OK, kiddo! Here are all the fantastically amazing posts tagged with United States
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that gay people, from all different walks of life, are everywhere, including some not-so-gay-friendly places. Take, for example, Christian universities in the middle of Arkansas. But if you still demand proof, visit this heart-tuggingly amazing website by the gay students at Harding University: HU Queer Press.
Well, visit, unless you actually go to Harding University, in which case you’ll notice that the above link doesn’t work. You see, one week after going live, the university has blocked all campus access to the website—a direct order from the campus president himself, David Burke.
Speaking to the press about his decision to censor the private website, Burke expressed his immense displeasure with the site’s very existance: “I won’t even publicly speak the web address—not because I think I can keep it from you, but because the address itself is offensive to me.”
I can only imagine what Burke actually thinks of his queer students if he finds just the title of a website about them to be so terrible as to be… unmentionable.
Hmm… I wonder if Slap is blocked there? If not, I guess I mustn’t be working hard enough.
Flour Bluff Intermediate School—a high school in Corpus Christi, Texas—has shut down all its extracurricular clubs after a student requested the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance, a peer support group that encourages tolerance and anti-bullying initiatives.
The insane move, which has effectively terminated otherwise unrelated clubs such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, was taken by the school administration as a means of banning GSAs without penalty from the Equal Access Act, which would have required the school to provide equal opportunities for student-run clubs, “regardless of their religious, political, and philosophical leanings.”
Well, I guess banning all extracurricular clubs is one way to ensure equality, Texas style!
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]
The United States effected new regulations on Tuesday that finally allow gay people to have the hospital visitation rights as straight partners.
Until Tuesday, hospitals participating in the Medicare and Medicade federal programs were free to deny hospital visitation rights to gay couples because they weren’t considered family members. With the new regulations, patients are allowed to designate whomever they choose as visitors. This means that people like Janice Langbehn, who was forbidden from sitting beside her partner of 17 years as she was dying of a brain aneurysm, will no longer be separated from their loved ones when they’re needed the most.
Well, this was unquestionably the right thing to do. How embarrassing that it wasn’t done sooner.
Anti-gay lobbyists, in the meantime, are reportedly employing teams of the world’s top creative writers in an attempt to reveal this change as COMMUNISM!
The United States Senate voted on Saturday to finally end their ban on having gays serve openly in the military. This is an important step toward full equality, so congratulations to all my stateside friends!
Anti-gay politicians and lobbyists are positively terrified, having already begun predicting consequences of an impossibly dire nature. The arguments mostly involve something about straight soldiers being distracted by their (now openly) gay colleagues, becoming overwhelmed with concern about whether or not other soliders are checking them out—and a distracted solider, they say, can cost lives.
Personally, I’d say bad soliders cost lives, and anyone who is more concerned about what their gay colleagues may or may not be thinking—instead of, say, incoming fire—sounds like a pretty bad solider to me.
If anything, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell probably left the military more vulnerable to blackmail, as learning that someone is gay instantly gives anyone with shady motives leverage over a gay service member’s military career. But opponents are entitled to their own narratives, I suppose…
Canada, by the way, ended its ban in 1992.
- U.S. Senate votes to drop military gay ban [CBC News]
Invasive airport security pat-downs are part of a “wide-scale homosexual agenda,” at least according to Eugene Delgaudio, an elected Virginia politician.
In an email alert sent from the Public Advocate, an anti-gay lobby group, Delgaudio said the pat-downs were the natural next step in the TSA’s non-discrimination hiring policy: “The next TSA official that gives you an ‘enhanced pat down,'” he wrote, “could be a practicing homosexual secretly getting pleasure from your submission.”
Egad! They’re on to us, kids! Delgaudio has somehow gotten a hold of pages 287 and 288 of the Gay Agenda and is fast discovering that everything that annoys him is all the gays’ fault. It would be wise, at this point, to quickly dispose of any physical copies of The Agenda; we’ll discuss what to do to correct and contain this leak at our biannual meeting in January. See you then!
(Special thanks to Slap readers Allan and Konrad for the story.)
Oakleigh Marshall, a high school senior in Muskegon, Michegan, was voted homecoming king by his classmates only to have the honour revoked by the school because he is transgendered.
Oak, as he is known to classmates, fully identifies as male. All of his teachers use masculine pronouns, he wears a male school band uniform, and will be wearing a male graduation robe when he graduates this year. After being voted as homecoming king by his classmates, though, the school invalidated the ballots and assigned the runner-up as homecoming king instead.
Todd Geerlings, the Assistant Superintendent, said that the school’s decision to invalidate the classmates’ votes was simple because Oakleigh was enrolled in school as a girl, and girls can’t be homecoming king. Oak’s friends and classmates have since set up a Facebook page entitled “Oak is My King,” protesting the school’s decision.
Speaking to the press, Oak expressed that he was happy with all of his friends’ support, but was disappointed at not having something tangible. “I don’t see why there’s any reasons why someone who’s different shouldn’t be on court,” he said. “I have just as much qualifications as anyone else in school.”
Well put. Here’s hoping the school reconsiders their decision, or at least issues an apology.
Special thanks to Slap reader Rebel Jackson for the story!
- Transgender senior can’t be king [WOOD 8]
A new survey out of Indiana University suggests that 68 percent of Americans now consider gay couples with children to be families. This is an increase from 2003, where only 54 percent of respondents said so.
Encouraging as that is, there’s still a large group—30 percent—who indicated that pets count as family, but not same-sex couples. No word on how many of them have actually tried to declare Mister Snugglekins III as a dependent for tax purposes, but these kooks sure have a crazy idea of what makes a family. Of course, they’re also largely the same group of people that like to define themselves as “pro-family,” (as opposed to the more accurate “anti-gay”) even though—by their definition—it’s legal to have some members of your family put down if they get too expensive to care for.
In the meantime, I guess a third of Americans had better update their wills to include Sir Wigglepuss, or they’ll have some costly family legal battles to deal with later.
A big thank you to Slap reader Matt for the story!
- Who’s a family? New study tracks shifting US views [Associated Press]
A two-story house was burned to the ground in what is suspected to be an anti-gay hate crime. Carol and Laura Stuttle moved to Tennessee five years ago, and had been threatened and harassed by a neighbour ever since. Two Saturdays ago, while the couple was celebrating their anniversary in Nashville, their home was burned to the ground and the word “queers” was spraypainted on their garage.
The couple is too afraid to visit the site where their home once stood, not that there was anything left to rescue. The police have confirmed that the fire is arson and that suspects are being interviewed. The Stuttles, in the meantime, are living in a safe house.
It always astonishes me the levels that hate can reach, considering it always starts off in much the same way. Casual homophobia, unchallenged, be it from politicians, churches, or individuals, contributes to an atmosphere where cruelty of this nature feels justifiable to those who commit it. It is not acceptable to leave anti-gay sentiment unchecked, and it is not OK for it to reach this sort of level before any attention is paid. Challenge homophobia wherever it’s found, even if it seems like just sentiment, or inaction upon inaction will let it escalate to unimaginable levels.
An American gamer was surprised to find that his XBox Live account had been suspended by Microsoft because the name of his town, Fort Gay, West Virginia, was deemed to be offensive.
After discovering the suspension, Josh Moore called Microsoft to re-enable his XBox Live service, but was warned by an employee that entering the name of his hometown again would result in another suspension and that his two year subscription fee of $288 would not be refunded. Josh pleaded with the employee to do a quick search online and confirm that Fort Gay was a real place, but was told that the town’s name contravened the company’s policy on offensive language and that nothing could be done.
Confused, Josh contacted the press. “At first I thought, ‘Wow, somebody’s thinking I live in the gayest town in West Virginia or something,'” Josh told the Associated Press. “I’m not even gay and it makes me feel like they were discriminating,” he added.
A spokesperson for Microsoft eventually apologised, calling the screw-up a “miscommunication.”
Well, I’m glad it turned out in the end. Besides, it could have been worse. Josh could have been from Penistone, England.
- Xbox suspends gamer for living in Fort Gay [Pink News]
- Xbox blocks W.Va. gamer over town’s name: Fort Gay [Associated Press]
An appeals court in Texas has ruled that a gay couple who married out of state can not get divorced.
The couple, who married each other four years ago while living in Massachusetts, are now forced to remain legally married unless they move back to Massachusetts and get a divorce there. While a lower court initially granted the divorce, it was appealed by the state’s Attorney General on the claim that granting a divorce would lead to same-sex marriage.
So, there you go; forcing a gay couple to stay married is now a state strategy in keeping same-sex marriage illegal. It’s almost logical, I suppose… like stopping a kid from smoking by forcing him to finish an entire pack of cigarettes. Or something.
Texas, of course, doesn’t recognize equal marriage rights. What the state was really afraid of is that granting a divorce would essentially amount to having recognized the marriage. It’s a bit of absurd paranoia, if you ask me. Particularly since equal marriage rights is an inevitability as more and more people shed their fears and prejudices about gay people. In the meantime, enjoy your forced marriage, anonymous couple. Texas is seeing to it!
- Court says gay couples can’t divorce in Texas [Associated Press]
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.
On Wednesday, just days after my wedding, a federal judge declared that California’s Proposition 8—a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage—violated the constitutional rights guaranteed to all U.S. citizens.
I couldn’t be happier. Canada got its first taste of equal marriage rights in 2003, and eventually recognized it nationwide in 2005. Knowing that so many people south of the border will soon share the same joy and freedoms that we have up here makes me giddy with anticipation.
Californians still have to wait a little while before enjoying their full legal equality, mind you. Anti-gay lobbyists have already appealed the decision and a temporary stay has been put into effect, possibly until a decision is reached there. I don’t know enough about the U.S. justice system to offer a prediction of the outcome, but I do think that the anti-equality side simply hasn’t demonstrated arguments that can hold up to court scrutiny. After all, according to them, Canada should be a smoking crater by now. Of course, in reality, nothing bad has come of it by any demonstrable standard.
California’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Attorney General, Jerry Brown, has both filed formal motions to lift California’s stay, which would reintroduce full equality immediately. Until then, congratulations to California for your important step toward the full equality that your constitution guarantees!
The annual gay pride float was a little different this year at Anchorage, Alaska’s fourth of July parade after it burned down in what is being treated as possible arson.
Just a day before the Independence Day parade was set to begin, a suspect was seen fleeing from a residential driveway where the float was parked, as weeks of hard work burned to cinders. Neighbours fear that the fire, which also scortched a nearby garage and attic, could be a hate crime.
The float’s construction team had a great idea, though. Christening the charred float “Phoenix Rising,” they rebuilt it from its ashes and burned remnants using donations from the community. After just one day, the float was finished, entered into the parade as planned, and won the Grand Champion trophy.
What a great display of unity and community pride. It’s an inspirational demonstration of exactly why the gay community should be proud of its accomplishments, and why hateful people should feel ashamed.
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.
The United State’s Central Intelligence Agency’s Iraq Operations Group had proposed creating and circulating a fake gay sex tape depicting Saddam Hussein with a teenage boy. The idea was that Iraqis would be so shocked with the grainy camera footage that the entire Saddam regime would become destabilized and easier to invade.
Thankfully—very, very thankfully—higher authorities at the CIA rejected the idea before it was put into action. A CIA operative, speaking on the condition of anonymity dismissed the plan as having “no resonance in the Middle East.” “Nobody cares,” he said. “Trying to mount such a campaign would show a total misunderstanding of the target. We always mistake our own taboos as universal when, in fact, they are just our taboos.”
Interesting perspective, but with all due respect to this CIA guy, I think having sex with Saddam Freakin’ Hussein was taboo pretty much everywhere.
- CIA’s secret Iraq weapon revealed: a Saddam gay sex tape [The Guardian]
- CIA unit’s wacky idea: Depict Saddam as gay [Washington Post]
A Republican senator from Iowa is severely irked over the idea that gay couples should be allowed alongside heterosexual families on state campsites.
Lawmakers in Iowa have proposed updating the books so that gay couples will qualify for a family permit when camping. This would allow gay families to set up two tents on the same site so children and other state-defined dependents can join in on the weenie and marshmallow roasts. This, of course, sent state Republican Merlin Bartz into fits.
“A lot of the advocates of gay marriage in Iowa has said ‘It doesn’t affect anything; nothing has changed’,” Bartz told the press, “but the reality of it is that everything is changing.”
And, gosh, what a change this is. Gay parents are bringing their families to camp sites! That’s one of the signs of Armageddon, isn’t it?
(Thanks to Slap reader Kevin for alerting me to this one!)
Clay Greene and Harold Scull, an elderly gay couple in Sonoma County, California, thought they had all their inheritance and legal paperwork sorted out. They couldn’t legally marry, but they had named each other in their wills, giving each other powers of attorney, and granted themselves control over medical decisions should something happen.
According to a lawsuit filed by Clay and the NCLR, things couldn’t have gone more wrong.
Tragically, Harold, aged 88, was hospitalized after falling on the front steps of the couple’s home. Not only was Clay (age 77) barred from seeing his partner of 20 years in the hospital because they weren’t legally family, but health workers forcibly placed the two in separate nursing homes. The County of Sonoma, deeming Harold incapable to care for himself and dismissing his relationship to Clay as “roommates,” seized and auctioned off the couple’s property and possessions. Harold died three months later, without Clay by his side. Clay is now without his partner, home, or any of the possessions that they had accumulated over their lifetime together.
Same-sex marriage is very, very important.
The case goes to court on July 16th.
- Greene v. County of Sonoma et al. [NCLR]
- Meet Harold and Clay [NCLR]
- Justice for Clay Greene and Harold of Sonoma County, CA [Facebook Group]
California is advancing a bill that will repeal a bizarre “gay cure” law from 1950. The law states that “the State Department of Mental Health shall plan, conduct and cause to be conducted scientific research into the causes and cures of sexual deviation, including […] the causes and cures of homosexuality.”
A bill to strike the ancient law advanced on a 4-0 vote, with three abstentions from members who supported the removal of the homosexuality reference, but would still like the law on the books to research sexual predators.
No word on whether or not the state will next stop its investigations of crop failures due to witchcraft.
- Calif. considers repealing law to study, cure gays [Associated Press]
- Calif. Looks to Change Gay “Cure” Law [NBC Bay Area]
The U.S. State of Oklahoma has accidentally passed a bill that eliminates all hate crime protections from people based on their race or religion instead of their sexual orientation, the bill’s original intent.
Bill 1965 (named, most likely, for the attitudes of that era) was supposed to essentially reverse the Matthew Sheppard and James Byrd Act, a federal law that added sexual orientation to the list of minorities protected from violent hate crimes. While states are not allowed to override federal law, Oklahoma found a strange workaround, mandating that local law officials simply not enforce a specific section of the U.S. Code under Title 18. Due to a clerical error or typo, however, the bill identified that section as 245 (which deals with race and religion) instead of 249 (which deals with sexual orientation).
Now, it’s actually a worthwhile exercise to substitute religion or race for sexual orientation to see how crazy anti-gay arguments sound, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen lawmakers do it themselves… to their own legislation… and actually pass it.
Or who knows, maybe they just wanted to exercise the golden rule and seek to be treated the way they treat others?
Either way, the intent of Bill 1965 is exactly the same, no matter which group of people it applies to. With that in mind, I’m sure the legislators who supported the bill in the first place will see no problem keeping it on the books as it stands, right?
John Sheehan, a retired army general from the United States, has blamed the lifting of a ban on gay troops in the Dutch army for the 1995 Bosnian massacre.
Serbian forces overwhelmed Dutch peacekeepers stationed in Bosnia fifteen years ago, leading to one of the largest genocides in Europe since World War II. Approximately 8,000 men and children were killed by Serbian forces.
Sheehan, speaking to a senate committee currently discussing a proposal to end the country’s ridiculous policy banning openly gay men and women from serving in the military, said that the Dutch would have prevented the Bosnian catastrophe if only they hadn’t “made a conscious effort to socialize their military,” adding “that includes open homosexuality.”
Roger Van de Wetering, a spokesperson for the Dutch Defence Ministry, dismissed the comments as “total nonsense:”
The whole operating in Srebrenica and the drama that took place over there was thoroughly investigated by Dutch and international authorities and none of these investigations as ever concluded or suggested a link between homosexual military personnel and the things that happened over there.
- General blames gay Dutch troops in massacre [CBC 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]
J.D. Hayworth, Senator John McCain’s primary challenger in the United State’s upcoming senate elections, is trying to ban same-sex marriage nationwide. Rather than offering any reasons why gay marriage is bad (they are awfully hard to come by, after all), he had this explanation:
You see, the Massachusetts Supreme Court, when it started this move toward same-sex marriage, actually defined marriage—now get this—it defined marriage as simply “the establishment of intimacy.” […] I guess that would mean if you really had affection for your horse, I guess you could marry your horse. It’s just the wrong way to go, and the only way to protect the institution of marriage is with that federal marriage amendment that I support.
Hayworth is essentially declaring that if marriage is all about love, then it is impossible to legally deny marrying other “lovable” things—like horses.
The problem here—as if such an argument deserves any dissection—is that marriages aren’t one-way; they involve two people that love each other. Does a horse have the capacity to consent to such a partnership? Can it sign the necessary state documents? Can it uphold its legal responsibilities involving property, decision-making, taxes, etcetera?
The answer, of course, is neigh.
And with that, have a great Wednesday, kids!
- J.D. Hayworth: Gay Marriage Law Could Produce Man-Horse Nuptials [The Huffington Post]
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]