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A hate crime against one is a hate crime against all

Commentary: Conversations with Nicole

Gay San Diego

Happy Birthday Kurt Cunningham, Jan. 12

A big Happy Birthday to my good friends Big Mike and Kurt Cunningham. I wish the two of you many, many more.

Dear Johnathan Hale …

Your recent positive written remarks concerning my and others involvement in the hate crime burning of the Jehovah’s Witness church was appreciated. But with all due respects, Johnathan, The Salvation Army and Jehovah’s Witness issues are not the same. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not lobby, vote or get involved with political or government legislation. But they do ostracize, excommunicate or, as they call it, “disfellowship” anyone who is open and actively GLBT. Yes, they sadly also speak about the “evils of homosexuality.”

The Salvation Army is the complete opposite when it comes to GLBT civil rights. They get involved and lobby against GLBT civil rights legislation and do so worldwide. I personally have known transgender and gay couples who have been refused help and services. That being said, I think your meeting with local Salvation Army officials to try to get the local chapter to understand our community is a good thing. I personally have never called for a boycott of The Salvation Army. Nor did I condemn you, Carl DeMaio or any GLBT activist for volunteering at their Thanksgiving dinner for homeless people. Others in our community have. Also Johnathan, could you please refer to me as “he” instead of “she.” I may do drag at times, but I’m not a woman. Thanks!

More about the Jehovah’s Witness issue

Well, Councilman Todd Gloria and I have garnered many comments from GLBT San Diegans concerning our support of the recent Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall three hate crime attempts to burn their church down. A vast majority supportive, but some have been negative.

As for me, I stand by my actions of getting Crime Stoppers to use the special Hate Crimes Fund that we set up; (by the way this fund was set up to assist in any hate crime issue and $1,000 was requested by me and issued for the reward money now being offered.) When I was chairman of our city’s Human Relations Commission I spoke out against hate crimes against Jewish temples, Christian churches, Muslim mosques etc. Yes, even those who are anti-gay. Do I feel for those GLBT Jehovah’s Witnesses who have been ostracized and thrown out of their church and had their own families turn their backs on them. Of course I do. So many religious institutions have done so much to hurt and harm our community, I know this. But I firmly believe that all houses of worship should be safe places and their congregations should feel safe in their churches, temples and mosques.

Yes, I firmly believe a hate crime against one is a hate crime against all of us. I want to sincerely thank Assistant Police Chief Cesar Solis, Ms. Sally Cox of Crime Stoppers, Ms. Danell Scarborough of HRC/City of San Diego and Jamie Rice, chief of staff to Councilman Gloria for their assistance to me when it came to this hate crime. And a special thank you to all those who expressed their support of my actions and, yes, I respect and understand those who had a different view from our community.

Gay San Diego

This Sunday come and celebrate Big Mike’s birthday at The Caliph.

Why did Bienestar and APICAP close?

Those of us who were supportive of the Asian Pacific Islander Community AIDS Program (APICAP) and Bienestar – two AIDS organizations – often ask why they closed their doors and seemingly disappeared into the night. Bienestar is a highly respected California AIDS agency which used to have around nine centers across the state. A few months ago San Diego became its second center to cease operations. While I don’t know all the details I believe Bienestar has been affected, like so many nonprofits, by government cuts in AIDS funding and contributions. There are still seven Bienestar centers open in Los Angeles County and they continue to have an outstanding reputation. Bienestar’s founder Oscar De La O is a true hero when it comes to AIDS and the Latino community, and I had the honor to work with him in the 1990s when I was the national chairman of LEGGO, the national GLBT Latino organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.

The story of the closing of APICAP is much, much different. To be blunt its founder/executive director stole more than $70,000 from APICAP and a Tijuana AIDS clinic. Yes, I said stole this money and dropped out of sight and was never prosecuted. When the APICAP board of directors discovered this theft they were forced to close APICAP’s doors.

San Diego Leadership Council endorses Milk Street name campaign

The San Diego Leadership Council is made up of more than 40 GLBT organizations whose representatives meet once a month at The Center. At their last meeting they officially endorsed our efforts to get a street named in Hillcrest after Harvey Milk. As chair of the hard-working committee which meets at the San Diego Pride office we hope to celebrate May 22, Harvey Milk’s birthday, with a new street! In the future our committee hopes to work on future streets being named after Sen. Chris Kehoe and Jess Jessop. I want to thank Dwayne Crenshaw and Fernando Lopez of San Diego Pride for their work on this important project.

Fletcher’s GLBT event set for Jan. 26

Popular former Marine and current state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher is having events hosted by our city’s diverse communities and neighborhoods all over San Diego.

Thursday, Jan. 26 some GLBT community leaders and activists will be hosting a campaign event for Nathan at the Bamboo Lounge (6-8 p.m.). For more info: Brian@nathanfletcher.com or 858-457-1393.

Nicole Murray Ramirez has been an award-winning columnist since 1973, and a Latino and gay activist for well over 40 years. He is currently a city commissioner and has served the last five mayors of San Diego. He is also a national board member of the Harvey Milk Foundation and chairman of the International Court Council of the USA, Canada and Mexico. Nicolemrsd@aol.com.



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Posted by on Jan 12, 2012. Filed under Conversations with the Mayor of Hillcrest. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

29 Comments for “A hate crime against one is a hate crime against all”

  1. Jehovah’s Witnesses are an oppressive family wrecking cult of bogus doctrines.
    I assert my right to declare this and should be able without accusations of ‘bigoted hate monger’.
    It’s a two way street here.
    Thank you -Donny gay today.

  2. Thanks for clarifying the issue about J.W.s. They do not involve themselves politically thus they do not foster legislation that would interfere with the issues of others. On the other hand, yes, they do disfellowship actively gay individuals. But the same could be said with a male gay bathhouse that may dismiss heterosexual couples or even lesbians from participating within their confines.

  3. Actually, the Jehovah’s Witnesses DO lobby governmental organizations (particularly using United Nations NGOs such as the OSCE as fronts) and get involved in politics when it benefits their own corporate interests. Such matters are not disclosed to rank-and-file members (or kept secret entirely, due to their strict doctrines against political involvement) but they ARE a matter of public record, and someone researching this topic will find records available both online and through official sources. The UN and OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) are good places to start looking, as are the lobbying records of New York (where their headquarters are located and where they maintain a regular lobbying staff).

  4. The poor attitudes expressed in this article towards Jehovah’s Witnesses is not really about the Witnesses. JWs abide by the Bible’s teachings regarding the gross sinfulness of homosexuality and accept the Bible as God’s word, and thus reflect God’s stand against such unnatural lifestyles. So with these people pointing fingers in a negative way towards Jehovah’s Witnesses, they’re actually showing their disgust for the Bible and for God’s standards. Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot be faulted for abiding by God’s moral standards instead of that of the world around them, who feel ok in accepting and justifying such unnatural perversions.

  5. Lared;
    Does the male gay bathhouse you mentioned order the families and friends of said “heterosexual couples or even lesbians” to have absolutely no association with them the way the Watchtower Society orders the families and friends of not just GLBTs, but of anybody who simply just leaves their nutty cult does?
    Please get back to me with an answer. I am curious to see how you can further compare the two issues.
    Thanks,
    Craig L Stevens – National Society of Collegiate Scholars / International Scholar Laureate

  6. This is a quote taken from an upcoming April 2012 Watchtower. This is how they treat people who choose to leave their religion. They shun them, and they condone 100% no contact with family members.

    Now tell me, which is the TRUE hate crime?

    “Consider just one example of the good that can come when a family loyally upholds Jehovah’s decree not to associate with disfellowshipped relatives. A young man had been disfellowshipped for over ten years, during which time his father, mother, and four brothers “quit mixing in company” with him. At times, he tried to involve himself in their activities, but to their credit, each member of the family was steadfast in not having any contact with him. After he was reinstated, he said that he always missed the association with his family, especially at night when he was alone. But, he admitted, had the family associated with him even a little, that small dose would have satisfied him. However, because he did not receive even the slightest communication from any of his family, the burning desire to be with them became one motivating factor in his restoring his relationship with Jehovah. Think of that if you are ever tempted to violate God’s command not to associate with your disfellowshipped relatives.”

  7. Kyria;

    Thanks for bringing that out. This nutty cult is forcing people to remain inside it for fear of losing their family members – and nobody dares open his or her mouth to their other family members for fear of getting ostracized in the manner that article suggests.
    Watchtower is a diabolic, mind controlling cult. The GLBT community has no idea what they are climbing in bed with when they show any kind of support to the Watchtower Society (WTS). The WTS is no religion; it is a destructive, home wrecking cult that ruins families and friendships.

    • I agree. I don’t think they understand exactly who they are giving money to. Their altruism comes from a good place, but it is sadly misguided. I would very much like to see the money given to a shelter, instead. People who leave the religion are shunned by their families and friends and can end up homeless. Please help those people instead.

      The Kingdom Hall has insurance, I’m sure they are fine. I would very much like to see $5,000 put to use to directly help people in need, as opposed to the hate-filled organization that CREATES people in need.

      The heart of the LGBT donation is in the right place, but I think it’s a very codependent act. You can’t pay people off to make them like you.

  8. Hi Nicole,

    Please pass along our appreciation to Fernando Lopez for coming to the Hillcrest Town Council the other night and explaining the Harvey Milk street name campaign. The Hillcrest community was curious about that and Fernando gave a nice presentation and answered questions.

    Luke Terpstra, Chair
    Hillcrest Town Council

  9. Craig,…Glad to see you have made a name for yourself. Sorry that with your titles, you have had to stoop to name-calling using the term ‘nutty cult’. If you and your friends signed a contract and joined a bathhouse or whatever organization and shunning was one of the terms and if a particular person broke the contract…..how could I have any say? That is your business. I have a life. But by the way….if you are not a spiritual person, I know it is difficult to comprehend….that J.W.s shun not because of what the W Society says but because of what the Bible says at 1 Cor 5, etc. Some families/organizations spank others, fire others, incarcerate others, execute others, sue others, and then even name call others. Why, I even remember being sent to my room as a child for doing something bad and was not allowed to talk to anyone for a period of time. And funny, our family were not Witnesses. Pretty nutty huh?

  10. Craig L Stevens: Sounds like you have an axe to grind.

    Are you happy they’re getting their Kingdom Hall torched? Do you feel that such actions are justified because Jehovah’s Witnesses are “nutty”?

    I’m also curious as to why you would think it was so horrible that disfellowshipped persons can no longer associate with “nutty” people?

  11. The Watchtower and its followers should examine their own hearts. This groups publications show pictures of churches and other religious buildings being destroyed with people running and screaming in terror.
    This religion and its followers is in reality a passive hate group. The look forward to their day when men women and children are terrorized and destroyed.

    • Alex,….At least the W is free. Millions pay $8.– a ticket to see a Hollywood movie depicting the same.

      • Yes Iared
        The Kool Aid was free in Jim Jones group also.
        But it cost most their lives in the end.
        Be careful of what you consume.

        • J.W.s do not go off to war. Thus do not come back minus limbs with mental issues for years to come. Neither do they smoke and achieve lung cancer. Nor do they do illicit drugs and have run-ins with the law and harm brain cells. Etc, etc. Of course they are not perfect and there are always those that deviate. But generally speaking they are respected worldwide except perhaps at intellectual cocktail parties. By the way, the Jim Jones crowd did not worship the true God Jehovah, nor did they adhere to his standards. Thank-you for your advice. I will continue to do so.

          • Jehovah’s Witness have one of the highest mental illness numbers of religions. They have a high suicide rate. Yet your leadership claims they are the happiest people on the earth. They do not go to war but they live with hate in their hearts. They can’t wait for men, women and children to be destroyed. Their leadership is not respected due to dishonesty and lack of integrity. A former governing board member who left after discovering that many of the groups teachings were not supported in the scriptures admitted that the NWT translation committee did not have any Greek, Arabic or Hebrew scholars. Only one person had two years elementary Greek training. The name you use for God was the invention of a catholic church monk and has been proven to not be Gods correct name. The religion was not in existence only 140 years ago and was started by former Adventist Charles Taze Russel (who studied with William Miller of the Adventist movement). Russel was a high school drop out and made all sorts of weird calculations based on things like pyramids and such. Check out his grave marker and you will see a big pyramid (how embarrassing for the Watchtower Society). Nothing your group has said has come to pass. Judge Rutherford (who only filled in once as a backup judge) pushed the societies books, and the slogan ‘Millions now living will never die’. Guess what. They’re all dead. You use the same verse like other fringe groups about the light getting brighter to mask and cover up failed teachings. Your group lies to people saying that they want to have a ‘Bible study’, yet in the end the prospective convert is only reading Watchtower doctrine books and the occasional check to see if an out of context verse is ‘in there’.
            The more one investigates this group the weaker and weaker your teachings become. Your Jesus is at first Michael the archangel. Then Jesus on earth. Then Michael again. He did not resurrect but his body was re-created ( and the body dissolved into gases). One can go on and on. I guess if there was really some truth (in your so called Truth) you wouldn’t have to use extreme shunning to keep people in line.

          • Alex, As a final reply….you have a lot of time on your hands. And yet your fault finding is flawed. One could do the same with incredible number of personal faults and teachings in the Bible. You are picking on the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law. Similar to the Jewish religious leaders in Jesus’ day who nit picked Jesus and his disciples’ actions and teachings. Why to this day, many Jews in Israel are taught to think that Jesus was no more then a magician. Atheists and other non-spiritually minded individuals find it deeply disturbing when Jesus said he did come to bring peace but a sword to divide families. Others found it offensive when Jesus said that individuals would have to drink his blood and eat his flesh. On hearing that….they took off. Their thinking was shallow and could not grasp the proper understanding. Jesus’ own family claimed that he was going mad. Much of what you stated is completely twisted and distorted…..you sound like a resentful old woman that is bitter and unhappy. Time to stop obsessing and move on.

      • “And yet your fault finding is flawed.”~Iared

        Show me my flawed fault finding. You can’t. That’s why you can only resort to your canned presentations (so you don’t have to think), from the Thursday night Theocratic meeting.

        I know many people now who have realized that the WT is man made and has to resort to high control techniques. And truely they have seen the real ‘brighter light’.

        Enjoy your studies of the Watchtower printing press. Pretty much on par with the Book of Mormon. Man made.

  12. Hi
    Jehovah’s Witnesses do not hide their fight to legally establish their right to practice their religion. Hardly possible and bordering on tautology. (How can something be legally established if hidden??). That fight guarantees freedom of expression even for those whose acivities are not approved by JWs, including those disfellowshipped, so in the cause of freedom all benefit.
    However, they do not seek a participative place in the political institutions responsible for government. Neither do they withold payment to those institutions for legitimately rendered services.

    So, thanks very much Nicole Murray Ramirez for unbigoted clarity on this fundamental issue.

  13. Nicole,

    I am very glad that the movement to get a street named for Harvey Milk is doing well. I was glad to do my part in voting for it and endorsing it.

    Thanks also for the plug for the upcoming Nathan Fletcher Community LGBT Coalition event.

  14. Hi Lared. Cant quite tell if you’re a troll or an appointed spinner. But your inication that you cant tell the difference between movies and doctrines says something.

  15. Also it’s kind of annoying the way the WTS always hashes the troops while abusing the religious freedoms the troops help to defend.

  16. Alex, How wrong you are with your ethnic cleansing crap of lies……Gods name first appeared on a stone tablet called the “Rosetta Stone” that was found in the egyptian empire that is on display in the british museum in london and its the same God Jehovah’s servants worship today……..What does the word “Jehovah” really mean? Is it ” I SHALL PROVE TO BE WHAT I SHALL PROVE TO BE…….The making up of false dates with in the Jehovah’s religion, these are people who are apostates who are soon thrown out with their lies.
    If you read the first part of Proverbs 11 verse 9 it reads “By his mouth the one who is an apostate brings his fellowman to ruin”……..A true statement of todays apostates of ex JW’s…….I have an legal document stating that the ex JWs apostates movement is a criminal activity that will be brought to justice………..So Alex continue with your ethnic cleansing and spreading more lies because you will be found out to be a liar in the end.
    “They took no note and was swept away” sound familiar. Gods kingdom will be still coming wheather you like it or not. Please read Daniel 2 verse 44 and matthew 6 verse 9, 10,

    • Goody2shoes….exagerated speech is just a cover up for not having good material to defend your belief system. Nobody is impressed (unless they are a fellow JW member also).

    • “Though Messianics dispute (sometimes with great passion) the actual pronunciation of YHWH (claiming it is, variously, Yahowah, Yehweh, Yehowah, Yahuwah, etc.), most scholars agree that it was originally pronounced YAHWEH, or to be even more accurate, YAHuWEH (with the ‘u’ virtually silent). We know this because we have our own equivalent of the Rosetta Stone which enabled scholars to decode ancient Egyptian because of a text which included a Greek translation, namely, Clement of Alexandria who rendered YHWH as iaoue and Theodoret who rendered it iabe…by this time the Greek ‘b’ had the pronunciation of ‘v’, making the word iave.”

  17. Most of those who critisize JW’s for their stance on morals forget one very important thing. Before someone can be baptized they have to study for quite a while, usually more than 6 months. In addition, before baptism, three elders go over a series of questions to see if the person actually has a good fundamental knowledge of Bible principles. This includes the Bible’s prohibition on sex outside the marriage bonds, whether homosexual or not. So, people that end up being shunned have no one to blame but themselves. They know ahead of time what will happen if they choose to participate in that kind of behavior that the BIBLE condemns.

    And as for Alex’s comments, there are no statistics to back up his claim. In fact, if you do any research at all about the survivor’s of Nazi concentration camps you will see that Jehovah’s Witnesses who suffered in the camps came out better mentally than any other group. Just google Dr. Christine King who is not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and her research into the subject.

    • Cibola loves to leave out small details. First people as young as 13 get baptized (often to find favour with their family). Not talked about by Cibola is that at any time if someone questions or doubt even the smallest details promoted by the leaders (Governing Body members), then they are in danger of being disfellowshipped. Their glossy publications that substitute for Bible study are meant to indoctrinate (putting emphasis and diminishing other details) that the WT Society desires. So we are learning that there is more than just “behavior” that Cibola claims.
      Also sorry Cibola but there are statistics to back up my claim. You are just too proud to even want to think of it as possible.
      In conclusion I would ask if studying for ‘up to six months’ and three [themselves brainwashed] elders going over a series of questions is the yardstick for measuring a lifetime of yoke of slavery….then why does their Watchtower society enjoy the ability to keep changing their minds on doctrine (when of course their predictions don’t come true)?
      Food for thought for those who are honest hearted.

  18. Facts (that JW members don’t want to look at):

    Gods name is not Jehovah. Yahweh (from YHWH and known as the Tetragrammaton) is what scholars say was most likely the name. Sorry but the Watchtowers excuse that Jehovah is English doesn’t hold substance.

    The true date for the fall of Jerusalem was 587/586 bc not 697 bc as the Watchtower makes up. Why is this date so important to them? Because their pivotal date of 1914 is built on that false teaching. Without it their whole belief system crumbles because ‘end times’ is all that is really focused on by this group.

    Founder of the Jehovah’s Witness leader Charles Taze Russel wrote: “if he then lays [the Studies in the Scriptures] aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, though he has understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness.” (the Studies in the Scriptures were the first Watchtower publications).
    This group places study of its own publications above the study of scripture. It is part of their past, their present and most likely their future, even though the bible commands Christians to study the scriptures daily. Nothing about the Watchtower mags and yearly books.

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