A Big Step

Yeah, yeah, I’ve been remiss in writing. This may or may not change.

What will change?

Attitudes in the United States of America.

Today I celebrate with friends, family, and friends-who-are-like-family the Supreme Court’s ruling that, yes, in fact, equality is a thing in this nation of ours and we will, on occasion, stand up and loudly defend the application of that equality to all our citizens.

No more counting the states where same-sex marriage is legal — it’s all of ’em.

No more counting the days until the holdout states must recognize same-sex marriage — it’s now.

No more “same-sex marriage,” actually — it’s just marriage.

There’s still a long road ahead; bigotry doesn’t die just because you tell it how the Constitution works.

There’s still a long way to walk on that road, and it winds through worse places, truly dark places of hatred and violence.

Today, though, we stand in a beautiful glade and admire a rainbow.

A Brief Celebration of a Small Victory in an Ongoing Conflict

I’m glad Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the utterly awful “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” approved by the Arizona legislature, which would have essentially legalized discrimination against LGBT people, provided the bigot doing the discriminating used a religious excuse. 
I’m glad of the veto, but Gov. Brewer deserves no flattery, not when her comments about the veto amounted to “the act would have created more problems than it solved.”
Sorry, guv. You’re making an awful mis-reading when you suggest that act would have “solved” anything, because bigots being held accountable for discrimination is not what rational people call a problem. 
If Arizona’s legislature were composed of even mostly rational people, though, such a bill would never have become an act awaiting the governor’s signature. 
And if the nation as a whole were mostly rational, such idiocy might be limited to Arizona. Alas, similar bills are bouncing around the halls of several other state legislatures, including those of my home state.
I’d love to live in a Georgia where such a thing doesn’t even merit discussion, but that’s probably more years away than I have left to live. 
I grew up here. Along the way I’ve met people who still aren’t over the Civil War and with whom the notion of “equality for all” doesn’t even apply to race. Asking such people to extend equality to the LGBT community is akin to asking a rat to do your algebra homework — you’re just going to end up bitten and shat upon. 
And yet I live with hope, even in red Georgia, because little signs of change abound, and I have faith that time will grind all bigots to dust. 
Faith, right?
Were I a religious man, I’d proudly point out that the absence of a “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” hardly stops me from saying so, either. 

Todd Akin, Paragon

Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child ”

–Todd Akin
12-year member, House of Representatives, Missouri
Candidate for U.S. Senate, Missouri

In the aftermath of this statement, most Republicans have been stumbling over themselves to get away from Akin whilst calling for his withdrawal from the Senate race.


Republicans shouldn’t be running from Akin. They should be embracing him.

If you can get past the egregiously worded, scientifically-challenged, basely offensive words Akin selected, his point is simple: no abortions, no exceptions.

At no point in any of his several apologies has Akin retracted that point: no abortions, no exceptions.

Nor should he.

I understand Republicans — especially Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan — trying to put distance between themselves and Akin’s clumsy, uneducated, ill-formed thoughts. You can’t expect to talk like that and appeal to anything approaching a majority of Americans.

Again I say: Cowards.

Akin is being portrayed, even by those within his party, as a member of the fringe.


Akin isn’t some pioneer. He isn’t a fringe figure. He is part of the whole cloth

Aside from his apparent lack of understanding of basic human reproductive biology, and past the illogical words with which he expressed himself, Akin is just your average, regular Republican: no abortions, no exceptions.

Remember that November 6.

Eat More Tolerance

I didn’t grow up with Chick-fil-A, though I did grow up in the South.

The smallish town I’m from did not have — and still does not have — much in the way of restaurants, fast-food or otherwise … nor much in the way of shopping, entertainment, and a hundred other things that are not relevant at the moment.

This isn’t about my hometown.

This is about a sandwich.

A good sandwich. A fine sandwich. Hold the pickles.

A sandwich I have loved since at least my teens, when I would look forward to trips outside my hometown to places where this treat was attainable.

A sandwich I splurged on in college whenever the campus newspaper ran two-for-one coupons.

A sandwich I could afford in the days when I was a poor newspaper writer.

A sandwich I could rely upon in recent days amid the otherwise mediocre offerings of the cafeteria in my office building.

A sandwich I have given up.

Not that Chick-fil-A may notice, certainly not today, as some crowds are loyally observing “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” blithely indifferent  to — or worse, supportive of — the restaurant’s stance against gay marriage, a stance evidenced by its CEO’s statements and its history ($5 million and counting) of financial support for organizations that seek to block and roll back equal rights.

I recognize my decision may be insignificant — what difference do a few dollars make in a pile millions high?

May as well ask what difference one vote makes in a pile millions high, yet we are taught early and reminded constantly that “every vote counts.”

So I am voting NO on Chick-fil-A’s anti-equality stance.

Anti-equality stance.

Putting it that way is entirely too kind — let’s be honest here and use the proper term.


A deliberate choice to actively scorn and deny equality to a group of people based solely on the fact they are different is nothing else.


Bigotry whose adherents expect a pass by claiming it’s based on a religious principle.


A bigot hiding behind religion is still a bigot.

And a bigot who whines for freedom while actively seeking to deny freedom to others deserves no respect, no sympathy.

But, by all means, bigots, whine on.

Speech is every bit as free today as yesterday, and may it ever be so.

But the loveliest thing about free speech is that everyone gets it, and while the bigots freely speak, so shall enlightened minds.

And we will watch as this bigotry battles enlightenment in the marketplace of ideas, and, as every manner of bigotry before it, loses.

Maybe slowly, certainly painfully. But definitely.

History will march, and such petty, terrible injustices will be dust on the roadside.