OK, kiddo! Here are all the fantastically amazing posts tagged with Silly priorities
Other countries take note. If you enact crazy anti-gay laws forbidding any positive portrayals of homosexuality, here’s what you can expect to happen:
A popular brand of milk is being accused of illegally promoting homosexuality in St-Petersburg, Russia. The milk, a PepsiCo-owned brand, features a jolly dairy farmer, standing in a lovely green field beside a rather happy-looking cow, with a rainbow arching across the sky.
“A rainbow appeared on the [milk] cartons, a world-renowned symbol of the gay movement,” said Anatoly Artukh, a member of the anti-gay lobby group People’s Council. “That immediately put me on alert.”
Put him on alert for what, exactly? That someone, somewhere is going to sit down for breakfast, see a rainbow on their milk carton and think: “Hey, you know what I’ve never questioned before? My sexuality. Maybe I’ll call that number I saw written on the wall of that truck stop’s men’s room.”
Heaven forbid a real rainbow should ever appear across the sky in St-Petersburg. The meteorologists would have quite a bit of explaining to do.
Of course, here in Canada, milk that has undergone the homogenization process is marketed as “homo milk.” And it’s marketed to children. I know a lot of people who drank homo milk growing up that didn’t turn out gay, but then again—there wasn’t a rainbow on the carton.
- Russian activists slam ‘gay milk propaganda’ [ABC News Australia]
A lot of gay people find their relationships don’t receive much support from their parents, but I think a lot of us can be glad we don’t have anyone quite this determined: A Hong Kong billionaire is offering over $65 million to any man who can woo his daughter away from her wife and partner of seven years. Because, you know, a strange man motivated by large sums of money is apparently a much, much preferable suitor than a woman motivated entirely out of love.
Two fifth grade teachers at West Park School in Altona, Manitoba are being demanded by parents to remove cards from their classrooms indicating that they have completed training on how to support GLBT youth.
Stephanie Fortier and Peter Wohlgemut had voluntarily taken training sessions from the Rainbow Resource Center in Winnipeg and received display cards that will let GLBT students know they have an adult to confide in, should they ever need their support. The cards, which feature a rainbow flag with the word “Ally” printed over it, include the following pledge:
As an Ally, I envision a society that embraces, values and celebrates diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.
As an Ally, I support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Two-Spirit, intersex, queer, and questioning individuals, families, and communities.
As an Ally, I work towards a more aware, affirming, safe and open work environment in both policy and practice.
As an Ally, I acknowledge that creating a safe space is an unwavering process that requires productive commitment, re-assessment, and dedication.
As an Ally, I am committed to the elimination of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and heterosexism as well as other forms of oppression.
I participated [in] a Rainbow Resource Centre LGBTT Ally Training session and completed ___ hours of training in the year.
A number of parents subsequently freaked out.
“We have to sign hundreds of petitions to allow religious exercises in school,” Kim Peters Sawatzky, a parent at the school, told the media. “We should treat this situation in the same way, as it seems to be just as controversial.”
School officials say they’ve had a “steady stream” of requests to remove the cards. So, in an attempt to diffuse the parental panic, they decided to take some scissors to the cards so that only the rainbow flag with the word “Ally” remains, excluding the text of the pledge entirely. Not good enough for several of the parents, though, who are still adamant that the cards be removed entirely.
“I would like to have the choice of how I choose to teach my children about these words and what they mean,” MS. Peters Sawatzky continued.
What? “Ally?” That’s the only word left on the card to explain.
Not that the card did anything to prevent anyone from inserting whichever wacky definitions one wishes for these terms. In fact, I offer this challenge to any parent upset by these cards: Take your child aside, sit him or her on your lap, and define the following word: Ally (n.): An edible alien garment, used exclusively by members of the Zerphblangipod society of emu-wranglers on the planet Earth 2, located, by coincidence, precisely 3.14159265 light years from the home of Ms. Peters Sawatzky of Altona, Manitoba.
If, after reading this definition, an Ally card flies off the wall of Ms. Fortier’s fifth grade classroom and shoots gamma radiation into your eyes, then I will bake you a cookie. Otherwise, kindly chill the heck out and let the teachers tell gay students they’ve got some support.
- Parents peeved over cards supporting gay youth [Toronto SUN]
Well, that didn’t take very long, did it?
Just weeks after Canada’s federal election, delegates at the Conservative Party Convention have raised a dead social issue over the weekend, discussing and voting on a resolution to ban same-sex marriage in Canada.
While a same-sex marriage ban had already been official Conservative Party policy, delegates readily voted to re-affirm it, adding in new measures that would let religious organisations deny facilities and services to same-sex couples. The resolution also included a wording change to clarify that this is Conservative Party policy, and not necessarily official government policy. The latter change was likely the government’s attempt to distance itself from contentious social issues early in their mandate, although it’s now perfectly clear what the party’s goals are overall.
So, what does all this mean for the GLBT community in Canada? First, that Canada’s governing party is not here for you. This is hardly a surprise, considering the party’s history of hostility toward GLBT citizens, but with Stephen Harper’s attempts to paint the Conservatives as Canada’s new, natural governing party, a lot of people have forgotten the party’s social conservative roots.
More worryingly, though, the overwhelming support of this resolution from within the party suggests that a backbencher’s bill to ban same-sex marriage, if introduced, would easily find the numbers required to pass, even if the government would rather keep it off the agenda.
Now, with nine consecutive provincial court rulings affirming that equal marriage is a right guaranteed by Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a bill to rescind these rights would face some—shall we say—difficulties. So, let’s put on our cowboy boots for a moment and imagine what, exactly, would be required here.
First, it’s important to note that the Supreme Court of Canada has never ruled on the constitutionality of a same-sex marriage ban. The government is in a position to appoint judges that could dissent from the individual provincial courts’ longstanding consensus, and could conceivably do just that. Perhaps weirder, even if the Supreme Court sided with the nine earlier court rulings in favour of equal marriage rights, an obscure constitutional clause could be used by the government to strip them away anyway in five-year intervals without legal recourse.
This isn’t unheard of. In late 2000, Alberta’s Progressive Conservative government, under the leadership of Ralph Klein, invoked Section 33 of the Charter—the Notwithstanding Clause—to ban same-sex marriage in the province. By using this clause, the government effectively acknowledged that their law violated the Charter of Rights, but allowed it to remain on the books completely immune from court challenges for a period of five years (at which point they would have had the option pass it again). The only reason the government didn’t invoke the clause a second time in 2005 was because marriage is federal jurisdiction and by that time Paul Martin’s Liberal government had already granted equal marriage rights to citizens nationwide.
Today, Canada’s federal government is formed by a party in support of banning same-sex marriage, and the Notwithstanding clause is available at their discretion. So, despite challenges, they could absolutely take away your right to marry if they wanted.
Now, are any of these doomsday scenarios likely? I’m going to say no. If I had to bet on it, I’d say the government’s desire to stay in power outweighs the cries from their base to force the wedding ring off my finger. Use of the Notwithstanding clause would likely appear mean-spirited and unpopular to the Canadian public, and it would be unusual for the Supreme Court of Canada to overturn nine consecutive lower court rulings—certainly a phenomenon for the history books.
Nonetheless, the fact that there is landslide majority support within Canada’s governing party to venture down this path re-confirms what I’ve always suspected: The Conservative Party is full of giant douches. So hold on to your hats, kids! Even if all this party policy nonsense turns out to be the idle threats that I suspect they are, I still foresee four years of obnoxious barium saline suspension waves coming our way. Yuck.
- Tories reject leadership vote rule changes [CBC News]
Pope Benedict XVI appeared before an audience in Croatia yesterday to plead for couples to marry instead of simply living together as common-law partners. In his anticipated homily, the pope lamented a “secularized mentality which proposes living together as preparation, or even a substitute as marriage.”
So, to all you young couples out there: Do not, under any circumstances, live together before marrying. Just trust that all your quirks will be perfectly compatible, legally combine your lives and finances, and start having children right away. Don’t adopt; that robs children of their natural, unfit-by-admission parents. And take this advice to heart. After all, how could recommendations from an 84 year old celibate who has no personal experience with romantic relationships be wrong?
Still, it’s nice to hear the pope come out in vocal support of marriage after dedicating years to preventing me from getting married. I wonder what made him change his heart so quickl—oh, wait, my mistake; his speech still implied that gay families aren’t real families, our relationships are unnatural, and that we somehow rob children of their rights.
Ouch. And given all his years of wisdom, he must have a point; the pope lifestyle is far more natural. I mean, why else would popes emerge so readily in nature?
Food for thought, I guess…
British Prime Minister David Cameron will unveil a plan to ban same-sex kisses on prime-time television, according to multiple media sources. The gay kiss ban, an amendment to existing television censorship rules, is part of a Cameron-backed inquiry into stopping children from “being exposed to indecent images.”
Funny… I always thought that limiting exposure to the media was the job of parents, but I guess not. British government. Go figure!
Reg Bailey, the chief executive of the Mother’s Union and person responsible for heading the inquiry, told the media that exposing children to adult themes, such as a famous gay-kiss scene that aired on Brookeside back in 1994, will “take away their innocence.”
Yes, it’s most unfortunate. One day these innocent children are out playing, running in loops and chasing insects in a field of posies, then they come inside to say the rosary and BAM! A gay person is kissing on the TV. Their innocence, lost forever, is replaced with soul-crushing guilt. Disillusioned with life, they tumble into an irreversible sorrow. Many die. It’s terrible.
Luckily, the public is taking notice. Brooke Vincent, a young actress who plays a lesbian character on Coronation Street, chimed in on the ridiculousness: “If same-sex kisses are what [Cameron] is prioritising and concentrating on changing, our country’s in trouble.”
Well put, Brooke. Lets call out Cameron on this silliness, lest it give the Harper Government™ some ideas here in Canada!
- ‘Indecent’ lesbian kiss scenes face watershed crackdown [The Daily Mail]
- Brooke Vincent blasts PM over TV plans [STV]
Harps, a small grocery chain in the southern United States, issued an online apology this week after using a “family shield” to cover up copies of Us Weekly featuring a photo of Elton John, his husband David Furnish, and their newly adopted baby.
The shield, a piece of opaque plastic about the size of a magazine cover, is labeled with the words: “Family Shield: To protect young Harps shoppers.”
To protect them from… photos of families? Well, I can’t say they didn’t name it appropriately.
Still, what a marvelously stupid concept! It gives me an idea.
- Elton John’s new family too obscene for US [News.com.au]
Monumental news! Jesus Christ—a tremendously influential historical figure, human incarnation of the Christian deity, and inspiration for the yearly increments of both the Julian and Gregorian Calendar—has communicated from beyond the earthly realm! For the first time since his bodily ascension into the sky nearly 2000 years ago, Jesus has spoken with humans in a way that leaves actual, physical proof.
His topic: Homosexuality.
It’s an interesting choice. Having refrained from mentioning anything about it, even once, during his time in the New Testament, Jesus has decided to finally clarify his position on gays via a letter sent to the owner of the After Stonewall bookshop in Ottawa, Ontario. “Those who continue to sin in homosexuality and their sympathizers,” Jesus writes, “will be going to the Pit for Eternity.”
“I cannot make this any plainer,” he continues, “homosexuality is a sin.”
Well, it’s a bit of a shift in character for a guy who was always speaking out against judgement, instead teaching love and acceptance. The owner of the bookshop has even expressed doubt that the letter was even written by Jesus in the first place. Nonetheless, we should alert the pope just in case. I’ll send a text. Anyone have his number?
- Gay bookstore gets letter from Jesus [Capital Xtra]
Andrew Shirvell, an assistant Attorney General in the U.S. state of Michigan, has started a bizarre, one-man crusade against a gay college student.
In what can only be described as a complete obsession, Shirvell regularly downloads and quotes material from the student’s Facebook content, as well as that of all his friends and family; he started a website devoted to denigrating the student, publishing offensively doctored photos and insults; he regularly pickets and videotapes the student, even outside his private home.
The target of Shirvell’s baffling obsession is Chris Armstrong, the elected student body president of the University of Michigan, who also happens to be gay. That doesn’t mesh well with the anti-gay Shirvell, who is completely clueless as to how strange his behaviour is.
Seriously, this guy is totally nuts. Don’t take my word for it, though; he recently agreed to an interview on CNN with Anderson Cooper. Go check it out. I’ll wait.
All done? Wow, eh?
I’d suggest that someone start a Andrew Shirvell Watch, but frankly Andrew Shirvell is already doing a pretty bang-up job at documenting the certifiably insane creepiness of Andrew Shirvell.
A 67-year-old retired minister in San Francisco is facing a courtroom trial for having performed marriage ceremonies for 16 gay couples during the brief period that same-sex marriage was legal in California.
Rev. Jave Spahr has been accused by the Presbyterian church of “publicly, intentionally, and repeatedly violating church doctrine” in a regional church court.
Yes, church court. Not a real court, of course; Rev. Spahr didn’t do anything illegal.
Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know that church courts existed. I didn’t either until now. Actually, I’d find it kind of charming, if the charges weren’t so stupid. I mean, they’ve set up an entire pretend trial, complete with testimony, witnesses (including eleven of the couples married by Rev. Spahr), a judge—the whole shebang. Isn’t that precious?
This isn’t even the only time Rev. Spahr had been to church court; in 2007 she was tried for the same thing, but was later cleared by a church appeals court (adorable!) because the ceremonies “were not real marriages.”
Anyway, good luck to Rev. Spahr, who clearly has enough common sense to know that everyone—including same-sex couples—deserves love and respect. I can’t wait to read about the trial’s pretend sentence!
Residents of a neighbourhood on Toronto’s Leslieville Street found themselves defending the home of a local gay couple after members of a local Baptist church gathered outside it, shouting, praying, and waving bibles.
The incident, which was captured on camera and uploaded to YouTube, shows the parishioners from Toronto’s Highfield Road Gospel Hall quickly becoming defensive: “We have a right to be here,” said one woman. “We have the authority to preach the gospel.”
Anna MacKay, one of the neighbours, told the media that this was not an isolated incident. “They were talking about blood of the lamb flowing down the street, we’ll have to pay for our sins. Every time I’ve seen them, they’re standing outside that house right there.”
A spokesperson for the church, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the media that the whole incident was all a “major misunderstanding.” “Someone felt we were targeting a specific house, but we would never stoop—never stoop to target any group such as gay people.”
Personally, I’m inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt on this point, since it appears they’ve been preaching on neighbourhood streets for quite some time. That said, preaching outside private homes is crossing a line whether they’re targeting specific houses or not, and the church doesn’t seem to understand that. “In the word of God,” one of the preachers declared, “next year, we’ll be here.”
The gay couple, who weren’t home at the time, haven’t commented on the incident, but will likely invest in an underground sprinkler system—just in case.
Ann Coulter, a professional controversialist and media darling of the extreme right-wing in the U.S., has been dropped as the keynote speaker for an ultra socially conservative website’s conference because organizers found her too “unconservative.”
This conclusion was reached after WorldNetDaily, the conference organizers, discovered that Coulter was also a paid speaker at Homocon, a different conference held by gay Republicans.
So, there you go. To WND, simply speaking to gay people—even if it’s for money—is enough to undo a career of intolerance and queer-slandering and forever define yourself as a Liberal.
Here’s a bit of oddness. Yvonne Moore, a southern Baptist in Washington, D.C. sued her church for performing a same-sex union ceremony back in 2007.
Moore, who is clearly not down with gay rights, attended the ceremony for some reason, found it “totally disgusting,” and then sought $250,000 in compensation—the amount she estimated she had donated to the church over her 40 years as a parishioner. She later dropped the lawsuit after talking to her pastor (and presumably her lawyer).
While the whole thing is pretty amusing in its sheer craziness, it does a pretty good job at illustrating how fearful and misinformed some people are about gay relationships; to actually turn her back on her parish of 40 years and file the paperwork to sue it for $250,000 shows an irrational and deeply emotional reaction to what’s ultimately not a very big deal. After all, this ceremony had nothing to do with Ms. Moore in the first place, but years of casual—and societally supported—homophobia results in exactly these sorts of actions. Unless people stand up to casual homophobia, otherwise kind people are capable of astonishingly crass bigotry.
Giorgio Mammoliti, a Toronto city councillor and mayoral candidate in the upcoming municipal election, has officially motioned to withdraw funding from Toronto Pride, one of North America’s largest gay pride festivals and a massive tourism boost for the city. Mammoliti’s proposal comes with a condition, however—a little ultimatum that would let him micromanage which groups are allowed to march in the Pride parade.
You see, Toronto Pride, like many gay groups, is currently involved in some community infighting. The sort of gay drama that would make a drag queen proud. Specifically, it’s over whether or not to vet parade banners to regulate exactly how tolerant versus free-speechy everything is—or something like that; I don’t know all the details.
What I do know is that Mammoliti, not satisfied with leaving the community to manage these things on its own like it always does, has decided to leverage the minor controversy and attempt the defunding of the festival from the city’s budget entirely.
The gist of the motion is this: If a group called Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, whose controversial signs were a sore spot for some community members last year, is allowed to march in the Pride parade, then the City of Toronto’s 2010 “funding and support” of the festival will be revoked entirely.
Now, Mammoliti has a documented history of anti-gay attitudes. He once dismissed gay relationships in a discussion about human rights by declaring that our “body part’s aren’t complementary; they don’t fit together.” (Err… Should we explain it to him? I really hope that won’t require a diagram.)
He also went on to quote from a bizarre sado-masochism manual, as if all gay people—and no straight people—are into that sort of thing. “What does that say about the [gay] community?” he asked, rhetorically.
Not sure about that one, but it does makes me think. What do weaselly city council motions from Toronto mayoral candidates say about the suit-wearing community?
- It’s official: showdown at city hall over Pride funding [Xtra]
- Giorgio’s Same-Sex Media Flashback [Toronto Election News]
A school in rural Mississippi has cancelled the school prom rather than letting a lesbian student bring her same-sex partner.
Constance McMillen said she approached her school’s administration about taking her date to the prom and wearing a dashing tuxedo, but was told that the two must attend separately, be accompanied by “guys,” wear dresses, and refrain from dancing together. When McMillen refused these conditions, the school cancelled the prom altogether—for everyone.
Say, this is just like the time back in grade 1 when I took my ultra-gay He-Man
dolls action figures home rather than let my friend Matthew play with them. Except now it’s over a prom with an entire school board’s administration staff, some formal written policies, harsh sanctions, and a pending lawsuit from the ACLU. Other than that, it’s pretty close though.
As for what Constance McMillen thinks of the whole thing, here’s what she told the media: “I want my prom experience to be the same as all of the other students—a night to remember with the person I’m dating.”
Good on ya, Constance!
- Hearing set in lesbian teen’s suit to force prom [Associated Press]
Ken Cuccinelli II, the Attorney General for the U.S. state of Virginia has formally warned all of the state’s colleges and universities that they must rescind their non-discrimination policies for gays, or face legal consequences.
Well, that’s all kinds of crazy. Surely “non-discrimination policies” is a really just some coded phrase to camouflage what might actually be a more reasonable request, right? Let’s look at Cuccinelli’s letter:
It is my advice that the law and public policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia prohibit a college or university from including “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” “gender expression,” or like classification as a protected class within its non-discrimination policy absent specific authorization from the General Assembly.
Yes, it appears that treating everyone equally, regardless of their sexual orientation, is illegal in Virginia. Discrimination with respect to employment and college admission is the letter of the law and, by golly, Cuccinelli is going to enforce it.
The state’s top universities—all of which have such non-discrimination policies—are reacting nervously, declining any official comments. Students, on the other hand, are having no trouble speaking their mind. Even though it’s in the middle of spring break, a Facebook group in support of equal treatment has already popped up with nearly 5,000 members.
Say, Cuccinelli does realize that being straight is a sexual orientation too, right? Hey, maybe this means I could start a gay-only faculty, offering degrees in fabulousness!
Special thanks to Slap reader Chase for alerting me to this craziness!
- Virginia attorney general to colleges: End gay protections [Washington Post]
An amusingly bizarre rift over same-sex blessings in the Anglican Church has felt its latest tremor after a court decision late last month.
Harnessing the healing power of embittered legal conflict, four Anglican parishes sued the Diocese in May over a property battle stemming from a disagreement about same-sex blessings and other differences of very, very little significance. (The lawsuit was heartily endorsed by Jesus himself, purportedly.)
Well, now the court has reached its verdict. The land and buildings claimed by St. John’s Shaughnessy, St. Matthew’s, St. Matthias, and St. Luke’s parishes are rightfully the property of the Diocese, and the breakaway parishes can not seize them for themselves.
Having settled the property dispute, all sides have now decided to put their disagreements behind them and rejoin, strengthened by a renewed commitment to sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry, and offering comfort to the less fortunate…
Hahaha! Ah, I’m just pulling your leg. They’re totally still exchanging petty insults and stuff.
Same-sex blessings have been the epicentre of a bizarrely deep rift in the Anglican Church. Now the divisive issue has culminated in.. well, in pretty much the same way as all ridiculous issues: A court case.
Yes, the Anglicans are suing each other, as four parishes in British Columbia (St. John’s Shaughnessy, St. Matthew’s, St. Matthias and St. Luke’s, and the Church of the Good Shepherd) are scheduled to meet the Diocese of New Westminster in court next week over the ownership of four Anglican church buildings.
The Diocese locked out the parishes from their churches last year over disagreements about same-sex blessings, the appointment of a gay bishop, and other absurdly small differences in doctrine.
While both sides lament that it has come to this, they had failed to reach an agreement through a mutually selected, third-party mediator: Jesus.
- Vancouver Anglicans go to court [Canadian Christianity]
The Traditional Anglican Communion, a group of Anglicans who abandoned the global Anglican church over same-sex blessings and the ordination of women, has decided to go back to their very early roots and re-join the Roman Catholic Church, if The Vatican will let them.
Anglicans spit from Rome in 1534 over their refusal to annul the marriage of King Henry VIII. Nothing like a common dislike of the gays to mend a 475-year old rift, huh?
- Traditional Anglican Communion wants to join Catholic Church [Daily Gleaner]
The Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant churches in Ethiopia have gathered to formally call on their government to enact a constitutional ban on homosexuality. Being gay is already illegal in Ethiopia with prison sentences of up to five years—but why settle for boring, old illegal when it can be constitutionally illegal!
An anonymous spokesperson for the church coalition spoke to journalists after their meeting to explain:
For [gays] to act in this manner they have to be dumb, stupid like animals. We strongly condemn this behaviour; they have to be disciplined and their acts discriminated—they have to be taught a lesson.
Yes, having solved all those pesky, dire famine and plague issues, Ethiopia’s churches are finally moving onto other priorities—and what better way to start than to judge and punish all those dumb, dumb gays that are holding back the country?
You stay relevant, you Ethiopian church coalition, you!
- Ethiopian faith leaders call for constitutional ban on homosexuality [PinkNews.co.uk]