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Far Right Hate Purveyor Rush Limbaugh Dead at 70

A pair of LGBTQ journalists take a moment to reflect on his horrific legacy and the impact of his bigotry.

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Rush Limbaugh gives a thumbs-up to President Trump from the House Gallery on Feb. 4, 2020, after Trump awarded Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during the president’s State of the Union address.
(Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen.)

Editor’s Note: The news of Limbaugh’s death Wednesday for the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized people negatively impacted by his harmful rhetoric, bigotry and unceasing hate-filled broadcasts targeting those very groups of Americans over several decades is cause for a collective sigh of relief. It is also a moment to reflect on his horrific legacy and the impact of his bigotry.

Karen Ocamb, the former news editor of the Los Angeles Blade and David Badash, editor of the New Civil Rights Movement magazine write about Limbaugh and his legacy.

Badash noted: “Rush Limbaugh, the far right wing radio host, hate and grievance purveyor whose lies and attacks on LGBTQ people, Black, Hispanic, and other people of color, equality, feminism, science, democracy, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, many Democrats, people suffering illness, and the humane treatment of people in general harmed America, has died at the age of 70. His wife announced his death Wednesday morning, following years of battling lung cancer.

His lies spanned decades, including recently, on January 20, 2021, saying President Joe Biden and Democrats “have not legitimately won” the presidency.”

Ocamb goes on to chronicle Limbaugh’s anti-LGBTQ animus:

“Another one bites the dust.” That’s how Republican right-wing radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh opened his show Nov. 24, 1991 noting the AIDS death of bisexual Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury. Now it’s Freddie’s turn: Limbaugh just died of lung cancer after years of touting the joys of smoking big old fat cigars.

While it is bad form to delight in the death of any living creature, minorities, women and the LGBTQ community can be forgiven if a slight smile appeared at the news of this cruel man’s death. From his little conservative niche in a Sacramento radio station,

Limbaugh took the reigns of shock jock radio and applied it to politics, earning him a syndicated show that laid the groundwork for Newt Gingrich to explode civility and political norms – and led directly to the proud ignorance that resulted in the Jan. 6 insurrection of the Capitol.

There, I said it, as Limbaugh would snidely say after some spiteful racist, sexist, xenophobic or homophobic remark. What many may not realize is that it was LGBTQ people – specifically GLAAD Board member Dr. Sylvia Rhue with backup from ACT UP/LA – that prevented Limbaugh from getting his own TV talk show.

It was March 30, 1990 and Limbaugh, an up & coming radio star, filled in as a host on the faltering “The Pat Sajak Show” on CBS. It started out with a slightly nervous Limbaugh sitting at this desk with (if memory serves) a small, raucous, all white, mostly male audience thrilled by his every ugly utterance. When he brought up abortion, he got up and went to an “over-flow” audience seated in bleachers around a TV show wall. Since this was a “live” show, he probably expected the audience to have been vetted and further express their worship for him, just like on his national radio show.

Instead, he got Dr. Sylvia Rhue who stood up and angrily confronted Limbaugh. She was quickly joined by others who disrupted the show.

Limbaugh was clearly flabbergasted, unprepared and try as he might, he lost control of the show. The director went to a commercial break and when they finally returned, the audience was gone. Limbaugh tried to explain what happened. He used what has since become a tried and true trope for macho conservatives: he whined about how he was the victim of these unruly and dangerous homosexual liberals.

To be sure: Dr. Sylvia Rhue is not one to mess with – ask Rev. Lou Sheldon. But this proud Black lesbian from Los Angeles humiliated Limbaugh on “live” TV by harnessing all the pain and anger of the Black and LGBTQ communities, facing him with a coolness he could not imagine and just plain old out-smarting him.

That was the end of Rush Limbaugh’s TV talk show career. Today’s the end of Rush Limbaugh. But his spawn lives on. We must all learn how to out-smart them.

PinkNews UK’s Patrick Kelleher noted that Limbaugh pushed anti-LGBT+ views from early on in his career, and the AIDS crisis proved fertile ground for the controversial radio host to find an audience.

He famously referred to AIDS as “the Rock Hudson disease” following the actor’s high-profile death. In the 1980s, he briefly ran a segment called the “AIDS Update”, which was often introduced with the song “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” by Dionne Warwick.

In 2013, Limbaugh found himself on the wrong side of the LGBT+ community once again when he compared efforts to legalise same-sex marriage to paedophilia.

He said: “They want us to all think that paedophilia is just another sexual orientation. You know who’s gonna fall right in line is college kids, just like they have on gay marriage, just like they do on all other revolutionary social issues.”

Here’s a selection of tweets with reactions to Limbaugh’s death:

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Homophobia wins in the Puerto Rico Senate

Bill to ban conversion therapy died in committee

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[Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

By Alberto J. Valentín | It is a sad day for Puerto Rico, and it is a sad day for human rights on the Caribbean island.

Last Thursday, 11 senators decided to turn their backs on children and human rights in Puerto Rico. A new Senate majority proved to be weak and on the wrong side of history, again. Eight senators from the legislative committee reviewing Senate Bill 184 to ban conversation therapy on the island voted against the bill’s report.

Today, thanks to these senators, any mental health professional can freely charge a father for “curing” his son of homosexuality or of a gender identity/expression that does not conform to social standards of “normality.” Although there has been an executive order in Puerto Rico banning conversation therapy since 2018, this order is only applicable to health institutions that have a specific connection with the government. Executive orders state mandatory requirements for the Executive Branch and have the effect of law; however, any governor can revoke them.

Senators received scientific evidence and several testimonies from LGBTQIA people who testified during public hearings. These senators also received evidence of permanent depression and suicide attempts caused by conversion therapy. However, 11 senators decided to condone hate and the intolerance towards the LGBTQIA youth on the island. One of these senators, Wanda Soto, said during one of the public hearings that “… with love anything is possible … ” in reference to her belief that kids’ sexual orientation and gender identity can be changed or cured. This senator even compared a bad personal experience with a dentist she had when she was a kid with LGBTQIA opponents’ testimonies of their experiences of going through conversion therapy.

Suicide and depression rates among LGBTQIA youth are staggering and are the highest in the entire United States compared to other reasons. These indices are a direct consequence of the intolerance, discrimination and lack of validation that our society perpetuates. LGBTQIA youth go through difficult times in their lives, including personal and family acceptance that trigger years of depression and anxiety among LGBTQIA people.

Today again, hatred wins. Today, Puerto Rico demonstrates why it is the number one jurisdiction for hate crimes in the entire United States. Today again, these 11 senators make evident why gender-based crimes continue to dominate local headlines. Today these senators are an example of the ignorance and lack of cultural competence that persist in our island. Today, these senators will be responsible for the depression and the stigma that the LGBTQIA community will continue to suffer. Today these senators are responsible for perpetuating intolerance. We take a step back as a society, demonstrating again that we cannot tolerate those who are different and who do not meet our standards of normality.

Neither the tears of Gustavo nor Elvin or Caleb, who presented their testimonies before the Puerto Rico Senate, were enough to move the hearts of these senators. The hypocritical hugs and words of support that some senators gave to these LGBTQIA people after their testimony and personally meeting them make it much harder to understand how they turned their backs on our children. Today these 11 senators are responsible for perpetuating hate crimes on the island and make our path to be a more inclusive society even harder.

Homophobia won in the Puerto Rico Senate last Thursday. There was no difference when the pro-statehood Senate majority defeated SB 1000 (banning conversion therapy) back in 2018 and now with a new majority lead by the Popular Democratic Party. Different senators, different bills, same result, but the same homophobia. Many Puerto Rican voters believed that furthering human rights would be easier to achieve on the island with a new majority in the legislature. Unfortunately, the reality is that our legislature is just a mirror of our society, and the lack of cultural competence persists among us. But we will keep fighting; this is a single lost battle, a battle among many others yet to come.

These are the 11 senators who voted against SB 184 or didn’t vote:

  1. Sen. Rubén Soto – Against
  2. Sen. Ramón Ruiz – Against
  3. Sen. Albert Torres – Against
  4. Sen. Ada García – Against
  5. Sen. Wanda Soto – Against
  6. Sen. Marissa Jimenez – Against
  7. Sen. Joanne Rodríguez – Against
  8. Sen. Thomas Rivera – Against
  9. Sen. José L. Dalmau – Absent
  10. Sen. Marially González – Absent
  11. Sen. Javier Aponte – Absent
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Happy Mother’s Day

The publisher, editor, and staff of the Los Angeles Blade wishes all of the mother’s a very happy mother’s day and thank you for all that you do.

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The publisher, editor, and staff of the Los Angeles Blade wishes all of the mother’s a very happy mother’s day and thank you for all that you do.

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Rich privilege on full display- Hannity interviews Jenner and it wasn’t pretty

Vox journalist Aaron Rupar live tweeted the show, capturing some of the arguably worst of the discourse with Jenner.

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LOS ANGELES – Fox News pundit and anchor Sean Hannity interviewed realty television star Caitlyn Jenner on his show Wednesday evening and it frankly was a hot mess.

Jenner, who announced a week ago that she’s running to replace California Governor Gavin Newsom in the likely recall election this Fall, gave Hannity her take on issues that was Trumpian and clueless to outright enraging at times.

Vox journalist Aaron Rupar live tweeted the show, capturing some of the arguably worst of the discourse with Jenner pontificating on subject matters that she clearly doesn’t have a firm grasp of.

For instance, on California’s homeless crisis: Jenner said: “My friends are leaving California. My hangar, [ Jenner is a pilot and has her own aircraft ] the guy right across, he was packing up his hangar and I said, where are you going? And he says, ‘I’m moving to Sedona, Arizona, I can’t take it anymore. I can’t walk down the streets and see the homeless'”

Jenner again disparages Trans youth athletes: Jenner explains that she’s opposed to transgender girls playing sports against other girls. But then in the next breath she says she wants to be a role model for transgender girls.

“Forest management is extremely important” Jenner’s comments about wildfires reminded Rupar of former President Trump’s clueless remarks.

Next she claims, well take a listen yourself:

This next part is rich. “You’re pro *legal* immigration” — Sean Hannity puts words in Caitlyn Jenner’s mouth when she talks about immigration. Jenner responds by saying, “sorry, did I miss the legal part? Thanks for catching me. You’ve got my back, Sean, I appreciate that.”

Then there’s her take on trains. Jenner wonders why high speed rail is needed between LA and SF since people can just fly

Then she muses that Trump did a better job than Biden is doing which is completely vapid and devoid of substance

Mercifully it ended…

I reached out to a Trans activist of note for comments on the Hannity interview, who angrily asked why I would consider giving Jenner any more oxygen.

I explained that sadly in the toxic world of Republican politics circa 2021 in a post-Trump presidency world there are those right wing extremists who will hold Jenner up as an ‘authority-figure’ and as a spokesperson for Trans people, and worse will cite Jenner as an example.

Jenner needs to be marginalized, people need to hear loudly and clearly that she absolutely does not speak for the LGBTQ+ community and that her bigotry towards young Trans people is harmful and dangerous.

While Jenner’s candidacy and ‘policy’ positions may well be perceived as a joke, what does need to be taken seriously is her ongoing attacks on the Trans youth who just want to participate in sports.

Electing not to comment the activist agreed.

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