Kicking A Lion

…hear us roar

Posts Tagged ‘minority

Is Gay The New Black?

Written by kickingalion

December 1, 2008 at 12:24 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

Why continue the fight?

I have better things to do than spend four hours a day scouring the web for news, publishing information on four web-sites and answering hateful emails dropped into my in-box during the dark of night.

I remember when my time was donated to painting houses for Habitat For Humanity or participating in the Breast Cancer Walk, my money was donated to Heifer International — where the goal is to end poverty and starvation — and the Diabetes Foundation.

The glory days of choosing restaurants to dine at simply because of their food and enjoying a movie because I thought it would be funny, are gone. Now, my days are filled with scanning lists to see if I can shop at a favorite store, or if I can listen to music from a wonderful radio station.

So why do I continue to battle against inequality? Because no one is going to stand up for my rights, but me.

This fight isn’t just about Gay Marriage. This is about Equality, to end the stigma of being gay and to stand proud instead of hiding in fear. If we continue to fight, maybe one day there will be no gay “jokes” at the office, maybe a confused teen will not find their only answer with a bullet and maybe the world will be better place.

I’m an idealist, an optimist or maybe delusional. But I see a future where it doesn’t matter if two women hold hands as they stroll in a park, where discrimination is a forgotten word and where humanity rules above oppression. I only hope that my grandchildren see this world, and read about Prop 8 and the PATH Project in their history. And I hope that they wonder what the big deal was about gay marriage.

I’m also a realist. After the GLBT community rises above the challenge and is seen as equal to the heterosexual community, people will find another target. Another group, a minority, will be selected for discrimination.

Why? Because people turn off their logic and stop asking questions. They are motivated by fear and are afraid of those “different” or the unknown. Leaders will tell them what to do, and they will follow. Their is no better way to pull a group of people together, than to create a mutual enemy. And someone will be needed to lead the herd.

My heart goes out to the next group… Stand strong. You’ll be in for a very long fight.

Written by kickingalion

November 28, 2008 at 10:23 pm

Katie Peters Facebook Rebuttal

1) Do you know the difference between a Revision to the Constitution and an Amendment to the Constitution in the context of California Civil Procedure? If so, do you think Prop 8 classifies as an Amendment or a Revision. Since, the majority of legal scholars believe it is in fact a Revision, should have Protect Marriage circumvented the Revision Process?

2) What is the difference between a plurality, a simple majority, and a super majority? There are different requirements based on the type of referendum it is, Revisions require a super majority of the Legislature before being placed on the ballot. Prop 8 circumvented this requirement. 

3) Marbury v Madison … established judicial review of laws. Do you not believe in judicial review?

4) The Constitution establishes three co-equal branches of government, should we get rid of the independent judiciary?

5) What is the process of becoming a justice on the California Supreme Court? Are you aware that they are actually approved by the people directly, so they are more or less elected by the people?

6) Did you realize that the California Legislature passed same-sex marriage on three separate occasions, but our Governor chose to deffer to the courts?

7) Both Turner v. Safley, Perez v Sharp, and Loving v Virgina said that marriage is a fundamental right. And, are you aware of the many differences between marriage and civil unions in California?

8) Are you aware of the three levels of scrutiny? Rational, Intermediate, and Strict, and which level must be applied to different types of “classes” of people? Are you aware that in California, LGBT is considered a protected class just like race or religion? That, if the state is to provide a service to one subgroup of people, it must provide the same service to all the people? For example, if it allows permits of licenses for whites, it must give it to all other races as well. Or, if they can give permits/licenses to Protestants, they have to give it to Catholics, Buddhists, Shinto, etc etc? Therefore, if they allow marriage licenses to straight people, they must also provide marriage licenses to LGBT people? So, they either allow marriage for ALL, or marriage for NONE. (That might very well be their decision.)

9) Have you bothered to read In Re: Marriage Cases, or ANY of the briefs filed? Are you aware of any other land mark court decisions which pertained to minority rights? Such as the court decision saying California Schools could not ban JWs from going to school because they refused to swear an oath to the flag? 

10) Should the general electorate be able to overturn any controversial court decision? How about Loving v Virginia? How about Lawrence v Texas? How about Brown v Board of Education? Perez v Sharp? Hernandez v Texas? One, Inc. v. Olesen, Speiser v. Randall, United States v. Raines, Boynton v. Virginia, Braunfeld v. Brown, Torcaso v. Watkins, Edwards v. South Carolina, Abington School District v. Schempp, Sherbert v. Verner, Griffin v. Maryland, segregation protests, Bell v. Maryland, McLaughlin v. Florida, Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States, Katzenbach v. McClung, United States v. Seeger, Harman v. Forssenius, Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections, United States v. Price, Reitman v. Mulkey, Green v. County School Board of New Kent County, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education, Baird v. State Bar of Arizona, Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, Reed v. Reed, Parisi v. Davidson, Cruz v. Beto, Wisconsin v. Yoder, San Antonio Independent School Dist. v. Rodriguez, Frontiero v. Richardson, Geduldig v. Aiello, Milliken v. Bradley, Goss v. Lopez, Stanton v. Stanton, Rose v. Locke, Washington v. Davis, Serbian Orthodox Diocese v. Milivojevich, Runyon v. McCrary, Craig v. Boren, Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Corp., Califano v. Goldfarb, McDaniel v. Paty, Cannon v. University of Chicago, United Steel Workers of America v. Weber, Fullilove v. Klutznick, Stone v. Graham, Michael M. v. Superior Court of Sonoma County, Thomas v. Review Board of the Indiana Employment Security Division, Widmar v. Vincent, Valley Forge Christian College v. Americans United for Separation of Church and State, United States v. Lee, Connick v. Myers, Bob Jones University v. United States, Marsh v. Chambers, Grove City College v. Bell, Lynch v. Donnelly, Allen v. Wright, Wallace v. Jaffree, Thornton v. Caldor, Witters v. Washington Department of Services For the Blind, Bowen v. Roy, McCleskey v. Kemp, Turner v. Safley,O’Lone v. Estate of Shabazz, Lying v. Northwest Indian CPA, City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co., Board of Estimate of City of New York v. Morris, Westside School District v. Mergens, R. A. V. v. City of St. Paul, Lee v. Weisman, United States v. Fordice, Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah, Adarand Constructors v. Peña, Rosenberger v. University of Virginia, Romer v. Evans, United States v. Virginia, Agostini v. Felton, Rice v. Cayetano, Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, Grutter v. Bollinger, …. 

It seems to me, all you wanted to do was complain about activist judges who are not elected by the people. When in fact, in California they ARE elected by the people. Not only that, they have the role of judicial review and enforcing rights for minorities. And, the cases before the courts today do not have anything to do with the legality of same-sex marriage, but rather whether Prop 8 qualifies as an Amendment or a Revision. And, the court has ruled in three other cases that previously passed amendments should have been placed on the ballot as a Revision. Therefore, if the referendum process can be used to take any group of people’s rights or liberties, then ANY suspect classes rights or liberties can be taken away just as easily. Therefore, minority groups legal defense subdivisions have an interest in making sure Prop 8 is invalidated, which is why the NAACP, MALDEF, and ALLDEF have filed suit. And, the CCC has also filed suit saying people could use the referendum process to violate the rights of religious minorities. As the child of two life time members of the NAACP, I am very interested in making sure that ethnic minorities cannot be threatened by the referendum process in the future. I’m also concerned that certain key court decisions protecting JW, or Mennonites and Quakers might be overturned in the future if Prop 8 is allowed to stand. Since my dad is a Mennonite and all. 

So please, spare me the diatribes if you are not going to bother to look into the facts.

Written by kickingalion

November 27, 2008 at 5:06 am

A Decent Proposal for Equality: A Must Read

If We’re Going to Make It a Battle, Let’s Do It Right

Two weeks ago, 2,000 protesters marched on the Los Angeles headquarters of CNN, shutting down the street. They banged on the windows (til one of them ordered them not to), they sat in the street, they were determined to make their collective voice heard. Frustrated, an L.A.P.D. officer asked by megaphone, “Who’s in charge here?” and someone shouted, “We all are!”

Nobody can look back at the last two weeks and say that something hasn’t fundamentally changed within the gay community. The scope, speed and ferocity of the protests that followed in the aftermath of the passage of Proposition 8 are unprecedented.

The question on everybody’s mind is “What now?”

The far right and religious conservatives look at the crowds marching in the streets and call it “terrorism”, “fascism” and “anarchy”; mostly disingenuously, but not always so. They tell those who will listen to them that marriage equality is the first step to knocking down the churches and that it will force children to discuss sexuality at even the earliest ages. The words “witch hunt” and “blacklist” are being thrown about with casual ease.

Their argument is that people should be free to believe in and support a political cause without consequence, willfully ignorant of the fact that they’ve been denying that same luxury to equal rights advocated for years. They don’t like that the tables have been turned. They point out isolated incidents of limited violence made against Yes on 8 supporters, while ignoring that No on 8 supporters have been attacked as well.

Within the gay community, there are real fissures: Some new, some old ones brought back to life. Lori Jean of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center shouts that the only group to blame for the passage of Prop 8 is the Mormon Church. This is as simplistic as George Bush’s characterization of the war on terrorism being a conflict against “evil-doers”. Others lay the blame at the feet of the No on 8 campaign, which myopically put all of its eggs into television advertising and phone banking while actively scoffing at the idea that face time with voters would make a difference.

Like most things in life, there’s plenty of blame to spread around for the defeat in California. It’s true that the Mormon Church mounted an impressive fundraising campaign, but only the naïve would think that there wouldn’t be a ferocious battle for same-sex marriage in one of the most influential and largest states in the nation.

Maybe we needed this to happen. For Californians to have been granted the right to marry and then have it snatched away again less than six months later made a subtle discrimination blatant, not just in one state, but across the country. Similar measures in Florida, Arizona and Arkansas that passed on Election Day have made this a national movement and while Prop. 8 remains the focus, most everyone sees this as a battle to eliminate gender and sexuality discrimination from American civic life once and for all.

The California Supreme Court has agreed to rule on the legality of Proposition 8, but even if the judges rule in our favor, it will be on a process-based technicality and anti-same-sex marriage activists will try again. We must face the fact that if we are to win, we can’t rely on court battle after court battle. We must be willing to change the minds of at least some of the people who now oppose us. The difference between challenging someone’s beliefs and disparaging them is that only one gives you a shot at changing someone’s mind.

There’s also the other 33 states that outlaw gay marriage. If California were to win back its rights and leave the other states to fend on their own, they would be the worst sort of family.

This is a big and daunting fight, but it is the civil rights battle of our time. There are other important issues that the gay community needs to address: poverty, its own institutionalized racism and misogyny, drug abuse and HIV-related issues, but marriage equality isn’t just a totem. By demanding that LGBT people be treated equal citizens, it will be easier for more people to live their life without fear. This will make it easier to reach out to minority communities and the poor. It will widen our community, introducing more diversity of opinion and it will raise allow gays and lesbians to hold their head up high.

There are three questions that must to drive this revolution. By discovering the answers, we will be able to chart a course ahead.

The first is, “Who are we?”

On the surface, this question is obvious, but its simplicity is deceiving. Who makes up the gay community? Saying that it’s just the people who have same-sex attraction is inaccurate—we should not count the Larry Craig’s and Ted Haggard’s of the world among us. The gay community ghettoized itself in cities as a way to protect itself from those who hate us. We’ve outgrown the usefulness of the ghetto. It’s the final closet the gay community must escape from.

Many gays and lesbians already have and live far away from the bars and clubs of Chelsea, SoBe and WeHo, but they often feel that they have little relation to urban gays, who can be intolerant of anyone, even other gay people, if they don’t subscribe to the same political and social orthodoxy as they do. The gay community needs to become a more egalitarian place, not for any intrinsic good, but because we don’t have the luxury of being choosy about our allies.

We must decide that the only requirement to get your gay card is a commitment to ensuring equal rights for LGBT people. This means the composition of the gay/queer community will change and that the traditional gay community will have to accept people who will not always agree with them, but this should not be a impediment to a community that prides itself on diversity.

The second question we must ask ourselves is “What do we want?”

The gay community ought to write a Declaration of Equality and it ought to do it openly and transparently. We must decide what “equality” means to us. Is it civil unions or marriage? Should we include removing Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell and employment non-discrimination? What in essence, are we demanding? We must make clear that our interests are in civil rights and that we have no designs on redefining religious institutions. We must make clear what actions we will take against those who oppose us, whether it be through speech or through dollars. If we are to boycott, we must boycott equitably. Does a grocery store clerk who donates to a measure that denies us equality warrant a boycott of the entire chain? What if it’s the CEO?

By crystallizing our goals we will make a stronger case. Legislators, business people and mothers and fathers will know exactly what it is the gay community seeks and what the consequences will be for those who seek to defeat us. We will be defining ourselves instead of letting others define us by unifying our community around a common set of principles.

The final question we must ask is, “How do we get there?”

If we’ve succeeded in answering the first two questions, we’ll have gone a long way to answering the third. We need to actively seek out and enlist people to join our cause, not just in the places we know, but also in places that we’ve written off.  The Internet holds great promise for helping that along. These questions cannot be answered by a select few, however. This needs to be a movement of Gay, Straight, Black, White, Latino, Asian, Republican, Democrat and independent. It must be a movement that gives a voice to anyone willing to speak up and demand equal rights for all Americans. This can’t be a movement ruled by vanity or ego, but by good ideas and a commitment to justice.

There’s a sense of inevitability about the gay community achieving equality. We know we’re on the right side of history, but being morally right is not enough. Waiting for public sentiment and understanding to change on its own is not enough. We must hasten the inevitable—and we must do it the right way, with persistence, love for our fellow neighbor and with open arms to new allies and to new ideas.

“Who’s in charge?”

We all are.

Courtesy of

Written by kickingalion

November 24, 2008 at 6:26 pm

What is a Constitutional Democracy?

The United States of America is a constitutional democracy.

What does that mean? Basically, the government is designed to uphold the will of majority, but, at the same time, protect minorities. These constitutional protections of the powerless are an extremely important point in maintaining a balanced and fair nation.

What will follow is the exact wording of the amendments, then the explanation of the amendment.

Fourteenth Amendment: Citizenship Rights: Ratified July 9, 1868

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

This amendment was created following the Civil War, with the anticipation that the recently freed slaves would meet intense racial discrimination, particularly in Southern states. Note: “Nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Fifteenth Amendment: Race No Bar To Vote: Ratified February 3, 1870.

1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

This amendment ensures recently freed slaves (as this was immediately following the Civil War) the right to vote and be treated equally in the process.
Nineteenth Amendment: Women’s Suffrage: Ratified August 18, 1920

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

This amendment gave women the right to vote, thus eliminating inequality due to gender.

Twenty-Fourth Amendment: Poll Tax Barred: Ratified January 23, 1964

1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

This amendment was designed to treat African Americans as equals by eliminating the poll tax, which could be a financial barrier to minorities.

Now, America, where are the protections of the last minority, the GLBT community?

Written by kickingalion

November 10, 2008 at 5:49 am