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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Today in Gay Rights: Backwards and Forwards

In Congress, the House today passed the hate crimes bill (formerly known as the Matthew Shepard Act) by 249-175; Ted Kennedy has introduced the companion bill in the Senate, and the President has said he will sign it when it reaches his desk.

To be honest, fellas, I'm still not certain exactly and precisely how a hate crimes bill protects anyone from being beaten or murdered; but I am certain that the right-wing bigots are furiously against the measure. As witness Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) calling Matthew Shepard's murder a "hoax," claiming he was merely a robbery victim, not targeted because of being gay, which is utterly false, by his killers' own admission. Later in the day, Foxx put out an oily apology for using the word "hoax," but kept up her opposition.

--Meanwhile, in New Hampshire today, the state Senate unexpectedly passed an equal marriage bill already approved by the state House; now the bill goes to committee to iron out minor differences between the two versions.

--In Virginia, a major precedent was set for transgender people: U.S. District Judge James Robinson ruled Tuesday that Diana Schroer (formerly David) was entitled to nearly half a million dollars in damages because of sex discrimination, after she was turned down for a position with the Library of Congress. The judge said that's sex discrimination under the civil rights statutes, and threw the book at the government.

--But in Iowa, where same-sex marriage became a reality this week, a Des Moines couple published an editorial and this video about the terrible, terrible dangers of being caught up in the "homosexual cult" - yup, cult - on behalf of the Iowa Family Policy Council. Up till about the 5-minute mark, you think it's going to be a sweet, heartwarming memorial about their late son; but listen to the ending. You need to watch this so you're prepared when righteous Aunt Betty brings it up at the next family gathering:

And also notice how many times the subject of money comes up, and how important that is to them; oh yeah, I know the type of toxic parents who speak that kind of language - the type who are usually very controlling and very rejecting. My parents weren't that way, thank God, but I've known of several who were that way among my friends' families.

And I can picture the scenario: after many years in the closet, he finally got the nerve to come out; but then he got sick and very scared; oh no, God's judgment on me; and back home, dying, under the reproachful eyes of Mom and Dad, like a good prisoner he recanted his queer misdeeds and told his tormentors exactly what they wanted to hear, so he could die in peace. Maybe he even worked himself into believing that the nonsense he was saying was true; anything to get right with God and the parents before it's too late, and the fiery pit looms.

And notice how, even in death - their son still isn't good enough for them. He still doesn't measure up. He still hasn't earned their love - and never will.

They're ashamed of their own son, who defied them for a short time and lived his own life, disobeying the rules. They still haven't forgiven him, or accepted him.

They even look like the couple in Grant Wood's American Gothic. And just as cold. They didn't love their son, they owned him. How fucking pathetic.

--On a positive note, here's a brilliant refutation of Christianist lies about same-sex marriage by a guy named Rob Tisinai. Never heard of him before, but hope to hear a lot more from him. He's good.

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