Thursday, March 05, 2009

Thursday news briefs

I know everyone is chomping at the bit regarding the Proposition 8 court hearing today, but I thought I would provide a little bit of other news . . .

Where Did You Get Them? - First comes love, then comes marriage (despite the religious right), then comes somebody in a baby carriage.

Christian Pro-Family Organizations Labeled "Hate Groups" - The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (it's always amusing to me how the folks on the other side give themselves these "titles") are urging folks to sign a petition against the Southern Poverty Law Center for naming various anti-gay groups as official hate groups. Interestingly enough, while the C.A.D.C. are outraged about these groups being labeled, they never get around to giving out their names. And I don't think that was a typo. If you want to see the groups, go here.

If the C.A.D.C. considers Paul Cameron's group (the Family Research Institute) and Mass Resistance as "pro-family" organizations then they have a very screwed-up concept of the word "pro-family."

Hat tip to Rightwing Watch .

Rush Limbaugh’s Top Anti-Gay Quotes - Everyone is beating up on Rush and I wanna get my shots in. Seriously this is from a new addition to my links and blogroll - The New Civil Rights Movement.

IL school hosts homosexual dance - Apparently according to phony gay expert Laurie Higgins, holding a school dance for gay youth and their allies is a political act. I wonder how she feels about humming a Judy Garland song? This article is interesting in that in the comment section, a lot of responders give Higgins hell. I couldn't believe it when I saw it.

Hat tip to Openly Gay.

And now for something completely different . . .

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: And the Desert Shall Blossom - This is a long link so watch it at your leisure. When I told a friend about this, he said that maybe I see a gay connection in things that do not have them.

But bear with me when I explain the premise - two old prospectors who live out in the middle of nowhere are in danger of being forced into a retirement home by the town council unless they can prove that they are self-sufficient. Now you may disagree but I still say that despite the fact that this episode took place in the 1950s, one can infer that the two men are in a relationship.

Look at the episode and see for yourself.

Don't worry - it has a happy ending.
HRC gets in the game of exposing the religious right

For years, myself and other bloggers have been doing what we can to expose the lies of the religious right.

Now the Human Rights Campaign is going full tilt in the game:

On the day the California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the NCLR/ACLU lawsuits to overturn Prop 8, HRC will launch, a new website to call out the lies spread by right wingers to stop the LGBT movement’s push for equality.

As we gear up to fight for passage of our legislative agenda in Congress, will feature an “interactive wall” of anti-LGBT crusaders (i.e. the AFA, Sally Kern, and George W. Bush) and will provide ways for visitors to take action against their efforts. Users will also be able to nominate their own candidates for the wall.

Here’s two examples of how will combat some of the favorite fibs by the right wing:

Lie: If hate crimes laws are passed, pastors will be prosecuted for preaching what the Bible says about homosexuality.

Truth: Pastors will not be held liable for hate crimes based on preaching anti-gay sermons. The First Amendment protects a preacher from being charged as an accessory to a hate crime simply because of their speech. The Matthew Shepard Act only punishes violent crimes, not a person’s speech, beliefs or thoughts. In fact, the legislation contains language specifically protecting free speech.

Lie: Legislation that will provide employment protection based on sexual orientation or gender identity will force churches to hire homosexuals.

Truth: Federal employment non-discrimination legislation is sensitive to religious organizations and their fundamental beliefs and tenets, and includes a broad exemption for these groups, including churches, religious schools and other faith entities.

For too long, anti-LGBT right wingers have won battles against our community by telling lies about our lives and families – and then excite fear and hysteria all the way to victory. It’s past time for us to aggressively go head-to-head with their tactics – and to call them out for their hypocrisy.

It's good that HRC is taking a role in breaking down the intentional inaccuracies that are geared to poison the minds of people of faith and Americans in general against the lgbt community.

While some may ask what took so long, I say that it's about time. I also say that before we get all judgmental, the lgbt community should give the site time to grow and focus.

And above all, we should give HRC's effort all of our utmost support.
Proposition 8 plea to my lgbt brothers and sisters - show a little forethought and restraint

Today, California courts will be hearing a challenge to Proposition 8 - the law the banned gay marriage in California.

Since that monstrosity passed in November, the lgbt communty has tossed and struggled with why it passed, what it means for our community, and how do we go on.

So today will be interesting.

But I have a plea to my lgbt brothers and sisters.

If the courts give us what we want, please show some forethought. The other side will be galvanized in huge number, like they were when the sodomy laws were stricken. While there may be a need to celebrate, we should remember that a victory is not the end of the entire thing, but another avenue that could take us down a bad road if we don't have the presence of mind to control the argument.

But what if the courts don't give us what we want. That concerns me more.

Last year when Proposition 8 passed, some of us got so angry that we forgot ourselves. We allowed our private prejudices and inner demons to come out and control our actions.

And we allowed ourselves to be played.

One thing I hated last year was how the gay community was unfairly cast as overly violent racist aggressors who wrote nasty threatening things on blogs, sent threatening letters to Mormons and beat up old women.

But we helped further that image by playing into the hands of the opposition. We gave them plenty of ammunition as they scoured blogs looking for negative reactions to the vote and looked at video protests seeking to twist the smallest thing into evidence of a gay insurrection.

Yes I know that we get angry over the lies of the religious right, but there is no excuse for being so angry that you allow yourself to become a pawn in your own dehumanization.

So let me advise this - despite what happens today (regardless of what the prognosticators say the court will rule before its 90 day window), remember that this is not over. And the actions that you may choose to take will always have either positive or negative repercussions.

If you feel yourself getting angry over the lies and such, channel that anger into something more productive than writing an ugly note on a blog. Volunteer for a local political or service group. Organize your friends together.

And above all, get educated. That's the one thing we don't do enough as a community.

The struggle for self-determination isn't supposed to be easy, but there is no excuse for making it more difficult.