Wednesday, July 8, 2009

American Apparel tells Charleston to "Legalize Gay"

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Found at Charleston City Paper main page:

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Anti-Gay Billboard Up on I-26

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Wed, Jun 17, 2009 at 4:03 PM

AFFA's successful billboard campaign equating the gay rights struggle to civil rights just got a little company.

Lowcountry commuters heading home yesterday saw a new anti-gay billboard just before the Remount Road exit on I-26 West. The billboard reads "Heterosexual? It's ok…" Did you realize straight people are being marginalized by all this talk about gay rights? Me neither.

The billboard has a tagline encouraging folks to go to turn2god .org. I will try to wrap-up their pitch (as subjectively as possible) so that you don't have to click over and give them traffic.

• The Bible says that homosexuality is a sin. It's not our place to interpret the Bible (leave that to King James).

• It doesn't matter if you were born gay. You should repent and resist temptation (like Justin Timberlake videos, for example).

• Gays are trying to bully straight people into approving of gay marriage and gay rights. Apparently, gay activists "commonly" assault little old ladies (Honey, my savvy banter is a lot mightier than my puny left hook).

• The kicker is an assertion that gays should not be protected from targeted violence. Their suggestion is that there is more gay-on-gay domestic violence than hate crime incidences. (Well, it would make sense that gay relationships are just as rocky as straight ones. Does that make hate crimes OK?)

• Homosexuality is a mental disorder (but this kind of website is totally sane).

I'm sure it surprises no one that the maintainers of this site are anonymous (after all, the gays are chasing around little old ladies, for pete's sake).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

P&C Letter on AFFA Billboard

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Tue, May 19, 2009 at 10:50 AM

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Today's Letters to the Editor in the Post and Courier included one from North Charleston gay man Michael Schwarzott in support of AFFA's latest media campaign. As far as we can tell, it's the first and only mention of the campaign in the P&C's pages.

Take a look.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

DeMint Wants States Rights, Except Marriage

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Tue, May 5, 2009 at 3:47 PM

c7fa/1241552351-gaymarch.jpgPictured: A local gay rights rally last fall.

Sen. Jim DeMint’s office has reasserted his commitment to a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. In a Wall Street Journal op ed this week, DeMint argues states should determine their own policies on a host of issues, not the federal government. At one point in the piece DeMint mentions the continuing debate over gay marriage, but his office confirmed today that he still feels the pressing need for federal intervention on that issue.

1e65/1241552413-_080326.demint-large_resized.jpgIn the piece, DeMint charts a course for the Republican Party by suggesting the GOP brand “freedom.” The word means different things to different people, DeMint says, but there are core principles the party can rally around.

“Republicans can welcome a vigorous debate about legalized abortion or same-sex marriage; but we should be able to agree that social policies should be set through a democratic process, not by unelected judges,” he writes.

Likely meant to be a reference to the oft-mentioned “activist judges” that have ruled against marriage bans in a handful of states, DeMint’s rhetoric doesn’t match the realities on the ground. State legislators in Vermont recently became the first elected leaders to approve gay marriage without a court mandate. New Hampshire and New York could soon be next.

Considering the op ed was meant to encourage state and local control on issues like education, health care, and energy, it led us to wonder whether DeMint was now supporting a state’s right to determine whether gays could wed. Not so, says spokesman Wesley Denton.

Speaking to us briefly on Tuesday, Denton says the senator continues to support the federal government stepping in through a constitutional amendment. He says this does not run counter to DeMint’s anti-federalist argument and that it’s “the most democratic process” because each state must weigh ratification (amendments require the support of legislatures in three-fourths of the states).

DeMint has largely found support in libertarian (lower case “l”) circles in recent months, but his federal solution to the marriage issue doesn’t mesh with that of Congressman Ron Paul and other libertarian leaders. Paul is opposed to a federal amendment, saying the issue should be left to states or that the government’s role in recognizing unions should be eliminated all together.

DeMint’s strong support for states rights, while also seeking federal involvement on gay marriage may be indicative of a larger struggle between the religious and libertarian elements of the Republican Party as it rebrands itself.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Stories of Gay Struggles Come to Charleston

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 1:06 PM

A Repost from the CP News Blog:

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Mitchell Gold, a furniture maker and philanthropist, will be reading from his book, Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay In America in Charleston this weekend, followed by a forum to discuss the issue.

Released last September, Gold's book collects the stories of a broad swath of gays and lesbians who discuss the challenges that they've faced, including Nate Berkus, Bishop Gene Robinson, Barney Frank, Alec Mapa (of Ugly Betty), and just a slew of other big gay and gay-friendly names.

The Rev. Mel White, who was recently a participant on The Amazing Race with his son, provides a story. We did a 2007 story on White's organization, Soulforce, which combats religious intolerance at Christian colleges. There's also a piece from Elke Kennedy, a Greenville woman who lost her son, Sean, after he was assaulted in a parking lot in what was believed to have been a hate crime.

While it's important for gays and lesbians to hear these stories, it's equally or more important for young people questioning their sexuality to see the struggles of others, says Brent Childers, executive director of Faith in America, a nonprofit that Gold created to combat religious-based bigotry.

Here's the release for the event:

Growing Up Gay in America

Understanding the pain of bigotry and discrimination

April 11, 2009 – 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  (Discussion begins at 10 a.m.)

Waldenbooks 1829 • Charleston Place • 120 Market Street • Charleston

Sean’s Last Wish and Borders are pleased to present Mitchell Gold, a successful businessman and editor of the book, CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social and Religious Trauma of Growing Up Gay In America.

This discussion is one that educators, social workers, church leaders and elected officials in the Charleston area will not want to miss.

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