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Old 04-16-2004, 11:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Gays, Dick, Guns, and Outrage.

Notice: There is no link, this is an email that was forwarded to me on a mailing-list.

Quote:
Vice Presidential Keynote Address to NRA Raises Concerns Among LGBT and Anti-Violence Organizations
Reflects Administration's Double Standard on Constitutional Freedoms

April 16, 2004 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: John Sonego, Director of Programs and Communications
Phone: (323) 634-2020 Email: sonego@glaad.org

LOS ANGELES, April 16, 2004 — The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against
Defamation (GLAAD) today urged media to cover the story of the Bush
Administration’s apparent double standard on constitutional freedoms as
several national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and
anti-violence organizations expressed concern over Vice President
Richard B. Cheney’s upcoming keynote address at the annual meeting of
the National Rifle Association (NRA) in Pittsburgh, PA on Saturday,
April 17, 2004.

Below you will find statements by various national LGBT and
anti-violence organizations:

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
"The Vice President's attendance at the NRA convention is an
endorsement of gun-owner's constitutional rights," said National Gay
and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman. "It is ironic
that, at the same time, the Bush Administration is attempting to
forever limit the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
people by means of an anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment. This sends
a message about this Administration's willingness to sell its stance on
our constitutional rights to the highest electoral bidder."

Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD)
“The NRA and its members represent the devaluation of human life on a
number of levels. The organization perpetuates a culture of violence
that in no small way affects vulnerable communities (i.e. communities
of color and the LGBT community) and has demonstrated its
insensitivity, ignorance and obliviousness time and again. We at GMAD
are saddened by the fact that the current administration would support
such a group,” said Tokes Osubu, Gay Men of African Descent Executive
Director.

Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY)
“How can Dick Cheney give a keynote address that showcases his support
of the Constitutional rights of gun owners while simultaneously
supporting an amendment to the Constitution that would set limits on
LGBT equality?” asked executive director of Gay Asian Pacific Islander
Men of New York (GAPIMNY) Glenn Magpantay. “This is just one more
example of this administration’s willingness to exploit the
constitution for political gain while overlooking vulnerable
populations like the Asian Pacific Islander LGBT community.”

Mano A Mano
“The NRA lives in political and social vacuum,” said Andres Duque,
Director of Mano a Mano. “They refuse to recognize that advocating the
removal of a ban on assault weapons in this country does enormous
damage to vulnerable populations, particularly in urban environments
where many Latinos live and work. It is shameful that Vice President
Cheney would court their support by serving as the keynote speaker at
their annual meeting . It sends a very clear message to those that
would suffer under the policies that the NRA advocates that this
administration does not care about us or the issues that daily effect
our lives.”

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
“Firearms are America’s true ‘weapons of mass destruction,’” said
Acting Executive Director of The National Coalition of Anti-Violence
Programs Clarence Patton. “In 2001, 11,348 Americans were killed and
45,316 were injured by firearms. Firearms are increasingly used in
anti-LGBT hate crimes, and have long been the scourge of urban and
other communities. It is telling that Vice President Cheney gladly
offers his own and the Administration’s imprimatur on the NRA’s claim
that firearms – including America’s true weapons of mass destruction,
automatic assault weapons – are a matter of constitutional freedom,
even while he supports the abridgement of freedoms for LGBT people and
surely has done nothing to mitigate the epidemic of anti-LGBT hate, but
has in fact tacitly encouraged it.”

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
“We urge media to cover the story of the Bush Administration’s apparent
double standard on constitutional freedoms,” said Director of Programs
and Communications for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
John Sonego. “As the Administration appears to support the Second
Amendment, on the one hand, it is attempting to deface the Constitution
by promoting an anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment on the other hand,
forever enshrining second-class citizen status for LGBT people. Gun
owners should not take comfort in this Administration’s casual
treatment of the U.S. Constitution.”

Below you will find a list of resources and current information that
will be helpful.

RELEVANT LINKS:

Vice President’s address to NRA:

The New York Times – April 16, 2004
“N.R.A. Opens an All-Out Drive for Bush and Its Views”
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/16/po...ign/16NRA.html

Pittsburg Post-Gazette - April 9, 2004
“Bush, Kerry, Cheney all heading this way”
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04100/298447.stm

National Rifle Association—Institute for Legislative Action - March 31,
2004
“NRA 133rd Annual Meetings & Exhibits Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, April
16-20”
http://www.nraila.org/News/Read/Releases.aspx?ID=3430

Vice President Cheney on same-sex civil marriage:

Associated Press – March 2, 2004
“Cheney Says He Supports Gay-Marriage Ban”
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20040303/D812ILCG0.html

CNN – February 26, 2004
“Marriage amendment: Will it help or hurt Bush?”
http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/...bush.marriage/

Denver Post – January 11, 2004
“VP would back ban on gay marriage”
http://www.denverpost.com/cda/article/print/
0,1674,36%257E11676%257E1881360,00.html

RESOURCES:

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
http://www.thetaskforce.org/

Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD)
http://www.gmad.org

Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY)
http://www.gapimny.org

National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
http://www.avp.org/ncavp.htm

Mano A Mano
http://www.latinoaids.org/programs/mano.htm

GLAAD’s Marriage Equality Resource Kit
http://www.glaad.org/media/resource_...il.php?id=3457

GLAAD’s Hate Crimes Resource Kit
http://www.glaad.org/media/resource_...il.php?id=3495

This publication of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
(GLAAD) can be viewed online:
http://www.glaad.org/media/newspops_detail.php?id=3655

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is dedicated to
promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of
people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and
discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. For
more information, access http://www.glaad.org/
Ordinarily an email like this would just find its way silently into my mailing list archive but I thought that the polarity of responses from various gay / "anti-violence" groups was too interesting to not display here. It seems that the response from these groups is either a reasonable "Bush/Cheney is not practicing what they are preaching" statement, which I completely agree with, or ridiculous assumptions and outright lies like, "The NRA and its members represent the devaluation of human life on a number of levels."

You can definitely tell -- from these statements -- which groups are genuinely concerned about civil liberties of all citizens, and which are merely concerned with those who pay membership fees. It's unfortunate that some of these groups are willing to hold up a negative stereotype of an organization like the NRA while condemning (and simultaneously living up to) negative stereotypes of themselves.

P.S. How many of you were about to ask that this be moved to Wayside or TFM, from the subject?
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Old 04-17-2004, 01:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I advocate owning small arms and people uniting with whomever they choose as consenting adults ("marriage" is not a state issue). Anything less would impose on other people's lives, and I don't see how I have the right to live other people's lives for them.

I honestly don't understand why everyone isn't a social libertarian. You live your life and I live mine, everyone stays happy.
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Old 04-17-2004, 06:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Seattle, WA
Quote:
Originally posted by nanofever
I honestly don't understand why everyone isn't a social libertarian. You live your life and I live mine, everyone stays happy.
Because the purpose of government is to promote the good life. Or because societies have rights and must be protected by the government. Those are two lines of reasoning I've heard.

I don't really consider state-sanctioned marriage to be a right. But yeah, it should be legal for teh gheys.
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Old 04-17-2004, 08:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I know this is a heated debated in the U.S (and in Canada also, albeit gays rather than guns (( Canada has strict gun contol laws))) but I have to laugh when shooting a gun is entrenched constitutionally by law and shooting your wad at the same sex isn't.
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Old 04-17-2004, 08:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Good post.

As I've said before, this is a part of my political dilemma.

I fully support gay rights (which the Republicans do not) while I fully support gun rights (which the Democrats do not).
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Old 04-17-2004, 09:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Seattle
Libertarians fully support both, and would love to have you, Lebell.

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Old 04-17-2004, 10:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lebell
Good post.

As I've said before, this is a part of my political dilemma.

I fully support gay rights (which the Republicans do not) while I fully support gun rights (which the Democrats do not).
you're over-simplifying the issue.

i fully support gay rights, but i do not support the redefinition of the institution of marriage. it isn't a "right" for two people of the same sex to be married. heck, it isn't even lawful. lumping support of gay-rights and support of gay-marriage is, i believe, an imprecise way of discussing this issue.
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Old 04-17-2004, 10:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lebell
...this is a part of my political dilemma.

I fully support gay rights (which the Republicans do not) while I fully support gun rights (which the Democrats do not).
Same here. I have several opinions that are just like that. Oh well.
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Old 04-17-2004, 11:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
Huggles, sir?
 
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Location: Seattle
Quote:
Originally posted by irateplatypus
you're over-simplifying the issue.

i fully support gay rights, but i do not support the redefinition of the institution of marriage. it isn't a "right" for two people of the same sex to be married. heck, it isn't even lawful. lumping support of gay-rights and support of gay-marriage is, i believe, an imprecise way of discussing this issue.
I think that same-sex marriage is more an issue of what the scope of government should be, rather than gay rights. Do you believe that the federal government should be able to define something like marriage (a social institution?)
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Old 04-18-2004, 10:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by FoolThemAll
Because the purpose of government is to promote the good life...
Good God NO! Doesn't anyone read Locke, Hobbes, Jefferson, Madison, or Hamilton anymore? The soul purpose of government is to protect our rights, period. We agree to live under such government because we wish to leave the state of nature (Hobbes about the state of Nature, "In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short".) In so doing, we agree to turn certain rights over to the government for safe keeping so that we can better secure others (we turn over the right of self inflicted retribution for crimes committed against oneself in order to secure ones right to a fair trail and equal treatment under the law.) The purpose of government is not to promote the good life, rather, it is to secure a stable environment such that society can prosper and survive. The difference between these two definitions is that in the later, government in not an active participant in the promotion of the good, merely a guardian thereof. Even a socialist form of government can be justified under this definition because it is simply doing its job in stabilizing society so that it can continue to grow and prosper. Nevertheless, no matter what form of government a society chooses, its primary function must always remain to be the protection of the rights of the individual. What everyone always overlooks when we start talking about constitutional rights is that there are many many rights that we have that are indeed protected by the constitution that are not enumerated therein. Let me refer you to amendment 9, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”. As a matter of fact, many of our founders, including Madison, were against the Bill of Rights altogether, not because they didn’t believe that the people had these rights, but because they believed that by listing these rights on paper that over time any right not contained therein would be disregarded and argued not to exist. Returning to the present discussion at hand, one the one side we have a right of gun ownership specifically guarded by the 2nd amendment, while on the other we have the right of gays to marry, which is not enumerated but could be implied by the 9th amendment. The question really should be, which of these rights would the individuals have in the state of nature and did they surrender these rights by joining formal society? The I think that answer is clearly that individuals had the right to both in the state of nature and should surrender neither in agreeing to join formal society. By the way, I am not a libertarian in case you were wondering, but I do seem to agree with them on this particular issue. Anyway, just my thoughts on the matter.
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Old 04-18-2004, 12:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Whoa, Pub. Well, I wasn't referencing Locke, Hobbes, Jefferson, Madison, or Hamilton, I was referencing Socrates. Or Aristotle, one of those two, I forget. Secondly, I'm sorry, I should've made it clear I didn't believe that the purpose of government was promotion of the good life. So yeah, I pretty much agree with you. Sorry to draw that long paragraph out of you.
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Old 04-18-2004, 01:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by irateplatypus
i fully support gay rights, but i do not support the redefinition of the institution of marriage. it isn't a "right" for two people of the same sex to be married. heck, it isn't even lawful. lumping support of gay-rights and support of gay-marriage is, i believe, an imprecise way of discussing this issue.
It's the legislating of discrimination that bothers me. It really boggles my mind that in America there are folks who are denied rights that others possess. What's the difference between this and whites-only restaurants and bars?

Now, if it was the individual churches that were denied the right to refuse to marry gay people, that is different in my mind, and I lump that into the same pile as, say, private clubs.
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Old 04-18-2004, 02:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by FoolThemAll
Whoa, Pub. Well, I wasn't referencing Locke, Hobbes, Jefferson, Madison, or Hamilton, I was referencing Socrates. Or Aristotle, one of those two, I forget. Secondly, I'm sorry, I should've made it clear I didn't believe that the purpose of government was promotion of the good life. So yeah, I pretty much agree with you. Sorry to draw that long paragraph out of you.
LOL actually I was just using your quote as a jumping off point to get around to what I wanted to say, its something that I often do when posting, but since I haven’t been very active here until recently I wouldn’t expect you to know that about me yet. I will agree with you that Socrates (Plato) argues that the goal of government is to promote the good, but after having read The Republic and other books Socrates (Plato) never gets around to defining what the good is, only what it is not. Anyway, the point of my epic post is that government has no business medaling in personal freedoms and rights because this is not its duty. It should only concern itself with how best to protect peoples rights and once it begin to define or take away right then it is bad government and, according to our founders, should be replaced. Fortunately in our country we have the right to revolution through the ballot box so that we need to have violent revolution every time we get a bad president (dictator).

One more point I would like to make about our constitution and the various amendments. Our constitution, as it stands today, contains no ‘negative rights”, that is to say that there are no rights that are strictly forbidden by the constitution. We experimented with “negative rights” once in our history with the 18th amendment (prohibition) and this turned out to be such an utter failure that it took the 21st amendment to correct it. Bush’s plan to introduce an amendment to prohibit gay marriage is an attempt to introduce “negative rights” to the constitution. I believe that this in and of itself is an abomination and, no matter which side you come down on the argument, it should be obvious that this is not the sort of precedent that we should be wanting to introduce because once we start down this path, what other rights can the government decide that they want to take away from the people?

Good discussion so far though, lets keep it going.
Cheers.

(Hmm again another epic post. Just seems to be how I function)
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Old 04-18-2004, 03:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Publius
We experimented with “negative rights” once in our history with the 18th amendment (prohibition) and this turned out to be such an utter failure that it took the 21st amendment to correct it. Bush’s plan to introduce an amendment to prohibit gay marriage is an attempt to introduce “negative rights” to the constitution. I believe that this in and of itself is an abomination and, no matter which side you come down on the argument, it should be obvious that this is not the sort of precedent that we should be wanting to introduce because once we start down this path, what other rights can the government decide that they want to take away from the people?
"I just hope our country isn't overrun by gangster-controlled gay-easies" - Jon Stewart

Eloquent epic post.
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Old 04-18-2004, 04:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
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[broken record]
It isn't the government's place to force its views on the populace, be it by defining marriage or trying to force the boyscouts to allow gays into their organization.
[/broken record]
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