Wednesday, January 27, 2010

BARRIERS TO AUTHENTIC SEXUALITY, THE EX-GAY MYTH, AND STRIDENT HOMOPHOBIA

Sexually intact and emotionally healthy people really don't care what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes! And sexually intact and emotionally healthy people don't in any way demean Gay people or seek to deprive Gay people of civil rights that accrue to heterosexuals in society!

Save for crass material and political gains yielded by homophobia within "religious" and other contexts, much strident homophobia may be attributed to the interplay between heteronormativity and homophobia within society and the psychological dynamics residing in certain people who are intrigued, and who are even unconsciously and/or consciously envious, of out and proud Gay people who express an authenticity that the strident homophobe may lack.

Heterosexism and homophobia, unfortunately, often make sexuality to be falsely perceived as fluid. However, that perception of its seeming fluidity has to do with that heterosexism and homophobia, and does not imply either "fluidity" or "choice" in one's sexuality! It seems that most frequently people realize that they are attracted to members of the same or opposite sex at a relatively early age. (One woman told me that she realized she was attracted to girls when she was about six years old.)

However, we can't ignore the cultural stigma still visited upon Gay people, and that stigma may well condition a person to think he/she has emotional/sexual feelings toward the opposite sex until either his/her true nature can no longer suffer the inconsistency between that nature and his/her perceived need to conform to heterosexist cultural expectations of sexuality, and he/she comes out either to him/herself and/or to others, or one unconsciously and/or consciously chooses to live a life of quiet (and sometimes not so quiet) desperation by conforming to the dominant cultural heterosexist norms of society and labels him/herself "heterosexual" when, in fact, his/her homosexuality is repressed and/or suppressed, thus causing him/her tremendous anxiety.

It is this latter group from which we can expect much of the strident homophobia that we encounter in society! Psychoanalysts refer to this defense mechanism of vociferously condemning in the other what one possesses in him/herself as Reaction Formation.

Moreover, one can have fulfilling same-sex relationships and then abstain from those relationships, or even marry a person of the opposite sex, and falsely think of him/herself as no longer Gay (hence, the "ex-gay" myth) when, in fact, he/she is Gay when same-sex emotional and sexual desire and also homosexual masturbatory fantasies are used as indicators (as they must be) of one's true sexuality.

It is entirely possible, regarding feelings, perceptions, and behavior, that a person can act and even consider him/herself to be Straight for a part of his/her life and subsequently act and consider him/herself to be Gay for another part of his/her life. Or, one can act and even feel Gay for a part of his/her life and subsequently act and consider him/herself Straight for another part of his/her life! For Gay people, homophobic society can account for the former; bankrupt and dangerous "ex-gay therapy" can often account for the latter!

In this context, we can see that much misogyny, like homophobia itself, borne of barriers to the expression of authentic sexuality to be discussed below, underlies strident homophobia as well as all anti-Gay sentiment. For example, the revulsion that some people feel at the very idea of two men making love, at least one of whom is viewed as taking on "the female role," highlights the profound discomfort and anxieties that result in those whose misogyny shows their lack sexual intactness and confidence in their own sexuality, their own perceived "manhood." Indeed, the aggression visited upon Gay people by homophobes may also be mirrored in the unhealthy power dynamic that is likely to occur in many homophobes' own heterosexual relationships.

In addition, this is also why transgender people are an enigma to many, even many in the Gay communities, and are so stigmatized! It is alleged that one is either a man or a woman and must act in a way that is in accord with the cultural expectations of our society. The fact is that blended gender is quite normal, and misogyny, as well as the felt need by many to place people into neat dichotomous boxes (that don't fit the facts of many people's experiences or the diversity of God's creation), is the result of many people's blind adherence to cultural norms of what is considered to be "male expression" and "female expression" that unjustly visits tremendous suffering upon transgender people.

Regarding strident homophobes who are unwittingly (or even wittingly) Gay by nature, their sexual expression is often conditioned by unconscious and/or conscious forces by which they often react to the heterosexism and homophobia that exist in society that creates their internalized homophobia. And that internalized homophobia can be manifested in all sorts of destructive behaviors against Gay people ranging from free-floating anxiety to suicide to hateful rhetoric to free-floating aggression to acts of discrimination to assaults and murder!

I truly believe that this repression, suppression, and the frustration and anxiety that ensue from unconsciously and/or consciously living an emotional/sexual lie, is one of the major causes of strident homophobia!

It is quite likely that those who repress and/or suppress their own homosexuality are among the most strident homophobes, as the very existence and freedom exhibited by out Gay people are a terrible threat and source of great anxiety to those who are unconsciously and/or consciously closeted.

Lilian Faderman wrote, "Observation tells us that the neat categories of sexual identity are often an illusion. People in real life can move in and out of those categories, spending one portion of their lives as straight and another as gay and then perhaps straight again, or vice versa, or all of it at once, or none of it at all.... [Faderman, Lillian. 1997. "Why Is It Shocking When A Lesbian Leader Falls In Love With A Man?" The Advocate, April 29, 1997:80.] Faderman buys into the notion of "sexual fluidity," and refuses to see that our emotional/sexual nature is fixed, despite many behavioral manifestations that may not be consistent with that nature due to societal, cultural, and even "therapeutic" pressures to conform to heterosexist norms, as well as the existence of homophobia, all of which often provide barriers to the expression of one's authentic sexuality!

Hence, the existence of strident homophobia as well as the myth of being "ex-gay!" One can act against his/her true nature as he/she was created and honestly contend he/she is Straight when, in fact, he/she was created to be Gay and will always be Gay.

As mentioned above, our sexuality is comprised of both emotion and behavior, and that emotion and behavior are often influenced, either temporarily or even permanently, by homophobia and heterosexist cultural norms and expectations that can cause repression and/or suppression of one's true sexuality; such repression and/or suppression creates tremendous anxiety and frustration in the person that often results in his/her aggression that is either internalized and/or often displaced (externalized) onto those who exacerbate that anxiety and frustration. And those who exacerbate that aggression are out and proud Gay people who exhibit their sexual authenticity!

Given societal constraints and expectations, sexual behavior can very well be falsely manifested, as that expression can very well be inconsistent with one's very sexual nature that has been fixed as created by God. I think that it's that false sexual expression, largely caused by societal constraints, expectations, and unconscious and/or conscious internalized homophobia, that has a great deal to do with the phenomenon of people who make a habit of condemning Gay people. It is those who are afraid of their own sexuality because of societal constraints who are very likely to verbally and/or physically attack the person whose sexual orientation the attacker has likely repressed and/or suppressed within him/herself.

The excellent author James Baldwin made a telling remark in a 1965 interview when he said, "[T]hose terms, homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual, are 20th century terms which, for me, really have very little meaning. I've never, myself, in watching other people, watching life, been able to discern exactly where the barriers were." [Mossman, James. 1989. "Race, Hate, Sex, and Color: A Conversation with James Baldwin.] It may well be that in 1965 even James Baldwin, certainly not homophobic, was unable to understand his true nature as a gay man.

Much strident homophobia and transphobia may very well be attributed to societal and cultural barriers to the expression of sexual authenticity that reside within those who make a veritable career out of bearing false witness, demeaning, and discriminating against LGBT people.

There may very well be the fear of their own sexuality as a result of those barriers that may be seen to reside in the strident homophobe and that causes him/her to fight against his/her own true sexual desires by displacing his/her aggression, borne of his/her own sexual frustrations and anxieties, onto others who hold up a mirror to his/her face by their being out and proud as fully authentic people who fully accept and embrace themselves as the LGBT people whom God made; who demand full equality in a society that prides itself on having equality under the law for all of its citizens.

It is crucial to be on the offensive when contending with "religious" and secular expressions of homophobia!

And understanding sexual inauthenticity due to heterosexism and homophobia, and the repressions, suppressions, frustrations, anxieties, and aggressions they can cause, can go a long way toward shining a light on the dynamics that likely motivate many strident homophobes and transphobes and their hateful rhetoric and actions that they unjustly and irrationally visit upon LGBT people.

And it must also be understood that these psychological and social barriers, social phenomena and constraints, and prejudices borne of the interplay between cultural norms and psychological dynamics, make any rational discussions with strident homophobes futile and fruitless! Tragically, many of them manifest their hatred based on largely unconscious repressions, drives, and tempestuous psychological forces of which they are unaware.

As I recently wrote in an article entitled, Homophobia Stems From The Unconscious:

When confronting another's prejudices, that person may, when asked, seem to come to a rational explanation for those prejudices, with appeal to assorted "scientific" and "biblical" claims yet, when push comes to shove, those reasons are mere rationalizations used by the person in order to justify in his/her mind and in the minds of the questioner(s) why those prejudices are "rational" when, in fact, they are anything but rational but emanate from the unconscious longings and repressions, the resistances and the untamed and untamable forces that reside within the unconscious of the person with whose prejudices we are dealing.

In the case of homophobia, it is eminently clear that ignorance and/or hate are the root causes of those prejudices, and that hateful animus that propels and compels one to consistently seek to demean the other, and deny equal rights to Gay people, is coming from the unconscious of that person, those tempestuous forces of which he/she is largely, if not solely, unaware.

However, the homophobe's conscious mind must make him/her and his/her homophobia seem "reasonable" to those who ask the question as to why that person is homophobic, so there is an attempt by the homophobe to invoke "credible evidence" in his/her conscious mind, particularly the homophobe's interpretation of certain selected biblical verses, so that credibility can be sought and often, unfortunately, irrationally obtained by gullible people to the hateful utterances made by clergy and by other professing Christians in the name of God and the Prince of Peace.

Therefore, "sitting down and reasoning together" with strident homophobes, particularly religious homophobes, is a waste of time and energy, and is bound to degenerate into profound resistance and hostility on the part of the homophobe because his/her unconscious structure and drives make it virtually impossible for rational discourse to penetrate that structure and change those drives.


And a good deal of the hateful animus that emanates from the unconscious repressions, suppressions, frustrations, displaced aggressions, and societal barriers to sexual authenticity (e.g. misogyny, heteronormativity, societal homophobia) that likely reside within many strident homophobes may be seen to have their origins in unconscious and/or conscious envy of out Gay people who present a mirror of the very relationships and drives that comprise much of the unconscious and/or conscious desires of those who seek to impose their own warped psyches onto both Gay people as well as onto society as a whole.
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

THE AMERICAN PRAYER HOUR

The American Prayer Hour

We are about to embark on a historic mission to stop persecution of LGBT people in Uganda and we want you to be a key part of our vision.

On February 4th, we are launching The American Prayer Hour. It is a multi-city affirmation of inclusive values and a celebration of diversity. It is also an action to protest the sponsors of The National Prayer Breakfast, which will take place on February 4 in Washington, DC.

While The National Prayer Breakfast is ostensibly a benign event, it is hosted by a secretive fundamentalist organization, The Family, which is directly tied to the draconian “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda. We strongly urge those invited to the National Prayer Breakfast to reconsider attending the event. Instead, they can join us at our American Prayer Hour.

The American Prayer Hour will be anchored by events in the following cities:

Dallas—Creating Change (Sheraton Dallas – Dallas Ballroom A)
Chicago Theological Seminary (The Chapel)
Berkeley–Pacific School of Religion (The Chapel)
Washington, DC (Calvary Baptist Church, Chapel)
Anchorage, AK (Church Life Alaska)
Boynton Beach, FL (Church of Our Savior, MCC)
Get Involved

There are four ways to get involved:

If you live in a city where an American Prayer Hour event is already occurring, please consider attending.
If you are interested in creating an American Prayer Hour event in your hometown, please contact Wayne Besen, wbesen@truthwinsout.org.
Spread the word about the American Prayer Hour and the truth behind the National Prayer Breakfast
Pray where you are—wherever you are—for a world safe for all families regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
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Monday, January 25, 2010

MORE EVIDENCE OF OBAMA'S BETRAYAL OF GAY PEOPLE

A Democratic lawmaker has postponed a Senate hearing on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” until February after the State of the Union address at the request of administration officials who said President Obama may address the issue during his speech.....

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen had been set to testify at the hearing originally set for January, but Levin said he wants to hear from junior officers and enlisted personnel and not just top military leaders.


[For the full article, see here.]

If this isn't despicable, I don't know what is! Obama has betrayed Gay people and obviously has no intention of initiating Gay people's civil rights.

For example, he could easily issue an Executive Order rescinding DADT; he could have refused to have his Justice Dept. pursue and seek to justify DOMA; even raising the specter of incest and pedophilia in that pursuit in federal court.

It's high time LGBT people, allies, and all progressives realize that he is no friend, and his only interest in us is to seek our votes by throwing us crumbs of meaningless rhetoric.

A clear and comprehensive road map for repealing DADT and implementing an alterna- tive, non-discriminatory policy already exists. This report provides a realistic outline for repealing DADT and opening our armed forces to the many qualified men and women who have been excluded under that law. These steps include:

1. Signing an Executive Order banning further military separations based on DADT and sending a legislative proposal on DADT repeal to Congress

2. Forming a presidential panel on how to implement the repeal

3. Repealing DADT in Congress and changing the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or UCMS

4. Changing other necessary military guidelines to conform to the new policy

5. Following-up to ensure that the armed forces implement the policy changes

This report draws upon lessons from previous attempts at ending discrimination and effecting change within the military in order to place these steps into proper context.


[For the full article, see here.]
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FILM: 8: THE MORMON PROPOSITION

The role of the Mormon Church in affirming Prop. 8 by the electorate in California cannot go unchallenged, and this film, written and directed by Reed Cowan, presents one of those needed challenges. No decent person can remain silent when any minority group is denied the same rights and privileges that accrue to every other citizen in the U.S. and elsewhere.

 

Interview with the writer and director, Reed Cowan:

 
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PROP. 8 COURTROOM PROCEEDINGS

PLEASE CLICK ON THIS LINK TO READ LIVE COVERAGE FROM THE COURTROOM REGARDING PROP. 8.

THIS IS ANOTHER SITE THAT PROVIDES LIVE COVERAGE FROM THE COURTROOM.
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

CIVIL UNIONS IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR THE INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE

The Hawaii Senate approved same-sex civil unions Friday, potentially setting up the measure for final passage as soon as next week.

The Senate passed the bill on an 18-7 vote, moving it to the House and signaling that the Senate's Democratic majority has enough votes to override a possible veto from Republican Gov. Linda Lingle.

The House has yet to decide if it will vote on the bill. House leaders say they will take up the bill if they have a veto-proof two-thirds majority but may let it die if they have only a small majority.

"It's very close," said Democratic Speaker of the House Calvin Say. "During an election year, this issue is so divisive that it may hurt many of our members."
The bill would grant gay and straight couples the same rights and benefits the state provides to married couples.


[For the full article, see here.]

Civil Unions are no substitute for Marriage! As long as same-sex couples are denied the label of "marriage," their love is considered to be different and even inferior to the love of heterosexual couples, and that state of affairs must be unacceptable to all those who seek equality for same-sex couples and for all LGBT people.

It is a great mistake to settle for second best, and for crumbs of incrementalism, hoping against hope that civil unions will eventually lead the way toward marriage. The fact is that to the degree that same-sex couples settle for civil unions, it's to that degree that marriage rights will be retarded.

Unless the designation of "marriage" is removed from all hitherto heterosexually married couples, and their relationship status substituted with the designation of "civil unions," same-sex couples should settle for nothing less than the dignity that heterosexually married couples currently enjoy by being recognized as "married," both civilly and sacramentally.

There is absolutely no reason why same-sex couples should be treated any differently than heterosexual couples, and to allow such a difference, to settle for such a difference, is to acknowledge that same-sex love is different from, and even inferior to, heterosexual love, and same-sex love doesn't deserve the dignity that heterosexually married couples enjoy.

And that state of affairs must never be allowed to exist if we are truly intent on equality for same-sex couples and LGBT people!
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Friday, January 22, 2010

PROP. 8 COURTROOM PROCEEDINGS

PLEASE CLICK ON THIS LINK TO READ LIVE COVERAGE FROM THE COURTROOM REGARDING PROP. 8.

THIS IS ANOTHER SITE THAT PROVIDES LIVE COVERAGE FROM THE COURTROOM.
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

NEW HAMPSHIRE MAY ONLY BE THE BEGINNING OF THE ATTEMPT TO RESCIND GAY RIGHTS

I think the Republican win in Massachusetts has emboldened the homophobes, not only in New Hampshire, but elsewhere as well; we can foresee a Republican win in 2010 and 2012 that could well rescind many of the rights Gay people now have. Reactionaries are countng on the current composition of SCOTUS to affirm their discriminatory votes and actions. Clearly, I'm not optimistic about the fate of Prop. 8 once it goes before the U.S Supreme Court, given its current composition.

Three weeks after the state legalized gay marriage, opponents on Wednesday asked a House committee to repeal the law.

"I'm here today about Adam and Eve," state Rep. Alfred Baldasaro testified at a House Judiciary Committee hearing.

Baldasaro, a Londonderry Republican and prime sponsor of legislation to repeal the law, and other gay marriage opponents argued the unions defy nature.
"A man and a woman together create a family where individuals of the same gender cannot create a family," said state Rep. Jordan Ulery, a Republican from Hudson.


[For the full article, see here.]
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Monday, January 18, 2010

PROP. 8: LIVE COVERAGE FROM THE COURTROOM

PLEASE CLICK ON THIS LINK TO READ LIVE COVERAGE FROM THE COURTROOM REGARDING PROP. 8.

NOTE: I just came upon this article:: Gay Marriage Trial Back Up On YouTube Tuesday

After the Supreme Court blocked video broadcast of the federal trial to decide the constitutionality of a gay marriage ban last Wednesday, freelance journalist and filmmaker John Ireland decided he'd produce his own version and post it on YouTube.

“People want to see this drama unfold and there is a tremendous narrative that was propelled by that first day of testimony,” Ireland told On Top Magazine on Sunday. “This is the first time that gay and lesbian people have talked about their lives in federal court. It's historic from that point of view.”


[For the full article, see here]
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Monday, January 11, 2010

LIVE UPDATES FROM THE COURTHOUSE

THIS LINK PROVIDES LIVE UPDATES FROM THE COURTHOUSE DEALING WITH THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF PROP. 8
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ONE WONDERS WHY THOSE WHO ARE IN FAVOR OF PROP. 8 DON'T WANT THE COURT PROCEEDINGS BROADCASTED

Televising the Prop. 8 case on Youtube held in abeyance until Wednesday:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked a federal judge's plan to broadcast the trial over California's ban on gay marriage by posting video on YouTube.

Lawyers defending the ban filed an emergency request with the Supreme Court arguing that broadcasting the trial would turn the case into a "media circus" and that witnesses would be intimidated.


If the truth were known, the irrational and hateful justifications presented by those who seek to deny same-sex marriage rights to Gay people would show the public the bankruptcy of their arguments, and win over a lot of potential Straight allies, if the court proceedings were broadcast and presented on YouTube.

The homophobes undoubtedly know and are afraid of this fact, and are therefore loathe to have the spotlight shine on their irrational rhetoric and on their discriminatory animus directed at our fellow Gay citizens who deserve all of the Constitutional rights that heterosexuals enjoy.

By seeking to prevent the broadcast of this trial, they are showing that they are afraid of having their bankrupt arguments come to light; by those who seek to overturn Prop. 8 desiring that the proceedings be broadcast show that rationality and constitutional mandates for equality are on their side and that they have nothing to fear.
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

SELF LOATHING, BEING DUPED, AND BELIEVING A LIE

I wrote the following article a couple of years ago and I feel it especially appropriate to post it here at this time when it is hoped that Prop. 8 will be viewed as unconstitutional when it goes before federal court this coming week. (By the way, Youtube will contain the court proceedings.)

So much antipathy toward same-sex marriage, and Gay people in general, seems to me to stem from the fact that in many people's minds Gay=Sex, and that the emotional component akin to that held by heterosexuals is lacking. That is, many people and religious institutions falsely see Gay people as disordered heterosexuals and, hence, much of the discriminatory rhetoric and actions taken against Gay people, as well as the assertions of so-called "ex-gay" people and "ministries!"

The following is a very slightly edited version of the article I wrote in November 2007:

My friend, Don Charles sent me an article entitled, "EXCLUSIVE: An Interview with Donnie McClurkin's Ex-Lover."

This is a revealing interview, not merely because of the obvious, but because I truly believe that McClurkin, on the basis of this interview, thinks that being Gay by "his definition" is a choice. He seems to solely identify one's choosing to be Gay as one's choosing to have sex!

According to this article, McClurkin said, as reported in "...The New York Times in 2002: 'Love is pulling you one way and lust is pulling you another and your relationship with Jesus is tearing you, tearing you,' said Mr. McClurkin, who now counsels adolescent boys that homosexuality is a choice they can overcome."

To him, and to so many other homophobic people, both Straight and Gay, whether or not to have sex is a choice, and so, since they seem to equate being Gay solely with having sex, McClurkin and those who think like him can with a straight (pardon the pun) face say that being Gay is a choice.

So many are unable to see that having sex is usually a manifestation, or a culmination, of a more or less loving relationship, and emotional sensibility, or affectional desire, and McClurkin seems convinced that same-sex loving relationships (the idea of which may well scare the hell out of him, and of which he might very well be incapable at this point in his life) is also antithetical to being a Christian, so his "relationship with Jesus is tearing you, tearing you."
He sees the choice to be not only between being Gay (as he seems to define the term) and being a Christian, but sees, in his case, that "love is pulling you one way and lust is pulling you another."

He has, according to his reported statement, divested "sex" from "love," and so, since he equates being Gay with sex, and he sees "sex" as distinct from "love," he can believe that being Gay (which he equates with lust and sex) is a choice by his definition of what "Gay" means. And if he's incapable and/or fearful of same-sex "love," which I believe may very well be the case, he doesn't see, and certainly doesn't want to see, being Gay as embracing one's whole being, including feelings as well as actions.

It is not only many, if not most, Straight people who can only see one's being Gay in terms of one's sexual activities; many Gay people themselves define the term "Gay" in this way, so that rather than one's seeing their being Gay as encompassing the whole person, body, mind, and soul, they see the term "Gay" the way that they have been taught in or by churches, and other instutions, largely, if not solely, run by homophobes.

Hence, many Gay people themselves don't realize that they are Gay until they have had one or more satisfying same-sex sexual encounters and retrospectively understand that they were Gay long before they engaged in sexual activity. It's only when a Gay (or Straight) person is able to integrate love and affection with those encounters, that they then are better able to become emotionally and spiritually intact as human beings. But to be given institutional, interpersonal, and psychological permission to integrate the emotional and sexual parts of one's nature is made very difficult in a rabidly homophobic society, largely aided and abeted by those who have yet to healthfully integrate these two facets of their humanity.

So, in this context, a Donny McClurkin and other "ex-gay" spokespeople can actually believe that he/she is not, or is no longer, Gay because he/she no longer has sex (at least on a regular basis) with another person of the same sex or is celibate, despite his/her emotional and affectional desires for intimacy with a member of the same sex.

And when that desire for such intimacy, although frequently consciously suppressed by the homophobic Gay person, builds to such a crecendo that it can no longer be suppressed, and then that person is likely to act out that desire in surreptitious, sometimes illegal, ways that can lead to profound embarrassment and the risk of losing one's very family, reputation, and career.

The tension brought by that crescendo brings a demanding, overwhelming, need for release and that will bring a brief respite from their conflict, their inner turmoil, between "who they really are" and "what they desperately desire to do," yet usually bring a profound guilt upon them that frequently impels them to condemn "homosexuality" both as a denial to themselves and/or to others like whom they really are, and as a way of expiating their guilt and trying to believe that they are no longer or really not like "those people."

So, according to the person interviewed in this article, McClurkin sees conflict between love and lust, and between same-sex love and being a Christian, and between sex and being a Christian. So, he seems to have at least three manifestations of inner turmoil. And people are seeking out his advice?

Being Gay is as much about solely being about "sex" as is being Straight solely about sex! Sexual activity represents relatively few hours a week or month of our lives, be we Gay or Straight! Moreover, even if one never engages in sexual activity, he/she is still Gay or Straight!

The status of being Gay, just as the status of being Straight, has mainly to do with one's affectional and emotional sensibilities and feelings, encompassing the whole human being in all of his/her complexity and humanity. Indeed, these sensibilities and feelings and their romantic/sexual manifestations are largely representative of our very souls!

There is no "on" and "off" switch on our souls! When one seeks to deny a good portion of one's very soul, under any conditions, let alone by the condition of misinformation so as to be duped into believing a lie, he/she is not only committing a grievous offense against him/herself, but is committing a grievous offense against God!

God made our souls and how dare anyone throw that wonderful gift, or any part of that gift, back in God's face! And to do so because he/she chooses to believe the lie that being Gay is solely about sex, that same-sex sexual expression is unGodly, and that homosexuality is anything lesser in value to oneself, another human being, and to God than is heterosexuality, places the judgments of frequently ignorant and tortured human beings over the will of God!

To sell one's soul, or any part of one's soul, on the word of ignorant and tortured people, or on the word of anyone else for that matter, is a grievous sin!

One can only imagine the turmoil infusing the lives of virtually all "ex-gay" gurus and spokespeople, and those whom they have duped into believing that God condemns same-sex love and its expression; that being Gay is a "choice." If they weren't so destructive of others' lives by their often using the defense mechanism of Reaction Formation, and venting their inner turmoil and conflicts through their strident homophobia, I'd have even more pity for them than I, in fact, do.

But, most of all, I have pity for those who are gullible and/or desperate enough, having been duped into believing the lie that being Gay is not moral and Godly, to trust these "counselors" and "therapists" and "spokespeople" who seek to re-define their reality and the very nature of their lives and loves, having the result of further consigning those who take them seriously to the outer darkness of believing and living a lie and, thereby, renouncing a good deal of their souls!

And to give ignorant, confused, and twisted people, be they clergy, entertainers, counselors, therapists, or politicians, a platform and a credibility they do not deserve, through and by which they can spew their frequently ignorant and hateful rhetoric that has the effect of "recruiting" others into their warped views of love and sex, of righteousness and morality, of Christianity, and of God, further aids and abets the self-loathing and the hatred that so many Gay people suffer and confront every day of their lives.

And in the twisted mind set that reflects the "ex-gay" industry and its spokespeople, their advocacy of the suppression of one's God-given affectional/sexual orientation, much of the essence of one's very soul, is equated with "morality," with "Godliness," and with mental health!

Lewis Carol's "Alice in Wonderland" has nothing on this surreal farce, save that this surreal farce is tremendously destructive to Gay people, their psyches, their mental health, their families, and to Straight people who, along with many Gay people, have all too often come to believe the lies that one can be best intact by throwing God's gift of one's affectional/sexual orientation, part of the very essence of his/her soul, back in God's face and call that "morality," "mental health," and "Christianity."

And that's just a damn lie!
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Saturday, January 9, 2010

THE CONSERVATIVE CASE FOR GAY MARRIAGE

This is an excellent article by Ted Olson who, along with David Boies, is seeking to overturn Prop. 8 in federal court this coming week. The following is an excerpt from this article that I urge you to read in its entirety:

Many of my fellow conservatives have an almost knee-jerk hostility toward gay marriage. This does not make sense, because same-sex unions promote the values conservatives prize. Marriage is one of the basic building blocks of our neighborhoods and our nation. At its best, it is a stable bond between two individuals who work to create a loving household and a social and economic partnership. We encourage couples to marry because the commitments they make to one another provide benefits not only to themselves but also to their families and communities. Marriage requires thinking beyond one's own needs. It transforms two individuals into a union based on shared aspirations, and in doing so establishes a formal investment in the well-being of society. The fact that individuals who happen to be gay want to share in this vital social institution is evidence that conservative ideals enjoy widespread acceptance. Conservatives should celebrate this, rather than lament it.

[For the full article, see here.]
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Friday, January 8, 2010

STEPHEN FRY SPEAKS OUT AGAINST THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

The Roman Catholic Church has no monopoly on religiously based homophobia, but it's one of the major players in this disgrace, and out gay man, Stephen Fry, skewers that Church for its many horrors visited upon others in its name and, ironically, in the name of God.

It is essential to view this two-part video that lays bare for all to see the ideologically and physically damaging corruption and imperialism visited upon vulnerable people, not the least of which are LGBT people.

Stephen Fry on the Roman Catholic Church:

Part 1:



Part 2:

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE DEFEATED IN NEW JERSEY LEGISLATURE

I just received this email from Andy Humm of Gay USA:

BULLETIN: NJ Senate defeats marriage equality 14-20; LGBT groups going to court

Brothers and Sisters:

The New Jersey State Senate just voted a marriage equality bill down 14-20. It needed 21 affirmative votes to pass.

Now the NJ LGBT lobby group, Garden State Equality, and Lambda Legal are going back to the NJ Supreme Court to argue that civil unions did not provide equal rights for gay couples the court ordered and that the court must open up marriage to same-sex couples to provide those rights.

Below is the release from Garden State Equality.

Andy
Gay USA


GARDEN STATE EQUALITY AND LAMBDA LEGAL ANNOUNCE: BACK TO COURT TO WIN MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN NEW JERSEY

The New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled in 2006, in a case brought by Lambda Legal, that same-sex couples must be treated equally under the state Constitution.

The courts now have monumental proof that the civil union law has failed to provide equal protection.

Garden State Equality: “We are not waiting out the term of any new Administration to bring equality to same-sex couples in our state.”


Below are the remarks of Garden State Equality Chair Steven Goldstein, cell (917) 449-8918, at today's post-Senate vote news conference:


With today’s vote in the state Senate, the New Jersey legislature defaulted on its constitutional obligation to provide same-sex couples in New Jersey equal protection, as unanimously mandated by the New Jersey Supreme Court in 2006. That’s why we at Garden State Equality are here with our partner Lambda Legal, which has an extraordinary track record of advancing LGBT civil rights in the courts.

Now our organizations will announce major news. Our side is going back to court to win marriage equality.

We’ll hear from Lambda Legal in a moment. Let’s be clear about what this news means. We are not waiting out the term of any new Administration to bring equality to same-sex couples in our state.

In 2006, the New Jersey Supreme Court told the legislature it could enact marriage or another structure that provides the equal protection of marriage. But the civil union law failed to do that. Too often, civil union couples too often cannot visit loved ones in hospitals, make medical decisions for their partners or receive equal health benefits from employers. Hospitals and employers have treated civil union couples differently because they’ve been labeled differently. Children have been treated differently at school because their families are labeled differently.

In recent months, including today and at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in December, New Jersey legislators publicly recognized these failures. They publicly acknowledged that the civil union law has not provided equal protection. That’s important. New Jersey legislators themselves said it. Our opponents in the legislature said it.

In other words, though we didn’t achieve our final victory today, we’re better positioned than we were a few months ago to win marriage equality. So if you’re wondering how we feel, it’s complicated. On the one hand, we resent, more than you can imagine, remaining second-class citizens a bit longer. On the other hand, the ball has moved forward. The public record for the courts is mighty, and we’re closer than ever to winning.

In 2006, New Jersey enacted an experiment called civil union. In 2010, New Jersey has a mountain of proof that the experiment has failed.

Now let’s talk about what happened politically.

Things didn’t go our way in the legislature because of one factor: Governor Corzine lost reelection.

After his win in November, Governor-elect Christie persuaded a number of legislators to reverse their support of the bill. Before the election, nearly every neutral observer in New Jersey thought marriage equality was certain to become law in lame duck. It became the zeitgeist in Trenton, with good reason. In contrast to today’s outcome, before the election we had votes to spare in the Senate, including from a number of Republicans.

But the election changed everything and our national opponents changed nothing. They didn’t do much or spend much in New Jersey. As you saw from our thousands of members at the State House these past few weeks who symbolized the massiveness of our campaign, we overwhelmed our opponents on every front – but one. Our opponents had the Governor-elect on their side, and that’s all they needed to have. It’s ironic given that marriage equality wasn’t even an issue in the election, and that the candidates who favored marriage equality together won a majority.

All this said, we extend to Governor-elect Christie an outstretched hand. He will be the Governor of all of us. We ask him to continue the tradition of his Republican predecessors, Christie Whitman and Tom Kean, who always kept an open door to the LGBT community. And though we differ with the Governor-elect on marriage equality, we also seek to explore with him and his Administration the issues on which we may have agreement and can work together.

No political party should write off any constituency. And no party should take any constituency for granted either. Our fundamental right to equality should never have been left to sudden death overtime by the party to which the LGBT community and our allies have been unstintingly loyal and have given so much.

To be clear, we will continue to support those who support us. Over the past five-and-a-half years, the separate Garden State Equality political committee has provided thousands of campaign volunteers and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for supportive candidates through contributions to the organization, or through contributions from individuals directly to candidates.

Of course, when we exceed politicians’ expectations in ways they like, we never hear, you’re going too far, your fervor is too much. That double standard, which other minority communities have heard in their own fights for equality, hurts deeply. And it hurts everyone who stands for equality, including supporters in the majority.

Now there will be a sustained response not only from the LGBT community, but also from straight progressive voters who have been our equal partners. Marriage equality stopped being just a gay issue long ago.

To those who let us all down, here’s our policy: Don’t ask, don’t expect. You can’t take progressives’ money and volunteers with one hand, slap us in the face with the other, and then act astonished when we declare our independence. The marketplace of democracy runs along a two-way street.

Members and friends, today was not an outcome lost, but rather a juncture in an otherwise glorious road to justice. Since Garden State Equality’s founding in 2004, New Jersey has enacted 210 LGBT civil rights laws at the state, county and local levels, a national record. We have 64,000 members – LGBT and straight alike – who have improved the lives of millions. A watchdog organization, eQualityGiving.com, just ranked New Jersey #1 in America for LGBT rights, tied with three other states, and we haven’t even won marriage equality yet.

But we will soon. Cesar Chavez said it best. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the people who feel pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours.

Before I introduce our colleagues from Lambda Legal, some thanks are in order. Thank you to all our Senate sponsors, including prime sponsors Loretta Weinberg and Raymond Lesniak. We appreciate Loretta and Raymond beyond measure for their indefatigable leadership, and extend to them our love. We thank Senators Bill Baroni and Nia Gill – unwavering voices for justice at our committee hearing. We thank all our Assembly sponsors, including prime sponsors Reed Gusciora, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, John McKeon and Mila Jasey. We thank our Governor Corzine and Speaker Roberts for their support. And let me say this about Governor Dick Codey: He’s been an extraordinary champion of equality who kept his word about a Senate vote. Every progressive in New Jersey should view Governor Codey as a hero.

We thank the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Human Rights Campaign, Gill Action, the Civil Marriage Collaborative, the Arcus Foundation and Freedom to Marry, which have given us resources and wisdom. We thank our partners at the state level, including the ACLU of New Jersey, BlueWave, Democracy for America, New Jersey Citizen Action, New Jersey Stonewall Democrats and the state’s progressive voice on the web, Blue Jersey, to which we owe so much.

We thank our spectacular field staff who joined us from across the country. We thank our executive committee, board, staff and donors who make Garden State Equality possible. We thank the New Jersey Lesbian and Gay Coalition for its decades of groundwork. We thank all the supportive staff in the legislature and executive branch. We especially thank our thousands of volunteers – the stars of Garden State Equality – who rallied at the State House and worked in our offices and in the field throughout the year. And if I may, I thank my partner Daniel and all the loved ones of our staff and volunteers who have supported us and sacrificed so much.

Most of all, we thank our colleagues at Lambda Legal, without whom our march toward equality would never have gotten this far. We’re thrilled to reunite with our partner Lambda Legal in the next stage of the battle. Please welcome Leslie Gabel-Brett, Lambda Legal’s director of education and public affairs.
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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION

PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION TO ALLOW TV CAMERAS IN THE COURTROOM REGARDING THE CHALLENGE TO PROP. 8.

U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker -- who will be overseeing a federal court challenge to Prop 8 starting this Monday (January 11) -- is considering whether or not to open the court room to TV cameras.

The court just announced that it is seeking public comment on the proposal to televise the trial -- and that all comments must be submitted to the court by a Friday deadline.


Not surprisingly, supporters of Prop 8 -- which took away the right of same-sex couples to marry in California -- do not want the trial to be televised. 



We have just this one chance to make our voices heard -- thousands of Americans calling for equality, transparency and accountability. That's why we're teaming up with the Courage Campaign to collect as many signatures as possible asking Judge Walker to televise the case. We need your signature now: 



SIGNATURE DEADLINE IS FRIDAY 9 a.m. Pacific Time / Noon Eastern Time
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Monday, January 4, 2010

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN'S SEXUAL AROUSAL

This article highlights a very interesting phenomenon that deserves to be repeated in other studies to see how valid and reliable the findings of this study are. Here is an excerpt from this article:

When it comes to sexual arousal, a woman's mind and body are less in sync than a man's, a review of research finds.

Men who reported feeling turned on tended to also sport an erection, while a matchup between the mind and body wasn't so consistent for women, according to the review published online Jan. 4 in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.


If this finding holds true, it might well be that Gay sexual relationships might well be more compatible and satisfying than are many heterosexual relationships! When perception and reality are in synch, we can expect that sexual intimacy will be more satisfying and even more intense than when they are not in synch.

As would be true for Gay men, lesbians might well have more satisfying sexual relationships than do heterosexual women for the reason that lesbians are likely to be more attuned to the intricacies of female sexuality as opposed to the "on-off switch" that typifies male sexuality.

Should this be the case, we might expect happier marriages and fewer divorces among gay men and lesbians than currently exist among the heterosexually married when sexual compatibility is the issue that precipitates marital discord and divorce, and that's one reason why the above study deserves to be repeated among different samples in the population studied.

To extend this point a bit further, it might well be that some, if not much, homophobia might be due to the unconscious recognition of the truth of this finding, and that the fear that Gay sexuality might be more satisfying to those who put themselves in the socially acceptable box of "heterosexual" is one of the motivators for the prejudice and discrimination visited upon Gay people by those who are wedded to the label "heterosexual."
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