Monday, October 11, 2010

Homophobia of Some Republican Candidates Reaches New Lows. Why Isn't the GOP Confronting Them?

     In this video, Rachel Maddow interviews Mark McKinnon, former George W. Bush and John McCain advisor, about the incredible homophobia being espoused by numerous Republican candidates this election season.   


Happy Columbus Day?

Image by SomeECards

Another Tragic LGBT-Bullying Related Suicide: Zach Harrington, 19, of Norman

     There has been another tragic suicide of a teenager, who was bullied for being gay.  Zach Harrington killed himself a week after witnessing a "toxic" city council meeting in Norman, Oklahoma, where "concerned citizens" gathered en masse to hurl their hatred and homophobia, decrying LGBT persons as deviant, sinful, damned, etc. etc. etc.

     Here are some links to the story:

     The Norman Transcript: local new report of Zach's death and the fall-out of the council meeting.

     Qweerty: this post contains the video and partial transcript of the "toxic" council meeting.

     Zach's memorial page

     Rest in peace, Zach.

Catholic Carl Paladino Bashes Gays, But Claims Not to be Hurting Them

     Catholic, Republican, gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino and the Orthodox Jews of Shaarei Chaim agree that homosexuals "brainwash" children, but Paladino claims he isn't  homophobic or hurting gays in any way.

     Addressing Orthodox Jewish leaders, Mr. Paladino described his opposition to same-sex marriage.  “I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don’t want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option — it isn’t,” he said, reading from a prepared address, according to a video of the event.
     And then, to applause at Congregation Shaarei Chaim, he said: “I didn’t march in the gay parade this year — the gay pride parade this year. My opponent did, and that’s not the example we should be showing our children.” Newsday.com reported that Mr. Paladino’s prepared text had included the sentence: “There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual.” But Mr. Paladino omitted the sentence in his speech.
Image via The New York Times 
     There is nothing to be proud of in being a bigoted Roman Catholic who bullies minorities.  And why is this Jewish congregation applauding?  Do they really think that Paladino respects them or their religion?  That he sees them as equals?  If his Catholic views on homosexuality are as extreme as they are, Shaarei Chaim should ask him what he thinks of Judaism.
     About an hour after Mr. Paladino’s remarks, Mr. Cuomo’s campaign released a statement condemning them.  “Mr. Paladino’s statement displays a stunning homophobia and a glaring disregard for basic equality,” it said. “These comments along with other views he has espoused make it clear that he is way out of the mainstream and is unfit to represent New York.”
     I couldn't agree more.
     Mr. Paladino declined a request to be interviewed after his appearance. His campaign manager, Michael R. Caputo, denied assertions that Mr. Paladino was antigay, and noted that he employed a gay man on his campaign staff.
     A few historical notes:  Hitler employed Jews in his death camps.  Confederates had slaves working in their homes.   Catholic missionaries and conquistadors used Native American guides.  That didn't excuse their racism and antisemitism.  Or their genocidal means.
     “Carl Paladino is simply expressing the views that he holds in his heart as a Catholic,” Mr. Caputo said in a telephone interview. 
     How very true.   It's okay for Catholics to be bigots, as long as they hold those views "in their heart."
Carl Paladino is not homophobic, and neither is the Catholic Church.”
     How can anyone take these people seriously?  The Catholic church is historically one of the most homophobic institutions in the world.  Mr. Caputo needs to spend a few days in a seminary
     During his appearance at the synagogue, with reporters in attendance, Mr. Paladino said: “Don’t misquote me as wanting to hurt homosexual people in any way. That would be a dastardly lie.”

     Mr. Paladino is running on the promise that there will be no marriage equality for same sex couples in New York, but claims that he doesn't hurt homosexuals.  The lack of equal civil marriage rights hurts homosexuals economically, emotionally, and relationally.  Mr. Paladino espouses treacherous lies.

     He uses words like "brainwash" and vilifies "dysfunctional" homosexuals for having pride, but is that not cowardly and meanly base?  Bullies use the same arguments.  So do the people committing hate crimes against LGBT persons.  When gay children hear such statements coming from their religious and political leaders, it tears them apart.  I know this, because I grew up with it.  When I was twenty, I nearly killed myself.  How many more children have to kill themselves before the plugged ears and hardened hearts of the Paladinos and Ratzingers of the world actually start to listen?

     Paladino, PalinLimbaugh--the list of Republicans who publicly bash LGBT persons and then say "but I have one on my staff" or "I have gay friends" or "I tolerate gays" is exhausting.  This tactic of bashing gays and then saying you have friends that are gay is utterly underhanded.  

     Carl Paladino is a Dastard.