Saturday, July 9, 2011

Niagara Falls To Host Group Gay Wedding

Just got word of some pretty awesome news. The city of Niagara Falls, New York will be hosting a group wedding for gay couples on the 25th of July, the day after same-sex couples can legally get a marriage license in the state of New York. The ceremony will take place in Niagara Falls State Park,  right next to the American and Bridal Veil Falls.

Niagara Falls is known the world over as a honeymoon destination, not only because of the falls themselves, but also because of the many sights and experiences that can be had in both the Niagara Region (Canada) and the Niagara Frontier (New York). From winery tours to the historical sights of the War of 1812, the area is a prime destination of couples after their big day. Isn't it appropriate then, that for same-sex Western New York couples, they can be treated to a free wedding ceremony - complete with cake and champagne -  in one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Kudos to the Tourism department of Niagara Falls, New York for this excellent idea!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Same-Sex Marriage "Defaces" The Bible - Tears Out Genesis!!!

     I love being on the National Organization for Marriage's email list, because I get a first look at their "updates" regarding marriage equality. In the latest email, they are STILL whining about New York passing marriage equality, saying,
When the Democrats controlled the New York Senate, gay marriage lost in a landslide. After an election, Republicans took control. What did they do with their newfound power? They sold out the party's base, the party's principles, and the timeless institution of marriage.
They imposed gay marriage without a vote of the people!
      Does NOM not understand the one of the basic principles of Representative Government - that the people elect representatives to vote on their behalf? So by all technical standards, the people were able to vote...and they did - through their representatives.
I've got really exciting news to announce to you this week: a new coalition, a new plan, a rebuilt PAC. And here's the most exciting news: a huge multi-city series of rallies and protest marches taking place across the state of New York to win a vote to protect marriage in New York's constitution!
      Yea, and I am sure that these rally's will garner alot of support - just like their last anti-marriage equality tour. Newsflash NOM: Most New Yorkers are actually pro-marriage equality, and those that aren't  really could care less about the issue. Just keep wasting money in a state that you know full well you are not going to win - and let LGBT groups focus their resources on the real battlegrounds of Minnesota, Maine, and Oregon.

Then one of my favorite parts of the email,

A plan is in place to bring down the GOP's commitment to marriage, to create an America in which no party and no politician is willing to stand for the fundamental truth of Genesis that marriage is unique for a reason—that male and female must come together, in love, to make the future happen, and to give that future the love and care of a mother and a father. 

These powerful megamillionaires want to deface the Bible by ripping Genesis out of it, and then to remake an America without a strong foundation of Judeo-Christian values. What kind of conservative movement would we have left if we let that happen?
     Did you hear that, same-sex marriage defaces the Bible by ripping Genesis out of it!! I had no idea that when the state of New York, and other states and nations around the world, allowed same-sex couples to marry, suddenly all of the Bibles in those jurisdictions no longer had Genesis in them! This is something that needs to be investigated!! All joking aside, what "Genesis" do they want to abide by...the one where Issac, Jacob, and Abraham all had multiple wives? Then NOM starts discussing so-called Judeo-Christian values. Ahh yes, considering that the majority of Judaism and large portions of Christianity support marriage equality, we DO need to get back to these Judeo-Christian values.

       When will NOM get over New York? Probably never, because they know that New York was the tipping point in the national debate over marriage equality. New York was the domino that will start the momentum of the pro-equality movement. NOM is scared; and by all looks of it...they should be.

Bachmann Signs Anti-Gay "Family Pledge"

Known anti-gay crusader Michele Bachmann has become the first of the Republican presidential candidates to sign the Iowa based Family Leader's "The Marriage Vow" pledge. Though the pledge does have some good sections to it - such as decrying human trafficking and advocating personal fidelity to a candidates spouse - it is mostly a vile document that goes quite far in its condemnation of LGBT people and their relationships.

     Fidelity to the document, which can be found here, is required by The Family Leader - Iowa's preeminent social conservative organization - to gain its endorsement. The document reads like an anti-gay tirade, with sections which include statements that give validity to the "choice" theory regarding sexual orientation (a theory with known negative repercussions and which gives validity to such things as reparative "change" therapy), sections which assert that gays and lesbians live less productive and health lives than their heterosexual counterparts (claiming that gay men live 20 years less than their heterosexual counterparts), and sections which decry all recognition of same-sex unions - claiming that they are inferior to heterosexual ones in regards to child rearing and child development. 

     Not only does it paint homosexuals as inferior in their very being to heterosexuals, the document also advocates for such "limited government" positions as the Defense of DOMA and constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. As usual, social conservatives do not care whether or not government is intrusive; intrusive government is only bad when it does not line up with the social conservative viewpoint, otherwise it is a good thing! 

      Is it unsurprising that Bachmann, a far-right candidate with known anti-gay views, was the first one to jump on the bandwagon of The Family Leader? Is it not telling of this organization, that they will advocate for these derogatory views, willingly spouting lies against the LGBT community no matter the scientific, constitutional, of philosophical evidence to the contrary. Thankfully, candidates such as Jon Huntsman have rejected this "pledge"; let just hope that more will follow his lead and not Mrs. Bachmanns.

Update - Rick Santorum has also signed the pledge Politico reports.

The Absurdity of Original Intent

When it comes to the Constitution, Conservatives are apt to argue that the “original intent” of the Founding Fathers should take precedence when the judicial branch interprets the meaning of the Constitution. To them, the Founding Fathers of the United States were brilliant, and crafted a document, that when interpreted,  should not change with the times – the “living tree” approach - but that instead should be interpreted in the way that the Founders meant it to be. This “original intent” interpretation has great sway within Conservative circles, partly because it directly connects them with some of the greatest men in all of American history. Yet though this approach makes for great rhetoric – for who wants to argue with great men like James Madison and Alexander Hamilton – intellectually it is a proverbial “dead end”. First, the question can be asked, “How can we know the “original intent” of the Founders”, and second, which Founders interpretations of the Constitution are we to go by?

     First, the question of whether we can actually know the “original intent” of the Founding Fathers. Those who argue that we can know this intent, point to such things as the transcripts from the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia as proof of their claim. They assert that because of these documents we can know why the Founders put certain things in the Constitution and why they did not.  But this view overlooks the reality that to know “original intent”, we have to know what each and every delegate from the Convention was thinking. Such knowledge cannot be wholly gleaned from the transcripts that have been passed down to us. Additionally, this view makes the assertion that there was only “one” intent behind the Constitution; but this overlooks the reality that many men could have voted for such a document, yet had vastly different views on what the words themselves mean. This leads into my second point, on which Founders interpretation of the Constitution are we to go by?

      On twitter a few weeks ago, I was discussing this issue of “original intent” and its application to today’s judiciary.  The woman who I was discussing it with asserted that “original intent” is a good thing and that the U.S. must get back to this interpretation. But I pushed a bit further and asked her to explain to me which Founders’ interpretation we should go by, since many of them drastically disagreed with what the words of the Constitution meant. In response, she claimed (paraphrasing here) that we should only listen to those Founders who agreed with her interpretation of the Constitution. This, my friends, is the crux of the issue. Those who advocate for original intent – and even its sister doctrine (original meaning) – many times only listen to those Founders with whom they agree. They will provide quotes from great men like James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, yet ignore quotes from Alexander Hamilton and John Adams because these men had views which don’t line up with their version of the Constitution.  To any reader of American history, it cannot be disputed that the words of the Constitution were interpreted in fundamentally different ways by the two parties that formed after Washington’s Presidency – the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans. If these men, most of whom were directly involved in the formulation of the Constitution, could not agree to the “original intent” of the Constitution, what makes us think that we can?

       In the end, though such doctrines like “original intent” may sound good and poll well with conservative voters, it is an exceptionally shallow position to hold. It not only asserts that us readers, over 200 years removed from the Constitutional Convention, can “play God” and know what the Founders were thinking, but it also blindly ignores the reality of American history and the lack of unity of the Founders on Constitutional interpretation. 

As always, I would very much appreciate your input on this issue. What do you think about the doctrine of "original intent"? Do you disagree with my analysis above? 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Michele Bachmann Supports Organization Which Says Gays Have A "Homosexual Problem"

As the days go by, Michele Bachmann, far from being a credible Republican candidate for President, is only being shown to be an even more extreme than previously thought.  From her husbands claim that LGBT people are "barbarians" and his clinics ties to "ex-gay" therapy, to the new revelations uncovered by ThinkProgress regarding Bachmanns support for Focus On The Families "ex-gay" Love Won Out conference, her views are being shown to be greatly out of the mainstream. Mrs. Bachmann is quoted in The Christian Post as saying, 
"I know that Love Won Out will present the truth about homosexuality. I look forward to welcoming Minnesotans and residents of surrounding states to hear the message of healing that is possible."
And what supposed "truth" is being discussed at Love Won Out conferences regarding homosexuality?  According to a report compiled by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the discussion at that particular Love Won Out conference included,
 Speakers spoke of those who identify as lesbians and gay men (to differentiate them from those “struggling” with their same-sex attraction) as unhappy, empty, in pain, defensive, broken, and enraged. With regard to this final point, Nicolosi suggested that for many developmentally damaged children, the enforced goodness of childhood provokes envy of “bad boys” who act out. He argued that this envy is the root of both the bad and socially transgressive behavior of gay activists and the alleged exhibitionism of lesbians and gay men in gay pride parades
Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D. Psychology, claimed that “we are all heterosexual in our true nature,” but that “some of us have a homosexual problem”
       Though all major reputable scientific organizations repudiate the types of therapy advocated by conferences like Love Won Out, Mrs. Bachmann claims that what is advocated by Love Won Out is true "healing" and that freedom from these unnatural same-sex desires is possible. Regardless of the fact that such therapy has led to countless suicides and emotional pain for hundreds of others, it is true "healing" according to Bachmann. 

       Probably the worst thing about this situation, is the fact that Mrs. Bachmann has a lesbian step-sister. It seems as though Bachmann has let her interpretation of the Bible and her political career get in the way of that which matters most - her family. Hopefully, if she does become the Republican candidate for President - something which is becoming less and less likely - Independents will flee from her in droves; the United States does not need a President that believes that a portion of its citizenry is inherently disordered and needs to be changed.  

National Marriage Day Rally In Australia

On August 16, only days before it is reported that Members of the Australian Parliament will report on their views about marriage equality, there is to be held in Canberra - in the Great Hall of Parliament House - a "National Marriage Day" rally. This event is sponsored by such "family" associations as the National Marriage Coalition, the Australian Christian Lobby, and the Australian Family Association.

      The end goal of these organizations, as many of you know, is not to protect "marriage" or promote families; instead its aim is to keep loving and committed gay and lesbian couples and their families from governmental protection. On the website of the event, it comically states, 
This is you chance to be a part of democracy in action. Come in bus loads to support natural marriage. 
      Oh yes, "natural marriage", whatever that is. I always find it amusing when "pro-family" groups use that moniker, knowing full well that though it has no historical or biological validity, it sounds quite nice. 

       But, as I said on twitter, it is after all the new "National Marriage Day", and in order to celebrate such a day, maybe the husband and I should fly out to Canberra and proudly wave around our marriage license from the welcoming and inclusive province of British Columbia, Canada...for we ARE married, and we are happy to celebrate that! Hopefully soon, all Australians will be afforded the right that nations all over the world have extended to their gay and lesbian couples, the right of marriage equality. 

Should LGBT History Be Taught In Public Schools?

The legislature of California has approved a bill which would require LGBT history to be taught in social science curriculum across the state, as well as to not allow for any teaching that would be deemed derogatory to LGBT people. It now goes to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature; and though he has not stated whether he will sign it, he is normally favorable on LGBT issues.

     Naturally, the religious establishment is throwing a fit about the requirements, stating that these new regulations would violate the inviolable rights of the parents and would have religious liberty implications because of the lack of opt-out provisions in the bill. As the Baptist Press quotes pastor Chris Clark,
"The very same ones are pushing this legislation to do exactly that -- to teach that homosexual behavior is normal, that it's acceptable, and that people because of their sexual behavior are somehow heroes in our society," The goal, Clark said, is "to put homosexuality on the same level as a minority status based on race or color or religion."
      Clark is correct about one thing, and that is that it IS the goal to put sexual orientation on the same level as race and color. Why? Because sexual orientation, no matter what the Religious Right says, IS just as immutable as race and gender. Individuals like Pastor Clark can put their head in the sand, whine about "sexual perversity" and the "immorality" of homosexuality, but that does not change the fact that homosexuality is a natural biological variant found in almost every species on earth.

     Clark is also wrong on one very important issue, LGBT people are not being honored because of a certain "sexual behavior", but instead because of the actual legitimate and positive contributions that they made to a civil rights struggle. Martin Luther King Jr., for example, is not honored because he was African-American, but instead because of his contributions to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's, just as Harvey Milk is not honored because he was a gay man, but because he was instrumental in defeating California's Proposition 6 (aka. Briggs Initiative), which would have mandated that the state fire LGBT teachers. The new requirements provide a more diverse look at American culture and society, something that all Americans - regardless of race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation - should be behind. Learning about individuals who are not "like you", allows you to get over objectifying them as "an other" and instead makes them real people, and ones who should be given respect.

So what do you all think? Should LGBT history be taught/mandated in schools? I would be greatly interested in hearing your thoughts. Also, make sure to follow me on twitter @kylejl89 and on facebook

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ontario Government To Mandate ALL Public Schools Have LGBT Student Groups

The Ontario Government under Premier Dalton McGuinty has crafted new rules regarding the formulation of LGBT support groups in Ontario schools - both secular and Catholic. According to Toronto Centre MPP Glen Murray, as reported in the Toronto Star
"The choice to have an LGBTQ group will be the choice of students, not the choice of principals and school boards"
       Recall that there has been a substantial amount of controversy regarding Gay-Straight Alliances in Ontario within the past few months. The publicly funded Catholic School Board in the different regions, have been quite hesitant to allow such clubs, citing that by doing so they would be violating their fundamental religious beliefs.  To alleviate such problems, they have proposed allowing "diversity groups" and groups that "teach inclusion". The McGuinty Government has rejected such broad and vague groups and is now requiring that Catholic schools comply with the current policy, which is to allow LGBT specific groups in their schools. 

      Though this is a good move on the part of the McGuinty Government, some activists are concerned with the lack of specification to what the groups are to be called. It is not known whether or not schools will be required to these groups "Gay-Straight Alliances" or if they may be called something else. This has young activists like Leanne Iskander concerned, 
"I don’t think what he’s saying is allowed now is much different from what we have…but they made us call it Open Arms, which is so generic and no one knows what it is...there’s no point having the support there if students don’t know it’s there, so the name is important."
     Additionally, I for one am wondering about the Constitutional implications involved in this move. Catholic schools are protected by Section 93 of the Constitution, as well as Section 29 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which states, 
Nothing in this Charter abrogates or derogates from any rights or privileges guaranteed by or under the Constitution of Canada in respect of denominational, separate or dissentient schools
      For those who are not Canadian - LGBT equality rights are contained in Section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. What section 29 states, is that nothing before it - LGBT rights included - can jeopardize the funding and/or the rights that these schools have under the Provincial Government. Because of this, if the Catholic School Board decides to take the province to Court over this issue, I have a feeling the CSB would win. 

LGBT Students Commit Suicide Because They Know They Are Sinful.

Yesterday, when I wrote about the dangers of gay "choice" theory, I said that the debate over such a theory does not take place in the abstract, but instead is discussed in the real world and has direct consequences. The following video shows just how such a theory impacts those who are some of the most vulnerable -  young adults and teenagers who might be confused about their sexuality.  In the following video, Pastor Damon Thompson asserts that LGBT people commit suicide more often, not because they are bullied, but because they know that being gay is inherently wrong, sinful, and demonic.

Sadly this idea is one that is heavily prevalent in religious circles. My own father, for example, when I told him about the negative effects that Love In Action and reparative therapy had in my own life (depression, anger, contemplation of suicide etc.), told me that those negative effects were actually caused by my "acceptance" of homosexuality and that because I knew that I was living a sinful "lifestyle" that I had all of those problems.

Watch the following video - my heart goes out to any LGBT person in that audience.

Nashville/Metro Councilmen Refuse To Recognize High School Political Activism Because Of LGBT Rights

Last night, the Metro Council of Nashville/Davidson County was asked to approve a Resolution - text of which can be found here - to honor those students who had organized protests in Nashville against the "Don't Say Gay" bill. The resolution was not about the bill per say, but instead was about the recognition of activism by high school students, and the positive benefits that such activism brings to the community.

According to Nashville Councilman Jamie Hollin's blog, in order for his resolution to be considered he,

"...needed to move to suspend the rules to have the honorary and memorializing resolution considered by the entire council. If 2 or more people objected to the motion to suspend, it couldn’t be considered. I was happy to let it go, but the nature of the honorary resolution, according to legal counsel, meant this was the last time it could be considered in this term. Because it was an honorary and memorializing resolution, i.e. not legislation or even a memorializing resolution asking someone to do something or not do something, it should have sailed through like the maker of the same motion immediately beforehand. "
      Or so he thought. After the motion to suspend was asked for, two of the most anti-gay members on the Metro Council - Jim Gotto and Phil Claiborne -  objected, having the consequence of not allowing the Resolution to even go forward. Councilman Hollin erupted in anger at these two men, accusing them of objecting to the resolution because it had to do with LGBT issues, an eruption that he has since apologized for. According to the Tennessean, Councilman Gotto claims that he was just "exercising his right" and that there were no personal reasons for why he objected.

      Yea right Councilmen Gotto and Claiborne - there was no "personal reasons" for your objection to this Resolution. As Councilman Hollin explains on his blog, this was not legislation or even a memorializing resolution, but was instead just recognizing a group of high school students for participating in the political process. Why then did they object? What reasoning will they give? It looks to me, and any outside observer, that the only reason for objecting to the resolution was because of the nature of the high school students protests - aka. about the "Don't Say Gay" bill. It is time for Councilmen Gotto and Clairborne to stand up and explain to the citizens of Nashville why they acted the way that they did, and why they have refused the recognition of political activity by high school students.

They can be reached here...

Jim Gotto -

Phil Claiborne -

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Dangers of Gay "Choice" Theory

A few days ago, I wrote about how evangelical Christianity must accept the concept that homosexuality is not an inborn trait and that it is instead a “choice” that individuals make. I wrote about how, in order to reconcile their doctrines of the uniform nature of the saving power of Jesus Christ, as well as Paul’s assertion in 1 Corinthians that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God, they must reject all of the scientific and psychological evidence to the contrary and instead advocate for such things as reparative “change” therapy.

     Though we can debate all day about the religious reasons for accepting choice theory, it must be remembered that this debate does not take place in a vacuum. This debate does not only take place in the classrooms of universities, the airwaves of radio, or the halls of legislative buildings. Instead, it takes place in the “real world” - in homes, churches, synagogues, restaurants, schools, and daycares all around the world, having direct impact on real individuals – children and adults alike.

     To those who the proponents of "choice" theory deem as “struggling with same sex attraction”, the whole concept leads to confusion and despair.  Most of the LGBT people who are trapped in such an atmosphere constantly hear messages that they are inferior based upon their very nature, that in order to gain God’s approval they must change something so fundamental and personal.  All around them are individuals claiming that they chose to feel this way, yet they cannot remember making such a choice.  Think about that for one second.  Imagine that someone told you that you were "less than" because of a choice that you have no recollection making; that you were less deserving of love because of that choice, and that the only way that you could find happiness was to change.  What would you be thinking? How would that impact your self-image and self-worth? Would you be able to lead a healthy and productive life constantly being told that something was inherently wrong with you? No you would not.

      Choice theory, not only leading to psychological and emotional harm to those who think there is something wrong with them, leads directly to such things as reparative therapy; a therapy that I underwent myself, a story which you can read here. If homosexuality is a “choice”, then you can choose to get out of it through changing whatever it was that made you choose to be gay – whether it be lack of male role models and friends, and over-domineering mother, or a narcissistic obsession with yourself.  Change therapies directly come out of the idea that homosexuality is abnormal and that there is something wrong with those who are LGBT.  If there was nothing wrong with LGBT people, and sexual orientation was an inborn trait, there would be no need for such “therapy”.

      In the end, “Choice” theory not only has detrimental psychological affects to those who are taught it, but it also leads to change therapies like reparative therapy, which have been deemed by every major medical and psychological organization as psychologically and emotionally harmful, and which have led to countless suicides and devastated lives. These are the fruits of “choice” theory, and are just one of the many reasons why it MUST be rejected. 

Are LGBT People Causing A "Second Mayflower"

Focus on the Families Citizen Link has picked up on an article in the British Telegraph which cites Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks as warning against a coming "Second Mayflower". He claims that,
“I share a real concern that the attempt to impose the current prevailing template of equality and discrimination on religious organisations is an erosion of religious liberty.
“We are beginning to move back to where we came in in the 17th century – a whole lot of people on the Mayflower leaving to find religious freedom elsewhere.”
       Citizen Link then goes further and says that in particular it is the rise of equality for LGBT people that has led Britain to go down this path of godlessness and religious persecution. They cite a "study" by the unbiased Christian Institute claiming to back up this supposed anti-Christian agenda that permeates Britain; all the while claiming that the reality of a "Second Mayflower" is all too real. To them, the fact that religious groups have the freedom to practice their religion in peace - as opposed to what actually happened with the Separatists on the Mayflower -  does not matter. Instead, LGBT peope - in wanting to be treated with dignity, respect, and peace - are directly causing the persecution of those with "traditional morality".

      Religious freedom, to organizations like Citizen Link, is not the ability to practice your religious beliefs privately and in a church without government interference. Instead, their version of "religious freedom" is what is known as religious privilege. This doctrine asserts that there should be a "carte blanch" for religious individuals and organizations to do whatever they want, if they have a legitimate religious reason to do so, no matter what the consequences. Thankfully, though there may be some issues in Britain regarding religious freedom, the British are slowly starting to realize that individual religious liberties and freedom have limits, and that when someones freedom to do something directly harms another person, that freedom has gone to far.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth Of July!!

Today is Independence Day in the United States - where we celebrate our Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776. In the years following the Declaration, the  American colonies fought a long, hard, and victorious war against the British Crown.  In the end, with the help of the French, the American colonies were able to defeat the British and unite themselves under the Articles of Confederation to form the United States of America.

     For over two centuries since that fateful day in 1776, the ideals of the Declaration of Independence have been debated by each and every generation, which decide for themselves what the words of  Jefferson meant when he said that "all men are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

     Our nation has extended these words from their original meaning of white propertied men to include individuals of all races, income brackets, and genders. It is high time that the words of the Declaration extend to ALL Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Only then, can the words of the Founding Fathers be complete.

If you have not read the "Deceleration For LGBT Equal Rights" I would encourage you to do so.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Declaration For Equal Rights

Note: This Declaration for Equal Rights has been something that I have wanted to write for a long time, and for this July 4th, finally put it to paper. It is modeled after both the Declaration of Independence and the Declaration of Sentiments

A Declaration For Equal Rights

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for an oppressed minority to declare for themselves the full rights and responsibilities that the laws of reason, nature, and natures God entitles them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to demand as such. 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women of all sexual orientations and gender identities are created equal, and are endowed by the Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the duty of the oppressed to deny any allegiance to it, and to insist upon the establishment of a new government, one which shall be most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, dictates that government should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience has shown that humans of all sexual orientations and gender identities are disposed to suffer, when such evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same end, evinces a design to reduce them to absolute despotism, it is their duty to throw off such a government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient suffering of LGBT people under this government, and why they now demand their equal place at the American table.

The history of humanity is a history of continued persecution on the part of the heterosexual majority over those with differing sexual orientations or gender identities, having the direct consequences of leading to a complete and utter tyranny over LGBT people. Let the following facts be submitted to a candid world,

They (which from here on refer to the most – but not all – of the heterosexual majority) have required LGBT people to hide their true sexual orientations and gender identities in order to be accepted and validated by society, family, and government.

They have required them to submit to laws, to which they did not have a legitimate and honest voice in making.

They have, based upon sexual orientation alone, excluded them from one of the foundational social and religious institutions of all time - marriage. This exclusion imposes not only social and religious stigma upon LGBT relationships, but also imposes legal and financial hurdles not faced by their heterosexual counterparts.  

They have forced LGBT people into the closet at their place of employment, for they have allowed employers to discriminate against them, based not upon their actual work, but instead because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

They have required that LGBT people hide their sexual orientations and gender identities in order to serve the United States of America through its armed forces. 

They have spread vicious and harmful lies about LGBT people and their relationships; in order to ensure that 
LGBT people are not accepted by mainstream society.

They have contributed to the psychological abuse of LGBT people by continually informing them of their differences; yet instead of validating these differences, they use them as subjects of derision and ridicule, leading many LGBT people to suicide, depression, and despair.

They have forced LGBT people to undergo psychological treatments like “reparative therapy” in order to change what they believe is a deviant nature, a process which causes irreparable psychological and emotional harm to LGBT people.

They have, using religious texts, validated hatred against LGBT people, and instilled in their children the notion that this hatred is legitimate, as it is the will of God.

They had made being LGBT a criminal offense, which, though the law may be only recently lifted, still informs many citizens thinking regarding LGBT people.

They have allowed landlords to refuse accommodation and services because of the sexual orientation and gender identity of LGBT people, leading many LGBT people to lives of homelessness and economic hardship.

They allow LGBT people to belong to some religious organizations, yet though doing so, restrict their access to the leadership and deem them unworthy to participate in the ministry.

In each of these oppressions, we have appealed to the very humanity of our heterosexual brethren; for we have raised our voices and demanded countless times that we be counted, validated, and allowed to have a seat at the American table. Yet, though there have been some who have listened and responded to our plight, the majority, despite our continued pleas for respect and equality, have turned a deaf ear; instead choosing to validate the above despotism through the force of law.

We, therefore, as equal citizens of the United States of America, demand that LGBT people be afforded the same rights and privileges as their heterosexual counterparts. We will stand no longer for LGBT people to be the subjects of ridicule, religious and sexual conversion, or political inequality. We demand that these walls of hatred and condemnation be torn down and be replaced instead with the bonds of equal rights, respect, and affirmation. 

Tea Party Nation Blogger Defends His Pro-LGBT Bullying Article

This blog was one of the first to break the story of Dr. Rich Swier of Tea Party Nation's and his comments regarding LGBT bullying. Naturally, the LGBT community reacted to this heartless and harmful article, by pointing out its inaccuracy and its damaging message. Well, Dr. Swier is back, and with a "new rational" for his statements. In his own words, 
"I recently published a column where in I called for non-violent peer pressure to stop unhealthy homosexual behavior. Well I got a rise, no pun intended, from the LGBT community. Gay activists lit up my Facebook page. That is good because that is just the community I wish to reach. 
The Florida Department of Health produced a report titled, "MAN UP: The Crisis of HIV/AIDS Among Florida's Men". The report states, "The report also seeks to encourage men to “man up” and take responsibility for the consequences of their sexual actions and other HIV risk behaviors, for the benefit of themselves and their partners." I fully agree. Time for us men to man up! 
But why and why now? Because all of the peer pressures we see in our schools, work places, communities and government are promoting bad behaviors over good behaviors in the name of "diversity" with terrible consequences. This is all in the name of tolerance. When tolerance is a one way street then we are facing cultural suicide. It is time to man up. It is time for both men and women to take responsibility for our actions, especially those that are unhealthy and deadly. 
How do we man up? Non-violent peer pressure. It is time for men to take a stand against behaviors that harm themselves, their children, families, communities and our society. Among these is under aged sex, drug abuse, under aged drinking, and homosexuality."
      He then continues in his "logical analysis" saying that homosexuality and homosexual conduct is inherently bad for society because gay men have the highest rates of HIV transmission. He says, 
So, men, it is time to man up. A recent study of homosexuality by the Center for Disease Control found that only 1.4% of the population self-identifies as homosexual. So less than 1% of all males engage in this behavior. But here in Sarasota and in Florida men having sex with men accounts for 75.8% of HIV/AIDS cases. Get the picture? Less than one percent of all men are causing over 75% of HIV/AIDS cases.
Our youth are suffering by being exposed to a lifestyle and behaviors that are dangerous. Time for some loving non-violent peer pressure from class mates, fathers, mothers, friends, extended family, co-workers, and the community at large. Government cannot solve this problem, only you and I can
      Dr. Swier, if he can even be called that, is making quite a logical leap in assuming that correlation = causation. Just because HIV rates are high in the gay community does not necessarily mean that there is a problem with homosexual conduct. I can say this with certainty, because there are many monogamous gay couples who are HIV and STI free. It is actually more correct to assert that these high rates are because of a lack of proper usage of condoms and other protection methods when these gay men have sex. Using his logic, I could just as well say that heterosexual sex is bad because that is the prime way that HIV/AIDS is being spread in Sub-Saharan Africa. But anyone with a brain knows that that is not the reason why there is an HIV epidemic on that continent. 

      The problem with Dr. Swiers whole approach, and one that LGBT activists rightfully pointed out, is that he thinks that "the gay" can be coerced out of someone by the family and friends. To him it doesn't matter that all medical and psychiatric organizations repudiate such an idea and assert that it actually causes more emotional and psychological harm; for instead he has to fit human sexuality into his tiny box of "normalcy" and Right-wing ideology. Dr. Swier may claim to care about LGBT children and their well being, but his words prove otherwise. 

Minnesota Parents To Fight Marriage Ban In Honor Of Their Son Killed In Afghanistan

This would have to be one of the most touching videos that I have seen in a while on the issue of marriage equality. Though I have seen the impassioned speeches of Senator Grisanti in New York and Senator Kriesel from Minnesota, this story is just as, if not more powerful.

H/T to Joe.My.God for bringing this to my attention.
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