Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
Some of you might remember when the hateful Fred Phelps came to Dracut and Lowell. The best way to fight a person like this isn’t to give him the attention he craves and didn’t get from his mother as a child, but to use him to make progress instead. We raised over $600 for equality groups in MA in two counter-rallies where we asked people to give a pledge “for every minute that hate stands here.”
In other words, the longer he and his ilk stood in hate, the more money we raised for equality. Go gay agenda!
Well, now this moron is planning to come to Boston to picket the show “The Laramie Project” at the Boston Center for the Arts, and it’s time to use him like a cheap tissue once again to raise awareness - and cash! - for gay rights. Chris Mason posts at BMG that they are using the same exact idea, pledging per minute. Donations this time are for Driving Equality, an “85-day trek across America to all of the lower 48 states to advance LGBT equality.” You can pledge here.
Look, I know that boycotts during the Bush years were a dime a dozen and can be exhausting. But this one is very important.
The passage of Prop 8 - the hate amendment to the CA constitution that invalidates hundreds of CA same-sex marriages and bans future ones, was largely funded (and for a decade, planned) by the Mormon Church and its hard-right allies. There MUST be consequences. Past boycotts have worked. Don’t go spending your vacation money in Utah, and don’t spend one penny at any Marriott Hotel anywhere in the world.
Our friend Brent Andrus, who is a lead donor to Prop 8, in fact runs a series of hotels, including (big surprise here), Courtyard Marriott, Fairfield Inn Marriott, Residence Inn Marriott, and Spring Hill Suites Marriott. Never, ever stay at a Marriott again. It’s clear that what people have been whispering about Marriott for years is true. It’s not just some independent company. It’s part and parcel of the Mormon Church and their bigoted agenda.
Never, EVER stay at a Marriott Hotel ever again.
The saddest news, which mars the great triumph of last night, is that it looks like California, by a slim majority, voted to accept hate and bigotry into their state constitution. It is a huge step back for equal marriage rights, but it’s more personal than that. Today, hundreds of couples in California who yesterday were married, are weeping. Trying to console one another.
The ludicrous system which allows CA residents to vote on civil rights on the ballot, to amend their constitution so easily, has allowed hate to flourish and triumph. The big news is that if a right wing religion from another state spends a decade and millions of dollars, they can rip loved ones apart and take away their dignity, their right to be there for each other at the end of life or in the hospital, they can encode their hate into constitutional law.
But this is a marathon, as I have said elsewhere. This is not over. To my gay brothers and sisters, I say, mourn today. And I give this advice. Don’t leave your pain in the dark, with your friends and allies and partners. Let the country see what they have done. Let the sundering of the civil bond between already married partners in California shine in the spotlight. Let them see your sorrow. At work, on the television, at the movies, on the street, in the park. Let them see you cry. Don’t hide from this hate. Show us how you love. How you hurt.
I say that if you do not shrink back from this, if you boldly come before Californians, the American people with your heart showing, there will be a backlash against hate. There will be human beings who will see themselves in your shoes, though they never thought to change their attitude or be your ally. Yours is the human story, a human struggle. Let us see.
As I write this, my throat’s constricted, my eyes are wet. Let them feel it. Let them see. Let them see.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
I am optimistic. I think the trio of Patrick, Murphy and DiMasi will put an end to this attempted injustice once and for all.
The Greater Lowell Equality Alliance and MassEquality are sponsoring a vigil in response to this incident.
“Show that Lowell is no place for hate”
Recently, a member of the Lowell community, James Nickola, was the victim of a brutal anti-gay hate crime. He was violently assaulted by three men simply because of his perceived sexual orientation.
This incident should be a powerful reminder to us all that homophobia still exists in our state and can lead to violent episodes like this one. We need to continue working together to create a climate of acceptance and to make Massachusetts a place where tragedies like this don’t occur.
Please show your support for James by participating in a Community Candlelight Vigil this Thursday.
Community Candlelight Vigil
Thursday, June 7th
St. Anne’s Episcopal Church
8 Kirk Street
(Corner of Kirk Street and Merrimack Street)
For any questions or for more information about the vigil, please contact Kate Tyndall from the Greater Lowell Equality Alliance (GLEA) at (978) 866-3049 or LowellEquality@aol.com.
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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