Tennessee GOP Wants Law To Protect Anti-Gay Bullies From Persecution

  does this mean they're finally an endangered species?

Also, 'free' speech is socialist.

So remember when the Tennessee state Senate passed a bill last year making it illegal for teachers to so much as acknowledge the existence of gay people within earshot of their young students? To hillbilly homo-foobs this is known as “savin’ tha childrunz,” but in fancy legal terminology this is known as “censorship.” (And in plain English, “stupid.”) Sanity miraculously won out, and that bill ultimately did not become law. TACTICAL SHIFT NEEDED. How about, instead, a bill to fight censorship? Not to protect gay students or anything, SHEESH, no one picks on them in schools. No, the proposed law will protect the rights of the real victims, the students who want to call gays mean names for “religious” reasons.

From WSMV.com:

The proposal would alter the state’s anti-bullying laws to allow students to speak their religious and political views against homosexuality without punishment as long as the student isn’t threatening harm or damaging property.

 
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“This kind of legislation can send a message that it’s ok to hate and we’ll even give you religious sanction for it. You can say what you want. As long as you say it’s for religious reasons, you’ve got backup,” said Chris Sanders, with Tennessee Equality Project.

The bill is a top priority for the conservative Family Action Council, which on its website says its intent is to clarify that unpopular beliefs don’t constitute bullying.

Sigh. At least the Family Values crowd in Tennessee is starting to self-consciously refer to their hateful bigotry as “unpopular,” so maybe that’s something. Not much, though. [WSMV.com via Wonkette operative "chascates"]

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183 comments

  1. iburl

    Eternal Hellfire is technically not "threatening harm" because you're dead and Hell is a made up place for stupid people to be kept in line with the threat of going there.

    1. bikerlaureate

      That delightful phrase "threatening harm or damaging property" seems to permit actually doing harm (damaging people who are "for" homosexuality)… and threatening to harm property.

  2. memzilla

    Next move: declaring anti-gay bias a Religion in Tennessee, for the protectionz. Suggested name: The Rainbow Demolition.

    1. johnnymeatworth

      Someday we'll smash it, the Rainbow Connection….
      The rednecks, the dumbfucks, and me….

  3. smashedinhat

    One would actually have to climb off of ones sister long enough to carry out any threat of physical harm against persons or property. So, no problem.

    1. memzilla

      Ah yes, the old joke about the definition of foreplay in those there parts: "Psst — hey sis, you awake?"

  4. SorosBot

    "Unpopular" beliefs are not bullying, no; saying hateful things is though. But we've always known the fundies like the hate group the Family Action Council are pro-bullying.

    1. jus_wonderin

      Just try to enjoy nature and forget the negatives. Go out, rub your bare butt on a tree. You will feel better. Why, I am doing that very thing, right now.

    2. BaldarTFlagass

      That's the problem with about 90% of the land mass of this entire country: the disgusting "natives".

    3. tessiee

      "the ugly minded people sure do ruin the perfect landscape"

      "When Beautiful Places Happen to Bad People"

  5. DaRooster

    I think I'm going to start a new religion… full of crazy ideas like-
    -Treat your neighbors kindly
    - Help people in need
    - Protect each other
    - Teach children to be nice and that learning is important
    You know… way out in left field kind of things… unlike anything that's around these days. And then… under the "help people in need" and "protect each other" I can prey upon these worthless morons in the name of religion.

    1. ThundercatHo

      You'll need a catchy name for your new religion, how about "Inanity"? The faithful would be "inies" and the heathens "outies". Get one of those minister certificates like they used to sell in the back of Rolling Stone and you're all set. Make a little tax exempt money on the side doing weddings and such.

      1. DaRooster

        With an added bonus… our band could play the reception and if I set it up right we could be tax exempt too…
        Thanks Ho.

    2. tessiee

      You do that, and they'll treat you the way they treated the last guy who tried to shove that particular zucchini down their throats.

  6. Pragmatist2

    I am proposing a law whereby it would be unlawful to punish those who persecute those who bully gays but only if those who persecute those who bully gays are following their religious and moral beliefs.

    1. tessiee

      I have a sincere religious and moral belief that bullies of every variety should be wiped off the face of the earth.

  7. Groupshrug

    Sad how they seem to be limiting the measure to just students who want to criticize gay students.

    What if I want to teach my child that part of our religion is that most white kids in Tennessee are slow, trailer park, mouth breathers who's parents never learned to rad because their Dad was too busy screwing his Sister, which is how he was born. And it's very important to tell how terrible they are and how useless their lives are on a daily, consistent basis.

    That's not bullying, it's what I (hypothetically) believe in.

  8. SayItWithWookies

    I guess if your god's a bigot, anti-bigotry laws constitute religious discrimination.

  9. Indiepalin

    When former congressman Davy Crockett (D) (TN) died at the Alamo, his last words were reportedly "Homos For Heaven"

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      If Tennessee enacted laws against stupidity, on the day the governor signed it into law we would only have 49 states in the USA. Of course, you can say that about a lot of states, especially those starting with the letter T.

  10. BaldarTFlagass

    Are these fuckers having some kind of secret contest, to see who can propose the most insane, asinine legislation in their respective states?
    It's a toss-up this week, between New Hampshire's Magna Carta thing and this.

    1. GOPCrusher

      Indiana's Democrats refused to show up yesterday, because the Republiklans planned on passing anti-union legislation without so much as a floor debate.

  11. donner_froh

    At least the Family Values crowd in Tennessee is starting to self-consciously refer to their hateful bigotry as “unpopular,”

    Not unpopular in Tennessee–or, unfortunately in parts of about 49 other states. Michigan came within a day or two of passing the same legislation.

  12. ManchuCandidate

    Nope.

    That's what bullies want really. To take verbal shots and terrorist fist jabs without getting shot or jabbed back. Otherwise, one day their pipsqueak targets might get all pissy and start swinging too and that would hurt.

    What bully deserves to feel pain?

  13. Goonemeritus

    Does the law only protect the Old Testament views on Homosexuality or would it allow for comment on Schtupping ones sister? If so I can see a lot of children in Tennessee going home very upset.

  14. elviouslyqueer

    Well, according to the Family Action Council's own logic, I'm perfectly within my rights to call out some smarmy Christian homophobic asshole as a "goddamn cocksucking motherfucker." I just have to remember not to forget the "Goddamn." Problem solved!

  15. DerrickWildcat

    Where do you draw the line? Can you beat up people that aren't really gay, but do gay things, like wear a String Tie? Carry and conceal a .32 or (shudder) .22 caliber pistol instead of a Desert Eagle? Wear a belt that's a foot too long and just let it dangle in front?
    This is a slippery slope.
    Whoops, that saying is pretty gay. Please don't beat the shit out of me.

    1. tessiee

      "Wear a belt that's a foot too long and just let it dangle in front?"

      *Definitely* beat up people for that. Also, for wearing those skinny hipster pants.

  16. Fukui_sanYesOta

    Hang on a minute. This law is specifically about homosexuality.

    The Family Action Council of Tennessee said in a newsletter emailed to supporters this week that one of its top priorities for 2012 will be passage of legislation that changes the state’s anti-bullying law “to make sure it protects the religious liberty and free speech rights of students who want to express their views on homosexuality.”

    This is a bullying exclusion for those who wish to promulgate bigoted views. Excluding the obvious odious intent, what on earth is this legislation attempting? It would be easy to make a slippery-slope-style argument about this ("what's next? murder ok in the case that the victim propositioned the same-sex offender?"), but the whole thinking about it is incredibly flawed.

    This is a specific exclusion of one belief from being classified as "bullying". It makes it exempt when kids may perhaps refer to one other as "hellbound" or "lake of fire dunk-pool contestant" repeatedly, day after day, non-stop, in groups. That can be exempt because it's driven by a religious belief.

    That's fucked up.

    Luckily it's still legal to say "I hope every member of the Family Action Council dies screaming in fiery car crashes"

    1. jus_wonderin

      "Luckily it's still legal to say "I hope every member of the Family Action Council dies screaming in fiery car crashes" "

      I pray there is a YouTube of this. I am firing up the Jiffy Pop as we write.

    2. CapeClod

      So if I read this correctly, this makes it OK to say "My God says that you will burn in Hell, Fag," but its not OK to say "My God, says that you are fat, bigotted, trailer-trash," even though the later is more likely to be true?

      1. Fukui_sanYesOta

        Bingo. A specific exclusion.

        If you always say "fuck off you dipshit god-bothering fuckweasel", it can be classed as bullying.

    3. Fukui_sanYesOta

      Ah cockslap, I'm wrong. I tried my best to get to the bottom (hoho!) of this bill and all I could find were articles about the homosexual aspect.

      Here's the summary in full


      Present law requires each school district to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying.

      This bill clarifies that the policy may not be construed or interpreted to infringe upon the First Amendment rights of students and may not prohibit their expression of religious, philosophical, or political views as long as such expression does not include a threat of physical harm to a student or of damage to a student's property.

      Under present law, "harassment, intimidation or bullying" means any act that substantially interferes with a student's educational benefits, opportunities or performance, that takes place on school grounds, at any school-sponsored activity, on school-provided transportation or at any official school bus stop, and that has the effect of:
      (1) Physically harming a student or damaging a student's property;
      (2) Knowingly placing a student in reasonable fear of physical harm to the student or damage to the student's property; or
      (3) Creating a hostile educational environment.

      This bill specifies that "creating a hostile educational environment" would not include discomfort and unpleasantness that can accompany the expression of a viewpoint or belief that is unpopular, not shared by other students, or not shared by teachers or school officials.

      Present law encourages school districts to form harassment, intimidation or bullying prevention task forces, programs and other initiatives involving school employees, students, administrators, volunteers, parents, guardians, law enforcement and community representatives.

      This bill specifies that such task forces, programs, and other initiatives may not include materials or training that explicitly or implicitly promote a political agenda, make the characteristics of the victim the focus rather than the conduct of the person engaged in harassment, intimidation, or bullying, or teach or suggest that certain beliefs or viewpoints are discriminatory when an act or practice based on such belief or viewpoint is not a discriminatory practice under present human rights law.

      Under present human rights law, a "discriminatory practice" is any direct or indirect act or practice of exclusion, distinction, restriction, segregation, limitation, refusal, denial, or any other act or practice of differentiation or preference in the treatment of a person because of race, creed, color, religion, sex, age or national origin.

      Obviously this is meant to be about The Gays, but it's a religious exclusion.

      It's still fucking stupid.

      1. PsycWench

        Actually, you identified some serious misleading campaigning on the part of the Family Action Council's part. The newsletter or their description of it is clearly intended to make the fundies think they are targeting homosexuality in a way that they probably cannot legally get away with.

    4. widestanceshakedown

      Actually, I'd prefer they live through the fires, only to be kept alive, paralyzed, and in unending and unmedicatable pain until the slow shutdown of their essential functions renders them legally dead enough to be rented out as sex dolls for bloated fundamentalist oafs.

      I don't say this to be mean, it's just a deeply held religious belief of mine.

      1. tessiee

        At which point, Bill Frist should cry loudly and publicly that they should not be put out of their misery, but should be kept lingering on for Jeebus until their families are completely out of money.

    5. tessiee

      "This is a specific exclusion of one belief from being classified as "bullying". It makes it exempt when kids may perhaps refer to one other as "hellbound" or "lake of fire dunk-pool contestant" repeatedly, day after day, non-stop, in groups. That can be exempt because it's driven by a religious belief."

      Now, see, that's just the kind of horse hockey that those Protestants come up with.

  17. north_of_moscow

    So being a dick is OK as long as there's a biblical precedent? Can we make a law saying it's cool to beat the shit out of the moneychangers?

    1. Swampgas_Man

      Hey, I just got quarters for my laundry out of a money-changer, and didn't have to hit it once!

  18. Redhead

    So if I start a new religion and the main tenant of that religion is that it is holy to pick on conservetards for being conservetarded bigots, we're all good in Tennessee, right?

  19. weejee

    So 5' 2" ghey Jay calling 6' 4" Cletus from the holler a dumb shit racist motherfucker would still be bulling, while Cletus calling Jay a fag is religious freedom of speech? Your move Arizona North Korea.

  20. Nopantsmcgee

    I am now in favor of mandating gay kids in TN schools carry firearms during the school hours.

    Bully THIS, bitch.

  21. veritass

    "…it’s ok to hate and we’ll even give you religious sanction for it. You can say what you want. As long as you say it’s for religious reasons, you’ve got backup."

    Welcome to Earth. We've been here a while.

  22. BaldarTFlagass

    Does this mean that gay people can bully straight Christians too? That's my read. I can just picture roving gangs of well-dressed homosexual young men cornering members of the high school football team and hurling insults and taunting them for their poor fashion sense.

    1. Ramon X

      As in, Your father was a hamster and your mother smells of elderberries? Because that is some kick-ass taunting.

  23. CommieLibunatic

    So, bullies do their thing out of religious conviction now? Not just raging hormones and domination instincts? It's like these guys don't remember what it was like to be a teenager.

    If bullies are doing that out of faith, I'll eat my iPod case.

    1. WootInTarnation

      This is part of he new tactic on the part of the authoritarian Xtian right to cast every single legitimate complaint against their hate as an attack on Christian Martyrs. They're all about this these days. NOW's trolling the crank-o-sphere for people (?) like that closeted lesbian goat-cheese maker who's a clerk in upstate New York refusing to fulfill the requirements of her job. Her job involves issuing marriage licenses, and she's refused to do that for gay couples.

      Though any of us in the private or most of the public sector would be fired on the spot for refusing to do parts of our jobs that conflict with our personal ethical system (writers and artists in advertising, stand up), NOW and this lady's very fragmented pea brain insists she's being oppressed. NOW and Focus on the Family, among other hate groups, are calling her a martyr. They're also devoting millions of bucks to find other oppressed Christians, forced to deal with gay stuff that conflicts with their inner morality.

      I imagine that many of us here, working in diverse industries, have left jobs because they disagree with the evil of their work or with the evil actions taken by their companies. That's life bitch. Sticking to one's morals often means sacrificing job security.

      But you know how those Xtians just love to be martyrs. I think they'll be in full-on victim mode within a year. The poor dears. They are enacting the tenets of their religion in public life and if someone says "Boo!" to them, they go off to cry and tattle. The cowardice of these people is limitless.

  24. jus_wonderin

    I will answer my own question before I even write it. Yes.

    But really, have things ever been this fucked up and this twisted as they seem to be now? When did it become OK to even dream up this shit? It seemed there was a time when the zealots were not so full on zealoty (zealacious?). Yes, I know our past is stained with horrible, horrible acts, but it just seems as if the festering boil is about to explode from all this blantant ignorance.

    Maybe I can chalk it up to be aware and concerned (as ever before), so the problem is in my face every day.

    What was my question?

    1. tessiee

      "But really, have things ever been this fucked up and this twisted as they seem to be now? "

      Ask Emmett Till.

        1. tessiee

          I wasn't trying to take the air out of your sails with that comment; it was more like I was trying to strike a hopeful note. What happened to Emmett Till was a disgrace this country wil never live down. So was what happened to Matthew Shepherd. The difference, I think, is that even though horrible things still happen, and probably always will, they aren't the normal way of life like they were 50 or 60 years ago. When progress is made in lifetimes or generations, rather than weeks or months, it's sometimes hard to see.

          1. jus_wonderin

            Very true. Very true. Nah, I was mainly ranting. But it just seems all the pols do now is shout at each other and us. And the public in general seems very hostile. But, again, I am more intune now than ever before…so it goes to the heart.

      1. BaldarTFlagass

        Strange, I thought "No Homo" was Latin for "No Homo". But then, I always thought "Romanes Eunt Domus" meant "Romans Go Home," so there ya go.

        1. SorosBot

          The Romans looked down on gay men, but only considered being on the receiving end to be gay; doing the, uh, insertion was considered to be not-gay and OK. This belief seems to be shared by a lot of modern American closet cases.

    1. Tundra Grifter

      Some gay folks will tell you "faggot" comes from what they would pile around the feet of people tied to stakes – before lighting the fires, of course.

  25. SorosBot

    As an atheist, I think Christianity is kind of stupid. That's a religious conviction, so that means in Tennessee I could bully Christians as much as I want, legally.

  26. MzNicky

    [deep, shuddering sigh] As always and forever, may I offer a heartfelt apology to the entire country, and world, on behalf of my fucking stupid goddam state of Tennessee.

    We should just have that printed up all along the state's borders.
    "Welcome to Tennessee! We're sorry."

    1. Negropolis

      Don't feel too bad; Michigan was just a few seconds away from passing the same law when our senate minority leader lost her shit on the floor and delivered a hellish rebuke of this legislation that made national headlines.

  27. Mumbletypeg

    Oh the Amen Corner behaving badly again.. Sounds like someone didn't get their snake-handlin' war wounds whipstitched in time to keep the venom from fracking the brain- dimples. If only lockjaw could've bee the manifest symptom instead…

  28. BaldarTFlagass

    “I appreciate all the hard work the Republican legislators are putting into the effort to make them look like extremists,” he said. “Saves us the trouble.”

    This quote from the NH Democratic Party spokeman about the Magna Carta legislation up there works here as well. Actually, it works pretty well in a lot of scenarios.

  29. CapeClod

    Is it true that the Tennessee State House is the only one in the country that still doesn't have indoor plumbing?

  30. OneYieldRegular

    So as long as you're expressing a religious belief, it's okay to bully others, you know, like yelling, "Death to the Christian infidels!"

    1. LetUsBray

      Plus it was better when people like this were fed to lions for public amusement, on religious grounds.

      1. tessiee

        *sings to the tune of "Home on the Range"
        Rome, Rome, you're just fine,
        With all those ancestors of mine,
        Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
        And each Christian is fed to a lion.

  31. prommie

    Everyone should go read Mencken's description of the Scopes trial. It offers the comfort of knowing at least that in Tennessee, it has always been thus. They are not going backward, they just never moved forward.

    1. Sparky_McGruff

      They are ignorant, they are dishonest, they are cowardly, they are ignoble. They know little if anything that is worth knowing, and there is not the slightest sign of a natural desire among them to increase their knowledge.

      Such immortal vermin, true enough, get their share of the fruits of human progress, and so they may be said, in a way, to have their part in it. The most ignorant man, when he is ill, may enjoy whatever boons and usufructs modern medicine may offer — that is, provided he is too poor to choose his own doctor. He is free, if he wants to, to take a bath. The literature of the world is at his disposal in public libraries. He may look at works of art. He may hear good music. He has at hand a thousand devices for making life less wearisome and more tolerable: the telephone, railroads, bichloride tablets, newspapers, sewers, correspondence schools, delicatessen. But he had no more to do with bringing these things into the world than the horned cattle in the fields, and he does no more to increase them today than the birds of the air.

      On the contrary, he is generally against them, and sometimes with immense violence. Every step in human progress, from the first feeble stirrings in the abyss of time, has been opposed by the great majority of men. Every valuable thing that has been added to the store of man's possessions has been derided by them when it was new, and destroyed by them when they had the power. They have fought every new truth ever heard of, and they have killed every truth-seeker who got into their hands.

      Yeah, sounds about right.

      1. tessiee

        The dumb bastards are also happy enough suck up plenty of those Yankee tax dollars from those of us in the blue states, and complain endlessly about paying taxes to support others, like the assessment on their shacks even generates enough revenue to feed their ten kids.

    1. Rotundo_

      Family Action sounds like a really sick and unfortunate magazine title. Throwing Council on the end only mitigates the "ick" factor slightly.

    1. jus_wonderin

      Ah, Santorum should jump on this early. God has written that files can only be shared between one man and one woman.

  32. MissTaken

    And yet again we are all reminded that any group with "Family" in their title consists of bigoted, closet case, crusty pieces of shit, white trash.

    Family Circle, I'm looking at you!

      1. MissTaken

        Little Billy is a faggy fag who hangs out with a dirty black kid. I can say that because Jesus loves me.

  33. anniegetyerfun

    You know who ELSE argued that popular discriminatory beliefs about a minority didn't constitute bullying?

  34. Tundra Grifter

    This is too much like Sheer uh "Am i uh An Idiot?" uh InSannity's "reverse racism." And The Sludge Retort. Also.

  35. BigDumbRedDog

    I'm gonna get a law passed that says its okay to kick whoever I want in the balls, just because I feel like it. And if they don't have balls then I get to punch em in the boob. Cause my religion says thats okay.

  36. thefrontpage

    It's a widely-known fact throughout the South that every single member of the "Family Action Council" (please note the slyly-hidden code word "action" in the group name) is gay, or homosexual, as they still call it down there in the hinterlands. It's also widely known that FAC (note the similarlity to another word, and this is also a sly use of code abbreviating) regularly hosts "Gay Night!" parties in remote, secluded warehouses, bathhouses and townhouses throughout Tennessee. FAC's exceptionally popular annual "Barbra, Liza, Cher, Madonna and Gaga" All-Nude Party in October remains one of the South's biggest gay parties. FAC members' continued confusion about their repressed sexual identity leads them to introduce exceedingly bizarre, unclear, non-sensical and psycho statements and suggested legislation. It's believed throughout the South that most members of FAC are increasingly going insane. Thus, attendence at their parties is starting to decrease, which is increasing FAC members' confusion.

  37. Eve8Apples

    Nothing is more Christian than harassing people. I like to express my love for Jesus by picking on Evangelicals.

  38. LetUsBray

    Groups like the Family Action Council are entirely made up of bullies, and their tactics invariably amount to bullying. So it's no surprise they'd look for any way possible to eviscerate legislation to prevent bullying.

  39. Wonderthing

    You gotta hand it to the religious right and the nut job faction of the Rethuglican Party: They are creative in their zeal to continue to deprive everyone else of the right to exist.

  40. mavenmaven

    There is also an amendment to protect anti-Jewish comments, anti-miscegnation, general anti-Black comments, anti-Catholic, and anti-Asian comments. After all, this is Tennessee we're talking about.

  41. GOPCrusher

    I suppose this is the not so logical response to the Federal Hate Crimes Law. Only surprised it took someone in Tennessee to figure out a way to try to circumvent the law.
    STATES RIGHTS!

  42. JackObin

    I want a law to protect intelligent Americans (all twelve of us) from Tennessee and all its' myriad stupidities.

  43. Beowoof

    So beating on a Bully bad, a bully beating on a homo good. Somehow I do think they have that backwards. Having been to Tennesse a few times, I guess my observation that many of the residents would be perfect employees for fast food resturants and car washes was well founded.

  44. johnnyzhivago

    No snark, even here in NJ it's seriously infuriating to hear the crap my kids repeat back to me regarding gays, Obama, terrorists, etc… I meet some of these parents, of course, from time to time and it's become seriously too sickening for me to spend much time around any of them, knowing what they apparently tell their kids in their own house.

  45. spends2much

    Aw, how sweet. This would allow that piece of shit Phelps to show up with his lovely God Hates Fags signs, and feel the warm, glowing, warming glow of Tennessee law backing up his ignorance and hatred. Take that , confused high school gay kid!
    Tennesseein' is Tennebelievin'

  46. BZ1

    "… " would not include discomfort and unpleasantness that can accompany the expression of a viewpoint or belief that is unpopular, not shared by other students, or not shared by teachers or school officials, or presumably, any other sane person in the vicinity …"

    1. tessiee

      OH! OK! I get it!
      It took me a minute to remember where I read this before. It's that shitball judge in, of all places, Boston:

      "Judge Frances McIntyre lifted the restraining order preventing Boston Mayor Thomas Menino from gleefully sending in his minions to tear down the Occupy Boston encampment … Here’s the creepy stand-out line from the judge’s ruling: “Little in the way of expression is outlawed in the United States Constitution, but an act which incites forceful response is unlikely to pass as express speech.”

  47. ttommyunger

    …not making excuses, but face it; if you were sandwiched between Georgia and Kentucky for all time, you'd be a little fucked in the head, too.

  48. tessiee

    Thank goodness the bullies have taken back the schools, and once again can assault and torment everyone else to remind them that they don't belong there, without fear of their victims striking back or any consequence from authorities. Now, at last, the healing can begin.

  49. Negropolis

    So, you're taking Michigan's sloppy seconds, eh?

    Won't someone think of the straight, white, male chill'uns? Won't ayone think of the straight, white, male chill'uns?

  50. WeHaveIssues

    So, if I walk into a sports bar in Tennessee Saturday and shout, "Jesus, Tim Tebow is such a fag!" my ass is covered on multiple levels?

  51. Troglodeity

    But we can't pass legislation making it legal for kids to state their religious or political views about ANYTHING, as long as they're not threatening harm or damaging property.

    Because then they might speak out against the Tea Party. Or speak out FOR gay rights. And that would be un-American.

Comments are closed.