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Archive for May, 2009

LGBT Notable News Happenings (May 24, 2009 – May 29, 2009)

May 31, 2009 By: MJ Category: LGBT News

LGBT NewsBritish Clergy Fear New LGBT Rights Bill in UK (May 24, 2009)

In the U.S. some Church leaders, and others on the far right, have expressed major concerns that the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill now in the Senate will hurt the rights of the Church to preach to Church members.  Well, it looks as though our community here in the U.S. is not alone in trying to correct misinterpretations and misunderstandings.  In Britain there is an existing law titled the “Criminal Justice and Immigration Act”, and this year a new “clause” has been proposed.  Our brothers and sisters in the UK seem to be experiencing similar frustrations.  The Public Order Act of 1986 includes Part 3 which prohibits expressions of “racial hatred”.  This new “clause” is simply extending the protection to the LGBT community.  The “clause” or Part 3 is not meant to cause any new concerns to leaders of a Church.

LGBT Hate Crime in Cape Cod (May 24, 2009)

A young man named Eric Patten, just 23 years old, was quite drunk and was asked to leave a club in Provincetown.  According to police he began screaming anti-homosexual slurs on the sidewalk outside the club and approached and began attacking two lesbian women.  Police also said Eric called one of the women an offensive slur which would refer to a gay man.  Then, he pushed one of the women into a cafe window both breaking the window and injuring the woman.  Both women were taken to the hospital and bystanders were visibly upset about what they had witnessed.  Mr. Patten is facing a number of charges including resisting arrest.

Gay Minister Appointed in Scotland (May 25, 2009)

The Rev. Scott Rennie was relieved and humbled as the ruling body of the Church of Scotland voted to dismiss the challenge against his new appointment.  Rev. Rennie is now an openly gay minister with a partner and his most current appointment was originally challenged because of his sexual orientation.  He believes the challenge came from religious conservatives within the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion would be the equivalent to the Anglican body here in the U.S., where openly gay bishop V. Gene Robinson was consecrated in 2003 in New Hampshire.

New LGBT Youth Cafe in Ireland (May 25, 2009)

Many of the young people in Limerick haven’t really had a place where they can feel comfortable and safe.  Many don’t even feel comfortable or safe in their own local schools.  The cafe is meant, for LGBTQ young people aged 13 – 25, to be a place where they can stop by for a chat with a youth worker, or even just hang out for awhile.  Although it was originally meant for LGBT youth and those who are questioning – non LGBTQ family members and friends are also welcome.

Prop. 8 Upheld by CA Supreme Court (May 27, 2009)

The majority of the justices of the CA Supreme Court voted to uphold the Prop. 8 ban on same-sex marriage.  They said that Prop. 8 was a limited constitutional amendment which did not require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to be put on the ballot.  The justices decided unanimously that the approximately 18,000 same-sex marriages would still be legal in the state.  The one justice who did vote in favor of overturning Prop. 8, Justice Carlos R. Moreno, said the ruling was, “not just a defeat for same-sex couples, but for any minority group that seeks the protection of the equal protection clause of the California Constitution.  The rule the majority crafts today not only allows same-sex couples to be stripped of the right to marry, it places at risk the state constitutional rights of all disfavored minorities.”

Fed Lawsuit Filed to Overturn CA Prop. 8 (May 27, 2009)

Back in 2000 there was an highly disputed presidential election with memories of hanging chads, butterfly ballots and challenging Electoral College votes.  Recently a new advocacy nonprofit called American Foundation for Equal Rights was formed and they hired attorneys David Boies and Theodore B. Olson to represent two gay couples in a Federal lawsuit challenging Proposition 8.  The two attorneys, Mr. Boies and Mr. Olson, were each the lead attorneys during the court battle over the 2000 Presidential election – and are now working together because they see Federal possibility of overturning Prop. 8.  Mr Olson, who served as solicitor general under former Pres. Bush was quoted as saying, “Creating a second class of citizens is discrimination, plain and simple.  The Constitution of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Abraham Lincoln does not permit it.”  Hopefully their combined legal experience along with their determination will help to win marriage equality for California, as well as other states.

CA School Board Votes to Adopt Anti-Bullying Curriculum (May 27, 2009)

Previously in this column an article was included about a school district in Alameda, CA considering adopting a well written curriculum to help students and teachers have better respect and understanding for the LGBT community.  That vote has taken place and there were cheers when the results of the vote were announced.  The members of the board voted 3-2 in favor of adopting the new curriculum.  Some members of other minority groups present at the meeting were not as happy with the vote – citing problems which exist toward their own groups.  The district Superintendent Kirsten Vital answered them by acknowledging the concerns and saying, “We need to do a better job as a school district, but you don’t take away from one group to support another…”.

More Killings of Gays in Iraq (May 28, 2009)

During the past three months approximately 30 more people have been killed in Iraq because they were either believed to be or know to be homosexual.  Amnesty International wrote directly to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to take action to stop this from happening.  Some believe that these people were tortured then killed in baghdad at the hands of the Mahdi Army, some believe tribal vigilantes were responsible.

Air Force Lt. Col. Battling for Career Over DADT (May 28, 2009)

Lt. Col Victor Fehrenbach is the winner of nine medals for distinguished service in flight and is trying to save his 18-year Air Force career.  A year ago an acquaintance told his bosses he was gay, now Fehrenbach is trying to save his career with the help of The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.  He had been trying to stay in the service until the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” – but he has decided it is time to speak out.  Lt. Col. Fehrenbach said, “I will fight this in uniform and I’ll fight it without.  I swore an oath to defend and support the Constitution, I’m going to speak out and fight this until the law is repealed because it is not constitutional.”  He has also appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show.

High School in CA Elects Male Prom Queen (May 29, 2009)

When Sergio Garcia, a senior at Fairfax High School in the Hollywood area, submitted his application for Prom Queen earlier this month he told his classmates he would wear a suit and not a dress to the prom.  Then, at his prom the majority of the students voted by paper ballot to elect him.  Senior Keith Perez, who was elected Prom King said that he, “didn’t mind at all” dancing with the school’s first male Prom King.  Vanessa Lo, the senior class president and the prom date of Keith Perez, was happy to announce Garcia as the newly elected Prom Queen that evening.  Many notable alumni of Fairfax High School include members of the band Red Hot Chili Peppers, actresses Mila Kunis and Demi Moore … and another not so notable nor famous alumnus … your humble news gatherer – MJ.

LGBT for Straight People: A New Right in New Hampshire

May 31, 2009 By: geekgirl Category: LGBT Lessons for Straight People

Gay EducationIn recent months, we’ve seen several states legalize same sex marriage. New Hampshire appears to be next. Both the House and the Senate approved bills to legalize same-sex marriage but Gov. John Lynch wanted additional language that would make it clear that “churches and religious groups would not be forced to officiate at gay marriages or to provide services, facilities and goods of any kind to participants.”

Gov. Lynch, a Democrat, explains why he sent back this legislation.

At its core, HB 436 simply changes the term ‘civil union’ to ‘civil marriage.’ Given the cultural, historical and religious significance of the word marriage, this is a meaningful change.

I have heard, and I understand, the very real feelings of same-sex couples that a separate system is not an equal system. That a civil law that differentiates between their committed relationships and those of heterosexual couples undermines both their dignity and the legitimacy of their families.

I have also heard, and I understand, the concerns of our citizens who have equally deep feelings and genuine religious beliefs about marriage. They fear that this legislation would interfere with the ability of religious groups to freely practice their faiths.

I have examined the laws of other states, including Vermont and Connecticut, which have recently passed same-sex marriage laws. Both go further in protecting religious institutions than the current New Hampshire legislation.

Gov. Lynch appears to be a man who truly listens to the points of view on both sides of an issue. Looking at his record of accomplishments, he has done a lot for the state of New Hampshire . One could make the argument that he is trying to please everyone and we all know that can lead to failure.  I’m being an optimist here and hoping that Gov. Lynch is a sincere and caring person.

The New Hampshire Senate agreed with the Governor’s modifications but the House did not. The two chambers reached a compromise that the Governor has said that he will sign.

The new version, which is expected to come up for a vote Wednesday, adds a sentence specifying that all religious organizations, associations or societies have exclusive control over their religious doctrines, policies, teachings and beliefs on marriage. It also clarifies that church-related organizations that serve charitable or educational purposes are exempt from having to provide insurance and other benefits to same sex spouses of employees. The earlier version said ‘charitable and educational’ instead of ‘charitable or educational.(Emphasis added.)

Sen. Sheila Roberge, R-Bedford, wanted to add wording that would allow businesses and individuals to decline to provide wedding services if doing so would violate their “consciences or sincerely held religious beliefs.” This was rejected by other representatives, stating this would open the door to all kinds of discrimination.

Rep. Anthony DiFruscia, R-Windham, responded to Sen. Roberge’s proposal with “Hypothetically, if I’m a Nazi — which I’m not — and I felt white supremacy should take place, do I now get an exemption because my conscience says if you’re not blond and blue-eyed, I can discriminate against you?”

What does this legislation mean in every day words?

No church would be required to perform wedding services for same-sex couples. Since a church can decline to perform a wedding service for anyone, this is rather moot. Interestingly enough, our minister will not marry Catholic couples who are on their second marriage. You see, they cannot get married in the Catholic Church since they are divorced. After marrying a few of these couples, and then watching them go back to their Catholic church, he felt that these individuals did not take their faith seriously and he now refuses to marry them unless they belong to our church.

Religious organizations that serve charitable or educational purposes would not be required to provide benefits to same sex couples. Since no business is required to do this now, this also seems moot. Our own government doesn’t do this.

Do I know if the LGBT community finds this compromise reasonable? I don’t know. I have conflicted feelings. But I was even more surprised to find this.

We all believe that Federal Law prohibits discrimination in employment based on religion, sex or national origin. For the most part, that is true. But it turns out, there is an exception in the law. The law that covers “Unlawful Employment Practices”  Title 42, Chapter 21, Subchapter VI, § 2000e-2 contains an exception clause as follows:

(e) Businesses or enterprises with personnel qualified on basis of religion, sex, or national origin; educational institutions with personnel of particular religion.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter,

(1) it shall not be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to hire and employ employees, ……..on the basis of his religion, sex, or national originin those certain instances where religion, sex, or national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise, and

(2) it shall not be an unlawful employment practice for a school, college, university, or other educational institution or institution of learning to hire and employ employees of a particular religion if such school, college, university, or other educational institution or institution of learning is, in whole or in substantial part, owned, supported, controlled, or managed by a particular religion or by a particular religious corporation, association, or society, or if the curriculum of such school, college, university, or other educational institution or institution of learning is directed toward the propagation of a particular religion.

But apparently, these values are for sale. Bob Jones University in South Carolina refused to enroll black students until 1971, eight years after the court had ordered such integration. The IRS determined that private schools with “racially discriminatory admissions policies” were not entitled to federal tax exemption. After a failed lawsuit, in 1975 the school decided to admit students of any race. It seems to me that if being racist was a true part of their faith, they would have been willing to either stop taking federal money or pay their taxes.

Are you noticing the pattern here? Every time a group fights for equal rights, the opposition is religious groups. And we end up giving in and giving them exemptions. I wonder how far this logic could go. We look at how some Islamic groups treat women and we are appalled. Women being stoned to death, women unable to drive or be seen in public without a man, women wearing burkas. I’m certainly appalled. How can we create loopholes for religions? What would stop bringing back slavery, stoning women to death for not being virgins? People make ridiculous arguments that same-sex marriage paves the way for marrying your dog. What do exceptions for religions pave the way for? Don’t believe me? Read Leviticus and tell me if you want to live in that world.

Which leads us to, the right wing Christians are not happy. They feel that this legislation does not go far enough. From Everyday Christian.com

By Peter Elliott
Contributing Editor

Hausknecht, judicial analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said, “The fix proposed falls woefully short of any serious protection of religious liberties.”

Hausknecht cited in particular the New Mexico case of Elaine and Jonathan Hugenin. The conservative Christian couple owns Elane Photography in Albuquerque. Vanessa Willock contacted Elane asking it to photograph a commitment ceremony with her girlfriend. After the Hugenins declined, Willock filed a charge against the company with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission. The commission found the company guilty of discrimination and fined it $6,000.

“When (Lynch) said he wanted to revisit the language that’s OK, but it barely scratches the surface,” Hausknecht said. “There are a whole host of small businesses that will be effected (sic) by this and punished if they don’t agree with what is happening.”

Rep. DeFruscia, a Republican, hit the nail on the head. Where would this end if, on an individual basis or a corporate basis, the private sector could decide to refuse their service to anyone for any reason? Could a server refuse to serve beef at a restaurant if the server is Hindu, or pork if the server is Jewish? Could an atheist who works at Barnes and Noble refuse to sell a Bible to a customer? Could a photographer refuse to photograph a couple that isn’t photogenic?

Picture this. Mr. Hausknecht is in a car accident and is taken to the local hospital. The ER physician, who is gay, recognizes him. Can the ER physician refuse to treat Mr. Hausknecht? Why not?  I think we would all agree that the physician is bound both by law and ethics to treat Mr. Hausknecht. Would we agree if the patient were gay and Mr. Hausknecht were the physician?  Can the gay ER physician keep Mr. Hausknecht’s wife from staying with her husband? That feels wrong, doesn’t it? Yet, it happens to gay and lesbian couples on a routine basis.

Taking photographs is not part of religious liberties. Neither is selling life insurance, as Lutherans and Catholics do. Neither is running an adoption agency, a catering service, a hospital, an apartment building, a pharmacy, a hotel, or a nursing home. These are all businesses. None require belief in a particular faith to provide their services. For individuals to refuse to provide legal business services to individuals that they do not like based on their own religious beliefs is discrimination.

I know that it might be tempting here to try to draw an analogy to physicians who do not want to provide abortions or pharmacists that do not want to fill prescriptions for birth control. I’m not going to digress into those topics. I bring it up because I think this analogy doesn’t hold up. The proper analogy would be, the pharmacist decides to whom he will provide birth control and to whom he will not. You’re married? I’ll fill your prescription. You aren’t married? That’s against my religion, sorry, no pills for you.

Will LGBT people file a lawsuit every time they are refused service? My guess is, probably not. Why? Not because they are respecting the business owner’s belief system. Most people just don’t have the time or interest – or the money – to take this on.  So feel free to advertise that you prefer not to provide services to the LGBT community. They will gladly take their dollars elsewhere.

I would gladly make this deal with anti-gay religious faiths. You can have your laws that allow your churches to discriminate in the name of God. Not your business, not individuals. Just get your religion off other people’s civil rights. Keep your bigotry in your church closet. Keep your opinons out of the law. Stop funding politicians and legislation. Use your money to help people. All people – without any discrimination. Otherwise, start paying taxes on the money you bring in. You want to be exempt from the law? Pay for it.

jaysays.com contributor geekgirlGeekgirl is a straight woman, a mom and has been married for 32 years to the same wonderful man. She believes in Buddhism and attends the United Church of Christ. She is a molecular biologist, her best friend is a lesbian, and she believes that every human deserves equal rights, respect and a life free from hate, fear and discrimination. The only thing she hates is pickles.

Ohio Straight Bar Gives Gay a Bloody Welcome

May 31, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Hate Crimes, LGBT News

Hate CrimeA group of gay and straight people headed out for a night of fun at a Mainville, Ohio bar called Tabby’s.  Patrons of the bar continued harassing the group asking which of them is straight and which of them is gay.  Finally, one of the men in the group, 31 year-old, Ronnie Robertson, spoke up and admitted to being a homosexual.  He was then attacked and received a broken nose and multiple lacerations to his face.

Two women have been arrested and police are still looking for two men believed to be involved.  Ohio does not have hate crimes legislation protecting people based upon sexual orientation; however, Ohio’s hate crime legislation does protect other minority groups.

Why Not a Federal Challenge for Gay Rights?

May 28, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

Gay RightsI don’t begin to understand all the nuances and legal ramifications of the Federal Court suits to overturn Proposition 8, but it’s being widely reported that gay rights’ activists are upset over the federal challenge because:

…the move is premature and could be disastrous for the marriage movement. ***…federal courts have not been as friendly to gay rights issues. San Francisco Chronicle

Although I can’t believe I’m about to say this considering I am a “legal professional” by trade and should consider the attitudes of the Court in any decisions that could affect millions of people, but there is a reason federal challenges are necessary.  The reason is emotional, not legal.  They [the right-wing conservatives] have forced the gay community to live in fear long enough.  If we are afraid of what “might happen” should we challenge the right-wing to give us the rights we deserve, we are forgetting what they are doing to us!  Personally, I’ve lived in fear long enough and I’m not going to continue to be afraid of what they can do to me so much that I let them continue to do what they are already doing to me.

So, if you ask this gay rights’ advocate if we should challenge Prop 8 federally, the response you will receive is: We should challenge it at the city level, the county level, the state level, the federal level and most importantly at the social level.

Yup. There’s a “B” in LGBT Alright.

May 27, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Closet Talk, Community Outreach

biphobiaOn this episode of Closet Talk, we talked with Drea, a bisexual woman in a monogamous relationship with a man, about biphobia and the assumptions she faces from the straight and gay community. We discussed several issues and prejudices surrounding bisexuality and the complexity of sexuality.

The information Drea provided helped me realize my own prejudices and bias when it comes to bisexuality, including statements I’ve personally made like, “I wouldn’t date a bisexual for fear they would leave me for someone of the opposite sex! How do you compete with that?” It took much mulling over, but I eventually realized that expressions like that were the result of my own ignorance.

Hear the full story:

The Fine Brothers Got it Right: Prop 8 Wasn’t About Marriage

May 26, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

The Fine Bros. - Prop 8 SeriesIt’s likely not news that the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, which bans same-gender marriage in the state.  However, as previously discussed, the Court was actually asked the question, “Can a majority amend the Constitution to take away the rights of a minority?”

The Court answered that, indeed, the process to amend or revise the California Constitution does allow for civil rights to be taken away by a majority vote when such rights are not protected by the United States Constitution.  The Fine Brothers have been analyzing this scenario since Proposition 8 was approved by voters in November, 2008 with a series of web-based videos showing what would happen if other rights were voted upon.

Without further ado, the latest and last episode of The Fine Brother’s Prop 8 series:

California Prop 8 Took Civil Rights Away – but legally.

May 26, 2009 By: jaysays Category: LGBT News, Marriage Equality

Strauss v. Horton - Prop 8 - Tyrrany of the MajorityThe California Supreme Court released its opinion in Strauss v. Horton, today to a roar of dissatisfaction from marriage equality supporters.  Although the Court was not asked to rule on “gay marriage” directly, the process by which a constitutional revision/amendment can be made was questioned.  In so focusing on the procedural aspects of Proposition 8, the Court, almost wholly, lost touch with the humanitarian aspects of Proposition 8.

While 18,000 marriages sat waiting to hear whether or not they were “valid” in the eyes of the law, hundreds of thousands of future unborn marriages waited to hear whether they would be allowed to be made.  The California Supreme Court answered, essentially, that the will of the majority, tyrannical or not, supersedes the future rights of a minority:

Neither the language of the relevant constitutional provisions, nor our past cases, support the proposition that any of these rights [constitutional right to equal protection of the laws and equally long-standing and fundamental constitutional principles whose purpose is to protect often unpopular individuals and groups from overzealous or abusive treatment that at times may be condoned by a transient majority] is totally exempt from modification by a constitutional amendment adopted by a majority of the voters through the initiative process.

As I read the court’s opinion written by Justice C. J. George with concurring opinions from Justices Kennard Baxter, Chin and Corrigan, I keep looking for the “but.”  Seems the Court painted the opinion with language about the rights of people and long-standing principles to protect people from a “transient majority” while finding that majority has the right to tyrannize the minority class – so WHERE’S THE BUT!?

The only “but” came in the concurring and dissenting opinion written by Justice Moreno:

The rule the majority crafts today not only allows same-sex couples to be stripped of the right to marry that this court recognized in the Marriage Cases, it places at risk the state constitutional rights of all disfavored minorities. It weakens the status of our state Constitution as a bulwark of fundamental rights for minorities protected from the will of the majority.

Justice Moreno seems to be the only Justice that recognized that a “right” had been stripped from the people and focused his attentions, not on solely the procedures of stripping away rights, but that rights were indeed, taken away.

To put that another way, let’s assume that you suddenly lost your first amendment right to free speech.  Suddenly, you could no longer “say” what it was you wanted to say.  The Court comes back and says, “Sure, the majority took away your right, but they did so within the confines of the law.”  Is it solace that the “letter of the law” was followed to remove those rights?

So, to Justice Moreno for understanding that this is not just a revision issue, this is not just an amendment issue, this is a HUMAN RIGHTS issue, I tip my hat.

LGBT Lessons for Straight People: Words of Hate on Prop 8.

May 25, 2009 By: geekgirl Category: LGBT Lessons for Straight People

Gay EducationTuesday, June First, the California Supreme Court will announce it’s decision at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. Today I looked at two websites. The LA Times and the Independent Mind. As usual, reader comments are all over the board. I’ve selected some of the negative comments and I have highlighted, in red, the words that reveal the hatred, bigotry, lies and ignorance of the people making these posts.  I have copied these comments exactly and I have not corrected any spelling or grammatical errors. I welcome every reader to link to this blog, copy the words to your own blog and share this blog with your friends.

I can’t help but ask myself. If these individuals were face to face with a gay person, would they say these words? The Internet provides anonymity. That has its positives – because all of us want to stay safe. It also has its negatives. We say things we would probably never say directly to a person. If you can’t say it to someone’s face, maybe you shouldn’t say it? For those of you that share the feelings that you are about to read, I challenge you to take the time to read some facts.  I challenge you to open your heart and think what if you were in the shoes of a gay person. Don’t judge a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes. If your positions are correct, it shouldn’t hurt you to listen to the other side.

I’m not gay. I have many gay friends and they are are good people. Do you know someone who is gay? If not, I challenge you to purposely meet someone. For those of you that are unable to listen to why gay people deserve the same rights as straight people, hear this. Gay people are not going to shut up. They are being denied rights. You want to stop hearing about it? Give everyone equal rights and let everyone get on with their lives.

And now, on to the comments.

It’s not about giving or denying gay rights… but about demoralizing what a healthy, house & family is all about. Most of people endorsing gay marriages, don’t want their children to be educated in a gay home. This is hypocrisy! Church Ministers will be forced by law to celebrate gay marriage. Is this fair?

Posted by: Marcel | May 24, 2009 at 02:47 PM

No minister will be forced to celebrate gay marriage. Today, a minister can deny performing a wedding service to anyone. Besides, a church wedding isn’t needed to make marriage legal. It has nothing to do with civil marriage. Don’t believe me? Ask your clergyman. Or the county courthouse.

Facism is Facism. The “No on Prop 8” supporters have embraced FACISM! Their Mantra is “GAY FACISM UEBER ALLES!”

Posted by: Steve | May 24, 2009 at 07:38 AM

I have no clue what this means. But I think it’s from someone who is crazy.

You know what? I think that everyone who is unhappy with the outcome of Prop 8 should leave California immediately. Obviously you are very unhappy and you should live elsewhere that will accommodate any perversion you want. Frankly, I’m looking forward to the Supreme Court upholding the will of the people to determine what their society will look like. This isn’t a race thing so don’t give me that. This is a sexual perversion thing and I’m glad the people of California had the guts to say NO MORE! Others States who are having this issue crammed down their throats will rise up and follow suit. You watch! It will happen

Posted by: CAPearl | May 22, 2009 at 05:14 PM

I always love this solution. Don’t like how I think? Move. That’s intelligent. Crammed down their throats? I have lost count of the number of times that a religious person has knocked on my door, wanting to come in and preach to me. Never, not once, has a gay person, anywhere, tried to invade my home or what I think. Why? First, they are only interested in living their own lives. Second, someone like you might answer the door and kill them.

Gays have their Civil unions and domestic partnerships. This minority of deviants should never have the authority or power to redefine marriage or our society based on their perversions. We chose to honor male and females in marriage. We said it twice to the gays in elections. What part of “No” and “Get lost” do you not understand? Leave marriage alone. You don’t need our tradition. Make your own. And don’t beg us for validation.

Posted by: jeffrey hepler | May 22, 2009 at 04:47 PM

For the ten billionth time, this isn’t about tradition, it’s about legal rights. Civil unions and domestic partnerships cover a small fraction of the legal benefits of marriage. There are 1138 rights given to married people scattered throughout Federal Law. Look it up. And what part of equal rights and Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You don’t you understand?

Gays and Lesbians will have no choice but to abide by the law whether they like it or not. Gays and Lesbians Do Not have the right to disturb the peace or to threaten anyone who disagrees with no on Prop. 8 or their sexual orientation.

Asking for rights is disturbing the peace? It might be disturbing your narrow view of the world. Go in the closet if it bothers you. See what that is like.

Marriage is not a right to anyone, and Gays and Lesbians need to get it through their heads. If Gays and Lesbians continue to persist, they will bring on the hate and suffer the consequences of those who will not tolerate their behavior.

Marriage is a right for heterosexuals but not for gays and lesbians ,and heterosexuals need to get that through their heads. Thanks for the warning about the hate but it’s already here. Your side has not been shy about holding back. But I do thank you for having the courage to put your hatred and threats in writing. Are you willing to say these things publicly to a gay person to their face?

From Independent Minds


copycat7 wrote:



You’re kind of late copycat.  The American Psychology Association removed homosexuality as a mental illness thirty years ago. They disgust you? Just curious. Do you KNOW a gay person? Just one? I challenge you to open your mind long enough to attempt to get to know someone who is gay. Actually, you probably do know someone who is gay. They are just smart enough to know that coming out to you would be dangerous.

Re: Copycatis hate crime

zahradelaplata wrote:

Monday, 25 May 2009 at 12:34 pm (UTC)what marginality? The only marginal ones are gays. They are nothing but 3% of world population, and they try to force the rest of us, the real normal people, to accept’them as normal ones. They are not. Never will be. 97% is straight, that shows that the mere 3% is the exception to the rule, and definitely not the norm, hence, nothing normal or any need to accept their agenda. It’s unbelievable how some minuscule groups force the majority, and brainwash society, just because they have the media and enough money to push these issues. You want to live your life? OK, do so between the walls of your bedroom, and leave the rest of us alone. Don’t expect the majorities (like the one in California), accept or bend to your whims. See what you gays are trying to do in California. YOU LOST a democratic vote. DEAL WITH IT. But nooo, you just can’t, right? You have to terrorize normals, use your economic muscle, your media capacity to force the majority to change what they decided in a ballot. That shows you what is the real frame of mind of gays. They don’t just want their so called rights, they have to stomp over the opinions of others, and force them to their whims. What’s next? Promoting homosexuality in schools, so you can harvest new kids for your zoo sooner? And we’ll have to accept it, right? Riiiight.

Mormons are 1.7% of the population. In fact, most of us are in a minority for something. What  does a percent have to do with anything? What percent would it take to convince you they are normal? Terrorize? Gay people want the same rights as the rest of us. I have an idea. Keep your hatred and bigotry inside your house and leave the rest of us alone. Harvesting kids? People are born gay. Or did you go through some agonizing process of deciding to be straight?

it’s wrong wrong wrong

joshuacohen2003 wrote:

Monday, 25 May 2009 at 02:02 pm (UTC)Gays are just wrong in every sense of normal rational behaviour.
forget the religious aspect because that’s plain and simple and clearly obvious. No religion on earth condones homosexuality.

However lets look at it from an atheistic, scientific, logical, rational point of view. It’s still glarignly obvious to anyone with a few brain cells that being homosexual is just idiotic nonsense. nature created males and females.

end of argument.

Dear Joshua Cohen. Your lack of scientific education and knowledge of religious texts is stunning.  There is a growing body of evidence that sexual orientation has biological origins. Go to Entrez Pubmed and search the REAL scientific literature. Religion? There are groups in every faith that welcome LGBT members. Jews, Christians, Catholics, Buddhists, even Muslim. The religious aspect is anything but obvious. People wrote ancient scriptures 2000 plus years ago. The words have been misinterpreted and the cultural context lost. Why do these words hold more convincing power than modern day science? I’m sorry, that makes no sense to me.

These comments are not only factually wrong, they hurt real people. People who are daughters, sons, brothers and sisters. Real humans who are the same as me and you. I find these comments so unethical, so filled with unfounded prejudice, so unAmerican that I am ashamed. Dehumanizing others so that we don’t have to face our biases, so we don’t have to feel that they are as human as we are,  is a slippery slope, the same slope that led to slavery and the Holocaust. Haven’t we learned anything from our own history? Our world history? We look back now and are ashamed of the discrimination in our nation’s past. The next generation will look back on the fight for gay rights the same way. It is already happening. In the end, hate always loses.

LGBT Notable News Happenings (May 18, 2009 – May 23, 2009)

May 25, 2009 By: MJ Category: LGBT News

LGBT NewsRodger McFarlane LGBT Activist Mourned (May 23, 2009)

Rodger McFarlane was a gay activist who set up the first AIDS hotline in 1981, using his own home phone and an answering machine. He went on to establish many other organizations and services to help those with AIDS.  In addition to being an activist, Mr. McFarlane was a very lively man and made seven over-ice expeditions to the North Pole.  Mark Thompson, a Los Angeles author, said, “He was one of those fantastically energetic, self-possessed visionary people who knew what had to be done.”  In 2002 Mr. McFarlane broke his back in an Eco-Challenge race and his health had been deteriorating since then.

CA School Agrees to Settlement (May 18, 2009)

A high school in the Vallejo Unified School District has agreed to pay a former student named Rochelle $25,000, and adopt new policies regarding bullying and prohibiting discrimination.  Sadly, the worst of the anti-gay harassment toward her came from one of the teachers at the school who ridiculed her by saying, “… she did not know whether she (Rochelle) was a boy or a girl.”  Other teachers at the high school also refused to let her into the girl’s locker room.  Rochelle now attends another high school.

Schools Block LGBT Web Sites (May 20, 2009)

The ACLU had been truly hoping to avoid taking court action against the Knox County and Nashville school systems.  Web sites specifically falling into the category of LGBT have been completely blocked from student access, but websites which are anti-LGBT or which promote so called LGBT “cures” are fully accessible.  A system was set up whereby the teachers would have been able to unlock the access to an LGBT web site for a student, but the student(s) would have been forced to “come out” to the teacher in order to request the access.

Report on Harvey Milk Censored by Principal (May 19, 2009)

Sixth-grader Natalie Jones was inspired after seeing the movie “Milk” and decided to write a report about his life and death for her class.  Instead Natalie’s presentation was stopped and she was sent to the office of her principal Theresa Grace.  The Principal of Mt. Woodson Elementary School decided that the sixth-grader’s report would require letters to parents notifying them of a lesson dealing with sex.  These letters offered the parents the option to decline to allow their children to participate in a “sex education” lesson.   The ACLU has responded.

New Lawsuit Filed Against DOMA (May 21, 2009)

The Defense of Marriage Act is being challenged again, hopefully with better results for all concerned.  Dean Hara, a widower, was married legally to former out gay US Congressman Gerry Studds, who died of a blood clot to his lung in October 2006.  Mr. Hara is still fighting for survivor benefits – which would not be a problem in the same circumstances for a survivor of a heterosexual marriage.  Several other widowers and couples are also involved in the newly filed lawsuit.  According to Laurence Tribe, a Harvard Law School professor, “It’s far from a slam dunk, but it’s a powerful and plausible case.”  Mr. Tribe is not involved in the lawsuit.

Love Matters More for Former San Angelo, Texas Mayor (May 21, 2009)

They met and got to know each other locally and then it turned into a beautiful relationship.  J.W. Lown and his partner did discover some difficulties and then the newly re-elected fourth term now former Mayor, and his partner, decided it was time for both of them to return to Mexico.  His partner is a citizen of Mexico and Mr. Lown has citizenship in both the U.S. and Mexico.  This is a beautiful story of love and immigration and working hard to follow the law.  For J.W. Lown it was a difficult decision to leave San Angelo, but to him some things do matter more than even a successful political career.

Swastika Used in Hate Crime at Home in Merced, CA (May 22, 2009)

Frances Martin had moved into her new home only a few days ago.  She decided to move in order to take care of her eight year old granddaughter while her own daughter is deployed in Iraq.  Ms. Martin’s son had just mowed the lawn when she realized something didn’t look right.  When she waked out to the sidewalk she was surprised to see a swastika burned into her lawn.  Ms. Martin and her family are African American.  The swastika is a white supremacist symbol, and an emblem of the German Nazi Party, which has been used both hatefully and violently against the LGBT community, African Americans, the Jewish people and other minority groups.  Ms Martin was simply looking for a safer place for her granddaughter.

Much Needed LGBT Center Now at San Jose State U. (May 22,2009)

Seven months ago San Jose State University opened the first center for LGBT students on the campus.  Larry Arzie and David Stonesifer graduated from SJSU back in the 1960’s at a time when there was no center for LGBT students to gather.  Back then, “… students who were wrestling with sexual identity were counseled to undergo psychiatric counseling.”  Fortunately that is no longer the case.  The successful couple, who have been living in Los Gatos, recently gave a very generous bequest to the new LGBT Center at SJSU which is their Alma Mater.

CA Supreme Court Set to Announce Decision (May 23, 2009)

The LGBT community and our allies throughout California and many other locations have been waiting and waiting for this decision.  On this coming Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. Pacific standard time the decision will be announced as well as posted on the web – the website link is included in the article.  Marc Solomon the marriage director of Equality California said, “We hope they rule the right way, but we are prepared to win marriage back at the ballot box.”

LGBT Lessons for Straight People. Won’t Hate Crime Laws Protect Pedophiles?

May 23, 2009 By: geekgirl Category: LGBT Lessons for Straight People

Gay EducationI am so proud of Jay and Christopher for their honest, touching blogs about bisexuality and transgendered people.  I would like to talk about a group of people that are NOT LGBT. But, before I do that, I implore you to contact your Senators and ask them to vote yes on the Senate Bill 909 [H.R. 1913], the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Why?  This vote is coming very soon and every voice counts. At this very moment, it has become a panic throughout the right wing Christian community. The Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act has been named the Pedophile Protection Act. Websites, such as WorldNetDaily, have made this falsified title look as though it is the actual the name of the legislation.

A hearing on the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, already approved by the U.S. House as H.R. 1913 and pending in the Senate as S. 909, is expected soon in the Senate Judiciary Committee. It’s been described by opponents at the “Pedophile Protection Act,” because majority Democrats in the House refused to approve an amendment specifying that pedophiles would not be protected under the proposal that provides special protections for homosexuals.

By special arrangement through WND, for only $10.95 members of the public can send 100 individually addressed letters to each senator by overnight mail. Each letter is individually “signed” by the sender. The letters ask for a written response and call for opposition to the bill, including by filibuster if necessary.

That’s right folks. For a mere $10.95, you too can send bald faced lies to each senator, asking them not to sign the Hate Crimes Act. WND claims that 4,500 people have already sent such letters and this means that there have been almost half a million outcries against this law. They cannot even do math, they are so used to lying. Why are they doing this? Because it will allow all sorts of things that ARE NOT IN THE ACT. Free speech is protected. Even hate speech is free. Pedophiles are not protected. I’ve realized, when a person is a bigot, they have no need to rely on facts, logic, truth or compassion. Just lies. Tell a lie enough times and people will believe it is the truth. It is hard to fight a group of people that is willing to say anything to support their point of view.

Email your Senator now! This blog will still be here when you return.

Thanks for sending your email and welcome back. Let’s talk about pedophiles. There is no P in LGBT.  In case you aren’t much of one for reading the research that disproves this, I’ll give you the high level summary.

Pedophiles are adults who are sexually attracted to children. It is age related, not gender related. Most male pedophiles who have sexual contact with boys have adult heterosexual relationships.

LGBT people are attracted to adults. The relationships are mutually consenting. I’m sure they have their share of ups and downs, the same as straight people do. That doesn’t make them pedophiles. Pedophiles are NOT welcome in the LGBT community.  Let’s start with some of the  lies that keep this myth alive. 

Homosexuals got homosexuality removed from the list of mental illnesses in the early 70s by storming the annual American Psychiatric Association (APA) conference on successive years. “Guerrilla theater tactics and more straight-forward shouting matches characterized their presence.” Since homosexuality has been removed from the APA list of mental illnesses, so has pedophilia (except when the adult feels “subjective distress”) .

There is a notable homosexual group, consisting of thousands of members, known as the North American Man and Boy Love Association ( NAMBLA). This is a child molesting homosexual group whose cry is “SEX BEFORE 8 BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.” This group can be seen marching in most major homosexual parades across the United States.”

Homosexuals commit more than 33% of all reported child molestations in the United States, which, assuming homosexuals make up 2% of the population, means that 1 in 20 homosexuals is a child molester, while 1 in 490 heterosexuals is a child molester.

I will give Tradition In Action credit for one statement: It is true that NAMBLA is a group of pedophiles trying to ride the increasing tolerance toward the gay community.  But the other statements are easily disproved when we look elsewhere. Let’s look at what is probably the least political website out there. WebMD.

The biggest misunderstanding many people have is that pedophilia and homosexuality are one and the same. But to say that all homosexuals are pedophiles, or that all pedophiles are homosexual, is like comparing apples to rat poison. “They certainly are two distinct things,” says James Hord, a psychologist in Panama City, Fla., who specializes in treating sexually abused children.

Hord explains that while some pedophiles may prefer boys over girls, or vice versa, it’s not so much about gender as it is about age. For homosexuals, Hord says, sexual preference is “simply not linked to the age.” If a man, for instance, is attracted to other adult males, he is a homosexual. A man who is sexually attracted to male children is not considered a homosexual: He is a pedophile.

Insecurity at Heart of Pedophilia

As with all things sexual, however, it’s not always so simple. Heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual men and women may become sexually attracted to children even though they’re also attracted to adults. When this happens, it’s usually because of insecurity or stress in an adult relationship, says Anthony Siracusa, a psychologist in Williamstown, Mass., who specializes in treating abused kids and sexual offenders.

These people, Siracusa says, are called “regressed offenders” because they have literally regressed: They lose the social skills they need to deal with other adults, which makes children more attractive to them.

Homosexuality was, in fact, listed as a mental illness in psychiatry’s main reference book, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, until the third edition came out in 1980. This edition included a category for homosexuals who were troubled by their sexuality and wanted to change it. All mention of homosexuality, however, was purged from the manual by 1987.

“It was well overdue,” Siracusa says.

So how many pedophiles are homosexuals? Most are heterosexual.  From  Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis:

Groth and Birnbaum (1978) studied 175 adult males who were convicted in Massachusetts of sexual assault against a child. None of the men had an exclusively homosexual adult sexual orientation. 83 (47%) were classified as “fixated;” 70 others (40%) were classified as regressed adult heterosexuals; the remaining 22 (13%) were classified as regressed adult bisexuals. Of the last group, Groth and Birnbaum observed that “in their adult relationships they engaged in sex on occasion with men as well as with women. However, in no case did this attraction to men exceed their preference for women….There were no men who were primarily sexually attracted to other adult males.

Dr. Carole Jenny and her colleagues reviewed 352 medical charts, representing all of the sexually abused children seen in the emergency room or child abuse clinic of a Denver children’s hospital during a one-year period (from July 1, 1991 to June 30, 1992). The molester was a gay or lesbian adult in fewer than 1% in which an adult molester could be identified – only 2 of the 269 cases (Jenny et al., 1994).

What about the mental health of gays and lesbians?  Why was it removed as a disorder? The religious right would have you believe that gay rights groups forced the APA to do this. Uhm, yea. First, I was an adult when the APA dropped this and I can tell you that gay people were so far in the back of the closet, they were covered with dust bunnies. There was no LOGO, no out celebrities and all portrayals of gay people, the few that there were, were stereotypical. Second, I’m sure that organizations of highly educated, scientific and medical professionals just cave in to pressure. Does that make sense to anyone?

According to a 1994 statement from the American Psychiatric Association, the change came after decades of research showed that “a significant portion of gay and lesbian people were clearly satisfied with their sexual orientation” and showed no signs of mental illness. [Emphasis added]. “It was also found that homosexuals were able to function effectively in society, and those who sought treatment most often did so for reasons other than their homosexuality.”

“Mental health professionals agree that pedophilia should never be considered normal, because it is truly a disease. None of the things that make homosexuality a normal variation of human sexuality apply to pedophilia.”

So the American Psychiatric Association has analyzed the facts and came to two conclusions. Gay people are normal. Pedophiles are not. So how do these other groups twist the facts? Easy. They assume that any adult male who has sexual contact with an underage boy is gay. Pedophiles also would like for you to believe that their feelings are normal and want to be lumped in with gay people. Many biologists and psychotherapists believe that for many pedophiles, these feelings are permanent and cannot be changed. So how does that make them different from people who are gay? Aren’t we on a slippery slope if we use “how we are born” as the justification for why being gay is acceptable.

Beyond the fact that pedophiles have problems with adult relationships, problems with control and power, part of any relationship has to do with the maturity of the individuals. Children are not willing, consenting adults. They do not have power in situations where they are abused. They are traumatized, often for life and need a lot of therapy and support sometimes just to function.

There are biological causes for many behaviors. Biology alone does not define the behavior as right or wrong. Whether or not the behavior hurts someone is my litmus test. My only test, I judge people by how their actions affect others.

This posting is part of the series LGBT Lessons for Straight People, by our resident straight person, geekgirl.