Monday, September 8, 2014

Common Garden Variety of Prejudice Thrown at Same-Gender Couples

Photo courtesy of

History records Samuel Johnson saying that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

We're told terrorist acts are the work of cowards, especially so when innocent women and children are the targets, which begs the question:  Are all men guilty and suitable targets for terrorism?  Let me store that question away for another time.

What are we to make of elected officials with degrees in the law who make arguments that marriage equality puts children at risk?

The Ninth Circuit of Appeals will soon be hearing oral arguments in marriage-equality cases from Hawaii, Idaho and Nevada where the defenders of discrimination are using the protection of children as their shield defending the common garden variety of prejudice thrown at same-gender couples.

What are we to make of this quote:

"A child's formative years are benefited by the presence of both a mother and a father," attorneys for the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage wrote in court filings in the Nevada case. "The man-woman marriage institution vindicates the child's interest in knowing and being raised by her own natural mother and father."

Two very important sharp points punch holes is this defense of discrimination--

1) What about single parent households?  Should those children be removed from the home?
Just when do the "formative years" end?  I'm well into middle-age, yet I'm still being "formed" by my         parents.

2) What about adopted children who do not know and may never know who their "natural parents" are?
"Vindicate" is an odd choice of word to use generically to "defend" children.  Isn't it more likely the use of "vindicate" is wishful thinking of the discrimination defenders to justify their own personal attitude toward civil equality for gay and lesbians?

One very good piece of news is that the three judge panel hearing these marriage equality cases have already made previous written rulings concerning gay equality in Prop 8 from California, eligibility of gay people to serve on juries, and  the unconstitutionality of Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Read more details here:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Just when is a civil right such as marriage equality recognized as inviolable?

So just when is a civil right such as marriage equality recognized as inviolable or left to remain squashed by religious dogma and social tradition? How can some states in a federal union deny some rights to its residents while other states recognize that same right freely and made operable by crossing a state line? In the USA alleged settled decisions can be changed but often take generations to do so. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) that made separate but equal the law of the land for generations was overturned by Brown v. Board of Education (1954). The Dred Scott decision of 1857 that kept slaves as property was overturned by a civil war. People's lives and deaths go on regardless of the isolated status of court judges, and in that short space of time we have alive the most must be made of it. Devoted gay and lesbian couples can certainly maintain their allegiance without the flowery certificates issued by the states, but they also need the legal security and financial benefits that can only come from state recognition.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

She has to prove she carries a strap-on underneath that pantsuit

Just What is a Moderate Rebel?

Many people who read my posts have been H. Clinton supporters in the past and perhaps still are.  She is the first strong woman candidate for president who is able to command attention beyond her gender.  I'm looking past that gender and at the substance of her remarks in the post from the Guardian newspaper where she is making a foreign tour to promote her book, a mere smokescreen for shoring up her foreign policy image in Europe.

clip  "I'm not aware of the specifics about any proposal to the British government but like our government I knew there was debate because I was advocating for trying to vet, train and arm Syrian moderates," Clinton said.

Madame Secretary--Just what is the maximum kill level to qualify as a moderate rebel and to avoid moving up to the next level of radical moderate?  Is there a proficiency test? Is there a logbook maintained of kills?

Since this is the Independence Day weekend in the USA is it a good time to ask would all-but-named candidate Clinton care to describe the Colonial rebels as moderate or radical in their actions towards George III?  Doesn't it really matter who does the defining if one is the target of the rebellion or if one is the supplier of arms for those who are being defined?  This is the definition of one who wants to overthrow a government yet stand aloof by appearing moderate.  Make no mistake, H. Clinton is a war hawk first and last.  She has to prove she carries a strap-on underneath that pantsuit and as much a man is with XY chromosomes.

The Democratic Party, both the Oklahoma and national versions,  have been running on the fumes puffed from FDR's famous cigars, now completely dissipated 69 years after his death.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Why Are We as Bound to Religion.... a Leather Slave Having a Good Time?

Amanda Snipes,  Director of Outreach and Communications for Freedom Oklahoma,  recently had the opportunity to have an op/ed placed in Time magazine prodding once again the need, if not the duty,  for the American legal system to recognize the civil right of marriage equality for all American citizens without regard to gender of the intended spouses.

We must petition the judicial system for our civil rights because we loose many times at the hands of voters.  The past twelve to fourteen years have shown the majority of voters as totally oblivious as to what's at stake.  

Civil rights should not be the prize in the majority voter raffle that has passed many anti-gay state laws and amendments excluding the losers, gay/lesbian tax-paying citizens, from the full benefit of their citizenship. 

I especially liked the phrase in Ms. Snipes op/ed about the need to follow the  "Golden Rule" except it's not followed in Oklahoma, a state that prides itself on high moral stances except when it's inconvenient to follow that truly straight and mindlessly narrow road, uncorrupted, as Gore Vidal said of the literary critic, Mary McCarthy, by compassion.  

My partner and I were among twelve unsuccessful plaintiffs in the 2004 ACLU-filed lawsuit to try and have Oklahoma's version of DOMA (SQ 711) struck from the state-wide ballot.  

Oklahoma will soon elect for the second time as governor the twice-married Mary Fallin who had a very contentious divorce that included accusations of adultery with her tax-paid body guard.  She touts her family values in her campaign material--values which are actually discounted as if they were a post-Christmas wrapping paper sale.  Her bio-daughter seems to emulate the example of her mother, seeing as she's been divorced twice in less than eighteen months.

Oklahomans still enthusiastically endorse the death penalty even as evidence shows the latest execution became an exponentially-squared atrocity with the misplacement of the drug-inducing shunt in the condemned man's vein.

At the same time as Ms. Snipes writes of the need for America's gay and lesbian citizens to have the right to a civil marriage license she relies on the "Golden Rule" for a buttress, a religious concept bound as much as a leather slave having a good time, in the same religious culture that is the major impediment in the civil rights of ALL minorities that have had laws passed interfering with the recognition of their civil rights, be it slavery, immigration, gender, voting rights, or inter-racial marriage.   When, oh, when, will we recognize religion for what it is:  superstition from the dawn of our civilization and government to bind the majority  of us to the desires of the minority.

Voters De-hinged and De-mented

Photo  by author

(OKLAHOMA CITY)  I like the ironic humor of all my Blue Friends, cloned in the current events style of Steven Colbert or Jon Stewart, but humor seems powerless to weaken the Teapublicans and GOPer party in Oklahoma or any other of the other red states--we Blues are whistling past the graveyard.

The rednecks, ignorant of satire, irony, and history, are immune to shame or self-awareness, blinded by economic and racial fear fed by the lies from the GOPer propaganda mills reinforcing over and over in  loops, acquiring additional impenetrable rings of density.

Congress remains constipated, full of themselves as ever, elections are up for sale as much as ever, the Supreme Court prostitutes itself in clearly prejudiced economic and religiously invasive decisions.

And even we Blues are being set up to elect another divisive candidate such as Hillary Clinton.  The racists have had eight years of delight, having had their closet doors de-hinged and their minds de-ranged, with the two elections of Barack Obama.

The strongly possible election of Hillary Clinton as president in 2016 will pull the woman-hating feathers of the Right Wing electorate of the dis-United States of America, allowing Mitch McConnell, who also has a strong reason to believe he'll be the Senate majority leader in 2014, to declare that the number one job of the Republican Party is to make her a one-term president, just as he said about Obama in 2008.  Though McConnell was mistaken in his prophecy, nonetheless his Party was successful in cementing the bollards of resistance into dams of obstruction in eight years of the Obama administration.

The extremes of the right wing have played this chess game to a stalemate.  What is so radical and anti-American, as we Blues are accused of being, in wanting a stable country that looks after those down on their luck, or those born with handicaps beyond their control, physical and mental, the use of our scientific ingenuity to make long-lasting improvements to our physical world instead of irrevocably altering it for single generation gain?

I'm not pro-American, I'm pro-humanity--I'm human first, a citizen second.  I'm not interested in the use of any religious dogma as a verbal time machine to return to a bronze age of violence and denial.  I'm pro-future, wanting to discard this baggage of  political revenge and blood feuds inherited from centuries of pestilential ignorance.

On the centennial of the assassination that began World War I, allow me a riff on Santayana:  I remember the past as recorded in history and I don't care to re-enact it.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Why Pride? Because We can and MUST!

The question always comes up as to why we need annual public Pride events. I think we can have our own private as well as public Pride events weekly if not daily in our own lives . We must speak up about the injustice of paying taxes and not receiving the benefits and privileges attached to those taxes. We must vote every time and call to complain when our elected officials from Mayor and City Council on up to Congressional Representatives and Senators drop the ball and rely on stereotypes to score a news cycle sound bite at our expense.

We have to have pride because much of the time our existence in society is viewed as an embarrassment at best and detrimental, worthy of severe punishment, at worst.. Laws are changing, attitudes are evolving, education is happening, because many of us have taken responsibility to demonstrate we gay people have constructive employment all across the spectrum, pay taxes, have stable relationships, and volunteer in our neighborhoods. We are as needed and valuable a part of our society as any straight person is.

We MUST take responsibility for our own public relations in the way we conduct ourselves as we move the equality ball down the court. It makes no difference if we wear jeans and sneakers at our jobs or suits and ties. We're all links in the chain of community.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Oklahoma Stoning Advocate Has Back Against His Own Wall

photo from the Esk campaign website

 Oklahoma Stoning Advocate Has  Back Against His Own Wall

Readers, Below is an unchanged email that was sent to me by a third party.  I do not know if this email is authentic which purports to be from Scott Esk, a controversial GOPer candidate. Make your own decisions as to what you believe.
Mr. Esk, a Republican Oklahoma candidate for State House district 91 has made news for himself by advocating stoning for the punishment of being gay.   He hasn't apologized or retracted these remarks and as you can read for yourself he's relying on his god to protect and support his biblical principles.
There is also a Scott Esk (the same Mr. Esk as the candidate?) with two references in Oklahoma court records that indicate a Scott Esk was arrested for violent threats against a man and has had a VPO  (violence protection order) issued against him by his wife in what he has called a "frivolous lawsuit". 

It's always the same with these people in that they ignore  the dietary, clothing, marital and agricultural laws of the Christian Old Testament except for the alleged proscription regarding sexual activity between two men. 
Why do the flat-earthers get such a rise regarding the private activities of people for whom they have no responsibility?

Sent: 6/12/2014 9:58:46 A.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: I must be doing something right; the liberal media are attacking me :- )
Dear Friends in HD91,
As some of you doubtlessly know, there have been attacks against me by the liberal media, trying to depict me as an ‘extremist’. Imagine somebody trying to stand up for Biblical morality being labeled an extremist by the non-Biblical-morality-believing liberal media. You probably won’t see any interviews with me, since my only encounter with these miscreants was very negative. A liar who said he ‘ran’ the Moore paper talked to me for over 7 minutes, and on the news were 2 sentences from the conversation. I have no use for a media that is only interested in sound bites, and not the whole story. Romans 13:4 says that God established government to be “…a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil” It is up to individual jurisdictions to decide how to punish evil acts of various kinds, and to even decide what is evil and what is not. Different jurisdictions will have different punishments for various forms of evil, and vive la difference! If, for example, one state decides to punish first degree murder with the death penalty, and another decides to make the convicted murderer pay a small fine, they both have the right to punish (or even not to punish) as they see fit. But as an advocate of the death penalty, after due process is exhausted, I think you’ll see the consequences of those differences pretty quickly.
I hold these recent media attacks to be a badge of honor. I am seen as one who doesn’t hold to the status quo in many areas of government, I am a different kind of Republican (a Christian and Constitutionalist 1st), and I am not beholden to any special interests. The media are not used to seeing this kind of integrity, and so should it shock anybody that they should tell stories about an ‘extemist’ saying that he wants to stone homosexuals??? I can tell you this much: I know several homosexuals. I believe without exception, I have told them that they need to do as the Bible commands, and repent and leave that immorality behind, but I don’t recall saying any ugly words to them, and we have for the most part had cordial friendships after I let them know what they needed to hear. Contrast this to the numerous phone calls, emails, and texts coming my way that are typically full of vitriol and of course as you would expect obscenities. Are we in a culture war? I think so!!!
If you cannot support somebody whom the liberal media consider an extremist, I guess I can’t stop you if you’re still feeling that way. However, the dealings I’ve had so far with constituents has been very gratifying. They’ve seen the attacks as politically driven. Has an opponent seen that I’m doing too well in the polls and helped some of this get started? I have no evidence for that, but some have suggested it. Regardless, it has been a very educational experience. The reason that I’m running is still a matter of deep conviction, righting wrongs and protecting my constituents from an out-of-control federal government, and I continue to see great support for this, judging by the overwhelming number of yard sign requests, contributions, and verbal encouragement along the way.
You will have a choice of 5 Republican candidates to vote on in less than 2 weeks, and I feel compelled to point out 1 very big difference right now: Influences! Dr Painter has been endorsed by the State Chamber of Commerce, and although it does promote business concerns (which are important), in its issues page (, it advocates for several things Republicans and other small-government advocates used to run away from. I’ve attached a short analysis of this entitled Beware of the Chamber. Candidates who have been endorsed by the Chamber have a track record of being moderates and not devoted Constitutionalists. A constituent also found a red flag in that the uber liberal Democrat David Boren has given $1000 to Chris Kannady’s campaign. I’ve also attached a short analysis of the track record of Republicans who have taken David Boren money in the past. You will find a partial website address on the top of that document. The full address is the following:
I could see endorsing either of the other 2 candidates in this race, David Monlux or Chad Olsen, because they don’t appear to be nearly as beholden to special interests. I will be out-donated many times over by Dr Painter and Chris Kannady, but my donations have all been from Constitutionalist friends, and as I see it, that frees me up to devote myself to the work of protecting my constituents against a very out-of-control federal government (That’s where the REAL extremists are!), putting Biblical principles more into OK law, and cutting spending and taxation (not just slowing down their growth!). You won’t get a bunch of fancy mailers from me, but every thought in my emails is genuine. If this is your vision for a freer Oklahoma, too, I freely invite you to donate to my campaign, help with the work that still needs to be done (walking, calling, maintaining walking lists, etc), plant a yard sign in your yard for freedom, and/or just a word of encouragement as I deal with the wrath of the liberal media. May God bless you in your efforts to provide for your family and serve your fellow man, created in God’s image 

---Nothing without Christ, Scott Esk---
10109 S Douglas Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73139
Phone: 405 237 0242
Campaign Website:

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

1974 v. 2014--The More Things Change...

Thanks to a Yahoo group correspondent (remember Yahoo groups?) I've found this wonderful time capsule video of a debate from 1974, sponsored by WGBH, Boston's splendid public radio and television service.  Titled "The Advocates" it's a stylized courtroom setting with two questioners and four respondents. This episode on the Open Vault page of the WGBH website examines the pros and cons of same gender marriage, though the terms used at that time were homosexual and heterosexual--the words equal, gay, lesbian, and straight are never used.

It takes a few minutes to adjust to the "H" words and the abundance of hair on the men and sole woman who appear in the program.  What struck me was the similarity of the negativity directed at what we now call marriage equality--nothing has been learned by our gender supremacist enemies during the intervening 40 years except that in 2014 they voice their disagreement with our civil right to marriage with a much uglier tone--the patina of patronizing paternalism is now gone, the veneer of respect has been corroded by the acid of bile.

The anti-advocate claims he doesn't want to discriminate against "homosexuals"in regards to housing, employment, or the right to associate in private, but marriage is exclusively for heterosexual couples in order to insure the survival of the race.

The pro-advocate does a splendid job at drilling holes in these anti-arguments, full of holes as they are already.  You'll recognize many of these themes since they were used during California's Prop 8 trial.  

Our enemies now and in 1974 are so concerned with intercourse and reproduction that they reduce ALL people, gay or straight, to no more than breeding stock, so dense are the blinders they wear, with one anti-witness discussing the use of tax "bounties" to ensure that only reproducing couples are allowed marriage.  Is this truly how some straight people think of themselves, is this all their human sensitivity can develop for others?  If so, then thank God (who by the way is never mentioned) for gay people!

It seems to me some straight men and women--the more thoughtful of our enemies who were/are few in number both in 1974 and now--are afraid that the liberalization of sexual mores will force them, against their will, to acknowledge the cognitive dissonance that fuels their vehemence towards gay people as well as their own self-serving sophistry and possibly their own closeted gay orientation, while the great majority keep banging their heads against the brick wall of their fearful ignorance.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Oklahoma Officials Infected with BOTCH-ULIS​M

It seems to me that Oklahoma officials from the Executive Mansion of Failed Falin on down to the Dept. of Transportation, going on to Dept. of Corrections, ending last but not least with Dept. of Human Services and child welfare are all infected with BOTCH-ULISM.|

Symptoms of BOTCH-ULISM are bloviated lungs, diarrhea of the mind, and a general feeling of uselessness supported by an insatiable urge to spend taxpayer money with no accountability.
What takes the cake is using secret drugs, secretly obtained, and secretly paid for, to use untested on a convicted prisoner as if he were a lab test. This was done in the name of all us Oklahoma citizens.  I'd say the state of Oklahoma failed the test and is failing in the Humanities.

A comment I saw on a friend's facebook page illustrated perfectly the mess caused by a single political party being in complete control of state government. 
"Botched applies to so damn many things right now, but this is the absolute worst. Also the Department of Transportation screwing up the Purcell bridge so bad that it's closed to traffic for at least 6 months. Or the State Department of Education's inability to hire a testing vendor that doesn't crash and ruin high stakes tests for thousands of kids two years in a row. And then there's Department of Human Services inability to protect our state's most vulnerable children because even after a federal court order we don't fund them to hire enough child welfare workers. Botched, botched, botched. So disappointed in our state's governance today."
James Nimmo, Oklahoma City

Sunday, April 13, 2014

America: A deeply moral country--when it's convenient

Credit: Carlos Latuff/wikimedia
There has been much discussion in the last two weeks of the impending public disclosure of the Senate Intelligence Committee report detailing the alleged illegal use of torture by the CIA and other even more secret sections of our tax-funded government.  Former vice-president Dick Cheney has come out of his war cave to declare once again that water-boarding is not torture and is legal.  He also muttered under his breath that "moral" is a four-letter word. This inhumane action has taken place under administrations of both parties.

A digest version of the Committee report, California Senator Diane Feinstein, chair, has been leaked and is available at this link.  It reveals an active and knowing suborning of the facts and evidence to maintain inhumane actions against uncharged detainees in American-controlled facilities and foreign locations as well.

I've read that to compare a group of people or actions as "like the Nazis" is simplistic and indicates a lack of perspective from the one making the comparison.  I used to wonder how the SS, Fascists, Nazi--what have you--could have got their foot in the door in the 1920s.  Now I know, and I don't think I'm being simplistic.

I've had a nagging suspicion that 9/11 was allowed to happen if not actively planned in order to continue the high budget demands of the American war/banking industry.  As Napoleon allegedly said, "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." This dictum is a two-way street.

America spends more on defense than the next 10 countries combined.  This is NOT a defense budget to protect the country from aggression.  Our presidents frequently brag on the strength of the American military. If defense were the true purpose of the large budget, wouldn't it make a better use of tax-money to have a defense budget that was at parity with the rest of the leading countries? It's rather an offensive budget to wage war on the rest of the world, to make the world bend to corporate/military supremacy demands.

Why do our elected officials think that returning to feudal atrocities is acceptable? 

Jon Stewart, host of the Daily Show and who is unafraid to read between the lines of official media, said it best recently referring to reports of the leaked Senate report on CIA use of torture (paraphrasing):  The USA is a deeply moral country--after the fact, when the instigators get caught. 
 Senator Dianne Feinstein, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, denounced the revelations in the new report, saying that "This is not what Americans do." Only, we did do it. "Like with your internment camps, or your, what do you call it, slavery, America has a history of doing a tremendous amount of stuff that we 'don't do.' We are a moral people ... in hindsight," Stewart said.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dissipating the Phelps Storm Cloud

As Fred Phelps (do I really need to take time to remind readers which Fred Phelps I'm writing about?) makes his way on down to the dead end of his life's road, there are some people trying to gain some sort of succor from the publicity he brought to the equality struggle for America's gay and lesbian citizens--the silver lining to the storm cloud that rained vitriol on our gay parades.

Please excuse the simplicity but it's the nature of fame to be remembered for what made you famous.  Phelps made his name as a crack-pot twisted child-abusing man who vilely educated even straight people with vulgar signs and phrases degrading all us gay men.  Every appearance of the Phelps crew was like a verbal lynch mob.  His publicity gave encouragement to other homo-haters to keep the hell fires burning.

We are not targets for ridicule be it orchestrated by seriously sick psychotics like Phelps or elected officials and candidates who stir up trouble using us as magnets to get votes or to pass restrictive bills using religion as a continue legal animus against our Constitutional civil rights.

This sick puppy also degraded innocent people such as American military personnel killed in action who had nothing to do with politics and civil rights but were unfortunate enough to come across Phelps's email screen or newspaper page.

I won't be sad to read of his death.  Nor will he come up in my memory to cloud my joy on that day when Don and I are legally married, without the religion that causes so much heartache. It will be a marriage in defiance of the Phelps legacy of vile superstition and ignorance that tried so hard to suppress us.

Rummaging around the Internet and FB I've read of some people who think the gay community should respect the Phelps family's request for privacy and respect at Phelps's funeral.  

I must remind all readers that Phelps and his church corporation deliberately used the American legal system to obtain a SCOTUS  8-1 ruling that their actions were entirely  in accordance with the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech regardless. of the objectionable nature of the speech. 

Therefore, it is also entirely legal for anyone to counter-protest at the funeral of Fred Phelps provided they act within the guidelines of local law where the funeral takes place.  I would encourage anyone who feels the need to express their feelings by protesting with their presence and with signs at the Phelps funeral.  

Only then, and only perhaps, will the Phelps family and associates understand the needless but deliberate harm the Phelps/Westboro Church has perpetrated on completely innocent people.

I reiterate the Phelps family and associates are far from being innocent as were all of their victims innocent.