October 30th, 2012
Meet Maurine Dickey.
No, she’s not a drag queen – that Texas Republican oh-so-smart 1980’s Clairee Belcher housewife look is her real persona, and as for the name… well, sometimes fate has a quirky sense of humor.
Maurine is one of five Dallas County Commissioners and her smile is not quite so superior today. Maurine just lost a vote in the commission (party line 3-2) on a bill (she opposed) and Dallas County will now give a stipend to reimburse gay and unmarried employees who are in domestic partnership arrangements and who pay for their partner’s health insurance. (Dallas Morning News)
The policy caps the stipend at the amount the county would pay for a married employee’s spouse. It is not available for employee’s whose partner has access to health care coverage through their own employer. Employees must sign an affidavit that defines the relationship as a domestic partnership and prove that they and their partner have lived and operated a household together for at least six months.
Now as we know, this is far from equal. I very much doubt that most employees’ partners can get insurance at or below the county’s negotiated rates or with anywhere near the benefits. But it still was too much for Maurine. Poor Maurine.
Republican Commissioner Maurine Dickey said the county was essentially creating a special pool of people for whom to provide separate benefits. She questioned whether commissioners should create special health care programs for obese people, smokers or people who drive blue Pontiacs made before 1978.
First off, let me say that Maurine is right. The county did give special rights and separate benefits. This stipend isn’t available to all employees on an equal basis and it is absolutely true that this is unfair. I oppose creating special pools of people. I oppose separate benefits.
Except Maurine seems to have forgotten one itsy-bitsy little thing: the county wasn’t the one who created this special pool of people; she and her buddies did that. In 2005, the Texas folk who think like Maurine looks decided that of all the people who share their lives with the one they love and who vow life-long devotion and care, they would exclude one group from the legal protections of marriage. It was the Maurine Dickeys of Texas who created that “special pool of people” to set aside and treat differently.
And it was Maurine and crew who decided that the benefits of gay employees would be different. Gay employees don’t want “separate benefits”, they want to be treated exactly like Maurine. And if Maurine doubts this then let’s trade; let the gay employees have the full legal protections of marriage and Maurine can get a stipend.
To complain that the weak secondary provisions which go a little ways to make up for the burden of your discrimination are “special”, to begrudge the crumbs tossed in the direction of those you’ve barred from the banquet, to be dismissive to those whom you’ve already unfairly deprived from equality under the law, that is callous and cruel.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
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In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
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The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.