Friday, October 14, 2011

Know Your LGBT History - In & Out

I'm going to catch so much hell for this but I loved In & Out.

It was a 1997 comedy which was inspired by Tom Hanks' Oscar speech (when he won Best Actor for Philadelphia.) In the speech, he thanked one of his teachers and classmates.

In&Out repeated the speech moment but made one big difference.

What if Hanks had accidentally outed the people he thanked.

That's what happens in In & Out when an actor (played by Matt Dillon) thanks one of his high school teachers from the podium and outs him as a gay man.

Only one thing, however. No one knows that the man is gay, including the teacher himself.

Okay, some folks didn't like this movie because they felt it exploited stereotypes about gay men. This is true. Kline's character is a stereotypical gay man who likes Barbara Streisand and has a "fey" manner about him even while constantly insisting that he isn't gay.

And there are some scenes - i.e. the dance scene and the "I am Spartacus" type ending - which I felt were corny as hell:

But the saving grace of this movie has to be the performances. Tom Selleck is okay as the openly gay talk show host willing to exploit the entire incident for ratings. I found Kline to be marginal as the main character. Of course the scene everyone remembers is when Selleck liplocks Kline:

However the person who really steals the show in this movie, and this becomes its saving grace, is Joan Cusack as Kline's fiance - a woman who is counting on marrying him so much that she lost weight and based her entire self-worth on the fact that he would lead her down the aisle.

Cusack received a much deserved Oscar nomination for her role as a jilted bride (you really didn't think they would get married, did you?)

Not to worry though. This is a comedy, which means it has a happy ending for all parties involved, including Cusack. Guess who her character ends up with at the end of the movie?

Past Know Your LGBT Posts: .

'Family Research Council pushes more hate' and other Friday midday news briefs

POLL: New Hampshire Voters Want To Preserve Marriage Equality Law, Vote For Candidate Who Opposes Repeal - The question is will it be the same after NOM inundates them with lies about gays wanting to harm the innocence of children.

Those 'Values' keep a comin': FRC bus seats another uber-extreme voice - FRC pushing more hate. Sad.

Teacher's anti-LGBT Facebook rant crosses the line - Sorry but if this teacher had said the same thing about religion or ethnic groups as it pertained to displays at her job (like the situation did here with the gay community), there would be no talk of this being a "free speech" issue. Furthermore I refuse to believe you can claim that EVERY negative comment made about the gay community is a simple expression of a religious belief.

Shaquille O’Neal, Amy Poehler Among Celebrities In New Anti-Bullying PSAs - You have to admit. This is pretty cool.

Gay Military Personnel To Join NOH8 Campaign For Marriage Equality - Ending Friday's news briefs on a positive note.

Bookmark and Share

Liberty Counsel is LYING about Dakota Ary case

Remember the recent case of Dakota Ary - the student who was supposedly suspended for "merely" claiming that homosexuality was a sin last month.

To recap - after a media blitz in which Ary's family and the religious right group the Liberty Counsel boggarted the public with only one side of the story, it was later learned via the teacher, Kristopher Franks, involved in the situation that Ary was not as innocent as portrayed.

Apparently the nonchalant statement he made was a part of an alleged campaign of harassment he and a few other students were conducting against the teacher.

However because the laziness of the media and the willingness of the religious right push a phony victim, the talking point that Ary was persecuted drew enough negative attention to cause the teacher to be investigated.

Needless to say though that the teacher was exonerated.

But now weeks after the entire incident is over, the Liberty Counsel is trying to claim victory so to speak by claiming that the school district has said that Ary did nothing wrong:

“In fact, in his file is a letter now that says that Dakota has a right under the First Amendment to express his own personal opinion consistent with his First Amendment protections,” (the Liberty Counsel's Mat) Staver remarks. “So we are very pleased with this as the result has now taken a few weeks, but the result is exactly what we were looking for.”

However this is what the letter actually said:

The Fort Worth Independent School District has concluded its review of the removal of Dakota Ary from the German class led by Kristopher Franks.

This review was conducted in accordance with District policies and was essential for two reasons: 1) Dakota’s claim of a potential First Amendment violation and 2) the implication that bullying behavior might have been involved. After carefully reviewing the information gathered, the District has determined that neither potential issue has validity.

A perceived student conduct violation does allow for the temporary removal of a student. The District then considers two questions before assessing discipline. The first is whether there has been a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. If so, the District then determines the appropriate consequence for such a violation. But in this case, as in all cases, if the perceived violation is determined not to be true, the student is returned to class, as soon as possible, without consequence. Unfortunately, Dakota remained in in-house suspension for almost four hours before returning to his assigned classes without a consequence. While the delay was due to the District’s attempt to carefully consider the competing interests presented by the referral, we do apologize for the delay in returning Dakota to class.

As previously stated, Dakota was not punished for expressing an opinion and there is no permanent record of his being punished for expressing an opinion. We recognize Dakota has the right to express an opinion in a manner consistent with law and policy.

The letter says that neither issue - a: the possiblity that there was bullying involved and b. Ary's First Amendment rights being violated - had any validity.

Furthermore, the letter make something clear  - Ary's First Amendment Rights were not violated.

That last part is probably something which Staver is seizing upon to claim victory:

We recognize Dakota has the right to express an opinion in a manner consistent with law and policy.

Of course Ary does. Everyone has that right. The point was the question of whether or not Ary's manner was consistent with law and policy.

If you ask me, it sounds as if the district is trying to this controversy and unfortunately is playing into the Liberty Counsel's hands. I bet a steak dinner that  the organization pushed hard for this letter as a way of claiming victory and covering up for the fact that it intentionally jumped the gun to make Ary a victim before the case was even fully investigated. And I bet the organization pushed hard to have that last statement about Ary's "First Amendment rights"  be included.

But the clincher of the Liberty Counsel's audacity is the following statement by Staver:

Homosexual activist teacher Kristopher Franks was also suspended while his classroom conduct was under investigation. Staver says that on Frank's return to the classroom, he remained under close supervision.

“He was accompanied by an administrator from the school in the classroom to observe his behavior,” Staver explains. “The teacher is clearly on notice now that his action is inappropriate, that what he did is wrong, and he’ll no longer be able to use the classroom as a bully pulpit to promote his homosexual agenda.”

As far as it is known, Staver's statement is inaccurate. Staver does not reveal who gave him that information. His claim about the teacher "being put on notice" is not in the letter.

As as stated before, Franks was fully exonerated.

Bookmark and Share