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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.

Wait, Did Kay Bailey Hutchison Just Say I am a Phone Sex Operator?

June 10, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

Anyone who has attempted to organize an event on a shoe-string budget knows the importance of free services.  Many of these services are available on the web.  There are sites that provide free  , business cards, email marketing tools and even teleconferencing services.  I’ve used many of such freebies on the net in order to organize rallies, protests and conferences.  One of the most important tools that I’ve found is free telephone conferencing.

While I’m perfectly capable of joining in a couple of people on a call, I can’t join in the large number of people it sometimes requires to get the activism ball rolling, in spite of the nearly limitless powers of my Android mobile phone. To accomplish this, I signed up for an account with freeconference.com, a telecommunications provider which assigns a “call-in” number and “pin code” to me for use whenever I need it.  I love the service.  It’s convenient, easy to use and doesn’t cost me a small fortune like the teleconferencing services from AT&T.

Recently, the House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee jeopardized my ability to use these services for free.  In response to a proposal that would eliminate this free and much needed service, freeconference.com and its subsidiary, Global Conference Partners, launched a campaign asking the users of the service to contact their representatives and let them know how important the service is to them.  I was one of the 100,000 users that responded in the first week.  While Lamar Smith and John Cornyn responded in typical political fashion with something to the affect of, “You’re comments are noted and considered,” Kay Bailey Hutchison took it a bit further… perhaps too far.  In fact, after reading her response I wasn’t sure if she was calling me a phone sex operator or a mob boss for telecommunications fraud.

Under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, wireless and long distance carriers pay access fees to local exchange carriers for calls to those carriers’ local subscribers.  Rural carrier are allowed to charge significantly higher access fees than carriers in more urban areas, based on the rationale that rural areas have lower call volume, but higher infrastructure costs.

In order to increase their call volume, rural carriers sometimes work with phone sex and conference call providers to route their calls and then share the profit of the fees collected.  This is known as ‘traffic pumping,’ and is a source of gaming that results in higher costs for companies and consumers.

Obviously, I appreciate Kay Bailey Hutchison’s position that routing calls through a rural access point to charge higher access fees should be properly monitored, but here’s what tripped me up a bit.  I never mentioned phone sex.  In fact, as soon as I read those words, it became clear to me how the republicans remain in power.  The issue of grassroots organizers being able to use a telephone conferencing service at no charge was suddenly about phone sex… morality.  The issue, which concerned me because I can’t afford huge teleconferencing fees, was now “Do you really want phone sex operators routing your teleconference?”

This same tactic is being used in Uganda to promote the anti-homosexuality bill.  Martin Ssempa has learned well from the American evangelicals who have visited the .  His declarations that not murdering and/or imprisoning homosexuals will result in homosexuals “eating the poo poo of our children” have taken a human rights issue out of context (and ridiculously out of context) and turned it into a sexual morality argument.  After all, straight people eat poo poo to.

But in the spirit of fair play, let’s use the republican evangelical logic and create some arguments that would support LGBT issues:

  • Not allowing same-sex marriage increases divorce rates.
  • If same-sex marriage is banned, men will drink the breast milk of their wives.
  • Banning gays in the military will result in heterosexual orgies.
  • Forbidding same-sex couples from uniting with their foreign partner means they will seek out an American to corrupt.
  • Firing LGBT people for their sexual orientation/gender identity results in increased homelessness. (oh wait… that one is too logical).

I think you get the point.  If you are arguing something you can’t win, find a way to turn it into a sexual and/or morality issue and “ta da” you’re a right-winger.

Is Any Publicity Really Good Publicity? Adam Lambert v. Uganda

December 04, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Featured, LGBT News

UgandaLambertAfter Adam Lambert’s performance on the American Music Awards resulted in people screaming about gay kisses all over the Internet and thousands of calls complaining to the network, ABC canceled two scheduled appearances by the performer. Since then, activists far and wide have called out ABC for its discrimination against Lambert. Then the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (“GLAAD”) stepped in.

At first, ABC remained mum on why Adam’s appearances were canceled, but after questions became louder, they responded that Adam wasn’t axed because of his sexual orientation, but because he can’t stick to a script.

GLAAD quickly agreed and issued a statement in defense of ABC stating that ABC has shown same-sex kisses in the past and does not discriminate against gays. The result is music to Adam Lambert’s publicist’s ear, but poison to this activist.

The story of Adam Lambert’s kiss has reached major networks, blogs and radio. Debates all over the internet show the fury of the LGBT community and their heterosexual allies over the issue, but what we aren’t talking about is Uganda.

Uganda is slated to vote on an anti-homosexuality bill. The bill would allow for punishment of homosexual acts with life in prison, but doesn’t stop there. If you are a repeat offender or HIV+ the sentence is death.  That means if Adam Lambert performed in Uganda as he did on the American Music Awards, he would not be banned from network T.V., he’d be thrown in prison for the rest of his life.  Should he be charged for repeated offenses, they will kill him.

But what is worse than the thought of Adam Lambert being put to death?  The US Christian group, The Family (aka the “Fellowship”), a fundamentalist organization which is believed to house many US Representatives, used its influence to bring about this bill.  According to Alternet:

The roster of current and former Family members includes senators, congressmen, Fortune 500 CEOs, generals and at least one Supreme Court justice. The Family does not publish membership lists, and its members are sworn to secrecy, so a full accounting is impossible.

Sen. Hillary Clinton has been involved with the Family since 1993 when, as first lady, she joined a White House prayer circle for political wives. Clinton has also sought spiritual counseling from the current head of the Family, Doug Coe.

The Family’s influence in U.S. Politics is strong.  So strong, in fact, that the religious majority continues to vote on the rights of minorities even in the Land of the Freedom of Religion.  If they succeed in Uganda in bringing the murder of homosexuals into law, what will stop them in the U.S.?  We already know by way of California’s Proposition 8 that human rights can be voted away, but where do we draw the line?

And that brings us back to Adam Lambert and GLAAD.  Is this story “good publicity” when it distracts us from the potential government sanctioned murders of our LGBT brothers and sisters in Uganda? Definitely not.

the Fellowship and the International Foundation