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Senator Tacitly Condones Anti-Gay Violence

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Senator Gary George inspires rage this morning, readers. The Oregonian Senator, who’s hoping to repeal his state’s Equality Act told Just Out magazine that harassed gays should learn to “shut up”. Literally.

George’s argument’s a familiar one: the Equality Act, which protects queers from discrimination, simply gives gays “special rights,” which, George says, run contrary to America’s equality-for-all argument. Similar arguments are often made about affirmative action, a comparison not lost on George:

If I discriminate in favor of you it automatically requires I discriminate against someone else. I was hoping with your generation we can stop calling each other ‘Asian-American,’ or ‘Latino-American’… I have dear dear friends in the legislature who are black but sometimes I really get tired of hearing about their color.

Yeah, race can be exhausting. And so can right wing politicians who don’t understand the beauty of human difference.

It’s only downhill from there, especially when George offers some ill-conceived advice to gays who face occupational discrimination…

Says George:

As an employer, I don’t wanna hear about it. This workplace is for work purposes. My advice to the gay community is SHUT UP, just don’t talk about it. If you walk around talking about what you do in the bedroom, you should be on the pervert channel.

Good God! There’s a pervert channel? Someone get the cable company on the line straight away – we need it!

George’s short-sighted nature leads him to a most infuriating conclusion: gays invite violence. When asked what he thinks of Lawrence King and Simmie Williams’ respective murders, George replies that while there’s no excuse for such behavior, the killer isn’t entirely to blame:

I think we’re seeing a backlash, in other words if you push me too hard don’t be surprised if I react. Gays will tend to react violently if people are oppressive toward them. If gays are oppressive toward straights, then you’ll see a violent backlash. You’re going to have a point where these groups develop and say I’m tired of these special privileges.

Everybody knows where the line is, so when I see I’m offending someone, I have to back away from that. We have to adjust our behavior so as to not be offensive. If you push anyone too hard, they will react.

My plea to the gay community would be, hey, mature.

Wait, wait, let’s get this – um – straight. By asking for legal protections against discrimination and life-ending aggression, we gays are asking for “special privileges”? Geez, and here we thought all Americans had the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Have we been living a lie?

We understand that George voters installed him in the Senate, but it seems to us that such backward thinkers deserve no place in the American political system. The Senator and his ilk not only give democracy a bad name, but grant violent homophobes a disgusting – and worrisome – amount of legitimacy.

If you’re looking to give George a piece of your mind, here’s his email address: sen.garygeorge@state.or.us. Send him our gay love!

By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           Mar 17, 2008
Tagged: , , , , ,

  • 12 Comments
    • dvlaries
      dvlaries

      How long now before this one’s personal sludge train derails and all his garbage spills over? I don’t know if Larry Craig ever spoke this way publicly, but his voting record certainly did. And don’t forget Ted Haggard once equated Gay Pride parades with “Murderers Pride Parades.”

      Mar 17, 2008 at 8:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thom
      Thom

      Make discrimination legal?: That’s what the nazis did in 1930s Germany.

      Mar 17, 2008 at 9:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jimy
      Jimy

      Hey you forgot to mention that somehow this is Hillary Clinton’s fault.

      Mar 17, 2008 at 10:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      It’s no wonder Americans have lost their capacity for discent, or feeling that anyone will listen. When a person in a high office condemns people’s demand for rights, then you know that we are sliding fast down the road of fascism.

      Discrimination is ugly, and it’s real, I can say that as a victim of clearcut Job discrimination, which even though it is illegal here in Minneapolis, is tolerated if big business demands it .

      What is even uglier and more frightening is the governments comfort with repression. Bill Moyers made a program about how the press was silenced throughout the progress of the Iraq War, despite knowing better by the Bush league, and how we were consequiently led by deception into the trumped up war that is still uresolved, and has left practically the oldest civilization in ruins: The newscasters were told not to tell the truth even though it was broadly known in their ranks.

      The only expression allowed anymore is in support of government policy. Change happens in real democracies because people
      demonstrate and make thier case known.

      Mar 17, 2008 at 11:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      Doesn’t anybody care?

      Mar 17, 2008 at 5:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • underbear1
      underbear1

      If I wrote this dim bulb, my anger would only support his position,that queers are BEYOND p*ssed off, and taking our safety into our own hands. With a Supreme Court stocked with Bush hacks who won’t provide gays/lesbians justice for thirty years, the more militant voices in the LGBT community will lead us.
      I subscribe to a seperatist position, the less I’m around straight people, the better I like it.

      Mar 17, 2008 at 5:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aaron
      Aaron

      Unfortunately, I’m forced to listen to my co-workers talk about their kids day in and day out, and with three colleagues currently pregnant, I get to hear about that, too. Doesn’t that count as talking about “what you do in the bedroom”? How else did those kids show up or those women grow those bellies?

      I’m fine with leaving conversation about dating and boyfriends out of the workplace, but only if everyone else does the same. Why should they get “special rights” to talk about their sex lives?

      Mar 17, 2008 at 8:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gurla
      Gurla

      Thanks for the story tip Queerty! I just emailed this to Mr. George. He’s not my rep but he’s so gotta go!!!

      Dear Senator George,

      I have read and reread your Just Out interview excerpts.

      If that paper correctly quoted you (I assume you were knowingly audio taped) then I have a thing or two to say to you, as a fellow Oregon citizen.

      #1 – You are a mean, hateful, sick person to say the things you did about me. You said it would serve a gay person right to have violence done to them. You said you are sick of hearing about the blackness of your dear, dear Senator friends (the black ones).

      #2 – I am a black lesbian who has lived in Oregon for 32 years. I should have a basic and unalienable RIGHT to be safe from violence while being gay OR black in Oregon. You apparently disagree with that. That makes you one sadistic puppy.

      One more thing. . .

      #3 – Are you gay? Were YOU the fat, four-eyed gay kid that no one noticed? Your diatribe gets a little sloppy so I wasn’t sure if you were confessing something to us. If you are gay but think that is none of my business then you need to review your legislative actions because you seem confused. Although I can think of better things to do with my tax money than paying a washed up politician to think about gay sex and violence.

      You’re a pervert! Get your mind out of the gutter.

      Sincerely.

      Ms. Carney
      Ashland, OR.

      Mar 18, 2008 at 12:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dvlaries
      dvlaries

      No wonder he’s a hateful guy, look what Nature did to him. Now, if the current stories were reveresed and it was George, not Spitzer, found paying $5000 and up for a few hours of a hooker’s attention, that would kind of make sense, wouldn’t it?

      Mar 18, 2008 at 5:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      I”ve gotten to be a separatist too, mainly. I think that until we build a solid, impregnable community, we will live sublject to that kind of public molestation & brutalization. This guy is a senator, and publicly a sadistic pervert.

      We have to remember that we are the one marginalized group who are not born within the shelter of a family who supports our basic natures and developed sensabilities. Queers havebeen led to fall slack by the proponents of assimilation: looking for an easy way to be gay. Just a delusion.
      We can see the rewards for that tactic has.
      The Neocons have made hatred of persons who would disrupt their hegemonious hetersexual lifestyle.

      i thought that Oregon was a pretty open minded area. These dorks have infltrated the entire country and think nothing of spoutin this rant,

      Mar 18, 2008 at 9:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ryan
      Ryan

      Here is what I wrote to MY senator.

      State Senator Gary George:

      I am a citizen of Oregon and currently a student at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. If there is one thing I have gained from having an education from one of our nation’s finest institutions it is the ability to articulate opposition well. Recently some quotes have been published that reflect your sentiments about gay Americans and the gay rights movement. I found your sentiments riddled with misinformation, confusion, and undue hatred. I am personally ashamed to know you can have these feelings and serve as an elected official in my beloved state of Oregon. I was, also, personally offended by what you said. However I am a believer in rehabilitation, even of those with ignorant views. I write in an effort to cure you of your ignorance through showing the faults in what you said earlier.

      You said the following in response to the Equality Act, “If I discriminate in favor of you it automatically requires I discriminate against someone else.”

      Incorrect. What the Equality Act is asking for is that you do not discriminate against anyone on the basis of sexual orientation. Many people half-mindedly think that this act means to serve as some sort of “affirmative action” for homosexuals. That is an inept view of the act. What it means is that sexual orientation should not be a factor in an employers reasoning to not hire someone. Just as legislation was passed so that minority races would not suffer undue prejudice for the color of their skin, this serves to ensure that our gay Americans do not undergo the same travesties as they have been in recent history.

      You said the following in reference to gay Americans being open about their sexuality, “This workplace is for work purposes. My advice to the gay community is SHUT UP, just don’t talk about it. If you walk around talking about what you do in the bedroom, you should be on the pervert channel.”

      I would agree that conversation about sex has no business being in the work place, however, you provide a very narrow minded view of what it means to be gay. Just as heterosexual relationships are not completely centered around the sex-act, neither are homosexual relationships. People often talk about their spouses or partner in the work place. This is common and I feel appropriate. When a woman talks about her husband, or a man about his wife, they are indicating their sexuality by mentioning their opposite sexed partner. This is by no means bad or sexual. No reasonable person would immediately think about the sex-life of a person based on the fact that he or she is married. However, in the same way, a gay man might mention his partner to his coworkers: especially those who are already in conversation about their own. Without evening mentioning sex, but simply companionship and love, he would be making it apparent he is homosexual. This does not make him a “pervert” at all and he should be safe to mention his loved one among those who are doing the same. I would agree that people who “walk around talking about what they do in the bedroom” are out of line. It has been my experience that these conversations are more likely to take place between heterosexual men. Many work places take on a “locker room” culture at certain times, which is completely inappropriate.

      You said the following in reference to the hate-crime against Lawrence King, a gay youth, which left him dead, “I think we’re seeing a backlash, in other words if you push me too hard don’t be surprised if I react.”

      I feel this comment was completely out of line. It gives the impression that Lawrence King deserved to be killed: an air that is highly inappropriate to come from an adult, let alone an elected official. To say that straight people are being “pushed” simply because gay can people exist without shame is ridiculous. If that is the truth for someone, then that person has some unsettling issues and I would recommend that he or she receive help through those issues.
      You said, “If gays are oppressive toward straights, then you’ll see a violent backlash. You’re going to have a point where these groups develop and say I’m tired of these special privileges.”

      There is something fundamentally wrong with this statement. Some academics believe that it is impossible to oppress a dominant or majority culture. Whites cannot be oppressed because they are the majority culture just as men cannot be oppressed because they are the majority culture in power. Though minority groups can sometimes work their way toward the top, the dominant group is at will to oppress them through sheer numbers and a history of power. This is exactly what is trying to be cured today concerning the oppression of homosexual citizens. The “backlash” you refer to is not a backlash at all, but instead homophobia. You mentioned “special privileges” but I fail to see where these are. As it stands, homosexuals are routinely discriminated against. There are groups of people, often religious followings, that would go so far as to say that these people have no business existing in the first place. Gay Americans have been killed simply because they are different. They have been fed the notion that they should be ashamed and silenced which has lead to a high suicide rate among gay teenagers. There are no special privileges; there is hurt and hate that comes from mouths like yours. The rights gay people ask for are all measures to create equality: to be free to marry the person you love, to be free to serve in the military, to be free to work without fear of being fired. The list is endless. There is a myriad of privilege, both legal and social, that comes with being heterosexual. Unless there is a complete overhaul in American culture, you have very little to worry about concerning non-heterosexual people having dominion over the dominant culture.

      My advice to you is “hey, mature” and also to educate yourself. If you truly were open minded enough to research the gay rights movement you would see it is a movement rooted in civil liberty and justice. It is a call for equality. You must be aware that you are representing gay and lesbian Oregonians, it would be terrible to short change them by not curing yourself of your own ignorance.

      There was one thing you said that almost rings true, “Gays will tend to react violently if people are oppressive toward them.” I would first point out, that the violence that happens is nearly always by a straight person against a gay person. Violent reaction is often the result of some sort of initial violence. However, gays do congregate and mass together. Politicians such as you have the ability to create cohesion within gay communities. You will see your own backlash the next time you run for office, if you so chose. Do not plan on ever being reelected. I know that I personally will not stand for it.

      As a gay American and Oregonian, you should know that your sentiments hurt me and offended me. You take actions that are meant to ensure equality and twist them to make heterosexuals a victim. One day statements like this will be looked at in the same way people think about the history of racism in our country or the anti-Semitic movements of Nazi Germany: with utter disgust. And that is precisely the feeling I get from reading your quoted words, Senator George. Utter disgust. Please heed my words well and begin your rehabilitation toward sane thinking. I wish you luck in the coming days; you will see just how powerful backlash can be.

      Sincerely,

      Ryan T

      Mar 19, 2008 at 7:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stephen Marc Beaudoin
      Stephen Marc Beaudoin

      Hi Ryan T – Stephen here from Just Out newsmag in Portland. Could you email me when you have a moment? I’d like to chat with you about your powerful letter to senator George.

      I’m at stephen@justout.com

      Thanks much (and thank you, Queerty)

      Stephen Marc Beaudoin
      staff writer
      Just Out newsmagazine
      Portland, OR

      Mar 19, 2008 at 2:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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