Faithful readers will recall that I recently decided I was done with flip flopping between the two Democratic candidates and had settled on Obama. Why then, did I find myself strangely pleased by the outcome of last nightâ€™s primary? I have made up my mind! I am officially for Obama. Indeed, I was for Obama before I was for Clinton before I was for Obama before I was for Clinton before I was for Obama. And prior to the whole mess, I was for Clinton.
But my last flop, or flip if you will, was supposed to be the definitive rollover. Unfortunately for Obama, it did not come in time to win my primary vote, which I cast twice for Clinton, first in the Texas primary and then in the chaotic Texas caucus which obliged me to make the supreme effort of sacrificing an hour and a half of precious cocktail time. But as March idled by, I switched back, mainly due to Clintonâ€™s inexplicable â€śmisstatementâ€ť about ducking sniper fire in the Bosnian airbase. I also got a little tired of Bill, and frankly, Chelsea also got on my nerves with her prissy refusal to answer perfectly legitimate questions about her motherâ€™s reaction to her fatherâ€™s sexcapades.
And plus, since Clinton could not possibly beat Obama in the delegate race, I thought we as a party might just consider moving along down the road towards a united convention.
But now, itâ€™s getting weird again. No one expected Obama to win Pennsylvania. But I did think heâ€™d whittle the margin down to five points or less, which would have put Clinton once again on the ropes, perhaps for good. Instead, he lost the majority of voters who decided in the three days before the election, much as I changed to Clinton in the three days before the Texas election. Speaking for myself, I went back to Hillary based on her policy experience, her extra Senate term, her background as First Lady and her reputation as a hard worker. I think sheâ€™s better qualified, although I think he might be a better candidate. Maybe heâ€™d be a better president, but maybe not. I know she would be a good one.
Is that why Pennsylvania fence sitters hopped off on the Clinton side? Who knows? But the fact is, Obama doesnâ€™t look like the inevitable nominee anymore, although itâ€™s still hard to imagine how Clinton could overcome his lead. Yet, if she wins Indiana, and if she defies expectations yet again, the shadow over Obamaâ€™s campaign could become a cloud. Weâ€™d then have two flawed candidates; one with the technical edge who canâ€™t seal the deal, and one with the momentum who canâ€™t quite catch up.
As for my reaction to the Clinton victory, it was kind of like my reaction to a close football game between two good teams. I root for whoeverâ€™s behind. Unless one of the teams is the University of Texas, bien sur.
Oh. Did I forget to acknowledge that some of you readers might be GLBT Republicans, preparing to back the faux iconoclast from Arizona and reveling in our prolonged Democratic hand-wringing? So sorry. Of course I respect the diverse political views of all my brothers and sisters in our multi-faceted GLBT community.
Speaking of McCain, I just got an email from Michael Petrelis with a link to a Washington Blade report about how the campaigns are reacting to the case of a gay Iranian who is one of several Iranian men and women fighting deportation out of Great Britain. If asylum is not granted, the petitioners face possible execution.
Obamaâ€™s campaign said the Senator â€śbelieves that the United States and countries around the world have both a legal and a moral obligation to protect victims of persecution based on sexual orientation or gender identity.â€ť An Obama administration, they added, would make â€śclear that asylum for persecuted people is a bedrock principle of American and international law.â€ť
A Clinton aide, national security advisor Lee Feinstein, said the campaign was tracking the case of the 19-year-old youth and had discussed the matter with UK authorities. â€śWe were encouraged to learn that the deportation order for [Mehdi] Kazemi has been deferred and is now under review.â€ť
And McCain? McCain did not respond to the inquiries, which were posed by the activist organization Equality Forum. Guess they donâ€™t call him a straight talker for nothing. And by the way, his state has revived an anti-gay marriage amendment, shoved it through the house and sent in on to the senate, from whence it could land on this yearâ€™s ballot. Unlike the Arizona measure that was defeated by voters in 2006, this version does not threaten civil unions or domestic partnerships, and would have a better chance of passage.
This brings us to the dismal topic of the California anti-marriage amendment, which appears to have found enough support to qualify for a November referendum. The 14-word proposal states simply that â€śonly marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.â€ť This week, proponents turned in petitions representing 1,100,000 California voters, well over the roughly 700,000 names needed to take the matter to the ballot.
As Iâ€™m sure you know, Governor Schwarzenegger recently opined that the marriage amendment was (cue Austrian accent) a â€śtotal waste of timeâ€ť and would never pass in todayâ€™s California. Well, it was only eight years ago that a statutory version of just this concept passed a state referendum with a 20 point margin, and while it would be nice to think that the denizens of the Golden State have matured since then, itâ€™s frightening to have to put that premise to the ultimate test. Were the amendment to pass, the state legislature would be constrained from passing marriage laws in favor of same-sex couples, and even the state supreme court would not be able to pull marriage equality from the constitutional death grip of a heartless electorate.
Itâ€™s such a horrible prospect that I cannot bear to write about it any further, and will move instead to an international item, compliments of newshound Rex Wockner, who sent me a Reuters clip about â€śpenis stealing witch doctorsâ€ť in the Congo.
Hah. I saw your little ears prick up. â€śPenis stealing witch doctors?â€ť you mused to yourself. Could be interesting! But you know what? Thereâ€™s nothing amusing about it. These so-called doctors do not steal penises for their own pleasurable motives. They do not return the decimated organs. They shrink or destroy them via their insidious wizardry leaving the victim unmanned and emotionally scarred.
According to the newswire, the sorcerers travel in communal taxis, where they can be identified by their gold rings. Over a dozen men have lost the use of their favorite anatomical feature thanks to the nefarious evil doers, who can turn a dangle into a dingle with one touch. Often, the perpetrator demands cash in exchange for a cure.
Last week, Kinshasa police reportedly arrested a group of men, thieves and victims alike, in order to prevent the kind of riots that broke out a decade ago in Ghana during a similar penis stealing episode. Jean-Dieudonne Oleko, the cityâ€™s police chief, seemed to dismiss the phenomenon as a â€śjoke.â€ť But one witness, businessman Alain Kalala, told Reuters that he had seen the results of the black magic. â€śItâ€™s real,â€ť Kalala told the reporter. â€śJust yesterday here, there was a man who was a victim. We saw. What was left was tiny.â€ť
Guys? Are ya scared?
DO NOT Skip This Item
Before I wade into other legitimate news, like the gay rights bill that passed the Colorado senate and is heading to the house, I want to bitch about the tendency in our litigious and dumbed down society to imprint the most self-explanatory products with ludicrous warnings and/or instructions. I just moved into a new house, so Iâ€™ve been in close proximity to a number of new things, fresh from the store, and accompanied by written materials and packaging notices filled with totally unnecessary information.
My latest favorite is the pamphlet that came with the trashcan, titled: â€śSafe Use and Care Of Your Toter â„˘ Roll-Out Cart.â€ť
The flier includes nine sections, beginning with How To Load Your Toter â„˘ Can (open lid and throw in trash), How to Move Your Toter â„˘ Cart (grab handle and push or pull), and culminating in Safety Precautions (do not sit, climb or stand on the cart lid). Along the way, I was warned not to fill the plastic trash can with hot ashes or solvents, I was encouraged to wash the can out with water from time to time, and I was informed that I should put the can on the curb on trash day and remove it to a â€śsuitable storage areaâ€ť after the trash is collected.
Itâ€™s especially irritating when the text veers into bold capital letters. â€śDO NOT overload cartâ€ť screeched the Mandarins in the Toter Incorporated corporate communications department in section one. Well you know what? I already DID overload the cart and I will continue to overload the cart whenever trash conditions so dictate, or maybe just because Iâ€™m in the mood. â€śDO NOT drag the cart?â€ť â€śDO NOT tilt or roll the cart with the lid open?â€ť
Oh, really? Well let me tell you something Mr. Dick-Toter. Iâ€™ll do whatever the Hell I want to do with my trashcan because itâ€™s mine now! I will fill it with lime jello shots and have my partner push me around the neighborhood on its delicate little lid if I like. And if I am injured or inconvenienced in any way by these activities, I will not hesitate to file a negligence suit against you and your entire operation. Hah!
I feel better now, but I must play a little catch up with ye olde newsy liste. I wonder what the third thing on my list, â€śDOS,â€ť means.
How stupid of me. Itâ€™s the 13th annual Day of Silence. Somehow another year has come and gone and itâ€™s time again for mute student activists to spend the day handing out cards explaining that their silence represents all the voices of gay and lesbian youth that have been silenced by bigotry and discrimination. This year, the DOS is on April 25, and oddly I have not seen much about the accompanying Day of Truth, the fundamentalist answer to the Day of Silence during which anti-gay students can complain about their pro gay counterparts.
The Day of Truth fell flat last year, and although I gather it will be held on the 28th this year, I havenâ€™t re-ceived the usual barrage of promotional email.
So much the better.
This yearâ€™s Day of Silence will commemorate the death of Lawrence King, the 15-year-old Oxnard student who was shot in February by a 14-year-old schoolmate.
Broadcasters Gone Wild
Along with the Day of Silence, my list includes news from Vermont, where an 11-member committee has wrapped up a nearly year-long study of same-sex couples, concluding without saying as much that civil unions should give way to legal marriage. The commission did not deliver specific recommendations, but their recommendations were evident between the lines. Vermontâ€™s legislature will soon disband for this year, but the lawmakers are expected to take up marriage when they return in 2009.
Is it me or does â€ś2009â€ť sound like something out of a bad TV sci-fi series? Can it really be a normal year, one that starts only eight months from now? 2009?
We can forget the rest of the news because our time and space are up! But before I go, did you read about that CNN on air personality, Richard Quest, who was busted walking through Central Park at three in the morning with a bag of meth in his pocket? Quest said he was â€śreturning to his hotel with friendsâ€ť and had apparently not seen the many signs stating â€śPark Closed 1 AM to 6 AM.â€ť Oh, and according to the New York Post, he also had a rope tied around his neck and attached to his dick and was carrying an unspecified sex toy in his boot. Quest was not charged with sexual hanky panky, but he was nailed for the meth and for loitering. Naughty anchor!