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Police think noose hung on EQCA door nothing more than a string


All you have to remember is this

NOM supporter's sign

… to be even more shocked and appalled by this news out of California, cross-posted from Karen Ocamb’s LGBTPOV. — Eden

By Karen Ocamb

EQCA NooseMel Distel, a 25 year old volunteer with Equality California’s Orange County office in Santa Ana, was startled to find a noose hanging from the office doorknob Thursday night. Frightened, she called police. Here’s what she said happened next:

“The officer said “what it is, is a string on a door.” My vision got blurry, I was embarrased and felt stupid for making the call. I took a deep breath and said “Do you see any correlation between the fact that this is a gay office and there was a noose left on our door in the wake of all of these teen suicides?” The officer said, “Sometimes you just have to live with being a victim,” and proceeded to mention that his car had been broken into before. As if that’s the same. As if having your stereo stolen is anything like the message “You should kill yourself.” As if random theft is anything like an act meant to convey hate and stir up fear in the heart of a minority group.”

EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors is outraged and intends to file a complaint with the Santa Ana Police for how their officers handled this matter. Kors said in a press release:

“[T]he dismissive and deeply offensive conduct of the police officer who responded to this incident is nothing short of appalling and sends the message that LGBT community members cannot rely on the police for protection against the kind of hatred and prejudice that can lead to violence.

We urge all Orange County residents to join us in demanding that Santa Ana Chief of Police Paul Walters conduct a thorough investigation into what appears to be an atrocious hate crime, to investigate and discipline the officer in question and to ensure that all officers are properly trained on how to appropriately handle all bias-motivated crimes against LGBT community members moving forward.”

Here’s how Mel described what happened on EQCA’s Facebook page:Mel EQCA

What Happened Tonight: Hanging a Noose on Someone’s Door is Not a Crime

by Mel Distel on Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 10:36pm

I’m still shaking as I write this. I feel confused.

Click into the extended entry to read Mel’s full description of what happened:

Tonight I arrived to unlock the office while Daniel was picking up scripts at Kinkos. There was a small noose hanging from the door handle. Being that we are an organization advocating for gay rights, I felt the message like a chill through my spine. This was intentional. At the encouragement of fellow activists, I called the Santa Ana Police Department and officers were sent out to our office.

I couldn’t get the image out of my head. I smoked a cigarette outside the office and my thoughts were spinning. I felt jumpy, and was startled when any person or car crossed my line of vision. This was a message of hate, and I felt unsafe. Inside the office, our phone bankers were shocked and hurting. They continued on with their phone bank calls (vote for Melissa Fox) and worked to stay focussed on the task at hand.

I could not focus. I could barely make calls. I waited for the police to arrive, believing that when they did I would feel safe and affirmed.

When the police arrived, two officers spoke to Daniel and myself outside. The male officer dominated the conversation. There was nothing they could do, of course, there was no suspect and no crime had been committed. The officer said “what it is, is a string on a door.” My vision got blurry, I was embarrased and felt stupid for making the call. I took a deep breath and said “Do you see any correlation between the fact that this is a gay office and there was a noose left on our door in the wake of all of these teen suicides?” The officer said, “Sometimes you just have to live with being a victim,” and proceeded to mention that his car had been broken into before. As if that’s the same. As if having your stereo stolen is anything like the message “You should kill yourself.” As if random theft is anything like an act meant to convey hate and stir up fear in the heart of a minority group.

I want to thank Karla for having a long discussion with the sargeant about the situation. No, it was not legally a hate crime, because there was no crime (just hate). And the officer likely did not intend to come off the way he did.

But I’m still in shock. I pray that no officer ever tells a bullied teen that, “sometimes you just have to live with being a victim.” The officer made me feel foolish for being shocked and afraid. I feel stupid and unjustified. Our volunteers felt hurt, angered and confused.

I am so grateful for the excellent family of volunteers who came together tonight, supported eachother, worked through their emotions, and even made an astonishing number of phone bank calls.

I am sorry for anyone who has experienced hate or intimidation, and my heart goes out to anyone who has reported it and been made to feel stupid for reaching out for help.

Stay strong, Orange County, the fight for tolerance has not yet been won.


Mel Distel

Here’s the complete press release from EQCA:

A volunteer for Equality California, the state’s largest statewide advocacy organization for LGBT Californians, found a noose hanging from the doorknob of the organization’s Orange County office in Santa Ana.

According to the volunteer, when the matter was reported to the Santa Ana Police Department, the officer at the scene refused to file a criminal complaint saying, “What is it, a string on a door?” in reference to the noose. He also said, “Sometimes you just have to live with being a victim.”

In response, Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors issued the following statement:

“This is an outrageous, despicable attempt to intimidate the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community just a few days before the election, but we will not be silenced. We will strengthen our fight to elect pro-equality candidates who champion full equality for our entire community and who shun anti-LGBT initiatives that foster discrimination and prejudice.

“In addition, the dismissive and deeply offensive conduct of the police officer who responded to this incident is nothing short of appalling and sends the message that LGBT community members cannot rely on the police for protection against the kind of hatred and prejudice that can lead to violence.

“We urge all Orange County residents to join us in demanding that Santa Ana Chief of Police Paul Walters conduct a thorough investigation into what appears to be an atrocious hate crime, to investigate and discipline the officer in question and to ensure that all officers are properly trained on how to appropriately handle all bias-motivated crimes against LGBT community members moving forward.”

Equality California will file an official complaint with the police division for its handling of this matter.

To contact Police Chief Walters and demand a thorough investigation, please call 714-245-8002.


  • 1. BradK  |  October 30, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Appalling, though not all together surprising.

    Is there a reason why the officer in question isn't being named?

  • 2. BradK  |  October 30, 2010 at 1:59 am

    Oh, and why not just paint

    "Sometimes you just have to live with being a victim”

    on the side of the patrol cars and get it over with. Nothing like truth in advertising.

  • 3. Ronnie  |  October 30, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Oh no Brad that would be "persecution" towards "Christians" (sarcasm)…. <3…Ronnie

  • 4. Rhie  |  October 30, 2010 at 6:52 am

    I actually did laugh at that.

    I think the reason is that they don't want someone going and doing something stupid in a rage at the guy. At least, that's why I wouldn't name him just yet.

    Yes he's a bigoted jackass but I don't want to see him hurt for all that.

  • 5. Chris in Lathrop  |  October 30, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    I thought the proper phrase was, "To punish and enslave."

  • 6. Mouse  |  November 1, 2010 at 5:10 am

    Robots in disguise

  • 7. Richard A. Walter (s  |  October 30, 2010 at 2:07 am

    ONne again, NOM's rhetoric is having a detrimental effect. This is why we need to all get out and vote this year, and every year–so that we can elect people who will hold NOM and all other organizations like them liable for the results of their words and actions. When the police are comparing the theft of a car stereo to the obvious message that someone should kill themselves, it has gone too far! This officer needs to be disciplined.

  • 8. Tracy  |  October 30, 2010 at 4:15 am

    This wasn't just a suggestion that someone should commit suicide. It is a threat, pure and simple. One person's noose is another person's weapon. It is a suggestion of violence, and violence in any form is damaging, abusive, and frightening.

    All one needs to do is hearken back to the time of those horrible lynchings to realize that a noose is not a benign symbol of suicide, but a malignant symbol of hate and violence.

  • 9. Joe  |  October 30, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Exactly, any other group would have received a better response from the police than that. What if someone put a noose on the door of the office of the NAACP, all he'll would break loose, and the police would have taken THAT seriously.

  • 10. Tracy  |  October 30, 2010 at 4:18 am

    Those police officers should be deeply ashamed of their behavior in this incident. In the civil rights era, many police turned the other cheek at the violence being directed at African American citizens, and — though I doubt these cops think of themselves in that light — their behavior was very similar.

  • 11. Kate  |  October 30, 2010 at 4:22 am

    Yep — identical, in fact. (As in, "It's your fault you're a n*gger. What do you expect?")

  • 12. Rhie  |  October 30, 2010 at 6:56 am

    He should be investigated by the FBI for a hate crime. You can bet for SURE that if this was left a NOM place, the cop would never have said that. If he had, he would have been out on his ear faster than you can say "equality".

    The biggest problem is that such things are generally looked at in an internal investigation, no press or citizens allowed, and almost always the finding is that the cop was fine. Big surprise.

    It's the same bullpucky as the deference to the military. Cops are given special and preferential treatment so they think they can get away with anything – and they usually do.

    Time to bring them back to Earth with some real, lasting consequences for abusing their power or being lazy asses like this guy.

  • 13. Richard A. Walter (s  |  October 30, 2010 at 2:07 am

    Click the box first, then submit.

  • 14. Pam N  |  October 30, 2010 at 2:07 am

    Do the police not know that all rope is made from several strands of string…….DUH

  • 15. Richard A. Walter (s  |  October 30, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Third try. Hopefully this one will work.

  • 16. Kathleen  |  October 30, 2010 at 2:21 am

  • 17. JonT  |  October 30, 2010 at 5:43 am

  • 18. Ann S.  |  October 30, 2010 at 5:51 am

  • 19. Felyx  |  October 30, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Lest anyone question the violent nature of the Israelites, I offer you this wonderful little passage…

    Numbers 15:32-36 (King James Version)

    32And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day.

    33And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation.

    34And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.

    35And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.

    36And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.

    (also page 158 of The Authoritarian

    Lying with a man picking up sticks on a Sunday (Saturday)… all the same thing. If we don't like you or what you are doing, even if it doesn't interfere with or concern us, then you should DIE!

    Halloween is on Sunday… I will be having fun while idiots pray for my soul! (Not really, they don't really pray… they sit in Church and pick their collective noses.)

    Happy Halloween All!


  • 20. Felyx  |  October 30, 2010 at 2:32 am

    BTW, string can be strong enough to use to hang. I remember a kindergartener who nearly choked when he had yarn pulled tight around his neck during a class project using yarn. (Accidentally self inflicted… he got caught up in it.)

    This however, is not string. This is rope. I hope the bloggers will start calling it rope and not sting… you can fly a kite with string… this is too heavy and thick with which to fly a kite. (I see the stamps as a comparison for size.)

    I think this would qualify as a cowardly anonymous death threat… much like the nooses tied in trees in the yards of black people for intimidation. If it qualifies as a death threat for blacks then it qualifies. (I read the definition on one site… I don't agree with what they said. This is not just hate, it is an anonymous death threat that has precedence during the white supremacist era.)


  • 21. James Sweet  |  October 30, 2010 at 3:43 am

    I will be having fun while idiots pray for my soul! (Not really, they don’t really pray… they sit in Church and pick their collective noses.)

    What I'm waiting for is someone to say they will sacrifice a goat for my soul. "I will pray for you"? Meh, so what. Call me when you're elbow-deep in chicken blood.

  • 22. Felyx  |  October 30, 2010 at 4:49 am

    Strangely appropriate considering the holiday.

    Incidentally, I lived across from a Santero when I lived in FL. This is the time of year when chickens would get sacrificed quite a bit.

    (I guarantee you there was no nose-picking in those 'congregations'!!!)

  • 23. Alan E.  |  October 30, 2010 at 2:48 am

    One should never have to live with being the victim, and sometimes (many times), the victim can't pull him/herself out of that status alone.

  • 24. AndrewPDX  |  October 30, 2010 at 2:56 am

    It doesn't matter if it's made of dental floss or Christmas tree tinsel, a noose is a specific type of knot, and cannot be confused with a square knot or a sailor's knot or whatever. It's even distinguishable from similar 'tightening knots' because of the size of the coil.

    This is a hangman's noose, which has only one meaning. It is a clear death threat, plain and simple.

    Santa Ana police should be ashamed.

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 25. Kate  |  October 30, 2010 at 3:01 am

    And it doesn't even matter if had been a painted noose, as on Larry-the-Noose's sign. It's all the same threat.

  • 26. Sagesse  |  October 30, 2010 at 3:07 am

    Patiently waiting for the response from the Santa Ana police department.

  • 27. Rhie  |  October 30, 2010 at 7:04 am

    I'm going to hazard a guess that it will be another false "you choose to be offended" apology. That will only happen after this becomes a major PR headache for them.

  • 28. Sagesse  |  October 30, 2010 at 7:34 am

    "That will only happen after this becomes a major PR headache for them."

    Patiently waiting for that too :).

  • 29. Rhie  |  October 30, 2010 at 8:35 am

    I see that this has been picked up the by the wires as well as local and national news. So you probably won't have to wait long 🙂

  • 30. James Sweet  |  October 30, 2010 at 3:41 am

    Being charitable, it seems likely to me that this is just the typical jaded attitude that cops have (which is unacceptable to begin with, see below) and it didn't occur to this dickwad that the kind of paternalistic dismissive behavior he employs with civilians dealing with probably-unsolvable crimes was highly offensive in this case, when usually it's only somewhat offensive.

    I tried to fix up a house in the city a few years back, failed miserably, and lost a lot of money. The final straw was when I installed six brand new windows, and returned the following week to find three of them pried right out of the frames. The cop who took the police report basically told me it was my fault for buying a fixer-upper in that neighborhood. Possibly true, but… dude. Thanks a lot. Protect and to serve, my ass.

    That is the typical posture of many cops towards civilians: "What the fuck do you expect me to do?" Often, there really is nothing that can be done, but that doesn't make the attitude any less offensive.

    Add to that that we are talking about a death threat instead of just some stupid windows… and yeah. Damn cops…

  • 31. BradK  |  October 30, 2010 at 4:02 am

    I wouldn't necessarily disagree with you James, but do you think that even a doofus like this Santa Ana cop would have been so callous if a similar incident had occurred at an office of the NAACP or the ADL and not EQCA?

  • 32. Rhie  |  October 30, 2010 at 7:07 am

    I do, honestly. He would be forced to apologize because a racist cop is a huge PR disaster for the Santa Ana police department but it wouldn't be sincere.

  • 33. Michelle Evans  |  October 30, 2010 at 4:10 am

    I am appalled by this action on so many levels. First off is that I know the people who work at this office, and to think that any of my friends might be in danger there is truly frightening. I've also been there myself and participate in many of their events.

    On a deeper level, I am so very, very disappointed in the Santa Ana Police reaction to this incident. This is especially true in that for the past several years I have been personally involved with trying to educate this department, as well as other Orange County law enforcement agencies, with regard to LGBT issues.

    Myself, and several other LGBT friends, provide special training to every OC Sheriff's Academy class (which includes students from police and sheriff departments all over the county–and often beyond). We have always felt that what we do helps insure the safety of us all, yet then we see something like this occur, and witness the very people we have supposedly trained, being indifferent, at best, to the horrible and very scary situation.

    It grieves me that we have apparently had so little effect.

  • 34. Tracy  |  October 30, 2010 at 4:25 am

    One can imagine that these police officers truly didn't understand the fear that this caused the workers there. They understand real, actual violence, but perhaps implied threats of violence are lost on them.

    But even if that's true, they are public servants, and they owe it the public to make them feel safe when they feel threatened, no matter the nature of the threat.

    And this was definitely a threat. I have every confidence that these officers will be harshly disciplined for their callousness; their superiors know this is a political firestorm waiting to happen.

    But disciplining these officers is only the beginning. Michelle's education efforts are crucial to enlightening them to these kinds of issues.

  • 35. Michelle Evans  |  October 30, 2010 at 5:44 am

    I wish that maybe under the circumstances of what unfolded, that the Santa Ana Police Department should ask those of us in the LGBT community in OC–who already are certified to provide police training–should be asked to come into their offices and provide a refresher course.

    Now that would send a very clear message that they mean equal justice for everyone. Probably won't happen, but we can always hope.

  • 36. Tracy  |  October 30, 2010 at 6:49 am

    @Michelle — I'm sure you know that your educational efforts are critical to ensuring equal rights for the LGBT community. But those of us who have no impact — but wish that we did — are greatly appreciative of your efforts. Your efforts may occasionally be lost on the individual. But, in the aggregate, your efforts DO make a difference for the future. Thank you for being involved.

  • 37. Michelle Evans  |  October 30, 2010 at 7:21 am


    Appreciate your comments–and all of the support from everyone here at the P8TT community. Just obviously very disheartening to have this sort of thing happen in a place where we have directly tried to make a difference. I hope that the officer that went to the EQCA offices was an older one who had not gone through our recent training efforts.

  • 38. Tracy  |  October 30, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Michelle — who knows? Maybe he didn't — one can only hope. But every half-step in the direction of right is meaningful. They may fail to learn from you – but the fact that you seek to teach them right and justice — that's what matters. Someone — maybe one person — will learn from you, and that WILL make a difference. 🙂

  • 39. Kate  |  October 30, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Michelle, can you contact whomever at the police dept. is in charge of the training you do? It seems a good way to pursue the issue.

  • 40. Michelle Evans  |  October 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I’ll probably drop him a note and see what he says. But his affiliation is with the Academy versus a specific police department. Have to see what happens.

  • 41. fern  |  October 30, 2010 at 4:11 am

    To a certain extent I could understand this pig's attitude they are confronted with all sorts of crimes on a daily basis, that some may develop a blasé attitude (sorry for the French). I got to know a captain and he showed me quite a few things, he was an honest man (there are some good pigs), not many but they exist.
    Maybe you should organize a group in the Guardian angels' style I saw some of them in New York and I though it was cool, I also know for a fact that some people need their face kicked in before they start to understand a few simple things.
    Mel keep your chin up and be proud.

  • 42. Sagesse  |  October 30, 2010 at 4:26 am

    I'm surprised Obama's comments about marriage haven't gotten more play here. Some will say it's not nearly enough (well, yeah). but it is movement. Excellent summary of the meeting with liberal bloggers on Wednesday, too.

    Obama: LGBT disappointment not justified

    "Obama said he is a “strong supporter of civil unions” but that he has been “unwilling to sign onto same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage.

    “But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine,” said the president. “And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents. And I care about them deeply. And so while I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about. That’s probably the best you’ll do out of me today.”

    The message that will eventually get to him is "It's all about family." He cares about families.

  • 43. Tracy  |  October 30, 2010 at 4:41 am

    This is progress? From an African American (half, I know, but still) president who could have been lynched had be been born a decade or two earlier; whose parents could not have married in Virginia at the time of his birth; who should understand the critical importance of government in guaranteeing equal treatment and civil rights; whose comments come on the heels of multiple teen suicides of gays who have recognized that their government views them as less than their heterosexual peers; THIS IS PROGRESS?

    Progress would be Obama saying, no more LGBT persons will die with the perception that their country views them as second class. Obama — regardless of his personal views — should set them aside and BE the president of ALL Americans. He just doesn't have the guts to do that — he realizes there are more votes in the conservative independents than in the LGBT community. It's all about votes.

  • 44. Rhie  |  October 30, 2010 at 7:15 am

    What does his race have to do with anything? Just because he is part of one minority and understands that pressure and discrimination doesn't mean that he understands the discrimination of others. He should, not because he is black, but because he is an intelligent man.

    Being the member of one minority doesn't automatically make any person sympathetic to others. A friend told me that he has never met with more racism than from gay white men. I believe him.

    Progress is defined very simply as moving from point a to a further (and hopefully better) point b. He began with the notion that same sex partnerships are separate but equal. He does not believe that now. That IS progress.

  • 45. Tracy  |  October 30, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Ted Olsen and David Boies brought up race in their arguments to the court; Loving v. Virginia played a prominent role, as does Brown v. Board of Education in many of the briefs filed. That is, this isn't really my argument – I was intending to reference others.

    You are right, of course – "Just because he is part of one minority and understands that pressure and discrimination doesn’t mean that he understands the discrimination of others." In general, there has been a tremendous disagreement regarding the parallels between what LGBT persons experience now vs. what African Americans have experienced in the past. Is this a comparable civil rights issue?

    My belief is that it is. Just as is was so many years ago. But many have and will disagree with me.

    As for progress, you are correct about that too, of course. An inch is as good as a mile, when it comes to the definition of progress. The man promised a mile — I was just hoping for that mile.

  • 46. Rhie  |  October 30, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I think that the point that Boies and Olson were making with referencing those cases was legal, not racial. Loving v Virginia first established marriage as right for any two couples. That the case was about an inter-racial couple isn't relevant there.

    Brown v Board established that separate but equal doesn't exist. Again, nothing to do with race particularly but in general.

    LGBT and people of color both have to fight for civil rights, but that's where the similarity ends. The Civil Rights Movement is a completely separate and distinct fight from the current LGBT movement. To conflate the two is really not necessary.

    In politics, an inch IS a mile. Change moves at a glacial pace in our system, and that's ultimately a good thing. It can be frustrating, sure, when we know we are fighting for right. However, it is because of that slowness that this country hasn't been taken over by the theocratic types even though they have been having a damn good try.

  • 47. Tracy  |  October 30, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    @Rhie : It was not my intent to conflate anything or offend anyone.

  • 48. Rhie  |  October 30, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Hey you didn't offend me at all. I just disagree with you. I believe people can do that without getting upset, hurt or offended. Or, being hurtful or offensive.

    All kinds of opinions are represented here. Sometimes a lot of people will agree with you. Sometimes a lot of people won't agree.

    About the only opinion people actually get angry about and snarky at is the anti-equality opinion. You certainly are pro-equality, and there we can find common ground :).

  • 49. Tracy  |  October 30, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    @ Rhie :

    Hey, thanks. Perhaps we only differ because I am largely driven by my emotional reaction to political decisions. Perhaps I should be less emotional. But I can say this – for some reason, LGBT rights have taken a front seat in my life! And my comments / opinions are colored by that issue.

    You and I might not truly disagree — my comments are reflective of my emotion on this issue. All is well. 🙂

  • 50. Tracy  |  October 30, 2010 at 3:57 pm


    And one other thing, to clarify : thanks for your reply. I was feeling somewhat pathetic; in truth, as I said above — my only opinion is that LGBT individuals have the right to marry. Any other comment I make is based upon that opinion — period. My reaction to the current administration is based upon my emotional reaction on this issue — which means that I am not objective. Sorry to say that (I am a mathematician — I should be objective, should I not?)….anyway, please take these comments as emotional reactions. (Ouch!)

  • 51. Rhie  |  October 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Hey, Tracy, no need to apologize! It may not appear so here, but I understand about being emotional. I don't think that is a liability at ALL.

    I think both rational and emotional approaches are vital to any movement gaining recognition and winning. Every person on this board – me included – is here because they care in way or another about LGBT rights.

    My friend can't marry her girlfriend yet, and that bugs me like nothing else. I not only have to argue morality but I also have to argue why, if LGBT is so fine, there are still laws against it in DADT or DOMA.

    Being emotional is not a bad thing, not at all. I am also impatient and frustrated and want it NOW already. I just grew up around the government and government employees. I know how very slow and very complicated the government makes even contracting for computer parts.

    I am just so glad the government doesn't design my underwear. It would have one hole for both legs, three for the waist and be made out of burlap. It would be made one at a time, at an extraordinary cost, with a contractor and three subcontractors for each seam. There would be five committees about how to make it useful and no one would listen to their recommendations.

    Anyhow, I am not sure where I was going with that, but basically the government is completely full of waste and incompetence. There is a reason "good enough for government work" refers to something that is half-assed. One good man can't fix it. I hope Obama has a damn good try for all that.

  • 52. Tracy  |  October 30, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    @Rhie :

    In a sense, I work for the government and I understand your comments. I cannot expound on that (sorry) — but thanks for your reply. I understand your frustration and I concur. In the end, I believe you and I are on the same page. I don't have a personal interest in this issue, but I care nonetheless…

  • 53. Rhie  |  October 30, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Tracy —

    Hey no problem with the no comment on your role in or near the government. I grew up near DC. Most everyone I knew worked for the government doing something I can't know about for various reasons. I respect that.

    Yes, we agree. Oh, and if I didn't say before, WELCOME! 😀

  • 54. Sagesse  |  October 30, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    @ Tracy and Rhie

    There are three pro equality amicus briefs that address precisely the fine line you are talking about: Howard University and Americans United, NAACP and Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Their very thoroughly articulated point is that rights are rights.

  • 55. Rhie  |  October 31, 2010 at 6:28 am

    Oh awesome. I will check those out. Thanks!

  • 56. Tracy  |  October 30, 2010 at 4:43 am

    Besides, he knows he has the LGBT vote wrapped up – no matter what he does or doesn't do, LGBTs will not vote for the other guy. But conservative independents need to remain in the fold, and he can't afford to alienate them by coming out for gay rights. He's a smart politician. A great politician, in fact. Just not a great president.

  • 57. Felyx  |  October 30, 2010 at 5:14 am

    I say it is progress. He is hedging no doubt… sure it is a message of 'you're not yet worthy' to the far left but to the far right this is a near blatant admission of a 'Homosexual Agenda'. This is how I want my president to be. Making progress but smart enough not to burn an essential bridge during his first term in office. Yes he has my vote wrapped up; and for good reason! Because he IS making progress. I will say it again, this congress has really been putting out. I am not into massive government but there is a need for the government to do more than nothing. This congress has made more progress than any other since before I have been born!!! And this President has endorsed me personally as a gay man more than any other in history! Don't overlook the fact that in the ranking of political leaders who are LGBT pro-civil rights he is in the TOP 1 PERCENT!!!

    I am nervous that the democrats could lose the majority. There is so much to be done still and I see a potential stall for the next two years. I can only hope that the next election will see a huge push to the left for another two years. I would like to see programs improve, deficit go down (A right value but a left reality!), civil-rights get shored up and wars ended. After that I could give more support to a conservative-ish government for awhile.

    Anyway, that is just my 50 cents.


  • 58. Tracy  |  October 30, 2010 at 7:00 am

    @ Felyx :

    I am 100% in Obama's corner for LGBT rights, because I believe no one else would champion these rights as well as he could. Yes, he espouses an understanding of those rights that is unprecedented in our history. I will vote for him for that reason. But I cannot help but notice that his actions (appealing the DADT ruling, etc.) seem to point to an emphasis on his re-election. As a politician, that's a great strategy! As a human being, it seems — to me — to be a slap in the face of every American whose gay teenage child has committed suicide.

    I worry as well about the Republican party — these days, they seek to transform the USA into a theocracy, under which they may impose their dogmatic / theocratic views on the entire American populace.

    I just wish that we could have a President who puts his authority where his mouth is… he has stated that he wishes to repeal DOMA and DADT — why hasn't he made steps to that end? Why has he pushed to oppose repeal of both of those measures?

    My feeling is that, the RIGHT president for this country would push for what is RIGHT for his citizens, regardless of what the implications might be for his reelection. I haven't gotten that impression from Obama yet- — I can only hope that I am proven wrong.

  • 59. Bob  |  October 30, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    I’m wondering if Obama put his authority where his mouth is, and used that authority in our favour, he wouldn’t stand a chance in hell come the midterms, he would have outraged those on the far right to an even further extreme if you can imagine that. We’d all have boots to our heads….

    I really can’t believe the power of the religious right , and their ability to oppress LGBT people in the U.S. equal rights for all, really are challenged to a far greater degree than I ever thought. In this political climate which is far closer to Theocracy than we ever thought, and getting closer to the likes of Russia, or Iran, with regards to gay rights.

    In this climate, that has thrived for decades, Obama is the most right president for the country that you can find, would you have any other suggestions??

    Who else would even sit down and discuss these things, and acknowledge us as humans at the table, I don’t think it’s aa simple as Obama using his authority.

    Obama’s authority comes from a place of respect, it is not the type of authority that is presently wielded which is more the kind described in the book “The Authoitarians” all that requires is followers,,,,, and the right has that,

    For effective use of authority, one would want to engage thinkers, who like Obama have attitudes that are amenable to evolving with new information. It requires something other than I’m the boss do it this way. That’s why I think Obama is the right president for these times, and I pray that he is able to movtivate people to think and engage in evolving as a country, in a way that differs from just following marching orders.

    It’s tricky , cause to place the power back in the hands of the people requries first that the majority of people are not what we have now, we have to transform them from followers to thinkers.

    Obama’s request is to not let our emotions rule the day, he’s asking for some thought on how to support the roadmap he has laid out re DADT repeal. What’s our option, tell him we’re too pissed, do it himself.

    Gay rights in America are hanging by a thread, like that noose on the door in Orange County. in this case the fact that it’s a thread is indicative of the fragitlity of the stuation.

  • 60. Tracy  |  October 30, 2010 at 4:49 am

    I have a feeling his opinion will change around 2012 — and then he'll come out more strongly for gay rights. So we may have to hold out until then.

  • 61. Felyx  |  October 30, 2010 at 5:23 am

    I don't bet on it. I would expect him to deny marriage until after the election. Then I would expect him to deny it right up until it becomes legal. I would only make a wager that he will support it when he is well into his final stretch in office. Then he loses little in the way of political power and gains in historical legacy. It is not the most principled position, but could give a crap about what looks good, I want progress… I want our leaders to do what it legally and ethically takes to make that progress. Words are nice, and they do inspire action, but it is the quality of the action that speaks so much louder than words.

    (NOM talks too much and you see what all their words add up to… severe bullying (enough to inspire suicide no doubt) but a rapidly declining influence. Even their base is shying away from their message… or are we not watching the slight attendance at the bus rallies?… !!!)

    It would be nice if Obama had the balls to make such a firm stand and the skills to pull it off, but frankly his balls will not be a feature of my marriage… I will be married long after he is dead.


  • 62. Tracy  |  October 30, 2010 at 7:05 am

    @ Felyx — I think you and I are truly on the same page, though it seems from our posts that we are not! Let me summarize with the following : LGBT American citizens deserve the right to marry — that is obvious to anyone with a (normal) brain and any sense of what America was intended to be. Any politician who puts off justice is only interested in his own well-being.

    As MLK put it, justice delayed is justice denied! And I believe that whole-heartedly. Any politician who delays justice for his own ends, denies justice to those who are entitled to it!


  • 63. Tracy  |  October 30, 2010 at 7:17 am


    Let me say one other thing – I was a child when Ronald Reagan was president (yes, I am dating myself here…), and he was a role model. Every president is a role model for the children of America, and those children will learn from what the President says.

    Obama's comments may bode well in the future for LGBT rights, but his reticence regarding SSM will have an impact on the children that view him as a role model. He has an impact. His views WILL make a difference. The truth is — he can change the tenor of future attitudes toward the LGBT community. Every word he says matters. To believe otherwise would be folly.

  • 64. Bob  |  October 30, 2010 at 8:11 am

    I'm glad he admits to having an attitude that is capable of evolving, and that he spends time thinking about things like SSM.

    evolving is good, wonder who his host of gay friends are and how they would define that friendship.

  • 65. Ann S.  |  October 30, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Bob, I definitely agree with this comment you made:

    I’m glad he admits to having an attitude that is capable of evolving, and that he spends time thinking about things like SSM.

    This is a significant step forward, and much more than we’re likely to get from any Republican presidential candidate in the near future.

    Much as we would like to hear the President say he’s all for marriage equality, he’s a very astute politician, and now is not the most politically astute time for him to come out for marriage equality.

  • 66. Bennett  |  October 30, 2010 at 5:11 am

    Just a piece of string, not really a hangmans noose.
    Just preserving a definition, not enabling hatred.
    Just special rights for straight people, not really civil rights.
    Just endorcing candidates, not really a 501(c)(3).

  • 67. RainbowWarrior  |  October 30, 2010 at 5:35 am

    I'd love to see how the police response would have differed if a noose had been hung on the door to a local NAACP chapter. As long as those charged with upholding the law, the ones whose example is most prominent in our communities, continue to affirm through their words and actions that ANY individuals are not worthy of protection from violence or recognition as equally valued human lives, there is no such thing as justice. This is -disgusting-.

  • 68. Buffy  |  October 30, 2010 at 5:57 am

    The officer said, “Sometimes you just have to live with being a victim,”

    That right there indicates a crime was committed. No crime, no victim.

  • 69. wolfinlv  |  October 30, 2010 at 6:44 am

    if this were a swastika on a synagog then you can bet there would be action, if this were hanging on a black church's door you can bet there would be action. If it were anyone other than GLBT there would be action. . . The fact that they aren't even at least going threw the motions of an investigation is dispicable.

  • 70. StraightForEquality  |  October 30, 2010 at 7:28 am

    A swastika on a synagog was exactly what I was thinking of. Would the police officer say, "What it is, is a bit of paint on a building"?

  • 71. Kathleen  |  October 30, 2010 at 7:57 am

    This video has a response from the Santa Ana police – a piss poor response. Michelle Evans, I can only imagine how frustrating this must be for you, given all the work you've done to avoid just this kind of reaction.

  • 72. Michelle Evans  |  October 30, 2010 at 5:01 pm


    Thanks for the video link. Yes, absolutely frustrating. Nice to see that it actually got some coverage. Now we have to see if it causes any stir within the police department in Santa Ana. Glad that EQCA will be filing a formal complaint.

  • 73. marcos  |  October 30, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Whenever you do not get satisfactory results from a police response, you should call back immediately and ask to speak to the policeman’s commanding officer.

  • 74. Tracy  |  October 30, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Clearly, I am in the minority with my criticisms of Obama I posted in this thread. I apologize for offending anyone.

    I wasn't surprised that he pushed the Justice Department to appeal the DADT ruling. But I was very disappointed that the administration pushed so hard to STAY the ruling in the interim. A lot of people have been hurt by that.

    Personally, I think he could have handled the situation differently — but I am not a politician or a president.

  • 75. Chris in Lathrop  |  October 30, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Tracy, I stand by you.

    My wife and I watch the entire X Files series recently, and one of the standouts was the one about the dueling churches, where it was the seemingly reasonable Catholic (I think) church, versus the way-out-there snake-handling church. My point is the preacher at the snake handling church mentions a passage from Revelation, about their God not wanting a lukewarm set of followers, but rather people with spirit.

    Politicians get so worried about getting re-elected that they just turn lukewarm on us. Gore went lukewarm and, under the ludicrous electorate system, lost. Howard Dean showed the "wrong kind" of spirit and lost the nomination. Obama showed the right kind of spirit and made a killing at the polls. Now he's gone lukewarm. He's got a majority in Congress, and they're all lukewarm, too.

    It's disgusting, and it's one of the reasons I left the Democrats. Rather than doing their damn jobs and working for the people, they play games with our lives. So that they can get themselves re-elected. So that they can continue screwing with our lives.

    Someone with Obama's smarts and charm should be able to play the radical and actually thrive for it. But he doesn't. I've said since part way through his campaign he's a snake, and so far I see no reason to change my opinion.

  • 76. Rhie  |  October 30, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    They don’t know what offended them? Is he serious with that?

    And people wonder why I am suspicious of cops…

  • 77. Bill Ware  |  October 31, 2010 at 3:20 am

    There's no crime here. The police officer was correct although he could have explained the law better. Hat Crime laws offer increased penalties after a person is convicted of an underlying crime such as assault or vandalism when it is shown that the victim was chosen for being in one of the groups listed in the Hate Crime law.

    There is no underlying crime here, no damage to the building for example, so Hate Crimes law doesn't apply.

    We tolerate hateful gestures as a matter of free speech. We don't arrest people on the freeways for giving another driver the one finger salute.

  • 78. Kathleen  |  October 31, 2010 at 3:27 am

    We don’t arrest people on the freeways for giving another driver the one finger salute.

    You're right. Here in So Cal we just shoot them. 2nd Amendment, you know. Ah, ain't America grand?

  • 79. Ronnie  |  October 31, 2010 at 4:07 am

    Hanging a noose on somebody's door is not free speech…it is a threat…. : / ….Ronnie

  • 80. Bob  |  October 31, 2010 at 4:22 am

    are LGBT listed on the among the groups protected by Hate Crime Law, in the U.S.???

  • 81. Kathleen  |  October 31, 2010 at 5:02 am

    Under federal law:

    There are also California state laws.

  • 82. Rhie  |  October 31, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Actually, we do. And a noose on an equality building isn't even close to the same thing as the finger. A noose on ECQA or a burning cross in front of a church are both threats of harm. Hate crime law applies because the people targeted are targeted just because they are LGBT friendly. Any threat that attacks people for who they are and no other reason needs to be investigated by the FBI. The law says so.

    Yes, it is a fine a line between that and a pastor who says that being gay is against the Bible. That's fine with me. It's also sometimes a fine line between an accident and manslaughter. Or between free speech and slander. That's the way law works.

    A finger in traffic could actually get you a civil penalty in the way of a traffic ticket in some states. It's considered aggressive driving.

  • 83. Richard A. Walter (s  |  October 31, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Bill, this is not just a hateful gesture. This is a threat of bodily harm, as well as action that creates and increases mental anguish and terror. This is the same as the woman from Yemen who sent explosives to the US via UPS. Had this noose been hung on a doorknob at the NAACP or one of the Jewish agencies, would you be so quick to say that it is not a hate crime?

  • 84. fiona64  |  November 1, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Bill Ware wrote: We tolerate hateful gestures as a matter of free speech. We don’t arrest people on the freeways for giving another driver the one finger salute.

    Actually, you may not be arrested — but you can be cited for it. It falls under "provoking gestures."


  • 85. Mike  |  October 31, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Last week my roomates friends busted into my room while I was not home. They went through all my stuff tore up my pride flag and removed pictures of me and an ex kissing(which was buried way deep in my closet). They ended up passing these pictures around to my roommates and their friends and finally crumpled them up and tossed them behind the garage.

    They all started calling me names and giving me attitude(after Ive done so many things to help them) and when I found the pictures I called the police. They said there was no crime because they had permission to be in the house from the roomates.

    I hauled ass out of there moved out within a week. Ive been through worse so I could handle it but what makes me sad is this is exactly the kind of thing that has driven another person to commit suicide :(.

    Atleast they should have taken affected property into evidence as motive incase and filed (at the very least) an informal report incase anything else should happen. Just as I believe should have happened with the noose in this article. It can be proof of a motive or intent you really dont know until police investigate it and question the party who put it there. Police are devaluing that by simply calling it a piece of string.

  • 86. Kathleen  |  October 31, 2010 at 10:09 am

    They didn't have permission to destroy your property. Call the police officers' supervisor and insist that they file a report, indicating the actions and the damaged property.

  • 87. Kate  |  October 31, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Kathleen is right. This is property destruction, even if they didn't "break in" to the apartment. I'm so sorry to hear that you went through this, Mike. And you're sadly correct — it's exactly the sort of thing that causes so many others to commit suicide. I'm very, very happy that you aren't one of those folks.

  • 88. Mike  |  October 31, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Id like to also ad that the responding police officers treated me the same way. They kept telling me about their experiences with animals coming in the house taking things out. I simply responded "An animal is going to open a door to come in my room open my closet door open the cabinet drawer within my closet go through my photos and selectively take the gay ones all while avoiding to leave teeth marks on 'everything else and closing all the doors on his way out?"

    These were San Clemente police officers in Orange County. They also informed me of how they knew the perps since they were kids and was defending them.

  • 89. Kathleen  |  October 31, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Also file a formal complaint with the department, citing the way it was handled.

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