Tag Archives: GLBT

Texas ABC Fires 3 For Raid on Gay Bar

Back in June, officers of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission set out purportedly to inspect The Rainbow Lounge in Fort Worth which had recently opened. An inspection; nothing more, nothing less. What actually took place was closer to a raid in which six patrons were arrested on a charge of public drunkenness and one man was arrested for resisting arrest.

Chad Gibson of Euless, aged 26, suffered a hairline skull fracture and now has a blood clot behind his right eye because of excessive force used by the officers while on the premises. The officers did not present themselves to the owner, they were not dressed as representatives of the TABC and far worse, they did not report the force used when subduing Mr. Gibson as is required.

In other words, several Texas cops went into a gay bar, beat the crap out of a guy til they broke his skull and then tried to cover it up by not reporting it. Chad Gibson was in the hospital for a week afterward.

Last Friday, the TABC ruled that the two agents, agent Christopher Aller and agent trainee Jason Chapman, were to be terminated. The TABC additionally terminated their supervisor, Sgt. Terry Parsons, for not ensuring that the two agents correctly filed a report regarding the force used.

It’s a relief to see that the city of Forth Worth is not turning a blind eye to this incident. Texas is becoming more and more culturally diverse, and it’s important to recognize that diversity for what it is: a positive step forward. I realize there are some who will likely never make the transition to accepting the fact that we live in a society that does not believe in repressing citizens merely due to their sexual orientation, but those people are no longer in the majority. It’s time to send the message that they are no longer allowed to perform actions or to condone actions that harm others based on their antiquated and baseless fears.

Ted Haggard’s Closet Gets a Little Fuller

Ted, Ted, Ted, Ted, Ted. What are we going to do with you?

Yes, it’s true. Ted Haggard, public homophobe and pastor of the Denver New Life Mega-Church, is once again the center of a gay sex scandal. I know. I’m as shocked as you. Who would’ve thought that just two short years after having meth fueled sex with a male hooker (which I understand isn’t nearly as pleasurable or fulfilling as the straight laced hetero man on top get it over with quick with the lights out kind), yet ANOTHER story about Ted Haggard having gay sex with a member of his own church would find its way to the surface? Other than me and, probably, you.

The article states:

Boyd said an “overwhelming pool of evidence” pointed to an “inappropriate, consensual sexual relationship” that “went on for a long period of time … it wasn’t a one-time act.” Boyd said the man was in his early 20s at the time. He said he was certain the man was of legal age when it began.”

Ohhh, good. Because of all the things wrong with the head of a mega church that influences public policy by snuggling up to the President of the United States and getting him to pass harmful legislation against gays and women being found to have gay sex with a young member of his church, the one I’m MOST worried about is whether the young man was underage or not. Mr. Boyd, are we on the same planet? I think something a bit more worrisome was the fact that Mr. Haggard paid the kid off.

In a letter e-mailed Friday to New Life Church members, Boyd said of the settlement and agreement not to talk: “This decision was made not as an attempt to conceal wrongdoings, but to protect him from those who would seek to exploit him.”

Okay. I think we’re stretching the suspension of disbelief a little far, even for Christians. If part of the agreement was explicitly that neither party discuss the affair? It was hush money.

In an AP interview this month before an appearance in front of TV critics in California, Haggard described his sexuality as complex and something that can’t be put into “stereotypical boxes.”

*sigh*…. Ted? Ted, you’re gay, and you’re closeted. That’s about as boxed in as you can get. Look. I’m going to try to help you. I know you’re scared and  I know you’re worried, but at this point…how much worse can it really get? You lost your church, you lost your reputation, you’re a national joke, and the woman you’re married to doesn’t trust you now and (thanks to this new thing) probably never will again. You’ve shamed your children. Was it worth it? Ted…stop making their and your life miserable. There IS a way. Two simple words, and then … believe it or not… life will get easier. Ready? Repeat after me. “I’m gay.” Now own it. It will be okay. I promise. Your wife will be able to move on with her life. You may even be able to mend fences with her. Your kids will need lots of attention and understanding, but you could really be a model dad, one who shows just what grace and acceptance really mean, not all that fire and brimstone crap you’ve been spewing for years. And YOU, Ted, will be happy. At least, happier than you are now. Believe it.

And later, we’ll work on that whole god fixation thing.

There’s “Reaching Across,” and Then There’s Pandering.

Alright, I realize I’m late getting here and we’ve likely blogged it to death, but I was hoping to discuss this rationally now that we’ve had a couple days to catch our breath and look at this objectively. By this, I am of course referring to Barack Obama’s recent decision to invite Rick Warren to perform the invocation at his inauguration. Let’s take a gander and see what we can see.

First off, as an atheist, I see no need for an invocation of god’s blessing at a state function. To me, it’s another glaring case of just how religion has imposed itself on our political system. But that’s just me personally. Objectively I can see that it’s part of the ceremony and expected, blah blah blah. Fine. I’m willing to make that concession for the time being. On to the meat.

Rick Warren. Mr. Obama is attempting to be reasonable in the face of the lashback but quite honestly, I think he’s over reaching on this one. He could have played it so much differently. He’s made it clear from his cabinet positions that he intends to listen to those who are best equipped to help the nation, regardless of the letter after their name. It was totally unnecessary to extend that invitation to Rick Warren. Forget for a moment what he stands for (because we WILL be coming back to it), and let us remember all those who supported Mr. O when he needed us. That, effectively, is the most glaring and obvious mistake in this whole issue. Not who he has chosen to include… but in so doing, who he has forgotten. The GLBT community is currently undergoing, collectively, its toughest challenge in the history of our country. It is the civil rights issue of our generation. This was an opportunity…a HUGE opportunity…to reach out and say “thank you” and “I recognize you.” Neither of which happened. For Rahm Emanuel, whom I admire, to come out and say “We’re going to have someone else friendly to the GLBT community do the benediction” felt like a placating gesture. A pat on the head. And in favor of what?

Rick Warren (I told you I’d get back to him). The man who has compared being gay to being a pedophile. Who has compared gay sex to bestiality. Called it a sickness. Campaigned and campaigned hard against women’s rights. This man has no place giving a “blessing.” I don’t care if he invited Obama to the christening of his first child. There is simply no excuse for him giving the invocation when there were so many other GLBT-friendly pastors who could have done as good a job.

Yuh, so this has turned out to be less than the rational, reasoned post I had hoped it to be. And yes, I thoroughly understand the choice. I just disagree with it. Because civil rights are not earned by being reasonable. Civil rights are not earned by rational discussion. Sadly, history shows us that the only way civil rights are earned in this country is by taking them and refusing to let go.

Lindsay Lohan Comes Out

Alright. I don’t often do the whole “gossip girl” thing, but this was sent to me by a friend, and, as with any trainwreck, I simply cannot look away. Lindsay Lohan, actress and human melt down, has come out.

London’s Daily Mail is not the most reliable of all papers, but they seem to have done their homework.

After months of speculation about their relationship Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson have finally confirmed they are a couple.

The pair were talking to an American radio DJ who asked them how long they had been together.

‘A very long time,’ replied 22-year-old actress Lohan, who has been living with the 30-year-old DJ since May.

Will this revelation finally signal the end of Lohan’s personal roller coaster? We can only hope so. Coming out is hard for everyone; to do so under a microscope cannot be easy. I, for one, wish her well and congratulate her for her bravery. Well done, Lindsay.

And just like that….the tide turns.

According to a recent San Francisco Chronicle article, opposition to Prop 8 is growing.

The poll found that just 38 percent of likely voters support the measure, while 55 percent intend to vote no. That compares with 42 percent in support and 51 percent opposed in July.

Prop 8 supporters have tried to sue to block the modification of the wording of the bill, but let’s face it… it now correctly reflects what that proposition is really about. “Eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry.” Those same sex couples now have that right, thanks to the California Supreme Court, and proponents of Prop 8 are trying to take it away. Californians aren’t big on removing rights.

It’s too early to relax; we STILL need everyone to turn out to vote against it. But it now looks as though it’s got a better than even chance of failing.

Why California will not ban gay marriage

First, let me say I apologize for being away so long; I missed paying tribute to the wonderful trail blazer Del Martin, who died yesterday. She was a great lady and an inspiration to us all; out and an activist when activism was not just frowned on, but dangerous. My deepest sympathies go out to her partner Phyllis. Ms. Martin, you will be missed. We are where we are becase of your courage and your years of struggling. Thank you.

So then; back to work. As I’m sure you all know, November is only two short months away, and with it come both national and local elections. Prop 8 has reared its ugly head; the third piece of destructuve, dehumanizing legislation all bent on one thing: reducing gay people to things. To beings less than human. To stripping them of their rights as citizens of this country. Being born gay does not make any American citizen less American. It is time for this stupid, backward thinking to stop.

Fortunately, it doesn’t look like that’s going to go over this time. This time, the gap is closing. Is closed, in fact. The most recent polls show that California voters are neck and neck on the issue. And guess which voters are going to take the no vote over the top? That’s right. The younger generation, first time voters who, unlike their grandparents and parents, have grown up with the belief that people, regardless of gender or color or sexual orientation….are pretty much people. And we just need to get over it and let it happen and move on, already.

I know the fight is far from over. But it’s looking a hell of a lot closer to detante.

Judges are only “activist” when we disagree.

It’s interesting how that works, isn’t it? Abortion, immigration….now same sex marriage. Let us take the case of California Supreme Court cheif justice Ronald George.

After a lifelong career of being a staunch advocate of tough crime legislation and the death penalty for which he received overwhelming conservative acclaim, the jurist has, with one lengthy decision, completely lost his conservative base. I am referring, of course, to the landmark case of Woo v. Lockyer et al. (6 combined cases), the decision which shocked nearly everyone…in most cases happily.

Since that time, Mike Spence, anally clenched head of the California Republican Assembly, has promised to work to get the conservative judge removed from the bench.

“Absolutely, Ron George should be thrown out for voting for gay marriage,” said Mike Spence, president of the conservative California Republican Assembly. “He has a very radical view of what’s a family.” [sic] Spence said his group and others will formally organize after the November election.

Obviously Mr. Spence has a difficult time understanding the difference between a vote and a decision. The court did not “vote for” gay marriage. They interpreted the state constitution and came to the decision, based on the 1948 Perez v. Sharp decision allowing interracial marriage. Interestingly, the people decrying that decision as “activist” belonged to the same groups that are now frothing against gay marriage. And just as now with interracial marriage… at some point in the future, people will look back in consternation, wondering why the big uproar.

I am somewhat in awe of Justice George. He’s spent his career building his reputation and credibility. It’s sad that, among the people whose support and respect he’s earned over the years, one decision can reverse all of it. At the same time, he faced that unflinchingly and still objectively interpreted the law to a decision that, while he may not personally support it, will bring the greatest amount of freedom to the majority of the people. And that is what our society is supposed to be all about. 

Whee! I’m a danger to myself and others!

Or at least, my opinion is. I wrote a rather light hearted post about gay marriage, and how really, what marriage means to us has changed over the years, even from what it meant from a purely scriptural standpoint. That point, of course, was ignored. The fact that Solomon had more wives than he could count and religious groups now want to insist that marriage means “one man, one woman,” never mind what the Bible says, was covered up faster than a certain preacher’s drug fueled same sex dalliances in Denver. Mmmm, hypocrisy! It’s what’s for dinner!

I have been lectured and pointed back to Leviticus, that great book that tells me how often and where my husband can beat me and how I should treat my Canadian slaves (because you can only get slaves from neighboring countries), and how I should be stoned for wearing a shirt that’s made with a poly-cotton blend. My assertion that all Christians pick and choose what parts of the Bible they feel are applicable? Lost. Ick factor? Justified. The most complimentary thing said about me is that I’m English (I’m not~ Californian, in fact, but I’ll take the compliment).

Dear Mr. Kennedy:

Thank you for your concern. But I suggest you follow the teachings of that man you say you revere and remove the plank from your own eye. And while you’re about it, remember that whole tolerance message he tried to send.

Phyllis and Del, 54 years and finally married

After spending a lifetime together, Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin were married last night by the sexiest mayor on the planet, Gavin Newsom.

It is unthinkable that anyone could say these two women who still, after all this time, obviously love each other, do not deserve the benefit of any other loving couple: to stand in front of family and friends and be married.

I think one of the tragedies of this amazing age is that because we are able to access nearly everything through our computers, we sometimes forget that there are human beings on the other end of the concepts we fight against. We apply tags and labels and disregard the fact that those tags and labels are being assigned to 3 dimensional human beings, all of whom have lives and worries and triumphs and joys….just like every other human being.

It’s easy to dismiss a concept. People do it all the time. But watching history taking place, and seeing the love between Phyllis and Del…I could only sit with tears in my eyes and celebrate the fact that these two very human women lived to see the day they could be married and have the love between them vindicated.

Help, Help, I’m being oppressed!!

I like to consider myself a reasonable person (doesn’t everyone?). I like to think that most things can be resolved by sitting down and being direct and honest, even if that honesty makes you somewhat raw. Unfortunately, I’ve found that few people are honest with themselves about their actual motives, much less to others. As a result, justifications are made, and the equivalent of putting one’s fingers in one’s ears and screaming LALALALALA at the top of one’s lungs is performed in a large majority of internet debates in which one group simply wants the same rights as every other group on the planet. How is this accomplished? I have a couple examples. After trying to have reasonable, intelligent discussions with idiots that wouldn’t recognize an intellectually honest debate if it sat on their faces and wiggled this weekend, I got frustrated, threw up my hands and said “screw it.” Which for me, is something, as I try to see everyone’s point.

Let’s start with atheism. I apologize to all the Brits, New Zealanders, Irish, Indians, etc… I am going to speak directly of my country’s rights. It is, sadly, one of those American tendencies to not see beyond our own borders. So. Sorry. Anyway. In this country, the country of the “free,” it is up to every citizen to what religion they wish to subscribe. If that citizen decides, through whatever mechanism, that they are an atheist…SO BE IT! That does not make you more moral or more deserving of rights than that person. And while it was semi amusing to see the 85% majority of this country (Christians) go on about how repressed they are just because there are now enough atheists and people of other religions that they have to recognize that everyone else has the exact same rights as they do, it’s starting to get old. Suck it up. It’s in the Constitution. Everyone gets treated the same UNDER THE LAW. No, that does not mean I think everyone is the same. It means just what it says. The law says everyone gets to worship however the hell they want and you can’t treat them differently because of it. Period. You are not being repressed just because Wal Mart greeters say “Happy Holidays.” No, you’re not. No, you are freaking well NOT. It means Wal Mart recognizes that not just Christians shop there and they want those people’s money, too. That’s it. Wal Mart is not your special friend. They’re a retailer. Get. Over it. Don’t like it? Here’s an idea. Take your wallet somewhere else and vote with that. That’s what capitalism is all about, after all, and this country is about nothing if not commerce.

Moving on. Gay marriage. Unpucker your sphincter. Are you gay? No? Then it has nothing to do with you. No it doesn’t. No. It really doesn’t. And don’t you dare try to tell me two people you have never met and will never meet as long as you live conducting their boring-as-everyone-else lives 1500 or however many miles away from you have any effect whatsoever on your marriage, because that’s crap. They want the same rights as you, and y’know what? They’re as much citizens as you are and there is no legal justification you can come up with for why they shouldn’t. The slippery slope doesn’t work, because there are already rules against children marrying, no one is going to marry their cow, because a cow cannot give consent, same thing for a piece of farm equipment. YOU JUST DON’T WANT TO ADMIT YOU’RE A BIGOT! TOUGH!! YOU ARE! Everyone is, in one way or another. YOU are not being put upon or repressed in any way just because gay people want to be treated the same by the law as everyone else.

HOLY CRAP, PEOPLE! Shut the hell up and worry about your own damn lives, already. D’you know what moral judgments are? They’re justifications for saying you’re better than someone else. Oh, yes they are. Knock it off. Want to make the world a better place? Concentrate on what YOU do.

Okay. I’m done ranting.