Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Anniversary of the Assassination of Harvey Milk and George Moscone and Other Considerations

A Re-Post from November 27, 2013 with addendum:

Like it or not, we live in a country where all kinds of people occupy space. Most are not descendants of indigenous peoples. We do not share the same ethnicities, histories, religious beliefs, political leanings, philosophies of life, economic status or a host of other characteristics that make us the individuals we are.

And while we all occupy space, either by some god-given right or by chance or fate, none of us have the right to impose our will or belief or righteous indignation on another by means of violence or intimidation. Dan White took it upon himself to assassinate two political colleagues, Harvey Milk and George Moscone because he didn't agree with their views or their politics, or envied their success as popular politicians. Dan White could not tolerate views or opinions or civics lessons or the fact that LGBT folks might have civil rights in his jurisdiction.

Dan White could not abide diversity. So he tried to destroy what/who he saw as his enemy.

Ours is a country built on an experiment - an experiment in human rights. Human rights, if not an absolute, are a constantly evolving concept. But there are still those who see the evolution of human rights as a threat, and those who are the beneficiaries of newly defined rights as the enemy.

LGBT individuals are still scapegoated, bullied, hurt, maimed and murdered because of intolerance, hatred and fear. Many of our local and state government leaders, many members of our US Congress are not so different in their attitudes from Dan White. Hopefully none of them will shoot the collegues they disagree with. But their money, power and influence still harm us and their dismissal of our legitimate concerns stifles the evolution of this experiment in human rights.

On this anniversary of the assassination of Harvey Milk and George Moscone, we remember men who died in service to our and the larger community through the political process - a process that can only work in a spirit of reason and compromise.

November 29, 2014

Thinking of Civil Rights at a time when rioting, violence, gunfire and looting have been in the news in the aftermath of the Grand Jury decision in Missouri, I cannot help but relate the above thoughts to the larger issue of civil and human rights in this country. When, if ever, is such violence justified?

Would the announcement of the Grand Jury decision, no matter whether it returned an indictment or not, to be just an excuse for those who were poised to engage in further violence and mayhem? Does my asking this question belie my own bias?

I have never served on a Grand Jury but I imagine it is very serious business and that the jurors take their task very seriously and conscientiously and that such a process, for all its flaws, has been instituted in the cause of justice. After a bit of reading, it seems to me that the Grand Jury did what was required. I think it is unfair to blame the Grand Jury for all of the injustices people have suffered and for the subsequent rioting, as if the reverse decision would have righted all wrongs and made everyone happy.

The outcome of this Grand Jury was met with anger and violence as other decisions have been. There were riots in San Francisco in 1979 after the jury there acquitted Dan White of murder and convicted him of only of manslaughter - another instance of an imperfect process - and of pent-up anger that spilled into the streets.

There is a difference, however. There was indisputable evidence that Dan White shot two people, twinkies not withstanding. In the Ferguson case, the Grand Jury did not find compelling evidence of a crime to even go to a jury trial. They decided that the policeman's actions were within the legal parameters of his authority. So maybe those parameters need to be changed. Maybe cops need to be required to use all other options. Maybe other changes need to be made to make ours a more just and equitable society. But it was not the task of the Grand Jury to do so, nor was it in their power to do so.

In reflecting on my feelings about the San Francisco riots (not at the time, but much later in 1984 after viewing the documentary,  The Times of Harvey Milk) I realize that I am/was more sympathetic to the LGBT community, to their indignation and anger, and more forgiving of their display of violence than I am toward the black community in Ferguson, their indignation and anger; and I am less forgiving of their display of violence.

Have I changed or am I merely responding on the basis of my own prejudice? Certainly I felt more intrinsically a part of the gay minority as represented by my brothers and sisters in San Francisco and could relate to their anger at a deeply personal level.

I do not relate in the same way to the black community as to the LGBT community, because I am not a part of that community, nor am I welcomed to relate to or understand that community. I think that blacks, like gays, move about in and have a perspective on the straight/white community but the straight/white folks don't necessarily have the same opportunity to move in and understand the LGBT/black community.

So, all things considered, I guess in terms of the experiment in civil/human rights, of achieving a colorblind society, we all have a long way to go.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Shame on Google and a Trans Funeral

Two things got my attention on the blogs today: A hateful game promoted by Google and a transwoman's funeral. I find that the closer we come to being equal in this society, the more such things seem to stand out.
Somehow Google allowed a disgustingly homophobic, hateful "game" to get onto its Android App site. The object of the game, called "Ass Hunter", is for the "Hunter" to kill naked gay men who appear from the bushes; failure to do so allows the naked men to basically rape the hunter.

Not only is the game offensive on so many levels, the fact that Google somehow allowed this garbage to make its way onto a site for Android Apps that Google sponsors, is unacceptable.

Google pulled the cartoonish App after registering the outrage from the community. But the game is still out there. Thrilling the likes of immature imbeciles in the French- and English-speaking world who hoot and holler whenever they kill a gay or or their buddies get it from behind from a naked gay guy. The epidemic of stupidity is out of control, the epidemic of hate is a part of it.

On over to the funeral in Idaho: (If the NY Daily News can be trusted) A young transgender woman who died of a brain annurism was displayed in open casket as a male with all references to her transition and life as a woman virtually eradicated, including her legal name change.

All done by decision of her family who were not supportive or of her in life, and even more disrespectful of her in death. Sad story and such a very ignorant family.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

LGBT Homeless Youth Crisis

See NPR for story on homeless LGBT youth.

Partly because young people are coming out at an earlier age than their predecessors, more are being kicked out of their homes or, if not kicked out, forced out through intimidation.

And most of these homeless kids are on the streets as a result of their parent's "religious beliefs" - beliefs that they choose over supporting their own children.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

From The File Cabinet - A Writing Exercise

The News Came on Valentine's Day

I.  Dennis

The news came on Valentine’s Day and it changed everything. That morning Hank hadn’t a clue that his idyllic life was about to take a turn onto a road he’d never imagined while mine might be ending within a matter of minutes. The news of my suicide attempt on Valentine’s Day 2014, decidedly changed everything – for Hank, for our kids, for the business we’d worked so hard for, for the people who depended on us, and even for complete strangers.

I’m sure Hank’s Valentine’s Day had started out pretty much as usual: being awakened by Diogi, our Weimaraner, at five-thirty and doing his “mom” duties. He was home with the kids all night while I was to be taking a late night flight back to Hartford from LA where I’d gone to meet with some wealthy mogul about a potential business buyout. Our small line of men’s accessories and other merchandise based on Hank’s designs had very suddenly become the rage when some Hollywood type had stumbled across our website or Facebook page, and Tweeted praises all over the Twitter-verse. We were swamped with orders and our website actually got jammed or slammed or frozen, whatever the technical word is, I’m not sure which, and I forgot to ask. I guess I really didn’t care.

We’d been doing a decent mail order business until then, and neither Hank nor myself were into self-promotion or in-your-face marketing. We were just doing what we enjoyed. And, we were beginning to think we’d been doing it too long when we were suddenly “discovered” and, in addition to sales, inquiries began coming in, mostly from the West Coast. There were offers to buy us out or franchise us, or market us – all kinds of offers which got us to thinking: maybe it was time. After all we both had other dreams and there is truth to the clichĂ© that neither of us were getting any younger. Selling crap was not all it was cracked up to be and well, maybe having some money in a lump sum and the freedom to travel and do things with the kids was the right way to go.

Before the news came, on the morning of Valentine’s Day, Hank would have already been up, getting the boys breakfast, making sure they had their homework and bundling them up against the unusual winter cold we were having in New England before sending them out to the school bus. He was probably too preoccupied to take note of the unofficial holiday, but he would do so soon enough – as soon as he opened his daily calendar and saw the big heart I’d somehow managed to copy and paste into the page for February fourteenth. His mind would quickly race through the day’s schedule to figure out how to pawn off the kids on my mother for dinner so he could make time for some semblance of a home-cooked gourmet meal with me, complete with tablecloth, candles and flowers. And he would definitely plan in, if we were lucky to have an uninterrupted hour after dinner, a no-calorie dessert in the bedroom.

Hank would have, in the time between checking his calendar and bringing up the business website correspondence, planned how to get Mom to take the kids, what the menu would be, and how to seduce a tired old spouse who’d spent a sleepless night on a plane and who would have been awake for over 24 hours by Valentine’s Day evening.

Yes, before the news of my suicide came on the morning of Valentine’s Day, Hank would be doing his “mom” duties and getting Jamie and Theo breakfast and off to school.

Jamie, our oldest at 14 is smart and energetic, maybe a bit ADHD though not enough to have a diagnosis or take medication or to cause him problems in school. Just my way of saying he is very active. He is a bundle of energy, but he can stay focused when he has something to focus on, so saying he is ADHD is wrong of me. He can focus on his younger brother, no problem.

Jamie is devoted to his younger brother Theo and revels in his role as Big Brother. He loves showing Theo how to use the old Nintendo or the computer, how to climb the big maple tree in the backyard and he’s clever enough to make a competitive game out of doing chores. Jamie will say, “Don’t tell Theo, but I got him to do some of my chores and he thought we were just having fun.” He is too honest to scold for getting his younger brother to do extra chores, but when he does this, he knows Theo will get a bigger share of allowance. I think that is part of his plan and part of the thrill for Jaime.

Theo, our twelve-year-old is still learning the routine of his new middle school and is definitely more challenged than his brother in that endeavor as well as in other childhood occupations from opening a box of cereal to tying his shoes. His birth mother had been an addict. I’m not sure what she used, booze, heroin, coke, crack, oxy, probably all of them and more. Somehow she retained custody of her baby, I guess because she had agreed to go into a treatment program for a while before he was born. I didn’t know they had programs especially for pregnant women on drugs. I guess they are a priority because of the epidemic of prenatal drug exposure. I was never privy to all the details, only to Theo’s medical history and some of his early home life – enough for us to be able to talk to Theo’s pediatrician and later to his teachers with some measure of intelligence and competence. Theo had somehow escaped the scrutiny of the child welfare system until his mother died of an overdose when he was two. He went to Child Services for almost a year, was diagnosed with a number of developmental problems and was labeled by some workers as “not adoptable” – a label that was obviously premature - because they hadn’t yet met Hank and me. Theo found his way into our home before he was two-and-a-half and was now hopefully finding his way around Hanover Middle School and actually remembering the combo to his locker without having to look at the tag he wore around his neck with the number and other vital information on it. If he forgot, Jamie was there to help. Hank and I felt secure in that knowledge.

When the news came that morning Hank would have been cleaning up the breakfast dishes or stuffing dirty clothes into the washer in the basement or having completed those chores already, sitting at the counter on his favorite stool, sipping his second cup of coffee surrounded by the quiet and tranquility of another school day morning. His MacBook Pro would have been propped open and his fingers would be clicking away the pages of the mornings’ news, the blogs, and the emails that never stopped coming in. The serious work of checking and filling orders, managing remote inventory and balancing the books would start after the last sip of that second cup of coffee. It was the way he disciplined himself to get to work in the home office and there could be no cheating by deliberately not finishing the coffee in order to read one last article on Huffington Post or to check the gay news on Edge New England, no matter how tempting. When the news arrived, perhaps Hank would have already been in work mode.

I am not sure just how these things are taken care of by the authorities or how long it takes. I imagine someone finds you unconscious, dials 911 and an ambulance shows up and you end up in the emergency room and they rifle through your wallet to find out who you are and where you live and then call someone who calls the authorities in your home state and they call the police in your home town and some nice twenty-five year old rookie cop pulls up in front of your house all important like and knocks on your front door even though there’s a doorbell and if all goes well, the officer gives the news to whoever answers. At least that’s how I imagine it happens.

I imagine Hank having answered the door after the cop decided to try the doorbell. Hank probably asked, “Can I help you?” Not “Can I help you, officer?” Hank doesn’t like cops. He can be disrespectful without appearing so. The officer would not be offended. Hank would feel superior. Perhaps it was the new guy, a rookie named Nesmeth who looked like he was seventeen. We ran into him at the town’s Harvest Week Festival last autumn. The town had scrapped up enough money to hire Nesmeth in anticipation of John Horton’s impending second retirement. Horton, a retired military man, had been the town’s one-man police force for the past fifteen years, unless you count Nellie, his ten-year-old Cock-a-Poo police dog.

“I’m Officer Nesmeth. Is this the residence of Dennis DaSilva?” the cop would have asked.

“Yes, Dennis lives here.” Hank would answer. “Is there something wrong? Is he OK?”

Nesmeth: “My I come in for a moment?”

Hank would have held the door open, hiding his attitude, while Nesmeth stepped inside. “And who are you? Are you related to Mr. DaSilva?” the cop would inquire before sharing any details.

“It’s DaSilva-Carlisle and I’m his husband.” Hank would reply, emphasizing the word husband to see if the cop flinched. Hank is thinking, “I’m his husband, asshole, get with the program, it’s 2014.” That’s Hank – but he doesn’t always say what he’s thinking.

“Oh, sorry.” There would be a short pause, then he’d continue, “I have to let you know that we received information from the LA police department. Your hus,” the rookie stumbles over the word husband. “Your, husband, was taken to the hospital in Los Angeles, somewhere near Hollywood. They’re calling it an apparent suicide.”

“My God. You mean he’s dead?”

“No, I don’t think so, to be precise, it was an apparent suicide attempt. He’s in the hospital in LA,” the cop clarified his earlier mis-speak.

The policeman’s choice of words, or rather the ineptness of his vocabulary strikes Hank as awkward and unprofessional. Such language faux pas always cause him to stop listening momentarily while his mind processes the intended meaning and passes judgment on the general state of education in the US and the sloppiness of the English speaking world. Officer Nesmeth would have been fumbling with some papers on a clipboard.

Hank, I’m certain was imagining the cop making up his own episode of Major Crimes with Hank as the number one suspect even though there was no crime and I am three thousand miles away.

Hank would have pulled it together enough to ask, “That can’t be. We spoke on the phone before he left for the airport. Where is he and who can I call?”

The young police officer hands Hank a piece of paper. “Here’s the number of Detective Hanson at LAPD. And the hospital contact person. Perhaps they will have more information.” Nesmeth seems relieved that his errand is done and he can go back to his small town job of investigating who threw the snowball that hit some high school teacher square in the eye one day last week.

Hank would be glad to see Nesmeth leave. He’d stare at the piece of paper for a moment and he’d feel his whole body convulse.

II. Hank

When the news came on the morning of Valentine’s Day I was having my second cup of coffee and reading Huffington Post’s list of disgusting anti-gay comments about Michael Sam, the Missouri football player and likely NFL draft pick who had just come out as gay. God, some people are assholes, but fortunately they are quickly put in their place by more enlightened minds.

I had been expecting Dennis to call from the airport, as his plane should have been on the ground by the time the kids left for school. But there had been so many delayed flights all winter I just figured his flight had been detained in Chicago or Denver or wherever his stopover was. Besides, I had work to do and Dennis had left his car in short-term parking. The roads were clear and dry for a change and he’d have no traffic to contend with this late in the morning. I was about to call him, when I sat down for my second cup, and allowed myself a few minutes reading the morning news and the comments about Michael Sam. And then I remembered it was Valentine’s Day.

I got into a panic about what to make for dinner and whether I’d have time to get to Trader Joe’s and if I should call Den’s mom and ask her to take care of the boys for a few hours. I’d have to be sure to get her a big box of chocolates and a bouquet of her favorite yellow tulips as payment. God, there’s never enough time. All this was going through my mind as I swilled down the last of my coffee.

I clicked out of the nasty comment section. Good thing too, because I noticed my blood was beginning to boil and I knew if I got in too deep I would inevitably want to give these assholes and homophobes a piece of my mind and then I’d obsess over each word and phrase as I composed several witty and cutting retorts. That could be time-consuming and time was what I didn’t have to spare that Valentine’s Day morning.

I had just opened the email app on the laptop when my cell phone hummed the generic ring I’d assigned to numbers that were not in my contact list.

“Is this the DaSilva-Carlisle residence at 57 Country Farm Road?” the voice on the other end asked.

“Yes, Dennis DaSilva-Carlisle lives here. I’m Hank Carlisle-DaSilva, Dennis’ spouse. Can I help you?”

Dennis and I went though various alternatives to surnames when we married, and we officially changed our last names, by taking each other’s as an add-on. It just seemed to have a nice feel to it. I know it’s complicated, but it works – most of the time. But it can get confusing, like when there’s a new teacher at school or when some stranger calls so I usually give that short introduction by way of clarification.

“This is Mary Cunningham, Emergency Services Liaison Officer for Lester Memorial Hospital in Mountain View, California. We have a Dennis DaSilva-Carlisle here who was brought in earlier this morning …”

I stopped listening for a few moments because the words weren’t making sense. Emergency services…Mountain View…brought in…this morning. Dennis was in Los Angeles, wasn’t he?

Copyright (c) 2014 Frank DeFrancesco

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Unexpected Praises From My Younger Brother!

I got this email from my brother.

When I read it, it blew me away.

I never expected such praises from him. Mainly because he is usually rather reticent about such things. Or at least not quite as profuse. And he put it in writing, and he wrote a review on Amazon as well!

To be honest I thought he might consider my book to be 'just ok" and probably say some kind, but neutral, words to me about it when I see him at Thanksgiving.

But he emailed me this unsolicited praise; and of course his opinion is completely objective and unbiased:

I LIKED IT A LOT!!!! I literally could not put it down. I read a little over half of it last night, went to bed at midnight, couldn't sleep, got up at 1AM and read the rest of it. I haven't read a book like that (in one day - actually 2 since it was before and after midnight) in ages. 

I also wrote what I thought was a good review in Amazon. I might have gone a little over the top comparing it to other famous literary works but what the heck, a little salesmanship can't hurt, besides I really was enraptured with it which is more than I can say about most other books I've read. 

I guess knowing you personally has a lot to do with my level of interest in what you had to say and the stories you told and it was pretty much impossible to try and read it from a detached point of view, but you really do have a way with words. Parts of it were humorous such as in one of the first chapters when you guys are playing cards and you are telling anecdotes and trying to be somewhat deep and serious and the other guys just keep busting your stones. 

Many parts are very serious and inspiring. I don't have much more to say other than I don't remember being at the Cape with you unless you kind of made that part up.

My NOTE: Memories are funny things. I was positive my brother was at the Cape that time when we were there with all our cousins at a cottage in Harwich. There was a fresh water pond in back and we all went to the Mashpee PowWow and to Ptown for whale watching.  If I had doubts I would have checked it with my brother before putting it in print, but I was trusting my memory.

It doesn't change things in any substantial way however, so I defer to his memory of not being there! And I'll call my flub poetic license

So, to see what he thinks is so good, buy the book! (click on the book pic on the sidebar or go to Amazon here.

Below: Original mock-up of front and back covers.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sign Of The Times - In A Good Way

When Leon and I married on October 25th, ( And here) we had our immediate families and closest friends at the ceremony and for dinner at Pagliacci's Restaurant. And while we knew our families were supportive, we couldn't be so sure about extended family members and others.

We decided that we would let family and friends know that we are now legally married. And that our status in the community had changed.

We sent formal announcements to many extended family members, straight friends and old neighbors. Others learned of our nuptials from those attending. 

Although we haven't heard from all of them, we did receive cards and even a few gifts from many. When the cards and hand written notes started arriving, some of them blew our socks off!

Really, I don't think we've often given people credit for how genuinely they have embraced Leon and I and our relationship over the years.

I'd like to share a few here:

From a former neighbor lady and her son, when we lived in New Britain 15 years ago. 
She used to make pierogis once a month for fundraising at a very conservative Polish Catholic parish and always brought us the "factory seconds". She is now in her nineties:

From my old boss, a straight guy in his 70's:

From two Catholic nuns who live with my sister:

From my cousin and her husband along with a gift saying that Leon has always been a part of the family:

From my brother's mother-in-law, a very Irish Catholic woman:

From a 68 year old woman who was an HIV client of mine back 8 years and more ago:

From my Ex who I wrote about in my memoir and who now lives in Florida (can you hear his Acadian-French  accent?):

From Leon's cousin in San Jose:

From my ninety year old Sicilian Aunt and my cousin:

Many of our gay friends were not as excited and congratulatory as many of our straight friends and relatives, including some very "Catholic" ones.

Perhaps they are the real "silent majority" and despite all the wailing and gnashing of teeth on the part of the Fundies and TeaBaggers and Hate Groups, maybe these loving people do represent a growing new majority - at least here in the Northeast where same sex marriage has been legal for years without a major breakdown of straight marriages or signs of Armageddon.

Perhaps is is that our (in the collective sense) "coming out" makes more and more people realize that some of their friends, family members, co-workers are LGBT; that they really do know, love and respect someone who is gay.

Perhaps we are the "new normal" and our legal unions are, on the one hand no big deal, and on the other hand, something the straight world is eager to celebrate.

Go figure.

From my sister:

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Why I Won't Vote For ANY Republican in 2014

My letter to the Editor of the Bristol Observer which appeared in Friday's edition. Thanks to you bloggers and news feeds, I gleaned the details from the internet. This goes along with video posted below (last post).

To the Editor:
            I will not vote Republican. Period.
            I’m sure there are a few well-meaning Republican candidates out there, but well-meaning is not good enough. I cannot, in conscience, foresee casting my vote for any Republican. Here’s why:
             Any political candidate who calls her/himself a Republican (and I’ve noticed over the past twenty years or so that that label on their mailings is usually in very small print, if it is there at all) – must implicitly approve of GOP views against marriage equality, unbridled campaign financing by big corporations, legislation that would institutionalize discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender individuals under the guise of religious liberty, regressive immigration legislation, the primacy of fundamentalist christian doctrine in legislation and government, “reparative” therapy for LGBT individuals, the right to bear assault weapons, and a whole litany of idiotic, insensitive and misogynistic pronouncements by a host of Republican wing-nuts, among them:

             Glen Grothman, a Republican state senator: "I've interviewed over a dozen people who check out people who pay with food stamps, and all felt people on food stamps ate better — or at least more costly — than they did. [People] who work in food stores indicate that many people who use food stamps do not act as if they are genuinely poor." 
             Todd Kincannon, former executive director of the South Carolina GOP in a Tweet “I hope the dumb bitch who initiated physical violence with her NFL player fiancĂ© learned a good lesson when he justifiably beat her ass.”
            Stacey Campfield a Republican Tennessee state lawmaker, who introduced a “Don’t say gay” bill in 2009 who also said "Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community. It was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall." He also introduced a bill that would cut welfare benefits to parents whose children aren't doing well in school.
         Renee Ellmers, a two-term Congresswoman from North Carolina. “Men do tend to talk about things on a much higher level…We need our male colleagues to understand that if you can bring it down to a woman’s level and with everything that she is balancing in her life — that’s the way to go.”
          Arizona state representative Adam Kwasman, mistaking a bus full of America children on their way to YMCA camp for undocumented immigrant children"I was actually able to see some of the children in the buses. The fear on their faces.... This is not compassion."
         Rick Perry of Texas GOP which in June adopted their new platform that supports “reparative therapy” for The Gays"Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that. I may have the genetic coding that I'm inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way."
             Scott Esk, an aspiring candidate for the Oklahoma House of Representatives who when asked if he thinks the Gays should actually be put to death based on his religious beliefs, said: “I think we would totally be in the right to do it.”
             Pam Bondi as Attorney General of Florida said about not wanting to recognize same-sex marriage: because those marriages would "impose significant public harm."
             Representative Andy Gipson, a Republican legislator about the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act says the bill protects “Christians in the state from discrimination,” meaning people can use their religious beliefs to discriminate against anyone, most notably The Gays.
             Republicans Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, introduced a bill that would allow adoption or foster care providers to refuse service on the basis of their own personal religious objections. (While aimed at gay and lesbian couples, the bill could be used by non-christian agencies to deny adoption of children by Christian couples!)
             Arizona Republican Jim Brown said this on Facebook: “I want folks to think about something. I want folks to think about how slavery really works. Back in the day of slavery, slaves were kept in slavery by denying them education and opportunity while providing them with their basic needs.  Not by beating them and starving them. (Although there were isolated cases if course) Basically slave owners took pretty good care of their slaves and livestock and this kept business rolling along.”
            Additionally, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has named 19 members of Congress, 18 of whom are Republicans, who “go out of their way to oppose any step toward equal protection under the law or to protect LGBT Americans from violence, discrimination and harassment.  They proactively work to undermine existing legal protections and promote anti-LGBT discrimination.” These congresspersons sponsor or co-sponsor, in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Federal Marriage Amendment, the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, the Military Religious Freedom Protection Act, and the State Marriage Defense Act; in the U.S. Senate, the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, and the State Marriage Defense Act.
            The 19 are: Senate: Ted Cruz, R-TX, Michael Enzi (R-WY), James Inhofe (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), Jeff Sessions, (R-AL); House (14): Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Andy Harris (R-MD), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Walter Jones (R-NC), Mike Kelly (R- PA), Steve King (R-IA), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Steve Pearce (R-NM), Tim Walberg (R-MI), Randy Weber (R-TX)
            The people I mention ( and there are so many more) are not just loose cannons; they speak for their party and they espouse Republican ideology. So, to the obstructionist Republican congresspersons, Republican candidates, national or local, I say: If you belong to the club, to the Republican party, I must assume that you are more or less sympathetic to the beliefs and principles that are antithetical to my own. You will not have my support, nor in the case of the local ballot, my vote.    

It Would Be Funny If It Weren't So True

No, it is really funny.


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