Left In Lowell

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May 22, 2012

The Trouble With Catholics

by at 11:02 am.

Not too long ago, I saw a short clip on City Life that made me wonder: Imagine If Muslims Made An Ad Like This One? Now, my friend George Anthes took exception to me making this point. He felt that it was more than appropriate for Catholics to assert their mores & values, as they headed into the polling booths to cast a ballot. In one regard, I fully agree. The point where I slip off is when politicians take the “will of the People,” as a mandate to codify dogma. It is perfectly fine for any politician/elected official to be “informed” by their faith, but it is another thing altogether to govern by it. The Constitution, dear readers, is very clear on this point.

In light of nitwits like former GOP presidential hopefuls, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, it wasn’t much of a stretch for me to be attuned to the consequences of impasssioned charlatans in the White House. Thus, I flipped the context of the video clip around, wondering if red blooded, apple pie eating, baseball watching, “Sarah Palin - real Americans” could sit quitely by, if Muslims asserted their faith in a similar fashion? You make the call.

Lately I have been tossing around this phrase: “You can’t rationalize a person out of an opinion, they did not arrive at in a rational way.” And this, I feel, is the trouble with Catholics. Well most, anyways.
(more…)

December 21, 2011

The Sun Takes Some Heat

by at 11:41 am.

There is no doubt that the Dan Phelps column discussed in Lynne’s diary below was utterly tasteless and decidedly tone deaf.

It should be noted that Lowell is, politically, much closer to Manchester, NH than say Cambridge, MA. Where this picture:
Photobucket
AP PHOTO

was snapped in May of 2004, then run on the front page of The Sun.

Suffice to say, those that habitually digest The Sun’s editorial slant were not so happy with the above picture. At the time, there was pushback, as there is today. I refuse to defend Phelps’ phuck up. But, it is not insignificant that the paper was caught trying in May 2004.

It shows, that we are winning the debate and that time is on our side.

Phelps’ column is a step back. It is not surprising, as this dead tree rag tries to claw for survival. Having a front row seat, I smirk watching the Sun try to become Lowell’s ‘Blog of Record.’ What the folks at the helm have not figured out, is how to straddle the line between providing the dead tree, Limbaugh slant, that its old world readers consume, like so much junk food and providing a center-left diet to those of us that read the news with a mouse and not a magnifying glass.

July 8, 2010

Equal Protection Means Just That

by at 5:28 pm.

In two different cases, a federal judge today ruled that part of DOMA was unconstitutional - specifically, the fact that DOMA creates two different classes of people in states like Massachusetts where gay marriage is legal, and violates the equal protection and the due process clauses. It appears to be pretty cut and dry, and the judge came back with his verdicts fairly quickly:

GLAD attorney Mary Bonauto told Tauro that DOMA constitutes a “classic equal protection” violation, by taking one class of married people in Massachusetts and dividing it into two. One class, she noted, gets federal benefits, the other does not. Just as the federal government cannot take the word “person” and say it means only Caucasians or only women, said Bonauto, it should not be able to take the word “marriage” and say it means only heterosexual couples.
[…]
Maura T. Healey, chief of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division, told Judge Tauro that Section 3 of DOMA — the section that limits the definition of marriage for federal benefits to straight couples — violates the state’s right under the federal constitution to sovereign authority to define and regulate the marital status of its residents.

It obviously will be appealed by the bigots, so this is one to watch. But for right now, this is a pretty nice victory for equality folks!

(Link via the Phoenix’s David Bernstein’s facebook status.)

April 11, 2009

TOL Audio of Interview with Stephanie Higgins

by at 5:45 pm.

Here’s the audio of my interview yesterday with Stephanie Higgins, the director of the documentary The Gay Marriage Thing, being screened next week at the Church Christ United on East Merrimack St on Wednesday, April 17th, 7pm.

I apologize, the beginning and the end of the interview were not recorded, but the interview starts with Stephanie answering my question, who is the audience she wants to reach with her film?

icon for podpress  Thinking Out Loud - Interview with Stephanie Higgins [13:48m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

July 29, 2008

Lege Working Hard Before Break

by at 4:27 pm.

The 1913 law is all but appealed (just needs the Gov’s signature). Congrats to the people who worked so hard to see this happen. Let’s relegate bigotry and discrimination into the past. I am proud to live in Massachusetts today.

Secondarily, I just got an email from MassVote that the state Senate has also passed Same Day Voter Registration. So we need to call our state Reps, folks, and make sure it passes in the House as well before the session ends on Thursday.

Now, if they could both pass the Global Warming Solutions Act, to complement the great work done in MA for the environment, this will have been a legislative session well worth lauding.

Thanks to the House and Senate members who have helped us make so much progress this session, and to the Governor and all his hard work on so many fronts. I believe I can safely say I am cautiously optimistic about Massachusetts’ future.

June 12, 2008

How It Should Always Be

by at 1:46 pm.

Via MassMarrier, I read the Bay Windows interview with Governor Patrick and his daughter, who has come publicly out as a lesbian. What was her mother’s reaction? Relief that she wasn’t coming to them with a bad grade. That’s how it should be for every teen.

The Governor and his wife have spent a lot of time trying to keep their girls out of the limelight, but decided on the interview before any hurtful “gotcha” news could be posted. Best wishes to Katherine, and to her older, straight sister Sarah, who, as Patrick says, did not have to have an interview just to come out as straight. Maybe someday, a gay person will be afforded the same courtesy.

I just love the last quote from the Governor:

“You know, I can still - because we live in Massachusetts - I can still imagine what Katherine’s wedding is going to be like.” Lowering his voice, he adds, “How much it’s gonna cost.”

And how can anyone be so heartless as to want to deny her that?

May 15, 2008

The Biggest State Has Gay Marriage!

by at 3:27 pm.

There ain’t nothing sweeter. Now, they have to fight to protect it. BMG suggests donating if you can to Equality California, as they are likely fighting a ballot initiative to amend the state Constitution to ban gay marriage in the fall. Unfortunately, it appears that a simple majority is all that is needed to amend the Constitution. That’s more screwed up than our process, even.

This is, of course, just one uphill battle in a long, neverending fight for civil rights for LGBT citizens. But a heartening one nonetheless.

June 19, 2007

Why Does WCAP Still Carry Bigot Michael Savage?

by at 1:10 pm.

Michael Savage is one of the worst of the right-wing hate mongering radio talkers. And of course, Savage, who’s well known for hate speech on his show, just had to weigh in in the most reprehensible way on the gay marriage vote in Massachusetts (bold mine):

Savage characterized opponents of the amendment, including Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D), as “criminals” who told voters to “drop dead.” He added: “Gay marriage was to go before the people in an even vote … [b]ut at the last minute, the gay mafia bought the votes of state representatives up and down the line — bought them lock, stock, and barrel, like cheap tricks in a gay bathhouse.” He also called same-sex marriage “an affront to all of civilization.”

What I want to know is, does the owner of WCAP at all subscribe to this point of view, and if not, why does he still let this very hateful man spew his crap on his airwaves?

June 14, 2007

Con Con Time

by at 12:41 pm.

In less than one hour, at 1:00 p.m.the Massachusetts State Legislature will meet in a joint session to once again decide if our state’s constitution may include an amendment denying certain citizens their civil and human rights.

Article of Amendment: When recognizing marriages entered into after the adoption of this amendment by the people, the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall define marriage only as the union of one man and one woman.

The initiative requires 50 votes in order to pass. Not a majority or a plurality, merely 50 votes. As we have discussed numerous times on LiL, during the last vote Lowell’s State Senator Steve Panagiatakos and State Representative David Nangle voted in favor of putting this amendment on the ballot; while State Reps Kevin Murphy and Tom Golden voted against it.

Perhaps this time, the votes from the Lowell legislative delegation will be unanimous and they will all realize that a personal choice is just that, a personal choice. Or as Lynne suggested last month, “If you can’t vote no, abstain!”

You can watch (maybe) the live webcast on the Legislature’s web site. I said maybe, because during last year’s debate, they had numerous technical difficulties.

Ryan is liveblogging as well as Bay Windows, the Boston-based newspaper serving the Gay community.

I am optimistic. I think the trio of Patrick, Murphy and DiMasi will put an end to this attempted injustice once and for all.

June 4, 2007

A Sad Week in Lowell

by at 5:57 pm.

This weekend saw a terrible incident where a young gay man was beaten and taunted, in what appears to be a hate crime, by other young men, right here in Lowell.

The alleged savagery of these men, who were all from Lowell, should all give us pause. I have twice before called for Senator Panagiotakos and Representative Nangle to vote down - or at least abstain from voting on - the anti-gay-marriage amendment. One of the reasons I have given is that the hateful atmosphere which will prevail in our state as the forces of bigotry come rushing in to support such a measure will lend itself to more incidents like this.

I’m not saying that the anti-gay-marriage amendment will cause further violence. However, if it’s fine to “vote” on denying civil rights for our own neighbors, friends, and family, to deny their families the civil protection the rest of us enjoy, what message does that send? How much further, is it, really, for some to deny those same people their very humanity, or their lives?

I hope our Senators and Representatives think very carefully on the difference between their personal beliefs, and civil fairness. I hope they decide to think like brave leaders and care about their legacy, and on which side of history they would like to be remembered for standing.

I hope they can imagine what it would be like to be twenty-two years old, walking down a street, and taunted, then beaten, just for who you are. Send those thugs a message, let’s stop the hateful anti-gay amendment here and now.

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