January 06, 2007

Is the Main Obstacle to Gay Marriage in DC the Gay Community?

That's the opinion of blogger Chris Crain, and his opinion is an educated one. Until recently, he was the editor in chief of the Washington Blade. He writes:

When it comes to legal recognition for gay couples, the District of Columbia already ranks very high. Washington's "domestic partnerships" offer many of the same rights and responsibilities as marriage, including child support, alimony, inheritance, legal standing to sue for wrongful death, immunity from testimony against a partner, automatic power of attorney for financial, medical and legal matters, and more.

Believe it or not, in Washington, D.C., of all places, the politicians aren't the problem. It's the gays — or more accurately, the local gay activists. Or to put it even more accurately, the few local and very vocal gay activists who make up the D.C. Gay & Lesbian Activists Alliance.

For the most part, GLAA's leaders (since it has almost no active membership, per se) are old-old school. They have a long track record of lobbying local politicians, and they do it very well. They are smart and effective, at least on the battles they choose to fight.

But when it comes to marriage, GLAA's leaders have long suffered a failure of imagination and of courage. Their excuse has been the District's unique status in between that of a city and a state. Unlike other jurisdictions, the laws passed by the D.C. Council and signed by the mayor are subject to review by the Congress, which can effectively veto any law with which it disagrees.

The "activists" in GL"A"A seem far more interested in finding new homes for the seedy strip clubs displaced by the city's new baseball stadium than they are in marriage. In fact, therein may lie the problem. GLAA's silver-haired leadership probably relates more to those who ventured in to the now defunct Glorious Health & Amusement Club (a.k.a. the Glory Hole) than young D.C. gay couples aching to marry.

Being a native of the DC area myself, I understand how difficult it is to effect real change in the District. I hope there is an infusion of new blood that might change the perspective of the GLAA leadership and focus on winning legal equality instead of where they are going to party.

January 05, 2007

New Year's Wishes From Believer's Covenant Fellowship

My church took out an ad in a local GLBT newspaper, Metro Weekly, and Apostle Dale Jarrett wrote a message of encouragement to our unchurched GLBT brothers and sisters. Here's an excerpt:

Jeremiah 29:11-13 says to us, ''For I know the plans that I have for you,'' declares the Lord, ''Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future. Then you will call upon Me and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and FIND Me when you seek Me with ALL of your heart.''

As you start off your new year, remember that it's full of possibilities and opportunities. Make a decision today to be positive and optimistic about your future. Reach out to our Creator in faith and BELIEVE that God really does know who you are; God really does love you passionately and God really does care about your life. If you will do this, then you will find a new kind of joy for living that springs forth from a HOPE that says, ''God has a plan for me, a good plan, and I'm going to find out what that is and embrace it! I'm going to be just fine!'' In fact, you're going to be great!!!

If you check out the "team picture" included on the web site, you'll see me in the back row, third from the right with the beautiful Pastor Brenda sitting in front of me, second from the right in the first row.

January 04, 2007

A Brief Lesson In Humility

Jim Wallis, author of "God's Politics" and other provocative books, wrote a particularly profound post on his blog on beliefnet.com recently.

In a post titled "Christ's Divinity Should Inspire Humility, Not Arrogance.

Jesus being the Son of God does NOT mean that Christians are better, more right, more righteous, more moral, more blessed, more destined to win battles, or more suited to govern and decide political matters than non-Christians. Instead, believing that Jesus was the Son of God would better mean that people who claim to believe it ought to then live the way Jesus did and taught. And on that one, many of us Christians (who believe the right way) are in serious trouble when it comes to the way we live. Those who believe that Jesus was the Son of God should be the most loving, compassionate, forgiving, welcoming, peaceful, and hungry for justice people around—just like Jesus, right?

An arrogant Christian is an oxymoron.

January 03, 2007

Bring On the Vote

That's the attitude Andrew Sullivan takes on his Time magazine blog regarding the advancing possibility of same-sex marriage riht coming to a vote in Massachusetts. I agree with his feeling that there is enough popular support and gathering evidence that same-sex marriage has NOT destroyed society to allow Massachusetts to become the first state to vote in favor of that right.

If that clears the legislature and makes it onto the ballot, the vote won't happen until November, 2008. There will doubtlessly be a LOT more said and written about this issue in the interim, but Sullivan's column isn't a bad place to start.

January 02, 2007

HIV Prevention Takes a Step Forward in China

By this April, it will be mandatory for all students in Bejing schools to take an HIV-prevention course. The class, already being phased in, teaches students about safe sex and condom use among other prevention methods. A recent report warned that China could have 10 million cases of HIV/AIDS by 2010 without more aggressive prevention, and it appears the government is taking that seriously.

Click here to read the full report on 365Gay.com.

January 01, 2007

Rick Warren is Serious About Stopping AIDS

Rick Warren, pastor of the mega-church Saddleback Community Church in Lake Forest, CA, has become one of the more vocal evangelicals regarding the church's effort to stop AIDS. At Urbana 06, the InterVarsity Campus Fellowship's annual convention, Warren had another opportunity to push forward his message.

From the report in the Christian Post:

According to Warren, there are secular approaches to prevention of the disease but there is a component that only the church can deal with. “If you want to stop it, now you have to bring in the church,” he said.

Warren said that popular methods such as supplying condoms, limiting the number of partners and not offering needle exchange will slow the pandemic but will not stop it.

The church, on the other hand, has the ability to stop the disease that 69 million people around the world have been affected with, Warren claimed. The author of the best-selling novel Purpose Driven Life highlighted four key factors that the church adds to the AIDS prevention equation, which he listed together using the acronym S.T.O.P. They are:

Save sex for marriage
Teach men to respect women and children
Offer treatment through churches
Pledge yourself with one partner for life

Warren said if the world follows the above mentioned moral teachings, the widely-spread disease will inevitably overtime come to a stop.

Take note that Warren said "Pledge yourself with one partner for life."

Let's see if more people start to listen as Warren tries to become a leader in the fight against AIDS.