Monday, October 31, 2011

Via JMG: Uganda: Top Travel Pick For 2012

An editor comments on the selection:
"We chose Uganda for the experiences that it can offer to travelers, separate from its current political situation. To be very clear: we are aware of, and condemn, Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill. We hope that travellers do not judge the country in general, and most of its people, by the sentiments of its government. Many destinations across the world have political and human rights issues and travel often can raise awareness of these issues."
(Tipped by JMG reader Christian)

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: CENTRAL AMERICA: Belize Court May Decriminalize Homosexuality

Homosexual acts between men are presently illegal in the tiny Central American nation of Belize, with punishments as harsh as ten years in prison. But according to the quite nasty alert I've just been forwarded, Belize's sodomy law will be reviewed by the nation's highest court on December 5th.
The homosexual organization UNIBAM (United Belize Advocacy Movement) and Caleb Orozco has brought a lawsuit against the Attorney General, and thus, Govt. of Belize, seeking to change Section 53 of the Criminal Code, which says: "Any person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or any animal shall be liable to 10 years imprisonment." Orosco & UNIBAM are seeking to remove the words “any person or” so that this law would not apply to interpersonal relationships but only that of sex with animals. They are seeking to use the Constitution phrases & sections pertaining to “personal privacy, human dignity, etc.” to have the present law declared unconstitutional unless that wording is changed. The end goal is SAME SEX MARRIAGE in Belize and a broad HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA of what’s called “GENDER MAINSTREAMING,” making the gay & lesbian lifestyle accepted in our society & culture.
The group fighting the repeal of anti-sodomy laws has a Facebook page.

RELATED: Female homosexual acts are not banned in Belize. It is currently illegal for "professional homosexuals" to enter the country for any reason.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Quote Of The Day - Justin Simon

"There will be no change in the law on buggery in Antigua & Barbuda, at least not if I can help it. Being gay is morally wrong, and to be honest personally, I am still homophobic. I know they are going to ask me this same question at the Human Rights United Nations meeting I am attending, and I will give them the same answer." - Justin Simon, Attorney General for the Caribbean nation of Antigua & Barbuda.
reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Archdiocese Of Boston: Satan Made You Gay Because He's Totally Pissed Off At God

According to the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston, Satan made you gay just to piss off God.
In other words, the scientific evidence of how same-sex attraction most likely may be created provides a credible basis for a spiritual explanation that indicts the devil. Any time natural disasters occur, we as people of faith look back to Scripture's account of those angels who rebelled and fell from grace. In their anger against God, these malcontents prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. They continue to do all they can to mar, distort and destroy God's handiwork.
The above-linked article was written by the policy advisor for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. So much for all that Catholic bullshit about "treating homosexuals with respect." (Via - Right Wing Watch)

reposted from Joe

Friday, October 28, 2011

Via JMG: Cuomo Calls For Gay Marriage Everywhere

As last night's annual fall gala for the Empire State Pride Agenda, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for all states to legalize same-sex marriage.
Shifting his sights beyond New York in a way he has not done before, Mr. Cuomo demanded that the federal Defense of Marriage Act be repealed. His voice rising in intensity as he spoke, he also called for federal legislation that would bar discrimination against gay men and lesbians in housing and employment. And in his most forceful terms to date, Mr. Cuomo called for his counterparts across the country to embrace what he framed as an issue of equal rights and to push for the legalization of same-sex marriage in their own statehouses. “We need marriage equality in every state in this nation,” Mr. Cuomo said. “Otherwise, no state really has marriage equality, and we will not rest until it is a reality.”

(Video via - Think Progress)

Why Marriage Matters - Pastor Michael Gray

Via JMG: Spain Sees Marriage Repeal Battle

The campaign to repeal same-sex marriage is not limited to the United States.
Next month's general elections threaten to undo Spain's 6-year-old gay marriage law. The Socialist government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, which swept into office in 2004, looks to be on the outs. Polling shows the conservative Popular Party (PP) with a 15-point lead over Socialists. Zapatero's government legalized gay marriage over the objections of the Catholic Church and the PP, which filed a legal challenged to the law based on technical grounds. Mariano Rajoy, the leader of the PP, has previously said he believes the law is unconstitutional and that he would “change” it even if the nation's highest court ruled it constitutional.
We'll follow this closely here on JMG, of course.

reposted from Joe

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:


October 28, 2011

Put your body to good use

What should you do to put your body to good use? Most people have no idea. A craftsman who borrows some tools will try to make the best possible use of them while they are available. Your body, too, is actually on loan to you for the time being, for the brief period left before it is taken back from you by death. Had you better not use it to practice the dharma while you can?
– Dilgo Khyentse, "The Day After You Die"
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection

Via AmericaBlogGay: US service members file legal challenge to DOMA

SLDN Files Landmark Litigation on Behalf of Married Gay and Lesbian Service Members, Veterans

Case Challenges Constitutionality of Defense of Marriage Act, Other Statutes Preventing Equal Benefits and Family Support

(Washington, D.C.) Today, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) announced the filing of landmark federal litigation, suing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, on behalf of current and former service members seeking equal recognition, benefits and family support for equal sacrifice and service in the U.S. Armed Forces. The plaintiffs, each legally married, want the armed services to recognize their families and seek the same family support and benefits for their same-sex spouses that the services and Department of Veterans Affairs provide to opposite-sex spouses.

The case, filed in the District of Massachusetts, challenges the constitutionality of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), as well as provisions in Title 10, Title 32, and Title 38 of U.S. Code, which preclude the military from providing same-sex married couples with the same benefits and family support as their straight, married peers.

“This case is about one thing, plain and simple. It’s about justice for gay and lesbian service members and their families in our armed forces rendering the same military service, making the same sacrifices, and taking the same risks to keep our nation secure at home and abroad,” said Army Veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis. “These couples are in long term, committed, and legally recognized marriages, and the military should not be forced to turn its back on them because the federal government refuses to recognize their families.”

Together, the plaintiffs represent 159 years of military service; serve in the Army, Air Force, Navy and National Guard; and as couples, have been together for a total of 79 years.

“We’ve been serving our country too long, working too hard, and sacrificing too much to see our families denied the same recognition, support and benefits as our straight, married counterparts,” said lead plaintiff, Major Shannon McLaughlin of the Massachusetts National Guard. McLaughlin and her spouse, Casey, are the parents of ten month old twins, Grace and Grant.

Currently, federal law requires the military to ignore these marriages and, therefore, prevents it from providing vitally needed benefits to these legally married spouses, including housing; health care; surviving spouse benefits; the issuance of military identification cards; and morale, welfare, and recreational programs. These inequities were recently spotlighted when Chief Warrant Officer 2 Charlie Morgan of the New Hampshire National Guard, announced today as a plaintiff in this case, was forced to seek intervention from elected officials and the Pentagon in order for her spouse, a part-time special education teacher, to be permitted to attend a yellow-ribbon reintegration ceremony following CW2 Morgan’s return from a deployment to Kuwait.

“As plaintiffs, we are fighting to receive the same benefits and opportunities as our married heterosexual counterparts. This discrimination causes undue financial and emotional hardship for our families. As a cancer survivor, who has been recently diagnosed with a recurrence, I worry every day that my health may take a turn for the worse, and Karen would be unable to receive the survivor’s benefits to help take care of our daughter. We are only asking for fair and equitable treatment as a recognized family,” Morgan said today.

Abbe Lowell and Christopher Man of Chadbourne & Parke, SLDN’s pro bono co-counsel in the case, explained that providing all service members equal benefits is about more than just ensuring equality. They said this case promotes national security.

“Securing benefits for a service member’s spouse allows the service member to do his or her job for the nation with the confidence that they’re not putting their families at risk. It takes the worry out of the equation and allows them to serve with dignity and honor,” they said.

Sarvis pointed out this is not about special rights, as some critics have argued.

“We are not advocating any special treatment for the families of gay and lesbian service members or veterans, but we want to underscore that all military families should be treated the same when it comes to recognition, benefits and family support,” said Sarvis.

The Plaintiffs:

Major Shannon L. McLaughlin, ARNG
MAJ Shannon McLaughlin is a United States Army Major in the Massachusetts National Guard and serves as a Judge Advocate General (JAG). Her current military assignment is Chief of Legal Assistance for the Massachusetts Army National Guard. She has served for 13 years and is married in the State of Massachusetts to her partner of more than three years, Casey McLaughlin. They are the proud parents of ten-month old twins, Grace and Grant McLaughlin. MAJ McLaughlin has been mobilized and deployed overseas in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and served stateside in various roles during her military career as a JA. Prior to becoming an officer, MAJ McLaughlin attained the rank of Sergeant as an enlisted soldier.

Captain Steve M. Hill, USAR
CAPT Steve Hill is an Army reservist with 18 years of service currently on active duty at an undisclosed post in the Middle East. He is also a veteran of Operation Desert Shield. He is married to Joshua Snyder, his partner of more than a year, and they reside in Columbus, OH, where CAPT Hill is a Director of Public Health for Franklin County. CAPT Hill recently drew national interest when he submitted a video via You Tube that was used during the Fox News/Google Republican Presidential Debate in September to question the candidates about the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Chief Warrant Officer 2 (CW2) Charlie Morgan, ARNG
CW2 Charlie Morgan currently resides in New Hampshire, where she is married to her partner of more than 14 years, Karen Morgan, a part-time special education teacher, whose primary responsibility is caring for their four-year old daughter Casey Elena. With more than sixteen years of service, she now works full time as an Active Guard Reserve Education Officer in the New Hampshire National Guard. In 2010, she was deployed to mobilization training at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, followed by Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, before returning home to New Hampshire in August 2011. Karen’s lack of spousal recognition means she is unable to gain access to health and dental insurance, causing the family to purchase it at full cost with no discount. In addition, her inability to receive a military identification card prevents her from taking their daughter, who is a dependent with her own ID card, on post to take advantage of facilities and services otherwise available to families. CW2 Morgan is a cancer survivor who recently has been diagnosed with recurrent cancer. She worries every day that if her health takes a turn for the worse, her military survivor benefits will not be conferred.

Lieutenant Gary Ross, USN
LT Gary Ross has served in the U.S. Navy since 1995 and is currently stationed at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, where he works for the Joint Interoperability Test Command’s Warfighter Support Division. His duties include standing watch as both the critical and routine Hotline Support Officer for the 24/7 operational, contingency, and routine inoperability problem technical support task team. He also provides support for joint, inter-agency, and coalition communication exercises. He married his partner of more than 11 years, Dan Swezy, in the State of Vermont at 12:01 a.m. on September 20, 2011 as the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” took effect.

Lieutenant Colonel Victoria A. Hudson, USAR
LTC Victoria A. Hudson has served in the U.S. Army Reserve for more than 32 years, including four years enlisted service. She is a veteran of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Joint Endeavor (peace enforcement mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina), two Operation Noble Eagle domestic tours of duty following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S., and one tour in Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. She has held a variety of command and staff positions including military intelligence company commander, civil affairs company commander, brigade operations officer (G3) and two battalion commands. She is married to her partner of ten years, Monika Poxon, and they live in Hayward, CA, with their two-year-old daughter.

Airman First Class (A1C) Daniel Henderson, USAF
A1C Daniel P. Henderson joined the U.S. Air Force in November of 2010 and is currently stationed in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where he works as a member of the 90th Security Forces Group, providing continuous security for the 90th Missile Wing’s most vital assets. The mission of the 90th SFG includes the protection of F. E. Warren AFB, 15 Missile Alert Facilities (MAFs) and 150 Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) on constant 24-hour alert throughout a 9,600 square-mile area spanning three states. The 90th SFG also sustains a combat-ready force deployable worldwide in support of wartime and peacetime tasks. He is married Jerret Henderson, his partner of more than 3 years. They plan to start the adoption process within the next few years and become parents.

Captain Joan E. Darrah, USN (Retired)
CAPT Joan E. Darrah joined the Navy in 1973 and served as a Naval Intelligence officer until her retirement in 2002. Her assignments included Deputy Director of the Human Resources Directorate at the Office of Naval Intelligence and the Intelligence Community Senior Detailer and Community Manager at the Bureau of Naval Personnel. From June 1997 until July 2000, she was assigned as the Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander at the Office of Naval Intelligence. Her final assignment was on the staff of the Director of Naval Intelligence where she was the Officer and Enlisted Community Manager. She is married to Lynne Kennedy, her partner since 1990, and they live in Alexandria, Virginia.

Colonel Stewart Bornhoft, USA (Retired)
COL Stewart Bornhoft served in the U.S. Army from the time of his West Point graduation in 1969 until his retirement in 1995. He completed two tours of duty in Vietnam before serving in Europe for three years and commanding two districts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In his final tour of duty, COL Bornhoft was the Director of Public Works at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, during which time he was called to Oklahoma City by the Commander of the Third Army to be the Secretary of the Army’s Defense Coordinating Officer on-site during the rescue and recovery efforts following the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in April 1995. He is married to Stephen McNabb, a former Navy Lieutenant with eight years of active duty service and his partner of 15 years, and they live in Bonita, CA.

Via AmericaBlogGay: DNC’s new faith outreach director is pro-life and adamantly opposed to marriage equality

I wonder if the Democratic National Committee would have hired someone in favor of miscegenation laws.  Or are some core Democratic values less equal than others? 

Oh why ask it rhetorically, we all know the answer. We just don't matter nearly enough to Democrats.  They don't particularly respect us, and they certainly don't fear us nearly enough.
They would never have chosen some for the this job who didn't believe in full and equal rights for African-Americans, Latinos, or Jews.  It's not even debatable - they wouldn't have hired him in any of those cases.  But when the prejudice is anti-gay, it's ok.  We are not simply not equal in the eyes of the Democratic party.

Of course, what this is all about is the Democrats assuming gays will vote for them and give them our money regardless of how they treat us, so instead they're going to focus on wooing African-Americans and other faith-centric communities.  Embracing bigotry is a win-win.

If we truly mattered to the Democratic party, if they truly understood our issues and our plight, if they truly respected us and our issues, they would never do something like this.

Q: So you’re not a supporter of same-sex marriage yourself?

A: No, no, no. But again, I’m not a bomb-thrower in terms of saying things that will get a rise out of a crowd because I just don’t think that’s, again, intellectually honest.
As BelieveOutLoud notes, apparently one "no" wasn't sufficient.

Via AmericaBlogGay:

Anti-gay bully suspended for only 3 days after brutally beating student in front of entire class

And the entire thing was caught on film.

Andy Towle has the horrific story:

A student at Union-Scioto High School in Chillicothe, Ohio was brutally beaten this week by another student for being gay. Class members watched as the bully waited for the student to arrive in the classroom, grabbed him, pushed him to the ground and punched him in the face several times.

Another student recorded the assault on his cell phone. The video was posted to Facebook.

The bully had harassed the gay student (who has not been identified) on Facebook a few days earlier, writing, as the comment on a photo of him: "You fag. Check out the definition of a fag."

According to an email received by Towleroad from Equality Ohio, "The victim has suffered a possible concussion and dental damage. The attacker was suspended from school for just three days. "

Andy goes on to note that the school district has an anti-harassment policy that excludes LGBT students. Below is the video of the beating from an ABC News story.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Via JMG: Linda Harvey: I Should Sue Wayne Besen

Linda Harvey is threatening to sue Wayne Besen for a post published yesterday on Truth Wins Out. In the post, Besen notes that Harvey has endorsed Uganda's still-pending "kill gays" bill. Her exact words:
“The fact they are re-criminalizing homosexuality is (a) their business, (b) it is patronizing for white Westerners to be telling these folks — they are seeing George Soros funded gay groups going into Uganda. They are all through the schools, lots of promotion to kids. Poor kids, poor kids are being offered money and favors and gifts to have sex. That’s exploitation. That’s sex trafficking. And it’s being done mostly homosexually. By Western homosexuals coming in and trying to get involved in Uganda.”
That sure sounds like "advocating killing" to ME.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Rosie: Media To Blame For Bullying

Rosie O'Donnell appeared on Thomas Roberts' MSNBC show this afternoon to plug her new show and talk about bullying, which she says is fueled, in part, by cable news. "Some of the 24-hour news networks seemed to take pride in the fact that they bully people."

(Via - Think Progress)

posted by Joe

Via JMG: WALES: Pro Rugby Player Comes Out

Wales has another out pro athlete.
Old Redcliffians captain Jed Hooper has become the first Combination player to publicly announce that he is gay. The 22-year-old back row forward came out to family and friends earlier this year. And Hooper has now spoken exclusively to the Evening Post in the hope that his story can help other young rugby players come to terms with their sexuality. In recent seasons, former Welsh international Gareth Thomas and top referee Nigel Owens have both broken one of the great taboos in arguably the most macho sport of all. And Hooper, a fierce competitor who speaks as directly off the pitch as he does in his pre-match team talks, has now also chosen to come out of the closet after years of anxiety connected to grappling with his true identity. The decision, he said, was still far from easy. "I met someone earlier this year who said he could not be with someone who was in the closet. That, basically, was the catalyst that I needed."
Hit the link for the rest of a great story. (Tipped by JMG reader Leif)

reposted from Joe