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An Open Letter To Joe Solmonese About Teaparties, Taxes, Cabbages, And Kings

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Wrong Fight At The Wrong Time In The Wrong Place Surrounded By The Wrong People

Dear Joe,

For several months, Conservatives have been the willing butt of many “teaparty” jokes, by, pretty much most of the country. They’re really excited about playing dress-up and pretending to be Paul Revere, or 1773 pre-Revolutionary War Sons of Liberty left-overs. And for the past few days, my friends and I have had a blast, watching Rachel Maddow and Ana Marie Cox ridicule Conservatives and their teaparties. I’m sure you saw them last Thursday night on “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC. Who hasn’t watched that clip of “Insanitea” over and over and over! It’s become such a joke that even Anderson Cooper last night on his show said, “It’s hard to talk when you’re tea bagging.” Yeah, it’s been good times!

So, imagine my anger when I got your “Stop unfair taxes on lesbian and gay families!” email, asking gays and lesbians to “head down to your local post office April 15 to talk to people in line and any members of the media who show up.” It’s the wrong fight, at the wrong time, in the wrong place, Joe. This is wrong on so many levels. I would say I can’t even begin to tell you, but I’m going to.

Today, April 15th, Conservatives will be holding “teaparties” on the steps of post offices around the country, hoping to rally support against what they perceive as an “oppressive Obama administration” and against what they see as unfair taxes. Taxes, I might add, that go to support the very programs that help our community, programs that Conservatives would cut first, given the chance, programs championed by those who support our cause the most.

Programs like 1-800-RUNAWAY, the federally-funded National Runaway Switchboard. Joe, as you know, while only a small percentage of all youths are gay, approximately 40% of all runaway youths are gay. 40%. Gay teens are up to four times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual counterparts. We learned just last week of an eleven year old boy who committed suicide because he suffered taunts and threats from other students who made fun of him, insulted the way he dressed and called him gay.

Even when money exists for LGBTQ programs, money from taxes, Conservatives want to take it away. In 2006, in Southeastern Nebraska, Conservatives rallied to deny a small grant that would go to help LGBTQ youth, “saying it was controversial and “causes grief” to use tax dollars to fund gay and lesbian issues.” Protesting against taxes is not the right fight for us right now.

Let the Conservatives rally against cabbages and kings. Let us not be seen railing against an administration that is reaching out to our community and is providing us with the best chance at true equality we have ever had. An administration that, albeit far too slowly, will act to repeal DOMA and DADT, and enact ENDA.

I love my country, Joe. I love our rich and activist history. I love the idea of the Boston Tea Party. Good for those guys! Without their courage, we might not be here today. But, like many things they touch, today’s Conservatives have corrupted the very essence, and purity of meaning that the original Tea Party represented.

These tea parties (teaparties that are being organized not at the grassroots, but behind the scenes by a group funded by Westinghouse Corporation, Prudential Insurance, and AETNA, among others,) are attended by the very people who hate our community the most. The people who hate “liberals” the most. The people who hate gays the most. People like Alan Keyes, and Newt Gingrich, and Michelle Malkin, and religious extremists and secessionists. To copy their inane rhetoric and actions puts us in the wrong game, on the wrong field, next to the wrong players.

What will we have gained, when the local TV station in Des Moines, in Boswell, in Fremont, in New Haven, shows ten-second clips of the LGBTQ community standing on the steps of their post office, next to rallying right-wing Conservatives who don’t believe Barack Obama is an American?

Putting us in the same venue as those who openly advocate against us, while letting the media mistake our presence as being part of the Conservative Teaparty is just a bad idea. What little exposure we might gain is not worth the risk of being accused of palling around with teaparty terrorists. Our presence merely will be taken as a show of support for those who hate us, our agenda, and our recent successes. What helps them hurts us. Contributing to their turnout hurts us. Via GayPatriot:

“The Tea Party movement is currently on track to be the largest genuine grassroots movement America has seen since the Sixties. We don’t know yet whether it will be such a grassroots movement, but it could be. We’ll have a better idea on Wednesday when reports from across the country start coming in. If on a weekday, these protests attract more than 224,000 people, we’ll know there really is something to it. A quarter-million participant would suggest it’s more than just a flash in the pan.”

Why risk credibility with a protest hastily-organized on the coattails of our detractors that will merely give them the ammunition they need to say of our fight, “It’s not about marriage, it’s about money.” Joe, with the possible exception of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who said, “I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization”, no one enjoys paying taxes. That “same-sex couples pay an average of about $1000 more in taxes than their opposite-sex counterparts” no doubt is true. We are, as a friend wrote to me on Twitter, “paying *more* than straight people to a government that classifies us as second-class citizens.” This is entirely unacceptable.

I believe in, and fight for LGBTQ equality every day. I want equal rights for all Americans, regardless of gender, orientation, or race. But the fight we don’t need to have today is one of economics. It’s not a fight we can win right now. The Right knows this. They’ve been marketing to us for decades. And given all the challenges the Right has thrown at us over the years, parts of the LGBTQ community are desperately in need of the support of civilization these days.

We are coming off of an historic week. Our wins in Iowa, in Vermont, and in D.C. will go down in history. The world, literally, is watching. Watching as yet another American civil rights movement spreads its wings. Last week gave hope to millions of Americans. Hope that said, in the words of our president, “Yes we can.” Yes we can actually win the rights we so richly deserve. The civil rights. The “unalienable rights”. The moral rights. We need to let the world know that these are the rights we’re fighting for. Economic rights come with moral rights. Not vice-versa.

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SURE

Louie Gohmert Gave $5500 to a Homophobic Holocaust-Denying Preacher — Then Claimed It Was an Accident

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On Monday, The Daily Beast reported that Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) donated $5,500 to virulently anti-gay and anti-Semitic pastor Steve Anderson — and when caught, claimed the whole thing was an unfortunate mixup.

According to William Bredderman, “Team Gohmert claims it hired a Christian singer named Steve Amerson from Granada HIlls, California, but accidentally reported to the Federal Election Commission that the cash went to the Tempe, Arizona address of the Faithful Word Baptist Church, led by the infamous Pastor Steve Anderson.”

Anderson, whose church is part of the New Independent Fundamentalist Baptist movement, is known for several abhorrent views, the report noted.

“Faithful Word Church calls for punishing homosexuality with the death penalty in the doctrinal statement published on its webpage,” said the report. “But that demand seems mild compared to the seething rhetoric Anderson has unleashed against the LGBTQ community: in a 2014 video posted to his now-deplatformed YouTube account, he declared “‘if you executed the homos, like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running around.’ In 2016, he applauded the the mass shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, asserting ‘there’s 50 less pedophiles in this world.'”

But Anderson’s views go much further — he is also virulently anti-Semitic and denies the Holocaust happened.

“Anderson … has demonstrated a particular animosity toward Jewish people, as evidenced in titles of the sermons listed on his IMDB page, which include ‘The Jews Are Our Enemies,’ ‘The Jews Killed Jesus,’ ‘Unbelieving Jews Are Under God’s Wrath,’ ‘Jews Worship a Female God Named ‘Shekinah,” and ‘Jewish Synagogue = Synagogue of Satan,'” said the report. “He has also, as the Anti-Defamation League noted in a 2015 report, propagated false claims that millions of Jews were not gassed and cremated in Nazi concentration camps during World War II.” He also published a video calling Dr. Martin Luther King, “Marxist Lucifer King,” a “false prophet,” a “sexual pervert,” and a “Communist tool.”

This comes shortly after Gohmert landed in the news for demanding to know if the U.S. Forest Service can change the Earth’s orbit to fight climate change.

 

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CRIME

Man Shoots and Kills Atlanta Supermarket Cashier, Wounds Guard Over Mask Policy: Police

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A man pulled out a gun and shot and killed an Atlanta-area Big Bear Supermarket cashier over the store’s mask policy, according to police. Two people, including a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office reserve unit deputy who was inside the supermarket working as a security guard, and the suspect, were also wounded.

“The subject pulled out a weapon and shot a cashier at the location,” DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox said, according to 11Alive. “The individual is deceased.”

“Although details are not complete, authorities say that the male suspect was involved in a dispute with a young woman before he began firing at her inside the store,” the spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said.

There apparently was an altercation over the mask policy, which is clearly posted on the store’s door.

“A witness, identified as Alan Williams, said a man walked into the store, struck the woman with a gun, then shot her. That’s when the deputy and the suspect exchanged gunfire.”

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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'CAN’T HANDLE COLD OR HEAT'

#AbbottFailedTexas Trends as State Electric Authority Warns of Possible Power Outages Again – This Time in Heat Wave

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Over the winter at least 151 Texans died as 4.5 million homes and businesses went without power in a massive failure created by poor planning, lack of regulation, and sheer greed.

Last week Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott promised he had fixed the problem.

On Monday, less than seven days later, ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, urged customers to turn air conditioning to no cooler than 78 degrees and to conserve power, as it expects more blackouts throughout the week – this time during extreme heat.

In a statement ERCOT also asked Texans to not use ovens, washing machines, or dryers.

“If you don’t need something – we are asking you to turn it off and unplug it if possible.”

Many Texans, and many Americans, are furious.

 

 

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