Saturday, April 19, 2014

Via Daily Dharma

Not Part of the Deal | April 19, 2014

The mind must be monitored and inventoried like an alcoholic in recovery or a Washington lobbyist: It never goes away until it gets what it wants. And what it wants is to be in control at all times. But control is not part of the deal of being a human being. We may rightly try to confront injustices, but some things can only be seen, noted, and accepted for what they are. 
—Stephen Altschuler, “Sitting Practice Redux”

Via JMG: Tumblr: Judgmental Maps

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Reposted from Joe Jervis

Friday, April 18, 2014

Via JMG: OREGON: An Openly Gay Federal Judge Will Hear Next Week's Marriage Case

Openly gay US District Court Judge Michael J. McShane will hear next week's marriage equality case in Oregon.
Unlike the five federal judges who have struck down laws prohibiting same-sex marriages in other states in recent months, McShane won't have anyone in the courtroom defending Oregon's constitutional ban when he holds oral arguments Wednesday. And, unlike the other judges, McShane also happens to be one of just nine openly gay members of the federal judiciary, according to the Human Rights Campaign. It's an unusual combination of factors for the 53-year-old jurist, who has served as a federal judge for less than a year. McShane, citing the sensitivity of the case, declined to be interviewed for this story. But friends say they're confident he'll produce a careful decision while setting aside any personal feelings. "You don't want to be the lawyer going in saying with a wink, 'I'm the lawyer on the gay-marriage side and he's going to be with me,'" says Lane Borg, who heads Metropolitan Public Defender and has known McShane for decades. "They would be ill-advised to think that just because Michael is gay that he is going to rule that way."
NOM chairman John Eastman has the sadz: "The question is not his sexual orientation, but whether he is situated identically to the plaintiffs and will benefit from the exact relief he provides to them."

RELATED: McShane began his career as a public defender in Portland. He was nominated to the federal bench by President Obama in September 2012. (Tipped by JMG reader Sam)
Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: Oregon Readies Gay Marriage Licenses

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum declared in February that she will not defend the state against the marriage equality suit filed in October 2013 by local attorneys on behalf of two gay couples. That case hasn't even been heard yet, much less ruled upon, but the state is getting ready for good news. Via the Associated Press:
In light of the Oregon attorney general's decision to not defend the state's ban on gay marriage, Oregon is now revising its marriage licenses to include forms for same-sex couples. Previously, when people applied for a marriage license, they were asked either to identify as a "bride" or "groom." Now, the new form designates as "Party A" and "Party B." Applicants can also choose to be identified as "bride," "groom" or "spouse." Another change to marriage licenses: eliminating the term "maiden name." Instead, applicants will be asked to provide their "name at birth." Most of Oregon's counties use an electronic version of the marriage form. Clerks are in the process of working with a software vendor to update the online forms.
(Tipped by JMG reader Robert)

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via Daily Dharma

Let Go in a Discerning Way | April 18, 2014

When you let go of the body, let go in a discerning way. Don't let go in a way in which delusion and misunderstanding overcome the mind. Don't get disgusted with the body so that the mind becomes restless and agitated and stops meditating. That kind of dislike is wrong. When we look at things we don't like—such as the inconstancy, the stressfulness, and the unattractiveness of the body—remember that they're part of the noble truths. 
—Phra Ajaan Suwat Suvaco, "This Body of Mine"

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Via JMG: Lawyer Who Defended Prop 8 At SCOTUS Is Changing His Mind On Gay Marriage

Protect Marriage attorney Charles Cooper, who last year argued against the overturn of Proposition 8 before the Supreme Court, says his opinion on gay marriage is "evolving" now that his own daughter is planning to marry a woman.
The revelation is an unexpected footnote in the years-long debate over Proposition 8, the California measure struck down by the Supreme Court last year. It is also offers a glimpse, through the eyes of one family, of the country's rapidly shifting opinions of gay marriage, with most public polls now showing majorities in favour of allowing the unions. Cooper learned that his stepdaughter Ashley was gay as the Proposition 8 case wound its way through appellate court, according to a forthcoming book about the lengthy legal battle.
And with the Supreme Court ruling now behind him, Cooper cast his personal opinion on gay marriage as an evolving process. "My views evolve on issues of this kind the same way as other people's do, and how I view this down the road may not be the way I view it now, or how I viewed it ten years ago," Cooper said in journalist Jo Becker's book "Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality." Cooper's words are reminiscent of the language President Barack Obama used throughout his first term to describe his "evolving" views on gay marriage. In 2012, Obama announced publicly that he did, in fact, support the rights of same-sex couples to marry.
Cooper's daughter will marry in Massachusetts in June. He says, "My daughter Ashley's path in life has led her to happiness with a lovely young woman named Casey, and our family and Casey's family are looking forward to celebrating their marriage in just a few weeks."

HRC president Chad Griffin reacts: “I spent the better part of five years sitting across courtroom aisles from Mr. Cooper, disagreeing with just about every word that came out of his mouth, but I have profound respect for his decision to love and celebrate his daughter and her fiancée because his story reflects the experience of so many of the 90 percent of Americans who personally know someone who is LGBT."

Proposition 8 plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier react: "We were so moved to hear of the Cooper family's constant love and support of their own daughter, even as the Perry case was in full swing and Mr. Cooper was spending his days planning Prop 8's defense. Some may find this contrast between public and private jarring, but in our opinion, loving an LGBT child unequivocally is the single most important thing any parent can do. We are overjoyed for Ashley and her fiancée, and we wish them the very best."

Will Brian Brown issue his usual denouncement?

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: Sodomy Banned But Not Necrophilia

Via Gawker.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

VIa Daily Dharma

Commit to Love | April 17, 2014

To commit to love is fundamentally to commit to a life beyond dualism. That’s why love is so sacred in a culture of domination, because it simply begins to erode your dualisms: dualisms of black and white, male and female, right and wrong.
—bell hooks, "Agent of Change"

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Via JMG: LOUISIANA: House Votes 66-27 To Keep Unconstitutional Anti-Sodomy Law

Thanks to pressure from a local anti-gay Christian group, the Louisiana House yesterday refused to repeal an unenforceable and unconstitutional anti-sodomy law. The vote was 66-27.
A House Committee passed the legislation onto the body's floor by a vote of 9-6 last week. But one of the state's most powerful lobbying groups, the conservative Christian Louisiana Family Forum, opposes striking the sodomy ban. The group sent out a letter to every legislator urging them to vote against the proposal, claiming that teenagers would be less protected from sexual predators if they went through with the repeal. They also said the bill would put the public health at risk. "Louisiana's anti-sodomy statute is consistent with the values of Louisiana residents who consider this behavior to be dangerous, unhealthy and immoral," stated the letter to lawmakers from the Louisiana Family Forum. During a floor discussion of the bill, the legislation's sponsor, Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, pushed back on the Family Forum's assertions. The bill only seeks to repeal a statute that is already unconstitutional, she said.
Fucking a human corpse? Legal in Louisiana. A blowjob from a consenting adult? Technically a felony and punishable by five years in prison. Praise! Glory!

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: Salon Writer: Porno Pete "Humiliated" By Student Walkout At My College

Salon writer Kate Geiselman recounts the walkout that took place last week when Peter LaBarbera delivered a speech about the evils of homosexuality at her Ohio college.
Mr. LaBarbera approached the podium and apologized affably for keeping us waiting. He talked about the importance of dialogue and respect. And then he said there was no scientific evidence that homosexuality is not a choice. He reminded us that the hypocritical left, in silencing voices like his, is really the party guilty of intolerance. And that was our cue to leave. We stood, without a word, and walked out. I heard a woman shouting, “Shame! Shame on you!” There were gasps and a few loud grumbles of disapproval, LaBarbera’s aforementioned “Are you effing kidding me” among them. We walked out of the venue and into the Student Activities Center, where we hugged and laughed and ate Honey Maid graham crackers. Photographs of the venue after we walked out show that about 12 people remained behind, at least two of whom I recognize as allies who likely stayed to see what he would say. It was a beautiful, beautiful thing.
Hit the first link and read the full story. (Tipped by JMG reader AJ)

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via Dialy Dharma

The Truth Is Never Far Away | April 16, 2014

We tell stories about who we are and what life is, but seldom see that they’re only stories. The good news is that the truth is never far away. It’s right here, in fact, posing as backdrop. 
—Erik Hansen, “The Island”

Via FB:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Matt Gold "Appreciated "- Official Music Video

Via JMG: NYT Calls On Obama To Issue Executive Order On Employment Discrimination

From the New York Times editorial board:
Mr. Obama said in November that workplace discrimination “needs to stop, because, in the United States of America, who you are and who you love should never be a fireable offense.” An executive order barring discrimination by federal contractors would extend badly needed job protections to more than 11 million employees who work in states that lack such protections and whose companies fail to provide them voluntarily, according to the Williams Institute at the U.C.L.A. School of Law. What Mr. Obama needs to do is act on his principles and issue such an order, without the religious exemption that was put into the Senate bill to lure Republican votes. Challenged last week to explain the mystifying delay on this issue, Mr. Obama’s spokesman said that the president supported broader legislation and that its enactment by Congress would make an executive order “redundant.”
The Times concludes that the president should "lead by example" in order to prod the House to do the right thing on ENDA. The Senate passed ENDA in November.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: Out Issues Power 50 Ranking

Out Magazine today published its eighth annual ranking of the 50 most powerful LGBT people in the United States.  Here's a bit of the list.
1. Ellen DeGeneres 2. Tim Cook 3. Rachel Maddow 4. Sen. Tammy Baldwin 5. Glenn Greenwald 6. Ryan Murphy 7. Neil Patrick Harris 8. Andy Cohen 9. Michael Sam 10. Robin Roberts
Homocon billionaire Peter Thiel is #13. Former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman is #18. Andrew Sullivan is #26. New to the list is DOMA attorney Roberta Kaplan at #47. Curiously missing from this year's ranking is closeted homocon blogger Matt Drudge, who ranked at #21 last year and at #16 in 2012. Since there's no obvious reason for Drudge to completely fall off the list in one year, I wouldn't be surprised if somebody got a cease-and-desist letter.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via Daily Dharma

Giving Up Addictions | April 15, 2014

Starting to wake up is a lot like giving up an addiction. You’re going to go through withdrawal symptoms, weaning yourself from this addiction to habitual, small-minded patterns of perception. You could say enlightenment is no more addiction. You’re just fully awake, fully on the spot, without having to hide out. 
—Pema Chödrön, "No Right, No Wrong"

Monday, April 14, 2014

Joseph Arthur - In The Sun

Via Daily Dharma

The Healing We Seek | April 14, 2014

Perhaps we all carry an immemorial wound, an infinite loss, a self-exile we perpetrate on ourselves. It turns us into isolated entities stalking the earth in search of what we think we need—the temporary stays against ennui, despair, loss, and terror. But sooner or later, the wound can carry us toward its own remedy, if we only let it. 
—Henry Shukman, “Beautiful Storm”

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Via Daily Dharma

Idleness | April 13, 2014

Doing nothing is essential for thinking to occur. Many of the most important thoughts are unintentional—they can be neither solicited nor cajoled but have a rhythm of their own, creeping up, arriving, and leaving when we least expect them. It is important to cultivate the lassitude of mind that clears a place for the arrival of what cannot be anticipated. Idleness allows time for the mind to wander to places never before imagined and to return transformed. 
—Mark C. Taylor, "Idleness Waiting Grace"