Rick Santorum Calls ‘Saturday Night Live’ Sketch ‘Bullying’

According to a recent Huffington Post article, Rick Santorum reacted to a ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketch poking fun at his anti-Gay Marriage Views by calling it ‘Bullying’ … Santorum and Bachmann are the two most rabidly anti-gay candidates ever to float to the surface of the political septic tank. In reviewing this skit, which covered all the candidates, I didn’t think the Santorum segment went far enough. The skit is embedded here, courtesy of Huffington and Hulu. (It’s preceded by a 30-second ad.)

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Michele Bachmann, Immoral and Disgusting?

I’d already had my fill of Bachmann after recent her television gaffes and embarrassingly infantile “rebuttal” of the President’s State of the Union address. I already agreed with most of what the President had to say, but it IS nationally embarrassing when a spokesperson for the loyal opposition makes such an unprincipled hash of principled debate. As concerned Europeans look across the ocean to see how America will handle the largely USA-triggered global financial crisis, when they see creatures like Bachmann announcing for the most powerful executive office in the world, what can they be thinking?

I’d dismissed Bachmann as just another lightweight candidate, but I was wrong there.

Being opposed or strongly opposed to gay marriage is still not specific to just one or more individual candidate or political party. What separates Bachmann from Sarah Palin, that other supermarket tabloid sensation, is the singular intensity of her opposition to gay marriage, gay unions, or anything else to do with gays and lesbians, period.

Not following all the Republican wannabe announcements religiously, I was unaware Bachmann is rabidly homophobic.

From the New York Times comes a Sunday feature article “For Bachmann, Gay Rights Stand Reflects Mix of Issues and Faith” by Sheryl Stolberg. How many things can you find wrong with the following statement?

We will have immediate loss of civil liberties for five million Minnesotans,” Mrs. Bachmann, then a state senator, told a Christian television network as thousands gathered on the steps of the Capitol to rally for a same-sex marriage ban she proposed. “In our public schools, whether they want to or not, they’ll be forced to start teaching that same-sex marriage is equal, that it is normal and that children should try it.”

Off the top, what I come up with is:

  1. Civil liberties allegedly includes the right to deprive others of their civil liberties. Teaching civil rights equality allegedly equals loss of “civil liberties” for people who presently enjoy them.
  2. Schools will allegedly be forced to start teaching equality. Horrors!
  3. Schools will allegedly be forced to start teaching that students should try same-sex marriage. Oh, sure!

For the record, Bachmann seems to actually believe in a homosexual agenda to indoctrinate children into adopting a gay lifestyle — presumably, thereby, swapping sexual identities. Bachmann is said to be a “Christian conservative.”

She stood up as a Christian,” said Bob Battle, pastor of the Berean Church of God in Christ here. “She made her point of view known, and she gave Christians a voice.”

I think it’s time for mainstream Christians to take back the name “Christian,” which has been hijacked by religious conservatives and political bigots hiding behind undebatable religious artifacts. Bachmann may represent the biggest inroad into national politics yet made by prejudiced anti-gay religious fundamentalists, as typified by the homophobic rantings of “God Hates Fags” Rev. Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church. But she is not the only one.

We live in a time when respected moderates are vilified as evil, unprincipled and indecisive, when people who fly the American Flag are automatically associated with “my country right or wrong” yahoos, and where people who are different, or perhaps go to a different church, are demonized as disgusting and immoral, and xenophobically branded as “threats to freedom.”

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 toward myopic and exclusionary agendas. For my money, that’s Michele Bachmann in a nutshell.

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Perry v. Schwarzenegger: Prop 8 Shot Down

BBC post: “A US federal judge has overturned California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.”

PFLAG alert: “Washington, D.C. – Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays – PFLAG National – celebrated the U.S. District Court decision that strikes down California’s discriminatory Proposition 8 which denied the right to marry to same-sex couples in the state, stating that the measure violates the U.S Constitution.”

You can get the full text of the news releases by following the links provided above.

The ruling is expected to be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court.  The Roberts court rulings have followed a markedly narrower conservative ideology than in recent previous courts. With arch-conservative Justice Antonin Scalia likely to continue dominating a court majority, this important case is far from over.

The PFLAG release summarized the district court ruling as excerpted below:

The decision issued today in the case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger contends that Proposition 8 violates the Constitutional rights of equal protection and due process. In the decision, U.S. District Judge Vaughan Walker concludes that, “Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license., the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same-sex couples.”

PFLAG also provides a link to the full court decision. The document is a massive legal form in PDF format. In the preamble, District Judge Vaughn Walker of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California states:

Having considered the trial evidence and the arguments of counsel, the court pursuant to FRCP 52(a) finds that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional and that its enforcement must be enjoined.

Governor Schwarzenegger is said to have welcomed the decision. One homophobic conservative group, “SaveCalifornia.com”, has accused Judge Walker of advancing the “homosexual agenda”, calling it a “terrible blow” to voter rights.

There has never been any explanation, however feeble, why so many “conservative” groups think that we can advance individual rights by voting to deny them to others. While Justice Walker apparently did not (and probably could not) address the broader question of whether civil rights can constitutionally even be subject to popular vote, this ruling is a step in the right direction.

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NJ Senate defeats gay marriage bill

New Jersey gay rights activists said: we want the same constitutional protections as everybody else. We’re United States citizens seeking legal classification as United States citizens. We want legal recognition of our permanent partnerships.

A majority of New Jersey’s state senators said: “Oh no you don’t.”

The AP news release follows.

NJ Senate defeats gay marriage bill; NJ gay marriage law unlikely in near future

01-07-2010 03:00 PM MST
TRENTON, N.J. (Associated Press) —

New Jersey’s state Senate has defeated a bill to legalize gay marriage, leaving it unlikely the state will have a gay marriage law in the very near future.

The bill needed 21 votes to pass; only 14 senators approved the measure Thursday.

Gay rights advocates had pushed hard to get the bill passed before Jan. 19, when Republican Chris Christie becomes governor. Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine promised to sign the bill if approved by the Legislature but Christie has said he would veto it.

New Jersey offers civil unions that grant the legal rights of marriage to gay couples. Five states _ Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont _ allow gay marriage.

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Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act

PFLAG’s online newsroom issued a news release on October 22 which I happened to catch in an email. A new bill passed by Congress appears to be a milestone in defining equal protection for the LGBT community. I’ve posted an excerpt below. Read the full article at the PFLAG site.

PFLAG National celebrated success in a decade-long fight on Thursday, October 22, when the Senate passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The groundbreaking bill includes sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories in federal law, the first time these groups have been afforded such protection. President Obama has repeatedly and publically announced his support for the bill and is expected to sign it in the following days.

The history of the hate crimes prevention act goes back more than two decades, to 1989 when Congress passed the Hates Crimes Statistics Act, which required law enforcement to collect data on crimes motivated by prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. This legislation built the foundation for the current hate crimes prevention law. In 1997, in response to a wave of murders and arsons directed at LGBT individuals, President Bill Clinton called a White House Summit on Hate Crimes, where the Hate Crimes Prevention Act we know today was crafted.

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Miss USA Contestant Flunks Gay Marriage Question

When Carrie Prejean was asked for her views on gay marriage in the Miss USA beauty pageant, she answered that she believes marriage is “between a man and a woman”. 

Prejean is currently Miss California. She was the acknowledged  frontrunner in the USA pageant – until that question. The question was asked by pageant judge Perez Hilton, said to be a “celebrity blogger”. Read about it in the BBC post if you haven’t already.

To be honest, my first reaction was, “serves her right.”

Hilton said he had been “floored” by Ms Prejean’s answer, which, he said, “alienated millions of gay and lesbian Americans, their families and their supporters”.

He told ABC News: “She lost it because of that question. She was definitely the front-runner before that.”

Just a minute here … how is that supposed to work? Supposing her answer to the same question had been “I’m definitely for it” — and the judge had been an evangelical religious fundamentalist? Are the social and political views of a beauty content contestant even relevant? How would you react  if  the first question pitched to you in a job interview was, “who did you vote for in 2008?”

To her credit, Prejean answered honestly. The country is still divided almost 50%-50% on this issue; it’s not as if  the Holocaust denial of Iran’s Ahmadinejad was on the table.

Gays and lesbians will ultimately win on this equal rights issue. But not that way.

I don’t give a hoot for beauty contests in the first place. I tend to agree with those who say they’re demeaning because they reinforce negative sexual stereotypes.

But what do you think about dragging social and political issues into such contests?

Should Prejean’s win or loss have hung on this one question? Was Hilton fair to set her up for this question, and then nail her when he didn’t agree with her position? Should such questions be asked at all?

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Heard on the News …

Recently, KCBS reported that the Church of Latter Day Saints, the Utah Folks, are urging members to work to support the California ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage. Just when the Mormons rode out their own bigamy scandal, and surfed the crest of a tide of tolerance and popularity with Mitt Romney’s (unsuccessful) bid for the Presidential nomination – they had to go screw it all up by meddling in the political affairs of another state. While many evangelical sects still officially disapprove of what they fancy to be GLBT “lifestyles”, most younger members are vastly more concerned with actually important issues on the economy, the war, energy policy and global warming. Demonizing gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders has lost much of its appeal. Leave it to Salt Lake City to try to revive throwback politics.

Today, Supreme Court Justice Scalia finally did something I approve of, instantly putting me in the dog-house with half of the nation. In a strictly limited ruling overturning an absolute ban on firearm ownership in Washington, D.C. (even for home defense), Scalia led the court to the first constitutional affirmation of the Second Amendment. What I want to know: why does the Scalia court affirm the constitutional right to “keep and bear arms” for individuals (not just a militia), while insisting that any state that feels like it can violate the Bill of Rights by denying to all GLBT individuals the same rights guaranteed to all other citizens?

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Same-sex Rights May 2005

Minority: a class of people seeking classification as people. — Alex Forbes

The San Francisco Chronicle ran an AP piece by Michael Gormley yesterday, detailing current hot-spots in the nation’s crawl toward some sort of recognition of equal citizenship for gay and lesbian citizens.

  • New York’s high court ruled that Albany mayor Jason West will stand trial for violations of New York’s domestic relations law, for allowing same-sex couples to wed in his town. New York Governor Pataki, and celebrated state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, both have declared that West violated state law.
  • Massachusetts’ high court rejected a Roman Catholic bid to halt same-sex marriages until a statewide vote on the issue, to be held November 2006. The Catholic Action League reportedly argued that same-sex marriages interfer with “the voters’ ability to participate in debate on the issue.”
  • Colorado Gov. Bill Owens vetoed a bill outlawing discrimination in the workplace, while allowing another to pass covering gays under Colorado hate crime law. Owen reportedly stated that the workplace discrimination bill could force employers to spend large sums defending lawsuits.
  • In New York, Rosa Parks might have been prosecuted for violating Jim Crow laws, since her action was a violation of the law.

    In Massachusetts, a Catholic group would have civil rights sit at the back of the bus while white passengers (those allowed full access) debate equal seating arrangements.

    In Colorado, where discimination in the workplace is still legal, there’s real concern that employers could spend a lot of money defending themselves against lawsuits. Far better, it’s thought, that those discriminated against should be required to spend large sums of money trying to gain equal protection under state anti-discrimination laws.

    Tomorrow is Memorial Day, commemorating those who fought to make this nation free. We still have a long way to go to allow full and equal rights of citizenship for all our citizens.

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    GLAAD Alert

    GLAAD Alert: NEW REPORT TAKES A COMPREHENSIVE LOOK AT GAY LIVES, ISSUES:

    The Kaiser Family Foundation has released an authoritative, comprehensive survey of the lives and issues of lesbians, gays and bisexuals. Both GLBT and general populations are surveyed.

    We have republished this GLAAD Alert in full, but it contains a link to the KFF site where you can see the full surveys in PDF form for yourself, and or send links to friends and family. The numbers are impressive. Check it out.

    * Three-quarters of the general public support laws to protect gays and lesbians from prejudice and discrimination in employment (76%) and housing (74%). Large majorities also support other benefits for LGB partners, including inheritance rights (73%), employer-provided health insurance (70%) and social security benefits (68%).

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