Friday, May 31, 2013

"It's Not So Funny..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"



"The Artist's Corner..."

"Apres l'amour-apes Fabbri'"
Oil on canvas
Gonzalo Orgin



"The Truth About Life..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"



"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1356"

"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.



"The Truth About Love..."

"Love's mysteries in souls do grow,
But yet the body is his book."

John Donne


"The Truth About Cake..."

I'm gay and in a former career, I was an accomplished pastry chef, so of course the furor surrounding the two Oregon bakers who've refused their services to same-sex couples picked my interests on several levels.  The controversy recently was reignited when the Willamette Week decided to find out what other "sinful behaviors" these "righteous" bakers would refuse to condone by withholding their tasty baked goods.  As it turned out, their "moral conscience" is not as biblically driven as you might think.

When queried by undercover reporters from the Willamette Week about making cakes to celebrate occasions that many "christians" might frown upon, it turns out that in most cases, if you're willing to pay the going rate, then anything goes... anything except celebrating a same-sex marriage.  The reporters from Willamette Week asked about having cakes made to celebrate:

  • Baby born out of wedlock
  • Divorce party
  • Stem Cell researcher success
  • Non-Kosher barbecue
  • Pagan solstice celebration

Read the righteous bakers responses here

And then as I was looking a bit further into this controversy, I discovered this letter to the editors of the Hood River News in Oregon written by someone who understands the truth about cake and hate...




Kathy Watson
May 22, 2013

Some years ago, Pam Regentin and I were the last two bakers standing in Shortt Supply’s first pie-baking contest. We stood side by side, chatting nervously as the judges made their decision for first place. We talked about our kids and baking. We didn’t talk about the $1,000 first prize, but I’m sure we were both already thinking about how we’d spend it.

Pam won. I was genuinely happy for her, we hugged, and she tearfully accepted the prize money. I have seen her occasionally at the grocery store and we’ve exchanged pleasantries. Winning that contest helped her launch her baking business. And I went on to open Viento, and then, Nora’s Table in 2006.

So we have some things in common, Pam and I: We’re food service professionals, pie mavens, moms, Christians.

I’m not a lawyer, but I think we are both providers of public accommodations. Oregon Revised Statute 59A.400 says public accommodations “… means any place or service offering to the public accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges whether in the nature of goods, services, lodgings, amusements or otherwise.”

The law also defines who Pam and I must provide those services to: “all persons within the jurisdiction of this state are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any place of public accommodation, without any distinction, discrimination or restriction on account of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status or age if the individual is 18 years of age or older.” (ORS 659A.403)

So at Nora’s, that means I serve pretty much everybody. I’m sure there have been times when I’ve served child abusers, thieves, liars and just plain downright rude characters. Strangely enough, for those characteristics alone, I can ask those people to leave my restaurant.

I can refuse to serve them, if for some reason I know they are liars, child abusers or thieves, since I find those qualities offensive. I can ask them to leave if they are too loud, or have extremely bad taste in Bermuda shorts. Those are my rights.

But the law says that I must provide, without any distinction, discrimination or restriction, services to people who fit into Oregon’s protected class statuses, and that includes gay and lesbian people.

When Pam says the media has misinterpreted her actions, I think she may have missed this important aspect of the law. Again, I’m not an attorney, but if I must provide cakes without any distinction, discrimination or restriction, I don’t think I can refuse a wedding cake, and offer, perhaps, instead, a birthday cake. That is a restriction on my services that I would provide to others.

In Pam’s recent opinion piece in this paper, she said, “I cannot force Katie Pugh to abide by what I believe; neither can she nor anyone who supports her force me to do the same.” Beliefs are not the issue here, and the state’s civil rights laws do not endeavor to change anyone’s belief.

A racist hotel owner may continue to hate a person of color, and as long as he provides a hotel room, an equal accommodation, he has obeyed the law. His heart is in God’s hands.

Pam and I do have one distinct difference: This past summer, our daughter Abbey married her wife Shannon on the Hood River waterfront. No, it is not legal in Oregon, but it is such a blessed union in all our families’ eyes.

I would never try to change Pam’s beliefs. But I do hope she will come to understand that the law is designed to give Abbey and Shannon and so many others the freedom to live their lives, to shop and to eat and dine and work and live wherever they choose. And order a wedding cake with no distinction, discrimination or restriction.


Kathy Watson lives in Hood River.

*****

"Fear Eats the Soul"


"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"It's Just Love... Live Fearlessly"





Thursday, May 30, 2013

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1355"

"It's True, Love Lasts Forever..."


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 Imitation Of Life..."


"A Friend of Dorothy" - a lovely short film about coming of age and acceptance.



"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"The Joy Of Love Is Beautiful To Behold... Live Fearlessly"





"This Made Me Smile..."


An interesting comical supposition about the origins of "traditional" marriage...

"Fear Eats the Soul"



"Witnessing Love And History..."


Yesterday in Montpellier, France, Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau were married in a historic first for their nation...


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"The Artist's Corner..."

"Dark"
Acrylic on canvas
Cody Furguson



"Remembering The Cost Of Freedom, Love And Equality..."


Here the parents of 31-year old Corporal Andrew Wilfahrt who was killed in combat while serving in Afghanistan speak to their thoughts on marriage equality arriving in their home state of Minnesota and what they believe it would have meant to their gay son, Andrew who never imagined it would be possible.


I thought of Andrew on Memorial Day and I realized that his loss to us had not been in vain,  but that it was part of the cost of freedom, love and equality.  Read Andrew's story here.


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"But The Greatest Of These Is Love..."




what does it mean dearestYesterday in France, the promise of love was realized when that nation's first same-sex couple wed in the Montpellier town hall.

Vincent Autin, head of a public relations firm and Bruno Boileau, a government worker, said that they were aware of the potential public impact of the ceremony held amidst high security following sometimes violent anti-gay protests leading up to France's historic passage of marriage equality.

As they arrived, their hundreds of guests gave the couple a standing ovation before they were seated for the marriage ceremony. After the ceremony, the couple walked out to Love and Marriage, by Frank Sinatra, but not before the mayor who presided over their ceremony got choked up as they signed their marriage certificate.  As they left the town hall ceremony,  the couple walked out to L.O.V.E. by Nat King Cole, and were again greeted by the town's mayor, who described the ceremony as a “historic moment”, going on to say that the couple were a “symbol of France united”.




Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"Our Love Is The Same Everywhere We Go... Live Fearlessly"




"The Artist's Corner..."

"Waterside Idyll"
Oil on board
David Ambrose




"It's Not So Funny..."



"Fear Eats the Soul"



"In The News Today..."

First College Men’s Basketball Player To Come Out: 
"You’ve got to be comfortable with who you are’


Joseph Patrick McCormick
PinkNews
29 May 2013
Following the lead of other professional athletes to come out and continue playing in a US professional team sport, a Kansas college men’s basketball player, appears to have become the first to come out during a college career, and said: “If you are comfortable with yourself, you can do anything.”
Outsports reports that Jallen Messersmith is the first openly gay men’s basketball player to come out during an active collegiate career.

Messersmith, who is a 6 foor 7 forward, attends Benedictine College, a liberal arts Catholic school, where he plays for the Ravens basketball team.

He did not come out in any kind of official announcement, but allowed the word to spread, and said he was happy that no teammate or classmate had said anything negative.

“I’m definitely happy and content where I am right now,” Messersmith said. “It’s awesome that I have the team support I do. It’s awesome that no one has said anything [negative] and I haven’t had anything change. I just feel really comfortable and it’s really nice.”

Speaking of coming out to his parents at the beginning of spring semester, and the end of 2012, and later told his coach, and his assistants.

“They were there 100 percent for me,” Messersmith told Outsports “They said it would not make any difference in the way the team was run. And they wanted to make sure it wouldn’t change my experience at the school. That was awesome. After that, I felt like I could do anything.”

Messesmith was raised a Mormon, although he has now left the church, and was badly bullied growing up. He said his decision to come out came from the death of a teammate in a car accident, and said he did not want his sexual orientation to be hidden, because of how fast things can change.

Speaking of being bullied, he said: ”The people making fun of me pushed me into basketball further and made me want to be the best at basketball and get somewhere with myself… After my sophomore year, I didn’t care what people thought. I grew stronger because of it and it rolls off my back now.”

When asked to address other athletes wanting to come out, he said: ”You’ve just got to be comfortable with yourself.”

“I wasn’t very comfortable with myself for a long time and then when I was, if you put off the confidence and you are 100% comfortable when you tell someone, they will support you. They can’t, as much as they can try, drag you down. It’s all about you. It’s what you think. If you are comfortable with yourself, you can do anything.”

Teammate Brett Fisher, said nobody on the team had a problem with Messersmith coming out. He said: “Everybody was cool with it and nobody said anything bad about it… They know what’s up and he is treated similar to the way we treat every other teammate.”

*****

"Fear Eats the Soul"



"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1354"

"It's Love That Makes A 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.




"This Made Me Smile..."

As a child of the fabulous '60s, I loved Bewitched...


"Fear Eats the Soul"



"Celebrating Love..."

This weekend, Matthew Phelps and Ben Schock were married in Seattle Washington.

Congratulations!

see more photos here


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"We Were Always There..."


We were bravely in love, even then...



"The Truth Tonight..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"



"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1353"

"Love Is A Journey Traveled 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.



"The Artist's Corner..."

"What It Offers"
Color illustration
J.C. Lyendecker



"The Imitation Of Life..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"



"A Thought To Ponder..."





"It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like so long as somebody loves you."

- Roald Dahl


"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"The Joy Of Love Is Obvious... Live Fearlessly"




"Adam and Andy..."


I love James Asal's "Adam and Andy" strip
Married life really is like this.




Monday, May 27, 2013

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"Let Your Love Show For The World To See... Live Fearlessly"




"The Imitation Of Life..."



"Billy Turner's Secret" - from 1990, a hip, urban comedy, an inadvertent look at the connection between misogyny and homophobia, and among the first African-American films to deal with these subjects.


"This Made Me Smile..."


"Really proud to serve..."



"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1352"

"The Joy Of Love Is Found In Marriage..."


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.




"A Holiday Afternoon Film..."



"Soldier's Girl" - based on a true story of an unexpected love...and an unforgivable crime. A story of a young soldier beaten to death for falling in love with a transgendered nightclub performer.



"A Thought To Ponder..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"



"The Truth About Love..."

"Love is always bestowed as a gift – freely, willingly, and without expectation … We don't love to be loved; we love to love."

- Leo Buscaglia


"The Artist's Corner..."

"Two Solitudes"
Acrylic on canvas
Steve Walker



"The Truth About Memorial Day..."


Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday which occurs every year on the final Monday of May.[1] Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.[2] Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.[3] It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.
Annual Decoration Days for particular cemeteries are held on a Sunday in late spring or early summer in some rural areas of the American South, notably in the mountains. In cases involving a family graveyard where remote ancestors as well as those who were deceased more recently are buried, this may take on the character of an extended family reunion to which some people travel hundreds of miles. People gather on the designated day and put flowers on graves and renew contacts with kinfolk and others. There often is a religious service and a "dinner on the ground," the traditional term for a potluck meal in which people used to spread the dishes out on sheets or tablecloths on the grass. It is believed that this practice began before the American Civil War and thus may reflect the real origin of the "memorial day" idea.

"Fear Eats the Soul"


Sunday, May 26, 2013

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"Love Is Love... Live Fearlessly"





"The Imitation Of Life..."



"Fear Eats the Soul"



"The Truth About Love..."

"If two people are in love they can sleep on the blade of a knife."

- Eward Hoagland


"We Were Always There..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"A Thought To Ponder..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"



"This Made Me Smile..."


Kmart does it again!  Bravo Kmart!


"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1351"

"The Joy Of 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.




"It's Not So Funny..."


Maybe I've become overly sensitive about marriage equality, but I don't think so when I consider that my marriage is only recognized in about 20% of the country.  So while I begrudingly laughed at parts of the SNL skit, I didn't find it all that funny against the backdrop of the fact that the vast majority of us can't get married without leaving our home state or even the country.  So until marriage equality is the law, I wish people would find comedic merit in something other than stereotypes about us.


"Fear Eats the Soul"


Saturday, May 25, 2013

"The Lover's Moon..."



"Every trace of the passionate plumage of the cloudy sunset had been swept away, and a naked moon stood in a naked sky."

- G. K. Chesterton



"143"

"The Poet's Corner..."


“Love Is A Great Thing” 
Thomas à Kempis

Love is a great thing, yea, a great and thorough good. By itself it makes that is heavy light; and it bears evenly all that is uneven.

It carries a burden which is no burden; it will not be kept back by anything low and mean; it desires to be free from all wordly affections, and not to be entangled by any outward prosperity, or by any adversity subdued.

Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility. It is therefore able to undertake all things, and it completes many things, and warrants them to take effect, where he who does not love would faint and lie down.

Though weary, it is not tired; though pressed it is not straitened; though alarmed, it is not confounded; but as a living flame it forces itself upwards and securely passes through all.

Love is active and sincere, courageous, patient, faithful, prudent and manly.


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1350"


"Love Brings You Into The World..."


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.




"This Made Me Smile..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"



"This Is A Love Story..."



"Fear Eats the Soul"


"The Artist's Corner..."

"Green, Green Grass of Another Home"
Acrylic on canvas
Steve Walker



"Gay PDA Is Okay!"


"Love Brings Joy To Life... Live Fearlessly"





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