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LGBT Lessons for Straight People: I Hate Gays But I’d Die for their Civil Rights.

November 08, 2009 By: geekgirl Category: Featured, LGBT Lessons for Straight People

Gay EducationI like to read comments from readers on news articles. I’ve read so many that it is rare that I find one with a new point. I admit it. The general public is a broken record when it comes to their point of view.

So I was surprised to find this comment. What intrigued me the most is that this person takes complete ownership of his feelings. He doesn’t invoke religion, tradition or biology. He does invoke incorrect psychology, and then he turns 180 in a surprising way.

Let’s walk through this. The comments are just my humble opinions. And yes, I’m truly interested in what this says to you. I have not changed a word.

Posted by vlongwell

November 07, 2009, 11:37AM

Good gravy. I abhor the homo, and lesbian lifestyle. I’m insanely, irrational threatened and intimidated by it. I resent when they join up in their little cliques and, frankly, benefit from this where I don’t. Getting eye-f**cked by some creepy dude just turns my stomach.

But you know what? It couldn’t possibly be any less of my business. I make no distinction between hardcore BDSM nuts, and these nuts. I strongly believe that inter-gender sexuality is destructive on a lot of levels. All of which I’m entitled to believe, as long as it doesn’t negatively impact another person.

I hate gay people.

But you know what, I’d die for any one of them and their basic civil, no human, right to marry whomever the hell they want. Who are any of you to even concern yourself with such an incredibly personal part of everybody’s lives as that of choosing a person to spend the rest of your life with?

Freedom means sacrifice people. I wish I was a better man, and that I did not view it as a sacrifice, but I do what I can. And in this, I say let freedom reign, get your nose out of gay-people’s business, and get back to work.

Sheesh. Always trying to tell me how awesome they are without realizing I don’t care. You got opposable thumbs, and a fore-brain? Then whom you decide to marry, boink, talk to, and hang out with is none of my darn business. And I don’t even feel I have to like it, so there.

You want freedom? Then give it.

[emphasis added]

He starts with how he feels about gays. He calls it a lifestyle. Wrong. Destructive. Wrong. He says he hates gay people. Honest.

Then the astonishing twist. He would die for their rights. He chastises people and tells them to get their nose out of gay rights. His last line could become a poster at a gay rights march.

So what is my take on his opinion? He is able to recognize his emotional reaction and own it. He’s able to separate his emotional reaction from what he knows about civil rights and freedom. I don’t think he really hates gay people. Why would he say in the next sentence that he would die for their rights?

In a way, hasn’t this been part of the argument on the LGBT side? Do you care how other people feel about what you do in the bedroom, or do you care that they respect you and your rights? Does this man need to get to the point of singing in a pride parade as a straight ally? Or is it enough that he believes in full equality and that it isn’t his business, it isn’t harming him.

You may have heard the quote “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” from The Friends of Voltaire, 1906.

Does the same logic apply to equal rights? I disagree with many people on many topics, yet I would never vote to take away their civil rights. That’s what this country is about.

Who knows, perhaps Vlongwell, in his unusual way, reached someone? Let’s hope so.

I’ll take this guy over Maggie Gallagher any day of the week.

jaysays.com contributor geekgirlgeekgirl: Jude 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. Her science blog can be found at LGBT Latest Science.

What I Learned from The Austin Marriage Equality Rally

November 08, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, iQreport, Thought of the Gay

Several dozen people walk the streets of Austin, Texas to support LGBT Rights and show solidarity with Maine.

Several dozen people walk the streets of Austin, Texas to support LGBT Rights and show solidarity with Maine.

On Saturday, November 8, 2009, Christopher and I jumped in my car and began the long drive to Austin, Texas.  We had seen on facebook that nearly 200 people had confirmed to attend a marriage equality rally in Austin, Texas to show solidarity with the election in Maine.  We had hoped for a large turnout; however, upon arriving at the rally point, only about 20 people were standing around the small stage, still furiously attempting to make their signs for the impromptu rally.

As we were setting up and preparing to live blog the event for iQreport, we were advised that the rally would start a bit later than planned as more people were still arriving.  At 1:30 p.m. Ambri Williams took to the stage and called upon those attending to demand their equal rights. The small crowd, which had grown to about 50 people, responded.  Dana Cloud rallied the troops and permit-less activists began marching through the streets of Austin, chanting things like, “Hey, hey, ho ho transphobia has got to go” and “Obama, Obama, let mama marry mama.”

The number of marchers began increasing and, as we passed by a local Austin gay bar, Oil Can Charlies, patrons and those nearby joined the marchers as we continued disrupting lunches and other Saturday afternoon business with our demands for equal treatment under the law.  It was a moment of visibility.  In spite of the small turn out, it worked.  People listened, applauded, honked and joined in the movement.

Dana Cloud, coordinator of Join the Impact – Austin, called for the event, along with several other well connected organizations around the country.  I spoke with Dana briefly after the rally and asked her about the importance of these rallies:

I must admit that I was a bit disappointed by the small turnout for the rally and march.  After the dust settled, Christopher, the love of my life, and I went to a local Chinese restaraunt.  When he opened his fortune cookie, I learned that the numbers matter less than the cause:

Stand up for what you believe in even if it's not popular

Listening Live to a Legendary Gay Activist: Cleve Jones

September 02, 2009 By: geekgirl Category: Community Outreach, Featured, LGBT Action Alerts

NEmWhen he took the stage, I expected him to immediately dive into a persuasive case for his cause. Instead, the audience was treated to stories from the life of a man who has become a legend in the LGBT activist movement. His opening line was “For those of you who expected Emile Hirsch, I am sorry to disappoint you. But I just want to say, I really was that hot.”

Clearly, I am talking about Cleve Jones. Friend of Harvey Milk, creator of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and currently an organizer for the National Equality March planned for October 11th in Washington, D.C.

For the next almost two hours, Cleve told us stories from his life, weaving them together in a way that helped us to understand the man before us. Funny stories, painful stories, hopeful stories, strong stories.

He talked about being in high school and the day he pretended to be sick so he could skip gym class. He was in the library, reading Life magazine, and came across an article that said “Homosexual Revolt: The Gay Liberation Movement.” He quickly closed the cover and glanced around to see if anyone had noticed him reading the article.

And then he stole the magazine and put it under his mattress at home. He would take it out after he was certain his parents were asleep, “as if it were porn.”  At the end of high school, he came out to his parents and his father, a clinical psychologist, did not react well. Cleve hitchhiked to San Francisco, lived on the streets and met Harvey Milk. Harvey was like a father to him and encouraged him to go to school. When Cleve went to work with Harvey, as an intern, Harvey told him to wear the tightest jeans possible when he came to City Hall. To be himself. Cleve said his jeans were so tight he was pretty sure that everyone could tell that he was circumcised.

Talk about warming up an audience. Then he talked about Harvey. Finding Harvey’s body. Harvey’s feet were sticking out of Dan White’s office. He knew it was Harvey because Harvey had only one pair of dress shoes. Wing tips, with holes in the soles. Cleve felt that everything in the gay movement was over. That it could not possibly go on without Harvey.

But it did. Thousands marched in silence with candles that evening to mourn the loss of Harvey Milk, a ritual that still occurs every year on the evening of Harvey’s death.

He spoke about AIDS and how no one would do anything about this illness because it was a “homosexual disease”. He remembered a bumper sticker at the time that said “AIDS: It’s killing all the right people.” The audience was so silent that you could hear a pin drop. Cleve could barely speak and fought back tears. I’m sure he has told his story many times but the pain never disappears. I know because my best friend from high school was a gay man who had AIDS.

When he started the AIDS Memorial Quilt, it was with fabric stolen from a theatre group and a can of spray paint from a protest march. That was used to make the first square.

Cleve told so many fascinating stories, that it is tempting to convey all of them.  But I want to get to the part where Cleve talked about this march, including his comments on the controversy surrounding it. Here is the logic. The fight for LGBT rights has gone on for at least 40 years. People being patient, people being afraid, people asking nicely. After Prop 8 passed, after the movie Milk, after the achievements in the states that have legalized same-sex marriage, it is still all up for grabs. There will be challenges in Maine and Iowa. People are arguing about whether California should put a referendum on the ballot in 2010 or 2012. And where will we be? Continuously taking this fight to states, counties and cities? Fighting for one right at a time in one small place? It will never end until the laws are the same in every state.

We have a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress. What is missing are people demanding that Congress do something. Without this pressure, President Obama cannot get the votes needed. Cleve made the point that the Civil Rights movement took off when Martin Luther King organized a march in Washington.  Instead of continually pouring money and energy into every local battle, it is time to demand full equality now. It is only when Federal Law’s are changed that LGBT individuals will have full rights. Cleve made the point that marriage in California isn’t any different than the domestic partnerships in California. Neither state marriage nor domestic partnerships provide any access to Federal rights such as social security for your spouse.

In Cleve’s words “If you think you are equal, act like it. You have to take risks. When a door cracks open, kick it open. If you think there’s a natural slow progression to winning, you are wrong.  Only when large numbers of people demand everything immediately is there any hope of getting anything eventually.”

Whether or not you can attend the March in Washington, I believe that Cleve’s strategy is the right one. Forget fighting for rights within a city or state. It needs to become national law. Cleve asked who in the audience was 54, his age. I think I was the only one who raised their hand. He pointed to me, nodded, and then said “I am tired of waiting. We demand equality now.”

During the question and answer session, which lasted half an hour, one person asked how to persuade others. His response reflected his maturity. “Respectfully and honestly tell your story. This is NOT about sex. It’s about economics and all the legal benefits of marriage and family. Tell someone that your partner cannot get your social security if something happens to you. Tell that person that you cannot visit your partner in the hospital. Search for common ground. People of faith are not necessarily like their leaders.  “There’s no one sentence or I’d be putting it up on every billboard.”

He ended the evening by saying that Harvey Milk was an ordinary man. His personal life was in disarray, he was not a genius. We are all capable of what he did. “Live a life interesting enough to have a film made about you.”

If you don’t speak up for your rights, who will? If you don’t speak up for the rights of others, who will speak up for yours?

The  National Equality March is October 11th,Sunday in Washington D.C. It is the 30th anniversary of the first gay rights march in Washington D.C. It is coming out day. It is the day before Columbus day, which many people have off. If you can go, go. If you cannot, donate to the cause. Support a person who can go. Many groups are organizing buses at very affordable prices, especially student organizations. (more…)

SCLC Works to Overcome Oppression in Order to be Oppressive

July 17, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

SCLCAsk just about anyone on the street if they support civil rights and they will likely say yes, but ask specific questions and you’ll hear a wide variety of responses.

Rev. Eric P. Lee, the President of the Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Council (“SCLC”) has come under fire by members of the purported civil rights organization.  The scrutiny isn’t because Rev. Lee is against civil equality, which would be expected from a so-called civil rights organization, but instead, because he supports civil equality.

The SCLC was formed in the late 50’s in response to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  The group, popularized by Martin Luther King, Jr., has been a leadership organization for civil rights for decades.  Their work has inspired my own admiration, until now.  Unfortunately, SCLC national leaders and many members don’t seem to believe in civil equality for all people.  In fact, many members of the SCLC have called for the resignation of Rev. Lee because of his vision of a fully equal America.  National leaders of the SCLC  went as far as to summon Lee to Atlanta and advised him that, if he failed to show, he would be suspended.  Lee did not show because he couldn’t afford a last minute trip, but he did advise the group that he could appear via telephone.  The group did not respond to that offer, but did send a warning to Lee when he didn’t show advising him to reschedule the meeting and appear in person or face removal from the SCLC.

Because of the Southern Christian Leadership Council’s mostly silent and dismissive stance on gay rights, it is clear that they are no longer a civil rights organization.  I civil rights organization would align itself with ALL human rights issues in order to secure dignity, fair treatment and equality under the law for everyone.  Instead, they are becoming the very people they once stood against.  They have become the oppressors.

Rev. Lee has stated publicly:

Any time you deny one group of people the rights and privileges that other groups enjoy, it is fundamentally and unequivocally a denial of their civil rights.

Obviously, he gets it.  Perhaps instead of a suspension, members of the SCLC should promote Rev. Lee to a national position – since he is truly a civil rights leader.

Related Links:

Los Angeles Times | Civil rights group threatens to fire local leader for gay marriage endorsement.

CQ Politics | Gay Marriage: What Would King Do?.

rainbowzine.com | SCLC and Marriage Equality.

The Gaytheist Agenda | Reverend Eric P. Lee Threatened With Firing over Same-Sex Marriage Endorsement.

Kay Bailey Hutchison Says No to Civil Rights (not just gays either!)

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

No Kay - It's not O.KayThe Senator from Texas, who hopes to win over voters and become the next Governor of Texas in 2010, has a history of voting against legislation regarding civil equality.  In fact, the ACLU scores the senator at only 25% when it comes to her voting record on civil rights, the Human Rights Campaign scored her at 0%, and the NAACP scored her at only 18%.  Here’s a snippet of her record:

  • Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (S. J. Res. 1)
  • Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (S. 625, 2002 and S.2549, 2000)
  • Voted YES on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business.(S.1173, 1997)
  • Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (HR 3396, 1996)
  • Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation.  (S. 2056, 1996)
  • Voted YES on loosening restrictions for cell phone wiretapping. (S. 1510, 2001)

In spite of Senator Hutchison’s anti-civil-rights votes, I still felt compelled to attempt to sway her opinion.  I therefore sent her an email regarding the current Senate Bill 1103 (H.R. 1913) requesting she support the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act.  The following is her response:

Thank you for contacting me regarding hate crime legislation.  I welcome your thoughts and comments on this issue.

In the 110th Congress, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) introduced S. 1105, the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act.  This legislation would have provided federal assistance to states, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes.  The bill defined a hate crime as a violent crime motivated by a prejudice based on actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.  When the language was offered as an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill, I voted against including it. The language was removed prior to final passage of the measure.

On April 2, 2009, Representative John Conyers (D-MI) introduced H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009.  This measure contains provisions similar to those contained in S. 1105 and equivalent legislation in the House of Representatives, H.R. 1952, both of which were introduced during the previous Congress.

I continue to believe that all violent crimes should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, regardless of the underlying motivation.  Should legislation regarding hate crimes come before the full Senate, you may be certain that I will keep your views in mind.

I appreciate hearing from you, and I hope that you will not hesitate to keep in touch on any issue of concern to you.

Sincerely,
Kay Bailey Hutchison
United States Senator

284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
202-224-5922 (tel)
202-224-0776 (fax)
http://hutchison.senate.gov

A review of her voting record and the above email response indicates that Ms. Hutchison’s opinions on civil rights issues have not changed during her tenure in public office and apparently, will not change.  If you are a member of a minority group, including women, this record should be appalling to you.  I encourage those supporting Ms. Hutchison to cease that support.  Please contact Ms. Hutchison’s office and let her know that we will know longer stand idly by while she strips rights from the American people.

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: God’s Truth Can Save Children with Gay Tendencies

April 30, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

God's Truth Saves Gays?When I was a child, I was taught that certain words were bad, that you don’t use them. For example, I was taught that the word “shit” was a bad word; therefore, I was barred from saying it and instead had to say, “doodoo.”

Other words I was taught to be “bad” included, “hell” and “damn.” Both words completely off limits. But I realized something, I realized that although I wasn’t allowed to say those words, religious folk were allowed to use them relentlessly.

But there is a word I wasn’t taught. In fact, I was well aware of the word “shit” long before I’d ever heard the word “faggot” uttered.  Once I finally heard that word, it wasn’t long until it was being used to refer to me.  I remember walks home from school which resulted in other children throwing rocks at me and screaming “fag” or “faggot” at me with no provocation.  I remember people I thought were friends eventually turning to those words as well.  The prime difference, as I see it, between calling a “straight” kid “faggot” or calling a “gay” kid “faggot” is that the gay kid believes you.

Much debate has been centered lately around “bullycide” after two 11 year old boys took their lives because of harassment at school for perceived sexual orientation.  We may never know the truth of why this kids decided to take their own lives.  It could be because they did know they were “gay” in spite of not identifying as such at that time and could not bear the harassment of “coming out.”  But on another hand it could be that these kids were heterosexual and just couldn’t tolerate the bullying any longer.  Either way, it’s a tragic and needless loss of life.

Upon review of message boards about bullying in school, I found the following comment:

Kids who have homosexual tendencies need to be surrounded with godly counsel and godly folks. They need to know GOD’s truth in love before its too late. We need to make them aware that homosexuality is not GOD’s way.

I immediately flashed to the story of Bobby Griffin as told in the book and made for T.V. movie, Prayers for Bobby.  Bobby Griffin was surrounded with these so-called godly folks who believed that they were helping Bobby by leading him away from his “homosexual tendencies.”  Bobby still took his own life.  Comments such as these are ill-informed and mortally dangerous.  To think that you can “cure” a child of their homosexual tendencies sexual orientation is the most repugnant form of attempted brain-washing, aside from raising your children in environments of intolerance and hatred.

The author of the comment seems so very sincere and earnest in her comment that it is obvious that she believes she is helping these children by telling them that God will save them from homosexuality, a conversion therapy.  Although science has never been a concern of religious zealots, medical providers, including The National Association of Social Workers, The American Psychological Association, The American Psychiatric Association, The American Counseling Association, and The American Academy of Pediatrics, have stood up against such therapies.  In fact, The American Psychiatric Association has described such efforts as ineffective and damaging to an LGBT person’s well-being.

Darlene Bogle is one of the people who participated in such conversion therapy.  She often appeared on television talk shows preaching that “gay” can be cured and that she successfully converted from lesbianism.  She even wrote books on the subject, Long Road to Love and Strangers in a Christian Land, which described her successful conversion and how it came about.  In April, 2007 Bogle and two other high-profile ex-gay ministers, Jeremy Marks [formerly of Courage U.K.]  and Michael Bussee [co-founder of ex-gay ministry, Exodus], held a press conference to “apologize for exposing LGBT Christians to such indoctrination.”  In the press conference Bussee stated:

Although we acted in good faith, we have since witnessed the isolation, shame, fear, and loss of faith that this message creates.  We apologize for our part in the message of broken truth we spoke on behalf of Exodus and other organizations.

From The Advocate:

Ex-gay survivor Eric Leocadio was on hand to witness the official apology in Los Angeles. As a high school freshman Leocadio ingested two fistfuls of pills, hoping to kill himself so that he would not have to struggle with his sexual orientation. ‘When I survived,’ said Leocadio, now 31, ‘I realized that God wasn’t done with me. There was so much more that God had planned for me.’

Leocadio went on to explain, “I received a lot of mixed signals from the church. Everyone gets unconditional love from God but only conditional love from the church, based on the concept of ‘wholeness.’ ”  He left the ex-gay ministries in 2006 and now states:

What I knew about Christianity was the only thing I was taught. I decided to take a step back and learn more. I met other gay Christians who had a genuine faith and love for God. Through meeting them, I have been able to truly learn the love of God and own it for myself.

So it seems everyone who wishes to find truth in God’s love can find their own truth, a truth void of intolerance, hatred, bigotry and spite.  This blind, unrelenting belief that God hates gay people is the cause of symptoms such as bullying and hate crimes, yet we continue to treat only the symptoms.  Perhaps its time we look to the cause and teach those who preach against gays, blacks, women, Jewish people, obesity, etc.,  a real truth.  This is the tangible world, not the surreal one.

So, you can keep your “religious morality.”  I don’t want to go to the heaven you believe in, it sounds like a cruel and viscious place.  [NOTE: I use the term morality very loosely when connected with religious.]

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: Hate Crimes Legislation Will Protect Incest and Pedophilia

April 28, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Stupid Things People Say About Gays

Stupid Things People Say About GaysI haven’t done a “Stupid Things People Say About Gays” in a while.  Lots has been happening, but there’s certainly no shortage of stupid things people are saying.  Here’s the latest from the AFA (American [heterosexual only] Family Association):

Congress is set to give legally protected status to 30 sexual orientations, including incest. Because of pressure from homosexual groups, Congress has refused to define what is meant by sexual orientation in H.R. 1913, the “Hate Crimes” bill. This means that the 30 different sexual orientations will be federally protected classes.

Come on now… how much more ridiculous can you get.  Someone call Bullshit already…. ok, “BULLSHIT!”  Here’s the actual text of the bill, which states what a “Hate Crime” is:

[A Hate Crime ] is [a crime] motivated by prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim, or is a violation of the State, local, or tribal hate crime laws.

Now, because I like to play God’s Advocate and show this in a more telling light, I’ll be the first to admit that “sexual orientation” is not currently legally defined by the Hate Crime’s legislation; however, to argue that “incest” is a sexual orientation rather than a sexual act is completely bogus, speculative and would never hold up in any legitimate argument – not that the AFA is renowned for “legitimate” arguments.  Generally, when the law fails to specifically define a term, the term is given its “usual and customary meaning.”  In this case, sexual orientations usual and customary meaning is:

One’s natural preference in sexual partners; predilection for homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality.  [sexual orientation. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved April 28, 2009, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sexual orientation]

One may note that neither the word incest nor bestiality is referenced in the usual and customary definition of sexual orientation.

The AFA has also made claims that the Hate Crimes legislation would prevent preachers from preaching homosexuality as a sin in church; however, they obviously have not read the bill which is very specific in defining hate crimes as a “crime of violence” a term defined by Section 16, Title 18 of the United States Code:

The term “crime of violence” means:

(a) an offense that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or prop­erty of another, or

(b) any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.

Therefore, unless the preacher specifically uses, attempts to use or threatens the use of physical force against a person or their property, they can say whatever they want.  If you are a member of a church that does use, threatens to use or attempts to use physical force against ANYONE, I highly suggest you realize that only SATAN would allow such treatment and consider a new church that has not been infultrated by Satan in the guise of God.  Remember, “Thou Shalt Not Kill.”

More from fellow blogger, SistersTalk.

LGBT Activist Debate: Which Right is Priority?

April 20, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

During the April 20, 2009 Twitter Town Hall Meeting for LGBTQ activists and allies, an interesting debate was raised, essentially asking, should LGBTQ activists put all their resources toward one right at a time such as Marriage Equality or Employment Non-Discrimination, or continue to pour our resources into all aspects of Civil Rights?

Upon discussion, the general consensus seemed to be that we should continue fighting for the repeal of DOMA, repeal of DADT, passage of a Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act [ENDA], Hate Crimes Legislation, Equal Taxation, and the list goes on.

As part of the discussion, I began a poll which gauges the temperature of LGBT Activists and allies. The poll is set to close on April 30, 2009. While the poll is open, we can open the dialogue to discuss our votes. The current results are trending in a surprising results.

I mistakenly assumed that “All of the above, no one right is more important” would win; however, at this moment it is tied with 10 votes for a Federal Employer Non-Discrimination Act and 10 votes for all of the above.

Why is this current result surprising? I expected Same Sex Marriage to be the closest second to “All of the above.”  This was not an unwarranted expectation considering media coverage of the Gay Civil Rights Movement has been restricted almost entirely to “gay marriage.”

Further, it is my belief that federal recognition of same-sex marriage, the rest will quickly follow. For example, if the government says to the people, “we do not discriminate,” the people stop learning to discriminate rendering hate crimes legislation moot and ENDA inevitable [I know, utopia]. In addition, the primary cause of unequal taxation is  the lack of federal marriage recognition; therefore, for me at least, it stood to reason that most would vote for either “All of the above” or “Same Sex Marriage.”

So what are the arguments for why the ENDA is most important? Simple, passage of the ENDA would result in gays being listed federally as a “protected class” resulting in every peice of legislation and/or court ruling in favor of a protected classes being applicable to gay people [ultimately], a reasonable and sound argument.

Thus far, the arguments supporting “All of the Above” seem to only take into account that any violation of a civil right is repugnant and must be addressed. However, with this argument we must step back from our passions and consider proper strategy. Has it been strategic for us to give funds, time and effort to numerous discriminatory practices or would we be better served to “put all of our eggs in one basket?”

My initial response is, put all of our eggs in one basket, marriage equality, and allow the rest to follow; however, I’m quickly finding myself to second guess that. Therefore, as the poll continues, I will continue to examine the issues therein and encourage your feedback.

Heaven Hath No Rage Like Love Turned Hatred

April 08, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Religion

In “their” latest video, anti-gay folks are declaring that they are coming together in love to protect marriage… wait, no. That doesn’t do it justice, here’s the line verbatim:

A rainbow coalition of people of every creed and color are coming together in love to protect marriage.

And, we can’t go on without the video:

As a wiser man than I once wrote, “Heaven hath no rage like love turned hatred.” Really, it’s that simple. You [anti-gay folk] are caught in a “storm” of your own creation. For centuries you have bound persons of every race, creed, color and national origin by your words of hatred in the guise of “god’s love.” Problem is, most people don’t like that “god” because… Satan is a deceiver.

That’s right. It has become so obvious that the “god” you are referring to is a hateful and spiteful god who thinks some are better than others rather than ALL are his children that Satan’s cover is blown. We now see that you are actually minions of Satan, posing as the righteous, and WE are afraid. We are afraid because, historically, you have invaded countries, enslaved their people, taken their children, raped their wives and destroyed their lands – in the name of your “god.”

Yep, we are onto you secret Satanists…

Mmph!!! In Your Face La Face!!!

I Do.

April 07, 2009 By: jaysays Category: LGBT News, Marriage Equality

“I Do.” Who knew that two words consisting of three characters could result in such intense debate?  Who knew that those two words would result in countless tears, not of joy, but of sorrow?

Today, with the Vermont legislature voting 100 for and 49 against same-gender marriage, I’m experiencing tears of joy over the possibility that, in my lifetime, I may get to say those words and have the country I have lived in, paid taxes in and supported (even when it was hard to support it) say back, “Yes, you do.”

As more states begin recognizing same-sex marriages in the same manner our heterosexual countrymen have their marriages recognized, the federal government will experience more and more pressure to take action.  Particularly as federal benefits are denied to persons who are married in their resident state.

It doesn’t take much to understand why marriage equality is likely the most important issue facing same-gender couples today, but first, a little history of jaysays if I may (which I may):

Christopher and I will celebrate 12 years of blissful togetherness this year. At roughly the half-way mark, my brother, Jack, called me and asked if I would like to go shopping with him.  I eagerly decided to go and we headed off to the local mall where I over-indulged myself in Macy’s madness.  It was August, the birth month of both Jack and Christopher.  Christopher’s birthday was a few days away and Jack’s had just passed.  Upon arriving home from shopping, Jack and his wife, Debbie, escorted me up the elevator to our apartment.  I opened the door and there stood Christopher surrounded by red balloons.  One white balloon floated near-by.

That is the moment of my utter confusion.  Why are we having a party for Jack’s birthday without me knowing about it?  As it turns out, Canada had just approved “gay marriage” and Christopher was ready to propose.  As I looked around the rest of the room, I noted the gathering of my friends and family, all smiling and eagerly awaiting my answer as Christopher untied the ring from the white balloon and Etta James “At Last” played quietly in the background.  As Christopher read from a news article about Canada’s passage of gay marriage rights, I lost all focus.  I answered his proposal with an enthusiastic, “yes.”

Something happened thereafter.  The romantic moment that it was, is now something entirely different for me.  It is a quest, a movement, a purpose.  Rather than go to Canada and get “legally” wed, Christopher and I (mostly me actually) decided against a foreign wedding that would not be recognized by our home country or our home state.

Non-recognized marriage, I concluded, would serve no purpose other than a symbolic gesture.  We could have our “white wedding” but would never be allowed to write “spouse” next to each other’s names on loan forms, insurance policies, titles, or other legally enforceable documents.  Our state and our country gives permission to its citizens to think less of our love, to deny us fundamental legal protections and rights afforded our heterosexual counterparts; protections  and rights many take for granted.

Thus, the crux of why marriage rights are so important.  When marriage between two people of the same gender is recognized by the government we are part of, the government tells all of its citizens, “Believe what you will, but you are no better than anyone else.  We are the same.”  In doing so, many of the problems LGBT people face will start to fade over time, albeit, they may never fully cure.

Arguments often express that by allowing “gay marriage” the government will violate the rights of those that oppose it.  I have tried to see how such would invalidate the countless heterosexual marriages, divorces or fatherless children, but I fail.  Regardless of whether gays can be married, the soci0-economic issues revolving around the family unit will remain unchanged – except for one thing, our government will recognize my family as a family too.

And now I find my mind wandering in so many directions.  Great joy, inspiration and hope for the victories in Vermont, Iowa and Washington, DC these past couple of weeks (two of which were today!) constantly reminding me of the losses in California, Arkansas, Florida and other battle states.  So while I bask in the joy of victory, I also recognize the long battles yet to come, and I am armored today and will be tomorrow.