The Onion chimes in on gays in the military with a fuax general explaining that gays are too special to be placed in combat. According to General McBrayer, each gay individual is worth seven soldier's lives.
While the video is a spoof on the policy of Don't Ask Don't Tell, the actual rationale to prevent gays from serving in the military is also a joke...though not nearly as funny...or coherent.
Tagged as: Comedy, DADT, Gay, Gays In The Military, Homophobia, Humor, The Onion
Daniel DiRito | February 27, 2008 | 9:32 AM |
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Recent news events highlight some of the issues that routinely concern gays. It's not the first time and it won't be the last time that we see a confluence of events. However, as one reviews the content of these stories, one begins to see the connections and the consequences that result from the ongoing onslaught to demonize and deny gays the rights afforded to their straight counterparts.
The first item is the shooting of a gay 15-year-old boy in Oxnard California by his 14-year-old classmate.
Prosecutors filed a charge of murder with a hate-crime enhancement Thursday against a 14-year-old boy in the school shooting of a classmate who has been declared brain dead.
Prosecutors said they would try Brandon David McInerney as an adult. They changed the charge from attempted murder after learning that the victim, 15-year-old Lawrence King, will not survive.
Several classmates have said King would wear feminine attire, making him an unpopular figure with other boys at his campus.
King sometimes came to school wearing makeup and high heels, said eighth-grader Nicholas Cortez, 14.
Another eighth-grader, Michael Sweeney, said King's appearance was "freaking the guys out," the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
"He would come to school in high-heeled boots, makeup, jewelry and painted nails - the whole thing," Sweeney told the Times.
King was shot in the head Tuesday during a class at E.O. Green Junior High in Oxnard, police said. More than 20 other students were in the room at the time.
As I've read about this incident, the thing that struck me is the focus placed upon the "freaked out" reactions of the victim's male classmates. The notion that the mannerisms and dress of a gay student can be viewed as responsible for the irrational responses of the other students exemplifies the degree to which gay teens are victimized by the homophobic indoctrination happening in the homes of millions of families. Instead of having these reactions rebuffed, the attention...and the blame...is shifted to the source. Even worse, the source is dehumanized such that they are soon seen as an expendable representation of the ideological conflict.
It's one thing to not understand the behaviors of others...or to reject them...but it's entirely inappropriate to decide that one has the right to inflict hatred and scorn upon them simply because they are different. Our capitalist culture of conformity only exacerbates the problem. It's the peer pressure to have the right kind of SUV, the nice house in the suburbs, the right brands of clothing, the cell phone and the iPod...all the trappings that have come to be associated with meeting the norms of acceptability.
Further, there is little doubt that this particular brand of hatred (and many others) is taught to children by their parents. There seems to be a belief that simply being near a fellow student who is gay is an implicit threat that warrants and justifies a negative response. As such, the degree to which differentness creates dissonance...and the grounds for violence...has become a palpable pathology.
Not only is that wrong; it is a demonstration of the degree to which children are being encouraged to conclude that the world revolves around their thoughts, beliefs, and feelings. With this particular incident, I suspect the enabling attitude results from the actions of men like James Dobson and Pat Robertson. These religious zealots have sought to assert that the vilification of gays is biblically justified and supersedes the rule of law.
Let me be clear...these men and their organizations don't directly encourage murder or violence...but they frequently allude to events as God's wrath upon gays. At the same time, the mantra that activist judges are forcing Americans to accept the unacceptable further fosters a disregard of our judicial system and enhances a vigilante mindset. When this is done on a regular basis, they signal tacit approval to those who act inappropriately and lack the maturity and the ability to exhibit proper restraint.
Children in Christian schools and homes that embrace men like Dobson and Robertson are constantly bombarded with the assertion that gays are destroying the family and the values they identify with. They hear their parents supporting amendments to ban same-sex marriage, opposing the granting of basic rights to gay couples through civil unions, railing against the "militant homosexual agenda", opposing diversity training in schools, opposing any education that attempts to inform children about homosexuality without condemning it.
I'm of the opinion that enrolling children directly in these battles is harmful to their psyches and is likely a form of brainwashing. Hence, these children are led to believe that a war exists...a war that pits them and their families against a widespread assault from gays. Is it any wonder that some of these children take the next step and engage in the activities they associate with war?
Toss in the fact that some politicians have sought to characterize terrorism as another assault on our way of life and the religious beliefs we hold and one begins to see the possible pressures confronting some of these children. The holy wars they hear about each day suddenly become a subtle directive to act...to become a soldier and vanquish the enemies they come to believe threaten them, their families, and their way of life.
Let's look at another item in the news.
From The Mercury News:
SAN FRANCISCO - As California's highest court prepares to take up a case seeking to legalize same-sex marriage, two groups that failed to get gay marriage bans on the state ballot two years ago are trying again, one with backing from a prominent Christian conservative organization.
The groups, ProtectMarriage.com and VoteYesMarriage.com, have filed ballot language with the California Secretary of State that would, if approved by voters, amend the California Constitution to limit marriage to one man and one woman regardless of how the Supreme Court rules.
"The very fact that this is in front of the Supreme Court, I think, will highlight the need for voters to take the issue away from the courts period," said Andrew Pugno, a lawyer for ProtectMarriage.com.
By enshrining the two laws that already prevent gays from marrying in the state Constitution, both amendments would overrule the justices if they decide the current statutes are an unconstitutional violation of the civil rights of same-sex couples. The court is expected to issue it's ruling by early June.
The VoteYesMarriage initiative would go a step further, however, by prohibiting the state from granting gays the spousal rights and tax benefits of marriage, as it already has by allowing gays to register as domestic partners. If it passed, those rights would be eliminated.
Clearly, the rhetoric of these groups never seems to match their actions. Despite constantly stating they are simply upholding the religious sanctity of marriage and aren't interested in denying basic rights, they inevitably attach the denial of basic rights to their amendments. Time and again, these measures seek to erase any rights currently afforded to gays as they ultimately view any validation as a loss in their war to eradicate societal acceptance of homosexuality. While they carefully cloak their words when speaking in public (they hate the sin, but love the sinner), I suspect the tone is far more derogatory in the home setting.
If one listens to the constant references to the rapture and the end of days, one becomes aware of the simmering animosities that exist as well as the unspoken calls to engage the forces they deem will be responsible for facilitating them. Again, this constant vilification is apt to trigger actions that dehumanize and demonize others. The fact that young people frequently act out these prejudices simply affirms the pervasive and persuasive nature of the propaganda.
In the end, the rhetoric of intolerance has many victims. While it is impossible to condone the actions of the 14-year-old boy who killed his classmate, it is possible to see that he may also be a victim of a culture that promotes the initiation of bigotry and hatred in innocent children at an early age. Fortunately, many individuals have the capacity to adjust their perceptions once they have had the opportunity to encounter the people they have been taught to assail. Sadly, as is too often the case, the damage done can be so severe that violence is the inevitable outcome.
The fact that the parents of these children are not held accountable is a stain on humanity. We're left to hope it will someday be removed. In the meantime, the bad news will persist.
Tagged as: Bigotry, Brian McInerney, California, E.O. Green Junior High, Gay, Gay Bashing, Homophobia, James Dobson, Lawrence King, LGBT, Oxnard, Parenting, Pat Robertson, Prejudice, Same-Sex Marriage, Transgender, Transsexual
Daniel DiRito | February 15, 2008 | 10:14 AM |
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If you didn't see Mitt Romney's announcement that he is suspending his campaign, you missed the coup de grace of Mittens' prolific pandering. It seems that on the heels of contributing 35 million dollars to his campaign, repositioning himself on virtually every issue, and attempting to wipe away his record as the governor of Massachusetts, Mittens chose to feed all the red meat he could muster to the rapacious CPAC crowd.
I must say that Mittens "Not-Knute-Rocked-Me" right out of my knickers when he offered his illogical linkage of all that ails America with none other than gay marriage. Not only does Mittens connect gay marriage with moral decay, he infers that it is the final piece in the long progression from a responsible citizenry to a society filled with lazy welfare gamers who do little more than watch pornography while engaging in wanton sexual escapades that bear illegitimate children...and they do all of this without ever having to pay taxes.
All he needed to complete his cockeyed soliloquy...and what has to be viewed as the epitome of a compassionate Christian clusterfuck...was to assert that same-sex marriage is also responsible for the acceleration of illegal Mexican immigration. Poor Mittens...always one conservative criteria short of a trifecta.
Here's Mittens in his own words:
ROMNEY: In the 1960s, there were welfare programs that created a culture of poverty in our country. Now, some people think we won that battle when we reformed welfare. But the liberals haven't given up.
At every turn, they tried to substitute government largess for individual responsibility. They fight to strip work requirements from welfare, to put more people on Medicaid, and remove more and more people from having to pay any income tax whatsoever.
Dependency is death to initiative, risk-taking and opportunity. Dependency is culture killing. It's a drug. We've got to fight it like the poison it is.
ROMNEY: The attack on faith and religion is no less relentless. And tolerance for pornography, even celebration of it, and sexual promiscuity, combined with the twisted incentives of government welfare, have led to today's grim realities: 68 percent of African- American kids born out of wedlock, 45 percent of Hispanic kids, 25 percent of white kids.
How much harder it is for these kids to succeed in school and in life. A nation built on the principles of the founding fathers cannot long stand when its children are raised without fathers in the home.
ROMNEY: The development of a child is enhanced by having a mother and a father. Such a family is the ideal for the future of the child and for the strength of the nation.
I wonder how it is that unelected judges, like some in my state of Massachusetts, are so unaware of this reality, so oblivious to the millennia of recorded history.
It's time for the people of America to fortify marriage through a constitutional amendment, so that liberal judges cannot continue to attack it.
Fortunately, Jon Stewart has done a yeoman's job in deconstructing Mittens' moribund manifesto. Stewart focuses on Mittens assertion that he's withdrawing from the race in order to keep America safe from the terrorist onslaught that would result from a Democratic president's rush to admit and accept defeat> Mittens just can't allow himself to empower and encourage the terrorists...he loves America too much...not to mention that he loves his money and hasn't a chance in hell of winning the nomination.
In the end, I think Mittens should have run as an independent candidate...perhaps a Reconstructionist Republican? After all, who can name another politician with the ability to reconstruct his positions at the drop of a hat? Let's just hope that Mittens doesn't try to reconstitute himself into one of his remaining eight political identities. I'm of the opinion that it's best to let sleeping dogs...err...Mittens...lie. He does it so well!
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Conservatism, CPAC, Humor, Immigration, Jon Stewart, LGBT, Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, Religious Right, Same-Sex Marriage, Terrorism, The Daily Show
Daniel DiRito | February 8, 2008 | 1:25 PM |
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In an effort to reassert their relevance, Catholic Bishops in Spain are rallying their shrinking congregations to oppose the country's sitting government and it's leader, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. The Bishops hope to influence the March 9th election and remove the secular government that brought the legalization of gay marriage and more expedient divorce proceedings.
In Spain, the Catholic Church has a long history of participating in the blurring of the lines between church and state. For much of the Franco era, the church and the state had a mutually beneficial relationship that restored the Church to privileged status and provided it with state funding. Despite having apologized to the Spanish people for their duplicity with the dictatorship, it appears the Church has once again decided to inject itself into the Spanish political process.
While the Spanish clergy has released moral-guidance notes in most elections since Spain became a democracy in 1978, it has never before so pointedly targeted a candidate.
In December, the first church-organized protest in 30 years drew 1 million supporters in Madrid; Pope Benedict XVI spoke via video link. The capital's archbishop accused the premier of taking a "step backward for human rights.''
"I can't accept that they say laws made in this legislature are undermining democracy or are a reversal for human rights,'' Zapatero, who will have lunch with the Vatican's emissary in Madrid next week, said today in a radio interview. The church's attitude "has to change.''
Zapatero's Socialists led Rajoy's People's Party by 44.6 percent to 38.2 percent in a Jan. 21-31 poll by the newspaper Publico, and it isn't a given that Rajoy will benefit from the church's efforts against the government. While 78 percent of Spain's 45 million people identify themselves as Catholics, regular church attendance fell to as low as 27 percent last year from 36 percent a decade ago, according to polling by the Center for Sociological Research.
The church "isn't doing the PP any favors,'' said Francisco Llera, professor of political science at the University of the Basque Country in Leioa, northern Spain. "It may undermine the party's support among moderate, liberal and non-religious voters.''
In my opinion, the Catholic Church suffers from the ailment that so often afflicts those who crave authority and lack the ability to employ persuasion ...when they sense their power may be diminishing, they become even more dogmatic and authoritarian. While that approach may have worked in an ill-informed and under educated world, it seems fully lacking in this day and age. Unfortunately, like with so many other hierarchical institutions, their ability to adapt to change is negligible.
When that reality is coupled with the Church's checkered past...that being their long history of erring on the side of those powerful zealots who assured their existence at the expense of their adherence to their espoused values...one shouldn't be surprised by their declining influence and the growing perception that they remain a boisterous, though increasingly irrelevant monolith. Their expanding malevolence in the midst of a changing world simply hastens their demise.
Tagged as: Catholic Church, Divorce, Francisco Franco, Gay Marriage, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapateo, People's Party, Pope Benedict, Secularism, Spain
Daniel DiRito | February 8, 2008 | 11:09 AM |
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At long last, the infamous Dr. Dobson has elected to endorse a candidate for the 2008 presidential contest. Having eliminated most of the GOP's candidates in prior proclamations, "private citizen Dobson" has announced his support for Mike Huckabee.
I am endorsing Gov. Mike Huckabee for President of the United States today. My decision comes in the wake of my statement on Super Tuesday that I could not vote for Sen. John McCain, even if he goes on to win the Republican nomination. His record on the institution of the family and other conservative issues makes his candidacy a matter of conscience and concern for me.
That left two pro-family candidates whom I could support, but I was reluctant to choose between them. However, the decision by Gov. Mitt Romney to put his campaign "on hold" changes the political landscape. The remaining candidate for whom I could vote is Gov. Huckabee. His unwavering positions on the social issues, notably the institution of marriage, the importance of faith and the sanctity of human life, resonate deeply with me and with many others. That is why I will support Gov. Huckabee through the remaining primaries, and will vote for him in the general election if he should get the nomination. Obviously, the governor faces an uphill struggle, given the delegates already committed to Sen. McCain. Nevertheless, I believe he is our best remaining choice for President of the United States.
(NOTE: Dr. Dobson made these statements as a private citizen. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as a reflection of the opinions of Focus on the Family or Focus on the Family Action.)
Well there you have it...the good Doctor is merely expressing his personal opinion and the fact that the endorsement is the "top story" on the Focus on the Family action center shouldn't be interpreted as an admonition for his followers to get out and support the former Arkansas governor.
Yea, right! After all, we wouldn't want this and other "religious" organizations to lose their tax exempt status as a result of politicking. In other words, making sure they get and keep their followers money trumps their willingness to openly urge their flock to vote for a chosen candidate.
Apparently being forthright and honest is a virtue...and a function of skirting the law...so long as one first stays focused on the need to keep every conniving contribution that comes into the church's coffers. Priorities people, priorities.
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Evangelicals, Focus on the Family, James Dobson, John McCain, LGBT, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Religious Right, Same-Sex Marriage
Daniel DiRito | February 8, 2008 | 9:14 AM |
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OK, maybe I'm giving him too much credit...but the actions on the part of Attorney General Michael Mukasey to insure fair treatment for the LGBT employees at the Department of Justice is certainly a welcome sign.
Going back to the early days of the infamous John Ashcroft tenure, and continuing through the Gonzales era, LGBT employees at the Department have been relegated to second class status. Under the prior two AG's, a gay advocacy group has been prohibited from using the email system, bulletin boards, and meeting rooms to exchange information, publicize events, and gather with its members. Fortunately, Mukasey has decided to reverse that practice.
Mukasey informed leaders of DOJ Pride last week that the department would give it the same rights as all other DOJ employee organizations, said the group's president, Chris Hook. In a statement, Mukasey said the department will "foster an environment in which diversity is valued, understood and sought" and maintain "an environment that's free of discrimination."
DOJ Pride and its 110 members had been barred from holding an annual Gay and Lesbian Pride Month celebration since 2003, when then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft told the group that the Bush administration observed an unwritten policy of not sponsoring events without a presidential proclamation, Hook said. The group also was told it could not post notices of general meetings and events on department bulletin boards, he said.
"I do not know of any other employee-recognized groups that were denied access under these same conditions," Hook said. As a result of "what some would term a hostile environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees, the membership rolls have suffered."
"As you can imagine," he added, "it is difficult to let employees know of the group's existence when they are not informed of it in official department literature, or only through word of mouth." Hook said the group had more than 200 members when the ban was handed down in 2003.
Recently, when the group organized "DOJ Pride on Ice," a skating event, it was barred from placing a notice on the bulletin board in the department's headquarters building, Hook said. Other events such as meetings, forums and brown-bag discussions also could not be posted, he said.
Heaven knows that LGBT attendance at a skating event could undermine the Departments credibility...what with militant homosexuals wearing those "sharp" edged shoes and prancing around an ice rink. Maybe the groups organizers should have been waterboarded in order to give up their favorite potluck recipes?!
I have no idea if one can conclude that Mukasey will be an honorable Attorney General in light of his recent parsing on the issue of torture. He apparently has, at the very least, the decency to realize that a handful of homosexuals aren't a threat to the Department and national security.
Maybe the powers that be can now focus their attention on pursuing the real threats to America. Too bad Osama bin Laden isn't gay; perhaps he might have already been apprehended?
Tagged as: Alberto Gonzales, Department of Justice, Discrimination, DOJ, Gay, Homophobia, Humor, Ice Skating, John Ashcroft, LGBT, Michael Mukasey, Osama bin Laden, Torture, Waterboarding
Daniel DiRito | February 5, 2008 | 11:26 AM |
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