August 29, 2008

Remembering Del Martin

Posted in Civil rights, GLBT issues, News at 1:57 pm by The Lizard Queen

I was heartbroken to hear of Del Martin’s passing, but it’s a comfort to know that she lived a good, long life filled with great work, she got to spend over fifty years with her beloved partner, and she lived to see the day when she and her partner could be legally wed.  My heart goes out to her wife, Phyllis Lyon, and other loved ones that have survived Martin.

Lots more coverage at Pam’s House Blend.

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Something I just plain don’t understand

Posted in Civil rights, GLBT issues, News, Politics at 11:25 am by The Lizard Queen

So, John McCain has picked his running mate: Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska.  Victor Maldonado, formerly of SLDN, posted at Pam’s House Blend a handy link to an Anchorage Daily News article from 2006 that details the positions of the various gubernatorial candidates on three key issues.  In short, Palin “doesn’t support legalizing marijuana, worrying about the message it would send to her four kids. But when it comes to cracking down on drugs, she says methamphetamines are the greater threat and should have a higher priority;” “is pro-contraception and said she’s a member of a pro-woman but anti-abortion group called Feminists for Life,” but also believes she is “as ‘pro-life as any candidate can be’ and has ‘adamantly supported our cause since I first understood, as a child, the atrocity of abortion;'” and “supported the 1998 constitutional amendment” to ban same-sex marriage.

It’s on that last point that she provides a quotation that I just can’t wrap my brain around:

Elected officials can’t defy the court when it comes to how rights are applied, she said, but she would support a ballot question that would deny benefits to homosexual couples.

“I believe that honoring the family structure is that important,” Palin said.

How the hell does denying benefits to homosexual couples honor the family structure?  And does that come off as punitive to anyone besides me?  I mean, how dare those homosexuals try to create their own families and ask to share health insurance and visit one another in the hospital in times of crisis!  Just a few lines prior to the above passage, the author of the article states that “Palin said she’s not out to judge anyone and has good friends who are gay,” and yet for all intents and purposes she wants to punish people who decide not to spend their lives in the closet by saying that not only should the not be allowed to legally wed the person they love, but they shouldn’t even be allowed to enjoy the benefits (literally and figuratively) of being in a committed relationship.

All in the name of “honoring the family structure.”

I just plain don’t get it, and I doubt I ever will — and you know, come to that, I don’t think I even want to get it.

August 21, 2008

It’s okay if you’re a homophobe… ?

Posted in Children and adolescents, Civil rights, GLBT issues at 10:23 am by The Lizard Queen

(Title is a variation on the classic IOKIYAR: it’s okay if you’re a Republican.)

Via Pam’s House Blend I came across this MSNBC article that discusses some of the fallout from the homophobic actions of David Davis, erstwhile Principal of Ponce de Leon High School, and the ensuing ACLU lawsuit. In the article I found an interesting contrast. First, the incident that got the ball rolling:

When a high school senior told her principal that students were taunting her for being a lesbian, he told her homosexuality is wrong, outed her to her parents and ordered her to stay away from children.

Because all gay people have designs on children. Um, not. (Where does this idea that gay=pedophile even come from? Isn’t it safe to assume that the average straight person doesn’t lust after children of the opposite sex? Why, then, do so many people assume that the average gay person lusts after children of the same sex? Or, I guess, children in general. I know, I know, it’s bigotry, it’s illogical by its very nature — but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t piss me the fuck off.)

After that initial incident, other students spoke and acted out in support of the original student, and Davis took it upon himself to crack down on them, because, you know, “a student with a rainbow flag on his or her notebook may be an indication that the particular student is in a ‘secret/illegal organization.'” Or something. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak stated that Davis “went so far as to lift the shirts of female students to insure the letters ‘GP’ or the words ‘Gay Pride’ were not written on their bodies.”

Hold up, now. These are high school students, so the majority of them are minors, right? Children, technically? And those who are 18 or over, did they consent to having their shirts lifted? As a general rule, a teacher or administrator lifting a student’s shirt is a pretty big no-no, isn’t it?

But he was on a quest, so that makes it okay, apparently. Under other circumstances, Davis would have had the book thrown at him, but in this case, “Davis was demoted, and school employees must now go through sensitivity training.”

So, in short, if you’re gay, you should stay away from children, but if you’re straight, you can go around lifting up girls’ shirts and get away with just a demotion. FanTAStic.

August 19, 2008

Quick hit: What Women Want

Posted in Blogging, Feminism, Media at 2:21 pm by The Lizard Queen

This is what women want. I’ve only had time to briefly browse the site, but so far, so good.

[h/t Feministing]

August 8, 2008

8.8.08

Posted in Activism, Current events, Human rights at 10:12 am by The Lizard Queen

A thought for the day, prompted by PoMo Golightly:

None of us are free until ALL of us are free.

For more information, check out the International Campaign for TibetStudents for a Free Tibet, Dream for Darfur, and/or Human Rights Watch, just for starters.

(This message not brought to you by Atos Origin, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Kodak, Lenovo, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Samsung, or Visa.)

August 4, 2008

Book review: Backlash by Susan Faludi

Posted in Books, Feminism at 3:53 pm by The Lizard Queen

Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women
by Susan Faludi
1991

This is a powerful and worthwhile read. It gives a name to so many of the issues I’ve felt but not necessarily been intellectually aware of. Backlash provides a necessary history lesson, and most of the people, events, and situations discussed in the book have parallels in the United States today. My main concern with this book is the fact that it centers on middle class, white, straight women, particularly in the sections on entertainment and pop culture — for example, in the Epilogue Faludi states that men need women just as much as women need men, and the statement is part of a generally well-made point about men’s reactions to women’s struggles for equal rights, but it dismisses the Queer experience entirely, which I found troubling. That said, I would nevertheless recommend this book to anyone and everyone.  Read the rest of this entry »

August 1, 2008

Following the money

Posted in Activism, Consumer info at 4:31 pm by The Lizard Queen

Via Pet Connection I came across this L.A. Times database that lists how much of each dollar donated to certain charities (many of those that appear are Los Angeles or Southern California oriented, but many others are national) actually goes toward that charity (as opposed to, say, toward more fundraising).  You can sort by charity type, search by name, or look at the “efficiency matrix,” where you can examine, for example, which charities fall into the unfortunate category of High Revenue/Low Return (PETA is on that list?  I’m shocked!  Shocked, I tell you!)  Well worth checking out if you intend to send money to a big-name charity in the near future.