Mississippi Narcotics Agents Get Off Easy for Anti-gay Assault

In a sentence he said “[does] not suit the Department of Justice and the victims,” U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. Sumner ordered one former Mississippi Narcotics Agent a year of home confinement and another one month in prison and 11 months of home confinement for the 2004 assault of two gay men.

Jackson“James Buitt, then 42, and Michael Mathis, then 47, both of Bogue Chitto filed a complaint Sept. 16, 2004, alleging abuse by MBN agents on Aug. 29, 2004, at a parking lot near Jack & Jill’s bar in Jackson because of their sexual orientation. Buitt said he was sent to the University of Mississippi Medical Center with a broken arm and nose, and Mathis said his hand was broken. Buitt said Tuesday he was out of work for nine months because of surgery on his arm and suffered numerous other repercussions because of the actions by the agents.”

Buitt and Mathis were defended by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paige Fitzgerald, who had recommended a year in prison for each of the agents.

On the evening of the attack, the agents attempted to coerce their victims into not filing a complaint, according to 365gay.com: “Forman and Reynolds followed the victims to the hospital where they confronted them, and tried to get them to agree that they would not file a complaint against them if they would not charge Buitt with driving under the influence of alcohol. Buitt ordered the agents to leave, and accordingly, Reynolds and Forman filed a DUI charge against him. Forman later testified falsely against the Buitt in Hinds County Justice Court in relation to the DUI charge. The offenses against Buitt were later dismissed in court. Following that the federal civil rights charges were laid by the US Attorney’s department.”

Following the sentencing, Forman and Reynolds “received congratulatory hugs from [a] crowded courtroom of law enforcement supporters” according to the Clarion Ledger.

Comments

  1. JT says

    Reading the post, I had to think “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Typical.”

    Then, the last sentence hit! A room full of “law enforcement supporters” who are glad when guys get off easy for gay-bashing! Yep, makes me feel safe to be in America.

    Now I have a better understanding of why Zeke doesn’t consider Mississippi home sweet home any longer.

  2. says

    I always thought it was easier for gays in the US of A, but by now it seems so much easier here in Germany – though there are still some issues here too! But not nearly as much as what’s going on over on your side. I hope that it’ll become easier for all homosexuals in the future. We are just as normal as heterosexuals, simply smaller in numbers 😉

  3. bambambam says

    so where are the self-hating Republikkan wingnuts to say that it’s worse for gay people in Iraq and that no one’s trying to kill us or put us in jail here just for being gay?

    Hey Andy, isn’t there a way of putting a link to this story automatically on every post by the self-hating Log Kkkabinites who claim that the Clintons are more dangerous to gay people than the stars of this news story?

    What’s that song that went: don’t trust your soul to no backwoods southern lawyer/’Cause the judge in the town’s got bloodstains on his hands?

    And whoa, it just reminded me of the other line in the song: Little sister don’t miss when she aims her gun…

    Words to ponder as the gay-bashers go free, and bash again in the name of Bush Republicanism.

  4. peterparker says

    A room full of law enforcement supporters gave them congratulatory hugs?! Disgusting. I’ve always said the only thing separating the cops from the thugs is that the cops wear a uniform…and apparently attend trials to support their homies.

  5. peterparker says

    Ulrich…I have to admit the same thought crossed my mind. If only I weren’t so steeped in non-violence…

  6. Zeke says

    EXACTLY JT!

    My Mississippi heritage, once a source of pride, has, with education, reflection and adult experience, become an endless source of enormous shame to me.

    I actually brought this story to Andy’s attention.

    As much as it shames me and breaks my heart, I want the world to know about the shameful culture of racist and homophobic bigotry that continues to thrive in the land of my birth.

    The lessons of the civil rights movement of the sixties and the stories of Emmett Till and other martyrs of the African-American civil rights movement as well as the stories of evil bastards like Edgar Ray Killen (who was convicted of MANSLAUGHTER 41 years to the day after he MURDERED three civil rights workers in 1964) have been totally lost on the people of Mississippi.

    It truly makes my tender side want to cry…

    right before I let my MUCH LARGER woop-ass side go to kick some ignorant, Mississippi, redneck ASS!!!

    I’m these people’s worst nightmare: a Southerner, a Christian, a Husband and a Father who just happens to be an unashamed and outspoken Homa-sek-shul redneck, with a thick Mississippi accent and an attitude!

    It’s enough to make Hannibal Lecter (the creation of a fellow Mississippian) cringe!

  7. Zeke says

    By the way, when the jury, in 1955, found the torturers and murderers of Emmett Till, an African-American youth from Chicago, NOT guilty, the Bible toting masses surrounding the Court House erupted in jubilation in a similar manner.

    Two weeks later the exonerated men granted an interview to Life magazine where they bragged about having committed the murder. Interestingly enough, the townspeople of Money Mississippi, and whites throughout the state, continued to support the men, even with the knowledge that they had indeed committed the murder.

    And the beat goes on…

  8. JT says

    We live in a nation where gay-bashing law enforcement officers get slaps on the wrist, war criminals get reelected to second terms as the two highest constitutional officers, and states are legalizing discrimination against gays and lesbians in their constitutions. But, the state of our union is strong. Right.

  9. says

    To add to your comment JT … they get slaps on the wrist for gay bashing, but two border patrol agents end up with years for doing the job they were supposed to do, and the “bad-guy” gets immunity and freedom ..

    Somehow, I feel the disconnect —

  10. Butch says

    I live in the great state of Mississippi, I am open and never run across any type of discrimination ever. I think that the media plays a large role in pushing people to think that we are ALL a bunch of rednecks. I live in the city of Tupelo, home of the American Family, and you would never know that their HQ were based here, unless you did some research. Believe it or not, you never read about them or hear about them period. Mississippi gets a bad rap and most of it is uncalled for except things of this nature.

  11. Andrew says

    Butch, I live in the South too. I know sometimes we get called ‘redneck’ ‘backwards’, etc. However, I’m a CEO-and if that happened in my city I would raise hell.

    If you do not want to be thought of as a backwards hick-don’t ask like one.

  12. Robert Williams says

    In 1984 I was leaving my waiter job in Jackson Mississippi which was around the corner from the gay bar. The minute I pulled out of the parking lot I was pulled over by an Officer from the Jackson Police. He accused me of driving drunk (I was cold sober) and for coming from the gay bar with the “other faggots”. I explained I just got off work and was on my way home. He told me to get out of the car and immediatly handcuffed me, catching my skin in the cuffs. He slammed me to the ground and proceeded to search my car and found some cassette tape deck cleaner which he called “poppers”. I was arrested without being told why, held for a day and then released after posting bail. The final charge was running a stop sign and “resisting arrest”. I guess my screams of pain from the handcuffs was the resistance referred to. At the court date, the officer didn’t show when my case was called. Another cop whispered something to the judge, who placed my file back on the bottom. At the end of the court date, the cop came in out of breath. He proceeded to lie on the stand about what he observed and played out an entirely different scenerio to what happened. When it became my turn to speak, I calmly relayed the entire incident and expressed the shame, humiliation, and abuse I had recieved from the officer and his hatred of “faggots”. Despite presenting a time stamped time card, photos of the the stop sign, and photos of my injury, the judge ruled against me and admonished me for bringing it to trial. She refused to believe the officer would use such language as he went to her church, and told me that I was lucky she didn’t charge me for other offences. Bible Belt indeed.

  13. Zeke says

    Butch, with all due respect, I was born in Tupelo MS and raised in Oxford, and I felt exactly as you do until I moved away from the state and started seeing things from a different perspective. I passionately defended the Magnolia State against all criticism for years after I moved. I felt personally insulted by negative statements about Mississippi and Mississippians and I felt a duty and obligation to be loyal to my heritage and spin everything to the positive. At some point I realized that in order to blindly defend the State of Mississippi, and her people, I had to ignore reality and live in the State of Denial. Although I realize that my home state has a lot of positives aspects to, and good people in, it, it is ridiculous to deny or ignore its shameful history or its current stubborn refusal to give up on bigoted mentalities and traditions.

    I was recently back home for a visit with my family. The fundamentalist religious stamp was a constant, ever present and undeniable factor in EVERY aspect of life there. I know what it feels like to feel the need to defend your home, your friends and your family from the constant negative comments about Mississippi but unfortunately most of the criticism is deserved and has been earned.

    I know there are a lot of good people in the state and I know Mississippi has positive historical events that are all to often overlooked, but to claim that the state is not held hostage by the religious, fundamentalist right and a very real undercurrent of racism and homophobia is dishonest at best and delusional at worst.

    I sincerely wish you the best and hope that you continue to have a positive experience in the state.

  14. patrick nyc says

    BAMBAMBAM the song you are thinking about is ‘The Night the Lights went out in Georgia’ written by Vicki Lawerence (from the Carol Burnett Show) and her husband Bobby Russel. It hit #1 on Billboard in 1973. Sadly some things have not changed much since then.

  15. Zeke says

    I would like to clarify a couple of things about the word “redneck”.

    First of all, not all Southerners are rednecks and not all rednecks are Southerners.

    Secondly, not all rednecks are ignorant and bigoted even though the word has come to be synonymous with “ignorant” and “bigoted”. I know this to be true because I am PROUD to be a redneck but I am neither ignorant nor bigoted. I take great offense when people assume that just because I am Southern, a Mississippian and a self proclaimed redneck that I am uneducated, racist, xenophobic or a religious fundamentalist.

  16. Gary says

    Should we really be so surprised about this coming from Mississippi? On Wednesday they have finally arrested the former sheriff’s deputy in Roxie for the murder of two African-Americans in 1965! They still want their stars and bars! Trent Lott! Need I say more?

  17. mw says

    Robert Williams–what an awful experience. I’m sure it’s not something you’ll ever forget or get over, but I wish you best.

  18. Zeke says

    Reba McEntire released her remake of “The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia” in 1992 with an awesome accompanying video.

  19. Nitpick says

    “Buitt and Mathis were defended by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paige Fitzgerald…”

    U.S. Attorneys don’t ‘defend’ people. Sorry for the legal nitpicking.

  20. Zeke says

    Nitpick, you’re right, I don’t know how they screwed that statement up so badly.

    This was a federal criminal case. The defendant was the narcotics officer. The plaintiff was the US Government represented by the Assistant US Attorney (a Prosecutor). The two victims were not a party to the case in any way. They were simply witnesses and had no need to be defended by an attorney.

    Did I get that right Rudy?

  21. Ian says

    My partner and I live in Jackson. We’re out to family, friends and attend church as a couple in one of the local Episcopal churches. I’ve never experienced harrassment in Jackson, but witnessed it in New York and New Orleans. The Castro it’s not, but at least this incident was brought to trial and the perps were sentenced. Several years ago that might not have happened. Things are improving here.

  22. mjbettencourt says

    Sending a letter for the following ostrich (see head in sand) err… politicians of MS…

    You too can email these backwoods hillbillies… cut and paste kids!!!

    baldridge@mail.house.state.ms.us, tarinder@mail.house.state.ms.us, wbailey@mail.house.state.ms.us, lbaker@mail.house.state.ms.us, mbaker@mail.house.state.ms.us, ebanksjax@aol.com, jbarnett@mail.house.state.ms.us, jbeckett@mail.house.state.ms.us, eblackmon@mail.house.state.ms.us, sbondurant@mail.house.state.ms.us, jbounds@mail.house.state.ms.us, bbroomfield@mail.house.state.ms.us, cbrown@mail.house.state.ms.us, kbuck@mail.house.state.ms.us, cburnett@mail.house.state.ms.us, ccalhoun@mail.house.state.ms.us, gchism@mail.house.state.ms.us, bclark@mail.house.state.ms.us, aclarke@mail.house.state.ms.us, acockerham@mail.house.state.ms.us, lcoleman@mail.house.state.ms.us, mcoleman@mail.house.state.ms.us, jcompretta@mail.house.state.ms.us, rcummings@mail.house.state.ms.us, ldavis@mail.house.state.ms.us, ddedeaux@mail.house.state.ms.us, bdenny@mail.house.state.ms.us, rdickson@mail.house.state.ms.us, beaton@mail.house.state.ms.us, jellington@mail.house.state.ms.us, tellis@mail.house.state.ms.us, cespy@mail.house.state.ms.us, jevans@mail.house.state.ms.us, hfillingane@mail.house.state.ms.us, gflaggs@mail.house.state.ms.us, efleming@mail.house.state.ms.us, mformby@mail.house.state.ms.us, jfranks@mail.house.state.ms.us, ffredericks@mail.house.state.ms.us, hfrierson@mail.house.state.ms.us, jgadd@mail.house.state.ms.us, dgibbs@mail.house.state.ms.us, ggregory@mail.house.state.ms.us, dguice@mail.house.state.ms.us, pgunn@mail.house.state.ms.us, efhamilton@mail.house.state.ms.us, fhamilton@mail.house.state.ms.us, eharrison@mail.house.state.ms.us, jhines@mail.house.state.ms.us, sholland@mail.house.state.ms.us, gholloway@mail.house.state.ms.us, shorne@mail.house.state.ms.us, bhowell@mail.house.state.ms.us, rhuddleston@mail.house.state.ms.us, jhudson@mail.house.state.ms.us, rishee@mail.house.state.ms.us, mjanus@mail.house.state.ms.us, wjennings@mail.house.state.ms.us, rjohnson@mail.house.state.ms.us, slane@mail.house.state.ms.us, mlott@mail.house.state.ms.us, bmalone@mail.house.state.ms.us, jmarkham@mail.house.state.ms.us, rmartinson@mail.house.state.ms.us, cmasterson@mail.house.state.ms.us, tmayhall@mail.house.state.ms.us, jmayo@mail.house.state.ms.us, wmcbride@mail.house.state.ms.us, wmccoy@mail.house.state.ms.us, amiddleton@mail.house.state.ms.us, wmiles@mail.house.state.ms.us, smims@mail.house.state.ms.us, bmoak@locnet.net, pmontgomery@mail.house.state.ms.us, jmoore@mail.house.state.ms.us, kmorgan@mail.house.state.ms.us, hmoss@mail.house.state.ms.us, dmyers@mail.house.state.ms.us, bnicholson@mail.house.state.ms.us, dnorquist@mail.house.state.ms.us, spalazzo@mail.house.state.ms.us, dparker@mail.house.state.ms.us, rhpatterson@mail.house.state.ms.us, dperanich@mail.house.state.ms.us, wperkins@mail.house.state.ms.us, jread@mail.house.state.ms.us, dreed@mail.house.state.ms.us, jreeves@mail.house.state.ms.us, treynolds@mail.house.state.ms.us, erobinson@mail.house.state.ms.us, wrobinson@mail.house.state.ms.us, mrogers@mail.house.state.ms.us, rrogers@mail.house.state.ms.us, rotenberry@mail.house.state.ms.us, oscott@mail.house.state.ms.us, bshows@mail.house.state.ms.us, jsimpson@mail.house.state.ms.us, claytonsmith@mail.house.state.ms.us, fsmith@mail.house.state.ms.us, jsmith@mail.house.state.ms.us, greg@gregsnowden.com, gstaples@mail.house.state.ms.us, mstevens@mail.house.state.ms.us, rstraughter@mail.house.state.ms.us, jstringer@mail.house.state.ms.us, psullivan@mail.house.state.ms.us, sthomas@mail.house.state.ms.us, jturner@mail.house.state.ms.us, jupshaw@mail.house.state.ms.us, rvince@mail.house.state.ms.us, jwalley@mail.house.state.ms.us, gward@mail.house.state.ms.us, jwarren@mail.house.state.ms.us, pwatson@mail.house.state.ms.us, tweathersby@mail.house.state.ms.us, cwellssmith@mail.house.state.ms.us, lwhittington@mail.house.state.ms.us, twoods@mail.house.state.ms.us, cyoung@mail.house.state.ms.us, hzuber@mail.house.state.ms.us

    Ok… let the barrage of sanity emails wake these rednecks up and into the 21st century… albeit MS still kind of smells a litlle bit like tar and feathers as and the black “man” KNOWS his place here (evident by the lack of sympathy from another hated segment of Americans)…

    Ok, off to write my letter… join me!

  23. Stephen says

    “…and states are legalizing discrimination against gays and lesbians in their constitutions. But, the state of our union is strong. Right.”

    JT:

    I assume you are referring to “same-sex marriage.”
    I suport civil unions that would include virtually all the benefits that married couples enjoy. But, marriage is between a male and a female. There certainly is a difference in the two types of relationships, which in effect eliminates any discrimination towards sema sex long term couples.

  24. rudy says

    Stephen you are unremitantly hung up on semantics. “Marriage” is an institution that is defined by the authorities in whatever manner they decide. The only difference in the “two types of relationships” is one of body parts. My twenty-eight year relationship with my partner is no different than those of my straight brother and sisters, except it is not sanctioned by the state–yet. And I will not permit you to demean it nor would my siblings or even my Hispanic cowboy father. Do not project your inadequacies and bigotry on others.

    Zeke Bud, glad to have you back! Thanks for the call out. I admit that I was confused by the posture and parties in the cited criminal proceeding even though I taught legal advocacy earlier in my career. I believe that you have it correct. I was not surprised to learn of the congratulatory hugs. The “thin blus line” sticks together, especially when one of the members is justifiably prosecuted. As Ian noted, however, change is occurring, albeit slowly. We will gain our civil rights but not without fighting for them and continuing to defend them against the forces of ignorance.

  25. JT says

    Stephen: (My foul language is not directed to you but, rather to the intolerance in this country)

    I don’t give even the smallest of shits about the word “marriage.” It carries so much sexist baggage that I think it is silly. What I do care about (and give a very large shit about) is civil and human rights. Michigan (my state) has a lovely constitutional amendment that prohibits recognition of gays, lesbians, or unmarried straights as being in “any similar union to marriage.” (the actual amendment is even more confusing than my paraphrase).

    Our truly evil attorney general is currently fighting against the University of Michigan and Michigan State University which grant domestic partner benefits. He has also sued to block the governor’s executive order conferring domestic partner benefits on gay and lesbian state employees. He lost round one in the court and the governor has requested an expedited hearing at the state Supreme Court; a court with a majority of conservative justices, by the way so I’m not too hopeful for a successful outcome.

    Incidentally, this morning as I was trying to decide if I should get out of our warm bed, I was listening to coverage of the James Seale case (Wow! Mississippi’s really in the news for charming, genteel Southern hospitality this week). I thought, to myself, how far society has come that, at least, Messrs. Buitt and Mathis weren’t beaten and drowned.

    Then I thought of Matthew Shepherd tied to a fence in Wyoming.

    Mississippi may have progressed (that’s debatable, I suppose), but our country seems to still yearn for the “Other” to beat, persecute, humiliate, and kill with impunity. Right now its us, gay people. But, thanks to the hysteria surrounding “terrorists” the “Other” now includes anyone with an Arabic surname, skin that may indicate Mideastern or subcontinent origins, or presence at a Mosque.

    It isn’t just the South of which I’m ashamed. Americans seem to love to hate. Hell, apparently we’ve even got treatment centers to help people deal with their addiction to hatred!

    Holy shit! Rudy’s a lawyer? And I like him!

    Stephen, I take no offense at what you said. I think, though, that the definition of “marriage” has evolved over centuries and that, as social historians continue to do research, we will see that “marriage” as a contracted relationship (which is precisely what it is) was recognised as including same sex couples. I lament the death of John Boswell, late of Yale, who was doing some pretty swell work on that topic.

  26. rudy says

    JT, Back at you Bud. You are hardly alone in your shock/disdain at my being a lawyer. My wonderful grandmother never would say the word “lawyer” and when asked what I did would only vaguely refer to “work in Washington”. Being thought to be a politico was preferable to being an attorney! If it is any comfort, the bulk of my career has been spent negotiating treaties for the use of wireless spectrum and devices. So, now you can blame me for cellphones.

  27. JT says

    Rudy: I’m not disdainful at all. I’m actually thinking of a midlife career switch to the dark side, myself.

  28. Zeke says

    Stephen, I, unlike JT, DO take offense at what you said.

    Please explain the differences between heterosexual and homosexual relationships to me. I, my husband and our son are obviously not as knowledgeable about these things as you.

    I don’t know if you’re in a relationship or if you have kids for which you and your partner are 100% responsible, hell I don’t even know if you’re gay, but I would sincerely hope that you would be all of the above before you go out pontificating about what gay families need and what they should be entitled to. I also hope you have done the research about the differences between the legal rights, benefits and responsibilities conferred by civil unions as apposed to marriage before you make patently incorrect statements about their “virtual” sameness.

    Maybe it’s because I actually have a family with my partner of sixteen years (husband of 3) and our 13 year old son that I, unlike you, refuse to accept having my family treated as “virtually” equal by the government to whom I pay EXACTLY the same (actually more) taxes and by the country to which I dedicated 12 years of my life in military service and for whom I fought in combat to defend ALL the rights and privileges that come with American citizenship.

    The day that gay people are allowed to pay virtually the same taxes and the day that gay and lesbian soldiers virtually die or are virtually wounded defending this country is the day that I will be satisfied with myself and my family being given virtually the same rights as other Americans.

    I’ll anxiously await your explanation of the critical differences between heterosexual and homosexual couples and why one should be given marriage while the other should be satisfied with something virtually (but not really) like marriage.

  29. patrick nyc says

    ZEKE I would not hold my breath. As you often say, don’t feed the trolls. lol Or the Log Cabiners, closet cases, self haters or delusional.

  30. Zeke says

    Patrick, you’re right.

    Stephen finally found my Achilles heal when he starts making incorrect proclamations about what civil unions are and how they are virtually the same as marriage. Then to finish me off he speaks as an authority on what gay families are and how they are “certainly different” from heterosexually headed families.

    From the misinformation that he has repeatedly proffered on this site, I am CERTAIN that he doesn’t have a family of his own; however, he certainly doesn’t let that pesky little detail deter him from claiming to know exactly what those of us who actually have families that we must maintain in a culturally, socially and LEGALLY hostile environment, need and what rights and recognition we should expect, or be afforded, by the state.

    My bad. :(

  31. JT says

    Whoa! Zeke, such spleen you’re venting!

    My rednecked friend, consider this as an affectionate “slap to the side of the head”: In the eyes of the state, you ARE NOT MARRIED-because you can’t be legally! Your relationship was contracted in Canada. Our federal legislation prohibits recognition of that contract. Your state prohibits recognition of marriage contracts between same sex partners that are legal in other states (one of the few exceptions to full faith and credit).

    The following is strictly for rhetorical flourish, since you already know this: You do not have the right to inherit from your husband. If one of you dies, the other does not, necessarily have the right to custody. If one of you were in a car accident, the other’s wishes regarding medical decisions could be contested by family. You cannot file a joint tax return, and only one of you can declare your son as dependent on a Schedule A. If you were to split up (the word “divorce” cannot be used since there is no recognized contract), you’ll have a tough time splitting property.

    Stephen, whom I will assume (committing the same grievous error he did with regard to what I was posting about yesterday) carries the same baggage regarding the word “marriage” as me, says that the word applies to straight couples but that civil unions bestowing the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities as marriage eliminates any discrimination. Well, tell me, dear Stephen, in what best-of-all-possible-worlds place do you live in where a gay or lesbian couple can file a 1040 together?

    Why should we, my good Stephen, impose our own views regarding the traditional domination of men over women (that has been the hallmark of most marriage laws) on others? I submit that we should not. I submit that “marriage”, as a contract, is a civil action and that it must be stripped of the baggage that you and I, good champions of women’s rights that we are, have heaped on it.

    Zeke is NOT MARRIED [because he can’t be legally] to a good and loving man. Zeke and the man he loves (who IS NOT HIS HUSBAND [because he can’t be legally]) has raised children in a loving, faith-filled home. Zeke and his housemates (they ARE NOT HIS FAMILY [because they can’t be legally]) have contributed to society, to our national security, and to their faith community. But he and the man whom he calls “husband” ARE NOT MARRIED and that, dear Stephen, is a FUCKING INJUSTICE!

    No, I don’t give a rat’s grey ass what word we use to describe their relationship. But, if I look at what my parents’ contracted relationship is, then their contract, entered into in a foreign country, is a MARRIAGE. If I look at the IRS rules that define marriage, then their contract, disregarded by our federal government, certainly meets all the criteria to be called MARRIAGE. And if I look back on the fourteen years that I have spent with a man I love, honor, and cherish; at our shared dreams, expenses, grief, happiness, home, and hearth, then I guess we’re pretty much entitled to the word MARRIED [but we can’t be legally].

  32. JT says

    And while we’re on the topic of Mississippi, the South, and the relative improvement of the situation for minorities, let’s look at Stephen’s notion of civil unions versus marriage…sort of like “separate but equal” Just go to the back of the bus, boys, and let the normal people, sit up front.

    Fuck that, too.

  33. Zeke says

    JT, one correction, or more accurately, an expansion of your painfully accurate comment.

    You said that my husband would “not necessarily have the right to custody” if I die. There is NO “necessarily” to it. In the event of my death, my husband, the only other parent our son has ever known, would have ABSOLUTELY NO rights to our son. Not only is he a legal stranger, but he is SPECIFICALLY BANNED from adopting our son, even in the event of my death. My family, who had nothing to do with me, my husband OR our child until recently or a HETEROSEXUAL person of my choice would have absolute authority over the future of our son. Under NO circumstance and under no contract, in the state of Florida, would my son’s “Papa” have any recourse to maintain a relationship with his own son were I to die.

    That became TERRIFYINGLY real to us a few months back, when my health was severely compromised. Instead of worrying about my health, all I could do was worry about the future of my husband and our son should I die.

    NO parent, gay or straight should be put through such unnecessary anguish by the country and state to which they’ve given so much and of which they’ve asked so little.

    Make that TWO corrections: Though my marriage has no legal standing in this country my husband IS still my husband and our family IS still a family whether our country recognizes it or not. I don’t need my country’s approval to validate my family but, regardless of its antiquated prejudices, I damn well expect to get the rights, benefits and responsibilities that they provide other opposite-sex headed families.

    Approval is desired but not required (Too Wong Fu…). However, Respect is demanded (Zeke).

  34. Zeke says

    “Separate but Equal” is ALWAYS separate but NEVER equal.

    Have we learned nothing from our history?

    Stephen, I’m still waiting, with baited breath, to be enlightened by your superlative insights that you’ve clearly developed through vast relationship and family-life experience.

  35. Zeke says

    Oh, and correction #3 JT, my dear friend.

    Not to be picky, but, it’s CLEARLY my Gall Bladder, and not my Spleen, that I’m venting. 😉

  36. rudy says

    JT and Zeke, Your rebukes to the self-loathing Stephen (gay or not) are directly on point. Double your fourteen years JT and you have my marriage. Fortunately, my huge extended family considers us married. But the law does not, despite the extensive legal documents that we have prepared. Why should we have to spend the time and money to approximate only a few of the over one thousand rights and privileges that are conferred upon the contractual union of straight couples? Two lawyers in my family (that is what is called “an admission against interest”!) and yet other people get to decide whether we are considered validly married? We have put each other through graduate school, buried our mothers and a sibling, lost many dear friends who are family although not blood relations, moved cross country three times and done everything else a committed couple does when married. Yet, in Virginia it is doubtful that we could even enter into otherwise binding legal contracts with each other (e.g., a joint mortgage) thanks to the broadly worded recently adopted state Constitutional ban on same sex marriage. To hell with the Stephens of the world. You may not disrespect my marriage, or JT’s or Zeke’s and his beautiful family. We are married in all but name and have persevered without the fulsome societal support that is automatically granted to the marriages of straight couples. Damn, we have persevered without even the support for our marriages from some gays. Not a pat on the back to myself, but to let JT and Zeke know, I will always have your backs. For the record (damn, I have been an attorney too long), I tried to post earlier with several longer posts but they became lost in the system. I am hoping this one gets through.

  37. Zeke says

    JT and Rudy, thank you so much for your support and for your AMAZING friendships. I, and my family, will be eternally grateful to you both for your thoughtfulness and your kindness over the past year and we will forever consider you, and your families, cherished members of our family.

    With the love and respect of friends like you, I can better deal with the hate and ignorance that comes from others.

    Having said that, let me apologize for hijacking this thread. I clearly know better than to feed the trolls, and I usually can avoid being drawn into off-topic rants by them, but even I have soft spots and moments of weakness.

    I’m glad we said what we said, but since Stephen may never return to respond to our statements, we’re probably just preaching to the choir.

    Back to discussing the shameful turn of events in the Magnolia State…

  38. Jared says

    I have not hard a PEEP from GLAAD about this incident. I guess they are more concerned when TV stars say the word faggot. Oh well…I guess that IS more important.

  39. Brucie says

    GLAAD focuses on media representation–though I agree they’re pretty worthless–this is outside their agenda.

  40. Billy says

    This is why I couldn’t stand to live in Mississippi any longer. I was born and raised in north Mississippi, and the last time I went to the Methodist church in Starkville, my home town, the preacher stood on the pulpit and railed against homosexuality. I never want to live there again. The bigotry continues. This state continues to be last in practically any social and economic ranking that you read about. And, the state deserves it. Most of the country looks at Mississippians as a bunch of racist, homophobic, hillbilly, backwoods, tobacco chewing, beer drinking, hicks. The rest of us can sit back and laugh and enjoy the misrepresented pride Mississippians have in themselves. They are dead last — so let’s watch them brew.

  41. CHARMED4U2005 says

    I HAVE READ ALL THE COMMENTS AND I AGREE WITH ALOT OF WHAT HAS BEEN SAID. I TOO LIVE IN MISSISSIPPI AND HAVE BEEN HERE ALL MY LIFE. I GROW UP IN NATCHEZ, WHICH OVER LOOKS THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER. NATCHEZ HAS OVER 50 ANTIBELLUM HOMES AND TONS OF HISTORY THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THE USA. HOWEVER IN THAT HISTORY IS ALOT OF BAD THINGS THAT CONTINUE TO PLAGUE US EVEN TO THIS DAY. I AM A GAY MALE WHO HAS LOST HIS LOVE, 3 YEARS AGO TO A HATE CRIME. WE HAD JUST MOVED TO JACKSON AND EVERYTHING WAS SUPER, WHEN ONE NIGHT HE WAS ATTACKED AND BEATEN. HE LIVED AFTER THAT BUT HIS HEALTH JUST WENT DOWN HILL FROM THAT NIGHT. I HATE WHAT HAPPEN TO MY BEST FRIEND AND LOVE OF MY LIFE, JUST LIKE I HATE THE HOMOPHOBIA AND BIOGTRY THAT STILL EXISTS IN MISSISSIPPI. I THINK THAT IF THINGS ARE TO CHANGE YOU HAVE TO STAND UP AND FIGHT FOR WHAT IS RIGHT. DON’T LEAVE AND TRY TO FIND GREENER GRASS BECAUSE IT DOES NOT EXIST. THERE IS HOMOPHOBIA AND BIOGTRY WHEREEVER YOU GO AND IT WILL ALWAYS BE THERE AS LONG AS THERE ARE CHRISTIANS AND OTHERS THAT BELIEVE THE BIBLE AND OTHER WORDS LIKE THEM. I LOVE LIVING IN MISSISSIPPI AND THEN THERE ARE TIMES I HATE IT. YOU HAVE TO MAKE YOUR HOUSE YOUR HOME IF IT BE IN CALIFORNIA OR NEW YORK OR FLORDIA. MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU. STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT AND LIVE A LIFE THAT IS PRODUCTIVE TO OUR FUTURE. THANKS AND I HOPE YOU ALL WILL COME TO MISSISSIPPI AND SEE SOME OF ITS GREAT HISTORY. VISIT MISSISSIPPI BEFORE YOU BASH IT…. AND THOSE THAT HAVE AND FEEL THEY STILL NEED TO BASH JUST REMEMBER YOU ARE NO BETTER THAN THE OTHER BASHER YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT….

    THANKS ZEKE FOR ALL THE GREAT THINGS YOU SAID ABOUT US HERE IN MISSISSIPPI AND I AGREE WITH YOU 100%!~

    BY THE WAY I LOVE THIS WEBSITE IT IS THE VERY BEST BLOG ON THE NET……!~

    THANKS SO MUCH,
    CHARMED4U

  42. CHARMED4U2005 says

    sorry for the caps, just a habit, i promise i’m not shouting or trying to imply anything by the all caps. just over look it.

    thanks,

    charmed4u

  43. Brent Cox says

    If it concerns you that the MBN officers will be eligible to become Mississippi law enforcement officers again in 18 months, you can write the Mississippi Department of Public Safety to urge that they never be reinstated. Would you want them patrolling your community? The address is:

    MSDPS
    Commissioner George Phillips
    P.O. Box 958
    Jackson, MS 39205

    You can send email to: commissioner(at)mdps.state.ms.us