Tag Archives: LGBT

POTUS fills judicial post with an inferior choice

Mary Lou Robinson once was hailed as the role model for judicial excellence during her time as the presiding judge of the Northern District of Texas.

Judge Robinson — who was appointed to the newly created judgeship in 1980 by President Carter — died earlier this year, giving Donald Trump a chance to fill her spot on the federal bench with his own pick. Who does he choose? A fellow named Matthew Kacsmaryk, who has elicited alarm among LGBT activists and other civil libertarians because of his decidedly anti-gay track record while working for right-wing think tanks and assorted political organizations.

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Kacsmaryk to the post in a virtually partisan vote; one Republican senator, Susan Collins of Maine, broke party ranks to join Senate Democrats in opposing Kacsmaryk.

Well, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at the lowering of judicial standards in one of our nation’s courts.

Kacsmaryk’s writings and advocacy against gay rights and his comments about transgender children are cause for alarm. Indeed, one did not hear a hint of that kind of judicial philosophy about the woman he is succeeding in that court.

According to NBC NewsMara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, slammed the appointment.

“Transgender youth and their families are facing a crisis in this country, and they cannot afford an unqualified and clearly biased nominee like Matthew Kacsmaryk,” Keisling said in a statement shared with NBC News. “Our country needs fair-minded judges free of irrational prejudices against marginalized people.”

I interviewed many state and county judicial candidates during my years in the Texas Panhandle and almost all of them would cite the late Judge Robinson as their role model for judicial temperament, knowledge of the law and fairness from the bench.

Will the new judge elicit that kind of praise? Hah!

Stop the gay love-incest connection


Here it comes, folks.

Those who oppose same-sex marriage are beginning to lick their chops over the story of a New Mexico mother and son who’ve entered into a love affair.

Monica Mares is 36; her son Caleb Peterson is 19. She gave her son up for adoption when he was a baby. Now they’ve reconnected, only the love they express for each other is, um, a different kind of love.

It’s not a mother-son love. It’s of the extremely intimate variety.

The law calls it incest. It’s also illegal under New Mexico statutes.


There’s actually a new name for it now: genetic sexual attraction. Mom and son, though, both face potential prison time if they’re convicted of incest, given that her son is now an adult and is supposedly capable of making his own decisions.

Well, folks, Caleb Peterson has made a really bad one here. So has his mother.

Is there any symmetry between what’s happening in Clovis, N.M., with this “odd couple” and what happens all over the world when people of the same gender are attracted to each other?

Not one bit.

The only possible link would be if a father had a sexual relationship with his son, or a mother with her daughter.

Just as love is love — as the mantra goes in the LGBT community — then incest is incest.

The first relationship is legal under the law. The other one is not.

Abbott makes simple statement of solidarity

gov mansion

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott flew the flag at the Governor’s Mansion.

It was the Florida state flag, which he unfurled to honor the victims of the Orlando nightclub massacre, the worst such event in U.S. history.

He offered a statement calling on Texans to pray for the victims of the shooting. I applaud the governor’s simple statement of support for those who were killed and injured and for the loved ones who are grieving or praying for the victims’ complete recovery.

Then he lost me … almost.

Abbott used the occasion to make a statement that we need to do more to stamp out radical Islamic terrorism.

The gunman, an American, swore fealty to the Islamic State before opening fire at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, which caters to the city’s gay community. FBI director James Comey, though, has suggested that his agency cannot find any indication that the shooter was acting as part of an ISIS master plot; he was a lone wolf, a guy acting on his own.

My question tonight is this: How does the federal government stop a lone madman?

It’s a no-brainer to suggest that the government needs to do more to combat terrorism. Any act taken committed against us — whether it’s on a 9/11-type scale or anything less audacious — always means we need to “do more.”

Before we get too worked up about this latest attack, let’s remember what every expert the media could corral after 9/11 told us: There should be no doubt that we’ll get hit again by terrorists.

As for the latest incident, the best law enforcement minds on Earth are trying to ascertain whether the shooter was acting out of hatred for gay people or whether he was acting as a radical Islamic terrorist.

I’m glad the governor flew the Florida flag at Governor’s Mansion. The politicization? It seems a bit premature.

History keeps this tweet up front


If only he hadn’t sent this particular message out when he did.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is still taking some hits from critics who wonder why he posted a certain Bible verse when he did — in the wake of the Orlando, Fla., massacre in which 50 people died.

A fascinating analysis in the Texas Tribune suggests that Patrick’s history makes it hard for him to shake himself loose from the critics.

A shooter gunned down 49 people before being killed by Orlando police. Omar Mateen now owns the record for committing the worst massacre in U.S. history.

The carnage occurred in a gay nightclub.

Then comes a tweet from Lt. Gov. Patrick, a verse from Galatians. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”


Critics pounced on the tweet, saying it was an attack on the LGBT community. Were they wrong? According to the Texas Tribune’s Ross Ramsey: “The lieutenant governor has a track record with the LGBT community. They have him marked as an opponent. He seems to have them marked the same way. Whatever else might be said about it, they don’t trust each other.

“No wonder they read his Sunday morning post the way they did, assuming the worst. Their mutual history taught them to expect it.”

Patrick pulled the tweet down not long after it was posted. His spokesman called it a terrible coincidence. He said the tweet had been selected and scheduled for posting long before the madman opened fire in Orlando.

The man has a long-standing opposition to gay rights. He opposes same-sex marriage and asked the state attorney general — in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage — to investigate whether local officials could avoid having to sanction gay marriages.

I am sure Patrick wishes he could take it all back. He likely hopes the backlash against that particular tweet will subside.

I’m afraid it won’t. He’s got that history working against him.


Lt. Gov. deletes tweet, but the damage is done


Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has demonstrated for the world just how immediate social media posts can become and how indelible they are once they are posted.

Patrick decided in the early hours after the Orlando, Fla., massacre to post something on Twitter that enraged some folks. It was New Testament passage, from Galatians 6:7 that declares: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”

Why the anger over the post?

Well, the massacre occurred at a night club called Pulse, which is a popular hangout for Orlando’s gay community. The madman/shooter killed 50 people before he was killed by the police.

Omar Mateen was an American who reportedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State before committing the horrifying act of carnage.

However, Patrick’s tweet seemed aimed at the victims. Fifty innocent victims were gunned down and he chose that particular verse to post on social media.

He took it down shortly afterward.

However, the damage was done. That’s what happens with these social media posts. They get posted and then are sent around the world many times instantaneously. As a friend used to tell me, “You cannot unhonk a horn.” Same with these social media posts.

Patrick’s spokesman said the tweet had been planned this past week. Patrick posts comments from Twitter weekly, the spokesman said. The passage from Galatians had no relation to the tragedy at Pulse.

I don’t know what to believe here.


At minimum, we have a terrible coincidence at work. Patrick’s social media message just happened to sound to many folks like a crass criticism in the wake of a horrific national tragedy.

Talk about terrible timing.

I’m glad he took the message down. However, I think it would be best if the lieutenant governor himself — not through a spokesman — would stand before us to explain how it happened in the first place.


Texas GOP at war with itself


Do you want to see a prime example of how badly fractured the Republican Party has become?

Take a look at the fight for the Texas Republican Party chairmanship.

This is an amazing development.


State GOP Chairman Tom Mechler has been accused of promoting a “disgusting homosexual agenda.” The accusation comes from supporters of Jared Woodfill, a Houston GOP activist who’s challenging Mechler for the party chairmanship.

Why is this so amazing?

Well, I happen to know Mechler. He hails from Armstrong County. He’s a Panhandle guy who is as conservative a politician as one can imagine. I consider Mechler to be a friend and, take my word for it, he doesn’t exactly line up with gay-rights activists’ world view.

The Texas GOP had the temerity to allow a gay and lesbian group to set up a booth at the upcoming state Republican convention. Does that constitute a “disgusting homosexual agenda”? I do not believe it does.

What it constitutes is a recognition that Texas comprises a wide array of individuals who have differing orientations.

That’s it.

Mechler is putting some distance between himself and the gay-rights group. According to the Dallas Morning News: “Mechler said he had nothing to do with the decision to allow the group, the Metroplex Republicans, to have a booth at the state GOP convention.”

Just as the national Republican Party is fighting among itself, the Texas GOP is exposing deep fissures within its own ranks.

The ultra-uber conservative wing of the Texas GOP is tossing out the “RINO” epithet at Mechler, who is the farthest thing possible from being a “Republican In Name Only.”

Believe me when I say this: Tom Mechler is a true-blue Republican believer. He’s the real thing.


Transgender bathrooms become a POTUS campaign issue?


What in the name of bathroom breaks has happened to the presidential campaign?

Let’s see: Donald J. Trump said something about it being OK with him if a transgender individual wants to use a bathroom that makes him/her comfortable.

Then we hear from fellow Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who starts peppering Trump with criticism over his statement.

Holy mackerel, man!

First of all, I am not dialed in to this transgender issue. If I were king of the world — which Trump seems to aspire to become — I wouldn’t waste a moment of time worrying about this issue.

Transgenderism isn’t on my radar. I guess if I had to make an argument for it one way or the other, I’d oppose allowing transgender individuals to use whatever rest room they wish.

People are born with certain physical attributes that make them either male or female. I guess physiology rules out over emotional psyche.

OK. That said, why are presidential candidates even talking about this issue?

It won’t matter one bit to any president. This is a state issue exclusively. If there’s a law to be enacted, it will be done by state legislatures and signed into law — or vetoed — by governors.

The LGBT community seems to want to make an issue of it. While I oppose laws aimed at discriminating against Americans based on their sexual orientation, this transgender bathroom issue that has blown up in some states takes this tempest a step too far.

And for the life of me, I don’t understand why presidential candidates are talking about it now.



Mayor stands for principle in commissioning of ship

USS Portland

This story caught my eye initially because it involved a vessel named after the city of my birth.

Then I learned more about the real story. It’s about principle.

The USS Portland is going to commissioned late next year in Portland, Ore., rather than in Pascagoula, Miss., where it was scheduled to be commissioned.

Why the change? Portland’s lame-duck mayor, Charlie Hales, said he wouldn’t go to Pascagoula to take part in the commissioning because of a Mississippi law he and others say discriminates against gay and transgender people.

You go, Mr. Mayor!

Hales is standing on the principle of non-discrimination and for that he should be applauded.

The USS Portland is an amphibious transport ship that the U.S. Navy has just built. It’s a gleaming vessel of the San Antonio class.

It’s going to be christened in Pascagoula. Hales was going to attend the christening, but backed out because of the discriminatory law.

Portland has some world-class freshwater maritime facilities, as it straddles the Willamette River near where it empties into the mighty Columbia River. According to a report in the Portland Tribune, the commissioning will occur late next year at Terminal 2.

As the Tribune reported: “’The commissioning ceremony of a Navy ship is steeped in a time-honored tradition that places a ship in active service,’ says Mike Hewlett, chair of the Portland Council of he Navy League, an international organization of civilians that supports the maritime services, including the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marines, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Merchant Marine.”

That “tradition” should not be done in an environment where some Americans face a state-sanctioned discrimination.

Accordingly, Mayor Hales should be applauded for standing firm on his belief that such laws mustn’t be tolerated.

I don’t know Charlie Hales, who has made me proud of my hometown.


Ga. governor vetoes anti-LGBT law … yes!


Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has done the right thing by vetoing House Bill 757, which sought to give faith-based business owners the option of denying jobs and services to gays, bisexuals and transgendered individuals.

Those who supported the bill said it protects religious liberty. Those who oppose it said it discriminates needlessly against Americans who shouldn’t be denied their rights as citizens.

There had been reports of pressure being applied by HB 757 foes who said the bill could result in the loss of business and jobs in Georgia.

I’m glad the anti-bill folks won this argument.

Gov. Deal, a Republican, denied he was reacting to pressure from either or both sides of the divide. According to CNN: His decision, he said, was “about the character of our state and the character of our people. Georgia is a welcoming state. It is full of loving, kind and generous people. … I intend to do my part to keep it that way. For that reason I will veto House Bill 757.”

I accept that rationale for doing the right thing by the residents of his state who comprise the whole range of humanity — and all sexual orientations.

One of the more fascinating responses to this doing-business-with-gay-people came not long ago from Ohio Gov. John Kasich, one of three men running for the Republican presidential nomination.

During a debate with the other candidates, the question came to Kasich about legislation allowing business owners to deny serving gay individuals or gay couples. Kasich’s response was about as compassionate as it gets.

He said he believes in “traditional marriage,” but said that those who are in business of serving the public need to understand the differences among all people. Some of those differences involve sexual orientation.

He said that if he were put in that position as a business owner, he would serve a gay individual or a gay couple and then would “pray for them” — privately, seeking his own counsel with God.

I hope that’s part of the complexities of the issue that has driven Gov. Deal to veto this bill approved by his state’s legislature.

Let’s not seek to interpret what is in one man’s heart and soul.

Whatever the reasons, Deal knows what they are. His veto speaks volumes all by itself.

Anti-sodomy law still on the books? Get rid of it!

I just learned something today that I probably should have known already.

It’s that a law banning sodomy in Texas remains on the books, even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the state’s anti-sodomy law to be in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Let me stipulate here that I am not comfortable writing about sex, so I’ll be discreet.


The anti-sodomy law was a vestige of the state’s prejudice against homosexual behavior. It banned same-sex intimacy. The Supreme Court then stepped in and said the state cannot ban such behavior, given that what two people do in the privacy of their home is, well, no one’s business but their own.

I thought the court’s striking down of the law meant the end of it. The state couldn’t enforce an unconstitutional law. Silly me. I was wrong.

The Texas Tribune reports that Texas isn’t alone among the states that still have anti-sodomy laws on the books. Eleven other states have these outdated laws.

They all should be repealed.

I find it incredibly hypocritical for legislators who contend that government shouldn’t interfere in people’s lives to retain a law that interferes in the most intrusive manner imaginable.

The highest court in the country ruled in 2003 that states could not punish people for engaging in same-sex intercourse, as Texas did.

The Legislature needs to finish off this law once and for all. Time’s wasting, ladies and gentlemen.