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Dear Mike Pence,

You sir, Governor Pence, are a liar and a coward, and a bigot. But mostly you are a liar.

 

Do not pretend, Pence, conservatives, that your legislation is LIKE the federal legislation.  It is not.  Federal legislation supported religious freedom for individuals when infringed by government.  This treats businesses as people — hello, anti-LGBT Romney — and it facilitates businesses discriminating in public accommodation against individuals over sexual orientation.  It is not about freedom, it is just about facilitating dumb bigotry.

 

Let’s just cut to the chase, cut through your bulls*it.  Your statement on the George Stephanopolous Sunday ‘talking head’ interview was dishonest, and it was nothing more than a clumsy tap dance trying to get around the truth.

 

It is significant that Pence is trying to tar both Bill Clinton (as a proxy for Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, both of whom support LGBT rights) in advance of a potential presidential run.

 

ABSOLUTELY, “Hoosiers engage in discrimination.” (see the video of the interview at the 10 minute mark); they not only engage in LGBT discrimination, they want it, YOU WANT IT, and they brag about doing it.  Do just give it up on having it both ways; you know this law you signed is entirely about religious anti-LGBT discrimination being given proactive and preemptive legal cover to let them do so where previously they did not have such legal advantage for discrimination.

 

The AFA was right there with you when you signed this; they pushed for it, they’re candid about what it is: a pro-discrimination bill to legalize anti-LGBT discrimination. PERIOD.

 


So quit lying about it; you’re not any of you going to get away with having it both ways, a discrimination law AND not a pro-discrimination law.  You might as well pander to the bigots, Mikey; because you aren’t fooling the rest of us.

 

From Mediaite:

The man, who only identified himself as Ryan, said that as a Christian he understands that some people have a different “lifestyle” than him, but he doesn’t want them coming into his place of business and making his customers “uncomfortable.”

The hosts did not let him off easy, asking directly if he has ever discriminated against gay people in his restaurant. “I have discriminated,” he said openly, explaining that he has pretended there was a problem with his kitchen in order to not serve them in the past.

“That makes you feel OK?” Rachel Bogle asked him. “I mean, when you get a bed at night saying, ‘I’ve discriminated against other human beings,’ you feel at ease with that?”

Ryan said he feels fine about it because he believes he should be able to do whatever he wants in his own restaurant. “We don’t want to have this in our place of business, it’s just not right,” he said. But while the caller was happy to share his story, he would not say the name of his restaurant.

Let me sort this out for you and for your bigot businessman restaurant owner. ‘Ryan’ wants to be able to tell people they can’t eat at his place of business, but he doesn’t want to risk losing the heterosexual $$$ of people who would not knowingly patronize the businesses that discriminate.

 

Let me point out Ryan, let me point out Governor Pence, that LGBT people pay taxes. Those taxes pay for the infrastructure and services that make it possible for this business owner to make money, to operate his business. Our armed forces have gay patriots serving in their ranks protecting this country, so that those businesses may operate, so that state, and all the other states and territories are safe and free.

 

So unless these businesses want to go somewhere else, outside this country, they have no damned right, no damned freedom to take all the benefits of taxation which includes the LGBT community along with the family and friends who support them being who they are as human beings who were born the way they are. There is no more right to do that, no more ethical or moral justification, no political justification to do that, than there ever was to deny service to a person of color, or a person who is of an ethnicity like being Jewish or Asian, or to deny someone service on the basis of a religion in which they were raised or chose to embrace.

 

This notion that there is some kind of religious legitimacy to discriminate is one we’ve seen before, used to try to prop up segregation of races. It was wrong then, and it is wrong now. That belief creates a second class group of citizens, and then tries to smear heaps of lipstick on that pig to pretend it is nothing else.

 

There will be a severe penalty for you Governor Pence, much larger than I believe you have calculated. Not the least of those penalties, those costs will be to the people in your state who support this law and who elected you. Personally however Governor, you can kiss good bye any hope or dream you might ever have, in 2016 or any other time in the future, to sit in the office of President in our White House.

Bigots are going bye bye. And you gentlemen — all of you who contemplate and desire to enact laws like this, you damned conservative bigots, are as conservatives always are, on the wrong side of the arc of history. You consistently choose the role of the bad guy, and then you whine about it after you made the choice of your own will. Your values are flawed, your morality and ethics are dirty and ugly. YOU FAIL.

It is only a matter of when, not if, your law will be flushed down the toilet of s*itty historic legislation, where it will end up on the dung heap of human hatred.

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Minnesota LGBT best and worst of 2014

by Dan Burns on January 5, 2015 · 0 comments

1004998_788969071129152_49027631_nI’m quoting the #1 best and worst, here. You should click and check them all out.
 

No organization has had a bigger impact on LGBT equity this year than OutFront Minnesota. The organization completed a strategic plan that moved from equality to equity, helped shepherd through the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act and a transgender-inclusive athletics policy. The group mobilized at Twin Cities Pride to ensure participants were safe from an evangelical group that was using deception to try to convert members of the LGBT community to become “ex-gay.”
 
…The Child Protection League emerged in 2014 as one of the most anti-LGBT organizations in Minnesota. Comprised of member of Education Liberty Watch, and the Parents Action League (which the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled a hate group), the group claimed a mission to “protect all children from exploitation, indoctrination and violence.” But all of it’s work went to blocking LGBT equity and demonizing LGBT people. The group spread falsehoods about the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act.
 
MNCPL placed ads in Minnesota newspapers, including a full-page spread in the Star Tribune, that insinuated that transgender students were sexual predators. The group’s leaders ran to television, radio, print, and anybody else who would listen to decry the “LGBT Agenda” and paint the LGBT community as unsafe, unhealthy, and bent on the indoctrination of children.
(The Column)

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kline3One of my interests is world religion, myth, and folklore. There are examples of mythological beings with second faces on the backs of their heads. What with always looking backward, perhaps they were inspired by the John Klines of their time.
 

Two key House Republicans on employment issues have asked the Labor Department to withdraw its new rule protecting LGBT employees of federal contractors from discrimination.
 
House Education and Workforce Committee Chair John Kline, a Republican from Minnesota, and Rep. Tim Walberg, the Republican chair of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, made the request for a 60-day public comment period for the rule in a letter to the head of the office responsible for enforcing it…
 
After laying out their argument, they write, “We therefore urge OFCCP to withdraw its final regulation submitted to [Office of Management and Budget] … so the process for implementing [Obama’s executive order] can be done with the transparency and public participation typically afforded under the APA.” They ask for a response from Shiu “no later than December 17, 2014.”
(BuzzFeed)

While there are many things equally preposterous, literally nothing is more preposterous than Rep. John Kline complaining about an alleged lack of public input into government decision-making.
 
Oh, and this, too:
 

As lawmakers pressed Monday to finalize the legislative language of a must-pass omnibus spending bill, labor unions and retiree groups were mobilizing to defeat what they are characterizing as a lame-duck sneak attack on the pensions of some already-retired workers.
 
At issue is an effort led by Reps. John Kline and George Miller, the top Republican and Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, to bring reforms to troubled multiemployer pensions. The exact language of the proposal had not yet been announced, and it was not clear whether House leaders had in fact decided whether it would be attached to the spending bill.
 
But the lawmakers and staffers were working on such a proposal through the weekend. And it was widely expected on Monday that it would give multiemployer plan trustees the ability to cut benefits of already-retired workers or widows to help shore up some of the plans.
(National Journal)

Comments below fold.
 
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Jeff BackerJeff Backer, the Republican candidate challenging incumbent State Rep. Jay McNamar in HD12A, has an issues section on his web site that appears to have been written by the candidate himself, or at least not by a consultant. The statements of his positions come across as sincere but, disappointingly for someone who has already held public office, also shallow. What he says seems heartfelt — just not thought through. The recurring reaction when reading his take on issues is, “Are you sure that’s what you wanted to say?”
 
Let’s just dive into maybe the most egregious error. In his guns section, in just the second paragraph, Backer smacked hard into Godwin’s Law*, “For instance, Hitler enacted gun control laws that disarmed the populace before he went on his WWII rampage.” I’ll accept that Backer sincerely believes Hitler put strict gun controls in place and that this was a necessity for enforcing Nazi control. The sincerity of a belief doesn’t correspond to its factual accuracy, and Backer seems to have preferred the zombie myths** of the gun lobby over actual history. Hitler actually loosened gun laws and wanted Germans better armed than they were. Finding out wasn’t hard.
 
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MNGOP’s False Equivalence is Demeaning to Women

by Invenium Viam on August 27, 2014 · 0 comments

demeaning to women

Demeaning to women?

“God … God … why did you put so many a**holes in the world at the same time?” Major Santini, The Great Santini

 

The latest cornerstore hoo-hah to issue from the Hivemind of the Glifnards is that Senator Franken somehow demeaned women by briefly holding two traffic cones to his chest as if they were female breasts. This was in apparent response to DFL Chair Ken Martin’s call for congressional candidate Jim Hagedorn to apologize for his very real, repeated, caustic demeaning of women, minorities, and every other non-male, non-WASP group that happened to come to mind.

 

In a 12-second iPhone video, Franken appeared to be clowning for someone off-camera.

 

While it may be Humor Unbecoming of a Comedian of Franken’s stature as a local stand-up (of fond memory) and former comedy writer and skit-player for SNL — humor at about the same comedic level of sophistication as Mr. Whipple squeezing the Charmin — it hardly descends to the level of demeaning women.

 

That is, unless you think that breasts as reproductive organs are dirty and shameful and that that dirtyshamefulness somehow devolves upon their owners and therefore ought not be used for jokes. If that’s the case, it explains a lot, since pointing out that women have breasts and men don’t is almost as clever a revelation as pointing out that human beings like to have sex … noisy, clumsy, sweaty, messy, wet sex … which seems to be a continuing bugaboo for a good many conservative types who need to be in control, man.

 

Without stating what, exactly, is demeaning to women about Franken’s juvenile behavior, several Republican women in the Minnesota legislature — including State Senator Michelle Fischbach and Representatives Marion O’Neill, Joyce Peppin, Cindy Pugh and Peggy Scott — demanded an apology from Franken in a letter drafted by Party Boss Keith Downey to DFL Chair Ken Martin. “I am so offended,” avowed Representative O’Neill, who joined Downey at a news conference, “not only this, but his pattern of behavior to degrade women and to put women down. We are in 2014. I think it’s time to apologize and it’s time to move forward and it’s time to stop this terrible behavior.”

 

Sound genuine to you? Me neither. Putting the shoe on the other foot, if any of those women stuffed a cucumber down the front of their jeans and proceeded to dick-swagger bow-legged around the room like they had testicles the size of hen’s eggs suspended in their scrotal sac, would I feel demeaned? U-m-m-m-m-m …. Nope!  I’d just feel mildly amused …

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What is Nienstedt Hiding NOW?

by Dog Gone on August 2, 2014 · 1 comment

 

KSTP did an interview with the Archbishop, who seemed a lot less involved with the most important topic for his church than he was with trying to prevent people who believe differently than he does from the free exercise of their religion in gay marriage.

 

There is the short version:

 

or the extended version:


As the KSTP news interview noted, it led to MORE questions. We’ve had enough “the dog ate my homework” excuses.

It is WELL PAST TIME for Nienstedt and the rest of the RC in Minnesota to STOP tossing out empty, lying assurances that things are better now.   We are ALWAYS being told, no, it’s all better now, and DON’T LOOK AT THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!,  in this case the curtain OF RC SILENCE.  It is ludicrous to think that there has been any lack of preferential treatment given to the ‘rights of priests’ and utter contempt occurring as regards the rights of victims.

There is no justification for believing Nienstedt on anything.  The changes the church makes are poor, slow, and resisting the compliance with law that is routine from other religious faiths and denominations.

Nienstedt needs to go, permanently not just temporarily stepping aside, as has been noted in not only local media but in the New York Times.  There has been a lack of GOOD leadership, only leadership of church self-interest.

GO!  And don’t let the church door hit you anywhere inappropriate on the way out.  We are no longer patient with excuses and lies and the inability to genuinely change.

My impression of Nienstedt is the same as my impression of Tim Scannell the recently convicted sex-offending county attorney in northern Minnesota who was just removed from office involuntarily after his conviction, after refusing for an extended period of time to leave.  There is a sense of entitlement to the job. to the authority, and to the privilege to engage in whatever inadequate or outright bad conduct occurs without accountability. …READ MORE

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Tom Emmer is Still an Angry White Guy

by Invenium Viam on August 1, 2014 · 4 comments

Mine!!

Tom Emmer is an Angry White Guy. He just doesn’t want you to know that he’s an Angry White Guy.

 

The reason he doesn’t want you to know it is because Tom Emmer wants to be the next US Congressman in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District (Rep. Michele Bachmann’s current seat). He wants to represent a district chock-full of Angry White Guys like himself, but to do that he needs more votes in the General Election than the Party of Angry White Guys can provide. To win, he’ll need the votes of some moderates.

 

To get them, he decided he needed to re-make himself into someone new.

 

Back in 2010, Emmer, then a member of the Minnesota House, wanted to be the Governor of Minnesota. Because … he did. But that campaign collapsed around him like a bad metaphor with inept and baseless declarations that restaurant workers can earn $100,000 a year in tips (which would justify minimum-wage exemptions) and that government workers make 30-40% more than their private sector counterparts (because they get expensive government giveaways like health insurance, paid time off and pensions). He lost to Mark Dayton in a close election of some 7,000 votes.

 

Now it’s 2014, and Tom Emmer wants to be a US Congressman. Because … he does. And in all likelihood, he’ll get his wish.

 

The reasons are simple.

 

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Iowa has gay marriage.

 

Minnesota has gay marriage.

 

The remaining backward states in the region are being dragged into the 21st century, and real freedom and equality, in spite of the attempts by the right to create a tier of 2nd class citizens.

 

And now Whiz-sconsin and North Duh-kota have recently joined South Duh-kota in facing legal challenges that are expected to overturn their gay marriage bans.

 

Six couples on May 22, 2014 filed a lawsuit in South Dakota.  Those challenges have yet to be heard in court.  As noted in the Washington Blade, both Iowa and Minnesota same sex marriage recognition is central to those challenges.

Six same-sex couples on Thursday filed a federal lawsuit seeking marriage rights in South Dakota.

The lead plaintiffs — Nancy and Jennie Rosenbrahn of Rapid City who have been together for 27 years — exchanged vows last month in Minnesota during a ceremony that Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges officiated.

The Pennington County Register of Deeds in March refused to issue the women a marriage license. Rapid City officials earlier this month also denied their request to change their name after they tied the knot in Minnesota.

Clay Schweitzer and Jeremy Coller of Rapid City last month also tried to apply for a marriage license at the Pennington County Register of Deeds, but were denied. The couple married in Iowa on May 14.

As of the May 22nd filing, North Dakota was the only state left without a legal challenge to gay marriage. That changed on Friday when seven couples filed a challenge to the same sex marriage ban.

According to the Wa Po:


Lawsuit challenges North Dakota gay marriage ban

BISMARCK, N.D. — Seven couples filed a federal lawsuit Friday challenging the constitutional prohibition on same-sex marriage in North Dakota, making it the last state in the country with a ban to be sued by gay couples seeking the right to wed in their home state. A federal judge also struck down Wisconsin’s ban, ruling it was unconstitutional.

The North Dakota lawsuit, filed in federal court in Fargo, challenges both that state’s ban on gay marriage and its refusal to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who legally wed in other states.

That means cases are currently pending in all 31 states with gay marriage bans. Judges have overturned several state bans since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year, with Wisconsin being the latest. Many of those rulings are being appealed, and Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen quickly vowed to do so.

… A federal judge has struck down Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage Friday, June 6, 2014, ruling it unconstitutional. It wasn’t clear whether same-sex marriages could immediately begin.

North Dakota’s attorney general said he had not yet seen the lawsuit challenging the state’s 2004 ban, which claims violations on three issues that are guaranteed in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: equal protection, due process and right to travel.

“Ultimately, only the Supreme Court can determine whether North Dakota’s enactment is constitutional or not,” Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said in a statement.

Legal experts said because North Dakota is the last state to face a lawsuit, a federal appeals court that covers the region or even the U.S. Supreme Court could rule on another case first, making the lawsuit largely symbolic given that all states with bans have now been challenged.

“They’re not going to just wait around, because it’s inevitably coming,” Carpenter said. Rulings in the 4th and 10th Circuit Court of Appeals are expected in the coming months.

Gay couples already can wed in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

So, to recap – Minnesota was the 12th state to legislate gay marriage. Now that is the case in 7 more states, and the district of Columbia with legal rulings in some stage of advancement in 31 others. Wisconsin is only the latest in a long line of decisions overturning gay marriage. Colorado has civil unions.
From CNN:

Facts: Same-sex marriage is legal in 19 U.S states and the District of Columbia: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Same-sex marriage is banned by constitutional amendment or state law in: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

The laws banning same-sex marriage in Arkansas, Idaho, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Virginia have been ruled unconstitutional. Those decisions have been stayed and are awaiting appeals. Judges in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee have issued limited rulings relating to same-sex marriages, but have not ruled that bans are unconstitutional.

Worldwide, 16 other countries (and parts of Mexico) also have laws allowing same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships. Most of these are in Europe and South America.

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Did ALL Conservatives FLUNK Sex Ed?

by Dog Gone on May 22, 2014 · 1 comment

We’ve recently seen new gains for the LGBT community, notably for marriage equality in Pennsylvania, Idaho and Oregon this week. I can only imagine the uproar now that the Harvey Milk stamp came out today.  There was a White House ceremony and everything.

 

So, it follows that we see greater insanity from the radical right in response.

 
In California, anti-gay groups equate Marriage equality activists with the Klu Klux Klan, in a law suit. No, not that the “Kluckers” have ever been pro-gay, they are just flailing around grasping at anything no matter how ridiculous. This follows the persistent pattern shown by conservatives of:

1. believing things which are not true; and
2. seeing themselves as victims when they are not.

 
Then we have Rep. Charles Van Zant, a Florida Republican, who has doubled down on his insistence that Common Core will turn every child in our public schools gay. As noted by Think Progress,

“I don’t believe that that has any place being introduced into Florida’s schools,” Van Zant said. He called for Florida’s curricula to only teach courses like history and civics, subjects which he seems to believe are wholly devoid of gay people.”

 
I’m particularly struck by the notion that anything in any school curriculum COULD alter someone’s sexual orientation. The very premise of that is so badly flawed and without any credible substance or factual merit.

 
While this was somewhat dealt with by Politifact.com earlier this week, which gave a pants-on-fire rating to Van Zant who had claimed [Common Core would] “attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can.”, I was struck by the notion that Van Zant appears to hold that there might be degrees of same sex orientation — which is as odd as being ‘ a little bit pregnant’ or a little bit heterosexual.

 
Meanwhile, in Houston, the radical religious right (who REALLY seem to have a warped and anti-ALL sexual bias) are back at it, pushing the false notion that gay and transgender people are all perverts and sexual predators.

In an analysis published a few weeks ago, ADF claimed that the ERO will place “women and children at risk of voyeurism, photographing and video recording, and sexual assault” because of “men in women’s” facilities. The memo also claimed that individuals and churches could be prosecuted — in both cases because they discriminated in either providing services or employment.

These same arguments are apparent in talking points that have been distributed to would-be opponents of the ERO at city council meetings. It blatantly suggests that the protections will lead to rape, “more perverted men to become bold in acting out their perversion,” “sex offenders to roam around public bathrooms,” “physical, verbal, and sexual abuse,” and the promotion of “sexual intercourse in a public setting.” This, the hand-out warns, could expose children to behavior “that should not be so” and may lead them “to start experimenting different acts or things in which they normally would never have done.”

According to Texas Values, the state’s prominent Christian conservative group (and a state affiliate of the Family Research Council), the ERO also “falsely equates race with sexual conduct,” suggesting that sexual orientation is not an “inborn, involuntary, and immutable trait” like race, national origin, sex, and — ironically — religion. The Family Research Council (FRC) chimed in this week as well, describing the bill as celebrating “a radical definition of sexuality.

FRC also highlighted how local conservatives have dubbed the ERO “Mayor Parker’s Sexual Predator Protection Act.” Jared Woodfill, Chairman of the Harris County Republican Party, believes that it “provides an opportunity for sexual predators to have access to our families.” State Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R) similarly believes that the ordinance will protect “men ‘dressing up’ as women to enter and terrorize women and children.”

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In 2013, Minnesota and other states legalized the recognition of same sex marriage.  Other countries legalized the recognition of same sex marriage.  In state after state, same sex marriage bans, and bans on recognizing same sex marriages from other states are being overturned by the courts.  A recent poll by KSTP,  arguably of a too few people to be very representative shows a majority of Minnesotans are pro-same-sex marriage, with a significant minority of those polled opposing.  A poll last month by Pew Research showed 61% of young Republicans (defined as under the age of 30) favor same sex marriage.  The old bigots of the Radical Right are threatening to try to reverse the progress in LGBT civil rights, in Minnesota, and nationwide.

 

In comments on same sex marriage on this blog, and in pretty much every locality where the topic has been raised, we hear from those who oppose same-sex equality of all kinds – marriage equality, as well as approving other forms of discrimination, is justified by religious belief, by citing the Bible as authority.  In comment after comment, speech after speech, we hear how SINCERELY this is believed, as if intensity or sincerity made any difference to the inherent unfairness of the opposition in making a group of Americans second class citizens for the sexual orientation with which they are born. (It does not.)  That is wrong, that is bigoted, that is engaging in hate, no matter how you try to spin it as being about loving the sinner, but not the sin.  This is LYING, and deception, which IS an actual sin.

 

I have long contended that conservatives consistently and persistently believe things which are not true or factually accurate.  The views of conservatives on same-sex marriage are just one further example.

 

Briefly, there are serious questions of accuracy and validity of both the interpretation and the translation of the texts in question.  And there are inaccuracies in the way that religious fundamentalists represent the events supposedly linked to homosexuality in the Bible that are also inaccurate.

 

For example, in the events surrounding Sodom and Gomorrah,  God is reported to have sent two angels, disguised as men, to destroy the city, not because of gay sex being rampant, but because (as recounted in Ezekiel 16:49-50)

“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were full of pride and arrogance, overfed, and idle: they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.”

Is there any indication that ALL strangers visiting either Sodom or Gomorrah are gay-raped? No. Clearly, the townspeople in the Bible account who show up to Lot’s house are deeply enraged that these two strangers propose to destroy their city, their families and friends, and themselves. They are seen, so to speak, as foreign terrorists. The form of anger attributed to the townspeople is they want to humiliate, hurt and demean them through rape, an act not of sex or sexual attraction, but of violence, domination and a desire to cause pain and maximum humiliation and helplessness.  Involvement of the rapist own genitalia is sometimes not even involved.

 
We see consistently, in our modern examples of same-sex rape of men in our armed forces, that these are not crimes of lust, they are crimes of revenge or intimidation. There is no indicator in those actions of sexual orientation; to believe so is to fail to understand the violent, criminal act and who commits it, and why they do so. Referring specifically to male rape in the military by other men:

The acts are rarely homosexual in nature but rather an effort to feel powerful or dominant over others.

That this was the case with Lot and his disguised angel-guests is supported by the offer by Lot of his two virgin daughters to be gang-raped by the angry men of the town; clearly his expectation with that offer was that these were heterosexual oriented men.

 

If you look at the parts of Leviticus that reference same-sex acts, which may or may not reflect primary sexual orientation, these apply exclusively to the tribe of the Levites, from whom the priestly classes were drawn, and then only in very specific religious ritual contexts.

 

Why should we care about what might otherwise seem to be splitting hairs?  Currently of the 12 milion Jews in the world, there are four divisions, or distinct groups of religious sectarian practice.  Three of the four, comprising some 85% of all Jews worldwide, permit same-sex marriage; only Orthodox Jews, of which there are roughly 2 million world-wide, and which are arguably the most restrictive and traditional, prohibit same sex marriage.  The Old Testament in Christianity reflects the adoption of the Torah, the quintessential foundational text of Judaism.

 
Israel, which clearly identifies itself as a Jewish state, is a unique democracy/theocracy hybrid, currently governed by a conservative coalition.  That conservative coalition last year proposed legally recognizing same sex marriage last year.  It is being recognized as a civil relationship, but it also acknowledge the right of  the various denominations within Judaism to perform same-sex marriage.

 

So we have scripture specific to only one of the tribes of Israel, and then only to those who held religious office, regarding Jewish religious practice, being extrapolated in a way clearly unintended in the original texts by Christians co-opting these texts – and co-opting them rather sloppily – and then applying those texts in a false and extremely draconian, hateful manner that results in the creation of an ostracized group of second-class citizens who are demeaned and even physically harmed, using a false claim of God and the Bible and sin.

 

That these sections of the book of Leviticus do NOT refer to ALL male-male relationships, or to them in any context other than relating to religious ceremonies is outlined below, from Religious Tolerance.org:

The word “homosexual” was first used in the very late in 19th century CE. There was no Hebrew word that meant “homosexual.” Thus, whenever the word is seen in an English translation of the Bible, one should be wary that the translators might be inserting their own prejudices into the text.

Many would regard “abomination,” “enormous sin”, etc. as particularly poor translations of the original Hebrew word which really means “ritually unclean” within an ancient Israelite era. The Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (circa 3rd century BCE) translated “to’ebah ” into Greek as “bdelygma,” which meant ritual impurity. If the writer(s) of Leviticus had wished to refer to a moral violation, a sin, he would have used the Hebrew word “zimah.”

This passage does not refer to gay sex generally, but only to a specific form of homosexual prostitution in Pagan temples. Much of Leviticus deals with the Holiness Code which outlined ways in which the ancient Hebrews were to be set apart to God. Some fertility worship practices found in early Pagan cultures were specifically prohibited; ritual same-sex behavior in Pagan temples was one such practice. …READ MORE

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