when the status quo frustrates.

Equal Protection of the Laws.

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Over at Red State (and let’s bracket for a moment why I was ever reading a blog called Red State that wasn’t about menstruation), a writer named Hogan blows a gasket over former conservative hero Ted Olson arguing persuasively for gay rights. That’s not really surprising—I expect many modern conservatives see Ted Olson as a kind of Judas figure, selling out his principles and nation and God in exchange for a few pieces of fame and fortune. It’s difficult to imagine that Ted Olson would find this attitude surprising or lose any sleep over it.

What’s more interesting is how Hogan constructs his legal opposition to Olson’s position.

Olson claims that California “has no rational basis for continuing this discrimination.” Really? No rational basis? Who made you King, Mr. Olson? Because it seems to me that we human beings may well have more than a “rational basis” to recognize marriage as it has been recognized around the world for literally thousands of years – the union of a man and a woman. For reasons of pro-creation and parenthood, to start with, but also for reasons of faith and morality, for some of us, any marriage other than such a union can never be, whatever society says, a “marriage” at all.

Mr. Olson hides behind – as any good activist does – the issue of race to use the Constitution for a larger social purpose and to achieve own policy objective. Olson invokes Loving v. Virginia, which was the case ending racial discrimination in marriage laws, to say that gays should be allowed to marry. If you believe that, then you believe that the 14th Amendment means anything. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were specifically designed to deal with racism and the prohibition thereof.

There are two separate claims here: one, that there is actually a rational basis for preventing gays and lesbians from marrying, and two, that the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the 14th amendment were intended to address racism, and shouldn’t apply to gays and lesbians anyway. It’s an argument whose structure you might recall from primary school—“I didn’t do it, you can’t prove it was me, and it’s a stupid rule anyhow.”

On the first point, Hogan wants to assert that tradition, faith, and morality, or at least some combination thereof, constitute rational bases for discrimination against gays. It’s an argument you hear a lot from fans of sectarian government—these reasons seem rational to them, so obviously if the courts fail to recognize it, it’s because the courts are a wing of a liberal anarcho-queer supremacist movement which has as its aim the annihilation of heterosexuality, families, and liberty in general.

Actually, this is his strongest point.

Courts are generally somewhat conservative, and consider tradition and morality—if not someone’s particular, sectarian religious beliefs—to be acceptable bases for legal intervention in our lives. Acceptable, that is, but certainly not sufficient, and that’s where this line of reasoning sadly falls apart. When you’re abridging someone’s rights, the courts have found, you need to be able to conjure up some slightly more compelling reason than, “it has always been thus, so there.” This was an important finding in Loving v. Virginia (and, later, in Williams v. Illinois) —prohibitions on interracial marriage may have had the support of tradition and church, but they weren’t rational. In fact, they were pointless. And even as the courts seem willing to smile on even poorly supported encroachments on liberty, they’ve found unsupported violations will have to go. And so they went, some of them.

But! That’s Loving, a case about interracial marriage. The 14th Amendment, Red State reminds us, is specifically crafted to apply only to people of color. That was the obvious intention of its framers, and absolutely the only reason we think its application might be broader than that today is because the power-mad judiciary has over the years stretched the tiniest of loopholes into an enormous tear in the very fabric of the Constitution. Why, just look at the wording of the thing:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. 14th Amendment, Section 1

The text certainly seems to… resist the interpretation that it only offers protection against racial discrimination. In fact, it looks rather more like a broad-reaching law designed to force States to respect the rights of their citizens.

All their citizens.

If the framers—John Bingham, specifically—had intended for the 14th Amendment to apply specifically to institutional racism, it’s not as though they lacked the tools to call it out. The 15th Amendment, passed just two years later, does exactly this:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. 15th Amendment, Section 1

No man may be denied a vote because of the color of his skin, nor because he was once a slave. (No man and his skin, specifically, because of course it would remain illegal for women to vote for fifty years hence, until the 19th Amendment was ratified. It had to be another amendment, because the 15th is silent on the issue of gender in exactly the way that the 14th is not.)

All their citizens. Everyone.

That’s what Bingham meant; that’s what the Congress meant. Hewing to a strictly originalist view of Constitutional law, you might be surprised to read Bingham’s congressional testimony, in which he makes quite clear his intention that the 14th Amendment be a broad thing, a powerful instrument of justice, protecting citizens (All citizens. Everyone.) from the capricious decisions of governmental bodies large and small. In fact, he seems to argue for an even broader reading of the amendment than courts recognize today.

So where does the Red State writer’s interpretation come from? In a blossoming of what I’m tempted to term delicious irony, it comes from an activist judge—five activist judges, specifically. Not five years after its passage, the Supreme Court decided in Slaughter-house cases that the 14th was a response to racism—specifically, to lasting discrimination against former slaves—and so it oughtn’t be applied more broadly than that. So it wasn’t, and for years, the amendment may as well not have existed.

Today, essentially nobody believes that Slaughterhouse was decided properly. In the intervening years, the courts have slowly restored the power of the 14th, building a multi-tiered (and, arguably, overcomplicated) framework under which different laws are considered with different degrees of scrutiny, based on the significance of the rights abridged and the oppression experienced by the class of people it targets. This isn’t a power grab—it’s entirely the opposite, a moderation of the judiciary’s power, rooted in the notion that courts ought to be a last resort for those peoples too maligned, stigmatized, or powerless to seek legislative remedy.

It’s this last point that gives lie to the slippery slope argument we’ve heard so very often—this notion that if you believe the arguments for gay marriage, “you believe that the 14th Amendment means anything.” Yes, the courts have found that gays and lesbians constitute a suspect class, and that abridgment of their fundamental rights must thus be narrowly tailored to satisfy a compelling government interest which cannot be satisfied in any other way. But it only found this—could only find this—after being buried under an avalanche of evidence in which the plaintiffs exhaustively and somewhat oddly argued that gays and lesbians are politically powerless and biologically locked into their sexualities (leaving the sectarian proponents to argue that no, gays have enormous political power and their sexualities are fluid and constructed, making me wonder if they intersperse Butler in their sword drills). It seems enormously unlikely that we’ll see similarly compelling arguments for marrying cats or children, neither of which can offer legal consent.

The evidence is so overwhelming that should Perry make it to the Supreme Court, it will be exceedingly interesting to watch Antonin Scalia tie himself into a pretzel trying to justify ignoring it. Perhaps he will decide that the 14th Amendment really is all about the rights of ex-slaves, pesky things like the framers’ intentions and thousands of pages of jurisprudence notwithstanding. Or perhaps, seeing his very own words quoted in Judge Walker’s decision, he will become radioactive with indignation, and he will explode.

If moral disapprobation of homosexual conduct is ‘no legitimate state interest’ for purposes of proscribing that conduct… what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising ‘the liberty protected by the Constitution’? Surely not the encouragement of procreation, since the sterile and the elderly are allowed to marry. Lawrence v Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), Antonin Scalia Dissenting

Transgender

Friday, August 28th, 2009

In sitting down seriously and trying to analyze the concept of transgender, I realized that I didn’t really know exactly what the word even meant. My automatic, knee-jerk idea of the definition was person who feels and/or may or may not present the appearance of a gender different from birth gender* but I realized that I wasn’t really comfortable with that definition. For instance, what is birth gender? The presence or absence of a Y chromosome? The gender the medical personnel present at your birth assigned you based on their five-second visual inspection of your genitalia? Something else, either more medically abstruse or more societally programmed? And further back in the definition, is feeling that you are a different gender than your “birth gender” enough to make you transgendered, or is presenting yourself to the world as that different gender also necessary? And frankly–this is the one that really got me thinking–what does it mean to feel that you are a different gender, anyway..?

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Equal protection in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states–it’s the 21st century, don’t you think it’s about time?

Monday, August 24th, 2009

I haven’t marched on the Mall since 2004–you know I’m gonna be there! Let’s have a show of support, folks!

Sex 2.0! Part Two: Constructive Dialoguing

Monday, May 11th, 2009

(Part One is here.)

Of the three Sex 2.0 lectures the ex-spouse and I attended, he liked the second one best. The session description:

Internet Advocacy for Sexual Freedom
Do we need a new national sexual freedom discourse? Does the transparency of the internet or its opportunity for anonymity help answer this question? Can we use our blogs, elists and online groups to shape the national sexual freedom discourse? For this workshop we will explore how we can use the internet to transform sexual issue debates into dialogues and then broad conversations creating new allies. We will use the issues of trafficking and decriminalization of consensual sex as examples.

In the beginning of the session, one of the speakers used the example of this as an ideal situation where people who are supporters of sexual freedom (defined as being supportive of polyamory, swinging, homosexuality in general and marriage equality in particular, etc.) could dialogue with people who are not supporters of sexual freedom (defined as thinking that doing any of those things will result both in you personally burning in Hell and the collapse of civilization as we know it generally). It’s a nice idea, and I actually remember reading about that whole pro-choice/pro-life lovefest several years ago when it was happening and thinking then that it was a nice idea. The speaker at the session emphasized that the great thing about this was that neither side is expected to change his or her opinion–compromise can and often does leave a sour taste in the mouths of both compromisers–this was all about building consensus.

But…there does have to be a but, I’m afraid…

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Okay, I Have Now Been Right Once Too Often

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

In the not-too-distant past, I noted long before I saw it written or heard it said anywhere else that I didn’t think Bristol Palin’s marriage to the father of her son was going to happen. When that turned out to be correct, I made another note of it, congratulated myself at seeing through the kerfluffle of various amounts of posturing about and/or outright avoidance tactics towards the entire topic by the principals and the media involved, and moved on.

But it’s happened again. And I’m no longer feeling so self-congratulatory. I don’t want to be able to read these people’s minds! I don’t want them to be an open book to me! I don’t want to understand them this well!

Yes, William Saletan is at it again, but this time, he isn’t writing about ladyparts or about any of the other stuff he usually expounds upon (which I mentally dubbed “Frankenstein medicine” a while back, though he’s made a few notable segues into race issues). He…is…writing…about…gays.

Before I go on, let’s recap something from my Saletan bitch session from last week:

…the place where I usually see [Saletan's tactics of "oh of course I'm pro-choice! and now that I've said that, let me do my best to completely undermine the pro-choice stance"] used over and over is in the gay/lesbian debate world, under the rallying cry of “Of course we don’t hate homosexuals themselves! What we hate is homosexuality. Hate the sin, love the sinner!”

Let’s recontext what Saletan has to say, and see if it starts to sound awfully damn familiar to you too:

Every abortion homosexuality dilemma is different, because every situation is different. The person best situated to make the right decision is the pregnant woman person having the homosexual feelings. A few years ago, I wrote a whole book on this point.***

So why do I keep bringing up abortion homosexuality as a moral problem? Because it is a moral problem. It’s the destruction of a developing human being the traditional family unit. For that reason, the less we do it, the better. When I say abortion having a homosexual relationship is bad, I’m not saying it’s necessarily worse than bringing a child into the world in lousy circumstances never marrying someone of the opposite sex. I’m saying it’s worse than avoiding unintended pregnancy in the first place having homosexual desires in the first place. That’s why I keep pushing contraception conversion therapy. If you cause an unintended pregnancy enter into a homosexual relationship and an abortion get married to that person because you didn’t want to wear a condom you didn’t want to undergo conversion therapy, you should be ashamed.

***He hasn’t written one about homosexuality. But I wouldn’t be at all surprised to discover that there was one in the works.

…and, of course, today’s offering from Lord Saletan IS:

Shades of Gay
The heterogeneity of homosexuality.

Researchers contacted more than 1,800 mental health professionals to find out whether they would ever try to change a client’s sexual orientation. Of the 1,328 practitioners who responded, one in six admitted to having helped at least one patient attempt to alter homosexual feelings. The total number of such cases reported by the respondents was 413. That’s nearly one case for every three therapists.

The study’s authors find this disturbing. Treatment to change homosexuality has proved ineffective and often unsafe, they argue. Therefore, therapists shouldn’t try it.

If only life were that simple.

It IS that simple, unless you’re a professional abortion concern troll turning your well-honed skills towards also becoming a homosexuality concern troll.

(OMG, he actually IS WRITING IN SUPPORT OF CONVERSION THERAPY, I thought I was just making a witty comparison..!!!)

In the big picture, the authors are right.

And Will Saletan agrees, women should have the right to choose!

But

I think we all saw that word coming…

…therapy isn’t about the big picture. It’s about lots of little pictures: the worlds unique to each of us. You and I may have the same sexual orientation, but our lives are very different. You know nothing of my family, my religion, or my community. You don’t even know how straight or gay I am. If I tell my therapist that I’d rather try to modify my feelings than give up my faith or my marriage, who are you to second-guess her or me?

In the British study, the therapists who admitted to collaborating in such cases weren’t anti-gay.

Well, of course they weren’t, and Saletan isn’t either, and he is ALSO pro-choice. One thing to love about the English language is the flexibility with which people are able to use it.

The rest of the article is typical Saletan concern trolling, liberally sprinkled with bizarre phrases that only make sense if you don’t think about them too closely, like

The therapists also distinguished between clear-cut and borderline homosexuality.

…”borderline homosexuality?” Like, your right hand yearns to touch Bob but your left hand would really rather stroke Susan?…wtf?

The idea of heterosexuality as a valid “lifestyle choice” turns the argument for sexual acceptance on its head. If a patient prefers to adjust his orientation to family or cultural circumstances, rather than the other way around, should the therapist challenge him?

…uh, the “patient” is always trying to adjust his orientation to family or cultural circumstances; it is NEVER the other way around–at least, this would be the absolute first time ever I have heard of the epidemic of people flocking to therapist’s offices to try to “convert” to homosexuality.

Sometimes, the substitution makes sense. When the patient is clearly gay

…”clearly gay?” Like, when he’s wearing lipstick and heels or she’s in steel-toed workboots and a buzzcut? Yargh…

…and when his discomfort with homosexuality isn’t fundamental to his personality, it’s logical to target the discomfort. But not every case is that simple. A friend once told me she was “primarily wired toward women.” She was my girlfriend for the next year and a half. Another friend told me he couldn’t countenance homosexuality because he was “obliged to believe it’s a mortal sin.” He came out of the closet a year later, but he never left Christianity or conservatism. Another friend lived as a gay man for years, then carried on a multiyear, monogamous relationship with a woman, then went back to the gay life.

“The evidence shows that you cannot change sexual orientation,” says King. But on the margins, I’ve seen it happen.

No, you haven’t. Rinse, repeat–NO, you haven’t, Dumb Ass! Good lord…case 1: your girlfriend told you she was bisexual. I’m sorry to be the one to break this to you, but no, she wasn’t “borderline” or “marginally” straight and the magnificence of your manlyhood resolved her oh-so-confused feelings on the subject–she was bisexual, which is why she used the word PRIMARILY rather than EXCLUSIVELY. Case 2: Your friend was gay, from start to finish, which amazingly enough has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with having religious and political beliefs (I know, can you believe it?). Case 3: Is bisexuality something you just can’t comprehend? Either he’s taking it up the butt and therefore he is G-A-Y or he’s sticking it in the pussy and dammit for several years there he was STRAIGHT!! so he was clearly radically switching his orientation, back and forth, back and forth..! …er, or he’s just bisexual, like your girlfriend in case 1. (So anticlimactic, but the truth often is, I’ve found. Sigh.)

So, what’s going on with me..? Am I mutating into a conservative concern troll or Greta Van Susteren? How is it that my passing observations are coming so ickily true..?

I think I need a hug.

Homosex

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

I am straight as an arrow. I am possibly the most hopelessly heterosexual woman you will ever meet. My obsessive and undying love affair with the male anatomy has been a fixture of my life ever since puberty and now, in my mid-thirties, has yet to show any signs of slacking off.

Why bring this up? Because it is how I know, instrinsically and to the bone, that homosexuality and bisexuality are not “lifestyle choices.” (You have no idea how I despise that phrase.) You see before you here a woman who was given every possible opportunity and encouragement to be at the minimum, bisexual, if not outright homosexual–yet it simply refused to take.

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Remember.

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Kellie TelesfordGabriela Alejandra AlbornozStacy BrownAdolphus SimmonsAshley SweeneySanesha (Talib) StewartLawrence KingLunaLloyd NixonSilvana BerishaRosa PazosJuan Carlos Aucalle CoronelAngie ZapataSamantha Rangel BrandauNakhia (Nikki) WilliamsRuby MolinaAimee WilcoxsonDuanna JohnsonDilek InceTeish (Moses) CannonAliUnidentified Iraqi WomanUnidentified Iraqi WomanValentina FalcoNakia Ladelle BakerHasan SabehKeittirat LongnawaTatiana (Aldomiro Gomes)Moira DonaireRuby RodriguezErica KeelManuela Di CesareVictoria ArellanoOscar MosquedaStefania CoppiMaribelle ReyesThanawoot WiriyananonSally (Salvador) CamatoyThousands upon thousands whose names we have forgotten.

It’s Almost Like Gays and Lesbians are Real Human Beings. I Don’t Know About You But I’m Just Shocked By The Idea.

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

Tomorrow’s NYT headline: Pope Finds He Is Catholic.

Gay Couples Find Marriage Is a Mixed Bag

For Women, Bisexuality May Not Be Just a Phase

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

(thump!)

That was me, fainting from astonishment. Could it be trooooooo…?

I did not make that headline up for the purposes of this post. No, that is actually, really the headline of this article from MSNBC Health.

Bisexuality.

I tend to subscribe to the theory that human beings* are innately bisexual as a group, with massive individual variance in degree of bisexuality.

I have a close female relative who has been married twice (to men) and sometimes does indeed want a man, though overall she prefers women; I have another female relative who has only dated one man and definitely, strongly prefers women; I have two female friends who had a very close relationship that sometime spilled into the sexual before one of them married–the one who married genuinely has no preference between men and women, the one that is still single has a definite, strong preference for men. Then there’s me–of the about 1,000,000 sexual fantasies I have had during the course of my lifetime thus far, probably about 10 of them have involved women, and those 10 fantasies also constitute the entirety of my intragender sexual experience.** So when I saw this headline, my first reaction was confusion. Why would anyone think it WAS a phase..? Isn’t it just what is?

Then I remembered two things.

Firstly, this:

Kissing Girls
Hot young chikkx tonguing on the dance floor! to quote the subject line of one of the latest batches of spam to find its way into my inbox.

The close female relative of mine I first mentioned is also fond of pornography, though finding genuine good lesbian pornography, she used to tell me, was a challenge. That was over ten years ago and I was fairly fresh out of the Army and I said, “Clearly you are not looking in the right places ’cause trust me, there is lesbian porn EVERYWHERE–”

“No,” she said patiently. “What’s everywhere is heterosexual male fantasies of what two women–not REALLY lesbians because the male viewer definitely wants the option to join in whenever he feels like it–would do together.”

Or, as the article says:

Bisexuality in women could be a lifelong sexual orientation, not a phase, a new study suggests. The finding runs counter to the idea that bisexuality is an experimental or transitional period for women who, for instance, are uncertain or have fear of commitment.

“There were clearly some theorists who suggested that bisexuality is a transitional stage, but that was largely based on anecdotal, rather than empirical, data,” said psychologist M. Paz Galupo, director of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Studies at Towson University in Maryland. “This view is popularized, also, by the stereotypes that our culture holds regarding bisexual individuals.”

It amazes me that we dignify the proponents of this idea as “theorists,” but then again, that’s no more bizarre than calling Creationism a “theory.”

As it turns out, bisexual desire ISN’T something that women feel because they are trying to turn men on, or because they are afraid of men, or–! Is it so hard to believe that a woman’s innate sexual feelings weren’t placed there nor are sourced from the existence of the monolith that is man? That she is not desiring whom she is desiring or performing the sexual acts she is performing every second of her life for the vast, omniscient masculine audience? For without men, a woman’s sexuality does not exist as an indepedent entity–it is solely a reflection of or a reaction to men? If a tree falls in the forest and a man isn’t there to hear it, does it make a sound..? Apparently not, according not only to popular culture, but to scientific theorists.

Secondly, this:

“One challenge facing bisexually identified women is that their identity is challenged by others,” Galupo told LiveScience, “and that identity becomes assumed based on the relationships that they form — either lesbian if in a same-sex relationship or heterosexual if in an other-sex relationship.”

Back to my close female relative–while she was married to her second husband, she had affairs with at least two women. Her husband was aware of them. She told me that it didn’t bother him, because he didn’t consider it “cheating.” After all real sex is something that has to involve a penis-bearing person in some capacity! (Harking back to point 1, above. Sigh.) However, her second relationship ended badly. Why? Because her lover got angry at her for having a sexual relationship with her husband…not because she was jealous, apparently, but because she just knew that my relative didn’t really want to have sex with him and was obviously just caving into what society expected of her–she was allowing herself to be brainwashed into thinking she wanted a man and in total denial that she was, in fact, a lesbian. My relative was quite sure she wasn’t a lesbian–not because she had any problems with the idea, but because she genuinely sexually desired men as well as women. But her lover couldn’t, wouldn’t believe that. My relative told me, with an air of sadness, that she had encountered this attitude before.

So. I believe, as I said, that we’re all basically bisexual. Some of us, like me, are so heavily oriented towards the opposite sex that we can reasonably be called heterosexual, and some are so heavily oriented towards the same sex that they can reasonably be considered homosexual, but these are in no way absolute, concrete definitions–they are tags for convenience only. Why is it so impossible to accept that human sexuality is a fluid thing? Is our need to label ourselves and others so great? Is it such a threat to the patriarchal structure of most of human society?

*I haven’t ever personally known a man who openly admitted to being bisexual. However, I observed enough group porn-viewing behavior during my Army days and surprised a few confessions out of a drunk specimen or four that I am relatively sure that innately, men span the same sort of spectrum as women.

**Other than passes made at me, of course.

This, however, we celebrate.

Friday, May 16th, 2008

I’m not much one to blog on news stories, but this deserves a PunkAss mention.

The California Supreme court overturned Proposition 22, the amendment to the California constitution that would ban marriage for lesbians and gays.

And that’s fucking awesome.

Tomorrow, let’s do talk about how this doesn’t do all we might hope. Tomorrow, we can talk about how marriage is a patriarchal institution that queers shouldn’t participate in. Tomorrow, we can talk about about the Terrible Consequences(tm) this might have for the general election. Tomorrow, we can talk about all the work there is left to do.

Tomorrow.

Now, celebrate. Celebrate that all the major papers consider this a win, with nary a pearl-clutching-think-of-the-children dissenter in the house. Celebrate that the Chief Justice said that not merely is Prop 22 suspect, all laws discriminating based on sexual orientation are suspect, and likely illegal in California. Celebrate that the dissenting opinion wasn’t based on, “tradition,” wasn’t based on one of the many irrational defenses of bigotry we’ve come to expect, but was simply that the legislature or people should have done this work.

Tonight, celebrate.

Tomorrow, there is so much more to be done.

I’m sure that by “turn the other cheek,” he meant ruin other people’s lives

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

Ever wondered whether Americans actually believe a pair of boobs makes you worse at your job? Well, now we have the answer:

Steve Stanton loved this city he ran for 14 years. This week, he asked the city to love him back – to accept his plans to pursue sex-change operation and let him keep his $140,000 job as city manager.

It didn’t.

Yep, seems now that Steve Stanton wants to become Susan Stanton, 5 of the 7 members of the City Commission of Largo, FL believe Susan will suddenly be unable to carry out Steve’s duties as a high-level bureaucrat.

Not surprisingly, the Lord was invoked as justification for the position, this time as Arnold Schwartzenegger’s sawed-off-toting sidekick:

“If Jesus was here tonight, I can guarantee you he’d want him terminated,” said Pastor Ron Saunders of Largo’s Lighthouse Baptist Church. “Make no mistake about it.”

It’s really too bad Jesus-as-returning-savior is a myth; it’d be deeply satisfying to watch the fundies be cast down into the pits of hell for all the Roman-style oppression done in his name. In this case, methinks Pastor Ron would get sent to the circle where someone lectures him for hours on end about utterly false and completely offensive — yet somehow still inane — horsepucky until his eyes bleed.

Meanwhile, on the irony tip, the leader of a group called the Liberty Counsel busted out this defense of their anti-liberty policy:

“The city hasn’t changed the work environment. He has changed the work environment,” Staver said. “He has to take into consideration the consequences of that personal decision. I think it would be more difficult for the city to retain this person because of how it might undermine the representation of the city in the eyes of the community. It could become very awkward.”

You know, dude has a point. I was actually planning to visit Miami until I discovered Pedro G. Hernandez was their city manager. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you all the things _that_ guy’s done wrong, am I right? YUCK. When will more American cities realize that the personal politics of their civil servants comprise the primary definition of their identities?

Seriously, though, we’re infected with an ugly social sickness when hordes of people show up at a city council meeting to oust a loyal city employee who, by all accounts, has served everyone quite well for over a decade.

This sentence provides a disappointing punctuation mark on the entire embarrassment:

Commissioner Gay Gentry praised Stanton, but supported his firing.

If we can’t count on Commissioner Gay to stand up for LGBT rights, we’ve really got a long way to go.