Thursday, April 30, 2009


Although she doesn't strike me as an intellectual heavyweight, Carry Prejean is very likely to sway public opinion, given her beauty (Yes, charm and beauty go a long way!), and her tapping in to the dark side of human hearts, much like the ridiculous fear-mongering of the National Organization For Marriage's ad, and assorted reactionary radio talk show hosts who garner millions of dollars a year for the needs their rhetoric meets in the psyches of their listeners.

"I'm here to protect traditional marriage," Prejean told the Today show of her partnering with NOM, the same group responsible for the much-parodied "A Gathering Storm" ad.

Here is that National Organization For Marriage ad:

"I was attacked for giving my own opinion onstage at a Miss USA contest. I'm gonna do whatever it takes to protect marriage. It is something that is very dear to my heart and I'm just here to protect it, that's all I'm here to do."

[Thanks to E Online.]

What does it say about the intellectual level of a large segment of our society when people take seriously the inanities, distortions, and jingoism behind the opposition to same-sex marriage?

The only threat to marriage is divorce!

Same-sex marriage will enhance the institution of marriage, in addition to recognizing the legitimacy and sanctity of same-sex love as being equivalent to the legitimacy and sanctity of heterosexual love!

Here is the interview with Carrie Prejean, taken from E Online.

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Monday, April 27, 2009


Miss California, Carrie Prejean, who was competing for the Miss USA title, when asked her views about same-sex marriage by Perez Hilton, said the following:

"I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage," she said. "And you know what? I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised."

[For the full article, see here.]

Although this beautiful young lady is a knock out, why would anyone care about, let alone take seriously, her views concerning same-sex marriage in the first place? Moreover, her ignorance and blind acceptance of false ideology concerning this subject because "...that's how I was raised" is more to be pitied than castigated, and can be made to work in our favor.

If left to stand on its own, her answer would have highlighted her ignorance on this subject, and would have spoken volumes about her provincial and pathetic "reasoning" concerning this subject. However, with a reactionary right wing eager to grab onto anything that might enhance their image in their fight against Gay rights and also acquire gains in the political arena, including the Presidency, Ms. Prejean likely seems to many of them to be manna from heaven!

Perez Hilton discussed her answer to his question when she was being considered for Miss USA in the following brief video:

Just as it is counterproductive to engage professing Christian homophobes in a debate about same-sex marriage and LGBT rights because it elevates their hate-mongering "theology" to be on an equal playing field with the Gospel of grace and inclusiveness that Jesus preached and lived, it was and is counterproductive to do anything more than to civilly express our revulsion for her views and our pity for her that her critical intellect goes no further than how she was raised as a child.

And by so doing, her answer to that question would work in our favor by highlighting how many of those who are against same-sex marriage haven't progressed beyond what they were taught as children; many of those who are against same-sex marriage are ignorant of the issues (We don't "live in a land where you can choose [sic] same-sex marriage or opposite [sic] marriage.").

And we are to credibly invite all those who are wedded to the lies perpetrated upon them as children to now recognize that they are to be responsible adults who have to discern whether or not they are in favor of Constitutional protections for all American citizens or not and, if not, why they feel the way they do.

Indeed, we should use Ms. Prejean's answer to show how all citizens have to transcend the lies and limitations that were placed upon them as children and act as mature and informed adults with critical intellects who are in the position to decide whether or not we are to be a country where there is equality under the law; whether or not we are going to allow second class citizenship for any minority group; whether or not we are going to allow a tyranny of the majority to decide the civil rights of any minority group.

However, according to Ms. Prejean, after she gave her answer, she was told the following:

Prejean, 21, said officials from the Miss California USA pageant were worried that her comments would cost their contest financial backing and tried to prepare her for a string of post-pageant media interviews by discouraging her from discussing her religious beliefs.

"`You need to apologize to the gay community. You need to not talk about your faith. This has everything to do with you representing California and saving the brand,'" Prejean recalled being told. "I was representing California. I was representing the majority of people in California..."

The San Diego Christian College junior, model and member of the San Diego Padres "Pad Squad" received a heroine's welcome from fellow members of the Rock, where she was the guest of honor at morning services. Seated onstage across from McPherson, she recalled resisting multiple opportunities - from her appearance on NBC's "Today" show to a performance with Miss USA pageant owner Donald Trump - to edit, explain or expound upon her remarks.

"I knew I had to stay true to my beliefs and not let them intimidate me into taking back what I said because I don't take back what I said," she said.

[For the full article, see here.]

Now, Ms. Prejean seems to be the darling of the radical right wing! She has been invited to go on "conservative" talk shows, and to speak in "conservative" churches.

She has been placed, and has placed herself, in the role of martyr!

She said she would be willing to meet with representatives from California's largest gay rights group "as long as it's not political." [She's clearly not an intellectual heavyweight, as the acquisition of equal civil rights is political by definition.]

If anything, Prejean has solidified her stance in the last week. [Miles] McPherson [pastor of The Rock Church, a megachurch in which Ms. Prejean spoke, and who was active in the campaign for Prop. 8 in California last year], who preaches against homosexuality, has been acting as her adviser and encouraging her to use her newfound fame to persuade other evangelical Christians to share their views, even if they are unpopular.

"I learned that God has a bigger crown than any man can give you," she said.

[For the full article, see here.]

So, now Ms. Prejean has taken what is considered "the high ground," and the subject has shifted from her ignorance and/or pathetic recitation of lessons she learned as she was growing up to justify her exclusionary politics, to her "standing up for her convictions." And, to add insult to injury, she has predictably invoked God's name to justify her stance on this equal rights issue!

And we are to make no mistake: the radical right wing may now see her as their major hope and player in bringing them back into public favor, as a lot of people, regardless of political party affiliation, respect people who "stick to their guns when the going gets rough."

Her role has, therefore, shifted from a person with immense physical beauty but limited intellectual ability to a person who stands her ground, and we shouldn't allow that shift to remain intact!

We must see Ms. Prejean's answer as a teachable moment for potential Straight allies, and concentrate on, and advertise, how it's the uninformed and uncritical intellects, wedded to thinking as they were told to think as children, that lies behind much of the homophobia that has hitherto prevented the acquisition of full and equal civil rights for LGBT people.

As of now, given the relatively superficial and mercurial nature of American politics and the importance of one's image in the media, it has come to the following state of affairs:

America's conservatives have found a new beauty queen to shower their affections on, just as their ardour for Sarah Palin begins to cool.

Just a few months ago, it was Palin who was wowing the right with her trenchant views on family values and the story of her unlikely journey from the 1984 Miss Alaska competition to the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nomination.

Now conservatives have found another pageant darling in Carrie Prejean, 21, the current Miss California, dubbed last week by the leading political website "a conservative sensation, a poster girl for the right"....

Prejean says she wants to become a motivational speaker to young people, teaching them to stand up for what they believe in.

After that? "Maybe get into politics, who knows?"

[For the full article, see here.]

Unless we publicly and credibly focus on her and others' ignorance and childish adherence to the way they were raised to think as children as lying behind their desire to prevent equal rights for Gay people, we may well be seeing a martyr and future politician in Ms. Prejean.

Any bets as to whether or not Ms. Prejean will be the next Republican Vice Presidential candidate in 2012?
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Friday, April 24, 2009


This is a Scientific American excellent article [Thanks to] that indicates that William Masters might well have fabricated or distorted his findings regarding the ability of a Gay person to change to Straight; a "finding" that is often used by "ex-Gay ministries" to seek to legitimize their mind-set.

For example, Exodus International boasts the following:

For example, W. Masters and V. Johnson [ W. H. Masters and V. E. Johnson, Homosexuality in Perspective (Boston: Little, Brown, 1979)] conducted a study of fifty-four men and thirteen women who expressed a desire to convert or revert to a heterosexual orientation. Therapists chose candidates for their apparently high degree of motivation and for their accompaniment by an understanding opposite-sex partner who could serve as a support during the transition period. The treatment format consisted of an intensive two-week program followed by periodic follow-up over a five-year period. The client couple worked with a man-woman therapy team who focused on nonjudgmental identification and explanation of the influences that had led to the client's homosexual behavior.

The therapists then worked to reduce these influences within the context of the clients' value system and to encourage heterosexual function on the part of the client couple. About 20 percent failed during the initial treatment period, but the five-year follow-up revealed no more than a 30-45 percent total failure rate, much lower than even Masters and Johnson had expected.

Now, for some reality: Part of the above cited Scientific American article reads as follows [And I strongly urge you to read the full article.]:

When the clinic's top associate, Robert Kolodny, asked to see the files and to hear the tape-recordings of these "storybook" cases, Masters refused to show them to him. Kolodny—who had never seen any conversion cases himself—began to suspect some, if not all, of the conversion cases were not entirely true. When he pressed Masters, it became ever clearer to him that these were at best composite case studies made into single ideal narratives, and at worst they were fabricated....

With [Virginia] Johnson's approval, Kolodny spoke to their publisher about a delay, but it came too late in the process. "That was a bad book," Johnson recalled decades later. Johnson said she favored a rewriting and revision of the whole book "to fit within the existing [medical] literature," and feared that Bill simply didn't know what he was talking about. At worst, she said, "Bill was being creative in those days" in the compiling of the "gay conversion" case studies.

Regarding this article, a commentator by the name of qraal wrote what I consider to be one of the best statements on the issue concerning Christianity and being Gay:

Christians who have issues with homosexuality should have a look at the position statement of Conservative Jewish rabbis who look at what the Hebrew Bible really says, and what commentators have thought it meant. Only one homosexual act is mentioned in the Torah, sodomy. It's silent on all else, but that never stopped the learned filling the gap with their opinions. It seems several different points of view were current and St. Paul, as a Rabbi, was brought up with prepackaged views, not instant truth delivered by a divine messenger on this particular issue. Nothing he says in the Christian Bible is new or different to what some rabbis had already opined on the issue. Perhaps it's time Christians looked further afield for their understanding of Torah and listened a bit closer to what their historical brothers in the faith of Yahweh are saying now. Sexual immorality is the issue - if you're gay or straight - and needs to be avoided by both orientations. Wanting to convert gays to being straight does nothing about the sin on both sides. It's a tough call in this age of easy gratification, but both orientations are called to chastity, not "curing". Focussing on someone else's sin, and not tackling your own, is condemned a lot more harshly in the Christian Bible than any sexual sin. So stop the judgemental attitude.

Beyond the reason why any Gay person created by God would want to change to being Straight in the first place; beyond the fact of poor biblical exegeses; questionable translation errors; lack of contextual analysis; hateful and hate-mongering rhetoric by so many professing Christians, to the above comment one can only say, "Amen!"
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Thursday, April 23, 2009


Although the Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed the right of same-sex marriage several months ago, the General Assembly and the Governor of Connecticut are affirming that decision by voting for the existence of same-sex marriage in that state. The Court correctly found that Civil Unions were not equivalent to marriage, despite equivalent rights accruing to that institution. They saw that separate is not equal!

In an effort to appease some gay marriage foes, lawmakers amended the bill to show they want to protect religious liberties. For example, it says religious organizations and associations are not required to provide services, goods or facilities for same-sex wedding ceremonies.

"We wanted to make it completely clear that the state of Connecticut fully embraces not only the rights of same-sex couples to marry, but we fully embrace the rights and protections afforded by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Connecticut Constitution to the free exercise of religion," said Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, a gay marriage proponent.

[For the full article, see here]

If churches are private clubs, that portion of the bill is certainly understandable, although by no means laudable or even acceptable. However, churches and other houses of worship are tax exempt and, as such, are partially underwritten by taxpayers. As such, the troubling practice of taxpayers' underwriting religious activities is compounded when those very institutions can now continue to discriminate against some of those tax payers by excluding them from exercising their civil rights.

If heterosexuals are allowed to use church facilities for their marriages, same-sex couples must be allowed to use those same facilities for their marriages if they so wish! As long as churches enjoy tax exemption, they must be obligated to afford equal access to Gay people as they do to Straight people!

The tragic fact is that this level of equality is not likely to come to most churches within the Institutional Church any time soon.

For a long time, I've advocated the removal of tax exempt status from religious institutions for a variety of reasons, and this is one more reason why people must seriously consider removing that status from religious institutions.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009


The gay marriage debate is shifting to Maine as sides for and against prepare for a legislative hearing on a bill that could go either way.

The Judiciary Committee takes up the proposal Wednesday in a daylong hearing that will be held at the Augusta Civic Center to accommodate a crowd that could number in the hundreds.

More than 60 legislators - about a third of the Legislature - are co-sponsoring Sen. Dennis Damon’s bill, which would repeal a law that limits marriage to a man and a woman and replace it with one that authorizes marriage between any two people. The Trenton Democrat’s bill also would recognize marriage between same-sex couples in other states where such marriages are valid....

Equality Maine’s [Betsy] Smith said her side opposes the idea of a referendum, contending that no civil rights issue in past struggles would have won approval if left up to voters. Her side also will emphasize that children thrive better in homes with two parents, whether heterosexual or not.

[For the full article, see here.]

Betsy Smith knows that civil rights are never to be put up for a vote of the majority! Only a demagogue would think otherwise!

It's too early to tell whether or not there will be same-sex marriage in Maine in the foreseeable future. However, it's just a matter of time before there will be same-sex marriage in all the states in the U.S!
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Monday, April 20, 2009


This is an excellent commentary by Stanley Bennett-Clay that just about says it all!

Part of his commentary reads as follows:

God birthed me black, left-handed, artistic and gay; four things that the majority population rejected. Well, I reject your rejection. God made me special and you don’t get it....

And if you don’t get it soon, it will get you. We as a community cannot afford to divide our house. We are many God-created things. If we don’t understand and respect that, then we have a total misunderstanding and disrespect for who we are and who we’re supposed to be as God’s perfect imperfect children. And the ‘not-getting’ will doom us all!

[Thanks to Gay Agenda.]

LGBT people are part of God's multifaceted tapestry in a life where one size doesn't fit all! God made us as He chose to make us according to His sovereign will, and to in any way condemn God's creation is to commit an offense against God!

And all the sanctimonious professing Christians who misuse the Bible to in any way condemn part of God's creation are making a mockery of their claim to being Christians, and have done inestimable harm to the image of Christianity held by many intelligent and sensitive people!

Stanley Bennett-Clay's commentary hits the nail on the head!

His commentary can be read here.
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Saturday, April 18, 2009


"For too long, gay and lesbian New Yorkers - we have pretended they have the same rights as their neighbors and friends. That is not the case. All have been the victims of what is a legal system that has systematically discriminated against them."

[Gov. David] Paterson, who is black, framed the issue in sweeping terms, invoking Frederick Douglass and Harriet Beecher Stowe and drawing a parallel between the fight to eliminate slavery in the 1800s and the current effort to allow same-sex marriage.

"Rights should not be stifled by fear," Paterson said. "What we should understand is that silence should not be a response to injustice - and that if we take not action, we will surely lose."

[For the full article, see here.]

It's high time that all decent people saw the light regarding the struggle for equal rights for LGBT people! This struggle is no different than the struggle for equal rights for any other minority group, and is no less significant than was and is the struggle for equal rights for African Americans in the U.S.

When Gov. Paterson says that "silence should not be a response to injustice," I can only think of all those professing Christians who remain silent amidst the hateful rhetoric visited upon Gay people "in the name of God" by clergy and others who are given undeserved credibility as representing the Prince of Peace.

So, when one reads an article by Rev. Marvin M. Ellison affirming the consistency between Christianity and same-sex marriage, it provides a refreshing oasis that is, unfortunately, very rare, yet shows a Christian who takes God seriously; who takes very seriously Jesus' commands to us to love and not condemn others:

As a Christian theologian, I support marriage equality because I take the Bible seriously. More importantly, I take the God of the Bible seriously. The God I worship has a divine passion for justice that compels me to respect all neighbors and defend their human rights, including the freedom to marry regardless of the gender of the two people.

This freedom to marry is important because my religious tradition teaches that love — the call to love and be loved — is at the very heart of what it means to be human. Love is also holy ground. “Where there is love,” the tradition affirms, “there is God.”

[For the full article, see here.]

Despite the quest for equal rights for Gay people affirmed by Rev. Ellison and relatively few other Christians, the tragic fact is that full and equal civil rights for Gay people will first come to pass in secular society before most all of the churches within the institutional Church jump on the bandwagon and capitalize on the gains made after the necessary "season of suffering" that will have to be endured before the realization of that goal.

The Governor Patersons of the world deserve our respect and admiration for understanding the absolute need for equal rights, and by their so doing bring shame upon so many professing Christians, unlike Rev. Ellison, who don't seem to understand, or want to understand, that we are to be agents of God's grace in this world; we are never to condemn others; we are certainly never to seek to deny others the advantages and rights that we possess.

Remaining silent amidst this tragedy of having Gay people being treated as second-class citizens, being denied equal rights, is just as reprehensible as is the hate-mongering rhetoric that emanates from all too many pulpits and venues throughout the world by people who profess to be Christians but whose very words consign them to a netherworld that has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity or with Jesus or with God!

God bless Governor Paterson and Rev. Ellison and all those like them who both see the need for equal rights for Gay people and who have the guts to do their best to see to it that those equal rights are extended to Gay people as soon as possible.
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Friday, April 17, 2009


Today is the National Day of Silence.

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network will sponsor the 13th annual National Day of Silence tomorrow, April 17. Students from more than 8,000 middle schools, high school and colleges have registered as participants. Students will take some form of a vow of silence to protest and bring attention to anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.

[For the full article, see here.]
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Gov. David A. Paterson [of New York] on Thursday will announce plans to introduce legislation to legalize same-sex marriage, according to people with knowledge of the governor’s plans.

Mr. Paterson’s move, which he first signaled last week after Vermont became the fourth state to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed, reflects the governor’s desire to press the issue with lawmakers in Albany as other states move ahead with efforts to grant more civil rights to homosexuals.

The action in Vermont, where state legislators overrode Gov. Jim Douglas’s veto of a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, came less than a week after the Iowa Supreme Court granted same-sex couples the right to marry.

[For the full article, see here.]

The dominoes of homophobia regarding same-sex marriages are continuing to fall, along with the credibility of so many homophobic clergy and homophobic religious and secular groups.

Increasingly, it seems that intelligent and decent people are beginning to see the bankruptcy of the so-called "religious" and other arguments propounded against same-sex marriage; the distortions and downright lies made by homophobic religious and secular people that have hitherto deprived same-sex couples of the same civil rights accorded to heterosexual couples.

I truly believe that same-sex marriage is crucial, as it legitimizes same-sex love; shows same-sex love to be in no way inferior to opposite-sex love; will likely be the vehicle whereby all other civil rights will be won by LGBT people.
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Friday, April 10, 2009


There is now The National Organization For Marriage in the mix to further muddy the waters in order to achieve the goal of preventing same-sex marriages.

Part of its avowed purpose is the following:

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it.

Founded in 2007 in response to the growing need for an organized opposition to same-sex marriage in state legislatures, NOM serves as a national resource for marriage-related initiatives at the state and local level. For decades, pro-family organizations have educated the public about the importance of marriage and the family, but have lacked the organized, national presence needed to impact state and local politics in a coordinated and sustained fashion. NOM seeks to fill that void, organizing as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, giving it the flexibility to lobby and support marriage initiatives across the nation.

Consistent with its 501(c)(4) nonprofit status, NOM works to develop political messaging, build its national grassroots email database of voters, and provide political intelligence and donor infrastructure on the state level, with a focus on developing new strategies for increasing influence in the Northeast and West Coast, where marriage is most under threat.

Their smarmy, distorted, discriminatory, fear-mongering and sanctimonious advertising can be seen in the following brief video.

In case one's eyes start tearing up over the above video, please see the following video which shows that the above video was undoubtedly rehearsed and made by actors who can be seen rehearsing their scripted lines in the following video.

If the rehearsals are real --- we assume they are --- it sort of takes the thunder (literally) out of the argument that same-sex couples are forcing their agenda on religious institutions, because it begs the question, why couldn't they just find non actors to say it? That's particularly evident when you watch different performers speak the same lines.

In a statement, HRC spokesman Brad Luna says, “What’s next for the National Organization for Marriage? Will they hire legendary infomercial pitchman Ron Popeil to hawk their phony agenda? This ad is full of outrageous falsehoods—and they don’t even come out of the mouths of real people.”

[For the full article, see here.]

We should make no mistake: even though the video for the National Organization For Marriage is undoubtedly contrived, many people have neither the necessary critical thinking skills nor the sensitivity to distinguish truth from fiction. As Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister, said: No matter how big the lie, if it's repeated often enough people will come to believe it. Unfortunately, he was correct in this assessment!

My guess is that's what groups like the National Organization For Marriage is counting on to have its exclusionary agenda become institutionalized in the United States.

Every person in the United States must decide whether some people will be treated like second class citizens or will be treated equally under the law! Each of us must decide whether or not the Bill of Rights applies to each and every United States citizen or not!

To deny Gay people (or any minority group for that matter) full equality plays right into the hands of such groups as the National Organization For Marriage, and all other religious and secular groups that seek to deny dignity and equal rights to Gay people.

As GLAAD stated in reference to the National Organization For Marriage video:

"The distorted, misleading claims of the National Organization for Marriage do one thing and one thing only – perpetuate a climate of hostility and fear that will put committed couples in harm's way," said GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano. "We stand in support of One Iowa and our partners on the ground and urge our community to speak out against these divisive attacks."

GLAAD is working with and calling on national and local media in states where the ad is schedule to run including New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire to expose the misinformation in these ads in order to bring attention to the real intent of the National Organization for Marriage – to exclude same-sex couples and their families from the responsibilities and protections of marriage.

[See here.]

We can't afford to ignore the animus that lies behind such groups as The National Organization For Marriage, and others that eagerly support it or adhere to their discriminatory values, and their single-minded attempts to deny equal civil rights to Gay people.

If anything should catalyze and motivate meaningful activism against those groups that would deny dignity and equal rights to Gay people, the denial of dignity and equality to Gay couples as seen in the video of the National Organization For Marriage should be that catalyst and motivator!
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Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I wish to call your attention to a superb two part post, "The Perfect Blend," on my good friend Don Charles' blog, Christ, The Gay Martyr.

Don Charles is a true fighter for equal rights, and all of his writings attest to his brilliance and tenacity in this fight! His current post, "The Perfect Blend," is, in my opinion, the most brilliant essay he has ever written, or anyone else has written, for that matter!

This two part post is absolutely superb in every way, and it will open your mind to think about being Transgender in a healthy, life-affirming, and spiritual way that is truly liberating. His essay is erudite, articulate, well thought out, and designed to get everyone thinking about the very meaning and elevation of Transgender status in both its spiritual and secular roots and manifestations.

I can't say enough good things about this essay!!!!

Here is an excerpt from this essay to hopefully whet your appetite to read it in full:

...the transsexual population does represent itself as sick or handicapped. It seems to worship hetero-conformity. Some transsexual individuals want so much to conform to traditional concepts of gender that they’ll spend thousands of dollars on dangerous and often inconclusive surgical procedures. They aren't satisfied until they fall totally in line with binary gender expectations. Failing that, they want to get as close to those expectations as possible.

If you want a truly liberating paradigm with which to view Transgender status in its true fullness in both a spiritual and secular sense, you've got to read Don Charles' excellent two part essay entitled, "The Perfect Blend."
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Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I just received this email from Andy Humm:

Vermont legalizes gay marriage with veto override

By DAVE GRAM, Associated Press Writer Dave Gram, Associated Press Writer – 25 mins ago
MONTPELIER, Vt. – Vermont on Tuesday became the fourth state to legalize gay marriage — and the first to do so with a legislature's vote.

The House recorded a dramatic 100-49 vote — the minimum needed — to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto. Its vote followed a much easier override vote in the Senate, which rebuffed the Republican governor with a vote of 23-5.

Vermont was the first state to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples and joins Connecticut, Massachusetts and Iowa in giving gays the right to marry. Their approval of gay marriage came from the courts.

Tuesday morning's legislative action came less than a day after Douglas issued a veto message saying the bill would not improve the lot of gay and lesbian couples because it still would not provide them rights under federal and other states' laws.

House Speaker Shap Smith's announcement of the vote brought an outburst of jubilation from some of the hundreds packed into the gallery and the lobby outside the House chamber, despite the speaker's admonishment against such displays.

Among the celebrants in the lobby were former Rep. Robert Dostis, D-Waterbury, and his longtime partner, Chuck Kletecka. Dostis recalled efforts to expand gay rights dating to an anti-discrimination law passed in 1992.

"It's been a very long battle. It's been almost 20 years to get to this point," Dostis said. "I think finally, most people in Vermont understand that we're a couple like any other couple. We're as good and as bad as any other group of people. And now I think we have a chance to prove ourselves here on forward that we're good members of our community."

Dostis said he and Kletecka will celebrate their 25th year together in September.

"Is that a proposal?" Kletecka asked.

"Yeah," Dostis replied. "Twenty-five years together, I think it's time we finally got married."

Craig Bensen, a gay marriage opponent who had lobbied unsuccessfully for a nonbinding referendum on the question, said he was disappointed but believed gay marriage opponents were outspent by supporters by a 20-1 margin.

"The other side had a highly funded, extremely well-oiled machine with all the political leadership except the governor pushing to make this happen," he said. "The fact that it came down to this tight a vote is really astounding."

Also in the crowd was Michael Feiner, a farmer from Roxbury and gay marriage supporter, who took a break from collecting sap for maple syrup-making to come to the Statehouse.

"I'm taking a break to come and basically make sure that I was here to witness history," he said.

The House had initially passed the bill last week with a 95-52 vote.
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Monday, April 6, 2009


The totalitarian nature of Political Correctness is revealed nowhere more clearly than on college campuses, many of which at this point are small ivy covered North Koreas, where the student or faculty member who dares to cross any of the lines set up by the gender feminist or the homosexual-rights activists, or the local black or Hispanic group, or any of the other sainted "victims" groups that PC revolves around, quickly find themselves in judicial trouble. Within the small legal system of the college, they face formal charges some star-chamber proceeding and punishment. That is a little look into the future that Political Correctness intends for the nation as a whole."

[For the full article, see here.]

Many of us have argued that misogyny is at the root of much homophobia, just as it is at the root of patriarchal religions! Whether it's preventing women from holding leadership positions in assorted institutional churches to requiring certain modes of dress for women, the lack of compliance of which could even be punished by death from others, misogyny can be seen to run throughout these views.

What I'm about to suggest is that the dynamics underlying misogyny can also be applied beyond "hatred (or contempt) of women or girls," and, by so doing, further our understanding of all sorts of hostility against minority groups that are perceived as "weak" and that, therefore, threaten the misogynist's need for control against all forces that he feels are threatening his need to control, in both his relationships as well as in society itself.

Gay men are likely viewed with far more revulsion by misogynists than are lesbians because the former aren't viewed by many misogynists as "real men," whereas lesbians are viewed as somewhat less threatening to many misogynists' world-view regarding their need to control the domains in which they live. The misogynist's dislike, if not downright hatred, of women may be seen to morph into dislike or hatred of anything that looks like it's "womanly," or "weak."

It is interesting that many Straight men get off on watching lesbian sex portrayed on the screen whereas most of those men would be turned off, even revolted, by watching gay male sex displayed on that same screen. The former depictions are far less threatening to the misogynist than are the latter depictions!

Many men's need to control women, to view women as somehow not as strong or as somehow lacking the abilities of men to control a given situation, be it religious or secular, needn't be seen to be restricted to women as the object of their need to control. Many men who are misogynists may also feel they need to control, along with women, all groups within society that they feel can impact their lives in such a way that they will lose their perception of control that they associate with "manliness," and that, in their world-view, in any way threatens their very concept of "a man" that they equate with being "macho," "strong," "in control."

So, as depicted in the above cited article, not ironically printed on the web site, Men's News Daily, we see animus simultaneously directed against immigrants, Gay people, and people of color; all of that animus is justified in this man's mind by the condemnation of "political correctness." So, to be accepting of Gay people is just one example of what this man terms "political correctness."

"The angry white man" can exorcise his misogynist demons by imposing his need for control over what he perceives, and needs to perceive, as "the weak," "the vulnerable," "the minority," or any "other" that threatens his need for control, and threatens in his own mind what he sees as slipping away from him: his sense of "honor" that in his mind comes largely, if not solely, out of his ability to control a situation and/or a relationship in which he finds himself.

So, to the misogynist, women are threatening, as are LGBT people, as are immigrants, as are people of color! They, each in their own way, threaten the misogynists' needs to feel dominant, to dominate a relationship and/or a situation, to see "the other" as weak so they can, therefore, feel themselves to be strong. And to the degree that their sense of self stems from the perception they have of their strength in a given relationship and/or situation, it is to that degree that any perceived threat to their need to dominate will become their enemy.

So, Gay people are in the same league as the other minority groups that were mentioned, as they are seen as a threat by the misogynist to his very manhood! And since his "manhood" is equated in his mind with "strength" and "control," and to the degree that the aforementioned minority groups are seen by him as such threats, it is to that degree that they are his "enemy."

Therefore, he needs to externalize his animus against them by meeting his psychological need for control by appealing to sanitized terms, such as "traditional family values," "conservatism," "political correctness," and the like, in order to justify in the public's mind (and, likely, in his own mind as well) the underlying dynamic that may really be operating in his psyche that demands control over others, particularly others who are deemed by him as threats to his view of himself as well as threats to the world to which he has become accustomed, and that he feels is slipping away from his understanding and perceived control.

And what may be most galling to the misogynist is that what he has hitherto perceived as "weak" and "Inferior" seem to be gaining ascendancy and strength in society, and that ascendancy, because it rocks his inner (and outer) world, is likely to scare him to death! And out of that fear, he feels the need to lash out against all those minority groups in what he perceives to be in a socially acceptable way, and talk radio is replete with such "lashing out" that helps in the purging of that very need to "return to good old fashioned values."

Therefore, we all have to be involved in the civil rights struggle for LGBT people! Misogyny may not only be seen to lie within the root of homophobia, but may also be seen to lie within the root of racism and all manifestations of xenophobia as well!

[Many women can also be misogynistic, but that is a subject for another time.]
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Saturday, April 4, 2009


This article highlights the crux of the dynamics of our Democratic Republic. When it comes to granting and/or removing civil rights from any minority group, is it the job of the Judiciary to decide or can the will of the majority of the electorate decide?

Yesterday's win in Iowa, and the likely attempt by those in that state who are against same-sex marriage to gather enough signatures to put this issue on a ballot, places the state Supreme Courts in both Iowa and in California, as well as in other states, to decide their role regarding Constitutional rights. That is, does the Supreme Court in a state interpret the Constitution regarding civil rights or can the will of the majority of the electorate overturn the state Supreme Court's decision and, therefore, be the final decision-maker regarding civil rights?

If the will of the majority of the electorate can override a State Supreme Court's decision regarding civil rights of a minority group, one has to ask what the role of a Supreme Court is?

We say we are "a nation of laws!" Now state Supreme Courts have to decide whether or not this assertion is true and, while it is discussing this issue, also has to decide its own relevance in our society.

Same-sex marriage has provided the litmus test to ultimately decide whether or not we are a nation of laws and whether or not the Judiciary has the final say in interpreting the Constitution.

For any state Supreme Court, such as the one in California, to decide that the will of the majority can override its decisions regarding civil rights as it interprets the Constitution, relegates this country to be at the mercy of mob rule at the ballot box, and invalidates the very need for a state Supreme Court!

And a tyranny of the majority is one of the very things that the Founding Fathers were most afraid of! That's why the U.S. is a Democratic Republic and not a Democracy!

The civil rights of every single minority group are up for grabs if there can be such tyranny of the majority! And it is hoped that the members of the state Supreme Courts are sensitive enough to understand this basic truth!
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Friday, April 3, 2009


I just received this email from Andy Humm. It's great news, to say the least! It's puzzling to realize that Iowa can have a unanimous Supreme Court decision, yet California had a split decision on its Supreme Court and that vote was overturned by the voters, until further notice.

This is Andy Humm's email:

Brothers and Sisters,

This morning, the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously opened marriage to same-sex couples, the first time a state high court has done so unanimously.

The court wrote that the “the language in Iowa Code section 595.2 limiting civil marriage to a man and a woman must be stricken from the statute, and the remaining statutory language must be interpreted and applied in a manner allowing gay and lesbian people full access to the institution of civil

Any attempt to overturn the decision by a constitutional amendment could not take effect until 2012 and such amendments have been rejected by the legislature in recent years.

The Vermont House voted 95-52 in favor of marriage equality yesterday, not enough to override a threatened veto from Republican Gov. Jim Douglas, but activists there are working on it. The Senate passed the bill by a veto-proof majority.

Enjoy the weekend! And congratulations to our comrades in Iowa and Vermont.

Andy Humm and Ann Northrop

April 3, 2009

Iowa Supreme Court upholds Hanson's ruling; marriage no longer limited to one man, one woman


The Iowa Supreme Court this morning [unanimously] struck down a 1998 state law that limits marriage to one man and one woman.

The ruling is viewed as a victory for the gay rights movement in Iowa and elsewhere, and a setback for social conservatives who wanted to protect traditional families.

The decision makes Iowa the first Midwestern state, and the fourth nationwide, to allow same-sex marriages. Lawyers for Lambda Legal, a gay rights group that financed the court battle and represented the couples, had hoped to use a court victory to demonstrate acceptance of same-sex marriage in heartland America.

Richard Socarides, a former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton on gay civil rights, said today’s decision could set the stage for other states. Socarides was was a senior political assistant for Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin in the early 1990s.

“I think it’s significant because Iowa is considered a Midwest sate in the mainstream of American thought,” Socarides said. “Unlike states on the coasts, there’s nothing more American than Iowa. As they say during the presidential caucuses, 'As Iowa goes, so goes the nation.’”

It’s probable that county and state governments in Iowa, as in other states that have passed gay marriage laws, will be given two or three months to put the change in place. That means that such unions won’t begin today, said Justin Uebelhor, director of communications for One Iowa, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered advocacy group.

“Typically, it’s not immediate, and that’s most likely what we’d be looking at in Iowa,” Uebelhor said.

Opponents have long argued that allowing gay marriage would erode the institution. Some Iowa lawmakers, mostly Republicans, attempted last year to launch a constitutional amendment to specifically prohibit same-sex marriage.

Such a change would require approval in consecutive legislative sessions and a public vote, which means a ban would could not be put in place until at least 2012 unless lawmakers take up the issue in the next few weeks.

“If you’ll remember when we proposed the Iowa marriage amendment, the Democrats’ excuse for not taking it up was that it was in the hands of the Iowa Supreme Court,” Senate Republican leader Paul McKinley of Chariton said Friday. “It was implied that should they find against traditional marriage, that the Legislature would handle that. I would certainly hope they’ll keep their promise.”

Until today, Iowa law said marriage could only be between one man and one woman.

The case, Varnum vs. Brien, involves six same-sex Iowa couples who sued Polk County Recorder Timothy Brien in 2005 after his office denied them marriage licenses. Polk County District Judge Robert Hanson sided with the couples last year but then suspended his decision pending a high court ruling.

In Dec. 10 arguments to the high court, Assistant Polk County Attorney Roger Kuhle said Hanson erred in his ruling, which declared the 1998 Iowa Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and threw out several expert witnesses that gay marriage opponents had hoped to use at the trial. Hanson ruled that the witnesses did not qualify as experts on issues relevant to the case.

Brien, the Polk County recorder, rejected the marriage license requests because he “has no say in this law,” Kuhle said. “He can no more give these plaintiffs a license than he could give a license to a man and three women,” he added.

Kuhle argued that same-sex marriage could loosen the definition of marriage to include polygamy. Future generations might discard the institution if they come to believe that opposite-sex parents are not necessary, he argued.

A ruling favorable to gay marriage also could hurt children, who are best raised by a mother and father, he said.

“One could easily argue, and we do, that fostering same-sex marriage will harm the institution of marriage as we know it,” Kuhle said. “It’s not going to happen tomorrow. We’re not going to see any changes tomorrow, next week, next year, in our generation. But you’ve got to look to the future.”

Kuhle said state support for same-sex marriage would teach future generations that marriage is no longer about procreation despite thousands of years of history.

Nor does the case belong in the courts, Kuhle said. The debate should fall to the Legislature.

Same-sex marriage bill advances in Vermont
Burlington Free Press

MONTPELIER — The Vermont House voted 95-52 on Thursday night to allow same-sex couples to marry in Vermont.

The tally suggests it might be difficult for the House to override a promised gubernatorial veto of the bill that would need 100 votes, though supporters said they would push for that.

The vote came at 9 p.m. Thursday after four hours of impassioned debate on the bill in a chamber filled with supporters and opponents.

Rep. Bill Lippert, D-Hinesburg, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, spoke on the House floor about gays and lesbians in his community — carpenters and nurses and maple sugarers — and of his own relationship with his male partner.

“That’s who we’re talking about here today,” he said. “These couples are living everyday lives of ordinary and extraordinary significance.”

Lippert declared that the civil unions law he helped craft nine years ago could not provide complete equality. “People know what it means when you say you’re married,” he said.

Rep. Johanna Donovan, D-Burlington, agreed. “There’s only one thing truly equal to marriage and that’s marriage,” she said. “Now is the time to give civil unions a respectful burial.”

Like Lippert, several legislators who are gay or who have gay family members spoke emotionally of their own circumstances.

“I didn’t choose to be gay,” Rep. Steve Howard, D-Rutland, said. “God made me gay. I begged him not to make it so,” he said. “I stand because nobody should be ashamed of how God made them.”

With his voice breaking from emotion, Rep. Jason Lorber, D-Burlington, described seeing the notice about his union with his partner under the heading “civil union” in the newspaper. “Why do we have to be off to the side,” Lorber said. “Why do we have to say you are different? Why can’t we just say congratulations?”

Rep. Tim Jerman, D-Essex Junction, said he hopes his daughter, a lesbian, will be able to come home to marry when the time comes.

There were a few surprises from legislators. Rep. Kurt Wright, R-Burlington, said he was undecided going into the debate. Quoting a letter from former Sen. Peter Brownell, who lost his seat over civil unions but didn’t regret his support, Wright said he would support the bill.

Other legislators spoke about why they could not support the bill.

“It’s not easy to speak against this bill,” said Rep. Thomas Koch, R-Barre. “Marriage in my understanding has for the ages been one man and one woman. Now we take it upon ourselves to change that definition.”

Rep. Albert “Sonny” Audette, D-South Burlington, apologized for voting no. As a Catholic, he said, he could not vote to change marriage.

Efforts to derail the bill failed. Rep. Robert Helm, R-Castleton, argued for putting the issue to an advisory public referendum next March, asserting that the public has not had sufficient time to debate the issue. The measured failed by a vote of 96-52.

Rep. Anne Donahue, R-Northfield, succeeded in amending the bill to clarify the distinction between civil and religious marriage.

She was among five Republicans who voted for the bill. She was joined by Wright and Reps. Rick Hube, R-South Londonderry, Patti Komline, R-Dorset and Heidi Scheuermann, R-Stowe.

It was unclear Thursday night whether supporters of the bill could muster the 100 votes that would be needed to override a veto that Gov. Jim Douglas has said is coming. Some of the 11 Democrats who voted against the bill have said they would change course and vote for an override.

The House holds a final vote on the bill today. It then goes to the Senate, which passed the bill 26-4 last week, but would need to either concur with changes the House made or work the differences out in conference committee to send the bill to the governor.

Douglas would have five days from receipt of the bill to act on it, but has said he plans to veto it quickly.

Beth Robinson, who led the push for the bill with the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force, counseled supporters after the vote that they need to keep calling people and knocking on doors to persuade lawmakers to vote for an override.

The House chamber was filled with supporters and opponents, some of whom had packed lunches and spent the day waiting through several hours of debate on the 2010 state budget.

Nina Beck of South Burlington was one of them. She and partner Stacy Jolles were plaintiffs in the court case that brought about civil unions nine years ago. Beck attended with 9-year-old son Seth, who was a baby during that debate.

“I’m very excited,” Beck said. “Civil unions we said was a very good step in the right direction. We’ve kept working for marriage.’

After the vote, Beck said, “It’s fabulous,” but added, “we have a way to go.”

Molly Jesse of Essex came to the Statehouse with friends to show her opposition to the bill. “It takes away from the sanctity of the marriage vow,” she said. “I can’t sit around and watch our marriage fall into this abyss.”
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Wednesday, April 1, 2009


More than 1,000 retired military officers, including several who were top commanders, are urging President Obama and Congress to maintain the law that bars gays from serving openly in the armed forces.

Obama is consulting with the Pentagon on the issue and says he supports eventual repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which prohibits gays in the military from being open about their sexual orientation. A bill that would allow gays to serve openly has been introduced in Congress.

[For the full article, see here.]

The key word Obama uses is "eventual!" Most people know that DADT will eventually be repealed, and to cover his bases Obama says he supports the inevitable. However, his "support" would best be shown if he showed the principle and courage of President Truman who mandated integration in the military in 1947!

As Commander-in-Chief, Obama could mandate equal rights in the military by not waiting for Congress to hash it out! However, he is at best equivocal regarding equal rights for Gay people, as seen in his being against same-sex marriage, and in his alignment with Donnie McClurkin and Mary Mary during his campaign.

Donnie McClurkin is a gospel singer, "who has detailed his struggle with gay tendencies and vowed to battle 'the curse of homosexuality'." [See here.]

Erica, of the gospel duo Mary Mary said the following: "Um... how do I feel about homosexuality? I feel how God feels about it, um… but I still love them. You know what I mean? I don't agree with the lifestyle, but I love them. They can come to the concert; I'm going to hug them just like I hug everybody else. They have issues and need somebody to encourage them like everybody else - just like the murderer, just like the one full of pride, just like the prostitute, everybody needs God."

Obama has a chance to make good on a lot of his rhetoric concerning equality for Gay people by taking the lead in repealing DADT, and so far he has disappointed those who had faith that he would do so.
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