Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Subject: State Fair Observation

Email post from a friend:

I so love this Facebook post from my friend Bill (and his husband Brian):

So I went to the State Fair today (yes, I am one of the three people who actually LOVE going to the State Fair!). I saw many of the things that I had hoped to see...newborn calves, cute little billy goats, beer gardens, agricultural displays, motocross exhibitions, etc. And then I saw the Republican voter registration booth. And I thought, "Oh...I can't resist this one!".

As I walked up to the booth, the most prominent display was the "One Man, One Woman" displays, signifying anti-gay marriage. this point, it was ON! As I walked up to the booth (I couldn't resist), one woman pointed to the "One Man, One Woman" button and said, "Thank God"! The first thing out of my mouth was, "Thank God for what? Discrimination???" She quickly walked away. But the lady in the booth quickly came over and began preaching to me about how the bible says that marriage is "...a contract between a man and a woman". I said, "Really? The bible speaks about contracts?" She said, " says that Jesus only recognizes a man and a woman". I then said, "Really? Where does it say that?" And, in typical "Christian" fashion, she said, "Well, I don't know exactly". I continued, "But you claim to know the bible and what Jesus says, so how can you not know where it says that, or what Jesus actually said about homosexuality?" (By the way, Jesus says NOTHING about homosexuality in the bible).

After this lady stuttered for a few minutes, she began to tell me that she doesn't understand why "the gays" are so adamant about marriage, when they have all of the same rights as heterosexuals. I then explained to her that we don't, in fact, have all the same rights...especially federal rights. She said, "No, you have the same federal rights as everyone else". I explained to her that there are ZERO federal protections/rights afforded to gay couples...including inheritance and income tax. She looked at me, puzzled, and said, "Are you sure?" I asked her where she was getting her information from, and she just said, "Well, a friend of mine said they were able to file for federal income tax returns as a couple". (The federal government DOES NOT recognize gay couples in ANY way, shape, or form as far as tax rights, inheritance rights, social security rights, etc.)

She then quickly moved on to say that she is upset that churches would lose their tax exempt status and be sued by "the gays" if they refused to perform gay marriages. I asked her to give me an example of ONE...JUST that has been sued or has lost their tax exempt status for refusing to perform a gay marriage. She again stuttered and said that she had heard of a church in Auburn, California that had been sued. I said, "Really? Which church?" And, of course, in true "Christian" fashion, she could not answer me. She just said, "I don't remember the name of it". I then told her that marriage has been legal in Massachusetts for several years, and NOT ONE church has lost its tax exempt status, or has been successfully sued by ANYONE for refusing to perform gay marriages. She, of course, just shrugged me off.

(It is important to note that by now, one of the other crusty, white, blue-haired, "Christian" women working the booth had called security to come have us removed from the booth. A man came over to tell us that we had to leave now, at which point I looked at him and said, "I'm not going anywhere. This lady has controversial propaganda displayed, and she has to expect that she'll receive opposing viewpoints." I then looked at his shirt, and noticed that he was a mattress salesman working one of the other booths nearby, so I then instinctively told him to "fuck off". At that point, he just walked away!)

As my conversation with this idiot...errrr...I mean "Christian" Republican...continued, I asked her why she felt that "Separate but Equal" was equal. She said that she did not believe that it was. I asked her if she believed that whites should be allowed to marry blacks. She looked at me and said, "Of course". I then asked if she believed that the court had any business dictating the rights of people, and she explained to me that that was one of her biggest complaints with gay marriage...that the people had spoken and did not want gay marriage, so "the gays" should just leave it alone. I then explained to her that in 1967, despite the popular will of the people, the California Supreme Court ruled that the ban on interracial marriage was unconstitutional. Of course, she did not believe me. (In case you were wondering, the case was decided in the Supreme Court on June 13, 1967). I asked her again if she believed that the will of the people, who at that time STILL overwhelmingly thought that blacks should not be allowed to marry whites, should have prevailed over the law. She didn't have an answer for me (again, in typical "Christian", Republican fashion".

By this time, the mattress salesman, and the other crusty, white, idiots...errrrr...Republicans...had had just about enough of me. So I gave her my email address, and I gave her some homework. I asked her if she could do the following:

1) Send me the quotes from the bible that say what Jesus thought about homosexuality;
2) Send me the name of the church that was "somewhere in Auburn" that was sued because they wouldn't perform gay marriages.
3) Send me the names of ANY churches that have lost their tax exempt status for not performing gay marriages; and
4) Cited the federal benefits that gay couples receive.

She promised me that she would email me with her "research". But I fully anticipate that I will not be hearing from her. In true "Christian" fashion, she knows nothing about what she says...she just spouts off inaccurate bullshit that she hears from other idiots...errr....Republicans. Sad.

Oh...and in case you were wondering...Brian wouldn't let me go back and say goodbye to the mattress salesman who tried to intimidate me from leaving!!! So I simply waived goodbye to him as I left.

The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed

by Judy Shepard


Meaning of Matthew, cover

Today, the name Matthew Shepard is synonymous with gay rights, but before his grisly murder in 1998, Matthew was simply Judy Shepard’s son. For the first time in book form, Judy Shepard speaks about her loss, sharing memories of Matthew, their life as a typical American family, and the pivotal event in the small college town that changed everything.

The Meaning of Matthew follows the Shepard family in the days immediately after the crime, when Judy and her husband traveled to see their incapacitated son, kept alive by life support machines; how the Shepards learned of the incredible response from strangers all across America who held candlelit vigils and memorial services for their child; and finally, how they struggled to navigate the legal system as Matthew’s murderers were on trial. Heart-wrenchingly honest, Judy Shepard confides with readers about how she handled the crippling loss of her child, why she became a gay rights activist, and the challenges and rewards of raising a gay child in America today.

The Meaning of Matthew not only captures the historical significance and complicated civil rights issues surrounding one young man’s life and death, but it also chronicles one ordinary woman’s struggle to cope with the unthinkable.

Grey Line

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This is a limited time premium you will receive when you make a donation of $50 or more through our website.
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Now is your chance to obtain a signed copy of this moving book. 100% of the donations via our website will go to support the work of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

NOTE: Due to Judy's busy schedule, signed books will not be shipped before
September 30, 2009.

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The Matthew Shepard Foundation was founded by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in October 1998.

Created to honor Matthew in a manner that was appropriate to his dreams, beliefs and aspirations, the Foundation seeks to "Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion & Acceptance" through its varied educational, outreach and advocacy programs and by continuing to tell Matthew's story.


Timothy Kincaid

September 1st, 2009

David Weekley is a bit unusual for a United Methodist Church pastor. For one thing, he’s a Caucasian pastor of a historic 95% Japanese-American congregation. And for another, he has for the past 27 years kept the secret that he was born female. (WestLinn Tidings)

Standing behind his pulpit, Weekley began his usual worship service. About halfway through, he paused to share a personal message he called “My Book Report.”

He told them that in 1984, just nine years after undergoing extensive sex-reassignment surgeries, he was ordained by the Methodist Church without telling anyone of his original gender at birth.

Following his story, the congregation, who had remained silent throughout his talk, broke into thunderous applause. Church members then proclaimed their support for their pastor.

Days may be difficult ahead for Weekley, as the UMC is one of the more conservative branches of mainline Christianity. But at present he has a supportive family, supportive congregation, and supportive region. And his testimony can perhaps reach hearts that already know and love him and serve to open eyes and expand thinking.