lance_sibley: (homophobia is gay - by brokenelevator)
Seen via [livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll and [livejournal.com profile] bovil:

It boggles my mind that in this day and age, someone can believe that governments that permit same-sex marriage should be overthrown. I've seen some pretty out-there statements about homosexuality - it's impossible to spend any time surfing the Internet without coming across someone who claims that we're out to destroy society as we know it - but overthrowing the government?

While I've known for some time about Orson Scott Card's outdated views towards LGBT people, and while I've seen many arguments against the legal recognition of same-sex relationships through marriage (most of which boil down to "you can't have children!"), Card has veered completely out into left field with this rant.

From the article:

How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.


I wonder whether this constitutes sedition under American law... will the FBI be knocking on his door in the morning? (I'm not holding my breath.)

More blather:

Here's the irony: There is no branch of government with the authority to redefine marriage. Marriage is older than government. Its meaning is universal: It is the permanent or semipermanent bond between a man and a woman, establishing responsibilities between the couple and any children that ensue.


Someone needs to remind him that his Mormon background includes a time when polygamy was not only allowed, but encouraged (and in some offshoots, such as the enclaves in Texas and British Columbia that recently found themselves in the news, it still is). He may argue that the Mormon Church gave up polygamy so that Utah would be admitted to the United States (barely a century ago), but going further back into Judeo-Christian tradition, men with multiple wives were not unheard of. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, after all. And LGBT people, particularly those who are in monogamous relationships, are a threat to tradition?

The laws concerning marriage did not create marriage, they merely attempted to solve problems in such areas as inheritance, property, paternity, divorce, adoption and so on.


Right, because we never inherit or bequeath our property, we never end our relationships (well, if he had his way we would never have those relationships in the first place), and we never adopt children (someone remind David Gerrold).

He disputes the label of "homophobe", claiming that this is a term that refers to mental illness. Well, anyone with a pathological need to prevent people from finding happiness - and given the sheer number of essays on this topic he's written, I would in fact characterize his need to assert his beliefs as "pathological" - when said happiness would have no bearing on his life, deserves the label.

I'm ashamed to admit that I own seven of his books... two of which he autographed for me when he here about 15 years ago.



On a happier note, a New Zealand inventor has created a personal jetpack. Nice, but I want my flying car! ;)
lance_sibley: (homophobia is gay - by brokenelevator)
If I had any way of getting to Hamilton in an hour, I would be attending this evening's meeting of the Hamilton School Board.

No, I'm not from Hamilton, nor am I a parent or a student, but people need to speak up. Here's the email I received a few minutes ago:

The Hamilton Family Action Council is attacking the Hamilton School Board's equity policy on sexual orientation. )

It infuriates me to think that in 2008 in Canada, there are still people who would fight against equality and, yes, encourage the harassment of LGBT students, teachers, and others.
lance_sibley: (Strike)
Damn it, this is the third time I've tried to post this... Firefox keeps shutting down on me every time I try to start a post. Hopefully the third time is the charm...

First, bowling: I had a decent night, with scores of 198, 154 and 159, and we won all three games. [livejournal.com profile] h8torun was declaring her scores tonight, so it's good that she was over her average in all three games. Once again, however, we were the last ones out despite the fact that Mario was away tonight. The other team seemed to have a small problem realizing when it was their turn to bowl, which may have been the main contribution to the issue. Though the second-last group to finish included a rather cute guy named Spencer (who has a bf, alas), so I had some eye candy while I was stuck there to the bitter end. :) Randy had the car tonight, so he gave me a ride to the subway.

The painkillers seem to be working - my arm was just starting to get sore toward the end of the night, but nowhere near as bad as it has been. (I had tentative plans to go out with [livejournal.com profile] cuteteenboy tonight, but this time I had to call and cancel as I'm not supposed to drink with these painkillers. Dagnab it.)

I tried calling the recruiter again today to find out what's happening with the job I interviewed for (three weeks ago, now), but again, got her voicemail. I keep hoping that this indicates that they're still making up their minds, rather than that she's avoiding me.

And now some miscellaneous links from other folks on my LJ:


  • From [livejournal.com profile] evawhitley: The Baptist Bulletin is on their high horse about gay marriage. In what I take to be an ironic typo, they refer to the third state to legalize civil unions (and about which I saw nothing on my friendslist despite the fact that it happened this week - what's up, folks?) as "Jew Jersey". I'm pretty sure that's an innocent typo, though, as they got it right further down.

  • From [livejournal.com profile] defenestr8or, apparently the Polish president thinks that acceptance of homosexuality will lead to the end of the human race. Someone ought to tell him that legalizing same-sex marriage doesn't make it mandatory...

  • From [livejournal.com profile] montrealais, another publicly-homophobic Baptist minister has been caught soliciting a man for gay sex. Unfortunately for him, it was an undercover police officer. The lawyer is claiming that the minister has a Constitutional right to solicit for sex. I can't speak to that point, but there may be laws in Oklahoma against solicitation.

  • From [livejournal.com profile] chase820, there are full-frontal pictures of Daniel Radcliffe rehearsing for the upcoming production of Equus. Speculation is, however, that the picture at that link has been Photoshopped. Let's not have any jokes about Harry Potter's wand, 'mkay? *grin*


And courtesy of a comment by [livejournal.com profile] sarcasm_hime on [livejournal.com profile] sandwichboy's LJ, I present to you a preview of the upcoming series Blood Ties, based on the Tanya Huff novels:



Apparently it's not being aired in Canada until the fall, however. *sigh*

Oh, and if you want a chuckle, check out Conservapedia, the right-wing version of Wikipedia. I particularly enjoyed the edits the page on the United States has been undergoing recently, though it still needs a couple of tweaks. Some pages strike me as being more bloglike than encyclopedic, though - when I searched for the page on the U.S., I saw listings for things like Should the United States Have Entered WWI? (that one made me laugh) and Should the United States Have Entered WWII? (still not encyclopedic, but a teensy bit more worthwhile than the previous one, if you ignore comments like "At this moment we could be speaking German and not be celebrating Christmas the Christian way!"). I don't think I'll be giving up on Wikipedia just yet...
lance_sibley: (Strike)
That pretty well sums up my night at bowling. 145, 153, 150. Pretty consistent, but pretty consistently mediocre (not to mention 15-20 pins below my average). I just couldn't get untracked all night, and we only won one game out of three, though the third game was close (if only I hadn't gotten a split in the tenth frame).

At one point during the second game, my left eyelid began twitching. It's been doing this for several months, though I had a bit of a break from them during November and December. I've had muscle spasms - usually minor twitches - pretty much my whole life (I'm having one right now on the left side of my neck where it meets my shoulder), but seldom has one lasted this long. I have had recurring muscle spasms in some parts of my hands, probably due to typing (that, and my posture, are probably the cause of the current one in my neck), but the longest one spasm will usually last is two or three days. Randy noticed it at one point, and seems to think that I should see a doctor about it. I'm not sure that it's something worth worrying about, though. At least, not until I start to resemble Chief Inspector Dreyfus of the Sûreté. (I'm more concerned with the fact that I still have issues with my elbow, since I still can't straighten my arm completely without pain.)

No word today from the recruiter about my test results. I must remember to call her on Monday.

Onto a more serious topic... I was just perusing tonight's friendslist entries, and in the [livejournal.com profile] queerasfolkfans community, there was a post about the recent Gray's Anatomy brouhaha, in which Isaiah Washington used the word "faggot" at the Golden Globes the other night.

Now, having read what he said in this most recent incident, I may be alone on this, but I'm not upset with him using the word here. Let's have a look, shall we? According to this story on yahoo.com, he said, "I did not call T.R. a faggot. Never." The issue, to me, is that when the initial incident occurred back in October, there were witnesses who saw and heard him use the word. Yes, that initial incident was deplorable. But what we had the other night was not an attempt to hurt someone by using a slur. Let's get our priorities in order, shall we? The problem isn't that he used the word "faggot" - the problem is that he denied having done so three months ago. (Unless there was something that happened that isn't being reported on?)

Yes, the man clearly needs to work on what appear to be anger issues, and it sounds as though he's trying to get help with that. And yes, he does seem to have some homophobia issues, but from what he's said (at least publicly) it sounds as though he realizes that as well. We'll see what happens.

Interestingly, though, in the Yahoo article, they interviewed Queer As Folk co-creators Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman, who said they "once had to deal with an actor whose public remarks had infuriated fellow cast members, who snubbed him. The man chose not to return for another season and "frankly, we would have decided that as well." This got picked up on [livejournal.com profile] queerasfolkfans, of course. Despite the fact that Cowen and Lipman refused to identify the actor about whom they were speaking, fans of the show know that they're referring to Chris Potter, who left the show after S1. It seems, however, that QAF fans are still under the impression that Potter left the show because he had homophobia issues and was uncomfortable playing a gay character. (First of all, he'd previously played a gay man on Will & Grace - specifically an ex-bf of Will's. Second, he wasn't exactly desperate for work, so why would he have auditioned for the part?) From what I recall hearing, his son was being picked on at school because of his being on QAF. That was the reason he grew uncomfortable with playing the role.

Don't get me wrong - there's still a ton of homophobia out there. But let's not cause problems for ourselves when none exist, okay?
lance_sibley: (You Want Me)
I got the following from American Airlines today, in response to the email I sent them the other day, referenced in this entry. Note the bolded section:

September 27, 2006

Dear Mr. Sibley:

We appreciate your inquiry about a recent article that appeared in The New Yorker about reported events on one of our flights. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to comment.

As the world's largest airline, American Airlines served more than 80 million customers last year from all over the world and we are well-known for welcoming all customers. Our company has a solid reputation for fairness and equality in the workplace and marketplace. A careful review of the records for the reported incident indicates that the actions taken by our crew members were reasonable, non-discriminatory, and struck the right balance in maintaining a safe, comfortable,
and respectful travel experience for all passengers onboard the aircraft.
Being a leader in diversity is challenging given our large and diverse customer base, but our commitment to welcoming all customers remains unchanged. Consistent with our leadership position, we frequently review our policies, procedures, and training to determine whether enhancements can be made to prepare employees to address a variety of social situations in a professional and respectful manner.

Again, thank you for contacting us. We will continue to work hard to ensure all customers enjoy a pleasant journey when flying with American Airlines.

This is an "outgoing only" email address. If you 'reply' to this message by simply selecting the reply button, we will not receive your additional comments. Please assist us in providing you with a timely response to any feedback you have for us by always sending us your email messages via AA.com at http://www.aa.com/customerrelations.

Sincerely,

Lisa Fields
Customer Relations
American Airlines


"Reasonable, non-discriminatory, and struck the right balance"??? Maybe in FundieWorld, but not anywhere I want to be. This has cemented my decision not to fly American Airlines in future.

I guess it was silly of me to hope that they might, you know, actually acknowledge that what they did was wrong.



Looking back, I realize that I didn't post last Friday night after bowling. It was a fun evening - part of that being due to it having been [livejournal.com profile] h8torun's birthday the day before, and so Mario and Randy brought a cake (cake is always good :) ). Bowling-wise, it was my best night of the season so far, though I still would have liked to have done better. IIRC, I had 145, 170 and 153 (or thereabouts; I can't quite remember exactly what my third game score was), and so I managed to get my average up to 150. Since it should be around 165, I'm still not completely satisfied.

I was supposed to go out with [livejournal.com profile] cuteteenboy afterwards but he asked if we could reschedule for Sunday evening, so I was going to stay home, but ended up going downtown anyway. I was standing near the pool table when I noticed a young guy wearing a sleeveless t-shirt who had a tattoo on his shoulder of an Eye Of Horus, which is an ancient Egyptian symbol. I used to have an Eye Of Horus pendant (I think I still have it around here somewhere, though I haven't worn it in years), so I walked over and complimented him on the tattoo. He then showed me the cartouche he also had on his hand, so I showed him my ankh and scarab beetle charms that I wear on a gold chain. Naturally, I asked him if he was a Stargate fan. *grin* He said that the original movie is his favourite of all time - and then said, "I was so jealous this summer - my best friend got to meet Michael Shanks at a convention!" When I told him that I co-chaired that con, his eyes got big and he exclaimed, "No way!"

Naturally, it turned out that he had a boyfriend. (Or, as he said, "He's not my boyfriend, he's my lover." Yeah, whatever. Six of one.)

So I wandered off and sat down on one of the benches near the front of the bar. He and his boyfriend lover came over and sat on my left a few minutes later, and then a few minutes after that, the guy sitting on my right started talking to me. He was so drunk, though, that it took him about 5 seconds to get his name out (and it wasn't a complex one, either). Horus-dude told him to get lost... and then they said goodnight and left a few minutes later. Argh.

Fast-forward to Sunday... I went downtown to meet [livejournal.com profile] cuteteenboy at the place where he works on weekends and we decided to go to Toby's at Yonge/Bloor for dinner. I suggested that we walk up Church Street, since we were nearby and the scenery is nicer. ;) Usually, when I'm out with him, I'm used to noticing guys checking him out, but this time, I was the one who got cruised, by a guy standing outside the bar Play with two friends. Go me.

Naturally, though, a few minutes after we started on our way, the sky opened up. Fortunately I had my umbrella, and it was big enough for both of us, but I was still soaked from the knees down. Still, I enjoyed dinner, despite the fact that they were showing wrestling on the big-screen TV there. (Why???)

The last few days have been pretty dull. I'm noticing my attempts to reset my body clock are slipping a little - I had been getting up around 10:30 and going to bed around 2:30-3:00 for the last week or two, but I spent two hours yesterday afternoon monkeying around with converting a 30 page Word document listing LGBT-themed panel topics into a web page, and it put me behind my usual schedule. So I ended up not going to bed until 5:30 this morning and got up around 1. I have to nip that in the bud before it becomes a habit again.

I've had no news yet this week from the recruiter regarding their attempts to convince ADP that they're missing the boat on my application. Tomorrow, it will be a week since I last spoke with him, so I'll call then to see if they've had any success in changing the mind of the person at ADP who made that decision. I've gotten a couple of interesting emails and phone calls recently, but they're all about positions outside of Toronto. One was a six-month contract in Montreal, and another was a position in Japan. If I weren't enrolled in these night classes at George Brown College that start in a couple of weeks, I might have been tempted by the Montreal contract. The position in Japan appears to be a permanent position, but a) I don't have the technologies they're looking for, and b) I'm not keen on picking up and moving halfway around the world.
lance_sibley: (No Shit - by Raelala)
Here's the response I got to the email I sent to American Airlines last night, complaining about their homophobic attitudes and informing them that I would no longer be flying on their airline:


Dear Mr. Sibley:

Thank you for contacting us. We consider feedback from our customers to be very important. We are currently experiencing higher than normal email communications from our customers and our response to you may be delayed. We'll reply as soon as possible and we appreciate your patience in the meantime. Just a reminder, if your inquiry involves an upcoming trip for which you have a reservation or imminent travel arrangements, please telephone our specialists at 1-800-433-7300. They will be able to assist you. (If calling from outside the United States or Canada, please refer to Worldwide Reservations Phone Numbers listed on AA.com.)

This is a "post-only" email response. Please do not reply to this message.

Sincerely,

Sean Bentel
Customer Relations
American Airlines


Gee, a "higher than normal" email load? I wonder why...
lance_sibley: (flag)
Found on [livejournal.com profile] rockgoddes' LJ:

American Airlines threatened to divert a Paris-to-New York flight because a gay male couple kissed. WTF?

Interesting how the purser was initially sympathetic, but then changed her tune once the couple in question brought up the possibility of homophobia... anyway, I went to the American Airlines website and wrote an email to their Customer Relations department. I will no longer be flying AA when going to conventions. Or for any other reason.
lance_sibley: (Gaylaxicon)
Some of you have already read the details on [livejournal.com profile] gurudata's LJ, but those of you who are members of LGBT fandom who aren't on his friendslist should be informed of this development... and even those of you who aren't may want to read this.

A few weeks ago, [livejournal.com profile] gurudata (who is head of Publications for Gaylaxicon) contacted a printer (Moffitt Print Craft Limited in Guelph, Ontario) to get a quote for our Programme Book. He managed, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] whitesangria, to find a printer that would do the job at an excellent price. He sent them the files on Monday night, well before their June 1 deadline to get the job done, and was reassured that everything was fine, and that they would have no problem getting the order done.

Fast-forward to Wednesday, and they contacted him, saying that they were unable to complete the project. When [livejournal.com profile] gurudata pointed out that they had only recently told him there were no problems, the guy made excuses: they were too busy, they were understaffed, and so on.

Now, stuff happens, sure... but it gets stranger.

[livejournal.com profile] gurudata decided to remove the files from their FTP server, so he logged on... and discovered that the files had already been removed. That may not seem strange in and of itself, but there were several other, older, files still there. Including files from the "World Of Life Bible Institute" and several other Christian organizations. (That's right... these guys have no security to prevent you from seeing what their other clients have submitted.)

When [livejournal.com profile] gurudata first posted about this yesterday, I was suspicious, but not as quick to jump to conclusions as he and others were. Perhaps some big job came in from a regular client that had to be done quickly, who knows?

Except that this morning, [livejournal.com profile] dx4 phoned them, pretending to be seeking quotes for a fairly large print job that needed to be done quickly... and they said, "Sure, no problem - we can do that."

A call to the Better Business Bureau is definitely in order. Had I known about this at 8:45 this morning when I was on the phone with the Xtra writer who had to submit her article on the convention this morning, I would have mentioned it to her then.

This is a country where discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is Constitutionally prohibited. And the more I think about this, the angrier I get. I'm thinking "lawsuit". (Okay, maybe that's a little overboard... but I'm still upset.)

Fortunately, [livejournal.com profile] gurudata was able to find another printer who would take on the job for only slightly more money. But still... there's a principle here.

Come to think of it, I think there was a similar case recently that also involved a printer refusing to take on a job for a gay-related organization. I just can't remember if it was in the States or here... perhaps one of my TrekBBS friends will remember, since I think I read about it in TNZ?

On a lighter note, [livejournal.com profile] bovil shared the following with his friendslist the other day, and I'm sharing it with you. You know the carnival game that involves throwing beanbags at a hole in a plywood wall for prizes? Well, apparently in Cincinnati this game is known as 'cornhole'...

And you can even buy 'Cincinnati World Cornhole Championship' t-shirts...

And here's another amusing t-shirt, from Offworld Designs:



Crap, there goes a flash of lightning. And I was thinking about running over to Dominion for a loaf of bread, because I feel like having a peanut butter sandwich. At least I think it was lightning. I wasn't actually looking out the window at the time.
lance_sibley: (ridiculously romantic - by xokadieox)
It seems the Westboro Baptists - Fred Phelps' cult - are going to be picketing the funeral of the miners who died last week in West Virginia: here's the first story on the protest, from The Record Delta, a newspaper in Buckhannon, West Virginia. Phelps' people claim that the miners "died in shame and disgrace, citizens of a cursed nation of unthankful, unholy perverts who have departed from the living God to worship on Brokeback Mountain and who have replaced the Bible with The Da Vinci Code."

Here's a later update. I like the bit about the Patriot Guard Riders. Unfortunately, even knowing that they're going to be there won't stop Phelps from trying to spread his hatred.

I recognize that the American constitution guarantees the right to free speech, but I think that there really ought to be a limit on hate speech. After all, what possible purpose can it serve? It's not as though anyone is telling these people that they can't hold their opinions; it's just destructive to express them.

That being said, though, these folks are so whacked that all I can do is laugh. Fortunately, very few people take them seriously.

Every time they start spouting their tripe, there is speculation that Phelps might actually be so vitriolic in his anti-gay hatred because he harbours his own same-sex attractions. (For the record, we don't want him.) There may be some truth in this - after all, his hatred is so over-the-top I can't imagine where else it could be coming from. Well, in the event that this is true, the icon on this post is for Freddie. Have fun (but not too much fun - you don't want to go to hell).

Hm, there's a thought - I wonder if any LGBT groups have ever staged a kiss-in as a counterprotest? Alternatively, maybe the Washington Gay Men's Chorus should hold a marathon sing-in of the song "Freddie My Love" from Grease - after all, their upcoming concert series is called "Showboys," and features all Broadway show tunes...

Okay, on to other things. I watched the first half of the federal leaders' debate tonight, but it didn't hold my attention like the last one. I don't know why - maybe it was the questions that were being asked, maybe it was because the leaders just kept repeating the same points we've already heard a thousand times before. The only new thing I heard was Martin's proposal to amend the constitution to prevent the federal government from being allowed to use the notwithstanding clause. I'm not sure how I feel about that - I think that there is a good reason for having it, though I hope that it never gets used. (Does that make sense?) Apart from that, it seemed to be mostly a repeat of the first debate. Though I didn't hear Jack Layton mention Ed Broadbent, but he did sound more like a commercial spokesman than a political leader.

Which reminds me, the phone rang this morning - it was a recorded sales pitch for the NDP. And guess what - it wasn't Jack Layton's voice. It wasn't even Paul Summerville, my local NDP candidate. No, it was Ed Broadbent, asking me to vote for Paul Summerville, because he knows Paul Summerville and he's a nice guy. That's nice, Ed. But you're not the leader of your party any more. You're not even running in this election, much less this riding. I know the NDP hit their peak when Broadbent was their leader, but I really think Layton is using him far too much in this election.

Oh, and the bruising on my elbow seems to be fading a bit. There's still a fair amount of purple, but I think the Naproxen is doing its job.

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