Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Press conference justifies my faith in South Carolina

While lgbts around the country are tussling over issues like marriage equality and Don't Ask, Don't Tell, South Carolina's lgbt community took a stand against a bill with an added amendment designed to exclude us.

Last week, a bill was pushed through the SC House of Representatives that required schools to create teen dating violence prevention policies.

The bill was a good idea, but it got tainted when a state representative, Greg Delleney, pushed an amendment through requiring the bill to pertain to only heterosexual relationships.

Delleney said he did this because he was afraid that without this requirement, schools would have to teach children about same-sex relationships.

That's why a group 0f us along with two other state representatives, Ken Kennedy and Gilda Cobb-Hunter, held a press conference today.

There were so many things I liked about the press conference: we had a good crowd, good media participation, and it is playing well on television.

Also, the comments section on our local news page's webpage is buzzing and it looks like folks understand our point of view.

So all in all, the press conference was a success in garnering positive attention.

But for me as a gay black South Carolinian, there were more successes today.

Both legislators who spoke at our press conference were African-American and they both personalized the issues.

Their acknowledgements weren't the usual "we stand with gays in the spirit of the civil rights movement" statement that the lgbt community sometimes receives from black allies.

Kennedy said that he has lgbt relatives in his family and the issue affects them.

Cobb-Hunter's speech was also excellent but she did something that I will never forget. Before the press conference started, she turned to us and said "thank you for standing up and showing everyone that this is your house too."

I'm ashamed to admit (it's my pride - sue me already) that when she said this, I was very close to tears.

It feels damn good to be respected for who you are instead of having to fight the petty stereotypes that people have of you.

So I guess I went away from the press conference feeling good about South Carolina. This state gets a lot of flack when it comes to gay rights.

While a lot is justified, I hate it when people say things like "South Carolina is so homophobic" and "Gays need to move away."

I've never had any use for people who say things like this; those folks who, when faced with a huge wall of ignorance or intolerance, will either throw up their hands in defeated resignation or wrap themselves up in the shroud of indifference and apathy.

I love this state and intend to fight for my place in it despite the fact that it may seem like a lost cause.

Sometimes lost causes are the best things to fight for because they aren't lost at all but only misplaced.

I learned that lesson today.

So what happens now?

My guess is that the bill will be taken up again tomorrow by the state Senate but won't pass. Apparently our beloved Governor Sanford vetoed the entire state budget so all attention will be focused on that.

Who would've thought that Governor No would be good for something?

It's just a day of miracles.

Editor's Note - The South Carolina Progressive Network, South Carolina Equality, SC Pride Movement, and the Columbia chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays deserve huge kudos for pulling the press conference together. Harriet Hancock of PFLAG also deserve big kudos for speaking at the press conference.




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Tuesday midday news briefs

Boy spearheads gay-marriage rally - This is so awesome. I can't believe I almost missed posting this article. If you haven't heard of this, you NEED to.

Give 'em an inch or a mile -- they'll still demean ours lives and loves! - Geez, some folks are NEVER satisfied!

Are you kidding me? Pennsylvania "Marriage Protection" Amendment pokes its head out of the ground -This ought to be interesting.

Governor Gregoire Signs Domestic Partnership Law - A partial win. Well in the words of Elizabeth Taylor (as Cleopatra): "take a little bit and then a little bit more until you get it all."





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LaBarbera vs. Folsom Street Fair . . . again

And it begins again.

Our friend LaBarbera has declared yet another war on Folsom Street Fair:

Folks, take a look at what the sadistic pervs over at Folsom Street Fair came up with for their promotional poster this year. And to think that in all their “leather pride” they think of themselves as “progressive.” (PETA might disagree.) The good news is that thanks to the efforts of Americans For Truth and others who have exposed the open-air perversions that have been allowed to take place year after year at Folsom and at another San Francisco “street fair,” police are finally promising to crack down on the nudity and public sex [see this report in California Catholic Daily]. Will House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) denounce this new attack on the natural family, or will she continue to pander to her homosexual base– as she did by refusing to condemn a version of the above that mocked the Last Supper? Few Americans have any clue about just how deviant America’s Queer Mecca is.

Now here’s another reality about Folsom, International Mr. Leather (coming up this Memorial Day weekend in Chicago), and the ├╝ber-depraved poster above: such vileness could only emerge from a “GLBT” (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender”) movement that celebrates sexual deviance in the first place. Homosexual sodomies have more in common with the above picture than they do with natural family and marriage. In other words, domesticated homosexuality (Heather Has Two Mommies) is itself a revolutionary assault against God and Nature. And that is why sadomasochists, “genderqueers” and she-males (transsexuals half-way through their “transition”) are all welcome under the self-described “queer” umbrella. They’ll tolerate Folsom, but they won’t tolerate Californians voting in Prop 8 to defend marriage.

The WWE has Wrestlemania and Peter LaBarbera has Folsom Street Fair. But at least the WWE tries to do something different every year.

LaBarbera is boringly the same. Every year, he whines about those "nasty happenings" at Folsom Street Fair, making sure he is in thick of things "taking pictures" of gays while conveniently sidestepping heterosexuals.

This will allow him to get some play on One News Now and other anti-gay sites where he will be commended as a "stalwart defender of family values."

Meanwhile, the lgbt community will add another notch to the "Peter LaBarbera is crazy" stick while the rest of America will collectively yawn.

It's not even shocking enough to get me angry anymore.

I've never been to Folsom as I am sure the majority of lgbts haven't also. And whether LaBarbera and his defenders care to admit it or not, Americans are not stupid.

While this country has a long way to go with lgbt rights, it is safe to say that America is past the point where LaBarbera can successfully demonize the entire lgbt community by taking dirty pictures at a subcultural festival.

So I think it's time for the attendees of the street fair to add some spice to this nonsense.

I wonder how would LaBarbera feel if some attendees of the fair sought him out, took pictures, and posted them on webpages.

While I certainly am not encouraging anyone to attack LaBarbera or say ugly words to him, I think that it's time for the tables to be turned.

It's just a thought.

One more thought - what the hell are "homosexual sodomies" and how are they different from "heterosexual sodomies?"

Let me guess - with "homosexual sodomies," you get a critique on your clothing with the sex.




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