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Saturday, February 08, 2003

Shiite Republican Tells Dalai Lama to Take a Hike

"As a Christian, I am offended that we would have the Dalai Lama come and speak to a joint meeting of our Minnesota Legislature. He claims to be a god-king, a leader of the Buddha religion, which historically has been considered a cult because of its anti-Biblical teachings concerning the one true Holy God, Creator of Heaven and earth and His Son, Jesus Christ. A Buddhist would say, 'Why the big fuss about abortion and euthanasia? After all, we are all reincarnated over and over again in many lives, so why the big deal about ending one?' ...
I for one will not be present on the morning of May 9th."

- GOP Minnesota state Rep. Arlon Lindner (who ain't too fond of Jews,
either. Wonder if he'd show up for the Pope?)

Hey, Hey, HEY! Let's Not Insult Baboons Here.

"It seems to me that being represented by Arlon Lindner would open the door to the mentally-challenged being represented by a baboon."

- Unnamed resident responding in a column by Jack Nichols to remarks by Minnesota state Rep. Arlon Lindner (R) that approving civil unions would open the door to "a man marrying a dog."

Religious Intolerance Rears Ugly Head in MN

More on Lindner - by Chuck Muth..... McCain's point was about wacky fanatics -- Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson on the Right and Jesse Jackson and Louis Farakkan on the left.

As if to prove John McCain's point, a religious conservative Republican in Minnesota's state legislature went goofy on the House
floor Wednesday during a debate over the opening session prayer. "Up until last year," reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "such prayers were nondenominational. Then House Republicans planned, as part of the session's opening prayer ceremony, a religious choir that ringed the House chamber singing the Apostle's Creed.
Some House members were visibly uncomfortable with what they considered an overly religious display and pushed through a rule
change that made the prayer nondenominational. The change has irked religious conservatives in the GOP caucus, and on Wednesday they began the fight to reverse the rule."

Rep. Michael Paymar (DFL), who is Jewish, defended the move to make the prayer nondenominational - which, of course, makes sense. That's when Rep. Arlon Lindner (R) let loose his "my-religion-is-better-than-your-religion" diatribe against Paymar: "You know we're told there's one God and one mediator between God and man. The man Christ Jesus. And most of us here are Christians. And we shouldn't be left not able to pray in the name of our God. ... And if you don't like it, you may have to like it. Or just don't come." Well.

Paymar, for his part, overreacted and filed a formal ethics complaint against Lindner. All of which just goes to show what happens when one group of religious people try to force their religion and religious views on another group of people in the political arena. It's a lesson many religious right fundamentalists just can't seem to grasp. It's not enough, in their book, just to have a prayer said before each session. It has to be THEIR prayer. No wonder some members of the GOP's religious right are now being referred to as "Shiite Republicans."

More background on Lindner

One major effect of such road shows is to galvanize anti-gay political
opinion such as was recently expressed by a Republican politician in the
state of Minnesota. Rep. Arlon Lindner of Corcoran, described by the
Minneapolis Star Tribune as "a conservative with strong religious
principles" typifies those politicians favored by crusading religious
zealots. Lindner (May 1) said he intends "to protect the family institution
that exists today--the man-woman relationships where children can be born,
raised. I'm a Christian. I believe what the Bible has to say about man and
woman and the family and about heaven and hell and sin. One of those
teachings I get from scripture is that homosexuality is wrong, that it is a
sin like adultery would be a sin." Sanctioning same-sex marriages, said
Representative Lindner, would open the door to "a man marrying a child or a
man marrying a dog."

In response, a much-incensed citizen replied "It seems to me that being
represented by Arlon Lindner would open to the door to the
mentally-challenged being represented by a baboon."

Friday, February 07, 2003

Theocrat Nuttiness

Meanwhile the MFC's parent the FRC is in the news showing their true
colors. This is from an AP story published today:

A major conservative group is complaining that an
invitation to a Hindu priest to give the prayer at the opening of a House
session is another indication of the nation drifting from its
Judeo-Christian roots.

``Our founders expected that Christianity - and no other religion - would
receive support from the government as long as that support did not
violate peoples' consciences and their right to worship,'' said the Family
Research Council, a leading advocacy group for conservative causes.

``They would have found utterly incredible the idea that all religions,
including paganism, be treated with equal deference,'' the group said in a comment posted on its Web page.>>

The FRC after getting some egg on their faces by this, then issued a

Senators Hottinger, Kierlin, Frederickson, Rest and
Scheid introduced--
S.F. No. 293: A bill for an act relating to state
government; ratifying certain state employee labor
agreements and compensation plans with certain
exceptions; specifying terms and conditions of
employment in certain circumstances.
Committee on State and Local Government Operations.

5.3 Sec. 3. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 5.4 Sections 1 and 2 are effective the day following final 5.5 enactment. A person receiving insurance coverage on that day 5.6 due to the person's status as a same-sex domestic partner of a 5.7 state employee may continue that coverage until June 30, 2003. 5.8 A person receiving a tuition waiver on that date due to the 5.9 person's status as a same-sex domestic partner of a state 5.10 employee may continue to receive the waiver until the completion 5.11 of the semester next ending after the effective date of sections 5.12 1 and 2.

I doubt the repeal the human rights act as it applies to gays will go anywhere -- but it does give the DFLers an issue. However, just look how the DFLers are running away on the Domestic Partner issue. It's interesting that Scott Dibble tried to pin the repeal the human rights act bill on Pawlenty, when it was clearly some of the wackiest of the wackies introducing that bill, but gave a total pass to Hottinger who was stepping up to the plate to get rid of domestic partner benefits.

Meanwhile on the house side:

Lindner (R), Erickson (R), Buesgens (R), Davids (R) and Anderson, B. (R) introduced:
H. F. 0341, A bill for an act relating to human rights; removing sexual
orientation as a protected class under the Human Rights Act and in other
statutory provisions; .Committee on Civil Law.

With a serious budget shortfall, it's interesting that this type of bill gets introduced. Clearly all it is, is a let's go after the GLBT community bill. What's interesting is that many in the Republican Party are not like that -- but they don't speak up when they should. I believe that Governor Pawlenty probably doesn't want this issue to come up -- because it distracts from his agenda.

It's pretty predictable that Arlon Lindner is chief author of this one. I remember him replying to an email I sent to all Republican Reps telling me to refer to Leviticus and that I could change. I wrote back and told him that Leviticus referred to men and not women. He wrote back telling me that Romans said covered Lesbians.

Dane Smith's article on the subject is at:

I just tried to contact Dan Wolter the communications director at the Governor's Office for comment on this bill. His voicemail was full.

From Dane Smith's article:

Perhaps indicative of how hot the issue would be, Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston -- who is listed as an author -- said later Thursday that he will have his name removed as a sponsor.
Davids said he still intends to vote for repealing gay-rights language if it comes to the floor. But as chairman of a key House committee overseeing commerce, he said, he already has his hands full. "I signed on to the bill but I haven't really studied it. . . . I've got enough controversy," he said.

Also from the article, Pawlenty's staff would not return calls on this.

A crucial factor in how far the legislation advances may be how Gov. Tim Pawlenty handles the emotional and highly divisive issue. In past votes, some conservative DFLers have voted against gay rights and some moderate Republicans have voted in favor of them.

Pawlenty, then a freshman legislator, voted in 1993 to include sexual orientation in the human rights law, which prohibits certain forms of discrimination based on such factors as race, ethnicity, religion and disability status. But as he sought the Republican gubernatorial endorsement last year, he told Republican activists that he regretted that vote. Pawlenty's aides could not be reached for comment Thursday night.

His predecessors, Republican Gov. Arne Carlson and Independence Party Gov. Jesse Ventura, were staunch defenders of gay rights. Certainty that they would veto any repeal of the law prevented advancement of bills in previous years.

Dibble said that however Pawlenty handles the issue, "he played up antigay credentials. We can draw a direct line back to him for encouraging this legislation."

Perhaps indicative of how hot the issue would be, Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston -- who is listed as an author -- said later Thursday that he will have his name removed as a sponsor.

Davids said he still intends to vote for repealing gay-rights language if it comes to the floor. But as chairman of a key House committee overseeing commerce, he said, he already has his hands full. "I signed on to the bill but I haven't really studied it. . . . I've got enough controversy," he said.

When Pawlenty met with Log Cabin Republicans last October, he said his reason for saying he regretted his vote for the Human Rights Act was not that it covered gays and lesbians, but that it covered cross-dressers -- and specifically mentioned that it would cover someone coming to a school dressed as a man one day and dressed as a woman the next.

When I first met Tim Pawlenty at a young republicans gathering, I asked him about Domestic Partners -- and he said he opposed it and believed that marriage should be restricted to a man and woman. When I talked with him privately he made a point of mentioning his vote in favor of the Human Rights Act.

Chief Author, Lindner says part of the reason for the repeal is this (according to the Strib):

Supporters of the bill say that they don't want people to be persecuted or harassed but that the law is doing just that to Christian conservatives and others who consider homosexuality a violation of God's law.
"I know a lady who was fired from her job because she disagreed with homosexual activities in her school," said Rep. Arlon Lindner, R-Corcoran, the bill's chief author.

I don't get how the law which protects from discrimination both on the basis of sexual orientation and religion does this. If there was religious discrimination - which this woman is claiming, then it seems that she could sue on the basis of religious discrimination. What I find so interesting about many of the so-called Christian Conservatives (there are Christian Conservatives who are not anti-gay, and they aren't included in the "so-called" modifier), is that many of these folks absolutely detest Muslims. But then they express admiration for the policies in Saudi Arabia where gay men are executed for sodomy -- and say that this is a good AIDS prevention measure.

The article continues:

Tom Prichard, president of the Minnesota Family Council, said changes to the law have a good chance of passing the Republican-controlled House. "We've got a more conservative Legislature," he said. The council has strongly opposed what it calls "special protections" for gays and lesbians. Prichard said that total repeal probably doesn't stand much chance in the Senate, where DFLers hold a narrow majority. But bills that undo special applications of the law might pass, he said.
"We're hearing complaints about cross-dressing in the schools," he said.
The law is "being used as a pretext to promote homosexuality in the schools, and there are lawsuits being filed against religious organizations whose beliefs conflict with hiring homosexuals," Prichard said.

Actually, if this bill has "special protections" for Gays and Lesbians, then the human rights act should be gotten rid of totally -- why just delete the GLBT citizens from the law? Why not also delete other "choices" -- that is religion?

As far as Prichard's claim that the law is being used as a pretext to promote homosexuality in the schools -- that is bogus. Gay students in schools have successfully sued school districts for not doing an adequate job of preventing anti-gay harrassment in the schools.

But then, it's a little hard to take what Prichard says seriously. After all the last time repealing the sodomy law came up in the legislature, Prichard said that repealing the law would increase teenage pregnancy. He repeated that assertion when I debated with him on Nick Coleman's radio show. At that time, Nick and I both asked him how the activities prohibited in the sodomy law caused pregnancy. Prichard was not able to answer that question. Others on alt.tasteless have.

From the article:

Deborah Talen, executive director of Rainbow Families, a nonprofit agency that advocates for gay and lesbian parents, said the bill is "mean-spirited" and a retreat from Minnesota's reputation as a champion of civil rights. "We are still treated as 'less-thans' in our society," Talen said. "By striking this language, they are saying it's OK to discriminate in jobs, housing or public accommodations. . . . It's really endorsing discrimination, and the motivation is deep-seated."

EY: The usual suspects pushing this bill seem like they want the big tent to be a pup tent in the Republican Party. They sure aren't following Bush's lead. Recall that Bush said after meeting with a group of Gay Republicans - We are ALL God's Children. Yes, we are President Bush. We are also ALL Minnesota Taxpayers.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

GERE TAKES ON BILL (Richard Gere says Bush has done more for Aids than Clinton!)

From the Free Republic Thread on the NY Daily News Article. Some comments:

Shocking news from the Axis of Gerbils™!!

Axis of Gerbils™!!



Ahhh ha ha. But is there satellite evidence of gerbils entering and leaving in violation of sanctions?

And Gere has done more for PVC pipe and rodents than either one of them.

92 posted on 02/05/2003 8:18 AM PST by Delbert

To: areafiftyone

Boy, that feels better- monkeys just flew out of my @ss

To: DoughtyOne

Ain't this swell. Hollywood Libs are now praising W. because he likes to waste more money on lost causes than Clinton did.

106 posted on 02/05/2003 9:24 AM PST by ambrose

Shocking news from the Axis of Gerbils™!!

Miller now Gere not to mention Hitchens.

This strange uncomfortable feeling, must be what winning feels like :-)

Strange days, indeed. (Axis of Gerbils - ROFL!)

I agree. I think Gere's stuff is often on the outer rings of Saturn, but I do believe he speaks in earnest, unlike the cynical rantings of other residents of the Holly-ward.

To: Delbert

If you believe, that whole gerbil episode is an urban legend.

Is that true? If Elizabeth Taylor said it than it is true because she truly is an AIDS activist. Has been for a very long time. Her Daughter-In-Law has AIDS or has already died of it. So she knows the numbers because she raises the money. Say what you say about Bush and agree or disagree about this particular issue, but his political savvy has been unbelievable. If there was ONE issue to pick to get the libs on his side, this was it.

140 posted on 02/05/2003 1:22 PM PST by Hildy

I also heard Elizabeth Taylor say this on Larry King. She was adamant that Bush was doing much more for AIDS than Clinton ever did. I also believe that I heard her say that Clinton did NOTHING for AIDS the entire time that he was President. I was surprised how strongly she stated this I think that Larry King was surprised also.

149 posted on 02/05/2003 9:58 PM PST by Irish Eyes

NY Daily News - Daily Dish - Gere takes on Bill
Richard Gere stunned fellow liberals Monday by suggesting that President Bush is doing a better job of fighting AIDS than President Bill Clinton did.
Introduced by Sharon Stone at a fund-raiser at Cipriani 42nd Street for the American Foundation for AIDS Research, the "Chicago" star hailed Bush for his State of the Union proposal to contribute $15 billion toward the AIDS battle in Africa and the Caribbean. Gere then addressed the track record of Bush's predecessor in the White House.
"I'm sorry, Sen. [Hillary] Clinton, but your husband did nothing about AIDS for eight years," Gere said.
By that point, Sen. Clinton, who joined Mayor Bloomberg and honorees Anna Wintour and Lorne Michaels at the event, had left the restaurant. But a spokeswoman for the senator said yesterday that Gere's claim was "simply not true. The Clinton administration increased funding for AIDS research, prevention and treatment by over 400% and tripled funding for international AIDS programs."

EY: Gere makes a good point. Liberals hate to give Bush credit on anything.


Seems like the Minneapolis Issues List Queen is getting Rattled.....

Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2003 07:44:10 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: [Mpls] Issues List & Raucous Caucus in the News
To: List Manager

It's true I took the links from one of Eva's posts,
but it was my commentary and no reference was made to
her - I thought that would be OK; where exactly is the
boundary here? I'm glad to comply if I know where the
line is.

David Brauer,
--- List Manager wrote:
David -

As I told you once before, Eva is banned from the list for six months, and posting her notes back-door is a violation of that. I'll let this one go
just so nobody can say they don't know she was expelled (even if she's not telling the whole story). However, this is your SECOND attempt to back-door her posts to the list - I took your explanation on the first one at face-value, that it was unintentional and you wouldn't cross-post again. Now, though, I'd ask that you abide by the expulsion, which means no more back-door attempts.


Andrew Sullivan writes:

Gay Left Idiocy
The Hijacking of a Noble Cause

What should a gay activist group do? Here's a great example: you can organize, protest, raise money and engage the public to protect civil rights laws protecting homosexuals. That's exactly what the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force did in Miami-Dade county last fall, helping to eke out an electoral victory on a treacherous civil rights issue. And they deserve great credit for their hard work.

Now for the harder part: what should a gay activist group not do? Here's another great example: go out on a limb on a non-gay topic, alienate large numbers of people you need to persuade, divide the gay population unnecessarily, and devote energy and resources to a subject far, far away from the issue of gay equality. And that's exactly what NGLTF has also done by signing onto a dumb and disingenuous coalition to oppose war against Saddam Hussein's brutal and dangerous dictatorship.

Let's concede for a moment that there are honest and civil disagreements about the war among gay men and women. The salient question is: regardless of what you think about the coming war, why on earth should a gay group take this issue on? The answer lies, I think, in a simple but often overlooked fact. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is not essentially a gay rights organization. It's a far-left organization with emphasis on gay rights. Its main goal is building a "movement" dedicated to the overhaul of American society on anti-capitalist, anti-male, and anti-white grounds.

Do I exaggerate? Well take a look at the group's recent "Creating Change" conference, an annual get-together of radical gay leftwingers. Last year's theme? Passing gay non-discrimination laws? Persuading the public on marriage rights? How to help gay servicemembers? Gay immigration reform? Nah. It was entitled, "Building An Anti-Racist Movement: Working For Social and Economic Justice." It included an anti-racism institute, an "anti-classism" institute, and an institute about dismantling "institutional racism." In an extra gesture that would make Trent Lott feel right at home, the conference was in part racially segregated, with whites barred from certain sessions because of the color of their skin. I guess we should be grateful they didn't institute separate drinking fountains.

Notice that this conference wasn't even devoted to combating racism in the society as a whole. It was devoted to rooting out alleged racism within gay ranks! If you've ever attended a major gay rights rally and find yourself puzzled why almost all the speakers spend their time berating gay people for being racists, be puzzled no more. Come to think of it: What's a gay group doing campaigning against welfare reform, a Clinton achievement that has helped liberate many from the culture of welfare dependency? Beats me. But that's what NGLTF has spent a large amount of time and energy doing - largely because of their commitment to a far broader social agenda than gay rights. There are other weirdnesses as well. In a group that boasts of its diversity, the last seven executive directors have all been women. Do you think a gay group could get away with having seven male executive directors in a row? All genders are equal, you see. But, on the far left, some genders are more equal than others.

It's a free country, of course, and anyone should be able to set up any political organization they want - from far right to far left. NGLTF has a perfect right to exist; and those extreme leftists who want to see their agenda promoted should be as free to join such a group as far rightists should be able to join theirs'. But it's time most gay men and lesbians woke up to the radical irrelevance a few gay groups now epitomize. They represent very few of us. And by alienating so many so needlessly, they fatally undermine the focus and moral standing of the gay cause in the broader world. For that, they should not be given an easy or even reluctant pass.

EY: I think it's fair criticism of the NGLTF here -- and a cautionary tale to OutFront Minnesota. A Gay Gun Rights Workshop was rejected at a recent Creating Change Conference -- not sure if it was a Pink Pistols sponsored thing.

Sunday, February 02, 2003

GLBT Press Covers the Stonewall DFL Annual Meeting

Pick up the Jan 30 issue of the GLBT Press. It's got a rather hilarious article about the Stonewall DFL annual meeting.

From the article:

There were 30 people in attendance, seven were women, two were Minneapolis City Council Members, none were people of color, and twelve were members of the Board of Directors. ... There was some discussion of the fact that the meeting was not advertised... [the email notice] did not include the time of the meeting. .... A member asked the Chairperson to address her "Vision" for the Organization and to indicate where she saw Stonewall DFL going. Her response was that she hoped to have a retreat in the Spring to develop a unified idea of where the organization was going. She suggested that to grow the organization and make it financially stable were obvious goals. .... A board member indicated her disappointment at the turnout and the visible lack of participation by Lesbians and other under-represented groups of people. She asked the Chair to speak about how outreach was done to Lesbians and people from outside the metro area. The question was clearly stated, how are we addressing lack of participation from diverse elements of our communities? Chairperson Megan Thomas responded, "Its up to who runs for positions." At that point the questioning Board member moved that an Affirmative Action discussion be added to the agenda.

Comment: Seems like if the only goal an organization has is sustaining itself and financial stability, there's not much point.

Melissa Schmid Posthumously selected to be 2003 Everyday Hero Award at Pride

GLBT Press reports:

Melissa Schmidt, a Minneapolis Police Officer, has been posthumously selected to be the 2003 Everyday Hero Award winner, and GenderBLUR, a grassroots community group, has been selected as the 2003 Community Pride Award winner.

Melissa Schmidt was a supporter of the Pride Celebration, and often gave her free time to work at Pride events in uniform to help with crowd control and security. Ms. Schmidt was killed on the job in 2002 and has been selected as the 2003 Everyday Hero Award winner. Pride CEO Jim Kelley said, "Our Every Day Hero Award is very special to me as it recognizes the important contributions by individual members of our community. These are people that our out in our community doing the work that needs to be done without the need for notoriety. These statements apply particularly well to Officer Schmidt. She will be missed, not only as a Police Officer, but also as a member of our community."

Raucouscaucus on "E-Brauer" - or Alice In Cyberland

Just then, a page rushed in with the news that a plague of locusts had descended on a neighboring kingdom, destroying all of its crops and creating widespread panic. The room was instantly buzzing over the terrible tragedy.

"This is not an issue that concerns our kingdom!" barked the Queen.

"But your majesty," replied a spry peasant with many hearts, "there may be many poor souls coming to stay here."

The Queen turned crimson with fury. "We do not condone any discussion of the rulings! Off with his head!"

At that point, two executioners leapt out of the shadows and dragged the peasant from the room.

A joker protested, "That's not fair!"

The Queen snapped, "What makes you think you can challenge me?"

"Why is a raven like a writing desk?" replied the joker.

The Queen was not amused. "Off with his head!"