Monday, May 30, 2011

The tale of two governors

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin
Here's the story of two governors, one a Democrat and one a Republican, both doing one of the many jobs that governors do when they are elected into office: signing a bill into law. But by looking at just what these two governors are signing into law, we see a very revealing and stark contrast between the two men and their priorities for their respective states. We can also see to whom their loyalties are directed and what their definitions of moral values, family values, and Christian values are.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam

First, meet Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin (top image). He is signing into law a bill establishing a single-payer health care plan for the state, making Vermont the first state to do so. Governor Shumlin sites as one reason for signing this bill into law a "moral imperitive" to fix the problem of so many un-insured and under-insured Vermonters.

And now, meet Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. He is signing into law a bill effectively reversing an ordinance passed by the Metro Council that required
contractors with the city (Nashville) to agree to follow Metro's rules barring discrimination against gay,lesbian and transgendered people. The bill also prohibits any other city in Tennessee from putting in place anti-discrimination policies that would protect their glbt citizens.

For me, this begs the quesion, what problem is TN Governor Haslam trying to fix? And does he consider stripping TN glbt citizens of protections against discrimination  a "moral imperative" too?

Can you guess which man is the Republican and which man is the Democrat? Funny thing is, the man who stripped his glbt constituents of protections against discrimination effectively giving the business community the green light to discriminate without fear of repercussions is a member of the party that claims the mantle of Family Values, Christian Values, and Moral Values. And surprise, surprise - he is a Republican. The party that all the so-called "good" Christians flock to because they believe the Republican Party does a better job heeding the teachings of Jesus - like the one about loving thy neighbor as yourself - except if they are gay, lesbian, or transgendered.  Oh wait... I don't think Jesus had any caveats.

Someone please tell me why anyone with a modicum of decency or conscience would ever vote for a politician who claims to be a member of today's Republican Party. It is a party that is completely bereft of any kind of moral compass or values. It is a party that panders to those within its base who demand hateful laws that oppress and discriminate against minorities they loathe in exchange for votes. It is the party that ignores the real problems facing this country, while inserting big government into the private lives of women, glbt people, and any other minority its religious base dictates. It is the party that thinks nothing of legislating their twisted religious beliefs into our laws and our state constitutions. It is the party that bellows on and on about the Sanctity of Marriage and Family Values by day while slinking around by night boinking prostitutes, or the wives of their aides, or the man in the airport bathroom stall right next him, or ... well ... you get the picture.

I simply do NOT see a day in which I will EVER vote for a Republican again. The party corrupts decent people and destroys anyone who does not march in lock-step to the ideology of the religious-right hate groups that vote for them or the corporate hand that feeds them. It is the party that offers safe haven to bigots, homophobes, and authoritarian misogynists. It is the party that sold its soul to the devil, but still thinks it has a direct phone line to God. It is the party that excels at boasting about all the values it possesses, but fails miserably at actually living them or legislating them.

It is a party I hope is heading into extinction.


Remembering those who died for this country

It is easy to get so wrapped up in our plans for this three day weekend that we  forget the reason we have this three day weekend in the first place. So let me pull directly from today's Dear Abby column for a reminder of what this day is all about:

Memorial Day is not about war. It’s about people. It’s about those dedicated individuals — most of them young — who died serving their country and their fellow Americans as well as future generations. In other words, all of us. 
We Americans are at our best when we come together bonded by a noble purpose. And that’s the reason for the National Moment of Remembrance on Memorial Day. 
Unfortunately, too many of our citizens forget to remember. I am determined to find ways to help America continue to pay tribute to the nearly 2 million men and women who have died for us. Our freedoms should remind us of their sacrifice and our debt to them. 
It is our duty to never forget them, to keep them in our hearts and in our actions. They were the best of the best — the pride of the USA. We owe them the commitment to reflect on what they did and to put remembrance into action. This means to give back to our country and to live honoring them every day, not just on Memorial Day. Thank you for all you do to honor America’s heroes.
And I would add that we should also acknowledge and honor the loved ones of those who sacrificed their lives for this country. Their sacrifice to this country cannot be quantified either.

And lastly, let us never forget the many gay and lesbian service members, like Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt, who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country. Not only will we never really know how many of these brave men and women were forced to hide who they really were because of offensive, descriminatory policies like DADT, but we continue to denigrate their memory and their sacrifice with the creation and enforcement of odious laws that deny their glbt brothers and sisters the rights and dignity bestowed upon everyone else. There is no bigger injustice to these brave men and women's memory than denying them the very rights they fought and died for.  


Friday, May 27, 2011

Nope, your eyes are not deceiving you, I have made some changes to this blog

I have been wanting to do this for quite some time now, but laziness and a fear of creating big irreversible problems kept me procrastinating. But alas, it was getting more and more frustrating working within the confines of my old blogger template (started circa March of 2006).  And I knew I had to make this upgrade sometime in the near future if I wanted a little more flexibility and options when posting. So I done did it and lo and behold, the change over went without a hitch. Leave it to me to work myself into analysis-paralysis. This is still a work in progress so you will probably notice small tweeks for the next few weeks as I experiment and get comfortable with the new editor and its added functionality.

Gotta go. I am off to a PFLAG meeting.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Is Focus on the Family giving up on the fight against gay marriage?

Well an article by Alex Pareene at Salon sure gives me hope that this could be true:

Jim Daly, the president of the massive religious-right organization Focus on the Family, concedes that his group has basically lost the argument on gay marriage in an interview with a Christian magazine.

We're winning the younger generation on abortion, at least in theory. What about same-sex marriage? We're losing on that one, especially among the 20- and 30-somethings: 65 to 70 percent of them favor same-sex marriage. I don't know if that's going to change with a little more age—demographers would say probably not. We've probably lost that. I don't want to be extremist here, but I think we need to start calculating where we are in the culture.

Well! Focus on the Family will still do everything in its power to force women to carry pregnancies to term against their wishes, but they have largely given up on forbidding loving couples from making legal commitments to one another for no reason other than an icky feeling supported by the bit of the book of Leviticus that also calls for people who insult their parents to be stoned to death. Progress!

I have hated this so-called family advocate organization for so long that I actually involuntarily throw up in my mouth a little bit every time someone mentions their name, Focus on the Family (oops).


Rachel Maddow Puts A Spotlight On Minnesota's Anti-Gay Marriage Constitutional Amendment And The Heroes In This Fight

I am thrilled Rachel decided to do this piece. And I am ecstatic that she has also chosen to interview Jeff and Lori Wilfahrt, the Minnesota parents of Cpl. Andrew Wifahrt. They are a "force of nature in this fight", as Rachel says, and some of the most wonderful, passionate allies we can ever have on our side. How any person could look in these parents' eyes and tell them that their son was worthy enough to give his life for this country, but not worthy enough to have the same rights they have, cannot possibly have a heart or a soul.


Related posts:


Monday, May 23, 2011

ABC's primetime show, "What Would You Do", tackles a homophobic waitress in a Texas cafe

So not what I expected. This clip really touched my heart and really humbled me, especially since I have a tendency to write off a whole region of this country as completely hopeless when it comes to the treatment of our lgbt loved-ones. Grab the Kleenex and enjoy:


Dear AT&T

My husband and I have been customers of yours in one capacity or another for decades (land-line service in the 80's and 90's and now a good decade or more of your dreadful wireless service). And we are damn good customers too, far better than you are a service provider to us - I might add. Our monthly wireless bill for a family plan with 5 lines (3 kids and a mother-in-law) and data plans/unlimited texting attached to 4 of those 5 lines averages about $225 a month - if we are lucky and if the gods are smiling down on us and if our kids don't do something stupid like stream pandora or use turn-by-turn gps on their phones.

Are we happy AT&T customers? Not by a long-shot. Aside from the fact that we get taken advantage of on a monthly basis with a sky-high bill and a lousy return for the money, I can pretty much set my watch to the once-a-month fit my husband throws when he logs into our account and finds the inevitable added charges and fees hidden in page after page of almost-impossible to decipher data that would challenge even the PHDs among us. It has gotten so bad, I cannot begin to describe the dread that inevitably envelops me at this time of month. I know, pretty much for certain, that one of us (and it is usually me) will be on the phone navigating the AT&T Customer Service menus in order to find the right person to help me sort out the problems for that month while keeping my fingers tightly crossed that my call is not dropped (a frequent event) before my issues have been resolved.

To be brutally honest (and I damned well feel we have that right at this point), your service is really crappy and your bills are outrageously high. But you don't care. You don't have to provide a good product. You've got us where you want us. You know we will stay with you regardless of our dissatisfaction with what we get for our money, and in spite of the abusive relationship and the fact that we feel like battered spouses. You know this because you worked years to trap us by ensnaring us in 5 different contracts of various lengths, all with different expiration dates and threats of huge penalties if we dare break free. You know that for most people, us included, the thought of what it would take to finally escape your corporate grip and monthly ransom demand is just too overwhelming and exhausting to even contemplate.

BUT ... you, AT&T, have finally gone too far. You have given us a reason to finally quit you. You have finally done something so vile that you have energized us and given us the strength to break free of your abusive grip.

When I went over to AMERICAblog Gay and read that you have played a crucial role in passing legislation that will "rescind civil rights protections for gay and trans citizens in Nashville, Tennessee and will ban every city in Tennessee from passing any civil rights laws, for anyone, ever again", I nearly blew a gasket. And to make things worse, you knew for at least a month what this horrible legislation would do when you were warned "by members of the Nashville city council, that the legislation you were lobbying for, via your role on the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce, would repeal Nashville's gay/trans civil rights ordinance."

How could you have been a part of this? Do you not think that any of the millions of customers who use AT&T as their wireless provider, many of them families like mine, have gay loved ones who might be affected by this hateful, bigoted legislation? Did you honestly think you could get away with this without anyone noticing? How could you be so stupid?

Well I have news for you AT&T, you'd better get off your greedy, vile, bigoted corporate ass and make this right because I'll be damned if my husband and I are going to continue to support an abusive company like yours with our hard-earned money and stand by while you work to strip away the civil rights of huge segments of Tennessee citizens, many of whom are probably customers you've already been abusing for years.

I strongly urge you to do whatever it takes to make this right. And if it means taking some of your ill-gotten corporate profits to buy a veto from the governor, do it. You have awakened a bigger sleeping giant than you realize. For each person you use our money to strip rights from, there is a family and friends who love them and will do anything to protect them. And far too many of us carry cell phones with sh*tty service provided by AT&T.

Seething Mom


Update #2: AT&T issued statement on Friday that didn't take a position on the bill or the veto. So they weighed in early, but didn't really saying anything. At least by weighing in early they put pressure on other companies to at least issue some statement, so I give them some credit.


Local MN news recap on the late-night Sat vote that put Gay Marriage ban on 2012 ballot

Because as we all know, the founding fathers truly believed in mob rule and the rights of minorities being decided by the majority:

Who knew there were so many Neanderthals in the MN State legislature?

NOTE: As is quite clear in the clip above, not all Republicans are on board with this hideous gay marriage amendment. Rep. John Kriesel, of Cottage Grove, gave an impassioned speech before the late night vote this past Saturday on why he would not vote to put this amendment on the ballot. Sadly, not enough of his Republican colleagues felt moved enough to change their votes for bigotry.


Phoenix Suns player, Steve Nash, for HRC's NYers for Marriage Equality

Thanks Steve:


Sunday, May 22, 2011

If this video clip doesn't make you cry, then you are visiting the wrong blog...

And I agree with the chanters, WE'VE JUST BEGUN TO FIGHT!!!!!!!

And to every politician who voted to put this rotten, nasty, hateful, bigoted, homophobic piece of legislation on the ballot: SHAME ON YOU.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Absolutely lovely:


Koch Bros - It's the evil thing

When I post something, I try very hard to stay within the very narrow focus of this blog, which is my seething rage at the politicians and so-called "religious" folks, and anyone else for that matter, who dedicates all their energy to making sure my gay son will never have the same rights, protections, or dignity guaranteed my other two children.

So having said that, I post the video clip below with an explanation of why I feel this fits into my mission statement above. I have watched as movements like the tea party, funded in large part by billionaires like the Koch Bros, have grown and become more influential and embedded in our politics. What at first looked like a grassroots movement fed by anger and disillusionment with status quo government by regular citizens of this country has really become a stealth opportunity for corporations and billionaires like the Koch Brothers to buy politicians, destroy our democracy, and make it more a government for the corporations instead of the people.

Thanks to wealthy corporations (and billionaires like the Koch Brothers), extreme right-wing ideology has taken over the Republican Party and completely tainted democracy as we know it. But something else is also happening, and that is the near fetish-like obsession the right-wing Christianists have traditionally had with women's issues and gay rights seems to be of huge importance to these tea party politicians as well. And thanks to the Koch Brothers, we are seeing a lot more legislation popping up on these issues.

These tea party idiots, who proclaim to want smaller government, only want smaller government when it pertains to their gun rights, their taxes, and any social program that helps the poor or acts as a safety net in scary times like now. But, when it comes to women's right to make their own decisions about their healthcare without government intervention, or full equality for our glbt brothers and sisters, these Koch Brothers-funded tea party idiots suddenly don't think government is big enough or intrusive enough and they are actively working to make sure that changes. I believe they won't stop until women and the glbt community are forever crushed by heavy-handed, and in many cases, bigoted laws.

I blame the Koch Brothers for their part in all this nasty, intrusive, and bigoted legislation. They are funding the scary nutcases who are working diligently to pass these oppressive laws on both the national and state level. And I despise the Koch Brothers for it, which is why I have posted this very well-done video below. Any chance to put a spotlight on these people will be welcomed here.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Are the floodgates opening?

A couple more high-profile figures knocking down the door to that stuffy, toxic closet and coming out:

In addition to Rick Welts, president and chief executive of the Phoenix Suns, whom I wrote about yesterday, we can also welcome Will Sheridan (pictured to the left of this post), a former Villanova athlete and CNN's Don Lemon:

Welcome out guys. Enjoy the fresh air. And thank you! You have done our glbtq youth a huge service by coming out so publicly.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Welcome Out Mr. Welts!

This Arizona momma is ever so grateful to see you come crashing out of that stuffy closet:

Last month, in a Midtown office adorned with sports memorabilia, two longtime friends met for a private talk. David Stern, the commissioner of the National Basketball Association, sipped his morning coffee, expecting to be asked for career advice. Across from him sat Rick Welts, the president and chief executive of the Phoenix Suns, who had come to New York not to discuss careers, but to say, finally, I am gay.


... Mr. Welts explained that he wants to pierce the silence that envelops the subject of homosexuality in men’s team sports. He wants to be a mentor to gay people who harbor doubts about a sports career, whether on the court or in the front office. Most of all, he wants to feel whole, authentic.
The bottom line is there are gays and lesbians in all walks of life. And to have someone like Mr. Welts, who is in such a prominent position in an industry that can be very homophobic is just wonderful.

Thank you Rick Welts, from the bottom of my heart.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Let them see who they are hurting - appeal to their hearts

Wise words from National Organization for Marriage (NOM) Defector Louis Marinelli.

Back in April I wrote about the huge change of heart he had about marriage equality during the time he was a key player in the very anti-gay marriage organization, NOM. Louis now loudly supports full marriage equality and he credits his huge change of heart to the NOM cross-country protect marriage bus tour and the people he met along the way. His opportunity to meet and actually get to know many of the lgbt people whose lives are profoundly affected by denying them marriage equality really had an impact on him.

Well today, Louis has some excellent advice for the good people of New York who show up to protest at the anti-gay marriage rally hosted by NY Senator Ruben Diaz:



Apparently blogger has been down for awhile and I guess it ate a few days' worth of posts too. Hopefully, those posts will be restored, but I am not going to hold my breath ...


Minnesota Poll: 55% oppose ban on gay marriage

Gay marriage is fast becoming a non-issue for most people in Minnesota. This has got to be a big disappointment for the Republican Party, which has cruelly milked this issue for all it was worth for years:

A majority of Minnesotans oppose amending the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, according to a new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll.

Fifty-five percent of respondents said they oppose adding such an amendment while 39 percent favor a constitutional ban -- views that appear to be a sharp reversal of poll results seven years ago.

(click to embiggen graphic)

Virginians are closely divided over whether gay marriage should be legal, according to a new Washington Post poll, a striking result in a state that overwhelmingly agreed to amend its constitution to ban gay marriage just five years ago.

Forty-seven percent of Virginians say gay couples should be allowed to legally wed, and 43 percent are opposed, according to the poll. Fifty-five percent of Virginians say gay couples should be able to legally adopt children.

The results mirror a dramatic and rapid shift in national public opinion about gay rights in recent years. The evolving public opinion could create a challenge in the key political battleground for the commonwealth’s Republicans, who are almost universally opposed to gay marriage, if voters think the GOP is falling out of sync with the electorate ...

Well this seething momma would like nothing more than to see the death of this issue as a sign that winning elections on the backs of minorities is no longer a winning strategy. And if it means we see less slimy, bigoted, opportunistic candidates winning races, all the better. Sorry Republicans, but I will shed no tears if you have bought yourselves a few decades in the wilderness. You deserve to be a permanent minority party in my opinion.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

MINNESOTA: Openly Gay State Sen. Scott Dibble: What problem are we trying to solve here?

Another moving speech made on the floor of the MN state legislature. Too bad the only people his powerful words will move are the people who still have the ability to feel empathy for others, the people who can ask themselves "what if that were me or someone I love?", and the people who are horrified by the idea of placing the rights of a minority into the hands of a majority. Sadly, judging by what happened yesterday, those people are in the minority in the Minnesota legislature. The MN State Senate approved the gay marriage ban by a vote of 38-27, clearing yet one more hurdle for Mob Rule to take place in the lovely state of Minnesota.

My heart is breaking:


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Another Minnesota Politician and Hero

There are not many bright sides to politicians who write odious, bigoted, and hateful laws that deny certain segments of tax-paying, law-abiding American citizens the right to be treated like everyone else ... and then, adding insult to injury by justifying their efforts to deny those rights to these singled-out citizens (their constituents I might add) with their perverted brand of religion.

So it is consoling to those of us who are horrified by ugly politics like this, to see courageous politicians who stand up to these sanctimonious frauds and call them out for their big government intrusion into our private lives. This is NOT Christianity. This is ignorance and bigotry. And this is pandering to those who thrive on that ignorance and bigotry and reward the politician who give it to them (at the expense of others).

Minnesota Senator Barb Goodwin and brave politicians like her are those bright spots in yet another sad chapter in history:

Hat tip: JMG


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Random thoughts on DADT

I was listening to Stephanie Miller yesterday morning. She had one of her regular guests on, Lee Papa, also known as The Rude Pundit, and they were talking about the elite Navy Seal team that killed Osama Bin Laden. And as usually happens on this show, the conversation went off on all kinds of crazy tangents (viagra, girlfriends, eternal virility ...) making my ability to repeat it verbatim here, a sure bet that much of the humor would get lost in the translation. Suffice it to say, their conversation was at once funny, thought provoking, and infuriating.

They were joking, but their point was this, chances are one of those men on that elite team could very well have been gay.

That got me to thinking.

We have the finest military in the world. And some of those wonderful and very brave men and women in our military are gay and lesbian. And yet, we still have this hideous and horrible policy called DADT in place.

And even more hideous and horrible, we still have politicians in congress who are willing to use the repeal of DADT as a bargaining chip in their game of winning over the most vile and feeble-minded within their base.

I have truly stopped wondering how low they (and by they, I mean Republicans) can go and at who's expense they are willing to make their political points. I guess even our brave men and women in the military are fair game as well.


Saturday, May 07, 2011

To my wonderful children...

I know tomorrow is supposed to be my day, but without you, I would never have had the privilege of being a mom. And oh what a wonderful experience that has been.

Thank you for being so amazing. Thank you for enriching my life in ways I could never have imagined.

And always remember, I love you so much it hurts. There is nothing that will ever change that.

Love mom

Dear Minnesota,

I believe that some state will finally end up having the courage to stand up and say no to enshrining bigotry and hatred into their state constitution and I cannot help thinking that it could be you, beautiful, amazing Minnesota, who will do it.

Call me naive. Call me love-struck silly. I don't care, because I know you Minnesota and I knew you intimately when I lived there for 12 amazing years. You will always have a special place in my heart. And it is because of wonderful constituents like Jeff and Lori Wilfahrt, who think nothing of speaking out in spite of enormous personal loss and grief; and courageous young Republican Minnesotans like Madeline Koch who bravely represented the next generation of Minnesotans by testifying for fairness and against straddling her generation with this generation's bigotry; and principled State Representatives like Steve Simon (DFL District: 44A) making impassioned speeches like the one below that I believe you can defeat this ugly anti-gay marriage amendment.

Yes, yes, I know there are huge amounts of money pouring in from so-called family advocacy groups, protect marriage organizations, and wealthy churches who have decided fighting for bigotry is far more Christ-like than feeding the poor. And I also know that this is a classic David and Goliath story, but I still have faith you can defeat these misguided groups. You can beat the hate and homophobia that is being paraded around as God's Will and Family Values and Protection of Marriage. So show the rest of the country that you see through these Sanctimonious Frauds by sending them packing with their tails between their legs and a humiliating defeat that makes them think hard about doing this again in another state.

Please, please show these hateful frauds what really made America great. Remind the rest of the country that we did not become who we are by mocking diversity and tolerance, isolating powerless minorities and stripping them of rights and dignity, or forcing one set of narrow, exclusionary religious beliefs into our state constitutions and onto those who do not share those bigoted views. Show them Minnesota. Be the first to score a KO. You can do it, I know with all my heart you can.


Friday, May 06, 2011

Thank you Jeff and Lori Wilfahrt, your son would be so proud

A little over a month ago I posted a heart-wrenching tribute to Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt, a gay servicemember who had lost his life to an IED in Kandahar, Afghanistan in February of this year. The couple speaking in the clip are Andrew's parents, Jeff and Lori Wilfahrt, who in spite of the loss of their beloved son just a few weeks earlier and their overwhelming grief chose to go public and speak out in favor of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. It is hard to imagine how anyone could not be moved by this couple's powerful words and their determination to speak in spite of their debilitating pain.

And so it was with great awe, a lot of tears, and so much admiration for their courage that I watched these amazing parents once again pay tribute to their son's memory by speaking out against yet another potential huge injustice, this time aimed at Minnesota gays and lesbians: a ballot referendum to place an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment on the 2012 ballot.

And of course, as has been the case in every other state that has succeeded in getting these hateful referendums on the ballot, it is the organizations who "claim" to be advocates for the family (but who care nothing about hurting good families like the Wilfahrts or mine) and churches who "claim" to be doing God's work (but are tearing at the fabric of every loving family who refuses to abandon their beloved gay children) who are spending millions of dollars to get hate and bigotry enshrined into the State's constitution.

The horror of that kind of betrayal and cruelty leaves me speachless and filled with rage --- but so thankful that there are people like the Wilfahrts who can channel their grief and anger into such eloquent but powerful arguments for why this kind of legislation is profoundly unAmerican, so unChristian, and beyond despicable.

Please watch the video clip, but be patient, the sound quality is not great in the beginning, but does get better as the wind dies down:


Thursday, May 05, 2011

Hey Maggie Gallagher - you owe Andrew Sullivan an answer

Andrew Sullivan posted this short video clip of a 100 yr old man marrying his 90 yr old girlfriend over at his place and then asked a perfectly legitimate question of NOM's Maggie Gallagher: So if civil marriage is for procreation (as Maggie argues), then why is she not trying to ban this marriage?

Damn good question Andrew.

Yoo hoo Maggie? Your response please...


Wednesday, May 04, 2011

2 gay dads, 12 happy kids, and the "family values" politicians who legislate against them for political gain

This past Sunday there was a huge and very in-depth article in the Arizona Republic about two gay Arizona men, Steven and Roger Ham, raising 12 children, all adopted from foster care here in Arizona. The article is truly amazing in its extremely detailed telling of this remarkable family and the two saintly men who've profoundly changed 12 childrens' lives. And that it is a gay couple, in Arizona, dedicating their lives to being loving dads and giving 12 beautiful children, that nobody else wanted, a loving and stable home, in a state that is hostile territory for anyone who is not straight, is remarkable in and of itself, but that isn't all these two wonderful men have done:

State child-welfare officials learned to trust and rely on the Hams, bringing them 42 foster children over 10 years. Some needed shelter for a few days; others stayed for months. Child caseworkers knew the men would take in any child, day or night, no questions asked, and treat them as their own. And in the Hams' home, children were never sent back for doing something wrong, and it didn't matter that they were not all the same color, or had special needs.

To their credit (this is a rightwing state with a marriage ban firmly in place after all), the Arizona Republic published this uplifting and heartwarming article. But to their discredit or maybe it was a case of extremely bad timing, the article appeared this past Sunday, May 2nd, exactly 2 weeks after our nasty, heartless governor, Jan Brewer, decided that she could use another boost in the polls since her previous boost from signing the extremely hateful and possibly unconstitutional SB1070 on the backs of another group of unpopular people had started waning. So what's a good homophobic, rightwing governor who panders to the anti-brown people crowd, the anti-gay crowd, and the religious nuts who love to hate-in-the-name-of-God to do? Why --- pick on those icky, godless homos is always a winning strategy in this state. And if at first this state does not succeed, it tries, tries again:

Since 1997, conservative Arizona lawmakers have introduced a half-dozen bills that would keep single people, including gays and lesbians, from becoming foster parents or adopting children in the state's care, or would move married couples to the top of the waiting list for adoptions. Those attempts - one as recent as last year - failed to muster enough votes. But this year was different. On April 18, Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill that gives preference to married couples in state and private adoptions, all other criteria being equal.

And if this nasty piece of legislation isn't proof enough to those unfamiliar with Arizona politics and the political opportunism of this governor, one need only read a little further into the article to realize what a hypocritical, pandering, and mean-spirited woman she really is. The article goes on to state that "in 2009, the governor gave Steven and Roger Ham an award for their efforts at keeping siblings in foster care together through adoption." Now why would a governor who just a mere 2 years earlier was awarding this wonderful gay couple for their willingness to adopt unwanted foster children now be doing everything in her power to make it next to impossible for other same-sex couples to do the same?

Well, like I said, this governor, also lovingly referred to as Governor Grim Reaper by one of our regular columnists in the Arizona Republic, never misses an opportunity to boost her own political career on the backs of unpopular minorities. And children languishing in foster care? Not even a consideration.

Ahhh our governor - gotta give her credit for one thing. She definitely fits today's prototype of a typical Republican, She has made an art form of pandering to the most vile and ignorant constituents in her base even it it hurts helpless children or unpopular minorities. She has absolutely no conscience when doing it. She is adamently opposed to big government weedling its way into our lives unless it involves a woman's uterus, a person with brown skin, or a person's right to marry who they want. She has no problems whatsoever stripping the rights and dignity of those she deems immoral, illegal, or just plain icky and then calling it God's will. And how much you wanna bet she sleeps just fine at night?

Yup, she is today's perfect Republican.

UPDATE: Here is a video:

Well Guv, I'm sure Arizona will rest a lot easier now knowing you've made it next to impossible for more foster kids to experience what these 12 lucky and well-adjusted kids have: a happy, stable home with two parents that love them unconditionally. Good job Guv.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Oh Google how much do I love thee, let me count the ways...

Hot damn! Google aired this fantastic ad during tonight's episode of Glee. I'm with Joe: Pass the tissues please:

Great huh???? How much squirming do you think Maggie Gallagher and her fellow haters over at NOM are doing after seeing this? Me thinks a lot.

Revisiting my Minnesota days and hoping that Minnesota doesn't lose what sets it apart from states like Arizona

As most people who visit this blog know, I am a native Arizonan (sadly, it embarrasses me greatly to admit that right now). But of our almost-30 year marriage, my husband and I lived 12 of them in Minnesota. And it was there that we celebrated the births of two of our 3 children and learned what it felt like to live in a progressive state whose most famous natural resource is Minnesota Nice. Those were, without a doubt, 12 of the best years of our family's life.

My husband and I were not political at all back then, but we absolutely loved the quality of life we had while living in Minnesota. What we didn't realize though (and wouldn't realize until we moved back to Arizona) was that there is a very strong connection between quality of life and the political leanings of a state's politics. I couldn't believe the number of MN laws and ordinances on the books whose sole purpose was to ensure that quality of life that kept Minnesotans from moving away. It is why most of my neighbors were born in Minnesota and knew they would never, ever live anywhere else.

We are back in Arizona now - my husband and I - and I must confess, it has been a harsh (and that is putting it mildly) wake-up call seeing and living the differences between the two states. Where Minnesota was a very progressive leaning state, Arizona is an extremely conservative leaning state. And the differences could not be more clear, especially these past 3 years. Our children never did adjust fully to the differences between their beloved Minnesota and their new home Arizona. Each of them accepted scholarships to out-of-state universities and never looked back. And as I write this, none of them have plans to return. And I don't blame them.

Don't get me wrong, I love Arizona, but I am feeling especially hopeless about Arizona right now. I deeply mourn the harm that has been done to this beautiful state by the political and religious extremists who run our government right now and I see nothing that will bring my children back here or the many other young and promising people who have fled to more progressive pastures. It feels as though the only thing fueling Arizona politicians right now is fear and loathing of the "other". And the crazy laws they are passing or trying to get passed reflect the growing list of people who now qualify as the "other" in the eyes of our governor and legislators: SB1070 (anti-immigrant law), SB1188 (anti-gay adoption law), Proposition 102 (gay marriage ban), the Birther Bill (which was passed by the legislature, but thankfully vetoed by the Gov) and inspired by suspicions of a man who dared to run for President while Black. And trust me, I could go on, but I just had lunch..

So what got me thinking about all this? Answer: a clip I saw over at Andrew's place. A clip that managed to both warm my heart and take me back to those wonderful days as a Minnesotan while also making me realize that even in a progressive state like Minnesota there are politicians who, like the extremists in the Arizona legislature, believe that singling out certain segments of our society and making them the "other" by denying them rights and dignity is a winning strategy. Let's hope the young lady in this video clip sets these misguided legislators straight. It would be such a tragedy to see Minnesota Nice give way to the same kind of nastiness and bigotry that has overtaken Arizona Politics.