Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tipping Points

"I felt a great disturbance in the if millions of conservatives suddenly cried out in terror and then their heads exploded. Obama must have won...."
-Obi-wan Kenobi
(Just kidding! Please don't sue me Lucasfilm/Disney!)

It may sound silly, but that is exactly what is playing out all over the internet this week. This election not only saw the reelection of Barack Obama but it also saw a historic win for gay rights at the ballot box. For the first time ever, same-sex marriage won at the voting booth in not just one, but four states. In addition, we saw Tammy Baldwin become our first elected LGBT senator as well as picking up two more out legislators in the Congress. All in all,  the wins for the gay community this election cycle have far reaching implications for the gay community, not the least of which being that it is no longer a liability for lawmakers to publicly support gay rights, nor is it a scarlet letter to be both gay and run for office. Additionally, the fact that gay marriage won the majority vote in...not one, but four states..could put some additional pressure on the Supreme Court to find DOMA unconstitutional. It is because of these big wins and their possible repercussions that some have dubbed this election the "tipping point" for gay rights....the point at which it becomes progressively easier to build further support for the equal civil rights of the LGBT community.

However, it is also because of these big wins that some people are losing their minds. For instance...Aware that the world is changing in ways they don't like, NOM and The Family Research council are having meltdowns of epic proportions, realizing that they are now going to have a much harder time building support for their cause. They have nonetheless circled the wagons and are vowing to continue the fight. To do that they are dropping the mask of civility and upping the ante on the amount of hurt they are willing to cause to their fellow humans. For example....

"Paying a Price"
NOM has been especially active. First they have accused President Obama of being a "terrorist"....which is rich as the comment was made by NOM's spokeperson for anti-defamation, Damian Goddard. Filing that fact aside for a second, NOM also popped up in the news this morning in The American Independant because of a particularly odious conference call in which NOM head Brian Brown discussed the future of their organisation. Among those things discussed were a widening of their fund raising efforts, their strategy to argue before the Supreme Court that the last elections wins for marriage equality mean that the gay community should not be considered a "suspect class",...and to make international corporations that support gay rights to "pay a price" for that support by making their political views known in countries that have strong anti-gay views. In Browns words:

“Their international outreach is where we can have the most effect,” Brown said. “So for example, in Qatar, in the Middle East, we’ve begun working to make sure that there’s some price to be paid for this. These are not countries that look kindly on same-sex marriage. And this is where Starbucks wants to expand, as well as India. So we have done some of this; we’ve got to do a lot more.”

So I find myself somewhat at a loss for words here. NOM's intentions are to exact revenge on Starbucks by ratting them out as gay supporters to countries that vilify their gay people at best...or possibly kill and torture them at worst. I understand this does not include Qatar specifically, but NOM only mentions that they are going to try to hurt Starbucks by reaching out to "the middle east" and that's a whole lot of countries...many of which are deadly for LGBT people. But I guess NOM is ok with getting in bed with that, as long as it stops "teh gay" over here in America. I just have one question for Mr. Brown....has he heard of the internet? It's this little invention that allows for near instantaneous sharing of information. Including telegraphing his intentions to Starbucks and the public at large. I wonder how pandering to homophobic nations and putting others in danger is going to look to the same public they hope to donate to their cause? Not to mention that fact that the internet does exist in middle eastern countries...surely they are already aware of Starbucks policies or can look them up at any time if they so chose. Yet, aside from NOM's negative intentions to hurt them as much as they can, they aren't dropping much of a dime on Starbucks. What gets me is the fact that NOM and Brown think they can exert influence on a foreign country in order to stop the spread of marriage equality. Doesn't that begin to sound a lot like what happened with Pastor Scott Lively and Uganda's consequent "Kill The Gays Bill"? In an effort to put pressure on Starbucks from outside the country, who knows what additional and unforeseeable effects NOM's actions could have for gays and lesbians in these countries. If all NOM wants to do is "support traditional marriage" then I think they had better stay the hell out of the middle east or have some serious explaining to do.

Finally, Tony Perkins and The Family Research Council think that if the supreme court affirms that DOMA is unconstitutional, it will lead to armed revolt and civil war.....really:

I'm getting really tired of these guys who use the threat of war and violence to scare people. Ever since the advent of the  Tea Party, threats of armed revolution have become common place and it is time for it to stop.At what point does this speech stop being just propaganda and become a tacit form of encouragement. "Don't make gay marriage legal or we'll revolt!" is the message and that the FRC subtly makes. The fact that they agree with that action comes through loud and clear, regardless of what they may claim. And even though they decried the actions of Floyd Lee Corkins when he busted into their DC offices, by virtue of their own rhetoric they continue to engender the same kind of hate in people...along with the idea that it would be ok to vent that hatred in a shooting spree. Haven't we had enough?

Tony Perkins and the FRC have the same freedom of speech that you or I do. However, I think it's long past time that all of us tell Tony Perkins to shut the hell up. We are ALL Americans conservative and, bisexual, transgender, or straight. We are all entitled to the rights and protections guaranteed in the constitution, and all of us regardless of our walk of life is worthy of respect and dignity as a fellow Americans. The day in which we consider some of us "true Americans" and the rest as outsiders has got to stop, but the only way that is going to happen is if all of us make it clear that we have had enough. America can survive political disagreement. That's how we work. It's time too stop the references to gun play because there are people out there that do take it seriously...and the FRC should be know that first hand.

In the end...what I take away from these stories is that even though we may have reached a tipping point with the general public, the people and organisations that have fought so hard against us these past years from Prop 8 till now, have no intention of going away. In fact, they intend to double down on their homophobia and the collateral harm they cause to others. As we are celebrating new marriages and a hopeful turning point in the gay rights movement...we have to remember that groups like NOM and the FRC are viewing that same turning point from the other side and it makes them afraid. And from the fear their support is shrinking, they are recommitting themselves to fight equality even harder. The question is ...If we really have hit this tipping point, how much traction will NOM and the FRC get for ramping up the fear tactics? Has the country had enough? I know I have.

Until next time dear readers...


  1. I'm very happy for Wisconsin. Tammy Baldwin is an excellent citizen and will be a wonderful addition to the Senate. I went to bed election night certain that the Marriage amendment here in Minnesota would end up passing once rural Minnesota's votes started being counted. Turns out there are less ignorant bigots out than than I thought. Yes, it is a tipping point. As more gay men and women live their lives openly, they touch the lives of others. More straights now know a gay. To know us... is to love us.

  2. There was a lot of good news this election. I'm kind of stunned, actually.

    As to the righties - I guess they really will get meaner and uglier, which ought to make their message less attractive, at least for numbers large enough to win at the ballot box.

    1. I think that is exactly right. Their cause and their motives are now going to be seen very, very differently.

  3. Yes, it is a tipping point for us and long overdue. If organizations like NOM and FRC are going to double down on their efforts to harm us, then we need to double down on our own efforts to out them for the bigoted, hateful and murder-promoting scoundrels they really are. And what’s their idea of an armed revolt? A bunch of sissy, lisping preachers with squirt guns coming after us? :-D If they fire on us for real, all they’ll accomplish is getting fired on back.

  4. Bryan, How reasonable, rational and responsible does the Ku Klux Klan look these days? A tipping point in time means that these radically charged groups-- NOM, Tony Perkins and the FRC-- begin to look more and more like fanatical fringe lunatics. And we can't hope for more than that! It is only natural for someone who believes (or says they believe) in a "moral" cause, to react violently when the rug is pulled out from under them as hard as it was in this election. The great thing is that more and more people can see them for who they are now-- ugly and desperate. And that makes me very happy. Keep doing what you do-- showing the world what love and family are. Look where it has gotten you so far my friend!!!! Congratulations.

  5. What a gorgeous family you have! God bless you four.

    JP, bisexual from MA

  6. What I'm wondering if it's possible to sue them in a class action suit? What NOM and the other hate groups say about lgbt people is defamation of character, correct?

    Also, I'm sick and tired of turning on the any cable news program, and seeing these hate groups talking about lgbt issues. Isnt that just the same as inviting the KKK to discuss black issues?

    We seem to have the public on our side, its time to begin to make the hate groups pay for their lies, and for "news" to not have hate groups on the air at all.

  7. They are freaking out because their bank accounts are drying up. I am sure they will do what the tobacco companies did when our society here started quitting smoking. They peddled their carcinogens to third world counties. They will and ARE peddling their hate and fear of gay people to countries that are more likely to embrace it. Money is money. How sad! I seriously don't understand how these people can sleep at night? Gay marriage affects ONLY the two people who are getting married-no one else! And yes..heterosexual couples will still get married and have children. Our society will be just fine..

    1. I think one thing heterosexual couples, particularly ones bearing the mark of the Republican Beast, freak out over is having to explain anything to their small children who hear of gay marriages going on around them or even see gay couples expressing any affection toward each other. To those straight parents, I have some advice for them: First, say NOTHING unless you’re asked. Second, give a matter-of-fact explanation consistent with what the science shows: Orientation is biologically determined and not something chosen or decided upon. So, if asked, all a straight parent needs to explain is that the way the vast majority of people are born, it will be natural FOR THEM to fall in love with and want to marry someone of the opposite sex. But, there also are people who are born differently and it will be natural FOR THEM to fall in love with and want to marry someone of the SAME sex and it will feel weird and unnatural for these people to even consider marrying someone of the OPPOSITE sex. Being born this way is much rarer than being born the other way, but it still happens. Now, did that straight parent need to subject their kids to a theological or political temper tantrum in order to answer their questions? NO!!! Children have no interest in their parent’s partisan ravings and it may be age inappropriate as well. But what if the child asks, “Am I going to be gay or straight?” Here’s a simple and age appropriate answer: “If you were born the way most people are, you’ll probably be straight. But you’re still very young and maybe too young to tell which way YOU were born. It’s nothing you need to worry about now. When you get older and your body matures more, your body will tell you the answer and we can talk more about it then.” An easy answer a child can readily understand and you’ve also let him know he can talk to you later about it whichever way he discovers he is.

    2. Yeah Dave, it would be THAT simple if everybody knew and accepted how much natural and simple being gay is, and could explain it to their children just with this basics facts. I do hope that one day people will understand that.

      But if we look in the history we see that a few decades ago, when a black kid joined the school, they where prejudiced SIMPLE because the color of their skin! Which is and was COMPLETELY obvious that is not a choice, that was something absolutely natural. So there u see how STUPID prejudice is. In our case, most of people don't know, or just dont want to accept, that been gay is just much as that natural...

      What we can do, is keep fighting, and do the best we can to show the world how natural we are. This freaking organizations will keep showing they true faces more and more, and as the prejudices fall, everybody will see our true faces more and more.

  8. egads but then they would have to recognize their own cowardice and hate which is 'of the debil' as the waterboy's mom would say. o and their hubris for thinking that they have exclusive rights to an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent being that is beyond their ability to comprehend.