Friday, February 20, 2009

Chris Buttars


I just got an email from the HRC (Human Rights Campaign). I can't watch the video, because I don't have time to be pissed off, write letters to Utah's Senate, at the moment. I will later, trust me.

Letter from HRC President, Joe Solemonese:

So what's America's greatest threat? The weakest economy in 80 years? Widespread layoffs, bank collapses, meltdown in the auto industry and a housing crisis?

Not according to Utah State Sen. Chris Buttars. In a recent interview obtained by HRC, he says America's greatest threat is the LGBT community. He goes on to call lesbian and gay relationships "abominations" and claims LGBT people lack morals.

Just appalling. We need to make sure that these kinds of remarks by a public official do not go unanswered.

Words matter. They can't just be laughed or shrugged off. In the interview, Sen. Buttars calls LGBT people "the meanest buggers I've ever seen" – this kind of rhetoric creates an atmosphere of hatred that incites violence against LGBT Americans.

Here are a few more lowlights from Buttars' vile rant:

* LGBT people "are destroying the Constitution."
* Their "number one goal is to proselytize to youth" and use schools as "a recruiting station."
* Thanks to them we are, "moving toward a society that has no morals."
* They will "destroy the foundation of American society... In my mind, it is the beginning of the end."

Watch the video on youtube.

More to come on this later.


The clip provided by the HRC doesn't give context, but it's enough. Enough to make me completely lose respect fro Sen. Buttars.

He asked, "What are the morals of a homosexual?" and answers himself, "You can't answer that because anything goes."

Hahhah. What are the morals of a straight person? Are they all completely sin free and non-judgemental like Sen. Buttars obviously is?

"They talk about being nice. They're the meanest buggers I've ever seen."

The first problem I have with this, is if you're blatantly homophobic and make comments like Buttars has, you're not going to get very good reception from the gay community. Just like you straights, we don't like being treated like a piece of rubbish. My second problem is his use of the term "bugger," which literally means "anal intercourse," maybe he's just an idiot and that's an unfortunate choice of words whose meanings he isn't quite sure about, or maybe he has the gall to insinuate promiscuity in the gay community. ''

And tell me, how are gay people destroying the Constitution? We embrace what this country was built upon. We embrace the freedom to be who we are. Are we somehow bastardizing free speech to use the word lover, partner, and mate to describe someone of the same-sex? Tell me how we've touched the constitution. Because I want to know. Because if we already have, maybe we can again, so I can marry and have the same rights as everyone else.

I thought we'd moved past gay people acting as recruiters in schools a long time ago. I know a girl who fears her future career as a teacher, because she's gay. What happens when she's out in the community with her partner? Will she be blamed for the 10% of people who have been coming out since the beginning of human kind? Like Harvey Milk said in the 1970s, "If children emulated their teachers, we'd have a lot more nuns running around."

Do you know who lacks morals, Sen. Buttars? The man that judges his fellow man. That accuses a diverse group of people-- just a diverse as the straights-- of entirely lacking morals. Of being SOLELY RESPONSIBLE for the decay of society... Instead of blaming those who are responsible. The blatantly uneducated bureaucrats that stand in front of a nation and condemn.

I understand that Buttars is from a heavily conservative state... and here's the thing I DON'T CARE. It's still unacceptable. Somewhere in Utah, there's a kid listening. A kid who is learning from people like Buttars to believe that he is wrong for loving.

"Before you echo Amen in your home or place of worship, think and remember. A child is listening."
- Mary Griffith

Take it from Mary Griffith. Her son, Bobby Griffith was driven to kill himself because his mother couldn't accept his sexuality and continued to try to cleanse him through religion. No more mothers have to lose their sons. No more sons have to feel as though they are wrong for feeling in a way that they can't help.

Just... end hate speech. End discrimination. And elect no more closet-case bigots like Buttars to office.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


[Youtube Link]

I just finished this film. The film was criticized... mainly for its inclusion of openly gay characters.

It was one of the best films I've seen in my entire life. It is the real life of Harvey Milk, a major asset to gay rights in the 1970s, and the first openly gay man ever elected to public office in the United States.

From his tireless campaigns and willful facing and fighting of adversity, Milk is a hero to us all. And as he said, not just gays, the blacks, the asians, the elderly, the disabled, all of the us's, all of the minorities.

Harvey Milk did the right thing. He fought on an impossible front and won the majority of the battles, at great personal sacrifice. And still, today, he touches people. The only school for LGBT students and other students who have a high risk of being the victim of bullying was opened in his honor. (An estimated 160,000 students miss school every day out of fear for being bullied because they are LGBT) In NYC, Harvey Milk High School continues to spread what Harvey Milk taught, not only tolerance, but whole-hearted acceptance of the people that society has ostracized for no justifiable reason.

There was one quote that hit me really hard.

Two days after I was elected I got a phone call and the voice was quite young. It was from Altoona, Pennsylvania. And the person said “Thanks”. And you’ve got to elect gay people, so that thousands upon thousands like that child know that there is hope for a better world; there is hope for a better tomorrow. Without hope, not only gays, but those who are blacks, the Asians, the disabled, the seniors, the us’s: without hope the us’s give up. I know that you can’t live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you, and you, and you, and you have got to give them hope."

Altoona is still a town with little hope for gay people. Here, in this little town, I've been glared at, I've been talked about, I've been called a dyke to my face. But in Altoona, off of campus, you get warned that it's not safe. It's not safe to be a young person in the darker parts of the small city, much less an openly lesbian young woman. And I remember, the night of the election, on the computer, watching Prop 8. I was watching for that hope. I did get hope in one sense, a straight man who openly supports gay rights was elected to the white house, and for that I'm thankful. But I also watched Blair county turn red, in fierce support of a man who believes that puritanical garbage should make it impossible for me to live in the same manner as a straight person, and a running mate who believes that her "friend" chose to be a lesbian, her "friend" chose to be marginalized by a society of uneducated bigots.

Harvey Milk's fight still isn't over. I talked to a friend a few weeks ago; she is going to school to become a teacher. She's afraid the parents of her future students will be aghast to see her with her partner in the community, that she'd lose her job for falling in love with a woman. We still don't have the federal right to not be fired because of who we love.

And Milk is right. You have to be out. The biggest foe is ignorance. The person who thinks gays are depraved and comparable to various deviant acts, has obviously never met one.

So: be out, be proud, and never, ever give up on the movement or on yourself.

Lawrence King

I've been slacking. My updates on here are sorely lacking, but I have been writing about the community, don't get me wrong. So here are a few updates from the not too distant past:

Posted originally on February 14, 2009

[Youtube Link]

It has been a year, today, since Larry King, a 15 year old boy, asked a classmate to be his valentine. The next day, the boy walked into to English class, and shot Larry in the head.

I didn't know Larry. Accounts say that he was a sweet boy, who had never conformed to gender roles. People who knew him say he brought joy to everyone around him.

I remember getting the email, on February 15, 2008, and crying. This should not have happened. Brandon McInerney should not have been brought up in a society that made him feel so threatened by a well meaning gay boy, that he had to take Larry's life and ruin his own.

Rest Peacefully
Lawrence King
January 3, 1993- February 14, 2008