BY ED SIKOV | One unexpected measure of progress in media coverage of LGBT lives is the fact that I had to go all the way to the Andean Air Mail and Peruvian Times for this week’s lede. (It’s a single entity — formerly an English-language newspaper, now a website.) The subject is a bill that would have legalized civil unions in Peru: “The debate over the legislation heated up in the days leading to the vote, with opponents and supporters holding separate protests. The legislation, proposed by lawmaker Carlos Bruce, faced stiff opposition in a conservative country where the Catholic Church still plays a strong role in public and private life.
“Monsignor Luis Bambarén, bishop emeritus of Chimbote, told Peruvian media that he strongly opposed the legislation, and called Bruce a ‘maricón,’ Spanish for ‘faggot.’
“‘Congressman Carlos Bruce is making a fool of himself with all of this, appearing — excuse me for the term — like a faggot in the middle of everything,’ said Bambarén. ‘He himself has said he is gay. Gay is not the Peruvian word, the word is faggot.’
“Bruce responded that the bishop’s comments ‘reflect the hate that is typical of homophobia,’ and said he was disappointed a representative of the Catholic Church, ‘apparently lacking arguments, now resorts to insults.’
“Bruce added that Bambarén’s statement is not in line with the position of Pope Francis.
“‘It bothers me that he insults three million Peruvians who share with me the same orientation,’ Bruce said. ‘I hope he apologizes.’”
Bambarén did just that in a written statement.
“I respect and embrace those born homosexual and ask the same of their families and society,” the statement said. “If homosexual people felt offended, I apologize and I pray for them.”
If we felt offended? If? On behalf of the world’s maricónes, Monsignor, I don’t accept your apology, but I might consider doing so if you included our tortilleras calientes hermanas in your most un-Jesus-like hate. Your narrow-minded bigotry is itself narrow-minded. ¡Talk about invisibilidad lesbiana! In any case, keep your prayers to yourself. We don’t want them.
And in case readers are wondering, the measure went down to defeat.
Me, Too, Lady! Via Towleroad comes this recent letter to the syndicated column “Dear Abby,” now written by Jeanne Phillips. Mom is concerned because her teenage son had his first kiss, and it was with another boy. But that’s just the beginning:
“When [my son] was in eighth grade, he had a crush on a girl named ‘Lisa.’ She rejected him because she had a girlfriend. Then he dated a girl, ‘Annie,’ but it didn’t last because he said he felt only friendship for her. Then he became friends with this boy ‘Joey’ in high school, who spent the night several times. He told me from the start this boy was gay (this is the boy he kissed). Now Joey has a girlfriend. To say the least, I’m confused.”
Kids today! As uberqueen Paul Lynde sings in “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Why can’t they be like we were/ fucked up in every way! What’s the matter with kids to-day?” (Okay, he doesn’t sing “fucked up” but rather “perfect.”)
Back in my day, gay boys were gay boys and baby dykes were baby dykes, and we all got tormented by creeps, and life was simply horrendous. Now the little twerps are scampering freely all over the place, and chaos reigns!
“Abby’s” advice to Mom was simply to love her son and let him work out the rest.
I Promise Not to Make Fun of the Reporter’s Name Charlie Butts, of OneNewsNow.com, writes: “[Oklahoma] State Sen. Joseph Silk, a Republican, introduced a bill that would allow business owners the freedom to follow their religious convictions amid accusations of discrimination from homosexual activists. The political storm began with a New York Times story published March 5. After the story published, says Silk, his office was flooded with ‘hundreds and hundreds of vulgar, vile emails, just absolutely hate mail, death threats to myself and my family, horrible backlash from the LGBT community.’ Some of those emails, especially the threats, have been turned over to the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation.
“The newspaper story was about efforts in legislatures across the country to ensure business owners have freedom of conscience.
“‘They don’t have a right to be served in every single store,’ Silk, referring to homosexuals, was quoted as saying. ‘People need to have the ability to refuse service if its violates their religious convictions.’”
If it’s true that Silk and his office staff were barraged with hate mail from our team, then it’s disgusting. There is no excuse for threatening the opposition personally. Nobody deserves hate mail, especially the menacing variety.
As for sending vulgar messages, the LGBT community should feel free to have at it. After trying my hand at an ugly rant or two, I’ve decided to take a higher road by pointing out that a “religious convictions” exemption to civil rights laws is a bogus attempt to circumvent basic American values. Whether Senator Silk or his apologist Butts likes it, we’re all equal in this country. Claiming that discrimination is protected by religion is a cheap perversion of any religion that claims to be based on love.
More important, it’s against the law.
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