Tag Archive: homophobia

The Elephant in the Room

 In one of several versions of a famous parable, “three blind men encounter an elephant for the first time and try to describe it, each touching a different part. “An elephant is like a snake,” says one, grasping the trunk….
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Jerry Green’s Bizarre & Maybe Bigoted Attack on Arrested Blogger

promoted by Rosi

Dan Damon is a longtime blogger in Plainfield, a former PR flack for the city, mayoral candidate, general gadfly and community volunteer.  

He’s also usually on the opposite side of issues from political powerhouse and County Democratic Chair Jerry Green, the Speaker Pro Tem of the Assembly. Damon is also a supporter of Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp, who is an on-again off-again ally of Green’s, and is currently very off-again and filed a primary slate against the party line.

Plainfield police have charged Damon with having oral sex with another man in a car in the view of other adults.  Since Damon was appointed to the Public Library Board by Mapp, Green is trying to tie Damon’s legal problems around the Mayor’s neck.  It’s the kind of blunt force attack Green is known for.

But Green’s statement to the Courier News is downright bizarre.  

“I’m shocked that everybody is taking this so lightly,” Green said Thursday. “This is a 75-year-old man having sex with a 23-year-old man who happens to be a Latino.”

“The mayor has yet to come out and say anything at all, which is totally shocking. It’s not that he doesn’t know that (Damon) has a sickness. I’m just hoping nobody gets killed or hurt and that somebody in the administration recognizes that this is a danger to society.”

Top 10 Takeaways from the Rutgers Mike Rice Mess

I didn’t go to Rutgers, I’m not a native New Jerseyan. Outside of dating a member of the offensive line at University of Michigan (go Blue), which made me a hot commodity on campus for about 5 minutes, I don’t follow college sports, or Rutgers b-ball. There’s an interesting convo going on in diary comments among people more conversant in Rutgers’ program. My interest is in the spike of this story. One day: video –> statewide scandal –> Rice’s exit. Boom.

Top 10 Takeaways from the Rutgers Mike Rice Mess

What are yours? This is an Open Thread.

Mike Rice#1 “Cunt” v. “Faggot”: There’s considerable outrage at Coach Rice’s use of homophobic terms to abuse his players – “fucking faggots,” “fairies”. But where is the outrage at the misogynist terms Rice hurled: “cunts,” sissy bitches,” “pussies”?

College sports can be rough-and-tumble on the court and on the field; a given. But when men use the language of homophobia and misogyny to control other men it is a very specific form of shaming. Translation: I cannot think of anything worse to call you than a woman, or gay man. Coaches yelling is going to continue – everywhere. But there’s some rethinking going on in some locker rooms today. And there should be.  

Where GSE gets it wrong: thoughts on Viki Knox, part I

Note: Since I wrote this diary, reports have surfaced that Viki Knox indeed brought her views into the classroom on several occasions, likely violating the district policies and state law in the process. Worse, she violated a student’s First Amendment rights by kicking the student out of class for wearing a rainbow bracelet.

Viki Knox’s illegal conduct in the classroom raises substantial doubts about her fitness as a teacher. She ought to be fired. At the very least, she should be suspended for a prolonged period of time and must not set foot in another classroom until she understands that she needs to set her personal views aside and follow the laws of New Jersey, the policies of her school district, and the instructions of her superiors.

October, as many Blue Jersey readers know, is LGBT history month. To commemorate the occassion, Union Township High School set up a photo display featuring several famous gay and lesbian celebrities and historical figures.

Yet, this evening, Garden State Equality has organized dozens to protest a meeting of the Union Public School District Board of Education. GSE is not satisfied with school’s affirming message to gay and lesbian students. It wants the district to fire a schoolteacher who responded to the display with homophobic Facebook posts of the sort that one would expect from, say, the Westboro Baptist Church.

Make no mistake, Union Township High School special education teacher Viki Knox’s comments were reprehensible; Ms. Knox calls homosexuality a “perverted spirit” and compares it to cancer and alcoholism. But there are at least two problems with Garden State Equality’s impulsive response to these posts. First, in its hasty reaction to the teacher’s posts, the organization stubbornly refuses to acknowledge the competing values at stake. Second, GSE is doing a disservice to gay and lesbian students at Union Townshsip High School and across the state by passing up more effective responses to this controversy.

The First Amendment gives Viki Knox the right to express her opinions, asinine and offensive as they may be. As I will show below the fold, whether the school district may fire or otherwise discipline her is a close question that will probably turn on facts to be uncovered by investigation.

Lesson For The Next Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate

In my humble opinion there were dozens of issues John Corzine could have used to utterly destroy and demolish Chris Christie (had Corzine been willing/able to aggressively go for Cristie’s political jugular).  One of them, perhaps the easiest one to win on,  was the issue of marriage equality, which was a dramatic/stark distinction between them.

Instead of putting ME on the legislative agenda before the election and letting it become a voting issue for the whole state…..Corzine chose to support ME to the extent that he got all the political support from the proponents, but would never have to deliver til after the election.   That’s called running scared.

The fact is that NJ is a state in which the majority are NOT Neanderthals!

The arguments of the opposition on ME are not based on any real logic or facts or rationality; they are based on ignorance, fear and prejudice….period.

Now, to the present….and the future!

This brief video snippet from the Aspen Ideas festival illustrates just how relatively easy it is to make a broad case for ME and how the opposition has a fundamentally weak legal/moral/logical case.

Let me plant a seed for the consideration of New Jersey’s Democratic leadership……NJ Democrats should NOT nominate anyone next time out who doesn’t have the skills the brains and the courage to stand up for this winning issue.   This one is good politics and good policy.

For more see below….

Blacklisting Johnny Weir

This really pisses me off if it’s true:

GLAAD has learned from a source that wishes to remain anonymous that sponsors of the Stars on Ice Tour, which include Smuckers and IMG Entertainment, have refused to allow 3-time US National Champion and 2-time Olympian Johnny Weir to participate because they claim that he is “not family friendly.”

To say that Weir is “not family friendly” would be a clear jab at his perceived sexual orientation. Weir is extremely involved with his family. He is putting his younger brother through college, and supports the family financially because his father’s disability prohibits him from working. Weir’s dedication to his family can be clearly documented in the Sundance series, Be Good Johnny Weir, which follows him and his family and friends through his life and career as a championship skater.

I don’t know if he still lives in New Jersey or not, but Weir should know he has lots of fans here, gay and straight, male and female. (Hattip: I saw the story at Dailykos.)

Bigots and homophobes fail to grasp the word “rights”

In a post written by Len Deo, founder and president of the ironically named “New Jersey Family Policy Council”, Deo serves up a stunning combination of ignorance, sexism, intolerance, bigotry and a wonderfully condescending tone in a screed against marriage equality.

First, he is dumbfounded (which I can understand if you only count the first syllable in that word) by the fact that Garden State Equality – a large organization whose purpose is to push for EQUAL treatment of same sex couples when it comes to civil (not religious) marriages – is refusing to give the hard earned and raised money of its members to those legislators who do not agree with their core principles (note, this basic misunderstanding is also shared by very prominent New Jersey Democrats, so Deo is far from alone in his “bewilderment”).

Then, he talks about how marriage equality “proponents” – those who are so radical as to demand equal rights for civil (not religious) marriages between same sex couples – “fail to grasp” the will of the people, citing the New Jersey Constitution in stating “All political power is inherent in the people.”

“Fail to grasp”.  

What Deo and his fellow bigots and homophobes fail to grasp is that marriage equality is neither a political matter that his supposed example applies to, nor is something subject to the “will of the people”.  Marriage equality is just that – equality.  A basic human and civil right that shouldn’t be voted away by a majority comprised of self-loathing bigoted homophobic fools who demonize entire groups to soothe their own fears.

This isn’t something that should be put on a ballot.  This isn’t something that should be polled to see if it is a good idea “politically”.  This falls under one of the most basic tenets that this country was founded on – and later expanded upon as future generations came to see that past and precedent failed to satisfy that tenet:


From “all men are created equal” to expanding the right to vote to those who were previously and unfairly denied this right to basic civil rights.

And now this.

There should be no “will of the people” – except if it is referring to the will of the people to look at themselves for what they are – either tolerant and in favor of equal rights or bigoted and homophobic – and in favor of oppression, unequal treatment, discrimination and “separate but equal”.

NJ-04 BOMBSHELL: Smith’s Segregationism & Homophobia EXPOSED

Today, a bombshell article in The New Republic (TNR) exposed what many of us thought to be true?that Chris Smith’s misguided priorities go far deeper than his twenty-two attempts to ban the common, everyday birth control pill.

Thanks to new investigative reporting by TNR’s James Kirchick, we now know that Chris Smith is a founding member of the radical right.  A reporter at TNR, Kirchick is the author of a highly-regarded article on Ron Paul’s ties to segregationists; that article changed the national narrative on Paul earlier this year.

Kirchick’s new article reveals that Chris Smith has longstanding ties to religious-right hate groups; that he sat on the board of advisers of a pro-racial segregation organization in the 1980s; that he authored legislation that would bar gays and lesbians from working openly as nurses, doctors, first responders, federal employees or federal contractors; and that he played a role in a vicious disinformation campaign about HIV/AIDS that demonized gays and lesbians as “serial killers.”  The article also reveals that Smith concealed campaign contributions from at least two hard-line, pro-segregation groups.

The New Republic only scratched surface of Smith’s bigotry. Following up on TNR’s reporting, this morning, the Zeitz campaign discovered Chris Smith not only worked with segregationists; he voted with them. In 1981, Chris Smith voted to restore non-profit status to segregated private schools [HR 4121, 7/30/81] that were created as a mechanism for white Southerners to avoid the full implications of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

The Zeitz for Congress campaign also obtained a copy of Chris Smith’s early college writings. In an article dated 1973, Smith accused gays and lesbians of being in league with “the Anti-Christ”:

In Smith’s words:

“We can live in harmony with His [God’s] spiritual laws and be like the man, as Christ said, who built on an undestructable [sic] rock, or we can live in disharmony with the Anti-Christ; the devil, not the laughable, fiery and character with horns, but the evil one often spoken of by Jesus and he like the man who built his life on sand which eroded and eventually fell. God wants us happy; His laws are for our welfare, our protection, not Sin!”

Chris Smith’s bigotry goes beyond his early career. In the 1990s, Smith introduced legislation that would force any company or public entity that receives federal funds to fire openly gay employees. The legislation would deny gays and lesbians the right to work as teachers, doctors, nurses, first responders, federal contractors, or state and federal workers.  It might even deny basic rights like student loans to gay college students.

What we’ve learned today:

Chris Smith is a founding member of the Religious Right, having sat on the advisory board of the Christian Voice. The Christian Voice strongly supported racially segregated private schools in the South and worked closely with Jerry Falwell.

Chris Smith voted to support segregation by allowing all-white private schools (which were created after forced-desegregation) to remain segregated.  

Chris Smith failed to abide by FEC rules and report contributions from openly racist, misogynistic, and homophobic groups on the radical right.  

Chris Smith introduced legislation in the 1990s to mandate that the government (or any recipients of federal funds, like local school district, fire departments, police departments and federal contractors) fire any openly gay employees. Openly gay individuals would have been barred from any receipt of federal funds such as school loans, food stamps or unemployment benefits.  

“Chris Smith is an extremist,” said Steven D’Amico, Zeitz for Congress campaign manager.  “There is nothing moderate about racial segregation.  There is nothing moderate about denying jobs and education to millions of gay Americans. There is nothing moderate about taking away the right to use common, everyday birth control. These are unacceptable positions that are out of step with basic human decency.”

I’m asking you to do a couple of things here. Please make a contribution. Also, if you’re in or near the district, please contact ian_at_joshzeitz_dot_com to volunteer.

We can win this race, and we need to do it in order to show New Jersey and the country that this kind of extremism is immoral and unacceptable, and voters will hold such extremists accountable.

Thanks so much.

New Jersey 4: Two Convictions Overturned! Struggle Continues

(Originally posted on the Bilerico Project, America’s best LGBT blog, by Jessica Hoffmann, editor of LA-based feminist magazine make/shift.)

The convictions of Terrain Dandridge and Renata Hill, two of the New Jersey 4, have been reversed. The NJ4 is a group of young black lesbians imprisoned after fighting back against a homophobic attack. The handling of this situation by not only the criminal-legal system but also popular media tragically exemplifies the sexism, heteronormativity, and racism of those interlocking power structures.

From the press release: