August 18, 2006

From Somebody Pretty Smart, This is Pretty Dumb

I'm referring to an editorial published in the Baltimore Sun by Thomas Sowell, a senior fellor at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. With that position, it is reasonable to stipulate that he is quite intelligent. That may extend only to book smarts, though. He shows an almost total lack of understanding regarding the issues involving same-sex marriage in this editorial.

Sowell scoffs at the notion that disallowing same-sex marriage is any type of discrimination. He cites this as an example:

"When the law permits automobiles to drive on highways but forbids bicycles from doing the same, that is not discrimination against people. A cyclist who gets off his bicycle and gets into a car can drive on the highway just like anyone else. "

It seems obvious to this learned man that GLBT people enjoy the same right to marry as heterosexual people, they must simply ignore their sexual orientation and marry someone of the opposite sex. See, aren't we lucky that someone explained that so clearly.

Sowell also uses some twisted logic by saying there is no gay marriage to ban because there has never been legal gay marriage.

Is that like saying women were not denied the right to vote because they had never actually had it? That sounds pretty stupid too, doesn;t it?

I'm sure Mr. Sowell knows a lot more than I do, but unfortunately not quite as much as he thinks he does. I hope he sticks to topics on which he acaually does enjoy some perspective in his future columns and doesn't attempt to use his ignorance to restrict the rights of other individuals.

August 17, 2006

ADF Gets Another Right Taken Away From Gays

The Alliance Defense Fund, a right-wing legal alliance founded by ministers like James Kennedy and James Dobson, won another court case in favor of homophobes when Georgia Tech University agreed to drop prohibition of students verbally injuring their GLBT classmates from the school's speech code.

Now Georgia Tech students can return to throwing around words like "faggot" without fear of any reprucussion.

Good job, ADF. That's something worth fighting for! Jesus wouldn't want his children inhibited from good old tradional name calling, now would he?

August 16, 2006

"Bye Bye Bipartisanship"

Wayne Besen, the head of "Truth Wins Out," takes a look at the idea of supporting GLBT-friendly politicians from both parties. He concludes that it is time to stop that and focus on getting democrats elected.

Here are some of his key points:

" my estimation, the Republican Party's hostility towards gay people is not something that can easily be fixed. The entire party will have to collapse and remake itself into an entity that does not exploit fear and prejudice before GLBT people can return."

"While most Republicans are not anti-gay, the party is still the undeniable home for most haters and homophobes."

"When Republicans finally leave the thrall of Neo Puritan preachers, the GLBT community can again responsibly resume bipartisanship."

These are all excellent points which I agree with. The level of support given to GLBT issues by the Democratic Party is certainly open to debate, but the efforts of the Republicans to legislate bigotry and write it into the U. S. Constitution is not.

Anyone who is a supporter of GLBT equality needs to strongly consider voting for any QUALIFIED Democratic candidate when they go to the polls in November. If the Republicans retain control of Congress, they could be successful in ramming through their amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage and chip away at other rights GLBT people currently have.

August 15, 2006

Faith or Values: Pick One

I continue to be fascinated with the dynamics of the African-American portion of the GLBT community. According to this interesting article in the Indianapolis Star, some black gays are choosing to attend churches that preach strongly against homosexuality so they can experience the energetic, passionate worship style they grew up with.

Jeffrey A. Johnson, the pastor of 13,000 member Eastern Star Church, addressed his attitude toward homosexuals, "I don't know of anyone who is openly gay in my church," Johnson said. "But if someone claims to be openly gay, then we'd pull them aside and . . . try to convince them to God's way and will. I want them to hear God's word. But they cannot serve in leadership and ministry with that kind of mentality. It's not just gays, but anyone who is outside of God's will."

Another local Indianapolis minister said, "We don't investigate and we don't interrogate and we just don't get into it. "We don't make it an issue, and we conduct our services based on who comes."

Soundsd a lot like the "don't ask, don't tell" policy in the U. S. Army, doesn't it?

Why would African-Americans subject themselves to this? "My church speaks to my gay soul, but not entirely to my black soul," said Robert Ferguson, a deacon for the Jesus Metropolitan Community Church who is president of Indiana Black Pride. "It's hard to not have the visuals, the music, the culture, if you were raised up by it."

It sounds to me like it's time for GLBT African-Americans to break away and start their own churches. Everyone deserves to opportunity to worship God and be accepted for who they are instead of having to pick one or the other.

August 14, 2006

AU Blasts Dobson For Turning Churches Into Political Operatives

Americans United For Separation of Church and State learned of a recent e-mail blast by James Dobson to political supporters that outlines his plan to use churches in eight states to mobilize evangelical Christian voters before the upcoming November elections.

AU's executive director, the Rev. Barry W. Lynn said about Dobson, the director of Focus on the Family, "He has made it abundantly clear that electing Republicans is an integral part of his agenda, and he doesn’t mind risking the tax exemption of churches in the process. Dobson wants to be a major political boss, and this is his way to get there."

“Congregations should not fall prey to Dobson’s shameless partisan schemes,” Lynn continued. “The Internal Revenue Service has promised swift and sure enforcement of federal tax law this year, and pastors should be aware of the danger to their churches’ tax exemption.”

Dr. Dobson and his ilk are finding some way to rationalize the fact that this political mobilzation through churches is, in fact, against federal tax law, which prohibits all nonprofits from endorsing or opposing candiates for public office.

If he's going to be a political leader, Dobson already has the selective, self-serving morals of one.

August 13, 2006

"Note To Press: Being Christian Is Not Anti-Gay"

That's the point made in this excellent op-ed piece by James A. Lopata for the In Newsweekly in Boston.

The entire editorial is well worth reading, but here's a good excerpt:

"The divide on gay rights is not a divide between gay rights supporters and Christians. There are Christians on both sides of the issue. The divide is between gay rights supporters and those who favor discriminating against gay people. That's it.

Let's stop pretending that religion has anything to do with this. Those who support discrimination may think that it is because they are Christian, but nobody, least of all the press, should let them get away with it.

Just because most - if not all - gay rights opponents are religious, doesn't mean that all gay people are anti-religious. The press needs to do a better job of ensuring that the Christian voice is heard on both sides of the debate. "

Leaders of the religious right have given bigots the cover of morality and "God's word" to practice their hatred of people not like themselves in a socially acceptable manner. By trying to be impartial, or even worse agreeing with them, most of the mainstream media has validated this approach by allowing it to go unchallenged.

For God's true voice to be heard, however, these people must be challenged!