Saturday, January 31, 2009

Phelps Clan: Yes, we are spreading a message of hate

I wanted to post another video news clip from a later broadcast of the Phelps clan's visit to my neighborhood. Apparently the opposition was organized and ready for this face off with these hate-mongers and they used Facebook to get the word out. Ahhhh the beauty of technology.

I hate to say this, but we've had block parties with much less turn out. Forget the beer and brats, just start a Gay-Straight Alliance at your neighborhood high school and wait for the hate-filled Phelps clan to show up. Nothing brings a community together better than having this group of Neanderthals show up on your doorstep to tell you how evil your children are.

Westboro Baptist Church: the gift that keeps on giving: Link to clip is here. (Note: not sure why this video clip when embedded autoplays, but I am blurry-eyed from trying to find the problem in the code, so you will just have to link to the video, which imho is worth seeing. Sorry about the inconvenience.)


Friday, January 30, 2009

Westboro Baptist Church members pay a visit to the high school in my hood

Wow, Fred Phelps and his Religious whacko parishioners (aka his family) from the Westboro Baptist Church paid a visit to our neighborhood's local high school, Desert Mountain, today. The high school's big sin? Apparently they have a large Gay-Straight Alliance club at the school and plenty of students willing to give up an afternoon to show support for their gay and lesbian fellow students, which is a big enough offense to draw these horrible homophobic hate-mongers to our sleepy little community.

Hmmm, could it be that even full-time homophobes like Fred Phelps enjoy a sunny working vacation once in a while too? After all, it's got to be more pleasant to hate monger in balmy 75 degree weather than in 10 degree weather with snow and sleet. A little sunshine, a few margaritas, and some spicy mexican food - I'd say that's the perfect prescription for re-energizing a family who has dedicated their lives to spreading hatred and vitriol anywhere and everywhere that doesn't meet their holiness standards.

This has made my day. It was very gratifying to see so many kids and adults from my neighborhood and also from the neighboring high school (the one I graduated from) take time off from their busy schedules to be there, with signs in hand, to let these people know that their homophobia and hatred will not be tolerated in our community. And it didn't take the Phelps clan long to get the message either, they sure didn't hang around very long.

It was a lovely sight to behold:

The Religious Right is gearing up to keep DOMA from being repealed

I just read over at AMERICAblog that the Religious Right has already begun fund raising to keep DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, from being repealed. It just never ceases to amaze me how ignorant, wrong, and cruel these so-called Christians can be.

How many families have to tragically implode like Ted Haggard's family before we realize how horribly wrong the Religious Right is on this issue? How many more innocent victims must there be before we say enough to those who want to legislate into law their rigid, narrow, and unbending vision of what they think a family should look like?

We cannot continue to force gays and lesbians to be something they are not simply to keep people like James Dobson and Tony Perkins in their comfort zone. Sham marriages have consequences, and lots of innocent victims, just ask Ted Haggard's wife or children.

It speaks volumes about the motives of this Sanctity of Marriage crowd that they could watch what happened to Ted Haggard and his family and be more energized than ever to make sure DOMA is never repealed. This isn't about protecting marriage, this isn't about the sanctity of marriage, this isn't about protecting the family, and it certainly isn't about Christian Values. This is about homophobia. And it has had tragic consequences on the very institution they pretend to want to protect.

How long are we going to let the Religious Right push their toxic, destructive definition of marriage and family on the rest of us?

Andrew Sullivan:

Forcing gay people into molds they do not fit helps no one. It robs them of dignity and self-worth and the capacity for healthy relationships. It wrecks family, twists Christianity, violates humanity. It must end.

Watch this video and tell me how Ted Haggard wasn't destined to fail from the moment he uttered the words, I Do. As angry as I want to be with this man, I simply cannot help but feel deep sorrow for him. And this is why I shall never, ever force my son to be something he cannot be:


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The more things change the more they stay the same

I am sure many of you have probably at some point read this letter written by Sharon Underwood to the editor of her local paper, the Valley News, in White River Junction, Vt. back in April of 2000. Sharon is the mother of a gay son and she wrote the letter below in response to the many anti-gay letters that preceded the Vermont domestic partnership legislation.

I am struck by how little things have changed in the nine years since Sharon wrote the letter. It is as pertinent today as it was when she wrote it back in 2000 -- and as eloquent and from-the-gut as any letter I have ever read. So I am posting it in its entirety here on this blog.

And from one Seething Mom to another, I say thank you:

Vermont debate brings out the haters

Sunday, April 30, 2000

For the Valley News

As the mother of a gay son, I've seen firsthand how cruel and misguided people can be.

Many letters have been sent to the Valley News concerning the homosexual menace in Vermont. I am the mother of a gay son and I've taken enough from you good people.

I'm tired of your foolish rhetoric about the "homosexual agenda" and your allegations that accepting homosexuality is the same thing as advocating sex with children. You are cruel and ignorant. You have been robbing me of the joys of motherhood ever since my children were tiny.

My firstborn son started suffering at the hands of the moral little thugs from your moral, upright families from the time he was in the first grade. He was physically and verbally abused from first grade straight through high school because he was perceived to be gay.

He never professed to be gay or had any association with anything gay, but he had the misfortune not to walk or have gestures like the other boys. He was called "fag" incessantly, starting when he was 6.

In high school, while your children were doing what kids that age should be doing, mine labored over a suicide note, drafting and redrafting it to be sure his family knew how much he loved them. My sobbing 17-year-old tore the heart out of me as he choked out that he just couldn't bear to continue living any longer, that he didn't want to be gay and that he couldn't face a life with no dignity.

You have the audacity to talk about protecting families and children from the homosexual menace, while you yourselves tear apart families and drive children to despair. I don't know why my son is gay, but I do know that God didn't put him, and millions like him, on this Earth to give you someone to abuse. God gave you brains so that you could think, and it's about time you started doing that.

No choice

At the core of all your misguided beliefs is the belief that this could never happen to you, that there is some kind of subculture out there that people have chosen to join. The fact is that if it can happen to my family, it can happen to yours, and you won't get to choose. Whether it is genetic or whether something occurs during a critical time of fetal development, I don't know. I can only tell you with an absolute certainty that it is inborn.

If you want to tout your own morality, you'd best come up with something more substantive than your heterosexuality. You did nothing to earn it; it was given to you. If you disagree, I would be interested in hearing your story, because my own heterosexuality was a blessing I received with no effort whatsoever on my part. It is so woven into the very soul of me that nothing could ever change it.

For those of you who reduce sexual orientation to a simple choice, a character issue, a bad habit or something that can be changed by a 10-step program, I'm puzzled. Are you saying that your own sexual orientation is nothing more than something you have chosen, that you could change it at will?

If that's not the case, then why would you suggest that someone else can?

A popular theme in your letters is that Vermont has been infiltrated by outsiders. Both sides of my family have lived in Vermont for generations. I am heart and soul a Vermonter, so I'll thank you to stop saying that you are speaking for "true Vermonters."


You invoke the memory of the brave people who have fought on the battlefield for this great country, saying that they didn't give their lives so that the "homosexual agenda" could tear down the principles they died defending.

My 83-year-old father fought in some of the most horrific battles of World War II, was wounded and awarded the Purple Heart. He shakes his head in sadness at the life his grandson has had to live. He says he fought alongside homosexuals in those battles, that they did their part and bothered no one. One of his best friends in the service was gay, and he never knew it until the end, and when he did find out, it mattered not at all. That wasn't the measure of the man.

You religious folk just can't bear the thought that as my son emerges from the hell that was his childhood he might like to find a lifelong companion and have a measure of happiness. It offends your sensibilities that he should request the right to visit that companion in the hospital, to make medical decisions for him or to benefit from tax laws governing inheritance.

How dare he? you say. These outrageous requests would threaten the very existence of your family, would undermine the sanctity of marriage.

You use religion to abdicate your responsibility to be thinking human beings. There are vast numbers of religious people who find your attitudes repugnant. God is not for the privileged majority, and God knows my son has committed no sin.

The deep-thinking author of a letter to the April 12 Valley News who lectures about homosexual sin and tells us about "those of us who have been blessed with the benefits of a religious upbringing" asks: "What ever happened to the idea of striving . . . to be better human beings than we are?"

Indeed, sir, what ever happened to that?

They are shocked, just shocked I tell you

These Religious Righties just cannot wrap their minds around the fact that Obama will not be using the glbt community as political and fund raising tools like they and the previous Administration did.

They are just shocked that:

"within 5 minutes from Obama's swearing in, the White House website posted the President's goals for the country and some of them tell a very different story than unity, and certainly change. Despite calls for unity, the submissions seem to be about repealing controversial legislation, including things like the Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed signed by Bill Clinton":

This has got these boobs very worried. How on earth will they fund-raise and fear monger if Obama follows through with his promises to the glbt community? Promises of change and unity are just fine with these sanctimonious frauds just as long as Obama doesn't mess with their always reliable cash cow, the gays and lesbians, one of the last politically and religiously acceptable groups to hate. Share

Sunday, January 25, 2009

And we keep coming out - Part 2

I've added a picture to my profile. And the larger version of that picture is on this post. This is a big move for me (and my husband). And it is one more step at fully removing ourselves from the closet we stuffed ourselves into when our son had vacated it. Coming out is a lifelong process, something I didn't realize. And I didn't realize how much work it is either. But oooh boy, it feels so good.

When I first started this blog, I was skittish about giving out too much information about myself or my family. After all, we still had not told many people about our son. And sadly, there are still family members who to this day do not know. So my husband wasn't even sure I should be blogging about something so deeply personal and (at the time) painful on a medium that was so public and accessable. But in the end, he realized that we each come to terms with life-changing events in different ways. His was to quietly deal with his new reality and quietly get comfortable with it. And mine was anything but quiet, or comfortable, or even dignified. I needed to talk, and cry, and scream, and vent, and research, and then talk some more. And quite frankly, I think at the point in which I decided to start this blog, my poor husband was so damned relieved to give up his spot as sounding board that he welcomed my new outlet.

I didn't realize how awful the closet was until I stepped into it the day my son stepped out. And yes, many parents do indeed closet themselves shortly after learning they have a gay child. I wish with all my heart that I could say my husband and I were way more amazing about it than we were, but the fact is we weren't. We needed time and space and privacy to get to a point of peace. And I might just add here that it wasn't that we were devastated with the fact that our son was gay, it was that we were devastated with the fact that our son would face so many more obstacles and haters and challenges because he was gay. So for us it was more that we had to come to terms with a much uglier and hateful world than the one we knew before we learned our son was gay. But we were in this together and that meant we were facing this much scarier world together.

So it is with big fanfare that I post this picture. And yes, it is a big deal. Three years ago when I discussed posting a picture of my family, my husband and I debated it ad nauseam and decided against it. Today, I called him over to my computer and said, I am going to post this picture in my profile, what do you think? And you know what he said? "Don't you have something a little bigger and clearer? You can hardly see the faces of our children in that picture and I want the world to see what a beautiful family we have."

Yes indeed, this is a big deal. Share

Pope Benedict welcomes back with open arms anti-Semite and Holocaust-denier

So the Pope lifted the excommunication of British Holocaust-denier Richard Williamson, an action he feels will heal a wound that has festered for 20 years.

Funny that. In this Pope's eyes gays are "objectively disordered" and "intrinsically evil", but this man who in a recent interview confirmed that he still holds the same views that got him excommunicated in the first place is not a problem for this Pope. Breathtaking:

"I believe there were no gas chambers... I think that 200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps but none of them by gas chambers," [Richard Williamson] told SVT television in an interview that was recorded in Germany last November. "There was not one Jew killed by the gas chambers. It was all lies, lies, lies!"

Mr Williamson, 68, who is the rector of the Seminary of Our Lady Co-Redemptrix in La Reja, Argentina, is no stranger to controversy. He has endorsed "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", a notorious anti-Semitic forgery, and claimed that Jews are bent on world domination. He supports conspiracy theories on the assassination of President Kennedy and the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York, and has accused the Vatican of being under the power of Satan.

So once again this Pope has reaffirmed my decision to walk away from the Catholic Church and never look back. I've been deeply ashamed of the Catholic Church for quite some time now. And this hideous decision to lift the excommunication of this Holocaust-denier only confirms for me how deeply misguided and wrong this Pope is on so many issues. Somehow, the sting of this Pope's homophobia and hate for my son doesn't hurt as much anymore. Why should it? This Pope wouldn't know evil if it looked him straight in the eye, and he proved it with this latest hideous decision.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Focus on the Family doesn't think President Obama is a friend of family values

I have stayed rather low key since the inauguration. I cannot put my finger on exactly what my emotions are, except to say I am overwhelmed with a sense of relief that George W. Bush (a man I voted for, not once but twice -- God forgive me) is gone, and our House and Senate are now controlled by enough Democrats to get things done.

The passages of anti-marriage amendments in both California and my home state of Arizona completely robbed me of the euphoria I had so looked forward to enjoying when Barack Obama claimed victory. And then to top my funk off, Obama went and did exactly what he said he was going to do and reached across the aisle and chose Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration (which to my relief actually turned out to be rather anti-climatic).

It didn't take me long to realize that I had to tone down my expectations, admit what a truly horrible mess this country is in, and come to terms with the fact that there are much, much bigger problems that Obama has to deal with than smacking down the James Dobson/Rick Warren/Tony Perkins crowd. And maybe even, horror of all horrors, I needed to get used to the idea that Obama was going to actually give these Religious Right-Family Advocate frauds a seat at the table.

Well... it looks like maybe I was being a tad overly pessimistic and morose. Imagine my surprise (and relief) when I clicked on the new White House website, which went live minutes after our new President was sworn in, and saw that President Obama's civil rights agenda included a whole section titled "Support for the LGBT Community". And when I saw that this section included things like Supporting Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples, Fighting Workplace Discrimination, Repealing Don't Ask-Don't Tell, Expanding Adoption Rights, and Promoting AIDS Prevention, I knew I could finally let myself feel a little bit of that euphoria that had so eluded me right after the election. Seeing these goals, in black in white, on the White House website was truly salve to this seething momma's wounds.

But wait! It gets better. Not content with simply reveling in the fact that we now have a president who is going to work to make my beloved son an equal among his straight peers, I decided to see how organizations like Focus on the Family were reacting to Obama's new Civil Rights agenda. And it didn't take me long to find out. The Christian Institute didn't waste any time laying it all out:

Focus on the Family:

Focus on the Family, founded by Dr James Dobson, has reacted with great concern to the new White House agenda.

“President Obama is no friend of family values, and that is made perfectly clear on the White House Web site,” said Ashley Horne, federal policy analyst at Focus on the Family Action.

“This is the most bold and comprehensive pro-homosexual, abortion-friendly administration agenda we’ve ever seen. And this is no time for Christians to remain silent.”

Family Research Council:

Tony Perkins, of the American policy group Family Research Council, said: “Minutes after Obama took the oath of office, the transfer of power was made complete on the White House website.”

He added that the White House: “now welcomes an extreme collection of anti-life, anti-woman, and anti-family agendas.”

He said: “Under the caption ‘civil rights,’ Obama pledges to fight for nationwide civil unions, repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, homosexual adoption, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, expanded ‘hate crimes’, and over 1,100 costly same-sex benefits.

“He promises to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ as well as block a federal amendment to preserve marriage.

“In exchange for the support of groups like Planned Parenthood, the abortion business is also due for a rich payoff from the 44th President, including his support of abortion-on-demand, more funding for ‘family planning’ programs, embryonic stem cell experiments, and tax-funded abortion.”

Alliance Defense Fund:

Alan Sears, President of American legal group the Alliance Defense Fund, is surprised at the swiftness of the radical agenda. He said: “Well, that didn’t take long.

“To many, it may seem premature to confront head-on the agenda of the new president, in a week dedicated to celebrating his political success and the peaceful transition of power in our republic. But, sad to say, in the marriage of President Obama’s political destiny to that of these United States, it’s Mr. Obama who chose to cut short the honeymoon.

“No sooner had he finished speaking of his fellow Americans in his inaugural address as a people who ‘have chosen hope over fear [and] unity of purpose over conflict and discord’ than his staff posted, on the White House Web site, a virtual declaration of war against those who oppose the demands for special rights and privileges by those who engage in homosexual behavior.”

God forgive me, but damn this is fun. It almost makes up for the past 8 years of misery under George W. Bush. These sanctimonious family-values frauds are just going to have to get used to the fact that this President values all families, not just the ones that meet their seal of approval.

I think I'm feeling euphoric now. Share

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Uh oh - Looks like the movie, Prayers for Bobby, is making so-called "Family Advocate" organizations very uneasy

Having read the book, "Prayers for Bobby", I can completely understand why the flop-sweat is starting to flow within organizations like Focus on the Family.

Any family who has a gay child and has chosen to accept, support, and love unconditionally that child knows full well just how damaging organizations that claim to be Family Advocates can be to their families. It didn't take me long to realize that organizations like Focus on the Family and The Family Research Council are my family's worst nightmare.

"Prayers for Bobby" tells an extremely gut-wrenching story that I'm sure is making quite a few of these faux Family Values organizations squirm. So they are doing what comes naturally to them when backed into a corner, they are going on the offensive, and throwing in a few "blame the parents of the gay child" statements for good measure:

The Lifetime Channel is airing a controversial new movie this weekend in which conservative Christian parents shoulder the blame after their gay-identified son commits suicide. "Prayers for Bobby," based on a true story from the 1970s, stars Sigourney Weaver.

Family advocates are concerned the film tells only half of the story, leaving out the redemptive power of Jesus Christ.


Johnston said the movie does send a strong message about the importance of fathers.

“Boys need dads who are loving and strong," he said, "but who reach out to them when they are struggling with sexuality or sexual issues.”

Please forgive me for getting a bit emotional here, but, GO TO HELL FOCUS ON THE FAMILY. The truth can be brutal. And this movie tells the full and very brutal story of how damaging organizations like yours are to families like mine.

We will never know just how many children have been thrown to the streets like garbage or pushed into prostitution or driven to drugs or suicide because of you, but I am sure the numbers are high. And no amount of bible thumping or parent-blaming on your part is going to wash the blood of all these children from your hands. Share

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Prayers for Bobby to air on January 24th - it's a must see

I have been meaning to post about this for 2 weeks now, but I have had a bunch of company in town (and still do) and it completely slipped my mind. So I want to thank reader Anna for her very timely emails reminding me about this very important item.

I have mentioned a couple of times how much the wonderful organization, PFLAG, helped my husband and me when we first learned we had a gay son. On our very first visit, someone there at the meeting slipped the book, Prayers for Bobby, into my hands and urged me to take it home and read it, which I did. And it shook me to my core. In fact, the story was so powerful and so gut wrenching, I cried for days. I could barely get out of bed, my heart was so heavy thinking about how hard many glbt children from extremely religious families have it.

I am so very glad I read the book and I firmly believe that everyone should at some point read it. I'm just not sure that my timing in reading the book was the greatest. But then again, I'd have to say that this book played a huge role in igniting the seething rage burning in my gut even today. Not that I needed any more fuel on the fire, but to this day, when I think of the needless tragedy this story recounts, I realize we still have a long way to go. And I also realize that some of our biggest obstacles to full acceptance and equality are standing behind the pulpits in many of our churches. And if ever we needed a reminder of the magnitude of the damage these preachers are inflicting on families with gay children, we need to look no farther than this story.

And now as Anna has so kindly reminded me, Lifetime will be airing the book-to-movie premiere of Leroy Aaron’s “Prayers for Bobby” on January 24th at 9PM ET/PT and I strongly urge everyone to mark their calendars and/or program their TIVOs or DVRs to record it. This is a must see movie.

Here is the movie trailer:


Monday, January 19, 2009

Calling all godly Americans: "pray that Barack Hussein Obama fails"

So the faux Christian set is going to pray. Not for world peace, not for a cure for AIDS, not for the end of hunger, not for health care coverage for those who cannot afford it, not for the end of genocide or war crimes or torture, but for our incoming President, Barack Obama, to fail.

My God, what horrible excuses for human beings these people are. True Christians everywhere should be horrified:

Many a coward has been bolstered in his conviction against challenging tyranny by not reading too deeply into the Scriptures. Yet, nowhere does the Bible ever suggest evil rulers are to be obeyed. When the rule of men conflicts with the commands of God, the Bible leaves no doubt about where we should stand. That's why I do not hesitate today in calling on godly Americans to pray that Barack Hussein Obama fail in his efforts to change our country from one anchored on self-governance and constitutional republicanism to one based on the raw and unlimited power of the central state. It would be folly to pray for his success in such an evil campaign. I want Obama to fail because his agenda is 100 percent at odds with God's. Pretending it is not simply makes a mockery of God's straightforward Commandments.

Evil. Ugly. Hateful. These people are monsters. Share

HBO decided we didn't need to see or hear Bishop Gene Robinson's invocation

"Bless us with tears -- for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.

"Bless us with anger -- at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people."

This is a passage from the first openly gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson's invocation at yesterday's inaugural festivities. I am printing it here because apparently HBO decided it wasn't worthy of broadcast, so only those in attendance got to hear the prayer.

I'm not sure whose decision it was not to broadcast the Bishop's invocation, but I'd say that person would have to have been living in a cave not to see what a blunder this decision was. And make no mistake, this was a big mistake.

Obama's inclusion of Bishop Gene Robinson in the inauguration festivities was salve on the many open wounds created in the GLBT community when Rick Warren was chosen to deliver the invocation on inauguration day. By making the decision not to broadcast this part of yesterday's activities, HBO threw salt in those wounds.

And how much you wanna bet we get to hear every bloviating word of Rick Warren's invocation on HBO?

So for those who would like to read the entire text of Bishop Gene Robinson's invocation, it can be read here and a fairly decent audio recording can be found here. Share

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Letters to Rick Warren


What if I were your daughter?

Sadly, I am not sure if it would matter if this lovely young lady was Rick Warren's daughter. Many of the lgbt children thrown to the street like garbage come from evangelical families who attend churches just like that of Rick Warren's church. Share

How much did the Mormon church invest in getting Prop 8 passed - we, the taxpayers, have a right to know

Yes, that's right, We Have A Right To Know. And as long as the Mormon Church is exempt from paying taxes but insists on involving itself in political issues in other states, We Have The Right to question how much they invested both financially and in man power to get a Proposition designed strictly to take away rights from a certain segment of American society passed.

Enough said, now watch the video:


Plane crashes in New York's Hudson River

This hits close to home. My husband is a retired Airline Pilot and my brother is a US Airways Pilot who flies the same type of airplane involved in this accident, an Airbus A320.

Thankfully everyone appears to be safe. And no, my brother was not the pilot of this aircraft, although he was flying today.

I can certainly attest to the amazing amount of training these guys go through and it is at times like this that we should all be grateful they do. Share

Dear Pope

I think you've got it wrong. Gays are not intrinsically evil, but this sure is:

The new suit contends that pedophile priests unsuited to serve anywhere else were dumped on Alaska and put in remote villages with little or no law enforcement, making it virtually impossible for anyone to report them. There was a calculated effort at the highest levels of the Jesuit order to "'dump' these 'problem priests' in a location in which the priests could avoid detection and continued to sexually abuse countless Native children," the suit says.

Problem priests from seven Jesuit provinces in the United States as well as four other countries ended up in the rural villages, mostly in Western Alaska, Wall said. "They were specifically targeting the Athabascan and the Yup'ik cultures, because they wouldn't talk," he said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

Hat tip Andrew


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mapping the bigots

Ahhhhh the wonders of technology. Now with just the click of a mouse we can actually see a map which pinpoints where the supporters of California's Prop 8 live. But, as a reader on Andrew Sullivan's blog so painfully found out, be careful what you wish for. Sometimes too much information can feel like a punch in the gut:

Wow....that Google map of Prop 8 donors in California was like a gut punch to me. I was raised LDS and I have family scattered throughout the Golden State. To a person, all of them have been extremely loving and kind toward me and my partner of 15 years. On a lark, though, I zoomed in on the cities and neighborhoods where my relatives live. What do I find but that one of my own aunts, in San Diego, contributed $200 to the Prop 8 cause last summer. This same aunt, a good person I honestly believe, has even invited me and my partner to stay with in her family's home. Call me naive, but I'm kind of having trouble wrapping my brain around this seeming contradiction.

Fighting Domestic Violence in Ukraine: a request from my son in the Peace Corps

As I've mentioned on several occasions, I also have a son in the Peace Corps serving in Ukraine. And though I have tried to keep the scope of this blog limited to gay issues, there have been times in which I have made exceptions. And this post will be yet another one of those exceptions. My Peace Corps son has asked me to post a request on my blog. And I am more than happy to accommodate him. So here goes:

Hello friends, family and others,

Domestic violence is a big problem worldwide, and it is a huge problem here in Ukraine. But with a desperately needed donation you can help. The Gender and Development working group (GAD) is a group of U.S. Peace Corps volunteers who meet regularly to provide support, inspiration and materials to other volunteers working on gender-related problems. Together with our Ukrainian partner organization, "Progressive Women," we plan to hold a conference called "Breaking the Silence" to get Ukrainians, Ukrainian non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community partners and their volunteers talking about and devising strategies to combat domestic violence. This conference will include education about a problem of which most Ukrainians don't realize the full scope. Along with trainings on ways to prevent domestic violence, the conference will include:

* self-defense techniques for women
* project planning and logistics training
* time for all participants to design their own local initiatives
* training on how to provide support for the victims of domestic violence.

Unfortunately, with the current financial crisis, our efforts are being thwarted by disappointing fund-raising. We still need to raise $4,000 within the next month, or we will have to cancel the project. You can help by donating to our project here.

Domestic violence is rarely addressed in Ukraine. It is viewed as other peoples' business and thus remains taboo, fueling the complacency that perpetuates the problem. Talking about domestic violence is the first step in preventing it and supporting its victims. That is why a conference with organizations and active citizens from all across Ukraine is so important.

Perhaps in lieu of Christmas gifts this year you can send some money Ukraine's way. Every donation will help - the best fund-raising is built upon masses of small donations - so don't think that any donation is too small! Again, by donating, you can help ensure that problems of domestic violence will not go unnoticed in Ukraine!

Thank you so much for your help. Please pass this e-mail on to as many people as you can and help us help Ukraine fight domestic violence. Again, you can donate here:

The GAD Council working group, as mentioned above, is a group of volunteers who meet to regularly to develop materials, provide support, inspire, and educate volunteers working on gender-related issues. The GAD Council covers such diverse topics as human trafficking, domestic violence, women in the workplace, leadership of young men and women, equality issues at home, in the family, and in the workplace, and GLBT issues, in addition to running an essay contest, and two summer camps - one for young boys and another for young girls. If you have any questions or need more information, please feel free to write to - but remember, we are Peace Corps volunteers often with limited internet access and there may be some delay in answering e-mails!

This project is a community project, done by a local organization with the help of individual volunteers, and not the Peace Corps organization.

Thank you so much for your time, interest and dedication to preventing domestic violence!

Happy holidays,

The GAD Council
Peace Corps Ukraine

Update: I stand corrected (by my son) on one small item:

Actually Mom, this project is in the scope of your blog because 1) domestic violence occurs at scary rates between same-sex partners but also within families with gay children and 2) if we get full funding (which means we can have a full conference) we'll be addressing GLBT issues as well. If we dont' get full funding, we'll still be addressing healthy relationships and respect for people, which is indirectly addressing GLBT issues.

Say what you will about Al Sharpton

But give him credit where credit is due, he is not afraid to stand up against the Religious Right. And he is a true ally to the GLBT community:

"There is something immoral and sick about using all of that power to not end brutality and poverty, but to break into people's bedrooms and claim that God sent you. It amazes me when I looked at California and saw churches that had nothing to say about police brutality, nothing to say when a young black boy was shot while he was wearing police handcuffs, nothing to say when they overturned affirmative action, nothing to say when people were being [relegated] into poverty, yet they were organizing and mobilizing to stop consenting adults from choosing their life partners.

"I am tired of seeing ministers who will preach homophobia by day, and then after they're preaching, when the lights are off they go cruising for trade...We know you're not preaching the Bible, because if you were preaching the Bible we would have heard from you. We would have heard from you when people were starving in California--when they deregulated the economy and crashed Wall Street you had nothing to say. When [accused Ponzi scammer] Madoff made off with the money, you had nothing to say. When Bush took us to war chasing weapons of mass destruction that weren't there you had nothing to say. But all of a sudden, when Proposition 8 came out, you had so much to say, but since you stepped in the rain, we're going to step in the rain with you." - Rev. Al Sharpton, speaking at the Human Rights Ecumenical Service at Atlanta's Tabernacle Baptist Church.

Hat tip: Joe.My.God Share

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

He's back

Well my leisurely Sunday morning routine was a bit ruined this past Sunday when I read this article in our local paper about Ted Haggard, a man I'd hoped had slipped from our radar screens never to be heard from again. But alas, that is not to be. Apparently Ted has a new documentary premiering January 29th, and in order to promote it he has to come out of hiding and make himself more visible.

Lucky us.

The article in my paper was more or less a recap of the past few years of his sorry life of denial and hypocrisy and didn't really include much that I didn't already know, but there was one paragraph within that article that erased any pity I might have had for the man and replaced it with seething fury:

Asked to expand on his attitude toward homosexuality, Haggard said, "I believe all human beings fall short of the standards they believe in."

He added, "I would say the biggest change is I now know more about hatred than I ever dreamed, and I know it doesn't help. And I know more about judgment and I know it doesn't help. Since my experience, I know more about the power of love and forgiveness. I know a lot more about the necessity of people not judging one another."

What the hell? He now knows more about hatred and judgment than he ever dreamed? Well I'll be damned! I guess he had to be on the receiving side of what he'd made a lucrative career of dishing out in order to know just how destructive, cruel, and UNCHRISTIAN it is to preach hate and homophobia. Does he really expect us to believe that he is a victim or to feel sympathy for him? My lord this man thinks we are idiots! He spent his whole career as a sanctimonious fraud masquerading as a holy man who preached hatred and exclusion towards gays and lesbians and then when he, through every fault of his own, gets a taste of the horrible homophobia, hatred, and judgment that is so prominant in all of these Right Wing Religious Houses of hate and exclusion, he is just shocked.

I guess I am really angry at this sad little man because I secretly had hoped this would be a chance at true redemption for him. I honestly believed that maybe this agonizingly public fall from grace combined with the horrific pain he inflicted on himself and his family would actually make him realize that he was not broken, he did not need fixing, that he was exactly as God intended him to be, and that the only thing for which he needed to beg forgiveness was the many years he'd preached the hatred and homophobia that had come back to bite him.

I guess that was quite naive of me. I didn't realize how deep the self-loathing and denial is in these people. I just thank God that my own son is at peace with who he is and will never destroy others or himself by trying to be something God never intended him to be. Maybe in a generation or two we won't have to read any more pitiful stories like that of Ted Haggard. Share

She's back

Speaking of pitiful human beings coming out of the shadows to promote themselves, Ann Coulter has written a book and is now gracing the airwaves with her circus sideshow. And as with Ted Haggard, I simply cannot figure this woman out either. I suppose I have never met anyone that so desperately craves attention that she'd do anything to get it, even if it means repulsing people. And though I know I should look away or turn off the t.v., I have this morbid fascination that keeps me frozen in horror as this woman speak. I simply cannot help but feel terrible embarassment for her.

But this is what the Republican Party has become, Religious Nuts, Gun Nuts, Racists, and Homophobes. And when Ann Coulter fits right in, you know the GOP is in deep doo doo. This video does a great job making my case:


I feel better now

Ok, I admit it, I was heartbroken when I learned President Elect Obama had asked Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration, so it is only fitting that I post this:

President-elect Barack Obama has asked Bishop Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopal bishop who helped advise him on gay rights issues during the campaign, to deliver the invocation at a kickoff inaugural event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, two days before the inauguration itself.

The move was seen among many gay advocates an antidote to Mr. Obama’s decision to give the Rev. Rick Warren, a prominent megachurch pastor from California who opposes gay marriage, the high-profile role of giving the invocation at the inaugural ceremonies on Jan. 20.

Thank you Barack Obama, this seething momma feels a little better now. Share

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Best Interests of the Child

So tell me again why the children of Arkansas are better off now that there is this horribly offensive new law that makes it illegal for gays to adopt or become foster parents, because for the life of me, I just don't see it:

W.H., an infant, was reportedly removed from her parents by Arkansas’s Department of Human Services after she was taken to a hospital with injuries that strongly suggested abuse. Fortunately for W.H., her grandmother, a registered nurse, was eager to take her in. But there was a hitch. Her grandmother lives with another woman, and a ballot initiative recently passed in Arkansas makes it illegal for gay and unmarried heterosexual couples to adopt or become foster parents.


The new law is undeniably discriminatory. Under Arkansas law, people convicted of major crimes, including contributing to the delinquency of a minor, remain eligible to adopt children or become foster parents. Single people who have no partner — or who have a large number of casual sex partners — are also eligible. Anyone who is in a committed relationship, gay or straight, but is not married is automatically barred.

The new law also interferes with the Department of Human Services’ ability to do its job of making individualized assessments of prospective parents and placing children in the homes that are best able to meet their needs. As the W.H. case suggests, an unmarried couple could be the most qualified parents. And because of the shortage of foster parents, the ban is very likely to make children wait substantially longer for a loving home.

I'm sorry, but my revulsion for this kind of blatant homophobia is really getting the best of me. When I read stories like this one, I just want to vomit. The welfare of these poor children was never the pressing reason behind this law passing, but making sure that gays and lesbians suffer as much as possible was. And the poor children who will be caught up in the system as a result of this law? Well, for the homophobes, it's a small price to pay.

I most definitely have to agree with the last paragraph of this editorial:

Arkansas’s new law was a victory for the forces of bigotry and a major setback for the guiding principle of the law in adoption and foster care: the best interests of the child.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Is Main Street USA Ready for Gay Public Displays of Affection

In spite of some disturbing bystander reactions, I still found enough in this video to give me hope that times are changing and people are becoming more accepting -- even in Birmingham, Alabama!

Here is how ABC describes this social experiment:

Two years ago, ABC News hired two actors, a man and a woman, to publicly display their affection for each other by kissing in public at a restaurant. Reactions from other restaurant-goers varied; some onlookers enjoyed the sight of young love, while others lost their appetite.

This year, they once again decided to explore how the public responds to public displays of affection -- but this time, the couples were gay.


Saturday, January 03, 2009

San Diego Hip Hop star on Prop. 8 and equality

Via PageOneQ Share

Happy New Year - I hope...

Well we finally ushered in 2009 and it could not have come too soon for this tired, seething mom. I cannot speak for anyone else, but for me 2008 felt as though it would never end. Thankfully though, it has indeed ended and George W. Bush's 8 bumbling years of destroying everything he touches are almost over and we can finally move on and tuck the memory of him and his ugly legacy into that deep dark compartment in our minds reserved for the ugliest memories we don't want haunting us anymore.

Now we can finally look forward to a new year, a new President, and a new start. But the problem with all of this for me is... I am deathly afraid my expectations are way too high and that I have set myself up for some heart-wrenching disappointments and more seething rage.

My reasonable, pragmatic self knows darn well that our soon-to-be President cannot be everything to everyone, and that there will always be people who will be disappointed and/or angered by decisions he makes. But I am desperately hoping that the glbt community and the people who love them will not be among them. And yes, I know, that is really, really selfish of me -- and maybe even a bit nasty as well. But you know what? I----don't-----care. The past two presidents (yes Clinton too -- remember "Don't ask, don't tell" and "DOMA" happened on his watch) have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that gays and lesbians are still the last politically acceptable group of people whose rights and dignity can still be trampled for great political gain and no major repercussions.

It is time for a new kind of politics. A politics that doesn't sacrifice the rights and dignity of any minority to satisfy the whims of the loudest voices within the majority. And I have put all of my hopes into the idea that Barack Obama is the man who will usher in that new kind of politics that this country so desperately needs.

Am I being naive? Am I asking for too much? Maybe. Time will tell. But I am wondering if my first clue as to how soon I will be among the disappointed (or maybe I should say: crushed) was the choice of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at Obama's inauguration. I have to confess, this has put this seething mom on edge. I am not going to let myself feel despair yet, but I can tell you this, I am very nervous. I simply cannot imagine another four years of watching my son's rights be sacrificed at the political altar. I just don't think I can do it. And yet, I am beginning to wonder if this seething mom may also be a foolish mom as well. Is it too much to expect that my son will have the same rights as Rick Warren's children, regardless of whom he chooses to love? I am hoping Obama comes out of the starting gate with a clear and decisive answer.

And I am praying that I can live with that answer. Share