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Human Rights Lesson from the Murder of Trayvon Martin.

March 30, 2012 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Thought of the Gay

While there may be much debate around the circumstances involved in the murder of Trayvon Martin, one thing is now for certain: Racism is still alive and well in the United States.  One has to look no further than comments on news articles relating to the murder or online forums to find such fabulous tidbits as this:

But really, who is surprised? Go ahead and pick an article or forum for yourself and I’m sure you will find similar commentary.

The right-wing majority in this county has been waging war against any non-white, non-christian, non-heterosexual, non-cisgendermale person since the birth of the United States.  Blacks, Asians, Latinos, Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgender People, Women and more have been wrongfully imprisoned, brutalized and made to fear what will happen if they rock the boat.  In spite of this commonality, those oppressed by the system are entirely failing to unite.

I originally believed this was the result of having been ostracized into our own communities for so long, that joining forces was something else to fear.  Will the Latinos push forward without meWill the “LGB” sell out the “T” againWill Black men stand-up for the ERA?

One anti-human rights organization recognizes that uniting our voices would put a crushing end to their ability to continue to degrade, belittle and intimidate our communities. Recently released Court Documents illustrate that the National Organization for Marriage [NOM] (a voice in opposition to marriage equality), has a TWENTY MILLION DOLLAR plan to make sure the “gays and blacks” remain divided.  According to NOM’s $20 Million Strategy for Victory:

The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks – two key democratic constituencies. We aim to find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage; to develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; and to provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots. No politician wants to take up and push an issue that splits the base of the party.

Sadly, even before NOM’s $20 million budget, the plan has been successful.  In fact, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s youngest daughter lit a torch at her father’s tomb to kick off an anti-human rights campaign to prevent marriage equality for LGBT people in 2005.  The purpose was to dehumanize LGBT people so that “human rights” and “civil rights” would not be associated with the apparently “inhuman” gays.  Sound familiar?

I Am Man- Withers

I Am Man - Withers

Of course, Coretta Scott King and many of Dr. King’s children disagree, invoking the teachings of Dr. King to show the need for equality and “tolerance” of LGBT people.

But a similar battle plays out between women, Latino groups and labor unions.  Perhaps the most glaringly obvious division is marked annually with the Cesar E. Chavez March for Justice.  Cesar Chavez was a labor leader and civil rights activist who fought for better working conditions for farm workers.  He, along with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association.  After his death, he became an icon for the Latino community.  While city streets and statewide holidays rightfully celebrate Chavez’s work, Dolores Huerta is all but ignored in spite of her significant contribution.

Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed.  You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read.  You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride.  You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. — Cesar Chavez

Currently, a similar wedge exists between Latino Community leaders and the LGBT community.  In fact, the founder of the San Antonio Cesar E. Chavez March for Justice, Jaime P. Martinez, is alleged to have provided no assistance in fighting for hate crimes charges against the murderer of his son, Troy Martinez Clattenburg , in spite of his position as a civil rights leader in the Latino Community.

It is not enough for us to claim to support human rights when the rights we purport to support are not across the board.  Gay rights, Transgender Rights, Immigrant Rights, Worker’s Rights, Women’s Rights, etc., should be based solely on our status as human beings.   As Hillary Clinton said in recognition of Human Rights Day:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. And with the declaration, it was made clear that rights are not conferred by government; they are the birthright of all people. It does not matter what country we live in, who our leaders are, or even who we are. Because we are human, we therefore have rights. And because we have rights, governments are bound to protect them.

Stupid Things People Say About Gays – They are Animalistic and Should Respect the Law

February 18, 2012 By: jaysays Category: Headline, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

Every Valentine’s Day several mass wedding ceremonies are held in front of the Bexar County Courthouse in San Antonio, Texas.  For over 20 years, Pastor Joe Sullivan, a former Democratic candidate for US House of Representatives – Texas District 23, has presided over the ceremonies.  Last year, a group of same-sex couples participated for the first recorded time with no incident.  Although after the event, Sullivan stated, “They don’t have a license. If they took vows, it really means nothing.”

This year, however, after the Direct Action Network of San Antonio (“DANSA”) encouraged community members to participate again, the ceremony almost didn’t proceed.

The above video was  compiled by John Dean Domingue, an organizer for DANSA who was present at the ceremony.  According to organizers, Pastor Sullivan noted that the same-sex couples were there solely to be repulsive and would be subjected to punishment by God.  Of note was the commentary that people should be respectful of the law.  It is obvious (in the most sarcastic way possible) that respect for unjust laws has been a traditional tool used by minorities when laws are unjust.  Showing respect for oppressive laws resulted in the removal of Jim Crow, women’s rights to vote and a slew of other injustices being repealed by the majority.

But this is not the focus.  After the attacks by the pastor, one of the event’s organizers, Julie Pousson, contacted County officials to request a time slot for a more affirming ceremony next year.  She was advised that Past Sullivan had the Courthouse booked for “the foreseeable future.”  In response, Ms. Pousson has launched a petition requesting a change in the policy and will be requesting a timeslot to be set aside for a more affirming ceremony at a Commissioner’s Court hearing on Tuesday.

In an interview with the San Antonio Current, Sullivan stated that he doesn’t hate homosexuals, but hates homosexuality and noted that the behavior of the approximately ten LGBT couples present was an embarrassment:

The behavior I’m taking about is they were hugging and kissing and licking each other’s faces, acting like, you know, like – I don’t even know if animals act like that. … They were very, I think, disturbing and almost animalistic there, a couple of them. They were trying to make a display of what they call, I guess, affection. It wasn’t affection to me. It was almost assault.

The Current reporter who was present noted that they did not see any heavy petting from the couples.

The irony of this situation is that Pastor Sullivan’s ceremony is held on a day which celebrates St. Valentine.  As Ms. Pousson stated, St. Valentine is the patron saint of marriage equality.   Although the exact history of Bishop Valentine’s life is unclear, it is well documented that he was executed by the Roman Emperor for performing illegal marriages.  Some stories state that he married Christians under Roman rule, which insisted the Roman Gods be worshipped, while other stories claim he performed marriages for Roman soldiers, an act explicitly forbidden by the Emperor.

Thus it seems that, in order to celebrate St. Valentine who disrespected the law, Pastor Sullivan and his ilk demanded respect for the laws banning marriage between consenting, loving adults.  For this and many other reasons, Pastor Sullivan wins a featured spot here in Stupid Things People Say About Gays.

Macy’s Store Fires Employee for “Religious Beliefs” – or Does It?

December 08, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Featured

The Macy’s store at Rivercenter Mall in San Antonio, Texas, recently came under fire for its termination of Natalie Johnson, who was employed by Macy’s until a few days before Thanksgiving. Ms. Johnson refused to allow a transgender woman to use the lady’s fitting room. According to the organization representing Ms. Johnson, Liberty Counsel, she was fired for her religious beliefs. To clarify, they argue she was fired for being Christian.

Blog posts and comments abound, telling the story of the oppressed Natalie. Most of the stories indicate that Liberty Counsel is a pro-Christian rights organization, a claim which is designed to sway the public to rally behind a suspect class: the religious. But Liberty Counsel is anything but pro-Christianity. Their purpose has not historically been to walk in the steps of Christ, but instead to demand our government provide them, as moral superiors, with the infinite power to bend others to their will.

In her recent address in honor of Human Rights Day, Secretary of Defense Hillary Clinton highlighted these sorts of religious justifications for discrimination noting:

The third, and perhaps most challenging, issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens. This is not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation. Some people still defend those practices as part of a cultural tradition. But violence toward women isn’t cultural; it’s criminal.

But even though Liberty Counsel wants you to believe this is about Ms. Johnson’s religion, it is not. Liberty Counsel is not a “Christian rights group,” but rather an organization devoted to preventing the human rights of LGBT people. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center:

In 2009, J. Matt Barber, formerly with Concerned Women for America and Americans for Truth About Homosexuality…, joined Liberty Counsel as director of cultural affairs (also becoming Liberty University’s associate dean for career and professional development). A year earlier, Barber had argued that given “medical evidence about the dangers of homosexuality,” it should be considered “criminally reckless for educators to teach children that homosexual conduct is a normal, safe and perfectly acceptable alternative.”

The Counsel also has been active in battling same-sex marriage, saying it would destroy the “bedrock of society.” In 2005, the group’s blog said: “People who … support the radical homosexual agenda will not rest until marriage has become completely devalued. Children will suffer most from this debauchery.” A 2007 blog posting said same-sex marriage would “severely impact future generations.”

Like other anti-gay groups, Liberty Counsel argues that hate crime laws are “actually ‘thought crimes’ laws that violate the right to freedom and of conscience” — an opinion rejected by the Supreme Court.

The claims by Liberty Counsel are not a declaration of freedom, but instead further desperate attacks by a group of people protected by Federal Non-Discrimination Laws (religious people), on a group that is not (transgender people).  Freedom of religion is a protection from worshipping as one chooses, not from forcing your opinions on others.

Texas Democratic Executive Committee Gambles Away Human Rights

November 22, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination

David Trevino stifles his anger long enough to smile for the camera.

From protest of ousted Bexar County DP Chair, Dan Ramos.

The Texas State Democratic Party bowed to fear this past week when the Executive Committee met to vote on proposed primary ballot referendum.  In a move that silenced one of the most staunch populaces aligned with the Democratic Party, the LGBTQ community, Texas Democrats voted 33-22 to exclude a marriage equality referendum on the 2012 Democratic Primary ballot.  However, legalizing gambling will be on the ballot.

According to a press release received from Dan Graney, President of the Texas Stonewall Democrats, arguments against including the marriage equality measure were:

  1. The Republicans will go after us on this.
  2. This will negatively impact on our Democratic candidates.
  3. What if the measure should fail?

As to the first argument, the Republicans are going after the Democrats anyway.  All that was accomplished by excluding even a chance for marriage equality in Texas was that Democrats were silenced and we will now see Democrats going after Democrats in Texas for their blatant disregard for their own party platform, which states:

Democrats believe that we all have a part to play in promoting equality and protecting Americans against discrimination, and we continue to work vigorously toward greater freedom and equality in America.

Working vigorously toward greater freedom apparently means bowing to political pressure, fear and intimidation, as is noted by the second opposition view that supporting freedom and equality will negatively affect Democratic candidates.  In this instance, the lack of integrity and moxy will do more to negatively impact candidates than standing up for your party values EVER would have.

Perhaps the most disturbing argument presented in keeping marriage equality off of the primary ballot is the argument, “What if the measure should fail?”  For that, I turn to other thinkers and provide the following motivational quotes:

“The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try nothing and succeed” – Lloyd Jones

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” – Unknown

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

“Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.” Stephen Kaqqwa

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” – Dale Carnegie

“The worst thing one can do is not to try, to be aware of what one wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could have materialized – and never knowing” – David Vicsott

“I am not judged by the number of times I fail, but by the number of times I succeed: and the number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I fail and keep trying.” – Tom Hopkins

“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” – Beverly Sills

“There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that lost by not trying.” – Francis Bacon, Sr.

Try as I might, I was unable to find any motivational quotes encouraging people not to try.  However, I was able to find a quote by an unknown person that sums up my feelings toward the Texas Democratic Party:

Fuck you for giving up on me.

Gay Group Goes Public to Celebrate DADT Repeal – Members Leave in Response

September 20, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Thought of the Gay

Gay San Antonio Facebook GroupThe Facebook group titled “Gay San Antonio” will be marking the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by “coming out” from the “private” setting to the “public” setting on Facebook.  When the Administrators formed the group, they originally set the privacy settings so that, without an invitation, the group postings and its members remained hidden.  The chosen method of celebration seems appropriate and symbolic, but not all members support the change. Several of them announced that once the group goes public, they will be removing themselves from it for fear of retaliation by their family, co-workers and friends.

One of the group members who is leaving stated:

Sorry I can’t be a part of it but being a part of a political organization like this in the public eye will greatly harm my credibility at work. I’d rather be semi-in-the-closet and employed than openly gay and broke.

This is a very real and reasonable fear shared by many. “Coming out” of the closet as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is far too often a career killer.  It’s no wonder that the repeal of DADT is so bittersweet for me.  I see through the rose-colored, celebratory glasses and look directly at our oppressors and oppressions ruling us with fear.  The reality that our lives are still governed by this fear is a grotesque ode to the heavy toll denying dignity and freedom to a people has on their lives.

So to all members of Gay San Antonio (past, present and future), I offer you this video of Ms. Nina Simone, answering the question, “What’s freedom?”:

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: Motor Cycle Helmets and Barebacking

September 16, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Headline, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

Jack Finger
Jack Finger hovers during council meeting

*WARNING: The below commentary contains links to subject matter that may not be appropriate for all viewers.  Some of the information contained on “The Gathering of Pastors” website may cause nausea, vomiting and/or increased blood pressure and heart attack or stroke.*

The City Manager of San Antonio, Sheryl Sculley, completed and introduced the new budget for San Antonio with an included provision to allow for financing of Domestic Partnership benefits for city employees in same-sex relationships.  While providing healthcare should not be controversial, the right wing attacked.  Cult leaders began organizing against the budget initiative under the title “The Gathering of Pastors“.  The City Council endured countless hours of hearings, hundreds of emails and telephone calls and listened as lie after lie poured from the mouths of purportedly Christian people.

I had the pleasure of being actively involved in support of this initiative.  In spite of my objections to the fact that Domestic Partnership benefits are only needed because same-sex couples are not afforded equal protections under present marriage laws, it was clear to me that no one deserved to be denied access to affordable healthcare.  After all, “Why shouldst thou not take even as much pleasure in beholding a counterfeit stone, which thine eye cannot discern from a right stone?” (Thomas More)

With the assistance of an entire community of peoples, we worked tirelessly (o.k. I got pretty damn tired) to counter the arguments against the benefits package.

But The Gathering of cult leaders did not stop.  They argued that domestic partnership benefits lowered the bar from marriage and allowed more people to receive benefits, which would prohibit or limit the motivation of an employee to commit to a legally binding relationship (i.e. marriage).  They went on to indicate that the unwillingness of an employee to make such a commitment reveals selfishness and a weakness in morality.  However, according to the Cult’s website, “Homosexual couples can never be married per definition.”  Therefore their argument fails.

A “homosexual” employee of the city who is in a long term relationship is barred by law from entering into the very “legally binding relationship” to which the Gathering refers.  To prohibit someone from conforming to an action, then to punish them for not having undertaken that action is the truest form of selfishness.  It is for the jail keeper to do these things, not kings (and yes, that is a paraphrase of Thomas More).

On Wednesday night, September 14th, I joined other community members in council chambers for “Citizens to be Heard,” a moment when citizens may address council regarding matters before them.  Many spoke in favor of domestic partnership benefits, but without surprise, the cult spoke in opposition.  One of the opponents (and some day I will catch her name) was a woman who assaulted members of the Direct Action Network of San Antonio with holy water for unfurling a banner at a hate rally that read “Homophobia and Transphobia Kills.”  Another man, who declared himself a minister, stood at the dais and compared domestic partnership benefits to “the morning after” pill and abortion.  He then noted that the City has the moral authority to be a “no kill animal” city, but supports murdering babies.  All of which were blatantly lies, but most notable his assertion that the City maintains a “no kill” status.

At the end of the meeting, this same man returned to address city council and posed this question in front of all attendees (including children):

What is more dangerous, riding a motorcycle without a helmet, riding an iron horse or riding somebody bareback?

Although the question was improper and likely rhetorical, I still fail to see the relationship between barebacking (having sex without a condom) and domestic partnership benefits.  While I assume he was making reference to the risk of HIV infection (as accusations were made repeatedly that nearly all gays have AIDS), he failed to address the fact that the subculture of “barebacking” is not strictly a homosexual phenomena.  In fact, the appeal and marketability of pornography depicting barebacking is prevalent in both heterosexual and homosexual pornography.  See Chapter 2, “Unlimited Intimacy: Reflections on the Subculture of Bare Backing.”

One thing that became clear from the Cult commentators – they are obsessed with sex, more particularly, that gays have sex.  In fact, I was very much reminded of the anti-gay cult leader in Uganda who constantly refers to gays as eating “da poo poo” of their partners.

These cult leaders often ignore the fact that sexual subcultures do not exist solely within the framework of “homosexuality.”  The moral objections are misguided, misdirected and misconstrued – but even so, consensual sexual practices should not be grounds for denying healthcare benefits.  If it were, no politician and fewer evangelicals would be safe.

For the record, the city passed the budget with the inclusion of domestic partnership benefits for City employees.

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: Blame the Victim

May 27, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Headline, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

Sunday, May 22nd would have been the 81st birthday of slain civil rights leader, Harvey Milk.  While cities throughout the country marked the event with various marches, rallies and celebrations, something much more sinister was taking place in Portland, Oregon.  Brad Forkner and Christopher Rosevear where walking across the Hawthorne Bridge from Waterfront Park to the Eastbank Esplanade.  Like many couples, they were holding hands.  Sadly, unlike most couples, their hand holding did not go without notice.  The two men were attacked from behind by five other men.  Both men survived, with Rosevear receiving lacerations on his lip and above his eye which required stitches.

The community in Portland has responded, launching the “Hands Across Hawthorne Bridge” event to demonstrate against violent crimes.  The event requests attendees to come to Hawthorne Bridge on Sunday, May 29th at 7:30 p.m. and hold hands in solidarity with the beaten men.  However, not everyone has been so kind.  Upon hearing of the event, one commenter had this to say:

“I think it’s undignified for men to hold hands in public. But I know I’m way in the minority on that.  But if gays wanna do it, they should be prepared for it not being warmly received.”

Victim blaming has been in our vernacular since the early 70’s, when it was coined with respect to racism and social injustices; however, more recently it has been used as a means for people to justify rape, i.e.: “She was asking for it by wearing a short skirt.”  The concept is largely unpopular except in cases of hate crimes against LGBTQ people.  In fact, victim blaming is a useful tactic for murders of gay men, particularly.  In one case, after inflicting 61 stab wounds and killing his neighbor, Joseph Biedermann, Terrence Hauser was acquitted by a jury thanks to victim blaming (he said Joseph had made a pass at him).  This victim blaming is also known as “The Gay Panic” defense, and became popular after it was successfully used in 1995 by Jonathan Schmitz, a guest on the Jenny Jones show, who murdered Scott Amedure after he confessed he had a crush on Jonathan during the show.

See: How to Get Away with Murder, A Guide to the Gay Panic Defense.

So, should you meet up with our commenter friend in a dark ally, I suppose you could claim bashing their head into a wall was justifiable because they are ignorant… but violence begets violence, so instead, here’s to the organizers of the Hands Across Hawthorne Bridge and all of those who are taking a stand against violence and victim blaming.

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

Demand for Dan Ramos’ Resignation Escalating – Protestors Hit the Fund Raisers

March 18, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Headline

David Trevino stifles his anger long enough to smile for the camera.
David Trevino stifles his anger long enough to smile for the camera.

Yesterday evening, about 2 dozen lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, along with their allies, stood in front of the Granada Homes building where the “Proud Democrats” were hosting a fund raiser for the Bexar County Democratic Party (“BCDP”).  Dan Ramos has previously announced that he would attend the event; however, he did not show up and organizers claim he was not invited.  It seems though, that in Bexar County, there is no reason to be proud of being a democrat under Ramos’ leadership.

The Chair of the BCDP, Dan Ramos, recently made numerous disparaging remarks about LGBT people, disabled people and the plight of the African American Community in their quest to obtain equal representation under the law.  Since that time, a vast majority of the BCDP’s Executive Committee and Steering Committee have been demanding his resignation as Chair claiming his comments violated the rules of the party and were outside the scope of the Democratic Platform, which states:

We believe in and support the repeal of discriminatory laws and policies against members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

But Dan Ramos isn’t listening to the Board or the people of Bexar County and beyond.  In a press conference early yesterday morning, he refused to resign and reiterated his position that gay people are like, “white termites who have infiltrated the party much like termites infiltrate your house.”

Last night’s protestors were met mostly with support by those attending the fund raiser; however, a few people stood up against our plea for Dan Ramos’ resignation.  In fact, the President of the organization, Jose “Joe” Gallagos, came out to tell the protestors that it was our fault so few people showed up at the fund raiser – (Hey Joe, it couldn’t possibly be because the people don’t want to give money to homophobia and racism, though, could it?

Perhaps most surprising was an accusation from an African American attendee.  She was furious with the protestors as she walked up claiming that those that want Dan Ramos removed are “the whites.”  Yet one of Dan Ramos’ choice comments in his tirade was, “I go back to an old very well-used slogan: blacks wanted to get their way because they were black.”  While I find the comment terribly offensive and degrading to the work of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Bayard Rustin, Rosa Parks, and many more heroes of the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement, the sentiment wasn’t echoed by this objector as one would expect.

Another objector was a resident of Granada Homes (which serves as a retirement community and Banquet Hall).  She wasn’t upset that we were calling for Dan Ramos’ resignation, but instead felt we were blocking the doorway (which we were not).  However, we started talking with the lady a bit about Mr. Ramos’ disparaging remarks against the disabled people – particularly kids born with Polio legs and not being able to kill them or sweep them under the rug.  This struck a chord with the lady and she told us her own story of being taunted for being Hispanic by a fellow resident who claimed, “You Hispanics are nothing but the dirt under my feet.”  We explained that we felt as angry as she does about the comments made by Dan Ramos and she departed with a bit more understanding of us.

One supporter immediately made me think of Will Phillips, who once said, “My generation is the change they fear the most.”  Bobby, who appeared to be no more than 14 years old, and his friend were walking by the protest and noted our signs.  They stopped, inquired and joined us for a short time.  Bobby, a resident of Ft. Worth, Texas, was in town with family and was offended when he learned of Dan Ramos’ comments.  I asked Bobby what made him stop and join us.  In his social studies class in school, Bobby had wanted to take a poll of students about how they felt about Gay Rights.  His teacher felt the subject would meet with parental disapproval and refused to allow Bobby to do the project.  Bobby noted how “upset” he was that he couldn’t even ask questions of his peers about the issue, and decided he should stand with us to denounce Dan Ramos.

Dan Ramos’ comments don’t just reflect on Dan Ramos (although that’s the message the BCDP is desperately trying to relay to the public).  Rather, they reflect on the BCDP as a whole.  The BCDP is desperately seeking money to pay off the near $200,000 debt owed to the county after a nasty embezzlement charge, yet their only official spokesperson is making horrible accusations and disparaging remarks against a large part of the democratic base.  So I ask you dear readers – would you give money to an organization that is spewing hate?  I believe the answer is no – and neither will I.

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: They are termites, like Nazis and Teabaggers

March 13, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Stupid Things People Say About Gays

Dan Ramos, the Chair of Bexar County Democrats, representing the Democratic Party in the City of San Antonio, Texas and surrounding areas,  recently went on a racist and homophobic tirade:

[Gays] are all connected to the gay Democratic Party, the so-called Stonewall Democrats. Just like termites they managed to get some of their people in key positions.  … I liken them to the Tea Party — the Tea Party and the f—ing Nazi Party — because they’re 90 percent white, blue-eyed, and Anglo, and I don’t give a f— who knows that. Just like the blacks … they’re American, but you can’t get your way just because you’re black.

The degradation by Mr. Ramos of the LGBT community is so far off the mark that it almost goes without my typical ranting; however, I can’t resist.

Gays are like the Nazi Party: This couldn’t possibly be further from the truth.  Perhaps the largest indicator of how factually incorrect this is lies in the history of a symbol that has been representative of the gay community for decades – the pink triangle.   This symbol was originally sewn or pinned to the shirts of gay men during the occupation by Nazi Germany.  They were courted off, along with other non-Aryan, non-Christian, non-white folk to camps, where they were pushed into “showers” along side many others.  hundreds of thousands of gay men and lesbians were murdered by the Nazi Party.  Therefore, it seems logical that the gays couldn’t possible be “like the Nazi Party” any more so than Jewish people could be “like the Nazi Party.”

90 Percent [of gays are] White, Blue-eyed, and Anglo:  I’d love to know where Mr. Ramos found this statistic.  In my  household, only 50% of the gays are white, Anglo and blue eyed.  In my closest circle of friends, that drops significantly – to roughly 1 out of 10.

You Can’t Get Your Way Just Because You’re Black:  Putting this phrase into the context used by Mr. Ramos, it’s evident that he’s referring to the fact that LGBT people are struggling for rights such as marriage equality and prevention of work place and public sector discrimination.  In so making the comparison, he belittled not only the struggles of the LGBT community, but also the struggles of the African American community in fighting for their civil rights, desegregating society and struggling to be seen as whole citizens of the United States.

Sadly, in spite of the fact that the attack was directed mostly toward the members of the San Antonio Stonewall Democrats, the organization has not released a statement and has chosen to remain silent on the issue at this time (perhaps because May is an important election time for the group?).   Thankfully, not all LGBT organizations in San Antonio are remaining silent.  The Direct Action Network of San Antonio has recently launched a campaign to join with the state’s Chair of the Democratic Party to demand the resignation of Mr. Ramos.  You can find a petition here.

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

A Sad Bullying Irony in My Facebook Feed

March 09, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

Two headlines appeared in my Facebook feed one right after the other tonight, in what can only be described as a sad irony (if I use the word “irony” as liberally as most).

If you stop the hate, you can stop the violence.