Tag Archives: Homosexuality

It’s Legally OK to be Gay

14 Jun
Pride flag is raised!

Photo by Flickr user Whitney Arlene

Defamation – and its synonyms “slander” (spoken defamation) and “libel” (published defamation) – is generally defined as a false statement of fact that causes harm to a person and his reputation.  Obviously, its more complicated than just that, and the law is different if you’re a public figure or a private person. 

In New York, “a statement has defamatory connotations if it tends to expose a person to ‘public hatred, shame, obloquy, contumely, odium, contempt, ridicule, aversion, ostracism, degradation or disgrace, or to induce an evil opinion of [a person] in the minds of right-thinking persons.'”  A plaintiff suing for slander must show that he has suffered damages unless the alleged statement is considered slander per se

Slander per se, until recently, included “statements (i) charging [a] plaintiff with a serious crime; (ii) that tend to injure another in his or her trade, business or profession; (iii) that [a] plaintiff has a loathsome disease; or (iv) imputing unchastity to a woman”… the Appellate Division Departments, including this Court in dicta, have recognized statements falsely imputing homosexuality as a fifth per se category.”

Because of changing social perceptions and changes in both federal and state laws concerning homosexuality, the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, Third Department recently ruled that the inclusion of homosexuality among the per se categories imputed some sort of shame or disgrace, and ruled that it would no longer be considered defamatory per se. 

This little, barely-noticed ruling, is yet another step in the massive societal shift that has been taking place over the last several decades whereby homophobia has gone from being the statutory norm to, itself, a subject of shame and sometime criminality. While the people who rely on, and profit from, hatred and fear are having their last gasp, at least in New York State, we can say we’re doing the right thing. 

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.

Let’s Have a Toast

25 Oct

There’s been a lot in the news lately about bullying and the affects it can have on kids.  I’ve never been particularly handsome or thin, so when I was a kid I was subjected to my share of bullying.  I was lucky always to have close friends, and being an only child certainly helped in terms of what I’d term “dealing with assholes“.

Bullying and hate speech must be particularly difficult for kids who are different because of something inherent in their being; something they can’t change. For instance, being mocked for your ethnicity, race, religion, or sexual orientation.  I can only imagine how crushing it must be for a kid who’s gay – or even an effeminate straight kid – to be called hateful, dehumanizing names.

I know that as I teach my kids right from wrong, I’ll do everything in my power to keep them from bullying other kids, to instill in them a need to accept and appreciate people’s uniqueness and differences, and that I will defend them and protect them to the best of my abilities against being bullied by others.

On Saturday night, someone I followed on Twitter whose username is “Jeffrey_Dennis” called me a “no talent fuck”, a “fathead”, and compared my likeness to that of a character from an extremely obscure, short-lived failure of a mid-90s sitcom.   Who the hell is “Jeffrey Dennis“?

When douchebags tweet

Jeffrey Dennis Hannon.  Carl Paladino’s recently offended, openly gay nephew.

You may recall that candidate Carl Paladino had a problem a couple of weeks ago regarding his stance on homosexuality. After parroting bigoted anti-gay nonsense written down for him by detestable homophobe Yehuda Levin, Paladino had to backtrack, claiming to totally support and be completely ok with homosexuality except for the *yuck* idea that they might love each other and get married, or enter into civil unions:

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.”

I don’t know how it works in your family, but none of my uncles would make a crack about something about me that I can’t change.  No one in my family would parrot someone else’s hate speech and pass it off as their own.

Yet Jeff Hannon, a 23 year-old nephew of Carl Paladino’s, has evidently forgiven his uncle, and went on Twitter Saturday night to call me fat and ugly.  Guilty, as charged.

His childish insults are like a badge of honor.

Because I’m better than Jeff Hannon; I’m better than this 23 year-old scion of Important Buffalo Families®, working for his nouveau-riche megalomaniacal uncle, making over $250k at Uncle Carl’s Ellicott Development. (That’s two hundred and fifty thousand plus reasons to quickly forgive one’s asshole uncle-cum-boss).  Let’s have a toast to the douchebags. Good looking kid, born into wealth and influence  – must be nice.  Tough life, there.  

And to think, I feel badly for that kid.  It must suck being so publicly insulted by your own flesh and blood.  Why, Uncle Carl himself noted that Hannon “suffers every day with discriminatory people.” It must be crushing to belong to a political party that has no respect or use for him or his ilk.  No joke, the Republican platform on gay rights is nonexistent, and when the issue comes up, mainstream Republican dogma on gay rights differs only stylistically from that of the Westboro Baptist Church. Let’s have a toast to the assholes.

The GOP has spent the last three decades aligning itself with Christian fundamentalists on social issues, making a crystal clear choice in favor of bigotry over love.

I think Carl Paladino’s nephew Jeff Hannon should enjoy the civil right to marry someone he loves, regardless of gender. Uncle Carl doesn’t, nor ever would. Let’s have a toast for the scumbags.

While Mr. Hannon may have worn purple last week, I doubt that his uncle did.  He seems like a hateful, petty little kid.  I hope he grows up someday.