The past 48 hours have been a whirlwind for activists and fake Christians around America as Kentucky clerk Kim Davis has defied federal law by not issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in her district.
An elected official, Davis told prospective couples she would not issue any marriage licenses to LGBT couples because it went against her beliefs as a Christian. Even though she is paid by the taxpayers to do her job, she insists that God is her authority, not the laws of the United States.
Much to her chagrin, I am sure, is Davis’ own marriage history — four of them — and apparent adultery, plus a confusing back-and-forth of which husband she was sleeping with, when, and who was impregnating her at the time. While this all makes for great fodder in the online gossip-sphere, none of her sexual history has anything to do with the fact that Davis is an elected official, who is refusing to do her job and is violating the civil rights of citizens in her district, while pulling an annual salary of $80,000.
Having seen the news clips of Davis defending her repulsion of gay marriage, she is a “true believer”, and nothing anyone can say will convince her that LGBT are people, too, with the same civil rights as all other Americans. She has that crazed look in her eyes when she talks about Jesus and God, and she seems like the kind of zealot that will relish being a martyr for her beliefs. (I’m from the South. I know ’em when I see ’em.) And by the way, she has a First Amendment right to be as right-wing, Jesus-obsessed as she wants to be … on her own time.
The First Amendment prohibits the government from establishing any religion, so her failure to carry out her job as a civil servant is not protected by the First Amendment. We also have the philosophy of Thomas Jefferson’s view on the Separation of Church and State, which has been quoted numerous times by the United States Supreme Court, and then there’s Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, which says very plainly, “the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion….” This treaty was ratified unanimously by the Senate, so I guess they really meant it — the United States is not a Christian country. The government of the United States is, in fact, secular. Therefore, a secular employee’s personal religious beliefs are irrelevant in regard to her duty to abide by and uphold the laws of the land. If she doesn’t like the laws, that’s what the justice and legislative branches of the government are for.
But let’s focus on the issue before us: Davis is being paid by the taxpayers while she is violating citizens’ civil rights. She needs to follow the law or leave the job, but slut-shaming her has taken over the conversation.
If this were a rape case at trial or a sexual harassment claim, a woman’s prior sexual history would not be allowed because it has no bearing on the incident at hand. And I’d be willing to bet that if this were a man who had had four marriages, no one would call him a “slut”.
Slut-shaming is a patriarchal tactic of humiliating and ostracizing women, to keep women in line and to control women’s sexuality.
As activists, we cannot get sidetracked. Focus on the issue in front of us, and address it head-on. For now, Kim Davis has two choices: do the job she was elected and is being paid to do; or quit. We will not allow Americans’ rights to be violated just so one woman can feel like a martyr in her own mind.
With the landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States legalizing gay marriage last Friday, June 26, 2015, one would think only celebrating and rejoicing would be heard throughout these 50 states, which are founded upon the principles of “liberty and justice for all”. However, one does not have to look far to see the glaring reminder of the right-wing religiosity that plagues American culture and politics.
The vile response by evangelicals and fundamentalists has been most prevalent on social media with an extra helping of crazy being bandied about in the news media. The past seven days have offered a shocking reminder at just how deep the fundies’ misguided hate runs in this country. Lifelong friends have been unfriending and blocking each other. Preachers have threatened to light themselves on fire. Businesses have posted “No Gays Allowed” signs on their doors. Narrow-minded troglodytes everywhere have shown their true colors amidst the “rainbowification” of the United States.
The one thing that has not happened is the earth imploding, or falling out of the sky, or hell freezing over, or some other catastrophic calamity causing the end of life as we know it — even with the religious right prognosticating that marriage equality would end life as we know it. In fact, everything looks pretty normal from here … and I’m in the Red State of Mississippi. The marriage equality ruling was blocked by Governor Bryant — whose son is gay! — and Attorney General Jim Hood, but the people demanded their equality — backed by the Supreme Court, and won. Things are looking good here as gay and lesbian couples have been getting their marriage licenses around the state.
Amazingly, the LGBT community and allies have taken the high-road amidst all the vehemence spewed by so-called Christians. Yet, real Christians, who actually live by Jesus’ teachings of love and tolerance, do count themselves amongst the allies, and hopefully, they will drown out the cacophony of the religious nuts’ anti-gay and anti-equality rhetoric that has filled the media since Friday.
Sure, it’s a balmy summer’s day, but not because of the predicted fire and brimstone.
Apocalypse, anyone? Not today.
The former Bruce Jenner was an Olympian and respected personality. The new Caitlyn Jenner is fodder for media outlets to either extol her bravery or ridicule her journey to what is still considered weak and inferior — being a woman.
Like many others, I posted the Vanity Fair cover on my Facebook wall, and comments ranged from, “She looks fabulous” to “Her breasts look real!” Today, in a restaurant, I overheard men talking about the “Jenner thing” (their word for all the media hype), and they referred to her as “it”. Not him or her, just “it”. Now that she is no longer a masculine specimen to behold and revere, she is just her looks, her breasts, and an oddity: an “it”.
Jon Stewart hit the nail on the head in his acerbic commentary on Jenner’s transformation, noting that now that she is a woman, the only thing people will consider is her “comparative fuckability”. The Olympic gold medal is in the past. Jenner’s accomplishments in the future rest solely on how attractive she is. Thank god, she’s thin. I mean, if she were trans and fat and ugly, there’s no telling how the media would have treated her…. Or would the media have cared at all?
Another aspect of this journey that fascinates people is Jenner’s penis, which she still has according to interviews she has given. It is customary for a transwoman to wait a year before making the decision to turn the penis and scrotum into a vagina. This is a huge decision, and the penis surgery will be irreversible once done.
People are fascinated by the genitals, and we all know how much men adore their penises. Nearly every monument men have left throughout history has been phallic, from Egyptian obelisks to the Washington Monument to New York skyscrapers. Men who are insecure about their virility due to size tend to overcompensate in other ways, leading to accusations of Napoleonic Syndrome. And let’s not forget all the ammosexuals who must prove their manhood by showing off their bigger, longer, powerful assault rifles at the grocery store.
The penis transformation of sexual reassignment surgery continues to boggle people’s minds — because a person lucky enough to be born with a penis certainly must be crazy to cut it off, right? Having a penis comes with so much entitlement in our world. In the 20th century, tobacco companies marketed cigarettes to women with the understated sell that having a cigarette meant women could finally have a penis, too. Women no longer needed to be jealous that they were penis-less. Therefore, a man giving up everything that embodies masculinity to become a woman is the punchline to a cruel joke because being feminine, being female, being a woman is obviously still looked down upon in our society.
To Caitlyn Jenner: I wish it were different, and I think you are incredibly brave to have gone through this whole ordeal so publicly. But to echo Jon Stewart, welcome to life as a woman in this vast expanse of patriarchy, where your looks matter more than your intellect, your abilities, or your heart.
I hope this pain you’ve endured will help others who are also in pain. Thank you for being a role model — whether you are wearing sneakers or heels.
Today, federal judge Carlton Reeves sided with two lesbian couples and an LGBT rights organization who had fought for marriage equality in the state of Mississippi. Technically, Mississippi is now a gay-marriage-friendly state! We weren’t LAST — hallelujah!
I always thought Mississippi was able to step up and not be LAST in the fight for LGBT rights such as marriage equality. This proves it is possible for Mississippi to be progressive. And I’m a marriage officiant, so let me know if you’re in the Magnolia State and want to get hitched!
The fight isn’t over, however, as the state has two weeks to file an appeal. Stay tuned for details.
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