As I mentioned a couple of days ago, my activities with animal rescue don’t allow me to keep up with wingnuts too much anymore. (For those who might be interested, here’s a roster of the current foster pets: one bossy and hyper terrier-mix dog, two 3-week-old orphaned kittens, four elderly cats who will probably never be adopted, six foster cats with medical needs who will probably never be adopted, three under-socialized cats who will probably never be adopted, one cat who is just plain mean and will never be adopted, and a bunch of nice, adoptable cats who are just waiting for good homes.)
So, usually I only have time for the current events covered by Keith Olbermann, the local paper, and World o’Crap. (Which reminds me: if you send in a small donation to Scott and Mary, not only can you feel good about helping some nice, talented people who could use a hand right now, but you’ll also get a FREE CAT as a pledge gift. Don’t delay too long, or you may wind up with Crabby Abby as your prize.)
Anyway, fortunately for me, the local rag always features as many wacky right-wingers and clueless Tea Partiers as anyone could ever wish. More even. A whole lot more. In fact, the local John Birch Society (or JBS, as it’s been rebranded for the new, hip generation) teaches weekly classes on Commie spotting, and its members regularly write letters to the editor identifying which local and national officials are the spawn of Stalin.
But recently the paper covered an incident here that was SO stupid that I truly believed it was either parody or performance art. It turned out to have been neither. So, let me recount it for you now.
It all starts in 2009, when Salt Lake City passed legislation prohibiting housing and employment discrimination against gay and transgender people. As the pits of hell didn’t open up and swallow the city, last month the town council here in Logan debated passing a similar law. Its passage was uncertain … until America Forever showed up. Here’s a bit about that from the Herald Journal.
Proposed anti-discrimination ordinance draws protesters
A group of forthright outsiders is working to stir up locals against Logan’s proposed laws aimed at protecting gay people from discrimination.
“They’re (the Logan Municipal Council) going to give them (homosexuals) freedoms and take away freedoms from others. We should have the right to not associate with someone who is homosexual,” said 55-year-old Sandra Rodrigues, of Sandy, speaking by phone from Angie’s Restaurant early Monday. “I don’t want to be served by someone with AIDS in the kitchen – I mean, I have those worries. I’m sorry.”
And, of course, if the law passed, then homosexuals who were denied housing would never get AIDS and then seek work as cooks, so Sandra could eat at Angie’s without fear of contracting the disease via gay cooties.
Rodrigues leads a group calling itself America Forever, which dispatched a dozen agitators, all from the Salt Lake area, to Logan on Saturday – that day they protested near the homes of Councilwoman Holly Daines and Councilman Herm Olsen. On Sunday, members of the group showed up outside the church that Council Chairman Jay Monson attends.
Signs they hoisted read: “Shame on Holly Daines for becoming a gay activist,” and “Sexual Orientation is not a class” and “Jay Monson hates children.”
Later Sunday, members of the group distributed door-to-door in Monson’s neighborhood a flier reading: “Shame on Councilmen Olsen, Monson, Daines for joining hands with the gay movement and becoming homosexual activists to oppress religious citizens freedoms.”
I have to say, that last snappy slogan should be recycled into a bumper stick for somebody’s senate campaign or something.
On Monday afternoon, Rodrigues and her team held a “town hall” meeting in a conference room at The Crystal Inn in south Logan. No visitors were on hand while she had it out with someone on the phone at about 4 p.m. No one showed up all afternoon, but the group did receive upward of 50 phone calls and e-mails from locals arguing against their message and tactics. Rodrigues ditched the town hall and ended up demonstrating at City Hall late in the afternoon, drawing stares, jeers and reprimands from passers-by.
Rodrigues, who described gay people as “conniving,” said the Logan ordinances and similar ones in other cities are part of gay peoples’ agenda to “flaunt” their lifestyle, to forcefully expose straight people to homosexuality, say at the office Christmas party where a gay couple “would kiss and hold hands and nobody would be able to say anything”
The horror, the horror! And thanks to those conniving gays, the door will be opened for heterosexuals to do the same thing … and the next thing you know, men will be holding hands with their wives, and then office managers will hit on secretaries, and interns will have sex in the supply closet, and society will be doomed, DOOMED!
… or in the workplace lunchroom where they might openly discuss sexual activity.
And then all the straight people will feel bad, because they won’t have anything to add to the conversation.
Homosexuals want to be in a position to entice children to try out being gay, she said.
“This is what the gays want,” she said. “It’s really insane if you think about it.”
Yes. Yes it is. And remember, if we aren’t allowed to discriminate against homosexuals, then they will soon RULE THE WORLD!
So, did America Forever’s tactics work? Was Daines run out of town for becoming a gay activist? Did Olsen’s wife divorce him for holding hands out of wedlock? Was Monson spit on by neighbors for hating children? And what about the law???
Well, let’s flash forward a couple of days and find out.
Logan OKs measures: Anti-discrimination ordinances approved after spirited hearing
Earnest Cooper stood at the door of the chamber weeping as the Logan Municipal Council approved ordinances banning discrimination based on sexual orientation Tuesday night.
“I’ve never felt like I’ve loved Logan more,” said Cooper, a gay 27-year-old Utah State University student. He said he works only university jobs because he’s scared to venture into a less-tolerant off-campus environment. “For the first time I feel like I am treated as a human being. I feel like a man who belongs.”
The council, on a 4-0 vote with one abstention, passed the ordinances, similar to ones previously passed in Salt Lake City and West Valley City, among others, that make it punishable, as a civil matter, to hire or fire someone or to deny housing to someone based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Logan resident and known-Constitutionalist Michelle King spoke against the ordinances, arguing they interfere with private property rights.
“Creating a law telling people how to use their property doesn’t inspire compassion,” she said.
I’m sure Michelle voiced a similar argument on behalf of bus companies and water fountain owners when the government told them they couldn’t use their property in only the ways they wanted.
Joshua Frazier told the council: “I don’t want the government to determine what is moral and what is not.”
Yeah! It should be up to just the individual to determine if murder, theft, and child molestation are something that society should discourage.
Council Chairman Jay Monson largely restricted the hearing to Logan residents but toward the end did allow testimony from people in the Sandy-based group America Forever who protested the ordinances at City Hall and in council members’ neighborhoods in the three days leading up to the meeting.
Sandra Rodrigues, the group’s 55-year-old leader, told the council that by passing the measures they were endorsing and validating homosexual conduct. She said gays are working to create a society where they can flaunt their lifestyles and influence children.
And, of course, gays shouldn’t be allowed to even HAVE lifestyles, let alone have any influence on children. I mean, we let Socrates get away with it, and before long the kids were thinking and stuff!
“It’s part of a movement,” she said. “This law is a backdoor for all they want to do.”
And you know what they say about gays and backdoors!
In the hall after the vote, Rodrigues repeatedly called out to others filing out, “We know what you’re up to. Boo.”
What a burn!
But the law passed, the Herald Journal attributed much of the support to people who were put off by America Forever and their tactics. Thanks, AF! So, let’s jump forward to this week for the REST of the rest of the story:
Anti-Gay ‘America Forever‘ Group Disbands
An anti-gay group that has become a fixture at the Utah Pride Festival and legislative debates on gay and transgender-related bills has closed up shop, due to what its website calls “unspeakable circumstances.”
“Thank you for your support. Please keep America a Nation [sic] under God. God bless America,” the front page of the site, located at americaforever.com, now reads.
America Forever has given no official reason for disbanding. A request for an interview sent to administrative contact Jonas Filho had not been answered by press time.
Well, they did have a good run. Despite apparently consisting of only members of one family, (I think they were inspired by the Westboro Baptist Church and all the media attention those inbred morons get) they did manage to make a spot for themselves on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-gay hate groups. And at one time they had enough money to take out full-page anti-gay ads in the major Salt Lake papers. And even though the group has disbanded, I’m sure that one day, inspired by the Michelle Bachmans and Sarah Palins of the world, Sandra Rodrigues will run for public office as a Republican.
And that’s my local news report. And now that I know that Dr. Mike Adams, Ph.D, is currently residing in my general geographic area (as he says in a recent column, “On May 10th, I’m moving to Manitou Springs, Colorado, to teach all summer at Summit Ministries. I’m living in a cabin at the base of Pikes Peak, studying the teachings of the Unabomber, and planning to wreak vengeance on my colleagues, women, hippies, gays, minorities, shih-tsus, and everybody else who has wronged me”), I check the paper regularly for more local items of interest.