Saturday, May 21, 2011
In the hours that the bill was being debated, I could count on one hand the number of Republicans that spoke. The silence from their side was astounding; you could tell they just wanted to get the vote over and done with quietly. They didn't want to hear the reality that the DFL members were stating; that it was not only about letting other people vote on another persons ability to get civilly married, but that having this discussion in the public sphere will cause the worst to come out of people. We will surly see our friends at the National Organization for Marriage air adds attacking gays and lesbian families and appealing to the base emotions of Minnesota citizens. This will not only cause division in the community - as the DFL members accurately pointed out - but it will also have long term effects on the LGBT community, who will once again be coming under societies scrutiny and be subject to ridicule and hatred.
I am confident that the people of Minnesota will vote this amendment down, and will make it known that they approve of all types of families; but the harm that will come to our community from this discussion will be hard to overcome. Good luck to all of my fellow fighters in Minnesota, you have your work cut out for you. Stand firm in the truth, and we will defeat this attack on our families.
Friday, May 20, 2011
The bill that passed in the Senate today was a more watered down version of the legislation. Instead of blatantly stating that homosexuality could not be discussed in any way shape or form in grades K-8, the bill now only says that homosexuality cannot be a part of the "official curriculum" of the state. Though this is a tad bit better than the original legislations - as it allows students to ask about sexual orientation and get answers from teachers - in my opinion it still has the same effect.
As I have said previously in my discussions on this legislation, it is a backhanded approach to placating the social conservative element of the Republican party. It effectively singles out homosexuality as something that absolutely cannot be discussed, thus giving it a sense of "abnormality". Instead of showing that homosexuality is something that exists in almost all animal species and that there are family structures that are equally as valid as the "traditional" one, it idolizes one family structure and orientation over the others; effectively establishing a hierarchical ladder of values. It is interesting to note that the social conservatives have no problem elevating their own values above everyone else's - what this bill in effect does - but yet when the LGBT community just wants their values placed on an equal playing field as the social cons, the social cons cry indoctrination and a "gay agenda". I for one will never understand their hypocrisy.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Today I came across talk show host Michelangelo Signorile an article about GOProud and their leader Chris Barron in the Advocate. Though I do not necessarily agree with everything that GOProud states or does, I have always felt that the furor that many on the left throw at them has been unfounded. This has once again happened in Signorile's piece; for instead of actually addressing the issues that GOProud stands for and why they stand for them, he instead attacks Chris Barron and extrapolates those personal attacks as an attack on the organization as a whole. Not only is Signorile's piece an overall "ad hominem" logical fallacy, but it does nothing to constructively discuss matters of policy with gays and lesbians who lean to the Right.
Though Signorile states many things in the article, a few stand out to me. He first says that GOProud has, "a selfish devotion to Republican “fiscal” policies over civil rights" Though this analysis of GOProud might be accurate, it is not necessarily negative. For to members of GOProud, and many of their supporters, being gay does not define who you are as a person, so therefore LGBT issues are not the main compass for which party you support. You could, for example, be a small business owner and a gay man. Both issues are equally important to you, and therefore you might support the Republicans because you like their position on small business issues. That does not mean that you are "self-loathing" like Signorile states; instead it means that your sexuality is not the lens by which you view your politics, instead your view is based upon a much larger and multi-faceted lens. Some LGBT advocates will view this as denying who you are, and they are free to hold those views, but I personally do not wish to be pigeonholed into a certain ideological view and party because of a physical characteristic that I might have.
Then Signorile goes on to state, in so many words, that GOProud does not have an appropriate position on any of the important issues that should matter to LGBT individuals, such as Employment protections, gay marriage, hate crimes laws, etc. But does Signorile give us any of the reasons why GOProud feels these ways? Not at all; instead he states that GOProud takes these positions so that they can pander to the Republican base - a statement that could not be any farther from the truth! If Signorile did any sort of analysis on the positions that GOProud has, he would realize that their positions are actually quite principled, and not for political pandering purposes.
Lastly, Signorile goes on to say that GOProud is an organization that provides cover for those who are “anti-gay” in the Republican party, because they can point to these gay republicans and say “see we don’t hate gay people”. Thus, he says, we should all go running to the Democratic party. Though I see where Signorile is going with this, I don’t buy the logic or the effectiveness of that tactic. Personally, I think that it is better to go into the “lions den” of the Republican party and change it from the inside, a change that we can actually see happening in the party today, instead of fleeing to the supposed safety of the Democratic caucus. That is what real change looks like, the change that actually gets results.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
One criticism that has come from the Liberal, NDP, Bloc, and Green parties, has been that the elimination of the subsidy benefits the Conservative party and harms the other parties, because the Conservative party has a larger fundraising network. Though this might be the case, and Elections Canada data does show that the Conservatives have many more individual contributors, this is not a reason to fight against the elimination of these subsidies. In fact, the exact opposite is true. This shows that the other parties are out of touch with actual Canadians. If Canadians care about the political process or desire that they elect a government that represents their view, they should want to donate to the party themselves; the most energetic and devoted party followers are those who are directly tied to the party itself - mostly through direct financial contributions. Maybe that is one of the reasons why the CPC has a majority government, because they are directly tied financially and ideologically to those who have elected them.
One of the negative effects of the party subsidy flows out of this concept of weakening the democratic process. When a party does not have an incentive to reach out to the voters themselves and plead with them for donations, they become less likely to care about what their voters care about politically. They can make their platform without reaching out and seeing what their electoral base wants or desires. These party subsidies increase the divide between the party and their followers, by not making the party directly dependent upon the followers themselves.
Domestic Partnership Registry Under Attack - Does the LGBT Community Have Anything To Complain About?
But does the LGBT community really have an legitimacy to complain about this situation. Yes, they may have some legitimacy in decrying the fact that Governor Walker does not understand LGBT issues, or that he does not appreciate the trials that the gay community goes through. That being said, it does not have the high ground to complain about Walker using his executive prerogative to not defend a law. You see, the LGBT community cheered as California Governor Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Brown did not defend Proposition 8 in Court; they cheered when the Obama administration refused to defend DOMA in federal court. Governor Walker is doing the exact same thing as the previous two, only in this case the table of who benefits are turned.
Thats why the discussion of executive prerogative in defending laws has always been a very delicate issue for me. I see both sides, and I find myself agreeing with both sides. The side that claims you don't have to defend laws appropriately points out that these agents of the state are still enforcing the law. The other side makes a great point in stating that if we allow executive agents to selectively defend laws that it personally agrees with, the rule of law itself is threatened.
What do you all think? Is the Wisconsin case somehow different than the California and DOMA cases? If so, how?
In a similar vein, its interesting to note that social conservatives have not freaked out on Governor Walker, since they were the first ones to cry foul when it came to Prop 8 and DOMA. Hypocrisy anyone?
Sunday, May 15, 2011
This was a sign held by some of the people at the Ruben Diaz pro-"traditional marriage" rally today in the Bronx. Personally, I'm not tracking with the signs logic....but is logic really necessary? Same sex marriage = bestiality = abortion and death panels. Oh the Slippery Slope we find ourselves on.Tweet
We are at war!! Well, that is, if you listen to the New York Family Research Council - an ultra conservative evangelical Christian organization whose mission is "reportedTweet