Don’t use Portland Taxi. No, wait, bear with me, this ties into what’s going on tonight, but first, from KATU Portland:
A Portland man says a [Portland Taxi] driver pulled out a bull horn and yelled anti-gay slurs at him and his friends outside a bar this week.
KATU News also reached out to the company and was told the driver was exercising his First Amendment rights and there would be no disciplinary action. They ended the call by telling our reporter: “If the gays don’t want to use our company, that’s better for us.”
A KATU News employee also had a negative experience with this cab driver last March.
After giving this employee a ride home from the airport, he refused payment and told our employee he should be in jail because he was gay.
Tonight, there’s a debate in the US presidential elections, with a couple of people on stage. One of them, the Republican nominee, has pledged to sign something the fundamentalists are calling “The First Amendment Defense Act.”
What that does is provide organisations immunity to civil rights laws for hating on queers, if they’re either nonprofit, or do business with the US Federal Government. So, say, denying hospital visitation for dykes? NO PROBLEM! The Salvation Army throwing homeless queers onto the streets to die for being queer, as they have done in the past? NO PROBLEM!
On its face, it’s intended to look like it’s only providing immunity for hating on married queers – and that’s how it’s presented – but the combination of marriage-is-for-st8s-only and no-sex-outside-marriage means all queers.
So stuff like this? Say, you’re in hospital, and they want to throw that at you? Protected.
It’s a “right” to abuse. It’s a “right” to arbitrary cruelty. Particularly if the targets are queer.
And that’s only the first layer that affects me directly.
Mr. Trump pledged, earlier in this campaign, that he would nominate only justices approved by the Heritage Foundation. The Heritage Foundation is a right-wing think-tank/pressure group which thinks I should be illegal for existing, and have at this very moment online their opinion that Lawrence v. Texas (2003) was wrongly decided, and should be overturned.
Since most of you won’t know what that means: it’s the US Supreme Court decision that said states couldn’t make queers illegal by fiat. The Heritage Foundation want that decision reversed.
You’ve heard about the long, brutal history of African-Americans keeping lists of where they couldn’t go in their own country, because it was illegal for them to be there?
I’ve kept the queer version of that list myself. I got rid of it after Lawrence v. Texas (2003). I burned a reference to it as part of new year’s celebrations, where you burn horrible things.
If the Heritage Foundation has its way – and Mr. Trump pledged to give them their way – I’ll have to rebuild that list, and I don’t want to have to build that list again.
And that’s just what I’m facing as a dyke. Virtually every election I’ve ever witnessed has been some kind of referendum on whether I’m a legal person – ever done ground work, going door to door, arguing with people why they shouldn’t vote to make you illegal? I have, and it sucks – and in that way, this election is no different.
The hate is just a lot more broadly aimed this time.
So I’m not watching the debate tonight. It’s bad enough being reminded every two to four years that about half the country is just fine voting to lock me up. This whole thing is yet another referendum on my existence, so why the fuck would I subject myself to that?