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…

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.

Speakin’ of the Gays

There’s something seriously wrong with the Republican Party in this country. The fact that I think that will come as no surprise. Of the many things that are wrong with them, I think their stance on gay rights is the most egregious. They’ll spout off all sorts of anti-gay marriage rhetoric, for example, on the basis of states’ rights (something that was used to decry civil rights for blacks), and they’ll use a fear of gay marriage to get votes. This isn’t even going into things like gay adoption or today’s end to DADT. It’s really quite sad.

Compare and contrast with the Conservative Party over in the UK. That party, led by David Cameron, the Prime Minister, is backing gay marriage. They’re doing it on the basis of conservative arguments, like supporting families and stabilizing relationships. They’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do.

It’s fascinating to me to see what a real “conservative” party is like, and how unlike the Republican Party they really are. The UK Conservatives recognize reality and deal with the world in realistic terms, understanding the art of compromise. The Republican Party, by contrast, lives in a fantasy land where dogma is always more important than dealing with the real world.

I hope the Conservatives win the day on this one. Good luck, UK!