Late Night: Marriage Rights Rally in DC and the Spanish Inquisition

 

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Surprise! Its supporters are in Washington DC, marching with NOM in protest  of marriage equality.

Tradition, Family & Property, a far-right Catholic organization whose founder cited the Spanish Inquisition as “a glorious moment” for the church. The Inquisition burned more than 1,000 Jews at the stake, confiscated the property of tens of thousands, and ultimately led to the expulsion of all Jews from Spain in 1492…

TFP is an all-male organization that finds its recruits among adolescent boys, whom it trains in the use of the combat regalia of the Middle Ages — maces, crossbows, and the like…

Adele M. Stan, who also covered TFP in 2010, writing for AlterNet, reports:

In South America, TFP is known for backing authoritarian regimes; it was involved in the 1964 military coup in Brazil, according to researcher  Richard Bartholomew, who also notes that after the coup against Allende in Chile, “[t]he editor of TFP’s Chilean magazine, Jaime Guzmán, became chief ideologist for General Pinochet’s regime.”

 

Washington is awash in pride as proud families and couples, gay and straight, march and rally outside the Supreme Court. Meanwhile inside Scalia says he has a

Longstanding and profound fear of homosexuals

so should he just recuse himself? I have friends who are afraid of clowns, cats, dogs, spiders, avocados…but teh gays? Like, why?

I wish he would look at this video from Mark S. King’s blog My Fabulous Disease. How can anyone be afraid of people who love and just want the option of marrying, to have the same rights as straight folks if they do marry?   And why do I think that the issue is more about money than religion–so for decades same-sex couples have been paying higher taxes (single payer filing) and their domestic partner insurance is taxed.  CNN Money explains:

A same-sex couple with combined income of $100,000, in which one person earns $70,000 and the other makes $30,000, currently pays an extra $1,625 a year by filing separately rather than jointly, according to an analysis H&R Block conducted for CNNMoney. The calculations assume a standard deduction, no children and no tax credits.

The extra tax liability jumps to nearly $8,000 when one spouse earns all $100,000 and the other reports no income. In this case, couples filing jointly owe tax of $11,858, while a same-sex couple filing separately owes $19,585 — a 65 percent difference….
Another major tax issue at stake in the DOMA case is the estate tax. Currently, surviving spouses in federally-recognized marriages don’t have to pay taxes on their deceased spouse’s estate, while same-sex widows pay a 35 percent estate tax on anything in excess of a $5 million exemption.

But it’s pointed out that some couples could end up paying more:

Other couples would end up owing more by filing jointly, especially if they miss out on deductions or credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit because, when combined, their income is no longer low enough to qualify or receive the full benefit.

 

68% of Registered Republicans, 49% of Registered Democrats Believe in Demonic Possession

Why wasn’t demonic possession addressed in the Presidential debates?! Demons are obviously as important an issue as low/no taxes, denying reproductive and LGBT rights, and keeping semi-automatic rifles in the hands of God (and demon) fearing Americans, since according to a  poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, 68% of registered Republican voters believe in demonic possession. And it’s not just the GOP– 49% of Democratic voters also believe that demons can possess us.

Granted, one could argue that “demons” are negative impulses, psychological aberrations, mental illness etc., but in theology demons are disincarnate entities which occupy people and places and cause all kind of havoc. However, demons can be controlled and mastered, but this should only be done by individuals with proper training, not by anyone hanging out their shingle as an exorcist-or by depressed metal heads who have played Black Sabbath records backwards one too many times.

Nutbags are all too ready to blame anything and everything they dislike, fear or can’t explain on demons, witchcraft, voodoo, curses, and related supernatural concepts (which in all fairness, I believe in some of that stuff, too, though I use Occam’s Razor,  lex parsimoniae, first, before exploring other worldly causes, since resorting to “Curses! Witchcraft!” as the go-to for everything from lost keys and flickering light bulbs to a bad date is exhausting and silly. Usually there are simple, mundane explanations for stuff).

Some major questions that should be explored regarding demonic possession: How many politicians do believers feel are possessed? Is outsourcing of jobs caused by demonic possession? Can Wall Street be exorcised? And what strange malignant force, what ancient unnamed evil controls Dick Cheney?

Feel Good Fast Food? Chick-fil-A Will “Cease Donating” to Anti-Gay Organizations

 

Oh goodie! Everyone now has a free pass to eat at the conservative Christian-founded Chik-fil-A, excepts vegans because there is no kale patty there. The fast-food company’s non-profit arm claims they have dropped their support of anti-gay groups in order to pursue the mighty dollar, worshiping Mammon and putting profits before the Chick-fil-A’s founding family principlesUm, no more like non-profits before the IRS. Let’s read between the lines here at this article from the Chicago Phoenix:

After months of negotiations with [Chicago] Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno over its anti-gay positions and donations, Chick-fil-A has agreed to cease donations from its non-profit charity to anti-gay organizations and issued a company-wide internal mandate calling for the equal treatment of all employees and customers.

WinShape, a non-profit funded by Chick-fil-A, has donated millions of dollars to anti-LGBT organizations — some classified hate groups — including Focus on the Family, according to The Civil Rights Agenda, which worked with Moreno and company executives in an advisory capacity as they negotiated to adopt new policies. Repeated attempts to confirm the information with Chick-fil-A have been unsuccessful….

The company outlined its shift in policy and practice in a letter addressed to Moreno (1st), who in July declared that he would block the popular fast food chain from opening a new location in his ward unless they changed their anti-gay policies. The letter, signed by Chick-fil-A’s Senior Director of Real Estate reads, “The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.” [emphasis mine]

So let’s see. The company was facing a difficult time expanding into Chicago. And will not be supporting political agendas. Giving money to groups that work to keep marriage equality off the ballot, or who work to defeat marriage equality at the ballot, is a political agenda.

Meanwhile the anti-marriage group National Organization for Marriage states that they have never received any funds form WinShape. The group which has campaigned heavily against marriage equality said in a statement form their president Brian Brown:

Despite recent news articles claiming Chick-fil-A’s WinShape Foundation donated money to our organization—this is false. The National Organization for Marriage has never received funding from them. We support Chick-fil-A’s philosophy that every person is treated with ‘honor, dignity and respect—regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender;’ and we will continue to endorse ‘Chick-fil-A Wednesdays’

Moreno, who made headlines this summer when he said he would seek to block Chick-fil-A opening in his ward, told the Chicago Tribune that Chick-fil-will issue a statement on non-discrimination.

Moreno said the statement will be included in a memo called “Chick-fil-A: Who We Are” to be distributed to all corporate employees and restaurant operators. The alderman said the memo will state the company’s commitment to “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.” It also would state that it is the company’s “intent … not to engage in political or social debates.”

The statement does not seem to cover employment discrimination. Since 20o2 the privately-held corporation has been sued at least twelve times for discrimination.  While Chick-fil-A spokespeople didn’t return calls from reporters, it has not contested Alderman Moreno’s statements.

Over at our sister page, Pam’s House Blend, Pam Spaulding wonders

how the  all of those people who lined up for the Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day and spewed bible-beating homophobia to justify the corporation’s open support for hate groups (insisting it was really just about ‘free speech” opposing marriage equality)…

 feel about the company now. The bottom line is at the corporate level , Chick-Fil-A realized institutionalized homophobia is bad for business.

And I wonder if NOM will quietly disband Chick-fil-A Wednesdays. But how can you keep filk away after they’d had waffle fries?

State’s Rights POTUS Obama Arrives In Los Angeles: Clooney’s Pals Show Him the Money, But Will LGBT?

Gridlock will greet homebound Angelenos as BarackSame sex couples should be able to get married…but I support the concept of states deciding the issue on their ownObama makes his way to one of George Clooney’s palatial homes for a celebrity and high-donor filled event. The Los Angeless Police Department to residents of Fryman Canyon to stay home all day or make other plans, and whole business areas have “no parking” signs. The traffic situation is so bad it’s been dubbed Starmageddon, but hey, it’s expected to raise $15 million for Obama.

Obummer’s  calculated personal decision to support marriage equality (the day after North Carolina voted against it) is also expected to raise money. Oscar winning writer Dustin Lance Black, who previously was so angered by the President’s lack of action on LGBT issues that he spoke about sitting out this election (bad idea, everyone should go to the polls and vote for their local ticket!), is thinking about holding an all-star LGBT fundraiser for Obama and  said

I am moving from a position of little enthusiasm to a position of strong support, and that means you will see me contributing financially and repeating my efforts of 2008 by knocking on doors in states where he wants me to knock on doors. When you ask for something big and you get it, you have to show your gratitude.

Obama is the first Democratic president since Harry Truman to assert state’s rights. Dustin, please research what that phrase actually means. Because it kinda sucks. Massively.

photo 1 and 2: screen shots “Falling Down

photo 3: screen shot: “Hollyscoop”

photo 4: Zazzle.com

After Starbucks Stands Up for LGBT Rights, Vegans Go Bughouse Looney Over Frappuccino Color

First the National Organization for Marriage  gets all sandy-panties, and now  the vegans are going nuts over a natural food coloring, passing the scarlet panic onwards to omnivores. Starbucks just can’t stay out of hot water.

After supporting LGBT rights and marriage equality, the super-venti global coffee corp was put on notice by those shrill, conservative, divisive  equality haters, National Organization for Marriage, who issued a fatwa  and called for a boycott of the multinational chain. Oooh, we’re all shaking like a Frappuccino® over that huge scare. Not. Hardly made a dent in Starby’s business, and may have increased it actually, since people who don’t normally buy coffee there (like me) did so to show their support of  their local boite des Buxes.

Now vegans and the slightly more food-flexible vegetarians are upset because Starbucks uses a natural red dye in their strawberry Frappuccinos®: Dye made from crushed cochineal bugs, as the company states they have a

goal to minimize artificial ingredients in our products. While the strawberry base isn’t a vegan product, it helps us move away from artificial dyes.

Starbucks uses the natural dye–FDA approved, made from the innards of a New World insect which has been sourced as a colorant since before the time of the Conquistadors and whose origins were once one the world’s most closely guarded secrets–in their red velvet whoopie pies birthday cake pops and mini donuts with pink icing.

This is why we can’t have nice things. So let’s make it easy–how about no artificial color at all. No pink drinks. No pink icing. No luridly insect blood-stained red velvet whoopie pies. There’s no real need for a strawberry Frappuccino® to be a colored with a dye because it’s made with real red strawberries, right? Oh…never mind.

Of course, objections to the use of the natural cochineal coloring, as opposed to some nasty man-made chemical dye, in Starbuck’s food–and in other products–could negatively impact the 40,00 people in Peru who labor in cactus fields, scraping cochineal bugs off prickly pear cactus paddles, then mushing the insects into paste and selling them to support their families as they have since before the arrival of the colonial Spaniards.

On April 4, Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz will be on Fox Business with Liz Claman at 3 pm Eastern to discuss NOM’s epic fail boycott, their company’s expansion into China, and U.S. job creation (Starbuck’s has teamed up with the Opportunity Finance Network® (OFN) for the Create Jobs for USA program designed to create and sustain jobs, and seeding $5 million to provide financing to underserved community businesses which include small business loans, community center financing, housing project financing and microfinance).

And yes, Schultz will probably have to address the bug guts issue.

Madonna vs St. Petersburg Over LGBT Rights

Madonna declared on her Facebook page that she will speak up against a new stringent anti-LGBT law in St. Petersburg, Russian which calls for fining anyone who promotes

the false perception that traditional and non-traditional relationships are socially equal.

Fines can be as high as $15,000, and St Petersburg city assemblyman Vitaly Milanov says he will attend the concert to insure its
moral content
and that Madonna is charged under the new law if she refers to it negatively or makes any positive statements about LGBT rights. The bill, which also bans the promotion of homosexuality and pedophilia to minors, was signed into law by Mayor of St Petersburg Georgy Poltavchenko, a former KGB officer and close friend of Vladamir Putin. 

On her Facebook page, Madonna wrote:

I’m a freedom fighter.
My show
My songs
My work
My art
Is all about freedom of expression
Freedom to choose to speak to act
Always with humanity and compassion
I will come to St. Petersburg to speak up for the gay community, to support the gay community and to give strength and inspiration to anyone who is or feels opressed.
I don’t run away from adversity.
I will speak during my show about this ridiculous atrocity.

Why it is not illegal to be gay in Russia, LGBT events have been violently disrupted by police, who claim the events upset the populace, and the Russian Orthodox church urges punishment or hospitalization for gays.

Madonna’s concert appearance in August is causing friction in the LGBT community. Yury Gavrikov, head of the St. Petersburg branch of Gay Russia movement told AFP:

We intend to protest against the hypocrisy of pop stars. In Russia, they have fantastic earnings, and this allows them to forget about the problems of human rights. If people like Madonna boycott their concerts particularly in Saint Petersburg that could have economic consequences, and that is important, while declarations of support for gay rights at concerts mean nothing.

Meanwhile, in Moscow, Igor Kochetkov, chairman of the Russian LGBT Network spoke to the Daily Mail, saying:

We consider that Madonna’s visit and her address to millions of her Russian fans with words in support of freedom of expression for everyone will bring more good than a boycott would.

(Icon caption from “Crimes of Passion,”  by Madonna and Kevin Bray)

Santorum Says Gays, Lesbians With Kids Are Families

 

Wow, Rick Santorum has just had a come to Jesus moment, and I mean the kind, loving Jesus of the Bible, not the uptight, angry dude so many conservatives are trying to pass off as the son of God these days.

One Friday February 17, after a taping of WKAR’s Off the Record, Rick Santorum was asked asked by reporter Kyle Melinn if gay or lesbian couples with children constitute a family. Santorum responded

Yes, of course it’s a family.

The question comes at 6:19. Mellin tried to follow up and Santorum declines, saying basically that he’s tired of being asked questions about the subject.

Girl Scout Cookies: Teen Calls for Boycott over Transgender Scouts

 

I love Girl Scout cookies, but I usually forget cookie season until it’s too late and all the treats are gone. This year I’m making sure to buy a few extra boxes because a mean California Girl Scout named Taylor is urging a nationwide boycott of Girl Scout cookies over Girl Scouts USA admitting transgender girls into their troops.

In her YouTube video [which has now been marked Private], Taylor–who has been in the Girl Scouts for eight years–raises the trope of bathrooms and sleeping accommodations. And Taylor cites this statement from Rachelle Trujillo, vice president for communications of the Colorado Girl Scouts as the reason she’d like to see everyone stop buying Thin Mints:

We accept all girls in kindergarten through 12th grade as members. If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout. If a child is living as a girl, that’s good enough for us. We don’t require any proof of gender.

That statement alone equals a purchase of two extra boxes of Savannah Smiles, plus a box each of Dulce de Leches and Samoas as a thank you to my dude roommate for putting out the garbage cans.

Taylor’s video is posted on HonestGirlScouts.com, a site which froths over with anti-LGBT and anti-sex education links, and demands that Girl Scouts USA:

(1)
ELIMINATE SEXUAL EDUCATION FROM GIRL SCOUT PERMISSION AND CURRICULA, leaving that aspect of life to each girl’s respective parent / family / guardian.

(2)
BREAK ALL ASSOCIATION, MEMBERSHIP AND FUNDING FROM WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts), as they clearly demonstrate a friendship with International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF) and its worldwide agenda of explicit sexual education for young children.

HonestGirlScouts.com also wants an end to cooking funds being used to pay

New Age consultants to train Girl Scout executives.

Transphobic Taylor cites a Girl Scout publication that says all girl-activities allow you to

Be yourself

Look how you want to look

which is exactly why transgender girls might wish to join their local troop. Girl Scout’s Rachelle Trujillo told the Baptist Press that:

Transgendered children are currently serving in Girl Scout troops in the U.S.

though she did not give details.

As my friend Victoria said in email:

Little bitch! Guess we will have to buy extra cookies this year,

a sentiment reflected in many of the comments on Taylor’s video. So support your local troop, Girl Scouts and transgender children by buying Girl Scout cookies.

Morgan Freeman, Marisa Tomei, Christine Lahti Do “8″

Academy Award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black’s play 8 covering the Proposition 8 hearings and starring Morgan Freeman, Anthony Edwards, Cheyenne Jackson, Christine Lahti, Rob Reiner, Yeardley Smith and Marisa Tomei hits Broadway on September 19th in a one-time staged reading at the Eugene O’Neil Theater to benefit the American Foundation for Equal Rights. Tickets start at $500.

AFER was formed specifically to fund the legal challenge against Proposition 8. A previous fundraiser, featuring a full length concert with Elton John was held earlier this year in Los Angeles.

8 is based on the California Supreme Court trial transcripts, and Milk screenwriter Black, who spent six months writing the play, told the New York Times:

I mined the best arguments on both sides, trying to capture everything on their side that was a winning point and anything on our side that was a winning point.

Luckily Black didn’t have to deal with these kind of arguments found on Facebook.

Wow, what’s next, blaming gays for hurricanes? Oh wait the heterosexual Rick Perry’s buddy/partner in Jesuspalooza, James Hagee has already done that.

8 will also be staged at Carnegie Mellon University, Northwest, and the University of Michigan.

[Thanks, Pam Spaulding for FB tip; h/t OnTopMagazine]

photo: creative commons, Mary McTavish

Married Lesbian Couple Rescued 40 From Utoya Massacre, Mainstream Media Ignores It

In the midst of the coverage about Anders Breivik’s murderous spree on Utoya is story of bravery, one that has gone under-reported in mainstream media.

Hege Dalin and her spouse Toril Hansen, a legally married lesbian couple, rescued 40 children who had jumped in the lake to escape Breivik’s rampage. Hearing the shots andscreams, the couple revved up their boat and scooped up children from the bloody water, returning to the island four times, despite bullet holes in the side of the boat. They saved 40 children.

While the story has received coverage in LGBT media, why hasn’t it been picked up by MSM which reported other rescues?

Talk About Equality quotes  the women’s story in Helsinki’s largest daily newspaper, Helsingin Sanoma

We were eating. Then shooting and then the awful screaming. We saw how the young people ran in panic into the lake.

In the aftermath, the couple said:

We did not sleep last night at all. Today, we have been together and talked about the events.

Now it’s time for all of us to talk about the bravery of a couple who repeatedly chose to risk their lives to save 40 children, a couple who have been seemingly overlooked, perhaps because they don’t fit into the comfortable stereotypes of heroes. Perhaps because they are lesbian and married.

I hope that’s not the case, because it would suck if the media is that narrow minded and fearful of celebrating true heroism.

Thank you, Hege and Toril. Thank you. And thank you, Norway for legalizing gay marriage in 2009.

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