What the Dayton Daily News Editorial board does on a Saturday afternoon

I went to see “Milk” at the Neon movies for the 5pm show.

I highly recommend it as a primer for grassroots activism, and a brief history of the insane anti-gay/protection of marriage movement. From IMDB:

The story of California’s first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk, a San Francisco supervisor who was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone by San Francisco Supervisor Dan White.

via Milk (2008).

After we took our seats, we listened as a woman was saving 4 seats behind us- and was a little rude about it. Soon, Martin Gottlieb walks in with a cherry red Kangol cap, and then soon after, Ellen Belcher.  I said hi to Martin before the show and Ellen gave me holiday wishes on her way out.

While Ohio jumped on the “protection of marriage” train in 2004- which helped propel GWB to his second term, this kind of stupidity traces back to the early 70’s with former orange juice “spokeswoman” Anita Bryant. Looking back forty years, and we still are struggling with having the State try to make rules about what goes on between consenting adults behind closed doors.

Harvey Milk wasn’t afraid to be gay, risk his life, or sit quietly by while his civil rights were being taken away. However, as Dan White says in the movie- “You have an issue” to Milk- and White couldn’t find an issue to own. When Milk needed a second issue- he went after dog poop- a stunt and a distraction- just to play politics.

That part scared me. Looking at the Presidential election- we still see a “single theme” can trump all kinds of rhetoric. Obama used “Change” and stuck with it- only to be elected and bring in a cabinet of people who have lived inside the system so long they think change is only measured by number of seats the ruling party holds.

Are we such shallow people that single issues are all that matters?

I also started reconsidering my feelings about Commissioner Joey Williams- who I consider a friend and the only member of the Dayton City Commission who has any real credibility on the commission. His abstention on the gay rights ordinance last year was reprehensible. Is that issue enough to vote him off the Commission?

Joey and I had a long talk after his vote- he explained his position to me, off the record, however, once elected, should you really be afraid to explain publicly your reasoning?

I’ve never been impressed with the Dayton Daily News editorial boards questions- or their reasoning behind endorsements. I’ve also never seen them admit they were wrong. I’ll be interested to see what they write about “Milk” and if they will hold Williams or Lovelace accountable for their non-votes/votes against the gay rights ordinance.

I’m also wondering if the editorial board understand that the Internet has changed the political landscape yet. In today’s DDN Belcher was amazed at her recent discovery of podcasts on the iPod. (for the record Ellen- American Public Radio’s Marketplace is my top choice). There is no longer an excuse for a candidate to NOT have answers to all positions on a site- where there can be no confusion about why they did what they did.

I’ve got at least a 4 year jump on any local politician/candidate with ideas and positions on issues- in print, by my own hand. When it comes to the next editorial board Q&A there isn’t anything they could ask that I haven’t covered here- making seeing them pretty pointless.

Their typical endorsement is never about ideas- but of supposed “qualifications” based on some kind of system they believe breeds leadership. Most of the time, that means being a pawn of a local political party. Maybe after seeing “Milk” they will understand that it’s time to examine issues- maybe even more than one- and make their choices based on ideas- instead of some sort of checklist.

Harvey Milk wouldn’t have gotten their endorsement- and maybe they should be thinking about why not?

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed! If you wish to support this blog, please head over and use our services at The Next Wave Printing for all your printing needs. We have 4 Color Business cards starting at just $13.50.

31 Responses

  1. David Lauri December 28, 2008 / 1:57 pm
    Is Joey Williams’ abstention on the non-discrimination ordinance enough to vote him off the commission?

    For me, the answer is yes. An abstention is as good as a no vote, in my mind, and a no vote means someone thinks it should be fine to refuse to hire people based on their sexual orientation or to refuse to rent to people based on their sexual orientation or to refuse to serve people in a business based on their sexual orientation. If a city commissioner said it was okay for Dayton businesses to refuse to hire blacks, people would be up in arms. If a city commissioner said it was okay for Dayton landlords to refuse to rent to Jews, people would be up in arms. Joey Wililams and Dean Lovelace will never, ever get my vote again.

    Besides which, the cities that are thriving are those that welcome diversity, not those that cave into the stupidity of the Christianists. So even if you’re not gay or even if gay rights isn’t your main issue, it should affect your political choices.

  2. Gene December 28, 2008 / 2:59 pm
    My experience has not been Christians who don’t like gays rather with secular rednecks. I end up having more problems with the ‘necks of the world, who want to beat people up all the time.

    Joey is just protecting his relationships within the black community. Mr Lauri you are right in regards to people refusing to hire or rent to certain types of people, people would and should be up in arms.

    The strongest message the gay community can make is vote differently and continue to build relationships with all types of people to show everyone that there truly is not much difference between us and them – you know what I mean.

    To be honest, though, I just mainly ignore it and it is business as usual for me. There are a lot of people who do not like other people for the dumbest of reasons, it seems to me they always will exist.

    I never did vote for any of the clowns mentioned above.

  3. Jeff December 28, 2008 / 7:16 pm
    If Rhine McLin wasn’t mayor the ordnance would never have passed. I know she’s rumored to be a lesbian, so that was a fairly ballsy move on her part, as most closeted politicians would vote the other way for appearances’ sake.

    Not that it affects me anyway, since I don’t live or work in Dayton.

    I think black political homophobia must be an Ohio thing because there wasn’t the same degree of pushback in Lexington and Louisville/Jefferson County when those cities passed their ordnances..in fact some black politicos actually supported these laws. That was a few years ago, though, and things were more in flux.

    @@@

    As for Harvey Milk, I never met the man, but I did hear his speehes and interviews on the radio (KPFA..google it) and read about him in the SF media (I was living in the Bay Area in the early/mid 1980s, around when Dan White offed himself), which helped to some degree in my coming-out (such as it is).

  4. John Ise December 28, 2008 / 7:52 pm
    This is what Andrew Sullivan (Gay conservative) wrote after the defeat of Prop 8 in California that’s a dead ringer:

    “I totally understand the anger, hurt and pain now roiling the gay community and our families, especially in California. But it’s important to keep our heads. I’ve been in the middle of this fight for two decades. It’s important to remember that we have never had this level of public support for marriage equality before. In eight years in California alone, the majority in favor of banning marriage equality has gone from 61 to 52 percent. Meanwhile, California’s legislature has voted for it, 18,000 couples are legally married in California, and legally comparable (if still unequal) domestic partnerships are available. Very soon, thousands of gay couples will be able to marry in Connecticut. The one state with a history of marriage equality, Massachusetts, is showing how good and positive a reform it is. New York recognizes Massachusetts’ civil marriages.

    Calm down.

    We are not experiencing a massive, permanent backlash. The next generation overwhelmingly backs the right to marry, and there is no sign of cultural reversal, even if we have suffered some electoral set-backs. If Obama has taught us anything, it is to keep our eyes on the prize, and not always to react impulsively to hatred, bigotry or simple ignorance by exaggerating its power over us. We are winning. We lost this one, by an excruciatingly small margin. But the whole point of this movement is education in support of toleration. Even though we lost, we persuaded many of something they barely thought about a short time ago. I am immensely touched by the support of straight readers and all of you, gay and straight, who donated time and money to the No On 8 campaign. We need to remember this as well. And the sight of a small minority having basic equality stripped from them by a religiously-funded majority is itself educational. It has already changed minds. One thing we need to remember is dignity in defeat. That’s how it becomes victory.

    And we need patience and relentlessness in explaining our lives. And how human they are. It’s not fair; we should have it all already. But we don’t. And in a democracy, that means persuasion, not fiat.”

  5. Jeff December 28, 2008 / 8:23 pm
    I dont buy the “eternal progress” concept.

    The reason why is Germany.

    In Germany in the 1800s and early 1900s, particularly during the “Kaiserzeit”, or “Second Reich”, the Jewish community was progressing within society, entering business, the professions, and academia. Ther was progress and acceptance, but also anti-semitism.

    Yet, in first decade of the 20th century, it looked like ever increasing progress and toleration. But what happened 20 -30 years after 1913 in Germany, to the Jewish minority?

    That’s why I’m skeptical of claims of inevitable progress in toleration and acceptance of unpopular minorities.

  6. ShortWest Rick December 29, 2008 / 2:03 am
    It happened Jeff because as you state, Jews had come into political power and professional position, they were still in the minority. Hitler took his message of oppression and hate to the common working and unemployed Germans, brought them out in astounding numbers and betrayed them too after they voted him in. It’s a lesson in history to be revered and too often overlooked.

    Reason same sex marriage advocates can’t make inroads is they can’t sell the oppression of a minority to the majority. They are talking the wrong message, that gays (the minority) deserve the same rights as the majority. The gay community is fragmented into so many subgroups that each feel the other doesn’t represent them, there is no cohesiveness in the base. Suburban gays cringe at the sight of out there gays on a parade float, two member gay families can’t relate to or be bothered with gay couples or single gay parents raising children, not to mention gays are often slower to mix with a different ethnic group than the general population and closeted gays want to detract the focus of the conversation onto another subject.

    Until there is real cohesion and community among nonhetrosexuals, gays unlearning the selfloathing they were raised with and demonstration of supporting their own, the demand for equality will seem frivolous to the voting majority.

  7. Joe Wessels December 30, 2008 / 9:24 am
    The DDN’s editorial page stances – especially in political races – these days have more to do with a business decision than any practical balancing of values and the-best-way-to-go.

    I had to do some hardcore convincing of some folks around election time this year, but I do not believe that you pick the wrong guy, so to speak, when your business model is completely broken, you are not able to fix it (‘cuz you don’t know how) and all your best customers are conservative suburbanites…

    And I don’t even read the DDN that often. But the same applies here in Cincinnati and just about everywhere that medium-size and smaller newspaper markets exsist…

  8. Teresa Lea December 30, 2008 / 9:52 am
    I’d like to hear the Williams “reasoning”…
  9. David Esrati December 30, 2008 / 10:03 am
  10. Greg Hunter December 30, 2008 / 11:27 am
    The DDN’s editorial page stances – especially in political races – these days have more to do with a business decision than any practical balancing of values and the-best-way-to-go.

    Nail = Head.

    They are a corporate shill and would not consider what is “best” for the community at large. The DDN, I suspect, is under severe pressure as the declining revenues from ad revenue and increased delivery costs due to suburban sprawl will doom the home delivery service. The quality of the local news content is non existent and the people that need the information are in the dark.

    The DDN cannot do anything but cheer business as usual, because anything else destroys their elite power structure.

  11. Allison December 30, 2008 / 2:34 pm
  12. b December 30, 2008 / 6:46 pm
    era o’ co cain at CityofDayton dot org…cause that’s what there smoking down there…
  13. Joe Lacey January 1, 2009 / 5:22 pm
    Jeff, I really don’t think it was “ballsy” for anyone to vote for the nondiscrimination ordinance. I think recent history has shown that politicians have not paid a price for supporting lgbt rights in general elections. I would challenge anyone to point out an elected official who has paid a price at the polls for their support of an lgbt cause.

    Now there are cases of Republican supporters of lgbt causes losing in Republican primaries, but that’s not the case with the Dayton City Commission.

    Also if Rhine McLin is rumored to be a lesbian, I don’t think that is a political impediment either. Roxanne Qualls was rumored to be a lesbian and she supports Cincinnati’s lgbt nondiscrimination legislation. She also remains one of Cincinnati’s most popular elected officials.

  14. J. R. Locke January 4, 2009 / 9:09 am
    I think one issue is worth voting for or against someone or something. Sometimes that is all we are really voting for in America. The whole system is created that way!

    In my view homosexuality is something that doesn’t need to be protected by the same type of civil legislation that protects other minorities. The reason is simply economic. Other minorities have fought institutionalized racism as means to overcome salient issues of sustenance (which our government should have a hand in).

    The argument for homesexual marriage (and non-discrimination) is one of semantics (which is unfortunately what our government involves itself with all the time). If homesexuals really wanted the rights of married couples they could obtain them without being “married”. And as for non-discrimination…..not really an issue when there are many companies created and founded by homosexuals that have succeeded.

  15. John Ise January 4, 2009 / 9:32 am
    In response to JR’s comment above, again Sullivan:
    “Actually, marriage equality is about accepting gay love and commitment as indistinguishable in moral worth and social status as straight love. That’s all. Civil marriage is not about sex as such, as any straight couple will tell you. You can have lots of sex without marriage. And you can have a marriage without much or any sex. But you cannot have a meaningful marriage without love and commitment. Only one tiny sliver of humanity is currently and deliberately prevented from having such love and commitment recognized under the law: homosexuals. That’s the only reason anyone is having this discussion.”
  16. Jeff January 4, 2009 / 11:56 am
    “In my view homosexuality is something that doesn’t need to be protected by the same type of civil legislation that protects other minorities…Other minorities have fought institutionalized racism as means to overcome salient issues of sustenance (which our government should have a hand in).”

    I guess since you can see skin color you have an easier time to discriminate based on race. Since you can’t see who’s gay or lesbian you can’t discriminate so easily.

  17. Joe Lacey January 4, 2009 / 2:20 pm
    “Other minorities have fought institutionalized racism as means to overcome salient issues of sustenance”

    Gay people have fought and still fight institutionalized discrimination against gays. Our military does not allow gay people to openly serve. Before President Clinton, gay people could not be in the FBI or the CIA. I’ve heard business people say that they would never hire a gay person. Cracker Barrell’s policy manual stated that gay people would not be hired and a lot of other big companies have had the same policy but just weren’t so bold to write it.

    This isn’t about just being able to start a company. It’s about employment, housing and public accomodations. Should mall security be allowed to tell me to leave if I’m holding hands with my partner? Should bartenders be allowed to legally refuse to serve someone they think is gay? I’m not talking about ancient history. These types of things happen today. And you think this should be legal just because you know some successful gay businesspersons?

  18. David Lauri January 5, 2009 / 6:13 pm
    “If homesexuals really wanted the rights of married couples they could obtain them without being ‘married.'”

    Um, what about immigration? You can marry some bimbo on a trip to Europe and she’s your wife and you get to bring her home. How do you accomplish that without marriage?

  19. Joe Lacey January 6, 2009 / 12:10 am
    “If homesexuals really wanted the rights of married couples they could obtain them without being ‘married.’”

    Gay couples cannot be adoptive parents in Ohio. Only one of the two can be the parent under the law. Gay couples cannot file jointly on a tax return. If I had a job where my partner was covered under my health insurance, that benefit would be added to my W-2 and taxed. Health benefits are tax free for heterosexual couples.

  20. David Lauri January 7, 2009 / 9:30 am
    Interestingly the Huffington Post article points out that Runkle’s queer bashing won’t be reported as a hate crime since Ohio doesn’t count hate against queers as criminal. And Mike Huckabee says not enough queers have gotten our skulls cracked to warrant civil rights: http://thinkprogress.org/2008/11/18/huckabee-gay-rights/

    (And how fun is it that Esrati.com has become an LGBT forum?)

  21. Gene January 7, 2009 / 10:17 pm
    the term and legal definition of “hate crime” is stupid.

    The penalty for bashing someones head in, for cash or being gay or being black, should be the same. Hate crimes happen all the time against the rich. Where will it end?

    Hell, if you are 38 year old white straight male you are screwed. Being black, though, makes the crime worse?

    I always thought this shit was stupid. Keep it real.

  22. David Lauri January 7, 2009 / 11:17 pm
    We’re damned if we lobby for sexual orientation to be counted as hate crimes and damned if we don’t. If we do lobby for it, people point out how stupid tracking hate crimes is (which may have a point). If we don’t, people like Huckabee say queers haven’t had enough violence committed against us to warrant civil rights (which at least tracking hate crimes against queers would prove or disprove).
  23. Gene January 8, 2009 / 2:07 am
    Is raping women a hate crime?

    Is beating a gay a hate crime?

    Is killing a rich person a hate crime?

    Is burning a Jew a hate crime?

    Yes and No,.,.,.,.,,……. they are all crimes. Is one worse than the other?

    OK, maybe killing a white guy is OK to you folks………. I think all crime is bad. Grow TF Up!

    hate……. it is all hate on some level, what is the diff? You hate what I do, what I say. To grow, we need to eliminate such Ver-a-bage-ali-. My2cents…….

    Typical kNOITALLS!

    I have been bashed, once. I will leave it at that.

    Do as you want to do, say as you want to say, live as you want to live, play as you want to play, dance as you want to ……..

    bash/hurt anyone, GUILTY of being an ass, a jerk, a criminal, etc….

  24. David Lauri January 8, 2009 / 2:32 pm
    I don’t disagree completely with you about hate crimes, Gene, but surely even you will admit that some groups are targeted more than others. How many straight white Christian males in America are bashed because they are white or Christian or male? And how many gay men or lesbians are bashed simply because they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time as opposed to because their attackers thought they were gay? Sure, it might be difficult at times to know for sure an attacker’s intent, but even you will admit that people in certain groups are targeted simply because of who they are and not out of coincidence.
  25. Jeff January 8, 2009 / 6:40 pm
    Im suprised to hear there was a gay bashing in or outside of Masque. I thought that was fairly rare in Dayton, esp in that part of downtown. It always seemed pretty safe around the bars down there.
  26. Gene January 8, 2009 / 6:50 pm
    I got gay bashed….. for cash, not being gay….. i think. It was 1987, so I am not sure. But they took my money.

    Being targeted? Who determines that? God?

  27. David Lauri January 8, 2009 / 7:31 pm
    Did you get gay bashed as you were exiting a gay bar, Gene, by guys calling you faggot as they stomped your face into the pavement? Then yeah, you were probably targeted for being gay. But if you got held up as you left an ATM and the guy didn’t call you queer, then no, you probably weren’t targeted for being gay. It’s not rocket science. But I guess you think rednecks don’t ever target queers coming out of gay bars. Mike Huckabee sure doesn’t think so.
  28. J. R. Locke January 12, 2009 / 5:56 am
    Discrimination is not a resounding issue with me as a general term. So to say that homosexuality is discriminated against is an obvious statement that bears nothing but a simple nod. Should we form laws to protect homosexuals from discrimination? I say no because the issues for which other discrimination protection were created (specifically economic and voting matters) have not been restricted for homosexuals (except maybe the military). In fact some studies show that homosexual communities have higher than average income and far less crime (sorry I don’t have a link but there was an article about someplace in Chicago recently).

    As a bisexual male I find the brutalities of LGBT persons despicable but what does hate crime legislation do to prevent these occurances? Nothing. The only thing that hate crimes do moreso than other crimes is promote terror (terrorism ya know). But with the media outlets that have a positive angle on homosexuality and LGBT community I don’t think this is a problem.

    As far as adoption, medical witness, immigration, tax issues go those are issues that can be fought individually and likely won. Tactically it is far easier winning each of those issues than trying to win the gay marriage debate….because that has already been resoundingly lost. Learn from it and get what we want, especially at a time when there are sympathies for these issues.

    All I can say is be proud, be out and open and that is how this society will change. Marriage is an outdated terrible way to build a society, biologically irrelevant and socially a failure. If America could accept this we might be able to actually build a real productive society instead of a make pretend one.

  29. David Lauri January 12, 2009 / 9:47 am
    Eh, I’m not so sure marriage has been lost. Even 10 years ago I’d never have thought gay marriage would be legal anywhere in North America in my lifetime, and I was wrong. And Proposition 8 did not pass by a landslide but only by 52%. That’s 3 percentage points’ worth of people to win over for the next initiative. Very doable. New England as a bloc of states will have gay marriage within the next few years.

    That’s why Christianists and their ilk are so bent out of shape. They may win various battles but they know they’ve already lost the war. Far fewer younger voters have any problem with gay people or gay marriage. We just have to wait for the old farts to die off. Plus even many of the old farts are realizing that blaming the destruction of the family on queers is a duck that won’t hunt, especially given that Massachusetts, for example, has a far lower divorce rate than do bastions of Christianism such as states which have “covenant marriage.” (Aren’t all marriages covenants, or promises, made between couples?)

  30. Carl Ican November 5, 2009 / 8:43 pm
    Were the germans supposed to tolerate the cultural and economic  destruction  imposed on them by the jews  ?
    It certainly doesnt look like the jews in Israel are too tolerant of  the arab “minority”
    The real fact is that Jews have been kicked out of most every nation  throughout the centuries due  to their  destuctive behavior . How can any one tolerate  an enemy within ? 

     
    I dont buy the “eternal progress” concept.
    The reason why is Germany.
    In Germany in the 1800s and early 1900s, particularly during the “Kaiserzeit”, or “Second Reich”, the Jewish community was progressing within society, entering business, the professions, and academia. Ther was progress and acceptance, but also anti-semitism.
    Yet, in first decade of the 20th century, it looked like ever increasing progress and toleration. But what happened 20 -30 years after 1913 in Germany, to the Jewish minority?
    That’s why I’m skeptical of claims of inevitable progress in toleration and acceptance of unpopular minorities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *