Friday, September 14, 2007

Why, yes, being visibly gay is still an occupational hazard

Daisy shares this bit of news:

"Top Chef" Beaten By Anti-Gay Attackers"

SEA CLIFF, N.Y. — A Miami woman who was a former contestant on the reality show “Top Chef” was beaten by attackers yelling anti-gay slurs, her lawyer said Tuesday.

Josie Smith-Malave, a lesbian who was featured on Season 2 of the Bravo channel show, was among a small group of women asked to leave a Sea Cliff bar over Labor Day weekend, lawyer Yetta Kurland said. About 10 young people followed the women out and began screaming anti-gay epithets, spitting on them and then beating them, Kurland said.

The women, who had been on Long Island to attend a friend’s birthday party, suffered bruises, and one received injuries to her head. One of them had a camera taken in the attack.

Smith-Malave, who is in her early 30s, is openly gay, Kurland said. Her sister, who is straight, also was beaten.

Smith-Malave is a former sous-chef for the Marlow and Sons restaurant in Brooklyn. She has played for the New York Sharks of the Independent Women’s Football League.

Yep, it still happens.

Most people think of hate crimes as being exclusively against persons based on race, ethnicity or gender, but hate-based crimes against gay, lesbians and transgender people are equally rooted in our history and just as heinous.

Since the 1980's, the U.S. Legislature has passed a series of laws to help combat bias-based violence. Unfortunately, hate crimes based on sexual orientation have increased since 1995.

Forty four states and the District of Columbia have anti-hate crime laws, however only 24 states and the District of Columbia include sexual orientation in their legislation.

It's more or less sanctioned by a number of people with strong bully pulpits and think tanks.

Gays hurt civil rights movement

Homosexuals have never been forced to sit in the back of the bus. They are as privileged a group as any. To compare their attempts to affirm deviant sexual conduct to the legitimate discrimination claims of true minorities is a sham," said FRC Director of Cultural Studies Robert H.
Knight - FRC's CultureFacts, July 28, 1999,

Gays are like liars and cheaters

" 'Homosexuality is a decision, it's not a race,' White said. 'People from all different ethnic backgrounds live in this lifestyle. But people from all different ethnic backgrounds also are liars and cheaters and malicious and back-stabbing.' " - Reggie White, Associated Press, March 25, 1998.

Gays compared to serial killers

"If we discovered that being a serial killer or a sociopath was genetic, though we might not blame the serial killer or sociopath for being so, we certainly would not allow him to act up his serial killing or sociopathological disposition." -, Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths.

Gay civil rights could lead to slavery, cannibalism

"The demand is that homosexuality be endorsed and promoted with the full power of the law. This would require us to abandon the standard of nature, the one standard that can teach us the difference between freedom and slavery, between right and wrong. Once we abandon the standard of nature, what is to forbid us from resorting to any violation of nature that we may please? Why should we not return to slavery, if we find it convenient? Or the practices of incest or adultery or cannibalism?" -

Gays are disgusting and diseased

"The disgusting details of the homosexual lifestyle explain why so many diseases are present in the homosexual community." -, Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths.

Gays want to silence Christians, and blame them for all crimes against gays

"the real motivation behind such hate crime laws is to silence Christians. Gays will now feel free to blame any crime against a homosexual on Christians" - AFA ACTION ALERT via email, 10/16/98

It starts early.

Research indicates 31% of gay youth were threatened or injured at school. These experiences have a devastating impact on the educational success and mental health of youth. Anti-gay prejudice affects straight youth, too. For every gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth being harassed, 4 straight students were harassed because they were perceived as being gay or lesbian...

And this is why, for all his maybe-not-so-likable characteristics, I feel genuinely worried about this kid.

And you know what else?

The current law does not protect three groups that are particularly vulnerable to physical attack: women, the disabled, and homosexuals. President Clinton commented at the time: "All Americans deserve protection from hate."

Almost a decade has passed since Shepard's crucifixion. Many versions of a federal bill to expand hate-crimes protection to protect women, men, heterosexuals, bisexuals, homosexuals, transsexuals and disabled persons have been proposed, discussed, but not succeeded.

The latest version of such a bill, the Matthew Shephard act, actually passed the House this past May, and is pending in the Senate, which is expected to vote 'yes'. Naturally, Bush threatens a veto.

You can speak up in favor of the legislation, here, here,
and here. It won't take you but a minute.

If you want to read a bit more on why the legislation is necessary, as well as some of the people and tactics dedicated to stopping it, you could start here.

And by the way, once again, for those of you just tuning in:

"In 31 states, it's still legal to fire someone because they're gay or lesbian; in 39 states it is legal to fire someone for being transgendered."

Support the ">Employment Non-Discrimination Act.


misscripchick said...

this was such a huge controversy in the nc legislature this year... i don't get it..

obviously we have a bunch of homophobic people living here but even if you aren't supportive of gay rights (or as they say, homosexuals), wouldn't you still want a human to have protection from not being beaten or killed?? i don't understand why someone WOULDN'T support hate crime leg.

belledame222 said...

Look at the quotes from the likes of FRC and Dobson. They pump that shit out all day long, project like crazy...dude, it's classic scapegoating and fearmongering, it's the same old trick that's worked since time immemorial. "oh they SAY they just want protection from being beaten or killed, but you know you give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile...say, did we mention the part about their filthy disgusting sexual practices, and how diseased they are, oh YES, and how they're all more privileged than YOU, hardworking citizen who was wobbed (but not by Us, certainly not), and they're daring to ask for -more special rights?- GO GIT 'EM!"

works like a charm.

belledame222 said...

...and then of course, when that doesn't work to convince most of yer average Joes and Janes, you just get yer sockpuppet of a President to veto it, which he will do eagerly, just on general principles of being an asshole and dancing with those what brung him, and because once he makes up his mind he sticks to it, by cracky.

Alon Levy said...

He won't veto it. He's not anti-gay; he doesn't care about gay rights, but he doesn't care to restrict them, either.

belledame222 said...

What makes you say that?

Alon Levy said...

Mary Cheney.

Kim said...

OH. How I hate this. Really, just really.

"'Homosexuality is a decision, it's not a race."

Sentiments like this, I can't help but see a possible link between this and "political lesbianism." As if being gay is just something one chooses. Perhaps some do -- but it would seem to ME this talk of "choosing" one's sexual orientation could be offensive to honest-to-goodness gay/lesbian folks.

Because if one can choose to be gay/lesbian, couldn't folks too easy swing it the other way: "you could choose to be straight if you WANTED!"

I don't like that and I don't like that at all.

R. Mildred said...

Mary Cheney.

Awww you're adorable when you're being optimistically nieve.

Ooz a widdle optimist den? Ooz a widdle optimist den? izit oo? Yes it is! *blows up alon's belly button*

the only reason they'd not put something like this through is because it actively went against their best interests - the cheneys are billionairs with their own private army, so any anti-gay bills won't hit them until people, from within the republican military industrial complex, who want to sit in Cheney's seat feel that making them affect Mary is in their best interest, and who also have the clout neccesary to pull it off in the first place.

And that's when the long knives come out.

These ARE, and have routinely proven themselves to be, perfectly selfish political agents Alon, most of them being sociopaths and all while the rest feign sociopathy to fit in, and if something like an anti-gay bill won't actively cost them anything but might gain them something, no matter how small, they'd need a reason not to do it, rather than a reason to do it.

>>>the more you know>>>*

Alon Levy said...

Not only that, but Bush and Cheney are secretly vampires who're out to destroy all that is decent.

R. Mildred said...

Not only that, but Bush and Cheney are secretly vampires who're out to destroy all that is decent.

I object to your use of the word "secretly".

belledame222 said...

I have seen absolutely no evidence thus far that the fact that dear Mary still luvs her daddy has in any way changed the Cheney's approach to -policy,- much less Dubya's.

Alon Levy said...

Well, they spent an infinitesimal amount of political capital on a constitutional amendment banning SSM, for one.

That, and in seven years, Bush has vetoed one bill. For some reason, I don't expect an employment nondiscrimination act to be his second, not when it's even more popular than raising the minimum wage. The last thing Bush wants is to have Congress override a veto of his.

R. Mildred said...

For some reason, I don't expect an employment nondiscrimination act to be his second, not when it's even more popular than raising the minimum wage.

Do they know that? Have you told them?

Becuase I'd hate for bush to look silly because he was misinformed about the popularity of this that or the other.

Btw, how many things has Bush wanted to veto but hasn't? Because a mere lack of overkill for overkill's sake isn't quite the same thing as restraint...

Alon Levy said...

If they read Gallup polls, they know that, yes.

I don't know how many things Bush has wanted to veto, but judging by the number of signing statements he's issued reversing the intent of the law, I'd say a lot. Basically, vetoing something requires him to take responsibility and be subject to the possibility of an override. So when the law is specifically about his administration, say a ban on torture, he can wiggle his way around it with a signing statement. When it's not, say a ban on discrimination, he can't.