Sunday, June 29, 2008


These three videos are well worth watching! If there was ever any doubts that shame and homophobia are unnecessary emotions, and that most all who condemn Gay people are likely to be ones who are afraid of, and even be in their denial about, their own sexuality, these three videos should lay those doubts to rest.

As I've written so many times before, people who are emotionally and sexually intact and who are comfortable with their own sexuality do not condemn the love between consenting adults of the same sex. It is those who make a veritable career out of such condemnation that are likely to have "sexual issues," so it is little wonder that most of the venom directed against LGBT people and same-sex love emanates from most of the institutional Church, the members of which have been indoctrinated into believing that their way is the only Godly way.

We saw this phenomenon in regard to the oppression of African Americans in the not too distant past (with Scripture verses deemed as suitable and appropriate to justify slavery and segregation trotted out as "proof" as to the correctness of the prejudices of White Supremacists) as we are now seeing in regard to LGBT people. "Religious" hucksters and haters will always find a ready audience that is more than willing to have its ignorance and prejudices validated and "justified" by similar and distorted selection of assorted Bible passages, often taken out of context and without understanding of the meaning of those words in the Greek language in which the Septuagint and New Testament were written.

We are to never give any credibility to these haters who revel in preaching a false gospel of exclusion in their use of hateful rhetoric and advocacy of discrimination against others in both the religious and secular arenas of society. And the way we neutralize them to the point where they are forced to climb back under the rocks from which they came (until they can construct, or capitalize on the creation, of another "enemy") is by fleeing them and the repressive institutions where they are given a voice to spread their hate, and reinforce the hate of those who lap up their Godless words and who ironically bask in the illusion that they are Christians.

I think that you will very much profit by watching these three videos, and you may very well want to send them to friends who are struggling with internalized homophobia, or who are attending homophobic churches, or who are in any way ambivalent or confused about the need for full and equal civil and sacramental rights for LGBT people.



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Friday, June 27, 2008


All too often professing Christians identify God with such idols as the Bible, icons, rules and regulations, dogmas, creeds, etc. Hence, a lot of the animus against LGBT people and same-sex love, in that their idols are largely made up of their own constructions, and those constructions are invariably false!

It is very important to acknowledge that for the Christian, his/her life is in Jesus! Jesus is the only founder of a “religion” who didn’t preach a way apart from Himself. He preached Himself! He says that He is the way, the truth and the life; He is the bread from heaven, etc.

We are not to allow mere fallible human beings who often retreat to some form of fundamentalism so as to avoid facing ambiguities and/or phenomena they cannot understand, to define “the Christian life” regarding the civil and sacramental rights of LGBT people or anyone else. When we allow that perversion to occur, we further encourage what has become the alignment and enmeshment of the institutional Church with the State; we take for granted the leadership of that institutional Church taking its cues from the powers of the State; we identify “Christianity” with adherence to the status quo, even if that status quo embraces discrimination, oppression, and capitalism run amok; we encourage demagoguery, where any professing Christian with even a scintilla of charisma, or a gift of gab, is allowed to define the reality of others as to what “the Christian life” is and what it isn’t; we allow the most reactionary forces within the institutionalized Church to define the nature of Christ’s Church in the eyes of other people, thereby understandably bringing charges of hypocrisy, judgmentalism, and hatred from intelligent, decent, and sensitive non-Christians.

It is only when Christians understand that our life is in Jesus and only in Jesus, that they will be truly free, and contend for, and live out, the values of grace, mercy, love, and freedom that Jesus admonishes us to have, and as He Himself lived, so as to, in the words of St. Augustine, help make the earth a colony of heaven! Any professing Christian who in any way discriminates against anyone, or who in any way encourages such discrimination by attending the churches pastored by homophobes or others who preach an exclusionary theology, is betraying the Gospel and is betraying God!

Indeed, so many clergy 
and their followers in the institutional Church so willingly embrace the institutional Church leadership who have largely been infected with the values and agenda of “the power elite” in society, and the institutions over which they have charge and/or populate, that most of the institutional Church’s representatives either mouth the rhetoric of the governmental leaders or, just as contemptibly, remain silent, lest they risk losing their tax exempt status, and offend any in their congregations and lose church membership and the money that comes from those and potentially future members. Similarly, since so many people have been brainwashed with the lie that same-sex love is a sin, most clergy in the institutional Church, even if they do know better, keep silent in the face of the oppression of LGBT people, as they don't wish to drive any members away from "their church" and lose the revenue that those members bring to their coffers.

These types of people are worse than mere faceless bureaucrats! By not showing mercy, by keeping silent in the face of all sorts of oppression of others, they spit in the face of God! And that despicable offense has been made increasingly manifest by the fight for equal rights for LGBT people; the oppression of LGBT people sharply brings to light this lack of mercy, and the perpetration of, and/or the acquiescence to, the oppression of others by all too many clergy in the institutional Church!

It is far better for a Christian to suffer the Cross life here than to have to answer to God as to why we kept silent in the
 midst of any crooked and perverse nation; why we kept silent in the face of the oppression of LGBT people by most clergy and their gullible followers in the institutional Church. The clergy and the 
followers of whom I speak have chosen to embrace this crookedness and 
perversity, being handmaidens, and representatives, of governmental repression and other repressive powers, and they have not only led countless people astray with their perversion of “Christianity,” but have aided and abetted virtually everything God has condemned.

Merely by their rhetoric and actions or inactions regarding the oppression of LGBT people, I truly believe these clergy have shown themselves to be witting or unwitting agents of the devil whose main purpose is to cast aspersions on God, the things of God, and the people of God! Indeed, if they deliberately seek to discredit Christianity in the eyes of intelligent, decent, and sensitive people, they couldn’t be doing a better job!

That’s why they must be confronted in every venue possible, and shown to be the wolves in sheep’s clothing that they, through their rhetoric and/or actions or silence and/or inaction, have shown themselves to be to all who have eyes to see. I like C.S. Lewis’ description of Christians as being warriors behind enemy lines, in enemy territory. When most of the institutional Church has also become enemy territory, it should alarm every single Christian who is a Christian in fact!

The tragic fact is that so many institutional Church leaders (with the all too willing collusion of their followers) embrace their citizenship in that enemy territory so as to enhance their careers, keep the money rolling in, continue to enjoy “their church’s” tax exempt status, and who have been more than willing to nail LGBT people (as they did in the recent past with African Americans) to the cross of oppression, suffering, shame, self-loathing, suicides, assaults, mockings, and death. Just like their predecessors did to Jesus!

So, all Christians worthy of the name must stand up for the oppressed, speak truth to power, and be more than willing to suffer the ridicule and hostility from professing Christians and others who have absolutely no clue as to what the Gospel means and requires!

The oppression of LGBT people in our generation gives those who are Christians indeed the chance to now demonstrate the cornerstone of the Gospel which is grace and love, and the requirement of demonstrating that love by confronting in every venue possible the obscenity of professing Christian clergy and their followers who have perverted that very Gospel of grace and love which is, and always has been, the hallmark of the Christian life!

And I can think of no better way of living out the Gospel than by fighting for full and equal civil and sacramental rights for LGBT people!
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I strongly urge you to read the two part post by my friend Don Charles entitled, "Runnin' Out Of Fools," that appears on his blog, Christ, The Gay Martyr.

When we find out that our idols have feet of clay we are naturally disappointed. However, when we find out that our idols betray us and other Gay people, by referring to themselves and other LGBT people in ways that they would never do regarding any other identity they or others possess, the disappointment runs even deeper.

It is always important to remember that a meaning of the term, "queer," is "abnormal!" Random House Webster's College Dictionary gives the following definitions of "queer": "1. strange or odd from a conventional viewpoint; unusually different; eccentric. 2. something of a questionable nature or character; suspicious; shady...3. not physically right or well...4. mentally unbalanced or deranged"...5. "Slang (usu. disparaging and offensive) a. homosexual. b. effeminate" 6. "bad, worthless, or counterfeit..."

These are the conventional meanings of the word "queer," and no amount of its use by LGBT people is going to change the meaning of that term, and other definitions and epithets that are routinely also used by homophobes while they verbally and even physically bash and even kill LGBT people! By naively thinking that use of those words are in any way "neutralizing" them or "appropriating" them (without even thinking as to why one would want to appropriate them in the first place) is merely fooling oneself and playing into the hands of the oppressor.

In discussing the famed Ari Gold, whom Don Charles characterizes as "a formidable R & B vocalist, songwriter, producer, fashion model, video star and dance club diva," he details the nature and depth of the betrayal and it's a two part post that is very well worth reading.

"I felt like I’d been slapped in the face. How dare Ari dismiss my aversion to hate speech as an “opinion”? How dare he patronize me with that lame argument about “ownership” of insults? How dare he try to include me in some misbegotten “queer” diversity against my will? How dare he try to placate me with idiot logic straight out of a Mad Hatter’s tea party? And how dare he not mean any of it? He knows damn well 'queer' is a slur! That line about him “only using the word because” of LOGO and needing to support the network in spite of "the language they choose to use" is a dead giveaway. Dude must be running out of fools, but he sure chose the wrong candidate to fill that vacancy!"

You'll want to read the whole two part post, "Runnin' Out Of Fools," on Don Charles' blog, Christ, The Gay Martyr.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008


This is another reason why churches should have their tax-exempt status removed!

Any Gay person who attends the LDS Church, the Roman Catholic Church, or any church that in any way discriminates against LGBT people is not only a masochist, but by his/her support of that institution is lending credibility and moral authority to that church and its officials.

By a Gay person's mere attendance at such churches, he or she is both supporting those churches, showing their own self-loathing masochism (often masked and rationalized by their stated desire to "work from within" the institution to change it), and are retarding the acquisition of full and equal civil and sacramental rights of LGBT people everywhere!

It's only when LGBT people, and all people of good will, flee those oppressive and destructive institutions like the authoritarian and discriminatory plague that they are, will those institutions either cease to exist, or change their "theology" to accommodate the Gospel that they falsely say they preach and practice!

Regarding a "change in theology" or having a "new revelation," this article is instructive regarding the LDS Church's history in its views of Black people until in 1974 it received a "new revelation." One day, once LGBT civil rights are finally won in secular society, these oppressive institutions will again get "a new revelation" and finally accept LGBT people. What an indictment against them!

If any Gay person, or any decent person who is truly a Christian, doesn't express revulsion against oppressive and discriminatory institutions, and flee them, he or she is just as culpable in the inestimable suffering that they perpetrate as are their leaders, and they betray and make a mockery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
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This is a great and instructive article concerning the likely future of same-sex marriage in California.

Read the whole article, part of which is quoted below, that shows favorable statistics, including the revenue to be gained, that show that even if the amendment to change the California Constitution comes to the voters in November (which, as seen below, is not a sure thing at this time), it is very likely to fail:

"The moment California became the second state to start marrying gay couples, America's wedding album gained wonderfully memorable snapshots.

"Who could not be touched by seeing wispy-haired Del Martin, 87, cutting a three-tiered wedding cake from her wheelchair, helped by her 83-year-old bride, Phyllis Lyon?

"But the picture I'll most treasure is of a toddler in a pressed shirt and oversized tie, his dark hair wetted down and parted perfectly, gleefully squirming in one dad's arms while his other dad took a break from their special day to tell CNN how their family will be stronger because of the legal protections of marriage."

There is a significant flaw in the attempt to get that amendment before the voters in California in November, and that flaw is being presented before the California State Supreme Court, and it has great merit, because it highlights and alleges the unconstitutionality of that amendment's being presented on any ballot for popular vote that bypasses the needed 2/3 approval of the California Legislature (that twice voted for same-sex marriage).

To put civil rights any civil rights issue on a ballot initiative, especially to make it part of any state's constitution, puts any minority group's civil rights at the mercy of the tyranny of the majority. To avoid such tyranny, we not only have a Republic, but a separation of powers, and a Legislature that has been democratically elected by the people.

The full article on this matter can be seen here and part of it reads as follows:

"Civil rights groups face an uphill struggle in the court of public opinion to defeat an amendment to the California state constitution banning marriage between same-sex couples, thus overruling the state's Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. The groups have asked the top court to prevent the amendment from being placed before voters this November.

"'We filed this lawsuit because the sponsors of the initiative haven't followed the very constitution they're trying to change,' said Stephen V. Bomse of Heller Ehrman LLP, a lawyer in the suit. 'For good reason, there's a strict process for making revisions to our constitution, and it's more involved than simply collecting petition signatures.'

"Equality California and other civil rights organizations filing the lawsuit contend the proposed marriage amendment would change the state's constitution so profoundly it would result in a revision of the constitution and, according to state law, a revision cannot be accomplished by voter initiative alone. Rather, the papers filed by the civil rights organizations argue an initiative is not enough to put the amendment on the ballot, as it must also be approved by two-thirds of the legislature.

"'That process is in place to safeguard our basic form of government, especially the most basic principle of equal protection of the laws,' Mr. Bomse said. 'Therefore we are filing this suit today to ask the California Supreme Court to enforce those rules and to require the proponents to follow the correct procedure if they wish to make this far reaching change to our state Constitution.'"

For the full article, see "Gay Marriage Advocates Seek To Block Calif. Amendment".
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Monday, June 23, 2008


Check out this article, "Obama And One Man, One Woman Marriage".

Like any other political opportunist, this "liberal" will think nothing of throwing Gay people under the bus to get however many votes he can! Here's an excerpt from the article:

"Sen. Obama reminded us this week that he believes marriage is between a man and a woman, something LGBT people might have easily forgotten over the course of the primary."

"...Obama uttered the words so cunningly crafted by the Christian right: marriage is between a man and a woman.

"More precisely, Sen. Obama said, 'I believe marriage is between a man and a woman,' shortly after being asked if he opposed same-sex marriage, to which he responded, 'Yes.' This positioning is not new for Sen. Obama. He has uttered those words plenty – during a debate with Alan Keyes in 2004, on the Senate floor in 2006, even in his 2007 Human Rights Campaign candidate questionnaire."

And some "strategist," most likely on his payroll, is quoted as saying, to put a happy face on Obama's seeking to appeal to "the center," “Obama is saying he wants the federal government to recognize whatever the states decide to sanction” “That's progressive and that was unthinkable just 4 years ago.” Right! And I have a bridge to sell you!

Although I'm holding my nose when I vote for Obama, we are to be under no illusions that he is any different from any other two-bit political opportunist except that, as of this point, McCain is more upfront about his prejudices against Gay people!
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A good friend of mine sent me this superb article by Rev. Dennis W. Wiley [Pictured] entitled, "Why the black church should support gay rights" that deserves to be as widely disseminated as possible.

Clearly, what Rev. Wiley has written bespeaks a Christian who clearly understands the Gospel, and the claims of Jesus on anyone who is His true disciple.

Here is an excerpt from his article that will hopefully whet your appetite to both read it and widely circulate it to as many people as possible, for what he speaks concerning the Black Church is just as relevant to most all of the institutional Church, be it Black or not.

"The Black Church has been so poisoned by homophobia and heterosexism that the idea of it actually supporting gay rights seems oxymoronic. But Black churches are not monolithic and, although the vast majority of them denounce homosexuality as a sin, there are a few that do not. Covenant Baptist Church, a traditional African American congregation in Washington, DC that my wife, the Rev. Dr. Christine Y. Wiley, and I co-pastor, is one of those few. We believe that whereas homosexuality, as a sexual orientation, is not a sin, hypocrisy is. That is why Jesus says nothing about the former, but speaks volumes about the latter.

"There are numerous publications now available that help us to understand that the few biblical passages once thought to express unequivocal condemnation of homosexuality have been grossly misinterpreted. In fact, the more accurate translations of the Bible do not even mention the word, "homosexuality," a relatively new term. And, while these passages condemn same-sex behavior that is violent, abusive, or believed at the time to result in ritual impurity, the scriptures do not explicitly address sexual intimacy between two loving individuals of the same gender."

"I support gay rights because the gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of love, not hate; a gospel of justice, not injustice; a gospel of inclusion, not exclusion; and a gospel of authenticity, not hypocrisy. Remember, Jesus spent the bulk of his time associating with those whom society rejected--i.e., the poor and the sick, the downcast and the outcast, the last, the lost, and the "least." By the same token, those whom he most harshly challenged, criticized, and chastised included not only the rich and the elite, who disproportionately enjoyed the privileges of society, but also the religious hypocrites--i.e., people who pretended to be more holy, pious, and righteous than they actually were."

[For the full article see here.]

In response to his article, I wrote a comment to it that contains the response I gave to a good friend of mine who forwarded his article to me,:

"As I wrote to a friend of mine who just emailed me this article: What a terrific article!!!! I hope this article gets circulated far and wide, and that it helps people to finally see how the inculcation of lies concerning Gay people in the all churches, Black or not, have caused countless professing Christians to listen to, and obey, the haters than to obey Jesus, and thereby they have made a mockery of their claims to be Christians, just as they have made a mockery of so much of the public's perception of Christianity itself. Moreover, the incalculable damage they have done by castigating and condemning God's LGBT children in the name of God, no less, has caused suicides, assaults, and murders of countless LGBT people, and wreaked havoc on their families. God bless you, Rev. Wiley for speaking out on this crucial matter! We can only pray that other clergy speak out against the atrocities done to God's LGBT children that have been perpetrated by most of the institutional Church."

I can't tell you how much you will be blessed by reading Rev. Wiley's article, "Why the black church should support gay rights", and the great need for people to widely disseminate his article.
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Sunday, June 22, 2008


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Saturday, June 21, 2008


Wayne Besen [Pictured] just wrote a provocative article entitled, "How the GOP Is Blowing It" "

"A May poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that 49 percent of white evangelical Protestants view gay marriage as very important, up 10 points since last fall - Overwhelming majorities of Republicans (75 percent) and white evangelical Protestants (81 percent) oppose allowing gays to marry.

"To win the general election, John McCain will need to win a sizable majority of Independent voters. He has attempted to reach out to moderates by appearing on Ellen DeGeneres' daytime talk show and by not rallying to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in California.

"However, you can be sure that the Religious Right will first exhort and then extort the GOP nominee into championing their extreme positions. They are already responsible for tarnishing his once shining brand. I can't tell you how many gay people I meet who pine for the 'straight talking' McCain of 2000, who called the Revs. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson 'agents of intolerance.' This time, they vow to vote for Obama."

"If McCain panders to these inflexible ideologues, he can kiss this election goodbye. This intolerant fundamentalism isn't even working so well for the fundamentalists. The SBC reported a membership decrease of about 40,000 people from 2006 to 2007. Increasingly, polls show many young people are turned off by these churches' socially and sexually stunted positions."

[For the full article, see here.]

For what it's worth, I feel that McCain (as would be the case with any white politician running for President) is very likely to win the election, and it will have far less to do with his views on LGBT issues (which are loathsome), domestic or foreign policy, or on any other issue facing this country, than it will have to do with "race." In my opinion, the outcome of this election will be largely, if not solely, due to the entrenched racism that has infected, and still infects, this country, and from which all too many of its citizens have not been delivered.

"Race" is already in the political mix as seen when such an unfathomable article as, "Behind the Scenes: Is Barack Obama black or biracial?" is seriously written and discussed.

This article might have been written to discuss the purely intellectual issues involved in what constitutes "the correct labeling" and perceptions of a given person's race, but the very fact that that question is even asked and/or considered to be important on a purely intellectual and perceptual level in the first place, shows how important race is, and is felt to be, in the psyches of people. And this article appears on the CNN website!

Here's an excerpt from that article that poses a question that is so bizarre to me that I can't find any logic to it or get my brain around the mentality that would even think to ask that question in the first place, to say nothing about people who might well base their vote for President on such a criterion:

"This is an issue that has sparked debate not only in our newsroom, but also among my friends and family. Most Americans see Obama as a black man, and he identifies himself as a black man. But there are some who will argue that by labeling Obama as a 'black candidate,' we are all ignoring a vital and legitimate side of his life."

"This is a debate that will continue as we watch the presidential race. It seems with an issue like this there's no right or wrong answer. As Michaela Angela Davis says, it's a step in the right direction that we are even having this discussion as all."

If even "liberals" consider this issue to be an important one to discuss, can you imagine the animus behind "conservatives'" view of race and how important it is to this Presidential election? And we are to never mistake the fact that most of the U.S. is decidedly "conservative" in its social and political views!

Although the rhetoric in McCain's campaign will virtually omit the issue of "race" (Because it is no longer socially acceptable or "appropriate" to use hateful or discriminatory rhetoric against African Americans, unlike the case in regard to LGBT people.), images and innuendo can be expected to be plentiful and the desire to polarize the electorate into an "us" against "them" factionalism will have the closet racists (of whom there are not a few) view race as the major issue in this campaign.

When it comes to race, forget the horrible and threatening economy, the obscene war in Iraq, our involvement in Afghanistan, and the saber rattling regarding Iran. It will be the largely unspoken issue of "race" that carries the day! In fact, even given the the recent poll that shows 76% of Americans are not in favor of the direction this country is going, and say they are not in favor of the status quo, I believe that racism is so entrenched in the American psyche that "race" will likely trump this discontent.

Obviously, I hope I'm dead wrong! However, we are not to be oblivious to how important race is in the American psyche, and when a major news agency such as CNN even thinks to take seriously the above article enough to publish it, and when even people who undoubtedly view themselves as "progressives" even think that such a question posed is in any way important or relevant to even think about, let alone discuss, we're likely to see that the major issue in this campaign, and the major issue that many, if not most, of the electorate will take into the voting booth as the major determinant of their deciding for whom they are going to vote is "race."

And if "race" shows itself to be such an important issue and consideration when the stakes are so high in this Presidential election, one can only imagine how important the issue of full equality for LGBT people causes revulsion, and is a ready-made lightening rod to engage the ever-popular politics of exclusion, on the part of a good deal of the electorate as well.

Racism and homophobia partake of the same mind-set that requires the creation or construction of an "enemy" so that in-group solidarity can be enhanced; the Reptilian Brain can be easily engaged (as we saw when Bush won his second term); the desired outcome by those who can easily manipulate others can be achieved, be that desire for power, prestige, wealth, votes, imperialism of values, or any number of other individual and/or group self-serving factors.

Racism and homophobia partake of the same exclusionary needs that seem to infect a good many people in the U.S. and elsewhere. And those exclusionary needs, those needs for the creation of out-groups against which to feel "superior" for people whom both many clergy and politicians (when it suits their self-interests) find it relatively easy to manipulate to buy into that politics of exclusion, be it in the institutional Church or in the voting booth, promises to be alive and well in the upcoming Presidential election.

I made a $20 bet with a friend of mine who thinks that Obama will handily win the election. This is one bet that I hope I lose!
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Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I know right out of the starting blocks that this post is going to offend a great many people, but I feel very strongly that many LGBT people are seriously sabotaging the cause for full and equal civil rights by referring to themselves by the use of historically and current hateful epithets, using such terms as "Queer," "Dyke," "Fag," and other such demeaning and hateful words that have been historically used by their oppressors, and are still being used by their oppressors. Also, the many behaviors and images that are viewed by most potential allies as offensive, and that become public presentations of self, help reinforce the fallacious stereotype that Gay people are sex-obsessed deviant and abnormal hedonists, and these public images are doing tremendous harm to the struggle for, and the cause of acquiring, full and equal civil rights.

I'm Jewish, and not only have I never considered myself a "Kike," or a "Yid," I would verbally assault anyone who would dare use those epithets in referring to me or to any other Jewish person. It's a matter of honor! It's a matter of dignity! It's a matter of having a healthy self-esteem. It's a matter of self-respect.

And there are some clueless Gay people who use self-denigrating and historically offensive epithets as self-identifiers and who articulate them to the world, and by so doing not only show themselves to be lacking in these characteristics, but they are also unwitting victims of a variation of the Stockholm Syndrome where, in this case, one helps provide the very ammunition that one's abuser can and does use to help maintain the oppression of the individual. By so doing, these clueless Gay people are actually knowingly or unknowingly facilitating and enhancing the rage of the homophobes, the oppressive abusers, many of whom would even kill them if they could get away with it. Indeed, some homophobes do assault and kill LGBT people, all the while using these hateful epithets!

The reason that virtually no one would even think of publicly using words like "Kike" and "Yid" is because they know that all Jewish (and all decent) people and organizations would come down on them like a ton of bricks. (Is it even conceivable that any university in the world would have a course, program, minor, or major entitled, "Kike Studies?" Yet it is very common for faculty and students in universities to routinely use and normalize the word "Queer" when titling courses, programs, minors, and majors dealing with Gay issues.)

However, when people use hateful epithets in reference to LGBT people, they not only know that nothing like that will happen, that there will be absolutely no negative or threatening repercussions awaiting them, but they also see there to be nothing wrong with using these hateful epithets, as many of the people about whom they are publicly talking seem to revel in, and frequently use, those words themselves.

So, for example, universities think they are doing Gay people a favor by using those epithets, such as by entitling courses, programs, minors, or majors "Queer Studies" (apparently not realizing, or perhaps even caring, that a meaning of "queer" means "abnormal.") and think that they are thereby being "progressive."

Jews usually don't have self-loathing; LGBT people all too often do have witting or unwitting self-loathing, and use those historically punishing words on themselves in the name of "liberation," ignorantly (or stupidly) thinking that they are appropriating and neutralizing those words, even when gay bashers use those very words when bashing their victims and, furthermore, they even perpetuate and encourage further use of those words among university students when titling those courses, programs, minors, or majors, and freely use those words within the curricula as they do in other public venues.

Like Jesus says: "Forgive them Lord, they know not what they do." At least on the conscious level!

Sanam Hakim wrote an excellent article entitled, "Words you can't reclaim," on the subject of the use hateful expletives regarding certain minority groups. She concludes her article by saying:

"Words like 'nigger' or 'redneck' or 'bitch' or 'fag' were never words that were originally 'good'. They are words that were created solely out of hatred and it is not our responsibility to add fine print and use them in a different context. It is not our responsibility to convince black people that they actually are 'niggaz,' but that it's a good thing; to convince white working class Americans that they are rednecks, but that it's a good thing; to convince women that they are bitches, but that it's a good thing; to convince homosexuals that they are fags, but that it's a good thing.

"It is our responsibility to make sure when Tim McGraw asks if there are any rednecks in the house, no one cheers. It's our responsibility to stare blankly if DMX asks 'where my niggaz at?' It is our responsibility to make sure our children know these words, the history of where they come from and to make sure they don't ever use them, even if they mean it in a nice way."

She gets it!

As I wrote in my February 21, 2008 post entitled, "On The Need To Grow Up":

"There is a point when one has to own his/her dignity, demand the respect due to any human being, demand full and equal civil and sacramental rights regardless of the negative messages and hostility that have been visited on that person in the past, or even in the present. And those goals will not be realized as long as the minority group accepts its inferior status, and revels in it by referring to its members by the very same terms used by the most virulent homophobes throughout history and in our midst.

"No self respecting person, Gay or Straight, stands for being treated as less than fully human; no self respecting person, Gay or Straight, uses negative self-identifiers that have been historically (and contemporarily) used by their oppressors. The slave mentality is blamed on others, but the fact is that it ultimately resides within each human being whether or not to accept that mentality."

I recently received an email from a good friend of mine who wrote me the following:

"I'm just thinking about some of the horrid monikers we've encountered on the 'Net: 'The Old Dyke.' 'The Angry Fag.' 'Queer Kid Of Color'. "Faggoty-Ass Faggot." Straight people see and hear these vulgar identifiers. What do they make of them? Do they feel they have permission to use them, too? What also occurs to me is that these names don't just speak to a shameful feeling about one's gender and/or sexuality; they speak to an obsession with it! These folks need therapy, Jerry! I've been called the 'b' word, the 'p' word, the 'f' word, and just about every dirty slur you can name. I could never in a million years get my mind around 'reclaiming' that kind of ignorance. Yet, I don't consider myself any different from any other Gay man who's grown up in a homophobic society. Why do I react differently?"

I then wrote him the following response, which I know seems harsh, but this issue is crucial enough to demand such harshness and confrontation if the goal of acquiring full and equal LGBT rights is to be realized, particularly when LGBT rights activists are trying to win the hearts and minds of potential allies, and when the future of civil rights for LGBT people, such as the most pressing and immediate issue of the future of same-sex marriage in California will be put to voters in California in November:

I responded to him with the following: "My answer to your question is that THEY DO NEED THERAPY, but YOU DON'T NEED THERAPY, because you're emotionally intact, and they are not; YOU have integrity and dignity and refuse to be treated as a second-class citizen, and many of THEM revel in being second-class citizens; YOU aren't self-loathing; THEY are self-loathing; THEY love to vent by cursing the candle and loving the darkness; YOU want the light of full freedom, and outspokenly light that candle; THEY are apolitical; YOU see this as a political and religious struggle; THEY usually hate God and the things of God; YOU love God and the things of God; THEY love this world and the things of this world; YOU know that God wants liberation from yokes of bondage for all of His children; THEY frequently suffer from the Stockholm Syndrome; YOU definitely do not; YOU have a healthy self-esteem; THEY feel they deserve to be treated as 'outsiders'; YOU know you're 'normal'; THEY view themselves as 'deviants' and are proud of it. As I've said before, they are traitors and saboteurs to the cause of, and struggle for, full and equal civil rights, and you and I, and I'm sure many others, hate traitors and saboteurs to and of those things that anyone who is emotionally intact seeks for themselves and for others."

Regarding their being witting or unwitting traitors to, and saboteurs of, the struggle for full and equal civil rights, they have become mutual allies with the most reactionary homophobic forces in the religious and secular worlds. The religious
right and other homophobic forces just love them, for they manifest their fear and self-loathing by engaging in rhetoric and behaviors that are wittingly or unwittingly designed to alienate potential allies in the fight for full and equal civil rights, and provide these homophobic leaders with their needed ammunition to shore up their base of homophobes, be they in the "religious" or political arenas.

All a James Dobson, a Ken Hutcherson, a Pete LaBarbera, a Pat Robertson, or any number of other religious homophobes have to do is exhibit one or more of countless images of blatant and public hedonism (fulfilling and reinforcing the ugly stereotype that Gay=Abnormal; Gay=hedonism; Gay=deviant; Gay=immorality; Gay=perverted, etc.) to show those who might be on the fence regarding the acquisition of full and equal civil and sacramental rights for LGBT people that their hateful rhetoric has been correct after all. One cannot present public images that are patently and frequently deliberately offensive and even threatening to potential allies and then expect them to embrace and support full and equal civil rights for LGBT people who are all too often solely identified with those images!

In essence, the professional homophobes, many of whom make a veritable career out of homophobia, can then say to our potential allies, while showing them such images, "See, I told you what homosexuals are like. I told you how destructive they are to the very fabric of society and to civilization as we know it. I told you that they are not fit to be around children. They even want, and sometimes even have, the right to adopt and raise children. They seek to destroy Christianity and our Judeo-Christian way of life and will succeed unless we fight against this evil. And they even want their perverted lifestyle sanctified by law by insisting that they be allowed to marry one another. Before you know it, these people will want to marry their own children. Would you put anything past them after looking at these pictures that represent only a fraction of what they do and what they are?"

And we are to make no mistake: that's exactly what religious homophobes do, and continue to do, by proudly presenting blatant exhibitions of hedonism by some Gay people, further exacerbated by the use of pejorative epithets as self-identifiers by many Gay people that merely reinforce the hateful stereotypes and hateful rhetoric of the homophobes in "justifying" to as many as will listen the evidence as to the "deviance," the "otherness," the "abnormality" of LGBT people.

These epithets and images thereby confirm and reinforce the hateful rhetoric that is spewed by powerful religious homophobes in all sorts of venues, from the pulpit to the media, and serves no better purpose than to provide these religious homophobes with further ammunition that they need and use to sway potential allies away from our cause for equal rights.

Hence, the use of these epithets and the projection of these images that are viewed as offensive (many of which are seemingly designed to be offensive) by most people who conceivably make up our pool of potential allies, makes the purveyors of those epithets and images collaborators with the religious reactionary homophobes; making them partners in the goal of preventing the acquisition of full and equal civil and sacramental rights for LGBT people and their families.

Of course, confirmed homophobes will not be persuaded to become affirming of LGBT people no matter what we do or what we say! However, our concern must be winning over potential allies, those who might be on the fence and confused about this whole issue of LGBT rights. And the rhetoric and images used and projected for public consumption by self-loathing traitors are sabotaging that goal, by their being witting or unwitting allies with those very influential homophobes, by helping to do the homophobes' work for them.

By portraying Gay people as Godless, hedonistic, sexually obsessed individuals who revel in being "abnormal," and who pridefully display depictions that seem designed to offend all decent and religious people, virtually guarantees that those who engage in these practices are the allies of the avowed enemies of LGBT rights who stupidly feel free to vilify and even ridicule and make jokes about LGBT people, knowing that they will be greeted with hearty applause and laughter by their audiences, be they homophobic or potential allies.

Regarding the dynamics of those who manifest self-loathing and the unwillingness or the inability to directly confront the enemies of full civil rights and civil liberties, I absolutely think that seeing themselves as being forever "outsiders" and who revel in that outsider status by manifesting counter-productive and even risk-taking behaviors gives them a sense of security! It enables them to avoid confronting the horrifying fact that they are viewed by the oppressor as inferior, and in order to anesthetize themselves from that reality, they find a seemingly "legitimate" reason to bond with other like-minded people in a subculture that they wish to make a counterculture so as to both affirm themselves (which is understandable) but also insulate themselves from the insults and, at least at this point in their lives, they don't have the ego strength or the will to directly confront their oppressor in a politically meaningful and constructive way.

Hence, not only the use of denigrating epithets about themselves and their very identities, and their often egregious public displays that are bound to offend potential allies, but their rage at anyone who would dare suggest that by so doing they are helping to destroy themselves and their right to be treated with dignity and respect by those oppressors; telling them that by so doing they are witting or unwitting allies of those oppressors.

Because that would mean coming out of their cocoon, confronting a very harsh and even frightening reality, and having to confront both their own homophobia as well as the homophobia that would be visited upon them in direct proportion to their public and consistent demands that they be treated with full respect and as fully equal to their oppressor, and demand the acquisition of the very same rights that their oppressor enjoys.

That takes guts, and ego strength, and too many feel themselves to be too vulnerable, too wounded, to engage in the necessary fight for full and equal civil rights. Hence, to not confront that reality, and to not admit that they are too cowardly to fight the necessary battles for full and equal rights, they create a world where they demean themselves and create the rationalization for that demeaning of themselves by stating that they are doing so to merely appropriate, reclaim (Although those hateful words have never been renounced by the oppressor in the first place.), and neutralize those hateful words, and thereby claim that they are "liberated."

It's a profound tragedy, no matter how we look at it.

But it's a tragedy that must be confronted, overcome, and renounced so that positive, coordinated grassroots activism can occur, in conjunction with the increased assertiveness needed by major LGBT rights organizations, so that increasing numbers of potential allies can be recruited in the fight for equal rights; other LGBT people can become emboldened to demand that they be treated with dignity and demand nothing less than full and equal civil rights that are enjoyed by every other citizen; political savvy and activism be substituted for the counterproductive use of hateful epithets and the assorted public displays of images that denote and communicate a patently offensive public persona virtually designed to drive away allies and thereby sabotage the movement for full and equal civil rights.

As I've written before, such grassroots activism on the part of LGBT people and allies would take the form of "picketing homophobic churches (and there are plenty to choose from!), writing letters to the editors of their local newspapers, having groups of Gay couples who seek to marry continuously demand the same marriage rights as their heterosexual counterparts, speaking out to neighbors and friends, boycotting businesses that in any way discriminate against Gay people, and other such modes of activism to aid and abet the cause of acquiring full and equal civil rights!"

Only then will the homophobic oppressor be forced back under the rock from which he or she came, and the acquisition of full and equal civil and sacramental rights will become a reality!
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Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Today, June 17, 2008 represents two reasons for me to celebrate! Same-sex marriage in California has begun, and I'm cautiously optimistic that the mean-spirited amendment to overturn it will be seen for the anachronistic and hateful sham that it is and will be voted down by the voters in November.

Also, today is my wife's and my 46th wedding anniversary! I can honestly say that I love my wife more now than I even loved her the day we were married. We have raised two children together, had the ups and downs that go with the territory of living, and through it all we have clung to each other, loved each other, and shared our lives together in a way that my life would have been woefully inadequate, incomplete, and unthinkable without her.

Whatever I have accomplished so far in my adult life has been directly due to her influence in and on my life!

When we first got married we were extremely poor, and lived in a small one room apartment in New York, and grateful for the rent of $50.00 a month, which we were able to barely afford because my wife was working while I was finishing college and then finished graduate school. When my wife was pregnant with our first child, she quit working and I was then able to work full time to support us and I have been doing so ever since. And I've never let her forget it! :))

How dare anyone seek to deny other loving couples from having and sharing the kind of intimacy that my wife and I have shared for all these years!

How dare anyone seek to deprive the essential dignity to the love that same-sex couples share that is not one bit inferior to the love that heterosexual couples share!

How dare anyone in this day and age, after the history of oppression that was visited upon African Americans that resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court finally codifying into federal law in 1954 in Brown v Board of Education that "separate is not equal" (thereby overturning Plessy v Ferguson), still dare treat LGBT people and same-sex loving couples one bit differently than heterosexual people and couples!

How dare anyone seek to deprive a same-sex couple of the more than 1,000 federal rights that are now enjoyed by heterosexual married couples!

How dare anyone seek to put the children of Gay people and of same-sex couples in jeopardy, putting them at the mercy of a whole host of forces beyond their control should one of the couple die!

How dare anyone who dares consider him/herself a Christian seek to in any way hurt or discriminate against any other human being, and seek to deny others the same civil and sacramental rights that he or she enjoys!

How dare any clergy person have the temerity to willfully sin from the pulpit and other venues, claiming to speak for the Prince of Peace, and promote the vilification and discrimination against God's LGBT children!

How dare any professing Christian be a member of any church that promotes rhetoric and/or actions that in any way discriminate against LGBT people and same-sex couples!

What any Christian, and what any decent person should want for our fellow human beings is the right to live as full, meaningful, satisfying, and authentic a life as possible, and those who wish to make a lifetime commitment to another human being, and have that love and commitment be witnessed before God and before the world, must be congratulated and affirmed as, in this life, there is no higher and more laudable value and goal than is love!

The Apostle Paul wrote in 1Corinthians 13:

1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

My wife and I send out our heartiest congratulations to all same-sex couples who are now becoming legally married in California, and we hope and pray that your marriages be as fulfilling and as rewarding as ours has been all these years!
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Monday, June 16, 2008


Long time Gay rights activists Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon are formalizing their marriage today in San Francisco, and will be justifiably acknowledged and recognized as the first couple to be officially married in California since the California State Supreme Court wisely reminded us and re-affirmed that "separate is not equal," and that same-sex couples must not be denied marriage rights.

"Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin fell in love at a time when lesbians risked being arrested, fired from their jobs and sent to electroshock treatment.

"This afternoon, more than a half-century after they became a couple, Lyon and Martin plan to become the first same-sex couples to legally exchange marriage vows in San Francisco and among the first in the state.

“'It was something you wanted to know, "Is it really going to happen?" And now it’s happened, and maybe it can continue to happen,' Lyon said.

"San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom plans to officiate at the private ceremony in his City Hall office before 50 invited guests. He picked Martin, 87, and Lyon, 84, for the front of the line in recognition of their long relationship and their status as pioneers of the gay rights movement.

"Along with six other women, they founded a San Francisco social club for lesbians in 1955 called the Daughters of Bilitis. Under their leadership, it evolved into the nation’s first lesbian advocacy organization. They have the FBI files to prove it."

[For the full article, see here.]
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UPDATE 6/16 9:10 AM: I just received materials in reference to this blog post from Dr. Jack Drescher with whose excellent reputation I am familiar, and in all fairness I want to post two excerpts from the attachments he sent me, plus a video of him (that he did not send to me) that will somewhat familiarize you with him and his views about "Reparative Therapy." I am not sufficiently familiar with Dr. Zucker's recent work or current ideology that informs that work to intelligently comment on it, so I'm going to merely present this excerpted updated information.

"The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual) in 1973, and the Association has taken strong positions at every opportunity against discrimination and stigmas related to homosexuality. There is no action within the APA to reclassify homosexuality or to change these positions."

"The philosophy of Dr. Zucker’s team is to provide client-centered care that maximizes benefit and minimizes harm to each child or youth. The goal of treatment is a well-adjusted youth, regardless of ultimate gender identity or sexual orientation, who feels she or he has been genuinely helped by her or his healthcare providers. Dr. Zucker has offered a variety of treatment options, understanding that options may vary greatly with the age of the client. For younger clients, therapy options include helping the child to overcome discomfort with his or her body, i.e., helping clients learn to live comfortably in their natal sex. Diagnosis and treatment of other problems that may be present, such as anxiety, depression, or substance abuse are also available, as are services for family members.

"For adolescent patients (including those who first came to the clinic as young children), Dr. Zucker follows the Standards of Care Guidelines of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. The treatment options include helping patients make a satisfactory transition to the opposite sex, including the institution of hormonal treatment to facilitate transition. In some cases, treatment may include helping an interested adolescent obtain sex-reassignment surgery.

"For all patients, regardless of age, the focus of therapy is the patient’s gender identity, not the patient’s sexual orientation. Dr. Zucker’s therapeutic approach has no relationship to so-called reparative or sexual conversion therapies that attempt to change homosexual orientations to heterosexual ones. The goal of his therapy is the opposite of conversion therapy in that he considers well-adjusted transsexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual youth to be therapy successes, not failures."

I just received the following email from and ask that you please write an email and/or phone the American Psychiatric Association to help prevent what might well be a disaster for LGBT people. ( It is unfortunate that this urgency is also not directed to the very existence of the diagnostic category of the DSM called, "Gender Identity Disorder," as I feel that being transgender is in no way a "disorder." (But that is an issue to be addressed at another time.)

A few days ago the American Psychiatric Association announced who would write the new revision of the DSM-V, the manual of mental disorders that controls the diagnosis and treatment of gender and sexual difference. The "expert" just named to chair the revisions on sexuality and gender is Kenneth Zucker. Zucker is the major remaining proponent of "reparative therapy" to "cure" kids they think are LGBT.

If the APA doesn't change the committee, the next edition of the DSMV will probably prescribe reparative therapies as recommended "treatment" for LGBT people.

Zucker's named Ray Blanchard to the work group that will rewrite Gender Identity Disorder. Blanchard is connected with ex-gay organizations; his core theory is that transpeople are "really" sex offenders or homosexuals, and homosexuals are mentally ill.

Zucker's stated purpose for reparative therapy is that, without it, gay kids will grow up into transsexuals. So any version of Gender Identity Disorder the two of them write will not only put transpeople out of medical help and into conversion therapy, but also redefine GID from an independent diagnosis to a kind of homosexuality.

In other words, their goal is to put homosexuality back in the DSMV as a mental illness. We'd be back where we were before 1973. We have to get the word out.

If the community protests loudly and fast, the APA will probably have to remove Zucker and Blanchard. Please help. Spread the word to everyone you know.

Any contacts you have with LGBT political advocacy and media organizations, please light a fire with them to pressure the APA to remove Zucker and Blanchard from the DSM-V committee. It matters for all of us.

Contact the:

American Psychiatric Association
1000 Wilson Boulevard Suite 1825
Arlington, VA 22209

Contact APA Answer Center Call Toll-Free: 1-888-35-PSYCH

From outside the U.S. and Canada call: 1-703-907-7300

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Sunday, June 15, 2008


"An Anglican church has held a homosexual 'wedding' for the first time in a move that will deepen the rift between liberals and traditionalists."

"Two male priests [Rev Peter Cowell and Rev Dr David Lord who are pictured] exchanged vows and rings in a ceremony using one of the church's most traditional wedding rites - a decision seen as blasphemous by conservatives."

[Outrage over Britain's first gay wedding in a church.]

[For another article on this wedding, see here.]

This wedding may well be the final straw that further emboldens Archbishop Peter Akinola and other reactionary clergy within the Anglican communion to further become power brokers in the final fracture of that communion between what people mistakenly call the "liberals" and the "conservatives." Actually, the terms "liberal" and "conservative" have absolutely no meaning in this context!

The difference should be seen between those who see the move of the Holy Spirit in telling us that in Jesus there is nothing that is "unclean," as was finally clearly seen by the Apostle Peter when he was told by God: "What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common [or impure or profane]." (Acts 10:15); what the Apostle Paul told the churches of Galatia and to the rest of us who presume to be Jesus' disciples: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28)

Just because many clergy and their gullible followers may well have emotional/sexual issues, misread Scripture, miss the point of the Gospel message of grace, faith, love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness, and miss the whole point of the Gospel of grace, faith, love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness, doesn't mean that we are all to be bozos on that bus of intolerance!

God bless Rev. Martin Dudley, rector at the noted St. Bartholomew the Great in London, who courageously officiated at the wedding!

"The Archbishop of Uganda, Henry Orombi, said that the ceremony was blasphemous. He called on the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, to take decisive action if the Anglican Church were not to 'disintegrate'. Archbishop Orombi added: 'What really shocks me is that this is happening in the Church of England that first brought the Gospel to us.'"

Notice the exquisite irony of Archbishop of Uganda's Henry Orombi's statement, in that he is elevating himself and his prejudices (that he shares with all too many Anglicans as well as other denominational, non-Anglican, leaders, clergy, and members) over the clear Gospel message. He doesn't see, or doesn't want to see, or is incapable of seeing, being blinded as he is by his homophobic prejudices, that what he calls "blasphemous" is "...happening in the Church of England that first brought the Gospel to us."

Since when is a lifelong commitment one makes to love and be faithful to another human being considered "blasphemous," or in any way "common," "impure," or "profane?"
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Friday, June 13, 2008


"Gay men and lesbians are more likely to be left-handed than heterosexuals. The preference for left-handedness isn’t huge. But it’s distinct, and it might have a basis in human biology.

"So says Richard Lippa, a veteran Cal State Fullerton psychologist who has been poring over the sex, gender and behavioral data contained in a BBC Internet survey that involved more than 200,000 people. The 'Beeb' used the data as part of its highly praised 2005 documentary 'Secrets of the Sexes.' And it comes amid growing efforts by scientists to examine everything from the length of a person’s fingers to hair patterns for signs of sexual orientation."

[CSUF study says gays more likely than straights to be left-handed">"Gay men and lesbians are more likely to be left-handed than heterosexuals.]

In response to the above cited article, I wrote the following when it appeared:

"This is a very well written column. However, although I haven’t read the original study and checked the methodology, two factors must be addressed:

"1. There is a big difference between correlation and causation. Just because two variables are correlated doesn’t necessarily mean that one causes the other.

"2. The author of the study writes, “You have to look at large numbers of people to see statistically significant associations.” That’s the real problem, in that, first of all, there is no indication that this is a random sample. Moreover, “statistical significance” is not necessarily the same as “theoretical significance” or “substantive significance.” Also, statistical significance increases in proportion to sample size. The larger the sample size, the greater the “statistical significance,” if I remember my methodology courses that I took about 45 years ago.

"Moreover, as a sociologist and LGBT rights activist (please see my blog,, beyond its academic interest, correlates or causes of being gay or lesbian are irrelevant to vitiating discrimination against LGBT people, as the recent remarks from Albert Mohler, President of a Southern Baptist seminary, attest, when he said that if being Gay was biologically caused, medical intervention on the fetus would be advisable and justified to change that fetus to heterosexual, as homosexuality is a symptom of 'original sin.'

"More mileage would be gained by studying the causes of homophobia, and what motivates people who obsess over condemning others’ love and sex lives, than studying the purported causes of sexual orientation."

I continue to reiterate my objections to such studies, the most recent one appearing in the "Los Angeles Times" Health section entitled, "What does gay look like? Science keeps trying to figure that out"

The article by Regina Nuzzo briefly reviews some of the studies as to why some people are Gay, and she suggests, "Finding common biological traits -- things like hair growth patterns, penis size, family makeup -- might one day shed light on the origins of sexual orientation."

We must again ask why it's so important, beyond the intellectual issues involved, to seek to establish why some people are Gay? Why not study why some people are Straight? Why not study why some people like meat and others don't like meat? Why not study why some people love vegetables and others don't? Why not study why someone's favorite color is different from another person's favorite color? Well, you get the point!

The fact that sexual orientation is felt to be deserving of the appropriation of funds and expenditure of time and energy by scientists, as opposed to such questions as the above that any scientist would hardly deem likely to investigate, has far more to do with people's hangups regarding sex and sexual orientation than it has to do with the intrinsic importance of that subject.

I can certainly see the validity of studies as to why some people love war and others love peace; why some people are sadistic and others are not; why some people take advantage of others and others don't; why some people prey on others and others don't why some people are homophobic and others are not, but I can't understand why studies of the causes of sexual orientation are viewed as being so important.

The only reason that I can see for its perceived importance, beyond the false belief that if one's sexual orientation can be shown to be beyond one's control there will be fewer reasons for discriminating against Gay people, it seems to me that many people (and scientists are by no means exempted) like to put people into neat boxes, and have people meet their expectations and their requirements within the parameters that they feel should comprise those boxes, and if a group of people call into question those assumptions, expectations, and perceived requirements by their very existence, there is seen to be a pressing need to study "them" and find out why "they" are different from "normal" people; why "they" don't conform to "what I expect" and define as "normal."

A good deal of this interest in why some people are Gay has to do with the fact that being Gay has been considered to be part of one's core identity, both by homophobes, by many Straight people, and by many Gay people themselves. I fail to see why such need be the case!

Each of us is multidimensional, and our sexuality and emotional/romantic interests make up only a fraction of who we are as people. However, when one is historically and constantly discriminated against because of this one facet of a human being, that human being is virtually forced to see his or her sexual orientation as a core part of him/herself, if for no other reason than because that facet has been imposed on him/her as his/her essential essence as a human being. And, in order to seek to defend oneself from these attacks or potential attacks, a concept of self that affirms oneself amidst lack of affirmation by many, if not most, within the larger society, encourages the person to view that aspect that is the cause of one's ill treatment to be defended, if not asserted.

And the desire to both defend one's sexuality and to assert the normality of that sexuality is seemingly bolstered by the desired findings of studies that will "hopefully" show that being LGBT is beyond one's control, and is a normal variant that does not deserve to be in any way condemned; such findings will eliminate or greatly reduce externalized and internalized homophobia.

Clearly, heterosexuals who are sexually and emotionally intact will not condemn LGBT people, as same-sex love wouldn't repel them in any way. Why should it? If one is intact and content in his/her sexual life, what would be the motivation to condemn, or even make a veritable career out of condemning, the sexual/affectional life of another?

The fact that it is the sexually and/or emotionally dysfunctional people who condemn another's sexuality is highlighted by the patently specious and foolish reasons given by these self-styled arbiters of "morality" for their blatant hostility and discrimination against LGBT people.

So, appeal to the Bible, when the Bible does not condemn same-sex love and, actually, affirms it. Or the appeal to "tradition," where such an appeal could also be used to justify the institutions of slavery and segregation (which, of course, did, in fact, occur). Or the appeal that Gay people will prey on children, when the statistics clearly show that it is heterosexuals who are far more likely to be pedophiles than are Gay people. Or the appeal that same-sex parents will likely have more homosexual children when, in fact, virtually all Gay kids are raised by heterosexuals. Or the appeal that children do better when raised with both a mother and a father in the home when, in fact, what studies we have show that kids raised in loving homes with two mothers or two fathers do just as well as kids raised when both a mother and a father are present. And, of course, the list goes on!

And encouraging studies that seek to find out why some people are Gay is implying that there is something "abnormal" or "against the natural order" about being Gay, and we should find out why Gay people exist so that we can better understand this "strange" phenomenon. The fact is that many people fail to realize that God made His Gay children, just as He made his Straight children, with the capacity to love another person, and that capacity and the love that ensues from it are priceless gifts from God that He has graciously given to us.

What deserves study, on the other hand, is what makes it possible for so many people to be incapable of loving another human being? What makes it possible for a human being to despise and condemn the love-life of another person? What is the source of such hate that resides in all too many hearts, be that hate justified in the name of "religion" or not, that makes one incapable of loving and not judging and not discriminating against others because of their capacity to love another person of the same sex?

It is these questions that deserve much study, for it is those who hate, especially those who hate in the name of God, who are the ones who really deserve to be studied. They are the aberration, they are the dangerous forces that wreak havoc on society and in the lives of innumerable LGBT people and their families. They are the ones who are directly responsible for parents kicking their Gay kids out of the house and into the streets and disowning them because their children placed their trust in them and that trust was horribly and sinfully betrayed. They are the ones who pervert the Gospel, if they profess to be "Christians,"and who provide justification for those on the fringe to even kill LGBT people and do so thinking that they are doing God a favor by so doing.

It is the religious and other homophobes who deserve study! Far more mileage will be gotten by studying the causes and dynamics of homophobia and homophobic people, especially homophobes who "justify" their homophobia in the name of the Prince of Peace Who makes it crystal clear that to truly be His disciples we must love and not judge others, than will be gotten by studying the causes and dynamics of same-sex love and attraction!

It is especially the clear disconnect, the clear inconsistency, between homophobic professing Christians who spew hateful rhetoric and engage in discriminatory actions on the one hand, and Jesus' Commandment to those who would be His disciples to love and not judge others on the other hand, that certainly deserves scientific scrutiny for the well-being of society, for the well-being of LGBT people and their families, for the well-being of those who are Christians indeed, and for the well-being of the image of Christianity when seen by many decent, intelligent, and sensitive people!
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Thursday, June 12, 2008


"Barack Obama discussed Darfur, the Iraq war, gay rights, abortion and other issues in a closed door meeting with Christian leaders, including conservatives who have been criticized for praising the Democratic presidential candidate."

"Mark DeMoss, a spokesman for the Rev. Franklin Graham, said Graham attended and asked Obama whether 'he thought Jesus was the way to God, or merely a way.' DeMoss declined to discuss Obama's response."

"[Rich] Kmiec, an abortion opponent who worked for the Reagan administration's Justice Department, was denied Communion in April at a Mass for Catholic business people because he had endorsed Obama. Church leaders later apologized, according to syndicated columnist E.J. Dionne." [Wasn't it nice and "Christian" of them to later apologize?]

"[Cizik] said he told Obama: "Religious Americans want to know why is it you love this country and what it stands for and how we can make it better." [As if atheists aren't also interested in making this country better, although atheists don't have the political clout as do these "Christian leaders."]

[For the full article, see here.]

I am an unapologetic Christian, and take the Bible very seriously, and I take God even more seriously. Believe me, I do fall short in so many ways, and I certainly fall short of what I know Jesus expects of me. My stating this fact has nothing to do with false modesty, but I'm merely stating a fact about myself!

Having said that, and viewing my attempt to follow Christ as best, albeit imperfectly, as I can, I'm outraged on a number of levels at the blatant enmeshment of the government with religion, and using one's religious persuasion as a criterion in the election to the highest office in the U.S. This enmeshment of religion and government has trumped the Constitution in many ways, not the least of which has been in the denial of basic civil rights to LGBT people.

And that enmeshment has to stop (Although I'm under no illusions that it will stop in the foreseeable future!) if the Church (Made up of those who put God first in their lives.) stops deferring to " religious leaders" and recognizes that we are to give unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar and give to God that which belongs to God.

Even though I'm a Christian, I have absolutely no desire to impose my relationship with God on anyone else. Of course, I can, and do, encourage all people to open their hearts and minds to the call of Christ on their lives, but that is to be absolutely no criterion for my relationships or for one's holding of elective office in a country that is obligated to live under the Constitution, and not live as a theocracy under the often slanted and prejudiced interpretation of the Bible that all too many "religious leaders" hold, particularly in regard to the acquisition of civil rights for assorted minority groups.

To even consider the answer to a politician's answer to the question, "Is Jesus the way to God, or merely a way," might be considered appropriate in a theological discussion, but has absolutely no place in our choice of one who aspires to elective office in the United States, be that office Alderman or President. The stupidity and arrogance of those who would even ask that question to be presumably a criterion for whether or not to support that candidate is absolutely remarkable to me.

Moreover, it highlights both how this country has veered from the path of the Constitutional issues involved in setting this country's priorities and policies, as well as showing the religious imperialism of a sizable segment of the institutional Church that seeks to continue being inextricably linked with government. A question such as this one signifies to me the desire for religious reactionary forces to continue their role in seeking to set the priorities in governmental agenda items, particularly those having to do with civil rights of any minority group with which the "Church leaders" disagree, and for which many of them have absolute disdain.

This disdain, that has taken the form of exclusion from the full benefits of citizenship in the U.S., has been taken as a benchmark upon which to build government policy, so that most "Church leaders" have provided seemingly biblical "justification" to historically (and in some cases, contemporarily) exclude women, African-Americans, and LGBT people from full civil rights and their protections in the name of God!

And politicians hustling for votes to be President, be they Republican or Democrat, are more than desirous of courting the religious right wing that comprises much, if not most, of the institutional Church. Hence, McCain gladly accepting John Hagee's endorsement (until it was no longer politically expedient for him to do so), and Obama renouncing his twenty year church affiliation with Trinity United Church of Christas well as renouncing his affiliation with his spiritual advisor and mentor of twenty years, the noted Jeremiah Wright, who has spoken uncomfortable truths over his many years of ministry that the average white voter couldn't, wouldn't, and would refuse to understand, particularly given the selected and skewed sound bites apart from context that the media aired to characterize this wonderful man of God.

This is not "one nation under God" (That phrase was added in 1954 to the Pledge of Allegiance.), as there are many citizens, also deserving of full and equal rights and representation who, at least at this time, do not believe in God. We are comprised of a plurality of people, diverse in all sorts of ways, not the least being one's conception of, and relationship with, God.

I view most "religious leaders" with great suspicion, as by seeking to apply their often distorted and twisted views of the Bible (Which all too many of them equate with God, and most of whom even elevate the Bible over and above the work of the Holy Spirit Who is at work in the world.), seek to influence governmental policy in accordance with their exclusionary mind-sets and prejudices that they seek to impose on the rest of us.

Clearly, I view Presidential candidates' courting, of these "religious leaders" (Most of whom are reactionary: witness the fact that such progressive clergy as Rev. Troy Perry, Bishop John Shelby Spong, Rev. Nancy Wilson, and Rev. Jeremiah Wright weren't given a seat at the table.), along with their gullible followers, to be very dangerous to this democratic republic!

It has been many such "Christian leaders" who have persuaded their followers to adopt the leaders' own prejudices and view of the Christian life, as they have persuaded their followers to justify prejudice and discrimination against their constructed enemies, (And do so in the name of God and the Prince of Peace.), and to vote accordingly.

We have come to a sorry state of affairs in this country when God is sold unto Caesar for the price of political conformity to reactionary religious values, and God is treated as a commodity to be bought and sold with the coin of religious biases and religious "leaders'" prejudices that go a long way in determining how their church members vote for President, and for the consequent future of the United States and, often, the future of most of the rest of the world.

With this enmeshing of largely reactionary religious forces with political decisions and fealty, and these forces' values used as political clout in all too often determining elective office, both the Constitutional mandate of "equality under the law" and the acquisition of full and equal civil rights for LGBT people is both up for grabs and doesn't look all that promising, unless there is coordinated grass roots activism in conjunction with a much more aggressive stance on the part of Gay rights organizations to agitate for full and equal civil rights.

Absent this activism and coordination, the reactionary "religious" and political forces are likely to prevail in the social and political arenas for the foreseeable future.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I came upon this interview conducted by Bill Moyers of the noted Black Liberation theologian James Cone [Pictured].

My purpose in posting this interview is not to equate lynching with the plight of LGBT people, although I see the African American civil rights struggle before the 1960's to be in many ways analogous to the LGBT civil rights struggle, especially in regard to the needed transcendence (and subsequent liberation) of both oppressed minorities to never lose touch with their essential dignity and humanity, in large part gained by fighting against that very oppression, realizing that the needed strength for that fight is immeasurably enhanced by one's relationship to God in community.

Rather, this interview is instructive on many levels, not the least of which is the role that the understanding of the Cross and the presence of God within that Cross, and the recognition of the power of God in one's fighting through that Cross experience, is being denied many LGBT people who understandably resent the church, Christianity, and sometimes even God.

While so many African Americans had, and still have, the "Black Church" to affirm their dignity and inherent worth, all too many LGBT people have been deprived of this wonderful source of affirmation. Hence, the value of the denomination of the Metropolitan Community Churches, founded in 1968 by Rev. Troy Perry, and all truly and fully inclusive churches of which there are, shamefully, relatively few within the institutional Church.

We are not to ever let the haters who pose as Christians define our realities for us, or ever allow them to define Christianity for us, or define our self-worth for us, or define the nature of the church for anyone or, most shamefully, define the nature of God for anyone. Rather, Christianity, and its manifestation in the individual lives of Christians and in the corporate life of a church that is worthy of the name, in that it is truly honoring to God, must be seen to manifest the Christian virtues of grace, love, and empowerment to all of God's children!

There isn't a church in the world that represents God if it in any way excludes any of God's children, or that extols tradition that makes void the word of God (Matthew 15:3), allows legalism to trump grace, or invokes prejudices that trump freedom from yokes of bondage from which Jesus came to set all captives free.

Christianity is a relationship with God, our God of love, empowerment, and liberation! And all sorts of religious media figures, and clergy who are self-appointed guardians of "morality," based upon their self-interests and preconceived prejudices, are not to be allowed to define Christianity's beauty and power and reality for any of us!

The best way to spot counterfeit money is to constantly familiarize oneself with real money so that when counterfeit money is given to us we can readily tell the difference between the real money and the fake money. The same is true with one's spiritual life! When a person knows the Christian life as it is truly meant to be lived, one can easily spot the hucksters and the phonies who seek to put people into bondage or, just as bad, seek to prevent people from the liberation that is to be found in Christ.

Jesus says that His sheep hear His voice and follow Him! (John 10:27) We are not to let false shepherds, often hucksters who milk the gullible, the suckers, by feeding them messages that confirm their prejudices so that they can portray themselves as "victims" who need money to "fight against the enemy" and who, thereby, successfully garner tremendous material and/or psychological and/or social and/or political and/or religious gains, stand in the way of all of God's children, LGBT or Straight, from listening to Jesus' voice.

And that voice is most readily heard, and empowerment most readily seen and given, through the Cross, if His oppressed children give themselves permission to hear it! I wonder how many LGBT people have seen how the following verse of Scripture applies to them: "And other sheep I have that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." (John 10:16)

The Black Church has done inestimable good for its members, by enhancing their spirituality, reaffirming their inherent dignity, conveying a needed sense of empowerment, and by enabling the sharing of community that is vital in anchoring its members to their roots. LGBT people deserve no less!

I hope this excerpt from the interview of James Cone will both whet your appetite to read the whole interview, and also give you permission, if you would like such a church experience, to seek solace and empowerment in a truly affirming church such as the MCC.

Moreover, Cone's words might well be adapted to the LGBT experience of oppression, so that a theology of liberation can be adapted and applied to the struggle for the acquisition of full and equal civil and sacramental rights that will both immeasurably enhance one's sense of self, one's inherent dignity as a child of God, and one's tenacity in the struggle against oppression. The Metropolitan Community Churches, and all such fully inclusive churches, have gone a long way toward articulating that theology of liberation!

JAMES CONE: They [White Supremacists who lynched African Americans] wanted to remind black people that they were in charge and that whites controlled, for the same reasons why Romans-- crucified people in the first century.

BILL MOYERS: It worked, didn't it?

JAMES CONE: Yes, it worked.

BILL MOYERS: It worked.

JAMES CONE: It worked to a certain degree. It only worked in the sense that it reminded black people and white people that whites actually had political and social control and economic control. But, they didn't have control of their humanity. See, that's what religion is about. Religion is a search for meaning when you don't have it in this world. So, while they might have controlled the black people physically and politically and economically, they did not control their spirit. That's why the black churches are very powerful forces in the African American community and always has been. Because religion has been that one place where you have an imagination that no one can control. And so, as long as you know that you are a human being and nobody can take that away from you, then God is that reality in your life that enables you to know that.

BILL MOYERS: And even though you're living under the shadow of the lynching tree.

JAMES CONE: Even though you're living under the shadow of the lynching tree. Because religion is a spirit that is not defined by what people can do to your body. They can kill your body, but they can't kill your soul. We were always told that. There is a spirit deep in you that nobody can take away from you because it's a creation that God gave to you.

Now, if you know you have a humanity that nobody can take away from you, they may lock you up. They may lynch you. But, they don't win.

Click this link for the full interview.



The following is a video interview with James Cone that I think you will like that has tremendous implications for LGBT people in this civil rights struggle, and for all Christians who, to be true to the Gospel values, must read Scripture "from the bottom up." All too often, professing Christians (and virtually all of the institutional Church) identify with the powerful, whereas to understand Christianity, to live out the Christian life, and to understand Scripture, we must identify with the powerless.

Also, click this link for an excellent video presentation by Cone entitled, "Strange Fruit: The Cross and the Lynching Tree," delivered at Harvard University in 2006 by this distinguished theologian, and that fleshes out much of what he covers in the above video.
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