Bruce Garrett Cartoon
The Cartoon Gallery

A Coming Out Story
A Coming Out Story

My Photo Galleries
New and Improved!

Past Web Logs
The Story So Far archives

My Amazon.Com Wish List

My Myspace Profile

Bruce Garrett's Profile
Bruce Garrett's Facebook profile

Blogs I Read!

Wayne Besen

Box Turtle Bulletin

Daily Kos

Mike Daisy's Blog

The Disney Blog

Disney Gossip

Brad DeLong

Dispatches From The Culture Wars

Epcot Explorer's Encyclopedia

Envisioning The American Dream


Ex-Gay Watch


Joe. My. God

Made In Brazil

Peterson Toscano

Progress City USA




Fear the wrath of Sparky!

Truth Wins Out Blog

Wil Wheaton

Gone But Not Forgotten

The Rittenhouse Review

Steve Gilliard's News Blog

Steve Gilliard's Blogspot Site

Great Cartoon Sites!

Howard Cruse Central

Tripping Over You
Tripping Over You


Scandinavia And The World

Dope Rider

The World Of Kirk Anderson

Ann Telnaes' Cartoon Site

Ted Rall

Bors Blog

John K

Penny Arcade

Friendly Hostility

Downstairs Apartment

Other News & Commentary

Amtrak In The Heartland

Corridor Capital

Maryland Weather Blog

Foot's Forecast

All Facts & Opinions

Baltimore Crime



Page One Q
(GLBT News)

Michelangelo Signorile

The Smirking Chimp

Talking Points Memo

Truth Wins Out

The Raw Story


International News & Views


NIS News Bulletin (Dutch)

Mexico Daily

The Local (Sweden)

News & Views from Germany

Spiegel Online

The Local

Deutsche Welle

Young Germany

Fun Stuff

It's not news. It's FARK

Plan 59

Pleasant Family Shopping

Discount Stores of the 60s


Photos of the Forgotten


Comics With Problems

HMK Mystery Streams

Mercedes Love!

Mercedes-Benz USA

Mercedes-Benz TV

Mercedes-Benz Owners Club of America

MBCA - Greater Washington Section


Mercedes-Benz Blog

BenzWorld Forum

Archive for June, 2009

June 29th, 2009

Return Of The Cartoonist

Life happens.  My cartoon pages have been terribly neglected recently and I apologize to those of you who enjoy that part of the site more then this one. 

When I included the political cartoon page, my goal was to do one a week.  I was frustrated then, and still am, by the disinterest of mainstream political cartoonists in the gay rights struggle.  They were not nearly so reticent about racial equality in America, although now that I think of it, the women’s rights struggle also got pretty short shrift from them too…at least among the male cartoonists.  Most of them are pretty terrible at dealing with issues of gender.  Witness Pat Oliphant, who I mostly admire for his style and willingness to let a cartoon deal with a subject (like racism) passionately.  That’s a rare quality in a political cartoon these days, and getting rarer.  But he once portrayed the equal rights amendment as a Wagnarian fat lady, decked out in a ridiculous Brunhilde costume. 

It’s gotten better in recent years, as the gay rights movement seems to have finally found acceptance as a legitimate issue in mainstream news.  But it’s still not great.  Some prominent and well respected cartoonists still can’t seem to get beyond treating the whole subject as a joke. 

Now I’m hardly the only gay cartoonist out there.  There are many others, most of them a lot better at the drawing board then I am.  But I still don’t see anyone else out there taking on this subject in the traditional political cartoon format.  What I see are many excellent multi-panel cartoons…often done in a slice-of-life style…documenting our lives and our struggle.  The best of them is Howard Cruise, whose artwork is a level of draftsmanship I will never be able to touch.  He is an amazing story telling, as are cartoonists Robert Kirby, David Kelly and Robert Triptow who all contribute these absolutely wonderful gay slice-of-live comics.  Cartoonist Willie Hewes, who I came to know through the Love Won Out protests, did an absolutely stunning zine style comic on the topic of forced conversion therapy, and she continues to produce first rate comics on gay issues. 

These are not a trivial things.  The more the stories of our lives can get out there where they be seen, the more our heterosexual neighbors can see us as human beings, and not the monsters we’re made to be by the religious right.  But none of them do political cartoons in the traditional form.  Single panel, black and white, whose impact comes largely from the imagery it uses to convey a point of view.  You take one glance at it, and it hits you squarely with its message.

As I am a gay man myself, and in love with the political cartoon as an art form ever since I was a teenager, I consider this topic my particular beat.  But the cartoons have been absent for quite a while now.  That’s partly because my personal life has been relentlessly crowding out my time at the drafting table.  But also because I just got tired of being angry all the time.  Another reason I started the political cartoon page, was to have a way of venting a little of the anger I always seem to be carrying around with me.  You live a life that is constantly under attack by massively financed right wing anti-gay machines and it’s hard not to be angry all the time.  What I discovered was that simply researching the material for each week’s cartoon just made me angrier.  After a while, I got tired of being angry all the time.

I’d wanted to see if I could sustain a weekly output.  I found that I could…the material was, unfortunately, abundant…but it became less and less rewarding.  But I never quite stopped altogether.  I have dozens of cartoons that never made it to the scanner.  Things I drew intending to post here, and then never finished because I lost steam in the middle of it.  

Well that’s about to change.

Several weeks ago, during a Baltimore Guerrilla Gay Bar event, I met Steve Charing, editor of Baltimore OUTLoud.  He’s invited me to contribute a political cartoon to his bi-weekly newspaper.  I just turned in my first one and hopefully it gets published in this week’s edition.  Now I have a steady gig, and I’ve got the drafting table all fired up again and I’m hot to go.  I’m going to finish off some of the cartoons that never made it to the scanner and post them here over the next few weeks.  And I’ll be posting the cartoons I send to OUTLoud, a week after they appear in the paper.

The bi-weekly time frame of OUTLoud gives me some breathing room, but at the same time I want to see if I can get back to doing these on a weekly basis.  Again, regrettably, there is no dearth of material for me out there.  But don’t expect one every week for now.  The bi-weekly OUTLoud cartoon however, will continue for as long as Steve wants me in his paper.  I really appreciate his giving me this opportunity.

Hopefully, this will also kick-start A Coming Out Story.  If I don’t knuckle down on that one I’ll still be working on it when I’m 100.

[Edited a tad…]

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Return Of The Cartoonist

June 27th, 2009

Message From A Stonewall Adult, To A Post-Stonewall Kid…

The day after the homos rioted in Greenwich Village, the New York newspapers barely mentioned it.  But that was par for the course back in the 60s.  I was a fifteen year old kid when it happened, growing up in the Maryland suburbs of Washington D.C., and didn’t hear about the riots until I was well into my own coming out to myself process in 1971.  By then, the scruffy, angry, younger gay liberation front was rudely elbowing aside an older generation of more genteel suit and tie activists, who had tried with painfully little to show for it, to work within the system for change. 

You’d have thought the gay civil rights movement had begun on the street in front of the Stonewall Inn.  It didn’t.   In the lightning flash of the Stonewall riots we lost sight for a while of how much courage it would have taken to picket for gay rights in front of the White House, as activist Frank Kameny and members of the Mattachine Society of Washington did on April 17, 1965.  Kameny was rightfully honored recently at a White House ceremony, and received an official apology for being fired in 1957 from his position as an astronomer for the Army map service.  People think the McCarthy witch hunts of the 1950s were all about ferreting out communists in government and industy.  But homosexuals were just as much, if not more of a target then.  We need to remember the staggering courage it took for those early pioneers in the struggle to come forward, and push back against the hate.  But we also need to remember this

A prominent Stonewall myth holds that the riots were an uprising by the gay community against decades of oppression. This would be true if the “gay community” consisted of Stonewall patrons. The bar’s regulars, though, were mostly teenagers from Queens, Long Island and New Jersey, with a few young drag queens and homeless youths who squatted in abandoned tenements on the Lower East Side.

I was there on the Saturday and Sunday nights when the Village’s established gay community, having heard about the incidents of Friday night, rushed back from vacation rentals on Fire Island and elsewhere. Although several older activists participated in the riots, most stood on the edges and watched.

Many told me they were put off by the way the younger gays were taunting the police — forming chorus lines and singing, “We are the Stonewall girls, we wear our hair in curls!” Many of the older gay men lived largely closeted lives, had careers to protect and years of experience with discrimination. They believed the younger generation’s behavior would lead to even more oppression…

And thus the phrase "militant homosexuals" entered the vernacular.  But all it takes to become a Militant Homosexual is to simply believe there is nothing wrong with you and behave accordingly.  There is nothing unusual about people getting angry when they are mistreated.  There is nothing remarkable about people fighting back when their basic human rights are denied them.  There is nothing less surprising then to witness lovers protecting and defending the sacred ground between them.  Especially young lovers.  When someone utters the phrase "militant homosexuals", what you should be hearing is: I Can’t See The People For The Homosexuals.

The older generation had grown up in a time when homosexuality was almost universally regarded as a dirty secret, a filthy perversion, the less spoken of the better.  As new studies began to show that we were a natural part of the human family after all, that generation began, very courageously, to take that message to the public.  See…we’re just like you after all…  And so we are, the ordinary among us and the exotic both.  But you can’t reason someone out of something they didn’t reason themselves into. 

As long as the rest of society could look the other way while our lives were drowned in a sea of prejudice and hate, we would never make any progress.  As long as the rest of society could ignore the toll prejudice was taking on our lives, that prejudice would keep doing its work on us.  That night in June of 1969, the frustration of the young and outcast simply boiled over.  And the rest of us saw something we had never seen before: gay people, angry gay people, fighting back.  And it lit a fire in us.  And we would never be the same.  Because a few street kids and drag queens simply had enough, that one night, that one time.

There are times when it’s wise to listen to what the older generation has to say.  We’ve been there…we took the hits…we saw it all with our own eyes.  But never…Never…let someone old enough to have achieved some measure of success, and made a good and comfortable life for themselves, tell You what you have to put up with. 


by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Message From A Stonewall Adult, To A Post-Stonewall Kid…

June 25th, 2009

Heroes Of The Culture War #721…Collect The Entire Series!

As Jim Burroway remarked last night on Facebook, I had no idea "Hiking the Appalachian Trail" meant that…

Mark Sanford.  Republican.  Conservative.  Sexual moralist.  Fierce defender of Traditional Marriage.  Protecting innocent children from the homosexual agenda.  Upholding his state’s reputation as a place decent normal families can come visit…


S.C. Governor demands personnel and procedure changes in tourism fracas

When South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford learned that his state was being advertised as a gay tourism destination, he ordered a Cabinet-level department head “to do the right thing personnel-wise or process-wise to ensure this does not happen again,” Sanford’s spokesman Joel Sawyer told Q-Notes.

Sanford was reacting to U.S. media reports that a subway poster mounted in London, England, during Gay Pride week was announcing, “South Carolina is so gay.”

A state employee who approved the ads was called to a meeting with management and resigned, according to Marion Edmonds, spokesman for the state’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (PRT).

If the employee broke any rule in the conduct of her job, it was apparently an unwritten one.

Governor Sanford mandated that PRT director Chad Prosser will from now on have to personally sign off on all advertising campaigns, Sawyer said.

Drum roll please…

Sanford admits to affair

S.C. Governor Mark Sanford has admitted to being unfaithful to his wife, and stated in his press conference at 2:30 p.m. that this was the reason he was in Argentina for Father’s Day instead of at home with his family.

I don’t want to hear one more word about how horrible it is that teh gays hold their parades every year on Father’s Day.  Oh…and his mistress is also married…

Seemingly fighting tears at times, he said the situation holds a certain irony. He said his mistress is also married and has two children.

Good thing we have people like you keeping children safe from all those same-sex households, so they won’t grow up with a twisted set of values.

Another day…another anti-gay culture warrior pops out of the philanderer closet. So…"I believe in traditional marriage" is a euphemism for "I’m cheating on my spouse" is it? 

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

June 17th, 2009

Heros Of The Culture War #455…Collect The Entire Series!

Nevada Senator John Ensign.  Republican.  Conservative.  Sexual moralist.  Fierce defender of Traditional Marriage.  Adulterer…

SEN. JOHN ENSIGN’S ADMISSION: ‘Last year I had an affair’

Calling it "absolutely the worst thing that I’ve ever done in my life," U.S. Sen. John Ensign admitted Tuesday that he had an affair with a campaign staffer last year.

It was with a staffer who worked on his senate campaign.  Oh…and her husband worked in his senate office.  Oh…  And He’s A Promise Keeper.

"If there was ever anything that I could take back in my life, this would be it," Ensign, 51, said Tuesday afternoon in Las Vegas, reading from a prepared statement in a brief news conference at which he took no questions.

But none of This

During the height of the scandal surrounding Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, the Nevada Republican denounced the president’s conduct as "an embarrassing moment for the country."

‘I think we have to feel very sad for the American people and Hillary and Chelsea,’ he said.

Weeks later, Ensign would call on Clinton to resign. "I came to that conclusion recently, and frankly it’s because of what he put his whole Cabinet through and what he has put the country through," he was quoted saying at the time. "He has no credibility left," he added.

At the time, Ensign was in a tight Senate race with incumbent Harry Reid, an election he would ultimately end up losing. And he didn’t shy away from trying to exploit the moral trip-ups in Clinton’s personal life to benefit himself and the GOP.

"It could have a dramatic effect on Democrats like (President Nixon’s resignation after the Watergate scandal) had on Republicans in 1974," he said, according to a local AP article from September 14, 1998.

In fact, not only did Ensign envision the Lewinksy affair as a political boon for Republicans, he actively made it an issue in his campaign against Reid. At one point during the campaign, Ensign accused his opponent of having a double standard when it came to politicians and sexual dalliances. Reid, he argued, had been much tougher on former Sen. Robert Packwood — who resigned from the Senate under allegations of sexual harassment — than he was with Clinton.

Or This

Ensign would support amendment banning gay marriage

Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., said he would support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Ensign cautioned that changing the Constitution should not be done lightly.

After evaluating the idea of President Bush’s recommendation of such an amendment Tuesday, Ensign said he believes it is necessary "to protect the institution of marriage in America."

"In order to defend the institution of marriage, uphold the rights of individual states and maintain the will of the people, I believe we are compelled to amend our country’s Constitution," Ensign said.

So many righteous defenders of marriage.  So many marriages needing defending from their defenders.  It wasn’t gay people who broke your marriage vows jackass.  It was you.  Stop blaming other people for your own pathetic failures of moral character.  We are your neighbors, not your scapegoats.  Leave us the fuck out of your problems.  If you had minded your own goddamned business instead of dumping your cheapshit bar stool moralizing on other people you might still have a reputation to defend, let alone a marriage.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Heros Of The Culture War #455…Collect The Entire Series!

June 14th, 2009

Why We Fight…(continued)

While reading the extract below, keep in mind that the author is talking about a time in this country, the 1950s, when every state in the union outlawed same sex relations among consenting adults.  No prostitution or public sexual conduct was necessary to be convicted of "the crime against nature".  Gay men and women, caught up in police witch hunts, often had to denounce others.  And in addition to being locked up in jail, people’s names, and sometimes photographs were published, and homes and jobs would be lost…

Across the country there was an alarming vagueness in legal definitions as to who might be classified as a sexual psychopath.  State laws defined a sexual psychopath as someone who had a "propensity" to commit sex offenses (Michigan and Missouri) or who "lacked the power to control his sexual impulses" (Massachusetts and Nebraska).  In most states, however, authorities couldn’t just pluck such a person off the street and label him a sexual psychopath.  In Alabama, for instance, the suspect had to be convicted of a sex crime first.  Under the proposed Iowa legislation, such a person had to be charged with – but not necessarily convicted of – a "public offense."  In Nebraska, on the other hand, a suspect didn’t have to be charged; all that was needed were certain facts showing "good cause" and the process of classification as a sexual psychopath could begin.  And in Minnesota, the only requirements were a petition by a county attorney and an examination by "two duly licensed doctors of medicine."

Whatever their individual wordings, such laws were intended to bring about the indefinite of dangerous or socially undesirable people.  In all these states, a sexual psychopath could not be released from detention until psychiatrists rule that he was "cured" or at the very least no longer posed a threat to society.

Despite their good intentions, sexual psychopath laws invariably took a catch-all approach to sexual offenses.  The intended targets may have been rapists and murderers, but in almost every state with a sexual psychopath law, little or no distinction was made between violent and non-violent offenses, between consensual and nonconsensual behavior, or between harmless "sexual deviates" and dangerous sex criminals.  An adult homosexual man who had sex with his lover in the privacy of his bedroom was as deviant as a child murderer.  A person who had a pornographic book or photograph hidden in a night table faced the same punishment as a rapist.  All these people were lumped into one category – that of the sexual psychopath – and could be incarcerated in a state hospital indefinitely.

New York lawyer and judge Morris Ploscowe, one of the most prominent critics of sexual psychopath laws at the time, found that these were most often used to punish and isolate minor offenders rather then dangerous predators.  In Minnesota, which enacted its sexual psychopath law in the ’30s, some 200 people were committed to state hospitals in the first ten years of the law’s existence, according to Ploscowe.  Most were detained for homosexual activity, not for being hard-core sex criminals.

Neal Miller: Sex-Crime Panic

This may be difficult for some of my heterosexual readers to grasp here…but back in those days, mere possession of pornography was enough to get you lumped in with rapists, murderers…and homosexuals.  What may be difficult for some of my younger gay readers to grasp, is that a heterosexual charged with possession of pornography back then would likely be more appalled to to find themselves being compared to homosexuals then to rapists and murderers.  The stigma of being homosexual really was that profound.  You were more despicable then even rapists and murderers.  More despicable even, then a communist.

When the U.S. Supreme Court abolished the sodomy laws in 2003, fourteen states still had some form of sodomy law on the books…four of them applying only to conduct between members of the same sex.  In Idaho and Michigan you could get life for it.  That was only six years ago.

If you’re curious, Miller’s book, Sex Crime Panic is a good place to begin developing an understanding of what Stonewall means to your gay and lesbian neighbors.  Miller details events that took place in Iowa in 1955, following the rape and murder of two children.  To address a growing public anti-gay hysteria, authorities arrested 20 gay men who they never even claimed had anything to do with the murders, had them declared "sexual psychopaths" and locked them up in a state mental hospital indefinitely.  The only thing unique about Miller’s story, is that someone actually went to the trouble to document it all, finally.

by Bruce | Link | React! (3)

June 11th, 2009

Not Exactly Caturday

Brad DeLong and Atrios both get their legs pulled.  You guys should spend more time on the Internet wasting time.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Not Exactly Caturday

June 10th, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig…Goooood Evening J.R….

So…I’ve been on the road for a few weeks.  And I’ve not been updating my blog very much.  And there’s a reason for that and it isn’t that I’m not talkative anymore.  I’ve actually been very active on my Facebook account while on the road.  And the reason for that is there is a handy little Facebook application for the iPhone that works…sorta kinda.  There’s a lot it’s missing, but for basically updating your status, sending Facebook email and posting photos off your iPhone it works okay.

There is a WordPress app for the iPhone too, but I need to upgrade my WordPress software to enable it and as I have some customization in amongst my php files that isn’t a simple chore.  I need to set aside some time for it.  I could also enable email posting too I suppose…but again I need to set aside some time to experiment with it.

Anyway…I’m back at Casa del Garrett again, and I have lots to talk about in the coming days.  But for now I need a rest.  Here’s some quick stats from Traveler’s trip computer…

6753 Miles
29.6 Miles Per Gallon Average
61 Miles Per Hour Average
111:04 Hours Driving

30.7 Miles Per Gallon Averaged Today (6-10-2009)

That last figure is from the time I started the car this morning in Vandalia Illinois to shutting it down just now in front of Casa del Garrett in Baltimore.  That’s almost entirely highway driving with the cruise control on, which I did more to keep me safe from speed traps then for gas milage. 

I’ll total up the money this weekend.  I didn’t buy as much turquoise this trip as I usually do when driving through the southwest.  But I got a couple of really nice pieces, and one very nice amber bracelet in Chinatown.  Brother-Mine has promised me a custom jewelry box to finally give all this turquoise a nice home.

I’ve got tons of photos, which I’ll work on over the weekend too.

I love my native state, California.  I often dream of living out there.  That was the plan, once upon a time.  But then I got the job of my dreams, and a nice little Baltimore rowhouse to go with it, and so Maryland is probably where I’ll spend the rest of my life too.  But…it’s good to be home.  I love to travel…I love the open road.  But…it felt so nice to walk into my house a few hours ago.  So very, very nice…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig…Goooood Evening J.R….

June 5th, 2009

The Ghosts Within

On SLOG…  Charles Mudede hits me where I am still pretty raw…  Where I guess it will always hurt…

This morning, around James and 5th, a woman across the street waves at me. She is around 50, black, and wearing a tracksuit. I think it is my mother. She is on her morning walk; she is waving at her son. But a closer look reveals the waving person to be not my mother but a crackhead who has mistaken me for a crackhead or dealer. I look away from her and walk up the hill.

But to slip by a trick of light and colors into that split second was something wonderful. In that split second I believed that my dead mother was alive and out and about. She was in the world with her own body. The thing about a death is that it finishes not so much the person but the relationship with that person. Instead of the subject object relationship, there is now only a subject—you who survives. The death of a close person is the total internalization of that person. Your living body becomes the site of their burial. It is here inside that the dead have something like an afterlife (alive but not alive, in time but not in time). They roam the body like a ghost roams a tomb.

Mom…  Dad…  My favorite uncle who I didn’t get nearly enough time with…  All the friends who are missing now…  It’s not the certainty of my own death that I hate.  Death doesn’t come like a thief in the night and take you away in the twinkling of an eye.  It kills you slowly…a little bit more and a little bit more every time it takes someone away from you.  Ghosts are the phantom limbs of the part of you that exists in a friend’s smile or a parent’s embrace, that your subconscious mind keeps insisting must still be there.   I could name them all.  Sometimes I still see them walking by on the street.  Then I realize it was just a chance resemblance in a walk, or a gesture, or a smile.  And it hurts all over again.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Ghosts Within

June 4th, 2009

The Magic Invisible Hand Of The Free Market And Why You Probably Shouldn’t Shake It…

Via Sullivan

A reader writes:

I live in suburban Orange County, California, which is great place for my family and the weather can’t be beat. I grew up near Edinburgh, Scotland and moved to the US in the late ’80s, when the UK was just a mess. Orange County is one of the most conservative, wealthier counties in the US. Even so, I had an unbelievable experience the other day that brought home the recession in a way that still upsets me.

While on a lunch break I pulled into a gas station in Irvine to gas up. While I was standing around waiting for my gas guzzler to fill up I heard a small boy crying. Over in the far corner of the parking lot was a fairly nice sedan, late ’90s model, perhaps a Lexus. It was parked next to the air-and-water pump. I could not see anyone but I could still hear a child crying from somewhere near the car. Then I heard something like "No, Daddy, that hurts." Well, this got my attention real quick, so I wandered around the back of my car to get a better look.

Two small good looking young boys, ages roughly 3 and 7 were being bathed in the free water pump by their parents. The young kid was crying as the water was cold and the dad was attempting to rinse the shampoo from his son’s hair  The mom was trying to comfort the young one. When I looked at the car again I noticed it was absolutely packed with clothes, etc.  It hit me right away that this family was homeless.

I could just see the sadness and desperation on the mom’s face. I felt a chill inside. I walked up to the dad and offered him all the cash I had – about $30. The look in his eyes was something I will always remember: grateful, yet ashamed. A sad, sad situation. And for this to happen in Orange County is just remarkable.

It was seeing this back during the big Reagan recession that cured me of my libertarian delusion.  For the same reason a nation of free people still needs a rule of law, an economy needs regulation to prevent corruption and maintain a healthy state of competition in the marketplace.   So when you hear some dimwit libertarian or Randite ask "Who are you to tell other people what to do with their property?", the answer should be, loud and clear "I’m one of the people who gets sick whenever someone in the boardroom of a hedge fund I’ve never even heard of sneezes, that’s who."

I could just see the sadness and desperation on the mom’s face. 

That face is what you get when you take the brakes off.  Every.  Time.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Magic Invisible Hand Of The Free Market And Why You Probably Shouldn’t Shake It…

Heart, Soul, Brain…These Are The Enemies You Must Defeat To Become A Conservative….

From our Department of Super-Sized Assholes

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committe held the first-ever hearing on the Uniting American Families Act, which would equalize the status of foreign-born same-sex partners of American citizens. Heterosexual Americans can earn citizenship for their foreign partners by marrying them. Gays, obviously, cannot do that, effectively making a gay American and his or her foreign spouse legal strangers.

Testifying was Shirley Tan, a Fillipino woman who has been with her American partner for 23 years. Together, they are raising twelve-year-old twin boys…

one of Tan’s children started crying within seconds of the start of her testimony. At the sight of this, Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy stopped the hearing and asked Tan if her son might want to sit in another room, where presumably a Senate staffer would console him for the duration of what was clearly an emotionally fraught experience. For most people, the sight of a 12-year-old boy in tears at the prospect of his mother being deported halfway around the world would invoke some sympathy. Unmoved, however, was Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions, ranking minority member of the Committee and the only Republican to bother to attend the hearing. At the sight of the weeping boy, according to a Senate staffer who was at the hearing, Sessions leaned towards one of his aides and sighed, "Enough with the histrionics."

Take Note:

Sessions opposes the bill, stating that it would amount to a federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

I keep drumming on this but it’s a simple fact: Everything we have ever asked for in this fight, from hospital visitation to the repeal of the sodomy laws amounts to recognition of same-sex marriage if you listen to our enemies.  This has always been their trump card in Every Fucking battle over any and everything: turn it into a fight over same sex marriage.

So it makes no sense to say that we are wasting energy fighting over same-sex marriage when we could be putting our resources into fighting for anti-discrimination and hate crime laws.  Everything is a fight over same-sex marriage.  Which is to say, everything is a fight over the legitimacy of our emotional lives.  The pieces make up a whole at the center of which is a simple question: do gay people experience life the same way heterosexuals do, or do we, as Orson Scott Card would say, merely play house in hollow mimicry of genuine emotions that heterosexuals feel?  

Look at Sessions’ gut level knee jerk response to that kid’s tears again.  Histronics.  He doesn’t believe they are real.  They can’t possibly be.  Because that family is only playing house.  It isn’t a real family.  They don’t have real feelings.  It’s just an act they have convinced themselves of.  Even the kids.  This is the enemy your gay and lesbian neighbors have been facing for decades now.

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

June 3rd, 2009

Why We Fight…(continued)

Via Box Turtle Bulletin…

R.I. Senate votes to extend funeral rights to domestic partners

At a hearing earlier this year on one of the stalled bills to allow same-sex marriage, Mark S. Goldberg told a Senate committee about his months-long battle last fall to persuade state authorities to release to him the body of his partner of 17 years, Ron Hanby, so he could grant Hanby’s wish for cremation — only to have that request rejected too because “we were not legally married or blood relatives.”

After struggling for years with depression, he said, Hanby took his own life.

Try to picture Goldberg’s state of mind right then.  The death of the one you love is hard enough, but this was a suicide.  He must have been absolutely devastated.  But then, homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex.  So now is just the right time to twist the knife in his heart…to make sure he knows how much he is hated.

Goldberg said he tried to show the police and the state medical examiner’s office “our wills, living wills, power of attorney and marriage certificate” from Connecticut, but “no one was willing to see these documents.”

He said he was told the medical examiner’s office was required to conduct a two-week search for next of kin, but the medical examiner’s office waited a full week before placing the required ad in a newspaper. And then when no one responded, he said, they “waited another week” to notify another state agency of an unclaimed body.

After four weeks, he said, a Department of Human Services employee “took pity on me and my plight … reviewed our documentation and was able to get all parties concerned to release Ron’s body to me,” but then the cremation society refused to cremate Ron’s body.

“On the same day, I contacted the Massachusetts Cremation Society and they were more than willing to work with me and cremate Ron’s body,” and so, “on November 6, 2008, I was able to finally pick up Ron’s remains and put this tragedy to rest.” 

They treated this man, this grieving lover, like so much human garbage.  And without a doubt they all did it, every single mother fucking one of them in this chain of events, with a sense of moral righteousness.

The right to bury the one you loved, and shared a life together with, is just one out of the great plenty of rights heterosexual couples take for granted every single day.  It is a safe bet, none safer, that a lot of folks in Rhode Island think extending even that one to gay people is far too much.  Homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Why We Fight…(continued)

Visit The Woodward Class of '72 Reunion Website For Fun And Memories,

    What I'm Currently Reading...

    What I'm Currently Watching...

    What I'm Currently Listening To...

    Comic Book I've Read Recently...


    This page and all original content copyright © 2015 by Bruce Garrett. All rights reserved. Send questions, comments and hysterical outbursts to:

    This blog is powered by WordPress and is hosted at MomoWeb. Some custom design was done by Winters Web Works. Some embedded content was created with the help of Adobe Photoshop for MacOS and/or The Gimp. I proof with Firefox on either Windows, Linux or MacOS depending on which machine I happen to be running at the time.