Category Archives: videos

Civil Rights-Civil Unions for Hawai’i

Patricia A. Gozemba

Honolulu, February 22–Misguided Christian fundamentalists, many of whom are politicians, rallied approximately 2,000 of their flock to the Hawai’i state capitol to try to give credence to the point that the downfall of civilization is epitomized by the granting of the civil right of civil unions to same-sex couples. Across town, LGBT people and their allies peacefully stood up for themselves.

Tara O’Neill  captured the faces of some of these folks. She skillfully juxtaposes their faces with the aspirational words of our President Barack Obama and patriotic music.

My wife Karen Kahn and I are happy to be in this video, Support HB 444. Spread the word about this video to your friends and allies!

Stewart: Religion Is a Choice Not Homosexuality


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And while I’m on Arkansas, let’s remember Arkansas is the state where voters just supported a ban on allowing unmarried (read LGBT) couples from adopting children or even becoming foster parents. Huckabee supported that ban and he continues to call homosexuality a choice. And his logic goes: if it’s a choice, it can be un-chosen.

Appropriately, Stewart asked the governor, “At what age did you choose not to be gay?” The governor had no answer. Stewart chided him, “You’re not being asked to marry a guy.” Huckabee’s response, a big old “aw shucks” smile.

Pushing his new book, “Do the Right Thing” (couldn’t Huckabee do the right thing himself and think up a new title instead of stealing Spike Lee’s), the very righteous governor trotted out the old canards against marriage equality. He recited the litany: anatomically gay couples are unfit to procreate, 5,000 years of recorded human history (back to the Old Testament) says marriage is between a man and a woman, and now 30 states have voted that marriage is one man and one woman. (Stewart pointed out that in 30 states more folks voted for McCain than Huckabee).  

Stewart knows his stuff. He came back at the Old Testament’s moral authority by noting its support of polygamy and slavery. He pointed out that marriage wasn’t a sacrament until the Twelfth Century and that for a long time it was nothing more than a property arrangement. He wondered if Huckabee had thought about the prohibition of people of different races marrying. Huckabee just smiled, preparing to recite his next inane objection to marriage equality: the definition of marriage.

How could society change the definition of marriage, Huckabee wondered incredulously? Stewart had just pointed out that throughout history, the definition has changed many times. Non-sequiturs are standard operating procedure for the religious right. “They’re asking people to redefine the word,” Huckabee blustered. “They have a lot of work to do to convince . . . the American people.”

At his point, Stewart rose to eloquence on the self-righteous posturing about the semantic absolutism of the definition of marriage. “It’s a travesty that people have forced someone who is gay to have to make their case that they deserve the same basic rights as someone else. It seems like semantics is cold comfort . . ..”  

In essence, Huckabee wants us to know: You’re a same-sex couple. You don’t fit the definition. Sorry, that’s the definition and the definition cannot change. Stewart’s forthrightness in arguing the case of marriage equality to an evangelical absolutist is an excellent primer for all of us who still have to argue for our civil right to marriage. And besides, he does it with such good humor. Take a look:

 

(Tip of the hat to Cathy Burack for sending the link to Stewart on YouTube)

 


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Get Wanda Sykes in Their Face

Patricia A. Gozemba
For those who doubt the efficacy of nation-wide rallies like last Saturday’s about Prop 8, I have two words: Wanda Sykes. It was worth dragging thousands of us out from Honolulu to Portland, Maine to have Wanda Sykes show up at a Las Vegas rally and come out to the world.

 Married for just 10 days before the Prop 8 vote torpedoed marriage equality in California, Sykes and her wife are in marriage limbo along with 17, 999 other couples. Hopefully Sykes’s public reflection on being in the closet will resonate with those in the LGBT community, still not ready to come out.

When Sykes told the crowd, “You know, I don’t really talk about my sexual orientation. I didn’t feel like I had to. I was just living my life, not necessarily in the closet, but I was living my life. Everybody that knows me personally, they know I’m gay. But that’s the way people should be able to live their lives. Now, I gotta get in their face.”

Yeah, Wanda, we all have to come out. We can assume that people who voted for Prop 8 didn’t know that you were gay. Maybe that would have shifted opinions. I can imagine a great 30 second ad with you and your wife. California could have used some gay people in their ads for sure. The elegant logic in “Wanda Sykes on Gay Marriage,” is a winner. “If you don’t believe in same-sex marriage, then don’t marry someone of the same-sex.”

Okay, Wanda, now that you’re out, I want more. You were right “our community was attacked” by the vote on Prop 8.  Your logic, “We shouldn’t have to be out here demanding something that we should automatically have as citizens of this country.” Wanda, tell the world. Feel free to get in the face of those who don’t believe that you are as good as they are. It will make a difference. Everyone’s coming out does.

Gays, Muslims, and Rep. Sally Kern

This is what Rep. Sally Kern has to say about gays and Muslims. Watch our community’s smart response.

Kern insults Muslims as well as the LGBT community. She is a very scared woman lashing out at those she wishes to demonize in order to make herself and her “kind” look better. And who is her “kind?” Unfortunately for the decent Christians in this country, it is followers of Christ–like Kerns.

Pass it on to other folks. We need to expose every “Sally Kern” in this country.

Know Thy Neighbor–On the Move in FL

Know Thy Neighbor (KTN) once again is bringing transparency to the ballot petition process–this time in Florida. What KTN did for the cause of equality in Massachusetts, it is now doing for all families in Florida. AND as a sidelight of their advocacy, some Floridians are getting a civics lesson.

Folks who claim that they never signed the petition to put a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and even civil unions or domestic partnerships for heterosexuals on the ballot are learning, thanks to the KTN website, that their names were among the over 611,000 that counted.  Did unscrupulous signature-gatherers put their names on petitions?

Other Floridians who did sign the petition are learning that their signature is a matter of public record. They are astonished to see their names on the Know Thy Neighbor website. Thanks to a collaboration between Christ Church of Peace in Jacksonville, FL and KTN discrimination will not be able to hide behind a cloak of secrecy. Check out a Florida TV news report on the issues. 

Fairness for All Families offers Floridians strategies for fighting the discriminatory constitutional amendment. Know Thy Neighbor offers Floridians the opportunity to identify petition signers and begin conversations with neighbors, friends, and family members who may not know that their names are on the petition or who may not understand how hateful the constitutional amendment really is.