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Photos: Because you think you're equal, these NYers want to punch you. Or something.

by Jeremy Hooper

Last week, the so-called "New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms" held their annual legislative day in Albany, at which rabidly anti-gay Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. received the "Statesmen of the Year" honor. And while that alone should tell you all you need to know about the day, there was actually more nonsense worth noting in the record for posterity's sake. Here now a glimpse.

First up: The theme. Despite the controversy generated by their "counter punch" motif in light of the Hiram Monserrate situation, they kept the whole boxing concept:

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Because never mind that they are the ones punching good and decent New Yorkers right in the very soul. Never mind that anti-gay rhetoric has been tied to anti-gay bullying. Never mind that no one -- NO ONE! -- is trying to deny them of any religious or civil right for which they would need to actually fight. Misguided aggression is what these folks chose as their theme. Perhaps Party City has a sell on boxing wares?

Next: We have the event's big guest speaker, Jim Garlow:

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You might remember that Garlow recently suggested that his Prop 8 troops in California "won" that ballot initiative because they fasted, a sustenance-depriving conceit he hopes to take national. This is the man who New Yorkers for CONSTITUTIONAL Freedom are using for guidance: A Californian for RELIGIOUS-based malnourishment. The fasting idea might work with the Jewish community on Yom Kippur, but it's not something we can see selling all that well in the Empire State on the other days of the calendar year. We NYers like to eat.

And finally in this pic roundup: The thoroughly disgusting signage that this group passed out as a way of opposing The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), a bill that would simply protect the transgender community from being fired, denied housing or credit, or refused service simply because of gender expression/identity. This is how they presented it:

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Yup, that's right: Pictures of little girls in bow-tied dresses, who, for some reason known only to social conservatives, has decided to grope the pecs of a very tall, very shadowy grown person. Because you know, that's exactly what will happen once tax-paying citizens are protected from civil biases based on their gender identity/expression: Little girls from Staten Island to Plattsburgh are going to dry their hands not with the bathroom's blow dryer, but rather on the bosom of the most "masculine" stranger in their midst. Of course. [::eye roll, head shake, nipple rub::]

All in all, this "Counter Punch" conference was just another disingenuous gathering of our organized opposition, a crew that has taken self-unaware B.S. to levels that make even the bull nauseous. We didn't have to actually be there to know this. The pictures are worth a thousand words, most of them containing four letters.

**Complete photo set: The “Counter Punch” Conference (Legislative Day 2010) was a knockout! [NYFRF]

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Your thoughts

I couldn't be happier for having moved away from Upstate, NY in 1974 and based on this I'm even happier that I now refuse to travel to NY.

I vote with my Gay Dollars everyday and encourage everyone to do the same.

These Cults of Jesus Inc idiots have absolutely no clue what the Constitution of the United States of America contains and the Bill of Rights is beyond their grasp.

Get out and vote because if you don't it's a vote for these theocrats.

Posted by: Kevin Andrews | Mar 22, 2010 9:21:11 AM

OK, seriously. What is these people's deal with bathrooms? Oh no, a man in the ladies' room! They might see you go pee-pee...if you were to do it outside of the private little box you go into to go to the bathroom. Or a woman in the men's room! More power to her, true there's less a line, but those places can be less than clean. Really, it isn't that big a deal.

And as for the counter punch movement. Wow, I'm so scared, a bunch of dumpy out-of-shape (unless you count pear-shaped) white men.

If there is one silver lining I'd have to find about living in Virginia, it'd be that there is rarely rallies such as this. The homo-hate is institutionalized and understood. Holding a gathering to express one's contempt for the queers would be like holding a rally for proclaiming the sky to be blue. If our governor and AG would just shut their face holes, we could all carry on as if the gays didn't exist to offend our southern sensibilities.

I sure hope I don't crash my car when I finally leave Virginia, what with the flipping off of the state I will be doing with both hands.

Posted by: JT | Mar 22, 2010 9:53:40 AM

"What is these people's deal with bathrooms?"

Two words: It works.

Our organized opposition doesn't tend to care about sincerity. They care, first and foremost, about the fear-mongered outcome.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 22, 2010 10:02:50 AM

While I disagree with Ruben Diaz, i don't understand why he should be labeled as rabidly anti-gay when he supports other pro gay issues such as HIV funding.

My two cents.

Posted by: Akorn | Mar 22, 2010 2:01:47 PM

Are you kidding, Akorn? He has opposed *so many* gay rights gains over the years. In 1994, he was rebuked for crazy comments about the Gay Games:


He was also a foe of the Harvey Milk School, suggesting that it discriminates against heterosexual students, which was meant to weaken the very purpose of the program.

On marriage, he has gotten in bed with some of our most heated foes on the national scene, conducting rallies in the street against our basic rights, and saying some truly astonishing things about our lives and loves. He even went on Matt Barber and Mat Staver's radio show: You don't get much more fringe and/or anti-gay than that.

And his HIV funding has been primarily focused on matters unique to his borough, the Bronx, and on outreach efforts to the Latino community. That doesn't make it less meritorious -- HIV/AIDS is a problem that needs to be countered everywhere, through many channels. But he hasn't been coming at HIV/AIDS from a gay rights standpoint.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 22, 2010 2:21:12 PM

"Two words: It works."

Does it really work? I may be remembering incorrectly, but in a couple of recent case studies it was ineffectual. Of course, I'm a bit hung-over (after celebrating the fact that the Dems finally got their shit-together last night), and am somewhat disinclined (at the moment) to research it. While it may have been effective once, if I'm remembering correctly, it hasn't been as effective more recently.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Mar 22, 2010 3:03:57 PM

Yea, Dick, I guess to be more accurate I should say four words: "It's worked in the past!"
The tide is certainly changing.

It's one of the beauties of our fight, actually: the longer we work our arguments, the more they take hold. The converse for our organized opposition.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 22, 2010 3:06:38 PM

So, the pasty white guy holding up the sign didn't get the memo?

Posted by: Dick Mills | Mar 22, 2010 8:09:39 PM

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