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Re: “Trib Columnist Just Doesn’t Get It

Btw, I criticized the protestors who caused mayem during the Oscar Grant protests. Does that mean I support a police officer shooting an unarmed man in back?

Posted by byronspeaks on 01/28/2010 at 1:50 PM

Re: “Trib Columnist Just Doesn’t Get It


I did not defend him; I defended the First Amendment--big Difference. If you read my column, you know that the only thing about Mr. Hoopes that I defended was his protected speech. You insist on making about Hoopes. In doing so, you don't have to examine the weakness of the approach. Why do you need me to say Hoopes is wrong in in speech, when you have more than 10 years of my writings on the public record unwavering in my support?

Posted by byronspeaks on 01/28/2010 at 1:48 PM

Re: “Trib Columnist Just Doesn’t Get It


With all due respect, if part of your argument is a litmus test that I must say Mr. Hoopes is wrong after 10 years of unwavering support for LGBT equality that's a little juvenile wouldn't you say? I've spoke out against the Mormons, black preachers, the California Supreme Court, Joe six pack, etc. Here's the problem as I see it, you have created a standard that unless an ally has 100 % agreement he or she is not a true ally. My disagreement doesn't mean I'm homophobic any more than if someone disagrees with me they're racists. The mere fact that someone with my record would say I question this latest case, should at least garner a self-reflective moment as to why I don't see it the same way. That doesn't mean you have to agree. But I think you severely overreach when you say I defend bigotry. I did say it was bullshit, also said it was pandering on the part of elected officials, they would be included bs analogy. I was strong in my defense of the First Amendment. You keep mentioning gay activist as if I mentioned them per se, my critique was the impact such actions can have on democracy.

Posted by byronspeaks on 01/28/2010 at 12:25 PM

Re: “Trib Columnist Just Doesn’t Get It

I never said that gay activist do not have Free Speech rights, I said I disagree with lobbying elected officials to remove someone because of their Free Speech rights--that creates a dangerous precedent that is harmful to democracy. We wouldn't accept conservatives doing likewise. To me its just not as neat as you wish to portray it. Finally, I view the LGBT equal rights struggle to be a moral movement. If so, then there are certain, regardless of one's frustration that are not available if the goal is to change hears and minds. It is why King so often stated "The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.

In solidarity,


Posted by byronspeaks on 01/28/2010 at 10:48 AM

Re: “Trib Columnist Just Doesn’t Get It


You said my reasoning was "misguided or bogus because "spending $26,000 to strip a basic right from a group of people represents a legitimate viewpoint that should be respected, when in fact, it's just plain wrong and bigoted, and should be labeled as such."

Both can be true-welcome to democracy 101. For me, the argument is not what I selectively determine is legitimate speech; my argument has always been its protected speech. Unfortunately, protected speech has absolutely nothing to do with what we like or agree. The Klan has every right to march down Broadway spewing their hate, and I would oppose those who tried to stop it, not because I agree but I also want my speech protected. Since folk have loosely quoted King, I will remind you of words taken from his Letter from Birmingham Jail, "We are caught in a network of mutuality tied to a single garment of destiny." Like or not the speech of Mr. Hoopes who none of us agree, is tied to your speech and my speech. As I wrote in a recent column it is the peculiar greatness of the Constitution. You mischaracterize at least my position, my support is not for any individual but for the double edged sword known as the First Amendment that cuts both ways. And for that reason, and that reason alone, I could not support the lobbying efforts have Mr. Hoopes removed. Once that can of worms is open where does it end?


Byron Williams

Posted by byronspeaks on 01/28/2010 at 8:56 AM

Re: “Why Gays and Lesbians Have So Far to Go

I would encourage all read a sample of what I've written and said publicly in the past year. It led to my nomination for GLAAD's "Outstanding Columnist of the Year"--a fact that Mr. Gammon knew before he wrote this latest blog. My position is based on my understanding for First Amendment not the defense of any individual. Moreover, if the LGBT movement is a moral one, which I believe it is, then it is my view that intolerance cannot be a tool that is used.

Peace and blessings,

Byron Williams……………

Posted by byronspeaks on 01/26/2010 at 8:47 AM

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