Tag Archives: Iowa

Bigot of the Week Award: December 7, Sen. James Inhofe and his “Fellows”

7 Dec
BIgot of the Week

BIgot of the Week

This week a number of U.S. Senators have simultaneously taken one stand against human rights and refused to take another stand in favor of human rights. What ties these bitter white men together is their membership in a secretive faux-Christian sect known as the Fellowship. (It’s also called the Family — they couldn’t decide which word to misappropriate…) This nasty sect, founded in 1935, purports to be a prayer group celebrating the teachings of Jesus. What they really are is the worst of Who Would Jesus Hate hypocrites, pushing homophobia, misogyny, racism, and “traditional values” while secretly supporting the long-term extramarital affairs of Sen. John Ensign (R of course – NV) and former SC Governor Mark Sanford.

The Fellowship has international membership, and its members in Uganda, with support from U.S. members like Scott Lively, have been active sponsors of the viciously anti-gay bill currently working its way through the Ugandan Parliament. Five Republican U.S. Senators who are known members of the Fellowship — Charles Grassley (IA), James Inhofe and Tom Coburn (OK),  Jim DeMint (SC), Mike Enzi (WY) — (have actively resisted calls to condemn the bill. Sen. Inhofe notoriously argued with Rachel Maddow about the content of the bill and its connection to his organization in an interview last March. American “missionary” voices have been instrumental in fanning the flames of homophobia in Uganda. The refusal of these men to distance themselves from this potentially lethal legislation is inexcusable.  On the plus side, the nefarious Jim DeMint is leaving the Senate to lead the backwards hate group The Heritage Foundation–only white, heterosexual, homophobes need apply.

Another international manner arose in the Senate this week. Treaty 112-7, a resolution from the U.N. on the rights of people with disabilities came up for a vote. This treaty already ratified by 126 countries, supports equal rights and support for the disabled. Even though it proposes nothing that is not already U.S. law, a core group of U.S. Senators blocked the treaty as “intrusive.” Treaties require a 2/3 majority, so the 61/38 vote failed to pass. All five of the Fellowship Senators voted “nay.” What a nice way to show their KKKristian values.

As a sad coda, retired Sen. Bob Dole appeared in the Senate chambers to support the treaty. I’m hardly a fan of Sen. Dole, but he is a disabled veteran and served for years beside many of the current Senators. They greeted him, slapped him on back, listened to his plea for support for the disabled, and voted against him. What more proof do we need that these nasty, narrow-minded monsters have jumped the legislative shark?

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Bigot of the Week Award: August 10, Rep. Steve King

10 Aug

Bigot of the Week

Thanks to my friend and regular TSM commenter Tom McCollin for this week’s bigot. It’s a testament to the variety and toxicity of America’s bigots that Rep. Steve King (R – IA) has never been named Bigot of the Week. This odious man is well-known for a number of despicable positions. King is so far out there that even in the current Congress progressive website DailyKos has labelled him “perhaps the worst human being Congress has to offer.”

A pioneer of animal cruelty, he vociferously opposed California’s law requiring bare minimum treatment for egg-laying chickens, using the Commerce Clause of the Constitution to argue that it should be invalid. Ironically, he also argued that the same clause could not apply to human health care infamously arguing that many Americans “never use a dollar of health care.” Rejecting human decency, he has supported a bill to ban all animal cruelty laws, effectively campaigning for dog fights and torture.

King topped himself this week, bringing back his English-only bill. Blatantly racist on its face, the bill would prohibit the use of any other language in most Federal activities. Appealing to the Tea Party principles of crushing the most vulnerable, this would isolate immigrant populations and ironically make it harder for people to become citizens. Scoffing at charges of racism, King responds

One of the great things about America is we’ve been unified by a common language. That common language, of course, is English. Our language is getting subdivided by some forces of the federal government. It is time to speak with a common voice. […] The argument that diversity is our strength has really never been backed up by logic. It’s unity is where our strength is.

REALLY? Does that sound chillingly like the first dawn of fascism? Not only is he boldly ignorant of over 200 years of American history, he is proud to trumpet his ignorance and bigotry. King is a perfect example of why we need to regain Democratic control of the House and keep people like him out of leadership positions.

Profiles in Courage: Justice Served in Iowa

7 May

Honored for their courage

Today the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum gives out the 2012 Profile in Courage Awards. Three recipients are the former members of the Iowa Supreme Court who were voted out of office in a spite campaign after the court unanimously upheld that the state’s Equal Protection clause required full equality in civil marriage law for gay and lesbian couples. Upholding their oath of office cost Justices David Baker, Michael Streit, and Chief Justice Marsha Ternus their re-elction bids in 2010 (earning Iowa voters a Bigot of the Year Award…)

Every year the Kennedy Library gives out the Profile in Courage Award, named after  JFK’s 1957 book to make Americans aware of the conscientious and courageous acts of their public servants, and to encourage elected officials to choose principles over partisanship – to do what is right, rather than what is expedient. The award is presented annually to a public official or officials at the federal, state or local level whose actions best demonstrate the qualities of politically courageous leadership. Since its inception in 1990, the Award has been given to such luminaries as Sen. Ted Kennedy, Rep. John Lewis, Hilda Solis, Shirley Franklin, and Kofi Annan.

All three Justices were stunned and humbled by the award, and somewhat awed to receive a personal call from the coordinator of the Award, JFK Foundation president Caroline Kennedy. As former Chief Justice Ternus observed,

We never expected an award for upholding our oath in office. It’s a wonderful award for doing your job….a beautiful thing to have happened.

Caroline Kennedy makes it clear why the award was so well deserved.

When Justices Baker, Streit, and Ternus joined a unanimous decision to overturn a law denying same-sex couples the privileges of marriage, they sacrificed their own futures on the Court to honor Iowa’s constitution and the rights of all its citizens.

Current Iowa Chief Justice Mark Cady also noted

Throughout their careers Justices Ternus, Streit and Baker dedicated themselves to upholding the Constitution and serving the people of Iowa with integrity. It was an honor to serve with them and I’m happy to see them receive this national recognition.

In an age of partisanship, soundbites, and expedience, it is all too easy for public officials to act cautiously rather than stand up for the principles they were elected to uphold. (Hey, President Obama, does this award help you “evolve” on marriage equality?) Congratulations to these three justices for doing their jobs well and for this richly deserved honor.

Number 4 Hero of the Year Award 2011: Zach Wahls

29 Dec

Number 4 Hero of 2011

Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to interview the very impressive and courageous Zach Wahls, who defended his two mothers in the state of Iowa.  Zach’s dedication to civil rights and his ability to stand up to a homophobic government earn him this year’s number 4 spot for Hero of the Year Award.

Zach’s moms, Jackie and Terry must be exceedingly proud of their son.  It is also nice to know that should Zach, and whoever his future wife should be, have a gay child, that child will be loved and celebrated.

FlashBack 2010: Admiral Mike Mullen earned the number 4 spot for Hero of 2010.

Newt Gingrich: Truth in Advertising

21 Dec

"Vote for Obama, you homo."

Thanks to my dear friend Rylee for inspiring me to write this article.  While there is something to be said for truth in advertising, I can’t help but to be mortified and disappointed that GOP Presidential bigots wear their discrimination as a badge of honor.

While campaigning in Iowa, Newt Gingrich (the poster child for the sanctity of marriage) had a brief conversation with a gay man who went to hear Gingrich and wanted to keep an open mind.  Scott Arnold, the gay Iowan, reports:

I asked him if he’s elected, how does he plan to engage gay Americans. How are we to support him? And he told me to support Obama.

I can’t sum up Arnold’s reaction any better than his own words:

When you ask somebody a question and you expect them to support all Americans and have everyone’s general interest. It’s a little bit frustrating and disheartening when you’re told to support the other side. That he doesn’t need your support.

What type of national leader proclaims their bigotry with such pride and insolence?  Even if Gingrich does not support equality for the LGBT community on a personal level, is he not supposed to defend the civil rights of all Americans?  How sad for Gingrich, he is becoming George Wallace. At least Gingrich is letting all of us that are part of the LGBT community, or allies of the LGBT community, and for those of us that are pro-choice, and pro-woman, we should vote for Obama.  Click here to see the full article.

Newt Gingrich: Putrescence Purchasing Prejudice

4 Mar

Clap Your Hands if You Can Buy Hate

For those of us that were wondering how on earth did Iowans get the financial backing to oust fantastic supreme court justices that demonstrated courage in their leadership, we have only to look at Newt (I left my dying, cancer-ridden wife for my mistress) Gingrich for the answer. Yes, Presidential hopeful, Newt Gingrich helped to bankroll voters to promote bigotry, hate and prejudice. While, I really don’t want to believe evil exists in the world, if it does, one of the faces of evil is certainly Newt Gingrich.  Yes, Newt (so appropriately named)  anonymously donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to a successful effort to recall three judges who overruled Iowa’s law prohibiting same-sex marriages–talk about paying for hate!

One might suggest a silver bullet for Newt, but I’m pretty sure you can’t kill the undead!  What we can do is eliminate his voice. We need to band together and make sure he never holds public office again!  We need to expose him for the Fascist he is. While I sure do miss my family and friends in Georgia, I don’t miss the absolute lunatic politicians: Sonny Perdue, Newt Gingrich, Bobby Franklin, Saxby Chambliss, and of course, Zell Miller.  Click here for the full article.

Hero of the Week Award: February 18

18 Feb

Our Liberties We Prize

In her amazing and courageous youtube video, Jean Argus earns this week’s HWA.  She will probably also earn Mother of the Year Award as well. With all the dark hate that NOM is spewing in Iowa right now, along with other right wing narrow-minded bigots, it is nice to see the light of love, compassion, and courage from our Jean. Click here to see her video again, and please do share it. Again, I say let’s hope the voices of love and understanding drown out the ugly venomous chatter of bigots working to restrict civil rights.

A Message From Grandma…

16 Feb

I’m sure that all of you that follow this blog are following all the drama in Iowa. You are no doubt taking note of  the courage that we are also witnessing in that state. This youtube video message by Jean Argus will remind all of us of the great courage, love, and compassion that I hope will drown out the ugly voices of hate. Bigots around the country do NOT get to define what a family is.  I applaud Jean Argus ! Please share her video.

Courage in Iowa

Hero of the Week Award: February 4

4 Feb

Despite the bigoted hate coming from the House of Representatives in Iowa, there was a moment of brilliance that shined and inspired hope.  That moment of brilliance was Zach Wahls, for the  speech he delivered about his life growing up with his two moms.  Zach Wahls earns this week’s HWA.  Bravo! Could his parents be any prouder?  Who would not want to raise a socially conscious human such as Zach?  Yes, this is the type of person that same sex couples can produce.  Wow-pretty scary stuff.  What if all of Zach’s generation turned out be compassionate thinking humans that found their roles as global citizens?  We might not have wars, or attach women’s rights, or re-define rape so that victims feel raped twice.  Click here to see his speech.

Iowa: Big Belligerent Bigots

1 Feb

While the LGBT community took great comfort in marriage equality in Iowa, thanks to some brave and ethical State Supreme Court Justices that have now been ousted, the state has now passed a bill sanctioning discrimination into the state constitution.  DES MOINES – The Iowa House today, by a vote of 62-37, passed an amendment (House Joint Resolution 6) that would deny any form of legal recognition for gay couples. The amendment seeks to prohibit not only the freedom to marry for gay couples, but also civil unions or domestic partnerships.  So not only are they trying to repeal the right for marriage equality, but they want to deny any type of recognition of loving same sex couples. SHAME ON YOU IOWA! While it is not a done deal, it does not look good.  Another state we are not safe in or welcomed. It is very difficult not to cry as I compose this post. For all of my heterosexual brothers and sisters, do you have any idea what it feels like to fear going into a state? To fear for your safety in a state that pushes discrimination?  HOW on earth does my loving marriage of 12 years have ANY EFFECT on your heterosexual marriage? Click here to read the full article on Jeremy’s blog.

Welcome to Iowa--We love our bigots!

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