Monday, May 18, 2009

South Carolina lgbts, allies will speak against discriminatory bill

Legislators and social justice organizations will speak against the discriminatory amendment that was added to H-3543 at a press conference on Tuesday, May 19, at 11:45am in the upstairs lobby of the State House.

The original bill, which addressed violence between "dating partners" in grades 6-12, was amended on second reading to limit its application to "heterosexual dating relationship(s)".

"This well-intentioned bill has been subverted by legislators more concerned with scoring points in the culture war than in protecting the well being of this state's children," said Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter.

Rep. Cobb-Hunter and Rep. Ken Kennedy will be joined at the press conference by Harriet Hancock of Columbia's chapter of Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, and representatives of other Midlands social justice organizations.

The event is being organized by the SC Progressive Network, a coalition of organizations promoting equal protection under the law. For more on the Network, see or call 803-808-3384.

John P Dawkins Midlands Coordinator
S.C. Progressive Network

I intend to be there tomorrow in the thick of everything and I will be covering it for this site and posting an entry on Pam's House Blend. It just amazes me that the SC legislators can't seem to get it together regarding the stimulus package but can't wait to leapfrog over each other in an attempt to score anti-gay points in this so-called culture war.

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Monday midday news briefs

First an announcement: Due to a suprisingly degree of popularity with Friday evening's post, Know your lgbt history - Flowers of Evil, I will now be featuring a Know your lgbt history segment every Friday evening.

In these entries, I will be posting clips from past movies and television shows in order to gauge discussion on how the lgbt community was represented in the media.

With these clips will be a little bit of history behind said movies and television shows.

This Friday, I will be featuring a popular horror movie of the 1980s that had huge gay subtext in one of the scenes. It led to one of my biggest crushes as a teenager.

I hope you all enjoy my new venture.

Now onto news briefs:

Cynthia Nixon Engaged to Girlfriend - while I'm generally not one for celebrity driven news, this is something that should be shared. Congratulations to Nixon and her partner.

Lesbian Mom Nominated for U.S. Attorney - President Obama has been catching a lot of flack on lgbt issues such as Don't Ask, Don't Tell. While this won't negate the appropriate degree of anger over his backtracking, it's still an awesome development.

NC: openly gay candidate announces run for Charlotte City Council - I wonder if he has a partner. I'm still looking to date an elected official. I've got the fur coat and hat already picked out.

Studies: Gay marriage pays big - Hell, I could have told you that!

SCOTUS Round-Up - This issue will have serious positive repercussions for the lgbt community.

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Matt Barber repeats the lie about Matthew Shepard

Gay columnist Andrew Sullivan does not agree with hate crimes legislation.

Sullivan's criticism of hate crimes legislation is not surprising. He is a conservative who from time to time criticizes the so-called leftwing intelligensia of the gay rights movement.

Sullivan's criticisms shouldn't be viewed as some out of the ordinary event because the lgbt community is not monolithic. However in the eyes of the religious right and their supporters, where conspiracy theories about the lgbt community are rampant, anything that gives the impression that a gay person is "rebelling" against the so-called lgbt group think is treated like Arlen Spector defecting from the Republican party. Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber (and One News Now) is treating Sullivan's comments like some incredible revelation:

A surprising revelation from a homosexual activist over the purpose of the "hate crimes" bill is drawing kudos from at least one pro-family spokesman.

The activist is Andrew Sullivan, one of the movers and shakers in the international homosexual movement. "The real reason for hate crime laws is not the defense of human beings from crime. There are already laws against that," Sullivan writes on his blog, "and Matthew Shepard's murderers were successfully prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law in a state with no hate crimes law at the time."

. . . "He is to be commended for his candor," says (Matt) Barber. "He has admitted publicly now that the hate crimes, among other things, simply a money-making scheme drummed up by the organized homosexualist lobby."

S. 909 is called the Matthew Shepard Act to honor a young homosexual man who was tortured and killed in 1998 not because of his sexual orientation, but during the course of a robbery. As Barber notes, the murder has been used as a money-raiser, too.

"Andrew Sullivan points this irony out and points out how ridiculous it is that they are using [Shepard's] name, exploiting this poor young man's horrible death to try to push a money-making scheme...a social ponzi scheme," says Barber.

For the record, while Sullivan speaks out against hate crimes legislation, at no time did he give an impression that the lgbt community is falsely exploiting Matthew Shepard's murder.

While I find it funny that the religious right are designating who our leaders are, I am also offended by this constant repeition of the inaccurate talking point that Shepard's murder was not due to his sexual orientation. It has been proven consistently time and time again that Shepard's killers targeted him because he was gay.

Barber and company continue to refer a highly criticized episode of ABC's 20/20 that merely speculated other motivations behind Shepard's murder. The episode changed nothing because it proved nothing.

It's ironic that Barber accuses the lgbt community of exploiting Shepard's death when he's clearly the one doing the exploiting.

Editor's note - The constant repeating an inaccuracy about gays and lesbians even after the meme is exposed as a lie is distorton technique two of the six distortion techniques I've outlined as to how the religious right stigmatizes the lgbt community.

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