Shower Curtain Chronicles: February 2011

Shower Curtain Chronicles

Latex painted shower curtains make great, cheap, waterproof banners to display at demonstrations, over freeways or anyplace you want to take it to the anti-gay, anti-Constitution fascists. This blog will feature banners I've made over the years, commentary on the outrages du jour, general observations and accounts of the latest actions by our blog troop as we wield the bathroom accessory cum political billboard.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Today, We Are All Cheese Heads

This situation in Wisconsin might have an up side for us all by presenting the workers of this country with a moment of clarity. They will observe the proceedings and have to decide which side they're on. Will they side with the people who they have everything in common with, their fellow workers, or will they side with the employing class that steals from them, the wealth they create with their labor? Either way, in this country where the corporate-owned mass media has trained us all to think of ourselves as "independent" contractors so we don't band together and demand a greater portion of the wealth we create, people will have to think about what it means to be a worker, who's on our side, and that's a good thing for the working class and democracy.

I can't help but wonder if this Wisconsin assault on workers would even be happening if the Democrats, when they had complete control of the federal government for the last two years, had used their power to pass the Employee Free Choice Act and, in general, strengthen labor laws that empower workers to organize and provide them with the protections they need to fend off hostile employers like the governor of Wisconsin. If they had, the Dems might still be in power and we might be glad they were.

And, where is the resolution from the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate supporting the union workers under siege by this lunatic Wisconsin governor? Perhaps what we need is a Labor Party!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

No Dogmas Allowed

Our fellow citizens who find themselves in public office do not have a right to tell two of their fellow citizens that they cannot go to the court house and get a government issued marriage license because it violates the office holder's personal religious beliefs. Any politician who makes such an assertion should be removed from office. It is a violation of their oath of office to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and, let's face it, it is a blatant display of contempt for the core concept of freedom that is basic to our way of life in America.

As an example of this contemptible mindset, let me introduce you to a Minnesota legislator who believes his religious beliefs should govern all of our lives in this state. He is DFL Rep. John Ward of the Brainerd area. When I asked him to sign onto the marriage equality bill, the Marriage and Family Protection Act in the last biennium, he cheerfully refused, citing his personal religious beliefs, and skipped along his merry way. And, I was apparently supposed to just excuse him, as a matter of course, as if his religious beliefs were a perfectly valid pass for this PUBLIC office holder from respecting and upholdingRepresentative John Ward the constitutional rights of the citizens of this state.

Well, religious beliefs are NOT a free pass for John Ward or anyone else in public office. It is their obligation to divorce themselves from the dogma dictated by their religion when fulfilling their responsibilities to the diverse population of this state that depends on its public officials to approach public policy without the injection of bigotry. Any public official that declares that their religious beliefs don't allow them to serve ALL the citizens of this state without bias, is unqualified for public office and should resign or be removed.

Monday, February 14, 2011

"My Little Brother Finally Came Out"

A young lobbyist planted herself against the railing near where I was protesting at the top of the Senate stairs this morning and without looking at me, said, "I'm so glad to see you here again." And then she began to tear up, saying, "I just think you're amazing to keep doing this." After I playfully told her she was amazing, she went on to say that her little brother had "finally" come out of the closet; that she had known since he was nearly a toddler that he was gay and now his coming out as a young man was a relief for her. Unfortunately, their father is not accepting of his gay son. She sarcastically snarls the word "christian" in reference to him and says he is anything but...

So, big sister has taken her little brother into her own home where he will have the love and acceptance of family. I told her how lucky her little brother is to have such a wonderful sister to look out for him.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Marriage Equality Advocates Shun Former Governor

While displaying marriage equality messages and chanting, "GAY, STRAIGHT, BLACK, WHITE, MARRIAGE IS A CIVIL RIGHT" in front of public office holders entering the MN House chamber to hear Governor Dayton's State of the State Address, Marriage Equality Minnesota demonstrators were approached by two former governors. Former DFL Governor Wendy Anderson detoured from his path to the House chamber door to shake our hands as we stood behind the cordon capitol security had set up. Next, was former Republican Governor Al Quie, the same person I photographed attending the Minnesota Family Council's anti-gay marriage mob meeting at the Kelly Inn just three weeks ago (see previous article). He tried to shake our hands but was refused by our entire contingent. When he enquired as to our refusal, I told him that he was working to keep our families from having the same rights his family has, "So, we don't want to shake your hand." I said further that, "You were at a meeting at the Kelly Inn a few weeks ago with the sole purpose of keeping our families from having the same rights yours has." He denied being at such a meeting, saying, "Well, I've been to the Kelly many times. I just came from there this morning." I told him he was photographed at the meeting. He also, spoke with our protester, John Rittman, at the event. He lowered his voice and furrowed his brow saying, "Now, if you're talking about gay marriage, I'm against that." I said, "I know. That's why we're not shaking your hand." There was plenty I could have said to him at that point, but he was blocking our sign and I just wanted him to go away and stop bothering us with his phony glad-handing.

He attacks our families behind our backs and then tries to create this theatre of tolerance at a high profile event. No thanks.