Wednesday, April 25, 2007

America Lightens Up A Little

Our mission here at Teach the Facts is to promote a comprehensive, accurate, and fair sex-ed curriculum in the public schools of Montgomery County, Maryland. Really, we formed to counter the attempted takeover of the school district by a small group of fanatics who wanted to recall the entire school board over, basically, nothing. These extremists were saying all kinds of nutty things because the school district was going to introduce some material into the classroom about sexual orientation, and they were organizing for a major attack on our community.

They needed to be neutralized. We did that, with the support of the people of our little suburban county.

Well, it's not over yet, but after two and a half years of this the school board is intact and the new curriculum is moving ahead under full sail.

The Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum have tried to tag us as a gay rights group, because one of the things we expect is fair and objective treatment of sexual orientation in the school health classes. One of their legal documents even referred to us as a "sexual advocacy" group, which, hey baby, whaddya say? OK, it's silly. Most of our members are ordinary people who were alarmed by the dangerous kind of corrupt, hypocritical foolishness going on in the Bush administration and in the Red parts of America and didn't want to see it here in our Blue county.

So, OK, now we're a gay rights group. Whatever, I'm OK with that.

In that light, it is rather pleasurable to see a news story like this one in the Boston Globe:
WASHINGTON -- After more than a decade of government inaction, gay-rights proponents in Congress have gotten several major bills moving through the Democratic-controlled chambers, a development that could result in the greatest expansion of federal protections for gays and lesbians in US history.

This week, a key House committee is set to approve a measure that would in some cases make hate crimes based on a victim's sexual orientation a federal offense, as are crimes committed on the basis of the race or religion of the victim.

Also, a bipartisan group of House members introduced a bill yesterday that would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Both pieces of legislation are on track for congressional approval in the coming months.

If Congress passes the bills, gay-rights advocates say, it reflects a dramatic change in the national political landscape. In the dozen years Republicans controlled Congress, GOP lawmakers paid little attention to the gay-rights agenda and kept some gay-friendly legislation from even being considered.

"For millions of Americans, it's a very important affirmation of their lives, and we're not talking about [just] symbolism here," said Representative Barney Frank, a Newton Democrat who is openly gay. "We are talking about real problems that exist in people's lives." Gay-rights proposals gain in Congress

I know the Family Blah Blah groups are going ape ... uh, crazy over this turn of events. Their love-donations depend on people fearing The Attack of the Gay People a-a-a-r-r-g-g-g-h-h-h-h!!! But as America gets to know its gay neighbors, that gets harder and harder to pull off.

More fun news:
The congressional move to expand gay rights is particularly striking given recent history: Besides halting nearly all gay-rights bills while they were in power, the GOP has tried in recent years to get a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

A similar dynamic has played out in the states.

Between 2004 and 2006, voters in 22 states banned gay marriage. But this year, the momentum has shifted : New Hampshire is ready to pass a civil unions bill, and states, including New York and Connecticut, are considering whether to join Massachusetts and draft bills to legally recognize gay marriage.

"The shift has just been seismic in the last year," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights advocacy group. Of the federal legislation, he added, "It's incredibly important for our community, and it's a profound advance in terms of civil rights legislation."

I think people just got tired of trying to be hard-shelled, tired of being afraid of everybody who's different from them. I mean, sheesh, you can't be like that all the time.

There's some stuff here about the resistance to these changes, then the story continues:
[Frank] pointed out that, despite the GOP's efforts to portray Democratic lawmakers as pushing a "radical gay agenda," Democrats cruised to victory in last fall's congressional elections.

"We have had an affirmation in the last election that the American people support fairness," he said.

Both gay-rights measures enjoy bipartisan support.

Representative Deborah Pryce -- an Ohio Republican who is co sponsoring the workplace protection bill prohibiting the firing or demotion of employees because of their sexual orientation -- said the measure simply ensures that gays, lesbians, and transgendered people are treated the same as everyone else.

"It is by no means revolutionary in its philosophy," Pryce said. "This is the American way."

A Republican said that, and I totally agree with it. The American Way is to live and let live. It's good to see people starting to lighten up a little bit.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Front page news

Another state, New Hampshire is set to approve same-sex civil unions.

April 26, 2007 7:01 AM  
Anonymous old anon said...

"The American Way is to live and let live"

So, unless the government endorses a new definition of marriage, they are not letting people who favor that definition "live"?

This is the kind of inflammatory language that makes TTF a fringe organization.

The American people don't want to change the definition of marriage. Lighten up and get over it. We can keep the definition of marriage just as it is and still "live and let live".

Or are you saying the "American Way" has never been tried before?

April 26, 2007 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, here in 'merica, we generally live and let folks live. Dagnab these TTF liberals who say we don't because we believe in real marriage. They oughta go visit where they they really don't live and let 'em. A place like India:

"A court issued arrest warrants for Hollywood actor Richard Gere and Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty on Thursday, saying their kiss at a public function "transgressed all limits of vulgarity,"

April 26, 2007 2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old anon (an amusing appellation) said: "The American people don't want to change the definition of marriage. Lighten up and get over it."
At various times in the history of this country, the American people also favored slavery, forced the immoral segregation of citizens, and endorsed the denial of full rights to women. Thank heavens those ideas are now relics of the past. The exclusive, heterosexual, right to marriage in this country is also heading in that direction. It's time for all of the Old Anons to "lighten up and get over it".

April 27, 2007 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To equate the evil of something like slavery with the fact that we don't endorse gay relationships in our society is an example of fringe thinking.

If you guys want to go down that path, why don't you just do it without insisting on the endorsement from the rest of us.

Live and let live, indeed.

April 27, 2007 5:04 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous said "So, unless the government endorses a new definition of marriage, they are not letting people who favor that definition "live"?".

Anonymous, that's just like saying "So, unless the government endourses an end to slavery they are not letting people who favour that "live"?"

The live and let live statement doesn't mean everything is fine as long as you don't kill the next person, it means live your live as you choose and let other's live their lives as they choose. The gay couple down the street getting married doesn't in any way affect any heterosexual's marriage. Just as heterosexuals choose to live by getting married they owe it to gays to let them live by choosing to get married. Live and let live is about equality of life, something people like you and so called "pro-family" groups immorally stand against.

April 27, 2007 9:00 PM  

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