Saturday, May 31, 2008


Representatives of the non-violent organization, Soulforce, as part of their "American Family Outing," designed to break bread with, and sensitize, various churches concerning the legitimacy of, and issues surrounding, Gay people and their families, visited with Bishop Harry Jackson [Pictured], Founder of High Impact Leadership Coalition, and Hope Christian Church.

This is the letter sent by American Family Outing to Bishop Jackson asking for a dialog regarding Christianity and homosexuality. This letter is clearly the height of civility!

What's remarkable to me, and I'm sure to most people, particularly to those of my generation, are the parallels between the twisted and hateful rhetoric used by White Supremacists, including selective biblical allusions, during the civil rights era for African-Americans, and the current crop of such clergy as Bishop Jackson who indulge in the false gospel of exclusion and denigration, and even duplicity, to justify their prejudices, all in the name of Jesus, of course. [This is the response that Soulforce made to the duplicity that is evident when one watches these two videos.]

Given all of the above, these two videos are worth 10,000 words, so I'll leave it at that!


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Friday, May 30, 2008


"Last semester, I taught the close friend of a young man named Sean Kennedy. My student showed me home videos of his friend Sean dancing in his socks, pretending to skate over the slick linoleum flooring of his mother's kitchen, the way many of us did as kids.

"Sean is dead. In May 2007, he was assaulted in Greenville, S.C., by a young man who called him "faggot" while punching him so hard that he broke every bone in Sean's face. Sean fell to the pavement; the impact caused his brain to separate from his brain stem.

"Shortly after driving away, Sean's killer left a message on the cell phone of one of Sean's friends: 'Tell your faggot friend that when he wakes up he owes me $500 for my broken hand.'"

[For the full article, see here.]

Whenever any homophobe, be it a clergy person or politician, or their gullible and often hateful followers, seeks to deny equal civil rights to LGBT people, or who in any way demeans the inherent dignity of LGBT people, he or she is complicit in this murder and murders like this one. Moreover, whatever suicides occur by LGBT people due to shame and self-loathing inculcated and reinforced by clergy, their gullible followers, or by anyone else with even a modicum of credibility in the eyes of others, that person's blood is on those homophobes' hands, as is the blood of those LGBT people who are assaulted and even murdered for being the person God made them to be.

Also, whenever hateful epithets are used to identify LGBT people, be those words "fag" (Remember "The Million Fag March" held about two months ago, protesting the religiously and politically toothless Fred Phelps?), "dyke," "trannie," or any other such hateful words, those words over time can easily become part of one's very identity, and reinforce in both LGBT people's minds, as well as in the minds of their oppressors, how "other," "deviant," "inferior," they are to "normal people," consigning many to a ghetto in their own minds and in many parts of society itself.

It is high time that homophobia within the religious communities is confronted by LGBT people and allies, and that what shame and self-loathing exists should and must be translated into anger and rage; that anger and rage that should exist among LGBT people and allies, is then to be translated into activism by engaging in such actions as continuously picketing homophobic churches and their clergy; condemning hateful and discriminatory remarks in as many venues as possible, that emanate from anyone in the religious, political, or communications institutions in society; continuously asserting and reasserting the normality of LGBT people and demanding the right to full and equal civil and sacramental rights that heterosexual citizens and heterosexual couples enjoy.

Only when righteous anger and rage are directed toward actively condemning the condemners, and manifesting that anger and rage at being viewed and treated as anything but full human beings who are currently consigned to second-class citizenship, will what changes occur not merely be incremental but total. Even as John McCain on the Ellen Degeneres show exemplified, when backed against the wall and forced to state why Gay couples shouldn't be allowed to be married in the full sense of the word, all McCain could do was to merely reiterate his prejudices, without a fact in the world to support them. This phenomenon is true of all those who would in any way deny the basic normality of same-sex love and deny same-sex couples the dignity of that love by agitating against the right to same-sex marriage!

Prejudice and discrimination are not going to be changed by use of "sweet reason." Only activism on the kind of scale suggested above will eventually lead to full and equal rights.

And that activism has to snowball in order to be effective, and for that snowball effect to occur, there must be a fire in the belly to see to it that no human being is to be considered inferior to any other citizen, or be in the position of being treated as "separate but equal."

And it is this fire in the belly that must exist and then become manifested in activism that assures that future generations of kids like Sean will not grow up in a homophobic society that presumes to call itself "civilized," end up leading lives of exclusion from mainstream society, or having their lived ended by haters who, thanks to hateful rhetoric by clergy and other professing Christians, think that by bashing and killing LGBT people they are doing God a favor.
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Thursday, May 29, 2008


The Rev. Elder Jeri Ann Harvey
MCC Leader and Pioneer
1934 - 2008

The Rev. Elder Jeri Ann Harvey

The Rev. Nancy L. Wilson
Office of the Moderator
Metropolitan Community Churches

May 28, 2008

There was never any mistaking that voice, or the Bible raised high above her head, or the joy, passion and energy of her preaching – sometimes with such intensity that perspiration would roll down her face and arms. Hers was the kind of soul-searing conviction that brings you right up out of your seat – it could also be the sweet, gentle story that soothed and comforted. There was that hearty, unmistakable laughter. And the way she said "Jesus."

Rev. Elder Jeri Ann Harvey was many things to many people – Pastor, Healer, Friend, Sister, Lover, Mother, Elder. She defined "butch" for many in her generation. She broke down barriers of gender and race. She was the first woman pastor of MCC Los Angeles; she was the first Native American MCC Elder.

Her prayers were "effectual" in a deep, Biblical way. In a more frail state, more recently at the General Conference in Calgary in 2005, 500 people crammed into an upper room, and even when you could not hear her weak voice that night, you could feel her presence, the healing presence of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. To be around her was to expect miracles, and to receive them. Even her presence was healing.

I have so many memories of Jeri Ann - serving with her on the Board of Elders, hearing her preach and pray, laughing with her late at night after a long meeting.

Jeri Ann loved. She loved women and men; she loved kids and puppies. She loved the freedom and the power of the Gospel of Jesus that she shared on so many continents through MCC. She loved good music, religious music. She loved a good story. She loved our MCC churches, members and pastors, in small or larger churches. She prayed with them, wept with them. She traveled all over the world; she wore herself out sometimes. She gave until it hurt, many times.

Her life and ministry became our history.

She confronted the Ku Klux Klan in Texas.

She battled for civil rights in California.

And like so many of us in the 80's and 90's she did too many funerals. She buried too many friends -- from HIV/AIDS, from breast cancer, from all the things that take too many too soon.

Jeri Ann Harvey preached hope and she lived hope. She endured a lot; she suffered and struggled a lot. Through it all, she was a fighter and a lover and an icon for many.

She loved Rev. Elder Gillian Storey, and was full of romance and playful friendship, right up to the end. We thank you, Gill, for loving and caring for Jeri Ann with joy and faithfulness.

May her memory be a blessing for all. May perpetual light shine upon her. May all that she was and offered be remembered and bear much fruit, in Jesus' name.

Grace and peace,


The Rev. Nancy L. Wilson
Metropolitan Community Churches


by The Rev. Dr. Troy D. Perry
MCC Founder and Moderator Emeritus

The young woman literally pushed her way between us.

It was MCC's 1974 General Conference in San Francisco; I was talking with an MCCer when the young woman stepped in between us, flashed a smile, and said, "Let a real butch belly up to the bar."

That's how I first met Jeri Ann Harvey – and she's been making an impression on me, and thousands of others, ever since.

From that first moment, I felt a deep connection with Jeri Ann. We soon became colleagues; we quickly became the best of friends.

I am saddened that I will not see Jeri Ann again in this life, but there is a reunion that is yet to come in which we will again be reunited.

I know today that Jeri Ann Harvey rests in the arms of a loving God and that she will be there to greet us again some day, just inside the Eastern Gate.

In Christ,

The Rev. Troy D. Perry
Founder and Moderator Emeritus
Metropolitan Community Churches
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Entitled "Most Californians Support Gay Marriage", the results of: "A Field Poll released today finds a small majority of registered voters here believe same-sex couples should have the right to marry, the first time since polling on the issue began in the 1970s that more voters in the state have approved of gay marriage than disapproved. Some 51 percent of voters surveyed since the Supreme Court ruling say they approve of gay and lesbian couples marrying; 42 percent disapprove."

Although virtually all same-sex couples, and all people who care about equal rights, are delighted with both the California Supreme Court's decision and the results of this recent poll, it's still a mistake to put any civil rights issue before the public and, hence, be at the mercy of the will or even tyranny of the majority. Clearly, when it comes to such issues as taxation, ballot initiatives are certainly acceptable, if not desirable. However, when it comes to any civil rights issue, particularly one as contentious as is this one, the judiciary must be allowed to have the last word.

Moreover, regarding same-sex marriage being subject to a vote of the majority: 1. Civil rights are not to be subject to majority vote, as if we had that we'd still have such obscenities as slavery, segregation and Jim Crow laws in this country; 2. We're not a Democracy but a Republic and we elect people to our various legislatures to represent us, and the California Legislature twice voted to allow same-sex marriage in California that was subsequently overturned by the Governor both times as he wanted to defer to the Supreme Court, and he now supports same-sex marriage because of the Court's decision.

We have a Republic to prevent a tyranny of the majority, as the Founding Fathers well knew that in order to have the "rule of law" we couldn't count on the majority vote to enable or fulfill that goal. That's why we have the Balance of Powers, and both the California Legislature and now the Supreme Court in California both say that "separate is not equal," and that same-sex marriage rights must be implemented.

So, even with the tentatively encouraging results of this Field Poll, the results of which are subject to great change over time, none of us should be content to have this civil rights issue come before the electorate!
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Although I posted this comment from Anguksuar (Little Man) on my May 27th post, I feel it deserves to stand alone as a post as this is a crucial issue that requires dissemination.

Please visit this site to sign the petition.

A Campaign for Native GLBT Funding Justice
Organized GLBT Philanthropy
Sponsored by:
Two Spirit Press Room
Two recent national philanthropy reports have released information indicating that Gay Funders contributed $37 million in one year to GLBT organizations across the United States. Native American Two Spirit People, the poorest of all the GLBT communities, received only 4 small grants of about $2,500 each. The average grant to gay organizations nationally is $16,000 a year. Gay funders have a mission to serve all equally, but it's time for a summit with the Two Spirit People here in our ancestral domains to help the funders achieve their mission. Two Spirit People have significant spiritual and ceremonial roles in our Native cultures, and Gay Philanthropy has a significant role to play in realizing a vision of funding-justice and social justice with our people.
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Wednesday, May 28, 2008


My good friend, Don Charles has just written a new post on his excellent blog, "Christ, The Gay Martyr". His two part post is entitled, "Is Uncle Tom A Gay Man?"

Although his two part post concentrates on David Benkoff's article entitled, "Why California gays shouldn't celebrate state court ruling," is has much larger implications for the not infrequent counter-productive and counter-revolutionary activities of all too many people, some of whom seem hell bent on sabatoging the struggle for full and equal civil rights for LGBT people.

Indeed, some go so far as to act like agent provocateurs, knowingly or unknowingly working for the very reactionary elements that are trying to keep LGBT people "in their place." In my opinion, Benkoff's article is both pathetic and despicable, and Don Charles, in his inimitable way, dissects that article and, by implication, the likes of the David Benkoffs of the "Gay" communities.

To further whet your appetite to read Don Charles' two part post, here is an excerpt:

"This is how I learned that David Benkof was an LGBT person. All I could do was shake my head in disgust. Why would a Gay man want to take a positive development like the California marriage decision and portray it as a threat to the Bill of Rights? Is the dude crazy, or what? Sure, he's crazy . . . crazy like an Ann Coulter clone!

"His is the modus operandi of the Right Wing 'stealth' journalist, the latest incarnation of Uncle Tom. He cherry-picks the most provocative statements he can get from little-known Gay activists, and presents them as representative of the entire Gay Rights movement. He slants interview questions, distorts the meaning of responses, exaggerates the impact of court decisions, ignores context and manipulates fact in order to paint Gay Rights advances as corrosive to the moral order. His goal is to fuel the fires of conservative opposition by any means necessary. Yet, at the same time, he has the nerve to masquerade in print as someone concerned about the welfare of Lesbians and Gay men! Dude gives new meaning to the Yiddish word chutzpah! I daresay the Jewish community might have to invent a stronger word to describe the kind of chutzpah he practices."

Please read Don Charles' two part post, "Is Uncle Tom A Gay Man". It is excellent!
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Tuesday, May 27, 2008


The following is a two part interview conducted by Sister Paula on her program of Rev. Troy Perry, Founder and 37 year Moderator of the United Federation of the Metropolitan Community Churches. He began the MCC in 1968, a year before Stonewall.

I'm proud to have Rev. Perry as my friend, and he is a prophet from God sent to all LGBT Christians and to all Christians telling us that God affirms ALL of His children, be they Gay, Straight, Bisexual, Transgender, or Transsexual.

I know you will be blessed during and after watching this two part interview of Rev. Perry.

Part 1 Can Be Seen Here

Part 2 Can Be Seen Here
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Sunday, May 25, 2008


This is an excellent article to which I was alerted by my good friend, Don Charles.

Although this article concentrates on the homophobia that seems to run rampant at Morehouse College, we have no reason to doubt that homophobia is institutionalized within much, if not most, of the African American community, that is not to be outdone by the assorted community structures and institutions of higher education that are largely populated by whites. Although homophobia, to one degree or another, is entrenched in most of the populations in each of these groups, I want to focus on the seemingly inexplicable homophobia among African Americans, given their own history of oppression from which their ancestors have suffered, and to which, albeit to a much lesser degree, many Black people are still vulnerable to this day.

What makes homophobia especially problematic in the African American community is the fact that rationality would seem to dictate that an historically oppressed minority group, with a history of suffering tremendous indignities and treated as mere property to be bought and sold, would have compassion and empathy toward any other minority group called upon to suffer indignities and denial of civil rights that the former minority group now enjoys, after having gone through its own "season of suffering," to use the words of Martin Luther King.

However, not only has that not been shown to be the case, but we can see that many African American people, particularly as seen in "Black" churches, have been among the vanguard in fighting against the acquisition of full and equal civil rights by LGBT people, and many rejecting and resenting any comparison between their history of oppression and suffering with that of LGBT people. Why might this phenomenon occur, and why would an institution like Morehouse College house such homophobic ideas and students who would articulate that homophobia both rhetorically and even, in some cases, physically?

When one, Black or white, associates being Gay solely with sex; adheres to the fallacy that being Gay is a choice; feels threatened particularly by the presence of gay men, we have to look deeply into the reasons for this seeming enigma of "the circulation of elites," whereby one minority group turns on another minority group once the former group gets somewhat of a leg up in the social hierarchy.

If any one person can be credited with doing the most for African American civil rights in the U.S. it's Bayard Rustin. Bayard Rustin was a gay man of enormous courage, and who suffered horribly for his courageous stands for civil rights. And Rustin was an out and proud gay man!

Indeed, when it was felt by many leaders in the civil rights movement that Rustin's being Gay would hurt that movement, Rustin tendered his resignation to Martin Luther King who, surprisingly to Rustin, accepted his resignation. It was A. Philip Randolph who brought Rustin back into the movement, and it was Rustin who taught the art of non-violence and who orchestrated the March on Washington that agitated for full and equal civil rights for African Americans, just as he had orchestrated so many other civil rights actions.

"From the end of the Great Depression to his death in 1987, at the age of 75, Rustin was the 'master strategist of social change,'' as the historian John D'Emilio writes in his biography, 'Lost Prophet.' The tactics of public protest that became familiar in the 1960's -- marches on Washington, Freedom Rides, sit-ins, passive resistance, civil disobedience -- were pioneered and refined by Rustin two decades earlier. Indeed, through his decisive influence on Martin Luther King Jr., whom he instructed in the philosophy and tactics of Gandhian nonviolence, Rustin created the model for the social movements of post-World War II America -- civil rights, antiwar, gay liberation, feminist. 'He resurrected mass peaceful protest from the graveyard in which cold war anti-Communism had buried it,' D'Emilio writes, 'and made it once again a vibrant expression of citizen rights in a free society.''' [See here.]

From the ardent segregationist Strom Thurmond to the charismatic African American politician Adam Clayton Powell, Rustin was under fire, and he never sought to hide his sexuality and he never felt uncomfortable with his sexuality. Indeed, he was "out" long before the Stonewall era. He was not only a man of tremendous courage in the civil rights arena, but he was also a man of tremendous courage in his authenticity!

So, it was a gay man, a gay African American man, who was largely responsible for the many non-violent actions that led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and that paved the way toward institutional integration of African Americans in American society. That fact must not be lost on anyone!

It seems to me that the origin of Black homophobia, just as with white homophobia, is the illusion of the essential femininity of gay black men! Regarding Black homophobia, when one has a history of being treated like a child, a man whose father and grandfather were often called "boy," one is understandably defensive about being identified with anything or anyone that smacks of perceived femininity that is all too often equated with "weakness."

The reality that many gay males can and do manifest gender performance as "masculine" as defined by the culture does little to inhibit the identification of gay males with effeminacy, an inculcation that has been so ingrained in most people that many men are threatened by that identification due to their perceived need to appear "macho."

This need to appear "macho" is a defense mechanism, an adaptive response to a potentially hostile environment, to overcome the fear of any "taint" of the feminine, erroneously defined and identified as "weak," that the diminutive epithet, "boy," historically used by segregationists toward Black men denoted; that humiliation, that discounting, has understandably not left the psyches of many African Americans.

The fear of appearing to be "weak" in a culture and subculture that values "macho" as a virtue in a male is perceived as antithetical toward embracing gay men as fully equal and deserving of full civil rights. Gay men are, therefore, threatening to many other men and, given the history of the oppression of Black men, antipathy toward gay men, and gay Black men in particular, exponentially increases as one gets in closer physical proximity to gay men and to those perceived to be gay men.

Black (and white) identity and masculinity, for reasons of self-preservation and reinforcement of a concept of self as one of strength, rejects and resents even a hint of being identified with anything "weak" or "effeminate," and the stereotype of the gay man embodying and exuding weakness and femininity has been so internalized that a person who personifies these perceived negative traits is both threatening and viewed as a person to be avoided and, in many cases, vilified so as to avoid even the perception by others of any taint of effeminacy and weakness on the part of the ostensibly Straight male.

Moreover, beyond avoiding the "weak" and the "effeminate," and their labels, there is felt by many a need to attack that which they fear they, themselves, may be identified with, lest others perceive them to be gay and, therefore, weak, effeminate, and vulnerable to any and all attacks by others in an historically racist society. In such a society, weakness is the last thing with which one wants to be identified; weakness is merely inviting attack from a host of sources, ranging from one's peer group to the justifiable fear of police harassment.

So, homophobia in the African American community (as in the white community) cannot be seen apart from the larger structural context of the society. Hence, the Black Church, long an advocate and crucial force for the affirmation and liberation of the Black man, justifiably insisting that he is, indeed, "a man" according to traditional stereotypical definitions of that term, must still reinforce that affirmation by rejecting out of hand anything that smacks of "effeminacy" and "weakness," lest a major and important historical function of that Church be weakened, thereby threatening one of the reasons for its founding and its existence.

It is no accident that a T.D. Jakes and a Ken Hutcherson as pastors spout homophobic rhetoric that is largely met with strong approval by people who rarely, if ever, stop to think that they are vilifying LGBT people, using selected biblical passages devoid of context, much as White Supremacists did as recently as the 1960's, and that some "Christian Identity" groups do to this very day. Indeed, the Black pastor, Gregory Daniels was quoted as saying the following: “If the KKK opposes gay marriage, I would ride with them.” [See here.]

Anything or anyone perceived as "weak" and "effeminate" is terribly resented and feared by those who have a vested interest, in light of the dynamics of their own and their ancestors' oppression, in appearing "strong" and "manly." And this need is so strong in so many that a Rev. Daniels said he would align himself with those who were among African Americans' greatest oppressors!

And, it's terribly unfortunate that so many people have internalized the stereotypes that: 1. gay men are weak and effeminate; 2. there is something wrong with being weak and effeminate; 3. being weak and being effeminate are erroneously viewed as equivalents.

When one sees the psychological and social causes of homophobia, and the petrie dish of oppression that has allowed the pathogen of stereotyping and its consequent homophobia to grow, one can both understand and then use that understanding to transcend those stereotypes and realize that not only are they false but, even if they were true, it is the reactionary forces within society, those same forces that justified the oppression of African Americans in the first place, that largely created the defense mechanism of the venom and the exclusion of one's gay brothers, be that exclusion in the community, in a church, or in an institution of higher education.
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Saturday, May 24, 2008


Wayne Besen [Pictured] has written another excellent article about the travesty of the "ex-gay" industry, focusing on the psychologist Warren Throckmorton who has long helped facilitate it.

"A few years back, Warren Throckmorton, an erstwhile psychologist and full-time blogger from a tiny Christian school, filmed a noxious 'ex-gay' video, 'I Do Exist.' The documentary begins at New York's porn palaces on 8th Avenue - with the seedy atmosphere shot deliberately to signify gay life.

"Not long into the video, we were introduced to a nutty exorcist who is known to extract demons from the anuses of gay men. In his typical slippery way, the public relations conscious Throckmorton fails to identify the woman as an exorcist (as she was identified in two other movies, 'One Nation Under God' and "Chasing the Devil," with apparently less truth-challenged producers)."

[For the full article, see here.]

One can only speculate as to how many LGBT people and their families have been misled, suffered, and otherwise lived lives of desperation because of the junk "science" propounded by the reactionaries in the "religious" and political arenas who have undoubtedly gained enormously, be that gain material and/or psychological and/or political.

Emotionally intact people don't feel the need to deny dignity to others; create out of whole cloth a fictional scenario in the name of "science" or anything else; don't judge or seek to exclude others from having the same civil rights that they, themselves, enjoy.

That's one of the reasons that the Gospel is so important for people to understand, be they Christians or not. The Gospel is a message of love and liberation, and a call to cast off the yokes of bondage that others seek to place on any and all of God's children.

Rather than be used as vehicle of, and justification for, the inculcation of guilt, the Gospel message teaches the very opposite to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear!
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Friday, May 23, 2008


"Hundreds of people filled the Rotunda at San Francisco City Hall Thursday night for the official unveiling of a bronze bust honoring the first openly gay man to hold a prominent elected office in the United States - more than 28 years after he was assassinated.

"The unveiling came on what would have been Milk’s 78th birthday.

"'We’re celebrating an icon tonight. We’re celebrating a pioneer. We’re celebrating San Francisco. We’re celebrating San Francisco values. And, we’re celebrating all that’s good and right with this City,' said Mayor Gavin Newsom."

[For the full article, see here.]

This is the unveiling of the statue of an icon and a hero of the Gay rights movement.

This unveiling is of personal significance to my wife who knew Harvey Milk, as he was a Mathematics teacher in her high school in New York when she attended there in the 1950's.

Of course, Harvey Milk is of personal significance to all who seek freedom and equality for all of God's children!
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Thursday, May 22, 2008


I just received the following email from the Metropolitan Community Churches regarding LGBT persecution in Gambia:



Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches Issues Urgent Appeal

Calls for Global Action to Save LGBT Gambians Now

May 22, 2008

Today, as Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches, I call on people of faith and goodwill across the globe to take immediate action in urging the President of West Africa's Republic of The Gambia to withdraw his threats against the lives of countless gay people in that country and to honor his nation's history of pursuing equality and liberty for all its citizens

On Sunday, May 18, following an earlier warning that gave gay men and lesbians just 24 hours to leave the country, and citing an effort to make Gambia "one of the best countries to live in," President Alhaji Yahja A.J.J. Jammeh threatened to behead any gay person found in the nation.

He promised a "mass patrol" to "weed out bad elements," and linked homosexuality with drug dealing and theft. The President promised dire consequences for gay people remaining in Gambia and threatened to punish anyone offering support or housing to our people.

It is unclear what caused this escalation in rhetoric -- but we do know what can bring it to an end: The united voices of all us who believe in the value, dignity and worth of all life!


WRITE TO THE PRESIDENT OF GAMBIA... by sending an e-mail to President Jammeh at

-- Tell him to stop inciting hatred and violence against gay people and to withdraw his threats.

-- Urge him to protect the rights of LGBT people in his country.

-- Ask him to honor the principles of the Universal Charter of Human Rights, which calls on all governments to allow their citizens to live free of threats, coercion, intimidation and discrimination.

WRITE TO THE UNITED NATIONS... by sending an e-mail to Louise Arbour, High Commissioner for Human Rights, at Tell her that the situation in The Gambia is urgent and urge that the United Nations take steps to protect the human rights of LGBT Gambians.

CALL ON NEIGHBORING CONGREGATIONS AND PEOPLE OF FAITH... to join this campaign. Gambia's national motto is "Progress, Peace, Prosperity." Nothing will advance progress toward peace and human well-being more than our common commitment to the basic principles of the Scriptures we reverence across denominational lines. And one of the most basic of those principles is, "Thou shalt not kill." There are no exceptions.

Silence equals death!

That mantra crosses all borders and boundaries of our world.

Speaking up and speaking out holds the promise of life for all our people!

Please -- take action now on behalf of justice and peace for our LGBT Gambian brothers and sisters!


The Reverend Nancy L. Wilson

Metropolitan Community Churches


Jim Birkitt
MCC Communications Director
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This is an excellent article regarding the demographics of same-sex couples in California who are likely to get married. The findings surprised me.

Also, this is a very nice article on California's Chief Supreme Court Justice, Ronald George," who wrote the majority opinion regarding same-sex marriage.
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008


"Gambian President Yahya Jammeh says he will “cut off the head” of any homosexual caught in his country." [For the full article, see here.]

Now, please read the following from the Times of India: Two married women, who allegedly shared a lesbian relationship, committed suicide by setting themselves ablaze after their families tried to separate them. The police recovered the charred bodies of the women, who died hugging each other, from the residence of one of the women at Sathangadu, near Thiruvotriyur, on Saturday.

"The incident came to light on Saturday morning when the family members noticed thick smoke emanating from the house, where the women stayed the previous night. They peeped through the window and were shocked to see the bodies lying as if they had died hugging each other."

[For the full article, see here] [Thanks to Towleroad, and to Don Charles for calling my attention to it.]

To one degree or another, homophobia rages in virtually all parts of the world, and it is imperative that governments that in any way support homophobia, or seek to deprive LGBT people of life and/or liberty, be exposed before the world community to show both their savagery and help prevent their getting financial aid until that savage oppression is eliminated.

A step in this direction is currently being initiated by France, where, "The French government will ask the United Nations to pressure countries to abolish bans on homosexuality." [See here.]

I doubt many, if any, denominations or churches within the institutional Church will decry the oppression of LGBT people in Gambia, and the savagery with which they are being threatened and treated, just as most haven't done with the oppression of LGBT people in the U.S. and elsewhere. Therefore, please send letters of protest to the President of Gambia and to the United Nations via the links provided in the following email I just received from the Metropolitan Community Churches:

Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches Issues Urgent Appeal
Calls for Global Action to Save LGBT Gambians Now

May 21, 2008

Today, as Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches, I call on people of faith and goodwill across the globe to take immediate action in urging the President of West Africa's Republic of The Gambia to withdraw his threats against the lives of countless gay people in that country and to honor his nation's history of pursuing equality and liberty for all its citizens

On Sunday, May 18, following an earlier warning that gave gay men and lesbians just 24 hours to leave the country, and citing an effort to make Gambia "one of the best countries to live in," President Alhaji Yahja A.J.J. Jammeh threatened to behead any gay person found in the nation.

He promised a "mass patrol" to "weed out bad elements," and linked homosexuality with drug dealing and theft. The President promised dire consequences for gay people remaining in Gambia and threatened to punish anyone offering support or housing to our people.

It is unclear what caused this escalation in rhetoric -- but we do know what can bring it to an end: The united voices of all us who believe in the value, dignity and worth of all life!


WRITE TO THE PRESIDENT OF GAMBIA... by sending an e-mail to President Jammeh at

-- Tell him to stop inciting hatred and violence against gay people and to withdraw his threats.

-- Urge him to protect the rights of LGBT people in his country.

-- Ask him to honor the principles of the Universal Charter of Human Rights, which calls on all governments to allow their citizens to live free of threats, coercion, intimidation and discrimination.

WRITE TO THE UNITED NATIONS... by sending an e-mail to Louise Arbour, High Commissioner for Human Rights, at Tell her that the situation in The Gambia is urgent and urge that the United Nations take steps to protect the human rights of LGBT Gambians.

CALL ON NEIGHBORING CONGREGATIONS AND PEOPLE OF FAITH... to join this campaign. Gambia's national motto is "Progress, Peace, Prosperity." Nothing will advance progress toward peace and human well-being more than our common commitment to the basic principles of the Scriptures we reverence across denominational lines. And one of the most basic of those principles is, "Thou shalt not kill." There are no exceptions.

Silence equals death!

That mantra crosses all borders and boundaries of our world.

Speaking up and speaking out holds the promise of life for all our people!

Please take action now on behalf of justice and peace for our LGBT Gambian brothers and sisters!


The Reverend Nancy L. Wilson
MCC Moderator
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008


"US actor George Takei is to wed his long-term partner after California lifted its ban on same-sex marriage.
Takei, 71, best known for playing Mr Sulu in Star Trek, said he and Brad Altman were going through the "delicious dilemma" of where to marry.

"The actor and 54-year-old Mr Altman have been together for 21 years."

[For the full article, see here.]

The more celebrities take imminent advantage of the California Supreme Court's decision finally telling people that "separate is not equal," and that same-sex couples have to have the same marriage rights as do heterosexual couples, and that such constructs as Domestic Partnerships don't confer the equivalent dignity and rights to same-sex couples who seek to spend the rest of their lives together, the less likely it is that any ballot initiative in California (and, subsequently, elsewhere) will pass.

When people such as George Takei and Ellen DeGeneres take advantage of marriage rights, a lot of the wind will come out of the sails of a likely ballot initiative that will define marriage as consisting between one man and one woman; it will largely be the haters (in the name of "tradition" and "the Bible," of course) who will still have a fire in the belly to deny same-sex couples dignity and full and equal civil rights.

It would be wonderful if couples who have been married in Canada and who live in California would also take advantage of the Supreme Court's decision before any ballot initiative is brought before the voters.

Civil rights are not to be subject to the will of the masses. If that had been the case regarding African-Americans, and the U.S. Supreme Court had not been "activist" in intervening in that disgraceful part of American history, we would still have Jim Crow laws and segregation as social and political realities, and still been enshrined in the "Law of the Land."

Also, the more committed same-sex couples get married, particularly celebrities, the less likely that being "Gay" will be identified with pejorative labels such as "immoral," "hedonism," and "deviance," that the religious and political right wing have cynically used to feather their nests.
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Sunday, May 18, 2008


If there were full and equal civil rights for LGBT people in California; if same-sex marriage was already a done deal in California; if the ballot initiative defining "marriage" as being restricted to heterosexuals was not ratified or had already been voted down, an article like this one wouldn't be inappropriate, although I do vehemently decry the pejorative labels in this article and elsewhere that have been historically used, and continue to be used, by those who oppress LGBT people.

However, when so much is on the line in California and elsewhere; where the hearts and minds of the electorate are needed to be won so that they see that Gay couples deserve the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples enjoy; when tens of millions of dollars are being spent to convince the voters that Gay couples deserve the same marriage rights as do heterosexuals; when tens of millions of dollars are being raised by our opponents to convince the voters that same-sex couples don't deserve marriage rights; when religious leaders in most denominations in the institutional Church need ammunition to convince their congregations as to the "immorality" and "otherness" of LGBT people, one can only wonder at how many potential allies are being dissuaded from voting for same-sex marriage rights by virtue of this article, and articles like this one.

Moreover, can you imagine what the James Dobsons and the Tony Perkins' of the world can make of an article like this one at such a crucial time as this, and how they can use it to convince voters that Gay couples don't deserve marriage rights, and that LGBT people are "disordered," "deviant," and "not like us" and, hence, don't deserve the respect, dignity, and civil rights that heterosexuals have?

Can you imagine the images potential allies have of LGBT people when pejorative epithets are constantly used as self-identifiers and as identifiers of other LGBT people as occurs in this article and elsewhere?

The tragedy is that the author of this article probably didn't even consider the political and social impact and negative consequences his article would have in California at this crucial time! And that tragedy is compounded by the likelihood that most of those who read his article probably didn't even consider that fact as well!
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Saturday, May 17, 2008


This site lists answers to frequently asked questions regarding same-sex marriage in California.

As more questions surface, they will be included with the relevant answers to those questions.
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Friday, May 16, 2008


Although I'm optimistic that this ballot initiative will not come to fruition, and that decent, reasonable people will see that we are not to put civil rights up to a majority vote, as if we had, we would still have Jim Crow laws and segregation as laws of the land, we must not rest until same-sex marriage rights becomes a reality in California and in the rest of the nation.

The "activist judges" that the reactionaries decry, are the same type of "activist judges" on the Supreme Court that ruled that "separate wasn't equal," in the 1954 Brown v Board of Education decision. Had those "activist judges" not so ruled, and had they not seen that full and equal rights are to be granted to all citizens of the United States, and had we allowed majority rule to decide whether or not segregation was to continue, we would have had segregation in perpetuity in the U.S.

If the struggle for African-American civil rights taught us anything, it taught us that the majority can't be trusted, nor should they be trusted, to adjudicate matters of justice that rightly belong to the courts and not to the masses. Believe me, the very same type of people who are decrying the decision of "activist judges" are the same type of people who would have voted to maintain segregation of African Americans!

"Even as same-sex couples across California begin making plans to tie the knot, opponents are redoubling their efforts to make sure wedding bells never ring for gay couples in the nation's most populous state.

"A conservative group said it would ask California's Supreme Court to postpone putting its decision legalizing gay marriage into effect until after the fall election. That's when voters will likely have a chance to weigh in on a proposed amendment to California's constitution that would bar same-sex couples from getting married.

"If the court does not grant the request, gay marriages could begin in California in as little as 30 days, the time it typically takes for the justices' opinions to become final.

"'We're obviously very disappointed in the decision,' said Glen Lavy, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, which is pushing for the stay. 'The remedy is a constitutional amendment.'"

[For the full article, see here.]

Also see this article.

Also see this article that shows a crucial distinction between the Massachusetts' Court's rationale for its opinion and the California Court's rationale for its opinion.

Let's take heart in God's words through the prophet Isaiah: "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord." (Isaiah 54:17)
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Thursday, May 15, 2008


To say this is wonderful news is a gross understatement!

"(San Francisco, California) The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Prop 22, the voter approved initiative used to block same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

"The court also said that California's domestic partnership law is not a good enough substitute for marriage.

"The 4-3 ruling. written by Chief Justice Ron George paves the way for gay and lesbian couples to marry once the ruling is officially published by the court - in about 30 days.

"Once that is done same-sex couples in California will be able to obtain civil marriage licenses.

"'In contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual's capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual's sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual's sexual orientation - like a person's race or gender - does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights,' George wrote for the majority on the mostly Republican appointed court."

[For the full article, see here.]

Also see here.

Also see here. This article, in addition to reporting the wonderful news, wrote the following:

"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has twice vetoed legislation that would've granted marriage rights to same-sex couples, said in a news release that he respected the court's decision and 'will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling.'"

Now, with California legitimizing same-sex marriage, Massachusetts having had same-sex marriage for several years, and with New York accepting as valid all same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, both foreign and domestic, it's just a matter of time before same-sex marriage will be legal in every state of the union!


LEFT TO RIGHT: Rev. Dr. Troy Perry, Attorney Gloria Allred, Phillip Ray De Blieck, Robin Tyler, Diane Olson. Gloria is holding Milos Reifsnyder-Smith, who has two gay dads. (Photo Credit: Angela Brinskele)
NOTE: Rev. Troy D. Perry is the long-time human rights activist who performed the first public same-sex wedding service in the United States in 1969. In 1970, he sued in the California courts for legal recognition of same-sex marriage. While losing that case, he launched four decades of work and debate on behalf of marriage equality. In July 2003, Rev. Perry and his partner, Phillip Ray De Blieck, were legally married under Canadian law. They subsequently sued the State of California for legal recognition of their Canadian marriage. The Superior Court of California ruled in their favor; the Appeals Court ruled against their lawsuit. Today's historic ruling by the California Supreme Court makes legal marriage available to lesbian and gay couples in California.


Today the California Supreme Court ruled to legally recognize our marriage, which took place under Canadian law in Toronto, Canada, on July 16, 2003.

The Court's ruling says that our marriage is not less than or different from other marriages in this country; the court ruled that our marriage is equal in the eyes of the law to all other marriages.

We thank God that our prayers have been answered! This is a battle that our church, the Metropolitan Community Churches, has fought since I performed the first public same-sex wedding ceremony in the United States -- in Huntington Park, California, in 1969.

Today we both give honor to God for this victory.

On this momentous day, we want to acknowledge that we stand on the shoulders of others before us who fought for justice and blazed trails for equality, and who made this day possible.

One of our heroes died this month. Mildred Loving, an African-American who, along with her husband Richard, a white man, won the battle to legalize interracial marriage in the United States. Mildred Loving paid a steep price, solely for marrying the only man she ever loved. She was arrested, convicted, and banished from her home state of Virginia. Mildred, a soft-spoken, gentle woman, avoided the spotlight, but for the issue was always simple. In a 1967 interview on CBS News, she said, "I think marrying who you want is a right and no man should have anything to do with it. It's a God-given right."

Mildred Loving also said, "I am not a political person, but I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about."

We also want to thank Robin Tyler and her partner Diane Olson. We are honored to have partnered with Robin and Diane to become the first two couples to initiate this lawsuit seeking marriage equality for all people in California and California's recognition of same-sex marriages performed in Canada.

We are deeply thankful for our attorney, Gloria Allred, and her law partners, Michael Masoko and John Goldberg, for taking this marriage equality case pro bono and arguing it all the way to the California Supreme Court. We could not have won this landmark case had it not been for Gloria Allred's deeply-held conviction that all people deserve equality -- including marriage equality -- under the law. And we are thankful to our denomination of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) for underwriting the court filing fees in this case.

We give honor to God for the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, under the direction of The Reverend Dr. Brent Hawkes, and their attorney, Mr. Doug Elliott. These leaders argued before the Supreme Court of Canada and won the right for all persons, including same-sex couples, to be legally married there. Had it not been for their groundbreaking and historic work, Phillip and I would not be married today. Everywhere we go, we proudly show our wedding bands to others and say, "Thank God for Canada!"

Tonight, we will go to the Metropolitan Community Church of Los Angeles (4953 Franklin Avenue, Los Angeles 90027, in the Los Feliz area) to give thanks for this victory for which we have worked and prayed for the past 39 years.

A press conference will take place after a short service of thanksgiving, beginning at 6 PM.
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Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I just finished watching the video, "Fish Can't Fly," that deals with various Gay Christians' experiences with "ex-gay" "ministries" and how scientifically and ethically bankrupt they are, and how dangerous they are to one's emotional and spiritual health.

Various people, including Wayne Besen and Peterson Toscano poignantly detail their experiences with the "ex-gay" industry, and show how, after undergoing years of spiritual abuse, they were eventually able to see through the facade and the duplicity of the whole "ex-gay" sham, and realize that God made us just as we are, that there is absolutely no inconsistency between being Gay and being a Christian, and that God embraces all of His Gay children!

It was when they, and so many others deluded by the "ex-gay" industry, finally came to realize that the whole idea of "ex-gay" was and is a sham (And a well paying one at that!), and that their being Gay was in God's will from the very beginning, that they were finally able to be free to live authentic lives honoring to God!

I strongly urge you to see this film! No one who watches this film will come away without seeing how Christianity and homosexuality are seamless in the lives of God's Gay children, and only the most hardened person will be able to be or remain homophobic after watching this very poignant film.

To order the film, please go to the following website:
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Tuesday, May 13, 2008


For those of you in or near the Los Angeles, California area, this is an event you may well want to attend. As I've written before, I'm optimistic that the California Supreme Court decision will be a favorable one, and that same-sex marriage will soon become a reality in California.


You are invited to attend an Interfaith Celebration of Thanksgiving with the Los Angeles plaintiffs in the California Supreme Court marriage case, The Reverend Dr. Troy Perry and his spouse, Phillip Ray De Blieck, and long-time activist Robin Tyler, and her spouse, Diane Olson.

The brief celebration will take place at 6 PM at Metropolitan Community Church of Los Angeles on the day the Court issues its ruling, win or lose. The decision could come any day between now and June 4th.

The Los Angeles event will be led by Rabbi Lisa Edwards of Beth Chayim Chadashim and Rev. Neil Thomas, senior pastor of MCC Los Angeles.

An open press conference with the plaintiffs will follow.

The event is open to the public.

All are welcome.


Celebration of Thanksgiving and Press Conference

The Los Angeles Plaintiffs in the California Supreme Court Marriage Case

At 6 PM On The Day The Court Ruling Is Issued, Win or Lose

Metropolitan Community Church of Los Angeles
4953 Franklin Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90027

For Additional Information
Or To Arrange Media Interviews, Contact:
Jim Birkitt, MCC Communications
Tel. (310) 625-4177

*PHOTO CREDIT: Photo of Robin Tyler and Diane Olson by Dr. Paula Schoenwether
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Monday, May 12, 2008


"Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros, chair of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Office on Bio-ethics, said on Sunday the Church had learned to accept homosexuality as part of reality."

"'As far as the Church is concerned, sex can only be done within the context of marriage, and marriage, as we know, is between a man and a woman,' he said.

"Medroso said the prohibition on pre-marital sex on heterosexuals was the same prohibition it imposed on gays.

"'Marriage and sex, as the Church views it, is solely for reproduction. That's the nature of marriage, opening up a couple to producing children. We cannot have that in a man to man or a woman to woman relationship, therefore, sex between persons of the same sex becomes unnatural and offends the Church,' the bishop explained."

[For the full article, see here.]

Now, let me get this (pardon the expression) straight:
1. The Bishop says that "The Church had learned to accept homosexuality as part of reality." Since homosexuality has been around for thousands of years, the RC Church now sees homosexuality as part of reality. And I thought that taking over 350 years to apologize for the Galileo fiasco was a long time!
2. "Sex can only be done within the context of marriage, and marriage, as we know, is between a man and a woman." If sex can only be done within the context of marriage, why fight same-sex marriage, as to do so is encouraging fornication that the RC Church so vehemently decries? By being in the vanguard of the assault on same-sex marriage and the dignity and the many rights that would accrue to same-sex married couples and their children, the RC Church is helping to create the very sin it decries. The phrase, "as we know," is interesting, as it is by no means a given that marriage must be consigned to heterosexual couples. There is absolutely no prohibition against same-sex marriage in the Bible! What "religious" prohibitions occur regarding same-sex marriage are due to the prejudices and the doctrines that flow from those prejudices in the RC Church, and in most other denominations within the institutional Church.
3. "The prohibition on pre-marital sex on heterosexuals was the same prohibition it imposed on gays." Not exactly! Heterosexuals can get married but, as of this date, Gay people are not allowed to ever get married, so the expression of sexual intimacy is denied the former only temporarily, but denied to the latter in perpetuity. That's a big difference! Moreover, although I don't want to sound like Bill Clinton, we have to define what "sex" is. I doubt there is any heterosexual couple contemplating marriage that hasn't engaged in one or more behaviors that would constitute "sex" by any reasonable definition of the term.
4. "Marriage and sex, as the Church views it, is solely for reproduction. That's the nature of marriage, opening up a couple to producing children." That is clearly not true! If it is true, the RC Church should make it crystal clear that any heterosexual couple contemplating marriage must be able to prove that it could conceive and give birth to children or else not allow that couple to get married. No sexually and emotionally healthy person can believe that marriage and sex are solely for reproductive purposes! People who get married also want companionship, love, sexual and emotional intimacy, friendship. But why would we expect a RC Bishop, or any other person who is presumably celibate and unmarried, to understand this fact? And why are we taking any utterances concerning love, sex, and marriage seriously when it comes from a person who has taken a vow of celibacy? The gullible people who take such assertions, dogmas, and doctrines seriously, especially when they come from unmarried celibate men, should be ashamed of themselves!
5. Since, just like heterosexual couples who can't have, or choose not to have, children, Gay couples can't biologically have children, save through in vitro fertilization and/or through adoption. However, the bishop concludes his and the RC Church's irrational "logic" in this area of which they know absolutely nothing by saying, "We cannot have that [reproduction] in a man to man or a woman to woman relationship, therefore, sex between persons of the same sex becomes unnatural and offends the Church."

No Bishop! It is you and the denomination that you represent in this matter of same-sex love who are "unnatural" and who offend the Church of Jesus Christ!

It is statements like these, prejudices like these, irrational statements like these, that lead to shame, self-loathing, suicides, assaults, and murders of God's gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender children!

You speak for the Roman Catholic Church; you speak for yourself; you speak for other clergy and their followers who think as you do about same-sex love, but you certainly don't speak for our God of grace, peace, and love; you certainly don't speak for the Church of Jesus Christ comprised of all those who trust in the grace of God which is far wider and deeper than is yours and the institution that you so assiduously represent!

Hatred and hate-mongering have no fellowship with Christianity or with God, regardless of how sanctimonious the pronouncements! And it's high time that that fact was proclaimed loudly and clearly; far more loudly and clearly than the irrational utterances of any Bishop or other clergy and/or their followers in the RC Church, or in any other denomination, who preach hatred and exclusion, seeking to prevent any of God's children from having full and equal civil and sacramental rights!
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Saturday, May 10, 2008


The following audio link was sent to me by my good friend, Don Charles. It details two "therapeutic" approaches to raising a transgender child.

It must be very difficult for the average parent to deal with a seeming discordant expectation for one's child to have as a gender identity one that isn't in harmony with his anatomical characteristics. It seems to me that the focus of the "therapy" should be on the parents, and affirm and reinforce their acceptance of their child as he/she truly is; allow the child to be authentic and true to him/herself; empower the child (and, later on, the adult) to withstand what discrimination he/she will undoubtedly face in a society that sees human characteristics as inherent dualities.

Two contrasting "therapeutic" modes of approach to this issue are highlighted in this audio, and it bears listening to, as we can see that one therapist seeks to have the child conform to the expectations of the society in which he lives; the other therapist seeks to have the child be authentic, and live a life true to his authentic gender identity. (I use the masculine pronoun here, as these children are under five years old, and I don't know enough about the cases to draw any premature conclusions concerning what gender identity they will eventually have as they mature, although I have little reason to doubt that they will identify as female for the rest of their lives; that definition will be in an unfortunate accordance with the norms that see "gender" as binary, rather than as being on a continuum.)

The audio from NPR can be heard here.

The following is a slightly edited version of the email I sent to Don Charles regarding my reaction to the audio:

"I just listened to the audio, and it's compelling on a number of levels. First of all, Zucker is primarily seeking to have a transgender child be able to 'adjust' to the prevailing norms of society, rather than affirm him as to who he is as a unique human being, and affirm his self-identity.

"Second, he compares 'skin color' with 'transgenderism,' thereby cheapening the issue with which he is dealing. Skin color is merely superficial; gender identity goes to a good part of the very core of one's humanity. By his making that comparison, he shows little understanding of gender identity, its likely immutability, and it's importance in the life of someone who 'knows' from the time that he is two years old that he doesn't belong in the body with which he was born.

"For someone who has been a therapist in this area for over 30 years, and who has 80 people on his waiting list, he shows far too much ignorance in the area which he claims to be his specialty.

"The other therapist is right: Zucker, and the other Zukers of the therapeutic world, are engaging in 'coercive therapy,'and have as their primary goal to have the patient adjust to the norms of society, rather than to have the child be authentic to the person who he/she is, and is meant to be.

"The very existence of 'Gender Identity Disorder' in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual shows the bias of much of the therapeutic world that sees 'gender' as existing as a binary characteristic; gender performance being either 'male' or 'female' according to the expectations and values of the dominant culture; sees gender identity that doesn't conform to one's anatomical status as being 'abnormal' by definition.

"As far as I know, none of these contentions can be supported by empirical data. Zucker's main focus seems to be to have his patients conform to their anatomical status and societal expectations and norms, rather than allow each person the right to his/her uniqueness, regardless of whether or not that uniqueness meets with societal approval."
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Friday, May 9, 2008


I received the following Action Alert today from the Metropolitan Community Churches. Please email your letter to each of the people on the links provided. This is a very crucial matter!


Urgent * Time Value * Urgent * Time Value

Safety, Lives of LGBT Moldovans Under Immediate Threat; Action Needed Now!

A C T I O N A L E R T | Your Help Urgently Needed

The safety and human rights of LGBT people in the Eastern European nation of Moldova are under threat right now.

The government of Moldova is threatening to arrest Rev. Elder Diane Fisher and Eastern European LGBT activist Florin Buhuceanu if they hold worship services for the LGBT community this weekend.

And they are refusing to provide police protection, despite numerous death threats made against Diane and Florin and the LGBT community there.

The government is also refusing police protection for this weekend's LGBT Pride March in Moldova's capital city of Chisinau, where members of the International Lesbian and Gay Association of Europe and Romania's human rights organization, ACCEPT, are also gathered. All legal procedures were followed to obtain the appropriate permits, and despite early promises, the mayor of Chisinau has withdrawn approval for the march permits.

At last report, the government will allow a maximum of 50 LGBT people and their supporters to march -- but will allow an unlimited number of anti-gay protestors to gather -- all without police protection.

Moldova's government urgently needs to hear -- NOW! -- from people of goodwill around the globe!

Your e-mails will help to protect LGBT Moldovans and their supporters who are taking the first bold steps toward forming a community and seeking equality under the law.

And your e-mails can help stop the threats of arrest and harassment made against Rev. Elder Diane Fisher, activist Florin Buhuceanu, and Moldova's growing, fledgling LGBT community.

Here are four steps you can take to make an immediate difference:

1. Write a brief e-mail to the Moldovan government. Ask them to honor their nation's laws and to allow the peaceful gathering of LGBT people and their supporters. Ask that the rights of LGBT people be protected. Let them know the eyes of the world are focused on Moldova this week.

2. Send your e-mail to as many of the following contacts as possible:

-- Moldovan Ministry of Justice --

-- Moldovan Ministry of Social Protection --

-- Moldovan Advocate for Human Rights --

-- Moldova's Embassy in Washington, DC --

-- Chisinau City Hall (Moldova's Capital City) -

3. Forward this Action Alert to friends, LGBT groups, and listservs.

4. All people of faith are encouraged to hold LGBT Moldovans and their supporters in your prayers, and to pray for a breakthrough from the Moldovan government.

The situation is critical. Time is of the essence. Your help can make a difference. Please, please take action now.

From the MCC Global Justice Team
The Reverend Pat Bumgardner, Chair


Moldovan Ministry of Justice --

Moldovan Ministry of Social Protection --

Moldovan Advocate for Human Rights --

Moldova's Embassy in Washington, DC --

Chisinau City Hall (Moldova's Capital City) -

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Thursday, May 8, 2008


"Christians from both sides of the political spectrum, left as well as right, have made the mistake of politicizing faith," the [Evangelical] manifesto declares.

"'That way faith loses its independence, the church becomes "the regime at prayer," Christians become "useful idiots" for one political party or another, and the Christian faith becomes an ideology in its purest form,' it said."

[For the full article, see here.]

And it took this long to come to this conclusion?

I'm jaded enough to feel that most of the signatories to this Evangelical Manifesto have come to the conclusion that there isn't sufficient money and mileage to be had by demonizing LGBT people, and are backing off and seeking to deal with issues that don't serve as lightening rods, as increasing numbers of people are perhaps hopefully starting to see how "the faith" has been demonically politicized, and that all too many professing Christians have truly "become useful idiots" who serve the most reactionary, oppressive forces in secular and "religious" society.

Anyone with even a scintilla of knowledge of the Gospel message of grace, faith, love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness knows that enmeshing oneself with the most reactionary forces in society, and tenaciously trumpeting a status quo that serves to oppress others, and that has the temerity to do so in the name of the Prince of Peace, is not a Christian, or Christian organization, by any stretch of the imagination.

The phrase, "...for one political party or another," is cynical in the extreme, as so-called "evangelicals" have almost uniformly rallied behind the most reactionary politicos and the most reactionary wing of the Republican party, and can largely be thanked for the ascendancy of these reactionary forces in the U.S. for the past several years, not the least of which is the election to the highest office in the land of a limited human being and warmonger who says that Jesus is his "favorite philosopher," and who said that God told him to invade Iraq.

There's a limit to the gullibility of the American people, and one can only hope that the term "Christian" will one day in the near future come to mean what it is meant to mean : A follower of Jesus who is an agent of God's grace and peace in the world!

And warmongering haters, those who in the name of Christianity gleefully seek to usher in Armageddon, using the defense of Israel and the rape of the environment as tactics and ploys to both fulfill and mask their true intent, will hopefully be made to crawl back under the rocks from which they came!

These wolves, and other homophobic clergy and their followers in the institutional Church, are the very people who have the blood of every LGBT victim of suicide, assault, and murder on their hands!

Any "Evangelical Manifesto," to be a vehicle of expressing God's grace and moral goodness in the world, and to be true to God's call on the lives of those who seek to follow Christ, must include the affirmation of the need to embrace ALL of God's children!

Such a Manifesto must include the affirmation of the need to honor each person, and each loving couple, by advocating for the dignity and worth of each LGBT individual, and each Gay couple's love, by speaking truth to power and fighting for full and equal civil and sacramental rights for all people!

That, to me, would be a truly "Evangelical Manifesto!"
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Wednesday, May 7, 2008


There is good news in New York when the Court of Appeals affirmed that New York must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and abroad. This decision may well set the momentum for the acquisition of same-sex marriage rights in that state, as has already happened in Massachusetts, and promises to happen in California in the very near future once the California Supreme Court hands down its decision. I'm optimistic!

"Today is a great day for fairness in New York State," the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, Donna Lieberman, said in a statement sent via e-mail. "Now we need to work toward a New York where you don't have to cross state or county lines to get married."

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008


This is an interesting article by Deb Price. It is about Bishop Gene Robinson of the Episcopal Church, a gay man who is continuing to seek to work from within the church to have LGBT people fully accepted in the Anglican Communion.

He has just written a book entitled, "In the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God," that deals with difficulties as an out gay man within the church.

Bishop Robinson says: "The changes we've seen in our understanding of the Scripture over the 19 centuries since it was written have happened through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.... Things that seemed simply 'the way of the world'-- like slavery, polygamy and the lower status of women -- in retrospect seem like examples of humankind's flawed, limited and mistaken understanding of God's will. Our ability to better understand God's will has improved with time, prayer and reflection."

"Instead of giving up on our religious communities, let's think about taking the risks and bearing the burdens of transforming them."

Although I don't agree with him that those who have left the church should come back and fight from within it, as I feel that most of the institutional Church is toxic to the spirit, and it has been a major vehicle for spreading hate against LGBT people, I do respect him, and his book seems well worth reading.

For a Christian who believes that a church is to embrace all of God's children, I think that the "religious communities" of which he's speaking are well beyond the possibility of anyone "taking the risks and bearing the burdens of transforming them."

These institutions will only be "transformed" when LGBT people are granted full and equal civil rights by secular authorities, as only then will most churches follow suit. In civil rights issues, churches have shown themselves to be far more "reactive" than "proactive!" (The clergy who were in the vanguard of the civil rights movement for African-Americans, such as Martin Luther King, were active apart from any given denomination or church organization!)

We saw this phenomenon occur regarding women's and African-Americans' civil rights, and I see no reason why it would be any different regarding LGBT people.
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Monday, May 5, 2008


The following is an email sent out by Rev. Elder Ken Martin of the Metropolitan Community Churches. It is essential reading for all Christians, as it hammers home the point that to attend any church, regardless of how "Gay friendly" it is, that is affiliated with any denomination that in any way discriminates against LGBT people, gives undeserved credibility to that denomination.

As you know, it's my firm belief that any Christian, Gay or Straight, who attends any church that in any way excludes any of God's children, is not only lending undeserved credibility to that church and its clergy person, but is involved in a situation that is toxic to one's spiritual life, and is committing a sin sufficient to be an extraordinary offense against God and against the Gospel of Christ!

The following is Rev. Martin's statement:

"This week the delegates to the General Conference of the United Methodist Church once again voted to keep the following words in their Book of Discipline, 'The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality, and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching.' Here we go again. Another season of one mainline church after the other condemning LGBT people. My heart sinks when I think of the number of our sisters and brothers who will hear this untruth and continue to live in guilt, shame and fear...or decide to end it. How do we reconcile this with the argument I frequently hear that there may be no more need for MCC because so many other churches are now "open" or "affirming" or "welcoming" to us? In almost every one of our churches I visit I hear about the number of people who have left to attend Methodist or Presbyterian or Episcopal or other churches because they now feel welcome there. I know this is a sensitive issue for some, but there is a truth that needs to be spoken and here it is: if you want to know how welcome you are in most of those churches ask them to marry you or ordain you, or you and your partner show only the exact same amount of affection publicly that heterosexual couples do, or go to the singles group and talk about what it is like to be an LGBT single person, or you and your partner go to the couples Sunday School class. I know there are a few (very few) churches where those things might be possible, but even then there is the ethical question of our presence supporting the larger denominational organization which continues to demonize our lives and demean our relationships. It is time to remember that God called MCC into existence for a purpose which is far from being accomplished. It is going to be a long hot summer or cold winter--depending on where you are in Region One. No matter what you hear, remember that you are a uniquely created and loved child of God. Why not support a church that actually believes that? At MCC we don't just welcome you, we are you!"
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Sunday, May 4, 2008


I just received the following email from Kate Burns who, with her partner, Sheila Schroeder, were arrested and are due to go on trial this coming Wednesday, May 6th. Please also watch the video of their non-violent stand for the same right to marry to which all heterosexuals who seek to make a lifetime commitment to each other are entitled.

Please also watch the video by accessing the link provided at the end of her email that shows their civil rights activism and their arrest.

God bless their Pastor who is solidly behind them and the right to same-sex marriage!

(Denver, CO) – The trial for lesbian couple Kate Burns and Sheila Schroeder is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 6th at the Denver City and County Building located at 1437 Bannock Street, in Courtroom 117M. The two were arrested for trespassing on September 24, 2007 when they peacefully remained at the Denver Clerk and Recorder Office after being denied the opportunity to apply for a marriage license. Burns and Schroeder will be represented by lead counsel Mari Newman of Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP. Their sit-in protest was an effort to achieve basic fairness and marriage equality for all Colorado families. Numerous religious leaders have registered their endorsement for the couple by submitting affidavits in support of marriage equality.

When the trial was continued on April 14th, prosecuting attorneys attempted to prevent the couple’s supporters from wearing rainbow-colored armbands in the courtroom. Lawyers for the defense vigorously objected, citing case law that protects every citizen’s right to freedom of expression. Judge James Breese will rule on the motion before jury selection on Tuesday.

Attorney Mari Newman commented, “Ms. Burns and Ms. Schroeder are proud participants in one of America’s greatest traditions: speaking out publicly against injustice. Strong and committed individuals like Kate and Sheila are responsible for some of our greatest civil rights achievements from the signing of the Declaration of Independence, to the end of racial segregation, to the legalization of multiracial marriages. One wonders what the current state of our country would be without civil rights heroes like Kate and Sheila. I am proud to represent them.”

When asked about her decision to participate in their September 24th sit-in, Sheila Schroeder said, "This is a matter of basic equality and fundamental human rights which should be extended to all citizens. My conscience told me I had to stand up and urge my government to be accountable to the highest law in the land, the United States Constitution. The fourteenth amendment guarantees equal protection for everyone—that includes Kate and me, and all the other loving and committed gay and lesbian couples who deserve the same legal rights automatically granted to heterosexual couples.”

Kate Burns added, “Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said that ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.’ As loyal Coloradans and Americans, we are compelled to work toward improving our community, and that means refusing to be silent about injustice. As people of faith, we also invoke our first amendment right to the ‘free exercise’ of our religion. Our minister—like the many other religious leaders who wrote affidavits for our case—would marry us today if his hands were not tied by a Colorado law that shamefully enshrines discrimination in our state Constitution.”

>> WHO: Lesbian couple Kate Burns and Sheila Schroeder; Attorney Mari Newman of Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP.

>> WHAT: Trial for trespassing charges during peaceful nonviolent protest on September 24, 2007.

>> WHEN: Tuesday, May 6th, 8:30 a.m. MDT

>> WHERE: Denver City and County Building, 1437 Bannock Street, Courtroom 117M.

Video of the September 24, 2007 marriage equality action is viewable at .
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Friday, May 2, 2008


The following three videos are of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's [Pictured] vision of the dynamics of having a prophetic ministry that resonates within the Black Church every bit as much as it should resonate within all churches and denominations, and among all Christians who see as a core of the Gospel message of grace, faith, love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness both "liberation" and "transformation" of one's very consciousness and very being as befit children of God who are Christians indeed.

Although Rev. Wright is largely dealing with the history and dynamics of the Black Church, his speech also resonates with the oppressed everywhere, in every country. It certainly resonates with the oppression of LGBT people that is fomented, justified, and reinforced by most all of the institutional Church that has embarrassingly lacked these Gospel values when it comes to both African-Americans and to LGBT people.

Just as African-Americans were excluded from worship in white churches, LGBT people are excluded from full participation in most churches within the institutional Church, and are denied positions within those churches, and denied the sacrament of marriage that confers recognition and dignity of the lifetime commitment that same-sex couples seek to make to each other before God and before others in their house of worship, as well as within civil society.

Much of Rev. Wright's insights that are relevant to the African-American's historic struggles within the U.S. can be seen to be mirrored in the current exclusionary policies of most of the denominations and churches within the U.S., including many, if not most, of the so-called "liberal" denominations and churches.

All Christians worthy of the name are to love and not judge others, and to be agents of God's grace in the world!

All churches are to be comprised of Christians who trust God over and above seen circumstances and who manifest love to others as Jesus commanded all who would follow Him and be His disciples.

God's LGBT children are precious to Him! Indeed, He created all of us, Gay and Straight, in our uniqueness, and how dare any professing Christian, any clergy person, any church, any denomination say or do anything to denounce and/or exclude any of God's creation!

The very same dynamic that had white churches exclude African-Americans from fellowship can now be seen to be playing itself out in churches' exclusion from full fellowship of LGBT people!

And anyone who in any way seeks to exclude God's LGBT children from full fellowship in churches and/or in any institution in society is absolutely no different than the White Supremacists who viewed (and still view) African Americans as being inferior to them.

And no one who is, in fact, a Christian is capable of engaging in such exclusion either by rhetoric and/or by acts and/or by advocacy of excluding LGBT people from acquiring and having full and equal civil and sacramental rights!

Please watch each of these videos:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3
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