Thursday, September 28, 2006

Stuffed Animal, the Gay Warrior of Christ!

From Rev. Dr. Jerry Maneker's website:

Stuffed Animal, who hosts the excellent blog, Christ, The Gay Martyr, alerted me to this article! It further highlights the following: 1. The Vatican may very well be using LGBT rights as a cynical diversion from its own sexual sins of pedophilia and its coverup by assorted Bishops who should be serving prison time from criminal facilitation. And, but for the extraordinary power of the Roman Catholic Church they would be serving that prison time! 2. Shame, self-loathing, and suicides of Gay people can be largely directly laid at the feet of the Vatican and all those "religious" leaders and denominations that obsess over condemning LGBT rights both within the "Church" and, most pointedly, within civil society over which they should have absolutely no control, given the fact that no Western nation is a Theocracy--at least, not yet! 3. The ignorance and twisted views concerning sexual matters by celibate men having the temerity to teach us about love and sex defies explanation and even rational explanation!

There are 35 comments on Rev. Dr. Maneker's site accompanying this thread. You should read all of them, and any others that come after this thread is posted. What are your thoughts on this?

The discussion is here

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Owen Broadhurst, Green-Rainbow Party, 3rd Hampden Candidate

Tax Reform
Tax loopholes for lobbying interests, massive cuts in income taxes, and tax breaks for mutual fund companies and defense contractors within the state have resulted in higher property taxes, regressive fees, and an oppressive burden on cities and towns to maintain municipal services and schools. For the sake of all of our communities within the district, the time is now for legislators to work towards basic tax fairness, a lower total tax burden for district voters and families.

Those earning the least now pay the most to maintain state and municipal services. The state can increase revenue by more than 15% while lowering the tax burden for more than 80% of its citizens, but our Democratic legislature would rather try to squeeze blood from a stone. The wealthiest 1% pays only 4.6% of its income in taxes, so why should 80% of the population pay more than 8%? The Commonwealth is starving its communities to provide welfare for Raytheon and Fidelity. Meanwhile, the less one earns, the larger the bite on one’s paycheck through property tax, sales tax, and fees.

Health Care Reform
Monstrous cuts to MassHealth have led to staffing shortages in hospitals and nursing homes, and have an adverse impact on care. The one solution, the sole and only solution, is singlepayer health care. Declining vigilance in infection control, greater falls, and malnourishment in nursing homes is not a fable- but is a fact of life. Single-payer health insurance, higher staffing ratios, and the proposed affordable health care Constitutional amendment must be mandated and implemented immediately for the sake of the most vulnerable, and for the sake of us all. Health care’s a human right. We need affordable, equitably financed health insurance. We require universal coverage. We need a Health Care Trust.
Sustainable Development

The state has a major role to play facilitating community directed sustainable development, but has unfortunately dropped the ball. Town of Agawam voters beat back a major big box shopping complex, and I have urged a retail size cap and the mandating of fiscal impact studies in Agawam. Town of Russell voters are presently in for the fight of their lives against a disastrous new bio-mass power plant proposal. Cities and towns, however, cannot long hold out against the very rending of their social fabric unless the state steps in and assists. We need increased and improved mass transit, tax credits for small local independent enterprise, and discounts on worker compensation insurance for businesses with excellent safety records. We need incentives for locally produced renewable energy, food and agriculture. We need to more speedily process agricultural preservation restriction requests. We must never again faces the likes of the section 548 auction law.

Genuine Democracy, Genuine Transparency
This candidate endorses rule reform in the House, opposes capital punishment, urges real reimbursement rates for providers, supports full reproductive freedoms, urges indexing of the minimum wage to the rate of inflation, and seeks the re-establishment of Clean Elections. "I would oppose informal sessions and unannounced hearings, urge formal session schedules, and insist on formal roll calls. Cities and towns should be restored 100% of lottery revenues, and equitable disbursement of Chapter 70 funds. I support full restoration of funding for family planning, card check neutrality legislation, doubling of the personal and dependent-care income tax exemptions, doubling of the low-income tax credit and rental deduction, raising the state income tax rate to 6%, and lowering the sales tax to 4% with a portion earmarked for cities and towns. "

"I condemn the Jones-Stanley bill, oppose expedited permitting, urge Chapter 40Q’s repeal , and support reform of Chapter 40B to raise the fraction of affordable units, provide real oversight, and keep developers from hiding their profits. I deplore so-called outside sections that shield legislators from accountability, support the program of the Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities, and oppose cost/benefit analysis requirements on environmental and public health agencies. Throughout the months ahead, I shall expound on this program for social and economic justice, democratic oversight and transparency, community based sustainable initiatives, and real tax reform. I look forward to real debate about real issues impacting real lives in our communities."

Friday, September 22, 2006

Pro Gay Candidates Crush Opponents in Primary

The results are in and we sent quite a message to the world! Now it will be obvious to any politician that there is no need to fear voting for equality, for the teeth seem to be coming out of the hate machine one at a time. Here is a quick view of what has happened:

House - 12th Essex (Peabody)
60% D - Joyce Spiliotis (opponent of equality)

Comment: Joyce Spiliotis is an encumbent and won her nomination again. She is an opponent of equality. This is one race you may see me get personally involved in. I want her out. That's one for the bad guys.

House - 5th Suffolk (Boston/Dorchester)
56% D - Marie St. Fleur (LLL Aproved)

Marie St. Fleur handily beat the opponents of equality to maintain her nomination again as an incumbent. That's one for us, we are tied one to one.

House - 10th Worcester (Milford/Mendon/Hopedale)
59% D - John V. Fernandes (LLL Aproved)

John Fernandes is new to the scene, but he has been able to overthrow the tyrannic Marie Parente, who has been a major contributor to the hysteria over gay equality. This is a huge win on our side, score: two to one.

House - 12th Norfolk (Norwood/Walpole)
72% D - John H. Rogers (LLL Aproved)

John Rogers won the nomination, but both of these democrats support equality for all, so it was an automatic loss for our opposition. Score: three to one.

House - 11th Hampden (Springfield)
55% D - Benjamin Swan (LLL Aproved)

Benjamin Swan, with a TWENTY FIVE POINT SPREAD sent a clear message to those who wish to use the gay community as a devisive tool that it will not be tolerated. Another win for us, making the score four to one.

House - 13th Bristol (New Bedford)
59% D - Antonio F.D. Cabral (LLL Aproved)

Antonio Cabral recieved almost one third MORE votes than the hand picked opponent to gay marriage. Are you feeling the momentum? I am! That brings another win, and our scores climbs to five to one!

House - 16th Worcester (Worcester)
57% D - John P. Fresolo (opponent of equality)

Melissa J. Murgo has enough backing she could get a write in vote. this goes in the loss column. Score five to two.

House - 8th Worcester (Webster/Uxbridge/Dudly)
62% D - Paul Kujawski (opponent of equality)

This was a no win for us, with two opponents for candidates. Score: five to three.

House - 9th Essex (Lynn/Saugus/Lynnfield)
60% D - Mark V. Falzone (LLL Aproved)

Mark Falzone is heavily endorsed by the gay community and this is a nice win to have. Score: six to three.

House - 7th Bristol (Fall River)
69% D - Robert Correia (opponent of equality)

Not a lot of competition against this guy, this was a loss we expected. Score: six to four.

House - 4th Berkshire (Pittsfield/Lenox)
88% D - William "Smitty" Pignatelli (LLL Aproved)

This was an expected win as there were no oponnents to gay marriage as candidates. Score: seven to four.

Senate - First Worcester (Worcester/Boylston/Holden)
77% D - Harriette L. Chandler (LLL Aproved)

One of our strong supporters gets strong support in return! Score: eight to four.

Senate - Fourth Middlesex (Arlington/Billerica/Burlington)
61% D - Robert A. Havern, III (LLL Aproved)

From the words of our "friends" at MassResistance, "Another hopeless race." Score: nine to four.

House - 1st Worcester (Holden/Hubbardston/Princeton)
71% D - Nate Kaplan

Check back with me on this guy, I am ging to be looking for information on where he stand with civil rights. Since he is heavily supported and our opposition plans on backing the republican ticket in this race, I am going to consider this a draw. Score: 9-4-1.

House - 4th Norfolk (Weymouth)
55% R - Robert Montgomery Thomas (opponent of equality)

This is a tough race for us, we lack a good candidate. Democrat James Murphy may just surprize us now that the whole anti-gay movement is starting to become unfashionable. He has voted in favor of some things we support. Still mark this as a loss for now. Score: 9-5-1.

Senate - Cape and Islands (Cape Cod)
D - Robert A. O'Leary (LLL Aproved)

Robert O'Leary is an incumbent and an Allie. Again quoting MassResistance,"O'Leary isn't easy to beat in this district, and unfortunately it doesn't look like he'll go down this time." Score: 10-5-1

Senate - Plymouth and Norfolk (Weymouth/Duxbury/Hingham/Marshfield)
57% D - Stephen A. Lynch

Lynch won the democratic ticket against an overt supporter of equality, but we don't see him listed as a supporter or a opponent of equality. Since our opponents have decided to back Hedlund we should score this a draw, at least until we see where Lynch stands. Score: 10-5-2

House - 15th Essex ( Methuen) - Rep. Arthur Broadhurst (D)
32% D - Linda Dean Campbell

This is a vacant seat normally kept by democrats. Campbell squeezed out a close victory against Christopher DiBella, who was our choice. Again this should be considered a draw since Campbell has not been claimed by either side. Score 10-5-3

House - 3rd Hampden (Agawam) - Rep. Daniel Keenan (D)

D - Rosemary Sandlin (LLL Aproved)
R - Robert A. Magovern (opponent of equality)

With us winning the democratic ticket, and our opponents winning the republican ticket this is another draw, but it is again a seat often held by democrats. Score: 10-5-4

House - 28th Middlesex (Everett/Malden) - Rep. Ed Connolly - deceased (D)
52% D - Stephen Stat Smith

Connolly was an opponent of ours, so to see his seat open is a step in the right direction. Stephen Smith is our backed candidate, this is a strong win. Score:11-5-4

House - 6th Suffolk (Mattapan/Roxbury) - Rep. Shirley Owens-Hicks (D)
52% D - Willie Mae Allen (LLL Aproved)

With no candidates left that are against gay marriage this is an easy win. Score 12-5-4

House - 6th Worcester (Southbridge/Charlton/Spencer) - Rep. Mark Carron (D)
31% D - Geraldo Alicea (LLL Aproved)
52% R - David M. Singer (opponent of equality)

Another vacant seat held by democrats, and another scenario where both sides got their candidates. Score 12-5-5

House - 12th Hampden (Springfield/Wilbraham) - Rep. Gale Candaras (D)
D - Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr. (opponent of equality)
R - Christopher R. Leisey

The best we can hope for in this race is that Leisey will do the right thing. Puppolo is not our man. Where Leisey has not taken one side this is considered a draw, but it feels more like a loss becuase Gale Candaras is running for a seat in the senate. Score: 12-5-6

House - 3rd Worcester (Fitchburg) - Rep. Emile Goguen (D)
66% D - Stephen L. DiNatale (LLL Aproved)

Huge Victory! All candidates were in direct oppostion to vacating Emile Goguen. These people must have really wanted change! Score:13-5-6

House - 1st Bristol (Foxborouth/Mansfield/Norton) - Rep. Virginia Coppola (R)
D - Claire B. Naughton (LLL Aproved)
R - Fred "Jay" Barrows (opponent of equality)

This is a tough fight, but we are not out of it. Both sides got their man in, so another tie. Score 13-5-7

House - 4th Barnstable (Cape Cod) - Rep. Shirley Gomes (R)
55% D - Sarah K. Peake (LLL Aproved)

ANOTHER HUGE WIN!!! It is great to see the Cape getting the representation it deserves for a change. With Gomes out of the way it is easy sailing again to another victory. Score 14-5-7

House - 4th Bristol (Rehoboth/Seekonk) - Rep. Philip Travis (D)
38% D - Steven J. D'Amico (LLL Aproved)
29% D - Nicholas D. Bernier (LLL Aproved)
17% D - John W. Whelan (opponent of equality)
16% D - Robert A. Marquis (LLL Aproved)
75% R - Steven S. Howitt (LLL Aproved)
25% R - Brian D. Langevin (opponent of equality)

I posted the results of the two races so you could see how resoundingly our opposition was defeated! This is Phil Travis' back yard!!! Apparently his constituents are sick and tired of scare tactics and all the lies about their peacefull gay neighbors. This victory is so huge I should count it twice, but I won't. Score 15-5-7

Senate - Berkshire, Hampshire & Franklin (Pittsfield/North Adams) - Sen. Andrea Nuciforo (D)

D - Benjamin Brackett Downing (LLL Aproved)
R - Matthew W. Kinnaman

They have a slim chance of pulling out a victory here, but since they have a candidate on the ballot, this is considered a draw. Score 15-5-8

Senate - First Hampden&Hampshire (Springfield/East Longmeadow) - Sen. Brian Lees (R)
D - Rep. Gale D. Candaras (LLL Aproved)
R - Enrico John Villamaino, III (LLL Aproved)

Here is our girl Gale Candaras! This seat is republican, but in this race we have only supporters of equality on the ballot, with the haters candidate getting last place again. Score 16-5-8

As you can see when the math is done the gay community can be very proud of its neighbors! We need to make sure that this victory does not give us a flase sense of security. We need to be ever vigilant against the religious right's constant attacks on our rights. Let's all take a deep breath, give each other a pat on the back, and keep up the good work. We have to lobby for our candidates, and remind them of their obligation in November to vote down the anti-equality marriage petition. There are many ways to get rid of it, and frankly I don't care how it gets done, so long as the trash gets taken out. Amen!

An Interview With Rev. Dr. Jerry Maneker

John Hosty: "Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker is a Ph.D, and Professor Emeritus of Sociology at California State University, Chico, having been a professor there since 1970. Rev. Dr. Maneker has been married since 1962, has two grown daughters, and earned his Ph.D. at New York University in 1971. He is an ordained priest in the Congregational Catholic Church, a division of the Independent Catholic Churches International (ICCI). Some of his accomplishments include his blog entitled, "A Christian Voice For Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, And Transgender Rights," located at; his website entitled, "Radical Christianity," located at; his long-standing weekly column in the Sacramento Valley Mirror that is entitled, "Christianity and Society"; many articles dealing with LGBT rights and progressive Christianity for the webzines, "Whosoever," ""; "Speak From The Heart." He also comments on many blogs giving his views concerning LGBT rights and issues and other facets of progressive Christianity.

Q: Dr. Maneker, let's start from the origin of fear and move forward
so that we can all have an equal understanding of what is happening to
our society. What is fear?

A: "Fear" is an emotion that is provoked by any stimulus that creates a feeling of apprehension. It's usually provoked by someone or something we either don't understand; someone or something we feel we can't control; someone or something we feel we must obliterate if we are to be at peace, and return to a state we consider "normal."

Q: How does the individual react to fear, and how does that reaction
change society?

A: There are many possible reactions to "fear." Fear can be dealt with by showing humor, seeking to remove the stimulus that is thought by the person to be creating that fear, even to the extent of trying to destroy that stimulus, be it a person, ideology, people, or group that is thought to be provoking that fear. Society can, thereby, be changed by having there be contention between and among people and groups, due to each of the participants in the "struggle" to overcome fear seeking to overcome or even destroy each other. Hence, taken to its limits, the attempt to conquer fear can cause a war of all against all.

Unfortunately, certain people and institutions viewed as "credible," such as religious leaders and religious institutions, frequently seek to create and "justify" people's fears due to such factors as erroneous biblical interpretations, the attempt to gain materially and politically from generating and reinforcing people's fears, and externalizing the anger borne of their own frustrations in seeking to deny to themselves and others what they so vociferously condemn in others. This latter tactic is the defense mechanism that is called "Reaction Formation."

For example, people who obsess over condemning same-sex love and relationships, and vociferously condemn them, might well be Gay themselves, but erroneously believe that by vociferously condemning LGBT people and same-sex behavior and relationships they are convincing others, and perhaps themselves, that they, themselves, couldn't possibly be Gay if they are so condemning of LGBT people and same-sex behavior and relationships. They are wrong, of course, as such single-minded obsession and condemnation frequently tells us far more about the condemners than it does about anything else.

Q: What is "Mob Mentality?"

A: Basically,"Mob mentality" occurs when individual moral codes are trumped by those of a group or institution. The individual is swept up in a paradigm, or way of seeing, that is not necessarily of his or her making, but of the person and/or institution that is given such credibility that one's independent thought and judgment become subordinated to that person (who is frequently charismatic) or institution. Therefore, otherwise decent people can be swept up into doing what they would view as "unthinkable" if they were to act alone or act on their own moral values.

Q: What is "Xenophobia?"

A: "Xenophobia" is basically, "fear of the foreign." Anything that is "foreign," that which we don't understand, that which we're told is to be feared and/or rejected and/or fought against, stimulates the motivation and adrenaline necessary to fight off "the attacker," "the threat," to ourselves or our "way of life," as defined by either ourselves and/or by other people and institutions to which we give sufficient credibility and deference, so that we "willlingly" join in the fight against this perceived "attack" on ourselves and on our "way of life." What most of the organized "Church" has done in demonizing LGBT people, and marshalling its constituents to vote against civil and sacramental rights and legal protections for LGBT people, violating Jesus' commandments to us to love others and not judge others and have unity, is an example of a devastating effect of Xenophobia on minority groups and on the larger society that views itself as "civilized, and even "Christian."

Q: During the Salem Witch trials there were some who saw an
opportunity to gain from others' losses. What type of parallels would
you draw with today's society and the struggle over gay marriage?

A: I believe that the "struggle over gay marriage" is largely based not on seeking to maintain "traditional family values," "maintain morality," "protect Western civilization as we know it," "maintain the sanctity of marriage," or any of the other specious, irrational, reasons given by many clergy and politicians for condemning same-sex marriage. Rather, it's largely about keeping the money flowing in to church coffers, hustling votes by some cynical politicians, and cementing in-group solidarity within churches and within the larger society.

For example, the eminent sociologist, Emile Durkheim, said that we create out-groups in order to enhance in-group cohesion or solidarity. We have a vested interest in creating out-groups, "the other," "the stranger," "the threat," because we, thereby, not only feel better about ourselves, saying that we're not like "those" people, but we become closer to each other because we are told, and come to believe, that we have a "common enemy" against which we have to fight. Unfortunately, "Ingroup-Outgroup dynamics," as it's calleld, seems to be a virtual law of social life. That's why we had the "Communist menace," and then, when that out-group was no longer in the picture, people hunted around to find another group against which to discriminate, and who better than one that is viewed as a "safe" target to persecute": LGBT people, who only represent anywhere from two to ten percent of the population?

Q: What can be done about all this, now that we have arrived where we
are today, with our country divided over issues like gay marriage,
immigration, and religious tyranny?

A: All decent people, particularly Christians, must confront the perversion of the only Gospel to be found in Christianity: the Gospel of grace (God's unmerited favor to us), faith (trusting God over and above seen circumstances), love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness. There is no other Gospel in Christianity! We must fight against the false gospel of legalism, perfectionism, and exclusion that is promulgated by the modern day Pharisees in our midst who are attempting to hijack the terms "conservative" and "evangelical," just as they are trying to hijack the term "Christianity" itself.

As I've written before, I'm an evangelical, dammit! And I won't allow purveyors of a false gospel, about whom the Apostle Paul felt so strongly that he wrote, "God damn them" (Galatians 1:8-9), to pervert the beauty of the Gospel of liberation into their twisted notions of God, the Bible, themselves, and other people, thereby seeking to put yokes of bondage on people, the very yokes of bondage from which Jesus came to set us free. These legalists and biblical literalists have thrown God's grace back in His face, and are seeking to lead gullible, vulnerable, biblically iliterate people away from the only Gospel to be found in Christianity. And for that grievous sin, as well as for the sin of wittingly or unwittingly helping to create and "legitimate" the shame, self-loathing, suicides, bashings and murders of LGBT people, they are to be assiduously confronted and told in no uncertain terms that they are not speaking for God, the Bible, or for the Gospel!

If we don't confront them, we are culpable in their sins! ("Illegal immigrants," or another vulnerable minority group is now waiting in the wings for the haters' full venom to be expressed when they don't perceive there to be as much mileage to be gained by condemning and oppressing LGBT people as they thought.) It is important to remember, as I've written before, every single drop of blood shed by LGBT people, either through suicide, bashing, and/or murder is on the hands of homophobic clergy and their followers, and this message must be hammered home as loudly and as often, in as many venues as possible, for Christianity to have the credibility that it deserves.

It's important to remember, there are many decent people who are not Christians! However, every single Christian is a decent person! And if he or she is not a decent person, he or she is not a Christian! And it's high time that that fact was recognized and proclaimed as loudly and as vociferously as possibe, both for the well-being of God's LGBT children, for the well-being of other vulnerable people and minority groups, and for the well-being of Christianity itself!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I Made a Funny T-shirt on!

These are actual T-shirts you can order via and your ol' bud John puts a few coins in his pocket. Mr. Lang has already ordered 20,000 for his robot army, so don't wait until you're the last one alive without one!

Evangelicals are from Outer Space T-Shirt
Daily show gay marriage

Here is some funny stuff!

Monday, September 18, 2006

What is Marriage Anyway?

The Introduction to the Arguments

From Callie Wise, blogger and webmaster of

Last week I went to a forum at the Nashville Jewish Community Center on “What is Marriage Anyway?” It was brought together by Hadassah, National Council of Jewish Women, and Tennessee Equality Project. The issue was to discuss the role of marriage in contemporary society and to hear various points of view on the topic of marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. The upcoming vote on Nov. 7th on a constitutional amendment barring gay couples from marrying is what has made this discussion so necessary. Most of the people in attendance were supportive of marriage equality for gay couples; however, that wasn’t the intention of the groups involved. In fact, they purposefully invited local spokespeople of the Family Research Council, the two members of congress co-sponsoring the state amendment, and even a representative from Bill Frist’s office, since he co-sponsored the Federal Marriage Amendment, but all of these people declined to participate. While much of it felt like a preaching to the choir, there were some interesting points of view and a great discussion of the complexities and problems with a constitutional amendment. I thought I would share some of those with you. If nothing else, perhaps having a variety of arguments will help us discuss this issue better.

First of all, what is the amendment? What does it say?

Vote No on 1, the Tennessee grassroots organization fighting this amendment, has it posted on their website:

The historical institution and legal contract solemnizing the relationship of one man and one woman shall be the only legally recognized marital contract in this state. Any policy or law or judicial interpretation, purporting to define marriage as anything other than the historical institution and legal contract between one man and one woman, is contrary to the public policy of this state and shall be void and unenforceable in Tennessee. If another state or foreign jurisdiction issues a license for persons to marry and if such marriage is prohibited in this state by the provisions of this section, then the marriage shall be void and unenforceable in this state.

Panel Speakers included:
Rabbi Alexis Berk, The Temple Ohabai Sholom
Shelley Klein, Director of Advocacy for Hadassah National
Gene Floyd, Member of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
Chris Sanders, Tennessee Equality Project President
Abby Rubenfeld, Attorney and Former Legal Director of Lambda Legal Defense
Julian Kanter, A Father's Story

It is my hope that the three arguments I have broken this down into (Personal/Family, Civil Rights, and Religious) will help our community and our allies in formulating a sound discussion of this issue. Use what you need of this, add your own twist if you want. Even once all the amendments have been passed or not, remember that the fight goes on. New challenges will be thrown our way. New angles of fear and hatred will be tossed at us. We need to know where we stand and what we need to say. I hope this helps.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Bit by Bit (Part 2)

As we have reported earlier it seems the world is taking to marriage equality and gay equality in general as worthy ideas. Bit by bit haters are being thrust into the spotlight and held accountable for their actions, and where they once had a powerbase to spread lies and fear, they now find this base eroding before their eyes. In what must seem as a huge loss for them is a mighty victory for freedom and equality; The Illinois franchise of Massachusetts Family Institute has given up, and folded like a house of cards. Let me also add that every attempt of this nature, in every other state, has succeeded... Until now. My thanks goes out to the great people of Illinois for not being easily deceived, and for acting where you could have been silent. Here is the article with source cited:

Illinois Anti-Gay Group Quits Push to Rewrite State Marriage Law

By Troy Espera

Proponents for an anti-gay marriage advisory referendum on Illinois statewide ballot this November say the fight is officially over.

"This is the end of the road for now," said Peter LaBarbera, spokesman for the Illinois Family Institute, a conservative group behind the Protect Marriage Initiative, reports the Associated Press. "We're sad it's not going to be on there, but we've decided not to challenge the court's decision anymore."

The group has been pushing for an advisory referendum asking voters whether they want the Illinois Constitution rewritten to bar same-sex marriages. State law already prohibits gay marriage.

The appellate decision was the third blow to the movement. Previously, the state Board of Elections threw out the referendum because, among other things, a sampling showed the petitions would likely have fewer than 260,000 valid signatures, short of the 283,000 required. The group had turned in some 347,000 initially.

The group challenged the ruling in court, but lost. Last week a federal appeals court refused to reinstate the lawsuit.

After that, a federal court judge rejected pleas that the state's election laws were unconstitutional. Attorneys for Protect Marriage Illinois had then taken their case to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

LaBarbera told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that "hundreds of thousands of dollars" had been spent in the fight.

The referendum had also faced stiff opposition from gay and civil rights groups, including Equality Illinois and the American Civil Liberties Union, which checked the signatures themselves and praised the appeals court's decision.

"They lost every step of the way," said Rick Garcia, political director for Equality Illinois, to the Post-Dispatch.

Proponents of the referendum had hoped to ride the same wave of public opinion that led voters in 11 states from Georgia to Oregon to pass amendments in November 2004 limiting marriage to between a man and a woman.

The referendum in Illinois, had it appeared on the ballot, would have been only an advisory vote intended to spur legislators to act.

Some opponents of gay marriage criticized the state Republican Party for not supporting the referendum.

"They weren't any help at all. They've ran away from this thing," Jack Roeser, who heads the Family Taxpayers Network, told the AP.

State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, the party's candidate for governor, openly opposed the referendum. Meanwhile, the state GOP marshaled its efforts elsewhere.

"The Illinois Republican Party had limited resources," its executive director, John Tsarpalas, said to The AP. "We chose to put our money and time into our candidates' campaigns."

LaBarbera told the AP that the Illinois Family Institute is likely to try again in 2008.

© 2006; All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Fear and Loathing

Conservatives Say Religion Under Attack
The Associated Press
September 14, 2006
When they realize their ability to preach the gospel may very well be at stake, they may reconsider their involvement.
Religious conservative leaders, sensing declining alarm over same-sex marriage, are warning that the debate over homosexuality has prompted attacks on religious freedom.

Perhaps the "declining alarm" comes from a sense that most people are sick and tired of uber-conservative thoughts and language which comdemns anyone who believes differently from their fascist, christianist view.

By expanding the discussion from marriage to religious expression, social conservatives say they will reconnect with religious voters and religious leaders who don't necessarily view same-sex unions as a threat.

In other words, they will threaten those who preach love and tolerance with banishment.

'There are a number of pastors that said, 'Look, we don't get involved in politics, I'm not going to get involved in this issue, I just want to preach the gospel,''

Sounds reasonable to me. The key word here is "reason".

...said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. 'When they realize their ability to preach the gospel may very well be at stake, they may reconsider their involvement.'

That sounds like a threat to me. How 'bout you?

Perkins and others are building a case file of anecdotes where they say religious people have spoken out against gay marriage only to be punished.

Another key word in this passage is "anecdote", which is "an usually short narrative of an interesting, amusing, or biographical incident", according to Merriam-Webster.
What supports the anecdote?

Perkins specifically cited the decision by Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich in June to fire his appointee to the Washington area transit board after the board member referred to homosexuals as 'persons of sexual deviancy.'

Ok to believe? Perhaps. Ok to "express"? Perhaps. Ok to use your political position to spew hatred at the cost of a minority? Completely imappropriate and, of course, cruel.

The board member, Robert J. Smith, said he was expressing his personal beliefs as a Roman Catholic.

God help the unenlightened.

The subject of religious expression will be the main theme of an Oct. 15 gathering in Boston of conservative religious and political leaders that will be broadcast to churches nationally.
Many social conservatives credit the furor in 2004 over gay marriage for mobilizing voters in key states who voted for President Bush.

Bought by the Uberfascistneocons, and duped by their empty rhetoric and jingoistic psuedo-patriotism. Led by lies into an illegal war and threats of impending doom.

Since then, however, 16 states have passed initiatives or legislation banning same-sex marriage and several court decisions have upheld those bans. 'As the immediate threat has diminished so has the awareness,' Perkins said.

In other words, your rhetoric is failing. Once the debate starts, your hateful cause will fall into a long spiral towards death. Truth will prevail.

Eight states have ballot initiatives in November to prohibit gay marriage, including some states with closely contested congressional races. Perkins said religious conservative groups planned to use direct mail and the Internet to alert voters about the stands candidates have taken on the marriage issue.

Ah, more threats. More money spent on a weakening ideology. Such a waste of talent which could be better used to "Love your neighbor as yourself".

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

What did you get for 9/11?

I got division. No not the mathematical type of division, but the kind of division that puts person against person. Odd gift to receive on a day when 5 years ago a tragedy occurs, and all Americans stand together as one, to help each other cope with the loss of life and the destruction. You’re probably asking how one person sends another division. Through an e-mail, I received a message that simply stated in the title “Do you remember this? I do !” It starts off with an image of the twin towers standing just as they did on Sept. 10th 2001. I did remember what the towers looked like, but then the message takes an unexpected turn.

“ Thought you might be interested in this forgotten bit of information..........

It was 1987! At a lecture the other day they were playing an old news video of Lt.Col . Oliver North testifying at the Iran-Contra hearings during the Reagan Administration.

There was Ollie in front of God and country getting the third degree, but what he said was stunning!

He was being drilled by a senator; "Did you not recently spend close to $60,000 for a home security system?"

Ollie replied, "Yes, I did, Sir."

The senator continued, trying to get a laugh out of the audience, "Isn't that just a little excessive?"

"No, sir," continued Ollie.

"No? And why not?" the senator asked.

"Because the lives of my family and I were threatened, sir."

"Threatened? By whom?" the senator questioned.

"By a terrorist, sir" Ollie answered.

"Terrorist? What terrorist could possibly scare you that much?"

"His name is Osama bin Laden, sir" Ollie replied.

At this point the senator tried to repeat the name, but couldn't pronounce it, which most people back then probably couldn't. A couple of people laughed at the attempt. Then the senator continued.. Why are you so afraid of this man?" the senator asked.

"Because, sir, he is the most evil person alive that I know of", Ollie answered.
"And what do you recommend we do about him?" asked the senator.

"Well, sir, if it was up to me, I would recommend that an assassin team be formed to eliminate him and his men from the face of the earth."

The senator disagreed with this approach, and that was all that was shown of the clip.

By the way, that senator was Al Gore!

Terrorist pilot Mohammad Atta blew up a bus in Israel in 1986. The Israelis captured, tried and imprisoned him. As part of the Oslo agreement with the Palestinians in 1993, Israel had to agree to release so-called "political prisoners."

However, the Israelis would not release any with blood on their hands. The American President at the time, Bill Clinton, and his Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, "insisted" that all prisoners be released."

Thus Mohammad Atta was freed and eventually thanked the US by flying an airplane into Tower One of the World Trade Center. This was reported by many of the American TV networks at the time that the terrorists were first identified.
It was censored in the U.S.A. from all later reports.

If you agree that the American public should be made aware of this fact, pass this on.”

Now throughout this message were 4 other photographs showing different states of destruction of the twin towers ending finally with what we call now “Ground Zero”.

This message is false in its claim, that the Mohammad Atta that blew up the bus, was the same person in the group of terrorists that attacked us on 9/11.

I find this e-mail to be just another symptom of America’s sickness. The author of this message sent out an incorrect and divisive message, when they could have found a way to bring us together again. President Bush did the same thing back during the presidential race with John Kerry. He was asked if homosexuality was a “choice”. He stated that he just didn’t know. Instead of trying to unite the country, he once again found a way to divide us even more.

I responded to the aforementioned e-mail with something I felt a bit more appropriate for the occasion.

Marcie Whalen
Kurtis Weaver

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Where Has Grace Gone? by Jeremi

From James 2:1-10, 14-17

1-4My dear friends, don't let public opinion influence how you live out our glorious, Christ-originated faith. If a man enters your church wearing an expensive suit, and a street person wearing rags comes in right after him, and you say to the man in the suit, "Sit here, sir; this is the best seat in the house!" and either ignore the street person or say, "Better sit here in the back row," haven't you segregated God's children and proved that you are judges who can't be trusted?

My home parish runs a soup kitchen that feeds up to 200 people in one day. It's good, hard work. Our congregation is small and includes a few worshippers without homes. They sit in the last pew, or at the back of the church. When we come together to share the Peace, people embrace each other as brothers and sisters. Some venture to the last pew and extend a hand. One day during coffee hour a rich woman told me that though it does her heart good to see the homeless, it was another situation altogether to shake their hand, because after all, you don't know what these kind of people pick up in the streets. I've often wondered how she would react if she knew I was a lesbian.

5-7Listen, dear friends. Isn't it clear by now that God operates quite differently? He chose the world's down-and-out as the kingdom's first citizens, with full rights and privileges.

God operates differently from the way we do, and in the most delighful ways.

This kingdom is promised to anyone who loves God. And here you are abusing these same citizens! Isn't it the high and mighty who exploit you, who use the courts to rob you blind? Aren't they the ones who scorn the new name—"Christian"—used in your baptisms?

Lord, things don't change much do they?

There but for the Grace of God

Today's sermon is from the Gospel, according to Paul.

Romans, chapter 7, starting at verse 7 is widely understood by Christians to be an inspirational passage, giving hope to millions. For if a man like Paul, chosen by God Himself can be so conflicted by sin, then there is hope for all of us.

7. What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet." But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.

For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. or in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

So Paul says in verse 24, "What a wretched man I am!"

If I were to write these words today, you would likely (and rightly) call me a typical whiny liberal, devoid of character, who can't take responsibility for my own actions. It is just one small step from saying, "The devil made me do it"

Paul is introducing a new concept to the faith, that we humans are not merely sinners, but completely and utterly depraved, and that we are saved only by the grace of God.

And this, I think is the source of self-loathing.

Fast forward 1500 years to another great self-loather, Martin Luther. From Wikipedia:

"Luther dedicated himself to monastic life. He devoted himself to fasts, long hours in prayer and pilgrimage, and constant confession. Luther tried to please God through this dedication; instead however, it increased his awareness of his own sinfulness. He would later remark, "If anyone could have gained heaven as a monk, then I would indeed have been among them." Luther described this period of his life as one of deep spiritual despair. He said, "I lost hold of Christ the Savior and Comforter and made of him a stock-master and hangman over my poor soul."

Small wonder then, that Luther was so enamoured with Paul that he considered the epistle of James to be useless. He said of James: "[it] contradicts Paul by teaching justification by works".

But what did Jesus teach?

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Matthew 25:31-40

Much of what passes for modern Chrstianity is based on the teachings of Paul, later reinforced by Luther, both self-loathing men, unable to see that is was them, not mankind who were utterly depraved.

We are not saved by the Grace of God.

We will be judged on how we treat not just our friends or our family, but the least among us.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Were do the local politicians stand?

Remember that posting these names is of no use unless you talk about who you support with your friends, family, and fellow workers. Getting the word out is as important as voting itself. I have put our "LLL" trademark next to the candidate that supports us for your convenience:

House - 12th Essex (Peabody)

D - Joyce Spiliotis, 85 Gardner St., Peabody (opponent of equality, incumbent)
D - Sean R. Fitzgerald, 6 Elaine Ave., Peabody (LLL approved)
R - Jason C. Harding, 14 Tuckers Ct., Peabody

Comment: This would be a great fight to win.

House - 5th Suffolk (Boston/Dorchester)

D - Marie St. Fleur, 45 Hartford St., Boston (LLL approved, incumbent)
D - Severiano Cruz, 38 Dacia St., Boston
D - Roy Owens, 6 Woodville St., Boston (opponent of equality)
R - Althea Garrison, 644 Dudley St., Boston

House - 10th Worcester (Milford/Mendon/Hopedale)

D - Marie J. Parente, 13 Reagan Rd., Milford (opponent of equality, incumbent)
D - John V. Fernandes, 320 Purchase St., Milford (LLL approved)
R - Robert P. Burns, 101 Mill St., Hopedale

Comment: Parente has been a thorn is the side of the gay community long enough.

House - 12th Norfolk (Norwood/Walpole)

D - John H. Rogers, 194 Plantation Cir., Norwood (LLL approved)
D - Leah C. O'Leary, 13 Devon Rd., Norwood (LLL approved)

House - 11th Hampden (Springfield)

D - Benjamin Swan, 837 State St., Springfield (LLL approved)
D - Larry Lawson, 484 Hancock St., Springfield
D - Norman W. Oliver, 377 St. James Ave., Springfield (opponent of equality)

House - 13th Bristol (New Bedford)

D - Antonio F.D. Cabral, 212 Maple St., New Bedford (LLL approved)
D - Brian K. Gomes, 66 Clara St., New Bedford
U - Robert K. Gardern, Jr.

House - 16th Worcester (Worcester)

D - John P. Fresolo, 25 Dolly Dr., Worcester (opponent of equality)
D - Melissa J. Murgo, 179 Delmont Ave., Worcester (LLL approved)

House - 8th Worcester (Webster/Uxbridge/Dudly)

D - Paul Kujawski, 71 Klebart Ave., Webster (opponent of equality)
D - Mark G. Dowgiewicz, 16 Reid Smith Cove Rd., Webster (LLL approved)

House - 9th Essex (Lynn/Saugus/Lynnfield)

D - Mark V. Falzone, 9 Broadway, Saugus (LLL approved)
D - Sean P. Grant, 485 Central St., Saugus

House - 7th Bristol (Fall River)

D - Robert Correia, 1290 Plymouth Ave., Fall River (opponent of equality)
D - Kevin Aguiar, 48 Coral St., Fall River
D - John J. Rodrigues, 36 Lenox St., Fall River

Comment: We need to find out who we can support here.

House - 4th Berkshire (Pittsfield/Lenox)

D - William "Smitty" Pignatelli, 339 Housatonic St., Lenox (LLL approved)
D - Patrick Long, 84 Alford Rd., Great Barrington (LLL approved)

Senate - First Worcester (Worcester/Boylston/Holden)

D - Harriette L. Chandler, 97 Aylesbury Rd., Worcester (LLL approved)
D - Deirdre Healy, 963 Pleasant St., Worcester (LLL approved)
R - Paul E. Nordborg, 10 Sumac Cir., Holden

House - Fourth Middlesex (Arlington/Billerica/Burlington)

D - Robert A. Havern, III, 35 Bartlett Ave., Arlington (LLL approved)
D - Joanna Gonsalves, 16 Lexington St., Woburn (LLL approved)

House - 1st Worcester (Holden/Hubbardston/Princeton)

R - Lewis G. Evangelidis, 215 Newell Rd., Holden (opponent of equality)
D - Nate Kaplan, 45 Twin Hill Rd., Hubbardston
D - Emery C. Markles, 98 Old Princeton Rd., Hubbardston

Comment: I would like to get some information about these two democrats. We need to find out who we can support.

House - 4th Norfolk (Weymouth)

D - James Michael Murphy, 483 Middle St., Weymouth (opponent of equality)
R - Brad P. Bennion, 14 Suwanee Rd., Weymouth
R - Robert Montgomery Thomas, 848 Washington St., Weymouth (opponent of equality)

Comment: We need to see where Bennion stands and see if we can support him.

Senate - Cape and Islands (Cape Cod)

D - Robert A. O'Leary, 154 Indian Trl., Barnstable (LLL approved)
R - Ricardo M. Barros, 1431 Iyanough Rd., Barnstable
R - Doug Bennett, 22 Lily St., Nantucket

Senate - Plymouth and Norfolk (Weymouth/Duxbury/Hingham/Marshfield)

R - Robert L. Hedlund, Jr., 54 Longwood Rd., Weymouth (opponent of equality)
D - Stephen A. Lynch, 69 Central St., Marshfield
D - Matthias J. Mulvey, 28 Edgeworth St., Weymouth

Comment: Again, we need information on these two democrats. This is a good battle to win.

House - 15th Essex ( Methuen) - formerly Rep. Arthur Broadhurst (D)

D - Linda Dean Campbell, 42 Sugar Pine Ln., Methuen
D - Edward F. Curran, 7 Cypress Ave., Methuen
D - Christopher DiBella, 4 Bumpy Ln., Methuen
D - Michael W. Hennessy, 9 Stevens St., Methuen (opponent of equality)
R - Robert A. Andrew, 522 Lowell St., Methuen (opponent of equality)

Comment: We need information about these three candidates at top.

House - 3rd Hampden (Agawam) - formerly Rep. Daniel Keenan (D)

D - Carley R. Johnson, Jr., 135 Country Rd., Agawam
D - Joseph Mineo, 33 Maple Meadows Ln., Agawam
D - Rosemary Sandlin, 90 Granger Dr., Agawam (LLL approved)
R - John Cesan, 24 Tina Ln., Agawam
R - Robert A. Magovern, 144 Birch Hill Rd., Agawam (opponent of equality)
G - Owen Broadhurst (Four Star LLL approved)

House - 28th Middlesex (Everett/Malden) - formerly Rep. Ed Connolly - deceased (D)

D - Frank Nuzzo, Jr., 20 Evelyn Rd., Everett
D - Stephen Stat Smith, 53 Clarence St., Everett (LLL approved)
D - Rosemary Miller - was aide to Rep. Connolly (LLL approved)

House - 6th Suffolk (Mattapan/Roxbury) - formerly Rep. Shirley Owens-Hicks (D)

D - Willie Mae Allen, 85 Deering Rd., Boston (LLL approved)
D - William R. Celester, Sr., 115 Hazleton St., Boston (LLL approved)

House - 6th Worcester (Southbridge/Charlton/Spencer) - formerly Rep. Mark Carron (D)

D - Geraldo Alicea, 13 Deer Run, Charlton
D - Patrick J. Driscoll, 35 Donnelly Rd., Spencer (LLL approved)
D - Scott S. Lazo, 36 Ellis Rd., Southbridge
D - Joanne E. Powell, 15 Dodge Ln., Charlton (opponent of equality)
D - Karen A. Spiewak, 90 Osgood Rd., Charlton
R - Ronald J. Chernisky, 51 Harrington St., Southbridge (opponent of equality)
R - David M. Singer, 2 Keely Dr., Charlton (opponent of equality)

House - 12th Hampden (Springfield/Wilbraham) - formerly Rep. Gale Candaras (D)

D - Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr., 44 South Shore Dr., Springfield (opponent of equality)
R - Bob Collamore, 26 Weston St., Wilbraham
R - Christopher R. Leisey, 15 Wright Pl., Wilbraham

Comment: We need to find out who we can support here.

House - 3rd Worcester (Fitchburg) - formerly Rep. Emile Goguen (D)

D - Stephen L. DiNatale, 150 Walton St., Fitchburg
D - David P. Leblanc, 30 Silver St., Fitchburg (LLL approved)
D - Mary H. Whitney, 12 Pine St., Fitchburg (LLL approved)
R - Edward L. Niemczura, 97 East St., Fitchburg (LLL approved)

House - 1st Bristol (Foxborouth/Mansfield/Norton) - formerly Rep. Virginia Coppola (R)

D - Matthew J. Donovan, 101 M Chestnut St., Foxborough (LLL approved)
D - Paul R. Feeney, 182 North St., Foxborough (LLL approved)
D - Claire B. Naughton, 4 Everett Ln., Foxborough
R - Fred "Jay" Barrows, 370 Pratt St., Mansfield (opponent of equality)

House - 4th Barnstable (Cape Cod) - formerly Rep. Shirley Gomes (R)

D - Ronald J. Bergstrom, 1347 Old Queen Anne Rd., Chatham (LLL approved)
D - Raymond C. Gottwald, 38 Huckleberry Path, Harwich
D - Sarah K. Peake, 7 Center St., Provincetown (LLL approved)
R - Andrew G. Buckley, 202 Lime Hill Rd., Chatham (LLL approved)
R - Donald F. Howell, 14 Haskell Ln., Harwich (LLL approved)
R - Aaron R. Maloy, 81A Finlay Rd., Orleans

House - 4th Bristol (Rehoboth/Seekonk) - formerly Rep. Philip Travis (D)

D - Nicholas D. Bernier, 494 Sharps Lot Rd., Swansea (LLL approved)
D - Steven J. D'Amico, 81 Briarwood Dr., Seekonk (LLL approved)
D - Robert A. Marquis, 298 Vinnicum Rd., Swansea (opponent of equality)
D - John W. Whelan, 15 Woodward Ave., Seekonk (LLL approved)
R - Steven S. Howitt, 425 Pine St., Seekonk (LLL approved)
R - Brian D. Langevin, 65 Sanctuary Ln., Seekonk

Comment: Travis was one of the most active opponents of marriage equality.

Senate - Berkshire, Hampshire & Franklin (Pittsfield/North Adams) - formerly Sen. Andrea Nuciforo (D)

D - Benjamin Brackett Downing, 123 Pomeroy Ave., Pittsfield (LLL approved)
D - Christopher Hodgkins, 100 Franklin St., Lee (LLL approved)
D - Helen Sharron, 343 Huntington Rd., Worthington (LLL approved)
D - Margaret Johnson Ware, 24 Moorland St., Williamstown (LLL approved)
D - John T. Zelazo, 22 Summit Ave., Adams (LLL approved)
R - Matthew W. Kinnaman, 165 Mandalay Rd., Lee (opponent of equality)

Senate - First Hampden & Hampshire (Springfield/East Longmeadow) - formerly Sen. Brian Lees (R)

D - Brian Michael Ashe, 107 Belleclaire Ave., Longmeadow
D - Rep. Gale D. Candaras, 643 Tinkham Rd., Wilbraham (LLL approved)
D - Rosemarie Mazza-Moriarty, 95 Osborne Ter., Springfield (LLL approved)
R - Kevin Q. Corridan, 198 Atwater Rd., Springfield (LLL approved)
R - Ronald J. Cutler, 35 Dorset St., East Longmeadow (opponent of equality)
R - Enrico John Villamaino, III, 834 Somers Rd., East Longmeadow (LLL approved)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tennessee Gov. & GOP Opponent Argue Over Gay Marriage Amendment

by Newscenter Staff
September 4, 2006 - 5:00 pm ET

(Memphis, Tennessee) Republican gubernatorial nominee Jim Bryson is accusing Gov. Phil Bredesen (pictured) of supporting gay marriage - something the Democratic governor adamantly denies.

Bryson, campaigning across the state by bus assails Bredesen for not signing a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

"We need a governor who believes that marriage is between one man and one woman," Bryson told supporters at one stop.

"We have a governor who wouldn't sign a resolution letting people vote on the marriage amendment that establishes that principle."

But, under Tennessee law he is not required to sign measures which are headed to the ballot.

Bryson also accuses the governor of flip flopping on the initiative that would define marriage as between a man and a woman.

When the issue was before the legislature Bredesen said the measure was unnecessary because the state already has a law limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples.

Following passage of the proposed amendment which will go to voters in November, the governor has stated he will vote for it.

Bredesen's campaign accuses Bryson of misleading the public. Bryson's campaign says the issue has gained traction with voters and will help Bryson defeat Bredeson.

Polls show the proposed amendment is likely to be approved overwhelmingly by voters.

In July the Tennessee Supreme Court dismissed a legal challenge to placing the issue before voters.

The ACLU argued that state failed to meet notification requirements as outlined in the Tennessee Constitution, which state an amendment must be published six months before the General Assembly election.

The court ruled that the ACLU did not have the standing to file the suit.

© 2006

As I read this it seemed to me these two canidates were trying to out do each other as to which one of them was more against gays, and then I remembered where I heard this first:

In 1958, Wallace formally entered the governor's race and received more than a quarter million votes placing second in the primary to John Patterson. Patterson ran strong on the racial issue and accepted the support of the Ku Klux Klan; Wallace refused it. Wallace thereupon received the endorsement of the NAACP. In the run-off, Patterson defeated him by over 64,000 votes. This devastating loss forced Wallace to significantly adapt his socio-political ideologies to appeal to the state's voters. As Quoted Wallace said, "I've been out-niggered. I'll never be out-niggered again." This change in his political ideals kept this bigot in office, believe it or not, all the way until 1987. Imagine the damage he was able to do as the leader of this state during that time.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Gay or Strait...It All Looks the Same

Arizona has become a major battleground in the fight for equal rights. Proposition 107, which will be on the November 2006 ballot, is a huge issue for both gay and strait couples. The two major players are the Center for Arizona Policy and Arizona Together.

The Center for Arizona Policy (or CAP) has a history in AZ as they are primarily a group with strong ties to religion. Established in 1995 as a non profit organization, they state their purpose to be to strengthen AZ families through policy and education, a conservative group that has had many battles with the ACLU on abortion, pornography and gambling. They have also fought with Planned Parenthood and some Gay rights groups.

AZ Together is fairly new organization that seems primarily put together to fight the proposed amendment by CAP.

Proposition 107 would be an amendment to the AZ constitution to deny SSM and deny any financial or medical benefits granted to unmarried couples living together, regardless of the length of time the couple has been cohabitating.

Many believe this amendment to have a dual purpose which would be unlawful in AZ. However CAP has maintained that prop 107’s purpose is to protect marriage. 5 couples went to court to remove this proposition from the ballot on the grounds it breaks the “single issue rule” we have in AZ. These 5 couples lost that battle and the appeal in the Supreme Court.

I am one of the few who believe that it is better to have this dual issue together on one amendment, as it will help people to see that the fight for equal rights is a fight for all.

Recent polling shows that more and more Arizonans are seeing the problems with prop 107. 60% of those asked are likely to oppose this amendment, while only 33% would vote for it. However a CAP representative disputes those numbers citing their polling shows 58% for with 37% against. Regardless, the numbers show a divided state that will unlikely see a conclusion until way past November, as I’m sure both sides will file lawsuits if they lose on this issue.

In summation, I hope all that read this will realize that as Coretta Scott King said “…injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.

Information from:
Kurtis Weaver
AZ Republic

Friday, September 01, 2006

Walmart Joins the NGLCC

National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Welcomes Wal-Mart.

Another bastion of Conservatives joins the fight for equality.

As part of Wal-Mart’s involvement with NGLCC, Dee Breazeale, vice president of divisional merchandise, SAM’S CLUB Jewelry, will serve on the organization’s Corporate Advisory Council (CAC). The CAC is composed of GLCCcorporate partners whose mission is to discuss issues upon which members of the NGLCC and CAC work together to educate Corporate America and the public on the economic benefits of providing a diverse workplace and creating mutually beneficial relationships with the LGBT and LGBT-friendly business community.

As you can imagine, the Religious Right is not pleased.

Little by little, bit by bit, the tide is turning.