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June 18, 2009


The infamous National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which has been using sleazy, underhanded tactics to prevent gay marriages throughout the country, has now focused its attentions on New York State Senators.

In a desperate, reprehensible and legally questionable attempt to intimidate, terrorize and coerce New York State Senators, NOM (remember the video "Gathering Storm?" - they made it) is now threatening to fund GOP challengers to any Senator that votes for the gay marriage bill. They sent a fund raising letter to all of their followers which included the following threat:

"The first $500,000 raised by NOM PAC New York will be used to fund a primary challenger to any GOP state senator in New York who votes for gay marriage."

Although they didn't send this letter to any of the senators directly, they knew that its message would make its way to every senator now considering the NY state gay marriage bill. And that is clearly their intent. They want them to think that if they vote for this legislation, NOM would provide substantial funding to any GOP challenger.

That's a serious threat that could be intimidating enough to dissuade GOP senators who have either already expressed support for the bill or are still undecided but are leaning towards its passage.

If this isn't outright intimidation and coercion of duly elected government officials then what is. I would hope that New York's Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is at least investigating this latest attempt by NOM to threaten and terrorize elected officials for the sole purpose of affecting policy.

One thing that would take the sails of out this terrorist-like effort by NOM would be for a group of fair minded individuals or organizations who have, or can raise, this kind of capital to step up to the plate and pledge to those senators who vote for the gay marriage legislation that they will match any donations that NOM contributes to the opponents of those senators.

This kind of action would put an immediate end to NOM's sleazy campaign. Or, at the very least, re-level the playing field and render NOM impotent.

If you think this is a good idea, talk it up to your friends, families and acquaintances. If they aren't able to contribute, they may know people who can.

June 17, 2009


Attorney General Eric Holder made a public statement yesterday about the rising tide of violence and called for a tougher U.S. hate crimes law to stop "violence masquerading as political activism."

He said that in order to stop the violence Congress should pass an updated version of the hate crimes legislation to more effectively prosecute those who commit violent attacks based on gender, disability, or sexual orientation.

"We will not tolerate murder, or the threat of violence, masquerading as political activism," Holder said. "So let me be clear, the Justice Department will use every tool at its disposal to protect the rights ensured under our Constitution."

It was an important and very forceful statement that needed to be said by the man who is in charge of our Department Of Justice (DOJ). I'm sure that he honestly meant what he said. What I'm not sure of is his motivation for saying it now.

Yes, the recent, front page headline murders of Dr. Tiller during a service inside his own church and Stephen T. Johns, the guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, were certainly motivators. But the staggering 28% increase in violence and murder against GLBT people in 2008 alone has been something our community has been shouting about for awhile now and we're still waiting for the hate crimes bill to finish winding its way through congress and to the desk of President Obama for his signature.

Although I welcome this forceful comment by Holder, I can't help but think that its timing is meant to divert our attention away from the now infamous, cruelly offensive and wholly bogus brief that Holder's Justice Department filed in defense of DOMA.

That one brief has incited almost as much outrage throughout our community as the passage of Proposition 8. So much so that in the last few days many of our wealthier GLBT democratic supporters and donors have declined their invitation to the prestigious 10th Annual GLBT Leadership Council Dinner scheduled for June 25th in Washington, D.C. - which is one of the democrat's biggest fundraisers. They have also publicly stated that they will withhold their donations for as long as it takes congress and the President to act on the many GLBT issues vital to our community. Their action is being imitated by scores of volunteers and smaller donors throughout the country who helped put Obama and the democrats in office. And their numbers are growing everyday.

The frustration over the administration's inaction on DOMA and DADT was highlighted by Obama's announcement today that domestic partnership benefits would be extended to all federal employees. The problem is that DOMA makes it impossible, legally, to extend health and retirement benefits so that pretty much guts the advantages of such a move.

Someone somewhere in congress and/or the administration really needs to take the initiative and introduce legislation that would repeal both DOMA and DADT. Before the President and the democrats lose our support entirely.

I still don't, and probably never will, understand just why Obama hasn't yet issued a stop-loss order to at least suspend the destructive GLBT discharges while the details of the repeal of DADT are worked out. Who's the Commander-In-Chief anyway - Obama or a handful of homophobic generals? 'Cause I can't believe that the religious right has enough power left in Washington to even be legitimately effective anymore. So who's pulling the strings now!?

June 16, 2009


There can be no question that hate crime violence is on the rise.

The murder of Dr. Tiller during a Sunday service in his church and in front of his family was, by any account, a despicable and heartless act. But to have that followed so closely by the fatal shooting of the guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and then the recent slaughter of a father and his 9 year old daughter here in Arizona is a giant red flag.

All three of these murders were carried out by rightwing extremist who were, no doubt, encouraged and incited by the vitriolic hate spewed daily by the avaricious hatemongers of the media. From the anti-abortionist to the anti-semitic to the anti-immigrant - all demonstrate the same kind of fanaticism usually only associated with the growing supremacist movement.

Probably the most shocking of these atrocities was the recent father/daughter murder here in Arizona. This was an action orchestrated and carried out by Shawna Forde, the leader and founder of a highly controversial, local "Minuteman" organization that patrols the US/Mexican border looking for illegals.

Forde was trying to raise a large amount of money to make her anti-illegal immigrant operation more sophisticated. The group had heard that a hispanic man living in a remote area south of Tucson was an immigrant drug smuggler who probably had large amounts of cash, drugs and weapons on hand. That assumed lure plus the isolated location made him an easy target.

According to a report by the Arizona Republic, published last Saturday, Shawna and two of her male followers dressed as law enforcement officers (which none of them were) and forced their way into the home about 10 miles north of the Mexican border in rural Arivaca.

"This was a planned home invasion where the plan was to kill all the people inside this trailer so there would be no witnesses," Sheriff Clarence Dupnik of Pima County said. "To just kill a 9-year-old girl because she might be a potential witness to me is just one of the most despicable acts that I have heard of."

Ford and all of these lunatics were the kind of rightwing fanatics that believe their cause justifies even murder if the people they kill are, in their minds, the "enemy." And I hold the rightwing media, especially talk radio, responsible for riling up these already unstable individuals. As far as I'm concerned, all of those so-called "hosts" should go to jail right along with the people they incite.

It's also the same kind of fanaticism that drove someone to throw a bomb into the crowd at the world's largest Gay Pride event held this past weekend in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

PinkNews, out of the UK, reported that 21 people were injured and four were taken to the hospital. Of the four people hospitalized, one has serious head trauma and another is in serious condition with multiple injuries. The two others have non-life threatening injuries.

Sao Paulo's Pride event is in its 13th year and despite the ongoing threats from anti-gay extremist, it still drew over 3 million proud revelers from all over the world.

At first, it was thought that someone who was upset at all the noise threw the bomb from a window. But, as parade spokesman Pedro Xavier said, the attack was probably anti-gay because "nobody has a bomb just sitting around at home."

All of these attacks, along with the already proven rising rate of violence against gays throughout the country underscores the necessity for all of us to be cautious and aware of our surroundings whenever we're out and about.

No. We're not going to go cowering back into the closet - that's NOT who we are. But, as I've said in multiple past postings, the more successful we are, the more frustrated and violent our opponents become. So lets all just be careful out there.