Jun 272016
 
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This entry is part 24 of 31 in the series Daily Douche-Bag
Hillsborough County Commissioner, Stacy White (R-Asshole)

Hillsborough County Commissioner, Stacy White (R-Asshole)

This one is interesting I know, but they are all three of the same situation…if it really is three. Let me explain. Last week, Hillsborough, FL, County Commissioner and conservative firebrand, Stacy White (who I will note claims to be a Methodist), supposedly got a report of an anonymous employee who found flying the Rainbow Flag in memory and honor of the victims in Orlando created a hostile work environment for her. White was quick to call the flag a, “divisive, politically-charged symbol.”

White didn’t attend the last meeting of the Commission where the display was voted on, so I guess his particular brand of Christianity was left out of the discussion, and he was feeling all butt-hurt. I’ll prove that with the internal memo he sent around about the issue. So, we have a three-way tie on this one. Commissioner Stacy White, his condescending and dishonest legislative assistant, David Garcia, and the supposedly anonymous Hillsborough County Employee.

And just to set the stage, Ybor City Stogie describes Stacy White this way: Continue reading »

Jun 142016
 

pulse-orlandoWow, what disturbing news I woke to Sunday morning. We’ve been there in the past, and we’ve been to the Plaza Live where Christina Grimmie was killed, as the Orlando Gay Men’s Chorus performs there. So far, we’re not aware of any friends or acquaintances who were involved, but it is a tight enough community, I’m sure we at least have friends of friends who are.

This will all be kind of a random collection of my thoughts on this, so be understanding if I’m more incoherent than usual.

First, let’s clear up something about the role the shooter’s religion played, and whether this was an Isl?mic terrorist act, or as one “friend” on Facebook called it, Jihad. According to FBI Director, James Comey, the shooter came to their attention a few years ago when some folks at the Court House where he was working security, contacted the FBI after he made claims about being part of Al-Qaeda. They determined he was just making the claims in anger, and as something a threat. Kind of like kids who claim to be in a gang, when they aren’t.

Of course, we all know now about his call to 911 claiming loyalty to the leader of ISIL, and mentioning the Boston Bombers. The Boston Bombers claimed to affiliated with Al-Qaeda. So, why does this matter? Well ISIL and Al-Qaeda are mortal enemies. He basically pledged allegiance to two diametrically opposed groups, Shi’a Hezbollah and Sunni ISIS. I think this shows the guy was either stupid, or too consumed by his rage to consider what he was saying, he just wanted to seem like a big guy on a big mission. I believe this takes all wind out of the sales of those trying to make this some sort of international terrorist event. It was not. Continue reading »

In A Mirror Dimly-Response to a Series by Bishop Michael Lowry-Part 3

 Featured, Gay Issues, Methodism, Religion, Society  Comments Off on In A Mirror Dimly-Response to a Series by Bishop Michael Lowry-Part 3
May 052016
 
This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Response to Lecture Series by Bishop J. Michael Lowry

United Methodist Bishop, J. Michael Lowry of the Central Texas Conference, recently addressed a gathering of the United Methodist Scholars for Christian Orthodoxy Conference at Armstrong Chapel United Methodist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has put his address, “In a Mirror Dimly”: The Future of the United Methodist Church”© on his website  as a four-part posting.

Bishop J. Michael Lowry, Central Texas Conference, United Methodist Church

Bishop J. Michael Lowry, Central Texas Conference, United Methodist Church

Bishop Lowry seems to argue that the Methodist Church should (or at least, likely will) split over the issue of the inclusion of LGBT people. As you might guess, given that he’s speaking to people who claim to be “orthodox,” that he is, as southerners might say, “agin it.” And of course, that would mean that, while I don’t disagree a split may happen, I don’t agree with his position on the topic at hand.

Part 3 – Deeper Reflections & Observations in a Fog

Now Bishop Lowry begins to come out into the open about where he is in all this. In the opening paragraph in this part, he says, “First, whatever your position on same-gender marriage & ordination, a decision should not be made on the grounds of losing or gaining members! I cannot say this strongly enough.” (Emphasis Lowry’s) I think we are both in agreement on this point, but our motivations differ. Continue reading »

Jun 142015
 
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This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Causes of The Gay

tinkywinkyI used to have a series of articles here listing the causes, advanced by many crazy people, of what causes homosexuality. It included such things as peanut butter, orange juice, and of course Teletubbies (I’m not kidding), amongst other things. I don’t know what happened. It appears the site lost a number of posts between 2006 and 2011. I’m trying to find an old backup to see if I can recapture those. In the meantime, we’ll start the list all over again with this doozy.

Based on a comment in response to a Facebook post, ” There are those who think it is a side effect of some childhood immunizations or combinations thereof.”

This has to be one of the most unique I can think of. Let’s start with a number of problems with this, from the most recent working back into time.

First off, I thought immunizations caused Autism, not homosexuality (sorry, I had to get that snark in). That’s been the most recent ridiculous claim about immunizations. Those anti-vaxxers will take great offense to someone trying to co-opt their cause celeb. Continue reading »

Tony Perkins-Lying Even More

 Entertainment, Featured, Gay Issues, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society, TV  Comments Off on Tony Perkins-Lying Even More
Oct 142014
 
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This entry is part 10 of 31 in the series Daily Douche-Bag

We’re going to give Tony Perkins our Daily Douche award two days in a row. On Sunday, he appeared on the usually friendly Faux News Sunday to discuss the evils of marriage equality. Unfortunately, Ms. Perkins brought her pen knife intellect to a gun fight with a constitutional law heavy weight, Ted Olson, a Republican lawyer and gay marriage advocate. Hilarity ensues.

Heck, Perkins even got taken the wood shed by Fox News’ host Chris Wallace. Perkins starts with his usual, think of the children meme with “Marriage is not to affirm adults, it’s for the protection of children, and if love is the only factor, where do you draw the boundaries?”

Perkins continued to harp on the “natural established boundaries for marriage.”

“What are you suggesting? That there’s going to by polygamy, that people are going to be marrying their aunt, their pets?” Wallace asked.

“I didn’t say that,” Perkins responded, again bringing up “boundaries.”

“Alright, you and your wife live happily in this house.There’s a same-sex couple living here. What’s the damage to you?” Wallace then asked.

Perkins replied by bringing up wedding vendors put out of business by refusing to serve gay couples.

“It’s a different issue,” Wallace retorted. Watch the Video below: Continue reading »

TV Review-Transparent

 Culture, Entertainment, TV  Comments Off on TV Review-Transparent
Oct 132014
 

TransparentAn LA family with serious boundary issues have their past and future unravel when a dramatic admission causes everyone’s secrets to spill out. Transparent is an Amazon production made available as part of the Amazon Prime streaming media collection.

Writer: Jill Soloway
Stars: Jeffrey Tambor, Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, Judith Light
Genre: Comedy
Released: 06 Feb 2014

Me and Lay binge watched all 10 episodes Friday night. Continue reading »

Finding a Right in the Constitution

 Constitution, Featured, Gay Issues, Politics, Society  Comments Off on Finding a Right in the Constitution
Jul 022014
 

An image of the U.S. Constitution and gavelYou’re likely aware that a number of state laws and constitutional amendments limiting the right so LGBT people to marry, have recently been found to be unconstitutional. The anti-equality pundits then issue their (now pretty standard) press releases denouncing the ruling, and explaining how the judge “found” a non-existent “right to gay marriage” in the U.S. Constitution. Today, on NRP’s Fresh Air program, host Terry Gross  kept referring the Supreme Court “finding a right” to marriage in the Constitution. I’m here to theorize that one does NOT go to the Constitution to find a right.

This is a topic I’ve had on my mind for some time, and today’s interview with Adam Liptak by Terry Gross (who I am starting to like less and less for many reasons) finally pushed me to write this short piece. Gross was asking about whether the Supreme Court would take up the gay marriage issue next year, and kept wondering if they would “find a right to gay marriage in the Constitution.” Let me put in the standard disclaimer…I’m not a lawyer; I’m not a Judge; I’m not a Constitutional Scholar; I didn’t even stay at a Holiday Inn last night; but I did take Junior High Civics. Continue reading »

Aug 052013
 

For over 10 years I’ve been a member of Palma Ceia United Methodist Church here in Tampa. I started attending an older adult Sunday School class because of my interest in the topics. I wound up doing some substitute teaching, and starting a little over two years ago, I wound up teaching full-time, and now have the help of another person.

Photo of Rev. Bruce Toms

Rev. Bruce Toms

Recently, as is the custom with Methodist churches, we got a new pastor, Bruce Toms. I was glad for the change, hoped for the best, and could have been a champion for the guy, but that’s not to be. I’d been told that he was bit conservative, but the previous pastor, Kevin James, was certainly no bleeding heart liberal. Toms has taken it to new heights though.

In August of 2008 I opened a discussion with the Administrative Council of Palma Ceia United Methodist Church about the adoption of an inclusive statement of welcome and non-discrimination. It was “A Resolution for Justice.” In 2008, frankly, I was met with a tremendous amount of ugliness from the likes of Kevin James, the Pastor at the time, and then head of the Personnel Committee, Bill Josey, who actually physically pushed Phil Waters, the presiding officer aside, and took over the meeting.

I spent the intervening three years advancing the conversation within the church body itself, and returned to the Administrative Council in August of 2011. This time, a large contingent of people supportive of such a resolution attended. There was a passionate discussion, and the Council heard personal stories of the harm that the messages often conveyed under the guise of religion can cause to young lesbian and gay people, and how they are often driven away from the Church because of a lack of real welcome. There was spirited debate, both sides arrived at a compromise, and a consensus was reached. Shortly after that, a statement of welcome and non-discrimination, completely and fully compliant with the language of the Discipline of the United Methodist Church was adopted. As planned, it was published to the Church website, and despite the concerns of only one or two, no one left this Church as a result.

The statement reads simply:

“We affirm that worship and membership at Palma Ceia United Methodist Church is open to all who seek to know Christ and share His love, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation or economic status, and we welcome and respect all members of our community without regard to these characteristics.”

During an early personal conversation with Toms, he indicated he wanted the statement off the site. About a month ago, the site was redesigned, and the statement was left off. This started a downward spiral in my relationship to Palma Ceia United Methodist Church, The Methodist Church writ large, Bruce Toms, and even the Chair of the Administrative Council, Marty Peate. Continue reading »

The Kids are All Right – A Movie Review

 Culture, Featured, Movies  Comments Off on The Kids are All Right – A Movie Review
Aug 012010
 

Two teenaged children conceived by artificial insemination get the notion to seek out their birth father and introduce him into the family life that their two mothers have built for them. Once the donor is found, the household will never be the same, as family ties are defined, re-defined, and then re-re-defined.

Genres: Drama; Running Time: 1 hr. 44 min.; Release Date: July 9th, 2010 (limited); MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some teen drug and alcohol use.

Starring: Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson

Directed by
: Lisa Cholodenko
We went to see this movie last night out at Brandon. The theater wasn’t nearly packed, but there was a decent crowd. Unfortunately, two adult women sitting just behind us felt compelled to have a conversation throughout the entire movie. Besides that, we both felt this was a great movie, with one major criticism.

The critics seem to universally like this film, and they are right on this one! This movie is brilliantly written and beautifully acted/directed. Lay and me laughed so hard (together with all other audience members) most of the time but yet I teared up during the emotional moments. And leaving the theaters, I resonated a lot with the story and actually felt a bit more hopeful and positive and had a smile on my face. Performance wise, I just love love Bening’s performance!! But it is an ensemble piece and all cast members did a great job!

In Lisa Cholodenko’s heartwarming picture, Annette Bening and Julianne Moore play Nic and Jules, a happily married couple. They have two kids, Joni and Laser, played by Alice in Wonderland’s Mia Wasikowska and Zathura’s Josh Hutcherson. The two were born from artificial insemination, both coming from the same father. Joni has just turned 18, and therefore, is legally able to make the call to find out who their biological father is, something she is reluctant to do. She ends up making the call, and low and behold, their father is a mellowed-out, semi-hippie, organic farmer / restaurant owner named Paul, played with fantastic style by Mark Ruffalo. The audience instantly clings to Paul’s charm.

Things get complicated when the kids want to meet with Paul more than once and Paul begins to become a fixture in all of their lives, throwing off the balance. One thing leads to another to another, and all hell breaks loose, twisting and churning our emotions.

Bening and Moore were splendid in their roles, making their relationship feel very real and sympathetic. You couldn’t help but pull for them as the story unfolded. The bittersweet scenes with the kids played very real to me; especially one scene near the end where the sister leaves for college. That was supported marvelously by Mia Wasikowska (whose name is wonderfully, ethnically correct, BTW) who looks like she may be around for awhile; there’s talent in there. They didn’t give Josh Hutcherson a lot to do that would have been a challenge at all, but he didn’t disappoint. In the end, the real focus here was the pair of Bening and Be Moore. As many critics have pointed out, this story is a very real depiction of a family, and the makeup of that family isn’t the story.

The major complaint, shared by both of us, is there are several very graphic sexual scenes (not involving lesbian sex surprisingly). I’m no prude about it, but it distracted from the flow of the movie taking too much time, and just wasn’t necessary to advance the story. The sexual episodes were important to the story, but they could have been shown in the usual way of showing the beginning and the end of the sex, and moving on to the next scene.

Be forewarned about the sexual content, but otherwise, it’s a great movie.

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Jun 192010
 
This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Say It To My Face

Here’s the first in a brand new series at Deep Something. I’m sick and tired of hearing the Republicans and krazy kristian kooks like the American Family Association and Tony Perkins and many others just make shit up about gay people and the issues faced by LGBT people in this country (and around the world). They do it because they get to try to hide behind press releases, podiums, security and websites. So I’ve decided to call them out. I’m going to find a number and do my best to get through to them or their staff person, and I intend to respectfully and thoughtfully challenge them to say it to my face (or at least over the phone).

First up was Orrin Hatch early this week. The Utah Senator was at a town hall meeting in St. George, UT when he decided he needed to snuggle up to the Tea Baggers. So Hatch said, “Gays and lesbians don’t pay tithing, their religion is politics.”

So I called Senator Hatch’s office. I explained to the staffer the reason for my call, and expressed my disgust at the fact that the Senator would just make up a statement like this without even knowing me. I asked him to explain why the Senator would say such a thing. Naturally, his first response was to claim the Senator didn’t really mean it “that way.” So I asked him to explain in “what way” the Senator meant it…which he couldn’t. So then he admitted he didn’t know why the Senator would say that, so I asked to speak to the Senator to get that understanding. He was, of course, too busy.

I responded that I suspected the Senator wasn’t too busy, but was just not man-enough to say it to my face. I then asked the staff person, given that Senator Hatch could go around just making up stuff about me, could I just go around making up stuff about the Senator…that maybe I should issue a statement saying the Senator and me had been engaged in a many-years running torrid homosexual affair that included drugs and drunken debauchery?

I loved the staffers immediate response (before he started trying to roll back his statement…you could definitely picture him trying to reach through the phone and pull the words back in). He said, “Why would you want to do that, then you’d just be stooping to his level.” Indeed Senator.

Where Have I Been?

 Culture, General, Religion, Right Wingnuts  Comments Off on Where Have I Been?
Jun 142010
 

As you probably have noticed, I haven’t posted anything in a while. I apologize for that (if it matters to anyone) as I’ve been busy with work. That’s a good thing, but it involved a lot of writing, so by the end of the day, my fingers were tired.

I have also had some household projects going on, which has given me plenty to do the past few weekends and in the evenings. I was supposed to off the entire week following Memorial Day, but that didn’t work out. I did have a couple of those days off though.

This coming Sunday my niece is having her 4th birthday here at the house. The nephews have always enjoyed swimming here, but both niece’s are totally into it, and throw a fit when it’s time to get out and go home.

I also plan to start  new series called, “Say It To My Face.” I’ve really decided that I’m tired of having wingnuts and politicians say just anything they want about LGBT folks, no matter how crazy, dishonest, over-the-top, or insulting. I’m going to try to track down contact information for them, and talk to them (or a staffer), and call them out for it directly. I already have a couple of those to get written, and more are on the way. I don’t know if it’ll change any minds, but I think people generally ratchet down the rhetoric when they have to say it, or back it up, to someone’s face (or at least their telephone voice).

There are couple of movies to get reviewed too, although we haven’t watched many new movies lately. Lay got a call for an interview for TFD, so he’s spent the past couple of weeks and weekends preparing as best he can for that. It’s a huge deal, so send positive thoughts his way.