Friday, November 28, 2008

A belated thank you to Harvey Milk from a grateful mom

Happy Thanksgiving all.

My daughter is home for the holidays for a few days so we have tried to spend as much time with her as we can before she has to return to school. And one of the things we've done while she has been home is go to the movies. And one of the movies we went to see while she has been here was Milk. It was truly a wonderful movie, but because there have been so many great reviews (like this one) from people around the blogosphere, I will refrain from giving one myself and encourage everyone to see it. The parallels to what is going on today are eerie.

But there is something I do want to say about this movie. When Harvey Milk was assassinated, I was at the same age and at the same place in my life as my daughter is now, 19 years old and a sophomore in college. And I must shamefully confess that Harvey Milk, Mayor Moscone, Anita Bryant, and all of the other major players and events depicted in this movie were barely blips on my radar screen back then. There was just too much going on in my life to be bothered with things that didn't affect me.

Suffice it to say the irony of my apathy back then is not lost on me now: 30 years later and the mother of a gay son who is living a much better life because of the courage of a man named Harvey Milk.


Monday, November 24, 2008

This mom needed a reminder: Not all Christians are created equal

I have a tendency to throw the baby out with the bath water when I am as emotionally charged up about something as I am about Prop 8 (and Prop 102 here in AZ). There is a post over at Joe.My.God. that kind of stopped me in my tracks and made me realize how wrong that can be.

So I've shamelessly decided to steal from Joe.My.God (forgive me Joe) and provide a link to what made me realize the error of my ways. Share

Friday, November 21, 2008

Princeton's Proposition 8

Don't worry Cathi Herrod and Karen Johnson, I certainly don't expect you to get the message this clip is trying to convey. But try real hard to get this, these students, like my 3 children, probably won't have Arizona at the top of their lists when it comes time to look for jobs.

How do you spell Brain Drain?

Via Andrew Share

Good bye Governor Janet Napolitano, this mom is going to miss you more than you can ever know

As an Arizonan, I am proud of our Governor. If indeed she does receive the nod as secretary of homeland security, she will have earned it. I mean, c'mon, she has been a pretty darn popular Democratic governor in a pretty darn red state. That is no easy accomplishment.

But for those of us who live here in Arizona and don't see eye to eye with our very right-wing dominated legislature, it is frightening to imagine just what is going to happen now that said legislature no longer needs to moderate themselves or face a veto pen. And when our Secretary of State, Jan Brewer, moves up to fill the empty Governor seat, we are going to see a big lurch to the right with a heavy emphasis on social issues and immigration.

But I am very sad to see Governor Napolitano leave for another reason as well, a very selfish reason. All three of my children chose to leave Arizona and go to school out-of-state. All three chose universities in very progressive cities. And all three fell in love with the cities in which they chose to go to school. And I don't see any of them ever choosing to come back to Arizona, at least not the Arizona we will have now.

I am a native Arizonan. I will always have a special place in my heart for this state, but I am not sure that I blame my children for not coming back. Anymore, our young people equate today's Conservative values with authoritarian, oppressive religious values that take us back to the stone ages.

When people are stripped of civil rights in the name of someone else's religious beliefs, it's pretty hard to argue that Arizona is moving forward. Heck, when I watched a state legislator cut her vacation short to fly back to a waiting limosine that whisked her back to the State Capital in time to cast the deciding vote that put a proposition on the ballot that would allow a majority to deny a minority rights everyone else enjoys and yet another state legislator with 5 marriages under her own belt passionately preach about her need to protect the sanctity of everyone else's marriage, I started weighing the pros and cons of getting the hell out of Arizona too. So how on earth can I blame my children for not wanting to come back?

I can't and I don't. Share

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh my...

Words escape me.

via Andrew Share

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sanctity, Schmanctity

So we just stripped a whole class of people of their right to get married in California because we are so worried about gays and lesbians desanctifying the already sorry state of marriage in this country, but we don't hear a peep from the Mormon Church, James Dobson, or the rest of the usual suspects when a bride decides to switch to another groom 2 weeks before the wedding because the original groom backed out. And then when the sham marriage ends less than 3 weeks later, the only outrage is that she didn't return the wedding gifts.

But hey, at least it was sanctified for a couple of weeks or so:

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I received an invitation from a family member to attend their daughter "Heidi's" wedding on Father's Day weekend. We canceled our existing plans in order to attend, and gave "Heidi and Dave" an appropriate gift. As the ceremony progressed, the minister asked, "Do you, Steve, take Heidi" ... at which point the guests began whispering to themselves, "STEVE?"

We were embarrassed, thinking we had made a horrible mistake in addressing the gift card -- and we weren't the only ones. Finally, after much discussion among the guests, someone approached the bride's mother to ask if we had made a mistake. "Oh, no" she replied, "Dave backed out two weeks ago. Heidi asked Steve if he would marry her, and he said he wasn't doing anything else this weekend, so why not?"

I was flabbergasted. Predictably, in less than three weeks, this sham of a marriage was over. Heidi, of course, retained all the gifts.

My wife says it's no big deal. I say the bride's parents should have called the guests and explained the circumstances so they could make an informed decision about attending. I was also raised to believe that in cases such as this, where the commitment to marriage was so obviously missing, that the gifts should be returned. Am I wrong? This has caused a rift in the family. -- JILTED GUEST

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dear Karen Johnson

I have purposely avoided writing this letter to you because my disgust for what you have done in your final days as an Arizona State legislator is so intense that strong enough words to describe the legacy you will leave escape me. But I simply cannot ignore the seething rage that is eating away at my insides anymore. I must speak up for all the Arizona mothers and fathers whose hearts you drove a stake through with your vote to put Prop 102 on the ballot.

HOW COULD YOU? No really, you of all people, how could you? With your vote to put that hateful Proposition on the Arizona ballot and your strong voice to "Protect the Sanctity of Marriage", you successfully managed to herd thousands of your fellow Arizonans to the back of the bus. With your vote to put Proposition 102 on the Arizona ballot, you insultingly told mothers and fathers like me and my husband of 27 years that you were going to protect the sanctity of our marriage by making sure that one of our beloved children would be forever a second-class citizen. And with your vote to put Proposition 102 on the Arizona Ballot you told fair-minded Arizonans what your vote was really about: hate.

With FIVE marriages under your own self-righteous belt, you really should have abstained Karen. With FIVE marriages under your own belt, you really should have hidden with shame or not shown up to cast one of the deciding yes votes that put this atrocity on the ballot. And with FIVE marriages under your belt, you should have been the first to stand up and say that it is not two people of the same sex who want commit to each other that threaten marriage, but divorce, alcoholism, spousal abuse, joblessness, drug abuse, etc. Your voice would have mattered Karen, because you could have spoken from the heart and with some experience.

But no Karen, you didn't have the courage to do that. It was far easier to blame the disastrous state of the insitution of marriage on an easy target, my son and thousands of other gays and lesbians who had nothing to do with your FIVE failed marriages. And what an easy target they were for you. Your disdain and disgust for gays and lesbians made it way too easy to blame them for what ails the institution of marriage, didn't it Karen?

Well you should have, at the very least, abstained from that vote Karen Johnson. It would have been the honorable thing for you to do since you obviously didn't have the courage to do the right thing and vote NO to blaming innocent people for your own failures. But instead Karen you decided to cast a vote that really said more about you than it said about your concern for the sanctity of marriage.

Well, Karen Johnson, I am one Arizonan who will not be sorry to see you go. And I will never ever forgive you for using your power as a legislator to reach into the sanctity of my family and my marriage and leave the taint of your hate and homophobia.

But remember this Karen, you may have forever enshrined my son's second-class citizenship into the Arizona Constitution, but you forever enshrined your legacy as a cowardly, hateful hypocrite and homophobe. And that is something I hope you can live with. Share

Props 8 & 102 sent a loud and clear message: Who needs a legistature when we have The Mormon Church?

That's right, I am saying that the Mormon Church just succeeded in enshrining their religious beliefs into our constitutions, and they did it with 20 million dollars, armies of Mormon foot soldiers, and at least 11 years of planning.

Don't believe me, then check this out:

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - On Election Day, LDS Church members helped pass the Proposition 8 same-sex marriage ban in California.

But now, a new internal LDS Church document has surfaced, one showing the Church's involvement and strategy going back more than a decade.


It deals with the issue of same-sex marriage and it is dated, March 4, 1997.

This eleven-year-old memo gives a glimpse into President Gordon B. Hinckley's strategy for dealing with same-sex marriage.

It talks of a meeting with President Hinckley who reportedly said to "move ahead" with the church's opposition to same-sex marriage.

This memo also discusses joining forces with the Catholic Church, saying:

"...the public image of the Catholic Church is higher than our Church. In other words, if we get into this, they are the ones with which to join."


And this is a key point.

President Hinckley's 11-year-old strategy of opposing same-sex marriage and partnering with the Catholic Church helped lead to the passage of Proposition 8 and a new ban on same-sex marriage.

Need more proof? Then consider this:



New reports show that nearly sixty thousand LDS Church members have contributed some twenty million dollars to support Proposition 8, representing nearly 80 percent of all reported pro-Prop. 8 money.

Thank you Steve Benson of the Arizona Republic


Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Phoenix protest against anti-gay props

My husband and I couldn’t get into our walking shoes and into our Prius fast enough today. We were going to be at that protest in downtown Phoenix no matter what. And what a day it was.

I have no clue how many people were there, but the turnout looked pretty darn fantastic to me. I heard ABC’s channel 15 in Phoenix put the turnout at “hundreds of people”, but my husband and I both felt there were way more than just hundreds. Regardless, it was an event I was proud to attend, and I am ready for more --- as many as it takes to win.


Friday, November 14, 2008

They shouldn't have to do this alone - a call to arms for straight allies everywhere

Go to this link, find your state, determine the correct time and place, make your sign, and then, be there for our gay and lesbian brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends, neighbors ...

We must help them fight back, unless of course you like the Mormon Church legislating their religious beliefs into your laws. Share

If the Mormon church can decide who can get married, then why can't the Catholic Church decide who we must vote for?

Hey, if a good little Mormon decides to go rogue and disobey what his church has commandeth, well then he gets fired of course:

I worked for a Mormon-owned CPA firm… I was fired from my job after admitting that I had voted NO on prop 102.[Ed note: 102 is Arizona's hate-filled anti gay marriage amendment]

I was discussing the election on Wednesday with some co workers (who don’t vote) and I asked if you would have voted, what would you have voted on 102? She told me she would have voted no, so I said well at least I’m not the only one on the office that was against it. Then she said wait, what was a no vote for? So I explained 102 to her. She got extremely angry and started saying it was an abomination. So I told her that I had a cousin who was gay that was murdered in a hate crime because he was gay. So I supported it because it was just an equal rights issue. So I just dropped it and didn’t discuss it anymore.

The next day she had a meeting with the owner, and when I came in on Friday they told me that I was being let go. When I asked if it was because of my work performance, the owner said “Let’s just call it a management decision.” I had spoken to the owner just weeks before about the upcoming year and he was telling me he wanted to give me a raise. He had booked me for a tax seminar for the second week of Dec., so I know he was planning on me being employed with him for awhile until this.

But not to be outdone by "those" Mormons, the Catholic Church has decided that if any of their sheeple strays from the church's teachings, well then it's "no communion for you":

A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest has told his parishioners that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because the Democratic president-elect supports abortion, and supporting him "constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil."

The Rev. Jay Scott Newman said in a letter distributed Sunday to parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville that they are putting their souls at risk if they take Holy Communion before doing penance for their vote.

"Our nation has chosen for its chief executive the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president," Newman wrote, referring to Obama by his full name, including his middle name of Hussein.

"Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exits constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ's Church and under the judgment of divine law. Persons in this condition should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation."

So it is not enough that the Mormon church could reach its tentacles far beyond the walls of it temple and far beyond the borders of the state of Utah and enshrine its bigotry into our state Constitutions, but now we have the Catholic Church actually dictating who we must vote for now.

Enough! Share

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Good bye and good riddance Marylin Musgrave, may you never be heard from again

Oh my gosh, these damn hateful marriage amendments that passed have had me so immersed in a fog of denial and depression that I almost missed a truly euphoric and joyous event. In addition to electing Barack Obama our next President, we cleansed our House of Representatives of one of its biggest sanctimonious frauds and homophobes ever: Marylin Musgrave, the main sponsor of the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment in the 108th and 109th Congresses. I couldn't ask for better sauve for my open wounds.

Good bye and good riddance Marylin Musgrave, you will not be missed. And I grieve for the time I wasted even thinking about you. Share

A letter to one of Arizona's top homophobes: Cathi Herrod

Dear Cathi Herrod,

Forgive me for raining on your big victory parade. And forgive me even more if I am not one of those who feels the need to congratulate you on your success in enshrining into our constitution the permanant second-class status of thousands of Arizonans, one of them my beloved son. In fact, forgive me, if I can only feel utter contempt and disgust at the mere mention of your name. You see, I'm not especially fond of hate mongers who try to disguise their bigotry and hate under the guise of "Family Values", "Christianity", and or "Protecting Marriage". And you are guilty of doing all three.

I can only imagine how much joy you are feeling long about now with the passage of that hate-filled Proposition 102 in Arizona, especially since you suffered such a bitter defeat just 2 years ago when the Arizona voters just couldn't pull the trigger for your first hateful attempt at stripping a whole class of people of the same basic rights that you and Arizona legislators like Karen Johnson enjoy (and "enjoy" may be a bit too subtle a word choice since your gal pal Karen seems to have enjoyed them so much she actually has five marriages under her self-righteous belt - but hey, she is a good STRAIGHT Mormon, so who's even noticing let alone counting.)

Good thing you finally got smart and learned from your mistakes back in 2006 when you tried to completely crush those nasty, icky gay folks with a much meaner, nastier amendment that would have banned gay marriage and prohibited granting unmarried couples any legal status similar to marriage. I guess you must have realized that in your hate-filled, homophobic zeal to completely crush any semblance of equality and fairness for gays and lesbians, you cast your net a little too wide and caught some straights who had the gall to be unmarried but enjoying the benefits of marriage through domestic partnerships. Woops. Big mistake. And it cost you.

So good on you. You went back to your drawing board and dedicated a good part of your life these past 2 years to trying to figure out what went wrong in 2006 and how you could remedy it. And You obviously figured out that as much as you wanted to make absolutely sure that gays and lesbians were as miserable and as invisible as you could make them, you had to make damn sure that your hate-filled proposition wouldn't accidentally touch anyone who had the good luck to be born with a sexual orientation that meets your and the Mormon church's approval. So I guess you'll have to go after any protections or tax advantages that gays and lesbians might have now in 2010.

But what I don't understand and I am hoping you can tell me is why, if you truly worry so much about protecting marriage, would you have wasted so much time, energy, and money on banning gays and lesbians from marrying? Do you really want my son entering into a sham marriage with some girl (quite possibly your daughter) that he doesn't love? I cannot imagine you could answer yes to that question, especially since we both know that those marriages almost inevitably end up in divorce with many innocent lives laying shattered in the collateral damage. And even a bigger question I have is WHY, if you truly worry so much about protecting marriage, wouldn't you have spent all of that time, energy, and money trying to find solutions to the real culprits that cause so many marriages to end up in divorce (or at the very least why you didn't just ask your good Morman gal pal Karen Johnson since she could have at least given you 5 good reasons marriages fail)?

Well good news Cathi. You don't have to answer the above questions, they were rhetorical. You and I already know the answers to those questions. So let me end this letter by just saying this. You, Cathi Herrod, are on the wrong side of history on this one. And I, Cathi Herrod, look forward to the day when my gay son and his husband's child comes home from school and asks his/her very proud grandmother (that would be me) to help him/her with his/her Arizona history homework. And I will gladly help him/her read the chapter about the AZ bigots of 2008 who didn't learn from the shameful mistakes of past bigots like the ones from the Jim Crow era. And you, Cathi Herrod, will have earned your very own place right up there with the most vile of them. And that Cathi, will be the very ugly legacy you leave Arizona.

Related article here


Putting my money where my rage is

Ok, I have to make a confession. I have been in an almost catatonic state of depression over the passage of California’s Prop 8 and Arizona’s Prop 102.

Yes, I expected Arizona to pass their hateful Prop 102 since we have such a high number of wingnuts and Mormons here (hell one of Arizona's strongest supporters of Prop 102 was a Mormon state legislator with 5 marriages under own belt), but I counted on the fairer more progressive citizens of California to lead the way to equality for all, just as they have done in the past. And just to be on the safe side, my husband and I hedged our bets by contributing to the No on 8 campaign in California.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would see the day where Californians would allow the LDS Church in Utah to have such a powerful and hateful influence on their laws and ultimately their precious Constitution. NEVER!

Thankfully (or maybe unfortunately) my catatonic depression is finally starting to give way to a slow but steadily growing rage. And I will spend every ounce of energy I have directing that rage into every avenue I can think of to punish those who thought nothing of voting to enshrine their hateful religious beliefs into our state constitutions and hurt one of my precious children.

One of many ways my husband and I will channel our rage is with our pocketbook. We are airline people. Airline people travel. Airline people travel a lot. Airline people employ lots and lots of gays and lesbians. And airline people spend lots of money on hotels and restaurants. And I will make it my life’s mission to educate the airline people on who should and should not get our precious dollars, starting with Marriott hotels.

And yes I know, Bill Marriott wrote some weak letter trying to save himself from any blame, but that syrupy, “it’s not my fault” letter just does not cut it for me. And nothing short of a strong statement condemning what his church did and a promise that he will fight with both words and money to undo the harm his church has wrought will change my mind. And I will start by putting my money where my mouth is. My husband and I have been Marriott Rewards members for years. NO MORE. Marriott will not see another damn dime from us ever again. We are extremely loyal patrons. But companies have to earn that loyalty. Bill Marriott will need to do more than write letters to get us back.

The Mormon Church has hurt my family deeply. This is one momma who is spittin mad. No one takes aim at one of my kids with their hate and bigotry and gets away with it – no one! Share

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thank you Keith

Keith Olberman on Prop 8


Friday, November 07, 2008

I'm putting the celebration on hold for now

I can hardly bring myself to write this post. I feel so robbed. I should be beside myself with joy over the landslide victory of Barack Obama ---- and I'm not. God knows I have waited years for this momentous day to come and I cannot celebrate. I cannot even smile. I feel completely and utterly devoid of any joy.

It is pretty hard to celebrate this huge step forward in American history when We simultaneously took a huge step backwards in Arizona, Florida, Arkansas, and most importantly California with the passages of propositions that will rob a certain segment of our fellow Americans of their right to marry the person they love and in the case of Arkansas, adopt a child.

It is pretty hard to celebrate the fact that I am now the mother of a second class citizen who will now have to live first class citizenship vicariously through his brother and sister who had the luck to be born with a sexual orientation that the Morman Church approves of.

It is pretty hard to celebrate the fact that we have finally put a man into the White House based on the content of his character and not the color of his skin, but we still have no problem descriminating against a whole segment of Americans based on who they choose to love.

I knew this was coming in Arizona and Florida, BUT CALIFORNIA??? My God, California has always been a state that has led the country with its progressive values and forward thinking! And yet, 51% of its citizens took their marching orders from Utah, the Morman Church, and hateful vile people like James Dobson and Tony Perkins.

51% of Californians decided that they could live with stripping fellow Californians of the same rights they enjoy, while at least finding it in their hearts to show some compassion by overwhelmingly voting to pass a proposition that would provide protections for farm animals. I just cannot come to grips with the fact that a majority of California voters could, in the words of Andrew Sullivan, vote to restrict cruelty for animals and simultaneously inflict it on some humans.

I will eventually celebrate the absolutely wonderful results of this presidential election. I just cannot do it now. My heart hurts too much. Share