Today is National Coming Out Day.
Last week, a young man from Norman OK killed himself, a few days after listening to hours of hateful comments at a Norman City Council meeting.
Comments start at ~min 43.
I picked a time-point at random-- ~ 1 hour in. I got to see a comment by Fred Pope, a hateful, disgusting piece of shit.
Fred Pope said he and his family moved to Norman 15 years ago looking for a place that didn't necessarily embrace the GLBT community.
"We moved here so we could raise a family in a great location," Pope said. "And what this does tonight is begin to undermine that, tear it down and pull it back."
He said council's actions on Tuesday, regardless of the outcome, would have far-reaching consequences now that the topic was out in the open.
"You've started the divide in the community, and it's not going to end," Pope said to members of council.
Pope, who has gathered his beliefs over years of real-world experiences and struggles, said he attended a "quilt event" in Portland, Ore., some years ago. He said the quilts had images of people who had died of AIDS on them.
"Quilt after quilt after quilt," Pope said. "This lifestyle is so destructive ... it broke my heart to see young man after young man ... on a quilt because they engaged in a lifestyle they thought would set them free."
Fred Pope said the council should reject the proclamation because it undermines raising a family and promotes a destructive lifestyle.
"It is dangerous to the community," he said.
Ignoring the fact that sexuality isnt a choice, lets pretend homosexuality is a lifestyle. Being a fat fuck is a lifestyle, too, Fred, and you look to be a double-cheeseburger away from a heart attack. Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in this country. The 'lifestyle' you choose of being a glutton kills far more people in this country than AIDS, and yet we let you live in peace.
And youre dangerous to the community, Fred Pope. You helped a kid kill himself. I sure as fuck havent done that. I dont know any gay people who have needled a teenager to suicide. You are disgusting, as a human. And I really hope you are sorry for the result of your hate. And I hope you teach your kids why what you did was wrong, and how even words have consequences.
Or let them find out what you did via Google, when theyre older, Fred Pope.
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I think the odds are also high that Fred Pope has a wide stance.
Goddammit, this kind of thing always pisses me off and depresses me at the same time. :(
Are you allowed to say "Fred Pope is a disgusting piece of shit" on the internet?
I listened to the entire discussion on the adoption by the City Council of the GBLT history month - a simple proclamation. I was surprised at the stupidity of the anti crowd. Pope was disgusting, as were several others. I hope they realize that they contributed to the suicide. There were just about as many strong supporters of the proclamation. In the end the Coucil voted to adopt the issue, with only one no vote (my councilman, the former Supt. of Norman schools!);he will not get my vote in any re-election. The Council members in favor were very eloquent in their support, especially Mayor Cindy Rosenthal.
Despite the strong statements of those in favor, the negative speeches brought disgrace to a community that is often seen as an oasis in the Oklahoma politically red landscape. Unfortunately, similar stupidity of homeophobes is likely in much of the rest of the country, as we see almost daily in the news. Such is the result of extreme religious fundamentalism and ignorance of many in our society.
Optimus-- His focus on the 'choice' and 'lifestyle' and 'youll die if youre teh homo gay' and running away from 'homo gay parts of the country' pretty much nails it. Someone who focuses on those things gives outsiders the impression that they are gay, they think they will get AIDS and die, so they 'choose' to fight the 'urges'. When that doesnt work, move to a part of the country where everyone is closeted. If you think you will be beat up/killed for giving into an 'urge', thats just another reason not to be homo gay.
I simply cannot fathom why a heterosexual man would be fixated on homosexual men, apparently for decades.
Scott-- I know, right?
Rorschach-- Boy, I sure would hate it if you Googled 'Fred Pope shit' and got this page, or any of the news articles where he was proudly declaring his dip shittery. :-D
So, if a gay person likes to hike, kayak, snowboard, and skydive, is that person living an active, outdoor, gay lifestyle?
Too late! Fred Pope shit!
Fred Pope is probably a friend of Narnia if you know what I mean... (http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2010/10/the_feral_libertarian_on_and… )
In honor of the day, my oldest came out as transgendered and gay. (I've known for all of 4-5 weeks. And yes, both.) I love my child. Period.
Pope, on the other hand, is a creature of hatred.
I'm perfectly happy to compare the record of love and compassion versus that of fear and hatred through history.
As you note, Pope helped lead to a kid killing himself. I raised a wonderful person who has already contributed to society and will do so more as he comes to full maturity*. My only regret being that I didn't know earlier, to be able to spare my child some of the pain (caused by people like Pope) of the last decade. Or at least to provide more support.
* Ok, my kid is well past drinking age. But, as I said a decade before that, he'll still be my kid when he's 90 and has won a Nobel prize or three.
For the record, I am also a big fat bastard, but I have no more problems with gay people than with, say, eskimos. Fred Pope definitely has some internal problem (hint, hint).
FoN indeed. I do hope he is outed soon so that others like him can cause less damage.
Rentboys of OK: save a life, out Fred Pope! Please.
Apropos of this post, there was a news article linked to by PZ in which the son of gay bashing Washington Un. of St Louis physics professor, Jonathan Katz came out of the closet. Prof. Katz is the putz who was initially appointed to a panel to advise the administration on the blowout situation in the Gulf of Mexico, was summarily removed from the panel when a gay bashing screed he had written was exposed. Hopefully, this revelation will cause the good professor to either revise his views or stick to his areas of expertise.
I usually blather at the council about these things but in the days before the vote it was looking like another yawn-o-rama.
Then my council member got a ton of weird threats.
Dan Quinn who supported the proclamation voted against it because he got 40+ constituent calls all objecting to it and none for it. As a consequence he thought he would be doing a crap job as a ward representative if it carried as a unanimity.
Although I support the proclamation, it was a pretty toothless gesture. The mayor is a self important bag of sticks. She drummed this up to distract from service cut-backs and punishing voters for not granting her absolute power over local utilities. Rosenthal also didn't have enough progressive baby boomer buttons on her sash to blind her fellow mayors at the next convention.
She could have proposed the extension of health insurance and survivors benefits to the domestic partners of municipal employees or a housing grant to emancipate minor GLTB kids from abusive parents etc..
The movers and shakers as well as the various mafia clans of the love that dare not speak its name all went "meh". Everybody thought it was another empty meaningless gesture from a city council that brought us speed bumps that look like NBA member grave sites.
Then Blammo! Every "most catholic travesty" in Norman crawled out from under a rock. They did this open-mic-night-at-the-Bigot-Bar routine for two nights running.
The little municipal misdirection turned into a haywire bomb and a nice kid killed himself over nothing but posturing and a douche bag trying to get named a deacon before the archbishop's retirement became official.
I wish I could have explained to the kid what was really going on. I wish somebody had explained that they were just a lot of self important blowhards posturing, that nobody hated him as a person and that in the end it is only people wrapped in the clay of their own uselessness that concern themselves with other people's lives. Finding somebody to love who loves you back is complicated enough without involving the peccadilloes of neighbors regarding genital configurations or metaphysics.
The whole thing is a horrible inexcusable shame.
I will snap off a little e-mail to the Archbishop this week. If Fred Pope's bullshit induced a suicide, he deprived a human being of redemption and that, according to the rules on the box of the Roman Catholic Home Edition, has established a basis for Fred's excommunication.
I wish the stupid sexual-preference-as-lifestyle-choice meme would hurry up and die already. Does any heterosexual recall a point in their life when they consciously decided to be attracted to the opposite gender? When they could have somehow made the "wrong" choice and been erotically pulled to their own gender? Of course not. It doesn't happen. We are what we are; we may have latent leanings with some flexibility, but we do not choose our sexual longings. How is it that anti-gay bigots can deny the testimony of their own experience? They never chose what they are, so why would they assume anyone else could? Given the still plentiful prejudice, how many would make the gay "choice" if it was really a choice? It's absurd on so many levels.
But also beside the point. Even if it were a choice, who cares? What right do I have to deny anyone that choice, and why should I even if I were able?
How telling that people like Fred Pope and Andrew Shirvell ignore the admonition to "judge not lest ye be judged" as well as many other lessons they might take from a religion they profess.
Prometheus: I usually agree with your comments, but to make the council discussion a politcal hit on the Mayor and the Council is without merit, no matter what other items you may hot have approved of in city government in the past. The GLBT proclamation did not come from the Council, but from a recommendation from another appointed committee and the Council was required to consider it.
Your hit on Cindy Rosenthal is also without merit and any real basis. She did not drum this up to punish citizens! The cuts in service are due to the fact that citizens did not approve the utility increase and the state of the economy. You are certainly free to express your opinion, but I am puzzled at your reasons - they are not based on the facts.
We do agree, however, on the terrible display shown by some 'citizens.'
Who the fuck cares if it's a "lifestyle choice" or not? The only reason it's even an issue is because some people have their heads stuck in the 2nd century BC. Biologically determined or not, it's my fucking choice, not yours (or, more importantly, theirs).
I think that Christianity is a destructive life-style choice that harms society, is divisive and shouldn't be endorsed by the government (I could add that the promotion of abstinence only education increases the danger of AIDS) - if a Christian kills themselves because of that I don't think it's my fault.
We need to allow a fair amount of 'hate speech' for the sake of free expression and debate. Accusations of Islamaphobia should not force and end to any discussion.
It is a difficult one though, and I understand how traumatic it must be for a child who realises that they are gay, having grown up in a society where homosexuals are treated with such casual disdain.
Surely some of the posts on this blog have been as disdainful of religious people as Pope was of gays. It seems unfair to limit someone's right to hate speech just because their hate is so unjustified while ours is so very reasonable. I feel fine attacking Pope's idiocy, but he doesn't seem any more motivated by hate than I or many other people are.
Also, re Pope being a glutton - he could easily argue that society should not endorse his lardy lifestyle either.
"Surely some of the posts on this blog have been as disdainful of religious people as Pope was of gays."
Being gay is not a belief system.
Being left handed or tall are not belief systems.
Religion is a construct of the human intellect and as such, subject to criticism and impeachable.
....and don't call me Shirley.
"The GLBT proclamation did not come from the Council, but from a recommendation from another appointed committee and the Council was required to consider it."
The proclamation was a decade old generic template Mary Francis yanked out of a Conference of UUA "action packet" zipped through a committee special session because Mary Francis wants Cindy Rosenthal's endorsement when she runs for the Ward 7 seat.
I like Rosenthal's purported goals as much as you do but let's face it, she always comes at them them sideways dragging baggage.
Again, the progressive conscientious and pragmatic proposal would have been an ordinance granting equal protection and benefit to the fullest extent of Municipal authority with penalty appropriate to its violation.
Why not? I think the life long paramour of a municipal dog catcher having survivor's rights in his or her pension regardless of how the plumbing matched up is just as pressing and reasonable as giving more leeway to bicyclists.
If we are going to turn town hall into a cultural battle ground and young people are going to succumb to the flood of bigoted venom spat on the lectern then the 'prize' must be something more than vacant sentiment and the ensuing group hug.
I agree that the specifics of the sundry religions are intellectual constructs but I'm not sure that the same is true about the propensity for belief in god or the supernatural. Like most phenotypical traits it's probably the result of hereditary and environmental factors. For instance, I happen to be a naturalist rather than a supernaturalist. I certainly could claim to believe in the supernatural but suppose I decided that I truly wanted to believe. Could I? I doubt it. No matter how much I wished to believe, unless I received some sort of incontrovertible revelation, I don't think that I could actually convince myself to believe. Perhaps the opposite is likewise true. Perhaps those with a certain pedigree & biography are pretty much predisposed to belief and literally can't not believe, even if they decide that they no longer care to do so. I'm not certain about this, of course, but my hunch is that in many people the propensity for belief in the supernatural is every bit as innate as is sexual preference.
Another point I'd like offer is that if sexual preference & gender identity is largely innate, so, probably, is the predisposition to homophobia. If this is true, the GLTB community is just going to have to accept the fact that no amount of outreach or awareness enhancement is going to result in total acceptance by everyone. A certain amount of prejudice is always going to infect human societies.
Um...yeah...how 'bout the guy at the 57 min mark who argues that if the council declares a GLBT History month, the next thing you know we'll be teaching kindergarten kids how to have anal sex!
"I'm serious...it's a slippery slope.."
Oh yeah, he's serious all right.
You know, I wonder - where did so many crazy ass bigots that gathered at the meeting come from? I always did pride myself in living in Norman, one of the saner, more liberal parts of Oklahoma.
"I'm not certain about this, of course, but my hunch is that in many people the propensity for belief in the supernatural is every bit as innate as is sexual preference."
I think that is true up to a certain point in development. Freud regarded homosexuality as merely an extension of the homophilic stage of social development into puberty.
I think Freud was being overly simplistic when it came to sexual identity (for once) yet I am certainly willing to entertain the proposition that adult adherence to a belief in the supernatural is a form of infantilism. I never met a religion whose adherents demeanors varied greatly from any other off-the-shelf fetishist.
It is an interesting idea and has the additional appeal of being good for a giggle.
Thanks darwinsdog. You've cheered me up.
If this guy commits suicide after you bullied him, and called him fat, will you take responsibility?
The word you're looking for is "credit", and if we were so lucky as to find that that worthless piece of shit had enough of a conscience to off himself after his vile hatred having been outed on the Intertubes, we'd damn well throw ERV a parade.
I am framing this and putting it on the wall:
"Ignoring the fact that sexuality isnt a choice, lets pretend homosexuality is a lifestyle. Being a fat fuck is a lifestyle, too, Fred, and you look to be a double-cheeseburger away from a heart attack. Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in this country. The 'lifestyle' you choose of being a glutton kills far more people in this country than AIDS, and yet we let you live in peace."
Q1: How many gay men die of AIDS in the US annually?
Q2: How many people die of obesity (heart disease, stroke, etc) in the US annually?
Q3: So which of the "gay" or the "obese" lifestyles is the most destructive?
The comments of Gary Cooper (speaking from 1h47) are priceless. He lambasts the huge divide between elected representatives and their electorate, "in culture, understanding, values and beliefs", then complains at the time being wasted on this issue by the Council when the people of Norman would rather spend time discussing pressing issues affecting all residents of the city.
Gary, sweetie, the reason this issue is taking up so much of the council meeting's time is taken up with this issue is that you and hundreds of other residents of Norman have e-mailed, called and written to their councillors, and turned out in apparently unprecedented numbers for the council meeting - precisely to discuss this one issue to the exclusion of all the other "pressing items" on the agenda! FAIL
"if we were so lucky as to find that that worthless piece of shit had enough of a conscience to off himself after his vile hatred having been outed on the Intertubes"
His hatred is Vile, ours is Pure!
Regardless of the justifications that can be made for condemning the hate of others while relishing our own, I think that this is a dangerous approach. It's all too easy to condemn in others behaviour that we permit in ourselves. Better to try to be generous to one's opponents and strict with oneself - given our innate biases that's the only way we could hope to come out even.
Fred Pope appears to be obese (not just 'overweight'), carrying most of that excess weight around his midsection.
He was committing suicide long before I knew of his existence.
So, is the rule:
A. It is okay to bully others, unless they commit suicide afterwards?
B. It is okay for progressives to bully conservatives, but it is not okay for conservatives to bully leftists?
C. It is never okay to bully homosexual musicians taking anti-depressants?
Many of the same handwringers complaining about supposed hate crimes or hate speech that precede a suicide have no problem bullying the likes of Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, or Sally Kern mercilessly. And they have no problem when an innocent unborn child is extirpated for the crime of having a father who is a rapist, or a mother who blames her sadness on her pregnancy.
But Darwin forbid if somebody says an unkind word in front of a person who later takes his own life.
WW @ 29:
Quoting them exactly and demonstrating that said quotes are objective false != bullying.
OK, OK, maybe in fundie wingnut land, but not out here in reality.
Now go back to listening to the voices in your head, Wally.
Thanks NJ for exhibiting, as though we needed yet another example, the left's ubiquitous duplicitous hypocrisy.
My bad for thinking an adult conversation could be had at ERV.
Meanwhile, why might people not want homosexuals in their community? Consider Aaron Biber, recently sentenced for 18 years after savagely sodomizing a 15 year old neighbor.
I think I will stop quoting the police report, lest I give any homosexuals who read ERV's blog other ideas on how to recruit young homosexuals.
What the hell happened to you that makes you think that re4ference has anything to do with gay people?
Is everything seen though your eyes so irredeemably vile?
I have consulted on legal cases where children smeared themselves with their own filth to avoid being touched and those kids had brains that were less broken than yours.
There is something profoundly wrong with you.
WW @ 31:
Quoting you exactly and demonstrating that said quote is objectively false != hypocrisy. Instead it demonstrates your projection.
You are more than welcome to have an adult conversation, upon such a time as you become an adult.
As for the rest of your comment, conflating pedophilia with homosexuality and deciding that gays recruit new members a la the Crips, well, we're all sure that those are your deepest desires projected out onto others, but do be a good boy and don't act on them, k?
Biber's attorney portrayed the child as the dominant figure in a 'loving' and 'homosexual relationship.'
Aaron Biber's own psychiatrists claimed Biber was secretly gay.
But speaking of pedophilia, it reminds me of how the left responds to charges that the GQ / Glee photo shoot was borderline pedophilia. They don't. Instead, they (e.g., openly homosexual leftist Rachel Maddow) change the subject, and start talking about how the show is watched by mostly adults (the only people who can be pedophiliacs), and, besides,...wait for it....wait for it....another red herring: children are subjected to sexualized images all the time anyway (even though children are not pedophiliacs, they are the victim of it).
Typical left. Everywhere you try to have an adult conversation--they practice intellectual dishonesty, subterfuge, smoke, and mirrors. And their useful idiots fall for it time and again.
Congratulations. And thank your public school teacher. You don't have any critical thinking skills, and are more impressed with snarky pompous pontifications from openly deviant personalities than an honest analysis of a given supposedly politically correct situation.
"Aaron Biber's own psychiatrists claimed Biber was secretly gay."
Saying he raped a kid because he was gay makes about as much sense as saying he did it because he was Jewish or short.
If he had raped a 15 year old girl could a gay person use that as an example of typical heterosexual behavior?
Is this an example of what you regard as "critical thinking"?
"And thank your public school teacher."
Sorry WW, wrong again. Private schools.
I assume they kept you at home....in the cellar.
Well, if he wasn't gay, he would not have raped a *boy*. And for some reasons, communities in OK don't like it when their boys are raped. Seems sensible enough to me.
In a surreal coincidence, Biber's own defense attorney claimed that the secretly gay Biber did it because he was Jewish. By "it", I mean got setup and seduced by a bigoted 15 year old boy:
A useful bit from Wikipedia:
So, let's see, when someone points out a factual error in his argument (conflating pedophilia and homosexuality) he claims this shows "a lack of critical thinking skills". When some one points out his adolescent obsessiveness over gays, "they practice intellectual dishonesty, subterfuge, smoke, and mirrors".
And to top that off, you post non-sequitur quotes from a news story as if that somehow bolstered your bigotry.
Son, there's a reason your ignorant, low-IQ ass was kicked out of Panda's Thumb and Pharyngula. AS PZ puts it in his dungeon list:
At some level, you understand how much smarter everyone else is compared to you. So you project your weakness out on anyone who answers you. But everybody who reads one of your posts can see it. And they are either laughing at or creeped out by you.
The problem is, billy, is you're backing yourself into a corner. By your statement there, and others, if a male rapes a male, he's gay. If one gay man commits rape against a chile...then all gay men are equally likely to commit rape, then they all are. Therefore, it's only sensible that you keep gay men out. If you have no gay men, you cannot ever have boys getting raped.
Well, okay, so let's go with that.
Why do you let heterosexual men in your community? After all, if a man rapes a young girl, then he must be, using the same logic you applied in the statement I quoted, a heterosexual.
Since one heterosexual male is capable of committing rape, using your own logic about gays, then *all* heterosexual males are equally capable and likely to commit rape as the ones who already have. If all heterosexual men are therefore rapists, wouldn't society be better served by not allowing them to roam free?
I think by your logic, we can clearly state yes. Heterosexual men should not be allowed into decent towns, as they're all just waiting to rape a small girl. So, by his own logic, William Wallace advocates the complete removal of all heterosexual and homosexual men from society, or that towns should be able to ban them at will, because clearly, they're just waiting to rape someone.
But studies show that 10% of rapes are committed by women? What do we say to that tenth kid? "Sucks to be you?" No, clearly, again using William's own words and logic:
We have to ensure children can't be raped. As *some* women have been busted raping both girls and boys, clearly, *all* women are fixin' to rape someone. The solution is clear:
All heterosexual and homosexual men AND women should be locked up and/or prevented from contacting children. Given the number of children raped by family members, immediate and otherwise, we see that family is the most dangerous group for children. Obviously, they'll have to be left to fend for themselves.
Cue sputtering denouncement in 3...2...
I enjoyed reading your response, John C. Welch. NJ, not so much (reminds me of a woman I dated in college who majored in psychology because her own brain was so scrambled).
But, to address your point, John, no, I don't think the government should exile homosexuals to San Francisco, after all of the children are evacuated from there.
I do, however, empathize with small towns that are concerned that their own children might be unduly swayed into a homosexual lifestyle.
Even evolutionists should understand this.
If passing on ones genes is programmed into our behaviors, you should understand, I would think, the disappointment parents might have over wasted resources and energy behind creating a son, only to have him recruited to a lifestyle that makes procreation that much less likely. From an evolutionary perspective, you might even understand why a parent might rather his son spend a few years using illegal drugs, if they had to choose between a son hooked on drugs, versus a son hooked on glory holes and saunas.
Why is it that only the heterosexuals need to have empathy? Why no empathy from those promoting the homosexual agenda?
There's that projection again. Just cannot deal with mirrors at all, can you?