Ramos is a dinosaur at the brink of extinction

By ELENA GUAJARDO and EDUARDO JUAREZ
Co-chairs, Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio

It is a shame and painfully unfair that the Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio are forced to respond to the continued discriminatory ravings and completely baseless accusations of Dan Ramos, the chairman of the Bexar County Democratic Party.  Mr. Ramos unapologetically bellows bald and bigoted charges, singling out Stonewall Democrats as “termites” and as the “Nazi Party.” But he fails to provide even the most rudimentary factual support for any of his purported allegations of misconduct, because his accusations are simply false.

This is a crucial time for Texans: the Republican-controlled Texas legislature is busy passing the most anti-Latino and anti-employer immigration legislation in our era; restricting voters rights through onerous voter ID requirements and biased redistricting; raising medically unsound obstacles to the long-held reproductive freedoms of women; and cutting billions of dollars to public education, further weakening the Texas economy. And yet, in the face of these pressing challenges for Democrats, Mr. Ramos has chosen to worry about whether his “fishing buddy” is gay. He has, moreover, apparently decided to hurl inflammatory bigoted remarks (such as referring to gays as a “sinister movement” and comparing homosexuals to “children stricken with polio”) to deflect attention from his own utter incompetence and misconduct as party chair.

The good thing, if we can find a silver lining in these turbulent times for Bexar County Democrats, is that Mr. Ramos is a dinosaur at the brink of extinction. He is irrelevant to our times, will be removed as party chair, and will never again be elected to public office in this county or state — not because of his age or ailments, but because of his archaic and decrepit discriminatory views that are contrary to the definitive trend of justice in the entire Western Hemisphere. True leaders do not succumb to irrelevancy even after their physical death. Even as early as the 1970s, the iconic Mexican-American civil rights lion Cesar Chavez strongly and vocally supported lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights.

Following this icon’s visionary leadership is a swell of voices that will continue to increase, from all corners, condemning Mr. Ramos’ bigoted remarks and calling for his resignation. Indeed, the Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio hope and demand that all fair-minded Bexar County Democrats, including our elected officials, party leaders, and voters strongly voice their opposition to Mr. Ramos’ views, demand his immediate resignation, and support his ouster.

—  admin

U.N. votes to remove protection of gays, lesbians, transgenders from execution

The Bahamas thinks it’s OK to kill you.

In a 79-70 vote, the United Nations voted last week to remove LGBT people from a list of protected groups that have historically been targeted for genocide. Seventeen countries abstained and 26 countries were not present.

For the past 10 years, sexual orientation was included on the list of protected groups, which also includes members of ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities.

The motion to eliminate sexual orientation from the list was introduced by Benin, a small country in West Africa.

Most of the votes to remove sexual orientation from the list came from African and Muslim countries. However, enough votes came from the Western Hemisphere to pass the resolution. Some of the countries that voted in favor of the resolution are popular LGBT travel destinations.

The Bahamas, Jamaica and St. Lucia voted that it is OK to kill the LGBT community. While Jamaica has a poor record on LGBT rights, the Bahamas does not and their prime minister has said that homosexuality is not illegal and welcomed LGBT tourists.

Belize is a popular Central American tourist destination that also voted to kill gays.

After the earthquake, the LGBT community in Dallas organized the largest relief fundraising event in North Texas for Haiti. That country said thank you to the Dallas LGBT community by voting with the majority to kill gays.

South Africa was the first country in the world to include equality based on sexual orientation into its constitution. Same-sex marriage is legal in South Africa. That country voted for killing gay people.

Caribbean countries that are popular travel destinations and abstained were Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. Other popular gay travel destinations that abstained were Fiji and Thailand.

The United States condemned the motion and voted against it.

—  David Taffet

Americans to Pakistan: Drown

There’s little LGBT about this. I’m writing it because I haven’t seen anyone else in the media say it. It’s not my recommendation. It’s my observation.

Americans don’t sit by when people are in desperate need. The LGBT community doesn’t just let others suffer. Or so it seems, until now.

The LGBT community locally and nationally is usually very responsive to crises. We got little help with the AIDS crisis but have taken the lead in helping others affected by the disease.

When the earthquake hit Haiti, fundraising events spontaneously popped up all over the U.S. What had Haiti ever done for us? Nothing. They’re the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and needed our help. Most of us gave and felt guilty for not giving more.

The LGBT community in Dallas got together and produced an eight-hour fundraising event with performers from within and from outside our community to raise money for Haitians. Thousands of dollars were sent to the Clinton-Bush Haiti fund. The only wish in the community was that we could have done more.

When the tsunami swept the Pacific, donations poured in to help a dozen or more poor countries recover. Some of those countries were allies. Others, not so much. But desperate people needed our help.

Dallas Voice reported at the time that Cathedral of Hope and White Rock Community Church joined forces and raised more than $20,000 for that relief effort.

Today, floods have displaced 8.5 million people in Pakistan. As the crisis continues, homes have been destroyed and people are consumed by illness and hunger. The reaction is quite different.

—  David Taffet