The Last Acts of a Desperate Party?

So state legislatures have latched onto the idea of allowing people to put up “No Gays Allowed” signs. This is fucking stupid, and won’t stand up in court, but I think they know that. I think it’s basically an act of desperation from a group of people who know they are on the wrong side of history and morality and want to go down spewing more hate rather than accept reality. My thoughts pretty much echo those of Andrew Sullivan who wrote about this earlier today. Go have a look, and rejoice in the fact that, basically, we’ve won.


And the Gay Goes to…

I mentioned a week or so ago that DC was pondering turning one of their iconic heroes into a gay. At the time, I said of this:

Most likely it will be some mid-tier member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, the Justice Society, or some other group or individual that will cause most of the public to go, “Who?”

Well, I was right and wrong. First off, the hero in question turns out to be Green Lantern. No, not that one. Or that one. Or that one. Or that one (sadly). Or even that one. No, it’s this one. Yes, the original Green Lantern from 1940. All together now, non-comic book fans…”Who?”

This does mean I was right about it being someone from the Justice Society, and though he’s not mid-tier there, he’s completely mid-tier or lower to the rest of the DC cannon. It doesn’t help matters that his adventures don’t even take place in the standard DC universe.

So DC has stepped up and boldly given us a gay character who is somewhat obscure outside fandom and doesn’t exist in their normal universe. Well done, DC, well done. I like how you totally had a chance to do something impressive and pussied-out.

Iconic DC Hero to Be a Gay

Apparently. I meet the news with something between mild excitement and slight meh. From what I hear, it will be someone established and iconic, but I think we all know who it won’t be, ie: pretty much any of the established and iconic characters. Most likely it will be some mid-tier member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, the Justice Society, or some other group or individual that will cause most of the public to go, “Who?” Of course, I know who my personal choice would be.

He’s already kind of a one-man pride parade.

On a side note, it’s nice to see DC comics boldly going where Archie has gone before…

A Portrait of the Candidate As a Young Man

Mitt Romney: homophobic douche.

Let me ask you something. If someone had, as a high school student around 45 years ago, cornered a fellow student who was a Hasidic Jew and cut that other student’s locks off, then gone on to favor legislation that would restrict the rights of Jewish people and not allow them to be full citizens, what would you call that person? Or say that someone, again as a youth in high school some 45 years ago, had cornered a black student and shaved off his Afro, then gone on to campaign against interracial marriage. What would you call that person?

When Mitt Romney was in high school, he helped bully a fellow student. Apparently, he actually might have organized the bullying. The story goes that in 1965, there was a student at Romney’s school who had long, dyed hair. Romney took exception to this and got some students together who held down the boy while Romney cut his hair off.

Now, yes, that can be dismissed as normal high school stupidity, though given that he was either seventeen or eighteen at the time, and thus an adult or nearly so, perhaps it shouldn’t be. Romney, after first saying he didn’t remember the incident (and then saying he did remember, but certainly didn’t think “the fellow” was gay, claiming that it was the farthest thing from people’s minds in the 1960s, cause we all know there was no homophobia then), has now gone on to issue a non-apology apology:

“Back in high school, I did some dumb things,” Romney said during a radio appearance. “If anybody was hurt by that or offended, obviously I apologize.”

Note that, of course, he doesn’t say, “I did something really wrong and inexcusable, and I’m very, very sorry.” But whatever. At least it’s a sort-of apology, and I’d normally be inclined to let it go there with a “wow, what a dick,” kind of attitude on my part.

But I can’t. This is a man who has since been a member of a party that’s bent on restricting gay rights as much as possible. Now he is the standard bearer of that party. He said yesterday that he favors domestic partnerships for gays that aren’t civil unions and certainly aren’t marriages, and don’t come with the same rights. Question unanswered: which rights, specifically, would he deny gay couples?

So I go back to the top of my article. If someone had cut the locks off a Hasidic boy 45 years ago and now wants Jews to not have the same rights as everyone else, what do you call that person? If someone shaved an Afro off a boy 45 years ago and now doesn’t want blacks to marry whites, what do you call that person?

When it’s someone who, in 1965, forcibly cut the hair off a boy he thought was gay (despite what he says now), and has then gone on to favor legislation preventing gays from having the same rights as other people, and belongs to a party which has in the past, and has many, many elements that even now, favor keeping gay sex illegal, well…I know exactly what I call that person.

I call that person Mitt Romney.

Maryland, My Maryland!

And now, Maryland. Yes, another state has legalized same-sex marriage. It won’t go into effect until next year, and doubtless the evil-minded, small people who hate gay marriage will try to stop it, but for now we have yet another state where it’s legal.

Now we just need to get gay marriage recognized in every state and at the federal level. The struggle continues.

Reality vs the Narrative

Some of you may recall a couple years back when a young gay man’s college roommate secretly made a video of him having sex with another man, then posted the video online, thus outting the gay man and making him kill himself. It was a bad and awful story that came at a time when the nation was, finally, starting to pay attention to the issue of gay teens killing themselves. It’s a nearly perfect story for feeding into that narrative except for some minor problems. No video recording was made, no video was posted online and the gay man in question was already out.

This is what I’ve learned from reading a story on the New Yorker’s website, where I also learned that the still-living roommate is being charged with a crapload of things and stands to spend ten years in prison for what sounds like, on the basis of the evidence, nothing more than a stupid teenager being a stupid teenager and doing something that, at best, should be a misdemenor.

It’s clear from the story that there’s some prosecutorial overreach happening; an overreaction to the situation in a place where I’ll bet prosecutor is an elected office. I do prefer that to what we had decades ago, where crimes against gay people were largely ignored, but any sort of overreaction is by definition bad.

If I’d been asked about the case on the basis of what I knew a few hours ago, I would have said that, yeah, the guy who made the video probably deserved to spend some time in prison for what he did. Knowing what I know now? He’s been prosecuted enough. Charge him with invasion of privacy, let him have a year of probation and drop it. The family may not get “closure” that way, but providing closure isn’t the job of the criminal justice system.

Gays and Foreign Aid

President Obama, who continues to enshrine himself as the greatest friend in the White House that gays have had since the days of James Buchanan, and Clinton (Hillary), have decided to tie certain kinds of foreign aid into certain gay rights issues.

In a memorandum issued by President Obama in Washington and in a speech by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton here, the administration vowed to actively combat efforts by other nations that criminalize homosexual conduct, abuse gay men, lesbians, bisexuals or transgendered people, or ignore abuse against them.

“Some have suggested that gay rights and human rights are separate and distinct,” Mrs. Clinton said at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, “but in fact they are one and the same.”

Well, this is great! I have absolutely no problem with this, aside from the faint whiff of hypocrisy that I always smell when something like this comes along. After all, until 2003, gay sex was illegal in many, many states in the USA. Gays still aren’t allowed to marry in most states, and there’s several states where gay adoption isn’t allowed.

Like with so many civil rights issues, it might take the USA a while to get on board, but once we are, we are fully. Consider that segregation was the law of the land in many places when my mom was a child. By the time I was in my teens, we were calling for sanctions against South Africa for the way blacks were treated there.

Of course, some people just can’t be happy about these things.

One Republican candidate, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, said: “President Obama has again mistaken America’s tolerance for different lifestyles with an endorsement of those lifestyles. I will not make that mistake.”

Only a moron would say that us telling other nations they can’t kill people for being gay and expect foreign aid is the same as our “endorsing” gay lifestyles. Then again, Rick Perry is a moron, as I think we’ve all come to learn over the last few months. I also laugh at this comment from him, given that I’m sure he was all in favor of our threats to cut off foreign aid for family planning if abortion was so much as mentioned.

The interesting thing is what this is going to do for some of our long-term allies, like Saudi Arabia, who certainly aren’t keen on the gays. While I think this is mostly targeted at nations like Uganda, I do look forward to seeing what other countries do in response.