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Archive for January, 2009

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: Gays Should Be Thrown From Planes with No Chutes

January 16, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Stupid Things People Say About Gays

In recent discussions online about the pending repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (“DADT”) one commenter took hatred to a new level (anonymously of course).  A man/woman under the handle “Union Sucks” and claiming to be a retired Army Officer not only encourages a heterosexual boycott of the U.S. Military, but also wants gays murdered.  He/She states:

As a retired Army Officer, I would ENCOURAGE as many as possible to leave the service under protest of this. The ONLY use for gays in the military is perhaps an airborne outfit that you could drop into action without parachutes or weapons. Other than THAT, we do NOT need that kind of human debris in our armed forces.

The alleged military officer’s plea includes what may be called a “boycott” of our nation’s military, and essentially, a boycott of the United States and the principals for which he/she allegedly fought – freedom.

The commenter has obviously never heard of Alexander the Great, reknowned for his leadership and war time victories – but also a homosexual.  He also hasn’t read this article: 104 retired military brass against ‘don’t ask-don’t tell’ – CNN.com; indicating that 104 retired “top brass” military persons have signed a statement calling for a repeal of DADT, or that “a study conducted by a group of senior retired military officers recommended ditching the military’s ‘don’t ask-don’t tell’ policy” [referenced in the CNN article].

It just goes to show that we continue to allow bias and prejudices to rule our thoughts rather than education and rational debate.

Gay Couple Beaten, Now SUV Burned

January 15, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Hate Crimes, LGBT News

John and Larry Charlton haven’t been very vocal about the attack against them back in September.  In fact, you may not have even heard about the attack or that the two men were hospitalized after being brutally beaten by men after the men yelled gay slurs.

Now, the police are encouraging John and Larry to come forward – after a second crime has been committed against the couple.   On January 13, 2009, the couples SUV was set on fire.

Police are looking for help investigating the attack.  The attackers are described as a white man in his late 30s or early 40s with a long gray ponytail and a white man in his early 20s with short brown hair.

This attack comes just over two weeks after the brutal beating of Nathan Runkle, also of Ohio.

If you have information about this crime, please call Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 877-645-TIPS.  According to Central Ohio Crime Stoppers, phone lines do not have caller ID and your call will not be recorded.

For more information, please visit:

Couple Attacked – Next, SUV is Torched : Gay News from Gay Agenda – GayAgenda.com.

Gay Couple Attacked in West Side Neighborhood – 10 TV News

Right Wing Showing More Signs of Weakness In Anti-Marriage Arguments

January 14, 2009 By: jaysays Category: LGBT News, Marriage Equality

A lack of support in the first push to add a same-gender marriage ban to Indiana’s constitution makes no difference to the right in their efforts to deny homosexuals equal legal protection.  The first proposed amendment was largely criticized for potentially denying domestic partnership benefits to same-gender couples that would otherwise be permitted by their employer.  As if to say, “O.k… so we will give gays those rights, but not any more,” the legislature is at it again – this time in a shockingly bipartisan push.

Although Indiana already has a law banning same-gender marriages, supporters of the measure note that Courts are overturning such legislation all over the country.  Thus, the basis for them to push forward with a constitutional amendment seems to be that the current law, because it is discriminatory and violates Due Process, might be overturned – so to protect it, we have to make it part of the Constitution.

The argument is indicative of a cause suffering from its own lack of rational thought and legal backing.

One of the strongest and most believed lies has been that providing civil marriage benefits to same-gender couples would result in churches being forced into performing religious ceremonies recognizing those relationships and such would be a violation of their religious freedoms.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Reverend Al Sharpton responded to this allegation by stating:

Even though we live under the law in a secular democratic society, religious groups must still be able to maintain their spiritual and moral option to either give or withhold a religious or sacred blessing to such unions.

He went on to declare:

However, the government should not have that option. It must affirm the human and legal rights of everyone.

The desperation in the voices of marriage inequality supporters can further be illustrated by their continued arguments (by way of the American Family Association *which would be more properly called the Anti-Family Association* that same-gender marriage will:

  • bankrupt social security (which same-gender couples pay into);
  • result in children being taught about homosexual sex in school;
  • result in the violation of the sanctity of their own marriage;
  • lead to instant, drive-through divorces similar to obtaining a hunting license;
  • “Perhaps most important, the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be severely curtailed. The family has been God’s primary vehicle for evangelism since the beginning.”
  • “The culture war will be over.”

Some of the above are paraphrased, some are direct quotes when paraphrasing cannot do the ridiculousness of the argument justice.  To expose this blatant lie, let’s ask: what is the “culture war”?  The phrase “culture war” is generally used to describe the conflict between progressives and traditionalists and includes such hot debates as censorship, abortion, separation of church and state, gun control, and homosexuality. Obviously, the introduction of same-gender marriage will instantly dissolve the conflicts surrounding gun control, censorship, abortion and church involvement in state matters.  [insert sarcastic tone here].

It is unfortunate that “religious values”, which are generally respected, are being abused and degraded by the spread of LIES.  Yes, I’m calling them liars, a word I seldom use.  Liars are sinners… and since I am an atheist and thus free from “sin”, I can cast that stone.

The AFA is lying to you, they are trying to scare you, they are trying to use our fears against us and they are losing.  They are losing because we have been a country ruled by fear for far too long and people are recognizing those tactics when they hear them.  People are asking questions and getting make-shift, unreasonable answers.  People are calling the AFA out on their lies and demanding they support their allegations – and they can’t.  Keep asking questions, keep demanding answers and expose these groups for the power hungry, lying people that they are.

See: New proposal to ban gay marriage protects partner benefits | IndyStar

Imagine All The People Sharing All The World

January 14, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Religion

Last night I was driving down the road.  My radio was off and it was silent except for the noise of my car as it pressed on down the road.  Suddenly, I started singing in my head and gradually began singing out loud:

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

I had never really considered the lyrics to John Lennon’s Imagine.  I knew them, but not well.  Even while trying to sing it in the car I had to stop and think to remember some of the lines.  Like Prince, John Lennon was dreaming when he wrote this song.  I got to thinking about the song, it’s popularity and how it is embraced by the masses in spite of it being anti-religion and anti-nationalistic.  I was curious what caused this phenomena and found John Lennon’s comment online stating the song to be:

an anti-religious, anti-nationalistic, anti-conventional, anti-capitalistic song, but because it’s sugar-coated, it’s accepted.

I tried to think of how to apply that to the “Gay Rights” movement, which has received much negative attention from some press organizations as of late for being “radical” and “leftist”.  There have even been comments associating LGBT activists with terrorists even though for the most part we are peaceful, kind and concerned people.  Then it occurred to me that there is nothing to sugar-coat regarding LGBT people.  We are out there asking people to let us do those things that they are legally allowed to do and we are not.  We are asking people to support us when we say, “Please stop killing our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered brothers and sisters.”  We are just hoping for a better tomorrow, like Lennon.  All we are guilty of is dreaming.  If that’s not “sugar-coated” what is?

I thought perhaps John Lennon was right, if their were no heaven or hell, no religion or country, no hunger or greed, “the world will live as one.”  I thought about the Utopian society that would be created (which lead me to think about what a difficult read Thomas Moore’s Utopia was).  Then I though — Utopia would be pretty boring.

Christian Right Wingers Claim Gay Friendly Christians to be “Another Religion”

January 13, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Religion

The American Family Association [a group which I’ve always thought to be misleadingly named] is at it again, this time declaring that those that support gay rights and equality are not Christians, have laid down the gospel and essentially created another religion.

The comments made by Jeff Chamblee on AFA Report (January 12, 2009) were spawned by Gene Robinson’s appointment to speak at the Obama Inauguration.

You can’t have an understanding of man that he can simply make up his faith as he goes along… for man to lay that down and say I’m just going to give you something that applies to all men is tantamount to another gospel, another religion that’s completely foreign to the gospel.

As I listened to the audio version of this posted on one of my favorite gay blog sites Good as You, I couldn’t help but think that the AFA has done it again, ostracized more Christians from their “Family Association.”  We all know that many Christians have committed the very same self-serving changes to their religion of which Mr. Chamblee complains.  For example, many Christians I’ve met eat bread which is leavened, have charged or paid interest, worn blended fabrics, acted unjustly, eaten rare steaks, lobster, shrimp or a rack of ribs.  I don’t know any Christians that have not participated in slave trading or sold their daughters nor any that have sacrificed a lamb.

Before hypocritically telling Christians that those who alter the gospel to fit men rather than staying within the confines of scripture, Mr. Chamblee had this to say about Obama’s inauguration:

I am really hurt and broken at what’s happening here because you are seeing played out on the national stage a man who goes under the banner of Christian and carries the name of Christ doing something that is an absolute abomination and doing it with no shame, doing it under the guise of love and mercy and understanding, and we see people being lolled to sleep and hypnotized by this and deceived into the fact that well hey this is just another branch of Christianity this is just another idea.  You know, you cannot carry the name of Christ and have such a misunderstanding of God and his holiness.  [emphasis added]

The most frightening aspect of Mr. Chamblee’s commentary is that he is considered by many to be a man of “God” and thus honest and forthright.  That’s been the real problem in defending ourselves against such religious intolerance and filthy lies – if we call them on their lies, deceit and hypocrisies, many believe we are attacking God and the Church, when in reality, we are defending ourselves from power hungry so-called Christians whose hypocrisy has grown to *cough* Biblical proportions.  People like Mr. Chamblee are the ones deceiving people into believing that they speak true – they are the ones promoting the use of God as a great sword. They have launched a “crusade” against LGBT people and will continue to justify the rapes, beatings and murders of LGBT people under the premise of our blood being on our own hands.  Of course for many of them, while they are fighting so hard, they are tapping their toes in a rest area bathroom or paying male prostitutes to satisfy their own sexual desires.  They then crawl back to their church with their apologies and repentance and suddenly, everything is fine for them – until the next time they are caught.

What I’ve Learned Thus Far – The Nationwide DOMA Protest (cont.)

January 12, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Community Outreach, LGBT Action Alerts

After my last  post describing my adventures in downtown San Antonio while attempting to gather signatures to the Open Letter to Obama, I took to the streets again.  It was about 10:30 p.m. when I, along with three others, pulled into the parking lot near a local gay bar.  The crowds were coming at full force and we could have used several more people to try to obtain everyone’s signatures.  It was windy and cold, but our reception was warm and tender… for the most part.

We split into two groups of two people, each with pads of signature pages, the letter and pens.  As people walked toward the clubs, we would stop them and ask for their support.  Many were anxious to get inside into a warmer climate, but those that took time to hear us out were grateful for our involvement and some offered their stories.  One kindly gentleman took a look at the letter and advised me that it hit very close to home for him as he had lost his job due to his sexual orientation.  He told me about his lawsuit and how difficult it was for him.  We discussed the Tennessee man who was recently fired for his sexual orientation as well.  I learned that, in spite of my very comfortable and supportive employment, I wasn’t immune from the reality of sexual orientation discrimination in my own employment.  After our conversation, he thanked me for what I was doing.  It was a very touching experience and I learned that in my zeal to make a difference, I must not forget compassion.

I then spoke with two ladies who were members of our military and serving under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (“DADT”).  We discussed the policy and the efforts to revoke it – and the likelihood that the Obama Administration will do away with the discriminatory policy [at 4:15].  I then inquired as to the murmurs I’ve heard from other military personnel that DADT protects LGBT soldiers from discrimination and aggressive acts by other members of the military.  They were stunned by the representation and completely disagreed with the argument.  They did state, in summary, that lower ranking military members may feel that way, but the truth of the matter was that the DADT was not a protection but a discriminatory policy.  I learned that we must continue to work to repeal DADT and hold the Administration accountable should it remain in effect.

Many LGBT people have made several comments that the African American community is not supportive of LGBT rights and issues.  While working the streets downtown, we approached three African American ladies in a group.  They had a small child with them.  They listened to us and reviewed the letter.  As one of them read the letter, she saw the portion which requested that DOMA be repealed and said, “That’s what I wanted to see.”  She grabbed the pen, pointed it out to her friends and they all anxiously signed the letter. Overall, the “group” that was seemingly the most responsive and most interested in the issue was the African American population.  Not one African American we approached refused to sign the petition.  One of the ladies was wearing a shirt that said, “All we need is love.”  That is what I learned from them.

I noticed that many of the younger people had no interest in signing the petition, even young LGBT people at the clubs.  Most were in too big of a hurry to meet up with their friends inside or stated things such as “I’m not political”.  The older generation (late 20’s and above) seemed much more receptive and had many stories to tell about things that have happened to them.  I learned that, until it happens to you, you probably won’t care too much about it.  I also learned that I miss the ignorant bliss of youth.

Many of the LGBT people I spoke with had never heard of DOMA and required a bit of a history lesson on the subject.  I learned from them that we have a lot of educating to do of our own community.

Some of the more trivial things I learned were: that when it is cold outside, you should wear gloves even if you don’t think you need them; when people have to “pee” you shouldn’t ask them to sign a petition, even though you have no access to a restroom and have had to go for over an hour; that you can never have too many pens; and that people wear too much cologne to the clubs.

Perhaps the most defining thing I learned was that I am s till frightened.  I thought I had overcome my fear of reactionary people and what they may do to me as a gay man, but instead of being the strong, self-assured person I thought I was, I was shaking inside everytime I approached a heterosexual couple and asked them to support LGBT equality.  In that I learned that I was “heterophobic” by the strictist definition.

How I Scare Lesbians – The Nationwide DOMA Protest

January 10, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Community Outreach, LGBT Action Alerts

The National DOMA Protest was conducted today.  I made it to the rally point and met up with the handful of people that showed up.  With letters in hand we took to the streets of San Antonio and began asking for signatures.

After approaching many presumably heterosexual people and a few people who declared their homosexuality, I noticed a lesbian couple (complete with hand holding) and approached them and asked whether or not they would sign the petition to support gay rights and repeal DOMA.  I was flabbergasted when they told me firmly, “no.”  I was so flabbergasted that I didn’t even say my typical, “thank you anyway, have a beautiful day” or any other nicety.  I just stood their – staring blankly.  Two of the people obtaining signatures with me were standing nearby.  I turned and saw their puzzled looks as well.

The night before, I took to the streets handing out fliers near the local “gay” district.  As I approached a group of presumably lesbian women in front of a local gay bar, I attempted to disarm them with a big smile, a pink piece of paper, the lesbian friend nearby and a huge “Hi!”  They scattered.  I turned to one and said, “Would you like to participate in the DOMA protest tomorrow to support gay rights?”  She rolled her eyes at me and said, “no… thank you,” in what was likely the most condescending tone anyone has ever spoken to me in.  The one remaining woman was likely humoring me with her “interest.”  Ultimately, it became clear she had no intention of attending.

But, not all was lost.  An adorable couple and their little girl (roughly 5 or 6 years old) stopped to sign the letter and talk with us.  While her parents were reviewing the letter, the little girl was asking all sorts of questions to her parents about what we were doing.  She was trying to read the letter her mother was holding and said, “Is that so gay people can get married?”  Her mother responded with a yes and the little girl says, “FINALLY!”  My heart glowed with joy.

In a conversation with another couple (also adorable) I began my speech about the first section of DOMA and how it violates Article IV Sec. I of the U.S. Constitution and that even its author, Bill Barr, supports its repeal.  After talking for several a couple of minutes, the young lady looks at me and says, “Can you dumb this down a bit?”  We shared a laugh and I advised its generally in support of “gay marriage” and hate crimes legislation.  Her husband (or boyfriend) said, “If I sign this does it mean I have to marry someone of the same sex.”  I quickly advised him, “No.  But if your interested I do know some people.”

Over all, the experience was positive – for me, it was an excercise in confidence.  Each time I approached someone I was essentially coming out of the closet all over again.  The most negative response received that I’m aware of was “God doesn’t like homosexuals.”  I wasn’t there at the time, but I’m sure I would have simply asked, “Does God like chocolate?”  Just to find out if they knew the answer.

Lawsuit Filed to Remove “God” from Inauguration

January 09, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Religion

As Rick Warren prepares to take the stage at the Obama Inaugeration, a lawsuit was filed naming Plaintiffs as:

Michael Newdow; Mel Lipman; Dan Barker And Annie-Laurie Gaylor; Marie Castle; Herb Silverman; Kirk Hornbeck; Catharine Lamm; Richard Wingrove; Christopher Arntzen; John Stoltenberg; Katherine Laclair; Louis Altman; “Unnamed Children;” The American Humanist Association (“AHA”); The Freedom From Religion Foundation (“FFRF”); Minnesota Atheists; Atheists For Human Right[s] (“AHFR”); Atheist Alliance International (“AAI”); New Orleans Secular Humanist Association (“NOSHA”)

and Defendants as:

Hon. John Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice Of The U.S. Supreme Court; Presidential Inaugural Committee (“PIC”); Emmett Beliveau, Executive Director, Pic; Joint Congressional Committee On Inaugural Ceremonies (“JCCIC”); Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairperson, JCCIC; Armed Forces Inaugural Committee (“AFIC”); Major General Richard J. Rowe Jr., Chairperson, AFIC; Rev. Rick Warren; Rev. Joe Lowery.

The lawsuit has spawned much controversy due to the outrage held by many members of the LGBT community to the non-gay friendly Rick Warren’s appointment to lead the invocation.  In one posting regarding the lawsuit, the author states:

Those who were responsible for the lawsuit, these individual atheists and their organizations,The American Humanist Association; The Freedom From Religion Foundation ; Minnesota Atheists; Atheists For Human Rights; Atheists Alliance International; New Orleans Secular Humanist Association, coupled with the gay terroristic activities surrounding the passing of Proposition 8 in California, and Rick Jacobs, who chairs the California’s Courage Campaign and the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender), are the abject clearinghouse for America’s immortality and anti-America sentiment. These groups are nothing less than moral nazis and terrorists.  See: Postworthy

Try as I might I can’t decide which group will suffer the most from the association.  Will the reputation of the LGBT community suffer from the association with the atheist organizations the most or will the atheist associations suffer the association with the LGBT community the most?  As a gay atheist, I find myself battling for equality on two fronts – my lack of religion and my lack of heterosexual desires.  The primary difference between the two is, although I did not choose to be a gay man, I did choose to “come out” – whereas I not only chose to “come out” as an atheist, but I also chose to “be” an atheist.

Further to that, I’m sick of the inappropriate use of the word terrorists when referring to the actions and reactions of the LGBT community to the passage of proposition 8.  I remember a time in America where terrorists where generally those doing the attacking, not those defending themselves from attackers.  I refer you to another post regarding resin poisoning threats against gay bars in Seattle.

Near the beginning of the Rick Warren scandal, I made this post about how we [LGBT people] are upset that the prayer leader is against civil equality for homosexuals, but could care less about the fact that the Government is again sanctioning religion.  Looks like someone was listening.

Supporters of the oath of office, which has “traditionally” included the words “Under God,” claim that it was inserted into the oath by George Washington – this claim is debatable as many believe it is a myth.  As a side note, “Under God” was not added to the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954 due to pressure from the Knights of Columbus.

Gay Bars in Seattle Threatened with Biological Warfare

January 08, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Hate Crimes, LGBT News

Eleven gay bars in Seattle have received letters advising the clubs to expect the unleashing of the toxin ricin against them and their patrons.  The letters were unsigned and stated that they expect the victims to “die painfully while in the hospital.”

Seattle Police, the FBI and Homeland Security are investigating.

I find this story ironically sickening.  I keep rehashing the outrage of the anthrax threats, biological warfare moments and the “war on terror” and wondering where the outrage is when such terrorist threats are made against LGBT people.  Even the most staunchly anti-gay person in the world should come forward at this moment and say that such actions against LGBT people (or any person) are despicable, unacceptable and “sinful”.

If prop 8 was our bugle Reveille, this event is our Charge.  We are under attack and cannot let ourselves be found defenseless and unprepared.

More information regarding this story is available at 365gay.com: Seattle gay bars threatened with ricin attacks | News Story on 365gay.com.

W Drinking Again? Signs Pro-Gay Legislation

January 07, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, LGBT News

Forgive me for being cynical when it comes to George W. Bush, particularly when it comes the LGBT rights, but either he’s drinking again or he’s searching for some way to put a bandage on his gloomy legacy.  By signing the Worker, Retiree and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 (“WRERA”) Bush effectively told employers that they must roll over an employees retirement plan into a non-spousal beneficiaries retirement account as part of the inheritance (in other words the act allows the inheritance beneficiary to roll-over the retirement savings of a deceased nonspouse into an IRA).  This is one of the 1400+ benefits previously denied same-sex couples.

HRC, the organization that has been under severe scrutiny from the LGBT community for its lack of participation in LGBT events such as those promoted by Join the Impact, has released an article describing the action.  HRC’s President, Joe Solomnese stated:

Our community faces unique challenges in preparing for retirement because we are denied Social Security spousal and survivor benefits. Protecting our hard-earned retirement savings is even more crucial to us, and until now, the tax code made it that much harder.

Although I’m extremely happy to report some level of federal recognition of gay couples, I’m saddened that in order to obtain the benefit, one of us has to die.  Perhaps in the near future the federal government will recognize living gay couples as such.