Gay blogger, and former Memphian, Chris Crain has an inciteful analysis of the Great Gay Migration and the impact on cities like Memphis. There is growing concern here in Memphis about the migration of wealth and tax revenue out of the city and the mounting financial crises and social problems left behind. Crain points out that cities that have benefited from the migration of upper income people have at least one thing in common--a large and influential gay community. This may explain part of the reason that cities like Nashville are more culturally and economically advanced than Memphis, which continues to suffer from poor race relations and the combination of homophobia and a small politically weak gay community.
According to CNN Poll, 75 percent of the U.S. will be glad when Bush is gone, but the suprising number is that 23% will miss him! I guess those are the idiots that still have the faded "W the President" stickers on their SUVs.
Barack Obama, on the other hand, is the most admired man in the United States. According to a USA Today poll, 32 % choose Obama, while only 5% choose Bush.
Although I am no longer a Christian, I still love Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL, probably the best celebration of what Christmas should be about! Peace, Social Justice, Love, Family, Community.. Progressive Values! If you watch A Christmas Carol (I like the George C. Scott version, or one of the old b&w ones), you will see the difference between conservative values (The Scrooge! "Aren't there enough poor houses?"), and liberal values (family, love, community, etc.)
The real "War on Christmas" is being waged by capitalism and materialism. By emphasizing consumerism and buying things, capitalism has subverted the true meaning of Christmas.
While I'm an atheist, I like to celebrate "Christmas" with my family and focus on peace, etc.
Like many people, I was unable to buy many Christmas gifts this year, but I'm spending tim with my mom and family here in Mountain Home, Arkansas. We don't have many presents under the tree, but we are celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.
Meanwhile, the religious right is using the "War on Christmas" to further their theocratic political agenda.
I was going to do another post on Obama's choice of Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inaugurationl, but I'm visiting my mom and family in Mountain Home, Arkansas for Christmas.
I was going to say how much I disagree with Thom Hartmann, Melissa Etheridge, and Chris Crain about how great it is that Obama reached out to the anti-gay Christian evangelicals. I still don't buy the Rick Warren PR that he is a "moderate" evangelical who accepts gays. Maybe he has been less of a bigot than Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and James Dobson, and I would welcome a dialogue between the LGBT community and Warren, but I agree with Rachel Maddow that this was a bad mistake for Obama. Obama has helped improve Rick Warren's national reputation as an important religious leader and sends the wrong message to gays and lesbians who supported him. After the last 8 years, and the passing of Prop. 8 in California, it would have been a nice change to have a more gay-friendly, inclusive religious figure give the inaugural invocation, or better yet, keep religion out of the inauguration all together.
And those pointing to Saddleback Church scrubbing the anti-gay stuff off their website, or Rick Warren's concillatory words to Melissa Etheride were premature: Now Warren has come out swinging against gay activists, accusing us of "Christophobia": Rachel Maddow: "Christophobia"? Rick Warren Scandal Getting Wierder
Bailed-Out Executives Got $1.6 Billion in 2007 ! Banks that have their hands out in Washington this year were handing out multimillion-dollar rewards to their executives last year. The 116 banks that so far have received taxpayer dollars to boost them through the economic crisis gave their top tier of executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses and other benefits in 2007, an Associated Press analysis found. That amount, spread among the 600 highest paid bank executives, would cover the bailout money given to 53 of the banks that have shared the $188 billion that Washington has doled out in rescue packages so far..
Merill Lynch executive got $83 million Goldman Sachs Exec. got $54 million
The corporate rich HATE paying taxes, but they love to get tax payers money!
I found these quotations from my bookmarked copy of the writings and speeches of Martin Luther King. It is from Letter from A Birmingham Jail, and it was about the problems of “white moderates” for the civil rights movement. If you substitute the references to “negro” and “white moderate” with “gay” and “heterosexual moderates” he articulates what many of us feel about the attitude of many moderate/liberals toward the gay community:
“I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the last few years I have ben gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Counciler or the Ku Klus Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which his the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says, “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action”: who paternalistically feels that he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advised the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection....
I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth of time.... It is the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually time is neutral. It can be used either destructively or constructively. I am coming to feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than the people of good will.
We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. We must come to see that human progress never rolls on the wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and persistent work of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, and forever realize that the time is always right to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy, and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.”
Wow! Wouldn’t that make a great inaugural invocation!
Like many LGBT people, I was "outraged" that Barack Obama picked "anti-gay" conservative evangelical Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration. I say "anti-gay" because despite Warren's claims to "love gays," his rhetoric against gays and lesbians gives a very different perception, and he was a very vocal supporter of the anti-gay marriage Prop. 8 in California.
Obama's defense is that he has said all along that he wants to change American politics to bridge the political divisions that have plagued us and kept us from making progress on areas we can agree. It's all in his book AUDACITY OF HOPE. We should not be surprised that he is reaching out to Republicans and evangelical Christians. The choice of Warren to give the invocation is a largely symbolic gesture, as is his choice of civil rights hero, and champion of gay rights, Rev. Joseph Lowery, to give the benediction.
There is no indication that Obama has changed any of his positions on gay rights. While he still opposes "gay marriage," he reiterated his support of civil unions, ENDA, etc. He claims to be a "ferocious" defender of gay rights. I respectfully challenge the "ferocious" part, but I still believe he is a supporter of the LGBT community, and his transition plan has a very promising list goals for LGBT rights, including lifting the DADT military policy and passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
I'm holding judgment on Obama and the Democratic congress to see if these promises are kept in his first term. If one or both are not done in the next four years, I will be re-evaluating my support of the Democratic Party (again). (I'm a Socialist and would prefer to join the Socialist Party anyway.)
I think the LGBT community is fired up and should keep the heat on Obama and the Democrats to take our rights seriously. Maybe reaching out to Rick Warren and the tens of millions of evangelicals who support him will begin a dialogue on LGBT issues. For example, if Rick Warren would come out forcefully against discrimination against LGBT people and support ENDA, that would be a great accomplishment for Obama. (I can't find the quotes, but I believe Warren has already said as much.)
I'm not a fan of Warren or evangelical Christianity. But the fact is that Obama and the Democratic Party will need their support to get us out of the Second Republican Great Depression. Unlike most conservative Christians, Warren supports helping the poor, etc.
I still think the choice of Warren, even though well intentioned, was a bad choice. There are many more "inclusive" religious leaders, even evangelicals, that Obama would have picked. I don't want Warren to be elevated any more as a national religious leader.
But the LGBT community cannot focus on this one decision to give up "hope" in Obama. He is still on our side, but political reality is that just electing someone who supports us is not enough. We have to help build public support for our rights and tear down the opposition so we can move forward. Politicians do not lead, they FOLLOW.
Here are some other perspectives on Warren from Progressive and gay activists who see some good coming out of it:
Obama Invites Anti-Gay Preacher to Give Inaugural Invocation The Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force have denounced the selection of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the Jan. 20 inauguration. Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in California, is an outspoken opponent of marriage equality, reproductive choice and stem-cell research. Warren has gone so far as to equate marriage between same-sex couples with incest and pedophilia.
Watch this video of Warren supporting anti-gay Prop. 8 in CA
Why is Obama reaching out to anti-gay bigots like Rick Warren and anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family?
Like many progressives who are concerned about Obama's "center-right" choices for economic and state cabinet positions, gays and lesbians have reason to be concerned. Obama has yet to show any political spine to stand up to the religious and political right.
While Obama felt obligated to denounce his pastor Jeremiah Wright (who supports equality for gays and lesbians), but does not feel obligated to denounce anti-gay religious bigots like Rick Warren? Why is Obama more afraid of offending the Religious Right than he is of offending progressives who supported him?
Bill Clinton made made many promises to gays and lesbians and campaigned to support our rights. Once in office, however, he broke every promise he made. He not only dropped his pledge to sign an executive order lifting the ban on gays in the U.S. military, he signed on the the anti-gay "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy which even makes publicly identifying as gay grounds for dismissal from the military. Even worse, Clinton supported the anti-gay "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA), probably the most anti-gay piece of legislation in modern American history, and ran ads on Christian radio stations bragging about it!
Will Obama *uck the gay community the way Clinton did? We should learn from the Clinton experience that just electing a "gay-friendly" liberal is not enough. We have to organize to force the "Change" we want. Electing Obama was a good thing, but it is only the beginning of a long hard fight.
If the Democrats blow this opportunity, again, it may be the last chance they have to deliver on their promises not only to gays and lesbians, but to all progressives.
V.P. Dick Cheney admits to ABC reporter that he authorized torture! Why hasn't the media been all over this? Will the Democrats in Congress do anything to hold Bush/Cheney accountable for their crimes?
The Republicans in the U.S. Senate, led by Bob Corker (R-TN), killed the $14 "bailout" of the auto companies because they think American auto workers should make more wage and benefit concessions. They supported the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street bankers, but oppose $14 billion to say 3 million America jobs??
This is class warfare! Will the Democrats stand up for the American working class?
Why don't the Democrats in the Senate either force the Republicans to fillibuster to kill American jobs, or change the rules in the Senate to require 55 votes instead of 60 to overide a fillibuster?
A declaration calling for an end to the criminalisation of same-sex relationships is expected to be put before the United Nations General Assembly in the next two weeks, probably around 15 to 20 December, according to latest reports. It will be the first time in its history that the UN General Assembly has had before it a declaration in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) human rights.
Although not binding on the member states, the declaration of principle will have immense symbolic value, given the six decades in which homophobic persecution has been ignored by the UN General Assembly (although LGBT human rights has been previously raised in other UN forums and commissions).
Even today, not a single international human rights convention explicitly acknowledges the human rights of LGBT people. The right to physically love the person of one's choice is nowhere enshrined in any global humanitarian law. No convention specifically recognises sexual rights as human rights. None offer explicit protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Yet 86 countries (nearly half the nations on Earth) still have a total ban on male homosexuality and a smaller number also ban sex between women. The penalties in these countries range from a few years jail to life imprisonment. In at least seven countries or regions of countries (all under Islamist jurisdiction), the sentence is death, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Mauritania and parts of Nigeria and Pakistan.
The UN decriminalisation declaration will be tabled in the General Assembly with the backing of all 27 member states of the European Union.
South Africa and the US are among the many countries that have not indicated their backing. In the run up to the presentation of the declaration in the UN General Assembly, countries that have not signed up so far, are likely to confirm their support.
An all-out lobbying effort in the next week will increase our chances of a large roll-call of UN member states in support of the declaration.
Today is Day Without A Gay Day Organized by the same folks who organized the Join the Impact/Fight the H8 protests, today's action is to protest the anti-gay ballot initiatives that passed in California, Florida and Arkansas. Dec. 10 is also International Human Rights Day.
Update: Day Without Gay Proves Lackluster One reason is that most of us HAVE to go to work. We cannot risk losing our jobs, especially in this economy! Guess we need to find other ways to flex our economic/political muscle...
WORKERS OCCUPYING the Republic Windows & Doors factoryslated for closure are vowing to remain in the Chicago plant until they win the $1.5 million in severance and vacation pay owed them by management. In a tactic rarely used in the U.S. since the labor struggles of the 1930s, the workers, members of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) Local 1110, refused to leave the plant on December 5, its last scheduled day of operation.
Barack Obama and other Democratic leaders have spoken out in support of the workers (what a change from 1981 when Ronald Reagan launched a war PATCO's striking workers!)
The Republic workers have become the focus of a a rejuvenated labor movement under attack by the Republican policies of Bush and the current crisis of American capitalism. While Wall Street and banks (like Bank of America) got a massive bailout, Republicans are trying to block a bailout for the U.S. auto industry. The Republic workers struggle highlights the current class struggle in the U.S.
Gus Savant's MILK opens this week at a theater near you, hopefully. The movie is about Harvey Milk, the (first) openly gay person elected city Supervisor in San Francisco in the 1970s who was murdered 30 years ago.
The movie is getting great reviews (I haven't seen it yet), but you can view the Trailer and get an idea on how good it is, especially the performance of Sean Pean as Harvey Milk. (Hopefully Penn will not be cheated out of an Oscar like Heath Ledger.)
The movie is very timely, focusing on an anti-gay Proposition (Prop. 6) in California, and showing how Harvey Milk inspired the gay community to get political organized, active, and fight for their rights. We could really use more Harvey Milks in the gay movement!
Go see the movie this weekend, take your friends, family, mom, dad, brothers, sisters, grandmas, etc. Straight people need to see this movie!
Also, rent or BUY the even better Award-winning documentary, The Times of Harvey Milk to learn more about Harvey Milk and progressive gay politics.
A star-studded cast, including Margaret Cho, Jack Black, and Neil Patrick Harris acts out a stage show about California's contested constitutional gay marriage ban in the following clip, courtesy of Funny Or Die:
With the costs (tuition, books, etc.) of college skyrocketing, and less "financial aid", more and more college students are relying on "student loans" to pay for college. There are many sad cases, I'm one of them, of people who leave college or graduate school with $50,000-$100,000 in student loan debt they cannot pay back. Student Loan debt CANNOT be forgiven or wiped out, even in bankruptcy, except under very specific circumstances (teaching in certain areas, military service, etc.) and Congress just recently passed some help that will forgive student loans if you work in "public service" (teaching, police, non-profit, etc.) for 10 years.
Ever had a waiter with a Ph.D. in Philosophy? I have. I know people with Ph.D's who CANNOT FIND A JOB! And they have more education and loan debt than most lawyers and doctors!
Most programs (e.g., AmeriCorp) to pay off student loans are geared to undergraduates and don't even apply to graduate students, and cannot be used to pay off debt after the fact.
So where is the "bailout" for those who are slaves to student loan debt they cannot pay? Why do Americans rely on student loans to pay for college? In most Western European countries, public college tuition is FREE (like our public schools). In France, Germany, etc. you don't need student loans to go to college or graduate school! It's all paid!
Why aren't U.S. political leaders even discussing this problem?
Most of the post-election debate about Prop. 8 in CA has centered around the gay/black divide on same-sex marriage. The real issue however is the role of RELIGION in passing Prop. 8 and in the wider war on LGBT civil rights.
What unites all of the groups who supported Prop. 8 (Mormons, Catholics, White Evangelicals, and African-Americans) is RELIGION, specifically, the fundamentalist religious belief in "GOD" and that HE is opposed to homosexuality and gay marriage.
Phil Zuckerman does an interesting analysis of how much better gays and lesbians are in non-religious democracies in Western & Northern Europe (Sweden, Norway, etc.) and how those societies are in fact better than the U.S. on a wide range of socio-economic indicators!
So if "GOD" punishes societies that disobey HIS will, why are those societies better off than ours?
Obama has moved quickly to announce his economic team: Timothy Geithner, Treasury Secretary, is a veteran Treasury player and president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He is also close to Bill Clinton's Treasury Secretary Richard Rubin, and is part of the "centrist" Clinton economic team which emphasized pleasing Wall Street by cutting the deficit and restraining government spending. It looks like Larry Summers, another Clintonite, will also be an important economic advisor. This is not a very progressive economic team.
On international affairs, Obama is surrounding himself with war Hawks like Hillary Clinton (Sec. of State!) who supported the Iraq War, which Obama promised to end. The anti-war groups who supported Obama are not happy and have reason to be nervous. When Democrats win the Presidency, they always seem to become supporters of the U.S. imperialist war machine, no matter how progressive they were in the campaign.
Does this sound familiar: A Democratic presidential candidate campaigns on a progressive platform of "change" including universal health care, taking on corporate interests and lobbyists, defending labor and the "middle class," and after winning the election moves to the right and backtracks on the progressive platform he ran on.
Bill Clinton ran as a progressive populist, but governed as a "centrist" Republican. He pushed NAFTA, "welfare reform" (the end of welfare as we knew it), and backtracked on his promise to lift the ban on gays in the military and before the end of his first term proclaimed "the era of big government is over" and jumped on the "family values" bandwagon by endorsing the anti-gay "Defense of Marriage Act" to get re-elected.
Clinton was elected after a long decade of Reagan/Bush conservative Republican rule. We (progressives, gays, etc.) celebrated his election. Then we watched as one by one we were thrown under the bus: gays, labor, the poor, etc.
It seems to be happening again! I hope I'm wrong, but the Obama "transition" is starting to look like a replay of the Clinton betrayal of the progressive base of the Democratic Party.
First, Obama's choice of Rahm Emanuel, now his apparent choice of neo-liberal hawk Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State (a choice applauded by Republicans, NOT progressive Democrats!), and the appeasement of traitor Joe Lieberman (who left the Democratic Party to form his own party!), it looks like "the left has been foiled again," in the words of one Democratic Senate aide.
Democratic leaders in Congress seem to relish any opportunity to piss off their own base to be "bipartisan". House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reject any progressive mandate from the voters and distance themselves from the Left. It's looking like Obama may catch this anti-Left disease that has spread throughout the Democratic Party establishment in Washington D.C.
Maybe Obama is being political smart by embracing his former adversaries, or maybe his is being politically naive. Lieberman campaign for Obama's Republican opponent and joined with the right-wing nuts who called Obama a Marxist! Hillary Clinton began the racist attacks questioning Obama's patriotism, experience and religious beliefs! How can Obama just forget about these things? Bill Clinton had a unhealthy need to be loved and liked by everyone and he went too far in appeasing Republicans and his political enemies. I hope Obama learned something from Clinton's mistakes, but it doesn't look like it. You cannot please everyone in politics, and you have to be willing to stand up to your enemies!
WILL OBAMA FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF FDR OR BILL CLINTON? THINK BIG Obama!
The Obama-Biden transition team has released its official civil rights agenda on Change.gov, the official transition website, and the expansive and far-reaching section on LGBT rights includes federal civil unions.
"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do," President-Elect Barack Obama is quoted as saying. "Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."
The passage on relationship recognition goes much farther than modest proposals currently pending in Congress to extend domestic partner benefits to federal employees: Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.
Other LGBT highlights of the Obama plan:
Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: passing the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, which includes sexual orientation and gender identity Fight Workplace Discrimination: passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which includes sexual orientation and gender identity protections Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Expand Adoption Rights Promote AIDS Prevention: Obama promised in his first year in office a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies, expanding beyond abstinence-only sex ed and ending the federal ban on needle exchange
"Look, I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment. I think it is prepared to use the government if it can get control of it. I think that it is a very dangerous threat to anybody who believes in traditional religion. And I think if you believe in historic Christianity, you have to confront the fact. And, frank -- for that matter, if you believe in the historic version of Islam or the historic version of Judaism, you have to confront the reality that these secular extremists are determined to impose on you acceptance of a series of values that are antithetical, they're the opposite, of what you're taught in Sunday school."
Who is trying to impose their will on whom? Isn't it the Christo-Fascists like New Gingrich and Bill O'Reilly who are trying to use the government to impose "traditional religion" on us?
While black voters supported Prop. 8 by 70%, they were only 10% of the voters (and 6% of the CA population). White homophobia accounted for 90% of the vote for Prop. 8
I understand we cannot blame African-Americans for Prop. 8, but we also cannot ignore the fact that a disproportionate number of African-Americans (70%) oppose gay marriage equality, compared to 50% of other races. Whatever the LGBT community is doing to reach out to African-Americans is NOT working. It's not about BLAME, its about how do we reach out and get the support of African-Americans for LGBT civil rights?
Also, African-Americans may be a minority of the population, but they make up a large proportion of the Democratic Party base, a base that needs to be unified on civil rights for everyone.
The Mormon Church is pandering for sympathy after being targeted by protesters for spear-heading the anti-gay Prop. 8 in California. They claim that Mormons have only been exercising their freedom of religion in opposing the rights of gay couples to marry. However, as the New York Times article spells out, the Mormon Church played a major role in the Prop. 8 campaign in California, including political strategy and funding half of the $40 million campaign.
Yes, Mormons have the right like other religious bigots to practice their religion and believe stupid things (like talking snakes and magic underwear), but when they try to use government to impose their religious beliefs, or deny the rights of other groups, they should not be surprised if some of they groups they target with a massive campaign of misinformation and religious bigotry fight back!
And the Mormons are the last religious cult that should be campaigning to defend marriage as a relationship between 1 man and 1 woman!
Here in Memphis about 100 protesters gathered at City Hall to protest the passage of the anti-gay marriage Prop. 8 in CA and support equality and LGBT civil rights. (It was windy, wet and COLD!) Congrats to Amy Livingston with the Women's Action Coalition in Memphis for organizing the local demonstration!
A judge cleared the way Wednesday for gay marriage in Connecticut, a victory for advocates stung by California's referendum that banned same-sex unions in that state.
Minutes after a judge entered a final ruling, the New Haven city clerk's office issued its first marriage license to a gay couple. It went to Barbara and Robin Levine-Ritterman of New Haven, one of the eight couples who successfully challenged a state law prohibiting gay marriage.
The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled 4-3 on Oct. 10 that same-sex couples have the right to wed rather than accept a civil union law designed to give them the same rights as married couples.
OK, after all the protests in CA and across the country against the Mormon and Roman Catholic Churches, and the anti-gay homophobia in the Black churches, some are accusing us of attacking religion and blaming the African-American community for Prop. 8.
First, I agree that we cannot blame the passage of Prop. 8 on African-Americans. While they overwhelming voted for it (70%), they were only a small percentage of the population. It was overwhelmingly WHITE people who are responsible for Prop. 8. Yes, WHITE homophobia and bigotry is as much, probably more, of a problem for LGBT people. However, let's not overlook the political reality that many liberal Democrats publicly oppose "gay marriage" mainly to win black votes in many cities and districts.
However, it was RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISTS, Mormons and Catholics who voted for prop. 8. I think it is fair to target the religious groups who FUNDED the Yes on 8 campaign, and to demand the freedom FROM their religions!
The underlying problem is these people do not understand or support the separation of church and state! The ONLY arguments they have against marriage equality is their religious beliefs about marriage! It is NOT attacking religion to demand the freedom FROM other people's religious beliefs and stand up for the Constitutional separation of Church and State!
Join the Rallies in Your Town Saturday, 12:30 PM CT
In Memphis, Join your fellow Memphians in expressing your opposition to Proposition 8! Memphis Protest Against Proposition 8 (CA gay marriage ban) Saturday, November 15 12:30 PM City Hall (125 N. Main) http://jointheimpact.wetpaint.com/page/Memphis
Prop. 8 passed in CA with 52% of the vote, and millions of dollars in funding from Catholics, the Mormon Church and other anti-gay religious fundamentalist groups.
Exit polls revealed dramatic demographic gaps in the gay-marriage vote. While about six in 10 voters under 30 opposed the ban, about the same proportion of those 65 and older supported it.
There were sharp racial discrepancies as well. Even as black voters overwhelmingly backed Barack Obama -- a gay-rights supporter -- for president, about seven in 10 of them voted against gay marriage, compared with about half of white voters.
Jim Maynard, Memphis gay activist: "I'm very saddened, and angry, by the passage of Proposition 8 in California. The voters in California sided with anti-gay religious groups to rescind the marriages of thousands of gay and lesbian couples. Unfortunately, the fight for marriage equality is going to be an uphill battle. Civil rights should never be determined by the votes of a majority of people in a state."
Now the HARD work begins! The political pressure is already growing to push Obama to the RIGHT, to govern from the "center" and not carry out his progressive agenda. It will take a large social movement to really create CHANGE.
My joy and excitement over Obama's victory is tempered by the passage of Prop. 8 in CA. It is sad that the voters of California have voted 53%-47% (with only 26% votes reporting) and sided with the religious right to rescind marriage equality for gays and lesbians.
American voters may be ready for a Black president, but they are not ready to support equal rights for gays and lesbians.
(It is time for DEMOCRATS, especially Liberal/progressive Democrats, to STOP saying they support "civil unions" but NOT marriage equality for gays and lesbians. Progressive Democrats must stop reinforcing the public fear of same-sex marriage!)
While most attention is focused on the Presidential election today, there is a very important anti-gay ballot measure in California, Proposition 8, which would rescind the Constitutional right to marry for gay and lesbian couples in California.
Thanks to George Lord for sending me this wonderful quote on the right to marry! Hopefully CA voters will reject Prop. 8 today which would TAKE AWAY the right of gays and lesbians to marry in California. (I think it would be the first time a Constitutional right is TAKEN AWAY!)
The right to marry whoever one wishes is an elementary human right compared to which "the right to attend an integrated school, the right to sit where one pleases on a bus, the right to go into any hotel or recreation area or place of amusement, regardless of one's skin or color or race" are minor indeed. Even political rights, like the right to vote, and nearly all other rights enumerated in the Constitution, are secondary to the inalienable human rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence; and to this category the right to home and marriage unquestionably belongs. [Hannah Arendt, Dissent, Winter 1959.]
Religious Right groups are putting millions of dollars into Prop. 8, opposing the civil rights of gays and lesbians in California.
I just want to get this out of my system before John McCain gets his ass handed over to him by Barack Obama on Tuesday: SHAME ON YOU JOHN McCAIN!
SHAME ON YOU FOR: Picking Sarah Palin! You said you would pick the MOST QUALIFIED person who could be PRESIDENT! You said she was the “best person” to be Vice-President.. Are you INSANE???
YOU LIED! You didn’t put the “Country First”, you put YOUR GREED FOR POLITICAL POWER first! You put the religious fanatics who control your neo-fascist party first!
John McCain, you promised to run a "decent" campaign that focused on the issues and NOT personal attacks against Barack Obama. YOU LIED!
SHAME ON YOU JOHN McCain! Shame on you for running one of the MOST DIRTY, LOW, DISHONEST Campaigns in U.S. History! You LIED! You Lied about Barack Obama being a Muslim, terrorist sympathizer! YOU LIED about Obama being a “socialist”! YOU LIED about Obama wanting to RAISE TAXES on working class people! YOU LIED about the Iraq War! YOU LIED when you accused Barack Obama of supporting the "murder" of babies and teaching sex to kindergartners!
Shame on the ignorant racists, Christo-fascists who supported you because they hate Muslims, black people and gays!
And SHAME on the racists Democrats who supported you! SHAME on the bitter Hillary Clinton “supporters” who supported you because they bought into the hatred and lies about Barack Obama! SHAME on the Uncle Tom Republicans (Black and Gay) who supported you because they support your neo-fascist agenda more than they care about the rights of their own community!
Obama won't say it but I will: John McCain, You are not a "maverick"--YOU ARE A LIAR!
From the DeSoto Times: OLIVE BRANCH — A White Power summit billed as the International Euro Conference featuring former Neo-Nazi and Klansman David Duke and other white supremacists will apparently go on as planned at Whispering Woods Hotel and Conference Center in Olive Branch Nov. 8-9.
The conference will go on despite the fact the hotel may have been duped into believing the conference involved environmental concerns.
Jacob Flowers, director of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center in Memphis, said it’s his understanding the conference organizers may have misled the conference center’s management about the conference’s goals and objectives by representing the group as an environmental organization.
“Our concerns are many,” Flowers said. “Especially from a group that espouses such hateful beliefs. We recently had white power terrorists in our area.”
Flowers was referring to three young men from the Mid-South who planned to murder and behead 14 African-Americans at random and then attempt the life of Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama. The three men reportedly communicated via Internet sites such as the Stormfront Web site.
Whispering Woods issued a statement that they "were not initially informed that the ultimate user of the facility would be the Euro Group."
Hotel representatives said they do not endorse the purposes of the Euro Group.
Law enforcement agencies will be out en force to monitor the activities of the group.
McCain/Palin and the corporate media elites have been attacking Barack Obama's plan to allow the Bush Tax Cuts on the rich to expire (and return to the 36% rate under Clinton!) by accusing him of being a "socialist" who wants to redistribute wealth. And what is wrong with that? The top 1% earn more income than the bottom 50% and more wealth than the bottom 90% in the United States. Economic inequality is the greatest it has been since the Great Depression! Republicans support redistributing wealth from the bottom UP, but It is time to REDISTRIBUTE wealth from the bottom down!
Obama Assassination Plot Disrupted by ATF ATF disrupts skinhead plot to assassinate Obama October 27, 2008 4:35 PM EDT WASHINGTON - Federal agents have broken up a plot to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and shoot or decapitate 102 black people in a Tennessee murder spree, the ATF said Monday.
In court records unsealed Monday, federal agents said they disrupted plans to rob a gun store and target a predominantly African-American high school by two neo-Nazi skinheads. Agents said the skinheads did not identify the school by name.
Jim Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of the Nashville field office for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the two men planned to shoot 88 black people and decapitate another 14. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.
The men also sought to go on a national killing spree, with Obama as its final target, Cavanaugh told The Associated Press.
"They said that would be their last, final act - that they would attempt to kill Sen. Obama," Cavanaugh said. "They didn't believe they would be able to do it, but that they would get killed trying." ----
It seems like only a few glandular cases are obsessed with the fact that Barack Obama knows Bill Ayers, the vintage '60s "revolutionary" and former mad bomber, with everyone else including the New York Post dismissing the charge as a low blow.
But the Ayers controversy is only the spearhead of a massive Internet campaign by McCain supporters to brand Senator Obama a "socialist," the timing of which is exquisitely (if unintentionally) comic.
It goes like this: Sometime in the distant past, Obama won the endorsement of the Chicago chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, or D.S.A.—a rather moderate group of activists by left-wing standards, who have always believed in advancing such radical concepts as universal health care, green technology, union jobs at decent wages, as well as many other worthy ideas that are now boringly mainstream.
The D.S.A. was founded by the late Michael Harrington, a wonderful writer and Jesuit-educated idealist whose great 1962 book, The Other America, inspired President Kennedy to begin the war on poverty. Mike was a close friend of Robert Kennedy and Pat Moynihan. He lived in a Westchester suburb and could scarcely have been more respectable, for a socialist.
So, back to Obama, that socialist. If we unpack the blog post that claims to expose his connections to the D.S.A., very few of the links actually prove what is advertised. The truth is simple and hardly scandalous.
Like many African-American Democrats, Obama was supported by the Democratic left in his community. They had so little familiarity with him, however, that even when the Chicago D.S.A. endorsed him, they repeatedly misspelled his first name.
The same posts note with horror that D.S.A. belongs to the Socialist International, which sounds very sinister but includes many parties that have been staunch American allies for decades, notably the British Labor Party. That's right. Tony Blair belongs to the Socialist International! And yet Blair and George Bush are great pals. Ready for another shocker? The C.I.A., former employer of Larry Johnson, whose No Quarter site is spreading this earnest nonsense, used to give money to socialist parties in Europe, many of which were likewise members of the Socialist International. Not only that, but Bill and Hillary Clinton still have many friends in the Socialist International, including the former heads of government of Italy, Germany, South Africa and Spain, among others, whom they invited to the White House to discuss their shared visions of the human future. Wow. Scary!
But that isn't why this is funny. Calling out Obama as a "socialist" is funny—in the dark sense that may be the only way anything in politics or economics is funny these days—because we are in the midst of a massive nationalization of finance that is sweeping the capitalist world. To my knowledge, the D.S.A. has never proposed anything quite as radical as President Bush's takeover of the nation's largest insurance company, or Senator McCain's desperate debate proposal for the government to buy up bad mortgages and renegotiate rates and principal.
Of course, I never gave much credence to those far-right screeds warning that McCain was a "Manchurian Candidate," but who really knows? ------ DSA National Chair Responds:
This story in various forms has been circulating on the web for at least 18 months. It is hardly surprising that in their panic that they might lose this elections right wingers are desperate to get it take seriously. It shows how little most people know about socialism and its values that they would think that this centrist politician espouses socialist principles. The $700 billion bailout which--like Bernie Sanders the independent socialist in the U. S. Senate--DSA opposed, was not a plan to change or even reform the American financial system. It was a plan to preserve it, just like the bailout of the Savings and Loan industry in the 1980's. American socialists support single payer national health care, an end to the war in Iraq, the right of unions to organize and progressive taxation, to name just a few of the more pressing issues. To learn more about who we are and what we stand for your readers should visit our website: www.dsausa.org Of course we do feel that people should vote for Obama over McCain, not because he is one of us or is even friendly to us and our positions, but because there is no hope of real change without a president that progressives and social movements can pressure to sign legislation that provides universal, affordable health care; reestablishes unions' ability to organize, reexamines our trade agreements and withdraws our forces from Iraq as quickly as possible. Frank Llewellyn National Director Democratic Socialists of America