Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Morons of the Year

Since it's the end of 2008 I decided to honor the Top 3 Morons of the Year instead of my normal Moron of the Week.

Let's start with number 3
Sarah Palin
It was actually hard for me to not put her at number 1. If you read my blog and my posts on LezGetReal.com you would know why. I'll let the video speak for itself (the beginning sets the tone for you).




Number 2
Leadership of the Mormon Church
Their decision to attack the gay community by asking all of their followers to contribute and participate in an election that wasn't even in their state really troubles me. Again, I'll let the video tell the story.



And the Top Moron of the Year
President George W. Bush
I don't think this needs explanation.



I'm just glad someone let him know how they really feel



So there you have it the Top 3 Morons of the Year. Happy New Year everyone.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Courage Campaign

I came across this slide show put together by The Courage Campaign.

It's called Please Don't Divorce...
It's time to put a face to Ken Starr's shameful legal proceedings. To put a face to the 18,000 couples facing forcible divorce. To put a face to marriage equality. Because, gay or straight, YOU are the face of the Marriage Equality Movement.




I didn't know much about the organization so I went to their website to learn more. Here is a clip from their about page
The Courage Campaign is an online organizing network that empowers over 300,000 grassroots and netroots activists to push for progressive change in California.

Whether it's helping kill the GOP's electoral college initiative "dirty trick," count the infamous "double bubble" votes in Los Angeles after Super Tuesday, or push for the ultimate closure of the "yacht tax loophole," the Courage Campaign has waged many successful campaigns.

Our partners include MoveOn.org, CREDO Mobile, Democracy for America, PowerPAC.org, United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW), the California Nurses Association, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles.

The Courage Campaign is also a member of Progress Now's national network of statewide advocacy organizations. Our online organizing tools are powered by Blue State Digital.

Just another example of how a grassroots group is make a powerful statement for equality. Thanks Courage Campaign!

Poll Results

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas To All

Some Christmas songs for your enjoyment

John Mellencamp - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus




Melissa Etheridge - Blue Christmas

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Melissa Etheridge Talks About Rick Warren on the Thom Hartmann Show

Melissa Etheridge performed the other night at an event for the Muslim Public Affairs Council. It just so happened that Pastor Rick Warren was scheduled to speak at the same event. Melissa asked to speak to Warren and a surprising thing happened. Melissa came away feeling good. She seems to think there is hope in bringing different sides together through Warren. In fact she wrote quite an amazing endorsement of him for the Huffington Post.

While I am still skeptical she is one of my favorite people and she was on one of my favorite radio shows talking about it. So any excuse to put Melissa with Thom Hartmann on my blog is a good one.

Time will tell just how good Melissa's read on Warren is...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pastor Warren Has Saddelback Website Updated - But Not Enough

On Friday this screen shot from the Saddleback Church website really got the gays angry


And now it's gone. Apparently after all the heat put on him for comparing homosexuality to incest and pedophilia he has decided to take a look at exactly what it is he is saying. This weekend both he and Melissa Etheridge were an event for the Muslim Public Affairs Council. According to Etheridge in her piece at the Huffington Post Warren had this to say,
He said he regretted his choice of words in his video message to his congregation about proposition 8 when he mentioned pedophiles and those who commit incest. He said that in no way, is that how he thought about gays.
Ok so it appears that progress is being made. However, many gays are still upset that he didn't take the opportunity to say that in a public statement to just to a famous gay person while getting an autograph. Whatever his motive is at least it's out there and there is a chance that the shift has begun.

So then why is this what they are teaching. Below is a clip from the Saddleback website under sexual purity.

Don't you know that those doing such things have no share in the Kingdom of God?  Don't fool yourselves.  Those who live immoral lives, who are idol worshippers, adulterers, or homosexuals will have no share in His Kingdom.  Neither will thieves or greedy people, drunkards, slanderers, or robbers.  1 Corinthians 6:9-10 TLB

The King James wording is
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."
 There is actually quite a bit of trouble getting people to agree on the translation here. In "What does 1 Corinthians 6:9 teach about sexuality, and how should we live in response?" Robert L. Brawley of the McCormick Theological Seminary seems to sum up what many people think.
But is it really so clear that 1 Cor 6:9 is about “homoerotic practice” and is it really so clear who is excluded from being heirs of God’s kingdom? I suggest that there is actually a lack of clarity. The lack of clarity shows up in several ways. One is in the variety among translations. Another is the difficulty we have in making direct correlations between biblical texts and the way we construe reality today. Most importantly, however, the argument about clarity does not adequately consider the context in 1 Corinthians 6, and this context is eye-opening with respect to how Paul deals with sexual behavior among the Corinthians.

Translations. Though malakoi literally means soft, it is often used in Greek to describe effeminate men, and many interpreters suggest that this identifies receptive partners in same-sex erotic behavior among males. One would be hard pressed to deduce anything about a receptive partner from the King James translation which simply says “effeminate” or from Luther’s translation quite literally as “weakling.” The Revised Standard Version combines the two terms malakoi and arsenokoitai into one translation as “sexual perverts,” a questionable move in translating, which the New Revised Standard Version tries to “correct” by reverting to two terms. With respect to malakoi the NRSV translation is “male prostitutes.” When the translation tradition moves between the extremes of “weakling” and “male prostitutes,” this indicates lack of clarity in our understanding of the term. Simply the variety in translations is one indication that the church has no sustained tradition of clarity about the meaning of malakoi in 1 Cor 6:9.


The problem of clarity is perhaps even more difficult with arsenokoitai. 1 Cor 6:9 is the first place we know of in all of Greek literature in which this term is used. Paul apparently coined it. So how does one know what a word means the first time it ever appears? Granted, we know some things from the formation of the word. It is compounded from a term for “bed” and a term for “male” with an agency ending—implicitly one who beds a male. Again, a quick review of
translations shows the uncertainty in the meaning. The King James Version has “abusers of themselves with mankind”; Luther has an equivalent of “violators of boys,” perhaps implying pederasty; and the NRSV introduces “sodomites,” an astonishing innovation in the translation tradition.
Religioustolerance.org goes on to say,
Although "homosexual" is a very common translation, it is almost certain to be inaccurate:
If Paul wanted to refer to homosexual behavior, he would have used the word "paiderasste." That was the standard Greek term at the time for sexual behavior between males.
There are many more places that say the use of homosexual in this passage is incorrect. So if Pastor Warren is so progressive and as he says "loves gays and straights" then why not choose to use a more correct and up to date translation on his site? I am starting to like this pick of Obama more and more. If Warren really is interested in being "America's Pastor" and he truely feels he helps gays by all the work he does with HIV/AIDS then maybe he can learn how the words he chooses are more important than ever at this time.

Hopefully, he'll also start to make his appologies and changes more public instead of just to the rich and famous.



Monday, December 22, 2008

Moron of the Week

This week the honor goes to Sherry Johnston, mother of Levi Johnston who is the boyfriend of Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol. Really this needs to be shared by Palin and the Republican party in general.

Johnston was arrested on Thursday and charged with six felony counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance.

Honestly there isn't anything I can say that shows how thus whole situation qualifies for Moron of the Week better than what was already said on the Keith Olbermann Show

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Artist


Hello again reader. Well usually when I talk directly to you it's because I'm about to have some fun around here instead of keeping things so serious all the time.

This one is for my cousin. he found a site called Typealyzer that analyzes your personality based on your blog. It seems to analyze the text. well I decided to play along. So here are my results.




                                                           The Artists
The gentle and compassionate type. They are especially attuned their inner values and what other people need. They are not friends of many words and tend to take the worries of the world on their shoulders. They tend to follow the path of least resistance and have to look out not to be taken advantage of.

They often prefer working quietly, behind the scene as a part of a team. They tend to value their friends and family above what they do for a living.









I always have a hard time aplying the word artist to myself in anyway. My twitter friends know this since I just commented on a fortune cookie that said,
"You are an artistic person - let your colors show"
I asked my twitter friends who the fortune really was for. One of the responses I got was from @gaydawgtrainer who told me,
"honey you know you have those rainbow colors flowing through you!"
 It was very hard to argue with that logic. So I guess I am going to need to work on embracing the artistic side of me. It leaves me to think that this blog has become an outlet for my passion for activism. If in writing that is showing art then I can surely embrace that.

So thanks to my cousin @fabflea for sharing this site with me. It was a lot of fun. Thank you all for reading and for your comments. It's nice when I get to talk to you and share the art with you.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Why The Gays Are Mad About Rick Warren

Ever since Barack Obama announced that Pastor Rick Warren would be giving the invocation at the Inauguration I have been on edge about the decision. My first thought was
"Gee it's been about a month and a half - I guess it is time for us to get slapped in the face."
In case you're wondering what the big deal is and why the gay community would be offended by Rick Warren being asked to have such a high profile moment check out Warren's little video here




I love how he says,

"If you believe what the bible says about marriage you need to support Proposition 8."

Oh really. So then I should look at Deuteronomy 21:15

"A man might have two wives. And he might love one wife more than the other. Both wives might have children for him. And the first child might be the child of the wife he does not love."

Or how about Matthew 19:8-9

8 Jesus answered, "Moses allowed you to divorce your wives because you refused to accept God's teaching. But divorce was not allowed in the beginning. 9 I tell you that any person that divorces his wife and marries another woman is guilty of the sin of adultery. The only reason for a person to divorce and marry again is if his first wife had sexual relations with another man."

Interesting isn't it. Let's hear what Pastor Warren had to say in an interview with Beliefnet about divorce and if it is a big problem today.




I love how he basically says that the reason we make such a big deal about gay marriage is because of "ratings." This is ok to turn the gays into the BIG sinners and second class citizens because the other stuff is too close to home so no one will listen (come to church - or give money).

It's this attitude that keeps suicide amongst gay teens and young adults so high. All because it's easier to vilify such a small minority than deal with real problems, like divorce, that are really hurting families and kids all across this country. Warren and others like him don't want to "redefine marriage". Yet marriage has changed so much over the course of time. Wives used to considered more property than anything. Marriage was a business transaction done by the patriach of the family. Not so long ago bi-racial couples could not marry in this country. Warren says over and over that marriage has been the same for 5,000 years. I wonder if he meant this example from the The Sex Atlas written by Erwin J. Haeberle, Ph.D., Ed.D.,


"The English Puritans in the 17th century even passed an Act of Parliament asserting "marriage to be no sacrament" and soon thereafter made marriage purely secular. It was no longer to be performed by a minister, but by a justice of the peace. The Restoration abolished this law and reverted to the old system, but the Puritans brought their concept of marriage to America where it survived."

Marriage is not a sacrament but secular - well isn't that interesting.

Apparently I am supposed to be ok with Warren because he's not homophobic because he funds AIDS projects. Gee that's about the only good thing President Bush did too. Not the kind of company I'd want to be in.


But wait there's more



I am amazed he can laugh off being homophobic when he compares gay marriage to incest and pedophilia but it's ok because he will talk to gay people and give them water and donuts.

So again I'm back to why did Obama go there. I agree with the reporter in the video. This is political. But I'll let Obama speak first.




So is this a payback? The comment Obama says about Warren having him come speak to his church he considered a big opportunity. So is this his thank you for helping him with some of the religious groups that Obama needed to reach. I can't say for sure. I do believe that Obama is trying to e inclusive and bring people together. I also think that there are those that are not promoting hate and equating LGBT people to pedophiles that can have this kind of a spotlight.

So I know it seems us gays have been yelling a lot lately and this isn't going to help calm us down.

I heard a woman on the radio today and she has given me reason to pause and try to move from this in a different direction.

Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, an African-American pro-gay minister will be giving the benediction. The woman on the radio commented that these two choices were symbolic.


"Pastor Warren represents where we are now. That's why he is going first. Rev. Lowery represents where this country is going.

Like the inauguration will show the journey of change.

This caller saved the day for me. To me it sounds like Obama's thought process and diligent planning. I'm trying hard to buy into it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Phoenix City Council Approves Domestic Partner Registry



In a unanimous decision the Phoenix City Council an Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon approved a domestic partner registry. In the wake of Prop. 102 passing this is a victory that the LGBT community of Arizona needed. The registry will provide hospital visitation rights to unmarried couples whether same-sex or opposite sex. Special thanks to Council Member Tom Simplot, an openly gay council member,  for his work in making this happen.

The Human Rights Campaign released the following statement

Phoenix City Council Approves Domestic Partner Registry

Registry Will Provide Hospital Visitation Rights for Unmarried Couples
WASHINGTON –The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights group, praised the Phoenix, Arizona City Council and mayor for voting today to enact a domestic partner registry for city residents.  The registry will permit unmarried couples to register as domestic partners and receive hospital visitation rights.  The registry, which will become effective February 9, 2009, will be available to both same-sex and different-sex couples.
 “Today, the city of Phoenix has begun to recognize what we have known for a long time – that our relationships are just as true, meaningful, and deserving of legal protections as anyone else’s,” said Human Rights Campaign Board of Directors member and Phoenix resident Linda Elliott.  “With this registry, we can feel confident that we can visit our loved ones in medical facilities at a time when they need us most.  We thank Mayor Phil Gordon, Councilman Tom Simplot and the entire city council for taking this step towards equality.”
Phoenix joins more than 70 other cities and counties nationwide with domestic partner registries. 

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

This Saturday - Light Up the Night for Equal Rights!

A message from Join the Impact






This Saturday (December 20th) the thousands of amazing volunteers
at Join The Impact are
working hard to host another national event - shedding the light of
equality on our movement!


Please join us to Light Up the Night for Equal Rights!

Peaceful candlelight vigils will be held at commercial centers in
cities across the country in honor of the rights lost to Proposition
8 and the many rights that have remained non-existent for 1 in 10 US
citizens.


This event will help us build allies and bridge the gap of
understanding for those that oppose us. Far too many are not aware
of the rights and legal protections that members of the LGBTQ
community are not afforded and heterosexual citizens enjoy.
Awareness will give way to understanding and acceptance. Many who
oppose us do not hate us, they just do not understand what we are
fighting for. These are allies waiting to happen. We are encouraging
those involved to make this an opportunity for outreach and
education. As part of the outreach, we are providing everyone with
the "5 Rights Holiday Card" to pass out to shoppers. This cordial
holiday card states just 5 of the many rights not afforded to our
community. These include the right to fight for one's country, US
citizen sponsorship of one's partner, legal guardianship over one's
child, job protections based on sexual orientation (not available in
30 states), and federal as well as state-wide civil marriage.

Please join us in making an impact on our nation!




Help us spread the word by passing this on
to at least 10 friends.


To get involved, please visit your City Page and search for an event in your area. If
there is not an event yet planned, simply join the
impact
and volunteer to organize in your city. Organizing is
extremely easy and we have already done a great deal of the leg work
for you. Don't hesitate to reach out with questions by emailing the
moderators of our
site
.

Happy Holidays & Equality to All... and to All a BRIGHT
Night!

Amy BalliettAmy Balliett is co-founder of JoinTheImpact.com.

Domestic Partnership Vote Today in Phoenix

Today the Phoenix City Council is scheduled to vote on an ordinance to recognize domestic partnerships in the City of Phoenix.

I would like to ask if you are in the Phoenix area to show your support by attending the meeting on Wednesday, December 17th at 3 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 200 W Jefferson, Phoenix, and please call or email your council member and Mayor Phil Gordon to let them know you support the domestic partnership ordinance that will help unmarried couples, gay or straight, take care of each other.

One of the main things that this ordinance would do would be to grant hospital visitation rights to registered domestic partners. Which means the domestic partner of a person in the hospital would be allowed to visit during family hours, giving them the ability to be with and support their loved one during these difficult times in each other’s lives.

It is important after the passing of Proposition 102 that we use our voice and ask those that may be divided on marriage but support our basic right to protect our families to support us and vote yes for this ordinance.

Please make your voice heard, and encourage your friends, neighbors and family members who live in Phoenix to do the same.

Remember…

1) Call or email Mayor Phil Gordon and your council member now. Visit http://phoenix.gov/mayorcouncil/index.html to find their number. To find your council district, visit http://phoenix.gov/mayorcouncil/districtmap/index.html.

2) Attend the meeting on Wednesday, December 17th at 3 p.m. in City Council Chamber, 200 W Jefferson Street.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Iraqi Reporter Throws Shoes at President Bush

I never thought I would have a video of President Bush speaking on my blog. But I gotta say when it includes a guy throwing shoes at him it's hard to pass up.



President Bush had to make just one last trip to Iraq before the end of his Presidency. While at a news conference with the Iraqi Prime Minister, one of the Iraqi journalist threw both of his shoes at the President. Now Bush tries to make light of it but in the Arab culture the symbolism of the shoe is very significant.




Here is an explanation provided by Caroline Gammell in the Telegraph.

Showing the sole of your shoe has long been an insult in Arab culture To hit someone with that shoe – as Muntadar al-Zeidi (pictured) tried with President George W Bush – is seen as even worse.

The shoe is considered dirty because it is on the ground and associated with the foot, the lowest part of the body. Hitting someone with a shoe shows that the victim is regarded as even lower. When Saddam Hussein’s statue was toppled in Baghdad in April 2003, Iraqis swarmed around it, striking it with their shoes.

Shoes are often used to attack the American flag and to lash out at photographs of Mr Bush by those protesting against American foreign policy.

As an insult to President George Bush Snr after the first Gulf war, a mosaic of his face was laid on the floor of the Al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad. Anyone who entered the lobby would have to walk over his face to get into the hotel.

The mosaic was subsequently destroyed by American soldiers in 2003 and replaced with an image of Saddam Hussein.

The shoe is such an offensive symbol that it is seen as culturally rude to cross an ankle over a knee and display the sole of the shoe while talking to another person.

The shoe is also considered unclean in the Muslim faith and believers must remove them before prayers.

Wearing shoes in mosques is forbidden.

Compounding the shoe insult was Mr Zeidi’s likening of the US president to a dog. While the comparison is perhaps not polite in any culture, among Arabs, who traditionally consider dogs unclean, the words were an even even more stinging.



I also loved that Bush could name so many ways people "draw attention to themselves". Like flipping him off and yelling at him at rallies. Thank God the American people have prepared the President to always be on the look out for flying objects - eggs, tomatoes, shoes - he's ready for whatever the world throws at him.

Video of the Day - Melissa Etheridge vs. Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Today Melissa Etheridge was on The View to promote her new Christmas CD - A New Thought for Christmas. Well that's what everyone thought. However, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the shows extreme right wing co-host, decided to mention Prop 8. Melissa gave a recap of Prop 8 and how that has led to a public out cry and that it is not just coming from the gay community. She complimented Whoopi Goldberg for her comments and said to Elizabeth how disappointed she was in her comments that she felt mislead the public. Elizabeth tried to argue that we can't be so happy about democracy working when Obama is elected and because gay marriage was voted down it doesn't work. Melissa kept hammering her point of a paper written by Thomas Jefferson in which she has he discuses  "that the rights minority should never be voted on by the majority." One of the best parts was when Sherri Shepherd tries to save Elizabeth and get Melissa to sing, Melissa still has to get her point across and has the final word. Oh and by the way, Melissa performs Blue Chrstmas from her new CD.





Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm on the Million Blog List

 
  


I like to report things that I feel are important and news worthy here. However, sometimes it's nice to just have a little fun. I found a neat little experiment going on called the Million Blog List. the creators are trying to see how long it will take to get 1 Million Blogs listed on the site. Since I was there I decided to add mine to the list. It was very easy. Now we wait to see how long it will take. You can even participate in the poll and guess how long it will take.

Oh and while your there check out some of the over 700,000 entries.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Moron of the Week

It looks like I need to start a weekly post called "Moron of the Week". There seem to be plenty of candidates. The Governor of Illinois I have decided to bestow the first award to singer Pat Boone. Now I know what you are thinking how can the person famous for songs like "Tutti Frutti" possibly make this list. Or maybe your thinking, "Tutti Frutti" really explains it all. Just watch and let Keith Olbermann explain it too you.





Here is the response from the Human Rights Campaign. Hope you will consider sending a message to Pat!


"...there is a real, unbroken line between the jihadist savagery in Mumbai and the hedonistic, irresponsible, blindly selfish goals and tactics of our homegrown sexual jihadists."
- Pat Boone, December 6, 2008

Dear HRC members,

Country singer and right-wing pundit Pat Boone has written a column equating the movement against Prop. 8 to the terrorists who tortured and murdered hundreds in Mumbai.

I am not kidding. This is a new low in anti-gay rhetoric.


Boone and his buddies continue to stir up fear, even if they have to lie. It's exactly how they passed the California marriage ban.

We need your help to stop the radical right from painting a movement about love and dignity as violent and radical. We need your support to stay strong, smart, and nimble, to combat these growing attacks with the simple truth: all we want is equality.

Make a donation to HRC on behalf of Pat Boone. Your gift helps HRC combat these lies – and sends the message that our call for equality cannot be silenced.

We'll even send Mr. Boone a note with your first name and gift amount to let him know you've donated in his name.

It's time to say enough to the deception and false ads that defeated marriage equality in three states and banned gay couples from adopting in Arkansas; enough to the attempts to equate peaceful protest with "jihadist savagery"; enough to the lies used to block federal hate crimes laws and workplace protections.

In the face of lies like this, there's only one thing to do: Demand the Truth – and that's exactly what we will be doing in the coming year. HRC will:


  • Respond quickly and forcefully to the lies and intimidation with media outreach and grassroots mobilization, as part of an ongoing "Demand the Truth" campaign;
  • Organize hundreds of thousands of activists to pass the Matthew Shepard Act and combat the inevitable misleading campaign that will be waged against us;
  • Work with religious leaders to encourage LGBT people to come out in their faith communities and create venues for the voices of tolerance and love;
  • Continue the march for marriage equality and relationship recognition, especially in key states where new doors are opening right now, including New York, Vermont, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Iowa; and
  • Work with the Obama administration to undo years of White House anti-LGBT hostility.

To really go toe to toe with the mouthpieces of bigotry like Pat Boone, we're going to need your support.

If, every time they tell another lie, run another deceptive ad or use more fear-mongering to try and win votes and recruit new members, we respond by strengthening our movement for equality, eventually they'll realize they're hurting themselves more than they're hurting us.

But it only works if we all stand up.

Join us in demanding the truth, by making a gift in Pat Boone's name today!

What's perhaps most disturbing about Boone's rhetoric – painting LGBT people as a threat to society – is that it leads to the very real hate violence directed against LGBT people every day.

We can't stop the Pat Boones of our world from speaking their ugly lies, but together we can make sure that there's a political cost associated with this kind of hateful speech.

Warmly,

Joe Solmonese

President




To see the full article by Pat Boone, click here.

On a side note, I hope I never have to put myself on the "Moron of the Week" list.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

John Stewart takes on Huckabee and the Issue of Gay Marriage

This is a great exchange that really shows the religious right's perspective on gay marriage. Stewart of course makes many great points. My favorite is about half way in when Stewart makes the point that the main difference is Huckabee's belief that being gay is a choice. Stewart says, "Religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality." He then asks Huckabee, "At what age did you choose to not be gay?" Watch the whole video below.









Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Day Without a Gay


Join the Impact has been organizing another nationwide event. Wednesday, December 10th they are calling for people to participate in a Day Without a Gay.

Our community contributes $700 billion a year to this economy (the same amount as the bailout), yet we are not given equal protections under the law that every citizen deserves. As such, it is time we make a stand. During the largest shopping season of the year, we ask that you do one very important thing: Don't Buy Anything! What would happen to this world if the LGBTQ community didn't exist? Why is it that we continue to contribute to an economy and government that does not contribute to us? Let's answer these questions on December 10th.


WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

STRIKE: call in gay, shut down your business, or just take the day off.

BOYCOTT: don't buy anything, spend money or support the economy. If you do need to buy support LGBT businesses.

PARTICIPATE: Volunteer and/or protest in your area.

Here is the info on the protests organized by H.E.R.O. happening in the Phoenix area.





Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Prop 8 - The Musical

Hilarious video about Prop 8.

Check out Proposition 8 - The Musical

You won't believe all the stars in it.



See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Credits: Conceived and Written (six weeks later than he shoulda) by-Marc Shaiman Directed and Staged by: Adam Shankman Produced by Adam Shankman, Marc Shaiman and Mike Farah Edited by Bradly Schulz and Drew Antzis Cast (in order of appearance) California Gays and The People That Love Them Jordan Ballard, Margaret Cho, Barrett Foa, J.B. Ghuman, John Hill, Andy Richter, Maya Rudolph, Rashad Naylor, Nicole Parker Proposition 8'ers and The People That Follow Them Prop 8 Leader- John C. Reilly Prop 8 Leader's #1 Wife- Allison Janney Prop 8 Leader's #2 Wife- Kathy Najimy Riffing Prop 8'er-Jenifer Lewis A Preacher- Craig Robinson Scary Catholic School Girls From Hell-Rashida Jones, Lake Bell, Sarah Chalke The Frightened Villagers Katharine "Kooks" Leonard, Seth Morris, Denise "Esi!" Piane, Lucian Piane, Richard Read, Seth Redford, Quinton Strack, Tate Taylor Jesus Christ Jack Black A Very Smart Fellow Neil Patrick Harris Piano Player Marc "Marc" Shaiman ---- Co-Choreographer: Anne "Mama" Fletcher Recorded and Mixed by Frank Wolfe & Greg Hayes Director of Photography: Michael Barrett Camera Operators: Jake Szymanski, Bradly Schulz and Drew Antzis Production designer: Nelson Coates Costume designer: Shanna Knecht Costume assistants: Leslie Schilling, Annalisa Adams, Elizabeth Abate Hair: Laura Sanchez Make-up: Shauna O'Toole, Atticuss Sharp Production sound: Bradford Craig Music editor: Lisa Jaime Music assistant: Brian Naguit Snacky: "Snacky" Special Thanks to Adam McKay for the nudge

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fantastic Four Meme

Rev. Nawny from Sacramentality tagged me for this fun “four theme” meme. I’m tagging a handful of other bloggers, but would love to hear your responses, too (either in comments or a link to your own blog post): How to play the Fantastic Four Meme:



1. Copy/paste the questions into your blog.
2. Type in your answers.
3. Tag four people on your list.
4. Don’t forget to change the answers to your own!

Okay, here goes:

Four Places I Go Over and Over:
  • ATA Black Belt Academy
  • Princess' School
  • TGIFriday's
  • Friend's House

Four People Who Email Me Regularly:
  • My Aunt
  • My friend Nathan
  • Human Rights Campaign - I know not a person but it is daily so I am counting it.
  • My Mom

Four Places I Like To Eat:
  • The Melting Pot
  • TGIFriday's
  • Coup De Tartes
  • Shangri-La

Four Places I’d Rather Be Right Now:
  • Upstate New York visiting family
  • Sedona, AZ
  • At an all inclusive resort on a beach
  • Watching the Dallas Cowboys play at Texas Stadium

Four TV Shows I Could Watch Over and Over:
  • The Facts of Life
  • The West Wing
  • Grey's Anatomy
  • The Cosby Show

Four People I think Will Respond with Link Love:

If you think this is great fun (it really is … plus creating blog links is great blogging karma), then tag this and pass it on. Don’t forget to tag back to Thoughts from a Lezzymom Blog!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Commentary on the Movie "Milk"

"Milk" is a film based on the true story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official. It stars Academy Award Winner Sean Penn as Harvey Milk. What struck me the most while watching the film were all the similarities to what gays and lesbians are struggling with today.



 


                               "Milk" movie trailer


In the movie, which takes place in the mid to late 1970's, the discrimination against LGBT people was fierce. Police would raid bars to round up gays and have them arrested. The physical violence they faced at that time was much worse and not stopped by the police.

However, one of the big struggles shown in the movie was the struggle against the religious right. It wasn't over marriage but over protection in the work place. It was fascinating to watch and realize that history is repeating itself. I'm watching as Harvey Milk is telling everyone,

"You must come out. Everyone must come out."
I had just finished having dinner with friends and all of us discussing how many people we knew we had influenced to vote against the marriage ban just because we had come out to them. The fact is if you build relationships with people it makes them think before they vote. It puts a face on who the vote is against - makes it personal.

It was such a powerful experience. The gay rights movement has made strides, but at the same time it seems we are having the same debate 30 years later. I was left wondering, who will our generation's Harvey Milk be. There is clearly the same desire to come together and fight. So who will be the voice of our generation?

I say we all need to be. What I took away from the movie was it can't be about one person, but about all of us. We must all learn to use our voice. We must use it to come out. We must use it to help others reach for equality. Most importantly, we must use it to demand our equality. We must say as Harvey Milk said,
"Enough is enough!!"
 I encourage implore everyone to please go see this movie. More importantly make everyone you know go see it. When it comes out on DVD have "Milk" house parties. The story and the message in this movie speaks to what is happening now and will touch people and make them think.

Funny, I guess Harvey Milk may turn out to be the leader and voice of another generation.


Love is Love

This is a great short film. It features Jane Lynch who I love. Take the six minutes and check this funny one out. Enjoy the twist! Please stop by their website and learn about their upcoming feature film project.



Love is Love.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Laramie Project



Last night my wife and I went to see a community college production of "The Laramie Project." This is a play based on the Matthew Shepard story.


Matthew Shepard
For those that don't know Matthew was killed 10 years ago in Laramie, Wyoming for being gay. Unfortunately the things the play speaks about still happen much too often today. Just a few days ago a man was shot in Syracuse, NY while sitting in his car. The reason given by his shooter - was because he didn't like gay people. You can read more on the story here.


One thing that happens in the play is the Westboro Baptist Church, led by Fred Phelps, comes to protest the trial of one of Matt's killers. You will love the name of their website godhatesfags.com . If you go to their "church" website be prepared. The signs they hold at their protests are hateful. What I find most frightening is they bring their children and have them holding these signs and spewing this same hate.


Well Mr. Phelps decided to come and protest the play here in Arizona. The community did a call to action and we had over 300 gay, lesbian, transgender, and straight people there to counter protest. It was beautiful. Everyone wearing red and protecting the sidewalks so people felt safe to go to the show. In from of the theater everyone had giant angel wings on, just like they did at the court house, to block the sight of Phelps' hateful signs. Phelps' supporters did come - all 10 of them. However, they stayed so far away no one knew they were on the campus. Not being able to get near the parking lots, walkways, or theater they were pretty much shut down. The community college sold out the performance that night and got a standing ovation. A few of the actors were so overwhelmed by the crowd (80 had been the most to attend) and the ovation they broke down right on stage. I imagine some of those young people were gay and to see the support from their own community was just too much. There wasn't a dry eye in the place. An email received today from the technical director of the play commented on the irony "Our show sold out, THANKS WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH, we made a lot of money off of your CRAZY ASSES!"

The video gives just a small part of the play. It's an important part if you don't know Matt's story. I encourage you to take a few minutes and watch it. If you haven't seen the whole play I encourage you to keep your eyes open for a local production. Also there is an HBO version that was made. Unfortunately, the story still speaks to what is happening now. 10 years after Matt's murder hate crimes law for LGBT people still has not gotten passed. It made it through Congress this year but President Bush vetoed it. He clearly doesn't know Judy Shepard. I have had the opportunity to meet and speak with her a few times. She is an amazing woman that has taken on this fight to protect the rest of us even though her son is gone. Everytime I see her I just want to say "I'm sorry we haven't gotten this done for you." 10 years is a long time to fight and tell about the death of your child over and over. Her speech to Congress and her being at the door when they walked into vote is what got the job done. I wish she could have been in the oval office. I'm not sure even George Bush would have vetoed the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill (yes that was the name of the piece of legislation) with her standing right there.


Lezzymom & Wife with Judy Shepard
HRC Dinner 2006

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fred Phelps is Coming to Town


Well, well it looks like extreme religious right leader of Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps, is bringing his show to Glendale, Arizona. He has promised to protest the Laramie Project at Glendale Community College.


In past protests he has brought such signs that read "God Hates Fags" "Fags Die God Laughs" and "Matt in Hell."




Let us show him that he is not welcomed in the Valley of the Sun. Wear a red shirt to show unity! Bring angel wings, (the bigger the better to block the protest signs).If you can't make a pair of angel wings there will be some extras to hand out. The angel wings are in honor of the original counter-protest when Matt's friends blocked out the Phelps' group at Matt's funeral the trial of one of the murderers.
You are encourage to not engage the Fred Phelps group since they make their money off of suing counter protesters.

If you are not wanting to counter protest I encourage people to support the production. GCC does not pre-sell tickets. They will be available 1 hour prior to the show.
Dates of performances - Nov. 20, 21, 22  All shows start at 7:30pm

The Laramie Project
In October 1998, a 21 year old student at the University of Wyoming was kidnapped, severely beaten and left to die, tied to a fence in the middle of the prairie outside Laramie, Wyoming. His name was Matthew Shepard, and he was the victim of this assault because he was gay.

Mois├ęs Kaufman and fellow members of New York's Tectonic Theater Project made six trips to Laramie over the course of 18 months in the aftermath of the beating and during the trial of the two young men accused of killing Shepard. They conducted more than 200 interviews with the people of the town, whose varying reactions to the crime are fascinating. Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater members constructed a deeply moving theatrical experience from these interviews and their own experiences. The Laramie Project is a breathtaking theatrical collage that explores the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights of compassion of which we are capable.

UPDATE
The counter protest was AMAZING. Phelps' group showed but because of the size of our group they came no where near the theater. There were only 10 of them and hundreds of us. They didn't protest in the parking lot or really anywhere that was visible. In fact, no one really knew they were there. It was nice to provide a great atmosphere for the closing night of the play. To top it off the play SOLD OUT. They had to turn people away. What a great night.

National Journal ranks Human Rights Campaign among top five most effective interest groups in 2008 contests

From HRC Back Story

By 

Chris Johnson

National Journal, a reputable weekly magazine for political insiders, has listed HRC among the top five winning member interest groups in the 2008 U.S. House and Senate elections. (Only People for the American Way, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Sierra Club ranked higher, respectively.)
Download a copy of HRC's 2008 ranking in National Journal (PDF).
In 2006, HRC helped elect 211 candidates, ousting a number of anti-gay-rights politicians, including Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa. The National Journal ranked the organization as the second-most effective interest group that year.
Check out this video that gives a look at the Human Rights Campaign's efforts to elect pro-equality candidates and defeat anti-LGBT ballot measures in 2008:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Special Comment on Gay Marriage ~ Keith Olbermann


I had been meaning to put this amazing message from Keith Olbermann up for a while now. Thanks to one of my readers for making mention of it in my comments so that I would remember to get it done.

The following is the transcript from the MSNBC site.

Finally tonight as promised, a Special Comment on the passage, last week, of Proposition Eight in California, which rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry, and tilted the balance on this issue, from coast to coast.

Some parameters, as preface. This isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics, and this isn't really just about Prop-8. And I don't have a personal investment in this: I'm not gay, I had to strain to think of one member of even my very extended family who is, I have no personal stories of close friends or colleagues fighting the prejudice that still pervades their lives.
And yet to me this vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics. This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it.

If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don't want to deny you yours. They don't want to take anything away from you. They want what you want—a chance to be a little less alone in the world.

Only now you are saying to them—no. You can't have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don't cause too much trouble. You'll even give them all the same legal rights—even as you're taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can't marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn't marry?

I keep hearing this term ‘re-defining’ marriage. If this country hadn't re-defined marriage, black people still couldn't marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal in 1967. 1967.

The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn't have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it's worse than that. If this country had not "re-defined" marriage, some black people still couldn't marry black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not ‘Until Death, Do You Part,’ but ‘Until Death or Distance, Do You Part.’ Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are gay.
And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing, centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children, all because we said a man couldn't marry another man, or a woman couldn't marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage.

How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the "sanctity" of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?

What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don't you, as human beings, have to embrace... that love? The world is barren enough.
It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.

And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling. With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?

With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate... this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness—this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness—share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’

You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question of love. All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate.

You don't have to help it, you don't have it applaud it, you don't have to fight for it. Just don't put it out. Just don't extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don't know and you don't understand and maybe you don't even want to know. It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow person just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too.

This is the second time in ten days I find myself concluding by turning to, of all things, the closing plea for mercy by Clarence Darrow in a murder trial.

But what he said, fits what is really at the heart of this: ‘I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar-Khayyam," he told the judge. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: So I be written in the Book of Love; I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name, or write it as you will, So I be written in the Book of Love.’"

And, because he did not say it that night. Thank you, and good night.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Update on Marriage Amendment Protests



Since my last post more cities from Arizona have gotten involved in the nationwide protest this weekend.

Phoenix - November 15th - 200 W Washington St, Phoenix, AZ - We will meet at Cesar Chavez Memorial (across from Phoenix City Hall). The event will start at 11:30am. For more info click here.

Tucson - FRIDAY Nov 14th - El Presidio Park and La Placita Village, Downtown Tucson. The event will start at 5pm. For more info click here.

 Flagstaff - November 15th - City Hall on Route 66. The event stars at 11:30am. For more information click here.

Kingman - November 15th - Locomotive Park, Downtown (across from Powerhouse 1st street and Andy Devine). There are very few details on this. I can't confirm a time. To stay updated on details click here.

For information on the protest happening in other states go to JoinTheImpact

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Phoenix Protest of the Passed Gay Marriage Ammendments

Join the Impact is asking for a nationwide protest of the passing of the gay marriage amendments. Below is the information on the event taking place in Phoenix on Saturday Nov. 15th at 11:30am.


Protest Flyer


Let the community know that we need to be treated equal. Make sure to bring your signs! We will meet at Cesar Chavez Park and then head across the street to City Hall.

PASS IT ON and invite everyone you know.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Conversations With a Six Year Old



On the way to take my little Princess to her first grade class today we had an interesting conversation. I mentioned that tomorrow was election day. She asked what that meant. I reminded her of the day she went with me to vote and we voted for a woman named Hillary Clinton to run for President. She said
"Oh yes I remember that!"
 I explained that was and election where we narrowed the choices down. Hillary didn't win that one but that was ok. Now tomorrow we decide if John McCain or Barack Obama will be President. She says from her booster seat in the back,
"Well I want Barack Obama to win because John McCain is dumb!"
 Now I figured she got that explaination from the ex's house. Here is more of the conversation:
Me: "Well I agree."
Princess: "You do?"
Me: "Yes I am going to vote for Barack Obama."
Princess: "Oh. Well that's what Julie at school said. But I like Barack Obama too."
Me: "Good. I don't think you need to say it quite like Julie said it if it comes up at school ok? However, I do like Julie even more now.:
Princess: "Why?"
Me: "Well that means she probably heard that from her parents and they are probably voting for him then."
Princess: "Oh"
Me: "Do you want to come with me and vote tomorrow for Barack Obama?"
Princess: "YES! Kids voted online for President and Barack Obama won. I didn't get to vote but I would have voted for him so I'll go with you tomorrow."
Me: "I saw Barack Obama on TV thanking the kids for voting for him! Ok cool. I'm so excited it feels like my birthday or something. Mom Mom and I are going to go work all day tomorrow at the election because it's so important and we are so excited."
Princess: "Oh. Why are you so excited?"
Me: "Because this is the first time there is and African-American that could be President. It's a big day. Plus there are some laws we have to vote on and one we really don't want to happen."
Princess: "Oh. What's an African-American?"
Me: "It's a person with black skin - like John in your class."
Princess: "Oh ok I get it."
Me: "It's a big deal because for a long time African-Americans couldn't do things like vote or own a house. People wouldn't be nice to them just because their skin was black. Pretty dumb huh?"
Princess: "Yeah that is dumb."
Me: "It would be like not playing with someone or being friends with someone because they had freckles or were in a wheelchair. We don't choose our friends because of how they look we choose them based on how they treat others and if they are good people right?"
Princess: "Yes, I play with people all the time that don't look like me. One even has a freckle on her forhead."
Me: Laughing "Exactly we don't care if someone is a little different than us as long as they are kind and make good choices then they are ok to be friends with. So that's why this is a big deal tomorrow and I just can't wait."
Princess: "Me too Mommy!"
It had never occured to me that she didn't know what African-American meant. We have friends that are African-American and she has had classmates since pre-school. I was also kind of proud that she hadn't learned people had labels and I was kind of sad that I had ruined that and put a label on people for her.

When we got to her line and were waiting for the teacher a bunch of moms were talking about going to the polls tomorrow and how to work their schedules. I spoke right up and said,
"Oh we are going before school and she can be late for all I care. Tomorrow is too important and she will be right there with me when I cast my vote."
The moms looked at me with renewed enthusiasm. They started thinking that getting up and getting there at 6 am was not a bad thing if that is what it was going to take.

Oh and one last thing - Remember, I live in Arizona. We are going to turn this state BLUE!

Friday, October 17, 2008

So Proud To Be A Member Of This Team

What A nice surprise to see our steering committee getting a write up on the Human Rights Campaign Blog

HRC is Making a Difference in Arizona

October 15, 2008
Chris Johnson

From Tony Wagner, HRC's Western regional field director:
************************************************
While the Presidential campaigns battle it out elsewhere in the nation, HRC knows that there are important elections happening in Arizona. Whether federal or state level, we are committed to making Arizona a better place for all its people.



Cimg0017
To that end, HRC has devoted substantial resources, both financial and personnel based. Below is a recap of what we have been up to:
• HRC held Camp Equality-Phoenix in May to train over 40 activists with the campaign skills they need to play volunteer leadership roles in the campaigns of fair minded candidates.
• Regional Field Director, Tony Wagner, came to Arizona to coordinate the field efforts of union, choice, LGBT, Latino, and conservation groups working through America Votes.
• HRC trained and deployed a campaign staffer to work with one of our endorsed congressional candidates though our Campaign College program.
• HRC donated $50,000 to Arizona Together to help defeat the marriage amendment.
• Local HRC leaders are playing significant leadership roles with Arizona Together.
• HRC set up a state PAC and raised funds to be committed to helping equality-minded, state-level candidates. Over $40,000 was raised.
• Two additional staff are being sent to Arizona to work with our endorsed congressional campaigns for the final push.
Thank you to all the local HRC leaders and volunteers who are working hard, day in and day out, to make this such a successful campaign year in Arizona!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cool New Gig


I have not had a chance to write about this here but I am very excited that I have been asked to contribute to the new site Lez Get Real. This is a great place to get stories that are affecting the lesbian community. I will be making a lot of political posts as well as family posts. A list of my posts on Lez Get Real can already be found on the right side of this blog.

Wish me luck and please go there, read and leave some comments so I feel loved!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Woo Hoo - Connecticut Makes Three

 CONNECTICUT BECOMES THIRD STATE TO RECOGNIZE MARRIAGE EQUALITY FOR GAY AND LESBIAN COUPLES
Human Rights Campaign Hails Landmark Decision as Latest Step toward Basic Fairness for All Committed Couples

WASHINGTON – Today, the Connecticut Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision and ruled that same-sex couples enjoy the same right to marry as different-sex couples under the state constitution. The court ruled that it is a violation of the state constitution to deny gay and lesbian couples the right to marry, and that it is not enough to provide rights to gay and lesbian couples through a separate system of civil unions.

“This is a very proud day for Connecticut and a very proud day for every American who believes in the promise of equal rights for all,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “The Connecticut Supreme Court recognized that gay and lesbian couples who form committed relationships and loving families deserve the same level of respect afforded to straight couples. The court did its job by making clear that the state constitution guarantees the same rights and protections for everyone. This decision strengthens Connecticut families. We congratulate and commend the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), Love Makes a Family, which worked closely with GLAD on this case, and, of course, the courageous plaintiff couples and their families who looked to the courts to vindicate their rights.”

On August 24, 2004, GLAD, working closely with Love Makes a Family, filed the Kerrigan & Mock v. Connecticut Dept. of Public Health case in Connecticut state court on behalf of seven same-sex couples (an eighth couple later joined the case). The plaintiffs argued that denying same-sex couples the right to marry violates the state constitution's guarantees of equal protection of law and due process.

On July 12, 2006, the Connecticut Superior Court ruled in favor of the state, denying same-sex couples the right to marry under the state constitution, and relying heavily on the fact that Connecticut, since 2005, has permitted same-sex couples to enter into civil unions. 
A growing number of states are providing relationship recognition to gay and lesbian couples. Connecticut joins Massachusetts and California as the third state to recognize civil marriage for gay and lesbian couples under state law. Four other states and Washington, D.C. provide same-sex couples with access to all the state level benefits and responsibilities of marriage, through either civil unions or domestic partnerships. Three other states provide gay and lesbian couples with at least some of the basic benefits and protections made available to married heterosexual couples. New York recognizes marriages by gay and lesbian couples validly entered into outside of New York. Gay and lesbian couples do not receive any federal rights and benefits.
Key results from the ruling:
  • Gay and lesbian couples in Connecticut will now be able to obtain a civil marriage license and receive the same respect and protections afforded to all married couples.
  • Churches and other religious institutions will not have to recognize or perform ceremonies for these civil marriages. This ruling is not about religion; it’s about the civil responsibilities and protections afforded through a government-issued civil marriage license.
  • The court’s decision does not entitle gay and lesbian couples in Connecticut to receive the federal rights and benefits extended to married couples.  The so-called federal Defense of Marriage Act discriminates against gay and lesbian married couples by denying them over 1,000 federal rights and benefits, including social security benefits, the ability to file a joint federal tax return, and the right to petition for a spouse to immigrate.
  • Other states may legally recognize the civil marriages of same-sex couples performed in Connecticut in the same way they recognize out-of-state marriages by different-sex couples.
  • The court’s decision today does not change the law in any other state, or federal law. We will continue to fight for marriage equality across the country.
The Human Rights Campaign signed onto an amicus or “friend of the court” brief in the Kerrigan case to support and further explain the case for extending civil marriage rights to same-sex couples under the state constitution. A number of other civil rights organizations, religious groups, child welfare experts, law professors, family and legal historians and others also either signed or filed briefs of their own in favor of extending civil marriage laws to same-sex couples.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Getting Back on Track

Earlier this month I was sick for about 2 weeks. During that time I was unable to continue with my 100 push up challenge. It is time to get back on track. I am going to redo week 3 and then continue with the program from there. I am excited to get back to the workout since it really was making me stronger. I think I would have done it sooner if week 3 hadn't been so hard the first time around. I can only imagine with 3 weeks off it is really going to suck.
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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Would Honest Abe Approve of His Party?

I am amazed daily at the amount of lies put out by the Republicans during this campaign. I actually have to remind myself that some of our greatest Presidents were Republicans like Abraham Lincoln. I wonder if some of these people would even recognize their party today.

Even though it has taken a while for mainstream media to call the Republicans out on their lies it is amazing what has happened on the web to try and drive the attention so mainstream media would need to react. One of my favorites is Count the Lies at McCainpedia.org. I don't believe any other candidate for President or Vice President has even been allowed by the media to outright lie over and over again. It has gotten so out of hand that MSNBC's Keith Olbermann has started to donate $100 to charity every time Governor Palin lies in public. He wrote a check for $3,700 and I'm sure this will get very expensive for him. I only wish he gave it to the Democratic Party.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Email From My Aunt

So I just received this in my inbox
Think about this and let your voice be heard......


You couldn't get a job at McDonalds and become district manager after 143 d ays of experience.   You couldn't become chief of surgery after 143 days of
 experience of being a surgeon.  You couldn't get a job as a teacher and b e the superintendent after 143 days of experience.  You couldn't join the m ilitary and become a colonel after a 143 days ofexperience.   You couldn't  get a job as a reporter and become the nightly news anchorafter 143 days of
 experience.            BUT....        'From the time Barack Obama was swor n in as a United State Senator, to the time he announced he was forming a
 Presidential exploratory committee, he logged 143 days of experience in
 the Senate. That's how many days the Senate was actually in session and wo rking.  After 143 days of work experience, Obama believed he was ready to
 be Commander In Chief, Leader of the Free World .... 143 days.  We all h ave to start somewhere. The senate is a good start, but after 143 days,
 that's all it is - a  start.  AND, strangely, a large sector of the Am erican public is okay with this and campaigning for him. We wouldn't accept
 this in our own line of work, yet some are okay with this for the Presid ent of the United States of America ?



Come on folks, we are not voting for the next American Idol!
I couldn't believe that
A: she sent this to me
B: that people could even buy into this in the first place.

Well sent this was sent to the whole family I decided to keep it going. I replied all that I was absolutely voting for Obama and sent along a blog post from Momocrats. It is a great post comparing the educational resumes of the candidates. Well the conversation has now taken off with aunts and cousins chiming in. One of my cousins agreed with my aunt and went on to say that Palin is the only "real" person on the ballot.

Well that added some excitement to a nice quiet Sunday!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Beauty Queen Turned Drama Queen

So the "Maverick" Senator John McCain has picked his running mate. His pick, former Beauty Queen (Miss Wasilla 1984) Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, has managed to really stir up some stories in since his announcement on Friday.

During her acceptance speech Palin commended Hillary on a historic campaign then tried to use the 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling to say that the women of this country are not out of the election yet. Well...I agree there is a female still in the presidential election...but not one that is anywhere close to having the same views as Hillary Clinton. Those 18 million votes were for equal pay, and the right to choose and a universal healthcare plan. Not what Sarah Palin brings to the table.

Then things got real exciting. Just as everyone was learning how really inexperienced this woman is Replicans were trying to stand up for her knowledge on foreign affairs. Cindy McCain has actually appeared on interviews and tried to make the case that since Palin is the Governor of Alaska, and Alaska is the closest part of our continent to Russia, then Palin understands foreign policy. Huh? So because I live in the southwest I understand the problems of Mexico and am qualified to deal with them on behalf of our country. While I have shopped in Nogales and had some good negotiations in the markets there, I don't think I am America's best bet to handle the immigration issues we are trying to deal with regarding Mexico. Location doesn't determine policy understanding and a working knowledge of how foreign policy is to be handled. Meanwhile Barak Obama sits on the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee with the Chair of that committee being his VP Candidate Senator Joe Biden. Hmmm now that is experience you can count on.

Then I hear that Palin thought she was playing the character of Bree in Desperate Housewives. Rumors started flying that Plain's 5th child was not hers but her daughters and she was covering up a teenage pregnancy. If this isn't drama I don't know what is. That turned out to be a cliffhanger. The real story was revealed in a statement from the Palin family,

"We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us. Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support.

"Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media to respect our daughter and Levi's privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates."

What I find most interesting is the part about them being "proud of Brisotl's decision to have her baby." That implies somewhere someone made a choice. I believe this could get interesting. So their can be a choice and people choose to have the child. Not everyone that has a choice chooses abortion. Huh well there is a concept to be discussed in a debate. Also, can we please have an honest conversation now about abstinence only being taught in our schools. This is an issue that Palin is big on and I would like to see how she thinks that is working for her family and their 17 year old daughter. There is so much federal funding that goes to abstinence only education and the bottom line is it doesn't work.

Well Maverick all I have to say is so far you have the edge in the Drama Queen competition for the Presidential Campaign. Not sure if that's what you were going for but when you picked the Beauty Queen but you got it.