The Matthew Shepard Act finally passes
It’s been a long road to passage, but the hate crimes bill finally seems likely to become law. But if there’s one topic about which the right has lied nearly as much as they have about healthcare reform, it would be this bill. Some of the things said in Congress have been so crazy that one wonders if the men in the clean white coats weren’t far away.
But one other thing occurred to me through this: The Republican Party had little to do with opposition to the bill—it was the religiously-driven wingnuts at the core of that party. Which kind of makes clear that the enemy of freedom and democracy isn’t the Republican Party per se, but these wingnuts. That’s useful in itself.
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
I saw a report at Chicago Tribune online that began this way:
“Students from Washington University in St. Louis raised civil rights complaints Thursday against a popular Chicago nightclub after six African-Americans were denied entry under the bar's "no baggy pants" policy—even as fellow students said the bar admitted similarly dressed white students.”
This reminded me of a long-gone gay nightclub (the building has been torn down) in Chicago’s “Boystown” neighbourhood, which had instituted a “no hats” policy. At the time, young African American men, gay or not, wore fancy baseball-style caps as a fashion statement. It was alleged that by banning such hats, the bar was hoping to exclude African Americans. Yep, some things just don’t change. Interestingly, the “no hats” bar ultimately failed—and for a time the space was occupied by a bar catering to GLBT African Americans.
Catholics poach haters
The Roman Catholic Church announced it would be working to allow breakaway Anglican parishes to join the Catholic Church—or is that “re-join”? The Anglican Church was formed in 1534 when the pope wouldn’t grant Henry VIII a divorce. These modern parishes are “breakaway” because they don’t like women bishops and—especially—they don’t like gay people being treated as equal human beings. So, the Catholics are eager to welcome their fellow anti-woman, anti-gay religionists—all of which probably means nothing to people who aren’t Catholic or Anglican; to us, it’s a kind of “no surprises there,” moment.
But the best comment I saw came from my e-buddy Mark, author of Slap Upside the Head (one of my mostest favourtist sites on the web). Said Mark: “Aw, isn’t that just the most adorablest thing ever? There’s just nothing like a common dislike of us gays to mend a 475 year old religious rift.” Amen, brother.