War on Religion? Give Me A Break!

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of hearing right wing extremists spouting that any effort for equality is a war on religion. Here are a two cases in point that drive me crazy. Texas State Representative Louie Gohmert believes that the Employee Non-Discrimination Act clearly proves Obama’s war on religion and opponents of The Affordable Care Act (AKA “Obamacare”) believe that forcing private organizations that use state funds to pay for employee birth control is another sign of Obama’s war on religion.

Let’s look at these for what they really are. The ENDA is a proposed bill that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. We currently have laws that prevent discrimination hiring practices against race, faith, gender, or physical handicap. What this shows is that this nation, over time, came to realize that discrimination in any form was unjust. In fact, 26 states currently have some form of state law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

To claim that the ENDA is proof of an attack against religion is absurd. The ENDA promises equal protection under law for every citizen in the nation. How could that goal possibly be connected to a war on religion? Isn’t religion, in theory anyway, supposed to come to the defense of those being mistreated? Not according to people like Representative Gohmert from Texas. But then again Gohmert isn’t really trying to defend his religious principles; he’s advocating bigotry against gay and transgendered people.

As for private organizations being forced to pay for employee birth control thanks to “Obamacare,” they too have it wrong. Churches are exempt from this, as they should be, but church sponsored organizations that utilize government money are not. Just like every other citizen and public organization that accepts money from the government, they too must follow the law. The government isn’t forcing people to use contraceptives, even though a majority of people including Catholics do. In fact, “28 states already impose such requirements,” which shows that this, once again, isn’t indicative of Obama’s war on religion.

There is a war in America, but it isn’t a war against religion. It’s a right wing extremist war against homosexuals and those who don’t prescribe to their views with hatred and prejudice at its very core. I just wish they would call it what it is. Though the Westboro Baptist Church is filled with a bunch of loons, at least they don’t hide their hatred. They are upfront about it. I can respect that more than politicians using the veil of religion to mask their bigotry.

If you want to hate me or someone else, then just hate. You’re free to do so in this country, but you’re not free to deny me or anyone else in this country equal protection under the law, and whether some people want to admit it or not, The Constitution of the United States of America proclaims we are all created equal.

In Washington State: Marriage Repeal on Ballot

In February, I posted about Washington State’s Governor Chris Gregoire signing the Marriage Equality Bill that crossed her desk. Well, unfortunately (but certainly expected), the law has officially gotten a referendum.

As reported by Queerty, “The number of names turned in far exceeds the required 120,577, though there have been some reports of fraud.”

Even with the signature tampering, a recent poll indicates “54% of Washington voters support marriage equality.”

In all, I remain hopeful. Though there are some people in Washington who remain prejudiced against gay rights, the majority supports true equality.

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.

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”

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.

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.


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.


A Valentine’s Video For A Closeted Boyfriend


I came across this video from a Seattle Vlogger named Matt Brown. He composed the video for his boyfriend who lives over 5,000 miles away in a country that doesn’t accept homosexuals. The video is titled “I love you more than…” and Matt cites a litany of cutsie items and situations. It’s sweet and silly, but after the silliness comes the meat of the video.

The second half of the video showcases pictures of Matt and his boyfriend, who is pixelated in each one. If his identity was made known, if those who employ him and consider him friend and family were to learn of his sexuality, Matt’s boyfriend would lose his career and his family. In all, Matt loves his man more than the pixels he hides behind, and in the video he vows “And with all my might, I will rip those pixels off, one by one, until their souls are raw.”

Here is what Matt had to say about the video he made:

It wasn’t meant for anyone else’s eyes, but I thought the message was sincere and good enough to be seen by others…This is the Valentine’s Day video by me for my partner, XXXXXXX XXXXX. My partner lives somewhere across the Atlantic. He lives a very hidden life because of the way his society will treat him if it found out about him being gay. I’ve made this video for him to show the support and passion toward my Love and human rights. It was supposed to be a private video, solely for my boyfriend’s eyes, but it turned into a statement of fighting for the one you love when I realized I wouldn’t be able to say his name or show his face in the video. XXXXXXX, Happy Valentine’s Day! Someday society will let us feel fully accepted!”

What this video shows is Matt’s unconditional love for a man, who is trapped within a society that would shun him should he embrace true love as openly as most everyone else does. What could be truer love than that?

Matt’s video also shows those who believe that homosexuals are promiscuous partiers who cannot maintain a long-term relationship what true love really is. It’s not about what anyone else says about you or who you love. It’s about how you feel about each other, and about the fires you would willingly walk through to be with the love of your life.

(story via Queerty)

NOM Believes Gingrich Can Save Traditional Marriage

It’s old news that Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary, but here’s something you might not know: The National Organization for Marriage is thrilled about Gingrich’s win because of “his commitment to ‘preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman,’” as reported by ThinkProgress.

In a press release earlier this week, NOM President Brian Brown had this to say about Gingrich:

It is now clear that the Republican Party will nominate a candidate who is strongly committed to preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman…We have succeeded in making the preservation of marriage a key issue in this race, and we will continue to do so throughout the primary season, and into the general election against President Obama.”

If NOM truly believes that Gingrich, a man who has been married three times and divorced his first two wives due to extramarital affairs, can save traditional marriage, then they can’t really be in favor of marriage, traditional or otherwise.

Yes, Gingrich signed NOM’s marriage pledge, and yes, he’s taken up the conservative rallying call to hate on the gays, but Gingrich isn’t a poster child for happily ever after.

What NOM’s support of Gingrich shows is that they aren’t for traditional marriage. They are against gays. Their motivation isn’t protection of marriage but to beat gays and lesbians back into the closet. And, we really knew that was the case all along, didn’t we?

Santorum Surges to Third Place, Promises to Annul Gay Marriages

Republican Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has risen to third place in Iowa polls. Now with 16% of the projected votes, which is a far cry of where he was previously, Santorum’s surge in Iowa has me deeply concerned.

First of all, I think he’s an idiot as I’ve claimed here, here, and here, but I’m concerned for more than just his lack of an intelligent quotient. Santorum has recently courted several “evangelical leaders within [Iowa]” and is using the standard hot topics of same sex marriage, abortion, and the threat of Islam  to garner favor with the 99 counties in Iowa.

Santorum isn’t dealing with important issues such as the economic crisis, health care, education, and rising unemployment. Instead, he has stoked the flames of fear many social conservatives have–that the gays will destroy traditional marriage, babies will be haphazardly aborted, and that Islam will take over our borders.

While I would normally scoff at platforms such as this, Santorum appears to be stirring up the pot enough in Iowa to rise in the polls. His tactic of fear and ignorance is working!

Santorum still has a lot of ground to cover to take over Romney and Paul, who are currently tied for first, but he’s gaining some steam.

If he does win the nomination, he not only plans to repeal DADT but to annul gay marriages that are currently legal in some states. ThinkProgress reported on this as well as on an interview between MSNBC’s Chuck Todd and Santorum on the subject of gay marriage. During the interview Santorum had this to say, “I think marriage has to be one thing for everybody. We can’t have 50 different marriage laws in this country, you have to have one marriage law.” When asked if he would make same-sex couples, who were currently married according to their state’s laws, get divorced, he responded by saying, “their marriage would be invalid.”

I wonder what happened to the GOP’s desire to limit the role of the federal government in a person’s private life and for acknowledging the rights of the states? I guess Santorum doesn’t buy into those Republican tenets, does he?