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Kafka and the National Organization for Marriage

NOM Exposed Right-wing

(Over my first few weeks here on the Prop 8 Trial Tracker, I’m going to reprint a few — just a few — prior entries from my blog at Waking Up Now. The story of Ron Hanby and Mark Goldberg is one that everybody ought to know. First, because it’s a wrenching story that should open all but the coldest of hearts. Second, because it shows we need full marriage equality on a national scale. And finally, because it demonstrates the nightmare world that NOM wants us to inhabit. — Rob)

by Rob Tisinai

Ron Hanby, struggling with depression, took his own life on October 2, 2008. Mark Goldberg, his partner of 17 years, battled Rhode Island bureaucracy for weeks before the state would release Ron’s body to him. Ron had no living relatives. The couple, however, did have:

  • wills
  • living wills
  • power of attorney documents
  • and a Connecticut marriage certificate (Rhode Island doesn’t permit same-sex marriage or even civil unions)

None of that mattered in Rhode Island. Mark spent every day of his immediate grief on the phone with state officials, trying to get his husband’s body out of the morgue. Finally, after four weeks, a state bureaucrat took a special interest and helped him get Ron’s body released.

One good thing came out of this: Rhode Island’s state legislators wrote a bill creating funeral rights for domestic partners. They passed it in a bipartisan show of humanity: 63-1 in the House, unanimously in the Senate. And the Republican governor vetoed it.

Now the National Organization for Marriage is urging legislators not to override that veto. Chris Plante (executive director of NOM-RI), has written to them:

[T]he proposed legislation simply is not necessary… The right of any person, without regard to sexual preference or relationship to the decedent, to serve as a designated funeral-planning agent is already expressly guaranteed by Rhode Island Law 5-33.1-4. That statute only requires a simple notarized form naming an agent.

Ah, yes, Rhode Island Law 5-33.1-4. Of course. And what can we say in return except:

Thank you Mr. Plante!

We keep hearing that same-sex marriage isn’t necessary, that we can secure civil equality by visiting lawyers and drawing up contracts. That’s false, but people don’t always understand that. Luckily for us, Mr. Plante has taken this argument into the realm of satire: Mark and Ron had wills, power of attorney, and an actual marriage license? Simpletons! They should have known to go to a notary and designate each other as funeral planning agents, pursuant to R.I. Law 5-33.1-4!

Franz Kafka wrote this kind of satire. The term “Kafkaesque” describes a world in which “characters lack a clear course of action, the ability to see beyond immediate events, and the possibility of escape. The term’s meaning has transcended the literary realm to apply to real-life occurrences and situations that are incomprehensibly complex, bizarre, or illogical.”

Compare that to Mark’s own description of what his life turned into:

I called the Police to our home where the death occurred and in two hours they performed their investigation, offered their condolences, removed Ron’s body and left our house. No one offered any information on what I was to do next. No phone number to contact the detective in charge, no information on where they were taking Ron’s body, no information on what I as his partner for so many years should do next.

Ron had no next of kin other than me. I shared our Wills, Living Wills, Power of Attorney and Marriage Certificate to the Police Department, Medical Examiner’s Office and the Department of Health, but no one was willing to see these documents. The State Law stated that a two week search for next of kin must be done. The Medical Examiner’s office waited a full week before placing an ad in the Providence Journal. After no one responded they waited another week to send paperwork to the Health and Human Services Department listing Ron as an unclaimed body. During this four week process, I was on the phone every day trying to convince someone, anyone, that I was the person claiming Ron’s body. The same response came back to me every time; “It’s State law, our hands are tied, there’s nothing we can do”.

I attempted to place an obituary in the Providence Journal and again, I was denied because we were not blood relatives, and the Journal had to comply with state rules. GLAD, the Gay and Lesbian Advocacy and Defenders could not help me because our bond was not recognized in the State of RI. After four weeks an employee in the Department of General Public Assistance of Human Services took pity upon me and my plight. She reviewed our documentation and was able to get all parties concerned to release Ron’s body to me.

Mr. Plante and NOM look at this nightmare and say, No problem. Because, after all, Mark and Ron could have avoided it simply by following the instructions in Rhode Island Law 5-13.1-4.

I’ll make a deal with NOM: If they specify every law, every form, and every contract – in every state – that gay couples need to pursue in order to secure their rights as a couple, than I’ll do the same for straights. In fact, I’ll provide a complete and exhaustive list for straight Californians right now:

Okay, NOM, your turn.

But I doubt NOM will return the favor. They don’t want us to have any rights and benefits of marriage. Mr. Plante is clear about his reasons for opposing the funeral rights law.

[T]he legislation in question is actually an exploitation of Mr. Goldberg’s tragedy by the homosexual-marriage activists in Rhode Island. Despite their claims to the contrary, these bills serve simply as “Trojan Horses” for homosexual-marriage. In California and Connecticut…courts found that when rights of domestic partners, under either that nomenclature or as “civil-unions,” were expanded…that the State must by extension fully recognize homosexual marriage…

As such, NOM – Rhode Island respectfully requests that you vote to sustain the Governor’s veto both to avoid creating unnecessary law and to not move Rhode Island closer to recognizing homosexual-marriage.

[full quote here]

NOM doesn’t just oppose marriage equality. They don’t just oppose robust civil unions or watered-down domestic partnerships. They oppose anything that might constitute even the slightest formal recognition of our relationships. They want instead to send us running down a thousand different legal avenues in a labyrinth that they’re lobbying to turn against us.

Franz Kafka won a place in literature by creating a vivid and chilling world of bureaucratic brutality. That’s the world in which NOM wants us to live.

UPDATE: The Rhode Island legislature did override the veto.



  • 1. Ann S.  |  September 2, 2010 at 9:55 am

    More mail please.

  • 2. Kathleen  |  September 2, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Me, too, please.

  • 3. AndrewPDX  |  September 2, 2010 at 10:03 am

    UGH… NOM just makes me so sick… I cannot wait until this fight is finished and SCOTUS wipes out all these hurtful legislations into the trashbin and we can tell them all to suck it up or move out.

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 4. Chris in Lathrop  |  September 2, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Kafka fits. So does Orwell. And neither was required reading while I was in school, even at JC. Yet one more example of why education programs need fixed.

  • 5. Kathleen  |  September 2, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Both were required reading for me in high school.

  • 6. Ann S.  |  September 2, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Oh, yes. Me, too. 1984, Animal Farm, In the Penal Colony. I remember them well, but a re-reading wouldn't hurt.

    (I might skip In the Penal Colony, though, it's too graphic.)

  • 7. Kevin S.  |  September 2, 2010 at 10:36 am

    This makes me want to hurt things. Especially bigoted things.

  • 8. Alicia  |  September 2, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Oh my goodness, how horrifying. I don't even know what I would do if that happened to my wife and I

  • 9. Ann S.  |  September 2, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Shame on the Governor. Shame on NOM.


  • 10. Chris in Lathrop  |  September 2, 2010 at 10:50 am

    I haven't had the pleasure of reading any Kafka yet, but I've read (and was terrified by) 1984 and Animal Farm. Sounds like I ought to read In the Penal Colony, plus I'd like to read Brave New World.

  • 11. paul  |  September 2, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Brilliant Rob…I'm so glad you're on board !!!

  • 12. Ann S.  |  September 2, 2010 at 11:05 am

    You should read Brave New World, yes, and also Lord of the Flies.

  • 13. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  September 2, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Missed again

  • 14. Steve  |  September 2, 2010 at 11:29 am

    "Brave New World" is pretty weird from a modern perspective. It was written prior to modern genetic science, but deals heavily with cloning and biological engineering. And the book takes a turn into the bizarre halfway through, when the people who don't conform to mainstream society live like primitive native Americans. Instead of like today's people for example.

    I can certainly appreciate the message of the book, but from a dramatic point of view, it hasn't aged well.

  • 15. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 2, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I wish I could say that this is sad, but this goes beyond sad. What the bureaucracy in Rhode Island did to this couple is brutal, sadistic, immoral, unethical, and should have been illegal!

  • 16. Jess  |  September 2, 2010 at 11:43 am

    "UPDATE: The Rhode Island legislature did override the veto."

    Well, glad to know SOMEBODY isn't taking NOM seriously.

    It just shows everyone that all they want to do is give gay couples a hard time. They're nothing more than bullies and the Rhode Island legislators saw right through them. Makes me almost have faith in humanity again.

  • 17. Ann S.  |  September 2, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Hooray! Really, anyone vetoing something passed 63-1 is just being a jerk and pandering to the voters.

    Oh, wait, the voters elected the legislators who passed it 63-1.


  • 18. Sagesse  |  September 2, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Can someone explain to me why a state governor has a veto over legislation that has passed both houses of the state government. I expect most use it responsibly, but some of them are just power tripping.

  • 19. Ann S.  |  September 2, 2010 at 11:51 am

    More balance of powers stuff. Same way with the US Congress and the President.

  • 20. Kathleen  |  September 2, 2010 at 11:52 am

    It's part of that checks and balances thing. In the federal gov't it's the President who can veto and it can be overridden by Congress. State governments have structures similar to the federal system, though the specifics are different.

  • 21. Paul in Minneapolis  |  September 2, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Many of you probably remember that here in Minnesota, our disgusting governor Tim Pawlenty (aka "T-Paw" and "Tim Pawthetic") did pretty much the same thing when he vetoed a bill that would have granted burial rights to surviving same-sex partners. He, like Rhode Island's pathetic governor, thought such a bill was "unnecessary."

    Unlike in Rhode Island, the Minnesota legislature did not override the veto.

    I have instructed my husband (and legal next-of-kin) to deliver my dead body to T-Paw's house and dump it on his living room carpet!

  • 22. Ann S.  |  September 2, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Two minds and but a single thought.

  • 23. Paul in Minneapolis  |  September 2, 2010 at 11:56 am

    They want instead to send us running down a thousand different legal avenues in a labyrinth that they’re lobbying to turn against us.

    Did this remind anyone else of the Deathgate Cycle by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman?

  • 24. Kathleen  |  September 2, 2010 at 11:57 am

    LOL. P8TTers are going to order therapy soon. :)

  • 25. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 2, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Not me! Been there, done that. Have the T-shirt, the baseball cap AND the belt buckle, along with the bumper sticker!

  • 26. Ray in MA  |  September 2, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Here in MA, I'm just a few towns away from RI.

    As I've said before, RI is like a different world.

    RI is a Democrat majority state with a Republican governor (again).

    For a short time I lived in RI, and I thought 'RI 'stood for "Rhode Ignorant".

    The prior Republican Governor was sent to jail in disgrace:

    and then the state's Democratic Majority elected another Repbublican governor: Donald Carcieri:…

    and also:

    Carcieri & NOM:

    They elected him twice:

    Do you still question my comment: "Rhode Ignorant"?

    Can you see why my first GLBT protest was when NON came to RI?


  • 27. Lora  |  September 2, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    I thought NOM said they were all for equality in everything but calling it marriage??!! Guess they lied…bug surprise.

  • 28. Sagesse  |  September 2, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    "It’s part of that checks and balances thing."

    I understand. But you already have two separately elected bodies…. Seems like overkill, unless there are limits on when it can be used… I know, the legislature can override.

  • 29. Roger  |  September 2, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Rob is being kind to NOM when he says they "don't want us to have any rights and benefits of marriage." They don't want gay people to have any rights, period.

  • 30. Ann S.  |  September 2, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    The two houses of Congress, for instance, don't count as separate branches of government. They're both part of the legislative branch.

  • 31. Lora  |  September 2, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I mean 'big surprise'. oops.

  • 32. Kathleen  |  September 2, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    You're absolutely right. They've tried to claim "it's just marriage" in California, because they know it would be a hard here to strip all rights. Did you ever watch the videos of the presentation given by Schubert Flint where they talk about how they conducted the campaign for Prop 8?

  • 33. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 2, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    And even that is being kind, Roger. They don't even want us to be alive. They would love for the US to begin a pogrom and kill us all.

  • 34. Kathleen  |  September 2, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    This is weird…. I just got a notice that my comment is awaiting moderation. There isn't even one link in it; it's just a written comment. ????

  • 35. Kathleen  |  September 2, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    I understood what you meant. :)

  • 36. Sagesse  |  September 2, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    "I have instructed my husband (and legal next-of-kin) to deliver my dead body to T-Paw’s house and dump it on his living room carpet!"

    That's positively righteous!

  • 37. Ann S.  |  September 2, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I actually read it as "big surprise" the first time.

  • 38. Tracy  |  September 2, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    This is a little off-topic — sorry — but I was just reading the letter the Republicans in the CA legislature wrote to the Governor. Idiots. They say an oath was taken to defend the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of CA. So the AG and Gov must defend the CA Constitution all the way to the Supreme Court. Dude. Maybe you want to look a little closer at that oath.

  • 39. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 2, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Of course, when you read or hear the "arguments" that NOM and their ilk throw around, it does make them appear rather buggy, doesn't it?

  • 40. Ray in MA  |  September 2, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Mabe it was my comment stalling others… I have one coming up…don't take it personally… they need their break/diinner time, too!

  • 41. truthspew  |  September 2, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    And fortunately the legislature didn't pay any attention Plante's letter. They went on to overturn the veto.

    It makes me scratch my head as to why we don't have marriage equality in RI by now. It's ludicrous that we have an openly gay house speaker, yet we didn't see any action in 2010.

  • 42. Kathleen  |  September 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Can't imagine that's the case. There are plenty of comments that have posted since then and I've been able to comment. But that one is still awaiting moderation. Can't imagine what triggered it.

  • 43. Michael  |  September 2, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I'm relieved to see that the RI legislature did the moral thing and overrode this evil veto. Strident anti-gay pressure group NOM is interested in hanging gay Americans (as the poster at their Hate Rally in Indianapolis demonstrated); and making the fraud of "ex-gay" groups, lying, gluttony and the sin of homophobia into legitimate "religious beliefs." The good news is that they are failing and the fail rate will accelerate. Time is on our side.

  • 44. Cat  |  September 2, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    NOM is talking 'Christian love for the sinner' when they can, but as soon as that doesn't get them where they want to go they show their true color and are just plain vile. Ugh. Thoroughly disturbed by this… My heart goes out to Mark Goldberg.

  • 45. Bob  |  September 2, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    why doesn't he call it what it is


    the united states is so backward, they make laws to DISCRIMINATE,

    intelligent countries now the opposite is true, laws are created to eliminate DISCRIMINATION, and enhance peoplse lives

  • 46. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 2, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    I can't even imagine the pain Mark went through….my heart just breaks for him.
    I just can't even imagine…..
    I HATE NOM!!!!

  • 47. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 2, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Welcome to the club on that one. I absolutely despise NOM!

  • 48. AndrewPDX  |  September 2, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    @ Richard… you've "Been there, done that. Have the T-shirt, the baseball cap AND the belt buckle, along with the bumper sticker!"…

    But did you get the cookies and MILK? :)

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 49. AndrewPDX  |  September 2, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    'Bug surprise' is right… NOM bugs the bleep out of me.

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 50. Melissa  |  September 2, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    That's a truly heartbreaking story. I cannot even imagine going through the pain of losing a loved one and then being told that you have no legal standing.

    Rob, you make a fantastic point – this should open the hearts of all but the coldest minded. While we all know there are those in the NOM camp, that can ignore any kind of rational basis for marriage equality, I feel that we probably all know some people that waver on the fence. I think people sit on that fence for a lot of reasons, but these are the stories that we can share that will help push people towards supporting marriage equality. I might be naive, but I think that most people on that fence are reachable, and that eventually, we can turn the tide of public support.

  • 51. elliom  |  September 2, 2010 at 4:05 pm


    As a former 97 lb, skinny, nerdy, white gay boy that moved a lot, i REALLY understand what it's like to be a victim of bullying. One school was so bad, that gun under my folks bed started looking good. Still not quite sure who i intended to use it on. That part about kids "not having the vocabulary to talk about it"… that was me.

    To say schools need to focus on the bully misses the point. I was wounded…hurt badly…no one cared. No one helped. Mom tried, but it didn't do any good. The bullying continued, and the schools allowed it (and, dare I even say it, seemed to encourage it?).

    To hear this load of….I don't even know what to call this. No expelative I can think of is sufficiently obscene and repulsive to describe it. I'd ask for suggestions, but for some reason, I think that would be frowned upon. :j

    Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox. And I'm all out of mini-muffins…sigh…can I get a cookie? :>

  • 52. elliom  |  September 2, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Never read In the Penal Colony. May check out.

    Love 1984, Animal Farm, and Brave New World.

    Might I add The Handmaid's Tale?

  • 53. elliom  |  September 2, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Next NOM Headline:

    Activist [Gov/Pres] Overturns Will of People

    Copy snip:

    How can one activist [Gov/Pres] overturn the will of the duly elected representatives of the people?….. IMPEACH!…..CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION….NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM….WE ARE RELEVANT DAMN IT!

    How rude of me…my bitterness is showing. *blush*

  • 54. Kathleen  |  September 2, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    I've been reading about this the last couple of days. It's disgusting. These people are pure evil. They have blood on their hands.

  • 55. elliom  |  September 2, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    I can see some similarity….may have to read that again.

  • 56. elliom  |  September 2, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    My experiences were in the 80s, and I can accept that that was…acceptable?…at the time. Didn't make it right, but it was wat it was.

    To accept the same today, 30 yrs later? Haven't we grown even that much?

    I'd say the blood covers more than just their hands…

  • 57. draNgNon  |  September 2, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    am curious, how did you get your husband to be your legal next-of-kin in Minnesota?

  • 58. Don in Texas  |  September 2, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    My dear friend, Gabi Clayton of Olympia, Washington, wrote a heart-wrenching account of her son's suicide after he was victimized by bullies.

    Please read Bill's Story.

  • 59. Tigger  |  September 2, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Nice folks eh? They are getting more vicious by the day..

  • 60. Fulton  |  September 2, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Stepping onto soapbox…

    Off topic, but relevant, because both are about power…
    in 84, when I mentioned my attraction to men, the school councilor gave me a bible. Her message was clear…and I never mentioned it again until I came out in college. How can teenagers defend themselves against doctrine? I felt powerless and silenced.

    I remember the sexual harassment debates of the 90's. Did we not learn then, that the motive of the victimizer does not outweigh the experience of the victim? The victimizer pats his female workers on the ass because…well, he's a friendly guy and he didn't mean to offend anyone that is just the way he was raised. The victim feels insulted, invaded, belittled, and especially at that time, powerless especially because the company would have ignored her complaints and even tagged her as a trouble maker.

    Now, Focus'O'Family is using the similar victimizer logic. It is all about what motivates the bully, because bullying…to them…is all about the bad behavior of the bully…yet, I contend, it is not. Bullying is all about the experience of the bullied…the shame, the powerlessness, the silence. And…silence equals death.

    Consider Anoka, MN. The school district there has strict anti-bullying policies. They also have a policy of 'neutrality'. Teachers are not allowed to talk to kids about being gay. This is the situation that FoF wants.
    All three kids are dead. They had no where to go. No one to talk to. They were powerless and silenced.
    That is the goal of NOM and Focus'O'Family. They can't make us go away, so they strive to make us powerless. Which is weird, because anyone will tell you…the powerless have a way of becoming very powerful. They play a dangerous game, and it pisses me off because they decided to play it with gay people and now…with gay children.
    Stepping off the soap box.

  • 61. Chris in Lathrop  |  September 2, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    How dare you compare NOM to intelligent, productive creatures like bugs? 😉

  • 62. Chris in Lathrop  |  September 2, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Thanks for all the suggestions, everybody! Ah, books. :)

  • 63. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 2, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    @ AndrewPDX. Oh, yes, I have also gotten the cookies (chocolate chip double fudge with chocolate coating) and MILK. Also have Brokeback Mountain, 8:TMP, Milk starring Sean Penn as Harvey and Barbra Streisand's stepson as Dan White, ans we are getting ready to prebook the Israeli film, Eyes Wide Open from Wolfe Video. And in addition, I have all of you lovely folks here at P8TT in my family.

  • 64. Anonygrl  |  September 3, 2010 at 12:11 am

    Well HERE is an interesting bit of news, from Huffington Post.

    I think it gives a little bit of hope, folks.

  • 65. Anonygrl  |  September 3, 2010 at 12:22 am

    You can have two cookies. And thank you for sharing.

  • 66. Jess  |  September 3, 2010 at 12:24 am

    Well you know what they say, "opression by its very nature creates the power that crushes it"

    If they want to go after gay kids, I say "bring it", they would lose so hard if it can be proved their ministrations, no matter how well-intentioned, just lead to more dead kids.

    As kids we learned that we shouldn't pick on others for having different colored skin because we were told they were no different. We learned not to judge others for their beleifs because we were told we had to had respect for others if we wanted respect ourselves. How on earth are we supposed to stop gay kids from being bullied if we can't talk homosexuality in ANY capacity? Answer: you can't. By restricting teachers and counselors from talking about homosexuality you make it seem like it's really too horrible to mention and kids will react badly to that. Gay children will feel there is something unspeakably wrong with them and straight children won't know what to do with them, and in my experience, they make fun of the people they can't categorize. That's what NOM and FotF want: to scare gay kids so bad they just stay in the closet and nobody will HAVE to talk about homosexuality, never mind that it's utterly damaging to gay kids psyche and drives them to suicide, they're gay, it's their own fault. *retch*

    Let it be known that these groups indirectly want kids to suffer and then see how much support they get when they attack anti-bulying measures.

  • 67. Tony Douglass in Ca  |  September 3, 2010 at 12:41 am

    Bravo, standing O!!!!

    The less its talked about the worse it gets, that is so right!

    That was wonderful, thanks for sharing it!!

  • 68. Anonygrl  |  September 3, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Wow. It is really hard to read that kind of a story and then think "What could I have done, what can I do, to stop this?"

    I hope what we do here, holding each other up, making our voices heard, going to protests, writing our congresspeople, fighting for equality will help.

    In a more just world, everyone who voted for Prop 8 would be forced to sit and listen while some other kid who is living in Bill's shoes today tells their own story. They should have to get to KNOW someone who is hurt by homophobia personally, and not be allowed to preach or justify or explain their own attitude, just hear how harmful prejudice is.

    Maybe that will be the test for getting into heaven.

  • 69. elliom  |  September 3, 2010 at 1:13 am

    Still so angry over this, it's hard to put my thoughts in order, and the mood is getting a bit intense, so thought I'd share some A/V comments (music to sooth the savage breast):

    I dedicate this one to NOM….they need to (but won't) listen to it (Hi, Louis):

    [youtube =]

    I even believe this of the NOMers….do they feel the same of us?

    This I dedicate to everyone who's down, upset, or depressed over this load of crap:

    [youtube =]

    And I do…all of you. *sniff*

    And this one. It just helps me ride this roller-coaster, and reminds me how to respond to NOM et al's hatred:

    [youtube =]

    And thanks for the cookies (I got two!). :>

  • 70. fiona64  |  September 3, 2010 at 1:21 am

    In high school, it was 1984 and Metamorphosis for me.

    I recently mentioned something being "Orwellian" (I don't remember what it was) and found myself having to explain 1984 to a recent high school grad. Apparently they no longer assign it at all. It's "too hard."

    I also recently learned that Twilight is part of SAT prep now. 1984 is "too hard," but a book about a whiny teen deciding between bestiality and necrophilia is educational??



  • 71. elliom  |  September 3, 2010 at 1:25 am

    Jut thought of another:

    The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Le Guin

  • 72. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 3, 2010 at 1:41 am

    Thanks for that…made me smile at least. Really loved the last paragraph!

    "I think there is a growing mass of people in Republican politics who are fundamentally sick and tired about being lectured to about morality and how to live your life by a bunch of people who have been married three or four times and are more likely to be seen outside a brothel on a Thursday night than being at home with their kids… There is a fundamental indecency to the vitriol and the hatred directed against decent people because of their sexuality. People have reached a critical mass with this."

  • 73. Laurel  |  September 3, 2010 at 2:09 am

    If you're going to read Kafka, "The Trial" is a must-read. The protagonist is arrested and prosecuted for a crime that is never revealed to him (or the reader).

  • 74. Ann S.  |  September 3, 2010 at 2:15 am

    Don, thank you for sharing that. It is so sad.

    It is so tragic that FotF and others like them continue to fight use of anti-bullying tactics that are proven to work, just because they might let kids know it's OK to be LGBT.

    Shame on them.

  • 75. Ann S.  |  September 3, 2010 at 2:16 am

    Well, I've been sick of being lectured to by that bunch of people for years and years, but then I've never been a Republican so they probably don't care.

  • 76. Hank (NYC)  |  September 3, 2010 at 2:27 am

    Bullying and NOM – it all goes hand in hand – the silence of the administration etc gives silent support of the bullying, the bashing and helps the bigots stay where they are in their skewed philosophy of life.

    This is a very interesting article – nice pointing out the lies and how some religious right are trying interpret the Constitution into their own doctrine.

  • 77. Hank (NYC)  |  September 3, 2010 at 2:28 am

    Doh – here is the link

  • 78. BK  |  September 3, 2010 at 6:59 am

    Reading about the Governor's Veto made me so angry… and I always feel angry about stuff like this… people are so unjust, but there is nothing we can do. Yet, I hope.
    @ Jess: I have felt that way, and still do… :( Sometimes. Reading this site makes me feel lots better. :)

  • 79. Dave  |  September 3, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Does anyone know what the vote on the override was? Was it also 63-1 and unanimous in the Senate? So we know how many people might have actually been swayed by the letter from NOM?

  • 80. Ann S.  |  September 3, 2010 at 8:19 am

    We can't assume that anyone who changed their vote was swayed by NOM. The politics of overriding your governor are different from the politics of the initial vote. Sometimes more vote to override than initially voted for a measure, sometimes fewer.

  • 81. Dave  |  September 3, 2010 at 8:38 am

    I guess I can see that in a normal case but when the bill pretty much had NO ONE voting against, I suspect that very few people will be swayed by the veto. But I could be wrong.

  • 82. Roger  |  September 3, 2010 at 8:40 am

    A "Final Solution" a la Herr Schicklgruber? I'm sure they'd adore that.

    But as the British writer Bryan Magee pointed out back in 1966, it would achieve nothing. "Even if all the homosexuals in the world were wiped out we can be sure the next generation would produce its crop of one in twenty."

    Much of Magee's One in Twenty seems dated now; but he's still well worth reading. Get the second edition of 1968.

  • 83. Paul in Minneapolis  |  September 3, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    draNgNon – my apologies; this was poor writing on my part. Hubby and I are not legal next-of-kin anywhere.

    What I meant was that both my husband and my legal next-of-kin have been so instructed.

    Sorry for the confusion!

  • 84. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 3, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    For those who remember the comments about Peter Paul and Mary, and Operation Respect, here is an update. I had some work this evening where I was able to take BZ with me, and when we returned I found my first package from Operation Respect of the DLAM kits I ordered. I am currently listening to the CD from the kit, and am even more certain that I made the right decision to obtain this to use with the GSA's here in North Carolina. The primary kit is on back order, but I am so happy to have this package of resources to help in protecting our children and in helping them to see their full potential and grow their self-esteem. I now have an ever greater respect for peter Paul and Mary, and for the songwriters and others who donated their songs for the CD that comes with this kit. And so that all of you can contact them and send your own thanks, here is the list of songs, and those involved:

    1) Don't Laugh at Me (PP&M recording)–Steve Seskin and Allan Shamblin, songwriters
    2) Weave Me the Sunshine (Peter Yarrow)–MaryBeth Music
    3) Day is Done–(Peter Yarrow) Silver Dawn Music
    4) Puff, the Magic Dragon (Peter Yarrow, solo) Yarrow/Lipton Songwriters, Silver Dawn Music
    5) Light One Candle (Peter Yarrow) Silver Dawn Music
    6) Blowing in the Wind (Peter Yarrow)–Bob Dylan, songwriter
    7) If I Had a Hammer (Peter Yarrow) Seeger-Hayes, songwriters
    8) Don't Laugh at Me (Peter Yarrow solo recording)

    And I think we should also send a note of thanks to McGraw-Hill School Education Group in DeSoto, Texas for producing and distributing these kits. they are truly contributing in this way to saving and protecting ALL children.

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