Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Posts Tagged ‘gay rights’

Burying The Lede RE: Mitt Romney’s Gay Foreign Policy Advisor

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 3, 2012

I normally have no trouble with HuffPo’s political coverage. But this story struck me as odd:

Richard Grenell Flap Had ‘Blown Over,’ Mitt Romney Campaign Staff Thought

WASHINGTON — Former Romney spokesman Richard Grenell left the campaign because he felt like his reputation was being destroyed by criticism and he was unable to defend himself, according to sources who have spoken with Grenell and understand his thinking.

But by the time Grenell gave notice last weekend of his intention to quit, the Romney campaign viewed any controversy about his hiring as having largely evaporated, and Romney aides were surprised when they learned of Grenell’s wish to resign.

“In the scale of things, we didn’t view it as a major story and in fact thought it had blown over,” a source close to the Romney campaign said of the controversy around Grenell.

And we get a few more paragraphs in that vein, all gee-if-he’d-stuck-around-he’d-be-OK-by-now.

Except, at the verrrry end of the story, we find the real story — namely, that he’d been told by the Romney campaign to keep his lips zipped and not make any public statements:

The Romney campaign has said Grenell had not been sent out to talk
about foreign policy issues before this week because he was not
scheduled to start until May 1. But that explanation did not make sense
to some, including one former high-ranking Bush administration official.

“Why wasn’t Rick the spokesman in the last couple of days, when
foreign policy was paramount?” former Bush White House press secretary
Ari Fleischer asked the Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent . “That’s the piece I don’t understand.”

“I don’t know why he wasn’t the spokesman on foreign policy for the
last several days. It’s something that nobody understands,” Fleischer
added.

Last week Grenell was “instructed to shut up” before a foreign policy
conference call with reporters, eroding his standing with journalists
on the beat, Andrew Sullivan reported and HuffPost confirmed.

Turns out that the reference to the Sullivan piece was a late addition to the story, which partially explains why it got stuck at the bottom of the story. That, and the unwillingness of news outlets to do proper rewrites nowadays.

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Don Lemon: Why Aren’t Gay GOP Candidates Out From The Start?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 20, 2012


Whenever a closeted gay GOP officeholder, candidate, or prominent operative is suddenly forced out of the closet by some act of malfeasance or other scandal, the Republican Noise Machine immediately kicks into high gear, frantically accusing anyone and everyone who dares discuss said GOPer’s activities of hypocritically picking on the poor gay man/woman.

CNN’s Don Lemon has a neat reply: If the Republican Party is such a kind and welcoming home for gays, then why don’t their gays come out on their own? Why do they come out only when they’re forced out for some reason? In the case of Paul Babeu, Sheriff of Pinal County, Arizona, he came out to his Arizona constituents only after his former lover, a Mexican national named José, accused Babeu — who ran on an anti-immigrant platform — of threatening to deport him should José ever tell anyone that Babeu was gay and was José’s lover.

Democratic candidates like Trevor Thomas and Tammy Baldwin are openly gay and proud of it. By contrast, Mark Neumann, Baldwin’s Republican opponent for Herb Kohl’s Senate seat, is very much anti-gay and is attacking Baldwin because she is gay.

What Lemon, and I suspect most everyone else with an IQ above room temperature, understands, is this:

1. The GOP loves its closet cases, because they’re so much easier to control.

2. If suddenly gay Republicans came out without being dragged out by scandal, that would send a message that the GOP accepts gayness — which means the GOP loses the bigot base that they’ve spent decades cultivating through bigotry-baiting practices such as the Southern Strategy. Na Ga Ha Pen: Without bigotry, they lose.

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Anti-Gay Group Sets Up Stealth Minnesota State Fair Booth, Still Gets Glittered

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 5, 2011

Last Sunday, when I first went to the Minnesota State Fair this year, the corner of Wright and Underwood didn’t have a booth on it. Yesterday, on my second visit, I saw a booth operated by a local group opposed to marriage equality. This booth was allowed — and apparently sneaked in at the last minute — even as efforts to get a pro-marriage-equality booth were rejected for this year.

Nick “Robert Erickson” Espinosa and his merry band of gays, lesbians and straight friends decided to call attention to this bit of favoritism given bigotry with a little shower of glittery love from above, courtesy of the Sky Ride.

(UPDATE: The StarTribune article on this story implies that Minnesotans United, the pro-marriage-equality group whose spokesman Don McFarland is quoted therein, was involved in the planning of the glittering. According to a person who is familiar with Nick Espinosa, MU was not at all involved – just Espinosa and his crowd of civilized barbarians.)

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What “The People’s View” Would Rather You Didn’t See Right Now

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 29, 2011

As some of you may know, Ray Sandoval, the New Mexico OFA Director, saw fit in a recent OFA e-mail to quote an entire blog post from Spandan Chakrabarti, whose blog is called “The People’s View” and who also posts as “Deaniac83″ at DailyKos, as a way to attack the progressive movement, especially those who publicly take issue with the doings (or not doings) of Obama and his coterie.

But Chakrabarti wasn’t always a My-Obama-Right-Or-Wrong kinda guy. In fact, back on October 30 of 2007, he stated that Obama had lost his vote for, in Chakrabarti’s words, Obama’s “decision to pander to some in the African American religious community in order to surrender his principled support for equal rights for all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity”. As Chakrabarti would go on to say:

Lest you think this is because I was personally offended as a gay man, you are right. But it wasn’t only because of that that I made this decision. I draw the line in the sand when politicians pander to any group and sacrifice their stated goals of equal dignity under law and associate themselves, willingly, with known bigots of any kind, be they racists, sexists or homophobes. This is such a line. Obama has crossed it. Good riddance, Barack Obama.

That really must have been a line drawn in the sand, because it didn’t last very long. Hint: Next time, draw such lines in freshly-poured concrete. Better yet, don’t make such claims if you aren’t willing to stand behind them.

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Bradlee Dean’s Bigotry’s Running Out of Safe Havens

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 26, 2011

In light of Thalweg’s post yesterday over at RenPost about the Triumph of the Bigots in Tennessee, I thought I’d present some happier news about how the revenue stream of a local set of very similar bigots just got negatively impacted.

Remember how I told you the other day about how one of anti-gay nutjob and self-styled preacher man Bradlee Dean’s people was so ticked off at Sally Jo Sorensen’s attempting to interview him at his table set up outside the Hutchinson Walmart that he actually tried to call the cops on her?

Well, guess what — he won’t be setting up shop in front of Walmart any more.

Turns out that in order to get permission to have tables in front of Walmarts, Bradlee Dean’s “You Can Run But You Can’t Hide Ministries” tried to hide the truth about its virulently bigoted mission from the Walmart executives in Arkansas — and once the Walmart executives found out the truth, they banned Dean’s outfit from setting up shop in front of any Walmart.

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

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Does Hackbarth Need His Gun To Shoot Gays?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 7, 2011


In the course of celebrating the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party’s standing foursquare with same-sex couples in their fight for marriage equality, I got a little reminder about a recent incident involving one of the opponents of marriage equality:

State Rep. Tom Hackbarth, R-Bethel, was stopped by police last week in the Highland Park parking lot of Planned Parenthood after witnesses observed a gun on his hip, according to a report by the Star Tribune. Hackbarth said he was searching for a woman he met on an online dating website who he thought was with another man.

Hackbarth, who was the author of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, is still married to his wife, although they are separated. Hackbarth had a valid conceal and carry permit at the time he was stopped by police.

Hackbarth a few months later introduced a “gun rights” bill which is currently languishing in committee and with luck won’t ever leave it.

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

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