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Diversity Fatigue Friday: Gays and Out of Boystown-ers Make Perfect Union for Tea Bagging April 17, 2009

This is bad news for all the liberals who rely upon the conservatives are racist, bible toting, homophobes meme.

A National Journal survey poll released today showed that equal numbers of conservative bloggers support and oppose gay marriage. And forty percent of the conservative bloggers surveyed said the GOP should avoid the issue altogether according to

Kristen Soltis, a pollster at the Winston Group, wasn’t surprised with the results because bloggers are usually young, and young conservatives tend to have more centrist views on social policies. ‘While age tends to be a very big factor in how voters overall look at homosexuality and gay marriage, a majority of young Republican voters are still uncomfortable with it,’ she said. ‘Some think of conservatism in the more libertarian, free-market sense while others look at it as a movement devoted to preserving or defending pieces of American culture, things like the idea of the traditional heterosexual relationship.’

This conservative blogger is in the support gay marriage/civil union camp. That is yet another issue I have had to convince my liberal friends that Afrocity has not changed on. Just because I now identify with Republicans politically, it does not mean that Afrocity has changed her core beliefs and become a racist or antisemitic or intolerant of gay marriage.

The subject of gay marriage has always been contentious among conservatives.
Actually gay marriage is a tough issue for liberals actually since in Illinois, a blue state, no less, gay marriage is not yet legalized.

Imagine the surprise of the cosmopolitans on the coasts and high brow Obama loving Chicagoans when the corn fed Iowans legalized gay marriage.

I was speaking on the phone to a friend who lives in San Diego and she said, “Congratulations on legalizing gay marriage”.
I replied “Why are you congratulating me? We did not legalize gay marriage in Illinois. You are thinking about Iowa”.
She paused for a bit and said “IOWA???? I would think that Chicago would have been among the first Midwestern places-”
I said “You would think but lets say that Chicago and the rest of Illinois are not exactly in agreement despite our being a blue state”

In Chicago there is a neighborhood on the northside called “Boystown” which is officially recognized as the seat of gay Chicago. I have always thought the name was sexist and plays into gay stereotypes but since the African American community in Chicago is called Bronzeville there is not much I have to say. I was glad to see that Chicago had one of the largest lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender (LGBT) communities in America.

Sign at No Elbow Room Bar in Peoria, Illinois. Photo by Nick Stroman / April 16, 2009

Sign at No Elbow Room Bar in Peoria, Illinois

Gay life outside of Chicago is another matter. Today in the Chicago Tribune:

The sign in the window of The Elbo Room bar was a wake-up call to the gay community, previously a low-key population in Peoria, to mobilize.

In bright yellow capital letters, the sign on the karaoke bar in downtown Peoria was clear: “WE ARE NOT A GAY BAR!!”

The local gay community got the message. And it apparently was just the rallying cry it needed.

In a flurry of forwarded Facebook, MySpace and text messages, a coalition quickly mobilized and dozens of gay rights supporters lined up last weekend outside The Elbo Room to express their outrage. The sign, they said, might as well have read, “Gays are not welcome here.”

“The sign was basically a sign of intolerance, and we’re not going to stand for it anymore,” said Stephanie Worlow, 27, one of the organizers of the protest that drew nearly 40 people. “It’s time that we as a community stand up for ourselves. We’re not going to stand for intolerance anymore.

Meanwhile, the comments at the article’s end took an accusatory tone. They were laden with claims of reverse discrimination against heterosexuals particularly in Boystown.

1. Nick Stroman thinks putting up a sign declaring intolerance based on sexual identity is surprising in this day and age? He should come to Belmont & Halsted in Chicago, where he can see gay bars do the same thing to straight women. And technically, worse — no one is complaining that the Elbo Room in Peoria refused service to gays, unlike the bridal parties denied entry at Cocktail in Boystown.

2. …many GLBT facilities are actively discriminating against heterosexuals, men or women or both. Yes, the sign in Peoria was perhaps a bad idea but there is no evidence of discrimination such as refusal to serve–unlike the increasingly frequent discrimination by GLBT facilities. Shame on them.

3. Prediction: Heteros will find a new place, and in a few months, it WILL be a gay bar.
But I do agree putting the sign up was stupid. All it accomplished was to give a hypersensitive, strident minority group another item for the ten o’clock news.

4. As a society its always funny to see a group say “you have to be tolerant of our rights” then turn around and be intolerant of the rights of those they are talking to or about.

AND THIS LAST ONE which was a response to #3:

5. You’re wrong, and also rude, to call this group hypersensitive. they saw an injustice and they spoke out. i bet you were one of those geniuses participating in those “tea parties.” even if you were, i’ll still support your right to do so.

As you can see none of the comments devote any effort to disseminating the truth. One comment even goes as far to insinuate that if you attended a “tea party” you dislike gays. Don’t make me go through this again. Readers there were gay activists who participated in the tea parties. You do know this right? The gay community actually may have something on common with the tea party crowd. If same-sex couples are not recognized by the federal government, they face higher taxes which is cause to protest.

From Huffpo:

Gay Activists Plan Their Own Tea Party At Boston Harbor by Arthur Delaney:

The press release:

LGBT COMMUNITY DEMANDS EQUAL TAXATION Boston Tea Party Re-enactment Planned for Tax Day

BOSTON, MA – On April 15th, thousands of same-sex couples across the United States will be reminded of their second-class status when they file their federal tax return form. Despite living in committed relationships, same-sex couples–even those married in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and California–must file as individuals, forgoing over 1,100 federal rights granted to heterosexual married couples.

This tax day, the LGBT community is demanding equal rights for equal taxation. Massachusetts citizens will be at the Long Wharf dock, near the site of the original Boston Tea Party, from 5:30pm to 7:00pm putting on a Boston Tea Party Re-enactment, rallying and passing out literature to protest the federal government’s tax policy toward same-sex couples. The intent is to inform the public of the discrimination that same-sex couples continue to face.

Rallies are being planned at local post offices across the country and these events have been sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest LGBT rights organization in the United States, Join The Impact, Join The Impact MA, and Marriage Equality USA.

“Married same-sex couples are blatantly discriminated against under federal tax law, among other areas, and we’re doing our part to shine a light on that injustice. A Boston Tea Party Re-enactment is a spirited way to do just that and it also adds some variety to your standard protest,” said Paul Sousa, co-chair of Join The Impact MA.

Among the most egregious policies is the federal government’s denial of social security benefits and inheritance rights to same-sex couples. LGBT individuals are blocked access to their partner’s social security benefits, often making retirement financially difficult, if not impossible. They are also denied access to the lump sum given to survivors which can make it hard to cover hospital and funeral expenses for their loved one.

The Boston Tea Party Re-enactment is being organized by Join the Impact MA, a grassroots organization that is working towards full LGBT equality on the state and national level. More information about the rallies and their locations can be found at the website

But alas any positive outcome of gay activists in tea party attendance is strangled in its cradle:

Gay Rights Activists Throwing Tea Overboard in Boston by Jason Speakman

Gay Rights Activists Throwing Tea Overboard in Boston by Jason Speakman

1.Wonderful, when one thinks tea parties from now on, one will think gays and Republican conservatives. How’s that for a hoot. What a perfect ironic union. I salute the gay community for taking their stand in this way. At least theirs is equivalent to the meaning behind the original Boston Tea Party. I have no idea what the relationship is to those being thrown by Republican conservatives.

2. Kudos to the LGBT community in Mass. The right wing teabagger protesters should be proud but I’d bet a paycheck they are not.

3. I guess they heard the GOP Pranced out of the closet with leotards on for their TeaBagging party, so they’d join in.
Bringin people together.

4. I don’t think a teabagging event is fully complete without the gays being represented! In fact, if the rethugs of this great nation of ours want to teabag with the best of them, I can’t think of a better group of people to learn from!

5.You go, gays! Show the right-wing whack-jobs who’s boss! Go to their tea party and play the Village People, while calling the Repugs “sweetheart” and “darling”. I may not be in the US at the moment, but I’m totally with you guys!

And you wonder why I call it “Diversity Fatigue Friday”

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