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Currently viewing the tag: "LGBT Issues"

It’s always nice to see members of the base of the Corporate Party do something nice for the little people.*

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Surprised? Well, it’s true, even up to gay marriage. Human beings contain such multitudes, don’t they? (h/t: IDLYITW)

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Gloria Steinem tells it straight:

We were curious what the feminist icon thinks about women like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, who are not housewives, yet support traditional values and oppose abortion. “They’re there to oppose the women’s movement. That’s their job,” Steinem said, accusing the two politicians of “selling out” the women’s movement. “That’s just the way it is; it’s inevitable. Think about Phyllis Schlafly; there have always been women like this.”

Later, during a speech, Steinem elaborated. “I can testify, the very same things people were telling me 30 or 40 years ago — it’s against nature, you can’t do this, my wife is not interested — all these [people] are now saying, well, feminism used to be necessary, but it’s not anymore. That is the new form of obstruction. And, of course, it’s accompanied by the other natural thing that happens if you have a big social justice movement: You make jobs for people who sell it out. So we have Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, who are on my list of ‘the women only a man could love.'”

Palin and Bachmann are what results from when a movement gets co-opted by self-interested parties for their own reasons. They only count as feminist if you reduce the concept to some sort of generic assertive attitude, which was not exactly the point of the enterprise going in. A lot of that shift has to do with consumerism. Rest assured, in a decade there’ll be all sorts of people trying to make money by exploiting the gay rights movement to sell shit, and there’ll surely be reactionary conservative politicians tying themselves to Harvey Milk’s legacy. You’ve been warned. ‘Tis the way of things.

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Another success story to add to Marcus Bachmann’s theory of praying away the gay:

Emails shared with The Indianapolis Star suggest that state Rep. Phillip Hinkle — responding to a local posting on Craigslist — offered a young man $80 plus tip to spend time with him Saturday night at the JW Marriott hotel.

The emails, sent from Hinkle’s publicly listed personal address, ask the young man for “a couple hours of your time tonight” and offer him cash up front, with a tip of up to $50 or $60 “for a really good time.”

The email exchange is in response to the Craigslist posting in which the young man — who lists his age as 20 in the ad but says he is 18 years old — says, “I need a sugga daddy.”

The young man told The Star that they met, but that he tried to leave after the man told him he was a state lawmaker. He said the lawmaker at first told him he could not leave, grabbed him in the rear, exposed himself to the young man and then later gave him an iPad, BlackBerry cellphone and $100 cash to keep quiet.

I wonder if all these Republican drops in the “closeted hypocrite” bucket will ever finally spill over into a real reckoning about the GOP’s absurd crusade against evil homosexuals.


"Mmm, sexy." -- James Dobson*

Hat tip to Elizabeth, my significant other, for bringing Dobson’s second (at least!) bout of caring far too much about the sexual orientation of SpongeBob SquarePants. I should be fair and admit that the evangelicals I know found this particular story is as buffoonish as I did the last time it came out, but the fact is that Dobson’s hyperimaginative homophobic projection is really just an exaggeration of what a lot of right-wing Christianists do on a normal basis. That he’s taking it this far just helps discredit the right’s larger argument. Dobson’s nuttiness is not an asset for right-wing Christians, but it’s a boon for those of us who oppose their policy preferences.

* Not intended to be a factual statement.

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As President Obama honored fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday, three members of the Westboro Baptist Church protested the ceremny, holding signs that read “Pray for more dead soldiers” and “God hates your prayers,” as the controversial group has become known to do. They were met by about 70 counterprotesters, including members from a group just as contentious as the church: the Ku Klux Klan.

Dennis LaBonte, who told CNN he was a military veteran and the “imperial wizard” of a KKK chapter, said the approximately 10 members of the group came in “support of the troops.” LaBonte, who said he’s not a “hate-monger,” said he “thinks that it’s an absolute shame that [the WBC] show up and disrupt people’s funerals.” The group was cordoned off in a separate area and reportedly “drew little attention.”

Yup, the KKK is more pissed off about a homophobic asshole like Fred Phelps than they are about President Darky McZulu-Commie poisoning Arlington National Cemetery with his anti-white, anti-colonial blackness.

“And now, in other news, Zombie Hitler calls Nancy Grace “A bitch, too far beyond the pale.  A real schweinehund.”

The arc of history, and all that…

via Anne Laurie

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Tina Nguyen takes aim at left-wingers angry at gay people for voting Republican:

The head of the Human Rights Campaign went apoplectic when 30% of gay voters went Republican in the 2010 election, accusing the apostates of expecting too much from poor Obama.  And according to GOProud’s Chris Barron, 95% of the group’s hate mail and criticism comes from leftists shocked that gay people could be more than one-issue voters.  It’s no accident that radical anti-gay writers like Ryan Sorba quote radical gay activists favorably – they both agree that under no circumstances should gay people be allowed to have anything resembling political self-determination.

This narrow-mindedness on the part of LGBT activists is not just an affront to the personal freedom championed by Gaga, it’s also a toxic form of oppression. Despite gay and lesbian voters increasingly voting Republican, Democrats insist that the LGBT community is theirs and theirs alone, unwilling to recognize that maybe, just maybe, that 30% of LGBT voters in 2010 decided that the economy was a more pressing issue.  With the highly publicized drama over DADT’s repeal and DOMA’s sidelining last year, they likely saw that Democrats don’t mind bluffing with their muffins of promised gay civil rights. Behind the DNC’s poker face is a monster playing a love game with their voters, willing to throw its sexual minority constituencies off a balcony for political purposes.  (It took our beloved Gaga three months of lobbying the Senate Dems to get DADT repealed—and that’s after donning the Meat Dress.)

I think there’s truth to a lot of this (though it’s worth noting that the last two years were true watershed on the matter of gay rights). Then again, McCain won 26% of LGBT voters in 2008, so 30% isn’t really a hugely impressive number in a good Republican year. Still, there’s no denying that there are a number of left-of-center people who really get bothered by the fact that about a quarter of gay voters vote Republican, or a tenth of Black voters cast for the GOP. I’ve interacted with a number of them.

But if there’s one thing Nguyen doesn’t grasp here, it’s the why. I’m not sure polling would get at this, and I’m not aware of detailed studies or anything else so I’m just going to go with my gut intuition based on my experience, which is: it’s a factor of frustration and sheer incomprehensibility. I personally don’t get irritated about this kind of stuff (I believe my reaction to gay voters voting Republican would be something along the lines of, “Good luck with that!”), but you have to think about the bigger picture. You have one party that’s broadly supportive of gay rights. You have another that’s broadly not. For a lot of activists, it simply wouldn’t make any sense why any gay voters would ever vote Republican. I’ve heard some variations on this with Black voters, since it’s a part of the Republican rulebook to try to keep Black voters from voting, period, even in blue states and even with moderate candidates. Of course, this is small potatoes compared to the most frequent despairing liberal argument of this type, which is the old chestnut of why do downscale voters ever vote for the GOP? After all, it’s against their economic interests to do so. Which is a good point, though the argument is usually delivered in such a way that downscale voters would probably not be very receptive to it.

The disconnect here is that the left sees its policies on key subjects as superior to those of the Republicans, and find it difficult to understand why Democrats don’t get all of the votes from these groups. The reason for that is because those aren’t the only issues that matter to their respective groups. It doesn’t make sense to me to overlook such big issues, but it’s not my decision. Still, one hardly hears this about every group that votes Democratic. With LGBT in particular, I’d say the fact that Republicans spent much of the last decade trying to demonize them solely to win elections that makes the act of their voting Republican just seem nuts.

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