosexual soldier, the morality is ‘I own my own body’.  In the case of the gay soldier, the right is ‘I have a right to serve’.  Which right holds the higher moral ground.  No question in my mind.

The ‘Don’t ask,. don’t tell’ policy is a comprise here.  If non-heterosexual individuals do not exhibit homosexual behavior in military situations, no one cares what their sexual proclivities are.  If, however, they do insist on exhibiting sexual behavior in situations where such is militarily inappropriate, the right to serve loses to the higher moral ground: the right of those in a situation not of their choosing to own their own body. It could very well be that in certain cases this is not the manner in which the ‘Don’t’ ask, don’t tell’ policy is implemented, but improper implementation in certain cases does not invalidate the policy as a whole.

This is simply protecting the rights of the heterosexual soldier to be free from unwanted sexual advances in situations over which the heterosexual soldier has absolutely no choice or control; the only alternative being the firing squad for desertion.  Further, the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy is fairly liberal.  Homosexuals are free to join the military, serve their country, and to improve their lives using the many benefits offered by the government to those who serve in the military.  Heterosexuals are entitled to the same rights and benefits, without having to give up their right to own their own bodies.

Mr. Olsen’s statements are based upon a lot of assumptions/stereotypes.  For example, he assumes that his son is so attractive to gay men that they cannot resist the urge to continually badger him with sexual advances.  He also stereotypes homosexuals (and in his story he appears to specifically target gay men) by indicating that they will “exhibit homosexual behavior in military situations” because they do not have the ability to control themselves.

Apparently, Mr. Olsen is unaware of the current statistics regarding sexual abuse/assault in the military or that the Department of Defense developed the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program to confront the problems that currently exist.  In fact, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made this announcement about sexual assault in the military (even though the U.S. Military doesn’t currently allow openly gay people to serve):

The Department has a no-tolerance policy toward sexual assault. This type of act not only does unconscionable harm to the victim; it destabilizes the workplace and threatens national security.

Now, if Mr. Olsen’s complaints weren’t already a serious problem in our military would Mr. Gates needed to have address the problem?  Would an agency such as the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program need to exist?  No.

In 2009, there were 3,230 reports of sexual assault involving service members.  That’s very nearly 9 assaults per day!  A whopping 89% of all reported cases of sexual assault were made by women in the military, in spite of the fact that women make up only about 20% of the U.S. military.  Of the total reported sexual assaults, only 2% were committed by female personnel.

Education goes a long way Mr. Olsen, discrimination goes nowhere.

To contact Norm Olsen, call (303) 277-9967 or email region4rep@doneDad.com and/or Norman.Olsen@lp.org.

H/T to reader, Brian Miller, for the tip.

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Tea Party Fires Overtly Bigotted President, Tim Ravndal

September 07, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Headline, Thought of the Gay

Protestors at the Philadelphia Tea Party on Ap...
Image via Wikipedia

I do love a good joke.  For example:

A dentist ran out of anesthetic just before the last extraction for the day was scheduled.

He gave the nurse a very large needle, instructing her to jab it hard into the patient’s butt when the signal was given, so it would take his attention away from the tooth extraction.

It all happened in an instant.

The nurse, patient, and pliers were in place. The signal was given, and the nurse bayoneted the patient with the needle just as the dentist yanked the tooth.

Afterwards, the dentist asked, ‘Hurt much?’

The patient hesitated, ‘Didn’t hardly feel it come out, but man, those roots were really deep!’

It’s not a ROFLMAO sort of joke, but there’s no harm in it, unlike the not-funny joke from Mr. Tim Ravndall, former President of the Montana Big Sky Tea Party.  As you may have heard by now, Mr. Ravndall, who claims on his twitter account to be: “Fighting to defend and uphold the United States Constitution. Private Property is the Foundation of Freedom,” had the following exchange on his Facebook page with Dennis Scranton:

Tim Ravndal: ‘Marriage is between a man and a woman period! By giving rights to those otherwise would be a violation of the constitution and my own rights’

Keith Baker: ‘How dare you exercise your First Amendment Rights?’

Dennis Scranton: ‘I think fruits are decorative. Hang up where they can be seen and appreciated. Call Wyoming for display instructions.’

Tim Ravndal: ‘@Kieth, OOPS I forgot this aint America no more! @Dennis, Where can I get that Wyoming printed instruction.’

Dennis Scranton: ‘Should be able to get info Gazette archives. Maybe even an illustration. Go back a bit over ten years.’

The above remarks were a reference to the slain, Matthew Shepard, who was attacked, tied to a fence and left for dead in Wyoming in October, 1998.  His murder inspired a movement against bias-based crimes and a number of songs of remembrance, including Melissa Etheridge’s “Scarecrow,” titled for comments from those who found Matthew strung up to the fence who remarked that they thought he was a scarecrow at first.

Mr. Ravndall apologized for the comments with the caveat that he did not make the connection to Matthew until bloggers picked up the story.  However, even if Mr. Ravndal is so dense as to not have made the connection to Matthew’s murder and Dennis Scranton’s comments, surely he understood the clear meaning of “fruits” and “hang up.”

Somehow, it still amazes me that so many people opposed to same-sex marriage actively joke about murdering gay and lesbian people.  It’s shocking to me that morality in their warped minds defines consensual sexual conduct so rigidly, yet mocks human life and condones murder.

However, unlike many comments supporting the murder of gays, those by Mr. Ravndal did not go without repercussions.  On September 5, 2010, Jim Walker, Board Chair of the Big Sky Tea Party Association, announced that the Board of Directors voted to remove Tim Ravndal as President and member of the non-profit organization because of the comments, stating in a press release:

Our Board learned about the situation from an article in the Great Falls Tribune on Saturday.  We immediately called an emergency meeting for the following morning.   We are extremely disappointed by Mr. Ravndal’s commentary. The discussion in that Facebook conversation is entirely outside the position of the Big Sky Tea Party.   Even though Mr. Ravndal was having a personal conversation and made no reference to our group, we felt strongly that swift and decisive action was required as we can not accept that sort of behavior from within our membership, let alone from an officer of the corporation.   We continually make it known that we will not tolerate bigoted dialog, behavior or messages at our functions, our meetings or within our ranks.  If a person demonstrates bigotry relative to race, sex, ethnicity, etc they are not welcome in our organization.  The Tea Party movement is about standing up for individual freedom for everyone.

I do believe Mr. Ravndal when he explained that he was in no way intending to promote violence and that he was not thinking about nor condoning the murder of an innocent victim in Wyoming in 1998 when he responded to some very disturbing comments made by another individual.  However, no matter how we considered the commentary, it was clear to us that he was participating in conversation which was overtly bigoted and we cannot have an officer of our corporation engaging in such behavior.

But again, we notice the caveat – Mr. Walker believes that Mr. Randval didn’t mean “to promote violence” and “was not thinking about nor condoning the murder of an innocent victim [Matthew Shepard] in Wyoming in 1998.”

Mr. Walker also claims that Mr. Randval’s conversation was “overtly bigoted.”  With 40 percent of Tea Party members claiming that same-sex couples should have “no legal recognition” and only about 16% supporting same-sex marriage, AND with roughly 52 percent thinking that too much been made of the problems facing black people, it’s hard to believe that this is the first “overtly bigoted” thing to come out of the Tea Party movement.  Oh wait… guess they have a lot more members to rid themselves of… unless these aren’t overtly bigoted:

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