Category Archives: GLBT

Sign of the Times

Sign in front of what I affectionately call the Wingnut Bible Church located near my house:

WingnutBibleChurch

The Wingnut Bible Church appears in this space about once a year. Last year they were (illegally) advertising a fringe U.S. State Senate candidate. Every Memorial Day and July Fourth they put dozens of American flags out on their lawn, too. Because Jesus was totally all about America, you guys.

Wonder if they’ll go all in with the American flag display this Independence Day or if they’re so disgusted with SCOTUS that they’ll take a pass.

6 Comments

Filed under gay equality, GLBT, Nashville, Tennessee

TN Legislature Grandstanding Over Nonexistent Threat

Apparently Tennessee legislators are unfamiliar with the First Amendment of our Constitution because they have been crafting a “Pastor Protection Act” to make sure no pastors are forced to perform gay marriage ceremonies:

A new bill in Tennessee seeks to “protect” churches and clergy from performing same-sex marriages. But is it necessary?

The move comes after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage on Friday. State Reps. Bryan Terry and Andy Holt anticipated the Supreme Court ruling and have been working on the bill for several months, reports Nashville’s CBS affiliate.

Both representatives reject the validity of yesterday’s decision. “God is the ultimate Supreme Court and he has spoken. Marriage is between one man, and one woman,” Representative Holt said in a press release.

The proposed law would reiterate protections already in place. As Representative Terry noted, “The First Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees freedom of religion.” He also cited Article 1 Section 3 of the Tennessee Constitution and said “personal freedom of religion is protected and no human authority can interfere in the rights of conscience.”

Oh. So they know this law is unncessary but they want to “reiterate” protections already in place because Tennessee politicians can never pass up an opportunity to grandstand on the culture wars. Which they are always losing, I might add.

Hey, if you guys want to write in stone how you’re yet again on the wrong side of history, be my guest.

What this really comes down to, of course, is religious conservatives wanting to be protected from criticism for being on the wrong side of history. Sure as day follows night, there will be a case where a same-sex couple wants to use a pavilion or building owned by a religious non-profit and they will be denied — legally. And it will hit social media, and they will be mocked for their recidivist stance, and there will be pearls to be clutched and couches on which to faint, and once again conservatives will confuse free speech with the free hand.

This will happen because this always happens. Hell, churches around the South still have a problem with interracial couples.

So why don’t we dispense with the bullshit and remind everyone that nobody is forcing anyone to perform a ceremony they don’t want to perform — hell, religious groups have been refusing to officiate ceremonies between divorced couples, interfaith couples, etc. since forever. None of that is changing. Lots of churches already refuse to rent out their buildings for weddings to couples who are not church members. Why? Because weddings are a huge pain in the ass for church staff.

So nothing is going to change. And every time you idiots grandstand about how God doesn’t wants gays to get married and God Hates Fags and all that crap we’re going to mock you and tell you you’re wrong and call you names. And that noise is just going to get louder and louder.

[ALSO, let me repeat: Tennessee Republicans are really off the mark when they grandstand on the homophobic crap but can’t be bothered to grandstand with a vote of disapproval when the goddamn Ku Klux Klan holds their annual meeting at one our state parks.]

6 Comments

Filed under culture wars, gay equality, GLBT, religious right, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

Maybe David Fowler Should Just Shut Up Already

Here’s an interesting admission from David Fowler, the far-right religious nut who heads the Family Action Council Tennessee:

It happened on a family rafting trip in North Carolina.

David Fowler’s daughter went into the bathroom and never came back out. He sent his wife in to investigate and was later told his daughter had begun menstruation.

“For me, at the time, it was a relief my wife was there to handle a situation I felt utterly incapable of addressing,” Fowler said.

“It truly took both of us to raise our daughter; one without the other would have been a total disaster. My daughter might still think it was a total disaster,” he said with a laugh.

Fowler’s inability to deal with his daughter’s first period is supposed to be the reason we can’t let gays marry, which seems rather weird and not relevant. Should we remove all children from single-parent households, then? But beyond the illogic of his argument as relates to marriage equality, I have another question:

If David Fowler can’t handle his own daughter’s menarche, WHY THE FUCK HAS HE SPENT HIS ENTIRE CAREER TRYING TO LEGISLATE WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS????????!!!!!!

Just Go. The Fuck. Away.

5 Comments

Filed under GLBT, religious right, Tennessee politics, women's rights

That Not So Fresh Feeling (Again)

Sorry, Gov. Pence. But nothing says the GOP is the party of old, outdated ideas like defending your controversial anti-gay law with the argument that, it’s the same as a 1993 federal law signed by then-President Bill Clinton.

That was over 20 years ago, you disingenuous nitwit. Twenty years ago was not a good time for gay people. We had Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act. We had Republicans holding up the nomination of the first openly gay U.S. Ambassador (to Luxembourg, of all places!) for two years because of his sexual orientation. Clinton had to bypass the Senate to get this guy in his post.

Matthew Shepard was beaten to death and left to die on a Laramie, Wyoming fence in 1998, for God’s sakes.

So when I hear this “religious freedom” bill’s defenders say the opposition is being hysterical because this is no different from legislation passed more than 20 years ago, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for proving our point. Thank you for admitting, for all the world to see, that you do not have a new idea, that the real conservative agenda is rolling back the clock 20 years and voiding all the progress that’s been made. Thanks for making it all so clear, so those of us who believe in putting this country in “Drive” not “Reverse” have something tangible to point to. There you go. If you want to move forward, vote D. You want to move backwards, go R. We finally have our bumper sticker moment.

You aren’t the party of the future when the best you can do is tell everyone all of your ideas are staler than a 20-year-old loaf of bread.

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Filed under GLBT

Religious Freedom

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is threatening to pull its 2017 convention out of Indianapolis if Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs a bill allowing companies to discriminate against GLBT people under the guise of “religious freedom.” In a letter to the governor the denomination writes:

“Our perspective is that hate and bigotry wrapped in religious freedom is still hate and bigotry,” Todd Adams, the associate general minister and vice president of the Indianapolis-based denomination, told The Indianapolis Star.

Adams said the Disciples of Christ would instead seek a host city that is “hospitable and welcome to all of our attendees.”

I’d love to invite them to Nashville. After all, we’re the city whose Metro Council passed an anti-discrimination bill. Unfortunately, IIRC, it was later over-ridden by the bigots in our state legislature, so we don’t exactly have much moral authority on this issue. But can I just tell you how refreshing it is to see a church denomination take a bold stand on issues of equality?

More:

“As a Christian church,” it read, “we are particularly sensitive to the values of the One we follow – one who sat at (the) table with people from all walks of life, and loved them all. Our church is diverse in point of view, but we share a value for an open Lord’s Table.”

The letter was signed by denomination’s General Minister and President Sharon E. Watkins, Division of Overseas Ministries Julia Brown Karimu and Disciples Home Missions President Ronald J. Degges.

The Disciples of Christ has held its annual convention in Indianapolis three times since 1989. Adams expected up to 8,000 people to attend in 2017. The estimated economic impact would be about $5.9 million, according to VisitIndy.

Well, so much for Indianapolis. Two other major conventions have also alerted the governor that they will skip Indianapolis if the bill becomes law, one a music festival and the other the city’s largest annual convention, a group called Gen Con.

Look, there’s just no money in being a bigoted asshole. Just cut it out.

Let me also say, if your religion requires you to be a bigoted asshole, then I have no use for your religion. Can you just imagine? Whatever happened to “Love one another as I have loved you”? Of course, it’s not about the Bible. It’s about belonging to a club that needs to breed hatred and fear of “the other” to justify its lack of cultural impact. You people are supposed to go out and be salt and light in the world, that’s your Great Commission, and yet all you can do is fight for the right of a bakery to not make a gay couple’s wedding cake.

Losers.

14 Comments

Filed under GLBT, religion, religious right

Lamar Advertising: Hate Profiteers

Notoriously despicable billboard company Lamar Advertising is profiting from homophobia by accepting this billboard north of Nashville. It was apparently paid for and purchased by “concerned Christians.”

Yeah, this is why people are leaving the church in droves. Just stop the crap, already, religious people. Apparently the tone and message has prompted complaints:

Mayor Wilber said he’s well-aware of the discussions surrounding the sign; one resident called him to complain.

“Thought it was not fit for the time that we’re in, just thought it was out of place, just sent a bad message,” he explained.

Good for the people of Portland, Tennessee. And really, Lamar Advertising is profiting from this? What a horrible company. I’m reminded of this story from just a few years ago in which they refused to run ads from Georgia Equality, saying,

…”We just didn’t feel the copy was right for those markets” …

The offending copy?

The billboards proposed by Georgia Equality feature images of professionals, such as a male firefighter and a female doctor, and include tag lines that read, “I protect you. And … I am gay. We Are Your Neighbors.”

Yeah, so not right.

What a bunch of assholes. Profiting from hate never works, Lamar Advertising.

4 Comments

Filed under GLBT, religious right, Tennessee

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.

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Filed under GLBT, racism, Tennessee