Arizona’s New Anti-Gay Bill

My cousin wrote me today expressing shock at the Arizona legislature’s passage of a blatantly rabid anti-gay bill. The bill has not been signed by the Governor, and it is not yet law. The bill would allow business owners asserting their religious beliefs to refuse service to gays and others.

If somehow you missed it, you can read about the legislation any most anywhere. But here is The New York Times link.

I wrote back to my cousin:

Thanks for your support! AZ Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a similar bill a few years back, and I suspect she’ll veto this one. I understand there are already a very few anticipatory signs up in shop windows. There are so many places to eat and shop in big cities like Phoenix that a merchant with such a sign is just advertising, “we aren’t much interested in staying in business” or maybe even “I hate my plate glass window.” In small towns, and AZ has lots of those, there is bigger potential for harm and hurtfulness.

In the Phoenix Metro area (and in Tucson) there are large Democratic and moderate Republican populations and they are pretty good places for everyone to live. As for the bill itself, if actually passed into law, I think it would be struck down in the higher courts. That is not to say it isn’t dangerous, but that mindset belongs to a shrinking and discredited minority.”

And here, from the New York Daily News, is what one Tucson businessman did in response to the bill: “Arizona pizzeria’s amazing response to state’s anti-gay bill.”


This post is also published in La Parola, our gay issues department.

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Judging the Supreme Court on Same-Sex Marriage

In Mississippi, it is reportedly still legal for a landlord to evict a gay person, and for an employer to fire a gay person. If this means the states can decide who gets basic civil liberties and how much of them they can get (and it does mean that), then the states are still doling out rights like party favors. Why is anyone waiting for the Supreme Court to put the “all” back into “all men are created equal?” Read our commentary and a link to The Atlantic article “History Won’t Be Kind to the Supreme Court on Same-Sex Marriage” in La Parola.

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“Gay Marriage Polls Not Yet Reflected In Votes”

“Still not with you people yet, but thinking about doing the right thing.” We’ve seen all this before with the civil rights movement, and then again with women’s rights. “Yes, we’re in favor of liberty and equality, but not just now, and not next door. But we’ll let you know.” — read our comment on the news, in La Parola.

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Excerpted Huffington Post Comments

I’ve recently become active in the Huffington Post registered comment community. readers may find in my comments some good talking points and “intellectual ammunition” on a number of currently topical issues. I’ve mostly commented on news about the dangerous Santorum, the growing extremist religious right political movements, gay issues, women’s reproductive rights, and other recent news show-stoppers. Read my excerpted comments in La Parola.

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Church vs. State: Religious Freedom vs. Freedom of Speech

Just when we thought the HHS “Contraceptive Kerfuffle” was resolved! So-called “social conservatives” from the religious right are attempting to hijack the issue from the Catholic Bishops to put a two-pronged political and religious spin on it. This followup article continues our February 7 story “Contraception: Controversial Health Care Mandate” in Commentary. Read our latest followup on church vs. state, also in Commentary.

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Michele Bachmann, Immoral and Disgusting?

It’s time to take back our flag, our symbols and our language of morality. The folks who are truly “immoral and disgusting” are people who persecute others, people who deprive others of their civil liberties, and people who twist and hijack American principles to myopic and exclusionary agendas …” — OPINION. Read this article in La Parola.

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Stonewall and the 1960 Decade

The full post of this article is an excerpt from my forthcoming BIO project, an autobiography. It was prompted by the PBS June 8 airing of their “American Experience” special “Stonewall Uprising.” A video and transcript is available on the PBS website.

“When police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in the Greenwich Village section of New York City on June 28, 1969, the street erupted into violent protests that lasted for the next six days. The Stonewall riots, as they came to be known, marked a major turning point in the modern gay civil rights movement in the United States and around the world.” — PBS special Stonewall Uprising. Read the full article in La Parola.

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Perry v. Schwarzenegger

No matter where you thought you stood on “gay marriage”, it’s time to brush up on the constitutional issues and new legal developments. Perry v. Schwarzenegger may yet be the case that decides which U.S. citizens will be permitted the full rights and prerogatives of U.S. citizenship. If this fails, it will be understood as further proof that the law still sanctions selective discrimination in the United States. Read Perry vs Schwarzenegger in La Parola.

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Updates and Additions

Today we completed a security upgrade to WordPress version 2.1.2. Some of the AT A GLANCE last-modified dates are falsely updated to today, but we do have a number of genuine additions since the last What’s New post, too.

  • In My Notes we’ve posted new short articles on the “Luckypod” tree and “Celebrity Chicken Soup”.
  • In Commentary we posted an article on the US Iraq talks – should we attend, and should we pound the pulpit or just listen and take notes?
  • In Computers we offer some observations about how passwords seem to be taking over our surfing life, and what we can do to manage these necessary evils.
  • In La Parola we continue our exploration of the well-meaning but useless feel-good practical benefits of the California Domestic Partnership Act.
  • In PHOTO Notes you’ll find our friend Swan has submitted a couple of nice images of Winter in Heartland country. Under the cold, gray skies of Old Man Winter, it’s tough to take nice photos in any part of the country. It’s possible, but to the photographer the lighting and barren trees offer special challenges.
  • In RECIPES, look under “Prepared Dishes” for a delicious new take on the old shopworn standard, “Chipped Beef”.
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    Racism in the Gay Community

    On this day of the San Francisco Gay Pride Day parade, addresses issues of racism in the Castro, and, more generally, as it pervades this entire great nation of ours. Our message: this is far from being just a gay community issue. When we abuse or denigrate somebody else’s civil liberties, we undermine everybody’s, including our own. Editorial, in La Parola, today.

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