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 1800florist.com 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 CNN.com 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?