Wednesday, January 31, 2007

We lost a hero today

And I’ve lost a friend I’ve never met and it hurts:

Molly Ivins died today


Mary Cheney Publicly Defends Her Pregnancy

So Mary finally speaks out:

“When Heather and I decided to have a baby, I knew it wasn’t going to be the most popular decision,” Ms. Cheney said, referring to her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe. She then gestured to her middle — any bulge disguised by a boxy jacket — and asserted: “This is a baby. This is a blessing from God. It is not a political statement. It is not a prop to be used in a debate, on either side of a political issue. It is my child.”

Ummm Mary ------ I’m thrilled you’ve finally decided to speak up, even if it is a tad bit late. But you’re sadly mistaken about one thing. Whether you like it or not, your baby is a prop. Your baby is going to be used in political debates. And sadly, you must share in some of the blame for that. By standing by and supporting a party that used gays and lesbians for political gain, you empowered the James Dobsons, the Pat Robertsons, the Jerry Falwells, and all the other bat-sh*t crazy loons who claim to hate you in the name of God. By standing quietly by while your daddy and his political cronies sacrificed you, and by extension my son, for political power, you are now going to feel what this Seething Mom has been feeling ever since she learned one of her precious children was gay. And I will pray that the anger, the anguish, and the horror of what your daddy has done to you doesn’t eat you alive like it has me for the past 4 years.

You had over 6 years worth of opportunities to make a difference, but you did nothing. In fact you did worse. You actually supported the very people who were hell bent on making you and your partner second class citizens. And now you’ll soon be welcoming a child into your second-class world. Oh but now you want to protect your baby from being used as a prop in a political debate?

Well I’ll be damned! It was just fine as long as it was my child that was suffering the repercussions of your father’s homophobic, hateful, gay-obsessed campaign for power, but now that you have a child on the way, it’s all of a sudden not ok?

Isn’t it funny Mary how different things look when you become a momma? All of a sudden those instincts to protect that precious little one just take over. And they are overpowering, aren’t they? Well dear, you’d better sharpen those under-utilized claws of yours because its hell out there and you are going to need whatever help you can find thanks to your baby’s grandpa and his “family values” party. And the first lesson you’ll learn is one we peon moms and dads with gay children have known for over 6 long years, your daddy’s party of family values only values certain families --- and yours isn’t one of them.

And speaking of your daddy, what the hell was his problem the other night? Wolf Blitzer handed him the perfect chance to finally put that meely-mouthed homophobe, James Dobson in his place and what does he do? He attacks little Wolfie. What was that all about? Your dad damn near wilted like a hothouse flower when Wolf Blitzer dared to ask him about James Dobson and his reaction to your pregnancy. But it was your dad’s reaction to Wolf’s question that tells me exactly where his loyalties are -- and Mary -- bad news, they are not with you. Daddy dearest couldn’t do it. He may have wanted to tell the world what an idiot he thinks ole Dobson is, but he couldn’t risk the political fallout. You understand --- I’m sure. But I sure as hell don’t.

Once again Mary, your daddy tells you he loves you, but you’ll have to take his word for it because damn if his actions show it.


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hey CNN, at what point will you say enough is enough?

I happened to be watching CNN this morning when I saw a quick plug for Paula Zahn’s show Monday night. So I went to CNN’s website to see what I could find out about the show. Here is what they had to say:

They are words that cut like a knife. But should derogatory statements be banned? Paula brings it all "Out in the Open."

Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess who is probably the inspiration for this show’s theme, although I simply cannot imagine why CNN would want to keep this controversy alive any longer than they have to. I guess they don’t think they’ve gotten enough mileage out of the whole sordid affair yet. Or offended enough people. But my question is this, why isn’t CNN more concerned about their reputation as a reputable, accurate news source? With opinion show hosts like Glenn Beck, they become no better than FOX News. And for people like me, that’s really bad news, because I watch CNN so I don’t ever have to watch FOX.

I am completely turned off by Mr. Beck. I find him repellent, not too bright, and always looking for the shock factor in a story because he is incapable of intelligent debate. As the mother of a gay son, I found his latest loud-mouth load of complete ignorance so offensive that it has left me seething and honestly, a bit baffled. Baffled not because of what spilled out of Beck’s mouth this time, that’s no surprise since I know he has a history of saying awful things. But I am baffled as to why CNN would want to associate itself with this low-class guy and his less than professional off-the-cuff hateful remarks? And I cannot help wondering if CNN thinks their network’s demographics don’t include gays and lesbians, or moms and dads who, like me, are parents of gay children? Is CNN that clueless? Or do they just not care?

I am so disgusted. It’s bad enough that Glenn Beck tried to minimize how hurtful, ugly, and bigoted the word f*ggot is. But for him to tell all those parents out there who know first-hand the painful impact the word f*ggot has had on their own child that it is just a “naughty” word is a real slap in the face. It’s pretty damn heartbreaking having to console your child after he’s been bullied and called a f*ggot, but it is unforgivable to have someone in Mr. Beck’s position actually taking such glee in repeating the word on national television like some 4 year old child testing his boundaries. Shame on him and shame on CNN for giving him the venue to do it.

Glenn Beck is nothing but a mean bully -- and not a very smart one at that. When he’s not calling Hurricane Katrina victims scumbags, or telling us how he hates 9-11 victims’ families, or warning good Muslims to shoot bad Muslims in the head, or thinking about killing Michael Moore, or calling Nick Berg’s father a scumbag, he is telling us how “naughty the word f*ggot is. So if his shtick is to push the envelope, he has succeeded. But he’s also succeeded in pushing this Seething Mom away from CNN. I’ve had my fill of cruel loud-mouth eggheads, and I certainly don’t need to watch one on CNN.

Oh, and Office Depot and Best Buy, do you really want to sponsor this man’s show?


Saturday, January 27, 2007

A posthumous thank you to a 19 year old hero, Anthony Castro

I read about Anthony yesterday over at Andrew’s place. And I’ve been walking around the house with such a heavy heart, crying off and on ever since. I cannot believe the terrible pain I am feeling, the loss feels so close, almost as though he were my son. But I’ve never met him and now he is gone.

This was quite the young man. Read the full tribute here, but here’s a snippet:

It's hard to write about a friend who has just died, but people need to know about Anthony Castro, killed in a crash in the Southern California mountains on Jan. 21. He was 19.

Anthony was that rarest of people – an athlete out to his team. In Anthony's case, he was out in high school to his football and wrestling teams, our two most macho team sports. It took guts to take such a step but Anthony never thought too much about it – he was not ashamed of who he was and if you were uncomfortable, that was your problem.

My favorite Anthony story involves his senior year of wrestling. A fellow wrestler used to make snide homophobic remarks to Anthony.

Rather than file a complaint with the school, Anthony addressed the problem head on – he challenged the wrestler to a put-up-or-shut-up match. It didn't take very long, as Anthony had the guy pinned in about 20 seconds. That stopped the heckling and Anthony told me the guy quit the team.

Anthony was not a student in some L.A. Westside hotbed of tolerance. Rather, he lived in Banning, two hours east of L.A. in the desert and a rather "red" part of a very "blue" state. Being out in Banning, a pretty rough place, takes some big cojones.

And let me second the part about Banning. We pass through this tiny little desert town every time we drive to California and every single time we hit the city limits, I say a silent little prayer of thanks that we do not live there. How Anthony not only survived there, but thrived is a true testament to him.

In fact, it sounds like no part of this young man’s life was easy. He had a mom that rejected him for a while because he was gay, a father in jail, and friends who’d been shot and killed. How could this young boy beat such odds only to die at 19 in a car accident? Oh God why? Why does life have to be so unfair?

I feel bad on so many levels about Anthony’s story. I am still so raw from learning about the desperate lengths my own son took to keep people from learning he was gay in high school and the fear he lived with on a daily basis. He too was a wrestler, but unlike Anthony, I think he chose wrestling in part to keep people from suspecting he was gay. Knowing my son’s struggles truly makes me appreciate the amazing kid that Anthony was.

High school is a tough enough time for most kids, but it’s even tougher if you don’t fit the norms as defined by the teen masses. None of this seemed to have stopped Anthony in the slightest, in fact it seems to have added steam to his “full steam ahead” attitude about life. I am truly awed at the courage, self-confidence, and zest for life that Anthony obviously had at such a young age. He is truly an inspiration. How I wish my son could have known him. I can only hope that somewhere in the lonely halls of Anthony’s high school there are boys like my son who benefited from Anthony’s positive impact.

Andrew put it well when he said this about this young man:

[Anthony] is part of the next generation of gay men - out in high school, unafraid to be fully themselves, even if it means violating stereotypes.

I cannot help feeling that Anthony’s death will leave an enormous void in all the lives he touched. I’ve never even met him and I sure feel it.


Gay Marriage: One baby step at a time

Rell Would Veto Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Wow, I thought my beautiful Saturday morning was going to be ruined when I saw that headline above. I even debated whether I wanted to read the article or not. But glutton for punishment that I am, I took the plunge:

With advocates and opponents of same-sex marriage gearing up for another battle at the state Capitol, Gov. M. Jodi Rell on Friday said that she would veto any legislation that allows gay and lesbian couples to marry.

Okay, at this point I’m working myself into a huff. My heart is starting to beat faster. My adrenalin is beginning to flow. My face is starting to feel a bit hot. And my fingers are starting to twitch in anticipation of the digital tirade I know I’ll be going on in just a matter of minutes -- when lo and behold -- the second and third paragraphs give me a chance to take a deep relaxing breath:

The Republican governor signed the bill in 2005 that allowed same-sex couples to enter into legal civil unions. Connecticut was the first state to voluntarily pass such legislation without court pressure.

"I said ... when I signed the civil union bill that I believed it covered the concerns that had been raised. And I believe that that bill was the appropriate way to go and I still do," Rell told reporters at a state Capitol news conference. "And the answer is `yes,' I would veto a bill that provides for same-sex marriage."

Now I may disappoint some with what I’m about to say next, but I have to say it anyway. Governor Rell is a Republican governor. That’s huge people. When it comes to doing anything positive for gays and lesbians, a Republican politician definitely puts their political career at risk by being a trailblazer in this area. And let’s face it, on this she is a lone voice of reason in the enemy camp. The fact that she signed a civil union bill in spite of the intense anti-gay climate that her fellow Republicans have created and successfully used for political gain should not be minimized. She signed a civil union bill in spite of the risk to her political career, and you and I both know plenty of Democratic politicians who wouldn’t touch this issue with a ten-foot pole. And don’t kid yourselves, you know Governor Rell signed this bill under the immense pressure of opposition from the faux “Family Advocacy” groups, which could not have been easy. And lest you forget, these nutcases are her base.

Yes, of course I would like to see same-sex marriage legally recognized in every state (tomorrow), but I strongly believe this fight is only going to be won in baby steps and with patience. Getting impatient and pushing for gay marriage so soon after this huge victory with civil unions in Connecticut is, in my opinion, counterproductive and could be detrimental to achieving the ultimate goal of marriage equality. Many people will perceive this as shoving same-sex marriage down their throats, which isn’t what anyone should want. The push-back from foes will be fierce. And the last thing we need is to have this nasty divisive issue on our plates any longer than we have to. It’s certainly the gift that keeps on giving for the James Dobson crowd. And lord knows it has been the lifeblood that sustains them since doing the work of Christ isn’t as financially lucrative as the hate-monger business.

I believe we need to give the good people of Connecticut time to see that their lives will not fall apart when two people of the same sex are allowed to enter into legally sanctioned civil unions. Give them time to see that allowing more people access to legal unions helps contribute to a healthy, stable, and more responsible society, and not the other way around as James Dobson would have them believe. Give them time to see that all the doom and gloom predictions were just homophobic fear-mongering from people who have so much to gain by keeping a whole class of people oppressed simply because of who they love. Give them time to see that gay unions will actually encourage sexual responsibility and less promiscuity, which in turn will lead to less HIV, hepatitis, and other STDs. Give them time to see that protecting the children and spouses of all families is the ultimate family value and one that every family should be entitled to. And give them time to realize that gay people are really no different than themselves, that wanting what’s best for one’s family is a universal desire, not one contingent on sexual orientation. And once people start realizing that we humans are more alike than different, it becomes more difficult to deny basic rights to people based solely on who they love.

Please don’t get me wrong on this. I dream of a world in which my gay son can some day marry the man he loves if he so chooses. I long for the day when he can have a family if he so chooses. I hope that one day I can be a mother-in-law to his spouse and a grandmother to his children. And I pray that one day his biggest worries won’t be how he will provide his children and his spouse with the same protections we take for granted, but rather how he can be the best spouse, father, and member of society that he can be. And I pray that society will soon realize that when it treats him like an equal, it will get paid back in dividends.

I hope I have not offended those who have thanklessly and tirelessly fought for equality for so much longer than I ever will. It is not lost on me that I am relatively new to this fight or that I have never been denied any of these rights they are fighting for, but that does not make me any less passionate about the cause. And until my gay son has the same rights my straight son has, I shall never rest. Share

Friday, January 26, 2007

Dick Cheney is a big fat chicken

When I saw this video clip of Wolf Blitzer asking the Vice President how he felt about groups like Focus on the Family’s reaction to his daughter Mary Cheney’s pregnancy, I actually got a little hopeful. I mean c’mon, so many of these supposed “family advocacy” groups wasted no time stepping up onto their bully pulpits to wave their fingers in righteous indignation at the horror of Mary’s decision to start a family with the woman she loves. So I was kind of hoping that maybe, just maybe Dick Cheney would finally stand up, be a DAD and not a politician, and put these judgmental ninnies in their places, right there on national television for everyone to see.

But alas, it was not to be. In fact, for playing such a tough guy on the political scene, Mr. Cheney’s response was pretty damn chickensh*t and embarrassing.

Here is how he responded to Wolf:

I obviously think the world of both my daughters… and I think frankly you are out of line with that question.

All I can say is that if anyone stuck their self-righteous, sanctimonious nose in my family’s private business and said this about one of my children:

“[Mary Cheney’s] pregnancy raises the question of what’s best for children. Just because it’s possible to conceive a child outside of the relationship of a married mother and father doesn’t mean it’s the best for the child.”

Or this:

"Unconscionable. It's very disappointing that a celebrity couple like this would deliberately bring into the world a child that will never have a father. They are encouraging people who don't have the advantages they have."

I sure wouldn’t be telling poor little Wolf, he was out of line, I’d be going after the real culprits: the Dobson, Robertson, Falwell crowd. And I can tell you this right now, all decorum would fly right out the window if that had been my daughter these hypocrites were so publicly and disdainfully judging. It would not matter one whit to me whether these wing-nuts were part of my so-called “base” or not. My family’s private life is private. And these people have no right to stick their noses into any of my family member’s most private and intimate decisions.

It’s such a tragedy. This man, the second most powerful man in the world, has had six years of opportunities to make sure his daughter, and millions of other daughters and sons could live their lives with dignity, equality, and respect, but obviously political opportunism was more important to him than his daughter’s welfare. She served his party well as a tool and that obviously was ok with him. So I am not at all surprised to see him slap down Wolf rather than the Dobson crowd, there’s no political repercussions to squashing a defenseless journalist just doing his job, there is plenty of political repercussion to slapping down the 28% who still support him.

I really don’t know how he can live with himself.

Related posts:

Dear Vice President Cheney

Dear Lynne Cheney

Clarification: I know that some of you are watching this video and thinking, the Vice President doesn’t look like a big fat chicken in this clip. And you’d be right, he looks like a big fat bully. And he’s a bully because he doesn’t have the courage to be anything else.

I just wish that Wolf had reminded him that it was his administration that chose to make his daughter, my son, and every other parent’s gay or lesbian child an issue when he was running for Vice President of the United States. And for him to be offended now when people ask him about his daughter is ludicrous and out of line.

Every parent who has a gay or lesbian child has the right to know exactly how Mr. Cheney feels about the Dobson crowd’s reactions to his daughter’s pregnancy. I sure as hell want to know since my son will be one of millions who will be directly impacted by his administration’s decision to throw our children under the bus for political gain.

I’d like to remind Mr. Cheney of this very appropriate passage from the bible: As you sow so shall you reap. But sadly, our gay and lesbian children are also going to reap what this coward and his administration have sown.


Monday, January 22, 2007

Between a rock and a hard place Marilyn?

"As we face the issues that we are facing today, I don't think there's anything more important out there than the marriage issue," - Marilyn Musgrave, seeking re-election in Colorado in 2006.

Those were the good old days, weren’t they Mare? Getting up on that bully pulpit in front of Congress and the tee-vee cameras and puffin your chest out in an over-bloated sense of faux moral superiority and proclaiming that you were going to save this country from the horrors of homos marrying. Wow, those must have been heady days for you – huh Mare? And brave ones too. Beatin back those evil gays and making sure they’d never ever get any of the same rights you enjoy. It must have made you really proud to be such a hero in the eyes of James Dobson and his hate-filled minions.

But let me tell you in whose eyes you were anything but a hero Mare: Every mother and father whose gay or lesbian child you trampled in your quest for grandeur. And let me tell you something else Mare, I’m one of those mothers. And I am not going to shed one damn tear when you go down. And believe me, your days in Congress as a bad one-act vaudeville show are numbered. And somewhere in the recesses of your tiny little bigoted mind you know it too:

In past sessions, Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard and Rep. Marilyn Musgrave were conservative champions of a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in the last Congress, both sponsoring legislation to do just that.

Not this year.

The two Republicans said last week they have no plans to re-introduce their legislation in the new Congress - another sign that Democrats are now in the majority.

"At this time, I haven't discussed it with anyone," Allard said on Thursday. "If we thought there was a decent chance to bring it to the floor for debate, I would, but with the new Congress, I'm not sure we will ever have that opportunity."

Aaron Johnson, Musgrave's spokesman, said the congresswoman would not introduce the legislation this year.

You are of no use to James Dobson anymore, Marilyn. Your glory days are over. No more puffy, full-of-yourself- self-righteous proclamations. You are just a has-been bigot now.

Time to find a new raison d'etre – global warming maybe?


Sunday, January 21, 2007

A soul mate speaks out

A big thanks to Pisco for pointing me to this letter in the Boston Globe. And you are right Pisco, it does sound like it could have been written by me:

God's gay child

LOVE AND let love.

God gave me a gift, a wonderful son who happens to be gay. God does not give inferiors gifts. God does not make mistakes. This little boy that God gave to me is now a fine young man. But my son is treated like a second-class citizen by my church. Maybe my state constitution will treat him likewise. I pray that it will not.

If you had a gay loved one in your family you would be a better person. You would be sensitive to the discrimination gays endure. You would realize that they, too, are entitled to mutual love.

God will continue to send gay babies. We must take them into our hearts and our lives. That would please God.


Word of warning to all those so-called Houses of God that preach homophobia in the name of a loving God: There are lots more moms where we came from. Stop messin' with our kids!


Seething Mom


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Follow up

Follow up to my post last night about the movie For The Bible Tells Me So and Daniel Karslake:

As I sat and read some of the background on this movie and the people who came together to get it done, several passages in the background story jumped out at me:

"Last week I bought the gun. Yesterday I wrote the note. But last night I happened to turn on your show and just knowing that someday I might be able to go back into my church, I threw the gun in the river. My mom never has to know."


“That email from the young man in Iowa was the first of hundreds of emails I got from gay and lesbian people from across the country who felt so rejected and condemned by their own churches that they had considered or were still considering taking their own lives,” Karslake recalled recently.

I just have to ask myself how so many prominent religious leaders can live with themselves. And believe you me, those that are guilty are well aware of the anguish and destruction their vehement anti-gay, hateful, homophobic rhetoric is causing and they don’t give a sh*t. It is too great a rallying cry, too profitable, and the prefect “cause célèbre” for keeping the sheeple united and compliant to give it up.

My question is this: Why do we still consider these hate-mongers Christian? Their behavior is anything but Christ-like.


Couldn’t have said it better myself

Oh John Cole, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

Debate topic: “9/11 changed everything is the most tedious phrase ever.” 9/11 may have changed everything, but for me, Bush changed everything. The incompetence, the deceit, the disdain for the law, the pandering to the religious nuts, and the fact that Bush diehards continue to swallow everything these losers throw at them has had a far greater impact on my life and my politics than 9/11. Guess that makes me shrill. Or an America hater. Or both.

No it just makes you sane, John. And it makes me a Seething Mom.


Friday, January 19, 2007

Are homosexuals welcome in the kingdom of God?

Last August my husband and I went to a Town Hall panel discussion in downtown Phoenix sponsored by the HRC. It was truly a memorable evening and we could not have been in more inspiring company. The main theme of the evening was spirituality and covered many different facets of that theme as they pertained to the GLBT community.

The panel leading the discussion was magnificent, a veritable who’s who of big names. Some of the speakers there that night were: Joe Solmonese, president of HRC, Daniel Karslake, Producer/Director/Writer of a soon to be released movie called “For The Bible Tells Me So”, and David Ragan, a pastor and leader in a heroic local group called No Longer Silent - Clergy for Justice, a wonderful organization of faith leaders across the state of Arizona who stand up for the GLBT community and counter the Christian intolerance that leads to so much of the condemnation, discrimination, and hatred targeted at gays and lesbians.

The discussion that night touched on so many topics near and dear to my heart, but for the purposes of this post, I want to focus on one particular segment of the discussion that night, the movie, “For The Bible Tells Me So”.

My husband and I left the Town Hall meeting that night so beside ourselves with excitement and anticipation over this movie, that on our way out we pulled out the checkbook and made a donation. We had to know that in some small way we were doing our part to help ensure this movie would eventually become a reality. And guess what??? It’s a reality! :

A film to watch out for is coming to SUNDANCE:

Are homosexuals welcome in the kingdom of God? For centuries, the Bible has been used to sanction discrimination, repression, and injustice. It has justified slavery, empowered segregation, and excused the subjugation of women--and the tradition continues. Same tactics, new target. Today a handful of religious passages are constantly exploited to validate hatred and violence against homosexuals.

Filmmaker Daniel Karslake explores the way religious conservatives have systematically misled the public into believing that the Bible forbids homosexuality and how this campaign of misinterpretation continues to stigmatize the gay community and threaten America's rapidly diminishing separation of church and state. With a keen sense of irony, Karslake focuses on the family. Through the unfolding of five very moving stories of Christian families with a gay or lesbian member and the reflections of major biblical scholars, the film examines what, if anything, the Bible actually says about homosexuality as we know it today.

Skillfully constructed, painstakingly researched, wielding whimsical animation and a proudly unapologetic point of view, For the Bible Tells Me So explores the intersection of religion and homosexuality in America today, concluding that, perhaps, hatred is the greatest abomination of all.

There is a bunch more about this movie here and about the people who made the whole thing happen here. It’s pretty interesting. And for heaven sakes go see the movie when it finally gets to the theaters. It is going to be great. Take it from me ---- I’m an investor ---- kinda, sorta.


Ok, I got tagged

Well sorta tagged by Pisco

Not so great at this kind of stuff, but here goes:

  1. Name a book that you want to share so much that you keep giving away copies. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  2. Name a piece of music that changed the way you listen to music.Ave Maria” by Pavarotti
  3. Name a film you can watch again and again without fatigue. Doctor Zhivago
  4. Name a performer for whom you suspend all disbelief. The new James Bond: Daniel Craig
  5. Name a work of art you’d like to live with. I’m going to cheat on this one and say the whole Sistene Chapel is my first answer and Michelangelo's Pietà, in St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican is my second answer. We took our children to Rome in 2003 and in spite of the unbelievable heat (I thought I was going to die), it was still an amazing day.
  6. Name a work of fiction which has penetrated your real life.1984” by George Orwell
  7. Name a punch line that always makes you laugh. This is not really a punch line, but it makes me laugh every time I hear it: “Badges? We don't need no stinking badges!” from Blazing Saddles

Thursday, January 18, 2007

My Rush-induced epiphany

I remember one day, not long after learning I had a gay son, I was flipping through the local radio stations as I was driving to a doctor’s appointment when something caught my ear. I wasn’t sure exactly what I’d heard, but it was enough to compel me to reverse course on the AM dial and return to it. And lo and behold, it was Rush Limbaugh in all his blustery glory. Now I am not a fan of Rush Limbaugh and can usually only take him in small doses if at all, but something coming out of his mouth that day caught my ear and I needed to know what it was.

Now this was a while ago so I will have to paraphrase from memory as best as I can:

“Someday folks, medical science will bring us to a point where a pregnant woman can walk into her doctor’s office and have a test done which will accurately determine whether the child she is carrying is gay. Now ladies and gentlemen, herein lays the moral dilemma: will women choose to have the child if it is determined the child is gay?”

I was so stunned by this I had to pull over. I thought I was going to be sick. Now mind you, I was still in a massive state of zombie-like shock from learning that I was a mom of a gay child. But hearing that from a prominent radio talk show host was so stunning to me that I began to sob uncontrollably. In fact I had to pull to the side of the road until I could calm down. I was so sick to my stomach I thought I was going to vomit.

The thoughts were shooting through my head at mind-numbing speed and in no particular logical sequence: I cannot even imagine my life without my wonderful loving son in it? How could anyone consider aborting a child because of its sexual orientation? Where is the so-called moral dilemma in having a gay child? Wouldn’t the moral dilemma be in creating a test that would give people the option to abort a baby whose sexual orientation didn’t meet their approval? Don’t people know how much that child will bless their lives? Don’t they know how incomplete their family will be without him or her? I cannot imagine my life without my son’s love, sense of humor, compassion, mischief, baby tantrums, adorable way of saying things, attention to the funniest details, passion for airplanes, thoughtful compliments, and quirky view of life.

Oh my God, the love I felt for my son at that moment was simply overwhelming. I just could NOT imagine our family without that wonderful kid! The hole would be so big. How dare that stupid Rush say something like that…

But I quickly realized that I was shooting the messenger when I should have been thanking him. He had forced me to think about what life would have been like without my gay son and the thought of that was more than I could bear.

So after looking into my rear-view mirror, literally and figuratively, I dried my eyes, put the car in drive and proceeded on to the doctor’s office.

My life has been so blessed.

Thank you Rush for reminding me how blessed it is.

Oh ok, you want to know what got me started on this. Well it started with a post I read the other day over at Andrew’s place. And that reminded me of the incident I described above.


Monday, January 15, 2007

Speaker Pelosi needs to put protecting gay kids first

I just read an article that really hits close to home. In it, the writer, Deb Price, makes a heart-felt plea to Speaker Pelosi for gay children everywhere:

Please put "Protect our gay kids" atop the House's to-do list.

This is an issue near and dear to this Seething Mom’s heart. I watched my son struggle desperately to find his place in a world in which he did not seem to fit. It was painful for him, and yet, he was one of the lucky ones. He had a loving, supportive family. Many gay children are not so lucky. In fact, according to Deb Price, a lesbian:

The picture isn't so pretty. And those of us who're gay adults have the psychic scars to prove it.

Painfully aware that much of the world considers them worthless, many gay kids struggle with a cycle of self hatred that they carry into adulthood, if they are lucky enough to survive that long.

Now why should Speaker Pelosi put gay children at the top of an already busy list of must-get-done items? Well Ms. Price has the answer:

  • · Gay kids are more likely to use alcohol and drugs, engage in risky sex, have more sex partners, skip school for fear of being attacked, think of suicide or even attempt suicide.

  • Schools that teach federally funded "abstinence-only" until heterosexual marriage courses make gay kids feel invisible -- or worse. Gay students at such schools reported higher levels of skipping school because they don't feel safe, being bullied and feeling unable to talk with teachers, counselors or other adults paid to help them through rocky growing-up years. And these kids were less likely to know any openly gay school official.

  • Seventy-five percent of gay youth report hearing anti-gay name-calling like "faggot" or "dyke" often at school. And more than one-third (38 percent) said they'd experienced anti-gay physical harassment at school.

  • Young males, ages 15 to 22, who have sex with other men are at high risk for HIV -- that's particularly true among African-Americans and Hispanics -- but 55 percent keep their orientation secret, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Those secretive boys and young men, the CDC says, are less likely than open gays or bisexuals to get tested for HIV, so they are less likely to know if they are infected. They're also likely to have female sex partners, whom they put at risk for HIV.

  • The most vulnerable gay kids -- throwaways, runaways and lockaways -- report appalling levels of anti-gay abuse in foster care, homeless shelters and juvenile detention centers, the Child Welfare League of America finds.

Ms. Price ends the article suggesting that “Speaker Pelosi ought to use her forceful "mother of five" voice to speak out against these outrages and insist that our nation live up to its obligation to gay kids.”

And this “Seething Mother of three” could not agree more.


Dear Senator McCain

It looks like you got some really bad news this past weekend when chief hate-filled bigot, James Dobson, said he could not under any circumstances support you for President. That had to come as a big surprise and a huge blow, especially since pulling the wool over Jerry Falwell’s eyes went so well. But then Jerry Falwell is no James Dobson.

You definitely underestimated James Dobson, a powerful Evangelical leader. Really sir, did you truly think you could be so wishy-washy on an issue as near and dear to these homophobic haters’ stone-cold hearts as gay marriage? One minute you are saying:

I think gay marriage should be allowed if there is a ceremony kinda thing, if you want to call it that, I don’t have any problem with that…

And literally the next minute you are nervously “clarifying” your previous statement with this:

On the issue of the gay marriage, I believe if people want to have private ceremonies, that’s fine, I do not believe gay marriages should be legal.

I mean no disrespect sir, but here is the cold harsh reality. You’ve lost Americans who used to admire you. And it looks like you are on the fast track to losing the very people for whom you’ve trashed every value and principle that set you apart from other politicians. So since you are hell-bent on continuing down this path of political suicide in order to connect with these extremists, take my advice, cut the wishy washy crap. It doesn’t resonate with that crowd. As Steve over at the Carpetbagger says, they “are wholly unimpressed with McCain 1.0 and 2.0.” It is time to roll out version 3.0 and it better have the bugs worked out.

Update: Well I guess version 3.0 has been rolled out (that sure didn't take long):

Sen. John McCain said Tuesday he hopes to patch things up with right-wing Christian leader James Dobson, who recently said he wouldn't support the Republican's presidential bid under any circumstances.

So glad to know that making nice with the Dobson crowd is Senator McCain’s top priority. That means my son and every other American who does not meet Dobson’s approval will be thrown under the bus.

Well Senator McCain, go for it. You and the Dobson crowd deserve each other, but this country deserves so much better than you and something tells me I am not the only one who feels this way.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

He sure made a mess of things – eh?

My husband and I decided at the last minute to go to the little Italian restaurant on the corner for dinner tonight. The food is pretty good, the atmosphere is cozy, but unfortunately the tables are spaced a little too closely to allow for intimate conversation. But we figured we were getting an early enough start that we’d pretty much have the place to ourselves and privacy would not be much of a concern. And we were right ---- at least for the first half hour we were there.

Just as our meals were arriving, a really sweet-looking older couple came in and was promptly seated at the table right next to us. We did our best to keep our voices down so as not to intrude on their conversation and they seemed to be returning the favor as best they could. But it was impossible not to pick up on bits and pieces of each other’s discussion. And of course I could not help but smile to myself when I heard their conversation turn to George Bush and the lady say: “He sure made a mess of things – eh?”

It seems they were pretty much doing what we had decided to do, have a nice meal, skip the speech, and avoid the heartburn that comes with listening to this President tell us how he is going to make a big mess even bigger.

When our bill was brought to the table, they were just finishing up their meals. The gentleman and his wife turned to us and started up a conversation. We learned they were winter visitors from Toronto, Canada and that they have a condo here and have been wintering in Arizona for years. We learned that they love this country very much, think the world of Americans, and don’t have a real high opinion of George Bush either. But since we all had obviously chosen a quiet dinner in an intimate Italian grotto instead of an evening in front of the boob tube watching the President give a speech, no one was really willing to ruin their nice evening with talk of politics. So we said good-bye to this sweet couple and I quietly sighed with relief as I walked away from the table, maybe the world doesn’t hate us so much after all. Share

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Why aren’t things going better for God’s Chosen Ones?

I guess the Dobson, Robertson, Falwell crowd are a bit dismayed with the list of GOP Presidential candidates. In fact:

It wasn’t so long ago that conservatives believed that George Bush’s presidency would usher in a political realignment that would last for decades. But as the right looks forward to the next election, something close to panic is setting in. Surveying the leading G.O.P. contenders for 2008, direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie pronounces “not a one of them is worthy of support from conservatives.”

Says Craig Shirley, a public relations executive who represents many conservative groups and who has written a book on the Reagan revolution: “There’s anger, there’s angst, there’s dismay in the conservative movement.” Some activists, Shirley adds, have even begun talking quietly among themselves about forming a third party.

Oh be still my seething heart. This is just too much to hope for!

A third party?

Go for it guys --- please.

Hat tip Carpetbagger


Bush judicial nominees ask to withdraw

Finally!! I don’t have to worry myself sick about Bush judicial nominees anymore. Well maybe I’m getting a little too hopeful and exuberant, but I cannot begin to describe the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach the day that Sandra Day O’Connor announced her retirement. I was already hyper-aware of the extreme right-wing ideologues that Bush was nominating for the lower courts, so it wasn’t difficult to imagine what kind of lasting damage this President could inflict on our Supreme Court. And yes, I know there are many who think John Roberts was a truly fine pick for Chief Justice, but I’m just not one of them (and I won’t even comment on Samuel Alito). And while there has not been enough time to truly judge John Roberts on his merits, I will admit that I do not have a good feeling about him. Call it intuition, call it fear, or call it irrational momma paranoia, but his evasive answers during the confirmation hearings made me feel very uncomfortable. The same kind of uncomfortable I’d have if I were stuck in a room with a slick used-car salesman saying whatever he had to say to make the sale. John Robert’s terrific ability to slyly evade every question with an answer that sounded too rehearsed just did not set well with me. In fact it felt a little too ---- uhmm --- deceiptful. Sorry, but I just don’t trust him. Maybe it would be different if I had heard just a few honest straightforward answers. But I didn’t and believe me, I was watching him like a hawk.

Ok, ok, I will be the first to admit that I look at these men as though they could potentially be holding the future of my children in their hands --- because they damn well will be if they get confirmed. And the thought of another Anthony Scalia on the Supreme Court dictating what goes on in my children’s private lives (or my private life for that matter) scares the holy hell out of this Seething Mom.

So I was just tickled pink to read that President Bush:

…in a concession to the Senate's new Democratic majority, SEARCH
won't rename four controversial federal appeals court nominees whose confirmations were blocked last year.

And my morning elation continued to grow when I read what the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy had to say:

…only "consensus nominees" are likely to win confirmation under the new Democratic majority — a declaration that effectively doomed the chances for the four men whose appointments were left in limbo when the Senate adjourned last year for the elections.

Maybe it’s still too soon to feel hope again, but this Seething Mom is cautiously optimistic. I never thought I could have so much faith in a party again, but I do.

Please Dems, don’t let us down. Fight hard, and if you have to, fight dirty. We need to insure that our kids will be able to live in a country that has a judicial system that will treat everyone fairly and with dignity. And I don’t trust George Bush to put our children at the top of his list of priorities. He hasn’t so far.

Hat tip AMERICAblog


The future of our nation – Pew has the scoop

And speaking of kids, how about that “generation next”? They gotta be causing ole Doc Dobson, the Prada Pope, and the Republican Party a few sleepless nights.

Lifted right from Andrew:

The Pew Research Center has just done their latest survey (PDF) of attitudes among the young. They are markedly less religious than their elders - and previous generations. The percentage claiming they are agnostic or atheist has doubled in twenty years to one in five today; they regard heavy drinking as worse than smoking pot; they have become much less Republican than they once were. George W. Bush has persuaded most of the younger generation to vote Democratic, reversing Reagan's gains among the young. They are much more pro-immigrant than their elders and 74 percent favor some privatizing of social security; but they're dovish on the use of military force. They are divided equally on gay marriage (47 - 46 in favor, compared to 64 - 30 against among those over 25) but overwhelmingly support gay adoption.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Oh little town of Bigotville

I read this story a few days ago and I just cannot stop thinking about it. The article puts its focus on a Northern California transplant, Terri Yale and her family who moved to Mason, a small rural community about 14 miles south of Lansing, Michigan's capital. After careful consideration, Terri and her husband chose to live in this little town because they’d heard it had a great “sense of community” and good schools.

A little over a year ago Terri opened a small shop called Davey's Basement in downtown Mason, which carries everything from music and T-shirts to novelty items and a small section of LGBT items. Business was “pretty good” from the beginning. The local kids enjoyed shopping there and it became the popular place for them to hang out.

So what’s the problem?

… overnight last fall business dropped. The kids who normally flocked to her shop no longer came by.


One day a girl from the middle school came in, and Yale mentioned to her how she hadn't seen her or her friends in a while.

"She said, 'So and so's mom said she couldn't come in here again.' We assumed she was grounded," recalled Yale. But the girl's friend told Yale that "her mom said you guys have the gay store and she can't come in here."

Yale's sin, at least to her neighbors, was sponsoring the homecoming parade float built by the GSA. Her tacit acceptance had provoked a backlash. The community was reportedly shunning her business.

After the parade in late September, sales at her small store plummeted. Many of her shoppers' parents, upset at her decision to sponsor the GSA float, no longer allowed their children to come in to the shop, said Yale.

So Terri Yale came into town wearing her bleeding liberal heart on her sleeve and armed with some cockamamie ideas about loving thy neighbor. And then she added insult to injury by sponsoring a Gay/Straight Alliance float in the local parade in some feeble attempt to help gay children in the community feel a little more accepted.

Well I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it is probably going to take a hell of a lot more than a GSA club to save any gay child unfortunate enough to be living in this creepy community. What a bunch of sanctimonious bigots, and how much you want to bet they never miss their Sunday services? Pffft.

And sadly these people’s lessons of intolerance and bigotry will not be lost on their children. The message emanating from Mason, Michigan is loud and clear: “If we don’t approve of you, we’ll drive you out of town, or at least out of business.”


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Pope derides same-sex marriage as "ruinous"

Man o man, this guy just doesn’t have a clue does he?

Pope Benedict XVI has renewed his attack on gays and lesbians, using an end-of-year speech to deride same-sex marriage as "ruinous". The ultra-conservative pontiff said gay marriage was a threat to human identity and decried laws recognising de facto couples.

I know I have ranted over and over about this guy, but I just cannot stand to give him a pass when he starts lecturing us about what kind of behavior is ruinous. I guess he feels he’s an expert on “ruinous” behavior and on that I will give him a pass because he damn well should be since he certainly practiced a good bit of it himself. After decades of protecting and shuffling around pedophile priests at the expense of the Church’s most vulnerable, Pope Moral Authority actually had to ask President Bush for immunity from liability in a lawsuit that accuses him of conspiring to cover up the molestation of three boys by a seminarian in TX. (Sorry about linking to a blog, but the actual articles are now archived.)

I guess I’ve got to give the guy credit for balls because that is what it takes to get up on his morality high horse and tell us what kind of behavior is ruinous. But I draw the line at giving him any credit for this:

"Joining a man and a woman … two people of the same sex becomes the same," he said.

"With that, the ominous theories that deny any relevance to the human person's masculinity and femininity are tacitly confirmed."

Did you take a look at the picture above? How can he possibly think he can wax poetically about “a person’s masculinity or femininity”?

And I suppose the final straw in this article was how it ended --- reminding us that:

Pope Benedict has been a strident opponent of gay rights since taking power in 2005.

As Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, he was also the author of a notorious 1986 Vatican text that called homosexuality an "intrinsic moral evil".

“Intrinsic moral evil”? He really truly has no room to talk.


Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

It is policies like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell that just blow my mind and make me seethe. There is simply no explanation that makes sense for why this policy is still in place other than extreme homophobia and ignorance. And don’t even get me started on the enormous cost to taxpayers as a result of keeping this policy in place. And given the fact the President is almost certainly going to decide in favor of an escalation of troops in Iraq (the McCain Doctrine) I’m truly at a loss for words when I hear some people continue to defend keeping this asinine policy in place. Where on earth are these added boots on the ground going to come from? Our military is in desperate shape, with so many of our brave men and women on second, third, and fourth tours of duty, making justification of a policy that excludes able-bodied and willing volunteers from serving even more crazy and indefensible. Recent surveys have shown there has been some major positive shifts in attitude among military personnel and the general public so it should come as no surprise that some very influential people (retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and now former Defense Secretary William Cohen) are finally stepping forward to call for its repeal. So why am I not feeling great happiness and gratification that yet another blatant form of government-sanctioned homophobia could soon be abolished? In fact, why am I feeling extremely disgusted and angry?

The whole thing just seems so transparent to me. This is not an act of courage on the part of these men and others who’ve suddenly had a change of heart about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. It is simply the act of logical people who can count and know the math just does not add up. Bush is going to call for more people on the ground in Iraq and we don’t have them. It is basic Supply and Demand economics. If this policy is repealed it will NOT be because it’s the right thing to do, it will be because they need more warm bodies over in Iraq and our little homo children will fit the bill nicely. And that makes me seethe.

My gay son is a perfect candidate for the military. He is healthy, physically fit, and intelligent. In fact, while still in high school he was the target of an overzealous (to the point of stalking) military recruiter. My son was truly interested, especially since his father is a former marine. This was all happening at about the same time my husband and I were just finding out about his sexual orientation. But even in the fog of our disorientation from his revelation, we had enough clarity of mind to ask him why he would consider volunteering for an organization that so blatantly discriminates against gays and lesbians. And while we consider service to this great country a noble endeavor, why would he want to possibly give his life in an unjust war started by a President who wants to enshrine his second-class citizenship into the Constitution strictly for political purposes?

So while many people are falling all over themselves with gratitude and admiration for those who are belatedly coming out in favor of repeal of DADT, I respectfully reserve my gratitude and admiration for those gays and lesbians who have chosen to serve in the military in spite of DADT. To them I say thank you. And to them I offer an immediate heartfelt apology for this stupid policy since it will be years before this country has the spine to admit how wrong it was to have ever had this policy. And those men who are coming forward now to call for repeal are never going to be heroes in my eyes. It takes no courage to state the obvious. Nope, they’re not heroes, but I’ll tell you who is: the thousands of brave gays and lesbians who are serving this country in spite of horrible policies like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Now those people are real heroes! Those people are my heroes.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A shameful reversal of rights

YES! This op-ed in the Boston Globe gets it right. And I hope a certain 62 cowardly legislators take the time to read it and feel the shame they so duly earned with their vote yesterday:

SIXTY-TWO state legislators voted to shrink the civil rights of Massachusetts citizens yesterday when they advanced a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Every effort should be made now to kill the measure by reducing that number below 50 when the issue comes up again before the newly elected Legislature.

One of the key arguments raised by opponents of gay marriage is also one of the most spurious: that, having filed more than 123,000 certified signatures for the amendment, they have a right to see it go on the 2008 ballot.

There is no such right.


In this case, a vote for the amendment is a vote to eliminate a civil right that is contained in the state Constitution -- a shameful and perhaps unique reversal of the long forward march of civil rights progress, both locally and nationally. Each such vote is, as Governor-elect Deval Patrick said yesterday, "irresponsible and wrong."

Opponents of gay marriage say that the one-quarter vote requirement exists to protect the rights of minorities, yet they are trying to use this process to extinguish minority rights.

And to what end? We are still waiting to hear of the first heterosexual couple whose marriage has been damaged by the more than 8,500 same-sex marriages performed here since 2004.


We believe Massachusetts voters would not take away this right, and a popular endorsement might be considered healthy. But civil rights are fundamental, and gay marriage should not be subject to plebiscite here, any more than it would have been appropriate to have Alabama voters directly decide school integration or Virginia voters decide interracial marriage.

This is a great piece. I strongly recommend reading the whole thing.


Robertson says God told him about terrorist attack in 2007

Well I guess we cannot start the new year without the infinite wisdom of Pat Robertson’s predictions for 2007:

In what has become an annual tradition of prognostications, religious broadcaster Pat Robertson said Tuesday God has told him that a terrorist attack on the United States would result in "mass killing" late in 2007.

"I'm not necessarily saying it's going to be nuclear," he said during his news-and-talk television show "The 700 Club" on the Christian Broadcasting Network. "The Lord didn't say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that."

Robertson said God told him during a recent prayer retreat that major cities and possibly millions of people will be affected by the attack, which should take place sometime after September.

Oh but let me guess, God will let us off the hook if the good people of Massachusetts just ban gay marriage?

And the saddest part of this whole thing is how many people will take this nut seriously.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Massachusetts Lawmakers Advance Gay Marriage Ban Proposal

Things have dramatically quieted down in the Seething Mom household, but news out of Massachusetts today has left me feeling zapped of all energy. Really, all I want to do right now is go to bed and cry myself to sleep. This has hit me like a ton of bricks.

I guess I got so hopeful after reading what Massachusetts governor-elect Deval Patrick had to say to legislators before the vote today that I let myself believe this bill would be squashed before it could even see the light of day:

I believe that adults should be free to choose whom they wish to love and to marry.


Above all, this is a question of conscience, Patrick, a Democrat, said in a statement. Using the initiative process to give a minority fewer freedoms than the majority, and to inject the state into fundamentally private affairs, is a dangerous precedent and an unworthy one for this commonwealth.

Obviously, the legislators weren’t as moved as I was by the sage words of the soon-to-be governor and they certainly don’t seem to have a problem with the civil rights of a minority being decided by mob rule. How sad. This was a situation that called for some courage and there just wasn’t enough of it to stop this from going any farther.

I know how devastated I feel about this, I cannot even imagine how this is affecting those who will be directly and indirectly impacted. I simply cannot understand how people could be so mean? It is beyond my comprehension. And make no mistake, this is just plain cruel to allow a majority to decide whether a minority is worthy of the same rights that said majority already has. And it is simply added salt in the wounds that this particular minority has already had a taste of how it feels to have the same rights as everyone else in the state. This is so wrong, so un-American, and so mean. It is mob-rule democracy at its ugliest.

I’m pretty speechless right now so I guess I’ll end this post with a round-up of others’ reactions:

From John at AMERICAblog:

The Massachusetts legislature took the first step today towards repealing the marriages of its gay citizens. Which leads one to ponder, what would the Massachusetts legislature do if racist legislation came before it? Pass it, I guess. Will Massachusetts become the next hate state?

From Shakespeare’s Sister:

I don't even know what kind of retrofuck jackhole piece-of-shit you've got to be to take away equal rights once they've been granted. I can't begin to imagine how one even considers such a heinous move, but then again I'm not a RAGING FUCKING ASSHOLE.

I also happen to agree that marriage is not a threat to marriage, and I have this terrible habit of actually believing that "all [people] are created equal" means something.


From Pam over at Pam’s House Blend:

This is why the civil rights of a minority should never be up for a vote.

From Andrew Sullivan:

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts did the right thing, it seems to me, in upholding the duty of the commonwealth's legislature to vote on a possible 2008 marriage amendment. (I await the howls about judicial activism from the theocon right.) Yes, there will be a huge surge of Christianist money into Massachusetts to keep gay couples stigmatized under the law. Yes, there will be another round of bitter and emotional debate. But advocates for marriage equality are far too defensive in fearing such a vote. We should be relishing it. So far, very few can argue that marriage equality in Massachusetts has been a failure. On the contrary, it has united many once divided families, it has strengthened many relationships, it has brought more stability to gay culture, it has given children more security, and it has opened hearts and minds. We have close to two years to use this evidence to persuade the people of Massachusetts that civil equality is something to be proud of. By the end of 2008, civil marriage may well be fully legal in California by legislative action - and de facto marriage in the form of civil unions available in several states. I doubt whether Massachusetts will forgo the honor of being the first state to grant gay couples legal equality with their straight peers. But there's one way to find out. Let's debate and campaign. The national gay groups, whose record on marriage has been spotty at best, need to make this the first priority of the national movement. Winning a democratic vote on marriage is a huge opportunity - and well within our grasp. We have the arguments. We have the evidence. Now let's have the vote.

From Kris Mineau of the Massachusetts Family Institute:

"This is democracy in action. It's not a vengeance campaign. It's not a hate campaign. It's just an opportunity for the people to vote." Share