The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

QueerlyKos – The Weekly Roundup

It’s been an interesting week. I’m still engaged (embroiled?) in a discussion on same-sex marriage with one of the folks sick of it all posted about last week. I’m honestly growing weary of the discussion, because it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. But some interesting things have come of it.

It led me to ask “What right should same-sex couples have?” From there it drifted over to the recent gay exodus out of Virginia as that state nears passage of an amendment that some suggest will even invalidate contracts between same-sex partners. It also bled into discussion of concerns about a similar law in Wisconsin. If I stick with it much longer, it will soon probably lead me to ask another question like the one I asked previously. And it I don’t, it’s given me an insight into how the other side thinks, and how this issue isn’t going to go away anytime soon. It’s all over this week’s news.

  • Odum noted earlier this week that Vermont’s Supreme court snatched jurisdiction back from Virginia courts in a custody batter between former partners in a lesbian civil union. Virginia’s courts refused to recognized the parental rights of the non-biological lesbian parent. Vermont’s courts ruled that they had jurisdiction as they’d presided over the dissolution of the union and the ensuing custody case, and upheld the non-biological parent’s visitation rights.
  • Dispatches from the Culture Wars posted more good news related to gay families. Namely that Indiana’s Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling that would allow gay couples in to legally adopt in the state.
  • Meanwhile, in Indiana a judge barred 25 lawmaker from intervening in a gay marriage lawsuit in that state, and overruled the lawmakers’ arguments that same-sex marriage would break the states budget, bring on anarchy, cause the mountains to crumble and the oceans to boil, etc.
  • And in Illinois, marriage equality opponents are headed to court after the Board of Elections determined they don’t have enough signatures to get an anti-gay marriage referendum on the ballot this year. And they accuse us of running to the courts when we don’t get our way.
  • By the way, same-sex couples in Washington have a couple of weeks to decide whether or not to appeal the state Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage.
  • Ambivalent Mumbling pointed out that the likely passage of the amendment looming on the horizon is causing gay & lesbian Virginians to leave the state rather than risk losing the few legal rights and protections they have if their legal arrangements are invalidated by the amendment. Can anyone blame them? Especially consider the previous item, which shows how disinclined Virginia courts are to recognizing our families?
  • I’m sure some people will object to the comparison, but MPetrelis notes gays are fleeing Iraq too. (So are christians, but they probably aren’t feeling the anti-gay religious death squads.) Some of them are headed to Britain to take part in UK Pride. The gay Iraqis, that is.
  • Gays who are getting out of Virginia and considering stopping in D.C. might want to keep moving. DCist notes that an anti-gay marriage initiative will likely be filed in DC, and suggests that it might pass because the large African American population in the otherwise progressive District will probably support it. My guess it that local ministers like Willie Wilson and Alfred Owens will lead the charge. DC’s sizable, politically active gay community will almost certainly fight this initiative. And given previous clashes, it could get ugly. Very. Ugly.
  • Speaking of ugly, remember the Kansas family from the last round-up? The ones who had the whole town turn on them because they flew their son’s rainbow flag. The good news is that they’ve got the support of the Kansas Equality Coalition.
  • Speaking of good news, Box Turtle News has a reassuring story about a Virginia community coming together to support a gay couple whose home was vandalized.
  • Had enough good news yet? No? Good As You (get it? G.A.Y.?) reports that voters in Rhea County, TN, unelected two commissioners who sought to amend the state’s criminal code to criminalize homosexuality. Two other commissioners who voted for the measure chose not to seek re-election.
  • Meanwhile, gay candidates racked up election victories in Alabama, Arkansas, and Missouri. Yes, you heard right. Alabama, Arkansas, and Missouri.
  • Further south, there’s even good news from my home state, where the Atlanta Braves uninvited Focus on the Family from “Faith Days” at Turner Field.
  • Also, Students in Georgia’s White County won the right to have gay/straight student clubs at their schools. Unfortunately, the superintendent says they’ll need their parents’ permission. I can imagine more than a few gay Georgia teens won’t be seeking their parents’ permission, for fear they’ll end up like Zach or David Luc Nguyen, whose parent packed them off to “reparative therapist” when they came out.
  • Speaking of “ex-gays,” Ex-Gay Watch recounted the New Mexico gay-bashing from last week’s round up and asked “Do ex-gay ministries have blood on their hands?” Speaking for themselves, the bashers claim they were trying to “scare him straight.” The victim, that is. So maybe there were establishing their own brand of “ex-gay ministry.”
  • Whether or not they have blood on their hands, some “ex-gays” had a fight on their hands recently when they protested at the meeting of the American Psychological Association in New Orleans, in an attempt to get the association to reclassify homosexuality as a mental illness. They were met by Truth Wins Out, and firmly shut down by the APA itself.
  • But you can’t keep a bigot down, and the same goes for their rhetoric. Media Matters noted that NPR (so much for that “liberal media”) uncritically repeated an Arkansas legislator’s claim that having gay parents is “problematic for the child.”
  • Meanwhile, Box Turtle News notes that Paul Cameron is back with more of the same, claiming children in homes with same-sex parents are more likely to be molested. I posted about it back in 2005 when a Texas wingnut was spouting the same thing on CNN and going unchallenged. (And without mentioning Camerons’ name, because it would be a huge red flag.) Later the Wall Street Journal’s numbers guys busted Cameron and his number. Problem is once the toss out stats like that in the media, the people who believe it rarely hear the rebuttal.
  • Likewise the media doesn’t bother looking for information that any blogger could find in minutes, like Whigsboy pointing out the American Academy of Pediatrics statement that children of same-sex parents fare just as well as other children developmentally. Why can’t NPR and CNN do what anyone with an internet connection and 5 minutes to spare can do? Why does being “objective” these days amount to letting wingnuts spout their propaganda without challenging them or even trying to find anyone to challenge them? It can’t be a surprise to the media anymore. If the rest of us have figured out their tactics, why can’t the media?
  • Maybe it’s like HomegrownDem said about Hollywood Democrats donating to Ahnold’s campaign war-chest. Some people just don’t care.
  • Maybe it’s all about money. Maybe that’s why, as Good As You reports, Texas dealers are encouraging Ford Motor Company to bend over for the American Family Association’s boycott.
  • But bigotry isn’t always good for business, as the owner of Outside Pride may realize after getting contacted by the folks who read txbirdman’s post.
  • Virginia may find out the same thing, if other organizations follow the example of the American Psychological Association, and move their meetings out of the state.
  • It isn’t good for the army either according to 20 soldiers at Fort Bragg, one congressional candidate and one West Point cadet. Naturally, the nutters want the the cadet’s head on a platter.

And that’s all I got, folks. Without even enough energy to wrap them all up in some kind of context.Another busy day, another bedtime for Parker, and another late evening round-up. I know there are things out there I’ve missed. So, if you caught them, please share them in the comments. And, if you want to get emails when these round-ups get posted, drop me an email.

2 Comments

  1. Hey, about that parental permission to join a club. Since school started here this week I have a bit of insight into that. A form came home with 3 sections on it, one for a signature saying you’d read the discipline handbook, one place to sign if you did not want your child to participate in any statistical analysis and a third place that said “At our school we have many clubs and organizations. They are listed [somewhere else]. Please sign here and list any clubs in which you do not want your child to participate.” At least they are demanding permission for ALL clubs, not just singling out the GLBT clubs!

    Yeah, now it’s the end of the first day of school, I am standing there with a stack of forms to sign, homework to check, a kid that I want to talk to about the first day, etc. Does Anyone really go find the list, read the list and deny their kid permission? I am probably not the only parent to think “how bad could a school club be that I wouldn’t let my kid join it?” and sign it without looking. So, for this year at least, my kid has permission and didn’t have to come out to me or specifically ASK me for permission for any one club. Now, I realize my kid is probably in a better space than a kid who’s parents might flip out if he came out but it seems that for now, no kid has to walk up to dad and say “Can you sign this so I can join the gay support club?” So long as mom or dad signs that form on the first day of school permission is granted. It’s not a perfect system, a parent could still reneg permission later. But I’d hope that a child that has the guts to come out to a parent that wouldn’t let them join a support group, has already found a support system outside of home to get to the point wherer they could come out!

    So, that’s the ‘permission’ deal here in my little homophobic town!

  2. DC’s queer community is fighting the anti-gay marriage initiative. There’ve been two organizations formed, one tax deductible, one not, and a lot of outreach is happening already, especially to religious leaders in town. As you say, it’s not going to be pretty, but we are preparing, and tracking activity on the proposed amendment(s) very carefully. We’ve already tread a very careful line with Congress on the issue of gay marriage, and there’s already a DC Court of Appeals decision saying that current DC law does not allow for gay marriages (though that decision was silent on the issue of recognizing marriages from other jurisdictions), so we’re hopeful we can get this stopped, one way or another.

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