Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hooking Up Online is a Bad Idea

From my hometown comes another reason why hooking up with strangers online isn't the best idea.

A man from Houston met two strangers in a chat room on gay.com and invited them to come to his house later that night. When the men arrived, they tied him up and proceeded to steal over $40,000 worth of his belongings. Luckily the man wasn't seriously injured, but strangely enough, one of the robbers apologized for robbing him.

Another interesting twist is that this took place just a few miles from my house. That's scary.

There's no word on the sexual orientation of the robbers, but off-hand this feels like a crime of opportunity rather than a hate crime.

Look, random hook ups just aren't good ideas. Besides the fact that they have the potential to spread HIV and other STD's, people's physical safety and even their lives are also at risk.

It's pretty amazing that we as a society have an overall distrust for strangers--we certainly wouldn't hitch hike down the road, and most people won't even pull over to help a stranded motorist for safety reasons. But somehow people go online to find sex and completely let their guard down.

It goes something like, "I won't help you change that flat tire in public, but feel free to come over to my house and have sex with me." How that sounds even remotely safe to people is beyond me. Talk about mixed up priorities.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My Friend is a Finalist!

I posted sometime last month about my friend Jennifer that has been going through a courageous battle with jaw cancer all while continuing to work full-time as a travel agent selling cruises and planning vacations for her clients.

I made the post to say that my friend's employer had nominated her for a contest held by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines where the winner will be named the Godmother of one of their newest ships, The Liberty of the Seas (not only is it really cool to be the Godmother of a cruise ship, it also means free cruises for life!). Lots of her friends and family (and hopefully some of you guys ;-) nominated Jennifer for the contest, and I am happy to say that she is now an official finalst!

Royal Caribbean has named Jennifer as one of the top 100 finalists in the contest, and she'll be flying to Miami next month to move on to the next round! How exciting is that?!?

They'll be cutting the finalists to 10 on February 12th and down to 3 on March 1st. From their the public gets to vote for the winner. Don't worry, I'll keep you guys updated if she makes it that far. But right now, I am beyond pumped that she even made the finals. Way to go, Jennifer!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Exodus Has it Wrong About Hate Crimes

Exodus has it wrong about hate crime laws, and unfortunately, I think they have it wrong intentionally. Check out this clip from Alan Chambers, Exodus' President, from a press release they recently issued:

Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, said, “Today, we celebrate a sacred right to freely practice our individual religious beliefs, and at the same time, Congress is debating legislation that could eventually destroy these freedoms. Hate crimes legislation does not prosecute illegal actions that harm others, it prosecutes beliefs about homosexuality that for many Americans, is consistent with their faith.”
Sadly, Alan Chambers is playing a little too loose with the truth with this one. Is it just me or did he just imply that "freely [practicing] individual religious beliefs" and "beliefs about homosexuality that...is consistent with their faith" includes beating someone senseless because they are gay?

You see, hate crimes laws don't do anything to beliefs or thoughts or even practicing religion, and Chambers knows this. The problem with Chambers' argument is that hate crimes laws do nothing if your thoughts don't lead to violence. Don't hit someone, vandalize something, or kill someone, and you can think anything you want. Saying that "hate crimes legislation does not prosecute illegal actions that harm others" is patently false, period.

That's what the First Amendment is all about. It has nothing to do with protecting your right to go on a gay bashing rampage and for Alan Chambers or anyone else to imply that it does is absurd. I can't even understand why he would fight for the rights of violent criminals (because that's who these hate crimes laws apply to) at the expense of the victims and/or communities.

And, just for the record (because I know it will come up), we prosecute people more harshly based on the motives/thoughts/reasons behind their crimes all of the time already, so for people to say that hate crimes laws give special status to certain groups of people is nothing more than a smoke screen.

Check out Box Turtle Bulletin for even more holes in the Exodus argument.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Maybe I Should Have Been Adopted

There's a story up over at Pam's House Blend about a woman that adopted her lesbian partner back in 1991 as a way to ensure her partner's financial security if anything were to happen to her. Unfortunately the couple broke up, and now the adopted "daughter" is apparently still claiming rights to the other one's money. I guess getting unadopted isn't as easy as getting divorced.

I really had no idea adults could even be adopted, but apparently they can. You've got to give it to this couple--they were really creative in trying to find the most fool-proof strategy to take care of their lives together as a couple. I wonder where they even thought up such an idea.

I can't imagine that I'd ever go to these lengths (surely there are some hidden problems this can cause), but isn't it ironic, and a little sad, that since my state outlaws civil unions and "any benefits" similar to marriage for gay couples, adoption is actually a real option for some people.

Gay adoption, the wave of the future.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Busy Busy

A while back after I started this blog I made a post about running out of things to say. I'm not going to make that specific post right now, but that is certainly part of the reason for the lack of posts recently. That and I've been spending more time on work/social life and less time on the computer. The less I get to read other blogs and follow the news, the less I have to say, which makes sense since I post about political and news type of stuff mostly anyway.

So, I'm sure I'll have more to discuss in the coming days. Until then, go read this story about 28 cars being vandalized in the parking lot of EJ's, a gay bar in my hometown. You know, there are so many times when I walk around and feel completely safe/comfortable being gay. Then stupid stuff like this happens.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Gay Marriage No More?

The Massachusetts state legislature just voted to send a proposed constitutional ammendment to voters in 2008. Obviously, this is a big deal since Massachusetts is currently the only state where gay marriage is fully legal. So, passing this this bill would be a big step backwards for the gay marriage fight.

Then again, if the proposal goes the voters and they whole-heartedly vote it down, it could be a great message of equality. I just don't know if I have the stomach to go through all of it and wait for the results.