Saturday, May 30, 2009

Clinton's View on Gay Marriage: "Evolving"?


I guess that is good...and about time.

I hope he told his old--or is that former--friend David Mixner, who couldn't believe the game Bill was playing in re to DADT.

On ABC-TV News:

On the issue of gay marriage -- which Clinton, like President Obama, personally opposes -- Clinton said of his position: "Frankly, it's evolving" as he sees more committed gay couples raising kids....

Clinton also expressed optimism that the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell policy” -- which he helped enact -- will eventually come off the books, allowing gay members of the armed services to serve openly.

"I think that time will lead to a repeal of this ban,” Clinton said.

All I can say is this: it is about time; better late than never.

Of course, Bush is still "no" on both of the above issues. No evolutionary thinking going on there (I know, cheap dig).

Hopefully, Obama will move quickly on this issue so that he too will not be late to the dance.

On another note:

Off on pilgrimage to Chimayo, walking 100 miles in 6 days. Buen camino!



Friday, May 29, 2009

The Hook: Being Gay

One of the unexpected lessons of being in an environment in which I am clearly in the "minority" as a gay male who is there not because of law/justice, but because of strange circumstances, is the "hook" of vulnerability. I am vulnerable for being removed from my position simply because I am gay. It may not be said that it is because I am gay by those who would want to remove me, but it is an unconscious--and some times conscious--hook.

And I am easily snagged by this predicament: my job can be taken away simply for being gay and not based upon my character or job performance.

I can relate to the story of Lt. Col. Fehrenbach, a pilot in the Air Force, who was outed as a gay man who is waiting for Pres. Obama to reverse DADT. Click here for more. He is left vulnerable, stranded, alone, with no protections. It isn't because of the job he has done, but because of who he is: a gay man.

While we have our supporters, this position is crazy making.



It is time to change.



Thursday, May 28, 2009

Being in Relationships Works: On Opening the Minds of Others

In Nicholas Kristof's op-ed today in the, there is an interesting study on opening the minds of each other to accept or consider an opposite view than we necessarily have or take. For example, when confronted with a "blow hard" caricature of an opposing point, our minds turn off and we rebuff another way of understanding life.

However, through relationships, things change:

So how do we discipline our brains to be more open-minded, more honest, more empirical? A start is to reach out to moderates on the other side — ideally eating meals with them, for that breaks down “us vs. them” battle lines that seem embedded in us. (In ancient times we divided into tribes; today, into political parties.) The Web site is an attempt to build this intuitive appreciation for the other side’s morality, even if it’s not our morality.

“Minds are very hard things to open, and the best way to open the mind is through the heart,” Professor Haidt says. “Our minds were not designed by evolution to discover the truth; they were designed to play social games.”

Thus persuasion may be most effective when built on human interactions. Gay rights were probably advanced largely by the public’s growing awareness of friends and family members who were gay.

A corollary is that the most potent way to win over opponents is to accept that they have legitimate concerns, for that triggers an instinct to reciprocate. As it happens, we have a brilliant exemplar of this style of rhetoric in politics right now — Barack Obama.

What this means is simply this: coming out of the closet, relating to others what and who we are, helps break down the walls of prejudice, homophobia, and heterosexism, along with a plethora of other walls.

Click here for more.

Pace, B

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Inevitable News from CA: Prop. 8 Stands

It was the majority of the voters who voted for it.

This is democracy at work.

The news was inevitable. Those Californians who got married get to stay married--how weird is that?! Try explaining this to your kids and grand kids.

The next chapter has begun: same sex marriage across the US of A.

One day at a time, one challenge at a time.


Stay strong!

Stay true!

Stay honest!


Same Sex America: A Must See

This morning--amid the news reports of a new supreme court nominee, the CA Supreme Court outcome, the Joint Chief of Staff's reluctance toward repealing DADT--I happened to watch "Same Sex America" on Logo tv. Directv does this to me: it throws out a few free days of these shows in order to trap me.

It may work this time.

At least I will get the DVD Same Sex America.

What an incredible documentary. While "For the Bible Tells Me So" is good, this show was even more powerful as it documents the lives of couples who are eagerly awaiting the outcome of the MA move toward a Constitutional Convention to ban same sex marriage, only to have it defeated.

I cried toward the end.

I was moved.

Watching the children, moms and dads, and grandparents interacting with each other, discussing the impact of this civil right enacted--so that all may marry--was profound.

Please see it!



Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Rev. Scott Rennie: Hero of the Church of Scotland

This on the Rev. Scott Rennie was confirmed, affirmed and O.K.'d as a pastor in the Church of Scotland, evenly though he is openly gay.

Here was the twist: even though the Old and New Testament arguments were used (again), the case was successfully made that what the Old and New Testaments referred to is not the same as the modern understanding and practice of what it means to be "gay" today.

Here was an interesting line at the end about the Church of Scotland hoping to be the exclusive body of Christ:

Ewen Gilchrist, interim moderator at Queen's Cross Church, was quoted by PA as saying: "It's a good decision for the General Assembly to have made because it sends out a message that we desire to be welcoming, accepting and inclusive. "The issue of sexual orientation and Scriptural authority is something that has to be wrestled with and cannot be hidden away.:

Click here for more.

This is extremely good news. Though we've used this argument through the PCUSA (as have other major denominations), it didn't have the certain gravity to it that it did in the Church of Scotland. Context matters! Church of Scotland was more receptive to that argument: modern construction of being LGBTQ is not the same as what was being portrayed in the Scriptures.

All I can say is: "Thanks be to God."



Huffington Post: It's a gay, gay, gay, gay, world!

There are three (3, at last count) stories on gays and lesbians on today's 3!

Story One: the US State Department is making it possible for employees who are LGBTQ to have same benefits as straight employees. Click here.

Story Two: Frank Rich's essay/oped on LGBTQ folks growing tired of the Obama Administration doing nothing in re: to DOMA and DADT. He has the political advantage and yet does nothing. Click here.

Story Three: J. W. Lown of San Angelo, TX, Mayor, has ditched his public office to follow his Mexican gay lover to Mexico. Texas!? Click here.

We are everywhere.

We are in positions of change.

The world is changing.

It is a gay gay gay gay world.



Friday, May 22, 2009

Justice Denied: Delaying the Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell

AP report today saying that the Pentagon is slowing down the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell." They no there will be a polarizing debate (there will) and want to do it slowly. The Pentagon official said that it will be repealed because there are fewer people who are against it.

Click here for more.

For pity's sake...

There will be a polarizing effect because the repeal will show that in the military--where only macho men and manly women can serve--the homphobic stereotype of LGBTQ people will continue to crumble and fall apart. Clearly the only reason it exists is because gay men are not seen as "tough enough" to fight. Not even women are allowed to fight. Straight women=gay men.

Justice delayed like this is justice denied.



Tuesday, May 19, 2009

NY: Next for Gay Marriage?

When I left the States for vacation, there were 4 states that allowed gay marriage. Coming back, there were almost 6.

Now NY is lining up. That makes 7. NJ? 8 WA? 9...almost 1/5th of the States allow gay marriage.

In NY, the opposition is almost non-existent, according to the

Assemblyman Dov Hikind of Brooklyn was feeling distressed.

The State Assembly had just voted to legalize same-sex marriage, after gay rights groups flooded the Legislature with visits, phone calls and e-mail messages. Where, he wanted to know, was the other side?

“Wake up! Where are you?” Mr. Hikind, an outspoken opponent of gay marriage, said in an interview. “It’s the bottom of the ninth, two outs, and you’re losing — big time.”

As the Legislature considers whether to make New York the next state to legalize same-sex marriage, social conservatives have been largely missing from the debate in Albany.

The interest groups working to legalize marriage for gay couples have been laying the groundwork for more than four years, lobbying lawmakers and funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to their campaigns. And last week they began running television commercials in three of the state’s largest media markets promoting same-sex marriage as an equal rights issue.

Their opponents, who are just beginning to organize, say they feel outgunned and underfinanced."

This is a series of battles, not just one war.

And it is ongoing.

Click here for more.

Here's the reality: with almost 10 States allowing gay marriage, and many other domestic benefits for couples, we are discovering our place in the American dream.

Just perhaps.



We Are an American Family

Listened and watched a report of a 25 year reunion of the "Cosby Family" on the "Today Show" on NBC show.

What caught me was listening to Matt Lauer ask the folks, "Was this show novel for showing an African American family, or family life?"

Ms. Rashad said: "We portrayed an American family."

I live in an American family: partner, kids, dogs, mortgage.

I am part of an American family.



Monday, May 18, 2009

Straight Brother, Gay Brother

Wonderful video-essay that I found on, picking up on this story from, about the Bockwoldt brothers of NY who both play on a gay rugby team, the Gotham Knights. Andrew suggested that this clip is a "sign" of the end of gay culture per se. I think it is a melding of cultures--gay and straight--in which something new is being born.

These are the stories I think we need to hear and show and share with each other, where normality, respect, and friendship are evident. The School of Friendship is where lives, perceptions, attitudes, and gestures change and are shaped and nurtured.

Click here for clip.



Friday, May 15, 2009

Jon Stewart (Daily Show) on Obama's Reluctance to do ANYTHING on DADT

Stewart and the Daily Show crew were "on" last night (5/14/09) in re: to the DADT issue and the Obama Administration. So far, even though "Candidate" Sen. Obama was for the repeal of DADT, President Obama has let Sec. Gates let us know that they aren't going to move quickly on this issue.


Stewart talks about the photos that are in the center of the torture debate, and how hard the Administration is now fighting from having those released, but is slow to deal with DADT...well, that's how I read it. In other words, they are quick to move on some issues but not others. Sullivan and Savage are also aware that this Administration has done nothing for LGBTQ people.

Here's the clip: click on this:


Pace, B

p.s., oh: Savage and Sullivan are right: this Administration has done little to nothing for LGBTQ people. Savage gave them an F in the grading world of MSM.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Differently Married

Back from vacation, and read this fascinating op-ed in/on about a "gay marriage" with a twist. The writer, Jennifer, married his wife in 1988. Jennifer was then male. But Jennifer was born male and is MTF (male to female) trans. Jennifer and her wife are still married, legally, at least in some states.

Here is the insanity passage about gender laws and marriage, which is different in each state:
A lawyer for the transgendered plaintiff in the Littleton case noted the absurdity of the country’s gender laws as they pertain to marriage: “Taking this situation to its logical conclusion, Mrs. Littleton, while in San Antonio, Tex., is a male and has a void marriage; as she travels to Houston, Tex., and enters federal property, she is female and a widow; upon traveling to Kentucky she is female and a widow; but, upon entering Ohio, she is once again male and prohibited from marriage; entering Connecticut, she is again female and may marry; if her travel takes her north to Vermont, she is male and may marry a female; if instead she travels south to New Jersey, she may marry a male.”

Crazy, eh?

Click here for more.



Thursday, May 7, 2009

Then there were six...

News made it down here to sunny Costa Rica that there are now 6 (six) states that allow LGBTQ marriage!

Maine's Governor signed the bill, and NH is close.


The entire New England area is a welcoming place for LGBTQ couples if they so choose to wed. I can see a lot of fall weddings amid the changing leaves from the northern most tip of Maine to CT...and maybe as far south as NYC!

So now we need to see some communities of faith wrestle theologically with their definition of marriage, in which almost one-fifth of the country allows LGBTQ marriage.

Celebrating from Costa Rica...



Monday, May 4, 2009

Military Service: More than DADT

On April 15, 2009, there was an essay/oped in the, about gays in the military, "bad fit." The retired officers who wrote this op ed offer a glimpse into a way of seeing us "homosexuals" that comes right out of the 1950s and '60s. I heard the main author today of the article and knew where it was going when he talked about "homosexual behavior," and knew instantly this was not going to be pretty.

He is right that this is more than a repeal of DADT:

The administration and some in Congress have pledged to repeal Section 654 of U.S. Code Title 10, which states that homosexuals are not eligible for military service. Often confused with the "don't ask, don't tell" regulations issued by President Bill Clinton, this statute establishes several reasons that homosexuality is incompatible with military service.

And it wasn't.

Click here.

The basic thrust of the article is that us "homosexuals" cannot control our sexual impulses, and thus would be bad for the morale of the corps.

This is a voice of the retiring generation that will simply need to move on before there is change. I've heard their voice in the Church, in the schools, and it is a tired voice. It is a scared voice.




I'm going to be taking a vacation for a week! This is my "after Holy Week" vacation, and I'm ready.

See you all in a week!



Friday, May 1, 2009

LGBTQ People in Military Service: We've Been There, Are There, and Will Be Forever There!

In, there was an article about military academy cadets and their views of LGBTQ serving openly in the service. In other words, dropping Don't Ask Don't Tell DADT.

Here was an interesting poll:

Polls now show that the majority of Americans support openly gay service — a majority did not in 1993 — but there have been no recent broad surveys of the current 1.4 million active-duty service members. A 2008 census by The Military Times of predominantly Republican and largely older subscribers found that 58 percent were opposed to efforts to repeal the policy; in 2006, a poll by Zogby International of 545 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans found that three-quarters were comfortable around gay service members.

More here.

Reality check: we've been part of the military service, are in the military services, and will continue to be, whether there is an overturn of DADT or not.

Same with communities of faith: we've been there, are there, and will continue to live within and among all communities, as leaders, artisans, etc.


Tiring, huh? My eyes hurt as I had to read this in my Friday morning stupor.

Time to move on.