The controversial post about 7th district candidate Kris Kiser

If you’ve been following local politics at all, you may have noticed this little dust-up. Democratic candidate for congress Kris Kiser threatened legal action against a local political blog for a post one of their contributors made about him, alleging some shadiness about his personal life and business dealings when he lived (recently) in Washington D.C. The local blog pulled the post because they’re a small operation, and they were worried that any legal action would be a strain on them.

Let me back up a step futher and explain who Kris Kiser is. He’s a gay carpetbagger democrat who just moved to Indianapolis from Washington D.C. and decided to set up shop here in Indianapolis to run against, of all of the ever-loving things — popular Democratic incumbent Julia Carson. Which strikes me as something akin to beating one’s head against the wall whilst investing in the 12th level of a pyramid scheme, but hey, far be it from me to stand in the way of other people’s masochism.

One of the first things he did after unpacking his carpet bag was get an endorsement from the sleazebag gay “newspaper” “The Word” published by Ted Fleischaker. That’s a pretty good sign he’s not from in town right there, because that paper is taken about as seriously in the LGBT indianapolis community as the plastic baggy I use to pick up my dog’s poop.

Another fine idea he had was to imply that popular gay political office holders Tammy Baldwin and Barney Frank were endorsing him. Of course, that whopper was immediately debunked by local blog Advance Indiana, who then suffered an onslaught of abuse from Ted Fleischaker and a hacked website to remove posts. But the controversy didn’t die down, and Barney Frank came all the way to Indiana to fundraise for Julia Carson to drive home the point that Kiser wasn’t associated with him in any way.

Which brings us back around to this weeks controversy — the blog post and threatened legal action.

The post was made by Marla Stevens. I certainly haven’t been on her side of things all the time, as you may well know. And I definitely don’t know whether the allegations she made are true. It seems to me that someone with connections to people in D.C. could verify or debunk some of the claims. But just for the sake of you knowing what the controversy is about, I was able to pull the original post out of my rss feed reader, and with all due “allegedly”s and cautions about the veracity of the post, here it is:

Kiser revisited or Here’s a real “Word” for the wise…

In case anyone cares, my legal residence is in Iowa. I own property in Indiana and continue to rent property in the 7th district. I’m not in Iowa right now and wasn’t for the time change. Iowa does observe daylight savings time.

None of these things have anything to do with the sorry state of candidate Kiser’s character that makes him not fit for public office, including the sham “marriage” he tried to pass off on gullible Hoosier queers as proof that he cares about them and their needs.

Nor does it have anything to do with the fact that he’s hired not one but two notorious polling organizations and is readying last minute push poll attacks on his opponent, Rep. Julia Carson — if he hasn’t started them already.

Nor does it have anything to do with the gaping hole in common sense Kiser’s self-purported recent history poses.

Really…here’s a gay man known for being a very hearty partier in D.C. circles — with a great job as a business association top lobbyist of the sort that pays solidly enough in the six figure range to enable that partying — partying that reportedly includes enough significant drug use and sex for hire, (including one hunk from Baltimore who sported a sex-for-hire website, no less [until reportedly being hired to play husband in Indiana], and was known in such circles up and down the eastern megalopolis and Miami and who is player enough that, when imported to Indianapolis to play husband*, couldn’t resist “entertaining” an out-of-town buddy in the notorious upstairs of the 501) that only an MSM as timid and incurious as Indianapolis’ wouldn’t dig it up in due course. (Same ones it took decades to expose the open secret of Rep. Dan Burton’s “family values” hypocrisy in his personal life despite that such hypocrisy is perfectly legitimate political fodder. I can only guess that, with only a few months of campaigning to worry about, Kiser wasn’t worried about our hapless press stumbling over his dirty laundry.)

The top lobbyist puts out two different stories about why he’s no longer working as a top lobbyist but instead came back to his family’s home he’s barely set foot in for decades to run against an incumbent he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of beating:

Story #1: He quit his to-die-for job on his own to engage in the house restoration work he loves. That one fails to pass muster for even the least skeptical.

Out comes Story #2: Top lobbyist supposedly was politically forced out of his job because he’s not a Repug even though he’s done a many years long expert hatchet job on such dear-to-Dems’ hearts’ issues as the right of workers to organize, get health insurance and other worker benefits, and other issues the support of which one would expect from the likes of John Roberts instead of a loyal-enough-to-be-fireably-irksome Democrat — even of the DLC kind.

And he just can’t seem to find a new job despite that D.C. is a veritable boom town for lobbyists of late — for a year??? — which he spends predominantly in D.C., trying to find a new job, not Indiana as he later claims.

Doesn’t compute. Doesn’t even come close.

A reasonably curious person would ask questions…and the answers that are floating around K Street aren’t pretty.

The scuttlebutt is that he was forced out all right but not because of his party or even his partying — at least not for the consensual sort — and it just goes downhill from there.

It’s not atypical for people with Kiser’s expertise and experience as a corporate gun who were fired even for cause (even for something as damning as sexual harassment — even same-sex sexual harassment) — to get another chance in the sort of hot labor market that is D.C. lobbying right now. Ruthlessness and relentlessness in winning is the name of the game and Kiser was good enough at that to be rehirable under all but the most limited of circumstances — perhaps conditionally but rehirable nonetheless.
People who know me know that I don’t get riled up by people’s personal peccadilloes — that I’m usually the last person who’d care except for two things, one of which — using a false cloak of heterosexuality to hurt fellow queers — is impossible for a gay man as out as Kiser has been to be guilty of, leaving just one thing…

I cannot begin to tell you how much you do not want Kris Kiser as your neighbor, much less your congressperson.

* When this didn’t fool anyone but the most willing to be fooled, the campaign got as degayed as when a Mom-not-in-the-know is coming for a visit. Don’t take my word for it. Check the candidate’s website for yourself.

I don’t know what to think about this post. I will say this, though — I know Julia Carson. She lives in the neighborhood north of me. Several times I’ve walked my dog past her house and waved to her in her yard, and once I stopped to talk to her about a political issue. She’s lived in Indianapolis for decades, and she’s be a true friend to the GLBT community in dozens of ways. She pushed city-county councilors to support the Human Rights Ordinance. I’ve seen her speak at numerous gay pride events and AIDS Walks. I stood next to her at a candle-light vigil on the circle for Planned Parenthood when the local clinics were being threatened with anthrax letters by domestic terrorists.

I’ve studied her voting record.

I don’t know Kris Kiser from Adam. But if Ted Fleischaker is endorsing him, I’m voting for anybody but him. And I’m inclined to vote against anyone who held a position as a professional lobbyist in Washington, too.

UPDATE: Regarding Marla’s quote, “People who know me know that I don’t get riled up by people’s personal peccadilloes — that I’m usually the last person who’d care except for two things…” the second thing that she doesn’t name but leaves hanging in the air is pedophilia, if I’m guessing correctly.

I was in a GLBT political organization with Marla in the early 90’s when she discovered that a local gay “leader” we were working with had coerced young people he had access to into sexual relationships with him. (One of them having been a college friend of mine.) Marla went to Child Protective Services and had a full-blown investigation of him started when he suddenly dropped dead of complications due to AIDS. Marla actually took the time to sit down with the young people to give them good counseling about how to get AIDS tests at the same time the guy was being revered in the GLBT community as a visionary.

Of course that may not have any bearing on Kris Kiser at all, and it’s all personal speculation on my part about what Marla might have been trying to say there. Allegations of pedophilia seem to be the go-to smear tactic of choice in the GLBT community in Indianapolis, too. I’ve heard whisper campaigns against other gay figures in the community where no foundation ever appeared to support the rumors. So I’d consider that on its merits.

Either way, without Marla’s post as a factor, I was still voting for Julia Carson over Kris Kiser.

Continue ReadingThe controversial post about 7th district candidate Kris Kiser

Karen Celestino-Horseman for Judge

Karen Celestino-Horseman is a former member of the Indianapolis Marion County City-County Council, and she’s running for a position as Marion County Superior Court Judge. Please consider voting for her in the upcoming May 2nd primary.

In 2002, (then City-County Councilor) Karen Celestino-Horseman introduced Proposal 278, which would have provided domestic partner benefits to Indianapolis city employees. She’s a progressive candidate with great courage and considerable public service experience. You can read more about her on her website, where you can also donate funds to her campaign.

Continue ReadingKaren Celestino-Horseman for Judge

Indiana Equality Presents “Our Families Count” Rally at the Statehouse

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Equality will host a Statehouse gathering, the “Our Families Count!” rally, on February 9, 2006 from 1pm – 3pm. This event has been organized in response to a recent spate of legislation aimed at relegating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Hoosiers to second-class status.

“With daylight-savings time, toll roads, and property taxes on the docket, one would think the legislature has more important business to attend to than attacking gay families in this short session,” stated Walter Botich, Indiana Equality legislative committee co-chair.

Angered by advances in local human rights protections, Representative Jeff Thompson (R – Lizton) offered a proposal that was aimed at the LGBT community specifying that local government may not extend protections for employment or housing that is greater than existing state of federal statute. This proposal would have banned human rights protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity – effectively overturning existing laws in Bloomington, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Lafayette, Michigan City, West Lafayette, and Tippecanoe County.

All too often, LGBT families are either overlooked or discounted completely. Indiana Equality encourages all of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens of the state to join them in announcing to the state government that “Our Families Count!”

“This is an exercise of our rights – and it’s happening in the Statehouse rotunda,” observed Kathy Sarris, president of Indiana Equality. “It’s time the State of Indiana started recognizing those rights.”

“It’s time for our community to stand up and be counted. We need to show that our families are just as important as other families around the state,” commented Jerame Davis, Indiana Equality communications committee chair and rally organizer. “We will not be forced into second-class status. We pay our taxes, participate in our communities, and raise our families just like all other Hoosiers. We should be treated equally.”

The “Our Families Count!” rally will feature speakers from several community organizations from around the state. Several legislators have been invited to speak.
Founded in 2003, Indiana Equality is a coalition of organizations from around the state who are focused on providing basic human rights for Indiana’s LGBT citizens. Participating organizations include Interfaith Coalition on Nondiscrimination (ICON), Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance (INTRAA), Indiana Action Network (IAN), Justice, Inc., Indiana PFLAG, Indianapolis Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Social Workers (NASW) as well as regional steering committees in the Indianapolis, Bloomington, Evansville, Richmond, Ft. Wayne, Lafayette, and South Bend areas.

see more information about Indiana Equality.

Continue ReadingIndiana Equality Presents “Our Families Count” Rally at the Statehouse

More Indiana State Legislature Attacks on Gay People

Bills that affect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered folks in Indiana:

Preference of Marriage Bills
House Bill 1335 (Preference for marriage over other relationships) and House Bill 1202 (Preference for marriage; instruction by schools) – Introduced by Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton) These two bills, would have Indiana law declare that marriage is preferred, encouraged, and supported over any other domestic relationship. Additionally, it would require that public schools not allow instruction that is contrary to policies established by law concerning marriage. HB 1335 has been assigned to the House Public Policy and Veterans Affairs Committee; HB 1202 has been sent to the House Education Committee. Neither bill is yet scheduled for committee consideration. This legislation appears to be in response to the idea among some social conservatives that schools are “promoting homosexuality.”

Patricia Miller’s Resurrection of “Unauthorized Reproduction” Bill
Senate Bill 0273 (Abandoned embryos and adoption matters) – Introduced by Sen. Patricia Miller (R-Indianapolis) Among other things this legislation calls for the Health Finance Commission to study assisted reproduction, infertility, gestational agreements, and surrogacy arrangements. SB 0273 has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee; however, no hearing date has been set. The proposed study appears to be an attempt by Sen. Miller to resurrect her unsuccessful proposal to make assisted reproduction illegal for same-sex couples, unmarried couples, and single women.

What to do about it
WHAT: “Our Families Count!” rally
WHEN: Thursday, February 9, 2006 1-3pm
WHERE: Indiana Statehouse North Atrium (200 W Washington Street – Indianapolis)
WHO: Indiana Equality & Friends
WHY: Our families are not second-class! The state shouldn’t teach that they are!
Stand up and let your family be counted! Join Indiana Equality at the Statehouse for the “Our Families Count!” rally February 9.

Representatives from many area groups will be on hand. Guest speakers will start at 1:30! We have many great speakers lined up. You won’t want to miss this historic rally for equality!

Continue ReadingMore Indiana State Legislature Attacks on Gay People

IndyStar’s “In Touch” Blog

Read this blog entry from Jocelyn-Tandy Torkwase Adande:

An individual’s sexual preference should be a private matter. Recently, the Democratic caucus of the City-County Council attached an ordinance relating to sexual orientation to a human rights bill that also allows 15 percent of all business contracts with the city of Indianapolis to be awarded to minority-owned businesses.
To gain acceptance, a faction within the party, Stonewall Democrats, agreed to support this ordinance. The majority of African-American council members voted in favor of it and against the opinion of the religious community and its constituents. These council members wrongly allowed homosexuals and their supporters to identify their struggle with the plight of African Americans during the civil rights era.
Federal and state laws address acts of discrimination in employment and housing. Sexual harassment in the workplace is a type of employment discrimination. Such acts are prohibited by the 1964 Civil Rights Act and commonly by state statutes.
Passage of the ordinance was a mistake. To compare the plight of homosexuals to that of African Americans is an insult to my race.

I take issue with the very first line — my sexual orientation isn’t a matter for the bedroom, any more than any heterosexual couple’s is. When take your spouse to the company Christmas party and introduce them to people, you say “this is my wife, Christine” or “this is my husband, John.” You’re pointing out your sexual orientation and making it a part of your relationships with your co-workers and friends.
I do the same with mine. My girlfriend, someday wife, isn’t only that in my bedroom but in every aspect of my life. Our relationship may include sex, but it’s not solely about that — it’s also about love, loyalty, companionship, support, friendship, family, compassion, commitment and faith. Our relationship not a “sexual act.” It’s a beautiful, gracious gift from the universe, and I celebrate it every day.

Continue ReadingIndyStar’s “In Touch” Blog

“Outing” Revisited

Way back in March of 1998, I wrote a long article/essay/diatribe on the subject of “outing” people. Reading it today, I realize it wasn’t as much about “outing” people as it was about complaining about prevalence of opportunistic gay people who stay in the closet to prey on people who are out while avoiding the stigma of being gay, rather than about the action of “outing” itself.

The subject of “outing” has come up recently in the local gay community, surrounding the issue of Prop 68, the city’s human rights ordinance. It seems that there is some evidence that one of the city-county councilors who voted against the measure is gay or has a history of gay behavior, and none-other than State Rep. Julia Carson herself threatened publicly to “out” him as a hypocrite because he didn’t support it.

The suggestion has caused huge debate within the gay community; see for some of the discussion on the issue. It even has the religious right’s panties in a bunch; Micah Clark from the AFA sent out an email to his kool-aid drinkers where he was all in a tizzy about it.

Here’s my take: If you truly believe there’s nothing wrong with being gay, then revealing someone as gay shouldn’t be wrong, should it? If there’s nothing wrong with me having blue eyes, then why would you be hesitant/bothered/ashamed to talk about my blue eyes with other people? You don’t see black people running around worried about whether to reveal other black people as black, do you?

I thought not.

Continue Reading“Outing” Revisited

Catholics refuse communion to people who support gays

According to an AP story, A priest in St. Paul, Minnesota denied communion to more than 100 parisioners on Sunday because they wore rainbow color sashes in support of gay and lesbian Catholics.

A Roman Catholic priest denied communion to more than 100 people Sunday, saying they could not receive the sacrament because they wore rainbow-colored sashes to church to show support for gay Catholics.

Before offering communion, the Rev. Michael Sklucazek told the congregation at the Cathedral of St. Paul (search) that anyone wearing a sash could come forward for a blessing but would not receive wine and bread.

A group called the Rainbow Sash Alliance has encouraged supporters to wear the multicolored fabric bands since 2001 on each Pentecost Sunday, the day Catholics believe the Holy Spirit came to give power to Christians soon after Jesus ascended to heaven. But Sunday’s service was the first time they had been denied communion at the altar.

Archbishop Harry Flynn told the group earlier this month that they would not receive communion because the sashes had become a protest against church teaching.

Continue ReadingCatholics refuse communion to people who support gays

Bash a Fag For Jesus

Shoot, yesterday was the National Day of Silence, and I missed blogging about it. This is a project where high school students, to protest the harrassment and bullying that gay and lesbian teenagers experience at school every day, choose to go through their day without speaking. Started in 1998, it’s swelled into a nationally recognized event.
Now, though, anti-gay Christian Terrorists are targeting the day by calling the day “Bash a Fag For Jesus” (oh, wait, I guess they’re really calling it a “Day of Truth” but my title is more accurate) where they target kids who are participating in the day by wearing T-shirts and handing out gay-bashing flyers.

Continue ReadingBash a Fag For Jesus

Republican Alan Keyes calls Dick Cheney’s Daughter a “Selfish Hedonist”

In case you missed all the really great fun, During an interview with Michelangelo Signorile at the Republican National Convention on Monday, carpetbagger Republican candidate Alan Keyes, who is running for office in Illinois against media darling Barack Obama, was asked about Mary Cheney, Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter. What he answered is causing a firestorm both within the convention and in the media. Here’s what he had to say:

Signorile: “I am speaking with Alan Keyes, and you’ve come to the Republican convention to support President Bush I presume”

Keyes: “Oh certainly, I think that President Bush needs to be reelected for the sake of this countries security, he has provided that kind of leadership that we are going to have to have if we are going to confront and defeat the challenge of terrorism that has already claimed so many American lives”

Signorile: “What did you think of Vice President Cheney last week coming out and saying he doesn’t agree with the President on the federal marriage amendment, seems to be a break with the party, do you think he is sending a mixed signal?”

Keyes: “I don’t know, I think he is entitled to his personal convictions, but I think that the party’s position is the correct one. We have to stand in defense of the traditional marriage institution in order to preserve its basis in procreation and make sure that we retain an understanding of family life that is rooted in the tradition of procreation, of child bearing and child rearing now in the essence of family life.”

Signorile: “Now, Vice President Cheney, of course, has a daughter. She is gay. He used the word gay. He says he has a gay daughter, he seems very proud of his gay daughter. It seems like real family values and certainly seems like preserving the American family. Is his family un-American?”

Keyes: “No, the point of the matter is that marriage as an institution involves procreation. It is in principle impossible for homosexuals to procreate, therefore they cannot marry. It is a simple logical syllogism and one can wish all one might, but pigs don’t fly and we can’t change the course of nature.”

Signorile: “One can wish that Bob and Liddy Dole would have a child but that’s just impossible.”

Keyes: “Pigs can’t fly. That is incidental and point of fact Bob and Liddy Dole can have children. They incidentally face problems that prevent them from doing so. In principle…”

Signorile: “Don’t homosexuals incidentally face problems too?”

Keyes: “No, you don’t understand the difference between incident and essence. Homosexuals are essentially incapable of procreation. They cannot mate. They are not made to do so. Therefore the idea of marriage for two such individuals is an absurdity”

Signorile: “But one or the other in the couple can procreate?”

Keyes: “No the men can donate their sperm, the women can have babies. The definition of understanding of marriage is that two become one flesh. In the child, the two transcend their persons and unite together to become a new individual. That can only be done through procreation and conception.”

Signorile: “But what about a heterosexual couple who cannot bear children and then adopt. They are not becoming one as flesh, they are taking someone else’s flesh.”

Keyes: “They are adopting the paradigm of family life. But the essence of that family life remains procreation. If we embrace homosexuality as a proper basis for marriage, we are saying that it is possible to have a marriage state that in principle excludes procreation and is based simply on the premise of selfish hedonism. This is unacceptable.”

Signorile: “So Mary Cheney is a selfish hedonist, is that it?”

Keyes: “Of course she is. That goes by definition. Of course she is.”

Signorile: “I don’t think Dick Cheney would like to hear that about his daughter.”

Keyes: “He may or may not like to hear the truth, but it can be spoken.”

Signorile: “Do you really believe that Mary Cheney…”

Keyes: “By definition. A homosexual engages in the exchange of mutual pleasure. I actually object to the notion that we call it sexual relations because it is nothing of the kind.”

Signorile: “What is it?”

Keyes: “It is the mutual pursuit of pleasure through the stimulation of the organs intended for procreation, but it has nothing to do with sexuality because they are of the same sex. And with respect to them, the sexual difference does not exist there, and therefore are not having sexual relations.

Signorile: “Mr. Keyes, then how can you support President Bush then, because if something were to happen to him the President would be Dick Cheney, who has a daughter who you say is a hedonist, and a selfish hedonist, and the President would be supporting that at that point?”

Keyes: “It seems to me that we are supporting a ticket that is committed to the kinds of things that are necessary to defend this country and we are all united in that support in spite of what might be differences on issues here and there.”

Signorile: “Thank you for speaking with us.”

Continue ReadingRepublican Alan Keyes calls Dick Cheney’s Daughter a “Selfish Hedonist”

“Boycott for Equality” and “Shut It Down”

Boycott for Equality is calling for gay and lesbian people to drop out of the United States economy on October 8th to demonstrate that we are vital and important members of our communities with significant economic presence. There are three elements to the boycott: No Work, No Purchases and No Cell Phones.

In New York, the people from Shut It Down are calling on New Yorkers to make life difficult for Republican convention goers on September 1 by calling in sick to work, especially for cast members of Broadway shows, and people in service industries like restaurant and retail sales.

Shut it down has a great logo:

Shut It Down Logo

Continue Reading“Boycott for Equality” and “Shut It Down”