What Is Annoying Me in the LGBTQ World Right Now

homonationalism

What is annoying me in the lgbtq world right now, post Supreme Court marriage equality decision:

This conservative stance being publicly embraced to tell the straight white middle and upper classes “we’re just like you!”. No, we are not.

Most of us aren’t able-bodied cis white gay dudes who just needed one more right to be as privileged as straight white dudes. Most of us have a broader vision for what love and family and relationships can be and who is important to our movement. I’d rather celebrate and honor our differences with love and understanding than enforce a sameness that happens to match neatly with capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy.

Equality Does Not End at Gay Marriage

Kenyon Farrow, ex-Executive Director of Queers for Economic Justice, wrote an amazing article recently. It dives more deeply into the meanings of New York’s passage of marriage equality and its effects on future politics.

He points out that, “[m]any progressive queer activists have long argued that the marriage equality movement is fundamentally a conservative movement,” and goes on to write:

If the same-sex marriage advocates, straight or queer, can use a family values framework, then what is to stop large-scale incorporation of gay and lesbian identity into social conservative logics, especially if LGBT people who desire to have their relationships (which is to say, sexuality) defined by the norms of the mainstream, can continue to demonize people whose bodies and sexualities have always been seen as deviant (black people, street-based urban queer communities, non-monogamous couples, transgender and gender nonconforming people, etc.)? Many of the gay donors who raise money, even for LGBT equality organizations, are “progressives” only because of marriage, and actually do not support most of what the rest of us would call a left agenda (single-payer health care system, collective bargaining, public education, and end to massive imprisonment, reproductive justice, etc.).

Farrow also asks the question: “What does it mean when so-called progressives celebrate a victory in large part won by GOP-supporting hedge fund managers, Tea Party funders and corporate conglomerates—the oft-spoken enemies of progressive causes?”

I’ve been wondering myself. The day after the passage of New York’s marriage equality legislation, the New York Times ran this photo:

NY gay marriage signing

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York signed a same-sex marriage bill into law late Friday in his office at the State Capitol. Photo by Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times.

Not the most progressive-looking crowd. And the accompanying article was quite illuminating.
“[T]he billionaire Paul Singer, whose son is gay, joined by the hedge fund managers Cliff Asness and Daniel Loeb” were successfully lobbied by Governor Cuomo’s aids to “cut six-figure checks to the lobbying campaign that eventually totaled more than $1 million.”

The article adds:

[B]ehind the scenes, [legalizing same-sex marriage] was really about a Republican Party reckoning with a profoundly changing power dynamic, where Wall Street donors and gay-rights advocates demonstrated more might and muscle than a Roman Catholic hierarchy and an ineffective opposition.

When it comes to brass tacks, I personally do not trust financiers, social or fiscal conservatives, or the organizations of wealthy white gays to have my interests at heart. For a host of reasons, in this specific instance, and as Farrow points out, a specifically conservative instance, our goals may match. But I can imagine few other times they will. I think plenty of non-marriage relationships are valid and should not be treated as less-than because they do not involve 2 married individuals. I think everyone should have access to things like health care, not just the spouses of well-off gay workers. I think single parent households still deserve community approval and support. And I think trans and gender non-conforming people need more support in combating discrimination and archaic laws that prevent their access to basic human needs such as housing, health care, and dignified work.

I don’t want the government to define acceptable relationships and genders. I want the freedom to be me, I want to contribute usefully to society, and in return I want society to protect me from indigence should American capitalism fail me.

Animus Not a Legitimate Government Interest?

Oooh, juicy. A federal district court judge struck down DOMA, the federal law that restricts marriage to heterosexuals. Uh oh! Time for the shit storm!

Judge Joseph Tauro wrote:

“This court is soundly convinced that the government’s proffered rationales…are without ‘footing in the realities of the subject…And when the proffered rationales for a law are clearly and manifestly implausible, a reviewing court may infer that animus is the only explicable basis. [Because] animus alone cannot constitute a legitimate government interest, this court finds that DOMA lacks a rational basis to support it.”

Human Rights for Gays Just too Expensive

Well, to many of us, treating Americans equally whether straight or non-straight seemed like a good idea.

Seemed.

Because we didn’t think about the pricetag of equality. Silly liberals. Well, economically-minded opponents of marriage equality have helpfully pointed out that if we end this form of discrimination, it will COST THE TAXPAYERS! OH MY DEAR LORD!

Extending federal benefits to same-sex couples will cost taxpayers $898 million over the next nine years, according to an analysis of “domestic partnership” legislation released last by the Congressional Budget Office.

…The 2004 report was written at the request of then-Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, an opponent of same sex marriage.

Hey, how about a similar report on the cost to taxpayers of het spousal benefits? Because if the above cost of extending basic benefits to this very small minority of Americans is so hefty, it must be 50 times greater at least for straight couple benefits. Just saying. If we’re going to offer a right to society, it’s either all or none. How is it that we can afford spousal benefits for the 90%-98% of couples who are straight, but when it comes down to that last 2%-10%, suddenly we run out of money? I mean, if we’re trying to save money by selectively denying marriage, why not pick other minorities, like Shinto practitioners, or American Indians, and deny them marriage? Heck, why not just stop offering spousal benefits at all? Think of the savings!

I’m going to just say that it’s stupid to subject the human rights of oppressed groups to an economic evaluation as a means of determining whether it is “worth it” for the oppressed group to have rights. Insulting, prejudicial, small-minded, and smacking of straight privilege. People have human rights because they are human. They come automatically at birth. It doesn’t matter how much they cost, because they are a greater good than the bottom line. As a matter of fact, most human rights would be free if the privileged didn’t put so many obstacles in the way of achieving them.

Boo.

Can this same steely-eyed, nothing-but-the-facts economic analysis be also applied to government contracts, or the defense budget (which cost the taxpayers far, far more than anybody’s partner benefits), or is it reserved only for times when bigots are scrambling for reasons to perpetuate inequality? What are the values of this dang nation anyway?

Lance Kinzer Has the Gay Agenda All Figured Out

Ok, here’s how it works. This is logic, Kansas-style.

The gheyz, you see, want to pass a hate-crime law that defines homophobic crimes as hate crimes. But everyone knows that gheyz ought to get beat, so that doesn’t make any sense.

What could they possibly be up to?

Well, they have a master plan.

First, they pass a bill to give themselves special rights, like the right not to get beat up. Look it up, that ain’t in the Constitution.

Then, after conditioning people to accept not beating gheyz as part of a “normal” lifestyle, they pounce on a lulled and unsuspecting citizenry and force marriage equality on God-fearing Christians and restrict the personal freedoms of straight people everywhere by being equal to them.

It looks kind of like this:

1 (Can’t beat gays no more)
+2 (???)
= 3 (Gays get married/Christians have no rights)

If that’s still confusing for you, please refer to the sage words of Kansas State Rep Lance Kinzer: “I could see a court using this as background for a type of argument advancing same-sex marriage.”

Hmmm, point 2 is still a tad unclear, but what IS clear is that gheyz are nefarious, dastardly, out to get your children, and not to be trusted. That they hate America almost goes without saying, but I will allow for the possibility that Mary Cheney loves her country. So we can chalk 2 up to fairy nancy rainbow trickery, knowledge of which probably leads to involuntary gayness alone. Speak Of the Gheyness, And Gheyness Shall Appear.

The ever-entertaining Kansas Liberty website has more.

Some Hate with Your Donuts?

This is a guest post by Shenanigans

Tim Horton's

Photo taken in Toronto by Shenanigans

While taking a trip to Toronto this summer, I became aware of Tim Hortons, a fast food chain specializing in coffee and donuts (including “Timbits”). I was simultaneously amused and bewildered by just how many Tim Hortons peppered the Canadian landscape. However, my love of Tim Hortons has turned to horror as I discovered that not only does Tim Hortons mean more litter, but now hatred for the gays and equality.

According to change.org:

The Canadian mega-giant Tim Hortons (which in Canada is the largest coffee chain in the country), has decided to co-sponsor a rally in Rhode Island next week hosted by the National Organization for Marriage. Yup, the same National Organization for Marriage that is currently leading campaigns to take away the civil rights of gays and lesbians in Maine to marry, and the same group fighting marriage equality in places like Washington, D.C., New York, New Jersey and elsewhere.

While the Tim Hortons website says “Serving the community means more than just coffee… your local Tim Hortons is proud to support local initiatives that make a difference,” I am curious just how co-sponsoring a NOM rally serves the community and makes a difference in any way that could be construed as positive? I was not aware that wishing to restrict rights for a selection of the community helped the WHOLE community. Maybe Tim Hortons should change their website to more accurately reflect where they put their money – supporting specific conservative religious heterosexual community members while giving a big fuck you to gays and lesbians, especially those with the crazy idea that they have a right to marriage equality.

Additionally, as the change.org article points out, if Tim Hortons claims to not sponsor religious or political groups, how do they explain co-sponsoring this NOM rally? Last time I checked, The National Organization for Marriage says right up front (plastered all over their website, which I do not care to link to, but you may search for it yourself) that they are “a nonprofit organization with a mission to protect marriage and the FAITH communities that sustain it” (emphasis mine). A quick glance at their website, including a link labeled “Religious Liberty Ad Campaign!” and various remarks about the White House, President Obama, and the need to inform clergy and political leaders, would seem to indicate that NOM, if anything, is VERY religious and political.

I just want to know, what do donuts and anti-gay rallies have in common? Why of all organizations to help promote did Tim Hortons select this one? Can I not just order my Timbits without also receiving a heaping helping of hate?

Update
Tim Hortons has pulled out of the NOM event after ruckus was raised!
Victory!

“Recently, Tim Hortons was approached in Rhode Island to provide free coffee and products for a local event, as we do thousands of times a year across Canada and the United States. For 45 years, Tim Hortons and its store owners have practiced a philosophy of giving back to the communities in which we operate. As a company, our primary focus is on helping children and supporting fundraising events for non-profit organizations and registered charities. For this reason, Tim Hortons has not sponsored those representing religious groups, political affiliates or lobby groups. It has come to our attention that the Rhode Island event organizer and purpose of the event fall outside of our sponsorship guidelines. As such, Tim Hortons can not provide support at the event. Tim Hortons and its store owners have always welcomed all families and communities to its restaurants and will continue to do so. We apologize for any misunderstanding or inconvenience this may have caused.”

Hot Dog Marriage

Spotted by hot tipper Shannon in DC near the Capitol:

Hot Dog MarriageThe sign reads: Marriage Man + Woman

I don’t know anyone else, but I think I just changed my mind about marriage equality!

Shannon sez:

I took this photo in DC, between the capitol and the art gallery. There were a few other stands spread around, but this stand was the closest to us, plus had the most visible hate, thus we were sold on it.