In Which I Respond To A Reader’s
In your note, you write, “Gay marriage is NOT about hating gays.”Â I absolutely agree with you: gay marriage NOT about hating gays. Gay marriage is about love, and about respect, and about civil rights, and about giving, and about caring, and about loving someone more than you love yourself. Just like straight marriage.
You write, “Genes play a role, however, you are really talking about changing the standard of human behaviour.” I also absolutely agree: Genes play a role. In my opinon, and that of many scientists, gays are gay because we were born that way. So, yes, you’re right, there’s no choice involved.
And, to your point, I also absolutely agree that marriage is more than just an arrangement. It is a beautiful, special relationship, between two consenting adults who, hopefully, love each other very much.
By your writing, you suggest that your marriage, because it is heterosexual, has more value and is better than what will be mine. I’d like to understand how and why you think that? I’d like to understand how and why you think you are able to speak for all mankind about marriage? And I’d like to understand how and why you think it’s OK to hold your idea of marriage above mine, or anyone else’s? Is your heterosexual marriage better than the heterosexual marriage of a couple in England? In Egypt? In China? Does it have more value than a heterosexual marriage in India? In Russia? Canada? The Ukraine? Because every marriage is different. It’s what makes them the same that make them marriages.Â Itâ€™s what makes them the same that makes them special.
What troubles me is that, by your writing, you think that if gay marriage becomes legal, all men will choose other men instead of women. Trust me, that’s not the case. If it were, there are many gay and curious high school boys who might be thrilled, but, sorry to disappoint, it’s just not so. If gays are allowed (as much as I hate to use that term; who has the right to tell me whom I can and can not marry?) to marry, I promise you that straight men will not choose gay men over women. Not going to happen. I also promise you that gay, closeted men who feel forced to marry women will some day not feel that pressure, and not hurt those women some day by leaving them for another man, and will not surprise the children they had with those women. I’m not judging them, I’m simply stating fact.
You write, “The only reason men and women seek each other as mates is not because of sex,” implying that the only reason men seek other men as mates is because of sex. That is patently false, and exposes your idea that gay men have sex all the time, and are inherently non-monogamous. I can promise you, again, that gay men are as monogamus as straight men. Many gay men are more monogamous than many straight men. And vice versa. Sexuality does not define one’s desire to be in a committed relationship or not. If it did, certainly the 50% divorce rate in this country would not be. I know many, many gay couples who have been together for decades, far longer than many, many straight couples. And, honestly, you should know that this antiquated notion of what constitutes a gay man’s sex life is rather offensive.
You also write, “Now the new standard is why bother have sex with men.” Well, surely you cannot believe that, given the choice, a straight man will automatically opt to have sex with another man instead of a woman. Are you that insecure in your own self that you fear men will leave you because they can marry other men? A friend recently wrote,
“Gay marriage isn’t an idea or a movement, but a reality of the way a minority of Americans live their lives. The giant repercussions that opponents of gay marriage rave about seem preposterous when you consider that legalizing gay marriage doesn’t create something that wasn’t there before. Those couples are already here. They’re living together, sharing lives, buying homes, raising children, living exactly as they’d live if they were legally married.”
One other point I’ll agree with you on. Gay marriage is about changing the standard of human behavior. It’s about changing the standard of what stood as normal Â human behavior from bigots and ignorant hate-mongers who think they’re better than we are, and who had the stamp of approval of society and government to support their selfish, small-minded mentality. Well, that day is over. Gay marriage is about changing the standard of human behavior, to one in which people are more equal than they were before,Â Â to one in whichÂ people have the right to live their lives they way they choose, to love the person who loves them back, without fear of reprisal or derision. Yes, Tricia, gay marriage is changing the standard of human behavior. It is making us all a little more human.
(You can view Tricia’s original comment here.)
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‘Doesn’t Get to Tell the County What They Can Read’: Lawmaker Blasts Christian in Viral Video Attacking LGBTQ Library Books
A Tennessee Democratic state lawmaker is responding to a viral video of a Christian woman in her home state railing against “perversion,” apparently upset with LGBTQ-themed books being in a local public library, while ranting about Satan and “revelation prophecies.”
Rep. Gloria Johnson, a retired special ed teacher, blasted the young woman who spoke in the video for about three minutes berating, lecturing, and preaching to her fellow Maury County, Tennessee residents about books she believes the public library should not have.
After introducing herself as “Stephanie” (her last name was not discernible), the young woman in the undated video declares, “I speak on behalf of God Almighty, my husband, the daughter in my womb and every law abiding God fearing taxpaying citizen here in Maury County.”
She admitted she is not from Maury County, but she did feel very comfortable telling Maury County locals what to do and think.
“We moved here from Indiana to start our family,” she said. “I will not raise kids in a county that has sexual oriented books on the counter,” she insisted, later stating, “My taxes pay [for] this place.”
“The kingdom of God is within reach,” Stephanie went on to preach. “It is within here and we live not for heaven but from heaven. What that means is when perversion permeates our county, that is when the devil gets our children. If you don’t see this you are blind. We must understand that there cannot be perversion in this county, in this country. Obviously revelation prophecies are occurring right before our eyes. But what you need to know first and foremost, that obviously the future generation is our children.”
By the end of her lengthy rant she decreed, “God sees everything and by the grace of God, we will rise above this, but I’m not gonna let my children be raised – I’m gonna homeschool, you better believe it. I will not let my children be raised in a county like this. If we’re having sexual oriented books. You can even ask the gay community, a lot of them say why would you want to bring kids to the bars? They already think of pedophilia, why would you want them to come to the bars?”
“Understand that you serve our country second. You serve our God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob first,” she concluded.
She also flew into a false screed straight out of recent Fox News reports.
Saying, “I speak on behalf of millennials my generation,” she claimed, “We already have so many illegal aliens here who are bringing fentanyl they are killing our children, our youth.”
A right-wing think tank, the Cato Institute states: “Fentanyl is primarily trafficked by U.S. citizens.”
Rep. Johnson, who served in the Tennessee state House from 2013-2015, and is again serving, since 2019, also served up strong criticism against the woman in the video.
“She is welcome to monitor the books her children read, but she doesn’t get to tell the rest of the county what they can read,” Johnson tweeted.
Johnson is apparently a strong supporter of public libraries. This was posted to her Facebook page just days ago:
Watch the viral video below or at this link.
A Christian woman in Maury County, Tennessee argues against LGBTQ-themed books at her library and tells everyone they’re going to hell pic.twitter.com/F6McXs8Gs4
— Marjorie Gaylor Queen 🏳️🌈 (@Tim_Tweeted) September 28, 2022
Watchdog Reports Trump ‘Credibly Accused’ of ‘Staggering’ List of 55 Criminal Offenses – Urges DOJ to Prosecute
A nonpartisan federal government watchdog has updated its list of “uncharged” criminal offenses it says Donald Trump stands “credibly accused” of committing, and is urging the Dept. of Justice to prosecute them, warning that “the rule of law is not self-enforcing.”
“As of September 2022, Donald Trump has been credibly accused of committing at least 55 criminal offenses since he launched his campaign for president in 2015,” reports Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, better known as CREW. “That total only reflects allegations relating to his time in or running for office and omits, for instance, Trump’s criminal exposure for fraudulent business dealings.”
The lengthy list includes numerous allegations of campaign finance crimes and coverup, destruction of presidential records, obstruction of the Russia and Special Counsel Investigations, attempts to steal the 2020 election, false public financial disclosure reports, attempts to get Ukraine to interfere in 2020 election, profiting off of post-election lies, and unlawful post-presidency possession of government records.
CREW says its update includes “seven offenses we have added since we published the first version of this table in March 2022,” including “three criminal offenses relating to the investigation of election fraud and related crimes in Fulton County, Georgia; one offense relating to potential wire fraud stemming from fraudulent representations made to solicit PAC contributions after the 2020 election; and three offenses relating to Trump’s unlawful possession of government records at Mar-a-Lago after leaving office.”
“The updated tracker likely understates Trump’s legal exposure because the high volume of sensitive records discovered at Mar-A-Lago suggests that he could be indicted for multiple counts of willfully retaining without authorization government records containing national defense information, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 793(e)), even though it is only listed once on CREW’s tracker.”
CREW is not the only one keeping track of Trump’s misdeeds, criminal civil, or ethical.
McSweeney’s published a list of 1056 “atrocities,” it calls “horrors,” titled: “A Catalog of Trump’s Worst Cruelties, Collusions, Corruptions, and Crimes.” It stopped updating on Jan. 20, 2021.
Civil liberties and national security journalist Marcy Wheeler on Wednesday published her “Trump Document Theft Resources,” a timeline of events surrounding the former president’s unlawful retention and refusal to return classified documents, complete with numerous links.
For those who’ve missed it: I have put together a post with links to all MY posts on the Trump Espionage case, as well as the public docs, statutes, and some other key reports. Not entirely up-to-date and a work in progress, though. https://t.co/1xpy6I5ine
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) September 28, 2022
Christian Nationalist GOP Nominee Doug Mastriano Calling for ‘40 Days of Fasting and Prayer’ to Help Campaign
The far-right Christian nationalist and state lawmaker who is the Republican Party’s nominee to become governor of Pennsylvania is so extreme and has been performing so poorly in the polls it took the media two days to learn of his latest plan to win election: 40 days of fasting and prayer.
State Sen. Doug Mastriano, who led a Zoom meeting days before the January 6 insurrection praying his fellow Trump supporters would “rise up” and overthrow the government, on Monday posted to Facebook a call for “40 Days of Fasting and Prayer.”
To date it has received little attention, a mere 10 comments, 46 shares, and 156 various likes. That’a after one news outlet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, published an article on Mastriano Wednesday afternoon.
“The Republican gubernatorial candidate is losing some support among GOP allies as his cash-strapped campaign turns to Twitter memes and, apparently, divine intervention,” the Inquirer reports.
A mere “few dozen supporters joined the Republican state senator on the steps of the Capitol building in Harrisburg — some of them members of a local militia group,” for campaign rally last weekend, adding that “Mastriano hasn’t run or booked any TV ads in response. He doesn’t do interviews with most media outlets, and won’t agree to a standard format debate.”
Mastriano recently made headlines over previously unreported remarks showing he supports criminal murder charges for women who violate a 6-week abortion ban.
It seems likely Mastriano will lose the election. FiveThirtyEight gives the far right Republican state lawmaker just seven chances in 100 to win the governorship. His opponent, Democrat Josh Shapiro, has spent millions more that Mastriano, who the Inquirer notes has spent just $6300 on TV ads.
Some are highlighting bigger, more longterm concerns, noting that Mastriano is helping to expand the Christian nationalism and fascism his ideologies represent.
Media Matters for America’s Eric Hananoki on Wednesday reveals: “Mastriano announced that he’s holding a rally with Jack Posobiec this weekend. Posobiec has collaborated with white nationalists and neo-Nazis and has targeted Jewish people with antisemitic hate.”
Doug Mastriano announced that he’s holding a rally with Jack Posobiec this weekend. Posobiec has collaborated with white nationalists and neo-Nazis and has targeted Jewish people with antisemitic hate, as the @splcenter has documented. https://t.co/V4xQeohozl
— Eric Hananoki (@ehananoki) September 28, 2022
“Mastriano is a QAnon conspiracy theorist and a January 6 insurrectionist,” Media Matters report adds. “He has also shared toxic commentaries about Muslims; abortion; and gun safety; along with making other inflammatory remarks.”
“He has surrounded himself with numerous extremist media figures in his campaign for Pennsylvania governor. They include: antisemitic Gab CEO Andrew Torba; QAnon and antisemitic conspiracy theorists Allen and Francine Fosdick; “prophet” Julie Green, who has promoted an antisemitic conspiracy theory; and QAnon supporter and 9/11 conspiracy theorist Toni Shuppe. Mastriano also recruited Jenna Ellis, who has a history of anti-LGBTQ remarks and election denialism, as a senior adviser.”
The New York Times last month reported Mastriano “speaks almost exclusively to far-right podcasters like Stephen K. Bannon, conservative talk radio hosts and Fox News. On a recent swing through northwest Pennsylvania, he brushed off a Pittsburgh TV station that sought to interview him, and even the small-circulation Meadville Tribune.“
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