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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.

Texas GOP Official Platform Calls for Imprisonment of Homosexuals and Supportive Heterosexuals

June 20, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Featured

Texas GOP calls for imprisonment of homosexualsI’m not a big fan of Democrats right now.  In fact, I’m so upset with their negotiations to be bi-partisan, I actually considered not voting for a single democrat this November and instead voting for an independent or abstaining my vote altogether.  Many LGBT people have made calls for a boycott of the democrats – no money and no votes.  But I live in Texas and that changes things for me.

The Texas GOP has released their “2010 State Republican Party Platform” and its filled with hate and bigotry.  One blogger even likened the platform to being very similar to that of Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill – and they are absolutely right!

The anti-gayness of the Republican platform began with their principles.  Principle #6 begins, :

We believe in… Self-sufficient families, founded on the traditional marriage of a natural man and a natural woman.

That principle concurs with roughly 76% of Texas voters (which was the percentage that voted to support an amendment to the Texas Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, or anything even similar to it).

But it gets far more frightening.  Under the bold, uppercase heading, “Strengthening Families, Protecting Life and Promoting Health” the Texas GOP outlines why I should be legislated back into the closet and how they intend to do it:

Family and Defense of Marriage – We support the definition of marriage as a God–ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman, which is the foundational unit of a healthy society, and we oppose the assault on marriage by judicial activists. *** We further call on Congress to pass and the state legislatures to ratify a marriage amendment declaring that marriage in the United States shall consist of and be recognized only as the union of a natural man and a natural woman. Neither the United States nor any state shall recognize or grant to any unmarried person the legal rights or status of a spouse.

You’ll note that the Texas GOP is asking that marriage rights in other states be revoked as well.

Family Values – We affirm that this section is a response to the attacks on traditional family values. These include well  funded, vigorous political and judicial attempts by powerful organizations and branches of the government to force acceptance, affirmation and normalization of homosexual behavior upon school children, parents, educational institutions, businesses, employees, government bodies and religious institutions and charities. These aggressive, intolerant efforts marginalize as bigots anyone who dissents.

You’ll notice that the shoe fits.  They are attempting to legislate me.  They are attempting to deny me fundamental rights they enjoy based upon, as evidenced by this proposal, their belief in an intolerant and uncaring “God.”  Here’s the definition of bigot to make it clear that they are what they claim not to be: “One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.”

Thus, I am a bigot too because I’m intolerant of the belief that I am inferior as a human to the Texas GOP.  I accept and embrace that fact.  The only difference between my bigotry and theirs is that I don’t tell them who they should marry.

But wait, it gets worse and here’s where we start sounding very Ugandan:

Marriage Licenses – We support legislation that would make it a felony to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple and for any civil official to perform a marriage ceremony for such.

That’s right.  If you are a heterosexual clergy member who decides to perform a marriage ceremony for a same-sex person, you go to prison.  You don’t have to have gay sex anymore to go to prison in Texas (as you did in the past), now you can go just for supporting a life commitment between two people of the same-sex.

The Texas GOP then goes on to ignorantly declare that homosexuality:

  • tears at the fabric of society,
  • contributes to the breakdown of the family unit,
  • leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases, and
  • is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.

But wait, it gets worse… still:

Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, refuse to recognize, or grant special privileges including, but not limited to: marriage between persons of the same sex (regardless of state of origin), custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.

They then “demand” that Congress withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy – in other words, because the federal courts said people can’t go to prison for oral sex, Texas Republicans are pissed.  They want people who have oral sex to go to prison.  They are, again bigots, like me.  Only, I don’t want them to go to prison for having vaginal to penis sex.  I couldn’t care less about their missionary position.

I am a Texan, for those that do not know.  I live and work in Texas and have lived in Texas the bulk of my life.  It’s always been “home” to me in spite of the conservative nature of Texas politics.  It has, however, become clear that Texas may soon begin to invade my home, arrest people like me, my friends and my loved ones.  From the tone set by the GOP, they may decide it’s OK to open fire on homosexuals in the street.  There is no stopping this level of hatred.  They aren’t trying to stop us from marrying, they are trying to make us extinct.

So what should I do now? Find a friend in another country and find out that country’s laws regarding political asylum and make arrangements with that friend for when we are forced to flee from the land of the free and the home of the brave?

There is one principle of the Texas GOP that I support:

Americans having the right to be safe in their homes, on their streets, and in their communities, and the unalienable right to defend themselves.

This is my home – and I will use my “unalienable right” to defend it.

Anti-Equality Messiah, Maggie Gallagher, Wants Her Equal Protection and to Eat it Too!

June 17, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Marriage Equality

National Organization for Marriage - the Anti-Gay NOM NOM NOMAssuming yesterday’s closing arguments are any indication of which way Judge Walker will rule in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger Prop 8 case, it looks like an obvious victory for marriage equality advocates.  In a statement on the National Organization for [Heterosexual Only] Marriage’s website the group’s messiah, Maggie Gallagher, seemed to admit this defeat, stating:

Americans have a right to vote for marriage. Ted Olson doesn’t seem to understand the argument, and judging from today’s exchanges neither does Judge Walker. I expect Judge Walker will overrule Prop 8.

But what makes marriage different from other things on which Americans don’t really have the right to vote, like for president in the landmark case, Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000)?  In that case, the Supreme Court negated the recount of votes (cast by Americans) which effectively secured the previously certified win of George W. Bush in Florida and gave him the necessary electoral votes to be President (like it or not).  Why was that ruling “ok” but a ruling to grant civil rights to a suspect class of people that were taken away by voters not “ok?”  I’m sure Attorney Cooper would answer with something about the natural creation of children – as that’s about all he could come up with in the closing arguments for any question posed by Judge Walker.

The real parallel of the two cases is the rationale used by the Supreme Court in determining George W. Bush was the winner.  In its decision, the Court declared, in part, that the method for recounting ballots used in Florida was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which states, “no state shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”  That clause was included within the Constitution of the United States in an attempt to prevent violations of the well known standard, “all men are created equal.”  The Supreme Court decided that there was no “equal” standard for counting votes in Florida so votes in one county might be counted one way, while votes in another county might be counted another.  This logistical problem was enough to invalidate the right to vote based upon the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution (as least in the Court’s opinion at that time).

In the Prop 8 case, we clearly have a much more blatant violation of the Equal Protection Clause than we saw in Bush v. Gore.  There is no hypothetical “it might happen” in the Prop 8 debacle, there is an “it did happen and will continue to happen.”

2010 – The Year of the Lesbian Parent.

June 14, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Featured

Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Rep.-WA)Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (Rep-WA) voted no on the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, also more formally known as the Patrick Amendment to H.R. 5136, which would repeal the discriminatory policy banning openly gay service members from defending freedom and equality.  In fact, Rep. McMorris-Rodgers has only supported 3% of progressive actions, but has supported, either through voting or co-sponsorship, 61% of legislation which is considered “regressive” – or rather that which, “erodes freedom, knowledge and security.”   Here are a few examples of her regressive legislation support:

  • Amendment 35 to H.R. 2647 was proposed to counter the current push to cover-up American military and interrogation activities. Amendment 35 would require military interrogations to be videotaped, with an exception provided at times when there may not be time to set up a camera.  Cathy McMorris-Rodger’s voted against this measure.
  • H.R. 11, also known as The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is a bill that simply says that workers cannot be expected to file suit for compensation for wage discrimination before they actually find out that they have been discriminated against.  Cathy McMorris-Rodger’s voted against this measure.
  • H.R. 2608, was introduced after the government of Washington, DC voted to approve same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia. H.R. 2608 seeks to overturn the local decision of DC government by imposing a congressional prohibition on same-sex marriage in Washington, DC. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers co-sponsored this discriminatory legislation.

Here’s an expression I’m sure you’ve heard, “A wolf in sheep’s clothing.”  Cathy McMorris-Rodgers has now sponsored a bill, which on its surface appears acceptable, simple and certainly non-controversial.  But when you read the text of the bill, you find a phrase that can be very disturbing, particularly to same-sex couples with children.

H. Con. Res. 285 was introduced to recognize the important role that fathers play in the lives of their children and families and to support the goals and ideals of designating 2010 as the Year of the Father.  Sounds fairly benign, right?  But what are the goals and ideals of designating 2010 as the Year of the Father?  From the text of the bill, we find this statement:

Whereas it is well documented that children involved with loving fathers are significantly more likely to have healthy self-esteems, exhibit empathy and prosocial behavior, avoid high risk behaviors, have reduced antisocial behavior and delinquency in boys, have better peer relationships, and have higher occupational mobility relative to parents…

Anyone else see the problem? Isn’t it also well documented that Lesbian mothers are better at raising children to be more self-confident, do better academically and are even LESS likely to have behavioral problems?  In fact, here’s what TIME reported on the research:

The authors found that children raised by lesbian mothers — whether the mother was partnered or single — scored very similarly to children raised by heterosexual parents on measures of development and social behavior. These findings were expected, the authors said; however, they were surprised to discover that children in lesbian homes scored higher than kids in straight families on some psychological measures of self-esteem and confidence, did better academically and were less likely to have behavioral problems, such as rule-breaking and aggression. ‘We simply expected to find no difference in psychological adjustment between adolescents reared in lesbian families and the normative sample of age-matched controls,’ says [researcher Nanette] Gartrell. ‘I was surprised to find that on some measures we found higher levels of [psychological] competency and lower levels of behavioral problems. It wasn’t something I anticipated.’ In addition, children in same-sex-parent families whose mothers ended up separating, did as well as children in lesbian families in which the moms stayed together.

So, here’s to 2010 – the Year of the Lesbian Parent.

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.

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: Repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is “Forcible Sodomy”

May 14, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

In 2008, the House Armed Service personnel subcommittee held the first hearing since 1993 on the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy which discriminates against openly gay/lesbian military persons.

During her testimony at the hearing, Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness, invoked the argument against a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell we hear all too often – that a repeal would result in :”exotic forms of sexual expression”, “forcible sodomy” and declaring a repeal would lead to a “sexualized atmosphere.”

In her written statement to the House Armed Services Committee, Donnelly wrote:

When a female soldier reports an incident of sexual harassment or abuse, she enjoys the presumption of truthfulness. But under the new civil rights standard, if a male soldier reports an incident of homosexual harassment or abuse, he will face the suspicion, if not the presumption, of unacceptable attitudes toward fellow soldiers who are gay.

Since charges of harassment will be met with counter charges of “bigotry” or “homophobic bullying,” heterosexuals whose values are violated will hesitate to file complaints, lest they be suspected and probably accused of attitudes that violate the new “zero tolerance” policy, favoring homosexuals in the military.

In messy, emotionally-charged disputes such as this, commanders themselves will be accused of homophobic attitudes if they take the side of the heterosexual person over the homosexual one. Who is bullying whom? In close quarters it wouldn’t matter—the effect on unit cohesion would be the same.

The first problem with Ms. Donnelly’s statements, which are echoed still today in arguments against the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, is that she’s ignored the fact that female soldiers do not enjoy the presumption of truth.  In a 2004 report, the Denver Post found that some 200,000 women were sexually assaulted while serving in the armed forces. In 2006, there were 2,974 cases of rape and sexual assault in the services and only 292 of those cases went to a military trial.  According to the group, STAAAMP, over 40 U.S. Generals, Admirals and Colonels have been given immunity by U.S. Courts for serious criminal sexual behavior.  Presumption of truth, Ms. Donnelly?  It seems not.

The second problem with her argument is that she implies that a heterosexual person who has been raped by someone of the same sex would not come forward for fear of being labeled a bigot.  While it’s true that many victims of rape or sexual abuse do not come forward, the idea that the fear of being labeled “anti-gay” stayed their voice is ludicrous.  According to the 2005 National Crime Victimization Survey, only 38 percent of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement officials.  Thus, a staggering 63% went unreported.  In many of these cases, victims felt that their reputations would be tarnished and that they would be blamed for the attack against them. One rape victim described her fear of coming forward this way:

It would be my word against his. It was something I’d rather not have to deal with while I was in college. All my friends all believed me. I didn’t know if the police would. I didn’t know if the school would.

In her third point, Donnelly suggests that Commanders would be subjected to being homophobic if they prosecuted a rape case against a gay service member.  This is another ludicrous allegation with no supporting facts and is clearly an effort to blame the victim or prosecutor, rather than the perpetrator.

The lies and fear from the opposition are spreading.  They are desperate to hide their prejudices in tangled, twisted logic that will appeal to the masses.  No outlandish claim or lie is too far for these people as they must defend their right to hate without saying their truth, that they just don’t like gay people.  The repeal of laws against people based solely upon individual characteristics is the “right” path and we will succeed.  Even those opposed to equality know this, and they are afraid.

For additional information on rape and sexual assault in the military, I direct you to the following resource: Refusing Rape.

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

n 2008, the House Armed Service personnel subcommittee held the first hearing since 1993 on the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy which discriminates against openly gay/lesbian military persons.

During her testimony at the hearing, Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military readiness, invoked the argument against a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell we hear all too often – that a repeal would result in :”exotic forms of sexual expression”, “forcible sodomy” and declaring a repeal would lead to a “sexualized atmosphere.”

In her written statement to the House Armed Services Committee, Donnelly wrote:

“When a female soldier reports an incident of sexual harassment or abuse, she enjoys the presumption of truthfulness. But under the new civil rights standard, if a male soldier reports an incident of homosexual harassment or abuse, he will face the suspicion, if not the presumption, of unacceptable attitudes toward fellow soldiers who are gay.

Since charges of harassment will be met with counter charges of “bigotry” or “homophobic bullying,” heterosexuals whose values are violated will hesitate to file complaints, lest they be suspected and probably accused of attitudes that violate the new “zero tolerance” policy, favoring homosexuals in the military.

In messy, emotionally-charged disputes such as this, commanders themselves will be accused of homophobic attitudes if they take the side of the heterosexual person over the homosexual one. Who is bullying whom? In close quarters it wouldn’t matter—the effect on unit cohesion would be the same.”

The first problem with Ms. Donnelly’s statements, which are echoed still today in arguments against the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, is that she’s ignored the fact that female soldiers do not enjoy the presumption of truth. In a 2004 report, the Denver Post found that some 200,000 women were sexually assaulted while serving in the armed forces. In 2006, there were 2,974 cases of rape and sexual assault in the services and only 292 of those cases went to a military trial. According to the group, STAAAMP, over 40 U.S. Generals, Admirals and Colonels have been given immunity by U.S. Courts for serious criminal sexual behavior. Presumption of truth, Ms. Donnelly? It seems not.

The second problem with her argument is that she implies that a heterosexual person who has been raped by someone of the same sex would not come forward for fear of being labeled a bigot. While it’s true that many victims of rape or sexual abuse do not come forward, the idea that the fear of being labeled “anti-gay” stayed their voice is ludicrous. According to the 2005 National Crime Victimization Survey, only 38 percent of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement officials. Thus, a staggering 63% went unreported. In many of these cases, victims felt that their reputations would be tarnished and that they would be blamed for the attack against them. One rape victim described her fear of coming forward this way:

“It would be my word against his. It was something I’d rather not have to deal with while I was in college. All my friends all believed me. I didn’t know if the police would. I didn’t know if the school would.”

In her third point, Donnelly suggests that Commanders would be subjected to being homophobic if they prosecuted a rape case against a gay service member. This is another ludicrous allegation with no supporting facts and is clearly an effort to blame the victim or prosecutor, rather than the perpetrator.

The lies and fear from the opposition are spreading. They are desperate to hide their prejudices in tangled, twisted logic that will appeal to the masses. No outlandish claim or lie is too far for these people as they must defend their right to hate without saying their truth, that they just don’t like gay people. The repeal of laws against people based solely upon individual characteristics is the “right” path and we will succeed. Even those opposed to equality know this, and they are afraid.

For additional information on rape and sexual assault in the military, I direct you to the following resource: Refusing Rape.

Stop the Destruction of the Rain Forest – Repeal DOMA Now.

April 15, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

recyle logo - Protect the Earth - Repeal DOMAShortly after the passage of Proposition 8 in California, the rights and privileges of opposite-sex couples were enumerated and totaled, at the Federal level, 1138 rights of marriage that are not enjoyed by same-sex couples.  Since that time, that list has shrunken slightly, to 1136 rights.

The first right to be granted to same-sex couples was a side-effect of George W. Bush declaring, upon leaving office, that the beneficiary of your retirement plan no longer has to be a relative to avoid taxes.  Obviously, this was a benefit to more than just same-sex couples.

The second right to be granted to same-sex couples wasn’t really granted, but suggested by President Obama.  In an act that heterosexist America would call unconscionable, Obama suggested that hospitals grant visitation rights to same-sex couples and comply with their Powers of Attorney.  This suggestion is similar to the suggestion that states make the legal drinking age 21 – do it, or you won’t get certain funding.  In the present case, Obama declared that should a hospital not follow the suggestion, Medicare/Medicaid benefits would be cancelled.

While I’m very happy that Obama would take such a step to help those of us who are affected by such horrifying inhumane acts of discrimination, I’m concerned that non-complying hospitals will begin denying treatment to Medicare/Medicaid recipients for fear of losing the funding.

This victory is bitter sweet, but evidences the path we’ve been taking for decades in the quest for full equality under the law – we’re getting it, but only one right at a time.  So let’s do it Obama’s way.  Let’s take one right at a time and 1136 more rights (and countless pieces of paper) later, we’ll have less trees, more waste and still suffer the stigma of “separate but equal.” However, a full repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) would help institute all remaining 1126 denied rights using far less paper and energy while simultaneously eliminating the ideology that separate can ever be equal.  Come on Obama, save a rain forest and repeal DOMA now!

Mississippi High School Curriculum: It’s Better to be Cruel than Gay.

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

Constance McMillen: A Fake Prom?Remember the story of Constance McMillen, the Mississippi student whose school canceled prom rather than let her bring a same-sex date?  Today, LezGetReal.com reported that Fulton, Mississippi held two proms – one, Constance was invited to and had 7 couples in attendance, the other is reportedly the “real” prom said to have had district personnel help in the planning.

It seems that warped sense of “morality” stuck again.  It is better to lie and play a cruel joke on an 18 year old girl wanting to have a wonderful prom memory just like anyone else than to be a homosexual.  I suggest those involved rent the movie, Carrie, to fully appreciate the importance of prom to a young high school girl.

What amazes me isn’t this horrific display of homophobia, it’s the strength of LGBT individuals.  We are treated in this manner our entire lives and then, when we get fed up with this sort of treatment, Homophobic America screams we are self-loathing.  They pass legislation which prevents us from participating in actions in which heterosexuals are allowed to participate (such as serve in the military or get married).  However, in spite of all of this adversity and hatred directed at us, we still manage to find a way to love ourselves… usually.

But we don’t always overcome.  Some of us wind up self-destructing.  Some of us wind up on the streets turning tricks to support ourselves (and sometime our habits).  That’s when Homophobic America screams out that we are just drug and sex addicts and further take away our rights.

The hate will never stop.  It hasn’t stopped against other minority groups and it won’t stop against LGBT people; however, it will subside.  Some day, it will not be the popular opinion.  Some day, there will be no laws specifically targeting LGBT people.  Some day, all men will be equal in the eyes of the laws of the United States… unless of course all those rumors about 2012 marking the end of the world are true.

The ACLU is investigating the “fake prom” held in Mississippi.

Morning Show’s Transphobic Remarks Should Spark Outrage from the LGBT Community

January 30, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

Janet - Kiss 98.5 FM - WRONG WRONG WRONGJanet Snyder and Nicholas Picholas aren’t exactly superstars to the bulk of the world.  In fact, I’d never heard of them until their morning show which airs in Buffalo, NY on KISS 98.5, took the typically demeaning and irresponsible direction that gets them loads of attention but at a heavy price.

The duo not only belittled the reproductive rights and the right of choice guaranteed by the United States constitution and the historic case Roe v. Wade, but they poked fun of the appearance of a bearded man with a pot belly – and we aren’t talking about Santa Claus or a Nascar fan.  While discussing the “second pregnant man” (being Scott Moore, a pregnant transman), Janet referred to the image of a man with a pregnant belly as “wrong, wrong, wrong.”

Press |> play below to hear the commentary:

[audio:http://www.jaysays.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Transphobia.mp3]

All that said, it’s just another crass example of transphobia, right?  It’s not like they said we should murder transpeople, they just said they thought it was, “wrong, wrong, wrong.”  Perhaps that’s why the LGBT community at large has generally ignored the comment? After all, the Facebook group devoted to the issue has only 109 members as of this post.  Perhaps that’s why, three days after the transphobic comments, I’m only just finding out about it in spite of being someone who attempts to stay well informed?

Ironically, before learning of this story, I posted to the jaysays.com page on Facebook the following quote from my favorite American poet, Walt Whitman:

Whoever degrades another degrades me, And whatever is done or said returns at last to me.

I take it personal, in spite of the fact that I am not gender queer or a transperson.  Each and every one of us should take the comments personally, for they are simply the spark that start the fire.  If we do not work together to extinguish these small fires, we are destined to burn everything down.

Please join the facebook group to learn what you can do to help end transhpobia.

God has Spoken… to me

January 12, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

Atheists for JesusAs many regular readers know, I’m an atheist; therefore, when I say this, please don’t take it lightly.  It was after much contemplation that I decided to go public with this very personal moment in my life. Tonight, I spent many hours in the kitchen working on making some candy.  It’s a long process and messy – so the clean up often takes as long as the making.  Thereafter, I was a bit tired and stepped outside for some fresh air.  I began thinking hard about things in the world – the economy, marriage equality, the criminal trial against the cop that beat Duanna Johnson, and other things relevant.

It was then that God spoke to me.  I’m not sure why I was chosen, but after much consideration, there is no logical explaination for what occured other than it was the voice of God.  While it isn’t freezing outside, it is chilly; however, a warm wash came over me and I began to see a light – slowly growing brighter and brighter.  Then the voice came through, clear and in English (not some weird tongue).  At these moments, one would expect something extraordinarily profound, perhaps even a burning bush or two, but that was not the experience at all.  Instead, it was simply a kind, warm voice.  God spoke only one word, “Now.”

Either God wished to promote the National Organization for Women, or there is a message in that word.  I haven’t discovered the message yet, but I hope to.

Now…

All that being said, I now wonder how many of you are thinking, “Jay has lost his mind.”  If that is what you are thinking, you may be right – or perhaps, I’m destined to become a prophet…

or perhaps, I’m lying.

How would you know if God spoke to me?  You’d simply have to take my word for it, wouldn’t you?  Just like we take the word of Moses, or the word of Joseph Smith who founded the Mormon Church a scant 180 years ago, or even the word of Maggie Gallagher, the founder of the National Organization for [Heterosexual Only] Marriage.

So why don’t you believe me?

Of course, God didn’t speak to me.  God has never spoken his word to my ears.  I’m either not worthy, or there is no God.  But those that fight hard against same-sex couple and invoke his words likely haven’t spoken to God either.  In fact, any that claim a direct link to God would likely either be considered “crazy” or a “liar”.  What changed in the past 180 years since the founding of the Mormon church that made us stop believing that humans can speak directly to God or angels?

I suppose the right wing would argue that the gays are to blame for that, too.

Goodnight, and God speed… or is that speak.