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A Fair Wisconsin Votes No
September 29, 2006 8:10 AM   Subscribe

Gay Marriage Debate Turns Violent A violent brawl broke out on Tuesday during a discussion in a Wauwatosa restaurant over the proposed same-sex marriage referendum, and the incident was apparently caught on videotape. Video of the brawl here. 39 days until Wisconsin votes "No" on the civil unions and marriage ban.
posted by thefreek (84 comments total)

 
wooooooooooooooooooooooooo bigotry!!! SHOCKING.
posted by Doorstop at 8:16 AM on September 29, 2006


A violent brawl
As opposed to a non-violent brawl?
posted by beagle at 8:16 AM on September 29, 2006


Unfortunately I can't access the video from work. But from the description in the article, this sounds more like an assault and less like a "brawl". Which under the circumstances sounds like a hate-crime to me: you have a bigoted redneck knocking folks down and chucking ketchup bottles at them because they're gay, I'd say that qualifies.

And what's with the quotes around the witness's name?

"A gay woman named 'Jorryn'..."
posted by hermitosis at 8:22 AM on September 29, 2006


Brawling about homosexuality.

In the immortal words of Bob Goldthwait:

"Imagine my fist as a penis for a moment..."
posted by jonmc at 8:23 AM on September 29, 2006


I think what's shocking is the ignorant gall this large man has to throw bottles at a small woman while being videotaped at a public restaurant.

Not that Milwaukee hasn't had a history of ignorant violence in the past.
posted by thefreek at 8:23 AM on September 29, 2006


I am really impressed by the "No" campaign. They seem to really have their shit together and they do it without ad hominem attacks or strawman arguments. They seem to have a good strategy. Can any Wisconsonites comment on how effective they have been?
posted by arcticwoman at 8:24 AM on September 29, 2006


Seems like the majority of people referred to in the article were against the amendment. Maybe this guy was just an obnoxious aberration. Here's hoping.
posted by jonmc at 8:25 AM on September 29, 2006


Discrimination against homosexuals? What discrimination? I don't see anything.



...I'm being facetious. Bush and Company never see any prejudice against gays.
posted by bim at 8:28 AM on September 29, 2006


small woman

??
She looked pretty buff to me!

Also, we go now to Michael George, live on the scene.
posted by ChasFile at 8:28 AM on September 29, 2006


She was a pocket lesbian. ^_^
posted by thefreek at 8:30 AM on September 29, 2006


How the fuck did Bush get dragged into this thread?

Oh...nevermind. This is MetaFilter.
posted by cribcage at 8:31 AM on September 29, 2006


Bush used the gay boogeyman (with some other boogeymen) to get into office. Homophobia is a serious problem in this country, not just for homosexuals, but because politicans have very successfully used gay panic to grab power.

Thanks for yet another dump on all of MeFi, though, there's about five of you guys who can't seem to make it though a comment without making some "mefi buncha crazy libs" crack.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:33 AM on September 29, 2006


Can any Wisconsonites comment on how effective they have been?

I haven't seen any pro-bumper stickers around town at all, and the "A Fair Wisconsin votes NO" bumper stickers have been around for at least a year.

Yesterday, a bunch of state employees stood out on the capital steps to lend their voices in opposition to the amendment, as outlawing the lifestyle of them or their peers would put their employment by the state in jeopardy.

Of course, I live in Madison, which, according to the rest of Wisconsin, might as well hang pink triangles all over the borders and call itself San Francisco.

...thank god.
posted by thanotopsis at 8:38 AM on September 29, 2006


You know, I wish gays would be a little less fabulous and a little more armed. Perhaps the beatdowns will stop if they start beating back.

Just a little less fabuolous, mind you -- you don't need artillery to stop a beatdown. If violence is all they speak, violence is the correct way to answer it. They're cowards and bullies, the right way to stop a bully is to smack him down hard, and that lets the cowardice take over.

No, we'll just probably whine about just how mean the right wing is, and gosh, wouldn't it be nice if they were reasonable. The right wing, meanwhile, will just continue with the beatings -- until they decide that's not enough.
posted by eriko at 8:43 AM on September 29, 2006


I canvassed for Fair Wisconsin a couple weeks ago. I canvassed a surprisingly antagonistic neighborhood but noticed a pattern. After 3 or 4 houses in favor of the amendment to ban gay marriages and civil unions, I'd hit a house that was dead set against it. Then another. Then I'd hit a house with an obviously gay couple. Then the house next door to them would be dead set against the amendment, and the house after that, then it would go back to the "I believe a marriage should be between a man and a woman" people.
It seems that if it's going to affect your neighbors, then you're against it. If it's just going to affect those nebulous "gays," then it's easy enough for people to discriminate.
posted by Floydd at 8:45 AM on September 29, 2006 [3 favorites]


Dumping that much homophobia into the water-supply is a dangerous game for the GOP to play, apparently.
posted by hermitosis at 8:45 AM on September 29, 2006


I doubt we'll be seeing any pro-amendment push in the Madison media market, and I'd guess it'll be on the QT in at least the other urban parts of the state. Which makes sense, to a certain extent -- I don't think there's much that can be said to convince people to vote yes if they're not already planning to.

(FWIW, myself and every single other person I got on the bus with this morning were wearing "NO" pins.)
posted by aaronetc at 8:46 AM on September 29, 2006


You know, I wish gays would be a little less fabulous and a little more armed. Perhaps the beatdowns will stop if they start beating back.

I seem to recall reading about the Lavender Panthers in one of John Rechy's books. They seem to have the right approach: no random revenge, no harassment, just a clear sign that violence against gays will not pass without consequences.

The Pink Pistols seem to have taken up the banner these days.
posted by jonmc at 8:47 AM on September 29, 2006


Perhaps the beatdowns will stop if they start beating back.

Yup. I'm with you 100%.
posted by bim at 8:49 AM on September 29, 2006


well, the Panthers were a good idea, but according to the blogger in the link, they were sunk by what sinks a lot of good ideas: ...They didn’t last long. Like many freelance minority politicians Broshears was theatrical, vain and capricious...
posted by jonmc at 8:50 AM on September 29, 2006


* "Earlier this month 17 former presidents of the Wisconsin Bar Association announced their opposition to the proposed amendment because of its far reaching consequences."

* "In June four former Wisconsin governors - three Democrats and one Republican - issued an open call to reject the proposed amendment.

* "And last month Wisconsin's biggest unions announced their opposition."
posted by jeffburdges at 8:50 AM on September 29, 2006


Eriko, I can't tell if you are urging retaliation on an individual scale in incidents like the one in this article, or on a larger "Mad As Hell" scale.

The problem with violence is that:

A) It can escalate a situation from a painful one to a deadly one, and

B) Gays can't count on law enforcement to understand their point of view or treat them fairly, if it comes to that. Plus the media gobbles that shit up, and not in the good way.

That said, I have gotten pretty good at throwing people the crazy eye that says I'm not afraid to take it there.
posted by hermitosis at 8:56 AM on September 29, 2006


It seems that if it's going to affect your neighbors, then you're against it. If it's just going to affect those nebulous "gays," then it's easy enough for people to discriminate.

You know, I think you hit the nail on the head. I am reminded of the extra scenes in "Trembling Before G-d" about orthodox Jewish gays and lesbians, and the rabbis who knew someone gay had completely different opinions than the rabbis who didn't. They were able to see gay people as PEOPLE first, then gay, and were way more likely to favour textual interpretations that gave gay people some room in society.
posted by arcticwoman at 8:58 AM on September 29, 2006


hermitosis, I'm guessing eriko was seeing some scenario like in this old comment of mine
posted by jonmc at 8:59 AM on September 29, 2006


You know, I wish gays would be a little less fabulous and a little more armed. Perhaps the beatdowns will stop if they start beating back.

You know, I totally agreed with you, until I read this, which I also totally agree with:

Gays can't count on law enforcement to understand their point of view or treat them fairly, if it comes to that. Plus the media gobbles that shit up, and not in the good way.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't... Shit.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:01 AM on September 29, 2006


arcticwoman: in the case of gayfolk, I think physical self-defense is an especially good thing, since the steretype of gay men as weak and effeminate* has encouraged bigots and cowards (and closeted gays) to use them as punching bags. Not saying it couldn't be problematic, but in most cities large enough to have a gay district, law enforcement has been forced politically to give at least lip service to the gay community.

*one that is assuredly untrue. I work in the West Village and I see guys walking down Christopher Street who look quite capable of stomping me into Play-Doh
posted by jonmc at 9:05 AM on September 29, 2006


I don't know how the campaigns working but I've seen one commercial. A lesbian woman describes their adoption, the death of her partner and what voting for the proposition would mean for her and her daughter. Very moving and powerful but then I've always supported equal rights.
posted by substrate at 9:08 AM on September 29, 2006


Floydd, that has been my experience. Which is why I shake my head at legal posturing. Yeah, anti-discrimination laws are nice and all, but, when push comes to shove, it is my neighbours who are going to report that punk who just slashed my tires because of my rainbow flag bumper sticker to the police, and make them take it seriously, not some silly law.

An awful lot of folks who are against gays in the abstract like us just fine in reality. Which is why I think it is a lot more effective, in the long run, to just live open, normal, non-pushy, unfabulous lives that are a lot like my straight neighbours' open, normal, non-pushy, unfabulous lives.

Mowing one's lawn regularly probably does more to combat homophobia than gay pride marches.
posted by QIbHom at 9:10 AM on September 29, 2006 [2 favorites]


On one other note, last time around I saw a lot of posters and flyers at work from the Christian right throwing around the usual hyperbole. I haven't seen flyers at work from either side this time, I'm not sure if there was some notice from HR that said to knock it off though.
posted by substrate at 9:10 AM on September 29, 2006


jonmc, I totally agree with you about physcial self-defense being particularly important for gay men because of the effeminate stereotype. I read that comment of yours that you linked to and it made me think that maybe gay men wouldn't be such easy targets if they didn't look like such easy targets. It really should not be the onus of the gay men to avoid victimization, but I bet the ones that look like they could beat back face a little less violence. What about women though? The stereotype about lesbians is that they are tougher than straight women, yet they are still very very often the victims of sexual violence.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:11 AM on September 29, 2006


What about women though? The stereotype about lesbians is that they are tougher than straight women, yet they are still very very often the victims of sexual violence.

Well, if I had all the answers to this question, I'd be brushing up on my Swedish. But what QIbHom said was pretty damned astute, especially if one is surrounded by those who might be stereotyped as 'bigoted rednecks,' since the odd thing about people like that is that once they decide they like you, they'll do anything for you, so winning them over would be a coup.

(side note: I live in a neighborhood that has it's share of roughnecks and one night I was sitting in my local sports bar and the regulars (who could be described as urban rednecks) barely noticed, let alone care about, the obviously gay couple who stopped in for a beer and the Mets. The day when gayness draws a shrug is coming..)
posted by jonmc at 9:16 AM on September 29, 2006


Well the GOP is right! God not only frowns in homosexuality but many other things as well. Let's review Exodus 21:

* disrespecting (cursing) your parents: punishable by death

* working on sabbath day, also punishable by death. (Doesn't say if professional golf and broadcasting for the NFL count as work.)

* cheating on your spouse. not punishable by death but shame on you!

* sleeping with an unmarried woman obligates you to purchase her from her father and he gets to name his price. Let's just hope for your sake he's not Papa Joe Simpson.

* if you buy a Hebrew manservent he can only work for 6 years then you have to let him go, so it's more like a lease than a sale I guess.

* if you dig a hole and your neighbors pet falls into the hole and dies, then you have to pay for the dead pet, but you also get to keep it

* if your ox breaks out of your yard and gores your neighbor (sucks when that happens) then the ox gets stoned (with stones, not pot) and you get put to death (damn you, stupid ox!)

What I want to know is why are these other equally important rules of God being ignored by the GOP???!! God has all kinds of rules, so why all the focus on just the gay rule? It's almost as if the GOP hasn't actually read the Bible at all and they're just exploiting people's bigotry and religous insecurity in order to get votes! Is that possible? Nahhh!!!
posted by StarForce5 at 9:21 AM on September 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


You got it, QIbHom. I live in Canada's Bible belt and while I have certainly seen and heard tons of anti-gay crap in my town, my partner and I have very rarely experienced any homophobia first-hand. In fact the only time I can think of (other than teenagers catcalling and the inevitable propositions at the bar) was when we were trying over the phone to find a place to rent and nobody would rent to us. When we were able to meet prospective landlords face-to-face though we didn't have any problems.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:22 AM on September 29, 2006


As long as they're not thinking about Iraq, Karl Rove is happy.

Another deflective "issue" concocted by The Right to keep the masses in their camp.
posted by wfc123 at 9:24 AM on September 29, 2006


It's interesting to read the comments about treating violence with violence having just come from the thread about the US government supporting torture. I agree that it would be nice for the homophobes to get their comeuppance but I'm pretty sure eye-for-an-eye approaches won't work.
posted by sineater at 9:26 AM on September 29, 2006


What I find strange in this is that the video is clear, not blurry, there are a number of frames that would make it easy to identify the man. Another article also claims that witnesses took down the license plate number. Yet with all of this, they still haven't made an arrest, they only have a suspect and he's not in custody.

Seriously, are they being over-cautious, or are the cops for the amendment and letting that affect who they bring in for assault and who they don't?
posted by splice at 9:28 AM on September 29, 2006


expect to see more of this in the coming weeks. I guarantee that this is all being orchestrated by the Republican party. They are going to pull out all the stops in the next month to make sure that every hate-filled racist homophobe religious zealot knows that there is a gay arab/mexican/black man waiting to rape their son or daughter and then blow them up the day the Democrats take the majority in Congress. They have to do this, they are all going to jail if they don't keep the majority. This is something the Democrats need to head off at the pass and connect the dots for the public because you know the corporate asshats on tv will do nothing more than mouth Republican talking points for th next month.
posted by any major dude at 9:28 AM on September 29, 2006


sineater - I don't think anyone is suggesting eye-for-an-eye approaches, although I think you are right and it could devolve to that. What I mostly mean is not for gays to become violent, per se, but rather to stick up for themselves (ourselves) so as to present more difficult targets - targets that might not be worth bullying.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:30 AM on September 29, 2006



Mowing one's lawn regularly probably does more to combat homophobia than gay pride marches.


While I totally agree with this, there are those that simply can't help but draw attention. A pushy, fabulous woman can be a local legend in the same suburbs in which a pushy, fabulous transsexual would inspire revulsion and suspicion. I don't see that changing anytime soon.

While I know that it works well for tons of people, it saddens me that many people wind up assimilating themselves into the "just like everyone else" world out of fear of violence and alienation. That's not right.
posted by hermitosis at 9:32 AM on September 29, 2006


arcticwoman - Yeah, face to face is the key. Then they see you are just like them, not orange stripped purple and smelling of sulfur and foreign foods.

It is hard, though, to just live, expecting to be treated as human and equal. Much harder than it is to march, to write scathing e-mails, sign petitions, etc. Not that we don't need the militants, too, but, damn, I'm glad I'm not one any more. Made myself all kinds of miserable while bringing out the worst in every person I came across.

I wish the folks in Wisconsin luck, but, frankly, there are other things that are more important.
posted by QIbHom at 9:40 AM on September 29, 2006


In related news...

Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO): Gay Marriage ‘Is The Most Important Issue That We Face Today’

Judge Rules Gay R.I. Couple Has Right to Marry in Mass.
posted by ericb at 9:43 AM on September 29, 2006


hermitosis, there is a huge difference between the closet, and calmly and stubbornly living an out life. Having done both (and also the militantly out), the differences are obvious to me, but I can see where they might look the same on the outside.

And what suburb are you referring to where pushy, fabulous women are accepted? Damn, I want to move there! I get more crap for being female than for being gay, on a day to day basis.
posted by QIbHom at 9:44 AM on September 29, 2006


hermitosis - I agree, saying that gay men should be less fabulous and more armed kind of assumes that being fabulous is just something they do when there's nothing good on tv. People shouldn't have to assimilate in order to "pass."

QIbHom - There are totally other things that are more important. I have friends and family who forward on every little thing they hear about gay marriage because they assume that since I am gay and married, the topic just consumes me. In truth, I am pretty much gay-married out. A couple of people upthread have suggested that it's a government-led diversion, and I think I agree.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:45 AM on September 29, 2006


arcticwoman - thanks for the clarification. I agree completely. Although ultimately it's up to society as a whole to communicate to homophobes that their beliefs are based on fear and hate and therefore not appropriate. It will happen. Things seem to be a couple of decades behind our slow changes against racism and have a similar feel in the big picture. man, I can't write a sentence to save my life :-)
posted by sineater at 9:46 AM on September 29, 2006


arcticwoman - I agree. My partner and I have been together for long enough that we don't need some government-issued piece of paper for validation. Yeah, there are tax advantages and all, but I take the radical position that marriage is religious, and, as such, should be left alone by the government. If a couple (or a group) want to register a contract at their local governmental entity, great. But laws about marriage? Leave that to priests, rabbis, imams, priestesses, whatever.

Gay marriage is a huge distraction from the things that affect all of us, straight, bi, gay, whatever. The rape of the environment, torture, war, pestilence...take your pick. Those are a lot more important, but they don't get out the Christian fascist vote, either in the US or in Canada.
posted by QIbHom at 9:51 AM on September 29, 2006


If a couple (or a group) want to register a contract ...

I think I love you. :)
posted by arcticwoman at 9:56 AM on September 29, 2006


Gay marriage is a huge distraction from the things that affect all of us, straight, bi, gay, whatever. The rape of the environment, torture, war, pestilence

The worst that could happen with gay marraige is that it'll lead to gay divorce, which of course leads to gay divorcees.
posted by jonmc at 9:59 AM on September 29, 2006


I really do agree with you, QIbHom, and truly it is about people getting to settle into wherever their particular shade of gray allows them the most comfort. However, as long as sexuality is such a galvanizing "issue" that there is a "closet" to come out of, I am depressed by the idea of people finding life outside it to be not much different than life inside.

And what suburb are you referring to where pushy, fabulous women are accepted?

Well, where I grew up things have come a long way :)
posted by hermitosis at 9:59 AM on September 29, 2006


Brawling about homosexuality.

..is like dancing about architecture?
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:01 AM on September 29, 2006


Dunno why the fuck they're dragging their feet on this thing. Dude's not hard to ID. Plus, they took down his plates. Smells to high heaven to me.
posted by stenseng at 10:02 AM on September 29, 2006


Wauwatosa! I went to high school there!

This town is not Hicksville, in case anyone's wondering. It's a solidly liberal upper-middle class suburb.
posted by nasreddin at 10:07 AM on September 29, 2006


Gay marriage is a huge distraction from the things that affect all of us, straight, bi, gay, whatever. The rape of the environment, torture, war, pestilence...take your pick.

I think that its OK to advocate for more than one thing at a time. We can walk and chew gum at the same time.

For some folks, gay marraige is an important issue. It shouldn't have to take a backseat until every other problem in the world is resolved and we live in a utopia. I have never bought the argument that we have to wait for a cure for cancer, an end to poverty and world peace before it's legitimate to address women's rights or aids research or gay marriage or any number of things.

For example, for a while there, the right wing types were fond of saying, "Why should we spend money on aids research? We've got more people with heart disease so they should be a bigger priority." So should aids research take a backseat until we've cured cancer, heart diease and a million other things. By that logic, we'd never spend a dime on aids research.

And to go back in history about to the days of women's liberation and all that, some folks would argue that we've got more important things to worry about -- like stopping the war in Vietnam -- so let's not get hung up on those pesky women's lib issues. BTW, can you get me a beer out of the fridge, babe? This antiwar planning is thirsty work!

I understand your point, QIbHom, but I think that we've heard this kind of reasoning before to our detriment. :)
posted by bim at 10:09 AM on September 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


I’m tired of you crazy metafilter liberal bastards always bashing Bush for no reason.

Now that my boss is wondering why I’m looking at news from 365Gay.com...
My first thought was “it’s about time” until I read that the gay folks were on the recieving end.
...which perhaps.
...nah, I ain’t going there.

“Just a little less fabuolous, mind you -- you don't need artillery to stop a beatdown.”

Oh...uh...well, then...
*bashfully stows artillery*

Y’all could play the peaceful/violent dichotomy. Have one person - well spoken, who espouses non-violence and leads one arm of the movement and another who wants to riot and can be blamed for all the bad guy stuff.
Just a thought.

I blame Bush.

“If a couple (or a group) want to register a contract at their local governmental entity, great.”

I was under the impression that was what it was about. My empathy for this subject is predicated on opposition to government discrimination. (when they came for the gays I didn’t speak up, ‘cause I wasn’t gay - etc)
posted by Smedleyman at 10:11 AM on September 29, 2006


hermitosis - The difference is internal, not necessarily external. I am much more comfortable living out than when I was trying to live in the closet. You are absoutly right about finding the comfortable shade of grey. That can be a right bastard.

arcticwoman - I'd offer to buy you a cup of coffee, but my last visit to Alberta (granted, Edmonton) led me to believe that maybe Toronto really is the centre of the universe .
posted by QIbHom at 10:12 AM on September 29, 2006


...and another American Family crumbles under the pounding weight of state sanctioned anal sex between two consenting males. Jesus weeps.

As long as they're not thinking about Iraq, Karl Rove is happy.

October Surprise:
Heritage Foundation Study finds that holding your wifes purse for more than three minutes while she is in the changing room at Target will turn you Gay.
posted by tkchrist at 10:13 AM on September 29, 2006


On a side note, did anyone feel the urge to pummel that male anchor?

"Normally George Webb serves burgers and fries...but this week an unruly customer served up punches, ketchup, and even chairs. And all because of an issue that's hotter than George Webber's grill!"


Ayhuck!
posted by Stauf at 10:16 AM on September 29, 2006


Heritage Foundation Study finds that holding your wifes purse for more than three minutes while she is in the changing room at Target will turn you Gay.

Pips made me hold her purse in the chapel lobby at our wedding. God only knows what that did to me.
posted by jonmc at 10:18 AM on September 29, 2006


So that's how gay men end up trapped in straight marriages!
posted by Stauf at 10:22 AM on September 29, 2006


And a fabulous looking purse it is! You look stunning! LOL
posted by bim at 10:23 AM on September 29, 2006


Well, if I had all the answers to this question, I'd be brushing up on my Swedish.

Your Swedish? Because... you would win a Nobel prize?

posted by delmoi at 10:39 AM on September 29, 2006


the latter, delmoi, the latter.

glad to see the lobotomy was a success. ;>
posted by jonmc at 10:40 AM on September 29, 2006


QIbHom - there are some benefits to being here on the outer reaches of the universe. Our politicians are funnier, Callebaut chocolate... that's all I got.
posted by arcticwoman at 10:43 AM on September 29, 2006


splice writes "Seriously, are they being over-cautious, or are the cops for the amendment and letting that affect who they bring in for assault and who they don't?"

It looks like they're being careful about building a case. These aren't some cowboy rural sherrif's deputies; it's a sizable modern police department, and the case is going to be handled by a big urban prosecutor's office. You can bet they're enthusiastic about obtaining a conviction.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:59 AM on September 29, 2006


My partner and I have been together for long enough that we don't need some government-issued piece of paper for validation. Yeah, there are tax advantages and all, but I take the radical position that marriage is religious, and, as such, should be left alone by the government.

The thing that folks who dismiss same-sex marriage as a distraction seem to miss out on is that same-sex marriage is really a stalking horse for everything else that the religious right want to do to push gays into the ditch.

In Michigan, the constitutional amendment that was passed in 2004 doesn't just outlaw gay marriage (even though gay marriage was already against the law there). It says, "To secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children, the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose." It's one of the main reasons that I and my partner left Michigan.

Most states with laws on the books that claim to be simply forbidding gay marriage have similar provisions, and they fly under the radar so that nobody ever hears about them. (For you unmarried heterosexual couples out there, these provisions often apply to you as well.)

Forget about marriage. In many parts of Michigan, I couldn't even visit my partner if he were hospitalized.

/soapbox
posted by blucevalo at 11:04 AM on September 29, 2006


Stable families are what a stable and successful society is built upon. I'm not sure I care so much about taxation — though I wouldn't argue with it — so much as rights which protect visitation, estate, and children, which would make for successful families.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:13 AM on September 29, 2006


In Michigan, the constitutional amendment that was passed in 2004 doesn't just outlaw gay marriage (even though gay marriage was already against the law there). It says, "To secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children, the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose." It's one of the main reasons that I and my partner left Michigan.

It made me absolutely sick to my stomach when I read that language on the ballot. I really, truly hate people. And, for the record, if you voted for this amendment than I am, in fact, smarter and better than your ignorant, bigoted, conservative ass.

It's absolutely amazing to me that I can be both embarassed to be an American and embarassed to be a Michigander all at the same time. I love my country, but my god do I hate my government and I'm starting to loathe my countrymen also.
posted by fusinski at 11:14 AM on September 29, 2006


I'm not sure I care so much about taxation — though I wouldn't argue with it — so much as rights which protect visitation, estate, and children, which would make for successful families.

Which are exactly the "rights" that the religious right think that homosexuals do not, cannot, and should never have. And they are fighting and raising money every single godforsaken day in this country to make sure that their vision becomes reality in as many states as possible, and preferably federally as well.
posted by blucevalo at 11:21 AM on September 29, 2006


Gays can't count on law enforcement to understand their point of view or treat them fairly, if it comes to that. Plus the media gobbles that shit up, and not in the good way.

Not in my neighbourhood.

Heck, the first openly gay couple who live here are police officers. In a suburb, in Calgary AB (which many feel is just a wee bit backward)...

Gotta love Canada.
posted by jkaczor at 12:22 PM on September 29, 2006


Looks like Wisconsin can't stay out of the National News...

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/09/29/wisc.shooting.ap/index.html
posted by thefreek at 12:46 PM on September 29, 2006


hermitosis: "And what's with the quotes around the witness's name?

"A gay woman named 'Jorryn'..."
"

I think the quotes are there because 'Jorryn' is Jorryn's name.

/tangent
posted by squarehead at 1:31 PM on September 29, 2006


arcticwoman writes "there are some benefits to being here on the outer reaches of the universe. Our politicians are funnier, Callebaut chocolate... that's all I got"

Everybody gets to wear cowboy hats to work for a week, that may be Calgary only.
posted by Mitheral at 1:33 PM on September 29, 2006


This was not a brawl.

Poor choice of words, incompetent journalists.
posted by jaronson at 1:36 PM on September 29, 2006


"A gay woman named 'Jorryn'...""

Well she would have to be either a lesbian or a cyborg space vixen from the future.

I believe there are only eight officially sanctioned Lesbain names, the top four being:

1. Corky
2. J.D.
3. K.T.
4. Krys
posted by tkchrist at 1:46 PM on September 29, 2006


I think that the quotes around Jorryn's name are more likely to mean:

"What kind of a crazy ass made up name is this for a dyke? Especially one that looks so damn butch." It's pejorative IMHO.
posted by bim at 1:48 PM on September 29, 2006


Note also that the news anchor asked if this all happened late at night after the bars had closed. So it couldn't possibly be a hate crime. They must have all been drunk!
posted by bim at 1:50 PM on September 29, 2006


I take the radical position that marriage is religious, and, as such, should be left alone by the government.
posted by QIbHom at 12:51 PM EST on September 29


I have a huge problem with this. I was married by a Justice of the Peace (I'm straight). Anybody who thinks my marriage is less valid than a marriage performed by a priest can eat me. Seriously.
posted by joannemerriam at 3:56 PM on September 29, 2006


Mitheral writes: Everybody gets to wear cowboy hats to work for a week, that may be Calgary only.

During that week you're wearing your cowboy hats to work, Lethbridge empties out completely. I suppose that's another benefit.
posted by arcticwoman at 4:09 PM on September 29, 2006


There's something that's been nagging me about this situation, and I'm sort of surprised it hasn't been brought up in 76 comments. It's going to be a hell of an unpopular opinion, but I'm going to post it anyway.

I had to watch the grainy surveillance video three times before I could figure out which one was "Jorryn." The few seconds of video seem to show what appears to be some sort of short truck driver displaying extremely aggressive body language toward a larger man in a suit who is sitting and eating. The larger man then obliges by planting the short truck driver on his ass.

Then it hit me: "Jorryn" is the short truck driver!

It was my mistake, I know. Grainy video + short hair and Dickie's coat = male until my little brain is told otherwise. I understand the lady is rejecting the perjorative heterocultural beauty norms and all that. She likes being butch and I say "Go on with your butch self."

But the fact remains: she done fucked up.

Watch that video again. See her leaning over the man, arms all out in that macho intimidating "C'MON YOU WANNA FUCKEN GO?" stance. At this point, the outcome is already carved in stone. In my bartending days, I saw this a thousand times. Like clockwork, anyone who assumes that stance ultimately finds the fight they were looking for.

So "Jorryn" and her girlfriend were having a discussion about a near and dear issue. Some redneck fuckwad at the end of the counter decides he knows what Jesus would want and interjects into the conversation. Standing up and getting all up in his shit about his comment is not the thing to do.

Laugh at the idiot. Better yet, talk as much shit as you can until the idiot stands up and wants to fight you, taking that macho stance over your head. Then have one of your friends smash his head from behind with whatever's handy. Leave before the cops arrive.

I'm not saying "Shut up and take the abuse." I'm saying, "Don't start a fistfight you can't win."
posted by quite unimportant at 4:37 PM on September 29, 2006


bluecevalo, I live in Michigan, and, guess what? We didn't have the right to visit our partners in hospital before that ballot initiative.

Gay marriage is wanted by a small number of gays. Great. Go for it. But, it is a distraction from things that matter, like convincing folks we're fully human before it gets to the courts, the EEOC, the police, etc.

Laws don't change behaviour. When was the last time you obeyed the speed limit? Behaviour changes because people decide to change. That is a much more difficult battle than fighting symbolic straw men.

But, hey, I won't convince you. 20 years ago, no one could convince me that gays in the military wasn't the great battle that, once solved, would lead us all to a promised land of equality, great sex and humous for everyone.

arcticwoman, the entertainment provided by Ralph Klein is available outside the province, too, I promise.
posted by QIbHom at 6:40 PM on September 29, 2006


arcticwoman, you asked about the effectiveness of the Fair Wisconsin campaign? My father was telling me about how impressed he was with the campaign, and how they've done a great job of showing people how the ban can affect them, too. Then again, my parents live in Milwaukee, which is the other bastion of liberalism in the state. I can't speak for all of the city, but I know my parents have had lesbian neighbors for probably twenty years, and I've never seen or heard any antagonism directed at them.

And while we will probably be the first state to vote down a constitutional ban on gay marriage, a recommendation that the state take up the death penalty again is likely to pass. That doesn't make it law, but gives more ammo to the legislators who would like to reinstate the death penalty after 150 years without it. All of which goes to show how "red-state, blue-state" can't always capture the complexities within a single state.
posted by anjamu at 6:42 PM on September 29, 2006


anyone who assumes that stance ultimately finds the fight they were looking for.


That's exactly the point I was making about how standing up to threats of violence can turn a painful or humiliating experience into a deadly one. Some stupid, dangerous people are just itching for an excuse to say you started it or "had it coming".

Some thug did that to me on the subway last week. I was reading.

"Hey, are you gay?"

"Yeah. So what?"

"I thought so. You look gay."

(silence on my part)

"Don't look at me. I don't like your eyes."

At which point I realized the situation was headed straight downhill and immediately exited the situation.

Jonmc and I live in two different New York Cities.
posted by hermitosis at 8:20 PM on September 29, 2006


Quite Important and Hermitosis -- I understand you're point about not picking fights that you can't win.

But I also know that if you adopt a policy of cowering in fear and never standing up for yourself, you're doomed. I can't and won't live that way. And if that means that sometimes I get my ass kicked, so be it.

As for the nutcase on the train (subway?), yeah I'd probably let that go. God knows the NYC subways are full of people who are a few bricks shy of a load. It's definitely not worth fighting with some schizophrenic person.

On the other hand, I'm giving our friend Jorryn credit for standing up for herself. I think a lot of queers would have said something when being insulted to their faces in a restaurant. I would have. Why wouldn't you?

You never know beforehand if verbal fisticuffs are going to turn physical. And perhaps she escalated things a bit too much, but hindshight is 20-20. Whatever.

So I give a tip o' the hat to Jorryn. Way to go, girlfriend. It took some balls to stand up to that dude. Thanks.
posted by bim at 11:52 AM on September 30, 2006


Oh hey, I totally agree, and I was proud of her too when I finally got to see the video. And I totally would stand up for myself (and have), but have also learned to pick my battles very very carefully.

Besides, notice that she did not exactly wade in and kick his ass (which would have definitely established the situation as a "brawl"). If she had responded to violence with violence as some people were recommending as a tonic against ignorant dumbfucks, she really could have gotten into real trouble there-- the guy was clearly on a hair trigger.

Hat tipped. Glad she still has a head to put hers on.
posted by hermitosis at 12:33 PM on September 30, 2006


Well said, hermitosis. :)

Hopefully, they'll catch the asshole who started all this.
posted by bim at 12:45 PM on September 30, 2006


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