E. Winter Tashlin

Bigotry And Gratitude Edition [What You Need To Know]

Filed By E. Winter Tashlin | January 07, 2013 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: Christian beliefs, ENDA, ESPN, gay divorce, HIV vaccine, Laura Jane Grace, LGBT China, priest handcuffs, Scott Norton

I try to maintain a measure of balance in the links featured in the What You Need To Know. As a rule there should be a cross-section of issues and demographics represented each day it runs, and achieving that cross-section isn't always easy.

I've mentioned before that on any given day, marriage stories tend to dominate the news cycle, but there's actually another LGBT-related theme that could take over this segment if I'm not careful: right-wing religious extremist douchebaggery aimed at the queer/LGBT community.

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Of course, there are already a number of exceptional blogs and organizations that track these sorts of stories, including the fabulous blogs Good As You, and Box Turtle Bulletin, as well as Right Wing Watch and several others.

It's a good thing they do, because I sure don't have the stomach for it.

I'm not generally a hateful person, which is why I resent these (often hypocritical) extremists so deeply. They inspire me to truly hate them, and I don't like feeling that way. I know I should rise above it, turn the other cheek if you will, but for some reason I just can't seem to detach the way I need to in order to achieve that. Not only do they cause so much harm to people in the communities I consider myself a part of, particularly among young people, but they also have a damaging collateral effect on how many of us perceive them and their co-religionists.

When I as a queer, non-Christian, hear outspoken Christian leaders (even fringe ones) use the biblical practice of stoning "homosexuals" as an argument against equality during an address to a state legislature, or declare that hatred of people who disagree with the teachings of their faith is a virtue, it shapes my perception of all people who identify as the same faith.

Unconsciously, I find myself feeling both automatic dislike, and less safe in my interactions with them, even before I know their person views or those of their subset of Christianity on LGBT people or people of other faiths.

Which is why I'm glad that there are folks who do have the stomach for carefully monitoring and reporting on the words and actions of these bigot-activists. Because I worry that doing so on a daily basis would change me in negative ways.

And yes, I know that there are good people of Christian faith in the world, but I wonder why I rarely hear their voices united in protest to this sort of rhetoric. After all, everywhere on Earth where bad things have ended up happening to minority populations, there were good people who stayed silent.

With that, here's what you need to know today (starting with religious hypocrisy schadenfreude):

  • Just a day after his immediate superior testified against a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, an Illinois priest had to call 911 to be released from handcuffs he had been "playing with" (wink wink).
  • A new Oregon law requires insurance companies to pay for any trans* related healthcare that is fundamentally similar to covered care for cis people. It's not perfect, but it's a big step in the right direction.
  • Rhode Island is again taking up the debate over same-sex marriage, though it remains unclear whether it has a good chance at passing.
  • Bullying is a serious issue facing LGBT students in China.
  • Bryan Fischer mixes in some femmephobia with his homophobia in opposition to ENDA.
  • Indications are growing that Taiwan may be the first Asian country to pursue legal same-sex marriage.
  • ESPN showed an on-air kiss between pro-bowler Scott Norton and his husband Craig.
  • In Victoria Australia, LGBT advocates are lobbying for a law that would allow for the expunging of criminal records belonging to people convicted of homosexuality before the anti-buggery laws were repealed in 1981.
  • Steven Soderbergh, director of HBO's upcoming film about Liberace, claims that major motion picture studios rejected it because it was "too gay."
  • This quite good editorial intended to educate police officers on trans* issues is worth having a look at, although the accompanying photo (not submitted by the author) detracts quite a bit from the overall message.
  • In Maine, a look at how marriage equality still does't equal divorce equality.
  • The state of Kansas is seeking child support payments from a man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple as a condition of the child being allowed on state healthcare, despite a contract between the mothers and the donor stating that he had no rights or obligations to the child.
  • Republican representatives Paul Ryan and Steve Stivers have each recently stated their support for ENDA.
  • An experimental HIV vaccine provides short term suppression of the virus, enabling subjects to temporarily stop their regular regiment of medication, and giving renewed hope for a new approach to managing or preventing the disease.
  • Finally, a rather lighthearted segment from MTV's House of Style with out trans* rock singer Laura Jane Grace:

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