Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Show me the difference between the rhetoric - I dare you

Is it just me or is the opposition getting more and more hysterical.

This flyer to the left is from a group in Utah, America Forever.
It's a vile piece of mess that exploits every anti-gay stereotype there seems to be (including the Michael Swift life). And also, don't think I didn't notice that the couple pictured is interracial. I guess a little racism on the side never hurts.

Just ugly. And the section in the flyer comparing lgbt openess in the workplace to sexual conduct is especially offensive to me.

For the record, I am open about my orientation at work. On my office wall, I hang an award I received in 2007 from the local lgbt community center as the Harriet Hancock Volunteer of the Year.

I received this award for many efforts, including taking part in a Richland County Sheriff Department committee that looked at how law enforcement can better serve lgbt communities. I also took part in panel discussions on college campuses about lgbt issues.

None of this has anything to do with sodomy, except for in the mind of a homophobe.

But you know what - let's make things more interesting. Take a look at words of this email I received from the Family Research Council:

Please stand with me now and send an immediate donation to help Family Research Council fight back

February 17, 2009 Share with Friends

Dear Alvin,

President Barack Obama has unveiled his massive plan to silence the moral voices of America and reshape our country. He calls it "The Agenda."

Please stand with me now and send an immediate donation to help Family Research Council fight back.

Obama says we are divisive--because we object to immoral and dangerous behavior.

He implies that we are not patriotic--because we won't compromise our values to suit the radical advocates of the homosexual agenda.

We must be silenced, the Left says, and "The Agenda" lays out their plans to do that.

Hate crimes laws that could lead to penalties for Christians who publicly criticize homosexual behavior

Employment laws forcing businesses, even churches, to hire homosexuals (and indoctrinate employees)

Abolish the federal Defense of Marriage Act and other laws against counterfeit marriage

Yet most Americans disagree with the President's extremist views. Most want to:

Preserve the biblical definition of marriage

Be free to voice their concerns and Christian values

Protect schoolchildren from indoctrination that promotes dangerous sexual behavior

If we work together--we can stop "The Agenda."

Dozens of new congressional Democrats in Congress now represent moderate and conservative districts. They--and most Republicans--are open to our concerns.

Your prayerful support enables FRC policy experts to educate citizens and these members of Congress who can stop this disastrous plan.

So please send your most generous gift immediately. The radical homosexual activists have a champion in the White House, and they are demanding action.

Thank you for standing for faith, family and freedom. It is an honor to serve alongside you in this critical hour for our nation.

It's the same set of lies put out by America Forever, only done in a "nicer" way. If FRC is being attacked by President Obama, then their claims about the desires of "radical gay activists" give him and others who criticize them more than enough reason.

No matter how you dress it up, you never can totally disguise the smell of trash.

The religious right claims that they are only trying to perserve their beliefs and heritage but if these things they believe in entails stigmatizing lgbt relationships and reducing the dignity of our lives to ignorant stereotypes then I really wonder if their beliefs and heritage are worth perserving.

Because whatever these beliefs are, it's not the Christianity I grew up to respect.

Lies, inneundoes, and fear tactics have nothing to do with Christianity or any religious beliefs.
Tuesday's news briefs

Pat Robertson denounces Rush Limbaugh’s comments: He’s ‘not exactly thinking rationally.’ - A sign of the Apocalypse - I agree with Pat Robertson on something.

Fundie org issues dismal report card for the work of the professional 'Christian' set - And here I thought the religious right should be getting a failing grade on integrity and honesty.

As per usual, FOF is condemning gay 'Children' - On daytime soap operas where there have been rapes, murders, thieving, lying, cheating and all sorts of bad behavior (you know you enjoy watching it), nothing is worse than a gay wedding. I'm glad Focus on the Family makes things so clear.

Culture Wars Today, Culture Wars Tomorrow, Culture Wars Forever - President Obama's potential judicial picks are facing opposition before he even picks them.

A Party Fractured, GOP Conservatives Regroup - A political version of Friday the 13th. Fast as you think they are dead, they spring up again.
A short but interesting story on being black and gay in America

I suspect that the issue of being black and gay in America will be receiving more attention as the months go by.

We have seen certain incidents (i.e. the arrest of T.D. Jakes's son, the Morehouse column, the Proposition 8 vote that led to the absolutely ridiculous question "Is Gay the New Black") that points to the fact that this could be THE issue to discuss.

But let me tell you a short story from my perspective.

A couple of years ago (I think 2004), I read an issue of Ebony magazine featuring an article that asked the question "Is Gay Rights Civil Rights."

This article polled responses from six prominent African-Americans from poet Nikki Giovanni to civil rights legends Revs. Fred Shuttlesworth and Walter Fauntroy.

It was an interesting piece and all involved gave thorough and very intelligent answers on whether or not they considered gay rights the same as "civil rights" (meaning a comparison between gay rights and the Civil Rights Movement).

To me though, it wasn't what was said, but what wasn't present.

Not one of those six people were self-identified lgbts of color. This was something that I found difficult to fathom - the fact that Ebony magazine could not or chose not to find any lgbts of color to participate in this article.

It's not as if they weren't out there. I'm sure that Keith Boykin, Mandy Carter, Nadine Smith, Alex Robinson, or any prominent lgbts of color would have participated if asked to.

But Ebony magazine chose not to go that route. In a conversation where the voices of lgbts of color was vital and necessary, the magazine chose to send the connotation that somehow gay rights have nothing to do with the black community.

And that lgbts of color do not exist.

This short incident may not mean much to you but as an lgbt of color, it says volumes to me.

In all of these discussions about gay rights and black civil rights, that incident of forced invisibility always stays with me.

Even though sometimes I wish it didn't.