Saturday, July 10, 2010

DADT survey

The new Don't Ask Don't Tell survey being touted by the Defense Department has alot of people in a tizzy...http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/09/AR2010070905494.html?hpid=topnews

I think that if we were truly concerned about how the military "feels" about changes in their ranks, we should have had a questionnaire about sleeping next to black people or having to share a mess hall with women back when the military was integrated, both racially and gender wise.

Also, is not the military supposed to be a place where you follow orders even if you do not like them? So why are we suddenly now allowing the soldiers to dictate policy? Should it not be the Commander in Chief of the U.S. - President Obama?

DOD come on!! Once you start asking stupid questions like the ones contained within the survey you will of course get skewed answers.

The Governor race we should all be watching

One of the key races in this election for gay rights is one that seems to not be getting alot of media, or gay bloggers attention. It is the governors race in Iowa. On Top Magazine details why this race is key...http://www.ontopmag.com/article.aspx?id=6001&MediaType=1&Category=26

Specifically, it is Brandstad's opposition to gay marriage and his running mate for Lieutenant Gov. Kim Reynolds pro-civil unions stance. She is also opposed to gay marriage.

We all knew about Brandstad's anti-gay marriage position during the primary, but we thought that it would not become a large issue in his campaign, because he kinda shied away from it before. But with his pick of Reynolds, and her subsequent remarks, we are seeing that it will become a very important issue in the coming months.  Both Brandstad and Reynolds belive that gay marriage should be put up to a vote by the people of Iowa,

"But the bottom line is this is an extremely important issue, and I believe that Iowans have a right to speak on that,” she said.
Now why is this important? Ever since the Supreme Court of Iowa legalized gay marriage a few years ago, my favorite people, the Christian Right, have been attempting to write their interpretation of scripture into the states constitution. Democrats, who hold currently the legislature and governorship have blocked any attempt to put gay marriage on the ballot. Yet with a Republican governor opposed to gay marriage, it would only be a matter of time before the republicans sway the more moderate leaning Democrats to put it up for a vote by the people. This would be disastrous!!

Many claim that it is undemocratic to not have the people vote on such a key institution such as marriage. Though I see where they are coming from, it is not up for the "people" to decide everything. Political philosophers - from Bentham, Mill, Rousseau, and Locke - have all illuminated why this is the case. When you subject a minority groups rights to a majority vote, the minority will always fail. This is why gay rights opponents can claim that gay marriage has never won at the ballot box. Thus this election is very important for all gay Americans, not just gay Iowans. For we must not let the majority, led by the shrill uneducated cries of the ultra right wing Christians, to restrict the right of marriage that have already been granted to the minority.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Platitudes of Focus On The Family

Well, with all the recent developments going on in the realm of the gay world, Focus on the Family took the opportunity to send the alarm to all its supporters in an email entitled - "Why Elections - and confirmation hearings - matter for marriage." In it we see the generic oh no the evil gays, but I would like to point out one thing that I noticed from their email...and I am quoting directly from it.
Why Marriage Matters 
It's clear this anti-marriage campaign is moving forward piecemeal because Washington doesn't want to bring the redefinition of marriage to open debate--in Congress, or with the American people. They've seen what we've seen: Each and every time voters in a state have had the chance to protect marriage at the ballot box, they have done so--because common-sense Americans care deeply about marriage and understand that it provides kids with the best chance to have a mom and a dad.

But if the majority of voters in the majority of the states have protected marriage as the union of a man and a woman, why are our federal elected officials so out of step with the will of the people? Marriage and family should be respected and supported by our government--especially for the sake of the next generation. The men and women elected--or appointed--to office have the ability to help shape our country's future for years to come. That's why elections matter, and why confirmation hearings matter as well.

First, we have the generic argument that marriage must be left up to the people to decide, because the people obviously know best. I'm not even going to address that, as that has been addressed by countless others but instead I will key in one particular phrase..."common-sense Americans care deeply about marriage and understand that it provides kids with the best chance to have a mom and a dad." This statement makes the assumption that a mother and father family is the best type. This statement ignores all current research on the subject showing that gay and lesbian couples raise children just as, and sometimes even better than, heterosexuals. But does Focus on the Family address this research? Of course not!!! In their mind, any research that goes against what they think the Bible might say on the subject has to be false. This is the height of Christian ignorance in my opinion. Agree with science as long as it suits your opinion, but when it does not, claim that the scientists have an anti-Christian agenda. I for one thought that Christianity was supposed to be based on the truth, and like I was always taught, the truth - if it is the truth - will always be shown to be right. If only Focus on the Family would stop with the platitudes aimed at appeasing their base, and instead truly address gay and lesbian parenting. Only then will they actually have a legitimate voice in the gay parenting discussion.

Christian Rights reaction to Presbyterian Church USA

Since I have written over the past few days about the Presbyterian Church USA's decision - not taken force yet, but having passed through committee - to allow non-celibate gay and lesbians in commited relationships to be clergy, I thought it would be appropriate to examine the reactions of the Christian Right on this decision.

Two sources...my favorite Culture News blog and Baptist Press had some rather "christian" things to say about the decision.

The Baptist Press had this article...http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=33319

"Leaders of the PCUSA are still confused about the biblical teaching that channels sexual expression through the marriage of man and woman," Wisdom, IRD vice president for research and programs, said in a news release. The IRD is Washington-based organization that monitors mainline denominations for left-leaning positions and liberal theology.

"But we can take comfort that people in local Presbyterian churches do uphold the [Bible's] teaching," Wisdom said. "It is unfortunate that we will have to summon them again to defend that biblical standard in another set of presbytery votes over the coming year. But defend it they will."
In reality, the Presbyterian Church USA is the one who is upholding the Bibles true teaching, and not some faux teaching developed for the oppression of those who are different from the "normal" people the church is used to dealing with. All that the Presbytery will be defending is bigotry and lack of understanding of the actual issues surrounding sexuality - both homosexual and heterosexual.

Also, From the just news reporting Culture News blog  - http://culturecampaign.blogspot.com/2010/07/sexually-deviant-pastors-ok-in.html - we again see a very negative and loaded title, which clearly shows what the CR thinks of gays and lesbians -

Sexually Deviant Pastors OK in Presbyterian Church

The PCUSA convention voted to accept clergy actively involved in homosexual activity, but the votes were split about defining marriage as "two people."
Once again, I am glad that minorities are labeled as Sexual Deviants - a very negative phraseology that has no grounding in either Scripture or in Science...but hey, it gets readers.

LGBT crucification

I got this photo off of Joe.My.God...and it is exceptionally accurate on the feelings that most within the GLBT community feel about the current "Christian" regime that dominates U.S. politics today.
http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2010/07/quit-squirming.html

Update for Presbyterians and Gays

My recent post of Gay Marriage and the Presbyterian Church seems to be a little premature, but the gist of it has stayed the same. Last night, the PC USA changed their rules to allow gay and lesbian clergy to openly serve in ministry roles.

http://www.kansascity.com/2010/07/09/2072234/presbyterian-leaders-ok-gay-lesbian.html

Though falling short of where I would have liked to see the church go, - recognizing gay unions - this is a very important step in the direction of equality. Soon, the forces of equality and justice will come over all of the mainstream Christian denominations as they realize that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality, but instead that is a recent and unscriptural interpretation of out of context scripture passages.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Judge Strikes Down Section 3 of DOMA

A federal judge today struck down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), citing that it is unconstitutional for the Federal Government to require the state of Massachusetts - a state that has had gay marriage legal since 2004 - to discriminate against said states same-sex legally wed couples in order for the state to receive federal funding. Excellent article and analysis by the New York Times. Hopefully this starts to spell the end for DOMA.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/09/us/09marriage.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

Presbyterians and Gays

Even though I normally have very negative feelings towards the Christian Rights treatment of gays, the Presbyterian Church USA has begun to make some excellent strides towards equality and the recognition that all individuals are welcome before God. Congrats PCUSA!!!

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2010-07-08-presbyterian-gay_N.htm

Monday, July 5, 2010

Immigration and the Gays

A recent issue I have become passionate about over the past few weeks has to deal with immigration policy. A post by a blog that I subscribe to...not that I agree with them, I just want to know what the religious nutjobs are saying...commented about the proposal currently in congress on the Uniting American Families Act...link is found here.

http://culturecampaign.blogspot.com/2010/07/immigration-reform-national-same-sex.html

I for one love the title...

Immigration Reform = National Same-sex Unions

Illinois congressman to add right for homosexuals to claim foreign spouses to President Obama's comprehensive immigration reform plans
This for one shows the true prejudice behind the Christian Rights denial of gay people civil rights. In no way is the Uniting American Families act forcing states to accept gay marriage, or even institute gay marriage...the institution that Christians claim to go hoopla over. All this bill is doing is allow couples to sponsor each other so that they might be together, instead of the American having to be exiled from their country because of whom they love. Its as simple as that. It allows the U.S. government to recognize that there does exist a class of people who have partners with whom they are either married to or in stable relationships, and yet cannot be together because of immigration policy. All this bill does is allow them to be together...yet reading the CR (Christian Right) version, you would think that the gays are going to start infiltrating the nation. Yea right, the CR's bigotry is slowly showing its face, as it is starting to have no arguments to back its position. 

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