The Republic of T.

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

QueerlyKos – What a Long Strange Week It’s Been

It’s the end of the week again, and I have to admit I’m not sorry to see this one pass. It’s been a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me, for reasons I won’t go into here. It’s been a weird week, with more than its share of ups and downs, and unexpected twists and turns when it comes to lgbt-related news.

It started off quietly enough, as I tried to continue an earlier conversation by asking “What rights should same-sex couples not have?” And the discussion continued with more than a few new twists of its own. I’m still not sure where that discussion’s going, or whether it’s headed downhill or up. In the meantime, before we can finish that discussion we actually have to turn around and have another discussion about straight civil rights, for non-married heterosexual couples. If we get domestic partnerships or civil unions, do they get them too? Even though they can marry each other and we can’t? You may begin to see what I mean about the twists and turns, and the strange territory these questions lead to. So, with that, let’s plunge into this week, shall we?

  • Let’s not ease ourselves into the weirdness, but let’s just jump right into it. Remember the woman in India who married a snake? Well, now there’s a guy in Africa who’s married a goat. (Though my understanding is that it was a “shotgun wedding,” with a dowry paid to the goat’s owner.) But whatever you do, don’t tell Phil Santorm.
  • And the polygamists are rallying. Again, keep this just between us.
  • Then again, Gay Orbit points out that we can leap to the same conclusions the other side does.
  • Besides, once they get word that America’s most conservative corporation is getting in bed with gays, they’ll burst a vessel or two anyway. It might be fun to watch.
  • But Queerty and Good As You point out that it isn’t sitting well with some gay folks either. But if gays start talking labor issues with Wal-Mart as well, is that hijacking the gay rights movement? So many questions….
  • But it pisses off the wingnuts too. So it can’t be all bad, right?
  • We might want to keep quiet about this one too, seeing as how it involves gay porn and war in the Middle East. A gay Jewish porn star took it upon himself to support the troops in Israel in his own special way. The gay one’s anyway.
  • Speaking of the military, those DADT protests in 30 cities yielded a number of arrests and people being turned away. No surprises there.
  • But since we’re talking arrests, there’s been two arrests (now four indictments) in that New Mexico gay bashing.
  • A lesbian bashing in New York ended with the basher being stabbed. Not the case in Moscow.
  • It gets stranger still as Dunner points out that the Ohio anti-gay organization Citizens for Community Values is actually going to bat for men who beat their girlfriends, by actually filing a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of one. Apparently, they want to make it clear that the state law bans domestic partnerships for heterosexual couples too and thus means unmarried heterosexual partners can’t file domestic abuse charges. How can there by domestic abuse if they aren’t domestic partners because that legal status doesn’t exist in Ohio? Tell me again about these laws having no unintended consequences. If you ask me, this suggests the consequences are very much intended.
  • After all, just because the point is to deny benefits to same-sex couples — as a lesbian couple civil-unionized (can we get a better verb?) in Vermont found when they moved to New York — doesn’t mean that sticking it to unmarried heterosexuals isn’t a find bonus for the other side. Especially if they say as much. Maybe, just maybe, it also creates some new allies for us.
  • And let’s not forget the Washington case mentioned earlier, or the legal briefs filed by unmarried heterosexual couples in Arizona. Hey Lambda Legal, are ya paying attention? Maybe we should file some friend-of-the-court briefs of our own. Maybe some pro-bono representation or legal advice for potential allies like these?
  • But a transgendered chef in New York can sue an employer who discriminated against him after discovering his transgendered status, according to another New York court.
  • The New York Court may have gotten it right, but the New York Times got it all wrong, according to zuzu, when it tried to take on the ensuing controversy in the wake of a character on The L Word deciding she wants to transition from female to male. Stephen Miller, writing about the same article, notes the decision of the Michigan Womyn’s music festival not to admit transmen, and wonders why festival gets a pass on what Miller names as bigotry.
  • Elsewhere in Michigan, two Republican county commissioners in Kalamazoo found the courage to stand against bigotry and voted to include sexual orientation and gender identity in the county’s non-discrimination statute.
  • Oh, and Lambda, you might want to check out what Know Thy Neighbor has to say about potential fraud in the effort to turn back marriage equality in Massachusetts. Hey, they file lawsuits, we file lawsuits, right?
  • I know, I know. People earnestly believe the best way to win this fight is in the legislature, not in the courts. I think there’s an argument for both. Besides we are trying to get into the legislature too. Unfortunately for Patricia Todd, Alternahomo reports that Alabama Democrats disqualified her on a technicality they’ve been happy to ignore for nearly 20 years.
  • But there are other lgbt candidates out there. There’s quite a few in my new home state, and we’ve got a yardsign out front for one of them.
  • And Keith points out that there are two black gay candidates running in Maryland. Neither is running in my district, but that doesn’t mean I cant whip out the checkbook and make a donation, right?
  • Of course, Canada’s miles ahead of the U.S. again. They have a gay party leader.
  • But here in the states we take our victories where we can find them. Independent Gay Forum thinks the pensions bill Bush signed is a backdoor victory. If that’s true, I guess we scored another one in California, where the state assembly voted to allow same-sex partners to file joint tax returns. Gay Republican bloggers noted that for the first time GOP lawmakers found themselves actually supporting higher taxes. I guess it different if it’s a “gay tax.”
  • Speaking of black gays, Bernie noted a rather arresting billboard that sure to get attention in New York City. It’s part of a larger effort called “We Are Part of You”, intended to intended to help the community understand that we are a part of the community, and to begin to address homophobia in our communities. That’s something I wholeheartedly applaud.
  • Why a campaign like this? Because AIDS is in our house. To face that we gotta be honest about who’s a part of our community.
  • Wanna talk strange? How about a country where discrimination was once the law of the land taking a (giant) step (light years) ahead of the U.S. in the direction of marriage equality. How ironic is it that I might soon have a better shot at equal citizenship in South Africa than I do in the U.S.?
  • Elsewhere in Africa, a Ugandan tabloid published a list of alleged homosexuals in the country, where homosexuality is punishable with life imprisonment.
  • And what crazy week would be complete without an item on those crazy “ex-gays”? Ex-Gay Watch notes one who stops short offering a money-back guarantee that you’ll “feel your guy-ness” when you’re done with their program. (Funny, I always just wanted to feel the guy next to me.) Meanwhile Vigilance notes that other “ex-gays” are hinting at retiring the term “ex-gay” altogether. Guess they don’t have a money-back guarantee on that term. And it’s probably no longer under warranty either.

That’s all I got folks. The end of the week has me pulling back and taking a 10,000 foot view of things, and realizing that sometime between now and the end of the year I’m going to be posting these round-ups while sleep deprived due to the presence of another infant in the house. We finished our adoption profile this week and sent it off to the agency. That means any time between now and the end of the year, we could be chosen by a new set of birthparents and welcome a second (and our last) child into our family. Of course, that means I’ll be watching the news even more closely, to see if I can catch a glimpse of the world my kids will inherit, in the hopes that I can help fix it a bit more before they’re old enough to notice what shape it’s in.

If I left something out, leave ’em in the comments, and drop me an email if you want to get email notification of when these are posted.


  1. Well, Terrance. I hope the next week goes better for you. I hope you see, as I have, that ups and downs usually happen with some of the most dramatic and beautiful landscapes on the train ride.

    One thing to note. I would put “Know Thy Neighbor” in roughly the same category as the Ugandans in your list.

    Answers to KTN allogations are here and here. In the KTN forums, as noted in the Opine piece, during the circulation of the petitions there were open calls to commit voter fraud by signing other’s names in hopes to derail the constitutional process. It didn’t work, there were far more than enough legitimate signers.

  2. Congratulations on entering what I called the Red Zone, when at any moment you can get a call. Crossing my fingers and eyes that it happens for you by the holidays. Kisses to you and your family.