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01/27/2009

Video: Why not just say 'we don't care for gays' and then end the segment?

by Jeremy Hooper

FACT (:12): Including LGBT people within the realm of normalcy is unifying, Mike. Not to you, maybe. But to those of us who have been long-stymied under the cruel thumb of persecution, the idea that LGBT people will be respected as part of the world's spectrum represents both "change" and "unity."

FACT (
2:15): Mike/Mat are completely overlooking the even more egregious DOMA issue: That it prevents federal recognition of legal marriages or civil unions (like those performed every day in Mass, CT, NJ, etc.). Yes, many states have made the wrong-headed decision to pass marriage bans. But DOMA, as it stands, is unfairly hindering the right of more progressive states to fully protect its gay and lesbian couples. Even many of those who voted for marriage bans are surely in favor of allowing same-sex couples to protect their bonds.

FACT (2:45): Ooh look, there's President Obama on the screen! Hey, B! That's a nice respite from this conservative lovefest that (Thankfully-Not-President) Huckabee is hosting here!

FACT (3:04): The "fluidity" of gender identity is a ridiculous straw (trans)man! An inclusive Employment Nondiscrimination Act would prevent public employers from casting aspersions on the basis of an employee or potential employees' identity. For this purposes, it doesn't matter how "fluid" that concept may be for a particular individual. What matters is that merit, and not gender identity, will be the basis for employment decisions!

FACT (4:20): The "thought crime" line is tried conservative spin that callously overlooks this very real, very tragic problem. It is not about speech -- it is about violent action. Nobody is out to punish what is in someone's head -- we are out to reduce the bias-motivated crimes based on sexual orientation, which still make up a large portion of the FBI's annual hate crimes stats (*with the numbers are surely even higher than reported, since due to the anti-gay attitudes that still exist in this society, the gay victims are often scared to report violent incidents)!

The fact is that a person who waits outside a gay bar so that he can follow someone home and bash in their brains is working from a different place and trying to send a different message than the criminal who commits random acts of violence. Also, police forces often fail to investigate the matters in the ways that they should. Federal bias crime protections help ensure that if what was in the perp's head was "kill all gay people and encourage my fellow citizens to do the same," that society-weakening message will be investigated in all-encompassing ways, and possibly punished with an extra level than if the message in his head was simply "kill this random dude because he looked at me the wrong way." The two crimes are meant to harm the world at varying degrees; they can and should be scrutinized in the same fashion.

FACT (4:48): The Outfest protesters who were arrested in Philadelphia in 2004 weren't brought in simply because they had "support for traditional marriage" on their signs. What really happened, according to credible police reports, was that the protesters, led by Repent America's Michael Marcavage, were using a bullhorn to drown out a gay stage performance with anti-gay shouts, which led several on-site to confront them. This then led the police to ask the portesters to move in order to prevent any potential violence, but they reportedly refused. Then and only then were they brought in for such charges as failure to disperse, possessing an instrument of crime (a bullhorn), obstructing a highway, criminal conspiracy, and disorderly conduct. And yes, under Pennsylvania's hate crimes law they were also given the charge of "ethnic intimidation" -- but in order to receive this additional charge, they had to first engage in behavior that the officers found unlawful!

FACT (6:15): The Ocean Grove, New Jersey pavilion was NOT a church! The pavilion was open to public usage, without any hesitation in the matrimonial process until gays and lesbians wanted to start using the building for same-sex civil unions. So it's not a religious matter -- it's about allowing the heterosexual public to use your facility, but not the homosexual public!

FACT (6:36): The primary photographer in the New Mexico case is actually a she, not a he. And she was fined for refusing to shoot a gay couple's civil union because her business is a public accommodation (registered with the state as an LLC), much like a restaurant or any other store. Rather than say she wasn't available or make up an excused, the photographer expressly stated that she would not photograph a same-sex ceremony. This led the New Mexico Human Rights Commission to act in the only way they could under fair application of the law: To determine that the public accommodation was being unfair to a certain segment of the local public. If the commission had determined differently, then that would have set a very dangerous precedent (i.e. Could allow this public business to deny other types of faiths, deny on the basis of race).
**It should also be noted that the photographer has every right to file a lawsuit and challenge the constitutionality of the commission's findings.

FACT (whole piece): What many Americans find radical is the attempt to foist religious freedom above all other kinds of freedom! To Mat and Mike, it might be the idea that gays are human beings deserving of fairness, respect, and equality that is the "radical" notion. But we tried their brand of homo-hostility for eight years. Mike tried it again in the Republican primary. The American public seems ready to move on!

FACT (whole piece): Want to experience the type of "change" that Barack Obama really represents? Well look at the way that Mat and Mike have boiled these complex issues down to over-simplified talking points, and then vow to do the opposite!!

Jan. 24 - Matt Staver and Mike Huckabee Discuss The New Obama Administration [Huckabee]

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Your thoughts

I gotta commend you my friend. When I saw the program, I knew it would be one-sided and so I didn't bother to watch because it would have p'eed me off. I'm going to link your smackdown to my site.

Posted by: a. mcewen | Jan 27, 2009 11:55:15 AM

I had to stop watching it. Huck doesn't want the government telling him how to think, but he thinks it's fine for the government to tell us that we're wrong to think we're gay. Jesus can fix us if we want it bad enough. Oh - and now people who want equal rights are "gay extremists"! They want less and less government regulation when it comes to making money, but MORE regulation when it comes to telling people how to live their lives (with honesty & integrity VS the Ted H. route).

They are losing their grip, and it's becoming more obvious every week. If Obama is true to his promises, this is going to be a fun sideshow to watch.

Posted by: jeff | Jan 27, 2009 12:57:41 PM

The issue for that New Mexico photographer is whether such a business is actually a public accommodation. "Public accommodations" as included in civil rights laws originally meant businesses like hotels and restaurants; when businesses like that are allowed to discriminate, it has the effect of making it difficult or impossible for people to travel from place to place. It makes sense to treat businesses like grocery stores or clothing stores the same way, because if all of the grocery stores in a place were allowed to discriminate against a protected group, it would make it impossible for a member of that group to live in that place. But it's not clear to me that wedding photographers (or online dating services) should be subject to the same rules. But that's a question that should be answered in connection with all civil rights laws; it's not an argument against expanding civil rights protection on the basis of sexual orientation.

Posted by: Jon | Jan 27, 2009 1:48:23 PM

Jon: Yea, that's the debate. And it's admittedly complex. But in this situation, the New Mexico Human Rights Commission determined that it was. The anti-gay side can file suit and continue to challenge it, a right I 100% support. But what's so annoying is how the Stavers of the world present it in such over-simplified terms, as if they can't possibly understand our perspective on this. We can understand their perspective, even if we think they are in the wrong. But they refuse to give us even an inch.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jan 27, 2009 2:33:47 PM

The problem here is the war regarding public relations. If they have the venues and we don't, they can spin their tale of "gays attacking religious liberties." Pretty soon, they will have uninformed folks (i.e. E. Hasselbeck or S. Shepard from The View) repeating their inaccurate version of events.

Posted by: a. mcewen | Jan 27, 2009 5:54:41 PM

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