I couldn’t resist sharing this video on Scottie’s blog! Pete Buttigieg’s unassuming with, and the words of Brian Tyler Cohen are simply brilliant! Thank you, Scottie, for sharing this with us!
Tag Archives: homophobia
Who Would Fight The Bigots?
I generally steer clear of religious topics. I am a non-religious person and I realize that I am in the minority here. I respect my friends’ beliefs, their religious choices, but I do not share them for a number of reasons. I am a realist who, since around the age of three, needs to see to believe. That said, having been raised in a Jewish/Catholic household, I know a little about both religions, and having been married to a Protestant Christian for 15 years, I know a little about those beliefs as well. That said, what I read yesterday caused my jaw to drop to the floor, though perhaps it shouldn’t have.
The Southern Baptist Convention on Tuesday ousted its second-largest congregation — Saddleback Church, the renowned California megachurch founded by pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren. Why? Because that church had the audacity to have a woman pastor!!! Le GASP!!!! Perish the thought! Everyone knows that women belong in the kitchen cooking meals for their beloved husbands, else barefoot and pregnant, bringing more little ones onto a planet that can barely sustain those it already holds!
If you felt the earth move under your feet last night, it was likely Susan B. Anthony and other suffragettes rolling over in their graves!
The “Executive Committee” of the Southern Baptist Convention also voted to oust five other congregations — four over the issue of women as pastors and one over the issue of sexual abuse.
The grounds for this misogynistic decree putting women once again into a subservient role? When Southern Baptists last updated their official statement of belief — The Baptist Faith and Message — in 2000, they added this clause: “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
And then there’s this that I found on Diane Ravitch’ blog …
Pensacola Christian College canceled a six-man group of acapella singers because it had reason to believe that one of the singers was gay. The concert was cancelled two hours before it was scheduled to begin. An audience of more than 5,000 people was expected. The group had performed there in the past. Actually, the group acknowledged that two singers were gay. Why the College found it objectionable to hear a gay man (or two) singing in an ensemble is not clear. Did college officials worry that the sound of his voice might turn students gay? It seems likely that the bigoted Governor DeSantis has lowered the standards of civility across the state.
So much bigotry, so much hate … these are just two examples, but similar discriminatory practices are taking place everywhere we look – in our own government, in schools, businesses, restaurants. Crimes against women, against the LGBTQ community, against Blacks, against Jews are in the news every single day. Here are just a few headlines from the last day or two:
Nazis Harass Audience Outside Broadway Musical
“Jesus Is King” Woman Charged With Hate Crime Arson Of Manhattan Restaurant’s Rainbow Pride Flag
- Shapiro Host: I’d Rather Die Than Have A Trans Child
Bigotry has become the mantra for the Republican Party and their rhetoric fuels the flames of the masses who seem incapable of thinking for themselves. I’m disgusted by this nation. Yes, there are good people here, just as there are everywhere, but they seem to be in the minority some days.
It is depressing to see a nation so divided by the very thing that should unify it: diversity. It makes one want to pull the covers up over their head in the morning and refuse to face another day. But then, if we all did that … who would fight the bigots? Sigh.
And Yet Again …
I have not yet written about the horrific massacre in Colorado that left 5 people dead and 25 injured, not because I had nothing to say, but rather because I have too much to say. Meanwhile, Dan Rather and Elliott Kirschner have said it for me, and in a much better way than I could have, for mine would have been a rant. I will, no doubt, have more of my own words on this subject sometime soon, once I can stop 🤬.
Guns and Hatred
Dan Rather and Elliott Kirschner
22 November 2022
Guns and hatred collide once more.
Peace is broken; lives are shattered.
Again we see the pictures and learn the names of those who have been slaughtered.
“Authorities are trying to determine a motive.” But the broader narrative is already known.
Those who feed the hate, stoke the vitriol, and profit off of our divisions hide behind meaningless expressions of thoughts and prayers. For them, there is no pause for reflection, no sense that we can do better.
Anger, waves of anger, sweep over a deep trench of hopelessness.
We have mourned before, and we surely will again.
A cycle repeats. The words we uttered for the last tragedy could be reprised for this one, and likely the one to come.
In what sane world do we accept a national impotence in the face of unending bloodshed? None.
Why do we demonize people for how they express their love for others? Or for what they look like? Or for how they pray?
Why is celebrating our common humanity not enough?
What do we tell our children? How do we teach them?
Hate is learned, and it is being taught.
If we are honest with our history, we know that hatred has been a constant in our national story. But so too have attempts to rise above it, to make progress toward a more just and equitable nation, to strive for that “more perfect union.”
We celebrate acts of heroism. We find support in our collective grief. But we should never accept this murderous hostility to our diversity. Our national strength is rooted in our differences. We are all at our best when we support each other.
Far too many continue to live in fear because of who they are. This fear is not an accident or unintentional. There are powerful people in this country who base their power on the ability to frighten.
Cultivated terror is a poison that infects our society. Once unleashed, it is impossible to control. It easily explodes in violence, as it did in Colorado Springs. There will be another set of charges to mark, another court case to cover, another verdict to await. But we can already pass a verdict on a society that allows this to continue.
Completely eliminating cultivated hate and violence is not possible, but we can drastically reduce it — if only enough Americans unite to make it happen.
Short, sweet, and to the point … words of wisdom from across the pond.
Six years ago, Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, came under attack by a gun-toting lunatic, who killed 49 people at the LGBT venue. On Saturday, Club Q in Colorado Springs, came under attack from a maniac, and five people are confirmed to have lost their lives, thanks to a combination of the strange attitude towards guns in the US, and prejudice against the LGBT community.
The situation is still evolving, but it seems likely this attack was motivated by homophobia. It was made possible by easy access to deadly weapons, and a culture that worships guns. We hear the usual arguments, namely that guns are necessary to oppose tyranny, but how many lives have been sacrificed in the name of that particular philosophy, versus how many tyrants removed from power in the US? When does the culture of gun love change?
A Beacon of Light and Hope
Yesterday was a red-letter day for human rights in the U.S. Senate. The senate passed a bill, the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA), that, if it passes in the House of Representatives, will codify protection for same-sex marriage. Now, that in itself is an accomplishment worthy of a big WHOO HOO!!! But even more encouraging, the bill was passed by a margin of 62-37 with 12 Republicans voting in favour! I had been reading for days about the Republican/conservative backlash against this bill, so when I heard that 12 Republicans voted to protect same-sex marriage, I was stunned … in a good way!
Republican Susan Collins joined forces with Democrat Tammy Baldwin and worked across the aisle to rally support for this bill. Those Republicans who voted in favour deserve recognition. In addition to Susan Collins, they are …
- Rob Portman (Ohio)
- Thom Tillis (N.C.)
- Mitt Romney (Utah)
- Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
- Roy Blunt (Mo.)
- Richard Burr (N.C.)
- Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.)
- Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.)
- Dan Sullivan (Alaska)
- Joni Ernst (Iowa)
- Todd Young (Ind.)
Thank you, Senators!
The RFMA repeals the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a 1996 law that bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. It also requires that every state recognize a valid same-sex marriage. It does fall short of requiring that every state issue licenses for same-sex marriages. The reason for this distinction is to keep the bill from being overridden by the Supreme Court who has previously ruled that the federal government cannot “commandeer” states to enforce federal laws or pass specific statutes. If Congress compelled states to license same-sex marriages, the judiciary would invalidate the law as a violation of this anti-commandeering doctrine.
There has been a very real concern that the Supreme Court is poised to strike down Obergefell v Hodges, the case that requires states to license and recognize same-sex marriages. Once signed into law, the Respect for Marriage Act will make it more difficult for the Court to overturn the 2015 decision.
As an added bonus, the bill would also protect inter-racial marriages if the ultra-conservative, backward-looking Supreme Court were to decide to overturn the 1967 ruling in Loving v Virginia the ruling that laws banning interracial marriage violate the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Next, the bill moves to the House where it is expected to pass, possibly by the end of this week. If they table it until January, it will be doomed to fail, but at present there is no reason to think it won’t pass the House and be signed into law by President Biden at least by the end of the year. Score one for human rights, for civil rights, for LGBTQ rights! Score one for bipartisanship.
Clay Jones of Claytoonz is more than just a cartoonist … he is also a sharp political analyst and his posts are often as astute as any of the OpEd columnists. The battle for the 2024 GOP nomination for president has already begun and from all indications, it will be a bloodbath with neither candidate qualified for the office, but heck … in this day, who cares about pesky little things like qualifications, right? Anyway, thank you, Clay, for putting pen to paper on this one!
Ron De Santis is a bully. Republicans LOVE bullies. It’s why they love Donald Trump so much. Republicans believe bullying people weaker than you is a sign of strength. It’s also why they love Putin. But, bullying is just like it was in school. The bullies are cowards. They only pick on whom they believe they can beat up.
Remember when Donald Trump tried to bully Nancy Pelosi? Remember him crawling up his own bunghole when they were in the same room together and then Pelosi walked out of the White House putting on her shades like a boss? Remember when Donald Trump shut down the government until Congress would fund his racist border wall? Remember when Pelosi kicked his ass so hard that he reopened the government and the great dealmaker walked away with less than he started with? Remember when he tried to bully Hillary Clinton at the…
View original post 1,034 more words
They Are Not Just “Your” Kids!
A recent column by Frank Bruni brought to my attention something that … for whatever reason … had not occurred to me in this whole education “cultural war” anti-CRT, anti-LGBTQ school curriculum battle. DAMMIT, Ron DeSantis and others who would deprive our children of an education … WE THE PEOPLE … all of us, even those of us who no longer or never did have school-age children, PAY for the schools AND we rely on the schools to turn out well-educated, well-rounded young people who can make this country — the world — a better place for us all! DeSantis and the bigoted parents who do not want their children to learn that the U.S. is and has always been a racist nation, DeSantis and the homophobic parents who are scared shitless that little Johnny or Susie may eventually realize that … hey, it’s okay to be different … DeSantis and those narrow-minded parents are ruining the future of this country, ensuring the next generation will repeat the mistakes of the last!!!
Whew … glad I got that off my chest.
But seriously … every working person in this nation pays taxes … taxes that go to pay teachers, to build, renovate and maintain school buildings, pay bus drivers and buy buses, desks, and other equipment. Why should only parents and governors have a say in whether our children are educated or indoctrinated? Parents: Your children are my children’s future and the future of every person in the country! For you to determine that they should be shielded from our past is to say that you want the racist, homophobic ideology that has often been prevalent in the U.S. to continue. You say you don’t want your children to “feel guilty” over such issues as slavery and Jim Crow … well, I never felt guilty when I learned of these things as a child and later a teen, I just felt that I wanted to do better than past generations had done. Isn’t that what we need? Do you hate Blacks and Gay people so much that you want your children to grow up sharing your hatred? Do you want to see hundreds more Black men murdered as George Floyd was in Minneapolis in 2020 because you were too ashamed to allow your children to learn the truth?
If a parent wishes their children to learn only the happy-happy-joy-joy parts of U.S. history, then they can either find a private school that shares their views, or they can homeschool their children, but the do NOT have the right to inflict their narrow-minded views on every child in the nation! Parents who wish to teach Christianity or Islam or Judaism to their children have plenty of time off campus to do just that, but those parents do NOT have the right to cram it down the throats of children whose families believe differently or do not place the same level of importance on religion as they do. There is a reason that the U.S. Supreme Court declared in 1962 that prayer in schools is unconstitutional … because not all of us believe the same, and that is our right, as well as the right of our children!
Ron DeSantis owes this nation an apology, for he has attempted to make the whims of a few into the law of the land. And why? Because he hopes to stir the pot enough to win the presidential election in 2024. He would destroy our future for his own personal gain, just like another similar ‘man’ who was twice-impeached and voted out of office two years ago. These, my friends, are not the sort of politicians we need in our government, for they pander to the few and disregard the majority. They would turn this nation into ashes tomorrow if it gave them the ego-boost, the power they so crave. DON’T LET THEM DO IT!!! Protect our children, protect our nation, get rid of the clowns who care naught for either.
Michigan State Senator Mallory McMorrow, who few people outside of Michigan have ever heard of, defended herself after being accused by a colleague of supporting pedophilia, being a ‘groomer’, and more because she stood up for teaching children the truth, and for being open and allowing children to express themselves. This clip is well worth the time spent to watch Ms. McMorrow’s rebuttal.
The future of the world, if the world is to have a future, depends on teaching today’s children to be better than we and our forbears were, teaching them to care for the earth and ALL its inhabitants! Instead of banning books, we should be banning bigots like Florida’s Governor DeSantis and all those who agree with his hate-filled ideology.
It’s Time To Burn Bigotry
Just a short update before I delve into my main topic this morning …
In his testimony before Congress yesterday, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy arrogantly said that he plans to stay in his current position, despite opposition, “… for a long time. Get used to me.” Well, we’ll just see about that, because on the same day that he so cockily said that, President Biden nominated three people to the USPS Board of Governors. Those three – Ron Stroman, Anton Hajjar and Amber McReynolds – once confirmed by the Senate, would create a Democratic majority on the Board and DeJoy could easily be fired from his position. Fingers crossed on that one, for while I don’t like to see anyone fired, this arrogant man has all but destroyed the U.S. Postal Service and has unabashedly spoken of his intent to further slow the mail and raise prices. I shall dance on the day he is told to pack his bags!
The Equality Act has passed its first hurdle … it passed in the House yesterday with a vote of 224-206 and even three Republicans voted for it. What is the Equality Act? It is an amendment to the 1964 Civil Rights Act to provide protections for LGBTQ individuals. The bill would ban discrimination in various areas, including the workplace, housing and education, in addition to federally funded programs. The legislation also would expand the 1964 bill to cover public accommodations to include places like shopping malls, sports arenas, and even websites. Pretty simple, right? People should not be punished for being LGBT. Period. They are human beings just like me, just like you, and they deserve the same legal protections.
The Republicans in general, however, don’t quite see it that way. With the exception of the three who crossed the aisle to vote for the bill, they are dead set against it. Why? Truth is because they are bigots, homophobes who would disown their own child if he/she told them he/she was gay. They believe that the only people who deserve the best life has to offer are white, straight, Christian males. But they have a remarkable excuse for their homophobia … they claim it takes away people’s religious freedom. Yeah, really … go figure.
One portion of the Republican argument, as well as religious leaders’, is that the bill doesn’t limit “public accommodations” to exclude churches. Religious leaders want to be able to forbid LGBT people in their churches. Well, guess what, Mr. Bigot … I doubt any LGBT person would want to enter your “house of worship.” Keep it filled with racists and homophobes …
Another part of the argument against the bill claims that giving equal rights to the LGBT community would “alter the country’s social fabric by blurring gender lines in women’s sports and other cultural practices.” Bullshit! I’ve never heard such a crappy excuse in my life! Our society, our lives, and our culture are enhanced by the diversity, and any who cannot see that are culturally and socially blind.
The infamous Marjorie Taylor Greene crossed a line when she hung an anti-transgender sign outside her office, claiming “there are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE”. Bad enough to say under any circumstances, but what made it even worse is that the office across the hall from hers is that of Representative Marie Newman, whose daughter is transgender. Ms. Greene, as I have said on multiple occasions, does NOT belong in Congress.
One comment I saw to this story stirred my ire …
“This pieces [sic] of legislation is just another way for “the establishment” to keep us divided as a nation. All people are created equal, I certainly don’t need the DC establishment to pass legislation for me to understand this Fact.”
Seriously, buddy? Don’t you think that if Blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Muslims, and LGBT were all treated equally, we wouldn’t even have needed the Civil Rights Act? Don’t you think that if everyone treated everyone equally, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation? What keeps us divided is not that the government is trying to protect people from discrimination, but rather that there are bigots out there who would lynch a Black man, who would kill a transgender person on sight. There are landlords who would refuse to rent housing to them, employers who would refuse them a job, and even businesses … oh, say like a bakery that specializes in wedding cakes … that would refuse them service! Sadly, the bigots have to be forced to do the right thing and treat people right! And they call themselves “Christians”. Ask me again why I consider religion the source of most of what’s wrong in the world!
Next stop for the Equality Act is the Senate. This same bill was passed by the House in 2019, but when it got to the Senate, Mitch McConnell refused to even bring it to the Senate floor, so there it died. I think it will be different this time, as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has promised that the legislation will get a floor vote “at exactly the right time.” But … it will need 10 Senate Republican votes in order to beat back a GOP filibuster. Are there 10 Republicans in the Senate with any form of a conscience? Apparently not, given the outcome of the impeachment trial. DAMN the filibuster! I have a brilliant idea … remember how many were calling to ‘defund the police’ last summer? Let’s start a movement to ‘defund republicans in Congress’ until they start acting like adults!
I will be composing a letter to the republican senator for my own state in the next day or two … not that it will matter or change his mind, but … I have to try.
On This Day In 2015 …
Today’s post is courtesy of The Obama Foundation’s website …
JUSTICE LIKE A THUNDERBOLT
Five years ago marked an unforgettable day in the Obama Presidency. The Supreme Court ruled on marriage equality, President Obama paid tribute to Reverend Pinckney and his eight parishioners in Charleston, and the White House shone with pride for all to see.
To mark the anniversary of that fateful day, June 26, 2015, we created a retrospective video and collected reflections of many who experienced it firsthand.
June 26, 2015, also marked the end of a unique ten-day stretch in American history. After the murder of nine parishioners at Mother Emanuel AME Church by a white supremacist, organizers held protests in South Carolina that led to the removal of the Confederate flag from the State house grounds. The Supreme Court upheld a critical piece of the Affordable Care Act in King v. Burwell, guaranteeing that millions of Americans would not lose their health insurance. And on the morning of June 26, millions of Americans were waiting to hear how those same justices would rule on the question of whether same-sex couples had the right to marry, in Obergefell v. Hodges.
As so many who lived through that day will tell you, that morning’s decision was decades in the making. It was a moment made possible by the work of activists who demanded justice, government leaders who took action, and millions of ordinary Americans who dared to live openly and challenge their government to honor their commitment.
The path to progress rarely runs in a straight line. Broader cultural support for gay rights was routinely met with legal resistance. The path to racial progress has long been punctuated by horrific acts of white supremacist violence. And through the long arc of history, it can be difficult to see how an individual act—a cry of grief, a protest, a phone call to a representative, a ballot cast—can lead to justice.
But once in a while, that work adds up to days like June 26, 2015, where justice arrives, “like a thunderbolt.”
The Supreme Court Speaks … or Doesn’t
The Supreme Court made a number of decisions and non-decisions yesterday. Let’s start with the good news first!
As I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, the Supreme Court voted 6-3 that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does provide protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. About damn time! It was a no-brainer to start with! Nobody should be fired for anything other than poor job performance … not because of skin colour, religion or lack thereof, gender or gender identity, or any other superficial criteria. But, in the United States of Bigotry, far too many people did not understand.
But one of the things that makes this decision by the Court so amazing is that Justice Gorsuch, a justice hand-picked by Trump, was on the side of right. In fact, he wrote the majority opinion which in part reads …
“An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. It is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.”
So, who were the three Justices who thought otherwise, who are such homophobes that they cannot abide the idea of a gay person being treated fairly? Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and predictably, Trump’s crybaby pick, Brett Kavanaugh. And what was their rationale? I read parts of Justice Alito’s dissenting opinion, and found it to be rambling rubbish. A few snippets …
“A more brazen abuse of our authority to interpret statutes is hard to recall. The court tries to convince readers that it is merely enforcing the terms of the statute, but that is preposterous. After today’s decision, plaintiffs may claim that the failure to use their preferred pronoun violates one of the federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination. For women who have been victimized by sexual assault or abuse, the experience of seeing an unclothed person with the anatomy of a male in a confined and sensitive location such as a bathroom or locker room can cause serious psychological harm.”
Bullshit! It seems that a number of people in this nation share Alito’s, Thomas’, and Kavanaugh’s opinion and still haven’t awakened to the fact that LGBT people are … PEOPLE. Human beings just like any other who have the right to an education, a job, and all the other rights and privileges enjoyed by others. It’s not surprising to see which political party has the most homophobes …At any rate, this is justice as it should be, and for once, fairness won the day.
The Court sometimes speaks as loudly in the cases they don’t hear as the ones they do. In three notable cases yesterday, such was the case.
The first notable case the Court decided against hearing was a compilation of nearly a dozen cases that gun rights groups claim violate their 2nd Amendment rights. Among them were cases involving restrictions in Maryland and New Jersey to permits for carrying a handgun outside the home. For now, at least, the restrictions put in place by the states are allowed to stand. Justices Thomas and Kavanaugh, of course, disagreed, with Thomas saying …
“This Court would almost certainly review the constitutionality of a law requiring citizens to establish a justifiable need before exercising their free speech rights. And it seems highly unlikely that the Court would allow a State to enforce a law requiring a woman to provide a justifiable need before seeking an abortion.”
Sorry, Thomas … not a valid comparison.
Next, the Court declined to hear a case concerning a California state law that prohibited state authorities from assisting federal immigration agents (e.g., alerting the federal government when someone in custody was to be released or handing off an undocumented person to federal authorities). The Trump administration, in its never-ending hunt to harass and deport undocumented immigrants (regardless of the danger they pose to society and their roots in the community), sued.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit agreed with the district court that the California law was constitutional. Thus Trump’s lawyers took it to the Supreme Court, who has now refused to hear it. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito noted publicly that they would have granted the government’s petition, and I can only assume that Kavanaugh would have, also. This is a win in that it leaves in place California’s law, which reaffirms that states cannot be dragooned into performing services for the federal government.
And now for the bad news …
The court declined to hear eight cases challenging the doctrine of qualified immunity, which acts to shield police and others acting from lawsuits. It is this qualified immunity that has enabled so many officers to walk away without punishment after killing unarmed black men in situations that did not require the use of excess force.
In response to the Court’s decision not to hear the cases, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass, and Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Chair Steve Cohen released a statement reading, in part …
“Qualified immunity has repeatedly barred victims of police brutality from having their day in court, and it has been criticized by liberals and conservatives alike.
The Supreme Court’s failure to reconsider this flawed legal rule makes it all the more important for Congress to act. The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 does just that: it makes clear that qualified immunity cannot be used as a defense in civil rights suits against federal, state, or local law enforcement officers. It is long past time to remove this arbitrary and unlawful barrier and to ensure police are held accountable when they violate the constitutional rights of the people whom they are meant to serve.”
I fully agree … in my book, it was unconscionable for the Court to refuse to review these cases, where their review might have ruled that police are, in fact, accountable for their actions.
Well, there you have it … a summary of the most important cases, decisions and non-decisions of the Supreme Court yesterday. The first, of course, is a huge win and should be celebrated. I am pleased that Justice Neil Gorsuch took a stand on the side of right, as did Chief Justice Roberts. I’m also pleased that the Court upheld California’s right to protect its immigrant population from draconian federal agencies directed by Trump. I’m less pleased by the final non-decision, but given the current situation, the protests that have come as a result of decades of police brutality against people of colour, I think change is going to happen, despite the Supreme Court refusing to be the agent of that change.