HB 516-Take Action Without Moving From Your Chair

I have sent a letter to the Senate Local Government Committee to oppose HB 516, which would nullify the Missoula Equality Ordinance and Bozeman’s anti-bullying and equality resolutions. I would suggest everyone who opposes this bill should do the same. A large number of voices is a better bet at actually being heard by this committee, so I’m going to make it easy for you.

Here’s the link so that you can make your own voice heard:  http://leg.mt.gov/css/sessions/62nd/legwebmessage.asp

And here’s my statement. Feel free to use any part of it that you’d like to use. There are also some scientific statistics for your use here:

RE MT HB 516:

  1. Every community should have the right to decide its own ordinances of inclusion. Ordinances of exclusion, usually reserved for dictatorships, theocratic states and societies of intolerance are another matter.
  2. Creating a law that disallows protection is counterintuitive to the purpose of government as set forth in both the Federal and State Constitutions, in which are stated explicitly the government’s purpose to protect the citizenry from discrimination, violence and other harms.
  3. This is an attempt to write prejudice and bigotry into the law. It is an attempt to tie local ordinances to State law in a way which keeps government from evolving as understanding, both scientific and social, creating a top-down model, instead of a cooperative, interdynamic process.
  4. It is a blatant and ignorant effort to push a personal agenda of intolerance toward LGBT persons in obvious defiance of biological, social and psychological science.
  5. This bill is discrimination and rejection of the right of communities to protect the citizens as they believe necessary. It enshrines bigotry, ignorance and personal belief in defiance of science, human experience and freedom.

When Is It Okay To Say “Nazi?”

A couple of posts from the blogosphere seem ready to ask just that.

Kathy Baldock from Canyonwalker Connections continues to chronicle Scott Lively’s hate filled ravings- antics that have led to the murder of gentle-spirited David Kato in Uganda. Excerpt:

There has been much focus on Scott Lively again in the past day as well. For his involvement in the “Kill the Gays” Bill, read the following post. I wrote to Mr. Lively about a year ago and we have maintained a mostly respectful exchange over the months. I will not directly quote him; that is my part of the bargain for keeping this communication open.

Full article here

Michael Hamar posted a provocative article on Bilerico this morning entitled “65 Years After Auschwitz And The Christianists Have Learned Nothing.” Excerpt:

The hatred and malicious denigration of others can lead to shocking horrors, yet conservative Christians in the USA and their minions and hangers overseas (such as in Uganda) have apparently learned nothing from the nightmare of the Nazi regime and its deadly propaganda campaign against Jews. We hear much about supposedly “protecting marriage” from the Christian right, but their true agenda is denigrating LGBT citizens and keeping us a hated class of individuals.

Read it here. And I mean read it. Then add your voice to the conversation.

“I can’t stand people who make broad, sweeping statements.”

It’s been a week with a lot of challenges. I’ve felt less than 100% physically, dealt with some challenging client issues, and in the last few days have been increasingly aware of gross generalizing statements by people I thought knew better.

The first was made in reference to a new doctor: “As long as he’s not a raghead. I won’t ever go to one of them!”

SRSLY? I was stunned. All I could do was roll my eyes. My perfect response welled up immediately in my mind: “Well, as long as he’s not a fuckin Polack…” (the person I’m quoting is Polish). Sadly, (or, maybe not) it remained unsaid.

The next was overheard in the grocery checkout line: “Those Orientals are just so vicious- I don’t like them.” I once spent three months in Japan as an exchange student and found nothing but kindness and hospitality. My response: “Yeah, it was completely non-vicious to murder a quarter of a million people at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” I said that one out loud and got the satisfaction of blushes from the “offend”ers.

Then, a post on Bilerico disparaged all Mormons as hateful, freedom hating people.

Now, my maternal grandfather was Mormon and I have Mormon relatives. They are, for the most part, kind and loving people who accept me and show me the same respect non-Mormon relatives do. I often don’t understand their faith, but I think it’s completely inappropriate to attack their beliefs. Fair game, however, is practice and policy- especially regarding funding of Prop 8 in California. Bad move, but not on the part of the everyday Mormon….

Which groups of people do I generalize about?  Great question. I’m determined to pay closer attention to that, because it’s a lazy behavior I don’t want to be guilty of, at all. It’s a cheap way to artificially inflate self-esteem and position, and I don’t like it- especially when, much of the time, it’s completely untrue.

Oh, and the title? Irony intended.