Tag Archives: gay

It’s a Duck Dynasty Christmas

20 Dec

Liberal Alec Baldwin had a show on MSNBC for a very short time. He called a paparazzo who was harassing him and his family a “cocksucking fag”. Baldwin was swiftly suspended, then fired, from MSNBC. The right sort of shrugged, torn between its animus for Alec Baldwin on the one hand, and gays on the other. 

Liberal Martin Bashir had a show on MSNBC. He criticized Sarah Palin for likening the national debt to “slavery” by explaining what, precisely, slavery was. Specifically, he explained how the complete control of the master led oftentimes to unspeakably horrific treatment of his chattel labor – in one case, scatalogically so. Bashir said Palin should see what slavery really was before making such ignorant comparisons, and that a slavemaster should shit in her mouth. There was an outcry from Palin and the right. Bashir was suspended from MSNBC. He apologized. Palin accepted the apology. He left the network anyway. The right wing was outraged and demanded Bashir’s removal from TV. 

Some bearded person on a so-called “reality” show about very wealthy redneck manufacturers of duck calls has said some hateful and ignorant things about gay people and black people. A&E has suspended him. The right wing have gone ballistic, calling this a PC witch hunt and otherwise bemoaning the degradation of Biblical values, apple pie, Chevrolet, bearded freaks, and hate speech. Duck Dynasty guy equated homosexuality with bestiality and terrorism. He said the blacks had it better under Jim Crow, when they didn’t bitch to him (a white guy) about anything. 

Pretty base, ignorant stuff there. Well within the same wheelhouse as Bashir’s and Baldwin’s misdeeds. (I will note for consistency-lovers that I have not defended Bashir or Baldwin in any way, in any forum, and that I had no complaint of any sort when either of them were fired. To me, talking-head cable shows are a huge part of what is killing American discourse and thought, and I’d just as soon see them all gone.)

But we live in a nation that is sick beyond help – not because of the infiltration of the “gay lifestyle”, but because ignorant bullshit has gone mainstream

Never one to miss a chance for publicity, Sarah Palin posted on Facebook: “Free speech is an endangered species. Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on theDuck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.” (Only Palin could claim that a person who has just voiced intolerant comments like Robertson is being attacked by “intolerants.”)  

Of course, when Martin Bashir made despicable comments about Palin, she didn’t defend him by saying, “Free speech is an endangered species.” Nope, instead she slammed Bashir’s comments as being “vile” and “evil.” And officials at Palin’s political action committee demanded that MSNBC punish Bashir.

First of all, the First Amendment right to free speech was not invoked in any of these cases. The Constitution limits the government’s power – not MSNBC’s, and not A&E’s. Bashir, Baldwin, and Duck Person are all entitled to think and say exactly everything they want. The networks on which they appear are likewise entitled to air, praise, condemn, or remove anything they see fit. 

Secondly, if you believe that Baldwin and Bashir should have been fired, consistency and fairness begs you to think the same of Duck Dynasty guy. If you think that Baldwin and Bashir should both be on MSNBC, then A&E should be boycotted. 

I have seen arguments defending Duck Dynasty guy because he was just repeating what the Bible has to say about, e.g., gay people suffering eternal damnation for their heinous crimes against God. That’s nice. But just because your holy book or religion says a thing doesn’t make it right, does it? Are we to excuse every ignorant and hateful thing that any religion has to say? Like I said, you can believe whatever you want – but when you equate homosexuality to terrorism, you have every right to be accountable for your words – to suffer consequences. Like when you call a photographer a “cocksucking fag”. Like when you suggest that a public figure should have someone shit in her mouth. 

The right wing didn’t have much to say about Alec Baldwin, after all. The only thing they brought up was that GLAAD were hypocrites because they didn’t condemn him (they did). It’s ok to defame gay people if you’re conservative, after all. Not just ok – encouraged. When Duck Dynasty guy defames gay people (and blacks), and gets suspended, they are outraged. When it’s Alec Baldwin, they shrug. To me, defaming gay people is wrong, full stop. 

A few months ago, “cook” Paula Deen was effectively drummed out of show business because her long history of racist thoughts and words came to light. Now, there is a miniature store selling her cookbooks and spatulas in a largely empty plaza in right-wing Clarence. She became a hero to the right because, evidently, saying ignorantly anachronistic things about black people is ok, because “free speech”. Similarly, Duck Dynasty  guy is cheered on the right for saying ignorantly anachronistic things about gays and blacks. 

I don’t see how – and it’s the Christmas season, incidentally – a time of love and cheer – nominal Christians and “conservatives” can go around defending people who have so much hatred in their hearts, thoughts, and words. If conservatism means preserving age-old hatreds, jealousies, and slanders then I don’t quite get why so many people would call themselves that. 

If Duck Dynasty guy is smart, he’ll apologize, A&E will reinstate him, and he can cash out what remains of his 15 minutes of fame. From the looks of it, he and his kin are digging in, standing firm, and telling those “cocksucking fags” and liberals to piss off and, literally, go to hell. 

Merry Christmas. 

 

The Voice of Evil

15 Jul

You know, I have found in my life that oftentimes the most virulently hateful homophobes – the ones who are downright obsessed by the topic and bring it up day in and day out – are, in fact, quite unsure of their own sexuality. You know, the people who continually harp about how the Bible says that being gay is an abomination – just like eating shellfish – and quote obscure scripture passages, talk about how the gays are trying to recruit young people and destroy institutions like marriage.

Michele Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, was a topic of conversation on yesterday’s Shredd & Ragan show, and they played the audio from the video shown below.  The topic being discussed is Marcus Bachmann’s downright evil and psychologically damaging “clinic” that he ran to try and cure gay people of being attracted to people of the same sex.

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Yes, he just likened teenage kids who are confused and possibly homosexual to “barbarians”.  It’s not hard enough being a teen, or learning who you are in this world, with a body raging with hormones and confusion – you need some self-righteous bastard who’s in deep, deep denial to “cure” you of something that isn’t a disease.

I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

Separation of Sex and State

28 Feb

That former Congressman Chris Lee was so attracted to cross-dressers and transsexuals should not be a source of ridicule and derision.  People in a free country can – and ought to have the right to –  love, or have sex with, any willing partner. That Lee betrayed traditional family values is none of our business, and that he trolled Craigslist for dates with women, and women with penises alike, is newsworthy for its lack of good judgment, but were he a private citizen it would not be our concern – no big deal. His hasty self-return to private life is now explained. As a public figure, it matters because his brazen Craigslist hookups and flailing cover-up were not just hypocritical, but indiscreet.

Likewise, it’s not the kind of sex they like that holds David Vitter, Chris Lee, and Larry Craig up to ridicule or congressional censure, but the poor judgment of hiring and soliciting prostitutes, or soliciting sex in public restrooms. As far as Mark Foley was concerned, he showed poor judgment and also abused his power by soliciting young congressional pages. That they were male ought be immaterial.  It’s 2011; it’s OK to be gay.

That local developer Carl Paladino is out partying at a local lesbian bar with women who don’t look like Cathy Hannon Paladino is and isn’t interesting.  It isn’t interesting because you can’t decipher the whole story from one photograph posted to Reddit, but what it does is at least conceptually confirm the story that comedian Kristen Becker told during last year’s gubernatorial campaign. Becker (from WNYMedia.net partner Buffalo Comedy.com), explained that Paladino had been to Roxy’s and said some not-nice and un-governor-y things to her. Paladinoists figured it was absurd to even consider that Uncle Carl would ever set foot in a lesbian nightclub.  It’s 2011; it’s ok to be gay, or curious, or straight.

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So if it’s ok for so many prominent conservative Republicans to be gay, or gay-curious, why don’t they just lay off their uncloseted brothers and sisters? Whether a Republican politician is a Bible-thumper or not, the GOP platform re-asserts the fact that gay-on-gay sex is un-American, icky, as well as being socially and politically unacceptable. Roxy partier Paladino said this last year:

I didn’t march in the Gay Pride parade this year. My opponent did. There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual. That’s not how God created us, and that’s not the example that we should be showing our children – and certainly not in our schools,

So, Paladino has established that gays aren’t worth giving rights to, aren’t “functional”, aren’t “how God” created them, and are a bad example. Yet he flip-flopped when it came to his own nephew, and his own proclivity to party in bars that cater to homosexual females; Paladino, who just last week wrote a lengthy missive insulting Donn Esmonde, containing a line averring that Chris Lee just had a “bad day”.

It all underscores the fact that the Republican anti-gay platform merely panders to the radical Christian fundamentalists who partly puppeteer that party. There are plenty of LGBT Republicans, and their personal, private sexual lives are nobody’s business. It’s ok to be a gay Republican.

Imagine what a better country this would be if sexuality was divorced (so to speak) from politics. If homophobia was excised from politics and from parties’ platforms, the only place it would remain socially acceptable would be in the pews, prayers, and pulpits of radically fundamentalist houses of worship. Imagine if the very first public proclamation by Republican congressional candidates didn’t involve homophobia.

The Republican Party used to stand for less government, (despite never practicing what they preach). Yet when it comes to sexuality, they out-Puritan the Puritans, which makes it exquisitely embarrassing when someone with an (R) after their name is caught outside the wife-two-kids norm.

Let Chris Lee date all the “passable transsexuals/cross-dressers” he wants. Let Carl Paladino watch all the gay porn, and patronize all the gay bars, he wants.

Whenever the topic turns to treating homosexuals like people, some cretin will chime in with an uninformed slippery slope argument about how tolerance of gay unions will lead to bestiality, pedophilia, and polygamy. It’s a false equivalence; those three activities are victimization and abuse; of kids, of animals, and of multiple women. It’s those kinds of “arguments” that hamstring rational discussion about this particular issue – because its terms are dictated and framed by the radical fundamentalists and their puppets.

Sexuality has nothing to do with running the country. It’s time to legalize gay marriage – by Constitutional amendment if necessary – and to completely separate sexuality and state. Chris Lee and Carl Paladino will thank you.

#Paladino, Hasidim, and Homosexuals

13 Oct

The New York Post caught up with Carl Paladino’s nephew – the one Paladino cited as proof that he’s a “live and let live” guy when it comes to gays.

Carl Paladino’s openly gay nephew — whom the candidate points to as proof he’s no homophobe — said yesterday he was “very offended” by his uncle’s anti-gay rants.

Jeff Hannon, 23, a staffer for the Paladino campaign, also hasn’t shown up at work since the bomb-throwing GOP gubernatorial hopeful made his caustic comments about homosexuality, one of Hannon’s co-workers told The Post.

In a brief phone interview yesterday, Hannon, in his first public remarks on the incident, told The Post, “Obviously, I’m very offended by his comments.”

Hannon said he had no further comments “right now,” before hanging up.

The hunky, 6-foot-2 staffer hasn’t been seen at campaign headquarters in Buffalo since Sunday, one worker said.

“Everybody was talking about it today. They are worried about him,” said the worker. “They think he’s upset.”

Hannon graduated from SUNY-Buffalo in 2008 and majored in political science, according to his page on MySpace.com.

In April, he tweeted, “Finally some love 4 us gays!” and linked to a newspaper article about President Obama extending federal benefits to same-sex partners of government workers.

“Some of my best friends are gay” doesn’t make up for Paladino’s pandering to a miniscule, disproportionately influential, special interest group on Sunday.  It doesn’t make up for his doubling-down on Sunday’s insults to gays with Monday’s commentary on the Speedoism of gay pride parades. Paladino has made morality and values, including his Catholicism, an issue in this race over the course of the past 3 days.  Perhaps those alleged values need more challenging.

Supporters of gay rights protested outside Paladino’s HQ at Ellicott Square yesterday afternoon.  Tom Dolina was there, and estimates the crowd at about 100.

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Antoine Thompson spoke to the crowd. To his credit, he was the only WNY State Senator to have voted in favor of marriage equality when it came up for a vote last year:

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Stereotypical Paladino

12 Oct

This past weekend, this happened:

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Setting aside the unique pronunciation of “pervert” with the emphasis on the last syllable – the mark of someone reading his remarks for the first time (psst – they were written for him by the Hasidic “audience”), the Paladino campaign issued this statement Monday morning, to commemorate Columbus Day:

“In my speech today to Orthodox Jewish leaders in New York City, I noted my opposition to gay marriage, inspired by my Catholic beliefs. I also oppose discrimination of any form. I did not say this phrase, as was inaccurately attributed to me by some media outlets:

“There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual. That is not how God created us.”

I do not agree with this passage, nor did I say it. Apparently a few reporters relied upon suggested remarks distributed by my hosts at the synagogue in Williamsburg after my departure, not the actual statement I made. My campaign staff has worked with the inaccurate outlets and most corrected their stories after viewing video of the event.

I unequivocally have no other reservations about homosexuality. I enjoy a close relationship with my nephew who is gay and I certainly consider him to be a functional child of God.”

He didn’t agree with the passage recommended to him by the Hasidic group to whom he spoke, but he was more than happy to pander to them with this,

I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don’t want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option — it isn’t,” he said. “I didn’t march in the gay parade this year — the gay pride parade this year. My opponent did, and that’s not the example we should be showing our children.”

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He told this to Fox’s Good Day, NY:

I don’t believe that gays should be discussed in the schools. I think that morality is a situation that should be discussed in the home. I believe that homosexuals are severely discriminated against. I think it is a horrible situation. I don’t disavow that comment. The comment was made about teaching children about homosexuality at a young age. I don’t think it should be done in the schools. Except for gay marriage, I’m fine with it. I have a nephew, I have employees who are gay. I’m sensitive to the discrimination about that.

Politician Carl Paladino had to explain himself on the national morning shows, and he reiterated that some of his best friends are teh gay, but he just doesn’t want them getting married.  Or entering into civil unions.  Even though his nephew is gay, and he thinks his nephew is “a functional child of God”, he thinks his nephew’s “option” to be a gay American is not “valid” or “successful”.

The reason why we know that homosexuality is not a “choice” or an “option” is that no one would voluntarily choose to be discriminated against, mocked, insulted, beaten, or otherwise subjected to moronic, Neanderthal hatred from conservative teabagging types.

The reason this is so astonishing as far as Paladino is concerned?  He happily sends around a video of a horse engaging in a sex act with a human femalethat’s ok.  But two guys who love each other entering into a marriage contract?  Quelle horreur!

And those gay pride parades! Like, OMG!

I don’t think it’s proper for them to go there and watch a couple of grown men grind against each other. I don’t think that’s proper, I think it’s disgusting….Now, Andrew Cuomo said he took his children to a gay pride parade. I was at one in Toronto one time, we stumbled on it, my wife and I. It wasn’t pretty. It was a bunch of very extreme type people in bikini-type outfits grabbing at each other and doing these gyrations and I certainly wouldn’t let my young children see that.”

Here’s an image of Andrew Cuomo marching in New York’s Gay Pride Parade. Note the conspicuous absence of Speedos, bumping, and/or grinding:

In Carl’s world, people are defined by their stereotypes. Just like all Italians are mobsters legitimate businessmen in the olive oil importation or construction business, just like all blacks are on welfare or in jail, just like all Jewish people are cheap, and just like how all Asians are wizards at math.

So it is that all gays are Speedo-clad queens camping it up at the parade.

You can’t be opposed to discrimination against gays, but then in the next breath support discriminating against them in the arena of marriage (or even civil unions, for that matter) – most fundamental part of human existence – the ability to legalize a committed union.  Gay marriages seldom involve “Speedos” or “bumping and grinding”.

I have no idea why Paladino’s visit to Brooklyn’s Hasidic community required plumbing the depths of orthodox religious homophobia, but there you have it.  Carl separating New Yorkers and playing one voting bloc off another, completely bypassing the notion that New York is broken, people are taxed too much, Albany is corrupt, and spending is too high.

(Header image courtesy Tom Dolina)

Rick Warren & The Invocation

21 Dec

1. I haven’t opined at great length about Obama’s cabinet appointments because I frankly don’t have time to research each and every one and find out why they’d be a good or bad pick. There’s only so much time in the day and so many things to care about. Whether Bill Richardson goes to Commerce or Arne Duncan goes to Education, it is hardly something I feel qualified to write about. K? THX.

2. Rick Warren is some evangelical preacher who doesn’t like teh gays and is going to give the invocation at Obama’s inauguration. Understandably, a lot of Obama supporters are up in arms about thisespecially gays. They can’t imagine why Obama would pick someone to participate in the inauguration who equates gay marriage with pedophilia. By all accounts, Rick Warren is a real jackass when it comes to that particular issue. I have no idea, and don’t care to learn, about what his views are on other political matters.

And so what?

Barack Obama doesn’t have to only invite people who share each and every one of his political views. He doesn’t have to meet with or include only people who support gay marriage – a position Obama himself hasn’t adopted. Anyone who demands doctrinal rigidity and complete obeisance to his own views is going to be sorely disappointed.

But even deeper than that is who Obama was as a candidate – what made him so appealing to so many people. He specifically said that this isn’t a red and blue America, but a United States of America. We can’t reject the help of people, or their support, or fail to include them just because we differ strongly on a position or three. Rick Warren reached out to Barack Obama and opened a dialogue with him that other evangelists wouldn’t have done. While John Hagee and other wealthy Southern tent revival preachers with Breitling watches all but called Obama a Muslim jihadi quisling-in-waiting, Warren and Obama discussed their differences and how they could reach common ground in spite of them.

Not just that, but by reaching out to the megachurch evangelicals, Obama undercuts the notion that never the twain shall meet or discuss or agree.

It’s like the idiotic and short-sighted failure of a policy whereby we’ve broken off diplomatic relations with Cuba – CUBA!? What the hell kind of threat is Cuba? What are they, going to rust us to death? Are their collective sugarcane farms going to forment socialist revolution among our own lumpenproletariat? Of course not. Cuba is no more or less offensive or unpalatable than any other authoritarian dictatorship with which we trade, exchange diplomatic missions, or to which we permit travel. By turning our backs on Cuba for so long, we’ve accomplished absolutely nothing. Cuba, on the other hand, gets to point its finger at the bad old US, which has a Bay of Pigs sequel up its sleeve any day now. Instead of destabilizing the Castro regime(s), we’ve emboldened and strengthened them.

We elected Obama partly to get away from the deep cleaves that have affected our society and our politics over the past 8 misbegotten Bush years. We elected him to try and end the culture wars and engage in dialogue. People can’t always be expected to agree on every single thing. But we can respect other people’s views and try to find common ground.

Think of it this way: it was less than a decade ago that then-governor Howard Dean legalized homosexual civil unions in Vermont. That was met with outrage and amazement. The right and the evangelicals were up in arms. Now? The same right wingers promote civil unions over gay marriage. Dean’s revolutionary decision is now the fallback, moderate position.

Obama’s decision to invite Warren is as appropriate as any pick would have been, in keeping with his promises of an inclusive, non-confrontational government, and politically brilliant.

Thanks, But No Thanks

14 Sep

Sarah Palin still uses that line with respect to the “Bridge to Nowhere” in spite of all evidence not just to the contrary, but at this point it’s just a blatant lie.

A couple of things that she has been confirmed as having said “thanks, but no thanks” to are library books.

First, it was “Pastor I Am Gay”
by the Rev. Howard Bess, and now it’s also been confirmed that she sought to ban “Daddy’s Roommate”. Without having read it.

For years, social conservatives [in Wasilla] had pressed the library director to remove books they considered immoral.

“People would bring books back censored,” recalled former Mayor John Stein, Ms. Palin’s predecessor. “Pages would get marked up or torn out.”

Witnesses and contemporary news accounts say Ms. Palin asked the librarian about removing books from the shelves. The McCain-Palin presidential campaign says Ms. Palin never advocated censorship.

But in 1995, Ms. Palin, then a city councilwoman, told colleagues that she had noticed the book “Daddy’s Roommate” on the shelves and that it did not belong there, according to Ms. Chase and Mr. Stein. Ms. Chase read the book, which helps children understand homosexuality, and said it was inoffensive; she suggested that Ms. Palin read it.

“Sarah said she didn’t need to read that stuff,” Ms. Chase said. “It was disturbing that someone would be willing to remove a book from the library and she didn’t even read it.”

“I’m still proud of Sarah,” she added, “but she scares the bejeebers out of me.”

She scares the bejeebers out of a lot of people. And teh gay scares the bejeebers out of her, evidently.