Tag Archives: GLBT

Tweet Of The Day

From Tennessee State Rep. John Ray Clemmons, Democrat (of course), of Nashville:

JRClemmons

Clemmons is referring to the anti-GLBT counseling bill our Republican state legislature recently passed and which our Republican governor signed into law. Two counseling groups pulled conventions out of Nashville over the legislation, even though the Nashville delegation to the legislature overwhelming opposed the bills, in effect punishing those who agree with them.

And God, I am so sick of the hypocrisy. I’m sure the GLBT community really appreciates the thoughts and prayers of Republicans who have devoted the past few years to telling them who they can marry, where they can pee, which counselor they can see, which bakery and pizza parlor to do business with, etc. In fact, enter the search terms “TN anti-gay bill” into any search engine and you’ll find a long list of “thoughts and prayers” from Tennessee Republicans.

Oh lookie, here are some:

tn anti gay bill

Take your thoughts and prayers and shove them, you transparent, phobic, phonies. And stop telling me the enemy is “radical Islam.” The Orlando shooter didn’t need to go to Syria to learn how to hate gay people, we’ve got plenty of assholes spouting that shit right here at home. Some even have friends in very high places. The fact that the Orlando shooter was Muslim, not Christian, seems to be more a matter of time zones and determination.

14 Comments

Filed under Current Events, GLBT, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

But …. Trannies In The Bathroom!

While Tennessee Republicans gnash their teeth and rend their garments over Obama’s transgender bathroom order — even considering holding a special session over the issuethis happened:

32 arrested, included children’s minister, in human trafficking case

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Thirty-two men and women, including a children’s minister, were arrested on prostitution and human trafficking-related charges in Knoxville.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation made the arrests during a three-day operation called Operation Someone Like Me.

[…]

Two of the men arrested, including the children’s minister, responded to ads for what they thought were girls under the age of 18.

WATE identifies the minister as Jason Kennedy for Grace Baptist Church in Knoxville. The church’s website says Kennedy, 46, is a pastor for children from birth through fifth grade.

Court records say he allegedly responded to an ad on May 19 via a text message and was made aware another girl would be present who was underage. A $100 fee for a half hour of sex with both females was reportedly negotiated, according to court records, and Kennedy arranged to meet them at a Best Western.

The children’s minister is further accused of finding out the underage girl was only 15 upon arriving and saying he wanted to have sex with both. WATE reports court documents say he placed $100 on the counter and removed his pants before law enforcement took him into custody.

Would the moralizing Christian Republicans geeked out about gender identity please please please clean up their own houses first, before sticking their noses in who is using which bathroom?

2 Comments

Filed under GLBT, Tennessee

It’s Always About Disaffected White People

The same disaffected white people who listen to Rush Liumbaugh and rail against “political correctness” are flocking to Donald Trump and his promise to “Make America Great Again.” Problem is, America has always been great … for them:

Which America is he promising to us? If you ask his supporters, they say life has gotten worse for people like them over the last 50 years. It seems safe to assume that, in the eyes of Mr. Trump’s overwhelmingly white male fans, America was greater a half-century ago. Indeed, it was pretty great — for them.

It’s not just that factory jobs were more plentiful or that women and minorities were largely kept from positions of power. Large national programs that radically changed the country kept America great specifically for white men. New Deal-era systems like Social Security and unemployment insurance; rules that demarcated minimum wages and maximum work hours and protected unionization; and the G.I. Bill at the end of World War II substantially transformed the country and created a booming middle class. But they all purposefully left out most women and minorities.

It’s a little-remembered fact that the social safety net, that product of the Great Depression, initially was available primarily to white working-class men. Social Security excluded domestic and agricultural workers until the 1950s — jobs held largely by people of color and women. Ditto unemployment insurance and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Gays and lesbians, excluded from the right to marry until last year, of course were denied all of the legal benefits of such contracts: inheritance, property settlement in divorce, insurance benefits, Social Security spousal benefits, etc.

So yes, America has always been great for white men. Particularly straight white men. And these are the folks whining that America isn’t great anymore because they have to share their piece of the pie after 240 years? Get the fuck outta here.

I know this isn’t any groundbreaking news to liberals. I’m just really happy to see the paper of record acknowledge what’s really going on with this “Make America Great Again” nonsense. I’ve heard far too much about “wage stagnation” and “income inequality” as if it’s really economics driving the rise of Trumpism. I don’t think that’s it at all. I think it’s the same old shit that it’s always been: loss of white privilege. The news media seems awfully loathe to call out the racism in our electorate, as if it’s impolite to call things what they are. But there you have it.

Here’s something else I learned: watching one of the weekend MSNBC shows, I learned the last Democratic president to receive the majority of the white vote was Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. Gee, now what happened in 1964? Thinking … thinking

From a presidential perspective, that doesn’t seem to matter: we’ve had several Democratic presidents who managed to get elected without white peoples’ votes. Here’s a nice little run-down. We even managed to have majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate during that time period. So I’m really not too worried about my party losing white voters. If all they want to do is whine about how they have to share their toys, well, let the Republicans have them.

At some point this is all going to change, though. The generation that remembers when they owned the playground is going to die off and a new generation will take over. These will be people who grew up at a time when everyone played together; they weren’t alive at a time when others suddenly got the same rights and privileges they’d been enjoying for decades. That all happened long before they were born. It will be interesting to see what America is like when that happens.

7 Comments

Filed under 2016 Election, 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump, feminism, GLBT, racism

This Is Not About Us Ladies

[UPDATE]:

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

—————————————————-

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.

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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.

————————————————————
[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.

———————————————————————-

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.

14 Comments

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