Archive for de Blasio

2 Gay Things About Massachusetts

I guess this falls in the rant class, but in a largely pleasant way this time. I was struck most recently by two phenomena centered in my state. Both show the inexplicable tenacity of anti-gay types, even in an allegedly liberal fort.

There is the MA governor having the audacity to promote marriage equality. Then there are the sumbling, lurching advances related to Northeast St. Paddy’s Day parades.

Our governor is a Republican, albeit the MA flavor, fiscally conservative and socially liberal (but not too liberal and not in the progressive way…so there). Well then, in the past few days, Charlie Baker became the only Republican governor to sign the amicus brief presented to the SCOTUS by some in his party, favoring same-sex marriage. It is personal as well as political and moral for him. His gay brother married a man and Charlie is in the gay’s-OK camp.

Thing is, this state GOP platform and the party’s machers are notoriously anti-gay. I discuss whether he’s likely to face more than scowls as a result.

Then to parades. It seems all of Ireland and most US cities are perfectly fine with homosexual groups marching in St. Patrick’s parades, even where there is a separate Pride parade later in the year, as there is in both Boston and New York City. This year Boston’s long-time anti-gay parade organizers voted to let two gay groups, one OUTVETS, as it sounds, march. New York, generally a decade or more ahead of Boston is struggling. A parade sponsor, NBC, wangled an exemption for its gay-employees’ group. NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio called that for the tokenism it is and wouldn’t march.

I talk about who did and didn’t march in Boston and New York and what that may mean.

Honestly, these anti-gay types seem so silly.

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Cops Killed and Killing, Outrage All Around

Wasn’t going to do it, wasn’t going to do it, but wingers’ hateful rhetoric drove me to touch on the nasty work that is the murders of Officers Liu and Ramos, on protests about dead young black men, and blaming the first on the second. The stupid hate-mongering of the likes of Rudy Giuliani (Mr. Gov. 9-11), NYC PBA prez Patrick Lynch,, and a raft of FOXnews braying heads was too much.

No, the protesters did not cause the police deaths. Neither did President Obama, AG Eric Holder nor NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. No, the answer is not to shut up and never, ever call bad police for egregious acts.

I kicked around several real solutions, some pretty easy and others difficult. There is first and easiest accurate, transparent reporting on all police shootings nationwide. There is refining the 10 or so styles of civilian review board around and creating templates for small, medium and large municipalities…and seeing they are put in place. Let the citizens have and feel ownership of the process to restore trust in cops.

There’s a medium-hard step of continuing to reduce the percentage of men in prison, mostly of color and mostly for non-violent offenses. There’s the hard of seeing all communities have access to decent education, training and jobs. There are others.

Don’t come around screaming we dare not criticize police, regardless of what they do. The prolonged, continuing, massive, widespread protests show we are past the tipping point here. The citizens want to have cops on their streets. They want to trust the police. We know what will make that possible.

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