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Criticism of shortcomings of “No on 8” campaign

Look, I could offer a lot of criticisms of this “Equality Summit,” but most of my criticisms would be similar to those I have leveled in the past against conferences organized by gay groups. I’ve heard a lot of politically correct rhetoric, not even rhetoric, jargon really. They count diversity by class and race, but not political ideology.

For them, philosophical diversity means including people from various left-of-center perspectives, with one person at a past such forum identifying the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) as a conservative group.  

I won’t dwell on the politically correct aspect of this forum, but instead offer the organizers’ praise for doing something else I’ve been discussing on this blog since the Passage of Prop 8. I have said the opponents of the ballot initiative need to stop attacking Mormons and other proponents of the ballot measure and start engaging in some introspection, looking at their campaign and acknowledging the mistakes they made.

To be sure, some of those opponents, notably Geoff Kors “Equality California” and Lorri Jean of LA’s Gay & Lesbian Center, spent much of their time on panels praising themselves for their efforts to defeat the proposition. That said, this forum did offer ample opportunity for participants to criticize the “No” campaign and offer their suggestions on how to run future such campaigns.

Indeed, the very title comes from one speaker who raised his voice about the “shortcomings of the ‘No'” campaign. Let’s hope that the organizers of future such campaigns take heed to this man and others like him.

Despite some of the flaws of this forum, the organizers did open it up to the community and did give them a chance to weigh. And for that at least they deserve credit. So, this blogger offers kudos to them, kudos for promoting public civil discourse of this important issue.

ADDENDUM: As I had plans for this evening before learning of the Summit, I have to head out to meet my friends, including at least one blog reader, so my coverage is now complete. (Roughly 5 PM PST.)

To Listen to those who Voted “Yes” on 8

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:10 pm - January 24, 2009.
Filed under: Blogging,Civil Discourse,Gay Marriage,LA Stories

In a breakout session on networking strategies, we heard a lot of the same old/same old,like reaching out to various ethnic interest groups and creating a speaker’s bureau of advocates for “marriage equality.” So, again, my eyes began to glaze over yet again, then I started talking with an adorable guy from Davis. So, my interests were elsewhere. 🙂

But, my ears perked up when one woman said we need to have conversations with people who voted “Yes” on Proposition 8 and to listen to their concerns. I hope people listened to her. The more we engage those who oppose gay marriage, with the goal of understanding their concerns, the better we will be able to change their minds.

Just Because I’m a Republican doesn’t mean I’m from Orange County

Just ran into a guy at this conference who asked if I were from Orange County. Turns out he remembered me from another area forum on gay marriage where I had identified myself as a Republican so just he assumed I resided in that Republican jurisdiction.

If I were politically correct, I would count that as discrimination. I wasn’t outraged. I was amused. I laughed a rich, hearty, full-bodied laugh when I learned that he had made that assumption.

(When I asked him if he assumed I was from Orange County just because I was a Republican, he replied that I had identified myself as such at the forum in question. I had merely meant my comment as an attempt to be cute.)

Ah! The assumptions people make.

When I moved to LA, one of the reasons I remained closeted about my politics, was that I was tired of being identified as the gay Republican as I was all too often when I lived in Washington. It has made my life easier now that instead of just accepting it, I embrace it.

“Equality Summit”–Afternoon; Monogamy Mentioned

I’m not sitting in the afternoon plenary session, “Race, Religion & the LGBT Movement.”  My eyes again began to glaze over as the representatives from the various organizations offered self-congratulatory reports what they did to defeat Proposition 8 or protest its passage.

Had my eyes not glazed over, I might have caught the introduction of a woman from a church in San Diego. Ok, just found it that she’s Catherine Thienmann of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in San Diego,I gotta give this gal a lot of credit.  She was the first person at this conference to mention the word, “monogamy.”  And she did so in a favorable light.

You would think that in a conference to promote gay marriage, you’d have heard a few people talk about the meaning of marriage. At least Thienmann did.  If during last fall’s campaign, more people had spoken as she did, Proposition 8 would likely not have fared as well as it did.

Basically, she said that gay marriage was not a threat to traditional marriage as gay people were capable of meeting the requirements of marriage, including commitment, monogamy (and a few other things). Again, the problem with live-blogging. I was setting up this post when Ms. Thienmann started speaking; my ears only perked up when I heard the word, “monogamy,” so I’m paraphrasing as best I again. She may not have uesd the term “traditional marriage,” may have said “straight marriage.”

Now, a surprise guest, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is speaking.

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Live-blogging “Equality Summit,” Continued

As we’re doing introductions in the “Faith Communities” breakout session, I realize yet again one of interesting ironies (is that the word I want?) of being a blogger covering events like this.  It’s a notion that first struck me at the Republican National Convention.

I mean, I’m really a hybrid here, wanting to participate and offer my opinion, but also am trying to report honestly on the happenings here so as to give y’all the highlights.  But, of course, I have my highlights and can’t be entirely objective.  And unlike many in the MSM, we bloggers (well most of us) at least acknowledge our bias and thus the limitations of our coverage.

Not just that, were a reporter during the plenary, I might have paid more attention even as I found it increasingly dull.  As a blogger, offering a kind of “diary” of the event, the boredom is part of the coverage.

12:31 In one of four further-breakout sessions where one person questions those who suggest we encourage religious leaders to speak out in their community as engaging in the same of behavior criticized on right, blending church and politics.

12:35 One woman expresses her concern about post-election violence, slander. Kudos to her for saying that, though she qualified her remark by saying “on both sides.” Did those who voted for Prop 8 engage in any violence after the election?

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Media Speaks Adoringly to Power

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:18 pm - January 24, 2009.
Filed under: Media Bias,Obama Worship & Indoctrination

I’ve now moved to the breakout session, “Faith Communities,” and have found a power outlet so I can juice up my computer. Had a chance to scan the news and on Yahoo! found an article on the changes President Obama as wrought in his first 100 hours.

Just the title, Obama breaks from Bush, avoids divisive stands, and first paragraph shows you how the media sees its mission in the new era, to report glowingly on the president’s progress while continuing to lambaste his predecessor:

Barack Obama opened his presidency by breaking sharply from George W. Bush’s unpopular administration, but he mostly avoided divisive partisan and ideological stands. He focused instead on fixing the economy, repairing a battered world image and cleaning up government.

Do you think they would have used the word “unpopular” to describe the Carter Administration? And once again, they repeat a notion which belongs more in an editorial than in a news article, suggesting the president need repair our “battered world image,” more an opinion than an actual fact.

I guess these “reporters” just have to get their digs in against W.

Oh, yup, you guessed it, it is an AP article.

Live-blogging the “Equality Summit”

I’m at the Convention Center in Downtown Los Angeles to attend the “Equality Summit.”  I may not be able to keep blogging given the difficulty of finding a convenient power outlet or power strip.

I’ll just begin by wondering yet again (and really do need a stand-alone post on this) at how “equality” has become the watchword for the gay political movement.

The organizers bill this as “a gathering of community leaders committed to winning back marriage equality in California to network, share information and resources, and plan next steps.”  I’m here as press and appreciate the organizers for so credentialing me.  I had originally tried to register as a participant, but did so after the deadline so they told me to contact their press liaison who was more helpful and gracious.

Right now, we’re hearing from people involved in the “No on 8” campaign and once again, I find myself allied with some of the far left.  As well as those activists, we on the right have been quite critical of the mainstream gay groups who organized the opposition to Prop 8.  

One woman sitting near me agreed with me when I said (in a whisper) about how the LA Gay and Lesbian Center’s Lorri Jean was making excuses for her efforts in th e campaign.

I’m actually finding the plenary, “Looking Backward and Looking Forward” quite dull, with each panelist, like Miss Jean, talking about what they had done in the campaign.  RIght now, I’m not aware of any Republicans participating in this panel — or this conference.

Indeed, it doesn’t seem the participants expected to find any right-of-center individuals here.  When I arrive for the plenary, I sat down with my bagel in the back of the room.  A woman seeing me alone at a table asked to join me.  When she asked my affiliation, I told her I was press, covering this for my blog.

When I identified the blog, she wondered how she would find herself sitting with the conservative in this room, then wondered if “even now,” I could still be a conservative.  Guess she just assumed that there wouldn’t be any conservatives as this conference.  

I replied that “now more than ever,” I could be a conservative, noting that the immediate past president was anything but a conservative.  Indeed, I held hat President Obama’s economic policies are really just an extension and expansion of his predecessor’s.

Instead of asking me what I mean, she said, “I don’t want to talk about this,” the proceeded quietly to find another place to leave.  What is it about certain gay activists not wanting to engage their ideological adversaries.  At least she wasn’t rude.

But, it’s her very attitude which shows why gay “equality” groups have trouble making their case.  Organizers want to isolate themselves among like-minded leftists.  As a result, they don’t know how to communicate with those they most need to reach, those Republicans and social conservatives, who do not share their statist sentiments and equality agenda.

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OBAMA ATTACKS FOREIGN NATION,
KILLS INNOCENT CIVILIANS

This is an outrage!!!!!!!!

Six more bodies were recovered from the rubble of an Al-Qaeda den hit by a suspected US missile, pushing the death toll in two separate strikes to 21, security officials said Saturday.”Six bodies of local tribesmen were found in the rubble of the house which was destroyed in a US missile strike on Friday just outside the town of Mir Ali in North Waziristan district,” the official said.

On Friday officials said eight people including five foreigners — Pakistani officials use the term “foreigners” to describe Al-Qaeda militants — died in the missile strike at the house of a pro-Taliban tribesman near Mir Ali.

The strikes were the first under new US President Barack Obama and effectively dashed any hopes that Pakistani officials were nurturing that the new administration in Washington will halt such strikes.

Hours later another suspected US drone fired two missiles into a house in Wana, the main town in South Waziristan, killing seven people.

President Obama needs to go on trial as a war criminal as well as the rest of his blood-thirsty warmonger Administration.  Congress needs to cut off funding for Obama’s War immediately.

No Blood For Terrorists!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Milk & the “Great American Gay Movie”

Back when I was struggling with my first (never completed) novel, I first heard about the concept of the Great American Novel, something that “represents the spirit of life in the United States at the time of its writing.” The more I thought about the notion, the more I realized how elusive it was.

To be sure, some have claimed (and with good cause) that Melville’s Moby Dick and Twain’s Huckleberry Finn were each a great novel in the nineteenth century, Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath or perhaps East of Eden in the previous century.

Has there been one since?  And has there been a great American movie?

I wonder.

Perhaps, in our more visual culture, with movies one of the primary media, a film would represent the spirit of a gay individual at a given age. We do seem to long for such a flick. It’s why, I believe, some gay activists got so upset (accusing the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences of “homophobia” when Brokeback Mountain) did not receive the accolades they believed it was due.

Seeing such a well-made movie draw significant attention and substantial audiences outside our community seemed a sign that we had such a film. Similarly, I think this search for a movie defining the spirit of era through an individual is why Milk was as hyped as much as it was. And to be sure, Milk, in many ways, portrays an era in the life of gay America.  Does it define that era?

But, good as the movie was, it doesn’t reach the elusive heights of an all-encompassing gay movie. From what I heard about the flick before going to see it, it does seem that some of my peers saw it as such.  But, it seems they were reading their hopes into as much as anything.  (To be sure, it may well have been that film for them.  So, maybe, in one sense, it is such a movie to those individuals at least.)

Once again, if people didn’t expect such great things from certain works of art, we might better appreciate them for what they are. Milk was a good movie, with excellent editing, set design and, above all, acting.

I doubt, however, we’ll continually return to it in years to come as people in years past have returned to Moby Dick or The Grapes of Wrath.