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January 17th, 2014
I’m A Reasonable Man…
by Bruce |
After all…I only want to keep the kids safe…from your kind…
Putin met with a group of volunteers in the Olympic mountain venue at Krasnaya Polyana on Friday to wish them success at the Games. During a question-and-answer session, one volunteer asked him about Russia’s attitudes toward gays, a subject that has provoked worldwide controversy, and Putin offered what was apparently meant to be a reassuring answer for visitors to the Olympics.
How the homophobe, in trying to sound reasonable, keeps showing only their knuckle dragging prejudices. If “alone” means “not sexually molest” then why of course gays should leave kids alone. Heterosexuals should also leave kids alone. Everybody should leave kids alone. And the law should punish people who don’t. So why are you singling out gay people?
Because the homophobe thinks (or just wants everyone else to think) that to be gay is to be a sexual predator, and especially to be a molester of children. But it’s more than that. “Alone” means “Don’t Try To Turn Kids Gay”, because homosexuals don’t reproduce, they recruit. Viewed that way, when gay people simply their lives openly and proudly that is recruitment. When teachers and scientists refute the myths, lies and superstitions about homosexuality and teach science based facts about sex and sexual orientation, that is recruitment. When artists create works that speak honestly to the lives of gay people, to the sanctity of their love, to the beauty of their desire, that is recruitment.
The way you leave kids alone is you silence the teachers, burn the books, burn the works of art, imprison the scientists and the artists if they won’t shut up and force homosexuals into the closet by acts of law, or by acts of terror in the streets. And the homophobe will do all of this with a clear conscience telling them they had to in order to protect the kids, not their mindless blood thirsty prejudices.
June 26th, 2013
Excuses Are Not Mistakes
by Bruce |
This from Slate…
In a speech last week titled “Mullahs of the West: Judges as Moral Arbiters,” Justice Antonin Scalia told the North Carolina Bar Association that the court has no place acting as a “judge moralist” in issues better left to the people. Since judges aren’t qualified—or constitutionally authorized—to set moral standards, he argued, the people should decide what’s morally acceptable.
…and so on. Nathanial Frank pegs it at the end of this piece, thusly:
Morality is not just whatever views a majority has long held, and it’s not simply what you learned on your mother’s knee or whatever it says in your faith’s scripture. Moral belief is a grounded judgment about what harms or helps living things.
(emphasis mine) That. Which leads to this: Scalia, like a lot of homophobes, does not have a misunderstanding about morality; he has an assortment of smokescreens he hides his prejudices behind, that he calls morality.
They do that in the kook pews and that is why their moral judgements seem so haphazard and contradictory: They’re not making moral judgements, they’re jerking their knees, dancing from one thing to another to whatever tune their prejudices call.
March 21st, 2013
Seeing Your Gay Neighbor Through Prejudiced Colored Glasses
by Bruce |
The struggle for gay civil rights is merely homosexuals seeking approval of their lifestyle…
“The primary challenge that our side faces right now is the intense social pressure,” said Joseph Backholm, 34, the executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington. “To the extent that the other side is able to frame this as a vote for gay people to be happy, it will be challenging for us.”
The more things change the more they stay the same. As far back as Anita Bryant’s rampage on Dade County’s anti-discrimination law, the rhetoric has been that all the fuss about gay rights is merely the homosexuals demanding societal approval of their lifestyle. No matter how you phrase that, (a vote for gay people to be happy) it is ignorant. All you’re telling us there Joseph, is you can’t see the people for the homosexuals.
Anyone who thinks this struggle is only about approval or some frivolous desire for “happiness” has ether never loved or does not think gay people are capable of love. Happiness is in your lover’s smile, and the touch of their hand in yours. All the approval you could ever need is in their eyes when they look into yours. You would know this if you ever loved Joseph. You would know why we fight for the honor and the dignity of it if you could see the people for the homosexuals. We are not asking for approval from the likes of you Joseph, let alone happiness. What we need from you is to take the damn knife out of our backs.
November 28th, 2012
Feelings. Hungry, Hungry Feelings…
by Bruce |
“Here’s what we know about life. I have all kinds of natural feelings in my life and it doesn’t necessarily mean that I should act on every feeling. Sometimes I get angry and I feel like punching a guy in the nose. It doesn’t mean I act on it. Sometimes I feel attracted to women who are not my wife. I don’t act on it. Just because I have a feeling doesn’t make it right. Not everything natural is good for me. Arsenic is natural.” -Rick Warren
Hate is natural. Prejudice is natural. Who to hate is learned, but the capacity to hate is there, deep in the ancient pit within the human consciousness. We all carry the history of millions of years of life on earth within us every moment of our day. Tribalism is natural to us. To be afraid of the alien other, and to hate them, is natural to us. Blind obedience to the alpha leader is natural to us. The unthinking, bloodthirsty mob is in our blood. But so is love, so is kindness to the stranger, so is curiosity, and the yearning for truth and meaning. We are, by nature, civilization destroyers, but also civilization builders. The mindless beast is within us all. The good person is the one who will not unleash it within themselves, or in others. Do you want to be that good person Rick, or do you want to feed the beast? Every moment of your day Rick, it’s one or the other.
You’re right Rick. Just because you have feelings that does not make them right. What makes them right, or makes them profoundly evil, is how your feelings translate into acts. Do you help your neighbor in this life, or do you let the beast eat them? Who is your neighbor Rick?
June 19th, 2012
“Man to man, I did it because I’ve never had a girlfriend.”
by Bruce |
This came across the Fark wire the other day, to much hilarity…
Miami Beach police: Man filmed Hooters contestants undressing in Fontainebleau
A woman participating in a Hooters Swimsuit Pageant notices a video camera recording her in the dressing room. That was the excuse the owner of the camera gave to the cop who arrested him. I suspect the reason he’s never had a girlfriend is he hasn’t figured out yet how to treat women like people. Hey guy…there’s this perfectly legal thing called Pornography you can buy with lotsa lovely women willing to take their clothes off for your onanistic pleasures…
I read about this on Fark, read the comment hilarity that followed, and cringed inside.
There’s a flashback scene at the end of The Detective, where the William Windom character (Colin MacIver), a closeted self hating homosexual (who turns out (naturally) to be the real killer the Frank Sinatra character was looking for all through the movie), confesses the killing to his shrink in a sickening display of the kind of acid self hatred Hollywood was only too happy to tell everyone was the natural state of homosexuals.
It begins with MacIver walking back to his car with his girlfriend. They’re assaulted by robbers who call MacIver a faggot. Somehow this causes him to go looking for sex with another guy. You have to remember this is 1960s Hollywood being all edgy and gritty now that they can take on taboo subject for mass entertainment and ticket sales. Even though he has a girlfriend, MacIver is really a sick and pathetic queer and the encounter with the thieves triggers his perversion and now he has to go get him some cock even though the very thought disgusts him. MacIver tells his shrink: “The thought of turning…of turning involuntarily into one of them frightened me…and made me sick with anger.” Nonetheless he promptly drives down to the docks for a quickie. Because queers can’t help themselves.
“I went down there. I had heard about the waterfront. People giggle and make jokes about it. I had had only two experiences before…once in college, once in the army. I thought I’d gotten it out of my life…but I hadn’t.”
Experiences. Experiences. Homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex. Anyway, it all builds up to MacIver going to the docks, then to a gay bar, walking slowly past every homosexual stereotype in the Twentieth Century Fox prop department, all leering back at him archly. Because homosexuals always look back at you archly.
“I looked at them. Was this what I was like? Oh my god…”
He stares in horror at the “twisted faces”…but he can’t help himself. He’s just gotta have some cock tonight…
“And here I was and I couldn’t do anything about it. I couldn’t stop. I thought if I could have just one night, I could get it out of my system. Just one more time…”
Just one more…experience…
Oh that poor pathetic faggot…pass the popcorn… It’s bullshit…yes, sane people these days understand that. But that was the accepted view of homosexuals back then, back when I was growing up, and what angers me about this film and that sequence in it is thinking about all my generational gay peers who accepted that this was what it was to be a homosexual; that they could either try as desperately hard as they could to overcome their “condition”, become straight or live their lives as pathetic faggots or psychotic killers, either way spending the rest of their lives loathing the person they were. Because a man having sex with another man was the most disgusting thing you could imagine, and to desire such a thing even if you never acted on it meant that you were the most loathsome thing there ever was. This is what Hollywood taught them about themselves, it’s what Hollywood taught their parents, their siblings and all their friends…and mine: to look at us with the same disgust and contempt with which MacIver looked upon himself.
This is what I grew up on. This was pretty much the constant barrage from the culture around me about homosexuality. And it’s a big reason why, when I finally came out to myself, I swore I wasn’t going to live my life in the closet. Never mind the “Twisted faces” MacIver stared at with equal parts horror and desire that sickened him. At least they knew what they were about hanging out there. I’d fallen in love…I knew what I was and what I wasn’t. The ugly stereotypes of homosexuals didn’t frighten me because I knew I wasn’t that and for the honor and dignity of the one I loved I would never become that…nor would I allow myself to become a self hating basket case, horrified by my own sexuality. The twisted face I was afraid of becoming, resolved never to become, was MacIver’s.
So I dug in my heels and lived an honest life. And for that I can take some pride. And yet…and yet… I never found my other half. And in the background of my life was another twisted face, another pathetic stereotype that I am still, deep in my heart, afraid of.
“Man to man, I did it because I’ve never had a girlfriend.”
It’s illogical, it’s irrational, I am simply not the sort of person who would ever do what this guy did. I dallied with gay pornography back when I was younger and found I didn’t even really like that all that much. Yeah, there were lots of very attractive hot bodies in it. But there was no romance. I am just not voyeur material. Sometimes I sit down to my drafting table and I draw myself a fantasy boyfriend and dream on him. That’s about my speed. I could never do what that guy did. Certainly not to someone I thought was beautiful. Desire should awaken something more noble in a person then that or it’s just empty greed.
But I have been single for so very very long and I read these things and get depressed. Is this what the rest of my life is going to look like? Is this how others see people like me? Alone. Single. Old. Creepy. How do you get to be fifty-eight years old and you’ve never had a boyfriend? There must be something wrong with you. Sometimes I wonder now, if maybe there is after all. And I read stories like this about creepy single guys and I cringe inside.
“I looked at them. Was this what I was like? Oh my god…”
November 14th, 2011
Choice: Six Of One, Half Dozen Of The Other
by Bruce |
On Towleroad today I see that James Hormel has a new book out about his time as ambassador, and he’s apparently making the TV rounds promoting it. I also see that he’s making the same mistake a lot of very well meaning people make when it comes to the nature of bigotry…
James Hormel, who was appointed United States Ambassador to Luxembourg by President Bill Clinton in 1999, and was the first openly gay ambassador ever to serve, spoke with ABC News about his new book Fit to Serve, as well as DOMA, and what he sees as the #1 problem for LGBT rights today.
Says Hormel: “The number one problem today as I see it is that people think that being gay is a matter of choice, and they somehow distinguish gay people as having made a choice to be tormented by their society.”
Hormel calls DOMA “the most heinous piece of civil rights legislation in a century.”
Yes about DOMA, no about whether people think being gay is a choice. Look…nobody questions the fact that race isn’t a choice and that has never made racists question their racism as far as I can tell. Hell…they have their own junk science industry proving that blacks are genetically inferior so prejudice against them is morally justified…
When the New Republic devoted almost an entire issue (10/31/94) to a debate with the authors of The Bell Curve, editor Andrew Sullivan justified the decision by writing, “The notion that there might be resilient ethnic differences in intelligence is not, we believe, an inherently racist belief.”
In fact, the idea that some races are inherently inferior to others is the definition of racism. What the New Republic was saying–along with other media outlets that prominently and respectfully considered the thesis of Charles Murray and the late Richard Herrnstein’s book–is that racism is a respectable intellectual position, and has a legitimate place in the national debate on race.
-FAIR, Racism Resurgent, January/February 1995
When the day comes that sexual orientation is generally seen as biologically innate, the homophobes will simply shift gears and start babbling about how homosexuality is a genetic deficiency that makes us unfit for…well…everything. The nature verses nurture argument is a distraction. The reason some people are homosexual does not matter to bigots. They just hate us. That hate is what comes first. The justification for it comes later, and takes whatever shape the bigot needs it to have to justify that preexisting hate.
All everyone else needs to see about our lives is that we are as human as they. That we love, we cherish, we long and we need, just as they do. Once they see that, once they can look at a same-sex couple and see in that couple’s happiness their own, it won’t matter to them why we mate to our own instead of the opposite sex. That’s the problem. Not the Nature verses Nurture debate, but the lie that homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex. That is what we have to kill. And we do it by living our lives openly, by resisting the pressure hate brings to bear upon our lives to stay hidden. Bigots we will never change. But every moment we live our lives openly so that we can be seen as neighbors and not some strange alien other, we defeat hate.
September 9th, 2011
Something Rotten In The State Of NOM…
by Bruce |
Via Good As You. Orson Scott Card retells Hamlet. Yes. Seriously.
Anyone who thinks they’ve witnessed the heights of bigotry, look…if you haven’t read any of Orson Scott Card’s rants about homosexuality you absolutely Have Not seen the pure unadulterated thing…
A small American press has been swamped with complaints after publishing a version of Hamlet by the science fiction author Orson Scott Card in which King Hamlet is a gay paedophile.
Hymned by the publisher Subterranean Press as a “revelatory” retelling which shows “what’s really going on” in Shakespeare’s play, the story suggests Hamlet’s father wasn’t murdered by his brother Claudius, but Horatio, in revenge for being molested by him as a child.
The book is not a new release, having been published twice before, for the first time in 2008, but an explosive review at the Rain Taxi Review of Books has unleashed a wave of criticism.
“Here’s the punch line: Old King Hamlet was an inadequate king because he was gay, an evil person because he was gay, and, ultimately, a demonic and ghostly father of lies who convinces young Hamlet to exact imaginary revenge on innocent people,” writes William Alexander. “The old king was actually murdered by Horatio, in revenge for molesting him as a young boy – along with Laertes, and Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern, thereby turning all of them gay … Hamlet is damned for all the needless death he inflicts, and Dead Gay Dad will now do gay things to him for the rest of eternity: ‘Welcome to Hell, my beautiful son. At last we’ll be together as I always longed for us to be.’”
For anyone who has read Orson Scott Card’s The Hypocrites Of Homosexuality and Homosexual “Marriage” and Civilization (the scare quotes are his), this is as unsurprising as the sight of the sun rising in the east. But bear in mind as you are reading all this, the National Organization for Marriage finds him fit enough for its board of directors…a man who once said that if same-sex couples are universally allowed to marry, every pledge of allegiance he ever uttered since he was a child becomes null and void…
“If America becomes a place where the laws of the nation declare that marriage no longer exists — which is what the Massachusetts decision actually does — then our allegiance to America will become zero. We will transfer our allegiance to a society that does protect marriage.” -Orson Scott Card, Homosexual “Marriage” and Civilization.
Perhaps someone should ask Brian Brown if he feels the same way about his allegiance to the United States of America. Oh…and civil war.
I honestly don’t think Card hates homosexuals. Bigotry isn’t always hate. The gutter has no bottom and there is a step down even from hate, where the complete dehumanization within oneself of the hated other is achieved. Did the architects who designed the gas chambers of Auschwitz hate the Jews, or were they simply doing their best to rid Europe of what they regarded as a pestilence? Hate is not the bottom. If your entire concept of “bigot” is such as Fred Phelps who wave their signs screaming that Matthew Shepard is burning in hell and Thank God For Dead Soldiers, it can come as a shock to see a human heart even more depraved, and worse, to see it so matter of fact about it, as if discussing the weather or last night’s baseball game. But the further down in the gutter you go, the more peaceful it seems.
Card doesn’t scream and shout. He doesn’t stand on a street corner and wave the bible and preach hell fire and damnation. If you sit him down to discuss it (ask people who have interviewed him) he will tell you calmly and matter-of-factly that gay rights is a collective delusion… that granting rights for deviant behavior is ridiculous… that homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex… that when two homosexuals start telling people they’re a couple they are just “playing house” (his words)…that they might think that they have deep feelings towards one another but that’s all that it is…just wishful thinking, just pitiful trying to convince themselves that their deviant sexual urges are something higher and nobler then empty lust. He will tell you calmly and matter-of-factly that a homosexual’s highest allegiance is to the community that gives them access to sex… that homosexuals recruit children into homosexuality by molesting them and that is how everyone or nearly everyone who ever was a homosexual became one.
He will tell you all of this simply, calmly, and matter-of-factly. So matter-of-factly that you do not, simply cannot doubt this man will never be moved from his prejudices, no matter how much evidence to the contrary moves past his eyes. He does not deny the evidence, he simply does not see it. He can’t. He’s a bigot.
Homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex. Homosexuals are a threat to children. Homosexuality must be actively suppressed by force of law, preferably in a discrete, non-confrontational way, brutally if necessary, or the homosexuals will eventually recruit so many others into homosexuality that civilization will collapse.
Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society. -Orson Scott Card, The Hypocrites of Homosexuality.
Orson Scott Card will tell you this, as if he is telling you the time of day.
Some prejudice is simply misinformed. Some prejudice is cultural…like the song says, you have to be carefully taught. Even in the most vehement of haters of that kind, there is humanity buried somewhere within. It can be reached. Maybe. Then there is the prejudice that is an abyss. You cannot move an abyss, you can only stare into it, while it stares back into you.
July 23rd, 2011
Now You Know The Reason They Seemed So Vulnerable To You
by Bruce |
Details of the horrific events in Norway will continue to unfold no doubt for weeks, if not months to come. So it is well that we all just take a deep breath and wait for solid information to come out. I understand the impulse to think it was radical Islamic terrorism when the news first hit; it was my first reaction too. But I remembered Oklahoma City and held my peace and waited. And now it seems from the facts coming to light, that this was indeed more Oklahoma City then 9/11…
UPDATE 2, Saturday, July 23, 11:06 a.m. EDT: Oddmy Estenstad, an employee of agricultural retailer Felleskjøpet, tells CNN that Utoya shooting suspect Anders Behring Breivik bought six tons of fertilizer from the company in May:
She did not think the order was strange at the time because the suspect has a farm, but after Friday’s explosion in Norway’s capital, Oslo, she called police because she knew the material can be used to make bombs.
“We are very shocked that this man was connected to our company,” said Estenstad. “We are very sad about what happened.”
That sounds vaguely familiar. But bear in mind there is still an investigation going on and we really still don’t know much. This passage from the suspect’s postings to an anti-Muslim website struck me though…
I dare not even think of how many Norwegian children who have been suicide because of these experiences (assault, robbery, rape, psychological terror committed by Muslim youths). There are probably several hundred in the last 15 years.
….Non-Muslim youth in Oslo aged 12-18 are in a particularly vulnerable situation in terms of harassment [from] Muslim youth.
This from a man who (it is said) methodically killed 80 kids at a youth camp, some while they were swimming away for their lives. Always, the monster the bigot sees in others is themselves. And they are right to fear that monster.
July 12th, 2011
Yes, We Exist. And So Does Our Past.
by Bruce |
“History is who we are and why we are the way we are.”
In California bill, SB48, hopefully to be signed by Governor Jerry Brown, seeks to help correct a longstanding and bitter historical wrong. No…not the absence of gay history in the classroom…
School textbooks evolve, just like the society the pages describe. The contributions of African Americans, Latinos, Asians and women – all missing or minimized in decades past – are now more fully and accurately portrayed in textbooks and other instructional materials. The role of gays and lesbians also deserves fair treatment in lessons about the development of this state and nation.
That’s the simple and forceful premise behind a bill, SB48, now on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. But the idea of highlighting gay people’s contributions still draws controversy in a state where same-sex marriage remains illegal and a political wedge issue. In this case, the opposition is misguided about what’s at stake.
Ostensibly the bill is intended to improve awareness of the contributions of gay people to history. That’s a worthwhile goal in and of itself and as the second paragraph above notes, the usual suspects are raising a ruckus about it. But positive images of gay people are not what the opposition is afraid of. Here, in the Catholic Reporter, the real problem is daintily addressed…
Bishops oppose bill on gays in textbooks
William May, chairman of a California-based group called Catholics for the Common Good, said in a June 16 letter to the head of the state Assembly’s Education Committee, that problems around bullying are not going to be solved by “cosmetically sexualizing social studies” in the state’s public schools.
He said unjust discrimination against gays and lesbians “is an important fact that must be taught and not forgotten, but this bill will not affect that.” He also said the bill’s language was “so vague, and subject to such broad interpretation, that it can only lead to confusion, conflict and the potential for complaints and litigation.”
Note the formulation “unjust discrimination”. There’s the problem. Here’s the naked fear of this bill:
U.S. shifts policy on same-sex bankruptcies
The U.S. Justice Department has dropped its opposition to joint bankruptcy petitions filed by same-sex married couples in a victory for supporters of gay marriage.
The policy change is the latest setback for the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which has come under increasing pressure since the Obama administration said in February that it would no longer defend its constitutionality.
The filing by the Obama Department of Justice goes beyond simply bowing out of the case…it makes a dazzlingly clear cut case that DOMA is an unconstitutional attack on a suspect minority that has suffered a long history of legal and social persecution:
Justice Dept. brief against DOMA lauded as ‘watershed moment’
LGBT rights supporters are heralding a recently filed legal brief against the Defense of Marriage Act – the first of its kind against the anti-gay law from the Obama administration – as a landmark document that will aid in bringing about the end of DOMA.
Notably, the brief recalls the U.S. government’s role in discriminating against LGBT people in its description of the ways in which LGBT people have received different treatment over the course of history. The Justice Department recalls that former President Eisenhower signed an executive order adding “sexual perversion” as grounds for dismissal for federal employees.
“The federal government enforced Executive Order 10450 zealously, engaging various agencies in intrusive investigatory techniques to purge gays and lesbians from the civilian workforce,” the brief states. “The State Department, for example, charged ‘”skilled” investigators’ with ‘interrogating every potential male applicant to discover if they had any effeminate tendencies or mannerisms,’ used polygraphs on individuals accused of homosexuality who denied it, and sent inspectors to ‘every embassy, consulate and mission’ to uncover homosexuality.’”
The full text of the brief is Here (PDF). It also reads in part:
In order to identify gays and lesbians in the civil service, the FBI “sought out state and local police officers to supply arrest records on morals charges, regardless of whether there were convictions; data on gay bars; lists of other places frequented by homosexuals; and press articles on the largely subterranean gay world”
The United States Postal Service (“USPS”), for its part, aided the FBI by establishing “a watch list on the recipients of physique magazines, subscrib[ing] to pen pal clubs, and initiat[ing] correspondence with men whom [it] believed might be homosexual.” The mail of individuals concluded to be homosexual would then be traced “in order to locate other homosexuals.”
Now consider this, and ask yourself how many times you have heard comparisons of the struggles of gay Americans and black Americans denounced because gays never were sold into slavery, never had to ride the back of the bus, never were denied the right to vote. Or comparisons with antisemitism denounced because gays were never herded into extermination camps. How many times have you heard the struggle for gay equality dismissed as the pastime of privileged rich white men. How often have we heard, and still hear, that laws protecting gay people from discrimination are unnecessary, are really just about seeking social approval.
Below is how Mad Magazine looked at our struggle back in 1971. I include this to show what the popular view of our struggle was so shortly after Stonewall, not to be pointing a finger specifically at Mad. This was how our struggle was commonly viewed back then and Mad like a lot of publications is way, way nicer to their gay readers nowadays.
Mad #145, Sept ‘71, from “Greeting Cards For The
Sexual Revolution” – “To A Gay Liberationist”
Forgive us if we’re more concerned with Indians and Blacks… So easy to say, when the shear brutality of anti-gay persecution was so completely unknown to most Americans. But of course to know that history they would have only had to look…
The Last Police Raid on Gays of Fire Island
…my mind went back to starting as a reporter at the daily Long Island Press in the 1960s covering police and courts when a Suffolk County custom was the annual police raid on the gay communities of Fire Island, a barrier beach on the Atlantic and a diverse summertime haven for New Yorkers.
Boatloads of Suffolk police would make a night-time assault on Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines. Prisoners were dragged off in manacles and charged with morals violations. All would plead guilty, most being from the city and frightened about casting their lot with Long Island locals. And, no question, this was a variant of a witch hunt. Police stressed, in notifying the press about the arrestees, where they worked and what they did. They wanted to get these guys in trouble.
But looking at what was happening to us was exactly the problem. There was no news footage back then of gays being dragged off in manacles because we were considered too disgusting to even talk about in family newspapers, let alone on TV. And when we were talked about, it always had to be in the most reassuringly scary and disgusted terms…
We had to fight just to be seen, before we could fight to have our stories told.
Some years ago I watched a documentary on Logo about the gay history of Fire Island. During a time when same-sex couples risked arrest for dancing together the police would patrol the streets around a club called the Botel and arrest random young men as they left. On those nights the bartenders would get the word somehow and warn people not to leave the club alone, but go out in large groups. Typically the police would arrest at least twenty gays. There was a large telephone pole near the Botel, that had a chain fastened to it, and as the police would randomly arrest gay men as they left the Botel they would cuff them to the chain…one by one…until they had their twenty for that night.
No, we never rode the back of the bus. We rode the boat back to the mainland and to jail. We sat in the cells of all the 50 states where sodomy laws put us. As Neil Miller documented in his book, Sex-Crime Panic in sentences of indefinite length in special wings in mental hospitals created specifically for homosexuals. As David Carter documented in his book Stonewall, bars and restaurants could have their licenses revoked if they served us. And as David K. Johnson documented in his book The Lavender Scare, we were relentlessly witch hunted in the 1950s because even more then the communist threat we were viewed by the republican party as a useful tool to play wedge politics against the democrats with. And as the Obama Justice Department brief states…
State and local law also has been used to prevent gay and lesbian people from associating freely. Liquor licensing laws, both on their face and through discriminatory enforcement, were long used to harass and shut down establishments patronized by gays and lesbians…State and local police also relied on laws prohibiting lewdness, vagrancy, and disorderly conduct to harass gays and lesbians, often when gay and lesbian people congregated in public… Similar practices persist to this day…
Yes…as a matter of fact…
Police disciplined over Eagle bar raid
Ten Atlanta police officers lied about events surrounding a controversial 2009 raid at a Midtown gay bar, according to an investigative report released this week, and the department on Thursday demoted a commander and placed seven others on administrative duty. Two officers previously were fired.
The 343-page report confirmed complaints raised in the lawsuit that officers had deleted call logs, photographs and cell phone text messages, which a federal judge had ordered turned over to the lawyers for men who had filed suit. The report said the officers lied when asked about people being shoved to the floor, city ordinance violations that were witnessed and phone use that night.
Decades since Stonewall and it’s still going on. But at least now there can’t be an expectation that we will endure it quietly. And that has consequences. Bigotry no longer has the free reign it use to have over us. Sometimes we win a few. The closet as it turned out, not only kept us hidden, it kept the crimes against us hidden.
It is the prospect of that history of anti-gay persecution becoming commonly known and understood that terrifies the anti-gay industrial complex. Because then the need for laws protecting us from discrimination becomes crystal clear. Because then the hatred at the root of groups like NOM and the Family Research Council becomes sickeningly obvious. Because then it becomes hard, obscene even, to argue as Maryland Delegate Jay Walker did that,
“I cannot fathom a day in which I will be told which water fountain I can use but at the same time the gay and lesbian community had so many more things that they could participate in that African Americans and immigrants couldn’t.”
We sure did…
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 detention of dangerous or socially undesirable people. In all these states, a sexual psychopath could not be released from detention until psychiatrists ruled 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
So many more things we could participate in…
Like the federal government, state and local governments have long discriminated against gays and lesbians in public employment. By the 1950s, may state and local governments had banned gay and lesbian employees, as well as gay and lesbian “employees of state funded schools and colleges, and private individuals in professions requiring state licenses.” … Many states and localities began aggressive campaigns to purge gay and lesbian employees from government services as early as the 1940s.
This employment discrimination was interrelated with longstanding state law prohibitions on sodomy; the discrimination was frequently justified by the assumption that gays and lesbians had engaged in criminalized and immoral sexual conduct…
-Defendant’s Brief In Opposition To Motions To Dismiss, Golinski v. Office Of Personnel Management.
At one time all fifty states had sodomy laws but never mind that, homosexuals were never really a persecuted minority. At one time bars and restaurants were forbidden from serving known homosexuals but never mind that, homosexuals were never really a persecuted minority. At one time the Post Office with help from the FBI tracked down suspected homosexuals for government witch hunters but never mind that, homosexuals were never really a persecuted minority. At one time homosexuals were rounded up and held indefinitely in mental hospitals, could have their children taken away from them, could loose their jobs, their homes, their professional licenses, their freedom, but never mind that, homosexuals were never really a persecuted minority.
1777 – A committee works on a revised set of criminal law for Virginia. Thomas Jefferson and other liberals attempt to have the death penalty for sodomy replaced by castration for men and boring a hole through the nose of a woman. The committee rejects their suggestion and retains the death penalty.
Nothing to see here…move along…
That is why our history must never be taught. As long as this history, which is still being uncovered and documented, remains hidden the haters can keep right on posturing as the aggrieved parties whenever we compare our struggle to that of other hated minorities, and their bar stool prejudices toward us to their bar stool prejudices toward others. They can keep insisting that we do not need the protection of the courts because we are not a suspect class and were never really persecuted to begin with. That we are merely a small group of privileged mostly rich white men who are seeking special rights at everyone else’s expense. That they are not bigots whose concern was never about anything more then that their hatreds always have free reign over the lives of those they hate. Forgive us if we’re more concerned with Indians and Blacks. That is why our history must never be taught.
November 23rd, 2009
Hated By Religious Fanatics? You’re Not Alone…
by Bruce |
Ed Brayton has a post over at Dispatches From The Culture Wars today that relates how the closet is often enforced on atheists too…
Our Mere Existence is Offensive
It has been fascinating watching the response, city by city, where the advertisement that says "Not religious? You’re not alone" has gone up. We’ve seen bus drivers refuse to drive buses with that ad on them (and get fired for it). In Cincinnati, death threats forced the removal of a billboard with that message.
And now in Nashville, the local yokels are up in arms about an identical billboard. And offering the usual brilliant reasoning to support their position:
"It just absolutely wrong place, wrong town, wrong timing," said Green Hills resident Donnie Cude.
Something about the phrase "Not Religious, You’re not alone", doesn’t sit well with Cude.
"It’s a slap in the face to the Nashvillians and the people who have a strong foundation and do so much good for this town," said Cude.
It has become quite clear that the mere existence of people who don’t accept their religious views is considered a terrible offense to the most reason-impaired of the righteous. I just can’t imagine why anyone else should really care what offends them.
Brayton, let it be said, is also a principled advocate for gay equality pretty regularly on his blog. So it’s a safe bet he knows perfectly well how a story like this would resonate with his gay readers. But I have to say that my hunch is that atheists probably get it worse nowadays.
I can think of a lot of cities where those bus ads would…yeah…draw some notice, but not a whole lot of bellyaching had they read "Gay? You’re Not Alone."
I remember a passage from Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Catch Trap where one gay character tells another ruefully about the unspoken rule in Hollywood, that there are two things you can’t be and keep working in this town and one of them is a communist. But back in the day communism and atheism were tightly joined together in the political rhetoric of the cold war, and more often then not what you got was the sense that the problem with Communism wasn’t it’s totalitarian nature but that it was godless. "Godless communism" was what they called it. Now it’s just godlessness. Probably in the hierarchy of evilness, Atheists are worse then homosexuals…homosexuals being merely the interior decorators of Satan’s evil one world empire, atheists being its sinister architects.
Penn Jillette wrote a simple, lovely piece about being an atheist for an NPR series titled, This I Believe. It reads in part…
Believing there’s no God means I can’t really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That’s good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.
The problem, as a lot of gay folk already know painfully well is that the more you come out of the closet, the more people can see you for the human being that you are, the more the bigots will hate you for the human being that you are.
August 16th, 2009
At The Center Of It All: The Right To Kiss The One You Love
by Bruce |
I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating again and again because it really says it all. An old high school friend of mine told me once about taking a college course on human sexuality. The course, he said, included a number of films which you might easily expect to find in an Adult Entertainment store then in a university classroom. Most of the kids who signed up for that course did so, according to my friend who probably did also, just to see those films.
What they didn’t bargain for was also having to watch a bunch of sex they didn’t much like. In addition to the hot young babes there was also footage of folks old enough to be their own parents having sex. This was after all, a course on human sexuality, not pornography. My friend said the sections on geriatric sex generally grossed out the audience. But not as much as the section on gay male sex. But it wasn’t just watching two guys having sex specifically, that bothered the audience. Some of them.
Which was what my friend was telling me about, in wide eyed wonder, since he was one of the few heterosexuals I knew back then who were really and truly unfazed by my sexual orientation. We were all in college then and I was in the process of slowly coming out to my friends, one at a time. He was one of the first I’d come out to and that afternoon he was telling me in wonder about his human sexuality class and the gay sex film they’d seen. I remember it well, because in retrospect it was one of those rare moments where I could actually see someone getting it. He said when the gay male sex scenes came on screen, the ignorant jock types in the class burst out laughing and mocked the couple. But then images of them being affectionate with each other came on screen and the atmosphere changed. Those scenes completely offended the jocks he said…far more, far, Far more, then watching them have sex did.
That was 1973 or ’74 as I remember it. Back in those days if you wanted to watch pornography you either got some grainy 8mm stag films from some shady character or you went to an X-rated movie somewhere in the really bad part of town (or Viers Mill Road across from the Zayres if you lived in Rockville, Maryland…). Nowadays you download it off the Internet and teens as young as 13 are way more sexually confidant and secure then my generation ever was. The cultural scolds are bellyaching that the nation is swimming in sexually charged images and that it’s dragging our morals into the gutter. But notice that one of their biggest bugaboos, their deepest fear, their prime target in the culture war isn’t the proliferation of pornography…it’s same-sex marriage. This, this above all else, is their evidence that the culture is sinking into a bottomless pit: homosexuals couples are getting married.
Try this experiment. Open a gay bath house somewhere in the Bible Belt, and nearby, open a same-sex wedding chapel, and see which one gets the most protests. Trust me it won’t even be close. It will be as though the bath house isn’t even there, as long as the chapel is.
The lightning rod, the flash point in homophobic bigotry has always been same-sex love, not same-sex sex. It isn’t that we have sex that bothers the bigots. If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard that "I don’t care what you people do in the privacy of your bedrooms…" bullshit I’d be rich. It’s when we Flaunt It that they start screaming about militant homosexuals. And what, exactly, is flaunting it? Well I can tell you what it isn’t: having sex.
The tectonics of attitude are shifting in subtle ways that are geographic, psychic and also generational, suggested Katherine M. Franke, a lesbian who teaches law and is a director of the Center for the Study of Law and Culture at Columbia University. “I’ve been attacked on the street and called all sorts of names” for kissing a female partner in public, Professor Franke said. “The reception our affection used to generate was violence and hatred,” she added. “What I’ve found in the last five years is that my girlfriend and I get smiles from straight couples, especially younger people. Now there’s almost this aggressive sense of ‘Let me tell you how terrific we think that is.’ ”
Yet gay-bashing still occurs routinely, Mr. Patton of the Anti-Violence Project said, even in neighborhoods like Chelsea in Manhattan, where the sight of two men kissing on the street can hardly be considered a frighten-the-horses proposition. “In January some men were leaving a bar in Chelsea,” saying goodbye with a kiss, Mr. Patton said. “One friend got into a taxi and then a car behind the taxi stopped and some guys jumped out and beat up the other two.” One victim of the attack, which is under investigation by the police department’s Hate Crimes Task Force, was bruised and shaken. The second had a broken jaw.
-The New York Times, February 18, 2007 – A Kiss Too Far
That Times article begins with a story about how a candy commercial featuring an accidental same-sex kiss generated enough controversy that it had to be withdrawn. The article noted that the incident, "had the inadvertent effect of revealing how a simple display of affection grows in complexity as soon as one considers who gets to demonstrate it in public, and who, very often, does not."
And so it goes. A same-sex couple is brutally beaten in front of a restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona simply for holding hands inside. So security guards at a fast food joint throw a same-sex couple out for sharing a kiss and then call the police on them. So a same-sex couple, strolling too close to the Mormon temple in Salt Lake City, get handcuffed and arrested for kissing. That arrest for kissing in front of the Mormon Temple, so soon after it became apparent that Proposition 8 was funded by massive amounts of Mormon money and labor, made headlines all over the world. The response of the Mormon hierarchy was to smear the kissers with accusations that they were groping each other in public. Not a shred of evidence exists, apart from Mormon propaganda to support that charge, but look at it for what it says about the thinking here. Homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex…
When they talk about their "deeply held religious beliefs", this is what they mean. Not the belief in God Almighty. Not the belief in Christ the redeemer. Not the belief in the literal truth of the Bible. This is the deeply held religious belief that they will not suffer doubt in. Homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex. A kiss in public between a same-sex couple isn’t a gesture of affection, it’s a sex act.
In USA Today, the Faith and Reason section recently ran a column titled, When is a kiss not just a kiss? When it’s a gay protest…
One denomination after another is stressed — possibly to a breaking point for some believers — by furious battles over the roles of openly gay people in church life and ministry. Can they be clergy or bishops? Can their relationships be blessed?
And the newest protest symbol by gay activists is a kiss…
But this has always been the battle. Not to have sex, but to be allowed to love. The difference between the thugs who beat up Jean Rolland and Andrew Frost in front of the Frasher’s Steak House in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the Mormon church, isn’t so much one of degree as clarity of purpose. It came to this: When Mormon security guards saw a same-sex couple share a kiss, they had to detain them and call the police. When that arrest became a headline all over the world, the Mormon church immediately sought to replace the image of a kiss in the public mind with an image of two men groping each other. You hear the anti-gay warriors say time and again that there is no such thing as a homosexual, there is only homosexual behavior. But look at their attitudes toward marriage generally. Men are the God ordained head of the household. Women must submit gracefully to their husbands. Their union isn’t validated by their joy in one another, but by the blessing of the church. It isn’t something that exists for its own sake, but to further God’s plan for humanity. It is not simply that there can be no homosexuals. There is no such thing as love. There is only authority. There is only power. And a kiss embodies everything that power hates and wants to exterminate from the human spirit.
July 22nd, 2009
I Don’t Understand Why They’re Calling Us Bigots Simply For Opposing The Gay Agenda
by Bruce |
From our Department of Clueless Nitwits…
Via SLOG, The Seattle Times ran an article yesterday about how fragmented the Religious Right has become lately, and in particular over the fight against gay equality. The general complaint among the local culture warriors, if not the big generals, is that the fight has become too negative. Oh really?
Fuiten, senior pastor at Cedar Park Assembly of God Church in Bothell, long has been a staunch, articulate voice for conservative Christian values.
But his position on what role the church should play on gay rights is shifting, and he’s struggling to understand what God wants him to do next.
He remains against gay marriage, still sees same-sex relations as sinful, and also was against a measure passed by the Legislature this spring that expanded domestic-partnership benefits for same-sex couples.
But he has publicly opposed — and won’t sign — Referendum 71, the effort to repeal that measure, saying people are preoccupied with the economy and there’s not enough support.
More important, he said, Ref. 71 "drags us backward into a negative fight we’re not going to win."
"I don’t want the church to be viewed as oppressive, [and] as opposed to people living their lives and eking out whatever happiness they can."
Well if he’s willing to concede that gay folk are "people" now, instead of a cancer on society, God cursed abominations that want to destroy marriage and families and the very moral fabric of western civilization, I guess that’s progress. But when you’re more concerned about how you are viewed, then the person you really are, you are going to keep missing the point of their anger.
Senior Pastor Emeritus Jan Hettinga, 64, of Northshore Baptist Church, and an organizer of 2004′s Mayday for Marriage rally, said many at his church feel they’ve "been there and done that" on political issues, and "all we got was really, really bad press and a bad image."
The problem isn’t that you have a bad image. Here’s the problem:
Branding the disagreement over same-sex marriage as hatred and bigotry was a smart strategy by gay-rights supporters, Hettinga said. "No Christians I know want to be considered haters.
And here’s where I just want to scream in his face. Strategy. Strategy. Strategy. You stick a knife into people’s hearts, tell them, no, scream in their faces day in and day out that they are condemned by god, call them abominations, threats to families, menaces to children, cancers on society, defilers of the sanctity of marriage, you barge into the gardens of their hopes and dreams and trash everything you can lay your hands on and when they call you haters and bigots you think that’s a fucking strategy??? No asshole, it’s called getting angry with morons who are laying waste to your inner life as if they don’t think you have one. Still can’t see the people for the homosexuals can you? Well…that’s how bigots are.
You don’t see people. You see bogeymen. You see scarecrows. They don’t have human hearts, they have an agenda. They don’t feel pain, they plot strategies. They don’t love, they just have sex. And you are not a bigot, just someone who can’t see the people for the homosexuals. An image makeover isn’t going to solve your problem Jan.
July 13th, 2009
Surely No One Could Believe That Stereotype…
by Bruce |
Brüno is, in more than one sense, beyond gay. Is any viewer really going to think that this hyperbolically crass and ridiculous narcissist—who wears mesh tops and eye-searing lederhosen, refers to his adopted African baby as a "dick magnet," and drops faux-Teutonic vulgarities about his waxed arschenhaller—represents "the mainstream of the gay community," as one troubled Hollywood "gay insider" put it?
Okay…I have a question for you. How many top grossing box office movies can you name that honestly represented that mainstream of gay people you speak of? How many? No…not just a walk-on token gay character, but a movie About gay people that wasn’t full of the same stupid ignorant stereotypes that are propelling Sacha Baron Cohen’s gayface act to number one? How many?
That one about the gay cowboys? The one that couldn’t win an academy award because John Wayne was rolling in his grave? The one academy members openly said they’d never vote for. The one they made Bruno-esq jokes about at the award ceremony? The one that got practically no cable channel airplay after it left the theaters, even though it was nominated for best picture? That one?
April 12th, 2009
Dear Amazon.Com…Grow Up
by Bruce |
I read online today that Amazon has stopped ranking gay themed titles. This is having the effect, intended or not, of pushing a whole genre of publishing off your lists, and into the closet. Even the children’s book "Heather Has Two Mommies" has been de-ranked and thereby de-listed. Or, put another way, closeted. Only Kindle editions are listed now when you search Gay and Lesbian bestsellers, because the print editions have had their rankings stripped.
What were you thinking when you did this? As a gay man, and a frequent customer here, I am more unhappy to read about this then I can express. It’s one thing to keep sexually graphic content out of sight of minors, but another thing entirely to push anything having to do with the lives of gay people into the closet. That, simply put, is bigotry. A kind of bigotry I thought Amazon wasn’t really interested in trading in.
And here I was, just about to purchase another lawn and garden tool…something I need and can’t seem to find locally. Like the lawn mower blade I bought some time ago. Oh…and all the mp3s I’ve been buying lately…I have some more titles I was going to search for. Hardly a week goes by that I don’t buy a song, or a book, or some other product, from Amazon. But not now. You need to seriously re-think this policy, and quickly, or I will not be buying a single thing more from Amazon. And considering the stink I’m seeing about this online already…I doubt I’ll be the only customer you loose over this. Get a little more common sense into your ranking policy, and the prejudice out of it. My thanks in advance.
[Update...] Via Toweler Road…a wee list of some of the titles Amazon.Com is now essentially considering pornography…
Meta Writers has posted a list of the books that have been stripped which includes almost all novels in a user’s Top 100 Gay Novels List including James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room, Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Mountain, and Andrew Holleran’s Dancer from the Dance.
Our theatre critic Kevin Sessums reports that the hardback edition of his memoir Mississippi Sissy retains a sales ranking while the ranking for the paperback edition has been stripped. Michelangelo Signorile reports that his books have all lost their rankings.
The L.A. Times reports on the de-ranking:
Our research shows that these books have lost their ranking: "Running with Scissors" by Augusten Burroughs; "Rubyfruit Jungle" by Rita Mae Brown, "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic" by Alison Bechdel, "The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1" by Michel Foucault, "Bastard Out of Carolina" by Dorothy Allison (2005 Plume edition), "Little Birds: Erotica" by Anais Nin, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" by Jean-Dominque Bauby (1997 Knopf edition), "Maurice" by E.M. Forster (2005 W.W. Norton edition) and "Becoming a Man" by Paul Monette, which won the 1992 National Book Award.
[Update...] Andrew Sullivan discovers that as far as Amazon is concerned, he’s a writer of pornography…
This has to be one of the weirdest and least defensible policy changes imaginable. Mein Kampf is fine. Jackie Collins is fine. But books about gay subjects are now "adult" on Amazon and so not included on best seller lists or rankings. Sure enough, "Virtually Normal" and "Love Undetectable" have been de-listed and stripped of customer sales rankings. Jackie Collins’ "Married Lovers" hasn’t. My books contain discussions of Aquinas and Freud and Foucault and Burke. I’m puzzled as to why those authors are more "adult" than Collins’ adulterous couplings.
Seems someone at Amazon has had a homosexual panic moment. Well…the electric pole saw I was going to order from them tonight (I have a tree I need to prune a tad…) is available on the ACE Hardware website too, which claims to ship for free to my local ACE store.
[Update...] Ah…it was a GLITCH…
"A groundswell of outrage, concern and confusion sprang up over the weekend, largely via Twitter, in response to what authors and others believed was a decision by Amazon to remove adult titles from its sales ranking. On Sunday evening, however, an Amazon spokesperson said that a glitch had occurred in its sales ranking feature that was in the process of being fixed. The spokesperson added that there was no new adult policy."
Well that certainly explains this…
"Many of us decided to write to Amazon questioning why our rankings had disappeared. Most received evasive replies from customer service reps not versed in what was happening. As I am a publisher and have an Amazon Advantage account through which I supply Amazon with my books, I had a special way to contact them. 24 hours later I had a response:
"In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude ‘adult’ material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.
"Hence, if you have further questions, kindly write back to us.
"Best regards, Ashlyn D Member Services Amazon.com Advantage"
And how suddenly every book with a gay theme or content in it was wiped off hundreds of Amazon book lists as if they’d never existed…but not other books with similar heterosexual themes. As I said previously, I think someone in Amazon HQ had a homosexual panic moment and made a really bad decision they thought, whilst in the grip of their homosexual panic, that it wouldn’t be noticed or much disapproved of. "Glitch" goes a long way toward explaining what happened…not. How the hell does Virtually Normal, Brokeback Mountain, and Maurice suddenly get treated like they’re pornography if this wasn’t some jackass attempt to push gay books into the closet because somebody got all upset that Amazon was treating gay folk like just another customer demographic?
[Update...] Over at The Examiner, they have a new and interesting theory about that little "Glitch"…
Now a new theory is starting to circulate, that in fact, there was a glitch in the system, and that glitch was abused by people wanting to hurt Amazon. Here is the theory:
On each book is a feature allowing customers to tag a book with words to help people search. Someone might tag a book about Britney Spears with the words "popstar" or "meltdown", words potentially related to the book. If a book was tagged "adult" enough times, it is possible that Amazon had a system in place to remove the sales rank and remove it from the search engine, perhaps until a live person could double check it. This would fit with the statement from a customer service representative over the weekend that this was a new policy about "adult" content.
Now, a group of people makes a concerted effort to tag books they don’t like with the "adult" tag, knowing the automated system will remove them from the search. Reports have surfaced that authors have been discovering their books removed from search as early as February of this year. At that time, they complained and Amazon put the books back in the search.
This weekend is when many people became aware of the fact that so many books were disappearing, hence the firestorm. Some on the internet find it odd that the cat would be let out of the bag on Easter weekend, a religious holiday when few staff would be on hand at Amazon to deal with the fallout.
I’m generally not a conspiracy theory fan, but this has a certain ring of truth to me. Trusting the crowd to rate content is pretty common across the internet, so for Amazon to have instituted an automated feature like this would not be surprising. In fact, as I noted in my previous report, one of the books that did not disappear from search is "For The Bible Tells Me So", a positive look at homosexuality with a biblical perspective. This actually supports this theory- someone trying to eradicate books that support homosexuality might easily think this one was opposed based on the title.
Given that I’ve seen wingers doing crap like this elsewhere, it’s not at all beyond the realm of possibility.
February 10th, 2009
by Bruce |
Some time ago the Bay Shore Gay and Lesbian Center for Youths was vandalized. Its front door was broken and its van had its tires slashed, its windows busted out, and its sideview mirrors mangled.
Today I read that arrests in the case have been made and…surprise, surprise, the police have in their impartial wisdom determined that the vandals had not a prejudiced bone in their bodies after all…
Cops: Vandalism at gay center not hate crime
Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy called the vandalism at a Bay Shore gay and lesbian center for youths an "attack against the gay community."
Gov. David A. Paterson dispatched the state’s commissioner of human rights to visit the site and deliver a message calling for acceptance.
And the Suffolk County Police Hate Crimes Unit investigated last week’s incident as a hate crime.
It turns out the vandalism at the Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth Center was not a hate crime after all, police said Tuesday.
What a relief to know that! Because…er…because… Well because the police just say so…
Police declined to say what led them to determine the crime was not bias-related.
I see. Three men and a woman, two of them 21 years old, one 20 and one 19, decided to slash a van’s tires completely at random. And then they broke out all its windows. And then they mangled the sideview mirrors. And then…again completely at random, they decided to break out a door that only happened to belong to the same group that owned the van. Just…on a lark… It had nothing to do with the fact that the van had the Long Island LGBT Youth center logo on it. And that door…it was just a coincidence that it also happened to be the door to the Long Island LGBT Youth center. There was no anti-gay animus involved here. Take our word for it. Because we insist you take our word for it.
Police arrested three men and a woman, all from Bay Shore, Monday in connection with the vandalism and charged each of them with second-degree criminal mischief. None of the four was charged with a hate crime.
But seriously…what more could attacking homosexuals amount to anyway, other then mischief? You say "hate crime" like its a bad thing…
[Update...] Reports are coming out now that two of the suspects were former clients of the center, who had been asked to leave for an as yet unspecified disruptive behavior…more then three years ago.
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