LGBT News Roundup, 1/3/2005
I’ve posted my first of a regular series of diaries on LGBT news on Daily Kos. I’m also posting it here on the Blend. Most of these items I’ve blogged about here as well, but if you’re short for time it’s a good way to catch up…
Rabid wingnut homo-bigot preachers on the loose.
- Fred “God Hates Fags” Phelps damns gay-loving Swedes washed away in the tsunami. The king of hate posted an unbelievably sick flyer on his site. Here’s a DKos story on it; Also see Carnaki’s God bless gay-bashing Rev. Fred Phelps.
- American Taliban Member, Rev. Keith Butler, Considering Senate run: This loser is a former Detroit councilman who has helped Republican candidates for governor and president, is considering running against first-term U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow in 2006. He subscribes to the belief that being gay is a sin and that any comparison of any kind between the struggle for gay rights and the black civil rights movement is an insult. Here’s are homo-bigot gems: “The gay lifestyle is based on a behavior choice that endangers family, children, and the core of society,” and “Common sense tells us that if this lifestyle were to become the dominant choice of our culture, our culture would soon be extinct.” DKos diary here.
- Head of Mormon church: “Gays have a problem”: Ninety-four-year-old Gordon B. Hinckley appeared on Larry King Live and said of gays, “We love these people and try to work with them and help them. We know they have a problem. We want to help them solve that problem.” The Mormons don’t want you to know that they have unfortunately played a role in practice of “reparative aversion therapy” to rid gay Mormons of their homosexual orientation. Though the church says it is not directly affiliated with organizations responsible for the torture, gay Mormons have been referred these kinds of centers for “help.” DKos diary here.
- James Dobson Threatens to Use His Political Muscle Against Some Democrats (NYT): Dr. Dobson recalled the conservative efforts that helped in the November defeat of Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota, the Senate minority leader who led Democrats in using the filibuster to block 10 of Mr. Bush’s judicial nominees. “Let his colleagues beware,” Dr. Dobson warned, “especially those representing ‘red’ states. Many of them will be in the ‘bull’s-eye’ the next time they seek re-election.” See other DKos diaries on Dobson here by animaux, here by rosieeriter, and on my blog here.
- Virginia wingnuts on the legislative warpath against gays, women. The General Assembly will attempt to strengthen its already-in-place anti-gay laws, including the Affirmation of Marriage Act which prohibits a civil union, partnership contract or “other arrangement between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage.”
General legislative, legal and community activism by your jolly neighborhood homophobes…
- Wingnut in Atlanta plans to gut the human rights law that the mayor planned to enforce. Conservative whack job Rep. Earl Ehrhart is going after the ordinance full-bore after Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin was going to fine a local country club for denying spousal benefits to gay partners that are legally registered with the city as domestic partners.
- S.F. can’t challenge ‘mental disorder’ argument: Judge won’t allow city to submit opposing evidence. The presiding judge in the current California case deciding the constitutionality of gay marriage is refusing to let the city counter the ludicrous fringe arguments that children need opposite sex partners and that you can change your sexual orientation. How in the hell is this possible?
- Rainbow Flag Causes Flap At Local High School. Members of Detroit’s Howell High School’s diversity club hung the flag over a staircase to promote unity, but some students and parents are viewing it as a symbol for gay and lesbian activism. Actual quote: “I believe there’s a hidden meaning behind it and I believe some of the students are being lied to by the teachers.”
- Gay club at med school asked to disband, apparently for changing its name. A student club at New York Medical College in Westchester County actually had a club – called Student Support Club – but when they changed the name to Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender People in Medicine, the college asked them to disband.
- The wingnut “three-point plan” to stop “Gay Days” at Walt Disney World. The knuckle-draggers at the Christian Action Network’s (CAN) efforts will involve: posting large road signs around the Orlando area that read: “Warning! Gay Days at Disney in June”; having a van drive up and down Interstate 4 with a similar warning and the specific dates of the homosexual celebration; and distributing pamphlets at the Orlando International Airport informing families about the kinds of things to which families and children would be exposed in public areas of the park during the homosexual celebration.”
- Cal Thomas: ‘Schwarzenegger could be the Democrat Party’s “plant” inside the GOP’. Well-oiled Cal piles on with his “wit and wisdom,” which sounds a wee bit more like tin-foiled hat speculation. He’s especially enamored of Arnold’s stance on gay rights.
- Thomas Sowell: Gay marriage ‘rights’. He’s a idiot. Sorry, just can’t think of anything else after reading this: “Society has no such stake in the outcome of a union between two people of the same sex. Transferring all those laws to same-sex couples would make no more sense than transferring the rules of baseball to football.”
- Lesbian Writer Susan Sontag Dies. Obviously she wasn’t a wingnut, but the Freepers had a lot to say about her. From her obit: Susan Sontag, the author, activist and self-defined “zealot of seriousness” whose voracious mind and provocative prose made her a leading intellectual of the past half-century, died Tuesday. She was 71. Her 1964 piece Notes on Camp, a study of gay aesthetics, established her as a major new writer and popularized the “so bad it’s good” attitude toward popular culture, applicable to everything from Swan Lake to feather boas.
State of the week — Alabama. [This state may be a permanent fixture]
- Alabama: the worst place to be gay in Bush’s America?. This diary excerpts the January Out Magazine’s Unsweet Homo Alabama. Lots of folks responded to this diary’s story of incredible violence and hatred that runs deep in the state.
- Gay Marriage Amendment Returns To Alabama. Sen. Hinton Mitchem (D-Albertville) who sponsored the 2004 version and has filed the 2005 bill, said his constituents demanding the legislature act to “protect marriage”. “It’s unreal, the response,” Mitchem told the Montgomery Advertiser.
And here’s recent good news…
- Spain’s government approves gay marriage bill . DKos diary on Madrid’s mayors strong endorsement is here.
- Montana court: gays due benefits others get. DKos diary here.
- Calif. Law Gives Benefits to Gay Couples. Same-sex couples in California for the first time will have access to divorce court for dividing their assets, seeking alimony and securing child support. They also will have automatic parental status over children born during the relationship and responsibility for each other’s debts. It guarantees domestic partners a say over what happens to their loved one’s remains at death and means they cannot be forced to testify against each other in state courts. An interesting aspect of this story to me is the Right’s response (by Randy Thomasson, of Campaign for Children and Families), continuing to purposely confuse the definition of “marriage”.
- Transgender activists celebrate NYC victory. Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a human rights law including transgender rights in 2002, and guidelines regarding gender and identity discrimination were released by the New York City Commission on Human Rights this week.
- Catholic school slaps down homophobic parents and admits gay couple’s sons: There are some holier-than-thou parents that are raising holy hell, demanding that the school accept only families that “pledge to abide by Catholic teachings.” Thankfully the hypocrites were given the paddle by the diocese, which stated “that hewing too closely to Catholic beliefs would mean banning children whose parents divorced, used birth control or married outside the church.”
- Subaru hangs tough against wingnut campaign because it courts the gay market. Concerned Women for America lamely attempts to hurt the gay-friendly automaker, and Subaru responds– “Subaru has a very well educated owner base that celebrates, embraces, and appreciates diversity. Subaru markets vehicles to people who appreciate a safe and reliable value in the automotive category. Subaru does not pass judgement on peoples personal lives. We market vehicles to mountain bikers, skiers, nurses, teachers, rowers, campers, scientists, kayakers, and gays and lesbians.”
- Progress in Arkansas: Judge Voids Ban on Gay Foster Parents. An Arkansas judge Wednesday declared unconstitutional a state ban on placing foster children in any household with a gay member. Ruling in a case brought by the Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (news – web sites), Pulaski County Circuit Judge Timothy Fox said the state Child Welfare Agency Review board had overstepped its authority by trying to regulate “public morality.”
- Gay rights groups organize in north Louisiana.One group is called North Louisiana Concerned Citizens for Equality, the other is the Gay Straight Alliance. Their members say they’re optimistic about their potential impact.
- Practice What You Preach: pointing out the real threat to marriage in Texas. “Calling divorce and domestic violence epidemics the real threats to marriage, Practice What You Preach today offered a mainstream opposition to HJR 6, the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Texas. “If they agree with us that two parents are better than one, then the reactionary legislators pushing this ban should practice what they preach,” said Jason Stanford. “It is a bright and shining lie to say that HJR 6 would do anything to help marriage. The Texas legislature needs to practice what it preaches and focus on the real threats to marriage.”
- Formerly suicidal gay teen thrives with lesbian foster family. The Miami Herald has a wonderful article about a troubled, suicidal gay teen that lived in 17 foster homes before finding stability and support with a lesbian couple that took him into their home. He’s now getting good grades and helping other teens as a peer educator to encourage people to get tested for HIV. Link is to a DKos diary.
Please share your own links to good stories that you’ve come across if I’ve not grabbed them…