Friday, October 31, 2008


UPDATE: November 3, 2008:

This brief video, that could be applicable to all churches and denominations that have poured money into passing the discriminatory and mean-spirited Proposition 8 in California, says it all:

UPDATE: November 1, 2008:


"At St. Peter's Catholic Church in Sacramento, congregants nodded in agreement when the Rev. Rodolfo Llamas urged them to vote for Proposition 8.

"'This vote is insulting God,' said Llamas to the 200 parishioners at the 8:30 a.m. Mass.'

No, Rev. Llamas! You and other professing Christians are the ones who are insulting God, in that you advocate discrimination to be codified by constitutional law; oppression and defaming of others, and you do so in the name of God. These are things that the Bible clearly shows Jesus would never do! It is you and your ilk, and the ones who are gullible enough to give such statements of yours and other clergy who share your prejudice credibility, who are the ones who are perverting Christianity and defaming God in the process!

[For the full article, see here.]


"To think that in this upcoming election there is actually a proposition to add an amendment to the California Constitution to legalize discrimination! Shame on us! This proposition is not about gay marriage; it's about hate, discrimination and intolerance of diversity. It is wholesale, unadulterated hate-mongering and it MUST be snuffed out in a dramatic fashion at once to illustrate to those behind it that in America we embrace the neighbor who might be different from us and are proud of it!

"So to all you TRUE Americans, get out there and vote on November 4th, and let's reject hate."

[For the full article, see here.]

This frightening video would be considered a joke if it weren't for real!

If Christians are called to do anything, it's to love and not judge others. We are certainly not called to in any way exclude others from equal standing in society or to in any way relegate other human beings to pariah status as second-class citizens.

Please forward this video to all people, Christian and non-Christian alike, to help reinforce the need to go to the polls and vote "NO" on Proposition 8 that seeks to write discrimination into California's Constitution, thereby contravening the California Supreme Court's ruling that forbidding same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

Despite what this video depicts, Christians who are the genuine article are not a pack of harsh, censorious, judgmental freaks!

To say that this display seeking to deprive others of dignity and equal civil rights is a blasphemy against God, and a perversion of Christianity, is a gross understatement!

Now, check out this video likening the fight for equality with the mission of Adolph Hitler:

It is such ignorance and/or hate that Christians and all decent people are to confront and overcome if we are to have any semblance of civility in society!
Share |

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


In part of my July 7, 2008 post entitled, "It's Not About Issues; It's About The Reactionary Mind-Set of the Power Elite and its Allies", I wrote the following about self-styled "evangelical Christians":

"Flagrant disregard of life and limb lost in an unjust and immoral war doesn't seem to bother these public advocates for the rights of the unborn! The irony of their seeming to care for pre-born babies doesn't seem to carry over to their caring for the countless thousands who have already been killed and maimed in the Iraq war, and the many yet likely to be killed and maimed if John McCain becomes President.

"What is important to them is to maintain their mind-set of exclusion of 'the other,' their constructed enemy, be that 'other' African Americans, women, LGBT people, or whatever enemy they seek to construct so as to maintain both their hegemony in society, and to help assure that the existing social structure continues to favor them and their ideology, an ideology that has relatively little to do with their 'Christian' profession, and certainly nothing to do with Christianity itself!"

For example, although John McCain was once rejected as a viable candidate by James Dobson, one of the major spokespeople for "evangelical Christianity" (See here.) now, not only are most, particularly older, "white evangelical Christians" fully behind McCain's candidacy, but also on October 8th, James Dobson, who last year said that he wouldn't under any circumstances vote for McCain, now states that he fully supports McCain for President.

Again, the Reactionary mind-set won over Dobson's stated commitment toward what he and many other "evangelicals" call "Christian values." Now, many, particularly older "evangelical Christians," are now predictably touting McCain as preferable to Obama:

"John McCain is solidly winning white evangelical Christians on the ballot. White evangelical Christians support John McCain 71 percent to 23 percent over Barack Obama, and two-thirds (66 percent) have favorable impressions of McCain." [See here.]

The following is a brief video that helps show how "straight talking" John McCain, supported by an overwhelming percentage of older "evangelical Christians," operates. But McCain's inconsistencies and/or downright lies do not seem, nor are they likely, to bother the self-styled spokespeople for "Christian morality" in the least!

Of course, McCain's not alone among politicians who speak out of both sides of their mouths at the same time, but this video gives us a flavor of one of the two people who aspire to become the next President of the U.S, and who enjoys the support of most "evangelical Christians.".

Although I have no doubt that Obama would sell out LGBT people if it suited his political purposes, as we saw with his association with Donnie McClurkin, it seems to me that he is the lesser of the evils given the challenges that LGBT people and allies face in the struggle for the acquisition of full and equal civil rights in the United States.

Share |

Monday, October 27, 2008


This is an excellent video by Rev. Deborah Johnson clearly explaining the reasons why Proposition 8 must be defeated, and why all same-sex couples who wish to do so be legally allowed to marry. She is articulate and incisive in her arguments, and I know you will want to hear what she has to say. Also, please forward this video to as many people as you can.

Share |

Friday, October 24, 2008


I was asked to officiate at a woman's marriage to her partner of 10 years. Her mother and stepfather were there, as was her Great Aunt. Her partner didn't have any family there which might have been due to their geographical distance from California.

In any case, there were about 15 people in attendance, and the ceremony took place in the backyard by the gazebo of a rest home in which her Great Aunt, about 90 years old, lives. The couple exchanged rings and, as part of their vows, together read their "ketubah," a Jewish document that in this case spelled out their love and commitment to each other, as well as their commitment to peace and love in their home for themselves and for anyone who would visit them.

It was a beautiful ceremony, and lasted about 15 minutes. I was honored that I was asked to do the ceremony, and now their marriage is legal in California. The only gift they asked of those who were invited was for the attendees to vote NO on Proposition 8, which I have no doubt that all in attendance will do.

Both the mother and step father of one of the women were so happy for the couple and for their being able to witness the legal marriage between these two devoted people! It was so beautiful to see the radiance on their faces, as well as the radiance and profound happiness on the faces of the two women whose marriage all of us were privileged to witness.

This marriage, along with all other same-sex marriages, highlights the downright foolishness and evil that would allow a Britney Spears' 55 hour marriage to have more dignity, more credibility, and legal protections than the marriage of this same-sex couple and all same-sex couples.

"Breaking the silence that has enshrouded her since her Jan. 3 [2004] Las Vegas wedding and ensuing 55-hour marriage, Britney Spears told MTV's 'Total Request Live' in a telephone interview Wednesday 'I do believe in the sanctity of marriage, I totally do.'

"But, she confessed, 'I was in Vegas, and it took over me, and, you know, things got out of hand."

[For the full article, see here.]

"'Spears, also 22, and Alexander wouldn't be the first couple to have an instant marriage followed by an instant divorce.

"Dennis Hopper and the Mamas and Papas' Michelle Phillips were married for eight days in 1970. Zsa Zsa Gabor was apparently married to Felipe de Alba -- her eighth husband -- for one day in 1982....

"Other short-lived marriages include Janet Jackson and James Debarge (three months), Tom Green and Drew Barrymore (five months) and Jennifer Lopez and Cris Judd (15 months)."

[For the full article, see here.]

And, of course, there are many other short-term marriages among heterosexual couples of which nothing is heard from the arrogant arbiters of "morality" and those who foolishly or cynically claim to be defending "traditional marriage" when they bend every effort to rescind and/or prevent the legalization of same-sex marriage.

When it's alleged by assorted ignorant and/or hateful homophobes that same-sex marriage is a threat to the institution of marriage, one doesn't know whether to laugh or cry! How can same-sex marriage be a threat to the institution of marriage, when such a marriage as that of Britney Spears', the other ridiculously short-term heterosexual marriages, and the roughly fifty percent divorce rate in the U.S., and the much higher divorce rate in California ( For example, see here, although it's very difficult to get exact figures.) are not even seriously emphasized as such a threat by all too many homophobes?

If those who oppose same-sex marriage were really concerned about the threats to heterosexual marriage, they would be spending their money and energy, taking out all sorts of advertisements, calling attention to these alarming phenomena. But, actually, their rhetoric concerning the so-called "threat" to the institution of marriage is a mere smoke screen to try to sanitize and "religiously justify" their basic hostility to both same-sex marriage and to Gay people as well.

The "religious" homophobes take pains to say that they "love" Gay people, and one at a "Yes on 8" rally even had the temerity to tell me that his best friend was a lesbian who had helped him when his home was destroyed by a fire not too long ago; who often went fishing with him and had him over to her home on many occasions.

Yet, he was vociferously and publicly fighting against California's Proposition 8 that seeks to strip away the right to marriage of same-sex couples, and he apparently sees no contradiction between his profession of "friendship" toward this woman on the one hand, and his mean-spirited and hateful stance toward what same-sex relationships she might have now or in the future on the other; feeling free to carry signs and spewing rhetoric designed to prevent her and all committed same-sex couples from living fulfilling lives under the protection of law as accrues to him and his spouse and to all heterosexual married couples.

What can possibly threaten the institution of marriage when a loving same-sex couple such as the one at whose marriage I was privileged to officiate is married? Are heterosexuals going to divorce their spouses so that they can now marry a person of the same sex? Is a child better off being raised by a single parent than by two loving parents of the same sex? How is any same-sex marriage going to in any way adversely affect someone's heterosexual marriage? Clearly, the answers to these questions are patently obvious, save to those who lack sufficient intelligence and/or decency!

During the ceremony in which I officiated, both women had a combination of smiles on their faces and tears in their eyes. Indeed, during a part when I spoke at the ceremony even I choked up.

This marriage probably meant as much to me as it did to the other witnesses to this happy event! In my small way, I was able to help make two wonderful people happy; publicly affirm their dignity; publicly affirm that their love and marriage were every bit as valid as the love and marriage of any loving heterosexual couple; take part in legalizing their union as spouses for life that would be validated by the force of law. Moreover, it also helped potentiate my fervent desire that all same-sex couples who wish to make a lifetime commitment to each other be allowed to marry, as part of same-sex couples and Gay people one day obtaining all of the civil and sacramental rights that are currently enjoyed by heterosexual people and couples.

It is so important for same-sex marriage to be instituted in every state of the union, and recognized by both civil and religious authorities as being legal and binding; its spouses deserving of all of the rights, responsibilities, and credibility of heterosexual marriage!

If there had been music at their reception, we all would have danced! As it was, we were all so happy for them, and for the fact that we could participate in helping make their marriage both legitimate (which I have no doubt existed in the eyes of God 10 years before this ceremony when they committed themselves to each other) and legal.

If any decent person had been fortunate to witness and participate in this happy and dignified occasion, and seen the looks of happiness on the faces of both women, and seen the joy and reverence with which the couple and participants saw this marriage, he or she would want same-sex marriages to be legal in every state of the union, and properly respected and revered within secular and religious society that have for far too long horribly abused LGBT people as well as the love that same-sex couples have enjoyed for millinea.
Share |

Thursday, October 23, 2008


A poll released yesterday, shows 48 percent of Californians in favor of eliminating the right of same-sex couples to marry and 45 percent opposed. The fate of this Proposition that seeks to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry by writing discrimination into California's Constitution in contavention of the California Supreme Court's decision last May, is too close to call.

Suffice it to say, please donate money to fight against Proposition 8, as the number of votes we will get is proportionate to the amount of money that we'll be able to be spent in defeating this Proposition. It was money spent on ads filled with gross distortions that largely enabled that Proposition to gain so much in the polls.

PLEASE DONATE TO FIGHT AGAINST PROPOSITION 8 and please call all your friends and acquaintances to go to the polls and vote NO on that Proposition.

Right now, the polls show that Obama has about a 5% lead over McCain in the polls. If everyone in California who will vote for Obama or even a third party candidate due to their disaffection with both major parties are asked to vote against Proposition 8, the Proposition will be handily defeated. But please contribute and ask everyone in California whom you know who intends to vote for Obama or for a third party candidate to vote against Proposition 8.

I have no doubt that should Proposition 8 pass, not only will permission be given for the possible violation of all sorts of civil rights; institutionalizing a "separate is equal" doctrine; institutionalizing same-sex love as being inferior to heterosexual love, but such an outcome will serve to further embolden the homophobes to place in their cross hairs the now taken-for-granted Domestic Partnerships and/or Civil Unions that currently exist within California and elsewhere.
Share |

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Please watch this brief video:

If you think that this mind-set is unique among many professing Christians in America, think again! This woman is by no means unique in her thinking, and in her absorption of the jingoistic and exclusionary rhetoric that emanates from all too many pulpits throughout the United States.

Yesterday, I attended a rally that supported Proposition 8 in California, that seeks to overturn the California Supreme Court decision handed down last May that ratifies the constitutionality of same-sex marriage in California. Many same-sex couples in California are now being married, and having their relationships recognized with all the dignity that accrues to heterosexual marriage. Indeed, last Saturday I was privileged to officiate at the marriage of a same-sex couple.

The rally was held on the grounds of a church, and there must have been approximately 300 people fervently supporting the passage of that discriminatory and mean-spirited Proposition. As those of us who oppose Proposition 8 were only made recently aware of that rally, there were only a handful of us carrying signs opposing that Proposition. Fortunately, two of our number were interviewed for the local news.

What is instructive about that rally affirming Proposition 8 was the fact that on those church grounds the first thing they did was to say the Pledge of Allegiance. They enmesh "Christianity" with Americanism, and ascribe to Christianity and to Jesus the false gospel of exclusion and discrimination whereby they think it is the Christian's right to discriminate against anyone as well as to seek to write discrimination into a Constitution; commit the sin of idolatry that is specifically condemnd in the Ten Commandments as well as in much of the rest of Scripture.

Two of the church's employees came and took our pictures and videotaped us for quite a long time. When one of our number asked why they were doing that, one said that it was because if there was any vandalism in their church they would know where to look.

They worship Americanism as represented in the Flag to which they pledge Allegiance, and I doubt very much that anyone quoted Jesus regarding their right to discriminate against anyone, simply because discrimination was diametrically opposed to Jesus life and message to those who would seek to follow Him.

Many fervently yelled; many carried signs, one of which was, "Keep California Straight." Clearly, Jesus was nowhere to be found!

Moreover, little children were also carrying signs and, as did the adults, repeatedly shouted, "Yes on 8." It struck me that parents taking children to such a rally was equivalent to child abuse. They were teaching discrimination and hate to their children, seeking to perpetuate it into the next generation. Indeed, it is very likely that many of these children didn't even know what they were saying and doing. Some were as young as about five years old.

We had better wake up as a country and realize that such displays, such rallies, such a mind-set as represented by the woman in the above video is not only not unusual, but seems to be quickly gaining ground in the United States.

Homophobia and racism partake of the same mind-set and it is very instructive that the latest polls show Obama to be only six percentage points ahead of McCain in the polls.

Here we have the worst President in memory; the worst economy since the Great Depression; we are enmeshed in an unjust and very unpopular war that we initiated, and the only viable alternative to this madness is only three percentage points ahead of the person who has long favored most of the status quo.

If Obama loses this election, it will be largely, if not solely, due to racism and the discriminatory mind-set in in America, and this woman's mind-set will have finally prevailed, dooming the United States to go from one madness to another, a war of all against all, until we finally destroy each other and ourselves.
Share |

Monday, October 20, 2008


This is an excellent, thought-provoking article

"There are “Christian” groups raising millions (over $50 million in California alone) to take rights away from people…forever!"

"So, I asked these “Christian” groups (who also back Palin & McCain), how many hungry could you feed for $50 million? How many homeless could you house for $50 million? How many people could you send to college for $50 million dollars? Or better yet, If Jesus had $50 million, what would he do with it?"

It's so important to all of us and to the future of the United States to vote against any form of discrimination, and to affirm same-sex marriage at the polls.
Share |

Sunday, October 19, 2008


George Will concludes a commentary entitled, "Episcopal churches insist on the ordination of gay clergy", by stating the following:

"The Episcopal Church once was America's upper crust at prayer. Today it is "progressive" politics cloaked - very thinly - in piety. Episcopalians' discontents tell a cautionary tale for political as well as religious associations. As the church's doctrines have become more elastic, the church has contracted. It celebrates an 'inclusiveness' that includes fewer and fewer members."

Just as it must be remembered that the prohibition of women becoming priests in the Anglican communion [and Roman Catholic Church] was man-made and not in any way biblically commanded, so is the prohibition of ordaining Gay clergy! All too often, institutional Church leaders and followers use what they read into the Bible as a proof text to justify their already preconceived prejudices and, when such attempted justification fails or needs further support, they then resort to such criteria as "tradition" to maintain and propagate those prejudices.

People leave churches for a variety of reasons, and it may be that people who leave the Anglican communion in the U.S. and in Europe, as well as many other mainline and other churches within the institutional Church, might well be doing so because they are finding that man-made prejudices cloaked in God-talk and poor biblical exegeses occur all too frequently and are inimical to living the Christian life.

All too often, thugs go from the secular side of the street to the "religious" side of the street, and engage in the very same types of politics of exclusion and discrimination within denominational and/or church structures that offend the Christian who takes the mandate of Jesus for us to love and not judge others very seriously.

Moreover, when the Christian sees so many corporate sins, such as rampant greed, waging unjust wars, etc., that truly need to be addressed by their denomination and/or church that are summarily ignored in favor of a virtual single minded intensity seeking to exclude and discriminate against others, such as Gay people, in the name of Jesus and in the name of "love," no less, they are properly offended and leave.

Their leaving under such conditions winnows the institutional Church down to a bunch of people who are quite comfortable with incestuous socialization and building beautification programs, along with their having their preconceived prejudices of exclusion of "the other," regardless of who that "other" at the time might be, reinforced from the pulpit and in their interaction with each other. It might well be seen that such a winnowing process helps separate the wheat from the chaff, and shows that many churches within the institutional Church are not meeting the spiritual needs of their members or addressing crucial societal concerns that reflect and manifest the love of God.

In a thoughtful commentary in the April 6, 2007 issue of "Commonweal" entitled, "Why People Leave the Church: Don't Blame the Zeitgeist,", John Garvey states:

" is too easy for some of us who stick with the church to say, 'Where else have we to go?' That was said of Jesus Christ, not of the institution. These days there are many other paths a seeker might choose-not only other churches (all of which have their own share of sorrows), but an honest, individual, inquiring search that might or might not end up leaving the searcher open to the truths of the gospel. Such an individualistic course is a great loss, I think, where the life of the sacraments and spiritual counsel is concerned; but I can see how someone might end up there.

"We excuse the institution and its representatives too easily. One of my teachers, the late historian and theologian John Meyendorff, pointed out that Jesus’ denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees, the representatives of organized religion at the time, can-and should-be understood as a criticism of a similarly complacent and self-satisfied Christianity."

Since we are all flawed human beings, all churches will contain flawed human beings, including the Church of Jesus! However, what separates the Church of Jesus from most of the institutional Church is that members of the former do their very best to love God with all their hearts and put other people's interests and feelings ahead of their own.

When such people finally see the naked corruption of the Christian life celebrated within man-made structures, they are rightly offended, and we can expect that sooner or later even more of God's people will flee these oppressive institutions and take spiritual shelter in the arms of God within churches worthy of the name and/or within the spiritual house, the sanctuary, of their very own souls!
Share |

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I remember a few years ago the comedian Paula Poundstone characterized Log Cabin Republicans by saying, "They even hate their own lifestyle." Despite rhetoric to the contrary, when it was estimated that about 23% of LGBT people voted for George Bush in the last Presidential election, where he largely ran on the platform of writing discrimination against same-sex couples into the Constitution, all the rationalizations and seeming justifications in the world don't cover over the basic self-loathing of Gay people who would support candidates for the highest office in the land who advocate for their continued treatment as second-class citizens.

In a characteristically excellent article entitled, "Goodbye Gay Conservatives, Don't Let The Door Hit You," Wayne Besen writes:

"Republicans in Congress have blocked gay rights progress for nearly three decades. It was President George W. Bush who stumped for a Federal Marriage Amendment. It was Sen. Majority Leader Trent Lott who once compared gay people to kleptomaniacs and alcoholics. I could fill 10 columns with despicable acts and words lobbed at the GLBT community by members of the Republican Party. While the Democrats are not perfect (see Sam Nunn), anyone who compares the two parties is smoking something that has higher street, than political value."

"Family Values actually do matter and I will not apologize for placing the protection of my family above tax cuts for the very wealthy. [Dale] Carpenter ["a prominent gay writer] does not like it when gay conservatives are called self-loathing, but what else can one call people who don’t prioritize legal protection for themselves and the ones they love?"

[For the full article, see here.]

One doesn't have to support the Republican party to be self-loathing! In an article that appeared in yesterday's Advocate, the following is stated:

"[Patrick] Guerriero [campaign director for No on 8 in California] stressed, donations need to keep rolling in at that rate through Election Day, at least, in order to get the pro-LGBT side back in the fight monetarily -- and of 1 million LGBT adults in California, only 30,000 have contributed so far -- and that not a single LGBT demographic or region in the state had given what would be required to win the battle.

"'When you do the math, if we have a million adults and we have 30,000 donors, that means 970,000 have not given a dollar yet,' he said. 'That means there's not a single neighborhood, there's not a single street, there's not a single congressional district, there's not a single county where we're getting enough support from LGBT Californians.'"

I honestly believe that after being inundated with generations of lies stating that being Gay is a sin; Gay people will go to hell; same-sex attraction and love are "intrinsically disordered," even many non-Christian Gay people have internalized these hateful messages and feel that they are not worthy to have the same civil rights, including the right to marriage, that heterosexuals enjoy.

Hence, the denigrating and self-defeating labels and behaviors used by all too many Gay people, many of whom view themselves as "progressive," that serve to perpetuate and reinforce the consignment of LGBT people to a netherworld of second class citizenship, including the right to marry, that we all too frequently see, and to which I've referenced and discussed many times.

Therefore, it's not all that surprising that out of about one million LGBT people in California, only about thirty thousand have contributed to fight against the hateful and mean-spirited Proposition 8 in California that seeks to deny same-sex couples the right to marry. And it may well be that many, if not most, of the rest who did not contribute really, deep down, don't believe that they are worthy to partake of the institution of marriage and, thereby, have their relationships accorded the same dignity and legitimacy as heterosexual marriage enjoys.

So, one doesn't have to be a Gay reactionary to suffer from self-loathing and a visceral belief that he/she is not entitled to full and equal civil and sacramental rights.

However, it's Gay political reactionaries who best highlight the very disturbing phenomenon of self-loathing and the basic feelings of unworthiness when they engage in an alignment with reactionary political forces within society that actively oppress them.

In this connection, I think it is fitting that I reprint an article I wrote last year entitled, "The Pathology of the Gay Conservative."

The following is the text of that article:

To "conserve" in the political sense, means to adhere to traditions of fiscal responsibility and seek to minimize the government's intrusion or encroachment on individual rights! If that is what we meant in today's U.S. by "conservative," that would be a perfectly understandable political position for a rational Gay person to take.

However, the unfortunate reality is that what passes for "conservatism" today is diametrically opposed to those very traditional principles! President Bush inherited an economic surplus and in just a few short years we have come to the point where we have the largest debt that this nation has ever seen. We invaded a sovereign country based on lies and deceit, having 9/11 cynically used as a pretext to enter a war that I believe was planned before Bush even took office.

Moreover, with the initiation of the Patriot Act, suspension of habeas corpus for those viewed as "enemy combatants," and a whole host of other encroachments on our civil liberties, this Administration is anything but "conservative," and has done a great deal to encroach upon our individual liberties, more than ably and willingly abetted by most of the mainstream media that has both uncritically accepted the sound bytes emanating from the self-serving White House, acting as mere stenographers of the political spin of the day, and airing hitherto unthinkable hateful rhetoric from assorted talk show hosts.

However, one of the consequences of all of this relatively rapid change in our society is the demonization of LGBT people by the self-described "conservative" forces in this country, and the cowardly capitulation to those forces of the opposing, the Democratic, party that has to appeal to an electorate inundated with what is purported to be "conservative" ideas that are really pure naked hatred dressed in the drag of "conservatism." So we even have political opponents adopting many of the "ideas" of those who garner votes and market share of audience by frequently hateful rhetoric and the playing of the politics of exclusion, and who feel the need to intrude on others' private lives, deny them dignity and full and equal civil rights, and frame our political sport as one where one can't tell the players without a scorecard and, unfortunately, when it comes to LGBT rights, the scorecard doesn't show either side in a very favorable light. So, the reality becomes that every decent person who wants to partake of the political process in the U.S. has to support/choose the least of two evils, go into the voting booth, hold his/her nose, and vote!

However, when a Gay person aligns him/herself with the political party that runs on a platform of writing an Amendment into the Constitution that would seek to prevent same-sex marriage, that largely demonizes LGBT people, that is quite comfortable with the fact that there are absolutely no federal civil rights protections for LGBT people, assiduously fights "hate crime" legislation (more accurately viewed as legislation against "terrorism," as I have written before), and where LGBT people are viewed as fodder for the purpose of garnering votes, it calls into question what manifestation of self-loathing or self-denigration would foster such an alliance and, even, an allegiance.

As I have previously written, "Being Gay need not be one's top priority, just as being straight is not to be one's top priority. However, when a Gay person aligns him/herself with a political party that has as its platform to prevent same-sex marriage, supports the fact that there are no federal civil rights protections for LGBT people, and is generally hostile to LGBT people, supporting that political party reeks of masochism in my book, and shows that person to be "ignorant and/or mendacious and/or traitorous'."

I want to try to delve into the dynamics of Gay people aligning themselves with today's Republican party, a party that has fostered an anti-Gay agenda that is quite extraordinary from a number of perspectives, not the least being the fact that it regards itself as "conservative," all the while it seeks to limit the human freedom to legally relate to another whom one loves and to whom one seeks to make a lifetime commitment. Why would a Gay person seek to align him/herself with a political party and its allies that view same-sex marriage as an assault on "traditional family values," ruining "the sanctity of marriage" (posited by people many of whom have been married more than once or even twice), and who apparently feel no compunction about ridiculing Gay people?

I've heard more than one such Republican Gay person say that, although they were Gay, that isn't all they were. They were not one issue voters, and that their being Gay wasn't the major part of their lives or identities. Fair enough! However, let's consider another scenario.

If I lived on welfare and food stamps, would it make any sense if I aligned myself with the Democratic Party, for example, if it had as its platform that it was going to do away with welfare and food stamps, and deny those who were on those programs its benefits? Even though I might not consider my economic situation to be the most important "identity" I had, or the fact that I didn't consider myself to be a one issue voter, would it make any rational sense if I voted for the Democratic ticket if it largely ran on such a platform? I doubt many would answer, "yes," to this rhetorical question.

I really believe that the bombardment of anti-Gay messages throughout our lives in assorted venues, not the least of which is most of the organized Church, has taken hold on many LGBT people's lives and psyches and, even though many are "out," they still harbor a visceral self-loathing that manifests itself by many identifying with their oppressors. This phenomenon is quite common in a variety of arenas, and it's called "the Stockholm Syndrome", where the oppressed become emotionally attached to their oppressors.

Succumbing to this phenomenon doesn't denote any necessary intentional malice (although the subsequent consequence of that decision can provoke maliciousness) on the part of the victim. It seems to me that it merely denotes that in order to maintain one's "ego integrity," and one's inner sense of "dignity," one feels that he/she must identify with his/her oppressors (though not consciously acknowledging them as such), so as to consciously reject the role of "victim" and embrace the role as being one of their comrades. Indeed, in this case, "comrades in arms." (This phenomenon is seemingly quite widespread, as I remember reading a poll shortly after the last Presidential election that about 23% of LGBT people voted for President Bush who largely ran on the platform of placing an amendment into the Constitution preventing same-sex marriage.)

Of course, Gay people, like many of the rest of the population, care about higher taxes (though it could be viewed as irrational to support a political party that has virtually guaranteed higher taxes to pay for the profligate spending that has occurred in these past several years), limited government (though that, too, is irrational, if one is supporting a party that has grossly intruded on many of the bulwarks of our judicial system, such as habeus corpus, and wiretapping without judicial oversight or even prior approval), and would want to vote accordingly. However, the reality of today's "conservatives," of today's Republican party, does not address these concerns, and it doesn't take a Democrat or an Independent to point out that fact.

Basically, I believe that when one supports a political party that works against that person's very dignity, personhood, and right to pursue happiness that is the right of every human being to enjoy in the U.S., he/she is manifesting his/her conscious and/or unconscious self-loathing in a "Stockholm Syndrome" that not only affirms the party that largely institutionalizes that oppression, but devalues the dignity of the person succumbing to that syndrome and casts him or her as one who is "ignorant and/or mendacious and/or traitorous'."

If you haven't already done so, I strongly urge you to please contribute to fight against Proposition 8. So much is at stake for the acquisition of full and equal civil rights both now and in the foreseeable future, both in California and, by extension, in other states as well!

The link by which you can contribute can be found at the top of the sidebar of my blog.
Share |

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


To show an ugly side of part of the institutional Church in the face of heroism, the following commentary was made on a website that says it provides "Internet users with reliable Catholic editorial oversight, commentary, and direction," and it bills itself as "one of the first, largest, and most well-known faithful Catholic websites on the Internet." [See here.]

In today's post regarding the heroic stand taken by a Roman Catholic priest who no longer could align himself with the hateful and destructive teachings of the Roman Catholic Church regarding Gay people, the commentator on the blog, "Catholic Culture: Living the Catholic Life," wrote the following:

"If [Father Geoffrey Farrow's] parishioners were tossing a few dollars in the collection basket every week, thinking that they were paying the upkeep of a loyal Catholic minister, they've been conned.

"But let's not look backward. Healing and growth, baby!"

[For the full post, see here.]

To whom is this callous response of this "well-known Catholic website" referring?

It's referring to a truly heroic Roman Catholic priest, Father Geoffrey Farrow:

In a mass he gave, he said the following:

"'The statement made by the bishop reaffirms the feelings of exclusion and alienation that are suffered by individuals and their loved ones who have left the Church over this very issue," Farrow told parishioners during the Mass. "Imagine what hearing such damaging words at Mass does to an adolescent who has just discovered that he/she is gay/lesbian?'"

Father Fallow, for his heroic stand against his Bishop who, like other Bishops, are telling their priests to tell their congregations to vote for Proposition 8 in California that seeks to overturn the California State Supreme Court's decision to allow same-sex marriages in the state, has been dismissed from his role as priest at the Newman Center.

"'He's no longer a pastor at the Newman Center," [Deacon Jesse] Avila said of Farrow. 'We have appointed a temporary administrator and we are currently looking for a priest to serve as a pastor for long term.'

"After Farrow's statements at the Oct. 5 mass, [Bishop John] Steinbock issued a report defending the Diocese of Fresno's stance on Proposition 8 and saying it does not discriminate against gays or lesbians.

"'It is tragic that Proposition 8 opponents have convinced some well-intentioned people that Proposition 8, as a legitimate legislative initiative to define the institution of marriage, is somehow a condemnation of people of same sex orientation,' Steinbock said in a Oct. 6 report. "Nothing could be further from the truth."

[For the full article, see here.]

So, in addition to callousness, we also have some sort of twisted double-think where to deprive same-sex couples of the right to marry is somehow construed as not being discriminatory or condemning of "people of same sex orientation."

What else is it but discrimination and condemnation if you say that same-sex orientation is "intrinsically disordered," and that same-sex couples are to be denied the same civil rights that are enjoyed by heterosexual couples; you actively tell all who would presume to be "faithful Catholics" to vote for this discriminatory proposition?

What else is it but discrimination and condemnation when you consign Gay people to a netherworld of "disordered" people who must live lives of unfulfillment if they are to be in God's will?

And then we wonder why intelligent, sensitive, people are turned off of Christianity, and why there is so much hatred and discrimination visited upon LGBT people!

The legalists, perfectionists, and those who have the temerity to speak exclusion (but not calling it "discrimination" and "condemnation") of others in the name of God have done more than the devil himself could do to make Christians look like a pack of harsh, judgmental haters.

Can you imagine the horrible impact that the Roman Catholic Church's stand on same-sex love has on impressionable Gay and other youth, and how its message of Gay people being "disordered" plays out in so many people's lives?
Share |

Monday, October 13, 2008


Chicage might get a "Gay-friendly" high school, due to the routine harrassment of students who are Gay or perceived to be Gay.

"Public school officials in Chicago, Illinois, are recommending approval of a "gay-friendly" high school because harassment and violence are causing gay students to skip class and drop out at alarming rates...."

"The national study, which the group says is the most comprehensive report ever on the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students nationwide, found that 86.2 percent of those students reported being verbally harassed, 44.1 percent physically harassed and 22.1 percent physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation.

"This harassment, the study concludes, has affected students' ability to achieve success in school, causing their grade-point level to be, on average, half a point lower than that of heterosexual students nationwide.

"Dropout levels are higher among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students because of more frequent truancy, the study found. Almost 32 percent of those students missed a class because of feeling unsafe, compared with only 5.5 percent of heterosexual students nationwide, the study said.

"Truancy and lower grades aren't the only repercussions of anti-gay sentiments in schools, said Kevin Jennings, the founder and executive director of GLSEN. He cited the killing of Lawrence King, a 15-year-old student shot by a classmate in Oxnard, California, in February after King asked to be his valentine."

Those limited human beings who would think of voting for Proposition 8 in California, the bill to overturn the California State Supreme Court's decision that currently allows for same-sex marriage, frequently use as their justification the "harm it will do to our children." What they fail or refuse to realize is that there is absolutely no evidence that same-sex marriage will in any way harm children, or anyone else for that matter, and that by their seeking to restrict Constitutional rights they are, in fact, poisoning the minds of children, all the while contributing to the increased coarsening of our culture.

It's a sad state of affairs when there is the need for a high school designed to protect kids from other kids who learn hate from their parents and other adults who profess to be "Christians" or "decent," all the while acting like ravening wolves. If these people really cared about children, they would model behavior that makes sure that every citizen enjoys the same rights and privileges as every other citizen; see to it that no group is singled out and targeted for discrimination.

To the degree that any adult seeks to limit or rescind the civil rights of others, it's to that degree that he/she is poisoning the minds of their, and our, children!
Share |

Saturday, October 11, 2008


As you well know, both Don Charles [Please see his most recent three part post entitled, "My Third Book of Testimony; Lipstick on a Fascist Pig."] and I have railed against the use of pejorative epithets toward anyone, be the source reactionary homophobes or LGBT people themselves; be the source White Supremacists or African Americans themselves.

The use of such language cuts deep and can do nothing but demean the object(s) of those epithets as well as help retard full acceptance of all of God's children.

The following essay from Don Charles shows how the increasing level of coarseness in the culture, all too common within the African American and LGBT communities, and emanating from a major LGBT publication no less, both diminishes another human being and will eventually redound to our collective defeat.

This is Don Charles' superb essay on this subject:

Is it ever acceptable for a White-dominated media outlet to racially disparage an elderly African-American woman? That's the question readers of the online Gay newsmagazine New York Blade were challenged to ask themselves last week. As they linked to an article about a new celebrity autobiography, their eyes fixed on a startling title: The Black Bitch is Back.

Who is this “Black bitch”? Diahann Carroll is one of the African-American community's most revered icons. She can boast of a 50-year career as a successful actress, model and singer. She's appeared in such critically acclaimed motion pictures as Carmen Jones, Porgy And Bess, Hurry Sundown and Claudine. She was the first Black woman to star as a romantic lead opposite a White co-star on Broadway. Her TV credits go back to 1960 and include notable series like “Perry Mason”, “A Different World”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Naked City” and “Roots”. She became a feminist symbol, as well as a role model to single mothers and registered nurses, on her groundbreaking 1968 TV series "Julia". She’s the recipient of a Golden Globe, and has been nominated for numerous Emmy, Tony and Image Awards. She’s a celebrity breast cancer survivor and treatment advocate. She was, and still is, one of our most beautiful stars, not to mention an enduring Black female sex symbol.

So why would the New York Blade think it was OK, not only to slap the B-word on a woman of this stature, but also insult her racial identity? Maybe it has to do with a popular primetime soap opera that she co-starred in two decades ago? Before "Dynasty" hit the airwaves in 1981, it was rare to hear the word "bitch" used on network TV. That changed when the writing staff of Aaron Spelling's sprawling saga of the filthy rich decided to push the language envelope. The B-word was liberally applied to Joan Collins' scheming character, Alexis Colby, and it was sure to be heard during catfight scenes regularly staged between Collins, Linda Evans and other female co-stars. To be sure, the sexist insult had always been part of America’s slang lexicon, but once "Dynasty" topped the Nielsen ratings list, it came into popular use like never before.

By the time the TV series notched its third season, criticism was mounting about a dearth of minority characters. Aaron Spelling put out the call for a Black actress; he wanted to cast a new nemesis for Alexis Colby. Reportedly, Joan Collins was instrumental in getting her old friend Diahann Carroll hired. Prior to her debut on the show, Ms. Carroll gave numerous interviews about her forthcoming role. Playfully, she told the press how much she looked forward to playing "the first Black bitch" on television. Often, she would whisper the nasty words with a mischievous twinkle in her eye.

However, anyone who remembers her scenes on "Dynasty" knows that her character, Dominique Devereaux, was nothing like Alexis Colby. She was a strong and tenacious woman, determined to claim her birthright as a member of the wealthy Carrington clan, but she never had evil motives. The "Black bitch" label was nothing but ill-conceived hype. The media never forgot it, though, and evidently, that's why the author and/or editor of Ms. Carroll's latest interview felt justified in applying the slur to her all these years later. But is that really the reason they did it? And are they really justified?

The answer to the first question is "no". The New York Blade isn't merely using Diahann Carroll's words against her. It's following a growing trend in Gay media to feature slurs prominently in their copy. Scan the covers of recent editions of The Advocate, Out Magazine, The Liberty Press and other national and regional Gay publications, and you'll find crass captions like "God Loves Fags", "Blood, Sweat and Queers", "Yeah, I'm A Fag" and "Derby Dykes". Even trashy supermarket weeklies like the Examiner and the National Enquirer don't lead with language this crude. Gay media is quickly becoming known as the place where you can indulge in Don Imus-style potty mouth and get away with it.

(What kind of readers are the editors going after when they approve these lurid covers? Radical LGBT sex and gender activists? Straight bigots? Tabloid addicts? Just plain ignorant folk? Before you pick up these rags, ask yourself if you're really part of the target readership. If you're really not, then your two dollars and/or your leisure time would probably be better spent elsewhere.)

The answer to the second question is also "no". The term "Black bitch" dates back to slavery times. White overseers were known to hurl it at Black female captives. Documentation of its use appears in slave narratives, where we learn that it was often followed by beatings or worse forms of "discipline". Diahann Carroll was wrong to fling the term around so casually, even if she clearly meant no harm by it. That insult carries too much blood-stained baggage. It bears pointing out, though, that when she used it, she was always referring to her "Dynasty" character, never to herself! And what if the lady had been referring to herself? Does that give White people, or people of any ethnic background, the right to appropriate the same language when talking about her? Two wrongs don’t make a right, and in this case, the second wrong is worse than the first.

What do you bet that Ms. Carroll never gave the New York Blade permission to call her a "Black bitch" in print? That decision was undoubtedly made after the interview, without her approval. It stuns me to think that any journalistic body could be so brazen, so disgraceful, and so mean. This woman is 73 years old! She's got grandchildren (discussed in the article) who no doubt access the Internet regularly, and who might search for articles about their famous grandmother . . . if not now, then certainly as they grow older. How would Blade staffers feel if they saw their grandparents called "White bitches" or "Honky bastards" in the title of a Web article? How would they like seeing Nana and Gramps introduced to millions of strangers that way? If they'd put the title in quotes, it still wouldn't have been appropriate, but at least they’d have shown the woman a modicum of respect. No respect is shown whatsoever. Readers are unambiguously invited to read an interview with a Black bitch named Diahann Carroll.

I was just infuriated when I saw this headline. I already knew that Blade editors were in love with the word “queer”, but here they hit a new low of insensitivity. This is beyond insensitivity. This is beyond stupidity! I can only conclude that it reflects latent racist impulses on their part, the same impulses that prompt White Gay audiences to guffaw at "Shirley Q. Liquor" comedy routines. "Shirley Q. Liquor" is a cruel and degrading caricature of poor Black women, performed by a White drag artist in Blackface makeup. Jasmyne Cannick was one of the first Black bloggers to raise a sustained alarm about this vicious portrayal, and believe it or not, some White LGBT folk have attacked her for doing so. A handful have even called her (you guessed it!) a “Black bitch”. These ugly racial attitudes within Gay ranks must be rooted out before they grow serious enough to become another stumbling block to liberation (see my series of the same title under the Politics label).

With His Fifth Commandment, God instructed the ancient Israelites to respect their elders. Centuries later, Jesus Christ affirmed that Commandment for Christian converts. While I don’t expect the staffers of the New York Blade to be Christians, I do expect them to know what respect is. What should happen to journalists who are nasty enough to racially disparage an elderly woman? Maybe when they reach their declining years and find themselves residing in a rest home, they should be cared for by ignorant, racist (or homophobic) doctors, nurses and orderlies! Maybe they should learn firsthand how it feels to be the subject of sexual and racial slurs at an advanced age. It would serve them right, and you know, it might happen just that way! My Grandmother Jacobs always told me: "Child, what you do to other people will always come back to you." New York Blade staffers, you've got it coming. Don't say you weren't warned.
Share |

Friday, October 10, 2008


This is great news! Same-sex marriage is now legal in Connecticut.

"The Connecticut supreme court Friday issued a 4-3 decision in favor of eight gay couples who were the plaintiffs in Kerrigan and Mock v. the Connecticut Department of Public Health, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. Connecticut will now become the third state in the country behind Massachusetts and California where gay couples are allowed equal access to marriage. As in California and Massachusetts, out-of-state couples will be eligible to marry in Connecticut."

[For the full article, see here.]

"'The Supreme Court has spoken,' [Gov.] Rell said in a statement. 'I do not believe their voice reflects the majority of the people of Connecticut. However, I am also firmly convinced that attempts to reverse this decision-either legislatively or by amending the state Constitution-will not meet with success.'"

[For the full article, see here.]

Gov. Rell is wise enough to realize that we are a nation under LAW; not under the prejudices and whims of PEOPLE.

This ruling should encourage those of us who see same-sex marriage as a civil rights issue to continue moving the ball forward; one way of doing that is to do our very best to see that Proposition 8 in California is defeated!

It will happen quickly or slowly, but we are to have absolutely no doubt that same-sex marriage will eventually be legal in every single state in the U.S!
Share |

Thursday, October 9, 2008


It's ironic that Proposition 8's promising fortunes have seemed to have changed for the worse within the last few days, largely because of the constant advertisements showing a seemingly cocky Gavin Newsom advocating for same-sex marriage. The fate of Prop. 8 is in the hands of the voters in California, and the outlook as of this time is not one about which to be complacent.

The Mormon Church is, again, telling its members to assiduously lobby and vote against this measure, again appealing to doing "the work of the Lord":

"'What we're about is the work of the Lord, and He will bless you for your involvement,' apostle M. Russell Ballard said during the hourlong meeting, which was broadcast to church buildings in California, Utah, Hawaii and Idaho.

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is part of a coalition of conservative groups backing Proposition 8, which would overturn the California Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in the nation's most populous state by amending the state constitution to limit marriage to a man and a woman.

"Mormons have been active participants in the campaign both as volunteers and financial contributors, giving an estimated 43 percent - some $8.4 million - to the Proposition 8 campaign, according to the Web site There are about 770,000 Mormon church members in California, but Mormons from outside the state have been encouraged to give money and time to help pass the measure."

[For the full article, see here.]

As I previously wrote regarding the LDS Church and its stance on Gay people and same-sex marriage:

"A new pamphlet put out by "LDS Church leaders" ..."urges those who have felt rejected by fellow church members to 'show love and kindness to others' in order to help change attitudes and follow Christ more fully. No member of the church should ever be intolerant.' At the same time, 'it is not helpful to flaunt homosexual tendencies or make them the subject of unnecessary observation or discussion,' the document says. 'It is better to choose as friends those who do not publicly display their homosexual feelings. The careful selection of friends and mentors who lead constructive, righteous lives is one of the most important steps to being productive and virtuous.'"

" therapist [David Pruden] familiar with the content said it is a valid attempt by church leaders to reach out, acknowledging that anything official on such a volatile subject 'can be misread. I feel for them,'"

"No David! I feel sorry for the countless numbers of Gay people and their families who are victimized by this kind of ignorant hatred! I feel sorry that people like the leadership of your Church, and those within almost all denominations within Christianity, have so infused the culture that their ignorant and warped understanding of sexuality and emotional sensibilities have tainted so many people's lives both inside and outside of your Church! I feel sorry for the Gay kids thrown out of their homes by their very own families because they listened to the likes of your Church's rhetoric, and were and are erroneously and tragically thinking that the leaders of your Church, and those of other like-minded churches, were and are speaking for the God of love! I feel sorry for the many Gay children who commit suicide, or who are made to suffer for the rest of their lives because of this ignorant hatred done in the name of "compassion!"

"May God help us all from the ravages this Church and others like it have done to so many Gay people's lives!"

[For the full article, see here.]

It's ironic that the LDS Church would support those who rely on the worn out phrase "traditional marriage" when advocating against same-sex marriage, particularly given its own checkered marital and sexual history. Apparently, hypocrisy isn't restricted to secular society, but can be promulgated as being part of "the work of the Lord."

It's very crucial that every single person in California who truly cares about full and equal rights for every citizen, get out and vote against Proposition 8. The future of civil rights for LGBT people in California and, by extension, in the rest of the nation, hangs on the outcome of this vote!
Share |

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


In celebration of the founding of the Metropolitan Community Churches 40 years ago, a website has been launched, entitled, In Our Own Words that contains information and videos celebrating that revolutionary event.

Rev. Elder Troy Perry [Pictured] was the Founder, and the Moderator of the UFMCC for 37 years, and he's an indefatigable traveller, giving speeches to assorted groups hammering home the message that one can be a Christian and be LGBT as well; there is nothing inconsistent between the two, as God did not create people so that He could sit around and hate them.

Of all the voices out there, as far as I know his was the first to show the seamless relationship between Christianity and same-sex love and relationships; he has been in the vanguard of insisting of equal civil and sacramental rights for ALL of God's children!

Check out this site, as I think you'll be encouraged and blessed.

Also, click on this link to see a variety of photos commemorating this milestone.

Here is the text of the Moderator of MCC, Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson [Pictured], also commemorating this event:

Celebrating MCC's 40th Anniversary: 1968 - 2008

The Rev. Nancy L. Wilson
MCC Moderator

Report on MCC's 40th Anniversary
by The Rev. Nancy L. Wilson, Moderator

Followed by Rev. Wilson's remarks delivered at the Gala Anniversary Dinner of MCC Los Angeles, October 4, 2008

Monday . October 6, 2008

Happy 40th Anniversary MCC! Today marks the anniversary of the founding of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1968.

I know many of you celebrated this anniversary in your own churches on Sunday and today I'd like to share with you some of the wonderful events that took place this past weekend in Los Angeles.

Thanks to the generosity of photographer Mark Hahn, I'm also pleased to share photos of the anniversary events in LA. You can view these photos on-line at Additional photos will be added over the next several days, so be sure to visit often!

Rev. Troy Perry, Rev. Darlene Garner, Dr. Cindi Love, and members of our staff were thrilled to join Rev. Dr. Neil Thomas and the congregation of MCC Los Angeles in a gala celebration at the Renaissance Montura Hotel in Los Angeles on October 4th. Rabbi Denise Eger of Congregation Kol Ami and Councilman John Duran of West Hollywood were among the honored guests,.

At the end of this message, you'll find my remarks from Saturday's anniversary dinner. Highlights of the evening included a special presentation to Rev. Perry and Phillip De Blieck for their important role in Marriage Equality in California, music by the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, and the unveiling of the design model of a memorial sculpture incorporating the MCC logo that will be a centerpiece of MCCLA's new facilitates in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles. A renovation project to expand the sanctuary and add a balcony will begin in February 2009.

A young, heterosexual, Muslim woman who attends MCC Los Angeles spoke of being inspired by MCC's courageous example -- she is now reaching out and organizing Muslim women, in particular, to reform a tradition that has been hijacked and distorted in modern times by radical fundamentalism.

On Sunday morning, we dedicated the new sanctuary -- with overflow crowds at both services. The bilingual choir, young dancers, spirited preaching and moving liturgy had us enthralled throughout the morning. Rev. Dr. Neil Thomas took us on an exploration of the scripture's uses of the symbol of 40 to indicate transformation, and to mark the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. He challenged us not to rest on our past accomplishments, but to seize the opportunity and allow MCC's 40th anniversary to be the launch pad to a future we must embrace.

It is clear that MCC Los Angeles is alive and on the move in 2008.

I spotted many old timers at the dinner, not the least of which were former pastors Rev. Lee Carlton, who pastors Cornerstone MCC in Mobile, Alabama, and Rev. Donald Pederson, who serves as a hospital chaplain in Southern California. Pastors Bob Goss and Joseph Shore from MCC in The Valley were also present, as were many friends from far and near.

Let me also express again my appreciation to each congregation that received a Fellowship Sunday Offering for Children, Youth, and Young Adults this past Sunday. Other churches will be receiving their offerings over the next two or three weeks. It's not too late for your church to participate in this annual opportunity – simply write to me at

With the events in Los Angeles of this past weekend, and similar events that took place in MCC congregations around the world, we have launched a year-long observance of MCC's 40th anniversary of ministry, service, and prophetic voice to our world.

A copy of my remarks from Saturday evening's Gala Anniversary Dinner in Los Angeles follows below.

Grace and peace,
Rev. Nancy L. Wilson
Metropolitan Community Churches

"The Founding Church of the International MCC Movement "
Renaissance Montura Hotel . Los Angeles
October 4, 2008
Rev. Nancy L. Wilson, Keynote Speaker


Pastor Neil Thomas, members and friends of MCC Los Angeles, thank you for the privilege of addressing you this evening.

In the Beginning, God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. And in 1968, God said it again -- and there was Metropolitan Community Church of Los Angeles, the world's first MCC church.

Jesus said, "You are the light of the world." Before 1968, who knew that he meant us? Who knew that we would be called upon to shine a light in so many places that needed illumination? Who knew this task included the Church that bears Jesus' name, and the many, many places where the Church would never dare to go!

Troy Perry, who could have believed it 40 years ago?

My personal thanks to you, Troy. I discovered MCC in 1972, when MCC was 4, not 40, and I was 22 and in my first weeks of seminary. I met you in the parlor of Boston's Arlington Street Unitarian Church, in Boston; I can still see you as you jumped to your feet in that cassock and surplice.

And those sideburns!

Troy, you were larger than life and you filled that small chapel with the most amazing blend of gospel preaching and radical justice-speak, and it swept me off my feet. I knew then: This movement, this path of illumination, was worth living and dying for. It was worth risking everything for. You taught me that, Troy.

You came to Boston the first weekend of February 1973, the week after the MCCLA church building was arsoned and burned to the ground. People were mad at you for leaving them in Los Angeles, when they were hurting so much, so that you could receive us into MCC. Little did you know that you left Los Angeles that week to take into membership the next Moderator of MCC. But God knew.

In 1968, illumination happened in the form of a new church, and a new movement. Only 14 years later, we would be so grateful for that church and movement in the face of HIV/AIDS.

Today, queer communities around the world struggle for justice and hope. Those communities can look to us today, because of the struggles and victories of 40 years.

When I think of MCCLA and the MCC movement in our first decade, I think back to 1977. I was a new Elder and I showed up for my third Elders meeting in Los Angeles. The Elders were there -- but Troy wasn't. He was in downtown Los Angeles, fasting on the steps of the Federal Building to raise the initial funds to fight the Briggs Initiative, the ballot proposal that would have prevented gay people from teaching in California. The Elders scuttled our agenda and we went to work with MCCLA members, we got on the phones - there was no Internet! - and spent days calling MCC churches and everyone we could think of to raise $100,000 USD, which, would be the equivalent of a million dollars today.

Just a few weeks before, Troy had been at a national LGBT meeting in which the leaders recommended we not fight these state by state initiatives. It looked as if the opposition had too much money and too much support to overcome. But Troy broke ranks with them; he saw California as a do-or-die state (Does any of this sound familiar this year?) This was a must-win vote, at a time when no one thought we could win.

So there was Troy, fasting on the steps of the Federal Building, and the national leadership of the gay community was madder than hell at him, and our churches were frantic and worried. For a while it looked bleak. But we did the only thing we knew to do: we just kept at it until we raised all the money, the full $100,000 that was Troy's vision. And that money funded the first poll ever taken by LGBT organizations, and those poll results helped us develop a public education strategy, and when the ballots were counted, we won! National leaders came to know he was right; some even admitted it. Troy trusted God and his own political instincts, and that got the job done.

To MCC Los Angeles, God said, "Let there be light!" and there was your light that gave birth to a movement; a denomination; a Latin Ministry that thrives and saves lives; a synagogue; the largest LGBT center in the world; national groups like the Human Rights Campaign. Long before any seminary was talking about queer theology, you were doing it -- and you've done it every Sunday for 40 years, in sermons, with new songs to sing.

MCC Los Angeles, when I think of you, I think of a cast of characters. You know exactly what I mean! And more than that, you have your own lists and your own stories! For example, I remember Johnnie Matthews. Queer? Lesbian? Trans? She wore a yarmulke, was hard of hearing, had a difficult speech impediment, was noisy, argumentative, late to church; talked at the top of her lungs, always needed a ride (quite often from me), always monopolized newcomers (especially good-looking women). And there were those bags she carried, always filled with gifts she generously bestowed. One day, of all things, it was fortune cookies. Not just fortune cookies – these were filled with Bible verses. I stuck the thing in my desk and forgot about it.

A year later, after she had died, we were in Culver City, the roof was leaking, all hell was breaking loose and I was just overwhelmed. (Neil, don't tell me you don't know what I am talking about!) I was desperate! In my desperation, I opened the desk drawer and pulled out the fortune cookie. I broke it open and read the words, "Cast all your cares upon God, because God cares for you." Our angels come in many forms.

At Johnnie's funeral, a very attractive heterosexual woman approached me – a woman, incidentally, who for her first month in MCC thought Johnnie was this nice old man - and she said to me, "If you could accept her, then I figured you would probably accept me."

The first AIDS Vigil at MCCLA took place in late 1986 in downtown Los Angeles. We kept the church open around the clock for 24 hours, but I was worried about security. We contacted the Guardian Angels; they showed up and stood guard all night. MCCLA fought for the first AIDS hospices to be built, and then welcomed, rent free on our property for quite some time, the first pediatric AIDS residence anywhere in the world.

And later, on Sunday afternoons, teams of us would go out all over LA to hospices visiting men and women with HIV/AIDS. There were beautiful, state of the art places, and run-down nursing homes that had been turned into AIDS hospices – it ran the gamut. One of our board members worked for the Broadway Department Store, and they had these gorgeous, large plush white bears with red ribbons during the Christmas season. I guess the store had too many, because many, many dozens of them showed up that Christmas Eve at the church.

That night I went along with one of our teams to one of the worst places, where drug addicts and old drag queens went to die. We offered one of the bears to one woman, who was so grateful she just sobbed. And when she could speak, she told us she was crying because the next day, Christmas Day, her mother was bringing her six-year-old daughter to visit, and she had been upset that she had no gift to give her child on this last Christmas. And now she had this beautiful bear as the last Christmas gift she would ever give to her daughter. That story is quintessential MCCLA. It is what you do, and it is what you have done, over and over again.

MCCLA loved, touched, prayed for, and buried hundreds; your congregation has ministered to thousands of those affected and infected by HIV/AIDS. Right now, I want to say aloud the names of the clergy who served on my staff and who died of AIDS: Rev. Bob Jones, Rev. Jim Harris, Rev. Thomas Walker, Rev. Danny Mahoney, Rev. Carlos Jones. There were many others. Hundreds of lay people, board members, staff, and deacons.

I remember when we moved into West Hollywood and there was that horrible, torrential rain. And, yes, once again, a leaking roof. "Pastor, did you know there's a hole in the roof?" a young man asked. Well, of course I knew. What I didn't know was what to do about it. When it's raining, roofers in LA cost a fortune! But Brad Johnson, a young Board member who asked the question, took charge and raised $10,000 USD for a new roof.

It would come in handy...

Ten years ago this week, at our 30th anniversary, we learned of the deadly attack on young Matthew Shepherd. After the anniversary dinner, our youth and youth leaders took the tarp that had been on the roof during all the rain of the previous year and they made a huge sign on the tarp, a sign that read, "Pray for Matthew," and they hung it across the front of the church. And when young Matthew died, Troy and MCC LA staff member Rev. Dawn Wilder went to the funeral in Laramie Wyoming. Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke at a rally and press conference in MCCLA's sanctuary. We held a vigil and memorial service in front of the church, with the words of songs projected on the side of our building. And our pulpit that night was the newly repaired roof top of MCCLA, from which we spoke to the 5000 people who congregated in the street in front of MCCLA. This church helped our community grieve, and we stood up against violence.

We have known our wildernesses in 40 years, have we not? Briggs Initiatives, Anita Bryant, AIDS, arson, murders, vandalism, persecution, earthquakes, Gov. Pete Wilson's vetoes and Proposition 8.

And we have also seen the Promised Land of equal rights, marriage equality and strong thriving institutions and legacies.

You're 40, MCC Los Angeles, and you've only just begun!

Around there world, there are places still crying out for safety, safe space, and human dignity. Right here in North America, there are still locations s that have no safe space, no sanctuary, no place where a young person can find community, hope, and friends, and where there are no welcoming churches and no PFLAG.

The Latin Ministry that you founded and nurtured needs to be part of a plan to plant 100 ICM's in North American cities -- for the fastest growing sector of our population!

Today in Pakistan queer people live in fear for their lives. Same sex couples cannot live together; lesbians struggle for basic human rights and dignity; eunuchs and transpeople live in squalor and constant danger. When MCC leaders visited Pakistan for the first time this year, they met with many groups, including a group of lesbians. These young women meet secretly and are pooling their resources, sending each other to beauty school one by one, so they can operate a beauty parlor that doubles as a residence.

Why beauty school, you ask? It's the one social space in that culture where women can live and congregate unmolested. One of them wants to go to seminary. MCC's Global Justice Team and Region 1 are committed to making this a reality. It costs $1500 USD to educate one woman to beauty school and to help gain her freedom. These are our people! Our presence there has already made a difference. Even now, a light is being lit in Pakistan.

In Nigeria, today, Rainbow House of Prayer MCC is under attack. Just two weeks ago we had to sneak the pastor out of the country; members are being attacked physically and services are suspended. We must create safe space for our community in Nigeria; we must not abandon them in their time of need.

When AIDS activists in Uganda were arrested and attacked earlier this year, MCC members and leaders were there, and rallied the world to insist they these young activists be released from prison, which they have been. A light has become a firestorm of demand for human rights for sexual minorities in Africa, and MCC is fanning the flames.

Almost three years ago, the LGBT community in Jamaica lived in fear and despair, as leaders were murdered and there seemed to be no hope. Today, there is a thriving, indigenous MCC community, with 150 members who meet monthly for worship and weekly in four cities on the Island. At long last, human and civil rights for LGBT people are topics of public discussion and religious and human rights allies are speaking up and speaking out. A light has been lit that can never go out in the hearts of brave, young men and women of Jamaica, who are the future of MCC!

This is no time to be satisfied. This is no time to be complacent.

It is true in the U.S., as well as in some other countries, that lesbian and gay, if not bi and trans people, have a choice of places to go to church – especially in major cities. That's wonderful, but, MCC, we came to do a lot more than that!

In the U.S., young people are the most "unchurched" generation ever. They are not looking for an institution to prop up, or organization to join. They are looking for people to change the world with, for a movement that cares about the things they care about, that is queer enough and radical enough to honor those who, in 1968, risked lives and reputations to challenge the Church, and laws, and nations, so that those on the margins could have hope and community.

Who knew then, as we know now, that Jesus would not discriminate?

Those of us who are Americans must work for change in our country. We must change the priorities of our country. The last few, bizarre weeks are surely telling us that, if nothing else. We have work that must be done, so that justice, and peace and dignity and hope are afforded to all. Food and health care must be recognized as basic human rights. We must work for an environment that is not being destroyed and poisoned. These are the things young people care about, and these are the things we should be talking about.

MCC Los Angeles, Rev. Dr Neil Thomas, pastors, Board, lay leaders: We in MCC around the globe need you – we need your spirit, energy, creativity, holy boldness, resources, people, and commitment as never before!! We need you to still be the Gay Church where needed, or the Trans Church, or the AIDS Church, or The Mother Church or the Human Rights Church.

We are proud of you and we believe in you, and in the future you represent!

Speaking of the future: Someone asked me the other day if MCC is making plans should the U.S. economy fail.

Let me go on record right now and assure everyone that economic woes or challenges will not stop us; the Religious Right, or fundamentalists of any culture or religion will not stop us; AIDS will not stop us; failure - or success! - will not stop us; death threats and bigots will not stop us!

The light is on!And it's not going out!

Tonight, I am aware that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, those who have gone before us. They are watching us tonight, and they are waiting for us to have the kind of courage that founded MCC. They are waiting for us to find it all over again, and to fall in love with the impossible dream of a rainbow people of God.

They held up the light for so many of us.Now it's our turn to hold it up for a new generation!

MCC Los Angeles, as you turn 40, you are about something powerful that is illuminated in the human spirit; you are about something God still wants to do - something that is not yet finished.

Amen, and amen!

If you'd like to learn more about UFMCC and Rev. Troy Perry, here are some books I suggest you read. You will be blessed!

1. Troy Perry: Pastor and Prophet, edited by Chris Glasser. (This book can be obtained from the UFMCC website.)
2. 10 Spiritual Truths For Successful Living For Gays And Lesbians (and everyone else), by Rev. Troy Perry.
3. Don't Be Afraid Anymore, by Rev. Troy Perry.
4. The Lord Is My Shepherd And He Knows I'm Gay, by Rev. Troy Perry.
Share |

Monday, October 6, 2008


Please read this article.

This man is stupid enough to express what many clergy and their followers feel who inhabit most of the institutional Church! I have absolutely no doubt that in the U.S. the Sunday before the Presidential election, many, if not most, clergy will be preaching on "the sanctity of marriage" from the pulpit and how "it's the duty of every Christian to vote." Given their tax exempt status, they are not allowed to express which candidate for whom to vote, but they really don't have to. The message for whom to vote is indirectly made very clear, and we can be sure that most all "evangelicals" will go to the polls and vote for McCain.

When Christianity can be perverted in such a manner as expressed by Rev. Dr. Peter Mullen, the Chaplain to the London Stock Exchange, it is high time for those who take Jesus and the Gospel seriously to speak out and condemn this perversion; we are to recognize that such "religious" hatred is not confined to the U.S.

If we don't rise up and condemn such hatred, we are just as culpable in its expression as is this hater who wears a collar!

And after public some public revulsion was expressed, he had the temerity to state:

"But the rector insisted that he meant to harm: 'I wrote some satirical things on my blog and anybody with an ounce of sense of humour or any understanding of the tradition of English satire would immediately assume that they're light-hearted jokes. I certainly have nothing against homosexuals. Many of my dear friends have been and are of that persuasion. What I have got against them is the militant preaching of homosexuality.'"

In regard to having a "sense of humour," none of us should view the expression of hatred as a laughing matter!
Share |


Has this become what the leadership in the U.S. who aspire to the Presidency have come to? Does anyone really believe that a McCain/Palin Presidency would, in any way, be friendly or even neutral to LGBT civil rights?

Share |

Friday, October 3, 2008


The following post is a terrific, erudite essay that my good friend, Don Charles, was going to place as a comment. I asked him if I could feature it on my blog, and he kindly gave me his permission to do so, and I'm delighted he did. It is a statement that must be taken to heart by anyone who is truly concerned about the acquisition of full and equal civil rights for LGBT people.

This is his essay:

"I understand there's an argument that the Folsom Street Fair should be beyond criticism because the event raises a substantial amount of money for charity. People who make that argument need reminding that the good things you do don't cancel out the bad things you do. The bad can certainly cancel out the good, though. Here's an example: Gay circuit parties were once touted as great anti-AIDS fundraisers until somebody told the inconvenient truth that these events were orgies of illegal drug use and unprotected sex.

"It's commendable that the Folsom Street organizers have a social conscience. Where is that conscience, though, when they promote their Marquis de Sade celebration as an expression of "Gay culture"? They're marketing a lie, and one that's immeasurably harmful. All the charity funds in the world can't make up for the political damage done when Gay identity is equated in the public mind with fetish worship, humiliation and the infliction of pain. The price of stamping out AIDS infection shouldn't be the marginalization of LGBT folk and the distorting of LGBT sexuality!

"Yet that's the price we pay every time evangelists use lurid imagery from the "Gay" Folsom Street Fair to bolster their condemnations of the Gay "lifestyle". As you well know, video taken at Folsom is one of the main sources of shock material distributed by anti-Gay forces, and when I say every time they use it, I mean thousands of times a year, every day, on TV, on the radio, in Bible bookstores, and at church services. That's how many times they succeed in scandalizing Gay, Lesbian, bisexual and transgender identity among religious Americans who know little or nothing about it, and the result is devastating. I've often heard leather/fetish enthusiasts laugh and sneer about how Folsom Street film footage rattles the Right Wing. Once that footage circulates in the Bible Belt, believe me, there's nothing to laugh about, and the sneer is directed back at them!

"Those marginalizing images translate directly into renewed opposition to employment protections, marriage equality, adoption rights, open military service, ordination of Gay clergy, membership in organizations like the Boy Scouts and initiatives designed to make school attendance safe for LGBT kids. They help drive a wedge between LGBT kids and their parents. Outside the United States, they help justify the criminalization, brutalization and execution of Gay people in the Third World. Such a high degree of negative blowback can't be laughed off.

"To be sure, fundamentalists will use whatever shocking sexual imagery they can find to vilify LGBT folk, and we can't stop them from doing that; but we damn sure don't have to make it easy for them to do! You and I agree 100% on this point: The Folsom Street Fair hasn't just been contributing to AIDS charities. It's also been sending charitable contributions to our enemies in the form of ready-made anti-Gay propaganda. Which batch of contributions has had more bang for the buck? When I look at the many "marriage protection" amendments now on the law books in state after state; when I think of how the Anglicans and most other organized religious denominations have hardened in their heterosexism; and when I read about murderous mob attacks on Gay people in the Caribbean, the answer to that question is painfully obvious! Social conscience that goes just so far is as bad or worse than no social conscience at all.

"Folsom organizers and their defenders must expand their limited social conscience. They should act forcefully to counter the false impression that the Street Fair is a Gay community event. What's wrong with saying that the (dubious) appeal of sado-masochism isn't limited to any one sexual orientation? It's the truth! There's no legitimate argument against doing so. The organizers should do this ASAP, and then they can hold their annual sex bazaar, raise beaucoups of kinky charity dollars, and continue offending the sensibilities of religious Right Wingers without sharing responsibility for distorting Gay identity. However, if they persist in promoting a lie about my sexuality, there's absolutely no reason why I shouldn't view their group in the same light as I view Focus On The Family, a group that promotes the same vicious lie.

"The hysterical people who call you a clone of Peter LaBarbera do that in order to silence an uncomfortable inner dialogue. They realize that your words have merit, even if they don't agree with you, but they're too immature to express their disagreement in a rational way. Pay them no attention, and keep sharing your important message. For my part, I have a single message for both the Hedonist Left and the Religious Right: Stop scandalizing my name. Leave the definition of my sexuality alone. Keep your sleazy, lying manipulations off of it! It's mine! It doesn't belong to you."
Share |

Thursday, October 2, 2008


In case we need reminding: This is how truly despicable homophobes can be!

"In an email exchange between Colleen Holmes [Who previously worked for the Christian Broadcasting Network as well as the Christian Legal Society, and is currently the director of the anti-gay political group Eagle Forum.] and Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness (CMR), a group dedicated to opposing women and gays in the military, Holmes suggests concocting a smear campaign against gays to ensure they are not granted open military service.

"The email encourages the use of 'horror stories' as a tactic to reverse the tide of pro-gay sentiment being expressed by many high-ranking military and Congressional leaders...."

"Holmes admits that finding such stories would be difficult, but promises they would be an effective tool in the culture war against gays and lesbians...."

This scenario should further reinforce the need to become far more aggressive in our desire for full and equal civil rights in not only the military organizations of our society, but it all parts of our society.

This exchange of emails, as well as the video below, demonstrates another reason why engaging in frivolous, apolitical, publicly offensive, hedonistic exhibitions that provide fodder for the Holmes' and Donnellys' of the world are not only counterproductive, but play right into their hands by supporting their false stereotypes of LGBT people that they thrive on, purvey, and which garner them much and undeserved support.

The last thing that is needed in the fight for full and equal civil and sacramental rights for LGBT people is to provide credibility and seeming legitimacy to those who make a veritable career out of demonizing LGBT people, and who aggressively advocate for their second-class status as citizens in society!

Although it's gut wrenching to hear, listen to the testimony of Elaine Donnelly that she gave before the House Armed Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives on the issue of repealing DADT.

This video further hammers home some of the hateful and ignorant mind-set that we're up against:

Share |