Saturday, June 30, 2007

Separation of church and state is patriotic

Note: I have once again chosen to participate in the blogswarm against theocracy. The "theme" this time is "separation of church and state is patriotic". Below is my humble attempt to make my case for why I believe it is our patriotic duty to fight for separation of church and state, but from a decidedly different angle than others will probably be coming from: that of a Seething Mom who has a gay son.

Yes, I believe in God. And learning I had a gay son did not shake my belief in God, but it certainly destroyed my faith in organized religion, and (being a Catholic) Catholicism in particular. It made me realize that no matter what a Pope or any charismatic church leader wants to claim with astoundingly arrogant absolutism, they are just as human as I am ---- and just as capable of being wrong. Horribly, sinfully wrong.

As I've mentioned before, there were some serious cracks in my Catholic faith, none of which were big enough that I couldn’t just ignore or treat them as minor irritants, but when I learned my son was gay ---- I could no longer turn a blind eye to the Church’s teachings. Coming face to face with the fact that the only Church I’d ever known considered my son “intrinsically evil” and “objectively disordered” because of who he might choose to love left me no choice but to leave. I could no longer ignore a Church that was all too willing to single out my son as evil and spread that belief in the name of Jesus.

But what happens when religious dogma starts spilling out into politics and government? Should we be alarmed? Should we fight tooth and nail to preserve the separation of Church and State that our forefathers so adamantly believed in and insisted upon? Is it our patriotic duty to fight the melding of Church and State?

In a word:


Let me start by asking a question first posed by Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D. in an article in the Atlantic Free Press:

[W]hat is it about the dogma of organized religion that compels so many otherwise sane, humanistic people to abandon reason and common sense and embrace hate and discrimination at the bidding of “religious leaders”?

This is a question that really resonates with me, especially in light of the religious (and political) persecution of gays and lesbians going on today. But as the author points out, there isn’t any one easy answer. Perhaps one reason might be because:

… humanity has not yet evolved beyond the schadenfreude need to hate someone or some group. The dogma of organized religion not only fuels but also justifies that need.

And this is what frightens me most about the hatred and homophobia which has been emanating from many of our churches and oozing into our government like a dreaded disease:

Organized religion and the dogma its spawns are based on “us vs. them” thinking: believers vs. non-believers. Add to that the fact fanatical believers convince themselves that they – and they alone – know “God’s will” and crimes against humanity are sure to follow, ad majorem gloriam Dei. History is replete with examples of how religion in the hands evil men can corrupt governments and justify denying basic human and civil rights. From the Holy Inquisition, through the Third Reich to the Taliban and Nigeria’s supposedly secular parliament, the story remains the same.

Now I am not drawing parallels between the Third Reich and the United States, but I am finding some frightening similarities in how George W. Bush is using religion to deny basic human and civil rights and divide this country for his own political gain. And there is no denying that one of the main platforms upon which he based his 2004 campaign for re-election was the homophobia and hatred he knew was emanating from many of our churches. He counted on that “us vs. them” type of thinking to win the election and he continues to count on that dynamic whenever he needs a political victory. But this strategy has profoundly divided and harmed our country and its standing in the world.

And let us be clear here, it is not just government that is harmed when we allow religion into politics. There is great harm done to both religion and politics by allowing the two to meld:

The partnership of religion and the state is an equation for tragedy not just for enemies of the state but for the religion that is the state's partner.

Domestically, when the federal government funds religious organizations to do social service, they become arms of the state. They give up their independence and compromise their ability to fulfill their specific charitable missions.

When foreign actions are sanctioned, however subtly, on the dubious idea that a liberal democracy is a gift from God and that somehow the United States should be an instrument of that gift, where will our gift-giving end? Who will end it? Religion says that God is in charge; democracies say that the people rule. Who will adjudicate this debate?

Bush proclaimed after 9/11 that it is the U.S.'s calling, led by his sense of moral leadership, to rid the world of evil. How can we decide who and what is evil? Moreover, what makes us think that we can rid the world of evil? This injection of black-white thinking into the international sphere has created more enemies than it has overcome and alienated friends as well.

Again, where does Bush get his calling? It seems he gains it from his own prophetic sense of authority. This kind of religious charisma trumps normal political debate and veers toward the very mixture of state and religious power our Founding Fathers tried to prevent.

It is our patriotic duty to fight to maintain the separation of state and religious power. It is a toxic combination which only succeeds in making a mockery of both, while giving religious leaders and political leaders a convenient way to “…feed into and exploit the dark side of the human condition for their own self-interests.”

Today it is my son who has an exclusive membership in the “them” part of the “us vs. them” dynamic, tomorrow it could be someone else’s child. This is just the kind of thing our founding fathers wanted to prevent when they insisted upon a very clear Separation of Church and State.

One more note: If you are as concerned as I am about the infiltration of religion into politics and visa versa, please go to First Freedom First and sign the petition. They are also a central clearinghouse of information on Separation of Church and State issues. Just click on "resources" to find articles, book recommendations, and other useful information on this very important subject.


Thursday, June 28, 2007


Today’s Supreme Court decision to severely limit local school board’s efforts to promote racial diversity in schools confirmed my worst fears. With the appointments of Roberts and Alito to the Court this country is going to move backwards when it comes to civil rights and equality.

I am heartsick thinking about how today’s ruling will affect the progress this country has made in racial integration of our schools.

Here is what Justice Breyer had to say:

The last half-century has witnessed great strides toward racial equality, but we have not yet realized the promise of Brown. To invalidate the plans under review is to threaten the promise of Brown. The plurality’s position, I fear, would break that promise. This is a decision that the Court and the Nation will come to regret.

How many more of this Court’s decisions will this Nation come to regret?

I am heartsick thinking about our gay and lesbian children’s fates should their rights be put before this Court. Today’s decision tells me all I need to know about their chances of being treated like first class citizens: slim to none.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pitiful Ann Coulter

I wasn’t going to comment on Ann Coulter at all. There’s certainly enough rage floating around the blogesphere without me adding my 2 cents worth. But I just cannot help myself. Just when I think this woman has reached the pinnacle of shameless cruelty, she yet again proves me a naïve idiot.

I have to say that she is as vile a human being as I have ever seen and the contrast between her and Elizabeth Edwards on the Chris Matthews show yesterday could not have been a more blaring example of good vs. evil.

I don’t envy Ann Coulter. She is backing herself into a corner. She is not smart enough to debate the issues on their merit, thus she must resort to a desperate attention-getting shtick of “toxic shock”. And to keep herself in the spotlight she must continually escalate that shock factor, breaking sacred ground as she goes. But using the dead child of a presidential candidate as fodder for political attacks --- and then having the balls to defend that act of horror to the mother of that child while flicking her hair in the wind like some goddess? I could actually feel the acid come burning up my throat. I do not know how Elizabeth Edwards remained so composed, I don’t think I could have.

I’d say Ann Coulter has reached the end of her life cycle in the spotlight (Oh there I go again - underestimating the beast). What on earth could she possibly say or do that could outdo this latest performance?

I am beyond disgust for her. I am beyond hate for what she says and does. All I can do at this point is pity her. She isn’t worth much else. She represents everything I despise about the Republican Party and the state of politics today.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

So NOW all of a sudden the press is noticing him for his evil ways

Sheesh! All of a sudden the mainstream media has decided to wake up from its almost 7 year nap and take notice of the fact that Dick Cheney isn’t a very nice guy? I could have saved them a lot of time and the minor effort they’ve expended getting to that conclusion. I mean hell, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that any man who could run for office on a campaign that demonizes his very own child and promises to strip her and anyone “like her” of basic rights that every other American takes for granted is evil down to his very core.

If a person is capable of that ----- then he is capable of anything. Just thinking of what this man has done to his own daughter (and by extension my son) chills me to the bone.

Never let a man imagine that he can pursue a good end by evil means, without sinning against his own soul. The evil effect on himself is certain.

Robert Southey


Monday, June 25, 2007

If they can't be married in Massachusetts --- then who will help me with my lawn?

Here is yet another article which backs up the theory that the more people are able to see for themselves that gays and lesbians are no threat to them, we will continue to see the momentum towards full equality grow stronger and stronger.

No wonder people like James Dobson and Peter LaBarbera are becoming more shill and desperate in their never ending quest to keep gays and lesbians invisible and in the shadows:

An elderly Massachusetts woman felt her opposition to gay marriage melt away after "this lovely couple" moved in next door with their children.

Her change of heart, recounted by the Boston Globe, happened because she came to see the gay men -- among the nearly 10,000 gay couples who've wed in her state since 2004 -- as the neighbors eager to lend a hand.

"If they can't be married in Massachusetts, they're going to leave -- and then who would help me with my lawn?" she asked, urging her state lawmaker to also change and protect gay couples' right to marry by blocking a referendum designed to abolish that right. That lawmaker did change.

And that was not the only lawmaker who heard from constituents who’d changed their minds:

And so did others, leading to a stunning victory for equality: On June 14, opponents of gay marriage failed to clear a very low hurdle. To put the anti-gay measure on the state's 2008 ballot, they needed just 25 percent of the legislature. They fell 5 votes short.

The proposal was crushed, 151-45, after Gov. Deval Patrick weighed in against it. Afterward, he declared, "In Massachusetts today, the freedom to marry is secure." Now, a ban couldn't go to voters until 2012, after five more years of lovely married gay couples mowing elderly neighbors' lawns.

Visibility. Is. Our. Best. Weapon. Share

Quote for the day

There were great advantages and yet great disadvantages to "Christendom." The advantage was that there was a common language for public moral discourse with which society could discuss what was "the good." The disadvantage was that Christian morality without gospel-changed hearts often led to cruelty and hypocrisy. Think of how the small town in "Christendom" treated the unwed mother or the gay person.

Hat tip: More Musings on Christianity, Homosexuality & the Bible

And psssst: while you are over there, take the time to read her story about Gregg and Joel (there is no permanent link so you'll need to look for the title in the left sidebar under the heading: What Else.

It is a hauntingly touching story that I've thought about over and over the past few days. Well worth the read.

Thanks Jarred for pointing me to it. Share

Dear Mr. President

It has been awhile since I have posted this video clip and so at the suggestion of Jeff from Iowa, I think I am about due to post it again.

Take it away Pink:


Friday, June 22, 2007

From the bottom of this momma’s heart – thank you Elizabeth Edwards

Dear Mrs. Edwards,

I just learned of your plans to speak at the Gay Pride event this Sunday in San Francisco and I am overwhelmed at the implications of this profound gesture. To say that I am overjoyed is an understatement.

Thank you for showing Americans that courage and integrity can go hand in hand with politics. I hope and pray that your actions help flush away the ugly memories of the 2004 presidential campaign and show the American people that sacrificing the rights of a whole group of Americans or turning a minority into the enemy is not a prerequisite to making headway with the electorate.

And please know your message is not lost on any parent who has a gay child. After the 2004 election we didn’t need a crystal ball to figure out that George Bush was only interested in using our gay and lesbian children as sacrificial lambs at his altar of political power. He was never our president.

Your decision to reach out to the very people that this current president trampled over and over again is a very healing gesture. And after 6 ½ years of this administration, I believe you will find many Americans quite receptive to what you are offering.

And one more thing, thank you for showing us what real Christian Values looks like. After 6 ½ years of George W. Bush, we really needed a refresher course.


Seething Mom

Hat tip Paddy


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Targeting our children for votes

The bolded part of the passage below sounds like something you’d find in one of my essays or a comment I might make to a reader ---- but it’s not:

“We would spend long nights crying together and talking,” she told a full house of hushed lawmakers. “And one night I said to him, ‘You have to be what you are; you can’t be what people think you should be.’”

No, these are the words of a Teresa R. Sayward, an observant Catholic from a small, conservative upstate town in New York whose 42 year old son is gay. And this is part of what she had to say when she rose from her seat on Tuesday night to address her colleagues in the State Assembly.

And as Andrew points out:

The reason the civil rights movement for gay equality under the law has been so successful so swiftly is because gay people have an army of allies: our families. Among the most powerful advocates in particular are relatively conservative families of gay people.

Yep, when this administration chose to single out the GLBT community as its target for discrimination and hateful laws, it didn’t just attack Gays and Lesbians, but everyone who loves them. And there’s a whole army of us moms and dads out there ---- and by God, we are pissed!

Big miscalculation Karl Rove… big miscalculation.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Oh yes, yes, yes!

He won!

Hat tip Andrew Share

An Evangelical I'd like to have tea with

I stumbled upon a post at Andrew's place, which contained a snippet from another post titled “Ratcheting up the stakes” over on Musings on Christianity, Homosexuality, & The Bible. But first the snippet on Andrew’s site which first caught my attention:

It is rare to find an author who is willing to be so plainly truthful about the danger of hope. That once you begin to believe in your own dignity and worth, that you deserve to be loved and valued and cared for like anyone else, this ratchets up the stakes to the point where you can no longer accept anything less, and there is no turning back. Maybe that's why people are inclined to take the easier, safer route of learning contentment in a kind of moderate degradation, where the risks are fewer and the disappointments less devastating.

What some people call "the homosexual agenda" I see as a daring movement to ratchet up the stakes to where there is no turning back. And the gay marriage movement is about as high as you can take it.

It got me. So off I went on my own little linky adventure, which culminated in my reading the full piece from which the above snippet was snipped and then on to find out more about the author, Misty Irons, who describes herself this way:

Straight, married with three kids, homeschooling, evangelical Christian of the Reformed variety. Okay, now that the scary part is out of the way, go to for more about me.

Which only made me more curious about this person. So in my search for more info on this Misty person I stumbled upon this:

I Did Not Choose To Be This Way

My first heterosexual feelings dawned on me when I was ten years old. I had a crush on literally the boy next door. His name was Chris, and he was in the same grade as me. My older brother was friends with him, and when he would go over to Chris's house to shoot hoops with him in the driveway, sometimes I would come by just to "bug" them. We also carpooled with him along with a number of other neighborhood kids, and Chris would make it a point loudly to call me "worm" and "slime ball" as he sat in the back seat with my brother and laughed. I guess he must have liked me too.

The following year in my junior high school yearbook, he wrote,

Its been a bummer having you arround. Sometimes when the fog rolls in I get the smell that your arround.

A pretty typical romance between two ten year-olds, I suppose. Looking back, what stands out most in my memory of those days was the effort I had put into hiding my feelings for him, trying to disguise them from others and even refusing to admit them to myself for a long time.

There was really nothing to be ashamed of. I was a girl who liked a boy, and he seemed to like me back. What's more, I knew that all the other girls thought he was cute, so there was nothing wrong with my choice. What troubled me, I think, was the way these feelings had taken me by surprise. They sort of crept up on me when I wasn't looking, and by the time they became so full-blown that Chris and I were hurling abuse at each other on a regular basis, it was too late to do anything about it.

In other words, the feelings seemed completely out of my control. For a person like myself who dislikes being out of control, it was bewildering and downright scary how they just invited themselves into my heart without my permission, and then refused to go away.

I have read many stories that sound just like mine, about a person's first crush in elementary school and the dawning of the strange feelings that come with it, except the stories I have read were about the dawning of homosexual feelings, the moment when a person first felt attracted to someone else of the same gender. This made me wonder, what makes the difference between the heterosexual and the homosexual experience at this period of a person's life? Why is one person's feelings directed toward someone of the opposite sex and another person's feelings toward someone of the same sex?

Frankly, I haven't the slightest idea. I don't embrace the theory that people are simply born one way or the other, but I don't believe homosexuality is a matter of mere choice either. This is partly because I know I didn't choose to be the way I am. I don't view my heterosexuality as some grand moral achievement. At the age of ten, I never contemplated my physical make-up in light of its procreative end, so as to strive to fulfill my God-ordained destiny. In fact, I had very little notion of God back then, since I did not grow up in the church. My heterosexuality is something I can honestly take no credit for, because as far as I am concerned, it just happened to me.

Lesson for me: Evangelical does not automatically mean hate-filled homophobic religious fanatic posing as a Christian.


Happy Father’s Day to the greatest father I have ever known, my husband

When my husband and I got married we were not sure we could have children or that we even wanted children. So we didn’t give the idea of a family a whole lot of thought --- at first. And I, coming from a family of 5 kids (4 boys and me), went through a long period where I had no desire to ever have children, so I was quite content with just having fun and getting to know my husband those first few years of marriage. I was definitely not one of those people who’d spent her childhood dreaming of marrying and having a bunch of kids and a house with a picket fence.

But after a few years of marriage my husband and I decided we did indeed want children. And once we realized that, our desire became almost desperate.

The day I got confirmation that I was pregnant with our first son was the happiest day of both my husband’s and my life. We walked around for a week in this kind of euphoric daze. Even thinking about it now sends me into that same euphoria.

Right around week #2 I noticed a big change in my husband’s demeanor. I think the reality of how our lives were going to change was starting to set in. He was very somber and maybe even a little scared. When I asked him what he was feeling, he admitted that he was scared and very worried that he would not be a good enough father. And that is when I knew without a doubt that he was going to be an amazing father.

And “amazing father” really does not do him justice. This is a man who loved his children with every fiber of his being. Our children never had to wonder where they stood with him. His every action screamed: I would give my life for you. And they knew that there was nothing they could do that would stop him from loving them. He was an extremely hands-on and involved dad. My biggest worry was that he was too hands-on and protective and that our children would not be prepared for the real world. But I was wrong. The unconditional love and nurturing only made our children more secure, self-confident, and ready to take on the challenges life would present them.

And maybe that is why I am filled with a seething rage so intense that I frighten myself. We had never really paid much attention to people like James Dobson. But that all changed the day we found out our middle son was gay. We started paying attention and what we were hearing was that we were not good enough parents and we made our son gay. And that my husband in particular, was not a good enough dad or role model and that he was responsible for our son’s sexual orientation.

I believe it may have been that accusation that sent me over the edge. I know a good father when I see one because I never had one myself. I spent a major portion of my childhood mourning what I didn't have and figuring out what a good father would look like to me. So one of the most rewarding and wonderful aspects of having my own family was watching my children grow up with what my brothers and I never had, a father whose love was unconditional, whose life revolved around them, and who’d give his life for any one of his children.

My heart breaks at the thought of all the hearts James Dobson has plunged a knife through with his wildly off-base accusations of bad parenting. I cannot imagine how many wonderful fathers he has crushed. I don’t think James Dobson has a clue what really makes a good father because if he did, he’d know that it is the intangibles upon which children thrive and not a group shower or a manly game of wrestling. I don’t think my four (straight) brothers ever lay in bed at night and cried for a father who would wrestle with them or shower with them. No, I think their needs were far more primal and basic. They just cried for a father who would love them selflessly and unconditionally.

So to all those fathers out there with gay children who have loved their children selflessly and unconditionally, I want to wish you an especially Happy Fathers Day and congratulate you on knowing what it means to be a good dad. And I want to assure you that no matter what monsters like James Dobson say, you’ll know you’ve done right by your children when they tell you they love you and thank you for being a great dad. Share

This tickled my funny bone


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Oh this could be too much to ask for…

Tight Race: Dallas mayoral candidate Tom Leppert (left) and Ed Oakley

Update: Alas, it was not to be. Mr. Oakley conceded.

The victory in Massachusetts was monumental and historic. I’ll be savoring this historic victory for quite some time.

But be still my heart! Could another historic event be just around the corner?

Well the answer is a very possible YES. If Ed Oakley, a three-term Dallas city councilman wins a run-off election tomorrow, Dallas will become the first of the 10 largest U.S. cities to elect an openly gay mayor.

I thought what happened in Massachusetts was groundbreaking, but a gay mayor in Dallas would be right up there with the victory in Massachusetts.

I mean c’mon --- Dallas?

Hat tip Steve at The Carpetbagger Report


Visibility – our best weapon, James Dobson’s worst nightmare

On Thursday of last week there was an article written by a Massachusetts State Senator explaining why she changed her position and voted against the same-sex marriage ban this time around. The article underscores why I believe visibility is our best weapon and James Dobson’s worst nightmare in this battle.

Gale Candaras, a Democrat from Wilbraham, had voted in favor of a constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage in January when she was a representative in the state legislature. But during the time between that vote and the one last week Candaras had both a change of political stature and a change of heart about that vote in January. Candaras came back to a new legislative session as a state senator and voted against the ban last week.

Candaras concedes that there are “many compelling arguments on both sides of the same gender marriage debate” (really?) and that there has been several years of “open and vigorous debate on this issue”, but ultimately what changed her mind is quite telling. It boiled down to a couple of things:

For me, what all this comes down to is this: Same gendered couples are taxpaying, law-abiding citizens, who are important community contributors, well-loved and well-respected by their families, friends, neighbors and employers. They deserve and are entitled to the same legal protections enjoyed by all others citizens of our state. ..

Despite dire predictions, there has been no adverse societal impact from this decision and most people now express little concern about same gender marriage.

Springfield and Western Massachusetts needs these families, and all our families, to help rebuild our neighborhoods and the peaceful and productive society to which I know, whatever our differences on some things, we all aspire. As a practical matter, I believe we simply cannot afford to marginalize our human resources. Most importantly, I feel strongly that no child should ever be made to feel "less than" or "second-best" nor should any of our children be exposed to a public campaign focused on adult matters of personal privacy. There is altogether too much unseemly information brought into our homes and schools already. It is in the best interests of our children that we accept fully these new families.

And then the Senator goes on to address an issue that pushes these so-called Family Advocates and Religious Zealots to near heart failure, gays and lesbians adopting children:

Same gender couples have been adopting children and building families here in the Commonwealth for about twenty years. In many instances, same gendered couples have adopted children with severe challenges, children no one else wanted, and they have worked miracles with them. These children would have lived lives of despair without these families. This underscores how we cannot afford to marginalize any of our people; make anyone second-class citizens. We are all precious resources to each other, and to generations yet to come.

Ok, so Senator Candaras has had an epiphany, but what is she hearing from her constituents? Surely they are concerned about the grave danger to their marriages and families --- right?

Well… not so much:

I have been most impressed by the number of individuals who have called me and asked me to change my vote because they have changed their minds. One grandmother told me she had changed her mind and wanted me to change my vote in case one of her grandchildren grew up to be gay or lesbian. She did not want any of her grandchildren to be denied the right to marry the person they love. This is exactly the legacy we will leave to generations beyond us, and the example we can set for the nation and, I daresay the world, which is certainly paying attention to what we do and say here today.

And so there you have it, proof that when people actually see that gay marriage is not a threat to society or a detriment to people’s marriages or families as the religious right and family advocate frauds so desperately want them to believe, you get good people coming forward and admitting they have changed their minds and making the effort to right the wrong.

No wonder the Religious Right felt there would be dire consequences if we didn’t get a Federal Gay Marriage ban on the books a.s.a.p. They just weren’t being honest about who would be the ones suffering the dire consequences if gays and lesbians were allowed to marry --- them.


Friday, June 15, 2007

How’d ya sleep last night James Dobson?

I just read something over at Andrew Sullivan’s place that really resonated with me. He has such a magical way of putting into words just what I need to hear to calm the fears I sometimes let get the best of me:

The genius of America, it seems to me, is its capacity to include people of radically different worldviews within a loose, flexible and constantly adjusting constitutional system. Given the huge differences between, say, a born-again evangelical in Georgia and a pot-smoking post-boomer in Seattle, no single cultural strait-jacket can ever hold America together. That's why we mercifully don't have such a strait-jacket, despite the excesses of the cultural left and right. We have a constitution that allows us to live together and even learn from each other in a morass of competing life-choices.

One of the most profound fears I have had since finding out I had a gay son is that the James Dobsons of the world will one day succeed in slipping that "cultural strait-jacket" on America. That they will take our beautiful multi-cultural, diversified country and force it through their black and white lens and virtually destroy the very thing that has set this country apart and made it so great. But then something like what happened in Massachusetts yesterday happens and I realize that even with “God on their side” these people will never succeed. The momentum is just too great and it is growing.

The people of Massachusetts have seen gay marriage up close and personal for a few years now. None of the dire doom and gloom predictions have come true. And life has gone on for most just as it had before gay marriage. James Dobson cannot win against that.

Yesterday was truly a great day for gays and lesbians everywhere. My only regret is that Jerry Falwell didn’t live long enough to feel the agony of defeat right along with his fellow soul mates of hate.


A follow-up to Diamond in the Rough

The semi-finals were yesterday and our cell phone salesman has done it again. I don't know what it is about this young man, but he opens his mouth and I start to cry. He really is a very talented young man, you just cannot help but root for him. He deserves to go all the way and something tells me he will.



Thursday, June 14, 2007

News worth crying over

Well my husband and I certainly got tears in our eyes over it, but I’ll bet there is some good hard crying going on in fundie-land over this:

Legislators vote to defeat same-sex marriage ban

A proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was defeated today by a joint session of the Legislature by a vote of 45 to 151, eliminating any chance of getting it on the ballot in November 2008. At least 50 votes were needed to advance the measure.

This is a pretty big thing in my view. Gay Marriage opponents could not even muster the 50 votes they needed. Think about it, that's over 75% of the Massachusetts State Legislature who chose NOT to support their hateful little amendment.

I do believe the tide is turning in our favor and the proof is in the tidal wave that just hit the fundies in Massachusetts.

This is indeed a glorious victory! My husband and I are going out and celebrating it tonight along with my 76 year old mother who is as happy as we are.

Sorry James Dobson, you lose.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A diamond in the rough

I definitely have a bad case of the doldrums today. So it is with a huge amount of gratitude and a hat tip to Melissa over at Shakesville that I present this amazing little day brightener. This really is too lovely for words so I will say the same thing Melissa sad to her readers, Just Watch It. And one more thing, take special note of the barely contained skepticism on the faces of the judges and tell me there wasn’t some snap judgments being made before this young man opened his mouth:


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Post Closet Syndrome

It has been a little over 3 years since my husband and I learned we had a gay son. For the first few months after finding out our son was gay, we both retreated into a world of complete seclusion, shutting pretty much everyone out, including each other. It was a self-imposed isolation exacerbated by the 2004 Bush Presidential re-election campaign which was going full-throttle at that point and using the promise of a federal gay-marriage ban as one of its centerpieces. It was shocking the filth and ugliness the whole spectacle brought out. And of course, the lens through which I was now watching it all was no longer rose-colored.

It was so painful listening to supposed Christians and Family Advocates spouting such hateful vitriol, but it was even more devastating to realize that one of their targets was now one of my children. It made me wonder how I could have been so blind to it before. Why did it take learning I had a gay son to see so clearly what gays and lesbians have always faced? The shame I felt was unbearable.

I realize now why our son was willing to kill such a vital part of himself and stay in the closet rather than take the chance of losing the love of his family and friends by coming out and admitting he was gay. As a society we’ve given a much stronger voice to the hate and made tolerance and acceptance bad words, and sadly many very prominent churches are the worst offenders. No wonder our son felt he had no choice but to deny who he was in order to be accepted.

And the price one pays for staying in the closet is high. I am only now realizing just how high. As we watch our son blossom into an amazing young man, we are filled with both incredible pride and sadness. When our children are so consumed by the fear of discovery and forced to direct every ounce of their energy towards being something that pleases a small segment of our society, our children lose and all of society loses. Our children are our future, all of our children, not just the ones that pass the Dobson smell test for normal.

In the past couple of years our son has lived his life openly and with no more secrets. He has been able to take all the energy he once used in his all-consuming quest of remaining invisible and closeted and direct it towards realizing his full potential. He has won numerous awards, scholarships, and distinctions since coming out into the sunshine, each accomplishment fueling his need to make up for the years he lost. He just recently was elected president of the Executive Student Council and is now setting his sites on his future. What more could society want? And why are we allowing a vocal few to crush the souls of our gay and lesbian children because their religious beliefs deem our children evil?

As a parent I feel great sadness about the years my son has forever lost. While his peers were consumed with finding themselves and exploring their horizons, my son was consumed with denying who he was and trying to meet the impossible expectations of the so-called Christian Values Crowd.

Thankfully, our son is now out and free. But to all those parents out there who either suspect one of their children is gay or who know their child is gay, I beg you, please don’t push your child back into the closet by forcing them to be something God did not intend him/her to be, accept your child with open arms, love your child unconditionally, nurture your child, and most importantly, protect your child against this ugliness that is now passing for Christian Values.

To do otherwise ---- is to destroy your child. Share

Homosexuality Isn't Natural or Healthy

Or so says Dr. James W. Holsinger Jr., the man our President wants as this country's next Surgeon General. Yes, that’s right, George W. Bush has done it again. Rather than nominating someone who is truly the best person for the position, someone who would be everyone’s top doc, Bush has selected a man so homophobic that his writings reflect a breathtaking anti-gay ideology that trumps sound science and pleases no one but the Dobson base upon which Bush relies heavily to keep his approval ratings from going negative. The rest of the country doesn’t mean a damn to this shallow ugly little man.

Now I know I am a day late and a dollar short on this news. And I’m sure you’ve already read all about Holsinger’s crazy homophobic rantings disguised as good medical science so I won’t bore you with it again. And I am also sure that like me, you are all just shaking your head in complete and total disgust. But I’ll bet that none of you are surprised by the news either. This is just more of the same from a President whose approval ratings are in the 20’s and probably not done sinking to new lows.

So the pressing question for me is this, why would George Bush continue making the same types of decisions and appointments that consistently divide this country and push his approval ratings even farther south? I have been wracking my brain for days now and other than profound retardation or evil, I can think of no other explanation. But now I think I’ve finally heard an explanation that makes sense to me.

I was listening to Randi Rhodes the other day and she was discussing this very topic. She believes that Bush knew this nomination would indeed be very controversial and divisive and that is exactly what he wanted. He also knew it would raise the ire of the Democrats on the committee (the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee) through which this nomination will have to pass first before going before the full Senate for a vote. She also believes that it is who is on this committee that inspired Bush to pick the most controversial, homophobic candidate he could find: three Democratic presidential candidates: Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Barack Obama, and Senator Chris Dodd.

Now why is this important to Bush? Well Bush knew that by nominating this man he would force these three candidates to publicly discuss and defend, in depth, the one thing that consistently proves to send the religious right crazies of the Republican Party into a frothy homophobic bible-beating frenzy: homosexuals. And by forcing these candidates to not only discuss, but denounce Holsinger’s very sick views on (and I’d say sick obsession with) gay sex, Bush hopes to rally his base while simultaneously dealing these candidates a lethal blow. Just like everything else Bush has done while in office, it is not about who or what is best for the country, it is only about who or what is best for Bush and the Republican Party. And if it hurts the country, so be it, that is not and never has been George Bush’s concern.

I truly believe Randi has hit the nail on the head. George Bush has never, ever governed with the country’s best interest in mind, he has only governed with his own political best interests in mind. He may not be as stupid as I once thought, but he is more evil than I ever could have imagined. Share

Looking at today’s Republican Party with eyes wide open

Yesterday Andrew Sullivan had a great post up about the collapse of the immigration bill, or at least it started out as such with an explanation from Mickey Kaus:

Maybe it's about not being able to take the worst ideas from the left (instant legalization of illegals) and the right (second class guest workers), put them together, call it centrism, bask in fawning MSM coverage and ram it down the throat of voters who don't want it!

But Andrew feels the failure of the bill is the result of a much bigger collapse:

… maybe it's all about the collapse of the Republican coalition. My feeling is that this kind of bill requires a president to corral it through the Congress, a president who is able to persuade his own supporters and explain to the public why this kind of compromise is the best available. We don't have such a president right now. He is despised by the entire middle and left, and he has alienated the base of the right… The president's arrogant condescension toward his critics didn't help. And the passion was almost all on the extremes.

So Andrew sheds no tears for a bill he wasn’t convinced would dramatically increase national security and hopes that in the end this means that we can concentrate on border enforcement in the near future.

But what resonated with me in his post was the broader criticism he had of the Republican Party:

Politically, I tend to think this will hurt the GOP badly in the long term. The reason is not the cogency of many of the arguments; it's the patent cultural and social panic that animates the Republican gut. This fear of the other and need to demonize and objectify it is obviously the emotional core of the opposition. You can see it in their faces. If these immigrants were Poles or Italians or Irish, I can't see the Mickey-Dobbs-Limbaugh coalition getting so upset. I say that not from the basis of their arguments (which are largely respectable) but from the hysterical tone of their remarks. I guess as a gay man, I have come to recognize that tone. More and more members of minorities hear it coming from the GOP.

I wish I had a dollar for every time either my husband looked at me, or me at him, and asked: “How did we ever believe this party represented our values?” The last 6 ½ years have been a glaring reminder which party has provided a perfect home for all the bigots, racists, and religious zealots whose goals for their party and their country seem to be nothing more than oppression and demonization of minorities.

Andrew ends his post by saying he believes it is all going to come back to haunt them. I end this post by saying, I sure as hell hope so. Share

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Dear President Bush – What the hell did you expect?

Could you explain something to me because I am really confused? Why on earth are you so shocked that your “base” is reacting with such venom, hatred, and bigotry over your proposed immigration solutions? As the mother of a gay son, I have watched with anguish for 6 ½ years as you have used those very “qualities” in your base as weapons against the GLBT community with great political success. So why is it now such a surprise to you that those very same “qualities” are rising up to bite you in the ass?

I’m sorry to break it to you sir, but I think your little controlled experiment is now out of control. You purposely created this monster, gave it a voice in your administration, and then spent 6 ½ years feeding and nurturing it with promises of nasty constitutional amendments and hateful laws and now that it has backfired on you when you have a real problem that needs to be solved, you are shocked? Yep, that’s right, the monster you created has a voracious appetite and it is going after a group you didn’t personally approve and you can’t understand why. Well maybe it has something to do with this fun little strategy ripped out of the Rove Handbook of Dirty Politics:

  • Single out a minority towards which your base can easily direct their hatred and bigotry
  • Make that minority a threat to life as we know it
  • Mask the hatred and bigotry under the righteous cloak of Christian Values, Family Values, and Patriotism
  • Propose a solution that promises to keep that minority separate, inferior, and if possible invisible
  • Then sit back and enjoy the fruits of the “divide and conquer” strategy
  • Repeat above steps as needed

Well you got what you paid for. These bigots are all yours, President Sir. And as your party turns on itself and begins to eat its own, the only thing I can say is Bon Appetite.