Marriage Equality in Maine?

Based on recent polls out of Maine, the northernmost state in the continental U.S. might be the next state to make marriage equality law, as reported by ThinkProgress.

According to Public Policy Polling, “54% think that gay marriage should be legal to only 41% who think it should be illegal. And when we asked about the issue using the exact language voters will see on the ballot this fall, they say they’re inclined to support the referendum by a 47-32 margin.”

Based on the numbers, same sex couples looking to get hitched in Maine might be able to do so by Christmas. And if it does go through, Maine will be the 9th state in the union with marriage equality.

I’m pleased to see marriage equality picking up steam. Now I wonder how long it will take before marriage equality comes to the south, where civil rights always seem to lag.

TN Principal Resigns After Gays Are “Going to Hell” Comment

Yesterday, I posted about Dorothy Bond, Principal of Haywood HS in Brownsville, Tennessee.

Today, according to ThinkProgress, I’ve learned that Dorothy Bond has resigned over her comments at the school assembly.

The school district released the following statement:

The Haywood County Board of Education acknowledges its student body’s right to free speech. Further, the Haywood County Board of Education strives to provide an atmosphere of tolerance and diversity while maintaining high academic standards.”

Now, that’s what I’m talking about! The school board recognizes that Bond went beyond her authority and are obviously not going to tolerate it. I consider this a victory for the students she attacked during the assembly.

Marriage Equality in Maryland

Last night, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed marriage equality into state law, as reported by ThinkProgress.

Gov. O’Malley made the following statement as he signed the bill:

“[This is] for a free and diverse people, for people of many faiths, for people committed to the principal of religious freedom, the way forward is always found through greater respect for human rights of all, through human dignity for all…We are one Maryland and all of us at the end of the day want the same thing for our children. We want them to live in a loving, caring and committed home that is protected equally under the law.”

O’Malley’s words acknowledge what many of us already know: equality is not something that is for a select few; it’s for everyone, whether we are of different races, genders, faiths, or sexual orientations. In the end, all that matters is our rights as humans.

And, with his signature, Maryland becomes the 8th state (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Iowa, New York, Washington and Washington D.C.) to legalize same-sex marriage.

Opponents of marriage equality are gearing up for a voter referendum. If the required signature aren’t submitted prior to January 2013, same-sex marriage in Maryland becomes law.

TN Principal to Gay Students: “You’re Going to Hell”

Once again, rampant homophobia from an educator strikes in Tennessee. (If you want to read about previous troubles in Tennessee, click here, here, here, or here, or maybe you should just avoid Tennessee altogether like I plan on doing.)

Dorothy Bond, Principal of Haywood HS in Brownsville, Tennessee, held an assembly about PDA but told gay students in attendance that “if you’re gay you’re going to hell,” as reported on Towleroad. After those hateful comments, she also said, “…and if you’re pregnant, your life is over.”

Naturally, parents are up in arms over Bond’s statements, and many are calling for her to be disciplined. I understand that public school educators sometimes have to take a hard line with students in order to establish order, such as rampant PDA. As a parent, I would prefer for such actions to be monitored, whether gay or straight. Hormones in high school are already out of control, so there’s no need to encourage inappropriate behavior.

But what Principal Bond said crossed the line. She has no authority to pass judgment on the students in her school. It’s not her place to single out communities within the school and tell them they are going to hell or that their lives are over. It’s her duty to see the rules are followed and that students are educated according to the state’s guidelines. The rest she needs to leave up to the parents and their chosen religious doctrines.

Principal Bond needs to go back to school and learn what is and is not within her authority.

 

Santorum: Children Better Off With Father in Jail Than With A Gay Dad

First off, I want to thank my good friend and former colleague Chris H. for bringing this article to my attention. It’s hard to believe I missed such stupidity spewing from Santorum’s face hole, but I did. Mea culpa.

According to Addicting Info, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum spoke to an LGBT community in New Hampshire this past January. During his talk, Santorum said about gay parents and gay marriage:

You’re robbing children of something that they need, they deserve, they have a right to. They have a right to be known and be loved by their dad or their mom. Marriage is not a right. It’s a privilege that is given to society by society for a reason … We want to encourage what is the best for children. Even fathers in jail who had abandoned their kids were still better than no father at all to have in their children’s lives.”

Once again, Santorum’s hate and bigotry continues to corrupt his ethical character. Well, if he really had any to corrupt. Last year alone, there were 254,375 children entering foster care, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Services. Those children, who were given up by their straight parents, had no home and were waiting to enter a loving home that would give them unconditional love, emotional support, and security that their biological parents could not. I wonder how many of those children would have loved to have been adopted by a gay couple, who understand being outcasts of society?

As a gay man and a father, I find Santorum’s condemnation of gay parents revolting and unworthy of a human being, much less a politician. I had a straight father, who had no problem casting me aside, and he is certainly not a better father than I am to my daughter. She has certainly not lacked for love, support, guidance, and discipline simply because I am gay. My sexuality has absolutely nothing to do with my ability to parent nor does any person’s sexuality.

Being a good parent involves never-ending sacrifice, infinite patience, and boundless love. Those traits are hallmarks of a good human being, something Santorum proves time and again that he is not.

Second Class Citizen: “I Want to Know What It’s Like”

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The clip above is from Ryan James Yezak, a film maker in California. The clip is titled “I Want to Know What It’s Like” and it addresses the plight of those who are bullied and/or discriminated on because of prejudice. It’s a moving video, narrated by actors speaking in poetic verse. The purpose of the video is to raise funds to shoot his film Second Class Citizen. The film is a documentary and according to Yezak, it will:

…encompass all areas in which we are discriminated against. The general population is not aware that discrimination against the gay community goes beyond marriage & bullying. There is far too much hate directed towards our community and I want to capture that hate on camera. In addition, I want to explore where this hate comes from, why it continues to exist, and what we must do to get rid of it. A better solution is needed because the solution we have right now isn’t working fast enough.

I hope you enjoyed the clip as much as I did, and I can’t wait to see the documentary.

Marriage Equality Bill Advances in Maryland

Earlier today, a marriage equality bill passed by a vote of 7-4 in the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, as reported by ThinkProgress. The measure now heads to the Senate floor, where it is expected to pass. Governor Martin O’Malley has promised to sign the bill into law if it makes it to his desk. This brings us yet another potential victory for marriage equality in the nation.

 

Santorum: Obama is a “Phony” Christian

Just when I think Rick Santorum can’t possibly seem any more like scum and any less like a viable presidential candidate, he opens his mouth and spews even more vitriol and idiocy.

According to ABC News, at a recent speaking engagement to a Tea Party group in Pennsylvania, Santorum had this to say about President Obama:

The ‘president’s agenda’ is ‘not about you… It’s not about your quality of life. It’s not about your job…It’s about some phony ideal, some phony theology…Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology, but no less a theology.’”

Obviously, Santorum is trying to garner votes through false information and fear. Obama is a Christian, and even if he wasn’t, would it really matter in the grand scheme of things? Nowhere in the Constitution does it state that the President must be a Christian. Our country has no national religion and “claims” to believe in the separation of the Church and the State. Therefore, the President’s religion shouldn’t be a factor, yet it always seems to be!

And Santorum knows how to play to that. He calls his opposition un-Christian and, by proxy, anti-American. Do we really want someone like this to even have a shot at the presidency?

Of course, representatives from Santorum’s camp understand how counter-productive his statement was and are now attempting damage control as you can see in the following statement:

‘The President says he’s a Christian and Rick believes that and has even said so publicly many times,’ National Communications Director Hogan Gidley said in a statement. ‘Rick was talking about the President’s belief in the secular theology of government — and how believing that theology is dangerous because government theology teaches that it’s perfectly fine (to) take away our individual God-given rights and freedoms. Our founders wrote the Constitution to protect our individual rights and freedoms, but it’s clear that President Obama believes the government should control your life. Rick Santorum believes in the Constitution and will always fight to protect our freedoms.’”

What I learn from this is that Santorum (and his camp) doesn’t want the government to run our lives; they want religious government, which would be what Santorum would bring to The White House, to run our lives.

That isn’t the nation our forefathers wanted. They had first-hand knowledge of the fate of the people when religion and government ruled as one. Do we really want that? Santorum does.

The New Homeless: Gay Kids Put Out Like Trash

As a parent, I find it difficult to believe that any parent could toss their child out of their home for any reason. But, unfortunately, that is what is happening to many gay youths who come out to their parents.

ThinkProgress reports that “There are approximately 1.6 million to 2.8 million homeless young people in the United States and a disproportionate number — 20 to 40 percent — are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender [and that] LGBT youth often run away from home because of family conflict.”

CBS4, a Miami news affiliate, did a story about the problem in their city.

Here’s the video.

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Based on the video, many parents who discard their children like “trash” also tell them that they “wish they were dead.” These are most likely the same groups of people who claim homosexuals are threatening traditional family values. I know of no gay parent who has ever discarded their child for being different. In fact, most gay parents, who adopt, take in children who have been cast off by their heterosexual parents.

Children, no matter what, deserve their parents’ unconditional love and support. To offer anything less is unacceptable, irresponsible, and pathetic.