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18 August 2007

Political Atrophy Log Supplemental

Well apparently I blew the mastodon out of the tar pit and created a rhetoric war… go figure. It is nice to know I still have it in me to challenge an organization to the core and they start revealing their biases publicly. Who would have thought it possible?

So my brother got wind of My response to HRC FW Chapter and Tom Henry for Mayor and threw his two buck shots into the frey and then all hell broke loose. This is going to be a two parter minimum as there is just too much information to disseminate in the course of one entry. So for now the background.

My brothers response to me was as follows:

It's funny, the only inclination I would have ever gathered that the authors of said bulletin posts, blogs, etc. were not representing the HRC in doing so being that the bulletin posts, blogs, etc. are all coming from "HRC Fort Wayne" with a big HRC logo for their avatar, is this very letter to you in response to your bulletin.

I think perhaps if the said volunteers who are not representing the HRC with said bulletins, etc. wish to eliminate such confusion, perhaps they should express such opinions from personal accounts, rather than the HRC myspace account which as far as I knew was affiliated with the actual HRC Fort Wayne chapter.

Sounds a bit like some back-peddling to me. *shrug*
[17 Aug 2007 @ 03:27]

My brothers response to HRC Fort Wayne is a little more blunt:

You mean the bulletin dated Aug 14, 2007 11:32 PM which included the following preface to the News Sentinel story: "Yes, it's hard to imagine someone doing something so obscenely political. Just like it's hard to imagine a 'Christian,' Republican candidate using his opponent's pro-GLBT stance against him!! Now THAT is obscene!!!" That bulletin? Odd it's still in my box. 0.0

I have been a proud supporter of the HRC, displaying the blue and yellow equal sign in my various cars throughout the years. Though I haven't been a financial supporter, I have always been proud to affiliate myself with the campaign. However, I must agree that the recent partisanship shown by the Fort Wayne chapter as well as the national chapter is a bit appauling. The fact that the HRC teamed with LOGO to bring a political forum in which only Democrats were invited, and the local chapter seems to be all but endorsing Tom Henry, appears to me to be in violation of the HRC's very reason for existing. Republican does not equate to anti-gay, nor does Democrat equate to pro-human rights. If the HRC should be endorsing any party, one would think it would be the Libertarian party which is about the only party that is actually fighting for equal human rights on a consistant basis.

I find this recent partisanship of the HRC in general to be disgusting as a gay male, as an independent centrist, and as a free-thinking human being. It is the duty of the HRC to share news which is pertinent to the message and goals of the HRC to keep people informed of the issues, and to attempt to sway voters to take a stand on these issues. That is what activism is about. Activism is not about supporting certain candidates or political parties, nor is it about slandering opponents or attempting to bemisrch their character. I'm not quite sure what purpose informing the public of Kelty's indictment serves to the aims of the HRC, being it hit all the local news media. Although I myself am not a huge fan of Matt Kelty, and I was a bit pleased to hear that he was indicted, due to my disgust toward other Republicans such as Souder, Rove, Bush, etc. who I feel have been getting away Scott-free with similar issues, I don't feel it is the place of the HRC to report this news. Surely there are far greater newsworthy events going on in Fort Wayne that would further the HRC's aim that are NOT getting the news attention of the Matt Kelty indictment that the HRC SHOULD be reporting about.

I hope my two cents helps.
[16 August 2007 @ 23:31]

It doesn’t end there though, you see at some point a member from the HRC decided to respond to my brother, and failed to sign their name to the post. Let’s just say that when you talk down to a Libra, a book will get tossed back and forth in your general direction, in this case it was a dictionary. HRC Fort Wayne Chapter’s Response to my brother item by item (very high school) in a very condescending fashion (edited for space only original primary source text is in tact)

In response to recent blog comments on our page-please read!

The following is in response to comments made on the HRC Fort Wayne's blog, with the comments in quotes being the comments made about HRC and HRC Fort Wayne's volunteers, and numbered points being our response. As always, we welcome all comment/suggestions and help from everyone!

1. Great! We are happy for your support. HRC bumper stickers are free to anyone who wants them, as is submitting your email address to receive HRC "Action Alerts" on issues important to the GLBT community. However, HRC depends on the financial support of its presently 700,000 members and supporters nationwide in its fight for GLBT equality. Annual membership starts at $35/yr. The partners program starts at $10/mon. Their budget is $41 million this year. Compare this to the billions of dollars and millions of supporters the far right has gathered against us and your financial support becomes even more critical. To become an HRC member or to renew your support, go to: https://secure.ga3.org/03/join2?qp_source=

2. HRC's mission statement as found on their website, www.hrc.org, click on "About Us," clearly states, in part:
HRC works to secure equal rights for GLBT individuals and families at the federal and state levels by lobbying elected officials, mobilizing grassroots supporters, educating Americans, investing strategically to elect fair-minded officials and partnering with other GLBT organizations.

3. You have incorrect information on this point. ALL presidential candidates were invited to the forum. ALL Republicans declined to attend, even to a separate Republican only forum. This fact has been widely reported by HRC, Logo and the mainstream media prior to and after the forum. In fact, see this story from the decidedly not independent Fox News. The fact was also reported in the original 7/10/07 HRC press release regarding the forum. Also see this piece from the HRC Back Story blog in which it is noted that none of the Republican candidates have even bothered to return HRC's questionnaire as to where they stand on GLBT issues.

4. HRC will support any viable, competitive candidate (translated as has a chance of winning, which at this stage does not include Libertarians) who is publicly with HRC on issues of GLBT equality. The Fort Wayne HRC volunteer's (the extent of their group definition and structure) efforts have been approved, supervised, and in part planned by HRC's Regional Field (political) Director for IN and through the latter, by HRC's Legal Dept.

5. Although HRC as a federal PAC does not officially endorse non-Federal candidates, the Field department routinely and legally works w/ state and local volunteers on organizing for and working on campaigns of fair-minded pro-GLBT candidates through grassroots activist strategies and activities. How important is this? In 2006, HRC helped on 8 IN House races. 4 of the 8 won, helping to flip the IN House back to the Democrats, who with their newly regained majority, were then able to kill the marriage discrimination amendment in a House Committee for the 2007 legislative session. Voters in those IN House races also helped send 3 more IN Democrats to Congress, helping to flip the US House back to the Democrats control. Subsequently, the Democrats passed federal hate crimes legislation that adds sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes. It await action in the Senate where Sens. Bayh AND Lugar have said they will vote for it.

6. HRC does not only support Democratic candidates. In fact, go to HRC's website for fundraising campaigns they are currently conducting for the HRC-endorsed Democratic Senate candidate (Udall- CO) and Republican House candidate (Shays - CT): https://www.hrc.org/candidateFundraising/

7. Sharing factual news about an anti-gay opposition candidate falls within your parameters as well as their parameter to elect fair-minded candidates. HRC is a partisan (pro-glbt) political action committee, first and foremost. Politics is hardball and the Republicans have been playing it for decades while the progressive coaltion sat around clucking their tongues in disgust. Finally the progressives are just starting to play the game the Karl Rove way. Barely. They need to do more of it if they hope to maintain or increase their slender majorities. It isn't pretty, but neither is losing. And if you think repeating a public news story about a mayoral candidate's indictment and arrest was harsh, it pales by comparison to things the Republicans pull in every election. See this link for a summary of their efforts to Suppress The Vote!

EDITOR'S NOTE: Article: Suppress the Vote! by Austin Cline 09 October 2004

8. In addition to my point already made in # 1, I feel I must point out the rest of HRC's mission statement so you have a record of their stated purpose, not their purpose as perceived by others. As also clearly stated in HRC's mission statement as found on their website:

a. The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
b. HRC seeks to improve the lives of GLBT Americans by advocating for equal rights and benefits in the workplace, ensuring families are treated equally under the law and increasing public support among all Americans through innovative advocacy, education and outreach programs.To accomplish this, HRC works to elect fair-minded candidates. That means choosing one over other and working for glbt-friendly ones.

9. The American Heritage Dictionary defines slander as: "Communication of false statements injurious to a person's reputation. False and malicious statement or report about someone." The same dictionary defines besmirch as: "Charge falsely or with malicious intent". Repeating facts about Mr. Kelty's indictment and arrest were neither slanderous or besmirching.

10. If Mr. Kelty would come out in support of gay marriage, against SJR-7 (the IN marriage discrimination amendment), for IN and federal hate crimes protections for GLBT Hoosiers and Americans, for IN civil rights legislation, for ENDA (the Employment Non-Discrimination Amendment), against Eric Miller, Micah Clark, Curt Miller and the fundies they cater to, and for human rights and civil rights ordinances in Fort Wayne, I'm sure HRC would be happy to back him. To date, he has not shown support for HRC mission-driven priorities so the local volunteers are happily and energetically supporting the candidate (who happens to be a Democrat) who IS for GLBT equality.

11. Passing on publicly reported news concerning the indictment and arrest of the anti-gay officially slated and endorsed Republican party candidate for the mayoralty of Indiana's 2nd largest city is fair game for repeating by those volunteering to help elect an opponent (in this case, a Democrat) who has publicly stated his support for and commitment to GLBT issues in Fort Wayne, in Indiana, and in the United States.

Thank you for taking the time to post your concerns and to share your thoughts. We invite you to join us in our efforts! We need all the help we can get. How can you get more involved? I leave you w/ this short volunteer-created video challenging all GLBTQSA Americans to ask themselves: "What Have You Done Today To Make You Feel Proud?"

[17 August 2007 @ 13:14]

[EDITOR NOTE: Video from Twin Cities HRC enclosed for easier access and to provide a break]

Now to which my brother had no choice but to respond and continue the challenge. Let alone he had to offer correction to whomever the poster of the bulletin in retort to his complaints that were pretty much avoided or unanswered if not shoved completely under the closet door. (edited*)

In response to the HRC bulletin responding to my blog post

Since apparantly the HRC myspace peeps decided to blow up my little blog entry into a ginormous bulletin entry in order to respond to a few things, I figure I may as well respond in kind. Enjoy!

(1.) Kudos for the ability to spin my inability to contribute financially into a way to remind people to donate. I commend you on that. You guys are good at what you do.

(2.) I don't see any room for interpretation in that mission statement that allows for ENDORSING political candidates, unless that's what it means by "investing strategically..." in which case, I no longer wish to support HRC. I'm all for lobbying the issues, I'm all for mobilizing support for the issues, I'm all for educating Americans, and I'm all for partnering with other organizations to do so. If by "investing strategically to elect fair-minded officials" this means "we will decide who is a fair-minded official and invest financially and otherwise in order to get them elected" then I take issue with your organization as a whole.

My thoughts on what this phrase initially meant was that through other efforts of mobilizing support, education, funding these partnered organizations, funding lobbying efforts, etc. that the HRC thusly is strategically investing in AMERICANS' ability to elect fair-minded officials through INFORMING them. Actually sponsering candidates and endorsing them is a bit more than I feel the HRC should be doing.

(3.) My mistake, I retract my incorrect assessment of the LOGO forum, as much of a farce as it was.

(4-6.) So then I assume HRC would give as much support to Sen. Lugar as they surely have to Sen. Bayh? And I assume that means it would clearly offer as much support to any Republicans in the House that backed the measures? And similarly I suppose that would also justify rallying all sorts of opinionated prefaces to news reprints that make their opponents out to be gay-bashing hypocrites.

(7-11.) First and foremost, I was not referring to simply the reprinting of the article as the besmirching of character. I was referring to the very opinionated preface to the bulletin which was supposedly deleted. In Fr. Fozy's blog which references an email response directly to him, it seems to pass that off as the operators of this myspace as being able to speak their mind about any issue they want however they feel without it necessarily being taken as coming from the HRC. I think in the future such comments should be clearly marked as being the opinion of the author of the bulletin, or perhaps sent out from personal accounts to eliminate such confusion. Just my humble advice. When members of the HRC choose to personally endorse Democrats or chide Republicans with editorials prefacing news posts, that's one thing. But when it comes from a source that is indistinguishable based in name and logo from the HRC as a whole, that is another matter. This was the heart of the matter of my blog post. Also being "pro-LGBT" is not "partisan", Dictionary.com clearly defines "partisan" as: "1. an adherent or supporter of a person, group, party, or cause, esp. a person who shows a biased, emotional allegiance."

Note the use of the words BIASED and EMOTIONAL. Supporting the LGBT cause is NOT necessarily partisan. It becomes partisan when certain lines are crossed, such as seemingly endorsing an entire political party simply because it has members who are very pro-LGBT and several others who are somewhat pro-LGBT. It becomes partisan when other candidates are ignored simply because they "don't have a chance" to win an election. It becomes partisan when opponents of the cause are set up on chopping blocks, members of the partisan group find satisfaction in their ability to kick a candidate while they are down, and so on. Whether Matt Kelty is "anti-LGBT" or not is unclear to me, I know he certainly isn't "pro-LGBT" but perhaps he is simply against certain issues for reasons other than necessarily being "anti-LGBT". Also, certain issues the author of this HRC bulletin mentions which must be inferred as being "pro-LGBT" must also make any other stance on the issue "anti-LGBT" in the author's mind.

For instance, I do not support gay-marriage. I think civil marriage as a whole should be disbanded and replaced by an across the board equal civil union act. "Marriage" should be left to the churches, "civil unions" be they str8, gay, poly, etc. should be left to the state, and should be dictated as the state sees fit from a fair and logical stance. Does that make me "anti-LGBT" because I am anti-gay marriage? Or does that make me "anti-marriage"?

I believe the HRC should spend more time producing actual INFORMATION to the voters than endorsing/attacking candidates in hopes to sway votes towards candidates IT deems are "pro-LGBT" and away from those IT deems are "anti-LGBT". If a candidate supports gay rights, but is going to support financial legislation that would have adverse effects on most of the LGBT community, I would not consider that candidate "pro-LGBT".

There are MANY issues which determine why someone should vote for a candidate. I am simply asking that the HRC do their job in accordance with their mission by informing the public of the various candidates stance on issues that are deemed "LGBT" issues, rather than championing certain candidates around on pedistols simply for supporting such issues, when in reality they may or may not be the best person for the job or for the LGBT community! Let us decide for ourselves based on the facts!

[17 August 2007 @ 18:08]

Now cums the fun part, dissemination of information and analysis of the rhetoric. Gosh this is going to be fun. Who wants to bend over first and do you prefer fingers or an aide device? Look for the next installment on Monday which means Tuesday or Wednesday by the latest in Gay Standard Time. God it is good to be back in the bridle of journalism and social ethics again!

Fr. Fozy Bear

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was modified to clean up HTML Code on 03 AUGUST 2009

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give medals 4 killing men but 4 loving men they wish you were dead?

give medals 4 killing men but 4 loving men they wish you were dead?
thanks to the sacrifice of many the scourge of Dont Ask Dont Tell in the land of the free and home of the brave will be gone by the end of June!!!!