Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Few Homophobes in New Bedford "Rally"

I was going to go to a big Deval Patrick field meeting today, but was sadly running so late that 9:45 am was going to be the earliest I'd get there. The meeting started at 9 am. So, I went to Office Max to buy posters (locking myself out of my car for an hour) and rallied for equal rights instead.

The ever-disingenuous "let the people vote" crowd - you know, the same people who were openly homophobic 2 years ago, but realized that homophobia doesn't sell (so now they just want their "right to vote") - were at it again today. Soon-to-be former Representative Phil Paleophobogoat was all riled up, like usual, because dem gays are getting married he 'wants to vote' is an homophobic asshole. So, he keynoted a New Bedford "rally" (which was probably outnumbered by equal-right supporters counter-protesting) and did typical things one would expect from people filled with hatred: ranted, raved and made loud noises filled with sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Luckily, they learned to "repackage" their homophobia too late for it to matter: marriage equality isn't going anywhere in Massachusetts. Well-organized counter-protesters were there, today, to make sure of it. While polite, the heroes of the crowd made sure their voice was heard. Dozens - if not hundreds - of hand made posters were held high by the crowd fittingly in front of the New Bedford Public Library (mine said "This Christmas: Peace and Love on Earth for Everyone"). Simple chants of "equal rights" rose when Team Homophobia squealed their 'let the people vote' meme. When Paleophobogoat finally came up to speak, the friends of marriage equality turned their backs on him. Becoming a force of pure hatred, he didn't deserve any more attention. Luckily, he won't get any - his term's up and he shan't be going back for another.

After the rally, a bunch of fellow UMASS students hit the streets of New Bedford and ate at No Problemo - a favorite burrito joint and hangout of mine. There were straight guys, gay guys, lesbians and everything in between. But that had nothing to do with anything and wasn't on anyone's minds. People who find marriage equality an issue they just can't get past need to take a long, hard look in the mirror - because no one else really cares. Everyone's moved on; not one damn cloud has fallen from the sky because two guys occasionally kiss after saying "I do." Marriage equality is here to stay - it's time for the few who can't seem to grasp that to get used to it.

Correction: Phil Paneologos, quite thankfully, is not and has never been a State Rep. I somehow morphed him into not only the SoCo's A-Hole, but likely also Representative Phillip Travis, a retiring representative, with the same first name, who's one of the biggest opponents of marriage equality in the state. Brain farts happen to the best of us.

25 comments:

Susan M. said...

Ryan! Coffee time started at 9:15 AM the meeting didn't get underway until 10:00 AM. :-(

Sorry you didn't make it. It was a good meeting. I'm gonna blog about it later.

Ryan Adams said...

Oh, bummer. I was told by a campaign person who invited me to come that it was going to start at 9am, sadly, but the truth is, I probably wouldn't have made it until after 10. 9:45 was figuring I could make it in less than an hour - but Mapquest said it would take an hour and 45 minutes. I figured I could have paired off 20 minutes by driving faster, but that would have been very generous - especially considering that I tend not to go above 75 in a 65 zone for fear of getting a ticket I couldn't afford to pay LOL.

I hope there's another field meeting soon, because I'm more excited about the prospects of getting involved in this aspect of the 'campaign' - citizen lobbying - than anything else. Plus, I'd love the opportunity to get to meet people like you in person and other like-minded individuals too.

laurel said...

Thank you for being there in New Bedford Ryan!

Peter Porcupine said...

Ryan - Phil Paleologos doesn't hold any elective office - he just runs a diner. He ran for Governor's council, but lost to Dem incumbent Carole Fiola. He has never even RUN for State Rep. - tbis year was his first try for any office.

And as I've said - the Legislature has an obligation to act - legal and moral. Let them vote NO if they wish, but this recess business if crap.

If they can't find the guts to vote yes or no, the petition drive will begin all over again, and will continue until people either DO get a vote (which would be my choice) or the Legislature finds the guts to go on record.

Ryan Adams said...

hmm... who was I thinking of in the state legislature then... grrr. Well, I'll have a correction to make in the morning. Pity, I loved a line or two in there.

I wanted the vote, too, Peter, but now that they've made their decision I'm happy to - in the words of Paul McCartney - let it be. If another drive happens, and I really think that's somewhat of an if, then I'd be more than happy to see a vote - especially since, within an election or two we'll probably have all the votes we need and more - but I'm not going to raise a stink (especially with the legislature's heart in the right place). I'm going to let this ball swing my way for once.

Anonymous said...

Ryan, Deval is NEVER on time. It's a miracle if meetings start only an hour late. Next time, go anyway.

Peter, give it up. The Legislature has no legal or moral obligation to anything on your say so. It's over. You lost. Deal. I'm sure the Legislature is quaking in its boots that the petition drive will continue, I mean look how it's affected politics in the Commonwealth, now how many pro equality people have you taken out, again? Keep wasting your time as you get brushed aside again and again and everyone laughs at you and you become more and more irrelevant. By the time you're done, you won't have anyone left in either Chamber. Ooh, scary.

Likes Bikes 2 said...

Given that most of the people screaming 'Vote' say they will keep coming back without regard to what the legislature does on Jan. 2, do you really think anybody cares that they threaten to file again if they don't get their way?

They hate that they have to share the benefits state gives out with their neighbors. And these would likely be the same people saying affirmative action is wrong becasue it deprives them of equal access.

Perhaps in the meantime we can get some quick movement on tightening the rules for collecting signatures, and the penalties for breaking them.

Ryan, thanks for being there and letting us know what happened.

Likes Bikes 2 said...

There's a nice write up of the event here http://www.southcoasttoday.com/daily/12-06/12-10-06/03local.htm

lenstewart said...

Ryan: you did the right thing going to the Marriage Equality rally. Deval Patrick already "gets it."

And, I want to offer a big thanks to the unsung South Coast heroes who worked so hard to get the NB equal rights rally organized to confront the hate and vilification that spewed from the anti group. I'd like to especially commend Liz DiCarlo from Mattapoisett, who has spent her life working to make things better for working families across Southeastern Massachusetts.

Good press today, too, in the NB S-T.

Here on Cape, we had three days' notice to organize the Cape Marriage Equality rally, and got a good group out to yesterday's event. I had never been exposed to Paleologis before, but he was astoundingly nasty. Although his nastiness was matched by several of our own cheap local politicians and church representatives. My condolences to you on the South Coast for having to put up with Paleologis daily.

And, finally, another HUGE thank you to Liz DiCarlo and friends who, once they wrapped up the New Bedford rally, got in their cars and drove up to Barnstable to support our mixed group of straights, gays, parents, and kids who rallied here for equal rights on Cape Cod.

John Hosty said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John Hosty said...

Peter Porcupine said:

"And as I've said - the Legislature has an obligation to act - legal and moral. Let them vote NO if they wish, but this recess business if crap.

If they can't find the guts to vote yes or no, the petition drive will begin all over again, and will continue until people either DO get a vote (which would be my choice) or the Legislature finds the guts to go on record."

It takes guts to be a bigot and follow the crowd? Obviously someone wants people to forget Robert's Rules of Order as well as the special rules that govern constitutional amendments. Precedence has been set in this matter, and precendence can be as powerful as law. By not voting on this, the legislators save us from another two more years of infighting over gay equality. Enough is enough.

The legislators already voted on a bill that would ban gay marriage this year, and it was unanimously voted down. Are we going to have to suffer these attacks against our civil rights for the rest of eternity? When do the opponents of freedom stop crying that the sky is going to fall and wake up to the reality that gay people are a part of this healthy, growing society. We deserve our equality, and we demmand it.

This petition is not the will of the people. It is the will of a very active, small, hate group, that happened to hire an outside of the state signature gathering group. The rampant fraud is documented, and now there is a criminal investigation underway.

Personally I don't care how many times hate shows it's ugly face, it is not going to scare me back into silence. So go ahead and threaten to collect another 68,000+ signatures if you think it will matter. In the end the opponents of gay marriage are still going to take their places in history with the likes of George Wallace and his ilk. The next generation is taking over, and hate is being tossed out on it's ear.

Peter Porcupine said...

"And, finally, another HUGE thank you to Liz DiCarlo and friends who, once they wrapped up the New Bedford rally, got in their cars and drove up to Barnstable to support our mixed group of straights, gays, parents, and kids who rallied here for equal rights on Cape Cod."

So tell me, Len. The CC Times reported today that even with your imported help, the Vote people out-numbered the anti-Vote people two to one. So, without outside help, you would have been able to rally 3 or 4?

And John Hosty wants to rant about alleged outide signature gatherers (everybody I saw with a petition was a local!) but NOT counter-protestors who have to drive from place to place to create an appearance of opposition? The New Bedford people didn't need to import supporters from Cape Cod!

bostonph said...

It's important to remember a couple of things:

1) All (and I do mean ALL) of the anti-gay marriage organizations in this state started life as anti-gay organizations.

2) "Let the People Vote" and "Make the Legislature Vote" are just the latest in a long line of attempts to drive gay people from the public
arena.

3) Most of the organizations get considerable funding from out of state, most notably from the Traditional Values Coalition.

4) Additionally, all of them have receive money from Robert Bradley and the Pawlicks (sponsers of the original MA Protection of Marriage Amendment). Look it up.

5) The abuses in the petition gathering process are well documented. MFI openly admits to having paid people to gather signatures, for example. If you want to go with anecdotal evidence, I personally know five people whose names were forged.

Anonymous said...

That's not quite right. Citizen's for Limited Taxation also apposes gay marriage and they exist mainly to line their member's pocketbooks.

Barbara Anderson, like CLT member Cynthia Stead (aka Peter Porcupine), professes to have gay friends. The organization just opposes "special rights" and calling homosexual union "marriage."

Barbara's writings eclipse even Porcupine in their mealy-mouthed duplicity:

http://cltg.org/cltg/barbara/2004/04-02-19_Gay_marriage_debate.htm

But the statement by John O'Sullivan haunts me. My moral intuition and love of linguistics say that words must have meaning that is respected, and "marriage" has always meant a man and a woman. During President's Month, it might be good to recall Abraham Lincoln's observation that, if you call a tail a leg, a dog still has only four legs.

The organization puts a lot of time into supporting the MA DOMA vote. See their site for more examples.

http://cltg.org

John Hosty said...

Peter Porcupine says:

"And John Hosty wants to rant about alleged outide signature gatherers "

This is what the opposition to marriage equality does; it misleads and misinforms. Instead of arguing my point I will simply site a source of information and be done with the argument. Arno Political Consultants was hired by Massachusetts Family Institute to collect signatures for them. At the Election Committee hearing in October of 2005 Senator Augustus pressed Kris Mineau for how many volunteers he had that were collecting signatures and were Massachusetts residents. After evading the question several times, Mr. Mineau reluctantly said, "About five." I heard this with my own ears, and it is documented in the meetings minutes.

Priests all over the state were forced to ask parish members to sign the petition, but showed what they truly thought with their own signatures being absent. Almost 80% of MA priests did not sign the petition, INCLUDING Cardinal O'Maley himself.

The residents of this state are waking up from being fooled, as Kerry Healey found out the hard way, and they don't like liars. In the near future we will see freedom defended, and justice triumphant. Legislators are not simply called to follow the letter of the law, but to serve the people's best interests. If they turn their backs on the anti-equality amendment, they have their constituents support and legal precedent to do so.

I challenge Peter Porcupine to do what legislators and opponents alike have not been able to. Prove the need to take away my civil rights. If you are so sure this amendment is worth supporting, let's hear your rationale.

Ryan Adams said...

My only comment on the recent discussions of this thread have to do with this:

"So tell me, Len. The CC Times reported today that even with your imported help, the Vote people out-numbered the anti-Vote people two to one. So, without outside help, you would have been able to rally 3 or 4?"

PP, seeing as how I *know* civic engagement is one of your big issues - so much so that you travelled the same distance to UMASS that many of the SoCo Marriage Equality folks did to Cape Cod - I'm kind of surprised you'd take that up. Shouldn't we be applauding people in this state, championing causes that effect people in this state, whether we agree with them or not on the issue? That was essentially the words I heard uttered from you just a few days ago.

I don't agree with Phil or Kris, but I didn't question whether or not they had the right to rally at New Bedford - or that they undoubtedly brought in people from all over the state to New Bedford too.

John Hosty said...

Ryan,

One of the things that has been left out of this conversation is the fact that in other parts of the state, like Springfield (where they didn't even have a license to rally like MassEquality did), our opponents didn't fair so well in numbers. In fact we outnumbered them pretty much everywhere except the place Kris Mineau was expected to speak. Of course they bused people in.

StunnedVoter said...

Brilliant argument, PP. I for one am tired of these "outside agitators" who drive from town to town trying to promote "Constitutional rights." What about Town's Rights? If we want slavery, uh, I mean, if we want to deprive other people in our town of their rights, who's to stop us? Outsiders from beyond the city limits? Hell no! That's a violation of *our* rights, and those are the important rights! So there! Better to have forged signatures from actual residents of the state on a petition than actual residents of the state at a rally!

Peter Porcupine said...

Ryan - to answer your question - the Cape Cod Times reported this as a gathering of locals, pro and con. I think Len would agree with me that the faces in the newspaper photo in the crowd were pretty much all people he and/or I recognized. However, the opponents drove down from New Bedford - to CREATE an impression of local opposition? I am surprised at Len, to be honest.

Stunned voter - your 'question' cannot be answered becaus, well, it's pretty incomprehensible. One of the things I like best about discussing issues with Ryan when we disagree is that he doesn't get lost in forests of hyperbole and lame analogy.

Anonymous said...

Cynthia Stead said:

One of the things I like best about discussing issues with Ryan when we disagree is that he doesn't get lost in forests of hyperbole and lame analogy.

I guess we're most attracted to those least like us.

Ryan Adams said...

I don't know, I can be pretty hyperbolic sometimes LOL

Generally, it's so over the top though, that people get I'm joking =p

John Hosty said...

I like the fact that Peter Porcupine decides to evade my challenge to engage whenever "he" can. When someone of this obvious intelligence can't come up with a proper response, surely one has made a valuable point.

First they ignore you.
Then they laugh at you.
Then they fight you.
Then you win.
~Gandhi

bostonph said...

PP is well known for just ignoring the bits "he" can't answer. If she hits you with a condescending personal attack, it's a clear sign you've won.

I like to call the style "snark and run."

John Hosty said...

It is good to have debate because your opponents are the first ones to tell you your weaknesses. If we could only have debate rather than vitriol on this subject I think both sides would learn much.

StunnedVoter said...

it's pretty incomprehensible. One of the things I like best about discussing issues with Ryan when we disagree is that he doesn't get lost in forests of hyperbole and lame analogy.

Sorry for being incomprehensible, PP. I guess I should have stuck to one syllable words you can comprehend. Uh, I mean, "get." How about, "Me hate gays! Me pretend not getting paid to post this bs. You? Grunt"? And, well, ya know, goils who have historical figure alter egos and say things like "I was born here, I will die here and I will fight you until then! En garde!" mmm, yeah, well, at least we can say one thing for them, they know from hyperbole and lame analogy. lol

Help me, PP, people are driving out of my town! I hope they're not going to another for nefarious political purposes! Love, Paul Revere and William Dawes, "The pro equality people are coming! It's an invasion!"

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