When Gov. Perry makes homophobic comments, it’s not news

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Gov. Rick Perry has oral sex with a corny dog

I’ve had a number of people send me copies of articles about Gov. Rick Perry making homophobic comments in San Francisco this week. They wondered: Did I miss it?

Nope. Didn’t miss it. Just didn’t think Perry making stupid comments rated as news anymore.

We’ve covered Perry’s self-hating homophobia. Former state Rep. Glen Maxey, who served in the Texas House of Representatives with Perry, even wrote a book about Perry’s closet. For anyone interested, the book’s still available on Amazon.

So when Perry equates homosexuality to alcoholism, we have to wonder. He was in San Francisco. Was he once again that tempted? Overwhelmed? Unable to control either his drinking or his libido?

But is Perry’s stupidity news? No. But we are excited about another Rick Perry run for president. Please run. Please. It’ll be so much fun. Even if you don’t run, could you please, please at least have a debate with Hillary?

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Gov. Rick Perry’s Brokeback Mountain ad from his last presidential bid

—  David Taffet

Don’t worry, Dale — we think you’re a hunk

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Dale Hansen shown here as a young hunk.

As long as Dale Hansen brought up the subject, we’ll say it. Dale, at Dallas Voice, we voted that you still got it. You are officially one red-hot piece of beefcake.

When Michael Sam came out in February, Hansen said the NFL was ready for a gay player. Apparently, he was the only sportscaster in the country who said anything like that because the commentary got noticed nationally and landed him on Ellen.

Once Sam was drafted, Hansen weighed in again. His commentary is below. Hansen said he can’t believe there are 248 college players better than Sam. He also mentioned he’s worked with lots of gay guys at Channel 8 over the years, and he’s never gotten hit on by any of them. He wonders if it’s just because gay men tend to be professional at work or if he’s just not that attractive.

So, Dale, we want to assure you it’s just how professional your colleagues have been. You are one hot hunk, and we love you. Why, we’re even nominating you to be grand marshal of this year’s Pride parade in September.

I bet when Hansen meets Sam, if Sam gives him a hug and thanks him for being the only sports reporter in the country to fully support him from the beginning, Hansen is just secure enough to take it as nothing more than a sincere thank you.

And a note to Sam’s new team: He’s not going to hit on you. He already has a pretty great boyfriend.

—  David Taffet

Stupid is as stupid does, or whatever

Screen shot 2014-05-13 at 8.58.03 AMI usually ignore stupid. I ignore it when people tell me I could pass for white. I ignore it when I hear someone say Africa is a country (help us, sweet Jesus), and I didn’t say a word when someone once said to me, “Don’t put too much ice in the glass cause when it melts it will spill over.” I swear she did.

So, I was tempted to ignore this email because it just reeks of stupid. A man named Weldon Cranfield sent it to our publisher, Leo Cusimano, who forwarded it to me. It seems Weldon’s Christian sensibilities are reeling after the Rams drafted Michael Sam this weekend. Bless his heart. I mean, it’s OK for Christians to murder, enslave, invade heathen countries (it’s for their own good) and stomp out other religions in the name of God, but OMG … Earth is ready to spin off its axis because an out gay man got drafted by those infidel Rams. Shame on them.

You’ll have to read lil’ ol’ Weldon’s email. It’s a jewel. I’m still trying to figure out how “blacks compromise just 12% of the population” as Weldon claims. Is he bragging that we’ve kept them from compromising more? It’s a wonder Texas and the other Southern states survived integration. Didn’t the prophets predict civilization would perish if black and white children attended school together? Or if blacks and whites ate in the same restaurant? W.A. Criswell, the intellectually impoverished leader of First Baptist Church of Dallas from 1944 to 1991, said it would. The day after the Brown v. Board of Education decision, Criswell preached a sermon that explained why God had ordained segregation. Straight out of the ass’ mouth. I mean horse’s.

Anyway, we were speaking about Weldon and his gifted use of language. Compromise, comprise. What’s the difference? Weldon is concerned, after all, for the good of all, and a black, out gay player in the NFL isn’t for the good of all. Just ask Weldon. Better yet, read his email. I’ve included his email address in case you want to thank him. I love how he signs off with “Sincerely.” Gosh, he’s polite.

“Dear Sir,

“The news today is Michael Sam became the first seventh round draft pick ever to get a call from the president of the United States and the president wasn’t calling him to congratulate him for his football prowess.  He is not that gifted as a football player!  He was drafted because he is a homosexual?

“There are less than 2 percent of Americans who are homosexual or lesbian people. Americans should not let 2 percent of the population change the definition of marriage that has been supported by every single culture and every single religion for 5,000 years. Not to mention the medical ramifications.

“While the Center for Disease Control reports that 78% of all new HIV infections are among males, primarily those who have had sex with other men, HIV/AIDS is taking a monstrous toll on the young man in particular. According to the CDC, more than a quarter of all new HIV infections in the United States are found in young males between the ages of 13–24, particularly in young males between 20–24, the category into which Sam falls. In fact, young man are the only age group in which the rate of HIV/AIDS infections is showing a significant increase.

“Despite the fact that blacks compromise just 12% of the population, blacks who are Sam’s age represent an astonishing 57% of all new cases among young males. There are more new HIV infections among young black males (aged 13–24) than any other age or racial group period. Alarmingly, the estimated rate of new HIV infections for black males is eight times as high as that of white men.

“In other words, as a young, black, homosexual male, Michael Sam is in the single highest risk category for HIV/AIDS that exist on the planet. Ole Roger Goodell and the NFL should be warning him, not glorifying him.

“Alas, the only people who truly care for Michael Sam are those who love him enough to tell him the truth about the health risks of homosexual behavior – and that sadly does not include the Roger Goodell or the NFL. They long ago sold their souls to the virulent, vitriolic bullies and bigots of big Gay. But it will be Michael Sam who pays the price for their soulless cowardice.

“Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that “homosexuality for over 200 years has been criminal in every state.” My wife and our family and the majority of Americans (87%) refuse to celebrate sexual abnormality. We find it offensive and morally objectionable and is in no way a right in the U.S. Constitution. Society does not benefit from perversion, but rather ends up in decline. Calling Homosexuality a sin is truth, not hatred or bigotry.

“You have no right to be immoral in a Christian nation where sodomy and homosexuality is against the law. Nobody believes that perversion is a human rights issue. It has never been morally unacceptable and we find it very offensive.

“Sincerely, Weldon”

You can email Weldon at weldon.cranfield@gmail.com. God love him.

 

—  Steve Ramos

Gay slur painted on Michigan teen’s home

The parents of a 16-year-old boy in Michigan said they believe his classmates painted an anti-gay slur on their home, along with an arrow that points to his bedroom, WEYI-TV reported.

Melanie Peabody and her husband tried to remove the graffiti, and they’re speaking out about the incident.

“I’m mad,” Melanie said. “My son’s not safe.”

The family lives in Vienna Township, a town of about 13,000 people in the middle of Michigan. Levi Peabody attends Clio High School.

“It does hurt,” he said. “As much as I don’t want to admit it, it does hurt that someone would dislike me that much to do something to my window.

The family has installed security cameras in their bedrooms as an attempt to catch the culprits, but the also want to send a message that they won’t tolerate the attacks.

“… It’s disgusting,” Melanie said.

The Genessee County Sheriff’s Department said they’re working with school officials to identify potential suspects.

—  Steve Ramos

Are SMU students getting away with hate speech?

Students took to a social media app, using anti-gay slurs to defeat a vote that would have added an LGBT seat to the student Senate

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YES H8 | Students stroll in and out of SMU’s Dallas Hall during the week before finals. Several of them talked about homophobic attacks on Yik Yak, a social media app. (Steve Ramos/Dallas Voice)

DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer
Southern Methodist University students littered a recent vote with hate speech that showed how deeply some of them despise the LGBT community. Rants appeared on Yik Yak, a social media app where people can comment anonymously, when the students were voting whether to include an LGBT seat on the student Senate.

“Homosexual isn’t a race its a fucked up way of life,” one student posted on Yik Yak. “Yeah, I’m homophobic. So what?” another student fired off. And there were more. “Fuck fags” also was among the numerous posts.

Yet, there is no firestorm of protests to match those created by another hate-generated tirade. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned from the NBA on Tuesday, fined $2.5 million and is being pressured to sell his team after he was recorded making racist comments. On the SMU campus, however, the students’ anti-gay rants have barely stirred the manicured azaleas.

“To me that just shows that it’s OK to hate gay people and say anything you want about them, but you can’t say anything hateful about other groups,” said Glenda Long, who was eating lunch at a restaurant on Cedar Springs Road. “It’s just not right that people say such hateful things about us, and no one cares. But then that basketball team owner says something racist, and everyone wants his head on a platter. Where’s the concern for our community?”

One SMU student was concerned. Dillon Chapman had been documenting the anti-gay comments for weeks, and he said he noticed the number of comments increased as the vote approached. He said he stopped doing it after other students accused him of “cheapening the level of discourse.”

SMU has other minority seats that represent its African-American, Asian, Hispanic, foreign and tranfer students, but attempts to add an LGBT seat have failed repeatedly. In April, the student Senate voted 43 to 3 to create the seat, but the student body voted against changing the student constitution.

The measure’s supporters rallied and collected more than the 10 percent of student signatures needed for a revote. It failed by an even greater margin than the first vote.

Carl McClain, one of the 1,000 students who voted against creating the LGBT seat, said homophobia didn’t influence his vote. He didn’t vote in the first election because he couldn’t make up his mind, but he voted “no” in the revote because he felt students should have accepted the results of the first vote.

“Our student constitution is currently silent on the issue on re-votes, and it was through this kind of technicality that a second ballot was pushed,” McClain said. “I understand that the re-vote proposal emerged from several student senators, though LGBT-friendly organizations eventually endorsed the idea.”

When the anti-gay slurs appeared, encouraging students to vote against the measure, the university’s newspaper, The Daily Campus, devoted its editorial page to the Yik Yak controversy.

“The app is, of course, not responsible for homophobia on campus, but it has brought those sentiments to the forefront, clearly demonstrating to the university the deep-seeded hate a large number of students have against persons identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender,” the editorial board wrote. The editorial further explained that the hateful, anonymous comments that encouraged students to vote against the LGBT seat are  exactly the reason the seat is needed.

In the same issue, SMU President Gerald Turner wrote a letter, condemning the “disrespectful anonymous comments” posted on social media. He called the reports “extremely troubling” and said they violate the Student Code of Conduct.

“When students violate these values through anonymous social media comments, they are harming our community and, we believe, themselves,” Turner wrote.
Sammi Partida, a junior at SMU, says he has ideas to resolve the problem, but when he contacted Turner’s office, he was given a copy of the president’s letter.

“It was good that he was taking note, but a letter won’t cut it,” Partida said. “The newspaper is something that we can all read, feel good about, but at the end of the day, where does it end up? Discarded in a box somewhere.”

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CLASSLESS | SMU students took to social media to hurl anti-gay slurs during a recent vote to add an LGBT seat to the student Senate. (Steve Ramos/Dallas Voice)

Partida said he’d like to see funding for the Women’s and Gender Studies program increased to allow for more events and programming. He also said sexual orientation and gender identity should be addressed to allow for more events and programming. Professors, he suggested, could address the issue for a few minutes throughout the semester, especially at times such as the LGBT Senate seat vote or when anti-LGBT incidents occur on campus.

While professors in the gender studies program probably have addressed the Yik Yak comments, Partida doesn’t believe professors at the Cox School of Business have. A lesson might be framed in terms of how unacceptable the anti-gay slurs are in a corporate setting.

“Whether it’s in the workplace, on social media or the company’s intranet sites, we do not tolerate discrimination of any sort, including that based on sexual orientation or gender identity, age, race gender, ethnicity, religion or national origin,” an AT&T spokesman said. “Our social media standards for employees point out explicitly that conduct that is prohibited in the workplace (discrimination, bullying or harassment) also is prohibited in the digital space.”

Turner suggested in his letter that students who feel victimized have resources available to them, including the campus police. Partida, though, doesn’t give that any weight. He said he reported an incident to police when he felt threatened by other students who were calling him homophobic names. The police, he said, told him it didn’t warrant an investigation. Several weeks ago, it happened again, he said. Then, three students who Partida said were drunk, followed him on campus at night and called him a “faggot.” He said he didn’t bother to report it because campus police didn’t do anything the first time.

The lack of action by campus police concerns James Tate, Community Relations Consultant with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.

“Situations like these are unfortunate but an everyday reality for some students,” he said. “This is why education and awareness are crucial. What we know is that many times acts of violence begin with name calling and other forms of bullying, and we should avoid a spark turning into a flame. The district attorney’s office is committed to victims of any crime, and we are here to help.”

The campus police said they do take those incidents seriously.

“We do take these kinds of reports and would refer the case to the SMU student conduct office for investigation as possible violations of the student code of conduct,” said SMU Chief of Police Richard Shafer.

So given the outrage volleyed at Sterling for his racist comments, shouldn’t people, especially LGBT people, direct a similar demand for accountability at SMU? LGBT Sports Coalition spokeswoman and ESPN.com editor Christina Kahrl sees a connection between Sterling’s racist remarks and the SMU students’ homophobic posts. She said the national attention Sterling’s comments attracted reflects how engaged people are with sports, but she noted that the anti-gay slurs on Yik Yak are equally offensive. However, many people don’t feel homophobic comments are relevant to them.

“This kind of backlash shows the need for their inclusion even more and shows serious concern for their safety,” Kahrl said.

Yik Yak CEO Tyler Droll and COO Brooks Buffington said in a statement that “Yik Yak is an anonymous app built to foster responsible interaction and build networks in hyper-local areas. While most of the posts and activity is positive, we make every effort to ban offensive or abusive use of the app. When an inappropriate comment is posted, we can suspend and ultimately ban users from communicating on Yik Yak.”

Yet, no SMU student was banned from Yik Yak for the anti-gay slurs. Sarah Gimbel, an SMU freshman, said she’s “very anti-Yik Yak.”

“I took it off my phone,” she said.

Some faculty members also expressed their disappointment that the students voted not to add the LGBT seat.

“This week, a large number of undergraduate students turned out to prevent the student Senate from creating an LGBT representative for the student Senate,” School of Education Dean David Chard wrote on Facebook. “If this move had been defeated by a handful of students it would be less hurtful. However over a thousand students turned out to vote; a crowd usually reserved at SMU for alcohol and dancing. This is very, very disappointing.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 2, 2014.

 

—  David Taffet

SMU students vote down LGBT Senate seat, post anti-gay rants

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A revote on an LGBT Southern Methodist University student Senate seat failed this week.

“The results were 1,107 votes in favor and 1,025 against — meaning it lost by an even larger margin than it did last time,” Spectrum co-President Shelbi Smith said. Spectrum is the university’s LGBT student organization.

“We have been doing a social media blitz, talking to strangers, and emailing all of the supporters who signed our petition,” former Spectrum President Harvey Luna said.

After trying to pass a bill in the student Senate since 2009 to add an LGBT special interest seat, the Senate approved the measure this year for the first time and passed it overwhelmingly. That entailed a change to the student constitution, which takes a two-thirds vote of the student body.

On the initial vote, the measure failed. Students had a week to collect signatures of 10 percent of the student body to bring the issue up for a revote. Spectrum members were successful in collecting enough signatures, but they failed to convince enough students to participate and did not receive two-thirds of the vote.

An anti-gay campaign seems to have raged on YikYak, an app that allows someone to post anonymously.

Luna sent a copy of some of the comments that included statements like, “Yeah, I’m homophobic so what?” and “I hope the gay community uses yik yak because yeah we do hate you and we do want you to know it.”

Others were collected by SMU student Dillon Chapman and can be found here.

—  David Taffet

Ding Dong Fred Phelps is dead

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A Phelps grandchild protesting in Dallas

According to the Topeka Capital Journal, hatemonger Fred Phelps is dead.

Good.

More coverage in Friday’s paper.

—  David Taffet

Arizona lawmakers pass controversial anti-gay bill

UnknownArizona’s Legislature has passed a controversial bill that would allow business owners, as long as they assert their religious beliefs, to deny service to gay and lesbian customers, CNN reported.

The bill, which the state House of Representatives passed by a 33-27 vote Thursday, now goes to Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican and onetime small business owner who vetoed similar legislation last year but has expressed the right of business owners to deny service.

The measure has drawn criticism from Democrats and business groups who said it would sanction discrimination and open the state to the risk of damaging litigation.

“With the express consent of Republicans in this Legislature, many Arizonans will find themselves members of a separate and unequal class under this law because of their sexual orientation,” Anna Tovar, the state senate Democratic minority leader, said in a statement. “This bill may also open the door to discriminate based on race, familial status, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability.”

In a letter to Brewer on Friday, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council urged the governor to veto Senate Bill 1062, saying the “legislation will likely have profound, negative effects on our business community for years to come.”

“The legislation places businesses currently in Arizona, as well as those looking to locate here, in potentially damaging risk of litigation, and costly, needless legal disputes,” council President Barry Broome wrote, adding that four unidentified companies have vowed to locate elsewhere if the legislation is signed.

He added, “With major events approaching in the coming year, including Super Bowl XLIX, Arizona will be the center of the world’s stage. This legislation has the potential of subjecting the Super Bowl, and major events surrounding it, to the threats of boycotts.”

The bill is being pushed by the Center for Arizona Policy, a conservative group opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage. The group has justified the measure on grounds that the proposal protects people against increasingly activist federal courts.

“As we witness hostility towards people of faith grow like never before, we must take this opportunity to speak up for religious liberty,” the group said on its website, asking people to contact Brewer and urge her to sign the bill. “The great news is that SB 1062 protects your right to live and work according to your faith.”

Cathi Herrod, the center’s president, told CNN on Friday, “The Arizona bill has a very simple premise, that Americans should be free to live and work according to their religious faith. It’s simply about protecting religious liberty and nothing else.”

Herrod said the bill’s opponents are “showing unbelievable hostility toward religious beliefs.”

“America still stands for the principle that religious beliefs matter (for) something in this country, that we have the right to freely exercise our religious beliefs,” she said.

But Robert Boston, a spokesman for the Washington-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State, told CNN the legislation would “fling the door wide open to discrimination, not just against gay people, but basically to any class of individuals that a religious fundamentalist decides he or she doesn’t want to deal with.”

He added, “A woman who is pregnant out of wedlock, for example, ‘Well, out the door, you don’t get served in my business.’ ”

The Arizona legislation was passed as conservative states work to counter laws legalizing same-sex marriage. Arizona voters approved a ban on same-sex marriage as a state constitutional amendment in 2008.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona called the bill “unnecessary and discriminatory.”

“What today’s bill does is allow private individuals and businesses to use religion to discriminate, sending a message that Arizona is intolerant and unwelcoming,” the group said in a statement.

Some Republican legislators have defended the bill as a First Amendment issue, while Democrats dismissed it as an attack on gays and lesbians.

“We saw it with Russia and the Olympics,” said state Rep. Chad Campbell, a Phoenix Democrat, who voted against the legislation, according to KPHO. “I mean, hey, I’m not sure if Russia is any less progressive than Arizona now against gay rights to be quite honest with you.”

Monica Jones, a Phoenix resident, agreed: “Think about what this says to the rest of the country. We are not Russia. We are a first nation. And, as Americans, we have civil rights.”

—  Steve Ramos

Gay men say they were kicked out of bar for dancing to country music

aclu2The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas is supporting a gay couple after the men said they were kicked out of a South Texas nightclub for dancing together to country music.

The incident occurred Saturday night at a Victoria nightclub when Justin Meyer, 21, said he and his partner danced together to the country song “Cowboys and Angels,” the Victoria Advocate reported.

The men said a manager approached them and told them Cactus Canyon has a policy barring two men from dancing together to country music.

Meyer’s partner, James Douglas, 30, said the manager told them they could dance together to rap or hip-hop music, but not country.

“So you’re telling me it’s OK for me to bump and grind my boyfriend to the song `Bubble Butt,’ but we can’t dance a two-step?” Douglas told the newspaper.

But Cactus Canyon’s director of operations, Robert Dillender, says the men were asked to leave because they were being disruptive.

“We’ve never kicked anyone out of the club for dancing,” he said, adding the club does not have a policy barring same-sex couples from dancing together.

However, Dillender said the club does have to “maintain the peace” under its obligation to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the agency that issues liquor licenses. Cactus Canyon is now reviewing how it interprets that policy, he said.

“We apologize for the misunderstanding,” Dillender added.

The issue has already caught the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union in Texas, and the group plans to reach out to the couple to offer assistance.

“We encourage all people to stand up for their individual rights,” said Tom Hargis, an ACLU spokesman.

—  Steve Ramos

WATCH: Lesbian friend might convert kids, says Pat Robertson

Conservative televangelist Pat Roberston told a mother that allowing her family to meet with her longtime lesbian friend could cause her children to grow up gay. View the video below.

 

 

 

 

—  Steve Ramos