It’s gonna get nasty

18 06 2008

Events in Kern County california presage the bitterness that is about to be engendered by the upcoming same sex marriage referendum that will give California voters a chance to decide whether or not a minority of the population should have reduced civil rights. It has been all over the net that the Kern County clerk has suspended all marriage services of whatever kind in order to avoid polluting her office with us damned sinners and perverts. Kern county, a god-fearing, god awful stretch of utterly classless, dust covered strip malls and fast food joints and whose biggest claim to fame is an air force base and a bauxite mine, seems to be largely behind the clerk. They know sin when the see it Kern County. They may not know much by gum, but they know all about sin – especially other people’s. Meanwhile the clerk is being represented by a fundamentalist Christian legal consortium based in Arizona and paid for by our old friends, Donald Wildmon, Rev. Dobson and others of that ilk. They are prepared to dump hundreds of thousands of those dollars contributed by little old ladies of both sexes nation wide into the California fight. No sum is too great, no effort too strenuous to insure that we can’t get married after the November referendum. Think of that for a minute. Global warming? missing nuclear weapons? Iran building unranium enrichment facilities? the Bush administration trampling all over the Consitution? The price of gas? The collapse of our economy? The huge mortgage crisis? The spiraling unemployment rate? Our inconcievable debt to China? All – all of that fades into insignificance beside the terrifying, cataclysmic, apocalyptic vision of two queers kissing each other on the court house steps. Yes indeed, these fundies have their priorities and they know what they are and where those Christian dollars will do the most good for a benighted humanity. They are taking no chances on God sending a tornado or one of them there Susan – Nami things to wipe out Bakersfield – like He did just lately in …oh..sorry… that was a Boy Scout camp wasn’t it? Hmmmm…..do you suppose those scouts were…you know…? Well dear readers, I don’t know anything about those particular scouts but way back when I was a Boy Scout, if there had been a merit badge for felatio, I’d have gotten it with oak leaf clusters. God must not have been paying such close attention in those days because we were spared any tornados. Now, lest you think that all this is way off in far California, it has stirred up the bigots and jackasses closer to home. notable among that crew is Rick Santorum the homphobic former senator who seems to have learned nothing from his defeat at the polls. Santorum, who may have an IQ in the middle double digits, in a recent Philadelphia Inquirer column, equated the relationship between committed same-sex partners to his relationship with his mother-in-law. Seriously. (“Heck, I even love my mother-in-law. Should we call [that] relationship marriage, too?”) Well maybe, Rick, if you plan on a three way with the old lady, but I don’t think society is ready for that yet. It’s very forward thinking of you of course – which surprises us because we previously had no reason to suppose you “thought” at all, per se. All we’ve ever seen is knee-jerk reaction from you in the past, so this is a big break-through. Still, you’d better chill with this marrying your mother-in-law business. You clearly don’t have a lot of experience with thinking and right away you’re getting yourself in trouble. Try it out on simple things in private first – things like “why is the sky blue?” Or the old chicken crossing the road connundrum. Work up to big issues like marriage slowly.

What we can see from all this is that our New Jersey queer community needs to be braced, organized and funded and solidly supporting organizations like GSE and our other queer groups because no doubt the storm will hit us also, as we get closer to SS Marriage in our state as well.

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8 responses

18 06 2008
Taylor Siluwe

And the shit-storm will hit. For every action has an opposite reaction. We just kicked the fundies in the balls, so we’d do well to wear our protective gear.

I also think we’ve gotta get creative. There’s a handful of hatemongers out there rallying the thoughtless and dumbstruck into this massive cyclops out for our destruction. My suggestion is as juvenile as it is simple. As a kid, I knew the only way to take out a monster was to cut off its head. These guys like Dobson and Hayford are WAY too passionate about this particular issue. It screams dirty little secret.

Hmmm ….

18 06 2008
Randomfactor

Actually, the first day of same-sex marriages came and went uneventfully except for a couple dozen happily-married couples. I apologize for our County Clerk, but some of us are trying to drag the city into the 21st century.

19 06 2008
Philip Smith

Toby

First, I want to say how happy I am about the decision; what happened in court was a great step forward. Second, I’m confident that the move of the Bakersfield county clerk will work in your favor. There are a number of factors that lead me to believe that the Amendment will go down in flames.

Local coverage (both my TV and Radio are from CA) of what is happening in Bakersfield is very much slanted in favor of gay rights. The clerks move appears so simpleminded that it makes it seem as though being against gay rights puts you on the side of the really stupid. Coverage of the weddings has also been favorable; slanted toward love and commitment.

Secondly, Obama has fired up young people in California. Just before Clinton got out, polls showed that if the primary had been held later, Obama would have won. Polls on the amendment question are bound to be inaccurate because most young people use cell phones and in California at least, polling cell phones is not done. Interracial and same sex relationships in CA are so common among young people that they don’t seem to even understand why there is an issue. There is a deep well of support that was previously untapped.

My only concern is money. If the right pours money into this, it could bring out the weird ones who would otherwise be hibernating. Hopefully, on our side, there will be a grass roots, internet fund raising network throughout the country. As I’m sure you know, this is more important than MA. If this amendment fails, the struggle is over, CA doesn’t have residency requirements for marriage. The right certainly knows this. They will be pulling out the stops.

Philip

20 06 2008
flip

“Kern county, a god-fearing, god awful stretch of utterly classless, dust covered strip malls and fast food joints and whose biggest claim to fame is an air force base and a bauxite mine, seems to be largely behind the clerk”

Nice of you to lump all 700k plus residents of Kern County in to one group based on the action of 1 person and the comments of about 10 people. I won’t appologize for our County Clerk, I don’t agree with what she/they did, but I stand by her right to do so

20 06 2008
tobygrace

What she needs to do is HER JOB! If she doesn’t want to do it, she should resign – not hide behind privately financed attorneys who are now, evidently, the spokesmen for the county clerk. In other words, she has appointed a fundamentalist lawfirm to be the mouth piece of the county clerk’s office – It seems seperation of church and state has taken a holiday in Kern County. Your clerk declines to speak to the taxpayers directly. As for the 700 k residents, are they making their voices heard, demanding she do her job or get out?

23 06 2008
NicoleDawn

You know, I had a really nasty response all prepared for you on how unfair it is to judge us all by your standards of what “utterly classless” stands for. I decided that to do that would be giving you the type of reaction you are looking for, and I don’t want to encourage you. Let me just make a point to you. If you want people to accept you, throwing out slander against a town of 700K people just because one county official and some citizens who stand behind her is absurd, and makes you and your arguments seem ludicrous. I know that I missed the opportunity to talk with you and give myself the opportunity to be defined as “utterly classless.”

I will never understand how those who seem so passionate about the movement for gay rights and gay marriage rights can post things that are completely detrimental to their own cause. Instead of teaching tolerance, you are using the same ignorant and judgemental behavior as those who are against gay marriage in the first place.

Next time, try limiting your comments to not encompassing our entire city. We are not all bigots, and as in any town in this country, people think different ways as they have the right to do. We’ll see how the issue does during the ballot this year, and if the state genuinely wants it to pass it will. The people of California, NOT Bakersfield, as whole will make that decision. I’m sure if it doesn’t pass, you will be more than willing to classify the entire population of California as “utterly classless.”

Here’s hoping you can overcome your utterly classless behavior and start representing your cause in a way that can be helpful instead of making you look as bigoted as you accuse 700K people of being.

23 06 2008
tobygrace

At the risk of repeating myself, are those 700 K citizens rising up to throw out the clerk or demand she resign? Failing that, they tacitly participate in her behavior. Further, Kern County has an ugly history of bigotry that goes way back before this. I refer you to an article in “The Guide” magazine of March, 2004, titled “The Devil In Kern county” (www.guidemag.com) which is a detailed account of the Child molestation trials in Bakersfield in the mid 80s – a “Salem witch hunt” situation that continued on into the 90s and ruined many innocent lives. I quote ” An infusion of indigent, Bible-believing dust bowl refugees in the ’20s and ’30s heightened the prevalence of Old Time Religion…. though emersed in secular, blue-collar, shotgun and pick-up truck culture…the county’s population of 676,000 includes tens of thousands of fundamentalist Christians who have perfect faith that the Devil and his works are constant threats and must be vanquished with Old Testamen t zeal.” I’d say that pretty well describes Kern County. Further, if you will re-read my original post, I referred to the county as classless and did not comment specifically on the citizenry. I was in fact referring to the appearance of the place (as is demonstrated by the references to dust, strip malls, etc) I’m glad my correspondent in this thread likes the place but I’ve been there and would say it is among the ugliest locations I’ve seen outside of the Third World. Now, when it comes to applying the adjective “classless” if the shoe fits, wear it. If not, don’t. It goes without saying that there are exceptions to any generalization but Kern County is, in the present controversy, being entirely faithful to its history and appears to be demonstrating the values of the majority of its citizens. Ipso facto – classless. Further, I do not speak for or “represent” the gay liberation movement. I speak only for myself. I, personally, don’t seek acceptance from people such as the majorit y of Kern’s residents are described as being in the above quote. I couldn’t care less what they think of me and do not, in fact, credit them with much ability in the way of thought at all. I do not respect their opinions – only their right to have them. However, I likewise have my own opinions and am no more hesitant to voice them that they are. The fact that you, my correspondent in this thread, are reading this blog and taking the time to argue with me, clearly indicates that you are not among the majority as described above – your disagreement with me notwithstanding. That however does not give me cause to alter my views of either the appearance of Kern County, nor of the majority of its population. As for “teaching tolerance,” I’m done with that. I don’t give a damn about being tolerated. I’m demanding the full menu of legal rights citizenship entitles me to, including marriage. People like your clerk and her supporters don’t have to like it or be “tolerant” of it. They have to learn to live with it, like it or not. They should count themselves lucky we don’t picket their churches the way they picket our rallies and festivals – and even our funerals in some outrageous cases. Did you suppose we were some sort of saints, that we would listen forever to the religious leaders of the sort who dominate Kern County calling us every evil name in the book – creating the atmosphere that makes the suicide rate highest among gay teens – encouraging people like your clerk to block our civil rights – all without finally becoming angry? Tolerance be damned! It’s time to fight back with the gloves off. It’s time to demand taxation of politically active churches. Its time to confront the “good citizens” of places like Kern County and say “what are you doing to stop this insanity?” May I remind you that there were ever so many “good Germans” during the NAZI era who, like these good citizens of Kern County, did nothing to stop the repression and bigotry – let alone the horror of the Holocaust. Do you think that is an extreme analogy? Reflect on the fact that whether caused by murder in a concentration camp or by suicide brought on be the hatred of a community, dead is dead, in the final analysis. The evidence indicates that Kern County is an intellectual wilderness populated largely by people governed by primitive superstitions and infantile religious simplicities. That there exists a minority who are otherwise is no doubt the case. However, if that minority chooses to live there in silence, of what use is their enlightenment?

15 07 2008
Darren Stanley

Amen, Sister!

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