Sunday, May 31, 2009

You Sure You Want Traditional Marriage?

I love the message in this video. I agree you can't have it both ways...if you want to pass laws to keep traditional marriage then by all means let's have traditional marriage.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Human Rights Campaign Reacts to Prop. 8 Decision

Protesters in San Francisco campaign for marri...Image via Wikipedia

The Human Rights Campaign released a statement and started a new campaign called "We Won't Back Down." The following statement was released after the decision from the CA Supreme Court and includes their new video.
Nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights group responds to court ruling
HRC President Joe Solmonese: “We will not give up until marriage equality is restored in California.”

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, responded to the California Supreme Court’s split 6-1decision today ruling that Proposition 8, the narrowly approved measure which eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry, is valid. As a result of the court’s decision in Strauss v. Horton, California becomes the first state in the nation to strip away marriage rights for same-sex couples. As same-sex couples and allies from across the country react to the news, HRC is releasing an online, YouTube video set to the song “I Won’t Back Down”:

“Today’s ruling is a huge blow to Americans everywhere who care about equality. The court has allowed a bare majority of voters to write same-sex couples out of basic constitutional protections,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “This ruling is painful, but it represents a temporary setback. There will be a groundswell to restore marriage equality in our nation's largest state, and HRC will not give up until marriage equality is restored in California.”

One significant effort already underway is a strategic partnership between HRC and California Faith for Equality (CFE), a statewide group established to educate, support and mobilize faith communities on LGBT equality. The partnership joins CFE and its 6,000 supporting faith leaders with both HRC's Religion and Faith Program expertise as well as HRC's National Field Department to broaden, diversify and deepen religious support for marriage equality in California.

“This ruling couldn't be more out of step with what's happening across the country,” said Solmonese, pointing to recent marriage victories in Iowa, Vermont and Maine. “We have no choice but to return this basic question of fairness for the estimated 1 million LGBT Californians back to the voters.”

“While we are relieved that the 18,000 couples who married before the Prop 8 vote will still have valid marriages, it does not in any way remove the sting of this ruling,” added Solmonese.

Over the past decade, public acceptance of marriage equality for same-sex couples has changed dramatically. For the first time, more Americans say they support marriage for same-sex couples (49%) than oppose it (46%), according to the latest Washington Post/ABC poll released in late April.

Twelve states plus Washington, D.C. have laws providing at least some form of state-level relationship recognition for same-sex couples. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont (as of September 1, 2009), and Maine (as of mid-September 2009, pending possible repeal effort) recognize marriage for same-sex couples under state law. Five states—California, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington (as of July 26, 2009, pending possible repeal effort)—plus Washington, D.C. provide same-sex couples with access to the state level benefits and responsibilities of marriage, through either civil unions or domestic partnerships.

Hawaii provides same-sex couples with limited rights and benefits. New York recognizes marriages by same-sex couples validly entered into outside of New York. Legislatures in New Hampshire and New York are considering marriage legislation that would permit same-sex couples to marry in those states, and the D.C. Council has passed legislation that would recognize marriages by same-sex couples legally entered into in other jurisdictions (that legislation is going through a Congressional review period).


For an electronic map showing where marriage equality stands in the states, please visit:

For a summary of the history of the case and for a comprehensive listing of HRC’s work in California on Proposition 8, please

A breakdown of the ruling and interpretation by the HRC legal team will be available shortly on
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Meghan McCain on The Colbert Report

Last night Meghan McCain was on The Colbert Report and discussed being Pro-Sex, Pro-Life, and Pro-Gay Marriage. I have said it before and I'll say it again - Meghan is my favorite Republican.

The most interesting part of the interview is when Meghan talks about gays and which party is best for them. McCain says,

"I do believe the Republican party can be a safe place for the gay community. President Obama said he was going to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell and I think me and a lot of people are still waiting for that. And the Democratic party isn't necessarily a better place for the gay community than the Republican party is. And I think if you go to the basic beliefs of the Republican party, keeping government out of your life, why can't that include marriage?

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Meghan McCain
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorGay Marriage

There has been a call to boycott the June 25th Democratic National Committee LGBT Leadership Council fund raising dinner at Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC. Maybe it's time we stop blindly funding the Democrats and actually expect results. We must hold them accountable. I agree with Meghan McCain - the Democratic party is really safer right now than the Republican party. I agree we are accepted by more Democrats than Republicans. And more Dems are willing to take our money and "support" our issues. But I'm changing the definition of support. I don't want it to be "yes I wish you could have equal rights." I want it to be "I did this, this, and this to get you your equal rights." Then I will give my money to the Democratic party again.

President Obama and the other leaders in the party, this is not 1993. We have seen California voters take rights away from us. We will not sit idly by and wait for things to happen to us. We will demand and make change and you will help us - or you will lose us. I believe this because I think there are more Meghan McCain's out there. One thing we have seen is the Republicans want to keep their money flowing. Just look at all the abstinence only programs and the countless other things the religious right were able to get in the last 8 years. The Republicans aren't going to lose that money as long as they stay Pro-Life.

Wouldn't it be something if the Meghan McCain Republicans got more done for the gay community that the Democrats have.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Podcast - Episode 6

Episode 6 of "Thoughts From A Lezzymom" is now available FREE on iTunes. You can subscribe and listen to it here. Please use the tell your friends link in iTunes and spread the word about the show. If you don't have iTunes use the player in the sidebar on the blog to listen to the show.

In this episode of the podcast I discuss the latest in LGBT news. Some of the topics updates on the progress we have made on marriage equality. Also, the passing of the hate crimes bill in the House of Representatives and some of the controversy that came out of that.
Following the news we have a great interview with animated comic Lizzy the Lezzy created by Ruth Selwyn. She performs, discusses who she would like to do a duet with and what she thinks of the National Organization of Marriage. You can find out more about Lizzy the Lezzy at or You can also follow her on twitter where she is very happy to talk with everyone

Our song of the show is by Jennifer Vasquez and is called "I'm No Saint" from her Album Bend which was nominated for “Independent Triple A Album of The Year” by the Los Angeles Music Awards. She has been an ACAPLU$ winner since 2001, was chosen as one of the Hot 100 Unsigned Artist four years in a row at Music Connection Magazine, and received a nod from Billboard Songwriting Contest a few years back for her songs "Bend", "Nothing Without You", "I'm No Saint" and "He's Like Strawberry Milk". Keep up with Jennifer by following her on twitter. You can pick up her album for $4 at 

Finally I give my thoughts on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. This topic has been in the news a lot lately since Lt. Dan Choi came out on the Rachel Madow Show and has since received disharge papers. Lt. Choi is an Arabic linguist and his services are very important to the military during wartime. I discuss information I have obtained from an unnamed source at the pentagon and shed some light on the obstacles of overturning DADT. Also I discuss how you can make a difference in repealling DADT.

Thanks for listening and remember you can send me comments and show ideas by emailing me at

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Human Rights Campaign Announces Partnership with California Faith for Equality

The following is a press release from the Human Rights Campaign:

New comprehensive effort to broaden, diversify, and deepen religious support for marriage equality

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, announced today a new strategic partnership with California Faith for Equality (CFE), a statewide group established to educate, support and mobilize California's faith communities on LGBT equality.

The partnership joins CFE and its 6,000 supporting faith leaders with both HRC's Religion and Faith Program expertise as well as support from the National Field Department to broaden, diversify and deepen religious support for marriage equality in California. The partnership comes on the eve of an expected decision by the California Supreme Court on Proposition 8 which stripped away the right of same-sex couples to marry.

“This is a strategic partnership to not only expand and diversify CFE's impressive statewide work, but to ensure that California voters know that many people of faith support same-sex marriage," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “Religion was too often used as a weapon against us in California, and we know whatever the court's decision, this is critical work in achieving full equality."

The Human Rights Campaign will lend significant resources both on-the-ground and collaboratively to California Faith for Equality. Religion and Faith Director Harry Knox and HRC field staff will assist CFE build capacity for a sustained, locally-driven public education campaign led by California clergy and supported by their congregants.

“We must harness this opportunity and help local clergy build advocacy for marriage equality into their routine work in congregations and train participants to utilize low-cost, high-impact public education that extends their justice ministries,” said Harry Knox, Director of the Human Rights Campaign’s Religion and Faith Program.

“At the core of many people's objection to same-sex marriage is religion,” said Rev. Roland Stringfellow, Bay Area Coalition of Welcoming Congregations. “This collaboration facilitates open and constructive dialogs within faith communities about the inherent worth and dignity of all of God's creation and the shame that is created when people are forced to live without integrity when their lives and loves are not valued.”

“The partnership between the Human Rights Campaign and California Faith for Equality is good news to all who are committed to equality,” said Rev. Abel Lopez, All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena CA. “I look forward to the work we will do together as we combine our energies to reach across differences toward the goal of liberty and justice for all.”

The elements of the partnership include:

--Develop a religious declaration of support for marriage equality that multiple faith leaders can endorse, and use it as a coalition-building tool to attract and build CFE's membership and voice.

--Prioritize those counties where Prop 8 passed or failed by seven percent or less, and build new coalitions while strengthening existing ones.

--Train clergy and lay leaders how to build advocacy for LGBT equality into their routine work with their congregations. Additionally, create a specific tool kit to help people of faith build support beyond their places of worship, and into their families and neighborhoods.

--Identify key religious spokespeople relevant to a local community and give visibility to those clergy and their congregations endorsing marriage equality.

--Create culturally-sensitive as well as denomination-specific material to help religious leaders and people of faith to talk about why supporting marriage equality is consistent with the tenets of their faith. This includes identifying and building coalitions and ties with faith communities of color.

--Work with progressive communities of faith to become volunteers and leaders if a marriage campaign is launched. HRC and CFE believe that communities of faith have much to offer in expanding that statewide, volunteer network.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation 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 LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

The mission for California Faith and Equality is to educate, support and mobilize California's faith communities to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and to safeguard religious freedom.
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Monday, May 11, 2009

Justice For All : Creating Safe Schools

On Thursday May 7th, I presented at an event co-hosted by the Human Rights Campaign, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, and Equality Arizona. The goal of the presentation was to start a dialog in Arizona about how to improve the school situation for LGBT students and families.

A few months ago I wrote about Chris Quintanilla, a student in the Peoria High School District that had been told by his school that he could not wear a rainbow wristband that said "Rainbows are Gay." After the ACLU got involved and wrote a letter to the district that matter was resolved favorably and Chris has been able to wear the wristband.

The problem is, the school never really wanted to deal with Chris' sexuality. They wanted to try and hide it and make him conform to how everyone else looks and acts. Many of the students in attendance spoke of a similar problem at their school. The common theme with the students was that the teachers and administrators were not supportive or too scared to be supportive. Since in Arizona one can be fired for being gay many teachers are afraid of losing their jobs if they are assumed to be gay.

I had taught High School for a short time. Back in 1995 students at the High School asked me to help them establish a gay-straight alliance. I was more than happy to sponsor it. While that story should be it's own post some day, I did gain valuable experiences that I could pass onto the students and empower them. I suggested that they try and get the teachers on board by treating it as a sexual harassment policy. All schools must treat name calling using fag, dyke, etc. as sexual harassment. If the teachers and administrators are failing to stop it and follow the necessary discipline procedures then they can be reprimanded.

Besides trying to give tips on empowering the students, I was able to share HRC's latest program called Welcoming Schools. The concept of the program is to start teaching diversity in the elementary schools. This includes teaching about all types of families. My daughter is in 1st grade. For the past two years during the first month of school they do projects about your family. This means each year she has to "come out" to her class that she has 4 mommies (I had her with my ex). This can create questions from the students. How those teacher handles the conversations will be key in how my daughter is accepted by her peers. This is what the program is designed to do, give the teachers training and tools to be able to handle these types of discussions. The program also deals with bullies. We know that bullying happens very young so by having a program that educates teachers on what to do hopefully we can begin to improve the situation.

The program was well received. Thanks to some educators and board members in the audience I think we are going to try and bring the program to Arizona.

All the co-sponsors help to put on a great event and I hope we will see more of these events in the future.

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HRC Raises Maine Flag

On May 6th Maine became the 5th state to recognize same-sex marriage. This was done by the legislature with the Governor's support - the first state to accomplish this. Here is the video of the flag flying on top of the Human Rights Campaign Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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What Can Be Done About Bullying

Last week Oprah discussed a topic that I have been working to prevent for the past 20 years - bullying. On the show were the mothers of, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover and Jaheem Herrera, two 11 year old boys,  that killed themselves because they were called gay, fag, and other types of harassment. 50% of bullying involves this types of bullying. The Supreme Court has included this type of bullying under Sexual Harassment and schools are required to stop it. THEY ARE DOING NOTHING. Watch the interview below.

As a Martial Arts Instructor I see the effects of bullying all the time. The number one mistake we as adults trying to help kids being bullied is to tell them to ignore the bully. Kids need to learn how to stand up with a bully and not look like a victim. This doesn't mean they need to actually hit anyone. They can do this by gaining confidence in themselves, walking with confidence, looking at the bully in the eye and saying in a loud voice that they are DONE taking their crap.

Parents if this is happening to your child instead of saying to the school officials they are bullied, tell them they are also being sexually harassed. Make sure they are aware of that. We need to help school and teachers be able to talk about the harm in using those words in a derogatory manner. Teachers must understand they are breaking the law if they do not follow the sexual harassment policy of the school. We have seen cases were kindergartners have been brought up on sexual harassment charges for things that were never going to lead to suicide. It's time teachers and administrators take this seriously and do their jobs. It's time that we as taxpayers hold them accountable.
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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Kutcher Following Other Actors Running For Congress?

The Kuchter '10 campaign is alive and kicking. I know some of you out there are skeptical about Ashton Kutcher taking on Congressman Steve King (R-IA). King after all is a seasoned politician. He served in the Iowa Senate for six years before being elected to Congress in 2002. However, there is a history of actors becoming successful politicians.

Let take a look at some of the of the actors that led the way for Ashton to make his run for Congress.
  • Ronald Regan - The hero of the Republican party. He stared in over 50 films, became the Governor of California and then went onto become the 40th President of the United States.
  • Clint Eastwood - Star of Dirty Hary and Academy Award Winning Director became the Mayor of Carmel, CA. He was no match for his opponent and didn't have to retire from movies to do the job. He only served one term which would work for me and get Rep. King out of office.
  • Fred Gandy - Played Gopher on the show Love Boat, actually showed Iowa how this is done. After opponents tried to say he was a "fancy educated fool actor" he won anyway. Sounds like something King's people would try on Kutcher who played Michael Kelso on That 70's Show. Kelso was not exactly the smart character on the show.
  • Sonny Bono - Partnered with Cher he stared in The Sony and Cher Show. He became Mayor of Palm Springs and then went on to Congress. Because of his celebrity status, Bono was able to reach across party lines and make many friends on the other side of the aisle.
  • Jesse Ventura - Known for his professional wrestling career, Ventura was able to transition into acting with roles in movies like Predator. He was elected to Mayor of Brooklyn Park, MN by beating the 18 year incumbent. He then went on to surprise everyone by winning the election for Governor of MN by beating out the two mainstream party candidates (one being Norm Coleman).
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger - Know as The Terminator Arnold has starred in numerous blockbuster films. He was elected Governor of California in the 2003 in a recall election. He won after only running for 2 months which shows his use of his celebrity to get the word out.
  • Al Franken - Another example of someone that played a "funny guy" as a star of Saturday Night Live and was able to run a successful campaign for the Senate. He is currently waiting on the final ruling so he can be sworn in as the latest actor to become a representative of the people. This was the most expensive race in Senate history and shows the power of celebrity to fund raise. Another interesting point is that Franken had no previous political experience.
There are many others that could be discussed here like Shirley Temple Black and Jerry Springer that have done the same thing.

Some got involved because something happened to them personally that they wanted to overcome, others got involved because they wanted to make a difference in the bigger picture and replace the incumbent. The common thread is that by being a celebrity the amount of free press and attention that candidate draws is huge. Even if they are not succesfull their ability to expose what the incumbent is doing is amazing. And frankly, if people really knew what Rep. King was saying in Congress on a daily basis they would be shocked and appalled.

With Ashton's amazing ability to control the web and social media and the fact that everyone wants him on their show it would be easy for Kutcher to control the message. Also, the fund raising possibilities are endless. I could not be more excited for Kutcher vs. King 2010. It will be a great day in Iowa politics when King loses his seat.

Lezzymom Lezzymom has two kids and a wonderful partner. Her political commentary has appeared on C-Span and Visit her Lezzymom blog for more of her insights.

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Friday, May 8, 2009

King Opens His Mouth Again

{{w|Steve King}}, member of the United States ...
Image via Wikipedia
Congressman Steve King (R-IA) had more to say this past week when he spoke at the debate for the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

During the debate Rep. King tried again to claim that the Hate Crimes bill really should be called a "Thought Crimes" bill.

He tried to show that it is hard to define someone's sexual orientation because there is a different definition in many reference books.

See the video below for how he tries to confuse members of the House:

He continues by trying to compare what this law is to the George Orwell book "1984" and that if this law is passed we will create "thought police." I find this very interesting since things in this country got a little too close to the book during the Bush-Cheney era. Watch the Congressman here

But one of his "best" moments this week was when he called the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus "separatists" groups.

The term separatists seems to be used here in a derogatory manner such as Anti-American. King's point is that we need to accept each other and embrace our differences. This is very interesting since he has made clear he is unwilling to treat everyone the same, especially when it comes to gay marriage.

Congressman King, I would love to see you start to listen to your own words and treat everyone with respect and embrace each individual for who they are, not who you think they should be or how they should act.

Congressman King, I hope you are ready for the 2010 elections. The Kutcher campaign will be getting a lot of backing - the gays, the african-americans, the hispanics, the muslims...I could go on because there are so many groups you have not been able to embrace and accept.

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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Weekly Presidential Address

Associate Justice David Souter of the US Supre...Image via Wikipedia
This week President Obama focuses on the Swine Flu and what the government is doing about the outbreak. The following is the synopsis from the White House

In this Weekly Address, the President discusses the government's response to the 2009 H1N1 flu virus, urging that there is no need to panic but explaining that the federal government and American people nonetheless should take the necessary precautions.

I have also included the press conference from Friday, May 1st when the President stepped in and announced the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Souter. The President comes in at around 28 minutes.

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