Category: politics

marriage equality, finally… love wins

Today, June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States decided the landmark case of OBERGEFELL v. HODGES, in which gay marriage was legalized nationally for all states in the United States. This recognizes all marriages that have occurred in states that were previously legal, and validates those marriages as legal in all states in the United States going forward. This is monumental.

Gay. Marriage. Is. Legal. Nationally.

My marriage is legal; not only in D.C., where we got married, but in Georgia, and every other state of the United States. This is an amazing day, and one that was a long time coming. Love truly did win.

Here’s a beautiful snippet of the statement issued by the court:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies
the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice,
and family. In forming a marital union, two people become
something greater than once they were. As some of
the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage
embodies a love that may endure even past death. It
would misunderstand these men and women to say they
disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do
respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its
fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned
to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s
oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the
eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth
Circuit is reversed.
It is so ordered.

It’s a happy day, for sure, and one that I am so glad is finally here. LOVE IS LOVE!!!

more hate from the catholic church

Check out this latest act of stupidity drowned in hate, from the Catholic Church: (h/t to my friend W. Scott for letting me know about this)

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn’t change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.

Under the bill, headed for a D.C. Council vote next month, religious organizations would not be required to perform or make space available for same-sex weddings. But they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and lesbians.

Fearful that they could be forced, among other things, to extend employee benefits to same-sex married couples, church officials said they would have no choice but to abandon their contracts with the city.

“If the city requires this, we can’t do it,” Susan Gibbs, spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said Wednesday. “The city is saying in order to provide social services, you need to be secular. For us, that’s really a problem.”

They might as well have released a statement that said specifically, “We, the Catholic Church, hate the idea of gay people getting married so much, that we will turn our backs on the charity we provide to people that desperately need it. If you, the state that gives us some of the money that allows us to do that charity force us to follow your rules, we won’t provide those services anymore. Our hatred is so strong, that we are willing to publicly paint ourselves as haters just to prove how much we feel and want to perpetuate that hate. Hate, hate, hate; that is what we are all about. Erm, I don’t know how to end… I guess, Love, the Catholic Church.”

Now, the Catholic Church has a strong track record of doling out their own specifically interesting breed of hatred, so this isn’t really a surprise to me. However, it is highlighting the fact that if you didn’t think they could go lower, oh boy, you were wrong; there is no telling how low the Catholic Church will go in the name of hatred over what they decide is wrong. I am sure that Jesus would love the idea of turning your back on the needy just to prove a point, Catholic Church. Y’all truly are a “city on a hill”.

Finally, I do have to say, directly to the Catholic Church in DC; if you are so upset with being told to treat people equally, why not give up your tax exempt status, and stop receiving city funds? Additionally, the statement released accused this measure of ignoring religious freedom, which it doesn’t do; what it does, is it highlights the importance of following the covenant laid forth in the constitution, that there be a separation of church and state, and as such, one can practice which ever religion they want. If you don’t want the government making decisions, and “controlling” your religion, then stop accepting money from them and expecting differential treatment; you can’t have it both ways.

Tom Ford on gay marriage

This morning, I read this interview with Tom Ford, and I really liked some of the things he had to say; especially what he said about the gay marriage issue in this country. Tom Ford is my number one celebrity crush, so of course, any time I have a sliver of a good reason to do a post about him, I will. In fact, thinking about that, I don’t post about him nearly enough!

In the article, when he was asked if he would marry his partner of over 20 years, after being together for so long, Ford responded with:

Yes, when it becomes a federal law. Right now it doesn’t do any good in the states. A few weeks ago Richard had to go into the hospital for something, and I had to carry around all these legal documents saying I could make medical decisions for him. It was insane. The fact that we are not married in the federal sense means that if I were to die, he’d have to pay all these taxes on my estate and receive but a fraction of it and he’d have to alter his life —whereas if we were married, he wouldn’t have to face that burden. That’s disgusting. It’s wrong. But that said, I think I am in favor of terming what I’m talking about as a civil partnership. We all get so caught up with this word marriage. For me, the word marriage is something that a religion should decide. Just give me all the same rights. A civil partnership is what I’d like for everyone—heterosexual as well as homosexual. Call it what you like—it’s the rights that are important. Getting hung up with the semantics derails the cause we’re all fighting for.

It really resonated with me, because that is exactly the way that people should view it. If the word marriage makes it such a sticky and religious issue, take “marriage” out of it. Give us the rights, you can keep the religious mumbo jumbo; we don’t want that part of it anyway. Additionally, the government shouldn’t back religious practices anyway, so if this will get us equal rights, I am all for it.

I for one, am sick and tired of someone holding up a book and determining what rights I get to have because of what that book may or may not have told them to believe as the truth; the same book that also told them to love thy neighbor, and not pass judgment. Wrapping civil rights up in religious institutions is not only wrong, it is unconstitutional. When will our government take a stand, and stand up for us?

Maine votes against gay marriage: some thoughts

Yesterday, Maine’s vote sent a(nother) clear message to me: gay people do not matter to the majority of Americans. I am sure that many will argue that this is not the position of most Americans, but the message is too clear to ignore. Our civil rights are constantly up for debate, and constantly, we have them taken away. I cannot interpret that as anything other than a message that we do not matter; this society does not see fit to grant us the same rights and liberties as the rest of Americans.

It’s interesting, because this same society gladly takes our tax money, our contributions to society, and expects us to serve our country, but people continue to pass laws that reflect whether or not they feel “comfortable” with the “idea” of us getting married? Um, how does that work? That’s not just “unfair”, it’s un-American.

Isn’t the constitution supposed to grant freedom; not take it away? Additionally, isn’t the constitution supposed to protect us from the government making decisions about whether or not to strip us of our civil rights? Where are the values and principles that represent the underlying foundation of this nation? They are glaringly absent when you look at any vote for or against anyone’s civil rights. This bears repeating: voting for or against anyone’s rights goes against the very foundation of this country. We are all supposed to be free and equal. By putting this up for a vote, more than half of the people in Maine have gone against the foundation of our nation, and have made it clear that they feel as if it is okay to make the decision against gay people being equal.

Again, how does this make sense?

Every time we vote for or against the civil rights of any group of people in this country, especially minorities, we are sending a clear message that their rights do not matter. No one should ever have to campaign to have the popular vote determine whether or not they can have the same rights as everyone else. It’s just plain wrong.

Shame on 53% of Maine voters for believing that their opinion matters more than the rights of gays and lesbians living in Maine. Since this isn’t the first, and it will not be the last time that our rights are in the hands of those that wish to discriminate, I also say shame on any American who thinks that their opinion matters more than someone’s civil rights.

One final thing. In looking for the results of the vote this morning, I came across this article, and I have to comment on the quote from Jeff Flint:

Voters have a pretty good grasp about what they think marriage should be. It’s not that they’re discriminatory or bigoted. They just draw the line at what they think marriage should be.

Um, what? I’m sorry, but I will never allow anyone who says bullshit like this to have a free pass. If you are against gay marriage, you are against it because of discrimination; that is what you voted on. You voted specifically in order to discriminate against gay people. Jeff, just because you are able to some how twist your illogical thoughts into what you consider rational doesn’t not get you off the hook. You represent a discriminatory body of Americans that have “values” and beliefs that are most certainly based on bigotry. You can’t take away someone’s rights and say that you did it for “personal reasons” or “personal beliefs”, and then in the same breath say, “but I have nothing against them”. Perhaps he should actually look up the word discrimination, because I don’t think he understands the concept.

Perhaps he, and others like him, should keep their opinions to themselves, and stop using them to determine whether or not someone else should or should not have equal rights. Feel free to define marriage however you want; just don’t decide how I, or anyone else, has access to my civil rights.

a (queer) monday menagerie

Pride in Atlanta is this weekend, and I am kind of excited about being able to celebrate Pride weekend without the heat of June, and hopefully, without the torrential downpours that usually came along with it. Anyone going besides me?

This blog post about the (possibly diminished) potentiality of Adam Lambert’s success in the American conservative driven music market is a great read. When a queer artist doesn’t make it in the US music market, it’s difficult not to tie that to the fact that they are gay; especially when they can only be described as stellar (like him or not, Adam can really sing). If you look at artists like Will Young, Scissor Sisters, Mika, Westlife, and other queer artists that are hugely famous overseas that never get radio play here in the states, it gets even harder to not draw those same conclusions. While it was pretty clear that Adam lost American Idol because he was gay, as middle America was probably risking burning their houses down from all the rotary dialing in order to prevent that queer from beating the little straight guy, I hope that his sexuality doesn’t ruin his music career before it even starts. The boy is extremely talented, and I hope that he finds the success he deserves. Even more so, I wish American’s had more brains than they do drive to stamp out things they don’t understand, or things they equate to different, and therefore wrong.

This makes me want to puke. Seriously? Censoring a children’s book because a character has two moms? What the fuck is offensive about SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS IN REAL LIFE? Seriously, people that believe that this type of scenario is in any way offensive or “harming to them” needs to walk over and tell me in person so I can slap in the face like the fools they are. Seriously people, gay people and gay families are normal. Deal with it. If you want to “shelter” your child and your family from it, kindly pick up and go live in a shack in the woods where you won’t bother the rest of society, okay? (h/t to the the amazing jacksonpearce)

– Kind of related to the children’s book mentioned above, Towleroad reported about a gay family that made a video, acting out a book that is also getting a lot of negative attention because two princes get married and live happily ever after. This book is being slandered to spread hate in the Yes on One anti-gay marriage campaign in Maine. Here’s their video:

Not only was this video incredibly adorable, but they have made many more, using their family as a beautiful example of what is normal about gay families. I want to personally applaud those guys for what they are doing. Gay families are normal families, and the people behind these horrible campaigns like Prop 8, and now Prop 1 in Maine, should really take a look and see who’s lives they are messing with. The hypocrisy behind anyone saying they are anti-gay marriage because of “family values”, “morality”, and “protection of marriage” when everything they are doing against gay marriage is in spite of those very things, drives me insane. When will people learn to just butt out of our lives, and stop seeing who we are as offensive to them; especially when it has NO IMPACT on them in any way?

no 5SF this week, but some great news

As you may notice, there is no five song Friday occupying its regular slot this week; I have had a really bad week (from being sick to the hot water heater woes to school work overload), so I am taking a break. I need to write up my concert experience from Mat Kearney last Friday at the Center Stage (it was amazing), and edit like a million pictures I took at the show too, but I just don’t have any energy. Being sick is not something I do well, and hopefully, I will be back to full strength soon enough.

Hopefully, my weekend will be better than my week was.

With that being said, there is some great news that may signal a good weekend ahead: The Senate approved the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes bill on Thursday. While it bothers me somewhat that there were 29 who voted against it, I am more than happy this important legislation passed through the senate, and is on its way to becoming the real deal when Obama hopefully signs it into law. For those naysayers, I hope that you understand that the reason why it is important, is because these safe guards are already afforded to everyone else EXCEPT gay people. This is a real step in the direction towards gay people having equal civil rights, and it should be celebrated. Here’s to civil rights and equality for all… including gay people!!

with a “role model” like this…

Who needs enemies? ESPECIALLY when this particular “role model” is nothing but a non-celebrity that is using his crass, bitchy, and bitter attitude to do nothing but bring the rest of us down to his level. Unfortunately, the person I am speaking of, is faux-celebrity blogger, Perez Hilton, and his latest stunt that is bringing even more shame on the gay community.

Yes, the dumb ass got punched in the face by someone he refers to as a “thug”, and I will go on record as saying that I personally do not approve of anyone being assaulted for any reason. However, one must account for the fact that he has made a career out of exploiting and making stuff up about other people (as well as continued betrayal of our community from within), and in this instance, he escalated the situation himself, even though he claims he would never resort to violence (Um, Perez, dear, violence can definitely be verbal; perhaps you need some education on that subject?). While I may not think that it was right for him to get assaulted, I hope that this incident can give him some foresight into just what he is doing to the gay community as one of its representatives (even though I am sure I am not alone in saying that we don’t want him).

With people like Perez Hilton being just one of the many faces of the gay community, we are completely going backwards in helping our struggle of gaining acceptance and credibility in this world. We can never expect to be taken serious about equal rights, especially with regards to the diminished use of hate speech, when loud mouthed hypocrites like Perez continually throw around the very hate speech that we are fighting to stop.

So I say:

Perez, from one gay person to another, can you PLEASE SHUT THE FUCK UP and go away, for the sake of the VERY community that you SAY you are so concerned about? Your incredibly long 15 minutes of fame has done nothing but shine a bad light on our community, and your continued self defamation has not been, nor will no longer be, welcome; especially from me.

Do I need to remind you that this month marks the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots; which is rightly regarded as the first time gays and lesbians took a stand and fought back, which in turn, became a symbol of the beginning of the fight for gay rights? Do I need to point out that 40 years in, and representatives of our community, such as yourself, are continuing to bring us down? Is this how you honor the fight, and the anniversary of our struggle this month?

I’m not glad that you got punched in the face, but the fact that you, a gay man, got punched in the face because you antagonized someone (whose sexuality is irrelevant), by calling him a faggot is beyond reprehension. You should be deeply ashamed of yourself. If you truly care for your community, as you say that you do, why not be a good example, instead of continuing to be a thorn in our paw? Your behavior has consequences, and continuing down the road of ignorance you so willingly travel just is not acceptable.

YOU are causing harm to our community, and YOU need to stop it. Calling out others, like Ms. California, was a “nice gesture”, but you are doing far more damage by continuing to fan the flames of your incredibly self-unaware hypocrisy.

I want equal rights, Perez, I really do. I believe in my heart that you do to. So why not be a voice for the gay community that is anything but utterly destructive? Do you have it in you to be anything other than hypocritical and bitter? For the sake of our public image, I certainly hope so.

um, thanks… FOR NOTHING

It seems that my outrage yesterday was a little less than it should have been. Turns out, the gesture Obama tried to placate us with, was worth nothing:

The memorandum Obama signed Wednesday is not expected to grant health and retirement benefits to same-sex partners, as that is prohibited under the Defense of Marriage Act.


That’s right, fellow gays and lesbians, say it with me; we are STILL:

…and it doesn’t look like that is going to change any time soon.

This is not just disappointing, it is outrageous. This is a major slap in the face, Mr. President, and it will not be ignored. What was initially seen as a cop out, is now an empty promise worth practically nothing. Sure, I know you are limited by DOMA, but this empty gesture is not good enough, and frankly it is insulting that you would think that it is worth anything at all.

Perhaps I am being too harsh though… as you do care, right? Allow me the chance to give you the benefit of the doubt; you did say,

“I believe it’s discriminatory. I think it interferes with state’s rights, and we will work with Congress to overturn it.”


So when can we expect this to happen? If you really want to do something for gays and lesbians, DO SOMETHING. Instead of handing us empty promises, why not take actions that would actually matter? If striking down DOMA is what it will take, why didn’t you propose legislation to do just that; instead of handing us this bullshit?! Saying that you are against something while doing absolutely nothing to stop it, implicates you as a willing accomplice. Mr. President, you are guilty of standing by while we are again, discriminated against, publicly, by our government. It is going to take more than a strongly emphatic “opposition” (with a current obvious lack of any sign that you will actually do more than “be against it”) to make a difference, and I for one am waiting to see if you will actually do anything you continue to promise. The problem is, I am losing my patience.

Again, Mr. President, I am outraged at the sheer lack of support for the community that supported you so ferociously during your rise to power; only to be ushered to the back of the bus once you took the podium. For shame, Mr. President, for shame. I only hope that you will bring the change that you promised, and stop trying to sell us snake oil instead. This is one member of the gay community that is rapidly losing support for the great man that I thought you were.

um, thanks?

Am I the only one who thinks that Obama’s recent act of granting benefits to same sex couples is kind of, well, a cop out? First of all, it is only for federal employees, which is definitely nice, since I work for the government, and know many people that will be able to take advantage of this, where they couldn’t before. However, as a contractor for the government, I work for a company that already has these benefits in place; so it doesn’t really affect me other than my thinking it’s a nice gesture. Again, it’s nice, and I am happy he decided to do it, but this is a very, very minor gesture that will have little to no impact in the actual need for our civil rights to be recognized nationwide.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that Obama is in a place of intense scrutiny and has a lot on his plate. However, if he really wanted to do something that would actually impact our community, how about addressing the myriad of issues that currently make things difficult for us? Placating a handful of us with same sex benefits just isn’t going to make us content enough to say thanks and feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

If he really wanted to do something that would make a definitive impact, that would be a true gesture of ushering in what I would consider an actual move in the direction of true equality, why not tackle the right to fire clauses that SO MANY businesses still have on the books? There are tons of businesses out there today that still have the right to fire people because of their sexuality on their books; which I would venture to guess comprises tons more employees than the government boasts. I just think it would be more worthwhile to make moves to actually making us equal citizens, and things like same sex benefits for government employees would follow these moves in the right direction.

I really hate to be a cynic, but this type of cop out really needs to be called out for what it is; a dog and pony show to mask his recent approval of DOMA. There are so many issues that affect our community, Mr. President, and seeing as how we threw our support behind you in the election, how about something a little bit more substantial; something that will actually benefit all of us? The slight of hand is not going to make us think for one second that we are actually getting more in the civil rights department. In other words, there is nothing to see here folks, keep moving, and keep hoping for something that would deserve more than a thumbs up from a handful of people.

as if I needed another reason to love Sara Bareilles

There are a whole bunch of people speaking out against Prop 8, and I was pleased to get this email from one of my very favorite singers, Ms. Sara Bareilles, the other day:

Dear Californians,

I don’t normally delve into the political spectrum, but this particular issue is very important to me and I want to share with you all. As elated as I am with the current election outcome, I’m incredibly disappointed with the passing of Proposition 8, and if you feel as strongly about it as I do, please go to this link and add your name to the thousands and thousands of people that want to help California move forward and truly represent the people that call her home.

Go there, sign it, send it.

“All men were created equal…”

Love and peace.

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again… I really, really, really, REALLY appreciate all of our straight allies. You all rock! Thank you so much, Sara, I have nothing but love and peace right back at you!!! Man, it really rocks when famous people surprise you in amazing ways like this; it just makes me appreciate them even more (especially when they are among my favorite artists!!)!