And Only 12 Remained

I loved this story over at Salon. It’s by a faculty member named Kate Geiselman about Peter LaBarbera’s recent visit to her campus, Sinclair Community College in Dayton Ohio. When LaBarbera arrived there were about 100 people waiting to hear him speak. Not long after he started, many of the students walked out, leaving 12 students in the audience. And what happened before LaBarbera arrived is even better than the walk-out.

From Kate Geiselman:

It has been a source of both professional and personal pain to see the institution I am proud of and students I care about hijacked by this tiny minority. There is widespread concern about this club at all levels of the college. Over the years, many groups and individuals have tried to engage the TVC and LaBarbera’s ilk in the “dialogue” they profess to seek, but there are big organizations behind these speakers. They have deep pockets and lots of lawyers, and they are looking for a fight. As an institution, we have a duty to protect free speech, hateful or not.

But we don’t have to listen to it.

Yes, yes, yes! Bigots and jerks and misogynists and the KKK and flat earthers and anti-vaxxers and anti-choicers are free to speak their piece, but they are not entitled to an audience (or major media news coverage). We owe them nothing. We can choose where to focus our attention. At Sinclair Community College they chose to focus on love, equality and cookies, rather than on LaBarbera’s ranting.

<3

You can read the entire article here at Salon.com

Why I’m Voting No

Ben from TheSweatervest blog invited me to write about why I’m voting no to the Minnesota Marriage Amendment this November for his 42 Days of No project, which is highlighting “Why I’m Voting No” stories by Minnesotans (he started it 42 days prior to this November’s vote). This piece was submitted for that project.

I am voting NO on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment because a yes vote is a vote for discrimination. I don’t want to hear one more story about gay families being denied hospital visitation, bereavement rights or control of their possessions or children because they were not afforded the same legal protection that straight couples receive. The Minnesota Marriage Amendment is a Hail Mary pass supported by bigots that is intended to delay the inevitable; gay marriage WILL be legal in my lifetime.

I am voting NO because the Minnesota Marriage Amendment is a ploy by Republicans who are trying to win support from religiously-motivated voters. It is a cheap trick and dirty politics, and I don’t support it.

Vote No Jeep

Vote No Jeep parked outside of the YWCA in Uptown, Minneapolis.

I have a coworker who told me that she’s voting yes because the bible implies that gay marriage is wrong. She says she respects gay people, and that voting yes doesn’t mean that she doesn’t love her gay friends and family.

Bullshit.

If you love your gay friends and family, help protect them against inequitable representation in the legal system. If you are voting yes in November, you are spitting in the faces of people who need your help. You are telling them that you think they are wrong, that you know who they should love and marry better than they do.

Vote No Car in Front of Uptown Theater

 Vote No Car stopped in front of the Uptown Theater in Minneapolis

I have an acquaintance who doesn’t believe the government should be involved in marriage at all. He says he’s going to vote yes because he thinks this will send a message that government shouldn’t have any say over marriage at all.

That is an incredibly fucked up viewpoint.

The Minnesota Marriage Amendment would exert more government control over marriage, not less. It would be so bold as to define who can and can’t get married. What right does government have to make that call? For right or wrong, the government does have some say in marriage and in the rights of married people. If it is going to exert that control, it should at least do so without preference to one set of people over others.

It is my honor and duty to vote, and I am voting NO on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment because I will not stand quietly aside as discrimination is codified into our constitution. Neither god nor politics has a place in the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, and I will not let arguments to either of these blind me to the fact that voting yes to this heinous, sorry excuse of a proposed amendment would harm my fellow Minnesotans.

Vote No: Halloween Edition

This lovely household in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis has taken the Minnesota Vote No to Marriage Inequality campaign down a wonderfully thematic path:

Photo shows a front yard with Halloween decorations: spray-painted foam/cardboard/wood gravestones, plastic pumpkin trick-or-treat buckets. The centerpiece is two life-size skeleton ghouls dressed in white under a “wedding” trellis, with two ghouls as attendants. In front of them is the Minnesotans United for All Families orange “Vote No: Don’t Limit The Freedom To Marry” yard sign. In the background is a huge hand-made sign that says “VOTE NO” in string lighting on a wood frame.

Don’t limit the freedom of ghouls to marry!

Photo shows the entire front yard in all of it’s Halloweened glory.

The idea that this amendment might pass makes for a very scary story, indeed.

Road Trip to UM Duluth for Loren Cameron

I’m leaving work  a little early this afternoon to road trip up to Duluth. Loren Cameron, a photographer and transgender activist, is doing a talk at the University of Minnesota-Duluth called “Transgender Images”. There is a lot of fugly, slimey reporting about Cameron’s presentation (google “University of Minnesota Duluth Loren Cameron”) because it will have NAKED PICTURES OF A TRANS MAN ZOMG ZOMBIESEARTHQUAKESFLOODSLOCUSTSDEADBABIES, and over the fact that the campus GLBTA student group is spending $4000 of oh crap that’s my tax money in action Jesus is gonna be so pissed at me for funding teh gay agenda their club money to bring Mr. Cameron here.

Imma go see what all the fuss is about. I’ll probably do some live tweeting, so please follow me at @abiodork if you’re interested in that.  And I’ll do a write up and post it here in the next couple of days (it may not be tomorrow as all of my writing time will be spent in transit tonight). If you’re going to be at the event I’d love to meetcha, so feel free to come say hello. Cameron’s talk starts at 6pm at the UMD Kirby Ballroom.

Chris Kluwe’s Letter to Maryland Delegate

I will definitely cheer for the hometown team for this one!

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe posted an open letter defending gay marriage and the right of free speech. It contains a fantastically entertaining mix of logical arguments and a buttload of vulgarity.

See, this other football player, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, is a long-time supporter of legalizing same-sex marriage and he said some stuff about that. And then some state delegate from Maryland was all like – and this is paraphrased here, but I think I captured the essence of the letter  -Waaaaa! You can’t say that! Hey, you – Ravens owner – your employee supports same-sex marriage and, like, you should make him stop saying that stuff! Here I wrote it on my official letterhead so you know I’m totes credible!”

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CCOKC Video

Hehehehehehe!

An irreverent and off-color message to Kirk Cameron from some of his fellow child celebrities to lay off the GLBT community.

6 O’Clock BS – First Avenue Rocks Even Harder

A couple of days ago on Facebook I saw a billboard of First Avenue supporting same sex equality. I was so excited that I had the Hubby drive me downtown so that I could see it and snap some photos for myself. The board is located off of Glenwood Avenue by the Minneapolis Farmer’s market:

Isn’t it pretty?

First Avenue is a Minneapolis mainstay – a concert venue that’s been around since 1970 and has hosted some truly remarkable bands. It continues to draw large crowds for touring shows, local acts, dance nights and special events.

As always, First Avenue, you rock. Thanks for supporting marriage equality in Minnesota.

6 O’Clock BS: I’ve Got a Hankering for Cheerios.

Earlier in June, General Mills announced that they are opposed to the Minnesota marriage amendment that will be on the ballot this November. From the General Mills website:

[Ken Powell, General Mills CEO] voiced our company’s opposition to the proposed marriage amendment, an initiative that makes our state less inclusive and reduces our company’s ability to attract and retain talent.

While, General Mills doesn’t normally take positions on ballot measures, this is a business issue that impacts our employees.

I am proud to see our company join the ranks of local and national employers speaking out for inclusion. We do not believe the proposed constitutional amendment is in the best interests of our employees or our state economy – and as a Minnesota-based company we oppose it.

We value diversity. We value inclusion. We always have … and we always will.

And my reaction was like:

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Dinkus of the Day: Pastor Charles Worley

For your viewing displeasure – two minutes of bigotry.

I’m again’ this video.

“Build a great big large fence… put all the lesbians in there… Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out…”

“…And you know what, in a few years, they’ll die out… Do you know why? They can’t reproduce.”

*clears throat, raises hand*

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