Saturday, February 28, 2009

National Gotcha' Day

I am watching the Sat. version of the Today Show on NBC, and Jeff the weatherman (not Al Roker), comes up to a couple and family with signs "National Gotcha Day." The beauty was that the woman, a mother, quickly explained "Gotcha" Day" to Jeff when he asked about its origin. Said the mother, "This is the day my partner and I adopted our five children! That's what we did: we 'gotcha!'" with the partner--another woman--smiling behind her, along with the five children.

I was stunned and happy.

It is in these small ways that we let our faces, our stories, be made known.

Gotcha Day is celebrated by many families--gay and straight alike--as the day that an adoption came through.

Happy Gotcha Day!



Friday, February 27, 2009

James Dobson's Resignation

He is leaving.

He is gone.

James Dobson is resigning.

It was amazing to realize that he was never a theologian nor a pastor.  He was a psychologist, and not a very good one.

Focus on the Family is having a hard time raising money from younger families.  I think I know why, but I'd be interested in hearing more from them.

He is conservative; he dislikes LGBTQ people; he is a political leader, friends with McCain and Bush.

Click here for more.

He is going, going....

Pace!  B

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

California's Ban on Gay Marriage Comes to NC!

It has been formally introduced into the legislative process here in NC: a ban on LGBTQ marriage.  What is sad is that there is already a ban on our marrying.  But this--like so many other states--is a constitutional ban.  Why?  Because as Republican Jim Forrester says, one liberal judge could over turn the whole thing, bringing justice for all (he doesn't say the last part...I put words in his mouth).

Ruth Sheehan, who writes essays for the News and Observer, noted that two Catholic Bishops of NC are behind this ban.  Her incredulity is wonderful: out of all the problems that are facing this state, what is it that the bishops are focused on?  Gay marriage.

Gay marriage?!

What is the Catholic church scared of?  After all, so many priests are gay, as are bishops, cardinals, and, well, the list goes on.

Click here for more.

It is time to stop the insanity.



Monday, February 23, 2009

Hawaii: That New England, West Coast Thing

Hawaii is close to welcoming LGBTQ couples who are interested in civil unions, or being civilly unionized (?!).  Sorry, I haven't figured out what to call unions of LGBTQ.  Marriage does have some cache when it comes to naming what it is we are seeking: marriage, with all the "I Dos" and the federal and state tax benefits that are given to all other couples.

Click here for more.



Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Case for Civil Unions

Interesting essay/oped in A case for civil unions among LGBTQ, skipping the naming of such unions as "marriage." This would be a federal law and state law (decided upon by each state):

Congress would bestow the status of federal civil unions on same-sex marriages and civil unions granted at the state level, thereby conferring upon them most or all of the federal benefits and rights of marriage. But there would be a condition: Washington would recognize only those unions licensed in states with robust religious-conscience exceptions, which provide that religious organizations need not recognize same-sex unions against their will. The federal government would also enact religious-conscience protections of its own. All of these changes would be enacted in the same bill.

David Blankenhorn and Jonathan Rausch wrote the essay, looking for common ground on the issue.

But the civil union is a marriage under a different name, since it has all the other federal provisions that marriage would have.

Words matter.

Click here for more.

Pace! B

Amendmet 08-B Passes New Hope Presbytery and Greater Presbyteray of Atlanta!

'Tis a great day indeed: these Presbyteries affirmed that people who are called by God to ministry--gay and straight alike--should be allowed to fulfill their calling.



Friday, February 20, 2009

Gays Who Hate Gays

Both on and there was the story of Tyra Banks show with gays who hate being gays.


Why would someone hate being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender in this contemporary culture?

Answer? A lot of LGBTQ people.

It is time to change.

Pace, B

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Flying with Children!

Max Mutchnick (of "Will and Grace"), tells an interesting story of taking his two 5 month old daughters on a plane trip, in which he and his partner were questioned by a TSA agent who--probably more out of interest than homophobia--seemed interested yet puzzled by the twins with the two gay dads.

Some of the issues that have to be confronted by LGBT couples who have children is proof they are our children. No one wonders--with the last name of Webb-Mitchell and children with the same last name, a unique last name at that--if they are mine. But others do have that issue:

I want to talk about the underlying responsibility of being a gay dad. We're trying so hard to fit in. We're trying to get married and share insurance policies and we're trying to go on typical family vacations to see Grandma and Grandpa. I even did my best to describe the normal madness of traveling with small ones. But there's nothing normal about turning the car around when you're half way to the airport because you forgot your daughters birth certificate. That's right. Having Rose and Evan's original, authenticated birth certificate was the other thing this baby roadie had to have on his person. It mattered as much as infant Zantac and warm hats and clean diapers. Keep in mind, we were two men traveling with two little girls. If you look at it with a crooked eye you can make yourself see things. Can you imagine if you had to deal with indignity of having to explain your family? Even worse, proving that your biological daughter was yours?

Having kids and being gay is a challenge in society.

But the joy is overwhelmingly good.

Click here for more.



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Common Ground Initiative in Utah: Gone!

I've been following the five point Common Ground plan in Utah.  The Common Ground plan supported LGBT's rights to visit loved ones in the hospital, medical care shared, equal housing, employment rights, and probate rights.  The LDS (Mormons) said they would support these rights among LGBT people.

Guess who forgot to support these rights in the legislative process?


It died in the legislative committee handling it.

Even though there was nothing religious in the language, the LDS said nothing.

So even if the issue is all about civil rights for people who are LGBT, having nothing to do with gay marriage, no support even in this arena.

Read here for more.



Martin Luther King, Jr. said "Justice Delayed is Justice Denied"

Amazing to me when LGBTQ people of all stripes vote against themselves.


I am stunned.

For example, undoubtedly there are LGBTQ people in the closet who will vote against letting LGBTQ people be ordained in the PCUSA as we vote on amending the Book of Order in re: ordination "standards."

Likewise, in MN there is State Sen. Paul Koering--who has been out as a gay man since 2005--who is voting against marriage equal rights in his state because it may be moving too fast:

“I think some of the gay activists will be upset with me for this, but sometimes I think an agenda is pushed so far and so fast that people have no alternative but to push back,” Koering told Raw Story at the time. “And I think that sometimes you have to move slowly.”

Absolutely, positively amazing!

Why do people who are LGBTQ vote against themselves in voting down laws that protect them? Is it self-loathing? Self-hatred? Mis-directed anger? Love of being in the closet?

Anyone else?

Click here for more.

Stunned, Brett

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

State by State: Recognition of Our Relationships

State by state, more state legislatures are discussing and voting on civil union and marriage bills for LGBTQ people...AND straight people too.

For example, in New Mexico, the entire state senate will soon vote on legislation for LGBTQ couples. Click here for more.

Utah legislators are working on a bill as well, though there is growing opposition, and that is no surprise. Click here for more.

It is all happening: state legislatures are doing what they can as a place to experiment with what could and should happen nationally...and federally.



Sunday, February 15, 2009

Courage That Is Not Courage

In the, the website for the News and Observer newspaper, there was an article on the new group officially blessed by those in power in the Vatican called "Courage." Like "Exodus," or "One By One," this is an ex-gay ministry, kind of. "Courage" is for LGBT people who, while not necessarily seeking reparative therapy, would rather live a celibate life than one that is sexual. "Courage" acknowledges that certain people may be attracted by people of the same sex, and that is not a "sin." The "sin" is acting on the attraction.

Click here for more.

Here's what is interesting: which takes more courage: living the life God gave you, or living a lie and denying what gave you? God made us sexual beings, as well as beings who are intelligent, emotional, relational, and spiritual. In the case of those of us who are LGBTQ, living life honestly and openly takes courage. Denying and living a repressed life does not courage. It takes a spirit of cowardliness.



Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Rev. T.D. Jakes' Son is GAY!

Which of the following is true or false:

Jermaine Jakes is gay.

Jermaine is a homosexual.

Jermaine is likes other men.

Jermaine is the son of the Rev. T.D. Jakes, who has constantly put down LGBTQ people in his ministry of the 30,000 member Potter's House in TX.

Jermaine got caught soliciting sex from male police officers while masturbating.

Answer: all of the above.

One of the things I learned a long time ago is that those who protest loudly and too much have an "issue" about LGBTQ because of a personal connection, either in one's own life, or related to a family member.

Consider the following: Ted Haggard. Phyllis Shaffly. Newt Gingrich.

I can go on.

I know lots more. And they know I know.

Isn't this fun?

Read here for more.



Friday, February 13, 2009

Hawaii: Part of the Big West Round-Up of Civil Unions

With Utah and Colorado making noises toward being more inclusive, now Hawaii has started passing legislation to make it so as well.

Their House of Representatives passed a civil union bill, and now it goes to their Senate.

Click here for more.



Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Western Corral

So what is happening "out west" (as they say from the East Coast) that both the Governor of Utah and a straight man in the state of Colorado are arguing for LGBT rights to marry? Gov. Huntsman--a Mormon and true blue Utah native--supports civil unions in his state. And a straight man in Colorado wants the same. Stu Allen is proposing to put civil unions to a vote in his state of Colorado.

Click here for more on Utah.

And click here for Stu Allen in Colorado.



Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Awesome Video: "Fideltiy: Don't Divorce

I saw this on, and have not been able to get it out of my head or heart.

This video shows the beauty of love in all the kinds of partnerships we bring to the human race. It reveals the wide diverse nature of the image of God alive and among us--and including us--all.


Pace, B

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

Friday, February 6, 2009

In Portland, OR: The Land of Sam (Adams) and Beau (Breedlove)

I've been in Portland, OR, visiting my folks. My mom celebrated a major birthday, and my dad is in an intermediate care facility nearby. I come out here every few months to check in on them, relieving my brother in Seattle of always being the care taker.

I must say that there is no end of chatter about Sam and Beau. The chattering class and the media are having a great time keeping this on the front burner, with queries like "what did they do, and when did they do it?"

How Roman Polanski-like?!

I agree with Byron Beck of the Willamette Weekly: Sam lied. As so many LGBTQ people who are in the 40s and beyond, there was a defensive crouch that so many of us took, afraid to admit to ourselves we were gay, let alone the world. We lied to our very selves about who we are: LGBT or Q. And we lied to others, and no always consciously. Sam lied about his relationship with Beau. He should not have lied. But he lied. Click here for more.

Will be back in NC soon. Then let's talk about running for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board, School of the Pilgrim, church, and life in general.