Tuesday, January 31, 2012

You Can't Stop Us

Via Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes:

You have two gardens: your own garden and that of your beloved. First, you have to take care of your own garden and master the art of gardening. In each one of us there are flowers and there is also garbage. The garbage is the anger, fear, discrimination, and jealousy within us. If you water the garbage, you will strengthen the negative seeds. If you water the flowers of compassion, understanding, and love, you will strengthen the positive seeds. What you grow is up to you.

- Thich Nhat Hahn
You have two gardens: your own garden and that of your beloved. First, you have ...See More

Via JMG: Washington Marriage Bill Advances

Washington state's marriage equality bill advanced again today after surviving a close 8-7 vote in the House Judiciary Committee. The Senate version of the bill advanced last week. Washington United reacts via press release:
“We thank Chair Pedersen and the members of the Judiciary Committee who supported marriage equality today,” said Lacey All, Chair of Washington United for Marriage. “As the bill continues to progress in both chambers in Olympia, it is clear that momentum is on our side. The stories of love, honor, commitment and family that our legislators are hearing from their constituents continue to be the single most important factor that sets us apart from those who oppose this bill.”
The full Senate will debate and vote on the bill this Wednesday. House action should follow shortly after. Gov. Christine Gregoire has promised to sign the bill, but its implementation may be suspended pending the expected November challenge at the ballot.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Simpler Circumcision

As part of a campaign to reduce HIV infections in Africa, groups such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are advocating the use of the above "simpler" circumcision method. The new procedure is intended to speed the rate of circumcisions in regions that have few doctors.
Circumcision is believe to protect heterosexual men because the foreskin has many Langerhans cells, which pick up viruses and “present” them to the immune system — which H.I.V. attacks. From the initial safety studies done so far, PrePex is clearly faster, less painful and more bloodless than any of its current rivals. And it relies on the simplest and least-threatening technology — a rubber band. The band compresses the foreskin against a plastic ring slipped inside it; the foreskin dies within hours for lack of blood and, after a week, falls off or can be clipped off “like a fingernail,” said Tzameret Fuerst, the company’s chief executive officer, who compared the process to the stump of an umbilical cord’s shriveling up and dropping off a few days after it is clamped. It is done with topical anesthetic cream, and there is usually no bleeding. And PrePex can be put in place and removed by nurses with about three days’ training.
Three separate studies have shown that circumcision can reduce HIV infection from vaginal sex by up to 60%. Another study was cut short when it became clear that circumcising men that are already infected provided no protection to women. In 2009 the CDC announced that it was considering recommending that American boys be circumcised at birth, but that policy was never formalized. No study has yet confirmed that circumcision provides any protection for gay men.

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: In Memory Of Slain Activist David Kato

No More Down Low reports on the anniversary of slain Ugandan activist David Kato, whose memorial vigil I attended and reported upon last year.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: LGBT Cancer Survey

Take the survey.

reposted from Joe

Via Gay Politics Report:

  • N.H. unlikely to repeal marriage law, Republicans say
    Republican New Hampshire lawmakers say a bill that would end marriage for same-sex couples in the state is unlikely to become law this year. Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, has vowed to veto the bill if it reaches his desk, and it appears that enough legislators, including multiple Republicans, oppose the measure to prevent it from passing with a veto-proof margin. Recent polls indicate that New Hampshire voters are clearly against overturning the current law that allows gays and lesbians to marry. Concord Monitor (N.H.) (1/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Via All Out: VITORIA!

No ano passado, organizações e ativistas em defesa dos direitos das mulheres e dos direitos humanos do Equador alertaram o mundo sobre uma situação horrível – centenas de clínicas ilegais que mantinham jovens mulheres em cativeiro para serem estupradas, torturadas, espancadas e deixadas sem comida pelos chamados “profissionais de saúde”. Para quê? Para curá-las da “doença” de serem lésbicas.

Mais de 250 mil pessoas do mundo inteiro se juntaram às campanhas de All Out, Change.org e CredoAction para angariar apoio às demandas de ativistas locais que pediam a investigação e o fechamento dessas “clínicas”, de uma vez por todas.

Agora a boa notícia: na semana passada, o governo do Equador anunciou o compromisso de investigar e fechar essas clínicas de práticas abusivas! E não é só isso: o presidente nomeou a ativista feminista e pelos direitos LGBT , também defensora da saúde pública, Carina Vance Mafla, como a nova Ministra da Saúde do Equador. É ela quem vai liderar a investigações sobre essas clínicas.

Você levaria alguns instantes para assinar esta carta de agradecimento ao presidente do Equador por seu comprometimento com a igualdade LGBT?


Via Sonja van Kerkhoff: Links to what is in the news

Sean manages this page and adds what he finds in the news. These links will stay here and when I have time I’ll make cross links from the “About” page and other pages on this blog so this can be more useful as a resource and forum for discussion.

January 2012Genetic or Not, Gay Won’t Go Away | Next new item title pasted in here

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma January 31, 2012

Attaining Freedom

Sometimes people get very rigid and tense trying to be good, disciplined, and ethical. Tension can also arise when we become more aware of the immense amount of destruction—seen and unseen, intentional and unintentional—that our mere physical existence causes. From a Buddhist point of view, however, this is what it means to be born in samsara, and this is why we need to attain freedom from samsara.
- Khandro Rinpoche, "Complete Abandon"
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection

Via AmericaBlogGay: Romney campaign showcases endorsement of pastor who claims gay marriage helped cause 9/11

The Romney campaign released a letter of support from Florida "social conservatives" (that's the new nice word for the religious right), including a pastor, Dr. Roberto Miranda of the COPAHNI Fellowship of Hispanic Pastors of New England, who has suggested that 9/11 happened because of gay marriage being legalized in Massachusetts. Here's the letter on Romney's campaign site.

And here's the pastor:

Is it exaggerated to see prophetic significance in the fact that on September 11, 2001 Boston served as the point of departure for the deadly forces that spread so much destruction and havoc in this nation and all over the world? What took place at the material level is now being carried out at the moral and spiritual level, as the virus of homosexuality and gay marriage begins to spread dramatically all over this nation and perhaps the world.

Really, Mitt? Now, the Romney campaign problem welcomes the controversy because it's their anti-gay beard to deflect attention from the fact that Romney once claimed he was better on gay issues than Ted Kennedy.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Via cdn.unicornbooty.com:

Frank Schaeffer calls Fundamentalist Christians Village Idiots

Via JMG: Cynthia Nixon Clarifies

"My recent comments in The New York Times were about me and my personal story of being gay. I believe we all have different ways we came to the gay community and we can't and shouldn't be pigeon-holed into one cultural narrative which can be uninclusive and disempowering. However, to the extent that anyone wishes to interpret my words in a strictly legal context I would like to clarify: While I don't often use the word, the technically precise term for my orientation is bisexual. I believe bisexuality is not a choice, it is a fact. What I have 'chosen' is to be in a gay relationship." - Cynthia Nixon, speaking to the Advocate.

Read Nixon's full statement.

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: The 2 Bears - Work

One of these guys is Joe Goddard from Hot Chip, one of the few bands I've really liked in the last couple of years. The 2 Bears album was released today on iTunes UK. The physical CD comes out next week, apparently also in the UK only.

(Tipped by JMG reader Aaron)

Reposted from Joe

Via Follower of the Buddha:

Rely on the Teachings, not just the Teacher.
Rely on the Meaning, not just the words.
Rely on the Real Meaning, not just the interpretation.
Rely on the Experience, not just the idea.
The Buddha

Rely on the Teachings, not just the Teacher.
Rely on the Meaning, not just the w...ords.
Rely on the Real Meaning, not just the interpretation.
Rely on the Experience, not just the idea.

Namo Buddhaya Namo Dharmaya Namo Sanghaya སངས་རྒྱས་ཆོས་དང་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་མཆོག་རྣམས་ལ། Sang-gye cho-dang tsog-kyi cho-nam-la
I take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha 諸佛正法眾中尊 བྱང་ཆུབ་བར་དུ་བདག་ནི་སྐྱབས་སུ་མཆི། Jang-chub bar-du dag-ni kyab-su-chi
Until I attain enlightenment. 直至菩提我歸依དག་གིས་སྦྱིན་སོགས་བགྱིས་པའི་བསོད་ན...མས་ཀྱིས། Dag-gi jin-sog gyi-pe so-nam-kyi 
By the merit I have accumulated from practising generosity and the other perfections 我以所行施等善འགྲོ་ལ་ཕན་ཕྱིར་སངས་རྒྱས་འགྲྲུབ་པར་ཤོག །། Dro-la pan-chir sang-gye drub-par-shog 
May I attain enlightenment, for the benefit of all migrators. 為利眾生願成佛  

Enough Said:

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma January 30, 2012

Winds of Emotion

Awareness is the basis, or what you might call the “support,” of the mind. It is steady and unchanging, like the pole to which the flag of ordinary consciousness is attached. When we recognize and become grounded in awareness of awareness, the “wind” of emotion may still blow. But instead of being carried away by the wind, we turn our attention inward, watching the shifts and changes with the intention of becoming familiar with that aspect of consciousness that recognizes "Oh, this is what I’m feeling, this is what I’m thinking." As we do so, a bit of space opens up within us.
- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, "The Aim of Attention"
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection

Sunday, January 29, 2012

JMG Quote Of The Day - Frank Bruni

"[T]he born-this-way approach carries an unintended implication that the behavior of gays and lesbians needs biological grounding to evade condemnation. Why should it? Our laws safeguard religious freedom, and that’s not because there’s a Presbyterian, Buddhist or Mormon gene. There’s only a tradition and theology that you elect or decline to follow. But this country has deemed worshiping in a way that feels consonant with who you are to be essential to a person’s humanity. So it’s protected. Our laws also safeguard the right to bear arms: not exactly a biological imperative. Among adults, the right to love whom you’re moved to love — and to express it through sex and maybe, yes, marriage — is surely as vital to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as a Glock. And it’s a lot less likely to cause injury, if that’s a deciding factor: how a person’s actions affect the community around him or her." - New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, on Cynthia Nixon's controversial comments.

reposted from Joe

Via Christians Tired of Being Misrepresented // The Christian Left:

Paula - A teacher in New York was teaching her class about bullying and gave them the following exercise to perform. She had the children take a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up, stamp on it and really mess it up but do not rip it. Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty it was. She then told them to tell it they’re sorry. ....Now even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, she pointed out all the scars they left behind. And that those scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix it. That is what happens when a child bully’s another child, they may say they’re sorry but the scars are there forever. The looks on the faces of the children in the classroom told her the message hit home.

The Dalai Lama Interview- Capitalism. Socialism.

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma January 29, 2012

Skillful Attitudes

Skillful attitudes of mind are the key to facing potentially explosive situations and the ongoing highs and lows of life and practice. In fact, recognizing these attitudes and cultivating their antidotes is the foundation for all spiritual growth. By cultivating skillful attitudes of mind, we will respond to more and more of life with awareness and wisdom. With steady awareness of the way things are, the perseverance to stay with that awareness, and the willingness to learn from it, we maximize our sense of well-being.

Via JMG: Romney Foundation Gave To "Ex-Gays"

Last night Rachel Maddow and Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out delved into the donations made by a Romney foundation. I recently mentioned the anti-gay groups that get Romney money, but as Besen explains, at least one of those groups also advocates for "ex-gay" therapy.

 go to link here on JMG

Via JMG: GOP Intro's Bill Banning Same-Sex "Ceremonies" On Military Bases

GOP Rep. Tim Huelskamp has introduced a bill which allows military chaplains to refuse to conduct same-sex marriages. Which they already can. But the bill also bans the use of military facilities for such events.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
"Here they go again with another round of resistance tactics that have already been rejected by Congress and the American people. There is no need for the so-called 'protections' in this bill or the proposed regulations. No chaplain today is being required or pressured to marry anyone, straight or gay. Period. The bill's ban on use of military facilities and chaplains officiating at ceremonies for gay and lesbian service members is nothing more than plain, old-fashion discrimination. There is no place for that prejudice in our armed forces or in our country," said Sarvis.
Human Rights Campaign
Rep. Huelskamp and other right wing Republican Members of Congress appear to have missed the memo from military leaders who say that open service is working just fine. Instead, in their compulsive need to use our brave men and women in uniform as political pawns, these Members of Congress have invented issues that don’t exist in order to score some points. These antics coming from Rep. Huelskamp shouldn’t be a surprise as he was the one forced to admit on the floor of the U.S. House last summer that he wanted to strip funding for training materials that he hadn’t even read.

reposted from Joe

Via AmericaBlogGay:

Dan Savage on gay marriage: Religious right on last ropes:

"Dan makes an interesting point: The gay-bashing wing of the GOP has pretty much lost the GOP presidential primary. Bachmann, Perry, Cain are all out, and Santorum is on his way out.  They were the true far-right evangelical candidates, and they couldn't even win the GOP nomination, let alone the general election"

"'On a side note, I've written before about how good Dan is on TV representing our community and our issues.  I cannot think of anyone who is better.  Watch this 3 minute segment (Current isn't able, legally, to post more than 3 minutes of any one show).  You'll see what I'm talking about".

Friday, January 27, 2012

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma January 27, 2012

Forgive and Forget

To forgive does not necessarily mean to forget. Sometimes to forget is not wise, but to forgive is wise. And it is at times not easy. It can, in fact, be quite challenging. It will come as no surprise that one of the most difficult people to forgive can be yourself. Yet with patience and gentle determination, it can be done.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma January 22, 2012

What Kind of Mind?

When you check your mind, do not rationalize or push. Relax. Do not be upset when problems arise. Just be aware of them and where they come from; know their root. Introduce the problem to yourself: “Here is this kind of problem. How has it become a problem? What kind of mind feels that it's a problem?” When you check thoroughly, the problem will automatically disappear. That's so simple, isn't it?
- Lama Yeshe, "Your Mind is Your Religion"
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection

Via JMG: MILESTONE: Every Company On Fortune's Best 100 List Protects Gay Employees

Google is the nation's best company to work for according to the 2012 edition of Fortune Magazine's annual rankings. And for the first time, every company in the list's top 100 offers sexual orientation non-discrimination protections.
"It's been gathering strength over the 15 years that we've done the survey," said Milton Moskowitz, a co-author of the list. Similar progress has been made in benefits for same-sex domestic partners, which are now offered by 89 of the 100 companies listed, up from 70 five years ago. "It's not surprising to me that the places that are ranked the best to work are also the ones that are going to respect and value their employees," said Michael Cole-Schwartz, communications manager at the Human Rights Campaign, an organization that advocates on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
RELATED: About 60% of Fortune 500 companies currently offer domestic partner benefits. That's almost double the number from ten years ago.
Reposted from Joe

via jmg: Freedom To Marry Issues Impressive List: American Mayors For Marriage Equality

A Freedom To Marry press conference including Mayor Bloomberg and many others is underway at this writing. Video to follow, hopefully. If your mayor does not appear on the list, send him/her this statement to join.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Sex-Act Morality Flow Chart

(Via - The Friendly Atheist)

reposted from Joe

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

The Nature of Anger

Because we imagine anger is never a good thing, it is easy to think we should practice simply not being angry. But that approach is too general and abstract. It’s important for each of us to be precise, to be real, to be personal and honest, to find out exactly what my anger is. To do that we need to ask ourselves lots of questions about its actual nature.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Via JMG: Lesson For NOM: Hate Doesn't Pay

The three most virulently anti-gay candidates finished four-five-six last night. The three relative moderates on LGBT rights finished far ahead. Rick Perry, whose campaign was sunk by a disastrous anti-gay commercial, finished behind "Other." While we can't expect the same result in a place like South Carolina, the New Hampshire rankings do not bode well for that state's marriage repeal campaign.

Via JMG: Positive Marriage News From WA

The prospective vote count on Washington state's marriage bill looks very positive.
The Legislature is on the verge of having enough support to make Washington the seventh state to approve gay marriage, according to a tally by The Associated Press. A same-sex marriage bill is expected to be introduced by the end of the week. The AP reached out to all 49 state senators over the past week and found that more lawmakers are firmly supporting gay marriage than opposing it, by a margin of 22-18. The measure needs 25 votes to pass the Senate. The House is widely expected to have enough support, and Gov. Chris Gregoire publicly endorsed gay marriage for the first time last week.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Gay People: Haiti's Scapecoats

This partially animated clip tells how Haitian gays were scapegoated as the cause of the devastating earthquake which occurred two years ago today.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: "Functional HIV Cure" Trial Advances

Via press release:
Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: SGMO) announced today the initiation of two new Phase 2 clinical studies (SB-728-1101 and SB-728-902, Cohort 5) in its program to develop a "functional cure" for HIV/AIDS. Sangamo's ZFP Therapeutic® approach (SB-728-T) generates T-cells that are resistant to HIV infection using its zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) technology to permanently disrupt the DNA sequence encoding CCR5, a co-receptor used by HIV to enter cells. The company expects to present data from its SB-728-T HIV clinical trials at appropriate medical meetings in 2012.
Most interesting: "In addition to safety, the study will evaluate the effect of escalating doses of Cytoxan on SB-728-T engraftment, the effect of SB-728-T treatment on viral load following HAART interruption." In other words (I think), they'll be looking at whether patients can cease taking meds after the treatment.

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Coalition Of Religious Leaders Issues Letter Denouncing Gay Marriage: "Help! The Gov't Won't Pay Us To Oppress You!"

From a letter issued today by the heads of the Salvation Army, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Hispanic Christian Conference, the Lutheran Missouri Synod, the Mormon Church, the Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. (Plus other lesser-known religious hate groups.)
By a single stroke, every law where rights depend on marital status—such as employment discrimination, employment benefits, adoption, education, healthcare, elder care, housing, property, and taxation—will change so that same-sex sexual relationships must be treated as if they were marriage. That requirement, in turn, will apply to religious people and groups in the ordinary course of their many private or public occupations and ministries—including running schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other housing facilities, providing adoption and counseling services, and many others.

So, for example, religious adoption services that place children exclusively with married couples would be required by law to place children with persons of the same sex who are civilly “married.” Religious marriage counselors would be denied their professional accreditation for refusing to provide counseling in support of same-sex “married” relationships. Religious employers who provide special health benefits to married employees would be required by law to extend those benefits to same-sex “spouses.”

Religious employers would also face lawsuits for taking any adverse employment action—no matter how modest—against an employee for the public act of obtaining a civil “marriage” with a member of the same sex. This is not idle speculation, as these sorts of situations have already come to pass. Even where religious people and groups succeed in avoiding civil liability in cases like these, they would face other government sanctions—the targeted withdrawal of government co-operation, grants, or other benefits.
Read the entire letter.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: CALIFORNIA: Avis Sued For Offering Discounts To Gay Groups

An Arizona woman has filed suit against Avis, alleging that the car rental giant violates California's law against sexual orientation discrimination when if offers discounts to LGBT groups. Dave Rice reports at San Diego Reader:
Lynn Evenchik claims that Avis’ practice of offering discounts to members of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association and National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce constitutes a violation of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which prohibits businesses from offering discounts to customers based on sexual orientation. Evenchik paid $311.36 to rent a car from Avis at San Diego International Airport for a period of one week in July of 2011.

She later learned that members of the aforementioned groups received discount codes entitling them to 20 to 25 percent off standard rental rates due to marketing agreements Avis had entered into with the organizations. “These unfair and unlawful business practices result in many consumers who are not affiliated with those organizations paying substantially higher rental rates than those made available to gay and lesbian renters,” the complaint states.
The suit calls for Avis to pay damages to anybody who rented a car since the discount offer began.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Nancy Pelosi Calls Out Homocons

"Oh, but what about them? He [Barney Frank] chooses a party that supports his values. They've chosen a party that supports their income — a party that denigrates them and treats them with disrespect." - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, on the attacks made on Frank by the likes of GOProud. Hit the link for the Advocate's cover profile on Pelosi.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG:

Canada: We Take It Back

After worldwide outrage poured into Ottawa, the Canadian federal government is backtracking on the invalidity of gay marriages by foreign visitors. Things aren't quite settled, however.
The federal government will consider changing the law to ensure non-residents married in Canada can obtain divorces, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said Thursday afternoon. Wading into a controversy that has quickly blown into an international cause célèbre, Mr. Nicholson made assurances the government “has no intention of reopening the debate on the definition of marriage.” [snip] Mr. Nicholson's statement gave immediate hope to married same-sex couples who are seeking a divorce but appeared to have no prospect of obtaining a one in Canada. However, it left one central question unanswered: Does the government consider their marriages to be legal, or not?
Lambda Legal, Freedom To Marry, the ACLU, and GLAD have issued a joint statement.
No one’s marriage has been invalidated or is likely to be invalidated. The position taken by one government lawyer in a divorce is not itself precedential. No court has accepted this view and there is no reason to believe that either Canada’s courts or its Parliament would agree with this position, which no one has asserted before during the eight years that same-sex couples have had the freedom to marry in Canada. [snip] The message for same-sex couples married in Canada remains the same as it is for same-sex couples validly married here in the United States: take every precaution you can to protect your relationship with legal documents such as powers of attorney and adoptions, as you may travel to jurisdictions that don't respect your legal relationship. There is no reason to suggest that Canadian marriages of same-sex couples are in jeopardy, or to advocate that people try to marry again elsewhere, as that could cause these couples unnecessary complications, anxiety, and expense.
Sorry about that, American Family Association. Snork!
reposted from Joe

Via AmericaBlogGay:

In a February cover story with The Advocate, a national gay and lesbian news magazine, Pelosi declined to give specifics on conversations she may have had with Obama on the issue. Instead, she said she has been focused on pressing the Democratic National Committee to fund efforts to reject state-level anti-marriage ballot measures. "There are more ways to get your voice heard than just speaking," she said. 

Pelosi added, "But I hope the president would just say he supports equality in marriage."
The Advocate story is here. HuffPost goes on to note that the White House is at pains to explain why Republicans are now saying the President has the same position on marriage equality as Romney, Santorum and Gingrich. That's not something the White House wants to hear the GOP say as we approach the election, as it's sure to be sore point with gay voters.

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma January 13, 2012

How to Surrender

In the Shin Buddhist tradition, as we listen to the teaching we are made to realize that we can never surrender ourselves. Resistance comes from the deepest center of our karmic selves. That’s why the Buddha Amida’s compassion says, “Tai, you don’t have to surrender.” When I hear that, when I understand that I can’t do it because it’s not my nature—that it’s like saying, “Fly to the sky”—then I realize that I don’t have to surrender, yet, naturally and spontaneously, the surrender takes place by virtue of true compassion.
- Taitetsu Unno, “Even Dewdrops Fall: An Interview with Taitetsu Unno”
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma January 12, 2012

The Fifth Precept: Not Using Intoxicants

To refrain from taking intoxicants is one of the primary vows that laypeople may take and that monastics have to uphold. One of the main reasons for not becoming intoxicated is that this can—and often does—lead to breaking other vows or straying from one’s integrity. Another reason for not becoming intoxicated is that for many, intoxication obscures the clarity of mind—the clarity to understand and rest in one’s true nature moment to moment.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma January 11, 2012

Get up where you fall down

In Genjokoan, Dogen writes, “Those who have great realization of delusion are buddhas.” The place where you get to be Buddha, so to speak, is in delusion, and there’s plenty of that to go around. You get up where you fall down. You don’t get up somewhere else. It’s where you fall down that you establish your practice.
- Ryokan Steve Weintraub on Sojun Mel Weitsman, "Umbrella Man"
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection

Via AmericaBlogGay:

Pope says gay marriage threatens the "future of humanity itself." No word on the threat caused by raping children.

Yes, the rape of the next generation doesn't seem to merit as much concern as two adults in love who simply want to settle down. As always, I ask, why should we care about the moral pronouncements of people who aid and abet the rape of small children? From Reuters:
"This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself," he said.
The Pope seems to be parroting Rick Santorum's argument that somehow straight men will leaves their wives and hook up with the gay guy down the street if given the chance. Which raises the question of why the Pope believes that all "straight" men naturally would be tempted by "teh gay."

Via AmericaBlogGay:

Gingrich lies about Catholic Charities bigots

Good job by Soledad O'Brien on this one. Equality Matters has more.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Via Nalanda LGBT Buddhist Cultural and Resource Center:

"If one wishes suffering not to happen to the people and the earth, it begins with a kind heart."

Pema Chodron

Via JMG: SHARIA LAW: Liberty Counsel Rewrites The Declaration Of Independence

The Liberty Counsel has boldly issued their own "Declaration of American Values," a document they'd presumably like to see become law. Here's a small sampling of the chilling items they demand of the government:
To secure our national interest in the institution of marriage and family by embracing the union of one man and one woman as the sole form of legitimate marriage and the proper basis of family.

To secure the free exercise of religion for all people, including the freedom to acknowledge God through our public institutions and other modes of public expression and the freedom of religious conscience without coercion by penalty or force of law.

To secure the moral dignity of each person, acknowledging that obscenity, pornography, and indecency debase our communities, harm our families, and undermine morality and respect. Therefore, we promote enactment and enforcement of laws to protect decency and traditional morality.
It should be plain to even the most casual observer that the Christianist right demands nothing less than that the complete imposition of Sharia law. You don't get to decide what you read, what you watch, whom you fuck, and certainly not whom you marry. Jesus knows best and those who complain the loudest will be the first up against the wall. This country is heading for its own Kristallnacht, should these 21st century fascists ever get any real power.

Reposted from Joe

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma January 10, 2012

Seeing Clearly

Our practice is to meet life exactly as it is and to notice whatever fear, anger, or doubt gets in the way of direct intimate contact with this moment, bringing attention to that as well. Rather than changing something or seeking to get somewhere we imagine we should be, practice is about seeing clearly exactly how things really are and how we relate to them. Practice thus becomes an increasing intimacy with life just as it is, and there is nothing—including the ideas that we should be getting something or somewhere—that is unworthy of the clear, nonjudgmental attention we call mindfulness.
- Douglas Phillips, "Q&A with Douglas Phillips"
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection

Via Obama for America:


Daniel --

The Mitt Romney who ran for U.S. Senate in 1994 promised voters in Massachusetts that he'd be a stronger advocate for LGBT rights than Senator Kennedy.

And in 2002, while running for governor of Massachusetts, Romney's campaign passed out fliers for Pride Weekend, saying "All citizens deserve equal rights regardless of their sexual preference." Yesterday afternoon, Mitt Romney's current campaign actually disavowed that 2002 flier.

You're probably wondering a few things. First, just exactly which part of that flier doesn't he agree with? And second, what could have possibly changed between yesterday morning (when Romney said he felt gays and lesbians deserved "full rights") and yesterday afternoon? Maybe he thinks that line won't play as well in the upcoming South Carolina primary?

It's election season again, and the only Mitt we really know is the one who will say whatever it takes to win. If he is the Republican nominee, we can expect him to suddenly try and be best friends with LGBT voters again. That's why we're sending him the message that it doesn't work like that -- and that we won't let him get away with it.

Say you'll help hold Mitt accountable before he has a chance to pander yet again:


Mitt's going to try to be whoever he thinks he needs to be to get elected -- it's our job to make sure those tactics come at a cost.

Stay tuned,


Jamie Citron
Director, LGBT Vote
Obama for America

Bye June - Shades of Purple [Official Music Video]

Monday, January 9, 2012

Via JMG: Ron Paul New Hampshire Flyer

In this flyer being distributed in New Hampshire, Ron Paul brags that he introduced a bill that would bar the federal courts from considering DOMA cases. Which is rather remarkable, as DOMA is a federal law.

Reposted from Joe

Above & Beyond feat. Miguel Bosé - Sea Lo Que Sea Será (Official Video)

Thich Nhat Hanh on Aimlessness

Does the rose have to do something? No, the purpose of a rose is to be a rose. Your purpose is to be yourself. You don't have to run anywhere to become someone else. You are wonderful just the way you are. This teaching of the Buddha allows us to enjoy ourselves, the blue sky, and everything that is refreshing and healing in the present moment. We already have everything we are looking for, everything we want to become. We are already a Buddha so why not just take the hand of another Buddha and practice walking meditation? Just be. Just being in the moment in this place is the deepest practice of meditation. The Heart Sutra says that there is "nothing to attain." We meditate not to attain enlightenment, because enlightenment is already in us. We don't need to search anywhere. We don't need to practice to obtain some high position. We can enjoy every moment. People talk about entering nirvana, but we are already there. Aimlessness and nirvana are one. We have everything we need to make the present moment the happiest in our life, even if we have a cold or a headache. We don't have to wait until we get over our cold to be happy. Having a cold is part of life. I am happy in the present moment. I do not ask for anything else. I do not expect any additional happiness. Aimlessness is stopping and realizing the happiness that is already available.

--Thich Nhat Hanh--

Via JMG: Molestation Victims Are Crybabies!

Victims of pedophile priests are just big wailing crybabies, according to a graphic and story posted by the Catholic League. Stop complaining, Timmy! You know you wanted it.

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Romney Spox Denies Gay Pride Flyer

"I don’t know where those pink flyers came from. I was the communications director on the 2002 campaign. I don’t know who distributed them. I never saw them and I was the communications director. I never saw them and I never approved them. I’m not quite sure where they came from." - Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom on the above flyer, which includes the tagline: "Paid for by the Romney For Governor Committee. Romney was questioned about the flyer during yesterday's GOP debate.

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Mitt Romney: I Oppose Same-Sex Marriage But Do Not Discriminate Against Gays

At this morning's GOP debate, the moderator tried to trip up Mitt Romney by quoting his 1994 pro-gay comment to Boston's Bay Windows, a statement which is still denounced today by the anti-gay industry. Romney opened by restating his opposition to same-sex marriage, then launched into a vow of non-discrimination in other areas.

Think Progress blogger Zack Ford reacted.
RELATED: Immediately following the debate, GOProud rushed out this press release.
We thank Governor Romney for having the political courage to speak up for gay Americans. He made it crystal clear this morning that he will be the type of President that gay people, and those who care about gays and lesbians in this country, can trust and be proud of. On issue after issue – whether it’s the economy, jobs, taxes, energy, healthcare or retirement security – Mitt Romney is offering common-sense conservative plans that will improve the lives of all Americans – gay or straight.
ALSO RELATED: Don't forget that Romney signed NOM's hate pledge in which he vowed to thwart the progress of LGBT civil equality. The pledge also includes a promise to appoint a federal commission to investigate any so-called "repression of religious liberties" by gay rights activists.

Reposted from Joe