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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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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.

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.

LGBT Lessons for Straight People: Ridicule and Oppression is not Tolerance.

July 29, 2010 By: geekgirl Category: Headline, LGBT Lessons for Straight People

LGBT Lessons for Straight People - Why Equality MattersThe National Organization for Marriage, with its key speakers Brian Brown, Maggie Gallagher and Louis J. Marinelli III, are touring the country.

Their rhetoric has changed and I am the first to admit that there must be a genius, albeit it one without morals, on their team. They tried, and succeeded, in taking away marriage from California and Maine by telling lies. Do we all remember the Gathering Storm video? Letting gays marry will mean that:

  • homosexuality will be taught in schools (wrong),
  • will force churches to marry them (wrong),
  • gays will make bad parents (wrong), and
  • since gays are pedophiles, we will condone that sort of thing (very wrong).

The arguments went on:

  • Gays cannot procreate. [Well, procreation is not a requirement for marriage.]
  • Homosexuality is a choice and is deviant behavior (wrong).
  • If we make gay marriage legal, where will it end? We’ll legalize pedophilia and bestiality.

What they are really saying is that they believe gay people are sick.

Pedophilia is abhorrent and is mostly committed by people that identify as heterosexuals. Just ask the Catholic Church, they are experts in this area.

What they fail to recognize is that being gay is not a mental illness, it is not a choice. Couples who want to marry are simply trying to make a commitment so strong that they are willing to commit to each other legally and financially. Marriage is what stabilizes families; all families.

Their Biblical arguments are a failure. Again and again, they ignore the points about other sins in the Bible. They cannot seem to remember that adultery made it to the Ten Commandments, not being gay. They cherry pick from Bible verses. Proven wrong at the Prop 8 trial, they have now resorted to two strategies.

The first is that there is something special about the union between a man and a woman. We can all see this right? Special. I don’t remember the word special anywhere in our Declaration of Independence or Constitution. I have not seen our country evolve to take away rights. We have always read more deeply into our founding documents to expand rights. Should we have stayed in 1776 when white male property owners were the only ones who could vote and slavery was legal? We have come a long way in over 200 years. But we are not done.

Their second strategy is playing the victim card. NOM is now the face of tolerance. They want civil dialogue. Those who disagree should be civil. Yes, if someone wanted to take away my rights, I’m sure I would just sit by politely and calmly and let them. [Sarcasm].

Everyone’s love is special. Tolerance? That is what they call denying rights now? Tolerance?

Do you want to know what NOM supporters really believe? Visit their Facebook page Protect Marriage: One Man, One Woman. Here are some lovely screen shots of the discussions that occur there:

Judge for yourself, is this tolerance?

Protect Marriage: One Man One Woman

Protect Marriage: One Man One Woman

Protect Marriage: One Man One WomanNational Organization for the denial of Marriage to Loving Couples (a/k/a NOM)

National Organization for the denial of Marriage to Loving Couples (a/k/a NOM)
And if you still see “tolerance,” take a look at this video of Larry Adams, a NOM supporter and Rally attendee from Equality on Trial:

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.

Stupid Things People Say About Gays – The American Dream Doesn’t Apply – Deshon Porter for City Council

July 28, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Headline, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

Do you believe that everyone should have a chance at the American Dream?  So Does Deshon Porter, a may-be candidate for Boston City Council in 2011.  Well, he believes he should have a chance at the American Dream, at least.  In fact, Deshon Porter is running around the web looking to garnish support for his candidacy for Boston City Council in 2011.  In an online petition, Mr. Porter writes:

this is to help me to get on the ballet for the boston city councel at large for the 2011 election if you believe that everyone deserve the chance at the american dream then join me send me to boston city hall I believe that the homeless sshould be in a home like invirment and given a chance to get back on there feet colleges should be open and afordable and not price to keep people out of a dream of an edcaucation all colleges should work with those who can not furnish there high school transcrip and a GED test should be part of the fee and tuition cost and for those who just want to work theGED test shouuld be free to those who are not working the MBTA should have more buses running and longer buses to help with overcrowding extra trains sshould run after 1am I will interduce ordenaces that will help boston get back to work. [all typographical and spelling errors as per the original post – consider this applicable throughout this post for quotes]

But that’s not the only place online Mr. Porter has been trying to spread the impossible American Dream.  In fact, you can find him posting on the Facebook wall for “Protect Marriage: One Man, One Woman

Mr. Porter’s Facebook page [screenshot here] goes on and on… and on… and on… and on… about his desire to find a life partner.  He doesn’t understand why women don’t want to be with him and he wants to be married – to live the American Dream.  He’s working on his degree and, as noted, running for City Council in Boston.  If successful, not only would Mr. Porter “interduce ordenaces that will help boston get back to work,” but he will not “support gay marrage at all” in spite of being an “independent democract.”

In other words, Mr. Porter does not “believe that everyone deserve the chance at the american dream” after all – only that straight people do.

Here’s to your happiness Mr. Porter.  I do wish you all the luck in finding someone to love, honor and cherish for the rest of your life and help you fulfill your American Dream.  I found mine – but because of people like you, I can’t get married.  Perhaps someday you will fight for all of our dreams rather than just your own.

*Thanks to my friend, Edward, for the tip-off.*

Do you believe that everyone should have a chance at the American Dream? So Does Deshon Porter, a may-be candidate for Boston City Council in 2011. Well, he believes he should have a chance at the American Dream, at least. In fact, Deshon Porter is running around the web looking to garnish support for his candidacy for Boston City Council in 2011. In an online petition, Mr. Porter writes:

this is to help me to get on the ballet for the boston city councel at large
for the 2011 election if you believe that everyone deserve the chance at the american dream then join me send me to boston city hall I believe that the homeless sshould be in a home like invirment and given a chance to get back on there feet colleges should be open and afordable and not price to keep people out of a dream of an edcaucation all colleges should work with those who can not furnish there high school transcrip and a GED test should be part of the fee and tuition cost and for those who just want to work theGED test shouuld be free to those who are not working the MBTA should have more buses running and longer buses to help with overcrowding extra trains sshould run after 1am I will interduce ordenaces that will help boston get back to work. [all typographical and spelling errors as per the original post]

But that’s not the only place online Mr. Porter has been trying to spread the impossible American Dream. In fact, you can find him posting on the Facebook wall for “Protect Marriage: One Man, One Woman

****************IMAGE****************

Mr. Porter’s Facebook page [screenshot here] goes on and on… and on… and on… and on… about his desire to find a life partner. He doesn’t understand why women don’t want to be with him and he wants to be married – to live the American Dream. He’s working on his degree and, as noted, running for City Council in Boston. If successful, not only would Mr. Porter “interduce ordenaces that will help boston get back to work,” but he will not “support gay marrage at all” in spite of being an “independent democract.”

In other words, Mr. Porter does not “believe that everyone deserve the chance at the american dream” after all – only that straight people do.

Here’s to your happiness Mr. Porter. I do wish you all the luck in finding someone to love, honor and cherish for the rest of your life and help you fulfill your American Dream. I found mine – but because of people like you,

*Thanks to my friend, Edward, for the tip-off.*

LGBT Lessons for Straight People: What Do You Tell A Seven Year Old About Homosexuality?

June 14, 2010 By: geekgirl Category: Headline, LGBT Lessons for Straight People

Representative Ike Skelton from Missouri is against the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (“DADT”), which bans service in the military by openly gay people, because he doesn’t want to open a national dialogue about homosexuality. Specifically, he doesn’t want to have to force families to explain homosexuality to their children. Setting aside the absurdity that repealing DADT will come up at the dinner table with our children, let’s talk about the real issue here. Homo-ignorance.

Was there ever a moment in the LGBT movement more perfect than this for Geekgirl to speak out?

Mr. Skelton sounds like he is, what I call, homo-ignorant. Let’s be honest here and take off the politics. A lot of straight people don’t know what to say to their children about gays, lesbians, bisexuals or transgender individuals. Heck, many of them don’t know what to say about straight relationships.

We’ll talk about what to say. But first a little story. When I was in 5th grade I watched two boys fighting and one of them said the word fuck. I didn’t know what it meant. Being the straight A student that I was, I turned to my dictionary. No word. So I asked my mother. She slapped me across the face and sent me to my room without an answer. I remember sitting there thinking, “hmm, whatever this word means, it must be good because it has power.”  My parents never told me about sex. Imagine my horror when my best friend told me that sperm go into your stomach through your belly button and that is how you get pregnant. She never did say where the sperm came from.

The point of that little story is that parents don’t know what to do when they feel uncomfortable. Having grown up to be a biologist, I was determined not to make that mistake with my own children. When my son was born, I read a lot about how and when to explain sex and sexuality to a child. I wanted my son to grow up healthy – both physically and psychologically when it came to sex. I remember when our son was four years old. He knew that my friend Sandra liked girls. She didn’t have a partner at the time, but I had already explained this to him. I remember he said to me, “So, it’s ok if girls love other girls?”

I said, “Of course, love is important.”

His answer came in the form of a four year old experiencing relief, “That’s good. Because I love Sandra and I want her to be happy.” I’m proud to say that Sandra and Kim have been part of our family’s life to this day. They adore our son and he adores them.

Explaining gays and lesbians to a 7 year old can be this simple. Some people are born attracted to the same sex. Two girls can feel the same love for each other that a girl and a boy can. The same is true for two boys. Love is love. Children instinctively understand love and family. It makes them feel safe.

People have a tendency to make sexual orientation about sex acts. But do we ever explain straight couples this way to our children? “Well, Johnny, meet your Aunt Sue and Uncle Bob from California. You haven’t met them before. They are married. And when they have sex, Uncle Bob puts his penis inside Auntie Sue’s vagina. Oh Bob, do you also have oral sex?” Of course we don’t explain it that way. That’s absurd.

So, am I saying don’t explain how gay people have sex?  Children do need to know about the physical acts of sex. Part of that conversation must include preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, how sex and sexuality affect us psychologically. Children need to know about “bad touches,” respecting and being respected.

But if you never talk about gay sex, it’s fine. That isn’t what they need to learn from you. They need to learn that all humans, all couples, experience love. They need to learn that commitment and respect are very important in all relationships. Our children are not born with prejudice or discomfort. It is learned.

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.

The Cost of Free Speech – City Ordinances and Permit Fees

April 23, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Headline

Pay Up or Shut Up - The Cost of Free SpeechIn 2007, the International Woman’s Day March planned to hit the streets of San Antonio to support women around the globe.  However, San Antonio parade ordinances require not only permitting, but a fee for the services by the police department for traffic control and other safety matters.

On its face this sounds like a very reasonable ordinance; if you want the city to block streets and provide public safety, then you should have to reimburse the city for the costs, but in San Antonio (and other jurisdictions), not all events are charged equally.

The International Woman’s Day March Planning Committee and the San Antonio Free Speech Coalition had enough of this inequality after falling victim to the associated fees and filed suit against the city for violation of their first amendment rights.  The lower court, overseen by Judge Xavier Rodriguez, issued an injunction against the city preventing enforcement of the policy.  In 2008, the city issued a new ordinance (that would not be subject to the injunction against the original ordinance) and continued collecting fees for parades (City of San Antonio Ordinance No. 2008-03-13-0201).

The new ordinance declared that the city would not charge the first $3,000.00 for “First Amendment Activity;” however, estimates from the city indicate that the charges could be from $4,000.00 – $30,000.00 for political and expressive marches (less the $3,000.00 waiver).  While these costs are extreme and deter many from planning such events, the inequality doesn’t stop there.

Under the 2008 Ordinance, three marches deemed as having “political appeal” have the fees associated with traffic control waived: The Diez y Seis Parade, the Martin Luther King March and the Veteran’s Day Parade.  Further, in 2008, the City Council of San Antonio determined numerous other marches would have the fees waived, including: the Cesar Chavez March, the 60+ Mardi Gras Parade, Fiesta Flambeau Parade, the Battle of the Roses Parade, the King William Parade, the San Antonio Marathon, and the Pilgrimage to the Alamo.

In other words, if the city endorses the speech you wish to promote, you are not charged these excessive fees; however, if the city feels the speech is not worthy of their approval, the charges can be extraordinary.

In March, 2009, Judge Fred Biery dissolved the injunction and dismissed the Plaintiffs’ case against the city on summary judgment.  The Plaintiffs appealed, which brings us to today.  The case is scheduled for oral arguments before the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans on April 27th.

If you haven’t noticed, this case has broad and sweeping impact on the current LGBT rights movement, particularly the grassroots groups that certainly could not afford a $50,000.00 bill from the city for traffic control and whose message would not likely be endorsed by the city.  In their Second Amended Petition, Plaintiffs acknowledge this, stating:

“The paradigm public forum for free speech and associative expression in San Antonio is the public streets and sidewalks. Political and expressive marches in the public streets have long been a way for groups, particularly groups that lack governmental or institutional power and resources, to express their views and to inform other members of the public about issues of importance to our communities. To make access to public street marches available only to those with political influence or financial wealth is to profoundly limit freedom of speech and the quality of public debate in San Antonio.”

A copy of Plaintiffs’ Second Amended Petition is available here.

NOTE: The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center of San Antonio is planning a bus trip to New Orleans to take concerned members of the community to the oral arguments.  No one is being denied a ride on the bus regardless of whether or not they can afford the charges.  Therefore, Esperanza can use our help.  Please consider making a donation to assist them in paying for the trip.  You may do so at this link.

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: The Prop 8 Trial Series, Part 6

January 28, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Headline, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

To begin with, let’s take a brief quiz.  For each statement listed below, answer which person made the statement

By increasing the number of married couples who might be interested in adoption and foster care, same-sex marriage might well lead to fewer children growing up in state institutions and more growing up in loving adoptive and foster families.

Was it:

(A) George W. Bush;
(B) Barack Obama;
(C) David Blackenhorn, President of the Institute for American Values;
(D) Joe Solmonese, President of HRC;
(E) Lady Gaga;
(F) Rachel Maddow?

Gay marriage might contribute over time to a decline in anti-gay prejudice as well as, more specifically, a reduction in anti-gay hate crimes.

Was it:

(A) George W. Bush;
(B) Barack Obama;
(C) David Blackenhorn, President of the Institute for American Values;
(D) Joe Solmonese, President of HRC;
(E) Lady Gaga;
(F) Rachel Maddow?

Gay marriage would be a victory for the worthy ideas of tolerance and inclusion.

Was it:

(A) George W. Bush;
(B) Barack Obama;
(C) David Blackenhorn, President of the Institute for American Values;
(D) Joe Solmonese, President of HRC;
(E) Lady Gaga;
(F) Rachel Maddow?

Same-sex marriage would meet the stated needs and desires of lesbian and gay couples who want to marry. In so doing, it would improve the happiness and well-being of many gay and lesbian individuals, couples, and family members.

Was it:

(A) George W. Bush;
(B) Barack Obama;
(C) David Blackenhorn, President of the Institute for American Values;
(D) Joe Solmonese, President of HRC;
(E) Lady Gaga;
(F) Rachel Maddow?

Gay marriage would extend a wide range of the natural and practical benefits of marriage to many lesbian and gay couples and their children.

Was it:

(A) George W. Bush;
(B) Barack Obama;
(C) David Blackenhorn, President of the Institute for American Values;
(D) Joe Solmonese, President of HRC;
(E) Lady Gaga;
(F) Rachel Maddow?

The answer may just surprise you.  All of the above statements were part of David Blackenhorn’s book, The Future of Marriage.  Mr. Blackenhorn is an “expert” for the Defendants in the Proposition 8 trial – which means that he is against same-sex marriage in spite of all of the above statements being, in his opinion, true.

Therefore, it seems as though Mr. Blackenhorn would concur with the view that same-sex marriage will significantly benefit many gay couples (as well as many single LGBT people by way of reducing hate crimes and social stigma).  Unfortunately, Mr. Blackenhorn makes an amazing leap of logic from those points.

He then goes on to tell us, by way of his testimony in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case that he believes it is “almost certainly true” that:

…gay and lesbian couples and their children would benefit by having gay marriage.

In spite of all this, he does not support same-sex marriage because:

…the rights of gays and lesbians take second place to the needs of an existing social institution. *** I will choose marriage as a public good over the rights and needs of gay and lesbian adults and those same-sex couples who are raising children.

In other words, in spite of the fact that there are enormous benefits of marriage that are currently being denied to same-sex couples and their children, the rights of those people are secondary to those of heterosexual couples simply because same-sex marriage doesn’t provide a benefit to the public… or rather, it isn’t part of the public good.

Mr. Blackenhorn elaborates on what he means by public good, by stating that it, “serves important public purposes.”  By way of his agreements and statements on the benefits of marriage to gay and lesbian couples, he seems to contradict himself in asserting that such marriages won’t “serve an important public purpose.”

Look back to the quotes above and we can see those things that Mr. Blackenhorn believes don’t serve important public purposes:

  • According to Mr. Blackenhorn, it is not an important public service to have “fewer children growing up in state institutions and more growing up in loving adoptive and foster families.”
  • According to Mr. Blackenhorn, it is not an important public service to have a reduction of violent crimes (i.e. “anti-gay hate crimes“).
  • According to Mr. Blackenhorn, it is not an important public service to embrace the ideas of “tolerance and inclusion.”
  • According to Mr. Blackenhorn, it is not an important public service to “improve the happiness and well-being of many gay and lesbian individuals, couples, and family members.” [emphasis added]

It seems then that Mr. Blackenhorn’s testimony in the trial embraced the following as important public services: (1) to have more children growing up in state institutions; (2) to increase violent crimes; (3) to become intolerant and exclusionary; and (4) to diminish the happiness of a large percentage of American families.

Are those the “family values” they keep telling us about?

o being with, let’s take a brief quiz.  For each statement listed below, answer which person made the statement

By increasing the number of married couples who might be interested in adoption and foster care, same-sex marriage might well lead to fewer children growing up in state institutions and more growing up in loving adoptive and foster families.

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: The Prop 8 Trial Series, Part 5 | Prostituion and Sex with Kids

January 22, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Headline, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

Yesterday, William Tam, who previously won a jaysays.com Stupid Things People Say About Gays nod, not only won the title again while be questioned by Attorney Boies, but set the bar to a new level.  During testimony, Tam advised that he thinks legalizing gay marriage would result in legalizing prostitution.

Boies: You said that you thought Prop. 8 would lead to legalizing prostitution. Why?

Tam: *** I saw some homosexuals hanging around there. [Regarding “Measure K”, which if passed by voters, would have stopped the enforcement of laws against prostitution in California, among other things.]

Boies: You know that Measure K has nothing to do with Prop. 8.

Tam: Yes.

Nevada legalized prostitution in some incidents (areas with a population under 400,000 people) way back in 1937, but Nevada does not allow same-sex marriage. In Rhode Island, prostitution was considered legal until 2009, but Rhode Island does not allow same-sex marriage.  Rhode Island is also only one of the two New England states that do not allow same-sex marriage (Maine being the other).

Currently, states that allow same-sex marriage include: New Hampshire, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts and Vermont.  None of the states in the United States that allow same-sex marriage have legalized prostitution.  In fact:

  • New Hampshire made prostitution a crime in Sec. 645:2 NH RSA.
  • Connecticut has about eight sections of its penal code that make prostitution (or acts leading up to prostitution) illegal.
  • Iowa has four laws which prohibit prostitution and/or other sex trade offenses (such as pimping or leasing property for prostitution)
  • Massachusetts, a liberal state and the first state in the United States to recognize gay marriage, has 11 laws on the books dealing with prostitution or related offenses.
  • Vermont, excluding definitions of and the penalties for prostitution or related offenses, has four laws on the books.

It seems like those states that allow same-sex marriage don’t allow prostitution; whereas states that do or did have legalized prostitution recently, don’t allow same-sex marriage.   Sorry Tam – your argument fails.

In his testimony, Tam also stated that legalizing gay marriage would result in legalizing sex with children.

Boise: You told people that next will be legalizing sex with children. That’s the homosexual agenda. Do you believe this?

Tam: Yes.

All of the states which currently allow same-sex marriage have set 16 years old as the age of consent (a common age in the United States for “consent”).  Many of those laws have other laws surrounding that age requirement such as the age difference between the parties (thus preventing consensual sex between a 15 year and a 16 year old from being a crime).  No state in the United States has set any age lower than 16 as the age of consent.

But Tam didn’t stop there with his argument that the homosexual agenda will result in legalizing sex with children only he clarified that it’s the “liberal agenda” that’s to blame:

I’m afraid of the liberal trend. Canada and Europe are liberal and they allow age of consent 13 or 14 and children can have sex with adults and each other.

Our neighbors to the north, Canada, recognize same sex marriage and are generally considered to be a liberal country.  The age of consent throughout Canada is 16, very similar to the United States.  On questioning by Boies, Tam eventually admitted that allowing same-sex marriage in Canada did not result in changes to its law on age of consent.  He denied having any knowledge of what happened to the laws in Europe on consent once same-sex marriage was legalized.

Let’s educate Tam: The age of consent in the Netherlands and Belgium is 16 and Sweden is 15, those are three of the European Countries that allow gay marriage.  The other is Spain.  While it is true that Spain has a very low age of consent (being 13 years old) that law was actually amended in 1999 to increase the age of consent from its previous requirement – 12 years old!

It would seem then that “liberal” doesn’t necessarily equate to sex with children, but much to Tam’s dismay, we can argue that conservative countries do allow sex with children.  Take a look at Saudi Arabia, for example.  Saudi Arabia has no age requirement for consensual sexual activity; however, the law does state that the people who have sex must be married.  Generally, people may marry in Saudi Arabia as soon as they reach puberty – that could potentially be 10 – 11 years old!

There’s also our staunchly Catholic neighbor to the south, Mexico.  The only place in Mexico where same-sex marriage is allowed is in Mexico, D.C.; a very recent development which has caused significant controversy from the citizens.  A very large number of Mexico states have set the age of consent at 12 years old – no gay marriage, but sex with a 12 year old is fine.

Again, “Yes on 8” people seem to make outlandish claims with no supporting facts.    Perhaps it’s because the only book they care to read is the Bible – or perhaps when they read another book they take it out of context, like they do the Bible.

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

esterday, William Tam, who previously won a jaysays.com Stupid Things People Say About Gays nod, not only won the title again while be questioned by Attorney Boies, but set the bar to a new level. During testimony, Tam advised that he thinks legalizing gay marriage would result in legalizing prostitution.

Boies: You said that you thought Prop. 8 would lead to legalizing prostitution. Why?

Tam: *** I saw some homosexuals hanging around there. [Regarding “Measure K”, which if passed by voters, would have stopped the enforcement of laws against prostitution in California, among other things.]

Boies: You know that Measure K has nothing to do with Prop. 8.

Tam: Yes.

Nevada legalized prostitution in some incidents (areas with a population under 400,000 people) way back in 1937, but Nevada does not allow same-sex marriage. In Rhode Island, prostitution was considered legal until 2009, but Rhode Island does not allow same-sex marriage. Rhode Island is also only one of the two New England states that do not allow same-sex marriage (Maine being the other).

Currently, states that allow same-sex marriage include: New Hampshire, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts and Vermont. None of the states in the United States that allow same-sex marriage have legalized prostitution. In fact:

§ New Hampshire made prostitution a crime in Sec. 645:2 NH RSA.

§ Connecticut has about eight sections of its penal code that make prostitution (or acts leading up to prostitution) illegal.

§ Iowa has four laws which prohibit prostitution and/or other sex trade offenses (such as pimping or leasing property for prostitution)

§ Massachusetts, a liberal state and the first state in the United States to recognize gay marriage, has 11 laws on the books dealing with prostitution or related offenses.

§ Vermont, excluding definitions of and the penalties for prostitution or related offenses, has four laws on the books.

It seems like those states that allow same-sex marriage don’t allow prostitution; whereas states that do or did have legalized prostitution recently, don’t allow same-sex marriage. Sorry Tam – your argument fails.

In his testimony, Tam also stated that legalizing gay marriage would result in legalizing sex with children.

Boise: You told people that next will be legalizing sex with children. That’s the homosexual agenda. Do you believe this?

Tam: Yes.

All of the states which currently allow same-sex marriage have set 16 years old as the age of consent (a common age in the United States for “consent”). Many of those laws have other laws surrounding that age requirement such as the age difference between the parties (thus preventing consensual sex between a 15 year and a 16 year old from being a crime). No state in the United States has set any age lower than 16 as the age of consent.

But Tam didn’t stop there with his argument that the homosexual agenda will result in legalizing sex with children only he clarified that it’s the “liberal agenda” that’s to blame:

“I’m afraid of the liberal trend. Canada and Europe are liberal and they allow age of consent 13 or 14 and children can have sex with adults and each other.”

Our neighbors to the north, Canada, recognize same sex marriage and are generally considered to be a liberal country. The age of consent throughout Canada is 16, very similar to the United States. On questioning by Boies, Tam eventually admitted that allowing same-sex marriage in Canada did not result in changes to its law on age of consent. He denied having any knowledge of what happened to the laws in Europe on consent once same-sex marriage was legalized.

Let’s educate Tam: The age of consent in the Netherlands and Belgium is 16 and Sweden is 15, those are three of the European Countries that allow gay marriage. The other is Spain. While it is true that Spain has a very low age of consent (being 13 years old) that law was actually amended in 1999 to increase the age of consent from its previous requirement – 12 years old!

It would seem then that “liberal” doesn’t necessarily equate to sex with children, but much to Tam’s dismay, we can argue that conservative countries do allow sex with children. Take a look at Saudi Arabia, for example. Saudi Arabia has no age requirement for consensual sexual activity; however, the law does state that the people who have sex must be married. Generally, people may marry in Saudi Arabia as soon as they reach puberty – that could potentially be 10 – 11 years old!

There’s also our staunchly Catholic neighbor to the south, Mexico. The only place in Mexico where same-sex marriage is allowed is in Mexico, D.C.; a very recent development which has caused significant controversy from the citizens. A very large number of Mexico states have set the age of consent at 12 years old – no gay marriage, but sex with a 12 year old is fine.

Again, “Yes on 8” people seem to make outlandish claims with no supporting facts. Perhaps it’s because the only book they care to read is the Bible – or perhaps when they read another book they take it out of context, like they do the Bible.

Mr. Gay China Pageant Shut Down by Police.

January 15, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Headline, LGBT News

Google China Mr. Gay China Pageant Shut Down by PolicePolice in China shut down the Mr. Gay China Pageant in Beijing an hour before the event was to start.  Organizers planned the event to select a contestant for the Worldwide Mr. Gay Pageant to be held in Norway next month.  The pageant is said to be the first of its kind in China and was to feature a fashion show, a question and answer session and a host in drag.

Professor Zhang Beichuan of Qingdao University had said, before the show was canceled, that:

…it reflects a more open and tolerant attitude of the country toward the gay community to host such an event.

In fact, before the show was canceled, many others weighed in on the effect and meaning of such a pageant in China, which only decriminalized homosexuality in 1997:

Eight Chinese men will strut their stuff in front of hundreds of people Friday at China’s first gay pageant, in a sign of new openness about homosexuality in a nation where it remains largely taboo. – Marianne Barriaux (AFP)

I believe most people will support us though I’m ready for a storm of criticism too. – Contestant, Steven Zhang

When the eight finalists of the first Mr. Gay China pageant strut the catwalk of a Beijing club this Friday, they’ll be doing something that was once unthinkable in a country where gay sex was illegal until 1997 and homosexuality was classed as a mental illness until 2001. – Jane Yager

The hope and dreams of what this pageant would mean in a country such as China, and the resulting closure of the pageant indicate that, while there may be no laws against homosexuality, LGBT people in China still suffer at the hands of a tyranny – but in spite of the stories turning up on the internet, you won’t see the story of police shutting down the pageant on google.cn now (click for screen shot) – or perhaps you won’t see anything from google.cn if China doesn’t stop the censoring.

Discrimination of this nature is nothing new for China, or many other countries in the world.  For example, the organizers of China’s Gay Pride Festival were told to cancel two of their events last June or face “severe consequences.”