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Posts for April, 2015

Texas’ truly stupid anti-equality proposal

Timothy Kincaid

April 27th, 2015

Representative Cecil Bell Jr., one of Texas’ good ol’ boy Republicans, has a game plan as to how the Lone Star State is going to thwart the ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States on same-sex marriage.

Passed by the House State Affairs committee on April 22, the bill would prohibit Texas from using state or local funds to license or recognize same-sex marriages. Even if a court issued “an order requiring the issuance or recognition of a same-sex marriage license,” the bill states, officials would be barred from spending any money to do so.

Now suppose that the state passes this bill and SCOTUS rules for equality, as expected. What would Bell’s bill do?

First, it would not keep things as usual in Texas. Or certainly not for long.

When confronted by an obligation to provide same-sex couples with equal access – but to do so without spending extra funds – I expect that clerks will respond differently. Some will laugh at Bell’s bill, noting that state legislation does not outrank the US Constitution.

Others, maybe most, will just shut down shop until the courts toss this nonsense. Yay, Bell, marriage for no one. That’ll show them.

And there will undoubtedly be some brave soul with little brains and lots of faith who will proudly wave their flag of bigotry and defy the courts. But this will be a violation of civil rights as determined by the US Supreme Court. Which means the active involvement of the Justice Department. And federal judges. And sanctions. And maybe even jail.

And sure Bell will “win” if winning means grandstanding, and “martyrs”, and causing a stink. And, yes, people will hate each other and dig in their heels, and life will be less comfortable for everyone.

But marriage equality is coming to Texas. And there is nothing that Cecil Bell Jr. can do to stop it.

Please tell me that this isn’t going to be OUR strategy

Timothy Kincaid

August 4th, 2011

Today the anti-gays begin gathering signatures on their petition to overturn California’s law requiring inclusion of GLBT contributions in the education curriculum.

And also today I heard a radio advertisement warning that you shouldn’t sign petitions. Because then they have your address and you could be a victim of identity theft. “They even have my signature” says the newly incensed woman. And then they go for the real danger:

I read that the names and addresses on petitions were sent to other countries, including India! Who knows what they did with it!

This is, of course, nonsense. Without giving your social security number there is not much threat of identity theft. Even from those nefarious Indians.

A San Diego Union Tribune reporter followed up and discovered that “Californians Against Identity Theft” are a project of a construction workers labor union. There are several signature campaigns to limit the exposure to guaranteed pension benefits that can come from public funds and, in some cases, require public employees to contribute to their pensions.

But considering EQCA’s shift in identity away from a gay organization and towards a progressive coalition agenda, this doesn’t give me comfort. So please, will someone please tell me that this incredible stupid, fraudulent and xenophobic ad is not part of our strategy?

UPDATE:

Ugh. An email from EQCA was in my inbox.

We’ve seen these campaigns before.

So we know that our opponents are spreading lies and using the usual scare tactics to misrepresent the FAIR Education Act and collect signatures for their effort to overturn it at the ballot box next year.

Extremists are also pushing a broad anti-progressive agenda, including ballot measures for next year, that will harm our fight and the work of important coalition partners.

Working in close collaboration with our partners, including Service Employees International Union, we are fighting back.

So I guess that, yeah, EQCA is has aligned our community with this crap. I especially love the comment about “spreading lies and using the usual scare tactics.”

What, are they saying that the FAIR Act is sending their children to India? And who know what the Indians will do with them!!

Yeah, Bishop, be an asshole. That’ll show ’em

Timothy Kincaid

July 8th, 2011

The Catholic Church is an institution with a reputation that few would wish for. Currently perceived by many as an international pedophile ring and headed up by a man who looks like he was cast for the role of Evil Sorcerer in a cheap Hollywood thriller, the Church’s public image problem has seldom been worse. And in response to this image catastrophe, the Church seems to have collectively agreed upon one course of action: whenever possible be an asshole.

Now this doesn’t seem to me to be the most effective way of regaining the trust and goodwill of the people, but it certainly seems to be what they’ve decided.

You can’t help but wonder who came up with this gem of a strategy: Rather than be known as a caretaker of sacred art, an ancient tradition of spiritual learning, a voice for personal integrity, and an advocate for the downtrodden, make your church’s highest visibility all about denying rights to gays and encouraging the poor to disregard economic realities in deciding family growth.

Oh, and to really prove your point, find those few areas in which you still have public goodwill and be a great big puckered oozing asshole.

If people respect your adoption programs, shut them down and blame gay people. If people see nuns as being selfless and devoted, close the nunnery to pay settlements for pedophile priests. And be sure that your spiritual leaders take actions that make them look like corrupt back-room finagling politicians; Because who doesn’t love a politician?

And at all times be an asshole in the most obnoxious, hostile, arrogant and truly hateful way. If you need a presence on television, why who could be better than Bill Donohue? And if social trends show that society is coming to see same-sex couples in a positive light, then make sure that the public sees you as the primary party seeking to uphold discrimination (and be certain to talk a lot about destroying society and perversion, that will be remembered well).

Ah yes, it’s a brilliant plan.

And right in line with this strategy is the response of the Bishop of Brooklyn to the New York marriage vote: If you voted for marriage equality, then you can’t give to needy children.

I kid you not. (Christian Post)

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio

Joseph Lentol, an assemblyman representing Brooklyn’s 50th district, saw firsthand just how serious the Brooklyn Diocese was. The Catholic legislative assembly member who openly voted for same-sex marriage made a donation to Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish School. The donation was declined.

Along with the return of his $50 donation, Lentol received a letter from Monsignor Joseph Calise, the church pastor. The letter stated: “Bishop DiMarzio has requested that all gifts received from politicians supporting same-sex marriage legislation be refused.”

Marketing genius, I tell ya. Sheer marketing genius.