May 12, 2006

Standing Up For Civil Rights

A few days ago, I wrote about teenager Tully Satre. He writes a blog for The Advocate and shared with his readers the rough time he had been getting from people identifying themselves as Christians. I was delighted how many readers here and from the other blogs that linked to my post joined me in sending him e-mails expressing affirmation and acceptance.

This young man gets it. I ran across his personal blog and a post he made a few weeks ago. Satre showed up at a town meeting with Senator George Allen (R-VA) near his home in Culpeper, Virginia and shares that story in his blog.

Despite a crowd largely friendly towards Allen, Satre took the podium during the Q & A session and engaged in a brief debate about LGBT equality in this nation's civil rights laws. His post goes into some detail about the experience and is worth reading in full.

I post it here to use this as an example of what I was talking about yesterday. More people need to step up to the podium and express to their elected officials that the current restrictions in the legal rights of GLBT people and the move to make that part of the federal and some state constitutions in unacceptable.

If a 16-year old, albeit an exceptional youngster like Satre, can make a stand in front of a crowd full of opponents, I suspect many of us can find a venue to speak out ourselves.

It's not about special rights, it's about equal rights and the prevention of constitutional discrimination.

With Friends Like This.....

The chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean, says it was a mistake when he threw the GLBT community under the bus in an interview on The 700 Club Wednesday.

During this interview, Dean said "The Democratic Party platform from 2004 says that marriage is between a man and a woman."

Actually, it did not say anything about marriage.

Dean issued the following statement on Thursday, "I misstated the Democratic Party's platform, which does not say that marriage should be limited to a man and a woman but says the party is committed to full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of our nation and leaves the issue to the states to decide. The Democratic Party remains committed to equal protection under the law for all Americans. How we achieve that goal continues to be the subject of a contentious debate, but our party continues to oppose constitutional amendments that seek to short-circuit the debate on how to achieve equality for all Americans."

First, let me say I applaud Dean for going into hostile territory to sell the Democratic message, and it doesn't get much more hostile than Pat Robertson's TV show. It is fair to ask, however, if he was pandering to The 700 Club's conservative audience or just made an honest mistake.

It is hard for me to believe that the chairman of a political party could make such a clear mistake on their most recent presidential platform. Could Dean and the Deomcratic leadership believe that they can get away with alternately ignoring and antagonizing their GLBT supporters, taking for granted the fact that they wouldn't vote Republican under any circumstances?

Are they willing to sell out on GLBT issues during campaigns, rationalizing that they need to do whatever is necessary to get elected, then address those concerns?

Is the GLBT community willing to take that chance, supporting Democrats at the polls on faith and as the lesser of the evils compared to Republicans?

There is still time for voters to let their candidates know this is not an acceptable course of action for them to take.

May 11, 2006

Pops Says Gay Love is "Weak"

No, I'm not reading between the lines with that headline. In this report from, Pope Benedict XVI, speaking at the John Paul II Pontifical Institute, said, "Only the foundation of complete and irrevocable love between man and woman is capable of forming the basis of a society that becomes the home of all men.....''

He added, "confusing marriage with other types of weak love'' should be avoided.

Weak love?!

I bet Apostle Dale and Garrey, partners for 19 years, would be shocked to know their love is weak. With crap like that spouted by one of the most (if not the most) influential religious leaders in the world, it HAS to be strong to survive. Without the legal protections afforded couples like me and my wife Brenda, it CAN'T be weak and last.

I wonder how the Pontiff would classify Brittney Spears' marriage to her friend Jason Alexander. It may have only lasted 55 hours before it was annulled, but since they were a man and a woman and did get married, at least they didn't have the type of weak love that he warned us against.

People who don't know what they are talking about should just keep quiet, even if they are supposed to be "infalible" like the Pope.

May 10, 2006

Mary Cheney: Stepping Up or Selling Out?

If you ask conservative columnist Andrew Sullivan, she is stepping out. Cheney, the lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, has written a new book titled "Now It's My Turn," and is making the tour of talk shows promoting it. On ABC's Good Morning America, she strongly opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment and said her father does also. Sullivan wrote on his blog:

"Mary's relationship with her spouse, Heather, is testimony to the endurance and dignity of gay relationships - and their presence in Republican families as well as Democratic ones. Here's a thought: maybe Mary can build on her opposition to the "Marriage Protection Amendment" by agreeing to testify against it when the Senate holds hearings next month. We need you, Mary. Help reclaim the Republican party as the party of freedom, not intolerance. You could make a real difference in humanizing this issue for your own party."

On the other hand, liberal columnist Wayne Besen writes:

"For six long years, Mary Cheney backpedaled from speaking out against Republican attempts to write her out of the Constitution, yet emerged from the musty closet just in time to peddle her new book, which hits stores this week. Cowed Mary now wants to be Proud Mary, but it's too late, for she has already sold us down the river.....she has gathered contempt for her meek attempt to justify her silence. She and her family had a unique opportunity to use the bully pulpit to educate Americans, and they failed miserably."

Besen supports his points in some detail, and his post has attracted numerous comments that are also quite negative toward the Vice President's daughter.

I have not read her book yet, but I think both Sullivan and Besen make good points. Cheney could be a very positive role model and spokesperson for GLBT issues, but I also understand those who resent the fact that she waited until she was selling a book to speak out. It does make one think that at least part of her motivation is to draw attention to herself and her book.

The bottom line, at least in my view, is that the GLBT community would be wise to put resentment aside and welcome Mary Cheney's support. With opposition to GLBT equality so loud and well-financed, any high profile ally, regardless of their motivation, is a good thing.

May 09, 2006

Help Out

I received this e-mail from a posting in the Yahoo group supporting the site

Dear friends,The enemy is at work! has been “hammered” so badly by hackers that they have totally shut down the server and have taken the other forty websites on that server with them.

Jeff has just written:
We have managed to delete your site and the server has come back to life. Not sure where we go from here but, I have a security guy on the case who will give some advice. Possibly we need to move servers as these guys may not be providing us enough security. I'll let you know when I know more but, at least for the foreseeable future, it looks like the site will be down.

I have mentioned to you before that Jeff wants to move to a new server (which would also solve our intermittent chat problems) but at this time they just can’t afford it.

If anyone knows anyone with expertise regarding security and hackers on servers, please ask them to contact me at

This could be the end of unless
1. We find a solution to the security issues, or
2. We find the extra money to move to a new/better server for Jeff (about $100/mo more than what he pays now). It is not an option for me to move to another host for many reasons.

Along with the website went my email address, so from now on, if you need to contact me, please use Please pray that God will intervene in this matter if it His will that should survive.

God bless,
Mary was one of the first sites that linked to this blog and is a valuable resource for anyone investigating the possibility of being both gay and Christian. If you can help these folks put their site back together, I would strongly encourage you to.

"What Was Once a Truly Beautifully Represented Religion"

Those were the indicting words of Tully Satre, a contributor to "The Advocate" and the founder of Equality Fauquier-Culpepper in Virginia. He's also a junior in high school.

Satre received a lot of feedback recently from Christians, none of it good according to him. Here are a couple of the most disturbing quotes from his column:

"I have seen—more often than not—Christians as a people whose sole purpose and mission in life is to “help” people be unaccepting of themselves, give up their own truths, and trade them in for a fake life. "

".....nearly every single letter and act toward me in the name of Christianity or by a Christian person has been hateful, isolating, and completely focused on my “self-destructive actions.”

Satre closes with this:

"I am not asking for an explanation; I am asking for a reason: Why have I not received a single letter from anyone saying they accept me because they are a Christian? "

I know he's received at least one because I sent him an e-mail. I suggest you do the same. Show Tully that God loves him as he is and that he is accepted by Christians who understand that. His e-mail address is

Folks, this is what we are up against when we reach out to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. We've got a lot of work ahead of us. We need to reach out futher because of those who have pushed them away from God.

May 08, 2006

Accountability: A World-Wide Problem

I saw this piece about a group that is concerned "about the lack of public accountability on the part of those exercising political and bureaucratic power. Putting a spin on things, rather than speaking the truth, has become the norm."

Sound familiar. It probably does regardless of what part of the world you live in. This particular quote came from a group of Christian leaders in Australia. The writer of this column added "Australians have good reason to be concerned about the lack of public accountability on the part of those exercising political and bureaucratic power. Putting a spin on things, rather than speaking the truth, has become the norm."

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Here in the United States, our nation is led by those who are working to restrict the rights of its citizens while waging a war for the sake of "freedom." They want to legislate adherence to Christian principles while working to make discrimination toward GLBT people a part of the Constitution, the very basis for our laws.

It is time for citizens across the globe to stand firm and hold our leaders accountable. It is time to let them know that their spin needs to be replaced with substance.

It is time to hold those who spew scripture to defend their political positions accountable when their actions go against the teachings of Christ.

It's time to stand firm in our faith for our faith.