Category Archives: GLBT

Today In Tennessee Hate

Hey everyone, remember this story? Ha ha, well, funny thing, it seems the accused party has sued both Red Lobster and the waitress who posted the offending receipt on Facebook:

He said he was running tight on time, so he had his waitress put the meal into a to-go container. And when he paid the bill, he wrote “none” under tip.

The next day, a friend told Barnes to check Facebook, because his personal information was on a receipt where someone had written the n-word.

The story soon went viral and got worldwide attention.

Yes, it certainly did! This became national news, in fact. I, your humble scribe, vented a good bit of spleen over this one. I said, “Williamson County is both petri dish and microphone for the conservative worldview” and also, “let’s not fein surprise that it’s racist as hell, too.”

Woopsies! I may owe Williamson County a teensy weensy apology over this one! We will wait and see. However, I still maintain you people down there cannot drive. Especially you ladies in your big SUVs with your cell phones pressed to your ears. In particular, the lady in the black Acura SUV with the Romney-Ryan bumper sticker who blew through a stop sign at the Hill Center yesterday. Your friendly little wave did not make up for the fact that you nearly T-boned me.

But while one person in Williamson County may possibly not be the racist asshole we thought he was, at least one Nashvillian is an anti-gay bigot. They caught this one on security cameras:

According to a Davidson County affidavit, Massey was holding beer while waiting in line at the register.

Another man asked him “Where’s the party at?” and Massey allegedly responded with a gay slur.

The man, who is gay, asked if he had been called the slur and Massey said he did, then repeatedly asked “Now what’s up?”, according to the affidavit.

Massey allegedly went back to his car and told another person to help him “handle that.”

The pair went back inside the market and punched the victim in the head and face, causing the man to lose consciousness, police said. The victim needed 13 stitches on his face.

So, we’ve still got a ways to go here.


Filed under GLBT, racism, Tennessee

Nut Finds Squirrel

After a week of national debate Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed SB1062, Arizona’s Gay Jim Crow bill.

Slow clap for the Arizona Governor. She did the right thing for the wrong reasons. As Andy Borowitz hilariously quipped, Arizona Republicans came to the awkward realization that gay people have money and buy stuff.

Just once in their fucking lives I’d like to see a Republican do something because it’s the right thing to do, you know? Just once. Would it kill you people to stand on the side of equality and human rights just one time? Not because you’re threatened by Apple, Marriott, and the National Football League, but because legalized discrimination is morally wrong and, in fact, this country came to that conclusion waaaay back in 1964?

Jesus but I’m over this shit.


Filed under gay equality, GLBT, marriage

First They Came For The Immigrants

Delaware’s governor says if Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signs her state’s law legalizing gay discrimination, the NFL should move next year’s Super Bowl elsewhere. The 2015 Super Bowl is supposed to be held in Glendale, AZ.

To this I say, yes, a thousand times yes. There need to be some big repercussions for those who legislate hate. For that matter, concert tours should bypass the state and big conventions should stay away, too.

But let me point out, I’ve been saying this since Arizona first legalized discrimination with its heinous “papers, please” law. And while a few artists decided to boycott Arizona then, not enough cared or paid attention. I said we needed to “nip this crap in the bud” four years ago, and did you people listen? No, you didn’t. And look where we are today.

We let Arizona come for the immigrants and now they’ve come for the gays. You think these people are going to stop legislating their cultural beliefs? How do you people think the Taliban got started? That’s where this is headed. First it was the immigrants and hey, they’re an easy target. Then it was the gays, under the guise of “religious freedom.” Who’s next: women? Muslims? Atheists?

Until the state of Arizona feels some actual repercussions for its actions, it will keep legislating hate.

You gonna endorse that, Miley Cyrus? Cher? Billy Joel? James Taylor?


Filed under boycotts, GLBT, immigration, marriage

A Question About Protecting The Right To Discriminate

Regarding this discussion about exempting churches from ENDA, I have a question:

Until 1978, Mormon church doctrine viewed black people as inferior. Blacks were prevented from joining the priesthood, which is something all male Mormons who’ve been on their mission get to do. If you’re not in the priesthood there’s a bunch of stuff you can’t do, events and rituals you can’t participate in, offices you can’t hold, etc. My question: were the Mormon Church and its institutions (like schools) exempted from the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

Anyone know? Seems like a parallel here.


Filed under culture wars, GLBT, racism, religion

Costa Rica Accidentally Legalizes Gay Marriage

In the “ooops” move of the century, the legislature of Costa Rica accidentally voted for a measure that would legalize same-sex marriage. Conservative lawmakers voted for the bill before realizing that it redefined marriage to include same-sex civil unions:

José María Villalta, a lawmaker from San José, inserted the language into the bill. Villalta is a member of the leftist Broad Front Party. The language confers social rights and benefits of a civil union, free from discrimination, according to La Nación.

Villalta attached the measure to a reform of the Law of Young People, which covers various social services for young people and laws governing marriage.

Ha ha ha ha ha!!! Conservatives in the legislature are having a hissy fit, demanding that Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla veto the legislation. In 2011 Chinchilla said she wouldn’t oppose same sex marriage if the Costa Rican courts upheld it. [UPDATE: Chinchilla says she won't veto the bill.]

And I’ve gotta love this from Justo Orozco, of the National Renovation Party, an evangelical Christian political faction:

“That preference is not a right,” Orozco said, according to La Nación. “It’s a stunted development of sexual identity. It can change like alcoholism, tobacco addiction.”

Wow. Just …. wow.

Mr. Beale and I adore Costa Rica. I just think it’s hilarious that a liberal legislator there was able to trick the rabid conservative faction into voting for a bill legalizing gay marriage. Maybe our Dems should take a lesson from this?


Filed under Costa Rica, gay equality, GLBT

Things That Make Me Go Hmmm….

So, I’m trolling the ‘web and come across this story about the ACLU and SPLC making some noise over wretched conditions at a private Mississippi prison, right? The story is in the Salt Lake Tribune because the prison operator is based out of Utah. So far, so good.

And I click on the linkie and see this picture:


And read this photo caption:

(Jane Marquardt, right, is vice chair of Management Training Corporation. She is seen here with her spouse Tami Marquardt. MTC operates a Mississippi prison the ACLU calls “barbaric.” Photo by Trent Nelson/The Salt Lake Tribune) ; 11/18/2003

I just found that kinda strange. That’s the picture you run with this story? The one that screams LESBIAN LESBIAN LESBIAN all over it? I find it odd. Especially since, as the story clearly states:

Centerville, Utah, company Management and Training Corp. operates the prison, but is not named as a defendant.

No, the defendant is the Mississippi Department of Corrections. But fine, the operator is based out of Utah, so there’s a local angle to the story. I get that. But the LESBIAN LESBIAN LESBIAN photo thing? Seems weird.

Is it me?


I just threw this post up last night, but the more I think about it, the weirder this is. Why didn’t they use a picture of this dude?


That’s Bob Marquardt, the company’s founder. I’m guessing he’s the father or some other relative of Jane Marquardt, the LESBIAN in the picture they did use.

Or how about this dude:


That’s Scott Marquardt, the actual president of the company.

According to the MTC website, Jane Marquardt is vice chair of the company’s board of directors, and the company’s “international business development director.” She’s also an attorney, so maybe that’s why they used her photo in this story? But it really seems odd editorial judgment to me. Again, the company isn’t even a defendant in the Mississippi case. If I didn’t know better, I’d say the Salt Lake Tribune is trying to draw some nefarious connection between a “barbaric” prison in Mississippi and ZOMG LESBIANS.

It’s that liberal media again.


Filed under GLBT, Media

Republican Lady Doesn’t Understand Gay People AT ALL

This from Georgia GOP Chairwoman Sue Everhart confuses me:

“Lord, I’m going to get in trouble over this, but it is not natural for two women or two men to be married,” Everhart said. “If it was natural, they would have the equipment to have a sexual relationship.”

Umm …. Whew. Okay, you know? Let’s just let that one slide. Maybe someone in Georgia can send Sue Everhart a video or something so she can figure it out.

No, here’s the part that’s gotten all of the headlines today:

Everhart said while she respects all people, if same sex marriage is legalized across the country, there will be fraud.

“You may be as straight as an arrow, and you may have a friend that is as straight as an arrow,” Everhart said. “Say you had a great job with the government where you had this wonderful health plan. I mean, what would prohibit you from saying that you’re gay, and y’all get married and still live as separate, but you get all the benefits? I just see so much abuse in this it’s unreal. I believe a husband and a wife should be a man and a woman, the benefits should be for a man and a woman. There is no way that this is about equality. To me, it’s all about a free ride.

LOL. Yes, it’s always, always all about the free ride with Republicans, isn’t it? Hilarious.

I just have one question: say you’re a straight person wanting a “free ride” — maybe it’s getting on someone’s health insurance. Why would a straight person marry someone of the same sex to get that free ride? Why wouldn’t they just marry someone of the opposite sex? I mean, I’m sure that’s happened. We’ve all heard of green card marriages and whatnot. It’s not like straight people didn’t invent the marriage of convenience a thousand years ago.

So, that made no sense to me. Also, this:

Everhart said if she had a young child, she wouldn’t want them to have gay parents who would influence that child’s sexual orientation.

You know, there’s this amazing fun fact that Sue Everhart needs to consider: the vast majority of gay people had straight parents! I know, totally weird, huh?

I think this Republican lady just doesn’t like gays and lesbians. Who agrees with me? When your arguments are that half-baked and flimsy, you’ve gotta admit that the problem isn’t the “free ride” or “the children” or “the sex.” The problem, Sue Everhart, is you.

By the way, if you read the comments on that Marietta Daily Journal story you’ll be treated to cavalcade of twisted logic (and also some good common sense). I liked poster Just A Thought, who had this to offer:

If the argument being used in the court is gays have an inherant civil right to marry, doesn’t that argument then apply to the unborn having an inherant civil right to life? There is a much bigger argument here than gay marriage being right or wrong.

Huh? Not seeing what same-sex marriage has to do with the anti-abortion issue at all. Maybe someone can clue me in.


Filed under GLBT, marriage

Leaving The Cult

Following the exit of people like Libby Phelps-Alvarez, two women have left the cult known as the Westboro Baptist Church; one, Meghan Phelps-Roper, was in charge of the group’s “social media.” From this interview she gave to gay Christian author Jeff Chu, social media played a big part in her release from the cult’s ideological grip:

Her departure has hurt them already—she knew it would—yet there was no way she could stay. “My doubts started with a conversation I had with David Abitbol,” she says. Megan met David, an Israeli web developer who’s part of the team behind the blog Jewlicious, on Twitter. “I would ask him questions about Judaism, and he would ask me questions about church doctrine. One day, he asked a specific question about one of our signs—‘Death Penalty for Fags’—and I was arguing for the church’s position, that it was a Levitical punishment and as completely appropriate now as it was then. He said, ‘But Jesus said’—and I thought it was funny he was quoting Jesus—‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’ And then he connected it to another member of the church who had done something that, according to the Old Testament, was also punishable by death. I realized that if the death penalty was instituted for any sin, you completely cut off the opportunity to repent. And that’s what Jesus was talking about.

I’m always fascinated by cults, cult-like groups, and those belief systems which offer their members certainty, but only so long as no one looks outside the bubble at opposing views. It seems like a very delicate balance to strike: “our belief system is the One True Way to salvation/prosperity/greatness/ whatever but by all means, don’t look at any other alternatives because that would be Wrong.”

In particular I’m curious about the precipitating events which cause people to suddenly “wake up” — the thing that penetrates the shield of indoctrination and pops that bubble. For Meghan Phelps-Roper it was a Jewish person pointing out the error of WBC’s devotion to one passage of Leviticus and blindness to the rest. For Paul Haggis, it was reading Scientology’s Tommy Davis lie to the press about the church’s disconnection policy, a church-ordered shunning of “suppressives,” since the Haggises had been forced to do this to members of their own family who had left Scientology. Vyckie Garrison left the Quiverfull movement when one of her kids attempted suicide, and she realized the promise of perfect Christian family life was a hoax.

I know several Mormons who broke from the church-induced fog after realizing that nothing in the Book of Mormon is archeologically accurate: horses, oxen, goats, cattle, barley and wheat were all introduced to the New World after Columbus’ arrival, though they are mentioned several times in the Book of Mormon. That got them wondering why, for instance, you can go to Israel and visit places named in the Old Testament and archaeologists are still uncovering shards of antiquity in that part of the world, but nothing from the Book of Mormon has been uncovered in America.

It seems like the precipitating event is always something comparatively small or inconsequential; I mean, Paul Haggis, really? The whole Xenu thing didn’t get you but church officials lying to the St. Petersburg newspaper did? But I get it, I do. It’s easy to believe the fantastical thing, it’s the mundane day-to-day stuff that trips people up.

These aren’t epiphanies, they’re drops of reality that boink a person on the head at just the right time, causing them to have one of those “hey, wait a minute” moments. In America’s political world, I’m convinced Hurricane Katrina was just such a moment, it was a bucket-load of reality that hit millions of people square in the face and showed that government really isn’t the enemy, small government really doesn’t work, and Republican government really doesn’t function. That started it and the right-wing bubble kept getting hit with more bunker-busting reality bombs: the real estate bubble bursting, the economic collapse, Republican Senators embracing TARP, Alan Greenspan’s mea culpa, and on, and on.

Another important reality bomb was the last presidential election. This one hit people waaay inside the bubble, the Kool-aid drinkers who really, truly believed the polls were skewed and Fox News was the only unbiased media source. The election results proved every one of their experts wrong, and Fox is now scrambling to regain its credibility.

Conservatives are frantically at work at their rebranding effort, though if columns like this RedState piece are any indication, they still seem to think the problem is not their failed ideas but their failed image. Here’s an actual screenshot from that story:


In other words, don’t change the thing that needs to be changed. Awesome! Enjoy repeating this process over and over again then, because these reality bombs will keep falling.

Leaving cults is scary because you really do feel alone. You can’t cross over to the other side, which has been your sworn enemy for so long. But you can’t go back to that old way of thinking, either.

I suspect Karl Rove is trying to offer a life raft to those folks who feel disillusioned and abandoned by the failures of conservatism these past few years. Problem is, he’s so associated with those failures that I don’t think anyone wants to climb aboard with him.


Filed under cults, GLBT, religion

What The Hell Is Wrong With Stacey Campfield


Check out this hilarious exchange wherein Campfield (or someone posting as him) defends his “out the gay kids” part of his legislation.


Fresh off his “suffer the little children” legislation, State Senator Stacey Campfield, R-Sociopath, has brought back his “Don’t Say Gay” legislation for the third time, this time with an extra helping of hate:

The bill, SB 234, still bars Tennessee teachers from discussing any facet of “non-heterosexual” sexuality with children in grades K-8. But the newest iteration also includes a provision requiring teachers or counselors to inform the parents of some students who identify themselves as LGBT.

What could possibly go wrong! Gee, I think if a kid felt safe talking to their parents about issues of sexual orientation, they wouldn’t be bringing it up with a school counselor in the first place, now would they? Dumbass.

Look, three things need to be said about Stacey Campfield:

1- What the hell is wrong with you, son? Did you not get enough titty when you were a baby? Were you born without a compassion gene? Are your shoes too tight?

2- The culture wars are over. Republicans lost. Give it up.

3- Finally, rumors about Campfield’s own orientation have been rampant for years. If they’re true, then dangit I sure wish someone would please just out Stacey Campfield already.

You know what? I’m only half joking here. Good grief, but I’ve never seen a straight man so obsessed with all things gay who didn’t eventually end up on the wrong end of a rentboy scandal. Certainly not these guys. There has to be a reason Campfield is focused like a laser on all things gay, and self-hate seems as good a reason as any.

Campfield’s hate is damaging GLBT kids. And no, teen suicide is not “a lark.” Just ask the family of Jadin Bell. If Campfield thinks it’s perfectly fine for the state to mandate outing gay or possibly gay or maybe not even gay but confused kids to their parents — to leave these kids with nowhere safe to go to talk about what’s happening in their lives — then I hope someone returns the favor.

Also, thank you very much New York. Campfield is yours, he’s from Binghamton and didn’t move to Tennessee until he was 25 years old. I’m tired of Tennessee getting blamed for his fuckery; we’ve got plenty of our own home-grown bigotry, please don’t saddle us with the blame for this asshat. I spent a summer in that part of the world and let me tell you, there are as many rednecks in upstate New York and Pennsylvania as in Tennessee.

And finally, hope you’re enjoying your Republican super-majority, Tennesseeans. This is what you get when you vote Republican: a bunch of bullshit about gays, and constitutional amendments banning stuff we’ve already banned three times before, because Tennessee Republicans are too lazy to vote unless the General Assembly uses the ol’ carrot-and-stick approach. So much for the important stuff.


Filed under GLBT, rants, Tennessee politics

A Restaurant Chain For The 27%


Oh, shit.


Niche Marketing

So, now that Chick-fil-A has become the latest battleground in the culture wars, I just have to wonder what kind of freak-out is going on in their corporate offices. The battle lines have been drawn — Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum vs the Jim Henson Company, the city of Chicago, the city of Boston, and these three ladies. Now the war has moved to social media sites, where Chick-fil-A has lost control of its Facebook account amid accusations of sockpuppetry.

With bigots and attention whores like Rick Santorum now serving as the face of your brand, I have to wonder if Dan Cathy isn’t wishing he’d kept his fat yap shut? You know, most fast food chains try to appeal to as broad a range of customers as possible. Chick-fil-A is narrowing its consumer base. They are now the face of right-wing, reactionary, Bible-thumping intolerance. Who thinks that’s a good brand identity?

This is a fast food chain which now appeals to the low-information, Fox News-watching, bigoted, spelling-challenged wing of the electorate.

Maybe this explains why they spell “chicken” incorrectly in their ads.


Filed under conservatives, GLBT