Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Never enough

"Sometimes I know that it's never enough,
Survival is fine but satisfaction is rough...
Tell me where can a woman find any kind of peace...
When does the fury and the agony cease?
Oh, how long have I got to say please?"

(Click on the below pic. to hear the song the above words are taken from...)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Legalization Is 'Inevitable'

The subject title of this post is based on a recent quote by Vice President Biden, who declared same-sex marriage "all but inevitable in the U.S." (a claim that may be news to President Obama).
"I think the country's evolving and I think there's an inevitability for a national consensus on gay marriage," he said in comments also reported by the New York Daily News
Read more about this here where you'll also see a brief clip of George Stephanopoulos' interview with the Vice President.

Well, hope springs eternal, but this may be a tall order with DOMA in place and only 2 years left in the Obama/Biden administration.
Time will tell. I wish our leaders would evolve already on some of these human rights issues!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Gifts of the Season

Twas the day before Christmas and all 'round my heart,
were wrapped strings and connections
from which I did not want to part.
⍋ ⍋ ⍋⍋
What's it about anyway?
Is it gifts, songs, family,
or about what no one can take away?
⍋ ⍋ ⍋⍋
I'd rather have it be about the latter
than simply all the cling and clatter.
⍋ ⍋ ⍋⍋
So even if for just a moment,
I'll remain in the quiet spirit
of all that Jesus' birth did cement. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

continue to wrestle

Today President Obama signed into law the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't tell." This was a huge day in LGBT history!  Hours after signing the bill that will allow out gays and lesbians to serve in the military, President Barack Obama indicated he is open to fostering a dialogue on marriage equality in the U.S. 
"I think this is something that we're going to continue to debate and I personally am going to continue to wrestle with going forward."
That is movement since that last time he went on record on the topic of same-sex marriage.

Back in June of 2009 Brian Williams asked President Obama in his interview on NBC tonight “Inside the White House”: “do gay and lesbian couples who wish to marry in this country have a friend in the White House?”
If I hear President Obama (or any other politician) answer the question regarding whether they support same sex marriage for gays and lesbians with: “I have consistently supported civil unions–making sure they have the ability to visit each other in the hospital…” [and then the cop out] “I don’t think it makes sense for the Federal Government to get into the business of determining what marriage is…” I am going to blow the little top right off the lid of my good old-fashioned pressure cooker! I am sorry… that is just not enough. 

With Obama’s signing the repeal of DADT today (and Q.U. below reminded me that he signed the "hate crimes statute" also), he moves up from an "F" to a "C" on the LGBT score card. Here is hoping he will be able to achieve a "B" in the second half of his term!

President Obama skates on the thin ice of skirting the above LGBT issues. I am still hoping we will continue to see our "fierce advocate."

Can President Obama have it both ways? Can that be enough for the LGBT community? It’s not enough for me. I want more than a "visit to the hospital."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Reason

Christmas time means many different things to any number of different people. I know what this holiday has meant to me in years past. Sometimes the season has taken on a different focus depending on what was happening that particular year.

This year has been one of the most challenging years on record in recent history. So, what does this holiday mean to me this year? What is the reason for the season this year? I read a post by a friend yesterday and things began to come back into focus for me.
"Tis the season for sharing and giving. Not receiving. Not wanting. Not being greedy. Not even football or food or shopping. But for giving. To others. For absolutely nothing in return. Make sure that those around you feel welcome and that their needs are met. For it is in giving that we receive."
The story from the post where I pulled this quote is definitely worth reading and pondering in its entirety! I am very grateful for the reminders. Christmas is not about the gifts under the tree--or about who is under your roof (or not). What is it about? See above. I couldn't say it any better.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Do tell!

Last night America made another step forward in the sometimes discouraging two steps forward and three steps backward dance that is the slow journey toward equality in our Country.
Back in May the House voted to repeal DADT by a vote of 234 to 194. Last night the Senate took an important step toward ending DADT by their vote of 63 to 33.
You can read about it here, here and here.
So, do tell!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Last Word

Have you ever found yourself frustrated or aggravated because a person (or people) have sought you out to harass and besiege? I imagine I am not alone in feeling this. So often energy is spent on wondering "why" such people can't find anything better to do? Wondering "why" people have to bully others? It occurred to me the other day... I know the reason why. And what's more, I was warned.
"Your enemy roams around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
It is fairly amazing that I forgot that warning for as long as I had during the last several years. So, in essence, it is no big surprise that our enemies restlessly pace back and forth trolling for someone to devour. Now for the encouragement. The trolls in our lives do not get the last word!
"Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The adversary is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You're not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It's the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won't last forever. It won't be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, He does."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Beatin 'round the bush...

This is simply a yummy rendition of an excellent classic song! Not a bad way to get a Monday started.

Melissa Etheridge - Let's Get It On!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The wages...

There is not a lot in this world that I would say actually surprises me. Watching Rachel Maddow's interview with David Bahati, Author Of Ugandan 'Kill The Gays' Bill, was one thing that did surprise me. I'm not sure why exactly. I mean, we all know that there is a population of people who believe that homosexuality is a behavior. And not only that, but that it is a behavior that can be changed or "cured." But a behavior that is punishable by life in prison or the death penalty?

Rachel Maddow devoted almost half of her Wednesday show to a lengthy interview with David Bahati, author of the infamous bill in the Ugandan Parliament that calls for gay people to face life imprisonment or, in some cases, execution if they are convicted of having practiced homosexuality.
Bahati is also a member of The Family, the religious organization that carries substantial power on Capitol Hill. Before playing her interview with him, Maddow recounted some of the history of anti-gay legislation in the United States, and pointed out that they all had one thing in common: their claim that gay people were trying to "recruit" children into homosexuality. 
I really don't know what to say. At one point Rachel persistently tried to get Bahati to actually say that his bill aimed to punish homosexuality with the death penalty. She pointedly asked him what he thought about homosexuality and Bahati said "homosexuality is against God's law and was sin." Then Rachel pointedly lead him by saying "punishable by...?" Then Bahati skirted actually saying he sentenced gay people to death. Instead Bahati said "the wages if sin is death." (Do you see in that newspaper clip with the headline is the yellow "hang them"?)

There you go. Death sentence proclaimed. Other penalties for talking about homosexuality or even knowing someone who is gay are also punishable by years in prison.

Back to the point, since the wages of sin are death, what about all the other sins? What about the sins that Bahati and every other human in every single country on the planet earth has committed? Has Bahati calculated that wage? (What about the "sins" committed at the C Street House subsidized by The Family? What are their wages?)

Two steps forward, three steps back

So much hope was in the air when the current President was elected in 2008. Not only hope--but promise for change. Has there been any substantive change from this President who pledged to be a fierce advocate for the LGBT community?

Yesterday the Senate shot down attempts to repeal DADT. Senate Republicans blocked an effort to allow gays to serve openly in the military leaving the hope to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on the shelf. That is one of many steps back. 
The repeal of DOMA has not even come a fraction of the distance that DADT traveled. And with the Republicans taking the majority rule in January, it seems more likely that there would actually be a snowball in hell before DADT or DOMA would be repealed in America.
So, it looks like we had two baby steps forward (at least the hope of that) but in reality we as a country are heading three steps back with regards to inclusion and equality.
Where is the fierce advocate? Not only for LGBT issues, but for middle class concerns (as in tax cuts for the middle class without tax cuts for the richest 1% of Americans), for the unemployed of America? Honestly, what kind of politicians "hold hostage" extending unemployment benefits unless the President granted tax cuts for the richest citizens. Then again, what kind of fierce advocate would capitulate to hostage takers?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mob Rule

I saw this below quote posted somewhere after the news initially broke that Proposition 8 in California was overturned:

“9th Circuit Court in California overturns the rights of the people in today’s ruling on gay marriage. Remember the time when a majority ruled in this country?”

And that got me thinking.
So many of our important human rights decisions in America’s history would likely not have ever been made if it had been put to a popular vote–or up to majority rule.
What if, in 1865, the abolition of slavery was put to a vote instead of the 13th amendment being added to the Constitution? What would the outcome have looked like if the Civil Rights Act of 1875 had been put to a majority rule vote? During World War I, blacks served in the United States Armed Forces in segregated units. Pressure to end racial segregation in the government grew among African Americans and progressives after the end of World War II. On July 26, 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981, ending segregation in the United States Armed Forces. Chances are that such an executive order at that time in American history never would have survived a popular vote by the majority rule. It is not a stretch to imagine what would have happened in the 1960′s if racial segregation was put to a vote instead of laws being passed against it. Such as with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I imagine that if that had been put to a “majority rule” popular vote back then — it never would have happened.
“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life liberty or property without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Even if a lot of people within a given State want to, rights are not supposed to be put up for a vote.
“Fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.” (Prop. 8 Trial)

The bottom line is this, mob rule is no way to dictate the rules in any civilized society. So, whether it is DADT or DOMA, doing the right thing should not necessarily be up for a vote.

 prop 8