Friday, November 7, 2008

And the hits just keep on coming

Hey, just to kick you when you're down, I wanted to let you know that we here in SE Michigan fared no better than California (again). Voters in the multi-culti funkytown of Hamtramck also voted to hate gays a little more, defeating the Hamtramck Human Rights Ordinance. 55.4% of Hamtramck voters cast ballots against it.

Hamtramck United folks worked their butts off though, and according to council member Scott Klein in this article in Between the Lines, they will keep pushing the issue. So we all need to thank them a lot, and maybe offer them a non-sexual massage the next time we see one of them.

Jay McNeeley. Jay McNeeley. Jay McNeeley.
(thrice for Google Image searches)

And if you see Jay McNeeley a.k.a. Gladys Kravitz - the guy from Ypsilanti who nosed in and decided Hamtramck needed to make this a ballot issue in the first place - or any member of the American Family Association, feel free to kick them in the balls. If it's a chick kick her in the cooter, I don't care. I'm tired of this bullshit.


Hillary said...

The failure of the measure doesn't mean anything. I am in favor of gay marriage, and I voted against the ordinance. .php/housing-discrimination-ba llot-measure

The Triangle Foundation is as much of an outsider as the AFA. Hamtramckans need their city officials to work on the things that we can all agree on: safety, cleanliness, and economic improvement.

I hate for this to be my first post on your blog. I read it religiously.

Anonymous said...

Hillary youve posted this on every site that has discussed this issue. I too agree that saftey, cleanliness and economic improvment all all very important. Obviously your straight and have never felt the hatred that has been thrown at me as a gay male. Nor have you had to worry that I could loose my job because I am such. You missed the mark entirely. I thought it was a very noble thing that our Shitty City council passed this ordiance. Thanks for voting No

Woodwards Friend said...

Just remember this next time a "progressive" politician is paling around with Glen Plummer, Marvin Winans, Edgar Vann, Charles Ellis at the other agents of intolerance on the local religous left. They are no better than the Robertsons, Fawells, and Haggards.

Hillary said...

Actually, I have posted the above three times: my own website, DetroitYES, and here. I visit all three of these sites every day. I don't enjoy seeing my gay friends hurt, and I want people to know that regardless of what members of our city council tell the media, gay people are welcome here.

It's true, I will never have the same experiences you have. Attacking me anonymously doesn't speak well for your cause.

Hillary said...

Many things can be learned by having a drink with your critics.

One night after a city council meeting, I went to a bar and Jay McNally was there. He was having a beer and trying to get a feel for who people are and what they believe. I thought he would have an aneurysm or spit his drink when I told him flat out that I support gay marriage, but he didn't argue with me on the subject and continued to have an amicable conversation with me about the ordinance and city politics. He and the AFA are very savvy about media and grassroots organizational tactics.

After another meeting, some of my Muslim friends pulled me into a sweets shop to talk about the ordinance. We were able to agree to disagree on gay marriage, and they were adamant that there are more serious issues here, like the 4 feet of raw sewage in their basements when it rained heavily in July. Even the person who told me that the ordinance was a shame on our community said he would rent to a gay person because he thinks they pay on time and won't trash their apartments. Just like the average Ann Arbourite, he wants to discriminate against students.

Having drinks with members of Hamtramck United, we had a very similar conversation about flooding and lack of basic services. I can't help but think that if we all worked together on the things we have in common, everyone's perceptions of one another would change, and that is how real progress could be made on equality issues for many groups.

Now, imagine that you are new to Southeast Michigan, and you don't know anything about dominionism, or the Thomas More Law Center, or Tom Monaghan. You go to a rally, and leaders of your community are there with men in suits, giving an argument that appeals to your traditions, religion, and fears. Members of Hamtramck United and councilpeople show up and act out of control, wiping their hands on the men in suits and pointing fingers at community leaders in anger.

I asked Jay McNally if this is normal or just a Hamtramck thing, and he replied that this is the way gay rights activists always act. If that is the case, I can see why proposals are failing in every state. Why doesn't the LGBT community protest in business attire and get the regular folks out like the civil rights movement of the '60s?

SupergayDetroit said...

Well Hillary, I kind of hate for it to be your first post too but that's ok. Thanks for reading.

This ordinance is about more than housing discrimination. And equally important, it sends a very strong message about the cultural climate of a city.

Let's not kid ourselves, this isn't a new concept. These ordinances have been passed all over the country. It's a little disingenuous to act like in Hamtramck it's not necessary but everywhere else it is. The fact remains that as long as anti-discrimination ordinances are going to cover ANYONE they should cover EVERYONE. And unfortunately, if you don't spell it out, people are left vulnerable.

I think it is fantastic that you support gay marriage, btw, but I'd just like you to think about how it's really important for GLBT people to know they are safe and secure in a community before they care about a wedding license.

And I'm a little sad that you can hypothetically support a gay rights issue that isn't on the ballot, but when presented with an actual issue in the voting booth you didn't think it was important to support that.

A few other technical points - unless Hamtramck exists outside of Michigan the Triangle Foundation is anything but an outsider. They are a statewide organization, and their offices are only a few miles from Hamtramck's border. And if Hamtramck has gay people then Triangle has had clients there.

Finally, please don't discredit people based on their anonymous posting! Everyone's pretty much anonymous here, even "Hillary"!

SupergayDetroit said...

OK Hillary, just got your next comment. If you are a regular reader of the this blog then you aren't picking up much.

I'm not gonna get into it, I've got shit to do, but from your comments I kinda doubt you have that many gay friends.

As for the protesters - not all are like that, but some are. We also have our own "men in suits," although they tend not to participate in street activism. Over the years it has become apparent that the extremism of the street activists has made the powers-that-be much more amenable to a sit-down with our men in suits.

By the way, gays and lesbians did march around in business attire in the earliest days of the gay rights movement. Google "Mattachine Society" for more info, Google Image for pics. You won't see that anymore, so don't ask for it. But you don't see it anymore from any group.

Hillary said...

I respectfully disagree with you as to what the ordinance meant, and I have to ask, have you read it? The regulatory language involving a sticker system and complaint procedure were completely unique to the Hamtramck ordinance. I personally think the ordinance in Ann Arbor is just fine and would have supported it. Why reinvent the wheel?

No one is safe in Hamtramck. I've been a witness to two shootings in three years, and I've been assaulted twice. I've probably called the police more than 20 times.

I'm as unanonymous in Hamtramck as I am on the internet. Just about anyone can figure out where I live, or send violent, anonymous hate mail as one of your readers has. I call out anonymous attackers because debate is almost always more civil when people stand behind what they say with their reputation.

Thank you for the info about the Mattachine Society. I know I'm old fashioned in my wish for widespread protests by the average man, but a friend of mine who lived in Ann Arbor during the civil rights movement talks about the moment that the discrimination became so intolerable, and so obviously wrong, that regular people left their desks and took to the streets. (Won't you dream with me just a little bit?)

Don't thank me for reading as I enjoy every minute of it. I also have a list of friends who left Michigan, gay and straight, and I sympathize with you greatly on that front. I understand your disappointment with my position, but know that if I didn't care, I wouldn't post at all.

Backintheday said...

Sorry about Hamtramck. Protest has always taken different forms -- While Gandhi's non-violence led to a nation's freedom I defy anyone to contest the effectiveness of ACT UP and QUEER NATION in their successes against the battle of indifference to the AIDS crisis twenty years ago, yet they ruffled a lot of feathers both straight and gay. The organizers of these movements need to decide the most effective tactics. Here in California we're out in the streets protesting the passage of Prop 8 like I haven't seen since back in those days. It's hard to be polite when a majority feels that the ballot is an acceptable way to curtail basic freedoms.

The Charlatan said...

Hillary - What would have been the reaction from the Muslim's you met if you had said that the issue of the call to prayers being played over loud speakers was just a distraction from the issues of snow removal?

"Hey Achmed, we'll worry about your religious freedom after we figure out how to repaint City Hall. Just relax and tell your wife to take off the hijab, we only listen to men in suits and not people in costumes."

Would you post that on a website run by and for the Muslim community?

SupergayDetroit said...

Hillary, I have actually read the ordinance language, and after you posted I read your piece on in the Hamtrack Star, and I read the existing (what you refer to as) anti-discrimination ordinance.

Correct me if I am wrong, but the existing ordinance you reference - even if it were to be amended - only impacts housing discrimination, and it refers complaints to a "Human Relations Commission" that is not defined on that page. Is the Human Relations Commission the same board that would handle prosecuting claims of discrimination in the failed Ordinance? What about claims of discrimination in public accomodations or employment?

Complaining that "this isn't the right way" to address discrimination is a stalling tactic, in my opinion. As Roseanne Rosanadana used to say, it's always something. This time it's perceived redundancy. Next time, it's stapled wrong.

Here's what I'd like to know: since this ordinance languange seems stronger and more comprehensive, why not pass this and then amend the housing ordinance to refer discrimination claims to the mechanisms set up here?

Why are protections for GLBT people not passed first, and the other glitches fixed after? Which is the greater moral evil, tacitly permitting discrimination or bureaucracy?

Wait, don't answer that.

SupergayDetroit said...

Backintheday, I am glad to hear that. My impression initially was that all of a sudden the California faggotry was all crying and outraged, like for once they didn't get something to go their way and now they were upset. I just kept thinking, "where the fuck were they when this happened in 30 other states?"

I hope they burn something. And beat up a truck driver maybe. It seems to be the best way to register outrage.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Triangle... do they have ANY pull in this state? I don't mean to disrespect the many man hours that people give to volunteer and contribute to it, but it seems like, as a lobby organization, it fails every time. Setting aside failures at at a local level, has any piece of remotely gay friendly legislation even made it out of committee in Lansing?

SG, you're evidently a plugged in homo... get one of these people to a Doggystyle to give a little talk and have someone explain why we lose time and time again in this state.

Anonymous said...

p.s. Should have also added... "and what we can do about it." to the end of my earlier post.

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