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Gay Activism at its finest March 18, 2010

Posted by truthspew in Gay rights, marriage equality.
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This is what I’ve been waiting for all this time. It is what I’ve said we need to do, we need to be thorns in the side of our legislators. Simply writing letters, calling their office, etc. won’t do it. Direct action is necessary at this juncture.

Look at the whole DADT debacle. The leadership is hemming and hawing about studies, etc. but the reality is that a majority of the citizens of the U.S. support allowing gay people to serve openly in the military. In other major NATO countries that have rescinded the ban, they did at as follows: One a certain date, gay people could serve openly without penalty. Simple.

But today Lt. Dan Choi put a shot across the bow of HRC. He wasn’t asked to speak at the event in D.C. but Kathy Griffith invited him to the stage at which point he invited the crowd to march on the White House. Totally upstaged HRC and Joe Solomonese. In my opinion this is good, HRC needs to be reminded that the nice-nice politics don’t get us anywhere. ACT-UP knew this, and we’re just figuring it out again.

Lots more coverage on the event at Towleroad

Once they got to there Choi and Captain Jim Pietrangelo handcuffed themselves to the White House fence and were arrested.

And now word even says that there was an occupation of Speaker Pelosi’s offices in both D.C. and San Francisco. Excellent, so excellent. It almost sucks having supportive federal people in my state like U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, or even potential governors who have now publicly proclaimed that they will sign a marriage equality bill when the legislature brings it forward.

In fact every Democratic and Independent and even Moderate candidate has expressed their support, Caprio (D), Lynch (D), Chafee (I), and Giroux (I) and Block (M). That’s progress not to mention a very exciting gubernatorial race here in Rhode Island. Four candidates to choose from in the general election for Governor. Unprecedented. Of course both Republican candidates (Who if I’m asked don’t have a prayer in hell of the governors chair.) maintain the same asinine viewpoints of our current Asshole in Chief, Don Carcieri.

And on the 24th, Marriage Equality Rhode is having a Lobby Day at the Rhode Island State House. Sad thing is, if you can call it sad is my state Representative Steven Costantino and state Senator Paul Jabour are both supporters of marriage equality and I think Jabour has even moved into the co-sponsor column. Woot! But I won’t waste the opportunity, maybe I’ll go talk to Senate President M. Theresa Paiva-Weed.

Not only that AIDS Care RI is having a little welcome soiree for newly minted Speaker Gordon Fox. I’m going to do my best to make that one because I want to talk to Fox and tell him to grow some stones and lead equality through the house.

I’m absolutely giddy with excitement. Like I’ve always said, our politicians are people like us and accessible should we wish to do so.

Lets make ourselves seen, heard and let us get their undivided attention. We will not stop until we have a federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, we will not rest until Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act are repealed. We will not rest until we have FULL equality.


March 3rd, 2010 Marriage Equality Rally at the RI State House March 4, 2010

Posted by truthspew in Gay rights, marriage equality, Uncategorized.
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Forgive the shaky video. I was up on the third floor shooting down. And don’t try to clap when you’re holding the camera. Another bit of advice, in a situation as pinched as this, seek high ground hence my being up on the third floor overlooking the area under the dome.

Part II

An analysis of religious bigotry February 18, 2010

Posted by truthspew in Gay rights, marriage equality, religion.
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And that is precisely what drives all of the opposition to GLBT people having full equality. The Southern Poverty Law Center does a nice job of showing the bigots for what they really are. By coaching it as special rights it devalues our cause. We cannot continue to let them get away with this. Expose them for what they really are Christians of a hypocritical nature. They cannot see the forest for the trees.

This paragraph grabbed me though:

Writing in support of DOMA, Bauer predicted that gay marriage would have dire consequences for Americans of faith: “If they succeed, all distinctions based on sex may fall, and the worst aspects of the rejected Equal Rights Amendment will be imposed. Homosexuals will gain the ‘right’ to adopt children; … churches will be pushed outside civil law; and government power will be wielded against anyone who holds the biblical view of homosexuality.”

I’d like to see Bauer’s explanation of the ‘worst aspects’ of the ERA. I think it’s just an anti-feminist attitude to be honest. The concept of women as equals is abhorrent to the religious bigots.

The use of single quotation marks shows Bauer’s attitude about what he things of civil rights equality. Because that’s what this fight is all about, that we are EQUAL to everyone else, not necessarily better than or lesser than but equal under the eyes of the law.

As to his claim of churches being pushed outside civil law, I’d welcome that. The churches had the better part of two millenia to get it right and they never did. So much so that Martin Luther tacked his 95 theses on the door of the church in Wittenburg. And of course in the U.S. you’ve got Methodists, Southern Baptists, Presbe…oh screw it you know many crazy ass sects are in the U.S. If even they can’t agree on basic doctrine what makes them think they can agree about equal rights?

I had to pin progress in civil right as starting in one era I’d say the industrial age is what propelled society. You can sort of see this going on in China right now as people flock to the cities where jobs are plentiful and money isn’t as short.

There was a poll on facebook about what was a better environment for kids to grow, city, suburbs or rural. I explained that the city was the best place. Cities mix it up. I made the same argument when the likes of Tucker Carlson moaned that people who complete a four year college are more liberal than others. Of course they are, you go to college and you meet people from other countries, states and cultures. You’re required to take what I term soft arts courses like sociology,l psychology. To charge those areas with a liberal bias is ridiculous, Studies of the humanities by their nature are liberal because they deal in truths about existence.

The same applies to social attitudes. I can remember when the area I live in was predominantly Italian. That only started to change in the late 1980’s. Now it’s Italian, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Lebanese etc. The signs on the church down the street and at the nearby supermarket are in English, Spanish and Italian.

But you mix it up. Granted we have a long way to go but it’s happening. It happened when my father of Italian descent married my mother who was predominantly Irish. And it happens today when my Irish descended friend’s brother marries a Puerto Rican girl. Over and over again. And that’s good. Good for the genome, good for society.

Enough of that. His reference to the biblical view is comical. If you’ve ever read the entire book you get a fairly schizophrenic read on the Bible. Contradictions galore. But the religious always say you can’t throw the baby out with the bath water. That’s an apples to oranges comparison. If the Bible is the inspired and literal word of God, don’t you think divorce is wrong? Or that people who eat shellfish are committing and abomination?

Of course not, the anti-homosexual bigots are taking things out of context in the Bible. The folks at the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible can only pull 38 quotes out of the entire Bible. Compare that to the 453 contradictions, or the 1,582 absurdities. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read the entire book but the folks at Skeptic’s have done a nice job assembling it all for easy reference.

Moving a Senator to Support Marriage Equality: Another thing to love about Rhode Island January 24, 2010

Posted by truthspew in Gay rights, government, marriage equality.
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This is a marriage equality post but it also brings out what I’ve often said about moving marriage equality forward in the state. Your reps and senators are human, just like you. As such they shop in the same places, live in your district, in short they are your neighbors.

So this evening I had an opportunity to stop at the Walgreen’s store on Atwells Ave, in Providence. As I’m coming out I had to do a double take but there he was, my state Senator Paul V. Jabour scraping dog crap off the bottom of his shoe.

Being an opportunist I stopped by and said “Senator, I think we need a pooper scooper law in the state or the city.”. He laughed. I went on to tell him I wanted to talk to him about marriage equality. He’s on board. But he said something very interesting.

A lot of senators are scared to do anything with the amount of voter outrage that is out there right now. I told him that I’ve been suggesting that we in the marriage equality camp need to encourage our legislators and explained to him that in his district alone there are close to 400 supporters of full equality and that the area in general was pretty much the gay central of Providence.

He also let slip that Sen. Rhoda Perry is holding the equality bill which surprise the hell out of me. I think she needs to be convinced that she won’t suffer at the ballot box for moving this bill forward.

It almost appears as though we have enough support in both the house and senate to move this with a veto proof majority but everyone is terrified of it. We need to assuage their fears. One hand washes the other. If they support us, we help out on their campaigns, not that many of us haven’t already been doing that.

But we really need to put on the full court press if we want marriage equality in RI in 2010.

Even the Cato Institute understands equality January 9, 2010

Posted by truthspew in marriage equality.
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The Cato Institute has an opinion piece titled “The Moral and Constitutional Case for Gay Marriage” by Robert A. Levi the Chair of the Cato Institute.

Don’t get me wrong, the Cato Institute is a libertarian, small government group. I don’t necessarily agree with a lot of what they say. But once in a great while they hit the nail on the head.


Thomas Jefferson set the stage in the Declaration of Independence: “[T]o secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men.” The primary purpose of government is to safeguard individual rights and prevent some persons from harming others. Heterosexuals should not be treated preferentially when the state carries out that role. And no one is harmed by the union of two consenting gay people.

One could also interpret Jefferson’s text to apply to abuse of corporate power in politics. That causes us great harm.

But the case that Levy makes is undeniable. It is a violation of our Constitutional rights to deny us the ability to marry the person we love.

Prop 8 Appeal to be Webcast: And Maggie Gallagher gets her panties in a bunch January 6, 2010

Posted by truthspew in Gay rights, marriage equality, National Organization for Marriage.
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gallagher in the crosshairs

gallagher in the crosshairs

Apparently Judge Vaughn has decided to webcast the proceedings of the Prop 8 appeal via the court’s YouTube channel.

Here’s the test of the system they’re using to switch off microphones or cameras if a witness doesn’t wish to be recorded:

And of course, Maggie “The Loathsome” Gallagher is already crying foul about it.

I’d like to pick apart a few things in Loathsome Gallagher’s article.

To deliberately and needlessly expose these people to a new wave of publicity and attacks by televising the trial is outrageous.

She need not worry. As evidenced in the above video, they can turn cameras and microphones on and off at will. So the bigots can remain under cover so to speak.

Prior to that quote above, Gallagher pulled this from the fun folks at the Heritage Foundation:

But this is no ordinary trial. This is a trial in a case where thousands of ordinary citizens have already faced a wave of hatred for participating in democracy. On Oct. 22, the Heritage Foundation released a report titled “The Price of Prop. 8,” which concluded that “supporters of Proposition 8 in California have been subjected to harassment, intimidation, vandalism, racial scapegoating, blacklisting, loss of employment, economic hardships, angry protests, violence, at least one death threat, and gross expressions of anti-religious bigotry.”

I must first make it clear, the people who supported such a discriminatory measure as Prop 8, or Question 1 in Maine, deserve my hatred, my ridicule and my scorn for they are bigots. It is one thing to personally dislike the fact that gay people can marry, it is entirely another when you sign your name to a petition, donate money, or allow usage of your visage in ads for the opposition.

Those who did the above acts need to understand then when one signs a petition or donates money, we all have the RIGHT to know that they did so. It’s all under the public records doctrine.

However I feel I must tell Loathsome Gallagher something: While your side suffers those slings and arrows, we gay people have experienced the exact same thing from bigots like you and your ilk. Regarding the death threat, I suspect that one is simply wishful thinking, a tempest in a teapot if you will, whereas we gay people have been murdered for even looking like we’re gay. When is the last time a religious bigot suffered that fate?

Maybe it’s because I surround myself with educated people. That’s right Maggie, educated. Your only claim to fame is that you’ve written as a family policy expert, I think Goebbels would be proud of you, repeat the same lie over and over again and it becomes the truth or at least so it is in your mind.

But so long as I’m around, I’m not going to let you get away with it.

Protest Against Carcieri's Veto of the Funeral Rights Bill November 20, 2009

Posted by truthspew in government, marriage equality, Uncategorized.
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So this past Tuesday we had a couple of newer faces at the Providence Equality Action Committee meeting. They were people who’d decided that Governor Carcieri’s veto of the Funeral Benefits bill that would cover couples gay or straight was just the straw that broke the camels back.

The vote in the legislature overall was lopsided in favor, 99 to 1 with the 1 being Rep. Arthur Corvese of North Providence.

With widespread notification going out just 2 days before the event we managed to get about 200 people.

The event was spectacular if not somber. Lots of folks dressed in black. Everyone had a candle, and there was even a mock casket with a spray of white roses on top. Once we were all lined up along the brick walkway the pallbearers carried the casket up to the marble steps of the south side of the RI State House and then laid it on a bier with black bunting on it.

Had at least one notable speaker, our favorite Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts who gave a very supportive speech. She did write the leadership in both houses and asked them to do an override vote as soon as they can.

Forgive the darkness. My little Xacti doesn’t do well in light that low.

And some photos:

Gathering at 7:10PM

Casket coming up the columnq

Casket passing by

The Casket and Roses

When I think about it, in the past year I’ve been to so many protests, events, etc. We’re really pushing the whole equality thing hard in RI.

Bigots on the prowl in ProJo article on Domestic Partnerships in RI November 15, 2009

Posted by truthspew in marriage equality, politics.
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I note that the Providence Journal (ProJo) has been blowing up with the gay rights issues here in Rhode Island for the past couple of weeks.

The lastest is this:

PROVIDENCE –– Governor Carcieri surprised political rivals this week when he told gay-rights activists he would consider comprehensive reforms giving many, if not all, of the rights of marriage to same-sex couples.

But the unexpected announcement from the Republican governor has found little support among Rhode Island’s gay community, reinforcing a division among gay-marriage supporters that could kill Carcieri’s idea before it’s even put to paper.

You can click the above block quote to go to the original article. Be forewarned, ProJo requires registration in order to view some content.

But what I’m really here to comment on is some of the more bigoted response comments in the ProJo survey which asks if DP would be acceptable. You can take the survey here.

You can see all the responses if you take the survey. But I’ll just copy/paste a couple of the more egregious ones:

No, the Governor should NOT consider domestic partnership agreements. The homosexual agenda is not only only marriage, is about FORCED ACCEPTANCE of their deviant lifestyle, UNDER PENALTY OF LAW. To legalize “domestic partnerships” is to legitimize the homosexual lifestyle. Anyone who dares object will be punished. Our freedom of religion will be GONE. Don’t believe me? Look at the many examples of what’s already happening in other states! A Catholic adoption agency CLOSED in Boston because they were being forced under interpretation of Massachusetts law to be required to have same sex couples adopt children out of their Catholic agency, which is completely against the Catholic religion. If we had a “domestic partnership” law in Rhode Island, that law would be used to do the same and similar things!

I went with this one first to demonstrate something. All caps are used to stress a point, or to shout when it comes to text on the net. The above demonstrates proper usage of all caps btw.

Now to take issue, well I’ll do that in video form but first I have to post the other all caps message.


Three things on the above. To begin TURN OFF THE CAPS LOCK! Next, spell check is there for a reason. Use it. As to your FEELINGS, civil rights should never be decided on feelings. You need a cold logic when it comes to civil rights something the above commentator fails to grasp.

And now my response to both. Sorry for the annoying UV streak. I’m experimenting with lighting.

Carcieri indicates possible support for domestic partnership law | turnto10.com November 13, 2009

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Carcieri indicates possible support for domestic partnership law | turnto10.com.

Go watch the video.

We see Brian Crandall saying the governor would support domestic partnerships, almost the same as marriage but not quite marriage. Even Carcieri is caught saying the phrase “…Short of what we call marriage”. In other words Carcieri (And the house leadership!) are still stuck on semantic issues surrounding the word ‘marriage’

I find it interesting that the opposition has gotten Meriam-Webster to change the dictionary definition of marriage but it does now contain this bit of verbiage:

1 a (1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage

Prior to this change I recall it used gender neutral pronouns. Now of course it splits it out. But the matter still remains that as part of the first definition of marriage, it includes same sex marriage. I’m sure this definition will cause great distress to the likes of Maggie “The Loathsome” Gallagher.

Then camera then turns to Susan Heroux of Queer Action of Rhode Island who says “Every bit of process is great. Just the fact that we’re able to talk to him directly. We’re able to show him how his actions and words affect our lives. A great step forward. The fact that he’s willing to talk to us is a great step forward. I think that we are interested in getting all of the rights, no just some of them.”

I’m happy she threw in that last part because when I first saw the video my thinking was that this meeting would actually hurt the marriage equality movement in Rhode Island.

I still have that feeling because now this puts the legislators on notice that they might be able to get a DP bill through the opposition of the governor and the leadership.

So I’ll continue to fight for full marriage equality, with or without the support of the Governor or even the leadership of the legislature. There is some confusion over the ratio necessary for a veto proof majority. I say 2/3’s as most of the RI Constitution likes the 2/3’s rule, others say 3/5’s. In percentages it comes out to 67% and 60% respectively. Either way it would mean we need anywhere from 45(3/5’s) to 50 (2/3’s) of the 75 members of the house (And we’re very close!), and 23 to 25 of the 38 in the senate. In essence we need anywhere from 68 to 75 people in the house and senate to push a marriage equality bill forward. Completely doable. At last count we’re just about at the higher end ratio in the house. Senate is next.

A Catholic Priest that supports equality? You're kidding me, right? November 9, 2009

Posted by truthspew in marriage equality, religion.
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The following appeared in the Letters to the Editor section of the Providence Journal on 11/09/2009:

Gay-marriage ping-pong

Now that Maine has joined California in voting down legalized marriage for homosexual persons, I wish to state my concerns and pledge my prayers for those children, men and women affected. No matter where one stands with regard to this issue the ping-ponging of persons’ lives by signing into law and then voting out same-sex marriage is unconscionable. It is not a “good thing.”

The resulting “now you’re married, now you’re not; now you’re equal, now you’re not” is beginning to have an abusive and harassing feel to it. As protection under the law for married homosexual persons is once again taken up in Rhode Island, I ask the judicial and legislative branches of government here to please pay attention. For some this crusade is like wheeling and dealing with their lives; this see-sawing and legal-not-legal game has the look of a kind of sexual abuse (the damaging of a person with regard to his or her sexual life).

This also has an adverse effect on the children of same-sex parents who can use as much emotional and economic protection these days as anyone else. This is unless one of their parents happens to be an investment banker who has or will receive a multi-million-dollar severance bonus from the federal government.

The attempt by those labeled lawless, immoral and licentious to connect with laws and licenses to assume a more responsible and accountable place in their various societies should be looked at very carefully. And if Governor and Mrs. Carcieri as well as other officials exhibited the same passion for our economic climate and double-digit unemployment as they do for preaching against illegal immigrants, single-parent families and same-sex marriages, we might make some good progress here in Rhode Island.

The Rev. Michael J. Menna


The writer is pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church.

I’m a little taken aback. The only priests I’ve heard from in recent past were anti-gay bigots for the most part though there’s one who I think is sliding toward our side.

But Rev. Menna writes a great letter. I have to wonder how long our bigoted Mr. Tobin (aka Bishop) will take to write a response that both condemns and forgives both the Rev. Menna and gay people in general.

Maybe we can get this guy to join us at the next round of hearings. That would be fun. Seeing a Catholic priest get up and testify in support of marriage equality.