Baylor, Oh Baylor
This story is slightly old, but I saw an article
at the Advocate Online about it, so I wanted to write something.
Basically, a gay alumn of Baylor University (the nation's largets Baptist University) had been giving his time and money to Baylor over the years but was recently asked to leave his advisory board position because he was gay. You know what, Baylor is a private school, and they can do whatever they want. Fine.
But, until they start kicking out every divorced and remarried alumn, every smoker, every heavy drinker, every person that is not married to another devout Baptist, I'm going to call them out on it. This is a case of "I hate the gays" nothing more.
HIV- Gay and Straight
Lifesite has an article out
reporting on the increased HIV infections in Canada and the rest of the world. Before I start this, let me say that I think this is a terrible disease, and we need to take more steps to try to prevent further infections, whether that is through more personal responsibility (less sex), more use of condoms, more education, or whatever it takes.
However, sometimes I feel like the religious right is just a bit too happy to blame HIV infection entirely on the gay community. It's almost as if it gives them more reason to feel good about their anti-gay stance.
The article starts by talking about the rising HIV infection rates in Canada and talks about how gay men, bisexual black men, and drug users constitute the majority of these cases. I felt like the bisexual black men comment was almost a way to blame gay people for the increased heterosexual HIV rate over the last few years.
So, the first half of the article talks about North American infections, and how the gay community accounts for the majority of new infections, yadda yadda.
Then the second half of the article goes into the HIV rates in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. But, here's what got me. They don't mention who accounts for the majority of these new infections in the rest of the world. They are so clear about who is to blame for new infections in Canada, but when they start talking about the areas of the world where heterosexual sex is the main spreader of HIV, they don't even mention it. Someone that wasn't up-to-date on HIV infections worldwide would easily be left to assume that gays accounted for the majority of new infections in the world because Lifesite talks about North America, but when they change regions, they conveniently don't mention the shift of infection causes.
I'm not saying the reason for this article was to demonize gays, but it is all too convenient to point out how gays are the main cause of new infections in North America, and then not mention that they aren't the main cause in the rest of the world. Shouldn't they be giving their readers full information, not a "blame the gays" snippet?
Well, Thanksgiving went well for us here in Texas. My boyfriend's family drove 7 hours to spend the day with us. My boyfriend and I cooked everything but the turkey (we bought a cajun fried turkey, which turned out to be fantastic), and it all turned out pretty well. I'm still not sure how you can cook all of that food and make sure it is all warm and ready at the same time.
I think we did a pretty good job with the whole hosting duties, they seemed impressed and content during their stay. It also got us motivated to hang blinds and a pot rack.
So, that's it here. I know posting has been slow lately. Hopefully I will get to picking up soon.
Good Morning Americans, It's Friday!
Well, not really Friday--it's even better! This is a line the talk radio show I listen to opens with every Friday, and I thought it was appropriate today.
A word of advice for those travelling--Pack your patience. I learned this great bit of wisdom during the Hurricane Rita evacuations, and I heard it again this morning. Long lines at the airports and lots of traffic on the roads. Probably one of the most absurd things I have ever heard, but it makes me laugh.
I'm Not Jewish, But...
I'm not Jewish, but I found this interesting. It also happened in my city.
, a Jewish leader comes to the side of gays vs. some on the religious right. I especailly like this quote:
"We cannot forget that when Hitler came to power in 1933, one of the first things that he did was ban gay organizations," Yoffie said. "Yes, we can disagree about gay marriage. But there is no excuse for hateful rhetoric that fuels the hellfires of anti-gay bigotry."
I'm not as impressed with the Hitler part as I am with the last two sentences. Being against gay marriage is one thing, but using hateful, often untrue rhetoric and studies is quite another, and I wish some of the more virulent anti-gay folks would realize that.
Is This the Voice of Compassion?
I was over at D.L. Foster's blog recently, reading a bit. I'm not sure I will be back much. He has a big chip on his shoulder about gays. It's not like someone like Randy Thomas, who disagrees with "the gay lifestyle" but is still cordial and nice for the most part. D.L. is downright mean and pretty ungodly if you ask me.
Here is what he said
about Regan, a frequent straight female poster over at Ex-Gay Watch:
"I deleted her remarks and sent her back to sissyville where faghags find ultimate acceptance."
Short, sweet, and to the point. Does this really sound like a man trying to lead gays to God?
I found over at the Exodus Media Blog, a little story about a gay murderer
and how silent the media has been about his horrific crime. I agree with the article that this murder is a tragedy. However, saying the media is biased because they reported all about Matthew Shepard case and they haven't reported much about this case is just ludicrous.
I'm not sure why the Shepard case got so much air time. Maybe because of the way he died, or the way he was found. Maybe because he was a young, attractive guy. Who knows. Who knows why we hear about the "runaway bride" type cases while other women go missing every day. But, I can tell you that gay people are killed all of the time, as are straight people. And, most of these killings, even hate-crime killings do not make national news, and like this case, they get very little news time at all.
So, to say that a media bias is behind "covering up" this case is plain dishonest. I can find another gay murder case that has gotten just as little coverage as this gay murderer case, and Peter LaBarbera knows that, but he doesn't seem to care. Sad really.
So, I'm sure some of you have heard that Supreme Cournt nominee Samuel Alito has said in the past that the Constitution does not protect the right to abortion. And, I'm sure you have heard people say that the Consitution does not protect sodomy, gay marriage, and a myriad of other things that are currently in the crosshairs of American politics.
I'm not writing this to debate the morality or even constitutional legality of abortion. But, I wanted to write this post to make a point.
Saying the Constitution does not protect a specific thing like abortion, sex, marriage, or most other specific rights, is just absurd. Surely people realize the Constitution is a general document and that the framers were using it to outline general guidelines, not a copmosite list of every possible scenario or right that would ever enter into this world.
Here's the deal. The Constitution and the Bill or Rights do not protect lots of things. It doesn't give me a right to use the Internet. It doesn't give me a right to chew gum. It really doesn't even give me a right to own most of the material things that I own. But, it does give me the right to be treated equally, it gives me (vaguely) the right to privacy, the right to due process, yadda yadda. And, if a local government came in and said that women couldn't play online, they'd be wrong, Constitutionally, even though the Constitution doesn't say anything about Internet usage. To say that I don't have specific rights because they aren't explicitly put in the Constitution is absurd, to say the least, and I am surprised how often this innane argument gets used.
While we are at it, when our founding fathers wrote the 2nd Amendment, they wrote it as a right to bear arms. Arms, these days, include a whole lot of things more than just guns. That doesn't mean that we all have the Constitutional right to have nuclear weapons, and it doesn't mean we should have the right to have fully automatic machine guns that could kill hundreds of people in seconds. I'm not all about gun control, but really, let's try to be realistic here instead of throwing up these second grade straw men.
Politics, the Great American Rivalry
A great quote I just found from Pinkdome
"Politics went from being about America to being like the SEC Football Season. It's all rivalries and who's going to the bowl game. There's no room for compromises and no one is trying to bring America together. "
Amen to that, seriously. Even the ones that try to compromise (the John McCain's for example) get railroaded. What's a middle-of-the-road voter to do when the far right and the far left have most of the country tricked into their, umm trickery?
I had a great weekend. Two friends came to town to visit, and we had a great time.
At the same time, though, I've been in a funk the last week or so. Not sure what that is about, but I'm sure it will pass.
I think this whole decision that I have made that I need a best friend here in Houston has gotten me worked up. Like I said, I have best friends in other cities, but I feel like I need someone close to me (apart from my boyfriend) here in Houston. I'm not sure why this has been on my mind lately, but it has. Oh well.
I need to follow my own mantra, "Life is easy if you let it be." Sometimes it is easy to forget, though.
I've decided I need a gay best friend. I have 3 straight best friends that I have been friends with since elementary school, and they are awesome, don't get me wrong. But, they all now live in Austin, and honestly, I think it would be nice to have a gay best friend too. I've never had one, but I think it would be fun.
Yes, I have my boyfriend. But, sometimes it is nice to have someone outside of the relationship to talk to, have fun with, confide in, etc. And, honestly, I have some good gay friends here too, but I feel like they haven't crossed into the best friend category, and for whatever reason, I don't see it happening with them. Not that it wouldn't be fun, but I think the whole "friend group" mentality prevents that in some way.
So, I'm taking applications. It'd probably be best if you live in Houston too...
I've decided something once and for all.
Being gay has nothing to do with morality. I'm just as moral as I was before I came out and before I acted on any of my gay feelings. That is something that some people won't understand, but in time they will. Until then, I will quit allowing myself to be dragged into a morality debate.
Straight people love who they love, gay people love who they love. This whole bit about morality is based in ignorance and an attempt to demonize a group of "others." It may be working for now, but it's success will wear off some day.
For the Record
I cried last night, and I don't cry. You all can guess why.
Nothing to Say (Ok Maybe a Lot to Say)
I'm sure you all can imagine that I am upset. With only 8% of precincts or so reporting, the AP has already called Prop. 2 in favor of the bad guys.
I honestly might cry.
Let me be clear (in case I haven't been in the past) that this amendment has nothing to do with "Biblical marriage" and I take huge exception to any person or Church that tries to claim otherwise.
Look, we allow divorce, remarriage, common-law marriage, non-religious marriage, etc. here in Texas. All of these smack in the face of "Biblical marriage." But, not only are we not creating laws and Amendments outlawing these things, we, as a society, are working to make these things easier to achieve. Most major churches and Christian denominations in this country already excuse no-fault divorce and give their (now living-in-sin) parishioners a pass. Why hold the majority up to the same requirements we ask of a small minority, especially when that minority is so evil.
This is about the Conservative movement and, yes, even many churches using gay people as a scapegoat. They demonize a small group of people trying to build support for themselves. It's too sad that so many Texans fall for this nonsense.
You know, part of me kind of hopes that this disallows all common-law marriages and that divorce attorneys use this terribly worded Amendment to annul actual marriages. Maybe then people will realize the mistake they made and how it feels to be a political pawn.
I should go to bed, I've had enough.
I'm Sick to My Stomach
I'm nervous, uneasy, worried. Honestly, I can barely even get work done today. My mind has been going non-stop about this stupid Amendment. On my way to lunch, I found myself dazing off for several minutes at a time, completely lost in thought.
I'm sure I've got other things on my mind too that are exacerbating my stress too, but still.
I should have taken today off like I had planned.
Time to VOTE!
Tomorrow is the day. If you live in Texas, get out and vote. Of course, I'm asking, urging, begging, pleading you to not only vote, but to vote no on Proposition 2.
Some updates since the mass email I sent out last week (you can see it in another post below). The initial response was smaller than I had anticipated or hoped. After 2 days, I had received just 3 emails back from my friends.
But, lately the response has picked up for some reason. My boyfriend's father emailed me to let me know we had their votes in West Texas. A friend from college that I rarely speak to anymore emailed me to ask if I had written the email myself or if I had taken it from an organization's website. One of my closest friends (who is straight) sent out a similar email of her own, plus a text message blast, and her sister promised me should would vote with me too. A couple of other friends also emailed back assuring that I had their votes too.
The good news is that these guys are all people that support me on this Ammendment, but most of them would not normally be voting in an election this small. So, I'm glad to see them get out and help support a cause.
My fingers are crossed...
I promise I did not make this up. I got this from AmericaBlog
who actually got this from Lou Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition website
And to think that well-meaning Christians actually listen to this guy and believe what he says.
I'm astounded and sickened all at once. This is nothing more than slander and outright lies. For those out there that are Conservative Christians, I urge you to really look at the honesty (lack of honesty really) of these claims and to call Lou Sheldon out for this blasphemy. I'm serious, and I'm talking to several bloggers and occasional readers of this site. You don't want to be bedfellows with this type of outright deception.
Why I'm Independent
For some reason I spend a lot of my time in the car listening to right-wing radio. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, and even a couple of local guys take up my car radio airwaves whenever I'm driving alone.
It's not that I agree with them (I disagree far more often than I agree). My brother likes to say that I listen to them because I like getting myself worked up. Maybe, but I like to see what the extreme people are saying, and there just aren't any far-left talk shows here in Houston.
Today I realized pretty clearly why I like being indpendent. Rush Limbaugh was commenting about Bill Clinton's appearance at the Rosa Parks funeral where Clinton recalled being a 9 year old boy that was so affected by Parks' stand that he decided to move from the front of the bus to the back as a show of support.
Rush Limbaugh, and many of the subsequent callers, immediately called Clinton a liar. And, they really did use that term. There was no sugar-coating on the names they called him. The insults flew.
So, here is the epiphany I had. Rush Limbaugh never gives Clinton or any Democrat at all the benefit of the doubt in any situation. Whatever a Democrat does, he is always lying, deceiving, etc. in the eyes of Rush. On the flip side, he never questions the claims or integrity of a Conservative. No matter how guilty, wrong, mistaken a Conservative looks, Rush always takes him at his word, without second guessing him.
Shouldn't we look at people for who they are and situations for what they are rather than assuming someone is wrong or right just based on the political affiliation he has? Is it in the best interest of our country to always assume one group is wrong and the other is right? Rush would think so, but it's pretty clear to me how dangerous that really is.
2 More Letters on Prop. 2
I just put a bulleting on my myspace account urging people to vote against Prop. 2 on Tuesday. Hopefully it will help.
I also found 2 more personal letters
about Prop. 2 on BOR. Both are worth a read.
Here's a bit from one of them:
"It’s a daily experience for many of us dealing with the “little things” that everyone else takes for granted in their heterosexual relationships. Sometimes, for us, it turns tragic. It affects everything about our lives.
I’ve stood in the emergency room, partner unconscious, me in tears, trying to convince an uncaring desk clerk that I had a right to be there. I’ve gone into hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt paying for health care of a partner who I cannot put on my insurance policy. And I even have to go through the hassle and cost of doing a legal document just so that a partner can bury my body when I die. "
Scary stuff we are dealing with here. Too bad it's all so political.
Gay vs. Homosexual
Ben over at Scattered Words quoted
my post on how some far right conservatives refuse to use the word "gay," instead only using "homosexual." He seemed to think that my take on the issue was absurd, and then admitted that he hadn't noticed, but that he also hadn't been looking.
Think about it, though. Do gay publications say things like, "John, who is a homosexual..."? No, they say, "John, who is gay..." Mainstream publications use the word gay too rather than homosexual. The gay community has made it fairly clear that the word "gay" is preferable to "homosexual" when describing people or groups. In fact, many people (including me) take offense when someone is described as "a homosexual." But, for some reason the far right only uses the word homosexual. To me, it's pretty blatant that they use it as a way to demean gay people, especially since they know that gay people prefer the term gay (or lesbian).
Apparently not everyone has noticed this phenomenon. So, if you haven't so far, look for it. You'll notice it pretty quickly.