Open Wide

Open Wide

Monday, November 17, 2008

What would FDR have done if he had to buy tanks from the Germans or Japanese?

Happily, the world has changed and humanity has outgrown war.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Response to passage of Propostion 8 continues to grow nationwide

In California, another legal complaint was filed today because it is believed that the Mormons did not properly and legally report all money and labor that they donated to the political cause of persecuting gay and lesbian families in California. The California Supreme Court also appears to be taking the legal challenges to Prop 8 that have already been filed very seriously. Meanwhile, California Attorney General Jerry Brown appears visibly aged since November 5th. Perhaps he is losing sleep over the prospect of having to defend Prop 8 in court while also defending the validy of all the same-sex marriages performed between May and now? To complicate matters further, county clerks across the state are unclear on when or whether to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses, and some appear to have made the decision based on subjective criteria. None appear to have made the decision in coordination with any other.

A nationwide protest planned for tomorrow, November 15, continues to attract national media attention. A "No-Gays-for-a-Day" nationwide protest is in the works for Friday, December 5, and Kathy Griffin has agreed to headline since her show is not airing on the planned date nor does she have any live gigs scheduled [and presumably her quote was met]. She plans on spending that day in the private company of Cher and Bette Midler.

In a less positive development, envelopes containing a "suspicious white powder" that turned out to be a "harmless substance" arrived in the mail yesterday at openly Mormon temples in LA and Salt Lake City. It is not known whether authorities are investigating the possibility that the envelopes were mailed by a Mormon (or Mormons) intent on making the LGBT community look bad (like that woman in Pittsburgh who carved a backwards B on her face and then falsely claimed to have been assaulted by an Obama supporter on the Drudge Report just before the election). After living in this country for thirty-eight years and paying attention to the news for about thirty, my best educated guess is that they aren't investigating that possibility, nor have they even entertained it. The authorities will, however, almost certainly use this episode as justification for further government encroachment on human and civil rights, especially in certain minority communities. Regardless of who sent them, the envelopes did cause the Mormons to temporarily divert money and labor that would otherwise have been spent persecuting gay and lesbian people, so I guess you could still say that every cloud has a silver lining [and maybe even magic underwear].

Monday, November 10, 2008

Passage of Prop. 8 in California catalyzes nationwide protests and resistance

It is now very clear that Proposition 8 was approved by California voters by a margin of 4.6%. This ballot proposition reclassifies gay and lesbian Californians as second-class citizens by reinstating a ban on same-sex marriages that was ruled unconstitutional by the California Supreme Court in May of 2008. This ban effectively withholds over one thousand special rights, responsibilities and privileges from up to 10% of the state's population. It is legally unclear whether the proposition will retroactively annul the tens of thousands of same-sex marriages that have been performed since the court decision that legalized them. It is also legally unclear whether the proposition will withstand numerous legal challenges that have already been filed against it.

The proposition passed with no small amount of financial and volunteer help from Christian extremists, many of whom, such as the Mormons in Utah and the all-male [wink] Roman Catholic hierarchy in the Vatican City, reside far beyond California's borders. Local nondenominational megachurches in California also contributed money and volunteer time to legally attacking the human rights of their own neighbors. If you'd like to know whether anybody in your hometown abetted this latest example of tyranny of the majority that will permanently stain American history books, you can search this database by specific name or browse a list of contributors by state and/or city. Hmmm, it appears that a John Templeton, Jr of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, president of the Templeton Foundation, felt so strongly in favor of persecuting gay and lesbian families in California that he donated a honking $450,000 twice. Must have a been a good year for him.

In GLBT communities across the United States, reaction to the passage of this punitive and ambiguously worded proposition has been unexpectedly swift, assertive, widespread, and well attended. The international press has even taken notice. Protesters appear to be focusing their resistance on the Christian extremists who made this theft of human rights their latest crusade in a long, ultimately unsuccessful series of reactionary attempts to force those whose behavior they take issue with because it violates some of their superstitions to live the way they do.

If you'd like to protest Proposition 8 yourself, you are invited to make a big creative sign and go to your local city hall, Mormon temple, or Roman Catholic cathedral basilica this Saturday, November 15 for a national day of protest. You can find specific information about any planned protests in your hometown here. In California the demonstrations began spontaneously immediately after the results became known and continue to this day, especially in the gay-friendly areas of West LA and the San Francisco Bay. A protest at the Mormon temple in Manhattan, NY also attracted thousands on Wednesday, November 12.

If public demonstrations aren't your thing but you still want to express your feelings about this perversion of democracy, you can chat with a Mormon missionary online. Fun questions to ask might include, "Which version of traditional marriage is most traditional, the one where there is one woman and one man or the one where there is one man and as many girls and women as the man can afford or keep captive?" Or, "Why do you hate gay people and want to steal their human rights and dignity when Jesus said to love everybody as you would yourself?" You can also feel free to boycott the states of California and Utah, the former being much more difficult than the latter.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Personnel cut-backs at local newspapers become increasingly evident

This characteristically alliterated blurb for a local Martha Stewart book signing ran in today's Daily News. Although the prose is perky and fun, it makes our "doyenne of domesticity" sound as if she's not a native speaker of English. Also, note the lack of punctuation at the end of the second paragraph from last, which could not be highlighted because it's not there. One has to wonder if they laid off all their proofreaders during the most recent round of layoffs.

It's time to take down the Halloween decorations

A 90-year-old woman has been living with the corpses of her deceased siblings for years, one of whom was last seen in the early 80s. Foul play is not suspected despite the presence of foul vapors. Lawyers for the RNC plan to file suit to determine if, or how often, each of the deceased voted in the past seven presidential elections.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Californians pervert the machinery of democracy to abet religious extremists in an obsessive drive to re-secure special legal status

The state of California, second in the United States following Massachusetts to ensure legal equality for all of its citizens, has suffered a temporary legal set-back in the form of a confusing, discriminatory, and punitive ballot initiative that was funded in no small part by Christian extremists from other states, including the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) in Utah. Although California election officials have not finished counting all the votes, the Christian extremists have already claimed victory in their obsessive drive to re-secure special rights for themselves and those who share their ancient, superstitious beliefs regarding the consensual sexual behavior of legally competent adults. Despite numerous appeals, it appears likely that California's gay and lesbian citizens will once again, at least temporarily, be designated second-class citizens to appease Christian extremists.