Wednesday, April 4, 2012

In Anchorage, Alaska, Voters Choose Discrimination

Voters in Anchorage, Alaska, chose discrimination against the LGBT community when given the chance to make things right.  Proposition 5, a ballot initiative that would've added the LGBT community to protection under their existing anti-discrimination law, was struck down. With 90% of the ballots counted, 58% voted against it.  Fifty-eight percent of Anchorage's voters feel that it's okay for its gay, lesbian, or trangendered citizens to be discriminated against, or bullied.

If you thought this was going to be an easy battle, think again.

This marked the third attempt at getting the Anchorage legislature to right a wrong and provide protection for all of their citizen; however, it was the first time it had been taken to the voter.  Sadly, each time up, it's been knocked down.  Does this say that all people from Anchorage are mean-spirited and bigoted?  Of course not.  I once had a very dear friend who still lives in Anchorage, and he has a heart of pure gold.  And, 42% of the voters obviously agreed with it.  What it says, however, is that the misinformation, the narrowmindedness, and the intolerance still exists at a level that borders on lethal.  More to the point, in the so-called "red" states, it's ingrained into the psyche of the citizens.
Giving extra or special rights to certain groups is discriminatory to those who don't get those special rights. Please don't be selective in your anti discrimination stance.
That's what one bigot had to say.  Let's make this point as crystal clear as possible:  wanting the same rights as every other tax paying, hard-working citizen is NOT a special right.  Expecting to be protected UNDER THE LAW against hate crimes and discrimination is NOT a special right.  It doesn't matter if the citizen is gay, straight, black, white, and everything in between, these are just simple, basic HUMAN RIGHTS!!!

This goes back to what I've been laboring on for a while:  one of the biggest problems in this struggle is that there is an overabundance of people in very powerful positions who exact their own prejudices, their own hatred, their own narrowmindedness on the very people they were hired to work for...and, protect.  This is the land of Sarah Palin, and we know how much she's for equal rights.  Once again, it's that hardcore, extreme right-wing faction that's working to sanction the extermination of a group of people they don't like because of their warped understanding of Christianity.
Opponents, campaigning as Vote No On Prop. 5, complained that the law was vague and poorly written and would impinge on the religious freedom of residents opposed to homosexuality. The proposition included an exemption from the law for churches and religious organizations.

Read more here:
"...would impinge on the religious freedom of residents opposed to homosexuality."  What does that mean!?  Can you read between the shallow lines here?  This is just one more state, "red" state mind you, that believes that discrimination, hatred, intolerance, and bullying against a group of people, the LGBT community, should be their right as Christians.  Wait.  I have to read that again, myself.  Is it me, or is that just purely insane!!??  "I'm Christian (which is to say "I'm a follower of Christ"), so I should be able to be as intolerant, evil, and violent towards the gay community as I please."  I'm sorry.  That just sounds insane.

Fortunately, I know from my own personal experience that not ALL Christians think like this.  Nor do all Republicans, for that matter.  It's just that extreme group way over there on the right who takes it upon themselves to speak for every Christian and every Republican.  Don't let them fool you.  They don't speak for all.  Reverend Samuel Tuttle left a marvelous comment on a recent blog post.  Read it when you get the chance.  And, in the midst of this madness in Anchorage, a true Christian left this comment on the online news article about the vote results.

I'm a devout Christian who has lived in Anchorage for over 45 years.  I am the chairman of my church and led a Bible Study in which Jim Minnery participated occasionally.  I have never been more disappointed in my community than I am today.  This community would be better if we didn't thrive on the misinformation and fear sown by the few.  My faith directs me to stand up for the downtrodden, to stand for what is right in the face of injustice, and to show love to my fellow mankind, regardless of whether we share similar views.  Supporting discrimination is contrary to my faith.  My heart goes out to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender members of our community.  I grieve with you today.
Get it?  It isn't about their rights as Christians.  It's about them being bigots who are full of hatred and intolerance.  Religion is simply their shield.  And, never be fooled by the rhetoric:  it's not about special rights.  Never has been; never will be.  It's simply about basic human, equal rights.  That's all.

Read more here:

Hatred, Intolerance on Display

You know when you're doing something right:  you start getting tomatoes thrown at you.  In this case, naturally, it was only a matter of time before "they" started leaving their well-thought-out and, of course, completely accurate comments on this blog about the gay "lifestyle".  Makes sense to me.  I would fully expect them to be experts on how we, the LGBT community, live our lives...much in the same way I would fully expect my mechanic to have the perfect diagnosis and treatment for whatever physical ailment I may have at the time.

I didn't want to publish this comment.  But, the more I thought about it, the more it became clear that this is exactly the type of mean-spirited, hate-laced behavior and reaction that I've been talking about.  It's exactly the type of response we've come to expect from the hard-core, ultra-conservative, group who dedicate their lives to hating any- and everyone who doesn't think like them or act the way they feel you should act.  So, I have to publish it:
Homosexuality is a behavior. I mean that whole "genetic difference" fraud has been thoroughly debunked and now it is referred to as a "lifestyle" which openly implies choice. Thus the Jim Crow analogy you so frivolously apply is errant from the start. Nice try though. Oh yes and studies are also demonstrating that "queerness" does not occur in nature at some regular, predictable rate either as the homo community has alleged recently. It is after all quite "unnatural". Were it an instinct of nature it would be productive not destructive. Simple enough eh? It's just plain old square peg round hole stupidity and futility but some are determined to persist in their ways which are much too often self indulgent and self loathing. A frank discussion with the priest or pastor might bring about much needed spiritual enlightenment. I would recommend that.

Regarding the idiotic and shallow remark made above about Christians and minorities nothing could be further from the truth. It isn't Christians funding and promoting Planned Parenthood the organization founded to exterminate blacks and now applying the same level of hate for their fellow man among latinos. Those are secularists, progressies, and plain old moral wretches. I mean think about it rationally for a moment: you have your baby, your product killed via brutal method then it is sucked down a vacuum hose, the parts placed in a bag, then thrown out in the dumpster? And you want to call this a "womans right to choose"? She chooses allright. There is truly a deep level of pathology at work in that kind of mind. In fact it is acknowledged to be so disgusting and disturbing that Planned Parenthood and abortion supporters don't want women to see pictures or video's of the procedure or the result in fear that they might actually become re-acquainted with their consciences. That says it all. God help us.
"Stupidity", "futility", "self-indulgent", and my personal favorite "self-loathing".  That's this person's view of the LGBT community. 

Let me say right here that this is not an attack on Republicans.  I have many Republican friends who are absolutely wonderful people.  To be sure, most of them even distance themselves from the narrow-mindedness, hatred, and intolerance that is spewed from the fringe group.  Instead, this is about people who hate anyone who doesn't conform to their beliefs.  That's a very dangerous mindset.

The first question that comes to mind is why is it that what other people do with their lives so incredibly disturbing to these people?  I don't know what goes on in their homes.  And, personally, I don't really care.  Nothing about their lives has an affect on my life.  That is, of course, unless and until they begin to impose their thoughts, their beliefs, their biases on my life.  Then, the line is drawn.

Now, in an attempt to be fair to "the other side", I will acknowledge that their first argument to what I just said will be "Well, you gays are always shoving your lifestyles in our(the normal people's) faces."  How would I know that?  Because, they've used it so much, now, it's become a tired cliche.  But, let's explore that philosophy:  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought this struggle that we're immersed in is for equal rights.  Nothing more; nothing less.  Two factors come into play with their argument:  1.)  if "they" weren't always so concerned about "those radical gays" or "the gay agenda", there would be no need for "them" to feel we're "shoving [ourselves] in their faces".  If they would simply mind their own business and live their own lives as opposed to trying to dictate ours, they probably wouldn't even know we are here; and, 2.) we get heterosexuality "shoved" in our collective faces regularly, which makes their argument terribly hypocritical. 

Let's cut to the chase.  What this comment proved, without doubt, is exactly what I've been saying:  the mindset and the rhetoric that comes from the opponent out there on that fringe right, is nothing short of hate speech.  There is nothing "godly" about how "anonymous" wrote that.  It was written with unmitigated hatred.  It was written as an attack.  And, it's precisely that mindset and rhetoric that fuels the violence against the LGBT community that we see.  It's the trigger to many a gay teen suicide; it's the catalyst for many of the schoolyard bullies.

So, how do we combat it effectively?  Well, first of all, we need to be realistic and understand that it may never fully go away.  There will always be lunatics who need someone to look down upon in order to make themselves feel superior.  And, there will always be the self-righteous power junkies ready to force their will, their views, their reality on others.  Ultimately, we combat them, and win, by continuing to increase our numbers and making our voices heard.  We win by continuing to live our lives openly, honestly, proudly, and happily.  Most importantly, though, we continue to spread love because, in the end, love will always conquer hate.

"I'm a Christian, Unless You're Gay".  Explain to me, again, how that works!?