Monday, August 16, 2010

Mr. President, Will YOU Commmit Today?

So California's despicable Prop8 amendment gets overturned by a federal judge on strong constitutional grounds and we get a tepidly generic comment from an unnamed White House staffer:
“The President has spoken out in opposition to Proposition 8 because it is divisive and discriminatory. He will continue to promote equality for LGBT Americans.”
h/t to the Advocate
President Obama's "official position" is that while he feels gay and lesbian Americans should enjoy equal rights (if the state they live in decides to grant them), civil marriage is only for those fortunate enough to be heterosexual.

Meanwhile, people are objecting to the building of a Muslim community center and mosque in lower Manhattan, and the President himself goes on camera to stand up for the constitutional right of religious liberty.
“Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground. But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the [same] right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances.”
Let me be clear, I agree with his position on religious liberties.  I think it's a troubling trend in America to advocate that minority rights be subjected to popular opinion or majority vote.  But the contrast in the President's response to the two most recent incidents of this trend is very telling. 

Is it any wonder I roll my eyes when I get fund raising and volunteering appeals from the Democratic National Party, like this one I got today?
Does anyone else see the irony in this statement from the DNC?
Studies have shown that when people pledge to do something, they're much more likely to follow through. This simple but powerful concept helped us make history in 2008, when first-time voters who made a commitment played a critical role in the election.
I seem to remember President Obama making a commitment to be our "Fierce Advocate" for equality.  I don't know about you, but I'm still waiting for the follow through.

I'll make you a deal, Mr. President.  You commit to full equality for gay and lesbian Americans, and I'll commit to voting for a Democrat this November.

Friday, March 12, 2010

America: Land of the Supressed, Home of the Docile

Overseas, when governments cut services or tamper with the social contract, we see massive public protests. Literally millions of Greek and French citizens have taken to the streets to fight for justice and protest against corrupt politicians and unfair policies.

Here in America, our politicians bail out billionaire bankers and leave middle-class homeowners holding the bag.  They barter away a woman's right to control her own body and make her own medical decisions.  They pass constitutional amendments and federal laws that permanently relegate gay and lesbian Americans to second-class citizenship. 

Where is the outrage?  Where are the sit-ins and moratoriums?  Sure, we might have hundreds thousands of protesters marching in Washington, but if you watch the mainstream media, it's barely a blip.  Thousands can rally in DC and symbolically "citizens-arrest" the health insurance companies for malfeasance, and you'd barely know it.

Meanwhile, the Fox News sponsored tea party rallies, that just coincidentally align with the interest of big business (less government regulation of banks and corporations) and the health insurance industry (OMG death squads!) are presented as a "true, genuine grass roots movement."

Here's an article that worth a close look: Normalizing the police state (and how it ends with taser-firing drones)

Here we have the completion of the perfect police state. Citizens are monitored from cradle to grave. Any signs of anger or rebellion are swiftly squelched with medication or “peace officers.” The schools step in when the state cannot act to monitor and regulate every movement of students’ lives under the banner of “Zero Tolerance.”

When the medicated and monitored children grow into dysfunctional adults, some of who eventually realize their shitty circumstances (complete with shitty healthcare, outsourced jobs, limited resources, poisoned environment, enormous wealth disparity, etc.) and they think about rebelling, they are immediately lassoed with an anchor of bureaucracy. Should you want to protest, please fill out form AYT0754 five months prior to said protest, and pay this fee, and remain in this pen, and please don’t make too much noise…
Does it get much more Orwellian?  We know we can't trust corporate-sponsored news organizations to accurately inform the public.  When are we going to wake up from our slumber and demand that the government of the people, by the people, for the people... is actually RETURNED to the people?

The alarm is sounding.  Stop hitting the snooze button and wake up.

h/t to for inspiration.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Holy Hypocrisy, Batman!

Never would have seen this one coming.

Apparently a Papal aide is caught up in elite gay prostitution ring that involves seminarians, undocumented immigrants and the Vatican choir.

All this from a church that calls me and my partner a threat to the "family" and, using the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) as a front, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars making sure our relationship doesn't enjoy the same civil privileges, responsibilities and benefits as straight Americans.

All I can say is:
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 
- Matthew 7:3

Hey Pope Palpatine!  Clean up the mess in your own backyard and keep your nose out of my civil rights!

2nd Class Citizenship is Depressing... no really!

Gays and lesbians who live in states that ban gay marriage are more likely to suffer from alcoholism, mood disorder, or anxiety according to a study by the American Public Health Association.

Psychiatric disorders defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, increased significantly between waves 1 and 2 among LGB respondents living in states that banned gay marriage for the following outcomes: any mood disorder (36.6% increase), generalized anxiety disorder (248.2% increase), any alcohol use disorder (41.9% increase), and psychiatric comorbidity (36.3% increase). These psychiatric disorders did not increase significantly among LGB respondents living in states without constitutional amendments. Additionally, we found no evidence for increases of the same magnitude among heterosexuals living in states with constitutional amendments.

Interesting thing... the study showed no differences for heterosexuals living in states that allow same-sex marriage or those that ban it.  I guess "protecting" marriage from us homos doesn't actually make you happier.  Go figure.

credit to for the article link.

Curing the 'Gay'

Here's an ugly example of the psychological (and sometimes physical) abuse parents can inflict on their offspring in the name of "curing" their sexual orientation.

quote:... the dad is accused of forcing his son to have sex with a prostitute because he feared the 14-year-old was gay.

Before you shrug this story off as harmless, imagine the headlines if a gay father took his butch son to a male prostitute in an effort to turn him queer.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Don't Age, Don't Tell

Anyone who thought John Stewart and The Daily Show would become irrelevant after Bush Jr was voted out of office was sadly mistaken.  There is still enough foolishness and ignorance in Congress to keep us tragically amused for decades.

Case in point is this recent clip regarding Sen. McCain's flip-flop on the Don't Ask-Don't Tell policy.  A couple of years ago, Sen. McCain asserted the Senate would listen to the military leadership and when they said the policy should be overturned, then he would follow their lead.  Now that we have a Democrat in the White House and are FINALLY see a smidgen of movement to overturn that disgusting policy, Sen McCain is being his usual contrarian, sore-loser self.

John Oliver has the opinion that it's just Sen. McCain age-related memory loss causing the discrepancy.  Perhaps it's time for banning openly old people from serving in the Senate?

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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This is my favorite part.  Quote:
This is not about the old guys in the Senate as individuals.  This about the people in the Senate who have to work beside them.  It affects Senate cohesion.  These Senators work long days in close quarters.  It's not fair to the other Senators trying to work on legislation, never knowing if one of the "olds" is going to sneak up behind them and offer them a piece of hard candy.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Where the Wild Things Are...

One of the little-known advantages of being with someone raised in a Jehova's Witness household is the complete lack of expectations when it comes to holidays and birthdays.  Having never experienced a birthday celebration or Christmas until he was an adult, my other-half appreciates a hug and a kiss with as little drama as a candle-lit dinner.  That's not to say it isn't fun to surprise him with thoughtful gifts.  It just takes away all the pressure of worrying how he will react.

This year, thanks to a timely email from the Sierra Club, I think I've already figured out what my "Wild Thing" will be gettting for Valentine's Day.  What better way to show how much I appreciate him than to sponsor a National Park in his name!

For as little as $20, you get a personalized certificate from one of these awesome wild places:
  • Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
  • Glacier National Park
  • Giant Sequoia National Monument
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Acadia National Park
  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • The Adirondack Park
  • Everglades National Park
  • Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Shhh... don't tell him, but I think my Montana man is going to be getting a Wolf plushie from Glacier National Park.

So instead of giving your money to and Hallmark Cards, consider a gift that's just a little bit greener. Sign up by January 31st and shipping is free.

edit:  fixed the link that wasn't working originally.  sorry about that!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Religion-based Bigotry

I've been following the federal case challenging the constitutionality of Prop 8, but I've not been writing a lot about my impressions.  Mostly because every time I start to, I get very angry and I'm not sure I really want to commit those kind of thoughts to "paper" without more reflection.

However, I do want to share some of what has come out of today's testimony.

From Towleroad (one of my favorite blogsites)
A document from the Church of Latter Day Saints to the Proposition 8 campaign was revealed at the trial today, and contained this instructive:
Mormon With respect to Prop. 8 campaign, key talking points will come from campaign, but cautious, strategic, not to take the lead so as to provide plausible deniability or respectable distance so as not to show that church is directly involved.
Julia Rosen, blogging for the Courage Campaign notes: "Get that? The LDS Church intentionally worked to hide behind the scenes to disguise their involvement in the public realm. The LDS Church is well aware that the general public does not have the most favorable opinion of them. Attention on their involvement could have hurt their cause, namely passing Prop 8."
Rosen called the afternoon "explosive" as the attorneys battled over what documents could be revealed as evidence of the coordinated efforts between Prop 8 campaign and Catholic, LDS, and Evangelical churches.
It elicited this statement from Judge Walker: "Not to make light of this, but the reason people want to produce documents is that they are revealing."
Hear, hear.
There is more that came out today.  Mostly about how much the Catholic and Mormon (LDS) Churches were behind Prop 8 every step of they way.  They funded it, they promoted it from their pulpits, they enlisted volunteers from all over the country to change California's state constitution.  All in the name of ensuring gay and lesbian Americans do not enjoy the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as every other American.

And we're talking about a Civil contract here... no one was ever forcing the Churches to perform weddings that didn't conform to their own standards.

Tell me again why we continue to grant tax-exempt status to religious organizations that directly fund and sponsor political activity?

If you want to know more about how the Prop 8 trial is going I recommend this site:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Equal Means Equal

Here's a great constitutional analysis of same sex marriage on the website.

quote: As a civil rights lawyer for 23 years, there is no question at all in my mind that as a matter of constitutional law, the federal court must strike down any law that creates a subclass of Americans, shutting them out of legal privileges and protections available to others, merely because they are gay.
I feel relatively confident that the case being heard right now in a San Francisco federal courtroom will go our way. Unfortunately, I feel less confident that our current Supreme Court will be as fair and just.  Isn't this the same Supreme Court that appointed Bush Jr. as President, despite having lost the election?