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Supreme Court rules gay couples nationwide have a right to marry

Filed under: Activism, LGBT, News

Screen shot 2015-06-26 at 11.15.45 AMIn a landmark decision reported by the Washington Post the Supreme Court ruled states no longer can deny gay marriages.


Paladino Homophobically Politicizes 419 Scam Letter

Here is the text of an email to supporters that Carl Paladino sent Wednesday evening: 

(See email from Glenda below)

Glenda, thank you for writing.  I would like to refer you to Congressman Brian Higgins.

Brian is the Congressman who was the first to jump on the bandwagon of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama to pass Obamacare.  He readily admits that he didn’t read the bill or understand the particulars of its terrible impact on his constituents.  He felt it was more important to illustrate to his moderate constituency that he had evolved to be his own man, arrogant, condescending and blindly allegiant to every and any liberal elitist cause.

Brian knows that people tend to forget his omissions because he is a dupe of the Buffalo News and they “take care” of him.

Of course Brian takes credit for removing the Thruway tolls on the I-190.  So what if he had absolutely nothing to do with it?  He’s a politician and for them it’s ok to lie and make stuff up.  He has to show his constituents that he does something for his paycheck.

Sure he was the motivator behind the unsightly paving of the entire outer harbor.  Too much green attracts bugs and he was trying to deal with the mosquito problem in his own simplistic way.

Many of his moderate constituents, including family members believe that he should be excommunicated for his acceptance and promotion of partial birth abortion, but why pick on him?  Others like Andrew Cuomo and Tim Kennedy also believe that it’s ok to kill a baby at birth.  He believes that a woman has a right to choose murder.

And as for the nonsensical talk that he killed the Bass Pro Project that would have brought an economic boom to downtown retail, he wasn’t alone.  Cowards like Brian have had a tough time facing down the likes of Stan Lipsey, Howard Zemsky and Jordon Levy, especially as in this case when they want to control the State subsidy money and use it for their own ends. For Stan Lipsey the thought of having rednecks with gun racks on their pickup trucks in his area of downtown was too much for the lame and arrogant liberal power broker.  Brian needs the Buffalo News to be on his side to get re-elected and Jordon Levy’s money to pay for his special desires. 

Glenda, Brian likes dancing on the edge for people of your persuasion. He likes to show people that he is not the cowardly planarian that one may think and that he does take responsibility for his actions and those of the stooges that work for him.  I’m sure he will love to hear from you.

– Carl Paladino

It’s typical vicious Paladino, spraying insult and invective every which-way with no real logical thread. Bass Pro, abortion, the Buffalo News, the Thruway, Obamacare – it’s a compendium of fairyland talk-radio outrages. The angry right-wing Buffalo id in all its glory. 

It also drips with a humorless, angry sarcasm. 

What did “Glenda” send to Carl that prompted this dull and predictable outburst? 

From: Glenda KessIer [mailto:glenda.kessler@hotmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 11:06 AM
Subject: hello

I am Mr. Glenda Kessler I was directed by your friend at gay site, I am gay, I am from United Kingdom and I want to relocate to your country for an investment project but I did not know how things is done in your country, because I am new, Please can you assist me, just to be my partner in the investment project and get 10% from total sum 1million USD. All I want is your guardians, kindly reply and I will give you more details. Waiting for your swift response.
Glenda. 

That’s right. It’s the opening missive of a 419 advance-fee scammer

Why would a 419 scam letter from someone who claims to be gay and to have been referred to Paladino from a “gay site” prompt Carl to immediately invoke Congressman Higgins’ name? Remember in an earlier post I asked, “What do you think Is the genesis of Paladino’s acute hatred and fear of homosexuals?” 

Seriously, this is getting ugly. 

Carl’s non-sequitur lunge at Higgins: is he accusing the Congressman of being gay or something? There is no other reasonable explanation. 

This is a person who gets glowing coverage in Buffalo media, and has actually been elected to a position of trust and authority over a troubled city school district. WTF are we doing? 


Criminalizing Love in Small Town NY

Jamestown City Council President Greg Rabb has been instrumental in turning the Chautauqua County city known as the birthplace of Lucille Ball into a same sex marriage destination.  When Rabb first proposed the idea in 2012, he was threatened. (More here). 

But it’s been quite the little bonanza for the city, and Mr. Rabb penned this letter to the local paper

To The Reader’s Forum:

Marriage equality went into effect almost two and a half years ago. During that time it has been my pleasure as a City Marriage Officer to perform sometimes as many as 10 same-sex marriages per week. Couples have come to Jamestown from as many as 20 different states and every continent in the world. My goal was to make Jamestown a same-sex marriage destination and we have succeeded.

Couples stay in hotels, eat at restaurants, and reserve local venues for receptions including the Lucy-Desi Museum. Doing what is right has been good for business without the city having to spend a dime on promotion but relying on word of mouth.

Every couple has remarked to me how friendly everyone in Jamestown has been and how warmly they have been received resorting in referrals to their friends to get married in Jamestown by an openly gay city councilman.

In addition, we have been fighting poverty by waiving my fee and asking the couples to donate to St. Susan’s Center, our local soup kitchen, providing hundreds of meals each week to Jamestown residents in need. The couples have been very generous writing checks in 100, 200, and 300 dollar amountsall out of state money. I drop hundreds of dollars off to St. Susan’s each week without them having to do anything other than continuing their good work.

I knew marriage equality was the right thing to do and thanks to everyone in Jamestown and beyond it has turned out to be a good thing as well.

I bring this up not to brag about my work but to celebrate this community and the wonderful loving gay and lesbian couples it has been my pleasure to bring together in marriage celebrating their love.

Happy New Year!

Gregory Rabb

Jamestown

President, Jamestown City Council

Everybody wins, right? 

Here’s how one resident responded

In order to justify his own personal crusade, he claims, “Doing what is right has been good for business without the city having to spend a dime.” But does that really justify imposing his own personal deviant views on an entire community? Same sex marriage is unfortunately legal in New York State, but Rabb doesn’t stop there; instead, he wants to make our community a magnet for homosexuality.

Frankly, this is offensive, as well as an abuse of office. Again, who authorized our Council President to pursue this goal? Nobody. And it’s questionable whether his self-appointed social experiment is really reaping any economic benefits to the city and surrounding area.

But even if there were financial benefits shouldn’t there be some discussion as to whether we want to pursue this route to economic gain? In Lakewood, there’s discussion as to whether an adult porn shop should be granted permission to do business. No doubt one argument in favor of the porno store is that it helps grow the local business economy, but an argument against it would be the many negative social consequences, such as its potential harmful effects on families, youth, etc. Rabb seems to bypass all discussion in his crusade by using his office to promote Jamestown as a gay marriage headquarters. He says he’s “doing good” and “doing what is right.” Says whom? What’s next, an annual Jamestown gay pride parade with drag queens and transgenders celebrating their perversity? Wouldn’t that generate revenue? Or how about opening up a few gay bathhouses? Surely these would attract more people to Jamestown and boost local businesses.

No thank you. Greg Rabb’s vision for Jamestown is to make it into a gaudy, cheap and tawdry Pottersville. And that’s not “A Wonderful Life.”

Pastor Jeff Short

Jamestown

And another one

When a nation founded on God’s principles and greatly blessed by Him turns to brazen rebellion, we know what happens. Old Testament history and prophets’ writings record the glaring example of Israel.

Billy Graham recently said “Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle. Our society strives to avoid the possibility of offending anyone – except God.”

Ruth Graham once remarked, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah” (see Matthew 11:20-24). Sodom and Gomorrah were prideful, materialistic, and “gave themselves over to sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust” – becoming a byword through the ages for homosexuality. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with a fiery cataclysm; they were never rebuilt. See Genesis 19, Ezekiel 16:49-50, 2 Peter 2:6, Jude 7.

Extensive research, including by the GLMA, continues finding that homosexuals – even in “gay-friendly” countries like Holland – have much higher rates of disease, drug and alcohol abuse, mood/anxiety disorders, battering, and suicide than heterosexuals.

Recent Dutch research found that even gay men with a steady partner averaged 8 sexual partners per year. 40% of homosexual men have a history of major depression, compared to 3% for men overall.

Yet such living is celebrated and called good? “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20).

God’s Word is clear about homosexuality (Romans 1:26-28, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Timothy 1:9-11, Jude 7), and Jesus gave the eternal definition of marriage in Matthew 19:1-12.

But many American leaders today have the “Jehoiakim attitude.” This wicked Jewish monarch rejected, cut in pieces, and burned the Word of God.

When a town elects leaders that rebel against God to the point that “same-sex marriage” is proudly extolled, and it becomes a “same-sex marriage destination,” that town has invited God’s judgment. If you think Jamestown has problems now, just watch.

God is saying to the people of Jamestown today, “Wake up and repent, for you have welcomed a Trojan horse!”

Randall S. Braley

Jamestown

Remember that hatred, ignorance, and bigotry is ubiquitous. People will wrap a warm blanket of scripture around their hatred, implying moral certitude. What this shows is that people who are completely unaffected by others’ love want to criminalize it nonetheless. 

How sad for us. 


Village People

Filed under: LGBT
Tags: , , ,

Old guys in cowboy hats pledging an “uprising” over the “homosexual” “agenda” being shoved “down [their] throats”. 

“The people of Utah have rights, too, not just the homosexuals. The homosexuals are shoving their agenda down our throats,” Former Graham County, Ariz., Sheriff Richard Mack said at the meeting…

…”State sovereignty supercedes what this judge did,” Mack said. “The Governor needs to get some courage and grip.”

Cherilyn Eager, one of the event organizers, said that people need to speak out.

“We need people to stand up and speak out. We need to get noisy. We need some outrage,” she said. “It is about the sheriffs now coming out to protect the people.”

Mack and Eager asked meeting attendees to call their local representatives and ask them to urge clerks to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

“The way you take back freedom in America is one county at a time. The sheriffs need to defend the county clerks in saying, ‘No, we’re not going to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals,'” Mack said at the meeting.

This should end well. 

 


Frank Goldberg: Still Missing

Filed under: Activism, Allentown, LGBT
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goldberg-franknOn the evening of Monday, December 16, Frank Goldberg—a long-time activist in Buffalo’s LGBT community who recently moved to Portland, Oregon—went missing. She’d come home to visit friends and family for the holidays.

Since her disappearance, friends and family, joined by the community she’d served as an activist (and eventually by law enforcement), have mounted a continuing search for Goldberg—pamphleting, walking neighborhoods, reaching out on social media. There has been little in the way of leads.

Artvoice contributor Sarah Bishop spoke with Frank’s sister, Harmony Goldberg, earlier this week, to get an update on those efforts. There will be a gathering for Frank this evening (Friday, December 27, 7-9pm) at the Unitarian Universalist Church
(695 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo), too.

Bishop: Let’s start from the beginning. Tell us about when and how Frank went missing.

Goldberg: A number of people have asked for a clearer narrative of what happened the night that Frank disappeared. Frank moved to Portland in late August, and she had returned to Buffalo for a holiday visit. It was a hard-re-entry for her emotionally, and Frank was in a very difficult place personally on Monday night. To our knowledge, she left our brother’s house on the West Side of Buffalo of her volition and without telling anyone. She left a vague note in the apartment. She took her wallet, but she did not take her phone. She was last seen at 5:30pm, and we discovered she was missing around 9pm. We do not believe that Frank was a victim of a hate crime, and we do not think it is likely that there was any kind of foul play. Even though we know Frank to be a survivor and fighter, we are deeply concerned for her safety. We thought she would return home, but—since she hasn’t—we are calling on the community to help find her.

Bishop: What has already been done, and what is being done now?

Goldberg: Frank’s friends and family have engaged in an exhaustive search effort to find Frank. We filed a missing persons report from the police quickly, and we have been calling area hospitals, psychiatric and rehab facilities, and other service institutions since she went missing. She has not used her bank card since she went missing, and there have been no changes made to her itinerary. We have contacted all of her known social networks—in Buffalo, upstate New York, New York City, and Portland—both through social media and through direct communication. We have tried to blanket social media with missing persons notices, messages and videos in order to help find her. Last weekend, we conducted foot searches of the West Side and of Allentown, posting “Missing” flyers in local businesses. After a week of community mobilization and media coverage, two detectives from the Buffalo Police Department looked into the case, and we got a verbal commitment that the police would review the footage from surveillance cameras in the area where she disappeared. The family hired a private investigator on Monday, who will be coordinating his efforts with the police department in order to figure out what happened to our sister.

Bishop: How can the community get involved?

Goldberg: Over the last ten days since Frank disappeared, the search has been driven by community support. It has been deeply moving for Frank’s friends and family to see the outpouring of love and energy from so many different communities. The LGBT community has been the most active, but people who knew Frank growing up, people who had encountered Frank in her work as a service provider and countless strangers have shown up to look for her, sent beautiful messages of support, given us generous donations and helped us to keep breathing and hoping.

At this point, much of the practical work of the search effort is shifting into more professional hands, but we still need the community’s active support and love. You can follow the situation on our Facebook page, “Help Find Frank Goldberg.” We need everyone to keep their eyes open for Frank, and to call us if you see her. Please call both the Buffalo Police Department and our grassroots search effort at 716-863-6906. We are also building a list of volunteers in different neighborhoods who are willing to follow up immediately on sightings, so please let us know (either on our Facebook page or at that same number) if you’d be willing to support us in this way. We will be asking for donations to fund the private investigation soon. We would love for you to come to our community event on Friday evening (details below). And we would deeply appreciate it if you would keep Frank, our family and her community in your throughts and prayers.

Bishop: What else would you like us to know?

Goldberg: We want you to know about Frank as a person. Frank is a loving and strong person, and she is valued deeply by the people in her life. She is both gruff and gentle. She loves taking care of animals, especially cats. She is incredibly caring and sweet, able to hold the hard and rough edges of life with a tender and gentle hand. Frank is proudly gender-queer. She has a masculine gender presentation, but she intentionally and explicitly chooses to use the pronoun “she.” I always say that she is one of the bravest people that I know. She has struggled with many profound challenges in her life, and every time she has summoned the courage to overcome and to keep moving forward.

frank posterShe has been an activist and an advocate in the LGBT community for many years, helping to build a transgender support group at Buffalo’s Pride Center, which has been a valuable space of support and community for dozens of people. She also has a long history of providing support and services for people with addictions and with harm reduction work in particular. Besides her formal role as an activist, Frank was a community-builder, making shy people feel welcome and warmly embracing people who often felt like they were on the outside. And she took care of people. During the search efforts, several people told me things like, “I’m here because—if I were missing—Frank would be leading the search effort to find me.”

Bishop: There will be a gathering for Frank tonight, Friday, December 27. What should the community expect?

Goldberg: We are profoundly grateful for the outpouring of love and support from community members who are dedicated to finding Frank and bringing her home safely. As the search effort shifts into a different stage, we wanted to bring the amazing community that has come together in this search effort together to thank you and to talk about next step moving forward. The details of the event:


It’s a Duck Dynasty Christmas

Liberal Alec Baldwin had a show on MSNBC for a very short time. He called a paparazzo who was harassing him and his family a “cocksucking fag”. Baldwin was swiftly suspended, then fired, from MSNBC. The right sort of shrugged, torn between its animus for Alec Baldwin on the one hand, and gays on the other. 

Liberal Martin Bashir had a show on MSNBC. He criticized Sarah Palin for likening the national debt to “slavery” by explaining what, precisely, slavery was. Specifically, he explained how the complete control of the master led oftentimes to unspeakably horrific treatment of his chattel labor – in one case, scatalogically so. Bashir said Palin should see what slavery really was before making such ignorant comparisons, and that a slavemaster should shit in her mouth. There was an outcry from Palin and the right. Bashir was suspended from MSNBC. He apologized. Palin accepted the apology. He left the network anyway. The right wing was outraged and demanded Bashir’s removal from TV. 

Some bearded person on a so-called “reality” show about very wealthy redneck manufacturers of duck calls has said some hateful and ignorant things about gay people and black people. A&E has suspended him. The right wing have gone ballistic, calling this a PC witch hunt and otherwise bemoaning the degradation of Biblical values, apple pie, Chevrolet, bearded freaks, and hate speech. Duck Dynasty guy equated homosexuality with bestiality and terrorism. He said the blacks had it better under Jim Crow, when they didn’t bitch to him (a white guy) about anything. 

Pretty base, ignorant stuff there. Well within the same wheelhouse as Bashir’s and Baldwin’s misdeeds. (I will note for consistency-lovers that I have not defended Bashir or Baldwin in any way, in any forum, and that I had no complaint of any sort when either of them were fired. To me, talking-head cable shows are a huge part of what is killing American discourse and thought, and I’d just as soon see them all gone.)

But we live in a nation that is sick beyond help – not because of the infiltration of the “gay lifestyle”, but because ignorant bullshit has gone mainstream

Never one to miss a chance for publicity, Sarah Palin posted on Facebook: “Free speech is an endangered species. Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on theDuck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.” (Only Palin could claim that a person who has just voiced intolerant comments like Robertson is being attacked by “intolerants.”)  

Of course, when Martin Bashir made despicable comments about Palin, she didn’t defend him by saying, “Free speech is an endangered species.” Nope, instead she slammed Bashir’s comments as being “vile” and “evil.” And officials at Palin’s political action committee demanded that MSNBC punish Bashir.

First of all, the First Amendment right to free speech was not invoked in any of these cases. The Constitution limits the government’s power – not MSNBC’s, and not A&E’s. Bashir, Baldwin, and Duck Person are all entitled to think and say exactly everything they want. The networks on which they appear are likewise entitled to air, praise, condemn, or remove anything they see fit. 

Secondly, if you believe that Baldwin and Bashir should have been fired, consistency and fairness begs you to think the same of Duck Dynasty guy. If you think that Baldwin and Bashir should both be on MSNBC, then A&E should be boycotted. 

I have seen arguments defending Duck Dynasty guy because he was just repeating what the Bible has to say about, e.g., gay people suffering eternal damnation for their heinous crimes against God. That’s nice. But just because your holy book or religion says a thing doesn’t make it right, does it? Are we to excuse every ignorant and hateful thing that any religion has to say? Like I said, you can believe whatever you want – but when you equate homosexuality to terrorism, you have every right to be accountable for your words – to suffer consequences. Like when you call a photographer a “cocksucking fag”. Like when you suggest that a public figure should have someone shit in her mouth. 

The right wing didn’t have much to say about Alec Baldwin, after all. The only thing they brought up was that GLAAD were hypocrites because they didn’t condemn him (they did). It’s ok to defame gay people if you’re conservative, after all. Not just ok – encouraged. When Duck Dynasty guy defames gay people (and blacks), and gets suspended, they are outraged. When it’s Alec Baldwin, they shrug. To me, defaming gay people is wrong, full stop. 

A few months ago, “cook” Paula Deen was effectively drummed out of show business because her long history of racist thoughts and words came to light. Now, there is a miniature store selling her cookbooks and spatulas in a largely empty plaza in right-wing Clarence. She became a hero to the right because, evidently, saying ignorantly anachronistic things about black people is ok, because “free speech”. Similarly, Duck Dynasty  guy is cheered on the right for saying ignorantly anachronistic things about gays and blacks. 

I don’t see how – and it’s the Christmas season, incidentally – a time of love and cheer – nominal Christians and “conservatives” can go around defending people who have so much hatred in their hearts, thoughts, and words. If conservatism means preserving age-old hatreds, jealousies, and slanders then I don’t quite get why so many people would call themselves that. 

If Duck Dynasty guy is smart, he’ll apologize, A&E will reinstate him, and he can cash out what remains of his 15 minutes of fame. From the looks of it, he and his kin are digging in, standing firm, and telling those “cocksucking fags” and liberals to piss off and, literally, go to hell. 

Merry Christmas. 

 


Happy Anniversary

Filed under: LGBT
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Perhaps you saw this image floating around on the Facebooks this week.  Not only is same-sex marriage the right thing to do from a civil rights perspective, but it’s good for business. Treating fellow citizens like equals is really something of a no-brainer, and it’s important to note that the biggest homophobic, anti-SSM group, the “National Organization for Marriage” has decided that the best strategy is to pit African American voters against the LGBT community, and to go back to the “Obama radical” well, which has been dry for some time. 

I’ve come to the personal conclusion that one’s support of same-sex marriage is tantamount to a test of intelligence. A gay couple getting married has no bearing whatsoever on anyone else. It’s simple but true to say that if you don’t like same-sex marriage, don’t get one. Religious freedom and your own conscience do not, however, deserve to be codified as a prohibition on others’ behavior. 

Just because certain Jewish people keep Kosher, doesn’t mean every grocery store and restaurant has to follow those laws. 

And so it is, a year later, there’s a lawsuit pending brought by same-sex marriage opponents, and the execrable patronage mill called the “Conservative Party” has made repeal of the act a mission. 

As we celebrate the anniversary of this victory for civil rights and common sense, don’t forget the local electeds who would have denied this basic right to LGBT couples. 

Assembly

Robin Schimminger, Jane Corwin, Dennis Gabryszak

Senate

Michael Ranzenhofer, Pat Gallivan, George Maziarz


It’s Legally OK to be Gay

Pride flag is raised!

Photo by Flickr user Whitney Arlene

Defamation – and its synonyms “slander” (spoken defamation) and “libel” (published defamation) – is generally defined as a false statement of fact that causes harm to a person and his reputation.  Obviously, its more complicated than just that, and the law is different if you’re a public figure or a private person. 

In New York, “a statement has defamatory connotations if it tends to expose a person to ‘public hatred, shame, obloquy, contumely, odium, contempt, ridicule, aversion, ostracism, degradation or disgrace, or to induce an evil opinion of [a person] in the minds of right-thinking persons.'”  A plaintiff suing for slander must show that he has suffered damages unless the alleged statement is considered slander per se

Slander per se, until recently, included “statements (i) charging [a] plaintiff with a serious crime; (ii) that tend to injure another in his or her trade, business or profession; (iii) that [a] plaintiff has a loathsome disease; or (iv) imputing unchastity to a woman”… the Appellate Division Departments, including this Court in dicta, have recognized statements falsely imputing homosexuality as a fifth per se category.”

Because of changing social perceptions and changes in both federal and state laws concerning homosexuality, the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, Third Department recently ruled that the inclusion of homosexuality among the per se categories imputed some sort of shame or disgrace, and ruled that it would no longer be considered defamatory per se. 

This little, barely-noticed ruling, is yet another step in the massive societal shift that has been taking place over the last several decades whereby homophobia has gone from being the statutory norm to, itself, a subject of shame and sometime criminality. While the people who rely on, and profit from, hatred and fear are having their last gasp, at least in New York State, we can say we’re doing the right thing. 




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