Thursday, May 31, 2012

DOMA = Unconstitutional (Still)

The Defense of Marriage Act has gone through several rough patches over the past year plus. In February 2011, the Department of Justice decided that they would not defend Section 3 of the federal DOMA law any more due to strong constitutional concerns. Section C prevents the federal government from recognizing legal same-sex marriages. Then in February 2012, despite the GOP-controlled House of Representatives' high-price private attorneys' best efforts, the U.S. Ninth Circuit of Appeal in San Francisco also declared Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional in the case of a female federal employee who was denied spousal health benefits for her wife. Basically, the court said that the U.S. government couldn't offer health benefits to the spouses of some federal employees and not others.

Guess what happened today? A three panel judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit just declared Section C of DOMA unconstitutional. This was a unanimous decision and most of those unanimous decision-makers were Republican-appointed federal justices. Once again, the federal court ruled that it is totally unconstitutional for the federal government to treat married gay and lesbian couples differently than other legally married couples in matters of federal recognition or benefits.

Now the case will go before the U.S. Supreme Court. Unlike others, I'm not sure that I want them deciding the fate of my marriage. Then again, I have no control over that decision.

In the meantime, it is good to see another court decision that re-affirms the idea that the U.S. Government cannot treat some legally married couples differently than most other legally married couples, just because a chunk of people disagree with the nature of our families.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

MAD Magazine Predicts DC's Newly Gay/Ex-Hetero Hero!

You might remember a couple days back that I posted speculation that DC Comics' soon-to-be newly gay/ex-hetero super-hero will be none other than Alan Scott the original Green Lantern. Since I was sharing one insider's speculation, it only seems fair that I share another insider's speculation.

MAD Magazine has it's own theory about DC's newly gay heroes -- in fact, I'm starting to wonder if this might not be the lead to follow!

Check this out:

Personally, I'd love it if Apache Chief came out. I have always been a huge fan of his. (Pun totally intended -- though my adoration remains true!)

Gay Marriage States VS. First Cousin Marriage States

These posts are always popular.

Check out this diagram to compare the sheer number of states in this country where gay and lesbian couples are allowed to legally marry versus states where first cousins are allowed to marry:



That's right. Twenty-seven U.S. states allow first cousins to legally marry, but explicitly ban gay or lesbian couples (first cousin or not!) from marrying compared to two states the other way around. Keep in mind that even states like Iowa or New Hampshire recognize heterosexual first cousin marriages performed in other states. My gay marriage, of course, is ignored in most other U.S. states.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"Ain't No Homos Gonna Make It To Heaven"

Check out this website. They highlight a church video of a young kid (probably 3- or 4-years-old) who sings a song to the cheers of his church congregation: "I know the Bible's right, somebody's wrong. I know the Bible's right, somebody's wrong. Romans 1: 26 and 27. Ain't no Homos going to make it to Heaven." (Cue the whoops, hollering, and cheers)

The congregation loved the song so much, they had him perform an encore.

I remember one time my own son (he would've been 4- or 5-years-old at the time) sang "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" at church in honor of the Heifer Project. My church really enjoyed that performance, too:

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
A hippopotamus is all I want
I don't want a dog or rhinoceros
All I want for Christmas is a hippopotamus
And a hippopotamus wants me too

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
A hippopotamus is all I want
I don't want a dog because a dog's such a fuss
All I want for Christmas is a hippopotamus
And a hippopotamus wants me too

I can see me now on Christmas morning
Creeping down the stairs
And because I looked surprise
When I open up my eyes
I see a hippo hero standing there

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
A hippopotamus is all I want
I don't want a dog or a rhinoceros
All I want for Christmas is a hippopotamus
And a hippopotamus wants me too

The first church glorified God by celebrating a song aimed at expelling GLBT people from the Church. The second church honored an organization that seeks to end world hunger. I guess it's a toss-up over which song best captured the essence of Christ.

Which song to you believe best captured Christ's essence?

Nero at Daycare -- 05/29/12

It was another hot one today, but that didn't stop by dogs from having a blast at doggy daycare! Check out Nero!:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Is Alan Scott (AKA Earth 2 Green Lantern) DC's Newly Gay/Ex-Het Hero?

I wrote a couple days back about the group, One Million Moms, and their recent complaints over Marvel Comics' gay wedding planned for next month's Astonishing X-Men #51. OMM is also upset over recent editorial announcements that DC Comics -- as part of their company-wide reboot -- will reintroduce one of their previously established heterosexual male iconic characters as a gay man.

I have not written much about this topic. I haven't read pretty much any DC Comics in a few years. I got hooked in the late 90s following another company reboot. But I grew tired of company-wide events that totally shook up everything. It got to be too much for me to keep up with so I bailed and stuck with Marvel Comics (and more recently Archie Comics!!!).

I stayed out of the speculation about who was being rebooted as gay because I have no idea who has already shown up this year during DC's initial comic book re-launches. Most of DC's biggest male icons -- Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Hal Jordan, Flash -- have already been relaunched, so I figured the gay man would be one of DC's Golden Age (i.e., World War II) characters who inspired many of their later characters like Flash and Green Lantern.

Looks like I was correct with my theory, assuming this latest batch of comic book gossip is correct. According to sources close to Bleeding Cool Comics, DC's newly gay character will be Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern!

Green Lantern was apparently introduced (out of costume) in DC's new book, Earth 2. I know nothing of the book, though I presume it's about an alternate reality and features all of DC Comics' old Justice Society super-heroes. Time will tell if Bleeding Cool Comics' source has it right!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Scottish Parliament Entertaining Motion to Welcome Northstar's Gay Wedding // Promote Marriage Equality!

I wrote yesterday about the group called One Million Moms who are upset about Marvel Comics' planned gay wedding next month. I learned this morning about another prominent group that is actually a bit excited about the wedding of Northstar and Kyle Jinadu: The Scottish Parliament!:
A motion has been introduced in Scottish Parliament to acknowledge the wedding Northstar and to declare that “same-sex marriage should not be restricted to the world of literature and fantasy.”

Lodged Thursday by Mary Fee, a Scottish Labour Party member representing West Scotland, the motion states: “That the Parliament welcomes the news that the Marvel comic, X-Men, will feature its first same-sex marriage, which will feature Northstar, believed to be the first openly gay comic superhero; understands that, in 1992, Marvel was the first comic publisher to reveal a gay superhero; notes that Northstar is not the first gay character to have had a same-sex marriage in the comic book world, and agrees that same-sex marriage should not be restricted to the world of literature and fantasy.” It’s supported by eight other Members of the Scottish Parliament.

Obviously the motion carries no legislative weight; they’re routinely introduced as an expression of support (for instance, Fee lodged a motion earlier this month recognizing comedian Eddie Izzard’s effort to run 27 marathons in 27 days as a tribute to Nelson Mandela). Still, it’s interesting to see how, just two days after Marvel officially announced the marriage of Northstar and Kyle Jinadu, a comic-book plot development (or marketing ploy, as some would argue) has been seized upon to advance a larger, global social issue.

Leslie Graduated!!!

It was a good night last night. Our oldest boy, Leslie, graduated from high school! Leslie was joined last night by Husband Mark and me, our youngest boy D'Angelo, Leslie's mom and sister, Mark's parents, and my mother. It was a moving ceremony that was full of accolades for the City High Class of 2012. Leslie showed up twice on the remembrance video. Lastly, I'm impressed that we made it through the ceremony and passed out all of the diplomas for roughly 315 students in just over one hour!

City High Class of 2012 (Leslie's in the 6th row; 2nd to end on the left)
The Proud Graduate
Mark, Leslie, and Me
Congratulations, Leslie! You made it through one major life milestone. I cannot wait to see what you accomplish next!

Friday, May 25, 2012

"One Million Moms" Not Happy with Marvel Comics Over Gay Wedding or DC Comics Over Gay Hero

Several months ago, Archie Comics' Life With Archie #16 featured a wedding between Kevin Keller and his new groom, Clay Walker. One Million Moms announced a boycott -- one week after Life With Archie #17 was released. The boycott was a flop and the comic book sold out.

Earlier this week, Marvel Comics' Astonishing X-Men #50 featured, among other things, Canadian hero Northstar proposing to his longtime boyfriend Kyle -- and getting turned down!!! Presumably things will work out in the end, because they are scheduled to host a Central Park wedding next month in Astonishing X-Men #51.

Meanwhile, one of DC comics' editors announced last week that they -- as part of their company-wide reboot -- plan to reintroduce one their previously heterosexual male iconic characters as a gay man. (The current big theory is Golden Age Green Lantern, Alan Scott).

One Million Moms is being more timely this time around and has issued a press release demanding that its followers contact both Marvel Comics and DC Comics and insist that they scrap these story lines -- or else!:
Children desire to be just like superheroes. Children mimic superhero actions and even dress up in costumes to resemble these characters as much as possible. Can you imagine little boys saying, “I want a boyfriend or husband like X-Men?”

This is ridiculous! Why do adult gay men need comic superheroes as role models? They don’t but do want to indoctrinate impressionable young minds by placing these gay characters on pedestals in a positive light. These companies are heavily influencing our youth by using children’s superheroes to desensitize and brainwash them in thinking that a gay lifestyle choice is normal and desirable. As Christians, we know that homosexuality is a sin (Romans 1:26-27)...

TAKE ACTION
Please send DC Comics (Warner Bros. Entertainment Company) and Marvel (Disney) an email urging them to change and cancel all plans of homosexual superhero characters immediately. Ask them to do the right thing and reverse their decision to have sexual orientation displayed to readers.
You heard it here. One Million Moms wants both Marvel Comics and DC Comics to get rid of sexual orientation in comics. No more Superman and Lois Lane. No more Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman. Heck, no more Franklin and Valerie Richards -- as they are the direct results of their parents' sexual orientations!

Unfortunately for OMM, neither Marvel nor DC have any plans to scrap either of these story lines. They are already in the can, so to speak. Marvel in particular has advertised the heck out of Northstar's wedding for a couple months now. They anticipated blow back from groups like OMM and they have preemptively decided to ignore the blow back from groups like OMM. In fact, they are likely hoping for blow back from groups like OMM because it gives them a chance for free publicity and sold out issues like LWA #16!

But I could be wrong. What do you all think?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

UCC Reform Group Shares "Why We Stay"

A few years ago, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ came out in favor of marriage equality. As I've noted before, it wasn't entirely embraced by everyone in the denomination. One of the results of that resolution was the formation of a group called Faithful and Welcoming Churches, a conglomerate of evangelical, conservative, orthodox, and traditional churches who decided to stick it out in the UCC.

UCC News shared an article about FWC today about the FWC's new video, "Why We Stay":

They are congregations that may not embrace all things UCC, but they love being part of the denomination, and are committed to staying. That is the primary message behind "Why We Stay," a short video of testimonials from members of the Faithful and Welcoming Churches (FWC).

Members of FWC generally describe themselves as one or more of the following: evangelical, conservative, orthodox, or traditional (ECOT). What the churches have in common –– all advocate for a point of view often "underrepresented and misunderstood" in the UCC, said the Rev. Bob Thompson, pastor of Corinth Reformed Church in Hickory, N.C., and president of Faithful and Welcoming Churches.

"We're UCC, but our way of understanding and expressing our faith is distinctively different than what we hear coming out of General Synod or Cleveland," Thompson said.

The Faithful and Welcoming group came into existence in 2005 after the General Synod vote affirming equal marriage rights for couples regardless of gender. Some of the 79 churches which are formally identified with FWC, and listed on the website protested that decision. The group's website points to "the practice and proclamation of human sexuality as God's gift for marriage between a man and a woman."

"FWC wants to be able to protest and disagree [about the issues that divide them from the wider church] in a constructive, and engaged way, because they don't want to leave the UCC," said Thompson.

FWC members say they are called to the founding vision of the United Church of Christ. Thompson pointed out that the UCC emerged from the ecumenical movement's passion for living out the prayer of Jesus in John 17:21 –– the visible unity of the church that the world may believe.

Congregant Agrees with Pastor's Anti-Gay Concentration Camp Idea

Earlier this week, I wrote about North Carolina-based preacher, Pastor Charles Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church who expressed a desire to drop all gay men in one electric cage and all lesbians in another and then wait for them to die off. He clarified towards the end that he really meant what he was talking about.

Since then, Worley's congregation has pulled together to support their pastor's concentration camp fantasies. One of those congregants, Stacey Pritchard, spoke with CNN's Anderson Cooper last night and wavered between agreeing with the pastor and saying that gay and lesbian people shouldn't be upset because they're not really gonna lock us up in cages.


Worley, Pritchard, and the rest of the church seem pleased with their idea that gay men locked in a cage cannot reproduce. News flash: If you locked a bunch of straight men in one electrified cage and a bunch of straight women in another, they'd eventually die off too.

It's also interesting that the Right cannot figure out what homo origin tale they believe in. Will gay and lesbian people fade away if locked up in concentration camps? If so, they they concede that sexual orientation is biologically determined. If we're made gay by faulty parenting or whatever else environmental factor you come up with, then they're just being cruel to the gays and not really getting rid of us.

Either way, this church is despicable. Fortunately, I'll never worship with them or they with me.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Man Takes Pet Zebra and Macaw to the Bar // Gets Arrested for OWI

(source)
I really love Iowa somedays! This past Sunday evening, a man from Cascade, IA, decided to drive to a Dubuque-based bar with two of his best friends. Unfortunately for the man, his best friends are a zebra and a macaw. The bartender wasn't amused and the unusual trio were kicked to the curb, but not before the police were called and the man was arrested and charged with operating while intoxicated!

Check out this description from the Gazette:
Dubuque police found the trio in the cab of (Jarald) Reiter’s pickup truck outside the Dog House Lounge at 1646 Asbury Road. Police charged Reiter with operating while intoxicated.

Reiter and Vickey Teter own the zebra and parrot as pets but the couple often takes the exotic animals out for a spin. “We take them for car rides and they go and they get the mail with me. They are a big part of the family,” Teter said. That’s why Reiter thought nothing of taking his beloved zebra and parrot with him when he went to the bar.

The bartender did think something of it and told the trio to leave, according to Reiter. Reiter said other bar patrons were shocked to see the animals and started snapping pictures. He believes one of those onlookers called police.

The couple understands why the whole thing may have seemed odd to people who are not used to being around exotic animals. “It’s not everyday you see somebody that’s got a zebra or a parrot in the house,” said Teter, “and who knows tomorrow what might be in our house.
Reiter was arrested and a friend came to take home the animals. Next time, he should take a cue from this guy and get a baby stroller or baby clothes for his pets so that they don't look quite so out of place when they're out in public!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Marvel's Northstar Getting Gay Married!

A couple months back, I wrote about some promotional material announcing the secret wedding of at least one X-Man in Astonishing X-Men #51. It was pretty clear that Northstar, Marvel Comics' premier gay mutant, was going to marry his long-time boyfriend Kyle Jinadu. Today we learned that Jean-Paul proposed to Kyle!



I originally thought about coming up with 51 thoughts about Northstar's engagement and wedding and the hubbub surrounding it, but that quickly seemed like too lofty a goal. Here are some of my initial thoughts:

* I really like Northstar's tux -- particularly that little star symbol on his lapel.

* It was interesting reading Comic Book Resources (CBR)'s interview with Astonishing X-Men creative team Axel Alonso, Marjorie Liu, and Mike Perkins. They mention that wedding invitations will be sent out to all of the X-Men characters, even though there's currently a schism between mutants linked to Wolverine versus Cyclops. I see from the lay-out pic that several members of Team Cyclops break ranks to attend the wedding: notably Storm, Dazzler, Psylocke, Dr. Nemesis, No-Girl, and Mercury. I'm assuming there may be more in attendance. It's interesting that Madison Jeffries (AKA Box II) isn't featured in the wedding picture given his ties to Alpha Flight. And it's kind of surprising that there aren't more Team Cyclops members at the wedding.

* Astonishing X-Men writer Marjorie Liu noted that at least one of the X-Men chose to avoid Northstar's wedding due to "cultural reasons". Given that she's the only member of Northstar's current match of X-Men not featured in the wedding pic, I'm assuming that this abstainer is Dr. Cecilia Reyes. I assume that she's Catholic, but it's still kind of a jolt that she wouldn't attend the wedding. She doesn't strike me as someone who would avoid a gay wedding as opposed to Wolverine's young African mutant, Indie.

* I'm glad to see that Psylocke attends, but ninja formal outfits are kind of tacky at weddings, don't you think?

* I really hate it when people complain that comic books are meant for big battles and not about mundane life events like weddings -- especially when it's gay characters living social lives. I don't remember complaints of "why can't the Avengers pound on Skrulls like they did in the old days" when Cyclops married Jean Grey. The fact is that comic books are filled with love stories. Or am I imagining Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy and Lois Lane and all of the dozens of comic book love triangles published regularly by Marvel, DC, Archie Comics, etc?

* I also hate it when people who haven't picked up a comic book in years complain about the state of comic books today.

* I'm really glad that Northstar's best gal pal, Dazzler, will be at the wedding. Marvel has plans (for some reason) to send her dimension-hopping in their new series, X-Treme X-Men. Given that she and he were pretty tight back before Marvel's most recent Alpha Flight series, it would be a shame if she missed the nuptials. (Now if only someone could get her a new costume!!!)

* I'm super-psyched to see the main members of Alpha Flight at the wedding! Canada's greatest super team had one of their best story lines recently. It's too bad that their book got canceled. Still, it's good to see them all together and celebrating the wedding of their resident speedster. Northstar's twin sister Aurora looks pretty in her dress. I'm hoping that her alternate personality, Jeanne-Marie, doesn't assert herself and cause problems at the wedding. That wouldn't be too cool.

Anywho, I'll be picking up Astonishing X-Men #50 (the engagement issue) tomorrow so I might have more thoughts to share. I'll definitely have lots to crow about next month when I purchase issue #51 (the wedding issue). Enjoy!

Nero at Daycare -- 05/22/12

It was a hot one today. Fortunately, Nero and the other dogs got to play in water while at doggy daycare. Check it out:



Monday, May 21, 2012

NC Pastor Wants to Place All Gays & Lesbians in Electric Cages Until We Die Out

This past May 13th, most church's were celebrating Christ and acknowledging Mother's Day. Pastor Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church of Maiden, NC, was instead advocating that all gay and lesbian people be captured and locked away in electric fences until we all die off:


Amidst cheers of "Amen!", Pastor Worley gleefully shared his politically untenable solution for dealing with gay and lesbian people:

I figured a way out — a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers. But I couldn’t get it passed through Congress. Build a great big large fence, 150 or 100 miles long. Put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals. Have that fence electrified so they can’t get out. Feed ‘em, and– And you know what? In a few years they’ll die out. You know why? They can’t reproduce.
He then expressed disgust at the idea of two men kissing each other. Worley finishes up discussing his solution that people better believe he meant to say all of this.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Church Says "Two Men Are Friends, Not Spouses" // Life Goes On

Gay Marriage in Massachusetts celebrated its eighth birthday this week. This very same week, St. Francis Xavier Parish of Acushnet, MA, advertised the following message on its church sign: "Two Men Are Friends, Not Spouses". Somebody protested the message and the church eventually changed the message again, but nobody was arrested for this marriage inequality message in that marriage equality state. The church leadership managed to avoid fines. The church itself still manages to function in every capacity.

I thought that marriage equality rips away the religious liberties of those who disagree with the concept of two men or two women marrying each other? Guess not.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Rev. Otis Moss III of Trinity UCC Supportive of President Obama's Pro-Gay Marriage Stance

President Barack Obama officially came out earlier this month in support of equal marriage rights, responsibilities, and protections for gay and lesbian families. Since then, many people have offered their reactions -- both positive and negative. One of those who recently offered his own two cents was Rev. Otis Moss III, the senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ:
The Rev. Otis Moss III, the senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, read a letter to his congregation on Sunday defending Obama and the quest for marriage equality. "November is incredibly important to our community," Moss said, reminding worshipers that he was encouraging them to engage in public debate, not telling them how to vote.
"The question I believe we should pose to our congregations is, ’Should all Americans have the same civil rights?’" Moss read from his letter. " ... There is difference between rights and rites. We should never misconstrue rights designed to protect diverse individuals in a pluralistic society versus religious rites designed by faith communities to communicate a theological or doctrinal perspective...
"The institution of marriage is not under attack as a result of the president’s words. Marriage was under attack years ago by men who viewed women as property and children as trophies of sexual prowess," he said, drawing applause from the audience. "Marriage is under attack by low wages, high incarceration, unfair tax policy, unemployment and lack of education..."

 "Gay and lesbian citizens did not cause the economic crash, foreclosures and attack upon health care," Moss said. "Poor underfunded schools were not created because people desire equal protection under the law. We have much work to do as a community, and to claim the president of the United States must hold your theological position is absurd. He is president of the United States of America not the president of the Baptist convention or bishop of the sanctified or holiness church. He is called to protect the rights of Jew and Gentile, male and female, young and old, gay and straight, black and white, atheist and agnostic."
President Obama was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ for many years, before leaving the church following contrived controversies involving Trinity's former senior pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

"I Know What My Family Is Worth."

Down in Australia, there was a television program featuring various politicians, including an exchange about gay marriage and gay parenting between Finance Minister Penny Wong and shadow treasurer Joe Hockey:
Prompted by an audience question about why the shadow treasurer thinks he and his wife make better parents than the Finance Minister and her female partner, the segment ends with Wong quietly but firmly declaring: "I know what my family is worth"...

Wong and her office were overwhelmed by calls and messages of support immediately after her Q&A appearance and that the messages continued into the week – a rare occurrence as the Finance Minister does not seek to campaign publicly on the gay marriage issue.

But Wong was not expecting such a personal question on Monday night – as is clear from her look of surprise and intake of breath when the question was asked. And then from her off-the-cuff response to Hockey's answer.

The shadow treasurer certainly squirmed under the spotlight of live national TV. "I must confess my views have changed since I've had children", he said. "I think in this life we've got to aspire to give our children what I believe is the very best circumstances, and that's to have a mother and a father.''

In response, Wong began with: ''Well, there's almost nothing I can say. When you say those things, Joe, what you're saying to not just me but people like me is that the most important thing in our lives, which is the people we love, is somehow less good, less valued,'' she said.

Wong went on to acknowledge that comments like Hockey's were hurtful, but concluded by saying: "I know what my family is worth.''
blockquote> Good for Wong. I grow weary of people who say that gay parents are worth less than straight parents with qualifiers like "I'm not saying gay parents are worse than straight parents". Which is it? Regardless, high praises to Penny Wong for standing up for her family is firm dignity.

You can check out the clip here:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Katie Beckett -- Inspiration for the Medicaid Waiver System -- Passes On

How terribly sad:
Katie Beckett, 34, whose battle with a childhood disease and federal bureaucracy made her a national symbol in the 1980s, died Friday. Her mother, Julie Beckett, told the Des Moines Register Friday that doctors predicted she would live until she was about 10. “We weren’t supposed to have her this long,” she said. “She lived a very long and pretty good life. It was tough, but she did pretty well. I don’t want anyone to be maudlin about it.”

Julie Beckett said her daughter always breathed through a tracheotomy tube in her throat, and a machine helped her breathe at night. She had recently suffered digestive problems and had been in and out of the hospital. She was in pain Thursday. Friday morning, a nurse noticed that she had stopped breathing. Efforts to revive her were unsuccessful...

Beckett contracted viral encephalitis five months after her March 9, 1978, birth in Cedar Rapids. She recovered after three years in pediatric intensive care, but the resulting respiratory condition required continued therapy and use of a respirator 12 hours a day.

“I was forced to live in a hospital for the first 3 1/2 years of my life because insurance companies would not pay for services to let me live at home,” Beckett wrote The Gazette in 2007.

The federal health insurance program Medicaid took over Beckett’s care after her parents’ private insurance hit its $1 million benefit limit. At the time, Medicaid policy required a hospital stay for coverage of the respirator, even though the device could be used at home.

Julie Beckett convinced Tom Tauke, then a Republican congressman from Dubuque, that it would be cheaper and easier to provide Katie’s needed care and services at home. Tauke sponsored legislation creating what became known as the “Katie Beckett waiver,” which made in-home and community health care a matter of policy. President Ronald Reagan cited the Becketts’ situation as an example of unreasonable Medicaid regulations.
Because of Beckett and her family (as well as Tauke and President Reagan), the Medicaid Waiver system was born. Disabled children and adults benefit from these services. Some, like Beckett, need in-home medical services. Others, like my boy, use the Waivers to pay for vocational training and supported community living skills to eventually prepare him for living in his own home.

I recently spoke at an event, where I discussed the Waiver system and its origins. It was a good reminder of politicians and constituents coming together to recognize that there are better ways to accomplish something. Beckett will be missed, but her legacy will live on.

My condolences to Katie's family.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Man Protests All-You-Can Eat Restaurant

Check this out. This guy went out to eat at his favorite restaurant. That particular evening, they were hosting an all-you-can-eat fish fry. Unfortunately, they ran out and he was still hungry. The owner offered him an alternative meal item for free, but he got upset and refused to pay his bill. The police got called and things escalated. Now he's been spending all his free time protesting the restaurant:


Who do you sympathize in this story? The restaurant that ran out of fish or the customer who left the restaurant hungry?

Gay Marriage in Massachusetts Turns 8 Today!!!

Gay and lesbian couples began marrying legally eight years ago on May 17, 2004. Since then, 18,462 gay and lesbian couples have joined together in marriage.

Since then...

Massachusetts has continued to avoid God's wrath.

Massachusetts continues to boast one of the lowest divorce rates in the county.

No pastor and no church has ever been forced to recognize a gay marriage or to officiate at a gay wedding.

No pastor has been jailed for speaking out against marriage equality.

Congratulations, Massachusetts! I can't wait for Iowa to catch up to your milestone!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Octomom Files for Bankruptcy // TMZ Suggests She Get Rid of Her Kids // Updated Below!! // Further Update: Bankruptcy Denied!!!

(Originally posted on 05/01/12): Thanks, TMZ, for making me feel bad for Nadya Suleman (AKA "Octomom") again due to your recent reports about her bankruptcy filing! Last week they reported that she filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which isn't a huge shocker given that she's recently gone on welfare food assistance. Earlier today, they reported that she owes between $500,000 -- $1,000,000 to various creditors. They then list her creditors:

-- Orkin Pest Control
-- Roberto Robles Gardening Services
-- Sparkletts
-- William F. Turner Attorney at Law
-- Kaiser Permanente
-- The DMV
-- Farmers Insurance Group
-- Verizon Wireless
-- City of La Habra Water Dept.
-- So Cal Gas Company
-- So Cal Edison Company (power)
-- Sylvan Learning
-- Superior Court of California
-- Whittier Christian School
-- DirecTV
They then go on to mock her cable TV and internet usage as signs of her screwed up priorities. Frankly, given all the crazy things you here about Octomom's spending indulges (including here), her list of creditors are pretty down-to-Earth: pest control, attorney, utilities and other household bills, academics... Also, just because she has a cable bill doesn't mean that she's getting tons of premium channels. Cable can be pretty cheap entertainment for 14 kids. That doesn't mean that they might not lose it, but just her having it doesn't mean that she's a terrible person with screwed up priorities.

The worst though is their interview with her late last week is the question about whether or not she will give up her kids to save herself financially. That's pretty low, in my opinion.

Updated to Add: Husband Mark tells me I'm losing my inner cynic when it comes to Octomom. He pointed out that it isn't very surprising that her debts include the schools and the utilities and the DMV, etc... He suggested that she could be paying the bills on luxury items (like last month's Brazilian Blowout hair treatments) while putting off debt involving stuff like the schools. People (possibly like me) might be more sympathetic to her financial plight when they see unpaid school bills and they might even help pay off some of that debt. I concede that my husband has a good point.

I still think thought that the adoption suggestion for her kids was a pretty out of line.

Updated on 05/16/12: TMZ reported yesterday that Octomom's bankruptcy case got rejected by the courts! Apparently, she failed to submit all of the necessary paperwork on time and then forgot to seek a deadline extension. As a result, her creditors are all free to seek payment for her multiple debts!

Bristol Palin Receives Hostile Comments Over Gay Marriage Beliefs // Blames Hollywood

I wrote this weekend about Bristol Palin's critique of President Barack Obama's evolution towards full support of marriage equality for gay and lesbian families. She basically accused President Obama of being a bad dad because he learned from his kids on this particular topic instead of the other way around. Oh, and she said that kids need both a mom and a dad; something her own little boy lacks.

Since then, people have been exercising extremely poor Internet social skills on Palin's blog by posting death threats and nasty insults. Somehow, "Hollywood sheeple" are to blame -- she doesn't really explain how in her post.

HOWEVER, people need to chill out. Palin disagrees with gay families. It isn't a capital offense. She and others are allowed to disagree on this subject. They are even allowed to live out their own lives in conflicting lifestyles from what they preach. They don't deserve death threats and they don't deserve nasty insults.

It does not do the cause of marriage equality any good when we set out to eviscerate those who disagree with us. Opinions are slowly shifting in our favor. They can just as easily shift away from us when we treat those who disagree with us in cruel and terrible ways.

Next time you see something that Palin writes (or Hannity or Obama or Clinton or Beck or Romney or whomever) and you disagree with it and you decide that you really need to sock it to them with a nasty anonymous comment... pause. Just pause and think about what you are writing and thinking about publishing. Is that comment (anonymous or not) the message you want to represent your side of the debate? Answer that question and then pause and consider again. More than likely, you'll serve your side of the debate better by ignoring your instinct to post harassing comments.

In other words, STOP IT!

One last thing for Bristol herself. You wrote:
Oh, and in that post I also said generally kids do better with mother/father families – the kind of family I’d like to have for Tripp one day.
You should speak to Dr. Laura about that plan first. She'll bite your head off. My inner Dr. Laura would warn you away from marrying and saddling Tripp with a step-father -- at least before he graduates and moves out of the home. Step-families with kids are more likely to fall apart. Plus, it's extremely possible that you will deal with angst-ridden step-family dynamics, such as grandparents treating your son differently than other children you might create with a hypothetical step-father. I'm less of a bear about this than Dr. Laura -- but she's more of an expert than me when it comes to traditional family dynamics and expectations. Just some unsolicited advice...

Pastor Supports Anti-Gay Starbucks Boycott by Purchasing Starbucks Products

I wrote a couple months back about the conservative campaign to boycott Starbucks over the corporation's support for marriage equality. Despite a worldwide effort to get people to dump Starbucks, Starbucks' sale have actually gone up since the boycott began in March.

Anyway, Pastor Bob Enyart of Denver Bible Church in Colorado thought it would be a great idea to demonstrate his participation in the "Dump Starbucks" boycott by purchasing a cup of coffee from Starbucks and pouring it down the sewer drain. I think he misses the point. Starbucks likely doesn't care what you do with their products after you purchase them. You can drink their coffee or you can toss it in the trash. They still got paid.

You can see Pastor Enyart's video here:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rhode Island Governor Orders State to Recognize Out-of-State Gay Marriages

Rhode Island does not issue marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples. But roughly nine months ago, gay and lesbian couples were given the option of applying for civil union licenses. Unfortunately, almost nobody wants to apply for civil unions. Early this month, we learned that only 52 people had applied for such licenses. They don't like that organizations within the state are free to ignore their civil unions and have instead traveled to neighboring states to actually get married. As a result, nearly $8 million dollars spent on gay weddings by Rhode Island couples are being spent in neighboring states instead of their own state!

Fastforward to yesterday. Rhode Island's governor, Lincoln Chafee, signed an executive order directing state agencies to recognize marriages performed out of state as legal relationship and to treat married gays as they treat married straight couples:
Some gay couples married outside Rhode Island — where civil unions are allowed, but gay marriage is illegal — have not been afforded certain rights because state law is not clear on the subject.

In 2007, then-Attorney General Patrick Lynch issued an opinion in favor of recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages, but it was nonbinding. Chafee said his signing of the executive order is “following through” on that opinion...

Same-sex spouses of state employees and anyone covered by an insurance company regulated in Rhode Island will be entitled to health and life insurance benefits, gay rights advocates say.

Both partners in a same-sex couple will be able to list their names as parents on a child’s birth certificate, and same-sex couples will be entitled to sales tax exemptions on the transfer of property including vehicles.

This of course takes even more bite out of the state's civil union law. I don't know many people who would settle for marriage-lite when they can just as easily skip the border and claim marriage itself!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Iowa Supreme Court Justice Ready to Defend his Record Over Upcoming Retention Vote

Two years ago, three of Iowa's Supreme Court justices were defeated in a retention vote, largely due to the efforts of thrice-failed gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats, as well as a ton of out-of-state money from groups like the National Organization for Marriage and the American Family Association. It was a big shock to many I know, including tons of attorneys and judges that I know in my day-to-day life. Part of the problem during the last retention vote was that the justices stayed out of the fray. They wanted to keep the process pure. By the time they began to respond to attacks, it was too late.

This November, one of Iowa's Supreme Court justices is up for a retention vote. However, Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins isn't going to sit around and passively listen while out-of-state culture warriors destroy his career or character:
“If someone wants to attack me, I’m not going to let them bully me,” Wiggins said in a telephone interview last week with The Des Moines Register. “If asked to, I’ll speak up for myself. The others didn’t do that last time. I will.”

Wiggins this fall will become the fourth member of Iowa’s highest court to stand for a retention vote since the court issued a landmark 2009 decision legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. The unanimous Varnum v. Brien decision, which outraged social conservatives, made Iowa the first Midwestern state to sanction gay marriage.
BVP's The FAMiLY LEADER is already crowing about their fund-raising efforts to defeat Wiggins and to destroy my family and other gay families like it.

However, it may be difficult for anti-gay voters to vote out Wiggins without harming his newest co-workers on the Iowa Supreme Court -- justices who had nothing to do with the Varnum V. Brien case that struck down the state's DOMA law and led the way for marriage equality in this state:
Wiggins will share November’s retention ballot with the three new justices who replaced Ternus, Streit and Baker. They are Edward Mansfield, Thomas Waterman and Bruce Zager. Any political campaign against Wiggins would require that would-be voters remember his name...

“Last time it was pretty easy because they all voted ‘no’ on all Supreme Court justices,” (ONE Iowa's Calla) Rongerude said. “This time, they would have to single out just Wiggins, and I think that’s going to be harder.”

Plus, some attitudes have changed in the intervening years, Rongerude believes. Iowans now appear to be focused mostly on economic concerns, she said. “To quote the president, people have evolved on this issue,” she said. “Ultimately, I think Iowans have moved on. I don’t think they’ll take the bait of a fringe special-interest group. I don’t think they’ll do that again...”

Nero at Daycare -- 05/14/12

It was a warm day today, but it looks like the people at Nero's doggy daycare came up with a way to keep the dogs cool. Check it out:


NOM's Maggie Gallagher Asked: What Harm Has Same-Sex Marriage Caused?

Last week, Maggie Gallagher was asked why gay marriage is worse than divorce. This time Maggie was asked: In states were same-sex couples have been allowed to marry, what harm has been brought to individuals or society at large?:


Basically, schools teach kids concepts about family and marriage that include gay and lesbian people and people who disagree are seen as bigots. It's not about protecting gay and lesbian couples (or, when they exist, the children of gay and lesbian parents). The concern is that marriage equality requires others outside of the gay marriages to consider that marriage is more than men and women coming together.

In other words, the harm isn't anything that married gays or lesbians have actually wrought on society. It isn't even that married gay or lesbian people have actually brought financial or physical harm upon society. It is all about the feelings of those that disagree with marriage equality. Gay marriage harms then solely because it exists.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Evangelism 2012: Not Your Grandmother's Evangelism

A special workshop, "Evangelism 2012: Not Your Grandmother’s Evangelism", will be held at Faith United Church of Christ on Saturday, May 19, 2012 from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM.

We have misconceptions about evangelism because we are still defining it the way our grandparents did. Evangelism 2012 is up-to-date, real, makes sense for us in today’s society, and is not at all scary. Together we will examine what evangelism is and isn’t and ways to do evangelism more effectively with less stress and work.

Register via e-mail at faithucc@q.com, by phone 319-338-5238, or by mail at 1609 DeForest Avenue, Iowa City, Iowa 52240. The cost is $7. That includes morning and afternoon snacks and a light lunch.

Make your plans to attend and then invite someone to come along!

(Cross-Posted)

Dr. Laura and the Definition of Family

About an hour ago, I drove to the library to exchange some materials. While driving, I decided to listen to a rerun of the "Dr. Laura" radio program on Sirius XM. I'm not a huge fan of Dr. Laura's, but I've listened to her show off and on for nearly 20 years. I don't think she's as anti-gay as others make her out to be and she has given out some good advise over the years.

On the other hand, I hate it when she draws out a call by focusing on some philosophical point that interests her but that doesn't actually address what the caller needed to speak to her about. I also hate it when she derails calls to focus on "sluts" and "studs" that live together without the benefit of marriage. I get her point, but sometimes you need to accept that two people are living together and have an issue that they thought enough about her to seek her input. Unfortunately, Dr. Laura has no time for these folks and is usually pretty disrespectful to these callers. It's a predictable reaction that I can anticipate within seconds of these calls. I'm usually left wondering why these callers actually bothered to seek her opinion.

Case in point, a woman called during this particular rerun. She and her boyfriend of roughly 10 years live in the southwest corner of the country with their baby. Their families live in the northeast portion of the country. I'm sure she had a question and maybe they got to it eventually before I reached the library, but Dr. Laura was still grilling the woman about the issue of "family" when I finished my trip.

"Family is created through marriage, birth, or adoption. Did you adopt your stud? How is he related to you? Did you not hear me correctly?" The caller was speechless. I wanted so much for the caller to say something like, "We are a family through our child. I'm his mother and he is his father. That's how we are a family." Unfortunately, the caller did not have the sense to offer that type of response by the time I'd reached the library.

My husband and I technically were not married for most of our relationship. We had a commitment ceremony, but the law didn't recognize it. To most people, we were two guys sharing a house. Eventually, we became parents and adopted our son together. We were both legal parents to our son, but still were not legally married (or a family, by Dr. Laura's strict definition) until 2010. We were still family through our son -- and frankly we were family long before we ever met our boys.

I consider myself to be family with my son's birth parents, though technically I'm not. I consider myself family to my older boy's birth family, though technically I'm not. It's nice to imagine that "family" is this crisp and orderly relationship that falls into strict categories. But it often isn't that way.

The good people of North Carolina just amended their state constitution to make it so that the only legal relationship recognized within the state are married men and women. Does that mean that gay and lesbian couples are no longer family to each other? No. Does that mean that other families of choice or circumstance that fall outside of North Carolina's newly strict definition of family suddenly lost all sense of connection or affection? Of course not.

Frankly, Dr. Laura is focusing too much on trying to keep things neat and orderly. Unfortunately, people are not neat and orderly. She isn't going to nag that caller into a race towards marriage by treating her disrespectfully. She's just going to nag the caller, avoid the actual problem, and lose a fan in the process. Then again, the nagging isn't really for the caller. It's for the listeners.

Assuming that the caller never actually got to address her actual question without a brief brush-off by Dr. Laura, can I suggest that you find another call-in advise-giver to call? There are tons of them throughout the week on Sirius XM.

To the rest of us -- particularly those of us who have family who fall outside of bounds of "marriage, birth, or adoption" -- don't let others bully you into thinking that your family isn't valid or meaningful or wonderful. Family is about relationship. It doesn't always fall into certain categories. You don't need Dr. Laura's validation or anyone else's (mine included!) to know that your family is great.

Bristol Palin Schools President Obama on Gay Marriage/Being a Dad

Everyone has an opinion about President Obama's recent evolution in support of marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. Why should Bristol Palin be any different?:
While it’s great to listen to your kids’ ideas, there’s also a time when dads simply need to be dads. In this case, it would’ve been helpful for him to explain to Malia and Sasha that while her friends parents are no doubt lovely people, that’s not a reason to change thousands of years of thinking about marriage. Or that – as great as her friends may be – we know that in general kids do better growing up in a mother/father home. Ideally, fathers help shape their kids’ worldview.
Which is rich coming from a single teen mom who, just a couple generations ago, would've been either ostracized from her family for being an unmarried mom and/or her child would've been forcibly been placed for adoption. But she's welcome to her opinion.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

President Barack Obama Finally Endorses Marriage Equality!

Thanks to my software problems, I'm really late on this story. Then again, it's one of those stories you cannot not comment on when you have a blog that discusses gay family issues.

President Barack Obama officially came out in support of marriage rights, responsibilities, and protections for gay and lesbian families earlier this week during an interview with ABC News!:
I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.
This isn't a huge shocker. Pretty much everyone has assumed that he supports marriage equality, but has remained cagey up until now for political expediency. Even without support marriage itself, his administration has been (for the most part) supportive of gay and lesbian families. HUD rules have been made to respect gay and lesbian families. The Department of Justice stopped defending DOMA in federal court. Following the repeal of Don't Ask/Don't Tell, the Department of Defense has allowed chaplains the option of officiating at the weddings of gay and lesbian service members in states where are marriage are legally recognized. There are other examples of practical ways that this administration has been supportive of gay and lesbian people and our families over the past 3.5 years.

(And let's not forget that Obama supported marriage equality in 1996, back when he was running for the Illinois state Senate!)

Still, it's great that we finally have a sitting president who openly supports all of America's families -- het or gay. Also, we will hopefully never hear another Republican assert that "GOP Candidate X" shares the same view on gay marriage as Barack Obama. (Though it should be noted that a few minor Republican presidential candidates do support marriage equality. They've been shut out from most Republican campaign events, but they support marriage equality!)

Thank you, President Obama, for finally coming out of the closet with your support for all of America's families! Hopefully we will reach a time in my life when these types of announcements are no longer controversial.

Romney on Adoption

Mitt Romney on gay adoption on Thursday, May 10, 2012:
And if two people of the same gender want to live together, want to have a loving relationship, or even to adopt a child -- in my state individuals of the same sex were able to adopt children. In my view, that's something that people have a right to do. But to call that marriage is something that in my view is a departure from the real meaning of that word.
Mitt Romney on gay adoption on Friday, May 11, 2012:
Well actually I think all states but one allow gay adoption, so that's a position which has been decided by most of the state legislators, including the one in my state some time ago. So I simply acknowledge the fact that gay adoption is legal in all states but one.
He went from I support the rights of gay people to love each other and raise families outside the bounds of marriage to I simply acknowledge the fact that they exist. It's fun what difference 24 hours can make.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Homosexuality OR Don't Be a Homo like Judas

It's been a long day. My computer is back from the shop and I just got back from a long band concert. I have some stuff I wanted to write, but it will need to wait unti tomorrow morning. In the meantime, I thought I would share some testimony coming out of Lincoln, NE, regarding the "true" nature of homosexuals, bisexuals, and other orgiers. Enjoy!:

Nero at Daycare -- 05/10/12

I seem to be having difficulties with my regular computer again. Hopefully, things will be back to normal by the end of day today or at least by Monday. Either way...

It was a warm day yesterday, but that didn't stop Nero from enjoying himself! Check it out:



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

North Carolina's Amendment One Passes

(source)
The voters of North Carolina voted tonight to amend their state constitution to ban recognition of gay marriage (AND civil unions AND domestic partnerships AND any other domestic relationship that's not a man/woman relationship):
After months of contentious campaigning on both sides of the issue, the Associated Press is reporting that North Carolina voters have approved Amendment One. The constitutional revision bans not only same-sex marriage, but civil unions and domestic partnerships as well. Voter turnout is expected to break 2008′s primary record of 2.1 million. Opponents received reports earlier in the day that young voters in some areas were given incorrect ballots preventing them from voting on the amendment. Conservatives are celebrating a victory, but the vote count so far seems to mirror polling that consistently found that voters were largely unaware of the full impact of the measure. The majority of people in North Carolina clearly do not support this kind of anti-gay discrimination, but misinformation won the day.
Congratulations to North Carolina's culture warriors. You have proven that gays and lesbians in your state are incapable of committing to each other by constitutionally taking away their ability to commit to each other in any possible way. Good for you.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Joe the Plumber Skips Coralville, IA, Gig

(source)
Samuel Wurzelbacher (AKA Joe the Plumber) planned to come to nearby Coralville, IA, earlier today for a "Refuel America Rally". The event was sponsored by Americans for Prosperity and it was going to be used to promote limited government and lower taxes. Twelve supporters and three protesters showed up for the event. Unfortunately, Joe the Plumber didn't:
Samuel Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber, cancelled his Monday trip to Iowa City, but that didn’t stop about a dozen people from meeting at the Coralville Holiday Inn to talk about the need for reform in the White House. Wurzelbacher was supposed to speak at an event hosted by the Iowa chapter of Americans for Prosperity, an organization that bills itself as a grassroots movement to “advocate and promote limited government, lower taxes and more freedom,” according to its website. Wurzelbacher made national news during the2008 presidential campaign after speaking to then-candidate Barack Obama about tax cuts for small businesses. He is now running for Congress in Ohio.
I've searched around a bit, but still haven't come up with a reason for his cancellation.

NOM's Maggie Gallagher: Why Gay Marriage is Worse than Divorce

Maggie was apparently asked: "Why do those defending the sanctity of marriage target a small segment of the threat and ignore adulterers and divorce?"

Her initial response? "Oh, I don't know. Why don't you go ask them?" *Cackles*:


Her larger response? If gays are allowed to marry and you disagree with it, you'll be called a bigot (according to Gallagher). Allowing my marriage to continue to exist will weaken the institution of marriage because... well, because.

In other words, she skirts the question. "Gay marriage is bad because we said it's bad. And stop calling me a bigot." That's the voice of marriage inequality today, folks!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Thought's on "The Avengers"

The entire family got together yesterday afternoon to watch "The Avengers". It was awesome. Definitely one of the better comic book movies made.

The Avengers consisted of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, with Nick Fury keeping everything organized. Personally, I would have included one more super-powered member. Preferably one of the comic book's many female members, like Scarlet Witch, Captain Marvel (FKA Ms. Marvel), Wasp, or Spider-Woman. It just seems like there are too many non-powered people on this team. That said, everyone shined in this movie. The battle scenes were seamless and the characterizations were spot-on. Lastly, this was the best characterization of both the Hulk and Bruce Banner outside of a comic book that I've seen in decades. Plus, it was great how he handled Loki (and Thor) in the movie's final battle.

While waiting to leave for the theater, I told D'Angelo to imagine he's at the eye clinic being fitted for new glasses.
Me, holding out each hand: Iron Man or Hulk.
D': Hulk.
Me: Hulk or Captain America.
D': Captain America.
Me: Captain America or Black Widow.
D': Captain America.
Me. Captain America or Hawkeye.
D': Captain America.
Me: Captain America or Thor.
D': Definitely Thor.
Me: Congrats! You now have the eyes of Thor.
It seemed funnier in person.

Mark felt cheated that we were treated to a generic alien race. He wanted something name-brand like the Skulls or the Kree or the Badoon. I told him that I was pretty sure I'd heard of the Chitauri before and I was correct. They were a shape-shifting race introduced in a storyline a few years back. I learned earlier today the Chitauri were specifically chosen for the movie because they don't have a lot of history bogging them down.

Speaking of the aliens, the glimpse of the new Big Bad was pretty awesome. It was pretty clear that only us nerds knew who it was, though. Most of the audience was whispering, "Who's that?" One guy kept telling his kids that it's Red Skull back from the dead. It's not. It's Thanos, consort of Death herself. I can't wait for the sequel!

I definitely encourage anyone, comic book fan or not, to check out The Avengers. You won't be dissatisfied!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

NC Pastor Claims that People Will be Marrying Animals Soon Because of Gay Marriage

I wrote earlier about the campaign in North Carolina to amend that state's constitution to ban recognition of any domestic relationship that is not a male/female marriage -- including gay marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships. Amendment One will affect both gay & lesbian couples, as well as non-married heterosexual relationships. Predictably, the Religious Right is doing everything they can to shock congregants into voting for this amendment -- including lying about bestiality:


According to Pastor Tim Rabon:
“Marriage is at risk in North Carolina,” Rabon preached. “It is not coincidental that marriage was established by the Lord on the sixth day of the creative week. It is not coincidental that marriage is the first institution God ever established. Before God would put government in place, before God would give birth to his own church, God set up marriage as one man and one woman.”

“Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa, New Hampshire, New York, Washington, [Maryland] plus the District of Columbia have already redefined marriage to include the union of any two people. May I just insert here, that what is stopping them from refining marriage as something between a person and a beast. We're not far from that.
What is stopping people in marriage equality states like Massachusetts or Iowa from "refining" marriage as something between a person and beast, besides the fact that nobody has actually expressed interest in marrying any animal?

There is the issue of consent. Marriage is a contract. Animals are not capable to entering into contracts in this country or pretty much any country I can think of. As much as we love our pets, they lack actual rights. Simply put, they cannot consent to marrying people.

Imagine the situation where some fool decides he loves his cat and really wants to marry her. Why do we assume that the cat wants to marry him? This effort would go nowhere -- except maybe to the psychiatric clinic.

I'm sure it's fun to scare-monger people into using bestiality to oppose gay families. But it's dishonest and it's wrong. Pastor Rabon should be ashamed of himself!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Pastor Ken Hutcherson: "I am the Gayest Man I Know!" // Taking Back the Gay

Evangelical pastor Dr. Ken Hutcherson has always been obsessed with gay people. I haven't written much about him, but he's often quoted -- especially by Washington-based blogs and papers -- whenever legislation regarding LGBT people comes forward. Among other things, he's one of those "taking back the rainbow from the gays" people, which still makes me laugh since the rainbow is colored light that nobody owns but that we can all share. But Hutch isn't content with just "taking the rainbow back from the gays". He wants to take the "gay" back from the gays!:
Dr. Ken Hutcherson, the pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Redmond, Wash., posted an announcement earlier this week that many close to him – including his wife – have known for years. Hutcherson revealed that he is the "gayest man I know."
He later explained:
Hutcherson is not a homosexual, nor does the happily married man have a same-sex attraction of any kind. He is, however, on a mission to take back words, phrases and symbols he believes groups, such as homosexual activists and other liberal organizations, have "hijacked" from the American lexicon...

"My frustration is that some groups have taken words and symbols away from the Church and from society in general. When I say I'm 'gay,' what I mean is that I am happy, that I am joyful and that I love people. That is precisely what a Christian ought to be so in my opinion we just need to be as gay as we can..."

Hutcherson also indicated this wouldn't be his last attempt in fighting to take back words that have been stolen from Christians, and said addressing tolerance will be a priority in the coming weeks.

"We're fighting hard to protect our society but I'd rather be preaching the Gospel than handling many of the others issues," he explained. "But, if I need to I will. I'm not going to back down from reclaiming what the Gospel says to me – it calls us to be 'gay.'"
Keep in mind that the word "gay" carried an "overall tinge of promiscuity -- a 'gay house' was a brothel" back in its earlier usages. But if that is what Hutch wants to say about himself, who am I to disagree with him?

Once again, Hutch can describe himself as he pleases. I can do the same. The difference, of course, is that Hutch doesn't want gay men like myself to call ourselves gay (for whatever reasons). I don't care if he calls himself gay or not.