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Last week, I listened online at work while testimony was presented to the Washington State House of Representatives prior to their vote on whether to legalize gay marriage in Washington State.

Now, I came out as a lesbian in 1991 and I’ve been in a domestic partnership for almost a decade.  I’ve heard it all:  that gay marriage will lead to people marrying dogs, for example.  Or that legalizing my relationship will result in the downfall of “traditional” marriage (see: Newt Gingrich, Liz Taylor, and my personal fave, Kim Kardashian’s possibly sham marriage to Kris Humphries). And I’ve heard that gays are an abomination, that our relationships are  “unnatural.”

But those complaints no longer cause any bitterness for me — just irritation.  Once you’ve watched the media attack the gays during the HIV/AIDS crisis, it takes an awful lot to get riled up.

HOWEVER.  During live testimony at the State House, I kept hearing how irresponsible it was for WA State to spend its time and resources on a polarizing social issue like gay marriage when so many people are out of work and hungry and losing health benefits.  In truth, I can’t argue with that too much, except to say that if it weren’t for the opposition and their testimonies, the vote could’ve happened pretty quickly and the legislature could get back to whatever important business is on the agenda in Olympia.

I felt like they had a valid point.  Until I watched the local news just 2 days later.  KREM.com reports:

“The Washington State Senate has approved a bill that would allow a new form of traction device for vehicle tires called tire socks.

KREM 2’s Othello Richards found out that not many people, including local tire stores, have ever heard of them.”

Are you friggin’ kidding me????  This is the IMPORTANT business that the WA legislature needed to back to instead of insuring legal protections for thousands of couples in WA State, and potentially boosting some portions of the local economy in the process?  SOCKS for tires??

Read Governor Chris Gregoire’s beautiful speech on why gay marriage is the right thing to do.  Why separate but equal isn’t really equal.  Why my family is as legitimate as yours.  Why protecting gay families is important.

In my opinion, gay marriage is a lot more important than being able to use socks on my tires instead of chains.

Now I’m pissed.

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For this installment of “Things That Are Wrong” :  BP.

I’d planned a long rant to go in this post, but there’s no need.  The good folks over at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre have done a better job than I can, so we’ll let them do the work this time. Thank you UCB!

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I went to Newsmap this week and spotted a bunch of articles about swine flu (H1N1).  Not because there’s a spike in H1N1 news, per se, but because it was one year ago this week that news of H1N1 hit the popular press & our global public consciousness.

To commemorate this anniversary, a number of news sources sought updates or new angles on H1N1.   Individually, these article didn’t really rouse my interest too much.  But in the following order, well…

  • Food Consumer reports that a German magazine is calling the whole pandemic a “fake” crisis generated by the drug companies who stood to profit from it.  Read about it here.
  • The Scottish government defends their swine flu response here.
  • The Telegraph, in the U.K., says swine flu will be back this winter.
  • USA Today tells us the CDC says drugs like Tamiflu saved a lot of pregnant women.
  • And The Money Times — yeah, they’ve got the US government promising to make reliable swine flu vaccine… with the assistance of companies who stand to gain from future vaccination campaigns.

And that’s where we are, one year later — caught in the plot of a B-grade sci fi movie that ends the way it began.

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Photo by Duncan Lock

Last week’s Supreme Court ruling may be the biggest political event of my life so far. 

The United States Supreme Court ruled that the government can no longer limit corporate spending on political campaigns and elections because doing so would violate corporations’ constitutional rights to free speech.  Read the full opinion here.  Or check out some news/opinion articles here or here or here.

Only time will tell how bad this ruling ends up being for the American people.  But here’s a thought.  Remember the good ol’ days, before college football bowl games were corporate sponsored — before the Fiesta Bowl became the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl?   Or when the University of Texas at Austin School of Business wasn’t named after a college dropout who sold cars?

Here’s where we’re headed:

And I thought it was wrong that Ross Perot could run for President of the United States in 1992 and 1996 because he had the money to do so,  but an ordinary non-rich public servant wouldn’t stand a chance no matter how qualified.  Naive, wasn’t I?

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I’m still floored over Pat Robertson’s comments this week about the cause of the 7.0 earthquake that devastated Haiti:

“Something happened a long time ago in Haiti … they were under the heel of the French, uh, you know, Napoleon the third and whatever … and they got together and swore a pact to the devil, they said, we will serve you, if you get us free from the Prince. True story.” 

Don’t know what pact Robertson is referencing?  I didn’t either.  But Thomas Rogers explains for Salon readers here.  And “the devil” has responded by publishing a letter to Pat Robertson — read it here.

I’m still flummoxed. 

Robertson’s comments remind me of Reverend Billy Graham’s son Franklin — also a reverend — who had this to say about Hurricane Katrina in 2005:

“This is one wicked city, OK?  It’s known for Mardi Gras, for Satan worship.  It’s known for sex perversion.  It’s known for every type of drugs and alcohol and the orgies and all of these things that go on down there in New Orleans… There’s been a black spiritual cloud over New Orleans for years. “

Implying, of course, that God targeted New Orleans for its sinful nature.  (Before I go on, I must applaud Rev. Graham’s current involvement with Samaritan’s Purse who are working hard to provide relief to the Haitian earthquake victims.  Which doesn’t necessarily mean he feels any differently about God targeting sinful places.)  

Reverend John Hagee said God sent the hurricane to New Orleans due to a scheduled Gay Pride Parade.

And let’s not forget the Asshole from Kansas (whose name I will not write) who said the 2004 Asian tsunami was God’s punishment blah blah blah homosexuals & prostitution. Other religious leaders proclaimed the tsunami was God’s response to Thailand’s thriving sex trade.

I can’t believe that God — a loving God anyway — would demolish so much & kill so many because s/he was mad about specific human behaviors.  Why not just punish prostitutes if you must?  Or make gay people suddenly repelled by one another?  Why kill innocent people?  Children?  The unborn?  Devoted religious followers who have no control over commerce or homosexuality or gay parades or whatever?   I am not buying it. 

And I don’t think that Graham or Robertson or the Asshole do either.  Know why?  Cuz there have been gay pride parades for decades now.  Austin, Texas didn’t catch on fire, nor get eaten by grasshoppers, nor get destroyed by tornadoes, tsunamis, etc.  Neither did Atlanta.  Or New York.  Or Seattle. Or San Francisco. Or Paris.  Or Toronto….

Furthermore, there’s prostitution everywhere.  It was legal in Amsterdam.  No major national disasters there.  As for voodoo — again.  Everywhere.   And not every person in a certain place practices voo doo.  (And really, voo doo isn’t devil worship anyway.  Haitian vodou combines West African religion with Roman Catholic Christianity.)

So why do some of these religious guys come out & blame large-scale natural disasters on large-scale sinfulness?  I’m beginning wonder if these “wrath of God” explanations are really attempts to detract from discussions of science. 

I wonder when they’ll start blaming tornadoes, floods, Climate Change, diabetes, cancer, aging, and poverty on God too?  Dangerous, dangerous stuff folks.

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Copyright, Larry D. Moore

From CNN — “[It’s] like putting a Twinkie at the end of a treadmill and saying, ‘You can only have a bite,’ ” testified Paul Katami, one of the [Prop 8 challenge] plaintiffs. “And you want the whole thing. … All I want is to be married.” 

Lesbian reactions:  

  • Of course a gay man had to work the word “twink” in there somewhere.
  • Not what I would’ve said.
  • OMG
  • Jesus
  • F&*K
  • WTF?
  • Twinky on a treadmill?  Jesus.
  • Where did they find this guy?
  • Great way to demonstrate the IMPORTANCE of gay marriage.
  • Twinkies + treadmill + biting? Thanks. 
  • Way to represent, bro.
  • Game over.

As CNN points out, some legal folks are referring to this case as the GLBT Brown v. Board.  And he said THAT?  

Looks like I’ll be calling in drunk to work tomorrow. 

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According to Mercury News, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reassured the American public this week that Obama’s stupid little State of the Union Address won’t conflict with ABC’s regularly scheduled season premiere of Lost.

Actually, what they really said was Gibbs “doesn’t foresee a scenario in which millions of people that hope to finally get some conclusion in ‘Lost’ are preempted by the president.”  That’s a quote from Gibbs himself, poor guy.

The New York Times also reports that Obama will focus on jobs, “if other events allow.”  Jackie Calmes’ article says Obama is, “finding that it can be hard to focus on any one issue when so many demand attention, often unexpectedly.”  While her report doesn’t say so, I image the tremendous public outcry over the State of the Union Address pre-empting Lost is one of those things that unexpectedly demands the Commander In Chief’s attention.

It’s nice to see the President honoring the will of the people, isn’t it?  And so comforting that as a nation, we’ve got our priorities straight.  But people, seriously. 

If seeing Lost at it’s reguarly scheduled time is a priority over a Constitutionally-mandated communication to the People, perhaps we deserved the Bush years after all.  Or perhaps we deserve to be babysat more, so quit complaining about our “socialist government.”  Nobody else is pushing the button every 108 minutes!  Cuz we’re damned lost, adrift at sea after a frightening crash.  Intellectuals and responsibly-educated citizens find themselves stranded on a primative island with scary smoke monsters and some chubby lottery winner with really bad luck. 

P.S.  Anyone who still thinks after all this time that the Feb 2nd premiere of Lost is going to offer us any conclusion whatsoever is likely to also believe that you really can see Russia from Palin’s house.

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