Tag Archives: Anita Bryant

Sexual Jihadists — Who Knew?

I couldn’t help but think about Robert Hillsborough today. Oh, I honestly didn’t remember his name, but I’ve never forgotten him. And it wasn’t hard to find. Just had to do a quick search on the gay man that was stabbed to death while his attackers shouted “Here’s one for Anita”. It was two weeks after Anita Bryant’s “Save the Children” campaign overturned Dade County’s non-discrimination ordinance.

Why think of him today? Because another contemporary of Bryant has written a column so hateful and inflammatory that it almost surprised me — and this stuff rarely surprises me. Pat Boone, white buck shoes and all, felt the need to lash out last week at Proposition 8 protesters with statements such as “…there is a real, unbroken line between the jihadist savagery in Mumbai and the hedonistic, irresponsible, blindly selfish goals and tactics of our homegrown sexual jihadists.”

Homegrown sexual jihadists? What is it about Christian singers anyway?

And what is it with people who purposely spread hatred and incite violence? Sure, Boone will probably become the next greatest thing to happen to gay rights. Just like Anita Bryant was. But that doesn’t make up for what happened to Robert Hillsborough. Or to Ovidio “Herbie” Ramos. He was a gay activist in Miami who committed suicide following the backlash from the Bryant campaign. After participating in a radio talk show where callers said gays should be deported, forced into concentration camps or executed, Ramos told a friend “I didn’t know they hated us so much”. A couple days later he shot himself.

So, what do we do, now?

For starters, we continue to support organizations like HRC. I sent my donation in today and they promised to send Pat Boone a note stating that a donation had been made because of him. I thought that was a nice touch. I’m sure they will do the same for you. Tell Pat Boone you’re no terrorist

More importantly, though, I think we need to focus on the incredible progress that we’ve made. We suffered some heartbreaking losses at the polls but the entire tenor of the campaign was different. The vast majority of our opponents were falling all over themselves saying that we certainly deserve equal rights — just don’t call it marriage. That’s a huge difference from the standard rhetoric of just a few years ago.

We still have a lot to do. But I honestly believe that the momentum is now with us. I think the “other side” knows that too and that’s what is motivating this last push. So, it may get a little worse before it gets better — but one of these days….

Yeah, one of these days!

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A Day Without Sunshine

It’s funny how things work out sometimes. In the aftermath of stunning losses for the gay community in California, Arizona, Florida and Arkansas, I find myself thinking of one of my favorite stories….

There was once a young man who came from a very poor family in China. When he was out for the day, his horse ran away. On his return, the villagers ran to his father to express their sadness for this financial loss.

“Isn’t this terrible?” they wailed. The aged father shook his head from side to side and calmly stated, “Maybe good. Maybe bad.”

On the following day, the son went out to hunt for the missing steed and, to his great joy, he found a herd of wild horses and was able to bring them back to the village. The elated crowd ran to his father and exclaimed, “Isn’t this wonderful news? What great fortune!” The elder again merely stated, “Maybe good. Maybe bad.”

The next morning, the boy went out into the corral to try to break in a horse for himself. In the process, he was trampled and made lame. When the townspeople saw his ruined leg, they ran to his father to convey their grief. The reply was again the same, “Maybe good. Maybe bad.”

A day or so later, the Chinese army came to the village to take all the able-bodied young men away to war.

Sometimes what appears to be a tragedy turns into a blessing. I’ve always believed that Anita Bryant was the best thing that ever happened to gay rights. California’s Proposition 8 and the other blatantly discriminatory ballot initiatives may end up having the same effect.

Just today, I followed a link posted in Margaret and Helen‘s blog to Atticus Circle, which is an organization of straight folks working for gay rights. Who knew?

And, also today, I watched the Keith Olbermann video on gay marriage. I’m not much of a fan of his stuff but I saw so many references to it that I finally watched. If you haven’t seen it, you should.  

Once in awhile, at the end of “a day without sunshine” the clouds part….