Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 286"

"A Happy Family..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"In The News Today..."


Household Cavalry Celebrates First Civil Partnership





March 29, 2010

One of the British Army's oldest regiments, the Household Cavalry, has celebrated its first civil partnership.

Lance Corporal James Wharton, 23, who was the first gay soldier to be featured on the cover of Soldier magazine last year, tied the knot with air steward Thom McCaffrey, 21.

The couple held their ceremony on Saturday, on the same day that Europe minister Chris Bryant and Jared Cranney became the first gay couple to hold their civil partnership in parliament.

They had their civil partnership at Old Marylebone Town Hall in London, followed by a reception at the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment's Knightsbridge barracks.

L/Cpl Wharton told the Independent: "The entire regiment has been really supportive.

"When I went to ask the Squadron Leader, Major Nana Twumasi-Ankrah, for permission to get married, he just said, 'This is fantastic, congratulations'. The lads joked it was the gay event of the year."

The couple had their first dance to Tina Turner and will go on honeymoon to San Francisco.

When they return, they will live together in their new married quarters, the Service Family Accommodation.




Lance Corporal James Wharton on the cover of Soldier magazine



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"Fear Eats the Soul"

"A Love Story..."


Gregory and Jonathan: A Love That Beat the Odds


Engaged Washington, D.C. couple Gregory Jones and Jonathan Howard are currently in second place in Crate & Barrel's Ultimate Wedding Contest. Voting ends tomorrow, and the couple stand a good chance of winning 1st place in this uniquely inclusive contest open to all couples. Vote for them here, and read their story below...

Our Love Story

Boy meets boy, boy falls for boy, and boys get engaged. The pure existence of our love is not always accepted. We had to deal with hatred from outsiders and support one another in recovery. Our love story involves the evolution of the meaning of love and the perseverance that allowed two people such as us to openly experience happiness. We knew that we were right for each other from the start, we knew that we would always be by one another’s sides and that as best friends we could truly experience our love openly.

Three Important Details About Our Ultimate Wedding

The three key things for our wedding are simply friends, family, and fun. We want a simple, but elegant affair at an outdoor vineyard in the DC area with our family and friends from across the country. Our family and friends are very important to us and our dream day would not be complete unless we were surrounded by all of them. And we want all of these people to be able to celebrate our love for each other and enjoy a memorable occasion.

Our Everyday Dream Day

Beauty, tranquility, and love characterize our perfect day. A perfect day for us is a day that is very similar to our wedding day. It is a day that we are free to spend together and to enjoy the company of our friends and family. One of our favorite weekend pastimes is venturing out to the vineyards in Virginia with a small group for a wine tasting and picnic. It gives us the opportunity to enjoy each others company, be absorbed by our surroundings and get away from the hectic lives we lead in the city.

*******

"Dreams do sometimes come true..."

Vote for them here.

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 285"

"Not For Fear, Youth Is For Living and Loving..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"In The News Today..."



Ricky Martin Announces He Is Gay




Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin has announced he is gay, ending years of speculation over his sexuality.

Martin, who has sold more than 60 million albums, said in a statement on his website he was "proud to say" he was "a fortunate homosexual man".

He added that he had kept his sexuality hidden because advisers had told him coming out could hurt his career.

Martin's biggest hit is Livin' La Vida Loca - a 1999 single that reached number one in more than 20 countries.

The singer, who began his career in the 1980s with Puerto Rican boy band Menudo, also had hits with She Bangs and Shake Your Bon Bon.

Martin, who fathered two children with a surrogate mother two years ago, said his decision to write his memoirs had helped him to free "things that were too heavy to keep inside".

"Not sharing with the world my entire truth" about his sexuality, he continued, had become "a self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage".

Becoming a father, he went on, had convinced him "enough [was] enough" and that things "had to change".

"To keep living as I did... would be to indirectly diminish the glow that my kids were born with," he said in a posting written in both English and Spanish.

Martin had previously remained tight-lipped about his sexual orientation, refusing to answer interviewer Barbara Walters when she raised the topic in 2000.

In recent years the singer has become an advocate for children's charities, setting up his own foundation against human trafficking.

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"A life lived in fear is a life half-lived..."

Monday, March 29, 2010

"The Things That Love Says..."



"Love has no uttermost, as the stars have no number and the sea no rest..."
Eleanor Farjeon, Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard‎ (1922), p. 172.

"For all the ill that is in us comes from fear, and all the good from love..."
Eleanor Farjeon, Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard‎ (1922), p. 174.

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 284"

"Love And Marriage Made Our Lives Complete..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

"In The News Today..."

Bleckley County senior Derrick Martin speaks with rally organizer and fellow senior Amber Duskin outside of the Bleckley County Courthouse on Thursday afternoon. Duskin is opposed to the school system allowing Martin to bring his boyfriend to the prom.

Students Protest Bleckley Prom Decision


By Julie Hubbard


COCHRAN, GA — A small group of Bleckley County High School students staged a rally at the courthouse Thursday evening to protest their high school allowing a gay student to take his boyfriend to the prom.

Bleckley school system officials last week granted senior Derrick Martin permission to take another boy to prom. The decision marked the first decision in the county’s history about a same-sex couple attending the prom there.

Gay-rights backers reach out to Bleckley senior

“We knew Derrick was gay,” said Keith Bowman Jr., a high school senior who showed up at the rally. “They don’t want (Cochran) to be known as a pro gay town.”

Most of the dozen attending the rally said they weren’t bothered by Martin being gay or being allowed to attend prom with his partner. But they said the school system’s decision has brought too much attention to their small town.

“People who don’t know the area will think it reflects on everybody,” said John Smith, a grandfather who owns an air-conditioning business in Cochran.

Before he stopped by the rally, he asked county officials Thursday if a separate prom could be held at the city’s recreation center, he said.

The rally’s organizer, Amber Duskin, sent text messages to high school students Wednesday asking them to show up.

The senior said she asked her high school to return her prom ticket money and does not plan to attend because of Martin.

“I don’t believe in going up there and dancing with gay guys like that,” she said. “It’s also not just him bringing a boy. It was bringing all this attention to it.”

A group of college students also stopped by the rally but not to protest.

“We’re for it,” said Carly Nobles, a Middle Georgia College student. “It takes a lot for someone to come out (as gay).

“This is a small town. Some of these students are sheltered, and I don’t think they can think for themselves.”

Martin said talk at school Thursday was that the prom committee may do away with the traditional “walk through” when students and their dates are announced as they enter the prom.

He’s also heard some students are trying to have a separate prom.

As a result of the media attention, Martin’s parents have kicked him out of their home, and he’s staying with a friend in Cochran.

Martin’s father is a math teacher at Bleckley County High and is the school’s Teacher of the Year.

“I think his dad is embarrassed,” said sophomore Brittany Bohannon. As school faculty were introduced at an unrelated motivational speaking event Thursday, Martin’s father attended but stood in the background, she said. “People thought it was OK I was going to prom but not OK with me telling anybody,” Derrick Martin said Thursday. “All this media attention has gotten people scared Cochran is an openly gay community.”

Martin said the rally has not changed his plans to attend the prom with his boyfriend, Richard Goodman, of Tifton.

But Martin said he might not talk to media until after the prom to help minimize the attention that so many feel is unwelcome.

*******

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"In The News Today..."

Derrick Martin, a senior at Bleckley County High School, stands outside the school Monday.


School Officials Allowing Gay Prom Date


By Julie Hubbard


COCHRAN, GA — Derrick Martin worried that he could be responsible for getting this year’s prom at Bleckley County High School canceled.

That’s because the 18-year-old senior is gay, and he plans to take his boyfriend to the year’s most anticipated dance.

That’s something that’s never happened in this small Middle Georgia town. A similar plan by two female students in Mississippi this month prompted school officials there to cancel the prom, making national news.

After asking Bleckley County school officials permission in January to take another boy to the prom, Martin got word last week that his high school will allow it. Bleckley’s prom is April 17 in the high school cafeteria.

“I didn’t expect them to say yes,” he said. “It’s who I am. I have the same rights.

“It’s my senior prom, and I wanted to be able to prove not everyone would cancel prom.”

Martin, an honor student who tutors at-risk elementary and middle school students after school, knew the move would be controversial for the town of about 5,200 residents.

At his high school, prom dates from outside counties must be approved in advance, so Martin went to his principal and asked.

“At first she said no, Cochran wasn’t ready for it,” he said.

Then last week, school officials said they have no policy in place against it.

“You don’t have the right to say no,” principal Michelle Masters said. “As a principal, I don’t judge him. I’m taught not to judge. I have to push my own beliefs to the background.”

She’s just hoping it won’t become an issue in the community and distract from juniors and seniors who have looked forward to the event all school year.

As fellow senior Errin Lucas put it, “Have you seen Cochran? There is nothing else to live for.”

Charlotte Pipkin, the superintendent of schools, said the school board didn’t take any votes on Martin’s request, but the board did discuss the matter during a board meeting.

“Students are allowed to bring their date to prom,” Pipkin said. “There’s nothing that says who the date is.

“I want this to be an enjoyable event, and I don’t want anything to take away from that,” she added.

Martin came out as gay during his sophomore year in high school, but even now he said not all his classmates are tolerant.

He expects he may get attention during the prom “lead out,” in which the school announces each senior’s name and the date’s name.

“I’ll take out insurance on my tux,” he said.

It’s a big step for the high school — and the community, many townsfolk said.

“With our town being so small and country, it’s a very big thing,” Lucas said. “It’s unexpected, but I’m glad. We have to move forward.”

A sampling of residents Monday drew plenty of objections to Martin’s plan, but few people were willing to give their name.

Miranda Taylor, who was working behind the counter at a Wendy’s restaurant, said “a lot of people will stare,” but she thinks the move shows Bleckley County is more open.

The high school prom will have security.

Even if there is a backlash, both educators said they won’t cancel or change their plans for the prom. It would not be fair to the students, Pipkin said.

Martin said he could have settled for what he did last year and simply attend the prom with a female friend, but he didn’t want to do that this year. “It’s standing up for the rights thing, especially after the Mississippi canceled prom,” he said. “It’s senior prom. It’s pretty big.”

*******

"A life lived in fear is a life half-lived"

"In The News Today..."

Corvino: Remembering Prom

By John Corvino, columnist, 365gay.com
03.26.2010 6:24am EDT


Recent reports about students in Mississippi and Georgia seeking to bring same-sex dates to prom stirred memories of my own prom experience.

The year was 1987. I was “straight” then—or so I convinced myself. I knew I had “gay feelings” (as I put it), I knew I had no straight feelings, and I knew that people with gay feelings but no straight feelings are gay. And yet, by not letting these various ideas “touch,” I avoided drawing the obvious conclusion. (This, from someone who would later teach elementary logic.)

I had never been on a date with a woman before, or even kissed one. Sure, there was that time in fifth grade when I played spin-the-bottle, but as soon as I figured out what the game was, I ran from the room.

By the time I reached junior high and high school and noticed my “gay feelings,” it was easy to find excuses:

“I go to an all-boys Catholic school; I don’t know any girls,” I told myself and anyone in earshot. “Besides, I’m planning on becoming a priest” (which was true, starting around sophomore year). Pressure’s off!

Except that it wasn’t. Because my “normal” friends, even the ones who planned on priesthood, sought and found girls. I wasn’t feeling what I was “supposed” to feel, and it frightened me.

Patty Anne was someone with whom I served on the parish council. She went to an all-girls Catholic school. I called to invite her to my prom, she accepted, and minutes later she called back to invite me to hers. They were on consecutive nights, so I got a deal on the tux rental.

My prom went smoothly, and at the end of the evening, I gave her a prim kiss on the cheek.

Her prom was a little more involved. One of her friends with whom we were sharing the limo hosted a small pre-event party. Upon arriving, I had two very gay thoughts in rapid succession:

(1) [Upon seeing Patty:] That dress is hideous compared to last night’s.

(2) [Upon seeing her friends’ dates, all of whom were from a local military academy and looked stunningly handsome in their dress whites:] Uhhhhhh….HELLO!

I laugh about this now, but at the time, (2) was terrifying. Not-noticing girls was one thing, but noticing guys was quite another. And these guys, all dressed up and nicely groomed to impress their girlfriends, were hard for me not to notice.

These were the sorts of things spinning through my head on the post-prom limo ride to a club in Manhattan. Patty and I had the backwards-facing seats on either side of a small television; the remaining couples shared a large bench-seat facing forward.

Suddenly, the other couples started making out.

“Thank god for this little television separating us,” I thought.

But the television couldn’t protect me. Before I knew it, Patty was sitting on my lap.

We made out. It felt wrong—and that frightened me further.

When the limo dropped me home later that morning, I needed to “process,” so I hopped into my car and drove over to my best friend Michael’s house.

It was 6 a.m., and I stood in his backyard in my disheveled tux, throwing clothespins at his window to rouse him without waking his parents. (When his mother finally entered the kitchen, she glanced at me and asked, “Oh John—would you like an English muffin?” as if there were nothing unusual about daybreak guests in black tie.)

I think that conversation with Michael was the first time I told anyone other than a priest or a psychologist that I had “gay feelings.”—all the while continuing to insist that I was basically straight. Baby steps.

A year later, when I moved from “gay feelings” to just plain “gay,” Michael was among the first people I came out to. It would take another year beyond that before he mustered the courage to come out to me.

Which brings us back to Constance McMillen in Mississippi and Derrick Martin in Georgia, two brave young souls.

Constance’s prom has been canceled. A private prom is being held instead, and many of her classmates claim to hate her for “ruining” their regular prom.

Derrick, by contrast, will be allowed to attend prom with his boyfriend. The bad news is that his parents have kicked him out of the house over the incident.

How many more children must suffer because of these perverted values? How many more must live in silence and in fear, forced to choose between pretense and rejection, all while being denied the simple joys their peers take for granted?

For that matter, how many more adults must suffer?

That last question became especially poignant after I received comments from Michael on a draft of this column.

You see, Patty Anne, Constance, and Derrick are all their real names. “Michael” is not. He asked me to change it because, as he put it, “I am still pretty covert in my professional life.”


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John Corvino, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, and philosophy professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. His column “The Gay Moralist” appears Fridays on 365gay.com.

His upcoming marriage debates include one with Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family at Millersville University (PA) on March 30 and one with Jeffery Ventrella of the Alliance Defense Fund at University of Detroit-Mercy Law School on March 31.

For more about John, visit http://www.johncorvino.com/.

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 283"

"There's Room In Our Home and Our Hearts..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 282"

"Happy Together..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Friday, March 26, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 281"

"It's He and Me and Baby Make Three..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 280"

"Life, Love and Our Happy Family..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 279"

"Love at Home..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 278"

"When You Say, I Love You..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Monday, March 22, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 277"

"The Look of Love..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

"The Truth Tonight..."

Capt. Jim Pietrangelo and Lt. Daniel Choi

“Not Guilty, Not Ashamed, and Not Finished”

Statement of Lt. Dan Choi at his arrainment.

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 276"

"Love Is Reason Enough..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"In The News Today..."


Dutch Fuming At Retired US General’s Gays Comment





The Hague, Netherlands
03.19.2010

The Dutch prime minister Friday denounced as “irresponsible” a claim by a retired U.S. general that gay Dutch soldiers were partly to blame for allowing Europe’s worst massacre since World War II.

Dutch officials, from the Cabinet to the military, were outraged by retired Gen. John Sheehan’s remarks at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

Sheehan claimed that Dutch military leaders had called the presence of gay soldiers in the army “part of the problem” that allowed Serb forces to overrun the Srebrenica enclave in Bosnia in July 1995 and kill some 8,000 Muslim men.

Dutch troops were serving in the undermanned U.N. peacekeeping force in Srebrenica when they were overrun by heavily armed Serb forces, who went on to turn the surrounding countryside into killing fields littered with mass graves.

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende called Sheehan’s comments irresponsible and said at his weekly news conference that “these remarks should never have been made.”

“Toward Dutch troops – homosexual or heterosexual – it is way off the mark to talk like that about people and the work they do under very difficult circumstances,” he said.

Sheehan, a former NATO commander who retired from the military 1997, was speaking in opposition to a proposal to allow gays to serve openly in the U.S. military.

Balkenende said he would not take up the issue with President Barack Obama because Sheehan is already retired.

Defense Minister Eimert van Middelkoop called Sheehan’s claim “damaging” and not worthy of a soldier. “I don’t want to waste any more words on it,” he said.

Gen. Henk van den Breemen, Dutch chief of staff at the time of the Srebrenica genocide, called Sheehan’s comments “total nonsense” and denied ever having suggested gays in the army might have played a role in the Srebrenica massacre.

The Netherlands has a long history of accepting homosexuality, and gays have long been welcome in the country’s armed forces – which also allow labor unions.

The leader of one such union, Jan Kleian, was incensed by Sheehan’s comments.

“The man is crazy,” he told Dutch radio. “It sounds hard, but I can’t put it any other way.”

Saturday, March 20, 2010

"The Truth Today..."

Corvino: How The Sacred Heart Decision Makes Sense

By John Corvino, columnist, 365gay.com
03.19.2010

It is sometimes said, “Once a Catholic, always a Catholic.” Which may be why the recent Colorado story about Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish School, which expelled two pre-schoolers because their parents are lesbians, saddens me.

Although I’m now an atheist, I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools for a good chunk of my life. There’s much about that experience that I still value. Thus (unlike many commentators on this story) I “get” why lesbians would want to send their children to a Catholic school in the first place. The rich intellectual and moral tradition, the emphasis on fundamentals—these are valuable things, and they’re often hard to find in public schools.

That’s not to say that Catholic schools are perfect, or that I’d send my own (entirely hypothetical) children there. But “perfect” is not usually an option when choosing schools—one chooses between better and worse.

Besides, these parents are (unlike me) practicing Catholics. They don’t accept everything the Church teaches, but then neither do most Catholics: the U.S. Bishops themselves estimate that 96% of married Catholics use artificial contraception, for example.

So while the parents’ choice is not one I would have made, it makes sense to me given their overall belief set and the available options.

So, too, does the decision of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish School to expel the children.

Before you conclude that The Gay Moralist has gone mad, hear me out.

To say that the decision “makes sense” is not to say that it was the morally correct decision. It wasn’t—not by a long shot.

Nor is it to say that the decision was logically consistent with other stances the Church has taken. Quite the contrary.

Indeed, if you’ve got a few minutes, check out Fox News heavyweight Bill O’Reilly pressing Father Jonathan Morris on this point. O’Reilly, to his credit, sides against the school, while Father Morris flails about and dodges the consistency question.

So does Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput. In his column he writes:

“Many of our schools also accept students of other faiths and no faith, and from single parent and divorced parent families. These students are always welcome so long as their parents support the Catholic mission of the school and do not offer a serious counter-witness to that mission in their actions.”

Key question that Morris and Chaput and the rest keep avoiding: How is it that lesbian parents offer counter-witness in the way that Muslim parents, or Jewish parents, or divorced parents do not?

(Note that by all accounts the lesbians were not what one would call “activists”—the story actually broke because outraged school faculty reported it to news outlets.)

The Church’s official teaching on divorce is the same as that of Jesus—namely, that those who divorce and remarry are engaging in an ongoing adulterous affair. And Muslims and Jews both deny the divinity of Christ, which is a pretty damn important part of the Catholic faith. So much for consistency.

So if the decision was immoral and inconsistent, in what possible way does it “make sense”?

For an answer, go back to the issues commonly raised to press the consistency point: interfaith marriage, contraception, and divorce. Look at the history of the Church and society on these issues.

There was a time, not very long ago, when the Roman Catholic Church quite vocally proclaimed its identity at the One True Faith. That’s still the official position, though you’d never know it by the Church’s ecumenical tone.

The reason for the shift is simple: the more Catholics got to know and love non-Catholics, the less palatable they found the doctrine that their friends were all going to hell. So the Church softened its tone.

Or take contraception, once scandalous, now used by the vast majority of Catholics, who understand it for what it is—a tool for responsible family planning. The more Catholics realized this, the less palatable they found the Church’s anti-contraception teaching. So the Church softened its tone.

And then there’s divorce, not a desirable thing generally, but sometimes the best available option. Can we really treat the nice couple next-door, one of whom was previously married, as flagrant adulterers? Of course we can’t. So the Church softened its tone—and stepped up the issuing of annulments, yet another tactic for preserving the appearance of consistency.

You can see where I’m going with this. The more a practice becomes normalized, the harder it is for the Church to maintain its condemnation without looking hopelessly archaic. It’s already lost on interfaith marriage, contraception, and divorce. It is desperately trying to stem the inevitable tide on homosexuality.

Then along comes a nice lesbian couple, loved by the parish community, who do what nice Catholic parents do—enroll their children in the local parish school. So nice! So normal! So…threatening. Threatening, that is, to make the Church look as archaic on this issue as it already does on the others. So Church officials draw a line in the sand.

Given their overall belief system, it makes sense. But it was still the wrong thing to do.


***********

John Corvino, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, and philosophy professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. His column “The Gay Moralist” appears Fridays on 365gay.com.

For more about John Corvino, visit http://www.johncorvino.com/.

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 275"

"Life and Love Is Enough..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Friday, March 19, 2010

"A Song for Me..."


Prayer For Spanish Harlem
Lyrics and Music by Jackie Greene

Hot night, Spanish Harlem
Full moon, creeping low
I was standing at the bottom
Of your blue window

I come for miles just to hold you
It's been so long, baby, how've you been?
Do you remember what I told you
It's still the same it was back then
It's still the same it was back then

And I hope it all comes easy
I hope it all feels right
A dozen different candles
Line your bed tonight
And I hope it's never over
I hope it never ends
But when I go I hope that you
Will want me back again

'Cause this world, that's all around us
It's for real, it's not a game
And though hate and greed surrounds us
There's love in my veins

So hush now, do no more talking
My heart is heavy, it's a ragged stone
For all I want is you with me walking
Because I can't walk alone
Because I can't walk alone

And I hope that when we go
They'll take us someplace good
We can all be kids in common neighborhoods
And I hope we live together
The daughter and the son
And I hope they'll take me in
When my work upon this earth is done

Well I wish you loved in my arms
I wish that you would see
How time says that love expires
Not me, not me
Not me, not me
Not me


From the Album Giving Up The Ghost by Jackie Greene - 2008

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 274"

"Love Is Togetherness..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"In The News Today..."


Lieutenent Dan Choi Arrested at White House During Gay Rights Rally

March 18, 2010 - Washington, D.C.


Lt. Dan Choi, the openly gay Iraq war veteran who has been an outspoken opponent of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, was arrested Thursday after chaining himself to a fence at the White House.

The Advocate reports that Choi, along with former Army infantryman Jim Pietrangelo, was arrested after chaining themselves to the fence following a rally in Washington for repeal of the policy, which bans gay men and women from serving openly in the military.

Choi, who announced his sexuality on national television, has not formally been discharged under the policy, though his discharge is reportedly pending. Pietrangelo has been formally discharged.

"You have been told that the President has a plan," Choi said at the rally, according to his prepared remarks. "But Congressman Barney Frank confirmed to us this week that the President still is not fully committed to repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell this year. And if we don't seize this moment it may not happen for a very long time."

Gay rights groups have criticized the Obama administration for not moving quickly enough on gay rights issues, including repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The military is now in the middle of a review on the impact of repeal, which is set to end by December 1st. Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that repealing the policy is the "right thing to do." Gen. David Petraeus said earlier this week that the time had come to consider ending the policy.

The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing Thursday on repeal. Witnesses included Marine General John Sheehan and two officers who were discharged because of their sexual orientation.

According to reports, Choi crashed the rally, hosted by the gay rights group the Human Rights Campaign and comedian Kathy Griffin, and asked attendees to join him in a march to the White House, turning the event into more of a protest.

Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese did not march to the White House, in an illustration of the split in the gay rights movement between establishment organizations like the HRC, which generally support the Obama administration, and activists like Choi, who are pushing more aggressively for action.

A video posted to YouTube shows protesters chanting "Equality, Now" as Choi and Pietrangelo stand chained to the White House fence.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 273"

"Love Is Trust..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"In The News Today..."

Gays-In-Military Issue Cools

As elections draw near amid high unemployment, parties see little point in restarting once-volatile debate.



March 16, 2010

Washington -- For many lawmakers, "don't ask, don't tell" makes a lot of sense -- for themselves.

Eight months before elections, neither party sees much to gain in stirring up the once-volatile issue of letting gays serve openly in the military. Any candidate who isn't laser-focused on jobs is making a big mistake, strategists from both parties said recently, noting that public support for gay rights has grown substantially in recent years.

Only a decade or so ago, if the Pentagon and White House had suggested such a policy change, it probably would have triggered public outcries similar to those that tripped up Bill Clinton in 1993 and led to the "don't ask, don't tell" compromise.

But the Pentagon's top leaders recently embraced President Barack Obama's call to phase out the policy that bars gay men and lesbians from military service if they divulge their sexual orientation. The political reaction? Barely a whisper.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which is heading the GOP bid to gain dozens of House seats this November, said its official position was summarized by House Republican leader John Boehner.

"I don't think it will be a campaign issue," Boehner told NBC weeks ago. "In the middle of two wars, and in the middle of this giant security threat, why would we want to get into this debate?"
Some saw his comments as a mild swipe at Obama. But the president got a boost last month when retired Gen. Colin L. Powell, once the nation's top military commander, reversed his previous opposition to letting gays serve openly.

Slow, Careful Review

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen testified last month before the House Armed Services committee, and they received only a smattering of questions or comments from lawmakers about the topic that dominated their testimony before senators a day earlier.

But like the chiefs of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines, Gates and Mullen have advocated starting with a slow, careful Pentagon review of the issue.

The chairmen of that review -- Jeh C. Johnson, the Defense Department's top legal counsel, and Gen. Carter F. Ham, the commander of the U.S. Army in Europe -- told the House panel that they would complete their study by Dec. 1.

They also said they would talk to active-duty gay men and lesbians as part of that review, although under the current policy such conversations are supposed to lead to discharges. Johnson told the panel that he and Ham were looking for "mechanisms for how to do that within the confines of the law."

"Military readiness and effectiveness must retain primacy here," said Ham.

Republican political strategist David Winston said he's not surprised that campaign leaders from both parties are advising candidates to avoid the gays-in-the-military issue.

With unemployment at 10 percent, Winston said, "whenever you're not talking about jobs and the economy, you're talking about something the public's not focused on."

Winston said Obama took a political risk by calling for the policy change in his State of the Union address in January. Democratic activists said the president was under pressure to make some concessions to gay rights activists who feel somewhat ignored after strongly backing his campaign.

It's certainly possible that the gays and military subject will arise in some congressional campaigns this year.

Earlier this month, 13 senators led by Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York introduced legislation that would repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

" 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is an unjust and discriminatory measure that hampers our national security and violates the civil rights of some of the bravest, most heroic Americans," said Gillibrand. "This policy is wrong for our national security and inconsistent with the moral foundation upon which our country was founded."

Lieberman and the Democratic senators enlisted the son of conservative Republican legend Barry Goldwater to endorse the proposal. "You don't have to be straight to shoot straight," said Barry Goldwater Jr., a combat veteran and former California Republican congressman.

Broadening Military's Reach

The legislation would repeal the law that prevents gay Americans from openly serving in the military, as well as prohibit discrimination against current and prospective service members on the basis of sexual orientation.

"The bottom line is that we have a volunteer military," said Lieberman, an independent. "If Americans want to serve, they ought to have the right to be considered for that service regardless of characteristics such as race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation."

The proposal's sponsors argue the bill would help the U.S. military recruit and retain personnel and broaden the reach of the Reserve Officer Training Corps because ROTC is currently banned from many college campuses as a result of the Pentagon's policy.

Other co-sponsors include Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Detroit.

"I did not find the arguments used to justify 'don't ask, don't tell' convincing when it took effect in 1993, and they are less so now," said Levin. "This legislation will do what other armies have already done -- without having an adverse effect on good order and discipline or unit cohesion. Gays are serving successfully in our military right now -- this legislation would allow them to serve with integrity."

At least 28 countries, including Great Britain, Australia, Canada and Israel, allow open service by lesbian and gay troops.

More than 13,000 members of the U.S. military have been discharged since the law was enacted in 1993, including much-needed Arabic translators. Many were forced out because others made their sexual orientation public.

Shifts In Opinion

Opinion polls show significant shifts in attitudes toward gays serving in the military. The changes have occurred as five states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriages.

Pew Research polls found support for gays serving openly in the military rose from just over half of all Americans in 1994 to nearly 60 percent in 2005 and later years. Opposition dropped from 45 percent to 32 percent, and the proportion of people "strongly opposed" dropped by half, to 13 percent.

A USA Today/Gallup poll from mid-2009 showed even stronger support for letting gays serve openly in the military: 69 percent in favor, 26 opposed and 6 percent unsure. Among Republicans and conservatives, the rate of support was 58 percent. Support ran lowest in the South and among older Americans, but it easily exceeded 50 percent among those groups.

Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., said at the recent Armed Services Committee hearing that lawmakers will want the Pentagon to show "concrete, in-depth evidence that readiness concerns require a change and that such a change would not degrade wartime military readiness in any measurable, significant way."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 272"

"Not All Four Letter Words Are Bad... Love"

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 271"

"Because of Love, Life Is Good..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Monday, March 15, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 270"

"Love Is Joy..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"The Artist's Corner"

"Helpmate"
Acrylic on Canvas
Wes Hempel

"A Truth Shared..."

Corvino: Coming Out At The Border

By John Corvino, columnist, 365gay.com
03.12.2010



The border guard didn’t even look up when she asked the question: “Citizenship?”

“U.S.”

“And why are you in Canada?”

I paused. She looked up.

I was going to Canada to give a lecture, which would be easy enough to say. But then there would be the inevitable follow-up question: “A lecture on what?”

Instantly I thought back to a story once told to me by Glenn Stanton, my frequent debate-opponent from Focus on the Family. Just prior to Canada’s legalization of marriage for gays and lesbians, Glenn went there for a right-wing conference. When the border guard asked him, “Why are you in Canada?” he responded with “For a same-sex marriage conference.”

His border guard shot back, “We don’t need that shit here.”

After relaying the story to me Glenn added, “I thought to myself, what if it had been you, John?”

To which I responded, “Welcome to my world, Glenn.”

I live in Detroit, just next to Windsor, Ontario. I go there occasionally for dinner with friends, and most times the crossing is smooth. But if you happen to catch a border guard who’s having a bad day, or who’s on a power trip, or who’s just congenitally an asshole, be prepared for an unpleasant delay. I generally aim to give border guards all and only the information they absolutely need.

And yet a frequent theme in my advocacy work is the importance of coming out. Not just on National Coming Out Day, or at pride parades, or when writing columns for the gay press, but at any time when reference to one’s (actual or desired) significant other—or more generally, one’s life—would be appropriate. Coming out is an opportunity to teach diversity, and to be a role model for those around us and those who come after us.

More than that, it’s a chance for simple honesty: there’s something profoundly dehumanizing about treating one’s sexual orientation as a dirty little secret. I don’t want to be complicit in that.
So (for instance), last Valentine’s Day, when a Trader Joe’s employee presenting roses to female customers offered me one, saying, “Maybe you have a special girl at home to give this to?” I responded, “I’ll give it to my special GUY at home, thanks!”

Giving a diversity lesson to a Trader Joe’s employee is one thing; giving one to grumpy border guards is another. Military uniforms intimidate me more than Hawaiian shirts do. In the past, I’ve been harassed by Texas State troopers for kissing (yes, kissing) another man, and it wasn’t fun.

After that Texas incident, I filed a formal complaint, which resulted in the trooper’s being put on probation and having to take classes on Texas state law. I’m not afraid to stand up for my rights, but like most people, on some days I just don’t want to be bothered.

I admit I’m embarrassed to share these thoughts. It’s not just because of the great figures who have stood up for our rights even when it’s been inconvenient or dangerous: luminaries like Frank Kameny, Harvey Milk, Del Martin, Phyllis Lyon and Harry Hay. I’m sure even they had days when prudence trumped other virtues.

It’s because I was facing a CANADIAN BORDER GUARD, for goodness sake. They’re not exactly the SS.

So I’m embarrassed that the question gave me pause. But I share the story anyway, because it speaks to the tremendous power of the closet.

“Why are you in Canada?” She repeated the question, startling me from my deliberations.

“I’m giving a lecture at the University of Lethbridge.”

“A lecture regarding…?”

“Gay rights.”

Now she paused.

“Have you ever been to Lethbridge?” she finally asked.

“No.”

“Well, good luck with your talk.” Then, as she stamped my declarations form, she leaned forward and whispered conspiratorially, “Really, good luck. It’s redneck country, you know.”


***********

John Corvino, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, and philosophy professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. His column “The Gay Moralist” appears Fridays on 365gay.com.

For more about John Corvino, visit http://www.johncorvino.com/.

"A Song for Stephen Christopher Harris..."


I've been listening to this hauntingly beautiful song lately wondering why I am reminded of Stephen Christopher Harris when I hear it. But just the other night as I was walking home from work in the rain, it occurred to me why...

Although I've never heard him sing, not even once, Stephen came close to singing on his birthday, October 4th 2008 as we were driving to Winston-Salem for dinner. He turned up the radio and we were listening to Sirius' "Movin' Easy" channel... He hummed along with many of the tunes as he spoke of his love for me in many of the same terms used in the lyrics of this song.


I know he likes Lenny Kravitz because he once posted the lyrics of one of his songs on his Yahoo!360 blog. It was "Heaven Help" and he later told me that it was a message both to himself and to me that he was ready for love. I believed him.


Heaven Help
Lenny Kravitz

There comes a time to be free of the heart
I wanna be ready, ready to start
On a love journey, got places to go
Made up my mind and I have got to let you know

Heaven help the heart that lets me inside
Heaven help the one who comes in my life
Heaven help the fool that walks through my door
'Cause I decided right now
I'm ready for love

A funny feeling's coming over me
Now I'm inspired and open to being
In a love place but it's out of my hands
I'm telling you baby that you got to understand

Heaven help the heart that lets me inside
Heaven help the one who comes in my life
Heaven help the fool that walks through my door
'Cause I decided right now
I'm ready for love

I can't see what's out there for me
And I know love offers no guarantees
I'll take a chance and I'm telling you something babe
I got to let you know

Heaven help the heart that lets me inside
Heaven help the one who comes in my life
Heaven help the fool that walks through my door
'Cause I decided right now
I'm ready for love, ready for love
Take a chance, take the chance on love


*******

"Fear Eats the Soul"

Sunday, March 14, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 269"

"Togetherness In Love Is Joy..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

"The Truth Is In The Hardware Store..."

I struggled with the title of this post... ordinarily, I might have labled it "This Made Me Smile" (which it did), but it's much more than that. It speaks to the truth that:
"It's not about sex... It's about love."


"A life lived in fear is a life half-lived..."

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 268"

"To Love Is To Understand"

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"In The News Today..."


The Politics of Fearfulness
By Leonard Pitts Jr.
McClatchy Newspapers
Friday, March 12, 2010






Not hope, nor patriotism, nor progress, nor any of the nobler emotions and impulses by which human beings are driven. Nope. None of those.

Instead, fear. Again.

We've seen this movie many times. So there is little that is surprising about the Republican National Committee fund-raising document recently reported by Politico, the one that offers strategies to get donors to part with their money. Donors can, it says, be persuaded to give by appealing to their egos, by offering them tchotchkes, or by promising them access. And some, the small donors, the 5- and 10-dollar Janes and Joes, can be persuaded if you play to their fears.

The sole surprise is that someone actually wrote it down as a PowerPoint presentation and was absent-minded enough to leave a hard copy in a hotel.

Here, then, is the smoking gun, concrete validation for those of us who contend that since Sept. 11, 2001, fear has been the GOP's leading export, that under George W. Bush's political guru Karl Rove, the party's message boiled down to a single command: Be very afraid.

And some of us have eagerly complied, fearing Muslim terrorists, Muslim-Americans, Latino immigrants, gay people, black people, even "salespeople," if they say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." Some of us see socialists around every street corner.

The use of fear as a political expedient is neither new nor limited to the GOP. In the '60s, Democrats ran an ad suggesting a nuclear holocaust would ensue if Americans elected Barry Goldwater. A GOP ad from the '80s suggested Willie Horton would kill you if you voted for Michael Dukakis.

But has the drumbeat of fear ever been as intense and unrelenting as it's been since that awful morning in September? "We're Americans," said Colin Powell just days after the terrorist attacks. "We don't walk around terrified."

Maybe you thought for a moment he was right. But of course, he wasn't. We -- the nation of moon explorers and frontier tamers, of Iwo Jima and San Juan Hill, of dreamers, makers and doers -- have been "very" afraid since that selfsame morning. And this has been largely due to Powell's own party, which, in almost every election of the last decade, exploited a simple truth: Frightened people are not thinking people; if you can make someone scared enough, you can make them do or believe anything.

And as winning a formula as that proved to be during the long, tiring decade just ended, it also left you wondering if they could not offer -- and we did not "deserve" -- better. It left you nostalgic for politicians left and right who sought to move us by nobler expedients, who knew that people are at their best when they rally for, instead of always, and only, against.

Instead, we now had people who told us we actually had much more to fear than fear itself, who said morning in America had become high noon, a never-ending showdown between us and Them, a perpetual face-off against frightening, evil Others.

The document discovered by Politico proves, not that proof was needed, that this fear mongering has been neither incidental nor accidental. And that is inexcusable. That the party knows this can be seen in the stampede of pachyderms rushing to disavow the document. "I'm ashamed of that," said Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch.

We will be able to judge the sincerity of the party's mortification by whether it embraces or shuns fear mongering in the coming election. Forgive me if I don't hold my breath.

Meantime, I leave you with a quote from the eminent philosopher Lucy Van Pelt, who once told her friend, Charlie Brown, "If we can find out what you're afraid of, we can label it."

And who knew Lucy was a Republican?

Friday, March 12, 2010

"A Song for Me..."

"In The News Today..."

Gay couples kiss after getting married at City Hall in Mexico City, Thursday, March 11, 2010.
In Mexico, Gay Couples Celebrate Historic Weddings

By OLGA R. RODRIGUEZ, Associated Press Writer
Thursday March 11, 2010

MEXICO CITY – Two glowing brides in matching white gowns and four other same-sex couples made history in Mexico City on Thursday as they wed under Latin America's first law that explicitly approves gay marriage.

Mayor Marcelo Ebrard was a guest of honor at the weddings of Judith Vazquez and Lol Kin Castaneda and the other couples who tied the knot in a city building, despite harsh criticism from the Roman Catholic Church and a campaign against the measure by President Felipe Calderon's conservative National Action Party.

Vazquez, a 45-year-old small-business owner, and Castaneda, a 33-year-old psychologist, signed and put their thumb print on the official documents. Then they sealed their union with a kiss amid cheers from family and friends gathered in the colonial-era building's courtyard, decorated with calla lilies, banners with the colors of Mexico's flag and a sign that read "Tolerance, Liberty, Equality, Solidarity."

"This is the mark of freedom," said Vazquez, raising her thumb.

Vazquez said she and Castaneda have considered themselves married ever since they moved in together six years ago.

"The difference today is that the state will recognize it," she said while getting her hair done at home before the wedding. "This is a victory for all. ... For us this is a day of celebration."

Mexico City's legislature passed the first law explicitly giving gay marriages the same status as heterosexual ones in December. The legislation also allows same-sex couples to adopt children.

For now the law applies only to residents of Mexico City, though a marriage performed in one state must be recognized in the rest of the country.

"Today is a historic day in Mexico City," said Judge Hegel Cortes, who officiated the weddings. "With the signing of these marriage certificates, we leave behind the traditional idea of a family and we allow for two people, regardless of sexual orientation, to get married."

Thursday's weddings are not the first of their kind in Latin America, although they are the first approved under legislative authority.

In December, two Argentine men were wed in a civil ceremony by a sympathetic governor and with court approval. But interpretations vary on whether Argentine law allows same-sex unions, and the question is now before that country's Supreme Court.

Argentina's constitution is silent on whether marriage must be between a man and a woman, effectively leaving the matter to provincial officials. A law specifically legalizing gay marriage has stalled in Congress since October.

The new law in Mexico's capital district, which is home to roughly 8 million people, has been closely watched in the United States, where same-sex marriage is legal in the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Iowa, Vermont, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

In New York, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force spokesman Pedro Julio Serrano cheered the milestone.

"People in the United States can look up to Mexico City and see a courageous legislature taking a stand," he said. "It's a model to follow."

Federal prosecutors are attempting to overturn the law, which Mexico City lawmakers argue simply gives same-sex couples the rights that heterosexual couples have regarding social security and other benefits.

The Catholic Church has hotly criticized the law, especially its provision letting same-sex couples adopt children — something several couples said they are considering.

On Thursday, the Archdiocese of Mexico accused the city government of approving a "perverse and immoral law."

"It may be legal, but it will never be moral," spokesman Hugo Valdemar Romero said in a statement.

Outside the city building, about two dozen protesters held banners that read "one man plus one woman equals marriage."

"A family is formed by a father and a mother," said Teresa Vazquez, a 51-year-old homemaker and member of a group opposed to same-sex marriage. "And I don't agree with their idea that a couple of two men is a family, because it's not and it's a bad example for children."

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 267"

"It's Just Love"

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

"The Truth Is In The Scriptures"


The Real Threat to the Family

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'm getting really irritated with the ludicrous arguments people continue to use in condemning homosexuality and gay marriage as an affront to the family, and as a force that will eventually destroy the family unit in society. These arguments are stupid on so many levels that I hardly know where to begin.

First of all, let me deal with the extremes. Are there extremists amongst the advocates of gay marriage who are anti-establishment to the point of opposing the family unit altogether? Absolutely. They see it as a vestige of an outdated social construct, the intent of which is to hold people captive to relationships that were never chosen, to authorities that haven't necessarily earned the right to power (vis-a-vis mothers and fathers).

Now, the truth is that this is a ridiculous perspective. In fact, I don't believe that most of these extremists actually believe the foolishness they spout. To the contrary, I think they do long for a family unit, and that it is their history of hurt and disappointment that has led to their surface-level opposition to this universal structure that is inherent to our very nature as human beings--the family.

But, even if some of them truly do hate the family unit, who cares?!?! Are you going to tell me that a few kooks on our side actually characterize the vast majority of gay people and allies? Who in their right mind believes that we actually want to destroy the family? To the contrary, the very fact that we advocate gay marriage proves that we honor the family unit and desire, with all of our hearts, to have families of our own! What moron can't understand this?

I'm in the process of reading Straight & Narrow: Compassion & Clarity in the Homosexuality Debate, by Thomas E. Schmidt, and I've gotta tell you, his perception of the so-called gay agenda is as uninformed and bigoted as they come. I started out reading with a certain respect for the author because in chapter 1, he made it a point to talk about the error of highlighting extreme points of view on either side and using them as an argument against the other side. I thought, Well finally, a reasonable critic. But, as I continued to read, that's exactly what this man is doing--taking extreme views and pointing them out as the intention of the gay community in relation to society.

Schmidt says, "...the homosexual population continues to rely on the procreative population for familial support, patterns of relationship and of course the production of more homosexuals. It is as if someone's spleen had declared its independence, departed through an incision in the abdomen, and then periodically returned, leechlike, to draw nourishment from the same body. Are the critics spleenophobic, or is this misplaced organ living in a dream world?"

What the hell?!?! Yeah, that's the antigay version of compassion for you. First, they claim that we're out to turn straight people gay, but then they turn around and say that we're dependent upon the straight population for the production of more homosexuals. Hmmm... Sounds to me like he almost believes that people are born gay!

And then we get to the word "leechlike". We're leeching from the family structure that we supposedly hate. We hate the fact that we have mothers and fathers. We hate the fact that we have siblings; yet, we leech off of their love, and off of the unchosen relationships that we detest so much. Oh my God!

Who exactly is living in a dream world--gay people who don't have a problem with family and even want families of their own, or antigay people (some of whom are, themselves, gay), who can't resist from caricaturing the gay community as "the evil, big-nosed Jews who are intent on either ruling the world or destroying it!" Too bad we don't have another Hitler around to exterminate these familial leeches before they suck all of the life out of the family unit.

I just don't understand the logic. We hate the family so much that we want our own families? We hate fathers and mothers so much that we want to adopt children and provide them with loving fathers or loving mothers that will support and care for them? Why can't Schmidt and those like him understand that it's not the family we hate. It's the notion that their version of the family (one father and one mother) is the only possible one that can exist, to the exclusion of same-sex families or single-parent families.

But, then again, at least the Bible is on their side, right? Wrong! In both the Old and New Testaments, the family unit took multiple forms. There were units with one father and one mother (vis-à-vis the Adam and Eve paradigm), multiple mothers in a single family unit (vis-à-vis the Jacob, Leah, and Rachel paradigm, not to mention the concubines Bilhah and Zilpah), and even single-parent households, like Mary, after the death of her husband, Joseph. Even polygamy is affirmed by the fact that only bishops and deacons were commanded to be the husband of one wife, while nothing whatsoever was ever commanded of the rest of the Christian population!

Obviously, Genesis 1-2 isn't as indicative of the divine perspective on marriage as our opponents so monotonously claim--that is, unless you read it in isolation from the rest of the Bible and force commands upon all humankind where none exist in the text. Yet we're the ones who are accused of twisting Scripture.

And what about the famous argument that children need a mother and a father? On its surface, this argument is an affront to the many families that were forced to endure with a single parent, either as a result of abandonment or widowhood. Should we teach single parents that it is their Christian duty to get remarried as soon as possible, so as to recreate the structure that God requires of all legitimate families; or, on the other hand, is there some measure of grace that extends to people who may not meet the biblical ideal because of the circumstances involved?

And what exactly is this biblical ideal? Antigay Christians require a model of one man and one woman; but I've already demonstrated that Scripture, itself, doesn't contain such a rule. I would argue that the ideal has nothing to do with a person's sex, and more to do with a person's support structure. With two parents in the home, the weight of child-rearing and provision doesn't fall squarely upon one person's shoulders. Partnership is demonstrated in its best light by two people working together to provide a stable home environment, a stable social structure in which to raise children.

But, isn't it important for children to have the parental perspective of both a man and a woman? Isn't that a pertinent part of their childhood development? I don't believe that it is. The social construct of gender (man and woman) is not universal or enduring. Even since biblical times, the role of the man as provider and head of the household, and of the woman as housekeeper and helper to the husband, has morphed into a more equalized partnership in which both people contribute in all aspects of a healthy family environment. Some may claim that this is unbiblical, but if you ask me, it's a more accurate representation of the fact that in Christ there is neither male nor female. Truly, society has finally caught up with the perspective that God has always held of the divisions between man and woman--that there is no division at all! Wasn't that the pre-Fall intent, after all?

Besides, the argument always circles back to single-parent homes. Is the fact that single-parent homes have a greater chance of producing children who wind up troubled in adolescence and even later in life indicative of a need for a male and a female in the home; or is it, rather, indicative of the need of two adult figures to be present to help share the burden of child-rearing? I argue that it's the latter--that the sex of the people don't matter... It's a matter of quantity--is there someone there to help shoulder the burden? Is there someone there to help reinforce the authority of the other parent? Is there someone there to help provide a supervisory presence to children, ensuring that they aren't required to raise themselves while a single parent works his/her butt off trying to keep a roof over everyone's head?

Same-sex couples are every bit as capable of providing a stable home environment to children. In fact, one needn't theorize about it. There are plenty of living examples of such homes right now. We need only consider the development of these children.

It has been my experience that the only downside to such homes is the pressure brought to bear on children in the school system because they come from households with same-sex parents. Some claim that such bullying proves how heartless it is for parents to raise their children in same-sex households. But, it's interesting how they never consider how heartless it is for bigots to instill their antigay sentiments into yet another generation of children. It's obvious that these bully children got their cruel attitudes from somewhere; yet nobody ever calls their parents on the carpet to account for the fact that they've taught their children--explicitly or by antipathy--that it's okay to treat people in such ways. No, it's the same-sex parents who are at fault. Unbelievable!

Gay people are not the threat to the family unit. I'll tell you what the threat is. The threat is the Church's misguided efforts to oppose same-sex marriage, or same-sex adoptions. The threat is the fact that the Church is expending all of its time, energy, and resources fighting families that don't look like them, rather than trying to strengthen the crumbling families that already exist in their own local congregations. No, they're too busy picketing same-sex marriages, rather than divorce courts. They're too busy stopping families from existing, rather than preventing those that exist from falling apart.

Gay people don't hate the family. Gay people aren't out to destroy the family. We affirm family every day in the process of coming out so that our loved ones can have the chance to know and love us for who we are, as we know and love them. We affirm family every day in our pleas for the right to have families of our own. We affirm family every day by striving for the right to marry the person of our choosing. We affirm family every day by our desire to have children (via surrogacy) and/or to adopt children into our families, providing them with stable environments in which to be nurtured and to grow.

Oh no, my friends, we aren't the threat to the family. The antigay wing of the Church is!

"In The News Today..."


WaPo Defends Gay Kiss Photo

The Washington Post defends a front-page photo of a gay couple kissing that generated large numbers of complaints from readers last week.


March 10, 2010
By Julie Bolcer

TheWashington Post stands by its decision to publish a front-page photo of a gay couple kissing that generated a high volume of complaints from readers.

The newspaper published the photo online and in print last week. It captures Jeremy Ames and Taka Ariga kissing outside D.C. Superior Court on the first day same-sex couples could apply for marriage licenses in the District. Weddings began yesterday.

According to Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander, reader reaction to the photo was swift, ongoing, and mostly negative.

“A few of the readers have engaged in rants, often with anti-gay slurs,” wrote Alexander. “One called me to complain about ‘promoting a faggot lifestyle.’ Another complained about the photo in an e-mail to the two Post reporters who wrote Thursday’s story about the licenses: ‘That kind of stuff makes normal people want to throw up. People have kids who are being exposed to this crap. I will be glad when your rag goes out of business. Real men marry women.’ ”

Alexander stands by the newspaper’s decision to publish the photo.

“Did the Post go too far? Of course not,” he wrote. “The photo deserved to be in newspaper and on its Web site, and it warranted front-page display.”

The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, the watchdog group for media coverage of LGBT issues, applauded TheWashington Post for publishing the photo.

“Kudos to WaPo for publishing the photo on its front page—and defending the decision,” wrote the NLGJA board member Oriol Gutierrez on the group’s RE: ACT blog.



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It's only when we come out of our closets and let our lives be seen for what they are - a normal and natural expression of being human that we will know the freedom and equality that we seek... It's about love.

"Fear Eats the Soul"

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