Father Tony

Is Violence Inevitable In Our Fight For Equality?

Filed By Father Tony | November 09, 2009 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement

Before you comment on this topic, I urge you to carefully read this post at JoeMyGod.

Joe's advice is sensible. Don't say anything in a comment that you wouldn't say when writing a signed letter to a newspaper.

The specter of gay violence has been with me for many months as the advocates for gay rights have mobilized in challenging the homophobic religious bigots who would deny us equal rights. It's as if the breath of righteous indignation could any minute cause the embers to burst into flame.

I am very worried about this.

First of all, please do not dismiss violent gay backlash by saying "Nothing was ever solved through violence" or "We must be patient and diligent" or "Open dialogue and lobbying are best" or "Peaceful demonstrations are admirable and preferable". I doubt there is a gay activist or citizen in America who has not heard those statements, does not understand those assertions and has not agreed with those sentiments, but I fear the possibility that sooner or later, some act of homophobic oppression will be the straw that will break the camel's back and will cause some ordinarily rational and patient gay person to become violent.

Somewhere in our country is a gay person who is losing a job or has been denied a promotion because of insidious workplace discrimination. Somewhere in our country is a high school student who is being relentlessly victimized by bullies because of his/her gay mannerisms. Somewhere in our country, a group of gay men/women walking home from a gay bar will be taunted and threatened by a group of drunken straights. Somewhere in our country an act of entrapment will ruin the reputation of a gay man who has dared to wink at an undercover cop and suggest a liaison. Somewhere in our country, at least one of these gay victims will not go quietly into submission but will respond with carefully planned violence.

Even more worrisome is the probability that somewhere in our country, a group of well-educated gay college students who have studied the American Revolution and the Stonewall Revolution and who have taken note of all the violent chapters in all the various struggles for equality will assume that it is their obligation and duty to become violent in order to help secure gay rights. I suspect that somewhere in our country, they are planning their first attack.

I have never in my life touched a gun. I have never thrown a rock during a demonstration. I am not quick to anger, but others are. Other than in self-defense, I doubt I could become violent. I will probably never join a vigilante group, but I firmly believe what is written in the Bible in Ecclesiastes 3:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

and also what is written in the third chapter of the Book of Joel:

Beat your plowshares into swords
and your pruning hooks into spears.
Let the weakling say,
"I am strong!"

Come quickly, all you nations from every side,
and assemble there.
Bring down your warriors, O LORD!

and because I believe those words, I will not be able to automatically condemn someone who in good conscience escalates the struggle for equality to a place I personally would not enter.

Elsewhere, I've expressed my fear that violence may be inevitable. When it happens, everyone will lose and everyone will be blamed. Consider the words spoken by the Prince to the warring Capulets and Montagues at the conclusion of Romeo and Juliet.

Where be these enemies? Capulet! Montague!
See, what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love.
And I for winking at your discords too
Have lost a brace of kinsmen: all are punish'd.

A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;

Is there anything to be done to avoid violence, or is it inevitable?

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Don in Kansas | November 9, 2009 8:42 PM

Unfortunately, what I am afraid is going to happen is found in Matthew 2:18 "A voice is heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more."

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | November 9, 2009 9:24 PM

All that can be done to avoid violence is education that it does not work to any positive end on either side. The American and French revolutions were largely about land rights and "unfair" taxation. In the case of the Americas it would be fair to say that we were the occupied party who fought quite poorly really, but who had the advantage of very long supply lines from Britain. Americans were also very stubborn as most had left England and Germany because of religious persecution.

We were about 95% a rural society then as opposed to being a 90+% urban society today. The same means and methods will not work. Violence would only work to set back our legitimacy much as it has the anarchists who have engaged in it in WTO cities.

Martin Luther King was never about violence or condoning it and I am sure that is a lesson from history that smart Gay college students have also been exposed to and have internalized. There will be mistakes and missteps and folks carried away be the moment or the mirage of what they are doing.

The old testament is so much better written than the new. Slightly further along in Ecclesiastes: "...God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time for every purpose and every work."

Of course it also has more loopholes than a Philadelphia lawyer could devise :)

battybattybats battybattybats | November 9, 2009 9:28 PM

I want to point out 2 things.

1. I generally disagree with violence unless there is no other recourse even when last assaulted i refused to strike back on principle as a fight was what the attacker wanted.

2. if violence is not an acceptable way to assert human rights when they are abused then there is no legal legitimacy to the existance, the very existance of the U.S.A. or the constitutional monarchy of the U.K. or the democracy of France and the same is true in much of the world where rebellions and civil wars where citizens illegally fought the current legal state in order to obtain their rights.

Now that last bit isn't a 'might makes right' argument, but instead a Equal Human Rights when oppressed or denied may be asserted and demanded recognised by law-breaking, vandalism, violence, civil war and rebellion.

The state and the law's legitimacy is based upon the equal rights of it's citizens and it providing the mutual benefit of the social contract to all citizens. When there is not equality the law has no legitimacy (no matter how big a majority voted for it either, this is modern rights-based democracy not ancient greek majoritanism) but it still has plenty of power...

So while i'll happily endorse non-violently breaking illegitate laws to assert equal human rights I do not endorse violence except as a last resort.. if they start raiding gay bars and hauling crossdressers off to mental asylums and jails for electro-torture 'treatment' or labotomy like they did 40 years ago then sure, I'll riot like the crossdressers at Stonewall and Compton and fight back like they did at the first Sydney Mardi Gras.. after i tried appealing to the International Human Rights bodies and tried fighting it in the courts.

And remember our countries have legitimised wars over the notion that protecting human rights makes overthrowing governments of other nations legitimate. So then it makes it legitimate to invade or sanction Jamiaca and Kuwait over their state allowed or perpetrated violents attacks on and torture of crossdressers to mention just two examples.

And I repeat, i prefer non-violence. I'll only resort to it if they roll back my rights to the pre-stonewall era and I exhaust all non-violent avenues.

And how quickly the haters who call for the denial of equal rights for others resort to trying to get the protection of the law for themselves, protections they fought against being equally to protect us. And plenty of them are fine with terrorist acts against doctors and abortion clinics. Hypocracy is their daily bread it seems.

Hi battybattybats. I just want to clear up one point. You said that "So then it makes it legitimate to invade or sanction Jamiaca and Kuwait over their state allowed or perpetrated violents attacks on and torture of crossdressers to mention just two examples."

If you meant that literally it's totally wrong. The people in places like Iran and Jamaica will have to win the fight to revolutionize their nations. Regime change from the outside is an excuse to steal oil and other resources. The US and its satellite states can't do it for them and in fact the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, based on lies about bringing democracy, caused genocide in Iraq and mass murder of civilians by US and satellite forces in Afghanistan.

And what happens when we apply that to extremely violent countries like the US where anti-LGBT violence and murder, especially against transfolks is on the rise? The same is true of England and many of the former soviet states and satellites. Why put your emphasis on Jamaica when conditions are very bad in a number of countries?

Invasions are not the answer. Revolutionary politics, like the kind demonstrated by the heroism of young workers, GLBT folks, women and students of Iran is the real answer.

battybattybats battybattybats | November 11, 2009 9:22 PM

I used Jamaica as just one example. I didn't say it should be a sole focus!

That Western nations have often used Rights as a pretext for robber-barron economics does not invalidate that we have an ethical responsibility to fight on behalf of others rights that is a neccessary consequence of our claiming rights for ourselves.

Just as a transgender person is obligated by wanting a share of Equal Rights to fight for the Equal Rights of all others including Gays and vice versa so too are all citizens and all nations obligated to fight for the rights of people in other nations. The rules of human rights don't change at an arbitrary border drawn up centuries ago, just the power structures which abuse or protect them do.

Human Rights are the ONLY valid reason for any military or violent action ever. Self defence to defend equal rights is valid, fighting to preserve an inequality is invalid. And when living in a world built on the promise to deliver equal rights but with that not yet achieved everyone who benefits or seeks to benefit is automatically ethically obligated to strive for total equality in order to justify the rights they themselves claim! Otherwise their claim on their own rights is invalid!

That nations have lied in order to seize other nations assets resulting in slaughter of innocents does not invalidate the responsibility to step in and protect civilians from abusive regimes. Supporting revolutions can also be dangerous.. how many people were killed by the Taliban who evolved from the anti-soviet rebel forces armed and trained substantially by the west? And few revolutions are bloodless. We should all be thankfull that the soviet bloc fell apart with minimal bloodshed.

And I'm not saying that military action is the only or best method either!

I mentioned sanctions too... and indeed we could sanction every nation that abuses GLBT people though there wouldn't be a nation unsanctioned then but we could still do it proportionately. Uganda certainly should be moving up in our attentions. We should not especially as individual citizens be supporting the economies of states which abuse human rights where a nice chunky boycott could help change that.

Most crucially notice that I said its because rights have been used as a justification for war... so im pointing out a double-standard where the rights of some people garner foreign-policy attention and others are blithely ignored.

But as we profit from the circumstances in other countries politically, through trade etc that also makes us responsible for the consequences of our economic and political decisions on people in those countries.

Want a non-violent subversive choice? Set up profit-making and USA GLBT charity subsidised businesses that secretly employ GLBT people against the law in Uganda, Kuwait, Iran, Jamaica and all other nations that execute torture and jail GLBT people. Have them include free education for local women as well as the GLBT staff after hours too. With scholarships overseas especially for those wanting to become political leaders when they return to their own countries. Oh there are many non-violent ways to make a difference.

There are organizations which seek to teach LGBT people to defend themselves. Pink Pistols and Triangle Martial Arts are two of them.
At the martial arts schools that I have owned and taught at we have always made sure that we did outreach to the LGBT community to teach them to defend themselves. I also am involved in getting the Pink Pistols firing in the Boston area again. And I espouse obtaining a licence to carry for our people.
I think that defending oneself with violence is perfectly acceptable. I also think that violence in defending others is acceptable. I have been engaged in this debate since the mid 80's. And deciding where the line is has been an issue.
In the traditional martial arts world there has been discussion about where the line is. And I have been accused of having crossed it, but that has never been a secret.
Frankly, I have never had a problem with one of our people beating a basher to a pulp. If that basher comes to our bars and the parking lots outside and the streets around them or to our homes and businesses, he or she is already past the point of acting with civility and is owed no civility.
As for those who say that violence has never solved anything. I have to disagree. It may not be the favorite answer and may not be the generally best answer but sometimes it is the answer that is appropriate to the situation. There are people out there who I know will never again risk going after a queer person physically, and I am ok with how they were taught this lesson because it means that at least one bigot will not be going after another one of us. I can also say that I have seen the willingness of the queer community to start defending itself spark the police in Tallahassee FL on some beats to finally start stepping in and making the bashers stay away from certain places even if it was just to keep the bashers from getting beaten up.
Now as for our LGBTQ people becoming the initiators of violence, I dread that day but realize that it may come.

I have no hard and fast answer, but I once wrote this after I was a victim of someone else's violence:

Violence is a parasite- it cannot live without a host. But unlike most other parasites, it cannot live in a host that refuses it. If I can continue to refuse to accept it when it is presented to me, it will have difficulty spreading and be significantly weakened, maybe even die.

And what I experienced was violence. Anger, hatred, shame, abuse (both physical and emotional-including gossip), greed and fear are all violence in thin disguise, and I don’t want them in me.

I am reminded of a story of the Buddha:
A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting the Buddha. “You have no right teaching others,” he shouted. “You are as stupid as everyone else. You are nothing but a fake.”

Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead, he asked the young man, “tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong ?”

The man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, “it would belong to me because I bought the gift.”

Buddha smiled and said ” that is correct. And it is exactly the same with your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself.”

I am reading Gail Coins' book "When Everything Changed"

I just finished the chapter on the Civil Rights Movement and SNCC and I remember H. Rap Brown pointing out the obvious, "Violence is as American as cherry pie."

How many more murders? Something like one a week now with transgender people over represented among the victims.

I have long advocated that we own guns for our own defense and if we live where we can get permits to legally carry that we do so.

Non-violence only works when those we are appealing to consider us human. These so called Christians are more like the KKK. They view us as vermin fit only for extermination.

The pattern has happened before.

Time for us to take a page from the survivors of the last time this form of ugliness appeared.

Never Again!

This is timely. I'm glad many in our camp are even considering violence as a tactic. In every civil rights struggle there are always two differing movements of violence and one of peaceful civil disobedience. It wouldn't surprise me if someone out there in our country is organizing to bomb a heterosexual wedding to take away their lives for taking away our civil rights. It's probably closer than we think. I agree that there's a season and a season for everything. The bigots think they will continue to control us. They are mistaken that they can play victim and call for our deaths using the Bible and enforcing their narrow view of life on us by beating the Bible and expecting us to lay down and taking it without fighting back. I encourage every gay man, woman and child to carry a gun to protect themselves. The time for bloodshed may have been upon us.

People always speak of Martin Luther King as if he was the only black civil rights leader. He wasn't. There was Malcolm X, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. The latter two were co-founders of the Black Panthers.

Riots often do produce sympathy in civil rights movements. It's not the same as the riots surrounding the WTO, which is politically motivated. Civil rights movements are personally motivated, we have an obvious personal stake in LGBT rights.

I'm not advocating or condoning any act of violence that is premeditated or organized. Domestic terrorism is just plain evil. But I wouldn't disown a spontaneous act. Like when that guy smashed that lady's foam cross at a protest, a lot of people were quick to disown it and condemn it. I don't.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | November 11, 2009 9:36 PM

Martin Luther King was the only American civil rights leader to have both studied Ghandi in seminary and made a point of visiting India to learn additionally from his followers. His was the successful movement for civil rights.

At the mentoring and urging of a heretofore "invisible" hero of the civil rights movement - Bayard Rustin

Black, brilliant, a Quaker and . . . openly gay

Who, I might add, noted:

"The proof that one truly believes is in action"

Mohammad Khamenei | November 10, 2009 4:06 AM

Come while there is time to the nation of peace, the nation of Islam.

Allah will free you of your abomination.

Koran 4:16 - "Allah is forgiving and merciful."

Koran 27:55 - "Nay, ye are a people ignorant!"


I appreciate that when Malik el Shabazz is mentioned you show up, but there are queer Muslims here already. Please go proselytize somewhere else, or not at all.

Do not offend Allah.

He is good and just and dispense justice at his good pleasure.

Are you saying he will dispense what you consider justice or that you or some other human will? And what gives you the right to speak for God? Isn't that taking his name in vain?

If it's you who adminsiters what you consider justice - do I get to adminsiter what I consider justice towards you?

I love how you people think homosexuality is an "abomination," but you hold up as your "prophet" a guy who spread his religion through violence and fucked a 9-year-old girl.

As far as I'm concerned, your religion has no more validity than any other.

While you're bashing back against the haters, may I ask that you please not bash an entire faith.
There are queer muslims and muslim allies (me and my family respectively), and I don't appreciate your comments.
I tried telling them in nice words to essentially piss off, and I am now saying the same to you.

With all due respects, I'm pretty "equal opportunity" when it comes to faith-bashing. If he had been a Christian, Buddhist or Jew, I would have responded with similar contempt. I have a problem with religion in general, so nothing personal.

Yeah, but "spread his religion through violence" and the pedophilia thing are pretty common right-wing Christian attacks on Islam. I don't think we get all that far when we attack the faith itself other than just pissing people off, since it's unlikely that someone's going to finally hear the logical argument/insult that makes them say, "Yeah, my faith is illogical and/or easily mockable! I think I'll give it up."

Plus, what's the issue with Buddhism?

First of all, my comments were directed at Mohammad Khamenei/mokh, and they were intended to insult him, not to persuade anyone to give up their religion.

As for the violence/pedophilia thing in Islam, it's pretty well-established that Muslims used violence to spread Islam from the beginning (Christians did the same, of course, but far more extensively) and that Mohammad married and had sex with her when she was 9. My point was that an ideology such as this is in no moral position to be calling consenting relations between adults of the same sex an "abomination."

My comment about Buddhism was just meant to illustrate that I wouldn't give equal treatment to any religions homophobe. Though Buddhist homophobes are far less common than their Christian and Muslim counterparts.

battybattybats battybattybats | November 10, 2009 9:30 PM

Actually there IS an issue with Bhuddism!

Tibetan bhuddism has both liberal and conservative subgroups. Some are anti-gay and some are so pro-gay as to encourage it's monks to explore sex inculding gay sex as part of gaining wisdom.

The Dalai Lhamma belongs to the most conservative branch and his group have been striving to be rid of the other branches of Tibetan Bhuddism. He has made many anti-gay statements and teaches an anti-gay doctrine.

This comment is being removed because it violates the Terms of Service. Anyone who resorts to name calling or unbridled hysterical ranting is reminded that the comments section is supposed to be a place of dialogue about the subject of the post. This comment contained an insult directed at another commenter.

Nakhone, I may have pretty extensive anti-religious credentials, but that was really over the top.

There are different degrees of violence and I for one would not wish to preclude some of them as I think the timing is right. No; I'm not for bombings, arsons, and things of that nature. But blocking a major downtown intersection feels quite violent to the motorists trapped within the shutdown. Graffitti on a church feels violent to church-goers, etc.. At age 54, I'm tired of all the feel-good, mamby-pamby stuff that has left our movement clearly stalled. I am reminded of the tactics of ACT-UP which had a (to me) important role in advancing treatment, donations, and a reduction of societal stigma. Individual violence is reprehensible, but within the context of thoughtful organization and limit-setting aforehand it does has it's place in history whether the author bemoans that fact or not.

Now is the time for all good queers to come to the aid of their peers.

Of course you know THEY would love it if some fundamentalist got punched. This recent, "Christians are martyrs" garbage has been getting louder and louder. "Churches are vandalized!" (an unknown person sprinkled some white powder at a church. Businesses were boycotted because they have money to the anti-gay marriage amendments (and doesn't the AFA do that all the time?). Some "people" like Peter LaBarbera are salivating at the very possibility that someone hates them and are using it as a means to get more money.

Au contaire, violence is used against us, not the other way round regardless of how the bible-humpers and boy friends of Gee-sus would like to make the ordinary voter think. The humpers are playing to their gallery when they try to diminish the Shepard/Byrd hate Crimes Law as they will attempt to do on Nov. 16 at the DOJ building in DC. Here's more info:

Ive read that the tide turned against segregation during the 1960's when the TV news showed scenes of black people and supporters trying to register to vote and peacefully demonstrate for their civil rights getting dog-bit, club-beat, and pushed down the street by water canon.

does anyone really think it would have taken ELEVEN years to get a hate crimes law passed if photos of Shepard's pulp of a head or other violent victims's autopsy photos had been published?

America thrives on bloody violence and then tries to assuage it's guilt with pathetic remorse. Until we have a sustained and assertive, yet peacefull work stopping action, we gays/lesbians will continued to be looked at as just limp-wristed targets for abuse.

Like many have said, it depends on what we mean by violence. I don't think it's inevitable, but it's really worth thinking about. What would each of us be willing to do? What would we be willing to tolerate others doing?

Smashing a foam cross?
Covering a mansion in a condom?
Armed queers, Black Panther style?
Or anything else?

I am glad for people of faith having a discussion based upon an honest spiritual opposition to violence. We will continue to need your voices of peace I think for a very long time, and I promise to listen.

If the hatred, anger, and violence against us continues or grows, we will fight it.
I don't know how, but I do know
we won't ever be silent again.

Bill Clinton's catch phrase, "it is the economy stupid", in his 1992 presidential campaign against George Bush is relevant in this discussion. In addition to LGBT individuals I fear we'll see a significant escalation in violence in the upcoming years from members in other groups. Most people don't mind putting in a reasonable effort to be successful but the USA is drifting towards 3rd world status in how our economy is being mismanaged. LGBT individuals and particularly trans people are like canaries in mines. A bad economy affects us first and worse than other "normal" people.

A particular concern with LGBT individuals is, on average, we're more intelligent than other people. While this provides some mitigation against bigotry it is quickly getting to the point in the USA that even a highly educated intelligent person has less and less hope of living the American Dream.

Eventually an intelligent person, LGBT or otherwise, is going to get tired of killing themselves trying to have a decent life and is going to do some real damage.

Ironically liberals may be as much responsible for this as conservatives. Conservatives crush the human spirit by insisting on an obscene income distribution so very, very few people have the opportunity to do well. Conversely liberals crush the human spirit by insisting on having a shrinking slave class of workers to support them and their causes. God forbid, for example, a young person spend many years and great sums of money becoming a doctor and expect to make a decent income.

The solution is a reasonable but not overly generous social safety net for all of us along with mechanisms to ensure enough income inequality to motivate hard work, education and innovation. "Enough" does not mean "obscene." I doubt if a Wall Street person works a whole lot harder to make tens of millions of dollars a year than they would to make $250,000/year, for example.

I think a distinction needs to be made between pre-meditated violence (i.e. terrorism) and reactive violence. The former is never acceptable - it makes us no better than Al Quaeda - and it always has negative consequences for our cause. However reactive violence must be considered acceptable under some circumstances. I do not think it can be considered reasonable to object to using violence strictly in order to protect yourself, your friends or those unable to defend themselves.

However that leaves the area of serious non-defensive violence against those committing violent hate crimes - or, as Rob Barton put it, "beating a basher to a pulp". Such violence isn't legally acceptable of course - however law is an artificial construct that exists to ensure the smooth running of society, including ensuring that the rights of all citizens are protected.

Any government based on the consent of its citizens has an obligation to protect the rights of its citizens, including the right to freedom from violence; if it does not actively do so, that contract is void. Similarly each community has the obligation and right to defend itself and its members; typically this is done through an independent civil authority. However if a civil authority ignores the rights of one group its contract with those citizens is broken, and that community is no longer morally obliged to obey the relevant laws of that civil authority. This is the basis for civil disobedience.

So if a civil authority reneges on its obligation to protect a minority community from violent hate crimes, that community has the moral right to "beat a basher to a pulp" as a means of self-defence. Whether or not doing so is actually a wise move is a whole separate question that depends very heavily on context, but as a rule I'd say it's an unwise move.

But in the instance of the bashing going on in Tallahassee at that time it did slow things way down. They had thrown a pipe bomb into the parking lot of Billy's Place which was a local LGBT bar. It didn't go off but the cops didn't take it seriously and actually investigate.
Bashers were operating in groups outside of a downtown bar and catching people on the sidewalk and parking to take their wallets and slap them around a bit. The police were doing nothing about any of this.
The new fraternity for gay men was denied recognition and threats were made against some of the guys.
Then some phobes got messed up on those sidewalks and a message was sent that they could show up at the houses for the denied frat brothers put there would occasionally be professional fighters randomly available to stop them.
Suddenly the police developed an interest in stopping the bashers because it is easier than explaining to city fathers why some of there sons were getting beaten up in front of a gay bar.
So in that situation it did work because it sparked the police into action though their interest was not to protect us they learned that to protect others they had to make sure we were safe too.
Then it was over.

I did say that using violence as a tactic would be unwise "as a rule", a phrase that implies certain exceptions. The one you described sounds like a perfect example of just such an exception.

For me the key issue is that violence must not be done in "cold blood", while on the flip-side if uncontrolled it can easily backfire. The situation you described fits almost precisely between the two: the community reached a point where they decided they'd had enough of the abuse and the police inactivity, and made a conscious decision to deal with any future problems themselves, in-house. The violence was therefore neither uncontrolled (there was a conscious decision to be violent) nor in cold blood (they didn't go looking for trouble).

Not all situations are like this however: they had an ongoing problem in a relatively limited area. However not all homophobic violence fats that pattern: it is far more often completely random.

I agree that it is often completely random from the perspective of the victim. Not so random from the perspective of those who do bashing. This is why I think that it is a good idea that we be able to defend ourselves and prepared to do so.

battybattybats battybattybats | November 10, 2009 9:46 PM

Can we say that only self defence is legitimate when modern democracy itself is built on armed violent and lets be honest here murderous rebellion against the legal government of the day in order to demand recognition of their rights?

Again I say that I am anti-violence except as the last possible recourse. But if we say that premeditated violence is not acceptable doesn't that mean that America is illegitimate and must return to the control of the british crown? That France and Russia must also return to Monarchy? That England must devolve parliament and return to the rule of Monarchy?

Is not defence of Equal Rights the reason why self-defence is legitimate? Is it not the only legitimate reason for war? Then logically it seems to me violence must be an acceptable recourse in defence of and assertion of Equal Rights.

Now whether its going to be an effective course of action, thats a different point all together!

The British Government of 1775 was not a "government based on the consent of its citizens", so the social contract I described as a prerequisite for obedience of the law didn't exist.

battybattybats battybattybats | November 12, 2009 8:54 PM

Of course it wasn't.

But thats not what made a state legitimate UNTIL citizens started resorting to violence to assert their rights.

U.K. civil war, The execution of the english king by the people, The Eureka Stockade in Australia, The storming of the bastille, the french revolution, the russian revolution, the boston tea party, the American revolution, the american civil war, compton cafeteria, stonewall.. all these have something in common.

Citizens breaking the established law and comitting acts of violence against a state that was legal by the law of the day in order to assert their rights. Some were victorious, others slaughtered, some gained great improvements, others small or swapped one dictatorial regime for another. But in each case an unjust unethical discriminatory law or laws or regime was oppossed through violence. And most of those were very much premeditated.

Now as I said i do not think violence is a good tactic and for last resorts only. But the only way it would be illegitimate to use violence against a state or disobediance of the law is if that state does not abuse any human rights at all whatsoever. No state does so no state has immunity from legitimate violence and lawbreaking.

And no, being a democracy does not count so long as a minority even as small as one individula oerson has their human rights abused. Majoritinism is illegitimate, it does not fulfill adequately the social contract! Only rights-recognising and protecting democracy may do that and not one state the world over does that completely yet.

Now i repeat i doubt violence is a good tactic weighing costs vs benefits via risks. But it's still a legitimate one provided it is in assertion of or defence of universal equal human rights. Whether thats a war or a revolution or a riot.

An unjust law deserves no respect, so having mass public ceremonies against the law of same-sex civil unions in Canberra, thats totally a legitimate breaking of the law. The laws legitimacy depends on it serving and protecting equal rights of all citizens, without it it has power but not legitimacy. Law-breaking too has it's risks though and so it too is a risky tactic.

I think there are better ways, but if violence is not legitimate then neither is America, neither is the Republic of France, neither is parliamentary democracy and so much more. In which ccase back to Absolute Monarchy we go and I might just manage to reclaim some of those titles my egalitarian ancestors stopped using and apply to the English crown for a chunk of the USA in which case you could end up my serf.

To answer your question, Father Tony, yes.

Could I go there personally? After Nov. 3 (I was in Maine for 3 weeks) I'd probably have to say yes.

After all, the fundamentalists (of all religious faiths) have NEVER hesitated in advocating, committing, and justifying violence against our community.

And...excuse me, depending on the church, I could honestly care less how churchgoers feel. Sorry.

Many years ago, a friend and I were walking toward the entrance of a gay bar when two men stepped in front of us and demanded money. One of them pointed a gun at me. My friend made the foolish mistake of jumping the guy with the gun, leaving me to scuffle with the other one. The gun ended up under a parked car with all of us reaching for it. They got it first. We surrendered our cash. I am afraid that if I had gotten to the gun before they did, I would have shot them. The adrenalin, the fear, the anger, the survival instinct, all in high gear. Also, the embedding of that experience means that if anything similar should ever happen to me, I'd probably react with even greater force as a cumulative reaction. And if anyone should even verbally threaten my husband, my reaction might be disproportionately strong. Some members of any successful species have stronger survival instincts.

Angela Brightfeather | November 10, 2009 1:07 PM

The good news is that violence does not have to be the means to attain civil rights. The bad news is that most often violence is the only thing that gets the attention of enough people to make civil rights the solution to the violence.

What comes to my mind is that every movement of general concern that will change civil rights for the future, usually takes martyers to lay down their lives to attain those rights permanently. Tis has already happened to GLBT people and many have laid down their lives just being themselves. ONe of the big problems with that is that no one hears much about it. It's not news unless someone cuts another persons head of and puts it on a stick and taps it for the 6:oo news or beats them so badly that they become a vegetable and can't be patched up or ignored.

During the suffrage riots, four women chained themselves to the Capital columns and were arrested,m thrown in jail and went on a hunger strike. Two of them died a month or so later and that is when people changed their minds about women having the vote.

What GLBT people would like to do is to achieve what those women did by bringing attention to the fact that someone, anyone is willing to pay the ultimate price with their death, but without the sacrifice of life, limb or freedom. Was their action violent? Was the act of the Bhuddist priest that set himself on fire in front of his temple to protest the Vietnamese War an act of violence?

If we fail at obtaining the right to work with ENDA or the right to marry, I believe that it will take more than politcial awareness and lobbying to obtain that right and protection for GLBT people in the future and after all we have been through. That may mean martyers, but it does not have to mean death or violence in the process. It may instead mean that those of us who are protected by privelege will have to be outed in the workplace, like that Republican Senator or Congressman's son or daughter who is GLBT. It may mean that all the threats about work slowdowns or walk outs lasting for a day or a week, need to become a reality and that those who don't participate in solidarity are admonished openly in some way. Would it be news that Anderson Cooper didn't show up for a week on CNN all of a sudden or that Ellen stopped dancing down the stairs for a week and didn't show up for the show? It might also take the form of canceling out all the speaking engagements and opportunities for politicians like Obama and his staff, from speaking out at GLBT functions. None of those things are violent, but they all have a strong message behind them that the next step may be violent if people don't wake up and stop the injustice.

In the long run, any change worth making calls for sacrifice and I think that GLBT people have sacrificed enough already.

Is violence inevitable? Yes. Of course.

Look to the Boston Massacre and its affect on popular opinion for the revolution. Look to the violence that was used against peaceful protesters and that affect on support for the civil rights movement. Look to the color TV images from Vietnam and the erosion of public support for that cause.

Actually one could say its not the violence that matters, its the media coverage of that violence that makes the difference.

Violence is already in place against us; look no farther than the bar raids in Fort Worth and Atlanta. Does anybody think they are unlikely to stop? Neither event garnered real national media coverage. Sure for a week the incidents are all over the GLBT blogs, and protest signs proclaim "We're not gonna take it". However the police departments and city officials are quietly sitting in their offices saying, "Oh yes you will." Because it has been 40 years since a group of gays truly stood up and said "no, we're NOT going to take this". Name one peaceful protest or petition drive that we celebrate its anniversary 40 years later.

The bigger question will be whether that act of violence to come will be one lone gunman pushed to his brink, or whether it will be a gathering who will once again refused to be unfairly targeted? Will our community see the event as a rallying cry for justice or will we all criticize the loner for not falling in line with the agenda of the gay establishment? Big picture, will this act of violence move us forward or set us back?

But will it happen? Yes, of course it will.

I think violence in the fight for LGBT equality is next to impossible. Sure, maybe a couple people here or there will bash back. Maybe someone will pick on a drag queen and she'll stick a stilletto up their ass. That's stuff's already happened.

But carefully planned violence? I can't think of an instance in which that's happened in a movement for equality.

Liberation, on the other hand, has motivated people to violent demonstrations. But the queers gave up on that a long time ago.

I understand the frustration and anger. I feel it myself. And I do believe that nonviolent civil disobedience may well be an important next step for our movement, but if anyone is seriously considering rioting and/or physically attacking the people who oppress us, I have one word for you: DON'T.

Acts of violence are immoral, and acting as immorally as our oppressors do is simply wrong -- not to mention politically ineffective. The quickest way to roll back our gains and to stop the LGBT rights movement in its tracks would be for us to resort to violence. If we attack, we merely confirm people's worst stereotypes about us, and it is those stereotypes that keep us from winning equality.

One more thing... Did I really read a comment that implied that nonviolence worked for the Civil Rights Movement because white supremacists saw Blacks as full human beings? I had to have misread that because if that was what was meant, then my only response is to laugh.

battybattybats battybattybats | November 10, 2009 11:41 PM

Actually acts of violence can be very moral indeed. anything whatsoever may be moral in fact! All depending on what moral precepts are the foundations of the moral code. If someones religion for example says its good to sacrifice peoples lives to the vampire-bat-god Camazotz then it's moral to do so.

Now whether it's ethical is different. But try the Trolley Dilemma and footbridge dilemma, you'll see that under-the-bus trully means for starters. But Ethics may still allow for violence, or even require it. If someone is about to sacrifice a baby on an altar with a knife and I have a baseball bat handy if i stand by and do nothing I'm being unethical, If I violently incapacitate the (moral) villain and save the baby then I have acted ethically.

Now the effectiveness of violence is different. And if by acting violently we hurt our cause...

Personally i think it's time for psychological violence in self defence, not physical violence.

Attack ads on tv (especially during macho sports and religious programming) that call those who assault GLB and especially T people cowards, un-christian, un-american and which ridicule their manhood and emasculate those who commit such crimes in an even stronger way than Australias pinky-waving small penis implying anti-speeding commercial is i think a good way to go. Turn their homophobia and transphobia and sexism in our favour!

Rather than softly-softly nice ads lets go for the jugular! In a way far more violent than any bomb or fistfight or shooting. With no physical harm and in fact to prevent our physical harm. Lets shield ourselves by turning their insecurities against them!

No great cause has ever been won without building on the sacrifice of its own.

We shouldn’t advocate violence. It’s illegal and the cops and FBI just love it when we do. Advocating violent attacks on our enemies in cults and politics is just begging to be victimized. Although that should never be confused with our right to defend ourselves when physically attacked. Self defense is as necessary as pacifism is a dead end, and I do mean dead.

The problem is not violence by GLBT folks but violence by police and other thugs directed against us and promoted by the unending barrage of hate speech by cult leaders and the politicians who pander to them.

The problem is not violence by GLBT folks but the violence of the US government which has created such a thoroughly undemocratic society. The US is a banana republic that engages in massive genocidal wars to control oil and other resources. Those wars always promote internal violence (the US leads the world in schoolyard slaughter) and violence against minorities. US society is organized to allow the looting class to steal on a monumental scale. US society jails minority folks in enormous numbers. Its prosperity is based on genocidal wars against native Americans and slavery. The US is an extremely violent country and GLBT folks are often the victims of that violence.

The way out is to revolutionize our society by raising ideas that are reasonable but unattainable for the present. To end anti-LGBT violence we need to suppress the cults who are responsible for the violence against us. Hate speech by racists, misogynists, homohaters and immigrant bashers is the major cause of hate crimes.

We can reliably assume that the multiple crises of US society - unwinnable wars, economic failure, mass unemployment, the unsolved health care crisis and the beginnings of mass homelessness – are going to give us the chance to change things sooner rather than later.

The day is not too far off when the conservative social fabric that's held American society together grip will be ripped apart. We’re entering a pre-revolutionary period marked by a deep radicalization like the ones preceding the outbreaks of 1775 and 1860. The lack of genuine democracy in politics and in the workplace is beginning to tear US society to shreds.

As that process unfolds it’ll lead to the creation of a new and far more democratic economic and political society and GLBT folks, who’ll play a big role in that process, will be able to advance our agenda in a much friendlier context.

Part t of our agenda will be to enact laws to suppress the cults. We can speed that process along by demanding

• That cults, like other parts of the entertainment industry, pay their fair share of taxes.

• That cult schools be secularized to if eliminate most of the cases of child abuse by priests, pastors, rabbis, imams, ministers and other assorted clerical riff raff.

• That cult leaders be indicted for manslaughter if they advocate abstinence instead of safe sex methods to control HIV/AIDS and for murder if anyone dies because of their reckless disregard for medical standards for avoiding HIV/AIDS.

• That cultists staffing centers claiming to cure GLBT folks of our genetic heritage be jailed for child abuse, torture and kidnapping. Those snakepits should be closed and the children and young people who imprisoned in them by their parents should be offered the option of emancipation from their parents and social services (run by GLBT folks) until they come of age.

• We have to demand that cult leaders who advocate violence be indicted and prosecuted even if they can't be connected to any specific crime of violence and that laws be passed to make it easy to sue them and confiscate the assets of their cult to compensate victims of hate crimes.

As I said, we won’t get any real changes until society is revolutionized and fundamentally changed but fighting for them will hasten that day.

Great points Bill. I agree with most of what you said about cults and cultists. Let's take it one step further and let's come out and say it. We should go after the priests, pastors and ministers who preach hate and indict them, under the hate crime act, for being accomplices to murder, if and when members of their church engages in gay bashing. Why are we shying away from attacking hate speech from the pulpit? Why is it ok for the priests, pastors and ministers to use the Bible as a cover for their hate speech. We need to start raising hell and speaking up about how that is not acceptable. Calling for the death of gay people using the Bible should be seen as yelling fire in a crowded theater. If we take a stand against it and get everyone on board we can shut that shit down. Right now, the churches and bigots are being aided and abetted by society in causing death, injuries and torture against gays in the name of freedom of religion. Freedom of religion does not mean religion is above the law. What about freedom from religion. It's time we step up to the plate and begin holding the church accountable.

Great points Bill. I agree with most of what you said about cults and cultists. Let's take it one step further and let's come out and say it. We should go after the priests, pastors and ministers who preach hate and indict them, under the hate crime act, for being accomplices to murder, if and when members of their church engages in gay bashing. Why are we shying away from attacking hate speech from the pulpit? Why is it ok for the priests, pastors and ministers to use the Bible as a cover for their hate speech. We need to start raising hell and speaking up about how that is not acceptable. Calling for the death of gay people using the Bible should be seen as yelling fire in a crowded theater. If we take a stand against it and get everyone on board we can shut that shit down. Right now, the churches and bigots are being aided and abetted by society in causing death, injuries and torture against gays in the name of freedom of religion. Freedom of religion does not mean religion is above the law. What about freedom from religion. It's time we step up to the plate and begin holding the church accountable.

Bill I have an idea. Let's start a group called the Pink Avengers and we'll set up a network across the country where we have a website for gay parishioners to report instances of hate speech by their pastors, priests and ministers and the Pink Avengers will sue them under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Ideally, this new group will also monitor the other cults and cultist people like you laid out above in your post, such as Exodus Int'l and other ex-gay ministries and aversion therapists, etc. What do you think? That's a strategy that we need to pursue. I need help thinking this through so anyone reading this board is interested please contact me. We have to get more creative. We got to go after our real nemesis, which are these fundamentalists bigoted priests, pastors and ministers.

Nakhone, thanks for you comments, I read them and I agree with some of what you said and disagree with part of it.

What I proposed is an essentially defensive strategy that recognizes the reality of US society, which is that violence emanates not from us but from the looter rich and the government they own. That includes the mainstream political parties and the cults. They've always been lapdogs fo the rich.

There’s not a chance in hell that we can do anything to stop the violence directed against GLBT folk, unions, minorities, immigrant workers, American native peoples or women under the current social setup except by massive defense efforts. Here in a nutshell is a home truth about our situation:

“I have no doubt we shall win, but the road is long and red with monstrous martyrdoms.”
Oscar Wilde

Every year the gravestones of 25 or so GLBT folks murdered by cult motivated thugs bear witness to the truth of Wilde’s comment. One of the points we have make is that our powerlessness will not go away until we empower and create the kind of government that will do what we want and suppress the power of the rich, the cults and the political establishment want.

"...revolution is not a communist doctrine but an old American belief."
Justice Jackson

I am for every sort of defensive work we can do including scandalizing cops and persecutors when they fail to apply hate crime enhancements to bigot thugs whether the thugs are KKK piglets in Jena, LA or homohaters in Laramie WY. And I'm for scandalizing bigot preachers and politicians whenever they call for violence. I watched their reaction after the murder of Sheppard and the preachers immediately went on a campaign denying their culpability. The connection between hate speech and hate crimes doesn't go unnoticed among broad layers of the population. It’s a major weak point for them and one we don’t exploit enough.

I don't think we have the forces to monitor hate speech and in any case SPLC is already on their case and doing a good job, if the death threats against SPLC are any guage. I do think that we should urge NCLR, the ACLU, SPLC and Lambda Legal to launch lawsuits whens there’s even the slimmest connection between hate speech and hate crimes directed against GLBT folk, unions, minorities, immigrant workers, American native peoples or women.

In the 1980's and 90's SPLC launched a series of spectacularly successful civil suits against the KKK, linking them to specific crimes against African Americans and American natives and won confiscatory damages that broke the back of the KKK.

We need some of that action ourselves.

As for practical work aside from defense work I think we should concentrate on supporting the kind of independent political action by unions, minorities, immigrant workers and ourselves that help explain that the biggest impediments to GLBT equality and liberation are the Democrats and their kissin cousins, the Republicans.

Their constantly play hard cop soft cop with us with the Democrats offering a protection racket and telling us they’re our fierce defenders but as Malcolm X said

“A man who dangles worms in the water is not necessarily a friend to the fish."

I don't think our situation is the same today as it was 40 years ago when we rioted up and down Christopher Street. Things ARE better. The media will paint it as: 'gays and lesbians, pissy because they can't get married, destroy a bunch of stuff, hurt people and upset the general order.' I think it will undo a lot of the good work we've done in the arena of public opinion.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't be angry, every single day, on the BRINK of throwing a trashcan through a pizza parlor window... I just don't see a situation where we should go that extra step and burn the pizza parlor down.

Bill - There are some in our camp that is afraid of going after the preachers because the media will seize the opportunity to paint us as radicals trying to imprison preachers and parents from teaching "family values." How do we effectively counter that argument? I also agree with some of the comments in Ronald Gold's post that showing the general population that "we're just like them," is a failed strategy. The bigots will always see us as deviants and an abomination and nothing we say or do will convince them otherwise. Here's a link: http://www.bilerico.com/2009/11/time_for_gay_power_1.php. The assimilation movement has proven to not work. I'm grateful that people such as Ronald Gold, David Mixner and Don Kilhefner are still alive. I'm ready and willing to listen to what they have to say. Our movement needs a new direction. Education, public awareness and negotiation has taken us so far now we need to resort back to public demonstrations, street theater and other forms of direct actions that inconvenience the mass. I'm all ears!

Hi Nakhone.

Speaking just of political attacks on the cults and cult leaders the kept press is pretty reactionary and can be counted on to criticize whatever we do unless it's lying down patiently waiting to be squished by the Obus.

To win we have to recognize several home truths about political fights.

First, SIZE COUNTS. We can defuse criticism by the kept press by planning massive actions of all kinds. A campaign of massive, persistent actions at cult centers and in the streets, with accompanying civil disobedience (for the minority of us who can pay the freight and do the time if necessary) is one key to victory.

Another is to be determinedly independent of political parties like the Democrats and Republicans who cater to the bigots and push us under the bus. It’s fine if they want to support us but it’s fatal, as we’ve seen, if they dominate us.

Third we have to consciously reach out to our allies in trade unions, in the African American, Latino/Latina, Asian, Pacific Islander and immigrant communities, to women and particularly to students and youth. We can’t win without them but it’s a given that we can with them.

Fourth we have to be, as the French advised, audacious. The first and second American revolutions weren’t won by assimilations or by people begging for a few table scraps but by people whose motto was “Give me liberty or give me death". Unlike No on 8 and EQCA they didn't have to plead with bigots, asking "Do you really want to hurt me”. They knew.

What happened in California on Prop 8 was the opposite of what I outlined. Movement hustlers, careerists, Democrat and straight (!?!) political consultants ran a timid apolitical campaign. They refrained from ‘irritating’ bigots and never really went after the cults. They were Eurocentric. Their greatest mistake was to give Obama's infamous “gawd's in the mix" a pass. People wondered why they should be interested in losers who wouldn’t even stand up for themselves.

Instead of audaciously galvanizing our communities and our allies they declined to rebut Yes on 8's robo calls and ads featuring Obama and McCain attacking same sex marriage.

The campaign should have included massive demonstrations outside of temples and cathedrals the minute we learned what they were up to. It should have included persistent, large scale massive street closures not just in the Castro and West Hollywood but at city halls, the Capitol in Sacramento and wherever the bigots thought they had a safe base. We should have convinced bigoted voters that voting against us would cause no end of trouble and be a big mistake.

The effect of that kind of campaign would have roused e our communities and our allies. It’s one thing to get vague assent to commercials begging for equality and quite another to see the energy unleashed by mass demonstrations. Anyone who was at DC will understand.

The vote was close but with that kind of campaign we would've won.


"Pour les vaincre, messieurs, il nous faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, et toujours de l'audace... !"

"To defeat them, gentlemen, we need audacity, still more audacity, and audacity forever... !"

Jeff Neubauer | November 15, 2009 8:48 AM

What a fantastic book! It opened my eyes to what my Mom had to go through as a young women!

The book solidified my belief not to ever be complacent or rest on our laurels when legislation passes. Always stay focus and mindful to move equal rights forward for all!

We should all remember that the Equal Rights Amendment, although passed overwhemingly in 1972, was never ratified into law by the 38 states necessary!

Respectively, a point of clarification for those who may wish to read this book:

When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present

by Gail Collins



Peace, Love, Compassion, Laughter & Hope!

For over four years my Partner and I were subjected to hate and extreme harassment in our community in Tucson,
Arizona. When we finally tried legal means for our protection, the legal system believed the lies of the other side.
In my opinion, and I have a right to my opinion, the legal system sided with the harassers in part due to the race/ethnic
background of the harassers. Based on our own experience, hate towards Gays is tolerated. In our case, I honestly
feel that until one of us was seriously physically harmed or killed or our house destroyed; nothing would be done. We
sold our home and moved to another state. We do not believed in violence but until something like what happened to us
occurs can one realize the seriousness of the hate some people have towards LBGT individuals. My Partner seriously believes
it is time for another Stonewall (or, a series of Stonewalls).

Rick, your partner is right.

Stonewall was first and foremost a defensive battle involving robust measures and civil disobedience to protect totally innocent American citizens from armed internal terrorists who were illegally shaking them down and beating them down.

That's not only unavoidable it's proper and guaranteed by the very essence of American history from Lexington to the Little Big Horn to the Battle of the Running Bulls when the teamsters chased strikebreakers, scabs and the cops off the streets and won one of the three strikes that formed the basis for the huge radicalization of the thirties.




twinkie 1 cat | December 29, 2009 8:15 PM

This generation of gay children has been brought up on violence as a way of changing the world. TV, music, video games, media, all point to an acceptance of violence as an acceptable way of settling issues. Martin Luther King is American History, not current events. But even Dr. King had Malcolm X who advocated equal rights "by any means necessary".

When you look at the anti-abortion movement, they have, in several cases used violence in attempts to get their way and there has been no great outcry against it, or if there was, that was only the public face of the supporters of the murderers. The kind of massive demonstrations against the hate crimes did not occur as they did in the 1960s. It has taken this long to get a national hate crime law that protects the GLBT community from violent crime.

I think violence would be the absolute worst actiion that the the gay community could take to secure equal rights. Blowing up even one fundamentalist church could set the movement back by 10 years and would give the bigots all kinds of fundraising opportunities. A single gay terrorist targeting fundamentalist preachers could set it back for 20. Not only would it not work, but it would give the bigots and excuse to do what they really want to do already---"burn the homosexuals at the stake on the evening news", as it was put in an anonymous comment page in a Livingston Parish Louisiana newspaper.

The GLBT community is safer if it will keep to non-violent philosophies and behavior. That way the bigots will go to prison for attacking and cannot claim self defense. While rights are not equal they have come a long way since Stonewall and they will continue to improve as long as the young are taught that non-violent protest, political infiltration, public exposure and humiliation of bigots and positive social action, such as standing up for human rights in other areas is the only appropriate response to hate.

As I read through these comments trying to decide how *I* felt about the subject I cannot help but feel hopeful about our future. No matter what happens, we are together in this. For too many years our movement has been fractured between the 'letters' (GLBT) and between the sexes. There is something about this marriage equality fight that is bringing us together and I am grateful for it. We need everyone on board if we are going to make this ship sail.

As for the violence aspect, I may or may not be inclined to join a violent resistance, it would depend on the details, who, what when where and above all why.

You know what we need to do, we need to find ways to get the hate on TV for the nation to see in its full face ugliness. I have an idea on how to do that:

We choose one of the most anti-gay, conservative states and then go to the biggest conservative city within it and hold a sit-in type demonstration that shuts down traffic or the courthouse or whatnot. Make sure we are good and 'out there' in our attire and mannerisms, kissing each other and holding signs that say "God loves gays." or "You may hate us but your kids are gonna love us." You know, deliberately making statements that make the religious right crazies go ape-sh*t.

Keep it up until the local homophobic police department shows up and deals violently with us...on national TV. We may get a beating but it would do wonders for our movement if we could show footage of a gang of armed cops beating unarmed, peaceful demonstrating gays somewhere in Oklahoma.

As I read through these comments trying to decide how *I* felt about the subject I cannot help but feel hopeful about our future. No matter what happens, we are together in this. For too many years our movement has been fractured between the 'letters' (GLBT) and between the sexes. There is something about this marriage equality fight that is bringing us together and I am grateful for it. We need everyone on board if we are going to make this ship sail.

As for the violence aspect, I may or may not be inclined to join a violent resistance, it would depend on the details, who, what when where and above all why.

You know what we need to do, we need to find ways to get the hate on TV for the nation to see in its full face ugliness. I have an idea on how to do that:

We choose one of the most anti-gay, conservative states and then go to the biggest conservative city within it and hold a sit-in type demonstration that shuts down traffic or the courthouse or whatnot. Make sure we are good and 'out there' in our attire and mannerisms, kissing each other and holding signs that say "God loves gays." or "You may hate us but your kids are gonna love us." You know, deliberately making statements that make the religious right crazies go ape-sh*t.

Keep it up until the local homophobic police department shows up and deals violently with us...on national TV. We may get a beating but it would do wonders for our movement if we could show footage of a gang of armed cops beating unarmed, peaceful demonstrating gays somewhere in Oklahoma.

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It's not 1776. Let's elect officials who care.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 23, 2010 12:42 PM

Good luck finding one in the Democrat or Republican parties.

polargirl360 | May 30, 2010 3:45 PM

You have got to be kidding. Queers engaging in an armed conflict for their rights is just not going to happen. They just don't have it in them.

Posturing is all queers are capable of doing. They are plenty of queers (including this blog’s author, Father Tony) who love advocating for wars that other people including other queers would have to fight and die in but almost none that would fight and die themselves personally. That is why nobody will ever see you dead or captured alive and on death row fighting for the queer cause Father Tony despite you having less to lose than most Generation Y queer youth due to age.

There are plenty of queers with full blown AIDS that attack and kill their own by having sex with HIV negative members and none who have used their terminal illness to be martyrs since they had nothing to lose.

Queers have murdered probably over a million of their own this way, yet only killed Christians once for their cause that I can link to. This killing was more of a Columbine type defensive rage rather than any planned political attack for a cause and was in Colorado ironically to boot. The queer media (even radical websites) neither championed his cause nor was he given a Harvey Milk type of martyr recognition. Talk about demoralizing.


I beg all queers to stop demonstrating, lobbying, being civilly disobedient or engage in any other form of "ORGANIZED BITCHING". The strongest sign of insanity is doing the same things repetitively and expecting different results. I don't want the public to think queers are insane.