Porterville LGBT Group Launched to Oppose Rescinding City’s First Ever Pro-Equality Proclamation

First pride month, Porterville CA First Pride Month Proclaimed June 4, 2013 By Porterville City Council, political efforts to rescind immediately follow[/caption]

Porterville, CA – Residents have launched Porterville Equality and Fairness For All (PEFA), a coalition of local LGBT organizations and allies, opposing the efforts of some city councilmembers to rescind a historic proclamation declaring June “LGBT Pride Month” in the city. The proclamation was issued on June 4th by Mayor Virginia Gurrola recognizing the significant contributions of the LGBT community in Porterville.

“Mayor Gurrola took a brave stand against discrimination by supporting a proclamation acknowledging the significant contributions of the LGBT community in Porterville, and for that we thank her,” said Barry Caplan, Coordinator of PEFA. “Now, some on the council find it necessary to rescind the proclamation, thereby rescinding acknowledgment of the city’s LGBT residents.”

June is celebrated as LGBT Month nation and statewide. On June 4th, Mayor Virginia Gurrola issued a Proclamation honoring the LGBT community for its longstanding volunteer work in mental health and other areas that has benefited the entire community.

Despite the routine of all councilmembers signing proclamations recognizing community members, every member of the council, except for Mayor Gurrola refused to follow standard protocol. They refused to shake the hands of the recipients and refused to sign the proclamation.

Council Members Brian Ward and Greg Shelton have agendized revisiting the Proclamation at the upcoming council meeting on June 18. Shelton aims to discuss the “process” of the Proclamation, despite Porterville’s process being the same or substantially the same as every other City in California. Ward proposes to rescind the Proclamation mid-month, and to replace it with a Resolution declaring “A Month Of Community Charity and Goodwill For All in Porterville”.

Porterville and its Council has a long history of anti-LGBT activism. In 2008 during the Prop 8 campaign, Ward offered a Resolution in favor of Prop 8, urging locals to vote to remove rights from themselves in order to harm a disfavored minority.… Read the rest

Establishment Clause and Faith-based Platforms and Policies

In my view, your religious beliefs and mine (should you or I have any such beliefs, which is not a given) should not be encoded into civil law at all. This is of course the raison de etre of the First Amendment: We are free to worship as we wish without government interference.

And as it was well known even at the time of the Constitutional Convention that various religions had opposing views on such matters,and also that some people hold no religious views at all, it was considered necessary that the State itself not take ANY religious matters under consideration for the purposes of any governance.

For example, in the modern era… Read the rest

Words of people who scare me

Here are just some examples of how someone on facebook’s  own words have been used historically against others in the US alone, from our nation’s beginnings until this very day. These are why I am scared by people who think like her, because they have far too often gotten their way, and we have always lived to regret it when they do.

Do you know  any similar examples? Let me know via the comments….

Original words: regarding  War on drugs:
“yes, Barry, I do have a problem when those that are receiving help are abusing it. Are you going to tell me that you have no problem working if your money is helping drug dealers buy more drugs?”

Japanese-American internment during WWII:

“yes, Barry, I do have a problem when those that are receiving help are abusing it. Are you going to tell me that you have no problem working if your money is helping Japanese spy against the US?”

Chinese Exclusion Act:

“yes, Barry, I do have a problem when those that are allowed to marry are abusing it. Are you going to tell me that you have no problem working if your money is helping Chinese have inscrutable babies until they can vote us out of our own government?”

Same-sex marriage:

“yes, Barry, I do have a problem when those that are receiving help are abusing it. Are you going to tell me that you have no problem working if your money is helping to teach children to be gay or to undermine ‘traditional’ marriage?

Slavery:

yes, Barry, I do have a problem when those that are receiving help are abusing it. Are you going to tell me that you have no problem working if your money is helping animals think they are human and deserving of the sma rights as others?… Read the rest

Cameron Hamilton (and Brian Ward) Deserve to Never be Elected to Anything Ever Again

[update 8:30 PM: See Hamilton’s respnse and whine about  being exposed in the screenshot. Click on the screenshot to enlarge]

My questions, Cameron Hamilton’s answers, and my initial analysis of his answers, on the eve of the first re-election ballot for Cameron Hamilton and Brian Ward since their infamous and notorious only-in Porterville pro-Prop 8 Resolution put the City’s reputation and economic development efforts on the line unnecessarily.

Cameron Hamilton (and Brian Ward) Deserve to Never be Elected to Anything Ever Again

1 – Do you agree you voted in 2003 to have Council stand against government intrusions on the rights of all citizens?

CH: Yes

2 – Do you agree that the US Supreme Court has indicated that the right to marry is a fundamental right in more than 14 cases over more that 100 years?

CH: No

BC :
————————————-
From an interview on Fox News: OLSON: No. As a matter of fact, since 1888 the United States Supreme Court has 14 times decided and articulated that the right to marriage is a fundamental right. We’re not talking about a new right here.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/fox-news-sunday/transcript/ted-olson-debate-over-judicial-activism-and-same-sex-marriage#ixzz1wsCRSxOe
————————————-

3 – Do you agree that on the day before the Prop 8 Election, Californians had the right to marry anyone of any gender?

CH:Yes, legislative action

BC: Maybe this is the root of your misunderstanding Cam. In fact the right was affirmed by the CA Supreme Court in In Re: Marriage Cases. not in any legislative action.

You wanted to debate and yet do know know even this?

you are hanging your hat on reelection based on your knowledge of Prop 8, and you don’t even know the Court case it was meant to undo?

Really?

Here is just one of about a zilliion articles form the time describing it: http://writ.news.findlaw.com/grossman/20080527.html

Google is your friend Cam!

Read the rest

Cameron Hamilton Answers My Questions At Last

Below are the questions I asked and answers from Cameron Hamilton I posed him on the recorderonline facebook page on the eve of his election.

My analysis will be in the next post….

1 – Do you agree you voted in 2003 to have Council stand against government intrusions on the rights of all citizens?

Yes

2 – Do you agree that the US Supreme Court has indicated that the right to marry is a fundamental right in more than 14 cases over more that 100 years?

No?

3 – Do you agree that on the day before the Prop 8 Election, Californians had the right to marry anyone of any gender?

Yes, legislative action

4 – Do you agree that after Prop 8, the 4th Branch of Government in California took that right away?

Yes, citizens action

5 – Do you agree that Council supporting a branch of government taking a right away is counter to the 2003 Resolution that you supported standing up against exactly that?

No

6 – Do you agree that in 2008 you voted for a Resolution that Brian Ward introduced that was opposite in spirit and intent to the Resolution that you voted for in 2003, that by its very words urges the 4th Branch to remove Rights that were then held by every Californian eligible to marry?

No?

7 – So sometime between 2003 and 2008, when you voted on each of these Resolutions, your position on whether Government should intrude on removing rights changed, from being squarely against it in 2003 to actually urging it in 2008?

No?

8 – To this very day, on including on this very facebook page, you have stood up and defended the 2008 vote to remove rights as right and proper, and not said a word about the rightness or properness of your 2003 vote to defend the rights of the people against government intrusion.

Read the rest

Questions for Cameron Hamilton on the Brian Ward Pro-Prop 8 Resolution He Voted For

Today on facebook I posted a series of questions to Cameron Hamilton, one of two driving forces behind the anti-gay and only in Porterville Council Resolution in favor of Prop 8. Hamilton is up for re-election tomorrow, and ducked my taking him up on his offer to answer my questions “any time any place” when I took him up on it and tried to arrange a time and a very public place.

Today, he appeared again on the local newspaper’s facebook page where there has been plenty of heated discussion about his record and which candidates would serve us best.

He answered a few questions, cryptically to be generous, regarding his positions, and denied ducking me.

So I decided to put up a series of dirt simple questions that would take 5 minutes for him to answer and from which his true position and reasoning could be inferred with little room for error.

The issi is not just Prop 8, but the damage to local economic development that has resulted from his vote in 2008, and why his 2008 vote contrasted to a 2003 Patriot Act Resoltuion that he also voted for that urged Council and others to protect against the attempts of government to restrict or remove rights from citizens.

Note that up until this time, he has never publicly acknowledged that there were rights that Prop 8 took away, or undertaken any kind of comprehensive explanation for his behavior.

Below are the questions::

‎1 – Do you agree you voted in 2003 to have Council stand against government intrusions on the rights of all citizens?

Yes or No?

2 – Do you agree that the US Supreme Court has indicated that the right to marry is a fundamental right in more than 14 cases over more that 100 years?

Read the rest

How Cam Hamilton and Brian Ward have tied the hands of Economic Development Staff, and cost Porterville jobs and tax revenues for 4 years, and a simple solution at the end

How is it that Porterville’s economic development is hurt by its Council’s flip-flop between 2003 and 2008 on the advisability of the protection of Rights of citizens from government intervention?

Part 1:

Here is the article that describes the 2003 public hearing now-Mayor Roh Irish was absent from and the Council’s holding up the vote so he could be present. I don’t have any beef with him not being present, life happens. And I don’t have any beef with Council wanting to give him a chance to weigh in.

http://www.recorderonline.com/sections/search/?q=patriot+act+resolution&fistype=site&x=0&y=0

The article that describes the vote and containse the text of the resolution is no longer searchable on the Recorder’s web site. It used to be, but is gone now, I can only speculate as to why, maybe because I have raised this issue in the past. Rick Elkins has avoided answering my question as to why, and I have no idea why that is. (Not that it would be the first content to disappear while he was the editor, but that is a different matter)

No matter, the text or the Resolution is available elsewhere:

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2003/09/12/16448441.php (also contains a report of the meeting including some of Irish’s actions)

Text of the Resolution only: http://www.bordc.org/detail.php?id=85

By contrast, here is the report of the meeting on the Prop 8 Resolution and the text of the Resolution(when Mayor Irish was not on Council 5 years almost to the day later!): http://www.recorderonline.com/news/porterville-38329-state-prop.html

Please read those Resolutions over, and you will see that Council voted for both unanimously, Cam Hamilton was on both Councils, Irish was on the first, and that one clearly affirms the rights of all citizens should not be limited by government, and the second calls for government (the people of California being the 4th branch) to do just that.

Independent of you the reader’s opinion on Prop 8 or gay rights or any of that, can we agree so far that this was the opposite intents of the two Resolutions?… Read the rest

Porterville Homophobia Redux

From Queer Visalia, reporting homophobic club posts at Porterville College, since disappeared. But not before I could capture a screenshot from google cache on August 9, 2011 at about 5:30 PM local time.

A Storm Is Brewing in Porterville

Photo Credit: Porterville College

Joel Wiens, Ed.D., teaches Anatomy, Nutrition, Anatomy and Physiology, and Microbiology at Porterville College.  He is also faculty adviser for the One In Christ Club on the campus.

A posting by that club on the College’s website has caught the eye of local gay rights activists, and will be the focus of efforts to get the clearly false information removed.

The posting starts out:

Homosexuality, at its root, is not a sexual problem – it is a gender-identity problem.

Four gay myths
1.  10% of the population is homosexual
2.  A person can be born gay.
3.  Once gay, always gay.
4.  Homosexuality is normal in every way.

The very first line exposes the mindset of the post.

Click on the image to see full size.… Read the rest

Senator Roy Ashburn, meet your lifetime legacy. Lifetime legacy, Senator Ashburn.

Barry Caplan
This is sickening on so many levels.

http://www.tehachapinews.com/content/family-asks-privacy/31804

and here:

http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x47915091/Police-school-investigating-bullying-after-attempted-suicide

None of the articles mention the reason why the young man was being bullied. Even teh family seems shamed about teir own son who brought this upon himself, and worse, upon them.

I hope that there is a move afoot to see all that change.

This is Roy Ashburn’s district, on the far other end from where I am. What a fine way for Roy to end his political career, standing up for this young gay man, who was struggling with the same issues Ashburn did growing up that he now says he wants to do something about.

Seth Walsh, 13, whose suicide attempt Sept. 19 stunned the community, died Sept. 27 at Kern Medical Center with his family standing vigil.… Read the rest

Prop 8 and the American Form of Government

On the Facebook page of my friend Stuart Gaffney, who was one of the plaintiffs of California’s In Re: Marriage Cases, a European friend asked for some guidance understanding Executive, Legislative, and Executive branches of our Government and how they relate to the case. She was also interested in what the differences were between State and Federal levels. I wrote the following:

————————–

Rachel – I approve of the effort too!

All states have the same set of 3 branches that apply to their own state government. Local government generally works the same way too. It is the American model.

But….

Here is that part where it gets messy on the ground with this issue.

In California, I guess historically government got so that it was not responsive to the citizens. So the Citizens of the time changed the Constitution that said citizens can pass laws without the usual process that involves the legislature proposing the law and the executive (governor) signing it.

In California, people can propose a law by getting enough signatures from the voting public to place it on a ballot. That law can be a general law, or it can be Constitutional Amendment.

As a result, our Constitution is easily amended, compared to others. We have over 500 amendments in the 100 years or so since this could happen.

By contrast, the US Constitution was ratified in 1791 and has only 27 amendments, 10 of which are the Bill of Rights and were passed at the time of the Ratification itself.

Which brings us to the issue and our hero Stuart: a few years ago, the people passed by ballot called Prop 22. IIRC, the language was the same or close to what Prop 8 says now about who can marry.

Stuart and his partner sued that that law was unconstitutional – the California Constitution.… Read the rest

Equality California Urges President Obama to Take Action on Federal Prop. 8 Case

Equality California filed an amicus brief supporting the federal challenge of Proposition 8

SAN FRANCISCO– Today, Equality California renewed its call for President Obama to take action on the federal court challenge of Proposition 8. Yesterday the deadline passed for third parties to file amicus briefs in the case weighing the constitutionality of Proposition 8, a state referendum that stripped same-sex couples of the freedom to marry.… Read the rest

Marine Band Plays Patriotic Pieces in Porterville

Crowd Whipped Into A Frenzy.

On Wednesday night, the President’s Own United States Marine Band produced a colorful and patriotic performance underscored by brass notes punctuating rapidly paced reeds and roaring percussion to pieces arranged by some of the nation’s most well known composers. The audience, housed in the Frank “Buck” Shaffer Theatre was pleased, evidenced by their hearty applause and standing ovations throughout.

via Marine Band plays patriotic pieces | plays, band, president – Local News – Recorderonline.com.

OK, the crowd was not really whipped into a frenzy.They were generally mystified that outsiders had stumbled into Porterville to entertain them, but politely pleased that they did.

The performance was enjoyable, akin to a Pops Concert almost. In Porterville, any outside performance is a big deal, and this one was well done.

We were a little nervous arriving – the tickets made plain that everyone needed to be seated by 7:15 even though the show was not until 7:30. Thoughts of the fate of a certain Georgian theater crowd at the hand of the Russians crept through my mind. And, well, we saw “Inglorious Basterds” too ….

In the end there was no violence or no explanation for why the public had to follow marching orders from the Marines. At least there was no speechifying either, all joking aside, that is what I thought those 15 minutes would be used for. At least 3 City Council members were present, but they simply enjoyed the show as everyone else did.

Overall, I’d say the age of the attendees was skewed towards the Korean War and Vietnam War veteran era.

I was really only joking to myself when I thought, during the opening rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner”, that some of the attendees may very well have been fighting in the War of 1812.… Read the rest