So Long, Pal


You may have heard by now that Left In The West is closing up shop. Both Jay Stevens and Matt Singer are doing what naturally happens to self-reflective human beings: moving on.

I’m grateful to both of them- Left In The West promoted my writing (and this blog), and frankly, helped cinch my job with Bilerico. I always tried to return the favor- it’s good to have allies, even those with whom you don’t always completely agree.

Actually, especially then.

They’re not leaving us in the lurch, however. I’ll go out on a limb and say they promoted many of us who will be holding the torch they have so generously stoked. And there’ll be a lot of hands holding it proudly high (see Montana Peeps sidebar).

Thanks, guys. God speed.

It Still Hurts In The Morning…

but we’re not dead- and where there’s life, there’s hope.
Jay Stevens over at Left In The West breaks down the Montana aspect of the midterms….

An Excellent Summary

Jay Stevens offers a well-balanced view of Cowgirlgate over at Left In The West.

Thanks, Jay.

Gays, Welcome To The Tea Party?

I was the first blogger to break the news of the hateful dialog in which Montana Tea Party president Tim Ravndal was caught. In short, he appeared to advocate the torture/lynching of gay people, conjuring up the disturbing image of Matthew Shepard. And yet, as a gay man living in the West, I couldn’t help but be surprised and somewhat impressed with the official response of the Big Sky Tea Party leadership in announcing Ravndal’s termination:

“We continually make it known that we will not tolerate bigoted dialog, behavior or messages at our functions, our meetings or within our ranks. “If a person demonstrates bigotry relative to race, sex, ethnicity, etc. they are not welcome in our organization. The Tea Party movement is about standing up for individual freedom for everyone,” said chairman Jim Walker.

Wow. Not bad.

So I naturally have to ask myself, “Is the Tea Party officially more gay-inclusive than the Republican Party?” Let me explain.

The Montana Republican party has in its platform plank (as, similarly, does Texas) explicit language calling for the criminalization of homosexual acts:

We support the clear will of the people of Montana expressed by legislation to keep homosexual acts illegal.

As a party that touts its tolerance, this seems to me to be quite intolerant. In fact, the Big Sky Tea Party now comes across as much more inclusive, less bigoted and homophobic than the Montana GOP, whose official platform (since 2008) clearly is loaded with prejudice, bigotry and intolerance.

I want to be clear- I am not a Republican, a conservative or a Tea Party member. I am an Independent, liberal, gay man living in Montana. But I can’t help but be struck by the diplomacy of my so-called right-wing adversaries vs. the silence and established prejudice of the Grand Old Party.

Which brings me back to the question, “Is the Big Sky Tea Party more supportive of basic human rights than the Montana GOP?”

I find it amusing that we even have to ask the question- and yes, I can honestly appreciate the full-on irony of this moment. But still, no major Republican or Republican groups (even the gay one) has denounced this plank publicly, or even made any semblance of a fuss. Hell, the Democrats haven’t even said anything officially- maybe because it’s too easy. Whatever. It’s just been a few gadflies with an outraged sense of injustice.

So, the answer to the question, on paper anyway, seems to be “Yes”.

Tea anyone?

Jay Stevens has a more in-depth analysis on Left In The West. Thanks Jay!

It’s Gettin’ Harder To Keep Up

…but Jay Stevens is tryin’. He posted an excellent article today on Left In The West. Which by the way, I could have written myself (not as thoroughly or beautifully, of course- he’s a pro), but I agree with most of his points.

Check it out.

More to come….