Last week, Pennsylvania’s governor, Tom Corbett visited Bucks County, my home county, to preside over the groundbreaking of a Pennsylvania turnpike expansion project, a rare glimmer of positivity in the otherwise abysmal term of Pennsylvania’s Most Awful Governor Ever. [Corbett’s approval rating hovers consistently in the 20s and he’s scored his own MoveOn resignation petition with close to 3000 signatures which is actually huge in The Meh State.]
Poor Tom should have been popping champagne corks but the damn lamestream media on hand for the festivities were only interested in gay marriage. Corbett mumbled stuff about “relevance to the event” but reporters insisted on a bigger story.
See, Pennsylvania, and next-door neighbor New Jersey, are the last strongholds in the Northeast, of states sanctioning behavior unbecoming to the Constitution. New Jersey tried its best to escape that dubious distinction but Governor Christie vetoed the legislature’s marriage equality efforts to beef up his conservative bona fides.
Pennsylvania doesn’t allow same-sex marriages or same-sex civil unions neither does it recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Gay couples in Pennsylvania have no marriage or domestic partnership rights whatsoever. Not to mention the fact that Pennsylvania is the last state in the Northeast with NO prohibitions against discrimination, hate crimes, or bullying based on sexual orientation.”
Not only can I not marry my partner of 25 years, in my state, I can also be fired for having a picture of my gay family—me, my partner, and my son—on my desk.
Interesting article at Buzzfeed (yes, I know) on why Putin is transforming Russia into a homophobia hub. Putin’s fondness for orchestrating shirtless, macho photo-ops that would be ideal for the cover of a romance novel (if you Photoshopped a more handsome head onto that ripped, well-preserved body) has led to speculation that Putin has latency issues.
But the Buzzfeed article makes a pretty solid case for a more prosaic motivation: Just like a common American wingnut, Putin is leveraging heartland fundamentalism, bigotry and provincialism to improve his political fortunes. Maybe that’s what George W. Bush saw when he famously looked into Putin’s eyes and found a kindred spirit.
A lot of folks have already taken a swat at the following religio-comic-absurdist story and moved on but, as I’m a gay woman of the 21st century, I feel a certain sense of entitlement to get my own licks in when the anti-gay crusaders of the Religious Right make particular fools of themselves.
Twinkle Cavanaugh (real name) is the duly elected President of the Alabama Public Services Commission that oversees statewide public utilities. Twinkle called a hearing to discuss state utility rate structures and asked John Delwin Jordan to testify at that hearing. It’s unclear to me what qualifies Jordan, a Baptist minister and President of the Prattville (real name) TEA Party, to address utility rate structures but, then, lots of things bewilder me these days.
Nevertheless, testify Jordan did—he testified for JESUS! Here’s that, captured on tape.
I have been in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and, I am not entirely averse to admitting, reasonably certain I have broken a few of their retrograde antisex laws while I was there. Actually, I think I was probably there with the explicit intention of probably getting around to doing some of the things their legislators in times of yore believed were, ahem, “icky”.
I have to admit to complete and total mystification regarding a candidate for governor who persists in being, you know. That guy. But I have a larger point to make, other than admitting to being at least kind of sort of the exact people Cooch is interested in legally persuing for, I guess, having some kind of fun in Virginia not explicitly associated with, like, a water park or maybe Colonial Williamsburg. Did you hear about this thing regarding the current governor, Bob McDonnell, who was kind of warned against as being a total retrograde antisex theocrat who sort of kind of turned out to be also a grifter? Well, some of that grifterism allegation is looking to backwash on Cuccinelli.
Huh. Taking gifts as a government official? That blows. Probably should be, like, illegal or something, right? I guess ethics is what you make of it. Or at least, if you’re Ken Cuccinelli, you legislate bedroom morality, but in the taxpayer-funded office? Anything goes!
This story hits very close to home for me so please excuse any thoroughly subjective hyper-emotional theatrics that might bleed into my narrative. I promise not to do it often.
Here’s the thing: I have been watching certain recent legislative events unfold in my home state, Pennsylvania, with a certain amount of awe. Things don’t ordinarily happen quickly in Pennsylvania so my hangover from last month’s DOMA Doom party had barely cleared before I realized—Hey! maybe this means that Pennsylvania’s own state law banning gay marriage is equally unconstitutional.
If you’re gay, like me, or are related to/work with/care about or know someone who is gay, like most of us, this has been a particularly wonderful week. And it was just lagniappe, as they say in The Big Easy, to sip a Sunday morning cup of joe while watching Kindly Doc Maddow shoot conservative fish in a barrel.
David Gregory hosted Maddow, along with Jim DeMint and Ralph Reed on Meet the Press to discuss fine points of conservative social policy in the wake of SCOTUS’ “extremist” decisions on marriage equality as well as the abortion bill train wreck in the Texas Senate, last week.
Conservatives showed up lumbered with their grab-bag of outdated, debunked polls and “scientific studies” designed to prove that their zombie social policies still walk among us and have some sort of relevance to some sort of American people.
The fellows in the suits settled in for an hour of pedantic bloviation about the impending Fall of Western Civilization should teh gayz be permitted to destroy traditional marriage and the lives of their children. And to trot out their new abortion meme about how closing abortion clinics and mandating pre-abortion trans-vaginal ultrasounds for all are just their way of saying “we care about the safety of women and babies.”
Well this should be interesting . . . while most of us are hoping for word that the US Supreme Court will uphold the Fourteenth Amendment and clear the way for gays to marry and enjoy the same legal benefits that currently accrue to heterosexual marriages, others are busily beating their plowshares into swords, girding their loins and making like a mighty army marching as to war.
Anticipating a Supreme Court decision on two gay marriage cases that could seriously rock the Casbah, a unit of Christian Soldiers, who have ironically dubbed themselves the Freedom Federation are threatening to stamp their feet, hold their breath and be otherwise really pissed off if SCOTUS finds in favor of marriage equality.
Freedom Federation turns out to be a rag-tag coalition of the usual suspects, anti-gay activists, designated hate groups, NOM [of course], Bill Donohue, leader of the one-man Catholic League, Ralph Reed, etc.
Apparently, some of the “values” of the Party of Family Values need a little re-tooling. How else to interpret the fact that, in one week, two separate spawn of the GOP—Tanner Flake (aka N1ggerKiller), son of Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Joey Heck, son of Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV)—are outed as social-media-opaths? Two All-American white, Christian paragons (ok, ok one’s Mormon), sons of All-American white, Christian paragon fathers, spend their leisure time just frothing, fuming and twittering hate at anyone who isn’t an All-American white, Christian paragon i.e., faggots, niggas, women, Jews, Obama, Messicans, Obama, Indians, Obama, Muslims, etc. [in their words]. These kids, if nothing else, are equal opportunity bigots, they pretty much hate every one who isn’t a white male.
Own your heckling, Powerhecklers of America! What, are you too noble to enunciate your vowels? Is it more authentic to make people look at you with amazement as they wonder, “What is that nutcase talking about?”
While Medea Benjamin insisted that she’s no mere heckler, she’s a protester, newest delicate media flower,GetEqual’s Ellen Sturtz, was “taken aback” when she shouted at Michelle Obama, only to have the First Lady get off the podium and right into her face. “One of the things I don’t do well is this, understand?” said Mrs. Obama, and offered to leave while Sturtz took the mike: crowd’s choice. Astonishingly to Sturtz, the crowd chose Mrs. Obama, instead of joining Sturtz in demanding that Michelle use the Power Of Pillowtalk to persuade her husband to sign an Executive Order offering protections to gays working for military contractors, rather than achieving that goal through legislation.
Most media outlets are omitting the fact that the crowd which had forked over a minimum of half a grand to hear Obama, was gathered at the home of “Power Couple” Dr. Nan Schaffer and Karen Dixon. (ActEqual had ponied up for Sturtz’s entry, too). So it may be presumed that Sturtz was not the only one there who’d known the pain of living a closeted life; she was just the only one shouting at Michelle Obama about it. And the only one to be surprised when the First Lady had the temerity to answer her back.
As any oppressed minority will tell you, winning civil rights that put one on a more even footing with the rest of society usually comes at a pretty hefty price—and the bills keep coming in long after the celebrations and victory parties are over. It’s no surprise, at least to the gay community, that more legalized gay weddings are triggering more gay bashing backlash around the world.
We LGBT people are used to this. In my lifetime [which includes pre-Stonewall days], we have gone from literally cowering in the closet to marching in Pride parades down the streets of our home towns. That’s quite a leap, in under a century, but each step of the way has been hard-fought and exacted huge costs in terms of career options, family life and isolation. Favorable public opinion and community support are only very recent boons to my community.
Given all of that, I hope that at least some of you will forgive my cynicism regarding the recent spate of “mystery posters” (see below) appearing on the streets of at least two cities in the state of Washington which also, just happens to be a state that recently legalized gay marriage.
So far, no one has actually taken credit for anything other than the photo of the “Annies that got their gun.” That photo, by “Oleg Volk: An American”, is in the public domain, sans text, and his reaction on learning of the posters using his photo was:
The photo poster is my design, the line drawing isn’t. I encourage re-posting of my graphics, so I approve of the use in general. The specific use wasn’t coordinated with me but that’s just fine, pre-approval is not necessary.
I have no idea who posted them but they acted as my allies in the cause. I want everyone -— especially people who have been traditionally facing discrimination and danger — to be more secure and independent. Minorities of all kinds are in that exact predicament.
The QR code links to Volk’s pro-gun website a-human-right.com. The funny little flag next to the QR code is known as The Doug Flag [for Douglas Fir] and is the official flag of Cascadia, a secessionist notion whereby parts of Canada and the Pacific Northwest become an independent country—a sort of eco-topian pipe dream that’s been kicking around for over a hundred years and just adds that little soupçon of crazy to the whole thing.
The line drawing of the male guntoters is signed by a “Nale Dixon” who is off the GoogleGrid.
These posters, as amateurish and lacking in 21st century realSHOCK!!1! value as they are, have set off quite a flurry of political debate having mostly to do with the rightful “ownership” of American political ideologies.
When I started writing a series of posts themed “Mad Scientists of the Laboratories of Democracy” I had no idea what a frightening, depressing task I’d started. I was interested in the process by which so many unsuitable, unqualified candidates had infiltrated our national political scene. You know what I mean—people who believe rape can’t result in pregnancy; people who admit to a tendency toward witchcraft; people who push ideas like “self-deportation.”
So I decided to take a look at the Farm Teams, out in the states, where many of our leaders get their start, just to get a feel for how they roll at that level. And it’s truly scary. So far, I feel that I’ve uncovered a lot of borderline personalities and outright sociopaths in the state legislatures.
In a spirit of fairness, I set a pretty high bar, I’m not interested in sniffing out the gaffe-prone or “hot mic” victims. We all make mistakes. I’m most interested in the demonstrably extremist, incompetent, clueless repeat offender. And, truth be told, I really didn’t expect to find that many. Boy, was I wrong.
My interest now has evolved to “Do people really vote for these misfits?” or “does their hair not ignite until after they’re in office?” Also, what are the qualifications for holding state offices? And, finally, who votes in state-level elections? a broad cross-section of a state’s residents? or a handful of hard-core, old-school political patrons with vested interests? Are state representatives elected to office by attrition and voter indifference?
My concern lies mostly in the fact that this is important because, ultimately, these people are making the actual laws that we live by. And, some of those are real doozies.
There’s so much seasonal WTF in this clip from FilmOn TV Networks (via Battlecam TV) which is going viral.
There’s a fairly graphic trailer near the beginning for their stunt at the weekend, when they plan to crucify a guy identified by a usually reliable source (Daily Mail) as Robert Garrison, “a 30-year-old sado-masochist from Florida,” so presumably as long they’ve found some card-carrying sadists to do the nailing, everybody’s cool with that.
Then there’s the increasingly tetchy mobile unit interview between Joe Fioranelli of FilmOn TV and David Phelps—which, for the by now no doubt growing increasingly nervous, I’ll excerpt below, but sounds like it’s an outtake from SNL.
As the scene begins, Phelps—who starts off the interview as grumpy as Hell, and doesn’t get any sweeter as it progresses—kicks off with the charming opener, “I’m David Phelps. And God hates fags. If you hear nothing else I say, I need that message to get out.” Then Fiorelli cites biblical reasons for some skepticism about Jesus’ heterosexuality, which doesn’t go any way toward making make him Phelps’ BFF.
Phelps: This is a mockery. It’s been a mockery from the very beginning. Is this what you plan for your mock crucifixion as well? Fioranelli: It’s not a mock crucifixion, we’re actually crucifying the guy. I mean, he is actually gay. Phelps: Do you have any idea, do you have any idea what it is to receive the payment for your sins from a wrathful, an angry God? Romans 12 says He will pile it on your head like hot coals from a fire. ... May God bring His wrath in a way that all will know it comes from Him.
Things don’t get any better from there on in for Phelps as he makes a bid to abandon the interview, and the fate that awaits him may have made him pray for a visitation from a nice cozy bushel of hot coals. Whatever, he will verily have been in no doubt that It hath come from Him, who moveth in mysterious ways.
For at this point (at 1:30 for the impatient), yea, a 500-pound stark naked ex-wrestler MC by the name of Billy the Fridge emerges from the closet (imagery!) where he’s been waiting and lurches ominously toward Phelps.
Phelps: What do you want?
Now, in the circumstances, most of us might agree that’s not the sort of leading question you want to be asking. Never mind, since Billy ignores it anyway.
Billy the Fridge: THE LEVIATHAN! WE WILL GET YOU! LEVIATHAN! THE LEVIATHAN! WE WILL GET YOU!
At this point Phelps makes an extremely rapid getaway through the door, with Billy in hot, hot pursuit. Over to the Mail again:
An eye-witness later claimed that he saw Phelps being pursued down the street outside the mobile studio by a naked fat man.
Rob Cutler, from Topeka, Kansas, where the church is based, said: ‘I was amazed, first I see David run out of a motor home and the next thing I know he’s been sat on by this giant naked man who is screaming “who’s your daddy now Davey?”’
The way the Phelpses have been bailing out of the hitherto lucrative family cult over the past few years, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Davey—his cherry now well and truly popped, possibly along with some vital organs—and Billy are an item. Happy Easter.
“I suppose the sea change has a lot to do with the political force and effectiveness of people representing, supporting your side of the case? As far as I can tell, political figures are falling over themselves to endorse your side of the case.”
Roberts seems to be unable to fathom a societal change taking place without the influence of hacks and flacks like himself. He sees the involvement of lobbyists in a movement that is driven by grassroots efforts. The groundswell of support for gay rights in general and same-sex marriage in particular is due to the fact that more and more gay people are out, and that more and more straight people have come to the realization that they have gay friends and family members.