Category Archives: Human Rights

A Martyr in the Archive: The Life and Afterlife of Harvey Milk’s Suit

 

The Suit in which Harvey Milk was Assassinated. Collection: GLBT Historical Society. Photo: Dan Nicoletta

The Suit in which Harvey Milk was Assassinated. Collection: GLBT Historical Society. Photo: Dan Nicoletta

Happy Birthday, Harvey. You would have been 84 years old. And yesterday was the 35th anniversary of the White Night Riots. The Texan was there and had this to say about that: “I was there. Much has changed. If I were in San Francisco today I would throw Flowers at City Hall!”

Hey, Hippie Birdy, Harvey. Here’s something for you: words, words, words…now glowing pixels maybe making a mark in the brightly-lit on-line world of today. No: no apologies.

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What is writing? Staining sheets. While écriture is understood as operating on a symbolic level, the physical act of mark-making is grounded in materiality. Ink on paper, cum on the bedspread and bloody clothing of all sorts share the pull of the gaze…

Just a preview. To download the pdf of the article A Martyr in the Archive: the Life and Afterlife of Harvey Milk’s Suit click here: JonesMartyrArchives

The Phlip-side of the Phelps Phamily – Gay-friendly Nate! – Son of Dying Phred…

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Nate Phelps, Son of infamous hate-mongerer Fred.

Nate Phelps, Son of infamous hate-mongerer Fred.

Our hearts go out to the estranged children of infamous hate-mongerer Fred Phelps of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, a pseudo-congregation made up primarily of members of his own family. Seems the old man, the patriarch of The Most Hated Family in America is dying. The father of thirteen children, four of those have severed ties. The man who terrorized funerals of AIDS victims and war victims with equal glee did not hold back with his own family. Son Nate Phelps has become an outspoken speaker on the topic of child abuse in religious organizations as well as an ally to and advocate for the Gay and Queer communities his father rallied against for so many years. Go, Nate! BTW, not all evil-ass cults are right wing. Religious abuse, like totalitarianism, can approach from the right OR the left. For a groovy take on THAT Cozmic Debris, just ask old Frank. Zappa, that is, baby snakes and yellow snow…

Mormons for Marriage Equality…

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Marching down Market Street in San Francisco – right NOW! Photo via Aidan Abroad. Thanks, Kid!

Cool Cali Rabbi Schulman says You Go Gays!

avi_for_weeklyfcb735From pal of this site, Big Gay Al. Word from his groovy Rabbi, who loves on the queer Tribe and the goy gays both. The cool Franciscans dig us, too. Righteous faith communities have been at the forefront of our struggle for a long time. As whip-smart homo-hopper and site-pal Tim’m T. West has said: “If it ain’t Love, it ain’t God.” Word! Thanks for this, Al! Rabbi Avi Schulman is at Temple Beth Torah  in Fremont, California. Such a mitzvah!

A WORD FROM RABBI SCHULMAN:

On Wednesday I rejoiced when I learned that the Supreme Court’s had decided to nullify the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.   As a result of this ruling, gay and lesbian married couples will receive equal protection and benefits under the law as do heterosexual married couples.   I was further gladdened when the Supreme Court declined to overturn the decision by a federal district court invalidating Proposition 8.  In doing so, it is expected that within a month same-sex couples can marry in California.

It has been a long, hard struggle to reach this point in our society.  As a heterosexual male, I have not been subject to the intense discrimination if not outright hatred that gays and lesbians, bi-sexual and transgendered people have experienced.  But I have encountered intense resistance to granting any legitimacy to those who are LGBT.  Some years ago, I gave a sermon advocating for gay rights.  In response, I received the following letter:

“Dear Rabbi,

I hope your Temple isn’t caught up in supporting homosexual rights!!  God in the Old Testament has never approved of the homosexual life style.  In fact they were to be taken outside the gates of the city and stoned.  Also, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.

Remember, homosexuals are filthy people and have filthy practices.  No wonder they have AIDS and thanks to them, heterosexuals have it, too.  Don’t give them any rights!

A lot of Jews and Christians are homosexuals because they didn’t bond with a Dad.  The Dad’s too busy for them and they are just around women and get too feminine.

A lot of Jewish boys too are homosexual because they got pampered in the city.
Do not grant homosexuals any rights.  Follow God’s way and not Sodom’s way!”
The repulsive attitude, the appalling ignorance, and the sheer bigotry of the writer of this letter are reprehensible.  But make no mistake, even today there are still people in our society who would agree with these sentiments.

Yesterday’s rulings by the Supreme Court represent landmarks in the fight for equal rights for gays and lesbians in America.  However, there is still much more work to be done.   More than thirty states do not allow same-sex marriage.   However, through education and advocacy, we can help ensure that LGBT couples can marry in every state in the US.

Our Torah proclaims that each human being is unique and precious, endowed with the spirit of the Divine.  Our prophetic tradition urges us to strive toward creating a society that is just and righteous.   Amos the prophet proclaimed:  “Let justice roll down like waters, righteousness like a mighty stream.”  Wednesday’s landmark decisions by the Supreme Court felt like a waterfall of refreshing water that washed over our land.

Shame on 8!!! We won.

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A bird? A plane? A nerd? A clone? No! It’s Shame on 8 Man! Sight seen in the very festive Castro district.

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Marry Me!

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Cool Franciscans at the demise of DOMA celebration…

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God loves all His children. And if it ain’t Love, it ain’t God. Thanks to Tim’m T. West for that one. Sight seen at the ongoing celebration in San Francisco’s Castro District. DOMA is overturned and so is Prop 8!