Monday, September 30, 2013

"A Little Late Night Entertainment..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"This Made Me Smile..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"The GIFt Of Love..."

"Sometimes you just can't help yourself..."

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1475"

"Love Helped Us Build A Life 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.

"We Were Always There..."

"We had our places and there we were free to live and love..."

"The Imitation Of Life..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"The Truth About Being Human..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"A Thought To Ponder..."

"Among the blessings of love there is hardly one more exquisite than the sense that in uniting the beloved life to ours we can watch over its happiness, bring comfort where hardship was, and over memories of privation and suffering open the sweetest fountains of joy."

- George Eliot

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"Love Enhances The Beauty Of Life... Live Fearlessly"

"The Truth About Love..."

"Love's greatest gift is its ability to make everything it touches sacred."

- Barbara de Angelis

"The Artist's Corner"

"Farm Hand"
Pastel on paper
Michael Breyette

Sunday, September 29, 2013

"A Little Late Night Entertainment..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"This Made Me Smile..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"The Poet's Corner..."

One word
Frees us of all the weight and
pain of life:
That word is love.


"And The Truth Shall Set You Free..."

The new U.S. Ambassador to Australia, John Berry may have his work cut out for him...  Australian's just elected a far right leaning government and the new prime minister, Tony Abbott has been described as homophobic, xenophobic, sexist, racist and anti-science.

John and his husband, Curtis Yee (together for over 17 years) will be wonderful examples of American progressive culture and her growing acceptance of all her citizens and this may be helpful as Australia continues to move in this same direction.

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Sunday Afternoon At The Movies..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"Love Means... Live Fearlessly"

"The Truth About Apologies..."

Barilla Pasta And The Calls For A Worldwide Boycott

We've heard many disingenuous apologies before (Chik-fil-a is a good example), but I'm willing to see what comes of this... Guido Barilla may have just experienced a teachable moment.  We shall see...

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"The Imitation Of Life..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"We Were Always There..."

"We exchanged rings and from the day forward we were together in love..."

"A Thought To Ponder..."

"Let me prevail as of old, as lover, as lord, as king, or have done with Love's tyrant rule."

- Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1474"

"The Strength Of Love Is Found In 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 Artist's Corner..."

"Gai Paris - Jean-Paul Et Andréas"
Digital photograph
Pierre et Gilles

Saturday, September 28, 2013

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1473"

"The Joys Of Life Are Found In A Kiss..."

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.

"We Were Always There..."

"We found our moment of truth while on shore leave..."

"This Do In My Name...?"

Yemen Gunmen Kill Suspected Homosexual: Police

September 27, 2013

ADEN - Gunmen have shot dead a Yemeni man in the south of the country because they suspected he was homosexual, police said on Friday.

One of two men on a motorbike opened fire at the man in his twenties late on Thursday outside his house in Huta, the capital of Lahij province, killing him on the spot.

Police said the attackers, presumed Islamist militants, escaped after the killing, the sixth such murder since the start of the year.

Similar killings in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula nation's provinces of Abyan and Aden have been blamed on an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group, Ansar al-Sharia.

For the past year, Ansar al-Sharia has imposed Islamic law on areas of Abyan where it still holds sway.

Its so-called courts have tried and condemned to death several people accused of different crimes. Others have had hands amputated after being "convicted" of theft.

After an army offensive in May 2012 ousted the militants from areas they controlled, they holed up in mountainous regions of south and southeast Yemen.

From there they have launched regular attacks, mainly targeting the security forces.

"The GIFt Of Love..."

"Never be afraid of love..."

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"Love Means Togetherness... Live Fearlessly"

"The Truth About Complaining..."

The head of Barilla just said they will never include gays in their ads - because they value "a traditional family".
Sign now to ask Barilla to feature a gay family in one of their future advertisements.
Guido Barilla, the head of one of the world's leading pasta makers,just said they would never include gays in an advertisement because Barilla values "a traditional family". Don't like it? Barilla says you can "always eat another brand of pasta".
After the internet boiled over with criticism, Barilla made a weak apology. But it hasn’t been enough to keep the company out of hot water.
Guido Barilla can say whatever he wants. But those of us who stand against discrimination – gay and straight – should also speak out.We can show Barilla that thousands of us won't support a company that rejects our friends and families.
Will you ask the Barilla company to make its apology real  by creating and publishing its first-ever ad featuring a gay family?We’ll deliver this saucy petition directly to the leaders of the company next week and demand that they show some love:
After the initial statement, what started as an apology just got worse. Here is Guido Barilla in his own words:
"I have the utmost respect for anyone, without distinction of any kind. I have the utmost respect for gay people and for everyone's right to express themselves."
...sort of, but not really:
"I respect same-sex marriage because that concerns people who want to contract marriage, but I absolutely don’t respect adoptions in gay families, because that concerns a person who is not the people who decide," he added.
All Out is a movement of more than 1.8 million people all over the world. We are citizens, but we're also consumers and it's important for companies who we support to challenge negative stereotypes rather than perpetuate discrimination. A family is about love.
It's time for Barilla to get on the right side of history. It's time for Barilla’s first gay ad. Will you send a message to Guido Barilla right now and ask your family and friends to do the same?
Thanks for going All Out.
Andre, Hayley, Leandro, Marie-Marguerite, Sabelo, Wesley, and the rest of the All Out team.

Pasta firm Barilla boycotted over 'classic family' remarks - The Guardian, 26 September 2013
Pasta Maker in Boiling Water Over Comments on Gays - Time, 26 September 2013
'I would never use homosexual couples in my adverts': Barilla pasta boss's anti-gay comments spark boycott call - The Independent, 26 September 2013

The truth about complaining.... It works.

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"And The Truth Shall Set You Free..."

Anton Hysen Is A Football Player. He Is Also Gay

By James Masters
September 27, 2013

"So what?" he says. "Being gay is not a choice -- I hate it when people say that."

In March 2011, Hysen, who plays in the lower leagues in Sweden, became the first man to come out in more than 20 years within the world of football. He broke the taboo.

Fast forward two years and, while his life has changed immeasurably, the same problems remain.

"There's so much ignorance," he told CNN in an exclusive interview.

"There's a lack of knowledge. Some people who are homophobic don't even know a gay person. It's all about preconceptions.

"I hear that football players are supposed to be masculine. I know plenty of straight guys who are more effeminate.

"There's this illusion that every football player has to be macho and have a model girlfriend. It's not acceptable to be a gay player.

"Why not? We can run, we can play, we can score. So what's the problem?"

The fight against homophobia in football has been stepped up in the UK in particular, with the "Rainbow Laces" campaign taking center stage over recent days.

Stonewall, a UK-based gay, lesbian and bisexual charity, teamed up with Irish bookmaker Paddy Power to promote the initiative -- which urged players to wear the colored laces to promote awareness.

The organization sent laces to all 92 professional clubs in England and the 42 in Scotland but enjoyed only limited success, with clubs unhappy with the inclusion of a gambling firm and a lack of notice given by the charity.

Many football fans took to Twitter to say they were unable to even see the laces, especially with players often boasting luminous footwear, while some professionals decided against wearing them for a multitude of reasons.

But while he supports the campaign -- Hysen wore the laces during his most recent game -- he stresses that it is only a small step in bringing about a meaningful change in attitudes towards homophobia.

"I think it's a good idea," he said, after laughing that he had hit the post when he should have scored in that previous match.

"It's not a big change but it is a step forward. It's the least we can do. We can have lectures, we can ban people -- and laces won't change the mind of an idiot.

"A homophobe won't change his mind because players are wearing rainbow laces, but we're putting it into their minds and we're putting the issue into society so we can talk about it.

"It might make people more aware and make them reconsider but it's not going to make people come out instantly.

"We can talk about it and discuss it. It needs to be discussed. There are not many players out there (wearing them) but it's a nice gesture.

"I've heard some idiotic excuses. I respect anyone who doesn't want to (wear them) and has strong opinions on the matter but don't give lame excuses. That's silly.

"There are a lot of different things we can do -- but this shows some players are ready to show their support.

Seeing a professional wearing them is great and gives comfort to gay people who are playing and aren't ready to come out."

Who's next?

In February, U.S. soccer player Robbie Rogers revealed he is gay but at the same time announced he was retiring from the sport.

Rogers, who was playing in England at the time, has since reversed his decision to quit and now plays back in his homeland with Major League Soccer side Los Angeles Galaxy.

But not since the tragic death of Justin Fashanu has a top-flight division witnessed an openly gay professional football player.

Fashanu, who committed suicide in 1998, became the first £1 million black player in the history of English football when he signed for Nottingham Forest in 1981.

Constant speculation surrounded his private life, and at one time he reportedly claimed he'd had affairs with Conservative MPs -- which further fueled media interest.

With the rumors continuing throughout his career, he finally came out in 1990 and continued to play for a whole host of lower league clubs.

"You have to understand," he said in an interview before his death, "that footballers are very narrow-minded people. It's the nature of the business. When you put yourself in the firing line, you are open to attack. I know I'm there to be shot down in flames."

Following his passing, one particular group of fans would recite the chant: "He's gay, he's dead, he's hanging in a shed, Fashanu, Fashanu."

'I hope someone else will come out'

While there has been huge progress since those dark days, the presence of homophobia in football has not been extinguished.

Hysen had hoped that he would become a trailblazer -- but Rogers aside, there has been little movement in terms of players coming out.

"I've had quite a few anonymous phone calls from players who want to come out but I don't know who they are or where they play," said Hysen.

"I hope that someone else will come out just like Robbie Rogers did. That was great for U.S. soccer. At last we're having a discussion about it and that's huge.

"It has been pretty quiet and I understand that. People might not want to come out publicly and I understand.
There's this illusion that every football player has to be macho and have a model girlfriend. It's not acceptable to be a gay player.

"For me, the whole experience has been really positive. I've not had any trouble at all. If somebody says something, then I don't care. I don't have time for any of that. I don't waste my energy on that.

"Lately it has been really good -- I don't know why it's a problem."

Putting the Gay in Games

But it's not just in football where the problem exists -- the 2014 Winter Olympics have also courted controversy following the Russian government's decision to implement a new law banning "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations around minors."

There have been protests across the globe, with some athletes threatening to boycott the Games over what they believe are archaic and draconian laws.

Russia says the legislation is intended to protect children by prohibiting discussion of gay rights and relationships within their earshot.

"I don't understand what's happening in Russia," sighs Hysen. "What year are we in?

"It's like the Stone Age out there. I respect their laws. It's their country and I respect that but it's all about human rights. We're all humans. It's prehistoric stuff. It's 2013 now.

"Athletes aren't going there because of their sexuality. You're going there to perform your sport -- you go out there and play and do your best.

"You're not living there -- you're just going to compete. It's a problem. It's difficult because you have to respect their laws but it's ridiculous how we treat people in the 21st century.

"I know a few people going but I'd never go. I'll watch at home on television."

Hysen is not shy in giving his views -- although he does squirm at the thought that he has become some kind of spokesman for gay sports stars: "I always speak from the heart and don't care what I say."

With a strong family around him, he has grown into a confident and aspiring young man who quickly realized that his life would never be the same.

But by his own admission, the fact that he is the son of Glenn Hysen, the former Liverpool and Sweden international footballer, may have given him an advantage which others may not be as fortunate to enjoy.

As a player, his father won the now defunct UEFA Cup twice with Swedish side IFK Gothenburg before moving to England, where he won the league title in 1991.

He is now on the coaching staff at Anton's third division club Utsiktens, while brothers Tobias and Alexander are also professional footballers.

But Anton is famous in his own right -- his story an inspiration to millions around the world -- while he cites his victory in Sweden's "Dancing with the Stars" as another reason for his current popularity.

"In Sweden I get recognized a lot from my football but also from the dancing," he laughs.

"I didn't think people would care that much but it's nice.

"When I first came out I thought I would be in the newspapers in Sweden for a couple of days and that's it -- I didn't think people would really care to be honest.

"And then suddenly it went crazy, and within two days the whole world knew, but it feels pretty good. I know that I've done something good with my life.

"I was just a kid who happened to be gay -- I never thought it would be such a big deal."


"Fear Eats the Soul"

"The Artist's Corner..."

Pastel on paper
Michael Breyette

Friday, September 27, 2013

"Love (And Justice) Is In The Air..."

New Jersey Gay Marriage: Judge Says Same-Sex Marriages Can Start October 21

By Paige Lavender

Same-sex couples in New Jersey may soon be able to marry.

Judge Mary Jacobson of the Mercer County Superior Court ruled Friday that gay couples can marry in the Garden State starting October 21.

Jacobson said she made her decision in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on United States v. Windsor, but the ruling is likely to be appealed.

"This unequal treatment requires that New Jersey extend civil marriage to same-sex couples to satisfy equal protection guarantees of the New Jersey Constitution as interpreted by the New Jersey Supreme Court in Lewis," wrote the judge. "Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protection of the law under the New Jersey Constitution."


"Fear Eats the Soul"

"A Love Song..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"The Truth About Love..."

"Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it."

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Out Of Thine Own Mouth..."

"And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant..."
Luke 19:22

This is E.W. Jackson, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor of Virginia.  He recently complained that his hate-filled, virulently homophobic views and statements have been taken out of context...

What do you think?

Sounds like hate to me.

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"The Truth About Love..."

"Towards the outside, at any rate, the ego seems to maintain clear and sharp lines of demarcation. There is only one state — admittedly an unusual state, but not one that can be stigmatized as pathological — in which it does not do this. At the height of being in love the boundary between ego and object threatens to melt away. Against all the evidence of his senses, a man who is in love declares that "I" and "you" are one, and is prepared to behave as if it were a fact."

- Sigmund Freud

"I Am Always Remembering..."

My life changed on this day and has never been the same since.  I've remembered what began here in this place, and on this day, in every hour of every day of every year since.  Not a single day, not even one, has passed without some recollection, and some remembrance of the most significant moments of my life which first unfolded on this day... September 27th 2006.

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"Beginning Our Life Together In Love... Live Fearlessly"

"The Artist's Corner..."

Pastel on paper
Michael Breyette

Thursday, September 26, 2013

"Hate, But By Any Other Name..."

Barilla Pasta Won't Feature Gay Families In Ads, Says Critics Can 'Eat Another Brand Of Pasta'

By Cavan Sieczkowski

The chairman of Barilla Group says his company will not feature gay families in advertisements for his products because he likes the "traditional" family. If someone disagrees, well, they can go "eat another brand of pasta."
Guido Barilla made the anti-gay comments during an interview with La Zanzara on Radio24 Wednesday. The radio host asked him why his company does not have ads with gay families.
"We have a slightly different culture," Barilla said, per a Huffington Post translation of the interview. "For us, the 'sacral family' remains one of the company’s core values. Our family is a traditional family. If gays like our pasta and our advertisings, they will eat our pasta; if they don’t like that, they will eat someone else’s pasta. You can’t always please everyone not to displease anyone. I would not do a commercial with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect toward homosexuals – who have the right to do whatever they want without disturbing others – but because I don’t agree with them, and I think we want to talk to traditional families. The women are crucial in this."
Barilla said he respects people's right to do what they want without disturbing others, but that he does not agree with gay adoption.
"I respect same-sex marriage because that concerns people who want to contract marriage, but I absolutely don’t respect adoptions in gay families, because that concerns a person who is not the people who decide," he added.
After his comments hit the press, he took to Twitter to apologize for the misstep,tweeting: "I apologize very much for having offended the sensibilities of many. I have the deepest respect for all the people without distinction."
John Aravosis of the pro-equality American Blog isn't buying Barilla's apology
Yeah, freedom of expression. Anti-gay bigots, and conservatives generally, usually misunderstand the concept of freedom of expression to mean that they get to say any inanity with impunity. Doesn’t work that way. Barilla absolutely has the right to say that Barilla pasta is for straight people. And we have the right to tell him to vaffanapoli.
Activists are now demanding a boycott against Barilla, which is the world's largest pasta producer, according to Italy's Gazzetta del Sud. The protest became a trending topic on Twitter shortly after Barilla's remarks aired, with the hashtag #boicottabarilla.
"Here we have another example of homophobia, Italian style," left-wing Italian politician and LGBT activist Alessandro Zan said, according to the report. "I'm boycotting Barilla and I invite other do the same. I've already changed pasta brands. Barilla is terrible quality."
Rich Ferraro, Vice President of Communications for GLAAD, told The Huffington Post in an emailed statement:
"These insulting anti-gay comments will not only lead to LGBT people skipping Barilla in favor of more inclusive brands like Bertolli, but their family members, friends and co-workers as well. Homophobia is bad for business - plain and simple. Mr. Barilla's opinion is ill informed, and he will soon learn that the new traditional family accepts gay and lesbian families and does not support companies that promote discrimination."
Other global companies -- like Microsoft, PepsiCo, Starbucks and Disney -- have come out in support of gay rights and marriage equality. Back in March, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz told anti-gay shareholders of Starbucks stock that they can sell their stock. Schultz's comments followed a boycott from the National Organization for Marriage after the coffee brand supported same-sex marriage legislation.
A media representative for Barilla could not be immediately reached for comment.
UPDATE: 9/26 1:30 p.m. -- Barilla issued an apology on the company's Facebook page, writing:
Regarding my comments at the radio program La Zanzara, I [apologize] if my words generated misunderstandings or controversy or if they hurt some people's feelings. In the interview I just wanted to underline the centrality of the woman's role in the family. To be clear, I just want to specify that I do have great respect of every person, without any kind of distinction. I do respect gay people and everybody's freedom of expression. I also said I do respect gay marriage. Barilla in its advertising has always chosen to represent the family because this is the symbol of hospitality and affection for everyone.


My husband prepared dinner tonight and when I got home from work, I discovered we were having spaghetti and it happened to be Barilla, but I can assure you that it won't be Barilla anymore.  I support Barilla's right to express his opinions and his views, and I also support my right to seek out and support brands and companies that see me as an equal and worthy member of my community... 

I guess, I'll also be looking for a new favorite restaurant, since Maggiano's features Barilla pasta in their restaurants.  This is my comment on their Facebook page:

Maggiano's Little Italy - Official Page

Recent Posts By Others

  • While I love your restaurant and have always felt welcomed and appreciated, even holding my wedding reception with you, I won't be visiting anytime soon since you feature Barilla pasta and Barilla clearly thinks me and my husband and family should eat someone else's pasta...

    It's been wonderful, I've enjoyed many memorable meals in your restaurants around the country, but right is right, and Barilla is wrong."
    Like ·  · 

I have a dear friend, who is also a gay man and we talked today at lunchtime and to my shock and surprise, he was headed to Chik-fil-a.  I was and I still am dismayed by his choice.  We talked about it again this evening and he said to me that he just doesn't feel he can avoid doing business with people and companies who think and believe that he is "less-than" and unworthy of respect and equality simply because they're everywhere.  I pointed out to him that he might be right (although I don't think so)... But we can sure as hell avoid those who openly state such positions!  

Barilla is not the only pasta in town, nor is Chik-fil-a the only place to get a chicken sandwich... I can certainly ensure that my hard-earned, less-than dollars don't support people and company's who admit and even brag that they believe in anti-gay hatred or discrimination of any kind.  That's why I questioned my friends actions; pointed out to Maggiano's (a brand I love and rate very highly) why they're losing my business; and strive continually to be an informed consumer and support brands that support my right to freedom, love, happiness and equality under the law.

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"Its Love And Affection That Brings Color To Life... Live Fearlessly"

"A Life Lived In Fear Is A Life Half-Lived..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1472"

"The Truth Of Love Is Revealed In A Kiss..."

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..."

"Is this the newest way to get to third base...?"

"Miracles Have Not Ceased..."

Clement, left, and Thorgalsen, right, watch as President Bush signs their license.
George H.W. Bush Is Witness At Same-Sex Marriage In Maine

September 25, 2013
By The Reliable Source

Another prominent Republican has come out in support of same-sex marriage — or at least, in support of one particular same-sex marriage.

Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara served as an official witnesses Saturday at the Maine wedding of Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen, co-owners of a Kennebunk general store.

Thorgalsen posted a photo on Facebook of the 41st commander-in-chief signing a set of documents for them at an outdoor celebration: “Getting our marriage license witnessed!”

After the wedding of Helen Thorgalsen, second from right and Bonnie Clement, fourth from right, Helen’s brother Erling Thorgalsen, at left, makes a toast as the Bushes look on.
No big statement from the ex-prez’s office. His rep Jim McGrath confirmed his and wife Barbara’s presence at the Kennebunkport wedding: “They were private citizens attending a private ceremony for two friends.”

In an e-mail from their honeymoon in London, Clement told us they’ve known the former first couple for years and were thrilled they accepted the wedding invitation. Thinking about “how monumental this time is in our lives” and “how blessed we are to be in their lives,” they decided to ask them “to really personalize it for us” as witnesses.

“This is such a wonderful time for change in our legal system,” she added. “Who would be best to help us acknowledge the importance of our wedding as our friends and as the former leader of the free world. When they agreed to do so we just felt that it was the next acknowledgment of being ‘real and normal.’” Clement, 60, said she and Thorgalsen, 55, have been together for 12 years, during which she helped raise her new wife’s now-adult daughters.

Bonnie Clement, left, and Helen Thorgalsen, center, with Barbara Bush, right, and former President George H.W. Bush, seated.
Other members of the Bush circle — including granddaughter Barbara, daughter-in-law and former first lady Laura, and Dick Cheney — have expressed varying levels of support for gay marriage, which became legal in Maine in December.

(Since this one little detail may have caught your eye — yes, President Bush often makes a style statement with his socks.)


I've met President Bush personally... Once upon a time, in a life that seems very surreal and very far removed from my reality today, I was a Republican Party official and even a candidate for office on the same ballot with Mr. Bush.  He once even did me the honor of allowing me a tour of Air Force One on an official visit to Detroit.

Thinking back to those now long gone days of old, I remember noting that Mr. Bush and his wife Barbara were always "closet supporters" of GLBT people.  But they were always politicians first and foremost, and that's why I've titled this post, "Miracles Have Not Ceased." 

Remembering the political realities of those days now long distant, I could never have imagined a day when George and Barbara Bush would openly support gay marriage.  But then again, at that time, I could never have imagined a day would come when I would accept the truth of my own heart and embrace the reality that I am a same-gender-loving man, let alone a married, same-gender-loving man... No, miracles have not ceased and there will be more to come!

"Fear Eats the Soul"

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