Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 365"

"This is the Joy 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.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"The Truth Today..."


"We are not the first but I am sure we will not be the last. After us will come many other countries, driven, ladies and gentleman, by two unstopable forces: freedom and equality."

- Jose Luis Rodrigueaz, Prime Minister of Spain
In a speech given after Spain legalized gay marriage

"It's Not So Funny..."


Actually, in this case, it is pretty funny... One of the keys to a healthy self-awareness is remembering that its okay to laugh at yourself and your situations from time to time.

*******

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 364"

"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.

Monday, June 28, 2010

"The Truth About Love..."


I often think deeply about "Love" and of late I've been recalling my thoughts about love in the time since I've accepted the truth of my own heart. A few years ago, a friend asked me:

"How can we tell real love from lust and how can we protect our hearts from being stepped on over and over and over...?"

At that time, and still, I think I know an answer to that question... I've tried (and learnt) to tell the difference in these ways:

Do I feel like I do because I want to do something to you (lust)? Or, because I want to do something for you (love)?

Who is more important to me... You (love)? Or, me (lust)?

When we're not together, do I do and say things with others that I wouldn’t do or say in front of you (lust)? Or, do I reserve my special words and deeds for you alone(love)?

If you didn’t hear from me again, would you look for me (love)? Or, would you say, “Oh well” and move on (lust)?

When I ask you what it is about me that you like or admire, is it mostly physical attributes (lust)? Or, is it “the content of my character” (love)?

Am I precious to you (love)? Or, am I just fun (lust)?

The hardest part of the question is that you already know in your own heart whether it’s lust or love that you yourself are feeling, but how do you find out the answer to these questions in the heart of the other person…?

As far as protecting yourself… I don’t think you can if its love you seek... Either you are open to finding out, or you refuse to love and lust is all you can ever know. Love is risky business.


*******

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"In The News Today..."


Marchers Celebrate Gay Pride In Parades Across The Country



By the CNN Wire Staff
June 27, 2010 8:15 p.m. EDT

Gay pride was on display in towns and cities across the United States Sunday as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people -- and their supporters -- marched in parades large and small to demand equality, oppose discrimination and express pride in who they are.

In New York, the parade featured participants of every age and many backgrounds. Some dressed conservatively, others were decked out in glittering fabrics and some wore next to nothing at all.

The atmosphere was festive and open, as marchers carried handmade signs with messages including, "Straight but not narrow-minded" and represented groups including the New York Gay Bloggers.

But there was no banner for St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church. Parishioners did march, but obeyed an order from New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan that they should not carry a banner with the church's name. The banner they carried was blank.

The gay pride parade in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is considered one of the biggest events in the state -- last year's parade drew more than half a million people, according to CNN affiliate KARE.
On Sunday, participants wandered in a festival-type atmosphere that included tents for people to sell services and wares.

The festival also included a man handing out Bibles and preaching against homosexuality. Festival organizers had tried to block his presence, but a federal court ruled that the man could not be banned from the park.

There were no incidents related to his presence, and some participants even stopped to engage him in what appeared to be friendly debate.

Even tiny Fayetteville, Arkansas, had a gay pride parade for the fourth year running. It was small but attended by enthusiastic supporters, who were able to drown out the words coming from Christian counter-demonstrators.

The grand marshal of the parade was 10-year-old Will Phillips, who made headlines by refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance at his school. He said his reasoning was that not all U.S. citizens enjoy liberty and justice, particularly gay, lesbian and transgender people.

But in San Francisco, violence shook the city's neighborhood perhaps most associated with gay pride, the Castro district. Police said three people were shot at a party, during so-called "Pink Saturday" festivities preceding Sunday's activities.

Local media reported that one man died as a result of his injuries.

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 363"

"Love and 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.

"It Was The Rosa Parks Moment..."


"And if we catch you with a homosexual, your life will be a living hell! And you will be caught! Don't think you won't be caught!"

A film by Kate Davis and David Heilbroner

"It was the Rosa Parks moment," says one man. June 28, 1969: NYC police raid a Greenwich Village Mafia-run gay bar, The Stonewall Inn. For the first time, patrons refuse to be led into paddy wagons, setting off a 3-day riot that launches the Gay Rights Movement. Told by Stonewall patrons, Village Voice reporters and the cop who led the raid, STONEWALL UPRISING compellingly recalls the bad old days when psychoanalysts equated homosexuality with mental illness and advised aversion therapy, and even lobotomies; public service announcements warned youngsters gainst predatory homosexuals; and police entrapment was rampant.

A treasure-trove of archival footage gives life to this all-too-recent reality, a time when Mike Wallace announced on a 1966 CBS Reports: "The average homosexual, if there be such, is promiscuous. He is not interested in, nor capable of, a lasting relationship like that of a heterosexual marriage." At the height of this oppression, the cops raid Stonewall, triggering nights of pandemonium with tear gas, billy clubs and a small army of tactical police. The rest is history.

*******

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

Sunday, June 27, 2010

"Gay Pride..."


********

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"A Thought To Ponder..."


I had the occassion today of re-reading a love letter I once wrote to someone I was very deeply and quite completely in love with... It brought a strange pause to my heart to realize that I would and could thereafter love someone else even more than this... so much so that words, mere words became poor descriptors of the emotions and the connection, however one-sided, that would eventually come to dominate my life from then on. How strange is this thing we call "Love"


Sometime in the not too distant past

"Dearest To My Heart,"

I just sent you my goodnight wishes in a text msg... reading your email and then hearing about your "Omen of Love" in your evening sky made me so happy... In these moments I can hardly believe how I've been blessed with a love like you... Yes, prayers were answered, and doors were opened, and Love's dream will be our real world.

I enjoyed reading your texts this morning, I couldn't read them right away as I was serving a client... but hearing the phone alert me, knowing it would be from you made my heart leap... I felt so wonderful... When I glanced at myself in the mirror, I was awash in the color of love... When I finally was able to read what you'd sent to me, I closed my eyes and I was there at the window with you, standing close behind you, holding you, kissing you softly, whispering my loving thoughts into your ear. It was a wonderful dream that will become real for us...

I'm glad you know how much I love you... I know that you love me deeply too... I feel your love all the time... it sustains me and makes me whole and able to carry on... Yes, I was very happy today... because I was dreaming of you...

I was happy that you understood when I closed my text to you with C.F.F. I want to take your name as a testament of our love and wear your ring as a symbol of our commitment and union... My niece was talking to me today... and I asked her right out of the blue, if she wanted to come to my wedding... She looked surprised and then said sure as long as "she" was nice. She then said she didn't believe I was getting married as I'm not seeing anyone. I replied "You'd be surprised... everyone will be." Then very surprisingly, she mentioned that she'd seen "Charles Pugh" yesterday. He's the openly gay news anchor I told you about last Sunday. She said "he's going to marry a man..." and I asked her, "How do you feel about that?" I was so happy to hear her say "I think it's okay, he's nice..."

Then as quickly as I was encouraged, she expressed some disdain for the reality of "our" physical relationships and then told me of how her brother had made so many disparaging remarks about Charles Pugh and gay men in general and how even my sister, their mother had joined in a bit... So now some doubt has creeped in, I might be wrong about my sister's reaction to us, but I don't think so. She and I are quite close... we are probably the closest of all our siblings. Probably because we're only a little more than a year apart in age... We've worked together in the business now and in the past... and then caring for our mother, brought us much closer in the last few years too. We'll just have to wait and see... but my spirits are not dampened in the least... I have a great deal of faith in the power of love. I think my nephew is just saying what he thinks he's supposed to... I think he will still love and respect me as his uncle. (He'd better, I changed too many dirty diapers for him not too :-)

Yes, I'm longing for moments of everyday life to be made special with you at my side. So long I've waited for you... So deeply I've longed for a soul mate, a lover, a friend like no other... Now having found you, I see all my dreams coming true... I often dream of the joy of having a second dish to wash... two sides of the bed to make up... someone to stroke my fevered brow and ask me "how was your day?" All the things that I see so many take for granted, these will be precious and dear to me... Not because of what they are, but because of you... for I've waited a lifetime for you to come to me. I'll live to see the love in your eyes... to feel your gentle touch... to hear you whisper softly in my ear... these will be a glimpse of Heaven to me and the memories that will give me joy for all eternity.

Your gifts tonight, were more precious to me than all the riches of this world... You sent me flowers... you sent me your sweetest thoughts.... you sent me your love, the greatest gift of all. Your lyrical lines and sweet declarations of love for me took me to the highest mountain top where I could just see over into Heaven... It was as if I was lifted by angels flitting unseen about me... I could smell the roses... I could see your loving eyes... I could feel your heart beating next to mine... I could feel your caress and hear your voice saying... "So deep in love am I"

I'll always be yours, now and forever and for all eternity. So deep in love am I...

I love you... feel me next to you tonight, for I am there... loving you... always loving you.

Your Christopher

Thus was the letter I'd sent in reply to a poem my love had sent to me that day... Though he was across an ocean many thousands of miles away... And though we'd never seen each other except in the photographs we shared, my love for him was real.

What a strange thing the human heart and soul is. This is what is occupying my mind today... Love.


"Fear Eats the Soul"

"The Artist's Corner"

"Boys in the Sand"
Pencil and charcoal sketch
Douglas Simonson

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 362"

"This Journey's Name is 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.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

"It Can Be Like This..."

" Ours Are Happy Families Too"

********

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Let Freedom Ring..."

At The White House this week...

"Let Freedom Ring..."

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 361"

"Happiness Is Found In Love and 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.

Friday, June 25, 2010

"The Truth About Love..."




In today's encore excerpt - it is difficult to tolerate being loved because of the risk inherent in positive emotions: observations from the psychiatrist George Vaillant, who has long been the chief curator of the Harvard Study of Adult Development:

"Vaillant became a kind of godfather to the [new field of 'positive psychology'], and a champion of its message that psychology can improve ordinary lives, not just treat disease. But in many ways, his role in the movement is as provocateur. Last October, I watched him give a lecture to [positive psychologist Martin] Seligman's graduate students on the power of positive emotions - awe, love, compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, joy, hope, and trust (or faith). 'The happiness books say, 'Try happiness. You'll like it a lot more than misery' - which is perfectly true,' he told them. But why, he asked, do people tell psychologists they'd cross the street to avoid someone who had given them a compliment the previous day?

"In fact, Vaillant went on, positive emotions make us more vulnerable than negative ones. One reason is that they're future-oriented. Fear and sadness have immediate payoffs - protecting us from attack or attracting resources at times of distress. Gratitude and joy, over time, will yield better health and deeper connections - but in the short term actually put us at risk. That's because, while negative emotions tend to be insulating, positive emotions expose us to the common elements of rejection and heartbreak.

"To illustrate his point, he told a story about one of his 'prize' [Harvard] Study men, a doctor and well-loved husband. 'On his 70th birthday,' Vaillant said, 'when he retired from the faculty of medicine, his wife got hold of his patient list and secretly wrote to many of his longest-running patients, 'Would you write a letter of appreciation?' And back came 100 single-spaced, desperately loving letters - often with pictures attached. And she put them in a lovely presentation box covered with Thai silk, and gave it to him.' Eight years later, Vaillant interviewed the man, who proudly pulled the box down from his shelf. 'George, I don't know what you're going to make of this,' the man said, as he began to cry, 'but I've never read it.' 'It's very hard,' Vaillant said, 'for most of us to tolerate being loved.'

Author: Joshua Wolf Shenk
Title: "What Makes Us Happy?"
Publisher: The Atlantic
Date: June 2009
Pages: 47-48.

"A Thought To Ponder..."

Corvino: Happily Ever After

By John Corvino, columnist, 365gay.com
06.25.2010



Three years ago I wrote a column “Young Love, Older Love” about a couple I called “Bob” and “Jim.” At the time I wrote:

"My partner Mark and I introduced ‘Bob’ and ‘Jim’ at a dinner party at our place. Bob, 31, is recently out of the closet, and Jim, 27, just returned to the U.S. after living overseas for four years. We weren’t trying to play matchmaker when we invited them, though the idea occurred to me as the party approached, and we rearranged the seating right before dinner to maximize their interaction. That was two weeks ago. They’ve been inseparable since.”

Well, that was almost three years ago, and they’re still inseparable. And this weekend, they’re getting married.

I toyed with the idea of putting “married” in quotation marks in the last paragraph. Their wedding will be in Michigan, which constitutionally forbids same-sex marriage “or similar union for any purpose.” The Presbyterian Church hosting the event calls it a holy union, and some of our friends are calling it a commitment ceremony.

But as far as I’m concerned, it’s a wedding: an event that will turn the partners into spouses; their relationship into a marriage. Not in the eyes of the law, but in the eyes of Bob and Jim (real names: Boyd and Josh) and their friends and family.

I don’t believe in fate, and I particularly reject the notion that for every individual, there is a single “soul mate” that you’re destined to be with. Rather, there is a range of people with whom you’re more-or-less compatible, and if you’re prudent and lucky you connect with one.

Still, the number of improbable twists in Boyd and Josh’s eventual meeting certainly feeds a more romantic, “stars aligning” narrative.

I met Josh in 2002, when he was an undergraduate at Cornell and I was there to give a talk. He actually missed the talk, but recognized me at a nearby dance club later on. We exchanged hellos, and that was that—or so I thought.

The following summer Mark and I were at a local Detroit pizzeria when a young man approached us. I only vaguely recognized him. “You won’t remember me,” he said, “but we met last year when you visited Cornell.” Josh had recently graduated, and he was home in Michigan visiting family while preparing to move to Japan to teach English.

Coincidentally, Mark and I were planning on visiting Japan that August, so we all exchanged e-mails. But we never did follow up, and we fell out of touch.

Meanwhile, over three years later, Boyd joined our circle of friends—a Southerner transplanted to Detroit.

Then, in fall of 2007, Mark set up a Facebook profile. Without intending to, he triggered the “Friend Finder” feature that uploads your entire e-mail address book. Josh’s address happened still to be in there, so he got a request. At first he didn’t remember Mark, and he almost rejected the request. But then he looked at his photos, noticed my picture, and put two and two together.

As it happened, he had just returned to Detroit after spending four years in Japan (three more than planned). What’s more, he was working in the same office complex as Mark. They met for lunch, we invited him to dinner, he and Boyd “clicked”—and the rest, as they say, is history.

When I wrote the 2007 column, I contrasted the giddiness of young love with the quiet security of more mature relationships:

“Part of the reason [Boyd] and [Josh] are so giddy right now is that they mutually wonder ‘Does he really like me?’ and then thrill at every affirmative indication. How joyous to expose oneself to another and have the risk rewarded with tenderness.”

Now Boyd and Josh don’t have to wonder anymore. They know. And this weekend they will pledge before their friends and family “to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part.”

A simple hello at an off-campus dance club, another—miles away and months later—at a pizza place, a never-realized Japanese rendezvous, an accidental Facebook friend-request, a dinner party, a courtship, a wedding, a marriage. I don’t believe in fate. But I do believe in love. Congratulations, guys.


John Corvino, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, and philosophy professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. His column “The Gay Moralist” appears Fridays at 365gay.com. This November he will be one of the speakers at the Skepticon conference in Missouri: http://skepticon.org/index.php

To learn more about John or see clips from his DVD, visit http://www.johncorvino.com/.

*******

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

"The Artist's Corner"

"Monastir"
Acrylic on canvas
Hero Tolsma

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 360"

"Live, Love and Play 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.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"The Artist's Corner"

"Together"
Acyrlic on canvas
Richard Richart

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 359"

"Life Is For 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, June 22, 2010

"A Friend Indeed..."


There are many in the GLBT community who question the president's loyalty and commitment to the promises he made to us, I am not one of them... There is clear and present evidence that he means what he says and he's taking action (understandably incremental steps) to be the "fierce advocate" he said he would be.

Here are a couple of examples...





The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 18, 2010
Presidential Proclamation--Father's Day
FATHER'S DAY, 2010

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

From the first moments of life, the bond forged between a father and a child is sacred. Whether patching scraped knees or helping with homework, dads bring joy, instill values, and introduce wonders into the lives of their children. Father's Day is a special time to honor the men who raised us, and to thank them for their selfless dedication and love.

Fathers are our first teachers and coaches, mentors and role models. They push us to succeed, encourage us when we are struggling, and offer unconditional care and support. Children and adults alike look up to them and learn from their example and perspective. The journey of fatherhood is both exhilarating and humbling it is an opportunity to model who we want our sons and daughters to become, and to build the foundation upon which they can achieve their dreams.

Fatherhood also carries enormous responsibilities. An active, committed father makes a lasting difference in the life of a child. When fathers are not present, their children and families cope with an absence government cannot fill. Across America, foster and adoptive fathers respond to this need, providing safe and loving homes for children facing hardships. Men are also making compassionate commitments outside the home by serving as mentors, tutors, or big brothers to young people in their community. Together, we can support the guiding presence of male role models in the lives of countless young people who stand to gain from it.

Nurturing families come in many forms, and children may be raised by a father and mother, a single father, two fathers, a step father, a grandfather, or caring guardian. We owe a special debt of gratitude for those parents serving in the United States Armed Forces and their families, whose sacrifices protect the lives and liberties of all American children. For the character they build, the doors they open, and the love they provide over our lifetimes, all our fathers deserve our unending appreciation and admiration.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, in accordance with a joint resolution of the Congress approved April 24, 1972, as amended (36 U.S.C. 109), do hereby proclaim June 20, 2010, as Father's Day. I direct the appropriate officials of the Government to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on this day, and I call upon all citizens to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities. Let us honor our fathers, living and deceased, with all the love and gratitude they deserve.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.

BARACK OBAMA

And late last month...

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 28, 2010
Presidential Proclamation--Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month


As Americans, it is our birthright that all people are created equal and deserve the same rights, privileges, and opportunities. Since our earliest days of independence, our Nation has striven to fulfill that promise. An important chapter in our great, unfinished story is the movement for fairness and equality on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. This month, as we recognize the immeasurable contributions of LGBT Americans, we renew our commitment to the struggle for equal rights for LGBT Americans and to ending prejudice and injustice wherever it exists.

LGBT Americans have enriched and strengthened the fabric of our national life. From business leaders and professors to athletes and first responders, LGBT individuals have achieved success and prominence in every discipline. They are our mothers and fathers, our sons and daughters, and our friends and neighbors. Across my Administration, openly LGBT employees are serving at every level. Thanks to those who came before us the brave men and women who marched, stood up to injustice, and brought change through acts of compassion or defiance we have made enormous progress and continue to strive for a more perfect union.

My Administration has advanced our journey by signing into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which strengthens Federal protections against crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation. We renewed the Ryan White CARE Act, which provides life saving medical services and support to Americans living with HIV/AIDS, and finally eliminated the HIV entry ban. I also signed a Presidential Memorandum directing hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds to give LGBT patients the compassion and security they deserve in their time of need, including the ability to choose someone other than an immediate family member to visit them and make medical decisions.

In other areas, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a series of proposals to ensure core housing programs are open to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. HUD also announced the first ever national study of discrimination against members of the LGBT community in the rental and sale of housing. Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services has created a National Resource Center for LGBT Elders.

Much work remains to fulfill our Nation's promise of equal justice under law for LGBT Americans. That is why we must give committed gay couples the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple, and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. We must protect the rights of LGBT families by securing their adoption rights, ending employment discrimination against LGBT Americans, and ensuring Federal employees receive equal benefits. We must create safer schools so all our children may learn in a supportive environment. I am also committed to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" so patriotic LGBT Americans can serve openly in our military, and I am working with the Congress and our military leadership to accomplish that goal.

As we honor the LGBT Americans who have given so much to our Nation, let us remember that if one of us is unable to realize full equality, we all fall short of our founding principles. Our Nation draws its strength from our diversity, with each of us contributing to the greater whole. By affirming these rights and values, each American benefits from the further advancement of liberty and justice for all.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2010 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month by fighting prejudice and discrimination in their own lives and everywhere it exists.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.

BARACK OBAMA

*******

Today, the President and First Lady will host a reception at the White House celebrating GLBT Pride Month. Detroit's openly gay city council president will be among the attendees along with other GLBT elected officials, GLBT citizens and GLBT rights organization leaders. To my mind, this makes Barrack Obama a friend indeed...

"Fierce Advocacy" is a relative term, and no other president in the history of our nation has done more to promote GLBT equality than President Obama. Of course I wish the pace of change was swifter, but in looking back over the changes in just the last couple of years, I'm satisfied that equality and acceptance for GLBT people will come to pass in my lifetime, something I wouldn't have believed just a few years ago.

President Obama... He is our "fierce advocate and our friend".


"Fear Eats the Soul"

"In The News Today..."


William McKenzie: Same-sex Marriage is About Fairness




Monday, June 21, 2010




Laura Bush made news – and generated some heat – when she recently told CNN's Larry King that she favors the right of gays and lesbians to marry.

"There are a lot of people who have trouble coming to terms with that because they see marriage as traditionally between a man and a woman," the former first lady said. "But I also know that, you know, when couples are committed to each other and love each other, that they ought to have, I think, the same sort of rights that everyone has."

She acknowledged that her position differs from her husband's but that she believes Americans eventually will accept gay marriage.

It's a safe bet she won't be invited anytime soon to address a Focus on the Family gathering, but she's right.

I say that as someone who as recently as a couple of years ago wasn't ready to sign onto same-sex marriages. I wrote then that I was relieved that I had to stay home and take care of the kids when my wife and I were invited to a ceremony where gay friends were celebrating their vows. I just didn't know how to respond.

I still don't fully know how to react, but my response to how gays and lesbians relate to each other isn't the issue. What's at stake is whether it's fair to deny them the same rights as heterosexual couples.

To me, it's not fair. And my opinion has been formed more viscerally and anecdotally than through a breakthrough in legal thinking.

What finally pushed me over the edge was standing at a small family wedding in California last fall when the person officiating asked us to take a moment to remember our own vows. Next to me was a relative who, like me, is in his 50s, and, like me, has been in a committed relationship for some time. Except his commitment is to another man, who was standing beside him.

It felt odd in that moment, knowing they had to basically shuffle their feet. More than odd, it felt unfair. They lived like any married straight couple in their 50s. They worry about their jobs, medical care and elderly family.

I realized then that I had run out of reasons to not stick my neck out in favor of gay marriage.

Again, I don't understand much about gay culture. And I think it is smart for society to slowly weigh the ins-and-outs of this potential shift in marital arrangements. Societies are better off when they take the time to absorb changes, rather than rush into them.

Marriage, after all, has been the province of male-female couples for centuries. No one, including gay activists, should assume that tradition will change without plenty of deliberation.

But Laura Bush has it right: Change is coming. Many seniors and baby boomers may not sign on yet, but most of their children and grandchildren do. Polls even show young evangelicals embracing the concept.

Of course, there are theological issues to consider. Some consider homosexuality a sin. But the New Testament also talks about there being neither Jew nor Greek in God's Kingdom. We are all his creatures.

Likewise, there are legal issues to resolve. Should states or the feds decide this? Same-sex marriages or civil unions? (I'd say states should make the call, because they long have determined marriage laws. And I'd say same-sex marriages because they afford couples more legal rights than civil unions.)

But it would be a shame if the debate got sidetracked by legalities, as important as they are. What matters more is the concept of fairness.

That is what Laura Bush seemed to be getting at in saying loving and committed gay couples deserve the same legal rights as anyone else. It's understandable why society is taking its time, but in the end it should be about being fair.

William McKenzie is a Dallas Morning News editorial columnist.



*******



And ever so slowly, hearts and minds are changing. The realization that "we" are the same as everyone else... only human, is advancing inexorably to the day when we can all live and love openly, happily, and even proudly as the children of God endowed by his greatest gift, Love.




"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 358"

"To Be Happy... Believe in 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.

Monday, June 21, 2010

"The Poet's Corner"


“Song Of the Open Road”
Walt Whitman

I give you my hand!
I give you my love, more precious than money,
I give you myself, before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 357"

"Live and Let Love Be..."


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.

"Remembering Love's Journey"


Early this morning, well before dawn, I was wide awake thinking of what this day will bring... I realized almost immediately that I was in a somber mood for a couple of reasons, the first of which being that tonight is Detroit's International Freedom Festival Fireworks display on the riverfront. I wrote about the significance of this annual event here last year.

Thankfully I will be occupied by work this evening and hopefully I won't have time to dwell on tonight's festivities. Unfortunately, I will probably get a bird's eye view of the fireworks on my way home tonight and that will likely refresh my memories of more hopeful days when I believed Stephen Christopher Harris' promises. Sadly, I was reminded of the cruelty of Stephen Christopher Harris by someone else this morning and I am likely to be thinking about it for the rest of the day today.

Such is life at times... It seems impossible to escape the grasp of "Remembering Love's Journey."

"Fear Eats the Soul"

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 356"

"Love and 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.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

"The Artist's Corner"

"Down for the Count"
Acrylic on canvas
Michael Breyette

"It's Not So Funny..."


"Same Gender Loving People - No. 355"

"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, June 18, 2010

"The Artist's Corner"

"Inside Outside"
Acrylic on canvas
Steve Walker

"This Made Me Smile..."


This song always made me smile... Jim Stafford, far from poking fun at GLBT folks was actually sneeking one under the radar with "My Girl Bill." This song actually went to No. 12 on the Billboard Pop Charts in 1974. I was ten years old at the time and I remember hearing this song and feeling a sense of hope that "love" could be possible even for me.


"Fear Eats the Soul"

"It's A New Day..."


According to an interview with the New York Times, there's a "New" Slim Shady in town... Detroit's own Marshall Mathers, AKA the rapper Eminem has matured his views on many things including GLBT people:

The Real Marshall Mathers



Interview By Deborah Solomon
June 14, 2010

On your new album, “Recovery,” which comes out on Monday, you assume a confessional tone and back off from the misogyny and demented violence you pushed in your earlier work. Would you agree?

I think I’d have to go back and listen to it. Did I?

Does Slim Shady, your raping and killing alter ego, still exist? Or have you split with him?

Shady still exists. But I don’t think the subjects on this record call for, you know, bring the chainsaws and axes out and murder everyone on this record. There was so much stuff like that off the last record that I felt like I was starting to run it into the ground. I think consciously I went in a different direction with this record.

Do you regret having written so many songs that refer to women as “bitches” and “hos” who exist solely for your pleasure?

Anything I’ve ever said, I certainly was feeling at the time. But I think I’ve calmed down a bit. My overall look on things is a lot more mature than it used to be.

Even your mother sued you for defamation. Is she still in Detroit, where she raised you as a single mom?

I’m not sure, to be honest. It’d be very hard to repair that relationship.

You’ve been accused of writing gay-bashing lyrics in the past. Would you like to see gay marriage approved in Michigan, where you live?

I think if two people love each other, then what the hell? I think that everyone should have the chance to be equally miserable, if they want.

Is this the new, 37-year-old tolerant you?

It’s the new tolerant me!

Compared with other rappers, you are often praised for your complex rhyme schemes. Do you read poetry?

I don’t think I’ve ever read poetry, ever. I’m not really book-smart.

What does the title of your album refer to? What exactly are you recovering from?

Vicodin, Valium and Ambien, and toward the end, which caused my overdose, methadone.
I didn’t know it was methadone. I used to get pills wherever I could.I was just taking anything that anybody was giving to me.

Where did you go to rehab?

The first time I went it was in Brighton, Mich. The second time I didn’t go to rehab. I just went to a regular hospital. I detoxed in the hospital, and then I came home. I couldn’t go back to rehab. I felt like I was Bugs Bunny in rehab.

What does that mean?

When Bugs Bunny walks into rehab, people are going to turn and look. People at rehab were stealing my hats and pens and notebooks and asking for autographs. I couldn’t concentrate on my problem.

Billboard magazine has ranked you as the best-selling artist of the past decade.What do you do with all your money?

Save it. I save a lot of money by not buying drugs anymore. I invest. I always try to be smart. I try to treat all the money I’m making like it’s the last time I’m going to make it.

Do you think rap has peaked creatively?

No. Hip-hop right now — there are certain artists who put hip-hop in a good state.There are a lot of talented people, and there’s a lot of young talent coming up, like B.o.B, Jay Electronica, Lupe Fiasco and Drake.

Why haven’t you planned any kind of big tour for your new album,other than two
concerts with Jay-Z in September?

Touring is hard on the body.It used to be a big trigger for me with drinking and drugging.

How do you stay sober?

My kids, and also I see a rehab counselor once a week. I’ve been clean for two years.

Happy Father’s Day, by the way. As a divorced father of three daughters, are you a good dad?

Yes.My kids — I love them so much, and they’ve helped me through so many things.

I wonder what they’ll think of your rousing new song,“W.T.P.,” which stands for a white-trash party. You tell the listener, “Hop in my minivan/let’s get rowdy.”

Just going back to my white-trash roots.



*******

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 354"

"Love, Marriage and Family... This Is Happiness"


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, June 17, 2010

"It's A New Day..."


Gay Dads More Likely to Scale Back Work
By Advocate.com Editors



A study involving 40 gay men who became parents via surrogacy found a few differences between their habits and those of straight fathers.

Four psychology researchers conducted the study, which looked at four issues for gay dads: work and career changes; lifestyle issues; couple, family, and friendship experiences; and self-esteem and self-care issues.

The findings, published in the latest issue of the Journal of GLBT Family Studies, showed that gay fathers were more likely to scale back their careers in order to care for their children. Another difference was that gay fathers also saw their self-esteem and relationships with their extended families greatly improve when they had children.

Other issues like relations with coworkers, a transition toward friendships with other couples, and less time for sleep, exercise, and hobbies were similar to heterosexual fathers.

The average age of the gay men in the study was 41, and most couples were affluent, with the average annual household income listed as $270,000.

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

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 353"

"Happiness Is Being With Him..."


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, June 16, 2010

"Happily Ever After...?"


As I know all too well, sometimes there is no "happily ever after..." Like many, I championed the relationship of the now famous Malawian couple, Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga who were imprisoned, convicted and then pardoned for daring to express their love for one another.

In my own relationship with the first man I ever loved, something very different and yet eerily similar happened to us. He too came from a homophobic society in Africa to which he someday planned to return. Because of that, and because of fears, (more my own than his) our relationship and our love was doomed to never know its "happily ever after."

In the case of Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza, Jim Burroway eloquently states the realities of the heroics and sacrifice that describe their situation and that of countless others...


From The Box Turtle Bulletin

On Sacrifices, Intentional and Otherwise
Jim Burroway
June 14th, 2010

Once we learned that Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga were pardoned by Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika following their sentencing for fourteen years at hard labor for breaking that country’s anti-sodomy laws, I think we all understood that this would mark the beginning of a new chapter in their lives. In our naïveté, I think many of us assumed that this new chapter would somehow be a more peaceful one. But that was not to be. They’ve split now. Steven announced that he’s taking a wife — a womanly wife. And now it appears that Steven’s betrothed may be the village prostitute. The Malawi press, naturally, are having a field day with all of this.

Meanwhile, Tiwonge appears to be taking this all in stride:

But reacting to the news, Aunt Tiwo said he was not informed by Monjeza about the split.

“I have just learnt the new from newspaper. I am sad that he has communicated to the press without talking to me,” said Chimbalanga from Lilongwe.

“I respect his decision to marry a woman. He has a right to make that decision but I am also free to marry,” he said.

“I will be married for sure,” said Aunt Tiwo.

The entire world seemed to have placed a lot of hopes in this couple — that they would stay together, settle down, perhaps leave Malawi to seek asylum elsewhere, and just generally live happily ever after. Just like in all of our most beloved movies and fairy tales. But if one were to turn to fictional romance for inspiration, Romeo and Juliet might be a more instructive example: two lovers whose relationship is condemned by all of society, doomed to spend a few rare and furtive moments together before taking their lives. Steven and Tiwonge haven’t ended their lives fortunately, but they have apparently killed off their relationship.

Romeo and Juliet have become fictional heroes for star-crossed lovers everywhere. Steven and Tiwonge probably aren’t destined to be regarded as heroes by a lot of people, and that is unfortunate. National cemeteries are filled with the dead of war, and we decorate the headstones with flags and flowers in memory of their sacrifices. But those wars, too, have produced what we might call the walking wounded: those who struggle with physical wounds and emotional scars. Some of them, most visibly, we see homeless on the streets. “Why can’t they just shower, shave and get a job?” we ask ourselves, completely failing to understand the world from their point of view.

And so many of us make the same mistake with Steven and Tiwonge. “Why don’t they just leave and seek asylum elsewhere?” some ask. That’s much easier said than done. The U.S and Great Britain both have a terrible record of turning away LGBT asylum seekers. Too often, judges and magistrates rule that if they would only stay hidden and behave themselves, they would have no fear of imprisonment or the gallows. Asylum is not an easy option, particularly with the rising anti-immigrant nationalism that has been raising its head in both countries.

Besides, let’s say Steven and Tiwonge are awarded asylum — then what? They’re separated from friends and family, and the only culture they have ever known. They are poorly educated and unable to speak English beyond a few simple phrases. While it’s easy to suspect that Tiwonge may thrive in such a challenging situation — she seems to be the one who has overcome the most hurdles in all of this with her self-assurance intact — it’s no guarantee that either of them would be able to make it, let alone make it together.

In trying to please two very different worlds — the deeply homophobic world that is Malawi society, and the world of the gay community which sees each struggle through the lens of human rights advocacy and heroic struggle — Steven and Tiwonge has satisfied neither very well. It turns out that they just weren’t cut out to be heroes. They were just two crazy lovebirds caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. A lot like a lot of other walking wounded among us.

In fact, heroes rarely triumph personally. For every Rosa Parks, there were countless others lynched, jailed, or otherwise broken. For every war hero, there are homeless veterans. And yet, didn’t they also sacrifice something very dear to them and their families for our freedom?

I suspect that Tiwonge may somehow make us proud, but it looks like Steven will probably disappoint us. He has a drinking problem (can anyone blame him?), he says he was never gay, he’s now marrying a woman, she appears to be a prostitute — did he or someone else pay her to marry him? I don’t know, but one thing I can predict is that whatever twists and turns his life takes from now on, each development will be gleefully detailed in the national press where even the most respectable outlets have failed to hide their contempt and derision.

All of this is a reminder that it’s not always great heroic characters who are called upon to make sacrifices for a besieged community. Sometimes it’s just ordinary people who have neither the constitution nor the wherewithal to be heroes in the classical sense. And yet, they sacrifice anyway, in ways that they may not completely understand or intend. And in that vein, Steven’s and Tiwonge’s sacrifices continue.


********

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"In The News Today..."


Why Black Gays Should Support Marriage Equality
by Steven A. Williams
June 11, 2010


The subject of marriage equality is not a popular one in the black LGBT/same-gender loving community. Often, black gays who oppose marriage equality see the matter as a white gay agenda and therefore “not our issue.” I strongly believe that black gay opposition to marriage is a reflection of the considerable homophobia that exists in the black community. A 2007 Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation-Harvard University poll showed blacks were less than half as likely to support marriage equality and legal recognition of same-sex civil unions than whites. In 2006, a Pew Research Center study found 65 percent of African Americans are opposed to marriage equality as compared to 53 percent of whites.

These studies found that religion played a significant role in shaping the views of African Americans toward marriage. In the report “At the Crossroads: African American Same Gender Couples and the Freedom to Marry,” The National Black Justice Coalition stated, “For African-American lesbians and gay men, acceptance into the African-American community has historically required leaving an important part of who we are at the door.”

This dynamic poses many challenges for black gays whose racial authenticity is called into question on issues of sexual identity. Black gays often replicate the same behavior toward each other, acting as arbiters of blackness on issues that concern us as homosexuals. Marriage equality has driven black homophobia to new proportions. Religious conservatives have wrongly convinced many African-American clergy and their congregations the struggle for marriage equality is a “special right” and different from the black civil-rights movement in the United States. Their influence has been so effective here that they have spread their hate to governments in Uganda and Malawi where homosexuality has been criminalized. A terrible irony is that black gays here often oppose the inalienable human right to love without fear while black gays in Africa are risking their very lives for the same right.

The African-American struggle for equality has inspired many social revolutions in this country, including the women’s liberation and gay-rights movements. Our history in America should make us sensitive to others who struggle for their rights. Black gay folks must come to understand that if we do not support the right to marry for same sex-couples then we may be endangering social movements for true health-care reform, the end of corporate welfare and housing, as well. We cannot let this happen.

Marriage is a human right to which all people should be entitled. Anything less goes against our pursuit of happiness and is unacceptable. Too many of us have been silent on the subject of homophobia in our community. We must find the fortitude within ourselves to push back against hate in our families, religious institutions and beyond. We must be open to building coalitions with diverse groups and join their struggles for marriage equality, employment, immigration rights and ending the U.S. occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan. Only by showing support for the causes of others will we recognize that injustice is the common thread that must be broken if we are to live freely as equals in this country and across the globe.

Steven A. Williams, a New York City-based marriage-equality advocate, is scheduled to participate in a panel discussion exploring same-sex marriage equality in LGBT people of color communities, co-sponsored by The COLOURS Organization Inc. and The Black Gay Men’s Leadership Council, to be held from 6-8 p.m. June 14 at Arch Street Methodist Church, 55 N. Broad St.


********
"Fear Eats the Soul"

"The Truth Today..."

"I'm lovin' it"

Hat's off to McDonalds, now if they only had this much courage in America.


********

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

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 352"

"The Joy of Life is Found in 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, June 15, 2010

"God Has Made A Way..."


Iceland Passes Gay Marriage Law in Unanimous Vote




Birna Bjornsdottir and Nicholas Vinocur
June 11, 2010

REYKJAVIK - Iceland, the only country in the world to have an openly gay head of state, passed a law on Friday allowing same-sex partners to get married in a vote which met with no political resistance.

The Althingi parliament voted 49 to zero to change the wording of marriage legislation to include matrimony between "man and man, woman and woman," in addition to unions between men and women.

Iceland, a socially tolerant island nation of about 320,000 people, became the first country to elect an openly gay head of state in 2009 when Social Democrat Johanna Sigurdardottir became prime minister after being nominated by her party.

"The attitude in Iceland is fairly pragmatic," said Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson, a political scientist at the University of Iceland. "It (gay marriage) has not been a big issue in national politics -- it's not been controversial."

The prime minister's sexual orientation garnered far more interest among foreign media than in Iceland, where the attitude toward homosexuality has grown increasingly relaxed in the past two or three decades, Kristinsson added.

Iceland's protestant church has yet to decide whether to allow same-sex marriages in church, although the law says "ministers will always be free to perform (gay) marriage ceremonies, but never obliged to."

The largely protestant countries of northern Europe, including Sweden, Norway and Denmark, have all endorsed some form of civil union between same-sex couples, but the issue creates more controversy in Mediterranean Catholic nations.

In the United States, gay marriage remains a frought political issue, with laws varying widely from state to state. Vermont was the first state to allow same-sex civil unions in 1999, followed by Massachusetts and Connecticut and others.

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"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 351"

"Love Is About 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..."


Olson Surprises Many Conservatives by Seeking to Overturn Gay-Marriage Ban





By Robert Barnes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 14, 2010

Cocktails had been served on the terrace, the ubiquitous Washington buffet of tenderloin and salmon consumed, and the gay law students settled in to hear from the famed legal mind who is leading the battle to make sure they have the right to marry whomever they want, wherever in the United States of America they live.

But first, an introduction: The assembled were reminded of Theodore B. Olson's sterling conservative credentials; about his loyal service in President Ronald Reagan's Justice Department; that he was President George W. Bush's solicitor general; that perhaps the crowning achievement in his gaudy career as a Supreme Court advocate was persuading five justices to stop the vote counting in Florida in the 2000 election and acknowledge that Bush had won.

So far, so quiet.

But then Olson took the microphone, and began to describe his crusade to overturn California's Proposition 8 and establish a constitutional right for same-sex marriage. The two gay families he represents are "the nicest people on the planet." He believes to his core that discrimination because of sexual orientation "is wrong and it's hurtful, and I never could understand it." He knows some worry that the lawsuit is premature, "but civil rights are not won by people saying, 'Wait until the right time.' "

This fight, Olson told the law students gathered on a spring evening in the luxe D.C. offices of his firm, Gibson, Dunn and Cruthcher, "is the most compelling, emotionally moving, important case that I have been involved in in my entire life."

Standing O. Another jury persuaded.

Olson will try to repeat the performance Wednesday in a federal courthouse in San Francisco. He will present closing arguments in a potentially groundbreaking trial in which Olson and his political odd-couple partner David Boies -- his Democratic rival in Bush v. Gore -- are asking a federal judge to overturn Prop 8, with which California voters limited marriage to a man and a woman. The suit says that violates the U.S. Constitution's due process and equal protection clauses.

It is the first stop in what is likely to be a years-long, historic journey to the Supreme Court, the Brown v. Board of Education for the gay rights movement. Some critics wonder if it is a bit of an ego trip as well, whether Olson's belief in his own skills could lead to a debilitating loss at the high court.

The case has prodigious legal talent on all sides. Washington lawyer Charles J. Cooper, a star in the same conservative orbit that Olson usually inhabits, is counsel for the California group that sponsored Proposition 8. Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, first nominated by Reagan and finally confirmed under President George H.W. Bush, drew the lot to hear the case. (He also picked up the San Francisco Chronicle one morning after the trial to see a column reporting that he is gay, an issue about which he has never publicly spoken.)

But no one has attracted as much attention as Olson, a tall and lanky man who is approaching 70 but still wears his strawberry-blond hair in bangs. That the man who was a loyal Reagan lieutenant and defended Bush's anti-terrorism policies is now championing gay rights has been too much for some conservatives. M. Edward Whelan III, whose National Review column is influential in conservative legal circles, called the lawsuit "a betrayal of everything that Ted Olson has purported to stand for."

Paul D. Clement, who was Olson's deputy as solicitor general and then took over the job, said conservatives have "come to terms" with Olson's decision, "but those who never understood it are still scratching their heads."

Olson said people continue to look for a reason -- for instance, there is no family member who influenced his thinking, he said -- because "I'm a mossback conservative and thus not supposed to have these views." But he said that while in the Bush administration, he opposed an attempt to amend the Constitution to define marriage.

"This is 'California Ted,' not 'Federalist Society Ted,' " said Lisa Blatt, an attorney who worked with Olson in the solicitor general's office, referring to his upbringing on the West Coast.

There was equal suspicion on the left, mixed with disbelief. As one blogger wrote on a gay Web site last year: "Ted Freaking Olson is now better on gay marriage than our president." President Obama has said he favors civil unions, not same-sex marriage.

But the man-bites-dog aspect of Olson's advocacy has brought a blizzard of publicity: profiles and television interviews and the chance for him this year to write a nearly 4,000-word cover story for Newsweek, "The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage."

"We believe we can change people's minds just by bringing this case," Olson said. "It will give us an audience."

Olson got involved when his former sister-in-law ran into liberal Hollywood activists Rob and Michele Reiner, who were lamenting Prop 8 shortly after its passage in November 2008 and were wondering about a legal challenge. The former sister-in-law suggested they call Olson because she thought he might be sympathetic.

Chad Griffin, a California consultant, was the original go-between for the Reiners and Olson. He had worked in the Clinton White House at a time when Olson was seen as a major cog in the "vast right-wing conspiracy" accused of miring the Clinton presidency in scandal and investigations.

"I never thought there was a single issue I could have agreed with Ted Olson about," Griffin said. "I really saw him as the enemy."

Now, he said, "Those who know him know that this is a man who both professionally and personally cares deeply about this issue."

But among those who favor same-sex marriage, the question remains: Is this the time to bring the issue before an increasingly conservative Supreme Court?

Olson waves away the worries with a combination of legal research and sound bites.

He describes the recognition of the right to marry as a natural progression of the court's precedents. Twelve times, "dating to 1888," the court has recognized marriage as a fundamental right, he said. Add to that the court's 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia that state laws limiting marriage to people of the same race were unconstitutional.

In 1996, the court struck down a Colorado constitutional amendment that forbade laws offering anti-discrimination protection to gays. In 2003, it overruled a law that prohibited private homosexual acts.

Opponents of same-sex marriage point out that the court let stand a decision in which lower courts found constitutional a state's right to limit marriage to a man and a woman. Olson said that was 40 years ago.

Andy Pugno, general counsel for Yes on 8, said Olson's arguments ignore simple facts.

"There is no federally protected right to same-sex marriage, and it was perfectly rational for voters to adhere to a traditional definition of marriage and to decline to experiment with other kinds of marriage," he said.

Olson argues that "tradition" would have meant that it was illegal for Obama's parents to marry. Pamela Karlan, an opponent of Prop 8 and co-director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School, is not as confident in the court as Olson.

"I wouldn't want to be up in front of this Supreme Court" to ask for a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, Karlan said. "My own hope is that the voters of California will vote to repeal [Prop 8] before this case ever reaches" that stage.

Five states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage, most because of court decisions. Thirty states have constitutional provisions that limit marriage to a man and a woman; others have statutory restrictions on same-sex marriage.

Olson said he sees no conflict between his conservative beliefs in democracy and his efforts now to have the courts overturn a referendum approved by voters.

"Whenever minority rights are put to a popular vote, the minority loses," he said. California's situation is especially complex, because 18,000 same-sex couples married during the period when the state supreme court allowed it and voters amended the state constitution to forbid it.

Olson, who has argued 56 cases before the Supreme Court, said it is "inevitable" that the court will decide the issue, and told the law students that the case he and Boies are preparing represents the best chance to win.

Asked by one student at the dinner whether he had suffered for taking the case, Olson told his own small story of discrimination.

As a form of protest, he said some conservatives have urged others to withhold money from the Republican National Committee, which has hired Olson for the latest challenge to campaign finance laws. But he took note of his audience's political views and added that that is "something that most of you probably would not mind."

*******

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"The Truth About Love..."


“Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened.”

-Sir Winston Churchill

Monday, June 14, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 350"

"Life Is For 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.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 349"

"With Love Life Is Precious..."


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, June 11, 2010

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