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12/22/2008

GLAAD, paging GLAAD. Come in, GLAAD. We need some media training on this one, STAT!

by Jeremy Hooper

Wanna see what we gays should NOT be saying in terms of both Rick Warren and the marriage fight? Well read this post, which Melissa Etheridge's wife, Tammy Lynn Michaels, has posted to her blog. It's seriously jaw-dropping:

***

the big rick's yamaka [sic]

OMG. when was the last time i had so many minutes to play with my blog? awesome.

so honey met rick warren last night. well, she spoke to him on the phone beforehand, giving us insight into the man the media has made our latest "HE HATES YOU!" target. if i sit real still and think about it.. it's almost like reverse smear-the-queer. remember that recess game in second grade (natalie? derek? karyn?), when one kid had the ball, and all the other kids had to chase and kick the shit out of said person, hence "smearing" him? well, at times, it seems that the media presents us with target after target to smear, as if to say to us, "THIS IS THE GUY HOLDING YOU BACK!! GO GIT 'IM!!!" and it does seem that my lovely gay family is so bruised and bettered and ready to fight back (myself included), that we attack and deem someone ANTI-GAY, and ready to SMEAR, simply when they don't want the word "marriage" brought into our gay ceremonies. now, if the person doesn't want gays AT ALL, then i'm gonna chase that one down. but, i'm starting to think that there are indeed some people... some well-meaning and loving people... who are not at all ANTI-GAY, that's not why they don't want the word marriage used... they are merely RELIGIOUS. and for religious (archaic) reasons, they want to stay safe and respectful to WHAT THEY'VE BEEN TAUGHT.

let me try to differentiate the two.

let's say i am wearing a baseball cap. now what if i want to call it a yamaka [sic]? you know- it's basically the same thing, but one is missing the sun visor. i don't call my caps yamakas [sic]... cuz that is a religious name for a hat that is worn by religious people. now if i apply that thinking to this situation.... i would like to think of it as.... if they afford us the EXACT SAME RIGHTS, then who cares what it's called? my friend joel can wear his yamaka [sic]. i can wear my hat. joel can light his menorah, i'll light my candle. joel can eat his matzo ball soup, and i can break crackers into my soup. joel and hanna can have a piece of paper with the word MARRIAGE on it, and all 1200 rights... and i can have a piece of paper with who-cares on it, and all 1200 rights. the word marriage is a religious, holy, word that people who go to church on sundays are told belongs to them. like yamaka [sic], menorah, or matzo.

rick is not a televangelist. rick is not falwell. rick spoke of some "stupid" things he's said (his word, not mine), some missquotes that were given, and lots of ammunition from the media. all excellent points. (we're all war-minded right now, you know. it's easy for the media to distract us by throwing us into our own verbal wars here at home.) ) what to do, what to do.... the rest of the public is given an animation of rick warren... and then my wife meets the man behind the projections, the quotes, the "OTHER SIDE". and he is warm, caring, effusive, and LOVES gays. since he nearly swallowed honey when he hugged her, i tend to believe him. he wants our gay marriages to be just as respected and embraced as the straight marriages. he just wants to wear his yamaka [sic], and me wear my hat.

anway. hath hell frozenth over? rick warren was humble and kind. honey and i are to go to his church sometime soon. and honey invited him to our house for an afternoon, to be with our family. (w.t.f.)

open minds hearts hands
differences fade.

***

Picture 18-39Tammy, you seem super lovely. Honestly. I actually met you briefly, way back in 2002, when you attended the opening night party for the Broadway premiere of Imaginary Friends. You seemed super-sweet. And you of course have every right to express your opinions. But T.M.L, on grounds of pure, indisputable FACT, this post is WAY off the mark.

First off: Rick Warren has done FAR more than oppose marriage. And when speaking to gays, he may now want to write off those affronts as "misquotes," and you might be willing to accept his anti-gay portrait as having been unfairly painted by an unfair media. But the truth is that he has had WAY too many missteps for this to be a matter of misunderstanding. Just to remind you:

-The polygamy, pedophilia, incest comparison . This one is probably the worst of all. The trite "Oh, I do" he gave to confirm his belief that these three things are equivalent to same-sex marriage is one of the most offensive bits of aggressive ignorance we have ever heard. In a just world, his comments would not only spark gay outrage -- these unbelievably hurtful comparisons would lead human beings as a whole to speak out!

-Then there is the little fact that Rick Warren's church has an explicit policy that bans gays from membership. Kinda annoying, considering this CRAZY view has no effect on his membership in the "honored inauguration guest" club

-Also, let's not forget the revelation that his church supports an "ex-gay" program. Scientists should be on the protest lines for that one.

-Oh, and in the Ann Curry interview, there was that little matter of Rick Warren saying that we should not be active homos, even if our sexual orientations are proven to be biological. And the continued comparisons between gay love and a slutty straight dude who wishes to sleep with any vagina-possesor that enters into his midst.

-There are also the lies he has told about marriage equality targeting pastors' free speech. Those who understand civil liberties and TRUE religious freedom should have a major problem with that easily debunkable fallacy.

-And THEN there's gay marriage. And it's not that he's just against giving gays that word (something even Obama is, at this point, publicly against). It's that he AGGRESSIVELY campaigned for Prop 8, injecting a major religious force into this civil matter. This is both unreasoned and un-American.

Tammy, you say that "if the person doesn't want gays AT ALL, then i'm gonna chase that one down." Well just in case you missed it, let's watch this clip again:

HE DOESN'T WANT GAYS! Not in any real form! But you're not chasing him down -- you're completely excusing him!

And then, Tammy, there is the matter of giving marriage over to the churches. You say: "the word marriage is a religious, holy, word that people who go to church on sundays are told belongs to them." Oh Tammy, this is SO dangerous. SO, SO DANGEROUS. And SO, SO, SO, SO WRONG. What we gay activists are talking about is CIVIL marriage, Tammy. What we are fighting for in court is CIVIL MARRAIGE. The same sort of civil marriage that an atheist heterosexual couple would engage in now. Religion is an ancillary (if oft-ultized) component to civil marriage, not a requirement, and churches will still be free to make their own decisions in terms of who they will and will not marry. To say that civil marriage belongs to churches would be like saying civil drivers' licenses belong to auto dealers. Just because one does often go to a church or an auto dealer to put their licenses to use, it doesn't give those non-essential buildings ownership to them.

Please, if you are going to speak out publicly on these issues, think a little more fully about what you are saying. With a national platform comes great power and great responsibility. And to be perfectly frank, Tammy: This blog entry is quite irresponsible, giving both Rick Warren a completely undeserved pass, and the anti-gay side the power to keep muddying the waters on this CIVIL issue!

the big rick's yamaka [hollywood farm girl]

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Your thoughts

I liked her when she was on the show 'Popular'. I'm sure she means well, but obviously she's not the brightest bulb, nor the sharpest knife.

Posted by: John Ozed | Dec 22, 2008 11:46:51 AM

Um...wow. The sheer blindness of these views is absolutely in keeping with the illiteracy of the writing. "Yamaka?"

Or was that supposed to be clever? It's hard to tell, with spelling, punctuation and sense so lacking in the entire post.

If marriage is only a word that religious people use and Rick Warren wants this woman's marriage to be respected as much as his...then why are he and his allies pushing to declare it null right now?

Arggh. There are times when I really want to encourage people to embrace the closet. Really, you are NOT helping/

Posted by: Laura | Dec 22, 2008 11:47:03 AM

Dumb (and ultimately false) hat analogy aside, I'm surprised Rick even agreed to sit down in the same room with Ms. Etheridge. When Soulforce tried to have a conversation with him last summer the most he'd give them was a weird hug before running in the opposite direction.

http://www.bilerico.com/2008/12/that_weird_hug_from_rick_warren.php

Maybe hugging lesbians is just more fun. (He did say he wants to have sex with every beautiful woman, after all.)

Posted by: Matt Algren | Dec 22, 2008 12:13:30 PM

Striving is not the calling of a Christian. Sorry. Pastor Warren.

Posted by: QueerAsFaith | Dec 22, 2008 1:48:33 PM

Annoying... Elton John... Prince... this lady... annoying.......

Posted by: GT | Dec 22, 2008 4:36:35 PM

Tammy is a silly ditz. No wonder Melissa loves her.

Posted by: Teen LaQueeffa | Dec 22, 2008 8:05:04 PM

I never really understood what an "elitist" was until I read Tammy's post. She is grossly out of touch with reality.

But first of all, please stop calling her Melissa's wife. They're not married. They didn't get married when they had the chance and Tammy has made a big point of poo-pooing the term "marriage" for everyone, so let her be the domestic partner, the lover, the roommate, the mother of Melissa's children, or the very special friend. But she's not a wife. She's a baseball hat, or whatever.

The entire premise of her argument it seems is that since 'marriage' has religious connotations, we should just cede the word and the status and dignity it affords to a relationship to the Rick Warrens of the world. I guess that it's unimaginable to her that there might be people out there who are both gay and religious, who also view a marriage as something sacred.

I've watched many friends over the years have commitment ceremonies, covenant ceremonies, holy unions, etc.... My wife and I never considered it, not to begrudge anybody their ceremony to solemnize their commitment in front of God and family, but out of our own personal conviction that such a ceremony was reserved for marriage--and until "marriage" existed for us, we wouldn't have a ceremony and I would not call her my wife (spouse is as far as I'd go).

Now, maybe that was silly of me. But I was raised in very much the same kind of culture as Rick Warren and I share many of his values (with some obvious, glaring exceptions). It has taken me a long time to reconcile my faith with my sexuality -- I will no longer exempt myself from the joy and ceremony that is equally mine, as a person of sacred worth, created in the image of God --because it makes Rick Warren feel icky or because some "hollywood farmgirl" thinks me quaint.

I sincerely resent somebody like Tammy Lynn Michaels, who clearly has a more cavalier approach to the sacrament of marriage than I do, suggesting that I should accept separate but equal status or that my faith is somehow insignificant. When she had the chance to get married, she passed -- as far as I'm concerned, she's got no place to speak for me or any of the 36,000+ people who married before Proposition 8 or would marry tomorrow if their state allowed it.

After reading the rest of her blog, I truly hope she stops speaking for gay people period. She strikes me as immature, out of touch, and just plain ignorant--not to mention, cheap. The price of her dignity, and the dignity of her family, comes pretty cheap when she's willing to sell it out for a hug and autograph request from her wife -- from a guy who has yet to publicly recant his comparisons of homosexuality with pedophilia, polygamy, and incest (God knows he's had ample opportunity this past week to clear things up, he hasn't).

I've got a feeling the rest of our dignity would go for a lot less in the Michaels/Etheridge household -- and probably already has.


Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Dec 22, 2008 10:59:27 PM

This person does not speak for me. The nerve. And she calls her, her wife. Make me sick. I have been a long time Etheridge fan. I am a lesbian and been with my partner for 19 years. We live in regular old USA, try it our here you two. And without the big money.
Melissa dont go around speaking for me anymore.

Posted by: mary ellen | Dec 23, 2008 9:30:15 PM

Talking about having an "friend" stab you in the back!!! What warren and many others forget is this country in NOT an theocracy it is an democracy form of goverment. Big differnce. Warren and others like the mormons and pat robertson want to change the u.s. into an theocracy, where their religious beliefs will be forced onto everyone. When i end up an debate about gay marriage they bring up god. Well i just say then you must want to force everyone on sundays to just home and do nothing. All stores must close, outlaw eating too. No police or firefighters will be allowed to work too, no tv or internet usuage too. And if your kids get out of line and become disobediant their parent will be allowed to stone them to death as it says in their bible too. And when they start to protest i say if you really beleive in the bible then you can't pick and choose what you beleive or follow. Since i am an atheist i also point out that it is proven that the bible is wrong on so many ways like ... the world is billions of years old not thousands. It was not formed as it is now in an day, mankind and plant life and all the creatures did not suddenly appear on earth at the same time. So that means the bible is wrong and since an real god would not be wrong it means the bible is worthless. Therefor their foundation for their claim i can't marry cause i am gay is wrong. And so it can not be used to create laws just for that reason.

Posted by: randy | Dec 28, 2008 11:05:19 PM

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