Tag Archives: NOM

National Coming Out Day 2015: The Power of Visibility

11 Oct

Coming OutGrab your smelling salts, clutch your pearls: I have big news. I am gay, queer, a homosexual. Yes, it is true. October 11 is National Coming Out Day. Why do we need this day? Why do we need to celebrate this day?

I cannot underscore enough the importance of being out and visible.  The more visible we are as a community, the more difficult it is to target us and treat us as sub-human or second class citizens.

Currently there are 29 states — over half of the US — where it is still legal to actively discriminate against LGBT folk.  Look at this map provided by the ACLU to see where your state stands on protecting rights of LGBTQ people. Yes, in 29 states one can be fired for being gay. Not a big surprise that no state in the South has the slightest protection for the LGBT community. (There do exist individual cities that provide limited protection.)  I guess that wacky Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision from 2003 meant nothing.

Sadly, in this election year, we have only seen venom coming from each GOP candidate regarding LGBTQ rights. Such asinine statements such as, “we will put them in camps,” coming from Mike Huckabee. My, I am having a deja vu moment here–almost as though Huckabee has no recollection of history. We have  Ted Cruz who rushed to the side of the bigot Kim Davis to canonize her. And of course, Rick (The P is Silent) Santorum, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and Bobby Jindal have all signed the antiquated and now obsolete the NOM Marriage Pledge of Hate. And Carly (I hate women and gays) Fiorina opposes ENDA promoting discrimination against the LGBTQ community. Marco Rubio also opposes ENDA and has gone so far as to say he will deny any rights for LGBTQ immigrants — my this group is charm free!

It is imperative that people see this as political! In 2014 we saw at least 16 LGBTQ people murdered because of their identities, and 11 of those 16 were people who are trans identified and of those 11, 10 were transwomen of color. Sadly, the numbers have only increased in 2015, and we know these numbers are not accurate because people are too fearful to identify, or authorities misidentify people.  We need to vote for people who will support LGBTQ rights.

And I  hold out great hope for the future. I have trans identified students in all of my classes who are embraced and cherished. I had the honor of meeting a transgender man who just turned 18. All I could think about what what strength and courage. Now, I ask everyone to think about how important it is for all of us to be visible and to support one another.

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LGBT Pride and History Month 2014: Thank You Justice Kennedy

5 Jun

Official Photograph of Justice Anthony KennedyOnce again those merry pranksters at the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) tried their best to crush equality for loving same-sex couples. Shortly after federal Judge Michael McShane issued a strong ruling striking down Oregon’s ban on marriage equality for same sex couples, NOM tried to intervene.

NOM demanded that the Supreme Court issue a stay on McShane’s ruling while they desperately scrambled to find a way to reverse it. The petition went to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who presides over such matters for the region that includes Oregon. Kennedy requested briefs from NOM, the plaintiffs who won McShane’s decision and the state of Oregon. After those briefs were filed on Tuesday, the Justice referred the matter to the entire Supreme Court.

The full Court responded with a clear “go away!” message to NOM.

The application for  stay presented to Justice Kennedy and by him referred to the Court is denied.

It’s that simple. NOM doesn’t get any legal justifications or consideration. Just one sentence that rejects and rebukes their tragic, hateful energy.

Congratulations to Justice Kennedy for getting the weight of the Court behind this matter and to the assembled Justices for standing up for equality. Every once in awhile the Supreme Court gets things right — what a lovely example this is!

Thanks also to Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. She carefully analyzed the case before McShane and correctly decided that Oregon’s ban was unconstitutional “under any level of scrutiny.” Refusing to waste taxpayer money defending injustice, she did not defend the ban. When replying to Justice Kennedy’s request for briefs, she made it quite clear that NOM and its anonymous three Oregon citizens did not have the right to assume the power of state government. Thank you, AG Rosenblum! How sad that NOM continues to leave a legacy of hate and is on the wrong side of history.  Thank you to the strong LGBT voices and the strong voices of our allies.

Call to Action: Now we must not rest. We must look at ways in which each of our voices can be supportive of LGBT people here in the United States and all over the world.

Number 4 Bigot of the Year 2012: The Catholic Church

28 Dec
Number 4 Bigot of 2012

Number 4 Bigot of 2012

Regular TSM readers know that I have real suspicion of organized religion and its role in privileging dominant forces in the power structure, thus sustaining a white, heteronormative discourse. While some denominations have inched toward inclusion and social justice, the Catholic church leadership of the 21st Century has abandoned its traditions of caring in favor of narrow political dogma and oppression–completely abandoning any dedication to social justice. This year, the hate filled voices of Pope Benedict XVI and his bishops have proved that more loudly than ever.

Not content to stick with centuries old traditions of misogyny and homophobia, the bishops danced a cruel jig across the lines of church and state, issuing proclamations about candidates and electoral issues willy nilly. Some, like Newark Archbishop John Myers, went so far as to suggest that priests refuse communion to parishioners who support marriage equality, reproductive choice, or progressive candidates–my, Who Would Jesus Hate?

The church spent the year emptying its venomous purse as well. The single largest contributor to anti-equality campaigns in the four states that voted on marriage equality this fall was the Catholic Church. It spent over $2 MILLION fighting fairness. When added to money contributed by the Catholic group Knights of Columbus and the National Organization for Marriage, a church ally that uses local congregations to raise funds, Catholic contributions exceeded $6 million. How much poverty could that fight? How many lives could have been saved instead of harmed?

Just to add insult to injury, the Pope used his biggest speech of the year, the Christmas Message, to spew a little more homophobia and transphobia.

There is no denying the crisis that threatens it (the family) to its foundations — especially in the Western world. When such commitment is repudiated, the key figures of human existence likewise vanish: father, mother, child — essential elements of the experience of being human are lost.

Again I ask, who would Jesus hate?  I don’t want to dismiss the progressive Catholics that exist, but I feel it necessary to remind everyone that every time you tithe, a portion of that tithe goes to Rome and the Pope.

Sadly, there are a number of homophobia dishonorable mentions this year. High on the list, nearly taking the crown from Benedict’s head, is the Boy Scouts of America, which pretended to consider its anti-gay policies and then doubled down on them. Fake researcher Mark Regnerus and his “gay families are harmful” study funded by NOM and its Catholic allies wraps up this unholy trinity in a foul shroud.

Additional dishonorable mention goes to NOM itself and to the ironically named Family Research Council. Both spent huge amounts of time and energy spewing homophobia and pretending to offer “balanced” views to common sense positions of equality. Happily, they lost just about every issue they supported.  So much fear, misogyny, and homophobia.  I guess it is true, the squeaky wheel (Pope Benny the Rat) wants the grease.

Hate Groups Trying to Play Victim Card: Hypocrisy Much?

19 Aug

What, me hate?

First allow me to say how saddened I was to learn that a security guard was injured at the Family Research Council (FRC).  I, for one, am not a proponent of violence, regardless of the fact that FRC and the ironically named National Organization for Marriage (NOM) — along with their sponsored elected officials — are pushing violence as part of their “Christian” agenda.

There is a very good and very real reason why the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has acknowledged FRC and NOM as hate groups.  Now closet case Tony Perkins and our ball of crazy Maggie (I can’t stop thinking about gay sex) Gallagher are trying to play the victim card. They say the “hate group” label caused the shooting. Good ol’ Maggie is even helping another hate group, LivePrayer, mount a $100 million lawsuit against the SPLC.

Let us have a bit of a history lesson before we proceed.  The FRC is rooted in White Supremacy and has ties to the KKK — big shock there.  Both NOM and the FRC have decades of blood on their hands for pushing their homophobic hate. Violence against the LGBT community has gone up by 13%, as have gay teen suicides.  Where is the apology from the FRC and NOM?  Let us also be reminded of the extraordinary misogyny of these hate groups.  James Dobson, the founder of the FRC (secret lover of Tony Perkins) was quoted as saying: “The biggest Holocaust in world history came out of the Supreme Court with the Roe v. Wade decision.”

What’s sad is that many in the media are buying Perkins’ poor li’l me sob story. The same twisted rationale that has him appear on news programs to provide a “balanced view” has them saying  the “hate group” label is too harsh for a “policy organization.” If any of those so-called journalists had done a bit of research, they would know that the SPLC addressed that issue, highlighting the aggressively hostile language that Perkins and the FRC use about the LGBT community. (GLAAD has a good overview as part of their commentator accountability project. Maggie is on the list there as well.) The crowning irony is that Perkins has repeatedly accused the LGBT community of exploiting bullied gay teens (many of whom committed suicide) to gain sympathy; now he’s hiding behind his employee and “friend.” How christian…

P.S. FRC hosts a big conference each September, the horrifically titled Values Voters Summit. They just confirmed a new speaker for this year’s event…Rep. Paul Ryan. That should be all anyone really needs to know about Romney/Ryan 2012.  Yes, Paul Ryan represents the values or the lack of values of registered Hate Groups!

Bigot of the Week Award: June 22, John Murphy

22 Jun

Bigot of the Week

Thank you to my dear friend Eva for inspiring me to  expose this week’s bigot. This week we have an international edition of BWA, John Murphy a Member of Parliament in Australia demonstrated a real bias against civil rights topped off with audacious hypocrisy. Australia, is this someone you are proud of to represent your country?  Shall we send George W over to you? In a speech issued during a debate on a marriage equality bill, Murphy issued this bit of venom:

[Marriage equality] is a seemingly innocuous term [which has been] hijacked by those who want to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples—for the simple reason that this will maximise support. Most people support marriage and almost everyone supports equality. It sounds so reasonable.

Well most people don’t support bigotry and almost no-one supports sleaze, so that leaves you out in the cold, Mr. Murphy. To add insult to injury, he paused in this despicable testimony to…wait for it…WISH HIS WIFE A HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Now that takes some real chutzpah. Let me celebrate the very rights I intend to withhold from others — while I’m making a speech on public policy. Seems like Murphy’s been taking his vitamin NOM.

Hero of the Week: May 4, Dr. William Barber II

4 May

Hero of the Week

In a world where oppressed populations are often pitted against one another — and too often allow self-interest to permit such actions — it is wonderful to see someone stand up and loudly say, “Enough!” This week’s HWA goes to Dr. William Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP. Responding to the cynical and loathsome tactics of NOM and its allies to split the African-American and LGBTQ communities, he has issued a strong statement.

Barber is responding to Amendment One, a proposed amendment to the NC constitution that would create a one-man-one-woman definition of marriage. Like a number of other, similar amendments in other states — all of which have passed — it also broadly prohibits anything that remotely resembles marriage equality. This would block civil unions and domestic partnerships and wreak havoc with LGBT couples’ wills and other legal arrangements.

In a strongly-worded Open Letter to All North Carolinians, he makes his case clearly and eloquently.

The NAACP has always opposed any custom, tradition, practice, law or constitutional amendment that denies any right to any person [and] has a long history of opposing any proposal that would alter the federal or state constitutions for the purpose of excluding any group or individuals from guarantees of equal protection under the law. Our opposition is based on our mission statement which calls for the “equality of rights of all persons.” … The North Carolina legislature is not the modern day Council of Nicaea — and we should not want it to be. How should the government address the public policy challenges of abject poverty, unemployment, poor education, economic justice, caring for those without health care, and equal protection under law? These are the questions that the legislature should be addressing. We should not allow my tax dollars, and my beloved state of North Carolina, to put their beliefs into our state’s most important document, to dictate to the consciences of other people here.

Well said, Rev. Barber! The vote on Amendment One is next Tuesday and the polling is very tight. Let us hope that the work of the NC NAACP and other equality-minded groups makes it clear what this amendment does and pushes North Carolina to be the first state to vote down such a bigoted amendment.

Honorable mention this week goes to the eleven state Democratic Party chairs who have joined the chorus pushing the DNC to include full marriage equality in the party platform this fall. Calling for the inclusion are John Burton of California, Joan Wagnon of Kansas, John Walsh of Massachusetts, Ken Martin of Minnesota, Jon Wisniewski of New Jersey, Jay Jacobs of New York, Meredith Wood Smith of Oregon, Boyd Richie of Texas, Jake Perkinson of Vermont, Dwight Pelz of Washington,  and Mike Tate of Wisconsin. Nice to see our home state of Oregon on this list.

Hero of the Week Award: April 27, Support Starbucks Day

27 Apr

Hero of the Week

I need to thank my friend and social justice activist Eva Hoffman for inspiring me to write this story.

Last Saturday the LGBT community and our allies were encouraged to participate in an act of support for a company that very vocally supports us. Ever since Starbucks announced its strong support for marriage equality, the company has been the target of right-wing attacks. (Those fake christians find true human equality quite the bitter brew – besides, they prefer tea…)

The goons at NOM went especially nuts, launching the DUMP Starbucks boycott. In response, LGBT groups launched a thank-you program. Showing how love can outshine hate, the support page has over 640,000 likes and thank you’s; NOM’s program has barely 30,000. Undeterred, they’ve started an advertising campaign in countries that have Starbucks and have especially bad records for LGBT rights, such as Egypt.

Support Starbucks Day was a great gesture of support for a strong, ethical company. Starbucks promotes diversity and responsibility as key components of their corporate culture. Even if you missed stopping by last Saturday, stop by today and say “thanks a latte!”

Honorable mention goes to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for this wonderful quote:

Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world. It is past time for women to take their rightful place, side by side with men, in the rooms where the fates of peoples, where their children’s and grandchildren’s fates, are decided.

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