Bigot gets fired

Jonathan I. Katz is a ridiculous excuse of a human being. Here’s what he says about gay people.

Unfortunately, the victims are not only those whose reckless behavior brought death on themselves. There are many completely innocent victims, too: hemophiliacs (a substantial fraction died as a result of contaminated clotting factor), recipients of contaminated transfusions, and their spouses and children, for AIDS can be transmitted heterosexually (in America, only infrequently) and congenitally. The icy road was lined with unsuspecting innocents, who never chose to ride a motorcycle. Guilt for their deaths is on the hands of the homosexuals and intravenous drug abusers who poisoned the blood supply. These people died so the sodomites could feel good about themselves.

What of those cursed with unnatural sexual desires? Must they forever suppress these desires? Yes, but this is hardly a unique fate. Almost everyone has desires which must be suppressed. Most men and women think adulterous thoughts fairly often, and find themselves attracted to members of the opposite sex to whom they are not married. Morality requires them to suppress these desires, and most do not commit adultery, though they feel lust in their hearts. Almost everyone, at one time or another, covets another’s property. They do not steal. Many people feel great anger or intense hatred at some time in their lives. They do not kill.

I am a homophobe, and proud.

This bigot was given a prominent position within the Obama Administration, working on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. To compound Obama’s error, the guy is also a global warming denier to some extent. (“To some extent” = global warming is happening and is caused by people, but it’s somehow good for us.) A person such as this deserves to be shunned and pushed away from any prestigious position or stature – that should be obvious. In fact, it should have been obvious that such a person shouldn’t have been given any sort of distinguished label in the first place. Fortunately, at least hindsight is 20/20.

Dr. Chu has spoken with dozens of scientists and engineers as part of his work to help find solutions to stop the oil spill. Some of Professor Katz’s controversial writings have become a distraction from the critical work of addressing the oil spill. Professor Katz will no longer be involved in the Department’s efforts.

Good.

Reporter fired for responding to pro-gay press release

Of course the Bible Brigade is going to jump on this as Christian martyrdom, but the evidence doesn’t bear that out.

Grard was fired by Bill Thompson, editor of the Sentinel and its sister paper the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, shortly after the Nov. 3 election in which Maine voters repealed a same-sex marriage law approved by the Legislature. Grard said he arrived at work the morning after the vote to find an e-mailed press release from the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C., that blamed the outcome of the balloting on hatred of gays.

Grard, who said he’d gotten no sleep the night before, used his own e-mail to send a response.

This is an obviously weak reason to fire anyone, much less an employee of 18 years (note: I heard 17 in an interview on the radio with Grard). The guy has no prior reprimands or anything else on his record. It would seem a massive over reaction by Bill Thompson.

I suspect the failings of the piss-poor newspapers in Maine is the big factor in all this: they need to cut expenses, so firing a long time employee with one of the surely higher salaries is one way to do it. But that isn’t to say the specifics of the incident are irrelevant. Grard shouldn’t have been responding to a press release from work, so he should get slapped around a little for that, but fired? Sure, he represented his employer unprofessionally, but so does the construction worker who doesn’t wear a belt. There needs to be some perspective here.

“They said the Yes-on-1 people were haters. I’m a Christian. I take offense at that,” he said. “I e-mailed them back and said basically, ‘We’re not the ones doing the hating. You’re the ones doing the hating.’”

Offense? That’s it? Grard should feel shame over his prideful bigotry. He’s an ignorant mook who doesn’t want a group to have rights, and he has no interest (or ability) to show how that group having rights would infringe upon his own rights. That’s the definition of a bigot. Reality is a bitch like that. But I would be more amenable to an argument that directly said he should be fired over his bigotry. That isn’t to say I would buy into it – I wouldn’t advocate firing a racist who was able to avoid adversely affecting his job (or the jobs of his coworkers) – but it would be more convincing than the one Bill Thompson is giving.

And of course the Yes on 1 bigots are the ones doing the hating – they aren’t even hiding it! The argument that wretched side put forth all summer and fall long was that homosexuality was a bad thing. (Oh, but not homosexuals! It’s just the key defining attribute of certain people they hate, not the people themselves! Scoff.) Their sole/soul (hardy-har!) motivation was that a harmless action between two consenting adults is evil, personal liberties be god damned. I would love to see the paltry response Grard had to offer up in defense. Perhaps someone can enlighten me – who, exactly, was trying to take away Grard’s or anyone else’s rights? Anyone? Bueller? …Bueller?

Bad news

It looks like outright contempt for civil liberties will be victorious tonight. I cringe at the interviews where these fucking bigots are so proud of their ability to oppress a minority. It’s utterly disgusting. I have seriously run through my mind the likelihood of being able to move out of state to a place where my civil liberties are not so at risk. (This rejection of rights is not merely a rejection of rights for one group; my neighbor’s rights are my rights.) In all objectivity, it’s anger which drives me to this consideration, but that makes it no less real.

The single consolation in the all-but-certain results from tonight is that they are not the end of this. Maine spent roughly a decade fighting to protect sexual orientation in education, housing, employment, and other areas. Voters rejected this fight multiple times until it finally won in 2005. Soon after, another petition was generated to yet again attempt to repeal these protections and it had to be aborted due to lack of support. The exact same thing will happen with same-sex marriage – unless of course someone brings the issue to court. I hope that doesn’t happen for a couple years since it could trigger a constitutional amendment vote; it’s too early for that.

But I think it’s important to start asking certain questions. Those who voted to repeal Maine’s bill on personal liberties as they pertain to marriage have no concept of the gravity of what they have just done. Where does this all end? They have just affirmed that marriage is a religious institution that is to be legally sanctified by the state. Religion is such a dangerous weapon always, but that is especially true here. If marriage is a religious institution, then it is only really valid in the eyes of these bigots if it is done in front of their particular sky fairy. So what group faces the chopping block next? Muslims? Probably not too soon since Lewiston has a large black* Islamic population. Hindus? Not enough of a threat, really. Buddhists? Too amorphous to attack. Atheists? That’s a good target. It’s an unpopular group (even more so than gays), and not only do they not have the right god, they have no god at all. Why not take away their rights to marriage? And really, it isn’t taking away any rights. Marriage is now legally defined as a privilege. It can be taken away by the whim of the majority at any time, principles, rights, and liberties be damned.

*I specifically mention that they are black because a disproportionately high number of blacks in California voted against same-sex marriage. In Lewiston they went 3:1 against it. It’s astounding. This is a group with a still relevant history of oppression and discrimination against them (which specifically includes marital rights), yet they go and pull these tremendous stunts. They should know better. Stupidity knows no racial bonds; it is ubiquitous.

Why You May Be a Bigot

By Michael Hawkins

In the time since Governor Baldacci signed the same-sex marriage bill there has been much made of the word “bigot”. Those in favor of securing civil rights have deemed their opponents to be worthy of such a term. Naturally, those opponents balk at such an insult. So let’s take a closer look at the term.

The dictionary definition leaves a bit to be desired: “a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion”. If this is the only definition of “bigot”, then most people who offer any certainty in their beliefs could fall under its umbrella. But the word clearly must have a better distinction than that.

It is actions on which the term turns. Thomas Jefferson noted in his Letter to the Danbury Baptists that “government [can] reach actions only, and not opinions”. Even if one wishes to abuse the word to include beliefs of certainty, it is not important here. Action matters.

And so it is the action of Christians, Muslims, Jews, and other religious groups (and a majority of conservatives) to deny civil rights to a group of people. This is bigotry by definition. There is no way to get around this, no matter how offended one might be by the label.

If you are against homosexuality, you may be a bigot. It isn’t important to settle that issue right now. But if you are against allowing homosexuals civil rights you would otherwise readily grant to another group? Well, sir, that makes you a bigot.

The very idea of rights is that they are to be granted to anyone and everyone so long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others. It must be shown that granting all of Maine’s citizens (it doesn’t just apply to homosexuals) the right to marry a person of the same gender will be somehow harmful if one wishes to outlaw it. No such case has been made. No such case could be made. Homosexuality offers no threat to any individual’s or group’s welfare, property, or rightful pursuit of happiness. But denying rights to an entire group for no good reason? That does violate the concept of rights espoused by so many philosophers, professors, rational thinkers, and the founding fathers. It runs counter to what it means to be a fair and good and moral human being.

Lead us not into bigotry but deliver us from evil.

The pride of bigotry

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These are some of the wholly ignorant individuals who are seeking to overturn Maine’s same-sex marriage bill before it officially becomes law. They’re actually proud of themselves. It’s gross.

Bob Emrich is a hateful, stupid man. He has absolutely no idea that he’s actually advocating for discrimination against himself. He thinks homosexuality is icky or perverse or just like having sex with a dog or he’s uncomfortable in his own sexuality or he’s just another mook propping up the bible for his own ends (which is easy because that is one of the most morally malleable books ever written) or maybe it’s all of those things. Ultimately, he has no universal justification for denying people the right to marry on the (purely legal) basis of sex/gender. I doubt he’s smart enough to come up with many principled arguments for his beliefs in the first place, but even if he was capable of that, such an argument does not exist for his absurd position.

It’s an utter disgust that people like this are given legitimacy. Why don’t more people just lash into crap like this? Bob Emrich has a lot of bad ideas predicated on a lot of bad bigotry. I hate to be redundant with “bad bigotry” but aside from the grammatical flow, it supports the notion that Emrich doesn’t even understand the true basis for his hatred. He has no idea that through his outright bigoted, hateful views of homosexuals (what did they ever do to anyone?), he is taking legal aim at absolutely everyone. And that’s what this all is: a legal issue. Emrich has no logical basis to be demanding that the state of Maine discriminates against everyone on the basis of what chromosomes they have (again, go here).

Gay marriage in Maine

People seeking an end to bigotry are pushing for the passage of a bill that would allow homosexuals to marry in Maine, making it one of the few states which does not illegally discriminate on the basis of gender.

“Some have asked if this is the right time,” said Sen. Dennis Damon, D-Trenton, the bill sponsor. “To them, I say, this legislation is long overdue.”

The bill would define marriage as the union of two people, rather than one man and one woman. It would allow any two eligible people, regardless of sex, to be issued an application for a marriage license.

This should put an end to the ‘if you allow gay marriage, you should allow beastiality’ argument. It won’t. But it should.

Essentially, “two eligible people”, as far as the secular Maine government is concerned, are two people of age who are capable of consent. That means 18 and with an understanding of the terms of their secular marriage contract – in other words, non-human animals are not eligible since they cannot consent to or understand the contract. Of course, that’s the legal argument. The more interesting argument is that there is no good reason to deny homosexuals a certain set of rights. There is, however, the good reason of allowing two harmless individuals the right to a complete and happy life.

Gov. Baldacci isn’t so sure.

And while several Democratic legislators stood with gay advocates for the announcement, Gov. John Baldacci released a statement saying he hasn’t yet made up his mind on the issue.

“This debate is extremely personal for many people, and it’s an issue that I struggle with trying to find the best path forward,” Baldacci said. “I’m not prepared to say I support gay marriage today, but I will consider what I hear as the Legislature works to find the best way to address discrimination.”

The man has made up his mind. He’s a politician, though, so he needs to be careful with what he does. Maine is in the better part of the country politically, so he does have the advantage of having a fairly liberal constituency, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of bigots, especially in the north. (To give you an idea of the northern Maine bigotry potential, Sarah Palin campaigned there due to Maine splitting its electoral votes. The McCain campaign thought they had a shot up there. They didn’t, but the fact they even tried is disconcerting.)

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Carla Hopkins and Victoria Eleftheriou, of Mount Vernon, who brought their toddler, Eli, to the Statehouse to participate in the event, said they want a secure future for their son.

“The state discriminates against his family and it affects our ability to care for him in very real ways,” Hopkins said.

For example, she said after Eli was born, they had to fight with an employer to get him covered under a health care plan, something that would have been automatic if his parents were married.

This is just one of the differences between marriage and civil unions. Aside from being insulting, they prevent parents from being able to care for their children robustly.

Bob Emrich, a Baptist pastor who leads the Maine Marriage Alliance, said he hopes for a respectful debate on the issue. The alliance wants a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

He said the gay marriage bill is “really bad for society.”

Whoa, back up the irony train. You want to be respectful? Don’t say bigoted things that aren’t true because a piece of literature claims the currently most popular god endorses that bigotry. Then you might have a shot at being respectful. Until then, you’ve done nothing to earn any respect accept insofar as a literary critic deserves respect.

“It’s changing the very foundation of our society,” he said. “It’s going to have a major impact on children. It says something about the importance, or lack of importance, of fathers and mothers.”

Yes, your god forbid children have health insurance and their parents have more complete relationships to reinforce their love. How dreadful.

Solid Argument

This is from a bigoted article by Gerald Christian Nordskog, with Dr. Ted Baehr and Dr. Tom Snyder. The bigotry isn’t particular important (or well constructed). The interesting piece is when these mooks try to venture beyond their expertise of hate-mongering.

Most homosexuals seem to have adopted an irrational, unscientific view of the now defunct evolutionary model. They fail to realize, however, that, if evolution were really true (which it isn’t), there actually wouldn’t be any human homosexuals in the world. Why? Because, according to evolutionary theory, nature would have “selected out” over time, by the so-called “natural selection” evolution process, any truly genetic homosexual tendency because homosexual people do not procreate, or create any descendents. Thus, their deviant tendencies would have been eliminated from the gene pool by the untenable methodology of evolution.

No biologist is going to claim there is a gene which determines sexual preference. That isn’t how genetics work. Although studies have been conducted which have found that the genetic marker Xq28 conveys a tendency toward homosexuality, there is nothing that says homosexuality is deterministic. In fact, that study is far from solid but if it were true, it still wouldn’t say homosexuality is deterministic. This is essentially the problem encountered (unwittingly) by these bigots.

I may have a gene which gives me a predisposition to strong muscles around my shoulders. That doesn’t mean I’m going to be a great pitcher for the 2013 Boston Red Sox. It doesn’t even mean I would necessarily even have a chance at making it into an Independent League. Most genes have some degree – often a high one – of interaction with environmental conditions. This is why there is no “gay” gene(s) – and just the same, this is why there is no “straight” gene(s).

But just to be antagonistic toward these bigots, one possible way a gene which gives a predispotion (though not determinism!) toward homosexuality can be maintained in a gene pool is through sexually antagonistic selection.

The results of this model show the interaction of male homosexuality with increased female fecundity within human populations, in a complex dynamic, resulting in the maintenance of male homosexuality at stable and relatively low frequencies, and highlighting the effects of heredity through the maternal line.

These findings provide new insights into male homosexuality in humans. In particular, they promote a focus shift in which homosexuality should not be viewed as a detrimental trait (due to the reduced male fecundity it entails), but, rather, should be considered within the wider evolutionary framework of a characteristic with gender-specific benefits, and which promotes female fecundity. This may well be the evolutionary origin of this genetic trait in human beings.

Bigotry never wins.