Tag 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

“I Just Came To See What Hate Looked Like”


I told Mr. Beale “I Just Came To See What Hate Looked Like” sounded like a country song. I guess Democommie read my mind, because he’s fleshed out some lyrics at his place. Not bad for a Yankee.


Westboro Baptist Church protestors targeted Vince Gill’s Kansas City concert this weekend. Gill confronted the church and it was all captured on video:

I normally don’t want to give the Phelps cult the benefit of more exposure but country music artists are always knocked for being right-wing assholes and that stereotype just isn’t true.


Filed under country music, gay equality

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

How To Tell You’re In The Wrong Church


Shocked finally responds:

On Wednesday, the singer made a statement (e-mailed to news outlets, and me in response to my inquiry): “I do not, nor have I ever, said or believed that God hates homosexuals (or anyone else). I said that some of His followers believe that. … When I said, ‘Twitter that Michelle Shocked says, “God hates faggots,” ‘ I was predicting the absurd way my description of, my apology for, the intolerant would no doubt be misinterpreted. … And to those fans who are disappointed … I’m very sorry: I don’t always express myself as clearly as I should. … And my statement equating repeal of Prop. 8 with the coming of the End Times was neither literal nor ironic: It was a description of how some folks – not me – feel about gay marriage.”

Shocked said her own sexuality isn’t an issue here. “I’d like to say this was a publicity stunt, but I’m really not that clever, and I’m definitely not that cynical. But I am damn sorry. If I could repeat the evening, I would make a clearer distinction between a set of beliefs I abhor and my human sympathy for the folks who hold them.”

Well, I sure would love to see a YouTube video of that concert. I wasn’t there so it’s hard to say how her comments were construed, but the fact that people left in droves and the club staff had to literally pull the plug and turn off the lights lets me think she was pretty damn clear at the time.

For you folks who say you haven’t heard of her, she was big back in the 90s when the whole singer-songwriter thing exploded. You might have heard this song.


When your church makes you say stupid shit that alienates a huge chunk of your core fans, maybe you’re in the wrong church.

Seriously, WTF Michelle Shocked? While I can’t say I was ever a huge fan — somewhere I’ve got a box with the CD containing “Anchored Down In Anchorage” on it, and that’s about it — for some reason I’d always believed Michelle Shocked was a lesbian. I lumped her in with the rest of the late-90s Lilith Fair era of women’s music — you know, Indigo Girls and all that. I guess I haven’t kept up because according to the New York Times, somewhere along the way Shocked became a born-again Christian of the holy roller, Pentecostal persuasion.

There are two kinds of churches in the world: the kind peddling love and hope, and the kind peddling hate and fear. I’ve always been fiercely allergic to the latter kind. I really don’t understand why someone would attend a church that makes a person feel bad about who they are, who their friends are, fills them with fear, and alienates them from those who support their creative endeavors. I also don’t understand people who pay more attention to a handful of passages from the Old Testament while ignoring 99.9% of the New Testament:

Michelle Shocked cited Old Testament verses condemning homosexuality and told the audience she hoped the courts would uphold Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage, according to Yahoo Music. “I live in fear that the world will be destroyed if gays are allowed to marry,” she said. Then she also told the audience to go on Twitter and report that she had said God hates homosexuals, though it is unclear whether that remark was sardonic.

Much of the audience walked out after her remarks. The club’s manager tried to end the show, but she continued playing until staff members pulled the plug and turned off the stage lights.

The thing is, gays are already allowed to marry in about a dozen countries around the world, and in portions of half a dozen others. Yet we’ve continued to dodge asteroids, while Harold Camping’s end-times predictions have been one huge failure after another. Meanwhile, we continue on in our foolish, carbon-chugging, earth-polluting ways. It seems pretty obvious that if the earth is destroyed, it won’t be the fault of gays.

I do think the Bible is full of lots of eternal truths, one of them being, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” Right now, Shocked is sowing a very bitter harvest. There’s anger and cancelled gigs and people walking out of shows because she’s repeating what her church told her. The good news is, there are plenty of churches out there of the “love and hope” persuasion, that don’t make you feel bad for who you are or who your friends are or the things you’ve done or believed.

There will inevitably be those tempted to compare this incident to the Dixie Chicks’ infamous public flogging after Natalie Maines said she was against the Iraq War and ashamed President Bush was from Texas. There are similarities, but they’re thin. For one thing, the Dixie Chicks were at the peak of a red-hot career — they had the number one single on the charts, fer crissakes — when they were attacked by their own very clubby industry. The Dixie Chicks’ words were greeted with cheers at the time; only later was a controversy manufactured by the suits on Music Row and at corporate radio.

Someday we’ll find out the full story behind what was an organized, industry-directed campaign ginning up outrage for fun and profit. Few people remember this today, but at the time the ‘Chicks had just emerged victorious in a major, very public battle with their powerful record company, Sony. From the memory hole:

The war with Sony started in 2001, after the group’s first two albums, Wide Open Spaces and Fly, sold more than 10 million copies apiece. In an interview with Dan Rather that aired on CBS, the Chicks announced that by their math, Sony had made $200 million off them but that individually they had yet to gross seven figures. Then, in a move that sent shock waves through Nashville (admittedly it’s a town that’s easily shocked), the Chicks served Sony with papers claiming that because of the company’s alleged accounting misdeeds, they were declaring themselves free agents. “We all know there are some major problems in the music industry,” says Maguire. “Every new act signs a bad deal. But we never dreamed that the s_____ deal we signed wouldn’t even be honored.”

Sony sued the group for breach of contract; the Chicks countersued, alleging “systematic thievery.” As the charges escalated, the Chicks found themselves Nashville pariahs. For country acts, the relationship between label and band has historically been in loco parentis; bands presumed the label always knew best. “Everyone in the country industry kept telling us, ‘Keep your mouths shut. Why don’t you appreciate what you have?'” says Maguire.

That’s the context that’s always ignored when people talk about how the Nashville music industry turned on its own stars. Despite all of this, they still had a Number One radio single and a Number One album. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the whole Iraq War fauxtroversy popped up on their first post-Sony endeavor. It was a way of teaching the Chicks a lesson by a hubris-filled entertainment industry. That this lesson veered way out of control and ended up ultimately hurting the industry itself is just par for the course.

All of this is water under the bridge, and it’s a little off topic, but I figured some wingnut is going to go all “liberals-are-hypocrites” on this story, so I thought I’d get ahead of the game.

Anyway, Michelle Shocked is entitled to her opinion, as misguided as it may be, but her fans don’t have to subject themselves to it. And I don’t see any coordinated, industry-generated campaign to ruin her career as happened with the Dixie Chicks. I see an artist engaging in some very public self-sabotage for reasons I can’t begin to fathom but are probably rooted in the very toxic, negative messaging she’s been getting every Sunday.


Filed under gay equality, marriage, music and politics, pop culture

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 RedState.com 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