Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I wish you all a wonderful New Year!

I accessed the following video from and I thought you'd want to see it. I very much enjoyed it, and I think you will too. It's entitled, "The Times of Harvey Milk," and it was made in 1984.

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Monday, December 29, 2008


This is an interesting article. It's entitled, Report Details Gay Youth Suicide Risk. Although the findings from this empirical study seem intuitive, it's instructive to see the depth of negative and destructive impact that parental rejection upon coming out has on LGBT youth, and how that negative and destructive impact colors the rest of that person's emotional health and life.

I urge you to read the full article. The following is its beginning:

Young gay people whose parents or guardians responded negatively when they revealed their sexual orientation were more likely to attempt suicide, experience severe depression and use drugs than those whose families accepted the news, according to a new study.

The way in which parents or guardians respond to a youth's sexual orientation profoundly influences the child's mental health as an adult, say researchers at San Francisco State University. The findings appear in the January issue of Pediatrics and are being released Monday.

Although I have written so many times on this issue, I can't help but reiterate how so much of the institutional Church has done so much harm to LGBT people and to their families. Homophobic churches and pastors have contributed to, or even caused, parents to reject their Gay kids; causing untold unnecessary guilt among Gay people; helped to cause suicides, assaults and murders of LGBT people or people perceived to be Gay.

They have given perceived justification for haters, many of whom have never even set foot inside of a church, to torment, discriminate against, and even hurt or kill LGBT people. Indeed, one can only wonder at how many Gay youth suicides are attributable to the ignorant homophobic rhetoric spewed from all too many pulpits throughout the world.

And the evil of these homophobic churches and pastors, and those denominations and clergy who seek to deprive Gay people of full and equal civil rights, must be directly confronted and exposed for their demonic activities against God's LGBT children.

And we are to hold in equal contempt those clergy and other professing Christians who remain silent when LGBT people are oppressed. In my opinion, they are just as culpable and just as despicable as are the sanctimonious homophobes that occupy all too many pulpits and pews throughout the world!
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Saturday, December 27, 2008


People of different faiths -- or no faith -- and those political objectives will seek to use the preacher not only to advance their agendas, but to get him to compromise his, which is primarily sharing a message not of this world.

Secretly recorded conversations between Graham and President Richard Nixon expose some of the dangers in such relationships. Graham told Nixon he thought the president should bomb the dikes in North Vietnam to help bring the war to an end.

In an embarrassing recording from early 1972, for which Graham later profusely apologized, the evangelist is heard volunteering to Nixon that the Jewish "stranglehold" on the media "has got to be broken or this country's going down the drain."

"You believe that?" asks Nixon.

"Yes, sir," replied Graham.

"Oh boy," said Nixon, "So do I. I can't ever say that but I believe it."

"If you get elected a second time," said Graham, "then we might be able to do something."

[For the full article by Cal Thomas, "The Politics of Prayer," see here.]

Cal Thomas, in the above cited article highlights the dangers of religious figures seeking to cozy up to the President of the U.S.!

Although Thomas does not deal with this dimension of the issue he raises, it does indicate that clergy are given a moral credibility and authority in the U.S. that may well not be deserved. Indeed, to not become somewhat enmeshed with religion in the U.S. might well disqualify a candidate for even being considered a candidate for President of the U.S. (All to often, people fail to recognize that we are under the Constitution of the U.S., and not under the Bible as interpreted by a given group of clergy and others who seek to impose their view of the Bible onto the rest of us.)

So, we see Presidents going to church each Sunday, for to not go to church or, even worse, to be an avowed non-religious person, or an avowed atheist, is to somehow connote in the minds of most Americans a moral lapse that would make it virtually impossible for that person to be taken seriously as a viable Presidential contender.

Why we even have prayers at Presidential inaugurations is a question best left for another article. However, it is not only Presidents of the U.S. who may well succumb to the need to at the very least attend church and profess some level of religiosity, but most people in the U.S. give undue credence and yield moral authority to clergy who, in reality, are no closer to God than any other person who puts God first in his or her life. As the Apostle Peter said: "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons." (Acts 10:34)

Perhaps no one is given more respect, spiritual credibility, and moral authority, than the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. It is noteworthy to realize that no Pope has an audience with any President. Rather, the President has an audience with the Pope.

Hence, although it is despicable when any clergy person engages in hateful rhetoric against any group, calling members of that groups "disordered," and acting in ways that they think is "against nature," but when the Pope does it, his words reverberate around the world, and affect Roman Catholics and non-Roman Catholics everywhere, as well as those who profess having no religious affiliation. Indeed, even atheists can't help but be affected.

Can you imagine how it must feel to be a Gay person and have the self-defined "vicar of Christ" tell one and all that you are disordered? Can you imagine the guilt and the self-loathing endured by so many Gay people due to those ignorant and hateful words uttered by a Pope (or any other clergy) against them? Can you also imagine the suicides, the assaults, and the murders visited upon LGBT people because of such hateful words?

The RC Church, except under the Pontificate of Pope John XXlll, has always been "conservative," but under Pope John Paul ll and this Pope, Pope Benedict XVl it has become Reactionary, focusing on sexuality largely in order to deflect the public's attention from its own ephebophilia scandals. The Pope has ridden this horse of diversion by saying that even celibate gay men should be barred from seminaries "... because their condition suggests a serious personality disorder that detracts from their ability to serve as ministers." [See here.]

And this tactic of diversion has worked! People take this Pope's sexually ignorant pronouncements seriously enough so that he is able to exert a great degree of moral authority over Catholics and non-Catholics alike, and shift their revulsion from assorted Bishops and Priests in the RC Church where their revulsion rightly belongs to LGBT people who have provided the fodder for his cannon of hate. And we are to make no mistake: despite and behind all the sanctimonious rhetoric and convoluted rationalizations given, the basic animus behind religious and other homophobia is naked hatred, and even fear among those who are significantly insecure in their own sexuality.

In his Christmas address to the Roman Curia, Pope Benedict XVl, in part, said the following:

When the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman and asks that this order of creation be respected, it is not the result of an outdated metaphysic. It is a question here of faith in the Creator and of listening to the language of creation, the devaluation of which leads to the self-destruction of man and therefore to the destruction of the same work of God. That which is often expressed and understood by the term “gender”, results finally in the self-emancipation of man from creation and from the Creator. Man wishes to act alone and to dispose ever and exclusively of that alone which concerns him. But in this way he is living contrary to the truth, he is living contrary to the Spirit Creator. The tropical forests are deserving, yes, of our protection, but man merits no less than the creature, in which there is written a message which does not mean a contradiction of our liberty, but its condition. The great Scholastic theologians have characterised matrimony, the life-long bond between man and woman, as a sacrament of creation, instituted by the Creator himself and which Christ – without modifying the message of creation – has incorporated into the history of his covenant with mankind. [See here.]

As summarized by Andrew Sullivan, what the Pope was saying in reference to LGBT people, without directly mentioning them, is the following:

The fact of same-sex sexual and emotional orientation - displayed throughout nature and expressed by human beings since the beginning of time - is, in the Pope's view, a divine error. The entire universe must fit into the binary Thomist vision, or we are allegedly divorcing humankind from our own nature. And nature must be divorced from all new knowledge of the human and animal sciences. Well: at least the knowledge we have gained since the Middle Ages. [See here.]

By associating the protection of the tropical forests with his insistence on maintaining what he considers to be traditional gender roles, the Pope is, in essence, stating that "men should be and act like men; women should be and act like women," which I take to mean that men should be strong and women should be submissive. That is, no same-sex marriage and sexual expression as not mandated by nature as he defines it, lest humans destroy themselves. So, in essence, the Pope is saying that LGBT people are destroying human ecology just as surely as global warming is destroying the environment.

Here we have a man wearing a dress, wearing Prada shoes, who is supposedly celibate, lecturing us on love and sex; lecturing us on what God wants for all people; any deviation in sexuality is, as Sullivan summarizes the Pope's speech, "a divine error." So, the Pope is demeaning a part of God's creation by claiming God to have made "divine errors" in creating LGBT people; telling us that he knows what God's creation is to consist of, and how we all are to perform our gender roles and express our sexualities. I call that the height of chutzpa!

So many clergy in the institutional Church, and certainly the Pope, are terrorists of the mind in that they largely cause the deaths and destruction of countless LGBT people by ignorantly proclaiming that they know what God wants for each and every person; use the Bible as a weapon to impose those prejudices on the rest of us, and by continuously reinforcing the lie that Gay people are inimical to having a Godly life and human environment, have had many people, including many, if not most, LGBT people, believe that lie. Remember Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Propaganda Minister, said that no matter how big the lie, if it is repeated often enough, people will come to believe it. And he was right!

By clergy such as the Pope equating their ignorant, one dimensional views of sexuality and gender roles with what they consider to be in accordance with "nature," they have caused untold damage to LGBT people and their families; created lives lived in furtiveness and loneliness; fracturing families; helping to consign many LGBT people into ghettoized subcultures where they are forced to live as second-class, despised members of an "out group" viewed as a danger to marriage, the traditional family, and to society itself.

And to add insult to injury, so many otherwise intelligent people actually believe these lies! It must always be remembered that even if one is sincere, and not all of them are (See here for example.), he or she can be sincerely wrong! We are to never defer to mere claims of moral or any other authority, but we must demand data, demand empirical verification, of any claims made by anyone, clergy or not!

We are to never let other people define our realities for us or put us into bondage to their ways of thinking. We must never blindly defer to the utterances and prejudices of another, be he/she clergy or not, without she or he providing compelling empirical evidence supporting those claims.

We never hear clergy condemn people who get divorced; we never hear clergy advocate stoning to death adulterers or those who work on the Sabbath; we never hear clergy condemn supermarkets for selling shell fish; we never hear clergy advocating bringing back the institution of slavery in the U.S.; we never hear clergy condemning clothing stores that sell items containing mixed fibers. All of these prohibitions are in the Bible! So why not condemn these practices instead of focusing on one item that the Bible very rarely deals with, if it deals with it at all? (As I've written elsewhere, the Bible does not deal with homosexuality as we currently understand the term. See, for example, my article, "Why Every Church Must Be Open And Affirming".)

Yet, "sex" sells all sorts of products in the media; it also sells in religious institutions, and helps the participants feel morally superior, and it helps bring the money in, as it does provide material for fiery sermons that emotionally heighten the adrenaline rush that comes from both railing about Gay people as well as hearing about what is erroneously viewed as the sin of others. Indeed, sex is so powerful a topic, that it sells itself! So, it's easy to single out as a target a sexual minority group as "sinners" who are viewed as a threat to "our way of life."

If we blindly defer to clergy, or anyone else for that matter, to tell us what to think, and what is "normal" and what is "abnormal," we are listening to terrorists of the mind! And these terrorists have done incalculable damage to LGBT people and their families, largely due to the fact that all too many people have blindly believed their sexually ignorant pronouncements merely because they claim moral authority and have the trappings and presentation of self that denote a level of sanctity that appears, albeit all too often falsely, to justify that claim.

And, to top it off, regarding RC clergy, when an alleged celibate person dares to lecture us on love and sex, and we blindly believe what he says, be we Gay or Straight, we show a high degree of gullibility; when we blindly listen to homophobic clergy of any denomination, we are also de facto victims of terrorism, and we must never forget that fact!
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Friday, December 26, 2008


Who better to probe the entangled elements of the carnal and the spiritual but a gay priest? This one rhetorical question not only sets the tone for this sublime life-affirming book, and answers its own question in the author’s unabashedly humane outlook on the interconnectedness of the spirit and the flesh within each of God’s children and in the Christian life, but highlights the life of an Anglican Priest as it has been lived by this man of God.

Now retired, Father Dodman beautifully weaves into a tapestry of many of his life’s dimensions the consistency between love in all its Godly expression and the life of the Spirit. He encourages all of us to recognize our physicality while at the same time recognize that we are being simultaneously nourished by the Spirit.

Given his own life experiences, and experiences as a gay priest, he acknowledges: I have not the slightest doubt that love, whatever its manifestation, is praise to God and that God’s underlying purpose in Creation is to fashion a dominion infused with love. So much of this message has been lost on so many people, Christian and non-Christian alike, and it’s refreshing to be reminded that God created both our spiritual as well as our physical dimensions, and everything created by God is good.

His being gay is discussed in such a way as to show how seamless his sexuality is with his Christian life and profession. Regarding so much homophobia among many professing Christians, he wisely writes …what many Christians feel uncomfortable with is not simply homosexuality, but sexuality itself. Given my own experiences with homophobic professing Christians, I certainly echo Father Dodman's assertion!

His most straightforward explication of same-sex love, a love intensely felt by him toward his spouse Devan, is beautifully and trenchantly expressed when he writes: Because we are two men, our love is no less worthwhile, moral, or true. Those who would pit God against such love, who would attempt to belittle it by arbitrarily invoking questions of what is natural or unnatural, have, in my opinion, either never known love themselves, or do not in fact know God. Perhaps because of the environment in which they grew up they have been conditioned to cringe in fear at the supposed threat homosexuality poses to masculinity. This is no longer defensible.

As I've argued elsewhere, the issue is not why some people are Gay but, rather, why some people are homophobic. Homophobia doesn't make any sense on the very face of it, is inconsistent with the Christian life, and does far more harm to people than can even be imagined! And all the sanctimonious rhetoric and contextually illiterate biblical exegeses, and other manifestations of the hate that is in so many people's hearts, cannot refute the authenticity and spirituality of same-sex love and its equal viability with opposite-sex love for both the Christian and the non-Christian!

Father Dodman quotes the following from the book, “Some Day I’ll Find You,” by Father Harry Williams, he writes: “I slept with several men, in each case fairly regularly. They were all of them friends. Cynics, of course, will smile, but I have seldom felt more like thanking God than when having sex. In bed I used to praise Him there and then for the joy I was receiving and giving.” (P. 371)

Father Dodman fortunately shares this healthy view of the seamless integration of our sexuality and our spiritual lives. Their interconnectedness, like the parts that make up our bodies, are all of one piece, and to torture logic by separating them, serves no other use than by torturing ourselves, and even torturing others. Homophobic values in the name of God; idolatry of the Bible as a substitute for God; separating our emotional/sexual lives from our spiritual lives clearly have no place in Father Dodman’s life, or in any other Christian’s or non-Christian’s life.

The torturing of others is seen in his discussion of the furtiveness of life in the closet; the attempt to keep one’s reputation amidst professing Christians and others who see sexuality as being either one dimensional, a burden to carry that is inimical to the spiritual life, or a necessary part of us devoid of spiritual meaning and the presence of the love of God. Rather, our sexuality is seen as one of God’s many gifts to us, and not merely for procreative purposes, but a God-given gift that nurtures our inner being, just as God undoubtedly intended it to do.

I commend this book to you, as I’m confident that it will bless you as it did me!
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Thursday, December 25, 2008


I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008



This is a terrific article by Charles Karel Bouley, that I strongly urge you to read in its entirety!

It begins as follows:

If I hear one more pundit say that the choice of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the most historic inaugural of a lifetime sends a message of inclusion I will explode. None of them seem to get it, including Barack Obama. The don't have a Klue.

And yes, I'm spelling "Klue" that way on purpose. When I heard of the choice and the subsequent defense of it, my first response was, well, Mr. Obama, many in the country felt a Black shouldn't be in office. They still feel that way. Where are their views? The views that Whites are better than anyone else? Where is David Duke? Truly, where is he? There are more racists in America than gays; that doesn't need a poll, it simply is a fact. And where are their views?

God save us from the "liberals" who can be bought off with a smile and a bit of charm! Those who fancy themselves to be "progressives," and torture logic to justify why President Elect Obama would choose Rick Warren for the honor of giving his Inauguration prayer; even let Obama off the hook for spitting in the face of LGBT people whom he courted during the election process. Save us from those who, in the name of "unity, are quick to forget their stated commitment to equal rights.

See, for example, this article by Melissa Etheridge, that shows how one's charm can easily cause one to ignore the reality of their own oppression and the oppression of others:

He [Warren] struggled with proposition 8 because he didn't want to see marriage redefined as anything other than between a man and a woman. He said he regretted his choice of words in his video message to his congregation about proposition 8 when he mentioned pedophiles and those who commit incest. He said that in no way, is that how he thought about gays. He invited me to his church, I invited him to my home to meet my wife and kids. He told me of his wife's struggle with breast cancer just a year before mine.

I doubt very much if Rick Warren is going to publicly state that he was wrong in espousing his belief that Gay people are not deserving of the same equal rights, including the right to marry, that heterosexuals enjoy.

I seriously doubt that he's going to tell his mega-church congregation and other church groups to which he speaks that Gay people are to be unconditionally welcomed and affirmed in that church, and in all churches.

I very much doubt that he's going to in any way be an ally of those struggling for full and equal rights for LGBT people.

I seriously doubt that he's going to publicly repent of having advocated and supported Prop. 8, and now wishes it had not been passed!

I seriously doubt that he's going to join the plaintiffs in the case before the California State Supreme Court who seek to nullify the vote that removed the already guaranteed Constitutional right of same-sex couples to marry; ask the court to not enable Prop. 8 to be applied retroactively.

As we saw with the nomination and election of Obama, charm goes a long way!

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Monday, December 22, 2008


As you undoubtedly know by now, President-Elect Obama is having Rick Warren give the inaugural prayer at his inauguration.

Rick Warren has said that "...homosexuality is a sin and Jews will go to hell...."

In John Cloud's December 18th article, he states the following:

[Rick] Warren did have a message of hope for gays: they can magically become heterosexuals. (He didn't explain how, but I suspect he thinks praying really hard would do it, as if most of us who grew up gay and evangelical hadn't tried that every night as teenagers.) Homosexuality, Pastor Warren explained in the virtually content-free language of the dogmatist, is "not the natural way." And then he went right for the ick factor, the way middle-school boys do: "Certain body parts are meant to fit together."

More recently, Warren told Beliefnet that he thinks allowing a gay couple to marry is similar to allowing "a brother and sister to be together and call that marriage." He then helpfully added that he's also "opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage." The reporter, who may have been a little surprised, asked, "Do you think those are equivalent to gays getting married?" "Oh, I do," Warren immediately answered.

I've never considered Obama as anything but a political chameleon; a political opportunist, much like Bill Clinton, an avowed "liberal," who signed DOMA and DADT. With friends like these, who needs enemies?

I do confess to voting for Obama as the lesser of the two evils, as I couldn't see another term of a Bush Presidency in the personage of John McCain; the specter of Sarah Palin being a heartbeat away from the Presidency and, perhaps, the next President, was an intolerable nightmare to me.

Regarding Obama, I wrote the following in an email to my friend Don Charles:

With a straight face [Obama] touts equality for Gay people, but is against them marrying. How that double think was believed by so many people is remarkable in itself; the "Obamamania" that was expressed by so many liberals was disheartening when it was expressed prior to the election, and his betrayal of Gay people by his selection of Warren to give the inaugural prayer cuts to the quick for all those who thought he was any different than any other political opportunist.

So, Obama's a "friend" of Gays but also a friend of Warren's who lies about Gays and seeks to prevent their equal rights! All things to all people! That's the mantra of people who have no integrity, commitment, loyalties, or decency!

In this connection, I'm reminded of Jesus' saying: "Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets." (Luke 6:26)

To seek common ground with those who, despite sanctimonious, and "spiritually" and politically correct, rhetoric, do no want full and equal rights for all people is questionable enough. However, to honor that person by choosing him to give the inaugural prayer upon your assuming the Presidency of the United States is quite another thing altogether.

By placing Rick Warren in this position, Obama is giving him legitimacy and credibility that promises to likely color the tenor of his Presidency! In the name of "building bridges" and "seeking common ground," Obama, and even some progressive activists, by placing on an equal moral footing those who seek to deprive Gay people of full and equal civil rights with those who believe that Gay people are deserving of full and equal civil rights, do a terrible injustice to all Gay people. They miss the mark regarding what is at stake in the fight for full and equal rights for LGBT people.

As stated in the Washington Blade:

You can't speak about "common ground" when a group of people's rights are being stripped away. And let's hear what in-limbo same-sex couples married in California think about calling [Rick]Warren "vital to the pursuit of social justice."

It must be noted that Rick Warren was solidly behind Prop. 8, stating the need to to preserve the biblical definition of marriage."

In conclusion, in an exchange of emails, Don Charles sent me the following email that he was kind enough to allow me to post today. It's right on the money, and deserves to be widely read and disseminated.

Here is what he wrote to me, and it certainly provides food for thought:

Jasmyne Cannick is known for putting her “Black concerns” ahead of her “Gay concerns”, but this time, she’s lost all sense of perspective. How could she defend Barack Obama’s showcasing of Rick Warren? It’s the exact equivalent of Franklin Roosevelt showcasing Father Coughlin, if Roosevelt had ever been so stupid as do it. She’s one of these Gay Democrats [who] are so enamored of Obama, he’d almost have to pull out a gun and shoot a Gay person before they’d criticize him.

Obama’s “coming together” justification for his Rick Warren invite is the most bogus thing I’ve yet heard him say. It’s so bogus, in fact, it insults your intelligence to even talk about it! If you legitimately want to bring people with conflicting views together, you have to lay a groundwork for that. You have to establish that the two sides even want to meet. You can’t just toss enemies together as if you were tossing ingredients for a salad!

But this isn’t a case of enemies being brought together. Gay people aren’t even in the salad mix here. There will be no Gay clergy on the inauguration stage. There’ll only be Joseph Lowery, a man whose support of marriage equality is suspect; I once heard him say on the radio that he didn’t think Gay couples should be allowed to marry. You already know, of course, that Jesse Jackson is also against Gay weddings in church?

Obama would never have a Lesbian or Gay clergyman blessing him, because that would piss off the Right Wing evangelicals he’s been courting since the primaries. He wants fundies as part of his re-election base, and he’s going after them aggressively; he doesn’t care if he disrespects us, because he believes we don’t have any choice but to support him. In other words, LGBT folk are being used as a carpet for him to walk on as he heads to the Oval Office. If you think Straight Black/Gay White relations are strained now, just you wait . . . things could get incredibly ugly.

How “fierce” a Gay Rights advocate is Barack Obama? So fierce that he’d give last-minute lip service to opposing Proposition 8 even while making it known that he agrees with Prop 8 supporters. So fierce that he would deny our constitutional right to marry the adult person of our choice. So fierce that he dares to characterize appalling anti-Gay hate speech as a mere difference of opinion that should be overlooked. I knew he had issues with Gay people as soon as I saw his macho “don’t-doubt-my-heterosexuality” reaction to a debate question about AIDS testing.

My opinion is this: Obama’s name should’ve been overlooked when progressive citizens voted last November 4. He lacks sufficient experience to lead this nation, his rhetoric is empty, and he’s ethically challenged. I’m afraid more and more people will share my opinion as his administration advances its agenda. We haven’t elected a leader, we’ve seated another craven politician in the mold of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. If that Lesbian or Gay Martin Luther King we’ve all been hoping for should appear on the scene right now, it wouldn’t be a second too soon!
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Friday, December 19, 2008



Jerry Brown urges court to void Prop. 8
The Associated Press
Published: Friday, Dec. 19, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO -- California Attorney General Jerry Brown has changed
his position with respect to the state's new same-sex marriage ban
and is now urging the state Supreme Court to void Proposition 8.

Brown filed a brief Friday saying the measure, which amended the
California Constitution to limit marriage to a man and a woman, is
itself unconstitutional because it deprives gay couples of a
fundamental right.

After California voters passed Proposition 8 on Nov. 4, Brown
initially said he would fight to uphold the ballot initiative in his
role as attorney general, even though he personally voted against it.

He submitted his brief in one of the three legal challenges to
Proposition 8 brought by same-sex marriage supporters.
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In a news item that appeared today, Gay Rights Declaration is Presented to the UN, that has as its basis the "UN Declaration of Human Rights," that states that: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights," it is instructive and tragic to note that the Vatican and the United States refused to agree to this draft document!

Sixty-six countries Thursday called on the United Nations to urge members to decriminalize homosexuality, a position rejected by several Arab countries and the Vatican.

"We urge states to take all the necessary measures, in particular legislative or administrative, to ensure that sexual orientation or gender identity may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalties, in particular executions, arrests or detention," the draft document says.

Alone among major Western nations, the United States has refused to sign a declaration presented Thursday at the United Nations calling for worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality.

In all, 66 of the U.N.'s 192 member countries signed the nonbinding declaration — which backers called a historic step to push the General Assembly to deal more forthrightly with any-gay discrimination. More than 70 U.N. members outlaw homosexuality, and in several of them homosexual acts can be punished by execution.
[See here.]

Isn't there something wrong with this picture, when the United States that prides itself on "equality under the law" and "freedom for all," and being "the land of the free," refuses to agree to such a document that affirms the inherent dignity of Gay people, and their right to be treated equally to all human beings?

Is the U.S. Administration saying that Gay people aren't just like other human beings? Is it saying that Gay people aren't entitled to live free of punishment, arrest, and even execution because of their sexual orientation? Is it saying that Gay people are not subsumed under that UN Declaration of Human Right: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights," ?

Of course, that's what it's saying, and all the rhetoric to the contrary puts the lie to any attempted justification for its malicious contempt for Gay people!

As bad as the "land of the free" not willing to sign such a document is, the Vatican's disagreement with it is even worse! That one action, or inaction, has shown, among many other things, that the Vatican has genuine contempt for Gay people, and does definitely believe that Gay people are not worthy to be treated as all God's children are to be treated: with dignity, mercy, and love.

As Jesus says: "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:20)

All the pageantry, sanctimonious rhetoric, and pious platitudes to the contrary, the Vatican has shown itself to be not only homophobic to its core, which we already knew, but that it is so hateful toward Gay people that they will not even sign on to this document that presents a united front by the UN that firmly argues against the discrimination, beatings, incarceration, and murders of Gay people!

A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the Roman Catholic Church opposed the death penalty and other harsh repression of gays and lesbians, but he expressed concern that the declaration would be used as pressure against those who believe marriage rights should not be extended to gays.

A new Vatican statement, issued Thursday, endorsed the call to end criminal penalties against gays, but said that overall the declaration "gives rise to uncertainty in the law and challenges existing human norms."

So, the bottom line is that because of the "fear" that Gay people might be given the same rights to marriage as Straight people, the Vatican will not formally oppose, as distinct from rhetorically opposing, their discrimination, jailings, and executions as contained in this UN document affirming the dignity and right to live in peace of all of God's children!

As I've written so many times before, any Gay person, or any Gay rights advocate, who in any way supports the Roman Catholic Church, through their attendance or monies, is both seriously deluded and is contributing to the credibility and resources of the Vatican that it can and does use to perpetrate, perpetuate and contribute to all Gay people's spiritual, emotional, and physical destruction!
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Thursday, December 18, 2008


In his two part post entitled, "One Bad Apple," my good friend, Don Charles, on his excellent blog, Christ, The Gay Martyr, featured my December 8th post entitled,"Some Myths Held By Religious And Other Homophobes."

In his two part post, he adds many of his typical trenchant insights to the issue of the perversion of Christianity regarding LGBT people and Gay identity, and I wanted to strongly suggest you read his comments that are beautifully and graciously embedded in the post I wrote.

It is very important to underscore the fact that one can be a homophobe, a White Supremacist, an anti-Semite, or a misogynist, for example, and appeal to his/her prejudices as his/her "justification" for discrimination against LGBT people and/or other minority groups. However, he or she cannot use Jesus' teachings or the message of the New Testament to justify those prejudices!

Moreover, to resort to selecting out from Old Testament laws and ancient cultural practices attempted justification for such discrimination, not only violates spiritual and intellectual honesty and rationality by seeking to proselytize and impose those laws and practices on contemporary society, but shows that the person who does such biased selecting neglects the full context of Scripture; shows him/herself to be both intellectually and spiritually dishonest; shows lack of understanding of the Christian life and the Gospel of grace upon which Christianity is based.

The very fact that Christianity is all too often used to demean and discriminate against others; used to "justify" depriving LGBT people of full and equal civil rights; used to defame and lie about the lives of LGBT people; used in the cause and facilitation of untold emotional, social, political, physical, and spiritual damage done to LGBT people and their families, shows how those professing Christians who act in this manner might be church-goers, but they are certainly not Christians!

Hear the Apostle Paul in his definition of the out-working of the Christian life and judge for yourself: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)

Does that operational definition of the Christian life sound consistent with a homophobic Christian to you?

Jesus Himself told us all to: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 7:15-21)

And what is God's will for all those who follow Him? Jesus says: "...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 23:37-40)

The Christian life can't be explained any better or plainer than that!

So, where does professing Christian homophobia come from? Clearly, it is nothing but a perversion, an expression of a twisted mind, a mind deluded into thinking and presenting oneself as a "Christian" when, in fact, professing Christian homophobes show themselves to be deluding themselves and deluding others, all the while seeking to justify the hate in their hearts by carefully selecting Bible verses that are consistent with that hate and that prejudice.

I think you'll find Don Charles' insights in all of his posts, and his most recent two part post, "One Bad Apple," very refreshing and instructive.

Here's just one example of his many insights:

Donny Osmond should ask himself why he finds Gay people and their loving relationships so threatening. He should ask himself how Mormons can welcome Gay converts into their fellowship only to treat them as inferior to other members (loving one child more than you love another? That sounds distinctly un-Mormon to me). He should ask himself which body imposes judgment most fairly: The church, whose knowledge suffers from human limitations, or the Lord, whose knowledge has no limit? He should also determine what’s most important to him: Being a good Mormon according to church doctrine, or being a good Christian according to the Savior’s teachings? The question would be just as valid if he were Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness, etc. There was a difference between orthodox law and Divine Law in New Testament times, and there’s still a difference! What blocks the door to a church can pave a path to salvation. Conversely, what shuts the door to salvation can gain you access to a church; but tell me, what good is access to any church if you become cut off from God? Isn't divine salvation the whole point of being a Christian?

I think you'll enjoy reading his insights in his two part post, "One Bad Apple. And I also strongly encourage you to read as many of his posts on his blog, Christ, The Gay Martyr, as you can, as he has courageously added so much rationality and clarity regarding the psychological, social, political, and religious dynamics needed to move the cause of full and equal civil and sacramental rights for LGBT people forward.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008


My friend, Bishop Leland Somers, kindly gave me permission to post an email he sent out regarding the perversion of Christianity to the degree that its minions have become servants, mere handmaidens, of the State.

It is a great tragedy, so say the least, that the institutional Church has, since the days when it was legitimized by Rome, has placed itself at the disposal of the political and economic elites of virtually every country in which it has existed. "Constantine used the church as an instrument of imperial policy, imposed upon it his imperial ideology, and thus deprived it of much of the independence which it had previously enjoyed." [See here.]

Of course, along with that independence came ferocious persecution by the secular political powers, as the Church's values were, and are supposed to be, in complete contradiction to the values and interests of those powers. Once the institutional Church was able to be accepted by those secular powers, it all too willingly evolved into being its very agents, thereby flagrantly violating one of the major reasons for its existence in the first place.

The Church is to be the repository of the values and things of God; be an institution that houses those who are agents of God's grace in this world; living lives that by word and by example espouse the values that Jesus taught all those who would live Godly lives: Loving God and loving and not judging others.

Far from being an agent of the State, the Church is to be the conscience of the State; to express Godly values and behaviors; show God's alternative way of life to Caesar's power. The Church is not to in any way seek to appropriate any of Caesar's power or sell or give over any of its mandate from God for Caesar's use that can then, and frequently does, use those purported "Christian" values to justify its oppression of any of God's children.

The current state of affairs of most of the institutional Church has shown itself to be in contradiction to its mandate from Jesus; has shown itself to most spectacularly contravene Jesus' values by its historic advocacy and practice of discrimination of women, African Americans and, up to this present day, Gay people. It is Gay people who have been the unwitting major instrument in showing that unGodly contradiction, and showing the pathetic and moribund state of so much of the institutional Church.

Regarding LGBT rights, most of the institutional Church has been in the vanguard of not only oppressing these minorities, but has been a constant apologist for their oppression in both religious and in secular society, even going so far as to agitate for, and contribute to, their oppression, often resulting in lost jobs, fractured families, lives lived furtively and guiltily, suicides, assaults, and even murder.

And, as I have so often written, every drop of blood shed by an LGBT person can be laid at the feet of most of the institutional Church! Every clergy person who has ever preached or exhibited prejudice or discrimination against LGBT people, has that blood on his or her hands!

Also, in the U.S. in particular, this perversion of Christianity has become associated with Americanism, jingoism, militarism, exclusion of certain "others," advocacy of deprivation of civil and sacramental rights based upon an imputed discredited status that was often conferred and imposed by that very institutional Church, the desire to acquire increasing amounts of power, prestige, and wealth, and a whole host of other activities that are clearly antithetical to the teachings of Jesus.

The institutional Church has either condoned wars, even unjust ones such as the one in Iraq, or has largely kept silent in the face of wars and political and corporate corruption, and has been an apologist for the Power Elite and its actions, regardless of how those actions adversely affect the poor, assorted minorities, and other vulnerable groups.

Caesar has not adopted the Church's values; most of the institutional Church has adopted Caesar's values!

The message of the following email sent by Bishop Somers, containing relevant quotes from various Church Fathers, highlights the disparity between Christianity as we largely now experience it with the Christianity that was founded on the teachings, ministry, life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus! As you will see, there is no relationship between the two, save for the trappings that denote pageantry and "moral authority" to which credibility and fealty are expected and, unfortunately, all too often uncritically given, and all too infrequently deserved.

The following is the email that Bishop Somers sent out that I think you'll find instructive in showing how perverted "the Church" has become:

Early Christian Voices on War and Peace
Posted: 11 Dec 2008 09:14 AM CST
Special thanks to Micael Grenholm for the following early Christian voices on peace:

Justin Martyr wrote in 160 AD:

“We ourselves were well conversant with war, murder, and everything evil, but all of us throughout the whole wide earth have traded in our weapons of war. We have exchanged our swords for ploughshares, our spears for farm tools. Now we cultivate the fear of God, justice, kindness to men, faith, and the expectation of the future given to us by the Father himself through the Crucified One.” (Dialogue with Trypho 110.3.4)

Tatian, (death c. 185), Justin’s disciple, wrote:

“I do not wish to be king, I don’t want to be rich, I reject military service. I hate adultery.” (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Vol. II, reprint 1979, p. 69)

Irenaeus of Lyon (ca 130-202) wrote:

“But the law of liberty, that is, the word of God, preached by the apostles (who went forth from Jerusalem) throughout all the earth, caused such a change in the state of things, that these [nations] did form the swords and war-lances into ploughshares, and changed them into pruning-hooks for reaping the corn, [that is], into instruments used for peaceful purposes, and that they are now unaccustomed to fighting, but when smitten, offer also the other cheek.” (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol.
I, reprinted 1977, p. 512)

Hippolytos wrote in c. 200:

“A soldier of the civil authority must be taught not to kill men and to refuse to do so if he is commanded, and to refuse to take an oath. If he is unwilling to comply, he must be rejected for baptism. A military commander or civic magistrate who wears the purple must resign or be rejected. If an applicant or a believer seeks to become a soldier, he must be rejected, for he has despised God.” (Hippolytos, Apostolic Tradition 16:17-19)

Clemens of Alexandria (ca 150-215) wrote:

“If a loud trumpet summons soldiers to war, shall not Christ with a strain of peace issued to the ends of the earth gather up his soldiers of peace? By his own blood and by his word he has assembled an army which sheds no blood in order to give them the Kingdom of Heaven. The trumpet of Christ is his Gospel. He has sounded it and we have heard it. Let us then put on the armour of peace. … The Church is an army of peace which sheds no blood.” (Protrepticus XI, 116)

Tertullian (160-220) wrote in De Corona Militis:

“To begin with the real ground of the military crown, I think we must first inquire whether warfare is proper at all for Christians. … Shall it be held lawful to make an occupation of the sword, when the Lord proclaims that he who uses the sword shall perish by the sword? And shall the son of peace take part in the battle when it does not become him even to sue at law? … Of course, if faith comes later, and finds any preoccupied with military service, their case is different, as in the instance of those whom John used to receive for baptism, and of those most faithful centurions, I mean the centurion whom Christ approves, and the centurion whom Peter instructs; yet, at the same time, when a man has become a believer, and faith has been sealed, there must be either an immediate abandonment of it, which has been the course with many; or all sorts of quibbling will have to be resorted to in order to avoid offending God, and that is not allowed even outside of military service; or, last of all, for God the fate must be endured which a citizen-faith has been no less ready to accept. Neither does military service hold out escape from punishment of sins, or exemption from martyrdom.”

About 240, Origen wrote:

“You cannot demand military service of Christians any more than you can of priests. We do not go forth as soldiers.” (Against Celsus VIII.7.3)

Cyprian (200-258) wrote:

“The world is soaked with mutual blood. When individuals commit homicide, it is a crime; it is called a virtue when it is done in the name of the state. Impunity is acquired for crimes not by reason of innocence but by the magnitude of the cruelty.” (To Donatus, chapter 6)

Athanasius (298-373) wrote:

“Christ is not only preached through His own disciples, but also wrought so persuasively on men’s understanding that, laying aside their savage habits and forsaking the worship of their ancestral gods, they learnt to know Him and through Him to worship the Father. While they were yet idolaters, the Greeks and Barbarians were always at war with each other, and were even cruel to their own kith and kin. Nobody could travel by land or sea at all unless he was armed with swords, because of their irreconcilable quarrels with each other. Indeed, the whole course of their life was carried on with the weapons. But since they came over to the school of Christ, as men moved with real compunction they have laid aside their murderous cruelty and are war-minded no more. On the contrary, all is peace among them and nothing remains save desire for friendship…

Who, then, is He Who has done these things and has united in peace those who hated each other, save the beloved Son of the Father, the common Saviour of all, Jesus Christ, Who by His own love underwent all things for our salvation? Even from the beginning, moreover, this peace that He was to administer was foretold, for Scripture says, ‘They shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into sickles, and nation shall not take sword against nation, neither shall they learn any more to wage war.’ Nor is this by any means incredible.

The barbarians of the present day are naturally savage in their habits, and as long as they sacrifice to their idols they rage furiously against each other and cannot bear to be a single hour without weapons. But when they hear the teaching of Christ, forthwith they turn from fighting to farming, and instead of arming themselves with swords extend their hands in prayer. In a word, instead of fighting each other, they take up arms against the devil and the demons, and overcome them by their self-command and integrity of soul.” (On the incarnation, chapter 8, 51 and 52)

Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335-395) wrote:

” ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.’ Who are these? Those who imitate the Divine love of others, who show forth in their own life the characteristic of the Divine energy. The Lord and Giver of good things completely annihilates anything that is without affinity and foreign to goodness. This work He ordains also for you, namely to cast out hatred and abolish war, to exterminate envy and banish strife, to take away hypocrisy and extinguish from within resentment of injuries smoldering in the heart. Instead, you ought to introduce whatever is contrary to the things that have been removed.” (The Lord’s Prayer and the Beatitudes, Ancient Christian Writers series, Newman Press)

The fantastic preacher John Chrysostom (347-407) said:

“That they may now understand that this is a new kind of warfare and not the usual custom of joining in battle, when He sent them with nothing He said: And so, marching on, show forth the meekness of lambs, although you are to go to wolves… for so will I best show my power, when the wolves are conquered by the lambs… For certainly it is a greater work and much more marvelous to change the minds of opponents and to bring about a change of soul than to kill them… We ought to be ashamed, therefore, who act far differently when as wolves we rush upon our adversaries. For as long as we are lambs we conquer; even when a thousand wolves stand about, we overcome and are victors. But if we act like wolves we are conquered, for then the aid of the Good Shepherd departs from us, for He does not foster wolves but sheep.” (Epistle Matt. Hom 34, n.1: - Breviary, June 11th)
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Monday, December 15, 2008


In her December 12th post, "Newsweek Makes Christian Case for Marriage Equality," on her blog, Reiter's Block, Jendi Reiter expressed great appreciation for the excellent Newsweek article entitled, "Our Mutual Joy: Opponents of gay marriage often cite Scripture", to which I referred in yesterday's post.

Some comments to that post of hers expressed approval but some also expressed the expected legalistic false gospel that was espoused by those who seem to totally misunderstand the teachings, ministry, crucifixion, and Resurrection of Jesus.

In response to those legalistic arguments, I made the following comment that I thought you would be interested in reading:

All too many professing Christians appeal to the Law from which Jesus set us free, as He fulfilled the whole Law. By so doing, He left us with the Two Great Commandments: To love God and to love others! We are now no longer under the Law but under Grace!

The Law was our tutor, or schoolmaster, to lead us to Christ (Gal. 3:24) so that we are now justified by faith (Gal. 3:25), that is, our trusting God over and above seen circumstances.

Christians are to be agents of God's grace in the world; show forth His love to others and not in any way judge or condemn others.

There is only one Gospel to be found in Christianity: The Gospel of grace, or God's unmerited favor to those who trust Him! Legalism and perfectionism have no place in the Christian life, for those who appeal to the Law, or any part of the Law, have nullified the grace of God; throw God's free gift to us back in His face.

The Apostle Paul makes this point crystal clear: "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Gal. 2:21) Indeed, "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." (Gal. 5:4)

Moreover, the law of Love, the Gospel of grace (God's unmerited favor to those whom He chose from the foundation of the world--e.g. Ephesians 1:4), is the only Gospel to be found in Christianity. The false gospel of legalism and perfectionism vitiates Jesus' life, work, ministry, and Resurrection!

The very word "homosexual" wasn't even coined until the late 19th Century; first appeared in an English translation of the Bible in the 1946 Revised Standard Version.

In addition, the very Greek word "arsenokoitai" was an obscure word and no one really knows what it means, save to say that the literal translation is "male beds, and to now translate it as "homosexual" does a grave injustice to the text of Scripture.

As Peter J. Gomes points out in his excellent book, "The Good Book: Reading the Bible With Mind and Heart," that I heartily recommend you read: When we read the Bible, we must seek to understand the text, what it says, what it means, the subtext, the context, what we bring to the text, and what we take out of the text.

All too often, people read into the text meanings that accord with their preconceived notions of what the Christian life should consist.

Clearly, those of us old enough to remember, saw the same mind-set that condemns homosexuality played out during the era of segregation in the U.S., where I remember White clergy and many other White professing Christians advocating segregation because "it's in the Bible."

Very few White Christians would advocate segregation today! The words in the Bible are the same, but now people see those words with new eyes!

One day, most Straight Christians will also see the Bible with new eyes, and see God's unconditional love for His Gay children whom He also chose as His own before the worlds were formed.
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Sunday, December 14, 2008


This is an excellent article by Lisa Miller entitled, "Our Mutual Joy," that appears in the December 15th issue of Newsweek.

Let's try for a minute to take the religious conservatives at their word and define marriage as the Bible does. Shall we look to Abraham, the great patriarch, who slept with his servant when he discovered his beloved wife Sarah was infertile? Or to Jacob, who fathered children with four different women (two sisters and their servants)? Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon and the kings of Judah and Israel—all these fathers and heroes were polygamists. The New Testament model of marriage is hardly better. Jesus himself was single and preached an indifference to earthly attachments—especially family. The apostle Paul (also single) regarded marriage as an act of last resort for those unable to contain their animal lust. "It is better to marry than to burn with passion," says the apostle, in one of the most lukewarm endorsements of a treasured institution ever uttered. Would any contemporary heterosexual married couple—who likely woke up on their wedding day harboring some optimistic and newfangled ideas about gender equality and romantic love—turn to the Bible as a how-to script?

This is an excellent, heartfelt, erudite, article that deserves to be read in full, and that I know you will enjoy.
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Monday, December 8, 2008


On the Question and Response section of his blog, Donny Osmond, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was asked the following question.

"Here is my question. How do you think Christians should respond to Gay friends who consider themselves 'Married'....?"

Part of his response to that question is the following:

"There are many gay individuals that are members of our church. I know many of them. In fact, some of my best friends are gay. You ask how I react regarding their marriages. Well, I do support our Church leaders who say that we can accept those with gay tendencies in our church as long as they do not act upon their temptations. Everyone has tenancies [sic] to succumb to temptation, but we all have the same standard given to us by our Father in Heaven. Whether we may be tempted to be immoral with members of our own sex or of the opposite sex, we are expected to live chaste lives. This is very well explained not only in the Book of Mormon, but in the Bible as well."

Although Mormonism is not within the mainstream of Christianity, this one response sums up the "justifications" for a lot of the revulsion, despite all the sanctimonious rhetoric in the world, that many professing Christians have toward Gay people! I want to comment on significant parts of his response, as I think that his response gets at the very heart of what we're fighting against when we engage in the struggle for full and equal rights for Gay people; certainly including the right to marry.

"There are many gay individuals that are members of our church." Why any self-respecting Gay person would be a member of any organization, church or not, that discriminates against him/her and preaches that being Gay is in any way immoral, disordered, evil, a threat to the "sanctity of marriage," a threat to children, etc., is a mystery to me. He/she must have a tremendous degree of self-loathing that is superficially masked by proclaiming, "It's my church too."

Really? Can you preach from the pulpit that being Gay is healthy; faithful same-sex love is just as sacred as is opposite-sex love? Can you feel free to live as a Gay person within that church and among its members? Get it clear: It's not your church too!

Gay people should flee those homophobic churches as fast as they can, lest those churches wreak more havoc with your psyches than they may have already done. It's not healthy for you, and just gives that church credibility through your very presence and through the monies you contribute so that they can turn around and use that credibility and money to continue to proclaim that your lives are "immoral" and "sinful" and that you deserve to be deprived of full and equal civil rights. Just get out of those churches, and either go to a church that is worthy of you and that embraces you as it does anyone else, or you're far better off not going to church at all!

"...some of my best friends are gay." Yeah! Right! With the feelings toward Gay people that he holds and expresses, how in the world could any self-respecting Gay person be his "best friend" or believe that he is their "best friend?" He's either deluding himself and/or others, or has as Gay "best friends" terribly self-loathing people who lack self-respect.

"...I do support our Church leaders who say that we can accept those with gay tendencies in our church as long as they do not act upon their temptations." Saying "gay tendencies" is equivalent to saying "straight tendencies." We don't have sexual "tendencies," but our emotional/sexual orientation and stimulation exist at the very core, the very heart, of our beings, be we Straight or Gay. He would never talk about "heterosexual tendencies," but feels free to talk about being Gay as being a "tendency."

He represents most professing Christians who are homophobic in that they feel that homosexuality is merely engaged in by perverted heterosexuals. They fail to see that homosexuality is as much a part of one's core being as is heterosexuality, and that mere suppression of those "tendencies" is not only doomed to failure, but even if one can suppress those "tendencies," the warped creature that emanates from all that suppression can cause, and frequently does cause, inestimable harm to him/herself and/or to others.

The emotional/sexual urge is so primal, so fierce within one's very soul, that to talk of "Gay tendencies" shows a woeful ignorance of both Gay sexuality and Straight sexuality. Both partake of the very soul within a person; each is just as integral a part of one's soul as is the other.

So, it's just as foolish to ask why a person is Gay as to ask why a person is Straight! Gay people are not perverted Straight people! And that fact must be hammered home to those who insist with oracular authority that that fiction is the case; that very fiction demonstrates their woeful ignorance of sexuality.

".. we all have the same standard given to us by our Father in Heaven. That's not at all true! Just as in life, in the Christian life, one size doesn't fit all. God made each of us unique, and it's that very uniqueness that not only defines our humanity, but enables each of us to express the different gifts God has given us in ways that help others and glorify Him.

The only "standard given to us" was articulated by Jesus, when He was asked, "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus then answered, "...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22:36-40)

Nowhere did Jesus ever advocate shunning another; depriving anyone of full and equal civil rights; denying anyone a seat at the Lord's table, save for the self-righteous legalists who in any way distort, through ignorance and/or malice, the only Gospel to be found in Christianity: the Gospel of grace or unmerited favor God freely gives to us through our faith in Him.

Hear the Apostle Paul: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9) Elsewhere Paul asserts, "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2:21)

The homophobic professing Christians fail to realize that they commit a grievous sin: they "frustrate the grace of God," and see themselves as "righteous" because they seek to articulate and impose on others God's "law," as they see it, a "law" that coincidentally matches their preconceived prejudices. However, when that "law" threatens their own interests, they "miraculously" receive "another revelation," as occurred when the Mormon Church in 1978 gave up its institutional racism; when the Mormon Church officially gave up the preaching and the practice of polygamy.

Whether we may be tempted to be immoral with members of our own sex or of the opposite sex, we are expected to live chaste lives. This is very well explained not only in the Book of Mormon, but in the Bible as well. Many people view being Gay as being equivalent to being "immoral!" And that perverse view, of course, is learned largely from homophobic clergy and other religious leaders who rail from assorted pulpits throughout the world concerning the identification of being "Gay" with being "immoral," and with being "hedonistic." It is equivalent to defining heterosexuality by focusing on adultery and spouse-swapping.

Homophobes have a vested interest in dealing with what they refer to as a seemingly "seamy" side of being Gay while at the same time focusing on the seemingly "healthy, family oriented" side of being Straight. It doesn't matter that it's Straight people who have put the myth to the oft used phrase, "sanctity of marriage," given rampant divorce rates. In order to maintain the fiction that Gay people are "immoral" and "hedonistic," homophobes have to engage in the irrational by blaming Gay people for the downfall of the institution of marriage.

If we are truly consistent in the mandate for Christians to live "chaste lives," it would do well to have them read Jesus' words in Matthew 6:27-28, as by that standard virtually every church would be empty. Moreover, such a personal moral sin as divorce is deliberately avoided by most clergy, as most clergy are not likely to condemn divorced people, lest their church membership dwindles and the financial contributions dry up!

Moreover, to say, "It's in the Bible," seeks to elevate and justify one's prejudicial mind-set that actually contradicts much of what is, in fact, in the Bible. In an article entitled, Our Judgments of Morality I wrote the following:

"Jesus as human was the consequence of fornication and whoredom, and He had in His lineage a murderer. The prophet Hosea was told by God to marry a prostitute. (Hosea 1:2) The prophet Isaiah was told by God to walk around naked for three years. (Isaiah 20:3) Can you imagine what the Church world, the Vatican, and we ourselves would make of all these events today? It is important to remember that God's purposes will be fulfilled despite the judgments of man, our traditions, culture, mind-set, and prejudices."

Things in the Bible, as in life, are not as simple and one-dimensional as the legalists would have us believe!

The more Straight people have occasion to know that members of their families, neighbors, friends, and co-workers are Gay, the more likely it will be that the fiction that Gay people are inherently immoral and hedonistic will be seen for the big lie that it is. However, to the degree that Gay people can be seen as "the other," even "the enemy," it's to that degree that all sorts of irrational rhetoric, with the discriminatory actions that follow that rhetoric, will hold ascendancy in the psyches and actions of many professing Christians and others.

The attempt to impose such irrational views on civil society, and seek to deprive Gay people of basic civil rights, is seen as "justified" by the belief in the myth that Gay people and what Gay people do sexually is "immoral." However, knowledge of the truth must gain ascendancy, and that is currently very unlikely among most professing Christians given the mind-sets of people who choose to blindly follow their clergy-leaders in both thinking and in actions; among those who lack a discerning and critical intellect, especially when it suits their own prejudices.

The definition of "Chaste" is as follows: "refraining from sexual intercourse that is regarded as contrary to morality or religion; virtuous." Being Gay and having faithful same-sex relationships is, indeed, contrary to a great deal of religious rhetoric, but the fact is that faithful same-sex love and relationships are every bit as moral and virtuous as are faithful opposite-sex love and relationships!

So many professing Christians and others miss this truth, and it must be continuously proclaimed to those who are not blinded by mere institutionally religious loyalties to homophobic clergy who insistently proclaim in their ignorance, and thereby show their ignorance, the very opposite of this truth!

Being Gay like being Straight is normal, healthy, life-affirming, Godly, and sacred! And all the homophobic religious leaders and their blind followers in the world can continue to spout their lies but will ultimately never successfully overcome these truths!

And in the not too distant future, all decent and intelligent people, Christians and non-Christians, will come to see the basic depravity of homophobic thinking, much as they now do with its cousin, White Supremacy, that was in ascendancy in this country not all that long ago!
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Saturday, December 6, 2008


"While the Anglican dissenters say their position arises from their commitment to an orthodox interpretation of the Bible, mainstream Episcopalians say these churches are simply intolerant.

"'They are trying to fly under the banner of theological orthodoxy,' Jim Naughton of the Episcopal Church told The Times of London. 'Really, they are just anti-gay'."

[For the full article, see here.]

The desire of churches to dissociate themselves from any structure that confers dignity to Gay people shows forth a profound truth: When people do evil, they almost always couch it in the name of some alleged "good!"

When torture and murder abound throughout the world; when there is enormous hunger and grinding poverty; when corporations and politicians pillage and rape the economy, the fly in the ointment of professions of "love" among all too many professing Christian clergy and their blind followers is their deafening silence and their single-minded focus on what we may call their "Genital Theology", their ignorant and/or twisted views of sex.

Of course, there is appeal to some selected verses in the Bible that these homophobes use to seek to justify their preconceived prejudices, so that these haters can feel righteous, and appear virtuous, particularly to those who either have never read the Bible, or fail to see what passages they use to justify their homophobia are either not binding on the Christian, such as the 613 commandments in the Old Testament, or are merely taken literally and not contextually.

Moreover, even if one could legitimately infer that same-sex love and activity are explicitly stated as sins, by reading the Bible as they seem to do I could make a better case for the existence of Slavery! Jesus never condemned Slavery. However, He was not only completely silent regarding same-sex love in any way being sinful, but stated in Matthew 19:12, "For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb...."

For an excellent analysis of this point, please see Faris Malik's work, "Born Eunuchs: Homosexual Identity in the Ancient World"." The following is an excerpt from his analysis:

"What was called sodomy in the Judeo-Christian tradition, namely the sexual penetration of 'males,' was criminalized in many ancient cultures, but it had never before been associated in law with sex between exclusively homosexual men or with sex practised on homosexual men in the passive role by straight men in the active role. Exclusively homosexual men, or eunuchs, to use the ancient term, were not considered 'male,' because maleness meant the aptitude to play the male role in procreative sex, which they lacked by definition. It had always been decent and respectable for an ordinary man, playing the insertive role, to have sex with an exclusively homosexual man (a non-male) as a passive partner, which is why so many Roman emperors had their eunuch lovers. Penetrating an exclusively homosexual man had not been considered a crime before -- the crime was penetration of a potentially heterosexual man, which was sometimes committed for the purpose of profoundly humiliating an adversary or helpless victim. Therefore, sodomy was a crime committed against "non-gay" men, and like its counterpart crime of adultery, it was committed by "non-gay" men.

"The reason why some people now accuse exclusively homosexual men of being sodomites is that, over time, the ancient, even primeval distinction between types of men, based on the presence or absence of heterosexual arousal in them, has been deliberately erased by patriarchal religious leaders."

So, the "orthodoxy" to which the homophobes appeal is selective, and selective according to their own preconceived prejudices, and which seeks to "justify" those preconceived prejudices!

When we see the mandate that Jesus left for His followers, that we, as Christians, are obliged to obey the only Two Commandments Jesus told us to obey: to love God and to love others, we see how far so many professing Christians and clergy have missed the mark of the Christian life by seeking to appeal to, and impose, certain biblical practices and assorted ancient cultural laws from which Jesus set us free.

And although I'm certainly not one to call anyone else a sinner, I can assure you that to seek to exclude others; to demonize others; to seek to deprive others of civil and sacramental rights; to remain silent in the midst of egregious political, corporate, and military sins visited on God's children, are the sins that must be confronted and exposed for the stench in God's nostrils that they are!
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Thursday, December 4, 2008


My good friend, Don Charles has written a superb article that he has kindly allowed me to reprint here. It's also posted on his excellent blog entitled, Christ, The Gay Martyr.

The following is his article, SAVE THE COUNTRY, that hits the nail on the head when it comes to the major issue, the very foundations of our Democratic Republic and our Constitution, that circumscribes the acquisition of LGBT civil rights, and it deserves both careful reading as well as the widest possible exposure and distribution in and through as many venues as possible.

I sincerely hope that you will forward this thoughtful, incisive, and erudite article of his to as many people, blogs, and websites as possible. A large part of the psychological and political empowerment of LGBT people, and the eventual acquisition of full and equal LGBT civil rights, will ultimately hinge on taking to heart and implementing the insights he provides in this article!


This article is written by Don Charles:


For the benefit of LGBT folk who know little or nothing about Christianity (and there are quite a few of you out there), here, taken from Scripture, is a parallel between the treatment of Jesus Christ thousands of years ago and our treatment in modern times.

LUKE 23: 1-5, 13-24:
Then the assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate (the governor). They began to accuse Him, saying: "We found this man perverting our nation . . . saying that He Himself is the Messiah, a king." Then Pilate asked Him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" He answered: "You say so." Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds: "I find no basis for an accusation against this man." But they were insistent and said: "He stirs up the people by teaching . . ."

Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders and the people, and said to them: "You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people, and here I have examined Him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against Him . . . He has done nothing to deserve death. (But) they all shouted together, "Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!" (This was a man who had been put in prison . . . for murder.)

Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, but they kept shouting" "Crucify, crucify Him!" A third time he said to them: "Why? What evil has He done? I have found in Him no ground for the sentence of death. I will therefore have Him flogged, and then release Him." But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that He should be crucified, and their voices prevailed. So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. He released the man they asked for . . . and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

Like Jesus Christ, we speak and live the truth of our lives. Like Jesus Christ, we are condemned for telling our truth. We are told that we spread perversion. We are judged for transgressions that our enemies fail to articulate convincingly. Like Jesus Christ, we are found blameless by a judiciary (state Supreme Courts). The judiciary sees no wrong in what we do (seek legal recognition of our committed relationships). Like Jesus Christ, we then stand by and watch the judiciary cave in to political cowardice. We see judges abdicate their duty as jurists and throw our fates to a hostile electorate. If nothing else, this infamous incident shows how outrageously unethical putting justice up for popular vote is. Anyone can see that Jesus Christ was railroaded. We’re being railroaded, too! And the worst part of it is, we’re helping to steer the train.

Why do we validate ballot initiatives designed to legally marginalize us? For the past decade, we've suffered the passage of "marriage protection" amendments in state after state, all bankrolled by religious denominations who are as hostile to us as the Hebrew hierarchy was to Jesus Christ. (Don't doubt that many of them would eagerly impose the death penalty on us if they could!) We decry these evil campaigns to disenfranchise us of our citizenship rights, but at the same time, we lend them credibility by launching counter-campaigns.

We decide that voting on marriage equality as if it were a proposed tax increase is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, as long as we win! We don’t win, but we still play the game. We willingly play a political crap game with our dignity that we're certain to lose. What other outcome could there be, given centuries of superstition and misinformation about Gay identity? Not to mention daily reinforcement of such ignorance by modern religious ideologues? Jesus Christ had good reason for playing a losing game: The salvation of humankind. What’s our excuse?

After these odious ballot initiatives inevitably pass (twenty-nine so far), some of us get to brag about having added another high-profile political fight to our activist resumes. That's an awfully shabby consolation prize, though! How much good have we really done? Did we stand tall and give our enemies a tooth-and-claw fight to the finish (the lily-livered "No on 8" campaign in California would not be a good example), or have we once again allowed them to trick us into wasting our money and resources? More important, have we sacrificed democratic values to a panicked, tunnel vision focus on marriage equality at the State level?

We don't seem to know what privileges American citizenship entitles us to. We beg for legal protections that are actually guaranteed to us in our country's founding documents! If you don't believe me, you don't have to take my word for it. View the evidence for yourself.

Exhibit A: Article IV, Section Two of the United States Constitution, adopted 17 September 1787:

The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States.

This rule invalidates the federal Defense of Marriage Act! States cannot choose which citizenship rights from other States they will or will not honor.

Exhibit B: The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified 9 July 1868:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The language of this amendment underscores the illegality of Proposition 8 and other "marriage protection" ballot initiatives! States are prohibited from cutting certain citizens off from the right to marry, file joint tax returns, adopt children, etcetera.

Exhibit C: Excerpt from the Declaration of Independence, signed 4 July 1776:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

A long train of abuses and usurpations . . . I think 29 "marriage protection" amendments to State constitutions meet that definition, don't you? Not to mention the ban on Gay people serving openly in the US military, bans on Gay people working for church-affiliated agencies and businesses, bans on students forming Gay-themed clubs in public schools, bans on Gay people adopting or foster-parenting children, and various laws that forbid "promoting homosexuality" . . . whatever the Hell that means! At last count, forty States retained some kind of anti-Gay legislation on their books. All of it violates the Constitution.

The excerpt from the Declaration of Independence that you see here, still startling in its boldness after 230 years, gives us the right as American citizens to challenge the validity of our government if it denies us basic human rights. Take a moment to absorb the full impact of what it says. The founders placed such high value on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that they all but advocated government overthrow in the absence of same! Such unabashed militancy on behalf of democratic values is hard to find today, especially in LGBT circles. Do we actually need to see the words “Gay”, “Lesbian”, “bisexual” or “transgender” written down in order to realize that we're included within the scope of this paragraph?

Right now, the Gay blogosphere is filled with talk about how we should emphasize “outreach” to Straight minority voters and other culturally conservative communities. The idea is that we must do a better job of selling ourselves and our issues to the public. Oh, please! What are we supposed to be . . . ward politicians? I'm not running for office, I just want to be treated fairly! Why on Earth should we lobby Straight America for rights already guaranteed us as citizens? Why do we beg their permission to live as equals? Why don’t we simply demand our constitutional rights, as did the bus boycotters, sit-in students and racial equality marchers whose mantle we claim to have taken up? African-American Civil Rights activists didn’t win the support of White southern racists. They earned their respect! Do we honestly think we can earn the respect of bigots by presenting a shamefaced response to their bigotry?

A lot of people criticized San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom for sounding too defiant in a “No on 8” campaign commercial. He told California voters that, whether they liked it or not, the time had come for marriage equality. Too defiant? Compared to what? Would that most of us could be even half as defiant as he was! If conservatives get offended by strident denunciation of discriminatory public policy, tough t*tty! Lord knows, they've offended us often enough. Mayor Newsom's righteous indignation inspires me and reminds me of Rosa Parks. When she refused to give up her bus seat to a White man in 1955, she demanded of the policemen who arrested her: “Why do you push us around?” She put herself at risk of a beating, but she was too angry to care.

Years later, she reflected: “It’s not that I was fed up (that day). I was fed up all my life, as far back as I can remember, with being treated as less than a free person . . . as long as we continued to comply with these rules and regulations that kept us crushed down as a people, then the power structure would always say: ‘Well, they are not complaining, and they accept this, so they are satisfied with it.” Mrs. Parks wasn’t satisfied! Mrs. Parks was cheesed off! Mrs. Parks felt entitled to equal treatment as an American citizen, and she wasn't shy about saying so.

Neither are the Black, Latino and Asian advocacy groups who have filed Friend Of The Court briefs on behalf of Lambda Legal, the ACLU and others who are challenging the legality of Proposition 8. Per Reuters News Agency reporter Pete Henderson, one of those briefs reads as follows: "The entire purpose behind the constitutional principle of equal protection would be subverted if the constitutional protection of unpopular minorities were subject to simple majority rule. This case is not simply about Gay and Lesbian equality. The history of California demonstrates with sobering clarity the potential for disfavored minorities to be subjected to oppression by hostile majorities." Indeed, it does; the mass internment of Japanese Americans during World War II immediately springs to mind. (Wouldn't it be ironic if the same groups some Lesbians and Gay men are blaming for Prop 8's passage end up supplying the legal arguments that convince California's Supreme Court to reverse it?)

Let me clear up a misconception here, one that has been given currency by a host of misguided Gay bloggers and op-ed writers: It is not necessary for a majority of Americans to approve of equal rights for LesBiGay citizens in order for us to exercise those rights! When women won the right to vote in 1920, did the majority of men approve? I seriously doubt it! And I know for a fact most White people weren’t thrilled when the Civil Rights Act passed Congress in July of 1964; White backlash against that legislation partially explains why the Republican Party took control of our southern States in subsequent decades. As long as Pat Robertson and his ilk are allowed to ply their Bible-based heterosexism openly, we will continue being vilified by a sizable number of our fellow citizens. This doesn’t mean that their hatred will always be reflected in the laws that govern us. As proof, just look at current realities for women, Latinos and African-Americans. Social progress can and does occur despite lingering prejudice.

It’s not group popularity that wins struggles like ours. It’s perseverance! If you really believe your cause is just, then you won’t let legal or political setbacks stifle your activism. You use the courts whenever possible, civil disobedience whenever necessary, and you press your issue constantly until you achieve your goal or something close to it. The incremental victories of the anti-abortion movement ought to teach us that much; three decades ago, the odds were stacked against "pro-life" activists, too! The level of tenacity they've demonstrated is something we should strive to match. Too many of us act as if LGBT equality isn’t worth having unless we can get it with relative ease. Duh! If it were easy to get, then it wouldn’t be worth having! Freedom is never easy to get. We can't lobby ourselves into full equality, and political candidates can't deliver it to us on a silver platter. We need to get serious, and get real! A successful civil rights crusade requires an awful lot of time and effort and courage.

Courage is what we’ll need most when the next batch of “marriage protection” ballot measures come down the pipe. We must have the courage not to respond as we have in the past. We must have the courage not to mount another no-on-whatever campaign. We must resist the urge to join the political crap shoot that’s stacked against us. We must boycott the vote on principle! What principle? The one that the aforementioned Black, Latino and Asian organizations articulated in their legal brief: Citizenship rights cannot be voted up or down! This is something that, theoretically, even those who oppose marriage equality can relate to. I'm not saying we should sit at home on our butts and veg out in front of the TV while hetero-bigots target us. Not at all! We must make withholding our votes a cause celèbre, complete with media blitzes, press conferences and protest rallies. Not only that, we must urge our Straight allies to withhold their votes, too (especially our Straight allies of faith). What will happen? No doubt the ballot measures will pass, but that was likely to happen in any event. This time, we won’t have squandered our resources in vain. Instead, we can put those resources behind ballot initiatives of our own design (tax rebates for disenfranchised minority groups, perhaps?) and the very necessary court challenges to these exclusionary amendments.

Right Wing hissy fits over “activist judges” notwithstanding, the courts are exactly where this fight should be waged. That’s where the odds are more in our favor. It’s high time that we viewed marriage equality as the federal, constitutional issue it always has been. I know some Gay Rights attorneys are apprehensive about doing that, but even they acknowledge that this issue will inevitably end up at the federal level. We can’t be afraid to go there! To be sure, Supreme Courts don't always live up to their mandate of dispensing justice; it's painfully obvious that the constitutional protections I cited earlier haven't been fully enforced. Given the partisan justices two George Bushes have seated, we could very well come out on the losing end of an important lawsuit.

However, American history shows how a loss at the federal level doesn't necessarily spell defeat; such a loss can be turned to a movement’s advantage. The Dred Scott vs. Sanford decision (1857) was a devastating setback for the anti-slavery movement. It defined Black slaves as chattel instead of human beings. Yet the outrage it sparked among Northern abolitionists lit a white-hot flame under their crusade. That flame raged into a horrible Civil War, and a President was assassinated, but America emerged from the carnage a more just nation; the Thirteenth Amendment, passed in 1865, finally outlawed the American slave trade. Sometimes, it takes an injustice most glaring, like a Dred Scott decision or a Prop 8 passage, to set the stage for positive change. Good can eventually come from bad, provided the bad is bad enough!

"This case is not simply about Gay and Lesbian equality." So true! What's more, marriage rights for Gay people aren’t the most important concern here. We should be far more concerned about our democracy, and the way these unconstitutional ballot initiatives eat away at its inclusive definition. That doesn't mean LesBiGay issues aren't central to this matter; they absolutely are. Homosexual love is no longer a criminal offense, yet those of us who practice it are still being punished! Punished, I hasten to add, in the absence of indictment or jury trial, which violates yet another constitutional protection. Therein lies the core injustice of anti-Gay ballot questions: They are a means of skirting the judicial branch of government, of re-criminalizing people who've been exonerated. In other words, we’re getting the same kind of "justice" Jesus Christ got prior to being crucified! It's hard to imagine a more appalling abuse of the electoral process, and of the United States Constitution.

As my excerpts from our nation's founding documents prove, the Constitution is where Gay Rights protections lie. This fight isn’t about adding them, but affirming them, and mandating their enforcement. Any attempt to weaken our Constitution threatens those inherent protections. Such attempts deserve the vigorous and concerted opposition of every patriotic American, regardless of ethnic background, religious affiliation, political persuasion, sexual orientation or gender identity. Let's face it: When polling places are used to express animosity between groups of citizens in the form of punitive laws, it's not just unpopular minorities that need saving from society's worst impulses. It's the whole country that needs saving!
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