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Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for May, 2012

There Were No Bachelorette Parties at The Abbey in WeHo Last Night

Jim Burroway

May 26th, 2012

The Elizabeth Taylor shrine at The Abbey in West Hollywood

Two thoughts: 1) I couldn’t be happier, and 2) what on earth took them so long? This is from their press release:

Every Friday and Saturday night, we’re flooded with requests from straight girls in penis hats who want to ogle our go-gos, dance with the gays and celebrate their pending nuptials. They are completely unaware that the people around them are legally prohibited from getting married,” said David Cooley, Founder of The Abbey.  “Over the past 22 years, The Abbey has been a place that accepts everyone, gay, straight, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and everything in between. We love our straight girlfriends and they are welcome here, just not for bachelorette parties.”

It has long been a policy at The Abbey to deny admission to groups in costume, including Bachelorette regalia. Bachelorette parties had previously been allowed inside if they removed their costumes. The Abbey’s ‘bachelorette ban’ comes on the heels of a ban on gay marriage in North Carolina and a number of other states across the South.   The Abbey encourages other gay-owned and operated establishments to institute their own bans as a sign of solidarity until marriage is legal everywhere for everyone.

To be honest, I’m surprised that The Abbey is just now getting around to this. I was in Washington, D.C. in 2008 for a conference, and decided to take in an evening at Town, a large two-story dance club. This was the year that marriage bans were on the ballot in California, Florida, and my home state of Arizona, and more than a year before marriage equality arrived in D.C. On the lower level of the club was one of the most impressive drag shows I’ve ever scene, polluted, I might say, by a obnoxious bachelorette party flaunting their privilege. They were partying in a gay club while the rest of us had to stand there and be reminded that even in our own spaces we were second class citizens. I found it unspeakably rude. I’m glad to see these bans in place, but more importantly I will be thrilled to see them thrown out when we can all celebrate marriages equally.

GOProud’s Tammy Bruce maligns West Hollywood

Timothy Kincaid

November 17th, 2010

GOProud is an organization of conservative gay people driven entirely by identity politics. They see themselves first as “not the Left”, secondarily as “conservatives”, third as partisan Republicans, and finally in a far distant place as gay. Unlike Log Cabin Republicans, the gay group who measures each issue against it’s matrix of beliefs, GOProud is reactionary, selecting their positions and candidates based primarily on what they think will most annoy liberal gay people and organizations.

So it is not at all surprising that GOProud has weighed in on a controversial but fairly non-consequential issue: Willow Palin’s homophobic slurs.

This all started on Monday when Willow got into a facebook squabble with another teen. She was “defending her mother” against this kid’s criticism that Sarah Palin’s Alaska, the new Palin reality show that premiered on Monday, was “failing”. Willow responded with the “you’re gay” putdown, followed by a homophobic slur:

Willow is a kid who did not ask to be Sarah Palin’s daughter and who has not pushed herself into the spotlight. Further, as best I can tell this was not an attack intended to reflect on anyone’s sexual orientation but rather typical of the careless and hurtful language that has saturated the youth culture. So I’m not quick to accuse her of homophobia or question her character.

But it is fair to note that this reflects on the Palin parenting style as well as the values of Todd and Sarah Palin. This is a classless exchange. And while my parents were conservative and certainly anti-gay, I would never have dared use this language.

So, to me, it is relevant that no one has, to date, apologized for the language used, or even suggested that it was inappropriate. Not a huge issue to me, but not outside of the realm of acceptable criticism.

But GOProud has leaped to the defense of Sarah Palin, one of their idols. If “the Left” is going to criticize the use of a hurtful slur, then they will defend it. (TMZ) just told TMZ, “The ‘slur’ used here is one you could hear on the streets of West Hollywood or Chelsea every day of the week. Apparently, it’s only a homophobic slur when it comes from the daughter of a conservative female leader.”

I can’t speak for Chelsea, but you WILL NOT hear that slur “on the streets of West Hollywood” any day of the week.

I don’t know what kind of language that GOProud’s Tammy Bruce (a local boring talk-show host) uses in private, or what her social circle has to say about gay men when they can’t be heard. And her “Boys in the Band” mentality may be shared by whatever self-loathing people she finds to confirm and bolster her need to be “not like them.”

But that slur reflects a complete lack of self-respect and a capitulation to a mindset that sees oneself and one’s community as worthless and deserving of contempt. It is entirely socially unacceptable in public or in any gay circles of which I am a part. And this is particularly true on the streets of West Hollywood.

The last time I hear that word used on Santa Monica Boulevard, a diminutive young lady tackled the guy saying it and began pounding her fists into his face. We don’t like that term so much, you see. And we have reason.

In 1984 when little WeHo became a city, the first night that it’s City Council met, it passed a non-discrimination ordinance. The council then marched down to Barney’s Beanery, a restaurant and bar within the new city limits, and confiscated their “Fagots – Stay Out” sign. That slur (and yes, it’s a slur even if Bruce puts in scare quotes) has not been welcome in West Hollywood since.

Just as I would never refer to Ms. Bruce with a term that denigrated her sex and orientation – in public or in private – she had best not bring her foul bigotry to the streets of my community. She best not dare.

Prop 8 Rallies Planned

Jim Burroway

August 4th, 2010

As Timothy mentioned yesterday afternoon, we received word that a decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger is expected this afternoon between 1:00 and 3:00 pm (PDT). Already, Prop 8 supporters have already filed a request for stay of judgment pending appeal, in case Judge Walker strikes down Prop 8. If granted, this would prevent any marriages taking until the Court of Appeals hears the case.

Meanwhile, a large number of rallies are planned in California and across the U.S., forty so far and counting. Rex Wockner is keeping up to date with the latest additions.