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October 24, 2008


The brutally murdered bodies of two elderly Indianapolis gay men were found inside their home by friends.

According to a WRTV Channel 6 report, Milton Lindgren, 70, and Eric Hendricks, 73, were found dead Monday morning. Police would not say how they were killed or how long their bodies had been inside the home, only that their deaths came by "violent means."

Police reports show that the men had their phone and cable lines cut twice in the past few months, and that anti-gay statements were posted on their front door. Investigators said that while they do believe the vandalism was related to Lindgren and Hendricks being gay, they didn't know if their killings were.

Patrick Beard, a friend of the victims, told 6News' Rick Hightower that he believed the men were targeted. Beard's son, Lee Beard, who also knew the victims, said,

"I'm not a genius, but if someone's being harassed like that and fagot gets stamped on their door on a piece of paper, it's not that hard to connect the dots two months later that these two people are brutally killed in their home."

Friends said Hendricks was ill and confined to a wheelchair.

This will not be investigated as a hate crime because Indiana doesn't have hate crime laws. Another glaring reason why we need federal hate crimes legislation passed. It would give local police more funds and federal manpower to help find the murder(s) and bring them to swift justice.

Unfortunately, violent crimes against gays have been steadily rising since the religious, right-wing fanatics stepped up their vitriolic, hate-filled, lying rhetoric against gays.

This has to stop before it escalates into something no one wants to see happen. Gays are no longer willing to sit idly by while their friends, neighbors, families and communities are verbally and physically attacked. We're not the quiet, timid, weak little mice that many macho heterosexuals want to believe we are. Just like in the straight community, there are extremist factions within our own community that, if pushed far enough and feel forced into a corner, will respond.

That's something we don't want to see. The surest way to abate this rapidly growing tension is if the other, more tolerant side of religious institutions, supportive politicians, business leaders and government legislatures make themselves heard very loudly and very clearly.

October 23, 2008


Most of us have known all along about the massive involvement of the Mormon Church in the California and Arizona initiatives to ban gay marriages. What we weren't exactly sure of is just how much they've contributed.

According to The Advocate,

Californians Against Hate released figures Tuesday showing that $17.67 million was contributed by 59,000 Mormon families since August to groups like Yes on 8. Contributions in support of Prop. 8 total $22.88 million. Additionally, the group reports that Mormons have contributed $6.9 million to pass a similar law, Proposition 102, in Arizona.

That equates to 77% of the total contributions made in California alone!

Fred Karger of Californians Against Hate said in a press release,
"It is a staggering amount of money and an even more staggering percentage of the overall campaign receipts. The Mormon Church, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, has hijacked the campaigns in both California and Arizona, where voters face constitutional amendments to end same-sex marriage."

The sad irony here is that although the church's hierarchy has directed their followers to help pass Prop 8 by "donating of your means and time", not a single Mormon Church leader has made any kind of personal donation themselves. Their tenet seems to be "do as I tell you, not as I do."

In an interview with The Advocate, Karger said:
"For whatever reason, they're trying to get some respect from other religions. They've always been looked down upon by the Christians, the Catholics, and evangelicals. Success with the marriage amendment would give the church credibility."

This seems to be the overriding modus operandi of the Mormon Church throughout their history. Do whatever it takes to further their agendas and strengthen their standing without regard for right or wrong morality and without any compassion for whoever might get hurt.

I hope this ultimately comes back to bite them in their collective asses.

October 22, 2008


One of the largest and most influential newspapers here in Arizona, the Arizona Republic, has come out against Proposition 102, the anti-gay marriage amendment on the ballot for the November 4th election.

With a Daily circulation of 433,731 and a Sunday circulation of 541,757 they have a substantial impact throughout the entire state. That's why they're stand against Prop 102 is so important.

The Republic has a long-standing reputation of being primarily a conservative publication but the wording of this Opinion was much more direct and compelling than I would have expected.

About gays and the gay community, they said:

Arizona must get beyond the acrimony fueled by the fight over Proposition 102.

Already, the state has gone a long way toward rejecting the notion that sexual orientation has any bearing on a person's rights or place in society.

As gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals no longer feel compelled to hide in the closet, we see that they're our friends, colleagues and, often, family members.

Personal relations are dispelling the clouds of prejudice and ignorance.

Of the amendment, they said:
One of the best arguments against a proposed state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage is this: Secretary of State Jan Brewer blocked ballot language that would have told voters that state law already prohibits such marriages.

If voters were clear on existing law, many might decide there's no reason to adopt the amendment.

They also pointed out the potential legal ramifications of passing 102 by saying:
Proposition 102 states that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage in this state.

This is not quite as straightforward as it sounds. The amendment clearly aims to disallow same-sex marriages that are legal in a few other states.

Refusing to recognize another state's contracts brings up federal constitutional issues. What about other types of same-sex legal partnerships?

Lawyers could use up a lot of billable hours parsing the exact meaning of "union" and "marriage."

They also commented on the sorry state of the institution of marriage but then said that those problems "had nothing to do with whether same-sex couples can or cannot get married."

It was suggested that the supporters of Prop 102, who call themselves "Arizona for Marriage," should spend their time and energy hunting for real ways to shore it up.

It ended with:
Proposition 102 is a needless distraction. Voters should reject it.

October 21, 2008


In an interview with David Brody on CBN Sarah Palin said that she would support a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage throughout the country.

The following video is the section of that interview that includes her answer to Brody's question:

The most telling and disturbing aspect of Palin's comment is her statement "I don't support gay marriage - ya know, I'm not going to be up there judging individuals sitting in a seat of judgement telling them what they can and can't do, should and should not do..." That's like saying "I'm not going to tell you what to do as long as you do what I say."

Palin spends much of her time telling her followers how her and McCain are going to go to Washington and kick-out the good ole' boys and stop the "business as usual" politics. But her actions and her words totally contradict that. Her own two-faced, hypocritical politics from mayor to governor and now to Vice Presidential candidate are about as "business as usual," good ole' boy networking as it gets.

Contrast Palin's comments with what Joe Biden said as soon as he came onstage at the Ellen DeGeneres show:

Biden: First of all, congratulations.

DeGeneres: Thank you, thank you.

Biden: Number two, if I lived in California, I’d clearly vote against Prop 8.

DeGeneres: Fantastic!

Biden: You know, by the way, Barack and I both opposed a similar attempt nationally, that was an attempt to talk about a constitutional amendment which I think, I think it’s regressive, I think it’s unfair, and so I vote no.

Degeneres: No on Prop 8. Fantastic. That’s what I wanted to know.

October 20, 2008


According to a NY Times article, Governor Sarah Palin did, in fact, abuse the powers of her office by pressuring subordinates to get her former brother-in-law, a state trooper, fired.

In a 263-page report, the Alaska Legislature's investigation found that Palin had personally exerted pressure to get Trooper Michael Wooten dismissed, as well as allowing her husband and subordinates to press for his firing.

The NY Times article stated:

The report said, “Such impermissible and repeated contacts create conflicts of interests for subordinate employees who must choose to either please a superior or run the risk of facing that superior’s displeasure and the possible consequences of that displeasure.” The report concludes that the action was a violation of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act.

The independent investigator, Stephen E. Branchflower, a former prosecutor in Anchorage, said that Palin wrongfully allowed her husband, Todd, to use state resources as part of the effort to have Trooper Wooten dismissed. And that she knowingly “permitted Todd Palin to use the governor’s office and the resources of the governor’s office, including access to state employees, to continue to contact subordinate state employees in an effort to find some way to get Trooper Wooten fired.”

Repeated attempts to pressure Palin's public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, who was Wooten's boss, into firing the trooper resulted in Wooten being suspended from the state police force for five days. However, Mr. Branchflower’s report found numerous instances in which Ms. Palin, her husband and her subordinates tried to press for harsher punishment, even though Mr. Monegan and others told them they had gone as far as the law and civil service rules would allow.

Monegan was ultimately terminated by Palin. Ironically, the governor always had the authority to fire him with or without cause but what got her in trouble was that she only did that after he said that he couldn't go any further in punishing Trooper Wooten. Apparently Palin wanted to make it look like it was Monegan's decision to fire Wooten but when that didn't work, she punished Monegan by firing him. Ah, what tangled webs we weave.

Even though she was found culpable for abusing her powers as governor, Palin and the McCain campaign have continuously said in rally after rally and interview after interview that she had been "completely exonerated" by the investigation. If anyone thinks that isn't more of the same Bush/Rove/Cheney politics then they're not paying attention.