The print news and especially video news is all abuzz with Miss California's loss of the Miss U.S.A. title, presumably because of her answer about gay marriage posed by one of the judges, Perez Hilton.
The Noble Pig, a site more noted for its photography and recipes than political controversy, posted an entry entitled "Should Personal Biases Be Allowed?" which has, not surprisingly, sparked a number of entries regarding the whole brouhaha. The reaction seemed to be mixed among those who felt that Miss California had a right to express her opinion and that it shouldn't be considered in the vote of the judges (then why do they ask questions of the candidates? She wasn't the only one to be asked a political question), those who felt that it was right that they deny her the crown because of her opinions, and those who felt that Hilton shouldn't have asked it in the first place.
Some of the more intense comments included:
Perez Hilton chose this pageant to laud his own personal agenda which should be a no-no. He's a nasty piece of work and even nastier if you don't agree with his views.
For a group (the one that Perez Hilton belongs to) who says they hate bias and hate, well, let's just say his words are not backed up by his actions.
Sounds like "tolerance" is a one way street. If you agree with me, then we're both "tolerant"; if you don't agree with me, then you're a bigot, racist, hate monger, etc.
As far as I'm concerned, Perez Hilton should go marry another man. A woman doesn't deserve him. It was a set-up. I hope he marries someone exactly like himself.
I have never heard of this Perez Hilton, but he doesn't sound like a very happy person inside...Happy people just don't behave that way. I Have a hard time thinking of anything in my life style choices that makes me so defensive or bitter towards others around me. I guess that when people have to go around and force their views on others maybe it's time to step back and question their own beliefs. hmmm perhaps "his" life style choices are not all that pretty down deep inside after all...just saying. =O)
Good on her mom and dad for raising a child with convictions and morals, something our country seems to be seeing little of these days. Seems that people are quick to put those who stand for something "good" down...very sad.
It's the one time I wish I had actually watched the show so I could remember the other political questions that were asked, since so many seemed to feel Hilton was out of line asking the question. (Apparently he had cleared the question with the powers that be beforehand, however.)
But, as always, the lack of empathy for gay people who are the victims of this country's short-sighted opinions about equal rights came to the fore.
Whenever I'm confronted with people who want gay people to disappear, or who want to put them in a box, without the rights that straight people enjoy, or who dismiss the whole issue as an immoral "choice," and thus not worth talking about, I think about Bill Clayton and all of the other gay kids who chose to end their lives rather than face a lifetime of discrimination and possible violence.
And then this morning I was sent a link to a story by Sacramento News and Review reporter, Kel Munger about eleven-year old Jaheem Herrera.
Young Jaheem Herrera’s parents say he was called “gay” and a “snitch” (for reporting his abuse) on a daily basis as part of the harassment that led him to take his own life. His death comes just a few weeks after the similar bullying-induced suicide of 11-year-old Carl Walker-Hoover.
But the anti-Day of Silence crowd thinks bullying—specifically that which includes the use of anti-gay language to intimidate and harass children—isn’t enough of a problem to warrant activism or legislation. Makes you wonder who Jesus would support: the anti-gay crowd, or the bullied 11-year-olds?
Any way you look at it, these are children we’re talking about. Children. Eleven years old. Still playing with action figures and watching cartoons on Saturday morning. And they’re being bullied to death while the right wing insists that doing anything to stop it is “promoting the homosexual agenda."
Well, if keeping 11-year-old kids alive long enough to grow up is “the homosexual agenda,” then, hell, yes! Count me in.
Jaheem Herrera and Carl Walker-Hoover and Bill Clayton are the reason why it's important to take the answers of a silly beauty pageant contestant into consideration. Because if it's OK to set aside the ideas of someone who believes in dividing us into "us" and "them," making it OK to harass, bully, and beat "them" because they aren't as good as "us," then we are minimized, yet again, as human beings.
The sooner straight America understands that there is no "gay agenda" other than gay people wanting to live their lives in peace like their straight neighbors, the sooner we can get on with the more serious business of this country.
In one of those serendipitous bits of coincidence, as I was writing this, I received an e-mail informing me that congress will vote next week on the hate crimes bill that would give LGBT people the protections they need and deserve, and honor the memory of Matthew Shepard, murdered in Laramie, Wyoming ten years ago. During committee hearings, some lawmakers will be trying to derail the bill with "poison pill" amendments.
Here is a page where you can find a video made by Judy Shepard and a place where you can send a letter to your Congressperson asking for their support for the hate crimes bill. Do your bit to protect kids like Jaheem Herrera and Carl Walker,