November 18, 2006

Gay Penguins Still Ruffling Feathers

"And Tango Makes Three" is a children's picture book that tells the story, a true story by the way, about two male penguins who raised a baby penguin as their own chick in New York's Central Park Zoo.

Of course, anything that exposes youngesters to a positive portrayal of homosexuals, even amongs penguins, will get some people's undies all bunched up. The lastest is in Shiloh, Illinois, where some parents have raised a stink. They are trying to get the book moved to a section containing "mature topics" which would require parental permission for a child to read it.

It's a sweet little book that you can buy on Anything that can get our kids thinking outside the box the religious right so desperately wants to keep them in is a good thing.

November 17, 2006

LGBT Equality As a Competitive Advantage

Here is yet another example of how economic pressure is one avenue LGBT advocates can use to move forward the policies of equality. Wisconsin is one of the states that voted in favor of a constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage. As a result, gay and lesbian employees, seeing little chance of receiving domestic partner benefits, are considering leaving the state's flagship institution of higher learning, the University of Wisconsin.

According to The Advocate article, Wisconsin is the only Big Ten school that does not offer benefits for domestic partners. For those of you who don't know what the Big Ten is, it is a collegiate sports conference comprised of many of the largest universities in the Midwest. These schools, like Ohio State, Indiana, Northwestern, and Purdue for example, often compete for the same academic and leadership talent.

GLBT people and their allies need to be aware of what employers and industries support equal rights and support them whenever possible. Maybe those groups who aren't supportive will get the hint.

November 14, 2006

"War, Religion, and Gay Rights"

Columnist James Carroll of the Boston Globe writes about the unity diverse groups can find in gay bashing and addresses a couple of the primary underlying reasons why GLBT rights are often so viciously attacked.

"Same-sex erotic love is not the issue. Humans, including Catholic bishops, have long accommodated it. But that accommodation assumes denial and shame. What brings demonstrators into streets across cultures, and what shows up in the United States as "values" politics, mobilizing bishops, is the movement to bring homosexuality out of the dark.

When gay people openly assert their identities as such, whether through parades or through the demand for full and equal social recognition, reactionaries cannot stand it. "

"The open affirmation of gay identity can pose a mortal threat to people whose own sexual identity is insecure. The Haggard story is a cautionary tale. As it happens, I was present last year to hear Pastor Ted preach a sermon at his mega-church, and it included a digressive attack on homosexuals that was as venomous and it was gratuitous. He equated gay sex with bestiality.

Even at the time, I wondered about the dark energy of his hatred. That it is revealed now as self-hatred comes as no surprise. One needn't draw a direct line from Haggard's behavior to the private morality of Catholic bishops to sense that the church's own deepening insecurity on all matters of sexuality, especially those surfaced by the still unresolved crisis of priestly sexual abuse of children, informs its exceptional opposition to gay rights."

That's right, since GLBT people have the nerve to assert their desire for equality, that has been seen as a declaration of war by people who are often focus on that while in denial or diverting attention from other issues.

Righteousness will ultimately prevail and more of these hypocrites and hidden agends will be exposed. The tide is turning in favor of equality, but it will be more of a steady flow rather than a tidal wave.

November 13, 2006

A State of Moral Confusion

Yes, here's another piece on Ted Haggard, but it's not really about him. This situation has brought a lot of people out of the woodwork with interesting opinions, some of them profound, some of them ludicrous. My last post reference one of the former, and this one shows one of the latter.

From the Rocky Mountain News:

As a practical matter David Frum's analysis of the situation is more disturbing, given that, at least for now, the David Frums of the world still have more political influence than the Mark Driscolls. A former speechwriter for President Bush, Frum now writes for America's leading conservative magazine, National Review. Here's his take on the Haggard scandal:

"Consider the hypothetical case of two men. Both are inclined toward homosexuality. Both from time to time hire the services of male prostitutes. Both have occasionally succumbed to drug abuse. One of them marries, raises a family, preaches Christian principles, and tries generally to encourage people to lead stable lives. The other publicly reveals his homosexuality, vilifies traditional moral principles, and urges the legalization of drugs and prostitution. Which man is leading the more moral life? It seems to me that the answer is the first one."

It seems to me that there's something about the topic of sex in America today that causes otherwise sane and intelligent persons to say crazy things.

On what conceivable moral scale is publicly acknowledging one's sexual orientation while taking a libertarian view on the criminalizing of drugs and prostitution (this is apparently what Frum considers vilifying "traditional moral principles") worse than spending a lifetime deceiving one's spouse for the sake of career advancement?

I never cease to be amazed by the ability of people to rationalize the sins of those who work with them to condemn what they perceive to be the sins of others.

Fortunately, their judgement carries no long-term consequences. We will all be equals on judgement day, when they only thing that matters is the forgiveness of Jesus--if we've asked for it.

November 12, 2006

The Party of the Angry Closet

I found this post on the blog Proceed At Your Own Risk which took a different spin on what appears to be a crowded closet in the Republican Party.

"It may very well be that the GOP's abominable homophobic campaign and party rhetoric is primarily fueled by a long-standing core and tradition of pathologically self-hating closeted gay men in key positions."

"So, I'm posing an ugly and incredibly distasteful question that the gay community must ask itself. Would a national political campaign be so focused on homophobia if not for the presence and influence of so many self-loathing closeted gay Republicans? When we blame straights for Republican and Christian homophobia are we pointing the finger in the wrong direction?

And are we ourselves, in a gay community sense, at least partly responsible if not primarily responsible for fueling this nightmare?

If this theory is even partly correct, then it is critical and vital to our future that we hunt down and expose these men with urgency and even brutality."

"It's time to consider that our collective silence on this issue and with regard to these individuals may be one of the root causes of national homophobia institutionalized by one of our two political parties.

The gay community may be more responsible for homophobia than we care to admit. Furthermore, the gay community may have more control over its own future than we care to address. In some circumstances, outing may be as much of a civic duty as voting. Forgive the cliche, but growing pains are an inevitable part of life and maturation; and now may be the time for some pain."

The word brutality seems to cross a line, but overall his points seem to make a lot of sense to me. What do you think?