March 24, 2007

A Gay Activist Speaks Out About Hatred From Straight People

Larry Kramer, the founder of the "Act Up", an AIDS-advocacy organization, recently wrote an op-ed piece for the Los Angeles Times that was more of an open letter to straight people. It began:

Dear Straight People:

Why do you hate gay people so much?

Sweeping generalizations like that often trouble me, but Kramer made a good case for his. He wrote:

Gays do not realize that the more we become visible, the more we come out of the closet, the more we are hated. Don't those of you straights who claim not to hate us have a responsibility to denounce the hate? Why is it socially acceptable to joke about "girlie men" or to discriminate against us legally with "constitutional" amendments banning gay marriage? Because we cannot marry, we can pass on only a fraction of our estates, we do not have equal parenting rights and we cannot live with a foreigner we love who does not have government permission to stay in this country. These are the equal protections that the Bill of Rights proclaims for all?

Why do you hate us so much that you will not permit us to legally love? I am almost 72, and I have been hated all my life, and I don't see much change coming.

I think your hate is evil.

What do we do to you that is so awful? Why do you feel compelled to come after us with such frightful energy? Does this somehow make you feel safer and legitimate? What possible harm comes to you if we marry, or are taxed just like you, or are protected from assault by laws that say it is morally wrong to assault people out of hatred? The reasons always offered are religious ones, but certainly they are not based on the love all religions proclaim.

You may say you don't hate us, but the people you vote for do, so what's the difference? Our own country's democratic process declares us to be unequal. Which means, in a democracy, that our enemy is you. You treat us like crumbs. You hate us. And sadly, we let you.

I know how I feel and how I act, but I can't offer up a strong arguement against his points. I do know, however, that hatred is directly against God's word.

Click here to read the entire piece.

March 23, 2007

Somebody Has to Write the Checks

One of the problems with advocacy and lobbying is that it costs money. The effort the GLBT community is making to achieve equality in American society is no exception.

Tim Gill is one man who is writing some of the big checks. The founder of Quark software, he cashed out for about $500 million so he could concentrate on philanthropy.

Gill says, "My goal is to see that all Americans are treated equally regardless of sexuality.”

It's a shame that GLBT people have to campaign for that, but people like Gill and the network of donors he has helped put together are writing checks that help make those efforts possible.

Click here to read about Tim Gill in the Atlantic Monthly article, "They won't know what hit them."

Thanks to Dale Jarrett for the tip.

March 22, 2007

Traditional Marriage--Which Tradition?

We've heard the phrase "traditional marriage" frequently used to defend the status quo and argue against same-sex marriage--why should tradition be changed just so people of the same sex can wed?

This article from the Hartford Courant (a newspaper that has a lot to say in favor of same-sex marriage) digs back into history and finds that traditional marriage has indeed changed over the years.

Claims of historical fact about marriage can be proved true or false, and three of the historical claims made by opponents of same-sex marriage in Connecticut are demonstrably untrue.

First is the claim that the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman goes back thousands of years. Second is the claim that the Judeo-Christian heritage has always seen marriage as a sacred relationship that must be defended above all others. Third is the claim that marriage has endured for thousands of years without change.

The most commonly approved form of marriage in the past (and the one mentioned most often in the first five books of the Old Testament) was polygamy - one man, many women.

This is yet another example of how ignorance is one of the Religious Right's main weapons.

March 21, 2007

Is It Right or Is It Wrong?

That sounds like a simple question, doesn't it? Take any action or policy and ask that question; is it right or is it wrong. In my view, leaders are able to answer that decisively and then support their answer. Agree or disagree, at least that shows leadership. Politicians, on the other hand, weigh their answers toward public opinion and evaluate how those views will affect their base of supporters and their financial backers.

In the aftermath of the statements made by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Peter Pace about his views on the immorality of homosexuality, Democratic presidential hopefuls Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama were asked if they thought homsexuality was immoral. Both candidates initially sidestepped that question so fast they should qualify for "Dancing With the Stars." Although they later stated that they held no beliefs that homosexuality was immoral, it comes accross to me as a political calculation rather than a sincere statement of belief.

We've already got plenty of politicians. Where are the leaders?

March 20, 2007

Gay Bashing From the Religious Right--All About Power?

That is a conclusion reached by author Chris Hedges, who wrote the book, "American Facists: The Christian Right and the War on America." He does an outstanding job of supporting that thesis with points like this regarding attacks on the GLBT community by religious right leaders:

These attacks mask a sinister agenda that has nothing to do with sexuality. It has to do with power. The radical Christian right -- the most dangerous mass movement in American history -- has built a binary worldview of command and submission wherein male leaders, who cannot be questioned and claim to speak for God, are in control and all others must follow. Any lifestyle outside the traditional model of male and female is a threat to this hierarchical male power structure. Women who do not depend on men for their identity and their sexuality, who live outside a male power relationship, challenge this pervasive cult of masculinity, as do men who find tenderness and love with other men as equals. The lifestyle of gays and lesbians is intolerable to the Christian right because its existence is a threat to the movement's chain of command, one they insist was ordained by God.

Click here to read Hedges' column on AlterNet, "For the Christian Right, Gay-Hating Is Just the Start."

Hasn't that also been one of the primary traits of the Bush administration, you're either with them 100% or against them? Sadly, I believe it has all tied together and greatly diminished what the United States stands for. I'm still looking for someone who can lead the religious right radicals and the entire nation away from that and embrace democracy and God's love again.

Does anyone see that leader on the horizon? At this point in time, it saddens me to say that I don't.

March 18, 2007

Christian Researchers Call Gay Marriage "a moral good"


A new Christian think tank has issued the first articulation of gay marriage as "a moral good" that "spiritually liberates straight people as well as gay people.'" The Institute for Progressive Christianity (IPC) considers the paper - "The Kingdom of God and the Witness of Gay Marriage" - a theological breakthrough.

The academic "white paper" could change the outcome of the great battle over same-sex unions now raging inside several mainline Protestant denominations including the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) and follows the recent ultimatum from the Anglican Communion to dioceses and parishes within the ECUSA to cease blessing such unions and stop consecrating openly gay bishops.

The Rev. Mark Farr, an Episcopal priest and IPC co- director, called the paper "a truly groundbreaking scriptural affirmation of gay marriage as an almost iconic window into the reality of God's love."

"The paper recognizes fundamental Christian teaching about the nature of God is central to the concept of gay marriage and affirms gay marriage as a necessary moral good within Christian theology," declared the author of the paper, Otis Gaddis III, Co- Director of the IPC Academic Review.

Click here to read the entire article on