ronkempmusic

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Posts Tagged ‘Same-sex marriage

Who IS NOM!!??

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It’s no coincidence that the nasty rhetoric and tactics are heating up as we get closer to Election Day in this country.  It’s by design.  “Divide and conquer” is a strategy that works.  It’s almost as effective as “Unite and Win”.  After all, it is proven time and again that the “Power in Numbers” theory is very powerful, indeed.

Back to this “Values Bus Tour”.  It’s very much worth noting that one of the driving forces behind this enlightening tour is NOM, National Organization for Marriage.  Weren’t they the driving force behind the attack on Ellen DeGeneres a little while back?  As with all of these far-right-wing extremist groups, they are very narrow-minded, un-Godly-like mean-spirited, and bulldog-stubborn in their determination to bully the rest of the country and, to be sure, world into adhering to their beliefs.  Or else!

To wit, this was brought to my attention today and, trust me on this, it’s a must-read for every single reader of this blog post.  These diabolical “Christians” have a road map already laid out as to how to achieve their goal of, basically, sweeping every LGBT person deep into the closet.  And, then, locking that closet door so that we never escape again.  It’s THAT serious.

Here’s one excerpt from their confidential manifesto:

“The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots…”

Well, that’s happening now.  I’ve encountered, several times already, arguments from the Black community opposing my views that this is The New Civil Rights Movement, with them wanting to distance the black community from this fight.  However, as an older black man, myself, I assured them from my own personal experiences that this is, indeed, exactly the same battle that was fought back in the 60s and against the same establishment.  Their argument is moot.

Ever ask yourself why it’s so important to them that same-sex marriage doesn’t exist?  What exactly is the “sanctity of marriage”?  Is it the reality that heterosexual marriages have a divorce rate of over 50%?  Is that sanctimonious?  Is it one of our Republican presidential candidates openly admitting that he believes in “open” marriages and expecting his bedridden wife to be accepting of him going elsewhere for sex while she’s unable to provide it for him?  Is that sanctimonious?  Or, is it Kim Kardasian’s farce of a 72-hour “marriage”.  THAT’S sanctimonious, for sure!!  Why, exactly, is it so important for them that they’re willing to sink hundreds of thousands of dollars into a movement to eradicate same-sex marriages? More importantly, how is it that our political leaders are involved with such a movement!?  Whatever happened to “…with liberty and justice for ALL”?  I think that the comment posted to the facebook blog page yesterday was so on-point, it bears printing here again:

…look at your country’s history. “Enough of thinkin’ everything that you’ve done is good”, just saying (in Rufus Wainwright’s words). Here in Germany, a politician who makes homophobic remarks would have to step down the next day. We have a gay Foreign Minister and Berlin has a gay mayor. In the US, homophobes can become governors and run for president.

To understand the true impact of this level of hatred and intolerance, one only has to realize that these teens who do the bullying, especially against their LGBT peers, real or perceived, are learning from adults like these that it’s not only ok, it’s expected.  Then, when you look at the level of LGBT teen suicides that are caused from the bullying, it should be easy to understand that we have a very real, deadly serious problem on our hands.  The way to address it, the way to win this hard-fought battle, is to continue to increase our numbers of people who are ready and willing to stand up, make their voices heard, and make sure these evil-minded people understand that their hatred and intolerance is not acceptable.  Period.

Student Attacked for Writing Pro-Gay Article

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This is particularly troubling because it didn’t happen in middle-school.  It wasn’t high-school.  This happened on a college campus!  Destinie Mogg-Barkalow, a student journalist at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, wrote a pro-gay article about Proposition 8: “Prop 8 Generates More Hate”.  And, for this, she was attacked on campus.  Apparently, the young lady who punched Destinie doesn’t agree with same-sex marriage. That’s tolerable.  Using violence for any reason isn’t.

For the record, her article, “Prop 8 Generates More Hate”, is very well written and makes valid points.  Nothing inflammatory.  Just the same, points and questions many of us have been thinking, saying, and asking all along…just with Destinie’s point-of-view.  And, for that, she was attacked.

The level of intolerance in this case is incredible.  Incredible, but not necessarily surprising.  See, one thing I’ve been saying since even before the blog is that the rhetoric from “the other side” is extremely dangerous.  It’s inflammatory by design.  It’s used to rile up their base, their followers.  The problem with that is it leads to violence.  There will always be someone amongst their minions who will feel it their duty to take the message of hate and intolerance that they’ve been hearing to the next level.  “I’m gonna take matters in my own hand.”  Or, worse, “I’m doing God’s will”.  And, that’s when a young college student/journalist, who voices her opinion in the school newspaper, gets attacked.  That’s when LGBT teens get attacked at middle- and high-school.  The message that has been ingrained in them, from their “religious” leaders and parents is that if it goes against their religious belief, then it’s abhorrent and a threat to their very existence.  What we end up with then is hatred in the name of God.  And, THAT’S a sin!  Worse:  it’s blasphemous.  Anything on the other side of their door of acceptance is a threat to their very existence and is to be hated.

It is completely ok to believe in what you believe in.  That’s everyone’s right under the U.S. Constitution.  Theoretically, at least.  It is absolutely NEVER ok for anyone to force their religious beliefs down another person’s throat.  Whatever happened to freedom of religion?  Who says that your religion is the only one with “the right answers”?  Who are you to decide who’s condemned to Hell, or not, in accordance to your religious beliefs?  Why do we, as a people, continue to put religious fanatics in political power and then complain when they start attempting to legislate their religious beliefs?  “The Other Side” likes to tout that they’re against the government interfering in people’s lives.  Really?  Then, why are they so passionately concerned about who loves whom, or who marries whom?  Why is their focus so acutely attuned to the same-sex marriage issue when we have an economy in shambles, unacceptable unemployment rates, people homeless and hungry.  One would think that those things would be more important for them to focus on rather than who’s loving whom.

Destinie should’ve never been attacked.  She wrote an excellent op-ed piece about something she felt passionate about.  Freedom of speech.  But, because their opinions obviously didn’t match, some girl decided to attack Destinie for voicing her opinion.  The case is being investigated as a hate crime.  As well it should.

A Mother Responds in Teacher Bias Case

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“I am the mother of the student in this situation. In speaking with the principal Monday, he did indeed state that he supported the teachers position simply because she stated that the topics were up to her discretion. I told him outright that I thought it was BS that she could give an assignment to choose a controversial issue and then refuse to grade it because she didn’t like the topic. She told me she was against gay marriage, told the principal she was for it and then told my daughter she was against it. She is a complete liar and should in no way be trusted with our young minds. Last night I left a message with Congressman Boren regarding this situation and told him an investigation into this was necessary. I (we) have plans to take this as far as we can to see that the right thing is done. We are considering moving so that we don’t have to continue living in such a bigoted community. All your support just reinforces her decision to take a failing grade not just on her report but for the quarter/semester. She would rather fail doing what she feels is right instead of bowing down to the system. Any suggestions on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated!”

That was left as a comment on the blog entry pertaining to the school’s decision to stand by Gale Applegate’s bias decision.  Khyrstal has decided to fight the system for what she believes in.  I, for one, applaud her.  She was very brave to choose the topic she chose to write about in the first place.  Now, in the face of adversity, she’s opted to stick to her guns and fight when it would’ve been so much easier for her to buckle under the pressure and write about something more…pedestrian.

In an unintended response to the mother’s question of how to proceed in this battle, it was suggested that they take this to the ACLU.  Marvelous idea.  And, she’s already contacted her Congressman.  Anyone who reads this and has legal knowledge and expertise in such matters, please feel free to advise her.

This is a case of blatant, in-your-face bigotry and intolerance no matter how they try to dress it up.  If a student is only allowed to expand their thoughts to the limits of the box in which the teacher resides, (s)he eventually attain the same myopic views of the teacher.  And, the cycle is perpetuated.

There is truly power in numbers!  Emboldened by our enormous response to Khyrstal’s plight, she and her family has chosen to fight for what’s right.  In response, we need to continue to show them our unfailing support.  Our message must be very loud and unmistakably clear:  Eufaura High School’s policy that allows for teacher, and apparently administrator bias and intolerance in fact will not be tolerated or accepted.  Zero tolerance means just that.

And, to the mother, as you read this, I strongly encourage you to click the comments link and read those, as well.  There will, quite possibly, be answers to your question there.  In addition to the comments left on this blog, you’ll want to check a few facebook pages’ comments to this story as well.  There has been many comments already posted.  Hopefully, in response to your plea for assistance, there will be many, many more.

Pages where this article has been placed:

Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook 

STOP Teenage Suicide 

Bisexuality Is Real – It Exists

Support Gay Marriage Across America

School Sides With Biased Teacher in Oklahoma

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“Proof came today, The mother met with the school and they state that they will FAIL the student if she writes this paper on this topic and won’t even read it. AUTOMATIC “F” just for the topic. I’m sorry, even if she is not for gay marriage this is not OK, grade a paper on merits, not your person thoughts!

Please email the school at: gwdavis@eufaula.k12.ok.us
Thank you.”

That was a comment left yesterday afternoon on the original blog entry about Gale Applegate, a teacher in Oklahoma.  Incredibly, with people from around the country, world!, contacting them, they opted to turn up their nose and announce that they SHARE in her bigotry!  That’s a slap in the face.

Apparently, the email address link for the Dean of Students was either bogus or has been changed.  The link no longer works.  However, there are other ways to contact the school and the superintendent.

Superintendent Rita Ford
918-689-2152

Principal Garret Davis

Eufaula High School
1st & Woodland
Eufaula, Oklahoma 74432-2410
Phone: 918.689.2556
Fax: 918.689.1099

The hope is that everyone will continue voicing their outrage as such a flagrant show of bigotry and intolerance.  Oh, and suggest that they read today’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on same-sex marriage.

Teacher Puts Own Bias Above Student’s Education

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We must be doing something right as our swelling numbers continue the fight for equality for everyone.  “The other side” is fighting back with a vengeance.

A member of Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook sent a direct email to the staff there.  In it, he told of a relative of a friend in Eufaula High School, in Eufaula, OK.  A high school class is given as essay assignment.  It is to be on current events.  One girl’s choice was to do one on gay marriage.  What’s in the news more than that these days?  Brilliant, and brave, ideaschool-lockers-generic-13846919_24786_ver1.0_320_240

Gale Applegate, this girl’s teacher who gave the assignment, forbade the girl to write on that topic, saying everything but the truth of the matter:  that she’s a homophobe and a bigot.  She told the young pioneer outright that she would be “unable to grade her paper without bias”, which is an acknowledgement that she’s against same-sex marriages.  In itself, I’m ok with her being against same-sex marriage.  That’s her prerogative.  I’m not ok with her imposing her bias on a young, blossoming, impressionable mind.

Is it the responsibility of a teacher to censor the critical thinking abilities of their students?  The deeper question is should a teacher even be allowed to impose their own prejudices upon their students?  The answer to both is an unequivocal no.  There is no way that young Khrystal shouldn’t be able to write to her imagination’s extent and on whatever topic she chooses.  If the idea was to write on current events, what could be more current, more relevant than today’s nationwide, indeed worldwide, struggle for marriage equality?  Instead of allowing this young student to explore and express her opinions on a critical and controversial topic, Ms. Applegate threatened to not only fail the assignment:  she threatened to fail Khrystal for the class!  Every clear thinking parent, student, male or female should be outraged at this teacher’s arrogance.  Forget the bigotry.  She’s allowed, under the Constitution, to be an ass.  However, she is not allowed to force feed her prejudices to her students.

One of my favorite battle cries is THERE IS POWER IN NUMBERS!!  Those who are in the U.S. can voice your concerns by calling the school superintendent as well as the principal directly.  Those outside the U.S. who wish to voice their opinions can write to the address below.  There are also email addresses, both for the principal and the Dean of Students:

gwdavis@eufaula.k12.ok.us  -  Principal

jlbohannon@eufaula.k12.ok.us  -  Johnny Bohannon, Dean of Students

Superintendent Rita Ford
918-689-2152Principal Garret Davis

Eufaula High School
1st & Woodland
Eufaula, Oklahoma 74432-2410
Phone: 918.689.2556
Fax: 918.689.1099

Imposing limitations on what a student can explore and express academically is detrimental to every student’s educational, psychological, and mental growth.  Worse, it grooms them to be just as prejudiced as the teacher.  The time for such brainwashing has come to an end.  We need to make sure Gale Applegate knows and fully understands that.
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