Tag Archives: GLBT

This Is Not About Us Ladies

[UPDATE]:

Welcome, Crooks & Liars! Please see my update to this post here.

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I’m sorry, I thought this whole bathroom nonsense was really about punishing transgendered people for having the nerve to not be like everyone else. Much to my surprise, I learn the Sir Galahads in the legislature are really just trying to protect the ladies. Awwww:

The bathroom — more specifically, the women’s restroom — is the one publicly sanctioned refuge for women, a sanctuary from harassment and abuse, a safe space, to employ that overused phrase. In all my conversations and in all the articles I’ve read on this issue, I haven’t heard anyone express the fear that a person who was born a woman and now identifies as a man will cause harm if he enters a men’s room.

But the fear that a person who was born a man and now presents as a woman will lurk behind the stalls to attack unsuspecting daughters is threaded throughout objections to the bathroom mandate.

“We’re in denial about most of the violence against women in our society, and this brings it to the surface,” Ladin observed. “If I am in a women’s room and see someone who looks like a guy, I’m taken aback. It doesn’t make sense, except for the fact that women everywhere are exposed to violence.”

Indeed, in Tennessee as elsewhere, it appears this really is just about protecting us ladies. Again: awwwwwww.

Yes, if I had a dollar for every time a man dressed up as a woman so he could gain access to the women’s bathroom to harass me! You know, as opposed to just harassing me out in the open, which is where women are actually harassed on a daily basis. Seriously, guys? This is your argument? The “Tootsie” defense? Bullshit.

Why don’t we ask Republican House Rep. Jeremy Durham how often he dressed as a woman to harass his victims in bathrooms, instead of doing it the old-fashioned way? I’m going to guess the answer would be a big, fat never.

No, no. Your transphobia is your problem. You will not hide behind me on this one. This is not about me. It’s about you.

In my fifty-something years on this planet I’ve been to public restrooms all around the world. Oh yes, I’ve peed in big cities and small towns. I’ve used locker rooms at gyms and swimming pools in major metropolises and small rural burghs. I’ve peed in arenas and stadiums, libraries and museums, restaurants and bars, train stations, airports and shopping malls. I’ve showered at the Centennial SportsPlex in downtown Nashville and the fitness center at Lake Barkley State Resort Park in Cadiz, Kentucky. I’ve used pools and locker rooms in Los Angeles and Copenhagen and London and New York City. Good grief, y’all. In all my many experiences with public facilities in five decades on this planet, two things have never ever ever ever EVER happened:

1- I have never been harassed by a man dressed up as a woman;

2- I have never examined or in any other way even noticed another person’s genitalia, nor have I flashed my own. We go about our business with a certain amount of decorum in the facilities. We do not inspect other peoples’ business.

Have I shared a locker room or bathroom with a trans person? Maybe! Probably! I have no way of knowing. I’m not checking what’s under the towel.

I’m increasingly hearing this “we’re just thinking about you ladies” excuse and I find it incredibly offensive and condescending. If you guys really gave a shit about women and women’s safety you wouldn’t have blocked a paltry $2 million needed to address a backlog of thousands of untested rape kits two years ago.

No, no. This isn’t about us. It’s about you. Own it.

16 Comments

Filed under LGBT, Republican Party, Tennessee

Rep. Rick Womick Continues Anti-Gay Hissy Fit

Fresh off his unsuccessful attempt to have Gov. Bill Haslam impeached over gay marriage, loony Tennessee Republican (I realize that’s redundant) Rep. Rick Womick would now like the state of Tennessee to stop issuing all marriage licenses:

Womick is calling for Tennessee to revert back to a common-law state on marriage, the way it was before the Civil War, and stop issuing marriage licenses altogether.

“We as a state, as a legislature would then be standing up the Supreme Court and saying: ‘You are out of bounds. You don’t have the authority to tell us what we can or can’t do. And you can’t make us issue licenses not only to same sex couples but to heterosexual couples. You can’t make us do anything if it’s not in the Constitution,’” Womick said. “It is a state’s rights issue.”

“The way it was before the Civil War.” Yes, that’s a forward thinking party for you! Nothing says “bold ideas for the future” like a crackpot who wants us to revert to the way things were before the Civil War. He knows that was 150 years ago, right? (I have the sneaking suspicion that there are a few other areas of social policy he’d like to revert to how they were before the Civil War, too.)

Of course, Rick Womick is a certifiably crazy person, who believes Agenda 21 is a real thing and is convinced an “electromagnetic pulse bomb” was detonated outside of Shelbyville in 2013. For a medley of his hits, check out this recent run-down.

4 Comments

Filed under GLBT, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

Straight & Narrow Minded

Blount County, Tennessee, punted on its “please, God, go smite someone else” resolution: after crowds showed up to protest the item, the commission did the cowardly thing by not approving the meeting’s agenda and adjourning. That’s a principled action!

This is the part I love:

The resolution, sponsored by County Commissioner Karen Miller, has gained national attention. The resolution focuses on recognizing and protecting ‘natural marriage,’ or marriage between a man and woman.

‘I had no idea this was going to take place. I was totally in the dark. It’s a total surprise,’ said Miller.

Nobody could have anticipated. Nobody could have seen this coming. Nobody could have foreseen that a resolution that is…

…petitioning for God’s mercy and asks God ‘not to destroy our county as he did Sodom and Gomorrah’ …

… would turn tiny Blount County, Tennessee into a national laughingstock. Truly it’s a mystery to Commissioner Miller that this has generated any attention at all, forcing the commission to pull the plug on the entire meeting and scurry into their holes. Hoocodanode?

This is what I love about fundiegelicals. Putting aside for a moment the whole church/state thing, and the fact that not every person is a believer, and not every believer is a Christian, I think one of the most annoying things about the fundiegelical wing of Christianity is that they always think they’re the only Christians in the room.

They always think they speak for everyone else. In a religion with literally hundreds of different denominations and splinter groups, why do they always assume that their version of Christianity is the “agreed-upon” version?

Or maybe they aren’t assuming that, maybe they’re just asserting it. “Our version is the right version and everyone else has to live by our rules!” I mean, how rude is that? To just barge into the faith and tell dozens of other denominations that they’re wrong, we’re right, and shut up.

Look, there are plenty of Christian denominations out there which don’t buy into any of that anti-gay bullshit. And I’m not even talking about “fringe” wings of Christianity like the New Thought churches (Unity, Christian Science, Religious Science) or even those pesky Unitarian Universalists. Mainstream denominations (Presbyterian Church-USA, United Church of Christ, Anglican, Lutheran, Christian Church-DoC) not to mention splinters within the more conservative denominations (there is, believe it or not, a Baptist church down the street from me with an openly lesbian pastor).

So, you know, the fundiegelicals don’t speak for everybody, yet here they come marching in, acting as if they own the joint. No, you don’t own the joint. Shut up. Go away. Practice your faith your way and let others practice their faith their way, and let those who don’t subscribe to any faith also be allowed to live as they please. You’re not the boss of PCUSA or Disciples of Christ or anybody else. So rude. So ignorant.

And that goes for those people wanting to post the 10 Commandments everywhere, blithely unaware that there isn’t just one version. Or teaching Creationism in school: which Biblical version of the Creation are you wanting to teach? There are three in the Old and New Testaments. What arrogance to assume that your version is the one everyone else will agree with!

Get thee behind me, you useless idiots.

8 Comments

Filed under Christianity, gay equality, GLBT, religion, religious right, Tennessee

Kim Davis Again? Ugh

[UPDATE]: 2

But wait, there’s more:

Vatican says private ‘audience’ in D.C. was with gay ex-student, not Kim Davis

week after Pope Francis met Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk jailed for her refusal to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples, the Vatican on Friday suggested that she exploited the meeting to promote her views, denied that the pope fully supports her and cast doubt on her account of the encounter.

The Vatican later noted that Francis did have a private “audience” in Washington with a former student of the pope, Yayo Grassi, an openly gay Argentine who along with his longtime partner and some friends met with Francis.

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said in a statement that Grassi, “who had already met other times in the past with the pope, asked to present several friends to the pope during the pope’s stay in Washington, D.C.”

A video posted online shows Grassi embracing the pope and introducing him to his partner, as well as an Argentine woman and some Asian friends.

The statements together seemed intended to distance the pope from Davis.

I think that should put a stop to this Kim Davis bullshit. Back into obscurity with you, idiots.

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[UPDATE]:

I told ya so:

In a formal statement, the Vatican said Friday that Pope Francis’s meeting with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis “should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects.”

The statement, issued by the Rev. Federico Lombardi, Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, said it was not a “real audience,” suggesting that she was among a group that gathered to greet him and send him off.

I said it was a PR ploy by Liberty Counsel, a pathetic attempt to find some influential cultural figure to endorse their position. And even that was a fail. And the entire U.S. media got pwned. Again.

Well, at least it wasn’t WMDs this time.

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Since we have to keep talking about Kim Davis because she will not go away, people! let me explain to my liberal friends why I’m not concerned at all that she met with Pope Francis last week.

When I first heard this story I immediately thought it was a hoax. Then I thought it was just sad. To see Davis and Liberty Counsel shamelessly milk this event for all it’s worth reminded me of when the National Review released its lists of the top 25 conservative movies and songs. The poor dears! So desperate for some kind of cultural relevance! Pope Francis is a transformative cultural figure, and his U.S. visit was historic. It inspired people of all faiths from coast to coast. Of course this group would try to latch on to that, just like a flea tries to jump on a big dog. Gotta grab a little of this reflected admiration (and media attention), after all!

It’s a pathetic thing to watch. Liberty Counsel’s adolescent “see, I told you so!” moment falls apart when you remember that Pope Francis said nothing about gay marriage while visiting the U.S. But he did talk a lot about climate change, Christians’ responsibility to care for the earth, ending the death penalty, welcoming immigrants, and empowering the poor. So yeah, I’ll believe Liberty Counsel and U.S. fundiegelicals give a crap about Pope Francis when they take up those issues.

*crickets*

I mean, seriously. Remember when conservatives were all like “shut up, Pope Francis!” And now they’re all like, “we love Pope Francis!” Puh-leeze.This whole bit of political theater has evolved in a completely predictable manner. And it will be forgotten tomorrow as we move on to the next shiny-sparkly thing.

Meanwhile, the culture marches on toward inclusiveness while conservatives find themselves ever more marginalized.

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Filed under GLBT, religion, religious right

Conservatism Will Never Run Out Of Martyrs

I’m really tired of talking about/hearing about Kim Davis. This useful idiot has raised a lot of money for the religious right’s sad attempt to copy the ACLU, Liberty Counsel. And a lot of my liberal friends have taken to Facebook to point out how theologically incorrect Liberty Counsel and Kim Davis are, that nowhere does the Bible state that marriage is between one man and one woman (in fact, during the marriage equality debate several Biblical scholars pointed out that “Biblical marriage” is anything but what religious conservatives want it to be), and that Davis is a hypocrite herself. Yada yada, blah blah.

None of that matters, people. All of that is just silly yammering. Once again, liberals are arguing a point of logic and fact, while conservatives are arguing hurt fee fees about losing another battle in the culture wars. Look: the fight over gay marriage and the subsequent martyrdom of Kim Davis has zero to do with the Bible. It’s not about religion or theology. Like all culture war issues, it’s about conservatives’ lack of cultural relevance. It’s about how they’ve lost the culture wars and the poor dears just can’t deal with it.

Boo fucking hoo.

What we on the left really should do, every time a Kim Davis or Josh Duggar or Cliven Bundy pops up on the radar, is ignore them. Show them how irrelevant they truly are by not giving a shit about their martyrdom because they are irrelevant losing losers who lost.

Oh, I know it will never happen, right wing martyrs are like oxygen to social media. But not everything on Facebook or Twitter matters. In fact, most of it is as lasting as a fart on the breeze. So while Kim Davis may be a trending topic now, I guarantee you that by this time next year we’ll have forgotten all about her. Does anyone remember Crystal and Kevin O’Connor? Raise your hand if you had to Google the name.

Conservatism will never run out of martyrs because conservatives are perpetually oppressed. That’s what happens when you’ve lost cultural relevance: everything is always against you because you’re on the wrong side of everything. You lost and that sucks, but the right-wing machine thrives on martyrs, so we will continue to hear their tales of woe. They will continue to appear on Fox News and hatriot radio, they will raise money for groups like Liberty Counsel and the Alliance Defense Fund, and they will continue to proclaim their martyrdom because the woe-is-me attention is the only sense of relevance they’ll ever have.

Bless their hearts. I just wish we didn’t have to pay attention.

13 Comments

Filed under Christian Right, Christianity, gay equality, GLBT, religion, religious right

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.

7 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.

13 Comments

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