Archive for July 2011

The budget fiasco: it’s all my fault

July 30, 2011

So…

Barack Obama is the President of the United States, but because

  • he’s black
    • he’s Kenyan
      • he doesn’t have a birth certificate
        • he’s a Muslim

 

he’s a bad President, the Republicans — and especially the Tea Party extremist-types — want him to be One-Term Obama (well, really they want him to be No-Term Obama, but even they can’t figure out how to make that happen).

In order to make this One-Term Obama vision a reality, the Tea Party folks who say that they don’t believe in big government [but really just don’t believe in big government when it means that they and their friends shouldn’t have to pay taxes and that everyone else who isn’t their friend shouldn’t get any government services (while many of them get all kinds of HUGE government services and/or advocate for them for their friends)] are willing to be the obstructionists who are willingly taking us to the brink of an economic catastrophe that will demolish the economic system of the entire world. Talk about a nuclear option!

The drop-dead (as it were) date for the debt ceiling crisis is August 2, just a few days from now. If there isn’t some kind of resolution to this, the one-remaining-superpower-in-the-world will be in a position to economically fail. Fail! And this isn’t a simple little thing that can be undone easily at a later date once the realization hits that this was a really REALLY bad idea in the first place…

Well, yes…

Now at the same time, the Tea Partiers like Michele Bachmann and her husband Marcus believe so strongly that “homosexuality is an abomination” that they think that they can cure people of their “same-sex attractions” as they like to say, kind of trying to say that there’s no such thing as any sexual orientation other than heterosexuality. They own and operate a business clinic in an attempt to achieve this goal. This business clinic, by the way, is the recipient of some of those no-big-government funds… but I digress yet again.

So back to the title and premise of this post: it’s all my fault.

August 2 — the drop-dead date for resolving the budget ceiling crisis — just happens to be the third anniversary of the legal marriage of me and my beloved wife.

This was our beautiful wedding cake

See? It all ties together. At least it does in Tea Party logic.

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Why Gay Marriage is a Bad Idea

July 24, 2011

No, not in this way…

But now that I used this cheap ploy to get you here, please stick around and read this post.

My wife and I are one of the estimated 18,000 same-gender couples that legally married in California before the enactment of Proposition 8. Days like today are tough. While we rejoice with and applaud the decision of New York State to allow same gender-loving couples to legally marry, there is a bittersweetness to it. I have faith that one of these days this horrendous provision will be overturned.

In the meantime, back to that “gay marriage” thing…

I sometimes joke (in an unfunny way) that we are gay-married. That’s the thing: we are. We’re legally married in the State of California (since Prop 8 didn’t invalidate our marriages), and our relationship is now accepted and recognized in New York. This is a good thing. What’s bad is that, as we travel around the country, some states say that we’re married, others say no; some say that our legal domestic partnership is legally valid (even when our marriage isn’t), while others don’t — and many states hold that we are legal strangers. This makes for complicated travel. What if we were in an accident? What if… well, what if lots of different scenarios that legally married heterosexual couples take for granted? (And, as a matter of fact, privileges that UNmarried heterosexual couples are granted, just because they are a male-female couple.) See? Gay married. See? Not funny… Not funny at all.

What we seek, and the only thing that makes legal sense and the only thing that is a true “fit” with the foundational ideas of the United States of America’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is MARRIAGE EQUALITY.

Conservatives call it gay marriage again and again and again until it's been ingrained in our psyches. The media has gulped the Kool-Aid on this because it's an easy shorthand term. But it's wrong, and we shouldn't use it! Words matter.

There are thousands of legal rights afforded to legal couples composed of a woman and a man. Various numbers are thrown around, but the truth is that no one even knows the exact number! Some of these are narrow and don’t apply to many people, but others are almost universal. These include the right to be taxed fairly and equally, the right to own property together, the right of survivor benefits — including Social Security, and on and on. The thing that’s common in these is that they are conferred by the federal government.

In order to have true, honest MARRIAGE EQUALITY, the federally-imposed Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has got to go. It’s legal bigotry, and it creates a separate class of people to discriminate against — a truly unAmerican law.

There is legislation that has been introduced in Congress called the Respect for Marriage Act. This would repeal DOMA. It would take us out of the status of being “gay married” and would provide for full legal MARRIAGE EQUALITY.

This bill has been introduced in the House by Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and in the Senate by Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Both versions are the same, and both have a number of co-sponsors. If you’d like to know if your elected officials are among them, here is the House list (click on View Co-Sponsors) and here is the list of Senators. This would be a great time to contact yours and urge them to co-sponsor this legislation — or to thank them if they’re already on the list. We live in troubling times, and if you don’t actively participate in the system it will remain so. Know that those who oppose marriage equality are the ones who are the most vocal!

Thank you Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Barbara Boxer, and Representative Judy Chu!

By the way, President Obama has endorsed this legislation, so thanks to him too.

So, like many, I join my voice in saying INY today — but let’s not stop at celebrating this little victory and forgetting that there’s far more to do before we achieve true marriage equality.

Wild Goose Synchroblog

July 7, 2011

The Wild Goose is a Celtic metaphor for the Holy Spirit. Last month, the first Wild Goose festival was held near Chapel Hill, NC. This festival is a North American arts, music, justice and spirituality festival. Inspired by Greenbelt in the UK, the festival hoped to provide a space to deepen growth for those who want to connect faith and justice, and provide inspiration and energy for fresh expressions of Christianity in today’s world.

For more information about the festival check out The Wild Goose blog.

The July synchroblog is an open invitation for stories, thoughts, experiences and impressions that emerge from The Wild Goose Festival.

Of course, we’re looking for lots of stories from those who participated in the Festival. But we want to hear from you whether you were there or not! We still want to hear your story of how the Wild Goose (holy spirit) has made herself known in your life. Or, another option might be to write on why you wish you’d gone to the festival yourself. As always, we are looking for as many perspectives as possible!

I’m not participating in this month’s synchroblog (mostly having to do with this coming right after the Independence Day weekend–I’m just too busy right now to do the subject justice), but I want to lift up the folks who have, so here’s the list:

Book Review: “Wide-Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965”

July 4, 2011

Wide-Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965Wide-Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965 by Nan Boyd

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As usual, I finished this book a long time ago and forgot to review it…

I liked this book. It’s full of stories of people who lived queer lives well before Stonewall, well before I came out (in 1973). I’d recommend it to LGBT people and allies who are interested in what things were like “back then”. So many of those chronicled in this book have died. We need to know and appreciate their stories and what they did to create the world that is changing for the better so rapidly today.

View all my reviews