Thursday, April 05, 2012

God Bless Anita Bryant

Let me explain.  If Anita Bryant hadn't been so virulently anti-gay in her interview with Playboy Magazine the nascent Gay Rights movement might have never taken off.  Her bile and hatred, such as calling for 20 year prison sentences for being homosexual gave gay men a rallying point.  Her "Save Our Children" activities in Florida did more for gay self-awareness than anyone could have imagined.

That spark ignited a whole generation of activists and this lovely clip shows just how some of them responded.  The famous "pie assassination" on national television got cheers in LGBT households across the country.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Private Security Forces - Terrorists Best PR Tool

Private security forces like Blackwater are the worst diplomatic nightmare our country has ever had. They operate outside the laws of our country and the countries where we have troops stationed and deliver a clear impression of Americans as cavalier and dangerous. In a recent video released by Harper's Magazine Blackwater forces are seen running over civilians in Iraq, crashing civilian cars and threatening the populace for no apparent reason. 

The video which was apparently posted by a Blackwater employee features a heavy metal soundtrack and was undoubte3dly considered "cool" by the people who posted it.  It is anything but cool. 

 If our enemies ever wanted a better PR tool to use against the US it's the actions of these paid thugs. We must stop outsourcing security to private companies who are international scofflaws.  Watch the rest of the videos here and you'll see these guys firing randomly into traffic and shooting out the windows of passing cars.

This makes me physically sick!

Monday, April 02, 2012

Turn the Wheel Thelma!

It seems to me like someone riding in the car we call the Republican Party, grabbed the wheel and swung it so far to the right it has careened off the road of mainstream American politics. 

Consider this.  Back in the days of my childhood, a guy named Barry Goldwater was the Republican nominee for President.  He ran against Lyndon Johnson and a lot of people felt he was far too radical and right-wing for the country.  He lost the election in an avalanche for Johnson.  Barry Goldwater favored a woman’s right to an abortion.  Later a Texan named George Bush helped author the Family Planning Act of 1970. 

Today, we have Republican candidates not only calling for an end to abortion, but denigrating the idea of birth control completely.  Rick Santorum has stated publicly that he feels states have the right to ban contraception.  Meanwhile, a Republican governor in Virginia backed the now infamous “trans vaginal ultrasound” bill that forces an invasive procedure some women compare to medical rape.

My concentration on women’s issues in regard to the GOP is intended to give a graphic example of how far right the Republican Party has veered.  When it comes to LGBT issues, it’s much worse.  Both Romney and Santorum favor a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to “one man one woman”, though Romney does favor certain civil rights for LGBT couples, Santorum compares gay marriage to bestiality. 

State GOP platforms make clear just what a conservative government would have in store for LGBT people.  Take the infamous Texas 2010 GOP Platform and these chilling words.

We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, refuse to recognize, or grant special privileges including, but not limited to: marriage between persons of the same sex (regardless of state of origin), custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.

The bigger question is what happened to the Republican Party?  Well, my suspicion is that back during the Regan Revolution, the GOP made a deal.   They saw the nascent “family values” movement within the fundamentalist church as an opportunity for an alliance.  The “Moral Majority”, Jerry Falwell’s group was disillusioned with Jimmy Carter’s policies and seemed like a perfect fit to gain support in the conservative South.
This came on the heels of Anita Bryant’s “Save Our Children” publicity and soon the GOP actively sought the involvement of the Far-Right Evangelical movement with notable success.  Regan even appointed one of the Moral Majority officers to the Department of Education in 1980.

The point of all this is that the GOP actively sought and entangled themselves with the religious right and now a good deal of Republican policy is being written by those same far-right factions.  The deals they made back in the 1970’s and 80’s are coming due.

Though the Moral Majority and Save Our Children are long gone but their influence is still around and they are the folks who are actively making policy and platform decisions.  They are decidedly homophobic and as such they are continuing to steer the GOP away from any position that supports LGBT rights. 

As we see the primaries grind on, the struggle for control of the car may play out like the finale to Thelma and Louise with the GOP flying over a cliff and never recovering control of what was once a Grand Old Party. 

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Synn Wins! Ms Texas Leather Wins International Ms Leather

It was a long grueling weekend for all the contestants in the 26th annual Internatiomal Ms Leather competition in San Francisco this weekend. Each woman gave a speech, answered pop questions before an audience of almost 1000 and went through personal interviews with a distinguished judging panel before performing a live fantasy onstage.

A field of seven contestants were in the competition from points as far as Austrailia and as near as DFW but when the judging was done our own hometown leather dyke, Synn took top honors.

She nailed her speech, talking about the spectrum of leather and her goal to bring a message of queer leather to the community. I understand from someone who was at the interview with the judges that she performed flawlessly and was relaxed and poised. hen came the fantasy, and it was a hit. I have attended a lot of leather contests and never saw an audience spontaneously give a standing ovation to the fantasy. With the help of her co-performers Lillity Grey and Lexa Lusty, Synn brought the house down.

My congratulations to a fine IMsL and a wonderfully butch leathe dyke!