Ted Olson Plaintiff's Attorney Discusses Proposition 8 Decision

 Constitution, Gay Issues, Politics, Society  Comments Off on Ted Olson Plaintiff's Attorney Discusses Proposition 8 Decision
Aug 042010
 

This is a CNN Video of Ted Olson discussing the ruling by Judge Walker today in the Constitutional Challenge to California’s Proposition 8. As you’ve probably now heard, Judge Walked declared Proposition 8 Unconstitutional, and basically said if failed on strict scrutiny and on a rational basis argument.

From what I can tell, which isn’t much, Judge Walker recognized the import of this decision, and he has no interest in being overturned. It appears he was careful in creating a complete trial record, often even coaching the defendants attorney’s. One can never tell what a few of the crazies on the Supreme Court will do, but if they follow the law, it will be very hard for them to overturn Walker’s decision.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjv_AMI8H0M]

Because You Can’t Have Spousal Abuse Without a Spouse

 Crime, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society  Comments Off on Because You Can’t Have Spousal Abuse Without a Spouse
Nov 302009
 

The fine folks at Rescue Marriage, who faked out the American Family Association with their satirical campaign to ban divorce in California, have really stepped up their game with this ad. And the California Attorney General has titled the measure and certified it for signature gathering.  It has been called the 2010 CALIFORNIA MARRIAGE PROTECTION ACT.

I pray to God and Jesus that this proposal makes it on to the ballot. I would LOVE to see the Talibangelists go on the defensive to explain that they never meant that kind of “traditional marriage”.

I’ve been thinking that here in Florida we should take the lead and put together a ballot initiative that outlaws gay marriage, divorce, eating shellfish, and demands the stoning of unfaithful wives and non-virgin brides, etc.    How could the Krazy Kristen Kooks object if it comes right from their biblical interpretation? Scary thing is, some of them wouldn’t.

Because You Can't Have Spousal Abuse Without a Spouse

 Gay Issues, Humor, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society  Comments Off on Because You Can't Have Spousal Abuse Without a Spouse
Nov 302009
 

The fine folks at Rescue Marriage, who faked out the American Family Association with their satirical campaign to ban divorce in California, have really stepped up their game with this ad. And the California Attorney General has titled the measure and certified it for signature gathering.  It has been called the 2010 CALIFORNIA MARRIAGE PROTECTION ACT.

I pray to God and Jesus that this proposal makes it on to the ballot. I would LOVE to see the Talibangelists go on the defensive to explain that they never meant that kind of “traditional marriage”.

I’ve been thinking that here in Florida we should take the lead and put together a ballot initiative that outlaws gay marriage, divorce, eating shellfish, and demands the stoning of unfaithful wives and non-virgin brides, etc.    How could the Krazy Kristen Kooks object if it comes right from their biblical interpretation? Scary thing is, some of them wouldn’t.

Rick Warren Screws Himself All Around

 Featured, Gay Issues, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society  Comments Off on Rick Warren Screws Himself All Around
Apr 082009
 

Some days it’s better to just stay in bed, or, as Mark Twain said, “Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” Rick Warren, darling of the “intellectual evangelicals,” is learning that lesson the hard way this week after an appearance on Larry King Live.

Obviously I don’t agree with the evangelical view on homosexuality, and believe they are misreading the Bible based on many years of misinterpretation by their clerics, but I understand their right to believe as they wish. One thing, though, I’m fairly clear about is that lying is pretty much frowned upon throughout the Bible, yet Warren decides to play fast and loose with the truth.

Warren tells King that he never came out in support of California’s Proposition 8 or campaigned for it’s passage. He said:

Yes, you know, Larry, there was a story within a story that never got told. In the first place, I am not an anti-gay or anti-gay marriage activist. I never have been, never will be. During the whole Proposition 8 thing, I never once went to a meeting, never once issued a statement, never – never once even gave an endorsement in the two years Prop 8 was going.

The week before the – the vote, somebody in my church said, Pastor Rick, what – what do you think about this? And I sent a note to my own members that said, I actually believe that marriage is – really should be defined, that that definition should be – say between a man and a woman. And then all of a sudden out of it, they made me, you know, something that I really wasn’t.

I never campaigned for it. I never – I’m not an anti-gay activist – never have been. Never participated in a single event. I just simply made a note in a newsletter. And, of course, everything I write it’s – it’s (INAUDIBLE).

There’s just a little problem with that, Warren in LYING. Somehow, I guess accidentally and without his knowledge, his little note in a newsletter turned into a professionally produced video posted on YouTube prior to the vote.

Warren goes on to tell King that he never compared homosexuality to incest, polygamy, and child molestation.  Continue reading »

LDS Prophets Experience Sudden Revelations

 Election, Gay Issues, Politics, Religion, Society  Comments Off on LDS Prophets Experience Sudden Revelations
Jan 312009
 

Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin seems to have found out why the Proposition 8 people were so hell bent in trying to prohibit the release of the names of donors to their campaign to take away the rights of Gay people in California. It seems the LDS had way more to do with this than they were claiming. (And by the Church, I mean the church corporate…not just “members.”)

Burroway reports they had 190,000 reasons to prevent the disclosure. Seems the LDS provided lots of official corporate support and in-kind services.

Mormon church officials, facing an ongoing investigation by the state Fair Political Practices Commission, Friday reported nearly $190,000 in previously unlisted assistance to the successful campaign for Prop. 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California.

The report, filed with the secretary of state’s office, listed a variety of California travel expenses for high-ranking members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and included $20,575 for use of facilities and equipment at the church’s Salt Lake City headquarters and a $96,849 charge for “compensated staff time” for church employees who worked on matters pertaining to Prop. 8.

Through yesterday, LDS leaders had insisted in strongest possible terms that the Church had no direct involvement in the Prop. 8 campaign. As Burroway notes, it appears their Prophets must have a little “Revelation” last night.

It so disgusts me when religious leaders seem to able to lead only in lies. How is that Christian? Why do we tolerate it? I hear no outcry from the members of the LDS Church for someone to be held accountable for the lies. If the Church felt it important to support Prop. 8, then why did they feel they had to hide and lie about that involvement. I’m all for people and organizations standing up for what they believe in, but do it in the daylight.

Enough is Enough – The Fallout From The Gay Marriage Vote

 Election, Featured, Gay Issues, Places, Politics, Society, Tampa  Comments Off on Enough is Enough – The Fallout From The Gay Marriage Vote
Nov 172008
 

Maybe, finally gay people have decided that enough is enough when it comes to having second-class citizenship foisted upon us by krazy kristian kooks. Across the country Saturday were a series of rallies decrying the enactment of three marriage amendments on election day which enshrine discrimination in the Constitutions of Florida, Arizona and California. As angry as we may all be, we should not be surprised at the outcome. There is no leadership within the gay community, and practically no community left anyways. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has become a parody, and while I respect the work done by Equality Florida, they too have been totally ineffective.

Let’s take a look at some of what happened on election day. There are a number of factors that lead to the passage of these amendments. None of it should have come as a surprise, and some of it ain’t pretty.

The Mormon Church
The Mormon Church has become very much a focal point for the anger of the gay community, and they don’t like it. It’s been estimated that nearly $20m in funding for the Yes on 8 campaign in California came from people affiliated with the Mormon Church. It also appears the Church itself, in violation of a number of election laws, may have provided in-kind services such as phone banks and material support. Make no mistake, the LDS Church was a big part of the campaign to pass Proposition 8.

They have previously been active in campaigns to institutionalize the same kind of hate in Hawaii. I find it intriguing that a Church which used to (and to some extent still does) condone Polygamy, used to exclude African-Americans from membership, and were themselves persecuted, have now taken it on themselves to support bigotry and hatred around marriage rites.

“Everyone in the United States has a legal right to protest, which we support fully,” said Waterford Clayton, president of the Newport Beach stake LDS. “This is not about sexual preference. This is about the moral standing of marriage.” (Get it, the Mormons, of all people, are lecturing the rest of us on the “moral standing of marriage.”)

Something went wrong this time though. In an internal church document ([download#1]), the church made it clear they were pleased that the leaders of the Hawaii initiative were not being associated with the Church. This time though, the word of their unprecedented sponsorship did not go unnoticed, and now the LDS has the gall to whine and complain about being called out for it. Sorry guys, but that’s how that messy old thing called Free Speech works. I may not like your message, but I defend your right to say it, but it also means you have to make room for my speech as well, even if you don’t like the content. The Mormon Church has every right to take a stand against Gay Marriage, but Gay people then have a right to take a stand against any institution that supports hatred.

When people are angry, they need a focal point for their anger. There are lots of reasons and people and groups responsible for the outcomes on election day, but the Mormon Church is serving as a good focal point for the anger, and I’m OK with that for now, but at some point we will need to move beyond blame.  Continue reading »

Courage In The Face of Hate

 Culture, Featured, Gay Issues, Politics, Religion, Society  Comments Off on Courage In The Face of Hate
Oct 062008
 

Here in Florida there is a ballot iniative to enshrine bigotry in the State Constitution by adding a ban on gay marriage (already illegal here). This is, of course, being spearheaded by an Orlando attorney who most likely has political aspirations, and thinks he’ll gain some points with the Rethuglicans by having this on the ballot, to hopefully turn out the good ole boys down here to vote for McCain. Right now it appears to be a toss up.

A similar measure is on the ballot in California, but unlike in Florida, it is now legal for gay people to marry. Once in a rare while, in the political discourse of this country, there is a flash of courage and clarity of thinking. One such flash has happened in California. Father Geoffrey Farrow of the Saint Paul Newman Center on the campus of the University of California (Fresno) is a courageous cleric. Here is a man who has spoken truth to power, and perhaps ended his career. Below is the entirity of his Homily from this past Sunday.

As most of you know, I was appointed pastor here at the Newman Center on April 15th of this year. When I arrived, I set out to address a series of various projects to repair our facilities. To date, most of these deferred maintenance items have been addressed. In the middle of dealing with contractors, the parish finance committee, the building department of the diocese, neighbors, etc., I received a FAX from the bishop’s office on the 30th of June. It was the bishop’s pastoral letter for the month of July.

This single FAX threw my whole summer, and in fact, my whole life into a turmoil. Recently, I was speaking with some of our parishioners who advocate for the ordination of women. In the course of our conversation, a question arose which has haunted me: “At what point do you cease to be an agent for healing and growth and become an accomplice of injustice?” By asking all of the pastors of the Diocese of Fresno to promote Catholics to vote “Yes” on Proposition 8, the bishop has placed me in a moral predicament.

In his “Pastoral,” the bishop states: “Marriage is much more than simply two persons loving each other. Marriage is naturally, socially, and biologically, directed to bringing forth life.”

Actually, there are TWO ends to marriage: 1) Unitive and 2) Procreative. The unitive end of marriage is simply a union of love and life. The Procreative end is, of course, to create new life. It is important to understand that the unitive end of marriage is sufficient for a valid marriage. The Church sanctions, and considers a sacrament, the marriage of elderly heterosexual couples who are biologically incapable of reproduction. So, if two people of different genders who are incapable of reproduction can enter into a valid marriage, then why is that two people of the same gender, who are incapable of reproduction, cannot enter into a valid marriage.

The objections which are raised at this point are taken from Sacred Scripture. Scripture scholars reveal the problematic nature of attempting to use passages from the Hebrew Scriptures as an argument against same gender relationships. Essentially, these scriptures are addressing the cultic practices in which sex with temple prostitutes was part of an act of worshiping Pagan gods. With regard to the Pauline epistles, John J. McNeill, in his book: “The Church and the Homosexual,” makes the following point: “The persons referred to in Romans 1:26 are probably not homosexuals that is, those who are psychologically inclined toward their own sex-since they are portrayed as ‘abandoning their natural customs.'” The Pauline epistles do not explicitly treat the question of homosexual activity between two persons who share a homosexual orientation, and as such cannot be read as explicitly condemning such behavior. Therefore, same gender sex by two individuals with same sex orientation is not “abandoning their natural custom.”

In 1973, as a result of a greater understanding of human psychology, the American Psychological Association declassified homosexuality as a mental illness. In 1975, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the Church’s watchdog for orthodoxy) produced a document entitled: “Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics.” In this document, they made the most remarkable statement. They stated that there are “homosexuals who are such because of some kind of innate instinct.” While these statements are hardly glowing affirmations of gay and lesbian persons, they represent a watershed in human perception and understanding of gay and lesbian people.

These new insights have occurred as a result of the birth and development of the science of psychology and understanding of brain development in the 19th and 20th centuries. The California Supreme Court cited and quoted an amicus brief filed by the APA in the Court’s opinion issued on May 15, 2008 that struck down California’s ban on same sex marriage. Specifically, the court relied on the APA’s brief in concluding that the very nature of sexual orientation is related to the gender of partners to whom one is attracted, so that prohibiting same sex marriage discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation, rather than just imposing disparate burdens on gay people.

In directing the faithful to vote “Yes” on Proposition 8, the California Bishops are not merely entering the political arena, they are ignoring the advances and insights of neurology, psychology and the very statements made by the Church itself that homosexuality is innate (i.e. orientation). In doing this, they are making a statement which has a direct, and damaging, effect on some of the people who may be sitting in the pews next to you today. The statement made by the bishop reaffirms the feelings of exclusion and alienation that are suffered by individuals and their loved ones who have left the Church over this very issue. Imagine what hearing such damaging words at Mass does to an adolescent who has just discovered that he/she is gay/lesbian? What is the hierarchy saying to him/her? What are they demanding from that individual? What would it have meant to you personally to hear from the pulpit at church that you could never date? Never fall in love, never kiss or hold hands with another person? Never be able to marry? How would you view yourself? How would others hearing those same words be directed to view you? How would you view your life and your future? How would you feel when you saw a car with a “Yes on 8” bumper sticker? When you overheard someone in a public place use the word “faggot?” Continue reading »