Friday, March 27, 2015


I just made a very painful decision. Because the governor of Indiana and its state legislature have come down on the side of bigotry and discrimination, I cancelled what would have been my first convention appearance in that state in a decade or three. Sometimes a writer has to walk the walk.

I will have more to say on this in the near future.


  1. Good for you.
    If they're gonna act like jerks, treat 'em like jerks, I say.

  2. Some would say: "What difference does that make?" or "You're not punishing the governor of Indiana, but the local comic fans"...
    But sometimes you just have to make a statement, and send out a signal: "Why is Tony not wanting to come here? Ah, because of this bigot. Let's keep that in mind next time I vote."
    I can respect that; it's why I won't support any movies by Roman Polanski, books by Orson Scott Card, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and other people who stand for things that I just won't support.
    I look forward to read more on the matter (though for me it's a 'far from my bed' thing).


  3. Ahhh, conservatives....fervently wishing to return to a 1950's America that actually only ever existed on Happy Days. If I were one of you, I would be losing a lot of sleep at night, knowing that ultimately your efforts are going to fail, and in two generations your actions during this point of history will be viewed with, at best, humor, and at worst, disgust and embarrassment. Someday your great-grandchild will sit at your knee, and you can regale him or her with warm-hearted tales of how, in your day, it was okay to try and create a second class citizen status for a fellow American.

    That Bible must be made out of some sort of space age elastic, because some of these so called Christian conservatives can sure stretch it to mean anything they want it to.

  4. Is it bigotry and discrimination 'though? If people who don't support or endorse a certain kind of lifestyle don't want to cater to it (which I suppose is what you're referring to), surely they shouldn't be compelled to if it's against their beliefs, religious or otherwise. Isn't that freedom? Bigotry often appears to be too handy a word to describe anyone with a different opinion. The world is full of people who don't see things the same as us - on a variety of topics. Should we refuse to be served at our local supermarket by the guy who has a different view to us on something?

  5. I'm calling complete and utter bullshit on your comments, Kid. What Indiana is doing is clearly bigotry and is clearly discrimination. A business does not have the right to refuse service to a customer because of the customer's sexual orientation. The one and only places where these faux-Christian bigots get to discriminate are in their homes and their churches. A customer can choose not to patronize a business for any damn reason they want. A business cannot choose to deny service to someone because they are gay or black or even a ridiculous right-wing asshole. That's how America works. If your next response is to complain that I am intolerant of intolerance, don't bother. I'm a grumpy old man who doesn't have the patience for such nonsense.

  6. So, if you don't want to "support their lifestyle" and refuse to do business with a gay couple, what precisely makes you any different than a 1960's southern redneck restaurant owner who wouldn't serve a black guy at his lunch counter? Or a landlord who refused to rent to a mixed race couple because miscegenation was against God's law? The world is full of people who hate blacks, or Jews, or Catholics, or Asians, or what have you, and want to be able to deny them service in their business; if you feel like you should have the right to deny people service based on criteria like that, then you are precisely the reason why they have to write anti-discrimination laws. If they didn't, then people like Neil Degrasse Tyson would still have to ride in the back of the bus and eat at the "Colored Only" lunch counter, and that would be a terrible disservice to humanity, because it's a safe bet that Neil Degrasse Tyson contributes far more to humanity than a person who thinks it's wrong that he has to make a damn wedding cake for a gay couple.

    1. Hi, Ron C. Your comment wasn't there when I typed my 2nd response, so I'll answer it now, with Tony's kind indulgence. I'd say the difference is that someone's behaviour isn't determined by their skin colour, and therefore it's not something to which anyone could or should object on reasonable (or sensible) grounds. However, people indulging in what for many centuries was considered an 'alternate' lifestyle is a different matter. I'm not aware of any religion whose tenets claim it's a sin to be black (or any colour), so, respectfully, I'm not persuaded that your examples are equivalent to the matter under discussion. And while I may agree that someone refusing to bake a cake for someone is perhaps a tad extreme, it's hardly the end of the world. Many English shops won't accept Scottish money (discrimination?), which can be inconvenient, but not something over which I'm going to feel victimised for being a Scot.

  7. Well, I was actually asking a question more than making any kind of a statement, in an attempt to understand your point of view. Incidentally, in Britain, a business can refuse to serve anyone for any (or no) reason whatsoever. It seems that just because a place might offer something for sale (whether it be an item or service), they're not obliged to accept your offer to buy it. It could be because they don't like your face, the colour of your hair, your voice - or simply because they can't be bothered. And they're not legally obliged to explain themselves. That's the law over here. So if they refuse to serve someone because of their sexuality (gay, straight or confused), then I don't see that it's a worse form of discrimination than any other. And we all discriminate to some degree. The word itself is neutral, I believe - it's the context which determines whether that discrimination is positive or negative However, I think you're perhaps missing the point slightly, if you don't mind me being so respectfully bold. Obviously, if you see something one way and someone else sees it another way, there is always going to be disagreement. If it's against your beliefs (again, religious or otherwise), and you just cannot see any sense to their point of view, then it will seem unreasonable to you. (And vice versa in the case of the person you oppose.) It's a bit like Algebra, which is a total mystery to me. However, just because I can't comprehend it, I wouldn't say it was bullsh*t. That's because I'm smart enough to know that I'm not smart enough to understand everything.

    To me 'bigotry' is usually accompanied by hatred - total and unreasoning. We now live (mainly) in a society where people of a different sexual orientation are no longer persecuted, prosecuted, villified abused or shunned. (We'll forget the Westboro Baptist Church for the moment.) That's because we practice tolerance, even when a thing might be something with which we disagree. That disagreement in itself does not constitute bigotry 'though (in my view). However, in some cases, although people are prepared to tolerate certain views or behaviour, they may feel that, in all good conscience, they cannot themselves become involved in sanctioning it by doing something that furthers that with which they disagree. Now, perhaps I misunderstand what's going on in the State of Indiana, but it appears to me that the legislation only protects people from being forced to participate in something they (politely, non-violently, perhaps even usually silently) oppose. That's what freedom is, surely? People not being forced to do something which is against their conscience. Isn't that the American way? So if you're gay you can get married (you'll always find someone who will oblige you in a diverse society),but if the notion sits uncomfortably with you if you're a priest, minister or rabbi (or whatever) you can't be forced to do something which isn't in accord with your beliefs. Whether or not those beliefs seem sensible or not to others is another discussion.

    Incidentally, I'm also a grumpy old man, but I believe in trying to be polite, even in the face of seeming hostility for expressing a point of view with which others might not agree.

    Pax Vobiscum.

  8. That was your last say on this, Kid. All you've done is try to make excuses for bigotry and discrimination. If you know anything about me and my work, you know I have little patience for such. Your future comments on this matter will not be approved for publication.

  9. Nope, that's not what I've tried to do at all. What I've tried to do is explain to you that what you see as bigotry and discrimination is what others may see as religious or personal freedom. There's always at least two sides to every situation and just because you (or anyone) doesn't, can't, or won't see the other side's point of view on any given matter, it doesn't necessarily mean that they're bigots, homophobes, @ssholes or scum.. However, it's your blog and you can publish what you like, but I'd appreciate you not characterising my comments as something they're not. Thank you. I'll probably be addressing this topic and your attitude to it on my own blog, seeing as how you have no patience or respect for any view that isn't in accord with your own. Unreasoning hatred of another's point of view, eh? Sounds pretty much like bigotry to me.

  10. I gave Kid - Why do guys like him never actually sign their comments? - one more minute of his fifteen minutes so that you can read his implied threat of - yawn - exposing me as a bigot. I think I can stand on my record of supporting equal rights and inclusion. Heck, my record is a public record on account of I actually sign my name to my comments and columns.

    I make no apology for limiting Kid's further appearances in the comments. He's had his unconvincing say. I see no benefit in allowing him to say the same thing over and over again. Let him post what he wants in his own blog. If I worried about that sort of thing, I wouldn't write what I write.

  11. He's a well known Troll. You are better off ignoring him and not giving him a forum for his deliberately provocative rants.

  12. And now he's trolling me by email and on his own blog! :-D

  13. I had a bad feeling about "Kid" from his first post and I regret giving him any kind of forum at all. The more I learn about him...

    However, I will not be approving any further comments by him or about him. He's not worth further discussion.