Saturday, December 28, 2013

"Duck Dynasty: Hollywood, Go Screw Yourself"

The relative acceptance of homophobia is part and parcel of the relative acceptance of racism, which has been allowed to again rear its ugly head. When we fight against discrimination of one minority group, we are fighting against discrimination of all minority groups. Therefore, it is in everybody's interests to fight against homophobia and racism, and boycott businesses and media outlets that in any way support such discrimination.

Too many people are dismissing the action of A&E at reinstating Phil Robertson so soon after suspending him from Duck Dynasty. It's just a TV show, they say, and we have all of these wins on marriage equality -- and look at Utah! But this is not about, "Oh, we're 'winning,' so who cares about Duck Dynasty? As long as our so-called "friends" in Hollywood promote and tolerate this kind of hate for money, we've not won much. Tomorrow they'll throw an AIDS benefit to assuage their guilt, or come out and say some wonderful things about LGBT people, while making millions of dollars by promoting hate against us, shrouded in religious beliefs, and raising America's kids on hate. And the racism they're promoting with Phil Robertson, who posited that blacks were happier under Jim Crow, while they claim to be so inclusive and anti-racist, is appalling, and shows the height of Hollywood hypocrisy.

 [For the full article, see here.]
Share |

Saturday, December 21, 2013


This turn of events is particularly compelling, given that this ruling is applicable to Utah, the home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints which, along with the Roman Catholic Church, are the largest homophobic religious organizations that have put out tremendous amounts of money in seeking to defeat marriage equality.

Utah may be the 18th marriage equality state, although it is becoming difficult to figure out how to number them.  Today, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby granted an injunction to the plaintiffs in Kitchen v. Herbert, a federal constitutional challenge to Utah’s statutory and state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.  Shelby, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, ruled that the right of same-sex couples to marry is a “fundamental right” under the 14th Amendment, and that the state had shown no rational basis to deny this right to same-sex couples.  Shelby did not stay his order, and the Salt Lake County Clerk’s office began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples shortly after the decision was announced, although the state might still file an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

Two Utah lawyers, Peggy Tomsic and James E. Magleby, filed suit on behalf of three same-sex couples, two of which had been denied marriage licenses by county clerks, while the third couple was married in Iowa and is seeking recognition of their marriage in their domicile state of Utah.  The case moved quickly to summary judgment, the cross-motions being argued just weeks ago.  Judge Shelby’s opinion may be the first ruling to reference yesterday’s marriage equality ruling by the New Mexico Supreme Court, in a footnote listing the states that have adopted marriage equality through court decisions.  It is definitely the first federal court ruling since the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor to hold that same-sex couples have a federal constitutional right to marry, guaranteed by the 14th Amendment’s due process and equal protection clauses.

[To read the full article, see here.]  This article is worth reading in full.

Share |

Saturday, November 9, 2013


[The study] asked heterosexal men how comfortable and anxious they are around gay men. Based on these scores, they then divided these men into two groups: men that are homophobic, and men who are not. These men were then shown three, four-minute videos. One video depicted straight sex, one depicted lesbian sex and one depicted gay male sex. While this was happening, a device was attached to each participant’s penis. This device has been found to be triggered by sexual arousal, but not other types of arousal (such as nervousness, or fear – arousal often has a very different meaning in psychology than in popular usage). When viewing lesbian sex and straight sex, both the homophobic and the non-homophobic men showed increased penis circumference. For gay male sex, however, only the homophobic men showed heightened penis arousal. Heterosexual men with the most anti-gay attitudes, when asked, reported not being sexually aroused by gay male sex videos. But, their penises reported otherwise. Homophobic men were the most sexually aroused by gay male sex acts.
[See here]

I wrote about this phenomenon a few years ago.  Whenever I hear a rabid homophobe, the first thing I think is that that person is gay him/herself!

Sigmund Freud called this phenomenon "Reaction Formation."  Reaction formation occurs when one has an internal conflict and seeks to resolve that conflict by vociferously asserting the very opposite of what he/she actually feels.

So, whenever you hear a rabid homophobe, realize that that person may very well likely be gay!
Share |

Monday, October 7, 2013


As I’ve often contended, there are two venues in which civil and sacramental rights for LGBT people must be fought: the courts, and homophobic churches the influence of which cannot be underestimated. In the latter venue, peaceful and continual picketing during services of selected homophobic churches in each city or jurisdiction, showing how their false gospel of exclusion is antithetical to the Gospel of grace, faith, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness, should be undertaken.

When you hit, or threaten to hit, discriminatory institutions in the pocketbook, we might reasonably expect them to tone down their hateful rhetoric and discriminatory actions; withholding funds, such as removing churches’ tax-exempt status, can be a major way of gutting the homophobic rhetoric and actions that exists in many, if not most, denominations and churches, because those churches would then lack sufficient funds to bankroll the prevention of equal civil rights as has hitherto existed. For the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to give just two examples, to enjoy tax exempt status is, in my opinion, a profound injustice!

I am a Christian who is quite theologically conservative, and not only don’t I see any warrant to prevent same-sex marriage, or justify any type of homophobia, in the Bible, I am also adamant about the need for the separation of Church and State.

Currently, the Church and the State have become so enmeshed with each other that most “conservative” churches extol as virtues Americanism, patriotism, militarism, and capitalism. Indeed, most of the institutional Church is a handmaiden of the State, and often parrots the ideology of the power elite in secular society, and does so by calling it “biblical.”

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth! If anything, the Bible, particularly in the New Testament, subscribes to anything but capitalism, as can be easily seen when reading Acts 2:44-45; Acts 4:32-37.

In any case, it’s a profound tragedy that it’s quite likely that if you ask the average person to say the first word that comes to his/her mind when the word “Christian” is said, “Love” is not likely to be that word! We’re far more likely to hear words such as “sin” and “discrimination,” thanks to the perversion of the Gospel of grace (the only Gospel to be found in Christianity) that exists in most of the institutional Church.
It is crucial that discrimination, be it in the religious or secular arena, be taken to the judiciary, and not pathetically taken to the public to win their votes on this or any civil rights matter! And, we must do our best to remove public funding of church and para-church organizations.

After all, if clergy within denominations and churches really have faith in God to provide for their needs, they don’t need tax-exemption to help fund their operation!
Share |

Monday, August 12, 2013


Mr Putin signed a new bill into law in June banning "homosexual propaganda" - making it illegal to give anyone under 18 information about homosexuality.

Anyone deemed to be promoting gay rights, or "non-traditional relationships" to young people in Russia could now be arrested and fined, or in the case of foreigners, detained and deported.
Critics say the law is intentionally vaguely-worded and part of a broader crackdown on gay rights in Russia.

The country’s sports minister has said the law will apply to athletes and spectators at the Sochi games, due to be held in the Russian Black Sea resort next February.

In his open letter, Stephen Fry said: "The IOC absolutely must take a firm stance on behalf of the shared humanity it is supposed to represent against the barbaric, fascist law that Putin has pushed through the Duma.

"An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 on Sochi is simply essential.
"Stage them elsewhere - in Utah, Lillyhammer, anywhere you like. At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilised world.

[See here.]

Despite moral weaklings like President Obama who thinks that we should still participate in the Olympics to be held in Russia the homophobia of which matches that of many backward African countries, I think it is essential that we make a definitive moral statement that once and for all takes the moral high ground.  And the only moral high ground one could take is to boycott Russia's hosting the Olympics!

Should we participate in the Olympics in Russia, we would be complicit in lending legitimacy to Russia's systematic and legally enshrined imprisonment of LGBT people and allies; giving tacit permission for its citizens to bash and even kill LGBT people.

The best way we can show our revulsion at Russia's legalized homophobia, as well as support all LGBT people and allies everywhere, is to make a definitive statement that we will have no patience with any country that would cause untold harm to its LGBT citizens.  Moreover, by holding the Olympics in a place other than Russia would cost Russia a lot of credibility, and we have seen in the past that one of the best ways to make a definitive statement, and even some gains, about matters of equal rights is to publicly embarrass the oppressor.

And to put an additional and finer point on it, any LGBT athlete or ally, despite their rationalizations, who participates in, or attends, the Olympics should they be held in Russia, is the equivalent of an Uncle Tom during the eras of slavery and segregation in the U.S.
Share |

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Now that the Supreme Court has struck down DOMA, and stated that the proponents of Prop. 8 had no standing in the matter, thereby paving the way for same-sex marriage in California, I can imagine that many professing Christians will harp on their mantra that they are being persecuted; that religious liberty has been threatened by these rulings.  In this connection, I want to reprint an article I wrote several years ago, that I also gave as a sermon, that puts the lie to those assertions:

"…O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." (Isaiah 3:12)
"…he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry." (Isaiah 5:7) 

Many years ago, I was asked by a pastor of a Presbyterian Church to speak to the congregation and community members who would attend as to why gay people should not be ordained to the ministry. Conventionally reading the Bible, I saw such words as “abomination” and “against nature” ostensibly associated with homosexuality, and I thought it was a no-brainer. To my current embarrassment, I gave that speech. 

Subsequent to giving that speech, I started to think more deeply about the issue and asked myself the question, “Why would someone voluntarily choose to become part of a despised minority group?” I started searching the Scriptures, looking up the original languages to see what they meant and, more importantly, what they didn’t mean. I also read extra-biblical sources on the subject and finally decided that the Bible not only did not condemn same-sex loving relationships but, in fact, tacitly affirmed them.
I examined the relationship between David and Jonathan and saw that even a cursory reading of the biblical account of their relationship showed King David, called a man after God’s own heart (1Samuel 13:14), to have been at the very least a bisexual. (1Sam. 20:30-31; 41-42; 2Sam. 1:26; 9:1) 

Moreover, in Matthew 8, a centurion beseeches Jesus to heal his servant. The typical Greek word that is translated “servant,” although a more accurate translation is “slave,” is doulos. However, in Matthew 8, the Greek word that is translated in the King James Version of the Bible as “servant” is pais and, given this account as recorded in Luke 7 that says that this slave (doulos) was “dear unto him” (Luke 7:2), it may very well be translated “slave boy.” 

The term “slave boy” was a term that was commonly used to describe one who was in a homosexual relationship in those times. That may well be why the centurion was so concerned about this particular slave. (If he was a young boy, this would be considered pedophilia, and not condoned by the Bible.) This being a reasonable and probable translation in Matthew 8 given the context (Such as seen in Charles B. Williams, The New Testament: A Translation in the Language of the People.), it is interesting that Jesus never condemned the centurion’s relationship with his slave boy, and He had the perfect opportunity to do so if He felt that their relationship was in any way sinful or inappropriate. Jesus merely commended the centurion on his faith and promptly proceeded to heal the man’s slave boy. 

The legalists and the self-righteous, smug fundamentalist professing Christians, who seem to monopolize the media, don’t speak for Christianity—at least not the Christianity that I know. These purveyors of a false Gospel impose their prejudices on the Bible, selectively picking certain verses that they feel affirm those prejudices, and preach a message of legalism and perfectionism that is diametrically opposed to the Gospel of grace, faith, love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness. 

The Apostle Paul, who adamantly fought legalism (Acts 15; Ephesians 2:8-9), saved his harshest words for those who preach a false Gospel. He said in Galatians 1:8 concerning those who preach a false Gospel, “…let him be accursed.” He felt so strongly about those who preach legalism rather than the Gospel of grace that he repeated himself in the very next verse. 
To be “accursed” is to be damned by God! In other words, he wrote, “God damn them.” (Galatians 1:8-9) Once can’t use any stronger language than that!

These preachers of a false Gospel have wittingly or unwittingly attempted to hijack the true Gospel and redefine Christianity in their own twisted image of God, the Bible, the world, and of themselves. They make Christians look like a pack of hate-mongering, harsh, judgmental freaks and I terribly resent it! 

Every single church and denomination is obligated to embrace and welcome into its fellowship everyone who worships Christ as his or her savior, and afford each such person full rights of inclusion, including the partaking of every sacrament of the Church, as befit members of the Body of Christ! Yet, many denominations are struggling with issues surrounding the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (hereafter to be called GLBT) people. The struggle is said to largely center on biblical interpretation regarding gay people and their relationships, as well as Christian tradition, despite the fact that Jesus says we make void the Word of God by our traditions. (Matthew 15:3) 

Many people who seek to deny GLBT people rights of ordination, marriage, and other rights and privileges that accrue to others, may be well-intentioned, but they are misinformed. The root of this misinformation is largely the religious leadership that seeks to impose their world-views that bespeak ignorance and insensitivity upon not only other people, but upon the Bible and upon God Himself. 

Just as Peter’s experience of Cornelius in Acts 10 showed him that even Gentiles were receiving God’s Spirit, we must realize that GLBT Christians can receive, and many have received, God’s Spirit as well, as the reception of God’s Spirit has absolutely nothing to do with one’s sexual orientation. Many people in the Church still think of GLBT people as Peter and Paul once thought of Gentiles. Yet God told them, and us, “…What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” (Acts 10:15) 

Peter and Paul called the Jewish Christian church in their day to not merely tolerate Gentile Christians, but welcome their full inclusion. Similarly, in our day we are being called by God to not merely tolerate GLBT Christians, but welcome their full inclusion in every aspect of the Church and society. 

Had it not been for adherence to God’s revelation concerning inclusiveness, Paul would not have had a ministry to the Gentiles (Acts 13:47), and had it not been for Paul and his ministry, Christianity would likely be but a mere sect of Judaism, rather than its fulfillment! We must obey God; not man-made dogmas, rules, regulations, and traditions! 

On June 17, 2004, Reuters reported, “The Roman Catholic Church in Massachusetts is considering firing gay employees who marry their same-sex partners in the only American state where such unions are legal, a church official said on Thursday.” Hence, even though the law in Massachusetts permits same-sex marriage, the Roman Catholic Church, viewing gay relationships as “intrinsically disordered,” may seek to discriminate against those who take advantage of that law. 

Given the extensive sex abuse scandals that have rocked that denomination, it would seem prudent for it to take the beam out of its own eye before tackling what isn’t even a speck in another’s eye. Yet, sexuality and sexual orientation are such highly charged topics for them, and most others, that they may feel free to disregard the law and discriminate against people who seek to make a lifetime commitment to each other before God and the community through the sacrament of marriage. 

Marriage is a matter of love, but also a matter of legal and property rights! Just ask anyone who has gone through a divorce! As citizens, GLBT people have every right to partake of the same rights and privileges, as well as the responsibilities, as other citizens. 

Why would we allow a bunch of celibate men, men who seemingly choose to deny a core part of the self, a deep primal urge and vehicle for the _expression of deepest intimacy between two people, be allowed to define romantic and sexual reality for us? In this vein, we must ask, “Why are so many ‘religious’ people, clergy and non-clergy alike, so obsessed with others’ love and sexual lives that they read into Scripture, taking a few passages out of context and without regard to the original languages, justification for discriminating, stigmatizing, demonizing, and oppressing GLBT people, which judgment and discrimination is clearly un-Scriptural?” Their prejudices have clearly blinded them to the biblical mandate to love others and not judge or oppress them! 

The Gospel of love trumps any particular verse or verses of Scripture, particularly those taken out of context and interpreted without regard to the original languages. In Leviticus, the men who sought to gang rape the two angels weren't gay, as Lot wouldn't have offered his virgin daughters to them. If they were gay, young women certainly would have been no inducement to them. The issue was gang rape, abusing others, not sexual orientation or gay relationships. 

Indeed, whenever Sodom and Gomorrah are mentioned in Scripture, homosexuality is never mentioned as its sin. Rather, the sins that are dealt with are inhospitality and not taking care of the poor. Moreover, if the two angels who visited Lot’s house had been women, it is unlikely that those professing Christians who discriminate against GLBT people would be condemning heterosexuality! 

The word translated "homosexual" in some translations (Such as the New English Bible: New Testament.) is arsenekoitai, an obscure Greek word, which actually means "male bed." It probably refers to male cult prostitution (See the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.) that was not uncommon in much of the ancient world, where sex was sometimes a worshipful act to various pagan deities and to have the crops grow. Paul was most likely talking about the use of sex for these purposes. In this connection, it is important to note that the word “homosexual” does not appear in any of the biblical manuscripts, as the term was coined in the late 19th century, and first appeared in an English Bible translation in the 1946 edition of the Revised Standard Version.

Moreover, prohibitions against homosexual activity in ancient Israel was done in the context of a tribal society living on the edge, surrounded by enemies, that had to "be fruitful and multiply" in order for it to survive. Therefore, all types of sexual activity had to be geared to procreation. The sin of Onan, coitus interruptus, was to do otherwise. (Genesis 38:9-10) 
Romans 1:21-32 that is erroneously used to condemn gay people talks about those who turned their backs on God. Even though many professing Christians and clergy have turned GLBT people away from the church, many of these people still worship God. Many of them have long, fulfilling relationships. For example, one gay couple who attend our church has been together for 40 years. 

In any case, what those who quote from the first chapter of Romans to erroneously condemn gay people apparently don't read is the very next verse: "Therefore Thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things." (Romans 2:1) 

The word "abomination" frequently refers to anything the Gentiles did. For example, eating fish without scales was an abomination. Also, the Greek words that are translated "against nature," para physin, are also used in reference to God when He brought the Gentiles into the covenant relationship with Him. (Romans 11:24) Hence, the term “against nature” is not necessarily meant to be pejorative; may well refer in Romans 1:26-27 to heterosexuals who engage in homosexual acts as seen in cult prostitution. 
In 1Corinthians 6:9 the word "effeminate" is used. The Greek word is malakoi, and it means "soft." It's used elsewhere in Scripture to denote soft clothing. In this connection, it probably means people of soft morals or people who lack courage. 

It is important to realize that homosexuality is never mentioned in the Ten Commandments, never written about by the prophets, and never discussed by Jesus. If it were that important, it would have likely been dealt with in at least one of these contexts! 

Yet these facts, and many others that have been put forth, are not likely to change the minds and hearts of those who actively discriminate against GLBT people. Those who spend a great deal of their time condemning other people “in the name of God,” by picking and choosing selected verses of Scripture without seeming regard to context and original languages, may well be materially and psychologically gaining a great deal from these endeavors, all the while claiming that they are being faithful to the Bible. 
Just one example as to how these people don't seem to be as ‘Bible believing’ as they would have us believe: Jesus specifically condemned divorce and remarriage, saying that those who did so, absent fornication, were themselves committing adultery. (Matthew 19:9) I don't hear many homophobic clergy condemning these people and telling them that they should leave their current spouse and either reunite with their previous spouse or remain single. Nor should they! My point is that many of their constituents are made up of these people who give them tithes, offerings, and contributions and they don't want to bite the hands that feed them. They have, however, helped drive many GLBT people away from the church, so these people become viewed as “safe” targets to persecute. 

The Gospel of love negates any attempt to misrepresent, stigmatize, demonize, or oppress other people. Those who seek to exclude GLBT people from partaking fully in the life of the Church and society have missed the message of the Gospel! 

In any case, it's inappropriate to blindly apply the cultural practices of ancient societies to contemporary society, as it does not do justice to the Bible; the Bible makes no such claims for itself; to do so cheapens the Bible. As Peter J. Gomes wrote in his superb book, The Good Book: Reading The Bible With Mind And Heart, when we read the Bible we must take account of what it says, what it means, the text, the subtext, the context, what we bring to the text, and what we take out of the text. Without such examination, we have the egregious example of many Black churches, ministers and lay people, aligning themselves with the KKK to fight against same-sex marriage. 

What is interesting in this context is that the KKK has demonstrated against same-sex marriage. So, the Vatican, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (that, even with its checkered sexual history, talks of traditional family values) and others who oppose equal rights for gay people are aligning themselves with the KKK that opposes equality for all citizens. And these professing Christians have the temerity to do so "in the name of God." 

For far too long we have listened to people who just uncritically assume that what they heard from the pulpit or Sunday school, as ignorant and hateful as it may be, regarding GLBT people is true. Being gay is not a lifestyle! It's a life! It's not a choice, any more than being straight is a choice! 

Moreover, although each minority group has its own particular history, each has suffered from misinformation, discrimination, stigma, and oppression. Unfortunately, the Church has been the last institution in society to accept the disenfranchised and "least among us." As has been noted for many years, the Church has been, and continues to be, the most racially segregated institution that exists on Sunday mornings in our society. In addition, the major justification for oppressing minority groups has been appeal to the Bible. Witness the subjugation of women, slavery, and segregation. 

Even the most "Bible believing" Christian would not condone such biblical practices as stoning to death adulterers, stoning to death those who work on the Sabbath, requiring all women to wear long hair, women not talking in church, women not teaching men, not wearing mixed fibers in our clothes, etc. Yet these are all taught in the Bible! 

The Bible is part of God's revelation to us. It gives us a glimpse into a small part of God's heart and a few of His many dimensions. God didn't stop talking to His children 2,000 years ago! He still speaks to us regarding His will for our lives, and to proclaim in each generation, in and for His name, the cause of justice, and to manifest Jesus’ love toward others. 

God bless the work of Soulforce that seeks justice for GLBT people, the United Federation of the Metropolitan Community Churches that largely minister to GLBT Christians, the Online magazine, "Whosoever," for which I have written a great deal, that is primarily geared to GLBT Christians, and to the work of the late Rembert Truluck (Steps to Recovery From Bible Abuse) and Rick Brentlinger (Gay Christian 101) who point out the destructive aspects of Bible abuse and how misuse of the Bible has caused the untold suffering of GLBT people. It is these, and other such ministries, that have undoubtedly saved, and immeasurably enriched, the lives of countless GLBT people, Christian and non-Christian alike, who were previously wracked by feelings of guilt, shame, self-loathing, and condemnation, hitherto believing the lies and ignorant pronouncements emanating from much of the Church. 

The seemingly oracular pronouncements regarding GLBT people and their relationships by those who parade their ignorance as “Godliness” have helped lead to the suicides, bashings, and murders of countless GLBT people. Indeed, in this connection, it is estimated that gay youth have at least three times the suicide rate of non-gay youth. 

Make no mistake, every drop of blood shed by GLBT people either through suicide, bashing, or murder, are on the hands of all those religious leaders, their followers, and their allies who spew forth their ignorance, prejudice, and hate against GLBT people and their relationships! These wolves in sheep’s clothing take the Bible, God’s love letter to His children, and selectively and perversely use it as a club to condemn others, and deny GLBT people full inclusion in the Church and in society. 

The tradition-bound parts of the Church have so indoctrinated people, many of whom have never even set foot in a house of worship, that many people even disown their own children when they “come out” and divulge their sexual orientation to those whom they thought unconditionally loved and cherished them. There are many children living on the streets because their own parents trusted ignorant clergy and their followers over their God-given duty and privilege to nurture and embrace their own children! 

The Church should concentrate on the real sins that deserve our attention and that cry out to God for redress, such as invading another country on false pretenses; the working poor who can't afford medical insurance; the Supreme Court ruling that people can't sue their insurance company in state court for denying needed medical services; many elderly people having to decide whether to buy food or medicine; the gigantic rip off perpetrated by drug companies, hospitals, and the medical establishment on sick and vulnerable people. Why not focus on and address issues such as these, instead of obsessing on who loves who and who sleeps with whom? Such obsession tells us much more about the pathetic and moribund state of much of the Church than it does about the reality of the lives of GLBT people. 

Indeed, those who seek to exclude others from full fellowship in church, and in secular society, commit the greatest sin of all: the sin of pride. Jesus “…spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week. I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14) 

Throughout our lives, we have been bombarded with ignorant, homophobic messages from much of the Church world that don’t resonate with, and do contradict, the revelation of God in the Person and words of Jesus! Let’s not let the ignorant, the haters and hate-mongers, many of whom gain psychological, social, and financial advantages by their condemnation and exclusion of GLBT people, define Christianity for us. 

We must rise above their ignorant and hateful pronouncements, cynically made "in the name of God," "tradition," "church law," and "family values," and finally practice Christianity. Hear Jesus' call for inclusion of all of His people, and let's fulfill His mandate for us to love our neighbor by embracing in every facet of our lives His GLBT children, whom He gave as a gift to the church and society to be cherished every bit as much as He cherishes us.

Share |

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


In a victory for gay rights advocates and a legal win for Attorney General Martha Coakley, the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional, a ruling that means thousands of families in Massachusetts will no longer be denied Social Security, medical benefits and other protections tied to marriage laws.
“This ruling is a victory for equality and civil rights for all,” Coakley said in a statement. “By striking down DOMA, the highest court has ensured that married same-sex couples are treated equally under federal law.”

In a statement released as he spends time in California with family, Gov. Deval Patrick said, “By affirming the principle that people come before their government as equals, today's Supreme Court decision striking down DOMA is a win for the American people. I applaud the Court's decision on Prop 8 in California as well. Freedom includes keeping government out of people’s most personal and intimate choices, and affirming human dignity. Today's decisions do that.”


The Libertarian Party applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today to strike the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal law that discriminates against non-heterosexual marriages.
The Libertarian Party has supported marriage equality since its founding in 1971.
"The Republican Party has never supported marriage equality," said Laura Delhomme, 2013 Libertarian candidate for delegate in Virginia. "Democrats, despite their alleged support of civil liberties, only added a reference to same-sex marriage to their party platform in 2012 — when it became politically convenient."
DOMA was pushed through by a GOP-led Congress and signed by a Democratic president.
"This is a landmark victory for personal freedom," said Geoffrey J. Neale, chair of the Libertarian National Committee. "The Democrats and Republicans who have advanced, defended, and let stand government intrusion into the private contracts and choices of consenting adults will be remembered for their inhumanity on this issue."
Ending DOMA means that the federal government will recognize the legal marriages of same-sex couples in states that recognize marriage equality. This is a good first step toward ending government discrimination that has affected millions of Americans.
Libertarian candidates have long rallied for marriage equality. This year, Robert Sarvis, Libertarian Party of Virginia candidate for governor, along with Delhomme and several other candidates for legislature, have vowed to press for recognition of same-sex marriage in Virginia.
Libertarian candidates in New Jersey, the only other state that is holding legislative races this year, are also calling for marriage equality.
"Same-sex couples are denied the right to marry because the governor vetoed the marriage equality bill that would have guaranteed their civil rights," said Ken Kaplan, Libertarian for governor in New Jersey. "I will sign such a bill."
The Libertarian Party platform states that "Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government's treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws."
A recent poll from ABC News/Washington Post shows that 58 percent of Americans support marriage equality, a rapid change from just a decade ago, when only 39 percent supported it. Americans are coming around to the Libertarian view that big government does not belong in our lives, whether it’s our bedrooms or our wallets. [Taken from the Libertarian Party's web page.]

Share |

Monday, June 24, 2013


This article appeared in my June 22nd column entitled, “Christianity and Society,” that appears in the “Sacramento Valley Mirror.”

“He hath shown thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” (Micah 6:8)

With the exception of relatively few denominations, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people are fully welcomed in churches or allowed to partake of all the sacraments of those churches.  Most churches view homosexuality as a sin! 

The Roman Catholic Church views homosexuality as being “disordered,” and its practice as being “intrinsically evil.”   And most other churches, in one way or another, concur with this view. 

This view seems to arise from a relatively few selected Scripture verses that have nothing to do with one’s having a homosexual orientation, but has to do with same-sex expressions of idolatry to false gods.  An excellent book that goes into great detail on the subject of Christianity and homosexuality is written by Rick Brentlinger entitled, Gay Christian 101: Spiritual Self-Defense for Gay Christians - What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality, and I strongly urge all Christians to read this book. This book eruditely and incisively debunks all of the apparent justifications that professing Christian homophobes when invoking the Bible to support their erroneous contentions. 

The reality is that I can use the Bible to far better affirm slavery, segregation, and the subordination of women that I can to assert that homosexuality is in any way sinful, unless the latter is used as a means of idolatry or temple prostitution to appease or beseech false gods.  In any event, the big lie has been that God condemns homosexuality within the context of same-sex love, and when a lie is repeated often enough, many people come to believe it as true.  Hitler’s minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels , used this fact to manipulate the minds and behaviors of most in Nazi Germany, and it has been no less effective in making most of the institutional Church homophobic. 

As the above verse of Scripture enjoins us, we must do our very best to live just lives so that we can be salt and light in a sin-sursed world; be merciful to others and always be humble when reading Scripture and in our walk of faith with God.  In all our pronouncements and attitudes, we must be humble, always recognizing that God is far bigger than the Bible; He can’t be put in a box that meets our personal and/or cultural biases.  Frequently, people read the Bible and impose their own biases on the text, when they should let the Bible speak to them in its own terms, always recognizing the biases they may be bringing to that text.

Moreover, we can easily fall into the trap where we worship the Bible, rather than our frequently inscrutable God Whose ways are past finding out; Whose ways are higher than our ways; Whose thoughts are higher than our thoughts. (Romans 11:33, Isaiah 55:9)  It is easy to fall into dogmatism and legalism, particularly when we perceive we have a vested interest in maintaining our paradigm or way of seeing a particular subject, such as what we perceive to be “normal” sexual expression.  If we let the Bible speak to us, rather than impose our own biases upon it to justify ourselves and our perceptions we will, indeed, be able to walk more humbly with our God.

As I get older, I realize not only how little I know about the mysteries of life, but also how many gray areas of life there are.  Sometimes, even willful sinning, known to be a sin by the person, may be beyond his or her control, and may be the best for that person to be used by God in his or her brokenness. (2Corinthians 12:9)  And, although God is not the author of sin, that sin, as all sins, is still covered over by the Blood of Christ and through that brokenness, God can best use that imperfect crock of clay through whom to work His will.

If a person has to spend his or her life suppressing emotional/sexual feelings and activity within the context of monogamy, he or she can become warped to the point that God can’t use that person as He would like.  After all, God knew when He saved us everything we would do, and even every sin we would commit. 

He saved us because of His love for us, and because He could use us to work His will in us and in the world.  This fact is certainly true for LGBT people as well!  God doesn’t only choose heterosexuals to be His own possession!

We show our love for God by fulfilling the commandments that Jesus prescribed: love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; love our neighbor as ourselves.  And LGBT people are our neighbors!

Frankly, I think that God is much more concerned with “corporate sins” than with “personal sins,” especially those that are imagined constructed sins!  Downsizing, mergers and ensuing layoffs, technology that displaces individuals and families, an economy that requires most couples to work outside the home often to barely make ends meet, homelessness and our callousness to the poor and disenfranchised, an increasingly sociopathic culture which diminishes human worth and dignity, honed to a fine art in the medical and drug establishments so as to main a robust “bottom line,” etc. are the sins that cry out for vengeance from God rather than one’s affectional/sexual desires.

Regarding Scripture verses that are often used to condemn LGBT people, in the Old Testament people were to be fruitful and multiply, anticipating the birth of the Messiah.  Clearly, in this context, homosexual conduct was forbidden.  In the New Testament in Romans 1:21-32 and in 1Corinthians 6:9 the thrust of Paul’s argument is that once having known God one turns his or her back on God and worships the gods of this world, be it sex, alcohol, pride, etc.  When one worships any one or more gods of this world over and above God Himself he or she is not fit for the kingdom of God. 

This is the thrust of Paul’s arguments in these verses of Scripture.  And the worship of the false god of homophobia also represents this type of idolatry that God hates!

The Bible is called “the lively oracles of God” because it speaks anew and afresh to each generation, with its own particular problems and struggles.  By reading the Bible both literally and literately, we see that we are dealing with lively things that must always be approached with the utmost humility; the humility that must also be manifested when we walk with God on our journey through life.







Share |

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pope admits 'gay lobby' in Vatican administration: report

Pope Francis has admitted the existence of a "gay lobby" inside the Vatican's secretive administration, the Roman Curia, allegedly exposed during a leaks scandal, according to a Latin American Catholic website.

Back in February Italian media claimed that a secret report by cardinals investigating the leaks included allegations of corruption and blackmail attempts against gay Vatican clergymen, and on the other hand, favouritism based on gay relationships.

"In the Curia, there are truly some saints, but there is also a current of corruption," the pope is quoted as having said during an audience last week with CLAR (the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious Men and Women).

"There is talk of a 'gay lobby' and it's true, it exists. We have to see what can be done," the 76-year-old pontiff is quoted as saying on the Reflection and Liberation website, which was flagged up by religious news agencies on Tuesday.

[To read the full article, see here.]
Share |

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

"Researchers establish link between racism and stupidity"

"In an analysis of two large-scale, nationally representative United Kingdom data sets (N = 15,874), we found that lower general intelligence (g) in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely mediated via conservative ideology.

"A secondary analysis of a U.S. data set confirmed a predictive effect of poor abstract-reasoning skills on antihomosexual prejudice, a relation partially mediated by both authoritarianism and low levels of intergroup contact. All analyses controlled for education and socioeconomic status."

For the full article, see the following link:
Share |

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Please read the following piece and interview with noted actor and playright, Harvey Firestein, and also watch the brief video of his interview with Barbara Walters where he delineates what it means to be Gay.  This is the best exposition of what it means to be Gay that I have heard by a very literate, sensitive, very well-known person who came out when he was very young.

To read the interview and see the video, please click here.
Share |

Monday, May 6, 2013


This is an excellent, brief, video that I strongly urge you to watch.
Share |

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


The following are some Twitter death threats given to Jason Collins, the one of the first athletes in professional sports to come out: []

-- "Yous a dead f****t talkn on tv Boy."
-- "Listening to Jason Collins describe his gayness as 'beautiful' makes me wanna puke. And kill him."
-- "Jason collins comes out the closet! Kill that biiitttchhhh!!!"
-- "First jason collins say he gay.. Now he on espn w lipgloss on  kill him now !!!"
-- "Jason Collins should get the death penalty lol how u a 7 foot gay dude lol the west is crazy smh"

We can't underestimate the hatred visited upon LGBT people in the larger society.  This may well be undoubtedly true among many of those who are sports fans.  

Many of these fans value the "cult of macho" and despise the feminine that they summarily equate with gay men. These haters are also likely to have contempt for women who are in powerful positions in society, and are also likely to be xenophobic as well.  

To say they are a danger to our society is a gross understatement, and I fear for the life of Jason Collins, and for all other athletes who have Collins' courage to finally be authentic and come out as the people they are.

Jason got it right when he wrote, "Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it's a good place to start. It all comes down to education." LGBTQ youth face unique challenges that can be compounded by intolerance -- even if the hurtful messages aren't directed to them personally. Too often, the fear and hate directed at aspects of who they are by adults or team members they look up to can contribute to high risk behaviors, including possibly attempting suicide. []
Share |

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"Gay Will Never Be the New Black: What James Baldwin Taught Me About My White Privilege"

But there is a distinct parallel parallel between the two Civil Rights movements, and that fact must not be ignored.  Similarly, as I have written countless times, there is no "Q" when it comes to Gay people.  "Queer" means "abnormal," and LGBT people are definitely not abnormal.  However, absent these facts, the following article is a good one.

"As a white gay man committed to advocacy, I was naturally drawn to [James] Baldwin and eager to hear what he had to say about LGBTQ equality in America. What I discovered, though, was not at all what I was expecting. Baldwin, more than anyone else, taught me that although I am gay, I am white, and that being white always involves persistent privilege that must be recognized and accounted for. Baldwin explains that white LGBTQ men and women feel slighted precisely because they know that had they been straight, they would have been heirs to incomparable privilege. In a 1984 interview with Richard Goldstein, then the editor of the Village Voice, Baldwin said, "I think white gay people feel cheated because they were born, in principle, in a society in which they were supposed to be safe. The anomaly of their sexuality puts them in danger, unexpectedly." He went on to say:
Their reaction seems to me in direct proportion to their sense of feeling cheated of the advantages which accrue to white people in a white society. There's an element, it has always seemed to me, of bewilderment and complaint. Now that may sound very harsh, but the gay world as such is no more prepared to accept black people than anywhere else in society."
[For the full article, see here.]
Share |

Monday, April 8, 2013


Unless God calls one to celibacy, one cannot suppress our most primal urge without some dire consequences emanating from this abnormal, even dangerous, practice.  Such suppression leads to all sorts of psychological and social traumas that range from psychological depression all the way up to sexual abuse of young people.  What makes clergy sexual abuse especially egregious is that God is often invoked by the priest to emotionally manipulate the young person into forcibly being cooperative in that molestation or rape. I truly think that many RC clergy's focus on demonizing LGBT people has a lot to do with their projection of their own frustrated wish-fulfillments, as well as their immature, if not warped, view of sexuality. 
"Homosexuality is only an issue because of the church's public stance on it. It should go without saying that there is no link with abuse. But Richard Sipe believes there may be a link between abuse and celibacy. In 1990, he published a 25-year American study showing that at any one time, 50% of priests will have been sexually active in the past three years. That figure has been replicated in other places: Spain, Holland, Switzerland and South Africa. "O'Brien and Scotland are not alone or exceptions," says Sipe.
"The Catholic church has created a hierarchy of sexual morality with celibacy at the pinnacle. But that can create distortions. Sipe's studies suggest around 70% of priests display psychosexual immaturity. Celibacy, he argues, is not something most people can achieve. When legitimate sexual outlets are forbidden, some turn to illegitimate ones. "The majority of clergy are unable to deal with sexual deprivation in healthy ways," he argues. Around 6% of priests will have sex with minors. In Australia, abuse by Catholic priests is six times higher than other churches combined."
Please read the full article here.

Share |

Sunday, March 17, 2013


I just finished reading the book, "The Trans Evangelist." It was superb!!!! It warmed my heart to read it, and I hung on every word. Sister Paula epitomizes the fact that God's ecclesia, His called out ones, aren't housed within any set of walls, but recognize each other through the unconditional love they show. Throughout the years, Sister Paula has continued to be an inspiration to all Christians and others, trans or not. God bless her for all the wonderful work she has done and continues to do. I strongly urge all people to read this book and get a glimpse of the wonderful, multifaceted world that God has created, and which Sister Paula so eminently demonstrates by her life and in her wonderful autobiography.

The following is the link where you can purchase this excellent book:
Share |

Friday, March 1, 2013


February 27, 2013
(415) 703-5837
Social Networks
Print Version
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Files U.S. Supreme Court Brief in Support of Marriage Equality

SAN FRANCISCO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the United States Supreme Court arguing that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional and the initiative’s sponsors do not have the right to claim to represent the interests of California by defending the law in federal court.

“Equal protection under the law is a bedrock of our Constitution and fulfills our nation’s binding principle that all people are created equal and should live free of discrimination,” said Attorney General Harris. “I look forward to the day when all Californians are granted their full civil rights and can marry the person they love.”

In August 2010, a federal district court invalidated Proposition 8 on the grounds that it violated the equal protection guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution by taking away the right of same-sex couples to marry, without a sufficient governmental interest. Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Harris both refused to defend Proposition 8 on the basis that the law is unconstitutional.

The amicus brief lays out the harm done by Proposition 8 by preventing marriage between gay and lesbian couples.

“The sole yet profound effect of Proposition 8 was to take away the right of gay and lesbian couples to call their union a ‘marriage’ and to strip loving relationships of validation and dignity under law. It did not change any of the legal rights and responsibilities afforded same-sex couples and their children under California law,” the amicus brief states. “To be clear, Proposition 8’s sole purpose was to prevent same-sex couples from marrying. There is absolutely no legitimate or rational state interest in doing so. Proposition 8 is therefore unconstitutional.”

The brief affirms that creating a stable home for children is an important interest served by marriage under California law – and one that is furthered by allowing all couples to marry.

“The state’s interest in protecting children, including the over 50,000 children in California being raised by same-sex parents, is poorly served by allowing so many of them grow up feeling inferior because their family unit is not validated and honored by law,” the amicus brief states. “California’s interests in protecting all of its children – and their basic dignity and understanding of fairness and justice – are best served by allowing same-sex couples to enjoy the same benefits of marriage as opposite-sex couples.”

Attorney General Harris also argued that the sponsors of Proposition 8 cannot defend the law in federal court because they do not have legal standing to bring this appeal. The brief argues that, unlike state officials, the sponsors lack enforcement authority and therefore do not suffer “injury-in-fact” as a result of a federal district court’s judgment enjoining Proposition 8’s enforcement.

“The decisions below invade proponents’ interest only to the extent that they, like other voters, have a generalized interest in the enforcement of Proposition 8,” the amicus brief states. As a result, the Proposition 8 sponsors “can only assert the kind of undifferentiated interest in the validity of state law that this Court has held to be insufficient for [legal] standing.”

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the matter on March 26.

In May 2011, Attorney General Harris filed a similar amicus brief in California Supreme Court.

A copy of the U.S. Supreme Court amicus is attached to the online version of this release at                          
Share |

Monday, February 4, 2013


Although this article doesn't mention transgender status, the fact that the manifestations of male and female attitudes and behaviors vary across a continuum shows that our gender expressions are malleable.  Taken to its extremes, women can have penises and men can have vaginas.  Our sex doesn't denote our gender, any more than we can assume the attitudes of a woman or a man based upon his/her sexual attributes.  This article also suggests to me that although transgender status is statistically abnormal, it is certainly not neurobiologically abnormal.

Share |