LGBT Link Round Up 11.6.14

Broken bones.

Chipped teeth.

Severe bruises and lacerations.

A young man was subjected to all that and more. Simply for being gay.

Two weeks ago, 17-year old Dylan Beard was lured to a skate park in Baytown, Texas by one friend, then beaten by others. They called him “faggot,” and “booty lover.” They broke his nose, punched him, kicked him in the ribs, and left him with  chipped teeth, severe bruises and lacerations on his knees, elbows and face.

Dylan’s mother says the local police aren’t doing enough, and she’s hired a lawyer who’s now asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate this as a hate crime.

It doesn’t surprise me that the police aren’t doing enough. For all that marriage equality appears to be an unstoppable juggernaut, there are still a great many hateful bigots in this country who would brutalize someone for being gay.

“We are asking for the Department Of Justice to step in and investigate this assault as a hate crime. It was planned to target him because he’s gay,” Quanell X, Beard’s attorney, said in a press conference yesterday. He accuses police of being negligent, ignoring witnesses, refusing statements, and insulting Dylan, just because he’s gay.

“It doesn’t make you a man, it doesn’t make you a tough guy, it doesn’t make you some real person to be proud of because you want to prey on a little kid because he’s gay,” Quanell X added. “Why don’t you pick on somebody your own size? Why won’t you pick on some men who you know will fight you back?”

“This little kid does not deserve to be treated like this. Whether you agree or disagree with his sexual orientation, or not, it does not give anyone the right to treat him like he’s less than a human being and rob him of his human and civil rights.”

Argh. There it is again. “Disagreeing” with someone’s sexual orientation is like “disagreeing” with someone being Asian. Or “disagreeing” with someone being left-handed. Or “disagreeing” with someone being blind. This is part of who we are. You can not like us because we’re gay, but how do you disagree with how someone exists? I mean, don’t get me wrong. The overall point of the lawyer is still correct, but some of the language used is problematic. I’d like this notion of ‘disagreeing with someone’s sexuality’ die a horrible death.

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Speaking of ‘disagreeing with someone’s sexual orientation’, Lea DeLaria of Orange Is the New Black shut down a subway street preacher ranting about the ‘sin of homosexuality’:

Judging by the video, DeLaria — who is also considered the first openly gay comedian to appear on television in a 1993 episode of The Arsenio Hall Show — seems to have been riding the M train when she epically shut down the homophobic preacher. “You have no right! Go to another train,” she told the man, before adding, “Get off this train. Other people believe other things and have every right to believe other things on this planet and in this world. We do not have to be force-fed this man’s religious beliefs. Jesus never said for you to do this – ever! […] Don’t come at me because I went to f***ing Catholic school for 12 years and I know every line.”

You go Lea! I’d love to see more people speak up in this way.  Publicly criticizing bigots is a great way to marginalize them. If they’re not going to change their views, let’s shove them to the fringes of society.

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6th Circuit Court rules that states may ban same-sex marriage

In a continuation of conservative values slamming Americans this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit just ruled that states can in fact ban same-sex marriage.

The ruling, while not unexpected, is still stunning.

In a cautionary warning that clearly does not understand history, the Court claimed “the people,” and not lawyers or judges, should be allowed “resolve new social issues like this one.”

I really appreciate the Court’s decision that my rights and the rights of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people across the country should be determined by popular vote. I wonder what these judges would have said about interracial marriage. I guess they’d have said that should be up to the people as well. What about women’s right to vote? Should that have been up to people as well? Or how about slavery? That one should have been up to the states, no?

Fuck these conservative shitstains!

You can read the Court’s ruling here.

You can also read the scathing dissent by Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey here.

* * * *

MO Attorney General appeals ruling that allows same-sex couples to marry in St. Louis

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, who has gubernatorial aspirations, says he personally supports marriage equality but has chosen to defend Missouri’s ban. Koster sought a temporary restraining order to stop further marriages, but it was denied by St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison after city officials voluntarily agreed not to issue any more licenses to same-sex couples without first notifying attorney general’s office and the court. Attorney General Koster then sued the city of St. Louis.

Yesterday, Judge Burlison heard the attorney general’s challenge to the city’s act of civil disobedience and ruled that denying the freedom to marry to same-sex couples in Missouri is unconstitutional. No stay was placed on his ruling, so the weddings began immediately – but only in the city itself, not in all of Missouri.

Today, KSDK reported that Attorney General Koster has filed an appeal, saying  in a press release that the issue needed to be resolved by the Missouri Supreme Court. It’s not unexpected, but Koster would not be the first attorney general to decide not to fight on – perhaps he is thinking more about the governorship in 2016 than the hundreds of couples waiting to be married.

(bolding mine)

If you’re defending the ban, you’re not in support of marriage equality fuckface!

* * * *

Public businesses refusing to serve gay customers isn’t limited to the United States. A couple in Belfast who own and operate the Christian run Ashers Bakery refused to make a cake for LGBT activist Gareth Lee:

LGBTI rights activist Gareth Lee ordered a cake from Christian-run Ashers Baking Company in May for an International National Day Against Homophobia party held by QueerSpace Belfast.

In a 16-page letter dated 27 October, the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland accused Ashers of discriminating against Lee on the basis of his sexual orientation and demanded an apology and compensation within seven days.

A commission spokeman yesterday said the company did not believe it had acted unlawfully and would ‘accept service of a civil bill in regard to this matter.’

‘In its letter the Commission stated that they would prefer not to have to litigate these issues and sought an acknowledgement that there has been an unlawful breach of the equality laws and an assurance that this will not be repeated,’ he said.

‘It made clear that the claimant will be seeking only modest damages for the upset and inconvenience caused and that, failing this, a civil bill will be issued.’

Shop staff initially took Lee’s order for a cake decorated with a picture of Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie in an embrace and the slogan, ‘Support Gay Marriage.’

However, the owners of the family-run business later called him to explain why they could not fulfil his request and offered him a refund of his deposit.

In a statement on the website of Christian Institute (CI), which is supporting the family, general manager Dan McArthur said, ‘We feel that the Equality Commission are pursuing us because of our beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman.

‘It feels like a David and Goliath battle because on one hand we have the Equality Commission who are a public body, they’re funded by taxpayers’ money, they have massive resources at their disposal whereas we are a small family business and we have limited resources at our disposal.’

‘We’re continuing to hold to the stand that we took originally because we believe it’s biblical, we believe it’s what God would want us to do, and we also think that if we do cave in to the Equality Commission at this point it’ll put pressure on other citizens who are defending their view of traditional marriage.’

Once again, it’s “my sincerely held religious beliefs should allow me to discriminate against whomever I choose, despite the fact that my company is a public entity”. These people need to realize that they can still continue to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, but they cannot discriminate against LGBT people. Christian privilege on display once again.

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LGBT Link Round Up 11.6.14
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One thought on “LGBT Link Round Up 11.6.14

  1. 1

    Koster wants to simultaneously court the growing demographic of voters who accept marriage equality, and pander to the religious and/or bigot votes.

    I do not think this will work out the way he wants….

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